The interrogation room at the Forks police station was nothing like the ones you see in movies. There was no chair and small Formica table, no single light bulb swinging above my head and no double sided mirror.
No, the one in the Forks police station was poorly ventilated, smelled like cigarettes and vomit, and consisted of an old uncomfortable plastic chair, and a desk that looked like it was made right around the same time Forks was founded.
The two cops that took me in barely spoke to me except to tell me to watch my head and once more when they collected my person effects in booking. I had expected to be thrown into some kind of cliché holding cell with the drunk and disorderly of Forks; however I was escorted directly into this small private prison.
I laid my head down on the table and drummed my fingers on the worn wood impatiently. I figured Chief Swan wanted to talk to me alone and that was the reason behind the preferential treatment. I knew he couldn’t have been far behind us and I only hoped he hadn’t blamed this whole shit storm on Bella.
It wasn’t her fault Newton was a fat fucking sleaze ball.
After what felt like several hours (I couldn’t tell because my watch had been confiscated at check in), I heard footsteps outside the door and a lock being released.
Chief Swan stepped into the room silently. He closed the door and knocked to indicate he was ready for it to be secured. I heard the metal lock slide back into place and only then did Charlie turn around to face me. He stood still for a long time glaring at me without speaking.
Finally he broke eye contact and slowly walked over to the only other chair in the room. He pulled it away from the table slowly, the plastic making a harsh scraping noise on the cracked tile. He sat down heavily and leaned backwards with a sigh. He stretched and then recovered, leaning forward and resting his hands and elbows on the table top.
He wasn’t looking at me yet. His eyes were still trained downward studying the map of engraved letters on the well used table top.
He finally cleared his throat and I looked up expectantly. Prepared for the worst.
"Mr. Cullen." He said slowly his eyes rising to meet mine. "I would like to hear your side of the story."
Interesting. I thought. I had figured him to start off by asking me why the fuck I was anywhere near, or mixed up with, a situation that involved Bella.
I sat up straight in my seat and continued to match his stare, refusing to break eye-contact.
"I noticed Bella was in the cafeteria. She was having some trouble with Newton, um, with Mike Newton. So I stepped in to help her out. He was being...inappropriate, and she looked freaked out so I stepped in."
There was a flicker of anger in the Chiefs eyes, but it was gone as soon as it had come. "What kind of trouble?"
"The kind you would be really pissed off to see happening to your daughter." I answered not feeling the need or the desire to tell this man that his daughter had been all but molested in the middle of the cafeteria in front of everyone.
"And so you knocked the shit out of this kid to defend her honor?" He asked simply and when he put it that way I sounded like a god damned hero instead of the jackass that beat the piss out of Mike Newton.
"Yeah, I guess." I answered with a half grin.
"You can wipe that sneer off your face son. I’m not impressed with your stupid hero antics. Mike Newton may still decide to press assault charges."
"Then we have Bella press sexual harassment charges." I shot back angrily my mind pulsing with rage at the thought of Newton offering to show her his dick. Who did that asshole think he was anyway? I pounded my fist on the table and leaned backwards crossing my arms over my chest.
The Chief was studying me closely. "Why Bella?" He asked finally his eyebrows knitted in deep concentration.
"Why Bella what?" I asked not sure exactly what he was asking. I had an idea but I figured it didn’t hurt to clarify before I went off on a tangent.
"Why are you pursing her? You know she’s got problems, and…what do you kids call it…baggage. So why continue to chase her?"
"She’s amazing." I answered as if it were the most obvious answer in the world. "She is not like the other girls. And I’m not talking about her fucking addiction. I’m talking about how smart and funny and fucking beautiful she is." I held my hands out palms flat against the textured wood.
The Chief started nodding. "Yes. She is all of those things. And a lot more. But she’s pretty messed up. She has spent a lot of time in therapy. She has been to the bottom of the barrel and back again. I cannot see her go back to that place, but one more slip up from her and I don’t know what else to do with her. Do you understand what that means?"
I pursed my lips and nodded. "You don’t get it though; sir."
"I’m sorry?" The Chief asked as if offended by my statement.
"Bella. She was getting better. She was making changes and she was fucking happy-"
"I’m going to stop you right there son. She was happy because she was having sex. The end."
The Chief looked pained as he held his hand up to stop me from protesting his point.
"It wasn’t just about the sex this time, sir. Not with us. That is what I’m trying to tell you. Bella was getting better. She even kicked Katie out of her life."
His eyes got wide. "Really? She cut ties with Katie?"
