Tarzan The Jungle Man
I was happy and content without the wish upon a star simply having a late night gathering with the people who loved me. I was truly a lucky girl.
I took a deep breath, looking out the window to see Emmett's Jeep squeal out of the drive way along with Alice's Porsche. I had requested that everyone leave for a day outside by themselves and have fun. Though it hurt like hell to see Edward go, I knew that it'd be best for him to not witness me trying to move my legs again. "Bells, you ready?"
I smiled slightly at Avery who had stayed behind to help me. He and Alice were the only people who knew what I was actually doing while the others went out to have fun. Just so that they wouldn't get suspicious, Ali left with them but not before putting up a huge fight with me. I would have originally asked Rosalie or Jazz to stay behind with me but I knew that what they would see would hurt them as much as anybody else. Avery did care a lot about me, but he wasn't as personal as the others who I would see everyday.
I sighed and nodded, wheeling myself over to the living room before laying down on the yoga mat we had prepared for this activity. Avery sat beside me and held my hand. "It's gonna hurt Bells. You know that right?"
I nodded once more. "I have to do this," I muttered and he pursed his lips but didn't say anything, probably biting down his argument.
"Whenever you're ready, you can start."
"I'm probably going to squeeze the crap out of you," I warned. He winked.
"I think that I can probably take it."
"Okay then. Suit yourself."
"The doctor said that you probably need to build up your strength in your hips so that you can work you way down from there. Why don't we try to lift it?" Avery moved down toward my feet, still keeping one hand in mine. "I have to lift, okay Bella? I'll start at three."
"Just do it already," I said, my voice wavering slightly. This was something that I had wanted to do, but I was still damn scared out of my wits. It wouldn't be human to not be afraid of immense pain.
True to his word, Ave counted to three slowly before lifting my legs up toward my body so that I curled. The anguish in my upper and lower body seemed to consume me and I fought back a scream as my legs protested the movement. It seemed like forever until he brought the legs back down and even then, a dull ache throbbed in my abs and lower body. I noticed that I was slightly panting from this minimal movement of my legs and tried to keep my breathing under control.
"You okay?" he asked, concern clear on his face. I gasped but nodded slowly.
"I'll be fine." He looked at me skeptically but didn't say anything, simply waiting until I had calmed down to raise my legs again. The same pain coursed through my veins and I kept the scream in once more. It hurt. It burned. It was like death without the benefits. I could almost feel the electricity of my nerves shooting up my legs, trying to bind together like a vine. The process continued, each time making the pain double and Avery's face fall even further. It wasn't fun seeing someone in so much agony, even if she wasn't screeching out.
The fourth time the shock shot through me, I accidentally let out a whimper and my 'adopted' brother looked away, his face one of guilt. I drew ragged and short breaths as he looked down upon me and brushed a strand of sweaty hair out of my face. "Maybe this isn't a good idea. We should stop. At least for today, anyways."
"I can't. The doctor said that if I started, I'd have to finish my work out or it'll hurt even more. I just, I just have to do this a couple more times."
He frowned at me. "Why can't you go to a professional physical therapist? Can't they do things like this for you there?"
I looked away from him, memories flooding back.
It was midnight Christmas Eve and I was jumping up and down with excitement, my five year-old self hardly being able to control my job. Charlie had recently been injured on the job and had been required by his chief at the time to attend physical therapy. "Bella, calm down!" Emmett yelled at me over the loud roar of the television.
"Emmy, Emmy! Santa's coming! Santa's coming!"
"Not if you don't be quiet he won't! He only comes to good children, not ones who misbehave and drive their brothers crazy!"
I pouted and crossed my arms. "I am a good giwl and I don't dwive you cwazy. Where's daddy? He'll agwee with me."
"Dad's with Dr. Patricia, remember? He has to exercise to regain muscles or whatever."
I sighed, wondering why he couldn't wait until another day for physical therapy. Come on! It was Christmas Eve! "Patty needs to take a chill pill and calm her ass down," I said, scowling and Emmett gasped.
"Where did you learn that word? You're not supposed to use that!"
I giggled. "One of your fwiends said it to a girl on TV that she had a nice ass. What's wong with the word Emmy?"
"Isabella Marie Swan you are never to say that word again, you hear? That's a bad word and daddy is going to kill me if he hears you say it."
I bowed my head and nodded, the tears threatening to fall over. I didn't like Emmett getting mad at me. He's 'pposed to be kind to me, daddy says 'cause he's my older bwother. Suddenly, the phone rang and I jumped up to get it. "Hewo, this is officer Swan's house. I'm Bewa. But my bwother calls me Bells. What's your name?" I asked into the phone and Emmett ran up to me, snatching the phone from my hands.
