Breaking Free

It wasn't dissatisfied with my vampire and werewolf life. I loved – and was loved by – every one of them. Well except maybe Leah, who was warming up to me gradually. It was just, the only times I had been out in the human world, really out in the human world, were on my monthly shopping trips with Alice, and on family vacations. It was time to break free.

I was going to university.

At first Mother was a definite no. "You're only five," she said, "how can you put yourself out there with eighteen and nineteen-year-olds?" But I was the physical size of a sixteen-year-old, and if I compensated for that with my abnormal brain power, who would keep me out of university?

Well I guess Mother could, for one.

It was Daddy who saved me in the end. I was glad for that, once I had my mind set on something it was almost impossible to change, so it would have really broken Mom's heart if I left without their approval. Daddy argued that I was physically and mentally ready for graduate school. High school was out of the question. I had developed much too quickly to remain inconspicuous, and besides I found the work dull and simple. Daddy won over Mother eventually, but she adamantly refused to be a part of any discussion revolving my upcoming departure. I guess she was just reluctant for me to grow up so quickly.

Of course, there was Jacob for another matter. I loved him dearly – though we weren't officially dating or really in love love… yet – and it was really hard for me to be away from him. As long as I kept nearby, though, he could visit on evenings and weekends (geez, I sound like I'm grounding myself or something) and everyone would probably be fine. Like I said, nothing in the world would get me to change my mind.

So there I was, in the passenger seat of Esme's car, on the road for Thorton University.

It was only two hours away from Forks by car (that is, if you're going at vampire speed). It wasn't a huge institution, nor was it one of the Ivy League, but it was close, and a starting point. If I survived this, than maybe in a decade or so, I could end up at Harvard!

"So," Esme said, breaking the silence "Do you want me to tour Thorton with you? Or do you want to go by yourself?"

"I think I'll go by myself, thanks Esme," I replied. Mother and Daddy were arriving home this afternoon from a fourth honeymoon at Isle Esme, so it was the island's namesake who was taking me to visit my future university.

"Of course," she replied warmly, "It's the first step to independence isn't it? And besides, I might go hunting anyways.

I rolled down my tinted window and a tiny steam of June sunlight (muted by the overcast clouds) entered the Ferrari's dark interior. Esme immediately cowered away from it, and I laughed.

"Oh Esme, we're in a speeding car, and I think you're dressed for the weather anyway."

Esme was wearing dark sunglasses, a wide brimmed hat, and a long-sleeved satin dress. Pair that with a parasol, and she looked like a classy, European supermodel.

"Oh I know, but going about in the summer daylight makes me nervous…"

"You'll be fine. I can't say the same for your parasol, though. Apparently the deer here are quite vicious."