Author: amandac3 PM
A crazy ex-wife, a kidnapping in the middle of the night and a fatal car accident. Edward's life is ripped apart in the blink of an eye. Entry for the 2011 Season of Our Discontent Anonymous Angst Contest. Please read the warning and disclaimer inside.Rated: Fiction M - English - Angst - Edward - Words: 5,891 - Reviews: 20 - Favs: 17 - Follows: 15 - Published: 08-28-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8474831
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Alright, I wasn't ever going to post this to my account because it's one of the first things I ever wrote, meaning it's not that good, and it's pretty gut wrenching, if I do say so myself. But I thought what the hell. So here you go, beware of the angst tag and grab a box of tissues.
Contest: Season of Our Discontent Anonymous Angst Contest
Pen Name: amandac3
Picture Prompt Number: 2
Word Count(minus A/N and header): 5,592
Summary: A crazy ex-wife, a kidnapping in the middle of the night and a fatal car accident. Edward's life is ripped apart in the blink of an eye.
Warnings and Disclaimer: This story contains graphics images and character death.
AN: Massive thanks to my betas for fighting through this one with me.
I'm driving too fast. I know I'm driving too fast, but I can't stop. I have to get to him. He's all alone in a strange place with people he doesn't know. I can't breathe. I can't seem to take a deep enough breath to give my lungs the oxygen they need. It hurts; my chest, my head, my heart, everything. My feet even hurt, but that may be because I didn't even bother to put shoes on. I ran barefoot over my gravel driveway to get to my car as fast as possible. This can't be happening to me. I see the raindrops on my windshield but I can't be bothered with turning the windshield wipers on. My entire being is focused on getting to him.
It was one of those moments that you dread. The shrill ring of my cell phone woke me up. I glanced at the clock, 2:29 am. I figured it was Tanya, having done something stupid again and expecting me to come and bail her ass out. Well, fuck her! This time I'm not doing shit for her. The last time was the final straw. I've paid for her mistakes long enough and since the divorce was finalized yesterday, I'm done with her. I grabbed the phone and didn't recognize the number; assuming it was a wrong number, I ignored it and rolled back over. It started ringing again almost immediately. I groaned as I rolled back towards my nightstand and grabbed the phone.
"Hello?" I said into the receiver.
I heard a throat being cleared. "I'm looking for Edward Cullen." A female voice sounds into my ear.
Umm, what the fuck? "This is him speaking." I respond.
"Mr. Cullen, my name is Isabella Swan. I'm the attending physician in the ER at Forks Memorial Hospital. There's been an accident."
I bolt upright immediately and instantly I can feel beads of sweat dewing up on my forehead and around my hairline. These are words you never want to hear, let alone at 2:30 in the morning.
"Shit! Who… Who… What, umm, what, ok. Sorry! Who was in an accident?" I stammer out.
"Tanya Cullen was brought in about 45 minutes ago. She was in a car accident with an unidentified male, approximately 30 years of age and a child, male, approximately 4-5 years in age." Dr. Swan tells me.
My breath caught in my throat. A terrifying chill ran through my body. A child, a boy, 4-5 years in age? Oh god, NO!
"What happened? Are they ok? What does the child look like? When did this happen?" I rattled off to her without as much as a breath in between each inquiry.
"Mr. Cullen, at this point, I can tell you that Mrs. Cullen and the unidentified driver were killed upon impact. The child is still alive, but he is in very bad condition and the outlook is not good. Are you able to come to the hospital? You may be able to identify the child and perhaps the unidentified male as well." The doctor questions.
I knew it, I could feel it. I could feel it in the deepest corners of my heart and soul that the child in question was mine, my son, my Emmett.
Tanya and I met in high school when she moved to town during our sophomore year. She was the most beautiful girl I had ever laid eyes on. Tall and thin with dark molasses eyes and dirty blonde hair with streaks of honey and gold and amber naturally interspersed throughout. We had French together second period and we hit it off immediately. By the end of that first week we were officially a couple. We were inseparable throughout the remaining years of high school. We were the epitome of high school sweethearts.
