Edward’s Diary: Plans
April 10, 2013
The Italians have an expression they use to describe love: “Colpo di fulmine.” Literally translated, it means ‘thunderbolt.’ It is most commonly used in context of the feeling of being in love. It talks of love so intense that when it hits you, you feel like you have been struck by lightning.
I can never forgive myself for being the monster I was: all the lives I claimed regardless of their stature in the Book of Judgement, the times I’ve hurt people, hurt Bella. . . But since Bella came into my life, since I realized that we could be entirely compatible with each other, that we could create life—a beautiful life—that we could be with each other for the rest of eternity and not need anything else, I have drilled it into my brain to not think of myself as an abomination. It was hard, and it required many nights of talking and repentance, but I did it.
I bared my soul to Isabella Swan, hoping she would love me just as much as I loved her, hoping we could somehow accomplish the impossible. I have forgotten most of my human life. In fact, at one point I wasn’t even sure I remembered my mother’s face. But there is one very distinct memory that has stuck with me since the past hundred years. No matter what I’ve learned, what has changed, what has been lost and found and lost again, that one memory, that one conversation with my mother has always resided in some corner of my brain. It has appeared to me in forms of reenactments, in forms of thoughts, in forms of conversation.
You’d think I would have learned it by heart by now. But somehow, I can never seem to get my mind to forget my mother’s crystal clear voice. “You can only be alone for so long, Edward, before you realize one of two things: either you are not meant to love, which is impossible, or the one meant for you is just as alone as you are.” I remember, even now, the numerous years I spent in hiding following the day I left Carlisle.
I despised myself; abhorred the devil that I had become. All I wanted at that point was to escape reality, to withdraw into this deep shell where even my own thoughts and sins would not be able to catch up with me. The sins had just piled up and until the weight of them started crushing me, creeping up the corners of my dead heart like a climber rises up and grips a wall to never let go. The more I tried the more I failed, and the more they rooted themselves inside, feeding on the despair and anger and hatred. It wasn’t until I had showed up at Carlisle’s door begging him to take me in that I found solace. I can never understand why I had left him in the first place.
I guess the rebel in me had wanted his share. But even after that—even after my deviant self had found a beacon of light in Carlisle’s pristine soul—the pain had been there: in the form of regret, hurt, anger, self-loathing. Even after having perhaps the most supporting and loving family that one could be blessed with, I had been the epitome of walking dead. Hatred had embittered my soul; punctured it so whatever life I had would squeeze out slowly, painfully, conspicuously, keeping me aware of every moment of self-torture that I inflicted on myself: self-chastisement, to be clear, to wash my soul of its sins with nothing other than my frozen and stale blood. The day I had realized that I loved Bella was the day when my insecurities had jumped out at me with neon signs: Do I even deserve to love? How can she love me back? Will I destroy her life as I destroyed mine? Will she be damned for eternity like I am?
And however selfish and self-destructive it may have been, I had honestly thought that I had done us both a favor by leaving her. My heart had fought hard, but my mind had oppressed the rebellion by appealing that her happiness was priceless compared to mine. She had drilled that out of me, eventually. Even after being married to Bella for this long, each sight of her left me craving for more. Every place devoid of her was a heath. Every moment not shared by her was one that was wasted. Every event, however significant it might be, in her absence seemed no more exciting than a funeral. When I had first realized this—the intensity with which it had hit me—I had asked myself: Is this what feels like? ‘Happy, happy love’: so intense, and so intoxicating that its very thought sends me to the heights of delirium and ecstasy. I had been worried that the feeling might fade over time—not for me, but for Bella. I had feared that she might wake up one day and realize that she had made the gravest mistake of her life by marrying a monster when she could have had a chance at a normal, human life. It would be too late to go back then.
