I'm not happy and i'm not sad. I'm detached, cold and emotionless. I'm Bella Swan and i have no life. ExB All human
3. Chapter 3
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2686 Review this Chapter
A week after my breakdown in school I was doing well. Considering.
I still couldn’t face him, couldn’t look at him without feeling hopeless and pained. His presence reminded me of all the things that I would never be able to have due to who I was– a nobody.
I tried ridiculously hard to stop thinking like this, like I pitied myself but it was too freaking hard. I absolutely hated when people pitied me, when they looked at me all sympathetic and sorry but here I was, mourning and grieving over a boy who would never be mine.
And hell, I didn’t even know him.
I spent most of my time at home, as usual, but now I was even more withdrawn than before. Charlie noticed --- I could tell, because he started casting me those worried glances that only made things worse for me. His constant bugging me to go out and about only triggered the pain that coursed through me every time I pictured Jessica and all the other girls from our school going out and flirting with their soon to be boyfriends. Maybe even flirting with him.
After that little incident in the lunch room, I never mentioned his name again or anything else concerning him. If I could, I would erase him from my every memory. But I couldn’t. And even if I could, Jessica’s constant rumbling about him, his hair, his body, his lips, would always just bring him back to my mind.
Besides, we still had biology class together.
It was…painful, to say the least. I tried not to be affected, to just ignore the mere existence of him, but I’d be damned if it were that easy. I sat stiff and fucking hiding behind my hair like a silly little girl that was afraid of the boogeyman. Pathetic.
To his credit, he didn’t try to speak to me again, other than the casual hello he uttered when he approached our table. The first couple of days, he seemed to be itching to just ask me what the fuck my problem was but I suppose his manners prevented him from doing so. Instead, he sat by himself, paying or pretending to pay attention to Mr. Banner and generally, minding his own business.
I would be grateful if his cocky and completely superior I-don’t-give-a-shit attitude didn’t piss the shit out of me. It was like he mocked me with his silent and indifferent behavior. Like he thought that I was missing out on not talking to him. What a fucking idiot.
On Friday morning I was just too freaking depressed and angry, a deadly combination, to attend school. I made up a crappy excuse for Charlie’s sake, something about a stomach ache, and just stayed at home.
A day without Mike’s asking me to hang out with them on Saturday night. A day without Eric’s perpetual attempts of joking that resulted in making him look ridiculous. Without Jessica snorting and making mean jokes about me that were supposed to be “in good fun” but were really just insulting. A day without being nice all the time for the sake of being nice. A day without biology. A day without Edward Cullen.
Having finished watching the fourth season of Grey’s Anatomy, I contemplated the next TV show I was to start watching, finally deciding on Boston Legal. There was just something in those long speeches of Alan Shore that got me off. Perhaps it was because I wish I had that many things to say myself, but rather ended up staying silent.
I loitered around the house, cleaned up my room and went shopping for food. Picking up where I left, I resumed reading the latest book I was interested in, A Road to Paradise. I let the story consume all of me for I had nothing of interest to hold me back. I always did that when reading a book, at least a decent one. I believed and I invested in the story more than a normal reader would do. Were I different, I’d probably realize how stupid that was and how dangerously close I was at losing touch with reality. How many characters have I played through, how many heroines have I pictured myself replacing, I cannot even count. All I know is by doing that I have accomplished a small amount of inner contentment. I cried and I thrived, I got depressed and exultant, I lived through the words and the fictional characters more than I ever did in the real world.
Not wanting to be superficial, I also paid attention to the writing itself. Thus, a small collection of classics had gathered in my bookcase. I marveled at Jane Austen’s writing and always found it profoundly easy to picture myself in the position of one of her characters. The setting was equally easy to appear in my head and until the turning of the last page; I experienced and thrived in her world.
Amanda Quick was another deal. And while many would argue that the content of her books tends to be the same and flaccid with fluff and smut, I beg to differ. There’s just something in her way of writing, the cliché way of her describing the mediocre woman who inevitably falls in love with the troubled and pained male of the story. The tinge of feminism and the confused signals of right and wrong, all of this combined together, makes for an attractive piece of work.
And that’s what I mean about the books consuming every fiber of my being. Instead of being a fucking teenager, here I am, analyzing the writing technique and losing myself in the life of literature.
