Mattie

©Molly Looby No way. I knew I was dying. I knew I was dying fast, but this hit me like a speeding bullet. How long did I have left, years, months, weeks? Days...?
Hours...?


For Ali-Rose life is just a fading moment. Fighting from her inevitable death is the only thing she can do to save her family from the grief that is sure to engulf them. But something on the horizon is about to change her life...
Forever...


(This is a Twilight fanfic set twelve years after the end of 'Breaking Dawn', but not from Bella's POV, from the POV of Ali-Rose - all will be revealed if you care to read on.)


(Author's Note: Before you read Mattie, please can I just point out that it was written when I was fourteen-fifteen years old, and it was also the first thing I ever wrote and finished, for my own benefit and that of a close friend. I know it has its flaws and I'm okay with that because this story made me grow as an author more than I could've imagined. I truly hope you enjoy it.)

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5. HEARTACHE

I WOKE UP IN HIGH SPIRITS. NOTHING COULD BE AS difficult as yesterday. But I was quickly proven wrong. I took a deep breath, much like every other morning. The first thing I noticed was a stabbing pain in my chest as I took a breath. I flinched and wrapped my arms around my torso. It took me a minute to control my breathing, but it didn’t worry me. Why didn’t it worry me? The very thought sent a wave of panic through my body, which quickly evaporated. Jasper must be here. I opened my eyes to see if my assumption was correct, to find ten pairs of eyes staring at me. They all had one thing in common. They were all showing the same amount of agony and distress. I stared back, going from person to person. No one relaxed, this put me on edge. Carlisle was the closest, standing over me. Esme stood firmly at his side, their hands entwined. Alice was next; her eyes bright with fear. Jasper stood over her, his hands resting on her shoulders. Jasper’s presence, for once, didn’t help anything. He was too distracted, focusing on me. Rosalie was twisted awkwardly away from Emmet, but somehow she was still holding on to his shirt. My intuition kicked in, she had probably been burying her head in his chest. This thought made me feel uncomfortable. Why were they all in agony? Edward caught my eye. He and Bella were sitting at the end of my bed. Edward looked as though he wanted to explain, but he kept his mouth shut. This was unlike him. His head turned towards Bella, I guessed she was telling him something silently, momentarily removing her shield. Bella turned towards me. Bella was, in so many ways, the most fascinating of all the Cullen’s. It was only eleven years ago that she was human. She seemed to be as edgy as I was. Edward’s hand seemed to be the only thing holding her on the bed. It looked as if she was going to explode at any moment. Towering above Bella and Edward was Jacob. I gasped, which was painful. What was he doing here? Renesmee was cuddling into his side, looking small in comparison. When did they get here?  Why were they here? I couldn’t understand. The silence was unbearable. I had to break it.

“Can someone please tell me what’s going on?”I choked. I was trying to sound powerful but it backfired, I could only just manage a whisper. Each pair of eyes flashed towards Carlisle before focusing on me again.

“Last night was . . .” Carlisle appeared to lose confidence. “. . . tough.” he finished.

“Tough? What do you mean tough? What happened?”

“I’m not really sure how to tell you Ali-Rose . . . I’m not sure if it would scare you, and that would only make matters worse.”

“What’s happened?”I squeaked in a terrified whisper. Bella couldn’t hold it in any longer. She jumped from Edward’s side and suddenly appeared next to me. She put her arm around me, it helped. Alice whispered something to Jasper and elbowed him lightly in the ribs. I didn’t need to ask what. I calmed, my fear was controlled. I took a deep breath. I gasped in pain, the same stabbing feeling returned. It felt like flames. I was amazed by the pain. Nothing had ever hurt me like this before. My lungs were protesting as I took a slow shallow breath to calm myself. There. That didn’t hurt so much. I opened my eyes again, noticing as I did that I must have shut them. I carefully unfolded my arms from around myself; I must have curled into a ball in agony. Impossibly, the fear in everyone’s eyes had doubled. I wanted to say something to them, comfort them somehow. But I couldn’t think of anything to say. Edward spoke first.

“You are so like Bella that it is unbelievable.”

I was taken aback; I really wasn’t expecting him to say that. I wasn’t the only one. Every head had turned in his direction.

 “Bella always wants to make people feel comforted and happy. Even if it’s her they’re worried about.” He looked around as he explained. “Ali-Rose was just trying to think of a way to comfort us.”

Understanding hit all nine faces at exactly the same moment. It was funny. If the situation hadn’t had been so serious, I would have laughed. They all seemed to relax slightly which made me feel so much better. I was about to sigh in relief but decided it would probably hurt, so instead I smiled weakly. Carlisle was the only one that returned my smile convincingly.

“How do you feel Ali-Rose?” His face was still showing concern.

I thought about my answer for a long time. I thought about telling them I was fine, but I could never lie to them. I thought about telling them about the stabbing pain, but I could never hurt them like that. After a long moment I decided on my answer. It didn’t matter much anyway, anything that I didn’t say Edward would hear.

“I’m very confused.” At least I was being honest. “What happened?”

Carlisle looked over towards Jacob and Renesmee, then over to Edward, and finally to Bella. It was like he was asking permission to answer my question. Each of them nodded in turn.

“Last night your health deteriorated alarmingly. I had to resuscitate you.”

My mouth dropped open in shock. No way. I knew I was dying. I knew I was dying fast, but this hit me like a speeding bullet. How long did I have left, years, months, weeks? Days . . . ?

Hours . . . ?

