It's just a game

AN: This is my first fan fic... I'm really nervous about it. Please review and tell me what you think. I hope you enjoy it!!

Chapter 1


"Shakespeare might've been this famous, brilliant romantic writer, but he was a sexist, just like most men. He probably just sat around all day and wrote a bit here and there while there was a woman cleaning and cooking and picking up his dirty socks!"

There was a shocked silence in class. I could feel a blush creeping up onto my cheeks. I turned to Alice, one of my best friends to see if she agreed with me, but she was trying really hard not to laugh. I just gave her a death stare and looked back to Ms. Riley at the front of the class. Even the teacher looked shocked. I could hear someone at the back of the class stifle a choke. Ugh! Men. I knew who it was without even needing to turn around.

"That's a very… a… interesting point of view Ms Swan, but do tell the class why you think that." Was Ms Riley's reply.

O crap. How do I answer this?

"Well, um, just look at… at Romeo and Juliet! It's meant to be the most romantic story ever, but poor, pathetic Juliet sits around and waits for Romeo on a balcony all day to come recite some love poems to her at night. I mean honestly!" Wow, I'm actually making sense. I think I must be some sort of literary super genius. "And I mean really, if a guy comes to my window in the middle of the night, and serenades me or whatever, I swear I will kill him with a blunt knife. But as if waiting on her balcony isn't enough, Juliet goes and commits suicide when she thinks Romeo is dead, it's like telling the world, a woman can't live without a man by her side!" I ended my little rant really smugly.

"Might be, but I bet you that Shakespeare was probably very popular with the ladies. Don't woman like the sensitive type?" Came the sarcastic reply from Him. I felt that blush creep back again. Then the whole class burst out laughing. I can't believe they even listen to what he says. He knows nothing about literature let alone romance! I turn around and face Edward Cullen. Damn him and his sexy crooked smile! Now I completely forgot my come back, the only reaction I had was to blush an even deeper red than before. I turned around to gather my thoughts. I will never win this battle of I keep looking at Cullen. But it was no use. He won that round. Why can't I ever come up with a coherent sentence when I see those eyes! Because he is so damn hot that's why! WHAT?? Did I just say Edward Cullen is hot? I need medication. Seriously. I hate him! I turned to Alice and mouthed "I hate him" to her. Unfortunately he is her brother so she just gave me a scowl. Alice honestly doesn't understand why Edward and I hate each other so much, but it's pretty obvious. He thinks all the girls in the world would die if he just so much as looked at them and that is just so vain! He must come back down to earth. He also treats girls really badly, like every week he has a different girl hanging of his side. He is just a player. But a hot one. Where the hell did that come from?

Ms Riley cleared her throat to get the class's attention again. "But what about Lady Macbeth, Ms Swan? She is no feeble female character, she persuaded her husband to kill the king!"

"Exactly!" I challenged, "If woman aren't depicted as hopeless, then they are… are… psychopaths or something!"

"Don't you think you need to look at it in the time and tradition it was written in? In many ways Shakespeare was ahead of his time. You must remember that in those days, the role of the female was a lot different to what it is today." Ms Riley said with a note of challenge in her voice.

"But that's exactly where people are mistaken!" I quickly replied before anyone else could steal my thunder. "Everyone thinks woman are so emancipated now, but really it's still exactly the same as when Shakespeare wrote his plays. Most girls still think they are worthless if there isn't a guy running around behind them. Shakespeare's interpretation is that, if a girl is in love then she must just sit around and wait for her knight in shining armour to come rescue her. Doesn't matter if she catches double pneumonia while sitting there waiting for him to eventually make his long awaited appearance. If a girl makes the first move, then she is considered a… um… she is considered cheap!" I quickly finished. I very nearly said slut there, but at least I stopped myself before that slip happened. Just at the thought of that happening I blushed a deep red.

Ms Riley looked shocked. "Well that's a very interesting point Ms Swan. Class I think that makes for a brilliant essay topic. 600 words on the portrayal of the female characters in Romeo and Juliet by Monday, thank you." With that we were dismissed and left the class. I could feel many angry stares directed in my direction and everyone walked past my desk.

"Geez Bella, I didn't know you had something against Romeo and Juliet. I thought you liked it, especially the movie with Leonardo DiCaprio." Was all that Alice could say as we walked out the class. As soon as we were out the door we were met by a very excited Rosalie. She's been smiling non-stop since Tuesday when Edward asked her to tonight's Autumn Ball.

"Why do you hate Romeo and Juliet?" Came Rosalie's confused question. I just gave her an exasperated look. I honestly didn't feel like going into detail with her about what just happened in class. Especially not since the guy she worshipped was one of the main reasons I got so worked up.

"Guys its not that I don't like the movie, its just…" I looked at Rose and Alice. They were both hopeless romantics and had a far off look in their eyes. What's the point of explaining to them? They would never understand, because men worshipped the ground they walked on. Rose with her wavy long blonde hair, blue eyes and model perfect figure and Alice with her short, petite frame, green eyes (just like her brothers, just not as brilliant), and spiky black hair. I looked like an old rag compared to my two best friends. I was plain and dull. I had the palest skin ever. Which was irritating because living in South Africa, you would think that I'd have a natural tan, but clearly not. I also have straight, thick brown hair with this little flick if I tie it up. My eyes were a lacklustre brown. And I was average height, but at least I was thin. It's really weird that I've been best friends with these two since primary school, because honestly we are as alike as chilli and chocolates! "Don't worry guys, you won't understand" I finally replied.

