A/N: I've always loved to read stories about what would have happened if Edward and Bella had lived and fallen in love in 1918, so I couldn't help but try for myself. This story, however, promises to be quite different the others here on fanfiction (all will become clear later, hopefully!). The year in 1914 and it's April, so roughly 2 years after the Titanic sank. Bella's 13.
Disclaimer for entire story!: I do not own any of the characters mentioned in this story nor do I own a good deal of the plot. They belong to the highly talented and wonderful Stephenie Meyer. I am merely an unimaginative aspiring writer. Some of the plot is mine, but a lot is alluded to by Meyer in the books.
After a week of worrisome travelling on my mother's part, overbearingly positive on my father's part and rather reluctantly on mine, we finally arrived in Chicago. It was completely different to how I thought it would be: it seemed to go on forever, a mass of pulsating vigour. Everywhere you went people were busy with somewhere to be or something to do. Not at all like my quaint little hometown where everybody knew you and you knew them, and the lazy days drew on with calm serenity.
I had known that I would miss England, undoubtedly so. I would miss the crisp mornings and the way the dew sparkled as the delicate sun cast its rays down; the polite greetings passers-by would offer as you made your way down the quaint and winding lanes; the cheery fires of hearth and home. Home. Yes, home is what I would miss most - even more so than my friends, and I would miss them all dearly. Home is where the heart is. Maybe that's why I felt so sorrowful I bid farewell to my bedroom and beloved house. I cried when I said goodbye to Charlotte and Jane - my very best friends from the village - but, somehow, this sadness seemed beyond tears.
Daddy, of course, was full of cheery promises about how glorious it would be to live in America and how I would adore the city. But I didn't want to adore the city. I worship the countryside. I've always hated going to visit Great Aunt Emmeline in London. It's so foggy there that some days you can't even see your hand in front of you! And the river Thames! I've never seen water quite so filthy! So you could hardly blame me for not being overjoyed at the prospect of moving.
I didn't relish the thought of such an arduous carriage journey up to Liverpool, but after the sinking of the Titanic last year, Mummy simply wouldn't hear of travelling from the ship dock in Southampton. She's terribly superstitious and rather too dramatic, even without unnecessary anxieties, so my father appeased her, booking one that departed from Liverpool and assured her that our ship had installed enough lifeboats for everyone.
So it was off to Liverpool we went. I supposed it would be an adventure, rather like the ones in my reading books. If only we had been going somewhere more exotic, perhaps India or China! But we were only going to America: a place possibly even more cold than rainy old England! I resolved to entertain myself with the thought of being a pilgrim, a passenger aboard the Mayflower about to discover a new land with a heart full of hope. I had to concentrate very hard…
The first time I saw the RMS Aquitania, I almost collapsed where I stood: never had I seen such a sight in my life. The ship was colossal, bigger than I had ever imagined it would be. Daddy said it was a grand thing to behold, but never did I expect such a giant! It made me almost excited to go on this voyage, after all, how bad could it be when one was travelling on a floating palace?
Mummy dusted her dress down - a brand new pinstriped travel suit purchased especially for this occasion. Mummy has a bit of an issue when it comes to appearances - they mean everything to her. She was sporting her new hat too, which is all the way from Paris; it is rather beautiful, even I can say that and I'm hardly well-informed when it comes to such things. The mauve velvet complemented her dark blue suit and the cream silk and crystals made her look regal. My mother's beautiful, of course: thick brown locks and sparkling eyes, skin that's cream and roses. I wish looked so lovely, but I'm only thirteen and a bit of a late bloomer. I'm doomed to stay forever plain.
My father, the wealthy business man that he is, is just as striking: thick dark curls and warm brown eyes. We're a well-dressed family, a reflection of our status in society, and father looked very distinguished in his smart travel clothes. I, however, can't stand the pomp and circumstance of it all. I despised that ridiculous meringue dress and prissy little habit mother had dressed me in; something a little less ostentatious wouldn't have done her any harm! And I had ribbons in my hair - she knows I hate wearing ribbons.
Boarding wasn't a difficult affair - when you have the power and influence nothing is too trifling. We were seen to right away. Our suite was beyond anything I had every beheld. The company that Daddy was transferring to had dealt with all the expenses and had evidently not been worrisome about their spending. The drapes were velveteen and the panelled walls were decorated with beautiful works of art. And my bed! I felt I ought to be a princess to sleep in such a bed, plain Bella Swan wasn't work a crinkle in those soft white sheets. Yet there was no mistake: this was indeed our room.
The rest of the first class deck was just as grand. I felt a little out of place, but Mummy simply adored it all - it even took her mind off her worries about sinking, if only for a short while. She had the time of her life dressing me up like a little china doll so that she could show me off to her new high-society friends. The ladies gathered on the sunny deck for tea and general chit-chat, all dressed to perfection in their smart afternoon dresses and huge hats. I was one of the few children there and so had to amuse myself . How I longed to play with the third class children who laughed in delight a few decks below! But mother was horrified at the mere thought.
It took us five days to reach New York, and when I saw the Statue of Liberty on the horizon I couldn't be more thankful; it turns out that I didn't have sea legs. We didn't tarry in New York, instead catching a train almost immediately after we left the ship. After endless stops and changes we pulled up at Chicago station.
My first glimpse of the city was the industrious building of a huge new railcar, the very thing my father had brought us here for. He had been offered a once in a lifetime job helping to design the new railcars in Chicago. It wasn't uncommon for elite British families to immigrate, and my mother and father had leapt at the opportunity: we would surely make a name for ourselves here. I wasn't quite as hopeful. All I wanted was to stay as we were, I liked it in England. But I kept reminding myself that this was an adventure and forced a smile onto my face.
Our new house was in the suburbs, far enough to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but close enough for Daddy to be able to walk to work. I liked the house, there was no denying it. Daddy's company had provided it for us, ready furnished and beautifully decorated, Mummy almost burst with glee upon arrival: it was her house of dreams, she said.
So we had finally arrived. This was a new start, a new canvas on which to paint. I would have to make new friends and learn my way around an un-ending city, but I would do it for Daddy, because this was all he had ever hoped for and so I couldn't bring myself to regret the decision we had made. Who knew what the future would bring, this could end up being the best choice we've ever made.
Okay, so it's a little short, but the following chapters will be a lot longer. This one is a sort of prologue to tell Bella's past and her initial reaction to moving. Hopefully you enjoyed it, please review and let me know your thoughts. The next chapter will hurtle into 1918, where we encounter an 17 year-old Bella who's grown up quite a bit!
Thanks for reading!