A/N - I don't own Twilight… but I'm betting that if I announced on here that I did, no one would actually sue me because I'm not making any money from this.
Jasper then chuckled, and I didn't like the sound of it… not one little bit.
Where Is My Mind?
Monday April 23rd 2412
I'm covered in a layer of sweat, and I feel weak and wrung out.
"Do you think you've finished yet?" a muffled voice calls from the other side of the door.
"Fuck off!" I reply feebly into the bucket that sits on my lap.
He chuckles evilly and leaves.
I'm going to wring his damn neck if he asks me one more time how much longer I'm going to sit here. I swear if they had used Colyte bowel preparation solution as a means of torture and interrogation while I was in prison, I probably would have sung like a fucking canary.
I had to drink somewhere between three and four liters of the nasty tasting concoction, and as a result, I think I may have lost my entire colon down the shitter. I've vomited twice. I smell like shit and vomit. I feel as though I'm dying, and it's all thanks to Jasper Hale.
Jake, as expected, made his excuses to leave after my second trip to the shitter.
After the fifth onslaught, I flushed and then didn't even attempt to raise my ass off the toilet seat. It was too much effort to bother with cleaning myself and pulling up my pants, only to have to stumble back, blindly, ten minutes later. I've been sitting here for so long; I've lost the feeling in my feet. I hiss due to the uncomfortable tingling sensation. Pins and needles.
At least I'm not thinking about the pain in my eyes.
"I said hold still!"
"And I said, 'Ow!' Go and get Yorkie. You're a fucking sadist," I snapped as I sat up on the bed and gingerly rubbed at the suture line at the very top of my forehead. "Just pull out the damn stitches, not my hair!"
"Lie back down! I'm almost done, you big baby. I've only got…," Jasper counted under his breath, "six more stitches to take out."
"Seven," I corrected.
I let out a heavy sigh, knowing that Jasper was going to ask questions.
"There is a running subcuticular suture that needs to come out from my hip."
"Huh? There's a what-a-what?"
"A running subcuticular suture. It's a single long suture that is mostly buried under my skin. You just need to snip the knot off one end and then pull it out from the other," I explained.
"Why is there a suture in your hip?"
"It's none of your busine- Owwwww!" I growled as Jasper roughly pulled out another suture from my hairline. "I swear you are getting some sort of sick satisfaction from this."
"Maybe…" Jasper chuckled. "One down; six to go."
I put my head back down on the pillow and gritted my teeth to brace myself for the pain. Jasper proceeded to remove the remaining sutures from my hairline.
"Okay… just one more to go. Show me your hip."
I rolled over onto my stomach and pulled the waistband of my pants down to expose the suture line.
"That's not your hip, Cullen. That's your ass."
"It's my hip, you moron. It's up high," I protested.
"No it's your ass, and I'm not touching it."
"Oh come on, Jasper. I'd do it for you."
"No, I'm not doing it!" Jasper said adamantly.
"Please, just do it and get it over and done with. Just pull it out and we'll never speak of you touching my ass again."
I heard the sound of a female giggle from nearby and suddenly, I was aware that Jasper and I were not alone. I then heard some heavy footsteps and a clattering sound. My mind identified it as a cart of some sort, and the wheels were slightly unbalanced.
"So, is this an intimate moment for you guys, because I can always come back later…"
"Shut up, Jake. Jasper is just taking out my suture for me."
"Nice ass," a female voice said smoothly and then giggled again.
"Hey! Quit staring at his ass," Jake said with mock irritation. "Scoot back to the living room and wait for me, woman." I heard the sound of a hand as it smacked, and the female gave a playful yelp.
"Awwww… Jakey is jealous. Hi, Jazzy… bye, Jazzy." The girl said in a sing-song voice and then giggled again as she retreated.
"Hey Jake," Jasper greeted cheerfully. "Thanks for getting the portable ultrasound for me."
"No problem. So, why is there a suture in your ass, Edward?" Jake moved closer, and I could tell he was hovering over me. "Hey! Did you get that birthmark cut out?"
"Ah-ha! So that's what it was. Care to explain why Cullen here was acting as if it was a national secret?" Jasper asked.
"Because it was shaped like a-"
I tried to talk over the top of Jake to drown out the rest of his sentence. "Shut the fuck-"
"-Love heart," he finished.
Jasper burst into gales of laughter.
"Thanks a lot, fucker," I growled.
Jake snickered. "What are friends for, bro."
"So why'd you get Yorkie to cut it out?" Jasper asked as he snipped the end of the suture.
"If you've ever been in prison, you'll know it's best not to have anything that makes people zero in on your ass while you are trying to get clean in the communal chambers," I said by way of explanation. "So, who was the girl, Jaaaaake?" I gasped as Jasper pulled out the suture. I know the suture line was only about an inch in length, but it felt as though the stitch was about a foot long, as it was slowly dragged out from beneath the tender surgical wound.
