A misconception kept them apart. A once in a lifetime experience might be enough to bring them together. Bella and Edward are about to learn some home truths about themselves and each other as they take a journey to Australia and find that things aren't always what they seem.
I know I said I wasn't sure if I would write another one but I couldn't help it. This was planned before I decided to help AnahyR bring her story ideas to life and I put it on hold. It keeps going around and around in my mind so I have chosen to just go with it and see how it pans out. I hope you enjoy.
Previous stories of mine you might be interested in:
The Heart is a Bloom: Is fame worth it? A different take on the characters of Twilight and how they met. Edward is a famous musician who has a past demon that is about to catch up with him. Unfortunately it is just as he has met the woman of his dreams.
No Choice: Edward returns to Forks to fight for a hurt and angry Bella. Not such an easy thing to do in this story. This is set after the Cullens have been away for quite a few months but before Bella makes the decision to cliff dive.
Loss to Love: Sometimes love just can't be denied - no matter how untimely it hits us. Sparks fly between Edward and Bella the very first time they meet; problem is that Bella is already committed to another. See how the two of them deal with their unspoken attraction and how a tragedy could bring them closer together or push them further apart.
Loss to Love was written on the basis of AnayhR's ideas.
Chapter 10 –
EPOV – Helping
Chapter 10 - EPOV - Helping
Emmett was in my bad books for days after the cricket incident. Sure he was attentive to Bella and kept apologising profusely that he had accidentally hit her but the fact remained that it was ego that had made him hit that ball so hard and I wasn’t going to let him off easily. He could have permanently damaged Bella and that just did not sit well with me, no matter the circumstances. I finally relented when Bella took me aside and told me in no uncertain turns that it was none of my business and I needed to pull my head out, realise that Emmett loved her and would never deliberately hurt her, so I was punishing him needlessly. Of course she was right; Emmett was usually her protector and the knowledge that he had harmed her would be something he would be kicking himself over and over again. When I went to apologise to him he accepted readily and told me I wasn’t giving him anything that he didn’t feel he deserved – he wanted to punish himself as much as I had felt the need to. Things were alright after that; between Em and I anyway.
Bella; she was a different story. Something had changed between us and I knew she was uncomfortable with me. The hostility that she had previously been holding towards me seemed to be muted but whenever our paths crossed she would give me a wide berth if she could and when she couldn’t I felt her constant bewildered appraisal. Sam hit the nail on the head when he observed that it was like ‘she is drawn but repelled at the same time’ whenever we were in proximity. It was not the way I wanted it to be but at least she was not outright hating on me for the moment.
The trip to the hospital had shown a number of things;
One - I was an absolute p**** when it came to Bella’s pain and probably went a little over the top in ensuring she got the best medical attention possible. Alice constantly grinned at me over Bella’s shoulder whenever I felt the need to check on her and although Emmett was trying his best not to show it, because he knew he was walking on shaky ground with me and was feeling guilty to boot, he was clearly amused by my actions.
Two - I would do anything in my power to make sure that James Hunter never got to touch my girl, even if it was in a medical capacity, so I didn’t feel guilty about the sudden phantom patient that turned up right about the time James tried to take over Bella’s diagnosis since he was actually on his shift when we came in. I owed Quil big time for providing that distraction and giving me the time to get Bella to xrays before James came back more than annoyed that his patient had mysteriously left before a doctor got to see him.
And three – Bella had not sustained any kind of break or permanent damage. She was going to sport quite a significant bruise but ultimately she would be alright and that allowed me to breathe easier. We got to take her home with some mild painkillers and instructions to not overdo it for a few days. She was ecstatic about finally getting to leave the hospital and all the unwanted attention. She had retreated to her room that evening and then life went on as usual.
Going out with friends.
Wishing for more.
Meeting new people.
And even at times shy smiles.
