Author: katmom PM
Nicknames, food fights, clumsiness and a crush. Could falling really bring a couple together? We'll see. O/SRated: Fiction T - English - Humor/Romance - Bella & Edward - Words: 3,999 - Reviews: 56 - Favs: 72 - Follows: 18 - Published: 06-04-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6024253
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Moving to a new school in the middle of my junior year of high school wasn't on my "to do" list. And yet…it had happened.
My move to Forks really was for the best, well, the best for my mom and her new husband. And it really was great to spend time with my dad. He's a quiet guy, but I know he loves me. During our summer trip to California, knowing Mom was getting married at some point, I had asked him if I could move in with him for my last two years of high school. His moustache twitched like crazy before he nodded his head emphatically.
Of course, I had thought that she'd get married to Phil quickly, like in the summer before school started. But no, she had to wait until the moons or something were in the right alignment, which meant she got married right after Christmas, causing me to start school in the middle of the year.
Knowing that Charlie had been counting the days until I arrived, it didn't seem like I could wait until the summer of my senior year to move north. So, I bit the bullet and moved in January.
To welcome me home, Dad had bought a very safe, very slow truck from his best friend. I loved that truck the minute I laid eyes on it. It was massive and broken in. Which is to say it was old, but it had character. Rather like your favorite uncle, the one that always had sweets in his pocket when he came to visit, and he'd let you have one before dinner. Not that I had any uncles, but I could imagine that a favorite uncle would do that. Even a favorite aunt would probably let you get away with almost anything.
Imagining is what I do best. Imaging that I'm already out of school and away, enjoying higher education. Imagining that I'm working at my chosen career, not that I know what that will be either, hence the imagining.
Wait, I'm off track. New school, middle of the school year, center of attention.
Yeah, not my thing.
At least the interest in me was finally dying down. I was finally boring the student body to death. I kept to myself, did my homework and didn't attend wild parties.
Who would have thought that Forks would even have wild parties? But since my dad is the Police Chief, he kept me apprised of the kids that got in trouble at said parties. Told me to steer clear of them. That made me laugh, why would they even want to hang out with the daughter of the head cop?
I did find a couple of good friends. Angela Webber was a real sweet girl. She was into her studies and taking care of her little brothers. She was kind and easy to be around. Her boyfriend, Ben, was a great guy. We spent a lot of time watching the drama that is high school and would sometimes catch each others' eyes and roll our own.
The round robin of who was with whom, who was no longer together and who wanted to be with whom. The players changed weekly, sometimes more than once.
Not my idea of a good time.
No, I got my jollies by watching one particular student. But only on the sly. He was gorgeous with his auburn hair and dark green eyes. He was also smart and wasn't afraid to show it. Amidst all the jockeying for position, for status and for popularity, he stood out.
Because he didn't seem to care about any of that.
Just like Angela, he was routinely nice to everyone. From the lowliest freshman to the most popular senior jock, he had a smile and a good word for them all. Girls jockeyed to go through doors at the same time as him because he always held it for them. Chivalry was not dead when Edward Cullen was around.
The first time he smiled at me, during my first day at school, changed something inside of me.
It took my breath away and then I crashed into an open locker and bumped my nose, hard. Thankfully he had already moved past me and didn't see it happen. Angela, whose locker it was, did and she led me to the office and helped me get a bag of ice to go on the bump. What a great start to my Forks High tenure.
In the three weeks since that day, Edward Cullen always smiles when he sees me. I have not crashed into another locker since then, but I have tripped four people, knocked two people in their heads with my backpack, caused five people to drop their books…and crashed face first into the back of the principal which caused him to spill his coffee onto the floor in the middle of the hallway.
This, in turn, gave me my school nickname…because, you know, everyone gets one of those here at Forks High. This was new to me, as it wasn't the custom at my school in Phoenix. Who knew what we were missing? I found it odd that the nickname had to begin with the letter of either the person's first or last name. Here's a small sampling:
Lusty Lauren…she actually gave herself that name and listed seven guys who would attest that it was true. Yes, she told me that at lunch my second day there.