With a heaving sigh, I picked up the phone and dialed Angela’s number, seeing as school was over by now. Contrary to my usual discomfort in speaking with my fellow students, I didn’t mind so much talking to Angela. It was probably because she seemed to understand my difficulty in expressing my true thoughts and feelings and so she didn’t push for more. After a brief chit chat and a detailed update on what I missed at school today, we hang up.
Charlie would come home any minute now, so I decided to start making lunch. I didn’t mind being the housewife for Charlie, at least as long as he didn’t want me to wash his clothes. It was just another excuse to stay at home rather than take the dreadful step towards society.
As the cloudy afternoon toned down into a cloudy evening and the food was getting cold, I started to question Charlie’s absence. He was never late from work because he was never that busy in the first place. This was a tiny, harmless and wet town. The only illegal actions were teenage boys driving without a license.
When another hour had passed and Charlie was still missing, I decided to call him at work and see what had him stalling. I called his office but no one picked up. Weird. I called his self but he didn’t pick that up either. Again weird. Having nothing to do and wanting to drive a little bit, I got into my truck – kissed the wheel as usual- and headed towards the police station.
The parking outside the station was curiously empty with only a couple of cars in the driveway. I parked right outside the entry and after securing my car, I went inside. There were literally only two people inside, a fellow policeman of my dad and a secretary. Upon my entering they both looked up at me saluted me. I approached the lady who sat behind the desk while staring dumb-struck all around me.
“Where is everyone?” I asked the brunette in front of me.
“Oh, didn’t you hear?” She asked raising her eyebrows at me and waiting unnecessarily for me to reply to the question. If I knew why, would I ask? I refrained from rolling my eyes at her and answered a simple “No.”
“Why, everyone is at the hospital. It’s the flu, they say,” she said with a shrug.
“Why, yes, the flu. Everyone started vomiting here and there. I had to clean up the mess on my own but I’d rather have that than throwing up my guts like the rest of them,” she said with an exultant face like she had won a game of flu-or-not-flu. She seemed awfully proud of something that wasn’t up to her but being the nice girl that I am, I said nothing.
“And Charlie?” I figured I should ask, be the worried daughter and all.
“Oh, he’s fine, dear, don’t you worry,” she chirped up in a disgusting and affectionate tone, “but being the fine gentleman that he is, he had to see his men get taken care of.”
Well, it couldn’t be that bad. The whole police department consisted of 12 people, six of which were actual policemen in action. Charlie was the chief, so I guess I saw why he felt it was his responsibility.
I thanked the woman at the desk and got out of the building. I thought of going back home but I wanted to let Charlie know that I hadn’t forgotten about him. We may not speak it out loud but we do care for each other. And maybe I wouldn’t run down the aisles of the hospital and jump in his arms thanking God that he is alright, but I could at least let him know that I was there, whatever that means.
I drove to the hospital feeling my stomach knot at the sight of the grand, white walls and the sign indicating its identity. I hated hospitals. I could walk inside them but the nightmares that ensued always made me regret ever going. My reason for hating them was not original, rather cliché I’d say. But that didn’t make it easier. Many people had lost loved ones inside these grey, monotonous walls and so have I. But since I wasn’t willing to reiterate the dreadful experience not even inside my head, I pulled it together and went towards the emergency room.
I hadn’t even walked through the door when Charlie called my name in surprise.
“What are you doing here?” he said rushing to my side. “Are you sick?” he pursued and then rather clumsy went to feel my forehead for a fever. I instinctively drew away from him and his hand, pulling the bubble of my life closer around me.
“No, I’m fine”, I assured him, “I just came here because you wouldn’t pick up your phone.”
“Ah,” he nodded, “sorry about that. It’s been chaos all day long.”
“Are you okay?” I asked even though I knew he was. Still, I held my head down and shuffled my feet because it was not in my nature to express concern, even for my father.
“Sure, sure, I’m fine. I just came to check on the others.”
I nodded for lack of anything else to say and we stayed in an uncomfortable silence until a considerably young and admittedly handsome doctor approached us.
“This must be Isabella,” his velvet voice pronounced and I saw him smile at me.
