A/N: This chapter is a little long, but I think it's among my best writing! Please review!
Ideally, I wouldn't be as scared as the car tires screeched across the sodden grounds of my hometown of Forks, Washington. Except, here I was, talking about a hypothetical case when all I wanted something to be certain of.
It shouldn't be so scary, I reminded myself, as I drove into the parking lot. I took a deep breath. It had taken hell and the apocalypse to convince my father that I should go to high school, and he unwillingly agreed. He sulked around the entire summer—not that he didn't have a fairly good amount of things to complain about, but I'll be damned—and when he wasn't glaring at me or giving me lectures on making my poor father grieve, he was trying to convince me that really, we should move before I go to school.
But I had fairly good reasons not to want to do that. The most important reason was obviously, that if we moved, my dad would have the absolutely perfect excuse to go to high school with me. My father, Edward Cullen, and my mother, Bella, for that matter, were both vampires. Immortal and frozen at their respective ages of seventeen and eighteen. Also, my father's adoptive siblings ranged from seventeen to twenty, so I would have an entire troop of bloodthirsty, super hearing vampires to chase after me if anything should happen. Not to mention, a troop of trained killing machines. Very good reasons, indeed.
And also, I had fought for this. Although the haircut of preparation wasn't entirely with the purpose of fitting in—hair that reached your waist would obviously look weird—but washing about 5 feet of thick bronze ringlets was getting difficult. So I threatened Alice to get a haircut at one of those shops that only charged ten dollars for each haircut or cut it myself, and she almost had a figurative stroke. Then—ridiculously enough—she bought plane tickets for Paris and took me and my aunt Rosalie (my mom had declined the shopping trip) and took me to face my worse nightmare. Eventually I cut my hair shoulder length before I froze forever. The shopping spree to Champs Elysees in which she spent about five times the amount of a yearly household to supply my wardrobe for the year compensated extremely well for the joy of the haircut. Thankfully, she bought jeans and not extremely ridiculous shirts and coats. To may obvious dismay, she also bought about 50 pairs of shoes, which had taken all my persuasion skills to turn into flats and boots. Leave it to Alice to kill your buzz.
And really, I wasn't a bad girl, at all. I behaved perfectly most of the time when I wasn't on the verge of a hormone attack. So, really, avoiding all my hormonal tart moments, I was well behaved. It was my father, namely Edward Cullen, who had the issues here.
The sudden wave of nausea as I identified the office was nerve racking. I drove around in circles, mapping my way to the office, until I found a parking spot on the far edge of the parking lot. I glanced at the dashboard mirror once last time before heaving a sigh.
I was beautiful. But I wasn't beautiful in a human, even less attractive, way. My skin was a pale, inhumanly pale ivory, with slight hints of peach here and there and and orange rose petal over my eyelids which was really, really embarassing. I had a pronounced jaw, and perfect angular features, and big brown eyes framed by lashes. Obviously, I was utterly intimidating. I was beautiful in a monstrous, mythical way. In a way that shouldn't coexist with humans, my intended prey.
I rearranged my ponytail so that half was dangling off my shoulder. Smooching my lips slightly, I felt my heartbeat accelerate to the point it was so fleetingly inaudible. I rearranged my olive green, three-buttoned jacket with 'fashionable' oversized, airy body and sleeves, pulled down my white, tight fleece, and finally glanced half-heartedly at my brown, ribbon-tipped flats. I'd spent the entire morning arguing with Alice about how I should wear flats rather than 9 inch heels—although there was no such thing yet—to make my look less intimidating.
I groaned then, and then mentally stuttered get a grip. I grabbed my book bag and flung it over my shoulder as I walked out the door. There was a light drizzle, and I found myself wishing Alice hadn't pinned down the most inconvenient outfit. I slouched a little bit as I walked through the glass door of the office.
The office had a few boards on the walls, a few baskets, and colorful flyers glued to the worn reception desk which looked even more deteriorating next to the orange seats next to the white wall, covered in announcements. The human scent set my throat on fire but it was fairly easy to ignore with the nausea and dizziness that had suddenly taken over my stomach. How could anything be edible, lest appealing, than right now?
"Um, hi." I said timidly as I walked up behind the reception.
