Before you begin reading this I just want to let you know that it does get better after the first few chapters. It may not look like much now but (not to sound conceited or anything) I AM a really good author and this is a really good story. Please give it a chance. Thanks!
Summary: Bella has lived in France since she was eight (8) but she is not happy there anymore. She needs to get away. Now it's time to start college so she has returned to the US (where she was born). What will happen when she begins school in another country and gets to know her peers? ALL HUMAN
I apologize in advance for any bad English in this story
This chapter is dedicated to my good friend OnMySide who turned 17 today (10-3-2008)
Happy Birthday! :D
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight and all its characters. I only own Alexandra, Charlotte and Claude.
Chapter 1 - Moving Out
My room was so bare. The afternoon sun shone through the window, illuminating the depressing beige walls were devoid of posters; my desk-which normally couldn't be seen under all the piles of paper and other objects-was empty. Even the sheets were gone from the bed. It looked as though the room had been empty for weeks.
But that was not the case. My room had slowly been getting emptier and emptier over the past few weeks as my possessions were boxed up and shipped to my new home. The last of my things had been packed away and now it was my turn to ship out.
No, I wasn't moving with my family. They were staying here while I went abroad to study at the prestigious Elizabeth Masen University in Los Angeles.
I was finally getting out of here.
Not that I didn't love living in Amiens. The beautiful gothic architecture and cathedrals were one of the best things about my life here in France. My sketchbook was filled with drawings of the ancient pillars and designs for stained glass. The scenery was not why I was so desperate to leave.
No, the reason I was so happy to be leaving is that I can finally free myself of Renee and her constant reminders that I wasn't good enough.
Day after day. Year after Year. She had always been able to find something about my appearance or personality that she hated. I was never able to just ignore her, so I had devoted almost my entire life to trying to please her.
If she told me I was fat I would exercise more and eat les until she was happy. If my grades weren't good enough I would drop everything else and study so they would improve. But still nothing was good enough.
Now I was free.
"Isabella get down here now."
Well almost free.
"Coming Mother." I called back.
I glanced quickly around my room to make extra sure that I hadn't left anything behind. Nope, nothing left. And with that I began the slow and difficult process of dragging my suitcase-which was full to the brim with the last of my possessions-to the top of the stairs.
"Hurry up the cars here." Renee yelled.
"Give me a minute will you." I yelled back.
"I've got it Bells?" Charlie had just appeared at the top of the stairs. "You haven't left anything behind?"
"Everything's there Charlie." I would never in a million years even so much as dream of call my mother by her first name. But Charlie has never answered to anything else.
"Then let's get this thing down to the car."
"It's all yours."
It was actually quite funny to watch Charlie carry my suitcase down stairs. He made it to the bottom of the steps eventually and wheeled it to the car. I followed soon after, letting out an exasperated sign as I saw the car Renee was talking about.
Our town car was parked right outside the front door, trunk open, waiting for my luggage and of course me. Sleek, black and polished to the extreme, the only way Charlie would have his cars look. I hated that car, too many bad memories of nannies and family outings gone wrong.
I shuddered and turned toward my parents for one final farewell.
"You'd better get going or you'll miss your plane."
Ahh Renee I'm going to miss you too, I thought.
"Goodbye Mother." I gave her a quick awkward hug before moving on the Charlie.
"Goodbye Daddy. I'll call you later."
"Call as soon as you get in, no matter what the time." He smiled and hugged me tightly.
"Hurry up Charlie, or she'll miss her flight."
Charlie just rolled his eyes and chuckled.
"She has plenty of time Renee. And I still need to give her something." He started to fish around in his pockets.
"Charlie, you're paying for me to go to school almost halfway around the world. You don't need to give me anything else." I assured him.
"You're my little girl; I want to make sure you're able to get everything you need." And with that he pulled out a small thin box with a red ribbon and gave it to me.
I just stared at it. What is it?
"Go on Bells. Open it."
I gasped as the lid came all that way off reviling a shinny gold credit card inside.
"Wha...?" I couldn't even get out a full sentence.
Why is he giving me this?
I knew, and Renee always made sure that everyone else knew too, that my family was very wealthy. My parents had both inherited large amounts of money from family and Charlie was a lawyer, so it' wasn't surprising that he wanted to help me out.
But I had never a credit card of my own. Renee would normally just send one of our maids shopping with me to purchase thing, with her credit card, when she sent me shopping.
How did he convince Renee to let me have this?
I looked up at my parents and I got my answer. Renee new nothing about this.
The phrase 'If looks could kill' ran through my mind. If that were true, and looks could kill, Charlie would be dead 12 times over.
Charlie wasn't looking at Renee, so he didn't see. He was still waiting for me to say something that he could understand.
