Forks High School.
It was typical, as far as high schools go. My own personal hell awaited me behind those big metal double doors five days a week. That's not to say that I was a bad student. I was actually a very good student: all A's, never any detention or write-ups. But, as it goes in high school, I sacrificed popularity for education. It didn't really bother me much. I wasn't too fond of attention, anyway. I was content to be the loner who sat by herself at lunch and never really spoke to anyone. And that's exactly how my every day carried out. I was invisible. I noticed everything and everyone, but I was noticed by no one. It suited me, for the first year or so. I was essentially a very shy person, so the less people noticed me, the better. When I first moved to Forks, I was the center of attention for about two days. I was the new girl, everyone was curious about me to begin with - and the fact that I was Police Chief Swan's daughter just added to the uproar. After the initial interest in me died down, though, I took my place in the every day routine. I avoided contact with people in the hallway. I never answered questions in class. I was perfectly happy being unknown to the world. I saw what the popular people had to go through to be popular, and I could never understand what was so appealing about it after you took into consideration all the embarrassment they had to go through to get there. I hated embarrassment. I hated people looking at me.
Gym class was by far my least favorite. I took every opportunity I could find to sit out of a game. The coach knew by now that it was completely pointless to try to make me into an athletic person. I passed all of the handwritten tests about the rules of the games and the importance of exercise, but as far as the hands on type of activities… I was a lost cause. Fortunately for me, though, the hands on portion of the class didn't count towards the grade as much as the written portion.
Biology class was my favorite material-wise. I really liked learning about science related phenomenon. I wasn't very fond of the dissection part of that class, but we had not gotten to those lessons yet this year. Apart from Biology, though, lunch was my most looked forward to period of the day. I sat alone at a table on the outer edge of the cafeteria. Every day I made myself a salad and picked through it casually as I studied my classmates. It was amazing what you could learn through simple observations.
The Jock table was one of the largest: football players, some basketball players mixed in. The lot of them suffered from delusions of superiority. They spent most of their lunch hour watching the backsides of numerous girls as they walked by and whistling obnoxiously, although they would partake in the occasional spit-ball fight. It amazed me how easily entertained they could be. They were not by any standards very bright individuals. At least… not during lunch period. I knew that half of them were failing several classes, and for some reason that didn't surprise me. It hadn't been like that back in Phoenix. The Jocks were all very smart and nice there. What was it about the jocks at Forks high that made them all seem like their mental capacities were that of a two year old? I had wondered about that mystery many days, but today I didn't feel like watching the jocks. Instead I turned my attention to other tables in the cafeteria.
The band and drama kids banded together, same as it was in Phoenix. Despite the reputation they were given, they weren't actually a bad group of kids. They seemed to enjoy themselves quite a bit while retaining their dignity and proving higher maturity levels than most of their peers. Many of them were sporting ipods and earphones and bobbing their heads with the music, others would talk amongst themselves and discuss assignments and classes. Today there wasn't much interesting going on with the band kids.
I scanned the rest of the tables that I had labeled - teachers pets, honors students, and emo kids - until I finally became drawn in to the one table in the center of everything. They were it. The most popular kids in school. Everyone wanted to be them, or be with one of them. Everyone except me.
I couldn't deny, though… they were beautiful. And regardless of the fact that I had only been in Forks for a year and a half, I knew all their names. They were the talk of the school. There were 8 constant occupants of the center table. Others came and went as the times changed, but the original 8 were always there.
Emmett Forester was a large, bulky guy who had been sought after to be on sports teams since before I moved here. He never joined any sports teams, though, in order to appease his very needy girlfriend, Rosalie Hale. She was also one of the popular eight. She could always be found right next to Emmett, demanding his full attention be on her and no one else. She was one of the most beautiful women I had ever seen, but her beauty was partially negated by how cold she was on most occasions. Not cold in the sense of temperatures, though, she was just never a very kind person. She always seemed very selfish to me.
