Voices were rolling around inside my head. All of them were fuzzy, incoherent. Everything else was black; Pure darkness. I felt pain in both my cheeks and intense pain on my neck yet I couldn’t find my hands to examine myself. I wanted to scream but I couldn’t find my mouth either.
Slowly, excruciatingly slowly, the voices became more clear. However more pain was returning to my face, neck, slowly more pain was retreating to all over my body. My leg felt as if it were snapped in half. Agony was in the veins of my arms. They’d been twisted and mangled until I knew they were either off or about to be. None of that was compared to the anguish inside my chest. My heart beat slow and uneven, most of all broken. My family was broken. What would happen to Charlie? Where would I live? Where was and what happened to Renee?
Renee. My mother, My best friend. I felt imaginary tears run down my damaged face. Please, I pled to whoever would listen, please, let her live! I screamed. Without Renee, I don’t know what I’d do. She has raised me, even given me a home when I could have my own. She’s a perfect guardian angel sent down from heaven just for me.
The voices were clear as day in my head. It sounded like it was a crime scene. I could hear all different types of voices and sounds. Footsteps raced by my head. Things were being tossed the floor. I could hear metal clicking together. Handcuffs.
“Please” That was the voice I knew all too well. Edward. He sat near me. Close.
“I’m doing my very best, son” An unfamiliar but very attractive voice said and I heard more rustling.
I couldn’t move my limbs without feeling pain though. I tried twitching my eyelids; they didn’t hurt as much as my other injuries but I could move them better than anything. Slowly, painfully, I opened my eyes. Faces were blurred and light in my vision.
“Isabella Swan?” One white and yellow shape spoke. That was the one with the attractive voice. “Can you hear me?”
I didn’t feel my lips move, but plenty of more pain entered my face. “Renee” I needed to know she was okay. I had to.
“She’s been transferred to the hospital” It said.
Relief overshadowed my pain. Renee was okay.
Something clicked and a light was shined in my face. I groaned. It hurt. But my vision did clear up and I saw Edward and the man staring down at me. Edward had the most anguished expression on. His green eyes had lost their glow…shadows were painted under them. They were like the inside of a tomb. Before I could ask anything, I felt pain in my cheeks. I groaned and lifted my hand,
Edward caught my hand. “Bella, no” He whispered softly of me. His voice lost its music.
“Her vitals seem to be coming back to normal” The man took my hand from Edward’s. It was freezing. Had he stuck his hands in ice or something? I got a good look at his face. It was so pale…but that’s not what made me gape. He was beautiful. He was bright as well. It’s like he had sucked Edward’s glow only to add it to his. Blonde hair was combed neatly on his head. He could probably replace any Hollywood actor.
The light was too strong, I felt it pulling me out of consciousness and to the relief of dreams but I had so much more to learn. I had to stay awake. I looked over at Edward. He was still agonized. The man had dropped my hand so I put it back into Edward’s, willing his warmth to go to his eyes again. He squeezed my hands however, his face did not change.
“I’m okay” My voice croaked. My throat ached. My other hand went to my neck and I could feel the bruises on it. What had Charlie done to me? I flinched. That was the first time I had thought of my backstabbing father.
If I thought Edward was in pain before now it looked like he was on fire. I felt my own face crumple. “I’m okay, I promise” I whispered.
He hesitated, his eyes re-igniting their flame. They were furious. “You better be” His anger confused me but I was happy to see him alive again. I felt a smile weave on my lips. I ignored the pain it caused.
“Edward” I heard a different but familiar voice. “He’s in custody. Good work, son”
Edward bowed his head slightly.
I saw a figure come up behind us. I focused my eyes onto a middle-aged police officer. He had black hair sticking out of his cap. His blue eyes grave. I did know this person.
“Officer Jones” I murmured. He was one of Charlie’s best friends. I’ve known him since I was a baby.
He knelt down beside of Edward.
“How you feeling, kid?” He asked, hurting.
“I’m fine” I lied.
Her smirked half-heartedly. “You got a lot of punch in you”
“I wish” I whispered, trying not to remember this whole situation. Then I remember him saying Good work to Edward. What had Edward done? How much danger had he put himself in? My heart ached with guilt and terror.
“Edward, what did you do to him?”
His eyes had dimmed and he hesitated.
Officer Jones took over the situation. “First, he pried you off of Charlie and he sprint to the door, he didn’t even think about fighting Charlie – good idea too. But Charlie plunged down and grabbed Edward’s ankle.” I flinched, imaging the scene too perfectly. “You slipped from his hands and onto the floor. Edward fell onto his chest-knocked the wind out of him. Charlie then threw him out of the way only to get to you so he could take your arms and swing you into the wall. That’s when Edward finally got up and caught him in a choke-hold.” I tried to keep myself from wincing at the pain Edward and I had endured. “He got Charlie unconscious, then he called us” He eyes were saddened now. I covered my face and tears. So many emotions had filled me. But most of all I felt betrayed. All this time, I thought Charlie was helping us- giving me a roof over my head, food on the table. And then there was Edward. He risked his life for me. He could have been killed. I felt hot tears against my hands. It killed me inside to hear of him hurt.
