Hey everyone… this is just a chapter 1 of The Consequences Behind Secrets, which is the continuation of this OS. I eventually decided was to best start it as a separate story… and to leave this as just the OS… So again if you are looking for more from this story check out TCBS on my page… I already have 2 chapters posted and the third is off with the prereader… Hope you enjoy chapter 1…
"Bella you have been here for almost six months now. You want to tell me how your feeling? How strong is the desire to cut now compared to how it was when you first arrived?" Inquired Mrs. Cope. Bella was hoping this was the last session she'd ever have to go through again. She was still angry for being forced into treatment, but at least now she knew the reason for it and how to deal with the emotions.
"I won't deny that the need to feel the pain is not in the back of my mind on a constant, but compared to what it was when I first arrived it's much less. At least now I have a way to control the need," Bella hoped that Mrs. Cope understood her meaning. She was anxious to be able to leave. I miss my dad and Sue. Bella thought to herself. I can't wait to see them again. I just hope that things aren't too crazy with the wedding. Her thoughts continued causing her to miss the next question that Mrs. Cope made to her.
"Bella did you hear me?" Mrs. Cope asked her after not getting a response to the question about being out in the real world again. Mrs. Cope worried that Bella was not going to be able to cope in the world outside the walls of the rehabilitation center. She knew that once the pressures of everyday life started to bog down on the former patients many were re-admitted for falling into the same patterns as before. The one thing that worried Mrs. Cope the most about Bella's situation was that the cutting could potentially be the cause to the end of her life. So much like a person dealing with a drug addiction, one wrong move and she could cut a major vain and bleed to death in a matter of minutes.
"I'm sorry Mrs. Cope I was thinking of my family and about the wedding. I was thinking how scared I am that things will be crazy with all the excitement going on around me. I haven't really spoken to my family since I was admitted with the exception of the family days my dad and Sue came up for. Also the thought of seeing Jake again after what he did, the thought of seeing him is scary. I don't know if I can get myself to trust him again. He was supposed to be my best friend, the one person I could count on, the one person I could completely confide in, but then he goes and just betrays me like that," the hurt and anger for the deception was still fresh in Bella's heart. The one person she thought she could always count on was the person who isolated her the most. Him telling Charlie and Sue about Bella's cutting addiction was like a big slap to her face.
"I know that you are still hurt about what Jake did to you and with your inability to really trust people I can completely understand how that can be the worst kind of betrayal, but you do understand that what he did was for your own good, right?" Mrs. Cope wanted Bella to understand how wrong cutting really was. It was not the proper kind of escape for her issues with emotional pain. She still needed to deal with the cause for that pain so that she wouldn't need the physical release of it.
Bella wondered if she'd gotten help when it first happened, would she still find herself sitting in the room she was currently? Would dealing with the source of her emotional pain really stop her from needing the physical one? She truly doubted it, but she held hope.
"Bella I want you to understand that even though this is our last session here in the center, I still want you to see someone on a regular basis. Being out in the world will not be easy especially the first few days. It will be hard trying to deal with how much everything has changed in the first few days. Remember even though you have been in this building and it can feel like the world has stopped outside these doors it hasn't." Mrs. Cope hoped that she was getting through to Bella how important it as to see that everything was going to feel different when she got home. She also hoped that the beautiful young lady that sat in front of her could see herself more clearly once she left the safety she was currently used to. The outside world had treated her roughly before, but hopefully she developed the needed skills. To those who saw her grow and change while she was in the center it was obvious, but it might not be for others.
"I will be making the recommendation to your dad when he comes to pick you up tomorrow." Mrs. Cope could see the smile that made its way across Bella's face as she realized that she was going to be going home the next day.
Before dismissing Bella from the therapy room Mrs. Cope reminded her of all the techniques she could do to help her when she was getting stressed the most. She also gave Bella a list of local psychologists, strongly encouraging her to call one and make an appointment. Much to Mrs. Cope's dismay she could not follow some of her favorite patients out the door and continue to encourage them, but she could give them all the resources that they would need to keep up with treatment.
