|In the Debris
Author: BelieveItOrNot PM
A story of unlikely friends, a story of family, a search for truth and a search of self. "She's everyone else's Isabella, but she's only my Bella." "I write a poem about a boy and girl who fall in love in the eye of a tornado." AH E/B V/JRated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Drama - Chapters: 37 - Words: 215,300 - Reviews: 2,562 - Favs: 983 - Follows: 1,011 - Updated: 12-31-12 - Published: 03-11-12 - Status: Complete - id: 7915341
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Lovely myimm0rtal is back as pre-reader and beta. :)
I'm really so pleasantly surprised by how many of you are taking to Victoria. Thank you for giving her a real chance!
In the Debris
"I want to tell you something. Don't laugh."
Laugh? It's the middle of the night, I can't see a thing, and I've been woken up by a phone call.
My voice sounds like sandpaper. "Hey, Victoria, what's up?" Turning my head on the pillow, I switch the phone to my other ear, close my eyes and yawn.
"It's about love. Have you ever been in love?"
"Love, um…" The word doesn't make sense coming out of my mouth. "No."
She's quiet for so long on the other end that I almost fall asleep. "Uh, Victoria?"
"Just, shh. Let me say it."
Then I do laugh because she shushed me after a silence that lasted about five minutes. I could've had a nap in that time.
I roll to my back.
"I love James."
I sigh, throwing an arm over my eyes. "Why are you telling me this?" What is it about me that makes girls think I have any idea what to do with love, or even like? I don't even know what's going on with me and Isabella. I still haven't gotten back to Alice about Jasper, and now here's Victoria and whatever she's after. "Because I won't tell him for you." I make sure I say it before she asks.
"But do you think I should tell him? I mean, if it were you, would you want to know?"
"If you loved me?"
She laughs. "Come on. You know what I mean."
I sit up, shaking my head to wake myself a little more. Victoria and James. Everyone thinks they're a couple anyway. They act like it. They're always together. What guy would spend that much time with a girl just for the hell of it?
"Go ahead. Tell him. But not now. Not if he's sleeping."
She tells me goodnight and I think I end the call before going back to sleep. I might've fallen asleep first.
My mother's in my dream again. She calls to me from her bathroom, and I freeze in the hallway, can't move. Noises come from everywhere, honking, shouting, thunder, wind, and I strain with everything that I have to hear what she says.
Edward, stop drinking so much.
And then the dark silence. She's gone. I'm awake, sweating, greeted by tears and no more mother to listen to. I smash my face into my pillow, go to my dresser, pick up the article and read it. I don't have to since I've memorized it, but I read it anyway.
Pulling on sweats, I get ready for a run. It's cool under the shade of the trees. I follow the route I always take, through the woods to the path along the creek, where I hear nothing but rushing water and the wind beating at my head. These are the greatest sounds for clearing your mind.
I loop around where the creek disappears into a mountain of rocks, and continue through the forest back up to the pool house. I run this path so often that the undergrowth never has a chance to stand up and grow. It's a three mile run that I sometimes take two or three times depending on my mood. Today I only take it once.
Weeks before she passed away, my mother told me to stop drinking so much. Jasper and I had just returned, loud and obnoxious, from Rosalie's party. That was before she and Emmett were attached by limbs. She was proud of how she could "hold her liquor" and challenged me to a downing match. She handed me a beer, counted to three, and we threw the cans back. Emmett was laughing his head off. He thinks everything is hilarious. Life is nothing but one big joke. I finished first which pissed her off, so we did it again. It went on again, and I let her win the third time just so we could end the matches.
Alice was the only one sober enough to drive and insisted on driving Jasper and me back to my house.
In my room, Jasper was crooning some drunk version of one of his drunk favorites while I strummed nonsense on my guitar. My mom, in a robe, with messed up hair on top of her head, threw the door open and told us to keep it down.
Jasper gave her a drunken shush and a slurred, "You're disturbing Senna."
I laughed. I didn't tell him not to talk to my mother that way.
She gave me her most disapproving look that included narrowed eyes, a clenched jaw, and a head shake. I laughed at that, too.
"Edward, stop drinking so much. I hardly see my son in you when you're like this."
I told her maybe she should open her eyes because her son was right in front of her. I said that to her, and I was wrong. She was right. That wasn't her son.
I'm her son now, only she isn't here to see it. I'm too late.
