Experience has shown, and a true philosophy will always show, that a vast, perhaps the larger portion of truth, arrises from the seemingly irrelevant.

- Edgar Allan Poe


It was dark; the kind of thick, oppressive, dark that almost smothers its surroundings in a dense cloud of blackness. It made the room seem smaller, cramped enough to make someone claustrophobic. A torch rested on a bench, propped up on a pile of worn books and papers – a vain attempt to rid the room of the night. The yellow beam was dim, flickering and did little more than give the room a hazy glow. It was nowhere near powerful enough to banish the shadows...

Bottles and jars lined the walls of the room, some with faded labels, dark screw-caps and others with tight, rubber-sealed lids. They varied in size and shape, but were all strangely uniform in their manner. The torchlight made the arrangement seem eerie. Light reached the brown glass, showing outlines of the liquids and solids trapped within. Large orange signs seemed to be the most predominant feature of each, ordained with thick black symbols, providing a common factor in the assorted display. They were too dark to made out – but the labels varied in shade, from deep red to traffic-cone orange...

There were no windows, nothing to provide any indication of where or when it was. All that was certain was the dark. Silence hung in the air. Too quiet. A foreboding atmosphere had been created...

A breath was held...

I was jolted into consciousness by the incessant beeping of my alarm clock. It startled me, causing me to wake abruptly, the aggravating noise hinting at the untold irritation the day could bring. I slammed my palm angrily against the sleep button, remembering too late, as I felt the burn of my new stitches pulling at my skin, that I was injured. I hissed as the bandage rubbed against the wound, trying to return my arm to its original position in a more careful manner. My brain was a few seconds behind my actions, and I lay still as the memory of the previous day flooded back to me. My arm began to throb, followed by other muscles in my body. I groaned.

I hadn't gotten much sleep, certain 'events' turning over and over in my head prevented me from achieving peace until the early hours of the morning, when I'd all but passed out from exhaustion. Even then, my unconsciousness was far from restful. I'd felt like I was suffocating, a huge pressure building on my chest had stopped me from breathing easily was coupled with my ever-present headache, dully hanging in the background – the kind that could only precede a cold. It was as if I hadn't slept properly since coming here; there was always a nagging thought in the back of my mind, one I couldn't quite access. That annoyed me more, the fact that I could quite remember what plagued my dreams and nagged at my mind during the evening. The thought was always just out of reach, just on the tip of my tongue, but I couldn't make the leap to recognise what it was.

I turned my head to see the green-gray light that streaked through my curtains. The day looked to be as miserable as it had been yesterday, maybe minus the ice. I was in a less than stellar mood, feeling more exhausted than I was before I went to sleep. It took great effort to coax my body from the warm confines of my bed to face the cool of the morning.

Getting dressed too far longer than I was used to. I winced as my shirt caused the bandage to rub against the wound. I really regretted tossing my prescription into the depths of a handbag when I returned home yesterday, Dr. Cullen was right about me feeling it later. The face in the mirror wasn't a welcome sight either. The girl I saw was unhealthily pale, and combined with the long white bandage taped to her thin arm (artfully hiding a line of stitches), and dark circles hinting at sleepless nights, she could easily pass as a ghost or zombie. She didn't look like me at all; this wasn't the Alice I remembered. Forks wasn't looking good on me. At all. I knew that soon, even my make-up supplies wouldn't be able to stop me from looking dead, and I highly doubted that the 'corpse' look was in fashion this season. My sickly body was out of place against the neatness of my outfit - a blue shirt in a vain attempt to giv ethe illusion of colour in my cheeks, to bring out the colour of my eyes - so at least some part of me looked.... alive. I was almost too pale for blusher, I noted with chagrin - anything more than a light dusting and I would look like I'd been slapped. I rested my good arm on the sink in defeat. Today wasn't going to be a good day.

Eventually, I made it down to the breakfast table. My head suddenly felt so heavy, and I propped it up with an arm, with my hand on my face, in an effort to keep it upright. I slunk down in my chair as the sounds of my mother getting ready for work drifted down the stairs, filling me with dread. I wasn't in the mood for another confrontation.

I grimaced as I remembered...

