Stephenie Meyer's Twilight.
a/n: A one-shot prequel to the fanfic Edward's Bella. This is in Bella's POV. This is also Chapter 41 of Edward's Bella so it's best to read the main fic first. Warning: suicide content (no one will die)
"Is she coming?"
"No, Bella. Your mommy's not coming."
A crowd of black in the living room, whispering.
"Come on, sweetie, do you want some chocolate chip cupcakes?"
I nodded, taking her hand. Annie was wearing black, too.
"What are they saying, Annie?" I pouted. The whisperings were bothering me.
She was in the hospital? Poor woman!
The doctor said it was more than shock. She wouldn't stop screaming.
"Shush now sweetie, don't listen to people talking. That's not nice," said Annie.
Did she see him? Voice lowered. You know, like that? No, the little girl found him, poor child! How old was she?
Mrs. Jenks said the little girl just turned six!
Annie dragged me to the kitchen but I clutched the back of a chair.
I want my mommy!
"I'm sorry, Bella. Mommy's not here."
We're sorry, too.
We made you cake! With seashells!
Boston, four years later
One of the white suits is here, Bella.
"Bella, Dr. McKinsey is visiting you today." Was that the nurse? I didn't turn around. Just talking, talking. Talking and talking.
I want my mom ...
"Hi, Bella," he said. "I promised you I'll be here for your birthday, don't you remember?"
You said my mom would be here today.
You said she loved me.
You said she brought me here because she cared about me.
"Still not speaking to me?" He sat down on the chair.
We're not talking to you!
My hands clenched and unclenched. I kept looking for Daddy. No, not daddy. Him. I clawed at the air, searching. Don't leave me!
We love you, Bella.
No, not you. Where was he?
I faced away, refusing to budge from the floor.
I could feel the doctor watching me. Watching me grabbed at air. He didn't understand. He didn't see. He wasn't him.
Bella, Bella … Bella.
Oh, shut up!
Where was he?
They only come, pestering me all day and night, when he was gone! Gone!
The carpet's as soft as grass by the lake.
Do you miss us, Bella?
Yes, now be quiet! I couldn't think.
We miss you so much, Bella.
"Mrs. Jones and I have a surprise for you, Bella."
Cake, cake, cake ….
I jumped up and slapped my hand on the cake. The nurse yelped, startled, dropping the ruined cake on the carpet.
Cake with pearls!
"Bella, that's not nice."
I glared at him.
The strange man is right, Bella.
The doctor sat down on the carpet.
"You are 10 years old now, Bella. Do you know what that means?"
Come, Bella. We're waiting.
I cried harder.
Please, shut up.
Just close your eyes.
Close your eyes.
And I heard splashing. Laughter. Swirling water and the wind! I liked the wind in my hair!
And I wanted to go to them, to laugh too.
Blue, blue creatures.
But I have to stop breathing again. I must stop breathing.
It was the only way, to be with them. To be happy. To be with Daddy.
I ran. And ran.
I didn't hear Mom calling my name. Was she here? But she was never here. Must be the doctors. I didn't care for doctors. They make you talk and talk. They never stop even when you were crying.
I followed the laughter.
I ran faster.
7th grade/middle school, lunch hall (Boston)
I didn't want to go in there. I hated the whisperings. And that word. I hated that word.
"Oh, hi crazy girl!"
"Hey, crazy girl is here."
"Did you bring your mermaid suit today, crazy girl?"
I dropped my books and I ran. I could run really fast. I was used to it by now.
I was born crazy, I would die crazy. My father was crazy therefore I should be, too. His mother was crazier.
February (current year in story), seven months before boarding the plane bound for Chicago where Bella met Edward (Bella's aunt's home in London)
"Aunt Marge? Can … can I talk to you?"
"Come in, Bella."
"I want to go home."
"You are home, Bella."
"I want to find Mom."
"You don't need to do that, Bella. I just got a call from her. She's coming over in two weeks."
"Why didn't she talk to me?"
