I'm going to kill that Mike Newton, I thought as I hoisted my small frame into the body of the beat up truck Charlie just bought. Earlier that morning, the truck had broken down on the way into school and I missed seeing Tyler Crowley's van sweep across the parking lot and smack into a line of cars near the gym. Tyler was in the ICU at Forks County Hospital and the whole school was a buzz with talk of seeing him that afternoon.
Three hours ago, I was in the clear. I was planning to tell Charlie that I wanted to go back to Phoenix to live with my mom and her new husband, Phil. But, it was then that Mike Newton, at the beginning of biology, got up the courage to come over and sit with me. My lab table had been empty before I came to Forks High School. I sat alone, without a partner, waiting for the class to begin.
Mike threw himself into the seat next to mine. I glared at him thinking he was only sitting next to me to copy off my lab report. Mr. Banner waltz into the class and began lecturing. When the teacher had his back turned to room, Mike tapped my hip with his pen. "Uh Bella," Mike stammered looking at his feet dangling off his lab stool. "You wouldn't want to ask me to the dance, would you?"
I gasped audibly and turned beet red. "Mike, I ..." I stammered not knowing how to answer him. "I'm not going to the dance."
"Oh come on Bella," he said placing his right hand on my thigh. "It's just a dance. I'm not asking you to marry me." His hand began to rub circles on my skin. The sensation was wholly unexpected and completely unwanted.
I forcibly removed his hand from my leg and stood from my stool. "No," I replied more forcefully and headed for the front of the classroom with my bag and books in tow. I was almost at the teacher's desk when my natural talents took over. My shoe caught on a raised tile in the floor and I began to fall forward. The momentum forced my books from my hands, and to my horror, through the glass panes flanking the exit door. Both shattered with an earsplitting ring and shares of tiny rainbows rained down around me.
I lay in a heap with the glass sparkling in the light moving around me. Students crunched across the glass to come to my side. "Bella?" Mr. Banner questioned. "Bella are you alright?"
"Nurse," I squeaked. Glass in my palm and scratching sensations on my scalp was the worst of my injuries. The nurse called Charlie and, when he arrived, the principal called for both of us in his office.
"Officer Swan," the principal began.
"Chief," Charlie corrected.
"My apologies. Chief Swan, as you know, Bella had an accident today in her biology. From what we can gather she was leaving the class prior to dismissal when this happened," the principal turned to me, "which Miss Swan knows is against campus policy. There was destruction of public property and reparations need to be made."
Reparations? Great. "Monetary?" Charlie asked unflinchingly.
"No. Actually, we would like Bella to spearhead a new volunteerism project. We want you to lead the group. It's called Senior to Senior."
Forced labor, I thought. But I answered "Sure. No problem."
"We really need you to start today. Take a lay of the land, so you can recruit more volunteers."
Victim, I thought. "Sure. What am I doing?"
Charlie kicked my leg and shot me a glare. I sighed. "How can I help?" I asked again, more politely.
The principal pushed a pamphlet across his desk towards Charlie and I. "You'll be bringing senior citizens together with a member of the senior class. I want you to make the matches and train the senior here at school before they meet their partner at the New Horizon's home."
"Alright," I said with apprehension. "And, I go there today to meet the seniors at the home?"
Twenty minutes later, I was pulling myself into the cab of my truck cursing Mike. "Bella," I heard Charlie calling from his cruiser parked beside mine. "Bella. Please. Make the best of this, huh?" his eyes pleaded with me.
"Sure Ch … dad." I started my truck. The roar of the engine blocked out the noise of the I love you that I watched Charlie mouth at me. "I love you, too, dad."
I drove out of the school parking lot towards the nursing home on the edge of town.