Chapter Eleven Recovery and the truth about Ashley’s past

Kristen started to open eyes, but everything was out force. “Kristen?” asked a voice. She shut her eyes more tightly and started opening them again. “Baby?” asked the voice. Everything was blurry. “Kristen?” whispered a blurry shape. Everything came into force. She was lying in a hospital bed in a room at Phoenix Hospital. The walls were light blue and the blinds on the windows had been pulled down. There was a flat-screen TV on the wall in front of her and a painting of a ballet studio on the wall at the side. There was a breathing tube plugged into Kristen’s nose and she had been put on a heart monitor. Her wrist and the wound on her leg was bandaged and her leg was in a cast. The voice and the blurry shape turned out to be Sarah. “Mom?” asked Kristen. “Hey” replied Sarah, smiling. She was leaning over her. “Where is he? Where’s... Where’s Robert?” asked Kristen. “He’s asleep” replied Sarah, looking at him. He was sitting on a sofa with his eyes closed. “He never leaves” she said. Kristen looked at him. “And your dad, he’s down at the cafeteria” said Sarah. “What happened?” asked Kristen. “Well, when you fell, you broke your leg, and you lost a lot of blood” replied Sarah. Kristen looked confused. “You don’t remember any of this, do you?” asked Sarah. Kristen shook her head slightly. “Robert came down with his dad to try to convince you come back to Forks. So you went over to their hotel, then you tripped, and you fell down two flights of stairs. Went through a window” said Sarah, getting upset. Kristen knew that wasn’t true. Sarah thought Kristen was trying to remember it. Kristen looked at Robert again. He must have said that was what happened, best to go along with it. She looked back at Sarah. “Yeah, that sounds like me” she said. “Oh, honey, I’m so sorry” said Sarah and stoked Kristen’s hair. A phone vibrated, Sarah pulled her one out and Kristen looked at her. “It’s Ty. He’s so worried about you” said Sarah. Kristen then noticed that Sarah was texting him back. “You’re texting” said Kristen eyeing the phone. Sarah chuckled. “Finally, yeah” she said. She sent the text, put her phone away and tell back to Kristen. “I told him to stay down in Florida” she said. Kristen looked down and closed her eyes for a moment. “Honey, you are gonna love Jacksonville. (Kristen’s eyes popped wide open and she looked around with them). It’s sunny very day, and we found the cutest little house, and you’ve got your own bathroom” said Sarah. “Mom, I still want to live in Forks” said Kristen. “What?” asked Sarah. “I want to live in Forks” replied Kristen. “Well, ok, but we’ll talk about it” said Sarah, stoking Kristen’s hair again. Then Kristen remembered that Sarah had said Billy was here. “Do you mind getting Dad? I have to talk to him. Apologize” she said. “Ok, baby. I’ll go get him” said Sarah. She leaned in and kissed Kristen on the forehead. “And I’ll go get a nurse, ok?” asked Sarah. “Ok” replied Kristen. Sarah went around the bed and walked out the room. Kristen watched her.

After a moment, Kristen looked at Robert, to see that he had his eyes open and he was looking at her. “So what happened? Where’s Cam?” asked Kristen. Robert stood up and walked towards the bed. “We took care of it” he said. He sat down in the chair next to the bed. “And the woman, Rachelle, she ran off” he said. They starred at each other. “I’m alive because of you” said Kristen. “No, you’re in here because of me” said Robert. Kristen looked at him. “The worst part of it was that I thought I wasn’t gonna be able to stop” said Robert. “You did stop” said Kristen. “Kristen, you gotta go to Jacksonville so I can’t hurt you anymore” said Robert. Kristen looked at him and raised her head off the pillow. She was getting upset. “What? Are you... No! No!” she said loudly. Robert just looked at her. “I don’t even know what you’re... How... What are you talking about? (Robert looked down knowing it was upsetting her). You want me to go away? I can’t... No, I can’t... I can’t just leave you...” said Kristen. “I know” said Robert looking at her. Kristen stopped and looked at him. “We can’t be apart. You can’t leave me” she said. Robert leaned forward and took hold of her hand. “I’m here” he said. Kristen calmed down. “Ok, just don’t... You just can’t say stuff like that to me. Ever” she said and leaned back on the pillow. Robert stood up and leaned over her. “Where else am I gonna go?” he asked. He leaned in and kissed her on the forehead. Then he looked down into Kristen’s eyes for a minute.

He pulled away. “I think I can hear Billy” he said. Kristen looked towards the door. “I’ll wait outside, let you be alone with him” said Robert. He walked to the door and held it open for Billy. “I’m letting you have some privacy with her” said Robert. “Alright” said Billy and walked in. Billy’s face was very pale. He took in Kristen on the bed and walked over to her. He sat down on the edge of the bed. “Dad, I’m really sorry” said Kristen. “For what?” asked Billy. “For all the things I said the last time I saw you and for nearly taking myself away from you and Mom forever” replied Kristen, tears welling up in her eyes. “You don’t need to apologize for that, something was bothering you and you needed to get it off your chest” said Billy. Kristen started to cry. “Come here” said Billy and carefully pulled her into a light hug. Kristen hugged him back. From outside the door, Sarah and Robert were watching.

