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Waste-of-time friendships

Bella seems to attract every queer person within a ten mile radius. Vampires, werewolves... She's seen it all. But what she's missing is a human friend. And of course, Bella wouldn't be Bella unless that person was strange and possibly dangerous, too. Mythical creature expertise doesn't always help with humans.

There are a few things to say about this story : Amelia often thinks about drugs, drinking, suicide, etc. Although the actual act is never shown in my story, I suggest you don't read on if those topics make you uneasy. It's nothing major, though. I would like to thank my beta, bloodredskies for editing my work. She went through each chapter for me, and has been a great help. And lastly, I'd like to remind everyone to review. It's honestly the best gift you can give to any author, and how else could I improve if I don't know what you're thinking? Just spare me a minute once you're done.

12. Spineless

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 2700   Review this Chapter

The door's hinges protested when I slowly opened it, as in to warn me of what might be waiting for me behind.

But no warnings were necessary – I knew exactly who was awaiting me on the other side.

Isabella Swan stood at the doorway, shoulders hunched and arms folded.

I had to admit, there was nothing distinctly menacing about her. Nothing in her appearance hinted that she was here to murder me. All I could read in her body language was apprehension and insecurity, and her expressive eyes were cast on the floor, denying me the chance to decipher her thoughts.

The moment I saw her, I started doubting my forecasts. I knew Bella well enough to know she's wasn't a murderer, and no time she spent with me could change that ideal. She was a peaceful, non-violent person, and never solved her problems with force. In fact, she would probably faint before she got anywhere close to killing me – after all, blood made her nauseous.

When she looked up for the first time, I erased all my earlier thoughts about her coming here to slaughter me. Her eyes revealed that much.

She was sad. How odd.

"May I come in?" Her voice was composed, but I could hear the melancholy in her tone.

Too shocked to answer, I just moved aside to let her in.

Bella took off her jacket and walked slowly over to the couch. Once I had closed the door behind her, I followed her into the living room. Neither of us sat down.

So if she wasn't here to murder me, what did she want?

There was only one answer – the truth I had known from the very beginning, but had been too cowardly to admit to. Bella was here to express her disappointment, and tell me that I wasn't welcome in her life anymore.

And that was worse than a thousand slaughters.

She fidgeted nervously during the moment of awkward silence, never looking directly at me while twirling her fingers. I held my breath – the sound would have been too loud to bear – and concentrated only on the raindrops tapping against the window's glass.

The sky cried the tears I was too stubborn to let out.

After a while, Bella seemed to be preparing her speech, searching for the words she'd need to tell me goodbye.

That was when I panicked.

"Bella… I-I'm… There are no words to express how horrible I feel about what happened yesterday. I was completely out of myself… I wasn't thinking… But still, please don't go! Don't leave me alone again… I can't bear it!" I nearly screamed while sinking to my knees.

No matter how hard I argued with myself, no matter how strongly I denied my feelings, I couldn't escape the truth. I had grown so attached to Bella that letting her go would be unbearable. Now that was a clear case of suicide. I'd rather die than live without her for any longer.

I now knew what it felt like to be happy. I knew how it was to have a friend, a reason to wake up in the morning. My last years had made me forget those sensations, but now that I had them back, I wasn't losing them again.

My dry sobs had made the words difficult to understand, but Bella seemed to catch every bit of the plea, and was soon pulling me to my feet again. "Amelia, please don't beg like this. Just listen to what I have to say."

No, no, no. I didn't want to hear the words that would cast me in shadows for the rest of my miserable life. I covered my ears with my hands, and squeezed my eyes tightly shut.

Bella reached out when she saw my ridiculous, tense posture, and tried to shake my hands away from my face. When she finally forced my ears free, I started shaking my head furiously.

"No! I don't want to hear it, I don't!"

"Amelia, listen!"

Her tone made me open my eyes again.

Bella's expression was desperate, and I could tell she didn't know quite what to do. She was still holding my two wrists in her hands, trying to decide what to do with them, afraid I would cover my ears again if she let go. She, too, was shaking her head and biting her lower lip.

What was I doing? Was I this spineless? Saying goodbye was just as difficult for Bella as it was for me. I was being incredibly selfish – I deserved this; Bella didn't.

I stopped shaking my head and took a deep breath.

A few words. I could take a couple of minutes, right? Let Bella do her job, and then I could do what I wanted. Then it didn't matter anymore.

