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Based in its entirety on a true story and dedicated to Grant.
FWD: Edward's Schedule
To: Bella Swan, Angela Weber
Monday, April 4, 6:45 AM
I know this is a random email, but I thought you might be able to help. Edward Cullen had another seizure last week and is not allowed to drive for six months. I know he goes to school with you girls and he can't drive himself there now. Below is his schedule and I thought that there had to be kids from the area that he could catch a ride with. If you or someone you know that goes to FHS would be able to give him a lift; that would be a huge help. I'm sure they would offer to pay gas money.
I'm not trying to put you two on the spot, I just figured you'd be a good place to start looking for help.
Hope you're both doing well.
Subject: Edward's Schedule
To: Cathleen Stanley
Sunday, April 3, 9:54 PM
Edward's schedule is Mondays: 7:00 AM start and 2:50 PM finish. Tuesdays and Thursdays are 12:00 to 2:50. Wednesdays and Fridays are 7:00 to 7:50.
Obviously, he could stay on campus a couple hours and study if someone is available to bring him home anytime after his schedule ends. Let me know what you find out. I will put out an email to a few others as well.
Thank you so much,
I stared at the screen for a few minutes, trying to comprehend the overload of information from the league of enthusiastic moms. Cursing my father for making me a good person, I hit reply.
Re: Edward's Schedule
To: Cathleen Stanley
Monday, April 4, 10:12 AM
Hi Mrs. Stanley,
Of course I'd love to help Edward out. It seems that we run on very similar schedules and I'd be able to give him rides to the HS every morning. If there's ever a day that his ride can't take him home, I can stick around the school for a bit and drop him off as well. Just let me know.
I maneuvered my rusted pickup around the Cullen's winding, narrow street and pulled up to their house at 6:36 on Monday morning. Staring in silence at the tiny, old, white structure in front of me, I put my hand on the lever and hoisted myself out of the truck. Having not taken my eyes off of the Cullen's house the entire time I had been parked, I didn't notice that Edward was already standing on the porch, backpack in hand, hair slightly damp, and with a less-than-amused expression on his face. He looked thinner than I had seen him before, but still beautiful as he always had been.
It got a shy smile out of him.
"Hi, Bella. Um," he looked sheepish "…thank you for doing this. You didn't have to…"
I cut him off. "You guys are on my way, don't worry about it. I'm being neighborly and all."
"Right." He looked at his feet and managed to look awkward standing on his own porch.
"We should get going, yeah?" I hedged.
He nodded and stepped off his porch, walking toward the passenger side of my truck. I tried not to notice the small patch of hair that was missing from the back of his head, covered with a metal plate.
I walked around to the driver's side and climbed in. After some difficulty with the door, he did the same.
We sat in silence for a few moments before I realized he was waiting for me to drive. I looked at the ancient radio on the dashboard.
"You probably want some music don't you? I'm not sure I've ever turned this on…what do you listen to?"
"I don't mind. I usually like the quiet in the morning." He said with a shrug of his shoulders.
"Me too." I said, smiling.
Shifting the truck into reverse, I pulled out of the Cullen's driveway and drove through the forested area their house was hidden in onto the freeway. It took awhile to get to the high school. They don't build things close together in Forks.
Edward was staring out his window silently. I felt like I should at least try to start him in a conversation, but I didn't want to be too pushy or make him feel like he had to talk to me. My solution was to hum quietly to myself as I drove. Well, I thought it was quietly at least, but Edward's head snapped in my direction when I got a few notes into the tune.
"Claire de Lune," he said quietly.
"Yeah. You know Debussy?"
He nodded. "He's one of my favorite…" he trailed off staring out the windshield.
I looked over at him. "Yeah, me too. My mom used to play classical music around the house all the time. Debussy was one of her favorites as well, but what I could never understand—"
"Bella." Edward said abruptly.
"Can you pull over for a second?" He asked politely, but there was urgency in his voice.
I looked over at him again, and startled when I saw that he was gripping the dashboard with both hands, his knuckles turning white. His skin had turned an unnaturally pale shade and he looked like he was going to be sick.
I pulled onto the shoulder just in time for Edward to yank open the door and vomit violently on the side of the road. Not knowing what else to do, I scooted to the edge of the cab and put a hand on his lower back, trying to offer him comfort. He took a deep breath and coughed a few times, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. I looked around frantically and spotted a bottle of water in the backseat. When he came up for air, I opened the glove box and got a few napkins, handing those to him as well.
"Thank you," he mumbled, wiping his mouth with a napkin. He took a big drink from the water bottle and rinsed his mouth out a few times.
"Are you alright?" I asked, seriously concerned.
"Yeah." He nodded, taking deep breaths. "Yeah, I'm fine…sorry."
"Don't worry about it, okay?" He didn't need to be apologizing for being unable to stop the contents of his stomach from reappearing.
"Kay." He took one more deep breath and shut the door.
I scooted back over to the wheel and put the truck back in drive, heading for the school. I wanted to ask Edward if that happened often, if that was what he had to deal with all of the time. I knew about his condition, but they said he had gotten surgery to remove the tumor. Apparently the tumor had recently made a reappearance and he had to have surgery again a few months ago. The seizures were an unfortunate side effect of his situation.
However, the last thing I wanted to do was make him more uncomfortable than he already was, so I continued humming Claire de Lune as I drove, hoping to comfort him without him realizing it.
When we pulled into the school parking lot, there were a lot of people there already due to the extra few minutes we were pulled over on the side of the freeway.
Edward sighed. "I'm sorry I made you late." He said resignedly.
"Edward. It's fine. We're not late, see? The first bell hasn't even rung yet." I stated simply while pulling into a space.
His hand was on the door handle before I even put the truck in park.
"We're here!" I tried to cheer him up.
"Yeah, thank you Bella. I'm sorry…about earlier." He finally made eye contact with me and gave me a crooked smile. I stared into his deep green eyes.
"Stop. Apologizing." I joked, kind of. "It's fine! We're here in one piece right?"
"Yeah…I'll see you around okay?" He said, getting out of the truck.
"Yep. Have a good day…" but I trailed off because he was already booking it through the mushy grass up to the front door of the school.