Howdy folks! Did ya miss me?
Ok, so this first outtake is a tough one…really tough, so big girl panties may be required.
*There is drug use in the following chapter and descriptions that some readers may find disturbing so please be warned.*
If you are not old enough STOP READING NOW! Yes, you! STOP!
Ok…here we go…
Chapter Playlist:- Brazen (Weep) – Skunk Anansie, Crawling – Linkin Park, Numb – Linkin Park, Breathe me - Sia
The Lowest Point
The following is set six and a half years prior to Help Wanted
The pounding in my head was fucking vicious and it wasn't being helped one little bit by the ferocious banging that was coming from the door of my apartment. It had seeped slowly onto my comatose state and now that I was awake I wished to hell I wasn't.
I swear to Christ my brain felt like a fucking building had collapsed on it and had then proceeded to leave the fucking rubble in my mouth. I ached everywhere and my bones creaked with stiffness.
I made to move my arm so that I could hold my forehead before the insides slid the fuck out of my ears, when I noticed that I couldn't move the left side of my body.
Opening my eyes very slowly, I looked to the side of myself in confusion to see a halo of long auburn hair splayed across the pillow next to me.
It was then that I realised that I was naked.
Bang, bang, bang…
I closed my eyes tightly and exhaled down my nose.
Fuck, that hurt…
I moved my free arm, rubbing the bridge of it gently. The body next to me moaned into my pillow and shifted away so that I was finally able to move, which I did with a deep breath and a loud cough. I felt like fucking ass and as I caught my reflection in the mirror on the wall next to my bed as I sat up, I realised I looked like it too. My face was sallow and pale and my eyes were rimmed with dark circles. The hair on my head was also a fucking disaster area.
Not that that shit was a new development.
I sighed in resignation and shrugged at the fucker that stared back at me.
Whatever, he sneered in answer.
The banging on the door continued in fucking earnest and the auburn haired body in my bed fidgeted in agitation.
"What the fuck?" she muttered, because I'd be fucked if I even remembered her name let alone who the hell she was. She turned her face towards me, narrow eyed and skin pale as mine. I closed my eyes again as an image from the previous night suddenly flashed in front of me.
Club, lights, drinks, coke, dancing, need, anger, frantic hands, wet heat and lips on my cock…
"Shit," I muttered under my breath, ignoring her question, assuming it was fucking rhetorical and pushed myself slowly to my feet. I wobbled slightly as I bent down to grab my sweat pants off of the war zone that was my bedroom floor, kicking the empty condom wrapper to the side in annoyance.
Bang, bang, bang…
James's shout came from outside my room, followed by loud stomps towards the front door.
"It's fucking 8am! This had better be fucking good!"
I grabbed a t-shirt and pulled it over my head before rubbing my hands down my face after glancing once again at the person in my bed and then at my surroundings. Beer cans, clothes and food cartons and wrappers of all descriptions lay around me with a dusty mirror and a rolled up twenty in the middle of it, finishing the clichéd student dwelling fucking perfectly.
Yep, I thought wryly, this is my life. Fucking awesome.
I was jarred out of my self loathing when I heard a huge crash and raised voices that got louder in volume as they approached my door.
"You fucking crazy bitch!" James shouted.
"If you don't get out of my way, I'll show you with my knee in your crotch just how much of a crazy bitch I am. Now move!" The female voice retorted with enough venom that I believed every word she just said.
Christ, it fucking couldn't be…could it…?
I whipped the door open in a blind panic to find James with his back to me, standing in front of my sister who looked like she was just about ready to kill a motherfucker.
"What the sweet Jesus is going on out here?" I asked as loud as I could without my head exploding.
"Your crazy bitch sister here thinks it's perfectly acceptable to kick the shit out of our front door and then nearly take my fucking head off when I tell her to fuck off!"
"James," I growled. "Shut up and back off."
He swivelled around to look at me with a face that might have looked aggressive if he didn't look completely fucking annihilated by all the shit he had put in his body over the past few months. Holy shit he looked like hell. I felt a slither of fear and guilt creep up my spine as I considered how I had matched his drug use and drinking pace for pace and then locked that shit the hell down when I realised that it made no fucking difference what I put in my body or - my eyes slid back to the girl in my bed - what I put in anyone else's.
It was all I was fucking worth, right?
