As Bella lay on the ground, huddled in upon herself, she didn’t notice that the day had darkened into night and that the cold of the ground was now seeping into her bones. She did not notice that bugs crawled across her now cold skin as she shook with anguish rather than from the temperature. Bella noticed nothing except the pain that sliced through her heart each and every time she played back the final conversation she had with Edward. Edward! Her beautiful Edward! He was gone. He had left her. Alone. Feeling the last of her strength leaving her, Bella curled into a tighter ball in an attempt to shield herself from the pain, but never able to escape it. She lay there for who knows how long and prepared herself for death, knowing that it was much more preferable than the agonizing knowledge that Edward was gone.
So distracted was she that she did not notice that the forest disappeared around her, revealing nothing but blackness and a lone spotlight shining on her. So focused on her grief was she that she did not hear the footsteps that approached her, nor the sound of a large chair being dragged across a floor. Nothing so far of her new surroundings had managed to find its way to her conscious mind, thinking only of that last conversation. For these reasons, and these reasons alone, one could almost forgive her for being so startled when a voice cut through the haze of her anguish to say, “Oh for f***s sake woman, get up off the floor.”
Jumping from the harsh tone the voice conveyed, Bella suddenly became aware of the fact that she was no longer in the forest, it was no longer cold and that she seemed to be lying on a floor. Looking around her she couldn’t see anything except eternal blackness and the light above her. Just outside the circle of light surrounding her however, she could just make out the outline of someone sitting in a large arm chair. Sitting up she said, “Where am I?”
The outline appeared to shrug.
“It’s hard to explain but the best way of putting it is that it’s kind of an in-between place between fiction and reality.”
Squinting to try and see the figure more clearly, Bella replied, “Who are you? Do I know you?”
With a snap of fingers, a second light appeared, lighting the chair. In it sat a woman, average height, overweight and wearing comfy black pants and a Doctor Who shirt. Her hair was extremely long and Mahogany coloured, (for now at least), and despite her weight, had a pretty face with what can only be described as perfectly shaped lips. Bella shook her head having no idea why she thought that. With a second snap of her fingers, a second chair appears opposite the first.
“For the love of God, get off the floor and pull up a pew.”
Bella gingerly and hesitantly stood and sunk into the arm chair which was possibly the comfiest chair she had ever sat in.
“Yeah, I like a comfy chair. The fibro demands it”, the mystery woman said as Bella started at the fact that she appeared to be able to read her thoughts.
“No, not quite. I just know what you’re going to say before you say it.”
“What does that even mean?” Bella asked
“We’ll get to that in a moment. You asked who I am. I go by the name of Miss Ron. Obviously not my real name as that would mean I had cruel parents, but Miss Ron will do for these purposes. I’m just an ordinary woman, love sci-fi, desperately in love with Alexander Skarsgard, (she sighs longingly) and occasionally dabble in writing. I love to read and have wanted to be a writer since I was 5 years old but never pursued it thanks to things said to me when I was in my early 20’s. I love everything about books: the stories, the way people construct words and ideas, the way good authors can make you feel a part of the world they have created, and leave you feeling alone and empty when you finish the book, as though you have lost a friend. I love when books take hold of other peoples imagination and spawn more books. I even love fanfiction, specifically well written fanfiction. I even dabble in that. For the longest time I forgot that I lived and breathed words and literature and am only now coming to realise that a part of me died when I stopped writing. It was my outlet, the one creative thing I could do and a way for me to process the crushing depression I suffer and I gave it up all because someone made it seem like it was a bad thing for me to do. (Miss Ron pauses here and pulls a tissue out of her bra to wipe the tears that have formed.) As for knowing what you are going to say before you say it, that’s easy. You, my annoying little friend, are not real. You are a fictional character in a book series written by a woman that appears to have many, MANY issues but for some reason these books are extremely popular around the world.”
Bella stared at the stranger in a combination of shock and confusion.