"WOW Charlie. This is...really something." That was all I had.
"Well we didn't want you to go without or miss out on things. So here is my solution," he tapped the shinny card with his index finger. "I want you to have fun."
"But...wait what? Charlie I can't take this."
"Don't worry sweetheart. You'll need it at school."
He smiled and hugged me once more.
"Now you really have to go or you will miss your flight." Renee barked. I looked at my watch. I still have plenty of time. But I guess Renee just wanted me gone so she could yell at Charlie.
My suitcase was safely in the truck and the driver was holding the door open for me.
"Bye Bells. Don't forget to call when you get in." Charlie called as I was driven away. Renee said nothing.
The miles flew away under the tires of the fancy car and I lay my head against the back of the seat.
The trip to the airport took a little longer than expected but it was still too early to check in. So I found an empty seat and sat down.
After a few minutes of people watching I pulled my sketch book out of my bag. I had a small drawing of some flowers that I hadn't finished yet, so I set to work.
I was so engrossed in what I was doing that I didn't notice the people around me until someone put their hands over my eyes.
"Gah..." I screamed. Then I saw the rings.
"Charlotte! You should know by now not to scare me like that." I slowly turned as I scolded my friend. She looked just the same as always.
Charlotte was, for want of a better word, a Hippy. Everything from her layered and extremely bright clothing to her headbands, rings and bangles screamed "nonconformist". I loved the way she never did what was expected.
Every time I saw her there was something different about her. Today her latest addition to her 'special look', as we called it, was a few hot pink streaks in her long, wavy light brown hair.
"Bon après-midi, mon ami." (Good afternoon my friend)
"Bon après-midi, Charlotte. What are you doing here?"
"We came to say goodbye."
I hadn't noticed that she wasn't alone. But now that I looked I noticed that behind her stood two more of my friends.
Alex and Claude were the complete opposite of each other in appearance. But as they say, opposites attract.
Alex (who's real name is Alexandra, but we never call her that) was short and thin, with waves of blonde hair flowing to her waist, and the bluest eyes you've ever seen. She always wore skinny jeans that were turned up at the bottom and cute little peasant tops. On the rare occasion she was known to wear a few designer outfits, but generally she just kept it simple (although I always thought she looked like a rock star).
Claude was, as I said, the complete opposite. He was tall and buff, with short dark hair and brown eyes. His outfits were picked out the day before my Alex, who wouldn't have her boyfriend look anything but perfect. Today it was just a simple jeans and a T-shirt combo, pretty tame considering Alex's taste. The front of the shirt was decorated with a map of the New York subway system.
"Cool shirt Claude."
Alex beamed at me. "Do you like it? I thought it was cute."
Claude just rolled his eyes at her.
"Yeah it's cool. Too bad he doesn't have one for Los Angeles huh?"
"Yeah. He... Wait a minute, are you making fun of me missy?"
"Me...Make fun of the great Alexandra Fontaine…Never!" She smacked my arm.
"Ouch…Claude…Charlotte…Stop her." I complained as she continued to hit me, with considerable force I might add.
"Now now Alex. We can't send her off damaged." Claude wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her away laughing.
"What's wrong Charlotte?" I asked. She was glaring at Alex and Claude with her arms crossed in front of her. "Charlotte?"
"She's angry with us." Alex explained.
"Ils ont promis."
"What did they promise?"
"Nous avons dit que nous ne serions pas à vous parler en français, mais rien." (We said we wouldn't speak to you in anything but French).
"Why would you do that?" She ignored me.
I asked again "Pourquoi devriez-vous faire?" She smiled and hugged me.
"Parce que vos dernières heures ici doit être aussi français que possible." (Because your last few hours here should be as French as possible).
I laughed. As I said Charlotte never does what's expected.
"Alors, pourquoi êtes-vous tous ici?" (So why are you all here?) I asked. Not that I wasn't glad to see them one last time, before I left.
"Nous sommes venus dire au revoir." (We came to say goodbye) They chorused.
I was so touched they had come all this way to see me off. I didn't deserve friends as good as this. Oh well I guess I'd better make that most of this while it lasts, I thought as I cramed my sketchbook into my bag with my laptop and other items.
"Quelle heure est votre vol?"(What time is your flight?) Claude asked to alleviate the awkward silence.
"5pm," I looked down at my watch; it was 4:15pm already. "Oh ... je dois aller et de check-in." (Oh...I'd better go check-in).
With that I left them. In no time at all I was baggage free, and heading off to find my friends. Not surprisingly Alex had dragged them over to a funky little duty-free clothing shop where she was practically burying Charlotte and Claude in random items.
"Bella, nous sauver." (Bella Save us) Charlotte called when she saw me.
