Swallowed up in the sound of my screaming
Cannot cease for the fear of silent nights
Oh, how I long for the deep sleep dreaming
The goddess of imaginary light
(Song by Evanescence)
Bella was lost to us. There was no chance of convalescence. She was doomed to end in the same place that Alice had began.
"I just, I don't know why I didn't smell her. Know she was doing this!" Edward's voice boomed.
"I did - I just thought. She's a girl, I mean. . ." stammered Jasper, blushing.
Alice remained silent.
"Alice!" shouted Edward. "You saw this? And you didn't tell me?"
"I thought it was gonna go away. It was just twice. . ."
"Twice is more than enough!"
A loud squeal came from upstairs, and Edward raced up the stairs to find Bella rocking back and forth, crying.
"What's the matter Bella?"
"Who's Bella?" she asked, running her fingers through her hair.
Carlisle paced the living room floor, and Edward's eyes followed him as he moved. "What do we do, Carlisle?"
"Edward. . .Don't get angry."
"Just tell me what to do, how to make her better." Edward was a babbling mess.
"That's just it, Edward - We can't make her better. She can't even remember her own name. We have to send her someplace -"
"But she's Bella, Carlisle!" Edward boomed, his eyes flickering black. "She's my baby. I can't ship her away like some kind of broken doll." the image of Rosalie's dolls flashed into his mind.
"I'm sorry, Edward." Carlisle mumbled, exasperated. "There's nothing else we can do." He tossed a knowing look to Edward.
Alice wandered in, biting her lip, her eyes wide. She tossed her short hair and argued. "No, Carlisle. She's not going to end in the same place I began. She isn't going. . ." she choked up, then restarted. "She isn't going to the dark place."
"Alice." Carlisle reached a hand out to his daughter and pulled her into his arms.
"She just can't." Alice's voice was muffled by the sound of dry sobs and Carlisle's crisp lab coat.
"Bella, this is Dr. Gregor. He's going to play a game with you." Edward lifted Bella into his lap. A rotund man stood before them, his gray hair poking out in every which way.
"Hi, Bella." Dr. Gregor patted Bella's head, and she snarled defensively - something she'd picked up from Edward. Dr. Gregor yanked his hand from her head and returned it to his side. He pulled a cracked maroon briefcase from the floor and opened the top flap. He extracted a yellow folder and set the bag back on the ground. He opened the folder and pulled out a pile of paper with ink splatters on them.
"Bella, this is Dr. Gregor." Edward explained again. "Bella, he wants to show you some pictures. You tell him what you see, okay, Bella?" he repeated her name thickly, making sure he made eye contact with her every time he said her name.
Bella nodded absentmindedly. She didn't know anything but Edward. She didn't know her name, or what this man was doing in her and Edward's room, or why Edward kept calling her 'Bella'.
"Okay. Here's the first image, Bella." Dr. Gregor said calmly, showing a sheet with black ink spilled over it. "What do you see?"
"Dark." she mouthed. All she could stare at was the penetrating black, covering up the white that was her life.
"Okay, what about this one?" Dr. Gregor pulled another picture out.
"Dark." she said in a monotone. Edward traced little circles on her back, comfortingly.
"And this one?"
"Real dark." she shivered slightly, and Edward pulled a cover from the bed around her.
"I see. Can you tell me what this one is?" Dr. Gregor pulled a card out from his bag. On it was a picture of a smiling yellow sun.
"Glitter. Meadow." she whispered, a smile dancing across her face. Bella had memories, she just didn't know why there were never any new ones. The same ones just kept repeating: her and Edward in the meadow, the ballet studio, her with Jacob, Italy.
Dr. Gregor frowned, the words made no sense to him. "Edward, may I have a word?"
"Sure." Edward stood up and walked outside, Dr. Gregor in hot pursuit.
Bella pulled the cover around her, humming a song that Edward played almost daily on the piano.
"I'm sorry." The first words out of Dr. Gregor's mouth made Edward panic.
"What do you mean?"
"There's just no hope for her, Edward. She doesn't even know what she's saying these days. She makes no sense. I show her a sun and she says 'meadow'. We have to put her somewhere, for her own safety."
"No!" Edward yelled. "No!"
"Edward. I think that maybe if we put her somewhere, she'll come to her senses. Time alone might cure her, give her something to think about. Her mother's death was. . .well, to her it was like the end of the world. She couldn't see a life beyond her mother. . ." as Dr. Gregor continued, Edward wondered why it would kill Bella so much that her mother had died. She would eventually - should Bella have become a vampire, she would still have to see the day her mother died. So why was she taking it so hard? ". . . usually when a teenager loses someone close, they fall into some sort of depression. But Bella, she's even worse than when you left - she's beyond catatonic - she's dead inside." The word 'dead' shocked Edward. He winced. He never wanted to hear Bella and dead in the same sentence. It brought to life his worst realization. He missed his Bella, he was to the point where he would do anything to have her back.
"So, if I send her to an asylum, she'll come back to life?"
"More or less. It might take a while, but she has a large chance of coming to - waking up, I would say."
"Okay." he nodded. "When do we take her?"
"As soon as you want to."
They took me away from Edward today. They took me from his shiny car and put me in a white room. I'm scared. I know everything that's happened since . . . since my mother died. But they say I've changed. The cuts and bruises, the acting out. And I can't speak much anymore. It feels like my body has been taken over by some sort of demon.
The walls here are soft, but everything is too warm. All I do is scream for Edward, because when I'm not screaming, everything is silent, and I know Edward isn't here.
Edward left me again. I see him sometimes, looking into my eyes, holding my hands as he kisses my eyelids, my forehead, everything but my lips. Just like that one time, when I thought it was because he was planning on leaving me again. And he always does leave. He walks out of that white door and doesn't come back for what feels like years.
Sometimes the big men stab me. They stab and stab and stab into my skin and they make me sleepy. But that only makes the pain of not seeing Edward get worse, because I know when I go to sleep that when I wake up, he should be there. But he never is.
Dr. Gregor has stopped by a few times. He's told me that when I get better I can be with Edward again. So I try really hard to say the big words that I used to.
Charlie pops in every day. I always hear him talking to Dr. Gregor in a hushed voice. Dr. Gregor says my screaming is part of the sickness, but he's wrong - it's part of the treatment.