"Fine, dipshit," he snarled back with a finger in my chest. "You fucking deal with her." With a glare and a sniff he pushed past Alice and stormed back to his room, slamming his door for good measure.
"Alice. What the fuck?" I started with an anxious hand through my hair.
"Don't, Edward," she seethed. "Don't fucking start with me. I have just driven twelve fucking hours to get here, with no sleep, so you do not want to go there."
"Twelve hours? What the hell are you doing driving…"
Before I could say another word she had barged past me and was standing, hands on her hips glowering at the stranger in my bed who was, unsurprisingly, looking utterly stunned and somewhat terrified.
"Get the fuck out," Alice hissed.
"Jesus Alice," I started, feeling my anger begin to boil.
"Now!" she yelled, pointing towards the door.
The poor girl shot off the bed like a bullet and began scurrying around my room, picking up her clothes and purse while muttering under her breath.
"You have no right to do this," I fumed quietly as I stared at my sister.
I clenched my jaw as she glared right back, not backing down one inch. She had fucking balls I'd give her that.
Auburn girl pushed past the two of us, pulling her jeans over her pink lace panties as she did. I allowed myself a sly glance at her ass and gave myself a silent fist bump. Yeah, it was a nice ass. Ten points, Cullen.
"Sorry about this," I muttered at the back of her as she hurried across the living room towards the door.
I laughed when she turned and flipped me off before leaving with another door slam. It was maybe a good thing I didn't remember her name in terms of hitting that shit again. I doubted very much it would have made a difference after her run in with my nuts as fuck crazy sister.
"Look at the state of this place," Alice murmured as she kicked at the stuff on my floor.
She bent down and picked up a condom wrapper that I had apparently missed. Christ, I was impressed – twice? Just recently I was finding it difficult to get hard even once. Coke had that effect or so I was told. It suddenly occurred to me that maybe that one was from another night…maybe it was that blonde…whatever, they were all the same to me at this point.
"At least you're not too high to cover your dick before you stick it in wherever you're sticking it in," she mocked with raised eyebrows.
"Oh just fuck off, Alice."
I exhaled loudly before walking out of my room towards the kitchen, leaving her standing there all fucking judgemental and shit. I didn't need to hear her preaching again. It was getting boring and it grated on my damn nerves.
I grabbed a glass from the sink and filled it with cold water from the faucet, gulping it down in three. I belched loudly as I filled it again and turned around to see my sister with her arms crossed, standing by the kitchen table. Her face was unreadable as she looked down at the remnants of the lines, blunts and shots that had been shared from the previous three nights. It was Saturday. James and I always started our weekends early.
Hell, our weekends were pretty much never ending recently.
I hadn't been to class for at least a week. I didn't see the point.
I huffed in annoyance after she still hadn't said anything for at least two minutes. Her eyes shot to mine and narrowed when I shrugged at her.
"What?" I snapped. "What do you want me to say?"
"I want you to tell me why you are ignoring your family," she answered quickly.
I dropped my chin to my chest and exhaled in exasperation. This fucking conversation again…
"Christ's sake," I grumbled, as I felt the insides of my head slosh uncomfortably behind my eyes.
"No, Edward," she snapped back. "Don't fucking dismiss us like one of your whores." She took a determined step towards me. "Mom is going out of her head with worry and dad…?" She bit the inside of her mouth as her voice shook. "He came to see me. You know he's cut off your money."
I nodded and raised my eyebrows. "Yeah, so, I don't need his fucking money."
"You think that's the point he's trying to make?" she asked incredulously.
"Well, what point is he trying to make, Alice? Come on, you seem to have all the fucking answers."
"You're killing yourself, Edward."
"Oh please," I scoffed with an eye roll.
"You're killing yourself and he doesn't want to play a part in it."
"Then it's a good job that I'm ignoring everyone, isn't it?" I bit back. "Make it easier all round, huh?"
A part of me had been fucking livid by the fact that my account had been closed, leaving me with nothing but what I had withdrawn the day before it happened. I'd almost picked up the phone to tear him a new one but I had resisted. Just another form of control I'd thought to myself and I'd be damned if I couldn't prove that I didn't need him or his fucking money.
I wondered silently if Alice had noticed that my truck was missing from the front of the apartment. All that was left of it were the wrappers, foil and baggies on the table that she had just been staring at. I had been pissed that the guy at the garage had only given me $700 for it as it was a good, reliable vehicle but shit, it would pay for the next couple of weekends and that was all that mattered.