But for now, I had to listen.

"Fine, then. Just get it over with." My voice was almost non-existent.

Bella heard me, however, and finally let go of my wrists, entwining her fingers once they were free. But though her stance was nervous and depressed, she never broke her gaze.

Her eyes pierced through mine, like they had so many times before. I knew what that meant – she was calculating my behavior. Eventually, she seemed to find my determination to listen to her words, and sighed.

"All right, please listen. I can see you regret what you did –"

"Yes, I do. More than you can comprehend." I was far too upset to scorn my servile attitude.

"– and you're disappointed with yourself. And I'll admit – I was pretty angry at you at first, more than I'd ever been at anyone before. I just couldn't understand why you would do something like that to me and Edward. It didn't seem fair."

I tore away from Bella's stare, settling to look out the window instead.

The sky's tears had increased.

Bella's hand reached out again, and landed on my shoulder. "No, please. I wasn't done yet."

I reluctantly turned to look back at her again.

Her eyes were wet, but as yet, no tears were escaping the ridges. Her cheeks were stained a light red; not a blush, but a warning of the crying that might soon follow. Her hands were shaking ever so slightly, but otherwise she seemed fairly well under control.

That was mostly due to the small, but nevertheless warm smile on her lips.

I startled at her lightened expression.

Bella's next words were even more surprising. "Ok, here's the thing. I don't approve of your… outburst. It wasn't fair towards Edward, or me, for that matter. Friends just don't try to kill their friends' fiancés." – her smile grew more sheepish when she saw me wince at her choice of words. – "And I was pretty angry at first. But then I started to miss you. I couldn't keep you out of my mind. I was already driving Edward nuts with my constant worry about you. So I started thinking – was it really that unforgivable? It was a mistake, no doubt, but unpardonable? It's not like I didn't know who I was dealing with."

This time, she earned a tiny smile from me, too. Relieved that I was finally calming down, she chuckled before continuing.

"And then I remembered all the times when I'd forgiven my other friends, and they'd forgiven me for my mistakes. Why should you be any different? Just because they are… well. You deserve a second chance. Humans slip up too, you know."

Her expression made me think that there was some joke I was missing.

But I was too overjoyed to wonder about her confusing words, so I just threw myself in her embrace, instead.

My unusual emotional eruption astounded Bella, but she hugged me back, laughing with me at the absurdity of the situation. I squeezed my eyes shut again, this time to seal in the tears that threatened to expose themselves. Bella, on the other hand, let her feelings overtake her, and started crying tears of joy for the reconciliation.

"What did you think I was here for?" Her words were difficult to understand, owing to the erratic breathing that always accompanied her crying.

I suddenly felt another unusual emotion – embarrassment? Gosh, something was seriously wrong with me. And I didn't care. "I… I first thought you were going to murder me."

Gathering myself again, I pulled away from Bella's embrace, feeling exceedingly awkward. I couldn't help it – Bella's forgiveness had manipulated me like a drug. Her words had brought me in a temporary state of drunkenness. I had to sober up.

Bella's eyebrows furrowed for a second when I pulled away, but smoothened again when she saw the look on my face. She laughed a few seconds too late at my confession. "Murder you? Wow, Amelia, is that how you see me? As a cold-blooded murderer?"

I cast my eyes down and shrugged. It had been a ridiculous and absolutely hilarious thought.

"Oh, Amelia! You know me better than that!"

That was true. I should have stopped to question my assumptions, rather than believe the illogicality of my mind.

After a few minutes, we both seemed to land on earth again, and were able to correctly evaluate the event. Following Bella's example, I sank on the living room couch, and pondered about what the future consequences would be.

Firstly, I hadn't heard anything of Edward yet. If his past behavior gave any indication to his personality, I knew he wasn't going to be as forgiving as Bella. And if I wanted to be with my best friend, I'd have to face him sooner or later. Bella and Edward came together, even if you wanted only one.

Secondly, would the Cullens accept me at their home anymore? After all, I had attacked their son and brother. And they definitely knew of the story by now.

After a few minutes of pondering, I decided the latter point didn't matter. I didn't necessarily need to go to the Cullens', and Bella would surely understand if I wanted to spend our time somewhere else. Besides, she hadn't wanted me there in the first place.

