*Disclaimer I own nothing recognizable, all those rights go to Stephenie Meyer. As all Song Rights go to the listed artist. I only own any original characters.
AN: In chapter, you will see exactly how Sam and Bella come to view the situation based off last chapter differently. Also this chapter contains severe child abuse.
Somebody cries in the middle of the night,
The neighbors hear but they turn out the light;
A fragile soul caught in the hands of fate,
When morning comes it will be too late.
Through the wind and the rain,
She stands as hard as a stone in a world she can't rise above
By: Martina McBride
This morning Bella was nothing more than a mere automaton as she had said not a word to Sam. She went through the motions, only initiating responses when something would require one by giving a nod or shrug. Her mind was frozen, her body numb as she watched her brother dart around quickly looking for a piece of paper he needed so he could go. Once he found it, a one armed hug was all that was given before he darted out the door, and onto what according to him what he needed to do. The door closed and her body again continued with motions that seemed programed into her as she shuffled forward locking the door.
Robotically she turned around and faced the empty house, it was just her now. Sammy said it would only be for a few days but she had to wonder now. In all the years she had never seen him so happy to leave her behind. Again her mind echoed with his voice, 'Bella, please, this is something I need to do for me.' The words made her stomach knot.
Neither of them had ever done anything that was about just me. It was always we can do this, we will get through this, we need to do this, never was there just me. Slowly her body slid down the faded white door until she came to rest on the floor as memories of the night before started to come forward. Everything was so different; Sammy wasn't Sammy. To a point she knew her brother had a lot to deal with and taking care of her wasn't an easy task. It was something that he never asked for but he never complained about, but last night that seemed to change. Again his words echoed, 'Bella, please, this is something I need to do for me.' She might not have liked him leaving but could understand why. When he first explained it weeks ago about how it was important for them too blend in, it seemed understandable; but last night it was not about us anymore, it was only about him.
Then this morning he couldn't seem to get out of there fast enough. As Bella watched him, she had never seen him so excited about something and a sudden sting of guilt hit her at feeling the slightest bit selfish at her wanting him here with her. Yet she couldn't shake the feeling of being abandoned out of her mind due to that one word, 'me'. Then there was his distant goodbye before he ran from the house letting the door slam in his wake. That sound is what sparked the automaton mode she was in to lock the door as he had instructed, thus completing the program sequence.
When he said he needed this for 'me', did that mean he needed to be away from her today because like their father, he was now resenting her for taking their mother away and sending them into this hell? Did he mean he needed to do this for himself because he didn't want to spend the day dodging beer bottles and insults from their father by running interference for her. Did he want her to get what he thought she deserved? Her mind flooded on repeat with these questions. She always wondered when he would get tired of taking care of her.
Bella fought against her thoughts; she didn't want to believe what was circling in her head. Again bits and pieces of last night flashed in her mind, as she remembered how much like their father Sam acted for those few brief moments. How one minute everything was fine until when she regretfully got upset about her gift being given early. In that moment Sam not only looked like their father with the anger in his eyes, but the tone in his voice is what caused her heart rate to race; which in result caused her body to start to shut down by instinct. Her heart ached as she remembered the empty words, how in a last ditch effort to release herself from the robotic state she was falling into, she told him she loved him. In the first time she can remember, the words weren't repeated; not then and not before he left her to fend for herself.
Bella bit down on her lip as a tear flowed from her right eye as she looked at the destruction that surrounded her. She felt so guilty at the sight; Sammy and their Dad's torment were all her fault due to today. It should be a happy day as today was her birthday. She knew other kids were greeted warmly, given gifts, had parties, given a cake and told to make a wish as they blew out the candles. She stifled a sniffle as her mind raced, 'If only I had a birthday candle to make a wish, maybe I'd wish I was never born,' swirled through her thoughts. To her it would free Sam of his burden and their Father of his grief.