We both went to the University of Washington in Seattle. She was majoring in design and I was majoring in accounting. Things were great and we couldn't be happier until we had one night of stupid, drunken fun and Tanya ended up pregnant. I was 20 and she was 19. I was scared but excited at the same time. Tanya flipped out and despite my reassurances started to pull away from me. We ended up getting married when Tanya was 6 months pregnant at the local courthouse in Forks with only our immediate family in attendance and 3 months later we introduced Emmett Samuel Cullen to the world.
I was thrilled with being a dad, but Tanya distanced herself from both of us. I thought maybe it was postpartum depression but she assured me she was fine. She would leave and come back hours later, drunk or high or both. She dropped out of school. She wanted no part of taking care of Emmett. I did everything for him all while continuing to go to school. She got herself into too many bad situations and was arrested several times. I finally had enough of her bullshit, so after 5 years in our sham of a marriage I filed for divorce.
The divorce was ugly in every possible way. Tanya was being a bitter angry bitch and making everyone that was involved in the case's life a living hell. And I mean everyone; family, friends, our attorneys and even the judge. In the end it only hurt her more. She received nothing from me and I was granted sole custody of Emmett. Tanya wasn't even granted supervised visitation. The judge told her that if she was able clean herself up, maintain a job with steady income and keep a home in appropriate conditions for a child he would revisit his decision in 6 months. Little did we all know that this wouldn't be happening. None of us realized that Tanya had reached her breaking point. One would think that I would have taken note of the crazed look in her eyes and realized something was off, seeing as I was in a committed relationship with her for almost 10 years. But I didn't and I'll regret it for the rest of my life. I had no idea, NO IDEA, that Tanya would be capable of doing something like this.
"I'm on my way! I'll be there in 15 minutes!" I said.
I hung up before the doctor had time to respond. I didn't bother changing, running out of my room with nothing but my sleep shorts and t-shirt on. No socks, no shoes, not even any underwear. I noticed that Emmett's door was closed which gave me more proof that he was not here. He never sleeps with the door shut. If I try to shut it after he is asleep he wakes up immediately and will re-open it and go right back to sleep. So I knew and that caused an excruciating pain to slice through me. It was so intense I was brought to my knees right there in the hallway, only a few feet from my baby boy's room. I had to drag myself back to my feet and move towards the front door. I grabbed my keys and wallet from the dish by the door.
Another lancing pain shot through my chest as my fingers slid against the smooth lacquer of the misshapen bowl. Emmett made the bowl for me when my mom took him to one of those pottery places. It was about the size of a cereal bowl and was very lopsided. Emmett knows that my favorite color is green and I love football, so the bowl is painted an ugly pea soup green and has a giant brown blob kind of off center. "It's a football daddy! Your favorite!" He gave it to me for my birthday last year.
The pain in my chest became almost unbearable at that thought. I pound on my chest with my fist, hoping, but knowing that it won't help the ache. I throw open my front door and take off down the driveway towards my car, not even bothering to shut the door behind me. I slam the car into reverse and floor it. The tires squeal in protest when I slam the breaks on and shift into drive and taking off towards the hospital. I am going very fast, too fast, and I am not paying attention to anything but the road in front of me. My only goal at this point is to get to my son as quickly as possible. The drive that would normally take me 20 minutes only takes me 12. I pull right up to the front doors of the ER and jump out of my car and run. I don't even turn off the car.
There is a lady at the front desk and her eyes widened when she spots me sprinting towards her, leaving bloody footprints in my wake.
"What can I help you with Sir?" she asks with a slight panicked tone to her voice.
"My… my ex… my ex-wife… car accident… dead… my son… with her… need to see him… where is he… son… still alive… please… please…" I attempt to tell her.
I can barely get any words out I am so out of breath and the reality of what is happening starts to crash around me, causing a huge lump to get lodged in my throat. I felt like I couldn't breathe all of a sudden.
"Can't breathe… my son… help… help me… no, no, no… help… help him."
I tried to grab onto the top of the desk but couldn't get a good enough grasp and ended up sliding down to the floor. My knees hit the floor hard and the pain was slightly welcome. I turn and lean my back up against the desk. The nurse came running around from behind the desk and knelt right in front of me and put her hands on either side of my face.
"Sir! Sir, I need you to calm down. You're hyperventilating. I need the name of your ex-wife, so that I can help you."