Jiggles Jessica…because her, um, attributes, um, jiggled. Her boyfriend, Merger Mike (he told me he was going to go into business, just like his dad), was quite proud of that fact. Again, I was informed of the name during lunch hour. Jessica actually giggled when everyone agreed that it was a good nickname. Ewww.
Yappy Yorkie…to begin with I found that one just cruel. But apparently the guy wouldn't or couldn't shut up and his voice was on the high side. It was a point of honor for him to live up to his nickname. After sitting next to him at lunch one time, I made a mental note to never do that again. I needed at least three people between him and me to muffle the sound.
Angela's was appropriate, if not very inventive, Angel Angela. She rolled her eyes when she told me. But Ben (Brevity Ben because he was a man of few words) said that it suited her to a T, and then he kissed her, which was actually quite sweet.
One nickname that didn't follow the "rules" was Emmett McCarty. He played football and he was seriously massive. They called him The Rock, even though Dwayne Johnson had trademarked it or something. I never sat at his table for lunch. He always sat with a group of jocks and his gorgeous girlfriend, Rosalie Hale.
She was one of a very short list that didn't have a nickname. That's because she was scary. Beautiful, snarky, smart as a whip. I had seen her bring members of the football team to tears with her sarcastic wit. Emmett was the only one that could get away with calling her Rosie.
I think everyone else called her ma'am.
Another one without a nickname was Edward Cullen. I would have called him Cutie Cullen, well, not to his face, but certainly in my mind!
Which brings me back to my nickname. Mike was thrilled when he bestowed it on me, again at lunch. Did everything bad happen at lunchtime?
"Bella, we thought about calling you, Injury Isabella, but the flow wasn't great." He had the attention of at least three tables of students, much to my chagrin. "We've taken a poll and decided that with your track record of inflicting pain, we are going to call you…Beware-a-Bella."
Yappy Yorkie spoke up, "Get it? Is-a-Bella…Beware-a-Bella."
Right, like I hadn't heard it correctly the first time. The only redeeming point about this announcement was the fact that Edward (Cutie) Cullen wasn't in the cafeteria to hear it. He did some kind of tutoring during the first part of lunch (like he wasn't perfect enough) and only slid in for the last fifteen minutes of the hour.
Most of the other students would eat and then dash outside to toss a football around, or steal a smoke behind the gym, or suck face in the relative privacy of the covered portion of the courtyard. A lot of the girls would rush to a bathroom to "fix their face."
This was why I always ate very slowly, usually while reading a book. I was more often than not the last person to leave, except for one student.
I'm sure you can guess who that one student is.
I could watch him grab some food from the lunch line, get two milks and sit while he read a book too. It's not like he had to eat alone, any table in there would have loved to let him sit with them. I asked Ben and Angela about that. They explained that he had always had this habit, that it had started in grade school and it was routine by now.
Another point in his favor, he liked to read.
So far I had seen him with a murder mystery, sci-fi books, technical journals, Sports Illustrated (not the swimsuit edition), and a Sudoku puzzle book.
I had it timed to a science by now. I could finish my lunch and carry my stuff to the tray return area while keeping my eyes on him to enjoy the view. I'd turn and make my way out of the room just in time to get to my next class before the last bell rang. We were always the last two in the room. He never looked up, always so enthralled with either reading or doing his puzzles.
Sometimes I fantasized about walking to the tray return at the same time he did. But then I'd get flustered and couldn't do it.
We did share one class, English, at the end of the day. He always sat front row, left aisle, because of his last name. Being S for Swan, I sat back row, right side. At least I could look at his profile. And I did, often, wondering what it would be like to caress his jaw and run my hands through his hair.
English was my favorite class.
I had now been at Forks High for five weeks. Everything I heard about Edward underscored the fact that he was a really nice guy. From the gossip, it appeared that all of the girls thought he was gorgeous, and several of them had made plays for him. But he had been kind in his refusals. He had attended dances, but always as either the photographer, or the sound guy or cleanup crew.
But never with a girl.
I waited to hear rumors of his sexual orientation, but there were none. He ran track for the Junior Varsity and was the co-coach.
Everyone loved him.
Edward Cullen certainly was a mystery. I kept wishing that I could be brave enough to actually talk to him, see what made him tick. I was afraid, and I didn't even know what I was afraid of. So I continued to live for my daily smile or two, and watched him from afar.
