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My Saving Grace

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Sometimes it just doesn't seem possible. It doesn't feel like a realistic option. It doesn't feel real.


How can someone hurt this much? How can they feel this much pain and still survive? How can they be this broken? Never to be put back together again? How?


It just doesn't seem possible.


Every day feels like I'm dying, closer and closer to a death I yearn for. Yet still stuck in this hell I've come to know as my life. Never moving. Never going anywhere. Never breathing. Not existing.
But that's what my life has become. An existence. But you can barely call it that.


Every day feels like a challenge, a job, a trial to get through. Every morning I wake up, I wonder why I do. As I rub away the remaining evidence of the small amount of sleep I had gotten from the night before, it hits me. Again. I will never be one of them. I will never see him again. I will never be.

 
The realization suffocates me as it does every morning of this thing I've come to call my existence, my life. Funny. How can you have a life when you're not really living?


Every morning, I die again. His words play in my head. It will be as if I never existed... I wonder, would it be better if he never had? Would I be able to laugh again? To smile again? Breathe? Again?


The pain inside my chest answers with a resounding no as I wrap my arm around myself and curl into a ball in my bed. My bed. He had sat here many a night, holding me, humming my lullaby to put me to sleep...


The pain surges again and this time I gasp and hold myself tighter. I'm already broken, in pieces, never to be put back together again. But each time I feel the pain, it's almost as if I'm being ripped apart again. Thoughts of him make the pain linger, almost as if a fresh trail of flames dance along the edges of the hole inside my chest. His face in my mind feels as if someone is hacking away at it, intent on cutting at me until there literally is no piece left. His voice when he speaks to me...excruciating. His name? Forget it. I can't even think it never mind hear it. It would just make my daily death that much more painful.

 
I hear a soft knock on my door. I ignore it. I then hear the knob turn and a few hesitant steps enter my room. I stay curled up, not caring in the least if it's my father or someone here to kill me. I just hope they make it fast...spare me the fresh pain that will come when I realize as they deliver the killing blow that he won't even care when he hears of the news of my death. If he hears. He'll more than likely want to thank my murderer personally for taking care of that human problem he left back in Forks. Now he can get back to his neverending midnight chess game with Carlisle. Just that name alone burns me, praying that my killer will just hurry up.

"Bells?"

I shut my eyes in disappointment. No relief today. But, really, when had fate ever been kind to me?

I don't answer him. He knows I won't just as I do. I never answer. I haven't spoken in months. Not since...he left me. I wince and curl into myself even more.

"Bells, it's 8:15. Aren't you going to go to school today?"

Charlie knows better than to ask. If I'm not out of bed by 8, there's no way in hell I'm going. What's the point? I don't talk to anyone. No one talks to me. They avoid me like the plague, making sure to keep a safe distance, worried if they get too near that they'll see the devastation that much closer. That they too will fall victim to it someday, become a casualty of love. The girls worry they'll suffer like me, the boys worry that they'll suffer me. Or a likeness of me rather. "Fatal Attraction" has been mentioned a few times. I hear their whispers. I may not talk but that doesn't mean I'm deaf.

My free hand grabs the comforter and balls it into a fist, almost as an anchor to keep myself here, in my room, where it's safe yet one of the most dangerous places to be. My own personal heaven and hell. But it's all for naught. Charlie wouldn't drag me out of here unless the house was on fire or Renee had come to take me to Jacksonville with her as she had threatened to do several times over the last few months. 
And sure enough, as if he can read my thoughts, Charlie sighs and walks out of my room. "Okay. I'm heading to the station. I'll see you later. Call me if you need anything."

Again, I don't answer. I just wait to hear his heavy laden footsteps reluctantly descend the steps and the front door close. Once I hear the engine of his cruiser idling and then the sound of it fade into the distance, I know I'm in the clear. I slowly open my eyes, shutting them halfway in annoyance. Did it really need to be so bright today? For crying out loud, it's Forks. Not L.A. Surely, with rain clouds covering the sky, it really couldn't be this light out...could it?

I grumble and lay my pillow over my head, trying to gain back some of the darkness. Why can't the weather outside match my mood? Why can't it be dark and stormy? Why can't there be loud rumbling thunder and forks of electrified light crashing through the sky? Why can't a bolt of lightning just hit the tree next to my window and knock it down already? That would be an interesting way to go. Bella Swan's clumsiness strikes again. Literally. Although, this time, it wouldn't be my doing. I would just be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Wouldn't he get a laugh out of that when he read it in the paper...wherever they were? Okay, maybe not a full laugh, because he wouldn't waste that much breath he didn't need on a measly human like myself, but definitely a chuckle.

But again, fate never listens to me nor cares about what I want. Fate is determined to make me suffer. And that it does.

I lay there, focusing on each breath that enters and leaves my body. I tell myself I need to get up and at least brush my teeth, shower even, but I can't seem to move. It's almost as if this dead weight is pinning me to my mattress, my brain telling me to go back to sleep as it rushes images of what I might have to face should I go about with my morning routine. My brain knows what it's doing because before I know it, I'm dead tired, almost as if I have run a marathon on two hours sleep after slamming my body around doing football drills all day and give in to the exhaustion.


.

.

.

.

I wake up, trembling, breathing fast, my eyes darting around the walls of my room.

Another nightmare. Crap.

I force myself to take a deep breath and calm down. I run my hand through my damp sweaty hair. I most definitely need a shower now. I turn to look at the clock on my nightstand.

2:34

How the hell did that happen? How? I groan and cover my eyes with my other hand. It's only what's been happening of late. Anytime I stay home or on the weekends, I sleep later and later. Well, at least this one's early. My usual time is around 5:30, 6. So, maybe things are looking up after all.

