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Waste-of-time friendships

Summary:
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.


Notes:
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.


5. Irrevocable

Rating 5/5   Word Count 4037   Review this Chapter

There was a brief moment of silence before her squeaking started.

"Oh my goodness, Amelia! I'm sorry! So, so, so, so sorry… Are you hurt? I'm sorry! It was my fault. I'm just this damn clumsy. Are you ok? Sorry…"

I composed myself and stood up, suddenly angry at the klutz who had pulled me down. The day was simply getting worse and worse. "I'm fine. You, on the other hand, might need some balance classes. Ever thought about getting therapy for your feet? You're a major hazard for the society. It's a wonder they haven't locked you up already."

The words hadn't been half as venomous as I'd intended them to be.

Bella scrambled to her feet, as well, and hung her head. "I really am sorry. That folder is really heavy."

I finally got to roll my eyes at her, as I'd wanted to do before falling. Pfft! Not that she's concerned about YOU. If you died, she'd lose her job. Of course she doesn't want that…

The klutz seemed bewildered as she raised her eyes to inspect my head. Her mouth plopped open before I had the time to make a cynical remark. "But… you're bleeding, Amelia! Haven't you noticed? I-I… I'm sorry! Come on, let's get you patched up, ok?"

I put my hand up to my forehead in confusion. And sure enough – my fingers were immediately stained with crimson, warm liquid. The blood drops trickled down my fingers, and I soon noticed the searing pain coming from just above my forehead along the wetness that seemed to spread across my entire upper face.

Magnificent.

I glanced at the folder that was still lying on the ground where it had landed after the impact. One of the edges was red – scarlet with the blood from my forehead.

I looked at Bella again, shifting my expression into a livid glare. I was fuming.

"Oh… I'm sorry, Amelia. I-I think that cut's too deep to patch up here. I have to get you to the ER."

I groaned. I loathed the ER. I hated everything about it – the doctors running around, displaying their ah-so-important role in the society, the constant chaos as people rushed by, and most of all the emotions, the parents crying over their injured child, or worried wives asking about their husbands' conditions. It was too much to bear.

And now, I would be the patient.

"Pah! I've had worse. I don't need some moron doctor to show off his medical expertise on me."

"No, really. I think you'll need stitches. Mike? Could you cover up for the two of us for tonight?"

Mike was still standing on the same place as before, staring at our exchange wide-eyed. Even Bella's question didn't snap him out of his state, and I had a feeling it would take quite long for him to recover. I nearly laughed at his idiotic expression. "S-sure…"

And before I could protest, Bella was pulling me by the arm, throwing her vest on the counter. I tried to tear away, but, to my great surprise, I noted the incredible force Bella was pulling me with. Her fragile appearance did no justice to her real strength. "Hey, let go of me!"

Bella loosened her grip, but still kept pulling me along. "Sorry. I'm used to handling stronger…. yeah. But come. You really will need stitches for your head. Here."

She handed me a towel she'd grabbed from behind a shelf. I reluctantly pressed it against my forehead.

It was soaked in an instant.

I turned my head to glare at Bella, wanting her to see the full extent of the damage she'd caused me, and startled at what I saw. Bella was still pulling me by the arm, leading me to her truck, and looking straight ahead. Her breathing was heavy, controlled, and she looked as though she was about to pass out any minute. A sheen of sweat glittered on her forehead.

She all but dumped me on the passenger seat of her car – an old, rusty truck that didn't look very functional at all – and climbed in on the driver's side. Her breathing was still difficult.

"You get sick at the sight of blood?" I didn't know where my sudden curiosity came from.

Bella's eyes stayed fixed on the road as she answered. "No. But the smell makes me nauseous. But I'll be fine, don't worry. I won't crash."

Pah. Like I cared whether she crashed or not. If she caused the accident with me on board, not even Jack could blame me for any lives lost. Including my own.

The rest of the ride was spent in silence, apart from the occasional, pointless apologies that Bella uttered, and by the time we arrived at the hospital, the towel I was holding was dripping with my blood. If only Dad could see me now… "Bella Swan attacked me! You'd better lock her up!"

Bella parked the car cautiously, and I could tell she was having difficulties staying focused. Her every breath seemed to cause her trouble.

Well. She deserves to feel uncomfortable.

I was briefly annoyed about the course of events. Though I was definitely on Bella's bad side now, I still hadn't achieved the perfect resentment I'd been hoping for. Now I wasn't in charge of our relationship – she was.

Bella's mood seemed to lighten up as soon as we got out of the car, and I assumed the fresh air had plenty to do with it. The heavy stench of rust and salt lingered in the air of the truck, making even me feel a little dizzy.

