I own nothing! Stephenie Meyer...not receptionist Stephenie in my story...owns all things Twilight!
Thank you all for reviewing! I'm glad you liked the first two chapters so much. A number of you asked for this so here it is...Dr. Dover's POV :) Enjoy!
Did he just say...
Dr. Dover's POV
As I sat in the cafeteria eating my lunch, I glanced down at the piece of paper in front of me, scanning my schedule of appointments for this afternoon. One name in particular stood out to me, the Cullen family.
Being new at the hospital, I didn't know Dr. Cullen very well, but during my first week, he had invited me to join him in the cafeteria on a few occasions, and he seemed very kind. During our lunches, he mentioned what was going on in his home and I was somewhat honored when he asked me to see his family in therapy. I understood he had adopted a number of teenage children which I found quite impressive considering how young he was. I assumed we were fairly close in age and I couldn't imagine my wife and I having 5 teenagers running through the house. It was hard enough for us to remember to feed our dog and goldfish regularly.
I hurried through lunch, wanting to have a few minutes to answer emails before I had my session with the Cullens. I hopped into the elevator and headed for my office when I saw Dr. Cullen and his wife, I assumed, sitting in the chairs down the hallway, looking quite nervous. I can imagine this was stressful for them, but I was confident I could help them work through their problems. I ducked in the back door to my office and saw my receptionist Stephenie engrossed in one of her books again.
"What are we reading today Stephenie? Another romance novel? Is Fabio on the cover of this one too?" I teased.
Without even looking up from her book, she turned the page and replied "No Fabio today, Dr. Dover...vampires this time." She said it with a smile and then buried her nose deeper into the book.
"OK, well after Dracula bites his latest victim, can you make sure you put Dr. Cullen and his family in the conference room. They will be here any minute and there will be eight of them all together."
"Dr. Cullen is coming here?" Stephenie shrieked. She immediately dropped her book to the ground and started applying a fresh layer of makeup to her face. As I walked away, I saw her brushing her hair feverishly and throwing a piece of gum in her mouth. I guess someone has a crush. I hoped she wouldn't throw herself at him in front of his whole family. That would not be a good way to start our session...
Mrs. Cullen, I apologize that my receptionist just threw herself at your husband when he walked through the door. I hope your children aren't scarred for the rest of their lives...so tell me all your problems.
I was still chuckling to myself on the computer, when I heard Stephenie showing them into the conference room. They were all very quiet. I could only hear Carlisle as they moved through the waiting room. I was finishing my last email when I heard laughter coming from the conference room. Walking out of my office, I glanced over at Stephenie who just shrugged at the laughter that was now growing.
"They were fine when I left..." she said innocently and quickly returned to her book. I heard a loud thud.
I grabbed the crisp, new file folder from the counter and a blank legal pad for my notes, and headed for the conference room where I could hear roaring laughter now. What on Earth is so funny in there? I thought to myself, as I cautiously opened the door.
Carlisle and his wife were sitting very formally in their chairs with a look of embarrassment on their faces as they looked at their children. One of the boys, who looked like a body builder, was leaning against the wall laughing and shaking so violently I thought my diplomas were about to crash to the ground. Ask about steroids for that one I thought to myself.
Another one of the boys, who looked like he was the youngest, was lying on the ground hysterical. I assume he fell out of the empty chair next to him. That explains the thud I heard. The third boy was a lanky blond who was clutching his sides and pointing at the big guy on the wall. All the girls had their heads buried on the table and were slapping the table as they laughed.
The look on my face must have been something, because Dr. Cullen and his wife jumped up from their seats and rushed over to me.
"Dr. Dover, that you so much for seeing us. This is my wife Esme and these...these are our children...they are just a little nervous I think." Carlisle shook my hand and his wife did as well, giving me a warm smile. They both had the coldest hands I had ever felt. I better get Stephenie to turn up the heat in here. I don't need the patients freezing to death. I made a mental note.
"Children, please control yourselves so we can introduce you to Dr. Dover" Esme said so quietly, I was sure no one other than Carlisle and myself could hear her over all the laughter, but I was wrong. Instantly, they quieted and went back to their seats. One girl with long brown hair was trying to catch her breath, but the rest were silent except for the smallest Cullen who had her hand over her mouth trying to stifle her final giggles.
