The Truth About Juliet

The Truth About Juliet

This is a response to some negative comments people make about the Romeo and Juliet theme surrounding Edward and Bella.

Not mine, enjoy :)

Chapter 1

The Truth About Juliet

by: jellybab
Save the occasional on-campus march for world peace or for better burritos in the Southeast dining hall, this place was enduringly dead. Good and dead, like my heart.

But death that hath sucked the honey of thy breath hath had no power yet upon thy beauty.

Gnawing on a pen cap, I let out a very quiet but contemptuous sigh.

Death hath nothing. Death was only the beginning of something much worse, something much more diabolical and maddening for the soul: Loneliness. Bitter loneliness, in the presence of friends, in the visage of life, so that the soulless eyes can see what they're missing and then scream without sound for the loss. It was a far worse punishment than real mortal death. Beauty and honey and breath, they did not exist, except to be missed by the living. The truly dead don't care. They're dead. And beauty dies with them.

I don't believe that.

I closed my eyes.

It was another one of those days. Quietly, I sat, ignoring the current lecture on Nietzsche, pondering the insides of my eyelids until, around me, the bodies of eighty college students rose noisily. Backpacks scraped at tile, and then the murmurs and chatter began.

I released a weary breath and opened my eyes, grateful that self-pity and cynicism had made the minutes fly by. Like true friends, they were always there for me.

But why was I hearing Romeo already? I was nowhere near Forks.

I waited. As always, Juliet never said a word.

Listlessly, I stood. It was the last class of the afternoon, and I was more-than-ready to get into my truck and drive home for the weekend. No doubt Charlie would be waiting, praying to see me a little fatter and pinker in the cheeks.

An hour later, I was home.

"Hi, Dad." I dropped my bag on the porch.

"Bella!"

Charlie rushed out and pulled me into his arms. "You're so thin, Bella," he immediately scolded, giving me a once over. "Are you eating?"

"I'm boycotting the burritos at school."

"Bella."

"I'm serious; there was an actual protest march with signs and everything." I gave a weary smile.

He laughed and hugged me again. "It's good to see you, kid. Even with that smart mouth of yours."

"Thanks."

"So how are you doing?" He meant to direct me into the house, but I sat down on the bench before he could even try. "Anything new?" he asked, sighing as he sat down beside me.

I shrugged. "I'm all right." Glancing through the living room window, I noticed that everything appeared the same as it had when I left two months before. The same magazine sat on the corner edge of the coffee table. Had that soda been there, too? "I'm going to cook for you tonight."

"No need." Charlie smiled. "You and I, and Billy and Jake, are going out to the Lodge for some dinner," he said cheerfully. "We're going to show you a good time."

I groaned. He couldn't be serious. "Dad, I really don't want to."

"Don't you want to see Jake? He's been talking about this all week. He's so excited to see you."

"Yes, of course, I want to see him, but I don't need to go to the stupid Lodge to do it." Instantly, I felt horrible. My father's smile disappeared. He loved that wretched place. "I'll stop by his house after I make you dinner. Okay? Maybe tomorrow we'll all go out."

"Okay, Bell," he agreed with another smile. "Are you sure you're alright?" He had that look in his eyes. He was worried about me, as usual.

"I'm fine. Really, Dad. School is keeping me busy."

"And you're taking your medication? You're doing your exercises?"

"Of course."

He smiled. "Okay." Standing, he kissed my head. "I have to hit the station for a bit, take care of some paperwork, and then I'm all yours this weekend. You sure you're okay here alone? I'll only be gone an hour, at most."

"I'm a big girl, Charlie. I think I can handle it." I was lying through my teeth, but I needed to be alone to let it happen... if it was going to.

A few minutes later, I was peering through the blinds, watching as his police cruiser backed out of the driveway and then turned the corner out of sight.

The enigmatic thrill of privacy struck me. I was alone again, but, instead of rejoicing, my heart clenched like an enraged fist. The air around me itched like liquid heat, making me scratch at my arms as I heaved a giant sigh and took tentative, brooding steps into my old house.

I ogled the things around me like I was in a museum, pictures displayed, furniture positioned, and yet I saw nothing. What viscous madness, this feeling that always came. This house, the things inside, the forest that loomed just beyond its perimeter, all of the dark past in bright formal colors, sent up to pummel me.

It all wanted to be seen.

The worn, cushiony arm of the couch appeared in my peripheral vision, causing a sharp vision to pulse, flashing like a starburst in my mind. I instantly pushed it away.

"For you and I are past our dancing day," I heard him whisper.

"No." I told him, shaking my head. "Not now."

My chest wilted. And then alas, the emptiness of this house cracked my outer shell. He was here now, all around me, in the creases of the walls and in the legs of the kitchen chairs. It was too much familiarity, too many determined memories.