I stared into her slate grey eyes and tried to take a deep breath. The nurse, Alice I noticed it said on her name tag, continued to speak softly to me, encouraging me to take deep breaths until I finally calmed down enough to speak.
"Tanya Cullen. She was killed in a car accident along with the driver that has yet to be identified. My… my… oh god, oh god… this can't be happening."
"Take another deep breath sir."
"Edward. My name is Edward. And my son was in the car with them. I need to see him. I need to be with him. He has to be so frightened. He doesn't like strange places and he's only 5 years old. Oh god, please, no, no." My eyes are burning and I still feel as if I can't take a breath big enough to supply my body with the proper amount of oxygen.
"Edward, keep taking deep breaths. I'm going to page Dr. Swan down here. She will fill you in on all the details and can take you to see your son. Ok?" Alice says keeping a firm grip on my shoulders.
I can only nod my head. I feel numb; I think maybe this has to be a mistake. I should have looked in Em's room before I left. Oh god, I left him there by himself. I try to scramble to my feet to head back home to get to Emmett before he wakes up and realizes I am gone. As soon as I am standing though, a young woman, who couldn't be much older than myself, comes hurrying up to me.
"Mr. Cullen, please follow me. I'll fill you in as we head up to the third floor. That's where the ICU is." She tells me as she guides me towards the elevator with a hand on my back.
ICU? Oh god! This is bad, this is really bad.
"My… my… my son. Is he still alive? Is he going to be alright?" I say, stuttering through the lump in my throat.
She hesitates. Hesitation is never a good sign coming from a doctor.
"We are doing all we can for him Mr. Cullen."
"Edward. Please call me Bella. Your son was not restrained in a child's safety seat, although he did have a seat belt on. But a seat belt can actually cause more harm to a child his age. I'm not really sure about the specifics of the actual accident, but I do know that the car went off the road, down the embankment and slammed head on into a rock wall. Luckily a truck driver traveling the opposite direction witnessed this and called 911. Mrs. Cullen and the male that was driving the car were already dead when the paramedics arrived. The child was still alive but he is in very critical condition."
I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn't even notice that we were on a different floor, standing in front of a door, #1918.
"I need to see my son." I croaked out.
"Edward, I need to warn you about what you're about to see." She tells me with a sad smile.
"I just want to see my SON!" I yell and then grit my teeth.
"Ok, ok, go on in." She says.
I move past her and put my hand on the door knob. I can't get my brain to tell my hand to turn the knob though. My breathing is ragged and I have to close my eyes and take deep breaths to try to calm myself, but the door is shut, the DOOR IS SHUT!
"He hates closed doors." I whisper to no one in particular.
I feel a warm hand on top of mine over the door knob. I feel a zing travel up my arm and feel myself calm almost instantly. I look to my right and notice Dr. Swan, Bella, giving me a sad smile.
"Would you like me to go in with you?" she asks quietly.
I can't get my mouth to form the words, so I just give a shaky nod. Bella peels my hand off the knob but keeps her hand around mine. She then uses her other hand to push the door open. I look down at my dirty, bloody feet. I squeeze my eyes shut as tightly as possible hoping that the sounds of beeping and whooshing coming from in the room would disappear and that I would wake up from this nightmare. The squeeze to my hand brings me back to reality though. I take a step forward, through the door, still looking down. The sounds get louder. That is all I can hear, even over my pounding heart and labored breaths. I squeeze Bella's hand and finally lift my head.
The world stops spinning. All of the air is sucked out of my lungs and out of the atmosphere. My legs start to tremble and I am afraid that I will collapse. I feel Bella's arm slide around my waist and she urges me forward towards the bed. Each step taking me closer to my reason for living. I feel dizzy and I want to turn around and run away. That is not my son. That is not my son lying there, hooked up to all those machines. That is not my son with a tube coming out of his chest and one coming out of his mouth. That is not my son, with his beautiful blonde curls shaved from his head with a large cut stitched up with what looks like staples. That is not my son that needs a machine to breath for him. THAT IS NOT MY SON! I scream in my head. I rush forward the last few steps to get beside his bed. I just stare at his bruised and battered face for what seems like hours, but was probably only a minute, maybe 2.
"Can I touch him?" I whisper.
"Of course." Bella replies.
I look behind me and see Bella standing in the doorway; she motions with her head that she is going to leave the room.
