I own nothing!
This story was adopted from another author and I am now going back over a couple chapters and making make a few fine tuning adjustments. So please bear with me while I go over this story. I hope to hear from you all soon and let me know what you think of this story and its fine tuning adjustments I've made.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
The heart monitor kept the steady beat of my father's heart as I held his limp hand. "Daddy, please hold on. Please, I know that I said that I'll get you the best medical treatment ever, but it was too expensive. Once I can get out of this situation, I promise that you'll be alright," I whispered to Charlie.
Suddenly, the door opened and the doctor stepped through the door. "Bella? May I please talk with you?" He asked, ushering me out. I sighed. I knew what he needed.
His eyes turned grim. "Bella, I know that right now isn't the best time to bring this up, but the hospital really needs that payment. Keeping Charlie alive is not a cheap matter and it's costing the hospital money; money that we desperately need to help the other patients here in the hospital as well. I know that you've informed us about your father's insurance and how he no longer has the coverage he once had."
I felt my eyes water up. "I know, I know, and I'm trying really hard. My paycheck is coming soon and I already have some of it. Please just give me some time. I promise that I'll have it to you eventually."
He pursed his lips then nodded. "Okay, I know you Bella and I know that you are an honest young lady. I'll give you another month, but then if you can't give us the payment, we'll have to take your father off of the life support."
I sighed in relief. "Thank you doctor," suddenly, my watch beeped, indicating that my lunch break was over. "Well, I've got to go," I waved back to the doctor, but was held back.
"Wait, Bella, have you been eating lately? Or sleeping?" He asked. Honestly, I haven't been sleeping if at all; I've been too worried about my father and whether or not this would be the day that I would have to say goodbye to him sooner than I had anticipated.
I shrugged. "I have to do what I have to do. And yes, I've been… dealing with a couple problems, but don't worry about me doctor! I'll be perfectly fine," I rushed off, not wanting to be faced with his concern.
I had lied. I wasn't perfectly fine and I knew it. I had been sleeping for about 3 hours each day in the subway ride home, but that was it. As for eating, my growling stomach and gaunt face answered that question. The only contact I had with food was at the restaurant I was currently working in. I sighed. As much as I wanted to quit this life, to end this aching pain, I knew I couldn't, because of Charlie, my father, I had to do it for him.
I yawned as I walked down the street to the diner that was currently my day job, concern flooding my mind. It had been a month since Charlie had been shot, which resulted in him slipping into a coma. A month since I had last slept a good 8 hours. A month since I truly lived. Before the accident, Charlie and I had been poor, but not unbearably devastated. Sure, I had to work a few more hours and he had to find a second job, but we were happy and getting by.
That was until he got into that gun fight with the criminal. I told him repeatedly that it was too dangerous to become a policeman, but my stubborn father didn't listen. Now, he was on the brink of death. "Bella! You're late!" Mrs. Stanley yelled as I stepped into the diner.
"Sorry ma'am. I was at the hospital," I murmured to my boss. I heard a snigger that was annoyingly familiar.
"What? Couldn't afford to keep your father alive?" Mrs. Stanley's daughter sneered. God I hated her.
"No Jessica. I was visiting him."
She snickered. "You know, if you're having problems with the bills, why don't you just become a prostitute? You already look like one," I gritted my teeth together.
"Thanks Jess, I'll look into it can I borrow some of your clothes for the job interview?" That shut her up. I smirked as I saw her struggle to come up with some sort of comeback and failing miserably. I grabbed my apron and proceeded to start my shift.
A few hours passed until it was dinner time and time for me to leave. I waved the others goodbye, heading towards my other job at the bar. This one was more entertaining and better paid, but less… dignifying for me. Charlie was, is, against me working at the bar; something to do with worrying about the type of people that frequent the particular bar that I work at. But that was the police officer in him, not to mention the over protective father showing through.
Work flew by with only 3 drunken men hitting on me, which was actually a good night for me and the drunken men that come in looking to score with anything with a pulse. Thankfully the other bartender, Ryan, made sure to keep the drunken men at bay and made sure that they kept their hands to themselves when I served them their drinks. I went to grab my things and made sure I had a good handle on my car keys, and fumbled around to make sure that my can of mace was still in there as well. This was the only place that I used the can, and I've only ever had to use the can once.
