Chapter 4: Help Not Wanted
There is a beeping sound in my ear. It is faint, but growing louder. My head feels like a vice is clamped around it. Throbbing is throughout my body and everything is black. I try to blink and open my eyes. The light stings. A man with blonde hair is standing over me, doing something; writing. He notices I'm awake and smiles.
"Good Morning," he greets. His voice is soft and comforting, much like his eyes. "Can you tell me your name?"
I shake my head.
"Do you know what happened to you?"
My throat is tight and when I speak it feels scratchy. I think for a moment and my memory recollects what I did. I can't tell him that, though. An accident. Right.
He pulls up a seat beside the bed. "Where did you fall from?"
Too much information.
"I need to go."
"You're in no condition to leave, Miss. Can I…"
The door opens.
"Bella?" My eyes shift. Christ. "What happened?"
"You two know each other?" The doctor asks me.
I stare at the Freak. "He's stalking me."
The Doctor smiles and looks back to Edward, the Freak. "Is this true, Edward?" He is teasing and it is annoying. I want to leave.
"Technically I work here, so it seems Bella is invading my territory, not the other way around." He steps closer and holds out his hand for the chart. "I'll take over, Dad."
The doctor looks at me before he leaves. "If he gives you any trouble, just ask for Doctor Carlisle."
I look at Edward when the door closes. He is reading my chart. "I've done some father/ son teams in my day, but this definitely takes the cake, Freak," I grumble.
Edward glances up at me, flipping the papers on my chart. "It says you fell?"
Sarcasm takes over my mouth. "And he can read. How impressive, Doctor."
"How did you fall, Bella?"
The thing moves when he says my name and I am still fucked. Plus, I am aware now that this thing is a goddamn traitor.
"I am clumsy. Sue me."
He nods and continues to read. There is a candy in his mouth; stuck in his cheek. Something hard. The sucking sound he makes is gross. So much for professionals. "From my father's notes, it looks like it was a pretty hard fall."
The candy shifts to other side of his mouth and he waits for my reply.
"Apparently not hard enough." It is still here. I know it. I feel it. Fucking parasite.
"Did you try and hurt yourself, Bella?"
I make a disgusted noise. "No."
His eyes - green – narrow. "Why don't I believe you?"
I glare at him. "Doctor Edward, why would I hurt myself for free, when others are willing to pay cash to do it for me? Seems a little stupid, no?"
He is not phased by my attitude. The candy rolls to the other side of his mouth. "Did one of your clients hurt you?"
I close my eyes and huff. "No. Can I go home, now?"
"Not yet. You need to rest. I'll check on you a bit."
Except, he doesn't come back quickly enough and I sneak out.
I lie to Emmett and tell him one of the men beat me. I should feel bad. Someone is about to lose their life, but dog-eat-dog and all of that shit. I have bigger problems. My shit is dumped outside when I return to the motel and the manager won't listen. Heartless fuck.
My bag is heavy on my shoulder as I walk the street. I am bruised and fat and can't work at the club. The twenty in my hand is all Emmett had on him and it is all I have left. I can't go to his house. He has a wife and a child and life of his own. He doesn't need my shit. I roam the park for a while. My stomach is talking to me. It is hungry.
"I only have twenty bucks. Get over it." My foot kicks a ball some stupid kid loses and I glare at his mother and all her Soccer Mom perfection. Fuck perfection. My stomach won't shut up and I start to run; unwilling to let this parasite win. I will fucking sweat it out of me. I will fucking run it out of me.
I am in charge.
By the time I reach the street I am breathless and exhausted. It doesn't give up and begs with a loud rumble for food. My whole body aches from the fall and the run and hunger. I make my way to the church, but it's too late. Fuck, I am thirsty. I go inside, anyhow and take a seat. The colored glass stares at me. I glare at the Saint's faces and ask them silently in my head what they would like me to do.
They say nothing.
A pack of crackers, a bottle of grape juice and a handful of mints I stole from a bank.
Deal with it, Parasite.