The images of my nightmare flood my memory. Oh, no, it was only early because of that damn dream. You know, I'm opposed to the term "nightmare". How can you have one during the day? It doesn't seem right to me. Okay, well, most people don't sleep during the day but still. It's not right. It's very misleading. And in the interest of misdirection, I should be reprieved from them during the day. Maybe that's what I'll do, sleep all day and never get a nightmare again. Wouldn't that be great?

I roll my eyes at myself as I do every time my inner monologue takes over and beams its utter ridiculousness and increasing insanity at me. At the end of the day, if your conscience is the only one you have a conversation with, yes, you are indeed going insane. And you would know. Shut up, Bella. See?

After I get over my enmity with Merriam and Webster, I pull myself out of bed reluctantly, shuffle slowly to the door, and open it. I make my way to the bathroom but stop at the top of the stairs. I hear the television downstairs clear as day. Dr. Phil's voice boomed within the house.

I can't help but roll my eyes again. Great. Nettie's here. Fantastic.

I walk to the bathroom and shut the door. I sigh as I pull a towel out of the cabinet and plop it down on the sink. I start the shower and strip down, waiting for the water to warm up.

Nettie is a divorcee in her forties who lives just down the street. She has become my babysitter of sorts these past few months. She's an okay lady, but just someone with too much time on her hands, when she wasn't working the night shift at the diner in town. Charlie calls her whenever I stay home. Renee had informed him that my unwillingness to go to school was also another major sign of a suicidal mindset in teenagers. Funnily enough, Renee watched Dr. Phil, too. Go figure.

So, in essence, Charlie had taken to asking Nettie to "sit" with me when I would take my "mental health" days and he had to work. Like I said, she's a nice woman but it just grates on my nerves that I need to be looked after like a six-year old. Besides, all she really does is watch television and try to make awkward conversation about my dad. And when I say awkward, I mean one-sided.

That's another thing. Nettie also just happens to be head over heels in love with Charlie. And the man is oblivious. But, after spending some time with the woman, I'm grateful for that fact.

I check the water one more time and it's steaming hot. I step in, making the usual low painful moans and hisses as my skin adjusts to the scalding temperature.

There's something so refreshing about taking a hot shower. Charlie hates it because it makes my skin so raw and especially since Renee informed him it wasn't healthy for my skin or my internal organs because of all the toxins I could be taking in thanks to the chemical in the water...something she had seen on the Fox News Channel one day. Yeah, I don't talk to my mom much. The whole not talking thing helps immensely with that. If I wasn't a broken soul, destroyed beyond repair, I might have paid Charlie off to tell Renee I suddenly went mute or that I had a permanent case of laryngitis. He wouldn't have done it but he did like it when I cooked. Hmm, something to think about for the future...

After doing what I need to do, I stay in, letting the water flow over my head and trickle down my face, until the water slowly starts to cool. I turn the water off, pull the curtain back, and step out. I dry off as best as I can and wrap the towel around me. I stand in front of the fogged mirror and wipe away the condensation with my hand until I can see myself.

I've seen it so many times before that it doesn't surprise me. But, it still bothers Charlie. I've lost about ten to fifteen pounds over the last few months. Honestly, the way my appetite has been, I'm surprised it's not more. Either way, it's unhealthy and it shows. My eyes are practically sunken in, encased by the deep dark purple circles that have become a steady fixture on my face thanks to those damn nightmares. My skin is paler than ever before. I had always been, what I referred to as, milky white, but I still had the look of being a girl that was alive. My skin was now completely devoid of color. It almost looked as if I were indeed dead, almost like--

I don't let myself finish the thought. But, I'm too late. The pain flares, anyway, and I hold onto the sink for support, gasping at the shocking intensity of it. It takes me a minute, but I recover and hurry out of the bathroom, rushing to my room, my safety, while I still can.

As I dress, I feel the growing innate sense of accomplishment. It's hard to explain, but lately each day, anything normal and simple, even a shower like the one I just had, is a goal that I have to meet. I know it sounds ridiculous and again, insane, but this is what happens when you die inside. When your reason to live, your very reason for existing, tells you he doesn't want you anymore and walks away without a second glance. I rub the center of my chest, subconsciously trying to rub away the pain, but knowing that will never be possible. Yet, I rub away like my sternum is my own little worry stone regardless.

I hear Nettie's musical high-pitched nasal voice race up the stairs at me. "Bella, dear? Are you coming downstairs anytime soon?"

I lower my hand in annoyance and sigh tiredly. I take a deep breath and decide; it's time to face the beast. This dull, wasted thing I call my life now. This nothing.

Nettie will just have to chatter at herself and the TV. Again.

As I make my careful descent down the stairs, I see her overly painted face grinning widely at me. If she wasn't such a busybody of a witch hidden behind layers of Avon and bad hairspray, I might actually feel sorry for her.

"I made you a grilled cheese, dear."

She holds out the plate to me with the blackened object on it that resembles more of a charred weapon that has seen its fair share of battles in a war somewhere rather than my lunch. I feel the bile start to rise in my throat.

Before I even know what's happening, my feet race me up the stairs and I barely make it into the bathroom in time before I am kneeling before the porcelain bowl that has become one of my dear close friends as of late. Even though I have nothing more to give, my body heaves and heaves, as if it's trying to expel this dark emptiness from inside of me. But, as it finds out every day, there is no exorcising this demon, no cure for this disease that I have. I am forever lost inside this black hole known as my existence.

I rest my forehead on my arm, sweating and feeling clammy, gulping gently for air when I feel another wave of nausea hit me.

As I prepare myself to heave again, one word echoes inside my head.

Hell.

I am in Hell. And I will never escape it. I'm not even sure I want to.

After all, what's the point of being in Heaven if God was no longer there?