My lunchtime routine continued for another two weeks. I had been at the school for just over five weeks now and felt like I was firmly ensconced into the background. No one was staring at the new girl anymore and that was fine. I did get smiles in the hallways and could sit at a couple of different tables for lunch, but I always made sure to sit where I could watch Edward.
One day the sun actually broke through the clouds and shone in through the cafeteria windows, shining down on Edward as he sat reading a science magazine. His auburn hair was backlit, highlighting him with reds and golds and something inside of me broke open.
I had to get to know this guy, find out what kept drawing me to him. Was it just his looks? Was it just his brains? Was it his comfortable attitude? Was it some wild combination of all of that? I didn't know, but I decided then and there that I was going to step out of my comfort zone.
Laying in bed that night I came up with a plan. I wasn't going to just smile anymore. I was, gasp, going to say Hi. Out loud.
Loud enough for him to actually hear.
When to do it was the question. I heard people saying "Hi, Edward" all day long as they passed him in the hallways. I could do that too. But then would I just be one of the crowd? Did I want to just be one of the crowd?
No, I didn't want that.
I wanted to stand out to him. I wanted to make him notice me. But I didn't want everyone else to see me say hi and then be rejected, if that's what was going to happen.
Even if he did it kindly.
Which meant that I had to say hello when we were relatively alone.
Which meant when we were the only two left in the lunchroom.
Now I had a plan.
It took me a couple more days to build up my courage. What a dork! All I was going to do was say, "Hi." I wasn't going to ask him to marry me or give me babies or run for Prom King with me as his Queen.
No, all I was going to do was say Hi.
I could do this.
I dressed carefully. I had gotten a couple of compliments when I wore my dark blue blouse. It had a vee neck that didn't really show too much, but didn't hide everything either. I paired it with my best jeans and a pair of black ballet flats. I usually wore Converse, but decided to dress up just a little. That made me laugh at myself; ballet flats were dressing up for me. Shaking my head, I smirked at myself in the mirror. Like anyone would notice anyway.
The day dragged on until it was finally lunchtime. Fridays' meals were always some kind of mystery meat, with mashed potatoes and gravy, a soft roll and a soggy green salad with generic oily dressing on it.
Teenagers don't eat soggy salads.
I picked at my roll while I waited for Edward to make his rushed appearance. I was going to do this. Two simple letters: h and i. Together they spell Hi, not even hello, which seemed like one syllable too many for my frazzled nerves.
The Rock and his tablemates were joking about something and one of them threw some salad, soon the stuff was flying everywhere. It only stopped when Rosalie threatened them with castration if any of them got even one shred of lettuce on her. She pinned them with her eagle eye and they stopped.
I didn't know it then, but the damage was done and my doom was set in motion.
Many of the students were leaving the cafeteria when the doors opened and Edward finally entered. He joked with a couple of them and then went through the lunch line. The ladies had a good word for him and he smiled back, chatting with them. I saw that they gave him an extra roll.
Sitting with his back to the windows, he opened a book, The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins, and started reading. I gasped when I realized that I was reading the second book in the series, Catching Fire, right now. Maybe, if my hi worked, I could add something about the books, see what he thought of them.
Wait, don't get ahead of myself. The hi is probably going to kill me.
With one eye on the clock, I counted down the minutes until we both would stand and head toward the tray return together. I'd casually step up beside him and say hi.
When I saw him close his book and stand up, so did I, tucking mine under my arm so that I could hold the tray in both hands. It was like we had choreographed our movements. I was walking toward him holding my tray. He deposited his tray into the return and spun around, in a hurry to get to class. He caught sight of me and his lips rose in that cute crooked grin. Taking a deep breath I smiled back, prepared to say that one little word.
That's when I stepped onto a clump of soggy, deadly salad.
My feet, in those cute little ballet flats, slipped right out from under me and my behind, in my good jeans, hit the floor as my tray flew up into the air before depositing the uneaten mystery meat, mashed potatoes and my soggy salad in a splat next to me. The book came loose in the turmoil, landing…somewhere.
At least the sludge didn't actually land on me.
One small saving grace in what was otherwise a disaster of epic proportions.
