If I should die...
How would twilight be different if Bella had a disease and was dying before she came to Forks? Would it shake Edwards resolve to change her if he knew that they would only have a short time together.
8. Chapter 8
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I tried to apologize again for the inconvenience that I was causing but they would hear nothing of it. They all seemed thoroughly happy to be having me join them. Well except for Edward, he seemed slightly tense the whole ride there. The ride went by much too quickly; I was disappointed when we pulled into the school parking lot. It was really comforting to listen to Alice and Emmett banter back and forth.
Emmett unloaded me much the same way but Edward never said a word only his eyes gave him away as they tightened the slightest bit. I was so caught up in the Cullen’s as they laughed and joked with me wheeling me onto the curb that I didn’t notice the crowd of students that was coming towards me. Mike, Jessica and Angela looked shocked and slightly awed as they took in the family surrounding me. I flushed bright red trying to sooth their concern as all questioned how I was doing.
All the attention made me very nervous but I was still calmer then I would usually be as I smiled answering their questions.
Then I was flying across the walkway gripping my chair in fright as Emmett hauled my wheelchair towards my first class muttering, “Well we better get her to class.”
Suddenly, the chair stopped throwing me forward forcefully but Edward caught me before I was projected out of the chair. He glared at Emmett before turning to me to ask, “Are you alright?”
I couldn’t think straight since I was crushed against Edward’s hard muscular chest his stone arms gripping my waist softly. So I nodded mutely as he quickly righted me in my chair before turning again to his brother, his expression livid.
“You could have hurt her, Emmett.” His voice seething as he pushed Emmett out of the way taking the handles of my chair.
Edward started to push me gently forward but Emmett lodged his foot in front of the wheel squatting down so that our eyes were on the same level. His large puppy dog face looked so remorseful as he asked, “Are you alright? I am really sorry about that you just looked like you wanted to get out of there.”
“I’m fine really.” I whispered embarrassed as he smiled hugely at me rumpling my hair again, only much gentler this time.
Rosalie glided up beside her boyfriend as looking down at me whispering, “His heart is usually in the right place.” Then she turned to Emmett saying sternly, “But he tends to use a little too much effort.”
I smiled at them both a little envious as Emmett grabbed her around the waist hugging her fiercely saying, “Aw baby.”
I didn’t get to watch the rest of the exchange since Edward chose that moment to push me into my classroom as Alice followed. I thanked them profusely for all there help as they both made sure I was comfortable before going to their own classes.
The next three hours I was flushed and embarrassed as one of my generous classmates ushered me in and out of classes. Jessica had tried to engage me in small talk on many occasions but thankfully I was always saved by a teacher. I knew it was inevitable though since she was the crowd I sat with at lunch. I wished that I could bolster up the courage to sit at the Cullen table but they had already helped me out so much that I couldn’t impose on them anymore, just to avoid Jessica’s questioning. I was sure that no matter what she would catch up with me sometime, it was probably better just to get it over with.
As my fourth hour ended, my nerves coiled into knots as Angela graciously helped me through the lunch line and wheeled me to our table. As she went to get her food I looked for Jessica but thankfully she was engaged in conversation with a blond girl, whose name I couldn’t remember. So I had a few minutes to calm my nerves before she sat down. I chanced a look at the Cullen table; Emmett caught my eye and winked. I laughed flushing, but as I tried to look away my eyes met Edward’s. My heart picked up rhythm as my smile of its own accord grew wider. The smile he returned was blinding so I forced myself to look away to insure that I would not hyperventilate. I had to focus and be coherent if I was going to get thorough the lunch hour without giving too much away. I wasn’t the greatest liar but this was really important so I knew I had to do it flawlessly.
“Hey Bella how you feeling?” Mike Newton asked drawing my attention as he sat down next to me.
“Fine.” I mumbled smiling as the seat on the other side of me moved. Jessica sat down next to me so I turned to look at her. Her face buzzed with the intensity of her curiosity. I smiled sheepishly at her, realizing I was in for it now.
“Angela and I tried to come to the hospital on Monday but they wouldn’t let us in.” Mike stated drawing my attention back to him.
