ALL HUMAN- Alice, Jasper, and Bella are best friends. Alice and Jasper decide to do something special for Bella, they buy her concert tickets to an outdoor music festival where her favorite band has finally come to concert. Somehow, Bella gets a once in a lifetime chance to maybe meet a few of the band members from a mysterious tip off they get. But what happens when the lead singer, bronze haired Edward Cullen, isn't as gracious as he seems and is rude to Bella the second they meet? Bella is hurt and disappointed her musical crush isn't what he seemed to be, but we'll have to see about that… ExB and all other canon pairings. The band consists of Edward, Emmet and James- or does it? Surprises later.
The story gets a lot better after this first chapter, this chapter is the foundation for the rest of the story, basically.
Little Lover's So Polite
I sighed heavily as I sat down in the booth of the coffee shop, my feet were killing me. Luckily I had Jasper and Alice sipping mugs in the booth across from me. These days they seemed desensitized to how crappy I looked- completely tired and run into the ground. But of course next to Alice wouldn't anyone look that way? I couldn't help but think that. It was just fact that came along with being her best friend- inferior to her beauty, whether you were killing yourself working way too much overtime at a busy coffee shop or not.
"Bella I think you really need to-" Alice started, but I cut her off.
"I'm fine, Alice, really, just a couple more weeks of this and I'll have enough saved, I'll be able to move and start school, it'll all work out fine." I finished with a nod that sealed the deal, my own words were motivation for myself as well as a reassurance for my friends who worried I would work myself into the ground. But I was determined. I would get out of Forks one way or another and start college, I'd get a new car- which begrudgingly, I allowed Charlie to help me pay for since my own truck passed away this spring. It's been a difficult time for the family.
"But until then? You know you can't live like this. You work here so much you can't even drink coffee anymore without forcing it down- the smell of coffee beans is engraved in your nostrils- give it a break already, won't you?" Alice insisted, sitting up with her elbows leaned on the table, her jet black hair shining under the lights of the shop. I swear she'd cause traffic during the morning commute, either that or Jasper was going to- or maybe it was the two of them together? Such a handsome couple.
I only looked out the window, seeing the bus roll by, leaving grungy exhaust behind it. Sometimes I felt I could take that very same bus out of here, just leave…
But I couldn't and wouldn't do that to Charlie, Alice and Jasper. They were the only ones here keeping me tied to Forks.
My whole existence in this rainy city hasn't been bad, just not good.
I felt like there was something more out there, something exciting hiding in all this dreariness and rain.
My high school days hadn't been bad, but just uneventful enough and boring enough to leave me with a bad taste of it.
It's not that people here weren't nice, they just weren't…
How to put it?…
Interesting. Intriguing. Dazzling. No one here like that of the sorts.
Why settle for just plain and ordinary when you could search for that something more?
The problem however, were my best friends thinking I was going to collapse before I actually got to start on that search…
"Bella…" Jasper's voice was low, almost in a warning like tone. I didn't turn my head, but I was all ears.
"Bella.." he started again, I barely tilted my head to the side to let him know he had my undivided attention, "Do you think you can get this Wednesday off?" he asked.
"Oh I don't know, Jasper… my manager is on vacation this week. He's supposed to call with the schedule and I was just gonna take it as is and not trouble him with whatever he wrote me up for." I could tell my words had disappointed him, they were used to my tone of voice when I talked about work- so depressing and dreary… matching the weather.
"Bella, don't go to work that day." Alice chimed in.
"Why??" I asked, skeptical.
"Well, because… honestly you hate for us to buy you anything, but you'd feel even worse if what we bought you had to go to waste…"
"What?! Oh no… please don't tell me- ugh…" I heaved, defeated, "guys how many times do I have to tell you? If there's something I need, really need, I can get it myself-"
"oh this is something you definitely need, but you'd never think to get it for yourself. 'Too expensive' or 'unnecessary' is what you'd call it, even though it's not. However, it's more likely to be your reason for getting up everyday until Wednesday once you find out what it is." said Alice, with the smallest hint of a smile in the corner of her mouth. Jasper watched her as she spoke and a small, ever admiring smirk playing at the corner of his lips as he eyed her.
This got me curious.
"What do you mean…?" I found myself leaning into the table. Alice did the same, her dainty hands folded in front of her like she had a plan of action stirring in her head.
"You know the outdoor music festival that comes around every summer? But never anywhere near Forks?" she asked, I could only follow whatever she was going to say. I nodded, sure, but what was it to me?
"Well this year, they're adding some more dates and trying some alternate stops on tour! They'll be at the Port Angeles outdoor arena! Jasper and I got us all tickets and we're going!!" her voice turned harsh at the end, as if commanding, "You're going Bella!" she was already telling me before I had even objected that I couldn't go.