 I couldn’t comprehend what Carlisle had just told me. Last night could have been it, the end. I had to take another deep breath. It was a huge mistake. The flames hit me harder than before and I screamed. Suddenly ten pairs of hands were all around me trying to help, trying to calm. It took a couple of seconds for me to control myself, but as soon as I could I pulled my hand up to try and convince them not to worry.

“I’m okay, I’m okay.” I didn’t sound very convincing; I had to whisper the words. I looked towards Edward meaningfully. He sat back in his original position and the others did the same. I looked towards my desk to avoid the ten pairs of eyes still staring. The light from my clock shone brightly, 08:00. Great, I was going to be very late. I went to stand up but I was pushed back down. It could have been any of them. Edward now stood in Carlisle’s place.

“What do you think you’re doing?” His voice was strong and superior.

It must have been Edward that pushed me down. He was the only one who knew my intentions of going to school.

“I was getting up.” My voice was full of sarcasm. Jacob chuckled, I never realised how much I had missed him. Edward suppressed a smile which confused me. The look was gone before I could check it was really there. It must have been what Jacob was thinking. Carlisle looked at Edward and appeared to understand. “You can’t go to school today Ali-Rose. I need to monitor your health.”

I didn’t argue. It probably would be better to stay at home today. As I made my conclusion Edward relaxed. Everyone was still crowded round my bed, not fully convinced that I was okay.

“Can I at least get something to eat?” I looked between Carlisle and Edward, but it was Esme who answered first.

“Yes of course, I’ll go and make you something.” She smiled at me; it was a heart-warming smile that made me calm down, or maybe Jasper was behind it.

“Since when have you ever wanted food?” Edward was finally smiling.

“Near death experiences take it out of you.”

 Emmett and Jacob chuckled. The mood was slowly lightening.

“She’s right,” Bella hugged me closer. “It’s exhausting.”

Alice and Edward joined in with the laughter now. Things were at long last becoming ‘normal’.

 

After a couple of hours I was left alone with Renesmee and Jacob. I had missed them incredibly.  I had a lot to ask them.

“Why are you here?” I thought I’d start with the most important question.

Renesmee sighed as she answered me. “Okay, but don’t get mad.”

“I won’t.” I promised.

“Well . . . last night we received a very worried call from Bella. She told us that you were in serious danger, and Carlisle was doing everything he could.” She placed her hand on Jacobs face and he nodded. I wondered what she was telling him.

“So, naturally we came as quickly as we could.” Jacob finished. “We were so afraid that we’d never see you again.”

I instantly hugged them closer. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what that would have been like. I clung to life for them. For everyone that I would hurt by letting go. It was the best thing I could do.

“So what about your pack, do you have to go home soon?”

“They’ll be fine. I’ve left Leah in charge, she can handle it. They should be able to cope without me for a while.”

For a while, how long did that mean? I hoped they would stay for ages. I was always miserable when they left. I looked at Jacob; he had a huge smile on his face.

“How long are you staying?”

“Well . . . we thought that we could stay a couple of months. We wouldn’t want to miss your birthday, like your proper birthday this time!” The smile didn’t leave his face.

“But it’s two months away!”

“I know, but we feel as though we don’t see enough of you.”

They both laughed as I squealed with excitement. Two months! I was bubbling with excitement as Carlisle came in to check on me. I couldn’t concentrate on what he was doing, I didn’t care. I was too thrilled to do anything but smile.

“I remember when you used to check me. Four times a day!” Carlisle laughed as Renesmee continued to tease him.

“You remember that?” I asked.

“Yeah . . . you seem surprised.”

“Well you were really young at the time.”

“But I was about ‘four-five’ wasn’t I, so that’s probably why.” She used quotation marks in the air when she said ‘four-five’.

“Oh yeah, I see.”

Carlisle finished writing down notes and turned towards us.

“You’re still doing well, nothing unusual is happening, but you may be even weaker than you were before.”

“So basically, I’m becoming more human as we speak.”

“Yes you could put it that way, but it’s nothing to worry about. I’ll be back in about an hour.”

I nodded and Carlisle disappeared from the room. I couldn’t believe it, more human! No! That’s the one thing that I never wanted to happen to me, but it was happening. I curled into Renesmee and Jacob’s open arms and just cried. I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. Renesmee was stroking my hair; she smiled at me and held me closer. It felt good to be cuddling someone who was as warm as me. Renesmee was the only one who completely understood me, because she was so similar. Her body used to grow fast, everyone used to be overprotective of her, she slept, but she was a vampire. And I wasn’t. I had to eat human food, but she doesn’t. I’m dying, but she never was.

“Ali-Rose, do you want to go to sleep? You look exhausted.” Jacob asked, breaking me from my thoughts.

“Yeah, but I’m not sure if I should or not.”

“I’ll go and ask Carlisle.”

“Thanks Jake.”

He was gone in a flash and I felt a spark of jealously, everyone in the house but me could disappear out of a room.

“You’ll be okay you know, I used to be like you, so I know how you feel.” I was about to protest but she carried on anyway. “I know you’re not exactly the same as I was, but we’re very similar you and me, and you can’t imagine how very glad I am. I don’t know what I’d do without you.” She beamed at me, I saw both Bella and Edward in her face, she couldn’t have been more lucky. At that moment Jacob bounded into the room.

“Carlisle said you can sleep as long as someone is in the room with you, okay?”

I was already sliding under my quilt and closing my eyes. “Okay, thanks Jake.” That was the only thing I managed to say before I fell fast asleep.

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