"It is the east and my Bella is the sun."

My heart crunched within my chest again, and I took another step.

Please. Slowly. Not all at once, I begged.

The more I tried to push away the psychosis, ignoring the whispered lines of my Romeo, rejecting the memory of the way his sensuously cool lips had felt against my ear, and the more I pretended that the sound of his deep, angelic voice, the very tenor of his promised love, did not stretch and wind softly into my mind one long ago September afternoon, the more the madness pounded and shoved and demanded to be heard.

Romeo would not be ignored.

And still, Juliet said nothing.

The couch seemed to come alive.

"Eyes look your last. Arms take your last embrace"

I let out a sob. "Stop it, Edward!"

I knew then that my mind was buckling. My teeth and jaw clenched without my permission. My body gave way. He was everywhere. And God, it hurt! I screamed a blood-curdling cry into my father's empty house, and then I screamed again. Violent breaths heaving me forward, I ran to the front door and swung it open, catching a warm October wind in my face.

"If love be rough with you, be rough with love! Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down!"

"WHERE ARE YOU?" I screamed at the empty driveway.

The next thing I knew I was on Jacob's couch, where he had his arm around my shoulder.

Idly, I stared at the muted TV, praying for serenity as Jacob spoke to me in broken sentences. His voice was gentle while he went on and on about my Edward hour. How I needed it right now, and how I couldn't let myself fall this deeply into my depression before I did something about it. He said this in so many words, more understanding words than I deserved. And though I was in no way comforted, I nodded to please him, to make him feel as if he had helped.

"Go on. I'll be here when you get back," he told me as he placed a light jacket over my shoulders. "We'll go get dinner after. You'll feel better." He pretended all of this didn't bother him, didn't strike him down with dispiriting jealousy and frustration, but I knew better.

"Okay." I wandered to the front door. "We'll have dinner." He kissed my flaccid lips, hugged me, and then shoved me out the door.

"One hour, Bells."

"One hour."

My feet were bare now, and in the cool, salted sand of First Beach they twisted and pushed, carrying me toward the whitewashed shoreline. Glowing brightly in the sky above was what Billy called the Harvest Moon, and its single stripe of light traveled in scurried breaks toward beach, toward me, illuminating a large band of bluish water amidst the eternal blackness. The waves inside the band were rough, cresting higher and higher before crashing into a foamy abyss.

I raised a tense smile. It was all exactly what I had come to witness: the soothing chaos of the ocean.

It was warm tonight too. Fall hadn't quite settled over the Northwest peninsula, but it was just windy enough that I grew more appreciative of Jacob and my jacket.

I threw out the blue flannel blanket that Angela had given me and sat down just shy of the high-tide waterline, where the sand was dryer and softer, but from where I could still feel the cool, misty spray of ocean water on my skin.

Not wanting to waste any time, I took a deep breath and began my usual therapy, the way my psychiatrist had instructed me to do.

Mentally, I read it off like a laundry list: Sit Indian style. Straighten my back. Relax my muscles and arms. Fingers and toes too. Close my eyes and let my neck slacken. Let the wind and the salt penetrate my skin and my hair. Clear my mind. Brace my heart. Think of him...

An abandoned memory that contained his image flooded my mind. It was weak and incomplete. It was summer, a bright, happy day, and he was laughing at something Alice said. I was mesmerized.

A sob hitched at the top of my throat. Edward.

Two long years had passed since that summer day, though, and his features were indistinct. His molten honey eyes were splotches above the fuzzy thing that was once his nose. I couldn't even conjure up the precise color of his hair or the way it shaped around his head. It was fading as I had forever dreaded. The one flawless piece of this memory, the only thing that still remained, was the sudden torrent of feelings that accompanied it. That was complete and whole and sat stewing as a deep burn in my chest.

Instantly, my eyes began to well, but this was good. This was therapeutic.

The wind cooled and dried my tears quickly.

"You have to think of him, Bella. Denial is a powerful thing. It can crush you under its weight. /Think of him, Bella. Think of the smile you told me about, and of the way he held you at night... of the way you felt in response to those things you call 'heart shattering', those pieces of him that died for you so long ago. Think of them. Good and long."

"I can't. Not today."

"You can. Just imagine that he is out there somewhere, happy and smiling. He's holding something or someone he loves, or maybe he's the one being held. Remember what we talked about. Be happy for him, Bella, for wherever he may be. He is there, and you are here and alive. You can move on, just as he probably has..."

I took a deep breath.

