Disclaimer: None of this mine, nor will it ever be. The characters belong to Stephenie Meyer and I just like to play with Edward and Bella.
Additionally, this is a work of fiction, inspired by a video I saw on my timeline on Facebook. I'm not sure if the relationship between the two main characters is ethical, but it was so freaking romantic. Finally, thank you to those of you who gave me help when it came to rehabbing spinal injuries, especially Nina, Kat, Kelly, Sherry, and Belizabetty.
Summary: Isabella Biers had it all. A loving husband, two adorable children and the dream job. One night, however, changed everything. Bella had a spinal stroke, paralyzing her from the waist down. Bella's husband tried to be there for her, but caring for a wife who was an invalid proved to be too much for him. He divorced his wife, unable to cope with her long recovery.
Despite being abandoned by her husband, Bella was determined to not let her disability define her. She wanted to walk again. Enter her physical therapist, Edward Cullen. With the perfect combination of humor, patience, stubbornness and love, can he help her in her endeavor in walking again? Will he open her heart after it was shattered by the man who vowed to be with her, in sickness and in health?
It all begins with A Single Step ...
A Single Step
"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
Sitting in her wheelchair, Isabella Biers watched helplessly as her husband packed his bags. She was confused, angry. It wasn't her fault that her spine decided to implode; that her doctors told her to deal with the loss of her mobility; that the physical therapy hadn't worked. "Riley, what about our vows?" she asked, trying to keep the tears out of her voice.
"Bella, I can't," Riley grumbled. "I married you, a complete woman. Now? I can't be what you need me to be. I'm not your nurse."
"Do you think I like this? Do you think that I planned for my spine to …?" Bella yelled. "I'm working my ass off to walk again!"
"It's not enough," Riley answered coldly. "Get a lawyer, Bella. I won't fight you on anything. You can keep the house … with your medical bills, I'm not certain you'd be able to get a new place. You'll need it." He looked down his nose at his wife, hating that it had come to this.
"I hate you, Riley," Bella sniffled, turning and rolling out of their bedroom. "When I need you the most, you leave."
"I tried, Bells," Riley spat, following her out of the bedroom. "I want a wife that can share in our responsibilities. I do not want to wipe your ass."
Bella let out a scream, grabbing the closest thing to her hand. It was their wedding photo and she whipped it at his retreating form. It barely grazed his shoulder and crashed into the wall, covering the ground with wooden and glass shards. "Get out! I don't need you. I don't want you. Now that I know who you truly are, I never want you in my life again! You'll never see our children again!"
He pursed his lips. "We'll see, Isabella," he scoffed, stepping over the mess. With an unsympathetic shake of his head, he opened the door and left.
A year ago, Isabella and Riley Biers were the it couple. They were young, beautiful and lived the dream. Married right out of college, Riley was a well-respected architect and Bella was a middle school English teacher. They had two children, Jake, who was in eighth grade and Seth, who was in third grade.
Then, one night, Bella woke up in terrible pain, radiating just below her sternum. Riley called Bella's parents and they stayed with the children while Bella was transported to the hospital in an ambulance.
Bella had a spinal stroke.
She was now paralyzed from the waist down.
However, she was still able to feel everything in her legs, but she couldn't get them to move. She couldn't walk. The connection from her brain to her legs was frayed. She was confined to a wheelchair and was trying her hardest to get better. She worked with physical therapists to build up her upper body strength. She was able to maneuver herself and could feel everything, including the pressure when she needed to go to the bathroom. She was never incontinent, except for when she was in the hospital and at the long-term rehab center, for a few weeks.
She also thought she'd have the support of her husband.
He was a selfish, self-serving prick. He was there for her for the first month of her recovery, at the hospital and the rehab center. He doted on her, bringing their children and bending over backwards for her. Then, he turned cold, distant. He would barely help Bella when she tried to come to grips with her diagnosis and prognosis.
Partial paralysis …
Unlikely be able to walk …
Confined to a wheelchair …
Bella didn't want to believe it. Her parents were supportive in helping her and encouraged her to get a second opinion. Riley just grew more and more distant, culminating in asking for a divorce and handing Bella paperwork a few moments ago. She took a deep breath and scowled at the mess near the front door. Rolling into the kitchen, she picked up a broom and dustpan. She bent down, sweeping up the glass and the wood into the pan. She balanced it in her lap and picked up the photo. With a huff, she tore it up and went back to the kitchen, tossing the rubbish into the garbage.
"Mom?" called her older son, his voice deep and reminding her so much of the man she'd shared her life with – up until an hour ago.
"In the kitchen," Bella responded. He galumphed into the kitchen; his nose wrinkled. "What's with the face?"
"What happened near the door?" Jake asked, sitting down at the kitchen table. "There's a huge hole in the wall."
"Your father and I had a disagreement," Bella answered.
"Where is he?" Jake pushed. His lips had thinned into a tight, angry line. "Did he leave?"
With a heavy sigh, Bella nodded. "He asked for a divorce, Jake."
"Asshole!" he snapped, clenching his hands into tight fists.
"Language, Jacob William," Bella snapped back. "You do not use that language in this house!"
"It's what he is, Mom," Jake grumbled, stomping to the refrigerator and pulling out a bottle of water. "I'm not blind, Momma. He was awful to you. The first few weeks after you had your stroke, he was great and then, he turned away from you. Seth didn't notice it. I did. I'm sorry." He put the water bottle down and threw his arms around his mother's neck. Bella could feel his tears as he clung to her. "I love you, Momma."
"I love you, too, Jake," she cried, scratching his long, curly and somewhat unruly locks. He pulled back and she gently wiped his tears away. "You're getting so tall. I remember when I could hold you in my arms."
"I'm as tall as you, Momma," Jake snickered, sitting down at the table. Bella sighed, knowing it was the truth. However, being in the chair, reduced her to half her size. "Seriously, though. Did Dad leave?"
"He packed a bag and he left, Jake," Bella answered, picking up his hand. "Your father and I are getting a divorce. He can't handle this. As he said, he's not my nurse. But, I expected it. I saw it coming." She squeezed his fingers. "I'm sorry, baby."
"I'm sorry for you. I know you don't like it, but he's an asshole. You deserve better," Jake snapped. "He may not be your nurse, but he should be your partner."
"He's also your father," Bella argued.
"Biologically, yes," Jake growled. "But, if he truly was my dad, he'd stay. I'm sorry, but I can't believe he'd abandon you." He crossed his arms, his deep grey eyes swirling in anger. "I'm going to get Seth from the bus stop. Should I tell him?"
"No and we'll tell him tonight, after dinner," Bella muttered. "When he gets home, both of you need to work on homework. I need to call Nana and Poppa. We'll have pizza tonight since I don't want to cook."
"I don't blame you, Mom," Jake said, kissing his mother's cheek. He held her tightly and tried to get his temper under control. His anger was simmering under his skin, blistering with hatred for his sperm donor. If he ever saw his father again, there would be hell to pay.
Riley Biers truly was an asshole.
A/N: This is the first chapter of my submission for the Babies at the Border Compilation. The completed story was submitted and I've divided this into chapters. It's prewritten. I will be posting updates on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with teasers on Mondays and Thursdays. So, I'll be posting a teaser tomorrow with the next update on Saturday.
You can also find picture teasers on my blog. The link for that is on my profile. I'm on Facebook: Tufano79's Twilight Fanfiction Addiction. I'm on twitter, too: Tufano79. Leave me some loving!