"Yes. Katie tried to convince her to stop seeing me and Bella got tired of her mind games."
He clapped his hands and grinned. "That’s my girl! That is a big step for her. Katie has been a crutch for many years. I didn’t approve of their friendship but her mother was convinced that they were supporting one another which was almost as good, if not better, than the group and solo therapy sessions."
"Yeah. Let’s go with not good. She was a fucking poison." I mumbled spitefully.
Charlie threw his hands in the air. "See! That is what I’ve been telling Renee forever and she just didn’t believe me."
"Well, I’ve seen the damage first hand. You know that is what you walked in on the other day. Bella had gotten in a fight with Katie, kicked her out, and then didn’t want to be alone. You weren’t home so she called me. We didn’t have sex, I just held her until she fell asleep."
Charlie looked pissed at first that I had brought that day up at all, but when I finished saying what I needed to say he looked tired and defeated. He reached up and rubbed his eyes vigorously and heaved a sigh.
"I don’t know what to believe." He said as his eyes found mine again. "She seemed almost normal, until…until you came along."
"No, she seemed normal BECAUSE I came along." I corrected him. "That is what you are not getting through your thick cop skull."
I immediately felt bad about my cheap shot. I hadn’t meant to insult Bella’s father but I was so pissed off by his closed mindedness I couldn’t help myself.
"I have been a teenage boy remember. I know to what lengths you will go to get laid. You could be feeding me a line just to get closer to Bella."
"I fucking love Bella." I said in exasperation. "Splitting us up is only making her worse. How do you not see this?"
I knew I was losing my temper but I didn't care anymore. He needed to hear the truth even if it meant getting myself into more trouble. If he could have only seen the way she clung to me today in the cafeteria and the hurt tears in her fucking beautiful eyes; he wouldn't be able to argue with us anymore.
Charlie took a deep breath and leaned back in his chair, his eyes closed for several seconds. I just continued to glare at him, my blood pounding in my ears. I raked my hand through my hair nervously, my mind coming up with all sorts of fucked up scenarios of how this was going to end.
Finally he opened his eyes and locked them with mine.
"Alright Cullen." He nodded once. "I am willing to permit supervised visits between you and Bella. They will be at our house, when I am home. You prove to me that this isn't just about sex, and we will talk about expanding on these privileges."
I felt my heart stop in my chest. I gaped at him unable to form words. Had he really just given me permission to start seeing Bella? "Yes sir. Of course."
"You will not be allowed to be alone in school. She will still be escorted by a teacher at all times, but you will be allowed near her again. Does this sound reasonable?"
"Very reasonable sir. Thank you. Thank you so much. I promise you won't regret this." I knew I was smiling like a fucking idiot. I stood up quickly like I had just sat on something sharp and started looking for the door. I wanted out. I wanted to rush back to the school to tell Bella we could be together again.
When my eyes finally rested on the thick metal door that was locked from the outside and slowly turned back to the Chief who was watching me with a curious expression on his face. He chucked lightly and shook his head.
"I am not going to charge you Cullen. But the Newton's still might so don't be surprised if they do. I also imagine you will have a few detentions or possibly even a suspension from the Principal for fighting on school property. As for right now however, you are free to go." Charlie stood up and strode past me to the door. He knocked twice and I heard the lock disengage with a click. The Chief opened the door and held it for me to pass through. "Just pick up your personal effects at check in and I'll have one of my officers bring you back to the school."
I quickly slipped on my watch, my belt, and my shoes and nervously gripped and regripped my keys as I waited for one of the police cruisers to pull up to the front of the station.
They made me ride in back again, but I didn't' care. This time I wasn't charged with the adrenaline of a fight with my hands painfully restrained behind my back. This time I was hopeful and floating on cloud nine. I just wanted one thing...Bella. I couldn't wait to see her face when I told her we had her father's blessing. I hoped that he would give her the Xbox back for supervised play. I couldn't wait to just sit around her house and play Call of Duty, eat pizza and be like normal teenagers for once.
The cruiser pulled into the now emptying parking lot and I searched frantically for Bella's truck and sighed with relief when I spotted it. She was still here.
I leapt out of the cruiser, hastily thanking the two cops for the ride, and sprinted into the school. I dashed through the doors ignoring the stares and the occasional rude comments from students who were still exiting the building.
I was on a mission.
"Are you looking for Bella?" I heard a small voice ask sweetly.
