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Three People

Guest Georgia

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Story Title: - Three People

Type of story: Short fic - four shot.

Main Characters: Belle, Geoff, Mattie, Drew.

BTTB rating: T

Genre: Drama, tragedy, angst, romance.

Does story include spoilers: No.

Any warnings: No.

Summary: - When Belle's coffin was lowered into the ground, everyone thought she was dead. They all moved on, with the exception of three people: Geoff, Mattie and Drew. But Belle is never too far away, and stuck in "limbo", watching the three most important people in pain is the worst punishment she could have ever imagined.


Do you ever stop to wonder? Do you ever contemplate what if? What if I hadn’t died? What if I, Belle Taylor, was still alive? Three people in the world do. Just three. That’s the impact I made.

When I was younger, I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to leave my mark on the world. I wanted people to miss me when I was gone, not because they had to, but because I’d done so much for the world. I wanted my name to go down in history.

But know, standing here, waiting to move on, I realize that it was stupid to want people to mourn me. Because the people that do, well, I wish they wouldn’t. Because those three people... their pain is my pain, even though I’m dead. And even though I wanted them to sit down and wonder what if, I hate it, because I can’t move on to the next place until they’re happy.

So I’m in limbo. And I want to move on, but I can’t, because they aren’t happy. And I can’t make them happy because I’m in limbo, unable to do anything.

And those three people... they’re in limbo too. They can’t move on. And really, they aren’t the three people I’d expect to be in limbo. If I had to pick three people, I’d have chosen Aden, Amanda and Irene. My husband, my mother, and my foster mother... but I would have been wrong.

And you know why I would have been wrong? Because Aden is fine; he’s dating Nicole. Amanda has her family, and she’s ok. And Irene is still looking after Geoff and Annie, so she’s almost back to normal.

But it’s Geoff, Matilda and Drew who are struggling. They are the three in emotional limbo, and I have to watch them suffer, because no one realizes the pain they’re going through.

No one realizes that Geoff cries himself to sleep at night, wondering what would have happened if he had just uttered those three little words to me. I didn’t realize until after my death that Geoff had loved me since the first day he had seen me.

No one understands that Mattie hates herself, and throws up every single morning before stumbling to work. She’s living my life. She’s living in my old room, and working in my old job. But she hate’s herself because she wasn’t there for any of it: the wedding, the cancer or my death. And she feels incredibly guilty because I died on her birthday, and instead of crying at home, she was celebrating.

And Drew... no one’s noticed that he’s trying to break up Aden and Nicole. He tries his hardest, and that’s his mission in life: to stop my husband from dating another woman. And because no one notices his mission, no one notices that he’s so close to a breakdown.

It’s just me that notices. I watch Geoff cry himself to sleep, and I wish that he would have said those words to me, because at the end of the day, he’s the one that still cares. I have to stand and watch as my best friend hates herself, and I want to tell her that it’s all ok, but I can’t. And I have to watch as my step-brother/ ex-boyfriend struggles to hold himself together.

And while watching these three people, I realize that I didn’t do much worth noting. I invested too much time into the wrong people, and overlooked the ones that were there all the time. This limbo thing, the pure torture of it, is my punishment.

I wish more than anything else in the world that it wasn’t my punishment, because this isn’t just hurting me. It’s hurting Geoff, and Matilda, and Drew.

So despite the fact that it hurts more than anything else I’ve ever experienced, I’ll ride it out, because at the end of this, the three people that mean the most will be alright again.

And on the night where Geoff falls asleep without crying, or the morning when Mattie doesn’t throw up, I’ll finally be able to rest. When Drew can walk past Aden and Nicole in the surf club without making some snide remark, I’ll know that my job is done.

Until then, I’m in limbo, watching it all. No one knows I’m here, but I can live with that. I’m here for Geoff, Mattie and Drew, and they deserve all the happiness in the world. And I’ll be right here until they get what they deserve.

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Utterly brilliant fic.This is a really good idea and the choice of characters is inspired, the way that in a sense the second closest people to Belle are the ones who are finding it hardest to move on because they're the ones that weren't there for her.Really looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

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You're writing this very well.

It reminds me a lot of the novel "The Lovely Bones" where Suzie is stuck in heaven watching the people she loves move on with her life.

Maybe Belle's spirit will live through someone just for a moment and something will happen between Belle and Aden :wub: (like making love).