I had to smile at her, her pretty little pixie like features.
"Alice, Jasper… thank you, really, out of every unnecessary purchase you've ever gotten me, this is by far my favorite and most appreciated, especially now since it seems like all I know is work-"
"That's because all you DO know is work!" Jasper shouted. I laughed.
"I know, I know, and truly I'm sorry about that guys. I know we hardly see each other anymore and when we do it's always at this crappy coffee shop- but I can see why you're really doing this. You're worried about me, that I'm always stressed or overworked. Your intentions were good. You mean well and I can tell by this purchase that you were only trying to help me- unlike all the times your purchases have done anything but…" I tried to lighten the mood a little bit with a smile.
Alice snorted, "who said that Victoria Secret underwear I bought you wouldn't help you?"
Jasper cleared his throat but couldn't hide his amusement about Alice, me, and my wardrobe. I merely rolled my eyes.
"Seriously I mean it though- which is why… I'm so sorry that I have to decline…" I cringed, my shoulders tensing and waiting for the outbursts to come…
"Are you kidding?!"
And there were the shower of objections…
"I'm SORRY!" it seemed like I was always apologizing these days. I wasn't doing anything wrong, but it always felt like I was. For some reason I couldn't deny the feeling of guilt and depression every time they had to go without me, or I revealed last minute I had to bail because work called.
"Bella- trust me, please don't miss this! Don't make US miss this!" Alice insisted.
"You guys can still go without me!"
Alice leaned back, a look of shock on her face that showed she was either appalled or offended, "We're not going without you! The only reason we bought these tickets were because of you! Honestly? Me at an outside music festival?? In the rain and like… mud and stuff??" Alice made a face and I got what she meant. I had to laugh a little. I knew now how completely and totally they were just doing this for me. The outdoor concert was something I would surely be interested in. I can't remember the last one to even hit a city anywhere kind of even close to Forks. This was definitely a great opportunity.
Alice heaved a sigh, "We didn't want to have to do this, Bella…" she shook her head, arms folded.
"What now?" I asked, with a nod towards her, almost challenging what she was going to say next.
"It was going to be a surprise but… Little Miss Difficult has to ruin everything now, doesn't she??" Alice replied.
"Uh, I'm sorry, are you talking to me?"
"Who else??" Jasper's deep voice cut in.
I glared at him, but otherwise waited for Alice to make her point.
Just then Alice dug into her purse. It took a moment of silence hearing her dig through its contents as Jasper and I waited patiently.
At last, she pulled out her wallet and proceeded to pull out one ticket, sliding it across the table over to me.
At first I only eyed, as if touching it would burn me, but then reluctantly, I picked it up and brought it close to my face to read.
It was your standard ticket, with the event's date, time, and arena written on it, even a few major headliners of the tour, but nothing else.
"Read who's going, of course!" Alice shrieked, I jumped.
I reread each little band name in bold, computerized print on the ticket. Some I had heard of but didn't necessarily really listen to- and then I saw that name…
"Is this a joke?" I glared at them both through slitted eyes.
"Are we laughing?" Jasper retorted. I scoffed.
Either way this couldn't be happening- my favorite, absolute favorite band was coming to Port Angeles! A measly little drive away compared to where concerts were usually held around here… and I couldn't go because supposedly work was going to get in the way. I didn't need to college did I? I had enough saved, surely I could skip Wednesday.. And the day after that…
No- stay focused! As tempting as it was…
And then it was as if Alice and Jasper could read my facial expressions. They could see me deliberating with myself in my head.
"We know that look…" Alice said softly, "it means you really want something, but you think you should decide against it. You don't think you have a right to.. But you're wrong, Bella! You do!" she pounded her little fists on the table top for emphasis.
I sighed, almost sadly. How could I?… I wouldn't. I had to stop somewhere, work and the mundane would kill me before the weather ever had its chance with getting me sick and finishing me off…
I tapped my fingers nervously on the tabletop, thinking about what she had just said.
Maybe this could be my one last big experience before I officially said goodbye to Washington when I did leave? Maybe this was the state's way of making up to me all those boring and wasteful years. See it as a going away present. It wouldn't let you leave without the proper goodbye. It wanted you to have one good- no, great experience here.
Aw, and it was my favorite band! It really was. They had been for a while since I had walked into this one bookstore, only to pick up something when I overheard them on the guy who was stocking shelves mp3 player, he had his earphones blasting and whatever it was, I decided I liked it- almost immediately. I was pretty good that way though, I never needed to listen to much of a song to know if it was good or not. I only had to sample seconds of it to know if I'd like the entire album.
