A/N: Warning, this chapter contains tragic events and suicide. It gets pretty graphic, so please read at your own discretion.
Chapter 19: The Note
"Bella, answer me now! Is this what I think it is? Is this a suicide note?"
Sitting on my knees, I clench my stomach and look at the ground as tears pour from my face. My lungs are burning as I gasp for every breath. My heart pounds so loud I can't hear anything else, including the buzzing noise I hear from Edward. It didn't take long for me to feel the familiar warm arms wrap around me, cradling my body against her chest. I know Rose is telling everyone to back off.
I can't look at them. I can't look at any of them. How dare they see that note!
My head snaps up at Edward. He is looking at the note and reading it. I quickly jump up and snatch it out of his hands; thank goodness I didn't tear it.
"You have not right!" I shouted, (taking all the air I have in me.) I gasped loudly, trying to catch my bearings.
I don't need this!
I shoved Jasper out of my way as I feel all eyes on me. I move like a blur outside to get some fresh air. I don't even register where I'm going, but I push the front door open and tuck my note carefully into my jean pocket before bolting out the house. I don't know this neighborhood well, but I need to get the hell away.
Away from the girls.
Away from my boyfriend's judging eyes.
How dare he read that!
He has no right!
The angrier I get, the faster my momentum takes me. I don't look behind me, just keep pushing and pushing and pushing my legs to get away.
When all air leaves my lungs, I stop to catch my breath. I look around and see a park close by. l put my arms above my head and cross my arms, to catch my breath. I feel my abs clench as I breathe in and out. I quickly deiced to walk over to the park and sit on a swing.
No one is around the park; most kids are probably sleeping in. It's still so damn early…too early for this drama. What happened with just eating breakfast and unpacking?
I gently take out my note from my pocket and smooth out all the creases.
I have not seen this note in a long time. No one, but Jacob, knows that I have this. Not even when the cops came. I've always kept it behind my mother's picture (in the frame) for as long as I can remember.
My vision is blurred as I re-read the note. I haven't seen it in years, but I still know every word.
I don't look up from the note until I hear someone coming close. I just know, in my gut, that my two girls are walking towards me.
Rose leaned in and touched my shoulder affectionately. "Did the run make you feel better?"
"Good. The boys had to hold Edward back from chasing you. I told Emmett to let you run ahead for a while. Get some steam out."
I nodded again and muttered a quick 'thanks'
"I knew something was behind that picture!" Alice yelled.
"Alice…" Rose said in a warning tone.
"No Rose, be quiet." She pointed at me, "I knew you kept something big from us, even though you know every fucking little thing about me. Good or bad, you know." She huffed, "You always kept the picture so close but you NEVER said anything! A suicide note Isabella Swan? Why the hell would you keep that away from us?" Alice yelled.
"Alice, go take a damn walk and cool off," Rose reprimanded and put her hand on her shoulder.
Alice shrugged off her hand. "Fuck that Rose. Bella is wrong here. I'm not letting this go."
I nodded again and looked up at Alice. "Your right, I should have told you two about this note."
Alice folded her arms together and raised an eyebrow, "well?"
"Jeeze Alice. Cut her a break."
"No Rose! This is serious. I'm not gonna act calm about this. Continue Bella."
I just shook my head and handed her the note, "just read it for yourself then. Both of you, please?" I know I should have never kept this from them. I feel so guilty.
Alice grabbed the note and held it close to her and Rose. They both began to read it silently. I watched their faces contort at the same time.
"Oooohh" Alice gasped.
Rose didn't say anything, but I saw her clench her necklace against her neck with her right hand as tears fell from her eyes. When they finished the note, Alice gently handed it back to me.
"I get it." Rose sniffled, "I get why you would keep that from us."
Alice shook her head, "I don't."
Rose sighed. "I'm sorry Alice, but you can't understand."
Alice snapped up and looked at her, "just because I had amnesia when I was little doesn't make me stupid Rose. We tell each other everything. I have no secrets from you two. I thought it went both ways."
I sighed, feeling bad. "It does go both ways Alice. I'm sorry I kept this from you. It's just…this never came up. I don't want to sound bitchy, but this is very very personal."
