(Went back and fixed this a bit so it's not AS bad as it was before. Hopefully it makes it a little better for new readers.)
I never gave much thought as to how I would die.
It's not something your average seventeen year old really thinks about, though.
Our minds are supposed to be circling around school, friends, dates, drama, and whatever else is supposedly very important to us.
But i've had plenty of time to myself lately to let those thoughts roll through my head. My mom and step-dad, Phil, have been busy packing things up to get ready for their trip. They're headed down to Florida, something about Phil and baseball, I haven't exactly been paying attention to be honest. After a bit of debating though, it was decided that I wouldn't be going with them. I've had enough of the heat, and the sun, and the weirdly tan people who surround me while I remain comparable to a piece of chalk. No, instead i'm heading for Forks, Washington. Never heard of it? Trust me, you never would unless you were born there like I was. But there are a few good things nestled in under the constant rain and fog that surrounds the town. My father, Charlie, for one. I'm not exactly the biggest beacon of smiles you'll find, but i've been pretty giddy about the thought of moving back "home" with him again. What has it been now, probably five or six years since i'd spent any real time with my dad. He and my mom got divorced a long time ago, and I never really got the chance to see him after the first few years. But now I can at least make up for long time. So there's that.
[Phoenix, the airport.]
Crowded airport, noisy plane, the other passengers thankfully keeping to themselves. Seattle looked beautiful during the approach and landing, still does on the car ride out. Seeing it up close though makes me even more thankful that Charlie lives in such a tiny town in comparison. I'd never survive in a place like this. Way too many people and problems to follow you around every corner. Almost like an act of magic, the rain starts the split second we leave Seattle's streets behind and hit the road for Forks. It's weird though, my mood hasn't dropped one bit, even with the dismal weather. Charlie and I talk the entire time, we still get along great. School, friends, stories between Forks and Phoenix. Anything to pass the time as we both learn neither of us has changed much. Despite the fact i've grown a few feet and my hair is long now. How long was it the last time I saw Dad? Shoulders? Back? I'll have to dig through the shoe box of photos and find out later. Even watching the logging trucks roll by gave me a weird but welcome sense of nostalgia as Charlie's police cruiser pushed on slowly towards the house.
[Seattle, the airport.]
I think it took longer to park the car, grab my stuff, get inside, and shuffle upstairs than it did to actually be back out the door to go eat. A whopping three suitcases made it with me to Forks, and that's mostly because my mom over-packed for me. I'd wanted to bring a good handful of books, but Charlie told me about some local bookstores that sold a lot of pretty out-there stuff. Mostly due to tribal legends and other stories being so prominent in the area. So I figured why not leave the old ones behind and get lost in some new stories? The Quileute tribe live on a reservation just outside of town, maybe a stones throw away if I didn't have such thin arms. I'd grown up knowing a very small handful of them, including the Black family. I partially remember a man named Harry Clearwater, but that's about it. Charlie and Billy Black had been friends for who knows how long, though, and I remember him pretty well.
Maybe a week has gone by? Something like that since I got here. Charlie wanted me to just hang around and get my barrings and actually starting school. Honestly, that was a pretty smart move. My mind was all over the place especially during the first day or two as I got reacquainted with Forks and it's people. Sure, the rose-tinted glasses started to fade a little quicker than I wanted. But it was still great to see such a quiet corner of the world for myself while I could still enjoy it. It also became apparent very quickly that Charlie would likely pass away in the corner booth of Fork's favorite Diner.
Happy wouldn't exactly be the right word, but that steak and those potato wedges really did lift his spirits. Veggie burgers, big salads, some really good fish. Say what you will about tiny towns in America, but they have some amazing food! Mulling over what i'd try next, school snuck up on me out of nowhere. Monday rolled around, which meant it was finally time to grace the High School with my chalk white skin, stories about heatstroke, and my ability to fall on my face several times a day.
You'd think having an old raddy pickup truck to drive would really bum most teenage girls out. Why not something nice, sporty, or shiny? Nah. Charlie was nice enough to score me the hardiest rust bucket around, and I was proud to drive it. Despite the occasional backfire that would make weaker kids duck for cover. Oddly enough though, I was able to slip inside and get my schedule figured out before the welcome wagon honed in on me. It only took maybe two class periods before they'd gathered around and begun to fill me in on anything and everything of importance within the school's walls. Mike and Eric are great guys, a little over zealous at first but hey, who can blame them? New girl, doesn't know anything about the massive goofball aura they give off. At least they had the guts to try. Jess and I hit it off right away, which is hilarious to me. Pretty, popular, leading a ton of groups in school. Maybe she just wants me as a token friend? I'll figure it out later. Angela seems to be the real brains between the four of them, though. Quickly debunking any rumors or drama that the others slip my way. We're also both pretty mute most of the time. So it's common ground to stand on. All in all, i'm pretty thankful that they managed to get to me first.
