"You better be careful Bella," Edward warned, smiling. I followed his gaze. I jumped in fright, causing my head to hit the ceiling of the car.
"Ouch," I mumbled. "Thanks, you think I don't realize that?" Truly, how could anyone not recognize the symptoms of another 'Alice-attack'? Next to Jasper, Alice was standing on the side walk, holding a big, wrapped-in-red present, looking very excited.
"Good luck," Edward laughed as he unexpectedly stopped the car next to the sidewalk.
"Jerk," I muttered as I left the car, my temporary sanctuary.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY BELLA!" Alice screamed, shoving the present into my arms before crushing me with a hug.
"How much sugar did you eat this morning?" I asked warily.
"Oh now who's being such a grouchy-grouch?" She cooed. "And on your birthday too!"
"Happy birthday Bella," Jasper said, a look of sympathy on his face. I knew the sympathy had nothing to do with my birthday; he, as Alice's boyfriend of two years, would know how she loves to go overboard with planning and events.
"Thanks Jasper," I muttered gloomily.
"Oh cheer up! You'll love what Jasper and I got you! Open it now!" Sometimes I think she's more excited about my birthday than I am.
Unwillingly, I unwrapped my third gift for the day.
Like Renee's gift, the gift showed the giver's personality. It was a blue dress, with lots of filly bits. Judging by the box, it wasn't cheap.
Too bad I would never wear it, not without a fight.
"It's a nice dress," I forced through my teeth.
"See! I knew it! And Jasper wanted to get you that book! Hah!" She rolled her eyes.
No wonder Alice and Renee got along so well.
"It will look so good on you!" Alice gushed. "I knew when I saw it that it's the dress for you! For a girl, you pull of the color blue so well! I was so worried when the shopkeeper told me that they didn't have your size, and they'll have to order it in. What if it's too late for your birthday? Oh, well, I guess you could wear it to the prom. Come on, let's go and see Rosalie and Emmett." And with that, she shoved the box at Jasper, linked arms with me and began – with amazing energy for someone so small – dragging me toward the home room.
"Let . . . me…catch…my…breath!" I huffed, a minute later.
She rolled her eyes, but all the same, slowed down. "You're so unfit Bella. Hey, I know, maybe we should go and sign up for gymnastic classes!"
"You've j-just cross-ed the line." I was still trying to catch my breath.
"It'll be fun. Come on," She rushed, seeing that I had opened my mouth to protest. "You'll love what Emmett and Rose got you!"
Fingers crossed. "Humph," I said, seriously doubting her words.
Suddenly, she stopped, and faced me. "Isabella Marie Swan, I will not have you ruining your sixteenth birthday. You only get to have your sixteenth birthday once. This is once in a life time's chance!" She said sternly.
"You said that last year," I muttered.
"No, I didn't. Last year I said, 'you only get to have your fifteenth birthday once.'" Childishly, she stuck her tongue at me.
Sighing, I began walking dutifully in the direction of the home room. Alice followed me, now silent. Surprisingly, the silence was uncomfortable. However, it didn't last for long.
"How's my Isa-Freesia today? Happy birthday!" Emmett boomed, loud enough for everyone within a ten-foot distance to turn their heads around.
"Shhhhhhh." I hissed loudly. Emmett finds my feelings toward birthdays very funny. He never gives up on a chance to tease me about it. Oh, and the fact that I've been using the same brand of soap – Flowery French Scents, Freesia – ever since I turned seven. I saw it on a stall when Renee took me shopping and fell in love with it.
"Mommy, these soaps smell so good!" I told Renee.
"Well, let's get some then." Renee brought the strawberry one for herself and freesia for me.
Ever since, I've been using the same brand. Why be bothered to change the cleanser, when you have a perfectly good one?
"Hello? Bells?" Alice snapped her delicate fingers in front of me.
I blushed. "Sorry, I was just thinking about . . . " It was too embarrassing to finish my sentence.
"Having a Bella moment?" Said a pretty voice, the kind of voice you'd assume Cinderella has.