“What do you mean I’m not real!? Of course I’m real! How can we be talking to one another if I’m not real?”
Rolling her eyes the stranger replied, “Because I’m writing it numb-nuts. I’m sitting at my work computer, bored out of my mind and decided that you and I needed to have a bit of a chat… and here we are!”
Shaking her head, Bella tried to snap out of the dream she found herself in. This had to be a dream! Or hyperthermia. Of course! She was still in the forest and it must be well passed dark now! The temperatures would have dropped considerably. Her body was going into shock! That explained it.
“Nope, sorry dearest. Fictional character. Not in forest. Not in shock. Not dreaming. Here, let me prove it.”
A pad of paper and a pen suddenly appeared in the other woman’s hands and she began writing something down. Suddenly Bella felt a small sting on her right hand and shook it to try and relieve the pain. Looking down, she gasped to see that a tattoo had suddenly appeared. It was a parchment and written on it were the words: MOST ANNOYING CHARACTER OF INFINITY. Licking her thumb, Bella tried to scrub it away but it wouldn’t budge. Looking up in shock, the other woman turned the pad around and Bella could see a character description, of her!, and as part of the description was, ‘On the back of her right hand she had a tattoo that looked like old parchment and written on that parchment were the words MOST ANNOYING CHARACTER OF INFINITY.
Bella could do nothing but gaze and blink at the piece of paper. She wasn’t real? She was fictional? But everything she felt was so real! She sunk back into the chair and felt all the energy drain from her. This was turning out to be the worse day of her life.
“Oh for fucks sake girl, in the scheme of things, this day is a fucking circus, amusement park and birthday all rolled into one. God!” Miss Ron dropped her head into her hands and shook her head, obviously frustrated at Bella.
Bella blinked at Miss Ron, not quite sure what was going on, but hoped that whatever it was would hurry up because this day was getting to be just plain weird. Lifting her head from her hands, Miss Ron leveled her gaze at Bella, took a deep breath and sighed. Seeming to make a decision, Miss Ron shifted in the chair so that her legs were folded under her and she reached for a cup of tea that had suddenly appeared beside her chair. Taking a long sip, her eyes closed briefly, a small smile touching her lips and she sighed in obvious pleasure. Tea! It was a hug in a mug in her opinion. Putting the cup down, Miss Ron looked back to Bella once more.
“Alright you, I’m going to cut to the chase. Here are the rules, you will shush. You will not interrupt at any time otherwise I’m writing into the character description that you were born without a voice box, got it?”
Nodding, Bella began to feel a tinge of fear.
“You don’t have to be afraid of me, Bella, (for some reason Miss Ron seemed to almost choke saying her name), but I need to get this off my chest before someone gets hurt. Understand?”
Bella nodded again.
“Good. Let’s get to it shall we? I hate you. There really is no other way to put it. I. Hate. You. Actually hate isn’t the right word. Detest. That’s the one. I detest you. You see, I may have pulled you out at the beginning of the second book but readers have to suffer through two more books after this one before we finally reach the end. And the movies! God! We ended up with FIVE of those. The chick they have playing you wouldn’t know a facial expression if she tripped over it. She’s the poster girl for botox without ever having had a shot. She hasn’t exactly helped your cause. (She shudders). And I won’t say much about the end of the series but I will say this: Renesme? Really? THAT was the best you / Stephanie could do? Dear God.”
Miss Ron paused to take another sip of her tea. Looking at the plain white mug, Miss Ron frowned, tilted her head to the side, and grinned as the mug changed into one with a T.A.R.D.I.S on it. That was better! Taking another quick sip, she placed the mug back on the small Enterprise side table.
