Eve was used to being completely invisible.
Not just to strangers but to her own friends, the teachers in her classes and even her family - or what was left of them - barely seemed to notice she was alive. In a way however, she enjoyed it. There was something nice about it. It's when no one is watching that she could be herself, no need to put up a front, to lie or force herself to connect with anyone. It gave her the advantage to take everything and everyone in.
By everyone, she had one specific group in mind.
Since her freshman year in Forks High School she noticed them. The Cullens. Their unnatural beauty, the strange air around each and every one of them whenever they walked into a room, most of all the golden eyes that they all seemed to have followed by the way the color changed during certain days. It wasn't hard to miss but by the looks of it, no one else talked about that particular trait.
At first it set her off, all the attention they received from the other students and the way they all kept to themselves to the point of making the farthest table in the cafeteria their usual spot.
It rubbed Eve the wrong way, at least that's what she told herself whenever she'd see one of the teenagers pass by. It was from that moment on that the girl started noticing something...strange, which eventually led to a growing curiosity that paled in comparison to Jessica lusting over one of the Cullen boys or any of the others that had classes with the beautiful family.
They never ate, she noticed once when she looked over to see that not one of them ever finished the food they had on their trays and if they did, it appeared to be purely done in distaste. The larger one, Emmett she recalled his name, had grimaced at the sight of Mike Newton flinging a spoonful of lasagna at one of his friends and missing. Instead if plopped just a few feet away from where the intimidating looking teenager was walking. As if the smell disgusted him, he shot the boys a look that immediately made all of them scurry away. At first she thought it was simply because he hated the sight of food almost hitting his clothes or that he truly disliked the cafeteria food but something told her deep down that wasn't the case.
Alice Cullen and her sister were graceful during gym class, excelling at all the sports they played and never appeared to look exhausted after having run track. It was both amusing to see her friends, Angela admire their elegance while Lauren was seething with jealousy.
Eve seemed to slowly create a small list in her head of all the habits the Cullen's had since she first spotted them and it would only keep going as the year progressed.
By the end of the school year, she had enough time to observe them even when she didn't want to. She would notice their absence whenever they wouldn't show up for days on end. Jessica said they had gone camping with their parents - a usual thing between the family. The rumors had started circling around them and while Eve could admit that her interest in the Cullen's was just as weird as their behavior, at least she wasn't gossiping about them.
Then the strangest thing occurred, while she was sitting with her friends at the round table in the cafeteria once again, she routinely managed to tune them all out aside from Angela who always managed to keep conversation with her. It was only when the topic of the Cullen's reaching their table that her head snapped back up.
"I heard the Cullen's are all dating." Newton had said in a whisper, a grin on his lips.
"What? But they're like...related. You think so?" Jessica said. Others scolded them for mentioning the rumor that had been going around.
"No, I'm serious guys! Apparently they're all adopted and shack up like some weird polyamorous thing."
While her friends started laughing and chucking their fries at Mike for gossiping about a matter that was so rude to begin with, the girl's round eyes were focused on the Cullen's. Emmett Cullen seemed to be breaking into a laugh with the other's looking just as amused or in the case of the beautifull Rosalie, annoyed.
It was when she had made it to school hours before classes started in an attempt to escape her home that she interacted with one of the Cullen's for the first time. Through her exhaustion and the cold winter air that made her fingers ache she managed to bring her old guitar to keep her company. Strumming the string absentmindedly, making up a tune that started developing into something more, she heard soft footsteps approaching from the stairs that led to the parking lot. A group of them in fact.
Unsurprisingly, there they were, all the Cullen's were walking past her, Emmett and Rosalie hand in hand while the pixie like girl had her arms wrapped around a serious looking blonde one that never looked down at her. It was Edward who stopped in front of her. She looked up at him with hesitation, pausing the strumming of the guitar to acknowledge the bronze haired boy. Was he upset that she had been playing? Was she playing too loudly? Would he tell her off for just sitting here? It wouldn't come off as a surprise to her, considering how she couldn't even stay in her own home without causing trouble. Her father had made that clear to her several times.
However, Edward merely had pained expression when the boy stared at the tired looking girl in front of him, her straight shoulder length hair was wet from the rain, looking almost raven black from it. His eyes boring into hers which made it hard to look away.
Amber this time. The observation she made was sudden and insignificant but it seemed to bring out a perturbed expression on his ivory face. As if he had heard her say those words out loud.
"Are you ok?" Eve asked him, confused and slightly annoyed that he wouldn't just tell her what it was that he didn't like about the girl.
"You..." he paused before closing his eyes for a second and quickly looked calmer the moment he opened them again, "That song, it's nice. Did you write it?"
