Was there ever a point in your life, a single moment whenyou knew, that there was no turning back?
I lay in absolute agony clutching my chest. With every gasping breath a white hot pain seared inside me. I was blinded by it. Surely this was hell. I didn't think I could live through this much longer. The knife had pierced my heart yet it wasn't slowing and I wasn't dying. Instead, I could feel a gaping hole where the flesh had been burnt away, just above my breast. The wound wasn't bleeding but instead, it was already mutilated with scar tissue. I had a feeling it would always be there, a constant reminder of my purpose in life.
I could hear Al by my side, screeching in an eerie, almost human way, which didn't fit his panther form. Any pain I felt, he felt also and so I knew, an absolute fact that he thought he was dying, like I did. The cobbles beneath me dug into my side reminding me of where I was and that anyone could be here, watching me suffer in misery. But I couldn't move myself. Couldn't talk past the crippling pain. As I remained there, curled in the fetal position, I began to absorb my surroundings. I was in an alleyway surrounded by litter with my back to a high stone wall. The stars in the sky shone through the darkness and as a distraction from the pain, I began to count them.
It could have been hours, minutes, seconds, I couldn't say. I quieted my whimpering as the pain dulling, whipping through me less frequently with less ferocity. Al fell quiet also and soon I had become accustomed to the muffled silence, the deathly quiet that surrounded me. As I listened to nothing I became aware of how thoroughly exhausted I was, of how my very bones ached for sleep. So as my eyelids drifted closed I didn't protest and suddenly I was falling, falling… and everything went black.
And then I was flying. A dream? Yes, it must be. I dreamed that I was carried down through a drain, into cold stone passages below. Al was carried away with me, and then I knew I was dreaming because no one, absolutely no one touched my Al. As we progressed further through the tunnels I noticed I was being held against someone. As I glanced into its face I corrected myself. Something. Because no one possessed such inhuman perfection. Because no one's skin felt this cold, like ice, and this hard, like stone. Because no one had such gorgeous, blood red eyes.
My dream continued and this, thing, carried me into a high chamber. The ceiling disappeared into darkness and the architecture reminded of some sort of church. I glanced around and with a jolt realized I was surrounded by more of these, these creatures. Staring creatures. Staring at me. With blood red eyes. Well, what would you do? I fainted.
I blinked. Once. Twice. And did a double take. Was I still dreaming? Because they were still there. The eyes, staring directly into mine. And then… I screamed and bolted upright as pain lashed through my chest and danced around the edges of the ugly wound. It had intensified again since the last time and I could feel my heart protesting feebly. I bit my lip and grimaced, breathing hard. I prayed it would not last, that I wouldn't be put through anymore hell, and it worked. As quickly as it had come the fierce agony was gone, leaving me dazed and panting.
"Are you okay?"
I froze. So would you. My face slowly turned upwards and my eyes fell upon another creature, similar to the ones in my dream. Or...was it a dream? I certainly wasn't dreaming now. Too painful. Much too painful.
"My name is Aro. And you are..?"
I was speechless. The man standing before me had skin the colour of chalk. It looked papery and delicate yet I had a feeling that this man was anything but weak. He was dressed in black flowing robes that seemed so float around him as he glided towards me. Yes I said glided, for his movements were so graceful, so inhuman that I could only sit there and gawk as he proceeded to take one of my hands in both his own. His skin was unnaturally cold and hard and I instinctively ripped mine from his grasp. He chuckled, his voice smooth as silk, scary as hell.
"I can see I have some explaining to do" he murmured. "However, so do you young lady! And I cannot hear you… intriguing I must say…"
The man, Aro, continued to watch me with those crimson eyes as if waiting for an answer. I realized then that he was but also that he was in no way the person I wanted to talk to…
Al? Al are you there? I can't see you…
My heartbeat increased to a frantic pace as he didn't answer my desperate thoughts. Where was he? What if they had taken him away? No, I couldn't think like that… and I would know anyway. I suppressed a shudder and tried again.
