IMPORTANT UPDATE - 11/19/2014: This story sucked. I rewrote it so it sounded like it wasn't written by a twelve year old (which it was). Now it could be considered to be kind of sexual? Also, the previous message remains the same. Don't cut. It's not cool or healthy.
We all know those four months in New Moon that were missing. Here's a bit of an AU for one of those months, since this never happens. It then skips ahead to a Post New Moon, Pre Eclipse AU.
Summary - In December, Bella decides she can't take the pain anymore, and does the one thing she'd never thought she'd do—cut herself. Later on, Edward finds the cuts when he comes back. One-Shot, New Moon, slight AU. M for sexual thoughts.
Disclaimer - I own nothing of Twilight.
NOTE - THE NEXT CHAPTER IS NOT A CONTINUATION OF THIS ONE-SHOT, BUT IS THE ORIGINAL.
I jolted upright in my bed, gasping. Sweat dripped from my temples and my heart was racing. I glanced around my room. It was silent; he wasn't here. I flopped back against my mattress.
This was becoming blasphemous. I didn't enjoy having the same exact nightmare each night. I used to scream, but I wasn't even sure anymore. Charlie never woke me up; he had given up on me. He knew there wasn't an intruder in my room anymore. He could no longer comfort his little girl.
I sighed and pressed my oddly cool hands against my face. The chill lasted momentarily before my flesh became heated from the contact. I lowered my hands and sat up in the bed, looking over at the window. The chilly air had frozen the rainwater that dripped from the eave and had created small icicles. The weather was obviously cold, but the room was overwhelmingly hot. I groaned before rolling out of bed. I snatched up my bag of toiletries and quietly padded into the bathroom that was across the hall from my room.
Once I was in the bathroom, I flipped on the switch and threw my bag down on the counter. I turned on my heel and headed to the old tub. Charlie had converted it into a shower by installing an overhead spigot and hanging up a curtain rod. I turned the water on and set it to the coldest setting. As a bead of sweat dripped from the tip of my nose to my upper lip, I knew I would welcome the tundra at this point.
I stripped off my aged and tattered sweats quickly. I was used to waiting for the shower to warm, so I naturally went to stand in front of the mirror. If this had been several months ago, I would have blanched.
I first saw my face. My skin was dull and nearly as white as the walls surrounding me. My apparently deep brown eyes now looked dull and cloudy. They were accentuated by the dark shadows under my eyes. I placed my hand on my cheek and pressed into my prominent cheekbone. My once rounded face was all edges. I lowered my eyes.
I sucked in a breath when I saw my entire body in the mirror. Had I really become that thin? I ran my hands over my ribs. I could feel their bony protuberance beneath my skin. My hands moved up to my breasts and I realized there wasn't much to examine there. I had never been very busty, but now I was almost completely flat-chested. I resembled a prepubescent boy.
I looked away, disgusted by myself. I had never thought that I was particularly beautiful. I had always been extraordinarily ordinary. But now I was hideous. Not that I was really trying to impress anyone. The only person I would want to look nice for was—
No. I couldn't afford to be thinking about him. Not now. I wasn't in my bedroom. I was in the shower, next to Charlie's room. I wasn't going to make him listen to me sniffle. I sighed and stepped into the shower.
For a moment, I stood completely still, letting the icy water dampen my sticky body. Oddly, the cold water soothed me and instead of making me tense. I had never liked the cold very much. I had always taken boiling hot showers. I liked to be a vibrant shade of pink when I emerged from the stall. Now, I was as relaxed as could be.
Slowly, realization washed over me. Strangely, I didn't run from it. This feeling was too similar. It was so...nice. It was so similar to the feeling of his hands touching me, the sensation of his chilled fingers ghosting over my skin. I could feel them now, running over my body, searching for some sort of embrace...
I slammed my back against the wall, getting as far away from the cold water as possible. I hadn't realized it, standing under the stream, but my eyes had begun to water. I covered my mouth with my hand to muffle any sobs that might escape me. Slowly, I raised my hand and turned the knob on the dial. The water quickly began to steam.
I needed to forget about it.