‘What’s done cannot be undone’. Now, I think that I may have underestimated her, seeing as she was still around, and also, still miraculously in love with me, after five years. My hands clutched the piece of paper in my hand as the date on my iPhone stared back at me. 20th July. Five years ago, a little before a month after this date had been the day that had marked the commencement of the most beautiful thing that had ever happened to me. It had been on that day, when, amidst our family and friends, Bella and I had vowed to stay together for the rest of eternity. Ah, happy times, which had just morphed into more blissful ones. If I had my way, my anniversary would be remembered for all eternity as the day of Love. It would be celebrated by people as they celebrated Christmas. Thankfully, Bella had talked me out of getting it patented, saying that we couldn’t exactly walk into a government office and explain to them our love story just so they would create a new holiday. All my efforts of asking Bella—and asking Emmett to ask Rosalie to ask Esme to ask Alice to ask Nessie to ask Jacob to ask Bella—what she wanted for her anniversary had been in vain. Everyone had come back with the same answer. She doesn’t want anything.
Almost seven years in the Cullen family and she had still to get over her aversion to lavish gifts, courtesy of Alice. So, I had started making a list. Potential Anniversary Gifts for Bella (PAGB) Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my family to death. But the Cullen men have a competitive streak when it comes to showering our women with gifts. We won’t admit it, but everyone wants to find out ways to outperform the other one. Our women don’t care, and most of the time we don’t too, because we realize that it’s not a competition in the first place. But we are men—testosterone laden, football fanatic, video games playing, devoted, loving, ancient men. The competitive streak wins out. So, not only did I have to come up with something unforgettable for Bella, but also shove it in my brothers’ and father’s faces. This year, Carlisle had bought Esme another island: Esme Anne. Emmett had bought Rosalie a riverside Villa . . . in Paris. He had even gone as far as permanently reserving a spot for her on the Eiffel Tower.
I didn’t even know they did that! Jasper had presented Alice with the most high tech something something machine that enabled her to design endless clothes. I could have done all that, but the problem with me was that Bella freaked out every time I mentioned something that came even remotely close to a grand. Last year, for our anniversary, I had gifted her a piece of rock from the moon—yes, the moon. Don’t ask me how it happened, just that I know a guy who knows a guy—a reminder of my promise to give her the stars. I had expected her to be joyous—I had also hoped for a night of serious love making—but she had stared at the preserved piece for so long I had thought she’d gone into shock. Then she had got up, kissed me, and put the rock so safely away, like she was worried somebody would steal it.
The year before that I had taken her to Europe, and given her a night on the beach side in Cannes. Now, that had been well received. This year, once again, I was in a predicament. I knew I had to observe limits, but I didn’t want to cheap out. Right now, the items on my list were: Build her a Taj Mahal. Get her a snowflake from the North Pole. Get her a new meadow (for Birthday?) A new house. First edition copies of her favorite books. Isle de Bella (Nice ring to it, but danger of a major freak out. Also, sounds like plagiarism.) Recreate our wedding (that seems more appropriate for the 25th year.) A trip overseas? (Been there, done that?) Buy her a star (cliche.) A cruise (risks exposure)
“Take her on a cruise? Really? You couldn’t come up with anything else?” I heard Alice say as she pulled out a chair and sat next to me in the diner in Vancouver. I don’t know why she had chosen a place like this to meet. We could have done just fine in the cottage or on a hunting trip. “Do you know what there is two blocks away from here?” Alice, clearly, picked up on my train of thoughts. “No,” I replied, still going through the list in my hands. A Chanel store, and they have a new collection in. I heard Alice say. “Ah, so trade, is it?” I rolled my eyes. “You give me ideas and I give you money.” Alice shrugged, clearly unrepentant. “You will do so well as a drug dealer.” I shook my head. “I know, right?” She chirped. “Okay . . . so let me see . . . What’s a Taj Mahal?”
She didn’t even need to take the list from me. She had her own mental diary. “It’s a monument in India. Uh, it’s supposed to be one of the seven wonders of the world, Alice.” I widened my eyes at her lack of awareness, which was sort of ironic given her powers. “This . . . uh . . . emperor, Shah Jahan, built it as a tomb and memorial for his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, when she died during childbirth. It’s made of marble, and both Shah Jahan and Mumtaz are buried inside.” “You want to make a mausoleum for Bella on your anniversary? Doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose of . . . you know, eternity?” Alice tilted her head to the side. “It’s not what it is as much as why it was made.” I shook my head. “It’s a symbol of eternal love, Alice.” She nodded, “Okay, but how are you going to construct a Taj Mahal in just over a month? With wood? Isn’t that cheap?” True.