A week later, Kristen was back in Forks. After a talk with both her and Billy, Sarah decided that Kristen should stay in Forks. One afternoon, Kristen was lying in bed, looking out of the window at the grey sky. The bandages were off, but her leg was still in a cast. The wound on her leg had gone, but Cam had left a scar on her wrist. Since leaving hospital, Kristen had not been allowed to walk. Suddenly, from downstairs, there was a knock on the door. Kristen looked at her alarm clock. Peter was coming to take her to Robert’s home later on, but it was far too early for him. Billy opened the door. “Chief Charles. I want to introduce myself. I’m Ashley Simon, Robert’s sister” came Ashley’s voice. “Hi, Ashley” said Billy. “Is it ok if I saw Kristen before Peter got here?” asked Ashley. “Just let me ask her” replied Billy. Kristen could hear Billy coming up the stairs towards her room. The door opened and Billy pecked in. “You heard didn’t you?” he asked. Kristen nodded. “You wanna see her?” asked Billy. Kristen nodded again, smiling this time. “Ashley!” called Billy. Almost at once, Ashley was standing in the doorway. “I’m leave you to it” said Billy and walked downstairs. Ashley closed the door and walked to Kristen’s bed. Kristen sat up and let Ashley sat on the bed. “You saw this didn’t you?” asked Kristen. “How did you guess?” asked Ashley. They smiled at each other. “How are you feeling?” asked Ashley. “I’m ok, just fed up about being carried everywhere. I swear, I’m gonna lose the use of both legs” replied Kristen. Ashley looked away. “What’s wrong?” asked Kristen, noticing. “When Edi came to the house the night we left for Forks, he told Peter some of my history” replied Ashley. “What? I thought he gave us information about Cam and Rachelle?” asked Kristen. “He did that as well. Do you want to hear it?” asked Ashley. Kristen nodded slowly.

“I was born Ashley Baker in Biloxi, Mississippi in 1903, my eyes were brown before it happened and turned at the age of seventeen in 1920” said Ashley. “What happened to your family?” asked Kristen. “My mother died giving birth to me and my father remarried when I was seven” replied Ashley. “What was your life like?” asked Kristen. “Until my father remarried, I was happy, but afterwards, I was miserable” replied Ashley. “Why?” asked Kristen. “My step mother hated me and the visions I had made her jealous. So one night, my father and step mother snatched me from my bed and locked me away in a mental asylum” replied Ashley. “That’s horrible” said Kristen. “In the mental asylum my head was shaved during the threat of a typhoid outbreak. I also had to endure the electroshock therapy. The treatment caused me to lose my memory, but it allowed my naturally cheerful and humorous disposition to return” said Ashley. “That’s doesn’t sound too bad” said Kristen. “Unknown to me, a vampire was working as a groundskeeper at the asylum. This vampire, who was taking advantage of this pool of humans who could die without much notice being taken, formed an attachment to me. He kept me from shock treatments and other horrors whenever he could” said Ashley. “Sounds like he was protecting you” said Kristen. “He learned of my abilities; I always went he was coming to visit me. He would bring hidden objects with him, to see if I could guess what he had. I was always right” said Ashley. “I bet you were” said Kristen, smiling. “Then I had a vision of Cam. It occurred the moment he caught my scent, old and faded. I saw Cam find me. I told my only friend, the vampire, and he knew that what I was seeing was fact. He bit me immediately and took me away to hide me. Knowing this would barely slow Cam, he put himself in Cam’s path to delay him. From my vision, he knew Cam was a strong hunter, and that it was a fight he would not win” said Ashley. “He took that risk to save you” said Kristen. “Just like the one you took to save your mother, before you find out it was a trap” said Ashley, looking at her.

“So what happened?” asked Kristen. “After my transformation, I awoke alone. The pain of the transformation had the same effect on me as the shocks; I remembered nothing of my life in the asylum, or of the vampire who had turned me. I was unaware of Cam as the reason for my change. Fortunately, my psychic gifts were now greatly enhanced and strengthened. I was able to see the best future for myself” replied Ashley.

“The first clear vision I had as a vampires was of Jackson. I knew he was my future mate, but I also knew that he wasn’t ready for me yet. Instead of going to look for him, I waited for him to find me. In the meantime, I practiced – with sporadic success – living a “vegetarian” lifestyle, knowing that in time me and Jackson would end up with the Simon family” said Ashley. Kristen looked at her.

“In 1948, I went to a small diner in Philadelphia where I knew me and Jackson were destined to meet. Though my greeting was characteristically cryptic, Jackson’s ability to feel the emotions of those around him allowed him to appreciate the magnitude of the occasion. I was already in love; Jackson quickly learned to reciprocate” said Ashley. “He loved you the way you loved him?” asked Kristen. “It was love at first sight” replied Ashley, smiling at her.

“To please me, Jackson began practicing a “vegetarian” lifestyle as well. By 1950, when we joined the Simons, I was able to control my thirst as well as the rest of the family did. Jackson continues to have more difficulty with his self-restraint as you already know” Ashley shot Kristen a look.

“How well do you get on with Robert and the others?” asked Kristen. “I love all of my adoptive family, but I have a special bond with Robert. Thanks to his mind-reading abilities, he is the only one who truly understands what it is like to live with constant visions of the future. I came to love Peter as my father, Elizabeth as my mother, Kellan and Robert as my brothers and Nikki as my sister” replied Ashley. “And Jackson as your soul mate?” asked Kristen. “Of course” replied Ashley.

“Why did Edi bring this up?” asked Kristen confused. “It turns out that after Cam had finished with you, he was planning to finish me off as well” replied Ashley. Kristen froze in terror. “When did you learn this?” she asked when she could talk. “As soon as we got back from Phoenix. Peter had been debating whether to tell me. He took me aside and told me. Until you, I was the only one that got away from him” replied Ashley. “Do you think Edi or Rachelle will come back?” asked Kristen. “Rachelle certainly will, but Edi I’m not so sure” replied Ashley. They looked at each other. There was a knock on the front door. Billy opened it. “Kristen, Dr. Simon’s here” he called. “Ok” called Kristen.

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