Sometimes you use your dreams--your fantasies--to escape reality. But what if all you had left was a new fantasy? One so surreal that it could not possibly be true. Too fantastic, too unimaginable, too terrifying for it not to be all just a dream?
And that's whats really scary. Because you can't tell the difference.
3. First Sight
Rating 5/5 Word Count 2123 Review this Chapter
Bella Swan’s eyes lazily flickered open at the command of the irritating sound.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
At first, all she saw was white, but the flash of the vacant hue was soon sharpening into a beige, tannish color. Then a tacky flower pattern focused into view. Repeating, and repeating…. Wait, why all the flowers? The room shifted in her sight, and she saw a chair. A chair, sitting in front of the floral print. Did the flowers mean something? They… Wait, where they were on something? Oh, a wall. It was the wallpaper. But the chair – there was a large mass in it. The entity was mostly black, with some white in it. And bronze. It was a vivid burnish color that appeared to be floating, like wispy feathers, amongst the darker shades
The room shifted again with the mass finally taking shape. And sitting in the chair was a man. Or a boy, she couldn’t be sure. He had the palest alabaster complexion she had ever seen, and not to mention a wonderful, unusual shade of hair. Bronze, it seemed. The boy’s long, white fingers were threaded through the perfectly mussed tresses, his elbows resting on his knees. She could distinguish dark, bruise-like shadows beneath his closed eyes. It looked like he hadn’t slept in a month.
She shifted, ever so slightly, and the bronze head jerked up, eyes snapping open. It was then that she glimpsed his eyes. It was then that she had her first glimpse of those haunted—ancient eyes. If that was even possible, especially since the onyx orbs were set upon a face so young and handsome. Breathtakingly beautiful. His piercing gaze was intense, as if he was trying to see into her very heart and soul. And it frightened her, at least at first. But then she saw something else. Sorrow and guilt were also churning within their unfathomable depths. Almost as if he held the weight of the world on his shoulders, and had no way to unshoulder the burden.
But, before she could further analyze the young man sitting in front of her he rose from the chair.
Goodness, he was tall. He took two long, powerful strides across the room and over to her bed before kneeling beside it. After a moment, he gripped her hand and brushed her forehead with a gentle fingertip. His skin was like ice, though not in an unpleasant way… like cool granite. Nevertheless, she couldn’t help but jump a little. He immediately released her hand, and his dark, obsidian eyes searched her very carefully. So slowly. Still he did not speak. His eyes lingered on the bandaged covered gash on her head, just above her left ear, then on her lips, and finally on her eyes. They seemed to be searching for something – something vitally important.
“Bella,” he murmured ever so softly. It was the most musical, soothing purr she had ever heard, like singing. “Bella, do you remember what happened? Anything at all?”
She stared at him for a long, long moment before shaking her head.
The beautiful boy’s face sank, ever so slightly. He murmured, as if he was afraid that speaking in normal tones would break her. “The crash? Any of it?”
Still again she shook her head. No.
His features were filled with dread, and it looked like it pained him to ask the next question. “Do you know who I am?”
Bella searched his eyes hungrily, but it was all for vain. The light of recognition did not touch her eyes. She shook her head, almost despondently. “No,” she whispered, for the first time.
The boy’s features changed, only for a second. She could not determine all of the emotions at once, but she thought she understood one.
But as soon as it had changed, his stunning face had turned unreadable and his eyes expressionless. Smooth and unliving as a cold, marble statue.
“How do you do, Bella Swan, my name is Edward Cullen.”
Bella stared at him for a long moment, and did not speak. Her eyes kept appraising him. They held a shy, demure look he hadn’t seen in a long time…. Like the time they had first spotted each other. Her eyes looked down at him carefully, taking in all of him, and there was evident awe expressed on her face. And the slightest hint of fear.
Fear… like the first time they met.
“Please excuse me, I’ll be back later,” Edward began, standing upright as the enormity of the situation sank in. With a quick glance at the door, he added, “I think your doctor wants to speak with you.” He flashed a gentle smile where she caught a glimpse of the gleam of his perfect, white teeth. Then, before she could return a response, he disappeared through the exit.
With a mixture of confusion and frustration written all over her features, Bella watched as the door started to swing shut. However, before she even had a chance to contemplate the incredibly handsome stranger (though for some reason he felt achingly familiar), or to even blink for that matter, another person glided in. It was another stunningly beautiful man, only this one appeared to be a few years older with sandy blonde hair and topaz eyes. He was also wearing a white lab coat. Oh, this must be the doctor he –Edward – just mentioned. But how could he have known the doctor was coming?
The doctor turned his head to stare at the door, for only a brief moment, before he faced her. He wore a gentle smile on his smooth face. “Hello, Bella, my name is Dr. Cullen.”
Edward walked down the corridor a little too fast to be a regular human’s pace before turning down a hallway.
It was the hallway where he had stopped to talk to Bella, just after the car accident that one frosty morning during their junior year. The one he made it in time to save her from. Where she looked right into his eyes, and saw right through him.
Those fathomless chocolate eyes….
And when he was sure no one could hear him, he choked out a terrible, heartbreaking sob.
Ring, Ring, Ring….
