DISCLAIMER: Stephanie Meyer owns everything; I just have an overly active imagination.
ATTENTION: This story's theme is rape.
A/N: So… here is my first chapter. More details are at the end. For now just sit back and enjoy… you might want a box of Kleenex too… just in case.
"Shut the hell up, bitch! Nothing you do or say is going to stop me. Shut up and take it! No one can hear you here. You remember that three-hour drive in the car don't you? No one is going to save you now. You are mine. You belong to me now. Not even that gorgeous husband of yours is coming to save you; it's only you and me. I've been patient waiting for you, but you really made it all too easy for me – coming right to my house and all. That's why we are going to have a little fun of our own; make up a little game to pass some of this time away.You will know you are now mine and onlymine."
I sat straight up in bed, skin slick with sweat and breath labored. His words were the last that I heard every night before waking up with the same fear as the night I first heard them spoken. It had been so long, but the nightmares hadn't changed. They didn't get worse, but they didn't get better either, and no matter how hard I tried to forget, they just keep coming back. It certainly is amazing how some things - not all things –but some things are so entrenched in your mind that you can't get them out no matter how you strive to rid yourself of them. That monster's voice, so distastefully alluring, like a deadly poison veiled behind an innocent flower; it was nothing like my sweet love's silken one. Every syllable ofthat voice - James' voice - is forever still engraved upon my memory. Along with everything else: the stench of his breath, his weight above me, the grip of his large rough hands on my hips. The staleness of the room we were in, the darkness lit only by a single light bulb that hung from the cracked ceiling. All the memories always came back. The doctors said they would start to fade, but each night they were burned into my mind with surreal clarity – again and again.
"You may experience some PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. You may have nightmares or remember certain things very vividly. We can prescribe certain medications to help you sleep if you have trouble. You should keep us posted on exactly what your symptoms are. Victims such as you, usually experience some confusion, crying, fear, hostility, nervousness or inappropriate laughter, numbness, and some social withdrawal. Now I know your husband and both of your families are being very supportive, but please let us help you, Bella. Just let us help you and I promise you in time you will get better."
And I did listen to them, for nearly a year I listened to them and their psychologists and psychiatrists. For nearly a year I went to every group therapy session. For nearly a year I poured out my story again and again to women who were then told to do the same thing in our little "circle of confidence" shit. For nearly a year I took these drugs that held my mind in a fog. For nearly a year I watched my family succumb to grief watching me not get any better. For nearly a year I watched my husband try to hang on, to never give up hope, only to have every attempt dashed to pieces from my fear. I watched him slowly get so frustrated that he couldn't even come near me without me tensing up and flinching away from his always-loving touch.
The only thing more unbearable than reliving that horrific night was reliving it alone, but to be like me is to be alone - I know that now. I know deep down I'm not worthy of my family's help. I can't accept help for something that destroyed me. I am no longer the daughter and wife they used to know. I still look to the right side of the bed, and every time it remains empty. The right side, his favorite side; the reason I still sleep on the left side of the bed, even though it's the side furthest from the door, the bathroom, the closet, and the alarm clock. I think that deep down I am still hoping that one day, when I wake up from my nightmares, he will be there. One night I won't be alone, but he will be there again to hold and comfort and love me as he always did. Be there for me in the way that I needed him to be whether that was in his arms or soothed through the cadences of his magical piano playing. The way he used to do before that one horrid night. The way he used to before I felt undeserving of his affections.
I may want his arms around me as the nightmares come, I may want him to place soft kisses to the top of my head to slow my breathing, and I may want him to lull me back to sleep with my own written lullaby, but I can't let the darkness that now resides inside of me infect his perfect being. I can't let my own tortured soul torture his. So even though I wish him to be there, I know for a fact that the right side of the bed will always be empty, and I will be alone to be the sole bearer of my burdens. He left when he did because it was for the best, not because it was what I had wanted.
I wasn't always this broken and scarred shell of a person who fears to close her eyes each night. I was once a woman loved by a man and held by a man – cherished by that man. I wasn't always this wifeless, childless woman with no one to call her loved ones. I wasn't always the person I am now. I wasn't always a stranger to the woman I used to be before that hellish night – the night my life ceased to exist in the way it had in utter perfection for so long.
