Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all characters and things that are TWILIGHT related. Nikky and Kasi own this plot, storyline and have developed the characters Stephenie created to make them their own. No infringement is intended.
BIG huge thanks go out to: Jess2002, Content1, Sally, Sarah, Julie, Sunflower3759 and Alice's White Rabbit who have saved us from looking stupid all along not only with this but also with the chapters from His Cimmerian View as well.
If you are not reading His Cimmerian View, you should read through chapter 24 before starting this outtake, or some things may not make sense.
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Outtake number 1: The Life of Bella Swan
BPOV – (TISSUE WARNING)
I've had many dreams – wishes if you will – from when I was growing up. The main one was to find happiness, and I think I finally may have found it. My eyes open, and I feel complete for the first time in my life. I never imagined that I would feel this much happiness. This feeling of love and security is so wonderful and magical. And even in the books I've listened to and now read, I've never heard of anything that compares to what I feel right now. Granted, none of them had much lovemaking in them, but still… I look up at Edward and run my fingers through his hair. He looks so peaceful and happy; so content. Edward is such a loving man, and I know that he loves me unconditionally. He has proven his love for me again and again. I know for sure that the reason he looks so happy right now is because of me, which makes me even happier – if that's possible. I never imagined that allowing a man inside my body could make me feel so complete.
Last night we celebrated Valentine's Day. I had never celebrated it before. Of course, Seth and Leah took those cute little cards they made with Zafrina to their classmates, and they always made me nice, pretty cards, too, but it wasn't the same. I had never received any special cards growing up, and the first one I got from Edward almost made me cry. I don't allow myself to cry because it only makes things worse. I've learned that it never helps to cry, no matter what people say.
Last night was so very special to me, and I know in my heart that it was special for Edward, too. I knew it would hurt badly, and it did, but Edward made sure I felt good before and after he made love to me. He's touched me many times since I first asked him to, but I hope last night was the first of many nights to come where we make love.
Being with Edward all the time, and living here with him, makes me think about the past a lot. I've talked to Jasper about a lot of it, and I want to tell Edward, too, but I know it hurts him to hear about the bad things that have happened. A part of me feels like I need to go home when my apartment is done, but another part of me wants to remain here with him.
The last session I had with Jasper, we kind of profiled the lifetime of Isabella Swan. I've been having dreams about my past and we've been able to discuss them in great detail. It's strange that I don't really remember my birth mother, just little things about her here and there. I know that her hair had red in it when the sun hit it, and she always smiled no matter how she felt inside. I think she hugged me a lot, because when Esme hugs me, it makes me remember being hugged when I was really little. I also remember that she always smelled like paint. Other than those few things, I don't recall much else. Edward and Emmett have found someone who knows more, and I'll soon have a bunch of things left to me from my mother's family. I'm excited to see if there are any photos, because I want to know the good part of my childhood. I'm just glad I've been able to give Seth and Leah the childhood I wasn't allowed to have.
Memories are funny things sometimes, or so Jasper says. He told me that sometimes it's the good things we forget and the bad things that we often dwell on. The one memory of mine that is totally clear is the day I met my dad and my second mom.
"Come along, Isabella." I looked up at the lady who was dragging me along with her; my feet weren't even touching the ground. They said that my mommy was in heaven now, and that grandpa was too sick to watch after me, so I had to stay in this place. It was strange, and it had lots of other kids in it. There were a few big people, too. Some of the older kids would trip me or take my snack. They would shout and fight with each other all the time. None of them were little like me, so they wouldn't ever play with me. The lady I was with now came today and said she found my dad. I wonder what a dad is. And he has a wife, and she's going to be my new mom. I was happy about that; moms are great. We stop when we reach the door at the bottom of the hall and the lady turns to me.
"Now you stay still and behave. I need them to look through a few things. You need to stay quiet, understand?" I looked up and smiled a little. Mommy always said to smile at people. She let out a little noise and opened the door. I looked in the room, and sitting there was a man and an angel with strawberry blonde hair. I sat by the wall and waited, playing with my doll. I watched the angel as she moved over to me and sat on the floor beside me.
"Hello, my name is Sue and I'm going to be your new mom." She gave me a big smile and I could see her teeth, but her eyes were a little strange.
I returned her smile, though. "I'm Isabella."
Sue nodded her head at me and held out her hand. "Would you like a small piece of chocolate?" When I nodded my head, she handed me a small, silver wrapped candy.
"Thank you, Sue."
I smiled and I looked at her, but she frowned before leaning in to speak in my ear. "It's Mom, dear. Don't forget that." She then got up and walked back over to her seat next to the man. A few hours later, I was at my new home. The place was great. They had lots of toys, books, and a big girl bed for me. The lady that brought me to the room when we got here came by a lot at first. When she would come, she'd ask me how I liked living here, and I would tell her I loved it and that my new mom played dolls with me. After a while, the lady said she wasn't coming back anymore and that everything was perfect.
The day after she left, my second mom smiled at me, but it was not a kind smile; it was a scary smile. "You hear that, Isabella? I'm now your mom for real, and everything is legal. Now I can do as I please without having that bitch from the state in here telling us how things have to be." I wasn't sure what she meant by that, but I soon found out things were changing.
After that day, everything changed. My second mom was no longer nice to me. She never played with or talked to me, and she would only speak badly about me to my dad. It always made him shout at me, and yell that I was doing everything wrong.
I let out a sigh, remembering that it was only a few months that we lived like a happy family. After the lady stopped coming and things got bad, I tried to block out those memories. I made so many terrible mistakes, and my whole life turned into a living nightmare. The night after the lady left for the last time is a vivid memory for me, too.
I was told about the new rules and what I was and wasn't allowed to do. I was not to be heard or seen, and I was especially never to talk to anyone. I must never look at anyone's face, and I always needed to have my eyes on the ground. No matter what happened, I was at fault and always wrong. I was not a person. That meant I was no longer allowed to be treated like a child. I would be treated like a lowly pet. I was to do whatever was asked of me, and could never say NO. I was not very pretty, so I didn't need pretty clothes, toys or other things that were meant for good and pretty girls. I was to be grateful for the food and water that I was given, if I was given any at all. If I broke any of the rules, then I was in trouble – big trouble – and no one would ever save me. They were all I had and all I would ever have, and only if they chose to give me to someone else would I ever be away from them.
Mom and Dad scared me so bad that night that I woke up feeling wet. Bedwetting was never an issue for me before that, but as the months went by, it got worse and worse. I would get into awful trouble. I hated those memories the most. It was one of the first times I saw violence from the man who was my dad.
I woke up early like I did every morning, and noticed that I had wet the bed again. I hoped Mom and Dad weren't mad, but I knew they would be. I looked up as I heard him coming into the room.
"For fuck's sake, you've done it again! You are so fucking stupid, you know what? People who pee in their bed don't get to keep their bed. You act like an animal, so I will treat you like one!" He grabbed me and pushed me across the room. Then he started kicking and slamming the small bed around. Soon, it was completely broken and he walked back out of the room. After that, I slept on the floor. I still wet my sheets, but that was okay because nobody ever checked them.
That's when the moving started, and it seemed like we did that often. I honestly couldn't tell you how many times we moved, but it was a lot.
Dad told me we were moving again, and I didn't like the new house. It was very cold and damp, and there were no more toys. Mom and Dad weren't here much, either; they went away all the time. When I was alone, I got scared and would see things. There are monsters here, and they were always watching me. I tried to remember that my first mommy said there were no such things as monsters, but I wasn't so sure any more.
My life fell into a routine pretty quick. I ate scraps that I found in the metal cans, or if I was lucky, Mom or Dad would let me eat when they were done. A few months later, I met Uncle Harry and he really scared me.
"What the fuck is that?" I looked up to see a tall man standing in front of me. He looked angry as he pointed at me, so I looked back to the ground, hoping no one saw me mess up. "Sis, tell me you didn't... that's not yours, is it?"
Mom let out a sigh and I heard her slap him. "No fucking way is that piece of shit mine. That fucking husband-stealing, skanky bitch Renee had her, and then she ended up dying. Since Charlie here is her dad, we're the lucky ones that get to deal with her."
I didn't look at Mom, knowing that if did, I would get into trouble. "So why're you keeping someone else's brat? Sell her, dump her, or just lose her somewhere."
I heard Dad laughing at that. "As much as I wish we could, we can't. You see, the kid here has got money, so we need to hang on to her for the time being. Besides, she's old enough to do a few jobs around the house, and she could come in handy for some of the jobs I've got planned. Not to mention, in the end, I'll get much more for her when she turns eighteen and still has that cherry. I need to get her disciplined in the slave life. She needs to eat, breathe, and know only how to say 'yes, sir', or 'no, sir.' Don't go worrying your pretty head Harry; she'll pay for herself over and over again." I felt somebody looking at me, and tried hard not to look up.
"Hello, Little Slave. I'm your Uncle Harry, and I'm going to make your shitty little life even shittier. Just remember: no one likes you, no one at all." He moved away from me, and I heard them talking but could no longer make out what they were saying. Soon, they all went out for dinner and I had nothing again. I found myself some bread; it had a little bit of green on it, and tasted funny, but I ate it anyway.
It's really strange how the years blur into one. I mainly remember hearing them talk about how I was the best source of money they ever had. I really don't understand all of that fully. There is so much I can't remember, and Jasper says it's most likely my own mind helping to protect me. He tells me all of the time just how wonderful I am, and how worthy I am of love. Every time I see him, he reminds me that I'm worthy of friendship and love.
When I turned seven, I had even more jobs to do. Today I was learning how to wash clothes using that big machine. Dad looked to the wall as he spoke at me; he still didn't look at me. I knew part of it is because of Mom. I heard her scream at him once, saying that she always had to see me around the house, and that I looked like the husband-stealing whore.
"First thing you do is put the clothes in groups: white, colors, darks, and linens. Each group has to be washed separately; they can't be mixed up. Then they go into the machine with washing powder – just one full scoop per load. Then you turn this dial and pull it out." He pointed to each different setting and then walked way. I washed clothes every other day and ironed them. I always tried to make sure they looked perfect. Sometimes I burned my hand on the iron, but I knew not to cry about it.
Mom did a similar thing with the cooking, showing me how to do things. I was allowed to watch TV for a few hours each day, but only the cooking channel because I needed to learn how to cook some edible food. My cooking was never very good, but thankfully it was only once or twice a month that they wanted me to make them a meal. Most of the time, I wasn't allowed to eat any of the food I had to cook, but sometimes I got the scraps. I heard Dad say that cooking was something that I would need to learn for when I was older, and they had to keep an eye on me with it.
That's how my life was. We would move to a new place, and I would clean the house and their clothes, and make all the meals that they would have there. I spent the days doing that, and at night, I would lay in the house basement or closet on some old sheet. They were the same ones that I had when I first came to live with them. I wasn't allowed to wash them, and they smelled really bad. It's strange that after a little while, I could no longer smell it.
My dad had a vehicle that he called a Nova. It was black, and he had a big box thing that attached to the back of it that was used for when we moved. I hated when we moved, more so if it was going to be a long journey. I was never allowed to sit in the seat of the Nova. Dad said that pets had to go in the trunk.
"You get in here now. We have to go."
I moved fast because I didn't want him to be mad at me, and climbed into the trunk. No matter how many times I had done it before, or how quickly I got in, he always banged my head. It was a tight squeeze with all the cases and boxes that were already in there, and before I could get settled in, Dad would slam the hatch down hard. I would bite my lip to hold back my cry, and would always hear a faint chuckle. Everything was dark in the trunk, so I would close my eyes and wait until we would get to where we were going. I knew that just because the car had stopped, it didn't mean that we were there. Mom and Dad stopped often, for long periods of time; I never knew what they were doing.