"I don't know, Bella. I wish I could tell you why."
But she never came for me.
She never did.
April, while in Irvine Medical (mental health hospital in London). Bella was confined for 3 months
Because my mother hated me, I would have to die. It was her who gave birth to me, brought me unto this world. She would take me out of it, too.
"Do you think that by drowning yourself, you are doing what they are telling you?"
I never told her that. Did I?
Why were they always drawing the wrong conclusions about me? I did not drown myself! I fell on the lake!
I stared forward, just walls. There were no windows on this side.
The last time was better. The last time I wanted to say something. Did I finally say it? It didn't matter. I was willing to say something. But I didn't.
"Tell me, Bella. Tell me what's on your mind? Am I wrong? Is that why you refuse to talk, because we don't understand you?"
I was starting to forget the things she once told me, about Daddy. I was forgetting him. I didn't want to forget. I had to find her, ask her to tell me again. I didn't want to ever forget my father.
She was never here. And when she was home, she hides in her room. I could hear her crying sometimes. Was it me? Was I not the daughter that she wanted?
"You are selfish!" Mom cried, tearing at her hair. "You are just like your Dad."
She was mad because I filled up the tub one day, and let the water flow over. I didn't tell her that it grew into a lake. I would see many, many creatures. They all wanted me to join them. They said that they would take care of me, that they know where Daddy was.
Sometimes, I would see my mother in the lake. My real mother. But then she was sad, too, and she was floating above the lake. She said she was lonely. I never wanted to make my mother sad. I wanted to be with Mom forever.
Maybe that was why she was sad, she wanted her daughter to prove her love to her.
So, one day, I filled up the tub and breathed water. It was the only way.
The water overflowed and it seeped out until water slipped under the closed door. My mother, walking in the hallway, noticed the water. She opened the door and she saw me. Next thing I knew, I was in a new home where there were doctors, and nurses, and children like me.
I was here again. And there were no more children.
My doctor said something. I never really knew her name. I knew the nurse who gives me my medicines in plastic cups. I knew the name of the one who made me cry and vomit from electric shock once a week - Ms. Frankenstein. She had a scary zigzag scar on her neck.
But my doctor said a word. She wasn't supposed to say it. Not out loud, not while I was here in front of her.
I did not do that, I said.
She droned on, spouting medical terms, listing all my crimes as if I really did all that. Immobility. Bizarre. Catatonic.
I did not do those things!
"I did not do that!"
She stopped. I see a triumphant glint in her eye.
I cringed. Did I yell? I mustn't yell. The last thing I want was to be placed in seclusion. I could drown there. They didn't know that. If they confined me again in that closet, I would not be able to breathe. There was no air.
Don't tell her.
I opened my mouth, taking a deep breath.
"I'm not a suicide," I muttered.
They'll take us away again.
Make you forget.
"I'm not a suicide," I repeated.
"You screamed and cried when one of the other patients called you that," Dr. Whats-Her-Face said.
Why was she bringing that up?
I did not do that!
She'll make you forget us, Bella.
"What were you trying to do then?"
I just wanted my real mother.
To see Daddy.
It was the only way.
July, two months before Chicago (Bella's aunt's home)
"I want to be normal," I mumbled.
"What did your therapist say?" My aunt was frowning. She was a good person but talks like this make her uncomfortable.
"He said I will be … normal. Eventually," I said weakly. What did eventual really mean? Eventually I do, eventually I die. Which would come first? I become normal? Or I die?
The years were a blur. My memories comprise of clinics, sometimes the big hospitals, doctors and more doctors. Sometimes, when I was quiet enough, I could still hear them.
The creatures of my past.
My friends of the lake.
But they were not real. Not now. They never were.
"Do you want me to call your mother?"
"No, please don't do that."
I stood and walked over to the windows. It was getting dark.
My aunt stayed where she was. I could sense her nervousness. The last time we talked about my mother, she took me to the hospital the next day. I didn't remember what happened.
It was nighttime then, too. What I did recall was that I was only feeling restless. Thoughts of my mother always bring conflicting emotions in me.
