Chapter 24

‘What were you thinking?!’

That was the same question I had been asking myself ever since I woke up in the hospital. Although I had told Edward that I would take care of things, I had quickly fainted after the whole ordeal, the adrenalin rush taking its toll on my energy level. I had been given my own room, despite my injuries being not as serious: some scraps and bruises, a sprained wrist – again – and an ugly looking wound on my left knee from God knew what. I suspected Dr. Cullen had had something to do with my rooming, though, if only to give his daughter the opportunity to pump me for information..

‘Well?’ Alice asked, impatiently.

To be frank, I really didn’t know what I’d been thinking when I decided to save Bella Swan’s life. Letting her die would have been the smarter option since she was the bane of my existence. Of course I would have never forgiven myself for letting someone die when I could have saved them – even if it that someone was Bella – but it would have been nice if I just hadn’t gotten the gut feeling at all. That would solve both the problem of the mysterious premonitions and the problem of some girl trying to replace me. I sighed. ‘I don’t know. I knew it was coming for her and couldn’t just let her die.’

The pixy pinched the bridge of her nose. ’Edward would have saved her. He was supposed to save her. What did I tell you about not intervening?’

‘Was I supposed to just leave her and trust that she would be well when a van was about to crush her?’

‘I know..’ she sat down on the bed. ‘Things don’t go as I expect them to and it frustrates me. It’s not your fault.’

I nodded, letting her know that she was forgiven. Although I didn’t like the way she tried to manipulate other people, I knew that she’d never had my worst intentions in mind. Like she’d said before the accident; I was her friend. But Edward was her brother.. Thinking back on that moment, I remembered something else she’d said before the van had come and interrupted our conversation. Due to all the drama, I had completely forgotten to think about it, but now that I did, I couldn’t help but frown. It didn’t make sense at all. ‘What did you mean when you said I’m fading?’

Alice frowned and looked down at the white bed sheets. Her hesitance was almost tangible and I realized this was the first time I’d seen the pixy so uncomfortable. ‘I can’t tell you..’

‘I deserve to know, Alice. It’s my life.’

When she met my eyes, her brown orbs were filled with nothing but desperation and I knew that if vampires could cry, Alice might have been that moment. ‘You’re fading from my visions, disappearing.’

‘But how?’

She shook her head ‘I don’t know, Dalia. I don’t know and that scares me. All I know is that you don’t belong here..’ Her eyes hardened after that. ‘You can’t tell Edward, ever.’

I pulled up an eyebrow. ‘Doesn’t he already know? He was but thirty feet away when you told me.’

‘He confronted me about it before I went to the hospital. I told him that it had been only a lie to keep you away. You can’t tell him the truth, Dalia.’

‘I don’t know, Alice.. I mean, if this would truly mean the end of me, wouldn’t it be unfair to keep it from him?’

Before Alice could answer my question, a phone rang and I noticed her pick up a mobile phone from the nightstand. My mobile phone. ‘It’s Edward.’

Nodding, I took the phone from her and took a deep breathe, trying to collect myself. ‘Hello?’

‘Are you alright, Dalia? I am so sorry for wha..-’

I smiled softly ‘I’m fine, Edward, really. Nothing too serious.’

‘I should have brought you to the hospital myself..’

‘It’s alright, I promise. I mean, I get it: Bella’s blood and all. And I’m fine, so there’s no need for you to get all stressed.’

He grew silent. ‘Is Alice with you?’

Giving her a sideways glance, I saw her nodding. ‘Yeah, she is. Why?’

‘Did she say something else about her visions concerning you?’

Again, I looked at Alice, then I bit my lip. I didn’t want to lie to Edward. I didn’t want to keep secrets from him, because I knew how much I hated it when he kept secrets from me. I knew how much I hated it to be shut out of his life. But Alice was right, he couldn’t know. If Edward knew, he would only worry about me. He would spend all his time trying to fight what Alice knew was inevitable. Time we could have spent laughing together, sharing stories and just enjoying the moment. If I truly was fading, then wouldn’t it be best to share the remaining moments together, just enjoying the now? ‘She told me she lied.’ I swallowed. ‘Alice was afraid that I would keep you away from your future, but after I saved Bella’s life, she realized that I would actually help you.’

Edward stayed silent for a moment and I hoped – wished – that he had fallen for my lie. ‘You promise?’

The taste of iron filled my mouth and I only now noticed I’d drawn blood. ‘I promise.’

A knock on my door stopped me in the middle of getting ready. Although of course I had only been in the hospital for an hour or two, the nurses – and Alice – had managed to get my stuff scattered all about the room. The latter had left a couple of minutes ago, to greet my parents and tell them what had happened. ‘Yes?’ The door opened slowly, a head peaking in. A pale face, long, brown hair and chocolate eyes: this wasn’t Alice. Stepping into the room, she kept her eyes fixed on the ground at all times. I wasn’t sure if she was simply scared of me or if this was her regular reaction to people. ‘I wanted..’ She chanced a look upwards, clearly trying to gauge my expression. ‘I wanted to thank you for saving me.’

I just nodded, continuing with throwing stuff in my backpack ‘It’s nothing, really.’

I had hoped she would be done after that, but of course – Bella Swan being the bane of my existence and all – she wasn’t quite finished. ‘I just don’t understand how you knew. I mean, the van could have hit anyone, yet you came for me.’ She looked up again from her feet. ‘How did you know?’

For the second time that day, I considered lying. However, in contrary to the first time, I knew that if I would deny everything, she would only become more suspicious. So instead, I chose to give her some version of the truth. ‘I had a feeling, I don’t know. Must have been the adrenalin or something.’

Bella nodded, apparently satisfied with my answer – for now. Judging from her still fumbling hands, though, I knew she wasn’t done. Of course she couldn’t be.. ‘Edward Cullen was there, too. He looked.. he looked as if he was about to kill me.’

I wanted to slap her both for continuing talking and for being so spot-on on something that I wanted her to know as little as possible about. Biting my lip, I turned to my bag again, hoping she wouldn’t notice the look of desperation on my face. What could I tell her? ‘He gets sick of blood. He just called me; he wanted me to apologize for scaring you.’ I had now finished getting my things and all I wanted was to get out of the awkwardness that filled the room – get away from Bella Swan as fast as possible. With the amount of questions she was firing at me, I was bound to slip up somewhere along the road.

’You and Edward, you’re not dating, are you?’

Turning around, I pulled up an eyebrow. ‘We are just friends.’ I hated where the conversation was going. ‘Why do you ask?’

She looked positively uncomfortable under my gaze, which made me happy. ‘For no reason, I just..’ she sighed, trying to find the right words. ‘He looks very protective of you.’

’Yes well, as I said before; we’re friends. Best friends, to be precise.’ I hoisted my bag on my shoulder, before she could ask me another question. ‘If you will excuse me, my parents are waiting for me and I really need to get going.’

She nodded, but as I walked past her and opened the door, her voice forced me to look around once more. ‘Thank you.’

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