I shake my head violently, "Please don't leave me. Please. Please, not yet."
"Ok. Would you like to know about his injuries yet or do you need more time?" she asks me.
I swallow hard and realize that I am very thirsty and my throat is incredibly dry.
"Can I get some water please? Then you can tell me?" I ask.
She just nods and walks over to where there are some built in cabinets on the wall. She opens the bottom one on the right which turns out to be a mini refrigerator. She grabs me a bottle of water and hands it to me from the opposite side of Em's bed. I chug the bottle down and wipe my mouth with the back of my hand. I look into Bella's eyes and give just a slight nod of my head and then look down at my boy. I hear Bella sigh before she speaks.
"What is his name?"
"Emmett Samuel, he'll be 6 in a few days, on September 27." I manage to choke out. I grab his hand and hold it to my face.
"Please tell me what's wrong with him, what's going to happen?"
"Well, as you can see we had to shave his head so that we could suture the gash on the side here. Head wounds bleed profusely, so it was crucial that we got that stitched up immediately. His left lung collapsed due to fluid build-up so that is why we had to insert the chest tube. He also has a fractured collarbone, 2 broken ribs and his left wrist is broken. He has deep bruising on his throat from the seatbelt. He was struggling to breathe on his own when the paramedics reached him. We had to put him in a medically induced coma and intubate him to help him breath as he was not doing a good enough job on his own."
I am shaking at this point. I feel as if I could vomit at any moment. I use my foot to pull the chair that is in the corner over beside the bed and sit down, never once letting Em's hand go. I lie my head down next to his and stick my nose into the space between his neck and shoulder. I inhale his sweet scent, like Christmas morning, sweet and spicy, cinnamon and pine trees. I just lie there with my eyes closed. After several minutes, Bella asks if there is any other family I need to call. I think about my Mom and Dad and my older brother Jasper and little sister Rosalie.
"I should probably call them and let them know what's going on. My family all lives close except for my sister, she's away at school right now in New York. She wants to be a ballerina. She used to dance for Em all the time. Those two are thick as thieves." I say, forcing the bubble of emotions back down.
I manage a small smile thinking about it. I pull my phone out of my pocket, 3:27am.
"Bella, what are the chances of him recovering from all of this?" I ask as I wave my hand over my son's still body.
"It's still too early to tell anything for certain Edward. I need to be honest though and tell you that the odds are not in his favor at this point. His body is just too small to be able to handle the magnitude of his injuries. I never give up hope though. Being an ER doctor, I have seen some miraculous things occur. The human body is an amazing thing. Don't give up hope Edward."
I just nod.
"I need to go check on some other patients now Edward. Will you be ok? I can check back in with you in a couple of hours if you'd like?" she says to me.
"That would be nice." I tell her.
Bella walks around to where I have my hand clasped around my son's and lays her hand on top of ours. She gives a small squeeze and then turns to walk out.
"Thank you. For everything."
"You're welcome Edward. Stay strong for your little guy, ok?"
I nod and turn my attention back to my son. I decide to sing his favorite song for him,
You've got a friend in me
When the road looks rough ahead
And you're miles and miles
From your nice warm bed
Just remember what your old pal said
Boy, you've got a friend in me
You've got a friend in me
"Come on Emster! Daddy needs you to stay strong and get better. We have a birthday party to plan. We are going to do Toy Story, remember? You are going to be Woody and I am going to be Buzz. We're still going to do that when we get out of here, ok?"
I just sit there, I can't really feel anything. Nothing seems real. I try to understand, but I can't. I just watch Em's chest rise and fall with the whooshing and beeping, lulling me into a trance. I notice that the sun is starting to lighten the sky. I pull my phone out, 5:39am. I decide that I need to call my parents. As I dial and listen to the ringing on the other end I realize that I have yet to shed a tear over what is happening. That changes the second my mother picks up the phone.
"Hello," she sleep whispers.
"Mom," my voice cracks and I finally break.
"Edward? Edward! EDWARD! What's going on? Where are you? Are you hurt? Where's Emmett?" she says in a panic.
She is spitting out questions faster than I can answer. I can hear my dad in the background, asking what is happening. I take in a ragged breath, trying to calm down enough to speak.