One day, they came to me saying that they were taking me for a ride, and that I could sit in the backseat. I was so excited. I watched the world go by through the windows, and was so excited to see all the colors and different scenery as it passed. I felt like we were just driving around when Mom's phone rang.
"Hello... great... yep, we're all set. Are you? Super. Then it's ten minutes and counting. See ya there." She put her phone away and smiled at Dad. "It's all set. You ready to smash things up?"
He let out a chuckle. "You bet I am. Let's get this party started." A few minutes later, there was a loud bang and I fell to the side. As my eyes opened, I saw that the car was smoky and felt really warm.
"Mom? Dad?" I could just barely hear my own voice, and I couldn't see them anywhere.
"Oh my God, my baby! Someone! Please! Somebody help my baby. She's still in there!" I looked to see where her voice was coming from, but I couldn't see her.
"Hey, kid, I got you. Just hold onto my neck." I looked at the man who was there. He picked me up and carried me out of the car. When my eyes opened again, Mom and Dad were off in the background, and there was a man with them; they were all looking at me. "She needs to get to a hospital. I'm pretty sure she broke her leg."
All I could think was "No". I couldn't go there because they would leave me there, and then I would have no one. "I want to go home. Please can I go home?"
The man standing with me frowned. "You need to calm down, kid."
I shook my head. "Please, I need to go home!" I couldn't catch my breath, and I felt like my chest was caving in. The man looked really worried, and another man stuck me with a needle, making me fall back into the darkness. When I woke up, a doctor was with me. Mom and Dad were there, too. They said I needed to stay for a few days. Mom and Dad came around and cried a lot when the doctor or nurses were there. Soon, I was allowed to go home, and Dad had a new car. I was so scared that I couldn't get in, and I felt my chest tighten as Dad pulled me into the car. I couldn't stop screaming. I tried, but I just couldn't. I didn't want to be in the car; I needed to get out. When we got home, Dad was really mad. He walked me to the basement and opened the small door, ordering me to get in. He didn't open it again for a really long time. I saw the sunlight through the window four times before he came back. He handed me water and bread, and then he closed the door again. Things stayed that way for a very long time before I was allowed out.
I still get really nervous when I have to get in a car. Riding with Edward helps me, but I'm still very scared, especially if he's not with me. Life has always been like that for me, though. I tried hard not to be bad so that I wasn't put in the dark parts of the houses or apartments we stayed in, but sometimes it didn't matter what I did, I was still put in them. I hated that more than being left all alone.
I would take walks to find money. I had to help pay for things for Mom and Dad. They said it was my duty. I didn't like their friends much because they always looked at me funny. When I walked around, sometimes I would see other people that looked my age, and they would be playing or laughing. That was when I started making wishes and dreaming of other things for me.
I wished that I could look and feel as free as they seemed. I wished that I had someone to hold me the way the big people held them when they cried. Not all the big people that came into my life where bad. Some, who were friends of Mom and Dad, were nice. Like the man in the wheelchair; his name was Billy. He always gave me chocolate, and sometimes brought me toys. Mom was never happy with him for giving me things, but he told her to go away. He was really my Dad's friend, but they would often argue. One time, he asked to take me home with him. He begged Dad, but Dad said no – that I had to stay. I remember one of Mom's friends; he was nice, too. I only saw him a few times before Dad said that I couldn't let him see me anymore. If he did, then I would have to go back in the dark for a long time as punishment. I did see him once outside, but no one knew about it.
It was cold, and I was walking back home after going to pay some of Dad's friends. Those friends really scared me. They would look at me and give me scary smiles. One even said that he couldn't wait until I was old enough; his words sent shivers down my back.
As I walked back home, I tripped over the air and fell hard to the ground. I picked myself up, but I could feel someone watching me. I was trying hard not to look around in case it was a trap. Dad would often do things like that, and I would end up in the dark where I hated to be. Just then, two boys zoomed past me, but the second one hit me and knocked me to the ground. Actually, we both fell to the ground hard. The boy jumped up and shouted mean things at me, and then left on the strange thing he was sitting on. I couldn't move; I hurt my leg and it was really sore.
Just then, I felt someone move next to me. They bent down slowly, and I couldn't stop myself, I moved away from them. I tried making myself really small, hoping that they could no longer see me.
"Hey, I'm not going to hurt you. Are you okay? You took a nasty fall." I could feel him looking at me, but I tried hard not to look at him, even if his voice was real soft and nice sounding. His voice was one of the nicest voices that I had heard in a very long time. "Do you want me to walk you home?" I could feel him still looking at me. I couldn't allow him to take me home. They would be mad, and they may hurt him. I shook my head, hoping that he would leave. "You're not much of a talker, are you? Okay then, it looks like I'll need to do the talking for the both of us." I heard him making a funny sound that almost made me smile. I never smiled anymore; there was nothing to smile about. It was so hard not to look at him, but I wanted to see if he was as happy as he sounded. Just then, my stomach made that unhappy sound again, because Mom said I didn't deserve to eat today because she had to see me.
"You sound hungry. I have some of the most amazing muffins. My adopted mom made them, and they are really yummy because she's a really great cook." I lifted my head a bit and saw his outstretched hand holding a muffin out to me. "It's okay, I promise. They're really, really good, and you'll love it. Please, take it." It smelled so good I couldn't stop myself from taking it. "So how about you tell me your name?" I looked up, and when I did, I saw Mom coming my way. I knew that I need to go quickly.
The man turned his head to look behind him, and I scrambled away quietly. I crawled through the door flap and went straight down to the basement. Once I was in there sitting on my dirty sheets, I ate the muffin. The man was right. It was the best thing I had ever eaten.
After that, I thought of the man often, and I would look for him, hoping to see him in the park. I secretly wished that he would share his muffins with me again, or maybe even would take me home with him. I never saw him after that, though, and then we moved... again. I knew that I would never see him again, and I was strangely sad about that.
Our new house was one of the biggest we ever had. Things were strange, and Mom was real sick; it went on for weeks and weeks. I tried being quieter since she was angrier and her belly was getting bigger. Dad looked worried all the time, but he would tell her that everything would be fine and not to worry so much. It was a few months later Dad came to talk to me. He told me I would soon have an important job to do, and it was the most important job I would ever have. He told me Mom was pregnant with two babies, and it would be my job to look after them. I was excited to hear that I would have more people in my family. I would hide, but watch over Mom all the time. I often wished that she would let me touch her belly the way she allowed Dad. I would hear him talk to the babies, telling them that he loved them, and that he was their daddy. Mom would cry when he said this, but Dad would hold her face and tell her everything would be alright this time. He'd tell her that he could feel it.
Things got weird after that. Dad and Uncle Harry were always talking, and Mom wasn't happy about what they were talking about. She kept saying she had a bad feeling, but Dad said it would mean that they could stay put, and that they would have enough money not to worry for a while. Then he would look at me and say, 'until she's of age.'
A few months later, Mom was really big, and Dad had on one of his outfits. He looked like a police officer. I knew what a police officer was because my dad made sure to tell me. Dad told me about how they took bad children away and put them in a dark cell for much longer than he put me in the dark. He left after kissing Mom on the cheek and then kissing her baby belly. He was gone for a long time when there was a knock at the door. I saw two police officers at the door, and I hid very quietly in case they'd come for me, but they said that Dad was dead and Uncle Harry robbed a bank. I didn't understand what was going on. I heard Mom shouting at them and then screaming in pain. As I peeked around the corner, I saw that she was on the ground and it was all wet. That was the day Seth and Leah were born. I didn't get to meet them for a while because they were little and had to stay at the hospital longer than Mom did.
Today was the day Seth was coming home, and I get to see him for the first time. Mom looked bad; she had nothing on her face like she usually did. Her hair was all messy, too; not the way it used to look when Dad was here.
"Listen closely... I'll only tell you once, and you better not screw it up. You have to use scalding hot water when washing the bottles in order to keep them clean. When making them up, you use one scoop of powder for every two ounces of water. See, look at this. This here is a two, and that means one scoop. This is a four, which means two scoops. Six... and that means three, and eight... means four. Make sure the formula isn't too hot or cold by dripping a bit on the inside of your wrist here." She pointed to my wrist so I nodded my head. "This is how you put these diapers on. I'm only going to show you once, so make sure you watch carefully." She changed Seth's diaper, showing me how to put the new diaper on. "These dirty diapers get washed by hand. Keep them washed as they get soiled, because you only have thirty diapers, and with two babies you'll go through them quickly. Make sure you change them so they stay dry, or he could get really sore and scream, and then you will be in a world of trouble. I'm going to bed. Keep Seth quiet, and don't make any noise. Uncle Harry is coming, and if you don't want to have him punish you, then you better listen to what I've told you. If I hear one cry from Seth, then as soon as Uncle Harry gets here, I'll have him punish you. Got it?" I nodded my head as I picked Seth up, hoping that I would do a good job.
I knew by the end of the day that I loved Seth with everything I had. Uncle Harry had come over and gone straight to Mom's room. Seth and I fell into a routine pretty quick. He was such an easy baby to care for, and hardly ever cried. I was excited the day that Leah, my little sister, was coming home. When she got here, she was still very little, and Mom handed her to me after walking through the door and went straight to her room. I was worried about her as I heard her cry, because Uncle Harry was still here. I was holding her, telling her that everything was going to be alright and that I was sorry. I tried to make sure the house looked really clean for Mom the day she brought Leah home. I worked on keeping it neat and tidy, and keeping the twins from crying. After a while, I would take Seth and Leah out for walks, and I would pick flowers to take home for Mom. She never looked at the flowers or at us, though.
The months passed slowly, and Mom started getting back to her normal self. Uncle Harry was around more often, and I tried to be as quiet as I could, but she said I was too quiet.
"Yes, I'm aware of that. Come on, you know I'm good for it," I heard Uncle Harry say. I watched Uncle Harry walk into the room, still talking on his phone. What do I do? He hated people listening when he's talking on his phone, but I couldn't speak or I'd get into trouble. I sighed and hid as best I could, hoping that he would leave soon.
"Look, I need to get it done." He stopped talking then, and I could feel him looking at me. "I need to call you back." I heard him move closer to me, and I got really scared. "Well look what I have here. You really are quiet, aren't you? Too quiet." I heard him let out a laugh. "Stay, pet," he said before walking out of the room. I'm not sure how much time passed, but he was gone a long time, and I hoped he would hurry and come back because Seth and Leah needed their dinner. He walked back in and I immediately looked to the ground.
"What do you know? I'm going to be the first person to collar you. You better get used to this, slave, because where you're going to end up, you will always have one on." He put the strange collar around my neck and pulled it tight. I couldn't breathe at first, but knew not to fight him. He kept hold of it the whole time, laughing at me. Just then, Leah began to cry and he looked at me. Everything told me to get to her, but I couldn't because he was still holding the thing around my neck so tight. I felt my eyes starting to close.
"Harry, knock it off. Put the fucking thing around her neck already, and let her deal with that crying kid." Mom didn't even come into the room. Uncle Harry made a ticking noise and finally let me breathe. He said the collar had to stay around my neck, and then he stood up. "Get going now!" I jumped up, running to Leah, and as I did, I heard the sound of a bell. After Seth and Leah were in bed, I looked in one of the mirrors and saw that I had a bell on a strange thick chain around my neck.
After that day, I tried to keep away from Uncle Harry even more. Thankfully, he was here less now, and Mom started to feel better. The next, and last, time I was around him, was when he hit me with a belt. That's one memory I stay away from.
The next big thing to happen was Mom leaving. We had just moved here. She was disappointed in me because I wasn't doing my job well enough. She said there was a family that didn't have children, and that Seth was going to stay with them. I cried for the first time in years, hoping she didn't hear me. I wished hard, begging in the dark not to let it happen. I kept telling Mom that I was sorry, and that I would do better, but nothing changed. She took him and was gone for a couple of hours, and I missed him so much. The third time she took him, they were gone all day. When she came back with him, he was crying. She screamed at me about how I ruined everything for her. She said it was my fault. That they saw what a bad sister I was, and now I had to keep him.
