(final chapter)

"My mind has wandered, from the straight and narrow.
My mind has wandered from the flock you see.
My mind has wandered, the man just said so."

-Oingo Boingo

This is nothing. This is nothing. This is nothing.

Because if everything, everything, was wrong, then everything is nothing. Nothing.



I'm not.


The girl's name is Sarah.

I saw it on a letter she wrote. It was on pink, scented paper, folded and unfolded so many times the creases were white. The handwriting was scratched, blue pen smeared all around. I couldn't read it, couldn't understand, could only read the header: Dear Sarah...

The therapist, a different one this time, asked me; how do you feel?

I feel empty, I told her. I don't feel anything. I'm blank.

She told me: why is that?

I told her because. That's it. Because.

Because it's a lie, they said.

Because this is all fake, they said.

Don't believe us?

Here, have a pill.


I told the girl, "Hi, Sarah."

She looked at me sharply. "What?"

I looked at her, afraid of what she would do. She didn't strike me as someone who thought before she acted. "Hi."

Her eyes were hard, like steel and bricks and diamonds and cement, looking to crush me, kill me. When she spoke, it was with an icy tone. "That's not my name."

And she walked out.

I'm not sure why this matters. I just don't know.


I shuffled down the halls, feeling the alien glare of the lights on my back. I didn't take the pills when they handed them to me, I didn't look at them. I nodded at the nurses, feigned popping something in my mouth, and walked off. They stopped checking me, making sure I swallowed them, because I had stopped arguing about it. I had stopped fighting, questioning.

The world had taken a surreal tone, and my throat felt constricted most of the time. Everything was gradually becoming sharper, now that I was out of the bubble. It didn't feel better.

He left, didn't he? He said it would be like he never existed. Is this what he meant? He meant it would really be like he never existed? Did he do this? Can he do this?

But why would he?

Why would he leave me here?


I met a boy who's name was Mike.

For a moment, my heart leaped, jumped, twisted and turned, because he looked so familiar. He looked like a Mike. He glanced at me with a happiness, a whimsical affection that could only come from one set of eyes, and I wanted to kiss him. Really, I did.

"Hey," he said as I passed him. "I'm Mike."

I know, I said. I know your Mike.

His eyebrow quirked, but his grin was solid. He was wearing the same beige clothes everyone did, but his tanned skin made up for it. "Oh?"

"How are you here?" I asked him, moving closer, desperate, hungry. If he could tell me, if he knew. Maybe this is a mistake, really, really a mistake.

Now he looks nervous, frightened. He's new to this place, new to these white walls. He doesn't know not to talk to the crazy people yet.

But, of course he's new. He's Mike. Mike Mike Mike.

"What?" he says. "What?" What what what?

My breath catches, desperation clawing at my chest, ripping it, tearing it.

"Mike," I say. "Your Mike. Your Mike Newton. Right? Right?"

He nods, slowly, and I can hear the sound of his hospital issue booties sliding against the floors, back back back, away from the crazy girl. I can almost hear him thinking, why did I talk to her? What was I thinking? Talking to the crazy people?

He started to back away, faster, farther, faster, farther.

"You know Edward. Cullen, you know the Cullens. Tell them you know, tell them."

"Hey, man," he said, his voice cracking like a twelve year olds, "I don't know anything. Hey, get off!"

He started to shake his arm, but I held on tighter. I wouldn't let him go. He was Mike Newton, puppy dog Mike. Dated Jessica, loved me, hated Edward. He knew, he has to tell them he's real. He has to.

"Tell them!" I screeched, like a ghastly women in a horror movie. "You know, right? Tell them. Tell them!"

A nurse came by, and another and another. Cold hands around me, pulling me, little Mike Newton who was supposed to love me watching in awe, in horror, as I was dragged away away away.


His face is like a doll's-perfect, fake, painted carefully to create the illusion, that illusion. So many will try to recreate it, so many, but there is only one. And this is not it.

But he's real, he's out there. No amount of drugs can change that.


"I think we should up her medication."

"She really hasn't been taking very well to it..."

"She doesn't take it for one hour, Doctor, and she nearly chokes another patient-"

"Shh, she's waking up."


My eyes were crusty when I opened them, and I had the taste of chemical in the back of my throat. My neck is stiff, and my arms are sore.

"Nice to have you back, Isabella," Dr. Christoph says. I can tell by his tone that, no, it is note nice to have me back.

I'm sluggish, my vision is blurry. I don't feel completely there. "...Bella," I groan through a figurative sock in my mouth. ""

I can see a forced smile through the fog. "Of course. Bella."

I look around. I'm lying in the same bed-or one just like it-as the first time, strapped and hooked and wired like a test subject. But maybe this is a test?

Yeah, a test.

"Did I pass?" I slur, letting my head gradually sink farther into the pillow.

I can feel his discomfort like I can feel air-obvious, but subtle, around so long you forget it's there. Or never's always been there. Everyone seems uncomfortable.

"Did you pass what?" he asks, slowly, like he would to an essentially slow child.

My throat hurts as I drift back down, "...the test..."

And I'm thinking about Edward why am I thinking about Edward? He isn't real.



