Author: Abasketcase PM
AH BxE Bella has a book. Edward has an unfortunate past, dark present, and all or nothing future. Two strangers meet in an airport and find gravity in one another.Rated: Fiction M - English - Angst - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 15 - Words: 74,063 - Reviews: 625 - Favs: 559 - Follows: 688 - Updated: 06-14-09 - Published: 09-14-08 - id: 4538887
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN ANY OF THE CHARACTERS MENTIONED IN THIS STORY.
"Do you wanna talk about it…?... Should we just talk about something else?" I asked tentatively. Edward was apparently upset over something and was having a hard time communicating it. On top of this he had a cold.
"I don't really know what there is to say about it," He sighed deeply into the receiver. "They're trying to get me to do something I really don't want to do," His voice was quiet now.
I furrowed my brow. "What is it?" I chanced after a moment of silence.
"I don't want you to think me stupid." He admitted.
"You know I wouldn't do that,"
After another lapse of quietness between us, I sighed and gave in. "You don't have to tell me if you don't want to. Just know that if you it'll make you feel better, I'm here to listen."
He cleared his throat. "I don't know if you'll understand,"
I swatted away the immediate hurt I felt at his statement. His mind was a very isolated, confused place right now. It was normal for him to doubt that anyone would have the capacity to understand, especially someone who couldn't exactly empathize.
"Maybe I will… maybe I won't. But at least if you tell me I won't have to worry as much."
"You'll probably worry more if I tell you," He admitted dryly.
"Oh," I meant it as a joke.
"I was hoping it would be easier to talk to you about… my parents, but it's really all the same.
"That's what they're trying to make me do, by the way. They want me to pick apart my most recent past with them in depth to hopefully drive away any demons that could cause conflict in my future." He coughed once before continuing in a clearer voice. "Of course, you think it's logical, don't you? They think it too. And it does make sense. My mother's sickness and my father's death were obviously a big part of my triggers. I've never gotten the chance to express my feelings pertaining to those events in depth to anyone, ever. And I don't want to, or rather, I can't.
"Those were the darkest moments of my life, and they weren't just minutes or hours or days, they were weeks and months. And I can't go back there, Bella." His voice, though nasally at the moment due to congestion, shook with vulnerability.
I wanted to agree with him wholly, and say that he never had to revisit those times for the sake of recovery, that none of it mattered.
But I knew, I knew, that it wouldn't be true.
He needed to come to some sort of closure with his parents' deaths, especially since it once affected his drug use so heavily, and it was obvious by the fact that he was so reluctant to touch the topic, that he had none.
But I didn't want to just shoot him down and completely disregard the fact that it really did hurt him to speak of them, because then it would seem he was right, that I wouldn't understand.
He was probably being pressured enough as it was from the facility, and for me to suddenly turn on him wouldn't help the situation.
And I had to be there for him, like I promised, but yet I knew that crumbling and letting him continue to believe something that could potentially hurt the both of us in the long run wouldn't be good either.
Now, I just had to figure out how to put the two together without upsetting the balance too much.
It was then that I realized that things really were changing for the two of us, and that one day I might be looking back at this moment thinking, "Man, I had it so easy back then." And even though fabricating the correct approach to the topic was complicated, it wasn't as pressured as it could be. After all, Edward was still in rehab, and as long as he was in there, keeping is mental recovery stable wasn't my responsibility - therefore I didn't have to worry about it too much.
I took a deep breath before beginning. "I see what you mean, Edward, I really do. I mean, the weight of things bearing down on you must be a lot to take, and to be wanted to dissect the most painful times of your life can't be easy.
"But I think that if you at least give yourself some time to adjust to the idea of letting some things out, that actually talking about it could really help you.
"And you don't even have to go back to the darker times at first, just take baby steps. I really do believe that if you attempted to be open to the situation, you would feel a lot better about things."
He softly groaned in protest to my words.
"But, you see, Bella, you don't get it. I know that expressing my feelings towards my parents' relations to my drug use could reap benefits mentally, because keeping them in obviously just sustains an ominous-looking cloud of raining angst over my head. But the crazy thing is, in order for me to stay as sober as I am right now, I need that cloud. I need that reminder.
