Hi guys...Yeah it's been a while. I deeply apologise. My life got crazy. It still is incredibly hectic, however, the next chapter is almost done! So it will be out soon!
Big thanks to mycrookedsmile for betaing so quickly! 3
Disclaimer: I don't own anything.
CATCH UP: In the last chapter, Edward searched for Bella everywhere, had a little freak out. Then Jasper found her! Woo! But, when they got back to the home, Bella had closed up and wouldn't talk to anyone. Hope that explains everything.
Enjoy the chapter! Excuse the time gaps and the load of dialogue that is involved in this chapter. It's a bit of a filler.
She could be a statue of liberty
She could be Joan of Arc
But he's scared of the light that's inside of her
So he keeps her in the dark
Oh she used to be a pearl
Oh yeah she used to rule the world
Oh cant believe she's become a shell of herself
Cause she used to be a pearl
"Pearl" by Katy Perry
"Good afternoon, Bella. It is lovely to see you again." Bella sat there, no; I sat there, but I still couldn't speak. Something had taken over my body, trapping me inside my mind. I had no control over my reactions and however much I tried to fight the blocks, I couldn't get out. And so my body stayed quiet. It was on autopilot. It would eat. It would shower. It would do the necessary motions of everyday life. But it wasn't me. There were times when I'd fought so hard I thought I'd breached the walls around me, but seconds later, they would be back, stronger than before. I guess this was my mind's way of coping with the pain. My body was making sure I didn't get hurt again.
I tried to focus back on the present, and Dr. Laurent appeared in my eyesight, talking again, but it wasn't him I was concerned with. I cared about the person sat next to me, the person who held my lifeless hand tight in his, the person who loved me: my Edward.
If being trapped in my own mind had one positive, it was that I saw how much Edward truly loved me. It was strange, seeing the world continue but doing nothing; it was almost like watching a movie of your life. But through it, I saw how much he cared: his every action, every word, every look, screamed his love for me. It was like I was seeing the world in a different light, like seeing it through an outsider's point of view. I wanted back in, though. I wanted to be able to move my hand and squeeze his tighter. I wanted to be able to hug him close. I wanted to be able to move closer to him during the night. I wanted to start again. The pain, everything I'd felt before my body trapped me had gone. I couldn't feel it anymore. All I could feel was my intense need to fight for Edward, and to show him who I truly was. I was worth it. If Edward thought I was worth it, then I was. I wanted to show how strong I could be. But this self-made prison wouldn't let me go. Edward turned and glanced at me and I felt him squeeze my hand. Internally, I wanted to cry. His expression was so hopeless, so fearful, so helpless. It killed me to see him so, but I couldn't change it. I tried, I did. I forced all of my energy into smashing that barrier around me, but the harder I pushed, the stronger it got, just like before.
"Bella, can you hear me, love?"
Nothing. I didn't move. I continued to stare blankly in front of me. Inside I was screaming. Yes! I can hear you! I can! My heart dropped when no words came out.
Dr. Laurent asked Carlisle and Edward some more questions about me, but I didn't hear much. All my attention was on Edward. He answered the questions in depth, glancing at me from time to time. His grip on my hand never wavered.
My body stood up when we went to leave. Edward's hand guided my body to the door. Alice and Rose were outside waiting for me. They both gave me a smile that I didn't return. They pulled me over to a seat and sat me down. Edward knelt before me.
"Dr. Laurent wants to talk to Carlisle and I. I'll be back in just a second." He kissed my forehead and went back into the unwelcoming room we'd just left. I felt myself closing in further by the second and my resolve faltered as I saw the door shut behind him. My doors were closing. It seemed like there was almost no hope left for me.
I anxiously glanced back at Bella as I went back into Dr Laurent's room. In the last month there had been no improvement in Bella's behaviour. She still hadn't spoken. Or smiled. Or even looked at me with anything other than that blank stare. She looked dead. I still tried my hardest to bring her back to us, but even I was losing hope. Dr. Laurent had asked Carlisle and I back today to discuss things he thought would help her, and I was willing to try anything to get her back.
But I didn't even know if she wanted to be back. I had no idea what was going on in her mind. Did she see how worried I was? Did she care? Was she choosing not to speak? Or was it forced upon her? Carlisle suspected it was her body's way of coping with the pain, that this was her method of protection. I wasn't so sure.
Dr. Laurent had us sit down and stared as us seriously.
"It is quite clear to me, and I'm sure to both of you as well, that Bella has not improved in the last month."