There is a space in the park that is quiet. I remember coming here with Charlie, my father, when I was a kid. I walk until I find our old tree. My initials are still carved into the trunk. I curl up under it and tuck my bag under my head like a pillow. I close my eyes and remember what the autumn harvest smells like. How the apples taste. This is a good tree.
The parasite, agrees.
The Church is serving us turkey and mashed potatoes. There are buttered rolls and green beans and corn. Even red velvet cake. I eat my share and then some. Mrs. Banner offers a plate to take with me and I decide she is the nicest person I know. Still need to get her something. Damn.
I feel like sleeping, but it is too early. I can't go to the park until sunset, or I'll blow my cover. I walk through town and find a public restroom. I lock the door and set my Styrofoam container on the counter. I wash under my arms and face. There isn't much I can do about my hair. I brush out the knots and ignore the grease. At least it is pulled back in a ponytail and looks neat.
Curiosity lifts my shirt and I turn once to the left, then right. Still the same. Not much there. Someone tries to enter and I grab my things and unlock the door, pushing my way past. Back on the street, I feel a little better. I wish I could have changed clothes. These are getting a little rank.
I dial Emmett as I walk, but no answer. I shove the phone into my pocket and curse, knowing I won't have it for much longer. That bill is due, too. My finger glides along the glass windows as I move forward, gazing inside of each shop. One of them sells baby shit.
"Yeah, don't even get any bright ideas, Parasite."
I keep walking until my finger points to a taped sign on the glass.
I look up at the building and laugh. I can't boil water, let alone bake gourmet pastries. I shake my head and continue on my way, but my eyes cause me to stop. Sitting in the same seat as last time, there is Edward, the Freak.
He's on his laptop and sipping a drink. There is a wrapper on his table from a meal he ate. As every other time, his clothes are impeccable. Khaki pants and a well-fitted sweater. I get caught staring and he smiles. I go inside and pretend I am only there for an application. I feel stupid. I feel dirty. I feel like the girl behind the counter thinks the same thing, but she hands one to me anyhow and I take a seat, pretending to fill it out.
Shiny shoes come my way and my pen falters.
"You're taking my job," he whispers.
I look up and raise my brows. "Stalking," he adds.
"I'm just here filling out an application." I look back to my paper and he takes a seat.
"How are you feeling?" His tone is soft and sincere.
"Fucking perfect. Do you mind? Trying to concentrate."
"That's good. I was worried when I went back to your room and you were gone. You also got me in quite a bit of trouble with my father. I should be mad at you." He doesn't sound mad, though. He sounds kind and gentle and I don't deserve it.
I did it to myself.
I huff and settle my pen down; fully annoyed.
"Well service around there sucks and I got tired of waiting. I'm surprised most of your patients don't die waiting for you and your shiny shoes to come back, Doctor."
His face falls and he fidgets with his fingers. "This isn't the place I should be telling you this, but I can see asking you to come in to my office isn't going to result in a positive response, so here it goes," he looks at me and lowers his voice. "Bella, your blood test we ran stated you are pregnant. Did you know that?"
I look away and go back to writing.
"I'm sorry. Like I said, I know this is not the place or my place, as I am not your primary caregiver." He thinks for a moment. "Do you even have one?"
Silent. I am silent. Too much information.
"It's just that something could have happened when you fell." I say nothing and he adds, "To your baby."
I hate his words. I hate his words. I. Hate. His. Words.
The application balls into my fist and I get up from the table. I throw it in the trash and hurry my way out of the bakery. He is behind me and I hear my name, but I don't stop.
"I can help you, Bella!" He offers one last plea, but I round the corner and ignore him.
I find the park and it is not dark yet, but it has to do. I plop down under the tree and pound my fists into the ground. What does he know? He is rich! He is a doctor! He is a man! Fuck him. Fuck him and his clothes. Fuck him and his car. Fuck him and his shoes. Fuck his words and his arrogance to think that I need him.
I need no one.
I fall back against tree and slump down. My stomach rumbles and I curse. I dig the leftovers out of my bag and shove my mouth full of turkey and green beans.
"Happy now, Parasite?"
But it isn't and I give up.