Author's Note: This story is written in a colloquial, first person point of view, so you as a reader can feel like Bella, and hear her thoughts.
** THIS CHAPTER INCLUDES QUOTES FROM CHAPTER FIVE OF TWILIGHT. **
SPECIAL NOTE: The Quileute legend in this chapter is something I made up. The names are actually Hopi. Kachina really does mean Spirt, Sacred Dance. Chebeyo means warrior spirit, and Amadahy is Cherokee for forest River.
Disclaimer: Everything and anything related to the Twilight saga belongs to Stephenie Meyer. This is a work of fiction based on her writings. No harm is meant by it.
There Are A Million Reasons For Why This May Not Work... And Just One Good One For Why It Will
Edward turns to me and passes me the yellow slip. His face is blank. His eyes are dead. All the light in them gone. What he just gave me might possibly be the biggest clue in figuring out why and how Edward died.
It's an accident report from his death on Friday. According to the paper, the accident happened early Saturday morning, around two in the morning to be exact. There are no real specifics or details written on the paper. I can recognize the scrawl on the paper; it's Charlie's chicken scratch that he passes off as handwriting. I can hardly read the paper, between Charlie's kindergarten penmanship and the fact that it's a carbon copy, but some words are clearly legible.
SUSPECTED FOUL PLAY/ BRAKES WERE CUT
I'm stunned. Foul play? Brakes were cut? They think someone intentionally cut his brakes? Someone wanted Edward dead? But who?
"Edward?" It's barely even a whisper. I'm so afraid to speak out loud though I don't know why. Perhaps it's the fact that knowing that someone had wanted Edward dead, or maybe it's the look on his face. I don't even look at him as I speak. I can't bear to see the pain and grief etched across his face. There's supposed to be a smile on his face, a light in his eyes.
He should be alive right now.
"Someone wanted me dead, Bella," Edward answers. His voice wavers the entire time. We discovered that he couldn't cry beforehand, even if he wanted to, but it didn't mean that the sobs couldn't be experienced.
He's sobbing. Crying the only way his circumstance is allowing him.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Edward."
I don't know why I'm apologizing, but it's all I can say. He turns to me, and his eyes are once again golden-brown. Is that what it means? His eyes reveal his emotions?I stare at him for possibly more time than I should because he blinks, and I'm shaken out of my stupor.
"Why are you apologizing, Bella? You're not the one who cut my brakes. You weren't even there that night."
"You're eyes are that golden-brown again. I think whenever you're overwhelmed by something your eyes change color, like your emotions control it."
"But were they golden-brown in the hospital?" he asks.
"No, but you know all these things are taking time to develop. Maybe this is one of those things."
"That's so weird. All these new things keep popping up every day."
"Well, you've only been like this since Saturday. There's probably a lot more you can do."
"Yeah, you're probably right," he replies. "I know this is going to sound weird, but do I look lighter to you, like more transparent?"
I take a minute to thoroughly look at Edward, and he's right. He honestly looks lighter, for lack of a better word.
"Wow, you do. That's really weird. When did you notice this?"
"When I left the police station this morning. Before you woke up."
"Weird," is all I manage to say, before the bell rings. I didn't even get to eat my sandwich.
Edward helps me up off the floor, and for the umpteenth time, I can't stop myself from losing myself in the cold that radiates from him. He's so cold it almost burns when we touch, and yet I can't get enough of it. I shiver like always. Edward immediately retracts his hand and apologizes in the process.
"Sorry. I keep forgetting I'm a walking piece of ice."
"It doesn't bother me." His eyes travel to the bag with my lunch in it.
"Oh man, you didn't get to eat. I feel terrible from keeping you from your lunch."
"Relax, Edward. I'll eat it on the way home. It's just a turkey sandwich, nothing major. Plus, I don't eat lunch too often. I'm never really hungry until I'm home."
"I'm always–well, I was always hungry when I was alive. I bet I could have eaten a whole deer, a ten point buck if I had ever had the opportunity."
"Eww, why would you want to eat a deer?"
"It was meant to be a figure of speech."