Impressive. I thought to myself. They respect their mother, that's good. One less issue to deal with.
The boy who had been on the floor introduced himself first. "Hello, Dr. Dover. My name is Edward Cullen and this is my girlfriend Bella Swan." He extended his hand out to me, and again I was met with an extremely frigid hand.
Strong grip, confident, didn't let his girlfriend introduce herself...control issues obviously.
I noticed Edward's eyes change from lighthearted to serious quickly. Mood swings too... He sighed and leaned back in his chair as Bella shook my hand timidly. She hid her face behind her hair as some sort of protection as she blushed.
Self confidence issues...probably brought on by the overbearing boyfriend.
Another scowl from Edward. Anger issues too...possibly Bi-polar.
Next to introduce them self was the smallest Cullen, who was now bouncing in her seat with excitement. "My name is Mary Alice Brandon Cullen but you can call me Alice!" She was a very high energy person I could tell by all the bouncing.
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder possibly, with some impulse control issues as well. I wonder if she's ever been on medication for it.
"Jasper Hale." Was all the tall lanky blond said, barely making eye contact with me.
Emotionally withdrawn, possible depression, a man of few words.
I glanced back at Edward who I swear just snorted, but when I looked at him, he was perfectly composed but his eyes weren't nearly as hostile as before. I shook my head and turned to the large boy sitting right next to me. He stood up and gave me a big hug.
"Hey Doc! Emmett Cullen, damn glad to meet you. So do they have family wings in the loony bin?" His laugher boomed through the room. The rest of the Cullen's sat opened mouth at his comment.
Impulse control, and no personal space boundaries, I wonder what he's hiding behind the humor?
The last to introduce themselves was the beautiful blond sitting next to Emmett. "Hi. Rosalie Hale." She mumbled without looking away from her reflection in the small mirror she had pulled out of her purse.
Vanity, self absorbed, egocentric, your general center of the universe complex.
A cough escaped Edward, which sounded a lot like a laugh, but when I glanced his way, he was examining his hand which was intertwined with his girlfriends on the table top.
"Well it is very nice to meet all of you. Thank you for coming. I guess I should introduce myself, I am Dr. Benjamin Dover and I have been in private practice for 3 years. My wife and I moved here from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania two month ago and so far I am enjoying things here in Forks."
Carlisle was positioned at one end of the table so I took the seat at the other head of the table that way I could have a good view of the entire family as we spoke. I laid the folder on the table and made a few initial notes about who was who so I wouldn't forget. With my fresh legal pad poised and ready, I asked my first question.
"So Carlisle, can you tell me what made you decided to try family therapy?"
Carlisle and Esme both explained the uniqueness of their situation and how they hoped in having the children open up about what was bothering them, they could then resolve some issues and move forward as a family. I was truly impressed by the love in their voices as they spoke about their children.
I furiously jotted notes as they spoke. When they finished I wanted to get the adoptive situation figured out.
"So Rosalie and Jasper, you are twins?" They both nodded in agreement.
"And Emmett, Edward and Alice you are siblings ? "Edward answered for all of them.
My attention turned to the the girl with the long brown hair who was nervously clutching Edward's hand. "And Bella, you are Edward's girlfriend?" Her face immediately turned red at my question and I heard her quietly answer "Yes." I wrote the information out on the legal pad before continuing. I wondered to myself why Edward's girlfriend was included in the initial visit.
They had all remained so quiet, I wanted to put a question out there that might spark a conversation or perhaps argument just to see what would happen. "Soooo... Where should we begin?"
No one uttered a single word, but five fingers immediately pointed in the same direction, right at Edward. Not surprising, really. I thought to myself.
Edward turned to Bella who of course hadn't pointed at Edward "I told you this was a bad idea." His face was somewhere between furious and mortified.
Trying to take the focus off of Edward for a moment I asked "Why did you all point to Edward when I said that?" They all seemed to be watching Edward intently, as if waiting for him to explode.
