Chapter 5 ~ In a Heartbeat

Edward and Carlisle came in from their reunion in the backyard. They had talked and allowed all the pain that Edward had carried over the years out. Carlisle knew he had failed as a father, but he hoped that this was the beginning of a new relationship between Edward and himself. Of course, this wouldn’t happen overnight, but Carlisle was determined to make it happen. Now that Bella had received her heart, he was ready to retire and spend as much time as Edward would allow with him and little Elizabeth.

Esme had been crying since she saw Edward and Carlisle hugging in the backyard. The horrible relationship between them had been something that had been hurting her for years. As much she loved her husband and understood why he had been away so much when the boys were growing up, she knew why their sons felt like Carlisle had abandoned them for his career. When she heard them walk in talking and not yelling, she felt lighter. Going into the bathroom, she washed her face and put on makeup to cover up where she had been crying. She didn’t want Edward or Carlisle to be fussing over her, but to continue their talking and working on their relationship. After she had finished, she headed down the stairs to see if they needed anything. When she walked into the den, Edward and Carlisle were sitting on the sofa, where Edward was showing him a photo album.

“This is Maggie and me at the NY City Ballet. She loved ballet so much, but she had two left feet,” Edward chuckled. He remembered how many times he had taken her out to dance and it wasn’t just her saying she had two left feet, it was the truth. Many times he would hide his feet from her after going dancing so that she wouldn’t see the bruises. “We talked about if our little one was blessed with my feet that we would put her in ballet classes.”

“Elizabeth looks perfect, so I feel sure she has perfect feet for ballet,” Carlisle boosted.

“She is perfect,” Edward sighed thinking about his lovely daughter. Even during this horrible time, she had been the brightest light.

“That she is,” Esme chirped, walking into the room.

Edward looked up and smiled at his mom. “Where is she?”

“Sleeping, but I have the monitor.”

“Okay,” Edward said.

At that moment, Edward’s cell phone rang. Sliding the screen, he answered. “Dr. Cullen.”

“Dr. Cullen, this is Barry Morris with Forest Park Chapel. I wanted to let you know that we have brought Maggie into our care and was wondering if you needed anything?”

Edward knew this was going to happen, but this made it so real to get the call. “Hello, Mr. Morris. I am fine at the moment, but I would like to go over a few things that Maggie had wished.”

Esme came over and sat on the other side of Edward as Carlisle remained seated on the other side. Taking her hand, she laid it on Edward’s leg and let him know that she was here for him.

“What were her wishes?” Barry asked.

“She wanted to be cremated,” Edward stammered. His emotions were almost to the breaking point, but having his mother and father beside him gave him the strength to continue.

“Will you want a memorial service?”

“No, I plan on taking her remains to her homeland when our daughter is old enough to understand what is happening,” Edward explained.

“That sounds beautiful. When would you like to do this?”

Edward looked at his mom and dad, taking a deep breath. “I would like to do it tomorrow if possible.”

“We can work with that,” Barry said.

“Would it be possible for Maggie’s parents to see her one last time?” Edward asked.

“Of course, would they like to do it today?”

“I am sure they would, but is there any way we can have her not in a morgue-like setting?” Edward begged.

“Yes. Would you like her dressed in a specific outfit?”

Edward looked at his parents. “He is asking if I want her dressed in a specific outfit. I don’t know what to say.”

“Does she have a favorite dress?” Esme inquired.

“Yes, a simple blue dress,” Edward answered, remember how lovely she looked every time she wore it out.

“Then that should be the one,” Esme assured.

“Mr. Morris, we do have a dress. I will send my brothers over with it in a little bit and maybe, when she is ready, you can let me know,” Edward said.

“That would be fine. I am glad your family is there for you during this time. What time tomorrow would you like to meet?”

“Is ten o’clock okay?”

“That will be fine. I will make sure I have everything ready for her parents this afternoon and for you tomorrow.” Barry informed.

“Thank you, Mr. Morris,” Edward said, hanging up.

“I will get Jasper and Emmett,” Carlisle said.

“I will go get the dress,” Edward whispered. “I need to wake up Maggie’s parents and let them know what is going on.”

“Let me help you get Maggie’s dress and I am sure you will want her completely dressed,” Esme observed.

Edward hadn’t thought about it until his mom said something, but of course, he would want her dressed not only the dress but her undergarments as well. “I would love the help, mom.”

They went upstairs and collected the dress and undergarments for Maggie. Esme found a cute bag and placed them in it, along with a scarf that Edward said that was her favorite. Jasper came upstairs and got the bag to take to the funeral home. After Jasper left, Edward turned to Esme, tears rolling down his face once more and fell into her open arms.

