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Summary:
Note: The summary has been changed. I thought it was A) too short, B) too revealing, and C) not descriptive enough. So here I have a better summary that reveals less, yet describes more. The last one sort of gave it away, and people didn't want to read it because they knew exactly what the story was about. So now I changed it, and here it is. She leaves him for another. He's forced to start over in a new town, at a new school. He's positive he can never love again. She loses her mother in a terrible homicide. She's forced to pick up the peices and try to live again. She's positive that the hole in her heart will never be filled. When the two heartbroken pessimists meet, they notice that the other is strangely detatched, and horribly sad. Neither can figure our what made the other so bitter, until they open up. After all they have been through, can they learn to trust again? Can they learn to start over? Can they learn to forget those that hurt them? Most importantly, can they learn to love again? Chapter One has been rewritten. The story line is completely different, yet somewhat the same.


Notes:


7. Chapter 6: Falling Apart

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3046   Review this Chapter

Inside the Volvo, it was toasty and dry. I pulled my hood down to let my hair dry, and shifted nervously in my seat. Edward’s mother pulled the car out into the line of traffic and glanced up into the rearview mirror at me.

“Hello,” – her voice rang out cheerily in the embarrassing silence – “I’m Edward’s mom. But you can call me Esme.”

“Hello, Esme,” I replied.

“So,” she said after a short pause, “where can I take you?”

“I live about ten minutes away on Avondale road.”

“Okay then,” she said cheerfully.

The car fell silent as Esme concentrated on her driving, and Edward glared out the window. I had no idea what to say, and, apparently, neither did anyone else. Well, Edward didn’t want to say anything – that much was clear. I decided to break the silence when the turn for my street came up.

“You wanna make a left here,” I instructed, and she smoothly spun the steering wheel and turned onto Avondale road.

“Which house number is it?” She asked, slowing down so we could clearly make out the numbers from where we were.

“It’s number four-fifty-two,” I replied, “just a little farther up.”

We drove a little ways, and then stopped. “This one?” She asked uncertainly.

Now I was embarrassed. The front lawn was long and unkempt – since my brother was too young to mow the lawn, and I had no idea how. The blinds in the front window hung crookedly, exposing part of the TV.

“Yes,” I said, sucking in a breath, “it’s this one.”

“Okay then,” Esme said uncertainly. “Have a nice afternoon.”

“You, too,” I replied, gulping once. In the house, the blinds rustled as someone peeked out. I froze – but then I realized it was probably just Kellan. I opened the car door and stepped out onto the curb – it had stopped raining by then.

I made my way to the front door slowly. I walked up the three steps and was on the last stretch of sidewalk before the final step that led to the door when the knob turned and it opened.

I gasped.

“What are you doing home so late? You were supposed to come home with the groceries an hour ago!” Daddy thundered. For some reason, the only thing that occurred to me then was how embarrassing it was that he was wearing only a t-shirt and boxers.

Then I realized. “Oh, Daddy, I’m so sorry! I completely forgot to tell you – I had to meet a friend at the library to work on a project for school. His mom drove me home,” I paused. “I’ll get the groceries later.”

“Who are those people?” He hollered, looking past me. “And what the hell are they staring at?” he added, outraged.

I turned and, to my horror, Edward and his mother were still sitting there in the Volvo, with the window opened. I was humiliated.

A hand grabbed my shoulder roughly and spun me around. “Get your ass in this house now!” He yelled, spraying my face with spit. The scent of heavy alcohol permeated the air as he spoke.

I wanted to listen to him and get in the house, but I was frozen in place. Of course, this only made him angrier and he snarled under his breath, his face twisting menacingly.

So fast I couldn’t react, his hand flashed out and struck me across the face. And then he grabbed my arm and yanked me in the door and slammed it, but not before I caught a glimpse of two horrified faces in the Volvo.

EDWARD

“Edward, do something!” Esme screamed from beside me.

“Do what?”

“I don’t know,” she said frantically, “anything!”

“Why should I?” My words sounded harsher than I intended.

“Did you see what just happened? Didn’t you see him hit that girl?”

“Yes,” I replied curtly.

“Don’t you care?” She screamed shrilly, reaching hysteria.

I paused, and the look on her face told me she knew what I was going to say.

“Not really.”

RAVYN

Once he had locked the door, he turned back to me and pushed me up against the wall.

“Where the hell is my fucking food?”

“I told you, Daddy! I didn’t go shopping yet – I’ll go later today!”

“You selfish little brat! You couldn’t buy your own father groceries because you were too busy playing with your little friend!”

“No, Daddy – that’s not it! It was a school project!” I cried, tears streaming down my face.

“You just let your father starve while you go and do whatever the hell you want!” He accused, his voice rising higher than I thought possible. I knew for sure Edward could hear what he was saying if he was still outside.

And then, a horrible thought crossed my mind. But before I could think about it, it came out of my mouth.

“Maybe you should have gotten your lazy ass off that couch and bought your own damn groceries.”