"And you're gonna disagree with me on this, my counselors already have, but it's this never ending, all consuming guilt that I feel, that's keeping me from ever even thinking about the possibility of even deeply wanting to go back. I believe that if I stay in this clean environment, free from my past entirely, I can stay sober."
I closed my eyes as I spoke. "Edward, do you still want, with every individual little fiber of your being, to get better?"
"Even now? Even after I've tried to sway you into the educated beliefs of your counselors? Even though what they're trying to do is completely logical and what you're trying to do goes against it in everyway?"
I could hear him breathing deeply on the other end, the exhales coming tense into the receiver. "When I first came here, they told me that every single case they come across is unique, but that mine was 'unique-unique' because it was my first time coming here, it was completely by my will, and because my past was either buried six feet under or alive and well, twenty-five hundred miles away.
"The biggest thing they teach us about here is staying sober, and the most focused topic discussed is the ties we share with the people who influenced our lives poorly.
"I'm not going to waste my time worrying about people from that time just for the simple fact of routine closure. My definition of closure has been fulfilled, and though it may differ from theirs or yours, the only person that matters in the situation is me. I'm the one who controls my sobriety, and as long as I feel stable, I'm not going to stress myself out about things that do not need to be addressed."
"Do you really believe that you're method is going to work?" I asked in a small voice as the worry and anxiety began to constrict my veins and make me feel lightheaded.
"It's all I know, Bella. I can't see myself going about this any other way." His voice was tight, but sure.
"I can't even truly voice my opinion on this, you know. I've never been in your situation before." I laughed lightly. "Right, lame. But, getting to the point, I don't think what you're doing is- is healthy, and even if it doesn't negatively affect your progress in the long run, it's obvious you'll never be happy. Now, hear me out, I may be completely wrong, and you may even have a 'unique-unique' way of handling things, but maybe, just to purchase some piece of mind for the both of us, you could consider a slightly different path.
"Just try to broaden your horizons a little bit, okay? There are other options, other ways to recover and actually be genuinely happy." My voice was breaking now. I wanted him to see, to try their ways, because I didn't know what I would do if Edward could never be happy. That could be a greater downfall than a relapse in itself.
There was another grand pause. The emptiness could be heard and felt. But I didn't want to speak up. I wanted him to break the silence in some form of agreement.
"Oh, Bella," he whispered in a sigh. "For you, I will try."
Later in the night, we both decided that it would be best to take a break this weekend from visits. Edward needed to recover from his sickness, and attempt to reflect openly about his past. I wanted to give him time, and my presence on Saturday would just serve as a distraction.
It was going to be different, having an Edward-free weekend, but then again, things were changing.
And this was just a small diversion in a constantly evolving course.
"Alice, that piece is already straight," I watched as she ran the flat iron over a patch of already fried-beyond-repair hair.
"Yeah, but if flips, I don't want flips tonight." She complained, taking a comb and placing it in the path of the tool as she ran it through again.
"Looks fine to me," I mumbled under my breath as I put my belongings under the counter again. And as far as not having flips goes, it really did. But if Alice was worried about extremely apparent split ends due to heat induced torture and chemically applied death, well, then, she had another thing coming. But at least it was unique, and the cut was modern. She claimed the purple stripes and frayed ends were the "in" thing right now. And I believed her because she did always manage to make it look nice.
After a few more swipes with the iron she was ready and we were walking out the door shortly after that.
"Hey, isn't Jasper coming along?" I asked as we passed his turn.
"Nah, not tonight. He's gonna hang with his buddies."
"But I thought he was really looking forward to seeing Emmett again," I began before realization dawned on me and I frowned. "Is he not going because of me?"
Alice shook her head. "We just don't want you to be fifth-wheeling it all the time, that's all."
I wrinkled my nose. "It really doesn't matter, you know that. If he wanted to see Emmett he shouldn't have backed out just so I could feel more comfortable."
"Bella, we've been through this a gazillion times before, you just don't remember because you haven't hung out with us in so long. At first, you put up a fight and insisted that we all hang out as a group, but you've gotta admit it's awkward, especially when we go to the movies or we get… carried away. After a while, you just stopped saying anything, and we made sure you were never the fifth wheel."
