Definitely not how I pictured our first kiss.

I was leaning over the unconscious, unbreathing body of Bella—a horrifying sight—and was blowing air into her mouth. I began the compressions again after I blew the second rescue breath in her mouth, inflating her lungs.

I am so very glad that Dad made me learn CPR. I could still remember what happened. I couldn't get rid of the image of Bella falling into the black lake—into the darkness.

"Dad! Dad, hurry, come quickly! Bella needs help!" I yelled to my father. I walked a few steps away from Bella and raised my arms over my head to get his attention, in case he hadn't heard my cry. Everyone's heads turned—my family's, the Uley's, and the Cullen's. They had heard me.

I turned around to walk back to Bella and somehow get her to come back over the railing, but before I took one step, I caught a look of sheer terror on her face. She looked so scared—just scared to death. The terror in her eyes suddenly vanished. I watched her, wary of what might happen, and I saw her face relax and her eyes close. Maybe she's fine again, I thought to myself. What I saw next would haunt me, perhaps, forever.

Her hand slipped.
Her feet left the floor.
She fell soundlessly into the water.

I was brought back to reality when Bella started coughing and spitting up water. I rolled her over onto her side quickly so she wouldn't choke. She wasn't awake, but at least she was breathing. The EMTs had just arrived. They put her onto a stretcher and carried her away to the ambulance. I had a fleeting vision of Bella being put into the back of an ambulance, still and white as a ghost, broken and bleeding…What the hell am I thinking? I shook my head to clear it and got up off my knees. It's the adrenaline. It's messing with your head.

"May I ride in the back with her? She's…a dear friend of mine." I suppose I was lucky to be able to ask a female. Alice was always making jokes about the effect I had over women. Sometimes I believed her; the woman had an expression of awe on her face.

"Ah…you the man who pulled her out?" I nodded. She nodded in response to my question. I hopped in the back and the woman got in after me, shutting the door. I saw the others still standing at the edge of the pier, their faces mirroring each other's, expressions of worry.

I looked down at the stretcher at Bella. My eyes roamed over her face, her skin, her sopping wet clothes…I realized that she must be freezing. I saw a slight shiver shake Bella's body, confirming my thoughts.

"She your girlfriend? I mean, I'm not assumin' anything or nothin', but I was watching the way you were lookin' at her…"

"No. She's not my girlfriend."

"People sho' could think otherwise…" the lady said in a sing-song voice with her country twang. I was becoming increasingly embarrassed.

"Well—I, uh—well, yeah, I mean—but—but—I really like her. I just met her a little over a month ago. We're just good friends. That's it." And I'm telling this all to a stranger why?

"Take her somewhere when she gets out of the hospital. And I mean it!" I cracked a smile at her orders. What a lovely old country lady. She had quite a character.

"Hm. Maybe…" We were silent after that. My mind wandered back to earlier events.

I tore off my shoes as quick as I could and dove over the railing after Bella. I heard gasps of shock and one lone onlooker who cheered, "You go get her, boy!" There were some pretty strange people in Chicago…

I hit the water and for a moment all I could see was black. It was everywhere—beneath me, next to me, above me. It wasn't just everywhere; it was everything. My head finally broke the surface and I took in a quick breath of air and went under again. I had to find Bella…but how could I when all I could see was nothing? I estimated that I hadn't landed far from where she hit the water. I started moving, spreading my arms and legs as far as they could go, to try to touch a lock of hair, maybe grasp a hand. I probably looked like a retarded seal or something, with the way I was swimming.

I swam as long as I could, but I had to have more air. When I replenished my air supply, I was back to frantically searching for Bella, endlessly it seemed. Finally, my outstretched hand touched something, a stringy whisper against my hand: hair. I turned towards the right, where I had felt it.

The hair was gone.

No, I thought. I swam forward and I felt the wet, dense fabric of Bella's blue sweater. I swam a little farther forward and grabbed hold of Bella's waist. When I had a good grip, I kicked for the surface.

A faint clicking sound interrupted my thoughts. I thought it was some type of device in the ambulance, but as I looked around, I could see that nothing was on. I glanced at Bella; her teeth were chattering.

"Do you have a blanket? Or a sheet, a towel, something?"

"Yeah, there's a blanket right here. You cold?" I shook my head and pointed at Bella.