Our day to day lives were passing quickly and two weeks later there was hardly any mark left to mar the beauty of Bella’s face and she was getting around more comfortably, instead of trying to hide behind her hair when she remembered her bruise. If it wasn’t for the fact that I wanted more from Bella than simple polite acceptance of my place in her life, everything was pretty good and we were all humming along quite comfortably in our new routines in Windarooh.
That changed one Friday afternoon with an unexpected phone call from Bella asking me if I could come down to the school to see her. The worry and agitation in her voice caused my heart to spike in concern and I had dashed down to her school as quickly as possible, wondering what on earth was wrong and why she had rung me, of all people. As I leapt out of the car on arrival Bella was there to greet me.
“Are you okay?” I took hold of her shoulders and did a quick inspection of her whole self to determine if she had been hurt at all. Everything appeared as it should until I got to her face and saw the tell tale signs of the red glassy eyes of a person who was trying really hard not to cry. “What is it sweetheart? What’s happened?”
Bella’s forehead furrowed and she took a slight step backwards making me drop my arms away from her. “I’m fine but I need.......I need your help. It’s not for me, it’s for someone else. Someone who is scared and I really don’t know what to do....and if you could just take a look at her and not frighten her, then I would be......and I don’t want to get you in trouble.....and little Zach is frightened too and......”
I interrupted her little tirade because she was clearly getting more and more agitated and it was apparent that she was torn again. “Okay, okay Bella. It’s fine. Take it from the beginning and I will see what I can do.”
She proceeded to tell me about the little boy Zach who was an overly quiet boy in her class. This afternoon she had been working back to get some lessons planned and ready for next week when Zach had turned up at her classroom saying that he had walked home from school to find that no one was answering the door and he didn’t know what to do. He had waited for over an hour for his mother or father to come home but no one had arrived. He had gone to a neighbour’s house but there was no answer there so he had walked back to the school and come to see Bella. Bella said that it was unusual because this particular mother was always there to pick up Zach of an afternoon, even though she tended to wait a fair way from the school gates as if she didn’t want to interact with the other parents too much.
Bella called the home number a few times and finally got onto Deborah Barron who seemed quite out of it. When Bella explained to her that Zach was back at school with her Deborah had panicked and said that she would be right down to pick him up. Once she arrived at the school Bella was taken aback to see that Deborah was clearly hurting and something was seriously wrong, even though the woman tried to deny it and blamed tiredness for her taking a nap and not waking up in time to come and get Zach.
“She was trying to get Zach out of there without appearing rude but then Zach said to his mother. ‘Don’t worry mummy. Miss Swan gets hit too and she knows what it is like.” Bella cringed at the words and my own fists tightened in response.
“He thought that the bruise on my face was because someone had hit me Edward. He then turned to me with such a pleading face and said ‘You can help us right Miss Swan. We have to stick together if someone hurts us right?”
I could only imagine the horror on my face. “Are you saying that he is being hurt too?”
She nodded. “I don’t know to what extent but all I know is that before he said those words his mother was all for getting him out of there as quickly as possible and as soon as they came out of his mouth Deborah crumbled and started sobbing in my arms about how it had always only been her and she never realised that her husband was laying his hands on their baby. When I finally got her calmed down she showed me the bruises on her torso and Edward I really think there is some damage there. She said that was why she had not picked Zach up earlier. Her husband had been furious with her over something, laid into her and left. She had taken pain killers and gone to bed to try and get through the rest of the day, sleeping through the alarm she had set to go and get Zach. I tried to get her to come to the hospital with me but she flat out refused. She said that her husband would kill her if he found out she went there and she was petrified for what that would mean for Zach. The two of us checked Zach and he had a small bruise on his shoulder which he said was from where his dad grabbed him and that his dad never really hit him; only his mum.”
I scrubbed at my face; my usual reaction to taking in things that either confused me or made me incredibly angry; right now I was both. “You know we need to get her to the hospital to be checked out properly right. I am under obligation to report it too if a child is being abused Bella.”
