Carlisle's/ Clara's/Bella's POV: An inspiring 13 yr old girl becomes Carlisle's newest patient and quickly wins his affections. When her mother suddenly dies, Carlisle instantly steps in to care for her and makes her one of his own.
5. Chapter 5: Changing Perspectives
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I miss my mom with all my heart. Even through all the months I’ve spent with the Cullen’s, she’s been on my mind every, single day. Don’t get me wrong, I love them all: Carlisle, Esme, Edward, Alice, Jasper, Emmett, Bella, and Rosalie. I wake up every morning in this magical bedroom that Alice designed and, still, after all this time, I’m amazed that they embraced me the way that they did. I have no idea what I’ve done to deserve any of them.
They have all been so patient with me, even sticking around through my emotional disappearance. I only have very vague memories of those first days after my mom died. I do know that one of the Cullen’s was there with me at all times. I could feel their presence even when I wasn’t in any condition to acknowledge them.
The clearest memory I have from that time was the night I came out of it. I remember looking up and seeing a girl that I’d never seen before. I now know it was Bella but, at the time, she was a complete stranger. Edward appeared next, seeming to pop out of thin air. Then Carlisle was there and I was crying. One moment I was lying in bed, the next moment I was in his arms, bawling, mumbling something about my mom.
That was the first time I had ever noticed how solid Carlisle was. His embrace was like hugging the hood of a car in Maine during winter. He was concrete and freezing. With Carlisle being my doctor and all, I had obviously noticed his cold hands before. I didn’t think that was that strange, though. All doctors have cold hands. That’s ironic, actually. Carlisle is the warmest person I’ve ever met but he has the body temperature of a refrigerator. All the Cullen’s are the same way, even the girls.
Then there was Edward and his weird ability to know what I’m about to say or do whenever I’m around him. The first time I noticed it was the first time I ever met him, that same fateful night that I came back to the land of the living, so to speak. Carlisle had been trying to tell me that he and his family were going to foster me but when I heard him say, “There is something that I have been meaning to discuss with you,” I immediately thought the worst. After losing my mom, the worst thing, to me, would have been never seeing Carlisle again. Rationally, I knew that couldn’t happen. I couldn’t leave the hospital. I was still too sick. Before the fear could even fully fill my stomach Edward stepped forward. “No more bad news, Clara. I promise you,” he said. I stared at him for a long time after he said it, trying to figure him out. Did he see something in my eyes that told him how I was feeling? My thoughts on that subject were quickly overshadowed by the overwhelming joy I felt when I was told that Carlisle and his family would be taking care of me. If I couldn’t have my mom then I was glad I had them.
My next encounter with Edward came on Carlisle’s night off from the hospital. I had been moving around a bit on my own for a couple of days, at that point. I didn’t even think about calling a nurse to refill my water pitcher. I could do it myself, or so I thought. I got to the sink just fine. My balance was steady and my legs were moving like they were supposed to.
On the way back, everything changed. The room started to spin and my legs started to feel all rubbery. I was about six feet from the bed when I was swept off my feet, literally. I let out a yelp of surprise before I looked up. I was staring into Edward’s cold, caramel-colored eyes and he looked furious.
“What do you think you’re doing?” he nearly growled at me. He held me with one arm and yanked down the sheets on the bed with the other. I remember thinking that I must have lost more weight than I thought. Edward was cradling me with one arm as if I weighed nothing. He then, very gently, placed me back into bed, fuming. “You are never to get out of this bed again without someone with you, is that clear?” He glared at me intently until I nodded. “You could have broken your neck!”
I looked up at him with a stubborn little pout on my lips. I knew he was right. I was actually rather grateful for his timing, but I was never telling him that. I mumbled an apology, turning my attention to the nightstand. The full pitcher of water was sitting there, not a drop had been spilled. I turned back to Edward with shock written all over my face. He merely smirked at me.
