I have decided to save the entry about Jacob potentially receiving a Cullen crest until my next entry. On behalf of the upcoming release of New Moon, I decided to write about something different. Something that was skipped over in New Moon. Below, are excerpts from Bella’s Diary of the hazy, numb months following Edward’s absence:
“I was not allowed to think of him. That was something I tried to be very strict about. Of course I slipped; I was only human. But I was getting better, and so the pain was something I could avoid for days at a time now. The trade off was the never-ending numbness. Between pain and nothing, I’d chosen nothing.”
It did not take long for everyone in Forks to find out that he left—without me. Mrs. Stanley, of course, didn’t hesitate to tell everyone in Forks as soon as she found out. Our phone was ringing off the hook, and I felt bad for Charlie because he had to tell everyone, all my friends, that I was ‘fine.’ That’s what I asked him to tell them. I’m sure it was obvious—from the tone of Charlie’s voice—that I was far from ‘fine,’ though.
I could not decipher my emotions. I gave up trying to understand whether I was angry, scared or hurt; I assumed it was a sick mixture of all three. I wished I could understand the hallow, twisting, stabbing feeling in my stomach and how to stop it. It hurt. It hurt a lot. I had to learn to control it, so I could go back to school without keeling over in pain at any given moment. Not that I would be embarrassed if I did. Suddenly nothing mattered. Nothing could embarrass me anymore. Nothing could hurt me. Nothing mattered at all.
October flew by so fast. Every single day seemed like it was on repeat. I began to have a routine, and if I did anything outside of my routine, I felt scared. The stabbing in my stomach would get more intense. The huge gaping hole in my chest would expand. I was strict about how my days would play out. And, every morning I felt sick, worried that someone would mention him. It was not in my routine to talk about Edw him.
Luckily everyone around me knew, for the most part, that I didn’t want to talk, period, let alone talk about the very cause of my numbness. My daze. I was becoming more and more numb every day, but I liked it that way. The only downside to the numbness was that once I wasn’t in control anymore, while I was sleeping, the nightmares got worse and worse. The more I blocked the thought of him while I was awake, the more he seemed to appear, every night, hauntingly in my dreams.
Sometimes I would wake up after a nightmare so bad it would make me physically ill. Charlie would come into the bathroom in the middle of the night and see me hunched over the toilet, my permanently ashen face hiding in the porcelain. Though groggy from being woken up, Charlie would feel my forehead to make sure I didn’t have a fever, even though by this time he knew what it was really about. He seemed confused by a lot of things still, though. Like how during the day I would hardly say a word. I didn’t even look up at anyone. Basically, I didn’t care about anything, at all. Then, at night, Charlie would get woken up by me screaming at the top of my lungs in the middle of another nightmare, the nightmare of him turning around and walking away from me . . . for good.
I never knew it was possible to become this numb. I don’t talk to my friends anymore. They have given up trying, too. I’m sure they gossip about me, but I’m not awake enough to hear anything. Even if I did, I wouldn’t care. I don’t seem to care about anything. I’m sure this isn’t normal, what I’m feeling—or not feeling.
I’m glad Renee isn’t here to witness this, witness me in this zombie-like haze that I can’t seem to break. When she calls, I can hear the worry laced through her voice. I try my hardest to make my voice sound like it used to, to sound alive. But I can’t. The harder I try, the worse it sounds. I’ve done a pretty good job at making sure she doesn’t mention him, and if I think she’s even close to accidentally letting his name slip, I hang up.
Lately, in the middle of the night, I’ve been going downstairs and sitting on the front porch. I throw on Charlie’s huge winter jacket and curl up on the stairs. Just to sit, to breath in the icy air. The cold and the darkness remind me of him. It’s refreshing. Sleep scares me. No, it horrifies me. This has also become part of my routine. Sometimes I find myself out there until four in the morning, just sitting in the cold, not actually feeling it. Not feeling anything for that matter.
I’m sure the dark circles under my eyes give away that I haven’t been sleeping well. No one has said anything about it, though. Oddly, I like being tired at school. When I’m really tired, all I think about is sleep, and so his absence doesn’t inundate my mind. I don’t have to fight as hard to make sure the numbness doesn’t accidentally wear off.
Every day Charlie makes sure I’m eating. At first, I couldn’t see through the constant river of tears well enough to prepare a meal. When I did try to eat, my stomach had other plans, and refused to keep anything down. Now, I can eat. I cook dinner every night for Charlie and I. It’s part of my routine, so it’s safe. It’s one of the things that I know won’t hurt, or make me remember . . . .
Charlie had to remind me that Christmas was coming up. I somehow missed all the posters and announcements around school. The small town of Forks was brightly lit up with Christmas lights, each house uniquely decorated, trying to stand out more than the others. I had no choice but to notice when Charlie asked me to drive around with him to look at all the decorations. This was something him and Renee used to do together every year before I was born. They waited until a few nights before Christmas, then drove all over picking out their favorite houses. Charlie told me everything, and I listened, because I knew if I didn’t listen, my mind would wander.
I decided to give myself one very, very delicate present for Christmas. I allowed myself to think, just for a few moments, about what it would have been like to spend Christmas with Edward. I placed my arms around my torso, anticipating the blow I knew I would feel. I closed my eyes and began to picture the colorful Christmas lights reflecting off his perfectly pale complexion. His granite arms smoothly wrapping around me as the snow floated down from the sky. I pictured his golden eyes looking down at me as I opened some present that I asked him not to get me. I could almost feel his lips pressed against mine . . . .
I began to shake uncontrollably. The air in my room seemed too thick to breathe in and I started to gasp. Before I knew it, I was over the toilet, tears streaming down my face, unable to catch my breath. Charlie was sleeping, and I was trying to be as silent as possible. I didn’t want to make him worry anymore. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs that seemed nonexistent in that moment.
I wiped my face then bolted down the stairs, forgetting to grab Charlie’s jacket. I wrapped my arms around my torso again, as if I were trying to hold my heart inside my chest, and sat down on the porch stairs. The snow was cold, but it numbed me. I needed to be numb again. Once I stopped shivering from the cold, I got what I wanted. My body slowly started to lose feeling. I was numb again. Not to the point of frost bite, just numb enough to take my mind away from where it had been. Becoming physically numb helped me become mentally numb again. It took my focus away from him.
I didn’t remember leaving the porch or going back inside, but somehow I was back in my bed, drifting off into another nightmare-filled sleep. The last thing I thought about was that I hoped I wouldn’t wake Charlie up with the screaming I knew would come along with the nightmares I was about to have.
I felt like I was starting all over again. Allowing myself that one Christmas present only caused me to regret it more than anything. Everyone was buzzing about the New Years dance, and even Charlie asked me if I planned on going. He knew what my answer was going to be. I could see that look in his eyes that he got when he asked me a question he already knew the answer to. He was trying, though. Trying to break me out of the haze that I was certain would last forever. He had a small ounce of hope that the New Year would take my pain away and replace it with happiness, somehow.
Charlie seemed to be walking on egg shells around me, and I felt overwhelmed with guilt. I felt guilty that he had to be uncomfortable in his own home. He was confused by me, never knowing what to say, or when. I was doing my best to conceal the pain. I was hiding it from myself, so I thought I must be doing a great job at hiding it from Charlie. I decided to try harder, to do whatever I had to do to make sure he could no longer see my aching. Besides, when my pain is visible to him, it means it still exists. I don’t want it to exist anymore. I want it to feel like he never existed.
I was terrified, though.
Terrified to forget.