Rosalie's brother was Jasper Hale. He was also, like Emmett, a very good looking man. He had blonde wavy hair and he was rarely seen without his guitar. He was dating Alice Cullen. Alice was a very short, pixie like girl who looked very friendly. She was probably the nicest out of all of them. Her black, unruly hair stuck out at all angles and made her very distinguishable from other people. She also had a very high pitched voice that traveled all the way across the cafeteria. Today, her subject of gossip was Mr. Banner, my Biology teacher's, new toupee. It was apparently not a very convincing hair piece, and she was currently instructing her cousin, Edward, to make sure that he took a good look at it next period.
Edward Cullen was the most interesting of them all, in my opinion. He had messy bronze hair that appeared to be haphazardly styled with gel every morning. His eyes were a deep and beautiful green and his smile was one of the most breathtaking things I had ever seen. He kept to himself much more than the rest, but it was obvious that he enjoyed being friends with them. Still, despite the beautiful half-smile almost always present on his face, there seemed to be something weighing him down. His happiness seemed forced, almost. It was as if he knew that he should be happy… I mean, he had it all. He was gorgeous, half the population of females in the school, including the teachers, were clamoring over him, but there seemed to be some underlying sadness to his movement. On occasion, I noticed, when it seemed that no one was looking at him, he would get this heart breaking frown on his face, as if he was thinking about something that made him very sad. Another thing I noticed about Edward Cullen, though, was that he had very obvious eyes for Tanya Edington, who was the queen bee of the school.
Tanya was a tall, busty blonde who flaunted far too much skin and never wore the same outfit to school twice. She was constantly flanked by her two best friends Irina Govaczek and Kate Smith who were very similar in the way they dressed and acted. Nobody really knew what they looked like, though, on account of the overload of makeup always present on their faces. Tanya was the ruler of the popular eight, and consequently, the ruler of the student body. To say that her parents were filthy rich would be the understatement of the century. I was not so sure that I had ever seen Tanya ride to school in the same vehicle twice. But the money, I'm sure, was of little importance to Edward. His father was a doctor and his mother was a psychiatrist, so money was of no issue to him either. Tanya noticed Edward, oh yes, but not in a way that was beneficial to him. It was clear to me that when she returned his stare, she was only looking for ways to use him. Of course there was bound to be some form of attraction. Edward was… to say the least, beautiful. But Tanya had her pick of any boy in Forks, and she used that to her advantage. She never stuck with one boy for long. As long as they were available, she had no interest. When they were unavailable however, she suddenly decided that they were worth pursuing. There was some unexplainable desire that she had to make sure that every girl knew that she could have their man if she wanted to. I had witnessed it many times. Rosalie Hale had very nearly rearranged her face one day during second period calculus as a result of her hitting on Emmett. Fortunately for me, the teacher intervened before things got ugly. I was sitting right beside them and based on my history of luck, I would have probably suffered the brunt of a couple foul aimed punches.
Edward was different, though. I'm not sure what exactly made me think that he was different, but I just couldn't help but get that impression from him. Something about the way he acted made me think that he was looking for more than just a date to a party. Now, what would ever make him think that Tanya held enough depth or sincerity to be anyone's "one", I'll never know. Maybe I was wrong about Edward being different. Maybe he only wanted to be with her because she was the most popular girl to walk her 200 dollar heels down the chipped tiles of Forks High's hallways. It did me no use to strain my brain over his intentions, though. It wasn't like I was going to have a conversation with Edward Cullen any time soon… or at all. I didn't exist to him. As far as I was concerned, we lived in two separate worlds only drawn together by single party observations over lunch and the occasional and often unnoticed brush in the hallway. The closest thing to association with Edward I had ever had was when he had been paired with me the first day of school as a lab partner in Biology. He hadn't even waited to hear my name called to go ask Mr. Banner to change his partner to Tanya. Mr. Banner, of course, had complied. Edward had this way of convincing people to see things his way. It was impressive… in a very annoying sort of way. I was fine with him not being my lab partner anyway. There were an uneven number of people and I liked being alone much better than depending on a partner for half of my grade. I preferred self sufficiency to socializing any day.
Aside from that, there was never really any connection between myself and the popular eight at all. There was, however, the one time Rosalie Hale had spiked a volleyball at my head in gym… But I had convinced myself that that was accidental and the resulting injury was not intentional, rather a side-effect of my lack of coordination. At any rate, it got me out of gym for the rest of the period, so I suppose I could thank her for that.