Then there was Jasper. I vaguely remember his first visit on the day my mom died. He didn’t speak to me at all. I remember him approaching my bed and taking my hand. The next thing I remember is waking up three hours later when a nurse came in to check my vitals. All I know is that every time Jasper is in the same room with me I feel safe and happy. I like hanging out with Jasper.
Most of the time, when Jasper is around me, he seems uncomfortable. He always has this look on his face as if he’s in either pain or trying not to puke. There was one exception, however.
He came to visit me late one afternoon and seated himself in one of the recliner chairs on the other side of the room. At first, he didn’t say much. He greeted me politely and asked how I was feeling. We made small talk for a while before there was a comfortable lull in the conversation. I could tell there was something on his mind. “You look like you have something to say,” I prompted.
He watched me for a moment, his head tilted to the side quizzically, as he examined me intently. “What do you see happening with your life in six months?” He suddenly blurted out.
That certainly wasn’t what I was expecting. I had been thinking about this very topic quite a bit but I had been too afraid to share my feelings. I shrugged at him and fixed my gaze on a spot over his shoulder. “I sometimes dream about where I’ll be when I’m healthy again. The best I can hope for is remission, I guess.” I smiled at him as my eyes started to tear up. “I think in six months I’ll be back in school and I’ll see my friends. I hope I’ll still be with you and your family.” Sadness filled Jasper’s eyes as my tears flowed. Maintaining a brave face isn’t always as easy as I would like it to be.
He rose from his chair, never taking his eyes from mine, and came to stand next to my bed. “Clara…”
“I don’t want to die, Jasper. I don’t want to leave you.” I blurted it out before I could stop myself. I had been promising myself all this time that I would never let this happen. I was a tough kid. I would show no fear and just deal with it, whatever “it” was. I could do it. Whenever Jasper was around, I was too emotionally honest. I couldn’t help myself. “I’m sorry,” I whispered.
His feathery touch barely glanced my hand. A strong sense of peace filled me as I looked up into his coffee-colored eyes. I could feel my fear slipping away. “Clara, you are not losing us, ever. We will be right here. All of us.” That was the last thing he said before exhaustion overtook me.
Four weeks later, I was well enough to leave the hospital. Carlisle had adjusted my medication so that I didn’t have to have an IV anymore. Now, I just had to swallow six little pills everyday and I could get on with life. That was the goal now. I would get on with life and enjoy every moment I had left. I could not let myself hope that those moments would turn into months and drift into years. One day at a time was all I was willing to live for now.
Esme, Emmett, and Rosalie arrived at the hospital at around noon. I had already been up and ready to go since seven. If I ever saw these bland, white walls again, it would be too soon. Carlisle came to see me off, hugging me briefly. I tried to listen as he reminded me about medications and getting enough rest. I nodded absently at his instructions, too anxious to get the heck out of there to really hear him. Finally, Emmett grabbed my bags and we all filed out of the building.
I already knew that the Cullen’s had a lot of money. I could tell by the way that they all dressed and by the jewelry that Esme and Rosalie always wore. Still, as we wandered past car after car, I couldn’t help but wonder, which one would be theirs?
It wasn’t exactly the last thing that I expected, but I was still shocked as we steadily made our way towards the shiny, cherry red convertible parked an entire row away from all the other cars in the lot. Judging from the satisfied smirk on her face, I knew it had to be Rosalie’s. “Nice,” I muttered in awe. I couldn’t help it. Her car was freakin’ cool! It would be even better during the summer. Then she could take the top down.
They all laughed at my expression as Emmett loaded my bags into the trunk. He got into the back seat with me while Esme hopped into the passenger side. Of course, Rosalie was driving.
I was surprised at how short the ride was. It seemed like we had only been traveling a couple of minutes before Rose turned onto a side road that was almost completely hidden by brush and trees. After winding down this road for another mile or so, the Cullen’s home came into view.
The enormous structure in front of me was not what I had been expecting. Well, not really. I anticipated that their home would be huge and it was. I just hadn’t been prepared for how expansive and modern it was.