“I know I know. Hating you because of the way the author wrote you and that “actress” played you, not really fair, but the problem is that since SHE was the one who made you up and that other one ‘brought you to life’ so to speak, though I’m of the opinion a corpse would have done a better job, they are the ones that decides how you are really supposed to be and unfortunately, they made you shitty. I mean seriously shitty. I’ve hated fictional characters before but they are usually bad guys like Bellatrix who killed Dobby but you are just a teenage girl. Yeah, teenagers are annoying and vapid and say ‘like’ and ‘totally’ a lot but on the whole most of them are good kids. You though? In trying to make you seem like you were better than your peers, Ms. Meyer managed to make you possibly the most annoying character in the history of fiction. The shit you do and the shit you put up with makes me slam my head so hard into any and all desks that I have a permanent bruise now! Seriously, grow a fucking spine!”
Realising that she was getting quite loud, Miss Ron took a moment to collect herself. Really, it wasn’t this poor girls fault. In reality she should be here with Stephanie, slapping her upside the head with a 2 x 4 and asking what the hell she was thinking, but for some reason Miss Ron didn’t have strong feelings toward the author; no, it was Bella that had the focus of all her hatred. This was beginning to create a problem in the beta team she was a part of as the poor author she beta’d for wrote many stories about Bella but thanks to the hatred she felt, Miss Ron couldn’t help but get vocal each and every time she was mentioned. She hated her so much she even made a disclaimer that she showed on Facebook often that Alex and all characters he played belonged to her and at no time shall he or any of those characters be associated with Bella….in a romantic sense. Poor Kitty was having her muse trampled on because of this hatred and Miss Ron couldn’t allow that. She loved Kitty and was determined to come to terms with her issues with Bella so Kitty would be free to write. She wrote fuckawesome stories and Miss Ron loved the way her mind worked. No, it was now or never. She was gonna have this out with Bella or die trying. Steeling herself, Miss Ron focused back on the occupant of the other chair.
“Sorry. I get very passionate about certain topics and for some reason, you seem to be an extra strong sore point for me. I’ll try not to yell again but I can’t promise anything. When I get going, things get interesting.”
Bella simply nodded, still slightly afraid of Miss Ron. This woman did appear to be very quiet and laid back but wowsers! She had a temper when required.
Satisfied Bella was still listening, Miss Ron continued.
“At the beginning of the first book, you seemed to be quite alright. You weren’t self-centred or vain. You seemed intelligent and kind hearted with the way you chose to move to a place you hated so your mother could be happy and travel with her husband. You obviously understood responsibility since you took care of your mother more than she took care of you. You had a self-esteem issue with the way you shied away from attention but that could have just been put down to awkward teenage hormones and you might have grown out of that. On the whole you had potential to be a pretty cool character. There were moments where a ballsy attitude crept through and that was great to read. There aren’t too many female characters that girls can look up to since most of them involve dressing like sluts and getting attention from males. Finally we had the opportunity to read about an ‘every-girl’. An ordinary teenage girl that could be any one of her readers, and she got to experience an extraordinary life. You were the promise that so many young women dreamed of. Then, Fuckward happened.”
If Bella had been drinking something she’d have done a spit-take. Fuckward? Ok, yes, that was insulting the man she loved but that was actually kind of funny. Unable to help herself, Bella giggled a little.
“See! Right there! Right there! That’s what I’m talking about!” Miss Ron suddenly exclaimed. “There’s that girl we caught a glimpse of early on. You had a spine then! I kind of liked you then. But the Bella post-Fuckward? I could have thrown you from a building into a burning train that proceeded to crash and I couldn’t have cared less.”
Heartened that Miss Ron didn’t appear to be angry that she had technically ‘spoken’ while she was talking, Bella grabbed the opportunity to speak.
“Then what the hell happened later on that was so bad you ended up hating me?”
Smiling in satisfaction, Miss Ron sat back in her chair and smirked. “I’m glad you asked. I warn you, some of what I say will be spoilery for you. Sorry for that. I was going to try and stick to just book one but I realised that to get the full picture you need to know what happens. Hopefully this will help you understand.”
Nodding, Bella motioned for Miss Ron to continue.