Back inside the pool house I'm panting, and not feeling much better. I should've taken the run twice.
Before I shower - blasting my music loud enough to be heard from the main house - I have to tear my sheets off the bed. It's been over a week since my last dream of her. Maybe they're slowly fading away.
I shower, dress, turn down the music, then sit on my couch to read the latest book Isabella lent me, The Great Gatsby.
It's hard to concentrate, though, with everything going on in my head.
Isabella snaps me out of my funk with a phone call. Like Victoria, she doesn't begin with hello.
"What the fuck are you making me read?"
Her tone makes me laugh. After she loved Ginsberg, I thought I'd give her another Beat author, so I handed over Naked Lunch.
"You have to finish it, sorry. Your rules."
"Everyone is fucking each other while murdering each other!"
"It's the subtext, Dear Swan."
"Don't be condescending, Dear Cullen."
I laugh again, still out of breath from my run, or the shower, or the memories.
"Get your ass over here. I have a book that's just for you."
On my way out the door I grab my keys, my phone, and the article off my dresser, shoving them into jacket pockets. I'm curious what book Isabella thinks is just for me. I smile as I steer the Mustang away from my house.
The sun's going strong, beating at the windows, warming the inside of the car, but it won't last long here in Forks. I lower the window, only mine though, since this car didn't come equipped with power windows.
At Isabella's, between the back of the sofa and the counter separating the living room from the kitchen, she tosses a book to me. I catch it in both hands. It's big and thick.
"You'll love it. The hero has butt sex with a nun."
"Wait. With a nun, as in Catholic?"
"Absolutely." This word ends in a smile that sticks. "It's the subtext, Dearest Cullen. Get to reading."
"Later." I set the book on the counter.
My phone buzzes in my pocket.
"It's Max. Hang on." As I turn around, listening to him yammering away about why I left without asking him if he needed a ride, I hear Isabella behind me saying that I dropped something.
I tell Max I have my own life and can't always be at his beck-and-call, and that I'll be home in time to take him to his soccer game. When I get out of the conversation with Max and face Isabella again, I see what she's holding. It's open and it's obvious she's already read it.
I can feel myself glaring at her and I don't stop, even when she seems to shrink away.
"That fell out of my pocket, right?"
"Yeah - I -"
"It was folded up, but you thought you had the right to unfold it?"
"I didn't know it was… private." She looks scared.
"I'm not crazy."
She shakes her head. "But you carry this around? Why?"
I turn from her, facing the living room, my eyes landing on that snow dome.
Can't she take the hint that I don't want to talk about it? "Forget you saw it."
I feel her hand on my shoulder. "Why do you carry it?"
"Can't you let it go?"
"I can't. I'm your friend. I can't."
"You really want to know?" I face her again.
"It's so - so I don't forget, okay?"
Her forehead creases. She looks confused. "Why would you forget? How could you?"
"Look, she was talking to me just before, before I found her. She thought I was listening, but I wasn't. Because I was ignoring her, I don't know what her last words were. I'll never know. I don't want to be that person. This-" I take the edge of the article she's still holding and shake it in her hand "-reminds me. I won't be that person."
"Edward…" Her head is cocked to one side. She's feeling sorry for me. I don't want her pity, but seeing the concern on her face, and just having made what feels like a confession makes my eyes water up. I dig at the corner of an eye with my knuckle. I take a deep breath in and hold it, afraid of what might happen if I let it out.
Her gaze drops to the open article she's holding, and then rises to me. "This is your guilt."
I motion with my hand for her to give it back. She starts to offer it to me but pulls away.
"You carry this everywhere?"
I don't answer. But because she knows my secret, I can no longer hold my breath or keep my tears in. They leak out with my exhale and I try to push them off my face, but I can't stop more from following and I can't look at Isabella. I've never cried in front of anyone but my mother before and I don't know how to handle it. My jaw clenches, my throat tight.
"Let me carry it. Can I? Let me carry it for you. I'll keep it safe, and if you ever want it back, all you have to do is ask."
The tightness in my throat expands down to my chest. "Where-where will you keep it?" My voice cracks like an old, rotted piece of wood.
"Let me worry about that. I'll keep it safe, okay?" She's folding it up, and I'm working hard to hold back sobs. The article is disappearing into the pocket of her jeans. Will she forget about it? Will it go through the wash with her jeans? I almost reach into her pocket to take it back. My heart's pounding hard enough for me to recognize I might not be okay in the head. It was better before anyone else knew.