I turned the radio down. "Are you sure? Because I really don't remember any of this and I have a feeling that you're lying to me." I laughed in her direction.
She smiled. "Silly Bella, we're just trying to be good friends. I know I wouldn't particularly enjoy being the fifth wheel one hundred percent of the time, so I'm just treating you how I would like to be treated if I were in your situation."
I huffed. "Whatever, I still don't think it's entirely necessary."
"Well of course, you wouldn't be Bella if you did." She laughed. "And I know you really aren't that close with Rosalie, but we'll have fun tonight, and if anything, it's nice to leave the city and get an actual meal."
"Yeah, I'm actually looking forward to it." I told her genuinely.
It was my first free weekend in a long time and Alice was generous enough to share her plans with me. Going out to dinner with friends was a change of pace from what I'd grown used to, but a welcome break all the same.
And Alice was right, getting out of the city was nice. I kind of forgot how beautiful Washington could be naturally, without buildings and piers. I remember always feeling safe in the car as a kid when we drove through roads similar to this, surrounded by the walls of aged trees.
We were on the interstate for about forty-five minutes, chatting occasionally and just having a nice time without worries, before we turned off into the secluded restaurant's drive.
It was a lodge-like restaurant with log siding and dark green, steel roofing. A lot of people came here for the steak and game, and oddly enough the only thing I really liked on their menu was the Caesar salad.
Rosalie and Emmett were just getting out of their vehicle as we pulled in. I sucked in a breath at the sudden swell of nervousness making its home inside my stomach. I didn't really know if I would tell them about Edward or not. It wasn't that I was trying to hide anything, but it was an awkward situation to bring about. I knew they were technically my friends and wouldn't burn me at the stake, but I still worried.
I just hoped that the situation wouldn't blatantly present itself. Besides, it's not like the news would affect them if I told them or not. I mean, the last time I saw Emmett he had a shaved head and now his hair had grown out to his forehead and he had a beard. I rarely saw the guy anymore.
Rosalie, well, I only remember her looking like an intimidating knockout. Which is exactly what she looked like now. Except taller, and probably more intimidating because of that.
"He-e-e-ey!" Alice called as she hopped out of her car and ran over to Rosalie.
"Alice," She sang in a high tone. As they pulled apart, Alice looked at Emmett expectantly.
"Alice!" He lifted her up briefly while I walked over to Rosalie and smiled in greeting. She waved.
"You look like a lumberjack," Alice pointed out to him once firmly on the ground.
"That's because I am one." He told her proudly.
We all laughed in response as we made our way into the restaurant, Emmett's arms around mine and Alice's shoulders.
"So how've you guys been?" He asked excitedly, pulling us closer and raising his voice to get his message across the loud chatter of the restaurant as we were ushered to our booth.
Alice spoke and her eyes sparkled. "I'm great. Bella's great, she just finished up with her book tour, did you know that?" She continued without waiting for his response. "Ooh, and I cut my hair and got these cool patches put in! What do you think?" She pulled away and fluffed her hair up with the tips of her fingers.
I smiled. "Notice she said that she cut her hair and not 'I got my hair cut.'"
Alice wrinkled her nose up at me defiantly before smiling at Emmett. "This look is the original work of Alice herself."
Emmett laughed as he examined the hair carefully. "I like it. It's got edge."
Once we were all seated and had ordered our drinks and appetizers, there wasn't a lot of time to catch up on personal events in our lives due to the fact that someone brought up the topic of bizarre traffic experiences and this just led from one tangent to another.
Alice and Rosalie were both "Raging Road Rage Bitches" according to Emmett. And when asked of my driving type or personal experiences, I was briefly brought back to the last time I was in a car with Edward, and the way he judged me.
"Um, overcautious, I guess?" I raised my eyebrows at Emmett, hoping my answer would suit him.
Alice nearly choked on her drink and was flailing her arms towards me.
"Ugh, don't even get me started on that. I swear it's like the movie Speed with her. She can't freaking go above forty miles per hour without having a heart attack and probably exploding in fear."
I gaped. "It's not that bad."
