Monday, June 14, 2010

Hev99 Week 6 Entry: He Made Me Feel Safe!


HEV99's Choice: Picture 2

He Made Me Feel Safe!

"Come on, Bella." They were up ahead of me, following the trail of stepping stones that ran down the middle of the brook and into the forest. I was running as fast as my short, four year old legs would carry me. The pretty dress that my mom had considered appropriate wear for playing in the garden was hanging over my arm as I ran. My little legs pushed forward, desperate to keep up with the boys and prove that I was old enough to play with them, and I didn't need to be kept in the confines of the sandpit while they were allowed to explore.

I baulked when I reached the water's edge, unsure if I could jump the distance to the first stone. The boys were all twice my age and their long legs could easily make the distance. The water was mere inches deep, but to my young mind, it might as well have been a vast river with monsters lurking beneath the surface, waiting to drag me under if my toes breached the surface.

I stared at the gap, making calculations in my head that would undoubtedly be inaccurate and land me flat on my back in the cold water.

"Come on, slow poke," my brother, Michael called from up ahead where he and his best friends were poised on the edge of the forest. I looked up at him with wide, frantic eyes as he turned away and started to run into the forest without me. I was too far from home now to find my way back and if they left me here, I would be lost.

I could feel the tears stinging at my eyes at the thought of being left alone out in the middle of the countryside with nobody to take care of me and nobody to help me find my way home again. The gentle babbling of the brook and the singing of the birds in the trees were deafening to me as I dropped down to the ground and cried, calling out for Michael to come back.

"Go home to mummy, baby," his voice called out from the menacing darkness of the forest; and then there was silence as he and his friends ran away, taking with them the only security I had.

Panic bubbled up in my chest and threatened to spill over as my pathetic tears turned to sobbing and then wailing, which sent the birds flying from the trees in a flurry of flapping wings.

"Don't cry Bella." A soft velvety voice from above me brought an abrupt halt to my crying, as I looked up, squinting into the sunlight to see who was there.

Michael's friend, Edward was standing on the first stepping-stone, watching me awkwardly, scuffing his feet against the stone with his hands buried deep into his pockets. His bronze hair was standing in unruly waves that kept dropping into his face in the breeze. Every so often one of his hands would emerge from his pocket and sweep the offending strands away only for them to fall back into his eyes and irritate him again.

I watched him carefully, as his hand reached out towards me, his eyes expectant, waiting. I eyed his outstretched arm cautiously; my brother's friends had tricked me too many times in the past just to trust him right off the bat. I pushed myself up off the ground, still eyeing his hand warily and then stood looking at him.

"You want to come or not?" he questioned, shifting slightly so that his body was angled more towards the forest, his eyes longingly following the boisterous sounds of laughter and games coming from within.

I could feel my eyes widening in fear when the unmistakable sounds of terror tag began to seep out through the trees and I took a step back from Edward's offered hand.

"N-no thank you," I stammered. I didn't like that game. Last time I played it with my brother and his friends, I wound up in hysterical tears, which even my mommy couldn't stop.

Edward turned again towards the forest, a slightly desperate look in his eyes as the screaming and shouting got louder and more raucous.

"You go on," I whispered, turning back to the field I had run through only moments before, in the vain hope that the way home would have miraculously appeared there.

"I can't just leave you, Bella. You're little, you could get lost."

"Michael did," I responded, trying not to sniff over the thought of my big brother leaving me all on my own out here.

"Yeah, well Michael's an idiot; he's just trying to impress Emmett so he can get in with his mates. What he doesn't realize is that Emmett wouldn't leave his baby sister on the edge of a forest in the middle of nowhere all on her own."

I stiffened at his words and stood as tall as I could.

"I'm not a baby," I corrected him; proudly standing on my tip toes to make myself look as old as possible. "I'll be five soon." He laughed at that, but not unkindly.

"Sure, squirt; you're practically an old fogey." He laughed even louder at his own joke. "When's your birthday then?"

"Not tomorrow but the next day," I replied, counting the days out on my fingers as though it was necessary. His face lit up in a bright smile at that, a smile that carried one corner of his mouth up higher than the other did so his face looked crooked.

"Monday," he laughed, stepping easily from the stone onto the grass where I was standing and mussed my hair with his hand.