"Everybody knows that onions make a person cry. You've heard that, haven't you?"
What does this have to do with anything?
"But celery…" She rounds the counter to her refrigerator and pulls out a celery stick. "Little do people know, celery stops your crying." She brings it over to me and holds it up to my face, under my eye. Then she moves it beneath my other eye.
I laugh - can't help it.
"See? Stopped your crying."
"Wasn't the celery."
"Sure it was." She sets it on the counter behind her.
She stopped my crying, though. She might have pressed me to talk about it more, which would've made me cry harder. But she knew what to do to stop the tears. And she must have known I didn't want to cry. Not in front of her, or anybody.
Maybe it was the celery.
I wipe my face for the last time.
"Isabella, could you not - don't tell anyone I needed the celery. It's embarrassing."
"Oh, no!" She covers her mouth, her eyes wide. "Too late. I already sent Alice a text." I laugh again. Then she rises to her tiptoes, still needing to press on my shoulder for me to bend down so she can reach my cheek. She gives it a kiss. "Everybody cries," she whispers.
I could pull her into my arms.
I'm about to before she steps away from me when her mom clunks down the stairs carrying a box wider than she is; she has to crane her neck just to see around it. The edge of an "Open House" sign is sticking out the top. I try to help her out.
"I got it," she says. "But how about the door? And, Izzy-B, grab my keys for me, will you?"
I raise my eyebrows at Isabella. Izzy-B?
"Shut up," she says, even though I haven't said a word.
After the box is in the van, Isabella introduces me to Renee as Cullen.
"Will you be staying for dinner, Cullen?"
"Edward," I say.
"Mom, dinner is six hours away."
"I've got an open house today. I'll be picking up Chinese. Just wondering how much I need, is all." She looks at me, waiting for an answer. I'm pretty sure Isabella already denied me, and I, in a humiliated way, just want to get out of here.
"I - have to take care of my little brother."
"Well." Her smile is nice and it widens slowly just like Isabella's. "Bring him along."
Dinner with a family, possibly all together at one time, is exactly something I want to include Max in. I look at Isabella.
"Yeah, Edward, bring him along."
On the way back with Max, I let him choose the music.
We're coming straight from his soccer game so he's still in his uniform, and changing out of his cleats.
"Why doesn't Dad ever come to my games? Josh's parents go to all of them. They haven't missed one."
"Aren't I enough?"
I look over at him. Of course, I shouldn't be enough. It was a failed attempt to both change the subject and make him smile. I shift my eyes back to the road.
"He's just, you know, he's busy. With surgeries. People still need surgeries on Saturdays."
"Not all the time. Sometimes he just does other things. You know that. I hear you yelling at him about it."
I close my eyes in a long blink. Our father is rarely home both because of work, and by choice. I can't deny it. "I'll talk to him, buddy. Okay? I'll talk to him."
When we pull up to Isabella's house, there's an ambulance in her driveway. I know this is because her dad is an EMT, but I can feel Max freaking out. I explain why there's nothing to worry about.
It's not always easy for either of us to look at an ambulance.
Before the ambulance got to our house to pick up our mother, Max was banging on the bathroom door. I don't know what brought him there, although thinking back, it must have been my yelling - yelling at our mother to breathe. I couldn't let Max see her like that, and I didn't want to leave her alone, so I locked the door. I locked myself in with my mother and I locked Max out, all by himself.
Maybe nobody would know what's right in that situation, but me, at seventeen, I couldn't even see through my tears.
I heard the siren through the window.
"Let them in!" I told Max through the door. "Let them in and I'll meet you downstairs, buddy."
I made him stay away while the men gathered our mother. When they wheeled her body out, her face was covered. Max never did see her and that's the one thing, knowing what I know now, that was the one thing I'm certain I did right.
He was so angry with me, though. I tried to hug him but he wouldn't come near me. He was smashing things. He smashed the TV. If he had tried to smash me, I would've let him.
I stood and watched him smash whatever he wanted until, just as I had done when I first found my mother, I sank to my knees.
Every glass of water on the table has a slice of lemon in it. There's a vase holding some kind of tall purple flowers in the center of the table.