"Because they hate me." Edward said without any emotion in his voice. Great, he's shutting down. A defense mechanism for sure. Did he really feel like they hated him? Like he was the odd man out ?
"Edward we don't hate you, you just have issues, major issues." The very hyper Alice chirped. Well this could be interesting...
"Alice what do you feel Edward's issues are?" Edward feels persecuted by his family and his sister is ready to throw him under the bus first, so let's see where this goes.
"Well, I'm not a professional, but he has in the past had suicidal tendencies, he can be overbearing, he overreacts, he is a masochist and he constantly refers to himself as a monster, just to name a few..." She rattled without taking a breath.
Suicidal? I can see that, he appears to be very tightly wound. I had already picked up on the overbearing and the overreacting, the self-loathing...a masochist...maybe this is why Bella is here after all...
"Don't forget sexually repressed!" His brother Emmett happily chimed in. I scribbled furiously but stopped when I heard Edward throw himself up from the table and head for the door.
"Yes, dear brother, I may be repressed, but you, you and your partner however, are sexual deviants!" He put great emphasis on the word partner. Ask Emmett about his girlfriend and their sexual relationship. I wrote in my notepad.
Bella ran to Edward's side and put her hand lovingly on his arm. "Emmett, why do you always have to do that to him? You know it upsets him, and yet you never miss an opportunity to get your digs in..." Bella spoke her mind. That was good to know. She must feel really comfortable around the Cullen's to take on Emmett that way.
The blond, Rosalie, stood up"Don't you dare talk to my... brother that way, you, you...insignificant little girl." There was a great deal of anger behind Rosalie's words. It was peculiar the way she emphasized the words brother and girl...as if they had double meanings. Rosalie and Emmett, close bond. I wrote in my notepad.
"Apologize to her, Rose." Edward snarled. Edward and Rosalie explosive relationship I jotted down. I don't think I had ever filled pages so fast only five minutes after introductions.
The ultra quiet Jasper finally spoke more than his name."Come on guys, let's all relax." I still couldn't figure out how it happened , but any tension I had been feeling as this argument escalated, was gone.
That was weird, I thought to myself. So I was completely distracted, when Bella suddenly threw herself at Edward and started kissing him passionately in the middle of the room. I could tell by Edward's expression he was taken off guard. The rest of the Cullen's simply watched wide eyed.
Is she a sex addict? I will put her down for some definite impulse control problems until I learn more.
I continued scribbling my questions and suspicions down for a few minutes. Bella had snapped out of whatever had taken control of her and was visibly embarrassed. Edward had returned to the table, trying to comfort her but still glaring at the once again silent, Jasper. Jasper Troublemaker
"Ok, that was quite an exchange...Edward, since you were the center of it , do you mind if I ask a few questions about some of the things your sister just said?" I tried to tread very lightly, I sensed he was still ready to walk out at any second.
I heard Edward take a deep breath. "What do you want to know?" His voice was barely above a whisper. I decided to start with the most important issue Alice brought up.
"Is is true you tried to commit suicide?" Bella of course reacted by looking up, tears in her eyes.
"Yes." Again his voice was emotionless, like I just asked what two plus two equaled.
"How long ago was it?"
"Four months give or take a few days" Only four months ago? No wonder they all pointed at him when I asked where to start.
"Can you tell me what happened, what led up to it?" I watched his reaction very carefully. His eyes went from Bella to Rosalie and he began glaring at her. What part had Rosalie played in his suicide attempt? Did her 'center of the universe' complex put him into a depression. She must have some part in it by the was he's glaring at her...wait, did she just smile?
"It was all a misunderstanding. I am fine and I have no intention of dying, ever." Interesting reaction, hadn't heard it referred to as a misunderstanding in a while, mistake yes, misunderstanding not as much. And he's going to live forever? And like Peter Pan never grow up too, I'm sure. Major denial, thinking he's fine...
"Edward, I find it hard to believe that you are perfectly fine after feeling so much despair that you would actually consider taking your own life. What made you want to kill yourself?" I flipped to a fresh page in my notepad for his response.
Edward paused and looked at his sisters. They both shifted in their seats. Sisters played some role in Edward's suicide. Enablers? Causes? Investigate further. I scribbled on my pad.