The receptionist jerked her head to look at me, and her jaw dropped. Panic fluttered right through me, and I shot a quick glance down my body. Surely I hadn't done anything odd. I glared down the skinny, faded jeans and then over the outfit. I gulped, begging in my head that there was nothing odd with me. She stared for a while, frozen. I smiled shyly.
"Yeah, I'm Renesmee Cullen. I'm new." I told her. Had I done something wrong? I think, I think I heard a stifled chuckle. I was paranoid.
"Oh, yes! Dr. Cullen…" she stuttered, and bent down to look for some papers. She stacked a pile over the reception area and eyed me warily.
"Bring this slip in at the end of the day," she wove dismissively.
I grabbed the stack of papers and eyed them warily. I felt a wave of panic as I opened the door, and then immediately slouched, a knee-jerk reaction.
I stared at my schedule warily. It wasn't the classes that sounded intimidating—I had done the entire collection of McMifflin textbooks this summer, for crap's sakes—it was more the lunch period that sent chills down my spine.
How on earth was I supposed to make friends? I took a deep breath again. I had socialized enough down in LaPush really, and when I was little I went to daycares and stuff like that. I went to summer camps and everything. I was ok at blending in.
"Hi." A husky, friendly voice brought me back as if I had been punched to reality from my panicking.
"Oh, hi." I said, smiling.
His mouth opened a lightly, and then he froze in shock.
He had black, slick, gelled hair, and a lot of acne. I didn't realize how gross human pimples actually were. I frowned for a split of a second, and then smiled again. At least he was nice.
"I'm Marc." He stammered. He had a nasal, sort of squeaky voice.
"Hi Marc" I smiled warmly at him again. I suddenly hated my name. "I'm Renesmee Cullen."
"But you can call me Ness." I added quickly, after he shot me a puzzled expression.
"Ness." He smiled at me again. A tinge of eagerness caught a glimmer in his eye. My stomach chummed again in perfect harmony with the nerves.
"What's your next class?" he asked after a few seconds of uncomfortable silence. People passing by stared.
"Spanish." I answered, smiling again.
"Oh." He seemed disappointed. "I have Trig." I made a mental note that's what people called Trigonometry here.
We stood again in awkward silence, leaning next to the walls. People passed by, sometimes stopping to stare to pointedly like I was a painting glued to the wall. I blushed brighter with each new stare.
"So, you just moved here?" he asked conversationally. While I was relieved to be pulled out of the staring, I internally groaned. How had I been stupid enough not to make a charade story? Oh crap.
"Yep," I answered, a little too brightly.
Suddenly, there was a shrill, awfully loud noise and I jumped a little bit.
"That's the bell." Marc chortled nervously. And then he added in a nervous voice, as he started fidgeting with his hands.
"Do you know where to find your class?"
"Not, really." I answered, hesitating for about a tenth of a second before answering. I needed to meet people. Anyone would do.
"I'll take you!" he seemed cheered by the idea, the sudden increase of volume in his voice startling.
"Thanks." My answering smile was the one I knew made my Jake's knees buckle.
His jaw dropped again, as he led me mindlessly through the corridors, crouching a little over me. The halls were streaming with students, some who turned to look at me and stare. I blushed bright red as I heard someone whistle. Thank God my dad was sulking somewhere else.
The Spanish classroom was clamped and windy, a breeze blowing from a fan on the corner, the walls a dull pastel gray with a whiteboard clinging to the front wall. A bunch of desks were lined down the windows, the dullness of the room matching the gray drizzle outside.
I went to the desk to give the teacher the slip. She signed it and then introduced herself as Mrs. Goff. I cringed internally at the mere thought of this class, because obviously I was supposed to have the typical amateur accent and know the basic Spanish, but my accent was a lot better than simply amateur and I really did know more than basic Spanish. I had swipped out the classics--in Spanish and English--by the time I was in the verge of puberty.
I smiled at her and her lip detached from her face for a second before she shook her head. I shrugged and I sat down on the midsection of the classroom, nearest to the window. I dumped my bag under the desk and cupped my face in between my leaned forearm. This was starting to seem like a really bad idea...but I had wanted it after all and I was and had every intention of fighting for the decitions.
"Hi." A strawberry blonde, blue-eyed boy with a baby-butt like face, was staring at me. He was a stocky and plump, and was probably about a foot shorter than me. I smiled at him again, trying to hide my rows of teeth, as I rose from my face cupping crouch.
