AN: This is my first attempt at a full story on fanfiction. Please don't be harsh. This is based on what is going on in my life right now, medically at least. I have a basic outline, but as my health takes twists and turns they will be reflected in this story. I plan on writing all of Gradual Healing in Bella's POV. So it is Bella unless otherwise noted. I hope you enjoy.

FULL SUMMARY: Bella is a working Master's student with deteriorating health and a traumatic, haunting past. Worried she will never be good enough to be loved, she closes herself off from all but her closest friends. Will she take a chance to step out of her shell? Can she survive long enough to deal with her past experiences and allow herself to feel again?


I smiled to myself as I drove down the highway to meet Alice and Rosalie to look at wedding dresses. I felt happy, truly happy, for the first time in at least eight years. To think that just five months ago I was questioning whether I would ever reach this point in my life. Everything had moved so fast. My friends were settling down, happy and blissfully in love; one set engaged another now living together. All were enjoying their new jobs and adjusting to the 'real world.' My father had finally found someone to share his life with, someone that loved and appreciated him.

And me…I was great. I was starting my dream job, my health was improving more every day, and I had Edward. He was the most wonderful, understanding, and patient man. I still got butterflies just thinking about him. He was my rock, steady and unyielding through anything bad. My life felt so perfect. Like I had told Alice, "I could die today and die happy, my life feeling complete." Little did I know that phrase would soon be tested.

I was only three blocks from the boutique my excitement bubbling over enough to rival even Alice. I was digging through my purse as I sat at a red light searching for the business card I had misplaced. The car behind me honked. I looked up to see my light had turned green. I pulled into the intersection waving at the car behind me in apology. The next thing I know, I hear someone laying on a car horn, people screaming, and the crunch of metal. I was immediately enveloped in darkness.

I would appreciate reviews. They don't have to be fluffy or even good. If you have criticism please let me know; it will help me become a better writer. If you have suggestions or things you would like to see, please feel free to share. I want to make this story good for y'all.