Fandom for Suicide Awareness
Author: Duchess Michelle
"Not again!" I yelled to Bertha.
Bertha was my truck. She was an old 1953 Chevy, a faded red in color; and she normally ran pretty well aside from the fact that she refused to go over fifty miles per hour. Despite this, she decided that today was the day she was not going to start for me. Sighing, I resigned myself to calling Alice and hoping she could pick me up this morning.
"Ali… hey, is there any way you can pick me up this morning?"
"Uh… I'm already at school, working on a research paper."
"Alice, it's the second week of school. How could you have a research project already?"
"I'm just getting a head start, that's all."
I was getting sidetracked. I needed to find a way to school. Charlie had already left for the station and the bus had come and gone twenty minutes ago.
"I'll send Edward over," came Alice's voice through the phone.
"What?! You don't need to do that… I can find another—"
"Don't be ridiculous Bella. He'll be there in ten minutes. I'll see you when you get to school."
"Fine," I grumbled as she hung up the phone. It didn't matter if she had heard me or not.
True to her word, ten minutes later Edward was pulling up in front of my house in his silver Volvo, a much newer car than my beat up truck. I could admire his car without being jealous, right? All I wanted was for my truck to work. I didn't need something new and flashy, just something to get me from A to B, and Bertha usually did that.
"Stupid truck," I muttered as I walked to the car, climbing in the passenger's side.
"Hey," Edward quietly spoke without looking at me.
"Hey," I whispered back.
A few minutes passed in silence. I didn't know what to say to him. I never did. I had grown up with Alice and Edward. Alice was like the sister I never had, but Edward… We grew up like siblings and I think he thought of me more as a little sister. That's not how I felt about him though. How could I describe what I felt for Edward?
He was beautiful, which was not a word I used lightly when describing a guy. He was genuine, caring, smart, funny, athletic… yeah, I had it bad. Alice knew about my crush on her older brother. I think even Edward's best friend Jasper knew, but it seemed that Edward was still oblivious.
Edward parked the car and as we climbed out I managed to mumble a "thank you."
At first it seemed like he didn't hear me, but then he paused as he slung his designer bag over his shoulder and said, "Anytime, Bella." Then he smiled at me and I thought I was going to turn into a puddle of goo.
We went our separate ways after that, me seeking Alice in the recesses of the library only to find she wasn't there. The bell rang and I headed to my first period, history. The day went by in a blur after that, one class after another until I was headed to my final class, gym.
It was a torturous way to end the day, not only because I was uncoordinated but also because I was not at all athletic.
"Bella!" called a distinctly annoying voice.
Mike Newton was one of the most frustrating boys in school. He was in eleventh grade with Alice and me, and he had a crush on me. For whatever reason, I had taken pity on him and been nice while trying not to lead him on. It wasn't working though he continued to try to win me over. I just wasn't interested in Mike. There was something about him that rubbed me the wrong way.
Trying to be kind, I replied. "Hey, Mike."
His smile grew at my words. How was I supposed to let him down easy? I didn't know how to do it and I didn't want to hurt his feelings. He wasn't a bad guy. He just wasn't the guy for me.
Luckily Alice chose that moment to pull me away from rejecting Mike. "Come on, Bella. Class is starting."
Alice never left me alone for the rest of class, not that she had to because Coach Crawford had us separated in groups of boys and girls. Gym was my least favorite class to begin with, but today we were playing kickball which had to be my least favorite sport.
Just before class was over I was standing in the outfield between second and third bases when my luck ran out, again. The ball came flying through the air and hit me square in the face. I could feel the sting, my eyes burning and my nose… it was bleeding.
"Crap!" I cried. I started to feel woozy, stumbling before falling to the floor and passing out.
The next thing I knew I was waking up in the nurse's office. I could hear Alice whisper-yelling in the hall, but I didn't know who she was talking to. It didn't matter though, I found out soon enough.
Edward stormed through the door, stopping mid step when he saw I was awake. "Hi… um… how long have you been awake?"
"Not long. I just woke up."
"Good," he replied. I looked at him questioningly. "Good that you're awake."
"Well, it's good to be awake."
"So, I'm here to take you home."
"Oh, okay. Sure, just let me get my stuff."
"I already got it," he replied. "Alice brought it from the gym."
"Right, well, thanks."
I followed him out to his car and slid into the passenger's seat. The ride home was silent. He seemed focused on the road so I focused on the trees blurring by us. When we pulled up to my house I grabbed my bag and opened the door. Before getting out, I looked back at him. "Thanks for the ride."
"Anytime," he said with a small smile.
Then I slid out, closing the door behind me. I had only taken a few steps when I heard him call my name.
I looked back. "Yeah?"
"Are you going to the party tonight?"
"The obligatory back-to-school bonfire?" He nodded. "Yeah, I'll probably show up with Alice."
"See you later then." With that he drove away, leaving me to walk into my house puzzled as to what to think about our interaction.
