Thanks be to EBT, MrsSpaceCowboy, and JadaPattinson for pre-reading.
As Rosalie walked into the room, Bella couldn't help but smile. Her firstborn – two years older than Alice – looked the picture of a successful business woman. Always the serious one, it went well with Rosalie's drive and thirst for knowledge.
Even as a child, Rosalie excelled in everything set before her. Her grades were always perfect, her teacher's comments spoke of a hard-working young lady, and she participated in everything from choir to volleyball to student council. Rosalie never had many friends growing up, but she insisted that she would rather spend time with her family and concentrate on getting into a good college.
Bella and Edward were secure in how well Rosalie was turning out that they were completely blind-sided one day when Bella found her high school sophomore hysterically crying in the shower. Frantic, Bella called Edward home from his baseball game with some of the guys from the office. Once he arrived and noticed the look on Rosalie's face, Edward knew that whatever was going on was bad.
He never imagined that Rosalie would reveal that she had fallen for Royce King, the senior football player. Or that she had lost her virginity to him. Or that he had refused to acknowledge her existence after. Or that she feared she might've been pregnant.
It took Bella, Alice's crying, and Charlie's sudden arrival to calm Edward down long enough to realize that driving over to that punk's house would result with Edward behind bars. Charlie was just as murderous – his granddaughter looked so small and fragile – but he knew that Rosalie needed Edward there, not making the situation worse.
After a week of talks, tears, and a negative pregnancy test from the doctor's office, Rosalie slowly went back to her normal self. Bella and Edward always worried that Rosalie's fierce determination to succeed in life was her way of running away from being hurt again, but all that changed when she met Emmett.
Rosalie still wasn't meeting Bella's eyes, and that bothered her. It had started the moment Bella and Edward sat down with their daughters and sons-in-law to announce her decision to sign a DNR the month prior.
Rosalie was furious.
"All the, ahem, paperwork has been filed. Your will and all of the life insurance stuff's been taken care of."
While Rosalie was a lawyer, she asked that another attorney at her firm handle it. She didn't want to deal with the legal aspect of losing her mother any more than she wanted to deal with the emotional one.
Bella smiled and nodded, but Rosalie's refusal to even look at her was breaking her heart. All she wanted to do was to tell her daughter that she loved her, hold her. And that would've been possible a month ago – before the DNR.
Rosalie's leg began to bounce, and her lower lip began to tremble. She quickly brushed some tears aside as she continued to look away.
"Rosalie, please," Bella whispered.
"I'm sorry, mom. I can't do this."
She got up out of her chair and walked to the door.
"If you want to give up, fine. That's your decision. But you can't expect me to just sit back and watch you give up."
"It's not giving up, Rosie."
"Yes, it is!" Rosalie screamed.
Bella jumped a little. Rosalie had never so much as raised her voice in anger, let alone with the rage and despair she saw on her face.
"You signed a legal document instructing the hospital staff to do nothing, to take no measures to save your life. Your life! This is your life you're talking about, and you simply want to sign it away? You're giving up. You're being selfish!"
"I'm what?" Bella replied, confused and a little shocked.
"Selfish. You're saving yourself the pain of the next year when the rest of us have to deal with you being gone for the rest of our lives. You're taking you away from us. Explain to me how that's fine!"
Just outside the door, Emmett jumped up from his chair and nearly charged into the room.
"No, Emmett," Edward said, stepping in front of him.
"No," Edward whispered. "They have to do this."
"Is that what you think I'm doing? Being selfish?" they heard Bella ask.
Bella had done her very best to remain calm with Rosalie at all times. She understood that her children would be upset, but she never dreamed that one of them would think her decision was out of selfishness on her part.
"It would be selfish of me to keep continuing this," she said, her voice cracking. "Do you think I want to watch what you go through as you watch me slowly die? Do you think I want you to suffer? Do you think I want to put you through that?"
As that simple realization dawned on Rosalie, Bella's anger began to boil over.
"Do you think I want that, Rosalie?" she sternly asked.
Rosalie's cascading tears were as silent as her response.
"Do you think I haven't gone over everyscenario with the doctors, had every discussion with your father, said every prayer to God without thinking of you? Of you or of Alice?" she yelled. "How about Emmett? Or Jasper? Or my granddaughter?!"
Rosalie's body began to shake from the force of her crying while Bella's shook out of both the physical and emotional pain she was in.
"If I wanted to be selfish, I'd gladly stick around and watch my body deteriorate if it meant I could spend as much time with my family as I could. I'd deal with the medicine that makes me sick and the constant hospital trips and walking in on your father crying in his office! But I love you too much to let you go through this. There's nothing they can do, Rosie. What's the point of six months to a year when all you'll get out of it is watching me be in pain every second of every day? I don't want that for you, for any of you!"
Rosalie ran to her mom, disgusted with her recent behavior.
"Mom, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'm so, so sorry. Please forgive me. I'm sorry. I'm sorry…"
Bella had more – a lot more – to say to her daughter, but as Rosalie kept apologizing through her sobs, Bella knew it was best to say nothing. Her daughter was hurting and had turned it into anger, causing her to lash out. While that didn't excuse Rosalie's hurtful words, Bella's love for her daughter was stronger, more important. Instead, she simply rocked her daughter back and forth until her sobs quieted and they both fell asleep.
Next week: Emmett.