It would give them in return someone they both loved; not someone who they hated, not someone that caused them pain, not someone who only took, and not someone who was incapable. Even if she could get a candle Bella knew it would all be for nothing; she knew wishes didn't come true. She had wished for so much and never once did anything come of it, and she doubted a candle would make a difference. With a hard sniffle, she rubbed her face clean with the black mesh sleeve of her beloved jersey before rising to her feet and shuffling into the kitchen. Since wishes wouldn't help, it was up to her to be better, to be less selfish, to be less of a burden, to do better for Sammy; then maybe just maybe he might love her again. 'If he comes back,' that thought alone made her cringe and feel bile rising from her churning stomach.
With a deep breath she pulled out the folding chair and crawled up to sit level with the card table that made up their kitchen table. She reached out and pulled the book to her, opening it to the page that was marked by her paper. Slowly she placed everything in order to continue her task at doing better, just like Sammy wanted.
Bella stared at the numbers in front of her and was amazed how yesterday it all seemed understandable with a little concentration, but today it all looked like nothing but a foreign language as her mind couldn't seem to focus on how to make sense of what she so easily could yesterday.
Sam long ago gave up singing along with the class as the bus barreled down the road; he no longer had any desire to continue playing along with this charade. His eyes remained focused on the window as he watched the world pass by which only made him remember Bella and how she would always sit and watch out the bus window.
Sighing, he rested his forehead against the cool glass; his stomach was still knotted and his body tense from last night and this morning. By the time he was able to hold in his tears last night and to respond to Bella, she was fast asleep. His hiccupping response falling on deaf ears. It took forever for sleep to finally find him and all too soon it was morning. As soon as he opened his eyes, he remembered all that was to come today and had to fight against the tears again. How was he supposed to say goodbye to her for so long? How was he going to make it out the door without a tear? The only way he deemed was to remain stoic and distant. With his resolve set he woke Bella and started to prepare to leave and to his surprise Bella said no more about him leaving; not a whimper, not a cry, in fact she said nothing at all as she stood strong, like him. Each of their faces giving away nothing that was held behind their masks.
Again time seemed to be against him and all too soon it was time for him to leave. He couldn't get himself to look at her throughout the morning because he knew one slip of pain in those peridot eyes would've had him waffle in his resolve. So when he could no longer hold off the clock, he quickly wrapped his left arm around her and gave a small squeeze before turning and running out as if the house was on fire. The door slammed in his wake which caused him to wince at the sound, knowing how Bella hated it.
The biggest part of him wanted to go back in and make sure she was okay, but his resolve held him strong as he continued on his path. He barely kept it together all morning and in that moment when it came to say goodbye, it tore at his soul and his whole heart to shreds. He had no choice but to keep the contact small and say no words as he left because if he did anymore, he would have let his waffling side win. So he continued down his path, wiping away at the stinging tears that threatened to fall from his eyes.
The weight of the world felt like it was resting on his shoulders as his mind raced with all his worry. Would she remember to eat? Would she drink enough? Would she sleep okay without him? Would she cry a lot? Would she fall? Would their father come home and take her food and water? Would their father come back and take things out on her? There was just so many scenarios. The only comfort Sam had when it came to their father and his possible return was that he might have thrown things and yelled but at least he never hit.
Before Sam knew it he was at the bus, quickly he threw his bag into the storage compartment before handing the slip of paper with his father's forged signature to the teacher at the door. He climbed aboard and took the first seat he could find and from that moment took to watching out the window.
A strong hand on his shoulder had him tense immediately as he slowly turned his eyes away from the window. "Come on, Sam, we're here," his teacher smiled as he jerked his head towards the entrance of the bus.
Nodding, Sam stood and made his way off the bus. He paused at the base of the steps as he took in the trees; it was something that reminded him of a place he long ago left behind. His mind filtered at how much Bella would love seeing trees like this; she had never seen anything like it. Sighing, he walked over and fished out his bag and took his place in line waiting for a room assignment. His mantra kept ringing through his mind, 'Nothing can end until it begins.'