Alice took a step back and inhaled through her nose. I have never seen her this angry before. "Personal? You want to talk personal to me? You and Rose were the first people I openly talked about James to. The first! I told you how he beat me and called me another girl's name. How confused and scared I was. How much I wondered what I did wrong to deserve that! Hell Bella, I told you everything…willingly! Cause I always thought we were that close. I look at you and Rose like sisters!" She hiccupped as she gained her footing. "I even told you when I lost my virginity…the night it happened! How could you not tell us? ME?"
I shook my head, trying not to break down and cry again. "Alice, I swear I didn't tell anyone. This is a horrible burden I didn't want to infect you girls with."
Alice scoffed, "Really? Well then, does Jacob know? About the note and what it says?"
My heart sank. I put my head down, my eyes welling with tears. I let out a strangled cry as I looked her in the eye and told her the truth, "yes he knows."
Alice nodded, looking so hurt my whole chest hurt. "That's what I thought," she said with a weak voice.
"Alice, chill ok? This is big. Bella, do you wanna talk about this?"
I shook my head and Alice turned and walked away.
Rose leaned down and hugged me. I held her to me tightly, sniffling and squeezing my eyes close. She whispered, "I'm here if you want to talk B."
"Thank you Rose. I just want to be alone for a while."
She nodded in agreement. "I get that, its fine. But can you be alone at home? Your kinda out in the open here and with…you know? All the drama? I don't want you out alone."
"Yeah, I understand. I'll walk with you back."
We made our way back to the house; Alice was way ahead of us.
Rose and I made it back home around noon. There were no cars in the parking space. When we got inside the living room was empty as well as the kitchen. The only sign of life was coming from Alice's room. She was blaring rock music.
Rose put her arm around my shoulder, "Don't worry about Alice, she'll come around. She just needs time to cool off."
I doubt it, I've never seen her so mad. "I messed up big."
"Yes, you did. I told you everything about me too, Bella. Even though we don't talk about the subject of abuse and rape…I still told you what happened to Royce and me." She sighed and took her arm off my shoulder, "You know the whole 'it never came up' or 'it's very personal' is a bullshit excuse. You kept this from us on purpose. And I know the reason Alice got so hurt was because you told Jacob and not her. Not us."
"Look Rose, I-"
She put her hand up in front of me, making me stop talking. "I know. But I can't help but be mad at you too. I just don't want to shut down on you, like how Alice is, but that doesn't mean I'm not mad at you." She took a calming breath and tried to mask the hurt I see in her eye. She shook her head, "look, the boys are gone. I'm going to finish up my room, we'll talk more about this later." She motioned her hand towards herself and me, "when we're not so emotional."
I nodded my head. I understand that she doesn't want to talk to me right now. I rubbed the back of my neck, "I have to clean the glass off the floor from the frame and finish unpacking. I don't have much left over, but I need to finish."
"Okay. Well try to break all your boxes down and leave them in the living room. Emmett said he'll take them to be recycled later."
"Alright." I left her in the living room and made my way upstairs. The music was getting louder as I got closer to my room. I walked down to the end of the hall and looked to my right at Alice's door. I reached over and turned the doorknob and it didn't move. It was locked. She locked me out.
Frowning, I turned to the left and went into my room. I shut my own door behind me, because I didn't want to listen to Alice's loud music. I leaned on my door and looked around my room. I still have a lot left to do. First things first though, I get my note out and look for a new place to put it. I spot my dresser and knew that it would be safe in my underwear drawer…for now. I'll have to get a new frame soon.
I tucked the note in my underwear drawer, along with my mom's picture.
I picked up the glass carefully, so I don't cut myself. I put all the pieces in the trash bin. I looked around and decided I should finish putting up my photos and putting away my clothes.
The rest of the day went by pretty uneventful. I managed to get everything finished and crush all my boxes. My room started looking like my room. I've never had a room to myself; I've always shared with the girls. I even have my Nirvana poster up on my wall by my window.
I thought about the girls all day though. None of them came into my room to see me. Alice pretty much blasted her music all day. It only stopped when Jasper showed up. They have been in her room since, with the door still closed (I heard her slam it shut).