Ecstatic that she was going home the next day, Bella walked into the little room that she'd spent the last six months sleeping in. There wasn't anything particularly special about the room she was in; it was a sickly peach color with a horrid flower pattern chair height border. The bed was a standard twin size bed, that underneath her grandmother Swan's embroidered quilt, contained bleach whitened sheets. The bureau that held her clothes was a dark cherry with a total of eight drawers, four small ones for intimates at the top and four large ones underneath, two on either side. The only mirror available was the one that was over the sink in the small bathroom attached to the room. Because of Bella's cutting tendencies they had placed her in a room where the mirror wasn't even made of glass, it was one of those reflective film one that you see in school public bathrooms. The image was distorted most of the time, but she really didn't care, she didn't care what she looked like. She knew she wasn't pretty, so what she looked like never mattered much to her.
Bella grabbed a small box that was provided to her by one of the orderlies and began to pack the small things that were spread around the room, the picture of Charlie and Sue, the picture of Jake and her, and then the one with Jake, Seth, Leah and Bella, that was taken at Charlie and Sue's wedding a few years back. Next she packed the collection of books that Jenn one of her favorite nurses kept getting for her. Bella remembered fondly the day that Jenn and she bonded over their love of reading. Jenn became the first person she was comfortable with telling about the cause of her cutting disorder. She didn't like talking to anyone about it, if she was honest she hadn't even realized it until one night in group what was the real cause. The final thing she packed into the box was her precious quilt. She wasn't sure if she was going to be able to sleep comfortably that night without it but she wanted to make sure she didn't forget it.
Next, Bella took her suitcase out of the closet that held extra blankets, sheets, and pillows and began to pack the little bit of clothing she had. She made sure to leave a pair of her favorite yoga pants and baggy shirt out to wear to go home in the next day. She was slightly saddened by the thought that she would no longer be wearing the centers standard uniform of light blue scrub pants with pink tops for the ladies and dark blue for the guys. If she were honest with herself the scrubs were quite comfortable to be in.
Bella was very happy that at least all the patients looked the same, she didn't need anyone else pointing out how plain and frumpy she really was. That was the one thing she could remember the most about him telling her. How plain and ugly she really was. He constantly reminded her that no man would ever want an ugly, fat girl. That any man worth his weight in gold would only want to be seen with a sexy, voluptuous woman. She remembered thinking to herself on more than one occasion that he must not weigh much, because, she looked just like Renee, with the exception of having Charlie's eyes and hair color. Renee's hair tended to push towards black while Bella and Charlie's were closer to a mahogany; also Renee's eyes were honey while Bella's were chestnut. Bella knew she wasn't fat on the contrary she was actually quite small at only five foot three and weighing just shy of one hundred and ten pounds, but at the same time she had no curves at all. Especially not at the age of fourteen. She didn't develop the curves in her hips or any boobs for that matter, until after her sixteenth birthday. And thankfully by that time she had already moved in with Charlie, Sue joined them only a few months later with her kids Leah and Seth who were around Bella's age.
As suspected Bella did not get much sleep that night, too excited about going home the next day. So she was up, showered and waiting for Charlie to pick her up before eight am ever arrived. When Mrs. Cope came into her room to get her, she'd already stacked her one bag and box of stuff by the door. Mrs. Cope chuckled at the site of everything thrown into the box haphazardly. She could plainly see Bella's impatience and excitement in just the way she packed everything that was supposed to be her most prized possessions. But then again Bella is not one to put stock into material things thought Mrs. Cope. Bella turned out to be one of her favorite patients in recent years. Even though she was twenty-five she still acted very much like a teenager. She was moody, scared, dependent on others, and mostly lost, Mrs. Cope hoped that the skills that Bella had learned through therapy were going to help her become more independent in the future.
One of the perks of the program that the center offered was a training program for its patients. The directors of the program wanted to make sure that once the patients left their facility they would be able to be self-sufficient. They believed that if they could give the patients the skills and confidence to go out into the world and care for themselves, be responsible adults that it would help to keep them from going back to the self-destructive behaviors that lead them into the program in the first place. It was only affective in about thirty percent of patients. Which for Mrs. Cope was not a strong enough number to justify continuing it, but unfortunately that wasn't up to her. So she tried to supply her patients with all the other needed skills to prevent falling back onto old habits.