"Mom… Mom… I… I… I need you mom. I can't do this by myself. Em… Em… Tanya is dead… Took Em and car accident. He's… machines and tubes…"
Great heaving sobs wrack through me at this point.
"Edward, I don't know what you're saying! Where are you? You're scaring me! Tell me where you are Edward!" She's screaming at this point.
"Mem… memorial hosp… hosp… please… please Ma, I'm not strong… strong enough to do… I can't… hurry…"
"We'll be there in 20 minutes."
I hang up without responding. I just let go. I move away from the bed and punch the brick wall over and over again until my knuckles are bruised and bleeding, all while screaming at the top of my lungs. I feel two warm hands slide up my back to my shoulders. I feel that same zing from earlier and my breathing becomes more regular and I feel myself relax into the touch.
"Shhh, it's okay Edward. I know this must be very difficult for you but you need to stay calm. You need to stay strong for Emmett. He needs you to be his hero right now." Bella says, in a soft soothing voice.
"I called my mom, her and my dad are on their way over here. They should be here in about 10 minutes." I tell her.
That's when I hear the screaming in the hall.
"I'm looking for Edward Cullen! Has anyone seen my son! EDWARD! Where are you?"
I start to tremble again just hearing my mother's distraught voice. I move towards the door but Bella stops me and says she would talk to them. I watch her move through the door and I move back over to my chair to sit by Emmett.
"Mimi and Pop are here buddy. They came to see you, to make sure you are being a strong, brave boy. You are, you know that? You're so strong and so brave. I love you so much buddy."
I can feel the tears flowing down my face but don't bother wiping them. I hear a gasp at the door and turn to see my mother with her hands over her mouth and tears running down her face. My father is standing behind her, just staring at his grandson with a look of horror in his eyes.
"Baby Love! Oh my god!"
Hearing my mom call me my childhood nickname causes me to crumble and breakdown again.
"Mom! Please mom, make it better. I can't do this. This can't be happening!" I cry out.
She rushes over to me and flings her arms around my neck, pulling my face into her chest and running her fingers through my hair. I feel my dad walk up and place his hand on my back. My mom just lets me cry until I have no more tears left for the moment.
"Baby Love, tell us what happened? Dr. Swan filled us in a little bit, but I just wanted to see you so she didn't get to tell us everything." My mom asks through her own tears.
"I'm not sure of all the details myself. Dad would you mind going to find her, maybe she can tell us all? I don't think I'd be able to repeat what Em's injuries are anyway."
"Sure son, I'll be right back." He says.
I cling to my mother. She lets me squeeze her until I'm sure that I leave bruises around her ribs. Suddenly, there is a loud singular beep and then other alarm sounds start going off as well. The door to Em's room flies open and Dr. Swan runs in followed by a team of other doctors and nurses.
"What's happening? What's wrong? Someone tell me what's happening?" I yell.
A nurse tells me that I need to step back so Dr. Swan can work.
"Work on what? Why?" I scream.
"His heart has stopped and we're trying to get it going again. Please step back so we can give him the best care possible." The nurse tells me.
I step backwards until I hit the wall and slide down it with my legs stretched straight out in front of me. I feel fake, not real; this is a nightmare and Em's going to come jump on my bed to wake me up soon. We're going to the party store today to get his birthday party supplies. I hear screaming and think to myself, "who is that?" Then I feel the rawness in my throat and I realize it is me. I am screaming. I look around and see my mom standing in the doorway with her face buried in my father's neck. I can see that she is crying by the jerky movements of her back. My dad is stoic as usual but has tears running down his cheeks. I hear a thump and turn back to where my son is lying and see Dr. Swan shock him with those paddles and his body jerks up and then thumps back onto the bed. I watch her do this 3 more times. I look up to her face and she has tears in her eyes as she screams, "damn it", and throws the paddles against the wall. She looks at me with a grief stricken expression and gives a slight shake to her head before looking at the clock on the wall.
"Time off death, 6:37am."