Bella grabbed hold of my arm. “She is so, so scared Edward. Please I am begging you just to take a look at her and make sure she is okay. Maybe you will have better luck in getting her to go to the hospital and maybe even reporting her husband. They should not have to live like this. No one should have to live like this,” Her voice trailed off and I nodded my understanding. “I told her that you could help and she relented in allowing me to call you. I am frightened that if we put too much pressure on her she will run and things will only get worse for her. Please can you help us?”
When I nodded my acquiescence she took my hand and gave it a quick squeeze, breathing her very soft thankyou. I grabbed a couple of things out of the car and followed her inside to meet Deborah and Zach. Bella was correct in her assessment of the situation and Deborah was both frightened beyond belief, along with being extremely hurt bodily. I tried to appear as professional as possible with her as Bella led Zach away to play with some Lego but inwardly I was fuming at how one human being could harm another; particularly one that they were meant to love.
I spoke softly and confidently to the poor woman, explaining every little thing I was doing in trying to assess what she needed from me. She never fully relaxed but thankfully allowed me to get close enough to ascertain the damage.
“Deborah you really need to be at the hospital. You’ve got some broken ribs and I‘m worried about internal bleeding. We can observe you properly there and make sure you get the best care.”
She steadfastly refused. If it got back to her husband that she had gone to the hospital there would be hell to pay and there was also Zach to be worried about. If she went to the hospital she might as well lie down and die because he would come after her. None of my coaxing or promises that the police could protect her could get her to change her mind and I was in a conundrum as to what to do. As a physician it was my job to heal but I couldn’t just turn a blind eye to the cause of the hurt in the first place.
I motioned to Bella who came over to Deborah and I after making sure Zach was fully occupied with playing. “I need to get some bandages and tape from the hospital. I won’t take long but I want you all to promise me you will wait for me here. If you are adamant that you can’t go to the hospital I need to at least bandage and tape you up so that you can function.”
“What about her husband. He will see the bandages and know she has been to see someone. That would be just as bad as going to the hospital.”
Exasperation echoed through my voice when I snapped back at Bella. “Well I can’t just leave her like this. She needs medical attention in a hospital. This is the next best thing. You brought me into this and even though I don’t think this is the ideal situation I can’t force anybody’s hand.” I attempted to calm myself when I saw the hurt reflected back at me from Bella and turned to Deborah instead. “Deborah, I can’t stress enough that you need medical help and I am not only talking about today’s wounds. You’ve got older breaks that haven’t healed properly that could cause problems down the track, you are underweight and need a thorough medical check. I am begging you to consider coming to the hospital and reporting this to the police. You and your son do not deserve to be used as punching bags.”
Deborah shook her head guiltily. “I can’t. I’m sorry. You don’t understand.”
I softened my voice and sympathy was all she would have heard. “Okay but I need to strap you up. Is that going to be a problem?”
“My husband usually goes on a couple of day’s bender after he has hurt me so I should not have to worry about seeing him for a while. You can put the bandages on.”
I wanted to tell her that it would take more than a few days to get over the hurt that had been inflicted on her but something told me she already knew that from first hand experience. I turned my back on the two women and headed outside to go to the hospital. Nothing about this situation was easy or right.
On returning to the school car park I was surprised to see Alice walking out with her arm around Zach. “What’s going on Alice?”
Her look told me that she was aware of what was going on but her voice was cheerful as she squeezed Zach’s shoulder and answered my silent question along with the voiced one.
“Bella told me that this young man here deserved a special treat so I’ve come to take him for one of Irina’s special sundaes. Bella and Deborah are inside. We will see you soon.”
Zach appeared smitten with Alice but his concern still lay with his mother. “Bella said you are going to fix my mum up Dr Cullen. You won’t hurt her will you?”
