Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 17)

“Don’t worry about it; you missed me.”

“How did you get out of the way so fast? You were there, and then you were gone.…”

“Umm… Edythe shoved me out of the way.”

She looked confused. “Who?”

“Edythe Cullen—she was standing next to me.” As usual, I didn’t sound believable at all.

“Edythe? I didn’t see her… wow, it was all so fast, I guess. Is she okay?”

“I think so. She’s here somewhere, but they didn’t make her use a stretcher.”

I knew I wasn’t crazy. What had happened? There was no way to explain away what I’d seen.

They wheeled me away then, to X-ray my head. I told them there was nothing wrong, and I was right. Not even a concussion. I asked if I could leave, but the nurse said I had to talk to a doctor first. So I was trapped in the ER, harassed by Taylor’s constant apologies and promises to make it up to me. No matter how many times I tried to convince her I was fine, she continued to beg for forgiveness. Finally, I closed my eyes and tried to ignore her.

“Is he sleeping?” a musical voice asked. My eyes flew open.

Edythe was standing at the foot of my bed, her expression more a smirk than a smile. I stared at her, trying to put the pieces together in my head. She didn’t look like someone who could stop attacking vehicles with her bare hands. But then, she also didn’t look like anyone I’d ever seen before.

“Hey, um, Edythe, I’m really sorry—” Taylor began.

Edythe lifted a hand to stop her.

“No blood, no foul,” she said, flashing her bright white teeth. She moved to sit on the edge of Taylor’s bed, facing me. She smirked again.

“So, what’s the verdict?” she asked me.

“There’s nothing wrong with me, but they won’t let me go,” I said. “How come you aren’t strapped to a gurney like the rest of us?”

“It’s all about who you know,” she answered. “But don’t worry, I came to spring you.”

Then a doctor walked around the corner, and my mouth fell open. She was young, she was blond… and she was more beautiful than any movie star I’d ever seen. Like someone sliced up Audrey Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Marilyn Monroe, took the best parts, and glued them together to form one goddess. She was pale, though, and tired-looking, with circles under her dark eyes. From Charlie’s description, this had to be Edythe’s mom.

“So, Mr. Swan,” Dr. Cullen asked in a gentle voice, “how are you feeling?”

“I’m fine,” I said, for the last time, I hoped.

She walked to the lightboard on the wall over my head, and turned it on.

“Your X-rays look good,” she said. “Does your head hurt? Edythe said you hit it pretty hard.”

“It’s fine,” I repeated with a sigh, throwing a quick, questioning look Edythe’s way. She avoided my eyes.

The doctor’s cool fingers probed lightly along my skull. She noticed when I winced.

“Tender?” she asked.

“Not really.” I’d had worse.

I heard a low laugh, and looked over to see Edythe smiling.

“Well, your father is in the waiting room—you can go home with him now. But come back if you feel dizzy or have trouble with your eyesight at all.”

“Can’t I go back to school?” I asked, imagining Charlie trying to play nurse.

“Maybe you should take it easy today.”

I glanced at Edythe. “Does she get to go to school?”

“Someone has to spread the good news that we survived,” Edythe said blithely.

“Actually,” Dr. Cullen corrected, “most of the school seems to be in the waiting room.”

“Ugh,” I moaned.

Dr. Cullen raised her eyebrows. “Do you want to stay?”

“No, no!” I insisted, throwing my legs over the side of the bed and hopping down quickly. Too quickly—I staggered, and Dr. Cullen caught me. She was sturdier than she looked.

“I’m fine,” I assured her again. No need to explain that my balance problems had nothing to do with hitting my head.

“Take some Tylenol for the pain,” she suggested as she steadied me.

“It doesn’t hurt that bad,” I insisted.

“It sounds like you were extremely lucky,” Dr. Cullen said, smiling as she signed my chart with a flourish.

“Lucky Edythe just happened to be standing next to me,” I amended, shooting another glance at the subject of my statement.

“Oh, well, yes,” Dr. Cullen agreed, suddenly occupied with the papers in front of her. Then she looked away, at Taylor, and walked to the next bed. It made me sure the doctor was in on it.

“I’m afraid that you’ll have to stay with us just a little bit longer,” she said to Taylor, and began checking her cuts.

As soon as the doctor’s back was turned, I moved to Edythe’s side.

“Can I talk to you for a minute?” I whispered under my breath. She took a step back from me, her jaw suddenly clenched.

“Your father is waiting for you,” she said through her teeth.

I glanced at Dr. Cullen and Taylor.

“I need to speak with you alone,” I pressed.

She glared—but it wasn’t the same as that first day, not nearly as homicidal, so I just waited. After a second, she turned her back and stalked quickly down the long room. Long as my legs are, I nearly had to run to keep up. As soon as we turned the corner into a short hallway, she spun around to face me.

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