“Alrighty. Here goes nothing. The relationship you have with Edward and even most of the Cullen’s is unhealthy and borderline stalker-like. Edward controls who you see, where you go, when you go, who you go with. Alice pushes her wardrobe choices onto you. Rosalie treats you like shit and you say nothing. They use Jasper to alter your moods. They control almost every aspect of your life and you seem to be fine with it. And the way Edward climbs in through your window and watches you sleep every night? Every time I read that it makes my skin crawl and I want to run away from him. Why you put up with it I will never know. You are in a co-dependent, abusive, stalker relationship and this is being touted as True Love by the author! I mean, What The Fuck! Teenage girls now think that unless a guy controls her every move, he must not love her. There were women in Australia that put ads in the paper for Edward look-a-likes to hire to climb in to their windows to watch them sleep. This shit is dangerous! Charlie was right when he said your attachment to Edward wasn’t healthy and I wouldn’t at all be surprised if you had an underlying psychological medical condition that caused your reactions. Depression maybe? Not sure. Because all I know is that healthy teenagers DO NOT react the way you do. Hell, I pulled you out lying on the freezing cold ground of a forest. Yes, you’re allowed to feel like shit that the guy you love, and who supposedly loves you, leaves, but do you realise that he left you, ALONE, in the fucking forest after dark when there is a psycho vampire gunning for your death? Not just that but there had been supposed animals attacks in the area as well! Oh yeah, he cares about your safety. This shit isn’t logical!”
Staring at Miss Ron, Bella allows herself to think back over the relationship she had with Edward. What Miss Ron was saying was true and made a lot of sense. She did allow Edward and the other Cullen’s to control her. Why did she allow that? She had managed to do just fine all on her own for the first 17 years of her life, why the hell change now? Sure it was kind of nice having someone else doing for her instead of the other way around, but the amount of control they had over her life was just wrong. Oh my god! That shit IS creepy. Bella shuddered as she glanced back over at the other chair.
Raising her eyebrow, Miss Ron said, “Ready for me to go on?” Receiving a nod in reply, she continued.
“So after Edward leaves you spend MONTHS wallowing. Seriously, MONTHS. Apparently you did absolutely nothing except somehow get through the day on automatic pilot because all the author bothered to write for several chapters was simply the name of the month. You shut out your friends, your dad, Jacob. Everything else ceased to exist except the grief you were feeling. Again, that shit ain’t normal! I blame your dad partly here also because a good parent would have taken you to a doctor or counselor if they noticed you weren’t improving after a couple weeks, one month tops. Man, everyone in these books is bat-shit. (sighs) Then, you have this brilliant idea when you see two motorbikes, to have Jacob fix them up and ride them as a way to feel alive again. You! Bella! The clumsy one who falls over her own feet. Yes, a motorbike is a brilliant idea! And don’t let me get going on the fact that when you do start to learn to ride the damn think you aren’t wearing a helmet. Yes, let’s let the clumsy girl who is learning top ride a heavy motorbike, do so without fucking head protection!!!”
Bella’s eyes widen in shock. She gets a motorbike? A motorbike! She who loves her old clunky truck because it’s so safe and cosy? What the fuck indeed!