Al?! Where are you?
Jay? I am here…on the floor. A mouse. Are you alright?
I immediately dropped off the huge bed I was sitting on and landed in a crouch on the floor, my eyes landing on a cute and fluffy mouse. I then proceeded to carefully scoop up Al and hold him close to my mangled heart. I would never, could never lose him.
Yes, I'm fine. How about you? And where the hell are we! Who is Aro?
I couldn't say, really. I only know as much as you. But we are together. It'll be okay... you'll see.
I breathed a sigh and silently agreed with him. So long as we were together.
Aro watched this exchange with quiet interest. He couldn't have known what either of us had said for we had been communicating in our minds, but I could tell he was curious.
"That mouse. That was a panther" he stated eyeing Al with interest. "Is he a pet of yours?"
What?! I turned slowly and glared at Aro, filled with revulsion and hate. My hands were clenched into fists and I began taking deep breathes to try and calm myself. Pet? PET?! Pets were poor, unfortunate creatures, kept in cages for human entertainment. Al was nothing less than my own soul in physical form, part of me. I growled at Aro, a muted sound but none the less, he got the picture.
"I can see I have caused offense. Do pardon me. I am only trying to understand… see, I have never met anyone like you before in my thousands of years. I think its time to explain". As he said this last sentence he gestured to the bed, for me to take a seat and I complied. Thousands? I was in shock. No one could live for that long. Al changed into a black cat and curled on my lap, prepared to listen. This caught Aro off guard and he momentarily froze before proceeding to tell me what he was and what I had become.
"I am a vampire".
Vampire? What?! No way... they didn't exist did they? But, wait. The pale, cold, hard skin, the grace, the crimson eyes... I bit my lip and listened closer.
"Yesterday, a member of my guard found you in the street. She saw in you a great power and a massive potential, so naturally she brought you to me! You see, I and my brothers are regarded in a way as, hmmm, vampire royalty you could say, called the Volturi. And we have a guard. Each member is unique with formidable gifts that they use at our disposal. Are you with me?"
I nodded still reeling. It was making sense… a vampire had found me and bought me down here. But what did that have to do with me?
"You looked absolutely perfect! And so, I changed you!"
Aro grinned down at me positively bursting with excitement. I had no idea what he was on about and he seemed to realize this for he went on to explain that he had bitten me to change me into a vampire and what being a vampire meant.
"However" he continued. "There is one small problem. You don't seem to be an… ordinary vampire." He frowned down at me unhappily and I just looked back, a perfect poker face.
"Your heart is still beating, meaning that something went wrong in the change. You appear to have acquired super speed and strength which is normal but that's about it! Your eyes as well, they are gold. They should be red." He stared at me as if to gauge my reaction. "It's odd" He finished and waited for me to speak, obviously unhappy.
I closed my eyes, trying to process this new information. I made a mental list and recited it, trying to make sense of what was going on:
1. Stabbed and pushed through a window.
2. Taken to the Volturi in Volterra, Italy.
3. Changed into a vampire.
4. Gained super human speed and strength.
5. Should have red eyes but have gold instead.
6. My heart shouldn't be beating but it was.
7. This person had no daemon.
I gasped and my eyes flew opening shock. No daemon. How had I not realized before?!
Jay? Jay!! This vampire, his daemon, I can't see it. Does he even have one?
I don't know Al I replied, I can't see it either. Maybe they don't have them in this world? Remember Will didn't. It was inside him all along.
Yer. That must be it.. God it's weird.
Al shuddered in my arms in perfect unison with me. Having no daemon would be like… like being dead. Empty inside. Hollow.
As Aro continued to stare I sighed and realized I would have to go with him. I couldn't turn back now. Being a vampire was permanent. I would live forever. Forever carry the burden of the subtle knife and the alethiometer. I rose gracefully from the bed and started towards the door with Al at my heels. Aro followed me out, pleased that I had seemed to accept my fate.
Al, I thought. Stay with me. You are all I need.
