|You're Not Alone
Author: The Romantically Inept PM
A lonely teenage girl. A beautiful runaway. Two people with nothing in common except the one thing they never knew they needed: each other. Edward/Bella. Anonymous reviews and CONSTRUCTIVE criticism welcome please. no slashing.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Chapters: 26 - Words: 71,511 - Reviews: 616 - Favs: 313 - Follows: 328 - Updated: 02-02-09 - Published: 10-05-08 - id: 4578547
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: I own nothing. Stephenie Meyer is my homegurl fo life mothas!
Wise Words from a Stranger
Chapter song: Gravity by Coldplay
It's so big. It's so big and white.
I squinted up through the drizzle at the pearl gray clouds. The dark, bare branches of the trees stood in stark contrast around the edges of my vision. I'd been standing like this for over ten minutes, and my feet were getting cold.
Why is it so much bigger than me? Why does it make me feel so small?
I brushed a few wet strands of hair away from my face and continued to squint up at the sky. I was having an off day.
First, there'd been this morning. I grimaced against the rain as I recalled my father's words.
" So…Um, uh…I've got some news."
I swallow my cereal and stare expectantly at Charlie. He avoids my gaze, and says nothing.
" What news, dad?" I try to keep my voice polite.
" I'm…well, I got another out of town call again." He mumbles, playing with the cuff of his shirt. I try to keep from rolling my eyes.
" What happened?" I say in my characteristically lifeless tone. I watch Charlie recoil slightly at the sound. He knows I'm not happy.
" Well, they got a call in about a series of murders down in Portland and requested that I come down to investigate. I guess they found some links between these ones and the ones we had a while back," He looks up at me, stares for a moment, and huffs in frustration. " They want the chief of police to-"
" It's fine. I understand." I look back at the bowl of cereal in front of me, suddenly disgusted with it.
" Look, Bells, it's no like I want to go but-"
" I know. It's okay." I nod slowly, my voice calm and toneless. I stand and walk over to the sink, washing out the bowl. I turn back to stare at a flustered and guilty Charlie. I'm not mad at him, not even upset, really. I'm just…over it.
" I'm not sure how long I'll be gone. Maybe a week. Will you be okay here by yourself?"
I resist the urge to roll my eyes. " Yeah. I'll be fine." I mean what I say.
He stares at me with a furrowed brow for a moment, and nods. I take this as my cue to leave, and grab my backpack. I turn to the door, muttering a habitual " Love you."
I don't here any answer.
I sighed roughly, rubbing my eyes of moisture. I loved my dad a lot, and that's why it hurt me so much to know he could never be there for me the way I needed. I knew he never meant to hurt me, no one ever has. Charlie had a job to do, and I knew that. Regardless, I was left alone again.
With that bitter realization in mind, I'd headed to school, already defeated. The rest of the day had proved to be as disappointing as expected.
I walk into class three minutes late for the third time this week. Mr. Banner shoots daggers at me as I take my routine seat at the back of class. After Mr. Banner has had his fill of glaring at me, he assumes his position at the front of class. The moment he opens his mouth, I tune out. I need the break right now.
The rest of school is a blur of crowds and papers. I have two new assignments in English, but they're writing assignments, so I'm fine. Calculus is harder than ever, but I aced my last test, so I take some confidence in that. French is still foreign.
I walk to lunch with a better disposition, relieved that I'll finally have someone to talk to. But one look around the cafeteria, and my heart sinks. Alice isn't here. I give another frantic search through the faces, and my heart sinks more. Rose is gone too.
Then I remember.
Rose and Alice are gone for the next two weeks on the D.C. trip all the seniors are taking. I didn't have the money to take the trip, and refused to let them pay for it.
With another brutal blow of reality, I stumbled out to the parking lot. I climb in my car and wait for lunch to be over. At least a week all by myself.
I don't remember the rest of school. I wasn't really there. The last thing I remember is driving up to the forest and climbing out of my car to stand on the cliff face, staring up at the sky.
I took a step towards the edge of the overhang and sat down. Below me, the whole town of forks. Above me, the empty sky. I sighed, and nodded to myself. I would be okay.