"What do you have next?" he asks as I search for my books in my locker.
I run to class because Edward holds me up a bit at my locker. I don't want to be late for class, especially since Mr. Banner seems to have a vendetta against me, as it is, so why push it.
I'm lucky that I get to class right as the bell rings, and Mr. Banner isn't in the room yet.
I settle in my seat, just as Mr. Banner comes into room, already shouting and calling the class to attention. I can feel Edward behind me as Mr. Banner speaks. I'm not listening to what he's saying. I'm too focused on the cold air drifting my way. I can see Mr. Banner juggling a few small cardboard boxes in his arms as he speaks. He's explaining something, but I don't pick up a word of what he's saying. All my senses seem to have shut off. It's not like I haven't been this close to Edward these past two days, but the chill of his body keeps running up under the sliver of skin my sweater reveals as I lean forward.
I see Mr. Banner place whatever boxes he's holding, on to Mike Newton's lab table and asking him to pass whatever is in the boxes out. I finally start to pay attention to what's going on.
"Okay, guys, I want you all to take one piece from each box," Mr. Banners says, as he produces a pair of rubber gloves from the pocket of his lab jacket and pulls them down. He snaps the gloves on, and I'm taken aback by the sounds. It's a bit ominous. He pulls a card out of the box and holds it up to present to the class.
"The first should be an indicator card," he goes on, displaying what it looks like. "The second is a four-pronged applicator–" he holds up something that looks like a toothless hair pick "–and the third is a sterile micro-lancet." He holds up a small piece of blue plastic and splits it open. The barb is invisible from where I'm sitting, but my stomach flips nonetheless.
Are we doing something with blood? Please say no, please say no!
Edward feels me tense on my lab stool, but I'm pretty sure everyone can see I am tense. I'm stiff as a board, my back straight and eyes wide. My breathing is labored as I stare at Mr. Banner. He's going around the room with a dropper of water to prepare the applicators. He starts with Mike's table, placing a drop of water into each of the four squares.
"After I come around to your table, I want you to all carefully prick your finger with the lancet…" He grabs Mike's middle finger. Oh crap. Oh no.My breathing is unsteady now. I'm nearly gasping out loud. Clammy moisture starts to break out across my forehead. Edward's eyes are wide, as he watches my reaction to the lesson.
"Bella are you okay? Bella? BELLA!" he screams at the end, but I'm unresponsive. All I can do is focus on Mike's hand.
"Put a small drop of blood on each of the prongs." Mr. Banner demonstrates, squeezing Mike's finger until the blood begins to flow. I close my eyes, finally tearing my gaze away from the scene. I'm trying to hear through the ringing in my ears, trying not to faint as my stomach heaves.
"Bella? Bella, are you sick?" Edward asks concerned, his hand rubbing my back, but still I remain unresponsive. I don't even feel the cold.
Mr. Banner is going on about some Red Cross blood drive in Port Angeles, looking very proud of himself, because he wants us to know our blood type, so that those of us old enough can go donate.
Fat chance, I'm letting anyone near my arm with a needle. Fat chance, I'd let myself be around all that blood, in the first place.
He goes around the room with the water drops, and I put my head against the cool black tabletop and try to hold onto my consciousness. Edward's rubbing my back the entire time trying to calm me down. Under any other circumstance, it would have worked, but right now, there is no way anything can make me relax. All around me I can hear the squeals, complaints, and giggles of my classmates as they skewer their fingers. I breathe slowly in and out of my mouth, trying to stop myself from smelling all the blood.
"Bella, are you all right?" Mr. Banner asks, when he reaches my table. His voice is close to my head, and he sounds alarmed.
"I already know my blood type, Mr. Banner," I say, barely able to speak up. I think I'm gonna puke.
"Are you feeling faint?"
"Yes, sir," I mutter. I'm embarrassed to admit it. I don't want everyone to think I'm a bigger loser than I already am, but of course life hates me because he announces it to the whole class.
"Can someone take Bella to the nurse, please?" he requests.
What did I do in a past life to earn such rotten luck? Honestly? What the hell did I do?No one's gonna volunteer.
