"What can I get you?" Tyler asked. His voice was distant and uncaring, as if he didn't know me. Charlie sighed, obviously recognizing this strange occurrence as well.
"Just a burger," I squeaked, intimidated by the foreignness in my ex-friend's voice, "Well done." He should know that. I had ordered it every other Friday for the past year. Tyler used to cater to my every need. The Lodge, Charlie's favorite restaurant, could be completely full and yet Tyler would come back and forth to our table, making sure that I still had enough ice in my drink.
But tonight… the distance in his voice has caught me off-guard. I wondered how long he had talked to me like this. I talked to him in school. Didn't I?
Tyler spun around on his heels and walked back to the kitchen, winking at Lauren Mallory, who was sitting across the restaurant with a curly-haired girl that I used to hang out with.
I was impressed that I had even recognized these curious transactions. I had not noticed anything in the past four months. I had been empty, hollow, transparent. The actions and words of other people had not stirred me. I had stared out the window while Mike tapped my hand playfully. I had nodded silently as Jessica prattled on pointlessly. And now suddenly it was all clear. I had not acknowledged their presence, and now it was their turn to ignore me. This ostracization did not bother me in the slightest. There was only one person who could revive me- no. I mustn't think about that.
"Bells." My head shot up, pulling me out of my reverie. It was Charlie, his eyes wide and annoyed.
"What?" I muttered. Charlie gestured down towards my drink. It had spilled all over the table. I didn't care, even as the soda seeped into the fabric on my elbow. Charlie sighed heavily at my lack of reaction and made eye contact with a waiter across the room. All I could do was shift around so that my arms were folded across my chest. Tyler was back.
"Again?" he asked, looking down at the spill. I had knocked over more than one drink? Maybe, somewhere deep down, I was still Bella Swan. That was something the old me would do. But the old me would also laugh and blush as Edward teased me. Did I just think that name? No- Eric would tease me. That's what I had meant. The old me would also laugh and blush as Eric teased me. I was losing it.
"Um, we'll just take the check, Tyler," Charlie muttered bitterly. He had grown impatient. Tyler stopped mopping up the mess, and I was vaguely aware of his eyes on my face.
"I'll be right back then," he muttered, casting me an anxious look.
I let my eyes close in resigned humiliation, barely acknowledging Charlie's hand on my forearm. He was whispering my name. No- he was shouting my name. Others were too… yelling anxiously as my chair disappeared beneath me and I sunk into darkness. And then I was overcome by the sound of silence.