Disclaimer: We don’t own Twilight... If we did, we would have been with Kristen when she saw a cut of Breaking Dawn Part 1! We do however own the latest EW with Breaking Dawn on the cover though.
This chapter is a likely tissue warning as well. And the angst continues....
“How to Save a Life” The Fray
“Message in a Bottle” The Police
“Buried Myself Alive” The Used
“I Was Broken” Marcus Foster
“Do something now!” I screamed at Dr. Richardson.
“I am,” she shouted back at me. “Nurse Webber, get Dr. Cullen out of here now!”
I saw Angela headed my direction and could still hear the monitor telling me that right now my son was dead.
“I’m not leaving!”
“Dr. Cullen, you will either leave now or I will have security take you out of this hospital and keep you out until they hear differently from me. Leave,” Dr. Richardson said through gritted teeth as her hands were working frantically on Edward.
I could still feel the tears flowing freely as Angela ushered me from the OR towards the waiting room. Her eyes were full of unshed tears, as well. She gently touched me on the arm before heading back to the OR. “I will make sure someone contacts you with information soon, Dr. Cullen. I’m so sorry.” She choked back a sobbed and ran towards operating room.
I felt eyes on my back and turned to see my family. As soon as Esme saw me, she knew. She came up and wrapped me tightly in her arms as she began to cry. “Carlisle, is he...” her voice trailed off as her body began to tremble with fear.
“They are trying to bring him back to us, Esme. His heart...” It was nearly impossible for me to try to continue. I could see Edward’s body laying on the operating table, see the monitor flashing the solid straight line, hear that horrendous sound that indicated the end. I heard Alice and Emmett walking towards us. I knew that it would kill me if I saw the same look in their eyes that I had just seen in my wife’s. I held on to my lifeline, Esme, as tight as I could. I fought through the onslaught of my tears. “I don’t know what’s going to happen. When they kicked me out, Edward was...” Oh, God. How had things come to this? How could I break my family’s hearts with what I was about to tell them.
“Daddy,” Alice said in such a timid voice, so unlike the spunky daughter that we’ve raised. I couldn’t find the strength to look her in the eyes. I buried myself further into my wife’s arms and with her was able to find the strength to tell them the words none of us would have ever expected to hear.
“Edward was ... dead when I left the room. They are doing their best to revive him.” I heard Alice gasp and begin to waver on her feet as Jasper grabbed her before she collapsed. I heard Emmett punch the wall and saw him drop into a chair and he began to wail. My beloved Esme was weeping uncontrollably. I could feel it in my heart. Things were bad-- very, very bad. I wasn’t sure if Edward was going to come back to us.
Something was wrong. There was no reason that he should have gone into respiratory distress. He was a young man and other than the trauma from the shooting, he was in excellent health. What could have brought us to this point? The point where my son’s survival was not only in the hands of my colleagues, but in the hands of God.
Eventually, I was able to move Esme and myself to some chairs but I never let go of her. I don’t know how long we waited for news. It seemed like forever even though it had seemed like time had stopped for us.
I heard a door open and glanced up to see Dr. Richardson walking towards us. She looked as exhausted as I felt. I couldn’t find the strength to stand up so I waited until she came to us.
“We did everything we could and we were able to bring Edward back. He’s alive,” Dr. Richardson told us. Her tone was not one that I would expect to hear from a doctor who saved her patient though.
“How long was he down?” I asked her.
“It took us nearly 10 minutes to get his heart restarted. We have him on a respirator right now and he is in the ICU. The next 48 hours are crucial. We did put him in a medically induced coma to help reduce the stress that his body is going through. Once we wake him up from the coma, we will be able to determine if he suffered any permanent brain damage or not. I was able to finish the work on his leg that could be done. If he pulls through this, like we are all praying he will, he will never be able to play any kind of competitive sport again. The damage is so severe that he will likely have only 60 percent use of his leg. What concerns me most is why a healthy person, like Edward, would suffer such respiratory distress. It could have been a sudden allergy to the morphine or the anesthetic but he has had both before. I ordered a tox screen to check and see if there is something going on that we may have missed. We should have the blood test results first thing in the morning.”
I unwrapped myself from Esme’s arms and wrapped both of my hands around Dr. Richardson’s. “Thank you so much for bringing him back to us.”
