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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28. THE END

WE KEPT THE FAIRY LIGHTS UP FOR RENESMEE’S birthday. Renesmee’s birthday was fantastic. There was a storm, so we all went out to play baseball. Renesmee reassured us that she couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate her birthday. Tyler made the teams even, so we all got to play. He had never played baseball before. It was great to see him sprinting around the bases. He sat out when I did, keeping the teams even. I refused to be away from him. I sat out more than last time, exhausted from running. I hadn’t even reached first base, I hadn’t even been close. Tyler carried me home, I had fallen asleep immediately.

Bella and Edward appeared in the late morning of Bella’s birthday. A big hunting trip was planed, no one had hunted since my accident and they were all thirstier than they should have been. They set off as soon as Bella and Edward had arrived. They would be back by nightfall. I encouraged everyone to go and told them not to worry. It took every argumentative skill I had for everyone to be convinced. I played the piano for a while, keeping my mind busy. I slumped on the sofa after an hour. Edward wasn’t listening anymore. I sighed, a shuddery sigh, I wasn’t feeling my best. I began writing in my diary, ignoring the ache that was still in my legs from running, and the ache in my chest that had returned after my accident. I didn’t have enough concentration to write a very interesting entry. I pushed the book to one side and closed my eyes. I shouldn’t have let them go. Someone should have been watching me. I felt sort of sick, dizzy. I focused on lying still, breathing evenly.

I hit something hard. I groaned and opened my eyes. I was on the floor. I turned over so that I was on my back, and looked around. I must have fallen asleep and rolled off the sofa. I groaned again as I moved my now bruised arm. It wasn’t a good day. I struggled into a standing position and steadied myself on the arm of the sofa. I stumbled upstairs and had to steady myself again. I breathed deeply, hoping that the sudden sickness would pass. The red-hot stabbing pain returned, angrier than before. It took five minutes for me to work up the strength and balance to move. I spotted a note on my dressing table. It was addressed to me.

Hope you’re having a good day. I promise I’ll be back before you drift to sleep. I’ll miss you each second. I love you.

Tyler x

Before the words sunk in I doubled over in pain. A rippling burst of agony shot through my body. I hunched over, clutching my sides, trying to breathe steadily. I stood there panting for a few seconds until another wave of torture washed through me. I collapsed onto the floor, screeching. I shuddered. My scream had sent a shiver down my spine. It was so tortured, panicked, terrified. I shrieked again as the pain intensified. The tears were streaming down my face, blurring the room around me. This was it, this had to be it. I tried to remain calm. I had managed to stay conscious, surely I could breathe evenly? I fought against myself, trying to stand up. If only I could get to my bed. Anywhere soft - safe. I willed my muscles to work. Slowly, I regained control over my body. Using up all of my remaining strength, I pulled myself up with the help of my dressing table. I glanced at my reflection in the mirror. I looked dead already. My eyes were blank, vacant looking. They were grey in colour, dull, empty. I was deathly white, the sweat on my forehead making me look as though I had a foreign disease. As for my expression, it was confused and also tormented. I cried out as the next surge of unbearable agony hit me. Watching myself in the mirror made the pain worse. I saw the shock flash across my eyes. The expression that appeared on my face. I pulled myself upright and was overwhelmed by dizziness. I desperately tried to remain standing. My muscles ached as they never had before. I frantically searched for my family. Is Edward listening?

No. I screamed at the top of my voice as the next wave hit. I regained control of myself and asked - Did anyone here that?

No. Tears welled up in my eyes again. I searched for something, anything, that would help me, but as I spun round I only found pain. The pain was rushing from my head to my toes. My heart thrashed in my chest, my lungs were on fire. My breath came in pants. I felt my awareness slipping. The pain began to dull. I began to think of Tyler, nothing but Tyler. I love you Tyler, with all my heart. How can two people matched so perfectly be parted forever? I could think of nothing more tragic. I felt my mind drifting. My bed was only a few steps away. I could get to it. I took a step forward and a crippling pain caused my leg to crumple beneath me. I fell to the floor. My head hit the corner of my dressing table with a harsh crack. I didn’t know whether it was the dressing table or my head that had broken. I floated effortlessly into the black, almost welcoming it.

*

I pounced on the deer with precision, killing it instantly. My mind wasn’t on the hunt. It was on Mattie. I missed her. Once I had finished with the deer I went to find Edward. We had to split up in a group this large. I found him quickly. His and Bella’s scents were so distinctive to me that it wasn’t much of a search. He finished quickly with his own deer as he read my yearning thoughts. He gasped as he found her, making everyone stop what they were doing. Suddenly we were surrounded. Renesmee was ready to disappear at any moment. Edward spoke only one word to get us all sprinting for home.

