CHAPTER THIRTEEN

I sat in the middle of my king size bed. My old king size bed. 2 feet to my left, 2 feet to my right, and 3 feet of mattress around me. Everything was the same; same bedding... same furniture. Not a detail had been changed since I had left. However, my once cosy retreat of a bedroom was now cold and unfamiliar. It had been 3 weeks now but I didn't feel as safe as I did in my tiny bedroom in Everglades Academy. The linoleum floor were too shiny and polished, and reflected too much light from the crystal chandeliers hanging above.

I sighed and pulled the purple fleece throw towards me, feeling the chill in the air. A great contrast to the war breeze in Florida. From my window, I couldn't see a view of the city with the ocean in the background any more; instead the bronze gates of the house were visible, blocking any pretty view of the London gardens.

A light knock on the door disrupted my thoughts and I found myself sitting up straight to hide my sadness.

"Come in."

Kate, one of my mother's maids tenderly opened the door and tiptoed in, standing in the doorway.

"I've just brought your mail, Miss. Bella."

I smiled a tiny smile, "Thank you Kate." She walked over and placed the envelopes by my side on the bed. I thought about how Kate, and the other maids and two butlers weren't going to have a job much longer. We were soon moving into a new house, smaller yet still in this neighbourhood. My father insisted that our lives would not change too drastically because of a silly little technicality. Little did he know that mine had already changed beyond repair.

My eye caught the side of one of the envelopes laid on the bed; where there was a small rip. I picked it up quickly and saw that it had already been opened. I flipped it over and saw the small stamp in the corner which said 'Miami State Healthcare'. My heart stopped for a second.

"Wait, Kate!" Kate stopped in her tracks right before closing the door.

"Yes, Miss?"

"This has already been opened.." She hesitated to answer me. "Kate, someone has already opened my mail! Who's seen this?" My voice raised in alarm.

Kate looked to the floor, "Master Charles just handed me the pile Miss, I swear I've haven't tampered with them."

All the air was sucked out of me. "I believe you Kate," I whispered. She nodded and backed out of the room.

My father had opened my letter. He knew.

And that was how I was sat here, in the living room, in front of both my parents; waiting for an explanation to drop out of thin air.

I waited.

They waited.

And then I waited some more.

"I swear, I'm racking my brain, trying to come up with the words but I just don't-"

"Bella already knew."

That stopped me short.

"What?"

"Sweetheart, we've known for a couple of weeks now," my mother said with sadness in her eyes.

Her heart dropped. This wasn't how I wanted them to find out.

"I... This wasn't how I wanted to tell you..." They waited kindly for me to speak. "I wanted to... to wait for..."

The truth was, I didn't know how the hell I was ever going to tell them. I had never really thought about it. Was I just going to wait for my death until they finally knew why? Was I never going to give them an explanation?

I dropped my head to the floor, "I don't know what I was waiting for. I'm so sorry."

They didn't say anything and my last word hung in the air. The silence stretched and my guilt grew more pronounced as what was happening sunk in.

"How did you find out?" I whispered, refusing to look at them.

My father answered, "That wasn't the first letter to be sent here since you've been back."

My head shot up, "Who sent them?" The doctor's at the hospital had signed a full confidentiality agreement, and I had never given them the address to the London house. When my parent's didn't answer, I tried again, "Who sent the letters?"

"Someone from the Academy." My mom replied.

"Who?"

"That doesn't matter Isabella!" My father exclaimed, he continued in a calmer voice, obviously straining to keep composed. I could see the struggle he was in; both angry that I'd kept this from them, and distraught that this was happening to their daughter at all,

"Why didn't you tell us?"

"Because I didn't know how to. I didn't want this to be hung over your heads. You thought that I was a spoilt brat with attitude problems, and to be honest I preferred you to think you had a normal, bratty teenager rather than a dying one!" I explained.

My mother dropped her gaze to the floor, straining to keep her tears at bay.

"I'm so sorry. I'm sorry that I didn't tell you, and I'm sorry that you had to find out this way. I had no idea what I was doing; I thought I was keeping you from this upset but I just made it ten times worse."

"Bella," my dad took my hand and looked me in the eyes. I had never since this sincere side of him; with Charlie it was always just strictly business. "I'm sorry you felt the need to keep it from us. But you need to know that no matter what problems, or arguments we've had in the past, your mother and I will stop at nothing to help you. You're our daughter and we'd both sacrifice anything and everything for you." He took a deep breath and I could instantly see him go back into business mode. Charlie didn't do emotion very well, and I really appreciated that moment we just had; it must have been hard for him to reveal that.