I turn to my left to ask Edward to throw a book at Mr. Banner. Yes, it's mean, but it would provide a distraction from his request. Then I can just run out of the classroom by myself, though I don't think I can walk, but he's not there. Where the hell did he go?But before I can really contemplate where Edward's disappeared off to, I hear Mike Newton's voice from the other side of the lab.
"I'll take her, Mr. Banner," he confidently says, standing up as the class all stares at him.
"Can you walk?" Mr. Banner asks me. "Yes," I whisper, though I'm not so sure. If anything, I'll just crawl all the way to the nurse's office.
Mike seems oddly eager when he puts his arm around my waist and pulls me off the floor. He's carrying me like a bride. Everyone is now staring at us.
"No need to worry, Mr. B, I got her," he valiantly says, while he grabs my bag, holding me in one hand, using the other to grab it.
I didn't know Newton was this strong. And where the hell did Edward go?
"Thank you, Mike," Mr. Banner replies, tentatively, watching us walk out the room. As soon as the door closes, Mike speaks.
"Bella, are you alright?" But it's not Mike's voice that I hear.
"Edward?" So, that's where he went.I feel dumb for not noticing that Mike eyes are Edward's green and not Mike's baby blue ones."What are you doing? Everyone just saw Mike Newton come to my rescue like some knight in shining armor. How is he, how are we supposed to explain that when you get out of his body? What were you thinking, Edward? And put me down, I'm fully capable of walking."
He just chuckles, placing me down all whilst apologizing. It's so odd to be staring at Mike and hearing Edward.
"I'm sorry. It's just that, I thought you were gonna faint, so when Mr. Banner asked if anyone would take you to the nurse's office, I chose someone to do it. Mike seemed like the perfect candidate, plus he was going to volunteer even before I spirited him."
I want to argue with him, but I can't because we're already by the nurse's office, and he's already babbling with her about what happened in the Biology lab. It's Mike's voice, he's using. When they're done talking, the nurse's assistant leads me and "Mike" to an empty room. She tells me to lie down and just relax. She leaves a bottle of water and tells us that when I'm feeling better I can go back to class. She doesn't send Mike back to class.
"Why didn't she send you back to class?"
"I told her that Mr. Banner told me to stay with you. Ms. Cope is quite gullible. I can get you out of your next class if you'd like. What do you have?" he says, Edward's voice resonating melodiously in the tiny room.
"She's not gonna let me go home, though that would be great. I hate gym."
"Watch me work my magic."
"Are you kidding, Edward? She's gonna laugh in your face."
"You just look like you're dying, okay?"
I nod my head and watch as he strolls toward the nurse's desk. He turns to me and winks, smirking the entire time. It looks odd because it's Mike. Edward would look sexy smirking like that.
"Ms. Cope," he begins, and I try not to laugh. He sounds as if he's trying to flirt with her, but I also notice that he's using his voice and not Mike's. Ms. Cope hasn't noticed. Man, she's dim.
"Bella has gym next hour, and I don't think she feels well enough. Actually, I was thinking I should take her home now. Do you think you could excuse us both from class?" His voice is like melting honey. Ms. Cope giggles, actually giggles.
Ew, it's Mike Newton that you're staring at. You dirty old woman, but who could blame you for melting at that voice? But Newton would never speak like that. Jeeze, she really is gullible.
"I don't know, Mr. Newton, that wouldn't be very responsible."
"Ms. Cope, I would feel horrible knowing that I left Bella here to drive home in such conditions. She is far too ill to drive herself home. It would put my conscience at ease if I could get her home safely."
I can see her resolve slipping, as she restrains a smile.
"Oh, you make an excellent point, Michael. I'll give you both a note that you can show Coach Clapp tomorrow."
"Thank you, Ms. Cope. My conscience thanks you as well," he adds, smiling brightly at the old woman and heads my way, smirking.
"I have no idea how you pulled that off, especially since you didn't use Mike's voice, but thank you."
"Not a problem, Bella. Just look sick when we walk by her. And of course I didn't use Mike's voice. She would've laughed and sent us to gym with bells on our feet to make sure we got there."