"There was nothing heroic about it," my mother had scolded me, almost immediately, when she returned from the hospital. I looked up from my seat at the kitchen table as her bag was placed angrily down on the counter. I stood up. "It was downright irresponsible," she added, her anger growing at an exponential rate. Her exasperation was evident, but it would have been unwise to reply to her. She turned to face the window, trying to get a handle on her rage. "Really Alice, what were you thinking?" Her voice was low, meaningful and the tone struggled for control. Her hands gripped the counter, a poor victim of her anger.

It was a rhetorical question. An answer would only provoke her anger further. But, it was the one question that I'd been trying to answer all night. I tried to recall the moments leading up to the accident, trying to pinpoint whatever reason I had for my actions. I couldn't think of one. I had been stupid and irrational and... I still couldn't think of a reason. It was something I had to do. A compulsion? My mother would like that conclusion almost as much as I did. It was admitting that I had no control over myself. I couldn't exactly tell her that I'd seen it happen, that I'd seen his death before my eyes and then prevented the future from happening. That was a one way ticket back to therapy. I shut my mouth as soon as I had opened it, hoping she wouldn't notice that I had almost formed an answer.

"You could have been killed," she whispered, almost as if she were talking to herself. I snapped my head around to look at her, immediately pausing in shock. I'd only seen her look like this once before. My stomach dropped as I realised the parallels to... No... The room was awkwardly silent as I tried to figure an appropriate response to her statement.

"I am so sorry mom," I replied emphasising every word, just as quiet as she was, trying to sound as sincere and repentant as possible. From her posture I knew she heard me, and that I understood. I wanted to give her a hug, to assure her that I was still here, but I was afraid she wouldn't like me to do that. I leaned on the kitchen bench across the room from her, keeping the distance between us. She sighed, an awkward gesture designed to break the silence and began making dinner as if nothing had happened. The atmosphere was still tense. We weren't close anymore, and it ran deeper than in the physical sense. We hadn't been close in years.

There was a figure, hunched over the desk, holding one of the small brown-glass jars. The torch light barely flickered in their direction, making their face and body little more than a dark shadow. A lamp cord hung near their head, but they made no move to pull it. They were content to work with minimal vision. They shifted, leaning over their work more fully, their shoulders tensed in strain. A bead of perspiration trailed down their forehead...

The figure reached to the shelf in front of them, taking down one of the larger jars from a line of similar ones. They clasped it tightly, setting it down on the workbench next to jar they had held. There was little difference, except in the jar size and the label, the slight difference in colour only noticeable to the more discerning eye...

There was still no noise, other than the indistinct hum of the failing torch bulb and the shallow breaths of the figure...

The sound of a car door slamming snapped me awake at the breakfast table. A sudden wave of exhaustion had come over me as I stared at the yoghurt in front of me and I had apparently succumbed. I pushed it away, the thought of eating anything before school was now highly unappealing.

Not going back to school the previous day made it harder to return now. Forks was a small town, rumours about yesterday would have been spreading round like wildfire, and running unchecked, with no one to censor them, the exaggeration was expected to have reached epic proportions. The thought walking through the gates, having people stare at me all over again, was daunting. I wasn't naive enough to think that people would have simply forgotten what happened yesterday. Probably the most exciting thing that's happened here in months...

I tried to mentally prepare myself on the way to school. The cold air whipped my cheeks, just as it did every day, but I felt different, like I'd been forcibly altered. I was jumpy, the butterflies that had prevented me from eating breakfast where working overtime. My imagination ran riot, thinking of all the awful possibilities of what could happen when I got there. I couldn't reason with the part of me that was trained to think of the worst-case scenario. I could think of several different outcomes, not one of which bode well for me. I was going to be a curiosity again, just when the novelty of my presence had worn off. I wrapped my scarf tighter around my neck, wondering if I should invest in a hat next. My hair barely covered my poor ears, doing little to protect them from the stinging cold.

Just as I expected, people were openly staring at me as I walked through the parking lot. I'd tried to time my arrival so that it coincided with the first bell, but anxiety had increased my pace and I arrived a few minutes ahead of plan. I felt like the whole world was watching me, though that was probably just paranoia. I was forced to do the walk of shame, and could feel their probing stares on my back. I shifted my bag higher onto my shoulder, clutching the strap tighter and tried to ignore the curious glances. I strode onwards, attempting to seem oblivious to the attention I was getting.