With a cell phone against her ear, Alice impatiently tapped a foot against the tile of the sterile hospital floor. Of course Charlie won’t pick up his cell; he’s too busy racing to the hospital!
She knew Charlie that was on his way – her vision told her as much. But that wasn’t the only thing it showed her. She also saw what kind of state he was in, and it worried her. He was consumed with grief as the fear of the unknown sent him teetering close to the edge of a stress induced stroke. After all, when he received word of Bella’s car accident, he was only told that she was rushed to Forks Community Hospital by ambulance because of a serious car accident. And that was it – or at least that was all he heard because just as soon as the words “Bella” and “car accident” came from the dispatcher’s mouth, he immediately snapped his cell phone shut and was racing from his favorite fishing hole to the squad car.
He even left his gear and catch by the riverside.
Alice hated seeing him like that and wanted to, at very least, set his mind at ease. Besides, with how reckless he was driving (lights flashing and siren blaring) he could quite possibly cause an accident on his own. He wasn’t even slowing down for intersections, which reminded her way too much of how Edward drove.
“Oh Edward…,” she murmured, snapping her phone shut as she started to pace just inside the ER’s entrance. He wasn’t in much better shape than what Charlie was, and he even knew Bella was okay. Well, at least physically. “At least he was rational enough to take off right before the EMT’s got there.”
Which was a blessing, especially since there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, she then thought, while hitting the redial button. She might as well try Charlie again.
Finally, on the fifth ring he picked up.
“Hello,” he shortly huffed out. “Who is this?”
“Charlie, its Alice Cullen.”
“Alice, what happened?”
Alice heard the question in reverb an instant before the swoosh of the entrance’s sliding doors caught her attention. Turning toward the motion, she watched as Charlie came stumbling through the glass double doors.
“Bella, can you tell me anything about what happened over the last few hours?” Carlisle held his clipboard at his side, and gingerly lowered himself onto the bed beside her feet. He studied her carefully, almost like he was attempting to x-ray right through her and see exactly what was wrong.
Bella sighed and shook her head, almost angrily. “No, I don’t. I don’t remember anything, Doctor. I don’t even know where I am!” She began to shake, ever so slightly, and soon realized that tears were trickling down her cheeks.
“Bella, Bella, it’s alright. Its okay, I’ll explain everything I can, sweetheart.” Carlisle laid a hand on the blanket, resting on Bella’s stomach, careful not to touch her skin.
I wonder… Edward says this often works…. He gentled his face and leaned in just a little closer, staring at her straight in the eyes and making sure she was staring straight back. Unmoving and careful. Slowly, Bella began to stop weeping, and gazed back at him, her breath slowing, her heart-rate beating at an irregular pattern. Mesmerized. Dazzled.
Impressive, Edward is right.
“There, there now, no reason to be frightened. You are in Forks, Washington, at the hospital. You were in a car accident. Do you remember your name?”
Bella’s lip quivered slightly, and breathed her answer, “Bella Swan.”
“Mhmmm, that’s right.” Carlisle smiled gently. “Do you know who your parent’s are?”
Bella looked as if she were about to answer again, but stopped, frozen for a moment like the names were on the tip of her tongue, but she couldn’t quite place them. She held the expression for a long moment, before shaking her head. “No.”
“I see,” Carlisle answered quietly. He pulled out his clipboard and glanced down it briefly. “Well Bella, you were in a car accident and, as a result of a head injury, you are now experiencing a form of Amnestic Disorder or, in lament’s terms, a case of retrograde amnesia. I’m sure that with a little time you will regain your memory, but I would like to do some neurological tests first.” He tilted his head slightly, as if he was listening for something, before speaking again, “Ah, I think your father is here, I’m sure he would like to speak with you.”
The beautiful man turned his head and looked back at the door, which slammed open to reveal a frantic looking Charlie, his expression white and horrified.
“Bella!” He strode over to her side, and knelt beside the bed. He ran a hand over her hair and his eyes grazed over her quickly. “Bella honey, are you alright? What happened, what –”
He did not notice Bella’s confused expression until Carlisle stepped into view and quietly silenced him. “Charlie, she experienced head trauma as a result from the crash. Right now, she doesn’t recognize anyone…,” Carlisle trailed off as it took Charlie a moment to comprehend what he had said.
“Head trauma…,” he silently repeated. With cautious fingers, he ran them through Bella’s hair, and gulped several times, before he was able to choke out a response. “Bella, I’m your dad. I’m your dad, and—and everything’s…. E-everything’s going to be alright,” Charlie said, his face scrunching into a weary, pain-stricken expression. Then needing the comfort, he grasped Bella’s hand tightly.
Bella continued to stare at the weeping man blankly. Her mind was in a whirl, yet the whirl was of nothingness – like a blizzard, or even the grainy static of a television set that had shorted out. It was swirling and swirling and never settling down or straightening out, like an impossibly twisted knot. Fuzzy and unreal. Blank. Still, it didn’t feel right to let this man sob uncontrollably while she simply lay here, doing nothing. Not proper at all. Bella lifted her other hand and threaded it through his brown hair, comforting him ever so slightly.
Carlisle silently edged out of the room, and soundlessly closed the door. When he was in the small hallway outside the door, leaned his back against it, and heaved a small, weary sigh….
Why did this have to happen?