"Hi." I answered, turning to look at him.
"I'm Kyle." He told me, his mouth hanging a little bit from his jaw.
"Hi, Kyle. I'm Renesmee." I said, rolling my eyes a little at the name. He looked a bit puzzled.
"Ness, for short." I added hastily. My mother was going to have some answering to do when I got back.
"So, you're new, right?" he asked cheerfully, wagging up and down like a dog before playing toss.
"Yeah." I grinned, trying with a lot of effort not to show more teeth than grinning allowed.
"You moved?" he asked, grinning at me, his eyes bright.
I cringed. Carlisle had been working at the hospital in Columbia for a few years now, although geographically nobody had actually moved. Oh, hell, was I stupid.
"Yeah." I answered slowly, pouting as I internally racked my brain for any sort of story that seemed feasible.
Saved by the bell again from having to explain this, Mrs. Goff began a lecture—in bad Spanish, no pun intended—about class rules and an introduction to the course. I flung out my notebook and to be polite took notes and looked up at her whenever necessary, although I figured taking notes fit into a responsability category rather than respect categories. I didn't want to get in trouble during my first day.
Then the class truly became hell when we started doing vocabulary exercises. I didn't want to look stupid or too smart, so I answered everything slowly, and then ran through the answers quickly. I decided an 8 out of 10 was a good grade, and erased what seemed harder and swapped it for a stupider answer.
After that the class passed in a blur.
As soon as the bell rang, Kyle ran, wagging in a very figurative way, to my desk. I looked up from my lashes, blushing.
"What's your next class?" he asked, the friendly demeanor not diminished by the obviously brain frying class.
"Trig." I answered, rather sulkily. Math wasn't a personal favorite. In other, more normal circumstances, Spanish wouldn't have toppled math, on a dislike quality, but I was so scared to act a bit too brainy during Spanish or too fluent that it would become obviously evident I had read more Spanish literature than Mrs. Goff could even dream of.
"I have Trig, too!" he cried, raising his hands like stopping traffic.
I smiled again, praying to whatever force there was up there that the subject of how I had gotten to this place wouldn't come up yet again. I ended up figuring that the truth would make more sense than any other story that matched recent events I could come up with.
I shoved my notebook and pencil into my bag and hoisted it down my shoulders. As I stood, I realized that I was about 3 feet taller than him. He puffed up his chest rather theatrically at the sight of my height, and I suppressed a giggle.
Marc was stationed outside the classroom, propped down leaning against the ominous mint green walls. I flapped my hair back my shoulders, leaving just a lock before my shoulder.
"Oh, hi, Kyle." Marc said stiffly, walking beside me.
"Marc." Kyle, answered with the same stiffness, as stationed himself on my left, walking at my rather quick pace.
"What's your next class?" Marc inquired, about a few paces behind me.
"Trig." Kyle answered before I could open my mouth. I shrugged it off, praying that baling on the insides of your cheeks erradicated blushing.
I felt a few stares boiling into my back as I slouched into the trig classroom, waving halfheartedly at Kyle and Marc.
"Good luck." Marc called encouragingly, waving back.
"Thanks." I mouthed as I headed to the front desk.
Mr. Varner was a tall, boney man with a balding head and a sharp, beaky nose that could only highlight his features' in their sharpness. I would've hated him anyway, because obviously the man was already ominous in features but his first request made that hate a need.
After he signed my slip, he made me go in front of the class and introduce myself. I was feeling horrible nauseated, the burn in my throat from the appealing smells was now a mere buzz on the back of my throat. I was definitely going hunting this weekend.
After stammering, tripping, a slouched position, puzzled glances, and awed gazes I took my place on the only remaining empty seat at the back but somehow people still managed to stare, even though I was on the far corner of the room, slouching into the little corner.
Again, we had a quiz and I decided to settle for a C. I was extremely good at math, so I did the test pretty quickly, erasing a few of the harder questions and purposefully messing up on the procedure and scribbling different answers in my round little cursive.
When class ended, a medium-height, wavy haired brunette girl was standing next to the desk, eyeing me curiously. I felt a little tinge of nervousness as I smiled at her. She exhaled a little sharply for a sixth of second — nothing human eyes could catch—and then smiled back.
