Disclaimer; I don't own twilight
A/N This chapter is dedicated to Will - you were around when this story first started, I'm just sorry that you had to leave half way through. And to my loyal readers – I'm so sorry I kept you waiting so long for this…
Chapter 47: Curtain Call
I'm not sure what it was about hospitals that I hated….Was it the way they smelled? The strange bitter taste that seemed to infuse the air and linger at the back of your throat? Or maybe it was the faceless décor…. Alice always did say that it's the way something is presented that makes you want to buy into it…. Either way I was really beginning to flip my shit and I'd only just walked in the fucking door!
I glanced around and tried to figure out which way to go looking for the A&E reception, when I spotted a sign on the far wall and decided to follow it. In the end it took three wrong turns, two sets of directions and a whole lot of guess work before I managed to find the right place and I wish I hadn't fucking bothered!
It started off a simple enough question, "Excuse me?" I said as I approached the reception desk of the long searched for Emergency department. "I'm looking for someone who was brought in to the A&E early on this morning - he's a friend of mine, his name is Carlisle Cullen."
Now before any conclusions are jumped to, let me just say that there were four people sitting behind that fucking desk, all chatting away and laughing like they were in some fucking holiday camp or something… there was what looked like the receptionist person and three youngish looking guys who were probably doctors…. And not one of them bothered to even glance my way. BIG fucking mistake!
I felt the rage that was brewing in my belly slowly begin to work its way up... Breathe Bella, breathe... I told myself, it's not their fault that they're so fucking stupid that they lack basic people skills. I cleared my throat "Excuse me" I tried again.
This time they had the decency to pause in their conversation and actually glance at me before continuing their conversation. But that was it - that was my bullshit limit for this fucking year up! I turned my gaze to the receptionist who was not staring intently at her computer screen and said "Excuse me, I know this is a bit of a push, but do you think that you can actually attempt to do your job so I can get where I want to go?"
Silence... And more than one incredulous look. Finally I had receptionist woman's full attention. "You're looking for who?" she asked.
"Carlisle Cullen" I said slowly, "Would you like me to spell it for you?"
She glared and pursed her lips as the idiots behind her continued to gape.
"That won't be necessary" she snipped, "I understand his wife is with him currently, beyond that I'm afraid it really is nothing to do with you." And with that she resumed her screen staring and the idiots went back to their conversation, leaving me feeling like someone had just kicked me in the chest.
I never really understood how emotional pain can impact physical pain and to be honest I can't think of an analogy that sums up how I was feeling. Then weirdly the next thing I knew I was on the floor and someone was calling my name.
I felt my head being lifted and propped onto something soft and warm while a hand began softly patting the side of my face.
"Bella honey, open your eyes" the voice repeated.
I groaned, I was never good at dealing with feeling crappy before I got knocked up, but it seems to be even worse now.
I blinked once, twice and squinted up into the brightness.
Looking down at me was a woman, who must have been in her mid 50's with dark grey hair, big brown eyes, plenty of laugh lines and what looked like dimples in her cheeks...
And I realized with a start that I recognized her, she was a friend of Renee's ... from art class, I think.
"Ah, there you are dear, I was beginning to get in a bit of a tizz when you didn't answer. I'm Silvia, I don't know if you remember me but we've met a few times, I'm in your moms aromatherapy class.
Huh, aromatherapy? I could have sworn that it was art that she was doing...Or maybe that was last year?
I gave my face a rub with my hand to wake me up a bit, I glanced around and realized that I was still in front of the reception desk but everyone else had disappeared.
"You fainted dear" she said gently
Well duh... "Yeh, sorry about that" I mumbled while trying to work out the best way to get up without looking like an idiot.
"How are you feeling dear, dizzy still or?" She questioned.
"I'm fine" I told her – which wasn't entirely true but I wanted to be up and away, I know nurses aren't psychic – but some of them know their shit and I didn't want to take any chances.
I sat up and felt her place a hand under my arm and together we managed to get up from our place on the floor.
I glanced around and found it suspiciously quiet, I looked over at Silvia who shrugged "I told them to find something useful to do" she said.