"Lavender," Isabella whispers across the table to me. "My mom always adds lavender to the table because their scent is calming and reduces stress. She says the worst place to argue is at the dinner table. Lavender helps with that."
I can't smell them, though. Not over the smell of all the Chinese food. I wonder how a scent you can't even smell would help. I can see where Isabella gets this thing she has for remedies or superstitions or whatever they are. I remember when she told me eating peaches would help me play the guitar. And she said something about chamomile the first time we met. I wonder if she believes all this.
"What about chamomile?" I ask her, but her mom answers, spooning rice onto her plate.
"That's good for burns. Or to relieve anxiety." She passes me the box of rice.
I frown at Isabella, confused.
"Up-tight-ness," she says, as if she's reluctant to say it. She even cringes, her shoulders lifting. "I didn't know you yet. And you were rude. Admit it."
I smile at her, but shake my head. "You were confusing."
"All women are confusing," her dad says. "That's their job." His voice is deep and gruff, reminding me of his hand shake when I first met him. It was a firm handshake and he didn't take his eyes off me. I tried not to look away, either. It's hard to see his smile under his mustache, but it's there, and often enough that he's not too intimidating.
Renee insists that we all use chopsticks, even when Max complains that he doesn't know how.
She tries to show him. "Hold them like this. See? You got it."
He doesn't "got it," though, and out of frustration, he starts stabbing at his food.
I laugh. "Whatever works."
"What are your plans after graduation, Edward?" Charlie certainly doesn't beat around the bush. He asks me this as if I'm Isabella's boyfriend and he's sizing me up. My glance immediately swings to Max who's pretending to concentrate on his chopsticks.
I clear my throat, not wanting to have this conversation in front of my brother. I'm not even sure of the answer anymore. "I haven't decided yet."
"But you will go to college, won't you?"
"Just haven't decided where, yet." I kick Max's leg next to me to get his attention and flash him a smile. Thankfully he smiles back.
"I'm not going to college," Isabella announces in a tone that could be either hostility or sarcasm. I can't decide which.
"Here we go again," Charlie says, leaning back in his chair. I wonder if Renee might hand him a lavender stem to relax him or something.
"You're not?" I ask.
"The doors are not closed," Renee tells me. "She's applied to several, including Cornell. Just wait until she's accepted. She'll be singing a different tune."
"It's only one year," Isabella says. "Just one year for travel and photography. That's all I need. Then college, okay, you overbearing oppressors?"
"Oppressors," Charlie says, shaking his head down at his plate, but he's chuckling a little. It seems this is a common conversation here. Charlie looks at me. "I know your father." He says it like it's a good thing. I give him a sort of smile, because I guess that's what he wants. "I knew him back when Renee and I lived here years ago. Sometimes I run into him at the hospital. A kind man. Just as personable as ever."
I have nothing to say since I don't agree, but I'm not about to start complaining about him. Max doesn't hesitate, though.
"He never comes to my soccer games."
"When do you play?" Isabella asks after she slurps up some noodles. I like the way she grins after she does that, like it's fun.
"Saturdays. Edward says he has surgeries."
"Can I come sometime?"
My chopsticks fall to my plate before I realize I've let them go. One of them bounces off and then lands on the floor. "You'd want to?"
Renee hands me a replacement chopstick.
Isabella shrugs. "I've never been to a soccer game before."
Her mother pets her head. "We tried to get you to play. You've always hated sports."
"I hate playing them, but not watching them. Right, Dad? I watch basketball on TV with you. Tell her."
"Yeah, Renee. As long as she's accompanied with a book, she'll watch whatever you put on the TV."
They all laugh, even Max. And I wonder how we can get this dinner thing to happen again. For Max.
In the middle of a bubble on my comforter, James sits, his expectant eyes on me. Curbside, as he dropped me off, I told him that I needed to talk to him. He followed me into the house and up to my room where I closed the door.
My aunt's at the hospital and Mud's at the lodge, but I turned the lock anyway. Leaning against the door, I fiddle with my fingers, move to my desk, pick up a pen, put it down.
It's been four days since I've decided to tell him that I love him. I can never work up the courage to say it. I remember my poem about the huge coward who wants to be invisible.
I will be seen.
For a second, I wish I was high right now.
But, no. I have to say this sober, and he should be too, when he hears it. I go to him, place my hands on his shoulders and search his eyes. He hasn't smoked, not recently.
I back away.
"What are you doing, crazy?"