We moved again after that into the apartment I had now, and I met Zafrina when we moved in. The next day, Mom was really angry and she stayed that way. Things got even stranger as Mom became edgy and was always jumping when someone knocked on the door. She was always on the phone, too. One day, when I came back from shopping, she told me she was leaving.
"I have a few jobs I need to do so I'll be gone for a while. Now, I called in a lot of favors to let Seth and Leah stay with you. That means that everyone has to think that you are an adult. Since I convinced all of them that you are eighteen, you have to remember that each time you have a birthday, you add a year. So if I'm not back on your birthday, you are turning nineteen not fourteen. Do you understand? It's crucial you listen and do as I say, or the police will come and take Seth and Leah away and put you in jail. Then you'll never see them again."
I knew not to reply.
"Keep this house clean, and try to get a job and pay the lady in the next apartment every month. She's been paid until August; that should keep her away for a while. I don't give a shit what job you get, just get one. Stay out of my room, and remember that Uncle Harry will be looking in on you from time to time. Mark my words, girl... if anyone finds out that you're only thirteen, they will take you away, you'll be put in jail, and Seth and Leah will go to a less loving family. Just remember you wanted this – you wanted them with you – so you better not let me down. I swear if you let me down, it will be the last thing you ever do." She stood up and walked toward the door. "Bye." It was loud and clear. She even smiled when she said it, and then she turned around and walked away. She didn't even look back.
By the end of the first month the strange lady, Zafrina, came to the door. I knew not to look at her, and I told her we were all fine. It was a lie, and I hated lying, but I couldn't tell her that I was scared. I didn't think Mom was coming back. The way she said 'Bye' was almost like it was forever.
It was a windy day and I needed to go shopping. We hardly had any food in the apartment. I wrapped Seth and Leah up as best I could, and walked with them to get the food. We were walking back, and Leah was getting cold. She was always the one that got sick, so I wrapped my jacket around her and picked her up. I didn't like leaving Seth out, so I picked him up, too. By the time we got back to the apartment, we were all soaked, and the lady was there again.
"Isabella, you're soaked all the way through! Come on, all of you; get in here and get dried up." I shakily went into her home at her insistence. She had so many things, a lot more than what we had. She came over and handed me some towels, which I used to dry Seth and Leah off. "Bells, need pee pee..." I looked at Seth, and giving him a smile, I nodded my head at him.
"My bathroom is just down the hall; the door is open."
I kept looking at the floor but spoke so I wouldn't seem rude. "Thank you, Mrs. Zafrina."
I walked away with Seth, and helped him wash his hands after he was done. When we walked back into the room, I saw that Leah was happily eating a large cookie and had a glass of milk in front of her. There was another one set out beside her.
"Seth, there's milk and a cookie here for you, too." Seth went over and began to eat it almost right away.
"Isabella, come sit over here on the stools at the breakfast bar with me so we can chat." I walked with her since I didn't think I had much of a choice, keeping my eyes on the floor just like Dad taught me to do.
"Isabella, I know that your mom had to go away. How is everything? How is she getting on? Does she know when she'll be back?" She looked right at me as she spoke.
I though over what she said and my mind screamed to answer: horrible; I have no idea; I don't think she's coming back. I knew I couldn't say any of that out loud, though. "She's doing well. She still isn't sure when she'll be back, though, but we're doing fine, thank you." When I peeked up at her through my eyelashes, I saw that she had a small smile on her face.
"Isabella, I can look after the twins when you need to go shopping, or to college, or work, or whenever you need to run someplace. I won't charge you anything, so it will save you money. I love kids, but I'm much too old to have another one myself. I have three sons. One told me that he likes men, one hates all kids and says that he's never having any, and the youngest one, Aro, thinks he is too young to settle down. He's my baby, but he's already thirty-three. At this rate, I'll never have any grandchildren to spoil." She let out a long breath and looked at me again. "I wish I would've had a girl. I think that would be much easier than having all boys." She let out a little laugh, and it was so pleasant sounding and nice, that I couldn't help but laugh along with her.
"Isabella, I know that you're trying really hard, but it isn't good for the twins to be out when the weather is this bad. Please, for them, just think about leaving them with me next time."
I looked at her, rubbing my head. I knew I would screw this up. If Mom found out, she was going to be so mad at me. Maybe I'm not what's best for them. But if they lived somewhere else, then they could get hurt, and I couldn't allow that to happen. I was so confused. I really didn't know what to do. "I'll think about it, if that's okay?"
She smiled at me again and nodded her head.
"Of course, Isabella. Would you like something to drink?"
I stared at her. I couldn't help it. No one had ever offered me a drink before. I had always just had water. I gave her a real smile – something I couldn't remember doing for a long time. "Can I have some water, please?" Her smile changed, and it looked like she was unhappy with my reply. "Never mind, it doesn't really matter. I'm fine, really," I told her, hoping that she wasn't too mad at me.
"Isabella, are you sure you want water? You could have a warm drink if you'd like." I shook my head, so she went over and got me a glass of water.
Zafrina has been of our lives since that day. Seth, Leah, and I now have someone we can talk to and not be afraid of. It took me a couple of weeks before I would leave them with her, and at first, it was only for short amounts of time. I saw her son at her apartment one time, and then I saw him again a few days later when I was looking for a job. He looked and sounded nice, and I knew by then that Zafrina was a nice person who was nothing like Mom.
When I spent the last of our money, I knew I needed a job. Zafrina's son, Aro, owned his own business, so I decided to go to him to see if he would hire me. When I went to see him, all the people that were working for him seemed happy to work there. I had asked Zafrina if she would watch Seth and Leah for me, and I told her that I was looking for a job. I put on some of the clothes that Mom and Dad liked me to wear when I would visit the people that needed to be paid. Then I put my hair up in a bun on top of my head; I had seen my mom do it hundreds of time. When I had everything on, Mom used to say that I looked older than my age. I was just hoping that I looked old enough to work for Aro, even though I wasn't completely sure what they did there. After that, I walked to Aro's place and took a deep breath before going inside.
Walking in, I saw the biggest man I had ever seen standing in front of me. "Hello, little one. Are you lost?" I shook my head, unable to speak just yet. "I don't think you're supposed to be here. This is not a good place for a little one like you to be alone."
I looked to the floor immediately. I knew that I needed to speak to him. "Hello, Sir. My name is Isabella. I'm here to speak to Mr. Aro." I managed to say it all in one breath.
"Is he expecting you?" I shook my head again. "I'm not sure if he'll see you, little Isabella, but come with me." His large hand took a hold of mine, and I jumped back, unsure of what that meant. I hated people touching me. It always felt wrong except when Seth and Leah touched me. Ah... I missed them so much already.
"Sorry, little Isabella, I didn't mean to scare you. I just need you to stay as close to me as you can." I stayed close and followed him to a door. "Do you have a last name?"
I nodded my head before answering. "Swan... Isabella Swan."
I heard him laugh but I didn't understand why. "Okay, Isabella Swan, you sit here and I'll go see if Aro can see you. I'll keep the door open. If anyone approaches you, just shout for me. I'm Felix, by the way." He walked through the door, and I took that chance to breathe. A few minutes went by and then Felix came back out. "You're in luck, little Isabella. He can see you." I stood up and walked into the office.
"Isabella, what can I do for you, dear one?"
I fidgeted with my sleeves because I was nervous. "I was wondering if you had any jobs available. I'll work really hard, and I promise to do well. I need a job, and I'm willing to do anything you need me to do. I won't question your orders. Please? We don't have any money left. I've tried to get a job but I can't find one. You seem like a nice man, and Mrs. Zafrina says you're a good boy." I stopped, feeling the need to breathe.
"Isabella, please look up at me. I can't really see your face when you talk to the floor." I glanced up at him, but he looked unhappy. "Now, Isabella, I'm sure you are a great worker, but I can't, and won't, have you working here. This is no place for a girl like you."
I felt as if I could cry. "I'm sorry to waste your time, Mr. Aro," I said, walking out of the room as fast as I could. I knew I said far too much to him. If Mom or Harry found out, I would be in big trouble. As I walked out, I heard Aro call me back, but I couldn't stop; I just kept walking.
I walked to where I saw this other man give people money. He didn't look nice, and my skin felt weird, as if spiders were walking all over it. When I walked up to him, he said that I could work for him. He was about to take me through to a room, when I got pulled back and saw another man there, hitting him. I felt a hand take hold of my arm, and I tried to get away but couldn't.
"Isabella, it's Aro. I'll let you go, but you must stay with me." I nodded my head at him and he let me go. "Isabella, this isn't the right kind of work for you. It'll do you no good. It will hurt you and your brother and sister. Come, I'll show you what happens to these girls." His voice was harsh and angry.
He took me from room to room before leading me to the last one. It was really bad, and I tried to block it all out of my mind. What I saw in there is horrible. I felt my body start to shake, I couldn't stop it.
That was the day I met Sulpicia. She told me how she began her work as a prostitute, and showed me that it wasn't what I wanted. Aro promised that he would find me a job, and then he gave me some money and bought us groceries. He said I could pay him back out of my first few paychecks.
Aro came to my apartment two days later and told me about a job he got me, and I began working at the hotel soon after. Zafrina watched Seth and Leah for me while I worked. It was just before my birthday when she said that he got me another job. I was working at the college at night, cleaning classrooms. I liked that much better than working at the hotel, mainly because of Mrs. Cope. I remember meeting her for the first time.
The college was a really strange building. I couldn't believe all the people that were there. Marcus was really nice, and helped me a lot the first week. I was in one room that was full of books. When I looked, I saw the strange writing across the wall. My dad would read books all the time. I used to look at them and feel the pages. I opened a book and started retracing things like I did when I was younger, when an older woman walked up to me.
"Hello, dear. Do you need any help?" I shook my head. "Are you a student here, because I don't think I've seen your face before?"
I shook my head again. "I work here cleaning."
I felt her finger under my chin as she lifted my face up. "There you are, dear. You're very pretty. You shouldn't hide your face. My name is Mrs. Cope and I run this place." She waved her hands around her. "Have you ever been in a library before?" I shook my head at her once more. "Well, come on then, and I'll give you a card. With the card, you'll be allowed to take some of the books home with you, you just have to remember to bring them back."
I felt my face heat up at her words. "That sounds very kind of you, but the pages look strange to me. I wouldn't know what they say."
She gave me a puzzled look. "Okay, dear, my sight is not as good as it used to be, and glasses today cost a fortune." I watched her pick up a key. "Come with me," she said, and I followed behind her until she got to a big door. She opened it, walked in, and when I followed, I saw that there were more books and a lot of boxes. She moved over to a box, took out a small device, and then picked up another box. It looked heavy, so I took it from her. I walked back with her to the first room, and she handed me the device and a tape.
"I can't take this."
She chuckled. "Dear, the tapes can be borrowed the same as books. As for the Walkman, it was mine and I don't use it anymore because I have a new thing called an iPod. Please accept it."
I shook my head at her. "I don't have anything I can give you for it."
She smiled kindly at me. "How about you come and help clean in here once a week, since, as librarians, we're in charge of the cleaning and dusting on our own." I nodded my head at her, glad that I could take it now that I could do something for her. She showed me how it worked, and I listened to my first story ever after that: Wuthering Heights.
The other reason I liked working at the college was because of Edward. I turn, looking at him. He hasn't changed much since the first time I saw him. The biggest change that I can see is that he's a lot more at peace with himself and he's happier. I remember the day I first saw him so clearly.