I smiled gratefully at her
"So my dear" she said smiling back at me "not that I'm not pleased to see you, what brings you down here today?... I don't think it's for your health because your mother would have mentioned if something was amiss."
See what I mean about certain nurses, far too fucking perceptive.
"Well, there's this guy I know through church – the new priest guy, Carlisle Cullen? I heard he was in an accident and I was in the area, so I thought I'd come check on him." … Okay answer and not too suspicious right?
"Ah, yes" she said frowning slightly, "I was on call when they brought him in earlier, he's not looking too good – his poor wife is with him now.'
I felt an ache in my chest at the word wife but I shrugged that off for the moment to concentrate on more important things.
"What do you mean he's not looking good?" I asked
She sighed "Well honey, he sustained a great deal of head trauma in the accident and it looks like he's suffered some memory loss. It's too early to tell if it's permanent or not but he was quite agitated when he was brought in. He wanted to know where his wife and daughter were – he seemed to think that they were in the car with him."
A child?... I'm sorry what the fuck?
"Carlisle doesn't have a kid" I blurted while silently adding yet…
She nodded before adding "Not anymore, no."
I shook my head and was about to ask her more before she continued "He thinks it's seven years ago Bella, I don't think he'll have a clue who you are. I'm sorry but I think the best thing you can do is go home."
He doesn't remember me?
"But he has too" I whispered while trying to fight off the huge up surge of emotion that threatened to overwhelm me.
"I'm sorry Bella, but there's a good chance that the man you knew is gone. I shouldn't be telling you this but he's a friend of yours and I trust you not to say anything. Now I have to be getting on, patients don't tend to themselves. Can you get home okay?" She asked.
I nodded dumbly and she smiled, patted my arm gently and hurried off.
"I can't remember how long I stood there for but I think it must have been at least another 30 minutes before I found my way back to the car. And if I'm honest with you all now? The rest of the day didn't go to well either."
"When I got back home Renee and Charlie had gotten back from their vacation early and I was in such a state by then that I virtually screamed at them I was pregnant – just not who by than god…. Needless to say that they weren't thrilled… In fact they were the most furious I've ever seen them, which is how I ended up here in LA. I was shipped off to stay with my grandmother until we all worked out what to do next. That was almost two and a half years ago. Now I'm a mom to a twenty-one month old little boy called Harris, I still live with my grandmother, I work part time at our local bookstore and I joined this group to meet other single parents like me. And that's my story" I said.
I looked at the group that was seated around me, a couple of them had looks of disapproval on their faces – but most of them seemed to be okay with it. It was amazing that I'd finally got say what I'd been thinking and feeling for the past couple of years. I'd censored out some of the steamier details of course, but my mind filled in the things I left out.
I smiled at a few of the other girls as we gathered up our things as the meeting began to wind up.
"Hey Bella" Clara called. Clara was a single mom to three kids all under six and their deadbeat dad and had been in and out of jail more times than I could count.
"Hey yourself Clara" I replied smiling.
"I'm so glad you shared your story with us today, I know you've been thinking about doing it for a while. Just remember that we're all here and the future is there" she said.
I rolled my eyes "Cut out your new age'y bullshit and go see those kids of yours" I told her.
She laughed and replied "Only if you agree to give that beautiful boy of yours a kiss for me."
"Done" I said as she winked and headed for the door.
I smiled to myself as I grabbed my bag and headed out to the car. There were times when I missed my old uncomplicated life, I missed Alice – but I understood why she hadn't been in touch. It's difficult to consider someone a friend who keeps so secrets. I still haven't heard anything from Carlisle…. On the occasional chats I still have with Renee, she mentioned that he's still not doing well and that hurts – but I know I can't dwell on it because I have a little boy that needs me. My life now is hard but oh so rewarding. It took some time but I finally grew up and learned what real life is really like and I wouldn't change it for the world…. And who knows, maybe one day our paths will cross again?
A/N Hey Folks, it might not have been what you expected, but nothing ever is right?... And you never know – the end might not be the end just yet….
Lots of love and maybe lots of reviews too - it may help inspire me! :)