"Um-" I sit on the bed beside him. "I have to tell you something. Seriously."
"Not yet." I turn to face him, bending one leg to rest on the bed while the other one hangs over the side, toes grazing the carpet.
How does a person go about something like this? My heart's flying circles in my chest like a caged bird trying to break its way out. Its wings are batting against my insides, making me all out of breath. Maybe I should just kiss him and see what happens.
I look at his lips.
I look away.
I bring a hand to the side of his face and let my thumb drift down his cheekbone. His eyes are so bright blue but they don't offer me any truths. His hand comes to mine on his face and he clasps my fingers.
"Are you - are you okay?"
I take my hand back. "What I have to say, it will change everything. It might make things bad. I'm not sure. I can't tell."
"Whatever it is, you can tell me. You know that."
I pick up a pillow, hug it close, and for a little while consider changing the subject. But I can't take the thought of him going after Isabella without knowing how I feel.
"James, I feel you…" I'm looking at the wall behind him. "In my heart."
The small unsure laugh that escapes him tells me that he doesn't get what I'm saying.
"I feel you in my heart, too, Victoria." A pause, and then, "What's going on? You sure you're okay?"
"No." My voice shakes. "I mean, I, I love you." My eyes slow dance over his face to his eyes, but without really seeing him. I'm afraid of what I might see. "I love you in a non-friend way."
I release a breath full of nerves and focus on his eyes now, which have widened, and he's scooting away from me, and in this millisecond, I know what an irreversible mistake I've made.
The pillow falls to the floor.
"Victoria," he says, and this pause lasts too long. "Victoria." His voice is too quiet, and it's like he feels sorry for me, or for what he's about to say.
"Never mind. Just forget it."
His hand reaches for me, but can't seem to decide where to land until it floats back to his own leg. "I-"
"Don't say anything."
"No, I just - I need a minute. To think." His head drops into his hand, which sweeps through his hair.
"It's okay. It's nothing. Forget-"
He interrupts me, his eyes aligning with mine again. "You know you mean more to me than anyone else-"
I start to get up but he takes me by the shoulders and keeps me there, facing him.
"Listen, Victoria, I didn't expect - you're amazing. Okay? More amazing than anyone I've ever known. But I don't think we're right for each other. Not right now. Not in a non-friend way."
"I said forget it." I go over to the door and open it, hold it there, waiting for him to walk through and I refuse to look at him.
Minutes pass as I stand with the doorknob in my hand and James just sits there.
I shake the door back and forth in case he hasn't gotten the hint yet.
"You said this might make things bad. It doesn't." He comes over to me. "Does it?"
I don't answer and won't look at him. I motion with my hand for him to walk through the doorway.
"Is it love or nothing?" His hand comes to my shoulder, and I push it away. "It isn't love or nothing for me." He walks through.
He's gone and I want to write a poem, but after shaky fingers fumble with the lock just to get my poetry book open, there are no poems in my mind, so I start to translate old ones into French. I'm not even sure the grammar's right, but I don't care.
I won't cry.
The river-wide distance between James and me over the next few days is unsurprising. He's trying to be regular and I'm trying to be something different. I'm trying to be someone who isn't in love. And I'm caught by this current that's flowing away from him.
He asks me if I want to get high, and I don't. He asks me if I want to come over, and I don't.
It's Friday and we're sitting in his car after school in the parking lot. He hasn't backed out yet, or said anything, but almost all the other cars have cleared out.
"Isn't there anything I can do?" James asks. "How about this weekend? What do you want to do?"
My arms cross over my chest. "You know, if you get a real girlfriend or I get a boyfriend, we won't be able to be friends like this anymore. Maybe we should start getting used to that."
There's a long silence and I'm looking everywhere but at James.
"Seriously, what girl is going to be okay with me climbing into your bed every once in a while? Nobody would ever believe that nothing goes on under the covers."
"There's no girl."
"But there will be, James. I mean, come on. You know there will be. And am I supposed to watch? We should just stop this. Stop all of it." Why does this feel like I'm breaking up with him? I can't help but laugh at that.
"Victoria…" It's a whisper, and the pain in his voice pulls my eyes to his. This time the redness in them isn't from a high, and it's accompanied by wetness. "Is this it? It just stops? Just ends?" The tears in his eyes, I can't stand to look at them. I've really hurt him, and that's not what I set out to do. The last thing I want is to lose him as a friend. He's the best friend. It's not his fault that I love him and he can't love me. But after everything, can we still work as just friends?