I jumped into my normal rituals with more moxie than ever, shampooing my hair and washing my body with enough force to rid myself of a few layers of skin. I tried to pay attention to my movements so I wouldn't let my thoughts wander. I cringed as my hands ran over the prominent bones that jutted out of body. I hadn't realized that I'd been lacking so much nutrition.
Far too quickly, my shower was over. It had gone by too fast. I needed to find something to do.
I hardly ever shaved, especially in the winter. I wore pants constantly and I didn't need to worry about someone seeing my mammoth legs anymore. But I wanted to kill time. I reached out for the razor, feeling behind the curtain blindly. The razor sat on the edge of the tub.
I hissed as my fingers came into contact with the blades. I could feel the thick skin of my fingertips tear and begin dripping with my life source. I yanked my hand back.
I put my fingers under the stream of water, washing away the blood. I watched as it swirled down the drain, and then as new blood found its way to the surface of my skin. It was...fascinating.
Without thinking, I reached for it again, finding the handle. I held it in front of my face. The device was designed so that you could remove one side of the razor and replace the blades when they became dull. I pulled back the plastic and placed the long, thin rods in my hand. It couldn't hurt too badly.
Quickly, I held out my left arm. I pressed the first rod into the smooth, white flesh. I swiped it across slowly. It only stung a bit. Blood bubbled up to the surface and dripped out in drops. I tilted my head to the side, fascinated.
Next, I pressed down the razor with much more force. I gasped as it cut into something in my arm. Blood instantly began to seep from the wound. I felt my lips pull up into what might have been a smile. The contrast between the startling shade of red and the white canvas of my skin was incredibly appealing to the eye. No wonder he loved it so much—
My fingers fumbled with the razor and I felt it slice through my fingertips like they were made of butter. Blood dripped out slowly and landed on the floor of the tub. I slapped my hand against my forehead several times. No, no, no. Bad Bella.
I needed to stop thinking about him. I had been avoiding the thought of him so well. I could almost go an hour without feeling that ragged hole in my chest rip open further. Now I was barely making it through ten minute intervals.
I needed to punish myself.
I held out my arm and began slicing my wrists with determination. I would pay for my slip-ups. I cut seven more straight, horizontal lines into my forearm. I breathed through my mouth, forcing myself not to inhale the sickly aroma. The cuts didn't even really hurt that badly. They just stung. I wasn't cutting very deep...
You need to cut deeper. It's your fault he left anyways. My stomach lurched at my internal monologue. But it was right. He had said it himself. I wasn't good enough for him. I had bored him.
My lips twisted into a sneer and I began breathing in quick shallow breaths. I heard the air whistling as it passed through my teeth. It echoed off of the shower walls.
Do it, Bella. You did this to yourself. You need to pay for what happened earlier. As if he would lay his hand on you ever again, let alone make you feel anything other than pain. He would never touch you the way you want to be touched. Not for an embrace, nor a fleeting kiss on the cheek.
I passed a new, unused blade to my other hand. I began slicing the arm that had previously been used to cut. I pressed down harder this time. This was my right arm, the arm that bore the mark of James's bite. As I cut, I avoided the mark, hoping to preserve the only physical evidence of his presence in my life. The blood seeped from my skin at a rapid pace. I began slicing with a fervor, and I quickly lost count of the cuts. They were no longer horizontal. Some cuts overlapped one another. My vision rippled and I knicked my wrist in the wrong spots a few times before pressing down. I was becoming lightheaded.
"Drop the blade, Bella."
I squeaked and felt the blades tumble from my fingertips. They bounced around my feet. I glanced around urgently, yanking back the shower curtain. The bathroom was empty.
I had heard him. His velvety voice could not be forgotten or mistaken. It was him.
Had it been an illusion? His voice had sounded so clear. It had sounded like he was standing right behind me...
I shook my head, and bent down to retrieve the blades. When I reached out to grab them, I stumbled.
"Don't do this," he whispered. His voice followed the water down the drain. My left arm twitched, acting on instinct. I was preparing for the hole to rip open again.
This was insane. He wasn't here. He didn't care about me, why would he be here? You're just being delusional, Bella. I reached for the blades again.