"You really are an asshole," she croaked with a sardonic smile. "You care about no one but yourself and shoving shit up your nose."
I rubbed my nose subconsciously but stopped when I saw her eyebrows rise knowingly. I sighed and shook my head.
"Alice, sweetie," I retorted sarcastically. "If all you came here for was to stand there and lecture me like a fucking high school councillor then you can just get back in your car and fuck off back to your nice cosy dorm at your fancy fucking all girl, private school. I don't need this shit." I turned back to the sink and slammed my glass down into it before turning back to her, "especially from you."
"Yeah maybe you're right, Edward," she answered with a low chuckle.
"I usually am," I replied as I walked towards the sofa in the sitting room.
"Yeah," she continued. "I mean, why would I want to lecture a loser like you when everyone told me to not bother?"
I turned feeling my patience start to run the fuck out. "Whatever, Alice," I muttered, trying not to rise to it.
"Whatever, Alice," she mimicked. "Just fuck off back to your fancy all girl school so I can continue messing my life up because I'm shit fucking scared of turning into Edward Masen."
As soon as that name left her mouth I lost it. How fucking dare she?
"SHUT THE FUCK UP!" I roared, moving towards her in three strides and pushing my face into hers. I saw a glimmer of fear flash across her eyes but to her credit, she never moved.
Brave but very fucking stupid.
My fists clenched at my sides in fury as I breathed in deeply, feeling my chest tighten as her words slammed around my head.
"You think you can come in here," I seethed. "With your designer fucking clothes and your judgemental fucking stare and tell me what to do with my life?" My voice rose as my nose almost touched hers. "You have no fucking idea what I am going through, Alice. No clue at all. You make me sick do you know that? Perfect little Alice who is top of her class, Daddy's girl and all around Miss America who hasn't had to worry about a fucking thing in her whole pretty little life. You're disgusting!"
I didn't see it but I sure as shit felt her hand as it slapped my right cheek. It took me by surprise but not as much as the second one or the fist that met my chest.
"You fucking bastard! You fucked up…piece of no good….shit, you're killing everyone…I hate you!"
Her fists and hands rained down on me. My face, my chest, I think she even got a couple of kicks in. I stood in front of her and took it. I took it all because a part of me, a part deep down in my stomach somewhere in a place that I had tried to bury, I knew that I deserved nothing more. I'd hurt her and I wanted to feel how much.
Fuck, I just wanted to feel something.
In that split second, as Alice's hand connected with my face again, I realised that I had become completely numb, utterly devoid of feeling anything, pleasure or pain. It didn't seem to make a difference. I was nearly twenty years old and I had nothing but a room full of shit, an apartment that reeked of drugs and strangers and a sister that hated me.
No…this wasn't happening. This was what she wanted, she wanted me to think like that and I wasn't ready. I didn't want to be fucking ready.
I caught her wrists in my hands and pushed her back against the sitting room wall.
"Stop fucking hitting me!" I yelled at her, wincing as I opened my jaw.
"Why?" she screamed back as tears ran down her face. "Does it hurt you to suddenly feel something?"
I paused and stared at her.
She knew. She fucking knew. This was bullshit.
With her wrists still in my hands I dragged her to the front door, opening it hard enough that it crashed into the wall behind it.
"Go home, Alice," I growled as I pushed her out of the apartment.
"Edward," she whimpered as she stumbled into the hallway while I moved to slam the door on her. "Please, for me, for Mom and Dad."
I froze with my hand on the handle, opening it back slightly.
She was broken, small and crying and I couldn't look at her. It was too real. Alice. My little sister, who looked to me for help and protection, who had driven twelve hours from New York to Chicago to see me, to talk some sense into me because she cared, because she loved me like Mom and Da-…
No. I couldn't do this.
I needed to forget.
I needed to forget everything and everybody. I was lost and I loved it because as long as I was lost I would never have to face the truth of where I came from. The name she had uttered crashed into my skull again, making me flinch.
"Go home," I whispered, keeping my eyes on the floor as I turned my back to her and closed the door.
I rested my forehead against the wood and breathed. My jaw hurt like a motherfucker and I couldn't quite decide whether it was from Alice's fists or the fact that I was clenching my teeth so hard I feared they would shatter.
I swallowed and breathed, desperately fighting the emotion that was rising like a wave over the top of my head.
