Stop and Stare
The school auditorium wasn't big. It held our school's population, that's it. So when I looked around at all the familiar faces of the Forks townspeople. I was shocked to say the least. Somehow 1,200 some people were crammed into a room big enough for 400. It was weird but as I looked up on stage to see the Music and Drama teacher pull out our schools baby grand piano I knew why they would want to come. It was that last act of the school music festival.
As I turned and looked at Carlise, Esme and Alice I could see that their faces were about to burst with pride and joy, I knew who would be coming on the stage soon. The announcer's voice rang through the speakers, "And now, ladies and gentlemen, on the piano with his own piece called Come Home. Ladies and gentlemen, Edward Cullen."
The auditorium burst with sounds of people clapping and whistling, some even dog calling, as Edward walked onto stage. He looked stunning in his black pants and black shirt. He wore a black sports jacket and a white tie that was tinted light blue from the lights shining soft on him. He didn't speak as he took his seat on the bench.
Then the music spoke for him as his hand glided expertly across the keys. The beginning was simple and sweet. He looked like he was the only on in the whole room. The notes weren't caustic or esoteric, but said everything not one of us could put into words.
And then Edward started singing.
"Hello world. Hope you're listening. Forgive me if I'm young for speaking out of turn. There's someone I've been missing, I think that they could be the better half of me. They're in their own place trying to make it right, but I'm tired of justifying."
I've heard Edward sing before, and even though for me to hear him sing is rare, I would recognize his voice anywhere. Edward's voice always seemed like white silk to me, pure, smooth, soft silk. This time is no different.
"So I say you'll... Come home, come home. Cause I've been waiting for you for so long, for so long. And right now there's a war between the vanities, but all I see is you and me. The fight for you is all I've ever known. So come home. Oh."
Listening to Edward sing brought tears to my eyes and goose bumps to my skin.
"I get lost in the beauty of everything I see. The world ain't as half as bad as they paint it to be. If all the sons, if all the daughters stopped to take it in, well hopefully the hate subsides and the love can begin. It might start now... Yeah. Well maybe I'm just dreaming out loud."
I took a quick glance around the room. No one was talking, no one was whispering or on their cellphones texting. No one's attention was diverted. Everyone was watching Edward, all their attention focused on him.
"Until then, come home, come home. Cause I've been waiting for you for so long, for so long. And right now there's a war between the vanities, but all I see is you and me. The fight for you is all I've ever known, ever known. So come home, oh."
Edward was so into the music, so focused on what he was doing and the music that was was playing. He was just as consumed by his music as we were by him. He wasn't playing with his eyes open anymore, they were closed.
"Everything I can't be is everything you should be. And that's why I need you here. I everything I can't be is everything you should be. And that's why I need you. So hear this now. Come home, come home. Cause I've been waiting for you for so long, for so long. Right now there's a war between the vanities and all I need is you and me. The fight for you is all I've ever known, so come home."
The sweet music started to slow and it's effect on us did the opposite.
The song ended as Edward stopped and for a second the whole auditorium was quiet, not a single person having the words to speak.
And then the room erupted in applause. Edward stood up from the bench and bowed. When he came up his eyes met with mine. I was on my feet practically jumping up and down, still wondering how I could be amazed by him and then remembering he was Edward. His green eyes sparkled in the stage lights.
This applause was longer than all the others because this was the first time everyone in town had witnessed Edward's talent, though even if this was Edward's millionth time. When he looked at me it was the first time he smiled all night, his serious facade was over. I'm he was smiling because of the goofy grin that was plastered onto my face.
The announcer's voice seemed somewhat muffled through the speakers this time, "Ladies and gentlemen. Come Home by Edward Cullen." I smiled at his name. "That concludes tonight performance's. On behalf of tonights performances I would like to say thank you for coming and please drive home carefully."
Edward bowed one more time before he came off stage and was engulfed by his fellow townspeople. There were many "way to go, Edwards" and "we love you, Edward", and "Edward, that was phenomenal", but nothing anyone could say would ever to able to match up to what Edward had just done.
Eventually, Edward was able to make his way over to us. Esme couldn't contain her emotions and ran over to hug her son as she had tears streaming down her face. "Absolutely fantastic," She whispered in his ear. After the minute or so she held him Carlise gave him a tight hug and whispered something into his ear. Edward hugged him back and nodded his head. Alice gave Edward a quick little pixie hug and kissed his cheek.
Finally Edward turned to me. I've known my best friend for years, almost since my birth, but I don't think I've ever seen him look like this. When Edward plays for me, which it a rarity, he looks at me with an intense gaze and then smiles his crooked smile. As he stood in front of me he didn't smile this time and for some reason his gaze looked way more intense. Maybe it was because I'd never heard Edward play Come Home in full, just little bits, but from the look on his face it seemed like he was expecting something bad to happen.
I pulled Edward into my arms almost immediately and willed with all my power for him to stay there and know that everything was fine. I held him there for as long as I could and when I finally pulled back I barely noticed the room was almost completely empty. I looked him in his shimmering emerald orbs and spoke with all the conviction in my heart, "There aren't the words."
Edward pulled me into another hug squeezing me almost to the point of pain. He let me go after that, but not before kissing me briefly on the cheek. "Thanks," His velvet voice whispered.
