I prepared myself mentally for the upcoming day as I stepped out of my car and walked toward the school, my black stiletto boots clacked noisily against the pavement as I headed toward my classroom. It was Monday, casual clothes day for the teachers. I rolled my eyes just thinking about it. People in small towns obviously had nothing better to do than to designate what clothes could be worn when. Never the less, I liked my low-rider jeans, and my V-neck tee. I also enjoyed the power I had over the male students in my class on Mondays. I giggled.
As I unlocked the door and set my books and papers down on the desk, I saw that a note had been slipped under my door. I sighed as I bent to pick it up. We really had to get a teacher mailbox system. At least in Forks… I shook my head sharply, refusing to let my thoughts go there. Too late. The pain was gnawing a hole in my inside. I had to stay busy. I looked around frantically, trying to find a distraction. I breathed a sigh of relief as my students straggled in.
I relaxed as the room filled slowly. I realized I was clutching the note in my tightly clenched hand. I set the note down on my desk and smoothed it out.
We have some new students coming to our school today.
Please try to make them feel welcome in their new surroundings.
Who would transfer to a new school in February? Huh. I just hoped that they weren't from a city! I knew from experience that it was hard to adjust to a small town after living in a city. Although, admittedly, small-town life had grown on me. After Charlie's death, I couldn't bear being in Forks anymore. I packed up my stuff and moved. This was my third year teaching English at this high school. I chose to teach English due to my love of books. This was out surprisingly well. I was actually happy, something I thought would be impossible since he left.
No, Bella! Do NOT think about that!
I turned my attention back to my students. They knew me well enough to know that I was in la-la land, and that I would snap out of it soon enough. They used this time to gossip: the boys about my outfit, the girls about some new arrivals to the school. They were very excited. Apparently these new arrivals were quite good looking.
I turned from my desk to write the 'do now' on the blackboard. The chatter died down as they began to get their homework out. I smiled as I walked towards the large windows at the back of the room. It wasn't raining, but it was foggy, and looked like it would start raining quite soon.
I decided to enjoy it while it lasted. I opened the window and let the wet, unscented air wash away the smells of whatever they used to clean the floors in here. I took a deep breath as I let the air cleanse me as thoroughly as a shower might.
I walked carefully back to my desk. I wasn't as clumsy as I used to be, but you never know in stilettos. I rummaged through the papers covering my desk, in an attempt to find my grade book, when the door opened. I quickly glanced around the room, counting heads. No one was missing.
The new students! Of course! Duh! I felt like smacking my forehead as I straightened to greet them. Or was I only getting one of the new students? Grrr! I hate being confused, especially on Mondays!
As I looked up to see who was standing in the doorway, and I almost fainted from shock. Now I understood why the girls were so excited about the new students.
Relax, Bella. I took a deep breath and steadied myself against my desk. There is an explanation for this…karma maybe. Or was it just my bad luck? Oh! It's just a dream. Of course, I thought, it is just a dream. I pinched the skin on my arm very tightly, willing myself to wake up, but I didn't. Damn!
Maybe it was just someone who looks exactly like him, I thought hopefully, as the principal, Mrs. Webber, walked in behind him. "Class, I would like you all to meet Edward Cullen." Mrs. Webber introduced him. So much for that theory!
Maybe he wouldn't recognize me! There was a very slim chance that he wouldn't, but it wasn't impossible. I had changed my appearance a lot since almost 10 years ago. My once long, dark brown hair was now a light strawberry blonde color, reaching down to only my shoulders. Also (thank GOD for contacts), I wore dark blue contacts over my chocolate brown eyes. Even my figure had changed. I was more robust. My own mother had had a hard time recognized me! It would be hard for him to recognize me… unless he happened to smell me!
Unfortunately, there was no way of changing the way your blood smells. At least, not that I knew of. OK, Bella, think. Think, think, think.
The only way I thought of was just to not get close enough to Edward so that he could smell me. I was very thankful for the clean air that came in through the window, and that the schedules didn't print the first names of the teachers. If he saw Isabella Swan on his schedule, he would obviously know who I was.
I don't know why I was trying to avoid him. Ok, that's a lie. I knew I was trying not to get involved with him again. And, yet, I didn't want him to leave. I knew that if I told him who I was, he and his family would leave. That was why they left Forks anyway. Because Edward didn't…want me. But that was all in the past now!
I arranged my face to look like teacher-like, and gave a welcoming smile. As the principal walked out and closed the door, I pointed to an open seat, in the back, right by the windows, and said (as calmly as I could manage), "You can go sit there." My heart was pounding. I couldn't believe the effect Edward still had on me! I mean it's been like, 9 ½ years since he broke my heart (not that anyone's counting), and he was still perfect. With his light topaz eyes, perfect features, and breathtaking smile, he charmed everyone, including me. But I couldn't do this! No mooning over him, Bella! I would treat him as any other teacher would, one who was immune to his charm. It would be hard, but it couldn't possibly be as hard as getting on with my life had been.