A/N: Massive thanks to Lauren, especially for the last few chapters. And also to the ever loyal Life Takes Time, you rock!
"They say that when you sleep your body's at rest
I wouldn't know what sleep felt like if I tried my best
If polaroids and memories can fade away, so can I...
Back and forth I toss and turn
It feels like strings are holding up my eyes
I'd kill to fall asleep" I'd Kill To Fall Asleep – New Found Glory
My name is Bella Swan. Fuck off and let me sleep.
After Edward dropped me off, I ran full pelt into the bathroom. I hurried my shower, foregoing shaving my legs for washing my hair. Seems reasonable. I scrubbed my scalp roughly in the spray of water and hurriedly rubbing shampoo onto my head. I slathered the conditioner haphazardly through my hair, more conditioner falling onto the bottom of the bath tub than being smoothed through my hair.
Fuck you, conditioner, I really don't have time for this.
I rinsed my hair, shutting the water off and streaking to my room, the towel threatening to fall at any moment. I dried my body, leaving my hair in a tangled mess on my head until I was dressed.
After rummaging through my meagre wardrobe, I gave up. I threw on yesterday's jeans and a slogan t-shirt that Phil had mailed for my birthday. Come over to the dark side, we have cookies. I grinned at the shirt before putting it on. I missed him. We texted a few times a day and I called once a week. But it wasn't enough. I still missed him.
I sat down in front of the mirror and dragged a brush through my hair. The knots and snarls pulling painfully against my scalp as I ruthlessly ran the brush over them again and again until they came out. I ended up just putting the knots back into my hair as I wound it around itself and secured it at the back of my head with a hair tie.
I brushed my teeth and slurped too-hot coffee in an attempt to wake up. My shower had made me feel sleepy.
Today is going to be horrible.
Forty-three minutes had passed since Edward had dropped me off at my house and I was leaving again.
I locked the front door and stood out on the curb waiting for him to turn up.
My mind was reeling from the kiss and bogged down with the weight of my current plunge at the same time.
I saw a flash of sliver in the corner of my eye and stood up straight. Edward had hardly stopped the car before I was in and buckled up.
"Hey Bells." He murmured, looking me over for a second, "Tired?"
I made some form of grunting communication to indicate that I was indeed stupidly tired. I slumped down in my seat, getting comfortable. I shut my eyes and crossed my arms across my chest, burrowing into my jacket.
I had absolutely no idea how Edward could manage surviving on hardly any sleep most of the time. My sleep had been sporadic when I was manic before. I'd stayed awake from three days at my worst, but I'd slept for another two when the high disappeared. How the hell do you manage this shit Eddie? I thought to myself.
Apparently the combined hum of the Volvo, the gentle music coming from the stereo and the warmth of my jacket had cased me to fall asleep. I was woken by a gentle shaking on my arm and Edward's velvet and honey voice telling me we were at school.
"Stupid damn walk in the middle of the goddamn night." I cursed at myself, rubbing a hand over my face. I muttered some form of craziness about finding Alice and caffeine from my sleep deprived mouth as Edward helped me out of the car. I looked around the lot; almost every head was turned in our direction.
"Everyone's looking at us." I choked, mortified. I looked back at Edward, whose face had broken into another smile.
"Oh well, what the hell." He smiled at me, wrapping an arm around my shoulders. I shrunk into his side and kept my head down as he gently guided us through the maze of parked cars to find our friends. I tore my eyes away from my feet to look at him again, to find him still grinning.
"Why you smiley." I grumped as we walked through the front door of the school. God that almost sounded intelligent in my head.
"I was kissing you an hour and a half ago." He grinned wider, causing me to smirk along with him. I stretched up on my tiptoes and placed a kiss on his jaw. "What was that for?"
His arm tightened around me as we walked through the corridors. We stopped at my locker to dump books in it and pick up my history text book. Edward stood at my side as I emptied my book bag, leaning against the locker next to mine.
"I hate to sound like a fourteen year old girl but can I please kiss you again?"
I looked around us, seeing faces staring back at us, "Um, Edward, there are people everywhere, and most of them are staring right at us." He pushed off the locker and closed the small gap between us.
"Bella, I wouldn't care if everyone in the entire school was staring right at us." He murmured, ghosting his hands up my arms. One set of pale fingers came to a halt on my neck as his left hand travelled up to my cheek, "Please say I can kiss you," He whispered in my ear, his warm breath fanning across my face, causing me to shiver.
