Disclaimer: All things Twilight belong to S. Meyer.

A/N: So, it's been almost a year since I've updated and I'm shocked that time has gone by that quickly. I apologize profusely to those of that are still reading this little story. I went back and read through this story, because it had been so long and I noticed a lot of errors on my part, in particular with Harry and Billy. I think I'm going to change it all to Harry, so forgive me for flopping their names around. I also noticed that at the beginning of the story Edward was number 7 and then I put him as 79. I'll change that too when I get some time. Sorry about that. There were other errors and typos that I hope to correct in time as well.

So, after that long A/N, I'm glad to have some new readers and I'm thankful for you faithful ones that may still be with me. I love this story and never intend to abandon it.

I Hurt Myself Today

Chapter 24

The days following the funeral pass by in a haze of tears and painful reminders of just how alone I am. The school allows me to miss the rest of the week, for which I'm grateful as I fill it with moping, blank stares and attempts of comfort from Edward, his mother and Kate.

One thing I've never liked is to be coddled, even after mom's death, I didn't want people hugging on me or crying on my shoulder with tears of pity. People die every single day, so what if it just so happens that death took both of my parents before I'm even out of high school?

Death doesn't care, death is not prejudice and for sure doesn't coddle.

I thought for sure after that peaceful dream with Momma and Daddy in it, that I would feel more at peace as well, but that just hasn't been the case. I have practically moved into Edward's house, and for now his mother appears to be okay with us still sleeping in the same bed together. I think it's just more coddling on her part, but I'm not going to complain.

Though peace and comfort is hard to come by right now, I at least find some semblance of the two while I'm wrapped in Edward's arms at night. That is until the nightmares come, with them bringing a new unfamiliar experience that I'm beginning to understand as panic attacks. See, while I might not have to go to school for the rest of the week, Edward still does as well as Kate, which leaves me a multitude of free time on my hand, which is never a good thing for someone who just lost the most important person in their life.

Thursday night, after the funeral, I wake up from yet another nightmare of experiencing my father coding once again. My heart is literally aching in pain and I feel as if I can't catch my breath. I try my hardest not to make too much noise, as I know Edward has a big game tomorrow and hasn't slept much in the past few nights due to these same nightmares and my screaming and crying fits.

I ease out of his bed and as carefully as I can in the pitch dark room; feel my way to the door. The cold knob hits my warm hands and I twist it to open. I make my way down the darkened hallway toward the sanctuary of the living room, which is the furthest room away from the bedrooms in this house. Once there, I find the couch and continue trying to catch my breath and ease the pain. As I'm writhing in pain, in what is most assuredly a heart attack, as nothing has ever felt this intense and painful before, I hear the soft padding of feet on the old hardwood floors, making their way toward me. I must have gasped or whimpered too loud. It doesn't really matter though, because maybe I'm dying. Maybe God is showing his mercy on me and is going to take me quickly to join my family. I smile at that thought, the first smile in days.

Seconds later, my happy reuniting bubble is burst as Esme comes in, turns on the bright light and begins fussing over me as I attempt to breathe once more. I feel like an old hound dog panting on the porch on a hot summer day. I can't catch my breath for even a second. I hear Esme get up from the old brown leather couch and leave the room. I don't care. I just want to die, I really do.

Moments later, she's back with a cold rag on my head, which really does nothing to alleviate my aching chest and my ragged breathing.

"Bella, listen honey, you have to breathe, baby. In and out, in and out." She tries to mimic proper breathing and I just want to scream at her that I'm not having a baby and this is not Lamaze.

I'm dying of a heart attack. Can't she see that?

I glare at her and she gives me a sad smile in return. I immediately feel bad for my moment of anger toward her. She has been nothing but generous and loving toward me, understanding of my need for Edward these past few days. She doesn't deserve my attitude and misplaced anger, but it's still hard not to lash out at times.

I continue to struggle with breathing, but am able to get a few words out. "I think I'm dying…heart attack…can't breathe."

There comes that pitying look again, as she continues to wipe my forehead with the cool damp cloth.

"Oh sweetheart, I know it hurts, but you have to keep breathing. You have to keep living honey. Can you sit up?

I'm not sure why she thinks me sitting up will help, but I do, with her help. The room is spinning as out of control as my life is right now.

Esme holds me to steady me and then attempts to model deep calming breaths. This time I don't snap, I just attempt to do as she is and it seems to be working. My chest begins to ache a little less, my breathing slowly coming back to normal and the room begins to come back into a normal stilled view.

I begin sobbing immediately as she scoots closer and rocks me.

Will this pain ever end? Will I always feel void, hollow and broken?

I was just beginning to feel hope and happiness again in my life and then- well then Daddy had to go and be stupid and had to make my world crumble once more.

Will I ever be able to get passed this?

I just don't see how that's is going to be possible.