"Oh…don't worry, we'll get her into somethin' dry once we reach the hospital." She threw the scratchy faded blanket—looked more like a sheet to me—over Bella. It didn't help much. We had just reached the hospital anyways.

I had to stand and watch as the doctors wheeled Bella away on her gurney.

It was a grim sight.

-|-|-|-

God, it was cold. And dark. Cold and really really dark.

Not a good combination.

Were my eyes even open? Where was I? I could make out the sounds of voices and a siren, but everything kept fading in and out. I knew I was lying on the ground, and I could feel the presence of someone kneeling beside me. I also felt wet. My head hurt, my throat hurt, my nose hurt, my Soaking wet, cold, in pain, and it was still so dark.

What a memorable Fourth of July.

***

I could feel myself being moved. I still didn't know exactly where I was. It was all slowly coming back to me, however. I could remember the pier, the fireworks, Edward and I talking, my families, how ill I suddenly felt…His face. I could remember His face. I could remember the terror on Edward's face as he saw my terror. And then I fell…

That was it! I remembered it all now. I must have fallen over the edge and into the lake. Who pulled me out? I don't know. At the moment, I couldn't care less. The pain was coming back. I wanted to sleep.

-|-|-|-

I was sitting by Bella's bedside. That lumpy, creaky hospital bed looked so uncomfortable. I was waiting for her to wake up.

She stirred, and I waited. Her eyes opened. Her eyes…

Her shock.
Her recognition.
Her smile…
All teeth and sparkling eyes…

God, she could smile.

"Hi, Edward. What are you doing here?"

"I was waiting for you to wake up." A slight blush crept up her cheeks at my comment. What about could she be embarrassed?

"Who pulled me out? Who pulled me out of the water?"

"I did." Bella's eyebrows shot up in surprise. I had to suppress a chuckle; her surprised expression was so funny.

"Oh…thank you. Thank you so much. I probably wouldn't be here right now if it weren't for you." She reached her hand over the bed's rail and placed it on my knee. It was a good feeling.

"You're welcome, Bella. But…you don't have to answer this if you don't want to, but why were you so frightened? What did you see?" A look of uncertainty passed across her face. Bella's brown eyes glazed over with the memory of that something that she had seen.

"Nothing. It was nothing. I was just scared of getting sick, I guess." She gave me a tight smile; I think Bella knew that I knew that she was lying, but I changed the subject for her sake.

"Remember that question you asked me a while back? That time that we all went to see Obsessed? I never answered it did I?" She shook her head no. "I have an answer now. If I thought someone might be after me, I would…find a way to protect everyone that I loved. I would try not to tie them to myself, so my follower couldn't do anything to them, if he was that kind of follower. But," I smiled at her, "if my follower was more of the stalker type, I would simply get a restraining order against them." She giggled.

"Do you know when I get to go home?"

"Well, Dr. Gerandy wanted to keep you here for a while longer, because you took so long to show any signs of coming around. You're lucky my dad works here; you can go home this afternoon." Bella looked confused for a moment.

"What day is it?"

"Monday."

"No, what number day is it?"

"July 6th."

"Wow. I've been all out of it, haven't I?"

"Maybe just a bit. You almost woke up a few times yesterday, but you continued sleeping…you talk a lot in your sleep." Her eyes grew as wide as saucers. Again, I had to suppress a laugh.

"What did I say?" Bella said in a clipped tone.

"Nothing much. Little meaningless snippets of your dreams, I guess. At first, you were complaining about the cold and the darkness. Then you were muttering something about a memorable Fourth of July." I didn't tell her about the way she seemed to cower away from something in her dreams. I kept that to myself.

"Oh." She sounded relieved.

"I'm going to go find out from my dad exactly when you can leave. I'll be back later."

I smiled at Bella before I walked out of the room.

-|-|-|-

This time, when I woke up, it wasn't dark anymore.

It was the exact opposite.

Instead of being so dark, everything was bright. At first, all I saw was white, everywhere. I turned my head and saw two emerald green circles. What is that? I lay there, staring at the circles, when they flickered. What are those? I was a bit shocked. I was in an all-white room, which I was sure belonged to a hospital, and then there were two random green eyes looking at me—eyes! I immediately knew whose eyes they were.

What a lovely green to wake up to.

I blinked a few more times to get rid of the bleariness that comes with the departure of sleep.