"Is my dad here yet?" Bella asked Mrs. Cope taking her out of her musing.
"Actually he called he should be here shortly, that is why I came up here. Want me to give you a hand taking this stuff down and we can wait for him out on the sidewalk?"
Excitedly Bella walked over to the box with her books, pictures and blanket and picked it up, leaving the suit case for Mrs. Cope to roll out of the room. To Bella they couldn't get outside into the warm afternoon sun fast enough.
"I can't keep doing this!" Tanya yelled at her boss. She was tired of the brusque treatment of the man she worked for. Tanya possessed enough experience to not have to continue dealing with the crude words he constantly hurled at her. The final straw was him calling her incompetent. In her forty years of life that was something that she'd never been described as. She took great pride in how good she was at what she did. Just because I'm blond that does not make me stupid. She'd always felt offended by that stereotype.
"What the fuck is that supposed to mean?" her boss bellowed at her proclamation. She didn't have anything she could complain about in his opinion. She wasn't required to do a lot. All he really demanded was that she worked as close to perfection as possible. His profession as a lawyer not only required it but could be a determining factor one way or another in court. One misplaced, misspelled word or incorrect phrasing could change the contract and ultimate decision all together.
"It means that you are a reprehensible human being - and I used that term lightly- and I QUIT!" Tanya turned, and walked out of his office slamming the door.
She quickly walked over to the desk and placed her remaining personal possessions in the bag she usually brought her lunch in. She could hear him in his office, cursing and throwing things around, but, sadly, couldn't find it in her to care anymore.
As soon as Edward finished having his temper tantrum, he picked up the phone and quickly dialed the number of the only person who gave in to his every whim. He knew she would be willing to lend a hand, if only to placate him. He was due in court in a couple of hours. Unfortunately he couldn't leave the office unattended.
"Good morning, mother. How are you?" He tried to use the sweetest voice he could, hoping to convince his mother to leave her office to come help him.
Sighing Esme asked her son, "what do you need now, Edward?"
"I need a big favor. Tanya quit, and I have to be in court by two." He didn't see a point to drag out what he needed from her.
"At least she lasted longer than the last one." Esme did not bother hiding her exasperation from her son. He'd gone through five secretaries in the last year. "Let me arrange some things around the office and I will be there and bring you some lunch."
Grateful for his mothers help he readily agreed to her demand for some time to re-arrange her schedule. Then set about preparing to call the staffing agency, what he didn't expect was the reaction they got at his request.
"We are sorry Mr. Cullen but we cannot send you anymore ladies. They refuse to work for you," informed the lowly secretary that was unfortunate enough to answer Mr. Cullen's' call. She was hoping that he would not unleash his wrath on her. His reputation for being cruel and short with people was well known around the office.
Gritting back the harsh response on the tip of his tongue, he thanked the girl with the annoying nasally voice, she sounds like she sucked on helium all day. He then accepted that he was going to have to ask his mother to help him hire someone on a permanent basis.
Esme arrived at her son's office shortly after receiving his call. She luckily didn't have much work pending and what she did have she would be able to do from his office. She'd also stopped at his favorite restaurant to pick up lunch for the both of them. After going into the small kitchenette that contained a small table and setting up their lunch, she made her presence known to her son.
"Edward, lunch is ready," Edward heard his mother say as she walked into his office. Getting up quickly he made his way over to his mother and gave her a hug in greeting. The only person that he ever truly showed his caring side to. Everyone else that knew him knew the cold, calculated lawyer he wanted them to see. Extending his arm out to his mom, Edward walked her to the kitchenette like the gentleman she'd taught him to be. "Thank you for helping mom, but I think I'm going to need you for more than just a day this time." he then went on to tell his mother of the conversation he'd had with the girl at the agency.
