I'm really sorry that I've taken forever to post this first chapter, but things have been hectic with school/university applications. Also, I'm still iffy about where the plotline of this story is going to go… as usual.
But for now, why don't I just stop rambling and let you guys read the first chapter?
Here you go!
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.
My movements were fast-paced as I hurried out of the freezing New Hampshire winter weather and into the warmth of my favorite hole-in-the-wall café. The faces of college-aged people, either typing away on their laptops as they enjoyed the free Wi-Fi, or reading a book and intermittently sipping on their coffee, immediately greeted me.
More often than not, I belonged to the latter group of people.
As I made my way to the counter, I didn't even bother to look up at the wooden menu board attached above the wall, greeting the cashier who I'd come to know on a first name basis – yes, I visited the place that often.
"Hey Ang," I said, a congenial smile on my face as she beamed back.
"Hey Bella. Are you having the usual?" she smirked a little at the end, as I simply nodded, "You know me too well."
My usual consisted of a Vanilla Latte, plain and simple.
As she ringed up my order, the black and white photographs plastered decoratively on the wall made me start, "Oh, and how's your scrapbook coming along?"
Angela was studying photography at the New Hampshire Institute of Art, while I was a third year sociology major at Dartmouth College – which was terribly ironic considering my total lack of social skills.
"I'm almost finished, actually," she replied, a small, surprised smile etched across her face as she adjusted her plastic-framed glasses. Then, she reached for a cup, scribbling my order out for the nearby barista, who – surprise, surprise – I also knew.
"I only have two more pages to do, and I'm thinking of featuring a rusty park bench, and a lone lamppost," she informed me as I handed her my money, and she placed the bill and change into my open hand.
"I'd really love to see it when it's all finished," I replied honestly, knowing just how much hard work she had put into the piece, and feeling the sides of my lips tug when she beamed, "Of course! You'll be the first to see it after it'd been graded."
Less than two minutes of waiting by the counter earned me my coffee, and I gladly accepted the drink, walking across the room to sit at one of the empty tables in a secluded corner.
Unsurprisingly, I whipped out the book that I was currently devouring, called Gone Girl, waiting for my latte to cool to a lukewarm temperature before taking a sip.
In between flipping pages and grabbing my cup to take another gulp, my eyes wandered around the room, taking note of the many familiar faces I saw. Most were my age, and regulars to the café. Some were new.
Just as I was about to peer back down into my book, the door swung open, making the room get a brief taste of the cold breeze outside and me almost lose hold of my coffee, observing a bronze-haired God walk up to the counter.
Now, I'll tell you right now: either he had never before visited this café in his life, or he was a regular like me but was never present when I was, because I guarantee you, I wouldn't have forgotten that face.
Almost as soon as that thought appeared in my mind, I mentally slapped myself, looking back down into my book. My brief moment of drooling was gone.
I mean, I had a boyfriend, for crying out loud. Would I have appreciated it if a thought like this passed through his mind when he saw a pretty girl?
Well, interestingly, I personally wouldn't mind.
But in theory, I was supposed to feel annoyed were he to ever visibly check out another girl.
As I continued to internally berate myself, my phone buzzed in my pocket, and I pulled it out, setting my book down in front of me.
Wanna catch a movie later? I wouldn't mind a break from all of this work. And of course, the company ;)
Speak of the devil – my boyfriend of four years, Jacob Black.
Where do I even begin? We'd basically grown up together, since our fathers had been the best of friends – still are. It was because of the many play dates we'd been on throughout our childhood that a close friendship had soon blossomed between us.
Initially, I'd only though of Jacob as a good friend - a brother, even. But when our senior year of high school had hit, Jake had suddenly confessed that his feelings for me were more-than-friendly, and rather than really think about my own feelings for him, I'd listened to everyone else's opinion and jumped into a relationship.
The whole irony of the situation was that I'd assumed that our relationship would never move past a high school romance. I know, I know, that's an odd thing to say, but I knew that the whole 'long-distance relationship' thing was complicated, and often times, messy.
So, you could imagine my wholehearted surprise when Jake accepted an offer to pursue engineering at one of the universities here in New Hampshire.
In other words, we wouldn't have to break things off, because we would be living in close proximity.
When he'd initially presented me with the news, I'd been surprised at my lack of excitement, alarmed that the news filled me with more dread than anything. Naturally, I'd pushed all of those negative feeling aside, putting on a mask of total euphoria as he'd given me a bone-crushing hug.
Fast-forward to three years later, and he was currently finishing his last year of college, before he planned to take part in a one-year internship that would hopefully provide him with greater job opportunities.
Can we have a rain check on that? I have a paper that's due tomorrow and I'm only halfway finished :(
It wasn't a complete lie, but it wasn't the truth either. I actually only had a paragraph more to write up before I would be able to print the essay.
This happened quite frequently, though I tried not to think about it: I'd make up excuses to not go out with him, and then feel guilty that I was clearly avoiding him and neglecting this relationship.
