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17. The Talk
Rating 5/5 Word Count 1596 Review this Chapter
I could hear his muffled thoughts as I slowly trudged down the creaky stairs. Although I found it strangely difficult to pinpoint his exact thoughts, I caught the angry tinge to them. I pondered for a quick moment whether this was where Bella inherited her silent mind from. I could still hear his thoughts…to an extent. But they were more…confusing and muddled up. I had to concentrate much harder to understand it all, but they were still almost like mumbling. It was infuriating yet slightly invigorating that I could at least read one of the Swan’s residences mind.
I found him with his back turned away from me. I watched as his shoulders slowly raised up and down in a feeble attempt to control his outrage. His thoughts almost directed to a slight annoyance…like something inevitable was there, but I couldn’t quite catch it. I sighed silently, and realized I should really get this conversation over and done with. I cleared my throat in an attempt to alert him to my presence and it worked.
I had seen Charlie Swan, Police Chief of Forks angry - but this couldn’t compare to that. He was absolutely livid. I swear I even saw his trimmed moustache twitch on more than one occasion. Of course I knew he couldn’t hurt me, but I couldn’t keep a slight bubble of fear restlessly churning in my dormant stomach.
I didn’t want his disapproval, but I knew I was getting it.
He glared at my face and I stared into his brown eyes. They were exactly like Bella’s - a lot of him has been given genetically to her, so I thanked him in my mind. He brought a large hand to his forehead, massaging considerably at the pain his emotions were giving him.
“Cullen.” he spat.
“Chief, Sir,” I liked to be polite, it usually won people over but I could tell it wouldn’t work today.
“You know why I’m having this conversation with you, but I’m going to tell you some things you don’t know. Some home truths, perhaps. You may think you’re all high and mighty coming back here because you got bored,” I opened my mouth to object but he raised his hand to halt my impending interruption.
I felt a small wave of fury wash over me as he accused me of coming back because I was simply bored. I wish it was only that, instead of the constant…agony I felt without her. I’d rather it would be simple boredom, then I would never hurt her again. I would never carve her heart out with my bare hands and I wouldn’t have to face the eternal pain that I was sure to have when I lost her. It was inevitable I would; so I couldn’t blame myself for the anger I felt. If it was boredom, I could find a new toy. But I could never find a new Bella. She was the one and only. If I was bored, I could have simply left and never came back, having no anguish in my body and she could have been spared the same. Yet it wasn’t like that. And I wanted him to know that.
“While you’ve been out, doing God knows what - my Bella has been in pain. Not the ordinary teenage crush pain that kids get over in a week - I could only wish. This has been full blown depression, isolation and agony. You have no idea what she’s been through while you’ve been away, nor do you probably care - but my god, I plan to tell you,” he spat again.
I took a few calming breaths, welcoming the pain that was about to come. I knew what he was going to say to me was to hurt.
“When you left her, no one could find her. I come home to a little letter on my bench and I think nothing of it. You were always private and I respected that. But when it comes to around midnight, hell am I worried. The worry is so huge I feel like my body has been carved in millions of pieces. We have a huge search party out in that forest for her, but no one can find her. Can you imagine how that felt? Knowing that my own daughter was out there somewhere, in the freezing cold with no one to protect her. I knew you and you’re family had left. I checked there first, so I knew she would be alone. The relief I felt when Sam Uley walked out of them trees, holding her securely in his arms… you have no idea,” he mumbled.
He was silent for a few moments, processing his emotions and his thoughts. I had never took Charlie as man of many words, but I knew the ones he did say were deep and meaningful. It was obvious the love and adoration he felt for his young daughter.
“I thought that would be the worst of it. But the first couple of days, she wouldn’t eat, or drink, or talk - she wouldn’t even move. Can you imagine that? I was sick with worry, watching my little girl being eaten away at because of her demons…because of you.” he paused as if processing a memory, and then carried on, leaving something out I noticed. “eventually, she ate, she drank and slept. She moved around the house and to go to and from school. She’d do her work on time and would talk when spoken to directly but never anything else. She stopped listening to music, stopped watching television - even stopped reading,”
My mouth fell open in shock, to which Charlie nodded in agreement.
“It took me a while to register what she was doing - she was avoiding everything that reminded her of you. Hell, she tried. I’ve never seen someone try so hard, it hurt watching. I’ve never felt so helpless, yet I knew this was more than just a simple school girl crush - it was so much more. She was a zombie, the life had been sucked out of my little girl. Her eyes had lost that sparkle and her lips were never a smile. I missed her smile and her small laugh more than anything,” he whispered.
I saw the pain he had went through, not only Bella but him too. I had never felt so selfish in my life. My insides burned and my heart tore as I saw Charlie Swan, Chief of Police - almost cry. The pain I experienced was overwhelming - corroding my edges, leaving my breathless.
He coughed uncomfortably.
“She started to recover, started to become Bella again, mainly because of Jake. That kid, he started fixing her - she needed it. He was always so warm and happy, he was the shoulder she so desperately needed. I knew he wanted more, but she only needed his friendship. It was hard seeing that, but I was too grateful seeing her smile again. She’s happier now, not fully back to normal, but close enough.”
I watched as the sadness slowly seeped out of his eyes, and the fire returned.
“Do you understand, boy?” he asked.
My throat went dry as I shook my head quickly.
“I understand what I put her through…but if you could just listen…” I muttered.
“To what? To some silly excuses as to why I nearly lost my daughter? No way, Cullen. She’s coming back to life, finally. And I’m sure as hell not allowing her to go back to that zombie. You are not to see her,” he demanded.
“Sir, if you could just let me talk, for one moment,” I murmured. I paused of agreement and sighed in relief as he slowly nodded his head with a grimace.
“Chief, I need to only say a few things. I’m truly sorry for what I put you through, I never wanted to hurt you emotionally. But, I need to make things clear. I love Bella, with every fibre of my being. It’s as if…she’s my heart. Without her, I’m nothing. I can’t breathe without her. I can’t live without her. I’m nothing without her. I know that’s hard to believe after what I put her though, but it’s true. These past months have been the hardest thing ever imaginable. You have no idea the sheer velocity of the pain I had without her, the longing. I missed her more than people would think. It was if I had left my other half behind - my better half at that. So when someone says to me, I can’t see her - it physically hurts. She’s not something I can leave behind again. I never want to hurt her again, ever. I hate myself for the last time. But you have to understand…she’s my world, she’s my everything,” I murmured.
He stared at me for some time before saying one more thing to me.
“Regardless, you are not to set one foot into my door, you hear me? I won’t allow it. The rest…well that’s up to her.” he muttered before striding into the lounge with a can of beer and taking a large swig.
I was left motionless in the kitchen, clinging to the bench. I raked my free hand through my bronze hair and came up with my decision.
I needed to talk to Bella.
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