Disclaimer: Plot line mine. Twilight characters not mine. You get the idea.
A/N: Okay. This story is about Bella and Edward. And how they're human in my story. And how drama unfolds…well…dramatically. Enjoy!!
Chapter 1: Thrown In a Blender
Centipedes are odd looking insects. They're like tiny, squishy, trains that roll their many feet against the floor to move. I tilted my head to the side slightly, gazing at a brown, dried centipede on my bathroom floor. Another one lay not too far from it. I wondered what was going on when the centipedes began to dry up. Were they already dead when they began to dry up? I hoped so. How awful would it be to dry to death? I shook my head. If they only knew that they were going to fry that day maybe they wouldn't have inched out of their little shelters.
I realized that I was daydreaming about the centipedes and stepped out of the bathroom of my apartment before I began talking to myself or something. I shuffled into the kitchen to find my roommates, Rosalie and Alice, already awake and moving. Rosalie was sitting at the kitchen table, hunched over a magazine and cup of coffee. Alice was at the frying pan, her nimble hands cracking an egg over it. They both looked at me when they heard me coming in.
"Morning, Sleeping Beauty," Rosalie snickered at the same time Alice chirped, "Happy Saturday!"
They glanced at each other and I laughed. They were my two closest and most faithful friends. They also both had steady jobs and they were done with school. I had neither of those things. The job I had dreamed about was coming, though. I was just about to begin my schooling in Columbia for graduate school. Exciting right? Well, the summer was winding down and Rosalie and Alice got to look forward to doing the jobs they loved…while I only looked forward to more school. Fun.
"Is that homework, Rosalie?" I teased, pointing at her gossip magazine. Rosalie stuck her tongue out at me and Alice snickered.
"I'm going down to Soho today," Rosalie announced, folding up the magazine. Alice's egg began to smell very inviting and I was reminded that I needed to eat. I walked over to our refrigerator and pulled out some milk.
"Feel free to give any sign that you heard me," Rosalie huffed. I gave her an apologetic smile and Alice turned from the pan to grin at her.
"I'll go with you," Alice said happily, "I finished my last project…finally."
"That only took forever. Why'd your boss give you so much to do over the summer? Are they crazy!?" Rosalie shook her head in disapproval.
Alice gave her a look that said, 'Hey! It's my job!' Rosalie then turned to me. I sighed, feeling the thing I was doing today was not very exciting. It was, actually, one of the reasons I was so hesitant to drag my sorry butt out of bed.
"I'm going to go help Renee down in the office," I said in a bored tone. My roommates didn't look surprised.
Renee was my mother and my childhood idol. She and my father had both paid for my schooling and were continuing to do so. Renee was living the life I wanted. Her office was one of the most successful in New York City.
She was a dentist. You wouldn't really match dentist to my personality, but something about being a dentist pulled me in. My parents, at one point in my life, were the only people who took me being a dentist seriously. I was incredibly grateful for everything they had done for me, and now that my dad had retired, my family's office was lacking help. I felt it my duty to go and help my mother. Pathetic, right? A grown woman still under the control of her mother.
"Okay then," Rosalie sighed, "Why go to Soho with your best friends when you go work with your mother in a dentist's office!?"
Alice bit back a smile as I rolled my eyes. I took a bite of my cereal before talking again.
"I owe her that much," I said simply. Now Rosalie rolled her eyes. I gave her an angelic smile and she got up.
"I'm going to go get ready. Feel free to change your mind, Bella," Rosalie called after me as she glided out of the room.
"You know I wish I could!!" I called after her. Alice looked at me with pity.
"What?" I demanded. She shrugged.
"You're selling your life to dentistry," she stated plainly. I was selling my life to it. I was selling my soul. I didn't know where Alice was going with this.
"Thank goodness for that. I wouldn't trust anything else with my life or soul."
"Okay good, I was just making sure you knew. You know, just in case you wake up tomorrow deciding you would rather sell your life to shopping or something drastic."
I laughed and Alice smiled. She got up, probably going to get ready, when I remembered something I wanted to tell her.
"Oh Alice," I said, causing her to stop moving and turn to me, "I forgot to tell you, but we have centipedes."
I shrugged off my sweater and hung it on the coat rack inside the office. Renee's office had this warm, welcoming feel to it. I shut the door behind me and walked towards Renee's tiny, private office. The secretary, Angela, peeked up at me from her computer and smiled warmly at me. I smiled back, but didn't stop walking. I finally got to Renee's office door and gently tapped on it to let her know that I was coming in.
I leaned on the door a bit, opening it slowly. Renee was staring blankly at her computer. She looked withered and tired. Stress was painted all over her aging face and I felt pained and worried to see her like this.