Course I'll stay Jay, I need you too.
And I vowed then and there, I would speak to no other.
Its been ten years to the day since I was first turned. And a boring ten years at that! Al and I have discussed everything and anything and have since remained in a comfortable silence, not needing to communicate our feelings and thoughts verbally. I have discovered my vampire gift; manipulation. This basically means I can change the state of or control any inanimate objects. I can make tables, chairs, cars fly. I can shatter panes of glass and shrink clothes. I can even make things invisible. However, the part of my gift I most enjoy is the ability to change the properties of a material, such as turning brick walls see through or manipulating solid doors so I can walk right through them. I had always been one for pranks and my gift let me become the most annoying vampire around.
I grinned at the sudden rush of memories as I rose from my bed. I didn't need to sleep but that didn't stop me having my own deep blue room with a king sized bed to match. I slouched over to my closet and pull the door open. It was a huge walk in one with all the latest clothes and designs a girl could ask for. Aro really did spoil me. But I still wouldn't say a word to him. I threw on a chosen outfit, denim jeans with a navy blouse and surveyed myself critically in the full length mirror. I was reasonably short for my 15 years with honey blonde hair that fell to my waist in gentle ringlets. My large eyes were the exact same colour as Dust, a bright gold. I figured Dust was what made them that colour as whenever I bought the subtle knife into physical being they turned a flat black. This, I reasoned, was because the knife and therefore the abundance of Dust were removed from my body at that time. I had small, sharpish features giving me a slightly elfish look, but still one of pure innocence. In short, being a kinda vampire and all, I was the picture of beauty and perfection. There was however, something I didn't like about my appearance. On the tips of my fingers looking a bit like tattoos were the symbols of the alethiometer. Sometimes, when I was thinking a questioning my head, random ones would glow faintly, flashing at me until I stopped thinking the question. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't make them stop. Aro had studied them countless times but, not knowing about the alethiometer was even more baffled than I. I scowled at my reflection and stormed off with Al to find the three brothers.
As Al flitted around my head in the form of a small goldfinch, my thoughts drifted back over the past ten years. Nothing of great importance had occurred. At all. In fact my life had been downright boring. Oh, except for that one time a few months ago. Aro hadn't shut up about him! That Edward. A Cullen. The Vampires he was so obsessed with. He had come here and asked to be killed, I couldn't really blame him either. I had glimpsed his face from a rafter where I was sulking at the time and it had never left me. The dead, empty look in his eyes when he had admitted his true love had killed herself. The hunch of his shoulders in a gesture of absolute defeat. The agony filled tone in which he pleaded with Aro to rip him to shreds. I growled to myself as the memory continued. That Bella, she had returned, the one exception to Aro's talent other than me. The love of his existence back by his side. And Edward had looked… complete, content. I could see that from where I was sitting. A happily ever after. I sighed pulling my mind back to the present as I entered the main halls. Everyone but me got one. It just wasn't fair!
As I approached Aro, Marcus and Caius I was jolted back to the present and reminded of the significance of this day. Once again thankful that I seemed immune to all other Vampire's gifts. Otherwise Aro would know the plan I was going over. The plan of an escape.
"Ah! Child! You have joined us! I assume you will not be dining with us today?" Aro sang as he embraced me. He didn't really expect an answer, I hadn't uttered a word in the last ten years, but he asked anyway.
I smiled and scampered up one of the many pillars to hide in the beams overhead. I had come to accept that vampires drank blood, human blood, but I had never had to. That was another trait that I did not inherit. I didn't live off blood. I didn't live off anything! Not even human food. And I was thankful. I didn't like the idea of killing humans. I was one of them… sort of. It was wrong.
As I leapt gracefully from beam to beam I went over the plan. It was flawless and simple. I grinned to myself: Run. And today was the day. I was leaving to start over. I was sick of underground life with the Volturi. I had to get out before I burnt myself alive.
Al soared over head in the form of a hawk and occasionally dived at the vampires below. This was a usual activity which I settled down to watch and grinned every time he found one to chase.
