AN: For this story, the updates will be slower. Music ADD will be helping me with the annoying word order and grammar stuff that was in Thanks to the Children. Bella is going to be a little OoC for this story, but I'm going to try to keep the basics of Bella's traits. This whole story will be in Bella's POV. Thanks, Emma


Chapter One: Phoenix

The one thing I couldn't get over is how sunny it was. After living my whole life in Forks, Phoenix was simply too bright. Mom and Charlie were helping to unpack the huge moving van but I refused to be any help in this. I left behind the trees and beaches of La Push for the sand and palm trees of Phoenix. I was a teenager and had the right to be grumpy about moving to polar opposites. I sighed and began unpacking everything in my room, which wasn't much. There was a bed, two bookshelves, and a twin bed.

I looked out the window and squinted, trying to make out what my view was like. There was another window directly opposite from mine across the six feet of side yard. There was a cool brick pattern that had a lot of foot holes on the wall, which I stored in the back of my mind for the future. My room is the attic room and is my dream room, except that I don't want it to be in Phoenix. After I was done with my moping, for the time being, I heard Mom's voice from the living room.

"Bella, the neighbors are here to say hi!" I sighed and put on my happy face and trudged down the rickety staircase that leads to the rest of the house. The house is a one story and an attic; the first floor had a master bedroom, a guest room, living room, and kitchen. There was a kindly woman at the bottom of the stairs with straight, shiny brown hair, looking like she just stepped out of a fairy tale.

"Hello, I'm Esme, you must be Bella," she said as I shook her hand. Well, at least our neighbors weren't horrible. "You're in eleventh grade, as your mother tells me. Do you have a ride in the morning?" I shook my head no. "My son Edward is in your grade and can give you a ride tomorrow in the morning."

"Thanks, but I don't want to be in the way," I said, trying to politely squirm out of it.

"Nonsense, Edward would love to help. You can meet him in our driveway at eight, OK?" Esme said. She was so kind and I didn't have another ride, so I merely nodded again. "Great, I'm sure you will get along with him just fine."

"I saw your plants as I came in. How do you keep them so healthy?" Mom said, changing the subject. They talked for nearly an hour, but I couldn't find a way to sneak away, so I just sat it out. As she was leaving, she surprised me with a hug.

"Feel free to come anytime you want to just hang out. I'm glad that Edward has someone his age to hang out with." And with that she was gone. Wow, lay the quilt trips on me why don't you? I escaped to my room, my new hide out. I had a feeling that most of my time will be spent here, under the canopy over my bed. It wasn't a girly canopy, mind you; it was just a plain white one without ornamentation. But it makes me feel like I had my own space so I love it.

I pull out my Mac laptop and plugged it in. I loved my laptop and it held my entire world on it. I liked to write songs, anything. I couldn't play an instrument, but my voice was all I needed. I had all my lyrics saved on this one laptop. This one hunk of metal and plastic held my heart and feelings on it and I wouldn't trade it for anything. But no one knew I could sing except my parents who hear me and I plan to keep it that way.

"Bella, do you mind making dinner tonight?" my dad, Charlie, called from the kitchen.

"Be right there, Charlie!" I called back and sat my laptop on the bed. I called my dad Charlie because he didn't look like a dad, he looked like a Charlie. And that's all anyone ever calls him and it would be weird for him to be called anything else. He doesn't mind that I don't call him dad because he's more of a protective older brother with a lot of power than a dad. I ran downstairs and skidded to a halt in the kitchen, sliding a bit in my socks.

"What can we make with only imperishable food items?" I muttered to myself. Then it came to me: spaghetti. No meat, of course but just plain red sauce would be fine. My family isn't formal about anything when it's just the three of us. I turned on the radio and searched the stations while stirring. I was disappointed with the radio selections, but finally came to one that I could live with. A good mix with stuff that I could sing along to is all that I looked for in a good station.

"Mom, Charlie, supper is ready!" I called down the hallway. I sighed as I poured the pasta into three bowls. I'm only here for another two years and then I can go back to somewhere with real plants instead of just puny cacti.

"Smells great Bells," Charlie said as he sat down. We always talked about random topics during dinner and they never asked stuff like 'How was your day at school?' unless they couldn't help it. We weren't you average family. Mom was very creative, which made her perfect for teaching Kindergarten. Charlie was a small town cop but here in Phoenix he's going to supervise a group of new recruits. Basically, that means a bunch of paper work.

