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
7. Chapter 7
Rating 5/5 Word Count 3108 Review this Chapter
"Yeah, mom, I will. Yeah...ok, I will. Goodnight."
Renee was her usual self, once again. She was worried that my sensitive and shy personality was affecting my relationships at school. It was unheard of that her gorgeous and brilliant daughter would still be single, having not once a serious boyfriend before in her life, and still a virgin. I never, ever, shared that kind of information with her but I guessed that she had figured it out by the fact that I was rarely, if ever, going out. My usual defence was that "Boys are not happiness, mom", but she would always reply, "And your laptop is?" I was always tempted to reply honestly to that question but I didn't want to worry her even more. Because my laptop, or should I say fantasy life, was my safe haven.
It was inexplicable, really. I was lost in a place where a blind man could find his way. I had a pretty fucking normal life and that made it hurt even more that I wasn't reacting like normal people would. My parents had divorced in a heartbreakingly civil manner, at a time that I was too freaking mature for my own good. I was eight and I already knew the difference between the love my mom had for Charlie and the one she had for our gardener. I was also too mature to fall for the "we still love each other" crap that my parents tried to feed me. I knew my mom hated Charlie for being a simple man who wanted simple things in his life like a cozy home and a good football game. I knew my dad hated Renee for being so carefree and careless which led her to be too irresponsible and insane. And I knew that in a way I hated both of them - Charlie for getting compromised in a life that was easy and quiet but not at all interesting, and Renee for wanting to fly all over the world when she didn't even know how to fly.
But all things considered, my parents were normal. And yet, I was not.
I could, if I wanted to, blame my insecure, depressing, pathetic excuse of a life on...what happened back home, in Phoenix. But it wouldn't be fair because I was like this since I couldn't even remember. But certainly before the...drama that burst into my life.
I supposed it was the little things that made the difference.
So my mom's telling me I should go out more often and try actually opening up to people was what made my thoughts a hurricane of pain.
I was feeling like shit when she called, and since I didn't want her calling Charlie after having not answered my phone a couple of times, I replied and went through the same fucking speech I had heard of like a thousand times before.
"Turn off your laptop, Bella. Go out, Bella. Be friendly, Bella. Open up, Bella."
The irony was that I had actually done that. And where did that leave me? Alone and afraid of a supposed rapist who was likely a perfectly nice boy, caught in a mess that he couldn't clear. Yes, I did realize now how quick I was to condemn Edward with no real evidence. But did I really condemn him?
I knew deep down I was wrong to mentally decide that I was to stay away from him, but no one really bothered to prevent it. They gave up on me, just like that. But could I blame them for walking away from me when they only knew me for two weeks? Yes, I certainly could. Because, one of the most important themes in my life was friendship. I might be fucked up but I never walked away from my friends. Unless they had done something to deserve it. And that brought me back in Phoenix, in a time when the concept of friendship suffered a lot misapprehensions.
However, Alice had made it clear that she was interested in my company, both verbally and through her actions. I was her friend, damn it, and in a matter of two weeks, I was certain of that. So how could she just refuse to even try and make me see the facts from her point of view?
These kind of thoughts were repeated in my head all night long, in dream after dream, so it was only natural that when I woke up, I would feel even more confused. I decided on my best tactic, avoidance.
Charlie was already gone when I went downstairs, no big surprise there. I was already late for school so I didn't bother with breakfast. I was out the door and heading towards my car when my eyes fell on the stack of letters in Charlie's mailbox, our mailbox. I really needed to start realizing that this was as permanent as a home goes.
Charlie rarely picked up his mail so it was not out of the ordinary that our mailbox was more than full.
I went through the letters mechanically, not really paying attention or expecting something with my name on it, so when I passed the small, pale white letter addressed to a Bella Swan, I kept going, unable to stop. When I was done, I couldn't breathe. I sat on the patio, right in front of the mailbox and counted the tears that dropped like acid raindrops. When I reached eleven, I stood up and had the letter in my backpack before I could even blink.
I didn't even remember driving to school or walking down the hall or going to my locker. I only got my focus back when I crashed into somebody strong. I think my head actually hurt from the impact on his stomach and I would have fallen down on my ass had it not been for his also strong hands that gripped and brought me up standing.