"Bye Bella, everything will be fine I can feel it!" Angela, the only waitress in the bar, shouted, smiling at me. She was really a sweet person with a sweet family and a good life. Lucky her; she had two sisters, both of which she adored and loved. I sighed as the familiar pang in my heart appeared. Emmett.
Ah Emmett, my sweet, lovable, and accomplished brother. The brother I loved and the brother who I avoided. He was a professional football player with a good, comfortable life, a killer girlfriend and perfect friends. I smiled. It was nice to know that at least one person was living the good life.
He and I had lost touch after he moved to Pittsburg to play for the Steelers. Of course I had wanted for him to stay, but I didn't tell him. That would have been extremely selfish of me. Charlie, however, was furious that he was leaving us. We had been struggling back then too and it hurt to see another member of the family abandoning us. Charlie never really forgave my brother for leaving us, even if it was to become a professional football player.
Emmett left anyways without even saying goodbye to me or our father. Not a single goodbye, although we used to be attached at the hip. I noticed a tear running down my cheek and I quickly wiped it off. A big part of me wanted to call him and ask for the one hundred grand, but I couldn't. I couldn't ask him for the money, because then I would have to tell him that our dad was lying in a hospital bed hooked up to a ventilator that was keeping him on this earth. Plus I wasn't even sure if he would even take my phone call. I sighed and got into my car and began my ride back to my apartment.
I had always relied on Em for help and I wanted to do this on my own, not with the help of my big and successful brother. I loved him, and cared for him and was happy for him, but I felt like I was imposing on his perfect life. But I made sure to keep as many magazine articles and pictures that I came upon that were about him to keep track of his life. And I wanted to make sure that he was doing ok, even if we weren't exactly on speaking terms at the moment.
A sharp honk snapped me out of my thoughts. I snapped my weary head up to see a blinding light in front of me. Then, an agonizing pain shot through my whole body as everything around was enveloped in darkness.
"God Emmett, you're so stupid!" Alice laughed as I pressed the wrong button on the vending machine, buying a Gatorade instead of a Mountain Dew. I cursed under my breath and flipped Alice off, causing her to laugh even more.
"If Bella was here, she'd know what to do," I thought out loud, causing Rosalie to cock her head to the side.
"Who's Bella?" I could tell that my girlfriend was confused and a little jealous. Then fear flooded her eyes. "Oh my god, you're cheating on me aren't you?! God I knew it you're such a – " I stopped Rosalie quick with one of my signature calming bear hugs. This helped her calm down almost instantly. She took a deep breath to collect her emotions.
"Why would you think I would even consider cheating on you? You're the only woman in my life baby; no, Bella's my…" I gulped and winced at the thought of her. It's been so long since I had even attempted to contact her. Ever since I had that falling out with dad I kind of lost touch with them both. I know that communication goes both ways, but I wasn't about to admit that I may be partly to blame.
"Wait a minute, your what?" Jasper asked. I let out a sigh; it was now or never, they needed to know the truth I suppose.
"My…sister." I whispered as my friends all gasped. I felt myself cringe away as the realization hit all of my friends rather hard. If I wasn't already feeling like crap this would've definitely been the moment that I hit an all-time low.
"You have a freaking sister and you didn't bother telling us this? I mean seriously, that shouldn't be something that you keep from all of your friends. We've known you for a little over a year and you never once mentioned that you had a sister!" Alice shrieked.
I hung my head. "It's a long complicated story Alice, but the short version is that we lost touch around the same time my father and I had an all-out fight we had over me going to play for the Steelers." Bella. Oh, my dear sister Bella, the person who I had sworn to protect from every little bump in the road of her life. She was probably the one person I had hurt the most my traveling to Pittsburg to play professional football. The one person who probably hated me the most right now.
"Ooh, wait until Edward hears about this! Wasn't that the first question he asked you when you met him if you had any siblings? You told us your whole family was dead." Alice huffed. She was a tiny thing about five feet tall with spiky hair and a hyper attitude. She was also very… obsessive when it came to clothes. It made perfect sense that she would be a fashion designer, an accomplished one at that.
