A/N: Alternate Universe, all human! I thought I would never foray into the Twilight fandom, but I saw the movie and loved it!
I loosley based the photographer off Annie Leibovitz, if it wasn't completely obvious. And please review. I really appreciate people who take the time to do that. :) And Edward will show up. Eventually. (I kid! Or do i?)
The Spotlight is On
Bella hated her name. Not that she thought it was ugly. No, it just sounded so…archaic, like it belonged to an ancient Italian noble, not a gangly 17 year old girl in Forks, Washington. When she first moved to Forks, everyone had called her by her given name, and it irritated her every time. Isabella sounded like it belonged to someone else.
Someone who was probably more graceful, actually.
Bella stared morosely at the word document she was working on; it was an essay for an application she was filling out, and so far, Isabella Swan was the only thing written on it.
When Bella had heard of the summer internship with Ann Lebotz in New York City, she had jumped at the chance to apply. Ann Lebotz had photographed for fashion magazines, celebrities, and had won a Pulitzer Prize for her pictures of Darfur. She was a bit of an idol for Bella, who had been photographing since her primitive polaroids when she was four years old in Arizona.
The application process was simple-a two page essay on why the applicant would benefit from the internship and a portfolio; 10 of the applicant's photos that best "identified their style". The portfolio had been hard enough (her favorite had been a picture of Angela laughing with her hair blowing in the wind), and now this essay was the last obstacle.
This internship was her chance. If she could just be good enough, it could be hers…..
With renewed determination, Bella set out to write the essay.
The overcast sky gave everything a gray tinge, and, anywhere else, would have dampened the mood. However, after living in Forks for a year, Bella didn't feel the affects of the weather on her mood—she was too excited.
More than week before, Bella had mailed off her application. She knew the deadline was only a few days before, but she couldn't help but be optimistic. With the help of an online thesaurus and Jacob's (not often helpful) input, the essay had some out pretty well. Bella did well in writing at school anyway, so she knew it couldn't be too bad.
Bella was in the kitchen, making chicken for dinner when she heard the door slam.
Bella looked up and smiled at her father. "Hey Dad."
Charlie made his way to the table, and sat down. "Have you heard anything from that photographer?"
"No, it will probably be a little while."
Charlie nodded, and his black moustache quirked upwards. "I'm sure you'll get it."
For the next few weeks, "I'm sure you'll get it" was a mantra parroted by Charlie and all of Bella's friends. She didn't want to think about it at all, because it would lead to thinking about not getting it, which would be devastating. However, Mike Newton felt responsible to bring up the application constantly.
Bella was cleaning out her locker for the summer when she felt a hot breath near her face. "Hey Bella, you should take a pic of me so I can put it on my Myspace, before you go off on the internship."
Bella looked at Mike, and hoped he could tell she didn't want to talk about it. Though, Mike wasn't observant at the best of times (if Bella's repeated declinations of his advances weren't enough to prove that) , and she was sure this mental message would fall flat. So direct approach then. She closed her locker and slung her backpack over her shoulder.
"Sure, I'll take a picture of you, but I don't want to talk about the internship right now."
Mike's blue eyes widened. "Are you still worried you won't get it? But you're so good it it, there's no wa—."
Bella cut him off. "Mike, I'm stressing out about it enough, I really don't need the constant reminder, ok? Just drop it, please."
Mike looked briefly hurt, but his charismatic smile lit up soon enough. "Alright Bella, anything for you."
Mike winked, and Bella watched his blonde head disappear down the hallway. Really, she didn't know why Mike kept trying. After their one disaster of a date (which Bella had gone on only to get Mike to shut up), she had hoped his intentions would cool off. However, even after taking Jessica to prom, he was still persistent.
Consequently, Jessica hated her now.
In fact, the only high school male Bella could stand didn't go to her high school. Jacob Black was Bella's best friend, and she didn't know how the move to Forks would have been bearable without him. Jacob and Bella were constantly together; to the point where some people were convinced they were dating. Bella thought of Jacob like her brother, and although she knew Jacob felt differently, it was still a fun friendship.
Bella made her way to her antique truck after school let out. The drive to her house was thankfully short in the downpour. When she reached her driveway, she saw a familiar Volkswagen in it. She ran to the front door, which Jacob held open.
"I hope you don't mind I let myself in."
Bella grinned as she dumped her wet backpack on the floor. "I never usually do, why would I start now?"
Bella toed her shoes off and looked up at Jacob. "So, what movies did you get?"
Jacob had Bella follow him into the living room, where a stack of movies sat on the coffee table. He gestured hopefully at a romantic comedy "I have that, and," he brightened more on the action flick, "that one. You pick."
Bella pretended to ponder it, but picked the action. "You know I hate romance movies."
Jacob laughed, and then made a face. "Why, because you don't have a romance yourself?"
A pillow sailed across the room and hit Jacob on his copper face. "My lack of romance is a choice, not a fact."
Jacob laughed again, and settled in to the couch. "I know that better than anyone, Bella Swan."
A feeling of guilt crept into Bella's consciousness at that statement, but Jacob's easy grin helped it to melt away.
"Bella! Bells, come downstairs!"
The sun had filtered into Bella's room, and she groggily registered it was morning. School had officially let out for summer the day before, and sleeping in was definitely the objective. However, Charlie hardly yelled at anything, and she was mildly alarmed.
Bella made her way down the stairs—extra carefully, as she was still half-asleep—and walked into the kitchen where Charlie was.
"What is it Char-Dad?"
Charlie had an official-looking envelope in his hands, and handed over to Bella. "I believe you've been waiting for this."
Bella tore into the envelope and pulled out the printed letter. A quick scan showed the bottom was signed (!) by Ann, and Bella quickly looked back to the top to begin reading.
Charlie's inexpressive features had passed onto Bella's feminine countenance, which is why he was surprised at the play of emotions that fluttered across her face. "Dad! Dad, I got accepted! I'm going to New York!"
A chuckle sounded in the room. "See? I was sure you would get it."
And for the first time in weeks, that phrase didn't annoy her.