"Ohhh Rose!" Emmett grinned, and turned around to give his long time girlfriend a hug.
"Uh-uh," Rosalie said, pushing him away with one hand. "You're going to crush Bella's present." Indeed, she was holding a present, wrapped in blue. "Happy birthday, Bella! This is from both me and Emmett. Of course, I assume you already know that, knowing Alice."
"Hey!" said Alice, pouting. "I'm still here!"
"We know, how can we forget the little pouting pixie?" Rosalie teased.
"Humph." Said Alice, her pout deepened as she crossed her arms across her chest. We laughed at her expression.
Rose gave me the present, and then hugged me. "I tried to get you something you might like, so you won't feel uncomfortable." She whispered.
"Thanks." I was grateful for her attempt, knowing I'd never accept something from my friends with comfort.
"If you want, you can open it later. Meanwhile, hmm, Edward!" She shouted, waving. I narrowed my eyes at him as he walked toward us, his expression sheepish. "You can carry Bella's gift until she decides to open it." She took the gift from me, and shoved it into his arms.
"Hello Rosalie, Emmet," he turned to me, "Bella?".
"Rose, can you hear someone talking? Because I can't." I said, ignoring Edward.
Rosalie looked from me to Edward, appraising the situation. "No, I guess I can't." She smirked.
"Well, I need to get something from my locker, excuse me." I stormed off, hoping Edward wouldn't follow me.
"Man, what did you do?" I heard Emmett laugh.
"I'll explain to you later," Although Edward's voice sounded serious, I could hear a smile in his voice. Angry, I walked faster.
I was close to my locker when I heard him, "Bella!" Edward called from behind. "I'm sorry for dropping you off early."
Ignoring him, I walked even faster.
Suddenly he was in front of me. "Bella," he said, with a look of total sincere on his face. A look he knew I can't resist. "I'm so sorry."
I sighed. "You know I can't stay angry at you when you do that,"
"I know," he flashed a grin.
"Cheater," I mumbled, but my anger had quite evaporated.
"It's part of the charm, really. Come on, I don't want you to be late to class; it's about to start soon." With his free hand, he grabbed mine and led me to class.
"Do I want to know how many people Alice invited to my party?" I asked.
"It depends on your limit," said Edward. "So far she's invited Rosalie, Angela, Jessica, Lauren-"
I choked on my own saliva. "Lauren?!" I said incredulously, while coughing.
He let go of my hand to thump his now free hand on my back. "I know," he made a face. "I asked Alice for a good reason as to why she invited her, but she wouldn't tell me why." He frowned. "She also invited Emmett, Jasper, and you, obviously."
There was no point in asking why Lauren agreed; we both knew the reason. "I guess I can handle it this year," I said slowly. Then, teasingly, I said to Edward "Don't you now wish that you're not that friendly with all the girls?"
He grinned. "Yes," he sighed, mockingly. I laughed at his expression.
All the Cullens and Hales were very popular. I guess it wouldn't be too hard to be popular anywhere when you've got rich parents, good attitudes and golden looks.
Out of the boys, Edward is the most popular amongst the girls. With his six-foot tall stature, muscles on every inch of his body, bright emerald eyes and casually messy bronze hair, they all had definitely earned him a spot among the ladies. Oh, and the fact that he had always been single, and likes to flirt; there's the girls' chance to get 'friendly' with him.
Half of the student population at Forks High School has an aversion to me. The reason is simple; like Renee, no one believes that I'm just friends with Edward.
I never saw Edward as more than a good friend. To me, he's just 'one of the girls' I hang with. It's nice to be with him, and talk about other things with girls stuff (like I do all the time with Alice and Rosalie).
I sighed. "I just wish Alice hadn't invited Lauren." My encounter with the blonde had not been pleasant. For some reason, she seemed to hate me. Or, at the very least, disliked me.
Who am I kidding? I asked myself. She definitely hates me. Her feelings were evident whenever she sees me. That look of pure loathe!
Sometimes I just wish my best friends were not so popular.
AN: Thanks to the people who reviewed. If you read this story, please give some constructive criticism. Flames are welcome!