I turned slowly to face Edward. His arms were slightly outstretched, as if to help me, even though he was many feet away.
The first thought that came to my head was relief. I was back, I had control. Edward was close by me, and I was safe.
But my second thought was anger. I was there to have seen Edward fall in love with a six-year old. I was there the whole time; from beginning to now. I knew that he would do anything for this childish version of my former self. I knew that he would hate to lose her. That he loved her.
But all of that was fine and well, for she would be back soon, anyway...I couldn't keep control of my consciousness long enough. I knew she would be back soon. It wasn't hard for her in the car earlier, so why should it be hard for her now?
"Edward?" I tried to speak his name in an icy, angry tone, but my voice cracked, and instead it sounded like I was crying. Obviously, he took it the wrong way, because he walked towards me and embraced me in his arms.
"Bella," he whispered to me, his eyes seething into mine. Seeing that butterscotch color, feeling his cold arms around my waist, all this made me forget that I was angry with him. I melted in his stare and began to feel dizzy, but shook my head, remembering my purpose.
Though, as I opened my mouth to speak, he stopped me. His marble lips crushed mine, and my face was in his hands.
Damn it! I thought. How was I supposed to convict him when he was acting like this? My arms, against my will, wrapped slowly around his neck, holding him closer...
A million protests screamed at me from inside my head. I was not the one he loved. I was just a stand-in for that stupid six-year old. She wasn't me!
She isn't me...
"Edward." I gasped, struggling to pull away. he understood my purpose, and let me step back a few feet. My hands, in the cold air, clenched into fists by my sides.
"Bella?" He asked, a look of pure confusion on his marble features. He was reaching out to me again, trying to hold me. My mind kept screaming no. I took my share of steps away from him, my face hard.
"What's wrong, Bella?" he asked me, confusion morphing into sadness.
"What's wrong..." I said quietly, dazed for a second. I could feel the sides of my vision fading, the world starting to spin...I didn't have much time until she came back. I had to do something now. "What's wrong is that...is that you love her."
"Her?" He asked, and let out a small laugh. "Her? Bella, you know well enough that I love you."
"But you don't," I started, "I was there, Edward! I was there when you told her that you loved her! I saw you say it!" I nearly spat.
"Who are you talking about, Bella?" he asked, confusion setting again. Everything I saw was starting to blend together, my mind in a haze. Quickly...
"Me. I'm talking about me!"
At first, I thought Edward still didn't get it. His face was still fixated on confusion, not resignation. But slowly, his eyes widened, and his mouth hung open. He understood now.
"You know," he said quietly, "You know about everything...after all I've done to keep it from you..."
"I'm not saying I'll be there every second," I muttered, ignoring him. I was feeling extremely dizzy. It didn't matter if he didn't understand, I had to say all the things I needed to quickly. "Before, when she was here, I couldn't see everything. It was like I was unconscious. But at that one second, when you said you loved her back, I was there. I was there, and I knew everything. And..."I started to sway, closing my eyes, "And all I could think was not my Edward..." I opened my eyes, "I want you to tell me, to my face, right now, that it won't hurt you if she disappears. If she never comes back." I said to him, nearly crying. I was disappearing...
Edward was quiet.
"So it's true, then...you...do...love her..."
My feet slipped out from under me, and I was unconscious again. She was back.
Bella lay sprawled on the ground, eyes closed. I was too stunned to move. How had she figured out? Was there something the doctors, including my own father, have not been telling me? Was she really...existent then? Only a few moments ago? Where was she now?
Too many thoughts evaded my head.
Sooner or later, my limbs began to function again. I moved quickly towards Bella, falling to my knees by her side, taking her head in my hands.
"Bella." I whispered, shaking her slightly. "Bella, wake up. Talk to me."
She didn't move, though her breathing was steady, and her heart rate was normal. "Bella!" I said louder, shaking her again.
My cell phone was out of my pocket, and I was dialing Carlisle's number within seconds.
"I don't know...how..." Carlisle said, staring at Bella's face. She lay still underneath the stale hospital sheets, her head resting quietly on the soft pillow. I was again in the hard, red chair that was too uncomfortable, Carlisle standing next to me, trying to figure out the situation, "and why had she...why did she faint?"
"She thinks I'm in love with the six-year old." I murmured, and Carlisle stifled a laugh.
"But the six-year old is merely another version of her. It's like the six-year old doesn't exist, she's not real."
But she was. She was very real to me.
"But to eighteen-year old Bella, the six-year old is just a nuisance that has come to steal me from her. It's a constant war in her head. Like a split personality..."
"That's basically all it is. That's the only thing I can think of," he said.
"But how was Bella present, then, when the six-year old was still here?"
"Of course not." I said angrily, "You don't know anything, do you?" I yelled, standing to tower over him, "My love thinks I hate her! She thinks that I love a six-year old!"
"...But...don't you? Don't you love the six-year old Bella? From what I've seen, and heard, losing her is almost as painful for you as it would be to lose 18-year old Bella."
I staggered back, eyes widening. "I don't. I don't love her. I love my Bella, my original Bella. The other one can...can go burn in hell, for all I care!"
A muffled sound was heard from behind me. I turned slowly to see Bella, awake, crying. Then, in a child-like voice, she pled, "You hate me, don't you? You want me dead."
Six-year old Bella was back. And I didn't want her dead. I was just mad...
"No, Bella, I..."
"You want me to go burn in H-E-L-L!" she cried, pulling the sheets up to her chin.
"Bella, I was angry, I didn't mean..."
"Yes, you did! You hate me!
"But I don't! I love-" I caught myself, recognition flowing through me. Was I seriously just about to say that I loved her? Yes. Yes, I was. The eighteen year old Bella said that she wasn't always present, so why would she be now? "I love you, Bella."
She smiled a little, then wiped away her tears with the bedsheets. "Well, good. I love you, too."
This was getting too confusing for me...
"Carlisle?" she asked, turning to him, "can you please turn the TV to Spongebob? There's a new episode today!" she exclaimed merrily, bouncing. Carlisle reached to turn the TV on, and I turned back to Bella.
"Bella, do you know why you're in the hospital?" I asked, wary. If the six year old Bella knew about what happened, if she knew that there were two people living in her head, it would make her worried and scared. At least eighteen-year old Bella had enough peace of mind to understand...Honestly, I think eighteen-year old Bella knew more about the situation than I did.
"No...I don't." Bella said, looking sad and confused,"...why am I?"
I clenched my mouth shut.
Eighteen year old Bella's POV
No! my mind screamed. tell her! Tell her why, so she'll get scared and go away!
My thoughts were lashing out, out of control. The six-year old was in no way aware of my presence. She could not hear, see, or feel me here. Anything I thought was kept to myself. I couldn't control my body, though...In this moment, I wasn't really alive, just kept up inside myself...
The images in front of me were turning darker, harder to see. Was I dissapearing again? Would I get to hear Edward's reply? All I could do was fight to stay conscious.
"You are...in here...because you were low on food, and..."
"But I've been eating good! And weren't we just at the carnival? I don't remember anything!I was looking at Spongebob toys, then..." She looked off into space, probably trying to remember what happened after that. She wouldn't know; that's when eighteen-year old Bella had been present.
"You fainted, Bella. There was something...wrong...that we didn't know about."
Bella looked at the TV, murmured, "Oh," then was caught up with the adventures of Spongebob playing across the screen. I sat back down in that hard, red chair, and sighed.
When would all of this come to an end?