"Fuck," I muttered as I lifted my head back and hit it against the door. "Fuck, fuck, FUCK!"
I pulled my fist back and slammed it into the wall, feeling the plaster crumble under my skin. It hurt. It hurt like a bitch and I was bleeding but I welcomed it. I was feeling and regardless of its origin, it felt strangely comforting.
"Hey, you damage that shit, you pay for it."
I turned to see James standing shirtless with a smirk on his face and a joint in his hand.
"Crazy face gone?" he asked as he took a long drag.
I nodded and walked back towards the kitchen to find some ice for my knuckle.
"So what was that all about?" he asked as he followed me.
I shrugged and smacked the ice cube tray hard against the sink. I grabbed a towel and wrapped it around my hand before reaching back into the fridge and taking a bottle of Corona off of the top shelf.
"Jesus, Cullen," James commented with a laugh. "It's not even nine, man."
"Like I give a shit," I replied as I took a long gulp.
"Fair enough," he answered, holding out the joint, which I took and sucked on as if my life depended on it. I closed my eyes and held my breath, wanting the calm to engulf me as quickly as possible before I blew the smoke out slowly. "We don't need family anyway, man. They do nothing but fuck things up, believe me."
I snorted in response and rubbed my face with my uninjured hand.
"So what's the plan of action today, dude?" he asked with a slap to my shoulder.
"Plan?" I asked to which he nodded and smiled. "The plan is," I continued as I finished my beer in one, "is to get totally and utterly fucked up."
Twelve hours later, sitting in a club surrounded by people I neither knew nor cared about, I realised with some relief that plan fucked up had been a complete success. My head pounded but in a good way and the ache in my chest that had been ever present since I threw my sister out of my apartment was being eased temporarily by the nameless black haired girl who had her lips on my neck and her hand on my cock.
James reappeared from across the dance floor with a huge smile on his face.
"I bring gifts," he crooned as he wafted a small bag of white powder discreetly under my nose.
"Excellent," I croaked with a drunken nod.
I felt a palm on the side of my face and turned to be met with warm lips against mine. The kiss from the dark haired girl was pleasant enough and for one moment I almost lost myself to it but the fucking ache remained, twitching and twisting behind my ribs.
What if she didn't get home safely…?
Maybe I should have called…?
My head snapped up to see James motioning me to get off my ass. "Come on," he moaned. "Let's get the fuck out of here."
"Um…yeah, whatever," I answered, pushing the girl off the seat. She grabbed my arm as I slumped slightly as I tried to stand up and I laughed at the sheer ridiculousness of the situation.
"You comin'?" I slurred as I wrapped my arm across her shoulders.
"If you like," she answered as she traced my jaw with her finger. "I can drive."
"That's cool and I definitely like," I whispered into her ear, smiling when she shivered against me. "What's your name again?"
She laughed and rolled her eyes. "Jennifer. Jen to you, Mr..."
"Jen to you," I repeated as we walked towards the club exit. "I like it. Weird but I like it."
She giggled as she slapped a hand to my chest right above the fracture in my heart that I was sure was growing bigger with every minute that I thought about Alice and the way she had looked at me...
I shook my head as we walked across the car lot to a red Honda, trying to loosen the thoughts of my sister and crushed my lips to Jen's, pushing her up against the side of the car. It was an angry aggressive kiss and I could feel her resist slightly until she finally relented and pushed back, moaning into me.
Her tongue met mine and her hands were everywhere but I couldn't feel it. I tried like fuck to feel just something but I couldn't.
I wasn't even hard.
I pulled back and rested my forehead against her shoulder panting for breath. I growled in frustration when I realised that I wasn't panting from arousal but in sheer fucking frustration.
This was fucked up.
"Come on you pair of horn dogs," James laughed from the other side of the car. "Let's go."
After falling asleep in the car and being dragged back to the apartment by the two of them, I found myself lying on the sofa, beer in one hand, joint in the other, laughing my balls off so hard that tears rolled down my face. I had no clue what I was laughing at and I had no idea how the hell I was still conscious but I continued to laugh until my throat hurt and it sounded more like a howl of pain.
Thinking about it, maybe that's exactly what it was.
As that thought struck me, I suddenly felt outrageously sober and was desperately aware of the anxiety that filled my body as I glanced around the apartment and saw the hole that my fist had made in the wall. My foot started tapping the floor in agitation as my eyes flickered from the wall to the door, back to my knuckle, over and over again.