Nice update, continue :)

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When I saw the summary I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I’m so glad I read this. First of all it’s a really unique idea, and the characters you’ve chosen really interest me - Mattie, Drew and Geoff.

So this is the part where I quote back at you all my favourite parts...

I wanted to leave my mark on the world. I wanted people to miss me when I was gone, not because they had to, but because I’d done so much for the world.

I think you have tapped into something really true here. The whole notion that people want to ‘matter’. No necessarily be famous or whatever, but just to have made a mark and to be remembered. Hopefully for something positive.

No one realizes that Geoff cries himself to sleep at night, wondering what would have happened if he had just uttered those three little words to me. I didn’t realize until after my death that Geoff had loved me since the first day he had seen me.

Hear that? That’s my heart beginning to break. Oh Geoff! I adore that you’ve made him have the lingering crush, these feelings he never acted on, and now he’s beating himself up about it. I always thought Belle/Geoff would have been an interesting pairing and it’s nice to see that Belle acknowledges it. Even if it is a bit late to do anything now.

She’s living my life.

Matilda reverting to self-harm to cope is very true to character. I like that you’ve made the decision to have her try to fill Belle’s shoes, not because she wants to necessarily, but because she feels that she has to.

And because no one notices his mission, no one notices that he’s so close to a breakdown.

Dreeeeeeewww! I nearly wrote something similar to this after Belle’s death aired. Not that he would try to break Nicole and Aden up, but that he was still sabotaging his own relationships because he never got over Belle. I actually worked it out that it would have been exactly 18 months from the epic Drew/Belle break up to Belle’s death. I like that you’ve tapped into the fact that Drew would be the one to seek revenge. And even from this small snippet of text, I can see how he’s probably only doing this because he is miserable, so he’s dragging others down with him. So sad!

And while watching these three people, I realize that I didn’t do much worth noting. I invested too much time into the wrong people, and overlooked the ones that were there all the time. This limbo thing, the pure torture of it, is my punishment.

The whole idea that Belle is being punished beyond the grave is so good. I don’t know whether you intend to write the rest of this from Belle’s point of view, or the other characters, but I definitely want to hear more about how Belle is feeling. She’s obviously not in any sort of physical pain (like she would with the cancer), but she’s not at peace, which is probably worse. And she's only now realising that she did impact on people, but not the ones she expected to.

And on the night where Geoff falls asleep without crying, or the morning when Mattie doesn’t throw up, I’ll finally be able to rest. When Drew can walk past Aden and Nicole in the surf club without making some snide remark, I’ll know that my job is done.

Gosh, I adore this bit so much. The significance of things turning around and setting up a clear direction for this fic is so well done. I realise this is only the prologue, but I just want to read more. Make that happen, okay? :P

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Wow Gee...

I stumbled into this fic the other day... but never got to read it... until now....

and it seems funny because Jen has quoted every single line that is my favourite and I think I'm going to enjoy this fic very much because I've never read anything like this in my life...

the fact that Mattie has fallen back into her old habit and that no one is even noticing is just sad and makes me want to cry for her. And Drew trying to split up Aden and Nicole, secretly makes me happy but because of this Belle cant move on is saddening!

And Geoff... ohhh poor Geoff.... the fact that he's loved her for so long is just heart breaking and was seriously pulling out at my heart strings :)

This is seriously beautiful, and I've never been so interested in a fic as I am now :D

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Well, I hardly ever come into this section of the forum, but I came across this thread and saw that you've only just began writing. So, I thought that I'd come in here and have a little read. And, you know what? I'm so glad that I did! This fic is aboslutely brilliant and caught my eye when I first read the main characters. As already mentioned, I think that the characters are of great choice, particularly Geoff. It's good to see the idea of Geoff/Belle brought up as a couple (even if Belle didn't know how he felt until she died).

But, really, you have such an amazing talent for writing and you can bet that I'll be back in here to read more of your fic. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

May I say that I'm blown away for the responses, and that I'm sorry about the delay? Here's the next chapter; warning: there's a swear word in here somewhere.


For his first major university assignment, Drew wrote an eleven page essay on why one will never cease to suffer. The professor loved it; giving Drew the highest mark in the class along with the comment: “moved me to tears; I expect a lot from you young man”. Amanda, of course, played the role of proud mother perfectly, and even went as far as posting me a copy. At the time, I was so busy with Aden that I barely flicked through the pages. Now the depth of Drew’s words is all I think about, and I wish I had taken the chance to at least read it one more time.