"Did you read the NY Times this morning?" Mom asked. This sparked a huge discussion on what the best form of renewable energy was. I hate to say this, but I joined in. I didn't look like a nerd, with my pale skin and average brown hair and eyes, but on the inside I was. I learned to hide it well outside of the house though. After dinner, I washed the dishes and started to pop some popcorn. The smell of the popcorn was the call to attention. Every night we watched whatever PBS special was on.

"What's on tonight?" Mom asked as Charlie pulled out the TV guide.

"Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice mini-series. The good one, with Colin Firth," Charlie said and covered his ears.

"I absolutely love it! We've got to watch all six hours this time, OK? It's only 5:30 now. Colin Firth looks so hot when he comes out of the pond at Pemberley soaking wet-" Mom said, but Charlie cut her off.

"Dear, I know that you love him, but I don't really want to hear about it. You and Bella talk about it when I'm not around." Charlie was intimidated by anything girl related. Mom just rolled her eyes and focused on the TV. We knew it so well we would jokingly quote our favorite lines and act them out during the commercials. I realized just how lucky I was to have parents like the. I was mad at them for making me move, but I've forgiven them. That doesn't mean that I can't still mope around and pout.

"Mom, I think I'm going to hit the sack. I know what to get you for your birthday next month though," I said a little after ten. I kissed her cheek and went up to my attic get away. I sat down and just started playing with a few melodies for some lyrics I'd written, they were really sad because I wrote them while I was in the middle of packing. I'd just gotten it worked out when a stereo was turned on in the attic room across from mine.

OK, I loved all the music that they played, but I wanted peace and quiet for a bit. I glanced at the clock and saw it was eleven and tomorrow was a school night. Right now they were playing some John Mayer, who I loved, but it was much too loud to be good back ground music. I glanced around my room and saw that my shoe was filled with rocks. My face broke into a mischievous smile as I took a handful of rocks from the shoe and opened my window. I saw that there was a guy who was propped up on a pillow right in front of the window, his expensive stereo right next to him.

I took aim and threw. The rocks clattered against the window, causing him to turn and look at me. Even in the darkness I could make out sparkling green eyes. I mimed turning down the volume and I knew that I looked like an idiot. I watched realization dawn on his face and he reached over and turned it down a bit, but it was still a distraction. I did the hand gesture again and I saw him sigh and kick it down an unnoticeable amount. I just shook my head and decided to fight this mute battle tomorrow. I tried to get to sleep, even though the next song on there was some upbeat P!nk song.

The next morning my alarm rang, making me groan. Summer was over, I guess. The guy had music going as loud as it had been originally last night, but this morning I enjoyed it and even sang along to the ones I knew. I hopped in the shower in the tiny bathroom in the attic, remembering to close the blinds first. No need for some creepy dude with loud music to see me get dressed.

"Bella, breakfast is ready," Mom's voice floated to me as I was in the shower. I sighed and hurried to rinse out my strawberry shampoo. I stood in the doorway of my closet, assessing my wardrobe. I pulled out a pair of jeans that fit me really good and a form fitting T-shirt, just like I wore everyday. I decided that they should just get used to seeing me in that. I threw my hair up into a perfect ponytail. After putting my hair in a pony tail for over ten years, I could do a pretty good one without a brush. It wasn't that I thought my hair looked bad, it was just annoying to have to constantly deal with it.

I ran downstairs and saw what Mom's idea of breakfast was: half a glass of grape juice and a pop tart. "Thanks for setting my breakfast out, Mom," I said when I saw her come into the kitchen in her teaching clothes. She just smiled and kissed me on the cheek. I glanced at the time and saw it was almost eight. Mom followed my eyes to the clock.

"Go honey. I'll see you when you get home and you can vent about everything that's bothering you.' Mom knew me so well. I will just want something complain about, just to blow off steam and fulfill my job as a moody teenager.

"Bye Mom. Tell Charlie when you meet him for lunch that I said good morning," I said as I backed out the front door. I stood in the neighbor's driveway, my back to the house, just looking out at the street.

"You must be Bella," I heard a soft, musical voice behind me say. I jumped before regaining my cool, feeling foolish. I spun around and was met by the laughing green eyes from last night.