The Never Ever Happily Ever After Contest
Title: The Fall
Characters: Bella, Charlie
Word Count: 5,585
Full Summary: "I'll always want him. I won't forget him. I can't let him go. Ever." Bella holds onto Edward with everything she can, and refuses to let him go. She'll do anything to get to him again. Anything. OOC, AU/H.
Disclaimer: "Due to the nature of this contest, you may expect content such as character death, adultery, abuse, illegal activities including drug use and underage drinking, etc."
I frantically hum the lullaby, trying not to lose my only connection to him. He took everything when he left, saying it would be as if he never existed. But he lied. He took everything physical with him, but he could never take away my memories. I will never forget.
The words he said as he left haunt my memories; they're almost all I can think about. In school the teachers take one look at me and decide not to ask me to answer a question. I look that bad. My grades may be going up, but my thoughts remain the same. He doesn't want me. I'm nothing to him. I'm nothing to me.
I attempt to go on living mainly because I can't leave Forks. If I do, and he comes back, I can't do anything about it. That's why I threw the temper tantrum when Charlie and Renee started packing me up for Jacksonville. I can't leave. I can't give up on him.
I can't give up on any of the other Cullens, either. I'd sell my soul to see Alice one last time. I'd even take Rosalie. Anything or anyone that reminds me of them. Even a silver Volvo would be enough to get me moving for a while, to bring me out of this depression. If even just for a few days (and I would most likely go back into an even deeper depression after those few days), I would take it.
Charlie looks at me with sad eyes these days, and I tell him I'm sorry for reacting this way, that I will try harder. But it's like I never speak, like it's fallen on deaf ears. Maybe he realizes it won't be better; that I could never ever try to let him go. I've always been a bad liar. But it's like he doesn't even know why I'm so sad. Why I don't look like a human being. I know I'm not fooling him with the way I'm going through the motions.
I just can't understand why he wouldn't know why I'm so depressed. The Cullens were my whole world. He even made remarks on how unhealthy it was while they were here. I did go out with my other friends, occasionally. But no one could compare to the Cullens. No one ever will. So why even try now? I know this isn't good for Charlie as well as me. I should think of Charlie more in this situation. Why did anyone even say I was selfless? All I can think of is myself.
Dark circles are under both our eyes from lack of sleep. Haunted screams always shake me awake violently during the night. It comes from nowhere and I can never get back to sleep as it echoes around my head.
My human friends are diligently trying to make me happy again, but with each attempt they seem just a little more forlorn. I think I'm breaking their spirits. It seems like anyone who cares about me is catching my depression. It's like some sort of morbid version of monkey see monkey do. I give in one day, and go to a movie with Mike, Angela, and Ben. I realize that it's some sort of romantic comedy and I run out of the theater as fast as I can without making a scene.
I rush into the closest bathroom at look at my reflection. My cheekbones jut out from the sides of my face, my cheeks are hollow, my already pale skin looks sickly, and my eyes are dull and lifeless. Angela comes in looking for me. I convince her to go back and watch the movie, and that I'm just feeling a little sick. Actually, throwing up right now sounds a little nice. But I figure becoming bulimic won't help my situation. She checks with me once more before leaving. I drag myself into the handicap stall and sit on the little bench inside, curling up into as much of a ball as is possible and cry silently while I hum the lullaby. Finally, when I compose myself, I head out of the restroom, checking my reflection once more as I leave. It almost makes my rush back into the stall to really throw up this time. No wonder he didn't want me.
But I'll always want him.
It's getting harder to drag myself to school each day. October's bringing around a little Halloween spirit, and Angela tried to get me to help with the dance on Halloween. Most people don't want anything to do with it, of course (since it's just another low-budget school dance, and apparently now that we're seniors, it's lame), and I'm no exception. The only difference is they'd need costumes to look like some sort of ghost or zombie.
I finally give in to Angela and join the decoration committee one night. It doesn't go well. They suggest a vampire theme, and I almost scream (but it's close enough to a shout anyway) my protest as I throw my drink at a wall. I don't go back.