"Uh, yeah, it is,"
I pouted. "Well, no one asked your opinion anyway."
As I finished my salad Rosalie and Emmett got the chance to update Alice and I on what was new in their life. Turns out the beard and the shaggy hair were the biggest change since we last hung out.
"Yeah, Rose didn't like the shaved head too much. And she says the beard is just a temp thing, that if I look older maybe I'll start acting it." He laughed.
Alice laughed. "Nice,"
I molded the plastic wrap once around my straw into a little roll and flattened it out again before the sound of Rosalie clearing her throat met my ears. I looked up at her, instantly met with a serious expression.
"So, Bella, how's that book of yours doing?" Her tone was really sweet but fright always stirred in me whenever we spoke.
She was just the kind of person that was so perfect on the outside, you couldn't help but feel inferior in her presence. The vibe she gave off was definitely snobbish, even if she didn't intend it. But Alice had a good history with her so she must have been a charming person at heart.
"It's going okay, as far as I know. But I'm kinda finished with that chapter of my life. I don't think I'll be doing anymore books." I watched as she traced her finger along the rim of her glass of water.
She nodded slowly. "I see,"
"What about that love life of yours? How's that Mike kid been faring out with you?" Emmett's sudden intrusion into the conversation made me jump in my seat slightly. His voice was so loud.
"I'm sorry?" I blushed at my jitteriness, and at the fact that I couldn't put a face to the name.
He shook his head and shrugged it off. "I don't know. Thought Alice said something about you having a boyfriend for a while."
My eyes widened. "Oh. That Mike," I shook my head and laughed. "I dated him during college and about five months ago he tried to start seeing me again but I wasn't feeling it."
Alice laughed, she always made fun him.
Emmett continued, unfazed. "Well, what about now? You seeing anyone?"
I didn't know how to answer this, but I could feel that the need to share some information about Edward was becoming a little more mandatory than before.
Back in the day, Emmett used to try and set me up on blind dates with some of his friends from work. They were all really nice guys; Emmett would never put me with somebody he didn't think I would like. But I just didn't feel a spark.
If I led him on to the fact that I was kind of single, he might take that as a sign to start hooking me up with people again. And I really wasn't interested.
"Um, well," I cleared my throat. "There is this guy,"
"Tell me more, tell me more, like, does he have a car?" Emmett sang loudly. A few people sitting at tables around us turned their heads. Two drunken men at the bar sang a few lines that weren't even a part of the exact song, before just softly petering out.
I laughed uneasily. "Um, no, I don't know,"
"Ahh, she's stuttering. You must really like him?" Emmett laughed.
I looked up to him with wide eyes as I briefly took in his words. Yes, I did, really like him. But right now wasn't the time to contemplate that.
"Tell us about him, Bella," Rosalie said softly. She smiled in encouragement.
I really wished they weren't so interested in my romantic life, but then again I guess I was to blame for their curiosity for not having a more regular one.
And I couldn't even call what I had right now "romantic."
Alice cleared her throat. I didn't turn her way.
"Well, he's a really sweet guy and I think he cares about me. I know I care about him. But, like, we're not really dating per se. And I don't really know if that kind of relationship is in the cards for us, at least in the foreseeable future." I told them honestly. They looked skeptical. "It's just that what we have is a lot deeper than that, even though we aren't together in that way."
"So is he just a friend?" Rosalie offered.
"No," I said without thinking. I realized that if I would've put more thought into that question, the answer would've been different. "But he's not my boyfriend either." Emmett's eyebrows were raised.
"I don't know how to tell you guys. What we have is different because of who he is and what I'm doing." Gah, that didn't really help much.
We all briefly turned our heads to the table across the room where a very loud rendition of "Happy Birthday" was being sung by a small group of staff to an awkward preteen. Her family soon joined in.
The wow factor of that scene disappeared rather quickly and once again, Rosalie and Emmett were looking at me expectedly.
"Edward's a drug addict in rehab," I said quickly, breaking eye contact and fumbling with the straw wrapper again. "But he wants to get better. So I'm helping him." I was met with silence. "We met," I looked up to them. "just a few days before he checked himself in. He's doing really well right now." I sighed. "That's that."