"Mom?" I said cautiously. Renee didn't answer for a moment. She kept her eyes on the computer for a second before clearing her throat and looking at me. Then her eyes fell again and she fidgeted with her fingers.
"Thanks for coming down, dear," she said in a raspy, strangled voice. She still didn't look at me.
"I always do, Mom," I said quietly. I sat down in the chair opposite her desk, feeling compelled to comfort her, but not knowing what was bothering her.
"I…I have some…upsetting…news," Renee stuttered, looking at her window. She stood up to the window and pulled the blinds open. She stood there silently with her back towards me, gazing out at the street. I wished she would just hurry up and tell me already, but I didn't say so. I was dying of anticipation, however. My fingers were going to snap from how hard I was holding the edge of my chair.
"You remember your Uncle Phil? My brother?" she said, struggling to keep her voice level. She turned back to me, and had this look of shame cross her face.
"What? Why? Is he okay? Are his children okay? Di-" I had stood up from my chair, but Renee raised a hand to stop me. I half expected her to say something crazy like his children were eaten by a giant, man-eating chicken. Then she would say she was kidding and we would both laugh. She would send me off to work and I would be left thinking about what a great actor she was. How wrong I was. Instead she said:
"His house burned down last night, honey. He lost everything."
Renee looked like she was eroding away from all the sadness. She was always so brave. Despite this awful news, I couldn't help but feel that worse news was coming for me. Damnit. I was so hoping for the giant chicken.
"Oh," was the only thing I could utter. Renee nodded grimly and cleared her throat. She sat down at her chair and regained her perfect, business-only face.
"I need to help him, Bella. So…I'm going to have to make some…arrangements in the way I'm spending my money."
Inside I was screaming at her, throwing a tantrum, stomping my feet, but outside I was nodding professionally. I knew money was being taken out of my school-money and I was being selfish by not wanting to help Phil. I couldn't help it.
"You know what that means, I assume?"
"I know how hard it must be fo-"
"It's fine, Renee."
"I'll be okay."
"I've found you a job."
I sat back down, stunned at those last words. A job? What type of job? Did she really expect me to help her and do a job as well? All that along with school!?
"You won't have to help me out anymore, but one of my colleagues has a job opening. He's really eager to meet you and I'm sure you'll love this job. The hours are definitely manageable, and of course, the pay is really good."
"What's the job?" I said, leaving as much emotion out of my voice as possible, though my brain was whirling with a million different feelings.
My mother immediately looked apologetic and that in itself was a bad sign.
Stomping across the pavement fiercely, I made my way to my new job. Want to hear what it was? I sure as hell didn't want to hear it, but I heard it anyway. Maybe I should let you try to understand my suffering by telling you. Maybe if I told you I have had bad experiences with this type of job would make you understand. Maybe my mother is out of her mind!! Oh no wait, that one isn't a maybe. Nope. That one is a definite.
Well, I was going to be a nanny. Yes, nanny. For an eight year old girl. That and a tutor for her. Not only that, but this girl was extremely rich, as my mother had explained to me. Maybe that explains why my crazy mother has befriended the girl's father. Money. Why does money control every aspect in our pathetic lives!? Why did the fate of our happiness and livelihood circle around a piece of paper. Oh I'm sorry, that's right, the piece of paper is backed up by gold. Let me rephrase: Why did the fate of our happiness and livelihood circle around A SHINY YELLOW ROCK!? WHOSE BRILLIANT IDEA WAS THAT!?
I realized that I was murmuring angrily to myself on the street. I was getting looks from people walking by. You know those pitiful looks you give someone who is handicapped or mentally retarded? Yeah, those were the looks people were giving me. But I was too infuriated to care.
My mother knew I had bad experiences babysitting (I won't go into details. It's too painful). Then why why WHY did she sign me up for a babysitting job? I have no idea. I never have any idea.
Finally, I reached my destination somewhere midtown. It was a ballet studio, and I was told to wait outside the building until the little girl came out from her ballet class. That was another thing: I hated ballet.
There were other people standing around, also waiting for their little girls (maybe boys) to come out. They were all dressed nicely like they were at a black tie event. Most looked like they were chauffeurs but some looked like rich grandparents. They all looked at me with pity. What is with the pity looks!? I did, however, feel left out like you would if you dressed casually to a fancy wedding. I was in my jean shorts, sandals, and college sweatshirt. I had my favorite sunglasses hooked at the collar of my sweatshirt and my hair was up in a casual ponytail. What? Don't give me that disapproving look! It was a Sunday! Casual dress is what I usually aim for!!