“I did what needed to be done. Any questions, Carlisle?”
“When can we see him?”
“Since he is in ICU only two people can be with him at a time. We are still getting him settled. I will have Nurse Hale let you know when you can see him.”
He was alive. Edward was still with us. Now it was just a matter of time. His leg was the least of my concerns right now. Was he still going to be the Edward we all knew and loved or would he suffer the effects of oxygen deprivation to his brain and be a shell of a person. There was also a chance that he could be somewhere in between the two. Sometimes people who come back from a near death experience suffer memory lapses and in extreme cases their personality could be altered permanently.
It was so hard to see our Edward so still and lifeless in ICU. He looked so unlike himself. He was so pale and it broke my heart to pieces, every time I watched the machine breathe for him since he was unable to do it himself.
Esme and I had both spent the night in the hospital and despite my position here, we were not allowed to stay with him in the room constantly. We had to follow the regular ICU scheduled hours of visitation. We both decided to sleep in my office, since the couch was a sleeper sofa.
We were waiting patiently for Dr. Richardson to come in and give us an update. It was an eye-opening experience for me to be totally kept out of the loop about what was going on. There was a knock on the door and when Dr. Richardson entered with a somber look on her face, I had a feeling that the worst news was yet to come.
“Good morning Carlisle and Esme. Right now Edward seems to be holding his own considering everything his body went through yesterday, which is a very good thing. Right now the results of the tox screen are a little more concerning for me.”
“What do you mean?” Esme spoke up before I could.
“We expected to find evidence of opiates in his system since he received a shot of morphine when he was admitted to the hospital yesterday afternoon. What we didn’t expect to find was an extremely high amount of opiate and acetaminophen in his system. You said his prescription of Norcos ran out over three weeks ago, right?”
“Yes,” I swallowed thickly. I had a sense of dread begin to wash over me. Edward was constantly tired and he blamed that on the physical therapy. He was keeping to himself which he had never done before. He always talked about having headaches and he was constantly drinking water saying that his mouth was dried out. All symptoms that could very easily be caused by those damn pain pills.
The phone call not long after he’d been home from the hospital saying he accidentally spilled his pills down the sink, when he had never been clumsy a day in his life. It is starting to make sense. Then my mind flashed back to the unsolved break-in in the hospital pharmacy. It was Norcos that had been stolen. Edward would have been able to get a hold of my keys and get in there easily.
“Carlisle, the only way these results are the way they are is if he found another source for the pills.” I nodded my head at Dr. Richardson as Esme gripped my hand tightly. I looked over and saw silent tears begin to fall down her face. “The high level of acetaminophen concern me in regards to his liver and kidneys so I am going to have blood drawn to make sure that he hasn’t suffered any organ damage. The high amount also means that Edward was taking much higher a dose than normal, so he is likely very addicted to them at this point.”
“I have no doubt that you are right Dr. Richardson. What do you suggest we do for him to help him recover? Do you think ANR would work in this situation?”
“What’s ANR?” Esme asked.
“Accelerated Neuro-Regulation (ANR) is a detox method that has the best success rate for this type of addiction. It is a very fast-paced treatment that allows the patient to sleep through most of the withdrawal symptoms. Since Edward will be asleep during the process, his body will not have the craving that it has had since he began taking the pills. Are you willing for us to proceed with this treatment?”
Esme and I looked at each other and she nodded her head. “Yes, whatever you need to do to help him, do it. Will he need any other type of treatment once ANR is completed?” I asked.
“It is usually a certain personality type to become addicted, and once and addict always an addict.” I felt so ashamed that everyone in my family, even myself, had been wearing blinders and not noticed the downward spiral that had put Edward in this position to begin with. “Carlisle, you are not the first family to be faced with someone with a drug addiction and you most definitely will not be the last. The best way to help him once he comes home is for him and any members of the family who feel comfortable to attend Narcotic Anonymous meetings with him. I would suggest he attend the meetings a few times a week in the beginning. There are meetings every day if he needs them. Once he feels like he is truly recovering he can cut down the number of meetings he attends.” She put her hand on my shoulder. “I know this seems extremely frightening to you, but this is something that he can get over with medical help and therapy. He will also need the love and support of all of his friends and family as well. I will let you know as soon as I get the results of his kidney and liver function by early this evening.”