“Really?” I asked surprised by his concern before adding, “You didn’t have to do that. I was fine really, just fell.”
“Well after your asthma attack, we weren’t sure what was going on, just that the ambulance was coming to get you.” Mike said his concern along with something else evident in his bright blue eyes.
“So what happened to you anyway?” Jessica asked cutting out my answer to Mike.
Oh great. Here we go. Let the interrogation begin, I thought turning to Jessica trying to fake a smile.
“Um, I’m not really sure. I know I tripped and fell down a raven I think. But it’s pretty fuzzy, I blacked out for most of it.” I said stumbling a little over my words, hoping I could leave out the Cullen’s involvement as much as possible.
“Must have been some fall to break your arm and foot.” Mike stated, his words conveying his remorse that I was hurt.
“Well I broke my wrist but my ankle is just sprained. It should be good to go in a week or two.”
“Oh really.” Mike said smiling his face excited for some reason I couldn’t understand.
“Is it true that Edward and Alice Cullen helped you?” Jessica asked pulling me out my confusion at Mike’s expression.
“Yeah, I guess. Alice rode with me to the hospital.” I stated but Jessica looked disappointed.
“So are you guys like friends or something, I mean you rode with them to school today.” She stated still fishing for information.
“We are now, I guess.” I said flushing as everyone who had been eavesdropping on the conversation stared at me in muted shock.
“Wow.” Jessica stated shocked before regaining her enthusiasm tenfold asking, “So what are they like? You know I don’t think that they have ever associated with anyone not in their family.”
“I don’t know. There all really down to earth and friendly.” I mumbled self-consciously trying to concentrate on Jessica and not all the other eyes staring at me.
Jessica looked exasperated, pushing for more information. “Oh come on Bella. I mean what are they really like? They have always seemed a little strange to me.”
My cheeks felt like molten rock while irrational anger filled me as I whispered, “No there not strange at all, very normal actually.”
The blond girl next to Jessica laughed at me as I turned to look at her.
“What?” I asked pertly still not able to rein in my anger.
She smiled an angelic smile at me, her eyes narrowing as she stated, “Well I am just wondering if you really know them at all. Or if they just felt sorry for you so they gave you a ride to school.”
I stared at her dumbfounded while Mike came to my aid shouting, “Lauren!”
So that was the name of the evil devil child sitting beside Jessica, I thought as angry tears began to stink my eyes.
However, Lauren just took this as confirmation of her statement. I narrowed my eyes at her wishing I had the ability to walk so that I could just get close enough to punch the smug smile off her pretty face. The feeling surprised me since I was usually a non-violent person but this girl didn’t know me. She had no idea who I was and for her just to assume that the Cullen’s were helping me out of pity made me see red.
“Lauren what reason would Bella have to lie?” Mike questioned anger flashing in his boyish face.
“Oh I don’t know.” Lauren answered looking at me pointedly.
My brain was so involved in thinking of what I could do to destroy this girl that I didn’t notice as Edward came up behind my chair until he whispered, “Alice wants to talk to you. Would you mind sitting at our table today.”
I looked up at him smiling brilliantly as announced, “No that’s fine. I’m done here anyway.”
He started to wheel me away as I looked over my shoulder calling to Angela, “I’ll talk to you later. Thanks for all your help.”
“Yeah no problem.” Angela said smiling radiantly at me.
Edward pushed me in silence for a few seconds before I asked in embarrassment, “I am guessing here but would I be right in my assumption that you all heard that.”
“Yes.” He stated and for the first time I realized that he was angry. I looked over my shoulder to try to gage his expression but the look in his eyes was deadly.
“Are you alright?” I asked realizing at once how stupid my question was.
“Shouldn’t I be asking you that?” He countered smiling at me his rigid body relaxing slightly.
“Probably but you look like you might kill her.” I stated his body relaxing more as he smiled crookedly at me.
“I might.” He whispered simply as he pushed me up to his table.
“She wouldn’t be worth the effort.” I stated looking down at my hands. My anger faded quickly only to be replaced by embarrassment at the fact that Edward had to save me once again. This was really turning into a habit. Not a habit that I really minded but a habit all the same.
