The first time I saw Edward, he was running, which I didn’t realize at the time would turn out to be one of the only things he loved. He ran with his mouth wide open and his head thrown back, his hair flying behind him like a banner and the sun turning it bright red in parts so that it looked like it was on fire. And out of nowhere, a streak of gold cut across his path and tackled him, and they fell to the ground and laughed so hard the grass shook.

Fifty years later I talked to Carlisle about that. Asked him if it happened. He searched his mind for a while. Edward says that Carlisle’s mind is very organized, that dipping into it is like wandering into a doctor’s office, with rows and rows of neat files all labeled with colored stickers. When he needs something, he goes to his big filing system and spends a moment hunting, then pulls out the right file and tells you what he thinks the contents tell him.

“I do remember that,” he said after a moment, a smile spreading across his face. “He thought I was running behind him, but I was actually in the trees. I dropped forty feet out of a pin oak and tackled him from the side.” He chuckled. “One of the few times I’ve ever surprised him. He learned to expect that maneuver and listen for the rustling of the leaves after that.”

Carlisle smiles a lot when he talks about Edward. Edward is the best thing that’s ever happened to him. I can’t see the past, and the way it would have forked, but I can see the future, and as it turned out, the running day was in the future when I awoke.

To this day, I think it’s interesting that my first vision of them was to know for certain that Carlisle would be happy. That I saw him tackling Edward, and the two of them laughing.

Jasper wasn’t laughing when I saw him first. He was sitting on an upended bucket in the dark corner of a barn with his head in his hands. In fact, I couldn’t tell if he was crying—well, at the time. Now that I remember it, I know he wasn’t, because Jasper has cried a total of three times in the last seventy years. And one of those was on our wedding day.

But I knew that I was in love with him.

You know how they talk about someone causing you heartache? Jasper caused me heartache. Right from the very beginning. It’s a thing you can feel, a weird twinge in the area of your gut that seems to be radiating from where your heart is, even if you’re like us, and your heart doesn’t move. I’ve never asked, but I’m sure Carlisle would have some explanation for that, some discussion of the xiphoid process or the diaphragm or some something; the way your brain interacts with all those weird muscles that otherwise do things like keep your food down or allow you to breathe. He’s a scientist, and that means he’s always looking for the exact explanations of things.

Thing is, though, exact explanations can sometimes ruin what is otherwise a really good heartache.

So I knew from that heartache I was going to have to find the man on the bucket.

But I also knew I was going to have to find the laughing boy.

And I guess that’s as good a beginning as any.


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