Esme laid her head down on my shoulder and said, “How did we not see this happening, Carlisle?”
“I don’t know, Sweetheart. I just don’t know.” I kissed her forehead tenderly.
“I feel like we have failed him as parents. We are supposed to protect them from harm. Edward has been harming himself right in front of us and we didn’t even know!” My beloved wife rarely raised her voice, but I could hear her anguish with every word. I felt the exact same way. “Where did he get those pills?”
“Unfortunately, I think I know. Remember the missing Norcos from the hospital pharmacy a few weeks ago?”
“Oh, God. Carlisle, he could go to prison if anyone ever found out. He’s gone through so much. We can’t let that happen too!”
“I agree, Esme. I think that nearly dying was more than enough ‘punishment’ for Edward. There was no evidence of who broke in. No one could ever prove it was him. Edward could have just as easily picked them up from a drug dealer on the street. But I have to tell you, this is the last time we can ‘cover’ for him. He’s a grown-up now and has to begin to realize how his decision impact himself and those around him. He is going to have to start facing the circumstances or find that he will be personally paying the price. We have used our power and influence to get him out of one scrape after another and that has obviously been a huge mistake on our parts. We are supposed to be his parents, not his friends. By getting him out of trouble when he physically assaulted that vile Mike Newton, then sending him on a winter vacation, we taught him that he could do whatever he wanted, no matter who he hurt.” I pulled Esme closer to me before I continued.
“This needs to be a new beginning for all of us. Edward is going to need a lot of support. Not only is he going to be a recovering addict, he is going to have to figure out what he is going to do with the rest of his life, since he has only ever dreamed of playing football.”
“Carlisle, I know that you are right. We have babied all of our children to the point that they don’t see us as parents like they should, because we haven’t been the parents. We have let them do what they want, when they want, how they want. It is time for us to take a firm hand and show them that they are not the ones in charge, we are. As long as they live under our roof, they have got to start following our rules. I can’t watch another one of our children go through this because we aren’t doing the jobs that God gave us to do when they were born.”
“Well said, my darling. I think it is time for us to go have a chat with our children about expectations and rules from now on.” We held on to each others’ hands tightly as we made our way to the waiting room to tell Emmett and Alice about their brother and to make sure that they knew that there were new sheriffs in our household.
Emmett and Alice had been as surprised as Esme and I were about Edward’s drug problem. In a small way it was comforting that the two people who considered themselves closest to my son didn’t know that he was in way over his head. They were also nearly startled when we went over new expectations with them. Emmett almost choked when we told them no more drinking of any type of alcohol at all under are roof. We told him if he didn’t like it, that he was 18 and he could feel free to move somewhere else. That shut him up instantly. The thought of not having his mother cook all of his favorite foods that he lives to pig out on overrode everything else. We also told them no one of the opposite sex in their bedrooms with the door closed which caused our dear Alice to blush furiously. We knew that her relationship with Jasper had morphed into something else recently. The last thing that we wanted was out sons’ best friend doing whatever he wanted with our daughter in our house.
Later that evening, Dr. Richardson delivered some news that helped relieve a little bit of stress for Esme and me. Edward’s kidneys and liver were functioning normally. He hadn’t been taking a high enough dosage of Norco to cause any damage. Dr. Richardson also told us that Edward would be in the medically induced coma for a week now to give his body time to adjust to being Norco free. She was also going to keep him on the respirator since his body could suffer breathing issues while being detoxed.
The next week was the longest of our lives while we waited for Edward to wake up from the coma, hopefully free of the cravings of the dreaded Norcos. Esme and I were taking turns at the house. We decided that with the new laws of the house, one of us would always be home overnight. Alice and Emmett complained about it in the beginning. They soon found there wasn’t a damn thing they could do about it.
Finally it was time. Seven long days had passed and we were all at Edward’s side as he was being brought out of his coma. We knew it could be days before he actually opened his eyes, but all of us, Esme, Emmett, Alice, Jasper and myself had no where else we would be. At last, two days after he was taken of the medicine, 9 days after the surgery and the moment that we thought we had lost him forever, we were all graced with seeing the emerald green eyes we had been frantically waiting to see.