Carlise was quick to get the group together. "So dinner anyone?"
The funny part came next because I had looked around the auditorium for them all night and hadn't seen a single glimpse of them until he popped out. "Finally! Someone who understands me!" Emmett practically yelled with Rose and Jasper coming up behind them. Rose tried to smack Emmett at his comment but he was too quick for her probably anticipating her next move. Smart one, Emmett.
Jasper looked sheepish, "Emmett, you just ate before we got here." He turned to Edward, "Sorry. Emmett made us stop for food on the way here claiming he was going to die if he didn't get something into his belly soon. We were late and had to stand in the back."
Edward just rolled his eyes and chuckled. Alice walked over to Jaspers side. It's okay. Thanks for making it though," Edward looked at Emmett when the end of his sentence had a sarcastic touch to it. I stifled a laugh.
Everyone agreed and head out to their car before I spoke up. "Thanks for the offer, but Charlie and Renee will be coming home in about an hour. At least I think so. They were supposed to call me when they entered the state but you know them, they just probably forgot. Anyways, I'm sure they're going to want dinner ready for them or Renee might attempt to cook and no one wants that." I smiled at my own joke.
Edward looked at me and I noticed his face fall a little but it was Alice who complained. "Bella, you always make dinner for you family. I think they can survive one night without you. Besides we're supposed to be celebrating with Edward." She gave me a look to try and make me feel guilty and if I wasn't looking at the ground I'm sure it would have.
"Alice, it's okay. Her parents are just getting home from Renee's mothers funeral in Phoenix. I'm sure they're tried from the drive. Plus think of how Renee's feeling. I'm sure she wants her daughter for the night since she hasn't seen her in days." Edward gave Alice the look that said "don't push her" then came over and gave my shoulder a squeeze. "How about I drive you home? I can meet my family at the restaurant."
I was already shaking my head. "I really appreciate that but I'll be fine. It's only ten minutes away. Go and have a nice dinner with you're family."
Edward motioned Alice towards my car and since I was holding my keys in my hand it was fairly easy for her to snatch them up and beat me towards the drivers seat. "Alice will bring your truck home after dinner." I gave him my best sad face, but it must've been more funny than sad cause everyone laughed.
Carlise pet Edward on his shoulder, "We'll meet you at the restaurant, Edward." Then he looked at me, "Thanks for coming Bella. I'm positive it meant a lot to him."
We said our "thank you's" and "goodbye's" before we walked over to the car. Edward opened my door for me as usual and as usual I rolled my eyes. I loved that my best friend was a gentlemen but sometimes it seemed like he went over the top, just a bit. He got in the car and started the drive to my house as Clair de Lune filled the car.
Edward and myself have been best friends for years. When we were young our parents used to joke about getting surgery to remove us from the others hip. Our parents had been friends since before either one of us were born. Renee and Esme went to high school in Phoenix and when they left for the Seattle to go to college they met Carlise and Charlie there.
They were married weeks within each other and when they decided to settle down the found two houses near each other in Forks where they knew they wanted to raise their families. Esme had Edward in June, a year after her and Carlise married, and Renee had me two months later. After Renee brought me home from the hospital I met Edward. We pretty much haven't left each others side since.
When Edward was closer to my house he spoke, "Thanks for coming tonight, Bella. I know you had other things to do since Renee and Charlie are coming home." He reached across the car and gave my hand a gentle squeeze causing electricity flow through me.
"I wouldn't have missed it for anything." And then I squeezed his hand back.
Edwards phone rang and he picked it up without looking at the Caller ID already knowing who it was. "Hello, Alice. Carlise was called into work? Okay. Another night then. Yeah, I'll see you at home." He hung up the phone. "Looks like our dinner has been postponed so you can come after all. There was an emergency at the hospital."
I nodded my head hoping no one was hurt. There wasn't many emergencies in Forks. And that's when everything clicked, the forgotten phone call, the look in Edward's eyes, the emergency at the hospital, when I saw the red and blue flashing lights outside my house.
Edward pulled up outside my house, already a mask of calmness over his face. All of the police that worked for my dad were already outside my house looking like they were waiting for me to get home. I got out of the car slowly, not waiting for Edward to open my door.
I walked over to my house with Edward at my side when Deputy Hale, Jasper and Rosalie's father, came up to me. The look in his eyes immediately told me something was wrong.
"Bella, dear. I'm sorry you have to hear this but there's been an accident. They're on their way to the hospital now." There was no denying who "they" were in his bleak voice.
I felt my heart quicken at an impossible rate. Time seemed to stand still and I didn't even notice that Edward was hugging me from behind, or that tears seemed to be streaming down my face, making my vision blur and darken. I didn't pay attention to the fact that all the breath seemed to be knocked out of my lungs or that the whole Forks Police Department was standing in silence, watching me. Only one thing matter. "They are going to be okay, right?" I desperately asked, looking only for one answer.
I didn't get my answer. "Things aren't looking good."
I seemed to succumb to the blackened abyss.
Stop and stare
I think I'm moving but I go nowhere
Yeah I know that everyone gets scared
But I've become what I can't be, oh
Stop and stare
You start to wonder why you're 'here' not there
And you'd give anything to get what's fair
But fair ain't what you really need
Oh, can u see what I see
Stop and Stare, by OneRepublic