A/N: This is my first attempt at a fanfiction story, so I hope that it turns out alright. If you have any suggestions or comments, please review!
Also, this story starts out a lot like Twilight does—Bella sees Edward at lunch, gets freaked out in biology, and thinks he hates her…except this time, Alice Cullen takes an interest in her, too, which changes the rest of the story entirely. There's also the tiny fact that Bella is being tracked by a mysterious antagonist…so, just be patient with the story until the changes start happening.
And PLEASE, PLEASE review. It seems to me that if you alert this story or put it on your favorites, you should also review it. So please review, even if you hate it.
The water streaked down the glass like a river was falling outside of the car window, blurring the trees into dizzy spirals of green and brown and gold. I sighed…just thinking of the word green made me feel green. I had always loved the color, with the electric limes and sultry pines. Now it just made me sick. But hey—being in Forks could do that to a person.
Charlie turned to glance at me in the mirror, his brown eyes worried. I almost felt bad—I hated people spending any emotions over me…it was embarrassing. But I was happy that he was feeling something. For so many years now, he had seemed…not exactly apathetic, but somehow bland. Like water.
I grimaced again. Even moisture was a no-no on my list, because in Forks it was everywhere, seeping into your clothes, into the ground, clinging onto your hair, and to your eyelashes…it was horrible. I had only been in this dingy little town for fifteen minutes and already I could feel the old hate growing in the pit of my stomach. Moisture. Green. Charlie.
"So." His statement shocked me into the world of speaking again. "I found you a car."
I stiffened. "Um, Char…Dad…thanks, but, that's okay. I was going to buy one for myself, no need to waste your time." I hated time inefficiency, something that my father was so good at. I guess I had picked up that little attribute from Renee—she always was busy, always trying to do something to fill up the empty spaces in her life. 'You've got to keep going, Bella,' she had said to me, 'You've got to make every moment a memory of why we keep living. Don't spend your days like…some people.' And we had both known she had meant Charlie. Her silence spoke louder than any words ever could.
At least, that's how she had been before she met Phil. My new father-in-law. I scowled. The guy had finally proposed after a two-year whirlwind courtship of sky diving, chocolate boxes, and toffee…he had finally gotten a ring on my mom's finger. That was on of the reasons I came here—because now, with her married, she would never be the same. She would belong to someone else, and not just to me. She would think differently, not be so crazy, not be so dependent—she wouldn't need me. So I basically ran away from the situation. I wasn't jealous of them, though I was certainly far from happy. But karma came back to get me, I thought bitterly, because I ended up running away to Forks of all places—Forks, the dreariest town in the U.S. of A..
And then there was the other situation. The one hanging around in a bag at my neck—I unconsciously fingered the pouch, the rough material reminding me not to try and remember it. Don't think about it. Don't.
"Oh, well…" I could hear a sheepish tone color Charlie's voice. "I kind of already bought it, Bells."
"Oh." I said, surprised. He had taken the initiative. Interesting. But I was beyond caring…if he had already bought me a car, so much the better.
"You're okay?" He sounded unsure. Had he expected me to throw a tantrum?
"Yeah," I said monotonously. "Thanks. That's really…great of you."
"No problem." He threw a smile in my direction. "I just didn't think you'd be really comfortable driving to school in a police cruiser every day."
I shuddered, and, for the first time since getting off the plane, smiled. "Yeah."
He beamed gratefully back at me, glad I was happy. I sighed. That meant that I now had to act Disney-princess joyful for the rest of the time, and I hated acting. Just think about getting to some shelter from this downpour, I thought to myself, Focus on something, anything else.
"So," he said, his voice more confident, "School starts tomorrow. I'm sure you're going to love it. There're some really nice kids that live here, Bells. You'll have tons of friends in no time."
Tons of friends. Joy. But my sarcasm didn't carry to my voice. "Yeah!" I said brightly, hoping to appease his hunger for my happiness. "I'm sure it'll be great. Dandy," I couldn't help adding, almost giggling at my unusual word choice. The weirdest things amused me.