"A friend," Jake answered cryptically.
"She works with me," Jasper added. "She had to bring me some supplies and equipment.
"What's her name?" I asked impatiently as I pulled up the back of my pants.
"It's not important right now. Sufficed to say, if it wasn't for that girl and her connections, you and Colin would probably still be in prison. Now roll over and pull up your sleeve. I need to insert a PICC line."
"Okay, well, that sounds like something I don't want to be around for, so I'll see you in about a month, bro." Jake roughly ruffled my hair, and I winced when his fingers touched the newly exposed scar at my hairline.
"Ow! Watch the hair, dickhead. I think you've already done enough damage, thank you very much."
"You are such a pussy," Jake teased.
"Yeah, says the guy who's about to run away in case I start to bleed," I countered sarcastically.
"Seriously, man, I hope this ESME thing helps you cope while you can't see. If the retinal reconfiguration is successful, it will be all worth it in the end. We'll catch up again properly when you get out. I've missed you, bro."
"Yeah, I look forward to catching up, too. Thanks again for taking Carlisle back home."
"It was an honor. You know you can always count on me for the important stuff," Jake said sincerely.
"So, is this an intimate moment for you guys, because if you two are gonna kiss each other goodbye, I can always come back later." Jasper burst into laughter at his own joke.
"Fuck off, Jasper," Jake and I said simultaneously.
I was sitting on the edge of a metal platform with a bathrobe sitting over my lap. My lower legs dangled in a warm, viscous fluid, and I moved my feet gently to and fro. Jasper connected me to various lines that would monitor my bodily functions, alter my brainwaves, and keep me hydrated and nutritionally fed.
Jasper had spent much of the afternoon explaining the ESME immersion process, and soon I would be going into the tank. I just wanted to get everything underway as the painkillers I had taken some hours ago were starting to wear off. The pain behind my eyes was about to become unbearable.
"Okay, it's time to get in. Turn around and lower yourself into the tank," Jasper instructed as he removed the bathrobe.
I was now naked and blind, so I felt particularly vulnerable and embarrassed. "Stop looking at my package, Jasper," I said to lighten the moment.
"Yeah, right. You wish you had something worth looking at. Your Ma doesn't call me 'Tripod' without a good reason you know..."
"You wish." I laughed.
"Well, I do actually."
Jasper was silent for a moment before speaking. "I've been meaning to speak to you about Mary-Alice for some time. I should tell you that I've developed feelings for her."
To say I was surprised at his revelation would be a lie. Over the years, I've seen the way Jasper looks at Mary-Alice. I knew he was fighting some sort of mental battle because Jasper is my age, and Mary-Alice is seven years older than we are.
"Does Ma know how you feel about her?"
"Well… being an Oracle, I'm fairly certain she has some idea," he said sarcastically. "I just wanted to speak to you about it first."
"You're both consenting adults, Jasper, and as long as you spare me the gory details of your sex life and don't expect me to refer to you as 'Daddy,' I have no problem with the two of you being together, if that's what Ma wants too."
"Oh God, you have no idea how nervous I've been about having this conversation with you." Jasper chuckled in relief.
"Yeah, so you decided to wait until I was blind, naked and less likely to punch you in the nuts to drop your bombshell on me. Way to go, man," I teased.
Jasper slapped the back of my head. "Shut up… Son."
"Fuck you." I laughed.
"No, I think I'll save my awesome bedroom skills for Mary-Alice, thank you very much."
"I said no gory details, remember?" We both burst into laughter.
"Just get in the damn tank, Cullen, before I push you in. I'm getting tired of looking at your dick."
"Well, it's not my fault it's so big you can't take your eyes off it." I quickly turned my body and lowered myself into the warm liquid before he could hit me again.
"That's it! No anesthetic induction for you. I'm just gonna hold your head under with my foot and let you breathe in the Liquivent fully awake." I felt Jasper pushing down lightly on my head with his hand.
"You want me to pull you in here?" I threatened as I held onto his wrist. We were playfully tussling when I felt something soft brush up against my body. "Whoa! What the fuck was that?"
I reached out with one hand because I was using the other one to tread water to stay afloat. My hand touched something soft, and I gave it a squeeze. It felt like a… tit, and a nicely sized one at that. I pulled my hand back as if it had been burned, because even though I was blind, a light flashed in my eyes, and that only ever happened when I touched an injured or sick person.
"There's another body in here, Jasper."
"Um… yeah. I kinda hoped you wouldn't notice."
"Who is it? Are they plugged into this machine too?"
"Her name is Bella. Bella's brother, Emmett, is one of my best friends, and he is the co-owner of ESME, along with Rosie and me. Emmett and Rosie are married, and this is their personal immersion tank in the basement of their house. Bella is in the tank as she is going through some emotional problems. She's on the verge of PTSD."
