Well, this is my first Twilight fan fic. Um, it takes place during New moon after Edward left. There's no Jacob…or werewolves, sorry. Please read and comment. I'm aware this chapter is a bit slow and maybe boring but Bella was sad after Edward left obviously so it's not like I can just write that off no matter how annoying her never-ending angst was, it would make it OC and that is the last thing I want.
There was nothing, absolutely nothing. I ran but the foliage was eternal, engulfing…empty. Cold, merciless terror gripped me at the blunt realization; there was nothing left, nothing returning. I was alone…
A loud bang followed closely by a clap of thunder interrupted the stillness of the forest and the vision flickered like a failing light bulb. My eyes snapped open and my mouth closed shut, I had been screaming.
"Bella! Bella, what's wrong? Did you have that nightmare again?" the voice made me blink the film of tears that had come uninvited during the nightmare and try to really wake up. Slightly groggy and disoriented I tried to sit up on my bed just as a flash of lightning lit the room for half a second showing that Charlie's face was but inches from my own frowning with concern. I cringed internally feeling guilty at having woken him again for the fourth night in a row now. Seriously, how long would this nightly routine go on? The very idea of going through that forest with the emptiness that asked, almost begged for his presence threatened to start me into a bout of near hysteria again.
"I-I'm okay," I managed to croak, the screaming had left my throat raw.
"You look far from okay," Charlie growled angrily sitting beside me making the springs in the mattress groan. Even in the pitch dark, without the help of the occasional flash of light I knew he was glaring condemningly, not at me but at a certain someone he felt held all the blame for his daughter screaming murder in the middle of the night.
"I'm fine Dad, really. You should go back to sleep," I said dully laying my head back on the pillow. When he didn't reply or make a move to leave I turned to look at the neon light of my alarm clock; two fifty a.m. If he was going to wake up in time for his five thirty shift he definitely wasn't suppose to be sitting by my side at two fifty in the morning racking his brain trying to find a way to console me. This only made my guilt increase and annoyance peak. "It was just a nightmare; we should get some sleep Dad."
I felt, rather than saw his nod and the mattress made a sound of relief as he stood. Perhaps feeling that anything he said would be of no help at all Charlie simply shuffled out carefully and closed the door noiselessly behind him.
Even as I had told him I was fine I knew it was a complete and utter lie. A sheen of cold sweat had collected itself all over my body leaving me clammy and uncomfortable. The screaming had made my throat close up but I didn't feel like going down stairs for water. Knowing sleep would surely evade me I stood and headed to my window prying it open slowly so that it didn't make a noise. I didn't need Charlie to come back and try at a sad attempt to make me feel better. A fall storm was raging outside; it surprised me that the heavy rain, wind and thunder that were so obvious now with the window open, hadn't woken me earlier. Freezing drops of water pelted my face and upper arms making me completely awake. The gale attacked me head on and made my hair whiplash wildly around me but I didn't care. The idea that I could get pneumonia also didn't concern me.
Nothing really mattered nowadays, not the wind or rain, not Charlie eyeing me sadly whenever he thought I wasn't looking, or the pity my friends usually reserved for me every time they saw me on the halls of high school. Life was cumbersome, filled with a fog that separated me from everyone, isolating me in my private little hell. I suppose it would appear to others masochistic the fact that I actually preferred it that way but the truth was I just couldn't see any other way to live. If I did, the pain would be unbearable…I wouldn't be able to keep it at bay and it would drag me down, never to resurface again. The few brave times I attempted to clear the fog and see clearly I would see him. On the driveway waiting for me, leaning by my locker, sitting on the driver seat of my truck, on every single empty seat in each of my classes, the lab table in Biology being the most unbearable. And he would always be smiling, happy to see me. Smiling that one tranquil smile whose very memory now pierces my chest leaving me breathless, mocking at the fact that there is no longer a heart to be pierced.
"It'll be so much fun, what do you say honey? I honestly think some sun and beach will be good for you. We'll go shopping and sightseeing…oh! And I heard of this wonderful little restaurant that serves pineapples in every dish! Isn't that charming? Phil was actually talking about renting a yacht! Can you believe it...?"
I tried my best to stifle a sigh and settled for giving the ear piece of the phone a wary look. Renée had been going at it for the past twenty minutes trying to convince me of joining her and Phil up in Hawaii for the incoming holiday vacations. I hadn't gotten any word edgewise but I didn't mind, except for the fact that Renée didn't appear to be running out of steam anytime soon. This was going to be one hefty phone bill…
"Bella, if you want to go say yes, if no, no," Charlie said softly to me from his position in front of the television apparently thinking along the same lines.
Blinking out of a stupor I had kept myself to tune her out along with the football game Charlie had blasting I cleared my throat. Silence on the other end was immediate; she knew the answer was coming.
"Mom, I don't want to leave Charlie alone for Christmas," I heard myself say flatly. On my peripheral vision Charlie turned from his game to give me a reproachful look, stung I was using him as an excuse. "Besides, they are giving us a large project as a last semester grade I want to really work on it."