I don't know if Emmett was here, but I haven't heard anything from Rose. I'm hungry, but don't want to leave my room…I'm in a predicament.
I managed to keep myself busy. I finished up my room and took a lot of time writing in my journal Dr. Hall gave me. I basically wrote down everything that happened this morning. I wrote about Edward finding the suicide note and the girls finding out that I had it. I wonder what the Amazonian psychiatrist is gonna say about all this.
When I finished my entry, my stomach gave a mean growl. Hence, my predicament. I peaked my head out my room and into the hallway…all seems clear.
Am I hiding out and ignoring my issues with the people I care about?
Yes, yes I am.
I sneak over quietly towards the stairway and faintly hear classical music coming from the living room. I make it halfway down the stairs when I see Edward. He's sitting on the floor putting together…a coffee table?
I'm still mad at him and I do not want to have 'that' conversation right now. So, I turn around to head back up to my room, hunger be damned.
I turned around and looked at him nervously. I got caught. "Yes?"
"Why are you going back upstairs? Don't you want something? I mean, you came down…"
I shook my head. "Nope, I'm good."
Edward stood up and stared at me from the bottom of the stairs. He let out an awkward breath and scratched the back of head. "Look Bella, I don't know how to react to this. I…" he voice trailed off.
I know he wants to talk about the note, but I'm not ready to talk about it with him, so I changed to subject. "What are you making?"
"Huh?" he looks behind him, "Oh. It's a coffee table; my dad said you girls can have it. It's old and disassembles pretty easy, but it's good. I'm all finished with it. It's sturdy and all."
I shifted my feet, "that's nice. Tell him we said thanks."
"I will. My mom also wanted me to show you this." He pulled out his iphone (which made the music stop) and started messing with it. He looked up at me, "Um, can you come down and take a look?"
I walked down the stairs and stood right next to him. I automatically was engulfed in his smell. He smelled like cinnamon, axel cologne and something that was all him. It was nice.
He cleared his throat, "It's a furniture set her friend is going to put up on Craig's List. She said she wants to sell it all as one set, not sell it piece by piece. My mom asked her if she could wait to post it and see if you all liked it. I bet we can get a good deal on it." He handed me his phone so I could see a picture of it.
The furniture looks cute. I saw that the two couches and loveseat where both a dark shade of brown. They looked very comfortable and cozy. Those would look really nice in our living room.
"I uh…she said they were hardly used, plus she kept that plastic cover over them. The set is pretty much like new and I think this will be better than you all buying a whole new furniture set…so yeah." Edward finished awkwardly.
"This looks great Edward. I'll have to talk to the girls about it first, but I'm pretty sure we'll get it. Thanks a lot." I smiled at him.
He smiled back, "No problem. It was all my mother's idea. I'll send a text to Jasper and Emmett to show the girls. They're with them right now. See if their interested."
"That's a good idea." I looked up the stairs and wondered what the girls where up to. I glanced back at Edward and he just finished texting his brothers. He looked at me, probably wondering what we should do next. "You hungry? I came down here to make a sandwich. Want one?"
He looked down at me and smiled, "That sound delicious right about now."
We headed to the kitchen and I quickly made my way over to the fridge. I pulled out everything that is needed for our sandwiches and put it on the counter.
"My room is done."
Edward grabbed the bread and the mayo, "that's great. I changed the oil out from my car."
I looked at him and raised my eyebrow. He shrugged, "what? I had nothing else to do and my car needed it. When I finished I went to my dad's office. He told me the boys where already here. That's when he told me about the coffee table and my mom's idea about the furniture. So I grabbed the table from the attic and came here to assemble it."
"Sounds eventful. Your dad not working today?" I handed him the mustard and placed the turkey slices on top of the bread with the mayo on it.
"Yeah. He usually works four days in a row then is off for three. We usually volunteer the days he's there."
"That makes sense." I handed him his sandwich on a paper-towel. I went in the fridge and got us both some bottled water. Looking at the fridge I say, "We need to go grocery shopping again soon."
"I have my car out front, if you want to go?"