I crossed my arms and avoided the looks of the people around me. Then, as if to relieve me of my torture, the ballet studio door was opened by a chipper looking woman who I assumed to be the teacher. The girls paraded out, full of arrogance, and I felt like I should have had one of those signs the chauffeurs at airports had with the person's name on it. I peered around, hoping to catch one of the little girls' eyes.
Then I felt a small hand tug on mine. I looked down to find a girl looking at me with big, innocent, blue eyes. She had curly blond hair that hung from a tight ponytail. She was still wearing her pink leotard but had pulled jeans over her legs and a black sweater, unzipped, over her shoulders. Get this: the jeans had holes in them. I no longer felt that left out. I almost smiled with relief. Almost.
"You're Bella Swan, right?" she said with a cautious face.
"Yes I am," I said. An adorable grin grew on her face. Then something hit me.
"Uh," I said, "How did you know it was me? How did you know I'm not a kidnapper or something?"
"Well, my dad showed me a picture of you last night, so I would know what you looked like. And you looked too angry to be a kidnapper," she said with a shrug.
She laughed at my confused face and then explained, "A kidnapper would try to not look angry, you know? To try to blend in. But you looked positively furious."
I raised my eyebrows, but felt myself smiling despite myself. Something about this girl's happiness was infectious.
We began walking to her house which was thankfully only a few blocks away.
"I'm sorry," I said, "About the death glares, I mean. I have some bad memories with uh…being a nanny."
"It's okay," the girl laughed, "I have some bad memories with nannies."
I felt myself smiling at the mysterious look on the girl's face.
"I'm assuming someone already told you my name, but I feel that we should be properly introduced," the girl continued, "I'm Maria Cullen."
"I'm Bella Swan," I said, sticking out my hand to shake hers. She giggled as she shook my hand.
And I guess that's where you could say my life was put in a blender to be chopped up. The moment I met Maria.
Maria and I stepped out of the elevator and walked to the door of her apartment. She rested her palm against the doorknob, hesitating. Then she turned back to me, laughing.
"My room is really messy," she confessed, "But I'm not really a slob. The rest of the house is neat, though, I just…"
"I'm sure it can't be messier than my room," I laughed. Maria beamed up at me. Slowly, she opened the door and I was given a spectacular sight. The room was full of naked men!! No, I'm totally kidding. Sorry. But the apartment was the most extravagant apartment I had ever seen. It felt like if I was to peek under the table clothes I'd find piles of gold or something. The yellow, shiny rock that everyone loved.
Maria pulled on my arm, and I was broken out of my ogling. She opened the door to her room. It was like one of the rooms every girl who dreamed of being a princess longed to have.
There was a light blue canopy bed in the room with a thin blue canopy hanging over it, decked with little pink jewels. There was soft white carpeting beneath my feet and light blue curtains that were waving from the wind that was blowing through the half opened window. There was a pretty white desk in one corner. A beautiful closet door in the other, which I assumed opened to a big closet full of beautiful clothes. There was a toy chest at the side of the room which had soft looking pillows resting on and around it.
"Am I supposed to be dressed in a pretty princess dress with a crown?" I said, letting all my awe leak into my voice.
"That was my mother's basic idea," Maria said, laughing. She threw her ballet bag in a corner and tossed her black sweater in another corner. Then she walked to her closet, pulling out a big blue t-shirt. She pulled it over her head and it went down mid-thigh. I assumed it was something she wore to bed. It had black letters that read, "Finish that sentence. I dare you."
If there was ever a shirt that totally did not give off the vibe that Maria's room was giving, that would be the shirt.
"You leave your stuff here," she said, pointing to a random corner next to her toy chest. I nodded, taking off my shoes and purse there. Maria walked to her door again and turned back to me.
"Hey, Bella?" she asked, "You know how to cook, right?"
I froze. I knew how to cook…barely. If she had those microwavable soup cans or whatever, then I would be set. Cereal! Yes, I would cook cereal. As I was contemplating what things to cook for her, Maria broke out in laughter.
"I'm kidding," she said, "We have a cook. Don't worry, Bella. The only thing you're going to have to do is usher me around and help me with homework."
A cook. Of course. I should have guessed.
She led me towards her beautiful kitchen in her beautiful apartment. She tapped on a door that was next to the kitchen and a tired looking woman came out. She was wearing a black apron and black pants. Not exactly what I expected to see as the cook. Really, you would expect a fat, French, man with a giant white hat and goatee. The cook smiled at Maria.
"What would you like to eat, honey?" she asked. Then, I guess she couldn't help it, she yawned.
"Oh, Kate, sorry! Did I wake you from your nap?" Maria asked sincerely.