I was once a wife to a handsome and successful man. I was once married to a man who loved me more than anything else in the world – I was his very life. A man who never forgot the big things or the little things, from anniversaries to opening my car door, he was always my perfect gentleman, my knight in shining armor, my Adonis to call my own. He may have had his flaws, but I loved him far too much to ever let them get to me much more than a little huff on my way out the door or a quick eye roll as I shook my head at his way of doing things. That's what our love was, it was strong and deep and something I knew would last so much longer than the time it would take for us to make it to our graves. It was a love that just didn't come by every day, a love that you almost think is only a dream. That's the thing about dreams, though - they do indeed always come to end, even if it's not right away. You eventually wake up, and no matter how hard you try to fall back to sleep to continue that dream you end up just lying there staring up at the ceiling.
I was once the mother of two beautiful twins, a boy and a girl. I find I still have no words to describe the complete ecstasy my husband and I were in the afternoon we brought them home from the hospital. The idea of raising such tiny little things, day-by-day, month-by-month, year-by-year until they are all grown up was both terrifying and breathtaking. Granted, we only got to experience this total contentment for a little while, our time with our little bundles of joy was unceremoniously cut short, but for that short time I know we were happy. If only life could continue on in such matchless bliss forever. If only I could have gone on with my life without that monster, without James. Even the name sickens me today. I never paid attention to the name of my accountant, of my hairdresser, of my lawn guy or of my maintenance fix-it man. I never paid any attention that all their names were 'James' until I had to find new people for all those jobs. Call me a coward all you want, but for me that name is a reminder of the worst memory any woman could ever have.
That's just the thing, though - life doesn't go on unchanging forever. Life changes and we have no choice but to change right along with it. Most people survive because when the changes happen, they occur gradually or by your own choosing. Those changes usually don't happen in the events of one gruesome night. Most women aren't walking along seeming to float on the clouds themselves one minute and then drug through the deepest fiery pits of hell the next. Most women don't have to be alive to experience the deaths of their children, much less witness the murders of their two infant treasures. For if most women had to endure something that horrifying, that appalling, they would be the broken and lifeless person that I am now. If most of the female population had to bear such things as I have, then there would be more women like me. Women shattered, defeated, and lifeless, with no glow left in their eyes, no bounce in their step or swing to their hips. They would be women tortured, as I am, by the nightmares that linger in the dark recesses of their minds; always waiting in the shadows to recall the horrors seen with their own eyes.
Did you know that around sixty-eight percent of rape victims know their attackers in some way or another? Interesting He…James was no stranger to me when I went to his home to drop off some files for work from my husband. I knew him just enough to know he was not someone I would ever get too chummy with. Something about him always rubbed me the wrong way; the way he always looked at every woman like she was a just another piece of ass. I guess now I know why. James split town not long after he had his way with me. Not that I ever told a soul anything about it. I tried twice and twice something more dear than anything to me was taken. I couldn't let my husband know that the man saw as a brother was the man who destroyed our lives - that it was someone who he saw every day, ate lunch with or watched the ball games with. No, I love my husband far too much to let the one person I hate more than anyone weigh on his mind like that. I couldn't let my husband live with the knowledge that a friend of his carried out such sinful things, that a man who he considered his friend tore his life to shreds for his own pleasure and immoral desires.
The blame I carry with myself all the days of my lonely and sorry excuse for a life is like none I ever thought was possible. The guilt I carry of having seen and been able to do nothing but watch as my children were murdered right in front of me. The scene was just as sickening to think about now as it was then. My two dear angels being ripped of their wings - to die before their lives had ever truly begun. Having to go to their memorial service made me sure I would have liked to have died with them rather than reliving everything in even more vivid detail. The service was short and simple. What do you really say about the lives of two infants? There was very little to tell. There was very little that could have consoled me. No one knew what I had gone through – no one saw my nightmares that had been reality. Not even my beloved husband could offer any words of real comfort.