Bella jumped as a loud thud and cursing filled the house. What she saw out of the corner of her eye caused her body to stiffen immediately and her heart to pound. Her eyes quickly shifted to the kitchen window and she noticed how dark it was. She didn't even take a moment to wonder how long she had been working before shifting her eyes down and intently stared at the book in front of her.
"Why the fuck was the door locked?" her father's baritone voice growled out.
Bella could feel her heart beginning to beat even harder and her palms start to sweat in her fear.
His snarling tone caused Bella to jump before she shrugged her response as she was unable to find her voice. In an instant she felt the hat ripped from her head before a fist latched into her hair, snapping her head backwards and forcing her eyes up and looking briefly into the soulless brown ones above her before looking away.
"I asked a question, Isabella, and that requires a response, a verbal response not a bullshit gesture and a lying one at that! So why the fuck was the door locked?" he bellowed as he fisted her hair harder which caused the roots to start to give way. He yanked her head back further which caused a popping sound to emanate from her neck and pain to jolt through her body.
"Sammy go," she stammered out as her eyes locked onto his. Her heart hammered at his enraged sneer and she could smell the alcohol on him which made her stomach lurch at the thickness of it.
Suddenly she felt her head flying forward, only stopping as it came into contact with the hard surface in front of her. She heard a cracking as pain filled her face and a wetness could be felt flowing from her nose. She felt dazed and confused; she winced as she felt what her face rested on being pulled out from under her which caused her face to fall limply onto the surface below. Slowly she raised her aching head finding it free from the tight fisted grip that held it moments ago. A deep laughing sound rang in her ears.
"What the fuck is this?"
"Ath ook," her voice wheezed through the pain.
"I can see that! What I want to know is why you have it? You can't even get the pronunciation right. What in the hell makes you think you can get this right?" his voice was full of amusement as he gazed at the blood soaked pages.
Shaking her daze, Bella reached a shaking hand forward and took a blood splattered paper into it and shoved it up to her father. "I do ight," she snapped her eyes narrowing as she gathered some courage in her pride. A loud deafening smack echoed through the air as she felt a hard surface strike the side of her cheek which caused her head to snap to the side from the impact. Pain, fluid and something sharp filled her mouth as she fell to the floor from not only the impact but the pain. Her body ached for air; she couldn't pull it from her nose and her mouth was full. Quickly she coughed out the contents in her mouth, which allowed her to take in labored breaths.
"Who the hell do you think you are to talk to me like that?" his voice growled dangerously low as he dropped the math book down into the pile of blood and teeth by her face. This caused splatter to rise and fall onto her quickly bruising face. She felt him draw closer before he slipped his hand into her hair, again fisting it and pulling her head up and closer to his mouth, "I'm your father, Isabella, and I deserve your respect. It's the least you can give me seeing how much you take from me, you little leech. You never give anything back, just take. You took my wife, you took your brother's loyalty, you take shelter from me that I have graciously given you when you have given me nothing in return but pain. You, Isabella, are ungrateful and that little bullshit attitude just shows how much. Seeing as Sam had you lock the door, that means he won't be back for a while," he paused with a chuckle. "Guess you finally managed to push him away with your worthless, useless needy ungrateful bullshit, huh?" he cooed darkly. He fisted her hair harder which caused a slight whimper of pain to escape her. "Well, he's in luck because I'm going teach you respect and how to show some graciousness in your attitude. Maybe at feeling the pain we feel, you'll learn just how to do that." As soon as the last syllable crossed his lips, he slammed her head down into her own blood and into the wooden floor causing her head to pound, her vision to swim and a groan to flow from her swollen lips. No tears fell or even pooled in her swelling eyes. She could feel the tearing of her hair from her scalp as she was yanked to her feet. A hand clamped around her throat, making her labored breathing almost impossible; a hard blow to her stomach pulled her attention away from the pressure on her throat.