I didn't really know why in God's name, I was reacting like this, but upon seeing who it was holding me like that, the tears were falling down on their own accord, unable to stop, unable to dry. A whimper, hardly recognizable, escaped a place deep inside me that I didn't even know that existed.
For a moment, I thought he was shaking me but then I realized that I was the one trembling like being electrocuted with a current of pain. His grip seemed to tighten on me, and a distant little voice in my head was screaming at me to be afraid, to run away. But the voice of my tears was louder and after a while I was dragged out of the hall, up a long staircase, up another row of stairs and up again, until I was out in a familiar rooftop.
No hands were holding me now and I could hide my face in my hands and sob with all the strength I had left - which was none. I sat on the bench near me and brought my knees close to my chest, hugging the pain away, trying to disappear by melting in my futile efforts of comfort.
I couldn't know how much time passed but I knew the bell had rung and I was officially skipping class again. It seemed silly to worry about trivial things like that when the letter, the damned letter, was perfectly hidden in between a pile of books inside my backpack.
And then, there was this presence surrounding me that I could not understand through all that haziness in my head. Only when he spoke did I let his being there with me affect me.
"Do you want me to leave?"
I looked up then and let his presence wash over me like a sedative. The haziness dwindled and in its place, a new, powerful feeling grew - mortification. I wanted him to forget he ever witnessed me like this, I wanted him gone and away from me. And yet, I didn't want to be alone, so much so that I wanted him here, more than I wanted him away.
"Do you want us to leave?"
Confused, that's what I was. Completely baffled. I may not have been entirely rational, but I knew it was only the two of us up here.
Edward and me.
So what the fuck did he mean?
He probably saw the question in my eyes and elaborated on the issue.
“If you…if you feel uncomfortable, or…or scared, or whatever, just tell me now and we will leave as soon as possible.”
I heard my sharp intake of air and I saw his eyes widen.
“Fuck!’ He sort of yelled.
I couldn’t really form any words but before I even tried he was looking at me so seriously, so utterly determined to make me listen. Even though he was not very close to me, I could feel his breath on my face, his every word burning my skin.
“I’m not going to hurt you, Bella.”
There it was, the desperation, the need, the utter and complete surrender of sanity. It was just like my dream, only now the faceless man was Edward and he was in agony.
I don't know what he saw in my eyes but he got even more upset when I failed to reply. He moved further away and turned his back to me. I could still feel his tension, I could still see it in the way he hunched his back and gripped his hair with a ferocity almost strong enough to rip it off his head.
I was even more surprised than he was.
I saw the incredulity in his eyes as he sharply turned to look at me. He seemed unsure, hesitating to believe me. But I was being honest, that much I knew. I wasn't sure about trusting him but I was definitely not afraid of him. Despite all my mental decisions, my determination to be wary and careful around him, I was still drawn to him, affected in a strange but powerful way. I was done lying to myself.
"You do?" Edward finally voiced his disbelief. He was arching his eyebrow at me, obviously mocking me or my naivety.
He started coming closer then, slowly, his eyes almost looking through me and my silence. I didn't flinch or jump away when he was standing in front me. I didn't even break our stare when he leaned over me, his hands resting on either side of me. I was surprised that he would even come near me when he thought I was accusing him of being a rapist. But one thing was clear - I was not afraid of him. Whether he did what they said in Alaska or not, I was done running away. I was not fucking scared.
"Are you not afraid of me, then?" He asked casually leaning closer to me, his breath showering my face with his essence.
Was I afraid? No. But I was pretty sure I was a little turned on. The way he was approaching me, leaning into me and whispering in the cocky manner of his, made him a perfect predator.
A predator I was not to trust, I reminded myself, but the damage was done. I was done.
"No", I whispered back, never breaking his stare.
He stayed there for a while, his nose almost touching mine, his eyes searching for the truth he was sure I was hiding. I willed my eyes to look as determined as I was, wanting for some reason for him to believe me, to trust my words. Having got what he needed, he stood up and away from me, turning his back again while messing with his hair. I realized that whenever he was feeling upset or anxious, it always showed by his hand diving into that messy bronze hair of his. He looked pretty upset now judging by the complete disarray of his hair.
I heard a humorless chuckle and then he was facing me again. He looked at me differently now, like he was checking me out, trying to figure me out. I blushed and looked down because well, it was embarrassing. And stupid at the same time. I was worried about the outfit I had put on when just a few minutes ago I was crying my eyes out and he was asking me if I had a problem with him being potentially a rapist. This was really fucked up.