If the girl had PTSD as Jasper had mentioned, then that explained why my body had tried to heal her when I'd touched her skin.
"Maybe this tank thing isn't such a good idea after all," I said as something that felt like hair tickled along my bicep.
"No, it's a great idea… unless, of course, you want to deal with the pain of your eyes for the next month. However, if I were you, I would refrain from touching Bella's tits again. If Emmett ever finds out about this, I'm sure he'd love to rip your arms from your body and then beat me about the head with the soggy ends. In fact, it's probably best if you just try to stay away from her altogether."
"Normally when someone uses ESME, they have a personality disk created, which is then incorporated into the program. You don't have a disk, so Bella is going to be the dominant personality in the excursion. If you two meet up, you may not have full control over your environment or even your own will. If she says 'jump', you might not even get a chance to contemplate asking 'how high' before you start jumping. You'll feel highly compelled to do as she asks. Basically, you'll be entering her world, and unless you can really concentrate, you'll just end up like a puppet on a string." Jasper let out a small laugh. "Emmett learned about that issue the hard way. There was this one time when Emmett and Rosie were in the tank and mid-excursion the disk drive holding his personality disk failed."
"So what happened to him?"
"Let's just say Rosie didn't show him any mercy. Whenever Rosie gives me a hard time about something, I threaten to remove her personality disk the next time she goes on an excursion, just so Emmett can get his own revenge on her."
"So how can I avoid the girl?"
"Bella chose the Disney World theme park expedition, so it means you will be staying in the Disney Grand Floridian Resort. When you emerge in the expedition, you will wake up underwater in the bath tub. Just stay in the hotel suite, order room service and watch pay-per-view porn or whatever. You won't really have much choice about leaving the room anyway. Without a personality disk, you probably won't even have any clothes to wear."
"Okay, so say if I do meet her and things get out of hand; is there a way out?"
"Go to the lobby of the resort and in the center, there is a table with a large green vase on it. If you move the vase from the center of the table, the program will cease running, but you'll both wake up. Look… I'm sure it will be fine. Just avoid her and be vigilant."
"How do you expect me to be vigilant if I don't even know what she looks like? I can't exactly see her right now."
"Well, you've already met."
"In the medical clinic. Bella was Carlisle's Nurse Practitioner, and she was there when you and Jake were trying to save Carlisle."
"But I didn't see what she looked like then either. She came in after I had started to heal Carlisle; I was already blinded by that point," I explained.
"Oh, right… well she's twenty-two; she's got long brown hair and brown eyes. Um… what else? She's about five-foot-four. She's a bit shy… somewhat innocent really. I dunno… she was always just Emmett's little sister to me. We never really hung out that much together."
With the way Jasper had described the girl, she seemed fairly unremarkable. I would just have to do as he suggested and stay in my hotel room. If I could survive solitary confinement for three weeks in the dark with crappy food, a waste bucket and nothing but a button to entertain myself; being trapped in a hotel room for a month with a TV, bed, toilet and unlimited room service would be no hardship at all.
"Okay then… let's do this thing."
When I opened my eyes, I couldn't see a thing. Everything was dark, and I was worried that the blindness I was subjected to in the real world had been carried over into the virtual world. I was submerged, and I was trying to find the bottom of the tub, so I could sit up out of the water, but I couldn't seem to find it. I was confused.
Are bathtubs usually this deep? I wondered.
I moved my arms and kicked my legs and finally made it to the surface of the water. And that's when I realized there was a lot of water.
I was in the ocean, and the sun was beginning to sink into the horizon. I turned around and there, in the distance, was the shore. I moved my arms and legs, but having had few opportunities to swim before, I wasn't making much progress.
Suddenly, a large wave came up from behind and crashed over the top of me. I was pushed down underneath the surface of the water, and my body tumbled about chaotically. At one point, my head hit the ocean floor, and I felt a jolt of pain shoot through my neck as it awkwardly snapped to one side from the impact.
Frantically, I made my way to the surface again just before another large wave began to build up behind me. This time, however, I positioned myself so that the wave carried me forward, and once my feet finally touched the ocean floor, I waded through the water toward the shore.
On reaching the shore, I staggered for a few feet before I collapsed onto the beach feeling utterly exhausted.
Lifting my face up from the sand, I looked around me and noticed there was a house standing before me about a hundred feet away.
What the fuck?
This can't be Disney World… where in the Hell am I?
A/N - Song inspiration – Where is my mind by The Pixies… or Placebo if your prefer their version… which I do.
Thank you for reading Isle E.S.M.E. 2412. Currently this story is on hiatus until my other fic "Drowning, not waving" is complete.
Your reviews are encouragement when I'm feeling doubtful… which is often.