I was just about to draw my attention back to my salad when a new conversation at the table caught my interest.
"Edward," Tanya addressed him breathily, leaning over the table towards him, her low cut shirt revealing far too much cleavage. "you are coming to my party tonight, right?" She batted her long, heavily mascara'd eyelashes at him.
"I was thinking about it." Edward's voice was louder than usual to compensate for the obnoxious conversations taking place around them.
Taking that as more than just a maybe, Tanya continued, "Who are you bringing with you?"
Edward shook his head and shrugged slightly.
"Oh, Edward…" Tanya groaned, "You can't possibly be coming alone. You could bring anyone with you…"
"I'm not sure, Tanya…" he repeated, shifting uneasily in his chair.
"Well then, I guess you will just have to be my date, wont you?" she smiled slyly.
"Oh, that's very generous, bu-"
"Oh, please, Edward," she leaned back and rolled her eyes a little. "Don't even pretend like you don't want to go with me."
Edward snapped his mouth shut and stared back at her unemotionally.
"Be there at seven," she advised with a smirk, "And I'm wearing a red cocktail dress. Don't clash."
Edward hesitated for a moment and nodded slightly. Tanya smirked again and then joined Alice and Kate's conversation. Edward waited until no one was looking at him, then, discreetly, he smiled.
I had no idea what he saw in her. That would remain a mystery to me, I guess. The one thing I had taken from eavesdropping on their conversation, though, was that I would now have to change the route I would be taking to get home from work that evening.
I worked at the library at the edge of town. I worked the evenings, so all I was in charge of doing was checking in books from the drop box and replacing them on the shelves after everyone was gone. It was a really great job for me, because I was not prone to being very social, and I was more of a night person than a morning person. There was no real set time for my job. I left when the work was finished. Sometimes I left at 8 PM, sometimes not until midnight. I knew that tonight was going to be a late night. Though. Friday nights were always the busiest for me. The library wasn't open on the weekends, so all books that needed to be returned in the three day period of time that fell on the weekends were often returned on Friday to avoid late fees. That fact resulted in three times the work on Friday nights. I didn't mind, really. Where else was I going to go. The fact that I was working all the time on Fridays was actually beneficial when it came to my father. It was much easier to explain my lack of places to go as a senior in high school on a Friday night with work rather than lack of friends.
The reason that Tanya's party had altered my work route was because Tanya's home… well, mansion, rather, was just blocks from the library. If I wasn't leaving until late, I could predict a heavy flow of intoxicated drivers littering the streets around town all night long. If there was one thing I hated, it was reckless drivers.
There were two ways to get back to my house from the library. One wound straight through town. The other, definitely less traveled, road involved back streets that occasionally resembled something out of a horror movie, if the lighting and weather were just right. I normally chose the bright lit streets in town, rather than the abandoned side roads, but tonight I would be sacrificing the comforting roads for my own personal safety. I was not fond of drunk drivers.
I listened to Tanya babble on to Edward about the many guests that would show up and the different drinks her father had bought for the party all throughout Biology. We were supposed to be counting out ten thousand navy beans into jars for a lab on Monday, but Tanya was coolly leaning against the back of her chair and paying special attention to her nail beds as Edward tried desperately to focus on the task at hand. I was well into my seventh jar of beans as I began listening to snippets of their conversation… or, Tanya's conversation.
"Somebody wanted to bring Jessica Stanley to the party, but I'm not sure about her. She's really short and she talks way too much. I think I might invite Lauren Mallory. I heard her dad is buying her a mustang. It's not as good as my second mustang was, but I guess I can give her a chance. Oh, and the whole football team is going to be there. I hope James isn't too bummed when he finds out I'm going with you. I swear, that boy has been trying to get into my pants for the last three years. You would think he would get a clue already. I don't like boys with hair longer than mine. It's weird. Are you even listening to me, Edward?"
"What? Oh… yeah, I'm just… trying not to lose count."
"What number are you on now? This is boring," she whined.
"I…" he started, "Shit. I don't remember," he cursed.
