Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The decision to stay with Chief Swan was not an easy one. He seemed like a decent guy. Of course, the only reference I have for judgment are the asshole foster parents that have dumped me over the years. Chief Swan and his family couldn't be all that bad, could they? His wife obviously had to love and trust him very much in order to agree to take in a kid he had just busted for breaking into a pawn shop.
I wanted to be optimistic about my new 'family' but I gave up optimism years ago. There wasn't anything in my life to be optimistic about. The best thing I had hoped for in the past few years was that my next suicide attempt would be successful. How fucked up is that?
“I know it's late so, we will wait until tomorrow to pick up your things from your previous residence. Unless there is something you need tonight? I'm sure I have some sweats that will fit you for tonight.”
Honestly, everything I owned could fit into a duffel bag. Did he really think I was that attached to any of it? Over the years all of my pictures and keepsakes that had survived the fire had been taken away by former foster parents; the rest of it could burn to ashes for all I cared. I try to remember my parents' faces; hoping it will bring me some kind of comfort but the memory of their faces fades every day.
“I don't really need any of it. It's fine.” I said flatly.
I didn't want to go back to that house. I didn't want to hear what they would have to say to Chief Swan about me. They would probably tell him horrible things to make him not want me, and they could have me back. All they want is the damn check that's attached to my ass. These scumbag families only see dollar signs on my forehead; they don't actually see me as a person.
We were in the cruiser on the way to his house. I was extremely nervous about this whole situation. I've never been a model citizen and living with a cop scared the shit out of me. He obviously knew I was a fuck up; he did just bust me for breaking and entering. Maybe he didn't give a shit.
“My wife's name is Renee, and I have a sixteen year old daughter named Bella. Well, it's technically Isabella, but if you call her that she's liable to rip your head off. She's a good kid. She just cares too much about people sometimes.”
I was really starting to wonder why in the fuck this guy wanted me to live with him and his family. He has a daughter my age in his house? Why in the hell would he bring home a delinquent to live in the same house as his daughter? Is he asking for trouble? I wouldn't bring home a kid like me if I was in his shoes.
“Edward? Are you alright?”
I had gotten completely caught up in my own thoughts. “Ye....yeah. I'm okay.” I said as I stared out the window of the cruiser at the passing trees. I glanced at the clock and noticed that it was already three in the morning.
“You won't meet Bella until she wakes up for school. Renee said she would be waiting up for us. Don't be nervous. Just relax, and we will work everything out.” He said in a fatherly tone.
I replied with a nod. I wasn't sure what to say so I opted for silence. The rest of the ride was uneventful.
When we arrived at his house, I removed the seat belt and opened the door of the cruiser. My heart was beating fiercely like it was about to bust out of my chest. I had no idea why I was so nervous this time. I've been through this process plenty of times before. This time seemed different though, and I couldn't pinpoint just why...yet.
Chief Swan exited the cruiser and walked around to the front of the car. I slowly walked to the front of the car to meet him. He patted me on my back and said “They won't bite. I promise.”
We walked into the house and there was a tall, thin lady sitting in the illuminated living room to the right. She stood up as soon as she saw us and walked over.
“Renee, this is Edward.” He said as he pointed towards me. “Edward, this is my wife Renee.”
She extended her hand to me. “It's very nice to meet you, Edward.” She said with a smile on her face.
I looked at her hand for a second and decided that it would be rude for me to ignore her greeting, and I wanted to attempt to start this on the right foot.
I extended my hand to meet hers. I grasped her hand in mine, and she shook it eagerly. “It's nice to meet you, too.” She released my hand from her grip.
“Well, Edward, I'm sure you are exhausted. Your room is upstairs and the second door on the right. The bathroom is the first door to the right. Go ahead and take a shower. The towels and washcloths are in the cabinet. We will get you something to sleep in and take care of everything else in the morning.” Renee explained as she pointed to the upstairs.
“Um... okay. Thanks.” I said timidly. I turned to walk towards the stairs.
“Oh” Charlie started. “The door on the left at the top of the stairs is Bella's. Try not to make too much noise and lock the bathroom door while you're in there. I don't want her to be freaked out if she wakes up and finds a stranger in the house.”
Why should I care if his daughter is woken up by me taking a shower? I had given up caring about anyone else or their feelings a long time ago. The few people I cared about when I was younger all discarded me like trash. Caring for others only ended in hurt and sorrow, and God knows I have enough of that for the entire world.
“Okay.” I said as I started to walk up the stairs. I walked straight to the first door on the right which I was told was the bathroom. I opened the door and flicked on the light. It was entirely too bright and girly in there for me, but I would have to endure it for the time being. What choice did I have?