Even as the lies flowed easily from my mouth I regretted them knowing I was hurting her, she had really been looking forward to seeing me. She also had the wistful illusion that every mother possessed; that with enough maternal bonding everything else would be healed. Renée was obviously worried like Charlie and everyone else but what no one understood including her was that no amount of sunshine or citrus fruit would fix me.
"Okay, if—if that is what you want," her voice sounded cheerful but strained. I hoped that it was because of the poor telephone connection.
"Yes, but take a lot of pictures! You also better buy me a key chain," I forced my self to say cheerily but it sounded painfully bogus even to me.
"Oh Bella!" she sighed and my stomach clenched, was she crying? "Of course I'll take a lot of pictures! I'll send you tons of post cards okay honey?"
"That'll be great mom, you have fun though."
"I will, bye honey."
I hanged the phone softly wanting to put out of my mind that my mom was probably crying for her daughter who just had to try too hard to even grin. No one should have to try this hard…
Charlie said nothing as I headed towards the stairs but I knew he wasn't really watching the game. He probably sat there wishing fervently that I had decided to go dance with a straw skirt and a bra made of coconuts. To him anything would've been better than having to come home to me asking him how his day went but knowing I really wasn't listening to his answer.
What I wanted, what I truly needed was sleep. A slumber so deep that I wouldn't dream or wake from: a coma. Wake years from now, old and decrepit knowing that years, even decades went by and I wasn't able to feel this crippling pain in my chest. It wouldn't help though. As soon as I would wake it would be the pain all over again because I would awake and there would be no cold arms embracing me.
I looked up at the staircase, seeing the darkness of the hall beyond and knew it wasn't a place I wanted to be. Memories were struggling to resurface and I was drained from my parents' expectations, I didn't have it in me to hold them in much longer. My room awaited like always, dark and smothering with the memory of his soft voice, his gentle kisses…
'I can't do this, not tonight,' I thought frantically stepping unconsciously away from the steps.
"Bella, are you alright?" Charlie asked, his voice sounding a million miles away. Wordlessly I nodded looking up at the darkness that beckoned. No, not tonight, I wanted to breath, just for a minute…close my eyes and see no one pasted on the back of my eye lids.
"Bella what are you doing?" only when Charlie was standing in front of me did I realize he was in between me and the front door and my car keys were digging into my hand as I gripped them for dear life, "Where are you going, it's almost nine."
"The—the drugstore," I stuttered reaching for my coat which I had tossed carelessly on the couch earlier. "I need…poster board for my project."
"Oh, alright," he said, still frowning slightly, "but hurry back, it might start snowing tonight."
"I will," was my hasty reply as I flew out the door to my truck. I was on a frenzy, my hands shook as I started the engine whose roar didn't make me jump like usual. I felt a weird energy that coursed through me, making it almost impossible for me to think clearly, just watch like a spectator as I changed gears and handled the wheel. Maybe this was how a junkie felt when yearning for another fix, except my drug was no longer available. Only after an odd screeching penetrated my groggy head did I realize I was flooring the gas, forcing my truck to go beyond fifty-five, which it obviously couldn't handle. I felt my stomach giving a summersault as my hands made a sharp turn on a break among a cluster of trees.
'What part of "I can't do this" didn't I get?' I wondered frantically as the large three-story house came to view. 'No, no, go home Bella!'
But my body simply refused to obey me. I had parked and turned off the engine before I knew it. An abrupt silence followed, so strong it cleared my head harshly leaving me gasping for breath. What was I doing here? I needed my bubble, my fog, where was it?
Even though Charlie had claimed snow, the sky didn't concur. The storm from the other night had moved on through out the day but only a couple of clouds remained. A full moon stood uncovered on the sable sky. It gave an eerie glow to the white house, as if it was a ghost on its own. My feet dragged me to the door while my chest constricted with pain. A faint feeling of hope stirred within me and I knew everything was lost. As soon as I opened the door whatever was behind it would destroy me. Whether it was empty or…or—no don't think about it, don't you dare hope.
Why had I come? Why? I had managed so far, hadn't I? And yeah, maybe I was a little…detached than most people, and yeah, maybe I was so apathetic to the point of having no soul but I had managed. This would break my last shred of self and leave me empty because if he wasn't there it would be the forest nightmare all over again except I wouldn't be able to wake up from it.
My hand shook as I reached for the door knob half-wishing it wouldn't open yet knowing somewhere deep in my mind that it would. The door swung wide open without resistance or sound proving me right. I looked and instantly wished I was in my room with the memories that dug like knives.
The vast emptiness of it all felt like a sucker punch right to my gut and I staggered, clinging to the doorway for support. It was ten times worse than I had expected, no—a million times worse.
I took it all in, letting the sorrow engulf me. There was no furniture, no frames, no anything. It looked sad and forsaken in the dim moonlight, an empty vessel like me. I looked at the large room and shuddered, it seemed to hold me in contempt as if I was interrupting on its private mourning.