I was outside one of the classrooms I clean, and a larger group of boys were coming toward me. They were walking slowly, and hitting each other. I didn't think it was in a bad way, as they were laughing at each other at the same time. They had stopped just a little bit away from me as I was cleaning the outside board. I could hear them talking about a party they had been to. One was saying how the girl he hooked up with was a hellcat in the sack. I began cleaning the floors as I saw them start to walk again. I moved my mop and bucket, and tried to get as close to the wall as I could. Just as they passed me, one hit the other pretty hard, and he fell into me, sending us both to the floor and knocking my bucket of water over. I was lying on the floor with this man on top of me. I could feel myself shake as I felt his hand on my breast. I wasn't big, but I did have something there.
"Hey, stupid, look what you did to my shirt!" he yelled in my face. I couldn't look at him because he was still on top of me. "Hey! I'm talking to you. Look at me!" He pulled my face around and I saw that his shirt was all wet.
"GET OFF OF HER NOW, MR. BARRY!" I heard Mrs. Cope's voice, and the man jumped off of me with a huff. I sat up quickly, trying to hide against the wall.
"Look, you old bag, she's white trash. This shirt cost me three hundred dollars, and she's going to pay for it. Why don't you take your fucking nosy ass back to the library?"
I saw Mrs. Cope laugh at him. "You're not the first boy to come here with that attitude, and I'm sure you won't be the last, but you will treat the workers here with respect." The mean boy moved forward, and I could see that he was angry with her. He reminded me of how Uncle Harry looked when he was angry, and I froze. I was too scared to move.
"I really wouldn't do that if I were you. Not if you want to keep the use of your arms, anyway." I turned to the new voice, and saw a tall man who was nicely dressed and had strangely colored hair. I saw him playing with his phone, and then he put it in his pocket. "Mrs. Cope is very well liked here, and not just by the staff but the students as well. It would not be wise to upset her. Now apologize to these ladies and get going."
The yelling boy turned around, looked at him and pointing at me, "She ruined my brand new, three hundred dollar shirt!"
I heard a laugh. "It's just water, get a grip! It would appear that you knocked into her. I see that you're a pledge for Kappa Sigma, so how about you get going, or I will have a word with Emmie about you. I don't think he'd be happy about you doing this. I happen to know that he keeps a tight rein on the pledges in his house, and he's also very fond of Mrs. Cope."
I watched the yelling boy's face pale, and he and the others quickly walked away. "Thank you, Mr. Masen."
I saw Mr. Masen smile, but it wasn't right; it didn't reach his eyes. "No problem. I'll tell Marcus to send someone to mop this up." At that, he walked away.
I saw Edward many times after that. He was always a bit like me, but the opposite. Where I tried to hide myself from the world, he didn't see the world around him. The one thing I did notice was that I could be in a room with him without feeling like I couldn't breathe. I had an issue with being close to people, and in a strange way, I felt safe with him.
After that first year was over, I knew I would miss seeing him. I knew that it was his last year in school- he was graduating, but I was so glad when I found out that he had taken a job at the college, and I would still get to see him.
Through the next year, I learned a lot about Edward just by watching him. I knew, like me, he had been hurt, but in a different way. I had seen him go to Aro's, and I think he went there because he was hurting so much. He had a few friends, but he seemed to keep most people at arm's length. He always seemed a bit harsh with people, but what I saw was a kind-hearted man. He always made time for people who needed his help with classwork, and always tried to keep himself in control. I rarely saw that control slip. He was a very take-charge type of man.
I really don't know what I would have done without Aro, Zafrina, and Mrs. Cope these past several years. I can't believe it's been almost six years now since Mom left. But this year, things changed fast. It all started in July. Aro and Sulpicia got married, much to Zafrina's surprise. Seth, Leah, and I went to the wedding, and it was a great day. It was our first wedding, and I loved it. Sulpicia looked so beautiful, and I got to meet her son, Sammy, for the first time. Sammy is a very sweet boy who enjoyed playing with Seth and Leah. It's a shame he lives with his grandparents in Port Angeles, but Sulpicia and Aro are hoping to take back custody of him soon. Sulpicia is a very different woman than the one I first met six years ago. I know she is a lot happier now. She used to do the same work as Sally and the other girls, but now that she's married to Aro, she does his books instead.
It was a few weeks into the summer holidays when Edward started to notice me. I had taken Seth and Leah for a walk in the park. We'd been feeding the ducks and were on our way back home. Leah was just ahead of Seth and me.
I looked up, seeing a few boys running our way. I noticed that one was hurt, but was still laughing as he threw a wallet up in the air and caught it. I grabbed hold of both Leah and Seth, pulling them toward me. Once the group had passed us, I let them go, and Leah skipped off in front of us again. She was just a little ahead when she stopped and looked toward something on the ground. I couldn't make out what it was because there was a staircase in the way. I watched as Leah ran back to me.
"Bella, quick! There's a man on the ground and I think he's hurt. Hurry!" She pulled my arm and we began to move quickly toward the wall. Once I got close enough, I could see that it was Professor Masen on the ground.
"Seth, Leah, I want you both to stand over there, okay?" They nodded their heads at me and did as I asked. I looked toward Professor Masen and saw that he was kind of talking, so I leaned in closer, trying to hear him better.
"Shit, my chest hurts. Please... please don't leave me alone. I don't want to die alone..." I frowned at his words. I couldn't explain it, but it hurt me to think that he would die alone. No one should die alone. I picked up my phone and called for help before I slowly bent down to try and help him. I knew that I needed to loosen his clothing a little. I moved to do that first, but his eyes got wider and he tried to push me away.
I moved closer so that I could talk in to his ear. "Professor Masen, I'm trying to help you. I've already called 911, and they are on the way. I just want to make you more comfortable while we wait. Please hold still. I won't leave you alone." He looked at me and stilled, so I loosened his clothes.
"Bella, is he going to be alright?" I turned, looking at Seth who was hugging Leah into his chest.
"I think he will be. It looks like he's having one of those attacks that Sulpicia used to have." I turned back to Professor Masen, remembering that Sulpicia told me that someone talking calmly helps. It took forever for the EMT's to arrive, but when they did, the twins and I watched as they looked over Professor Masen before taking him away. I felt sad as I watched them go, but knew that I couldn't go with him. I looked at Seth and Leah, and knew that I needed to get them home.
I explained to Zafrina what happened, and she called the hospital immediately. They said that Professor Masen was calm and asleep now, and I was glad for that, but sad when they said that he was alone. I felt the need to look after him. I didn't really understand where that came from. It was similar, yet different, from the feeling I got with Seth and Leah. I spent the night restlessly, my mind overcome with worry as I thought back to all that happened. The EMT couldn't find any identification on him, so I knew that the wallet I saw the boy with was his. He was alone, and I knew from watching him that he wouldn't tell anyone what happened, and wouldn't ask for help. I also knew that he liked muffins a lot. So with that in mind, and the fact that I had a little extra money, I decided to go see him first thing in the morning. I was going to buy myself new shoes, but now I thought that I could buy Professor Masen a muffin to eat and give him money so that he could take the bus home, instead.
It wasn't until I was standing outside of his room that I realized that me showing up might be a bad idea. He could be upset that I was here. I took a deep breath before knocking on his door. He answered it and looked at me funny, so I quickly explained to him why I was there. I handed him the muffin and the five dollars, hoping that it was enough to get him back home. He spoke to me then, asking where he had seen me before. I was worried because he had banged into me at Aro's a few times. Thinking it was better that I didn't bring that up, I told him about working at the college. I held up my hurt hand, and I could see the recognition in his eyes. He remembered me hurting it, and accepted that was where he knew me from. It was getting late, and I knew I had to get to work. I left, and ran down the hall, hoping to make up some of the time I lost by talking with him.
When I got to work that night, I found out that Professor Masen had taken some time off from work. On one hand, I was happy, but on the other, I was sad that I wouldn't get to see him or know that he was alright.
It was the end of the week, and I had run into Professor Masen while I was out shopping. He was a bit harsh to the woman who was checking me out, but I was glad that he came along and helped. I was walking through the park afterward, and saw the same group of boys that hurt Professor Masen, and for the first time ever, I felt real anger. I walked fast, because I wanted to get past them before my mouth could get me in trouble. Honestly, at that moment, I wanted to tell them off for hurting him. As I moved past them, one called me back, and the next thing I knew, they had made a circle around me. I tried to get by and ignore them, but I could hear them talking to me.
I quickly thought back to what Felix told me. He said that if I was ever in trouble with a man who wanted to hurt me, I should give him a hard hit to the chin or kick between his legs. I pulled back my arm, hitting the one in front of me as hard as I could. I moved quickly, but not quick enough, because I felt someone else grab my hair. After a stinging blow to my face, I was knocked to the ground. Helplessly, I closed my eyes, hoping that they were quick to do whatever it was they were going to do. I waited, but nothing came. When I opened my eyes again, I saw Professor Masen hitting one of the guys, knocking him over. The others quickly grabbed their friend and then ran away.
I looked up, seeing Professor Masen looking at me. He walked over to me slowly and reached out to touch me. I pulled back and stood up. He asked if I needed a ride home, so I told him no. I really hated cars.
He had asked me that night to go with him to his car so he could help fix me up, and reminded me that Seth and Leah would be scared to see me hurt. I knew that he was right, so I walked with him to his car. He helped clean me up and then walked me home. It was really nice to talk to him. Everything that I had thought about him came out. I waved to him as I walked in the main door, hoping that I could talk to him again. Sadly, that didn't happen. For some reason, he changed so quickly. It was like he wanted to be as far away from me as possible. It made me think that Mom was right: there was evil inside me and good people could see it.
It was a few days later when I thought he would say sorry, but he made it clear that he didn't want to talk to me again. I knew that he was a good person, so that meant I had to be the problem. I was wrong to hope he'd want to talk to me too. I nodded my head at his rejection and walked away. I knew that I couldn't clean his room anymore. The comfort that I had felt before was no longer there. I had to do four rooms in trade for his, but that was okay. I knew I couldn't stand to see how bad a person I was in his eyes ever again.
I managed not to see him and him not to see me for a little while. I knew that it worked well when I knocked into his umbrella one evening and fell down the steps of the college. My tape player hit the ground hard, and there were a lot of small pieces that came off. I picked it up, seeing that not only was it broken beyond repair, but the tape was all messed up, too. I knew that it was broken for good. I would miss listening to all the wonderful stories. When I pulled the tape out, some of it came loose, and I saw it was broken, too. I sighed heavily, not sure how I was going to tell Mrs. Cope, but I put it in my pocket to fix at home later. I picked up the other pieces and went to put them in the trash can when I saw someone standing there. As I looked up, I saw Professor Masen standing there. He was looking right at me, and he seemed so sad. I wanted to take the pain from his eyes, but I knew that he didn't want to talk to me. I placed the pieces in the trash can and went to work without saying a word.
As the night went on, my leg and hip started to really hurt, but I got my job done. I was glad when I was finally finished and could walk home. As I was walking, a car pulled up next to me and Professor Masen said that he would give me a ride. I politely said "No, thank you", and then walked away. He called out to me using the name Seth and Leah gave me. It made my heart beat faster to hear him call me Bella. When I turned to him, he looked at me the same way he did that night in the park. I couldn't let him get close to me, though, because he would just leave again. The one thing I had learned over the years, was that people got sick of me, and I wasn't worthy of being cared for. I turned back around and left, and as I walked away, I expected him to get back in his car, but he didn't. Instead, he followed me all the way home; again proving to me that he was a good person. I didn't look back as I walked, even though it was so hard not to.