"I'm sorry that was my little sister. Who's this?" He stayed silent as the man on the other end of the line talked, but his face paled little by little as the seconds ticked by. "Yes I understand. Ten minutes? Okay, we'll be waiting outside." The phone clicked and I beamed up at my Emmy bear.
"I made a new fwiend Emmy! I don't know his name though. He was on the other line!"
My brother's face turned very serious and he looked at me with hard eyes that meant business. "Bells, go get your coat. Daddy's been hurt during therapy. He's in the ER."
End of Flashback
I remember that night with such vivid clarity and it scared me at times, even after all these years. It turned out that one of the lunatics getting treated there had brought in a gun and my dad, being my dad, felt that he was the one who would stop the man from hurting anyone. Though no bullets were fired, the man had managed to throw a heavy punch and kick to Charlie's head, causing a concussion. There was a reason that every time Emmett had gotten hurt on the field or when I had a particularly bad sprain we refused to undergo physical therapy. That one Christmas Eve caused us to develop somewhat of a phobia of training facilities that still lasted.
"But it's a good thing that I can actually feel the pain, right?" I asked softly. "It means that my legs aren't completely dead to the senses."
"I guess. If you want to keep going, we can but I don't think that it's a good idea Bella. You don't want to push yourself and get hurt. Listen, Bella, I need to go in a little while since Ava's home alone and she wanted me to pick up something along the way home. You'll be fine alone until the others come home right?"
I nodded in understanding and we continued for a little while until Avery put his foot down and declared that I had enough. He carried me to bed where he set me down, kissing my forehead before leaving. I yawned, closed my eyes and quickly fell asleep.
A camping trip. A freaking camping trip. Technically, not a camping trip since we were only staying until midnight, but still. That was Emmett's brilliant idea for "bonding time." It was the middle of December in freaking Pennsylvania and the idiot wanted a damn camping trip. Fuckkkk it was cold! "Edward, man up a bit will you?" Em yelled at me from across the camp site and I flicked him off, shivering.
"Shut it Emmett. I'm freezing my ass off over here too. How could you fail to mention the fact that we needed jackets before we left the house?" Jazz yelled at the dumb butt over there as well, huddling into his half built tent for warmth.
"I told you, it was a last minute decision!"
"Name one other person in the world who makes a last minute decision to go camping?" I shouted, chattering. "Just give it up Emmett and let's go home! We can play Halo or Call of Duty or something other than freezing in like 0 degree weather!"
There was silence in Emmett's part as he continued to pitch his tent, scowling the whole time. He wasn't complaining about the cold because he took the spare parka out of his trunk. Jazz and I were dying in our thinner Abercrombie sweaters. I walked over to him and slapped him on the head. "Hey!"
"Give. It. Up," Jasper, who had walked across from his tent, growled. "I'm freezing here!"
Emmett sighed and started to take apart the tent, grumbling. "You guys are all babies. It's only a slight chill for heavens sake."
I glowered at him. "It's twenty degrees outside. It's enough for us to catch hypothermia and you call it a slight chill?"
"I'm taking the tent apart, aren't I?" He asked, raising his brow.
"Just leave the tents Emmett!" Jasper yelled at him, slapping him again. "I'll pay for them later and let's just go home!"
He cocked his head to the side and asked, "So you'll pay for all three tents?" Jazz nodded. "And the gas for my car that it took to come here?" Another nod. "So around five-hundred dollars?"
"Yes!" Jasper exclaimed, exasperated. "Yes, I'll pay for it! God damn Emmett give me your keys!" After digging in his pocket, Em took the out and handed them to us, resulting in us scrambling back toward the car, opening the door and turning the heat on high. The engine was still too cold and only cold air blew out, but we were content to simply relish in the natural heat the inner confines of the car created.
I let out a content sigh as the air started to warm and Emmett chuckled as he climbed into the driver seat. "Pussies," he murmured and we shot him a glare. "Fine, fine," he relented and started to drive off into the city and back home.
After a forty minute drive, we were getting out of the car on the driveway of our home, standing out on the porch, still freezing because Bella and Avery were both asleep. Emmett was pounding on the door, cursing under his breath. "God damn it Av, I'm going to kill you! You locked me out of my own house!"
"Don't you have a key Em?" Jasper asked, incredulous.
"No! I thought you two fuckers had one!"
"Please tell me you hid one under the doormat or something?" I asked, groaning.
"No, Bella's terrified that a robbers going to come and take the key and open the door and kill her or something," he muttered the last part and I growled in retaliation. No one was even allowed to talk about her dying in my presence. I couldn't take the retching feeling in my heart whenever I even imagined her dying.