I chuckle lightly, as he picks me up again, mine and Mike's backpacks hanging from his shoulders.
"I can walk, you know." Don't let go. Don't ever let go.
"I know that, but it will help with my story."
"Right," I nod and groan painfully when we walk by the desk. Ms. Cope looks at us, tells me to feel better, and thanks Mike, adding something about how chivalry isn't dead just yet.
As we head over to my truck, he opens the door and slides me into the passenger's side. He jogs to the driver's side and hops into the truck. When did he get my keys?
"Edward, Mike has his own car and his own life. You can't just go and borrow his body."
I watch as Edward pulls himself away from Mike's body, the blue aura around him drifts to the right. Edward is now standing outside my door, as Mike is trying to figure out he got into my truck.
"Why am I in your truck?" he asks, rubbing his face.
I can hear Edward from where I'm seated. "Lie."
"You took me to the nurse's office when I was feeling sick during Bio, and then Ms. Cope excused us from gym, and then you offered to take me home."
"I said lie." I heard Edward groan as he slid between Mike and I.
"Oh," is all he says, shaking his head in disbelief. "Well, do you think you can drive yourself home? I guess I forgot to mention that I have to work today when I offered to take you."
"Yeah, it's fine. Thanks for everything, Mike," I say, sweetly. Edward notices and grins. He again disappears into Mike, and I hear him laugh as he pulls out once more. Mike shakes himself, muttering "weird" as he steps out of the car.
"Well, I hope you feel better, Isabella. See you tomorrow."
He waves as he walks toward his car, and Edward sits in the driver's seat chuckling. What is so funny, Cullen?
"Why are you laughing?"
"Did you just flirt with, Mike Newton? Because let me tell you, you just made his year. I knew he thought you were pretty, but man he really likes you."
"What?" Mike Newton has a thing for me? He never even talks to me.
"Yeah, he really has a thing for you. He kept thinking about kissing you. It was a bit disgusting."
"Oh, so it's disgusting that a guy would want to kiss me?" I lash out without thinking. I'm offended. I mean, I know I'm not attractive, but to hear Edward confirm it, hurts. It stings hard. Edward notices because he starts to apologize, but I keep rambling on, not letting him continue.
"I know I'm not pretty, Edward, but I don't think that I'm disgusting or anything." I can feel tears welling in my eyes. This is so embarrassing. I'm about to cry in front of Edward. Again. Well, it is his fault.
"No, Bella, that's not what I meant at all," he exclaims as he grabs my face. His hands are so cold, but they're soothing the anger and heat coursing through me. "It's just that the idea of Mike Newton kissing you is repulsive. And stop saying that you're not pretty, Bella. You're beautiful."
A chill runs through my body as he stares at me. He just called me beautiful with so much conviction that I'm almost forced to believe him. I swallow loudly, as he removes his hands from my face.
"Let's get you home, Bella. I would drive, but you know phantom driver might freak the locals."
I laugh. He's got quite a talent for easing the tension.
Ugh, stupid alarm clock. Stupid sun. SUN?
I wake up Wednesday morning to the shrieking of my alarm clock, and the sun streaking across my face. As I walk up to my window, I'm greeted with a clear blue sky and a beaming sun high in the sky. Forks third sunny day of the year. I guess the weatherman had no idea what he was talking about yesterday.
When I head back over to my bed, I see a note on the nightstand. It's a yellow post-it note stuck to my lamp shade.
I won't be around today.
I'll explain it to you when I can.
I need to show you somethingunbelievable.
See you tonight.
I need to show you something, unbelievable. What could he be talking about? His note put a damper on my mood. All I can think about is that I'm gonna have to go through the whole day without seeing him. I'm not going to have anyone to talk to during lunch.
Man, today is gonna suck!
School is uneventful. Of course. My only friend has one class with me the whole day, and the other person I'm acquainted with is a ghost. My life is a joke.
However, Mike does come up to talk to me to ask how I'm feeling. He smiles the entire time, genuinely interested in what I am saying. It takes me by surprise to see him act that way, but it doesn't mean that things are different.
