Dinner and Math
Chapter Song: Kids, by MGMT
The following weeks began to define themselves in terms of fifth period biology. I disregarded days of the week being labeled by Tuesday, Thursdays, and tacked on new-found names for them; names such as "The day Edward and I have to turn in our report on deciduous forests" and "Friday Free Period bantering". I pretended not to anticipate every chance I had to bitch at him and persuade that arrogant, frustrating smirk to play across his lips. I was shameless.
So was he.
"This snow hasn't melted since I first came here," He'd say in response to the bitter weather outside, "Give it a couple years, maybe it will even be as frozen as your soul Swan."
"I doubt that," I'd guffaw, "My heart's been coated in permafrost for far too long. I have Peter to thank for that."
We loved to hate each other.
It was the sweetest of all agonies. I lived only to loath him. He craved my biting tongue. We indulged in our animosity with such pleasure I practically radiated sweet hatred at the end of the period, and he left with a devilish smile so wide people looked upon him with caution.
"Afternoon, wretch," He greeted me as i came up to our table one day. I slapped my backpack down on top of the book he had open in front of him.
"Why hello Edward," I piped, "You're looking especially feminine today. What brand of gel do you use? I'd love to borrow it sometime."
He smirked, turning to face me fully. I could hardly keep from bouncing as i sat down next to him; the games had begun.
"None actually, although I agree that you could definitely use some."
I felt the familiar and welcome anger rising in me, and I lifted my brows.
"Really? Huh, I suppose you just have a swollen head."
His eyes widened, but the corners of his lips twitched, restraining his smile. I turned forward, smirking. So far, I'd gathered the lead.
"Alright class," Mr. Banner grunted, hoisting himself up from the desk, "I left your reports here last night so I haven't gotten to grading them yet, and seeing how progress reports are due this afternoon, I'm taking the period to finish them."
The classroom mood automatically lifted. Mr. Banner sensed it, and quickly set to killing the buzz.
"You'll be watching a movie on Protists and Fungi. I'm passing out a worksheet; you'll fill in the questions using the information given during the movie. It's due at the end of the period."
"Ugh, mold," I groaned under my breath, barely audible to my own ears. Never the less, Edward chuckled softly. My catty mood melted momentarily as I swooned at the sound of his laugh.
While I wasn't busy thinking about all the things he did that annoyed me, I was consumed by longing thoughts and shameful fantasies about him. Life was hell and heaven, all under the constant rain of Forks.
Mr. Banner went around the room, passing out the worksheets. Edward and I said nothing more, receiving our sheets reluctantly as Mr. Banner came to our table. I flipped the sheet over, frowning. It was double sided.
"A bet, Ms. Swan," Edward said upon examining his own sheet. I shot a side-glance at him, intrigued. He returned my gaze, his eyes dancing mischievously.
"You have my attention."
"I bet I can finish this worksheet faster than you can with time to spare."
"And if you're wrong?"
"The likeliness of that is very improbable."
"Please, if your head inflates any further, the room won't be able to sustain us both inside of it and I will be crushed," I sighed, "The terms?"
"Fine. Lets suppose you win and you do finish before me. I promise to keep the big head to a mininum-"
"Now that's very improbable. And if you win?"
He smiled wide.
"You come to dinner with me."
My eyes widened. Bets were always fun to win, but I suddenly wanted to lose. He waited with expectantly raised brows, daring me to agree. In my head, I was contemplating his motives for such precarious proposals.
His eyes danced, and my head began to spin. Before he could respond, Mr. Banner interrupted.
"Alright, kids, lights out."
With a flip of the switch, darkness fell around us. Edward continued to stare at me, his eyes shining in the darkness. Then, another equally unexpected thing happened.
As if coaxed out by the dark, a new form of energy permeated the air where light used to be. Static ignited my veins, pricking the end of each nerve in my body and turning me on to a whole new realm of sensation. Edward's eyes widened and his smile fell, and I knew the static had begun to seize him, to. We both turned forward, shaken.
I grabbed my pencil and pull my paper towards me, but I couldn't focus on any of the words on the page. They were just strange symbols with no meaning. I tried to put the pencil tip to the paper to write my name, but my hand was shaking too violently.
To my side, Edward was motionless. I didn't dare steal a glance at him, but from my periphery, I could tell that his face was still as stone, his eyes wide with something akin to terror.
I gave up trying to write my name and directed my eyes to the movie on the overhead. Naturally, I could comprehend none of it. My hands twitched at my sides, overwhelmed by the urge to grab the man beside me. I was most definitely going to lose the bet.
It wasn't the first bet I'd lost to him…
I was sitting at the kitchen table, a pencil in one hand, a peanut butter and jelly in the other. I scowled down at the homework sheet in front of me. I hated math.
"Numbers are dumb," I mumbled under my breath, tearing another bite out of my sandwich. It was four o'clock, Renee wasn't home until five, and I had no one to help me with my subtraction problems.
"Math is the universal language, Bella. I'd hardly call that dumb."
I jumped in my seat, nearly knocking over my glass of milk. A smile spread across my face.
I jumped from the chair and ran across the kitchen into his cold, open arms. He lifted me up, swinging me lightly.
"Peter," I asked as he set me down, "What are you doing here? It's not bed time!"
He smiled, ruffling my hair.
"Well, it was a nice day, so I figure I'd stop by and say hi."
I looked past him and out the window. Outside, the wind was blowing and the black clouds overhead threatened to wash the dry Arizona desert with a rare storm. I looked back at him, confused.
"So what's this I hear about math problems?"
