Carlisle was thoughtful enough to bring me food, enough to feed several people, but I was grateful
for every bite. It had been several days since I’d eaten more than a nibble here or there. Still, it was
hard to feel comfortable or content when Edward was in so much pain.
Would he hate me for this? I couldn’t blame him if he did –
his pain was clearly excruciating, andthe sight of it caused a harsh ache in my chest. I would gladly trade places with him if it could savehis life, but of course, it could never be that easy. And I knew what he would think of himself once
he learned what he would become…a
nother reason for him to resent me. I could very easily beruining everything.
I tried to imagine what he would say if I could ask him, but I could come up with nothing…and I
hated that helplessness. Surely I should know what my own husband would want. Whether he
would prefer death to becoming a vampire…whether he would curse me for not preventing all of this…I wanted my suspense to be over with. I wanted to be with him, even if he would spurn me in
the next instant.
“What’s troubling you, Bella?” I jumped,
startled. I hadn’t heard Carlisle come into the room;
usually he made a little noise to announce his presence. Evidently, the turmoil in my mind was written on my face.
“Do you think he’ll hate me for this? He’s always despised himself for what he is…what
if he can’t
forgive me for coming back in time, knowing what would happen and not doing a thing to prevent
Carlisle took the chair beside the bed, frowning thoughtfully. “Bella, I’ve wandered this earth for
over two hundred years now, and while I may lack personal experience, I think I can safely say from observation that most people would do anything to keep hold of the kind of love you show for young Edward. Perhaps Edward will come to hate what he is
but I don’t think he’ll mind so
much when that
leads him to you.”
“Would you feel the same?” I asked desperately.
Carlisle shrugged. “I’ve come to terms with what I am –
but keep in mind that I’m already olderthan your Edward will be when you meet him in the future. I don’t mind my life. It’s not exa
what I would wish, but I accept my limitations…and I hope. I hope that one day, my work will berewarded. That one day, I’ll have more than a reason to go on living, but a reason to enjoy life as well.”
“You will,” I promised him, inspired as always by Carlisle’s story. I hoped that Edward would oneday find such peace, even if he couldn’t forgive me immediately for my part in his fate.
“Thank you, Bella,” he sighed. “That knowledge will sustain me.”
Edward cried out then, and I devoted all my attention to him.