I gave him my best comforting smile. “Of course not sprite. Your mum will be feeling a whole lot better by the time you’ve finished your sundae. I promise I will do everything possible to help her.”
His heartfelt thanks echoed through my mind as I made my way back inside. I was in the hallway outside Bella’s room when the conversation made me halt in my tracks and curiosity forced me to listen without letting them know I was there.
“..........I don’t know if I am strong enough.”
“I know it seems daunting but are you seriously willing to risk your son as well as yourself now that you know Zach is getting hurt?”
“Paul would never hurt Zach deliberately,” Uh oh here came the denial. Bella didn’t bend to it.
“Deborah. Up until now he might not have actually hit Zach but he has grabbed him hard enough to bruise and when it comes down to it he hurts you and he is meant to love you.”
“It’s different with your child. He gets angry with me because I am not the wife he wants me to be but Zach is his son. Surely he wouldn’t.....”
“Are you listening to yourself? Maybe you are right and Paul would not deliberately hurt Zach physically but he is definitely hurting him emotionally by exposing his aggression towards you in front of him. I am not a parent but I am pretty damn sure I wouldn’t want to risk my child’s well being on a maybe.”
Deborah mumbled something that I couldn’t hear but I assumed she asked Bella what she should do because Bella’s voice came across loud and clear.
“You need to stop him here and now. It’s scary I know but Edward is right. You need to be in a hospital being looked after properly so that you can in return help your own son. He needs you. You need to consider reporting Paul to the police so you can feel safe again. From what you’ve told me this happens way too often.”
“Dr Cullen said he will strap me up and I am sure I will be fine in a couple of days.”
“Edward is only doing that because you are refusing to seek proper medical attention in the hospital. I have to be honest with you and tell you that I have put Edward into a really bad situation by asking him to come here and treat you without going through the correct channels. He is a really good doctor and if this causes problems for him I will never forgive myself. How do you think he will feel when he sees you in a few weeks time with more damage done to you and he hadn’t done anything this time? We’re asking too much of him. He is a healer, not someone who sends you back out there to get harmed again.”
“Well why did you do it then? You could have just ignored us and we would be back at home now and your precious doctor would not be any the wiser.” Deborah’s tone was scathing but I didn’t miss the undercurrent of unsureness and guilt.
“Because I couldn’t in anyway ignore your hurt or that of your son and I trust Edward implicitly to help in any way you need. He might not agree with the way you are dealing with this but he won’t let you down either. Please I just need you to consider that he is giving you the best advice available. Take a stand for yourself and your son and go to the hospital at least. You would have all our support. Alice and I could look after Zach for you while you are in there and Edward would make sure you had the best medical attention possible.”
More mutterings reached my ears but apparently the two of them had realised the level of noise their voices were making and they had toned it down. I chose to interrupt then with a courteous cough and light tap on the door. When they gestured for me to come in I was still reeling from the absolute trust and regard Bella had shown to me through her words of advice to Deborah and I didn’t speak until I was right next to them again.
“I’m sorry for all of this, Dr Cullen” Deborah uttered, completely desolate in knowing she was going against what we thought would help. I forced my face into a half presentable smile and answered her the best way I could.
“The main thing is that we give you some pain relief now and try to do the best with those ribs as we can.”
As gently as possible I did what I needed to do as Bella observed quietly. Deborah was incredibly staunch in all her reactions to any kind of pain. It made me livid to think that she had been victimised for so long that she was able to hide the hurt of being medically treated so easily. I wondered about this man Paul, wishing I could give him some of his own treatment without making things worse for his wife. I sighed knowing that violence was not going to help anything.
“Okay Deborah. That is the best I can do without the resources of a hospital. There is so much more I should be doing but it’s your choice now.” I started packing away the materials I had been using and tried to give her a moment to take in my words. “I am sure Bella would be happy to drive you home in your car and I can follow to bring her back here.”