When we pulled into the garage, my view of the front of the house was taken away. My disappointment didn’t last long. As we pulled in, I became speechless once again. There were five cars already lined up on the inside, every one more impressive, and expensive, than the last. I couldn’t even begin to name any of them but the line up took my breath away, nonetheless. With every gasp and wondrous stare that I produced, Emmett would laugh and I would blush.
Rose impatiently ushered me through the garage and into the main house. My awe grew. The entire bottom floor had a completely open layout. Standing in the living room, I could see into the kitchen, dining room, and backyard. Every room was seemingly endless. The huge wide screen TV mounted over the fireplace in the living room had to have been at least sixty-three inches wide. The long black leather sectionals facing the fireplace separated the living room from the rest of the rooms downstairs. The kitchen had every modern convenience imaginable. The dining room table could easily seat twelve people comfortably. My head was spinning as I took it all in. This was just the downstairs! I still had a whole other floor to explore.
It took several seconds for me to realize that Esme was behind me, gently nudging me toward the stairs. “Come on, let’s get you settled.” I followed silently, still gaping at my surroundings, trying to convince myself that it was real. This is where I lived now. For now, I amended to myself.
The stairs seemed to go on forever. I was only halfway up when I started to get winded. Before I could even utter a sound, I was in Emmett’s strong arms. My shocked expression made him laugh at me again. “You sure are easy to impress,” he noted good-naturedly. I guess I couldn’t argue with that.
I was still in Emmett’s arms when we reached the last step at the top. He kept walking until we reached a closed door at the end of the hall. “This is your stop.” He chuckled as he set me on my feet. I glanced behind me tentatively before reaching for the doorknob. I wanted to make sure that they were all still with me as I entered this new territory.
As the door swung open, my breath caught in my chest. I knew instantly that this was Alice’s work. Only Alice could enter my mind and create a room that so perfectly fit my dreams. I didn’t even know the tears were in my eyes until everything in front of me began to blur. Esme was there instantly, resting a reassuring hand on my shoulder. “Do you like it?” she whispered. All I could manage was an emphatic nod of approval.
I wandered around the room in a daze, lightly running my hand over the walls, the sheets, the trees in the corners, all the furniture. It was real. I could feel it. On the same side of the room as the two potted trees, there was a door. As I prepared to open it, I noticed Esme and Rose as they exchanged an excited smile. I quickly opened the door and was stunned once more. The gigantic closet looked like the juniors’ section in Macy’s but it was twice as big. Every conceivable article of clothing I could imagine was stretched out before me on rack after rack. There were long, tall draws built into the wall at the back of the closet, filled with undergarments, tank tops, short sleeve shirts, shorts, socks, and nightshirts.
When I finally turned around to find Esme, Rosalie and Emmett, they were all staring at me, grinning. I rushed to them, hugging them each in turn. “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” I gushed repeatedly. They all just laughed.
“You know, you really have to find Alice to properly thank the right person.” Esme informed me with a proud grin.
I immediately turned and headed for the bedroom door but Emmett stopped me. “No, no, no. Later.” I again found myself in his arms, but briefly. He only walked about seven feet before depositing me on the bed. I bounced, laughing.
“When will she come back?” I inquired. I couldn’t wait to thank her for everything she’s done for me.
Rose looked down at her Rolex with a frown. “In about an hour or so, I guess. She said she still had some shopping left to do.” She shrugged dismissively.
A yawn overtook me as I crawled to the edge of the huge bed. Esme was there before I could slide off, gently easing me back. “No, Clara. Rest now. You’ve just been through a lot of excitement.”
I sighed. She sounded like Carlisle. As I allowed myself to be guided, I realized that I was actually tired. My head hit the pillow and suddenly I was struggling to keep my eyes open. “Ok, but only for a little while. I don’t want to sleep through my whole first day with you.”
Esme smiled down at me patiently. “You won’t miss a thing, I promise you.” With that, I drifted off.
- Shannon R
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