"I hate math."
He gasped with mock astonishment.
"But Bella, math is such a great subject!"
"But it's so hard!"
He chuckled, grabbing my hand and leading me back to the table. He sat down in the chair and lifted me up on his lap, grabbing the piece of paper and the pencil.
"Here, let's see what you're having a hard time with…"
He examined the paper briefly, then turned me so I could look at him.
"You don't like subtracting?"
"Nu-uh." I grimaced. He smirked, lifted me from his lap and set me back on the chair. Gracefully, he walked across the kitchen to the refrigerator.
"I think I know something that might help you…"
He reached up and pulled a large jar from atop the fridge.
"Cookies." I breathed in awe. He chuckled, bringing the sacred cookie jar over to the table. I stared, fixated on the magical pot of gold.
"I'm going to make a bet with you Bella," Peter said, pulling up a chair next to me.
"Yes. I bet you can't tell me how many cookies are in that jar right there." He said, point to the jar in front of me. My chest puffed with pride, and I pulled the lid off, taking out the cookies and placing on the table in front of me. I counted eight.
"There's eight, I win!"
"Good job, but I wasn't finished yet."
He reached across the table and grabbed a few of the cookies.
"Now how many are there?"
I looked down at the remaining cookies in front of me.
I looked up, confused.
"Well, before there was eight, then you taked some, and now there's five."
"And how many did I take?"
I looked across the table, but he'd hidden the cookies under his ahnds. I deliberated for a moment. I consulted my fingers before finally delivering my reply.
He smiled and pulled his hands back from the cookies. There were three.
"Yay! I win again!"
"Yes, you did, and you also just did number five on your homework."
"Yes, eight minus five equals three."
I looked down at the paper in front of me, and sure enough I'd just solved the problem that I'd been struggling with minutes before.
He chuckled, returning two cookies to me.
"How many cookies do you have in front of you?"
"Seven." I replied quickly. He nodded, extending his hand towards me.
"Give me back two of them."
I gathered the two and handed them to him.
"Now, tell me how many you have left."
I started to look down at them, but his finger lifted my chin up again.
I frowned. He just smiled, giving no other choice. I huffed, closing my eyes, working it out in my head…
His finger slipped from my chin, and I opened my eyes to see him smiling at me. I looked down at the remaining cookies in front of me. Sure enough, there were five.
"I did that one all in my head! I didn't even have to look at the cookies this time, Peter!"
He nodded, smiling radiantly.
"Yes, you just did the next problem all in your head. Now, I want you to see if you can do the rest without using the cookies at all."
I looked timidly down at the paper.
"You can do it."
Looking at him, the confidence on his face gave me assurance, and I grudgingly picked up my pencil and set to finishing the rest of the problems. Peter waited, quiet and patient, as I worked each problem out. When I was done, I handed him the paper. My heart raced as I waited for him to deliver the verdict.
"Congratulations, Bella. You have successfully mastered the art of subtraction." He smiled, handing the paper back to me. I grabbed it, grinning from ear to ear.
He looked at the clock hanging on the wall, and sighed.
"Well, I supposed it's time I get going. Your mom will be home soon."
He stood to leave, but I quickly jumped from my chair and wrapped my arms around his waist.
"What Bella?" He asked, taken back slightly. I smiled up at him.
"I won the bet. I'm aspossed to get a prize."
I stepped back, my hands held out in front of me. He smiled widely and bent down to my size.
"Close your eyes."
I did as I was told, bouncing softly in place as I awaited my reward. He set something in my hands. I opened my eyes and grinned. It was a cookie.
"Cookie!" I gasped and stuffed the crumbly morsel in my mouth. He chuckled, patting the top of my head.
"Goodbye Peter," I mumbled through my full mouth, and leaned forward to place a kiss on his cheek. He stared at me in awe for a moment before smiling radiantly and stroking my cheek.
"Goodbye little Bella. I'll see you soon."
He stood up and walked to the door, closing it softly behind him. I ran to the window, looking out to watch him as he walked off down the street. But I must have been too late for I saw nothing but the empty streets and the blowing trees. As always, he'd completely disappeared.
If only I knew how true that statement was to become.
I was pulled from my reverie when Mr. Banner turned the lights on and switched off the movie. The static was instantly deadened, and I looked down at the blank paper in front of me. I turned to look at Edward's paper. It was also blank.
Slowly, he lifted his hand, putting his pencil to top corner of the page. In elegant script, he cleanly wrote his name. I looked up at him, meeting his equally awed gaze. I had no idea what the hell had just happened. He set his pencil back down.
"I won." He said softly, his tone mirroring my own stupor. I couldn't formulate enough coherency to reply.
Rather slowly, he stood up and gathered his things in silence. I watched him, still in shock as to what had just occurred between us.
"I'll pick you up at seven tomorrow."
He didn't wait for a reply, and quickly strode out of the room. I just sat there, staring after him.
"Goodbye Edward," I breathed, "I'll see you soon."
a/n: I don't know what to say. I would say i'm sorry, but that doesn't suffice. I'm a horrible, neglectful author who doesn't deserve all the support she'd been given. Life's been busy, wayyyy busy, but that still doesn't excuse my neglect. and yes, i have been drowning in homework and volleyball practice does go till eight every night, but STILL! i would ask you guys to forgive me, and i dare say its too bold of me to think you might review this chapter, but i hope i can earn back your guys' love after a few more chaps. So, for all of you out there who are still reading, i will make it up to you! and unlike Peter, i intend to keep my promises!
The Romantically Inept (who is ever ashamed of herself right now)