My father turned purple with rage.

“What did you just say?”

I gasped. “I’m sorry, Daddy! I didn’t mean it, I swear!” But it was already too late.

From the table beside him, Daddy picked up an almost empty bottle of beer. There was only a little bit of liquid in the bottom, which sloshed around as he shook.

EDWARD

“Edward Anthony Masen Cullen, get your ass in there and do something this instant!” Esme cried from beside me.

I turned to glare at her – livid.

“No.”

RAVYN

He lifted the bottle behind his head, the remains of the liquid spilling onto his greasy hair. He didn’t notice.

Time seemed to slow as he brought the bottle down – though I was sure it was very fast.

With a shattering of glass and an explosion of pain, the bottle collided with the top of my head.

EDWARD

Even from our position in the car – enhanced vampire hearing or no – we very clearly heard the smashing of glass. The scent of spilt blood hit me like a wrecking ball. Esme gasped in horror.

RAVYN

The last thing I saw before I passed out was my father, shuffling over to sit on the couch and stare at the TV.

EDWARD

Esme’s door slammed instantly. I briefly glimpsed her run into the house. I sighed – that was just like her. Poking her nose where it didn’t belong.

Minutes later, she emerged from the house, carrying something limp and dripping blood.

I didn’t turn around when she opened the back door of the car and moved the body in. She came around to the driver’s side and slammed her door before turning the car on and speeding off at an illegal pace.

“So help me God, Esme – if you get one drop of her blood on the seat, I’ll kill you.”

RAVYN

Sometime later, I woke up. I was laying on a soft, squishy leather couch with a warm, fuzzy blanket draped over me. I had no idea where I was – staring up at the white ceiling that connected to the slightly off-white walls – but all I could tell was that I wasn’t home.

I knew I wasn’t fully conscious yet, because, when someone spoke suddenly, their voice sounded far away, though they were standing right beside me.

Esme leaned over me, speaking in a soft voice as she caressed my cheek.

“Honey, how do you feel?” I looked up into her eyes, seeming to realize the odd color to them. They were a sort of honey color, with a darker tone that made them look sort of like topaz.

“Ravyn? Can you hear me?” Worry set in her features and a line creased in her forehead. She leaned closer, her long, caramel colored hair just touching my face.

I tried to respond, but I couldn’t find my mouth.

Another presence appeared at her side – a man with the lightest blonde hair I’d ever seen, and eyes the same shade. He was professionally detached – I guessed he was a doctor of some sort – and he put a soothing hand on Esme’s arm.

“She’s still a bit out of it, dear. Give her a minute or two, and she’ll come around.”

As if on queue, I felt myself sinking back into unconsciousness. My eyes became two long tunnels and the image of their faces slipped further and further away from me.

~

After drifting in and out of consciousness several more times, I was brought back to the surface once more. I blinked, staring at the white ceiling above me. I waited to slip back into the fog of unconsciousness, but nothing happened. I waited some more. Sill nothing.

Once I was satisfied that I wasn’t going to blank out again, I sat up slowly and looked around. I was in a large, spacious room with another large couch, a coffee table, and a big screen TV that was mounted on the wall. I was the only one there.

It must be a living room, I guessed – or maybe a family room; I always got them confused. But whatever it was called, it didn’t matter at the moment. All I knew was that I was in a strange house, all by myself.

Pushing the heavy blanket aside, I threw my legs over the side of the couch and stood. At first, my legs threatened to give out, and I almost fell. Black spots swarmed across my vision and I felt incredibly lightheaded.

I waited, and soon the spots went away and my legs held up firmly. I decided to explore the house, and maybe find out where I was.

As I walked, a pulsing ache centered on the top of my head throbbed. I tried to ignore it best as I could as I continued.

I turned into a long hallway. The walls were adorned with paintings of all shapes, sizes, and colors – but there weren’t any pictures to help jog my memory. Past the paintings, there was a break in the wall. To the left was another room like the last – which I could only describe as a sitting room, though no one had those anymore – with another large leather couch and a grand piano.

I approached the piano cautiously. It was beautiful, paneled in glossy black. I stroked the top with one finger, and brought my hand up to my face to examine it. My hand was covered in dust.

Where the keys should be, there was a plastic case to protect them. There was a heavy layer of dust on this as well, as if no one had even touched it in a long time. Slowly, I lifted the case to expose the row of white ivory keys.

With out thinking, I lightly pressed down on the key closest to me, the end one. A light note wavered in the air – the highest one on the scale – and then faded away.

“What are you doing?” A furious voice behind me snarled.

I jumped and spun around, knocking into the piano and pressing more keys. Edward stood in the doorway, fuming.

“I was just –” I started to come up with an excuse, but he cut me off.

“Get away from my piano.” He stressed every word separately and distinctly, fury intermingling with the harsh words.

And then, as if it mattered now, something tugged at the edge of my mind – a thought begging to be remembered.