Al had come to be accepted too and although I was still the oddball, the weird one, vampires had come to learn that you didn't touch Al unless you wanted to be miserable. No one touched Al except me.
The day wore on as usual and I waited eagerly for the right moment. I watched with next to no patience as Aro chattered excitedly about some newborns in Seattle and Felix and the rest waited impatiently for Heidi to return from a days "fishing". That would be my moment. While they were all stuffing their beautiful vampire faces I would write a note for Aro, steal some cash and simply disappear into the night. It couldn't come quick enough…
It was about 7 hours later when I finally heard the chatter of a hundred tourists enter the other halls. Al and I watched as one by one, the vampires filed gracefully out of the chamber I was in. When it was completely deserted we glanced at each other and dropped silently to the floor. We sprinted back to my room noiselessly and I giggled as I started to pack. This was it. And it felt so good! Finally I had all my clothes into a bag six times the size of me. Hmmm, that would sooo not fit on a plane. I sighed and concentrated on shrinking it into a rucksack and making it six times lighter with all the clothes still inside. Ah the powers of manipulation.
Nice one Jay Al commented. Now you need to write that letter…
Al was right. I grabbed a piece of paper and, after a seconds thought, started to write:
Thanks for the last ten years. All you guys were nice and it has been… fun? Yer…
I am off now as you can probably tell. I need to get out. Nothing personal but I don't belong here.
You have never heard me speak. Sorry but I guess I just didn't feel like it. Once I spoke I would have to explain, and telling you about daemons and parallel universes is not the easiest thing to do.
Hope you understand, I'll come visit sometime.
From Jay (Yes that's my name) and Al (that's the name of my daemon, or for you the animal that has never left my side).
I read the note through a few times and folded it up carefully, leaving it stuck on my door. After grabbing my emergency bag (with passport, drivers license and visa, all fake and a ton of cash), I found an exit tunnel and proceeded to dash up it at lightening speed. My heart soared as I climbed though the drain and into the street above. I was free.
Wow. That took skill. Ha not. I glanced out the window of the plane again and saw the sun beginning to rise. Not good. I slammed the window shut and pulled a blanket over me and Al so we were covered completely. I didn't want to glitter right now.
As I lay there, unable to sleep, I thought over my escape again and congratulated myself silently. After marveling at my success in Volterra I had stolen the first car I had found. It was a deep blue convertible, very fast and I absolutely loved it. I sighed longingly. I should get one of those legally wherever I was going. I had driven to the airport and breakneck speeds and dashed inside. Laughing manically and earning a few worried glances (high on success? I dunno), me and Al and studied the departures board and decided on America. Nice and far away. But where? Well, after ten years of studying in Volterra I did at least know that in North America there would be less sun and I would be able to be normal...ish. So, Phoenix it was.
And so here we were. I was dead bored and I think Al was too. We had gotten through security with him in the form of a moth, hidden in my wound. Weird isn't it? The hole actually came in useful. He was still there actually, hidden in my heart. I grinned to myself, so cliché.
A few hours later I felt a shift in cabin pressure and with relief realized that we had begun our descent. Sure enough, after a few moments the TVs went black and it was announced that we would be landing in ten minutes. Practically bouncing in my seat with excitement I grabbed my bag and grinned around. I was here. I had made it.
I stared unhappily at the shadows outside the Phoenix airport. Sure I could walk in those, but where there are shadows there is sun, and that I could not venture into. Not far enough north apparently. I sighed and glanced at Al.
And it was going so well! What do we do? We can't stay here.
True. Well, we have plenty of cash. How about we go even further north? It won't really make a difference.
What! You're making me go on another plane? I teased Al. He was right. We couldn't stay here.
You didn't enjoy it! Try being a flippin' moth for a few hours. That kills you.
I laughed out loud and turned on my heel into the airport.
Deal with it. I thought and then giggled so he knew I was joking.