At lunch, I sit alone, as always. I immerse myself in a book and have a sandwich. Throughout the period, I feel someone staring at me, but I don't turn around to find out who it is.
It's not until I get home, that anything interesting happens.
As I drive home, I actually use the visors in the truck. The sun is bright, and even though it's cold outside, the fact that there is sun is warming. I'm actually cheerful as I drive to my house though school was boring and Edward is gone. The day is too beautiful to damper it with a sour mood.
When I reach my house, I notice Charlie's cruisers and a familiar pick-up truck in the driveway.
The Blacks are visiting.
The Blacks, Billy and Jacob, are old family friends who live up in the Quileute Reservation. I've known them since I was little, but we rarely get to see each other. The only time they really come down is during baseball season, so their visit is unexpected.
I hop out of the car, careful not to trip on the way to the door. When I get inside, I'm met with happy greetings from Charlie, Billy and Jacob.
"Hey, Bells. How was school?" Charlie asks. It's the same question every day, and every day he gets the same answer.
"It was good, Dad."
"Isabella, how are you?"
"I'm good, Billy. How are you?"
"Still dancing," he jests, swiveling his wheelchair around.
"What's up, Bella?" Jacob asks, standing up. God, he's tall. Did he get taller? Again?
"Jake, I swear, you're taller every time, I see you."
"Maybe you're just getting shorter."
"Yeah, no. I think it's the other way around. So, what brings you guys here?"
Billy looks serious for a moment studying me. I feel a cold chill pass by me. Was that Edward?
"Just wanted to visit Charlie. We're gonna go fishing this weekend." His tone is suddenly very serious. He's practically glaring at me and the staircase.
"It's freezing outside. You sure you guys want to go fishing in this weather?"
"It is, but that just means less people fishing, which in turn means more fish for us," Charlie reasons.
"So, Bella," Billy slowly starts, "Anything happening with you? Any new friends?"
For a second, I wonder if he knows about Edward, but that's impossible. There's no way anyone knows about Edward.
"Nope. Same ole', same ole'." I'm slightly uncomfortable, all of sudden. The air in the room has seemingly gotten thicker. Maybe Billy does know. Maybe I could ask him about it. Maybe Jacob knows.
"Hey Jacob, you wanna hang out up stairs, while the old men gossip?"
"We don't gossip, Bella," Charlie defends, "And we sure as hell ain't old."
"Yeah, we're not old. I bet we could take you two in a fight," Billy adds laughing, but his gaze is still on me and still serious.
"Sure, sure geezers. Let's go Bella, before they start hitting us with their canes."
Everyone laugh as Jacob and I head upstairs.
I close the door, once we're inside my bedroom. Charlie doesn't say anything about it. He knows that Jacob and I are just friends.
I notice that someone has cleaned the room because the bed is made and all the clothes and books that I threw about the floor are gone. I find another note on the lamp. I pull it off quickly, so Jacob doesn't see it.
Ask him about the legend of Kachina andChebeyo.
He might not know it, but please ask. It's very important.
See you later.
"Hey, Jake. Can I ask you something?"
"Anything Bells. You know that."
"What can you tell me about the legend of Kachina and Chebeyo?" I ask as I sit on my bed, pocketing the note alongside the one from this morning.
"You know about that?" he asks, surprised that I would ask about a Quileute legend.
"No, that's why I'm asking."
"Do you know any of our stories?"
"No. I overheard someone talking about the legend of Kachina and Chebeyo today. I was going to research it when I got home, but I have the real deal here, so I thought I'd ask." The lie comes easily. Jacob chuckles and sits on the bed next to me. It's such a stark contrast to Edward. Jacob feels like fire compared to Edward's ice.
"The legend is really a love story. Sort of like a Native American Romeo and Juliet meets ghost story. "
"What do you mean?" I ask, curiously. Why does Edward want me to know this?