I couldn't do anything but laugh. I should have known better than to let Alex loose in any place with this many shops. In fact I surprised Claude hadn't stopped her already.
Charlotte's plea had finally caused Alex to notice me. She threw one final set of clothes at Claude and dragged everyone to the checkout.
"Rappelez-moi de ne jamais prendre à un aéroport plus jamais." (Remind me to never take you to an airport ever again.) Claude told Alex 20 minutes later, as he stumbled out of the shop carrying all of her bags.
Alex just stuck out her tongue at him.
All passengers for flight 9125A to Los Angeles, boarding will commence in 15 minutes. All first class passengers must make their way to the gates now. The horrible nasal voice called over the PA system.
"C'est mon vol." (That's my flight).
"Isn't there some way we could convince you to stay" Alex asked reverting to English.
"I can't stay here any longer Alex. Renee is becoming too much to handle and I need a change."
"Come and stay with us." Alex suggested. She had just recently moved into a small flat with Claude close to the university campus.
"Sorry, but my mind is set, and I have no way of getting a refund on my plane ticket. And to be perfectly honest I don't think I could cope with all of your PDAs." I laughed at their perplexed expressions.
"We're not that bad." Claude countered when he'd recovered himself.
"No you really are." Charlotte said trying to hide her laughter with a cough.
"Shut up Lotti." Alex said playfully punching her in the arm.
"Will you come back to visit?" Charlotte asked. "You're not going to leave me with only these two crazed lovebirds for company, are you?"
"If I get the chance I'll come and visit. But I don't know if that will be possible."
"We'll come and visit you then." She chirped.
"Oh you have no idea how much that would mean to me. What did I ever do to deserve you guys?"
"You tripped down the hall at school." Alex reminded me.
"The story of my life."
All remaining passengers for flight 9125A to Los Angeles please make your way to the gate for boarding. Flight number 9125A.
I looked down at my watch again. 4:50pm already?
"Don't go Bells." Alex pleaded as she hugged me tightly. I could barely breathe but thankfully Claude pulled her off me.
"The rest of us want to day goodbye too sweetheart." Alex sniffed loudly and moved away so I could say goodbye to Claude.
"You need to stay in touch okay?" He hugged me gently then surrendered me to Charlotte, who was crying. "Goodbye Bells."
I was free for one second before Charlotte tackled me. "You can't leave me." She wailed.
"I have to Charlotte. Don't worry I'll talk to you soon."
"You need to contact me as soon as you get in, okay?"
"Charlotte I can't afford too call..."
"You don't have to call. We found another way for you to stay in touch." She was smiling through her tears now.
"We're not telling. You see when you get to your new place."
"Consider it a house-warming present from all of us." Alex added. "But right now you need to get on that plane." She said playfully shoving me toward the final check-in counter.
They all took turns hugging me once more. Normally I wasn't a very emotional person, but I couldn't help the small tear that escaped, when I finally began to walk away.
I was all checked in and waiting in line to board the plane when m phone vibrated in my pocket. I took it out and flipped it open.
1 unread message.
I opened the message and found a picture of Charlotte, Alex and Claude poking their tongues out at the camera. Underneath were a few short sentences.
Love you. Keep in touch and we'll see you again soon.
I flipped my phone over and took a similar photo of myself and sent it off.
I laughed as I set the picture as my background and turned the phone off as I boarded the plane.
20 minutes later I was on the plane in my cushy business class seat (Thanks Charlie), watching the hostesses secure the luggage in the overhead compartments.
Good afternoon passengers and welcome aboard flight number 9125A to Los Angeles. My name is Anthony and I'll be your pilot for this evening. I hope you all have a very enjoyable journey.
This message was repeated again in French by the co-pilot, as we began taxiing towards the runway.
A few minutes later we were in the air.
I felt so much lighter. Although I had left so many good thing behind, my friends for one, I was also feeling happier than I'd ever felt in my life.
No more Renee telling me what to do and not do. I was completely free.
No one would know who I was in college. This frightened me, but at the same time it filled me with an odd sense of hope.
I had a chance at a fresh start. Maybe I'd even make some friends.
The seat belt lights turned off and the plane leveled out. I pulled out my MP3 player and put the headphones into my ears, closing my eyes and losing myself in the familiar beat of the music.
A loud bang woke me up several hours later.
"Sorry miss," the hostess apologized. She looked extremely worried. "I didn't mean to wake you...um...would you like anything?" She said gesturing to the cart which had just crashed into my seat.
"No thanks." I replied drowsily.
"Okay miss." And with that she hurried away.
How long had I been asleep? I looked down at my watch 1:40am, I'd been asleep for almost 7 hours.
I pulled my headphone out of my ears and glanced around the cabin. Most people were asleep but there were a few individuals who were either not tired or too uncomfortable to sleep.