I felt Alice pat my back quickly and I half-smiled up at her. I heard Rosalie scoff.
I was really surprised the ugly-bitch-alter-ego didn't rear its head sooner. After all, I was on edge all night. I was expecting it. And now it was here.
I closed my eyes briefly as I spoke. "Listen, I know it sounds silly but the thing is, Edward is the most amazing person I have ever met, and I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't believe he had it in him to get clean and stay clean." My eyes landed on Emmett and he was nodding assuredly, though not saying anything. I smiled at his sweetness.
"Do you even know what you're doing, Bella?" Rosalie's eyes were narrowed and her expression made me blush. I felt like a child trying to do something amazing but was just told by their older sibling that they couldn't. I was the kind of little sister who would take everything to heart.
"You don't do you?"
"Rose…" Emmett whispered.
She continued. "Bella, I'm sorry, but you're just setting yourself up for heartbreak."
"It's not like that. I told you, we're not together." I tried.
She raised a finger in my direction, and if I had been watching my life on a sitcom, I would've laughed at the gesture.
But I wasn't. This was all kind of real.
"But you care about him, and when things go bad, you're going to get hurt." She watched my reaction carefully. "You're hurting now, aren't you?"
I wanted to scream Yes! but it's only because you're singling me out and criticizing everything that I care about most!
But old shyness and new nerves prevented me from doing anything. I just listened.
She shook her head and avoided my gaze. I blushed and looked down at the table, feeling shamed. Damn Rosalie and her piercing silences.
"I'm going to be frank with you, and this may sound mean, but I think what you're doing is stupid, Bella. And I wonder – are you really just that ignorant to the power of addiction?" She tilted her head.
And it didn't matter that she had no clue about what drug he used or why he used it or for how long, no matter how I would've fought her last statement, she would've one. Partly because she always wins arguments (I'd seen her in action before) and partly because, she had a point.
Everything that was happening with me and Edward now was all new to me, I had no experience with the abuse of drugs or alcohol, never witnessed anything like it before in person. My education ran only as far as high school standards did. Only now was I beginning to learn just how complicated things could be.
But then I just looked at Rosalie and the little "Bitch-Face" she was currently sporting, and I wasn't so shy anymore.
She was judging the situation, which meant she was judging me and Edward. She could badger me all she wanted, I could take it. But she couldn't just assume things about Edward, without even knowing him!
She said that I was setting myself up for heartbreak, which implied the fact that Edward wouldn't be strong enough in the future to remain sober. And all I could think was, How dare she.
Rosalie didn't know anything about him, and yet she wrote him off as a lost cause.
And since when was she suddenly all-knowing in the department of substance abuse and addiction?
She was a real estate agent!
And yet, she went on.
"Do you really think that you can just pick up some stranger in need, clean him up, and then be his guardian angel? That it's that easy?"
I exhaled through clenched teeth. "I never said that, Rosalie."
"No, but that's what you believe, isn't it?"
"Hey, Rosalie," Alice piped in suddenly. I cringed. This was between me and Rosalie, I didn't want Alice to be dragged into this. They were friends after all.
"You're a smart girl, aren't you? Well, academically, of course. So since we've established that you're intelligent, have you ever heard the saying 'Assuming things makes an ass out of 'U' and 'Me'?" She laughed manically, seemingly enjoying herself. She was a good actress though. "Do you get it? Yes, of course you do! Because," She was holding her stomach. "the- the ass and the 'U' and the 'me' make the word assume!" She slapped the table before completely composing herself and whipping out her blackberry, giving me a "do something" look out of the corner of her eye.
I wish I could just whip out my phone and be done with facing Rosalie.
"Very funny, Alice," Rosalie sneered, before folding her napkin and turning to me, a subdued look on her face. "Well, Bella, you've heard what I've had to say about the situation. I hope you take the time to reflect on some things." She finished in a quiet raspy tone, before clearing her throat awkwardly.
"Sure you don't have anymore to say?" I asked dryly.
She shook her head, at least having the decency to look a little sheepish. "Yes, I'm sure."
"Well, good, because I do." I felt everyone's eyes whip to my face and I sat up straighter, trying to look confident – but suddenly feeling anything but.