"ONE DRUNKEN MISTAKE TOOK EVERYTHING FROM ME," he roared before she felt herself flying; only stopping when her small body came into contact with the kitchen wall. As her body came to rest at the base, she felt hard kicks assaulting her chest and ribs. Moving her stiff jaw she bit down onto her swollen lip to keep her groans to herself in hopes of not fueling his anger anymore. It seemed like forever until everything stilled. Everything hurt, her back now throbbed and her chest ached, which protested at any request to move. She could barely see anything, but she didn't need to see to know her father was still around. She could hear his pacing through the floor boards even over the pounding in her ears. Her mind was nothing but static and in all her years she had never been subject to this kind of onslaught. Even through the static she couldn't help but feel even more responsible and that she deserved this. It was her fault her mother died, her fault her father was hurting, her fault Sam was so burdened, her fault for talking back to her father even if it was to try to prove she wasn't stupid.
She could feel the static starting to give away to black but she fought against it. She needed water, she needed her blankets. Slowly she braced herself, fighting against her resisting body as she forced her way to her feet thinking the punishment was over. Since it had been a good while since she was stricken; she staggered forward towards the steps only to feel a hand clamp down on her wrist and jerk her back with so much force it caused a popping sound to come from her shoulder. Another hand grabbed roughly at her face and turned it forcefully to look at him, "Where the hell do you think you're going?" he hissed. "You haven't learned shit, little girl, because if you did you wouldn't have moved until you were told."
He shoved her forward which caused her to stumble into the living room and again grabbed her by her neck and led her over to the mantle where he grabbed something and shoved it into her face, "Look at what you cost me!" he bellowed. "Look at what you took away from me seven years ago today," he screamed as he picked her up by her throat and slammed her down into the old coffee table. She heard a cracking sound in her ribs and a pinching of her lungs, causing her breathing to become more labored and almost impossible to draw a breath as she was plowed through the old wooden fixture. There was pain in her back but it was nothing compared to the pain in her ribs and her fight for breath. Again she felt a hand fist into her hair before a fist slammed down over and over onto her face. The blackness was closing in and everything was becoming to much, to hard to breathe to hard to stay conscious, just to hard to live. She started to let the blackness win. Suddenly she felt herself free as she heard a loud crash and, "FUCK," being yelled before the house shook under the slamming of the front door as her father made his exit.
She laid there fighting the static and the blackness; unsure if she should move or not, unsure of what made him stop his beating and unsure of what to do. She laid there for what felt like a lifetime as she fought with staying awake and to breathe. Finally she rolled herself over into to the splintered mess and started to pull herself forward with her good arm and push herself with her legs. Dragging herself through her pools of blood, she made her way to the steps. Digging deep within she dragged herself up each step and into her room before falling limp. She fought through the pain to keep moving. Her hazy vision caught a glimpse of herself in the cracked full length mirror that hung on the wall and saw shards of splintered wood sticking out from her back which made her look almost like a porcupine. Her eyes darted to her face and she didn't even know who she was looking at as it was nothing but a swollen, blood streaked mess; her hair was matted from blood and missing in other places where it had been ripped out.
She couldn't look anymore; pushing herself before she was ready, she crawled into her closest, her cubby. She struggled, barely strong enough to close the door behind her, she used her last bit of strength to push herself into the deepest, darkest part of the closet. Finally she allowed her body to go limp and into the fetal position still fighting to breathe. With the blackness in her mind looming to take over, she reached blindly into the darkness hoping to find it, her one piece of comfort. Finally she felt the soft fabric of her blanket and slowly and painfully she pulled it to her holding it close to her face as if it was lifeline as she stared into the darkness, 'Iwish I was never born,' was her last thought as the blackness overtook her mind.
AN: Okay, please don't come looking for my head after that. It needed to happen for plot purposes. As I said before things have to get worse before then can get better. As for the next chapter we will be leaving LA and visiting LA Push.
All respectful reviews are appreciated, flames are not.