“Mom, please tell me this is a nightmare,” Edward cried.

“Edward, I can’t. I wish it were, but sadly our sweet Maggie is gone. However, you need to remain strong, not only for yourself, but that sweet little girl over there.”

“I know, it just hurts so bad,” Edward sniffled.

“And it will for a long time, but don’t let it harden you. Please allow yourself in the future to allow your heart to love again,” Esme pleaded.

“I don’t think I will ever find anyone like Maggie.”

“You won’t, because there was only one Maggie. However, there might be someone that you don’t expect that will come along. Don’t be so closed hearted not to allow those feelings to happen, not only for you but for Elizabeth.”

“I will try, but I don’t know.”

“That is all I ask,” Esme said, squeezing him tightly.

Elizabeth decided it was time for her to wake up from her nap and let out a loud cry. Edward let his mother go and rushed over to the bassinet. “What is wrong little one? Are you hungry?”

Esme left the room to go downstairs to prepare Elizabeth’s bottle, while Edward checked Elizabeth’s diaper then changed her wet diaper. After she was changed, he cuddled her close and hummed a sweet tune. She still was crying, but not as loud as before. Walking over to the rocking chair, that Maggie had picked out.

“Edward, I can just see us rocking our little one to sleep in this chair each night,” Maggie squealed seeing the rocking chair in the boutique.

Wrapping his arm around her shoulder as she ran her hand along the back of the chair, while the other was wrapped protectively over her prominent pregnant belly. “Then we will have to have it, my love.”

The clerk came over and asked if she could help.

“We would like this chair, please,” Edward said, beaming brightly.

“We have other chairs,” the clerk announced, wanting to sell the highest price one she could. The higher the price of the chair, the bigger her commission would be.

“I am sure you have other chairs, but we want this one,” Edward insisted.

“But I have a lovely tufted chair that would be perfect for you.”

Maggie had heard enough and her Irish blood began to boil. Looking at the clerk’s name tag. “Jessica, I would like for you to go back to the office and bring out your manager, NOW!”

Jessica’s mouth fell open, she couldn’t believe that this woman was demanding to see her boss. Who did she think she was?

Edward watched as the clerk or Jessica had not moved to get the manager and he knew that Maggie would blow a gasket if she didn’t move and move now. “Jessica, I would go get your manager now if I was you because Mrs. Cullen does not like to be kept waiting.”

Jessica rushed away to get her manager and, a few minutes later, Charlotte came out with Jessica behind her.

“Hello, I am Charlotte Johnson; I understand you wanted to see me.”

“Yes, we would like to purchase this chair, but Jessica refuses to sell it to us,” Maggie barked.

“Mr. and Mrs. Cullen,” Charlotte began.

“That is Dr. Cullen, thank you very much,” Maggie blurted out.

All customers are important, but doctors and their wives usually spend a considerable amount of money on outfitting their nurseries. “Sorry, Dr. Cullen and Mrs. Cullen. If this is the chair you want, I will make sure it is delivered to your home on the date and time you desire.”

Jessica couldn’t believe that Charlotte was backing Mrs. Cullen and not her employee. “You are siding with her?” Jessica sneered.

Charlotte whipped around and glared at Jessica. “Go to the office and wait for me.”

Jessica stomped off toward the office, mumbling under her breath about how could Charlotte be kissing that fat woman’s ass. Once Jessica was in the office Charlotte turned back to the Cullens.

“I am so sorry about that and I promise you that she will be gone as soon as I finish taking care of you.”

“Thank you, Charlotte. I really do love this chair,” Maggie said.

“Wonderful. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Maggie looked around the boutique and saw many things that she did in fact loved. An hour later, Edward’s credit card was hit with a six thousand dollar charge, but a smiling Maggie was worth every dime spent.

Esme walked back into the room, warm bottle in hand and saw Edward with Elizabeth in the rocking chair as he hummed a sweet tune. There was no doubt that he was going to be a wonderful father. Coming over, she took a better look at Edward, who to be lost in his thoughts.

“Edward, here is Elizabeth’s bottle,” Esme said, but Edward didn’t answer her or even look up at her. He was staring out the window, lost his thoughts.

Esme touched his arm, causing Edward to jump slightly. “Oh sorry, mom, I didn’t hear you come in.”

“You seemed to be thinking of something important,” Esme said, worried about his mental health, as he was dealing with Maggie’s death.

“I was just remembering the day that Maggie picked out this chair,” Edward murmured, then smiled brightly. “She let her Irish temper out that day and to see those green eyes of hers with so much fire was something to behold.”

