Author's Note: This is a Pre-Canon o/s I was inspired by a converging of inspiring moments. While viewing an art piece "Harvest" by Sam Wolfe Connelly on tumblr (link on my profile page), a song from the Sucker Punch soundtrack came on - "Asleep" by Emily Browning. The two combined brought me here to this place with Rosalie Hale at the end of her human life. I'd love to hear your thoughts and will respond accordingly. Also, links to my personal tumblr/twitter where I post much of my inspiration are available on my profile page. I'm always looking for new people to follow.
Disclaimer: This is a work of Fanfiction and in no way is meant to infringe on the copywrited characters of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series.
Sing Me To Sleep by smellyia
One of the few memories I have of my mother is her singing; melodic, clear, fluid, true. Sadly, I only have this memory of her once. You see, unlike the rose colored glasses with which children brought up in loving houses remember their parents, my experience was not such.
That being said, anyone on the outside looking in would be disgusted at the thought that me, Rosalie Hale, had a life anything less than envious, and for the most part, they would be right. My father doted on me with pretty baubles and mother trussed me up to be the finest hen in the house. I never knew any different and took this as love.
I know all about the sadness in the world. I've seen the feet covered with dirt waiting in fruitless lines around a city block for a piece of stale bread and jug of broth and shook my head at the poverty proclaiming their unfortunateness right before I went back to picking the perfect gloves for one of my mother's dinner parties.
I've seen it and just because I chose to ignore it, doesn't make me oblivious.
Understand me here. I know I sound trite and over-privileged, but that is not my doing. This was my life and I loved it. Why should I be punished and branded selfish because of my fortunate circumstance to be born into this reality?
But, back to the singing, the question of my self centered nature aside.
Once, my mother sang to me. Before my brothers were born and before a child's budding beauty could turn a mother's love into ambition, I was very ill. Mother said I had contracted the pox from a cousin twice removed who associated with "those sorts". I assume she meant the poor and indigent as this cousin was known for bringing baskets to those starving and cold. I never thought about that part much, but I guess it's "those sorts" I have to thank for one of a very few memories where I saw Mother loved me in her own way.
I laid in a bed, sweat soaking everything touching my skin, smelling the remnants of urine in the crevices of my groin where I hadn't been cleaned sufficiently earlier after wetting myself. The maids, sickened by the sickness eating me away, could barely stand to nurse me. They didn't think I heard them muttering about not being paid enough and winding up dead themselves in their neighborhood accents while hardly wiping my lank and fouled body with extended arms, but I listened to it all in my fevered state. I just didn't have it in me to reply in the haughty tone I'd been imitating from Mother.
In hindsight, I can't really blame them. I'd have done less if it were them, I am sure.
Through slitted eyes, caked with green and tan crust, I could just make out the fuzzy form of Mother standing beside a taller person, who I figured was the Doctor, shaking his head. There was a rustling of cloth which I assumed was Mother pulling a kerchief to her lips as tragedy would require.
I sort of understood then, but only kind of. I was sick. I might die, or would, if the Doctor's head motions meant anything. I wasn't sure how I felt about this.
I heard the door close, but movement just beyond my bed told me I wasn't alone. Vaguely, the scent of jasmine, Mother's favorite perfume, wafted into my nostrils. I felt the bed sink in next to me and as I rolled toward the dip, arms gathered my body. My hand, through no volition of my own, rested on her forearm. She rubbed my shoulder. I thought I felt tears stinging the open pustules on my body, but I couldn't quite tell who was weeping at that point.
Quietly, a vibration coursed through me. I could still hear decently when people were speaking clearly as if their subject was far off, but softer noise was starting to get lost in my fluid filled ears. I found the harder I strained, I heard the vibrations. It was a subtle sound, almost lyrical. It came from deep within the body holding mine. Mother.
I focused on the slit where my eyes could just see the slightest bit of light and highlighted where my mother's lips moved. What she said, or even really sounded like, I've given up remembering, but I knew and held fast to this day that she sang me to sleep that night thinking it would be my last.
But it wasn't. I still breathed the next day and even opened my eyes the day after that. My mother burned everything in my room as well as every piece of clothing anyone wore that came into my room during my illness. The Doctor proclaimed my recovery a miracle. Father told him it was indeed not. I was a Hale after all, we are born to survive.
So really, can you blame me for feeling special and superior? Miracles happen to those who need them. I survived because I was better. I believed every word of this for the rest of my life.
Which happens to be ending now.
Again, I can only see through slits, swollen flesh blocking the better part of my view. The concrete should be cold, but it is not, the warmth of my blood keeping goosebumps off my gashed and torn skin. I try to breathe in, but it's becoming hard to do. I feel like there's something in my way, blocking the air I'm not sure I really need anymore.
My cheek lays to the right and I can see my arm bent at an odd angle. Right above my elbow, the skin is flailed open and I can see jagged white bone peeking out stark against the dark road. I almost want to say hello to my innards given this is most likely the only time I will ever see them.
Just out of reach, a clump of blonde hair lays matted in blood. I hate that description; blonde and briefly chastise myself for the use. My hair is golden, spun from the sun and the envy of every girl in Rochester. It is softer than goose down feathers. It's what Royce held onto as he pounded into me on a dark night in a darker alley. It's the beauty of Rosalie Hale that made me such a sought out prize. I should be so lucky.
I try to reach the clump, thinking maybe I could just put it back on my head and no one would notice, but the action is lost in a slight twitch of my fingers.
There is a soreness between my legs. It's not like how I imagined I would feel after my wedding night, after my new husband entered me. Yes, unlike some girls, I planned ahead. Mother spoke of flowery duties, but Vera told me the truth of things. At least I thought she did, but somehow I doubt her husband who looked at her and their son as if they hung the moon ever submitted her to this sort of activity. No, she lied to me, but out of ignorance so I won't die hating her.
I'm pretty sure something is starting to leak out the side of my head. I can't imagine it's blood because most of that has already flowed from my cuts, my mouth, the space between my legs. I'd seen pictures of a brain drawn before by my Uncle who practices surgery in Boston when he visited last year. I asked him what color the brain was, but he never answered due to Mother shushing my unladylike inquiry. So honestly, I can't imagine what exactly is leaking out of my head.
I think I'm dying now. I spin like when I've indulged in too much sherry behind Mother's back. I fall and fall and fall. There is a ground beneath me, but no matter how long I fall, the impact never comes. Fear creeps into my last thoughts and I let the slits of my eyes close.
I start to hum. Actually, I sing. I think of Mother and the first time I should have died and sing a different song than what she sang because I can't remember her melody. I find this the saddest thing of all; that I can't remember the song of my last death. Gasping while dying trying to sing myself to sleep, I wonder what I look like.
And then there really is nothing.
For awhile at least.
I never feel the bites. It's when the venom hits my heart that I know fire. And there really is no fire like the one consuming you while your body puts itself back together. I once read about love being that way. In the future, I will tell you that too, is a lie. I know I scream because my body vibrates with my voice. This goes on for an eternity until voices beyond myself stir me from the last sleep I'll ever know.
I open my eyes and I think how right Father always is.
I am no miracle. I am Rosalie Hale and I was born to survive.