I stifled a small laugh as I scooped the eight thousandth bean into the eight jar and sealed it. By the time class was over, Edward had only gotten 6 jars counted and I had spent the last ten minutes studying the seemingly misplaced rug on Mr. Banner's head.
The next two class periods went by quickly. English was always a breeze for me, but History always left me very drowsy, which was not the greatest condition to leave in at the end of the day. I brought my backpack with me to 7th period so that I could leave immediately after. It was always more convenient if I could get my truck out of the parking lot before the rest of the students came bustling out.
My truck was one of my favorite possessions. It was a faded and somewhat rusted red color. It had big, rounded fenders and tire chains that Charlie had made a habit of putting on in the winter. It was solid. Sensible. The gas mileage wasn't the greatest, but I felt safe inside of it. The only drawback was that it wouldn't run past 60 miles per hour, which wasn't exactly a problem for me because I always obeyed speed limits, and no where in this town was a speed limit about 45. The radio was broken, so I always drove with one earphone of my ipod tucked into my ear. It was something to drown out the heavy roar of the engine.
I jabbed the play button on my ipod as I slid into the truck and slammed the door with a grating creak. I smiled as I heard the first few words of the song. "I can ride my bike with no handlebars, no handlebars, no handlebars.."
My one and only friend Jacob had insisted on educating my taste in music. Mozart and Debussy were not sufficient enough to him, it seemed. This was no doubt one of the songs he had put on there. I shook my head dubiously and rolled my eyes as I pulled out of the parking lot and set my car in the direction of home.
Charlie was just coming out to his cruiser as I pulled in the driveway.
"Hi Bells," he greeted, running his fingers through his hair and waiting for me on the sidewalk.
"Hi Dad. Heading to work?" I asked knowingly. On Fridays he often took on an extra shift. Nothing made him happier than catching some 'late night hooligans'.
"Yep. You can order a pizza if you want to. I left money on the kitchen table. I'll just eat the leftovers when I get home."
"I was going to make chicken noodle soup before I headed off to work tonight," I shrugged.
"You don't have to Bells," he offered. "It's a Friday, you know. Go do something. Hang out with friends from school, or Jacob maybe."
"Dad, it's fine, really," I assured him. He looked at me suspiciously and then submitted, mumbling something about how reclusive I was as he dug his keys out of his pocket and headed towards his police cruiser.
"Be careful on the roads. They're slippery," I warned.
"Yeah, will do, Bells. See you in the morning. Have a good night at work."
"You too," I nodded awkwardly, turning on my heel and heading towards the porch, stubbing my toe on an uneven piece of concrete as I went.
Charlie and I had never had a very easy relationship. Everything was a little forced, with us. I cooked and cleaned and all that kind of stuff, and he always showed his appreciation, but we were never very open with feelings. We loved each other, but we gave each other copious amounts of space. We both liked to be alone.
I wandered around the kitchen, my earphone still pumping steady music through my ears. Several concert pieces came and went and then one or two Linkin Park songs, but all I had in my head was "No handlebars, no handlebars." I scowled as I placed the lid on the steaming chicken noodle soup and dragged my backpack over to the table to unload my calculus homework. I managed to finish all of that plus several chapters of the required reading of Jane Eyre for Advanced English. I had already read the book multiple times, but I figured a refresher couldn't hurt. Plus, the soup wouldn't be done for another half hour.
After an assortment of other classical pieces, another song that was clearly of Jacob's chosing began to play. As soon as I heard the words "My wiper wiper wiper blades." I pressed next, shaking my head again. An unfamiliar song began filling my ears as I stirred the soup and turned the heat off of the stove.
"Collide" by Howie Day was the song, or at least that's what the display screen on my ipod informed me. I hadn't heard it before now, so this must have been Jacob's doing too. I really liked this song, though. As I ate a bowl of soup and got myself ready and off to work, I had placed it on repeat and listened to it over and over, soaking in the lyrics and trying to decipher what they meant while having a very strange out of body experience. Though I had never heard the song before now, I couldn't help feeling that it was somehow significant…
Even the best fall down sometimes
Even the wrong words seem to rhyme
Out of the doubt that fills my mind
I somehow findYou and I collide
all mentioned music can be found in my profile information via a link to a download list.