I hadn’t thought of that. Even if I could import marble, it would take me a lot of time to come up with a wonder like the monument. Not to mention Bella would get suspicious of my continued absence. “So you want to come up with an amazing gift but you also want to stay under the radar, shall we say?” she mused. “Yeah.” “You make it so hard.” She shook her head in disappointment. Our waitress walked up to us—I had, by now, stopped even noticing the womankind, primarily because I knew that no matter what their age, their thoughts would always involve the words ‘lick’, ‘tie’ or ‘suck’—and took our orders (Burgers and fries—we could always get them packed and give them away to a homeless person in need. That was better than wasting.) “What about this one?” She took the list from my hand. “’First edition copies of her favorite books’? This seems good.”
It did to me too, but Bella had a plethora of books that she had read over and over again. Giving her more books just seemed like I was trying to get away easy. “Isle de Bella, really? Cheater.” Alice stuck her tongue out at me. “’Danger of a major freak out’ . . . I don’t know about your wife sometimes. . . .” She laughed. “So that’s three things off the list . . .” I sighed. “When did this get so hard?” “When you started over thinking it.” Alice said, as the waitress arrived with our orders, “Really, Edward, sometimes I think you haven’t learned anything. Bella equals to simple. You need to do something special, but not go overboard with it. Look at this—’snowflake from the North Pole’: it’s not Christmas. And what will she do with a snowflake?” Alice mused as she went through my list and practically struck off everything on it. “Well, that’s rich coming from you. You’re the definition of overboard, Alice.” I rolled my eyes. “There’s a difference: You listen. I don’t.” She shrugged. “Don’t waste my time, Alice. Tell me something good.”
I grimaced at her. She thought for a moment as she went through ideas in her head. I dismissed them all almost immediately: too girly. She narrowed her eyes at my refusal. “Tell me,” she spoke after sometime, “What does Bella mean to you?” I raised my eyebrow: seven years and she still needed to ask that? “Don’t look at me like that! Just tell me!” I sighed, and thought about where I could begin from. Bella was not to be described in a word, or even on a page or a canvas. To me, she was just . . . otherworldly. “Have you ever thought about what it feels like to drown, Alice?” I furrowed my brow. No. Why? I heard her voice. “It’s human instinct: the urge to survive, to fight. You try to hold on for as long as possible, but eventually, your body cannot do it. You just have to give up.
The urge to breathe becomes so strong that you just have to let go and take another breath. “And then the water rushes in: cold, biting, killer. You think it’s ironic: something that gives life is now taking one—yours, to be specific. You cam almost feel the water: flowing, racing to your body parts, over flooding them and shutting them down. Your brain goes numb. And any effort of fighting and kicking that you were making up until then slows. And you finally start to resign yourself to the truth: you’re going to die. “In that haze of emotions—of panic, fear, and instinct—you start to think of everything that you did, and everything you could have done. And you think of the untimely death that now stares you in the face. “But just as you’re about to give up, something happens.
A wave of water comes up, rippling, forceful, and washed you ashore. And before you know it, you’re breathing. “A cold, alive, enthusiastic gush of air that runs through your body and restarts everything. Your mind starts working, your heart starts beating, your lungs—at last, with some effort—work. And you think that of all the things in your life, you will be always be most thankful to that gush of air.” I blinked, as if trying to wipe away invisible tears, and through my mental eye, saw Alice staring at me in awe. “If I wasn’t meant to be with Jasper, I’d totally take you.” She shook her head, as if breaking away from a spell. “I won’t: take you, I mean. You’re too high maintenance.” I shrugged. “Shut up,” she hit me with the hand that wasn’t clutching the list, “that was beautiful, Edward.” I would have said something if my mind hadn’t been too bent on something that I’d said. ‘All the things that you could have done’ . . . “Edward? Are you listening to me?” Alice shook here hand in front of my face. “Alice . . . I think I know what to get Bella.”
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Source: (Edward's Diary (Plans))