Instead of succumbing to her rage, I decided to defend myself. "They practically are dead to me, I argued with my dad he didn't support my decision to go pro, and then my sister didn't even attempt to defend me to our dad when I was about to head out here. All my dad did was telling me to go and I still remember my dad screaming at me that I was never to come back."
Jasper glared at me. "Really, then why are you so touchy about Bella if you're angry with her for not defending you?"
I bit my lips. "Because she's different, Bella knew that I really wanted to do this, and she's always so selfless that she put my feelings and dreams ahead of hers; it's kind of what she's known best for."
Rose hugged me. "Emmett, do you know how she's doing?"
I shrugged. "No, but I'm not worried. She and Dad will do just fine. She was going to college when I left. She's 21 now. Bells has always had a knack for writing, she's even dreamt about becoming one of those news journalists or something along those lines." Suddenly, my phone rang.
"Hold on guys," I said to my friends and picked up.
"Hello?" I asked.
"Excuse me, is this Emmett Swan?"
"Yep, that's me. Who is this?"
"This is New York General Hospital. I got this number from the woman's who's currently in the hospital here. We found your number in her cell phone. Do you happen to know an Isabella Swan?"
I'm not sure why they would be calling me, but I assured them that I was in fact myself, but when I heard the next sentence come out of this guy's mouth I immediately wished that he wasn't talking about my sister.
"Yes, well I'm sorry to tell you this, but your sister seems to have been involved in a horrific car accident. We need a –"
I felt my heart stop and my grip on the phone loosen. I heard a vague crash, but then felt nothing. I felt myself slip in a paralyzing haze. I couldn't move, I couldn't breathe. I just knew that I had gotten the worse news that I knew possible! My sister was involved in a car accident. She could die, and I wouldn't have gotten the chance to make up for being such a selfish older brother.
I can vaguely hear Rosalie picking up my cell phone and putting it to her ear.
"Hello? This is Rosalie Hale. I'm Emmett's girlfriend. What? Who? Yes… yes, he'll be there. Just please don't-no, no, that's fine. Okay, thank you." Rose hung up the phone and handed it back to me, slightly pale.
"What's wrong Emmett?" Alice asked.
"Bella," I managed to whisper as the world turned blurry and swirled around and around in an unintelligible swirl. Not her, I thought. I knew what I had to do; I would go to that hospital and do whatever was needed of me to make sure that my sister was going to live.
Lights, strange sounds, screaming, crying, crashes, zaps, booms…
All of these sounds that whirled around me were nearly inaudible, but still there.
Trying as hard as I could I still I couldn't open my eyes.
"Hold on Bella, you're going to be fine, just hang on!"
Dad? Was I really hearing my father's voice right now? He had already passed away; this couldn't be a good sign for me if I was hearing my recently deceased father's voice ringing through my ears.
"God, we're losing her, give me one amp of epi NOW!"
Yelling, that couldn't be a good sign for me. All of a sudden everything started to feel very and everything was starting to slipping away from me. Everything around me was starting to become harder and harder to hold on to. Was this goodbye?
The entire cab ride from the airport was a nerve-wracking one, but thankfully I had Rosalie. She was drawing comforting circles on my hand, trying to keep my calm during the ride to the hospital. Alice and Jasper even offered to come with Rose and me for moral support. I definitely wasn't about to push them away. They were my newfound family and I gladly welcomed the comfort.
"Emmett, it's going to be okay." She whispered. I merely nodded.
"We're here, New York General Hospital," The cab driver said and I stepped out, and rooted through my pocket and handed him a wad of cash. At this particular moment I honestly didn't care how much I gave I just wanted to get going and see my sister.
"Em, I want you to understand that no matter what, we'll be here for you. You know that right?" Alice asked, hugging me gently. I nodded, still numb from shock.
"Let's go," Jasper nudged me along and I stepped into the familiar hospital. I've been here numerous times because of Bella and her clumsiness, and when Charlie was too busy to drive her down here because he had his police shift to worry about; I had always carried her onto a cab and brought her here. Now, I was here because I wasn't there to catch her through it all. She was hurt because I left her.
We went to the nearest nurses' station and I demanded what room my sister was in, but I got no answer, it was as if I were invisible. I know that nurses are very busy and all, but I just wanted to know which damned room my sister was currently in.