"We're so sorry Bella, I'm sure this must be so hard on you both, we're here for you."…"If there is anything, anything we can do for either of you just let us know."…"We'll be sure to keep you in our thoughts and prayers, we're so sad for what has happened."…
I could have slapped them for those uttered words. Only the rest of the crowd of friends and family stopped me from lashing out at them – their words were well meant, but they were cutting all the same. They knew not even a taste of what I had gone through. They were saying what they thought needed to be said and nothing more. I couldn't focus on anyone who offered a hand, or a hug, or a pat on the back, or a tissue to dry my tears. None of them could bring back our children. None of them could erase the memories I have of that night. None of them could make it so my husband could touch me again. None of them could bring back the old Bella, the Bella I was before my rape.
You hear about women who have been raped, but it is something that can never be portrayed. There are so many bruises and bites and aches it sickens you. You feel as if you have to scrub every inch of yourself until you can't stand it anymore, yet still the memories won't wash down the drain. The grip of hands that are not your husband's, the sweat transferred from his body onto your skin, his smell permeating the air. You never feel as if you are clean – you're tainted, dirty, spoiled, polluted, contaminated by that monster. The pure beauty of an act shared with your husband now sickeningly blemished by someone else, the feelings can't all be put into words. To know without a doubt where the dull ache deep between your legs came from. To know why I don't even want to sleep in the same room as my husband much less let him touch me. It all just appalls you to the point that one day while lost in your own thoughts you find your internal musings going down a very different path. For one day I found myself thinking about actually ending it all, ending my life to end all my nightmares, my pain, my suffering and the anguish I have thus caused the ones I love. One day I thought of committing suicide to end all the torture. The doctors said it was normal - of course - and just wanted me to be watched. Like I needed people watching me more than they were. There were so many eyes on me all the time I felt as if I would just spontaneously combust right then and there. I didn't need people trying to talk me out of anything else, I had enough of people talking to me and giving me their two cents on an issue they knew nothing about.
I hear James' same words to me over and over in my head. No matter how many times my one true love tries to assure me that nothing will ever happen to me again, that I am safe and loved, I hear his words. No matter how many times my husband whispers into my ear that I am his wife, his love, his and only his, I still hear that monster's voice telling me differently. Telling me it's not my husband that I belong to.
"I have watched you, Bella. I have had my eye on you for quite some time. I've seen you on your husband's arm, and have been jealous. I have wanted you since the first time I had dinner with the two of you. Do you remember what you made? Hmm... You made beef steak, that was some of the best meat I have next to your own succulent flesh. Mmm... Bella, do you recall what you were wearing the first night I saw you? No? You were in those tight skinny jeans with those so sexy strappy heels. No husband should ever let their wife look that delicious when serving another man. Your blouse was snug and tantalizing… mouth watering you could say. I could have had you right there on your dining room table had I gotten the chance. Now, I finally get to have you. By the time I am through with you will know that you belong tome."
I no longer felt worthy of my husband's affections. After all how could someone so wonderful want something as destroyed as someone like me? I was no longer the beautiful woman he fell in love with, married, and began a family with. I had scars that would never go away many of which were obviously bite marks. The nightmares had begun and would not stop. I wasn't the strong and fearless woman he had always praised. I had become one of the scarred and broken women he had always made me promise I would never become. How could he possibly love someone who so desperately wanted him with her, needed him with her yet couldn't bring herself to open up to him? How could he still love a woman who was too afraid to tell him the truth, the dark secrets from that one night in fear he would hate her all the more for it? How could he love a woman who wasn't whole, and who was never going to be whole, who could no longer give him anything in return? How could he possibly ever love a woman who could not give him back what she lost for him?
I spent what felt like an eon in the hospital after my incident; I had extensive physical damage, so many cuts and lacerations, so many bruises - far too many to distinguish. All of this paled in comparison to the vaginal damage. I kept hearing terms such as ripping, and scarring, and tearing, and so many other things that sounded so awful. They all tried to keep me in the dark for as long as they could. They tried to let my mind heal before they crushed it again. Even so I had known it was bad, by the very fact the hospital staff wouldn't tell me what was wrong. Why would they ever delay in telling me good news at a time when good news was so desperately needed? No, it is always the worst news you save till last. For no measure of good report could ever soothe it. They would take me in for tests and stare at the results as if willing them with their eyes to change. They would look at me with pity and remorse in their faces. They started not saying much, just saying the same thing over and over again like a rhythm to a melody meant to relax me for when they ultimately just spilled the beans to me.