“We lost your heartbeat for a bit but you came around before we could shock it back”
I winced and uncovered my face. The first thing I saw was Edward shaking. I’d never seen so much fear in him.
“She could have been dead” Edward whispered, ignoring my presence.
“Yes” I agreed and he lifted his face. It was wet. It crushed my heart to see him that way. “But I wasn’t” I said simply “That’s all that matters…”
I squeezed his hand with all my might, again willing that glow to return to his eyes. It didn’t. I sighed, giving up. I looked over at my practical uncle. “What’s going on with Charlie? Is he being arrested?”
Jones hesitated and nodded. This was so hard for him to go through, his best friend and companion being taken away. “He’s being charged with Domestic Violence. He’s going to jail with a five thousand dollar bail” Well I certainly wasn’t going to bail him out. Let him stay there! I felt hatred ignite in my heart. Let him suffer. Let him go through the pain I’m going through! Please give him worse than that.
“Bella, I need you to calm down for me” Carlisle said, his unusual eyes strict.
“S-sorry” I shivered.
“It’s time to move you anyway. I’ll have to finish the examination at the hospital” He roped his stethoscope around his neck and gestured to Edward. I looked over at Edward confused as he slid his arms under me, pulling me up. It felt as if the breath had been knocked out of me. This is the most Edward has touched me. I wanted to squirm and demand to be let down but I knew it was the right thing to sit tight.
I felt my body press against his, I wringed my arm under his so I could support myself and my ear conveniently laid against his heart. It beat fast and vibrant. I also felt his breathing. It was uneven and still shaken. Mechanically, I moved my hand back and forth on his back.
The doctor and Jones walked ahead of us saying there was a gurney waiting downstairs. I was too occupied comforting Edward. How long would he be like this? Would he ever go back to the way he was? Bright and glowing?
For a fleeting second I thought of him and how he treated me- when he broke my heart…Did I look like this to everyone? Dark and empty? Just hearing his heart made me want to rip mine out. How could I torture everyone like this? How could I do this? I have had to have seen a light in my depression sometime. I looked up at Edward. It seems my light had burnt out. I don’t know where I could go with Edward. I could be his friend. My heart yearned for more. But I couldn’t hurt myself again. I couldn’t let anyone around me suffer with me again. God forbid anything happen to him.
We made it to the elevator and Jones asked how Edward was holding up. I immediately looked up and noticed red, blue, and purple on his right cheek. I could feel a mortified expression on my face. Another reason my anger and hatred for Charlie!
“What did he do?” I asked fiercely.
Edward didn’t look at me. “I’m fine”
“What did he do?” I asked again, trying very hard not to snap at him.
He sighed but I could see emotion returning to his eyes. “I hit the floor hard on the fall when Charlie grabbed my ankle, that’s all” He shrugged as if the incident was nothing. “We need to worry about you right now” His green eyes bored into mine. I could care less about myself while he’s hurt because of me! My teeth mashed together on my cheek.
“You can check Edward out while we’re at the hospital, can’t you, Carlisle?” Jones asked of the blonde. I calmed.
“Absolutely” he murmured, looking at Edward’s face. I began to feel uncomfortable especially with his unusual gold eyes.
We made it to the bottom floor and many faces were there- most I didn’t recognize. A huge crowd stood in our way and Jones fought, making room for us to get through the frantic group. People loved it when drama and fights occurred. I guess because it stopped their boring daily routines of life. I hated that.
Before I knew it I was placed on a gurney and being driven to the hospital.
* * *
Once again I felt voices being rolled around inside my head. All I could recognize but I want to move. One, I’m too afraid of how much it will hurt and two, do I really want to open my eyes? Do I want to face reality when I can lay comfortably in the silence of night? I don’t want to believe any of this happened. I don’t want to live through it. My life is going to change and I loathed that. I wanted my mom. Not the way a child wants her mother but the way a friend needs her best friend.
I prayed again for Renee to be alright because I couldn’t take care of her right now. I needed to put the pieces back together before I could get to Renee’s own broken puzzle. I need to make things clear. I need to know what’s going to happen no matter how much more broken, shattered, and pathetic my life was. I wanted to stay away. I wanted to leave and start new. I knew I couldn’t do that though. I have so many things to worry about- Edward, Renee, Alice…
Alice. That was the first time in what felt like forever I remembered my other best friend. I needed her smile. It would help me put myself together certainly. I could see her petite face. Her giant brown eyes excited as she yelled for me to catch up with her and her ridiculous antics. If I could, I’d smile. I’d grin and dance along with her through the park and playground, through the halls of school, through the madness called New York City. I’d smile, I’d laugh, I’d be happy.
“How much longer?” and just like that, I heard Alice. I heard my sister. Finally, I could release my painful grip on silence- finally. If I could sit here in my blissful moment forever, I sure would. I felt relief cursor through me. I felt a smile on my face as my eyes started to flutter open. The first thing I noticed was someone holding my hand. To my right, Alice squeezed my fingers. “Hey sleepy head” She grinned and ironically, throughout the entire trauma I’d been through, I was able to laugh.