I danced over to the departures board and read names off in my head to Al…
Las Vegas, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, San Diego, Denver, Minneapolis, Dallas, Houston…
Jay, go further north, those are in the East!
I grumbled and found a city that looked promising;
Well, how about Seattle?
But the newborns there, remember what Aro said? Hey might have to go and pay Seattle a visit. We are trying to get away from them!
Well, we don't have to stay there. We could run towards the coast for a bit. There's sure to be a small town there somewhere.
Hmm, okay then. We can always move…
I rolled my eyes at his lack of enthusiasm and searched for another ticket desk. Seattle it was. And then I groaned to myself as I realized…another flight!
We had landed in Seattle a half hour ago and were now in the street poring over a map. We were both rather excited at finally being free and suddenly Al jabbed his black cat's paw onto the map.
There, it's far away AND by the coast AND has a small city by it for shopping... you happy?
I stared at the name on the map and sighed an agreement. I HAD insisted on all those things it was true. And I HAD said no to all the other place names on the map.
Fine! We will go there. Which direction is it do you think?
I glanced around the busy street we were on and then started after Al who, now being a bird was in the air. Being a hawk-daemon and a vampire one at that, he had now gained impeccable eyesight and had a general idea of which way to go.
Al…. I can't just start running! I need an alley to disappear down I whined.
Right there, to your left. Climb up that wall and run across the roofs.
I glanced to my left and sure enough there was a darkened alley. How convenient. I jogged to the end and, after making sure no one was looking, scaled the wall like a spider. I hauled myself onto the roof and crouched down so as not to be seen from the street. The wind whipped through my hair, lifting it around my face and tugging it in all directions. I adjusted the backpack on my back and, after spotting Al hovering in the air, I was off.
Nothing could compare to running on roofs. I had done this in Oxford with Lyra countless times but now, with super human speed it was incredible. My hair was thrown back, flowing behind me and no longer obscuring my vision. I was moving much to fast for the human eye, as was Al and so there was no risk of me being seen. I could barely feel my feet touch the ground as they soundlessly found their way across the top of Seattle. Every time there was a gap in the roofs I would jump, flying through the air, arms spread like an angel. I grinned wildly to myself and pushed my legs harder, faster, forward to my new home.
After running for about twenty minutes I left Seattle far behind and continued across country. We never stopped and never talked, just enjoyed the exhilarating freedom that had been stolen from us for so long. Eventually after about half a days running we came to the edge of a large forest, stretching on to the coast. I dived into this forest and soon was crossing trails and well worn paths. I could guess that we were coming close now and I slowed a bit, listening for cars, trying to find the road. Al guessed what I was doing and flew as far up as possible. I climbed a tree to help and then he spotted it.
To your right Jay. Follow me; it's only about 400 metres.
I dropped from the tree, silent as a cat and took off again, at a slightly slower pace. It was almost dark now and I could hear the many animals in the forest coming to life. The cool breeze was delicious against my skin and the moon shone, full and bright, carving a silvery path of light through the forest leaves. It was magical.
I stepped out onto the tarmac and glanced around. It was a meandering road lined either side by a wall of green trees. Al was walking to the left at a human pace in the form of a fully grown panther, his favourite, and I followed him, trusting he knew where he was going.
We continued to wander down the road, taking in all the new smells and sounds. Eventually we came to a road sign, signaling where we were. As I stood and gazed it I felt… content, for the first time in years.
Al and I read the sign over and over, repeating the name to ourselves.
Forks, I breathed, our new home.
Al and I had been wondering through Forks for hours now. It was fast approaching about 4am and we knew every twist and turn of this small town's roads. The sky had become overcast and this was a relief, no sun. The last building we approached was large and fenced off from the main road. A sign next o the drive way declared it 'Forks High School', the only school. As I gazed at the school my thoughts drifted to my former life, in Oxford. I had been a servant in the kitchens and had, consequently met Lyra. I had never attended a school before and really wanted to. Aro had set me loose in the Volturi library so I didn't think I would learn anything new but still… having a normal school day with normal teachers and normal friends. It was so tempting.