Bella nodded her head in confirmation and Deborah agreed with no fight at all. Our silent trio made our way out to the carpark, ready to go and pick Zach up and then take them home. Before Zach joined us I had one more thing to say, no matter how hard it was for Deborah to hear it.
“I really hope that when you get home and have time to think that you will give some serious consideration into seeking more than this bandaid assistance. If not for yourself then for Zach. Children are precious Deborah; they don’t deserve to be caught up in adults problems; they should never be hurt because of our own fears.” I felt Bella tense up beside me and gave her a sidelong look of wondering at her reaction; she had paled and her face was a picture of complete and utter confusion and I made a promise to ask her about it later, returning instead to the matter at hand. “You’re obviously a good woman Deborah who cares about her son immensely; do the right thing and get the proper help. Take the power away from the person who is hurting you. It might not be easy but it can be done.”
I strode over to my car leaving the girls to get into Deborahs, after she refused to acknowledge my words with little more than her guilty expression. As I watched Bella pull out of the driveway I slammed my fist onto the steering wheel and gave myself a moment to regroup; Bella was right in her words to Deborah earlier – I was meant to heal not cover up some sorry excuse for a man’s crimes in beating up his wife. It was going to cost me to keep this secret for Deborah and Bella but I didn’t know what else to do except betray a woman who was already hurting enough. With a heavy heart I started my engine and followed that car in front of me to make sure that Deborah and her son at least got home safely.
Once Deborah and Zach were safely esconded back in their own home, with no sight of Paul at all, Bella got into my car and looked at me in apology.
“I’m sorry,” she whispered and all I could do was nod at her rather than reveal the gamut of emotions I was feeling right then. It wasn’t until we were back at the school for me to drop her off to collect her car that the silence with broken.
“Why me Bella? You could have called Angela or Jasper or even Ben but instead you called me. Why?”
Her hand froze on the door handle as she was about to get out. Her chin rested on her chest and for a moment I thought she wasn’t going to answer me but rather flee as she usually did. Then suddenly she lifted her head and shook her head. “You were the first one I thought of Edward. Don’t ask me to explain because I just don’t know why.......I wish I did but......I don’t. Nothing about you........or me.....makes sense. I did it and that’s it. I can’t .......” She shrugged her shoulders in defeat yet again and quickly scampered to get to her car. Her non answer did not help at all. Out of all the doctors in Bella’s life she chose me and with the way she acted around me that did not make sense. I wanted to see it as a victory but Bellas’ reaction to my question made me reluctant to do so. I drove home none the wiser about what was going on in Bella Swan’s mind.
That night though a different kind of victory took place when the hospital rang and requested for me to come in on a special case at the hospital.
One Deborah Barron had decided that enough was enough. She needed our help and was willing to do anything in her power to protect the one thing that meant the most to her; her son.
Bella and I were united in our relief. Maybe Bella made the right choice afterall. The two of us had made an impact and maybe Deborah and her son would be safe now.
We could only hope.
Michelle, Michelle, Michelle,
You have depth in your story, trust me. I have a feeling that some of your readers will tear up on this. Why you might ask, because some of us have been in those shoes (Little Zack's). I can't stress enough how deep this chapter went for me and possibly others. You are truly a remarkable writer.
And for Bella and Edward, Bella doesn't know it yet, but she love's that man. I cannot wait to see what you have in store for us in the next chapter. It's nice to see that Deborah finally took that stand.
I have a feeling that this will bring Bella and Edward closer whether she knows it or not. You're on a roll with the chapters girlie, lol. Keep them coming. I miss your regular updates. I'm going to think about this chapter for a while for sure. Thanks for the great and descriptive update.
Hi D :)
Unfortunately I've been in the shoes of Deborah, although a child was not involved thank goodness. Some people are plain evil and feed off of others insecurities - luckily I got out of that with some amazing support from others.