"Is that what you want?"
"I don't know. What do people do in our situation? How can I turn off love? And you know what? When I feel this way, you're the person I'd go to for help, but you can't help me with this, can you." I don't really state this as a question, but he takes it as such.
"I might be able to help. Remember that time I kissed you and you laughed?"
"It's not nearly the same thing."
"Maybe not. Or maybe I was thinking the same things you are now. And maybe I decided that being friends with you was better than nothing. And maybe I had to learn to be friends with you again. I mean, instead of hoping for something more."
"You hoped for something more?" My arms drop to my sides, hands gripping the seat and then slipping beneath my legs. "That went away?"
"I forced it away. And now… so much has happened since then." He shakes his head. "We're both different people. Mostly me. I'm different. And not in a good way. I'm not proud of myself. I used to be, but not anymore." There's a quiver in his voice. "I am what I am, though, right?" He laughs at himself and it's so sad. There are more than just tears hanging out in his eyes. Something's all over his face that looks like disappointment.
"James." I take off my seatbelt and reach over to hug him. I just have to. He hugs me back. I fit so perfectly in his arms. Can't he feel this?
"Are we friends or are we nothing?" His arms are wrapped around my middle, his hand moving up and down my side.
I think back to that first night we became friends, when I'd argued that he was a boy. Maybe I was onto something then. Thirteen year old me knew more than seventeen year old me. But I can't imagine the last almost five years of my life without James. And I can't imagine a future without him, either.
"I don't want to be nothing. Thinking of that, that feeling sucks worse than anything else."
"Yeah. Fucking sucks."
I pull back from him and look into his eyes.
"Do you need time away from me?" he asks.
I decide to make plans with him this weekend, try to pretend like we're the same as always. But whatever we do, it can't be just the two of us. "We could go to Edward's party tomorrow."
His eyebrows arch. "You want to go to Cullen's party? You? With this crowd?"
I sit back in my seat. "He invited me."
And as we're talking about him, Edward is walking toward us with Isabella. I look back and see his old, loud car parked several empty spaces away.
On her toes, Isabella says something to him. I see him look over at us in the car, and then she leaves him standing there as she makes her way to James' window and knocks.
He lowers the window.
She tells him Cullen's having a party tomorrow. She calls Edward 'Cullen' while she calls James 'James.' My eyes move to Edward who's yards away. He lifts his hand in a still-wave.
"I've heard," James says.
"You guys should go. Are you going?"
James looks over at me. "Yeah, I guess we are."
"Great!" She squeezes his forearm. "See you there." She runs back to Edward, and I look out my window because now I know there are tears that won't be stopped. You know when you can stop them and you know when there's no possible way.
"Happy now?" James asks.
Guys really need to get a fucking clue.
I ask him to go to the party and he acts like I'm crazy. Isabella asks him and he doesn't hesitate. The fact that James chooses then to pull out of the parking lot brings more tears like magnets from my eyes down to my chin. My neck is craned so far to the right so that he can't see me that I'm starting to get a kink in it.
When he turns on his music I take a chance to sniffle, and then as I pretend to block the non-existent sunshine from my eyes, I wipe my tears.
In English last week I saw Isabella talking with, and even smiling at, Lauren. After whatever conversation they had was over, Isabella took her seat at the desk next to me and turned to say, "That girl likes to be pet until she purrs, huh?"
That made me smile. I was so prepared to hate her that it knocked me back when I had to try harder to do it. I found myself thinking: regardless if what she says about Lauren is true, Isabella was just friendly to her and then spoke behind her back. That's a bitchy thing to do. That was a Lauren thing to do. So, I was able to hate her all over again. My smile faded into a frown.
"Oh, sorry, are you friends?"
"Not even close," I said.
As it turns out, I no longer have to try at all to hate Isabella.
By the time James pulls onto my cross street, I've got my crying under control.
"I haven't written one poem all week. Not even in my head."
"What does that mean?" He turns down the music as if I might have a long, important answer for him. All I say is, "I don't know," and I turn the music up myself.
Thank you for reading! I hope you're still with me. :)
**The book Isabella lent Edward is called Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates, by Tom Robbins (A Tom Robbins influence has made its way into almost all of my fanfiction stories.)