Eve hesitated but said, "I didn't write it down but it's just a melody that came to me...I guess." It sounded more like a question. His interest in her was alarming and even more so when he asked her about her music. No one's ever asked her before. She wasn't sure if that had been the best thing to say but he didn't seem to hate her response. Instead he graced her with a crooked grin that she'd bet anything that Jessica or Lauren would be seething if they'd see the exchange between the two right now.
"You should write it down so you don't forget it. It's good."
And that was that. Eve stared blankly at Edward Cullen before he walked away, grace and precision encased his demeanor as he walked away into the main building. Eve found herself writing down all the melodies she played on her old guitar shortly after that day.
While Eve's interest in understanding what the Cullen's were hiding helped her forget about her own problems during the day. The distraction they provided never lasted long when she would finally return home later on. Every night she could hear her father screaming at her mother or brother from the driveway. It wasn't long before he would take his anger out on her too, starting an exhausting cycle that slowly made her fear of others to grow stronger each night.
Sometime during spring break, Eve and her mother were in a horrible accident that left her in the hospital, recovering from a broken arm and fractured ribs. But worst of all...the death of her mother left emotional scars on the girl more than she could have bargained for. Her father didn't acknowledge her existence when she was released from the hospital. It had taken him three days after he found out about the accident before he showed up to get her.
Before that however, Dr. Cullen had made sure to monitor her condition as if she were a precious piece of china that could shatter at any moment. In a way she felt as though she had deep down inside. One thing about the doctor made Eve go back to the mental list she had made of the Cullens. He also had amber colored eyes with the same pale skin.
Weird but maybe it's not. Maybe it's in my head. She thought before her father appeared and rushed her to get out of the hospital bed.
"Let's go." Was all that he said to her, standing in the doorway as if she were a stranger to him. When she struggled to get out of the bed, pain shooting up her body and causing her to stumble, a huff of frustration echoed. Eve stood there frozen in place with her head down as she heard his heavy footsteps stalking over towards her. "I said. Move it." He hissed as he yanked her out of the room.
When she whimpered at the pain that radiated through her body, Dr. Cullen's arms caught her before she could hit the ground the moment her knees buckled below her. She hadn't even seen him anywhere near the room before this.
"I don't think that's wise to do, Mr. Hendricks", the doctor said in a stern voice as he led Eve back to a wheelchair he had prepared for her. Even as the man shot her father a scolding glance, she couldn't help but notice his unbelievably cold touch as his hand held hers to guide her to take a seat.
Just as her father went to get the car to pick Eve up from the entrance due to the doctor's insistence, Dr. Cullen kneeled down to speak to his patient, "If you need anything at all or you're not feeling well, you can always come back and ask to see me. Alright, Evelyn? Be strong, it's going to be alright in time."
She stared blankly at the doctor's kind eyes and noted how she's never had such a warm gaze from anyone before in her life. Certainly her father's never spoken such words of encouragement and tenderness, ever. Not even her mother who during her final days looked just as empty as Eve felt now.
His skin was hard, as if it were made of stone, she thought continuously as she stared at her trembling hands. She looked out the window as the tears began to roll down her face. Her father drove through the streets over the speed limit in his anger. Spewing harsh words like 'waste of time' or 'damn that mother of yours' into the air but it did little to shake Eve. Letting her sink into a darkness she wouldn't want to crawl out from just to find nothing there by acknowledging her father.
That night she dreamt of the Cullens, all of them with glowing golden eyes and pale white skin that made them look as if they were statues. Perfect beings shrouded in the darkness of a forest much like Eve knew she was now that her mother was gone.
The next morning she woke up with a start and came to the conclusion, a strange and probably illogical conclusion that the Cullen's were without a doubt not human. A week past by before her father all but shoved her out of the house. She returned to school, ignoring the searing pain in her ribs with each steps that she took and to her surprise her friends had noticed. The boys that often teased the girls at the table were being kind for once. Jessica asked her how she was holding up and even though the question was more of a burden than any consolation, Eve understood. Angela walked with her to her class every day while Ben insisted on carrying her backpack in an attempt to ease her pain.
An even bigger shock was when Edward Cullen greeted her from the desk he sat in next to her, "I'm glad you're alright," were his words. No questions about how she was injured, nor what had happened during the week she had been absent from school or any other days she was too emotionally incapable of attending class. As if he had known what happened to her and yet again, he gave her a momentary glance that reminded her of Dr. Cullen. The kindness or attention given to her was foreign and painful all at once.
She made it a point to rarely interact with either of the Cullen's from that moment on, not that she had in the first place but she wouldn't allow herself to grow fond of people who weren't truly people to begin with. Could she?
In the end it didn't seem to matter if they were human or not, Eve thought as her father hit her for the first time since her mother passed away that very night.
Monsters...true monsters were the ones that hurt others and enjoyed inflicting it.
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