I scanned the parking lot for a certain blonde haired figure, but he was nowhere to be seen. I wasn't overly anxious to see him again, but I looked for him anyway, a small part of me hoping that he would be visible, a recognisable face amongst a sea of students. A pinch of disappointment tugged at me when I couldn't spot him, but I shook it off. The lucky thing probably managed to evade school for the day, pleading injury. Not that you care...

The morning passed as a blur of faces and searching looks, the populous of Forks High not even trying to conceal their staring. There was nothing subtle about the way people were stopping in the corridor to get a better look, as if the meaning of life was written on my forehead. It was uncomfortable, and I ducked my head, increasing my pace down the corridors. Each passing second lead me closer and closer to the lesson I really wanted to avoid. I thought about skipping it entirely, but thought it would draw even more attention to myself. No, better to face it head on... I was anxious to what would greet me in the neighbouring seat in the Chemistry lab. I was torn between willing the clock to go faster – to speed my exit from this living equivalent of purgatory – or praying it slowed down, to prolong the time before Chemistry. Time marched on at a steady speed, however, a minute remained a minute, and every second was a second closer to hell on earth...

I was set to get there early, hurrying from my previous lesson to avoid any more questions. Jessica, from Maths, was the worst, suddenly becoming interested in everything I had to say. It was like an interrogation, she was silently trying to pick up on cues, looking for anything of interest that could be reported back to the rest of the school. It wasn't that I assumed the worst in everyone, but I knew her type. You could sense these kind of things, when a person wasn't being totally sincere. She didn't seem as friendly as she had been that first day though, her fake smiles never meeting her eyes. I could only put that down to the whispers I'd heard about my 'relationship' with Jasper. There had been a lot of discontent among the female population on that subject.

Yeah, that's her. Black hair. She's the one who pushed her boyfriend out of the way of the van yesterday. I grimaced and kept my head down as my ears picked up on one of the conversations in the corridor. My eyes were focused on the floor, and I tried really hard not to let them know I could hear. I didn't want to listen to another conversation about me; I'd heard it all already. This voice sounded exceptionally annoying, nasal and needlessly cruel. They spoke like I was an attraction at a freak show, rather than a fellow human being. I disliked this person already, a girl I presumed from the pitch of it.

They're dating? I chanced a look in the direction of the second voice. The two girls were walking along the corridor, just to my right, oblivious to the volume at which they spoke. The blonde had a look of distaste plastered on her face, her green eyes squinting slightly when she noticed I was looking. The girl next to her, the second voice I assumed, was a mousy brunette. She didn't seem to be as harsh as her friend.

Don't you know? Apparently they knew each other from 'the south', but they wanted to keep their being a couple a secret. The nasal blonde paused, before tacking another sentance on for my benefit. He must have been ashamed of her or something. She knew very well that I was within hearing range.

I heard they have an 'open' relationship. Though why she would want another guy on the side, I don't know. Another voice joined the fray, one that I identified as none other than Jessica Stanely. I had been right about her. I pushed my legs faster, not wanting to hear anymore. I knew denying their rumours wouldn't make them go away, and I didn't have the energy to say something back to them. I felt drained. At this rate, I'd probably have the corridor floor tiles memorised by the end of the week. My neck was starting to hurt from all the ducking down I was doing.

I felt a chill as two cool hands broke me out of my thoughts, stopping me from walking into a carelessly open locker door. And that would be all you need... I muttered a few curses at my stupidity and turned to see the face of Emmett Cullen cheerfully looking down on me, from his height of over six feet. I smiled weakly, thankful for the gesture, and continued down the corridor.

"Keep your chin up kiddo," came his voice from behind me. The happiness in it made me smile momentarily, it would be impossible not to, but then I remembered where I was, and what lesson I had next, which was enough to wipe my grin off my face. Keep your chin up... I repeated to myself, adopting it as my mantra as I walked past the rest of the student body. The door of the lab was in sight and I almost ran through it; my anxiousness at seeing Jasper again was overshadowed by my relief at being away from the gossips of Forks High.

