A day after he left, I died.
Not literally, as I so often wished I did, but internally; in my mind, I crumpled. Folded, like I was paper. For me, it might as well been that did die, so as that I didn't waste any more breath, or cause anyone else more pain. Because I could plainly see that I was, causing pain to the ones I loved every minute they saw me. Charlie was getting older, and my mother was getting tired in those minutes, which quickly turned into hours, which turned into days. I wanted so desperately to help them, and myself.
But we can't always get what we want, can we?
It was weeks after that day that I was invited to the party.
A big smash, they said. Biggest one of the year. Jessica grudgingly invited me, at the request of the mystery host. She told me that I just had to be there, had to come. It just won't be the same without you, Bella, she said. So, with the life and excitement that only a moldy log could carry out, I obliged.
We drove down the street and stopped at a fairly large house, clad in our little black dresses that I didn't care enough to protest, ringing the door bell. A boy answered, a college-aged boy that was tall and bulky, like he was the quarterback of the football team. He was someone who Jessica would describe hot, with long-ish brown hair and shining blue eyes, and the muscles of someone who went to the gym seven days a week.
But I had stopped believing any man was handsome enough weeks ago.
He grinned at us-or more specifically, me. His eyes, like tigers roaming for meat, took all of me in. The black, skimpy fabric I normally wouldn't be caught dead in clinging to my skin and showing way too much that was necessary. Opening the door wider, he let us inside and stopped to talk to me, of all people, letting Jessica roam elsewhere, probably off to find Mike or the host, or one of her friends so she could gossip about little lonely Bella coming out her hole to come to this party. "So," the boy said, bringing me out of my thoughts. "What's your name?"
I looked up at him unenthusiastically, my dull eyes just staring. "Bella. Bella Swan."
"Well, Bella Swan, can I get you a drink?"
He frowned. "Why not? You should be enjoying yourself! This is the biggest party of the year! Come on, you know you want to..."
I was about to say no again, about to just walk away. But something in my mind just said to not care. I mean, it's not like anything worse can happen to me. My life was basically over. Love, too, along with all of the happiness that I could have possibly conjured up was gone after that day. I figured that he was just trying to be friends, just trying to make conversation. Maybe he, too, had no one to converse with at this party.
"Do you really believe that Bella?" My mind asked me, unbelieving.
I shot back at it. "Just shut up, okay? Maybe I should just let loose for once! God knows I need it..."
And so I smiled at him, a fake, lifeless one. "Yeah, okay. Sure, I'll have a drink."
His eyes glinted as he grinned. "Great. Just stay right here and I'll be right back."
As I stood there in that little corner of the room, wating for him to come back, I battled still with my concience, who was trying to convince me to just run away and leave. To go find Jessica and ask her to take me home. I countered it by saying that she was already angry enough at me, and this would surely piss her off. But still, I did have this odd feeling in my stomach, like there was something wrong here.
The nameless boy came back with two beers in his hands, filled to the brim with the orangey liquid. "There you go, my Bella, one for you and one for me!" He handed one to me, and I instantly felt the coolness of the glass hitting my sweaty palm. The room was hot with the tightly packed bodies, and I was starting to sweat.
As each drop of alchohol slid smoothly down my throat, my concience's voice slowly faded away, until I couldn't hear it any more.
Nameless Boy was getting closer to me every minute, until our bodies were touching. I felt his big hands slide around my waist, pulling me to him. "Hey-you wanna go upstairs?" He whispered, his breath heavy and hot against my cheek.
I knew this was wrong. I knew I should have told him to stop sooner. I should have listened to myself, and thought before I acted. But I couldn't seem to get a clear sentence out, and before I knew it, I was upstairs, on a bed with my dress in a heap on the floor, and Nameless Boy was undoing his jeans. But that wasn't even the most shocking thing I discovered.
No. A week later, I learned I was pregnant.
It was a few weeks before my nineteenth birthday, and I was anything but in the birthday mood. I was sore and depressed and alone with not even my father or mother to help me. I was in California, in some hotel with Lucy.
I smiled, though, when I thought it. It was the only bright thing in my life right now, my daughter Lucia. Lucia Emmanuelle Swan. I don't know quite how I picked that name, but I just did. It reminded me of joy and love, two things I was most definitely lacking in my life at this point. I needed a point though, to live, and Lucy told me that I needed to stay to protect her. She would grow up normal and healthy, and I would make sure she didn't experience or share any of my own pain.
She had been born a week ago, a tiny 6 pounds, 2 ounces. But they let me take her home after those first few days, announcing thatI had perfect little baby girl. I could have almost sworn that I heard a nurse say that day as I walked out of the hospital, "Pity-she's only a baby doll herself, poor thing..." But I tried to shut it out of my mind.
That day I left a message on both of my parents' cell phone, telling them goodbye and that I had to leave. I didn't tell them that I had a baby girl, or where I was going. I just told them I loved them and that I had to leave.
And Lucy and I boarded the plane to California.