"Hi." Her voice sounded as programmed as that of a TV add, and yet sounded like she was bubbling about. "I'm Allyson Meyers." I grinned at her a little sloppily.
"You're Re-nuz-mee, right?" she had a lot of trouble pronouncing it and I moaned.
"Ness, for short." I said, moaning a little. "When I turn 18, first thing I'm going to do is change it."
She grinned at me. "I think it's a nice name."
I sighed theatrically. "That's because you don't have to live with it."
It turned out Allyson had English with me next, and we spent the entire break chatting about names, a little boring, but still. I went to sign my slip with Mr. Green, the aging, fat English teacher, who fortunately didn't make me introduce myself something I was indefinitely thankful for. We were going to get along.
The curriculum was based on Shakespeare and Austen, mostly classics I had already read. At least there was one class that wouldn't be torture, I consoled myself. And then I reminded myself that I had wanted this, with a groan. It would be so much easier to sulk guilt free if I could blame someone.
He handed out tattered copies of a Midsummer's Night Dream, but I had the book memorized, so really I'd only have to turn in the essays on the respective days, I thought as I eyed the familiar sentences and characters irking into the page.
Jake was always complaining about homework—much too my dad's irritation—and I suddenly understood what he meant.
Afterwards, I walked with Allyson agreeing with her wholeheartedly about the 'dorkiness' of the curriculum, keeping my opinions hidden about how I actually thought they were wonderful books. No need to highlight myself anymore, as I still felt the scorching glares coming from the students throughout the day.
Gym. I'd heard Emmet grumble about gym class as the most boring hours of his life, and I didn't really understand why. As Coach Clapp, a man with a stick-out bum, handed me the stinky, humid uniform and started explaining the rules of Volleyboll, I suddenly understood why. Marc sided towards me during the class, and that was comforting. He introduced me to a shy girl named Andrea Tyson. She had platinum blonde hair and green eyes and was very skinny. Her size and round, somewhat childish angles of her features reminded me of Alice.
I played volleyball, and it really did take all my focus—I shoved the thought that it could be boring—to not hit the ball to hard or too fast and to mimic Marc's movements to perfection. I changed quickly, and a girl who I immediately disliked, Marian Mengell, noticed the tag on my olive green coat and on the jeans and I brushed brightly as she started gushing to another girl who I later identified as Regina Rendell, about how the tag said Gucci (thank god she didn't notice the Paris underneath the massive tag). I wondered if Alice would let me cut the tag. Or more, if she would notice if I cut the tag.
I hastily put on the brown Cavalli—not that I cared about the brand, but Alice had a tendency to add brand when talking about clothes—flats and then nodded shyly. Regina started gushing to me about what Alice would call 'amateur' fashion, and I just nodded along as we skimmed mindlessly to the cafeteria.
"Ness!" Kyle called, running towards me from the English building.
"Hey." I smiled at him.
He wove dismissively at Regina, who made a little 'hmph' sound that made her sound a bit like an angry poodle. I wove at her warmly as we headed into the cafeteria, a gesture she didn't bother to return.
"Are you hungry?" Kyle asked, grabbing a tray.
I supposed I was. I had never liked human food, always preferring blood, but as Carlisle slowly agreed to let me try human food other than the baby formula, I found it agreeable. I nodded at him, smiling again and he went into another creepy minuscule of his trances, and then he snapped back into reality shaking his head.
He grabbed a burger from the counter and I grabbed a soda and a tuna sandwich. I would have to eat this slowly to force it all down, but it wasn't terribly disgusting.
I was in the table, introduced to a couple of people, out of which Marc was the most eager, and as soon as I sat down, him, and another boy I identified as Matt started bombarding me with questions about how I liked Forks, and High School and my teachers in general. I slouched a little. Next to me sat Alyson, and another thin, brunette girl I recognized as Kelly, who sat next to Andrea. Kyle and Mark glared at each other half the time and I got from the gist of it that it was about me. Well, that was oddly flattering.
On the far edge, the only person clearly not engaged in conversation was a boy who with brown, chin-length hair, that fell like bangs on to his forehead, his dark green eyes looking up mysteriously through the locks of hair. My stomach fluttered as he stared into his food. Kevin Holmes, I'd been informed.
