What if Bella was born in 1901 and she got the Spanish influenza in 1918 too? What if she and Edward met at the hospital, both deathly sick, and fell in love? And they promised to never leave each other, but then Edward vanishes from his bed one night (When Carlisle changes him)? Well my fellow twilight fans, you are about to find out...
So tired...difficult to breathe...my chest hurts from coughing...can't fall asleep...coughing too much...
I was lying in the hospital in Chicago. The year was 1918, and the Spanish influenza was raging the city. I was left in a ward for the dying, as was my mother. My father, having never regained consciousness in the hospital, had died two days ago, and my mother was trying desperately to nurse me back to health. I was in a state between sleeping and waking, for I was sore all over and couldn't succumb to the shadows of sleep.
"Oh no...another one?" I heard a quiet musical voice say. A doctor, no doubt.
"Yes, her parents are both dead," a woman informed him. "She hasn't awakened in two days, so I'm moving her into this ward." I heard the first doctor sigh, and then a bed with squeaking wheels was rolled near me. I wasn't sure if I wanted to see who it was, or if I would even have the energy to look. Receding footsteps told me that the nurse had left, and I decided to try.
I opened my eyes first. I expected the light to blind me, but it was night and the room was only dimly lit by the candles in brackets on the walls. I must have lost track of time, maybe I fell asleep after all. I then turned my stiff neck to the left, trying not to look at the other patients in the beds. I had seen enough dying people in this stuffy room to last me two lifetimes. My left cheek touched the scratchy surface of the pillow, and then I saw her.
She was possibly the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. She had long, mahogany hair that draped over her pillow as she slept, with a reddish shine from the light of the candles. She had a pale, heart-shaped face that was relaxed in her slumber, and I had the strangest urge to stroke her full, soft-looking lips.
And so I did.
I raised a shaking hand that didn't even feel like my own, or look like it for that matter. Her bed was quite close to mine, there were so many patients we had to crowd together, so I didn't have to reach far. And then, my index finger ever so gently brushed her fragile-looking lower lip.
As soon as my finger grazed her skin, her eyes flew open, and I was immediately lost in their chocolate-colored depths. I heard my breath whoosh out of my aching chest as she made a small gasp. My hand fell from her perfect face and I let it go to my ribs, holding them to stop the pain. The girl was taking deep, shaking breaths that caused her to have a coughing fit. I wanted to comfort her in some way, for I knew the pain it would make her feel, but I didn't know how. She continued to stare at me with her lovely eyes, which showed confusion and pain.
"I'm sorry..." I said in a coarse and quiet voice that was not my own. "I just..."
"Wh-who are you?" the girl asked in a tone that sounded like she hadn't spoken in a while.
"My name is Edward...Edward Masen." I was already running out of breath, and I didn't want to take another one. It hurt too much.
"Bella...I'm Bella..." she panted, sounding pained. "Where am I?"Bella asked, frightened and confused. I couldn't say I blamed her. She must have fallen asleep in her own bed one night and awoken here.
"In the hospital. We all have the influenza, it...it killed your parents. And my father," I confessed, still wanting to comfort her. My voice cracked.
Bella gasped, and tears welled up in her eyes, breaking my heart. I couldn't bear it anymore, I had to do something! I slowly raised my hand and stroked her cheek from her ear to her chin, ever so gently. She looked so breakable.
She froze at my touch, and then slowly raised her own hand. My heart thudded in my chest, hurting again, but this time I didn't notice. Bella stared deep into my green eyes, like she could see all the way to my soul. I couldn't breathe.
The back of her hand softly brushed my cheek, soothing me in a way I never believed possible. It felt like perfect bliss, but that wasn't a strong enough word to describe the emotions now pulsing through my body like an electric current. It felt like...love. I loved Bella, and I could see in her eyes that she felt something like that, too. I would always love her more, though. No one could possibly love anyone else as much as I loved this sickly girl. She was my whole life, my whole reason for existing. Bella...the one I wanted forever.
Our faces were already so close together, we didn't have to move far, but the little distance we did have to move hurt. I didn't care. I closed my eyes, letting the stuffy hospital vanish from my mind as everything else did. Bella was the only thing that existed. The only thing that mattered.
And then our lips touched, and it was better than her stroking my face. It was better than anything I had ever experienced. Her lips lingered on mine, and I took her face in both of my hands, pulling her closer with the only strength I had left. She put her hand on the small of my back and dragged herself closer to me, but it wasn't enough. I wanted her closer, even though my ribs were already screaming in protest. Bella's lips parted, and I could feel her warm breath in my mouth. I mustered enough strength to pull her face nearer to mine, a moan in my throat.
I had to break the kiss for a moment to breathe, and when I did my head was spinning. I couldn't make enough sense of anything around me to even kiss her again, and it seemed Bella couldn't either. We both lay there, panting in each other's arms. Bella eventually wormed herself onto my chest, her head resting beneath my chin. I wrapped my arms around her fevered body, and we both fell into a perfect, dreamless sleep.