Disclaimer: if you recognize it, it's not mine
Chapter 1—Edward P.o.V.
Edward Cullen looked out the window of his father's car as they drove into the little town of Forks, in Washington State. It was a gray, rainy place, Edward could tell. He sighed. He did not like the rain. He thought it looked beautiful, but it was easier to hate what you could not have, right? After all, Edward was deaf. He would never be able to hear the sound of the rain as it fell on the ground. Just like he would never be able to hear his mother's voice, his father's laugh, or his sister's excited blabbering. Whoever said that you could not miss what you'd never had was far from the truth.
Thinking of his twin sister, Alice, his gaze turned to her. She had been asleep for most of the journey, but she had woken up at some point since he'd last looked at her, and she was staring out at the rainy day with as much distaste as Edward. Alice was a girl of fun, partying, and action. She did not like it when the rain confined her to one single place, let alone when she was confined in a new house, in a new place, with no friends or acquaintances.
Alice and Edward's father, Carlisle, was a highly reputed doctor. He had not been practicing for the past year, however, as his old college professor had asked him for the personal favor of taking his place as professor of neurosurgery while he took a yearlong sabbatical. Of course, Carlisle had not refused Aro Volturi's request, and so he and his family had found themselves living in Yale for a year. Alice had not minded too much, since there was a very good party life around the campus. And Edward, of course, had not complained at all, since his position as the only deaf student in his old school had ostracized him. Things had not been much better for the past year, and, in such a small town, he did not expect things to improve.
It's miserable looking, isn't it? signed Alice, grimacing, I cannot imagine a party like the ones back on campus taking place here. But I suppose I'll have to make due.
Edward smiled before replying, You always do, Alice. You'll have this place in an uproar in a week.
That much was true. If there was one thing Alice was good at, it was organizing parties. And the housewarming party she was preparing was bound to be spectacular. Edward was already dreading the night of polite nodding at strangers who tried to strike up conversations with him before finding out he could not hear. And then… then would come the pitying looks, and the gossip about the new freak in town, and before he knew it he would be an outsider again. No, he was definitely not looking forward to the party.
Cheer up, signed his mother, Esme, from the front seat. Edward could see her lips moving as she looked at Carlisle, and he assumed his father was relaying a message. Since he was driving, he could not speak directly to Edward. Another thing that Edward would never be able to do; hold a conversation while he drove.
Your father agrees. You should not worry too much. Life has a way of fixing things.
Edward sighed. Damned idealists, the both of them! His parents were too optimistic, too generous, and too trusting. It was in part for that reason that they had moved to the desolate town of Forks. Their hospital was small and insignificant. They had the smallest staff in the entire country. And so, when Carlisle had been looking through the many available posts (for there were many; if a hospital did not have room for him, they made it. Doctor Cullen was a very respected surgeon), he had decided to go to where he thought he was most needed. And so the family had packed up and moved across the continent.
Look, announced Esme, here we are.
Edward looked out the window. They had driven out of the town at some point, and were now parked in front of a large house in the middle of nowhere. Edward smiled. He liked it. The house was very fancy, very large, and very trendy. A whole side of the house was made of glass, he remarked with excitement. He could imagine living in a house like this.
Take the bags from the back, Eddie, ordered Alice as she strutted up the steps to the main door. She ignored Edward's glaring at the use of his much-hated nickname. Reluctantly, he did as he was told. Carlisle grabbed some more bags and, together, they made their way inside. The house truly was astounding. Edward was instantly drawn to the piano in the sitting room. Ever since birth, he had been drawn to music. He could not hear it and he had never learned to play an instrument (it could be done, he knew, but nobody had ever consented to teach him), but something about the idea of it and the vibrations that the music could send through him had consumed him since infancy.
It's a beauty, isn't it? Maybe we'll finally find somebody to teach you, signed Carlisle. He had once tried himself, but he barely knew how to play, let alone how to teach Edward. Esme and Alice had never learned either, so they could not help.
Here? In this little town in the middle of nowhere? I don't think so, Dad. Maybe some other year.
Carlisle frowned, patted Edward's shoulder, and left to bring more bags and boxes into the house. Edward felt guilty for being so unenthusiastic, but did not go out to apologize. Instead, he grabbed a box with his belongings and made his way up the stairs. The biggest room was, obviously, for his parents, but there were three other rooms. Alice was still downstairs, making sure the countless bags of clothes and shoes she had brought were not mishandled.
Edward opened the door to the first room and frowned. It was too large, too open for him. Alice would probably like it, though. The next room was too dark. Since it was in between two rooms, it only had one windowed wall, and what little light could come through it was kept out by the trees outside. The next room, however, was perfect. It was on the corner, and so it had two walls with windows. One of those walls just so happened to be part of the all-glass façade. The other wall, which faced the driveway, had a two large windows and a door that led to a hanging balcony. Edward instantly decided that this would be his room.