" Why does everything have to be this way?" I wondered aloud, crossing my legs and folding my hands under my chin as I stare out across the valley between the rocky mountains. " Why do I feel so…heavy?"
I tilt my head in my hands, looking to the tips of the mountains across from me, addressing them with my questions.
" Why do I feel like I'm being pressed in all around me? Like the walls are closing in on me?"
I sighed again, closing my eyes and lying back on the damp earth. The smell of rain and grass and mud filled my nose, and I exhaled slowly.
" It's too much. I don't think it's something one person can handle alone," I frowned to myself "But I am alone."
I scrunched up my nose, sitting up suddenly. " And look what it's done to me! I'm talking to myself!"
I leaned back, my palms pressed to the dirt. The rain had stopped, but it was still much too cold.
" Aw, hell. I already knew I was crazy. Everybody is. Some are just better at hiding it."
I paused from my lonely little rant for a moment, and smiled slightly.
" I wish I was a bird. I could fly above the entire city right now, just hop off this cliff and glide. Then maybe I just might be able to escape this pull gravity has one me."
"What's stopping you?" A velvet voice responded.
I gasped and snapped my head around, jumping up in shock. I stumbled slightly, my hand to my chest. The boy walking from behind the tree just chuckled, sauntering towards me. His green eyes shown with amusement. I gaped, and he took advantage of my momentary shock.
"What's stopping you?" he asked again, "Gravity?" He smiled, making me swallow hard. I stuttered for a moment before finding the right words I'd been looking for.
" How long have you been listening?" I mumbled, my face burning. I was mostly embarrassed, but another part of me screamed that I was alone up in the mountains a good five miles away from any other people with a complete stranger.
He chuckled, and for some reason the sound broke threw my frightened and embarrassed haze, letting me take a good look at the boy a few feet in front of me.
He was tall, maybe 6'1", 6'2". His body was leaned but fairly muscled from the way his black long-sleeved shirt strained a bit over his chest and stomach under a gray jacket. His face was striking, with symmetrically proportional features framed by a surprising crop of disheveled bronze hair.
But it was his eyes that held me to my spot. They were a brilliant shade of emerald green, framed by thick lashes. They were almost hypnotizing in the way they looked directly into mine, keeping me from running like the logical part of my brain was screaming for me to do. The boy smirked again.
" Long enough." He replied, grinning broadly. " You still haven't answered my question."
This was the part were I was supposed to run back to my car and drive back to the safety of town and lock myself up in my house and do my homework and go one like nothing ever happened. The rational part of me kept repeating this over and over again. But for whatever reason, I did not move.
" Yes, gravity." I sighed. He shook his head briefly before taking the few remaining steps between us to come and stand by my side. I wanted to step away from his advanced, but he moved with such grace, and I was further mesmerized. I stared up at his shockingly beautiful face as he stared out across the mountains.
" Physically, gravity is inescapable. But just because natural law says you're feet must stay on the ground, doesn't mean you can't fight for freedom from the other things that tie you down. Gravity will always pull on you, but you ultimately decide whether or not to put up a fight."
" It's a lot more complicated than that." I muttered, folding my arms across my chest. I was still fully aware of the fact that I was standing on a Cliffside with a some lovely, random boy I'd never met before, but for some reason I felt more relaxed at that moment than I had all day. Maybe because I knew nothing about him and he nothing about me, which, oddly enough, made our exchange feel safer. He couldn't judge me if he didn't know me.
" What's so complicated about it? You either let life weigh you down, or you climb above it."
" Easy for you to say. You don't know what I'm going through, bud."
He had the audacity to smirk. " Maybe not. Care to enlighten me?"
I studied his face for a moment, looking for something to contradict his request. But he stared back at me earnestly, and after a moment, I sighed.
" You wouldn't understand."
He rose a dubious brow at me. " Try me."
I rolled my eyes, but sat down on the ground again, patting the space next to me for him to join. He took the hint.
" What do you want to know, exactly?" I asked, staring at the surrounding peaks. The mystery boy thought for a moment before speaking.