The pain and ache rose and I was suddenly finding it hard to breathe.
"Fuck, James, are you lining up or what?" I shrieked as my hands gripped my hair like a life line.
His head snapped towards me as did Jen's who, I realised, was sitting next to me with her arm linked through mine.
"Yeah, man. Chill out," he replied as his cigarette dangled from his lip.
He pulled the baggie out of his back pocket and began cutting lines with the side of his credit card.
"Do you do coke?" he asked Jen with a smirk.
She laughed nervously and shook her head.
"You should, right, Cullen?"
"Yeah," I answered before sipping my beer, my eyes glued to James hands as they worked quickly and efficiently until there were six lines of white, mind numbing perfection. "You should try some," I added with a nod. "See how ya like it."
"I'm not sure," she replied with a small shrug. "I'll probably fuck it up."
"Bullshit," I scoffed as I slid the table closer to us. "Watch me and then you follow, ok?"
She bit her lip and paused before nodding. "Ok, why not?"
"Good girl." I smiled at her while taking the rolled up note from James. I leaned over the table, feeling her eyes on me and took the line in one.
The effect was almost immediate. It was good shit.
The buzz was fucking perfect and skittered around my body like flies under my skin. I slumped back onto the sofa, sniffing long and deep and gave Jen a lazy smile. My mind was instantly devoid of worry and I smiled slowly to myself as I felt the images of the last twelve hour dissolve into depths of my brain, locked up alongside the day I got the fucking letter from a certain Mr. Masen and the look on Esme's face when I walked out of the house while telling her that I didn't give a shit about her or my family.
"Fucking A," I said with a sigh. I pointed to the table. "Knock yourself out, Jen to you."
Her eyes watched me carefully before she picked up the note and placed it in her left nostril, pressing her index finger against her right. I looked at James over the top of her to see him grinning back, raising his eyebrows at me through his cigarette smoke in a gesture I'd grown to recognise.
Yeah, I thought, we could have some fun with this one.
We clapped and whooped as she took the line in two attempts. She sat back next to me and grinned as she rubbed her nose.
"Good?" I asked with a smile.
"Um...yeah," she answered before shaking her body out with a giggle. "Wow," she murmured. She ran her hands down her body and laughed. "Good."
I laughed with her and followed her hand down her body with my own, sighing as she arched under my touch. I still couldn't feel anything which was as frustrating as it was comforting. Even when James moved over to her and kissed her hard, I still didn't react. I leaned back and watched as he pushed his tongue into her mouth and grabbed at her tits.
They pulled apart, panting and laughing as I walked over to the fridge to grab more beer. If this was going to happen, I needed even more anaesthetic.
And so it continued.
We danced around the apartment like fucking lunatics, we kissed, we groped, we did lines and smoked dope and the numbness crashed over me in waves. I was drowning in self loathing, anger and fear and my only escape was found at the end of the rolled up twenty.
Pathetic loser...coward...fucked up piece of shit...I hate you...
"I don't feel so good," Jen muttered from her place on the sofa. "I feel...sick."
It was 3am and we were all feeling the buzz start to ebb. There were no drugs left. I'd hunted through the apartment for that shit and come up empty and was now sitting with my tapping foot once again as the reality of life began to surround me.
"I'm not surprised, baby," James slurred. "You did more lines than I did."
"He made me," she murmured with a small smile, while pointing at me.
I shrugged while trying to light the half an inch of blunt that had been left in the ashtray.
She rubbed her chest with a listless palm and a deep breath. "I feel...I'm being squeezed. My jaw..."
James snorted and pulled her to his lap where he kissed her chin and face. "Too much action," he whispered in her ear, "dirty girl."
He pulled her mouth to his and kissed her. She pushed against his chest but there was no strength there.
"James," I muttered as I watched him press her into the sofa. "Ease off, man. She's fucked."
"Not yet she's not," he replied with a small wink in my direction.
"I'm gonna be sick," she panted from under him, making him lift from her faster than I'd ever seen him move before.
"Jesus Christ," he fumed, as he helped her sit up. Her head lolled lazily to the right. "Bathroom is that way."
She tried to stand up but slumped back. I frowned at her as she opened her mouth almost like she was gasping for breath.
"She really is messed up," James snorted at her side.
"Jen," I called over to her. She opened her eyes to two small slits and made a gasping sound in her throat. "You ok over there, sweetheart?"