I looked over at him and he took a bite of his sandwich. I gave him his water and he muttered thanks while chewing.
"I'll have to go with the girls. To see what they want, plus Rose is the one with the money right now. But…" I sighed, "I don't think they will want to talk to me for a while."
He nodded his head and I took a bite from my sandwich. It's good.
"I'm not happy with you either. I really want to talk about it, but I don't want to piss you off." When I looked up at him he averted his eyes away and took a drink of his water.
I didn't know what to say. I don't want to talk about this at all with him. But we're in a relationship; I have to get use to talking to him about my life.
"Okay. Let's finish our meal and we'll go inside my room. I'll invite the girls, just them, and we'll hash it out."
Edward's face scrunched up a bit. "Why can't my brothers join?"
I put my head down, "This is really hard for me. I barely want to talk about this at all. It's going to be hard just to say anything and I hardly know them. Plus, I know the girls or you will tell them what I say later…which is fine by the way. I just want to tell you three face-to-face."
He reached over and pulled me into a hug. It was a bit awkward cause I still had my sandwich in my hand, but I embraced him anyway. I leaned my head on his shoulder. He hummed against my neck. I looked up at him and he looked down at me. I smiled and puckered my lips. He smiled back and leaned down to kiss me sweetly.
"Promise we'll be okay after all this?" I asked.
He squeezed me tighter, "I promise. I know our past doesn't define us, but it is our past. I need to know about this because I care about you Bella. I love being around you and I want to know what makes you happy or sad."
"I want to know more about you too." I muttered against his shoulder; one arm around his waist and the other on my said trying to keep my sandwich away from his shirt.
"Ha! You'll probably just find out what kind of a nerd I am." He chuckled.
I pulled away from him and looked up, "what?"
He blushed and looked down, "Trust me. On my downtime, I'm just on my computer playing WoW."
I laughed, "What's that?"
He shook his head, "Trust me Bella…you don't want to know about that side of me."
I smiled, "Yes I do."
He feigned a serious face, "No you don't. My brothers make fun of me for it all the time."
I giggled a bit, "Why?"
"Cause they do. Now let's eat."
"Are you ending the discussion Mr. Cullen?" I raised my eyebrow. Even though I know for a fact that I am soo going to get more information about WoW very soon.
"Yes I am." He smirked and let me go. He turned around and grabbed his food. I watched him eat and smiled. He was able to lift up the tension that we were in with just some simple words.
"Want to go on a date with me?" I blurted without thinking.
He choked on him sandwich and he eyes got big. "What?" he coughed.
"I mean, we're in a relationship and I've never been on a read date. Want to go out with me?" I shuffled my feet and looked at how cool my shoes look at the moment.
He took a moment to digest his food and take a deep drink of water. He reached over and put his finger under my chin so I could look up at him. "Bella, of course I want to go on a date with you. A real date. I just saw myself asking you out first is all, you surprised me. But if you want to go out tomorrow, I'll set up a great first date."
I smiled and nodded my head. "It's a date then?"
He chuckled, "It's a date."
We ate quietly until I heard footsteps slamming down the stairs. I looked over the entrance and saw Alice. She still looked extremely angry.
"Bella, I'm tired of waiting for you to approach me to talk about this. So, I'm here to approach you. We are going to talk this out now." She pointed at me, "you, me and Rose. Gonna. Talk. Now." She stated in a firm and cool voice. Jasper came up behind her and rubbed her back. He mumbled something quietly and she nodded her head, but did not break eye contact with me.
I didn't want to start a fight. I planned on taking her and Rose into my room away to talk it out. "And Edward." I explained to her, "I told him I would talk to the three of you in my room. If it has to be now, then lead the way. I'll call Rose."
She put her hand up, "Don't waste our time, I'll call her and we'll meet you in your room with Edward. Don't worry, the boys will leave."
"I didn't say they have to leave Alice, but-"
"I get it," she interrupted. "Edward is okay but not our guys. So stop stalling and let's get this over with." Her voice was shaky and she quickly turned around to leave.
I looked over at Edward, my eyes started watering and my chin started quivering. "She hates me." I crocked through tears.
