Friday, October 7, 2011

The Adjustment Vampire

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]
[Inspired by someone saying that, after the inexplicable van thing, Bella should get imagine if Bella got no explanation and finally, "Okay, maybe I'd add that one day Cullens mysteriously disappeared from Forks and no one but Bella remembered them ever being here at all - but it seems too cliche."]
[I've never seen The Adjustment Bureau and wasn't specifically thinking about it when I wrote this.]

I heard a voice say something. Still half a asleep I asked, "What?"

"Why are you still thinking about me?"

I shot up. Now completely awake I found myself sitting in my bed staring at the very much real Edward Cullen who was unaccountably in my bedroom. I said the first thing that came to my mind, "How did you get in here?"

"We have our ways to move from place to place. That's not important. What is important is my question: why are you still thinking about me?"

"You saved my life and then disappeared, why wouldn't I-"

"Why do you remember? No one else does."

This I knew. It was frustrating in the extreme. It had been a problem since they left and it was just growing in severity. I knew now not to ask, but I wasn't a good enough liar to hide the fact that I never stopped believing in the people no one else remembered. I could hear whispers in the halls, and every so often something more than a whisper. All someone had to do in school to get a laugh these days was to say, 'Look, it's Edward Cullen.' The pain of knowing that everyone thinks you're insane is impossible to describe. The shame, the guilt, the uncertainty. The constant self doubt which can cut so deep but can't drive away the conviction that you're not imagining things.

The paradox of simultaneously doubting your memories while being unable to let them go. The living Hell of knowing that everyone looks on you as broken. Some might see you with pity, others with something less kind, but none of them see you as a whole person any more.

I absolutely knew that no one else remembered.

I said the only thing that it made sense to say, "Everyone thinks I'm crazy."

"They're not supposed to," Edward said. "They're not supposed to think you're crazy because you're not supposed to remember any more than they do."

"I do remember!"

"I understand that," Edward said. "What I don't understand is why. We did everything right."

"What are you talking about?"

"We planted inconsistencies. I was outrageously hostile in one class, and then polite the next time I met you. The mood I showed changed direction like a pinball. One moment I was pleading with you not to tell people what happened, a short time later I was daring you to on the claim no one would believe you. We bought lunches and didn't eat them, we just threw them away. We disappeared without explanation. We drove cars that didn't make sense. Our skin was an unnatural color. My eyecolor changed for fuck's sake, and I made sure you noticed. I moved faster than a human being could move. I said I was where I wasn't."

He clenched his fists and stared at the ceiling. "The snow chains on your tires, which you saw but never heard. I stopped a van with my bare hands! What didn't we do?!"

I didn't understand. So I said as much. In fact, those three words were the the only thing I could think to say, "I don't understand."

"Everything we did was to convince your mind that something was wrong. That what was happening didn't make sense. That none of this," he gestured but the gesture didn't seem to indicate anything beyond the walls of my room, "was real. The entire point was to prepare you mind for the moment when it was told that it wasn't. That this was never real, and we were never here.

"So why are you still thinking about me?"

Nothing he said made sense, but I did have an answer, "I think I love you."

"That's a very bad idea."


"Because my job was to change your fate, not co-opt it." He paused. "Join the town, watch over you until the moment came, then leave. Move on to the next assignment."

He stopped talking, but I didn't say anything. I just stared.

"Love is ... it's ... it's not a good idea. I'm not even human. Romance isn't something I ... it's not in the job description."

"What are you?"

"Greater than a human, lesser than an angel. We are the protectors of the Plan. We help fate along when the imperfections of the world might get in the way. And having people think you're crazy isn't part of the Plan. The goal was to help you."


  1. Um, I never said *should* (get no explanation). I said "imagine if she didn't".

  2. Late to the party, but this is wonderful! I so want to read this story.