A/N: My dear friend PrincessFerdinand wrote an account of Bella in those missing months in New Moon. I disagreed. So for the last five nights, at midnight, I've been writing. Based on my own experiences, this is how Bella spent October, November, December, January.
Each new section was written the next night, at midnight.
I should be asleep.
But I know that.
How can I sleep? Who now will sing me lullabies?
The pain strikes again.
Every day, I don't feel pain. People who haven't been through this, they say that depression is sadness. They say loss is pain. They say that it hurts so bad. They say that depression is feeling, is emotion.
They're wrong. Oh God, they're wrong.
Depression is nothingness. It's not sadness, nor melancholy, nor sorrow, nor this distant lost concept of pain that they seem so obsessed about. No, depression is not being able to feel pain, and wanting it. It's not being able to feel scared because you want pain. It's not being able to feel scared because you can't feel pain. It's fearless fear. It's emotionless agony.
I can't feel. I don't cry. I don't know if I will ever cry again. Crying seems to alien to me; tears are a foreign thought. How can I cry?
I know people have been like this since the dawn of time. I know I'm not alone. I know that one third of all teenagers experience some level of depression. I know that. My heart should be protesting that I am the only person who feels this.
But my heart does not contradict me.
In a book, a play, a film, the heroine would declare that nobody could ever have felt like this before. She would protest that despite her knowledge that everyone hurts, they could never have hurt like this. She would cry out that her heart holds so much pain that it could never be recreated in another human being. Another person.
My heart holds nothing.
I am nothing.
Nothingness is what defines me, now. I get up, and nothing. I get dressed, and nothing. I wonder if I even have a scent. Surely I would smell of nothing.
Another myth about depression: you don't smile when you're depressed. I know that you do, because I do. I smile when someone yells "Hey, Bella!" across the parking lot, when someone smiles pityingly at me, when Charlie asks how I am. I'm lying all the time, now. I have become a brilliant actress, because there is no one as easy or as difficult to portray as yourself. I pretend nothing is wrong, that I'm still here, that the moss and the grass and the trees are still green, that the walls of my room are blue, that there is still such a thing as colour.
So I go through my day, pretending I'm Bella. I miss Charlie in the mornings; he leaves early. I eat something some days, some days not, then I go to school. I smile at anyone who smiles at me, I go to class and frown and bite a pencil end like I used to do, concentrating. I glance out the window once or twice, pretending I'm daydreaming of escaping the school routine and going home. I eat lunch with the people I always ate lunch with, and I nod along with the conversation, pretending I care enough to agree. I grimace in Gym, because that's what I always did, and I apologise when I hit someone or hurt someone, because it's polite, and I was polite, wasn't I? I drive my truck home, and I make dinner for Charlie because that's what I'm supposed to do, and I do my homework, because I was never late with homework before, so I shouldn't be now, and I do the chores that became my job when I first moved in. It's what I did so it's what I do.
At night, I can't keep it up.
Slowly eroded by silent tears, my perfect façade.
I wrote that once, then doodled the words over an entire sheet of paper, sometime near midnight, trying to stay awake. Because I can pretend, I can keep up the façade until the nightmare comes. The nightmare where he does not exist.
As soon as he is in my mind, his name pounds through my head, clutches at my heart, and the pain resurfaces. Alone in my room, tied up in my sheets, the sheets where he once lay with me, where I told him I loved him, I love him, I will love him.
I feel, I feel, I feel, I feel.
I don't know if the feelings are a relief or a torment, a blessing or a curse. It's proof that I can feel, that I'm not entirely dead, but is it that I can only feel pain? Is it only agony that can permeate my façade?
Edward, Edward, Edward, Edward.
I scream. I scream because it's been building up all day and the pain is a montage in my head his empty table—the seat in biology—hey, Jess, have you seen the posters for the next spring dance?—this week we will be studying Wuthering Heights—take a picture of us together!—Hallowe'en soon. My brother's obsessed with going as a vampire—sunny day—wish I knew what went on in that head of yours—did you hear? Eric's got the best average, now the Cullens have gone—La Bella Italia—Romeo and Juliet—fifties music—shopping trip—piano recital—love you, Ben, love you, Angela, love you, love you, love you.
The nightmare is only the catalyst.
I have to wash my pillowcase more often now; the tears give them a permanent smell of salt.
In the morning, my skin is tight and uncomfortable, but I've got control now. I get up, and nothing, I get dressed, and nothing.
I won't do anything crazy. I won't try and... I struggle with the words: suicide, top myself, kill myself, end it all, take my own life. Even if I hadn't promised, I don't have the energy. I don't have the drive. Life, existence, in the day, it's not bad. It's not bad at all, it just is. No reason to do anything reckless.
I won't pretend I haven't thought about it. At night. When I'm screaming. But I remember then that he made me promise not to do anything stupid, for Charlie, and I know he's right. Charlie would be devastated; Renée just wouldn't cope. How selfish would it be, to do that and hurt everyone. I can bear the nights, I know. I survive the nights, and in the morning there is no fight any more.
I came close. Midnight, one night. The nightmare woke me, and there was a storm outside. This time the montage was more specific it's time—vampires like baseball—it was stupid, irresponsible, to expose you like this—she's human—only human.
It's not just him, this time, who I scream for. It's Alice, too.
Alice, who volunteered to take me to Phoenix. Alice, who gave me a much-resented makeover for the prom. Alice, who had seen me with him, with her, for eternity.
Alice, who had wanted to say goodbye.
Alice, who hadn't.
She had left. Just left, before he spoke to me in the forest, before he killed me. She could have stayed, couldn't she? She could have left, then come back? Did she not care enough to say goodbye? Were all my friends, my family, lying when they said our only fear is losing you? Was it not only he who had been only pretending to love me?
I was as far as opening the window, letting the icy rain soak my numb skin, wondering if I would even be able to do it. Then the thunder sounded again, and I shook myself, remembering. Jasper. She left because he did. I looked at myself, what I was contemplating, because he wasn't here, and I had known him for only months. If I had known him for decades, loved him... how could I expect Alice to leave Jasper, even for a day, for my sake?
I raged at my stupidity and selfishness, and resolved that I would never get so far again. And in the morning, the nothingness was stubborn, and the nightmare wasn't so long. The nothingness was winning. I am becoming truly nothing.
Nothing. Months of nothing. Days of nothing. Nights of pain. Nothing.
Slowly eroded by silent tears: my perfect façade.
His voice shatters that façade at Port Angeles.
Jacob gives me more than a façade. He gives me something. I am not nothing. Not for now. But the pain is a reminder, I know. It tells me that if the pain can stay, the emptiness can, too. I'll never be the same again. Part of me will always be nothing.
A/N: Obviously, this steals the prize from Missing Moments chapter 13 as the most depressing thing I've ever written. It's also the shortest fic I've ever written; it's more of a drabble. As I said, this is taken directly from my experiences of depression. I know, everyone is different; I never said PrincessFerdinand was wrong, you understand. This is just me. And the line slowly eroded by silent tears: my perfect façade was actually one I wrote, three and a half years ago, and used fresh in conversation only an hour and a half ago.