The band wasn't really mainstream, but had enough of a fan base to tour and book small venues- ones with more intimate and close settings, putting you basically in front of the stage. Unfortunately, I had never got around to going, even though I absolutely adored their music. The band in itself, the entire package just drew me in. First there was their music- melodic and honest, lyrics and metaphors, clever figures of speech, and the vocals… not to mention the musicians themselves.
It was slightly embarrassing to admit, but I had a huge crush on the lead singer. Ugh. He was my favorite. I always felt like a stupid teenager, even though the band was far from 'screaming girls outside of TRL' status. I just looked more into them once I bought the CD and the band members just so happened to be beautiful. It was so strange to me. Here were these talented young men, so good looking and handsome and just flying under the radar. I felt like no one knew about them but me. I'd like to think in all of Forks that was possible, that their amazing music and extremely good looks went unnoticed by everyone else around me- and yet I was glad they could tour and perform because they deserved it. I remember one year Alice got me their band t-shirt they were selling on their website that was left over from the small tour they did with another band. I still had it today and sometimes even slept in it.
I looked back at the ticket held in my hand. To go, to even be remotely in the same area of them would be cool. Seeing them live, even if I had to stand in the back of the crowd would be enough. How could I say no? I felt ashamed and so selfish that I would even consider it. I couldn't do that to Alice and Jasper.
Finally, I looked up at them and smiled the warmest, most gratitude filled smile I could muster. They both smiled back, containing their obvious enthusiasm.
"I'm gonna call my manager- better let him know I'll be needing Wednesday off next week." I grinned.
"Make it Thursday, and Friday, and Saturday…" Jasper smiled.
And with that I got up, left my boss a message on his answering machine and flat out told him I could not work the second half of next week. I made up some excuse, some fake reason that assured him it was something I definitely couldn't help nor get out of.
I hung up and went back to Alice and Jasper at the table, still standing, I told them thank you. They seemed to know what I meant, even though I could only say it right now in so little words. They understood and knew what they meant to me. And I knew exactly how they felt likewise.
I excused myself and had to actually work now, the morning rush starting to come in at full force. I let the other employees handle it and I went to pick up coffee mugs and dishes off of tables and clean, I was glad because that left me with opportunity to day dream.
I couldn't imagine the band here, in rainy, unimpressive Washington- green, wet Washington. Too green almost.
What would the singer, Edward Cullen look like in person? Even if it was from far away, I could picture now his bronze haired head so bright in contrast against the grey, overcast sky here. Would the lack of sunlight wash out his pale skin? Regardless, his piercing green eyes would stand out, even if I was standing at the way back of the crowd. He was the most handsome one, and of what? 23 years of age? I was 22, I thought, then I scoffed to myself. How ridiculous to think our ages matched up- so what? It's not like you're meeting him. It's just a concert. You'll get to see him play live: guitar and sometimes they had a piano onstage.
Then there was James, the band's bass player. I remember Alice was going through the junk in my car and came across their album booklet, and pointed out something along the lines of him being a 'sexy devil.' (he did look rather devious, sinister, but I imagined it was all intentional) She didn't listen to their music unless it was playing in my room when she came over, but didn't mind it in the least.
And then they had their drummer, Emmet, who seemed like the black sheep of the group- loud and so much more care free and outgoing than the more serious types of Edward and James. But I thought it was probably safe to guess that he brought out those qualities in them. I mean, you'd probably have to. I bet his big, muscular build and boisterous attitude could be persuasive and maybe even rub off on you, like it was hard to care or be serious around him.
I finished up the last of the tables and let a business couple sit down at it and walked away with an excited spring in my step… only a few days and I'd gladly be standing outside (most likely in rain), with probably a thousand or so others all across the outdoor festival to see the one band I actually cared about with my two best friends who couldn't be more considerate- and pushy- with all the best intentions and I loved them for it. For once I wasn't worrying I'd just be the third wheel when we went out, even though time and time again Alice and Jasper told me I was always invited because I was wanted, not out of courtesy just because we had all started out as merely friends at one point. They emphasized just because their relationship grew to be more didn't mean I would end up always as an interruption. With this concert though, I knew it wouldn't be that way. I knew they were doing this for me- because they cared so much, because they were worried… it assured me that I wasn't forgotten, even though I couldn't blame them if I was. Our relationships had a distant feel to them now, only the memory of how close you were still lingered on the surface and how much time you used to spend together. This Wednesday would make it better. I knew everything would just be instantly better. They had shown me when I was trying to get ahead in life, I ended up neglecting it mostly. This Wednesday it would all change. Secretly I would use the day as a fresh new start. Even after the concert would come and go, my favorite band that always helped me when I needed it-for anything- would come and go amazingly, I would go on with a better attitude and a better balance of matters around me. How could I deserve it all, and yet feel like it was too good?