“For although one thinks that suffering is brief; a temporary emotion; it rarely is. As soon as one let’s go of the pain that haunts them, something will occur, bringing it back to the surface. Even worse, a different source will be pushed upon one, and they will be suffering once again”.

When I read it, I was startled by Drew’s emotional maturity, but now, as I watch over him, I realize that his deep side had been there all along. I had just never bothered to find it.

Right now though, Drew is peaceful. He’s sleeping, and his breathing is equal. The constant sound is reassuring, and I feel hopeful, for the first time since my death.

I have no idea how to save him, but I know that I will. After all, he’s my brother, and I refuse to let my death cause him pain.

While I listen to him breathe, a sound I took for granted while I was alive, the answer dawns on me... it pops straight into my head, and I know that some higher power is giving me the answer.

“Just speak to him in his dreams”... it’s simple, and I wonder why I haven’t thought of it before. It’s the only way I can comfort my friends; to show them that I’m still here for them... It’s the only way to save the people who really matter.

I blink, although it isn’t necessary, and then force myself to concentrate. The next second, I’m in Drew’s mind, and I can no longer hear the sound of him breathing. I freak out slightly, thinking that I’ve messed up somehow and Drew’s dead, but then I look around, and realize I’ve done everything right.

The dream world is empty; just an expanse of white, with a table smack in the centre. Drew’s sitting at the table, his head bowed. His hand looks like it’s trembling, but on closer inspection, I see that he’s writing. It’s different from what I expected Drew to dream about, but it’s a nice surprise.

“I can’t think of the next line”, he swore, and I jumped in surprise. I was expecting it to be silent, because I had become accustomed to silence, even when everyone was talking.

“Drew, relax”, I said softly, so as not to scare him too badly. His head spun round quickly but he didn’t seem surprised.

“Belle, this is a big deal, ok... don’t stand there and tell me to relax. It’s not possible”, he whispered furiously, his eyes flashing with an emotion I couldn’t quite decipher.

It looked like a cross between anger and grief, and it hurt just to look at it, so I lowered my eyes away from him.

“It isn’t a big deal. If it’s causing you this much hassle then it isn’t worth it. Life is too short for you to be concerned with things that are stressful”, I said calmly, my eyes darting back up to his as soon as I finished my sentence.

“Look Belle... it’s not just any story. This is your story, alright”, he screamed, the sound reverberating through my ears, echoing again and again.

“What do you mean; my story?” I asked, my eyebrows furrowing in confusion. This hadn’t been what I had expected, not at all.

“It’s the story of your life Belle. I wasn’t there for enough of it, and I need to write something down. I need something to hold onto Belle, because like it or not, you’ve gone. And I need to have a part of you with me, because when you were here, I was a seriously bad brother, and now all I can remember is how I let you down. So I need this, and the next line has to be perfect”, he admitted, and my eyes welled up with tears.

“Drew, I don’t need a story written about me. I don’t care about stuff like that anymore. I’ve realized that all the material things that concerned me are just trivial, meaningless things, because I can’t take those things with me. I appreciate the effort, but just knowing that you cared Drew... well that’s enough for me”, I whispered, taking a couple of steps closer to Drew.

“What if it’s not enough for me?” he challenged, his eyes narrowing.

“It has to be enough for you”, I whispered, “I died... and it sucked. I know it sucked. I was the one who died. I understand how bad it was Drew, I promise you that. But Drew, you didn’t die. You’re still alive, and if you learnt anything from this, it should be that life is short. It’s too short to worry about making a dead girl happy, so please, it has to be enough... because watching you fall apart... it’s just too hard for me to deal with”.

Drew didn’t say anything, but his eyes lowered to the table.

“I’m sorry; that sounded really selfish”, I said quietly, cursing under my breath.

“It made sense though... I suppose you had to be right sometime”, Drew smiled.

“There’s the Drew I know and love”, I smiled back

“Belle, I can’t guarantee that there’ll be results straight away”, he added, suddenly serious.

“I don’t expect results straight away Drew... just you trying will be enough for me. As you said, one’s suffering will never truly cease”.