“Believe me, I could go on about that one for a while”, Miss Ron says, “but I think I’ll move away from that topic. My point has been made. Let’s jump ahead a little. Jacob becomes a werewolf, yes I know but so not the point of this conversation, and instead of accepting him for what he is, like you so easily did for the Cullen’s, you get all judgmental and assume he’s killing people! Sure the evidence looked bad but you also knew there were rogue vampires out there who were able to make peoples deaths look like an animal attack. Why automatically assume your best-friend is a murderer? And while we are on the topic of Jacob, yes, he too becomes a possessive manipulative asshole as the books progress, but during the time Edward is gone, Jacob is pretty darn awesome and you say so yourself, many times. Without you having to tell him things he just automatically assumes certain topics are off-limits, knows you grow to hate music and a whole host of other things. You had a really nice guy who at the beginning respected you for who you are, and you treated him like crap! Again, he gets douchey later on so we’ll just say you had a bad luck of the draw when it comes to the males in your life. But seriously Bella; You’re 18 now! You have your whole life ahead of you to meet a guy who accepts you as is. Instead you fixate on the first one to pay you attention! Rosalie of all people makes a good point later on about you throwing your life away by becoming vampire so young. You have the choice and you choose wrong. So what if you don’t want kids now. Most teenagers don’t want kids. No one should even think about babies until they find someone they believe will be a great partner in bringing kids up. Very few people find that at high-school. Yeah, this part works out for you later on, no I won’t elaborate, but still, by now you are the most moronic person ever written so logical people no longer really care about you.”
Miss Ron stops to take a breath. This feels better than she imagined. Hashing this shit out with Bella was actually starting to help turn her feelings around for the girl. Yes, she was dealt a shitty hand by the author, which isn’t her fault, but still, Miss Ron just can’t help the way she feels. No, this was a brilliant idea. Hopefully by the time she posted this, she’d be able to hear the name Bella without wanting to throw sharp objects at people.
Bella sat unblinking, staring at Miss Ron. Holy shit her life gets crazy! Somehow though she knows that what she has heard isn’t even the half of it. What she has heard though is certainly excellent cause for the hatred Miss Ron says she feels. Hell, she was starting to hate herself hearing the way she acts and allows herself to be controlled. Damn. If it wasn’t so depressing she’d be embarrassed. Looking at a point somewhere off in the distance, Bella asks quietly, “Is there any hope for change?”
Miss Ron looks at Bella with pity. “Unfortunately, the books are written and the movies filmed so that part of your life is set. It does all sort of work out later on so don’t be too upset but unfortunately the damage was done so early that I just continued to hate you until the very end. Actually I hated almost everyone by the time the books and movies were done. You were dealt a crap hand character-wise and I really wish you had been thought up by a better writer. And this is where the point of this little interlude comes in. With fan-fiction, decent writers with amazing imaginations can think up MUCH better futures for you; futures where you are free from the control of Fuckward and the Cuntlens. Futures in an all-human universe, though I won’t mentioned that some authors need slapping and will shy away from that 50 Shades of Fucked-up shit that seems to be so popular. No, in the hands of a good writer you have awesome futures and end up with far far better, and dare I say it, sexier men. In fact, my own beloved Kitty has several stories she has written about you and might I say, the guys you end up with? Jealous! Oh yes, in the hands of someone who knows what the hell they are doing, you have the potential to be the amazing character you could have been. I really have to stop hating you as much as I do and let people write as they feel directed… even if that does mean you lock lips, and other body parts, with my beloved Eric. But he’s mine though! Mine and wifey Rissa’s! Just remember that! We’re just lending him to Wendy for the purpose of fiction, got it!!!”
Bella nodded vehemently at that last question. Wowsers. Whoever this Eric was, Miss Ron sure was protective of him. He must be something special if she got this passionate.
“You bet your arse he’s something special! He’s sexy, and fun, and kind, and gentle and he has this adorable hair and this fuckawesome V thing going on. He can also be bad-ass and when he drops fang, damn, that’s some sexy shit. He’s a REAL vampire. None of this emo disco-ball namby pamby fairy shit. You can hook up with any of the other guys you are paired with but off the page, he’s mine! And wifeys!”
Miss Ron then picked up her mug and leisurely finished her tea, feeling a whole lot better than she had when she came into this. This funny little experiment worked! She loved how her brain worked. Yes, she still disliked the character of Bella but somehow she knew that in the future, should her beloved Wendy write more Bella fics, she would cope just fine. So long as everyone knew that Eric was very much taken when not in a story…….
Drinking down the last sip, Miss Ron slapped her hands against her thighs as she stood up.
“Right! Guess I should put you back in that forest where I found you now, huh?”