Edward had never shown that much interest in me. Even when we were kids he was casually indifferent, mostly blowing me off as one of his sister's friends. He was never mean. It was just like I was someone else around, not invisible but not important.
I went upstairs to look at my face and assess the damage. Hopefully it could all be covered up with some makeup. The last thing I wanted was to go to the party tonight looking like a freak.
Alice came over just as I was getting out of the shower so that we could get ready together. She was more excited than I was about the party it seemed, but then again I wasn't telling her everything. We chit-chatted as we picked through my closet and the clothes she had brought over. Her selection was a bit better than mine what with her clothing budget.
In the end Alice chose a blue and white floral print dress for her, and we settled on a white tennis skirt and a simple black tee for me. We then did our hair; Alice left hers in disarray, and mine was left down in soft waves. Alice did her makeup with dark eyes and a faint blush paired with a darker gloss on her lips. For me, she did my eyes in shades of pink and brown, a pink blush, and a pink gloss. She was going for a sultrier look while I was going for innocent.
The whole time we were getting ready, Alice was chattering about seeing Jasper, one of Edward's friends. Naturally when we got in the car she continued to talk about him. I never even had a chance to tell her that I was hoping to meet up with Edward at the party.
Alice parked the car and we got out. We hadn't made it to the house when Jasper found us, looking over Alice appreciatively.
"Well, don't you look gorgeous?" he said, reaching for her hand.
She easily slid her hand into his and walked with him up to the house, me following behind them quietly. Just before we reached the house Jasper turned toward me and asked if we wanted drinks. I nodded and Alice smiled. He rejoined us shortly with two Solo cups and one beer.
"Thanks, Jasper," I said quietly.
"No problem," he smiled back. "So, what do you girls want to do tonight?"
Alice looked up at him through her lashes and I could almost hear his heart stutter, leaving me to roll my eyes. I quietly left them alone, wandering through the house for a few minutes before walking out back. There was a garden with little paths and no one seemed to be in this part of the yard.
The sun hadn't quite set yet, but I could see some of the guys from school starting to gather up wood in preparation for the bonfire in a clearing a little ways from the house. Parties weren't normally my thing. I didn't like the crowds or carrying on meaningless conversations with people who weren't my friends.
Yet here I was with the hope of seeing the boy I had had a crush on since I was a little girl. Taking a sip of my drink I found a bench under an arch in the garden and sat down. It was then I heard a throat clear behind me. When I looked back, there he was. He was dressed casually in a pair of jeans and tee that fit him perfectly.
"Hi," he said.
"Hi," I said, smiling involuntarily.
"May I?" he asked, gesturing toward the bench.
I nodded and he came to sit beside me. I took another sip of my drink, waiting for something, not sure what.
"I've been looking for you."
I looked up. "You have?"
He nodded. "I almost thought you weren't coming."
"You said you were coming…"
"And here we are…"
He looked into my eyes, and it felt like we were moving toward each other. His mouth came so close I could feel his breath fanning out on my cheek.
"Edward…" I whispered.
"Bella?" he questioned.
I looked at him, not saying a word, not moving. He moved closer and closer, and then his lips were on mine. They moved gently, caressing slowly. His hands moved to my hair, tangling in the waves. I moaned against his lips and he opened his mouth, deepening the kiss.
We stayed like that for several, long minutes before we heard voices coming and broke apart. "I think the bonfire is starting," he said.
He stood, taking my hand in his and leading me away to where everyone was gathering for the fire. We stayed at the fire for a while. Eventually people started heading back to the house for drinks and Edward lead me back again.
We went inside where he got himself a drink. The night seemed to pass in a blur, drink after drink mixed with brief kisses and caresses when no one was looking. I had only had a few drinks, but I hadn't realized how much Edward was drinking until it was too late.
Mike came up when I was dancing with Alice, cutting in to try to grind against me. I tried to push him away, but he had a grip on my hips. When Edward saw what was happening it was like he saw red. Before I knew what was happening, Edward was lunging for Mike, landing punch after punch.
Some people were gathering to see the fight; others decided it was time to leave the party altogether. It didn't take long for Jasper and Emmett, their other friend, to come in and pull Edward off of Mike. I rushed toward Edward but he pushed me away too. It hurt to think he didn't want me after how he had been acting all night. I never thought that it was just the alcohol, but maybe it was.
Alice grabbed my hand and pulled me outside to the garden again. We sat on the same bench where Edward and I had shared our first kiss a few hours earlier. She held my hand and let me process what was happening.
"We kissed, Ali." My voice was low as I spoke to her. "He kissed me…"
"I know, sweetie."
"And now he's pushing me away again."
"I don't think he means it Bella. I think he really likes you."
I just shook my head, trying to sort out my thoughts. "Can you take me home?" I whispered.
"Yeah, let me just tell Jasper where I'm going."
"Sure… I'll just head to the car."
As we headed through the house, everyone had cleared out. We could hear voices upstairs. Alice moved toward the stairs and I headed for the door, but every step I took all I could think about was going up those stairs to find Edward. Before I even made it out the door I decided to follow my heart, rushing upstairs behind Alice.