But the former aspect was certainly a problem. Who knew when else I might slip? Who knew when he might slip? We couldn't endure each other any better than before; even my assault hadn't changed that, and I doubted anything ever would.

My forehead crumpled as I tried to come up with a possible solution. Bella sensed my shifted mood, and asked timidly, "Is something wrong?"

I shook my head, but didn't explain my lost humor any further. This left Bella confused, and she eventually pressed for an answer. "Please tell me. Is it me?"

I sighed, exasperated at Bella's curiosity, but simultaneously grateful that I could share my burden with her.

But what if my problems irritated her? I didn't want another fight.

I shoved that thought out of my mind, and explained my dilemma. "I'm a little worried about Edward. He couldn't stand me before yesterday; I can only imagine what he thinks of me now. Not that I exactly care what his opinion of me is – honestly, I couldn't be less interested – but I don't want to end up hurting you again."

Unlike what I'd feared, Bella wasn't irritated. She looked rather sad. "You think Edward doesn't like you?"

I sniggered. "I know he doesn't."

It was silent for a minute, and I wondered what Bella was pondering about. She looked utterly lost in thought. Finally, however, she took a deep breath and slid closer to me on the couch, placing her hand gently over mine. "He doesn't have anything against you, Amelia."

I rolled my eyes. "Yeah, right."

"No, really," Bella shook her head. "It's not that. He's just… a little over-protective."

Her words confused me. I couldn't entirely understand what she meant with them.

Seeing my puzzlement, Bella continued. "He doesn't approve of my choice of friends. He says I'm either suicidal, or have no sense of self-protection. He… thinks you're dangerous. As a matter of fact, he's probably sitting home right now, biting his nails of with worry. Yes, he's that anxious."

This time it was her turn to roll her eyes. I raised an eyebrow at her words.

"He… thinks I would hurt you?" What a silly notion.

But then again, what had I proved yesterday?

My voice was suddenly dark as I added to my question, "Ah, I see. And after my last incident, he doesn't want me anywhere near you."

Bella nodded sadly. "So I'm sorry if he's acted rudely around you. But he wasn't the only one to blame, you know. You gave him kind of a hard time."

That recovered my good spirits. "Yep. But he deserved it. After all, he is an obnoxious, utterly obsequious fraud."

Bella looked taken aback by my words. Of course, I knew the reason – Bella was under the wrong impression that everyone liked her stupid, gorgeous fiancé. It was unthinkable for her to believe that someone didn't fall for his little mind games.

"But… Why do you have such a negative opinion about him?" she asked with a rather annoying disorientation in her tone.

"Because I don't like him. Period. Honestly, I don't see how you survive day after day with him – he's exaggeratingly polite, would-be perfect, revoltingly idealistic… It never fails to disgust me. And then it's the way you change when he's around. He makes you just as blind – ‘love is blind', right? You're not capable of intelligent conversation while he's in the same room."

I grew more and more frantic towards the end, letting my full dislike color my tone. The days I pretended to tolerate Edward were over; now we were playing by my rules.

Bella's mouth hung open at my speech, looking entirely dumbfounded. The long silence was supplemented by my smirk. It simply felt relieving to finally have the truth out there, and to let Bella know how imperfect her greatest love actually was.

In time, Bella snapped out of her confusion, and spoke.

I'd been preparing for a disapproving remark, or perhaps a long argument on why I was wrong. But what Bella said to my judgment shocked me.

"Very well. But do you think you could try to behave when he's with us? And not shoot him, please?"


"Is… is that all you have to say?"

"Yes." Bella's brows furrowed yet again.

"What – No arguments? No scorn?"

Understanding flowed into Bella's eyes. "Yes, that's all I have to say. I can't expect you to love everyone in my life. But I can insist that you control your aversion, can't I?"

I blinked again. Bella wasn't making much sense today.

She laughed at my thunderstruck expression. "We both have much to learn about each other. Why don't you come to Cullens tomorrow? You should apologize to Edward, too."

I ignored my sudden panic, and answered with the most even voice I could muster, "Sure. No problem."

I was pretty sure Bella saw through my pretenses, but she didn't comment.

She was right – we didn't know each other very well yet. We were still concentrating on the shell, and were not very deep in our understanding of one another's feelings. In a way, we were still strangers to each other.

But we would get there, one day. In the end, we would know each other inside-out.

Now that was something to anticipate.