Chapter 10: What have I done?!
I formulated my plan of ‘attack’, a.k.a go see how Bella is holding up, the day after my heated phone conversation with Carlisle, Esme, Alice and Jasper. I would go at night, very late, so the chance of her not being awake would almost be guaranteed. I could not risk getting caught, by her or her police chief father. I was pretty sure that this wouldn’t go down too well with him. I didn’t want to get arrested and thrown in jail in something.
And so, I finally worked up the courage to go check up on her on the twenty-fifth of December: Christmas Day. Not the greatest day to go do my task, I admit, but I promised Mom that I would be back in a week, and that week was almost up. I needed to do this and I needed to do it now.
I changed into a tan button-down shirt and jeans; the kind a back-packer or hiker might wear, and I wore my hair down, for mere connivance really, no hat on today. I went barefoot, so my shoes wouldn’t get ripped off when my feet morphed, if they did that is. I was getting more controlled with it nowadays but still… if I got angry enough, it would happen. But, like said, I could control it better. And going without shoes was a lot more convenient as well too.
I set off towards the main part of Forks as soon as the sun had finished its descent into the horizon. I stuck to the woods, silently thanking the Lord for surrounding Forks with such thick forests, that no reasonably intelligent human could ever think to wander in. Especially since there was a significant population of vampires frequently hunting the animals there.
I had never been to Bella Swan’s house before so I had no clue where it was, but I knew where Charlie Swan’s work was: the police station in downtown Forks. Fortunately by mere chance, he was leaving there when I arrived to follow his cruiser home, so I didn’t happen to wait. Where there had been dense trees to hide me, I stuck to them sprinting flat-out, sometimes moving faster then the car could move. And when the trees thinned, I slowed to human walking speed and casually followed the cruiser, as Charlie drove slower then normal through the dark, rainy streets.
When he reached his house, I immediately darted into the woods and stayed there until I heard the lights click off in the Swan household. I had heard Charlie talking, but no whisper of sound from Bella apart from a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ to every question Charlie asked. She was cooking, steak by the smell of it. When they had eaten, Charlie had tried his best to communicate with Bella but she only replied with one word answers.
I couldn’t see them but the sound of Bella’s voice told me enough. Bella was dead.
Not physically dead, but she was broken, depressed, gone… she wasn’t Bella Swan anymore. When Edward had left her, he had taken part of her soul.
But yet at the same time, ironically, she had taken, or more correctly he had left, a proportion of his soul with her.
To get inside, I crept around to the front yard, keeping as low as I could to the ground before I came to a huge tree that grew right up in front of the house, blocking some windows from view. I touched it and immediately, smelled my brother’s scent. It too was old, but only by a couple of months, dating back to September, I concluded. That was the month for when he left Bella.
I climbed up the tree easily, before I reached a wide branch. I kept low on it like a lynx as I slinked towards the closest open window. It was dark inside but with my keen eyesight, I could see through it easily. I saw nothing but a plain, dark wall though.
The branch I was standing on was still a few feet away from the window and so, I carefully jumped and landed with barely any jolt on the windowsill. I lifted the window easily with one hand; testing it first for noise, which it did, squeaking noisily in the old frame, but I ignored it and kept on going, pushing it up all the way.
I slid into Bella Swan’s room, and as I entered, I paused to survey her room.
An oldish computer was sitting on a plain desk surrounded by a few books. She was into the classics, no Harry Potter, no Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants… she had quite good taste. There were a few Shakespearean titles but to my extreme relief, there was no Romeo and Juliet. That was what I felt until I caught sight of a hardbound copy on her bedside table. I cursed myself silently, Bella was into all of that gooey, romantic shit. Yuck.
Wait, what was I doing? Why was I analysing her books when I needed to see her?
I turned around to see her in bed. She wore sweatpants and a ragged grey t-shirt with holes all through it, and she lay curled up in the foetus position, curled up on her side. I could see her dark mahogany hair, which I now noticed was a very similar shade to mine, was wet and stuck to her face as she slept.
