Chapter 2 - The Ego of the Dying

The world must be wondering: how the hell did you get to where you are now, Isabella Marie Swan, average teenager? I'll tell you that it didn't start with being hit by the White Claudia.

When I moved here, I met the Cullen's on the first day of at Forks High School. Oddly enough, they thought I was intriguing enough to be invited to their little gang. And come on, it didn't exactly bruise my ego to sit next to the hottest family in the entire town. Scratch that; the entire country. I was the envy of my peers. Me. Not Jessica or Lauren or Angela. Me.

Everything was amazing until I learned their dirty little secret. Vampires. Edward stood adamant against me becoming a vampire. So I said, "Good. Who wants to live forever?" It wasn't even because I wanted kids or to avoid explaining to my family why I wasn't getting any older. I just suddenly couldn't imagine living for the rest of eternity. Only when I reiterated his wishes did he start acting funky around me. In other words, he wanted me to be his girlfriend. Hell no.

Edward Cullen may be the hottest guy I've ever had the pleasure to stand next to, but even I have standards. Dating dead guys was not one of them. So he got the clue (sort of) and backed off and acted cool; that is, until the day of my fateful eighteenth birthday. With his brother Jasper getting up all in my personal bubble after a paper cut, Edward "breaks up with me" in the middle of the woods.

At first (when he ran away like a little bitch), I felt a little sad. It sucked. The Cullen's introduced me to a whole new world of supernatural and they left me to share this knowledge to me, myself, and I. I couldn't talk to anybody about this. Ever. Awesome. But then I shrugged and figured I'd run into them again one day. These were the Cullen's! There's no way they'd disappear forever. Knowing I'd be bummed out for a few days, I ran through the list of comfort foods that I knew how to make.

I turned to walk back home. Except I wasn't paying attention when Edward suggested we walk in the first place. So I ended up walking in the WRONG direction for an hour, tripped, and I then I repeat, got squirted in the face by a rare, venomous plant, and only had nine months to live. Yay, Bella.

Dr. Gerandy explained about the White Claudia. His only options were to set me up on Dialysis once or twice a week and to give me five more years to live strapped to a bed in a room that smelled like antiseptic and stare at a bag of blood next to me, or let the poison take over the course of nine months and let me die. Basically, live off Vicodin. Or Valium, if I knew where to get it.

Jacob visits me today instead of his father. I'm more than surprised to see his incredible stature towering over my own father's. It was only so many months ago when he a little taller than myself and now, he resembles a small tree.

His smile is wide and I can count nearly every teeth in his mouth. There is no hint of pity or concern behind it. "Hey, Bella, it's good to see you again," he says, a warm glow blossoming in his cheeks. Jacob fishes in a wrinkled plastic bag and pulls out a colorful card that reads in yellow bubbly letters: "I HOPE YOU GET BUTTER SOON!"He leaves it on my lap when I don't reach for it. Inside, as usual is a personal note from Billy about how he knows where I am and understands my pain and that kind of shit. "Billy couldn't make it this week -he caught the flu. He felt really bad about it but I didn't want to risk him getting out of bed today."

I don't respond. I feel Charlie's eyes shooting daggers at me. Look, Bella! There's someone actually here to visit you! Be nice! Instead of politely nodding at his unspoken demands, I purposely moved my head away from him and Jacob as to ignore both.

Jacob smiles even more at that. He walks up behind me and takes a hold of the bars of my wheelchair. "Charlie, is it cool if I take her out for a while?" I swivel my head at Charlie in horror as Jacob starts to push me towards the front door. Charlie's eyebrows drew together in worry and he brings his thumb to his lips to anxiously pick at his skin. Jacob sees his discomfort and amends his request, "I promise I'll bring her back just the way she is now."

Yeah. Dead.

It's oddly sunny in Forks today. I feel it should be symbolic or something. Maybe because Jacob is taking me outside for the first time in weeks. With Charlie working tirelessly to pay off the medical bills that the insurance company refused to pay anymore, there was just no time to take me out to soak up the minuscule rays of sunlight. The whole neighborhood (it's funny sometimes to think that Charlie actually lives among people. It was only when I became sick that I realized how popular Charlie really was around the town. All the neighbors knew him and actually enjoyed his company. It really makes me wonder what I'm missing in this bland man's personality.) is covered in a sheet of dew from a drizzle earlier this morning. From within the chill of my jacket, I feel a warmth permeating from Jacob's hands to my trapezius.

"So," Jacob says as he lazily rolls me down the sidewalk, "I hear you're about to become a TV star." He probably heard this from Billy because Charlie can't seem to keep anything to himself anymore. I refuse to tell him anything and instead enjoy the dreary view of the grey houses in my grey neighborhood. "Maybe it'll finally put Forks on a map!"

"It was one interview with CNN and they said they might not even air it," I snap at him. I'm embarrassed that my voice is croakier than a chain-smoker's. I could almost literally feel the cobwebs in my throat being blown away from no use. I notice Jacob's pushing slows down considerably so I pull down my wheels to go faster than him.

"What's it for?" he pesters. I ignore him, continuing to roll despite my sore shoulders. "Is it because of the Cullens?"

I freeze. Their names have not been uttered from a human being in six months in my presence. It's like hearing the name of some character in a story book. A story book that landed me in this wheelchair. I slowly turn my wheelchair around to face Jacob whose mouth is pressed together in a thin line as if he already regretted what he said to me. "Why the fuck would they interview me about them? Why would CNN know about them when I don't even know their fucking e-mail address?"

Jacob looks confused but his nervous smile turns into a grimace. "I'm sorry, Bella, I thought they were doing some documentary thing about broken relationships and the effect it has on people. I don't know. Billy didn't really explain anything."

Wait, what?

"Wait, what?" I reiterate my thoughts. "You think I'm like this," I gesture to my oddly bent limbs and the wheelchair, "because you think I'm recovering from a breakup?" My back is hunched, my eyes are blurry from a film, and my hands are trembling out of my control.

Jacob doesn't answer soon enough. It almost seems like he's carefully choosing his words to avoid hurting me. "The whole town…and La Push thinks so." When I don't answer him, he adds, "I'm sorry, Bella. That was stupid of me. I shouldn't have even…." He pauses to see that I'm not even paying attention. "I'm sorry, Bella."

I'm sorry, Bella. You'll be in a lot of pain.

My arms are limp on my armrests. Jacob carefully walks around me to push me back towards Charlie's house. I'm glad he doesn't see the tear drop down my cheek.

A/N: Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed meeting Jacob (even though it didn't put him in the right light for Bella! More to come! Please review~