"Fine, just call the house."
"Damn, why didn't I think of that?" he grumbled as he dialed the number to his house. No one answered and the line went dead as Emmett reached voicemail and hung up. "I give up. Someone had to climb through a window."
"Climb through the second story windows. They can be opened from the outside and don't have a screen so you can just hop in and unlock the door."
Jasper and I just stared at him. "Are you serious? You expect one of us to climb through a second story window? The fall could freaking kill us!" We exclaimed and he shrugged.
"Got a better idea? How about calling Rose and Alice and them killing us for interrupting girl time? I'll even write on your headstones 'A good friend. Gone too soon because they were too much a pussy to go and climb a window.'
I sighed but told them that I would do it. Jasper rolled his eyes but nodded and Emmett smiled mischievously. "You would have a good idea on how to do it Edward. Didn't you say that you used to climb through chick's windows all the time?"
I glared at him and gave him the middle finger before looking up at the window to my love's room before starting to climb up the tree growing next to it. When I managed to reach the tree branch that lead up the entrance, I steadily and carefully started walking towards it, testing my footing on the thick branch. Taking a deep breath as I reached the thinner edge, I flung myself off the wood and clung onto the window sill that was thankfully protruding out just enough for me to grab on to it and start to pull myself up. I heard Emmett and Jasper clapping and whooping for me below, calling me Tarzan and I rolled my eyes. Idiots.
The sill was just wide enough for me to stand up and open the window open, letting the cold wind enter my love's bedroom. Climbing in slowly, I closed it and smiling softly, looked over at my love who looked angelic, laying in her head, her hair forming a chocolate brown halo around her, her lips forming a gently 'o' as she slept. I couldn't help but stroke her cheek I walked past her bed and she started to stir so I placed a kiss on her and her eyes fluttered open. "Edward?" she croaked, obviously confused of her surroundings.
"I'm here Bells."
"Um, why didn't I hear you come in through the door? It creaks so loudly that I should have woken up. How'd you get in?" I chuckled guiltily as she glared at me, struggling to get up. I helped her sit, leaning her against the headboard. "What did you do Edward Cullen?"
"What would you think if I told you that someone, in a hypothetical situation, climbed up a tree and jumped in through the window so that this someone could open the locked door for his idiotic friends?" I asked sheepishly and Bella's eyes widened.
"Edward! You could have been killed!"
"But I wasn't."
"But you could have been!" she argued, pouting and I rolled my eyes.
"But I wasn't. Bella, I'm fine and quite honestly, I'm proud that I can climb the tree so easily. I was beginning to think that I had lost my touch."
"Uh, nothing?" There was no way in hell that I was telling her about my tree climbing days. Seriously that was some shit that she didn't need to know.
"What do you mean Edward Anthony?" Never mind, I guess I was telling her. Damn the power she held over me. I was so whipped.
"Love, it's nothing important," I declared, kissing her nose gently and lifting her up into my arms. "It's nothing that you need to be worried about. I just, you know, used to climb a lot of trees to get into girls' houses." The look on her face was priceless as she gaped at me and I chuckled. "You're going to catch flies Bella."
She blushed and ducked her head, frowning. "How many girls' houses have you snuck into Edward?"
"Enough," I declared, effectively ending the conversation. I could tell that she was upset, but really, what was I supposed to tell her? At least a dozen during my teen years? Psh, not a chance.
"Okay. Wait, where are my brother and Jazz?"
I snickered a bit as I heard pounding downstairs as the two tried to get inside and notify me to let them inside. "Outside, trying the break down the door since I'm not unlocking it for them right his minute."
She giggled, nuzzling against my chest. "You're such an asshole Edward."
"Only to those who deserve it!" I argued as I climbed down the stairs with Bella still in my arms. "Besides, I can't be that big of an ass if I'm going to unlock it for them right now. Or at least eventually."
We reached the door and Bella reached over the and unlocked the door, letting the two bumbling idiots in. "Nice you see you too Edward," Emmett growled out. "What took you so long? You were in here forever without letting us in."
"Payback's a bitch Em. I climbed the tree, you had to wait. It's the way karma works. You made me do something bad, something bad happens to you," I said, and like the mature adult that I was, I stuck my tongue out at him before kissing the girl in my arms softly. "And besides, your sister here might have distracted me."
He groaned as Jasper snickered. "I do not need to hear about how my little sis seduced you. Ew, ew, ew, now I can't get the image of her in Rose's outfits. Ew, ew!"
I chuckled at his antics and we closed the door, shutting the cold December wind out, basking in the warmth that was home