Few a few minutes I watched the movie they had playing through the night. But I soon lost interest and drifted back to sleep, only to be woke again by he captains voice as it filled the cabin.
Good morning passengers the time is now 3:30am in Paris, but her in Sunny California it as now 6:30pm. Please adjust your watches accordingly and prepare for landing.
After another half hour I had made my way off the plane and was standing at the luggage carrousel, impatiently waiting for my bag. When it finally came through I only just managed to collect it before it made another circuit.
Then, luggage in hand, I slowly made my way out of the airport to the waiting ranks of cabs. Before I'd even made it halfway to the first cab, the driver had hopped out, collected my luggage and placed it in the trunk of his car.
I made my way to the back and hopped in.
"Where to love?" He asked, he had a very strong southern accent.
"Elizabeth Masen University." I answered.
"You a student then?"
And that was the last of our conversation for the whole trip.
We pulled up outside the dorms after a relatively short drive and the cabbie helped me unload my luggage before taking his fare and driving away.
I looked around at the beautiful buildings that surrounded the dorms. This place was perfect. I could only hope that the people, that I could see busily moving about there business, were as lovely as the school.
Well here's you chance to find out Bella, I thought as I turned to enter the dorm building. I slowly made my way up to the door and paused with my hand on the handle. I took one last deep breath before pushing the door open and entering the foyer.
The inside of the building was even more beautiful than the outside. The polished wood floor and creamy white walls, hung with some of the most beautiful paintings...I had no words to describe how excited I was.
At the far end of the foyer there was a plump woman sitting behind a polished reception desk. The name plate on her desk read Mrs. Cope.
She was pre occupied with a stack of papers, so she hadn't noticed my arrival. I looked around and noticed a bell on the desk, so rather than seem rude and clearing my throat to get her attention I decided to ring the bell.
My hand was half extended to ring the bell when a loud voice called out from behind me. "Evening Mrs. Cope."
I turned to see who had spoken and my eyes feel on a tall muscular boy with dark curly hair. He smiled at me and came up to the desk, obviously waiting his turn.
Mrs. Cope's head had flown up at the sound of her name. Her eyes briefly glanced towards the owner of the voice and she responded with a quick "Hello" before turning to me. "Oh...hello dear... I'm sorry. How long have you been standing there? "
"Not long at all." I replied, smiling. "Um...I'm Isabella Swan. I'm not really sure where I'm supposed to go."
"Of course. Well let me just check here," she began to tap away at her computer. "Ah! Here we go. You're in room 25B. It's a single and it's in the second floor. The last of your things just arrived this morning. Do you need help with your bags?"
"Um...No I'll manage."
"Well Emmett will help you if you decide you need it." With this she turned to face the boy standing next to me. "Won't you Emmett?"
"Of course Mrs. Cope. What I'm always happy to help out the new students." He turned to me and extended his hand. "Emmett Cullen. Pleased to meet you."
Mrs. Cope smiled warmly at him
"Isabella Swan." I shook his hand. "But please call me Bella."
"Okay. Well here you go Bella this is your key and I'll keep the spare here if you want until you decide on whom to give it to for safekeeping."
"Thank you Mrs. Cope."
"So you want help with your bags then?" Emmett asked.
He laughed then quickly took my bag from me and headed towards the elevator, pushing the button for the second floor.
"So Bella how do you like LA so far?" he asked when we were crammed into the small elevator.
"Well I haven't had much time to decide since I only got in about," I glanced at my watch for what felt like the millionth time today. "An hour ago."
"Where'd you come from?"
"France! Well that explains the accent."
"I don't have an accent." I protested.
"Yeah you do. It's not too severe but it's definitely there."
"Whatever you say Emmett."
By this time we had reached the second floor and Emmett was wheeling my bag down the long hallway. After a while he came to an abrupt stop outside a door, the large 25B signified that it was mine.
"Thanks Emmett, you've been a real life saver."
"No problem Bella. See you 'round."
And with the he turned and walked back to the elevator.
I opened the door to my room and practically feel in. Not surprising since the room was almost completely full of boxes.
Thankfully the bed was mostly clutter free. So after a few minutes of stumbling around searching for the box containing my sheets, I was able to quickly make my bed and collapse onto it.
I had only enough energy to set the alarm on my phone before sleep took me once more.
A/NWell there you go, the first chapter of my new story. I tried to make it as long as possible since I won't be able to update until my exams finish on November 6th.
What did you think? I hope you'll all bear with me and keep reading when I update. Please?
I am not French, I don't speak French and I never studied French at school (I just used this translator thing on Google) so if any of my stuff is wrong please let me know.
Once again: Happy Birthday OnMySide!
See you all again in just over a month,
Wish me luck in my HSC.