“Run.”

We ran as fast as we possibly could. Running was second nature to me, but it didn’t feel fast enough. What had happened? Was she in danger? Or dying? I knew with Mattie that one meant the other. I focused every cell in my body to run, and run fast. When the house came in to sight I felt fear like never before. I would take the burning again, the dying. But I needed Mattie to survive, to live. If she was gone I would surely cease to exist. I didn’t want to live without her. If death was where she was going I would follow her willingly. What else could I do?

*

I was unusually alert in the nothing, more so than I ever had been before. The first thing I tried to do was open my eyes. But it was like my brain and I weren’t speaking. As if it was ignoring me. Maybe I was dead. I couldn’t find my heart or lungs to check. My head pounded. The pain was hot and fierce. That was the only thing I could feel – my head. I had to be alive. There was too much pain for this to be death. Or maybe death was more painful than life. No one would know. Who could test it? The black suddenly intensified. It had been bearable, but it was too black now, too dark. But it still couldn’t be death. Even though I had lost the feeling in my head I had to be alive. I felt it deep within my core. The nothingness began to squash me, trying to suck away what was left of my life. I fought angrily, struggling against something that wasn’t there. But I was weak and broken. The black began to take away not only my life, my consciousness, but myself as well. The emptiness began to win, taking away some of my being. Exhaustion almost made it impossible to fight. I was losing a hopeless battle. I knew that giving in would be so easy, painless even, but how could I do that to Tyler. Tyler, my reason to exist. He was the reason I had existed up until this point. My ears picked up a sound, a yell.

“Mattie!” It was a sound of nothing but grief. Someone crashed through my door, followed by shouting, screaming, crying - the sounds of despair. Their voices all ran together, the darkness taking their words from me. Even though I couldn’t distinguish words or voices I knew everyone was there. I gave one last desperate attempt to speak, but I was too lost in my own body to make my lips so much as twitch. Suddenly it went intensely silent. At first I thought I had lost my hearing, but that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t a silence of awkwardness, but one of decision. My brain decided to work, to let me hear the last thing I would ever hear.

“Mattie, I love you. Mattie, I’m sorry.”

A light of recognition sparked inside my brain. Those had been Edward’s words to Bella as she burned. But it hadn’t been Edward who spoke. It had been Tyler. I heard nothing. No one dared to breathe. I felt . . . something . . . at my neck. Curious. Before I had time to consider it though, the nonexistence pushed me deep within the black. I felt a sudden heat flowing through my body. A slow burn, a fire - getting hotter and hotter. The flames were spreading throughout my body. I was still too broken to move. The weights of the nothing seemed to lift and then crash down on me twice as hard. I wasn’t sure what was worse, the red-hot unbelievable heat, or the frantic void trying to obliterate me. Both were unendurable. The blackness began to win. It felt as though it was pounding me into the floor. This was it – the end. Black. Complete black. Nothing. No feeling. No hearing. Nothing.

Followed by everything.

I must have been unconscious for hours, but it felt like seconds. The endless flames hadn’t ceased. The everlasting burn engulfed me with a supreme fury. But I had survived death itself, so I could survive this. It was wonderful to not have to worry about disappearing, the blackness was long gone. It would never be able to take my life from me. Not now, not ever. Every muscle was tensed, keeping me from screaming. I had already caused enough trouble for them. I didn’t want them to worry anymore, they didn’t have to. I was going to be fine. The fact that I knew not to scream indicated that I had control over my body, which was growing stronger by the second. I couldn’t believe that I had wanted this - I had wanted this unbearable agony. But at least I knew why I wanted it, because I still wanted it. Emmett distracted me from my thoughts for a moment.

“Rose, please sit down.” He was as clear as if he was standing next to me, but I knew that he was really in the living room. Rosalie chose not to answer him.

“Nessie,” It was Jacob this time. “You’re making me dizzy. Go up and see her if it’ll stop you pacing.” Renesmee sighed and made her way to the stairs.

“Take Rosalie with you.” Edward said softly. Rosalie followed Renesmee without complaint. Strange. Surely they knew I was going to be fine. If I knew it, then surely they knew it. I felt pressure on my hand. Someone was already in the room and had been since I’d regained consciousness. Tyler. He was breathing softly beside me. Renesmee and Rosalie silently entered the room and sat beside Tyler. After six and a half minutes, Renesmee spoke.

“Any change?” Her voice was a desperate whisper, almost pleading.

