*by Stephenie Meyer*
TWILIGHT - chapter 24 - AN IMPASSE
I could hear my mother now. She was talking to someone, maybe a nurse, and she sounded tired and upset. I wanted to jump out of the بستر and run to her, to calm her, promise that everything was fine. But I wasn't in any sort of shape for jumping, so I waited patiently.
The door opened a crack, and she peeked through.
"Mom!" I whispered, my voice full of love and relief.
She took in Edward's still form on the recliner, and tip-toed to my bedside.
"He never leaves, does he?" she mumbled to herself.
"Mom, I'm so glad to see you!"
She bent down to hug me gently, and I felt warm tears falling on my cheeks.
"Bella, I was so upset!"
"I'm sorry, Mom. But everything's fine now, it's okay." I comforted her.
"I'm just glad to finally see your eyes open." She sat on the edge of my bed.
I suddenly realized I didn't have any idea when it was. "How long have they been closed?"
"It's Friday, hon, you've been out for a while."
"Friday?" I was shocked. I tried to remember what دن it had been when... but I didn't want to think about that.
"They had to keep آپ sedated for a while, honey - you've got a lot of injuries."
"I know." I could feel them.
"You're lucky Dr. Cullen was there. He's such a nice man... very young, though. And he looks مزید like a model than a doctor...."
"You met Carlisle?"
"And Edward's sister Alice. She's a lovely girl."
"She is," I agreed wholeheartedly.
She glanced over her should at Edward, lying with his eyes closed on the chair. "You didn't tell me آپ had such good دوستوں in Forks."
I cringed, and then moaned.
"What hurts?" she demanded anxiously, turning back to me. Edward's eyes flashed to my face.
"It's fine," I assured them. "I just have to remember not to move." He lapsed back into his phony slumber.
I took advantage of my mother's momentary distraction to keep the subject from returning to my less-than-cnadid behavior. "Where's Phil?" I asked quickly.
"Forida - oh, Bella! You'll never guess! Just when we were about to leave, the best news!"
"Phil got signed?" I guessed.
"Yes! How did آپ guess! The Suns, can آپ believe it?"
"That's great, Mom," I کہا enthusiastically as I could manage, though I had little idea what that meant.
"And you'll like Jacksonville so much," she gushed while I stared at her vacantly. "I was a little bit worried when Phil started talking about Akron, what with the snow and everything, but آپ know how I hate the cold, but now Jacksonville! It's always sunny, and the humidity really isn't that bad. We found the cutest house, yellow, with white trim, and a porch just like in an old movie, and this huge oak tree, and it's just a few منٹ from the ocean, and you'll have your own bathroom - "
"Wait, Mom!" I interupted. Edward still had his eyes closed, but he looked too tense to pass as asleep. "What are آپ talking about? I'm not going to Florida. I live in Forks."
"But آپ don't habve to anymore, silly," she laughed. "Phil will be able to be around so much مزید now... we've talked about it a lot, and what I'm going to do is trade off on the away games, half the time with you, half the time with him."
"Mom." I hesitated, wondering how best to be diplomatic about this. "I want to live in Forks. I'm already settled in at school, and I have a couple of girlfriends" - she glanced toward Edward again when I reminded her of friends, so I tried another direction - "and Charlie needs me. He's just all alone up there, and he can't cook at all."
"You want to stay in Forks?" she asked, bewildered. The idea was inconceivable to her. And then her eyes flickered back toward Edward. "Why?"
"I told آپ - school, Charlie - ouch!" I'd shrugged. Not a good idea.
Her hands fluttered helplessly over me, trying to find a محفوظ place to pat. She made due with my forehead; it was unbandaged.
"Bella, honey, آپ hate Forks," she reminded me.
"It's not so bad."
She frowned and looked back and forth between Edward and me, this time very deliberately.
"Is it this boy?" she whispered.
I opened my mouth to lie, but her eyes were scrutinizing my face, and I knew she would see through that.
"He's part of it," I admitted. No need to confess how big a part. "So, have آپ had a chance to talk with Edward?" I asked.
"Yes." She hesitated, looking at his perfectly still form. "And I want to talk to آپ about that."
Uh-oh. "What about?" I asked.
"I think that boy is in love with you," she accused, keeping her voice low.
"I think so, too," I confided.
"And how do آپ feel about him?" She only poorly concealed the raging curiosity in her voice.
I sighed, lookingg away. As much as I loved my mom, that was not a conversation I wanted to have with her. "I'm pretty crazy for him." There - that sounded like something a teenager with her first boyfriend might say.
"Well, he seems bery nice, and, my goodness, he's incredibly good-looking, but you're so young, Bella..." Her voice was unsure; as far as I could remember, this was the first time since I was eight that she'd come close to trying to could like a parental authority. I recognized the reasonable-but-firm tone of voice frmo talks I'd had with her about men.
"I know that, Mom. Don't worry about it. It's just a crush," I soothed her.
"That's right," she agreed, easily pleased.
Then she sighed and glanced guiltily over her shoulder at the big, round clock on the wall.
"Do آپ need to go?"
She bit her lip. "Phil's supposed to call in a little while... I didn't know آپ were going to wake up...."
"No problem, Mom." I tried to tone down the relief so she wouldn't get her feeling's hurt. "I won't be alone."
"I'll be back soon. I've been sleeping here, آپ know," she announced, proud of herself.
"Oh, Mom, آپ don't have to so that! آپ can sleep at ہوم - I'll never notice." The swirl of painkillers in my brain was making it hard to concentrate even now, though, apparently, I'd been sleeping for days.
"I was too nervous," she admitted sheepishly. "There's been some crime in the nrighborhood, and I don't like being there alone."
"Crime?" I asked in alarm.
"Someone broke into that dance studio around the corner from the house and burned it to the ground - there's nothing left at all! And they left a stolen car right out front. Do آپ remember when آپ used to dance there, honey?"
"I remember." I shivered and winced.
"I can stay, baby, if آپ need me."
"No, Mom, I'll be fine. Edward will be with me." She looked like that might be why she wanted to stay. "I'll be back tonight." It sounded as much like a warning as it sounded like a promise, and she glanced at Edward again as she کہا it.
"I love you, Mom."
"I love you, too, Bella. Try to be مزید careful when آپ walk, honey, I don't want to lose you."
Edward's eyes stayed close, but a wide grin flashed across his face.
A nurse came bustling in then to check all my tubes and wires. My mother kissed my forehead, patted my gauze-wrapped hand, and left.