The Life I Live Now

Chapter 1

1921

As I walked into the foyer, I saw my parents exchange a glance. I could tell there was something going on between them, a secret that they were not telling me. I had been out all morning, running errands for my parents, in our little town of Forks. I have lived here my whole life, but could not wait to get out here. Something strange was going on, they seemed nervous and scared. I looked around the room wondering what could be causing them distress.

That was when I saw him, a man stood next to them. The man was tall with bronze hair and a chiseled, pale face. He was very handsome and I wondered what he was doing in my house. That's when he looked up, and I saw his dazzling emerald green eyes. I could not stop looking into those eyes, I felt like he could see into my soul and I could see into his.

"Isabella," my mother, Renee's, voice made me look up. "This is Edward Cullen. I'm so sorry sweetie, we should have told you sooner. You probably hate us now-"

"What is going on? Why is Edward here? Why would I be mad at you?" I asked. I had no idea what was going on and had so many questions.

"Bella," my father, Charlie, said carefully, trying to sound soothing. "Edward is here because we have arranged for you to marry him. We arranged this a long time ago and we are so sorry that we didn't tell you sooner, honey. We thought we would have more time."

I was in shock. How could they do this to me? How could they have arranged for me to marry a stranger. "Why didn't you tell me? How long has this been arranged?" I couldn't believe that this was happening.

"We made an arrangement with Edward's parents, Carlisle and Esme, when you were very young. They are a wealthy family and we wanted to make sure that you would have a good future. I know we should have told you, but there was never a good time..." She trailed off. I couldn't believe what she was saying.

They were expecting me to leave my life behind, all my friends and family, to get married to a stranger. I did not know if I could do what they were asking. Edward looked older than me and he was gorgeous. I had always seen myself as an average, ordinary girl. I have plain brown hair and chocolate brown eyes. I have pale, ivory skin. There was nothing special about me, I had always done average in school, never being the smartest or the dumbest person in class. So why would someone as breathtakingly beautiful as Edward, want to be with me? That is when I realised that he was probably being forced into this as much as I was.

"No, I will not marry a complete stranger," I heard myself say. I saw the look of complete shock on their faces, and their sadness at my reaction.

"Mom, dad...please." I begged, not knowing how to get out of the situation. I didn't want to get married, I was only 18, especially not to someone I don't even know.

"Bella, as your parents it is our right to choose who you shall marry. Edward Cullen is a more than suitable choice and he can take good care of you. You are going whether you want to or not. Now go pack your bags." I was surprised at my father's words. He barely ever spoke with such authority.

I decided to do as I was told. I ran up the stairs, while tears started rolling down my face. I couldn't believe my parents hadn't told me that I had been promised to someone. I started stuffing everything into a bag. I didn't want to leave, yet I felt like I had to get away from my parents. I didn't have many clothes, or anything else for that matter, so it only took me a few minutes to pack my bags. I was just putting the last of my things into a bag when I heard a knock on the bag.

"Come in," I called out. I heard the door open slightly and felt someones eyes on me. I turned around to see my mother standing in the doorway. I saw the tears streaming down her face. I ran into her arms for what might be the last time.

"I am so sorry sweetie," she cried.

"It's okay, mom. I will be okay," I mumbled. We stood there weeping for a few minutes. When I eventually pulled back, I saw the sorrow in my mother's eyes at me leaving. She helped me finish packing and we carried the bags down the stairs. I said my goodbyes to my parents and promised to see them soon, while Edward carried my bags out to the coach. After saying goodbye I walked outside trying to prolong my time at the only home I knew.

Edward was putting the last of my bags into the coach when I got there. I watched him sadly. Was this the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with? Who I was going to grow old with? Did my parents think I would grow to love him or did they just want me to be miserable for the rest of my life? I had lived in Forks my whole life. Where were we even going to live? Edward looked up at me, smiling weakly.

"Are you ready to go, Isabella?" he asked politely. His voice was amazing and beautiful. I nodded, not knowing if I could speak without bursting into tears. He helped me into the coach, then climbed in next to me.

"Where are we going?" I asked when I knew I could speak.

"Seattle" he replied, glancing at me to see my reaction. I was surprised that he actually considered my opinion on where we were going to live. We sat in silence for a while. He eventually broke the silence.

"I'm so sorry, Isabella. I know that this is very hard for you, having to move to a new place with a stranger, not knowing anyone." he actually seemed generally sorry and concerned.

"Call me Bella please. It's not your fault and I'll be fine, I was just a bit surprised that my parents hadn't told me," I lied. "So what is going to happen now? I mean when are we going to get...you know... married?"

I looked down, as I felt my cheeks turn bright red, as I struggled to say the words. It was so embarrassing to talk about marrying a complete stranger. I could not believe I did not even know when my own wedding would be. I did not even know who would be attending.

"I have been advised not to tell you anything about the wedding," he laughed. "My sister Alice will be helping you plan the wedding. She says that I am to have nothing to do with the planning and for me not to try to influence you to use any of my ideas." By now he was chuckling.

"What are your wedding ideas?" I asked out of curiosity, smiling kindly at him.

"Well, if it was up to me, I would have a small wedding with only close friends and family attending." That surprised me, it was the exact opposite of what I presumed he would want, it was exactly what I wanted. I looked up and noticed him staring at me, causing me to blush as I looked into his mesmerising eyes. What was he thinking? Probably that he couldn't believe that he had agreed to go along with marrying someone like me. Someone who was completely ordinary, nothing special at all. Whereas he was the most handsome, beautiful man I had ever seen.

"We should be there in a few hours, Bella." he announced, looking away from my eyes. I nodded, looking out the window of the coach. I shivered as I felt the cold wind through the window. I was exhausted from the days events, so I decided to sleep for the rest of the journey. As I started to fall asleep I felt Edward gently pull me closer to him. I was too tired to respond, as I drifted into unconsciousness.