"Then why were you crying?" He suddenly asked and brought my reality crashing back. At the memory of what had caused my distress a while back, the painful hollow in my chest gripped me again, squeezing and suffocating my insides. My eyes fell on my backpack where the fucking letter was still in, and I whispered with a shudder that made my voice break. "That's personal."
He snapped up his head and that incredulous look was back in his eyes, along with an angry streak that chilled me.
"Personal?" He asked with sarcasm. "And my school background or my life back then is not fucking personal?"
"That's different", I said getting angry myself. He had a lot of nerve attacking me about this when he was supposed to be the one explaining himself.
"How is it different?"
"They said you raped a girl!" I all but screamed. That was the first time I said it out loud and it wasn't any easier on me than it was on Edward. He locked his jaw and I actually heard his teeth gritting while he balled his fists and took a defensive stance. He didn't say anything but his expression told me that I had really pissed him off. Good, I was pissed off, too.
"Did you do it?"
The question was not what he expected because I saw him sharply inhaling and his eyes widening a little. I must have looked smug and he noticed that as well because he was angry once again.
"That's personal", he snapped at me again and this time I flinched. I couldn't help it. I was not afraid of him but the look in his eyes was ferocious. I had spent my whole lifetime trying to make everyone around me happy, never voicing my doubts or objections because I didn't want them to dislike me or hate me. And here I was pissing this gorgeous man off that I probably had a crash on. I lost my nerve then, thinking of how inappropriate I was and I immediately felt my cheeks reddening, my eyes going to the floor.
It was quite for some time. I was still looking anywhere but him, feeling embarrassed and really, really awkward. I didn't dare say anything else because I was certain it would just be another crappy comment out of my suddenly daring mouth. I kind of heard him walking towards me but I still didn't look up. I was thinking that he was probably heading towards the exit door when he surprised me by sitting next to me on the bench. I looked up then and saw that it was now him who had lost his nerve. He was doing the messing-his-hair thing again and his eyes were unfocused. Before I had the chance to think things through, I was speaking again.
"Look, i'm...sorry, i'm sorry for...like, investigating your previous life, I was, I was just curious. And then I read that...that...those things about you....I freaked out", I finished with difficulty. I knew I was rumbling and was probably making a fool of myself but it was the only chance I would get to explain myself. "I don't...really believe what they said. But I don't know you that much. I can't...know for sure. All I know is that you don't scare me."
His eyes were looking at me then and it was like he was looking inside of me. His look was so intense that I felt my eyes tearing up while I tried not to break eye contact with him. I wanted him to know what I was feeling because he was the first guy in a long, long time who actually cared enough to drag me up on a rooftop and try to make things better for me. He was, in a way, asking for my permission to stay here in Forks. He was willing to leave his home once again so that he wouldn't make me uncomfortable. He was more worried about what I was going through, whether I was terrified and scared of him, than what he would have to go through if I told anyone about his past. Because not even once did he or Alice or anyone from his family asked me not to tell anyone.
So how could this guy have ever hurt so brutally a girl? I could not see it.
"Thank you", he whispered and I almost didn't hear it. But I did, and I also heard the relief and some kind of shock behind his words. I guessed he didn't really have anyone standing up or believing him back in Alaska besides his family. Everyone seemed to believe that he was guilty and so had I at first. But now it was time I fixed it and I think I actually did.
A tentative smile spread over my face because well, I was sort of happy with how things turned out. As a response, there it was that crooked smile of his, all sexy and paralyzing, taking my breath away. I focused all my energy on not passing out right in front of him and slowly stood up. We had missed enough classes as it was, we really needed to get back down. He seemed to realize that himself and apologized to me for dragging me away like that. I only laughed in response too fucking content to bother about trivial things like school.
The letter was still nudging my insides, almost fucking vibrating for me to open it, but I was not ready yet.
I reached the exit door and I was about to start climbing down the stairs when Edward called my name. I turned to him and he was not smiling any more, but he had this sad expression that made me want to hug him and comfort him until his trouble was gone. And that was coming from a fanatic non-hugger - I was seriously crushing on the guy. He looked at me then, sighed and with that same sad looking eyes said in a soft whisper.
"I didn't do it."