And with Thee Fade Away
"The mind is its own place and in itself can make a heav'n of hell, a hell of heav'n."
Satan to Beelzebub, Line 254Paradise Lost
If there was one thing Bella Swan knew with certainty, it was that sooner or later everybody dies. Themystery lies in the uncertain speed by which fate makes its final judgment. At times death stirs with thelight turn of a feather floating on the air. At others it snaps and snarls like a hungry beast in anticipationof the final bite. For Bella, death was both extremes. It moved with a tremendous force, but spoke withthe soft glow of twilight.There was nothing glorious about Bella Swan's death. There was only the cold seizure of sensation fromher limbs as Edward Cullen drained the remains of life from her body. There was no burst of light, nomemories flashing before her eyes. Angels didn't reach out and grasp her fragile hand at the end.She held fast to Edward, her murderer, as he took her life, prying from her still-seeing eyes the mostprecious gift she had ever given.
1. Swan Song
Bella Swan didn't like "goodbye" parties. She found the idea of celebrating the long-term departure of afriend perverse, like laughing at a funeral. Such parties are supposed to have something to do withrejoicing in all the good times spent in the past, in the company of close friends. These parties are, inreality, breeding grounds for excessive nostalgia, sentimental stories, and embarrassing photographs.But Bella's own goodbye party involved none of those things
except for the embarrassing photographs,which had been discovered in the pages of a very-old photo album. To make matters worse, they hadbeen printed on all of the plates and napkins, by order of some unethical soul, so that guests could wipetheir faces on three-year-old Bella.In honor of Bella's 17 years as a resident of Phoenix, Arizona, Sophie Ellingsdale's basement had beendecked out in obnoxiously bright streamers, a giant glittery "Goodbye Bella" sign, and plenty of otherextravagant decorations, all of which were coupled with the poignant symphonies of T-Pain and 50 Cent.It was all very excessive, considering the fact that she would only be gone for the summer. By the scale