Bella didn't pull me by the arm again, but led the way silently, assuming I would follow. I thought about running off, but figured there was nowhere to go. And unless I wanted to bleed to death… Tempting, but no. My death should be far more spectacular than that.

We entered the ER, making me immediately regret not running away. The familiar feel of rush and hurry greeted me behind the doors, and though the stress was not as tangible here as it was in the south, it was still enough to remind me of the last time I'd been to a hospital.

With Alex.

No, no, no!! I shook my injured head away from the thoughts. Two times a day was not acceptable.

Bella came to a stop in front of a large counter, and started speaking to the woman behind it. I came to her side. "Miss Pett? My… friend here has a really nasty cut on her forehead, and I think it might need stitches."

Friend? Had that dimwitted idiot for a teenager really dared to call me her friend? I shot a deadly glare at her.

Miss Pett started typing something into the computer on her desk, but was interrupted by a heavenly voice coming from behind us. "Bella?"

We both twirled around. While a look of awe crossed over my face, Bella's expression lightened up with excessive delight. "Carlisle!"

The man standing before us was beautiful.

Had he not been wearing a white jacket that indicated his profession, I would have sworn I was looking at a movie star. No, not a movie star – I knew of none that could match up to the flawless splendor this seemingly young man portrayed. For a moment, my mind refused to work.

When I was finally able to think again, I noticed who this man greatly reminded me of – Edward Cullen, Bella's striking fiancé.

A warm smile spread over the doctor's face. "Good evening, Bella. Is there something I can do for you?"

Bella started blushing before she even opened her mouth. "I… uh… had a little accident at work today. I was carrying a folder over to the counter when I tripped over my feet and sent the file flying at my colleague, Amelia."

A tiny chuckle escaped Carlisle's lips as he turned to look at me, his eyes examining the cut on my forehead. "Bella, Bella… Well then, let's get your friend patched up. Good evening, Amelia. I'm Dr. Cullen, but you may call me Carlisle, if you wish."

I scowled at his use of the term ‘friend'.

With the motion of a hand, Carlisle told us to follow him into one of the clean, white rooms of the hospital. I inertly sighed in relief, glad to finally escape the stress of the corridors.

I sat on the white bed in the middle of the room and let Carlisle examine the wound more closely. Bella went to the side, a guilty and regretful look on her face. Good. At least she's suffering, too.

"I'm afraid this will need some stitches, Amelia. That folder must have been quite heavy." Carlisle said with a little smile. His calm manner irritated me – Was he really that tranquil, or was he just proud?

"It was heavy." Bella said with a tiny voice, looking to the ground. Her guilt-ridden expression intensified.

The doctor turned away from me to fetch something from the table at the far end of the room. He paused in front of Bella, though, putting his hand on her shoulder. "It wasn't your fault, Bella. It could have happened to anyone."

"It couldn't have happened to you." Bella contradicted, narrowing her eyes. Dr. Cullen shook his head and chuckled, and finally walked back to me, carrying a heavy-looking bag.

I was too confused about Bella's last comment to worry about the contents. What had she meant? Why couldn't this have happened to him? Idiot! She was referring to her obvious inability to walk over an even surface without tripping. Why do you have to twist everything into a mystery?

The feeling of something cold and wet pressed against my forehead brought me out of my thoughts. Carlisle was dabbing at my cut with a cotton pad, looking absorbed in his work. Bella stepped closer when I flinched away from the doctor.

"Sorry." she mumbled for the trillionth time that evening. I rolled my eyes.

"Yeah. You'd better be."

She turned her gaze to the ground, suddenly interested in the dreary pattern in the linoleum. She didn't apologize again.

"So. You know each other." I desperately wanted to hear the doctor's voice again, to make sure that I hadn't dreamed it up. Carlisle, just like Edward, was too perfect, too mythical, to be real.

He met my eyes, his gentle hands still working on my wound. The color of his irises was the same golden Edward's had been. "Yes. We are practically family. Bella is marrying my son in a few weeks."

Huh? Son? Dr. Cullen couldn't be any older than thirty. How could he have an eighteen-year-old son? "Your son… Edward?"

"Yes, that's him. Perhaps you've met him at the shop? He usually picks Bella up."

"I've met him." I turned to stare at Bella. She was smiling absentmindedly. "Why did you have your truck with you, then? If he picks you up?"

That snapped Bella out of her dreamy state. "He's on a hiking trip with his brothers. They do that a lot."

Brothers? Carlisle Cullen couldn't seriously have many children? "You're not old enough to have grown-up children."

"Edward and his siblings are adopted." he replied calmly.

"Who would adopt adults when you're barely older than them yourself?"

Carlisle looked at his working hands again as he spoke. "My wife, Esme, cannot have children. We were at different orphanages, and fell in love with the children right away. They were much younger then."