There was something different about her. Way different. I didn’t notice until I silently walked around to the side of her bed.
She looked pale, almost as pale as I. She looked skinny, a bit too skinny for someone of her age and weight. Her skin was stretched tight over her cheeks and beneath her closed eyes, dark shadows that indicated restless nights of sleep were present. She hugged her stomach tightly, like she had to hold herself together.
“Oh god Bells,” I murmured, as I fell to my knees beside her. She shifted slightly, and shuffled towards me a bit, as though it was like she had heard me. I raised a hand and went to reach out towards her but I stopped suddenly when she began to sleep talk.
“No… Please… Don’t! Stay… Edward, stay! Don’t leave me... No!”
Her words were mumbled, confused, and they rang with despair. I went to grasp her hand, to tell her it was all going okay before she opened her mouth and screamed.
Not a normal hight-pitched scream, but a horrifying, bloodcurdling, halfway-through-transforming scream. She writhed in her bed, and to my extreme terror, she tugged a pillow to her face and held it there, muffling her screams but barely.
As I kneeled there, my mouth fell open in absolute horror, a though occurred to me. Where the hell was Charlie? Why was he laying in bed, possibly awake, listening to his only daughter screamed her lungs out over my brother?
Soon, after a few minutes, I heard Charlie’s bed next-door squeak as his snores suddenly cut out and as he sat up in bed. Bella’s screams cut out as on cue, and were replaced by horrible, gut-wrenching sobs. Her closed eyes were now screwed up as tears leaked out of them and down her bony cheeks.
I wanted to do something but I couldn’t. I wanted to hold her tight and tell her in was okay while she cried. I wanted to go race after my son-of-a-bitch brother and kick his ass into next century for doing this to her. This alone was the most gut-wrenching, saddest, heart-breaking scene that I have ever seen. No movie, book or song could recreate the sight I saw before me.
And then, I felt my chest rock with a sob as her pain began to affect me. I held my face in my hands, trying to stop myself but I couldn’t hold it all in. I fled the room.
I bounded out the window just as I heard Bella wrench herself awake, just as my legs disappeared out the window. I paused in the tree and peaked inside as Bella sat up in her bed, panting like she had just ran a marathon, or had just experiences a horrible nightmare. Seeing what I had just witnessed, I didn’t need to be a genius to figure out that she was having nightmares, absolutely horrifying nightmares.
And it was all my fault.
If I was stronger, if had been able to hold Jasper back and contain my insane bloodlust, I wouldn’t be here, perched in a tree, watching Bella fall back to sleep sobbing. I would be at home, with all of my family, and Edward would be with us.
All my fault... oh, dear God what have I done?!
I raced home. My family needed to know about this. They all did… Alice was going to kill me, not just for running away but for what I have caused… Dear Gold, they are all going to hate me!
As soon as I reached the house, a few minutes past midnight, I grabbed all of my stuff, whirring around the house faster then the Tazzie Devil, I raced out of it, heading back towards my new home, all the way in Ithaca, thinking hard.
Why? Why oh Lord wasn’t I strong? Why wasn’t I strong like Esme, or Rosalie, or Alice, who all had near perfect records, unlike me? Why did I have to be the weakest link, the first of the chain to snap off when the weight got too heavy? Why?!
The whole time I ran, rumbles of grief where emitting from my chest, making me sound like an angry warthog but I didn’t care.
I kept on forcing myself to go faster and by the time I had reached the boundaries of Ithaca, the sun had risen above the horizon by a small fraction. Every time Bella’s pale face swam to the front of my mind, I pushed it back, trying to think of my family and when I would be seeing them again.
But eventually, the pain I had felt in Bella’s room took hold of me and it felt like I was drowning, like it was dragging me down into blackness, into absolute despair.
