Disclaimer: Don't sue, simple as that.
"Please," I sobbed to my parents and the doctor. "Please, help me! I want to go home…I wanna go home with you and dad."
"I know Bella," Renee said, exuding calmness. "But first you've got to get better."
"It's not going to be easy, Bella," said the doctor, "You have to take it one step at a time. You have to start ridding your mind of those things that support your hallucinations. You understand?"
I looked up at him from playing with the collar of my shirt, my eyes solemn.
"There are things in that world that you cling to. For your delusions, they're safe holds, but for your mind, they're traps" He smiled encouragingly at me and continued softly. "We have to break those down."
"W - what do…do you mean?" I asked, fleetingly afraid of the answer. No, have to get better, have to…
"I'm talking about those things that you want there. What keeps you going back. Think real hard. What is the main reason you continue to go back to your world?"
I looked at the bed sheets, then back to him. The answer was obvious.
"Edward," I said hoarsely.
"That's right," the doctor whispered, smiling at me; proud. "Last fall when you had your momentary awakening, who was it that pulled you back in?"
"Well, he's gone now," said the doctor softly, "But no. You still had lapses, even with him, that returned you to us Bella. Who made you stay again permanently? Your Edward. He pulled you back in."
I looked back down, swallowing hard.
"He's not really your boyfriend, Bella," Renee said, stepping in. "He's just…a trick, keeping you from being healthy again."
My breathing was becoming harder again. The doctor leaned over the bed, bracing his hands on it and looked at me very seriously. I avoided his gaze.
"You have to do whatever it takes to convince yourself of that Bella. Whatever it takes. Find a way to break away from that place."
Oh God….how was I going to do this? How was I going to get through? How am I supposed to convince myself that my angel wasn't….isn't…
I was downstairs now. I looked around dazed and confused, leaning against a doorframe. Had I walked all the way down here? Well, it didn't matter.
"Bella?" Edward asked again, looking at me concerned. "Did the antidote work?"
I was still looking at the floor, and I took a deep breath before looking up. I didn't know how I was going to get through what I was about to have to do, but I had to. I had to get better.
"Um…yeah," I replied. "Still a little dazed, but uh, I'll be fine."
"That's good," he said smiling at me. My throat constricted. Get better, get better.
"Bella," he began, real seriously. "I'm sorry, for before. I know it wasn't your fault…I just…well, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have reacted that way."
There was no way I could do this. No way….But I didn't have a choice. There was only one way to rid myself of this life permanently. And Edward couldn't be around for that to happen. I felt sick, so sick, for what I was about to do to my lov - delusion. To my lovely delusion.
"No, you shouldn't have," I cut out harshly. He took a step back, his eyes widening, surprised. "But of course, you're never there when I need you, are you? Leaving's your strong suit, I know."
I could see the hurt in his eyes. Don't believe that, don't believe that, I pleaded silently.
I took a deep breath, and spoke slowly, each word like poison, killing me. But then, that was good. That was the ultimate goal.
"I think I made a mistake," I started.
"Bella - "
"No. Let me finish. You're not…good, for me. I think…I think, I would be better off, if I was with Jacob. We talked last night, when you were gone, and I realized, I made the wrong choice. I can't be with you anymore," I finished looking dead in his eyes. That last part, at least, was true. If I had said, I don't want to be with you, well…that'd be different.
He was shell shocked. He couldn't speak. Unbridled pain was in his eyes, his breath hitched. Déjà vu, except this time, it was reversed.
"I'm sorry," I whispered, and it took all I could to not jump into his arms, tell him I didn't care about getting better, I wanted him. The doctor's words echoed in my mind.
"It's not going to be easy Bella." Well, I knew that from the moment he told me I had to give up my delusions. But, how can anyone anticipate this kind of pain?
"Please, just leave me alone," I told him quietly. "I'm going home."
I walked by him toward the front door. He made no move to stop me. Not when I'd said this was my choice. Tears stung my eyes and I forced them down. It'll be worth it, in the end…when I'm better. And I can be with my family, and they'll love me, and I'll know I never caused any real person any pain. It'll be okay…
But how could he believe me? I was such a bad liar, he should see right through me. But the nagging voice in my head said that this was what he'd been expecting all along anyway. He wasn't going to look closer. I walked out the front door, and stopped dead. My car wasn't there, I was remembering now.
"I'll take you home," Edward said quietly, from behind me. His face was composed now, but there was no hiding the pain. I wondered what he saw in mine.
I bit my lip. More time with him? That was just more opportunities for me to not get better. But what choice did I have? It seemed like that was happening a lot lately.
