Put me in a room full of humans, and I'm fine. Put me next to Edward, and that's when my instincts kick in and I have to force myself to be good and resist the most delectable of temptations. This isn't once in awhile or every so often. This is every single time I see him, nonetheless touch him.
Edward told me, back during my first night as a vampire, that it took a decade before the family was willing to be anywhere near Rosalie and Emmett when they were feeling… frisky. Ha! We've got them beat by quite a few years. Good thing our family can afford two homes wherever we move, even if Edward and I normally get a smaller home on the property. All we really need is a bed. And sometimes not even that.
All this is going through my mind as I sit in Edward's lap, laughing along with my brothers and sisters, pretending to eat lunch in a cafeteria. It isn't until my next class period - honors English - that I realize exactly why they were smiling when I joined them for lunch.
My human memories are few and grow less as time passes on. My life is full of distractions - the smell of blood, my daughter, my son-in-law, my family, Edward. Especially Edward. I do not have a lot of time to spend dwelling on the life that used to be mine. I make a point to remember most of my human life that revolved around Edward, but if he wasn't front and center - by my side - I tend to let those memories go.
Sometimes though my human memories come back to me, subconsciously bidden by unknown triggers. That is what is happening now.
It always happens the same. A wisp of a thought tickles my mind. Sometimes its an image, sometimes a word or the note of a song. Today it is a name. Jessica.
Edward had said "A new girl in town, sitting by Jessica Kramer, wants to know who we are." I dismissed the wisp to the back of my mind and went back to pretending to concentrate on the teacher's lecture on "Pygmalion,"while actually thinking about the upcoming summer break.
Edward and I are planning on visiting Nessie and Jake for a few weeks, and therefore Charlie and Sue, of course. And the rest of the pack. Then we will go on to Esme's Island for the entirety of the rest of the summer vacation. It will be our first visit back to the island since our honeymoon - my first visit that won't require enough eggs to feed an army. Just the two of us. On a remote island. With the soft, white bed with soft feather pillows. I wonder if we can make it snow feathers again?
"Eliza is not an admirable character because of her transformation from mere flower girl to a perceived duchess, she is admirable because she forces the reader to realize that the only difference between a flower girl and a duchess is how others treat her." I say in answer to the teacher's question.
I force myself to stop focusing on Edward, and try to refocus my attention on the lecture. After all, I actually do enjoy "Pygmalion."
But a stronger memory wisp clouds my thinking for a brief moment. Jessica Stanley.
So this is a human memory that I will be forced to remember. Sometimes I can stop them from resurfacing. It's not that I don't like remembering being a human, it's just that I don't need to remember. I have all that I need in the life that I live now. But sometimes the old human instincts and the old human memories are more persuasive than I'd like to give them credit for.
I put a quarter of my concentration on the discussion going on around me - just in case I was called on again - and let the rest of my thoughts rest and await the memory.
Another wisp. This time an image. I'm looking at a girl with an explosion of curly brown hair. I can't see her very well - like most of my human memories this one is dark and muted and a little unfocused. But I instinctively know that this is Jessica Stanley.
A stronger memory. I'm with Jessica Stanley, sitting in a cafeteria.
And then the firestorm.
Ah, so on my first day at a new school I had sat with Jessica Stanley during lunch and asked her who my family was. Once upon a time I had looked upon their perceived perfection and had known that their beauty and grace would never be mine. That I would never be allowed to encroach upon their clear boundaries and join their sullen family solitude.
"Eliza would rather marry Freddy and be treated like a duchess than spend her life with Henry Higgins being treated like an experiment."
And now a new girl in school is going through the same thing. She saw our supposed flawlessness and wishes she could somehow be a part of our magic.
I wish I could tell her that we aren't what we seem to be. Besides the fact that we are not human, that we drink the blood of animals - all the while wishing it was the blood of a human the gushes down our throats, we are all far from perfect. The facade we put forth day by day hides the truth of who we are. My husband and my siblings have not changed their guises since I had first gazed upon them all those years ago.