"Sweetheart, huh?" James frowned with a smirk.
"Shut up, dickhead," I snapped at him. "There's something wrong with her."
I moved over to her and slapped her face softly. Her skin was yellow and sticky under my palm and her chest rose and dipped with shaky breaths.
"Jen," I said again but she didn't respond. "Shit. Let's get you to the bathroom, ok?"
"K," she groaned. "My chest...I can't...I..."
"James, help me," I ordered as I pulled her arm around my shoulder. She moaned, muttering something about her arm hurting and rested her head on my chest.
"Fuck's sake," James griped but did as I asked anyway. "This is your fault, Cullen. Giving her that shit was a bad idea."
I ignored him and the slamming pulse that suddenly appeared behind my eyelids and lifted up from the couch. James was obviously more pissed than he realised and staggered forward, taking Jen and me with him. I managed to stay upright but the two of them landed ungracefully on the floor with a loud bang.
James started laughing but the sound soon faltered when we both saw that Jen was shaking, almost as if she was possessed. Her eyes were half open, with only the whites visible while she shook and twisted on the floor, as a loud gurgling sound erupted from her chest.
I couldn't seem to compute what was happening. I was standing, seeing a girl have a seizure on my floor and I couldn't do anything but watch. My head felt like it was ready to explode as everything seemed to slow down. James's cries and movements around the apartment were dull thuds and languid flurries and the air that I was gulping into my body, whistled around my brain like a tornado.
She was dying. Oh God...oh God...
Her body suddenly stopped moving and the room became terrifyingly still and silent. James froze in his spot by the kitchen table, eyes wide and shit scared as he stared at the lifeless body at my feet. Her lips were white and her arms rested in an arched position over her head like a ballet dancer.
It may have been minutes before I moved but when I did; I placed my finger at the side of her neck, praying to every fucking deity I had heard of that I would feel a pulse. When I did I gasped in relief. It was staggered and weak but it was there.
My head snapped up to James. "Call a fucking ambulance!"
"Are you crazy? The ambulance will bring cops. Do you understand what that means, Edward?" He gestured around us both towards all the shit that would land both our asses in jail.
"Fuck," I cried, rubbing my hands down my face. "We can't leave her here. She'll die."
"This is your shit, Cullen," he screeched with a shaking finger pointed in my direction. "You gave it to her, you fucking deal with it." His eyes flickered to the girl on our floor. "I can't...I can't..."
He dropped into the seat behind him and shook his head as he mumbled to himself under his breath. It was then that I noticed Jen's car keys sitting on the table next to James's elbow.
I rushed over as best as I could in my fucked up state and grabbed them in my right hand.
There was no point in asking James to help me lift her from the floor. He was gone, vacant. Totally present in the room but so far away I doubted even he knew where he was. I grabbed my black hoodie and with a groan and a stagger, I managed to lift her into my arms and made my way to the door. I looked back at James and the room that we had partied in, the room that Alice had stood in as she smothered me with her hurt and anger and exhaled.
This was wrong. This wasn't me. Not that I knew who the fuck I was but something deep down whispered that I was more than what I allowed to take over my life.
I looked down at the girl in my arms and left the building without another word to the man at my table.
I drove. I had no idea how the hell I was able to but I did.
The adrenaline pumped through my body, loud and feral, making my feet shift between the accelerator, brake and clutch and my eyes move quick enough to see any danger on the roads. The roads were quiet, which made me calmer. The black streets of Chicago were suddenly like an atlas of my life. Dark, devoid of life and so lonely that even the smallest alleyway brought little comfort. I pressed the gas harder as Jen's body began twitching at my side.
"Hold on," I muttered through clenched teeth. "Don't you fucking die on me, you hear me!"
I hate you...fucked up...you're killing yourself, Edward...you're killing everyone...
The brakes screeched as I pulled to a stop at the entrance of the hospital and I took a moment to try and collect myself and what I was going to do. James was right; our asses would end up in jail. I may have been a fucking prick who didn't know who he was but I knew without doubt that I couldn't go to prison.
Chicken shit, my conscience whispered down my spine.
A strangled laugh left me when I realised that, when all was said and done, that was all I was. Chicken shit, a coward, a pussy who had nothing but a swagger and a smirk.
My head shot round to see a doctor in green scrubs, banging on the window of my door.