" Why are you out here on the cliff side all by yourself in the rain?"
I looked down at my hands folded in my lap. " It's not raining anymore."
I looked to the side through my lashes to see the mystery boy staring expectantly at me. I groaned and looked ahead of me again.
" I had a bad day and didn't really feel like going home, so I came here." I nodded my chin forward to indicate around me.
" Why did you have a bad day?" He asked, and I couldn't help but note the genuine tone of his voice.
" Lot's of things; bad morning that led to a bad afternoon. I imagine that when I do get home tonight, the pattern will continue." I grumbled, trying not to sound too pessimistic. I wasn't a naturally depressed person, but things had been building up one on top of the other and I could no longer keep my burdens to myself. I felt so weak.
" I don't suppose what waits for you at home had anything to do with you're morning, did it?"
I turned to him in astonishment. " How did you know that?"
He stared back in surprise before grinning again. " I didn't."
I laughed once, a half-humored, half-astounded sound. Mystery boy cocked his head questioningly, and I figured now that I'd started I might as well continue.
" Not really what waits for me, but who waits for me," I sighed, " Correction, who won't be waiting for me."
" Who?" He asked, leaning towards me the tiniest bit. The movement was slight, but the sudden proximity between us made my skin prick with the urge to lean into his side and let him support my weary frame. The sensation was surprising and slightly frightening. I stumbled a moment before answering.
" My dad."
Understanding flashed in his sparkling eyes, and he nodded in accord. " Oh. I see."
I nodded deftly, turning my suddenly heated face away from mystery boy. A silence dragged between us, and I found myself wishing he would speak again. I didn't have to wish for long.
" What about your mother?" He asked softly. I smiled solemnly, warmed by the empathetic tone of his voice.
" Her and my dad got divorced when I was just a baby. She lives down in Arizona with her husband, Phil."
" And now you live with your father?" He asked.
" Yep. Just me and Charlie." I muttered a bit bitterly.
" But you don't like him." He stated rather than asked. I let my tight expression relax, and exhaled.
" No. I love him very much. That's why it hurts so much when he leaves me alone all the time."
" Where does he go?"
" He's chief of police and head of criminal investigation. He basically runs the police station and gets lots of out of town calls. Since it's just me and him, and my job at the hard wear store hardly pays, not that he would ever let me use my own money that way, he has to work full time to support our half of the family. It's not his fault; he's just doing what he has to. It's still sucks, though."
" And what about you're mother? Doesn't she help with any of it?"
I laughed darkly again. " She's in the same boat. Phil's a minor league baseball player who travels around on like two cents. Neither of them have money or the time to help."
" That hardly seems fair." Gorgeous mystery boy replied. I smirk grimly.
" Hasn't anyone ever told you? Life isn't fair."
He chuckled, but broke off in a rather serious tone. " No, no one ever told me. I figured that one out on my own."
I looked at him, noticing the tightening in his eyes and the way his brow furrowed as he scanned the bleak horizon. This stranger, this completely random person I had never seen in my whole life, seemed to know exactly what I was talking about. I could see it in his eyes, the way he listened so intently to my pathetic complaining. I knew he understood exactly what I was feeling. I could see the way gravity pressed down on him with just the same force as he pressed on me. But I could also see a fire in him. He meant to fight it, whereas I just sat here, whimpering like a little baby.
" So that's all." I muttered lamely, not sure what to say. I didn't want to continue whining about my dull life and make him think me even weaker than I was. But to my surprise, he spoke with a sudden vengeance.
" No, that's not all. We both know there's more to it that what you're saying."
My jaw dropped in shock, both by his sudden outburst and the truth of it. Of course it was more than that, but I didn't expect him to know that, much less care to know. Yet the fiery look in his eye told me intended to hear all of it. And so, with a little hesitance, I told him.