He brought me to his arms and kissed my temple. "She's just hurt Bella. She loves you and I think we should just get together and hash it all out. Let's get this over with." He sighed and wiped his thumb under my eyes.
I nodded and followed him to the living room. I saw Emmett and Jasper come down the stairs, looking somberly.
I continued crying and feeling so guilty I had to say something to them. "Look guys, I'm so sorry if you feel left out, but you don't have to leave the house. It's just-"
Emmett slowly approached me. He shocked me when he enveloped me in his huge arms. "Shhh, no hard feelings Bella. We don't know each other that well yet. I understand this is hard enough for you without me and Jazz in that room. We're going to go out for a while and I promise we'll bring back buckets of ice-cream."
I laughed and sniffled against his chest. He let me go and I looked over at Japer. He looks so tough and kinda scary, with all his tattoos and faint scars on his face. But his face held nothing but empathy as he too shocked me by hugging me close.
"Alice is just hurt Bella." He whispered in my ear. "I swear it sweetheart, the moment you hug her and say sorry, she'll crumble and lose the angry façade. Cause that's all it is, a façade. She's in pain and needs you as much as I'm sure you need her."
"Thank you." I whispered.
"You're welcome. We'll see ya later."
Edward put his hand on the small of my back as we went upstairs. We faintly heard the door close behind us as we made it to the front of my room. With one be gulp of breath and a reassuring smile from Edward, we walked in.
Rose and Alice were sitting on my bed. Without saying anything, I walked over to my dresser and took out the suicide note.
I cleared my throat and started talking. "I'm going to read this note out loud. Then we'll talk about it:
To whom it may concern:
I feel so weak. So pathetic.
Fighting a fight I will never win.
What is one to do but drown in sorrow?
Cry until there is no water left. Bleed until dry.
There is no future, but what waits beyond…
Hopefully I'll seep into my deepest delusions, cause that's all I ever look forward to anymore.
A place of dark tranquility.
Since reality is just too hard to stand and not worth the effort anymore.
One must let the past lie and the future plummet down to an indefinite possibility.
I was a failed wife and mother. May I rest in hell where I belong?
I deserve no better.
-Rene Irene Swan
I wiped the tears from my face and continued without pause. "On the back of her note was a poem. I don't know if she meant to have this in her note or if she just simply used this page as a piece of paper to write on. I'll never know. But it says:
Love is a Flame
Love is a flame that burns with sacred fire,
And fills the being up with sweet desire;
Yet, once the altar feels love's fiery breath,
The heart must be crucible till death.
Say love is life; and say it not amiss,
That love is but a synonym for bliss.
Say what you will of love—in what refrain,
But knows the heart, 'tis but a word for pain.
I finished the last line in a whisper. Feeling dizzy, I shakily sit on the floor. I feel Edward behind me and I lean back into him. My sobs wheezed and I clenched my eyes shut.
"I was barely six years old when I found my mother dead in a bathtub. I didn't understand what I was seeing." I sniffled. "The water was red and her arms were cut so deep. I tried to wake her up but her eyes never blinked!" I yelled and pleaded with my eyes for them to understand.
I sat in Indian style on the floor and Edward was rubbing my back. "I knew about death from when she explained it to me when my dad died. So in my heart I knew she was dead. I saw the note on top of the toilet. I don't know why but I picked it up and ran into my room. I hid the note inside a hole in my teddy bear. I never told anyone I had it. I didn't even read it until I was thirteen years old…on her birthday."
I steeled myself. "Well, when I went back to her room…I…um…." I trailed off and my tears flowed more down my face. "I…got in the tub with her."
I heard everyone in the room gasped.
I nodded, "I loved my mommy. I wanted to be with her, go with her wherever she went. I didn't want to be left behind! I stayed in that tub until I was found…by…by…"
I hiccupped and leaned forward til I laid my face on the carpet. I turned my face to the side, feeling Edward's warm hands on my back. I curled in the fetal position and Edward molded his body around me. "I wouldn't get out of the tub. The police were called and they had to pry me away from her cold dead body. I was hysterical."
I looked up at the girls from the floor. They were holding each other and silently crying.