Despite the morphine and Mellow Yellow in my system, I still felt myself being wheeled down to the operating room. Just what I wanted to be fucking cut open again and have my leg jacked up. Fuck! There was no way I was going to be ready when Aro Blackheart was scheduled to come back. USC was going to be out of the picture. I could almost feel my heart beating erratically as the blackness of the anesthesia began to consume me.
Suddenly, I was brought out of the total darkness into an extremely harsh white light.
“What the fuck! Why the hell are the lights so damn bright? I swear to God I’m gonna smack down the son of a bitch who turned them on full blast while I’m fucking trying to get my rest,” I shouted.
“Edward Anthony Cullen, that is not the way you were raised to speak. I should know!”
I rubbed my eyes repeatedly and the sight before me didn’t change. It was my grandmother, Elizabeth Masen Platt.
“Granny Platt?” I asked in a shaky voice. I shook my head and wiped at my eyes again, but there she stood in all of her bronze haired, green-eyed glory.
“Yes, Edward Anthony. It’s me and you know that I can’t stand it when you call me granny. I’m your grandmother and that is exactly how you will address me,” she said. Shit, that was definitely her. I would always get my ass chewed out when I called her granny. I always loved to see the Irish temper flash in her eyes; the eyes that I inherited from her, so I would always find as many ways to bring out that temper as I could. “Come here, child. Give your Grandmother a hug. I’ve missed you so.”
I walked towards her outstretched arms still hoping that she was a figment of my imagination but when those arms clasped tightly around my body, I was extremely confused.
“Grandma, where am I? What the hell is going on?” She flicked my ear. So that is where my mom got it from. She obviously learned from the very best.
“Well, my beloved, look there.” She pointed below us and I stumbled away from her when I saw myself laying on the operating table. I could see and hear everything that was going on. I heard the fucking loud ass heart monitor and saw that it wasn’t registering a heartbeat. I heard my dad screaming and saw tears streaming down his face. I had never, in my 18 years, seen my father cry. I felt a lump in my throat and looked at my grandmother.
“Am I...?” I couldn’t get the words to come out. I’ve heard the stories about what happens to someone when they die. I never thought it was something that I would be experiencing right now.
“My sweet, sweet, Edward. That is entirely up to you. Your life took a path that it was never supposed to take and this is where it has led. You aren’t the same precious Edward that I knew before I passed. You became a cruel, merciless young man, who enjoyed hurting others and putting his needs before absolutely everyone else.”
“Grandma, I don’t know what you are talking about.” That wasn’t entirely true. I knew that I wasn’t the best person in the world. What teenager is perfect?
“You don’t know, do you? Look here and listen carefully to everyone that you have harmed in one way or another.” She turned me towards the white and suddenly I saw my life flash before my eyes. I gulped loudly as I saw all the snippets of my life begin to move before me. I felt like I was Scrooge being visited by one of the three ghosts.
“I don’t hear anything,” I told her.
“Listen hear, my child.” She tapped me on the head.
The first image was that of me beating that fucker Jacob in junior high school. I remembered wanting to prove to him that he was a piece of shit for looking at Bella like she was a piece of meat. I saw the punches flying but I didn’t hear anything. Suddenly, I nearly choked as I began to hear Jacob. I heard him clear as a bell, but his lips weren’t moving. I stumbled back a little at the confusion I was feeling.
“Grandma, I don’t understand. What’s going on?”
“You need to really see how your actions have hurt those people around you. What a better way to do that than for you to hear their thoughts about how what you did to them made them feel.”
I could hear Jacob’s thoughts and feel his fear as my fists pounded him to shit. I cringed as I could feel and hear the terror that was enveloping his entire being.
Next, was my beloved Bella. I could hear the contempt in her thoughts at how I behaved towards Jacob. She was comparing me to an animal. “How could he do this to someone just because he was looking at me. What would he do to someone who really pissed him off? His behavior is really kinda scary to me.”
That startled me that my girl could ever be scared of me.
I was then faced with girl after girl that I had fucked or gotten blow jobs and other sexual favors from. Each and every one of them had the same thoughts. “How dare Edward treat me like I’m not a person.” “I feel like trash. I thought I meant something to him.” “Fuck, I am such a slut. I’m garbage for letting him touch me at all.” “What the hell was I thinking? I’m just another notch in his bedpost.” The thought continued each more unpleasant than the next.
