Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.
Summary/Warnings: Bella was totally crushing on Edward Cullen. Edward Cullen was totally crushing on Bella Swan. And Jessica Stanley sucks. AU/AH. Adult language, themes, and maybe some angst later but not that much.
Author's Note: I DO NOT KNOW WHERE THIS CAME FROM. I wanted to write something less serious and more light-hearted than Soif de Sang (which is not on hiatus, I promise; it will be updated soon because I'm halfway done with the next chapter) when the angst got to be too much, and then yes. This happened.
Hope you guys enjoy?
I was not crushing on Edward Cullen.
I was not crushing on Edward Cullen.
I figured if I said it enough, it would come true. That's how that sort of thing worked, right? Denial and rivers in Egypt and all that.
So, I was not crushing Edward Cullen.
I was not crushing on Edward Cullen.
I was totally crushing on Edward Cullen.
I blamed Jessica Stanley, of course. And teenage hormones. (Can't forget those.) I blamed George Bush and sea monkeys. I blamed my adorable harmless cat Peaches, who only ever was nice enough to kill mice for me and leave them on the front porch.
I blamed… ugh, I was running out of things to blame.
Okay, there had to be someone or something to blame. Because me? Poor never-been-swooning Isabella Swan? I don't crush on boys.
Or girls. I'm not a lesbian. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but-
Ugh. Just—stop. Give me one second to think.
Okay. Okay. This is how it started.
"Is that Emily Dickinson?"
It was lunchtime. It was lunchtime and outside the big glass windows there was too much green and too much rain. Inside the big glass windows there was too much cafeteria and buzzing gossip, not to mention too many eyes pointed at me.
Being the new girl sucked.
"Oh, uh," he stammered for a moment, and sat up a little straighter, and I swear to god the two little dots of pink on his cheeks killed me dead right on the spot.
Because, wow. That was adorable.
I smiled and picked absentmindedly at the hem of my ratty old t-shirt. And kind of wondered where I'd found the nerve to speak. The entire morning I'd spent suffering from an unfortunate case of lockjaw.
Jessica Stanley, the blonde girl over there—yeah, she's right there, sitting next to Mike "I'm-god's-gift-to-women" Newton, somewhere over my right shoulder—she'd taken me under her all-too-caring wing that morning, rambling a mile a minute about the ins and outs and sluts and jocks and freaks and geeks of Forks High School.
I wasn't exactly sure why I had to know or why Jessica thought I did, but I let her. I'm sort of a pushover.
I was also walking to the vending machine to get her a diet coke and water for myself when I saw him.
Yes, him. Edward freaking Cullen in all his slouchy loner self, leaning over some weathered copy of The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson like a dying man eats his last meal. Kind of reverently and kind of desperately.
Kind of breathtakingly.
"Yes, it is," he explained, in this soft sexy beautiful velvety please have me voice. "Do you like her?" He turned a little towards me, one side of his collar wrinkled and jaggedly reaching for the ceiling, and his emerald eyes sort of amused in this attractive way.
"Uhm." I let out a short self-conscious laugh. "Yeah, I- uhm, I'm thirsty."
I spun on my feet and touched my warm cheeks with chilly hands to cool them.
What the fuck was wrong with me?
Shaking for absolutely no reason, I ripped out the dollar bill Jessica had given me from my pocket, and then cringed as a mess of change clattered all over the floor.
I was… an idiot.
"Do you need help?"
Edward was suddenly on his knees in front me—har, har—and collecting quarters and nickels and dimes and a few stray pennies.
I dropped down beside him and nearly shouted, "No, it's fi-!"
But of course, because I was an idiot, my forehead banged loudly against his and… ow.
Ow, ow, ow. And more undignified owing.
"Ow," he winced, holding his forehead and squeezing his eyes shut.
"I. Am. So. Sorry," I hissed. My face felt like a volcano had just exploded on it.
And then he opened up his watery eyes, smiled ruefully and said, "You have a very hard head."
"Are you okay?" He rose gracefully to his feet single-handedly and then offered that warm palm and long fingers to me.
I stared. It was very painfully I'll-never-live-this-moment-down awkward. "Peachy," I finally managed, and took his hand.
He tugged and I acquiesced, and his hand was nearly twice as large as mine. And it was warm and smooth and one corner of his lips turned up, indenting the day-old stubble on his cheeks.
"Edward Cullen," he introduced himself.
"Bella Swan," I gulped.
He chuckled, emerald dancing down to our still-clasped hands. "I've been here awhile."
His thumb skimmed across my knuckles and I went wide-eyed and yes, if I had one, bushy-tailed. Because I was pretty sure the moment Edward Cullen smiled crookedly at me from beneath lowered lashes and touched me as if it was the most casual thing in the world and not sort of creepy since we didn't know each other was the moment I officially started crushing on Edward Cullen.
"Dickinson?" I slurred out.
"Uh, yeah," he looked down at his feet self-consciously and released me, stuffing his hands awkwardly in his pockets. "She's ah… she's sort of my favorite. Do you want to…?" He trailed off and inclined his head to the table, bursting into a hesitant grin. "You want to sit with me?"
Jessica Stanley took that exact perfect moment to bounce next to me with a cheery smile. I wanted to punch her in the face. "Bella, gosh. How long does it take to get a coke?"
Edward took that exact moment to frown and sit down as if we hadn't exchanged words and a forehead bump and quite possibly the emerging moment of my sexual libido.
And then Jessica did something that really made me want to punch her in the face. She sneered unbecomingly at the back of Edward's head, grabbed my arm, and tugged me back in the direction of hell. (Or as other people call him, Mike Newton.)
"Oh my god, Bella, you have no idea how much you owe me for that right there," she declared loudly.
Annoyed, pissed off, frustrated, and other words that also mean angry, I looked back to Edward, whose jaw was clenched tight and whose eyes were staring straight at his favorite poems, but with none of the admiration as before.
"What's wrong with Edward Cullen?" I asked hotly and yanked my wrist away from her death grip.
"He's an orphan and he's trouble," she announced snidely, and I hovered over the table as she plopped into her seat next to Mike, her nose in the air.
"He reads Emily Dickinson!"
Surely, how could any who reads Emily Dickinson be trouble. It wasn't even a question; I refuse to use a question mark. And an orphan? So?
"Ew, Cullen," Mike scowled.
"See?" Jessica chimed in.
"What the hell is wrong with Edward Cullen?" I demanded, forcing the words through my teeth.
"He's. A. Criminal," Jessica annunciated, and then she leaned over with a hushed voice and excited eyes. "He's always been so weird, right Mike?" She went on, not even glancing to him. "Always sticking to himself and thinking he's better than everyone. And then just one day, in sophomore year, he must have snapped. The principal found a gun in his backpack. Apparently he said he wasn't going to hurt anyone, but I seriously think he was, because he's such a weirdo. Anyway, he was sent home for a year and now he's back and seriously Bella, stay away from him."
"He's a fucking freak." Mike nodded and pulled out the chair next to him. "Come on, Bella, sit next to me."
I did the only thing I could do.
I turned on my heel, ignoring Jessica's "hey, where are you going?", headed straight for the bathroom, locked myself in a stall and banged my head repeatedly onto the linoleum wall.