"The voices are coming from in there," Alice said, pointing toward a closed door.
"They're getting louder…"
Emmett and Jasper were trying to calm Edward down, but he just kept shouting back at them. I wasn't sure whether to knock or just go in… or to wait in the hall. Then I heard it. His voice was breaking and I didn't hesitate in opening the door. I didn't expect what I found though.
Edward had a knife to his throat and was looking at his friends. Then his eyes found mine and I could see the pain in his eyes. "Bella…" he whimpered.
I walked to him with my hands up in a non-threatening gesture. "It's okay, Edward. I'm here." My voice was quiet as I spoke to him, trying not to startle him.
"I can't do this," he said. "I can't live like this."
"I'll help you…"
"You can't! No one can." His eyes bore into mine.
"Then we'll find someone who can. Someone can help you. You don't have to do this. Please…" I was begging him.
His free hand moved to his hair, pulling it hard. "It won't stop… the noise in my head… it won't stop…" He looked at me, tears pooling in his eyes. "I can't live like this. I'm sorry…"
"It's okay… I'm here…" I tried to be strong, but my voice cracked and tears formed in my eyes as well.
He never broke his gaze with me, even as the knife dug into his skin and blood pooled. I was frozen in place as I watched him try to end his pain. It was evident that he was suffering and I didn't wish that on anyone. When his eyes closed for a moment and it seemed that he was going to finish the guys tackled him. They knocked him to the ground, the knife skidding across the floor and hitting the wall.
Jasper yelled to Alice "Call 911!" and then he yelled to me "Get some towels!"
I shook myself from my trance and turned to find the bathroom. When my eyes met Alice's I could tell how much this was affecting her as well. We both hurried with the tasks that Jasper had set, Alice already on the phone with emergency services.
I came back from the bathroom with towels. Jasper put his hand out for them, but I shook my head and kneeled down beside Edward. My words rang in my head. I'm here. I'll help you. And I would.
"I'm here Edward," I whispered. "I'll help you."
The ambulance came and Alice rode with him. The guys drove me in Jasper's car. We were all silent on the way to the hospital. When we got there Edward's parents were already talking to Alice and a doctor. After the doctor walked away Alice came over to us, hugging me tightly before going to Jasper. He opened his arms and she settled there as if there was no where else she would rather be. It was plain to see that they cared for each other.
We waited for hours before we got word that Edward was awake. His parents came out to the waiting room and told us that he was going to be okay. Then they looked at me and his mom was the one that spoke. "He's asking for you," she said, her words full of concern.
All I could do was nod and follow them back to his room. When we got to the door they left me, each giving me a hug. Taking a deep, calming breath I opened the door and walked inside. He was dressed in a hospital gown and hooked up to an IV and a machine that was beeping at regular intervals. He looked so small.
He eyes were closed when I first walked in, but he opened them now and looked at me. A small smile spread across his face as I stepped closer. "Hi," he managed to get out, his voice scratchy.
"Hi," I whispered back, putting a smile on my face as I came to stand beside his bed.
His hand reached out and I put my hand in his. His smile grew and with it so did mine. We stayed like that for a few minutes, no need to speak. There was a bandage covering the cut on his throat and my eyes gravitated toward it. I think he noticed because he squeezed my hand before he spoke again.
"Did you mean what you said?" he asked quietly.
"That you would help me."
"Oh, Edward… of course I'll help you. Whatever I can do, I'll do it, for you." My free hand moved to his face, gently caressing his cheek and moving into his hair.
"I don't know what's wrong with me, but I know that I need help. What happened tonight... I'm so sorry. I know I must have scared you and everyone else. I don't know what to do, but I'll figure it out. I promise."
"Edward, you don't owe me anything." My tone was serious even as I felt my heart squeeze. He meant more to me than I was willing to say just yet.
His face fell for a moment and I could hear his breath catch. "I know, but we've known each other for a long time and I care about you. I care what you think about me, and…"
"I don't understand why you would help me through this, whatever it might be. We're not exactly close these days. You're friends with Alice, not me."
He was right, but how could I tell him that I was willing to help him because I loved him? I loved him. Even as I thought it I knew it was true. This was so much more than a childhood crush.
I looked at him for a moment and even though I knew it was too soon to say it, there was nothing else to say. "Because I love you," I said, my voice quiet.
I averted my eyes, but he squeezed my hand again. "I love you too. I always have. I just didn't know how to say or show it, but I do, Bella."
With that I leaned forward and pressed my lips softly to his. "So, we'll find out what's wrong and we'll figure out what to do from there."
"Together," I promised.
A/N: This story was inspired by true events. When my brother was 18 he partied with his friends for New Year's and ended up wrecking his friend's car. He later tried to cut his throat. At 19 he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Mental illness and its affects on adolescents and juvenile crime is something that is very personal to me.
I hope that you all enjoyed the story. If anyone would like me to continue the story, please let me know. It is definitely something I would consider.