"You are going to be okay… Everything will turn out all right… You are going to be just fine… You'll be out of here in no time at all."
They didn't say any more, just kept running different tests, giving me different medications - they wouldn't let me leave. It was the third week I had been in this purgatory that was the hospital that I overheard my husband arguing with my new doctor, something he had taken to doing more and more lately. He, too, was changing as I had, and I found myself wanting the man I married back. Wrong of me I know, for he was never going to get back the woman he married either. This argument, however, took place during one of the many times a day they disturbed my fitful slumber to take my vitals. He wanted my doctor to just tell me already because he didn't know how; he didn't know how to tell me the one thing that would certainly kill me. Not that I could blame him, I could scarcely be in the same room with him since they found me half alive in that god-forsaken hell hole. It was not long after that when my newly appointed female doctor came in and very simply yet just as effectively trampled the last bit of hope I had with one very plain truth.
"I'm sorry, Bella, I really am, but you are no longer able to bear children."
They were all right. This one small little piece of information was harder to swallow than all the others. I sobbed until no more tears would flow from my eyes. Apparently my womb was so damaged by that monster that it was irreversible. They had done everything, tried everything, thought of everything to give me the chance to birth another child, but to no avail. I was now a barren woman. My husband tried to comfort me, but the old ways in which he had done so now held no consoling power over me. His simple embrace had always centered me, but no more. As the months drug on, he became more and more frustrated in his inability to change my static state as I withdrew into myself, wallowing in my grief and secrets. No matter how much it pained me to see him not know what to do for me, I couldn't break free from my fear. He took to sitting in the uncomfortable recliner in my hospital room to just be with me. Saying nothing, not knowing what words to speak. We were both waiting, waiting to be released from this bustling pit that never allows for a moment's peace, it took them five weeks it to set me free from the confines of my hospital prison. They had deemed me right as rain physically. They made sure they stressed the physically part. You didn't need to be a brain surgeon to know I was seriously messed up; hell, you didn't even have to know me. Still, five weeks was plenty long enough to make anybody go stir crazy with just those white sterile walls alone.
After over a month the two of us were back into our now very empty and very quiet house. My dear husband, bless his soul, tried his best to make things appear normal. All things baby-related had long since been removed from the house. He always said it was for me, but I knew it was for both of us. We both lost loved ones - we both lost our children whom we loved so much and he lost the wife he knew and loved. The nursery was repainted some neutral color, all the furniture was moved out and new furnishings moved into their place. By the time he had gone through the house there was hardly anything remaining that could even jog one's memory that the house had once been alive with the joy of two infants. The thing was, though, it was all just an appearance of being okay, a façade, a mask, a band aid - not a solution. It didn't fix the gaping hole that was left in our lives by the absence of our children. It didn't fix the nightmares of that man who destroyed our lives. Nothing he did took the pain away. Not any of it, not the physical, not the emotional, everything still hurt on the surface and deep down. The physical pain was held at bay by ridiculous amounts of medication, but the inner pain still hurt like a bitch. Nothing he did took that away, nothing he did could.
He did his best though don't get me wrong. He planned every minute of every day. He had me take up all sorts of shit: knitting, crocheting, embroidery, cooking, writing, swimming, horseback riding, if there was an activity possible to do, he had me doing it. Given the opportunity, I'm sure he would have had me take up even more mindless shit, anything and everything to keep my mind occupied. He unloaded his caseload onto the other partners of his law firm so he could do all these things with me. I'm sure they hated him for it, but just never told it to his face. He was always with me, more than he probably ever was in the first place before the 'incident' as we took to calling it. We even got a dog and a cat and several fish. He tried to talk me into a bird or a hamster, but I felt as if our home was turning into a domesticated zoo as it was so turned him down on that one. They were all great company, but not what I wanted. What I really wanted was a baby on each hip while I tried to keep up with all my house work, and have dinner ready by the time he got home from work. I could pretend for only so long that I was okay and my life was just fine. It was at night when it was dark and I was finally at rest and alone with my thoughts that the tears and nightmares would come. It was established early on that I couldn't share the bed with my husband. Even in our own home and in our own bed I found it difficult relax lying next to him. So he switched the love seat in our bedroom for the full couch in the family room. It was a tight squeeze, but he was able to be close without being too close. From his residence on the sofa he would whisper soothing things to me, or on rare occasions he would be downstairs and play his piano for me again. I always loved his playing even though he couldn't manage anything joyful as of late, unless it was my lullaby. His words and music brought me a small measure of comfort and, more than that, they were proof of his devotion and love; his love that would always be there even if I sometimes I wished it wasn't.
