Takes One to Know One
I slammed the door on my truck and stalked toward the ugly building housing the community college. It was eight in the morning on a Saturday, and I was in a foul mood. My iPOD was blasting Earth Crisis in my ears, only encouraging the grimace on my face.
Though I kept my eyes fixed on the ground in front of me to avoid falling, I noticed other students out of the corner of my eye making their way to the door. I knew most of them from other classes I'd taken, and I wasn't looking forward to having more with them. This political science class may have been a requirement for my AA, but I was looking forward to it. I loved a good debate, especially against ignorant children whose political ideals were spoon-fed to them by their parents.
I snorted at the thought, anticipating many opportunities to throw the cold water of truth in their faces. This would be fun.
Finally, I made it into the classroom and sat near the front, which was a habit of mine. Studies show students who sit at the front of the class always learn better than their counterparts who snooze off in the back of the room, so here I was, being studious.
I threw my messenger bag on the floor, grinning at all the various pins and patches attached to it. My personal favorite was the pin that said "Beef: It's what's rotting in your colon!"
I was a few minutes early, so I pulled out my copy beat up copy of Animal Liberation and sat back in my desk to read while I waited for class to start.
I parked my car in the half-empty lot of the school and climbed out, looking around at the other students. I was parked next to an old rust heap of a truck, and I grimaced when the girl getting out slammed her door with force. I made a point of closing the door of my Volvo very gently after that.
Heading toward the school, I straightened my red tie and smoothed my hand down the front of my white dress shirt, making sure it was tucked neatly into my khaki pants. My stride was confident and smooth as I walked into the classroom.
Due to the studies I'd read on the subject, the seats at the front of the classroom were always my first choice. I wound my way through the desks and sat down next to a girl, only noticing after I'd settled in that it was the same girl from the parking lot.
My eyes scanned the room, recognizing most of the students from other classes. I smirked at the bleeding heart liberal to my right wearing an Obama t-shirt. I wondered if this guy had any idea what Obama stood for, or if his parents were the ones voting for him. The kid didn't even look old enough to vote, let alone grasp the intricacies of politics.
I turned back to my right, observing the girl. She was vaguely familiar, but I couldn't remember her name. She'd gone to high school with me a couple years ago. She had long brown hair cascading down her back in waves that guarded her face from my view. Her slender form was encased in a tight black t-shirt that said Throwdown on the front, worn over a white thermal undershirt. She wore tight indigo jeans and a studded belt with ratty old black and white Converse on her feet. On her left wrist, I could see a tattoo but I couldn't make out what it was.
I rolled my eyes when I read the title of the book she was reading, wondering if she'd jumped on the vegetarian bandwagon after high school when most people tried to separate themselves from the herd mentality by doing things that they believed would make them "different."
Just then, the professor walked in and began class. I sat up straight in my desk, my eyes alert and my face set in a friendly greeting when he approached me. "Hello there, Edward. How is your father doing?" he asked jovially.
"He's fine, thank you. How have you been, Mr. Allan?" I responded politely.
I saw the girl look up at me in my peripheral vision with a derisive look on her face. She probably thought I was a disgusting brown-noser. Well, let her think that. It doesn't matter anyway, my mind said.
Professor Allan and I continued to exchange pleasantries as the rest of the class trickled in. I was eager for this class because I loved a good debate, but I had to keep myself in check because I knew it wouldn't do to get too impassioned. After all, this was just a silly little college course, hardly worth getting worked up about.
Since it was the first day, we spent the rest of the time going over the syllabus and asking questions about the expectations for the coursework. I felt confident in my ability to get a good grade in this class, so I wasn't worried.
I was severely disappointed in myself. I was sitting there, reading my book and trying to tune out everyone around me when I felt his presence in the desk next to mine. I tried not to look at him, but I couldn't help myself.
I waited until he was busy looking elsewhere, and only then did I allow myself to take him in with my eyes.
Edward Cullen was amazingly good-looking, and amazingly prickish. I knew of him in high school, but I'd never spoken to him. I knew plenty about him, however. He was a crazy ass right-wing Republican Christian boy who was completely out of touch with reality. I'd seen him around campus involved in certain events for things like Christians for Life, a pro-life organization that probably did things like plant pipe bombs at the local Planned Parenthoods.
He also ran a Republican talk show on the college's radio station. Sometimes he played classical music, but for the most part he interviewed conservatives from the community. I never listened to it, because I didn't give a shit, but I knew of it.
I was not surprised when Professor Allan walked in and immediately began to drool over Captain Christian. I'm sure he was positively thrilled to have such a high-profile student in his class. They started talking to each other and I tuned them out in favor of the book in my hands.
Professor Allan was one of the good ol' boys in our illustrious community. He had spearheaded the campaign to get the current Republican senator elected, and I knew he was big in our community, holding it back by at least a hundred years. He probably didn't like the fact his wife could vote.
Finally, they wrapped up their little circle jerk and I took the syllabus Allan handed to me. I quickly scanned the requirements for the class, noting with dread the group project that would constitute the final. I hated working in groups because I was always the one pulling all the weight in order to get a good grade.
After the syllabus was covered, Professor Allan stood up and clapped his hands together in glee. I groaned at his next words: "Okay class, now we will be getting to know a little bit about each other. I want to go around the classroom so you can introduce yourselves. Please say your name and, if you feel comfortable, share a bit about your political views. We will be having mock debates on current issues and it's important that you all have a good understanding of where you stand."
We went around the classroom, and I listened dispassionately as people pretended they knew what they were talking about. Very few of the students actually knew where they stood politically; the rest of them either spouted nonsense or mumbled barely coherent replies.
Finally, it was my turn and I was ready to strut my stuff. I took a deep breath and jumped right in, saying, "My name is Bella Swan and I am a registered member of the Green Party. I work for PETA as a research aid for the lobby, I belong to the local chapter of Food Not Bombs, and I was involved in grassroots campaigning for Dennis Kucinich, as he was the only vegan presidential hopeful."
When I was finished, I crossed my arms over my chest defiantly and sat back in my desk, daring anyone to say something. The room was completely silent, so I finally relaxed and Allan moved on to Cullen.
Bella Swan was her name, and she was probably crazy. She seemed to be heavily involved in politics and animal rights issues. I found myself reluctantly impressed with her passion.
Professor Allan nodded to me, indicating it was my turn to introduce myself. I cleared my throat and said, "My name is Edward Cullen and I'm a Republican. I belong to the Christians for Life community group, which is a special interest group that supports the pro-life movement in politics. I also run my own show on the college radio station called Young Republicans every Thursday night from seven to eight p.m. My summer was spent in Washington D.C. as a page boy for Slade Gorton."
I heard Bella snort under her breath when I was finished, and I turned to her with my eyes narrowed. I waited for her to say something, but she just looked back at me and rolled her eyes. I was instantly pissed off, but before I could say anything, Allan thanked the class and allowed us to leave early.
I watched as Bella gathered her things, shoving everything into a dirty canvas messenger bag with a huge patch on the flap sporting three big black X's. I frowned at her retreating back, wondering how someone so beautiful could be so angry and militant.
A/N: So this wasn't a full chapter, it was more of an introduction. I plan on writing more as soon as I'm done wrapping up Take One For the Team, because I don't know if I could maintain three stories at the same time. I just couldn't wait to start writing it though, so that's why I'm posting it now. This story will be rated T because I want to change things up a little. So what do you think? Does it interest you to read more? Let me know! -HIE