A/N: No clue why I wrote this, I just sort of started writing a character study of Angela and it turned into this.
Anyways, I may take this and turn it into a story someday. Right now it's a bit rough, the lines indicate time period changes. If it were to turn into an actual story, it would be cleaned up considerably and given more detail, but it would only be Bella's zombie period. This would only happen after Waiting is done and…after Moonset is done or well under way. Yes, I will definitely be starting Moonset up again after Waiting is done. Don't ask me why, just deal with it.
And my laptop will be fixed by Monday, so the new chapter of Waiting will be up sometime next week.
So without further ado…the actual story.
Disclaimer: Umm…not mine. Really, not mine. Not going to say it is, not going to make any money off of this, not going to do anything but let you read this. Deal with it.
It had been a week.
A week since one of the biggest topics of gossip in Forks had occurred.
Edward Cullen left Bella Swan in the woods. And then he and his whole family disappeared.
It was all anyone could talk about.
But what about Bella? What about my friend?
I knew I should call her, but what would I say? How could I possibly make her feel any better, what advice could I have for her? How do I know what she's feeling?
All the movies and books about friendship say I should know, but I don't. Am I really even Bella's friend? What defines friendship?
Is it the fact that I know her birthday is September 13th? Or is it that I know what types of books she likes, that I know her favorite things to do?
But is that really all it is?
A friend is someone who understands you on all levels, someone who's always there for you. I had never needed to fill this slot, I was too busy with my own life, my own story. I wasn't there for Bella, not because I didn't care, but because she didn't need me. But now, what did I do?
I needed to be a friend for the first time.
And then she came back.
'A mess' doesn't even begin to describe her. It wasn't that she looked sloppy, or unkempt. She was put together, quiet, withdrawn. Her shoes were on the correct feet, blouse buttoned properly, teeth brushed, hair combed. Nothing like what people had predicted. Maybe the claims of her being catatonic were falsehoods, merely created to satisfy the need for more to chat about.
It was when I called out to her in the parking lot that I realized it.
She was gone.
Brown eyes turned to look at me. Normally they seemed so bright, so clear. Now there was a film over them, they seemed blank and dull.
But it wasn't that. It was that when she looked at me, there was nothing. No slight spark of recognition or response to anything.
It was like looking into the eyes of a corpse. I've seen a few. Dad has to bless them before the funeral, and sometimes, I attend them because I have to as his daughter. The worst is the wake, where all I can see are those eyes staring up at me, completely blank.
Those corpses seemed a better alternative to looking at my friend's eyes. The dead had more life in their eyes than her.
"Yes?" she asked, voice lacking any sort of inflection or questioning.
"Just saying hello, how are you?" I asked, sincere in my hopes that she would prove my thoughts wrong.
She winced as an arm flew to her chest, clutching desperately at something. She tried to make it look less painful than it did, but I didn't miss it.
"I'm fine," she said, with nothing to suggest that she was.
What could I have said? Should I have said, 'I know how you feel?' How could I ever understand how she feels? How could I ever know what happened to her or even comprehend how much it would hurt to have someone you loved leave you? I have Ben, and I love him, in my own way, but in a comparison to what Bella and Edward had…it seems a trite high school crush.
What sort of comfort do I offer her, being who I am? My life isn't a fairy tale, but it's good. I have a mom and dad who love me, two brothers whom I love more than they'll ever know. I'm content with what I have, I don't need anything else.
Bella couldn't be any more different than me. What sort of friendship can I offer her?
So I watched her walk away to her first period class, probably just wanting to disappear, to sink away from the stares that followed her everywhere. But she didn't shrink away, there was no shyness. It seemed as if she weren't even aware of the stares she was generated, or the nasty scandals. I would've kept watching her, but I had my own class to go to, my own life to return to.
How do you recover the loss of a life you never knew fully?
Mike and Jessica's enthusiasm over Bella's return didn't last long. After Jessica realized that Bella was no longer able to listen to her droning on about the trivialities of her life with any feigning of interest, she gave up. Mike took a bit longer to convince, but not by much.
By the end of the week, Bella was the husk of a person that sat at the end of the table. She didn't talk, didn't look at anyone, and sometimes didn't eat. The more malicious of the group made comments about her, implying that Bella had lost more than just a boyfriend the night Edward left.
Maybe if they looked at the shadow that sat at the end of the table, they'd see how wrong they were. There was no way that this empty Bella or the Bella I used to know would've ever done what they said she had done.
But had she? I wouldn't judge her for it, nor blame her. But, I couldn't know what had happened, I just had a gut feeling it wasn't that.
Mike definitely seemed to believe it, it was the reason he finally gave up calling her every night. I found this out from Jessica in one of the rants I was subjected to by being in more than one of her classes. Jessica had tried to call as well, but to no avail. Bella just didn't want to talk to anyone.
One day at lunch, I opted to sit next to Bella, rather than listen to the continued conversation on whether or not Lauren should get highlights.
On her tray was only a bottle of lemonade. She'd managed to open it, but it looked as if she'd only taken a sip or two from it. The cap was in the corner of the tray, discarded.
Jessica had expressed some concern over Bella's reluctance to eat, and now, sitting close to her, it was very apparent she'd lost weight. Her round face seemed sharper and thinner, and she seemed so tiny and fragile, like a porcelain doll. Maybe Jessica had been right about talking to Mrs. Cope, or the school guidance counselor. Anyone. This just wasn't okay. Bella was practically wasting away in front of our eyes.
Needing something to take my mind off of the direction my thoughts were taking, I took the bottle cap and twiddled it between my thumbs, going slowly and working up speed.
Suddenly, Bella's eyes were on me, her eyes betraying the astonishment she felt at my actions, though I didn't know why. And then her arm was around her chest, holding herself together.
I stopped with the bottle cap, and her look of agony subsided.
We spent our lunch that way, just sitting there, in my case feeling awkward, in Bella's, well, nothing.
English for Bella was hell. You could tell that she wanted more than anything to be somewhere else. All we read were romances, and I couldn't know how much hurt it caused her to read these black and white interpretations of love.
Love is not black and white. It is completely gray, it comes and goes, it strengthens and weakens. The stories we normally read were black and white, girl loves guy, guy loves girl.
If only it were that simple for Bella.
I just didn't know how to help her, and somehow I doubted that there was anything I could do.
So I decided I would watch over her, make sure she didn't do anything drastic. I didn't know if there was anything I could do to stop her from doing something, but I could try.
But maybe, it would be better for her to do something drastic. Maybe that was the only way she could ever be happy. How can I take away something that makes her happy, especially when it's the only thing? Maybe it would be best for her if she did do something.
But the problem was that Bella didn't do anything. She didn't mope, didn't cry, didn't smile, didn't laugh, didn't live.
Bella just continued to waste away. She normally only had a soda, and even then, she sometimes never even opened it. I continued to keep an eye out for any changes, but there was nothing, it was a monotonous task, but I knew that no one else cared enough.
It was my job as a friend to help her. Because that's what I was, even if she didn't know it. And when she was ready, I was here. I was ready to be a friend.
A/N: The reason Bella got all worked up over the lemonade cap was that Edward played with one in Twilight the lunch before the Biology incident, just thought I should point it out.
Erm…otherwise…read, and then review. And then review some more if you want.