After working on this for a few months, COLDASICEx3 and I are super excited to post this story and get some feedback from you!
No worries, Stuck in the Middle With You and Dancing In The Moonlight will not be forgotten... We just had this playing around in our minds and couldn't wait to write it all down!
Hope you enjoy!
DISCLAIMER: We don't own it...*sigh*...
Thanks to our awesome beta Admittedly Obsessed
It all began so well, but what an end!
This is the time a feller needs a friend,
When every happy plot ends with the marriage knot,
And there's no knot for me.
There was something about the first day of school that had me both nervous and excited. I had been teaching elementary school, first grade to be exact, ever since I graduated from college six years ago. Every September, I was just a little anxious before the year began. I knew it wasn't something that most parents wanted to hear. "Hi, I'm Bella, and I am terrified of your six-year-old." And as afraid as I was to admit it, I think that my first day of school nerves would probably never really go away. Everything had always worked out in the last few years I had been teaching; every child learned to read, every child could write the alphabet clearly, every child loved me. It was like I'd hit the jackpot.
This year was different from the others, though. I was starting out at a new school, a new city, an entirely new life. What was I getting myself into? Was this the right decision? The familiar panic swept through me and I glanced at the clock on the wall, noticing that I had fifteen minutes before my students would start arriving. Fifteen minutes to calm myself down.
Yes — this was the right decision. I knew exactly what I was getting myself into: a new life, away from everything I wanted to leave back in Forks, Washington. It had felt like home at one point in time. When I'd lived with my parents before I went to college, it was never a doubt in my mind that Forks would always be my home, even if the constant rain got on my nerves sometimes. When I 'come home' to teach, I was sure I couldn't be any happier...until Jacob Black returned to my life.
Jacob and I had always been friends because our families were so close, but we had fallen out of touch when I went away to school in California. I'd run into him again when I came home the summer after graduation. He had certainly matured in the few years that I had been away. He now looked more like a man than the sixteen-year-old I'd left behind four years earlier, although he never looked like a boy by any means. Something just changed that day and we became inseparable. Our parents were thrilled; my father could barely contain his excitement that Jacob would one day become an official part of the family.
I felt a sharp pain pass through my heart as I thought of what had happened next. After five years together, things with Jacob seemed to be going nowhere. I wanted to settle down, start a family. Jacob still wasn't ready, which I couldn't understand. I was sure he loved me and wanted to be with me, so where was the problem? Things finally boiled over when I confronted him one night over dinner. He said he wanted more time to get to know me as a spouse, to make sure this was right.
"Isn't that what we've been doing for the last five years?...For our whole lives? Thats a pretty weak excuse," I had said.
He looked surprised at my blunt approach. "Bella, I know you want to get married, but I just don't think marriage will be a part of my life."
"Do you want me to be a part of your life?"
"Of course I do, but—"
"Shouldn't the fact that it's something important to me be reason enough to consider marriage?"
He sighed. "I just don't think so, Bella."
I moved out within the next week. Sure, I loved him, but what was the point? We'd been having that same conversation for years and I knew no matter how long I stuck around, nothing was going to change. No sooner had a moved out of Jacob's apartment, a job opened up in Oklahoma at a great elementary school. I seized the opportunity with both hands, knowing I just needed to get away from everything.
Naturally, my parents were devastated by the split, but in the end they understood and supported me in every way possible.
Pulling myself from my thoughts, I gasped when I looked up at the clock. I had wasted the last ten minutes on a painful trip down Memory Lane. I began walking around the room swiftly, remembering where I had assigned each student.
The door opened a few minutes later and a striking woman about my age walked in. "Hi, I'm Alice Whitlock," she introduced herself and motioned to a young girl by her side, "And this is my daughter Lilly."
Ah yes, Lilly. I had her placed in the first group of desks to my left. "Hello, Lilly. I'm Ms. Swan."
She was a beautiful young girl, long shiny black hair and bright blue eyes. She smiled up at me sweetly before my attention turned back to her mother as she began to speak.
"Lilly's uncle is going to be picking her up after school today," she began, but was cut off by her daughter's enthusiastic shout.
"Uncle Eddie is taking me to get ice cream!"
Alice sighed, embarrassed by her daughter's interruption and smiled at me. "He's been promising her all weekend that if she was a good girl at school today he would take her to get ice cream. He works at the University across town, so he should be here pretty soon after school ends."
"I'm sure today will be a great day, and Lilly will have no trouble earning her ice cream. We'll be sure to give Uncle Eddie a good report!" I glanced down at Lilly and she was smiling up at me, excitement evident on her face.
Other parents started coming in, and Alice said her goodbyes as the first day to my new life began, whether I liked it or not.
It wasn't a horrible day, for which I was relieved. I wasn't sure I could handle much else going wrong in my life. I continued to be impressed with little Lilly Whitlock, who was so well-behaved for someone her age. Her only slip ups for the day revolved around the words 'Uncle Eddie' and 'ice cream.'
Today had been my day for recess and lunch duty, so I had to stay outside and watch all of the first graders play. Tomorrow, I would actually get a chance to enjoy my lunch. Lilly came to sit beside me just as I was observing some children about to have a chicken fight on the monkey bars. I was about to stand up and split the group up when one of the other teachers on duty came to the rescue.
"Ms. Swan?" Lilly got my attention, "What time is it?"
"Its 12:30. Why?"
Lilly sighed, "How much longer until Uncle Eddie can take me for ice cream?"
"Just a few hours," I told her, spinning her around so I could straighten the ribbon in her hair. She had been playing on the tire swing before she'd come to talk to me, and her half ponytail was dangerously close to falling out.
Lilly sighed again, deeper this time. "I can't wait that long."
"What is your favorite flavor?" I asked, deciding to distract her from the time.
"Oh! That's easy! Chocolate chip cookie dough!"
I chuckled at her excitement and turned her back around once I'd straightened her ribbon, "That's a good one! Its my mom's favorite. I'm more of a vanilla and coffee fan."
"You have two favorites?" Lilly turned to me, eyes wide with wonder.
I laughed again, "Yes. I love them both equally. They taste amazing together."
"I want to have two favorites, too!" Lilly exclaimed, and started naming off other flavors that could take the place as her second favorite. I had to smile, she was definitely going to be an addition to the classroom this year.
The other children in the class weren't nearly as well-behaved. Some were quite fond of talking, some loved to draw on every surface, and some were just plain rambunctious. All of that aside, though, it was a very successful day. That didn't mean I was disappointed when the final bell rang, however. I more than welcomed the end of the school day.
The dull routine of sending children away to their parents began, and I made my way to the carport outside of my classroom, greeting parents once more and handing out supply lists. A shrill shriek pulled me from the monotony and I panicked briefly before I noticed who produced the offending noise. Lilly Whitlock was running into the arms of a beautiful man.
My breath caught in my throat as Lilly motioned for me to come over. She was tugging her Uncle's hand with all of her might, pulling him along behind her.
"Ms. Swan!" she called excitedly, "Ms. Swan! I want you to meet Uncle Eddie!"
So there ya go! We've got another chapter ready, so let us know what you think and we'll send Edward your way!