December wrote:a) would Edward be able to risk Bella's life again, if he had to do it now?
b) does he regret having made the choice he did and would he do it again if he had the chance to go back and do it all over?
For some reason I am completely un-conflicted about my answer to this question. It's as clear to me as if it were written in the text. Although that doesn't mean that my answer is necessarily the right answer
. But the way I have come to see Edward, I'm almost positive that he would change things if given the chance. In fact, I'm convinced that would be the case. Now, I don't think he regrets the choice he originally made, in the sense that he found his life's true mate. But, I don't think that Edward would hesitate for a moment (well, maybe for just a moment) to give Bella back an opportunity at a normal and happy life. And the reason the answer seems so clear to me is because I can only see Edward weighing the possibilities as they relate to Bella and not himself. So therefore, anything he happened to gain as a result of having been with Bella (true happiness, regained faith, humanness, etc.) would become secondary or obsolete when matched up against what would be in Bella's best interest.
Which is why I love what you said here December
It really all depends on how great a joy he believes his love has brought Bella: whether the love that he and Bella share is so transcendent that she could never be as happy without him, even when all the grief and pain of becoming a vampire is taken into account. Or whether it is merely the case that, having once loved him she can never be happy without him again.
Both of the possibilities you suggest hinge on Bella's
ultimate happiness, not Edward's. And I would even go so far as to say that Edward would still change the past even if he believed that Bella could never be 'as'
happy with someone else as she could be with him. Because I believe that Edward abhors what
he is so much and is so saddened by Bella's willful desire to give up everything and become what
he is, that he would settle for just seeing Bella plain happy (even if it's not 'as happy) if simple happiness did not require her to forfeit her own life. I think that if marginal happiness without him were still possible now, he'd take the steps necessary to bring it about. Because he's already hinted at it, hasn't he? . . . with his 4 option discussion with Jacob? One of the options was the NM option (he leaves, Bella moves on). I don't think it necessarily mattered how
she moved on, or if she was able to find a greater happiness because of it. Edward's hope then was that Bella would simply move on
. That's why the only reason that option is no longer available (even with the knowledge that Bella loves Jacob too) is because Bella is telling him that moving on without him is no longer an option for her. And he's able to believe it because Jacob 'showed' Edward what became of Bella when he left the first time. That's why he made the comment about not leaving again unless she actually tells him to. And that's because even now . . . even after knowing what he knows about the love he has experienced, he'd still walk away if that was what was best for her. And that's now, present day! Therefore, I can't help but believe that Edward would change the past and make a different choice if given the opportunity.
"Why did she have to come here? Why did she have to exist? Why did she have to ruin the little peace I had in this non-life of mine? Why had this aggravating human ever been born? She would ruin me."
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
[b]"So the witnesses first then."[/b]
[i]Edward Cullen, MS[/i]
Adultae lexiconum recipientes nuntiis singulis.