Aging always was your greatest fear and yet you have done it with grace. If I had the opportunity to court you again, in a time when you were young, I would. I would change you without a second thought, and selfishly keep you for myself. Instead I foolishly let the 'better' man win, and will now suffer an eternity alone. Here I am frozen at 17, and with each passing day you are closer to your end. I told the pretty nurse that I was your grandson, flashed her a pearly white smile, and she lead me straight to you.
I didn't expect you to remember me after all these years. The last I saw of you was on your wedding day; beautiful and twenty-three, with a long life of happiness and warmth ahead of you. Jacob gave you a long and happy life. For seventy-three years he watched over you and loved you; helped you raise three beautiful sons, and slipped away in his sleep at the respectible age of ninety-four.
I also didn't expect that the lack of recognition on your face would hurt as badly as it did. It is no more than I deserve I suppose. You have not seen me in almost eighty years. I can only imagine all the wonderful memories that replaced the thought of me.
I did so well for so long. I traveled the world; learned new skills; partied with Emmett for three 'bachelor' inspired years. I even learned to forget your face for a few decades knowing that if I returned I risked tearing your world apart once again. But then word came that Jacob had died and that your health was declining and it suddenly hit me that in all those passing years, you had grown old and would inevitably die. You haunted my dreams for weeks before I finally broke down and snuck to see you. I have thought of nothing else since.
I dreamt of you last night. We were in our meadow back in Forks before things got...complicated. I wish that I could explain my reasons to you. I dreamt that we were talking; that I had been strong enough to tell you my fears, and that you had understood and embraced those fears. But our fears were never the same. They were never even close. And now I realize that you will only ever be a dream to me. You are not long for this mortal world.
I will spend your final days with you if only because no one else will. Phoenix and his wife are expecting a baby from what I am told and she is far enough along that it is not safe to travel. River is exploring with the pack somewhere in Northern Canada, although no one knows exactly where, and is therefore unreachable. Kamdon...well he would be the baby I suppose and I have heard that although he calls and checks on you every day, he has made it very clear that he can not sit idily and watch his mother die when she is so lost in her own mind that she barely recognizes anyone these days. And once you have departed this world for the next, I will make my exit as well. I have already told the others, and nothing they say or do will change my mind. I have spent 79 years mourning my loss and my resolve waivers daily. I only hope that where ever you go, I can go as well.
For the briefest of moments I think that you remembered me...us even. I was feigning sleep for the nosey nurses when I felt a hand only slightly warmer than mine.
"Oh, Edward," you sighed.
Those beautiful brown eyes were staring back at me, so filled with love, and if I were capable of crying, I would have; though for sadness or for joy I would not have been able to tell.
There was so much I wanted to say, but the words just wouldn't come.
"I've missed you Edward," you smiled.
"I'm so sorry," I gasped.
"I should never have left you. I should have gotten over my stupidity and subbornness and changed you when you asked me too. What will I do without you?"
"You will go on as you have these last many years. I am happy, Edward. I have lived a long, full life. I've been surrounded by children, and grandchildren. Great-grandchildren even. But it is time for me to move on. I'm so tired, and Jacob is waiting for me. Let me go," you had said, and so I did.
I will be forever changed.
I went to your funeral, and stood in the shadows as to not disturb your family while they mourned. I am glad that so many people loved you, and that through them, your memory will live on. As I was leaving a girl approached me, and if breathing were required of me, surely I would have been in trouble.
"You must be Edward," she said with a sad smile and for just a moment I was back in Forks, telling you that we were over, and that you weren't good for me.
Why did you believe me? You were supposed to fight me; to break my resolve so that I took you into my arms and held you for all of eternity, but you did not, and so here I am standing at your gravesite staring at a girl I do not know, except for in a dream.
"I am," I replied, stunned that she would know me.
"I'm Kate. Bella was my grandmother. I'm Kamdon's daughter."
"It's an honor," I had said to her with a smile. On the inside I was dying.
"She talked about you a lot. Especially after grandpa passed away. She always said you were her first true love, and that because you loved her so, you left so that she could be happy, but that you made sure she had grandpa there to take care of her."
"I loved your grandmother like no other. I haven't loved anyone since. She was...special."
"She was lucky to have you then. But I'm glad you let her go. I wouldn't be here if you didn't."
"I'm glad I let her go too," I had said, and the smile on my face just came naturally.
Your memory will forever haunt me, but I can finally say that I am happy. Please do not think me selfish, or think ill of me for trying to replace you. While Kate looks so very much like you, that is not what makes me love her. She is so care-free and full of life. She does not fear age, or immortality, or whatever tomorrow might bring, and though I love her like I have loved no other (though by no means more than you), there is still a small hole in the corner of my heart where your memory will always reside. Kate has simply shown me that there is so much left to live for, and this time I swear that I will make her mine for all of eternity if that is what she desires. I can only hope she does for I cannot face another 70 years waiting for my love to wither and die.