"Well, Kachina and Chebeyo were from different tribes, rival tribes. Kachina was a beautiful woman whose job it was to wash the uniforms of her tribes' warriors, and Chebeyo was a warrior that watched over the river for his tribe. Their lands were divided by the Amadahy River. That's where they saw each other for the first time, from across the river. They would see each other every sundown when they she would go to the river to wash, and he would go to guard. The legend goes that they fell in love at first sight. So, for years they always showed up at the river at the same time, so they could see one another. It's really cheesy."
"No, that's sweet and romantic."
"Yeah, okay. Of course, you would find it romantic. You're such a girl, sometimes."
"Oh, shut up Jacob. Continue."
"Well, oh, I forgot to tell you this, Kachina means Spirit, Sacred Dancer. In other words, someone who can see spirits."
That catches my interest. Where had Edward found out about this? How did he know?
"Well, their interactions didn't go unnoticed. Though they never did anything or said anything to each other, it was seen as wicked, and Kachina's father sent out his sons to kill Chebeyo. The next day when Chebeyo was not at the river, Kachina was devastated, but as she walked away from the river, the spirit of Chebeyo stopped her. She was shocked of course, because he was on her side of the river, but she noticed things about him. There was a light around him, and his body was ice cold. She knew he was dead. She couldn't understand why she could see him or touch him, but she knew no one else could."
Jacob turns to look at me, and I stare back at him. I'm so intrigued by the story. He continues when he notices my interest.
"Well, when she and Chebeyo began to talk, they figured out that he'd been killed, but they didn't know how or why. As the days passed, they looked for answers. Slowly, they began to unravel the mystery of his death. They also fell in love. Well, they had already been in love, but could never do anything about it, but now they could. When she figured out that her brothers had killed him, his spirit disappeared. Again, she was devastated. She spent the entire night by the river. When she woke up the next morning, she found herself on his side of the river, his arms wrapped around her. Apparently, their love had brought him back from the dead."
I sit there in shock, just staring at Jacob.
"I told you it was corny."
"No, it's a beautiful story about the power of love. What I don't get is how he came back?"
"She solved the mystery of Chebeyo's death. He was never supposed to die because he was destined to love her."
We don't say anything for a few minutes, but it doesn't matter because Billy is calling Jacob back downstairs. I look to my alarm clock and see that it's already nine.
"I'll see you, Bells. I hope you liked the story."
"I did. Thanks for telling me. Now I won't feel so left out of people's conversation's at school." Another lie.
"How did they know about the legend?" he asks, surprised that the kids in my school would know about the story.
"I don't know," I lie.
"Uh, whatever. See you, Bells."
I look around the room to see if Edward has come back, but he hasn't. It doesn't really bother me at the moment. I keep thinking about the Quileute legend. He wasn't supposed to die. The story is so much like that of Edward and I, except we aren't in love with each other. Well, at least he isn't.
It's not until midnight that Edward finally makes it back to my room.
"Hey, where've you been all day?" I ask.
"I can't explain it. I'll show you as soon as I can. Whenever this place gets some sun again."
Sun? What did the sun have to do with anything? I ignore what he says.
"So, did you hear the legend?"
"No, I read about it earlier, that's why I told you to ask him. I thought it would be better if you heard it from him. I probably would've botched the story."
"Do you think that could happen? Like if I found out who killed you, you'd come back to life."
"I'd believe just about anything today. I swear I saw big foot today, while I was in the woods."
"Very funny. Wait, why were you in the woods?" I ask, trying to suppress a yawn, but it still comes out.
"I'll tell you about it tomorrow. Why don't you go to bed, now? It's late, and you look exhausted."
He gets up from the bed, and I move under the covers. He's right, I am exhausted.
"You know I hate when people use my full name, and yet you say it, and it doesn't bother me at all. I kind of like it." I blush. I can't believe I just said that out loud. I'm such an idiot.
"I'm glad," he says and smiles walking toward rocking chair. He sits down and pulls a book out from his pocket. I try to watch him for a while, but sleep comes faster than I expect. As I'm drifting off to sleep, I feel Edward by my side.
Maybe I'm already dreaming and don't realize it, but I swear I feel Edward kiss my cheek, and whisper, "Goodnight, beautiful," before he takes off out the window.