I continue to sob and Esme continues to coo and rock me. I allow her coddling, just this once. After this, I'm done with the coddling and the rocking and the sympathetic pats from everyone.

Esme pulls back and looks at me as she wipes my tears. "What happened honey?"

I pull out of her arms and sit back on the couch beside her, finding a crack in the old leather to poke at as I tell her about my reoccurring nightmare and then the aftershocks of my possible heart attack.

She brushes my hair back as she listens and doesn't chime in until she knows I've gotten everything out.

"Bella, dear, I think what you just experienced was a panic attack."

I look at her in confusion. I've heard of panic attacks before, but not much. I really think it was a heart attack. I mean how can something that stems from anxiety cause you to feel like you are dying?

I guess I voice this out loud and Esme tries to explain it to me further. She shares her experiences with them and even informs me that she still gets them from time to time and has even taken medication for her anxiety. The thought of having to take medication frightens me. I don't want to be ruled by medication.

I don't want a chemical in my body that regulates my feelings.

I can control them.

I am in control of me, not anyone or anything else.

And just like that, the anger is back. I try to be as polite as possible to Esme. I don't want to snap at her, she isn't forcing medication on me, and she was just telling me what she did to cope with it. I'm stronger than that though. I can beat this anxiety and panic.

I can.

I stand up, thank Esme for her help, comfort and the talk and head back to Edward's room, trying my hardest not to wake him up. I know he is disappointed that I won't be there tomorrow night to cheer him on, wearing his number seventy-nine jersey, but I'm just not ready to be around that many people. Maybe in a few weeks. Maybe when my world doesn't feel like it's shattering all around me and I feel more in control of my emotions. Or maybe I should just move in with Harry, like he offered and let Edward go. At this point, what kind of girlfriend can I really be to Edward? I'll just continue to bring him down, continue to keep him from the things and people he loves. He's worked too hard for me to ruin that all, because I'm selfish and need him here with me to hold me while I cry, to be my punching bag when I'm angry, to be my personal parent to remind me to eat, drink, shower, and rest.

I care about him too much to do that. With that thought though, I can't help but cry some more, which wakes him in turn.

"Sweet B? What's going on? Why are you standing all the way over there by the door? He gets out of bed and all but carries me back to his warm bed and welcoming arms.

I snuggle closer to him and try to find the words to explain what I'm feeling. To tell him that I think we should break up before we even really begin, that I should move out of here and let him do all of the wonderful things he's worked so hard to do and achieve. I start to tell him those things and the words get caught in my throat.

I can't tell him any of those things, because I'm selfish and dammit, I need him. I just freaking need him to breathe right now and to hold me together as I fall apart.

"What's got my girl so upset?" He holds me and kisses my forehead as he waits for me to answer.

"I just- I just really, really need you, Edward. I just need you so much."

I roll him to his back and begin kissing him with all that I have in me. Every ounce of hurt, frustration, anger, disappointment and fear. I kiss him with gratitude for being there for me through all of this and as I pull off his shirt and begin to lift mine over my head, I kiss him with passion.

He returns it with a hungry growl as he flops me on my back and settles between my legs, nothing separating us, but underwear and my sweatpants. He nips at my lips, then my neck, down to my breast and back up again. It feels amazing to feels something besides pain and anguish.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, something is screaming at me to stop, that this isn't right, not the right time, not the right moment, not the right emotions for this, but I ignore it as Edward begins twisting and pinching my nipples through my white lace bra.

It feels so good, too good to be wrong as I begin to lift my center to meet his hardened member. It takes him just a second to respond before he continues to meet me thrust for thrust.

We haven't kissed in days, he's just held me and offered tender kisses to my forehead and hugs of comfort, but now the fire is lit between us and I just need to know how this feeling ends.

Edward grunts and groans as quietly as he can, as his mother is still in the house. He lifts me up slightly as he begins to try and find the hook to my bra. I all too willing move up to give him access which he gladly takes and starts ravaging my neck.

Then, like a flash of lightening I start to see flickers of my dad once again on that hospital bed, lifeless and cold and I begin to sob silently. I try to push through and continue to claw and kiss all over Edward's chest and neck, but my silent tears begin to spill over onto his chest like a bucket of ice water and our crazy lust filled moment is over.

Edward pulls away from me and retreats to the farthest side of his bed and I clutch the sheets and comforter over my near naked body, sobbing uncontrollably now.

I'm sorry, Edward-I'm so, so sorry." As I sob and try to cover my eyes, I feel the bed move as he comes closer to me and pulls me into his arms and lies us down under the covers. He kisses my face and tears.

"Baby, why are you sorry? I should be apologizing to you. I feel like I just took advantage of you. I know that you aren't ready for that. I just lost myself in you. Please forgive me."

I want to laugh, because he is just too sweet and silly.