Al, how about we go to school for once in our lives?
It sounds, interesting. Just, well… what about me? These people don't have daemons and I doubt I would be accepted. Not if we need to keep the secret.
That's true. Well how about you just be something really small, like a butterfly or, or a caterpillar!! I looked at him hopefully, not really thinking he would go for the idea.
A caterpillar? He snorted. Fantastic. I suppose a butterfly wouldn't be too bad. Okay then, shall we give it a try?
I glanced at him in surprise. Wow. That was unexpected.
Yer. Lets. Thanks Al.
I continued to gaze at the school, my slender fingers wrapped around the bars keeping me out. And then I smirked to myself. Who was I kidding! Nothing kept out a vampire. In a flash I was over the fence and standing in front of what looked like the main door. I focused, eyes closed and gently removed the lock from the door. My heart was thumping in my chest as I gripped the handle and slowly, slowly eased the door open. No alarm? Huh. Weird. Never mind I thought to myself as I surveyed the room I had entered. It was quite modern, but I could tell that this school didn't have a lot of money. There was a front desk covered in pot plants which I approached and vaulted over. Al followed me and, monkey form, started shifting through papers.
Jay, I think tomorrow is the start of the summer term. We could start then!!
Yer, I replied unsure. I was sure you had to apply for schools like this.
You do have to apply though... could we fake it?
It was worth a try. And try I did. After half and hour I slipped back out of the building and locked the door again. There was now one extra student, joining the senior year called Miss. J McCarthy. I gave Al a dainty high five before jumping back over the fence and disappearing into the dawn.
The sun shone weakly through the canopy bathing Al and I in a lime green glow. I glanced down at my skin and to my dismay it was throwing rainbows in the sunlight. Granted it looked stunning but it was also in no way human. At all.
Last night it was decided that Al and I would sleep in the forest until I could find an old, abandoned home to manipulate. As a result, we had wondered through the forest for a few more hours until we came to a meadow. It was a beautiful meadow too, perfectly circular with long, swaying grass and wild flowers scattered randomly over the forest floor. I could here a stream tinkling and bubbling near by and the occasional bird song punctuated the absolute tranquility in the air. I didn't want to sit in the middle of the meadow; it had felt like I was intruding in someone else's place. Instead I lay on my front underneath a low arch, crafted by two vine maples. I didn't sleep of course, but I had drifted unto a trance like state, not thinking, only listening to the quite come and go of Al's breathing. That was my favourite sound in the world. Al.
Until now. Time for school! I was excited I could barely stand still to get dressed. It took a while to choose an outfit, not knowing what was expected at school.
Eventually I settled on dark denim jeans, trainers and a blood red fitted blouse. Underneath the blouse was a plain white strap top that covered my wound, and Al. I left my hair down, flowing about me and shining in the sun.
As soon as I was ready I changed my emergency bag into a navy school bag and stuffed my rucksack containing all my clothes into a bush. I doubted anyone would find it. Then I took a deep, unnecessary breathe and ran faster and quieter than the wind until I was standing in the forest that intruded into the car park. There were a few cars there already; a red convertible and a silver Volvo stood out the most.
Wow I breathed to Al, utterly astonished. These guys are rich!
Really? I can't see anything! Urgh.
Well, do you wanna come out now and take a look around before anyone else gets here?
Al agreed and promptly crawled out onto my shoulder. He than leapt to the ground and scampered up a tree, mouse form.
Not too far Al I begged. It hurts.
And it did. It felt like someone was tugging my heart out when he strayed too far. A physical, unbearable pain.
I stood in the shadows of the forest and watched silently as more and more students arrived in their cars. Soon, the parking lot was full and I decided I had better head over to the front office to introduce myself.
Come on Al. Get down here or we'll be late!
Al sighed and landed on my shoulder, crawling back to his hiding place, now a vivid blue butterfly. I set off across campus and pushed open the same door I had broken in through earlier this morning. There was a middle aged lady behind the desk with hideous red hair who I approached shyly.