I told him about my broken family, about my poor social life, about my overwhelming schoolwork that was my only chance of getting into college due to my lack of money. I told him about Alice and Rose, the only two people who'd been there for me since the three of us had first become friends in elementary school, who had left yesterday for the next two weeks, states away. I told him about Jasper and Emmett, Alice and Rose's boyfriends. They were great guys, but ever since the four of them had started dating, I'd felt like the odd man out. It wasn't an uncommon feeling for me. I'd always been different from everyone else, an outsider. I told him about that.
I surprised myself. I'd never been one to speak so openly before, much less about myself. I was by nature a shy and reserved person, very comfort and safety oriented. It was something I'd come to dislike about myself.
So it was rather shocking that I sat up here in the forest with mystery boy who'd appeared out of nowhere, discussing my life story. Even more surprising was the way he listened with such attention, asking the occasional question to keep me going. For the first time in a very long time, it felt like someone was actually listening.
It was getting dark by the time mystery boy stood up, brushing himself off and offering me his hand. I stared at it for a moment before taking it tentatively in mine. His skin was luxuriously smooth.
" It's getting late." I said before he could speak. I guessed that Charlie had already left by now, so there was really no point in worrying about getting home at a questionable hour. But as strangely…nice as my pouring out my heart to mystery boy had been, we would eventually have to leave our little alternate reality and go back to our lives. I would continue to live in a world that didn't seem designed for me, and he would do whatever it was he was doing before he stumbled form behind that tree to offer me his exceptional listening skills.
" Yeah, I suppose you'll have to be getting back home now." Oddly, he sounded slightly disappointed. The tone struck something inside of me, and I let my hand liger in his out of a sudden need for security.
" It's not really home. It's just an empty house." I amended bitterly, looking down at the dirt under my feet. A finger tucked under my chin, lifting so that I was looking up into his magnificent green eyes that managed to sparkle in the dim light of the gray sky. I would never forget those eyes if I lived forever.
" Don't look so sad, little girl. Its hurts me to see you with such a defeated look in your eyes."
" But I am defeated. I don't know how or what to fight for anymore. Up until today, I just brushed everything off like it was no big deal."
" But it is a big deal. To feel like you have nowhere to really call home is a very big deal."
As he spoke the words, I saw in his eyes that he was speaking from experience. The sudden realization compelled the words from my mouth.
" Where will you go when I leave here? Do you have a place to call home?"
His face froze, and his hand dropped form under my chin. He took a sudden step back staring out to the silhouette of the mountains against the gray sky.
" It doesn't matter. I can go wherever I want to go. I will find somewhere to stay."
I stood there, motionless as stone. My jaw hung open, my eyes wide. Was mystery boy meaning to tell that he had no place to go? That he was homeless in the literal sense?
" Who are you? Where did you come from?" I barely whispered. But he must have heard, because he answered.
" Does it matter? It's not like we're ever going to see each other again anyways." He snapped quickly, but I could here the pain in his voice.
His words hit something in me, and I took a deliberate step towards him, grabbing his hand and yanking him towards my truck a few feet away. He was too shocked to protest as I slammed him up against the side of the car. I opened the passenger door with one hand, keeping the other firmly pressed to his chest. He said nothing, but continued to stare wide eyes at me.
" What are you doing?" He finally whispered as I let my hand drop, standing my ground in front of him.
" Get in." I demanded, pointing into the car. His eyes widened further.
" What?" He stuttered.
" I'm not leaving you here all by yourself," I paused as a few water droplets hit my cheeks, " In the rain."
He stared at me incredulously for a minute before muttering, " And where exactly do you plan to take me?"
" My house."
" You would take a complete stranger back to your empty house while the chief of police is out of town?" He teased, but I could see something else burning in his eyes. I rolled my eyes.
" I think we both know were no longer strangers."
" But you don't even know my name, nor do I know yours, little girl."
I couldn't help but smile. " My name is Isabella Marie Swan, but you can call me Bella..." I trailed off, staring at him expectantly. He grinned despite himself.
" Edward Anthony Cullen, and you may never call me Eddie."
I snorted, extending my hand for him. Edward took it, shaking it firmly.
" Lovely to meet you, Edward. Now get in the damn car."
A/N: What do you think? This is my first fanfic, and i want to know if i should continue or not. Let me know what you think!