“Hey” My voice was clear.
“How are you feeling?” Edward was on my other side, his hands in fists on his lap. How much pain had I put him through? How much? That question needed to be answered.
“I’m fine” I had spoken too soon. My jaw ached and I tried very hard not to wince. I tried to get up but Alice pushed me down and shook her head. This is when I first saw where I was. A beeping came from next to Alice- a heart monitor. An IV needle was stuck inside my arm- I swallowed my nausea for that. The bed I lay on was lumping and uneven. The walls were all white, a bland paneling. The clock indicated it was nine-thirty in the morning. The sun shined out the window.
“How long have I been here?” I asked, amazed I’d even slept.
“Since last night” Alice murmured, “I just found out a few hours ago”
“I’m sorry” I whispered
Alice looked at me with wide eyes. “What are you sorry for?”
“Worrying you. I should have-”
“Should have what? Not come home?” Alice snorted.
She was right. If I hadn’t come home, god forbid what would have happened to Renee…
“Renee! Where is she?” I demanded of Alice, ignoring the pain in my throat.
“She…” Alice bit her lip.
No, No it couldn’t possibly be. Why? Why Renee? Why? I was on the verge of tears as I took my free hand and clutched Alice’s shoulder. “Please” I begged.
“She was transferred to a trauma center in Albany. She has a serious concussion” Edward said, no emotion in his voice.
My hands shook. Renee wasn’t dead. Thank god. Thank you. Thank you so much. But she wasn’t out of the woods yet. I looked at Edward. “Bad?”
“Pretty bad” He choked and sadly enough, he was telling the truth. I could tell for his face was very sincere.
I felt my face fall into my hands. I began to cry. I felt Alice’s arms wrap around my body as her hands stroked my hair. I felt the pain of loneliness and darkness wrap inside me again. I couldn’t live without my mother with me. I don’t know what I could do without her. I cried on Alice’s shoulder and she gently rubbed circles on my back. Edward remained in his no-touch phase and I highly respected that.
After a few minutes, I calmed and Alice released me. “Bella, look at me” Alice said. Her eyes were intense as she stared straight at me. “Renee will be okay. She’s a strong person. I bet whatever happens to her, she wants you to go on with your life with no worries of her. She will be fine” Alice said, choked up. It looked as if she was trying to convince herself that that was the truth. Alice loved Renee as her own mother.
Then I heard someone else enter the room- Carlisle. His tag indicated his last name was Cullen. He was as radiant as ever but his face was solemn. He walked to my bed, nodding at Alice and Edward. They nodded back.
“So, Miss. Swan. How are you feeling?” He asked, checking my the machines and then starting recording their readings.
“Fine.” I said. I didn’t want any trouble.
“You’re bruised up pretty badly. But the good news is that nothing is broken. No head trauma, nothing. You were very lucky.” He mused and smiled but I could see the remorse in his eyes. Not for me but for my mother. “I think you should take it easy this week. Your legs are bruised the worst, so take a cab or get a ride from a friend if you need to go somewhere. Stay in bed and take prescription medicine.” Carlisle ripped a paper from his clipboard and handed it to me. His hand caught mine. It was still cold, like last night. How peculiar.
“Thank you. When can I go home?” I said trying to keep my voice even. His eyebrows furrowed and he hesitated. “What?”
“Well, Bella, Since Charlie is going to be in jail and Renee is remaining in the hospital, no one is living there-”
“I can live on my own”
“I know that but with your salary…”
Alice cut in. “You can’t sustain living there, Bella” She squeezed my hand again.
“Then what’s going to happen?” I panicked. I couldn’t do this. I couldn’t move out of this life when I was just settling in. Then again, Mom and Charlie wouldn’t be there. I would be alone all the time. Most of the time, I was okay with loneliness, but I couldn’t be haunted by the memories that lie in that apartment. My stomach churned as I saw my only decision.
“You’re going to have to move in with a friend until final decisions are made” Carlisle continued.
I looked over at Alice who was now tearing. Alice couldn’t let me stay with her? “I’m sorry Bella,” She put hers hands on her eyes, hiding her tears.
“Why? Why can’t I stay with you?” I choked.
“My Dad’s been really tight on money and I don’t have another room. I don’t want you to be on the couch if you’re going to live with me for awhile. I’d want you in your own bed in your own room”
“Well obviously, that’s not going to happen! Please, Alice!” I begged of her and she just shook her head, tears of guilt running down her face. Then I realized what I was asking of her. I was asking for her money. I was asking for her home. I was asking way too much of her. I’m trying to steal from her if I was being honest. I felt my own tears run down my face. Carlisle murmured on how we should speak of this later as my head throbbed. I ignored him as I cried into Alice and she cried with me.
Finally, Edward spoke words I’d never thought I would hear from a boy. “You could move in with me…” His voice was soft but an ever so light symphony.
I looked up at him and he looked like he was about to fall to his death.
Move in with Edward? Move in with someone I had just met? Someone I may have other feelings for? I was absolutely speechless…