"Stop it! Right now!" I could practically feel his breath against my neck, the cold air causing goosebumps to appear all over my skin.
It felt so real. I wanted it to be real. Why couldn't he be here, saving me like he always did? He always saved me. Why not now? Why did he have to leave? Why couldn't he save me from myself?
It was all my fault, really. I had sent him away. I was so boring, so mundane. He could easily find another girl to play with. That's all I really was to him anyways. A plaything. There were millions of girls like me. Young, naive, so easily impressionable. He was probably out with all of his distractions, probably some girl who was just like me. He would be doing the exact same thing to them. And they would fall for it, just like I did.
I slumped over onto the smooth surface of the bathtub, pressing my face against the now-warm porcelain. Hot tears poured down my face. I began to sob, muffling my face against the tub. My arms ached, but I held them beneath me. They turned the orange water a vibrant shade of red.
I'm not sure how long I laid there, crying. It was pathetic, but I needed to cry. I had screamed, but I hadn't cried. Eventually, I turned the lukewarm water off and stood. Some of my cuts were still bleeding, but most had stopped. I stared at them in shame. I had been weak and this was a consequence of it. I stepped out of the tub to dry off and began digging in the cabinets for gauze. I hit my head on the cabinet, my depth perception off. There was an emergency first-aid kit, and I made use of it, nearly dropping the contents all over the floor. Thanks to my clumsiness, I was familiar with the task of cleaning wounds. This was not the first time I had to clean myself up in a state of vertigo. I was all wrapped up in less than five minutes. Once the bandages were secure, I began to clean the bathroom up. I hadn't realized it, but blood had gotten everywhere. I scrubbed the tub with my nose plugged, forcing myself to stay upright. I threw the blades into the trashcan.
Eventually, I went back to bed.
Three Days After the Confrontation With Jacob in the Epilogue
I hopped down in my bed, landing beside Edward. His body created a pleasant chill that cooled the bed. I snuggled into it and him without a thought. His arms wrapped around me. I laid my wet head on his chest and inconspicuously tugged my sleeves down, like I always did. Nobody had seen the ragged red scars that marred both of my arms, and I planned to keep it that way. I'm not sure if Alice had seen anything, but if she did she kept it hidden from Edward and I both.
Edward inhaled a deep breath. When he exhaled, I shivered. "Hey."
I closed my eyes and pulled my comforter around me. "Hello."
Edward sat up in the bed. I frowned as I slumped down onto the mattress. He was back within seconds, wrapping my old afghan around me. "You need to dry off more before you get in the bed. I don't know how you'll explain the icicle hair to Charlie."
I opened my eyes only to roll them and shut them again. "At this point, I think Charlie will believe anything I tell him. I mean, I left for what, three days? And he just accepted it with a grimace and a grounding for me. And even after the motorcycle thing with Jacob," I felt Edward tense next to me. I continued on. "He still just grounded me. He understands that I'm a big girl who makes her own decisions. He just doesn't approve of most of them."
I heard Edward click his tongue. "And neither do I. What happened to my shy bookworm?"
I opened one heavy eyelid. "What do you think?"
Edward shook his head and reached over me to pull the blanket up higher. "You need to sleep. We have school tomorrow."
I made a noise in the back of my throat. "Like that really matters. In a few months..."
Edward stiffened again. He let out a sharp breath. "You and I have not made any agreements on anything."
"Like I need you!" I sleepily slapped my hand against his chest. I dropped my hand in exhaustion seconds later. "Goodnight. Love you."
"I love you, too, silly girl."
Edward's voice was the last thing I heard. I drifted into unconsciousness almost instantaneously. I slept a dreamless, calm sleep. But I was disturbed when I felt a tapping on my wrist.
"Bella," I heard Edward whisper. "Wake up, love."
I groaned against him. I pushed my hands forward in a stretch, but then I felt my sleeves riding back slightly. I stopped mid-stretch and slid my arms back.
"What?" I groaned. I slid up in the bed. With a quick glance at Edward, I instantly knew something was wrong. His brow was furrowed and there was worry in his eyes. "What is it?"
