I had not anticipated the difficulty of the journey to Ohio. I started out at the railway station but the overwhelming smell of the human blood almost drove me to a frenzy. I made it two steps in and had to force myself to run out. I ran off into the streets, flames of thirst scorching my throat, burning away the reason Carlisle had tried to teach me. I found myself in an alley facing a thug with a knife. I didn’t have to have Edward’s talent to know what he was thinking and before he could threaten I had him down and was relieving my thirst. I wiped my mouth off on his coat, took his hat and scarf and hid him in the trash. Now that I was coherent, I was able to make my way out of town and towards Ohio.

 

It didn’t take me long to realize that I could move faster on my own that with transportation, and I could keep a steady pace all the way there. I chose to go north first, thinking if Carlisle and Edward tried to follow, they would go south. I had time to travel, and I did not take a straight route, avoiding any populated areas as much as possible. I felt regret and shame for attacking the man, but I was able to go much longer before I had to hunt.

 

I arrived in Ohio in three days time, and kept the hat and scarf over my face and hair to avoid raising suspicion or detection. It was November, cold and damp, two months after I “died.” I couldn’t afford to have my identity seen. I learned my hearing was astounding when I didn’t even have to be near someone to hear their conversations. From picking up on these discussions, I found out Charles still lived in the farmhouse, had sold off the lands and was planning to marry again. That was all the information I was going to need.

 

Perched in the tree I had fallen from almost 11 years earlier, I saw Charles come back home that evening. I sat and waited until the sun had set and I knew he had had his dinner and was stretched out on the davenport in front of the fire, a by now half empty bottle of rye in his hand. I grinned at how easy this was going to be.

 

I dropped out of the tree and walked on soft tread to the front door throwing it open and calling out.

 

“Honey I’m Home!”

 

Charles jumped off the couch and nearly out of his skin. He landed on the floor on all fours, the spilled rye seeping into the rug beneath him.

 

“Y-y-you’re…dead!”

 

I sauntered into the room and stood over him.

 

“Am I Charles? How do you know? Did you identify my body? Did you bury me and create a loving memorial?”

 

I nudged him with my foot, a tiny gesture that sent him sprawling. I sat in my rocking chair, noticing a ladies glove hidden under the table beside me. I picked it up and held it out towards him.

 

“Oh, Charles, tsk tsk tsk. You’ve been entertaining instead of mourning me.”

 

I could see him gathering his wits, moving to a position of attack. When he lunged for me I calmly moved so that by the time he hit the chair, I was at the mantle.

 

“I think not, Mr. Everson. You will never harm me again. I am not afraid of you any longer..”

 

I was on him in seconds, my hand gripping the back of his neck bending him back to look in his face.

 

“You will never, ever hurt another living soul as long as you live. “

 

“Esme, no!”

 

Carlisle’s voice came to me from the doorway, and he was behind me gently taking my hand from Charles’s neck.

 

I spun out of Carlisle’s grasp and moved to the stairs. Edward appeared to block my exit through the kitchen and I growled.

 

“I wasn’t going to kill him. I just wanted to put the same fear in him he instilled in me for all those years. I wanted to stop him from ever hurting another woman.”

 

Carlisle shot a look at Edward, who I knew, was reading my mind. Edward gave a short nod and Carlisle turned to Charles.  He took his face between his hands and for a brief moment I though Carlisle was going to snap his neck. Instead, I saw him catch Charles’s gaze and hold it.

 

“You will do as she just said. Never again will you lay a hand on another person to control them by fear. You will not remember that we were here, you will only know that if you dare to harm another, we will be back, and you will not survive.”

 

Carlisle picked Charles up and placed him back on the couch. Edward cleaned up the spilled rye and set the room back in order.

 

I stood, shaking on the stair, the raw rage of facing Charles starting to leave me. Carlisle took my elbow and steered me towards the door.  Edward took up the other side, and they did not leave those positions until we were back in Wisconsin. I kept silent the whole way, not even complaining of the thirst when it started. As soon as we were back at the house, they let me loose and I took off to hunt. I craved a human and I vainly sniffed for one. When I could not locate a wayward hunter, I had to settle for deer. By the time I had cooled the fire in my throat it was early morning and the sun was rising. I headed back towards the house, finding Carlisle sitting on a porch swing. He held his hand out to me and I took it, settling next to him. He never said a word, just held my hand.

 

I rested my head on his shoulder, and for the first time since I awoke as a vampire, and for years before that, I felt a calmness come over me. I was now ready to start the new life I had been given.

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Comment by Emily-Elizabeth James on December 19, 2012 at 5:22am

That was beautiful, you're such an inspiration. 

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