A/N: I own nothing.
I was usually a very responsible person. I considered myself to be sensible, calm... someone who weights the pros and the cons before she makes any important decision. I don't drink, I don't skip school, and I've never had a boyfriend. I don't have many friends – I have no friends to speak of, really – but I always find it in me to be polite for as long as it's needed. Then I'll quickly make myself invisible again and enter my own personal, private world where things as trivial as other people, or even their opinion of me, don't matter. In truth I know I can be a little cold and I know I'm perceived as being a bit of an outsider, but overall I think of myself as a good person. I do. I want nothing but the best for every person out there and I never had a negative thought about anyone in my life.
That was, obviously, until I met the bane of my existence, Edward Cullen.
I honestly don't even know why this animosity between us came to be. It had all started innocently enough. I moved to Forks after my mom died to live with my father, Charlie. I was only 12 when it happened, and my relationship with Charlie had always been cordial and pleasant enough, but we had never really bonded like a father and daughter should. Looking back I sort of feel bad for him, for being suddenly forced to raise a pre-teen girl who had just lost the most important person in her world and who had no intention of letting anyone else into her life.
But that's not really my point. Right after I arrived Charlie let me know it was customary for him to spend a few weeks hunting with Billy and other friends in Alberta, Canada. He tried to tell me it was no big deal, and that they would just have to go without him, but of course I insisted he should go.
Now, clearly even then I knew he wouldn't leave a 12 year old alone, but I doubted whoever would substitute Charlie could ever be worse than the awkward silences between us or the uncomfortable hugs he gave me every time I accidentally broke my personal vow not to mention my mother.
I think deep down he was as happy as I was to be able to leave for a few weeks and not have to worry constantly if I was eating properly or about why I wasn't crying. Which is why right after I assured him for the hundredth time that I would be fine living with someone else for a while he let me know he'd talked to Dr. Carlisle and Esme Cullen, who told him they were more than willing to have me spend those weeks with them.
Back then I never really understood why he liked Dr. Cullen so much, or why the fact that he had children around my age appealed to him, but, to be honest, I didn't care. He thought just because Dr. Carlisle was used to troubled children he would be able to help me? I'd prove him wrong in no time. I had no intention to make friends or heal. I was perfectly content basking in my grief, and it would take more than a maternal figure and living in a simulated family life for thirty days to make me forget I had lost my mom.
But I remember thinking at the time that it didn't matter. And really, it didn't matter at all. I had everything I needed with me and as long as I had a room to hide in, a pen and a notepad to write down my thoughts and my iPod close enough, I would be able to wallow in my misery anywhere Charlie wanted me to.
I had assumed the summer would go well enough, and I wasn't worried at all. My father kept reminding me that anytime I wanted all I had to do was call and he'd be right there next to me again in no time. I wondered why he assumed I'd feel better once he was with me, but I could never say that out loud. Not when he was trying so hard to be what he thought I needed. I remember packing my things and getting in Charlie's police car, and I remember Esme's hopeful expression when she took me in her arms as soon as she saw me, caressing my hair affectionately. Through the years I had begun to think about Esme like a mother, or at least a strong maternal figure, and I think I loved her as much I was able to love anyone at that point. I felt bad to disappoint her, but the hope I saw in her eyes that she would somehow be able to fix me would be gone by the end of that month, and I wouldn't see her until the next year, when her and Carlisle would open their arms to me once again, and I could see they prayed and wondered if that would be the year where I would get better and finally showed some progress.
But I digress again. Because spending time with Esme and Carlisle isn't necessarily a bad thing, and they're not the reason I'm dreading entering this God forsaken house right now. The problem is that from the very first year I set foot in that house, I have been in the presence of my very own personal nemesis.
I have no idea what I did to him, but he has hated me from the very first time he saw me. He never even spoke to me, other than a few caveman-like grunts I was sure Esme forced out of him when she introduced us, and then, when I tried talking to him, he either ignored me or answered me monosyllabically. It's not like I care, really. But the first time I ever felt mildly relaxed in the Cullen house was two summers ago when he was nowhere around. I pretended to be interested when Rosalie explained how he had conveniently decided to spend those weeks with friends, but inside I was jumping up and down, just glad to know his face would be nowhere near me that year. Secretly I considered maybe he had left because I was going to be there, which made me feel a little guilty. Until I remembered who I was talking about. That self centered, spoiled little asshole who made me the only teenager in the world who hated summer vacations.
Everyone else in that house was either extremely friendly (case in point being Alice and Rosalie) or they pretty much stayed out of my way, which I honestly preferred. I think I made Jasper and Emmett uncomfortable because of my mother, but they were always absolutely polite and even nice to me. I knew they were troubled, like me, because they had all been adopted by Dr and Mrs Cullen, but they never spoke of why they were there and when I asked they always changed the subject. It didn't take a genius to figure out someone had told them not to speak about their previous lives. Something which only upset me because it was one less thing to make small talk about.
I secretly hoped this year Edward would make a spur of the moment decision to go backpacking through Europe or fall off a cliff or something. Anything but having his constant annoying non-presence in the house I will have to survive in for the next weeks.
And this leaves me here now, at 16, with a suitcase filled with jeans and t-shirts and even some swimsuits I know I won't wear in one hand and the key to their house in the other, ready to spend my yearly torture session in the form of four weeks with Edward Cullen. And this year it was a special type of torture as well. Because as if bumping accidentally into that bastard once or twice a day when I wasn't careful wasn't enough, this year Esme and Carlisle wouldn't even arrive until the next weekend, and in the meantime, according to Charlie, I should listen closely to what "that nice boy" says.
That nice boy.
I shuddered in disgust at the thought and opened the door quickly, deciding not to prolong the moment any longer.
As I closed the door behind me and set my suitcase down, I wondered if the house was empty or if that was just some of my wishful thinking. I knew why Carlisle was so at ease with leaving me alone with him. At our age most parents would worry about us hooking up and letting our hormones get the best of us, but with the animosity between us, they knew if we managed to speak four sentences a day without killing each other it would be a miracle.
I sighed and wondered why Jasper, Emmett and Alice were not back from college yet. Or why Rosalie had decided to join Emmet at the last minute, leaving me alone with the one person in the world I had absolutely no interest in seeing. And I just knew he would try to have parties and alcohol and girls in the house while his parents were away, because the few times Alice managed to drag me to a party he had always been there, more than a little drunk, and with some of the more popular girls under each arm.
I climbed the stairs slowly, making sure there was no one home, and carefully entered my room. Or what I thought of as my room the time I spent there.
Everything was exactly as I had left it last year, down to the desk cleaned out to make room for my notepad and a half used bottle of shampoo I had forgotten last year. I guess the Cullens don't have that many guests over.
I threw out the shampoo, just to be sure I wouldn't by mistake use it and have my hair falling off to add to my woe, and opened my suitcase to start placing my toiletries in the bathroom.
As soon as I was done, I looked out my window and realized it was already dark outside. I knew no one had arrived yet, but for a moment I considered if maybe Edward had been in the house all along. I should probably have gone looking for him, but I couldn't be bothered. So instead I removed my shoes I hopped down on the bed, reaching for my bag to get my iPod and I let Debussy lull me to sleep while I waited for Edward to arrive.