I'm slowly losing any emotion left in me. My heart just can't take much more of this. If dying of a broken heart were possible I would have died long ago. While a month ago I would have welcomed anything that reminded me of them, now it just might kill me. I know I can't recover from this. Nothing good can come of this until they come back. They have to come back.
I don't notice it at first, but when I throw any CD's I have away, or start hyperventilating when Charlie watches baseball, I realize that I can't stand anything that reminds me of him. It destroys me whenever someone mentions Dracula. At least no one seems to mention the Cullens around me. That wouldn't cause any improvement in my behavior.
The memories of all the small moments that we had over the few months we had together keep me going. The hours spent at his house, with me trying to win at some sort of board game against him, or anyone else there, or just sitting in his room and talking, are like food or water to me: sustenance, things that power my body. The hurt and pain keep me feeling, and give me the will to live. Even when I can't stand it anymore I need to keep going.
I can't help but feel like I should be angry with him for doing this to me. But it's like I physically can't. While he was still here he could have killed Charlie and I wouldn't have cared. He can get away with anything, and I'll love him all the way through it. Maybe that isn't love, maybe that's obsession. Maybe I would just be the creepy stalker to him if he ever came back.
I know he didn't care for me, but did Alice? What about Carlisle, Esme, and Emmett? Did any of them truly care for me? They were nothing compared to Edward, but they were like a surrogate family to me. Did they ever feel anything positive for me? I can't imagine they did, or else Alice would have at least said goodbye. That tears at my heart, but I can understand.
My hair is becoming greasy and limp. I shower every day, but it's just not helping. It's probably the depression and stress. I really am trying to at least look like a human being, for Charlie. But I just get worse as the days wear on. I'm not just plain anymore, I'm unattractive. Ugly, even. Not good-looking in the least. I'm afraid to go to the grocery store, because I scare some children and get pitied looks from any adults. Not to mention when I walk by the Halloween decorations and notice the vampire costumes, makeup and masks, my heart breaks a little more.
There's still no sleep for me or Charlie. It's affecting his job, and I wonder how to get this to stop. I finally figured out I was the one screaming at night. But the screams just don't sound like me. I don't know why I scream. I never dream anyway. Or rather, I never remember the dreams. I'm met with worried and almost fearful looks when my eyes meet Charlie's.
I can't stop humming the lullaby. If I'm not humming it, then it's playing over and over again in the back of my head. There's no way I can forget him now. I won't let him go.
I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever sleep again. I'm so tired I passed out while walking to gym. I haven't gone back to school since. My friends stopped trying to call or see me, but I can't bring myself to feel sad over that. It would take too much energy. Energy I need to remember. I can't bear to forget. I would throw myself off a cliff so I wouldn't forget. I will prove him wrong, and he will always exist in my mind. Even if he will never love me, I will not forget.
Billy and Jacob Black come over for dinner and to watch some sort of game. Jacob tries to talk to me while I make dinner, but my answers are short and I don't try to carry the conversation. I let him chatter on about his friends, a car he's fixing, what he's been up to, etcetera. But when he pauses to take a breath I honestly couldn't tell you what he said last.
Jake eventually joins Billy and Charlie, obviously disheartened by my lack of interest in him and his life. I feel sorry for the kid, but I can't do much about it. I try, and I fail. So even though I really am trying to at least give people hope that there will be a tomorrow for me, it just isn't working. When they finally leave Charlie seems to be sad that Jacob and I didn't hit it off.
The next day I hear him talking with Billy over the phone about me. He says enough to make me sure he has no idea why I'm so depressed. Well, if he asks I'll tell. It's not my fault he's been exceedingly ignorant these past few months. How could he not know why I'm like this? He's a cop! He's supposed to be smart!
He does ask, though, and I tell him that it's because he left. Him and the Cullens. I say it in an almost patronizing tone. But that would require emotion to voice. I barely want to speak as it is. I don't really do anything all day, until I make dinner. Since I stopped going to school I don't even need to study. I know Charlie is worried about me, but he hasn't gotten me back in school yet. It's odd that he hasn't. He's always said, (even before I came to Forks), that he wants the best future possible for me. I don't think I'll achieve it now. I'm obviously never going to get anywhere good in life without him and I've known so since he left me.