"Are you Mr. Swan?" A woman behind me asked. I nodded. When I turned to face her I saw that she was in a light green colored scrub uniform; thank god finally someone could give me the answers I desperately sought. "Your sister's in the ICU right now. She's not awake right now, but due to her injuries and preexisting illness, I don't think that she will be up for a while. The injuries she sustained in the accident were minor, but she was already in a weak state when the accident occurred, it was a miracle she even survived." Wait, what 'weak condition'?
"What do you mean, she was already sick; as in to the point that she's in the ICU?" The nurse looked uncomfortable at my question.
"She really didn't tell anyone, did she?" She asked. She said that out loud, but it was more like an observation than anything else.
"What are you talking about? Tell anyone about what?"
"You'll just have to see for yourself," She said as she opened the door to Bella's room. "Are all these people with you?"
"Yes," I replied as Jazz led Ali into the room. I heard a shocked gasp.
"Alright then, I'm sorry but only immediate family is allowed in right now. Your friends can wait in the waiting room down the hall." The nurse left us alone.
"Em, it's ok, you should go visit her, and we'll be down in the waiting room when you're ready." Alice whimpered, burying her face in Jazz's chest. Rosalie gave my arm one last squeeze before following Alice and Jasper out of the hospital room, leaving me alone with my sister.
My injured, hurt, traumatized sister.
I slowly turned around to face the hospital bed and was shocked at what I saw in front of me. This had to be a stranger laying there. It couldn't be. They must have been mistaken. This couldn't be my sister. The Bella I knew looked nothing like this. She had flowing and shiny chocolate brown hair, gentle, chocolate colored eyes that lit up when she smiled. She had rosy, pink lips that made all the guys want to chase after her. Bella was, is, nice and lean. She's one of the lucky people who could eat whatever she wanted without having to worry about gaining and extra weight.
The woman that was in the hospital bed was not the Bella I left a year ago. This woman's hair had lost the healthy sheen and looked as if she hadn't washed it in over a week. Her normally pink and plump cheeks were white and so thin that I could see the cheek bone jutting out. Her lips weren't the red I knew, but a strange peach color. Her body was thin like she hadn't eaten in months and her eyes had thick, blue and black bags under them. No, this couldn't be my sister. This had to be some sick joke.
"Ah, you must be Miss Swan's brother," the door opened and a doctor came in, disapproval clear in his eyes. I could tell that he wanted to say more, but decided to keep the personal opinions of whatever it was that he had been told about my relationship with my sister.
"I'm sorry that you have to go through this again Mr. Swan, first with your father, and now your sister is here. I promise that we are running all possible tests to make sure that your sister makes a complete and healthy recovery."
Wait, what, Charlie is dead?
Sensing my confusion the doctor took a seat next to me and Bella and proceeded to tell me everything that had gone on while I was down in Pittsburgh.
"About a month ago, your father, Charlie Swan was involved in a gunfight while on the job with a criminal. He underwent surgery and was placed under a coma,"
A coma? Charlie?
"Ever since then, your sister here had been trying to pay for his medical bills so he could live. She never told me and always lied when I asked her, but she's been working 3 jobs. Angela, her co-workers, they all called me and told me that she hadn't been eating, just maybe an apple a day."
"Angela had informed me that all the sleep Bella's been getting for the past month was about 3 hours each day on the subway home and the subway to work as well as the ride to anywhere else she needed to go to. She also told me that Bella asked if she could move in with her when she was close to being evicted from her apartment. Bella's been through a lot and if it weren't for her weak state, her crash should have been minor, but her body was pushed too hard and far. All we know for sure is that she will, in fact, live."
By the time the doctor finished filling me in on the last year of my sister's life I was crying. Bella had been suffering, and had been working her ass off while I partied every night in Pittsburg with my friends. Bella had given up everything she wanted for the others. "What about college?"
The doctor sighed. "She had to quit and drop out of school. The tuition was too high and she knew that she wouldn't be able to reapply for any financial aid. She used what money she had left in her college fund to help pay for Charlie's medical bills." My jaws dropped.
