AH: When Isabella Swan wakes up in a hospital, she’s got a lot of catching up to do. Thanks to a car accident, she’s can’t remember anything from the past four years, least of all the fact that she has a husband. Scrambling to make sense of this new life, Bella meets a dark, brooding doctor who unveils a secret about her new life she isn’t sure she can handle.
2. Chapter 1
Rating 2.5/5 Word Count 3027 Review this Chapter
What time is it?
I was unable able to open my eyes all the way, viewing the world through bleary half-opened eyes. Everything I saw, which was nothing but unidentifiable blotches of color, was like seeing through a black screen.
God, my head hurts.
I am never drinking again. Ever. No excuses. This was the worst hangover of my life. The noise in my head sounded like a screwdriver going through a pencil sharpener.
How long have I been lying here?
I can’t tell if it is morning, night, or any other time. It’s not like I can open my eyes enough to have decided.
I could majorly go for some water right now. My mouth is so parched, it’s like the Sahara Dessert resides in it. I take the most painful swallow of my life. My head is worst than before. I can’t even think.
What was that noise?
I feel woozy. . .
Was I awake? How long had I been asleep? One day? Five days? An hour? Ten hours? Fifteen minutes? Nothing was in its right perspective.
My tongue tasted like sandpaper on the roof of my mouth, like the feeling you get after burning your mouth. I could feel my heart’s pulse in my head. It thumped rhythmically, the beast almost hypnotic like it was lulling me back to sleep.
No! I needed to stay awake and get a handle on this situation. I opened my eyes before squeezing them shut simultaneously. Whoa, that light was bright. Was I seeing the light? Did I die? The ice pick being driven into my head seemed to agree. I can’t be dead! That would mean that I’d miss Rosalie’s wedding. She’d kill me, assuming that I was not already dead.
My body was achy everywhere. The last time I felt this bad was when I had the flu on top of getting food poisoning. I spent ten straight days with a higher than one hundred degree fever, curled up into the fetal position on my bathroom floor under a mountain of blankets.
I didn’t have swine flu, did I? Isn’t that the thing that everyone has been freaking out over for the past month. The stupid pig epidemic? I mean, I know we’ve joked about it all the time, sanitizing every surface, and yelling swine flu whenever someone did as little as cough. I’m a vegetarian for Pete’s sake! At least, I think you get the virus from eating pork but I don’t even eat meat. Talk about karma.
Where am I?
I raked my mind to remember what had happened last night. Was it last night? What day is it? It’s Wednesday, right?
Oh crap! My manuscript!
That stupid, stupid manuscript. I hated that freaking manuscript. It was the biggest piece of garbage I had ever read but for some reason, the small independent publishing company I worked for, Madruga Publishing, had deemed it worthy of seeing ink that didn’t come out of Ian Brown, the writer’s, personal printer. The book was titled Future Wave, and its contents didn’t get much better than its title. It was a pathetically cheesy mix of Back to the Future meets Surfs Up.
It tells the tale of a young surfer whose hometown is destroyed by an unexpected tidal wave which wipes out the entire community. Miraculously, the eighteen year old not only survives but is also inexplicably is also sent a century into the future. Instead of exercising the tiniest bit of creativity, Brown opted to have the future remain the exact same. No society changes. No technology differences. Everything is the exact same. The man then befriends a close group of friends, all within his age group and, to throw you a curve ball, also surf. It’s vital to mention that there is the knockout beauty that he falls in love with. If that isn’t a tantalizing enough storyline, there is also a conflict. It was his father that sent the wave that cast him into the 2100’s and now he had to make the decision if he was to stay where he was, blissfully happy in the arms of his love, or the return to his original time period, and save his past.
Excuse me while I gag.
I shouldn’t be bitter, though. I am a bit ashamed and embarrassed from my uncharacteristic hostility. It was through my own faults that I am stuck in the predicament that I am. I’ve taken my position as an intern, in the hopes of eventually becoming an editor because, in all honestly and crudeness, I didn’t have the balls it takes to do what I want.
It is kind of like that sticker I bought years ago and had only recently come upon when clearing out my old stuff from Charlie’s: Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. Those who can’t teach, teach gym.
Except, in this equation I’m not a teacher in any way or form and absolutely hate anything physical thanks to my clumsy tendencies. Actually, that was a crappy comparison but it’s the only thing I can come up with. The truth is I, myself, wish to write. I want to take my turn at playing God, so to speak, and create my own world where I can express myself freely and take my own shot at getting the reader to find a new perspective. Instead I’m stuck cruising books and the internet to make sure that Mexico really is a thirty-nine minute drive from Ocean Beach (thank you Future Wave page 47.)