"Bella, can I please see your right arm?"
I felt my face betray me as a quick flash of panic ran over me. I composed myself in an instant, but Edward was too observant for that to pass.
"Why?" I whispered, feigning confusion. "Edward, what's wr—"
Edward cut me off. "Bella, please. I just need to see something."
I looked down at my arm, which lay on the comforter of the bed. He was going to see it, and there was nothing I could about it. I knew that this day would come eventually, but I hadn't thought it would be so soon. I was hoping that on that day my scars would be more healed, and not a shiny pink shade. The skin was puckered in the places where I had crossed the scars, but they were all bright pink.
I started to raise my arm, but then dropped it. "I—Edward, please, let me explain bef—"
I gasped when I felt his cold fingers gently lift my arm and push the sleeve of my pajama top back.
Edward was silent for a long time, his eyes running over my scars. His stone mouth was pressed into a hard line. I stared at him expectantly. Why hadn't he said anything?
It was another two minutes before he spoke. His voice velvet voice cracked. "Bella? What are these?"
I stayed silent, trying to think of what to say. If I told him the truth, he would...Well, I'm not exactly one hundred percent sure of what he'd do. I opened my mouth, trying to force my thoughts out. I had prepared an explanation a few times in anticipation for this moment, but it was gone now. All I could manage to do was inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. I looked up into his eyes, attempting to convey the message I couldn't get my mouth to say.
"Bella, if these are what I think they are..." He searched my eyes, looking for an answer.
I stayed silent for a few more moments, searching my unbelievably blank mind for something to say. I couldn't say he was wrong. Eventually, I opened my mouth. "I-I'm sorry." My voice cracked and trembled.
Instantaneously, Edward was gone. The bed shifted in his absence and my hand dropped to my lap. My eyes widened and I felt the tears that had been slowly gathering in my tear ducts fall over the edge. I barely had time to register what had happened before he was back, holding my hand again. I pressed myself into his shoulder when I understood that he had returned. "Where d-did you go?"
He leant his face into the crook of my neck and inhaled before speaking. "I had to get a grip on myself. I couldn't risk hurting you, so I ran outside." He took in a quick, unnecessary breath before pushing himself away from me to look at my face. "Bella, what on Earth possessed you to do that to yourself?"
He stared at my face, searching for an answer in my blank expression. He must have felt particularly frustrated. For almost all of his life, he had been able to get the truth out of anyone just by asking them a question. The truth would come to the forefronts of their minds and it wouldn't matter if they lied to him or not. But he couldn't do that with me.
"Edward, you aren't going to like what I have to tell you." Before I could continue what I had to say, he cut me off with a snort. I stared at him incredulously.
"Did you think I would enjoy what you had to say? How could anything that relates to this topic be humorous?" His voice had an uneasy edge to it. He was just as nervous to hear it as I was to say it. I took his hand in my own to soothe his nerves, as well as my own. He flipped my wrist over to see the scars. There were so many that I never even attempted to count because I was so ashamed. When I look back on it, I never understand how I didn't pass out. There were so many cuts and so much blood. When it came to counting them, I'm sure he had no problem with the task.
"I'm not 100% sure why I did this to myself. You know me, Edward. I'm not the kind of person to do this. But that one night...I was weak. It had only been a few months since you left and I hadn't even begun to get better yet. I didn't want to go back to bed because then I'd have nightmares. So, in the shower I accidentally cut my finger when I started to shave and...I just couldn't stop." I paused and looked at him. His face was blank but there was a deep pain in his eyes. "Like I said, I'm not sure why. My best guess is...well..." I trailed off, not wanting to finish the thought. A horrible thought came to my mind and I stumbled on my words as I speedily reassured Edward. "I w-wasn't trying to kill myself or anything. I don't think that thought even crossed my mind..."
His eyes now focused on my arm. He hesitantly lifted his hand and hovered it over the arm of the hand he held. He glanced up at me for confirmation and I nodded. He lowered his fingers so that the tips barely ghosted over the cuts. I'm sure he felt every groove. Hell, he probably could feel all of the infinitesimal lines crossing. "Oh, Bella..."