I turned and walked toward his Volvo. In my enlightened state, I wondered vaguely what made my subconscious give him a Volvo. It's not like I'd ever thought about them that much. But it didn't matter. It'd be over soon. This life, it would be over.
I got in the car, and looked out the window. My imagination was really amazing. For a made up place, everything was so bright; so vibrant.
Edward got in and started the car. Soon, we were speeding toward my house. Five more minutes…five more minutes, and I could go home. I will break away. Nothing could stop me. Alice shouldn't be watching, Edward would be gone, Charlie wasn't home…Yes, I could do this.
I did not glance at Edward once. That was not going to help anything. It was a welcome sign of relief when the house came into sight. I made my mind refuse to call it, 'my house'. Let go of everything that's keeping you here, I thought to myself. Do whatever it takes. Whatever it takes.
We pulled up, and I closed my eyes briefly. When I opened them again, I could feel my determination. "Leave me alone please," I said again, and got out of the car. He didn't answer.
I walked toward the door to my house slowly. Hopefully, what I needed would be in there. Anything else wouldn't do. It wouldn't be fast enough. On the chance that Alice did have a vision, there had to no help that Edward could give.
I opened and closed the door to my house, walking into my house. Even from this end of the hall, I could see it. Beautiful.
Charlie's gun seemed to be glinting as I approached where it hung in the kitchen. I picked it up and weighed it in my hands. Fully loaded, as per usual.
Slowly, I cocked the hammer on the gun. Slower, I raised it to my head.
"I suppose I should've guessed. Alice called," said a low, furious, voice, with an edge of fear. I closed my eyes. I was so close. I turned around, gun still to my head.
"I told you to leave me alone," I told Edward in a flat voice. His gorgeous eyes showed his fear, concern, and fury. I saw his brow contract slightly as he looked at me.
"You didn't take your antidote," he said, surprised. But it wasn't a question. I said nothing.
"Bella, please listen to me," he said, talking fast. "Put the gun down, you're hallucinating right now!"
"I know," I told him stoically. "You're just a trap for my mind."
"Bella," he said, his voice strained, "That asylum, and those people. They're not real. Please, don't do this! How could you?"
He probably could've got the gun out of my hand faster than anything. But maybe he didn't want to take the chance. My finger was pressed down slightly on the trigger as it was. One false move, one jerk on my finger, and I'd be gone.
"Bella," he said softly as I didn't answer. "Look at me." I could feel tears welling up again. Why was he making this more painful?
"I'm right here," he went on, taking a slow step forward. I immediately took a step back and he stopped.
"And you are too. You are. And I need you and I love you Bella! Damn it, somewhere inside, you must know that's real!"
"Sure it is," I said immediately, my voice dead and cynical. "Because what's more real?" I looked down briefly. "A sick girl in an institution?"
"Don't Bella," he pleaded. "Please listen - "
But I continued, not listening, cutting him off. "Or an abnormal girl, with an amazing vampire lover and a werewolf best friend, with all kinds of wild, adventurous things happening to them?"
I stopped talking there, taking in how that sounded. I looked up at Edward, at his pained expression, and I breathed out a laugh. "That's ridiculous!" I informed him, disbelief coloring my tone.
"And," I went on forcefully, "No matter what she does, no matter how much shit she puts him through, this amazing guy still loves her more than anything?" I laughed another maniac laugh again. "Yeah! That makes sense," I growled.
"Bella," he began, once again, so much love and concern filled in my name, that I had to close my eyes again. It was so hard, I wanted this to be real…
"It's okay Bella, don't stress yourself out," said the doctor's soothing voice. I was back in my bed at the institution, the doctor and my parents crowded around me.
"Honey, take your time," Renee said softly.
"Make it as easy on yourself as possible. There's nothing wrong with that," said the doctor, relaxingly. My eyes closed and I gulped and nodded, trying to control my thrashes and whimpers as I destroyed the only world I thought I'd ever known.
"I hate you!" I screamed at Edward, my reality switching. "Just GO AWAY! You can't be here!"
"I love you Bella," he told me. "I love you. Put the gun down, please, sweetie, I need you here with me."
I was with the doctor and my parents again, sobbing. Jumping up from my bed, I ran to the corner, throwing myself against it, thrashing. No, no, no, how could I leave him? My parents and the doctor called my name.
"Bella, it's gonna be okay sweetheart!" Renee cried, frightened. "What ever it is, it's not real, remember?"
I was whimpering, breathing heavy, tears streaking down my face.
"Just keep concentrating, I'm right here sweetie," said Renee, walking towards me slowly.
"Bella, please believe me." I was with Edward again, and he was still talking, telling me things I did and didn't want to hear. "I love you. I love you more than anything. But," he said, quieter, calmer still, " Even if you do kill yourself right now, I'll find you again. This is real, Bella. I'm not leaving you."