I went over his answer, looking for any sign of dishonesty. I found none.

My conclusion? The Cullens were exceedingly gorgeous madmen.

"So… why are you marrying him, then?" I turned back to Bella, and caught her playing with her fingers nervously. She stopped moving when she met my gaze and smiled.

"Well, what is the general reason for marriage? I love Edward."

Aw, so it was one of those kissy-kissy-goo-goo romances. "Well, I can think of some other reasons. Like money, influence, force…"

Bella had nothing to say to that.

"Bella and Edward are very much in love, Amelia. If you've seen them together, you know." Carlisle cut in, noting Bella's distress.

I snorted. "Yeah. It's one of those ‘Barbie loves Ken' stories, isn't it? With a fairytale happy-ending. Until the divorce lawyers butt in."

Bella narrowed her eyes at me this time, and her voice had a new hint of bitterness in it. "I love Edward. And he loves me. Maybe you should stop judging people you don't even know."

The manner in which she said that to me was startling. Her tone was definite, firm, and left me nothing to say. For a while everything was completely still.

"He's sort of good-looking, though."

My sudden statement startled Bella, but she composed herself fairly quickly. The bitterness was gone from her face as she smiled and spoke. "I know."

"What? Barbie's not getting jealous?"

Bella ignored my cutting remark, the sweet smile still plastered on her lips. "No. He is good-looking, after all. I'd have to be green with jealousy all the time if I'd be bothered by thoughts like yours."

Carlisle was chuckling lightly at our exchange, and I turned to glare at him while still speaking to Bella. "So why'd he choose you?"

The smile vanished, and was replaced by a tiny frown. "I don't know."

So. Bella Swan had issues with self-confidence. Perfect.

"Yeah, I can't understand it, either. You look a little weird next to him. The contrast is a little disturbing, I mean."

Bella didn't answer. Carlisle's chuckle faded.

Another silent minute followed, making me finally feel triumphant. The playing field was even again.

A knock on the door brought us all back to reality.

"Come in." Carlisle said, hardly raising his voice from his usual, quiet tone. The door opened, and Edward stepped in.

Bella's mood shifted instantaneously. "Edward!" she all but squealed, and scurried over to the doorway where he was standing. Edward chuckled quietly – The same musical chuckle as his father's – and folded his arms around her. "Good evening Bella."

"You're back early." Bella accused him, not seeming very irritated by that fact at all.

"Yes. Carlisle was on the phone with me when he… found out you were at the ER. I got a little anxious, thinking something had happened to you. But you look fine."

Oh, great. The scene could just as well have been taken from some dreary, Hollywood kitsch film. "I love you, Barbie!" – "I love you, Ken!" Ew. I resisted the urge to gag.

"Oh, please, Edward. You know Carlisle would have told you if something bad had happened. You're worried too easily."

"I knew that. But it didn't stop me from fretting. You're too fragile, Bella. And too accident prone."

I couldn't help it. I had to gag. Both lovers turned to stare at me.

"So… a folder hit you on the head?" Edward's lips were twitching, and I wondered if he was fighting a smile. Bella elbowed him in the ribs.

"Yeah." I grunted. So I was a joke to them, huh. I'll show you funny…

"What happened to your forehead?" Edward stepped inside fully, closing the door behind him. Bella flushed bright red while he just smiled, taking her hand and pulling her closer to the bed I was sitting on.

Carlisle finished stitching up the cut, and began bandaging it. I then realized what a bloody mess my hands and face were in. You look like you just survived an appointment with the butcher's or something.

"Your gawky idiot for a fiancée seemed to think it fun to commit murder. As you can see, her experiment failed."

Edward's smile grew more pronounced, as did the scarlet of Bella's face. She hid her head behind her hands. "Bella, love, you've got to be careful. At this rate, you are going to kill someone, and I won't be there to hinder it. You're a threat to national security."

A 'humph' was distinguishable from behind Bella's hands. Edward laughed quietly, and pulled her into his arms. Bella relaxed into his hold, and threw her own arms around him, too, now hiding her face against his chest.

I was mesmerized by the sight. I hadn't paid much attention to it before, but now I realized how true my own words had been – The contrast between them really was vast. He was beautiful; she was average. He was godlike; she was human. There was no connection whatsoever in their looks.

But still, she looked like she belonged there, in his arms.

Oh, PLEASE! What are you doing, writing a love novel? "And they lived happily ever after"... Where are the pink ponies and butterflies?

"All right, Amelia. You're done here. If the cut starts aching again later today, some Tylenol should help. You two need anything else?"

I hopped off the bed with a frown. I wanted to get home. "No."

Bella walked up to me, no longer as red as before, but still wearing that same irritating, apologizing expression. "Are you okay?"