"I went through the process from there. I was questioned over and over again by more shrinks than I can count. I never wanted to talk to them about it. I always had my teddy bear though. And since I had no blood relatives left in my family, they sent me to a foster program. A therapist there was very frank. She told me my mother took a whole bottle of pills and slashed her own wrists. I yelled and had nightmares for years. Soon after that, I was sent to our orphanage."
I laughed a little and looked up at Rose, "Remember? I woke up some nights screaming?"
Rose nodded, "I remembered. But you told us it was for other reasons…" she gave me a pointed look.
I understood. She was talking about HIM. "Well, that too. But mostly it was my mom. I always had a reoccurring nightmare that my mom would talk to me while she slit her writs. My dad would be there too with a huge smile on his face and gaping gunshot wound on his forehead. The room would be filled with so much blood and their voices pierced through me. I hate that dream."
Alice looked horrified. "Bella?" she squeaked.
I tapped Edward's hands and got up to my knees. Staying on my knees, I made my way over to the girls. When I got to the edge I rubbed Alice's legs. "I'm so sorry I kept this from you. I love you so much Alice! I swear I do! It's just hard for me to talk about my mom. I loved her and hate her so fucking much." I cried.
Rose got on the ground with me and hugged me from the side. "I love you Bella."
I sobbed. "I love you too Rose. Even though you're only a year older than me, I look up to you like a mom."
Alice nodded her head; I know she feels the same way.
I looked at her pleadingly, holding her face in my hands. "Please forgive me Alice. I don't know what I would ever do without you. I-I-I am so s-so s-sorry." I stuttered.
Alice leaned down and hugged me. "I love you too Bella. Don't you understand that the three of us are really one? That we tell each other our secrets-good or bad- so we can share the weight of it together? I don't want you to suffer like this alone." She whispered in my ear.
I nodded and put one arm around her and the other around Rose.
"She's right Bella, we're in this all together. Us three against the whole crazy world. No matter what, we're permanent." Rose added, obviously hearing what Alice said.
"I know. I swear there's nothing else I'm hiding from you two. I promise."
We held each other. I don't know how long we held each other. I jumped when I heard the doorbell ring.
Edward cleared in throat and wiped his face. "It's um…my brothers. I'll let them in and we'll be in the living room until you all are ready to join us."
I looked over at him sadly. His eyes were red and his hair a mess. He looked at me wantonly. I know he wants to hold me too but understands that I need to be with the girls right now. He simply kissed the palm of his hand and gave me a small smile.
I know we'll talk later. I was thankful he shut the door behind him.
After a while I asked the question I've been wondering about all day, "Are we okay?"
Both girls nodded.
Alice spoke first, "I'm sorry I got so mad at you. I was just hurt. You two are my family, the only one I'll ever know. When you keep things from me I get scared. I never want to lose what we have."
Rose rubbed the back of her head affectingly, "You never will. We're soulmates."
I nodded. "Forever."
Alice sighed and kissed Rose and I on the cheek. "I know we have a lot more to talk about, especially with what you said, but let's settle for a bit. Bring our emotions up again, on a more positive level. Jasper promised to bring back ice-cream. We'll talk about this more again later…without tears." She smiled.
I smiled back, rubbing off my tear soaked face. "I'm all for not crying."
"Gosh, me too." Rose added. "Let's have the boys cheer us up for a bit. Emmett said he was going to bring us his TV and DVD player. We're watching a comedy movie tonight, no more drama."
We all walked over to mine and Alice's bathroom. We all washed our faces and fixed our hair. With one last look in the mirror…we laughed.
"We look horrible!" I yelled.
"Total mess!" Alice added.
"Complete zombies!" Rose snickered. She just spanked Alice and my bottom, "Oh well, our guys know where hott most of the time."
With that we hugged one more time and left to go downstairs. I honestly can say—at that exact at the moment—the world was lifted off my shoulders…for a while at least.
A/N: I know this may be hard to read, it was hard to write too (that's probably why it took me so long). The poem is "Love is a Flame" written by George Marion McClellan in 1895. I love this poem and I hope you all enjoyed it.
This is an intense chapter. I'm curious to know what you all think…