"You ok, buddy?"
I shook my head, dipping it slightly so that he couldn't see me as clearly under the hood of my sweater and pushed the door open. I hurried around the car and opened the other indicating to Jen on the seat.
"She...I don't know...I tried... I gave her...she had a seizure...I..." I stuttered and mumbled in panic as the doctor bent down into the car and began flashing lights in her face and checking her pulse. Another doctor and a nurse suddenly appeared at my side with a gurney, pushing me out of the way.
Their words were low and fast and I couldn't keep up with them. It hurt too much to even try. My buzz had fucked off completely, leaving me achy, cold and more alone than I ever had been in my life.
They picked her out of the car and placed her on the gurney, muttering something about cardiac arrest and over dose. My blood ran cold and I took a slow step back.
"Hey, man, come with me to the waiting room, ok?" the doctor called as he rushed by me with Jen. Her hair was above her on the pillow like a black river.
"What?" he asked.
Another step back...
"The waiting room," he replied.
My lungs were too small.
I watched as they disappeared into the doors of the hospital, seeing them close slowly at the back of them.
"I...I'm..." I gasped for air, glancing around myself having no idea how I had arrived at that moment. "I'm so..."
My body shook and my heart hammered against my ribs.
"I'm so fucking sorry," I moaned before turning from the door and running as fast as my legs could carry me.
I ran and ran as hard and as quick as I could. My lungs burned and my muscles screamed for mercy but I kept going. I pushed and pushed, letting the pain envelop every inch of myself. I had no idea where I was running to until I realised I was facing my apartment building. I'd run seventeen blocks and I hurt everywhere.
I looked up as it began to rain and saw the dim light still shining from our window, knowing that all that awaited me was a person who was as lost and messed up as I was. We weren't helping each other.
Alice was right. We were killing each other.
I leaned heavily against the lamp post, gasping for breath and groaned as the pain in my head thundered down my spine. I collapsed onto the wooden bench that was sitting by the bus stop and with my elbows on my knees and my head in my hands, I cried.
I cried tears of pain, grief, fear, hurt, anger, disappointment and guilt.
Oh God the guilt...it consumed me.
I hate you...
Alice's face flashed behind my eyes, broken, screaming and so full of loathing it took my breath away. I saw myself reflected back in her tear filled eyes and what I saw was enough to make me physically sick. I heaved with an empty stomach over the side of the bench, calling out for someone to help me. For anyone to come and take the lead weight of chaos in my stomach that was weighing me down.
But no one came.
I was alone, just like I'd asked to be...
"I don't need any of you!"
I flinched as the memory of my words to my mother when I left, echoed around me.
I was exhausted. My body was fucked. My head was not my own and my heart throbbed. I coughed on my breath as it left me, my shoulders jumping as my diaphragm twitched in hysteria again and again.
It rained hard, soaking me through but I couldn't find it in myself to worry. I was alone, lost and desperate and there wasn't a single person around who cared. I had pushed every person who I had ever loved away by using words that were disgusting, vitriolic and cruel.
"Oh Alice," I murmured into my hands as I cupped my face. The rain diluted the tears on my face but I could feel them leave my body, large and unrelenting.
I smacked myself with my palm against my cheek, willing myself to pull that shit together but it was useless. I was feeling and I couldn't stop it. I felt everything that I had pushed down and tried to forget over the past two years since the day I had gotten his letter and was reminded about where I had come from and that, no matter what I did with my life, I would be forever tainted with a monster's evil.
Edward, don't leave...I hate you...please...mom is out of her head with worry...please listen, Son...
The pain was too much. It was physical, emotional and hit me like a freight train. It engulfed me and I was helpless to stop it.
This is your shit, Cullen...you gave it to her...Jennifer...
"Help," I whimpered in to my knees that were now up against my chest with my arms wrapped around them. "Christ, someone help me."
I remained seated on the bench until the sun started to rise. I blinked into the sky before glancing back up at my apartment to see that the light was still on. I moved slowly, feeling my bones and muscles protest immediately but I understood that if I didn't do what I knew I had to, at that moment, then I never would.
My feet felt like lead weights as I climbed the stairs, not even allowing myself the short luxury of the elevator and slinked back through the front door of the apartment.
James was sitting on the sofa and leapt up with a slight wobble as he saw me.
"What the fuck, man? What the hell happened? You didn't call...I've been sitting here waiting for the fucking cops to bust in here!"
