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This series is my own private challenge from apocalypse cabaret/art of pretension. This first one is her idea entirely. What if Mike noticed that Edward never ate? This story is set during Edward's junior year the semester before Bella arrived.

Saved by the Bell

by silly bella

I don't know why I'm so intimidated around him. He's just so aloof. Thinks he's better than the rest of us. Him and his whole family. If they weren't so antisocial. They never talk to anybody. But I'm going to ask him.

Great. Mike Newton was going to talk to me. His little brain was swirling so hard around his nervousness that he never once thought about his inquiry. I settled into my desk in Biology, letting my books take up the extra space. It could be worse. I could be partnered with one of the inane students struggling with the content of this plebian course.

Newton approached my desk nervously. He eyed me, twisting his mouth as if contemplating something important. Finally he spoke. "Cullen, there's something I've been meaning to ask you."

"Ask away." He'd finally thought his question, so I knew what it was. He was more observant than I'd given him credit for being. But I had an answer that would put him off.

He swallowed, as if gathering the nerve to voice his question. "You always get food in the cafeteria, but you never eat it. Why? You anorexic or what?" Why did I have to add that last bit? Like I care if he's anorexic. Do guys get anorexic?

Why indeed? Was he gay? I'd never heard him think about guys, but it would be my luck. As if half the girls in the school having fantasies about me weren't enough, would Newton be adding his own little perverse daydreams? I figured it was instinct that made him nervous, but what if I were wrong? "I am not anorexic. My appetite is quite sufficient, and my eating habits are such as to maintain a healthy mind and body."

"It can't be too healthy to skip lunch every day. Don't you get hungry?" He was persistent. How very annoying.

I smirked. "Are you insinuating that the food in the cafeteria is nutritious? I'm a lot healthier without it." And while anorexia isn't my problem, bulimia might be if I ate cafeteria food. Or any food, for that matter.

"Then why do you buy lunch at all if you know you aren't going to eat it?" He narrowed his eyes. "It's wasteful."

Clearly, I needed to resort to lies. It's not as if it were the first time. "I suppose I keep hoping that it might be edible. Sadly, it never is."

He frowned. "Lots of people eat it. It can't be that bad."

"The body is a temple. Why would I profane my body with something like cafeteria food?" I smiled.

Give me a break. The body is a temple? Who talks like that? He's probably gay. No wonder all the girls like him. They always like gay guys. Profane his body. Right. But we had vegetables in the cafeteria. And salad. It was hard to mess up a salad.

I needed to head him off at the pass, so to speak, and from his thoughts, I could just say I was a vegetarian, regardless of what I meant by it. So I took it one step farther. "And I'm a vegan." What would he make of that?

"What's a vegan?" Mike repeated, confused.

"Sort of like a vegetarian, but no milk or egg products, either." There, I wasn't even lying. Vegans didn't eat milk or egg products, and neither did I. Even if most vegans wouldn't approve of my diet. "Almost everything here has cheese on it and most of the vegetables are cooked with butter. Or dressing on the salads." That should satisfy him.

"A vegan. That's different." He still looked puzzled. He frowned. What about apples? They don't have butter or cheese on them.

I could tell he was about to ask. I wasn't sure what to say. Maybe that I only ate organically grown fruits and vegetables?

Mr. Banner rushed into the classroom just as the alarm rang for class to begin. "Have a seat, please, Mr. Newton."

Mike reluctantly headed back to his desk. Who cares if he's a picky eater? A vegan. How weird can he get?

I smiled. Saved by the bell.