"Hello there dear. I haven't seen you before!" she stated in what was meant to be a kind motherly voice I'd guess. "Am I right in assuming you are Miss. McCarthy?"
I gazed at her, squealing with joy on the inside that my plan had worked. She smiled back fro a few seconds and then, realizing that I wasn't going to speak she continued.
"Here is your timetable dear. Class starts in five minutes, I'll just show you how to get around quickly…"
I didn't pay any attention to her next ramblings; I already knew the school off by heart. When she was done I gave her my most innocent smile, widening my golden eyes. And it worked. Her smile faltered and a dazed look entered her eyes. I smirked to myself and walked back out through the door. I didn't need powers to manipulate humans.
I skipped off gleefully to my first class, English. It was already full of teenagers and the teacher had just begun the lesson. As I walked in all heads turned. Dammit, I thought to myself. It was going to be hard to remain unnoticed. After all I was a vampire, with unnatural, unwanted beauty. I sighed and looked at the teacher, waiting for him to tell me where to sit.
"Class, this is the new student, Miss McCarthy. If you'd like to take a seat please."
He motioned to the back of the class and I glided to my seat, people still gawking at my face. I sighed, flinging my hair in front of me so I could hide and studied the new book I had been given. Romeo and Juliet. I knew it off by heart of course. I snickered quietly to myself, too low for humans to hear and glanced at the teacher, already absorbed in his lecture. School was going to be easy.
Oh. My. God. What was I thinking?! My previous assumptions about school were, undeniably, correct. Yes it was easy, yes it was something new, yes I knew everything already. However, I was not pleased in the slightest as I strolled into the cafeteria and plopped down at an empty table, fuming over my new predicament. I hadn't thought it would be so… so boring ! So mind numbing that it was almost…
Painful? Suggested Al quietly. Do we have to come back tomorrow?!
I frowned and internally kicked myself for enrolling in high school. Yes Al we do! We can't draw more attention to ourselves by just disappearing… which sucks.
I huffed again and tried in vain to entertain myself. Thinking back over the previous morning I had to admit that it hadn't gone badly. Keeping myself to myself and hiding my face with my hair had kept unwanted teenagers at bay which was a plus. Unfortunately this meant that I hadn't been able to survey the student body yet which was a minus. I was curious. How do normal people in this universe interact?
I lifted my head again and really made an effort to absorb my surroundings. The white wash walls were dirty and cracked, the linoleum floor stained with years of being smacked with bits of food. The cafeteria was, for the most part, crowded. Multiple conversations whizzed past my sensitive ears; who was going out with who, what assignments were being handed out and where people were going at the weekend. Trivial and boring. I scanned faces, hunting for… for what?! I frowned, a few curious eyes meet mine yet each glance was cut short by embarrassment. I was the new girl. The one who had literally turned up over night. I hadn't told anyone my name, I made sure of that. I was an enigma. A freak.
But there was something else as I gazed deep into their questioning eyes. A flicker of, was it recognition? This confused me and left me wondering, puzzled. No one could possibly know me. I wasn't even native to this universe…
A loud ringing sound startled me out of my reverie, crashing over my ears. I grimaced and leapt up out of my seat. My ponderings had left me late for class.
The cafeteria was empty now so I flitted noiselessly through the door and to the science block.
Which lesson now? Al sighed wearily.
This annoyed me a little. Biology i replied in a clipped tone. Did he think I was enjoying school. Was that possible!
Go to sleep Al, one of us should.
Who bit your bum? He retorted.
Guilt washed over me. Sorry Al, I shouldn't take this out on you.
He huffed in agreement.
I splayed my fingers on the door and pushed tentatively. Everyone was seated already and so all eyes turned to me as I drifted into the room.
"Ah, Miss. McCarthy." Mr. What's-his-face gave me searching look before pointing with a stubby finger. "There is a seat at the back."