I bumped into him again the next day at the college when I was returning the tape to Mrs. Cope. He was standing there outside her office. Then, that same night, I bumped into him at Aro's. I hoped that he hadn't seen that it was me, but my hopes were dashed again as I ran into him outside of Aro's office. I knew by the look on his face that he heard what I'd said. I wanted to cry because now he knew that I wasn't a good person. I knew he heard me asking Aro to hire me. I felt like I had no choice but to become a 'whore'. It wasn't a word I liked, but I heard people calling Aro's girls that all the time. I knew that Professor Masen didn't think very highly of women, so I was sure he hated me even more. I just wanted to be invisible to him again.
Felix walked me home that night. The thoughts were still swimming in my head and I couldn't change them. All I kept hearing were Mom and Dad's voices saying I wasn't good enough. That I was bad and evil, and that no one would want to be with me for long; that as soon as I left the house, Seth and Leah would forget about me, too.
I decided that I needed to talk to the person that had the most good in them, so I talked to Pastor Weber.
"Hello, Isabella. I hear that you wish to speak to me. How can I help?"
I bit my lip, worried about how to ask him the things I needed to ask.
"I can't help you unless you ask."
I looked up at him, and I knew from our talks before, that he – like Aro, Mrs. Cope, and Zafrina – liked to see my face when I talked. "I think I did something bad and upset someone. I tried to say I was sorry, but they didn't want to hear it. Then I got hurt and fell down some stairs. It was my fault, but he looked upset. He asked if I wanted a ride home, but I said no and told him that I had to go." I closed my eyes, trying hard not to cry. "He followed me home that night. I think he wanted to make sure I was safe. Now I keep bumping into him, but he never complains. I can tell he doesn't like me, but I'm not sure what I did wrong. I think... I know that he's a good person, and sometimes I feel like I'm a bad person, and that's why he doesn't want to talk to me. How do I become a good person? I'm really trying to be good, I promise." I felt a hand touch mine then, so I opened my eyes to see Pastor Weber looking at me sadly.
"First off, Isabella, you are a GOOD person." I shook my head at him in disagreement. "Isabella, I talk to God and I hear him. I know good when I see it, and you are one of the very best. I've watched you over these past few years. I see that you welcome anyone and everyone. You don't see what others see; you don't hold grudges against people when they wrong you. You would give someone the clothes off your back if you knew they needed them. These are all great qualities to have. What troubles me is why you think that you're bad. Who told you this? I'm here for you if you need to talk, Isabella. As for this person saying you're bad, they're wrong. Start from the beginning and tell me everything that has happened." I slowly took him through the whole story of how I helped Edward, starting with the panic attack.
"Hmm... it sounds as if he's scared. I also think, like you, that he's a good person, but whatever he's been though has scared him, and he's decided to push others away. Fear is a strong emotion, Isabella. It can make us do things that aren't right and hurt others. I think you should try and stay away from him for the time being. If he talks to you, then talk to him, and only – and I do mean ONLY – accept something from him if he apologizes to you for how he treated you."
I looked at Pastor Webber and nodded my head even though I still didn't think that Professor Masen needed to say sorry. After all, whatever happened must have been my fault.
It wasn't until later that I saw him again. One of the staff had taken some time off, so I had to clean Professor Masen's room again. As I got to it, I saw that he was still there so I left, hoping when I came back later he would be gone. After all the other rooms were done, I went back to his room, but he was still there. I knocked on the door and asked if I should come back later. He waved me in, so I got right to work. I tried to be as quick as possible while still doing a good job.
Not long after I began cleaning the room, Gina from the office came in. She looked at me harshly; she was always such a mean person. "Are you almost done in here?" She talked to me in the voice she always used with me. "After you've finished here, you need to come by my office. I want you to re-clean it."
I nodded my head to let her know I heard but continued working. It wasn't me who cleaned her office the first time, but I didn't tell her that.
"Professor Masen, you need to come to the office and sign the paperwork I have for you. Oh, and the computers are back up and working now." She gave him a smile, and I saw from the corner of my eye that he rolled his eyes at her. Without a word, he got up to follow her, but Gina looked at me with her glare once more. "Remember to come by my office. Do you understand what I'm saying?" I just nodded my head at her. "You need to watch this one. I don't think she can talk." Gina used her angry voice again. I didn't like it. She reminded me of my mom when she spoke like that. "Or, maybe she's just too stupid to talk. Is that what your problem is, dear?" I felt my face heat up at her words but stayed quiet.
"Gina, I'd like to get home sometime tonight, and I still have stuff to do here, so can we get this over with?" Professor Masen stated.
His tone was hard and I couldn't look at him. I didn't want to see if he thought the same as her – that I was stupid. I knew that I was. I couldn't even read, and even the little kids could do that. As they walked out of the room, I felt a tear on my face so I wiped it away. I wouldn't allow myself to cry because crying would change nothing.
I finished the classroom and headed to Gina's office in hopes that I could get it over and done with quickly.
"But I want you, Edward, and Gina gets what she wants. See this?" I peeked in and saw Gina standing there in her underwear, putting something on the table in front of Professor Masen. "I don't think the Board of Regents would like you as much after seeing these. So here's the deal. You can fuck me, and do whatever I want, whenever I want, or I can leave these where someone will see them."
There was a part of me that wanted to run in and save him from her, but I knew that he not only didn't need my help, but didn't want it, either.
"I think I'm going to go with the second choice." Professor Masen used that voice he would always use when he knew that he was right and was happy to point it out to the other person. "Even if someone put a gun to my head, I still wouldn't fuck a stuck-up, two-faced whore like you. Plus, just so you know, I have my own photo collection. I'm sure that your husband would like them. I mean, the photo with devices shoved in every one of your orifices might actually appeal to him. I'm sure that the board would find those photos interesting, as well. Don't fuck with me, because I will gladly leave you high and dry. Don't come to me with this again," he laughed and headed for the door, so I quickly hid around the corner. A few minutes later, another professor came, and Gina left with him, so I headed into her office and started to clean.
I looked at the pictures that were still on the table, and saw that they were of Aro's place. I knew that Aro didn't allow pictures to be taken inside his establishment. I was the only person allowed to make pictures, and only with the say so of everyone in them. Aro had done so much for me, so I knew I owed him a lot, and I didn't think that Professor Masen would want them to remain in her hands. With that, I picked them up and used the thing that cut up paper to get rid of them. When I was finished, I cleaned Gina's office, unsure of what was wrong with it in the first place. As I tidied her desk, I saw a watch sitting there. I knew that it belonged to Professor Masen, so I picked it up and decided I should return it and let him know what I did with the pictures.
I headed over to his classroom and knocked on his door. "For the love of hell, come in!" he shouted. I walked inside and over to his desk.
"Sir, I found this." I stopped talking as Mr. Marcus walked in. I didn't think Professor Masen would want Mr. Marcus to know about what happened with Gina.
Mr. Marcus and Professor Masen talked while I busied myself by cleaning up books that were on the floor by Professor Masen's briefcase. I placed them neatly in a pile on his desk, along with my gloves and hat.
"No, I still have more work to do, and people keep interrupting me!" The harshness of his voice made me look at him, and when I did, I saw him glaring at me.
"Okay, well I'll see you next Monday. Would you like me to walk you out, Isabella?" Mr. Marcus looked to me, so I looked to the floor, shaking my head. I knew that he would want a verbal answer so I gave him one.
"No, sir. I need a word in private with Professor Masen before I go." Mr. Marcus nodded his head at me before leaving the room.
"I found..." I moved to hold the watch out, but Professor Masen cut me off by holding up one of his hands.
"So tell me, Isabella, how much money do you want, or do you want me to fuck you, too?"
I looked at him, unsure why he thought that I was asking him for money. I didn't really know what the other thing he was asking about was, but I didn't think it was a good thing. I knew that when Gina asked him to do it, he gave her much the same look that he was giving me now – like he was disgusted. I already knew that I was disgusting. I spent my life knowing that I disgusted Mom, Dad and Uncle Harry. The look he was giving me became too much, and I looked away.
"Well, tell me... what is it? What the hell do you want from me?" He slammed his hand down on the desk, which made my whole body jump. I wished it would do as I asked and stay still, because I didn't want him madder at me. I felt my eyes lower and I looked at my feet, but again my body did something I didn't want it to do. I felt my legs start to shake and my foot touched his briefcase a little. "For the love of God, you fucking, stupid bitch!"
No, no, no! I knew he would get even madder at me. Why couldn't I do anything right? I felt my body start to shake harder, and I knew I needed to say I was sorry and leave. "Sorr... sorry," I stammered. No. Uncle Harry hated it when I couldn't speak right. I needed to calm down and tell Professor Masen I was sorry. I closed my eyes, trying to say it again more clearly. "I'm sorry, sir. You scared me. I didn't mean to..." I stopped talking as he spoke again.
"Do NOT touch my things! This past week, your work has been far below standard. Nothing has been cleaned correctly, and you went through my things. I'll be speaking with Marcus regarding your ability to do this piss-easy job. Oh, and now you've tried to blackmail me, too. Get the fuck out of my classroom. I don't want to see you in here again!"
I knew that no matter what I did or said, it was over now. There was nothing I could do to fix it. I took out his watch and placed it on his desk, giving him a small nod to tell him that I heard him before walking towards the classroom door.
When I walked out of the college, I felt tears on my cheeks. I wiped them away as more continued to fall. I sat down on the steps, trying really hard to stop crying. I knew no good came from crying. I also knew that Professor Masen could be nice, like when he talked to me after that time in the park. I just wish I knew what I did that was so bad. I felt like I had lost something important by making him mad. I went to him to make him happy, but I only made him sadder. I took a deep breath and looked up at the sky.
Please, God, help Professor Masen. He needs someone to love him and take care of him. Please send him someone strong that will make sure he's okay. I think he's alone, and even if he says he's happy that way, I don't think he is. Please, can you send him a friend – someone that will show him the way to you?
I put my hand in my pocket for my gloves, but didn't find them. I then remembered that I set them on his desk while I was cleaning. They meant too much to me to leave them there, because Seth and Leah made them with Zafrina for me as a Mother's Day gift. It was the first gift I ever got, and Zafrina said that it was okay for me to get a gift on that day, even if I wasn't their mom. I ran back to the classroom in hopes that I could grab them and get out again without upsetting him too much.
As I entered, my eyes went straight to him. He was sitting on the floor with his hands in his hair. I made my way over to him, noticing that he was muttering to himself. I listened closely and heard that he was saying 'What have I done' over and over again. I placed my hand on his, gave it a small squeeze, and then pulled away. He moved his eyes from the floor and focused right on me.
I looked back into his eyes, seeing so much pain there. When I gave him a smile, the pain in his eyes got worse, and his breathing increased. I knew that I needed to talk to him in order to help him.
"Professor, you need to calm down. Sir, please," I said as I loosened his tie and undid the top buttons of his shirt. I knew that he had his water container on his desk, so I headed over and picked up his glass and the pills from inside his drawer. When I walked back over to him, he frowned as he looked at the pills. I wasn't sure how, but I knew that he was asking me how I knew about them.
"I saw them when you were in the hospital, and I thought you might need them."
He nodded his head, but handed them back to me because he was unable to open the bottle. I opened it for him and took one out so I could place it in his mouth. A few minutes later, he reached for the glass of water. I could tell that he was still shaking, so I helped him by holding the glass for him.
It took about ten minutes before I saw a change in him as his breathing started to slow down. I took a look around the room, noticing the mess for the first time. I decided that since he still wasn't a 100% alright, I would work on cleaning up his classroom again. I kept my eye on him just to make sure he didn't get worse while I straightened up.
It took a little more time before he slowly stood up. I was pleased that he seemed to be alright. I gave him a small smile, even though I still wanted to cry. I knew that it was time to leave, so I picked up my hat and gloves from his desk without a word. I tried hard not to look at him, because I didn't think I could stop myself from crying if I saw the disgusted look on his face again.
