Bella had been blind since she was seven years old. An accident that wasn't really an accident. Her step father never really liked her or her little sister Alice who was only a year old at the time and doesn't remember anything from those days. Phil did not get angry very often but when he did, his temper was something legendary.
Bella's mother was never smart enough to know not to get in the way. She was a big city girl who lived in a small town and was never home enough for her children. She liked to take trips to the city, and she would be gone for days and days but when she came home she always had something shiny and new for both her girls and she would spend the entire day with them, at the park or the zoo, making up for being gone. When she took these trips the girls would stay with their neighbor, Esme, a woman in her early sixties who treated the same as she did her grandchildren, who were all boys. Esme and Charlile had one son, Eric, who married a young girl in Port Angelos and they live there with their three sons, Emmet, Jasper and Edward. Esme always said that Bella and Alice were the daughters she never had. Esme was the only reason Bella and Alice didn't turn out to be street children, and she made sure they stayed in the straight lane.
Bella mother had been married to Phil as long as Bella could remember and her father was not someone who existed to her. When she asked who her father was her mother would tell her that he was a very good man who had an obligation that was greater than staying with his children. Bella didn't know what that meant, but she knew her father was not a bad man.
Phil however, was another story. He wanted a picture perfect family, and anything bad was not spoken of outside closed doors. Bella was expected to be a perfect child, a difficult thing for a seven year old girl who loved to be outside and play in the woods, with the dirt and animals. Her clothes were always dirty and her fingers coated in grass stains. Alice was just a baby and was not the object of Phil anger. On the day Bella became blind it was thundering outside, but there was no rain yet and Bella's mother told her to go outside and play before the rains came, but to not get dirty. Bella tried to listen to her mother and keep her clothes clean, but she fell playing close to the house and got dirt on her hands and elbows, a grass stain on her new dress. As soon as the rain stated Bella went straight inside as her mother had told her to. Phil was standing in the kitchen when she came in through the back door. She could hear her mother in Alice's room, and Alice was laughing her little giggle. Bella tried to run right past into the hall but a hand caught her upper arm and gripped it hard. She was yanked into facing forward and her hands were gripped by a pair of larger ones that were so rough they hurt. She could feel the anger in the way he gripped her hands and she was sure she was going to b get spanked when he turned her around to see the grass stain on her dress. Instead of the spanking she was expecting she was surprised to find herself being dragged up the stairs. He was yelling as he stomped through the house.
"Didn't your mother tell you specifically, not to get your new dress dirty? Well? Didn't she?"
"Yes Sir she did." Bella said very quietly. She usually did not speak at all when Phil got angry, but in this case she thought not answering might be worse than keeping quiet.
"And why didn't you listen to her?" His voice was rising in strength, and again Bella thought it was better to speak than not.
"I-I-I fell Sir. I didn't mean to I swear it!"
"You were told to stay clean and you did not listen. Even such a simple task as that Bella and you failed. Can't you do anything right?"
Bella heard her mother downstairs, her footsteps quiet as the wings of a butterfly.
"Phil? Phil why don't you come downstairs? Are you hungry? I'll make you a sandwich before you leave for work. "
"Keep to yourself Renne! Your dumbass daughter couldn't do as she was told and I'm tired of her not listenin'! She's gonna learn her lesson this time!"
"Phil I'm sure Bella didn't mean to-"
"RENNE! What did I just tell you? Keep to yourself! And get that damn baby to shutup or it'll be next!"
Renne hurried to Alice's room to quiet the crying child, leaving Bella to fend for herself.
Phil dragged Bella into the hall upstairs and when she tripped Phil smacked her hard on the bottom, leaving a bruise Bella was sure.
"Mama!" Bella screamed, tears streaming down her face.
"Quiet Bella. Just stay quiet. It'll be over soon." Her mothers voice was a quiet symbol to all the anger that was in the house.
"RENNE SHUT THE FUCK UP! I WILL NOT TELL YOU THAT AGAIN!" Phil's voice was so loud Bella swore the walls shook.
Bella choose that moment to struggle away from Phil's grip and he caught the back of her dress when she hit the stairs. Bella does not remember much after that, just her mother's gasp and Phils rough hands as they shook her and she felt a slap across her face. She remembers the picture of a meadow near a stream, a picture her mother had painted before Bella was born, back before Phil, back whenever her mother still painted. Then the feel of the carpet against her skin as she fell down and down and she never thought it would end, yet it only lasted a few seconds. And after that, nothing. The picture was the last thing Bella looked at before her world went black, forever.