The Cullen family settled as well as could be expected. They had a week before school started (Alice and Edward were going to be juniors at the local high school), and so they did their best to prepare for the upcoming odyssey that would be starting at a new school for the third time in three years. Carlisle had promised they would not move away until the town no longer needed him, and, given the state of it, Edward could assume that would not be for a long time. At least, he thought, he and Alice would be able to finish high school in a school they'd attended for more than a year.
The school had arranged for Edward to have most of his classes with a teacher who knew sing language. He would be on his own with this teacher for all but his art and phys. ed. classes, in which he'd be placed with Alice so that she could pass on the orders the teacher gave at the beginning of the class, since they were hands-on classes, rather than lecturing ones. Edward hated to be isolated and be made such a big deal out of, but he realized it was necessary; as well-off as his family was, hiring a private tutor and being homeschooled would be ridiculous.
Before they knew it, it was the first day of school. Carlisle was already at work, but Esme, who had been, up until that point, an interior decorator had had to abandon her job, since there were not many opportunities for her to work in such a small town as Forks, was home. She fretted over them, made them each their favorite lunches, remarked on their clothes, tried to comb down Edward's hair, and spilled a few tears. When Alice and Edward finally got into his silver Volvo, Esme was standing at the door, gushing over her babies and how they were "all grown up."
The drive to school was short, particularly given Edward's tendency to speed, and soon they were in the parking lot to Forks High School. The cars were all rather old and rusty, and Edward instantly felt self conscious about his very new, very shiny car. Alice did not seem to mind at all, however, as she checked her reflection one last time before grabbing her backpack and strutting into the school. Edward followed close behind, as she would need to interpret for him in the main office. Halfway there, however, he was stopped by a tall blonde, and he lost sight of Alice.
"…hello…school…me…you…name…," Edward tried his best not to blink and to keep looking at her lips. He knew some lip-reading, of the basic words used in everyday language. He could recognize his name, as well as those of his family members, and a few basic words. When people just started to talk to him, though, he was lost.
The girl stared at him expectantly, and he realized she had probably asked him something. He shrugged and pointed at his ear, shaking his head. He knew better than to try and sign anything to her! The girl looked confused, and Edward groaned. Just then, however, Alice returned. She must have finally realized she had lost him, he supposed. She smiled at him and then looked curiously at the blonde.
Who is this? she signed, before turning to talk to her. They spoke quickly, and Edward assumed Alice had told her that he was deaf when her eyes widened and moved over to him. She then smiled sheepishly. She said something else to Alice, whose own eyes widened before she turned to Edward.
She says her name is Lauren. She wanted to meet the, and I quote, "hot new guy."
If Lauren were not watching him closely for a reaction, Edward would have rolled his eyes. So she was yet another superficial little blonde. He had to give it to her, though, few stayed after they learned he was deaf.
I suppose you can tell her my name. And that I'm glad to meet her, or something like that, he signed back.
Alice smiled and turned to Lauren. Her smile widened and she stuck out her hand for Edward to shake. He assumed Alice had passed on the message.
She's happy to meet you too, in case you could not tell. Now that you are done flirting, can we get moving? We still need to go to the office!
Edward smiled at Lauren one last time and then pulled away to follow Alice. They made their way through the hallways, ignoring the looks they were receiving. It seemed everybody had caught the little exchange with Lauren. Once they got to the office, and while they waited for somebody to help them (some girl with long dark hair was ahead of them, asking something agitatedly), Alice turned to talk to him.
That girl is slower than her hair gives her credit for. As we walked this way she shouted out for you to call her. She gave you her phone number. Want to hear it?
Edward rolled his eyes and shook his head.
I hope she's not too disappointed when that number only ever gets used for your invitation to our home warming party.
Alice snickered. The dark haired girl finally finished up her business and he and Alice stepped up to the counter. Alice exchanged some quick words with the secretary, whose eyes widened and turned to Edward. Again, he held back on rolling his eyes. Would that be everybody's reaction to him? He sincerely hoped not, it was getting really old, really fast.
Here's your schedule. Art is right before lunch, so that works out. She says your teacher will be here in just a few minutes. Do you want me to wait with you?
I'll be OK. Go. Start your revolutionizing. Don't set the building on fire, and don't hurt their feelings too much, alright?
Alice laughed, earning a bewildered look from the secretary. Edward really did roll his eyes this time. Of course, she would think that you could not be funny in sign language. Of course not. He groaned and Alice patted his head. She leaned over, kissed his cheek, and skipped out into the hallway once again. Edward sat down on one of the old, hard, uncomfortable plastic chairs and waited for her teacher.