I stopped and leant against a tree, when I was a few miles from home, before I fell to my knees onto the forest floor. I sat there and cried, dry sobs rocking my body as I unwillingly recalled the memory of Bella sleep talking, screaming out, and panting out loudly as she woke up from her nightmares.
Even as the sun rose, I didn’t move but instead shifted to a curled up position, with my arms wrapped around my legs and my chin resting on my knees.
I couldn’t go home, how would I explain what I have caused to my family? And at the same time, I couldn’t go anywhere else. My family was everything that I have had. Only once had I left them for a prolonged period of time and that was for a year. Other times… they were just a day or two.
And so I just sat there, lost and confused.
I had been downstairs, helping Esme clean up on the Christmas wrappers when I came across a small pile shoved in the corner under the tree. Curious, I brought them forward.
Christmas wasn’t a really big thing for us. Before I had even met Alice, I didn’t even acknowledge that the day had passed. When we had first joined the Cullen’s, they showered us with more gifts then the others, to Rosalie’s annoyance, but now, we received the normal amount and gave out more then we intended, especially to Rosalie. Rose just loved to get presents.
I picked up the tag of the first present, one that looked like it could be a video game. To Shayla, love Carlisle and Esme, it read. I picked up a small container beside it, one that could contain jewellery of some kind. Shayla, love Alice xoxo, it said.
These were Shayla’s presets. I missed my little sister a lot. Although Rosalie and I got on extremely well, it was Shayla who was my favourite sister. We had bonded over her very first hunt, and as her immortal years past, we grew closer and closer. Alice was never jealous: she understood. It was like her relationship with Edward, one I was never jealous of. I understood. We both understood each other. That’s why I loved her so much.
Upstairs, I could here my Alice humming away as she put her presents away, which included a mountain load of clothes, and then, out of no where, she gasped, like she had an extraordinary vision.
I expected sadness, worry or even frustration radiating from her but instead I fel joy, nothing but joy. She laughed and raced to the top of the stairs.
“Jazz!” she called. “Shayla’s coming home!”
She laughed as she ran to Emmett and Rosalie’s bedroom who both emerged when she banged on the door. Annoyance and irritation emitted from them both until they both heard her words: Shayla’s coming home.
Emmett whooped as he picked up Alice and hugged her, swinging her in a circle, laughing madly with her. All I felt was joy, happiness and surprise radiating from my family as Esme and Carlisle came up, both beaming.
I couldn’t help it, I grinned widely. Shayla was coming home… who cared about the reason, all we cared about was the fact that she was coming home!
We were all happy but then Alice stopped, her joy turned into confusion, and then heartbreak. She stood still as I came towards her and pulled her towards me.
“Alice?” I asked cautiously as she stared off into space. “What is it? What do you see?”
She didn’t say anything, but horror and shock tumbled off of her. I felt them affect me, but I reeled them in and started to radiate calm as I felt everyone else around me start to panic. They relaxed as it hit them.
Alice was upset about her vision. I didn’t know what it was but I knew I had to comfort her. I pulled her closer to me and wrapped my arms around her. “Hey, hey, it’ll be alright Alice, just tell us what you saw,” I said softly, trying to calm her down. It worked and she relaxed. She then began to speak quickly.
“Shayla changed her mind. She’s not coming home, but she’s not going anywhere else. She’s deeply upset about something…” She paused as she still scanned the future. “I know where she is… and I’m going to go get her and bring her home – now.”
“I’m in!” Emmett boomed. “Let’s go!”
“Maybe a few of us should only go…” Rosalie mused. “I’ll go with Emmett.”
Alice looked mad. “But I –”
Carlisle cut her off. “No Alice, send Rosalie and Emmett. It might turn out well.”
Alice nodded her head. “I understand. And it will turn out well. I have seen it. Go Emmett, go Rosalie. And go quickly. She’s on the outskirts, near a river. Just go north until you pick up her trail. And stay downwind so she won’t smell you and run off.”
Nodding to her words, my brother and sister quickly sprinted out into the dark woods, to go find Shayla.