"Tomorrow you start on your chemotherapy; the same kind you were having in Florida, but from the best private doctors in London. Mom and I have got you a private tutor so you can carry on with your studies from home."

"Dad, that's too much, you don't need to get me a private tutor. There are online classes I can take and I'm positive I can keep up with them. A tutor is too much mone-"

"Don't you think about money, Bella. That's not your problem," dad said fiercely, "Okay?"

"Okay."

My mother stood up and pulled me into a tight hug. I felt the dampness of her cheek on my shoulder, "Don't be scared, my sweetheart, you're going to be okay."

I think she was saying this to herself more than to me. I wasn't scared. Not as scared as her anyway. I'd been living with this for over a year now, they'd only found out two weeks ago.

My mother was terrified that she didn't know how much time she had left with me.

After dinner, I went back up into my room and turned on my laptop. I wanted to go on Facebook and see what Rose, Emmett and the guy were doing back in Florida. I wanted to see Alice's pictures to Europe again.

Actually, I didn't.

All I really wanted to see was Edward's profile.

He never put photos on, or updated his status. There were just a few photos on his page. His default picture, a picture of him and Alice on their annual holiday to Italy, and one of me and him at the first baseball game Everglades had won that I'd attended. We were on the corner of the pitch, where everyone ran to as soon as the timer had gone, announcing that we'd won. Edward had grabbed me into a huge bear hug and Alice had quickly snapped a picture. We didn't look like we knew anyone was around us, we were completely oblivious to the crowds in the picture.

I stared at the photo for a long time; until my eyes started to go blurry. In the three weeks that I'd been back, Edward tried to call me everyday, but we'd only been able to talk a couple of times. The connection from his mobile was really poor and he'd have to pace around and around until he found the perfect spot and stand their completely still until our conversation was done. That could be hours.

My hand twitched to my own mobile, desperately wanting to hear his voice. It was worth a try.

"Hello?"

To my shock, his voice came through crystal clear as he answered on the second ring.

"Edward? It's me."

"Bella, Hey." I could hear the smile form on his lips. I missed those lips.

"The connection is so clear, where are you?"

"In my room," he laughed, "I switched my provider – this one specializes in long distance calls. Better for us."

"Edward that must cost you a fortune! Why did you do that?"

"Because it was infuriating not being able to talk to you properly everyday."

I sighed, "I know. Thank you."

He chuckled, "Don't thank me, I did it for myself." I smiled through the phone. "What did you do today?" He asked me.

"Well... that's why I called you. My parent's know." I let that hang there for a minute.

He paused before answered and I heard him take a deep breath, "Bella, I'm sorry."

"They've known for a couple of weeks now, apparently. Ugh! Those damn letters," I sighed, "I cant believe it's all in the open."

"Bella, are you okay? You know I had no choice, right? I didn't see any other way to solve this. I couldn't see you in so much pain back in London and I knew this was the only way to-"

"Edward, Edward! What are you talking about?" I sat up.

"Rose gave me the letters when the were sent to your dorm. I didn't want to but then I thought it might be something really vital – like to do with your treatments. And then I knew your parent's would see them, but then again I knew that would be what you really needed. Bella, they needed to know. You couldn't be alone in this all the way in London."

For the second time in my life, there were no words. My mind went blank and I couldn't think.

"Bella?"

"You sent the letters?" I whispered.

"Yes... I thought that's why you called..." He was unsure now, not anticipating my question.

"They didn't tell me who sent them. Just that it was someone from the Academy." I said with no emotion.

He paused again, "Bella, are you mad at me?"

"I don't know," I replied after a second.

"Bella, I didn't know what else to do."

On one hand, I grateful that my parents finally knew. However on the other I devastated that this was the way they found out. With words on a piece of paper. They deserved better than that.

I wanted to be fuming with Edward for taking away my chance to tell them myself, but I wasn't sure whether I would have told them. I knew they'd find out eventually, but I wasn't sure how or when.

"Bella, talk to me," he pleaded, "Please."

I took a deep breath and tried not to let my emotion show through my voice. The truth was that I wasn't angry with Edward – I was angry with myself. If it wasn't for Edward my parents would probably never have known. But he pushed it; for that I was both frustrated and thankful.

"I'll call you tomorrow Edward."

"Bella, don't- "

"Goodnight Edward," I cut him off.

"I love you." He said gently.

I paused a second, whispering, "I love you too," before hanging up.