I removed my coat and laid it across the vanity. I looked in the mirror at my reflection, and I didn't like anything I saw in the mirror. My hair was a greasy fucking mess. There were huge black circles under my bloodshot eyes. My cheeks were sunken in. My skin was pale. I didn't look healthy at all but then again, I wasn't healthy. I forgot to eat most of the time. I usually only ate when I was basically forced.
I rubbed my hands over my face in an attempt to erase what I had just seen in the mirror. I found the towels and started the shower. I stood under the spray for what seemed like an eternity. I was trying to put my head around everything that had happened in the last few hours. This wasn't at all how I pictured this night to end; I was supposed to be dead by now. I was trying to keep my usual shower and bathroom thoughts at bay. It wasn't working.
Every time I'm in a bathroom I look for some type of razor. No matter what happens my thoughts always go back to ending my life. All of the other foster homes had been warned to keep any sharp objects locked away.
I exited the shower and toweled off. I ran my hand through my hair and tried to fight the urge to shuffle through the drawers. The internal battle didn't last long and the urge to look for razors ultimately won. I slowly and quietly opened the drawers one by one until I came across the pink Lady Bic shaving razor. I froze and stared at it for a few seconds; contemplating whether or not to actually grab it.
I reached for the razor and grasped it tightly. I lifted it up and out of the drawer. Something kept telling me to drop it; to at least give this one night before I start the suicide attempts. In all actuality, I already had one failed suicide attempt tonight. I put the razor back in the drawer and quickly put my clothes back on.
I exited the bathroom as fast as I could. I needed to get out that bathroom while I still had the will power.
I opened the door next to the bathroom. I flicked on the light and noticed a pair of gray sweatpants and a t shirt folded neatly on the bed. I changed my clothes and turned off the light. I laid in the bed and willed myself to stop all the thoughts and emotions running rampant in my mind. I needed to at least try and get a few hours of sleep. God knows what these people have in store for me tomorrow.
I stretched my arms above my head. I looked over at the clock beside the bed. It was ten in the morning. Surprisingly, I had gotten more sleep than usual. I changed clothes back into the clothes from yesterday. I didn't want to walk around in his clothes all day, and the dirty clothes were the only ones I had.
I made the bed and folded the clothes. I walked down stairs and heard the TV in the living room. I walked in and noticed Chief Swan sitting in the recliner in regular clothes. He wasn't in his uniform so I assumed he was off duty for the day.
“Oh! You snuck up on me there.” He said as he held a hand over his chest. “Morning. How are you?”
“I'm sorry.” I said lowly. “I didn't mean to.” I looked down at my feet.
“No need for apologies. Do you want some breakfast? Renee left you some in the microwave.”
Saving food for me was supposed to make me feel like this house would be different? All families start out nice, but that disappears quickly.
“I am a little hungry.” Who the hell was I kidding? I was starving. I can't even remember the last time I ate. “Which way is the kitchen?”
“That would help huh?” He said sarcastically as he stood up. He started to walk to the doorway at the back of the living room. “It's right back here.”
We walked into the kitchen, and he started the timer on the microwave. After I finished the meal, Chief Swan informed me that we were going to my old foster house to get my stuff and explain what happened. Then he was going to enroll me in school. I had very rarely actually went to school before. Most of the families said they were homeschooling me because they would get more money. I, fortunately, am pretty smart on my own and often picked up things pretty easy.
Going to regular school made me extremely nervous. Most kids my age are very judgmental and mean, and I am the perfect person to harass and bully. I'm sure I could hold my own in a fight, but I didn't want to face any unnecessary torture or judgments. It was usually easier for me to just take this shit than to fight back. On the rare occasion that I did, the consequences were always worse.
I knew I would have to at least attempt going to school, or Chief Swan would definitely send me away, too.
We went to my old residence, and they didn't seem to care at all that I wouldn't be coming back. They actually seemed relieved to know that they wouldn't have to endure my baggage anymore. I gathered my few belongings, and we left.
We made the short drive to Forks High School, and my thoughts were running wild. I was scared of what the other kids would say about me. How bad they would torture me on the first day? I had almost missed half of the day so at least I had that in my favor.
Chief Swan informed me that they allowed him to enroll me so quickly because he was the chief of police. He said he wasn't trying to put too much pressure on me, but he wanted me to try and have a normal life. It didn't matter what Chief Swan attempted because my life would never be normal.
We pulled into the parking lot, and I couldn't move. My fear had shut down my body, and I was certain that not using the Lady Bic to slit my wrists last night was a huge mistake. Chief Swan looked over at me. “Edward, is going to be fine. Just relax.”
Relaxing was easier said than done.
“Grab a change of clothes out of your bag. I don't want you to have to wear dirty clothes on your first day.”
Thank God for small favors. At least now I wouldn't smell on top of everything.