“Oh, yes,” Charlie seemed surprised. “Bella, this is Dr. Cullen. Dr. Cullen, this is my daughter, Bella.”
“Nice to meet you,” said he shaking my hand while I mentally rolled my eyes. Of course, this was his father, same beauty, same glamour, and same perfection. Unbearable.
“You too,” I snapped back into reality and smiled up at him.
“You’re a junior at Forks High, I suppose?” he asked me politely and damn me if I could find something to dislike about him.
“Yes,” I replied shortly.
“Then I guess you met my son, Edward?” He inquired again, politely but didn’t help any with my quickened heartbeat. Why, oh why?
“Uh…no…I mean…I saw him…but…I,” I royally embarrassed myself.
The strangest of looks passed through Dr. Cullen’s eyes, almost like indignation but I couldn’t be sure. I was too busy mentally freaking out to notice anything else.
“He hasn’t been rude to you, has he?” he suddenly asked.
“Um…no,” I must have looked at him strangely because he pulled himself together and cast a charming smile at me.
“It’s just that Edward has been through some difficult situations and he can’t always… compose himself when manners demand him to,” he said stiffly, obviously wishing he hadn’t opened his mouth. But damn it, now I was even more intrigued, and damn me if I wasn’t already too fucking intrigued by the son himself.
“No,” I found myself defending the son I wished that didn’t exist, “he hasn’t…he didn’t…he’s….”
“He’s standing right here.”
Edward Cullen stood tall and intimidating right behind Cullen the great. It was difficult to read his expression but from what I could gather he seemed both pissed and cocky that his person was the subject of our discussion. He raised his eyebrow at his father who rather instinctively let out an exasperated sign.
“What are you doing here, Edward?”
“I was bored,” was his infamous reply.
I would have snorted out loud but his eyes were intently on my face which was now on fire. Charlie cleared his throat, positively interrupting the awkward silence.
“Bells, I’ll probably be here for a while longer. You should go home.”
I would have nodded and left the room as soon as my feet could take me but for Dr. Cullen’s fucking interference.
“Edward, why don’t you take Bella outside and then go home yourself?”
“Sure,” he said in his usual cocky manner that had me this close to punching him.
Calm down, calm down, calm down, calm down, calm down, and calm down. I kept chanting that to myself as we walked side by side in the hospital hallways. I didn’t look up, just kept staring at my feet, urging them to reach the exit door where I could finally get away from the male form of torture currently walking next to me.
I couldn’t be sure about his eyes but I felt them staring holes at me which only made me blush even more. I was not paying attention to where I was going so I was hoping he knew his way around for we could just as well end up in an O.R. without knowing it.
I jumped. I fucking jumped. Again. What was it with this guy and his talent at making me all jumpy and squirmy. I heard his stupid chuckle right before I glared up at him. He seemed unaffected.
“You’re Bella Swan, right?”
If I didn’t know he was new I’d probably roll my eyes at him, for everyone around Forks knew who I was. And that wasn’t my inner cocky self speaking, rather my ultimate shy self who had all eyes unwontedly on her. But still, that was a pretty stupid question to ask, even for a guy.
“Yeah,” was my ingenious reply. But really, what could I say? No, I’m Mary Poppins?
We walked a little more and I was starting to think that we really had gotten lost, for we were taking much more time to get out than I did to get in.
“Do you know how to get out?” I asked despite myself, looking curiously around me.
He chuckled again and I was starting to rather like that sound. Agh, I’m an idiot.
“Don’t worry,” he reassured me, “I’m just taking the longer root so I can talk to you more.”
My head snapped up and I’m certain my neck cracked from the sudden movement. I didn’t seem to notice, though, for he was smiling at me, all sexy and crookedly and dangerously. Holy Mother of God!
“Why?” I asked weakly. I was almost positive that he could hear my heart thumping so hard that it would jump out of my chest.
“Because you interest me, Isabella.”
You know, when you meet someone who you think is going to get you in trouble and you tell yourself that he’s going to be the death of you? Well, I not only thought of that but I actually saw in my head the casket I would be put in after Edward Cullen was finished with me. I didn’t know what his game was, didn’t know what he wanted, I didn’t even know who he was. All I knew was that he was definitely going to be the tragic and very painful death of me.