Chemistry started off as a silent affair. I didn't know how he was going to react. I decided to follow his lead. If he was going to start ignoring me, then I'd do the same back. It was fine. I didn't want him to be grateful. I didn't do it for him anyway, I did it to ease my conscience. You keep telling yourself that... I had a ridiculously weird guilty conscience, and I knew I wouldn't have been able to live with my guilt if I'd let him get hurt. It was stupid, I shouldn't have 'known' that the van was going to hit him, so what would it have mattered if I'd just let it. But you did know, I thought, and it would be as good as killing him yourself if you didn't at least try to stop it. I shocked myself at the strength of my conclusion, would I have really been as bad as a murderer if I'd let him get hurt?

I tried to keep my head down, to focus on the pages of my notebook in front of me, but I couldn't stop myself from peaking up every now and again, watching the door for his entrance. I dropped my gaze again as I caught sight of him crossing the threshold, daring to look again as he handed the teacher a blue slip of paper.

I stiffened as the scraping of the chair next to me alerted me of his presence. I hurriedly got my textbook out of my bag and began reading the assigned pages again. I wanted to clear the air, but I couldn't find a way to make the words come out of my mouth. I couldn't form a sentence; it was as if someone had suddenly disconnected my brain from my lips, preventing me from turning my thoughts into sounds.

Unfortunately, the teacher wheeled a television trolley to the front of the classroom. I didn't know why it didn't make me feel relieved, no class participation would be required today. It made me feel more uncomfortable and awkward, knowing I'd be sat next to him in a dark room. I held my back unusually straight, focusing on a point just above the teachers head and doing everything but looking at the person next to me. I was shaking slightly, and I tried to tell myself that it was from the cold. You keep telling yourself that...

The teacher flicked the lights off and I tried to focus on the screen in front of me. I saw random flashes of light and colour, but my brain couldn't make sense of it all. I was staring blankly, not even attempting to process the images before my eyes.

The hour wore on, the tension growing until you could cut it with a knife. I felt like I ought to say something, but my brain was still disconnected and I could only move my lips in what I assumed were a pattern of speech. No noise came out. I considered watching the clock, but realised that the experience would seem to take longer if I was counting every second. I couldn't imagine how it could get any longer; I felt as if I had been in the lesson for years.

A throat was cleared from beside me, the sound making me jump.

"Thank you," he whispered, his voice sounding louder in the darkness of the room. I waited, refusing to allow myself to respond. It was smart, seeing as my shock prevented me from thinking of anything acceptable to respond with. I turned my head to look at him instead, the light from the television illuminating his face. It was supposed to be friendly, I think, but it came off as forced, controlled, a carefully constructed mask against the world.

"I didn't say it properly yesterday, but...err... thank you," he continued, realising I wasn't going to reply, allowing the situatio to get even more awkward.

"No problem," I managed to reply, my mouth suddenly turning dry. I attempted a smile. He nodded once in reply, shrugged his shoulders slightly, and then returned to the movie he only pretended to be interested in. He focused his vision on the board without as much as a sideways glance.

I, on the other hand, sat in shock for a few moments, stunned into silence. In all the scenarios I had imagined, never once had Jasper thanked me. Most of them had him blaming me for the accident, one stray thought had him suing me for damages, but none of them had an outcome like this. I didn't know why I was expecting anger, it just seemed to fit, and this new twist forced me to re-evaluate things. Anger was easy, blame was even easier, but I got none of that. For someone who had acted so scared the day before, he had pulled himself together mighty quickly, whilst I was still a mess. I didn't like how confused I felt when I was around him, his very presence sending me into turmoil.

No more was said on the subject, and we fell into an uneasy silence. I shifted in my seat, suddenly feeling very awkward again. There were a few times when I wanted to say more, when I wanted to ask him what was going on with him, if he was alright, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. He sounded odd, so final, that I thought better than establishing a connection again. It was obvious that he didn't want to talk to me. Even when he was thanking me, he still seemed angry, though wether that anger was directed at me was another matter. I groaned inwardly, trying to figure Jasper out was useless. I only hoped the lesson would end soon, so I would be released to the torture of lunch.