I stopped in my tracks and looked around trying to find a face to attach to the question. "Yes!" I panted. I was fucking out of shape. Standing next to the staircase was a tiny girl with spiky black hair and strange clothes. She looked worried and that fact didn't settle well with me. "Where is she?"
"She's in Room 311 with Mr. Bennett. He asked her to stay behind. She isn't doing well in the class I guess." Even as she said the words the little pixie girl didn't sound convinced.
"Mr. Cullen!" A booming male voice called out, echoing through the long, empty hallway.
I looked up and saw Mr. Camp, the assistant principal, bearing down on me his face red with anger.
"Shit Pixie Girl...I gotta go. Thanks for the tip." I said rushing off towards the English hallway.
"It's Alice." She called after me and I waved back at her in response.
"Mr. Cullen!" Again the voice boomed only he sounded closer than I would have liked. I couldn't even outrun the chubby assistant principal. Maybe one of the things Bella and I should start doing together is going for walks occasionally. I smiled at the thought.
I didn't even look behind me; I could see the classroom up ahead. I came to a halt in front of the closed door and raised my fist to knock. At that moment Mr. Camp caught up with me.
"Mr. Cullen. You are to leave the premises immediately. You and your parents will have a meeting tomorrow with myself and we will discuss your punishment for that display in the cafeteria today."
I ignored him. I didn't give a shit about getting suspended. I didn't give a shit about any stupid meeting. I just wanted to see Bella and tell her the good news so I wouldn't ever have to see that broken look in her eyes ever again. I grabbed the door handle and pushed down. It was locked.
Now I was fucking pissed.
I jerked down so hard I felt the metal bend and heard a crack when the cheap lock broke into pieces. With the door handle in my hand I pushed my way into the classroom.
"Mr. Cullen! That is defacing school property I would like you to remove yourself-" Mr. Camp choked on his words as he stepped into the room directly behind me.
"What the fuck!" I screamed and I threw the door handle across the room. It crashed into the wall and exploded into several pieces which scattered across the room.
I was shaking in anger as I took in the sight before me. Bella was straddling Mr. Bennett on his leather office chair behind his desk. Her hair was messy and her v-neck sweater was pulled down so that her bra was exposed. She had one leg on each side of him and her arms were wrapped around his neck.
Mr. Bennett yelped when we both burst into the room and held his hands out. "She attacked me!" He cried out frantically. "Help me please! I asked her to stay behind to discuss her grades and then she just jumped on me."
My eyes flew to Bella’s but she was avoiding eye contact with me.
"Bella." I rasped feeling tears pricking at my eyes. "What is going on?"
She didn't say anything. She slid off of his lap, straightened her sweater and grabbed her book bag from off the ground which she then clutched to her chest tightly. Her expression was emotionless, her mouth a thin pursed line, her eyes dull and lifeless.
"Ms. Swan. I would like to see you in my office. Mr. Bennett, do not leave. Do you understand me? I will need a statement from you." Mr. Camp instructed. He took Bella by the arm and started leading her out of the room. "Bella I will have to call your father. You understand this?"
She nodded silently.
"Bella!" I tried again following behind her. "Please tell him that Bennett tried something with you! Tell him! I know you better than this! I know you wouldn’t do this! You wouldn't do this to me!"
She didn't even turn around.
"Fuck!" I screamed and before giving it a second thought I put my fist through the first thing in reach which just happened to be a huge trophy display case. I felt my already battered knuckles get sliced open as shards of broken glass showered around my arm and clattered loudly onto the floor.
Mr. Camp stopped and turned to face me. "Mr. Cullen. We will talk about this tomorrow. I suggest you go home. Now."
Without another word he turned back around, and with one hand on Bella's elbow he led her away. She never turned around once; she never even looked at me. It was almost as if she were trying to hide from me.
She was hiding.
I suddenly felt very sick. She had actually come onto Mr. Bennett. That was why she was acting like this. I felt myself gag as it all became very clear to me. She wasn't ever going to get better; she was always going to be like this...an addict. Charlie had been right; there was no light at the end of the tunnel. There was no hope of her being normal and having a normal relationship. I had been another flash in her fucked up pan.
The pain of this realization came crashing down on me. I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest and I could barely find the will to find my way out of the school and to my car. I didn't see or hear anything as I slowly made my way back down the hall and out the front doors of the school. I felt like a zombie as I slid into the cold, torn seat of the Volvo and leaned my head against the steering wheel.
I was even too far gone to give a shit when the tears started.
Here I was. Back to the fucking drawing board.
I was the fucking heartbroken girl all over again.