I stared blankly at him, feeling my nausea rise up my body once again. It was like looking in the mirror the previous morning. Sallow skin, dark eyes, lank hair and looking more like 109 instead of nineteen.
"I...I left my cell," I offered in a monotonous tone.
He huffed and nodded with a roll of his eyes.
"So...what happened? She alive?"
"I don't know," I replied.
"What do you mean...?"
"I mean, I don't fucking know," I interrupted him in the same low, quiet tone. "I left. She was alive when I left."
He eyed me warily before adopting a defensive stance that I had seen a million times before.
"What's with you?" he asked, slipping his hands in his pockets. "You're different."
I simply looked back at him and watched his face as the pieces started to fall into place.
"You fucking pussy," he seethed.
"Don't..." I started but I had no fight left in me. I exhaled and willed myself to stay upright. "James...man, I can't anymore...I have nothing left...I can't keep running from my family..."
His fist connected with my face, hard.
"What about me, you fucking asshole?" he bellowed at me as my back hit the wall before I slid down it. "One little bitch messes up and you...You're a fucking joke, Cullen. Look at you. Pathetic piece of shit."
He spat at my chest, grabbed his coat and keys and left the apartment.
I remained on the floor, watching the blood from my nose seep into the knee of my jeans. Hours may have passed before I pulled my cell phone out of my pocket with a shaking, swollen hand.
It wasn't the first time I'd lied to James and it sure as shit wouldn't be the last.
I inhaled and held it, hitting the back of my head against the wall as I scrolled through my contacts list. I exhaled and pressed the small green button with a shaking thumb.
It rang twice before I heard his voice and as soon as I did, I collapsed further to the floor, sobbing uncontrollably as the weight of what I had become crushed me to the ground.
"Hello? Hello? This is Carlisle Cullen, who's there?"
You're killing everyone…I hate you…
"Edward!?" he exclaimed. "Edward, is that you?"
"Dad," I breathed, letting his voice wash over me.
"Jesus boy, where the hell are you, are you alright?"
"Are you hurt, Edward? You sound like hell, where are you?"
I could hear shuffling in the background as he continued asking me questions, making sure that I was ok. After everything that I had put him and my family through he still cared.
James was right. I was a pathetic piece of shit.
"I...I need you...Dad."
I nuzzled the cool floor, trying to catch my breath.
"I'm here, I'm here. It's ok."
"Help me...please...I...can't breathe…I feel like I'm dying…"
"Shit. I'm coming, Edward, hold on. Just tell me where you are, Son."
"The apartment," I croaked. "I'm at the apartment where Alice came..." I choked on her name as it left my throat.
"Ok, stay where you are. I'll be there. I'm coming, Son. Hang on, ok?"
"Please," I begged, feeling my last bit of hold on my fucked up existence slip from my grasp. "I need you...I don't want to be him!"
I moaned in agony and hit my head against the floor in desperation.
"I'm sorry. Christ, I'm so fucking sorry, Dad...Alice. I hurt her, Dad, I said awful things...I'm so fucking...oh God..."
I gripped at my hair with my left hand.
"Edward, calm down. It's ok. I'm with Alice now and she's fine."
"I'm so sorry I hurt her," I gasped. "Tell her, please, tell her. I hurt everyone, Dad. I fucked up and I'm so sorry. I'm just so…scared."
I hit my head against the floor again, crushing my bleeding nose to the wood, making sure that the pain remained as a reminder of what I had done, what I had become.
"It's alright," he soothed. I heard a door slam in the background. "I'm coming to get you, ok? Do you hear me? Tell me you understand."
"I understand," I replied. "And I...I love you…" I sobbed. "All of you…so...so fucking much...I'm sorry, Dad..."
"We love you, Edward. We always have," he answered. "I'll be there."
"Thank you," I whispered, dropping my head to my chest. "Thank you."
I closed my phone slowly, dropping it to the ground and pulled my knees to my chest, into the foetal position.
Lying helpless on the cold wood floor I prayed. I prayed to anyone that would listen that wrapping my arms around myself would be enough to hold myself together, while I waited for my father to come and save me.
Holy hell Batman!
I hope you understand the need for me to post this, just to show you all how far Edward went and how far he has come.
Next up – Edward's first look at Bella through that pesky two-way mirror!
Leave me love and I'll get it to ya faster!
TTFN x x x