"Ok I can help you hire a new secretary, but Edward; you need to learn to be more patient and less demanding. Also you're going to have to accept whoever it is that I hire. Even if she doesn't meet your physical standards." Esme knew that was going to be the hardest part for her son to accept. He demanded such a high standard for the women that he associated himself with, everything from his partner to his cleaning lady. Tanya was a great example of how high his standards reached; she was a tall five-foot ten blond, with long legs and an hour glass figure.
Esme hoped that by finding him someone to work for him, that didn't fit his normal kind of secretary, they would last longer and put up with his moody ass a little more. I love my son but he holds people especially women at too high of a standard. Being as demanding as he is people lose patience with him quickly. Hence the reason that Tanya lasting four months was a record. But then again nothing has been the same since Jane. Esme shook the thought from her mind; she didn't want her son to catch on to who she was thinking about.
Not realizing how deep in thought his mother was Edward began to explain to her what the most important requirements for the job were. "At this point she could be an eighty year old grandmother for all I care, I need her to be able type efficiently, as well as spell correctly. Remember she will be writing what I have dictated." Edward thought about how he preferred dictating all the contracts onto the recorder he keeps in his desk drawer so that he doesn't have to really interact with the secretary. He liked to look at them that was a fact, but he really hated to interact with them for more than the necessary.
"Um... what time do you need to be at court?" Esme asked her son as she noticed they'd been talking for close to an hour.
"Shit" Edward cursed seeing that he only had thirty minutes to get to the court house. The case was a fairly simple contract dispute, but it was important to him to get this win. Kissing his mother and thanking her for the lunch she'd brought for them, he made his way out of his office.
After Edwards departure Esme quickly put in the call to the newspaper to see if she could find him the right person.
Now putting the ad in was going to be the easy part... the hard part was finding someone that would fulfill his every requirement.
Edward made his way into the courthouse to meet his client. The entire way there all he could think about was what his mother said about his strictness. He didn't think he was that rigid but if his mother was making a mention of it, maybe he needed to take a step back and think about it. No, I'm fine, I just don't settle for less than the best. And if I want someone that was easy on the eyes for my clients benefit of course then so be it, he rationalized.
"Mr. Cullen good afternoon." Mr. Cook greeted his attorney. The contract dispute that he'd hired Mr. Cullen for was to be presented in front of Judge Polo. Mr. Cullen assured him that the judge would rule in their favor. The former employee was aware of the non-compete clause in his contract when he was hired.
"Judge Polo good morning, we are here in your presence today because Mr. Bermudez violated the contract he signed with Cook Distributing by going to work for Gator Distributing before the end of the wait period. Not only did he go work for someone else before his allotted time but he took clients with him. This caused a drop in sales for my client and in turn a drop in revenue. So we are in your presence today to get restitution for the amount my client lost."
The judge thanked Mr. Cullen for his opening statement and then offered Mr. St. Pierre a chance at a rebuttal. Mr. St. Pierre explained to the judge that the non-compete period was of a year and his client Mr. Bermudez only violated it by six weeks.
"Yes your honor it was only a mere six week but before those six weeks he'd kept in contact with clients from Cook Distributing and made offers for when he went to work for the other company. What assures us that Mr. Bermudez had not already been hired by Gator Distributing and was only waiting what could be considered enough time." Edwards voice was stern and no nonsense. Making sure that his displeasure and irritation at the disregard to the contract.
"I have read the contract thoroughly and I have to agree with you Mr. Cullen it clearly states that the wait period is to be of fifty-two full weeks. And Mr. St. Pierre your client clearly did not wait his required time. So in light of the contract and the evidence presented to me throughout the last few weeks I am ordering that the sum of one hundred thousand dollars be given to Cook Distributing. Also Mr. Bermudez will have an additional seven weeks that he will not be allowed to do any business for Gator Distributing. Now if the company wishes to continue to pay him while he is on this court ordered suspension, that is completely up to them. Court is adjourned." Banging her gavel on the desk the judge walked out.
After making arrangements with Mr. Cook for payment of services rendered, Edward made his way back out to his car. Tomorrow is another day, he thought.
AN: Remember after this... this story will only be available under the new story title. So please go check it out. Thanks