Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 84)
She didn’t look convinced.
“Do you ever miss food? Ice cream? Peanut butter?”
She shook her head. “I hardly remember food. I couldn’t even tell you what my favorites were. It doesn’t smell… edible now.”
“That’s kind of sad.”
“It’s not such a huge sacrifice.” She said it sadly, like there were other things on her mind, sacrifices that were huge.
I used the dish towel as a hot pad and carried the plate to the table so I could sit by her.
“Do you miss other parts about being human?”
She thought about that for a second. “I don’t actually miss anything, because I’d have to remember it to be able to miss it, and like I said, my human life is hard to remember. But there are things I think I’d like. I suppose you could say things I was jealous of.”
“Sleep is one. Never-ending consciousness gets tedious. I think I’d enjoy temporary oblivion. It looks interesting.”
I ate a few bites, thinking about that. “Sounds hard. What do you do all night?”
She hesitated, then pursed her lips. “Do you mean in general?”
I wondered why she sounded like she didn’t want to answer. Was it too broad a question?
“No, you don’t have to be general. Like, what are you going to do tonight after you leave?”
It was the wrong question. I could feel my high start to slip. She was going to have to leave. It didn’t matter how short the separation was—I dreaded it.
She didn’t seem to like the question, either, at first I thought for the same reason. But then her eyes flashed to my face and away, like she was uncomfortable.
She made a face. “Do you want a pleasant lie or a possibly disturbing truth?”
“The truth,” I said quickly, though I wasn’t entirely sure.
She sighed. “I’ll come back here after you and your father are asleep. It’s sort of my routine lately.”
I blinked. Then I blinked again.
“You come here?”
“Almost every night.”
“You’re interesting when you sleep,” she said casually. “You talk.”
My mouth popped open. Heat flashed up my neck and into my face. I knew I talked in my sleep, of course; my mother teased me about it. I hadn’t thought it was something I needed to worry about here.
She watched my reaction, staring up at me apprehensively from under her lashes.
“Are you very angry with me?”
Was I? I didn’t know. The potential for humiliation was strong. And I didn’t understand—she’d been listening to me babble in my sleep from where? The window? I couldn’t understand.
“How do you… Where do you… What did I…?” I couldn’t finish any of my thoughts.
She put her hand on my cheek. The blood under her fingers felt burning hot next to her cold hand. “Don’t be upset. I didn’t mean any harm. I promise, I was very much in control of myself. If I’d thought there was any danger, I would have left immediately. I just… wanted to be where you were.”
“I… That’s not what I’m worried about.”
“What are you worried about?”
“What did I say?”
She smiled. “You miss your mother. When it rains, the sound makes you restless. You used to talk about home a lot, but it’s less often now. Once you said, ‘It’s too green.’” She laughed softly, hoping not to offend me again.
“Anything else?” I demanded.
She knew what I was getting at. “You did say my name,” she admitted.
I sighed in defeat. “A lot?”
“Define ‘a lot.’”
“Oh no,” I groaned.
Like it was easy, natural, she put her arms around my shoulders and leaned her head against my chest. Automatically, my arms came up to wrap around her. To hold her there.
“Don’t be self-conscious,” she whispered. “You already told me that you dream about me, remember?”
“That’s different. I knew what I was saying.”
“If I could dream at all, it would be about you. And I’m not ashamed of it.”
I stroked her hair. I guessed I really didn’t mind, when it came down to it. It wasn’t like I expected her to follow normal human rules anyway. The rules she’d made for herself seemed like enough.
“I’m not ashamed,” I whispered.
She hummed, almost like a purr, her cheek pressed over my heart.
Then we both heard the sound of tires on the brick driveway, saw the headlights flash through the front windows, down the hall to us. I jumped, and dropped my arms as she pulled away.
“Do you want your father to know that I’m here?” she asked.
I tried to think it through quickly. “Um…”
“Another time, then…”
And I was alone.
“Edythe?” I whispered.
I heard a quiet laugh, and then nothing else.
My father’s key turned in the door.
“Beau?” he called. I remembered finding that funny before; who else would it be? Suddenly he didn’t seem so far off base.
Was my voice too agitated? I took another bite of my lasagna so I could be chewing when he came in. His footsteps sounded extra noisy after I’d spent the day with Edythe.
“Did you take all the lasagna?” he asked, looking at my plate.
“Oh, sorry. Here, have some.”