I'm nowhere near moving on. Every day I go through the memories, trying to see where everything went wrong. It's obvious that it was the birthday party, and I try to see what I could have done better. Not get the paper cut. Realize that I was in a room full of vampires and try to stop the bleeding. Maybe I should have never been human in the first place. All very good things that I wished had happened. Then I wouldn't have a fading scar on my arm and a huge hole ripped through my heart.
Charlie sits me down one day and explains to me that vampires aren't real. I happily agree with him, glad he won't be guessing the Cullens secret anytime soon. But he has been asking more questions about Edward. Like what color his hair is. I tell him that he should know. He's met him after all. These questions are worrying me, but I guess I can dismiss them for the time being.
I realize that all the questions started after he asked about why I'm so depressed. It's like he hadn't even thought of the Cullens until that moment. Why would that be? Everything I am was centered around them. My thoughts on an hourly basis can prove that much more than necessary. I can't even begin to comprehend not meeting him. That would be my own personal hell, even if I wouldn't have known it.
The lullaby keeps me from floating away to my own world. It keeps me on earth. Usually when Charlie is gone for work I curl up on my bed and hum it until human needs force themselves upon me. Other than said human needs, I could be a vampire. My skin is deathly pale, my eyes are almost black, and under them are large circles. All I need is unearthly beauty. But I won't ever have that, and that's why he left. I could never be enough like him. I wonder what he would say if he saw me now. He'd probably be even more disgusted. I wouldn't blame him.
I can't blame him.
Dr. Gerandy has been over a lot lately, asking the same questions about the Cullens that Charlie was asking. I'm getting worried. They've been talking about some sort of hospital, but I'm not sick. I ask Charlie if there has been anything wrong with his health lately, and he says no. They've been giving me some sort of medication lately. I think it's to help with my eating problem, because my ribs are just as prominent as my cheekbones. I might as well be a ghost, zombie, or other sort of creature. I can't help but be a little vain as I despair over how I look worse and worse with the passing days.
I was fired from the Newton's store. I haven't gone in for two months, and they won't wait for me anymore. I didn't have many days' vacation or sick time to make up for it either. They apologize for letting me go so close to Christmas, but I tell them it's fine. I can't bring myself to care anymore. I'm starting to think a little repetitively, as well. I figure that I should make some sort of nice dinner for Christmas, just to walk out of the rut for a little while. Charlie will be excited, or a little happier anyway. I make a mental note to buy a ham if I ever get out of the house.
I almost attack Charlie. He asked if I thought the Cullens were vampires. I scream at the top of my lungs that they weren't, and he should stop asking. He calms me down, but not before I break the kitchen table. Christmas is getting closer, and I think we might get a new one for it. I never find out if he got one, though.
I keep my eye on Charlie all day, just in case. He acts normally, but I can tell he's suspicious about something. I don't know what it is, but I know it has to stop. He definitely suspects something when I sit down to watch TV with him. It can be a second space shuttle being launched for all I know, but I do know it isn't baseball. I lay my head on his shoulder and pretend to sleep, and I feel him relax. After a while he gently shakes me, telling me it's eleven and we should probably head to bed.
Tonight, just a few hours after the outburst, I don't stop screaming after I wake up. Charlie finally rushes in, something he hasn't done in a few weeks. When he tries to calm me down I hit him and try to get out of the house. I don't make it past the front door before he subdues me.
This morning I wake up in a strange bed. It's Christmas Eve, and I plead to the lady who brings me food to let me out, for a present. She shakes her head and backs out of the room, telling me I need to eat my food.
I eat like she told me, not even noticing what's going in my mouth. Where am I? Why am I here? The room I'm in is very white and sterile-looking. I miss my old bedroom. Where is Charlie for all of this? He wouldn't stand for me being in here. I tell the lady that when she comes back in for the tray my food was on. She looks at me with pity and agrees before she leaves. I can tell she's lying, but I don't know why. I don't know anything here. I'm caged in this place. I try to open the door, but it's locked. There are no windows. Why am I here?