"I'm fine. I'm sorry to burst the bubble, but you're not nearly that life-threatening. In fact, I'm pretty sure I could bring you down single-handedly. Want to put that theory to the test?" I tried imagining a fight with Bella. She looked so fragile, so delicate, that I doubted I'd have any problem finishing her off. And if I killed a police officer's daughter, jail was guarantied.

Like the day before, I could have sworn Edward was glaring at me. Humph. I must really be going insane.

"I'll drive you home now. I'm sorry." She simply had to add another apology to the end.

I didn't really have much of a choice but to let her drive. I was not calling Jack – He'd have gotten a stroke if he found out what happened. It was tempting, but I decided to save the alarming for later. He'd see the bandage on my forehead soon enough. And the patches of blood on my clothes.

"I'll be at your place later tonight, then." Edward announced, and swept Bella up in a kiss before leaving the room.

His equally gorgeous father led us to the door.

"Thank you, Carlisle." Bella thanked for me, seeing that I had no intention to do so. Carlisle's smile was for the both of us, though.

"No problem at all. I'm glad I could be of help. I suppose I'll be seeing you again in the next few days, Bella. Alice has a list of questions waiting for you."

Bella groaned. I felt a little out of place, even more so than I usually did. Judging by the way she interacted with her future father-in-law, I could tell Bella was a big part of the Cullen family. Standing next to the two smiling figures, I felt more alien than I ever had.

These people were happy. And their happiness was true.

There you go again. Be serious, please! You know how people are – the one moment they're on cloud nine, the next they're crying over their betrayer. There's nothing different about the Cullens. Just see for yourself – In two years TOPS, Bella will be hated by the entire clan. And then you'll see what 'real' happiness is like.

When Bella finally started leading me to the car, I noticed how dark it already was outside. The sun had sunken during some part of my visit, and now darkness lay over the town oppressively. It was still raining heavily.

The clock on the truck's dashboard notified me of the time – nine-thirty pm. I had been at the hospital for over three hours. For the second time that day, time had flown by too fast. But this time, I didn't want to hit fast forward. I wanted to press replay.

Sed fugit interea, fugit irreparabile tempus.

I understand now, Virgil.

The ride home was quiet. To my great satisfaction, Bella didn't continue her pointless apologies. I relished the peace for a while, wishing it were always like this between us.

But then the most unexpected thing happened.

The silence grew awkward to me.

I suddenly had the unfathomable urge to say something, to fill the silence with chatter. It was so unlike me, I even briefly wondered if I had been brainwashed by some invisible force. I never felt awkward. Never. I made others awkward, but I never felt so myself.

I now realized what a strong feeling it was.

"So… You almost killed me today."

Huh. What a smart thing to say.

My voice sounded foreign to my ears. There was a new tinge of something in it – Politeness? Liking? Was I joking?

"Yeah. Not so bad for our second encounter, huh." Bella seemed to have noticed the shift in my tone, too, for she was glancing at me from the corner of her eye, simultaneously trying not to take her eyes off the road. I tried to keep my face indifferent, but something about Bella's expression informed me that I was failing at it. She smiled warmly at me.

"There's more to you than you let anyone know, Amelia."

Her sudden sincerity startled me, and I turned my head to stare out of the window at the dark trees we were passing.

Great. So Bella Swan had been playing psychologist for the last few hours. And now she was giving me her thesis.

I merely shrugged, not really wanting to go any further into the topic. And, though I hated to admit it, not wanting to blow her off, either. Not directly.

We were both silent for a minute, the uneasiness tangible in the air. She was the one to break the silence.

"Look – I don't know what happened to you, or why you're acting the way you are. But please know that life always goes on. No matter what happens, life continues. You can't get stuck in the past, Amelia. Don't make that mistake."

Her words stung – The pain in my chest flared up more with each opening of her mouth, and was now burning with unspeakable force. I felt the suppressed emotions rise up in me again, claiming their territory.

Tears formed in my eyes.

"Turn left here." My voice almost broke. It didn't stay unnoticed, I was sure, but Bella didn't mention it as she turned to the road leading home.

The minute we were in sight of the house, I pushed the car door open and jumped out, grateful for the snail speed Bella was driving at. Without looking back once, I ran to the front door of my house, feeling Bella's eyes on my back the entire way. I ignored my father's shouts from the kitchen, and dashed up the stairs straight to my bed room.

Sed fugit interea, fugit irreparabile tempus

My time had all been wasted. All of it. And it was all irretrievable.

Bella Swan had to be some demon from Hell that was sent out to destroy me. Maybe this was God's punishment for everything I had done in the last years.

Irreparabile tempus

Irreplaceable time.

Time was irrevocable. Her words were irrevocable.

Alex was irrevocable.

That night, I did something I never did.

I cried.