"Isabella, wait!" I heard him call. I didn't want to stop, I didn't want to look at him, but I knew I couldn't be rude. I turned toward him, but kept my eyes on the floor. "I wanted to say that I'm sorry..."
I heard him say he was sorry, but he didn't need to be, so I shook my head. "It's fine, sir. Don't worry about it. Embry will be back on Wednesday, so I won't be back in your room again. Well, I may not have a job here after tomorrow, anyway, so either way, I won't bother you again, sir."
I went to leave again, only to have him call out my name once more. "Isabella, I am really sorry about that. I shouldn't have taken my bad week out on you."
I watched as he stepped closer to me, and I got scared, feeling myself draw back from him automatically. He shouldn't have felt bad about being upset about his room not being cleaned right, even if it I wasn't the one that cleaned it. The fact that it wasn't me was my fault. I was the one that switched with Embry. I knew firsthand that he didn't do the best job. "It's fine, Professor. If you're not happy with the way your classroom has been cleaned, you have every right to address that. I mean, this IS a piss-easy job that even a stupid girl like me should be able to get right. I haven't done my job very well lately, so it's okay, you should talk to Mr. Brophi." I moved to the door of the classroom, and once I was outside, I felt myself start to run.
The next few days after that were strange. I saw him once outside of Midnight Sun, and then again when I was serving at a college get together. I couldn't believe that he offered me a job and said sorry to me again. There was something in his eyes when he asked me to take the job. It was there even when he was also telling me I should stay away from him. There was something inside me that wanted and needed to take care of him, though. Something was pulling me to him, and I will always trust in God, so I said yes to him about the job.
My life changed so much, so fast. Working for Edward was easy, and I loved being in his house. Things changed a little more each day that we spent together, but the biggest changes happened around Halloween.
I needed extra money so I could buy some treats for Seth and Leah to take to their class for the party, plus some for their outfits. I was going to ask Edward for some extra shifts, but Katie was on that weekend and she doesn't like me very much. I had been trying to stay out of her way, so I talked to Aro instead. Aro got me a job serving at an event. I was surprised when I got there that I had already been given a table. The rest were given out as the people came in. There were only two people at my table, and they said they were going to wait for the others to arrive before ordering, so I filled their water glasses and waited along the side of the room. When I saw a group of people come in, I was surprised to see that I knew who they were. I was even more surprised when Emmett, Jasper, Carlisle, and Edward walked to my table. I knew then that Aro had assigned me to that table.
I took a deep breath and approached the table again. "Good evening." I felt my body shake, but my eyes meet Edward's with a smile on my face. He smiled back as I continued what I was saying. "My name is Isabella. I will be your server tonight. Would you like to place a drink order?" I felt myself calm down as I spoke, but strangely I was always calm in Edward's presence. Once everyone placed their drink orders, I left to get them.
I brought the drinks back, and made sure they were to everyone's liking before trying to leave to get the menu cards. But the lady next to Edward stopped me with a snap of her fingers, calling me back. "I would like two bottles of the house wine brought to the table, along with twelve glasses." I watched as she placed her hand on Edward's arm and rubbed it while leaning closer to him. When she did, I saw Edward stiffen up and close his fist. It was clear to me that he didn't like her that close to him, but she didn't seem to pick up on it. Even if I didn't know Edward, I would clearly be able to tell that he wasn't with her, and didn't have any feelings for her other than finding her irritating.
The night went by fast, but I could see the tension in Edward growing. I looked over to the table, seeing that Edward kept the steak knife from his dinner, and was still holding it in his hand like it was his life line.
I took a deep breath, trying to work out a way to get him away from the table before he had another large outburst. The phone rang then, so I picked it up. It was a cab booked for one of the guests that had to leave early to catch a plane. I let him know that the cab was here and then headed back to my station. When I looked over at Edward again, he had his eyes closed and was pinching his nose. The lady next to him was still looking at him from the corner of her eye.
The phone rang a second time, but it was Taylor. He knew that I was here because I mentioned it to him earlier when we spoke while I was working at Midnight Sun. When he found out that I would be serving tables, he taught me how to serve wine correctly. He had called to ask me where I put the new mop because they had a small leak, but he was able to get it fixed. As I went to hang up, an idea popped into my head. I knew how to get Edward away from the table, and how I could get away with a little lie. I mean, Taylor was on the phone, and he did talk about a leak. I nodded my head and walked over to Edward.
After a short time, he followed me to the bar and picked up the receiver while looking at me. "I thought you needed an escape for a few minutes. I was a bit worried about you from the way you were eyeing your steak knife. It was almost as if you were planning on stabbing it through your heart. If you did something stupid like that, it would have gotten blood all over your nice shirt. Just so you know, blood is really hard to get out. I would be at it all day Monday, and as you are aware, laundry is not a favorite of mine."
I spoke quickly, hoping he wasn't mad about the lie. I was so happy to hear him chuckle at me. I saw the bartender look our way then, puzzled. "You better start talking to make it look like someone is on the other end."
He shook his head and smiled at me. "You are diabolical and I love it. Thank you so much for the help. You saved me."
I let out a little laugh and gave him a big smile. "I had to save the shirt because it's so nice. And since you're wearing it, I guess I had to save you, too. But seriously, if you do plan on stabbing yourself, could you remove the shirt first? It would be a shame to ruin such a nice shirt." Edward smiled back and pretended to chat into the receiver while I continued to speak. "Besides, I don't think the lady in red would like that. She seems to really like you." I thought back to what Edward said earlier; he said that she was a whore... I really don't get that word.
"She is a whore, Bella. Baby, take no notice of her, okay? Don't let that bitch get you down." He looked back at me, and I felt myself frowning as I looked at him. "What's wrong, Baby Bella?"
He placed his hand on my arm and gently rubbed it over my arm. "You called Gina that, too." He turned and faced me fully so that all his attention was on me. "What is a whore?" I finally asked.
"I called them that because that's what they both are." I shook my head at him, knowing that he wasn't getting what I meant. He looked at me as if he was upset. "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have said that. I really don't want to hurt your feelings..."
I held my hand up as he rambled on saying sorry. "It's not that. I just don't understand what it means. I've heard people call the girls that work for Aro that word, but all of Aro's girls are nice to me, and never say anything mean or make me feel bad. Not even Jane, and she isn't nice to anyone; that's what the other girls all say. If that word is meant in a bad way, why would they call Aro's girls that? I mean, they're all really nice... well, to me anyway. Gina and the red dress lady, well I get the feeling they don't like me very much. I really didn't mean to upset her. I'm sorry. I'm sorry that you had an argument with her and your friends because of me."
Edward moved closer to me and placed his hand on my back. "Baby, she is no friend of mine. You are my friend. She was very rude, and said something about you that I didn't like, and it's not something I will repeat. I have no regrets calling her a whore. The only regret I have is that I upset you when I said it. As for people calling Aro's girls that, it's hard to explain, but I'll try on Monday, okay?" I couldn't help but smile when he called me his friend. Maybe I got it wrong? "What? What are thinking about now?"
I looked down, not wanting to see his face if I was wrong, but his hand moved to my chin, halting my movement. "You said that I was your friend. Do you mean that? Do you mean friends, like Jasper and Emmett are your friends?"
He gave me a smile. "Yes. I mean, I would like you to be my friend. I kind of like you better than them, too," he whispered, looking over at Jasper and Emmett. "Would you like us to be friends?"
Yes! I screamed inside, but wasn't really sure what a friend did. "Yes, I would really like to be your friend. I've never had a friend before. I don't know what I'm supposed to do, or if I'll be a good friend, though."
I listened to Edward chuckle and saw him smile at me. "Bella Baby, you're already being a friend to me, and you're doing everything right." He winked at me as he rubbed my shoulder with his thumb. My feelings for him grew as he made sure that I was alright. "I better get back to the table before they come and get me."
The rest of the night went quickly and Edward stayed and helped me before taking me home. He helped me into the cab and held me the whole time. I spent the entire ride holding onto him and praying to God that everything would be alright.
Halloween came, and Edward found out what Uncle Harry did to me and still wanted to be my friend. He must have been on his way to Aro's that night when he saw us. He changed his plans and spent the rest of the night with Seth, Leah, and me. We all had a great night together. It was really fun, and we got lots of candy.
It was a few days later that Jasper came to talk to me at Midnight Sun.
"Hello, Bella. Do you mind if I have a quick bite to eat with you?" I looked up at Jasper, who was standing on the other side of the bar. I nodded my head in agreement and smiled. Jasper, Emmett, and Carlisle often came and had lunch with Edward and me on Wednesdays. Then I would see them on different days of the week at different places, but I was surprised to see Jasper here today.
"Sure, Jasper. I'd like that very much." I checked in with Taylor, who was okay with me taking a break, so I headed over to the table where Jasper sat with two coffees and muffins.
"Bella, how are you?"
I gave him a smile. "I'm really good, Jasper. Thank you. How are you and Alice?"
Jasper's smile was small. "We'll be alright, Bella. I'm sorry for the way she treated you on Halloween. It wasn't very nice of her." I frowned, looking at him. She hadn't treated me any differently than the way most people treated me, so I didn't really understand why he was sorry, but I smiled anyway, not wanting to be rude.
"It's alright, Jasper... really."
Jasper chuckled a little and shook his head. "Maybe we should move away from that topic. The reason I'm here is to talk to you about Edward." I looked at him, feeling worried suddenly. Had something happened to him? I hoped he wasn't sick. Before I could ask, Jasper held his hand up. "Bella, he's alright. Just listen, okay?" I let out a breath and nodded my head. "I've known Edward for a long time. God, it must be better than twelve years now. I met him when his mom started to work for Aunt Esme. You see, Edward has always been a really quiet guy – very romantic and refined. He is also full of self-hated and loathing. He likes you very much, Bella... a lot more than I think he knows or understands.
When he's with you, he acts so much like the real person he should be. He's more relaxed and happy, and it's because of you. Your presence alone makes him the person he is meant to be. Sadly, Edward doesn't have a good track record when comes to women. Now, I know that you would never hurt him, but I'm still a little worried that something will happen and he'll push you away. He over thinks things and he may decide that you're better off away from him. Don't let him push you away, Bella. Stick to what you believe inside." I nodded my head at him, not fully understanding what he meant.
We talked a little more before he had to leave. When he stood up, I walked him to the door. "Oh, and Bella? Don't let him order you around. You can make choices for yourself. It doesn't always have to be his way. Part of being his friend, is having your own say, too, and he doesn't have to agree or like it. It's what friends do. They make choices and compromises for each other."
My feelings for Edward grew the more time I spent with him. I realized that I was in love with him when he came to the apartment on the night of the break-in. The way he held me in the kitchen and at his home – I knew then that my heart belonged to him. I also knew there was a chance that he didn't feel that way for me. He was, after all, a very smart man, and older than me. I knew that he didn't look for the glamorous girlfriends, and that he was more interested in what was inside a person, but no matter how much I thought about it, I couldn't figure out what he felt for me.
It was on Thanksgiving that I started to believe that he felt something more than friendship for me. The way he spoke to me, telling me about what Tanya did, and about his son, little Edward, made my heart go out to him. After that night, I loved him more than I thought was possible. It was then that I saw something in his eyes, in the way he looked at me. I had seen it before in the way that Carlisle and Esme, Chas and Peter, and Aro and Sulpicia all looked at each other. I felt myself hoping that he loved me, too.
It was the weekend, and Seth and Leah were away for their camping trip. Edward and I spent the first day watching films, and we slept together on his couch. I woke up and heard him say my name, but when I looked at him, he was still asleep. It made me smile, because he smiled as my name passed his lips. I hugged him tightly, and listened to the steady beat of his heart.