"You can kiss me." I whispered back, turning my head to meet his lips. Our mouths connected with an electric pulse that had my heart beating in my ears. The faces staring at us in the corridor were the farthest thing from my mind. He captured my bottom lip in between his before releasing it and pulling back to look at me with his devastatingly beautiful smile.
His smile was lost as I was turned around and met with a screeching Alice.
"I told you!" She sang, bouncing on the spot and clapping her hands, "Didn't I tell you?" I looked at Jasper over her shoulder. He shrugged and mouthed "What" at me with a smirk.
"Alice, will you calm down please?" Edward said lightly to her. It was the first time I'd heard him be cordial to her since Saturday. She jumped at him, throwing her arms around her neck and squealing. I heard him murmur that he was sorry to her.
Jasper walked over and pried Alice off of Edward, "Yeah, I have no control." He grinned, patting Edward on the shoulder.
"About that," Edward groaned, rumpling the back of his hair, "I'm really sorry about the whole 'control your woman' thing yesterday, I was out of line with everyone."
"Dude. No blood, no foul." Jazz grinned, thumping his shoulder again.
The bell rang above us and I trudged off to English with Alice.
"Oh, I thought you'd like this." She said, producing a bottle of Coke.
"Ali, you're my fucking hero." I groaned as I opened the cap and let the gassy caffeinated goodness slide down my throat, "Not quite a skinny vanilla latte with a double shot, but it'll do." I grinned as we took our seats.
This day could not possibly go any slower. English with Alice passed quickly with her incessant chattering, but History went slower than the dead. I sat beside Angela Weber and tried to discuss our weekend before Mr Finch instructed us to get out our textbooks and start reading the third chapter. My tired eyes couldn't handle the reading. Angela had to nudge me every five minutes to keep me awake.
French was much the same; I was in no mood to conjugate verbs. Alice did the work for both of us in French and Trig, and I promised with my hand over my heart to do the homework for both classes.
I spend the first half of lunch with my head on the table. Too tired to eat, speak or even move. Edward was missing from our table. I tried to voice my observation and failed. I closed my eyes and let myself settle.
"I'll wake you before the bell rings." I heard Jasper whisper to me.
"Yeah, but you'll only have one eyebrow left." Emmett chuckled. I heard the thwack, thwack and thump after his comment and knew that Alice and Rosalie had both got head slaps and Jasper had probably punched him in the shoulder.
I love my friends. I sighed and let the world pass my by. I felt him before I knew he was even there. I also smelt… coffee?
My eyes were open and I sat ramrod straight in my seat.
"I can smell coffee." I rasped.
"Hey sleeping beauty." Velvet. Honey. Edward. I grinned as I turned to face him. He placed two cardboard cups on the table and pulled out his chair, sitting down and wrapping an arm around my shoulder, "I thought you'd like a coffee."
"You are my other hero." I groaned as I took a sip of the warm liquid. Vanilla latte. Heaven.
"Who's your first?"
"I am." Alice piped up, "I gave her a bottle of Coke this morning."
"So what am I? Chopped liver?" Emmett boomed.
"You didn't bring her something to keep her awake." Alice chirped.
"Oh I could keep you awake Bellarino." He chuckled, waggling his eyebrows. I watched the double thwack, thump and thud as Alice and Rose coordinated their attack, and Jazz went for his right shoulder and Edward his left. I sat in my chair and giggled.
"And that's what you get Emmett." I laughed, sipping at my coffee before turning to Edward, "How did you remember that I liked vanilla lattes?"
"We all went for coffee the day you got your stitches out." He smiled gently. I cringed as I remembered that day. "You talked about the coffee for about an hour after we left. I thought you needed perking up."
My mind flickered back to the hospital trip to have my stitches removed. The cuts had healed and were puckered by the sutures. It hurt like a bitch having them removed.
"Bella." Edward growled as he placed a hand firmly on my knee to stop it bouncing, "Sit fucking still."
"I can't!" I whined. I was so nervous I felt like hurling.
"Bella, calm down." Alice whispered from my other side. The six of us were sat in the waiting room of Carlisle's practice. They were here for moral support. Either that or to laugh at my pain.
"Isabella Swan?" A blonde nurse called out. I stood up and walked towards her, turning back to my friends.
"Someone come with me?" I whispered. I felt sick. Alice shook her head as did everyone except Edward.
"Pussies." He hissed at them, walking towards me.
