Hello! This is a complete turn around from the other story I've been writing, so please R&R (Read and Review!) with your comments and questions!
Disclaimer: I am not Stephenie Meyer
I turned on the lights. "Ali! Alice, dear? Sweetheart, it's time to get up!" My daughter groaned. "Sweets, get up now please! You don't want to be late to school; do you want to be the last one there?"
My four year old daughter Alice kept her eyes tightly shut, feigning sleep. "How many more minutes, sweetheart," I said, compromising.
"Ten." She said.
"How about two? It's almost as much!"
I sighed and exited her room, shutting off the lights again. I went into my own room across the hall and found my glasses case, which I tucked into my purse. Into my bag went my grade book and lesson plans and the students' work. I also put in a copy of Shakespeare's collected works; we were starting our Shakespeare lessons today. We would be covering him for a month.
Shakespeare was a sore subject for me; I had once compared my life to his most famous play: Romeo and Juliet. After my Romeo confessed that his passion was dying and left, my Paris, Jacob Black, put my pieces back together. We even dated until my Forks High School graduation. But then I went off to college and we broke up, knowing better than to try out a long distance relationship. I was single at the University of Alaska and I graduated after five years to teach English at a high school on the east coast of the continental US. I had to get as far away from Washington as possible and leave all of my memories behind me. What I never expected was that they would follow me to New Jersey.
I now teach English 3, 4, and AP along with an in-depth study session about various great authors. My favorite is still Jane Austin. When I was thirty-one, I took a break from teaching and went to China for a year. I now speak fluent Mandarin and have an adopted daughter who originated from a small province near Hong Kong. I named her Alice as a baby. I still remember fondly my once future family, but I have nothing against them. They are immortal, I am not. It was natural for the stronger, faster, smarter beings to move on from the temporary entertainment of an ever-changing human who paled in comparison to their beauty and grace.
I've now been teaching for ten years, if you don't count the year in China, and I consider myself to be a good teacher. Believe it or not, I still remember my high school years as clearly as a vampire could. So I know how it is to have an awful teacher. The teachers had been alerted to a few new students coming into the school today, a family much like my Cullens had been, except that they were not. I had decided to make this day extra fun just in case one of those poor souls landed in my advanced English classes. I remembered being a new student as well. It is absolutely terrifying.
After another minute, I went into Alice's room to wake her again. "Ali!" I called softly, "You've got to get out of bed now so that we're not late!"
"Alright Mommy." She said, yawning and scratching her head. I picked her up and carried her to the bathroom where I brushed her teeth and combed her hair. Then I went into her room and picked out some clothing. She had gone from the bathroom, and I found her lying on my bed. My girl was sneaky!
"Alice Renee Swan!" I said strictly.
She popped up. "I was just pretending Mom."
"Of course you were sweetheart." I put her clothing on and sent her downstairs ahead of me so that I could straighten my hair and clothing before joining her and making her a bowl of lucky charms cereal. I found her packing her own backpack. She was starting to do that now. She was one of the oldest in her pre-k and the teachers impressed that upon her more than ever now that her birthday was in a few weeks. She was even learning how to tie her own shoes. I was impressed! I didn't remember tying my shoes until I was in first grade.
I pulled her lunch out of the fridge and rushed her out into the car, putting my bags into the trunk and buckling her into her car seat. Being a single mom was hard, but I loved it.
Alice's Pre-k was in West Orange, on the way to Montclair, where I taught at the public high school. It was only about ten minutes there from Maplewood, where we lived in an apartment, and then another ten minutes to Montclair.
I dropped her off for early care at the pre-k, confirming her usual Monday afternoon playdate with Frankie, Colin's mom. I always had a staff meeting on Monday. I hurried off to school.
I got there by seven-fifteen, about half of an hour before school started. Jonathan, Kate and Shariya arrived for extra help around seven-thirty, so I helped them with their respective assignments for around twenty minutes before they were sent shuttling off to their respective classes as the bell rang.
I started to straighten desks for my English 4 class; I checked the roster to see that nobody new was added. I started writing on the board as the class came in.
It was a double period class, so I had twenty five students for an hour and a half before I then taught my third period Classics In Depth class.
Then I had to leave the room for a fourth period Math class and taught another double period class, AP English, in another room. I had sixth period as my lunch break, so I was off then and I went to the Starbucks a few blocks down to do some work for half an hour before I had to go back to school. I went back to my original classroom.
My final class of the day was English 3. I was excited. Time for Shakespeare! As the bell rang, students began to file into my classroom. I turned to write on the board.
I turned around and asked, "What do you guys know?" really excitedly. A few hands went up, and I called on Kaylie, who started rattling off various things. She was really very well read and everything that she said was correct.
I nodded and was about to call another person when I heard a knock on the door. It sometimes locked, so I ran over to open it. There was a young man outside, he was obviously a junior, for I was teaching a junior class. His face was hidden, and he was looking intently at a schedule.
Then he looked up and in a crystal clear voice asked, "Is this English 3?"
I was shocked, scared, horrified, crushed, and broken all in one second. Everything came rushing back. How he left me in the woods, alone and broken…told me he didn't want me…My hands started shaking, I had to grip the door harder to keep my students from seeing. Edward Cullen was standing right in front of me; he was new to Montclair High. I had compared the new students to the Cullens, apparently they were the Cullens.