Getting drilled in the cheek by a volleyball, twice, didn't put as big a damper on my day as I initially assumed. For reasons none of us know, gym class is early in the morning. Maybe to help wake us up or something? Pain will do that to you. But lunch came around soon enough. Which meant it was time to taste test what Forks High had to offer in comparison to that awesome Diner just down the road. Maybe after a month or two of sucking up the faculty I could talk my friends into skipping out to eat there instead. Yeah. Sure. Then i'll just call Charlie myself and say "Hey Dad, I blew off school for some peach cobbler!" Smaaaaart. But, as some people may say, it was time for the main event of the day, despite it only being about half over. Almost like a hive mind my new group just kind of turned their heads and shared the same zombified stare. Centering on the double doors leading out into the parking lot from the cafeteria. They'd been prodding me all day about myself and life in Arizona. But for the first time I actually had an important question of my own. Joining the same train of thought they all had as I finally got a good look. Angela would once again have to be the font of knowledge for this one.
"Hey, what the heck are you guys staring at?"
It was like slamming my fist down on a time clock that chess players used. No sooner had those words left my mouth, Angela was already firing off more than I bargained for. So began my crash course on the clan of teenagers known as, the Cullens.
"Okay, so, those two in the front, that's Rosalie. She's probably the only girl in this school that has more going on daily than Jess does. It's kind of weird, like, she always has this look on her face that she'd rather not be around any of us, but she's apart of a dozen clubs and groups." Angela hadn't blinked, not even once as she rattled off the first introduction. A bit of levity in her voice.
"The big guy beside her is named Emmett. If you didn't notice already, he's build like an absolute tank. He's solely responsible for making our football, basketball, and hockey teams respectable again." She continued on, as if reading right off of a cue card. "It's crazy though, because he almost never actually plays. Unless someone gets hurt or sick, he just benches himself. But having him around really pushed our teams into a winning mindset. If he does step up though, holy crap, it's something else." Her right index finger made a little circular motion as she talked. Gesturing to the next couple entering the cafeteria.
"The short girl with dark hair, that's Alice. You didn't hear this from me but she's reeeaalllyy weird. Always doodling and talking to herself like no one's watching. But she somehow manages to talk to us and herself at the same time. Her wardrobe is amazing, though. I swear she pulls stuff from designers we've never heard of, or could ever afford. And she's huge about parties and hanging out. It was like, maybe a week after they moved here? Mr. and Mrs. Cullen had to leave town and they had half the school packed into their house for a party. She plans one every other weekend ,I swear. You're going to the next one with us, of course. You gotta see their house, it's unbelievable." Keeping that same high spirit, a mixture of game show hostess and news anchor, Angela pressed on.
"The taller blonde guy with her is Jasper. Poor guy constantly looks like he's in pain for one reason or another. Alice and the others say it's some kind of chronic thing, but none of us buy it. If you pay attention you can actually see his face tense up when any of us get too close. He was probably bullied BIG TIME as a kid or something, that would explain it." Musing to herself now, she shook it off and went right back into it. "he's almost the polar opposite of Emmett. Huge into music and the drama club. He's actually a great actor. Even managed to rope half our class into a few productions that he was in charge of. He's even quieter than you, though."
Making a grand gesture with her hands, Angela signaled the arrival of the final Cullen member. Pretty far behind his "siblings."
"Literally the only person in their family not dating someone under his own roof. Hint hint. But, that's Edward. He's probably the least active out of any of them, which is saying a lot. He's mostly huge into music and art. Actually, he even did some work for the school. Those painting out in the hallway there are all his. The principal agreed to let him hang them for a little recognition if he kept his nose clean all year. He's actually been the one-man-band for all of Jasper's plays this year. There's just something about the way he plays piano..." Angela trailed off a bit as she attempted to finish her though. But Bella was happy to keep the conversation going as they collectively observed the small family head for their table.
"Okay so... I totally heard everything you just said. But, I have to ask... why the hell are they all so gorgeous?" Bella went right for the elephant in the room as soon as Angela had stopped talking. Earning a generous amount of light chuckling from her friends. Angela once again happy to fill in the blanks.
"Oh, no, trust us, we totally noticed it too. There's something just alien about all of them. No teenager should look like they do. It's like someone just photoshopped them over normal awkward teens and threw them into our school. Mr. and Mrs. Cullen are the same exact way. I swear they do some kind of creepy ritual in that house to all look so hot." Smooth, very smooth explanation.
"Angela! Come on, it's not like their an actual cult or something. That's just the latest rumor that we kind of helped start..." Jess did her bets to defend the Cullens, but maybe she should have tried a different approach.
"Well, whatever, it's totally weird, and I want in on the secret. Imagine the damage I could do if I looked that good!" The back and forth continued between Angel and Jess as Mike and Eric weighed in on who was hotter between Alice and Rosalie.
Bella took the free time to study them for a second by herself. Were their eyes... gold, no, amber? How could they all possibly be as pale as she was? What was it about them that allowed them to hypnotize the entire cafeteria every time they opened a door?
Wait... oh shit, a-are they staring at us? There's no way they could have heard anything Angela said, not all the way over there...
It must have happened in an instant, no, even less than that. Suddenly the conversation stopped entirely as one of the Cullen's chairs was now empty. Heads snapping to attention just like before. Alice Cullen wanted a word.
"Hey, you're Bella, right? It's great to meet you! We're having a party this weekend, and i'd really love for you to come and get to know everyone. Saturday, our place, probably around six or seven. Don't be late!"