I grabbed a pair of jeans and a long sleeve shirt. I managed to exit the car and followed him to the door. We walked in and luckily the halls were empty. We walked to the front office, and he began talking to the secretary. I was clearly in my own world because I don't remember any of what was said. I was pointed in the direction of the bathroom and went to change. I stayed in there for a long time. I didn't want to come out and face the wrath of the teenage world.
I heard a knock on the door. “Edward? Are you okay in there?” Chief Swan shouted.
Okay? Definitely not.
“Uhhh.... I'm.... I'm okay.” I was lying like hell, but why in the fuck did this have to happen today? Couldn't he have given me at least one other day to adjust to everything before throwing me to the lions? Fuck!
I exited the bathroom, and Chief Swan looked really concerned for me. He put his hands on my shoulders.
“Edward, don't worry. You and Bella are in the same classes. The administration understood the situation and agreed to give you the same schedule as her. This way she can help you with anything you need, and you won't be totally alone. Even though you haven't actually met her yet.”
How did he know his daughter would even want to tolerate me all day? What if she hated me? What if she was the main one to torture me? He said she was a good kid but most parents think their kids are good. Fuck! I hoped he was right or else this was going to be a short stay with The Swans.
“Bella will meet us in the office when this class lets out. I've already spoken with her, and she is more than happy to do this. Let's go and wait for her. Class should be out any minute.”
We went to the office and about five minutes later the bell rang. My heart literally fucking stopped when I heard the bell. I had no idea what to expect, and I was really fucking worried about this whole thing.
I heard the door open and saw a thin, dark haired girl walk in. She didn't look like your average teenage girl. She wasn't dressed like a stripper like most girls. She had on a pair of jeans, a fitting blue t shirt and matching Converse sneakers. Her hair was slightly curly, and she didn't have on much make up but she was surprisingly stunning. I'd never had that type of reaction to a girl. I wasn't sure what was going on inside of me. I wanted to be near her and run from her all at the same time. I reasoned to myself that it was just the nerves of this whole day and not the actual girl.
Chief Swan stood up and hugged her. “Hey Bells.”
So, this was Bella. What the fuck? This girl was the one I was supposed to be with all day? She was the one I had to live mere feet from? Why was this one girl doing these things to me? What is God trying to do to me?
“Bella, this is Edward.” He said as he pointed towards me. “Edward, this is Bella.”
“Hey, Edward.” She said in an amazingly sweet voice. It made me tingle inside. I needed to cut that shit out ASAP. There was no way this was going to work if she kept making me feel like that. I was used to feeling desolate, depressed, angry, lonely but never warm and tingling. What in the fuck is going on with me?
“Ummm..... uhhhh.... Hi.” Seriously? That was the best I could come up with? She was going to think I was the biggest dumb ass on the planet.
“Thanks again, Bells.” He looked over to me. “Edward, don't stress, Bells will take care of you. I'll see you two at home.” And then he walked away.
“So, Edward, are you ready to get going?” She said as she turned towards the door.
All I could manage to do was nod in agreement. I followed behind her and mentally scolded myself for having this type of reaction to her.
“Our next class is American History. It's really a pretty easy class. The teacher just puts up notes on the board and gives you chapters to read.”
I didn't really care what the teacher was talking about as long as she was there with me. Somehow, she brought a sense of calm over me. I still wasn't sure what the hell was going on inside of me.
Bella greeted and waved at lots of people in the hallways. She was obviously pretty popular, and I couldn't understand why she agreed to hang out with a loser like me all day. Everyone in the halls stared at me like I was I was fucking alien. I just wanted to curl up inside of myself and disappear.
We made it to the classroom, and Bella introduced me to the teacher. He gave me my books and pointed to me to my seat. Lucky for me it was right behind Bella.
She turned around and handed me a pencil and a notebook.
“Thank you.” I said softly.
“No problem.” She said in a easygoing tone before turning back around in her seat.
Class started and Bella was right. We copied notes and read a few pages. It was pretty uneventful. Thankfully, we only had two more classes for the day.
Or so I thought, the last class of the day was PE. My worst fucking nightmare; teenage boys trying to show how tough they are by flexing their miniscule muscles in front of girls.
The gym teacher gave me some shorts and a shirt to wear for the period. I walked out of the dressing room and into the gym. I sat on the bleachers with the rest of the class and tried to blend in; not that it was working. The teacher blew the whistle and informed us that the activity for the day was basketball. I've never played basketball in my life and I had to play with all these wanna be super stars? Fuck me! Why didn't God let me die last night?
All the boys ran to the center of the court to get the basketball. I looked over towards the girls area as I walked to the court. I caught a glimpse of Bella who was already dribbling the ball. It shouldn't be a shock that she is good at sports. I'm sure she good at just about everything.
