I've been hiding, in this bed for weeks, from this.
Throat's raw from screaming, and I haven't, said a word.
The sky is calling...and the stars...they point to this.

A knock on the front door alerted Charlie to the arrival of the person he'd been waiting for. He stopped his pacing in the kitchen and quickly went to answer the door.

"Renee," he acknowledged softly as he opened the door wider. Renee stepped in from the pouring outside rain of Forks, her eyes containing the contempt that entered her when ever she came back to this place. It faded though into concern and worry as the warm air of the house hit her, and she dropped the hood of her jacket and shook out her long brown hair. Charlie quickly took her jacket and hung it up.

"How is she?" Renee asked in a low voice, uncharacteristically serious as she appraised the ceiling, where Bella's bedroom was.

Charlie took in a shaky breath and turned swiftly away from his ex-wife, swallowing the lump in his throat with difficulty. "Still in the catatonic state that she's been in ever since...for a week," he muttered gruffly.

"Okay," Renee murmured, looking down and studying the floor without true curiosity. "The plane to take us back to Florida leaves in three hours. Are we ready to do this?"

Charlie just nodded, back still turned. He took a deep breath and began leading the way up the stairs, to the room of their living dead daughter.

-- "Promise me to never look down." And we'll stay like this forever. --

You're not supposed to see dust swirling in the darkness. At least, I haven't heard of people doing it before. But everything is dark now. Perhaps that's the trick.

I wonder if maybe I'm really looking at sunlight, but the black is hiding it. Maybe I should come out. Maybe, maybe...but there seems to be a safety here. Maybe the blackness isn't hiding anything; perhaps I'm the one hiding in it. I'm not sure why I don't want to leave here...shouldn't light be comforting? But it hasn't for a while now. I wonder why? I wonder why...

I seem to be floating in an abyss. It's cold; that I know. I'm freezing. My body...it's like ice. My veins, my hands, my legs, my arms, my fingertips...everything. I thought that when you died, the weather was supposed to be pleasant. I don't think it is.

The bars behind my back dug their unforgiving metal hardness into my skin, freezing and hurting me further. But I didn't mind. It was something solid; some irrevocable truth that I was not alone in this fallen apart wasteland. Inches from where the bars shoved into my back, I rather felt like I should my heart beating. But it wasn't. There seemed to be any empty ache there. I shuddered. Or tried to; I don't think I managed anything though. I didn't want to think about anything empty, or missing. This abyss was just a cage; blocking something out. I couldn't think what right now; neither did I want to. That was why I was here.

That was why I had to stay.

Outside my refuge, I was no longer safe; protected. I had the lingering thought that all this darkness came from my mind. Had I perhaps heard someone say that on the other side of the wall separating me from the living? From the still breathing? From those that knew air, that knew purpose, that knew meaning; that knew their life continued in the same rythmic pattern it always had?

I checked my vitals briefly; a welcome distraction from all that I kept at bay, that screeched at me on the outside of my muffled barrier. My breathing was slow, but it was there. A miracle for someone who was managing to breathe without air now. My pulse was slow, but it was there. A miracle for someone whose blood had frozen in their veins for what seemed like forever and never ago.

I heard a soft creak, much like a door being opened, from the outside of this black arena I alone held company in. Muffled footsteps were also heard.

"Bella?" a man whispered softly. A familiar voice. Charlie.

I tried to open my mouth; I really, really did. But I couldn't move.

There was a sigh. "See?" I heard him murmur. A woman's soft hum of assent was the response. That voice was also familiar. Renee? It had to be.

I blinked. Still darkness. I blinked again. Lighter perhaps, but all was still like midnight's pitch. I wondered if I should feel frustrated. It seemed a reasonable reaction; I grasped for the emotion. It flittered on the outside of my self-imposed safehouse with a coy smile, along with every other feeling.

And so I blinked again. Gray. Again. Lighter gray. Again. Blurry shapes. Again. More defined, but rough around the edges. Again. Again. Again.

Finally. A dark room, with two adults standing at my dresser. My sorry eyes moved slowly, revelling in refound sight. Next to my parents was a suitcase. Clothes were being put in them.

Why?

I tried to make sense of it. Why were they packing my clothes? Where could I possibly go? I had to stay here. I wasn't quite ready to form the answer why I had to, but instinctively I knew it. The answer to why I was still breathing was in the answer to why I could not leave this place.