I took several deep breaths before I looked into his face. I looked just as shocked and horrified as I was. "Yes," I said my voice higher than usual. I opened the door the rest of the way and invited him in. "You must be a new student." I said shakily.
"Yes," he said, looking pained. Oh! Of course, my scent must still torture him.
I took several steps backward and pointed to a seat next to Kaylie; the two smartest people in the class could sit together. "You can sit there." I told him.
He smiled at me, "Thank you."
I ran over to my computer and looked at the roster. "You must be Edward Stewart." How odd, they had changed their last name.
I smiled, trying to get back into my excited mood, but I couldn't get the butterflies out of my stomach. "Well, while I'm over here, I may as well call roll." I went down the list of names quickly, clicking present for all of them. I had perfect attendance. "Perfect attendance everyone!" I said. A few students laughed.
I went back to the board. "Alright," I said, "to recap for Edward," It was hard to say his name, "We have just started our Shakespeare unit today. Do you know anything about him that you'd like to share?"
"No." he said shortly.
I had forgotten, it must be hard for him to breathe. "That's alright." I said.
I tried to resume the lesson, but couldn't a headache was growing in my head, and my stomach was flipping inside out and backwards every seven seconds. I had to sit down. Less than half of the way into the first period of the double period I stopped the class.
"I have to go to the nurse, I think. All of you turn to page nineteen in your books and begin reading Romeo and Juliet please? I would like a summary of the first fifty pages due on Monday. We'll be discussing more then." I grabbed my purse quickly, forgetting about my grade book and bag, before escaping quickly from the classroom and calling a security guard to watch my class for an hour.
I walked quickly down to the office. "I have to go for an hour," I said, "I'll be back after school for the meeting, though. It's an emergency." The secretary, a lovely woman, said that she would sign me out and I headed for my car.
I couldn't go home, I would only be there for twenty minutes before I had to head back, so I went back to Starbucks. I parked aggressively and then walked slowly into Starbucks with my purse clutched in my hand. It was emptier than I'd ever seen it; I guessed that during school/work hours, they didn't get much business. Ruthie was there, she was often at the counter when I came for lunch. I tried to smile at her, but couldn't. I went to sit at the furthest table away from the door. I dropped my purse to the floor and bonked my head on the table several times before just leaving it there. Away from Edward, the butterflies had already gone, and my headache was slowly fading.
After half of an hour, it got uncomfortable to sit like that, so I put my head in my hands instead.
"Hey, honey, do you want a drink? It's on the house."
It was rude to take advantage of the seating without ordering something, so I ordered a decaf black coffee. "What's up?" Ruthie said as she placed the coffee on the table.
"Nothing." I said, lifting my head, "Just boyfriend problems."
"Yeah. An ex showed up at school today. I had to get out of there."
"Ooh," she sucked in a sympathetic breath, "that's awful, girl."
"Well, you can stay as long as you'd like. As I said, the coffee's on the house today."
"Thanks, but I can pay." I reached down to pull out my wallet.
Ruthie raised one eyebrow. "I never give out free coffee, so you'd better take this offer."
I sighed and put my wallet away, "Thanks."
It was two-thirty by the time I left Starbucks. Ruthie gave me a brownie to go. I checked in with the secretary and went back up to my classroom slowly, afraid of what may be in there. And I was right to be afraid. When I entered the room there was a vampire sitting in a student's seat.
He looked up as I walked in. I bit my lip and ignored him. I placed my purse beside my desk and started to log in some grades to the computer. Kaylie got a spectacular participation grade for the day. I sent a few quick e-mails, and when I looked up he still hadn't gone. I took the brownie out of my purse and unwrapped it to eat a bit before the meeting started. The meeting was just down the hall, so I had five minutes left before I really had to go.
I breathed out. "Edward" I said, "Go home. The school day has been over for fifteen minutes. Your siblings are probably waiting for you."
"They've gone home without me." He said. "I've told them that you are my teacher. They understood my need to stay late and talk to you."
"Well, I've been here for ten minutes and you haven't said a word."
"I was waiting for you."
Of course he would wait for me to start conversation, always the gentleman. "Well, talk now then. I have a staff meeting in five minutes."
"I'm sorry." He said.
"I've missed you."
"Bullshit." I didn't want to talk about us, not now, not ever.
"I've never heard you curse before."
"No, you haven't. There are a lot of things that you don't know about me."
This was getting me nowhere and getting me angry. "Of course you're sure, goddamn freak! -it-all Cullen." I spat at him, "Well get this: I'm thirty–five, I wear reading glasses, I teach at Montclair High School, I dated a fucking werewolf for a year and I have a four year old daughter!"
He was hurt, I could tell. Thank goodness nobody had heard my little outburst. I sucked in a deep breath. "I'm sorry." I said, "I should not have exploded like that. You may leave now Mr. Stewart."
He got up to go with the usual grace. He stepped out of the classroom and I realized that I had something else to say to him. I ran to the door, he was only half-way down the hall. "Edward!" I called softly. I knew he would hear. He turned. "Tell Alice that I named my daughter after her." I saw the sadness set into his eyes, and I withdrew into the classroom.
I logged out of the grading system and packed my things to go to the staff-meeting.