Suddenly it was the day that I Bella and I first had sex and I slapped her because I was pissed that I didn’t use a condom. “Oh my God. He hit me. How could he do this to me? I love him with everything that I am. I gave up my heart and my virginity to him and he gets angry and hits me. I don’t know if I can stand to be with someone who would fly off the handle so easily. But God, I look into those beautiful green eyes of his and he totally fucking owns me. I don’t know how I could ever live without him. If his anger is the price I have to pay to be with him, I guess I will have to learn to live with it.”
It was the same day but now Bella’s thoughts turned to seeing me kiss Tanya and get a blow job from her. “I’m dying inside. How could he hurt me this way. It’s like a Edward has ripped a giant hole in my chest. I would rather him hit me over and over again. It would hurt so much less than seeing him with her. It would hurt less to die than to watch him with someone else.”
Bella dead! The world wouldn’t be the bright, loving place that it was without her in it. I had no way to prepare for what happened next. I saw Alice leave Bella’s room and head to the house and Bella go to Charlie’s closet. She took down his lock box that held his gun and her shaky hands were unable to unlock the box. She got up and headed to the bathroom where she found a razor blade. “No!” I screamed. This couldn’t be happening. Bella would never do this. She could never hurt herself. I watched as she put the blade to her wrist and begin to apply pressure. “I can’t live in a world where he isn’t in my life. He’s everything to me. Everything. I’m nothing without him. He’s gone, so it’s time for me to be gone too.”
I collapsed to the ground as I saw Alice show up with my dad before she could successfully hurt herself.
The shooting. I could feel the waves of cockiness pouring from every cell in my being as I left the house and headed to Bella’s with my gun. A man knows how to handle his gun. I would show her who held the real power in our relationship. “Jesus,” Bella thought. “I always thought there was a chance he would beat me and put me in the hospital with his brute force. I never thought he could kill me. I don’t want to die. I don’t care if I can’t have him with me all the time anymore. I want to live. I will always love him, no matter what happens. Even if he does kill me, I will love him with my entire heart until I take my last breath.”
As I was lying on the ground writhing in pain from being shot. “Oh, God. Please let him be OK. Do whatever you have to do to me, but don’t take Edward from this world. He is so special. A world without Edward would be such a desolate place.” Her thoughts turned despondent after I opened my sorry fucking mouth blaming her for shooting me when in my heart and in my head everything was totally my fault. I could feel every facet of her pain. Bella’s pain was consuming every part of me. My chest was on fire with it. I felt tears began to fall down my face.
Suddenly my head began to swell with the thoughts of every single person that I had ever hurt in some way. I grabbed my head. The pain began to radiate from my chest throughout my entire body. “Grandma, please make it stop. I can’t take it. Please, it hurts so bad!”
“Edward, my beloved. That’s just a fraction of the pain that you have caused others. It isn’t very pleasant is it?” She smirked at me. Her Irish temper was getting ready to reveal itself again at any moment. “You cannot continue down the path that you have been paving for yourself. It will only lead to more pain and suffering than you could ever imagine.”
“What do I have to do to make this stop? I will do anything, Grandma, absolutely anything. Please, help me. I never meant to hurt any of them. I know that I was wrong. I can see that now. I didn’t think before I acted, ever. I fucked up. I’m a royal fuck up. I can change I swear it. I can’t bear to see all of those that I love hurting. It’s killing me.”
“You are right. Your past actions are why you are in that position right now.” She pointed below where I could see Dr. Richardson working frantically to bring me back to life.
“What do you want from me?” I shouted. The thoughts of my victims continued to pulse throughout my brain.
“You have to make everything right, my dear Edward. Only then will you be who you are truly meant to be. If you can’t do that then you will simply no longer be.”
“I can do it, Grandma. I swear I can be the person you think I should be. Whatever it takes, just make it stop!”
Suddenly the pain intensified and and could feel myself being pulled away back into the darkness.