The figure began peeling off the labels on the bottle, a painstakingly slow process that demanded total accuracy. They were being abnormally careful with them, taking great care to ensure the stickers remained in tacked. The stickers were switched, the smaller jar now deemed to have the less dangerous content...

The larger jar was uncapped and the slow moving mixture inside was poured out and into a basin. Light shone through the liquid, illuminating the white cubes it contained. The jar, now empty, was discarded...

Liquid was added to the basin, water that sparkled in the thin bulb light, causing the mixture to fizz, and orange glow flickering from the bowl, lighting the room from below. A few moments of added light later, the glow began to fade and the room was once again illuminated only by the desk-lamp...

A week passed and eventually the drama surrounding me was thankfully reduced to a few causal glances in the corridor. The school moved on and found something new to talk about. My fifeteen minutes of unwanted attention was over.

"Miss Brandon," I shot upright. I felt shame run through me, and my face het up as I realised what had happened. My head had been rested on my arms, my body slumped forward on the desk. Asleep...

"Huh?" I asked, blinking rapidly as my eyes refocused on the classroom around me. The teacher sighted, looking at me with a mixture of pity and annoyance. This wasn't the first time it had happened. The first time was in Math, and Bella Masen had gently shaken me awake before attention had been drawn. The second time I wasn't so lucky, but the teacher had let it slide. I wondered if this school operated by a three strikes policy...

"I'd like to see you after the lesson," Apparently it did... I nodded in response.

Perfect, I muttered to myself, sinking further down in my chair as the sound of sniggering filled the air. I didn't feel like I had been sleeping at all at home. I woke up feeling more tired than I was before I went to bed. I could never remember what ran through my mind during my hours of unconciousness, but the sheen of sweat I normally woke up in could only indicate that it wasn't pleasant. I tried to remember what happened, but I could only draw a blank.

My head ached and though I longed to return it to my arms I forced it upwards, keeping my eyes trained on the board. I wasn't paying any attention, but at least I looked interested. I was getting good at covering my tracks.

Though even I wasn't good enough to stop them from sending me to the new school guidance counsellor. No ammount of protesting could convince them that I didn't need someone to talk to, that the accident hadn't affected my behaviour. I didn't like being analysed. It made you feel like less of a person, more a subject than a human. I tried my best, even considered skipping, but the threat of telephoning my mother to inform her of my 'attitude change' as they put it, had me standing outside the counsellors door, wishing I was anywhere but there.

"Come in, Miss Brandon" he exclaimed after I knocked on the door, in a manner that he intended to be friendly. Eccentric...

I entered the room. The sun glared at me through the windows behind the desk, illuminating the particles of dust in the air. I squinted and, noticing this, he caused the blinds to fall shut with a clatter. The sound was too loud in the silence, the hallway outside empty of students that could provide background noise.

"I've seen your records," he told me as I entered the room, impatient, not waiting till I sat down in my seat. I eyed the cracked, brown-leather chair with distaste, but sat anyway, trying to keep my grimaces to a minimum. He wanted to talk though I wasn't about to offer anything. He leaned forward, and I observed an unremarkable face looking back at me.

"I want you to know that this is a safe space, and anything you discuss with me will remain completely confidential," I could pick up on the false undertones in his voice. He must have said this to everyone that walked through the doors. It sounded prepared. I raised my eyebrows, calling on his speach.

He cleared his throat, almost nervously, waiting to speak. I kept my facial expressions neutral, it was easier that way. Better to let them hear what they want, than make them dig for information...

"I think it has something to do with your father's death,"

My throat immediately went dry.

"I don't think that's any of your business," I replied, fighting to keep my voice level and calm. It was defensive, and I knew he would pick up on that, but it was either that or silence. I wondered if he would pick up on my threatening undertone also, my stare hinting that this was a conversation that I wasn't about to have. This guy wasn't wasting any time.

He smiled at my reaction, "We'll take that as a yes shall we?"

"What do you mean?" I found myself saying, as the silence in the room began to become uncomfortable.

