One crisp September morning, Edward Cullen sat on the train. His hands were wrapped around a paper cup of coffee that he didn't bother to drink. The hot liquid warmed his fingers but the rest of him felt cold. His gaze was trained out the window. He wasn't looking at the scenery. He saw the same green fields and industrial estates everyday. He mostly looked out the window to avoid making eye contact with the other passengers. Though on the commuter train there was little danger of that. Around him, everyone made it their business to avoid any kind of personal contact with their fellow travellers. They read newspapers and tapped away on laptops. Others chatted on cell-phones at the top of their voices always announcing that they were on the train. They were the ones that irritated him more that anything.
Some people listened to music. It was their way of keeping a sense of privacy in such a public place. Or maybe it was just something to make the time pass more quickly. Edward envied them. He would have liked to listen to his ipod. It would have been a distraction if nothing else. But he didn't really bother with music much anymore. His heart wasn't in it.
Edward was only nineteen. Technically, he had the whole world at his feet. But he knew better. He was jaded, bored, indifferent. Everyday of his life was the same. There was no break in the monotony he had rutted himself into.
Every morning he got up early and went for a run. He ate breakfast that his mother Esme cooked for the family. He had been adopted at a young age so she was everything a mother should be to him. He had never been a morning person so he could get away with being quiet then. He left the house before his sister Alice came downstairs. She always saw right through him and he found it impossible to lie to her anyway. Then he got the train from the suburbs into the city to work.
He couldn't say he hated his job although he didn't like the fact that he only had it as a favour to his father. Carlisle was a well-respected doctor and had secured Edward an internship in a private medical research facility. It was mildly challenging and at least it filled his days. He tried not to think about how he should be in his first year of college this year.
He spent his days assisting with research, taking notes and being a general dogsbody. He was unfailingly polite but kept to himself and always ignored the advances of the young women who worked there.
After work, he got the train home. He ate dinner and made small talk with his family. Sometime he'd call his brother who was away in college but that always reminded him of what he was missing out on. Thankfully Alice was busy these days. She was in her senior year of high school and self-appointed head of the yearbook committee. All because 'memories are important', as she kept reminding him. He would have laughed at that only for he knew it would hurt her feelings. They all knew they were some things that were better forgotten.
After dinner, he'd watch tv or pretend to fill out some of the college applications Carlisle kept giving to him. Then he'd try to sleep, blocking out as much of the doubts and voices that played in his mind as he could.
And the next day he'd get up and do it all over again.
Without a doubt, commuting was the worst part of his day. He hated taking the train, being crammed into a carriage full of obnoxious strangers. He needed to be in control. He was the type of person who couldn't be a passenger in a car. He always had to drive. He wished he could have driven his Volvo to work everyday but it made no sense considering traffic and parking in the city. Trying to negotiate rush hour traffic was almost as frustrating as being stuck on a train.
The train was slowing and already people were gathering there belongings, eager to be at the doors as soon as it shuddered to a stop. Edward joined the queue to exit the train. He paused to let an elderly lady go in front of him, ignoring the huffing of an overweight businessman behind him, and stepped down onto the platform.
He always spent as little time as possible in the train station. He never lingered to buy a newspaper or a drink or watch the people go by. The high ceilings did nothing to prevent the feelings of claustrophobia that always engulfed him as he got swept along in the rush towards the exit.
Realising that he was still carrying the coffee cup he navigated through the crowd to the rubbish bin to throw it away. It had gone cold and he didn't even really like coffee anyway. It tasted as bitter as he felt. He paused at the bin as a scene unfolding across the tracks caught his eye.
On the opposite platform there was a woman pushing a stroller and barking into a cell-phone. She had a bright red coat on and the three-wheeled stroller had a tacky leopard print cover. She was pushing her way through the crowd, bashing several people on the legs with the large front wheel of the push-chair. The child looked to be about two. He had curly blonde hair and was clutching a battered looking blue stuffed rabbit. Then the child lost his grip on the toy and it fell to the dirty floor.
Edwards hand shot out automatically as if to catch it. It was silly thing to do since there was a deep cavern and about fifteen feet of tracks separating them. The child's face crumpled and tears began to fall. His mother clipped along, totally oblivious to her sons distress. This invoked strange emotions in Edward. Inexplicably, he felt hurt to see the child so upset. He wasn't used to caring so much about complete strangers. He wasn't used to caring much about anything, excepting his family.
