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Twelve years ago Edward left Bella thinking she would be safe and happy away from the dangers of his world. She wasn't. How can he make it up to her?
Each chapter written from a different POV with some overlap as the same incident is seen from a different perspective. Some new characters of my own imagination.
You know, all the recognisable characters are not mine. They belong to Stephanie Meyer and I hope I've used them in the spirit in which she created them.
3. Edward - Formidable Brain
Word Count 1741
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I heard the sadness in Bella’s, no, Isabelle’s voice and knew she was correct.
I had killed the Bella Swann that I loved. Actually, I had also killed the Edward Cullen that Bella had loved. It remained to be seen if what was left of the two of us was enough to forge a relationship. I knew that I wanted to try, I had to because I still loved who was left.
“I know you’re right, just as a part of me died then too. But that doesn’t mean that we cannot find out if there is enough of us left to grasp some happiness together.”
“Of course it does. Middle aged teacher Miss Swann cannot have anything even remotely improper to do with young student Mr Cullen. Isabelle is a lot more conventional and cowardly than Bella was.”
Bella glanced towards me with a half smile on her face. It was the closest she had come to actually looking at me.
I gasped. I hated that she referred to herself as ‘middle aged’. “You’re still as beautiful as I remember.”
I could see that she didn’t like that. Bella had always thought of herself as plain and never believed me when I said how beautiful she was.
“Damn, damn and double damn. I can’t move. Can you please go to my bedroom and bring the massager from my bed?”
She was clearly in a lot of pain. Should I call Carlisle?
“Bella, what’s wrong. What can I do to help?”
“There is no real problem. It would just be very helpful for me to have my back massaged. I generally sleep on a special heat and massage pad but I need it now so it would be helpful if you could go to my bedroom and bring the massager from my bed so that I can use it here for a while.”
“Would it not be better if I carried you to your bed? I can do so without jostling you.”
As much as I hated the idea of Bella being in pain, I welcomed the opportunity to once more hold her in my arms.
The bed covers had been folded back so it was easy to lay her gently down and cover her.
“There’s a control on the cabinet. Can you set it for programme two with the interval time set for twenty minutes, please?” Bella asked me.
I studied the control mechanism and thought of the implications of a teacher needing such a sophisticated model.
“How long will the programme last?”
“Would you like me to put some music on while it works away?”
“No. I don’t listen to music anymore.”
I was so shocked that I didn’t register the pain it brought me for a few seconds.
“Did you ever find the stuff of yours that I hid under the floor boards in your bedroom?” I asked, not sure what answer would be preferable.
“No. What a stupid place to leave a plane ticket. What a waste. Thank you for your help. Would you mind dropping the latch on your way out, please?”
Why wouldn’t she say something about the CD? At the time she said that I couldn’t have given her a more wonderful gift. Had she forgotten about it? But no, Bella had not forgotten, she was just choosing not to remember the pain of losing it.
“I shall wait until your therapy programme has finished in case I can offer further assistance. If you prefer, I shall wait in the living room.”
I was always more formal in my speech when I was upset.
“Thank you, I will feel more able to relax if I am alone.”
I left the room and quietly closed the door behind me. Bella could have her privacy and I would still be able to hear if she had need of me.
I had had a lot of practice in controlling my anger over the years. I had never needed that control more than I did now. It was even more difficult than usual because this time the anger was directed at no one but myself.
Alice had said that Bella looked more like Esme’s mother-in-law than Esme hers. At the time I thought she was exaggerating and the truth would be that they would appear to be more like sisters. But I was wrong. Bella had suffered greatly over the past twelve years and was suffering still. The pain was still etched on her face. In fact I thought that the pain was now so much a part of Bella that she was no longer conscious of it.
I knew Bella would never believe me, but I wished that I could take her hurts for myself since I could not kiss them away. The woman I loved was in great pain and there was nothing that I could do, that she would let me do. Unless I put my formidable brain to use to find a way.
