I know, I know. I'm a TERRIBLE updater. I have no schedule, updates are very random and rare. You guys hate me.

I'm STILL trying to write a Bella that has many, many, many issues. Most of her problems have no reason, they're just there. A lot of people are like that. And I think most of us can relate to that. We don't always understand why our social, emotional or mental issues are in us, but we have to deal with it just the same. So this is for you guys.

As always,

WARNING: It's going to be brutal. Bella doesn't have it all together.


Console.

He was trying to console me. Edward. At the grocery store.

His words to me. He knew I was beating myself up over what happened on the floor of the hospital. Making a fucking ass out of myself.

It shouldn't be so foreign to me, but it is. I can't remember a time when I was consoled, not truly at least.

A skinned knee as a child, yes. But in my walking, adult life? No.

None of those things matter now though. I don't think any amount of consoling from anyone would do any good.

Exam scores we given in class.

Seventy-three percent. Seventy-three!

What the fuck happened?

I busted my ass studying. And I have a photographic memory; which, apparently having that particular "gift" isn't as fail proof as they say. You can still bomb a test.

Admittedly, I was distracted by things. Two things.

One. Jessica and Angela being complete cunts.

We never went back into being a study group. Which, I didn't think we ever would. I rather enjoyed studying on my own. Just like old times.

The small positive I have to glean from this is that, from the look I saw on Jessica and Angela's faces, they didn't do so hot on their exam either.

See. Sex clouds the mind and leads you astray from your goals. I recommend they stop lusting after the guy at the coffee shop.

Actually, no. No I don't. Those bitches can fail.

Work at the office is usually where I leave my school shift at the door. But, since I got my score, I've been carrying around this defeated feeling in my chest since I sat at my front desk.

My mind keeps focusing on a pair of dull-bladed scissors that I have waiting for me at home, calling my name. The only punishment that will free me of the weight pressing down on my chest and shoulders. The weight of being a complete failure. The weight will drain out through the cuts I make on my skin, and I'll be lighter for it. The pressure valve will be released through the only way I know how. The only way I've managed for years.

I feel even worse because I know people at work can tell. I'm not as wide-eyed and smiley, pleasant as I normally am when I'm here.

People can tell, but no one asks. I don't expect them to since it's a fast-paced environment.

Nearly everyone that works here stops by my desk multiple times a day. I know everyone, and they me. On a professional work basis anyway.

A half hour before the work day is over, Rose Hale, personal assistant to Royce King, flops a file on my desk, causing me to look at her with twisted lips and a raised eyebrow.

She leans in conspiratorially with her hands braced in front of her, eyes piercing straight into my own, "Let's go out tonight. You and me. Whadd'ya say, are you free?"

"Oh…," I quickly weigh everything in the matter of seconds. Go or don't go? "Sure."

"Awesome!

Once settled in our seats at a tall bar table with out drinks at EmJay's, Rose lets me in on a little secret.

"Okay, so there's a musician performing tonight that me and a friend of mine were suppsed to being seeing tonight, but Alice- that bitch- bailed on me, so I had an extra ticket for tonight."

"Oh. I'm sorry. I wished she could've been here instead of me." I look down into my drink as I sip, not meeting her eyes.

Rose, in an instant reaches across the table and slaps me on the elbow, jostling the drink I'm sipping. I choke a little from the surprise of her attack and set my drink down, giving her the silent 'what-the-hell' look.

She points a boney finger at me, "Don't do that shit. I would've asked you to come even if Alice did show."

I guess you can say Rose knows me, without actually knowing me. I'm glad. She's kinda really awesome. We've worked together for a few years now; but have never gone outside of holiday work parties to hang out.

"Though, it's true I didn't want to come alone and look like a total loser." She looks at me a little guiltily.

I smile, letting her know I get it, cause I do. I wouldn't have the guts to do anything solo either. Girlfriends have a purpose.

She shrugs, stirring her drink, "There's this guy…" She blushes a bit, and I can see why she's named Rose.

I make a guess, "The musician?"

How cute she is when she's being shy. She shakes her head quickly, rolling her eyes, but tries to down-play her smile as she discreetly tilts her head back towards the bar and pokes her thumb over her shoulder.

"White T-shirt," she clarifies.

I lean to the side and look past her to the bar.

There's two guys there. One is a tall Native American with short hair, and the other is also tall, but with light skin and dark hair and adorable dimples; white t-shirt. Both are well built, but not overly so.

I look back to Rose who is gnawing on her nails. My only reply is a long, low whistle.

"I know, right!"

I smile around the straw of my drink as I sip.

"Alice was supposed to give me a pep-talk. Tonight was going to be the night I finally talked to him."

I'm confused. Is she kidding me right now?

"What? So…you like him, but you haven't talked to him? Why not?"

Rose huffs and her shoulders slump, "I don't know…Do you think he'd go for someone like me?"

Now I know she's fucking with me.

"Rose, I'm about to smack you upside the head. What do you mean, someone like me? I'm not even a lesbian and I'd go for someone like you."

Oh, Bella, stop drinking. STOP.

Rose laughs, and I'm thanking my lucky stars that she doesn't think I'm a fucking lunatic for a comment like that.

"Oh, Bella, don't you see? Attractive, flirty bartenders is what draws the female customers in. It's a business tactic. I don't want to look like one of those girls, you know? The ones that fall for the 'hot bartender' shit. Not to him."

I tell her an observation that I've made since we got here.

"Well, a startling difference between you and those kind of girls is that, you're not over there letting you're boobs spill all over the place." I point toward the bar, and she turns around to look.

Three women, sitting at different locations at the bar are independently vying for the attention of either bartender that will give them any notice.

Rose and I are both smart enough to know that the bartenders will have to act appreciatively towards the women's lusting if they want to make good tips.

Out of nowhere, the one wearing the white T-shirt glances up at our table and smiles a giant smile and turns away to speak with the other bartender who is turned away from us for a moment. After an short exchange of words the Native American looks over his shoulder and smiles at our table as well.

I turn around behind me, to see if these smiles from the bartenders are meant for someone else. I see nothing, and turn back to face forward just in time to see white T-shirt guy gives Rose a so totally obvious wink before taking an order from a patron at the bar.

Rose squeaks and faces me, fanning her face, "Bella!"

She's so cute when he's nervous and excited, flustered even. I just laugh. Still in disbelief that this beautiful lady in front of me can feel so insecure and that she can't see what I'm sure the rest of us see her as.

It doesn't go unnoticed by me, that the feelings that were weighing me down earlier, making my chest and shoulders feel incredible heavy from a bad day, has been lifted.

Any maybe, just maybe, I have another option.


Twitter: StephStew1

Did you catch the name of the Bar?

EmJay

Emmett and Jay (Jacob)

Or as in M.J. (Michael Jackson)

It's all a play on the words.

Don't worrry, I don't believe in none of that Jacob/Bella shit. But I don't mind reading it in stories that aren't mine. I just can't write B and Jacob together.

Favorite MJ song is "Will You Be There" - cause Free Willy is awesome and I LOVE the choir in that song. Oh man...