The next night, Edward took me out with Emmie, Jazz, and Carlisle. I had a great time, and the best part was dancing with Edward. I felt him kiss me softly on my neck before something started poking me. Edward's face got red when I had asked him about it. He asked me to stay where I was, and I wasn't sure why, but he un-tucked his shirt and then hugged me. I felt something poke me again when Edward moved back to holding me close. When I looked down, I saw that his pants were sticking out right where his winkie was, and I was worried that I did something wrong. I wasn't sure why, but I figured it was best that I didn't ask him about it.
The ride home was great, and we spent most of the time talking. He was rubbing my leg, and I started to feel the weird tingles I always felt when he touched me or called me 'Baby'. I was thinking about the film we watched, and the people kissing at the bar. I really wanted to be kissed, and I wanted... no, I needed it to be Edward who kissed me. As I looked up at him, his eyes met mine. Being brave, I took a deep breath and asked him about kissing.
I couldn't help but smile when he said that he would be my first kiss. I felt like my heart was going to burst right out of my chest. Then his lips met mine, and my heart stopped all together. I swear I died, and then everything in me exploded back to life – a more vibrant and exciting life. The feelings still made me tingle when I thought about it. My body wanted more, but my mind didn't know what more was. His lips staying on mine, was the second happiest I'd ever been, and then he said something about my age. He talked about my life, my dreams, and my wants. He asked about my meaning of happiness outside of Seth and Leah. When he mentioned my age, though, my world came crashing down. I knew that was it. I was losing him before I really even had him.
There was a part of me that begged not to ever tell him, but I kept thinking about Seth, Leah, and church. I knew I had to tell the truth, and I knew he would hate me forever. Seth and Leah weren't part of the lie, so maybe he would still like them when the truth came out. I wish I could say that was the only reason for not telling him right away, but that would be a lie. I selfishly wanted him, even if it was only for one more day. I just needed one more day.
I was so upset and worried on the Monday I decided to tell him, that I couldn't really remember much of the day. As soon as I tucked Seth and Leah into bed, Edward texted me to say he would be over soon. I sat there, trying hard to think of a reason – any reason – to keep the secret and not tell him, but I couldn't think of anything. I loved him, and because of that, I knew I couldn't lie to him. He was my friend, and he deserved my trust and honesty. Having trust and honesty is important in any relationship, and in so many of the good stories, honesty is always the best thing. People who have God in their hearts will not hurt others. If I kept lying, I knew that he would be hurt. I had to tell the truth. I had to make him understand that everything happened for a reason. I had to trust in him. I just hoped that I didn't cause Edward too much hurt; he really was a sweet, beautiful soul. Edward was truly one of the best people I had ever met. He is one of God's earth angels.
When Edward got to our apartment and took his seat, I tried hard not to look at him sadly. It didn't work.
As soon as he looked at me, he started to question me. "Baby, what is it?" His voice sounded sad – so sad that I had to close my eyes. I felt him touch my face, so I pulled away from him. I knew that he wasn't going to want to touch me any more once he knew the truth. I opened my eyes to see his hand move to his hair and start to pull on it. I needed to make this right. "Look, Baby, I'm sorry about the kiss. I wouldn't... I mean, I shouldn't..."
I shook my head at him. God, no! Those kisses were amazing, and I would always remember them. "No, it's not that. I liked it. I told you, I really liked it."
He frowned at me. "Then why are you so sad? Please, Baby, tell me what's wrong?" The look he gave me almost broke me. He looked close to tears. "Please, Baby, what is it?"
I could hear the hurt in his voice – the hurt that I was causing. I could barely speak; my voice didn't want to cooperate. "I'm sorry," I said, closing my eyes and taking a deep breath. "You mean so much to me. I didn't mean to do it. I just didn't know if I could trust you at first, and I was so scared that you would tell someone and then I would lose them. Then you helped me so much, and even wanted to be my friend. I never had a friend. You made me feel so happy, and I just forgot. Really I did. I forgot. It wasn't until you said it Saturday night that I remembered. I knew I had to tell you. I knew that you wouldn't want to be my friend anymore. I knew you'd ask me to leave. I deserve that because of what I've done."
He shook his head as if he couldn't believe what he was hearing. "Baby, what did you do? I mean, really... what could you have done that was so bad?" he asked, chuckling a little. That was a sound I loved so much, and I was never going to hear it again. Seth and Leah were going to lose someone they had begun to love because of me. I hurt them, too, with the lie. I was such a bad person. Dad, Mom, and Uncle Harry were right. I was like poison; no good for anyone.
"It's really bad. I'm so sorry. I know you won't forgive me. You already told me that you wouldn't ever forgive this. I should've told you then and there, but I was selfish. I wanted one more day with you, but I promised myself I would tell you today."
I looked at him and watched as he became more worried and worked up. "Just tell me, Bella. What have you done?"
I closed my eyes again, knowing that I needed to stop putting it off and just tell him. When I opened them, I looked right at my earth angel. "I lied to you."
I watched him as so many things flickered in his eyes that I couldn't keep up. He looked at me, almost pleading with me to say it wasn't true. "What was the lie, Bella? What did you lie about?" I heard the anger in his voice, but the hurt was so clear I cringed. I hated myself for making him hurt so much. I felt my body shaking, so I took a deep breath to try to calm myself. "Tell me what you've lied about, Bella! Just tell me, now," he begged, but the words seemed to catch in my throat. "Tell me the truth, out loud! Tell me the truth, Bella. What did you lie about? I want to hear it!" I kept looking at his eyes, seeing the wall that was there when we first met slowly coming back.
I forced the lie out. I knew that he would make sure Seth and Leah were alright. He loved them, and I knew he would protect them, even if he never wanted to see me again. "I did... I didn't turn twenty-four... I'm... I'm... I just turned... nineteen... I'm only nineteen, Edward." When it finally came out, I couldn't stop saying it over and over again. The guilt I felt from telling the lie so many times, to so many different people, took over and it overwhelmed me.
"Baby..." I heard the name that I loved him calling me come out, but he looked so disgusted after saying it. That hurt so much, and I held my breath. "I can't be here right now. I have to go. I'll speak to you tomorrow at my house, but right now, I need to think. I'll see you then." All I could do was nod at him, not sure if I could even face him. "I mean it, Bella. I'll see you at my house – same time as always." He must've seen the hesitation in my face as he closed the door. I knew that I had to face him and take any punishment he decided to give me. I felt safe with him, and I knew that he wouldn't hurt me. Even if I deserved more hits than Uncle Harry gave me when I was bad.
I sat on the couch, feeling so numb inside, so alone. I wished I could talk to someone... but all my new people were Edward's; even my old people were his. Instead, I curled up on the couch and laid there, feeling so cold and numb, but I couldn't move. The pain in my chest hurt too much. I wondered if I would get to see Seth and Leah when I was in jail. I knew the answer was no. If the jail I'd be in was anything like what I saw on TV, I didn't want them there.
Shit, I couldn't even write to them or have them write to me. Well, maybe a little, but not much... I didn't know much yet.
Please, God, please make sure they're okay. Please, I'd do anything. I'm sorry I hurt your angel, Edward. I know how special he is. I'm real sorry. I swear that I'll try harder to be good. Please punish me and not them – not Seth, Leah or Edward. Please, if you give me anything, please take care of them. Maybe you could let Seth and Leah go with Edward. They'd be so good for each other, like a good family. I know Edward will be so good to them and for them. And maybe they could help heal his hurt, too. Edward would be a great dad. This is his chance to be one. Please God...
I felt myself breaking down, so I moved to the front door and sat there so that Seth and Leah wouldn't hear me cry.
After a little while, I decided that I'd work on Edward's picture that I was painting as a thank you for him. It felt like I had just begun when Seth and Leah came and joined me. When I looked at the picture, I saw that I had completed it. It made me both happy and sad to know that I no longer had a reason to see him again after today.
When I arrived at his home, I felt so empty inside. I couldn't look at him. I listened as he tried to make it sound like I wasn't bad. He even blamed my mom. I'm not sure why he dislikes her so much; it was me that was wrong and evil, not her. I got so angry when he kept saying that he was wrong for me, and that I'd be better off away from him. I knew that wasn't right. He was one of the best people in my life. He wasn't changing his mind, though, and I knew that he was sick of me and was just trying to be nice about it. I handed him the picture and left.
I only got a short distance away when I sat down. I kept imagining Seth and Leah's faces when I told them that Edward wouldn't be coming over any more, and that we couldn't go to his house. I was so bad, and I screwed everything up again. Seth and Leah were the best children around. It took them almost six months to warm up to Aro and Zafrina. I knew that was mostly my fault, because I didn't like to be around people, but with Edward, it was different. Just like me, they were drawn to him from the beginning. They trusted him and loved him so much. This was going to hurt them really bad, and it was my entire fault.
I felt someone touch me then, and I drew back when they pulled me to them. I knew it was Edward, but he shouldn't be here. He said he was done with me, but he still held me tight and wouldn't let me go. I felt his breath on my neck, and he kept saying he was sorry over and over again. I couldn't stop myself as I leaned in to him. He ended up carrying me all the way back to his house, and took me up to his room.
Jasper came over and talked to us again a few minutes later, and Edward got angry when I spoke about my past and my mom. They told me that I wouldn't go to jail, and that Mom lied to me. It hurt to hear it, but I knew they were speaking the truth. Edward took me to bed when we were done, and we slept for a few hours.
Later, when we woke up, Edward told me to take a shower. All I could think about was him, and how he was my best friend, and how wonderful he was. I loved him with all that I had. I would do anything for him. He meant as much to me; as Seth and Leah did. When I got out of the shower and got dressed in my now dry clothes, I headed downstairs and saw him making our lunch. I knew if he asked me to leave, it would make me nuts. I would do anything to keep him. I couldn't stop myself when he looked up to see me as I walked into the kitchen. I felt myself leap into his arms, and I begged him to let me stay.
"Please don't leave me. Please, Edward. I swear I'll never, ever lie to you again."
He put down the utensil in his hand and wrapped his arms around me, and I felt like I was home. "Hush now," he whispered as he picked me up. He turned us around and placed me on the clean kitchen counter. "You're fine... we're fine, Baby, really. We're good. I'm not going anywhere. I'll be with you until you order me away," he whispered in to my ear.
"Never," I told him assertively.
He chuckled then. "Baby, I'm so glad to hear that." He sighed before helping me back down on to my feet and then stepped away from me. "We need to talk." He sat down on his seat and ran his hands through his hair, so I took a seat across from him. "I'm afraid that I'll hurt you again. I have all this anger inside of me, and you seem to be on the receiving end of it. Well, a few times now, anyway. I feel like a monster. I hate that I hurt you before, and I hate it even more that I did it again. That's why I was trying to walk away from you even though it killed me to do it. I was trying to protect you from the monster that lives within me." I could hear the hurt and sadness in his voice.
Getting up, I walked around the table to him and began to rub his cheeks gently with my thumbs. He did the same for me so many times, and it always helped me feel better.
"You're not a monster, Edward. You're the best man I know. I see it in your eyes. You are one of God's earth angels, which is why it hurt me to hear that you didn't want to be my friend anymore. The thought of not seeing you, or being close to you, hurt really badly. It hurt worse than anything I've ever felt before. I don't know if what I feel is right, or if I'm even supposed to feel this way, but I know that I love you, so very much. I love you the same way that Beauty loves her Beast. But I don't want to change, and I never want to stop being close to you."
At first, his eyes were dancing with what I said, but then he became sad again, almost unsure of himself.
He caught my hands, holding them firmly in his and softly kissing each one. "Baby, you are so innocent. You're still young and unsure of what love is."