“You read that? God, that was a long time ago; I didn’t think anyone actually remembered that long ago”, he chuckled, but I could see his eyes light up with pleasure.

“Of course I read it Drew. It was amazing writing, and I’d never realized how deep you could be before I read that”, I admitted. “So do you think you can lay off Aden and Nicole for a while? In the long run, it’s only hurting you, because you’ll end up alienating the people that can help you”

“Belle, you’ve only been dead for about five months... that’s too soon for him to be dating someone else... he should be grieving, and someone needs to hammer some sense into him alright? You’re his wife for god’s sake!” he yelled, so I quickly backtracked.

“I know it’s too soon. It hurts to see him with Nicole, I’m not going to lie, but I’ve learned from my mistake. I was young, Drew. Our marriage probably wouldn’t have lasted a lifetime, not if he’s able to move on so quickly. Maybe it was better for me to find out this way, instead of him leaving me twenty years down the track. Maybe Nicole is his soul mate, and I wasn’t. I might have just been a stop along the way... all I know is that I shouldn’t have invested that much time in Aden. There were other people in my life, people who cared about me, and I should have remembered them. After all, they were there for me through it all, whereas Aden and I broke up whenever things got tough, and turned to other people for help. For god’s sakes, I found out I was dying and I hid it from him! He found out I had a drug addiction because of all the crappy things that had happened recently, and he dumped me, before sleeping with Nicole. That’s not a strong foundation of a relationship, but we still held on, because it was all we knew”, I screamed, everything finally pouring out.

“Calm down Belle; it’s ok. You don’t need to worry about any of that anymore”, he whispered, his hands outstretched in a calming gesture. “If it makes you feel better, I’ll let go of all the anger I feel towards him. He doesn’t deserve a reaction from me”.

“Thank you”, I whimpered, and closed the distance between Drew and I, before falling into his lap. His arms closed around me, and he slowly rocked me backwards and forwards, whispering words of comfort in my ear.

For one brief second, I wasn’t dead. I wasn’t some spirit hanging around waiting for people to be happy again. I was Belle Taylor, the young, feisty photographer, being comforted by my step-brother. But just for a second.

As quickly as the comfort had started, it finished. I found myself starting to drift away, and I realized that Drew was waking up from his dream, meaning I was being forced out.

“Thank you”, I repeated softly as I faded away. I had entered his dream trying to comfort Drew, but he had ended up comforting me, and I loved him all the more for it.

“No, thank you. I needed to be needed. I needed someone to notice how much it hurt, and you have, so thanks”, he replied, and then the white room faded.

I was standing back in Drew’s bedroom, staring at his bed, watching as he woke up. He looked startled as he opened his eyes, as if he didn’t know where he was.

“Belle?” he asked, his eyes widening in confusion.

“I’m right here... I’ll be here as long as you need me to be”, I whispered, but of course, he didn’t hear me.

“It felt so real... it was like she was actually there”, he choked, before breaking into sobs. His emotional breakdown had arrived, and all I could do was stand and watch.

Unable to do nothing, I flew to his side and wrapped my arms around his body, cradling him the same way he had cradled me less than five minutes previously, and murmured softly in his ear.

Drew carried on crying, and I sat there for hours until he couldn’t cry any longer. “It was so real”, he said one last time, and my heart broke slightly.

He jumped out of my unfelt cradle, and rushed to the bathroom. I straightened up, and grabbed a pen and paper, concentrating with all my might. It would take all of my strength, and I wouldn’t be able to do much for a long time afterwards, but I needed to help him.

Writing a few words on the paper, I gently placed it on his pillow, knowing he would see it as soon as he came back to bed. As soon as the paper was placed, I collapsed to the floor and rested my head against the wall, shutting my eyes to conserve energy.

I heard Drew’s footsteps come back to the room, and the bed creak as he sat down again. I could even hear him pick up the piece of paper, and a single tear hit the paper as he read.

It was real.

“It was real... she noticed”, he repeated over and over. I opened one eye and stared at him as a smile lit up his face. It was a breathtaking smile, and I knew that he would be happy again and soon.

“I love you big brother”

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You've updated!I was getting worried...That was really good, Belle entering Drew's dreams to comfort him with a great idea and then leaving the message telling him it was real.And I loved everything she said, even if calling Drew her brother is slightly worrying despite being understandable...Really looking forward to the rest of this.

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