Most times, I'd let Rosalie get away with a snotty comment or rude remark, whether directed to me or someone else, just because I was that type of person. If it made her feel better to be rude sometimes, then I would let her. I wasn't her mom, and I wasn't going to pick a fight.
But today, she had harshly judged not only me but Edward. And at this point, I doubted the fact that they would ever meet and that he would have a chance to stick up for himself.
So I was going to do it for him.
At least I would try.
Standing up to her confidently would mean I would have to look her in the eyes.
The feeling wasn't entirely unlike how I would imagine staring into Medusa's would feel.
I took a deep, shaky breath. "Rosalie, you have no right to judge me or Edward so harshly, especially Edward because you've never even met him. Now, I know you have a right to your opinion, but with one as harsh as yours, I would at least expect you to have the common courtesy of keeping it to yourself.
"I am aware of the possible consequences of my choice to help him, and even if I'm not able to completely grasp them right now, I'll know, in the future, that it was my decision to help him, and I will take whatever is thrown at me. Because this is my life, and I'd like to use it to help someone else, the possibility of heartbreak damned." I took a moment to pause, and looked away from Rosalie to the wooden table's designs.
"But I do have a question for you, and that is why is it you thought it was appropriate to school me on addiction like that? Why do you know everything, and yet I, the one who's been with this person for over two months, know nothing?" I tried to keep my tone patient. I didn't want to come across as harsh anymore, just curious.
Rosalie glared at me fiercely. Ohh, shit.
"My mother is an alcoholic that doesn't care about anyone but herself. I tried confronting her about her problem once when I was little, and she told me to go to hell. I was five. And now, twenty years later, I can't even bear to look at her. She's dying slowly and there's nothing I can do about it. Because she doesn't care enough about anything, okay? Even if I tried to do something, it wouldn't help.
"And I don't care if your Edward is a drug addict and my mother's an alcoholic. Substance abuse is all the same once you narrow it down. It changes people for the worse.
"But what's done is done. My mother turned to alcohol and the Edward you know went to drugs, and we can't change them. We can try, we can clean them up and send them to a few classes and educate them, but it won't fix them. The only thing that will remain permanent now is the fact that they will always be fucked up, in some way.
"So I hope you'll be happy with your decision on the day it decides to bit you in the ass." With that she sloppily threw her purse over her shoulder and charged out the restaurant. Emmett quickly slid himself out of the booth after her, but as he stepped past he put his hand on my shoulder.
"Hey, Bella, I'm so sorry about that. Okay? Don't listen to her. I think what you're doing is extremely brave and I know that no matter what the outcome, you'll be fine." He looked towards the exit for a moment before quickly glancing back to me. "And, hey, I did pot in high school and I turned out okay! Use me as an inspiration story." He suggested, all smiles, before composing himself and running towards the door.
I found myself laughing softly at his words, even though I knew I couldn't derive any hope out of them.
Alice sat gaping at the display in front of us.
"How are we going to pay for the steaks?" She whispered.
Later on we found out Emmett paid for the entire meal himself, and when Alice tried to get a hold of him on his cell phone to thank him, he didn't answer.
I sat in the backseat on the way home, claiming the headlights were giving me a headache, but I really just wanted to cry without Alice noticing.
Rosalie's words, though out of line and not entirely true, cut deep into my inner confidence and happiness.
In many ways, I knew she was right, but in others, she herself was naive to the truth.
She had only seen one side of an addict's life, and it was the part that was not only frightening in its appearance, but also in the general monotony. And due to the possibility of a more deeply scarred childhood than let on, she obviously only saw things from one standpoint. If you're an addict, you can never get better. This way of thinking was both right, and wrong.
For her life, it may very well be true. Her mother was an alcoholic that refused to get better, to see things any further than the need to drink. And after years of the same, unhealthy lifestyle, of course it would be hard for the two of them to see anything different. But this was just one story out of many.
To look at things from the big picture, Rosalie's belief couldn't be more wrong.
An addict always has room to improve, to get better. But of course, this is not to say that they can ever fully recover. As Edward had mentioned before, every person's case was unique. And though there was always the choice to improve, many things can stand in someone's way. Not only outside influences, but also the one that matters most. An addict's own wants.