I tiptoed silently down the aisle shrinking under the inquisitive stares of my classmates. I recognized a few faces; Mike Newton sitting behind Isabella Swan and… Edward Cullen. I froze.
My gaze locked with his and a tsunami of questions flooded through my mind. Namely how I could have been such an IDIOT?? I jerked my face away and tried to conceal my panic. Had no one else noticed this sudden revelation? I slid shakily into my seat. The teacher began his lecture and I lay my head in my hands. What was I going to do? I groaned internally. Crap.
Jay? Your thoughts and your heart are racing. What the hell is going on?! Al's worried voice punctured my swelling mass of questions. Hello? JAY! Talk to me!
Oh Al. My God I have been such an idiot I replied. That guy is Edward Cullen. CULLEN! Do you think he recognizes me from Volterra? Does he know what I am? How could I not have realized the Cullens lived here! Of ALL places! FORKS! ARGHH!
Al was speechless. I heard the mantra repeated in his head. Run. Run. Run…
But we were in the middle of a goddamn classroom, unable to move from this desk. So I settled for peeking at his back instead.
It was definitely the same vampire. No one else had that colour hair. His stiff shoulders told me that he was not relaxed. Had he recognized me? What if he told Aro? I knew the Volturi were looking for me, I was their prize possession. Would the Cullens give away my hiding place? Would I have to go back?
A wave of depression soaked me and I sunk lower into my hard, plastic chair. We would not go back. Never.
I could hear my heart beat returning to its normal, sluggish pace. The shock had worn off. The Cullens were in Forks. So, I mused, what are we going to do about it?
Run! Of course run Jay, what else is there to do?!
Well… I dunno Al. I like it here. The weather is perfect, people seem nice.
Al snorted mentally. Aro WILL find out. You know he likes Carlisle. They keep in touch… What if he threatens them? You saw how much Edward loves Bella. If protecting her means turning us in they would do it, in a heartbeat. You know that. We mean nothing to them. We are a threat to their lifestyle. Goddammit Jay, can't you see that??
"Keep your pants on" I whispered, furious. I can't say that didn't hurt. Al had just confirmed my worst fears. There was no one in this universe, any universe, who cared about us. Uplifting eh? Snort.
Biology dragged unbearably. I was electrically aware of the vampire and his girlfriend sitting a few rows in front. My back was ramrod straight. Muscles tense. I received a few shocked glances, my behavior must seem very odd. I didn't care. What if he approached me after class? What then?
I was saved having to speculate when the bell shrieked. Shoving my books hastily into my bag, I keep my head bow as I sprinted past them both. They ignored me. So far so good. Outside the sky was leaking. A faint drizzle formed a chilling mist and I glanced up grateful. I headed towards the edge of the forest, my inconspicuous black coat vanishing into the foliage. I strained my ears to here footsteps behind me but there were none. I breathed a sigh of relief and watched my breath curl in front of me. The warmth of my hybrid body escaped through my coat I and shivered.
"That's one good thing about being a full vampire" I murmured to Al, "you would never get…. Never…" My breathing hitched, my eyes unfocused… Oh my God. It was perfect. And they would never know!
"Yes!" My eyes lit up and I leapt forward. I was running now, hope spread through my body, fuelling my muscles. I was a genius.
JAY! HELLO! What the HELL!
"Right, sorry Al. But I just had a thought…"
You gonna tell me? he replied irritably, or is it a state secret??
I grinned sheepishly at his tiger form. "Sorry, it's just, well. I have a heartbeat right? I could just say I am human. Its THAT simple!" I clapped my hands happily. The Cullens wouldn't know. They wouldn't tell Aro. We could stay. I beamed.
Oh remarked Al, dazed. That's true. I didn't think of that! I suppose it could work. We will still have to be careful though he muttered slowly. And your eyes might a problem. Still…
I left Al sitting on his haunches and bounded into the meadow, our meadow. "Who cares!" I trilled as I turned to face him, my face glowing. "Don't you realize Al? We have a place. Forks. A place we can finally call home".