I walked and walked and ended up by the lake. I didn't even know there was a small lake there. I rounded a corner, and there it was.
But right then, by the lake, at least for a moment, I wasn't alone. I hadn't felt him in years. Not Dad. My father was dead. It was him. And I felt warm and safe for the first time in a long time.
Since I was a child I had this dream that I was loved. Whenever I was sad or frightened, I would feel a strong hand gripping mine and it would calm me.
As I was growing up, I realized I didn't have to be asleep to feel the hand. To feel its reassuring hold, its firm protective grip. I could close my eyes, and then my hand was in his gentle, sometimes firm clasp, telling me he would not let me go. He kept me out of hospitals for years.
Even the lake folk agreed. He would make me feel better, they said.
I couldn't tell mom. She would give me that look again. And I knew she was seeing him, not me. Not him … Daddy. And she would cry.
But he was gone, too. In an instant. And I panicked. I wasn't asking too much, was I? I knew it but I didn't care. I was just so sick of being alone.
And everything was blurry, hazy, and I couldn't hear or move. The last thing I saw was the lake and he was no more.
4am London time, six hours before boarding the plane to Chicago (Heathrow Airport, London)
The woman in front blinked sleepily at me. She was standing near a counter.
"What's what?" she mumbled, her hand covering a yawn.
"The woman speaking!"
"The public announcement?" She looked at me as if I was crazy.
I was not crazy!
But she was moving away. She knew I was ...
No. I was not crazy!
What did I just do?
Not well. Not good. I couldn't do this.
"Did you say something?" I whispered to the person next to me. No answer. I slowly swiveled my head. There was no one next to me.
I jumped and whipped my head forward. There was a man behind a counter. I frowned. What was I doing here? I looked at him blankly. He was holding something in his hand. He said it was my passport and where was I going?
I followed a line and I had no idea, didn't know. It was the shortest line. The man was asking something of me. He said a name, a destination, and I nodded.
"You need a visa."
I need to be normal!
"You can't enter the country without a visa."
Please, help me.
A bubble was spreading inside my head, cloaking all outside noises.
What was he saying?
I couldn't hear him!
"Are you going to Spain?"
I shook my head at him.
I grabbed my passport and ran.
I stopped when I realized there were no more people. Where did everyone go?
I walked slowly, more briskly, and I was running again. I ran and ran until I collided with a solid thing and I was flung on the tiled floor. A spiel of apologetic noises swirled above my head and I was hauled up. I was standing again.
"Miss, are you okay?" An American accent.
I stared at his dark blue uniform, frowning. There was another blue creature to his right, but it was fading, shimmering, teasing.
"I'm … buying a ticket," I said quickly before he too disappeared.
He smiled at me, made sure I was not wobbling by myself, retrieved my scattered belongings and handed these to me.
"Welcome to United Airlines, ma'am, please wait a moment while I complete another transaction." He returned behind his counter.
Numbly, I stood behind a tall man in a suit. I didn't know how long I stared at his brown suit.
"Thank you for ... ma'am. May I … passport … where …"
I watched his mouth. I didn't understand why he wasn't making a sound. His mouth stopped moving and he nodded at me. I nodded back. He seemed to smile, his lips turned up. He was asking me for something. I gave him something. I waited. And then I was sitting down, papers in my hand.
My mouth trembled but my entire body was detaching. I couldn't make sense of it all.
The bubble was closing in around me.
I tried to breathe, exhale. I heard gasping and I couldn't feel, or hear, or see, or know pain.
I only wanted to be normal.
Intrigued? Read Edward's Bella (profile link), it will make sense :)
Summary of Edward's Bella: Nothing's troubling Edward. No great tragedy in his life or skeletons in his closet. His world and his life are just fine until perfect Edward meets broken Bella. They immediately form an unusual bond. He brings her home and into his life. Edward knows he could have his love and obsession, but not after she has changed him, and not before he has saved her. (AH-OOC/Edward POV)