I attacked him not the other way around.

"It's my fault; I just wanted to feel something other than this all-consuming sadness. I just wanted to feel good and you; you make me feel good Edward." I sniffle through my apology and he gives a light chuckle as we sure seem to be quite the pair.

He pulls me closer and I snuggle into his chest as he hums the tune to "My Girl," and I fall into a dreamless sleep.

We awake to the obnoxious sound of his alarm clock announcing that it's time to get up for school. I just burrow further under the covers, as is my usual for this week. Now in the too bright light of day, the sadness has returned. I know Edward has to go back to school. I know that he, Esme, and Kate will all be away at the game tonight, which means the feelings of loneliness attack and I feel like I can't fight my way out of this darkness again.

Edward leaves me in the bed with yet another sweet kiss and a promise to call me later to check on me. I attempt to give him a watery smile and a good luck peck to his lips. I encourage him that I'll be okay on my own today and that I need some time alone anyway. He leaves, albeit reluctantly and a few moments later Esme pops in with her good-bye for the day as well. She reminds me to make myself at home and to call if I need anything at all, even to just cry into the phone with her. She gives me a hug and shuts Edward's door behind her.

The silence when they leave is worse than deafening. It's suffocating, just my grief.

I do manage to fall back to sleep for a few more hours and when I get up; I log onto Edward's computer in an effort to check out what Google has to say about this panic attack business. After reading over the information, I start to think that Esme is right, and that it was indeed a panic attack. This makes me feel like I might be having another one as my chest tightens at the thought and in remembrance of the night before. The walls start to close in once again and I feel as if no air is getting through to my lungs. I try to remember the breathing exercises Esme showed me, but they don't seem to be working.

Finally, the pain begins to ease and I can feel my lungs working once more. I sob again, hating my life and what it and I've become. Edward isn't here to comfort me this time.

What am I going to do when these feelings attack of sadness or anxiety and I can't control it?

Suddenly an idea hits me. I remember hearing some girls in the bathroom at school talking about cutting. I didn't pay much attention at the time, but I know that my good friend, Google, will have more information on it.

I pull up more information on it and read why and how it's done. I can remember the girls that did it, talking about how it made them feel numb from pain. That's all I want. I just want to feel numb for just a second. I want to replace this pain in my chest with something else.

I read about it for seemingly hours and try to figure out the best way to do it. I don't want to kill myself. I just don't want to feel this pain of losing my parents over and over again.

I run to Edward's bathroom and look for his razor. As I pick it up I contemplate whether I can do this or not. I put it back down and chicken out.

I go back to his room and lie down and try to sleep. Sleep won't find me, so I turn on the television hoping for some mindless entertainment, but nothing appears appealing.

I go back to the bathroom and pick up the razor again. I switch it from hand to hand trying to work up the courage to just do it. I think about where to cut, my upper thigh would be less likely to be seen by anyone, or maybe I should just stick to my wrist?

I place the blade to my thigh and chicken out once more, knowing that if Edward ever saw, he would be so disappointed in me and upset with himself for not being here to comfort me.

I go to the kitchen and try to make myself eat one of the many casseroles that have been sent over here, but it just all tastes like mush to me. I give up on eating and head back to Edward's bed.

Edward calls a little later to check on me and I try to make myself sound less miserable so he can go and concentrate on winning his game and impressing the scouts. He lets me go with a promise to call me when they are on the bus ride home.

Esme calls shortly after that to make sure I'm okay and that I don't need anything before she heads off to Edward's game. I reassure her that I'll be fine and that I'll see them when they get home.

A few hours pass and the pain is still there. Every single time I close my eyes, I picture my daddy in the casket or the hospital bed and I just continue to cry.

"I've had it!" I scream, though no one can hear me.

This time I'm determined as I make my way back to the bathroom and grab Edward's razor one more time. My tears begin to blur my vision and I'm not being as careful as I should. I'm not remembering where to cut and not to cut.

I pick up the razor and slice through my pale white skin of my wrist and as ribbons of bright red blood begin to seep from my body, the only pain I feel is the pain I inflicted. It's almost euphoric in the sense that the pain in my chest lessons and I feel almost weightless for a moment.

I watch as the satin red blood swirls with the now running water from the sink that I turn on to wash away my transgressions and pains. It turns the corner of my lip up a smidge as it looks like a candy cane as ribbons of crimson blood and white of the porcelain mix together and combine as they sink further and further down the drain.

Then panic sets in as I realize that the blood is not slowing and my vision is beginning to blur. All I can think before my head hits the cool tiled floor is, I'm sorry Edward.

A/N: Please know that I do not condone cutting, but it is a very real and popular issue with adolescents' today. I work with such in the mental health field daily and I plan to take proper care and caution when discussing this in the next few chapters.

Thank you as always for reading and please know that I am a HEA kind of girl.