Then he saw a girl bend down and pick up the bunny. Her long brown hair was tied into a loose ponytail and she wore a backpack on her back. She darted along the platform and without thinking Edward began to walk too. He was anxious to see what she was going to do. The girl ducked through the throngs of people until she reached the woman with the stroller. She returned the toy to the little boy and his sobs turned to whimpers and then a huge smile. The mother hadn't noticed the toy was missing and she didn't even acknowledge the girls act of kindness before she stomped off.
Edward thought he would have been a little insulted if he had gone out of his way to help someone and he got no gratitude. He knew he was selfish like that. But clearly this girl was a better person because the slight did not affect her at all. He watched as she stood still for a moment and he found himself frozen in place too. The little boy had stuck his head around the side of the stroller and gave a small wave to the girl.
Edward saw her face light up into a brilliant smile as she wiggled her fingers back at the child. It was probably the sweetest thing he had ever witnessed. It had been a long time since he had been touched by something. This girl was seemed so vibrant, caring, full of life. In a way it warmed his heart but the darker part of him hated her for it. She was everything he wasn't.
When the child disappeared from sight, the girl turned her head in Edwards direction. Her eyes met Edwards and locked there. Her gaze was captivating. Even if he wanted to, he would have been unable to tear himself away. Her eyes were a deep chocolate brown and she had full lips and porcelain skin. He could tell she was pretty in a natural way and she was dressed casually. Her eyes were wide. Perhaps she was shocked to find a stranger staring at her across the station.
He couldn't explain it but at that moment he felt more alive than he had in months. As he made eye contact with the beautiful girl he felt something. Chemistry, a connection, something real and tangible.
It shocked him to his core.
Even with the distance between them, he could see a trail of red begin to creep up the girls neck and flood her cheeks. She was blushing. That was what made him come to his senses.
This girl, this beautiful stranger, was young, kind and probably innocent. Even if he did manage to talk to her there was no way she'd be interested in someone like him. In the simple act he had witnessed she had proven she was too good for him. Even being in his company would taint her.
So he finally blinked and spun around, moving back into the swell of people rushing towards the exit. He didn't let himself look back and he walked into the harsh light of day, leaving the girl behind him for now.
Bella Swan was used to being ignored. There were times when she felt practically invisible. This was something she was used to. It normally never bothered her but there were times when she felt incredibly lonely. Isolation was truly one of the hardest things for a person to deal with.
Perhaps that was what motivated her to chase after the child to return his bunny. She needed to connect with someone, make an impact on the life of another person. Or maybe it was just that she couldn't bear to see the little boy so upset. There was enough suffering in this world and he was far too young to start now.
Either way, she dodged through the harried commuters until she caught up with the child and returned his lost toy to him. His mothers indifference didn't affect her at all. It ran off her like water but when the curly haired boy turned and waved at her it made her inexplicably happy. She may have been weak and often ineffective but at least she had done one worthwhile thing today.
Not knowing quite what to do when the child had been pushed out of sight, Bella looked around self-consciously. She always made a point not to draw attention to herself here of all places. She hadn't planned on making a spectacle of herself like that.
She realised then she had a small audience. Across the tracks a lone man was watching her. He seemed younger than most of the people that came through the station at this time. He wore a pair of well cut slacks and a button-up shirt, setting apart from the usual suits that people wore but he still looked professional. His hair, an unusual shade of copper-brown, was slightly messy which added to his boyish appearance. He couldn't have been much older than her. He was also shockingly handsome. The type of person that wouldn't ordinarily give her a second glance.
But he was staring at her and when her eyes met his she was captured. She resisted the urge to look down like she normally would have. His green eyes were piercing, even from far away. His gaze was curious and…something else she just couldn't place. It was so intense she felt a familiar heat make its way up her neck and stain her cheeks. Her heart began to pound due to the intensity of the moment. It was the first time in a long time that she had felt a connection with another person. It was like an electric current passed between them and she felt compelled to reach out and touch him. He was too beautiful to be real.
Then he seemed to shake his head and took a step back, breaking the contact between them. He turned and fled towards the exit leaving a stunned Bella blinking behind him.
Right then, it didn't matter that he was so far apart from her. That he was clearly rich and gorgeous and a million miles out of her league. That he probably thought she was crazy for staring at him like that.
He had looked at her, looked right through her. He saw her and that was enough. Bella turned and disappeared back into the crowd. She became invisible once again. But try as she might she couldn't forget him.
So that was the just the prologue of my first all human story. Please tell me what you thought. There'll be more up very soon!