Surprisingly, it was Rosalie who answered the question "It was all Bella's fault! She's the reason he tried to kill himself." Guilty conscience for Rosalie, she's definitely involved somehow.
Edward's girlfriend started sobbing at the accusation. Alice hid her face on Jasper's arm. Close relationship Alice and Jasper. Emmett sat up taller in his chair and shook his head at Edward as some kind of warning. He apparently was as protective of his sister as she was of him. I could see Carlisle and Esme tense up in their seats at Rosalie's words. His suicide is still a very touchy subject ...
"I'm sorry, it was my fault. It was all my fault he tried to kill himself and I will never forget that. But I did go save him Rosalie remember? I was the one who brought him back in one piece." She went to save him? Where exactly did she go?
"Edward?" I asked when I couldn't read him. I didn't know if he was angry he had been stopped, or if he blamed Bella for everything. He still hasn't said why he tried to kill himself. What drove him to that length? I wondered to myself.
"It was all a misunderstanding like I said. I did try to kill myself, but it was because I thought Bella had died and I wasn't going to live without her." He thought Bella was dead? Was she also suicidal? Murder suicide perhaps... I felt my hand start writing down every word he said.
"So what was this misunderstanding you keep referring to?" I prodded.
"My sisters lied to me and told me Bella was dead, so I guess it's their fault I tried to kill myself." His sisters lied to him about Bella being dead? They must really hate him.
The room exploded after Edward's accusation. His siblings were on their feet, shouting at him. Bella looked like she just saw a three headed monster and Esme and Carlisle had their heads pressed together deep in conversation. Edward however, sat back and grinned.
This family does need help. Look at them... I thought. My hand flew across the paper recording all their reactions. Page after page, I jotted notes on who was defending who and what they accusing one another of. Tiny Alice, leapt onto her chair and grabbed my attention. She was waving her finger at Edward and shouting.
"Did you forget that it was your fault that Bella was on that cliff to begin with? You're the one who left her, left her heartbroken." Bella was on a cliff? Is that where she saved Edward from? And why did he leave her, heartbroken. They looked fine to me right now, very much together.
I did see the pain and anguish that were on Bella and Edward's faces as they were reminded of being apart. They looked physically ill at the memory. Co-Dependant! I thought victoriously in my head. That's it, they're very co Dependant.
Edward however, recovered quickly "Well, let's not forget the reason I left in the first place was because Jasper tried to kill her on her birthday remember that? I was trying to keep her safe!" Did he just say...JASPER TRIED TO KILL HER? I screamed in my mind. Am I looking at the face of a murderer? And why are they all so calm about it? How many murderers do they know that this is no big deal? I froze, with my pen touching the paper in front of me. If Edward saying the words wasn't strange enough, what happened next was utterly flabbergasting.
"You know I forgave you for that right?"Bella reached across the table and took Jasper's hand in hers. He looked into her eyes, nodded, and smiled. She forgave him for trying to kill her? Forgave him? Is she the most forgiving person on the planet or a complete moron? Now who's the masochist?
My hand was starting to cramp from all the notes I had in front of me. I was sure I got some of it wrong, I was hoping I did because if not, this was easily the most dysfunctional family I had ever encountered in my limited years in practice. I may need to look into the family wing like Emmett had asked...I regained my composure before speaking.
"So, I just want to make sure I got all this information right. Four months ago, Edward tried to kill himself because he thought that Bella had died. This was a mistake that both of his sisters passed on to him because at the time they believed it to be true?" Everyone mumbled a quick yes. OK, I can live with that part of it...we could work on those things. Another deep breath.
"Bella somehow saved him and they are happy now. And the reason Edward and Bella weren't happy back then was because Edward had left her, to keep her safe, after Jasper tried to kill her on her birthday. But Bella has forgiven him for that. Is that fairly accurate?" I scanned the room, waiting for someone to correct me. Waiting, waiting, waiting. I almost threw up when I saw all eight heads nodding in confirmation.
I grabbed the telephone. "Stephenie, cancel my next three appointments, this may take a while."
A huge thanks to jashaw for her brilliant idea and help :) If you liked it...review please :) Thanks!