Edward took the bottle and as soon as he put it up to Elizabeth’s sweet lips, she grabbed on and began to suck in earnest. She made short work of the bottle and when Edward started to pat her little back to get a burp, she gave him one that would make her Uncle Emmett proud.

“Wow, that was a huge one,” Esme chuckled.

“I think her Uncle Emmett has been giving her pointers,” Edward smirked.

“Sounds a lot like him. Why don’t I just leave you two to spend some quality time together and I will go talk to Maggie’s parents,” Esme said.

“But mom, I need to do that,” Edward said.

“No, you don’t have to do it. That precious little girl in your arms is your main concern right now.”

Edward nodded his head. “Thanks, mom.”

Esme went to talk to Maggie’s parents, while Edward got up and changed Elizabeth’s diaper once again and put on a cute onesie with cherries on it. As soon as he laid her down on the bed, she let out a scream. “What is it little one?”

Elizabeth looked up, her bottom lip stuck out and whimpered.

“All right, I will pick you back up, just put away that lip,” Edward said.

Once he had her up and nestled close to him, she quit whimpering. He walked over to the sofa that was in the bedroom and stretched out, laying Elizabeth on his chest placing his hand protectively on her tiny back. Before long, the sleepless nights caught up with him and he drifted off to sleep. Instead of the horrible nightmares of Maggie lay on the table dead, he had sweet dreams of a redhead little girl in pink tights dancing around a studio. She was so cute and looked so familiar. As she twirled around on her toes, her laughter fills not only the room but every heart that was in earshot.

Esme had talked to Maggie’s parents and called Mr. Morris at the funeral home to let him know what time they would be arriving. They were grateful that they would be able to say their goodbyes before Maggie was cremated. After arranging Jasper and Emmett to take them to the funeral home, she went to see how Edward was doing. Opening the door to his room, she caught a sob before it escaped; there, on the couch, was Edward asleep, with Elizabeth, also asleep, on his chest. It had to be one of the most beautiful things she had seen in a long time. There was no training on how to be a good father, it just came naturally and Edward was going to be a fantastic father.

The next morning, Edward was up and dressed to go off to the funeral home. Dressing in the suit that Maggie loved, he walked out of his bedroom to find Carlisle waiting for him.

“I thought I might come with you,” Carlisle said, hoping that Edward would allow him to go with him.

“I would love that, dad,” Edward whispered. His mom was going to take care of Elizabeth, while Jasper and Emmett took Maggie’s parents to the airport. They had spent several hours with Maggie yesterday afternoon and they didn’t want to be around for the cremation. Edward promised that he would keep in touch and send pictures so they could see their granddaughter grow up.

Carlisle called for a car service to pick them up and take them to the funeral home. He didn’t know much about New York and Edward didn’t need to be driving or even think about giving directions. During the entire trip, Edward looked out the window, willing himself not to cry. Just when he thought he was about to lose it, he felt the warm, comforting hand of his father take hold of his.

“You can do this, Edward,” Carlisle encouraged.

“I don’t see how.”

“You are the strongest person I know,” Carlisle exclaimed.

Edward didn’t consider himself strong. Maggie was the strong one in their relationship and without her, he didn’t know how he would be able to survive.

Soon, they pulled up in front of the funeral home and the driver opened the door for Edward and Carlisle to exit the car. Once out of the car, they walked up to the double glass doors, pulled them open, and walked into the lobby. In the center was a large slate water fountain, the trickling water gave a calming effect both in sight and sound.

“Dr. Cullen?” A man asked, coming around the side of the fountain, dressed in a dark suit and white shirt.

“Yes,” Edward answered.

The man held out his hand to Edward, which he took and they shook. “I am Barry Morris, we spoke on the phone. So sorry about your loss.”

“Thank you,” Edward whispered.

“This must be your father?” Barry questioned, seeing the likeness between the two of them.

“Yes, this is my father, Dr. Carlisle Cullen.”

“Two doctors in the family,” Barry smiled.

“Actually, there are four doctors in the family,” Carlisle bragged.

“You must be very proud,” Barry told Carlisle.

“I am extremely proud of all my children and not because they are doctors,” Carlisle said.

“I’m sure you are. Would you like to see Maggie now or after we do the paperwork?”

“Let’s get the paperwork over with,” Edward said.

Mr. Morris took them in the arrangement room and went over the cost of the services that they performed with Maggie’s body. Edward went to reach for his wallet in his pocket but realized he had left it at home.

“I am so embarrassed, I’ve mistakenly left my wallet at home, ” Edward murmured.

“Dr. Cullen don’t worry about that, we will send you a bill, ” Barry said. He knew that there would be no doubt that Dr. Edward Cullen was good for the bill.

“Thank you,” Edward said, then turned to Carlisle. “Dad, I will only be a little bit, but I would love for you to meet Maggie.”