I tried my hardest to stay in the corner of the court behind other players. Hoping they wouldn't even see me. It worked for a few minutes, and just as I was feeling like my stupid plan may actually work.
I looked down at my shoes and soon felt the basketball strike the left side of my head. My vision went blurry, I reached up to grab my head and fell down to my knees. The pain in my head was intense and even worse I had been blind sided. After a moment, my vision returned, and I looked up to see who had thrown the ball.
My eyes met a kid with blonde hair and a stupid, shit eating smile on his face. Who the fuck was this kid?
I knew there had to be something fucked up about this day. The rest of it had gone too smooth. I stood up and tried to regain my composure.
“What's your problem Mike?!” I heard a female voice shout as it grew closer to me. I looked over to the direction of the voice and saw Bella running towards me as she shoved the blonde kid out of her way. Why is she running towards me? These are her friends. She shouldn't be running to help me.
She ran to me and put her hands on my arms, and I felt that stupid fucking warm tingly feeling, again. “Are you alright, Edward?” She said in a concerned voice.
I was speechless. How could she be so concerned with me this quickly? She just met me a few hours ago. Was she really that good of a person? I never believed that people like that actually existed.
“Y....yeah. I'll be fine.”
She shook her head. “I'm so sorry Edward. Mike is an asshole. He thinks making other people look weak will make him look strong. What a loser.” She said as she shot him an evil look. I liked her even more for that statement.
“What's going on here Mrs. Swan?” I heard the teacher yell.
She turned around to face him. “Well, Mike threw the ball and hit Edward in the head.”
He looked at me and looked at Bella. “Get back over there with the girls.” He directed her.
She ran back over to where the girls were, and the teacher told me to sit down for the rest of the period. Thank God!
I was ready for the day to be over. I knew this day would end in disaster. Just like the rest of my life. I can't ever have anything good; it always has to be ruined.
Bella found me once the class was over to tell me that I was riding home with her. We walked to the student parking lot, and she led me to her truck. It was definitely older than all of us, but it had personality. It was bruised and beaten, but she liked it. Maybe that's why she was being nice to me. Maybe she liked bruised and beaten things.
She didn't force conversation on the ride home, and I was thankful. She must have known that today was a very overwhelming day for me. Just add intuitiveness to her list of qualities.
Once we got to the house, we noticed a note sitting on the table by the front door.
Bella and Edward-
Hope you both had a great day. We ran to the grocery store. Be back shortly. Edward, go check out your room. Hope you like it!
Love- Mom and Dad
I was blown away. I had no idea what to expect to find the room. I couldn't believe these people were going out of their way to do things for a kid they barely know. Didn't they know I'm not worth anyone's time or concern? And they were referring to themselves as my mom and dad? Weird.
Bella giggled lightly. “Uh oh. There is no telling what they have done to your room. You better go check it out.”
I hoped she was being sarcastic, and that there wasn't a dog cage for me to sleep in up in the room.
“That bad, huh?” I asked her.
“Sometimes, they go a little over board.” She said as she shrugged.
“Here I go.” I said timidly. I walked up the stairs and into the room to notice they had bought new bed sheets and a comforter. They had also put a TV in the room, and there were a bunch of clothes in the closet that were definitely not mine. I was completely speechless. This day was a fucking roller coaster of emotions, and it was getting to be too much for me.
In the past twenty four hours, I had broken into a pawn shop, been arrested, brought to live with the man that arrested me, started school, met the most amazing girl, been hit in the head by a bully, and been given a real room of my own. How many emotions can I experience in one day? It was fucking overwhelming. Even though I knew I should have been ecstatic about what The Swans had done for me, I couldn't allow myself to be happy.
I knew that the moment I let my guard down and began to enjoy something, it would be taken away from me, and I would be thrown back into the gutter. I needed to come back into the real world and out of the fantasy land that was presenting its self in front of me.
I ran out of the room and into the bathroom. I slammed the door behind me. I rummaged through the drawers and finally found the pink Lady Bic razor. I held it tightly in my hand and sat on the toilet. My hands were trembling as I searched for something to break the razor. I spotted a a hair dryer hanging on the wall. I grabbed it and began to beat the Lady Bic with it.
I knew I was making a lot of noise but I didn't care. I beat the Lady Bic until it finally broke. I pulled the razor out and held it in my hand. I held it between my trembling thumb and index finger. I looked down at the pink scars on my wrists and remembered all of the other times I had tried to do this.
I pressed the razor against my skin and felt the stinging pain as I pulled the dull razor against my wrist.
“Edward! Oh my God!” I heard Bella yell. I looked up at her, and she reached for my hands. Her face looked like she was in so much pain.