I hum myself to sleep: the lullaby of course, they can't take that away from me. I don't wake up that night, but when I wake up the next morning my mind is hazy and I never fully snap out of sleep. But I hum the lullaby; it keeps me at least a little awake. They ask what it is, and I tell them it's a lullaby that he wrote for me. Charlie comes to visit, and tells me he's sorry for this. I ask him why he sent me here, why I can't leave. He says he sent me here to get better, and when I'm better I can leave. I scream at him that I don't believe him, but I calm down quickly.
We talk a little longer, but when I start to hum the lullaby people dressed in white come in and Charlie has to leave. Soon afterwards I fall asleep. The lullaby plays in the back of my unconscious mind, and I'm glad I don't forget it in here. I think they want me to forget.
But I won't forget.
Phil and Renee come and visit for a couple days. My mother bursts into tears every so often, and I try my best to calm her down. It would be fine, and everything would be back to normal someday, I tell her. I hold her arm and hug her, trying to make it better. But when her crying grows even louder some people come in to restrain me. My mother never comes back.
I'll miss her. But I know after that she won't want to come to see me again. My mother was always flighty and she doesn't like any responsibility. That means she'll try her damndest to forget me, to move on like I should have. If I had only acted a little better I wouldn't have woken up in the hard, white bed.
Everything here is white. I wish for at least a little color, which would improve my mood a lot. I tell anyone I can find who works here this, and still no color. I miss my purple bedspread and the old brown couch. Anything that wasn't white. Even the food here is grayish-white. It's unnatural. I'm even missing seeing green everywhere I look outside. I can't look outside now; I can't even see what might be outside my room. I never notice the people entering until they make their presence know. I know now what I took for granted.
I might have even taken him for granted. I wish that it isn't so, but thinking of all that we could have done while I wasted my time sleeping, or with the other Cullens, I realize what could have been. I wish I could tell him I'm sorry for not being enough.
Charlie only visits once and a while, but other than that I'm left in my room to hum myself to sleep. I can't fully wake up anymore, but that leaves me all the time in the world to go over the memories and the lullaby. There are some books in my room, but I won't read them. There's no need to; I have everything I need in my mind.
I've started to go over what happened the last few months to make this happened. It all started when he left. But I can't get angry at him; it's not his fault for not wanting me. I'm not exactly the most interesting person in the world, and I'm obviously nowhere near the prettiest. I wish he would love me, for real this time. Then I wouldn't be here. Then I would be happy. Then Renee would want to see me. And someday, we would be together forever.
The food is bland and honestly scares me a little to eat. I don't want to eat it at all, but they make me. I learned if I didn't eat it myself they would find other ways to force it down my throat. I won't let them stay though. They respect that much of my privacy to let me eat in peace.
All I have to wear is a thin hospital gown. No real clothes or anything that reaches below the knee. It's embarrassing having anyone who enters my room see my backside, but there's nothing I can do about it. Everything here is so bland. Maybe I know what it was like to look at me just a week before I woke up here, when I couldn't bring myself to feel anything.
I know that Alice can see what happened to me. And I'm sure someday they will rescue me. That's when everything will be better, even if Edward still doesn't want me. I tell the people that they will come, and that I won't be here for much longer. I can't be. I can't take much more of this.
I will keep him with me, forever.
Time is a blur. Days, weeks, months, years, they're all the same. Time really is relative. It doesn't matter how long has passed, I won't notice. It's all too hazy to comprehend anyway. I think they've been drugging me, but I don't know how. I threw my food at the person who brings me it once, and they had me restrained to my bed. I will be let out someday, though. If I act well, they might actually let me out without needing the Cullens help. That's why I stay just bad enough that they will have to come. I hope Alice doesn't realize that I'm doing this for a reason.