"Dr. Cullen will be with you in a second." The blonde nurse smiled as she led us to a curtained bed, "Just hop up on the bed."
She disappeared as Carlisle came around the curtain.
"Miss Swan." He smiled, "Edward."
"Hi Dr. Cullen."
"Hey Dad." Edward grinned.
"Let's see how these have healed shall we?" He said as he gently removed the bandages from my wrists and inspected the stitches, "Yep, they've healed well and will definitely be coming out today. Can I ask why you still wear the bandages though?"
"Uh…" I was lost for words. My brain was dead. Is it possible to get brain dead and still be able to function?
"The sutures were catching on her clothes and pulling." Edward jumped in for me. I thanked him with a smile. My stomach was churning uncomfortably, "Dad, you're gonna have to be quick with his. She looks like she's gonna puke."
Five agonising minutes later, I was stitch free and sitting in the back of Alice's car with Edward.
"Did you guys hear her scream?" He laughed. I punched him in the arm muttering for him to shut the hell up.
We stopped at a coffee shop before heading home.
"My treat." Edward smiled cockily, "You deserve a treat seeing as my Dad didn't even offer you a lollypop for what he did."
I punched him again. "Vanilla Latte. Please."
Twenty minutes later, I was back in Alice's car.
"That coffee was soooo good." I smiled.
"Yeah, that's the sixth time you've said that now." Edward chuckled.
"GUYS!" Jasper shouted, "Will you two please stop it! You're eighteen, not eight!"
"Is too." He hissed at me.
I punched him again.
I smiled at the end of that memory. I'd punched Edward a lot in the last five weeks. I was surprised that he didn't have a fist print on his right bicep from my digs.
Once the coffee was finished and began to work its magic, I was more involved in the conversation.
I felt my mind starting to whirr gently, but gathering speed.
Fuck, please not now. Not now. No.
My leg bounced of its own accord, my fingers twitched restlessly around the empty coffee container.
"You okay?" Edward's smooth voice asked in my ear.
"Yeah. I'm good." I said, barely opening my mouth. I would not embarrass myself by spouting my nonsense.
I hadn't been manic since I'd been taken off my medication. I had been happy, hyper and felt alive. But I hadn't been the crazy sort of hyper that I could feel spreading through my limbs.
The room seemed to brighten up. The colours became vivid and the slight draft swirling around the cafeteria was energising.
I'm fucked. How the hell am I supposed to hide the crazy?
The shrill bell behind my head rang, signalling the end of lunch. I jumped up from my seat, grabbed my bag and waited almost impatiently as Edward rose fluidly from his chair at in excruciatingly slow pace.
I had some control on myself as we walked hand in hand to Bio. Inside my head, I was dancing and twirling through the corridors, laughing and singing.
I ignored Jessica Stanley's sneer as we passed her outside the class and heard her hiss, "what the fuck is he doing with her."
Nothing could bring me down right now. I was flying again.
Mr. Banner was talking slower than usual. I couldn't pay attention to him. Edward was giving me sideways glances and holding my leg down, stopping my bouncing.
I was starting to feel out of control. When I got to out of control, that's when I started feeling uneasy.
"Edward." I hissed near the end of class.
"Finally." He huffed.
"What do you mean 'finally'?"
"I've been waiting for you to tell me that you're high since lunch."
"Is it that obvious?"
"Not unless you know what to look for." He frowned, "Why?"
"I don't like people knowing what's wrong with me."
"Are you okay?"
I shook my head rapidly. "No." I whimpered, "I'm really not okay. I'm starting to get really… weird."
He laughed and raised and eyebrow.
"Oh, fuck you." I grinned, "Weirder than normal then. I'm starting to freak out."
The bell rang outside the classroom and the rush to make it to the next class began.
I repacked my unopened notebook and textbook into my bag and turned to say goodbye to Edward.
I could feel the tears pricking at my eyes. I was getting more and more out of control. It was getting harder to focus, to function. I started panicking. My breath came in short, sharp bursts.
"G…get m-me out of here." I pleaded with him, "Please?"
He wrapped an arm around my shoulder and took me to his car.
I sat and shook in his car as the mania turned into anxiety. The wind was roaring in my ears. Every sound was amplified. My breathing was erratic, my heart thundering in my chest as my body trembled.
Edward was running a hand over my arm as he drove to my house, "Bella? Honey? Can you hear me?"
I nodded. Words wouldn't come to me. They were stuck.