They let me walk again three days later, chaperoned by a hefty looking nurse with a red face and orange hair. They let me shuffle from the bathroom to the cafeteria to my room to the bathroom to my room to the bathroom back and forth back and forth until I tell them my feet hurt and they bring my back to the bed.

"Why do I have to sleep here?" I ask the nurse as she pricks the tube back in my arm.

"Dr. Christoph doesn't want you hurting yourself," she says dryly, like a rehearsed speech. Her chubby fingers linger over each nob and tube.

Sitting with my feet dangling off the bed, watching her. And that's all.


Back in my room, I sit with my legs pulled up, my chin resting on my knees. Thinking.

The door is open, revealing the pristine, surreal sitting room. Patients stared blankly at the television, matted with sedative.

An ache is in my chest, and I lower my head so no one can catch the grimace on my face. Just like always, except before, I could shut the door and suffer in silence. Now, there are rambling, drooling people shuffling all around me, nurses just waiting to pump me full of drugs. There are people waiting for me to lose it. Again.

I won't give them that satisfaction.


"Ms. Swan," the therapist says, "how are you feeling?"

"Fine," I snap. "You've asked me that every time I've been in here, and every time I say fine. I'm fine."

Of course, he writes that down.

"Are you still dreaming about Edward?" he asks.

I didn't dream him. He's real real real.

"I don't dream anymore," I tell him. "I can't even think anymore, with all the crap you have me on." I don't like cursing, but I think it's rather ridiculous to try and save face here.

He looks down at me through his looooong nose, an almost reproachful gleam in his eye. I cross my arms and wait.

"Do you still believe Edward exists?" he says slowly.

I give him an icy stare. "You can't make him up," I said. "No one can. He's beyond imagination."


After a few more token inquiries, he sends me out.

"You know, Ms. Swan," he calls after me. "Your in here because of yourself."

I shut the door.

Walking, shuffling, sliding towards my room, across the main floor and down the hall and through the TV room. Hardly more then twenty feet. But it stretches in front of me.


I spin on my heels, startling a mousy girl beside me.

"What?" I whisper. forgot about me...

Like a ghost, a beautiful voice moans at me. Tickling my ear, breathing cool air onto my skin.

"No," I say. "I would never..."

you forgot about me

"You left," I say, louder, drawing attention from several other patients passing. "You said to..."

you let them do it


you let them

"No!" I shout, putting a hand towards the top of my head and fingering strands of my hair. "You left! You told me to!"

your fault, Bella

"Edward," I say. His voice is back, like in La Push and Port Angeles. He's back, he's real, he's here.

stupid, crazy lamb

"You told me to!" I cry, pressing my palms against my ears as his laugh, his icy icy laugh, ring tauntingly around me. "You said to forget. You told me!"

I see him, standing so close so close, his cold skin on my face, my neck, sending chills down my back. His eyes are black, a terrible black. "You'll never see me again," he says. "You'll never forget."

I can see the white figures of the nurses approaching, with their big fat stupid needles.

"He's here!" I call to them, swinging my fist towards Edward, but it passes right through. "Look at him! He's right here!"

"Ms. Swan," Dr. Christoph says, growing bigger and bigger, his face changing, becoming sharper and paler like a painting. He thins, he grows, he smiles at me with blood stained teeth, and he's Edward.

They're all Edward.

The girl who's not Sarah smiles wider and wider like the Chesire cat, bigger and bigger, towering over me.

"He's real!" I'm shouting, to every one of them. All the Edwards. "He's real! He's real!"

One of the Edwards approach, needle in hand glaring smiling laughing. "Time for your medicine."

crazy crazy

stupid, crazy lamb

"No!" I shriek. "Edward! Edward!"

Snow covers my windows and a chill has clung to the air, but my skin is damp with sweat. The covers have fallen to the floor, leaving me with nothing but shorts and a t-shirt. The alarm clock flashes: 2:13.

I sit up slowly and glance towards the window, seeing nothing but a layer of ice. The outline of the moon shines through, illuminating the small desk calender over my computer.

December 25th

My breath comes in short gasps as I pull my knees towards my chin, blinking away the sleep.

I remember like a slap in the face why I love this cold.

"Merry Christmas," I mutter, digging my head in my arms and letting the tears soak through the sweat.


Important!Author's Note (read whole thing): Alright, lemme explain. This was not meant to be good. Just some gratuitous crazy-person pimping on my part. If it is good, that's great, but I really didn't go out and try to make it fantastic. I had this idea in my head for quite some time, so I wrote it down as quickly as possible before I lost it. I do not intend on re-reading, revising, nor re-writing it. It just is, purely for my own amusement. I'm posting it cause I want to see how whacked (on a scale of 1 to 10) my day dreams are. If you hate it, feel free to tell me. I won't be insulted (alright, depends how mean they are). I'm not saying this is bad, because I don't think it is, but I don't think it's fantastic, either. If anyone wants to rent out the idea, feel free (though some links would be nice-I love to see the fruits of my labor =])

ALSO: This is a bit of a reference to The Nightmare Before Christmas. Cuz, you know, she had a nightmare...the night before Christmas...geddit?

Everyone be sure to check out the super-uhmazingly-talented Swing Girl At Heart (under favorite authors on my pro). She's horrendously underrated :)

Anywho, thanks for reading!