Monday, April 18, 2011

CBWR? Chapter 32

The consensus seemed to be that Doofus should ask for more brains.

I should be able to post a chapter or two tomorrow. - thanks for sticking it out so far! Ooo...that sounds kind of rude, doesn't it?

"But she didn't stay," Bella said softly.

Chapter 32

"Tell me something else about you."

Bella was lying on her side with her head propped up on her hand and looking at me. She said had too many thoughts in her head to sleep, and complained that her hair would go all crazy if she fell asleep when it was still wet.

Then she gave me shit for not having a hair drier.

I wanted to be annoyed by it, which I would have been if I had imagined Kate in Bella's place. But with Bella…well, I guess at this point I had fucked up her life so much I wasn't about to be annoyed with her.

"I don't know what else to say," I told her. "I think I told you everything about me."

"There has to be more," Bella pushed. "What did you do in high school?"

"Dropped out and started running guns."

"How old?"


"But now you don't just run guns, do you?"

"No," I said. I didn't like where this was going. "I also have a pretty successful technology company."

She glared at me for a minute, but didn't push any more. It was good, too, because I would have had to shut that down. I have never talked about business with any woman I had ever dated.

Woman I dated?

Where the fuck did that come from?

Because the woman in my bed definitely didn't fit that description.

Still, I wasn't going to talk about my business. The less she knew the better.

"Do you think it's going to work?"

"What?" I asked.

"This whole…plan of yours," she clarified as she waved around the hand that wasn't holding up her head.

"Yeah," I replied. "If I can get some sleep, anyway."

"You haven't been sleeping?" Bella's eyes narrowed a bit. "Is it because I'm here? I can go back to the other-"

"No! It's not that!" I sat part way up, and the idea of her going back to her room was just…wrong. I didn't want her going anywhere. Sleep or no sleep, I wanted her here…with me.

I had no fucking idea why, but it was really important.

"Stay," I said. A second later I realized how much it sounded like I was commanding a dog, but I didn't know what else to say…so I didn't say anything. And then I looked back down at her.

Bella's shoulders were hunched, her head tipped forward and her eyes gazing blankly down towards the mattress. Her teeth had embedded in her lip, and her hands…her hands were shaking.

"I'm sorry," she started saying over and over again. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, Master…I'm sorry…"

"No, Bella…no," I murmured back to her. I put my hand against her cheek and tried to tilt her head so she would look at me. It took some coaxing, but she finally did. "We're not like that, Bella. You're not…you're not my slave anymore. You don't call me that anymore."

"He'll kill her."

"No, he won't. I'm not going to let him hurt you or her. We're going to get her out of there."

She finally seemed to really focus on me, and at least stopped saying she was sorry repeatedly. She looked scared, and ashamed, and like she was going to cry again. I really wasn't sure if I could handle any more crying.

"You want to hear more about me?" I asked, knowing she had wanted more before. She blinked a few times before nodding her head. Okay, so far, so good. Now I just had to come up with something she wanted to hear about. The business stuff – that was still out of the question. She knew too much about that side already. She did seem to be interested in stuff about me as a kid, though, so I thought I'd try one of those.

"I could tell you about when I first went to school," I suggested. Again, she nodded.

"Okay," I said as I ran my hand through my hair…yet again. "I…um…I hadn't gone before."

I laughed.

"That's why it's the story of when I first went to school," I added. Though she didn't actually smile at my lame joke, I did see her relax a little. "The kids my age were mostly in second grade, and it was already October too, so school had been going for a while. I was put in the kinder-first class, which was mostly kids who had been to kindergarten already, but for whatever reason weren't quite ready for first grade or something. I was still older than most of them, though, but they were at least learning to read. They knew their letters and shit. I'd never seen any of that before."

"You never had any books?"

"I had a picture book," I said. "The neighbor lady gave it to me when one of her grandkids left it behind, I think. I don't remember what it was called. It had a woman in it who wanted pancakes for breakfast, and she has to go through all this work to get all the ingredients, but then her cat and dog eat the stuff. She goes next door and they give her pancakes instead."

"What about Sesame Street?"

"What, a cartoon or something?"

"Sort of – muppets. Grover, Big Bird and Oscar. You know – Sesame Street!"

