Chapter 1: Breathless
I gasped for breath as I propelled myself faster and faster toward the finish line. I focused on two things. Not inhaling water and getting to the finish line first. I could hear the crowd cheering loudly even though my ears were partially underwater.
I pulled myself closer and closer until I reached the wall. I broke the surface of the water and gasped for breath. My best friend and teammate Ava was already celebrating. Damn it. I'd gotten second place again. Although that wasn't surprising. Ava was by far the best swimmer on the team.
"Nice race Nessie,"
"I thought for sure I had you this time,"
She laughed. "In your dreams Ness. Just face it. You'll never be able to catch me,"
"You might be my best friend but I'm not ever going to give you trying to beat you," I splashed water at her playfully.
I got out of the pool and went to collect my second place trophy. I smiled brightly when I realized that we'd done well enough as a team to make it all the way to the state championship. This was a pinnacle moment for me. Swimming meant more to me than most people could imagine.
When I was about five years I had been found wondering around on the streets by myself. I couldn't remember a thing nor how I'd gotten there. The only reason they found out my name was Renesmee was because of the bracelet that I was wearing. I was taken to the hospital where they ran all kinds of tests on me. There was nothing wrong with me apart from the strange white scar that ran from the base of my right shoulder all the way down to the back of my hand.
It was an unusual scar that hadn't faded with age. The scar was always ice cold to the touch as if I'd left it in a freezer for days. It wasn't just the paleness or the coldness that made this scar so strange. The scar always sparkled a little when exposed to direct sunlinlight. It was a source of amusement and curiosity to my friends, my family, and myself.
My family. They were truly the greatest blessing that I could ever have in my life. It just so happened they were looking for a kid who was a little older when I first entered the system. I didn't know it at the time but my life was about to change for the better when they picked me. They already had a son, Mason, who was my age at the time. My parents wanted to have a daughter but due to some medical complications my mom had in her pregnancy she couldn't have more kids. So they decided to adopt me.
At first I didn't feel like I fit in with them. It was hard to bond with people who were just complete strangers to me at the time. It wasn't until one weekend in particular that I begun to truly bond with my new family.
It was a long holiday weekend and my dad decided that we should all go camping. My family were all really outdoorsy and loved things like camping, hiking, swimming, and even hunting.
It was the weekend that permanently changed my view of my new family. That was the weekend where my parents taught me two things. How to swim and how to hunt. My dad was ever so patient as he taught us. It was truly my first bonding experience with my adoptive family. I also realized just how much I loved to swim and to hunt. So my parents practiced both with my brother and I often.
When I was a little older I decided to try out for our local swim team. I was surprised when I actually made the team. When I was 12 I made the middle school swim team. Then in my freshman year of high school at the age of 14 I made the high school swim team. It was my dream to one day make it all the way to the Olympics. I hoped that when college scouts started to come and watch us they'd notice me. They were sure to notice Ava who has gone undefeated her entire swim career.
When I say she's been undefeated her entire swim career I really mean it. I met Ava when I first joined the local swim team when we were both five years old. She tried out the same day I did and even then she did better than me. We both made the same middle school team as well. Until this day she hasn't lost a single race.
I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little jealous. But at the same time I was happy for her. After we got our trophies we headed to the showers to get cleaned up. Then we went home for the day.
Ava already had plans for the rest of the day. She was going to spend it with her boyfriend Spencer. Lucky girl. Spencer was the hottest guy in school. Captain of the football team. Meanwhile I couldn't get a date to save my life. I'd been brave enough to ask a few guys to dances whenever it was girl's choice but I had been turned down each and every time. It was like I just repelled men.
My parents were gone. As they were both doctors they often worked weekends. All week they had been blabbering on and on about a new doctor who was supposed to start working at their hospital. I think his name was Dr. Cullen or something like that. He was supposed to be a very good doctor from Los Angeles I think. I'm not really sure. But apparently him coming to work here was big deal. I didn't understand what all the fuss was about. All I knew was that his kids were supposed to start at our school on Monday. Seven new kids in a school that rarely got any transfer students was sure to stir up some talk.
I thought about doing homework but that didn't sound very appealing. I really didn't feel like spending my Saturday at home. I would've gone hunting but Lucy and Sparky, my two purebred bloodhound hunting dogs were currently out of commission. Lucy was pregnant. It was an accidental pregnancy. Which is exactly why Sparky was at the hospital recovering from a surgery that was sure to prevent another accidental pregnancy from happening again.
Maybe I'd go downtown and do some shopping. Or go see a movie by myself. Mason would go with me if I was pathetic enough to ask him but my brother was spending the day with his girlfriend. I really needed a boyfriend.
I really should stay and work on the history essay I'd been assigned yesterday. We were currently studying the Civil War and we were each given the name of a person from that time period to research and write an essay on that person. I'd been given the name Jasper Whitlock and the only thing I knew about him was that he was the youngest Major in the Texas calvary. Other than that I didn't know a thing about the guy and now all of a sudden I was expected to write a ten page essay on him.
I grabbed my car keys and walked out the door still unsure of where it was exactly that I was headed. All I knew was that I didn't want to stay home and do homework. I quickly decided that the mall was the best place to go. I was in need of some new bathing suits and other swimming gear like googles. Mine were getting a little old.
It only took me twenty minutes to get to the mall. I had just finished picking out new bathing suits when I got a text message from my mom. I was typing a response when I walked right into something that was hard as rock and cold as ice.
"Watch where you're going you-"
The girl stopped midsentence and stood there seemingly frozen in time. A look of pure shock on her face. But it was I who was shocked. The blonde girl was stunningly and breathing takingly beautiful. This girl could put beauty models to shame. Ava would be jealous if she saw her. My best friend was the most vain girl I'd ever met. She was beautiful and she knew it. But Ava had nothing on this girl. The girl seemed frozen in time. Gold eyes? That was weird yet somehow it also enhanced her beauty even more.
My phone rang which startled me out of my daze. "I'm sorry," I said to the girl as I walked past her. I could still feel here watching me.
"Hi mom what's going on?" I tried to ignore the feeling of the girl watching me when I answered my phone.