I don't own this, it's not mine, and it never will be.
Breaking Dawn: Part 2 and the "vision" got me thinking about the relationship between Carlisle and Alice so, without further ado, here's my take on it…
One of the Brightest Lights
Patient Name: Mary Alice Brandon
Date of Birth: May 20, 1901
Place of Birth: Biloxi, Mississippi
Reason for Commitment to Mississippi State Insane Asylum: Lunacy
Date of Entry to MSIA: October 28, 1917
Name of Committer: Dwight Brandon
Committer's Relationship to Patient: Father
Statement of Committer:
I'm afraid of my daughter, Mary Alice. Folks in our town say she's bewitched by evil and they don't want nothing to do with me on account of Mary Alice's ways.
She's hurting my business. I sell jewels.
Also, I just got married again. Mary Alice's mother died and my new wife is frightened of Mary Alice so she can't be living with my new wife and my younger daughter, Cynthia.
Mary Alice is old enough to not live at home only she's a spinster now on account of her bewitched ways. No man will have her, not even with the dowry I can scrape together. More than that, none of the folks in town will give her a job on account of her being a lunatic so she's no good fending for herself.
It pains me greatly to ask you good, God-fearing people to look after my daughter, but I don't have no other ideas about what to do with her.
Folks think she's predicting the future and making what she wants to happen happen.
I travel a lot for work, but I trust the word of the God-fearing folks around where I live.
Please take care of my Mary Alice.
Signed: Dwight E. Brandon
"That bastard," Carlisle Cullen said quietly as he put down the yellowed paper he'd lifted from the sealed file Alice had given him when she returned from Biloxi.
She'd asked him to keep it safe for her, and read it if he wanted to. When he'd asked her if she'd read the file in Biloxi, she'd shaken her head so quickly it was almost a blur. She'd told him that she couldn't face it alone, that she didn't know if she ever could. She'd changed her mind then and asked him to read the file and tell her if there was anything she needed to know.
He did not take her trust lightly, even waiting until the drama over Edward's absence, flight to Italy, and the family's return to Forks had settled down to open the old manila folder.
As the words Alice's father had scrawled on the intake form filtered through his mind and he adjusted to it, he turned to the next page in the file.
In that moment, any doubts, or hopes, that this file wasn't about the Alice he knew and loved as a daughter were erased completely. Staring up at him from a grainy, black and white photograph was Alice. Her inky black hair was longer, hanging down to her shoulders, but there was no mistaking that it was her.
He could see the fear and uncertainty in the girl's eyes and his heart broke for her.
Turning the photograph over, he found some her doctor's notes.
Mary Alice Brandon presents little challenge to the authorities here. She clearly suffers from lunacy as she has gone from predicting future events, as her father said she was wont to do at home, to hardly reacting at all to treatment and therapy.
Attempts at curing her have proven unsuccessful to this point.
The medication she is daily administered has no effect on her that is not common in every other patient. She has been undergoing thrice weekly electroshock therapy and it is recommended that the program be continued for the foreseeable future. Electroshock therapy will prove successful if administered on a regimented schedule.
Dr. Edwin Colston – April 6, 1918
Mary Alice Brandon has disappeared from Mississippi State Insane Asylum. Her description; four feet ten inches tall, approximately eighty-five pounds, shorn black hair (following a typhus epidemic here), and blue eyes, has been sent to local hospitals and authorities. It is believed that she will find her way to another insane asylum as she is no longer capable of caring for herself in any way, shape, or form. She cannot function in society but poses society no immediate threat. Her father was informed and has directed us that he no longer cares what happens to her.
If she is not institutionalized for life somewhere in the area, she will no doubt die on the streets.
We do not have the resources to do anything further.
An investigation into her disappearance has already been completed and no one was found at fault.
Dr. Gregory Edison, Superintendent – August 14, 1918
Carlisle flipped through the rest of the pages, his heart breaking more with every word he read.
Closing the folder, he closed his eyes and decided that he was going to talk to Alice in his study.
A moment later, he heard a familiar, but hesitant tap on the door. "Come in, Alice," he said softly.
She stepped inside and closed the door behind her, carefully avoiding having to meet his gaze.
Carlisle stood up and walked around his desk, leading Alice to the overstuffed leather sofa that sat in front of the bay window. "Sit down," he asked her, guiding her to do it. "I read the file, Alice."
"I'm crazy, aren't I?" she blurted out, blinking furiously as she tried not to look at him.
"No, Alice," he answered firmly, "absolutely not."
"I was in a mental asylum, Carlisle," she pointed out, "of course I'm crazy."
Carlisle grabbed her hands and held them still. "No, Alice," he repeated. "Perhaps by certain definitions of the time, you weren't seen as absolutely normal, but you are not crazy."
"Don't sugar coat it," she demanded. "Do I need to know what's in the file?"
He suddenly wished he'd talked it all over with Esme before he talked to Alice. She would have helped him figure out how to answer the question Alice would inevitably ask. Did he tell her that, from what little information there was in the file, that it looked most like her family simply didn't want her? That the asylum was the only place they could think to put her?
But Esme wasn't there and he hadn't asked her first, so he had to answer the question as best he could.
"No, you don't," he said, settling on his answer. "But there is something you need to know, Alice."
She fixed her amber eyes on him and turned to a statue as she waited.
"What you need to know is that we love you," Carlisle told her with deliberate slowness, making sure she heard every word. "You are a part of this family and you always will be. You may not know who you were before you woke up and saw yourself with Jasper and with us, and that is a hard thing to wrap your mind around, but it doesn't matter to us who you were.
"What matters to us is who you are. And we love who you are. Do you understand me?"
Carlisle saw the hope and happiness flare in her features and in her eyes when she nodded solemnly. "Yes, I understand. Thank you."
He hugged her tightly. "Please don't say thank you. The way to thank me is to smile and laugh again. I've missed that from you. You're one of the brightest lights in my life and I need you."
Alice grinned widely then and hugged him back just as tightly. "I need you too. Oh, and don't worry about the smiling and laughing; Edward's sneaking into Bella's room tonight and they're going to be back together, once she comes over and has us all vote on her being a part of the family forever anyway."
"And how do we vote?" he asked, relieved that happiness would once again be the norm in his family.
Alice shook her head and jumped to her feet. "I'm not telling. Not telling you, anyway, but I should go tell Jasper that Bella's coming."
"Okay, you do that. But Alice," he called out just before she left the study, "if you ever really do want to know what's in the file, just ask?"
She sighed, relieved to know that he'd known she didn't really want to know and just thought she should want to know. "I will, I promise," she vowed. "Thanks, Carlisle."
"Thank you, Alice," he said to the space she no longer inhabited. How anyone could not have wanted Mary Alice Brandon in his life was beyond Carlisle's ability to comprehend.