I could feel the pain again all over my entire body. Even my throat felt raw. It had to be from the screaming when I experienced all the pain that Grandma Platt showed me. I had no idea I was really that bad. I had hurt everyone that I had ever touched. I had brought both of my parents to tears, broken their hearts. My little sister, Alice, who I had always sworn to protect from harm, I had often brutalized with my words. I had made Bella who I thought I had cherished beyond belief, I had made feel worthless and take away her desire to live. I still can’t believe because of how I treated her that she had tried to end her life. A world without Bella, would not be worth living in.
I had lived my life not paying attention, no that isn’t right. I had lived my life just not fucking caring about any person and how my actions affected them. Grandma Platt helped paint an extremely vivid picture that I did not want to be a part of any longer. I know that it wouldn’t be easy, but I would do everything I could to no longer be the bad spirited person that I had become.
Opening my eyes was a major struggle. It felt as though giant boulders were keeping them sealed shut. I could see more and more light as my eyelids fluttered open. I heard murmuring voices around me.
I tried to find my voice but the searing pain in my throat. I felt like I was gagging.
“Edward...” It was Mom. I could hear the tears in her voice. I could feel her small hand clinging on tightly to mine.
“Son, don’t move and don’t try to talk. You’ve got a tube down your throat that has been helping you breathe. Relax. Dr. Richardson is on her way to remove it.” He had my left hand between both of his. “You are going to be OK, Edward. Relax.” I was trying to stay calm but it felt like I was being suffocated and I began to struggle and tore my hands away from my parents to try to pull the tube out myself.
“Stop it. You will hurt yourself, E.” Emmett came up and forced both of my hands down from the tube as the door opened.
“It is good to see you awake, Edward,” Dr. Richardson said as she came over to my bedside. “I bet you are ready for this to come out. I need you to cough when I say so we can get the breathing tube out of your throat.” She untaped the tube from my mouth. “On the count of three, I need the strongest cough you have in you. One. Two. Three.”
Oh shit. It felt like hundreds of tiny daggers were scraping my throat as she pulled the tube from my throat. Every breath that I took burned deep down into my lungs.
“Edward, your throat is going to be extremely sore for a few days so you need to try your best not to talk. We can get you a pen and some paper so you can talk to everyone, if you’d like it.” I nodded my head yes. Even nodding my head hurt my throat. Little Alice, brought me a pad of her scented pink paper and her favorite pink pen that was shaped like a flamingo. Damn, I love that lil pixie.
“Do you remembered what happened?” Dr. Richardson asked. I nodded yes. I remembered the fall from the treadmill and seeing my leg contorted awkwardly.
I wrote, “How is my leg doing?”
“We performed surgery and repaired as much of your leg as we were able to.” I saw Dr. Richardson look at my parents.
“Edward, there were some complications during the surgery,” Dad said as his voice began to crack.
“What happened to me, Dad?” I saw his hesitation. “Please, I need to know.” I scribbled. I saw him look at Mom and he went to her and squeezed her hand gently. I looked at Alice and Em. My twin had tears in his eyes as well. Suddenly, I remembered the picture that Grandma Platt had shown me. “I died, didn’t I?”
They all looked startled from the four simple words I had written. My family was speechless as Dr. Richardson told me, “You went into severe respiratory distress, Edward. You stopped breathing and your heart stopped. It took us nearly ten minutes to bring you back.”
“Why did I stop breathing?”
“That worried us as well, because you are too young and healthy for that to happen, Edward. We ran a blood test to check for toxins in your blood that could have caused it. We found extremely high amounts of opiates and acetaminophen in your blood. You know what that was from, don’t you?” Dr. Richardson didn’t sound accusatory at all.
“Yes, I think I do.” I could see the tortured expressions on my family’s faces. “I’m so, so sorry. I just...I couldn’t stop.” My hands were shaking so I knew that they would be struggling to read my words.
“We know, Son. Dr. Richardson had you put under for a week so your body could detox from the Norcos and not feel the effects.”
“What happens now?” I had no idea what path my life would take now. I had a feeling deep in the pit of my stomach that it was definitely not going to be an easy journey.
“First, for pain management for your leg, we aren’t going to be able to give you anything stronger than Tylenol or Motrin. That may or may not take the edge off your pain. How is your leg feeling?” The doctor asked.
“I will order you some Tylenol. You are also going to have to undergo even more intensive physical therapy than before,” Dr. Richardson said.
“How bad is my leg?”