"No shit, Sherlock," I snapped at him. Stating the obvious wouldn't help matters. I still wasn't sure of this guy. I didn't like him. The way he stared at Bella like she was some sort of animal pissed me off.
"Edward," Carlisle warned, placing a hand on my arm to control me. I shrugged it off angrily. Dr. Laurent smiled at me, but it didn't reach his eyes. They were still the cold, calculating brown they always were.
"Edward, I know you are worried, but reacting through anger is not a healthy manner of expressing your emotions."
"Don't fucking analyse me!" I yelled, my anger bursting out of me. "We're here for Bella, and Bella only. She is the one that matters here. So get on with it!"
"Stop it," Carlisle muttered through clenched teeth. I shrugged my shoulders helplessly at him, sinking back in the seat and glaring at the doctor in front of me. "I'm very sorry about his behaviour, Doctor. He hasn't taken this well as you can imagine."
Dr. Laurent nodded, his eyes full of false sympathy.
"Shall I move onto our young Isabella then?" Carlisle nodded at his words and Laurent sat forward, clasping his hands in front of him.
"I know this may come as a shock to suggest, but have you considered finding Bella a more...permanent home?" My mind started spinning. I blinked and he was still staring at us, his face thoughtful. He wanted Bella to move? Away from us? Away from me?
"What the fuck, you sick bastard! This is the only place Bella has ever felt at home! How could you even suggest she be taken from us!" I hissed at him, standing up and moving towards him angrily.
Carlisle jumped up, grabbing my arms and forcing me back down. "Edward, control yourself or I will make you leave," he said, letting go of my arms at a nod of my head. He returned to his seat and faced Laurent.
"I admit, I had considered the idea."
"Edward, calm down. It makes sense. Bella is clearly not healing well, and the constantly changing atmosphere can't be helping her at all. She needs something more stable, something we can't give her."
"I can give her that! I'm fucking there for her constantly! I make sure she gets everything she needs! I comfort her in the night! I do fucking everything for her! I won't let you take her away from me!"
"We aren't suggesting we take her away from you. Dr. Laurent was merely suggesting that we consider finding some good people to look after Bella. Just to give her a little time to heal. She'd still be able to see you of course, and Alice, and everyone else. She just wouldn't have to keep up with young people moving in and out and in and out, like at the home. She'd be able to relax, and focus on healing. She'd have people to look out solely for her. Esme and I can't put all of our focus on her, as much as we want to. We have to look out for the others too. It makes sense."
"No it bloody doesn't make sense! This is Bella we are talking about! She can't cope with that! She just settled here, and now she's being moved again!"
"Edward," Dr. Laurent interrupted. "I'm sure you're smart. Even you must see that the environment within the home is not suitable and is not helping Bella in the least. We need to try other things. I think this would be extremely helpful, for both Bella and for your relationship with her. We can't have her becoming too dependent on you, which from your description, it seems could happen. It will be safer for Bella to recover her true self if she is away from mess and wildness of the home. I have no doubt that you and that young Alice do your best, but it isn't helping. You must see that. Bella needs change."
"I...I..." I stuttered, my blood boiling inside me. I needed her. I needed Bella. She needed me too, I was sure of it. I stood up slamming my chair into the ground as I did so.
"No, no! I won't let it happen." I stormed out, the door slamming into the wall as I did. Alice and Rose jumped at the noise, but Bella merely stared at me. I grabbed her hand, pulling her to me and wrapping my arms around her.
"I love you, I won't let them take you from me," I whispered. Alice and Rose looked at me in concern. I just shook my head.
"They want to take her from me." I shook my head harder, holding her tighter to me. "They want to put her with someone more stable." My eyes filled with angry tears. "I can't let them, I need her, I need to protect her."
Alice opened her mouth to speak but Carlisle came upon us and looked at each of us before placing a comforting hand on my arm.
"I think it's time to go home."
When we got home, Emmett instantly knew something was wrong.
"What's happening?" he asked quickly, sitting up from the sofa where he lay. He looked from me to Carlisle and back again.
"Carlisle," I spat the name out, "wants to move Bella out, to take her away from us and put her somewhere she can fucking heal, without us."
"Dad? Is that true?" Alice asked in a timid voice. "Bella's safe here. She loves Edward, I'm sure he's helping her, it just takes time. Isn't that a bit of a drastic measure to take?"
I smiled gratefully at Alice. She always was the voice of reason.
"I'm not saying it's definite, just that we need to consider it. There has been no change in Bella in a month. It's time to face the fact that we aren't helping her. She needs a place that will. Putting her with a family who can give her a more stable environment can only help. But it is not final. I need to discuss this with Esme, and the rest of you, in full. Now is not the time though."