They've started asking questions again, but I refuse to answer. They can't know the secret like I can. They have to figure it out. I smile every time they ask the questions and shake my head. They still haven't figured it out.
I ask every day if I can go. But like so many months earlier with Charlie, it's like I haven't spoken. Maybe I haven't. But that can't be true; I can hear myself asking it. Maybe they aren't supposed to answer. Maybe they just don't like me. There are so many maybes; it's a relief when I get to go to sleep. Then I don't have to think so much. The lullaby is always at the back of my mind though, keeping me just a little bit conscious.
Charlie doesn't like to visit. When he does I ask why he doesn't visit as much anymore. And I guess that doesn't agree with him. I've opened up to him more, the loneliness taking over my mind. I talk about how much I miss my best friend. About how much I miss my surrogate mother. About how much I miss him. That always gets him to stay a little longer. But when I start humming the lullaby, he has to go away. But I can't go long without humming the lullaby, or I might forget. I'm desperate not to forget.
There's nothing to do except go over memories. When I run out of those, the day everything went wrong comes to mind, and I start screaming for him to come back. Afterwards I fall asleep. I guess it's the drugs.
Even though time is so fast, it's also extremely slow. I don't know how it happens, but anytime I think about the time, or what day it is, everything comes crashing down and I can't think of anything else for a while.
I'm still extremely skinny; I can see my ribs through the thin gown I wear. It's almost sickening. I can't take anymore of this. I haven't moved for days, and I keep reliving the past. I don't know what to do. This is killing me. I just want him. I tell them that, desperate now. I just need him. Then everything will be better.
It will all be better.
They let me out of the straps. It's amazing to walk around again. They say I'm getting much better, but they don't know how much I've learned to control myself. I won't tell them anything about the Cullens. If I do, I'll stay here forever. I can't take that.
I'm allowed to walk outside of my room, something I haven't done since I was brought here. I now know I'm at a mental hospital. Charlie thought I was crazy. I don't think I can forgive him for this. I have a plan to escape this place, but all I need the trust of the people here.
Charlie visits. He tells me that he couldn't be happier about how I am getting better. I tell him I'm sorry for getting so sick. I don't mention the Cullens, or even hum my lullaby. He stays for a lot longer than he ever has before. It's great to talk to him while I can. When I get to him again, we will be together forever, and I'll have to give Charlie up. I can do that. It would be easy after how long I spent in here. Forever will be much shorter.
At night I still hum my lullaby. When no one can hear me, or see me, I hum it without fail. I need to. I almost forgot it while I was in the straps. I was so desperate to be let out, I stopped. But no more. I need this, or I'll have given up on him entirely.
Alice came to visit. I was so happy, and got her to talk about the family and how they're doing. Esme is restoring a house. Carlisle is working nights, and teaching part time. Jasper is studying philosophy. Emmett and Rosalie have gone on yet another honeymoon.
She however, had found out more about her human life. She lived in Biloxi, Missouri. She had a little sister. Her parents left her in an asylum (and I can now sympathize with her) because of her visions. Her niece was still alive, and Alice visited her. Fortunately she was now so old that she couldn't see the resemblance Alice bore to her mother.
I then started to question her about how he's doing, but she won't answer. I had to sit and ask for a very long time before she finally started answering. She said he won't come back. I asked her why, he could always come back. She said he went to the Volturi. That he begged for death. I couldn't imagine why. She told me he thought I would die here. I sobbed for the rest of the night. I asked Alice not to come back. She asked if I wanted to see the others, of course, but I said not until I'm ready. I haven't seen her since.
I won't talk to any other patients here. The nurses try to get me to talk to them, but I refuse. I don't need them anymore. I don't need anyone.
I'm finally ready. I don't need to be here anymore. I'm finally being set free. I put the plan into action. The nurse comes in to check on me and sees what's happening. But it's too late. This is what they get for saying that the Cullens aren't real, that I made vampires up, that my mind isn't well and most of all, that he never existed.
I'm coming Edward.