“None.” Tyler answered. His tone was sad. Why was everyone sad? I was going to be fine. Wasn’t I? Their fear made me doubt myself. I wanted to speak, but I didn’t try. The slightest concentration slip would have me writhing in agony. They sat in silence for sixty seven minutes. I listened to both their breathing and the conversations going on downstairs. I could feel the space in my head expanding. If I could have done so without losing control, I would have smiled. I heard footsteps and the almost silent whisper of my door opening. I felt pressure on the inside of my other wrist.

“Carlisle,” Tyler whispered. “What’s going on? Why hasn’t she woken up yet?”

“I’m not sure. It might be her blood.”

Of course. My blood wasn’t human. Nothing like me had ever existed before. But what had Tyler meant when he said - Why hasn’t she woken up yet? Did that mean that I’d been burning for three days al-?

Yes. The answer came before I’d even finished asking the question. I heard someone breeze up the stairs.

“Mattie?” It was Edward. And he was speaking directly to me. “I know you can hear me.”

I’d almost forgotten about Edward’s miraculous gift. He could tell them, reassure them. He chuckled, it was one of relief.

“Mattie wants me to tell you she’s fine and to stop worrying.”

“You can hear her now? What changed?” This was Tyler, still anxious. I winced internally at his distress.

“She regained consciousness. She can hear everything you say.”

“Mattie? I’m so sorry. I love you.”

I love you too. Tyler sighed and squeezed my hand. Edward! Tell him! I yelled in my head. He chuckled again.

“She’s definitely fine. She’s screaming at me to tell you she loves you too.”

“Is she in pain?” Tyler asked cautiously. It was the one question he shouldn’t have asked. I was reminded of the raging torment and had to clamp my lips together.

“Yes. But she’s handling it well. She was unconscious for three days, so she’s missed most of it.”

There was silence for two minutes and fifty eight seconds.

“Mattie? Can you find out how long you have left?” Edward was sitting next to Tyler now.

I thought about his question and the best way to ask it. Will I burn for another day?

Yes. The answer wasn’t as instant but I was surprised to get an answer at all. Will I stop burning on the fourth day?

Yes. I wondered what the time was and how long exactly I had left to burn.

“She’s going to awake tomorrow.”

“Are you sure?”

“As sure as she is.”

“Thank you Edward.”

Edward got up to leave but stopped at the door as I called him. Edward? What’s the time?

“Midnight. Your first and last day has begun.”

I sighed internally, not making any movement or sound. Can you tell Tyler to talk to me? About anything, he can tell me his story again.

“Of course.” Edward answered, before turning to Tyler. “If you talk to her she’ll listen, it’ll help to pass the time . . . for both of you.”

So Tyler began telling me his story. He described his village, William, Cuthbert – the vampire, the forest, everything. I sat silently, listening. Three hundred and thirteen minutes later something changed. I felt the fire begin to retreat to my heart, leaving my fingertips and toes cool, a concept which I had long-forgotten. But the cool was nothing compared with the blistering heat that was now charring my heart. I listened to my frantic heart desperately fighting against the fire; it was a fight that neither would win. My throat was burning almost as fiercely. It was as though I’d eaten nothing but sand and hadn’t had a drink in days. I was so thirsty. The fire withdrew from my palms and made its way to my heart. With each centimetre of cool the heat intensified.

“Carlisle.” Tyler spoke as if Carlisle was already in the room. Wherever he was, Carlisle would hear. Carlisle entered the room with Renesmee and Jacob. I was amazed that I could differentiate between them by just their footsteps. Everyone entered my room one by one. The fire was almost ten times worse when they reshuffled themselves in the room, getting into position. The fire slowly departed from my wrists and ankles. It took every ounce of my concentration to keep from screaming, screaming for it to stop - because impossibly, the pain got worse every second. The room was absolutely silent apart from the pounding fury of my heart. No one dared to even breathe. As my elbows and knees were freed, my heart sped to a tremendous speed, faster than it had ever been during its five years of painful beating. It was closer to a humming sound than a beating one. The sound of my frenzied heart was deafening in the silence. The remaining heat rushed from my body to battle with my heart. I was unable to keep my control. I curled up unintentionally, my muscles reacting from the torture which would surely kill anything slightly weaker than I was. The concentrated fire swelled in my chest, furiously trying to destroy the last essence of my defeated body. My heart gave up fighting. It pounded against my chest twice, and with one last low thump, was silenced. And for seventeen and a half seconds that was all there was. Silence. I didn’t dare breathe. No one did. I tried to comprehend my life with no pain, no excruciating agony, but I couldn’t. For another half a second I lay there. Until I opened my eyes for the very first time.

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