July 16, 2012
It had appeared as a dream. I awoke after what seemed like months of rest, but in reality it had only been an hour.
Jacob glided across the field, almost like my father would. I crouched with an unrecognizable thirst.
“You’re eyes . . . they’re red,” Jacob boomed as he cautiously came near.
The glow, so bright, the illuminations reflected upon my almost perfectly eggshell-white complexion. Like a cheetah, I aimed then darted for my prey. The deer wasn’t as satisfying as I’d presumed, but curbed my insanity enough to keep me in one place. Jacob soared toward me in werewolf form, but kept some space between us.
This couldn’t be a dream if I had just woke up from one, could it? I couldn’t control my senses or sanity. I preyed upon two more deers before surrendering under Jacob’s care. We dashed to the house as a wave of brown and bronze hair disappeared past us. I’d hardly noticed it because I was more worried about getting home.
Sure enough, the Cullens were there, waiting as me and Jacob emerged from the frothy forest. Uncle Jasper and Emmet immediately grasped my arms and led me down to Grandpa Carlisle’s office. I was strapped and weighed down by my tempered Uncles. Grandma Esme, Aunt Alice and Rosalie wore expressions tinted with shock, unusual from their normal porcelain-perfect faces.
The people I loved the most, however, were absent.
“All right, Renesmee, let’s get a closer view of you,” Carlisle announced, inching toward me in a calm and collected manner.
“How is this possible? There’s no way she can be . . . “
Carlisle cut Jasper off with a wave of his hand.
“Where are my parents?” I demanded as Carlisle started his examination.
“I will notify you about that if you answer some of my questions first. Nessie, I don’t mean to irritate you, but we must know first what is wrong before I can answer any questions,” Carlisle responded, checking my pulse. “What happened before you woke up?”
I pondered awhile. After all, I know my grandpa had the best intentions for me and he only wished to diagnose me so that I could be cured or treated properly.
All I remember was a quiet walk through the woods and the crackling of the leaves behind me. I knew I shouldn’t have walked by myself, but Jacob and his pack were constantly patrolling the area and it didn’t seem that dangerous on a crisp, cool Autumn afternoon. As soon as I shared this information with the family, Carlisle’s eyes lit up (and not in a positive sense).
“Excuse me, Renesmee, but I must examine your waist.” Carlisle peeked around my waist to reveal a deep bite. He suddenly jumped into action, attempting to clean the cut.
Moments later, however, Carlisle faltered in his attempts. “She is already infected by the venom, but her heart still beats safe and sound. I will continue with my research later. In all these hundreds of years I have never witnessed such an event. Then again, most vampires have never met a half-vampire, half-human. Esme, I recommend you suit her to a warm bath and some rest.”
“Wait! I’m thirsty! And where are my parents?” I commanded.
“We will provide you with elk blood in the time being, and then perhaps you can take a hot bath.” Carlisle finished, and Esme whisked me to the kitchen.
I awoke with the same thirst. However, this time Jasper and Emmet were there to capture me before I escaped out the door. I resisted their grip and was strapped down to a recliner. Esme fed me more elk blood and I was eventually feeling myself again.
I browsed the TV channels for some mere entertainment: a salesmen was pitching cookware on one channel, and on another channel they were hyping a new exercise machine. I finally settled on watching the daily news before eyeing Stephenie Meyer’s newly published book. But books didn’t interest me at the moment like my usual favorite –– playing the guitar. As folly as it sounds, all I really wanted was my parents.
“Hey, Nessie.” Jacob eased toward me on the loveseat. He was still my boyfriend and best friend, even though I was in this dark, hazy state.
“Hey, Jacob,” I greeted with a peck on the lips. This action threw him back a bit and a pang of caution faintly spread over his face, but swiftly faded and was replaced with warmth. I was a bit disappointed that even Jacob presented caution like that, but I couldn’t blame him, I was even frightened of myself.
“What’s wrong with me?” I asked helplessly.
“I don’t know. Carlisle should tell us soon. Nessie, just never walk in the woods by yourself again.” Jacob tried to manage his piquing anger, but it didn’t bother me. For once I was the monster.
“I’m sorry . . . I should have been more careful,” I apologized ruefully.
“Your parents fled to hunt after the immortal that bit you. Edward believes he heard the hunter. Bella agreed to follow and Jasper and Emmet left this morning to meet them.”
“What about you? Are you leaving?” I needed Jacob here. He was the one person that tied me to this Earth, the one person that made me feel normal despite my horrendous condition.
“I’m staying here, don’t you worry. I offered to stay here to guard you along with the rest of the family while Carlisle treats you. I also sent Leah and Seth out on double patrol. You’re safe here with me, always.” He kissed my forehead and held me tenderly.
“I’m back!!” It was Alice, along with at least ten shopping bags in her hands.
“Nessie, I spotted the perfect––”
Carlisle silenced her. He only did such a thing when he had something significant to say. Normally he had boundless patience. “I believe I have a theory of your condition, Renesmee. I do not know exactly what it is, but something is definitely there.”
Rosalie and Esme gathered around him, their golden eyes wide.
“From both blood sample A and B, I noticed something in particular. It’s strange, because your heart is still beating well, which means you are alive. Nonetheless, you possess qualities of a newborn vampire. I believe you have been infected by another vampire’s venom, yet somehow you’re immune to it in the sense that you are still alive. Your body is reacting to the venom like it would to any human, however. I’m concluding that you have a virus.”
“We can’t find them! They disappeared!” Emmett shouted as he whisked in through the door.
My parents were missing, and I was diseased.
This is a virus.