“Your injuries were very severe. Everything that could have been torn or broken was.”
“What does that mean?” In my heart, I knew the answer that she was going to give me.
“You will never regain full mobility of your leg. Its function will likely be around 60 percent, maybe a little more or maybe a little less. I can tell that you are still very tired from everything that you’ve been through, so I’m going to let you spend some time with your family and rest.”
“Thanks again, Dr. Richardson, for everything.” My dad shook her hand. She nodded and left as Rosalie entered with my Tylenol. She poured water and held the cup and put the straw to my lips.
“Take a small sip first to wet your throat. Then, you can take this.” She held up the small pills. The coldness of the water soothed the ache in my throat, even though the pills did hurt as they went down.
I grabbed the paper and wrote, “Thank you.” She merely nodded with a slight smile and I caught the glance that she and my twin shared. She grabbed his hand and squeezed it before she left. They weren’t just fucking around like I thought they were.
I could feel my eyelids getting heavier by the second. “I’m sorry, for everything.” I wrote.
I felt Mom kiss my forehead. “We know you are worn out, Edward. We are just so glad you came back to us. Get some sleep. We will be here when you wake up.”
In the days that followed, I was moved from the ICU to a private room. It was a good thing since none of my family wanted to leave my side.
I had a long talk with Mom and Dad when they sent Emmett and Alice for lunch. The talk centered on Mellow Yellow and how it had almost killed me. Every tear that I watched both of my parents shed made me vow to myself more and more to make sure that I never caused them the kind of pain that I had with my careless behavior.
To say that I was nervous about attending my first Narcotics Anonymous meeting the day that I was released from the hospital was an understatement. I knew that I was going to have to find the strength on my own two feet eventually. I was so relieved when Mom and Dad said that they wanted to attend the first meeting with me. I had already asked my Dad to pick up information for NA members so I would be prepared and know what to expect.
It was hard for me to believe that at the age of 18 that I was a drug addict and even if I never touched another pill again that I would always be an addict. Mellow Yellow had owned me and it almost took my life. I had already memorized the Serenity Prayer and I would recite it to myself any time I felt myself wanting some cuddle time with M.Y.
God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
So short, yet so much power in the small prayer. I know that I can’t change that I’m a drug addict. Addiction is a disease. That much I have found out. I can change and I knew after I read over the 12 steps that would be the keys to my successful recovery.
Like step 1 said, my life had no longer become my own. It was all in the hands of M.Y. I understood that now more than ever. I knew as step 2 said that I couldn’t get through this on my own. Grandma Platt showed me that there is someone out there watching over us with more power than we could ever imagine. I knew that that power was there to guide me in my darkest hour and help me when I desperately needed it, which lead to step 3 of the program.
Step 4, well, it wasn’t a pretty picture when I looked at who I was before and M.Y. made me even worse. I didn’t ever want to be like that again. With step 5, admitting to my parents and my brother and sister that I was an addict was one of the hardest things I’d ever experienced. I knew in my heart that they would be with me every step of my journey.
God brought Grandma Platt to me to help show me what was wrong with who I was so it would be easier to figure out how to change. I asked Him daily to help guide me down the road that my life was truly supposed to take.
I had already begun to compile the list of people who I have wronged in some way and not just during my addiction either. I don’t think that M.Y. was my only addiction. I was addicted to controlling others, making them bend to my will. That addiction was just as bad as the drug had been. At some points, I think it was even worse than the drugs. The list kept getting longer and more extensive. The hardest part for me was how I was going to make amends with everyone I had harmed. I had already begun to make amends with my family, but that was only the tip of the iceberg.
I also had to make amends with Felix. He had come to see me in the hospital and was so angry at me for trying to take matters into my own hands. He told me a story about one of his former patients who had pushed himself so far that he ended up dying. I had almost become another story for him to tell. He threatened to make me find another physical therapist, but I trusted him with my life and I knew he would do whatever he could to help me get a little mobility back in my leg.
I knew that I would never be playing football again. At first, I was angry. Then I realized that it was really all my fault. I did it to my self and I was the only one I could blame for it. It wasn’t Bella’s fault that I brought the gun to her house to try to show her that I was “the man.” It wasn’t Felix’s fault that I decided to exercise and exercise to try to build strength when I was only causing myself more damage. Here it was almost March of my senior year and I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Graduation was looming closer every second of every day and I had absolutely no clue of what my future had in store for me.