As for the story I agree Bella loves that man - first one she thinks of to call - now come on ;) Deborah is doing the right thing and it will definitely have an impact on the story. Bella and Edward are getting closer and she is getting a better look at the type of man he actually is rather than what she thinks he knows.
I ma happy with the more regular posts now - it was a long time in the coming but I am on a roll now so am hoping to continue them.
Thanks for your support. My comment to you about looking at things quite shallowly still stands but I ma happy for that to be the way it is - I know my limitations and just enjoy the fact that some people are reading. You however need to accept that you DO write with depth and description and all the rest. I hope I didn't offend you with my thoughts - they were meant to be a compliment.
You could never offend me, lol. I'm just at a loss as to what to say. I don't think anyone has ever in my life said such wonderful things to me about anything I've done. So please do not take my silence as something horrid. I just have to figure out how to thank you. I have read it many times over and still riddled with shock, lol. You have complimented me in such a way that makes my heart leap over the rainbow, LOL. Haha late night discussions don't suit me well, lol. Over the rainbow??? hahah.
I hope you're working on the next chapter right now. I'm already waiting hehe...Oh take your time. Yeah...no...yeah...Ah hell, I'll be waiting either way.
Thank you for everything. I truly mean that.
This was a really touching chapter Michelle. Women should realize that there are resources out there that can help them from domestic violence. I have seen a couple with the same issues and strangely enough that woman had eloped with the man who abused her infront of their young kids. I really wish that at that time I had done something to help but I was 15 and living as a tenant in their residence and the man was scary. I still feel guilty about not taking a step but I really hope that the circumstances changed although I can't be too optimistic about it.
It's good to know that atleast Deborah took the right step here. Children who face such abuse have high chances of becoming the abuser later in their life. It was a well-written chapter Michelle.
Also, you posted so quick again! I can't tell you how happy that makes me!
thank you for the update Michelle.......WELL DONE!!!.........Edward being mad at Emmet was funny...Bella had to explain that Emmet would never hurt her on purpose, which Edward already knew, just upset his girl got hurt.............I thank Quill to for not letting James get his hands on Bella.........Zach & Deborah however is a sad situation, I'm grateful that with Bella & Edward speaking to Deborah gave her the courage to do something about her situation..............I want the boys to find this Paul and give them a piece of his own medicine.....until you post again
Thanks Robyn :)
The two of them keep showing in their actions and reactions that there is something between them but I just need to get them to be in the right place for that to keep devleoping.
Zach and Deborah will have an impact on the story later so stay tuned - it is sad but at least she is getting the help she needs.
Thnaks for commenting
Thanks Navdha for appreciating this chapter. Abuse is a hard thing to fathom and know what to do about I am afraid. Deborah definietly took the right step in getting help so I am sure Edward and Bella will be able to help her out ( and learn things about one another in the process)
I am trying really hard to update more regularly so I am happy that you are happy!
Hi Sarah Beth,
This was a tough one to write but it had always been in the cards because I want Bella and Edward to see each other differently depending on the scenario. I really hope noone thinks badly of Deborah - people being abused are victims and I have made it that as soon as she realised her son was in dnager she was going to stand up for both herself and her son. I agree that this should bring them closer but it has also made Bella realise there are some serious flaws in her own beliefs about Edward that she has to deal with.
Thnaks for all your lovely words.
Great chapter! I am so glad Deborah changed her mind in the end and asked for help! And who knew Bella's sport injury would lead to a little boy asking her for help and end up perhaps saving his and his mother's lives? Very touching indeed! And her trust in Edward in that situation really is a sign that her feelings for him is getting stronger and she is starting to second guess what she thinks she knows about him. If she would just say something about what is bothering her so that the misunderstanding could be resolved! Please post soon so i can see how all this turns out!
Thanks Seugnet du Toit for your comments. Deborah and Zach will definitely impact on the story and Bella is definitely second guessing herself. You will see this very much in the next chapter where more will be revealed about what she is starting to doubt. Love that you keep supporting this story so thank you