I felt saddened by his words, but also felt the need to explain myself. "From all the books I've listened to, I think I know what love is. The way they describe love is different in a lot of ways, but one thing remains the same: it's your heart that speaks to you. When a woman in a book falls in love with a man, she describes things that I feel when I'm with you. I think I know what love is. If it's not love, then why do I get flutters in my stomach whenever you call me Baby? And why does my skin tingle whenever you touch me? And when you kissed me, I felt things I can't explain, but they were in my woman parts that I'm not supposed to talk about. I may be naive, and I may be younger than you, but I know that you feel it, too. I can see it in your eyes." I decided that I should show him what I feel, so I placed my lips to his, kissing him softly. I didn't feel his lips move, so I tried again. Still nothing. I looked at his face and saw that he was stunned. It crushed my heart that I was so wrong. He didn't feel for me what I felt for him. I felt myself starting to come apart, and I knew that I couldn't do it in front of him. He still hadn't spoken, so I knew I needed to say sorry and leave before he saw me cry. Nobody likes someone who cries.
"I'm sorry, I won't do that again," I told him as I felt a tear roll down my face.
I wiped it away and tried to make my way back to my chair, but he pulled my hand before I could get away. The pull was so strong that I ended up in his lap. "I stopped going to Aro's because those girls weren't what I wanted. They weren't you! I want you. I am so in love with you, Bella. You are my Juliet, my Beauty... you're my everything. I'm just so scared that I'll hurt you." He placed his forehead on mine and rubbed his hands up and down my back. I could see it again – the love he felt for me – and he just told me that he loved me.
"Then don't hurt me. Don't push me away. We can do this... learn this, together. Baby steps," I said with a slight giggle.
"Baby steps, huh? Baby steps might not be easy, because I want you and I hate waiting, but for you, my love, I will wait forever."
He kissed my head, then each of my eyes, and then finally my nose, stopping when our eyes met. I let out a breath as I looked right back into his eyes; all I saw in them was love, warmth, and need. I closed my eyes as my lips touched his again. We fit together so perfectly. I threaded my hands into his hair, wanting to kiss him like we did on Saturday. I remembered how he licked my lip, so I tried that to see if it would work. Instantly, he opened his mouth, placing his tongue in mine and kissing me back. I felt his hands thread in my hair as he took over the kiss. When we were both panting for air, he pulled away.
"Baby, you need to eat before you have to go get Seth and Leah."
I just wanted to kiss more. It was the most amazing thing in the world. I had never felt anything like it. "Can't we kiss some more instead?"
He chuckled, shaking his head. "No, you need to eat, but we... I can pick you up from work tonight, and after Seth and Leah are in bed, we can kiss some more." I smiled at the thought of seeing him tonight, and my smile got much bigger when he said we could kiss again. "But, you need to eat your lunch." I stood up slightly and grabbed my plate, bringing it to me. I wanted to stay in Edward's arms as long as possible.
The next week went by quickly, and Edward taught me so much about what real love is. It made me feel alive inside, but also sad. I felt even sadder when I saw Esme and Carlisle with Edward, Jasper, and Emmett, knowing that my mom and dad must have never loved me. I knew that what happened to me as I was growing up was not what happened in other homes. I felt really sad when I started to think that Mom didn't love Seth and Leah very much because she left them with me, and she had always made it clear that I was nothing to her. I knew she loved them before they were born. I just couldn't understand why she didn't love them now. I mean, she must have loved them; they were such great kids. You couldn't not love them.
The days leading up to Christmas had been busy, and I got sick when I slipped and fell in the park. Edward asked me to come and stay with him while I got better. Seth and Leah really wanted to stay there, so we did. It was the best Christmas I ever had, since my entire family was there. I did find out that Santa wasn't real, and even that couldn't put a damper on it. There were times when I would watch Edward with Seth and Leah, and it just seemed so right. Seth had even started to stand the way Edward did, and he often mocked a look or an action that Edward made. Leah looked up to Edward so much, but she had always wanted a dad. I knew this because of the pictures she drew in school.
Seth and Leah's birthdays came next. Edward gave them a family birthday party, which was really nice. When he was following Seth and Leah around, making sure they were alright, Esme told me that we looked like a happy family. Chas and Angela both nodded in agreement to her statement.
Rose came over during the family meal. I felt so sad for her. I saw in her eyes that there was a part of her that was screaming at herself to shut up. That night, I added her to my daily prayers, and also the church prayer group.
The day we moved back to my apartment was really sad. I didn't want to go, but knew that I couldn't impose on Edward like that. He had done so much for us already. I owed him everything, and I couldn't ask him to let us stay. In a way, I was both happy and sad to see that the pipe had burst. I was happy that I got to stay with Edward for longer, but sad that the stay would end again.
Edward and I started getting more physical after that. I knew that I wanted more, but I needed to talk to someone about it. Chas had come for lunch at Midnight Sun while Edward was with the guys at the gym, so I decided to ask her about sex.
"Chas, could I talk to you about bedroom stuff? You know, to get a girl's point of view?" She looked at me and smiled, clapping her hands.
"Edward is working tonight, right?" I nodded my head. "Then I'll come over with a bottle of wine, and we can talk once the cupcakes are tucked into bed. How does that sound?" I bit my lip, smiling at her and giving her a nod.
Chas has been great these past few months. She always helps me pick out clothes and stuff. Her shop gets a lot of free stuff for her to test out before ordering, and she always gives stuff to me, asking for my honest opinion of them.
The work day went fast, and Chas showed up just after Edward left for work. We spent some time with the twins before I put them to bed. When I got back downstairs, she was sitting there with a wine bottle, two glasses, and a smug smile on her face.
"Come on, Bella. Come have a drink with me and we can talk." I smiled as I sat down next to her. "First, just tell Chas what's on your mind, girlie."
"Well, I wanted to know what sex was like... for a girl, you know?"
She gave me a look and nodded. "Have you talked to Edward about it?"
I looked at her, feeling the heat of my blush on my face, and I nodded my head. "Yes, we've talked about a lot of things. He's shown me a lot, too. He taught me about foreplay, and how it leads to sex. He also told me that sex can feel really good, but that the first time isn't always pleasant. We've done a lot of stuff, and everything he's shown me has been great, but I've been feeling like I want more – like I need more. I want him all the way. You know, I've seen it in movies, and I know they're just pretending, but I want that." I looked down, feeling a bit silly, and then tried to explain why I was worried. "I saw sex one time for real, but Edward said it wasn't sex. He said it was rape." Chas reached out and held my hand. "It scares me a little, because she was in so much pain. Some of the other girls that were there looked like they were in pain, too. I know Edward would never hurt me purposely, but I'm scared of what will happen if it does hurt. I'm not scared of pain – not physical pain – but I am scared that if Edward sees me in pain, he'll feel like he was the cause of it and never want to touch me like that again. I'm…"
Chas held up her hand to me, cutting off my rant. "I get where you're coming from, and I agree that Edward would freak out if he thought he hurt you. Okay, here it is... a girl's first time is painful at first. Most women will even bleed a little. The good thing is that Edward's experienced with sex, so he can control himself to limit your pain. Sadly, he's never been with a virgin before, so he may get a little freaked out. But I know him, and he's more than likely read up on the best ways to have sex with a virgin. He'll want things to be the best they can be for you. When you and Edward make love, you MUST tell him if it hurts. Remember to take your time, and let him show you the way. Tell him how you feel, and what you want. Relax your body. If you do, it will lessen the amount of pain you'll experience. Try not thinking about it too much. In other words, don't psych yourself out. Sometimes if the man is well endowed, it will hurt more..." She stopped then and looked at me. "How big is Edward? I mean, I take it that you've done stuff? Have you seen his... his?"
I looked at her and smiled. "Yes, I've seen his cock. I called it his winkie once, and he asked me to call it a penis or a cock."
She looked at me like she was holding back a laugh. "Oh, I bet he loved that. So you've seen how big it is?" I simply nodded in answer. "Okay, so how big is he?"
I looked at her, unsure of what to say. "Well, he's... I'm not sure..." I tried to think of a way to tell her, or how to show her. I finally just held out my hands, spreading them apart to show how big he was. "It's about this long." I watched as her mouth opened and her eyes went wide. "And like this big around," I said, showing her with fingers from both hands because one hand wasn't big enough.
After a few minutes, she looked at me again. "You're a lucky girl and you don't even know it."
"It's strange in the morning, because it twitches and always seems to point at me."
Again she chuckled, shaking her head. "I bet it does. Well, Edward is big, and I do mean big. It will hurt a little more, but don't worry about it too much. I'm sure that you can trust that Edward has given this a lot of thought." She looked at me and smiled. "Tell me what you've done in the bedroom so far."
I looked at her and blushed. "He kissed my breasts and played with my nipples. He kissed me all over, even down there. He licked and nibbled on me until my body shook and I almost passed out. We pressed our bodies close and moved together. He called it dry humping?" Chas nodded her head at my questioning of the term. "Oh, and he's used his finger down there, too," I told her with a smile.
She smiled back at me. "Have you enjoyed everything?"
I nodded my head and smiled excitedly. "I love it when he gives me what he calls orgasms. Wow, they are amazing! He is so loving, too, because he always kisses me afterwards and holds me close to him. I have touched his cock, and he showed me what he likes."
She looked at me and took my hand again. "I'm glad that he is showing you all of this, Bella. You really will be fine. Just go with it. You know if you're going to surprise him with this, then you'll need something new. Come by my shop and we can find something that will drive him nuts."
The week passed quickly and the big day arrived. I shaved and made sure everything was perfect. I was a little worried in the bathroom when I was getting ready, but I remembered what Chas said. I needed to relax. Besides, I knew I wanted him in every way. I watched his eyes open in surprise as he took in the sight of me in my new sexy clothes. We made love. I can't call it anything else. It did hurt, but wasn't so painful that I wanted to die. I've felt pain like that before, and this was different. It was more of a sharp pinch and then a dull ache. It was painful, but in a way I was happy to feel it, to know that Edward and I were joined together. Chas was right, because Edward helped me relax. The sharp pinching pain went away slowly as he kissed me, whispering his apologies before he moved. When it was all over and we held each other, I knew it was the best thing I'd ever felt.
I'm laying here looking at him. The sun is up now, and so is he. I chuckle, seeing his cock almost waving at me as if it's trying to get my attention. As I think back to Edward being inside me, my body reacts and I feel the want – the need. I know after my talk with Chas and Edward that I'm feeling horny? I definitely want him inside me again. I smile and start to kiss his chest, moving my hand down his stomach.
"Edward, I want you," I say right before I move my mouth against his. Before I know it, he has me on my back as he hovers over me. His beautiful green eyes are dark with his passion and need.
As his fingers run through my folds, I lift my hips to meet his touch. "Baby, you're so wet. Are you ready for me?"
"Yes, I will always be ready for you," I pant as his fingers push me over the edge. Moving his hand, he nuzzles the tip of his cock to my opening.
"I don't want to hurt you, Baby," he says.
"You won't, just love me," I tell him as he sinks inside of me. He stills his body, waiting for me to adjust to him.
The high of emotions and the push and pull of our bodies has us both panting out many words of love and lust. As he takes me over the top, thrusting inside of me while rubbing my clit, I scream out his name. A few thrusts more, and Edward moans out the word 'mine' as I feel the warmth of him pulse deep inside of me.
A/N: Well I know some of you will want more, and there will be another BPOV in the future, but most likely it will be after His Cimmerian View comes to an end. We plan to do a few more POV chapters in this series of outtakes. So far we are planning: Esme/Carlisle, Jasper/Emmett, Aro/Zafrina, Seth/Leah, and at least one more Bella POV. We talked about doing a Sue/Charlie/Harry POV too, but we want to hear from you... what would you like to see?
No teasers to hand out for review replies on this, since the next outtake is not started yet, but we will send out a special teaser to everyone who reviews for His Cimmerian View. Thanks for reading, Kasi (&Nikky)