Disclaimer: Obviously, Stephenie Meyers owns the characters from the world of the Twilight series. I only like to play with them. But I promise I'll put them back when I'm finished.
The alarm clock blared. 6:00 a.m. flashed in blind red lights from my night stand. Ohhh, I sighed internally. Another day in hell.
The floor against my stocking feet slipped dangerously, as I extricated myself from the comforter I had cocooned myself in. Why can't I stay home today? A new school. A new town. And another set of bullies. That was my life. Just an unending series of humiliation and torture at my expense.
At my last school, in Phoenix, Arizona, one of my tormentors, Tobi, had even gone as far as to ask me to the schools' sophomore semiformal. After asking me twice a day, everyday, for eight days, and constantly being told "no," I finally gave in. For a brief moment, I allowed myself to think that someone might be nice to me. I might have a boyfriend!
I let my mom, Renee, take me to a store in California that specialized in hand made dresses. Dress after dress after dress passed into the fitting room. Silks. Taffeta. Crinoline. Polyester. Every color, fabric, cut and design known to man were passed into me. Some looked ok. Some were hideous and one was down right repulsive. But, finally, the store's clerk helped me to find something that I liked. The satin sheen of the sea foam fabric picked up the minute traces of red in my hair. The floor length gown was single shouldered and fit nicely.
I didn't have any true friends in Phoenix, so no one other than my mother had seen my dress yet. She took me to a salon on the evening of the dance and I had my hair washed, conditioned, blown dry, straightened, curled, pinned, prodded, sprayed and shellacked. But, when we finally left, I looked beautiful. Well, as beautiful as someone with professional training was going to be able to do. The woman was not a magician after all.
Tobi had called that morning, a Saturday in December. He knew my dress was green and was to order a corsage and boutonnière to match. My mom helped me on with my dress so I didn't ruin my hair and makeup. Tobi was coming to pick me up at 7:30 p.m. I sat on the couch with my mom and waited …
…. and waited …..
…. and waited …..
…. and waited …..
Renee sat in the living room with me the whole time. She watched the TV without seeing the programs. At 10:15, I turned off the porch light, took a shower and went to bed. Renee left me alone for the majority of the next day. On Monday, Tobi laughed at me and pointed when I entered the first class we had together. I tried to hide my face behind a panel of my hair but I still heard the whispering and laughing from class mates.
The names and taunts began again ten times worse than before. The final straw came when Tobi scrawled across my locker with black magic marker: "DIE FAT COW!" Renee and my step-dad, Phil, pulled me right out of school and shipped me off to my father, Charlie's place in Forks, Washington. I hadn't spent real time with my dad since I was still in pig tails.
Here in Forks, my mom thought life would be better or easier. I'm sure if she thought it would be easier for me but after saddling Charlie with his sorry excuse for a daughter, it certainly would be easier for her. She would never have to watch me run to my room after school with my face covered in tears or sit with me on a Saturday night watching reruns on cable.
I would be Charlie's burden to carry not Renee's. Charlie, the man who was a sometimes father and an always Chief of Police. He would never be home enough to see my humiliations first hand. In a sick and perverse way, I found it comforting.
Dressing each morning was like an exercise in futility. Most girls loved and lived for their wardrobe. I, on the other hand, only shopped when my clothes got too ratty or too far out of style. Most girls wore Hollister, Abercrombie, or Gap. My closet sported the latest fashions from Fashion Bug, Catherine's and Lane Bryant.
You see because I was plain. I was homely. I was fat. I was Bella.
Preview for next chapter:
Bella's First Day of School
"Nice shirt. Who made that? The Ohio Tent Company?" then the giggling started. I tried to hide my eyes. I could feel the tears burning behind my eyelids. Please don't cry now, I thought.