Lauren’s words had really struck a chord with me though. Were they all helping me so much because they pitied me? Just the thought made my heart strike a painful note as I looked up meeting all their beautiful faces. But though there expressions were varied not one held pity for me just anger at the words that had been said to me.
Finally, Emmett spoke breaking the tense silence, “Normal huh?”
I smiled at him the dark sadness lifting instantly as I stated, “Boringly so.”
The whole table burst into laughter. I found myself losing my self-consciousness as I relaxed into their playful banter. And though I could feel the eyes of all the student body boring into my back. It didn’t matter because for some reason I felt comfortable.
Throughout the rest of the period, I tried not to notice Edward sitting next to me. But my eyes of their own accord found his. He smiled at me brilliantly before I looked away, flushing. As I tried to control my overactive heart, I realized that there was something there pulling at the strings of my heart. Something I could never acknowledge but it was there all the same.
Suddenly, the bell rang pulling me from my thoughts as Edward asked, “Ready?”
“Yeah.” I muttered smiling as I bid everyone else farewell while Edward pushed me towards my Biology class.
He sat my bag on the desk sitting next to me. I stared at him expectantly hoping for him to speak but his head snapped to the door as his long white fingers tightened on the table. I followed his gaze trying to understand his strange behavior. Only to be met by the sight of Mike Newton walking towards me.
I looked back at Edward as he sighed, his angular features forming a fierce scowl. I looked at him questioningly but he just ran his hand through his wild bronze hair as Mike stopped at our table.
“Bella, I’m really sorry about what Lauren said today that was really uncalled for.” Mike stated remorseful but I just smiled up at him my mind elsewhere.
“That alright, Mike. It wasn’t really your fault.” I said smiling as I tried to look back to Edward to read his expression.
“Yeah I know but I’m sorry anyway. So I um wanted to ask you something.” He stated looking at Edward for the first time but his face paled considerably as he looked back to me.
“What?” I asked politely hoping to get this conversation over quickly so I could question the brooding god next to me.
“Well there is this dance next Friday and you said that your ankle should be healed by then so I kinda wondered if you would like to go.” He stumbled careful to keep his eyes on my face.
I stared at him stupidly my mind trying to form a plausible excuse. Mike had been really nice to me today so I didn’t want to hurt his feelings but hadn’t I been trying to discourage his attentions as much as possible. Couldn’t he take a hint? Plus there was no way that I could go to a dance; I would probably kill myself as well as anyone standing next to me.
“Thanks Mike but um I ahh.” I stuttered wracking my brain but of course my personal knight in shining armor saved me once again stating coolly, “She can’t Mike. She’s already going with me.”
My head snapped to in shock Edward as Mike mumbled, “Oh.”
I didn’t hear the rest of Mike’s exchange as I stared my eyes wide at Edward but he just smiled at me crookedly. I shook my head trying to clear the buzzing intent on getting answers. Why would he say that to Mike? Did he realize the implications of what he had done? Now the whole school was going to think I was dating him. Not that I minded really, I thought my chest racing. But professor Banner started class then cutting off my questions.
The next hour time stood still as I waited for the hour to end. I looked toward the clock for the millionth time sighing as Edward smirked finding my impatience amusing. As I turned to glare at him looking at him full for the first time. His smile faltered as he read my expression suddenly very apprehensive.
Finally the bell rang signaling the end of class. Edward didn’t say a word as he pushed me to the cafeteria to where I was to wait for the school day to end.
“I’ll wait here.” I stated as he stopped me setting my book bag on my lap. I dug through my bag taking out my IPod to give me time to think of the most diplomatic way to ask what the hell he was thinking.
I looked up at him then as he stood there rigidly waiting for me to speak. But he noticed my IPod and asked before I could speak, “You like classical music?”
I looked down at the song Claire de Lune before flushing as I answered, “Yeah it’s soothing, I think.” Then it occurred to me that he actually knew the music when most wouldn’t so I added, “Do you listen to classical music?”
“Yes, it’s one of my favorites.” He whispered a strange excitement taking hold of his features.
