‘Are you sure about this?’ Edward whispered to me as I rang the doorbell. ‘I mean, what if she tells people, what if she..-’
I shook my head ‘If anyone can take this news, it’s her. Relax. Besides, she is the only one I still have, she deserves to know.’
It was at that moment that the door opened and revealed an all too familiar face. Her eyes grew wide at the sight of me and she threw open the door completely, lunging herself at me.
Laughing, I hugged her back, careful not to hurt her. ‘I missed you! I mean, you didn’t answer my calls and my messages and then all I got was that one lousy text saying “you would explain later” – whatever that meant. And I was about to pack my bags and find you when you told me you’d come over. What happened to the orphanage? To the hard-knock life?’
I smiled at her enthusiasm ’Let’s first go inside. I have a lot to tell you.’ When we entered the living room, I noticed we were alone, just like I’d asked her. This conversation was not meant for other ears.
Sitting myself down in the couch, I waited for Jeren to take a seat as well. ‘I forgot to really introduce you two. Jeren, this is Edward Cullen. Edward, this is Jeren Miller.’
‘Nice to finally meet you, Edward. I have heard a lot about you..’ She smiled innocently.
’Yes well, I am here today to tell you something else about Edward and his family. And now about me as well, I guess. They ehm.. we are vampires.’
Jeren didn’t blink, didn’t even seem to react to the news. I waited for her to do or say anything, but after a few moments passed, I came to the conclusion she must have not heard me. When I was about to open my mouth again, a smile appeared on her lips. ‘I know that.’
’You do? But how, when.. just how?!’
She nodded, calmly sipping from her Coca Cola. ‘I knew from the very first moment you told me about them. But I suspected something was different even long before that.’
I didn’t understand a word of what she was saying and, judging from the expression on his face, neither did Edward. So instead of asking, we both just stared at the human girl incredulously.
‘It happened around this time last year, but I only truly noticed it a month or so later. You see, since there was barely anything else to do in the treatment center, I read a lot. I had finished almost any book there was at the center and had even asked my parents to send me books. It was then that I came across a popular book series about vampires. Truthfully, I didn’t think it was all that special and was even terribly annoyed by the protagonist because I thought she was a pathetic excuse of a person, but alas, I am forgetting what I wanted to say. Then, seemingly from one day to the next, the series seemed to have vanished. Not just from the book case at the center, but out of collective memory. At first of course I thought I was going mad which really wouldn’t be all that surprising, but I knew something was off. And then you woke up and we started talking and.. How am I going to say this without being rude? The thing is,’ she took a deep breath ‘the Cullens are fictional characters. They were the stars of the series along with Bella Swan..’
My mouth hit the floor as the meaning of her words sunk in. ‘But how is that possible?’
‘I thought long about that, too, and eventually came up with only one theory that made even a bit of sense. I guess you read the series, too, and then recreated it during the psychoses. You made them real.’
I stared at her in disbelief. Could this be possible? ‘But how come I don’t remember anything about the books?’
‘If I’m correct about all of this – which I am increasingly starting to think I am – then by making the books real, you changed reality.’
‘It would explain how you knew who I was and how you knew about my family’s secret.’
His words triggered a flow of memories, backing up the theory which until now had sounded impossible. I remembered the day when I’d faked a sprained wrist to get out of PE, when I had seen Alice get a vision for the first time. I had identified Bella without a thought, even though I had never seen her before. Another memory came forth, this one of the day of the accident. I had ran for Bella without a thought, somehow just knowing that it would hit her. All of these things, could it really be that I knew them because.. because I had read about them? Because Bella was meant to be hit by the van. Because she and Edward were meant to fall in love.
My heart sank at that last realization. I was never meant to be there. ‘How did the series end?’
Jeren bit her lip, clearly pondering whether or not to tell us. ‘In short: Edward and Bella marry, she gets pregnant, has his baby, dies in the process and becomes a vampire.’
The constriction around my chest tightened, knowing that I had been right. ‘Bella was meant to be with Edward. I ruined the way things were supposed to go.’
She shook her head. ’No, no. You saved things. I mean, it was a horrible, unbelievable story to begin with and they did not fit together at all. You saved things by changing the story for the better. You actually made it a story worth writing down.’
A squeeze of my hand made me look into his beautiful face. ‘I wouldn’t want anyone but you.’
‘So, now we’ve got all of that behind us. Hypothetically, if someone were to write a story about your life, what would you want to be the title?’
‘You’re not going to write a book about us, Jeren.’ I pulled up an eyebrow at her mischievous face. ‘I mean it.’
‘It will hardly do any harm! I can change your names and descriptions, no one will even know it’s about you!’
‘I will make you into this mysterious, pale redhead, who’s tragic past and horrible illness do not deter her from always having some sarcastic comebacks up her sleeve. It will be fantastic!’
‘I said no.’
’And if you’re nice, I will even write of your endless beauty and wonderful personality.’
I was about to lunge at her, when a chuckling Edward held me back. ‘I think you’ll have to let this one go, love.’
Sulking, I crossed my arms. ‘Fine, but only if you mention how much Edward resembles Mr. Darcy when he’s brooding.’
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