I was terrified to bring up the idea of breaking up. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't scared of his reaction, per se, but I was upset that I would technically be flushing four years of my life down the toilet.
Four years of Jake being nothing but kind and understanding of my needs, and me being completely submissive of his.
A deep frown etched across my face, and I had to force myself to shake it off. I finished up my coffee, saying a quick goodbye to Angela, and purposely avoiding the sight of the male model sitting at a table right near the door.
Once I made it outside, I mentally cheered and patted myself on the back for staying so strong, hugging my black tweed coat closer to myself as I crossed the road, following the nearby students to campus.
"What are you doing later?" Rosalie asked, scrolling through her phone as she finished the last of her lunch.
My faithful roommate of two years looked over at me briefly as I shrugged, "I have a paper to finish for class, but it shouldn't take too long. Why?"
Again, the shame hammered down on me, thinking back to turning down Jake's offer to hangout. Rather than continue to sulk about it, I simply resolved to make it up to him over the weekend. Maybe we'd go see a movie, or go out for dinner.
Both ideas seemed wholly unappealing to me, and again, for the wrong reasons. I would've loved to go see a movie, or have dinner, but not with Jacob. There was always an awkward tension whenever we hung out these days. I mean, things had always been slightly uncomfortable for me, but now, I was sure that it wasn't one-sided.
"Me and Alice were thinking of heading to the mall to do some shopping. I'm in desperate need of some new boots," her eyes widened as I assumed she thought back to her pair of leather boots that she'd had since beginning Dartmouth. After many trips through the rain, and muddy parks, and rocky roads, her shoes now looked quite battered.
And worn-out shoes were a no-no for Rosalie Hale, who was studying film and media along with Alice Brandon.
Alice, who was my roommate back when I'd been living in residents, always looked primped for a photo shoot. When second year had come rolling around, Alice had decided to move in with her boyfriend, Jasper Whitlock, at his apartment. He was a couple of years older than the group of us, having finished his undergrad degree already, and now back to undertake a degree in medicine.
I'd been wary of her decision to jump right into living with a guy she'd known for less than a year, but then again, I wasn't really an expert on good, healthy relationships. And Alice was kind of crazy that way, but Jasper balanced her out, so I guess that's why they're both still overwhelmingly in love with each other.
Jake, of course, had asked me to go apartment hunting with him around that time, but – of course – I'd declined his offer, blaming my decision on my father, who would probably blow a fuse if he realized that we were living together.
I mean, it was part of the reason. The other part was that I was not ready for what "living together" implied. It meant that we were serious about each other. And I didn't feel like we were. I still felt like we were in that rough dating period, and had never quite found our way out.
So, Rosalie and I decided to search for an apartment together, finding a cozy two-bedroom place that was a ten-minute walk from the university. It was perfect.
We decorated the entire place together, adding our own personal touch to everything, and I really felt homey whenever I walked into that place. I guess we'd succeeded in that aspect.
Floating back to reality, I remembered Rosalie's proposition, and I made a squeaking sound at the back of my throat, before managing out, "Um, I think I'll pass."
It wasn't that I didn't enjoy shopping, but I preferred moving to my own rhythm. With the two of them, I'd often get shuttled to store after store and buy clothes that I would probably only wear once, for a special occasion.
"Suit yourself," Rosalie pursed her lips as if I was missing out on some great escapade.
"Oh, and I meant to tell you, Alice finally got a new phone number," Rosalie began, pulling out her phone and probably scrolling through her contact list.
I'd almost forgotten about Alice's experience at someone's house party. She'd gotten so drunk that she hadn't noticed someone grab her purse off the couch. Jasper had been there with her, so she still had a means to get home and everything, but it was still an awful experience.
An experience that I'd completely missed out on because I was too busy watching 'Sherlock' on Netflix.
I slipped my phone out of my jean pocket, waiting as she began to call out the numbers, "678-999-023 – "
She broke off with a giggle, seeming to have suddenly received a text that was obviously very amusing.
Waiting for her to finish replying to whoever it was, I gently prodded, "And?"
Her cool gray eyes met mine in bewilderment, "And what?"
"You didn't give me the last digit."
Her eyebrows scrunched together, "Yes, I did. Three, wasn't it?"
I knew that she was probably confused so I clarified, "So, the last four digits are 0233?"
"Yeah, that's what I said, 0233." She went back to her phone, once again smiling at her text messages, as I shook my head.
I saved the number, just in case she had really given me the last digit, and I'd inadvertently missed it.
A/N: So, this was short. Nothing crazy, really. Just introductions.
But I'm really curious to see what you guys think of the Bella/Jacob relationship. I'm laughing because I told myself I'd never make them a couple, even if Bella's eventually going to wind up with Edward.
I think I'll do an Edward's point of view for the next chapter. And just to exaggerate the point, this is a Bella/Edward story, NOT Bella/Jacob.
I'm eager to read the reviews… kind of nervous as well…
Thank you for reading!