A faint whispering came from every nook and cranny as I stared, 'You're not good for me Bella…'
"I know that," I mumbled gripping the wall and taking a single step sluggishly as if drunk.
'Of course I'll always love you…in a way…'
"Please don't say it…not out of pity," I whimpered back to the darkness.
'I'm tired of pretending to be something I'm not, Bella. I'm not human…'
"I never cared about that," I whispered back desperately. The velvety voice soothed me while at the same time cutting deeper than I thought it could. I always figured I was already cut beyond repair but this was excruciating, could I really be this masochistic?
A loud crunch reverberated through the open space making me jump in alarm. Another startled look made me realize I had just stepped on a sizeable piece of glass. Now that I took a closer look though…
Entranced I fully entered the house ignoring the door closing softly behind me and gasped, the velvety voice left me alone as I looked around in amazement. Two of the large windows that were the wall to the south side of the parlor had been broken, hence all the glass. It was everywhere along with dead leaves and twigs reflecting the moonlight making it look like a sparkling pond rather than wooden floor. There was no grand piano, no chairs but I somehow wasn't affected by that, not at the moment anyways. Who would do this? Why vandalize such a wonderful home? It was a hideous crime. A cold breeze flowed through the broken windows blowing in some more dead brown leaves. It was then when I realized I was shivering, the house had been like a walk-in freezer and I hadn't even noticed.
I walked towards the windows, crunching along as I went. The wooden floor below the windows and a little beyond were faded with water marks, a small rain puddle had formed underneath the sill whose white paint was chipping off. Just how long had they been broken? By the damage it looked like it had been this way for weeks, a month even.
'I'll go home and tell Charlie, maybe he'll find the creeps who did this,' after a second though I realized I could do no such thing. The idea of Charlie's expression when I told him I had gone to the Cullens' home in the middle of the night…I shuddered at the thought, 'Maybe an anonymous tip would do the trick…'
I turned to go but something caught my eye. My chest constricted tightly in shock as I stared. On the corner, secluded in the only shadow of the whole room was a dark figure. It sat crouched into a tight ball motionlessly like a statue except my frazzled brain screamed to me it wasn't one. My heart, the heart I swore had shriveled into ashes for the past two months gave a start. Was it him? Could it really be?
I took a step forward, his name ready in my lips when it moved. My hope and heart sunk like rocks. My eyes had adjusted enough for me to make him out clearly. It was a man wearing nothing but a pair of soiled pants. Everything about him was soiled as a matter of fact; it was as if he had rolled himself in mud. I couldn't tell his features because of the dirt except for shoulder-length hair that could've been black or maybe blonde for all the muck it was plastered with. His shoulders were wide but lean, almost emaciated looking. Even though he held himself in a fetal position I could tell he had very long legs. Hmm…a hobo perhaps?
I kept my distance but he didn't move anymore, he didn't even look at me. This strangely irritated me, who did he think he was? This was private property…at least I think it was. He was trespassing, and probably catching pneumonia if he didn't get on a shirt or some shoes on.
"Did you break the window?" I asked trying to sound severe but it only came out sounding dull, as if I was asking about the weather.
He remained silent but bowed his head so that his matted hair fell over his dirty face like a curtain, so that he didn't have to see me. Heat slowly came to my face distracting me for a second; it had been while since I had blushed…or been angry.
"You're trespassing, I'm going to call the cops," I bluffed, conveniently forgetting I was trespassing myself. The man said nothing and remained immobile. Another cold gust blew in more leaves but the frostiness of it made me give his half-naked body a second look. He was going to be seriously ill if he didn't get some clothes on. I began to unzip my coat, relying on the thick turtleneck I had worn through out the day to keep me warm enough.
"Here, wear this while I go make a call," I held out my coat walking towards him which was probably the worst thing I could've done.
He turned to me, his entire face drawn in controlled fury, "Go away, don't get near me."
Even though he looked so haggard sitting like a child on the floor his angry voice was deep and commanding. It resounded in the open spaced room but that wasn't what made me gasp. His eyes…they were eyes I knew very well. Eyes black as coal. But these had a glitch to them…the black was so absolute as if there was no definition between iris and pupil. The black was also larger, almost overwhelming the white as well. Yet there was no mistake, none at all. He was a vampire.
I dropped the coat and stepped back in shock but slipped on shards of glass. My hands instinctively went to the floor, trying to stop the fall and I felt tiny pieces of glass cut all over my palms and fingers. I sat on the floor slightly bewildered by the fall, staring at my hands where blood was collecting around shards that varied in sizes. Before I thought of what to do next, my body had made the decision for me. I struggled to my feet and ran, ran out the house into my truck and sped off. Even as my chest constricted in terror and I hyperventilated in between terrified sobs I wondered if Edward would've been proud of me…that was the reaction he had wanted from me all along after all.
Please review…whoever might read this. Should I continue or just turn off my computer and see more mindless television?