"Well I don't care what you think Bella, but I think it's really romantic when Juliet stabs herself in the heart"

"Yeah Rose, it's like the ultimate sacrifice for you love" Alice agreed. Gee thanks guys. I thought sarcastically. So much for supporting your friend. I just ignored them, tired of fighting about this.

"Exactly Al, especially if Romeo is as hot as you-know-who" Alice just gagged as Rosalie said this about Edward. As we sat down under our usual tree where we sat every break, I saw Edward looking in our direction with as amused expression on his face. He then turned to one of his friends and said something to them which caused them to burst out laughing. Edward caught my eye. I felt my breath catch and the familiar blush creep up my cheeks. I then decided to look away. Honestly I don't see what Rosalie sees in Edward, and how Alice can say that he is really not that bad. Didn't they see the same person I saw? The vain self-absorbed jock?

I couldn't understand why everybody liked Edward so much! My best friend Alice begged me to be civil to Edward. She claimed that he was actually a really decent guy once you got past the jock exterior. Rosalie said he is so hot that he is forgiven for any flaws which he might have. But what I don't get, Rosalie thinks Edward is so hot but she cannot get enough of staring at Emmett. Emmett is my big brother. Actually he is my adopted brother. Charlie and Rene, my parents, adopted him when he was a toddler. They felt empathy towards the little boy who resembled a teddy and was so 'huggable'. The scariest thing is that Emmett and Edward are best friends. I mean how could my nice, caring and friendly brother be best friends with someone as shallow as Cullen? I think Emmett lacked good judgment. Rose and Alice for that matter too, their only redeeming quality when it came to judgment is that they are my friends.

All of us are in Matric at Mason High in Pretoria. I honestly don't like our school. We have nice uniforms but the people were really shallow and idiotic. Everyone worshipped Edward Cullen. The girls loved his looks and the guys envied his way with the girls. The teachers even liked Edward! I mean honestly he can't be that perfect! Well he ha it all going for him. His family is really rich, and he drives one of the best car in the school. He was captain of the first team rugby, and he played fly-half which according to Emmett was the hottest position to play. Emmett played hooker. I actually know what the fly-half does but I have absolutely no idea what the hooker does.

Near the end of break I saw Jasper walking up to us. We work together at The Weekly Times on Saturdays. It is our local community paper that comes out once a week.

"Hey Jasper" I greeted him as he approached us.

He greeted us shyly. "Hey". Jasper Whitlock was a bit of a nerd but he was actually really good looking. He had messy blonde hair that he got from scratching his head in the math class as he tried to solve a difficult problem. He has stunning blue eyes and a very cute smile. He was also muscular, not you typical nerd, but people just classified him as a nerd, because he was really clever and had a strange fascination with the Anglo-Boer war. The inside story is that his great grandfather was some high-up general with the Khaki's.

I frowned when I noticed that he was nervously standing there with us. "Bella I just wanted to say I think it was… um…nice what you said earlier in class about Shakespeare. I never thought of it like that before." I felt myself blush at Jasper's compliment. I could see Edward in the distance glaring our way. He looked really irritated.

"Thanks," I replied shyly "but I think I over reacted a bit"

"No no, not at all. Well I'll see you tomorrow then, at the paper I mean. Bye Bella, Rosalie… Alice." As Jasper walked away I could hear Rose and Alice giggle silently. I can't believe they were laughing at him! He is a really sweet guy.

"Guys! It's mean to laugh at him!"

"We're not laughing at him," Alice finally said as her giggling fit stopped.

"Then what are you laughing at? It's even worse to laugh at me!" I replied angrily.

"Bella relax! We're just laughing because it looks like someone has the hots for you… big time!"

"Whatever. We're just friends from the newspaper ok!" I said blushing a furious red. As we started walking back to class we got trapped behind Edward and his silly jock friends. Joy, I had Biology now and I have the great honour (note the sarcasm) of sitting next to Edward. I mean honestly, we're Matric now we really don't need assigned seating anymore. Rose and Alice were still teasing me about Jasper.

"I must admit, he is brave." Rose giggled.

"What do you mean Rose?" I questioned angrily.

"Well it can't be easy being in love with a man-hater like you Bells."

"What! Firstly, he is not in love with me, secondly, we are just friends and thirdly, I am not a man-hater." I angrily shouted as I counted the conditions off on my fingers. Unfortunately this was a bit too loud. Edward turned around and gave me an amused look. As if on cue, I blushed a deep red. Damn me and my blushing skills as Edward started laughing.

"Bells honey, you keep telling yourself that." Was Alice's last reply before we all piled into the Biology class.

I hated Bio. I had to sit next to Edward. The silly teacher arranged us boy-girl. As I sat down, I heard Edwards smooth voice, "So Bells, I see Whitlock has a tiny crush on you. Should I give him some pointers?"

"I don't think he needs any tips from you Cullen. He's got a better chance without any 'tips' from you!" And with that the class started and my daily torture next to the bronze haired God. Damn Edward Cullen!