I was finally released from the hospital nearly three weeks after I almost died. Before we went home, we went to one of the conference rooms at the hospital for my first meeting.
My heart was pounding in my ears as the meeting began. My Dad was on my left side and Mom on my right. After the introductions were made and they asked if anyone else would like to speak. I used my crutches with Dad’s help and uttered the words that would help heal me in time. “My name is Edward and I’m a drug addict.” No one looked down their noses at me. We were all in this battle for recovery together and I was assigned a sponsor Stephen Rodgers. He had become addicted to painkillers too after a severe back injury. He was so easy to talk to, it was like we were kindred spirits.
Mom and Dad had gotten permission for me to stay home to finish out the school year, but that wasn’t what was really best for me. I needed to face all of my demons and I knew that I couldn’t do that at home. I was starting back to school on Monday. I was also scared that if I was at home that I was going to go stir crazy and that I would more easily hear M.Y. calling out to me. Any time I felt I was struggling, I would pray for guidance. I was never a religious person before the “Grandma Platt” incident. There was only one person that I had told about what happened after I died. That was my lil pixie, Alice.
When I told her what I saw, what I saw Bella do, she paled. She asked me how I knew. I told her that it was shown to me and that I could hear what was going through her mind when she did it. Alice didn’t believe me at first, but when I told her about thoughts that she had about me, thoughts she had never shared with anyone, she knew that I wasn’t just telling a story. She hugged me tightly and laughed when I told her that I got an ear flick when I called Grandma granny.
Monday was a typical dreary day in Forks as I rode with Emmett and Alice to school. We didn’t tell everyone about my drug problem. Unless the drugs had caused them a problem Mom and Dad said that it wasn’t any of their business. What was their business was how horribly I had treated many of them in the past.
Most of the people that I apologized to me looked at me like I had sprouted a second head on my shoulders. Many of the girls just didn’t believe me. I think they thought that I was trying to get in their pants again. Right now, I needed to be healthy before I could be with anyone in anyway and by no means was I mentally healthy yet. I was slowly but surely getting there.
I was attending NA meetings at least 4 times a week. Stephen and I would talk about how I was working on apologizing to those who I had harmed in some way.
Bella. I had harmed her physically and mentally. With the retraining order in place, there was no way that I could even talk to her to tell her how sorry I was for the way I treated her. She deserved someone better than me. She was an incredibly, amazing person who deserved someone who would treat her with the goodness and respect she not only deserved, but that I knew that she had craved.
I had treated her like she was a possession to do with what I wanted when I wanted. Her wants and desires had really never been important to me. I still couldn’t believe all of the damage that I had caused her. I didn’t deserve her. I never did. She was too good for me. She deserved a life where she was happy and she wasn’t ever truly happy with me.
Stephen suggested that even if I couldn’t talk to Bella in person, that I could write a letter to her. I knew that she would likely never read the letter, but at least I would be able to get all of my feelings out and on paper.
It took me hours to find all of the words that I needed to say to her. Writing the letter was the most difficult thing I had done so far. It was stained with the tears I shed for every time I hit her, for every harsh word I said to her, for every girl that I fucked with when Bella was the only one who should have ever been in my arms.
I was also slowly making strides in my physical recovery. When Felix would start me on a new exercise, I would ask for him to explain to me what its purpose was. When I saw other patients being treated by other therapists, I asked about their sessions as well.
It didn’t take me long to find my calling. I had hurt so many people for so long. I wanted to do what I could to help others when they were hurt and needed to be healed. Felix was the first I told of my plans. When I told him that I wanted to follow in his footsteps, I swear I saw his eyes get watery, but he denied it.
Physical therapy was not going to be easy, but it was what I wanted to do with my life. Mom and Dad were so happy that I had found my true calling. I looked at schools all over the country. Mom and Dad wanted me to stay close to home, but I knew that I needed a break. I needed a fresh start. I also needed a place where NA meetings would be any time that I needed them.
One school stood out above all the rest. It was in America’s heartland. Ironically enough, they often battled USC for the top spot with their football program. I always looked good in crimson and cream.