"Maybe if you tried talking to her...?" I heard Charlie mutter to my mother.

"Bella?" came my mom's rarely-used troubled voice. "Bella? We're leaving to Florida in about two hours. Do you want to take a shower before we leave sweety? Or do you want to wait until we get to Jacksonville? Phil is setting up your room and bathroom as we speak, so you don't have to worry about anything honey."

I felt my brow contract slightly, but I couldn't speak as I mulled over her words. I stared unseeingly at her until she sighed and continued removing my clothes and placing them in a suitcase.

Plane...Florida...leaving. Leaving...to Florida. Not. Staying. Here. No. No. No.

"No," I whispered, feeling a wave of horror flood and soak my feet, sinking in through the cracking walls of my safe hideout.

I saw Charlie and Renee straighten up from their task and hurriedly turn to me, disbelief on their faces.

"W - what was that, honey?" Charlie asked tentatively.

"No," I whispered again, as more cracks appeared in my abyss. Red light shined through, promising pain. I was going to break open soon, completely fall apart. Everything was. Everything had. I couldn't leave. I had to hold on to that. I couldn't. If I did...I couldn't continue on.

"No what, sweetheart?" asked Renee, perplexed. "No shower now? You want to wait until we get to Jacksonville?"

"I'm not leaving," I said, my voice stronger as the red light started shining through my vision more, outlined by a bright white-blue light; as if hell's angels were guiding me along. Leading me out of myself.

"You can't stay here, Bella," Renee said, her voice quavering as her brow puckered together. "It's not good for you. You need to lea - "

"I'm. Not. Leaving."

"Bella, you've been...been sitting in that bed for a week," Charlie said, voice trembling. "There's even an IV next to you! They had to give you one because you wouldn't even eat, sweety, and maybe if you left this place - "

"NO!"

The cracks deepened, and then split.

My abyss split open.

Shattering in one swift, dire, earthquaking moment. And everything swirled back. All the reasons why. Everything that had happened. All the memories. Him.

And the pain.

I leaped up from my bed, my first movement in a week. My head was swirling. Everything repressed shot forward. I couldn't take it. I can't take this! I can't take this! I can't...I can't...

It bottled into my throat, and it begged for release. I gave it.

"NO! NO! NO! I'M NOT LEAVING! I'M NOT, I'M NOT, I'M NOT, YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!"

Without knowing exactly how it had happened, the suitcase was in my hand, and then it was being slammed against the wall. My clothes flew everywhere. I grabbed a few articles and started tearing them apart, ripping everything apart, and throwing it around. My hands found my desk next, toppling it upside down. Glass shattered against the wall, my lamp knowing my lapse in sanity as it shattered into a million pieces.

Just like my world. Just like everything else. Everything fell apart. It always did. It always would.

He was gone. He was never coming back. He didn't want me. He didn't love me. He never did. And nothing else mattered. And nothing else ever would.

A hand grabbed my wrist to stop my destruction, back I yanked it back and gripped my head as I fell to the floor.

"NO NO NO! GOD no, why is everything falling apart? What did I do...what did I..what?" I screamed. I screamed until I thought my throat was rip apart and slither down into the trench made as it split, everything whirling into nothingness.

Everything started to blur. I wondered if I was losing consciousness. Then I realized they were tears. The carnage wasn't enough. The screaming couldn't satisfy. There was no release, but this was the best I could do.

And I sobbed. Hands touched my back, but I shrieked them off and sobbed and sobbed. It wouldn't help. It never did. But nothing ever would.

Nothing. Nothing.

Nothing.

Except him. I was nothing. But he existed. And if he did, so could I.

But if he didn't...like in sunny Florida, where it would be all too easy to have that one part of my life that had ever been worth living for disappear...I couldn't continue on.

The tears wracked through my body, a living thing writhing it's way out. My happiness and my heart. But I still lived on. And I could. And I would. So long as I stayed.

"It's okay Bella, it's okay, you don't have to leave, you don't have to!" Frantic voices rushed to soothe me.

And that was for the best. Barely alive was probably better than dead.

Together...together we will float.. like.. angels.

- The Words 'best Friend' Become Redefined by Chiodos