"Well, uh, okay. Just have fun, okay Bells? I'm gonna have to leave at six, so you just go on without me…but I'll wake you, if you want."
I nearly gagged at the thought of Charlie entering my room. "Uh, no thanks," I said hastily. "I think I'll be fine."
"Okay," he nodded, and turned back to stare at the road, the soporific drone of the windshield wipers and pattering of the rain not affecting him.
I sank once again into my state of melancholy, everything coming back to hit me hard in the gut.
School. Forks. Green. Moisture. Charlie.
Until college…if I lasted that long.
I rolled my eyes heavenward and moaned.
This was going to be a long year.
ASADSFADS ASADSFADS ASADSFADS ASADSFADS
She was a beauty—a great, hulking, massive, fire-truck, hair-set-on-fire, flaming red monster, a thing of aesthetic metalwork.
And (I noted the ping of pleasure in my head) she was mine. My own car, my own truck, my own transportation. She was my very own. All the scowls of the day and the grumbles of the weeks leading up to my exile to Forks seemed to vanish as soon as I hopped inside of her, squishing myself into the leather upholstery and filling my nose with the heady scent of peppermints and cigarettes and detergent.
"Charlie!" I called out happily from the rolled down window, not caring that I had just used his first name. "Charlie, this is perfect!"
My ecstatic look must have pleased him, because the smugness on his face just wouldn't die down. "I knew you would like it," he yelled over the pulse of the rain, his thinning brown hair plastered to his shining scalp. "I just knew it. Got it from Billy Black, you know, from La Push?"
I nodded vaguely, trying to see if I could actually remember. After a moment of thinking, I gave up. I had no idea who he was talking about. But Charlie kept babbling on about this and that and Billy and a bunch of other people who I couldn't be bothered to keep track of. But I supposed I would get used to it in time. After all, I was going to be spending a while here.
I sighed and reluctantly exited the truck, gazing wistfully at the inviting brown fabric, feeling the smooth silkiness of its well oiled existence with the back of my knuckles. At least there was one thing to look forward to here.
I followed Charlie inside, my duffle bag slung over my shoulder and my other arm tucking my battered copy of Wuthering Heights into the folds of my jacket. Charlie, being the perfect gentleman, had offered to carry my two other small suitcases up the stairs to my new bedroom. I had accepted his generous offer gratefully, feeling slightly ashamed that I hadn't bothered to mention that those two suitcases were filled with books, and not clothes. I knew from dragging them along the flight terminal that they were not an easy load.
I could hear Charlie panting on the upstairs landing, his voice heaving as he wheezed, "Hey…Bells…come on up." And then he added to himself, "Geez, what did you put in these things? Bowling balls?"
I smiled. Good old Charlie. I quickly ran up the steps, staring hard at my feet to make sure that I didn't trip and fall all the way back down the stairs.
My room was the same as ever—pale, washed out, nondescript. Very much like me…with my beyond-fair skin, my overly large brown eyes, my lanky brown hair, and my too-full lips. My nose was the only proportionate thing about me. And even that was slightly too pointy, too "ski-slope."
Charlie grinned at me once I entered. "Have fun unpacking, kiddo." Of course, he would give me privacy; that was his nature. He would let me have a moment. Unlike Renee, who would have been hovering around me like a swarm of mosquitoes.
I sighed and flopped onto my twin sized bed—an upgrade, I noticed, since last time it had been a single. I flipped onto my back, staring at the clear white ceiling above me. A blank slate, I thought. A new start. A chance to forget.
But when I saw the single piece of white paper fluttering innocently enough on the wooden desk in the corner, all my chances and hopes of forgetting fell away from me. My attempt at normalcy was over.
I got up and walked shakily to pick up the sheet. And there, in the dead center, the small, crawling handwriting that I had come to fear.
"Sleep well, Bella."
It was then that I realized that I could never escape. I would never escape. There wasn't a hope in the world. Because he was tracking me—a hunter, a killer—and, as he had told me in notes before, he had never abandoned his prey.
I would never get away.