Even months after she gave up her life for someone who doesn't even exist, I still can't get over it. I haven't laughed in forever. I took the longest vacation I've ever taken, built up after years on the force. The day when I went to see my daughter, to see when she could be discharged, they say she took her own life three hours beforehand, by strangling herself with her bed sheets.
For seven months she had been in a deep depression. I didn't know what had caused it. Just three days after her birthday she was found in the woods by Sam Uley muttering, "He's gone, he's gone." I didn't know who was gone, and for the first few months I watched as she got worse and worse. Every time she started humming a little tune, she would either go silent for hours or start talking about someone. "I miss him. He took them with him. She didn't even say goodbye. I wasn't good enough for them." At first I thought it was a nice little song, but then I came to recognize it as the catalyst it was.
Three months after it happened, I finally asked her what was wrong. "He left of course. Edward and the Cullens." She replied slowly, emphasizing each word like it was obvious. I assumed this Edward was the "he" she had been talking about all those months. I realized then that Bella wasn't well, but decided to ignore it.
A week later she started talking about vampires. I told her that vampires aren't real, and she agreed with me a little too whole-heartedly. "Yes, they aren't real. People can't be vampires." That worried me, and I asked her, a day before Christmas Eve, if she thought the Cullens were vampires. She started screaming and protesting that they weren't vampires, that I couldn't know that. She ended up tipping the table over and breaking it before I managed to calm her down.
I started thinking that day, and I knew the thing I'd been putting off for a month had to happen. Bella watched me closely for the rest of the day, keeping an eye on me, I guess. I tried to act normally and watched something on the TV, but I honestly don't know what it was. A few minutes after I sat down Bella came in and sat next to me, eventually falling asleep. For the next couple of hours I tried to resolve what I was going to do.
Later that night, after finally getting to sleep, she started screaming again. I gave up going in there a couple weeks beforehand. It wouldn't do any good. But that time she kept screaming. I ran in and saw what was going on, and she hit me. I stop her right before she tried to get out the door. When I caught her, she passed out. The next morning she woke up in a mental hospital in Seattle on Christmas Eve. I can never forgive myself for doing that to my baby girl.
When Renee tried to visit her and started crying, Bella tried to comfort her but ended up scratching skin off Renee's back and then broke her radius when she gripped her arm. Renee called me and said that Bella's all mine, that she loves her but she can't take that again.
A couple months passed. Bella got so bad they ended up strapping her to her bed. I tried to visit, but trying just wasn't enough. I died a little inside each time I saw her. She talked to me more, opened up about the family her mind created. I let her talk as long as she wanted, but when she started humming the song they made me leave.
She started getting better. For a few weeks it was like she had forgotten all about the Cullens, or like she'd accepted that they didn't exist. Life started getting a lot better in my eyes. Then she killed herself. The nurse said her final words were, "I'm coming Edward."
That was in March. It's August now. My baby girl is dead. The love of my life didn't even attend her funeral. My best friend died just two weeks after the funeral. I can't go anywhere without anyone looking at me with pity. I'm not sure I want to live anymore.
But I go through the motions, just like Bella did so many months ago. She had something to go on for then, but I don't. I'm not sure if I should even bother.
15 years later
I eventually marry Sue Clearwater, the widow of my best friend. I can't ever forgive myself for it, but I do love her. Seth eventually warms up to me, but Leah never really does. They both grow up and have children, and Sue and I watch with pride. But every year on the anniversary of Bella's death, I almost put a bullet in my head.
These years have been good to me, and I retire ten years after the incident. My retirement fund contains enough for Sue and me to live in comfort for the next years of our lives. I hope she'll forgive me after I'm gone for never truly forgetting Renee.
I miss Bella more than anything. It's the anniversary of her death. The hole in my heart seems larger than ever. Tears trickle down my face as I curl up on my bed. I don't think I can live with this anymore, what I've been carrying for fifteen years, with things gradually building up and making it heavier than I'm able to carry.
So now, as I grieve for my daughter, for the woman I have never stopped loving, and for the woman who had to live knowing she'd always be second place, I give up.
There is only a slight pressure against my head, and everything goes black.