I rolled over and greeted the angel at my bedside, "Hi, Edward. What are you doing here?"

"I was waiting for you to wake up," he answered. I felt my skin heat up with his response. Remembering that he had been with me at the pier, I searched for answers I didn't know in an attempt to draw attention away from me.

"Who pulled me out? Who pulled me out of the water?"

"I did." I was surprised. I didn't know Edward was the one to have jumped in after me. Now that I thought about it, I couldn't see why I didn't think that before. It should've been staring me in the face all along.

"Oh…thank you. Thank you so much. I probably wouldn't be here right now if it weren't for you." I reached over to put my hand on his knee and gave him a sincere smile.

"You're welcome, Bella. But…you don't have to answer this if you don't want to, but why were you so frightened? What did you see?" I couldn't tell him that.

"Nothing. It was nothing. I was just scared of getting sick, I guess." I smiled a smile that didn't feel too real; I think Edward knew it. Thankfully, he changed the subject anyway.

"Remember that question you asked me a while back? That time that we all went to see Obsessed? I never answered it did I?" I shook my head as he waited for confirmation. "I have an answer now. If I thought someone might be after me, I would…find a way to protect everyone that I loved. I would try not to tie them to myself, so my follower couldn't do anything to them, if he was that kind of follower. But, if my follower was more of the stalker type, I would simply get a restraining order against them." I had to laugh at the end of his answer. Edward had a way of keeping the conversation from straying too far from light and easy.

"Do you know when I get to go home?"

"Well, Dr. Gerandy wanted to keep you here for a while longer, because you took so long to show any signs of coming around. You're lucky my dad works here; you can go home this afternoon."

"What day is it?"

"Monday."

"No, what number day is it?" It had been July 4th when I fell off the pier…

"July 6th."

"Wow. I've been all out of it, haven't I?"

"Maybe just a bit. You almost woke up a few times yesterday, but you continued sleeping…you talk a lot in your sleep." Uh-oh. Not good. My mom always used to tease me about that habit; I would sometimes say things that I otherwise wouldn't say out loud.

"What did I say?"

"Nothing much. Little meaningless snippets of your dreams, I guess. At first, you were complaining about the cold and the darkness. Then you were muttering something about a memorable Fourth of July." I was glad I hadn't said anything about my nightmares.

"Oh."

"I'm going to go find out from my dad exactly when you can leave. I'll be back later."

My angel smiled his crooked smile at me before he left the room.

A little while later, he walked back in, sharing the news that I was going to be able to leave by three o' clock, at the latest.

Alice rushed in and collapsed on my bed, hugging me and saying how worried she had been. I couldn't help but laugh at her comment of 'I thought that I would never be able to take you shopping!' She glared at me. Jasper was with her and leaned down to give me a hug and tell me how glad he was that I was still here.

Emmett was my next visitor.

"Look at you, huh? You're alive!" He imitated Dr. Frankenstein with added hand movements.

"Nice, Emmett," said Rosalie, walking in.

"What?" He laughed.

"Hi Bella. How are you feeling?"

"I feel good—"

"I knew that I would! I feel good. Woah! I knew that I would. Da-na-na-na-na na-na-na! So good, so good, I got you!"

"Shut up, Emmett!" Rose yelled.

"Gosh. I was just trying to cheer up the patient." Rosalie glared at Emmett as he walked to stand innocently in the corner.

"It's alright, Rose. It was pretty funny," I said, smiling at the kid in time-out.

***

It was good to be home.

As soon as I got home, I jumped in the shower. I never got to really clean up after my accident. The hot water felt nice, and my strawberry shampoo had never smelled better.

I called Renee when I got out. We chatted for a while, and after she hung up I called Charlie. He told me that he had gone fishing with Billy that morning. Hearing that had me calling Jacob after I ended the call. I didn't tell him that I had seen Him. It was a damn stupid thing to do, but I didn't need him worrying about me anymore than he already was, what with the whole near-death experience and all.

I was alone when Jacob told me that he had to leave; Sam was at work and Emily had left for the grocery story. I got to thinking about things…not a good thing to do.

Where is He now?
Does he know where I live?
Does he know where anybody else lives?
What will I do if He finds me?
What kind of job are the police doing over in Forks?
Did Emily remember that we're out of milk?