I’ve written my own material before. In fact, I have my laptop’s memory filled to the brim with stories and paths lesser taken. What I can’t do is have a person other than myself look over my material. I pour my heart and soul into what I type, over thinking and over scrutinizing every single detail and decision that I allow, or don’t allow the character to take. In some cases, the character’s personality is so strong that they won’t even agree with what I want them to do, even when I can see that doing so would only leave them disaster, as crazy as that sounds.
Instead of allowing myself what I want, I succumb to my fears and insecurities and spend my days researching all references made in poorly worded, badly developed plot lines when I’d rather be at home, curled up on my tan leather couch, television tuned to TLC with my trusty laptop on my lap.
But I can’t even think of home that well because my head was foggy and shifting around like it was stuck on shuffle. I keep trying to skip to the next thought but I wind up with something entirely different. Like when you’re listening to Debussy and you skip to the next song only to find it blaring Linkin Park.
And I can’t even go home to escape into another universe on my laptop or console myself with music because I didn’t know where that hell I was.
My hand gripped the sheets at my side and pulled them up to my chest. The sheets felt strange, not at all like my Target bought ones at home; this fabric was too stiff and starchy. My shirt felt off too, in contrast to the sheets, it was practically cashmere.
Hold on. I’m not with someone, was I?
It would kind of explain the soreness but there’s no way in hell I was drunk enough last night to have called Mike to venturing into some last night rendezvous and I’m not the type of girl who has one night stands. Twice in college was quite enough for me. I hated the walk of shame, the detachment, and the absolutely animalistic need.
While I wouldn’t consider Mike and me dating, nor would I ever want it to escalate to that, it was still a grey area. We hadn’t vocalized it, but I considered it common courtesy to remain exclusive until otherwise. I am not the kind of person who would cheat. Elementary school saying: treat others as you wish to be treated. I don’t want to be stabbed in the back. I’ve had that. I’ve experienced that. It is nothing I would intentionally inflict upon another. If I wasn’t with a guy, then where was I?
I tentatively opened one eye. I was lying in a bed with rails and a panel with buttons. To the left the wall had windows with plastic blinds. There was a table next to the bed, holding a few bouquets of flowers. An IV bag steadily dripped liquid through the tube connected to soft side of my arm into my bloodstream.
I scourged around the deepest corners of my mind to find any connection, any recognition at all. I had nearly drunk enough alcohol last night to be omitted for alcohol poisoning. No puzzle pieces matched. There were only the most random inconsequential things.
Making painful small talk with my Charlie at the only diner in Forks, as he did his own version of drilling me for information on my mother.
The smell of strawberries, strong and overpowering.
Louise Garrett’s fifth grade Halloween party. I had been so excited about my costume. I was going at Elton John. I always listened to his music on plane rides when we hit turbulence and I felt uncomfortable. My mother, Renee, would always have his music playing around the house as she cleaned or in the car when she drove me to and from school. His music was the sound of home and safety. My excited was quickly overshadowed by disappointment as none of my peers know who I was, and mocked me for dressing as a boy while the rest of the girls were dolled up in fairy wings and glitter. The night hit a new low for me when I accidentally sat on a batch of caramel apples. I can still remember the way my eyes prickled when the others laughed, watching as I pulled sticky caramel from myself. . .
Wait, apples! Alice was drinking an Appletini.
I fought through the monstrous fog in my mind to uncover more details. I had to remember more than just that. Alice doesn’t always drinking Appletinis, except for when we go to. . .
Yes, that was it. We went to Tug’s, that one bar with crappy sound, splits in the vinyl seats, waitresses with real God-given boobs, and had the best assorted nuts. Its name was –
Nothing. My mind drew another blank.
Why were we even at that bar? We only go there when someone’s had a fuckfest of a day or someone got dumped. Hold on, not dumped. No, no one got dumped but someone got . . . the opposite of dumped? What is the opposite of dumped? Picked up? The only thing my mind could picture was the image of a man taking his garbage out to the curb.
Engaged. Oh my God, Rosalie and Royce were engaged. Personally, I thought Rosalie’s boyfriend, – err I guess fiancé – Royce King gave me the creeps. I always felt uneasy around him, not in the ‘I think he’s going to rape me’ way but more ‘I wish he’d stop staring down at me and give me more than a one word response’ way. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.
What happened that night? I went on that mind numbing tortuous date with Mike. All he did was talk about himself. His job. His apartment. His dog. His hair. I honestly could not even recall the color that grew form the crown of his head, other than that is was so laden with product it would remain in place during a tornado.
So we went to the bar, Tug’s, I complained of my date, complained about my job, Rosalie’s announcement, more drinks, and then –
And then what? My mind drew a blank like that memory had been the final lines of my conclusion but someone had snubbed them away with a pencil’s eraser.
