Summary: AH. Bella's ready to bust out of her shell in college with roomie Alice. She meets the dazzling but rakish Edward, but is warned of his less than angelic ways. Will B/A be just another notch in the belt for J/E, or will they teach the boys a lesson or two?
Chapter 1: Chunky Heels and Town Jezebels
[A/N from 3/2010: I started writing this over 2 years ago, when multiple povs per chapter were ALL the rage in the fandom and no one ever thought of actually writing in the 3rd person. lol The pov shifting calms down eventually(one day I hope to go back and cut down all the shifting, it hasn't happened yet though)]
The transformation was almost complete as I stared into the mirror. The hairstylist had just conditioned my hair and it lay wet over my shoulders. I hadn't cut it in 4 years - the entire length of my high school experiene at Forks High. It was dangling around my waist at this point, and I was still sentimental about it in some ways. My hair made me feel feminine at times; but mostly, it served as a veil to hide behind. It was time to step up now and let my face - myself - be seen.
It had to go, just as most of my high school wardrobe had to go. My clothes served a similar purpose in helping to hide my real self. Sweats, too-large hoodies, too-baggy jeans, tops that were bought for simply hanging on the sale rack.
I'd always had an interior life that was drawn to the arts - visually, literary, musically. I spent countless hours in my room writing, playing music, painting, and drawing. I could spend so much time just trying to find the right word or note and brush stroke to fit perfectly into whatever I was composing. And yet, if you looked at me, you would never know what laid underneath. My appearance simply translated as: artless.
It wasn't just my appearance that came off artless, it was my whole demeanor. I had a tendency to blush at the slightest attention. I often tolerated uncomfortably long stretches of silence to fill up the space between others and myself. And yet in my mind, I had a comeback and remark for everything I observed.
I thought now was the time, with my freshman year move to University, to try to close the gap between my interior and my exterior life. It was time to peel off all the artless baits I had relied on until now to keep myself from being exposed. I grew up under somewhat poor circumstances, so I didn't have a lot of money to buy a whole new wardrobe. But with some creativity and a lot of second-hand store searching, I had found a wardrobe that better reflected who I saw inside. My wardrobe didn't fit under a cateogory like "rocker chick" or "goth girl" or "Betty Paige disciple." It was more about taking cues from every style I loved and fusing them together, Bella style.
The ONE thing I did want to splurge on though was a good haircut.
Jenna, the hairstylist, looked at me warily. "You sure you are alright with this, honey? You sure you don't want to cut the length gradually? Most girls with hair this long go into shock when they cut it all off."
I shook my head confidently. "No. It's time. And this way I can donate it to Locks of Love."
In a succession of snips, 15 inches in total was cut. Jenna went to work dyeing my hair a much darker shade of brown and cutting choppy layers haphazardly into a spunky take on the A-line bob. When she was done, she looked satisfied with her work. "You like?"
I shook my hair out and nodded enthusiastically as the fringes fell over my face casually. "I love! Now I'm off to charm my new roommate into letting me have the bed by the window; and after that, I'll take control over the whole university campus with my mesmerizing haircut..."
Jenna gave me a reassuring smille. "All in a day's work. And how can you not plot world domination with the hair and that dress?"
"You like? Found it at the local Salvation Army. $3.99 special."
"Oh no. Oh no, no, no." My roommate wasn't present, but her wardrobe was. That was the problem. A lot of black. Steel toe retro lace-up Doc Martins. An Iron Maiden t-shirt. Oh, this is going to be a problem. Unless this is her entire wardrobe, in which case I have 1/3 more closet space than originally intended. That's a plus....
Edward snickered at me. "Haha, you got some sort of weird goth chick who's going to put pentagrams under your bed to curse you for all the pink interior decorating touches you have in mind." He bent over and eyed a pair of shoes in the closet. "Whoa, but check out the pair of spiked, multi-strapped heels next to the Doc Martens. She may be a dominatrix on the side. In that case, I can't wait to meet her and let her know I've been a bad, bad boy this summer--"
I scowled. "This summer, Edward? That's where your bad boy ways began and ended? Please, skank, I made Dad put me on a round of penicillin after you borrowed my toothbrush the other week..."
Just then, she walked in. And I didn't know what to think. She wasn't goth. She wasn't a rocker chick. She was like an anime heroine who moonlighted on the side as a 50's sweater girl. Oh hell, Edward, put your tongue back in your mouth and stop checking out her boobs. He's impossible.