As I arrived with Kyle, who held my chair for me as I sat down, and a bunch of cheerful greetings and questions—I had finally decided that I had been homeschooled in Columbus and that we then moved, and that all my siblings (namely my aunts, uncles and parents) were in college—everyone introduced themselves cheerfully. Alyson gave me a snapshot on the comfortingly scarce three hundred and sixty nine students in Forks High School, out of which I only tried to remember the ones where Kelly and Andrea piped up some additional, completely ridiculous comment about that person's weight, personal life or sexual activity.
Kevin was engrossed in his food, poking around with his plastic fork. His only acknowledging gesture was a welcoming—if a grimace could be welcoming—twitch of his lips and a dark nod. He was clearly there as a tag-along, because he obviously didn't talk, and he made snorting noises at the oddly innocent conversation going on around him. I saw a smile play up in his lips once or twice, as I kept on shooting sidelong glances.
Lunch passed quickly with all the bubbling talk from Alyson and the questions from Matt, Kyle and Marc which I did find rather flattering. Eventually the bell rang and we hung back, but really the whole purpose of this schooling 'scheme' as my dad called it, was for social purposes, and to bring myself to be as normal as I could ever possibly be. The odds weren't stacked on my favor.
I hoisted my bag up my shoulders about five minutes the bell rang, my green coat with its oversized sleeves that only reached my wrist and its three huge buttons never once removed. Matt led me to biology, cheerfully discussing some CDs he wanted to show me. I only nodded, smiling once or twice to his comments when I got the gist he was trying to be funny.
He waved me away, a tinge of hopefulness in his eyes I tried to dismiss as friend interest. Mr. Banner, the biology teacher, smiled at me apologetically as he gestured towards the gray prison-looking lab desks and white wall. With an internal cringe, I realized Kevin was seating on the far corner—the far corner that should've by all means been mine—glowering again, like I had stabbed him with a pencil, next to a very innocent looking curly haired girl that was cringing away from her partner's murderous glare.
I sat somewhere in between the classroom, where I felt everyone in a10-seat radius stares burn. Mr. Banner—oh, his completely obtuse timing!—called the class' attention minutes after the bell rang and began to explain how the entire curriculum was based on the study of life and the microscopic structures it encompasses, with a focus on the seven life kingdoms. I could've recited the entire McGraw textbook, and realized that this class could very well match my distaste for Spanish.
At least here, I knew how to put limits to my showing of information. Spanish would be purgatory for that. My partner, Anna, as she had introduced herself, was a very shy, quiet girl who after introducing herself had sat a good two feet away from me, smiling apologetically as she scribbled notes on the first lecture.
I wrote a few notes too, trying to get everything Mr. Banner said, not very easy, with the thudding, somewhat erradical heartbeats around me. This was the hardest I'd found concentration here. The class went by ticking and I shot a few sided, clearly unwelcome but hidden, glances at Kevin Holmes, who was scribbling in his notebook with amazing speed. His brow—attractive, though I couldn't even admit it to myself—was furrowed, his lips still clenched in a hard line. His tan skin, with hints of being bronze, was covered in a layer of greasiness or perspiration that made him a tiny bit compelling. I was loosing my nut.
Mark was once again stationed in front of the classroom as I smiled at Anna, her returning smile quiet and shy, as I put my books with a little bit more care than usual into the bag, attempting to ignore Kevin's stomping, mangled with his usual slouching.
"Hey, Marc." I nodded, smiling again—I was sure the habit would wear off in a week—as he nodded and started bombarding me with routine questions about teachers and the usual chatter about Forks' sheath of gray drizzle.
Marc led me through the buildings, and then stopped abruptly in front of the government classroom, waving hopefully again as I entered the mint green classroom. I greeted Mr. Daniels, the man did look like the youngest member of the teacher faculty, signed my slip and then I jerked my head towards the desk, spotted Matt's spiky brown hair somewhere on the window corner of the classroom. I sat behind him with a friendly smile he returned.
I took the typical amount of notes, once with a compliment about my nice penmanship, slipped through Mr. Daniel's sip of water. He quizzed us again, about general US government knowledge, out of which I refrained to my usual method of writing some stuff wrong.
I swear I heard a frustrated sigh. I really did need therapy. I was going paranoid. And that, according to my mental rambling, got an amused chuckle.