“I would be honored,” Carlisle confessed.

“Edward, please come with me,” Barry instructed. Edward, Carlisle and Barry walked out of the office and down the hall, lit with warm Tiffany lamps and soft overhead lighting. They arrived at the door and Barry offered a chair across from it for Carlisle to wait.

Edward took a deep cleansing breath and walked in the room behind Barry. Once in the room, he was faced with a dark wood casket, with Maggie tucked inside the satin interior trim. Walking over to Maggie, he looked down at her sweet face, so perfect, yet not his Maggie. His Maggie was full of life, her green eyes brightly shining, and a smile that could make the darkest of day bright.

Barry quietly exited the room allowing Edward the privacy to say his goodbyes. When he walked out he sees Carlisle, sitting in the chair wiping tears from his eyes, looking broken for his son. “Edward is doing fine.”

“Thank you for everything you have done for Maggie and Edward,” Carlisle said.

“Thank you. I just wished that it hadn’t happened. From what I can have heard and seen, she truly was a wonderful person.”

“Maggie was Edward’s saving grace. She allowed him to experience unconditional love,” Carlisle explained, then remember the bill. Reaching in his jacket he pulled out his wallet, removing one of his credit cards and held it out towards Barry. “Please run the bill on my credit card. I don’t Edward to get a bill later on and open up the wound all over again.”

“I think that is a very lovely thing for you to do for him,” Barry confessed.

As Barry and Carlisle were taking care of the bill, Edward was saying his goodbyes to Maggie. “Mag Pie, it should be me in that coffin and not you. You were always the better of the two of us and Elizabeth needs her mother,” Edward choked, taking a tissue from the box next to the coffin and dried his eyes. “Since there is nothing I can do to change this, I will promise you that I will tell Elizabeth everything about you and how much you loved her. I also promise to love her enough for both of us.”

Leaning down and placing a kiss on her head, “I love you so much and I know that you are in heaven looking down on us.

At that moment, Barry opened the door, “Are you ready for your father?”

“Yeah.”

Carlisle walked in and up beside Edward and looked in the coffin at the lovely Maggie. Edward took Carlisle’s hand and turned back to coffin, “Mag Pie this is my dad. I know you wanted to meet him, but I was too pig-headed as always to allow that to happen.”

“Hi, Maggie. Edward is wrong, it wasn’t his fault, but my own.  I promise you that I won’t be making that mistake again. I was not a good father, but I will be a fantastic grandfather for Elizabeth. I also promise to take care of Edward and be here for whatever he needs. Thank you for taking care of him.”

By the end of Carlisle’s speech, Edward was opening sobbing. His heart was so broken and he felt so empty.

Barry stepped up, placing his hand on Edward’s back, “Edward, do you need more time?”

“No. It is time for Maggie to take her final journey,” Edward whimpered. “Dad, I am ready to leave.”

Edward had decided he didn’t want to see Maggie being placed in the cremator, even though he had been given the chose to do so if he wanted. Walking out of the room and out of the funeral home to the waiting car, they climbed in and began their trip home. Barry had told them that Maggie’s remains would be ready in a few days and he would call when they were available for them to pick up.

As Edward and Carlisle rode through the city, rain began falling down on the car, much like the tears falling from their eyes. Edward soul was broken over the loss of his love, but his heart was full of love for little Elizabeth. Then a song came on the radio that seemed poynette to the moment.

It’s been a long day without you, my friend
And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
We’ve come a long way from where we began
Oh I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
When I see you again
Damn, who knew all the planes we flew
Good things we’ve been through
That I’ll be standing right here
Talking to you about another path I
Know we loved to hit the road and laugh
But something told me that it wouldn’t last
Had to switch up look at things different see the bigger picture
Those were the days hard work forever pays now I see you in a better place
How could we not talk about family when family’s all that we got?
Everything I went through you were standing there by my side
And now you gonna be with me for the last ride
It’s been a long day without you, my friend
And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
We’ve come a long way from where we began
Oh I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
When I see you again
First you both go out your way
And the vibe is feeling strong and what’s
Small turn to a friendship, a friendship
Turn into a bond and that bond will never
Be broken and the love will never get lost
And when brotherhood come first then the line
Will never be crossed established it on our own
When that line had to be drawn and that line is what
We reach so remember me when I’m gone
How could we not talk about family when family’s all that we got?
Everything I went through you were standing there by my side
And now you gonna be with me for the last ride
So let the light guide your way hold every memory
As you go and every road you take will always lead you home
It’s been a long day without you, my friend
And I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
We’ve come a long way from where we began
Oh I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again
When I see you again.

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