Emmett stared at him in shock. He looked at Bella, the girl he considered his little sister and stood up, moving next to me.
"I agree with Edward. She's safe here."
Carlisle sighed. "I said now is not the time to discuss this. Now, Edward, please take Bella upstairs, do what you do. I need to find your mother."
Alice accompanied Bella and me upstairs.
"You should play for her," she suggested in her lilting voice. "She loved when you played, maybe that would help?"
"Thank you for trying, Alice, but I've already played for her and nothing. Not even a small smile."
"I know, but please just try. It feels like the right thing to do. Trust me." I sighed at her words, leading her and Bella into my room.
Alice and Bella sat on the bed. Alice crossed her legs and leaned her elbows on her knees expectantly, whilst Bella merely sat there primly, her eyes still wide and blank and staring into nothingness.
I took out my guitar, not expecting anything. I sat on the floor in front of them, and Alice glanced between Bella and me quickly as I started playing. I played the songs I had the first time she heard me play. The songs I played before our first kiss.
I looked at Bella the whole time, hoping to show her all my worry, all my love and all my hope that she'd come back to me. I looked back at my guitar when her blank stare became too hard to face. I just couldn't look at her. The helplessness I felt would overpower me if I looked at her any longer.
A gasp from Alice brought my head shooting up as I finished off my song. She was staring at Bella in wonder and hope. I studied Bella closely and my mouth fell open as the light shone off the tears that were trickling down her cheeks. I jumped up, throwing down the guitar and scooted over to her. I took her face in my hands, stroking her cheeks gently.
"Bella, are you there? I love you, Bella, so so much. Please answer me." I stroked her hair, and I felt her hands shakily come to life and wrap around me. Her head dropped onto my shoulder and she sobbed like her life was ending.
I held her there as she cried. Alice has left as soon as she saw Bella throw herself at me. When Bella stopped shaking, I sat us up on the bed, preparing to speak to her. When I looked at her, my heart dropped.
The mask was back. My Bella was no longer there. I looked deep in her eyes, searching for...something. My eyes widened when I saw the struggle there, the blankness almost completely hiding the fight going on inside her head.
"I know you can do this, love. I know you're there somewhere. Fight for me," I whispered, wrapping her in my arms again.
A soft knock on the door brought me back to my senses, and I let go of Bella, walking silently to the door. Alice was in my arms as soon as she saw my face.
"What happened?" she asked softly, running her hands through my hair.
"I don't know. One minute she was crying, the next the mask was back. But I can see through it, Alice! I know she's in there somewhere, I just know it."
Alice smiled sadly at me.
"I know she is, Edward. But if she doesn't get out soon, dad will have her taken away. We need to help somehow. But I'm running out of ideas." Alice paced erratically in front of me, her hands gesturing wildly. "I mean, we've tried everything. We've taken her significant places, we've shown her things, we've talked about everything, therapy won't work, and I just don't know what else to do."
"Shhh," I whispered, pulling her towards me for another hug. "We'll find something, we'll get her back to us, I promise. I won't let them take her away." Alice tightened her grip on me, and I glanced back at the bed. Bella was lying down, on her back, fast asleep. I smiled softly as I looked at her.
She was still my girl, still my Bella, even if she had hidden herself from the world.
Carlisle sat at the head of the table, with Esme looking nervous beside him. Alice and Emmett were next to me, whilst Rose and Jasper were opposite us. Elizabeth and Renee were there too, standing as a protective front next to Carlisle and Esme.
"I'm guessing you all know why you're here," Carlisle began. "Dr. Laurent, the psychologist Bella is seeing, suggested something that might help Bella heal, something that I have been considering myself. Renee here has been looking into it as well and has found a variety of suitable places. We think it would be wise if Bella was placed with a proper family, if only for the time being." The uproar started almost instantly. Emmett was yelling, slamming his fists on the table. Alice was waving her hands wildly as she tried to reason out of this, while Rose was screaming at Carlisle, her face red. Only Jasper and I remained silent.
"Be quiet!" Esme cried, and the nose stopped at once. Carlisle gave her a grateful glance and turned back to us.
"Bella needs stability. You guys know as much as I do that she isn't healing here. She needs somewhere safe to go, somewhere calm, without the constant change of this place."
"But, Dad!" Alice protested. "Edward is getting there! Just upstairs, he was playing for her, and she cried, and she hugged him!"
"But she retreated back into herself. She still has to protect herself here. She can't deal with all the emotions she feels while with us. Sure, we might have taken a step forward, but we instantly go two steps back."
