For the first time in my life I felt truly alone.
For years I had thought I was alone, but I realized now I never was. I’d had Katie.
Now all I was left with was myself and an empty bedroom.
Charlie had removed everything he could get his hands on. All that was left were books that I hadn’t touched in years, and had no intention of reading even now. I didn’t care that he had destroyed the Xbox right in front of me. I didn’t care he had taken the laptop. I only wanted one thing.
Even thinking about his name hurt me. It felt as if a giant hole in my stomach had grown overnight. The edges of the hole were stinging like freshly made cuts and I’d find myself with my arms wrapped around my waist, trying to hold in the pain.
He tried calling a few times, at first on the phone and then, probably realizing that I wasn’t able to answer, he started showing up at the front door demanding to see me. I thought it was pretty brave on Edward's part to stand up to my dad the way he had. I could hear the pain and desperation in his voice and I had collapsed in tears on my floor furious with myself for letting this happen.
My father had been polite and civil thankfully. He had lied to him though. He had told Edward I never wanted to see him again, and even after Edward screamed into my dad’s face for a reason why, he still remained calm and said goodnight.
Finally Edward stopped calling all together. This fact hurt me more than anything else. He had given up on me.
Charlie had done as promised and he had called the school and arranged a meeting with the school administrators. He had told them about my addiction, even giving them intimate details of my illness as a way to ensure that they would be able to recognize it if I started to relapse. Now, at lunchtime I was forbidden to enter the cafeteria and instead forced to eat in the library with a girl I didn't know who was assigned to babysit me. My classes were all re arranged so as to avoid even accidentally bumping into Edward. Everything was planned out for me, even my toilet breaks.
I had caught glimpses of Edward throughout the weeks, and every time he had been staring at me. A strange expression on his face, he’d then look away and turn back to his friends.
I felt like I was back in rehab. Only this was worse.
In rehab I had been surrounded by people who were coping with the same issues, they were all having trouble and so they were supportive of each other. Now, I was in public and no one around me understood half of the shit I was going through.
All my classmates had started to avoid me like the plague. Even Jessica Stanely, who had befriended me early on was refusing to even make eye contact with me. It became pretty obvious to me that there was a leak in the school administrative office because shortly after my dad had held his "how to handle a sex addicted teenager" meeting at the school everyone in Forks knew exactly what I was.
The whispers and the stares were horrible at first but had begun to lessen as the weeks went by. I was mostly feeling sorry for Edward. I knew he was in the middle of all of this and I hated that I was the cause of any kind of embarrassment for him.
As much as it killed me to admit it, I missed Katie. Even when we were apart, we’d never spent this long without contact and I worried constantly if she was ok. Katie was a hard nut, but deep down she needed me too.
With no one to talk to, I’d spend my days lost in daydreams trying to numb the pain that was tearing me apart.
Charlie was always watching me and I could see the concern on his face. I knew I must be worrying him but I didn’t care. I tried to focus on school, my grades were better than they had ever been, I did my chores and then I went to bed. I never once complained or made snide remarks.
I had accepted my punishment.
Finally I gave in. I stopped thinking of Edward, closing my mind to everything including his name. I became a shell of my former self. I became an emotional zombie. I spoke only when I was spoken to and only to say what was required of me. I ate what was expected of me to eat and no more.
Sleep however, evaded me. This was the one time I couldn’t control my thoughts and he was there, every night, centre stage. I’d wake screaming, having Charlie fleeing from his room and into mine with a baseball bat. Two weeks in, he stopped charging in like a maniac and after four, he didn’t come at all.
After a while the school rang to tell Charlie they thought I could start using the cafeteria again at lunch. I guessed that the girl they had assigned to babysit me no longer wanted to waste her time with a loser brain dead sex addict. I shrugged when he came to give me the good news.
Big whoop. Now I can sit by myself in front of everyone... woo.
