Athlas Shrugged by jessiechreesie
Sometimes the best angst stories is not those where a dramatic lifechanging event takes place. Sometimes it’s just the realization that we are all human. Even though some are seemingly made of stone.
Bella finally sees Edward not as the God she has placed upon a pedestal, but as the man that he truly is. A man that can be broken by the betrayal of his one true love. It is told through the guilty eyes of the woman who tears his heart apart without a second thought, only to realize he, too, is breakable. She is forced to see all of her actions and insecurities and see what they have done to her love and what she has to do to bring him back to her.
This is what I would have liked to happen at the end of Eclipse. This is how I think Edward should have reacted after Bella kisses Jacob. And that is why you should read it.
“Apparently I had forgotten my mythology in my adoration of Edward. The gods were never beautiful ephemeral creatures who deigned to grant humanity their grace. They were vengeful and petty, arrogant and arousing, they personified the human emotions to the extreme degree. I had never stopped to think that Edward felt more than I did. That not only did he see in minds, hear from afar, traverse impossible distances, and crush mountains into sand; the same applied to his emotions. Everything in Edward was heightened, from the dichotomy of his perfection and fallibilities to the battle between the man inside and his inner beast. His impeccable control that so frustrated me was yet another layer of protection for me; another way he wrapped me in his unconditional love.
He once said that vampires do not easily experience change, and once it occurs it is impossible for them to return to how they were before. I can see now that I was the great change in his life. He argues that it conquered the beast and brought out the man. On this occasion, he was wrong. I did revert him. I changed him from a god to a Titan, and I punished him for it. Today, not in 1918, but this fateful day, Edward had been turned to stone, and yet he continued to bear the weight of the heavens on his shoulders.
Adonis became Atlas, holding up the burden of his shooting star. I never noticed before how he had progressively carried more and more weight: my humanity and his immortality; the call of my blood and his unending thirst; my insecurities and stubbornness; his desperation to keep me safe; my precipitous abandon towards all things dangerous; his sacrifice of his own feelings to protect me; the guilt of his abandonment; the consequences of my relationship with Jacob… Every little thing further weighed him down. Today was just the day that he finally succumbed to the burden.
God, Jacob. In this moment, as my Atlas buckles and yet still shoulders his burdens, I find myself caring even less about Jacob than I did about Seth’s injury. I couldn’t bring myself to feel the onus of my responsibility towards others at the moment. Paradigms were shifting and Edward, who never failed to endure, was falling.”