An Interactive Twilight Experience.
With Edward’s return, Carlisle felt it was time for us to move on. The danger, he explained, was in staying in one place for too long. Since we did not change, there was a limited amount of time we could afford in one locale. Since Edward and I appeared more alike that he and Carlisle, we chose to say that Edward and I were siblings. Carlisle applied to a few hospitals and when he went to interview with them, I would scope out the houses for sale, looking for something suitable for our needs. It was serendipitous when I found a house just outside Rochester, NY the day Carlisle accepted a position there.
He gave his notice at the hospital in Ashland and I spent time going between our two homes, preparing for the move. When his four weeks were up, we loaded our remaining belongings and made the trip to our new home, getting settled in just in time for the holidays. We had a roomy attic which I had turned into a sanctuary for Edward. I noticed he sometimes seemed to have difficulty being around Carlisle and I. I didn’t want to have him leave us ever again if possible, so I made every effort to please him. I found a lovely baby grand piano for him and gave it to him as a surprise. It still moves with us, to this day.
We settled in and found a new routine. With the long hours Carlisle was away, Edward and I found our own ways to pass the time. He expressed an interest in the medical field and began to look into going to school for that. I scouted the area for antiques and architecture, often spending a day sketching a house at a time. I fell in love with parts of the city, the huge homes of the well to do. It was a life I never knew, although with Papa’s position, I could have. I was happy Papa kept us on the farm, and not on display. I saw the local society girls, astonished at how they were indulged for every thing, how the mere hint of a pout could bring them baubles and gifts.
Carlisle and Edward and I made a show of going to the markets to keep suspicion at bay. The food we bought was taken to a nearby orphanage in the middle of the night. We didn’t get too close with anyone, and made the brief appearances at local functions, fireworks and night events. The local theatre was very good and if the symphony was in town we gave them our patronage. All in all we managed to set up a very comfortable life with just enough interaction to become known, but not well known.
In mid-April of 1933, Carlisle came rushing in early one morning, a limp blonde in his arms. He was distraught, having found her lying in the street. He had changed her and brought her to the house, and for the first time, I saw what I had gone through when he changed me. I had no memory of the agony, and yet, I felt every pain and shriek that came out of her as if I were living through it again. I kept it to myself, as Carlisle was so worried over her, I didn’t want to cause him any further distress. Edward disappeared for the few days, returning when the three day change was over. He avoided her as much as possible, despite her attempts to gain his favor.
Her name was Rosalie, and we learned that her fiancé was the one who led the attack on her, leaving her for dead only a week before their wedding. She had a hard time the first few days adjusting, but I realized it wasn’t as much about being changed as it was Edward’s indifference to her. She was truly stunning, and I realized that she was one of the spoiled girls from the wealthy part of town. Knowing that all of that was over for her, I tried to help her as much as I could. She didn’t know how to do much of anything except shop and flirt. It took a long time, but I was eventually able to teach her some housekeeping chores. I was grateful I didn’t have to teach her how to cook, I fear that she had no talent for that.
It took some time, but Edward and Rosalie finally reached a place where they understood each other, and became friends. I think the realization that we were all the family she had now helped Rosalie come to terms with Edward’s indifference. That, and the fact he could read her thoughts. Once the ice was broken, a warm brother-sister relationship was beginning to form. They would often go out to hunt together, and we took pains to keep Rosalie under wraps from the town lest her family and friends see her.
There were a few times Rosalie disappeared and we worried over her safety, but she would return and say she had just been for a walk. It wasn’t until after we learned she had tested her own strength against human blood by exacting her revenge on her former fiancé. Carlisle remembered seeing the remains come to the morgue, and none had bite marks, so we knew she told us the truth.
It wasn’t long after that that Rosalie took a trip on her own to Tennessee. We fretted about it, but knew she could handle herself against anything now. Except love.