I was staring at a pair of kids about my age who looked like they could have just walked off a Clearasil commercial. Or a Noxema commercial. Or a Crest White Strips commercial. Take your were disconcertingly beautiful, and I felt much less mesmerizing at that moment. I tried to de-dazzle myself so that I could try to charm her into giving me the bed by the window.
"Hey, I'm Bella. You must be Alice." I walked over to her, gave her a handshake, and threw out as charming a smile as possible. She looked perky, so I decided to throw in a hug.
Alice looked at the boy, "So much for pentagrams under my bed, huh, Edward?" She then turned to me. "Wow, I'm Alice. And I don't know about you and me yet, but I think our haircuts are going to become fast friends."
Okay. She's a little odd, but I liked it. So am I. Alice did have a sweet haircut. Her cut was shorter and spikier than my A-line bob. It was quite edgy for a girl awashed in breezy pink pastels and ruffles. She was waiting for me to respond.
"I think our black eyeliner is going to become fast friends as well, although our shoes might become mortal enemies." The boy laughed as we exchanged glances at our dueling shoes. She had obvious designer heels on, delicate and upscale like her. I had a pair of vintage slightly chunky heels with an ankle strap; eccentric and a little worn, like me.
Alice shrugged. "I've always taught my clothes and shoes to be tolerant of others. We really champion diversity and multiculturalism in the world of fashion."
With that, I laughed out loud. "Um, Alice, screw our hair. I think WE are going to become fastest of all friends in this room."
"Ahem..." The boy demanded some attention at this point. And when I say boy, I really mean hot piece of deliciousness. He smiled at me like he was on auto-pilot way. He was used to unloading that smile on the female population, that much was certain, and getting quick results. I wanted to stay a step ahead, so I cut him off before he could proceed.
"Oh, I'm sorry! Is your hair a little jealous for not receiving a compliment?" He looked at me questioningly and Alice began to grin. "If it's any consolation, your hair looks much more sexually active than either mine or Alice's." The boy's eyes were taken aback, but a goofy grin came onto his lips. Guys and the "s" word, I thought to myself as I shook my head. For some reason, my mouth kept moving and addressing the boy.
"You hair is almost promiscuous and scandalous looking, really, if hair can be such things." It was true. His hair looked like it just rolled out of bed after a sex fueled night. It was falling all over in its copper colored brilliance: all over his eyes, over his ears, on the sides of his cheekbones. Suddenly my thoughts stopped as I realized what I had just said out loud to a perfect, albeit physically perfect as well, stranger. Maybe saying what I think and thinking what I say wasn't such a such a good idea after all.
Alice howled. "If you only knew, Bella! You are like the hair whisperer!" I winked at her.
Alice continued. "This is my brother Edward, the very sexually active owner of the sexually active looking hair."
Edward shot her a look. "Ali! Shut up."
"Nice to meet you, Edward, as well as that randy hair of yours." I tried not to laugh as I extended my hand. He took it briskly and I felt a small jolt on contact. All I could think was, "Step away from the sexual live wire, Bella. He's nothing but trouble."
He stared back at me intensely as if he felt the jolt too. His eyes kept moving back and forth between my face and our hands. I looked down slightly, as some of my newly shorn wisps fell over my eyes. Suddenly I wasn't feeling so bold; in fact, I was feeling quite exposed at the moment. He bent his head slightly to try to reestablish our gaze, and I knew my inner fifteen-year-old dork was this close to busting out and blushing something fierce. I kept telling myself to recollect and recover quickly, before he could witness the effect he had over me - and my cheeks.
"Well, nice to meet you, Bella, and that sexy hair of yours. If your hair is indication of your 'lifestyle,'" he emphasized that last word a little too much,"then I think your hair and my hair will get along rather well."
The hair theme was getting a little old, but I couldn't say that to him. He was too happy to get in a hair reference finally after being ignored at first. I could feel my snark recovering quickly with his cheesy line.
"Well, Edward. If by lifestyle you mean that my hair and I are virginal. And that my virginal hair and your promiscuous hair will get along the way a Catholic Priest tries to save the town Jezebel from her immoral ways...Then, sure. We'll get along swimmingly."
He flashed me such a devilish smile while gripping my hand tighter. I instantly regretted mentioning my virgin status. I needed to escape before I started the full on crimson blushing that would give away my true emotional state at the moment. I retrieved my hand, and headed out the door while fliply looking over my shoulder at my new roomie. "I'll be back in an hour, Alice. Then we can talk all about your brother behind his back." I could feel his stare boring into my back as I tried my best to make the wittiest exit of my life.