She still doesn't know why she did it. She hadn't gone through some sort of emotional breakdown. She hadn't dumped anyone or been dumped by anyone. No one had really bothered her, nothing had really bothered her. Well, not really. Not until Aunt Rosalie had looked at her lovingly and said, "You have such a beautiful, classic face, Nessie."
She'd smiled, not quite as pleased as she should be. But she'd said thank you anyways.
And then her mother had come up to her and proudly agreed with her sister. And her father had followed suit, and then her grandparents… and then she really couldn't take all of it. Was that it then? They only loved her for her face?
She should have known better than to wonder that in front of Edward Cullen.
"Never think that, Nessie." He told her firmly, his eyes widening in surprise at the idea. He chose not to share it was anyone though, thank goodness, and he let her be when she fled the room.
And later in the day, she and Jake had been sitting under the willow, his head on her lap. Her hair was down, and it fell over her shoulders to tickle his nose. He played with it gently, cat-like—even though she would never say such a word aloud— and she thought it was cute.
"Ah…" he sighed. "I love you, kido."
She rolled her eyes. "That's the second time today, you old fart—"
"Oh shut up. Can you blame an elderly man?"
"Of thirty something?"
"Of course. Besides, you're so innocent looking, anyone would think you were a little girl."
Innocent-looking? How had that happened? She thought… at least Jacob…
That did it. She stood, suddenly, and he rolled off of her in surprise. "I uh… I need to be somewhere. Sorry. Bye!" and she ran off, leaving him staring after her, barely sitting up, in shock.
"Don't follow me!" she called back, running off.
She drove for a very long time, out of their little clearing and onto the freeway, over to Seattle… her phone rang once—she didn't remember to answer it. She was in a sort of bubble that refused to let anything but the road's happenings into her world.
Innocent? How? And classic featured. That was wonderful, no? Like those ripe little porcelain dolls that scared the hell out of her.
Somehow, she found herself parking. Then, she was in a chair, and an old lady was snipping off her bronze curls, commenting on how soft they were, and asking about whether she'd like to donate them.
"Do whatever you want with it." she told her dully. Her hair was getting shorter, and shorter… that was enough. She didn't want to be bald, only less classic. She figured having it hang at her chin would be enough to stress her point.
"That's great," she told the lady, when she was done. She paid quickly, and exited fast, running her hand through her new, strangely short ringlets. Now what? It was a twisted sort of freedom, having short hair. Maybe that was why Alice had cut it. Only, unlike Alice, hers would grow back in a matter of weeks.
She needed to go home. Her phone was vibrating like crazy, and her family wouldn't wait too long before they went to look for her.
She answered it slowly. "Hello?"
"Nessie! Oh thank God… where are you?" her mother demanded frantically.
"I'm… in La Push." she lied. It was really the only town outside of Forks where they trusted her to be alone. "I'll be back in a few minutes, alright?"
"La Push," she heard her mother tell the others. Then, "We'll talk later, young lady. I'm not happy with you at all."
"Yes, Mom. But let me come home first, ok?"
"I'll see you."
"Yeah." Bella hung up, and so did she, climbing into the small convertible mini-cooper.
"Well, it's uh…" Jake stared at her. They were back under the tree, formally sitting across from each other. It was nearly midnight now, though, and she was blushing furiously.
"It's horrible, isn't it?" she burst.
"No, actually." He told her casually. "Kinda cute."
"You're kidding, right? I did this because I didn't want it to be cute."
He shook his head and took her in his arms. "You want me to tell you that you're ugly? Because you're not. I mean, at least you had the common sense to get it cut professionally."
"I'm sorry! But you'll always be pretty to me. Ack, that sounds so damn cliché..."
"It does, butthead."
"Yeah, well, it's true, anyways." He shrugged. "Why would you want to be ugly, Ness?"
"Because I feel so… labeled."
"Classic, innocent-looking… It's so annoying!"
"Annoying? How so?"
"I don't know… it just… I'm being judged by my face. Wouldn't that piss you off?"
"It happens, and it does. I don't react the way you do, though."
"There's nothing wrong with getting a haircut. Besides, you need it."
He rolled his eyes. "Don't try to antagonize me."
"Don't go reassuring me either."
"I'm not. Because of course people will judge you by your face. You kind of have to live with it though, and prove them wrong."
She was quiet for a moment. "That was very sweet of you."
"Do you mean it?"
"Is this the face of a man who would lie?" he waggled his eyebrows, and she laughed. "And now Jacob has to be the goodey-two-shoes little boyfriend who tells his woman to rest, because she's obviously tired."
"I thought I was a kid." She retorted, as they both got up and headed towards the house.
"You are. To the Cullens. And I won't say or think any more where they can hear me. Yessiree, we all love cows, and puppies, and goats; we all live in a yellow submarine! Old Mcdonald had a farm…"
Nessie gave him a grin, and they went inside.