His gaze muddled my mind so I couldn’t think of a good way to ask what needed to be asked so I blurted out in frustration, “Why did you tell Mike that?”
“You looked like you were having a hard time thinking of an excuse so I gave you one.” He whispered his features hiding any emotion that might be there.
“It’s not that I don’t really appreciate the effort, Edward. But do you realize what people are going to think now?” I asked, my heart clenching in irrational fear as he thought over my question. But surprisingly he smiled at me at me calming some of my fear before saying mildly, “Yes I have an idea.”
Then his expression went brooding again as he asked, “Does that upset you?”
I stared at him perplexed. I couldn’t understand him at all, I thought as the pace of my mind and body accelerated. The longer I waited the stiller he got so I answered, “Well no it’s not that. It’s just that well I don’t want to ruin your reputation or anything.”
I knew immediately that was not how I had wanted to put it but I couldn’t think of a better explanation beyond your utterly gorgeous and I’m well me.
His body relaxed immediately at my answer but the more I rambled his face became frustrated so he asked, “Why would you ruin my reputation?”
Oh great did I really have to spell it out for him, I thought flushing brighter in my embarrassment.
I bite my lip looking down at my hands as I explained, “I thought it was kinda obvious but, well, your beautiful and smart and every girl here wants you. Where I on the other hand am boring, plain and slightly pathetic sitting helplessly in my wheel chair. I look more like a charity case than anything else really,” I murmured stupidly but as I did Lauren’s implications took a hold of me once more.
Anger welled in me as I glared at my hands adding sharply, “And by the way if you are doing all this out of pity. Don’t. Because though I really appreciate everything you’ve done, I don’t need your pity.”
Edward didn’t mutter a word as he kneeled down in front of me placing his cool fingers under my chin forcing me to look up at him. I tried not to meet his gaze but he just stood there till I did. Fear filled me as my eyes met his but it was quickly extinguished by his concerned sincerity as he whispered softly, “Bella I don’t pity you.”
His touch sent chills down my spine but I tried not to focus on that as he continued, “My family and I are helping you out because we genuinely like you. You should not listen to the selfish and egotistical mind of Lauren Mallory. She is just jealous because she does not have 1/100th of the beauty that you do.”
I flushed bright scarlet as he said this, my mind and heart dancing at his beautiful words. I wanted to understand this further but the bell rang signaling he was late for class causing him to drop my face. The moment his fingers left my face I craved them back.
“Will you be ok?” he asked looking away towards his class.
“Yes, I’ll be fine. Get to class.” I stated shooing him away when he looked torn.
I laid my head against the side of the chair letting jubilation at his words spread thorough my body. For the second time today he had called me beautiful. I meant to dwell on these feelings but I suddenly realized how exhausted I was as well as how much I hurt. My head punctuated this face throbbing sharply.
But before I could try to ignore the pain, I was woken by the bell ringing as students rushed out. I tried to peel open my heavy eye lids but with little success. Suddenly someone was gently pushing me as I felt myself lifted into the car and buckled in.
“Thanks,” I muttered smiling as I snuggled into the seat of the car.
I vaguely heard the rest of the family file into the car. Everyone shushed Emmett as he got in but I distinctly heard Jasper when he whispered softly, “There’s so much pain radiating from her.”
“I know.” I heard Alice’s sad voice answer.
I wanted to open my eyes to assure them I was fine but the next time I opened them I was laying in my room. I struggled to get up but suddenly two white arms were helping me as Alice smiled brightly at me.
“Hey,” I muttered slightly confused by my surroundings.
Alice smiled brightly at my expression explaining, “You fell asleep waiting for us. So we brought you home. I stayed here so I could help and Edward will be back shortly. He is running an errand for your father. “
“Edward’s here?” I asked unable to hide my excitement. Alice smiled somehow wider at me as she nodded helping me out of my bed.
The rest of the night went by in a blur as Alice bantered easily with Charlie while Edward quietly questioned every aspect of my existence. That night, I lay in my bed reflecting on one of the best days of my life before falling into a peaceful sleep to dream of Edward.