Death… death… dead… gone… gone… gone… my son is gone. My eyes are open but I see nothing but blackness. I am breathing, am alive, but I feel nothing but blackness. I know there are people here, my parents, doctors, nurses, but I hear nothing, only silence. I don't know how long I sit there against the wall that way, in the heavy, dark stillness. I eventually feel a weight on my legs. I can hear someone soothingly call my name. I can feel warmth on my face and on my cheeks, but it feels as if hands are pulling me back down. Down, down, down, no way up, no way out. I feel like I am floating in nothingness. Then I hear the sweetest sound ever. My son, my buddy, my life, my heart and soul, my sweet Emmett Samuel, singing to me and giggling. Angels from heaven above could never sound as beautiful. He is singing at the top of his lungs.
"I love you! You love me! We're a happy family! With a great big hug!"
I feel pressure on my chest and around my ribs.
"And a kiss from me to you."
I feel warm bursts of air blow against my neck.
"Won't you say you love me too?"
"I knows you hate Barney Daddy, but I love that song and I wanted to sing it for you more times cause it minds me of you. I love you Daddy. More than the whole wide world. It was time for me to go bye-bye, time for me to be with Nutter Pops. He did pwomise to take me fishin' you knows."
I feel more pressure around my chest, a zing shoots through my torso that makes the pain less painful.
"I don't know if I can Emster. You are what makes me happy and now you're not here."
"You're silly! I will always be with you Daddy! Give Mimi and Pop some kisses. Tell Rosie to dance forever for me and tell Uncle Jasper that I sorry for making colors on his guitar." He giggles after the last part.
I feel warmth over my heart.
"Miss Bella, Daddy." He gives me the Cullen eyebrow and I crack a smile.
"What about Miss Bella, Em? Em? Emmett? Please baby, don't leave me! EMMETT?!"
Silence… stillness… blackness… nothingness… I can see a faint light and I can hear a beautiful sound. Sounds like humming, someone is humming. The warmth in my chest gets warmer, the pressure around my chest and ribs get stronger. The humming gets louder. It still sounds like I'm underwater but I can tell that it is a woman's voice making the humming sound.
I am finally able to blink away the blackness and I feel the weight on my legs shift and then I see a face, very close, close to my face, inches away. I smell something; I'm not sure, not sure how to describe it, sunshine maybe. I focus on the eyes, the color of light brown sugar, just like Emmett's. I'm able to focus more and I see porcelain skin surrounded by a halo of chestnut hair. Beautiful.
"Bella?" I question.
"Welcome back Edward. I'm so sorry. I tried! I tried so hard to bring him back." Bella says to me.
She muzzles into my neck again as she cries quietly. I wrap my arms around her and squeeze tightly.
"I'll be okay. I'll be okay. Em will be okay. He's going to go fishing with Nutter Pops."
I let out a laugh that seems to contradict the tears streaming down my face. I look around and I see my mom leaning against my dad, her back to his chest, his arms around her shoulders, small sad smiles playing on their tear streaked faces.
"I need to say goodbye," I whisper into Bella's hair.
She lifts herself from my lap and moves towards the door. My parents give me small sad smiles again, nodding and moving out of the room. I take a deep breath and pull myself off the floor and walk over to the bed. The tears flow heavily as I look upon my son's face. He looks so peaceful, despite all the tubes and wires coming from his small body. I lean over the bed and place a kiss on his forehead, both cheeks, his little nose. I hold back the sobs that are threatening to break loose. I lift his little frame into my arms and hug him one last time. I just rock him in my arms for several minutes, gathering my thoughts. Trying to determine how I can possibly say goodbye to my son, forever, permanently. It's not supposed to be this way; I shouldn't have to figure out how to do this. I am supposed to go first. I take a deep breath and just say what I feel in my aching heart.
"I love you baby! Have fun with Nutter Pops. Catch a big fish for me ok? Daddy is going to try to be happy. I will love you forever Emster! And I will cherish the time we had together until we meet again. Sleep well my sweet, sweet angel."
I kiss his little face, give him one more light squeeze and gently lay him back down. I let my eyes linger on his beautiful face another moment more before I turn and walk to the door. Bella is there waiting in the doorway and she launches herself into my arms. I squeeze her tightly before lowering her back to the ground, taking her hand in mine and heading towards the exit. As we walk through the automatic doors a seldom seen ray of bright yellow sunshine breaks through the normally overcast sky and I know that I will never be the same without Emmett, but I will be okay and I will try my hardest to be happy, just like he wanted me to be.
AN: Sigh... Thanks for reading.