I pressed down a little harder on the trigger, my eyes wide with fright. What was I doing? Getting better….No, not getting better. He'd find me, he'd find me. No! My parents, this wasn't real…need to get better! Not real.
"Shut UP!" I screamed. "Just shut up!"
"I love you."
"I don't know," I breathed, back in my corner at the asylum. White, white, it was all so white. But it was darker than ever.
"Bella!" said Renee.
"I don't know, I don't know, I don't know," I repeated, softly, so confused. I didn't know what to believe.
"Look at me," Renee said, placing her hand on my arm. My breathing increased as I silently mouthed my mantra of 'I don't know'.
"I believe in you," Renee said fiercely. My head rolled back to strain against the wall as I hyperventilated, my eyes switching everywhere. I was losing it, totally and completely.
"You're a survivor, you can do this!" Renee said forcefully.
"I love you," Edward repeated again, as I looked in his eyes.
"Edward…" I sobbed, tears falling. But I bit my lip and looked down again, keeping my firm grip on the gun still to my head.
"Edward!" I screamed, banging my head against the wall of the asylum.
"Bella! Bella fight it!" Renee yelled, as my throat strained, my body jerking violently with indecision, trying to not go back; not go back in to fall in to Edward's arms. Trying to fight it.
"You're too good to give in!" Renee said. "You can beat this thing! Be strong, baby, okay?"
I whimpered and sobbed some more. I had to listen. I had to try.
"I know you're afraid," she went on as my breathing became more ragged, but slower. "I know the world feels like a hard place sometimes. But you've got people who love you!" Renee's voice was shaking now with the power of her emotions as she said this; as she meant this. "Your dad and I, we have all the faith in the world in you! We'll always be with you."
My tears had stopped she spoke, my breathing regular, almost not even there it was so slow and controlled. I wasn't shaking anymore.
"You've got, a world of strength in your heart, Bella. I know you do," she continued. "You just have to find it again! Believe in yourself!" she whispered.
Her hand stroked my hair soothingly, and it was like the flick of a switch. It all clicked then. I knew what I had to do. Her words had given me the knowledge, and the strength to continue.
I sniffed, and slowly turned my head to look straight in her eyes. I smiled slightly. "You're right," I said softly. "Thank you…"
Her smile was watery, and loving. I savored it.
"Good-bye…" I whispered, returning her watery smile, and I slowly lent my head back against the wall again. Her smile faded ever so slowly, as my word registered in her brain.
"Bella!" she cried. But it was too late. I was gone.
I gasped, and dropped the gun. "Edward?" I sobbed. "I'm so sorry!"
Next thing I knew I was cradled in his arms, and he was stroking my hair and shushing me as I sobbed, and placing quick kisses all over my face. "Sorry. I'm so sorry! I didn't mean it, I didn't mean any of it! I'm sorry. I want that antidote now!"
"It's okay Bella," he said, letting out a laugh weak with relief. "You're back now. That's what's important. I love you. I love you."
"I love you too," I cried into his shirt.
His arms gripped me tightly. "We kept the demon in a spare room, just in case," he whispered to me. "Come on, we'll make you better for real this time."
"Yeah," I said nodding. "Yeah. Edward?"
"Things are going to be better. I swear."
He smiled. "I believe you."
As we walked outside, his arms mostly keeping me up as my tears quieted themselves, we met the familiar gray, stormy sky of Forks. But as we drove back to his home, where my sincerest apologies would be given, I saw a lone ray of sunshine break through the clouds. Yes. Things were going to be okay.
The doctor shined the light through Bella's eyes. There was no pupil contraction. Sighing, he tucked his light back into his coat's pocket.
"I'm sorry, there's no reaction at all," he informed Mr. and Mrs. Swan. "I'm afraid we lost her…"
He bowed his head from his seat, ashamed of his failure, of this lost case. He had lost the girl, and just when they had been making such a recovery…But it was too late now. She was gone for good.
Renee sobbed, and Charlie's tears fell quietly as they embraced each other, looking down at the unmoving body of their lost daughter.
And yes, this is the final chapter! Story COMPLETED! And also, before you review (HINTHINT) keep in mind for those of you that thought Bella's switches from Twilight to the Asylum were confusing, good! It was supposed to be, to show you how Bella's feeling. Alright, so please please please PLEASE review! I would like to know how your reactions to my first completed multi-chapter story:D
Also, as you cansee, this story is up to interpretation. The asylum could've all been her imagination. Or Forks could be. It's up to how you want to take it. Regardless, Bella's staying the Twilight universe...
- The Romanticidal Edwardian