"I think Eliza is actually in love with Henry Higgins, but why would she stay when she knows that he'll never feel the same? He still sees her as a flower girl, and he'll never see her as anything more."
I'm pretty sure I know what it was that Morgan saw today in the cafeteria. Jasper would seem intellectual and handsome, but would very obviously appear to wish to be anywhere else but there. Alice would be overlooked - she's so pixie-like and petite that most girls don't realize she's also quite pretty. Rosalie would be pegged as the gorgeous bitch with a better-than-thou attitude. Emmett would strike fear just due to his size, and she would assume that because of the brawn he would have no brains. And Edward - well he would be seem smoldering and sullen and sultry all at once.
In reality my family are so much more than they appear to be.
Jasper still struggles with human blood more than any of us. He can sit in a crowded room now and suffer through a human with a paper cut, but he'll have to hunt immediately afterwards. And his appearance - he is incredibly handsome, of course - but to vampire eyes we see the marks of his violent past covering his body. And he feels an almost constant guilt for his past, despite his peaceful existence now.
Alice seems like a pixie until you get to know her, and then she seems like a giant. Her personality is so huge that she can take over a conversation in a second flat and make you enjoy it. And she's anything but gentle when her family is in trouble. I've seen her rip apart a vampire all by herself, despite Jasper's efforts to help her.
Rosalie can be bitchy sometimes, but we all love her despite it. When she's in a good mood she's a wonderful person - funny and caring. Normally when she's in a bad mood she'll immerse herself in the cars - not returning until she's covered in grease and oil and smiling again. Sometimes though when she goes into a rage she'll run off and we won't see her for several days. Emmett normally follows her, and while he won't tell us what she does, he has assured us she isn't hurting anyone.
Emmett is as gentle as he is huge - normally. He can take down a grizzly and drain it dry in less than 30 seconds when he's really thirsty. When he's not really thirsty he plays with the grizzlies - wrestling with them and chasing them - giving them one last hurrah before draining them dry. But he's also really intelligent - he takes all honors and AP classes and it usually takes the teachers several weeks before they realize he really belongs there. And when I need someone to talk to - to really sit down and talk to seriously when something's bothering me that I can't tell Edward about - then he's always the one I go to.
Edward is still complex to me. Sometimes I can't seem to figure out what he's thinking. And although I love him dearly, I wish he would lighten up on his protection sometimes. I am strong now, quite able to be a superhero now instead of the damsel in distress - but he still treats me like I'm made of eggshells. The last time we came upon a group of human-drinkers that wanted to fight he wouldn't let me even try to take them on. For that he didn't get to hear my thoughts for quite sometime. Serves him right!
"Well, yes, I think Henry does love Eliza - but not the type of love she's looking for. He loves her for what she can do for him, for how she proves that he's a mastermind at his work."
I mentally shook my head. Whatever this new girl thought she saw when she looked at my family, I'm sure she had no idea who they really are as people.
When we left for lunch I saw that she was pretty cozy with Roger Everett. Good for her. We aren't the type of people that humans need to get involved with. Sure, I did, but I really didn't have a choice. I was Edward's la tua cantante and I was in turn irresistibly drawn to him. And once I got to know his family, I couldn't help but fall in love with them too. And now they're my family also, a fact that I will be eternally grateful for.
The bell rings and I pack up my books. As I leave the classroom though, I can't help but wonder what it was that the new girl saw when she saw me?
Okay, so I did another segment. This one I was working on for quite awhile. Sometimes Bella's voice would come to me and other times I had to fight for it. But it was fun trying to get into her head.
Oh - don't go looking for any deep hidden meaning in what Bella has to say about "Pygmalion." I was just trying to show how Bella can be introspective and pay attention in class at the same time. And I personally really loved "Pygmalion" when I had to read it in Honors English all those years ago.
It's set up so that there's a possiblity for more one shots from other character's points of views, but I can't make any promises. It all depends on whether or not I can get into anyone else's head!
Happy New Year everyone - may 2009 be MUCH better than 2008!