That’s weird. I’ll have to text Alice and see what happened.
Where was my bag?
Had I been robbed? Did I walk through a dark alley and get ambushed. Is that way I’m in a hospital? Was I violated? Was I –
My frantic thinking came to an erupt halt when a Latina nurse with wide hips, dressed in blue scrubs entered the room. She smiled when she saw me awake.
“Bella, hi,” she greeted in a high pitched, perky voice. “I’m so glad to see that you’re up. How are you feeling?”
“Okay, I guess. My head is killing me and I’m sore but fine, other than that.”
“I have some painkillers here for you. They should help with the pain.” I was handed a cup with two oblong pills in it and another cup of water. I swallowed them quickly, mentally jumping with joy to water down the Sahara Dessert baking in my mouth.
“Thank you . . .” I trailed off not knowing her name
“Adrienne and it was no problem. That’s why I’m here.” She gave me an all teeth smile.
“Thank you anyways, Adrienne. It’s nice to meet you.”
“Oh, we’ve met before. Twice, actually.”
“Really?” I speed through my mind for any sign of reorganization towards the petite woman standing in front of me, cheeks blazing in embarrassment towards my forgetfulness.
“That’s okay. It’s an expected side effect with your type of injury and you weren’t quiet lucid when the conversations happened.” Adrienne patted my hand motherly.
I had been to the hospital many times. Too many times to count. Broken arm, sprained ankle, tripped and hit my head. I was a regular this time I got to work with the new element of how I had no sliver of an idea why I was the place I dreaded.
“I’m sorry but I have to ask, why am I here?”
And where the heck were Alice and Rosalie. Shouldn’t they be here holding my hand, instead of a nurse I had just recently met, or maybe not recently, according to Adrienne. Isn’t that what best friends were for? When Alice had to get her wisdom teeth removed the summer before the three of us went off to college, Rosalie and I had accompanied her to her appointment. We patiently waited through the procedure and, afterwards, took her to Rosalie’s where we watched all the Molly Ringwald movies and fed her strawberry jello, making sure none of it fell embarrassingly out of her mouth. Alice and Rosalie always came with me, much to my mortification, whenever I had to take a trip to the large white building to get a splint or x-ray done yet now they were no where to be seen.
“You were in a car accident and took a good hit to the head in it. Do you remember anything about the incident, or what happened before?”
Car accident? My eyes widened as it all came back to me. We were celebrating Rosalie’s soon to be engagement and went outside to grab a cab. It was raining and I was trying to hail a taxi to take us home. My bag slipped out of my hands and I chased after it. The pavement was slick with the water and oil mixture. I must have hit my head on the pavement or something.
“Yes, I think so. Do you know where my bag is?”
“Your possessions were taken when you were removed from the scene. It’s being kept in a safe location. I’ll go hop by the nurses’ station then grab your things and come back here. I’ll only be a moment.” Adrienne cheerily left the room, humming under her breath. Nice to know she like her job.
Adrienne didn’t lie when she said she wouldn’t take long. I had only enough to asses the room before she reappeared (it was a decent sized room with my own bathroom, a brown faux leather chair in the corner, and a bedside table with flowers on it). She handed me a calfskin purse before saying in her sunshine voice, “I’ll just go alert your doctor that you’re awake.”
“Wait!” I called after her.
She turned around and flitted to my side. “I’m sorry but this isn’t my bag.” I handed her the expensive purse back. The bag that I had lost was an oversized woven bag. Not this extravagant purse that looked like it belonged on one of the pages from Alice’s fashion magazine.
Adrienne took the bag of offense from my hands, the tiniest trace of a frown on her face, the closest form of emotion other than happiness I had yet to see on her, and flipped a tag attached to the handle. “It says your name here.” She stuck your hand inside and pulled out a wallet. “And this is your I.D.”
Adrienne handed it to me as proof. She was right. There I was, the picture on my driver’s license just as hideous as it has been every year. I furrowed my brow in confusion but took that purse back and said, “Sorry, I’m just really confused right now,” even though I had no doubt in my mind that that bag did not belong to me.
She smiled understandingly, in the way the nurses always do, even when you say the most miniscule things such as the skin under my cast itches. “That’s okay. I’ll be right back,” and left.
Curiosity got the best of me and I opened the purse myself. I mean, after all it did have my wallet in here. Seemed like a weird coincidence. The leather felt like butter under my fingertips. Inside the main compartment, there was a small plastic, white bag. I decided to start there. I untwisted the plastic and turned it upside down. An engagement ring and a wedding ring clinked into my palm.
It would have been easily to think the rings belonged to someone else if it had not for my initials engraved on the inside of the bands.