My eyes closed for several seconds. I hoped that he would just walk on and ignore the girl in blue at his feet, her butt firmly planted in salad.
Hearing a soft chuckle I finally opened my eyes to find shining green eyes level with my own. Edward had dropped to the floor beside me, his own knees firmly entrenched in the squelchy mess.
"Wow, Bella, no girl has ever actually fallen for me before." His voice conveyed gentle amusement. He wasn't actually laughing at me either. "Are you okay?"
His hand rested on my knee as he looked me over and the heat where he touched me quickly flared up and through my body, exploding into what I knew had to be a spectacular blush across my cheeks.
"I'm fine, but do you think that just once, the floor could open and I could sink into the abyss somewhere?"
Shaking his head, Edward picked up my tray in one hand and offered me his other one. "Nope, you aren't going anywhere. I see that you have the sequel to my book and I want to talk to you about the story."
Slipping my hand into his, he helped me to my feet. I hated to think about what my backside must look like and grimaced as I tried to look at the damage.
I began trying to wipe it off.
"Here, let me see…" Edward spun me around and I could practically feel his eyes as they surveyed the damage.
Edward Cullen was checking out my ass.
"Well, it might be uncomfortable to sit through the rest of the day with, um, that much, um, mess back there." He stuttered just a bit and I glanced over my shoulder at him. His cheekbones were a light shade of pink.
I closed my eyes and seriously shuddered. This was not how I had visualized this encounter. I felt tears beginning to gather.
"Hey, Bella, as long as you aren't hurt, it's okay. Your jeans will wash." I was surprised to feel a finger under my chin and opened my eyes to see his face close to mine. "Don't cry. Tell you what, why don't we ditch the rest of the day, I'll take you home and you can change."
My eyes widened in shock…and awe. "You'd do that?"
The blush deepened on his face. "Well, I had actually been trying to find the courage to talk to you."
Now my blush deepened. Good grief, Tequila Sunrise anyone? But wait…he had been trying to work up the nerve to talk to me…me?
Staring at him, without commenting, made him shuffle his feet a little. "But that's okay, if you don't want to. You could, um, just wear the jeans all day, and uh, wash them later."
"No! Thank you, I'd love to not be seen by the student body this way." My words caused a huge smile to cross his face. He glanced down and picked up my book, which had landed safely away from the vegetable carnage.
Handing it to me, he asked, "So, Team Gale or Peeta?"
Laughing, I let him lead me from the cafeteria, to our lockers and out to his car, his hand firmly holding my own. After another perusal of the mess on the seat of my jeans, he agreed to follow me home, so that I could drive my truck and not put my butt print on his lovely leather seats. Although he did say that having the print there would be a reminder of watching me fall for him.
I rolled my eyes and pulled out of the parking lot, watching him follow in my rear view mirror. A huge smile was on his face.
This could have been the worst day ever, but it was shaping up to be the start of something wonderful. Who knew my clumsiness would be the breakthrough to friendship, and maybe, just maybe, something more.
A/N…this is based on something that actually happened to me in Junior High. I did fall at this guy's feet…I had been "lunch time stalking" him…and he did say that. We went on to become a couple for several months.
I finished writing a piece for the Nashville Flood Relief Fund. It clocks in at over 15k.
Title: Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
AU set in the New Moon time frame.
Edward has his reasons for leaving after the birthday incident. He expects the family to start packing, but Alice stands up to him and says: NO.
Edward really shouldn't have left. They would have worked things out. Could it still happen?
But Victoria is still prowling about and she's really mad.
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We won't publish them until July 21. So, make your donation and get them early.
Also, like this a/n wasn't long enough, I've put myself on the AUCTION block for the FANDOM GIVES BACK AUCTION. I'm offering an outtake from any story that I've written. You give me the prompt, and if you win me, I'll write it for you. Again, take the spaces out to check out what the auction is about and for:
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I am working on the LAST Epilogue for GUARDING EDWARD. My hubby, who really does think he is funny, asked if I was going to start adding addendums when I was done with epilogues. Yes, I rolled my eyes at him. I'll be working on the DRAGON STONES update too.
Thanks, so much, for reading and if you feel like it, how about review? You could tell me your most embarrassing moment from junior high or high school.