Of course this was all just the mental side of things. Physically, if a substance changes your brains chemistry, then Rosalie, in a way was right again - you wouldn't ever be able to let go. As much as you were trained to think differently, your body would always crave what the substance once gave to them.
And now that I had the time to actually reflect on these things, I realized that I couldn't be angry with Rosalie anymore. She was just the type of person to speak when not spoken to, and to judge without a place.
For one unfortunate evening, it was directed towards me.
And the more I thought about it, I knew that I really couldn't even try to be mad at her for basically telling me to fuck off in front of my friends, because I, though unknowingly, struck a very personal chord, deep within her.
So, I decided to call it even.
Alice had other plans – taking her rage out on the road and her car speakers. At least my sniffles would be muffled.
"I'm sorry about Rosalie tonight," she said finally.
I shook my head. "You don't have to apologize for her."
"Yes, but she's a bitch, and sometimes bitches aren't smart enough to apologize for themselves, so their friends have to."
"Alice, don't be mad at her, okay?"
She gasped, and sped up. "Why? I have every right to be. She treated you like a naïve little child."
I shrugged. "She felt she had to."
"But, Bella, you didn't deserve that." I shook my head.
"No, but maybe I needed it."
She glanced at me sideways and her expression turned to horror.
"Alice! Eyes on the road!"
She covered her mouth with her hand as she followed my order.
"Bella, don't let her words affect you like that. She doesn't know anything." Alice said hurriedly, trying to sneak peeks back at me.
"But she does, Alice," I told her. "She's lived the one side I haven't seen."
"But Edward's different," she whispered, dropping her hand as her eyes frantically scanned the road ahead of us.
I sighed. "Maybe he is, maybe he isn't. But even though we both know Rosalie didn't have honorable intentions when she argued with me this evening, I think that she had a valid point."
"Bella, her version of you and Edward was some bloated, stereotypical, holey, Lifetime movie plot." She turned to me. "It's not anything like you."
"This is true, but it might as very well be us, because in both of those universes, the things she said could one day render themselves very true."
"But it doesn't have to be that way," she said softly.
I leaned back in my seat and sighed. "Exactly."
As I looked out the car window and up into the clear night sky, I became more and more thankful for Rosalie's words, because though they hurt, they opened my eyes up even wider to the possibility of Edward never getting better.
And I needed just as many assurances as discouragements in this situation to remain alert.
I would have a cloud above my head just like Edward did. Except mine would be raining either golden stars or warnings.
It was a very unfortunate situation.
I knew that even if Edward decided put himself one hundred percent into their methods, he would most likely be too frightened to change, and end up receding back into his own image of safety.
And as for me, I'd always be set on an extremely delicate balance, torn between staying with him, or running like hell.
But, of course, it could always be much, much worse. So I sucked up my pessimistic feelings for the night and just listened to the music, thinking of Edward with a shy smile on my face.
I think this is the last of the rehab chapters.
One thing I'd like to clear up, don't get confused on Edward's fear to change. This current anxiety he's feeling towards trying to handle his past is different than the steryotypical fear of change. Yes, technically he is afraid of it, but it's different for him because now that he has made the biggest change of all, he feels that the smallest change in the way he handles staying sober, could set him off terribly, kinda like a domino effect or a positive feedback loop. (melting ice caps anyone?? melting progress for him!!) He's controlled himself before with his guilt, and he doesn't want to take the chance of a different method blowing up all of his progress, because that would . . . suck.
And as for Rosalie, yeah, she's a bitch, but without her, the world would stop spinning. And we'd like, fly through our computers or walls or something.
This is probably the third thing I'd like to clear up, so I apologize for lying at the beginning and being to lazy to go back right now and type "Well, I have a few things to clear up." ANYWAY, my beta's M.I.A., so that's why my writing has been sucky lately. I'm really sorry about that!! :(
And could someone please get me out of the 400's? I'm so sick of that number. It's ugly.
I really do appreciate every single one of you guys so much and you don't have to review, I was kidding up there (but the number 400 is really ugly), just as long as you read and take something out of it. Or just like it.
Thanks! :) Happy Summer OH! 9!