"So what did little Bella ask for her big fifth birthday?"

I frowned at the thought of what I asked my mummy for, and how it had split her face and made her look sadder than usual.

"I asked for my daddy to come home," I whispered, staring down at my feet where my perfect, white sandals were scuffing awkwardly at the grass.

"Oh," was all the response I got. It was all that he could say really.

"He's in Alansigan," I attempted, failing miserably to say the name that Michael had attempted to coach me to say properly. "He's a brave soldier, mummy says."

"He'll come home, Bella. One day he'll be back." I shifted my eyes up to his, feeling his emerald green ones gazing at me with a burning intensity that at four years old I had no hope of understanding.

"He will?" I asked, uncertain, my eyes holding his and gaining confidence at the certainty that I saw there.

"Sure he will, you'll see." Then he kissed me, not a proper kiss. Not like the ones, I saw on the TV when my mummy was watching her 'stories' as she called them. It was just a peck, on the end of my nose, but it made me forget all about my daddy in danger all those miles away, and it made me forget about Michael leaving me all alone and scared. It made me feel safe.

Edward Cullen had been making me feel safe for seventeen years.

He made me feel safe when I was six and he was ten, when the letter came telling me that my father would not be coming home again. He made me feel safe the day they lowered the flag draped coffin into the ground, his hand warm around mine as silent tears flowed down my face.

He made me feel safe when I was fifteen, he was nineteen, and my brother dared me to go cliff diving at La Push with them. He jumped off the edge with me when my stubbornness wouldn't allow me to refuse. He held tightly to my hand as we kicked our way back to the surface of the freezing water, which crashed around us, threatening to drag us below the surface.

He made me feel safe when I was sixteen, he was twenty, and my boyfriend, Tyler broke up with me because I refused to sleep with him. He held me in his arms as I cried, and never once made me feel stupid.

He made me feel safe when I was eighteen, he was twenty-two, and he and my brother drove me to college. He ran his fingers down my cheeks, a longing look in his bright green eyes as he whispered to me to be safe and to have fun. I watched as he drove away in his bright silver Volvo and wished that he could stay.

He made me feel safe on my twenty-first birthday when he was twenty-five and he bought me my first legal drink, and my second.... and my third... and.... He rubbed his hand soothingly down my back while holding my hair back with the other as I experienced my first hangover and provided the Tylenol that made the tiny people stop partying inside my brain. He called in sick to work for me and stayed by my side all day, insisting on fluids to counter dehydration and maintained a constant stream of apologies the whole day for getting me so drunk.

Then he made me feel safe that night as we snuggled together on the couch, my comforter draped over us as we watched Titanic together, at my insistence. He brushed the tears from my face with his gentle fingers when my heart broke over Jack's death for the hundredth time, and then he kissed me for only the second time in my life.

It wasn't merely a comforting peck on the nose this time though. This time it was smoldering eyes, almost luminous as they gazed into mine as though they could see the future there. This time is was a slow, torturous descent as his lips found mine. It was his soft tongue, dancing an age-old dance and making it brand new as his fingers tangled in my hair. It was the choice of running out of oxygen, over allowing any space between us for breathing. It was panting and sighing when the cool air of the badly heated flat hit my lips once more, signaling that his were gone. It was him whispering the sweetest words in my ear that I had ever heard, as he cradled me against his chest.

"I've wanted to kiss you ever since you were four years old and you couldn't make the jump to the stepping stones."

I realized that safe was just one of many things that he had made me feel since I was a little girl, lost and alone by a jump that seemed just too big for me to make. He had been there every time the jump seemed too far or the climb seemed too high. He had held me up every single time life threatened to make me fall down. He had been my own personal stepping-stone, keeping me from falling into the water at every turn.

I didn't even have to think about it as I looked up at him, his emerald eyes still held the same expression they had done seventeen years ago, and his hair still fell irritatingly into his eyes. I fell into the deep, green pools that had held me up for so long and kissed him deeply, kissed him as though my life depended on it. Depended on him.


Kimmydonn said...

Great big Aawwwww. I love fluff. :D

Livi said...

Damn you for making me cry! So romantic!

Burntcore said...

Awwww... that was sooo sweet!