"Shh, my love, you will get through this. Things will be all right, I promise. Just get through this night with me, and then we can move on and see where life goes. Listen to me, my angel, just rest for tonight, I'll be here for you, I will be here until you decide you no longer want me here. I love you, Bella, always."
He knew only a taste of what happened in the basement of that house. He saw the after effects of the blood and the carnage that had become the pieces of my life. Yet still he loved me. He knew I would never be able to give him another child from my broken body, yet he loved me. I knew it was a fool's hope to believe such optimistic words. I knew it would be a long hard road to see light at the end of this long tunnel we found ourselves in. I felt for certain we could make it though, I knew we had love, and all you need is love, but how could I continue to steal the love of a man I did not deserve?
My perfect husband didn't abandon me when I needed him most. He didn't abandon me in my most dire hour. He would never have done something like that. He couldn't have done something like that. He didn't do it because I did it. I asked him to do the one thing I knew he wouldn't have the strength to do himself. I had resigned to my fate before that monster James had even fully settled between my legs. I knew even then that I would be alone. I was no longer a woman, a wife, a mother; from that moment on, I was nothing more than a rape victim. I became a statistic in a book, on a web page, in some classroom. I was a woman who had been powerless to stop a monster from having his way with her again and again. I was a woman who had lain but a few feet from the place where the life slowly drained from the fragile bodies of her children and been unable to do a thing about it. I was now a woman with so many deep, dark secrets - there were too many to ever recount. I could never be a woman worthy of a man such as him, I could never be worthy of his love ever again. He gave it to me so unselfishly, but every time he did all I could see was my blackness smearing all over the beautiful clean white of all that was him. I couldn't bring myself to do it anymore, so I put a stop to it. I asked him to leave, knowing he would never deny me anything. He packed his bags and walked out our door, turning back to offer one more sad smile, his hand cupping my face before he got in his car and drove away, out of my life.
"I'll stay away as long as you need me to. I will always love you, Bella. I know you think this is for the best, but know I will always love you. I will try to make this last thing I do for you as easy as possible. It will be as if I never existed. I will do as you ask, and stay away until you want me here again. Know I will be thinking of you every single moment of every single day that you keep me away. All that I request of you is to be safe, and not do anything reckless. For all our sakes I need you to be alright. Goodbye, my love, my darling Bella."
It is only in the darkness of the night, just before sleep comes to take me back to that night, that I let myself lament about a past life, what my life could have been. I weep for the life I once had. The life where I was a happy mother with two beautiful children, and the wife of a wonderful husband. A life that is no longer mine to live. A life that was stolen from me - and in its place now resides a tortured soul. A torture that I am the sole bearer of.
"My darling, my love, what if that one awful night never took place, what if that monster didn't destroy our lives, what if I never broke, what if you never had to leave? I ask you my love, my Edward, what if this… all of this never happened?"
Author's Note:This is obviously my first attempt at a FanFiction. I have read many and wrote probably just as many, but never done anything more… like actually type it up. This chapter was hard to write… the getting started chapter is always so confusing as what to put in and what not to.
This Story: I do have more ideas for this story's plot line, so soon I promise there will be more. So go ahead, I know you want to send me some reviews and tell what you think… honestly I can defiantly use it… and some love too!
A/N (Jessi… again some time later): Okay so as you will find I have since this first chapter gotten a wonderful collaborator danna0724 and a great Beta songster.
Between Danna and myself this little story have become so much more than the original vision I had when writing this first chapter. Thus KEEP READING! There are plenty of twists and turns coming that I know none of you will see coming… I didn't even see 'em!