The next day at lunch time, still completely in my catatonic state, I drifted into the cafeteria aimlessly. I kept my head down and watched my feet feeling too mortified to look up and face the stares from curious classmates. I came to a stop near the soda machine and lifted my hand to drop a few quarters in the slot when my eyes drifted slightly to my right. I didn't want to look. I had a feeling I knew who it was going to be. I had avoided seeking him out in the hallways or even thinking his name for weeks now. I had finally trained myself to feel nothing but as my eyes fell upon Edward it all came rushing back in one foul swoop. He was standing by the salad bar, his shirt wrinkled and disheveled, his face scruffy and unshaved. His hair, unwashed, was too long and stuck up in every direction like he had stuck his finger in a light socket. He looked like he had lost weight, the slight softness around his face now gone. He was frozen in place with an apple clutched in his hand. At least he did have it in his hand... the second he saw that I had noticed him he dropped it. His eyes stayed focused on mine as the apple rolled to a stop somewhere nearby.
I felt my bottom lip begin to quiver as I fought back tears. I needed him.
I wanted him to rush to me. I wanted him to break the rules because I knew I didn't have the strength to. I wanted to feel his arms around and and smell his familiar smell. I felt my breath catch in my throat as a tear rolled down my cheek. I wiped at it, trying to act nonchalant. I knew the entire cafeteria was watching what was going on including the teachers.
With a sick feeling in my stomach I turned back to the vending machine and chose a Diet Coke. I heard the gears moving in the machine and the familiar release and clunk of the soda as it rolled into the dispenser. As I bent down to grab it I felt someone come up behind me.
At first I thought it was Edward. My heart shot straight into my throat and I felt excitement swell in my chest. I spun around expecting to look up and see his face but instead found myself nose to nose with Mike Newton.
I leaned back as far as I could and took several steps backwards trying to get away from him. I didn't even try to hide the disgusted look on my face.
"Hey Bella." He said in a cocky tone not phased by my reaction. He ran his hand through is greasy slicked back hair and adjusted his floor length black trench coat. Primping for me apparently. I felt bile rise in my throat.
"Mike." I mumbled trying to step to the right of him. He matched my movement and blocked me and I bumped into him. Shuddering at the physical contact I stepped backwards again and glared at him. He was so close to me I could smell his bad breath and overpowering scent of unwashed clothes that had been smoked in for weeks.
"So I hear you get wet for gamers." He said with a sneer reaching out to touch my hair. I flinched and batted his hand away.
"Don't fucking touch me." I hissed.
"I'm just being friendly." He said innocently. "Thought I would come over and say hello now that you have rejoined the land of the living. I thought maybe you would be looking for your next fix."
He laughed at his own horrible joke.
"If you don't get away from me I will kick you so hard in your tiny little balls that you won't be able to walk straight for weeks." I growled under my breath.
"Sounds hot. I can show you my cock if you want. Will that get you all turned on?" He started to open his trench coat and I proceeded to slowly draw my leg back backwards preparing to nail him in the balls if needed.
"Hey Mike." A deep familiar voice said angrily. I felt my heart skip and I glanced up quickly. Edward was standing directly behind Mike and the look on his face would have made anyone shit their pants in fear. I could see his clenched fists trembling in a rage.
"Fuck off Cullen." Mike dismissed him without even turning around. Mike's beady eyes were trained on my breasts and I stared pleadingly at Edward. I needed out of this situation, and fast.
"I think you need to get away from her." Edward tried again this time stepping between me and Mike. He was so close to me I instinctively leaned forward slightly and rested my face against his back. It felt so good. So so fucking good. I felt him stiffen for a moment and then his hand reached behind his back searching for mine.
I immediately began crying. Sobbing. I was a fucking wreck.
Mike peered around Edward trying to get a look at me. "What is her problem Cullen? She hate you so much just the sight of you makes her cry. What the fuck did you do to her man?"
I clutched desperately at Edwards hand. He spun around and wrapped his arms around me tightly.