"You're out there," I told the empty wind. Why couldn't I do this yet without crying? "You're somewhere. Happy." My throat constricted. The pain never changed or evolved with the changing seasons. It simply stayed, as constant as the heart-shaped hollow beneath my ribs. "Someone is holding you," I forced myself to say, though it came out as an incoherent sob. "And you're happy, and I'm happy for you."

"Oh, how wrong you are, my beautiful girl."

My eyes snapped open and quickly shut again with my gasp.

"Are you trying to hurt me, Dr. Mitchell?"

"No, Bella. I'm trying to take away the mystery of him for you. To convince you that he did exist and that you can exist without him. Accept these things. That is what you must do if you want to heal and move on... Do you want to move on? Bella?"

"Bella."

"Go away, Edward," I cried out, forcing my eyes to remain shut against him.

"I don't know if I can. Dr Mitchell."

"Well you need to try, Bella. You can't let this destroy you..."

"Go away," I repeated weakly. The residual hum of his voice continued to saturate into my limbs and heart, spreading into immediate memory, where I recalled it over and over.

Bella.

Had I just told him to go away?

Oh, God. But I had seen him! And even his hallucination I could not turn away! "Wait!"

I opened my eyes in fear and then exhaled in relief. He was still there. His face was pained, though, and so sad. I had hurt my imaginary Edward's feelings again. Oh, but I could see him so clearly this time!

"I didn't mean it," I pleaded. "I'm sorry. Stay. Please stay." I sobbed as he watched me. I was crazy. No more could I deny that. I was certifiably insane. But if this was lunacy, seeing his perfect face that looked so out of place, so beautiful against the shabby backdrop of earth, then I would take it, and I would stay, too, right here, with him.

My hand flew to my mouth at the asinine things I told myself. "Oh, God, I've gone crazy, Edward. I'm crazy."

He shook his head. "You're beautiful."

"Oh, don't say those things to me!" I cried. When had it come to this? How long had I been insane?

Suddenly, my Edward delusion appeared to panic. He scooted back. "I'm sorry," he murmured. "I'm sorry. I was being selfish. I shouldn't have come." I wanted to reach out to him. He was in such pain. What a pathetic pair we made on the beach. I, utterly delusional, and he, this self-deprecating fantasy of mine, apologizing for nothing and scooting away in the sand.

"Where are you going?" I asked him.

"Probably back to my family." He stood up, sorrow and regret charging his eyes. "Please forgive me for breaking my promise to stay away. I couldn't. I'm pathetic, and I was wrong to bother you."

"No! Don't go."

Edward stared at me for a long time before he spoke. "I kept deluding myself that you would want to see me. Hoping, even though I shouldn't." The sadness of his countenance was breaking my heart. "I'm sorry, Bella. I know I have no right to be here. I'm... I'm miserable, and I won't bother you again."

Then his lips tightened, and, angrily, he stalked off down the beach.

Tears spilling, my mind became a maelstrom of desperation and anguish. "No!" Like a fool, I ran after him, quickly stumbling and falling to my knees. "Wait!" I screeched as my hands and forehead dipped hopelessly into the sand. "Wait." The sound that came out of me was horrid and guttural and straight out of Hell. "Damn you! I hate you!" Rolling to my back, I sobbed and slammed by incapable feet to the sand. They had betrayed me again. "I hate you!"

His voice fell over me then like a warm blanket. "I hate myself more."

Oh, the relief to feel weight, and the precious aura of his presence behind me; it was palpable and supple and heating me from the inside out.

O, speak again, bright angel!

To my delight, two cold palms cupped my cheeks, flushing them and, at last, lighting my flesh on fire while they caressed me down to my exposed throat. I think I released a sob. How my heart needed that touch. How satisfying it was, like cool, clean water in the middle of the vast Saharan desert. And when he kissed my ear with his perfect, affectionate lips, I resurfaced, gasping.

My eyes opened.

"Don't go," I called out pleadingly, my arms reaching back, my pride an absent, nonexistent thing. "Please. I love you. I love you so much."

"Why do you say this to me?" His voice was so confused, as lost in this eternal fray as mine was.

"Why do I say what?" I asked, staring at the sky. He was still behind me, his head beside mine, forehead in the sand. "That I love you?"

I heard a whoosh. He had collapsed back into the sand. "Yes, that."

I sat up and turned around to see my brooding illusion. He was still so beautiful and so very much a representation of my absolute comfort and joy. I wanted this mirage to hold me in its magical arms. I greedily wanted it to kiss me again. I wanted to become part of the dream, so that if it were to disappear, so then would I.

And why was this so wrong? As long as I wasn't hurting anyone else, what was so dangerous in letting the madness consume me? This madness had sweet breath and strong, loving arms and a voice that filled my heart with the life and love that had once been all mine.

"Love, give me strength, and strength will help me through."

