The ride to Long Island should be an easy one, but after my lunch with Carlisle, I’m teetering on the edge of a bad mental place. I know it. I can feel it. I’m helpless to stop the odd tingle as it spreads across my body from head to toe. The sound of the tires against the road is grating on my nerves like fingernails on a chalkboard. The way Rose and I are sitting is eerily familiar, and I shift in my seat, hoping to ease the tension filling my muscles.
I’m restless as my mind obsesses with one narrowly focused plan: open the door and jump. My brain shouts Escape! repeatedly, but I’m frozen in place, trying to think of anything else to stop this impending derailment and failing. I had no idea we would be on the road for almost three hours, and something about riding in the back seat has triggered me, pushing me over the edge. Rose must see it immediately, because when I realize what’s happening, we’re no longer moving, but pulled to the side of the road.
She’s holding my hand as her words start to register. “Bella, breathe. Listen to my voice. We’re going to take a deep breath together.”
We’re in the back of a luxury car and her family driver watches the two of us from the front seat while speaking to someone on his phone. I can’t understand what he’s saying as my heart feels like it’s about to beat out of my chest while I can’t seem to catch my breath.
My eyes find Rose again as she squeezes my hand, reaching for the other to stop it from shaking.