"Fuck...Oh Bella." He murmured into my hair. "I missed you. I fucking love you so much. I can't stop thinking about you."
"They are going to separate us." I croaked. "They are going to take me away again they can't see us together. Edward I never said any of those things my dad told you."
"I know babe, I know."
"For the last time Cullen. Fuck. Off." Mike roared pulling Edward off of me.
For a split second I thought Edward was going to kill Mike. The look in his eyes scared the shit out of me. He spun around quickly and grabbed Mike by the collar of his coat and lifted him a few inches off the ground.
"You will back off and leave her alone. Do you understand me?" Edward rasped his breath coming in angry bursts.
"She isn't yours anymore Cullen. Give some of us other gamers a chance to fuck her." Mike sneered and then reeled back and spit in Edwards face.
I backed up against the soda machine. I knew Edward was going to break Mike's neck.
The sound of fist connecting with flesh was not pretty. Edward brought his right hand back and like a cannon it shot forward and connected with Mike's nose. Edward dropped him on the floor and leaned over him pinning him down with his left hand and pummeling him with his right. I stood completely still unable to move as I watched the scene in front of me unfold like a slow motion horror film. I wanted them to stop but I also took some sick pleasure in seeing Edward kick the shit out of Mike.
I was surprised the fight went on as long as it did. Finally teachers broke through the cheering throng of students and attempted to pull the two boys apart.
I felt someone wrap their arm around my shoulders and pull me away quickly. I flinched but didn't protest.
"Wow Bells." I heard a familiar chuckle. I finally turned and looked up at my escort and smiled when I found myself looking into the grinning face of Emmett. I leaned into him relieved to have someone who I trusted standing next to me and keeping me calm. He brought me to a table in the far corner of the room and sat me down.
I craned my neck to see Edward but there were so many people crowded around him I couldn't even catch a glimpse. I did see them haul Mike Newton away and I tried to hide my smile when I saw he was crying like a girl and bleeding out of his nose and lip and had a black eye already forming.
"Eddie fucked him up man." Jasper announced as he walked out of the crowd towards the table. "Fucked him up bad. He is hella pissed off Mr. Banner and Mr. Larsen are still trying to calm him down. He's fighting them like a motherfucker."
I looked down at my hands and felt my face flush.
"What the hell set him off I wonder? I mean Edward is no badass. He doesn't even get that pissed when he gets fucked in COD. I've never seen him fight anyone before." Emmett rattled on not paying attention.
The both Jasper and Emmett turned to look at me expectantly. I opened my mouth to speak when I saw the police cruiser pull up to the curb outside the cafeteria.
I looked to my left and to my right like a frightened wild animal looking for an escape route. There was none.
My father came striding into the room his eyes scanning the crowd frantically for me. When he spotted me sitting down and safely away from Edward he turned his attention to the crowd near the vending machines. The students parted like the red sea and I finally got a good look at Edward. He was lying on the ground his face smashed against the dirty linoleum. He was still struggling against Mr. Banner who was practically laying on top of him.
My father moved Mr. Banner to the side and placed his own knee between Edwards shoulders. He quickly handcuffed him and yanked him into a standing position. Edward had stopped fighting. I saw his right hand was covered in blood and his knuckles were split open. His eyes were trained on my face.
I sucked in a breath and watched him closely. The emotions that I was feeling in that moment were overwhelming me to the point where I couldn't move even to smile at him. I was frozen in my seat, unable to breathe. My dad looked up and saw the expression on Edward's face and followed his gaze.
His face got very red and he turned Edward around so his back was to me.
I felt the tears start again.
Another set of officers came in through the cafeteria doors, spoke to my father and then grabbed Edward by the elbows and led him away.
I saw Charlie run his hand through his hair before turning around and making a beeline for me.
He stopped at my feet and glared angrily. I looked up at him with free flowing tears blurring my vision. "I guess I wasn't ready to eat in the cafeteria after all."