"You can't take her," Rose snarled. "Not after what she's been through. She needs us to help!"
"She would still be able to see you," Carlisle explained. I stared down at the table, tapping my fingers angrily. "She would be given visit times, obviously Edward would get first priority, but she would still be able to see you, at least once or twice a week. She isn't going away forever, just to give her time to heal. You won't notice the difference. She'll get into a routine, something she needs to bring herself out of her mind."
My fingers tapping were the only sound in the otherwise silent room. I began tapping them harder and faster, trying to reign in the anger I felt. They were taking her from me. I had always promised to protect her and be there for her. They were making me break my promise. A few more minutes passed with no one saying anything.
"Edward, for the love of God! Stop the fucking tapping!" Rose suddenly yelled.
The tight hold I had on my anger snapped. I stood up, baring my teeth at her.
"No, I won't fucking stop. You aren't having the love of your life taken away from you! You aren't breaking every promise you made to her if you let this happen! You aren't constantly worrying so much and trying to do something to help but always fucking failing! You don't have to see your love look dead and you don't have to feel helpless every fucking second of every day! You have no idea how I feel right now, so don't you dare fucking tell me to stop tapping!" I growled, slamming my hands on table and turning to leave. I kicked the chair as I went and it slammed into Emmett's. The door slammed harshly behind me, as I left in one sweeping wave of rage.
I stormed into my room and saw Bella was still asleep. My anger left quickly, dissipating into nothing as I looked at her. She looked peaceful in sleep. But if you looked closely, you could see the signs of illness. I tried not to notice the hollows beneath her eyes, or how pale her skin was, or the weight she had lost since this started. I sighed deeply, and wandered to the bed. I lay down next to her and closed my eyes.
"I love you, Bella. I know you're in there. Please come back to me, before they take you away. I love you so much. I promised to always be there and I'm not going to break that promise, I won't!" I clenched my eyes shut to stop the frustrated tears that had appeared from falling.
A soft knock was heard, but I made no move to speak to the person outside.
"Edward?" I heard Rose's voice and I sat up in surprise. I had expected Alice, or even Esme, but not Rose.
"Yeah?" I answered back quietly. The door opened and a humble looking Rose entered.
"I'm sorry about earlier, I shouldn't have yelled at you. I was...I just...I care for Bella. A great deal. I hate seeing her like this, and it was getting to me too. But I shouldn't have taken that out on you." It was a strange sight to see Rose so apologetic. It was a rare occurrence indeed to hear her say sorry. I didn't take it lightly.
"I'm sorry too. I overreacted completely. Come here." I held my arms out and drew her into them, rubbing her back comfortingly. "She's going to be okay. I know it. She's fighting this, and she's going to win." Rose said nothing, which was fine by me. Silence was fast becoming something I craved.
"So, what happened after I left? Do I want to know?"
Rose shook her head sadly. "Renee is bringing a couple to meet Bella next week. Their names are Charlie and Sue. They're both in their late thirties, and can't have kids. They've previously looked after teenagers so they have good experience at least. Dr Laurent was one of their references apparently. They live not too far away, just 8 blocks Renee said. You'll be able to get to her easily."
I broke our embrace and stared sadly at her.
"Not easily enough." I ran a finger over Bella's soft cheek, still slightly damp from her tears earlier.
"It will be okay. Everyone can see you're meant to be together. It will work out, I know it will."
"Thank you, Rose. It means a lot." I smiled at her and she returned it, her usual glow returning with it.
"Now come on! Get your ass up! We're having a table tennis tournament."
"Oh fuck no! No way am I getting involved! Remember what happened last time?"
Rose laughed loudly. "So what? Sure, Emmett broke the table, and you smashed a window, but you'll be fine this time! Esme is going to watch us to make sure nothing happens. Come on, we haven't seen much of you lately." She pouted, and I sighed, holding my hands up in defeat.
"Fine, you got me. Let's go." I stood up and quickly put a blanket over Bella to keep her warm. "I'm going to kick your ass! Get ready to be beaten!"
Rose laughed and ran down the stairs. I chased after her and quickly caught her, sliding in front of her and into the room.
Alice smiled at me, her eyes lighting up when she saw me truly laughing for once.
"So, whose ass am I kicking first?" I asked cheerfully. Rose had certainly made me happier. Maybe things would be okay after all.
So, I know it's a little shorter than the others, but I thought you'd prefer a shorter chapter now, rather than a really long one in a few weeks time.
Please review! I hope it was okay! Any comments are welcome.