Bella stood up violently, causing the heavy chair to rock slightly.
“No! No way! Nuh-ah. You are not putting me back in there. If I act as stupidly as you say, I want out of it. Regardless that things supposedly work out for me, I refuse to be the door-mat I’m made out to be. No! I am not going back and you can’t make me!”
Crossing her arms angrily, Bella glared at the woman opposite of her, fire lighting her eyes and her expression stony.
“Ah, there she is!” Miss Ron thought to herself. “This is the Bella I like. A Bella that has balls. A Bella who stands up for herself. A Bella that won’t back down. Oh yes, this is a Bella I could like very much.”
Stepping forward a little. Miss Ron tilted her head and regarded the angry teen.
“I’m going to let you in on a little secret, Bella. You see, my beloved Eric, he has a fictional True Love. A woman named Sookie. They are, to date, my favourite fictional couple. And I hate her as well.”
Bella’s expression changed to something akin to confusion.
“Yes, makes no sense does it? Even I understand the irony. I hate the Sookie in the books and I hate the Sookie in the show even more. She also acts illogically and selfishly and always seems to blame Eric for everything wrong in her life even though she happily forgives and stay friends with the asshole who raped her. Yes, book and show Sookie suck arse for want of a better term. There is a marked difference though in her situation and yours. You see, I discovered the books, the TV show and fanfiction of them all in the same week two years ago. I was sick at home for a week and my housemate had been showing me some of the show at night. Curious I rented the previous seasons and watched them all in two days, then went out and bought the first few books and devoured those in two days and when they were gone, I went to fanfiction. There I discovered some amazing Sookie’s! All In by kjwrit was the first all-human one I fell in love with and stories such as In The End by my beloved Wendy helped me fall in love with the supernatural versions even more. Her Sookie’s were gutsy and made sense. Because I discovered these Sookie’s so soon after finding the ‘real’ Sookie, they all kind blended into one character. When I read the ‘real’ books I saw a fanfiction Sookie. When I watched the show, I saw a fanfiction Sookie. This is probably why I am extra devastated with the way this character behaved toward the end of the books and the current seasons of the show as well. I cannot understand how writers create these awesome characters then underutilize them or make them act like morons. It pisses me off and drives my love for fanfiction more. Unfortunately for you Bella, I didn’t get to fanfiction until well after the books and movies and by that time, my view of you was set. Wendy has tried very very hard to sway me but I can be VERY vocal when I dislike something. Most of the time I feel like my life is spiraling out of control so when I find something I can influence, I tend to latch on and it’s wrong of me. Especially at present. I feel terrible and am determined to make it up to her. For her, and her alone I decided to meet you here and hash this out. My hatred of you hurts her and that cannot continue. Bella, I forgive you.”
Shocked at what she just heard, Bella took a tentative step toward Miss Ron, then a second, then a third until she was directly in front of her. Reaching out, she gave her a hug. Returning the hug somewhat awkwardly, Miss Ron broke contact first and stood back.
“Yes, well, that is that then.”
The pair stared awkwardly at one another for a few moments.
“So, um, what do we do now?” Bella asked.
“You really don’t want to go back to the books?”
Bella shook her head.
“Hmmmm, then the only thing I can think of to do is give you to the fanfiction authors. Some of them seem to have a pretty good idea of how you should be. Others, dear lord no, but some have fuckawesome idea for you. Is that acceptable.”
Smiling, Bella said, “Oh yes. That sounds much better!”
Closing her eyes, Miss Ron started to imagine the darkened room around her dissolving.
“So what happens now?” Bella asked, a slight tinge of fear in her voice.
“Now, now you get the life you deserve.”
The room around them slowly faded until Miss Ron stood alone on the shore of a beautiful lake. Turning around, she was pleased to see a certain gorgeous Swede was already naked and sunning himself on a deck chair.
“Oh yes. Through fanfiction, we all get the lives we deserve”.