I woke from the pain of my head. It was a stabbing searing pain. Like a car had just ran over me. I touched my head lightly, trying to soothe the pain. At first, I couldn't remember anything. What happened to me?
But just as I started to wonder, I realized that I was on a bed. It's not my bed. But then, I felt a curious sense of knowing that this was mine. It looked like the bed of a princess. Four poles at each corner, lined with frilly see-through cotton candy-colored fabric. Not at all my type, so this can't be mine.
Where was I?
Maybe I had been kidnapped. But then, that implied that I should have remembered being kidnapped, and I couldn't. I tried to search my head for some reason to make everything sensible. I rolled off the bed, and just as my feet touched the carpeted floor. I gazed down at myself.
Oh. This is not me.
I was wearing a … well, not a gown exactly. It was, like my bed, frilly. Like a night gown straight from the nineteen hundreds. It was white, very chaste, very big and spacious. It had long sleeves and, oh my, I'm not wearing anything underneath it! That is not right. Where am I?
I suddenly stood up, not knowing where I was. The walls were lined with a pale shade of blue-green. The floor was carpeted in a very intricate pattern of flowers and birds. All around me, the furniture was painted in white. The chairs were foamed. It seemed that they were all antiques. Old styles. And yet, they all looked new.
I ran to the nearest door.
It was the bathroom. But it wasn't like any bathroom. Not like mine, anyway. Not like any I had ever seen. But then, those little details paled to insignificance when I saw the image of myself in the mirror.
I was not me.
I looked the same, yes. But I knew that this was not Bella Swan. I was not Bella Swan. In my mind, I was thinking like Bella Swan. But physically, this was not me. I looked exactly like a character in a Historical novel.
My hair was short and wavy. Dark-brown just like I remembered having. My face, still heart-shaped. My eyes, still that chocolate-brown shade. But then, I knew within the core of my being that I was Bella Swan, but then, this girl in the mirror, this stranger. She looked exactly like me. Not like we just happened to have the same color eyes. But like, exactly the same eyes. Exactly the same face.
A loud knock brought me out of my reverie.
"Miss. Isabelle?" the woman said. "Miss. Isabelle, are you in there?"
I'm not Isabelle. My name is Isabella Swan. I'm Bella.
I just knew that I have never heard that voice. Or that name. That was why it was so strange when I heard myself say, "Yes, Mrs. Potts. I'll be out in a minute."
Somehow, I knew that she was Mrs. Potts. I knew that she had raised me since I was four. That she was, in more ways than one, my mother. That was strange because I knew also that my mother was Renee and my father was Charlie Swan. But then, a flood of memories coursed through me. And they told me that my mother is somewhere in the house, probably having breakfast with my father, Governor. Charles Harte.
This is getting weird. This is getting really weird.
I was not sure if I consciously decided to go out of the tiny bathroom, but I did eventually. The woman, so familiar, was wearing a pale blue dress-gown. I have no idea what to name them, only that I knew that style was in vogue a century ago.
"Miss. Isabelle, you look like you woke up on the wrong side of the bed!" Mrs. Potts exclaimed. "Here, let me dress you."
And she did. Without any warning she started pulling my night dress off through the length of my raised arms. And then, choosing this conservative yellow dress. I was too confused to say a word.
"Today, you turn seventeen, Miss. Isabelle. Perfect age! Ripe for marriage. And your father has prepared very well."
"Is there a costume party, Mrs. Potts?"
She giggled at my obvious frown. "Your party won't start 'til tonight. I already showed you your attire for later. You told me you loathed it. But I knew it was as good a comment as I was going to get."
"I did?" Looking down, I tried to remember that last thing that happened before waking up here. Umm… There was a car. And me. The car hit me?
"What's wrong with you today, Miss. Isabelle?"
Today? "What day is it?"
"Goodness, child," she cried out. "It's the thirteenth of September."
That is my birthday. But that couldn't be since I had just started my third year of high school in Forks, Washington. And as I remember, it was January. Mrs. Potts seemed oblivious to my obvious panic.
"In the year of our Lord, nineteen-eighteen," she continued.
"What?" I said, cuttingly.
"My dear, it's your birthday."
"No. Say it again. The year?"
The dress. The room. The silly feathered hat. Nineteen-eighteen?
"Oh you have got to be kidding me."
"Miss. Isabelle, are you all right?" And she continued to dress me, dismissing the inappropriate term of phrase I used.
Am I dreaming? It didn't feel like a dream. It wasn't foggy, nor did anything feel surreal. The fabric of my dress itched. That felt real. The tightening of the dress hurt. That felt very real. Even the pain of my head, still throbbing, felt so real.
And somehow, everything also felt like a repeat. Like this had already happened to me. Like I had already experienced not having a hands-on mother. Like I already knew what it was like to have a Governor for a father. Or how it was to wear silly dresses.
It was like there was a time when people called me 'Isabelle' and not 'Bella'
In that instant, I knew for sure that this was not a dream. Because what I felt now was akin to how it feels when you look back at a memory.
I was 'Isabelle' once. 'Bella' also.
I was not dreaming, not at all. I was remembering.