I lowered my eyes from his agonized expression to my lap. I felt him remove the hand that kept mine extended in the air and then felt the gentle pressure of his fingers pulling my chin upwards.
"Please don't hide your face from me right now. It's practically the only way I can understand how you are feeling."
I wanted to laugh. "Why does it matter how I'm feeling, Edward? I'm fine now. I've already dealt with this. The only thing that is important right now is how you are. What do you feel, Edward?"
Edward opened his mouth to protest but I gave him a look that removed the defensive expression from his face. He pressed his lips into the line again. He didn't have to think about how he felt, he already knew. He just didn't want to say. I reached up with my free hand and removed his fingers from beneath my chin and flattened his palm so that he cupped my cheek.
"I am constantly telling you how I feel. Why can't you tell me for a change?" I laid my hand atop his and ran my thumb over the back of his hand.
He finally opened his mouth to speak. "I feel...remorseful. Angry. Stupid. I am responsible for this..."
"Actually, you got me to stop." Edward furrowed his brow at me, so I began to explain what I meant. "Remember that little voice I heard? Well, it yelled at me."
Edward wriggled his hand from beneath mine to rub a hand over his eyes. "Well, thank God for that. But that doesn't mean that this isn't my fault. You can say that you're the one to pick up the razor or defend me in anyway that you please. It's still not going to discredit the fact that I left you and that is why you were hurting. As far as I know, I was the only person who had wronged you. If I had just stayed instead of deciding what I thought was best for you, you wouldn't have felt the need to hurt yourself." In one of his quick, unexpected vampire movements, he had dropped his face into his hand and began to dry sob. Obviously, there were no tears shed, but the sobs hurt me nonetheless. I grabbed hold of the hand that was still quasi-hovering near my arm. I still was laying partially in the bed, so I could not do much but grip his hand. I tugged on it lightly to attempt to convince him to lay down next to me so I could comfort him, but he merely dropped my hand like I had burned him.
"Bella, please don't do that. Don't treat me like I deserve your kindness and love. In fact, I'm the least deserving of it. I literally left you in the woods. I had to have known that you would follow me. I knew that you might get lost. Essentially, I left you alone in the woods to die. Then I put you through all of that shit." I almost jumped at his use of an expletive. "And now I find out that you felt the need to hurt yourself because of what I did. How can you even want me near you after all of that?"
At this point, I had teared up. I couldn't take Edward's sadness. "Because I love you. If you didn't think I was willing to take you back, don't you think I would have turned you down by now? I am willing to put your mistakes behind you as we are stronger because of it. And so what I cut myself? I didn't do it again. I knew it was dumb and I honestly think I did it out of exhaustion. Please,...don't torture yourself, Edward."
He looked at me with heavy eyes, but didn't say anything else. I knew him and he knew himself. No matter what I said, he would never forgive himself. I heard him sigh lightly before looking down at my arm again. "Are these all of them?"
I nodded. "I probably would have stayed there if I hadn't stopped. I don't know if you can count how many there are, but I've been too embarrassed to."
He stayed silent, so I guessed it was a horribly high number. I felt my face burn.
Edward glanced over my shoulder at the clock. "It's 4:20. I guess I should have waited until after school to ask you rather than rudely waking you up. I'm sorry. I'm guessing you want to go to sleep now?"
I attempted to grin at him. "Only if you come here and kiss me."
Edward rolled his eyes but shifted himself so that he laid next to me on the bed. He pressed his lips against mine gently and place his hands on a common location, my hips and the small of my back. I kissed him back gently, but was surprised when he went into the kiss with more fervor. I could feel my lightheadedness increasing. When he hands began to rise up over my hips and waist, the panic really set in. He noticed the pounding of my heart and pulled back. "I believe that's enough for tonight."
I nodded and felt a wave of exhaustion wash over me once more. I snuggled into Edward's chest before whispering, "Goodnight."
I fell asleep quickly, not even hearing his reply. However, I did manage to squeeze in one final thought as I succumbed to the darkness.
I guess he does want to touch me.