I remembered that first day of school, when the teacher had gone around the room asking our names and our favorite songs.

“My name is Edward,” he paused and looked up at the teacher, then his eyes flickered over to me, “and I hate music.”

The teacher gasped with shock. The whole class gasped. I gasped.

“You don’t like music? How can you not like music?” Someone from the front of the class piped up.

“No. I don’t like music.” He said, cold and unemotional.

“Surely you don’t mean that, Edward,” the teacher said. “You must like some kind of music.”

He glared at her in silence.

“Jazz? Rock? Maybe Rap? Or perhaps classical?”

Edward flinched.

“Maybe you prefer listening to string orchestras or piano-”

“I hate the piano.”

I remembered the fury that rung clearly in his voice as he said those final words. They betrayed complete and absolute loathing that hid an underlying pain.

“But, didn’t you say before that you hate the piano?”

His face went blank as he remembered as well. Then he closed his eyes, shook his head, and opened them again.

“Get. Away. From. My. Piano.” He threatened. “Now.”

Slowly, I inched away from the piano. He was next to it in a flash, slamming the plastic protector back over the keys. A cloud of dust rose, impairing my vision, and then fell.

“Get out of here – now.” He snarled in a low voice, his eyes coal black and menacing.

“I was just –”

“I said, get out,” he growled. He reached forward and grabbed the top of my arm so hard that I felt the beginnings of a bruise. I yelped and jumped back, wrenching my arm from his grasp.

Suddenly, he froze, eyes wide and ashamed.

“I’m…sorry,” he rasped, eyes trained on the ground.

What was I supposed to say? It’s okay? I forgive you for yelling at me when I did nothing wrong?

“It’s…fine,” I replied, rubbing my sore arm.

“Oh, Ravyn – you’re awake,” Esme called from the hallway. “But you really shouldn’t be wandering around – you could get lost in this big house!” She laughed kindly.

Her eyes flashed to Edward, her gaze hard and sour. Then her light eyes swiveled back to me and her expression softened.

“Why don’t you sit down, honey. I’ll have Carlisle get you something – you’re head must be aching.”

That annoying throbbing returned, and I nodded sheepishly.

The man from before entered the room and grasped my hand, leading me to the couch. His hand was cold – shockingly freezing. Wasn’t it unhealthy to be that cold?

He handed me two pink pills and a glass of water, ordering me to take them. I obeyed, and, almost instantaneously, the throbbing started to ease.

“Forgive me,” he said, his voice kind and inviting. “I haven’t introduced myself. You must be awfully scared, in a strange house with all these strange people.” He laughed a short laugh. “My name is Dr. Cullen.” That explained the cold hands – doctors always had cold hands. “But you can call me Carlisle.”

“Hello,” I murmured nervously.

“Edward,” he said, turning to face his son, “will you please get me my bag? I want to take a look at her head.”

I half expected Edward to refuse. After the way he’d been ever since I’d met him – obviously loathing me – I found it shocking when he suddenly left the room, returning moments later with a black doctor’s bag.

Carlisle sat down on the couch beside me, and somewhere behind us, Esme turned on a lamp, which cast a bright glow. He politely asked me to tilt my head towards him, and probed along the top of my skull with his cold fingers.

“Looks like you’ve already started healing. I should be able to take the stitches out in a day or two.”

“Stitches?” I gulped.

“Don’t worry, I did my best to cut out as little hair as possible,” Dr. Cullen said cheerfully.

“And I’ll help you fix your hair so no one can see them,” Esme added in.

I paused. “Will I have to pay you?”

“Of course not!” Dr. Cullen exclaimed. He sounded offended.

“All that matters is that you’re safe,” Esme added. She paused, thinking about something, and then continued. “I wanted to ask before I did anything, but do you want me to call the police?”

I froze, fear consuming all other emotions. “The police? But why?”

Esme’s brow furrowed. “To arrest him, of course! He’s the one that did that to you.”

“No!” I screamed, suddenly frightening the other occupants of the room. “Don’t! It was just an accident – he didn’t mean to!”

Her expression softened, and she sat down beside me. Lightly, she placed one pale hand on my arm to calm me. “Honey, I know that’s what you’re telling yourself, but that’s not –”

“No, it was an accident! It slipped out of his hand; he didn’t mean to!” I felt my eyes water as I relived the moment in my mind.

As if realizing that this was upsetting me, she took the hand she had placed on my arm and began to stroke my hair. Just like my mother used to.

I recoiled like she’d stung me and leapt up from my seat. She gazed up in shock at my suddenly furious face.

“Stay away from me! Leave me alone!” I was hysterical now.

She rose smoothly and reached out to comfort me. I leapt away from her hand.

“Honey, we’re just trying to help you.” Carlisle rose beside her, watching me warily.

“No! I don’t want any help – I just wanna go home!” I screamed, and turned and ran from the room. I turned into the hallway and found the front door, throwing it open and rushing out into the downpour. I didn’t close it behind me.