Disclaimer: I only wish they were mine.
Do Not Refuse
Working among these humans was even more tiring than Carlisle had ever let on. Even his thoughts weren't as exhausted with them as I was right now. I wanted nothing more to sit in my office for the rest of the day and do paperwork. Because it was easy work and distracted me from thoughts of her. When I was among these humans I saw her in every one of them in some way, especially the women. Perhaps one of the hade her caring heart, or her stubborn attitude, or the same colour of hair. It was difficult for me to be here and not see her in every scene, to not think of her in every moment, to not wish I hadn't been so stupid.
It has been 80 years since we left Forks. Alice only ever saw her once, she had made her decision. She moved on and tried to leave us behind. I hope that she had. It would be much easier for her if she had succeeded than to always live in constant hope that we would come back to her. It was one whim that I had never given into – to go back and see how she was. I had always held myself back well and had attempted to distract myself.
My Bella. I sighed and opened my charts to see who was next on the list. I smiled to myself, Mrs. Drake was a particularly feisty elderly lady with a great will to live. She had a very mild form of Alzheimer's, but her children had abandoned her to the care of the hospital and only came around when they needed something from her. I didn't like them much. Their thoughts were always on how they could get more – more money, more love, more objects. I also pitied them that they had never had the kind of love that I had once touch their lives. That kind of love changes a person and makes them see the things beyond material belongings.
As I walked I contemplated the chart in front of me with a small frown on my face. According to the nurse's notes it said that Mrs. Drake had forgotten her son's name on his latest visit and he had berated her for it, effectively upsetting her. I had a hard time believing that someone could do that to the one who had raised them. I hurried my steps towards room 14, eager to check on her, cheer her up if I could.
I rounded the corner only to come face to face with Nurse Hunt. She was a small, Aboriginal woman from Canada with a great attitude and a caring heart. She was one of the ones who often reminded me of Bella. I greeted her with some enthusiasm.
She smiled widely, "Hello, Dr. Cullen! How are you this fine day? Beautiful day!"
I looked out the window to my right. It was raining as usual in this part of the country. She was always so optimistic – sometimes it rivalled Alice. I had to admire that even with five kids, a husband and a stressful job that she could still smile and laugh.
"Yes, it is nice out today," I gave her a sly wink and she laughed loudly. She was one of the only nurses that never bothered with inappropriate thoughts about my person, "And how are you Nurse Hunt?"
To my surprise her brow crinkled worriedly and she looked about to cry. I placed my cold hand over her covered arm where I knew she wouldn't feel it's icy temperature.
"What is it?"
"Oh, I'm sorry, I just, I think we're going to lose a patient within the day. She's so beautiful and her family is being so strong. It's hard to watch." She whispered brokenly and one tear slipped out.
"Do you mean Mrs. Drake?" I knew very well she didn't, but none of my other patients were that ill.
"No, it's Mrs. Black. She's Dr. Benjamin's patient. Poor lady, cancer it is. And the doctor is so busy that he almost never checks on her. I think he's given up on her. "
I watched as Nurse Hunt pulled herself together and tried to shake off her troubling thoughts. She really was worried about Mrs. Black. I decided to be helpful, I had nothing better to do with my non-existence anyway.
"How about if I check on her after Mrs. Drake?"
Nurse Hunt nodded gratefully and I sent her on her way again. I continued into the next room where Mrs. Drake was sitting up in bed watching her soap operas. She almost didn't notice me standing at the edge of her bed. When she saw me her face lit up mischievously.
"Well hello, Dr. Cullen. How are you today, handsome?"
I smiled at her joking manner. She was always teasing me.
"I am excellent, thank you very much. But I see here on your chart that you had a bit of a rough day yesterday. Do you want to talk about it?"
She frowned, trying to remember what I was talking about. I knew she wouldn't recall. Her Alzheimer's was getting worse. I decided to spare her any additional pain.
"The nurse gave you the wrong kind of pudding..." I trailed off, teasing her.
It worked and she laughed. The smile on her old face always made me feel good.
She smiled slightly evilly again, "So, find that young thing yet? Or are you to busy playing doctor? You know you really need to find that special someone. Lucky girl that one will be."
It was a struggle to keep my smile, "No, no special someone for me. I just want to concentrate on my career right now."
"Oh phooey, there's someone for everyone and you don't need to worry about your career. You're fabulous."
I laughed at her choice of words while really dying on the inside all over again as my thoughts were in a Bella turmoil. My love. I had to get out of here.
"Well Mrs. Drake, I actually need to do some paperwork and I have one more patient before I leave for the afternoon. I will see you tomorrow and I hope you have a good night. You know you can always call me if you need me."
I left the room after she said goodbye and leaned against the wall outside her room. I closed my eyes and took deep, unnecessary breaths to calm myself. Only one more patient and I could lock myself in my office with my papers all night where no one would find me and they wouldn't even know I was still there. I somewhat regretted that I had agreed to this extra patient but I remembered the look on Nurse Hunt's face and began to trudge to room 30 upstairs. It was the cancer treatment centre and I hated that part of the hospital. Too much human suffering.
I asked the young receptionist where the room was and was forced to listen to her inappropriate thoughts as she pretended to consult the map, even though she had been working here for a year already. I was annoyed by the time I got on my way again. Some humans were so predictable it was really quite sad.
Standing outside of the small hospital room I was able to catch the scents of its occupants. One was truly revolting, it made my nose crinkle, but then there was the other. It smelled like her, my Bella. I was losing it; I was going to lose it.
I took a deep breath and held it as I entered the room. I was confronted with an elderly couple holding hands and staring out the window at the clouded sunset. Their love was that of a couple familiar with everything about the other, it was a love that expected nothing more. And it was a love that was going to end soon. I could tell that by the way Mrs. Black's heart was slowly beating; ever so sluggishly it forced the blood through.
I took one more step into the room ad cleared my throat gently. They both turned to look at me and I froze in shock. It wasn't possible.
Staring back at me was Jacob Black, but he wasn't angry or upset by my presence for once. He seemed resigned to the fact that I was there, even though he hadn't known I was coming. He looked tired, and he didn't look like he would live much longer than his wife.
I pulled my attention back to his wife and my breath escaped me. It was Bella, my Bella. She was truly here and she was dying. What had I done?
"Edward?" Her voice was feeble and quieted with age. It broke my heart to hear the doubt in her voice.
Jacob got up from his chair and kissed his wife's forehead. I heard him whisper, "I know you won't be here when I get back. Goodbye, I love you."
A tear trailed down her face as she returned his sentiment and I felt my heart break. She loved him. Did she still love me?
Her husband left the room after patting me on the back and muttering a goodbye. I knew it took a lot for him to leave his life partner in the final hour of her life and I appreciated the fact that he did it for us.
I moved towards the bed and sat on the edge of the mattress. Her wrinkled hand found my cold one and wrapped itself inside with surprising strength.
"Edward. My love."
"Bella, my beautiful Bella," I brushed a lock of long white hair away from her face.
She smiled blissfully and closed her eyes, "I love you, don't leave."
"Never, my love. I will be there when you reopen your eyes on the other side."
I listened as her heart slowed and stopped beating. I didn't try to resuscitate her; she had DNR on her chart. I gently laid her still warm hands by her sides and pulled the covers over her beautiful face. Even in death she took my breath away. And I was sure that when she was an angel she would be even lovelier. I looked forward to that moment as I left the hospital for Italy. I knew they would not refuse me this time, I would not let them.