"Yeah, I remember Big Bird from a puzzle at school."

"You never watched it?"

"We had a TV," I said, "but you could never really get a picture on it so well, and Mom was usually watching it. I remember trying to watch a couple things through the fuzz, but it just wasn't worth it."

"So when did you learn to read?"

"I struggled for a while," I said. "But I got the hang of it eventually, and caught up with most subjects by…I don't know…fourth or fifth grade? The teachers were always trying to get me to talk about shit, and they'd try to get my parents in for conferences, but they never came. We didn't have a phone, so they couldn't call. I do remember one of the people from the school office – not sure if it was the principal or the vice-principal or what, but she came over to our house, and my mom yelled at her."

"What did she say?"

I shrugged.

"I don't remember exactly. Telling her to mind her own business, basically."

"Edward, can I ask you a question?"

Just the way she asked had me pretty damn nervous.

"Okay, I guess."

"Did your mom or dad ever take you anywhere, or do anything with you? Play a game or with toys or anything?"

My mind went blank as I tried to think of things my mom did with me.

"My mom would sometimes…give me a bath," I said. "I remember when she would make grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup."

Something flashed in my head – an image of my mother standing by the rusted stove as she poured part of a bottle of ketchup into a pan of hot water and started stirring it around. I remembered she let me dunk the sandwich in the soup.

"I thought you wanted to hear about my first day of school?" I reminded her. Bella told me to go on. "Okay, so I was in this kinderfirst class, and when I got there, all the kids were already at their desk and they already had all their papers out. I remembered looking at the teacher and thinking she was really, really fat, and wondering if she was going to explode, because she kind of looked like it. I didn't know what I was supposed to do, so I guess I kind of panicked. I ran out the door and hid in the boy's bathroom."

I laughed.

"I don't know how long I was there, but the teacher eventually came in and talked me into coming back to the class. All the other kids were at lunch by then, and she figured out I didn't have any lunch, so she gave me some of hers. She talked to me while all the other kids were at recess and showed me where I was going to sit and stuff. She was nice, but she was only there for two weeks before she…um…went on maternity leave."

Bella's eyes narrowed a little.

"I thought she was really fat, remember?"

Bella cracked the slightest of smiles and shook her head at me.

"She was nice to you, though?" Bella said.

"Yeah," I replied.

"Did she come back?"

"Not for a couple of years," I said. "I think she waited until her baby was in kindergarten or something. I remember seeing her once or twice when I was older."

I looked down at Bella, and saw a strange look of…understanding?...across her face.

"But she didn't stay," Bella said softly.

"What?" I asked. She looked up at me again, but I still didn't understand the look on her face, and I was about to pass out from lack of sleep, which she apparently noticed.

"Lay down, Edward," Bella said quietly, and I did what she said, though a little tentatively. She continued to keep herself propped up on her elbow, so I couldn't really watch her without be really obvious about it, so I closed my eyes, and was asleep almost immediately. I woke when it was still dark outside to Bella thrashing on the bed and crying.

I pulled her to me, grabbing her around the waist and pulling her back against my chest.

"Shh…Bella, it's all right…it's all right…just a dream."

She woke with a start and covered her mouth with her hands. Her head turned to the right and she looked up at me over her shoulder for a moment before dropping back to the mattress. She used her heels and hands to push herself closer to my chest, took a few deep breaths, and was then asleep again.

Nightmares can't last forever, right?

Chapter End Notes:

Well, at least someone around here earned a Scooby Snack! It wasn't Doofusward, but at least a clue has been found!

I already wrote the end for the next chapter. It cracked me up. Is that a teaser, foreshadowing, iambic pentameter, or just a way of going "nya nya nya nya nya!" ?


  1. trying to figure out b's comment on e's teacher not staying.

  2. okay what is the over under on the bet that Renee was Ed's teacher?

  3. Well the timing is right for Edward's teacher to be Renee...that should make for an interesting. "Hey teach, I bought your daughter." o.0

  4. Bella for all that she went through and is still going through sees someone else hurting and understands. No one has stayed in Edwards life. He doesn't know how to take care of someone...but he needs someone to take care of him.

  5. Edward is breaking my heart!!  :-(

  6. so sad. hoping Bella will try to stay