"She-she dropped out of NYU? She just… gave up?" No, this couldn't be true. Bella couldn't do that. She loved school and wanted to finish college. But my need for fame took that away from her. I never should have left. If I hadn't left, then she and I would have been able to make ends meet.
"Wait, what about Charlie?" I asked. Wasn't he the reason that Bella had been working so hard; to try to save Charlie?
The doctor hung his head. "We lost him a few hours after Bella had left to go back home. We were going to call her, but then we got word that there had been a horrible accident, and when we found out just who had been involved in the crash we decided to not tell her just yet.."
"And my sister, will she… will she be alright?"
He doctor shook his head. "As I've said before, all we know is that she is, in fact, going to pull through. But when it comes to her other injuries we won't know for sure the full extent of them until she wakes up, so for now we just have to sit tight and wait and see at this point."
He curtly nodded and left the room. I tried to swallow, but found that my throat was extremely dry. "Stupid, stupid Bella. Why didn't you just call for help? I mean, I would have helped you, hell, I would have given you more than enough to live on." I croaked out, sinking to the ground, my head buried in my hands.
I let the constant beep of the heart monitor drown out all the noise in the room, not that there was much. Everything seemed to be in the background and the only significant thing that I strained to hear was the reassuring sign that Bells was going to be okay…
"Uh…" a faint groan came from the bed. I quickly got up from my chair and got to Bella's beside. I could tell that she was waking up and was actually going to be alright. My heart sighed in relief and I forced a weak smile at my sister. "Hey Bells, how are you feeling?"
She snorted. "I feel like I was hit by a two ton truck." Bella said as she attempted to lift her lips into a smile.
I rolled my eyes. Well, at least her sense of humor was still intact. "No, seriously though, are you in any serious pain?"
She smiled. "Other than the throbbing headache I have right now, and the pulsing ache I have in my side. Wait, what are you doing here? I mean, shouldn't you be in Pittsburgh right now."
"Its fine Bells, I'm just so glad that you're ok. And why didn't you tell me that dad was in a coma? I would've come back and tried to help out with the medical bills. I know that you only what was best for me, but Bells, he's my dad too you know." I hated that I was bringing up our father right now, but I just wanted her to know that I had found out.
"I didn't want to worry you, I was hopeful that Char – dad, would wake up right away, and well, when days turned to weeks, and the weeks turned to months I just assumed it better not to worry you Em. I'm sorry I kept it from you." I gently kissed her cheek and whispered to her that all was forgiven and that I was never truly angry with her. This immediately calmed her down and I saw a soft smile slowly appear on her face.
"Ok, now that that is all settled Bells, why don't you sit up and stretch a bit. God knows how long you've been lying in the hospital bed without moving."
My sister slowly sat up in the bed, and I gingerly placed my hand on the small of her back to help her steady herself.
"Boy, I must've lain in one spot too long because my legs feel like they're asleep I can't hardly feel them." The overprotective brother in me was on alert at this moment. All the possible worst-case scenarios were running through my head.
"You can't feel your legs? Can you wiggle your toes?" I ripped the covers back and waited with bated breath as I watched to see if my sister could wiggle her toes.
"No, I can't feel my legs all that well; I can't seem to even wiggle my toes."
"Can you stand?" Bella nodded and tried to swing her legs off the bed, but froze, a look of agony shooting across her face.
"I-I can't move," she whispered. Just then, the doctor broke through into the room, informing Bella that she was to not move any further, and ordered me to leave the room immediately. I was furious at this point. I wasn't about to up and leave my sister; not again.
"Bella, can you feel me do this?" I watched from the doorway as the doctor ran his ink pen up and down the sole of her feet, and got no reaction from her.
"Ms. Swan, I'll want to run a few more tests, but I'm sorry to have to tell you seem to have paralysis of your lower body; whether that's temporary or permanent we won't know for sure until after we run the necessary tests to know for sure."
A/N: So there is the revamped (no pun intended but gladly welcomed lol) chapter. What did you think? I plan to reevaluate the first couple chapters to see what all needs to be fixed and then this story will be all done and finished completely. Until then, please feel free to review my other stories as well as check out my stories on fictionpad (my pen name is the same there as it is here)
Also, if you're wondering why I've decided to go back and make a few changes, it has to do with a guest review I received that made me decide to go back and look over this story.