I'm stuck inside my own body. How the fuck do I get out of here. Oh no. I'm trapped here like this. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck-
"Bells, you need to calm down. Take slow, deep breaths."
I tried. I was still gasping. The panic had taken over me. I was no longer happy. I was completely terrified. Tears starting trickling down my cheeks.
"Bella, come on! In…and out. Try it. Please. In…" He took a breath and held it before exhaling, "And out."
I tried. And failed again.
He parked the car in my drive, behind the beast, and helped me out of the car. He had our bags slung over his left shoulder and his right arm around my torso as I shook violently with every step I took.
I stumbled to the front door and let Edward unlock it. My trembling legs took me to my bedroom by themselves.
"I'm just gonna make a few calls Bella. I'll let your Dad know what's going on. I'll phone school too."
"Yes." He said firmly, "I'm calling. End of. Come on, you need to lie down and try to breathe normally."
He settled me onto my bed and took my phone from my bag. He dialled the station.
"Chief Swan please." He barked, tapping his fingers against his leg. "Chief Swan, its Edward Masen… Yes sir… It's about Bella… She had a panic attack at school… she's okay. Her breathing's better, but she's still shaking… Yes sir, I'm taking care of her… Of course I will… Yes sir… I will… Goodbye."
He turned to me and smoothed down my hair as I rocked gently from side to side on my bed. "Your Dad will be home in about an hour. I've to keep you safe till then. He says if you haven't calmed down properly by then, he's taking you to the hospital." My eyes widened. Surely he wouldn't actually have me admitted for having a panic attack. "He says that you're to sit on the rocking chair and try and calm down."
"C-can't mm-move." I stuttered. He wrapped my blanket around me and lifted me to the chair, sitting curled up on his lap with my head tucked under his chin as he rocked us.
After a while, I noticed the gasping was gone. I could breathe easier. The rocking was calming me down. I remembered that this was how Charlie used to calm me down at night when I was younger. He'd sat in this chair with me until I fallen asleep every time I'd had nightmares at his house.
Edward was stroking my hair as he rocked us back and forward, humming a tune to himself.
"Thank you." I whispered to his chest as my head cleared. I felt completely drained. I knew I was limp in his arms.
"Being there to save me." I sighed and snuggled closer to him, "For being my hero."
He chuckled and buried his face in my hair.
"I'll always be there to save you Bella. I don't have the strength to stay away from you."
We sat in silence, Edward still rocking us gently. My eyes started to droop. I tried to fight against the sleep, I eventually lost.
Through the haze of sleep, I heard my father speaking and Edward's muffled reply.
"It's okay Chief Swan, I don't really want to leave her."
"Why not? I know she's your friend, but surely you have other things to do?"
"She's not just my friend, sir. I think she's my girlfriend now. Possibly." I heard the uncertainty in his voice.
"Just do me a favor?" There was a long pause, "Just don't hurt her. Please? My little girl's got a pretty tough deal right now. I don't want you fucking everything up for her. If you even think of hurting her, just remember, I own a gun."
"He wont." I grumbled hoarsly.
"Are you really awake this time?" I felt Edward chuckle. I sat up as much as my body would let me. My entire being felt like jelly. I opened my eyes and looked at him, frowning.
"You've been talking for a while."
I groaned. I thought I'd grown out of talking in my sleep. I heard my bed creaking as Charlie sat down on it.
"She always spoke in her sleep." He smiled softly, "It was like getting an insight into my little girl's world."
I turned back to Edward, "I didn't say anything embarrassing did I?"
"Depends on what you think embarrassing is." He chuckled, "You said my name quite a few times."
I groaned again and felt my treacherous cheeks flame.
"Bells, I think the boy has a question for you." Dad said gently as he stood up and walked out of the room, "Play nice. Not too late though Edward. Thank you for today."
The door shut with a soft click and we listened to Charlie's heavy footsteps going down the stairs.
"Yes Edward. I would." I kissed his cheek and smiled at the confused expression on his face.
"You would what?" He frowned.
"Yes, I would like to be your girlfriend."
He grinned again, "Really?"
He pulled me back into his cuddle and resumed rocking. My eyes started closing again. I felt his warm lips on my forehead.
"Sleep, my Bella."
A/N: Yes, another one. Ha ha. Guys, thank you so much for all of your reviews and also for sticking with this story when I'm so sporadic with the updates. I hope you enjoyed this one.