I had lost track of time, a rare event for me, when I heard sounds of distress coming from Bella’s room. I raced to her aid.
Bella was not in physical pain. She was asleep, dreaming an unpleasant dream. This was a scenario with which I was familiar. Bella had been prone to nightmares in the past.
I knelt on the floor besides her bed and put my arms around her. I whispered words of comfort in her ear trying to sooth her.
“You came back!” she whispered, still asleep.
“Of course I did my love. And I will never, ever leave you again. You can sleep. I’ll still be here when you wake.”
I hummed her lullaby as Bella sunk into a calm rest.
I knew Bella would hate to wake to find me here like this with her so vulnerable. I had to leave, but not disturb her. I went to gently remove my arms when I noticed her left hand. It was completely rigid. I replayed everything I had seen of Bella over the past two days, through my own and Alice’s eyes and realised that it had not changed position in that time. It was not a prosthetic, there was human flesh, but she clearly had limited use and apparently no movement in it. The crutch, the back and now the hand. I wondered how many more clues I would get about the extent of her injuries.
I went to the bedroom door and knocked upon it as if just entering the room.
“Bella! Bella! Your programme has finished. You’ve fallen asleep. Is there anything you need to do, anything I can get you before you settle down for the night?”
Bella started to shift. She groaned slightly with her movements.
“I’m sorry, what?”
“You seem to have fallen asleep. Your massage programme finished a while ago. So do you need to do anything or can I get you anything before you settle down for the night?”
“Yes, I need to have quite a few human minutes before going to bed these days. Thanks for waking me. I’ll be fine now, I promise.”
“Alright. I will leave you now. I’ll drop the latch on my way out as you requested, and I won’t be back before eight o’clock tomorrow night. Goodnight my love. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
I left quickly before Bella could react to my declaration that I would be back the next night, or the fact that I called her ‘my love’; but I savoured the reference to an old joke between us about Bella needing time in the bathroom because she was human.
I ran home determined to speak with Carlisle about Bella’s needs. Find out what I could do to help, and then, the hardest part, find away to do so that Bella would allow. But one thing I was positive about, she had to have a more comfortable home even if I had to build it with my own two hands.
When I arrived home everyone bar Rosalie was waiting for me.
“Well? Will she be our friend?” Alice didn’t even wait for me to take my jacket off.
“She doesn’t know yet. But she did say that the only thing she really blames me for is for taking you away and not just myself. She thinks that if only she had someone she could have really talked to she wouldn’t have been so bad.”
“I get what she means, but she doesn’t just blame you for that, she also blames me for letting myself be persuaded into losing touch. How can we make it up to her?”
“I’m glad you asked me that, Alice. I have a plan. Carlisle, Esme, I’m going to really need your particular expertise.”
“Before you ask me anything, Edward, you have to know that Isabelle Swann is now a patient of mine and I cannot break doctor / patient confidentiality, so don’t probe my mind about her.”
I thought about Carlisle’s words. I knew Bella would be upset if I violated any trust between her and her doctor, but there had to be a way round it.
“Okay, but perhaps you can advise this couple who are friends of mine, Joe and Jane. Jane was involved in a serious car accident that has left her with partial paralysis, continual pain and not a lot of money. Joe wants to build a home for them that will allow Jane to be comfortable while she’s there – she goes to work as a erm, librarian, Joe can stay at home to look after her, but she’s very proud and might not let him so she’ll need fittings and gadgets that will allow her to be independent. Esme, can you design a home for this couple?”
I knew Esme wanted to do something that would allow her to contribute to making life more comfortable for Bella. The smile on her face as she nodded and started work was very clear. Jasper and Emmett were looking forward to the chance to stretch their muscles again as well, even more so since it was in a good cause.
I looked at Alice. She had not realised the extent of Bella’s injuries and was wallowing in guilt. She had to snap out of it because I would need her help, too. Come to think of it, I would also need Rosalie’s and I wasn’t sure if she would give it.