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Choices

Summary:
Choices Banner This story takes place in Eclipse when Riley goes to Bella’s room to gather her belongings for Victoria. This is what could have happened if Bella had arrived while he was still there, and the events following. Written pre-Breaking Dawn, so that book will be disregarded here. This will include my idea of how the series would have ended.


Notes:
Choices Banner *Written before Breaking Dawn was released, so that book will be ignored with this story.


9. Hope

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1360   Review this Chapter

(Previously):

EPOV:

It was late afternoon, and I was beginning to get beyond anxious waiting for Bella to wake up. I sat next to her, pleading, "Bella, love, please wake up. Please, Bella. I have to know that you’re alright. Please, love." Nothing.

I didn’t know how much more of this I could take. My mind began to race with horrifying thoughts. I briefly wondered if a head scan would work on someone changing, and contemplated ways to sneak Bella into the hospital so I could check for brain activity. Carlisle would never allow it, though. Perhaps I would just purchased the equipment myself. Ludicrous ideas along these lines began to occupy much of my thinking. I would go crazy if I had to sit here waiting much longer.

Esme came up for a while, and tried to convince me to take a break, to maybe go hunting. I refused adamantly, saying I wouldn’t leave Bella’s side, so she sat with me. Carlisle checked in many times as well, but there was nothing to report. Eventually dawn came, signaling the beginning of day four, and as Bella remained unconscious, my despair deepened.

Chapter 9: Hope

EPOV

Carlisle came up to see me around noon. I sat on the bed next to Bella, with my legs curled up to my chest, staring at the wall. The pained expression on my face said it all; I looked defeated.

"Edward, are you alright?" Carlisle asked.

I hesitated. "What have I done? What if she just stays in this state forever? Should I have let her die instead? At least she would be at peace now. Instead, she’s stuck somewhere between life and death, and as far as I know, there’s no way to help her!"

Carlisle sighed. "Edward, we know that what you did was fairly risky, but would you honestly rather have let her die and not take this chance? Besides, there is still time. Just be patient, and keep hoping. It’s only been four days, and she went through some very traumatic things before slipping into unconsciousness. Time will tell," he said. He squeezed my arm reassuringly, glanced at Bella, and left the room. He wasn’t completely fooling me by hiding his thoughts; I saw the concern in his eyes when he looked at her.

I was in the same position that I had been in when Carlisle left my room, when, somewhere around three o’clock, my door slowly creaked open. It was Alice, but her mind was still quiet. She slowly walked into my room, carefully looking at Bella. "Alice?" I said warily. She turned her face to me, and her eyes seemed calmer, softer.

"Bella will be awake soon, Edward," Alice whispered.

I sat up straight, desperately grasping the edge of the bed. "How much longer?"

"I see her eyelids starting to flutter in about ten to fifteen minutes," she said softly.

"Alice? Are you alright?" I asked, concerned.

She half smiled at me. "I will be."

My focus returned to Bella; I was incredibly anxious, knowing she would be opening her eyes soon. I felt as though my heart would explode. Esme, Carlisle, and Rosalie appeared then, having heard Alice’s announcement.

"Is it true? She’s going to wake soon?" Esme whispered, looking almost as frantic as I felt.

"Yes, it won’t be long now," Alice replied.

Carlisle stepped forward cautiously. "Alice, are you alright now? What happened to you?"

Fierce sadness crossed Alice’s features. "When I saw the first vision of Bella being bit, I was horrified. I thought we’d be too late. She was so weak...Then, after you left, Edward, I had another vision, this one of Charlie. First, it was of him deciding to stop at home to pick up some paperwork he’d left behind - he had been patrolling near his house. Then I saw Victoria hurting Bella, breaking her arm. Suddenly it changed again... Charlie thought someone was trying to rob their house; he assumed that in the process of the robbery they had run into Bella. He thought they were going to kill her so there wouldn’t be any witnesses to the robbery. Then Victoria decided she could torment Bella even more by killing her father in front of her, slowly. I saw what Victoria did to him, and that Bella was right there, lying on the ground, forced to watch every unimaginable second of it. And Charlie...poor Charlie..." her expression gave away the burden she had been carrying, and the terrible loss that she felt.

I saw what Alice had seen, as the walls were all down now. I saw everything that she saw, what Bella had gone through, and what had happened to Charlie; I felt sick.

She continued, "I could see the horror and pain Bella was in. Seeing it all happen...I felt such horrible guilt. Guilt for not being able to see any of this in time to stop it. I felt like I was to blame. She was so close to death... I saw her crawl away, into the forest, and I knew Edward would find her. Then I saw Edward bite her, and she became completely still after he that. I was afraid she was going to die - I knew that if she did, Edward, you would never make it; you wouldn’t want to live without her, and you would find a way to end your existence.

"I would lose a brother and a sister, all because I couldn’t see these things happening early enough to prevent them. I knew that if Bella didn’t die and managed to change, she would very likely blame and resent me for not being able to stop this - for not being able to save Charlie. I realize that may still happen, but knowing that she will live, I will find a way to deal with it. I couldn’t deal with losing one of you, not to mention both.

Alice paused, thoughtful. "Ever since that last vision of Edward biting Bella, I haven’t been able to see anything more about her future up until a few minutes ago, when I saw her begin to awaken. Not being able to see Bella’s future had me fearful that she would stay in this state forever. Then after having that vision of what happened to Renee and Phil...once again, I had been outsmarted, and I felt racked with guilt - I had let Bella down again. I felt so responsible...I still do. I shudder at the thought of what Bella’s going to have to go through.

"Now that I know she’s going to make it, I can accept whatever comes with that, whether she hates me or not. I just wanted her to live," Alice explained softly. She glanced at Carlisle. "Why do you think I stopped seeing her until now? Why couldn’t I see her waking up before this?" she asked quietly, distressed.

"I’m not sure, Alice...there are a lot of things that seem to be unusual about this...The only rational explanation I can come up with is that her body did not recognize what was happening to her until it was complete. A sort of denial, perhaps. I really don’t know - there are countless possibilities, as we know that your visions are rather enigmatic," Carlisle explained.

"Alice, dear, Bella could never hate you. It will be hard for her to understand everything, but we will all work that out together. You know she loves you," Esme murmured, reaching out, embracing Alice.

Nine minutes had gone by. I was counting in my head, listening to Alice, and focusing on Bella. This had to be the longest nine minutes any one had ever endured.

"Edward, do you want us to leave? If you want to be alone with her when she wakes up, we will understand," Esme said.

I thought for a second. "I don’t mind if you stay, we’ve all gone through this together. However, if you don’t want to stay, you don’t have to."

No one left, but they all backed up a little, giving me more space. Alice crept behind everyone else, mostly hiding herself; she wanted to stay, but was afraid of upsetting Bella.

Eleven minutes. I was watching her face closely for any movement, when I saw it happen. Those beautiful eyelids started fluttering softly; I held my breath.