"It's fine, honey," Kate said, patting Maria on her hair. Maria smiled and turned to me.
"Kate, this is Bella. She's my new nanny/tutor," Maria beamed. I smiled warmly at Kate, who smiled back.
"What would you like to eat, Bella?" Kate asked me sweetly. Wow. I hadn't heard that question in such a long time. Usually my roommates and I just announced what we would be dining on every night. There was never and dispute. Now I felt like I had been given a giant power.
"Oh no thank you, I'm full," was the response I gave to my giant power. Kate looked understanding, but Maria wasn't fooled.
"She's being polite," Maria explained, "We'll have spaghetti with sparkling apple cider!!"
Kate grinned. I swear; Maria just had this unavoidable happiness vibe that was nearly impossible to not catch. Kate turned into the kitchen, disappearing from view. I hear pots and pans being taken out. Maria turned proudly to me.
"It's my favorite," she explained. I raised an eyebrow, but chuckled. I didn't know anything else I could say at that moment.
Kate finished cooking the spaghetti and came out with two plates of it. Steam trailed off it, and I felt my mouth watering. Maria looked the same. Her eyes watched it hungrily as Kate place it in front of us on the marble counter we were sitting on. Shortly after, Kate came back with two glasses of sparkling apple cider. I realized that it was six and around the time I usually ate dinner. I wondered what Rosalie and Alice were eating without me. Chinese take out, I bet. I smiled to myself as I took a bite. One word could easily describe it: heavenly.
"Why are you smiling?" Maria asked, "Is it really good? Or do I have something in my teeth?"
She bared her teeth into her fork, to see if there was anything there. I shook my head.
"I was just thinking about what my roommates are eating right now," I explained, "But it is the greatest spaghetti to ever have entered my mouth."
"Rommates. Gosh, that is so cool! I wish I had roommates. The closest thing I get is my cook and maid. They're not even that fun. Why do adults always sleep? I'll never know. What are your roommates like?" Maria said, looking eager and excusing the fact I had just complimented the spaghetti. I guess roommates are cooler, in her mind. I smiled at her mini-rant.
"My roommates are my best friends. One is named Rosalie, and she is really pretty. She's a fashion magazine editor. The other is Alice, and she's just a tiny ball of energy. She loves shopping, and she works for a fashion designing company."
"Wow. That is amazing. Do you want to be a designer too?"
"Um…well…if you count designing teeth a designer…" I said hesitantly. I felt embarrassed that I my dream job was something Maria probably wouldn't be in awe of.
"They are designers!" Maria insisted, "The best designers I know!!" I laughed.
"Seriously, being a dentist, or an orthodontist, is an awesome job. I want to be one when I grow up."
That shocked me.
"Really?" I asked, looking at Maria. Maria nodded sheepishly.
"I want to be just like my daddy," she said proudly, "He's the best orthodontist around."
The similarities between me and her aren't escaping me, thank you very much.
"That's good," I said, "It's always good to have a goal."
We talked for a little more before I suddenly remembered I had this little job of being a tutor that I had to do. It was six thirty now.
"Maria? Didn't your father give you summer homework to do?"
I remembered my mom telling me about how her colleague signed his daughter up for this summer school torture program sort of thing. Poor Maria.
Maria's face fell and I felt bad. Then she looked up hopefully at me.
"Finish dinner first?" she offered. I laughed and agreed to that, but before I could pick up my fork again, I heard a voice coming from the entry way.
"Maria? You here? Is the new nanny here?" a silky voice asked. I wondered if this was her father and immediately straightened up. Footsteps became louder and before a knew it, a figure was standing in the entry way of the kitchen. I looked up at what happened to be the most handsome man I had ever seen.
He was too young to be her father. He had beautiful green eyes and bronze colored hair. He was wearing a dress shirt with the tie loosened. A jacket was hooked on his finger and swung over his back and he leaned against the frame of the door. His face was cautious and gentle at first, but his eyes locked on me, and the expression became stern.
"Maria," he said in the silky voice, this time harsher, "I'm assuming this isn't one of your playdates."
Ouch. Didn't see that coming. Maria sighed and looked at me, giving me an apologetic look. Uh oh. Apologetic looks came with an apology…but what was she apologizing for?
I suddenly had the faintest idea that it had to do with the stern man in the doorway. Then I began to feel like a drying centipede. If I had only known I was going to be fried by this mysteriously angry man, maybe I wouldn't have crawled out of bed today…
Hate it? Love it? Want me to go die in a hole!? Review!! (well, if you want me to go die in a hole, I'd actually keep that bit of information to yourself. I don't want to sleep knowing someone wants me dead…)