I smiled at him, my fantastic vision. I wanted it all, and I would seek it out now, embrace it, as they had insisted I do.

Reflexively, I crawled toward Edward until my hands were able to comfortably reach his face. He was miraculous, and I was in utter awe of his glory.

Of all my delusions, none had been so manifested and, then, for the manifestation to be so corporeal, so covered in that hard, beloved flesh that I pined for; I was speechless. I touched its firm cheeks with the tips of my fingers, testing as it sat perfectly motionless for me. I traced down the slope of its nose with care, and then, at last, I cocked my head at the way its flawless lips curled down into a pitiful frown. Amazing. It could feel. And hurt. And love.

It could love me.

"He that is strucken blind cannot forget. The precious treasure of his eyesight lost."

"Alright you," I whispered. "You want to know?"

Wearing a handsome smile, my hallucination smoothed his cool fingers down my cheek. I got a chill.

Maybe he was what Dr. Mitchell, bless her, had intended for me; maybe he was my therapy, my pretty illusion, here to restore my somber soul, to cry to, to say the things I needed to hear, to offer a more merciful goodbye. Oh, but I still didn't want it to go. I was rapt.

"I want to know everything," he whispered and I swooned at the sound, at the seductive way his lips formed those simple words. And then he smiled again. Oh, he was the most marvelous apparition to ever roam amongst the stupid and insane. I was certain of it.

"Then I'll tell you." My shoulders fell. I wanted to touch him, to kiss his waiting mouth, but instead I unleashed careless words upon him. "I hate you, but I love you. I hate you, because I love you so much."

Edward turned his face down. "I'm sorry you feel that way," was his eventual response, and I dared to touch the strong, cold hand in his lap. I was making him sad again. He looked up at me. "I understand it, though: your hate. I'm a monster."

"No, you're not," I told him. I couldn't believe that he was. A stupid boy who broke my heart with every move he made, yes, but not a monster, never a monster. "And I don't hate you... I'm..." I paused. I had to. Something erupted inside me, like a great flood of energy. My heart quickened. Adrenaline pumped and flowed violently though my veins, invigorating me as it rocketed into my heart and throat. Damn him! "How could you leave me?" I blurted furiously. "How could you just leave me there? I begged for you, and you stared at me like I meant nothing to you and took yourself away anyway!"

I sat forward to yell in his face. Angry tears spilled from my eyes. How I needed to scream at him! To hit him!

"I waited every day for you!" My voice bellowed with two years worth of torment. The pain was still so rich in my blood, and now it was boiling. "Every night, I thought you would come back for me! I thought you loved me!" I struck his chest, ignoring the anguish on his face. My horrid, horrid words! "You promised that you would forever! You promised, and I believed you! I loved you so much; it felt like my heart was going to split wide open, and you didn't even want me! And that hurt! It still hurts! Oh, God, make it stop hurting!" I cried to him, throwing myself at the safety of his chest. "Say something to make the pain go away! Please!"

With desperate fortitude, I waited, amazed at how cathartic my outburst had been, at how good his arms felt as they wrapped around me. I exhaled. Comfort. Love. Home. These things were him. And as angry as I was at him, I had to curb my vengeance. My words were tearing my mirage's heart apart, and I loved him so much already, this sorrowful apparition, that hurting him was not an option I could live with.

"Say something."

"I only wanted to protect you," he whispered with abject sadness, sliding his fingers into my hair, kissing my hair. "I still want to, but I'm miserable. I thought I could do this. I thought I could stay away. But I'm weak and I'm lonely without you. I'm nothing, Bella. And I shouldn't have come. I know that now."

He adjusted himself to stand. But I would die if he left this time. Die, and there was no way around it. Even this dream of him, it was the final thread holding me together.

"Please stop hurting me," I begged, weeping for him, mourning him already.

"I will. I'm sorry, Bella." He started to climb to his feet.

"No." I clasped his hand. "Going will hurt me more. Don't you see?"

A moment later, he sat back down, his black eyes studying me. "Then I'll stay," he said to my absolute surprise. "I'll stay here with you."

"I meant, Don't go... ever."

He looked surprised at this. "You could want me again?"

"I already do," I climbed to his lap and kissed his pale pink lips. "I want you so much."

"Then I'll stay," he said, growing eager from my kisses. "I don't care how dangerous or wrong it is. I don't care. I just want this." He kissed me hard, hard enough to feel and bruise, and at that I smiled and wrapped myself around him. For a long while, we sat in silence, listening to the sounds of the waves crashing and the wind blowing, watching and relearning each other with simple touches and slow kisses. "I wanted you," he told me quietly as I touched his cheeks and his ears. "I still want you. It was all a lie..."

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