"I want to know why you did it Mary Alice," he said, reminding me of a police interrogation, not that I'd had many of those. I grimaced at the sound of him using my childhood name. After the fuss I made when I turned eight, Mary-Alice had been taken of the records, in favour of Alice. Only my mother called me by my full name now, and that was only when she was really mad.

"Look," I said, frustrated, folding my hands on my lap and leaning forward also, mimicking him, "I've already told people this, I saw the van heading towards him, what was I supposed to do? Let it hit him?" I immediately regretted my wording, it seemed to defensive, like I had something to hide. He mulled over that momentarily and began questioning me again. My voice has raised, and I took a deep breath, trying to regain some composure.

"That's not what I meant. I already know what you've told everybody, I just want to know why you really did it."

"What's that supposed to mean?" I asked, carefully letting confusion colour my tone. "Because I didn't want him to get squished by a van?" I added for good measure.

"There you go, joking around, shrugging it off, but I think I know why you really did it," He said, his voice taking a more menacing tone. His mood swing threw me off and I resisted the urge to lean back away from him. This wasn't how counsellors were supposed to act, on television they were warm and friendly, but never downright evil. It was a weird take on 'good cop, bad cop', didn't you need two people to do that?

I composed myself I turned back to him, adding a small smile to my expression and looked him in the eye.

"You think me trying to save somebody from being hit by a van was brought on by my dad's death," I summarised, looking to him for clarification.

"Not just that," he replied, sensing remained silent, breaking away from his gaze and began looking around the room. I could feel my breathing rate increase as I became more and more nervous. I could feel his eyes on me, watching. Once I had sufficiently my plan of attack, "I think it has to do with lots of things, but mainly, just your need for attention."

I bit my lip to stop myself from laughing at his new accusation. I could see what he was doing now, he was baiting me, like taking a red rag to a bull, trying to push me hard enough so I would crack and say something I regretted. I allowed myself a smug smile, but I couldn't help but worry about the real reason behind his interest in Monday's events. Something about this set-up didn't seem entirely genuine.

"My need for attention?" I repeated, fighting a smile. Attention was the last thing I thought about.

"Exactly, and I just want to know why you'd go to such extremes to get people to notice you?"

"Oh believe me, I wasn't trying to get noticed, I couldn't stand back and watch someone get crushed," I told him bluntly. It was turning into a verbal sparring match, definitely not what counselling was supposed to be. I was sure of it. Shouldn't he be trying to help me instead of being on the aggressive?

"So you wanted to go unnoticed?" he asked quietly, almost to himself, making it sound more like a statement than an actual question. He raised his eyebrows, hoping he'd found a flaw in my argument.

"That's not what I meant. I was just trying to tell you I wasn't after attention. I just wanted to stop him from getting hurt"

"Do you have any connection to this him.... Jasper Hale?" He checked his papers to be sure of the name, though I would have bet the 'Porshe', as I had named my mom's long suffering vehicle, that he already knew it. I was still having the weird feeling that something wasn't right about the situation. He seemed altogether too interested in the situation.

I paused to figure it out, I hadn't seen him in school before that Monday, I hadn't noticed him in any of my classes prior to that. I told him this and he seemed a little surprised by this, almost disappointed.

"He'd been absent from school since the Monday you got here." He said, seeming oddly suspicious. "You both seemed to come here round about the same time, I was just wondering if you knew each other before moving here?" He was interested again, seeming to be trying to get to the bottom of some unknown problem. Something to do with Jasper? I asked myself. Possibly, he did seem to be pretty interested in him. I decided to log that thought away for a later time.

"No, I just met him on the first Monday I came here" I said, finding myself bored with his questions now. He remained silent, thinking again. "Was that all?" I had to ask, trying not to sound too rude. I really wanted to get out of the room, the atmosphere was strange and uncomfortable.

"Err... Yes, yes," He said, waving his hand to gesture towards the door. I got up instantly and quickly began to make my way out of the room.

"And Mary Alice," he added as I was almost out of the door. I turned back to him, trying to conceal my impatience and discomfort with a fake smile. "If you ever need to talk about anything, just remember I'm here," his overly sincere statement made me force my smile to become bigger in an attempt not to grimace. I nodded and made my out of the door, letting it swing closed behind me. I leaned heavily against the wall outside, hating the way I'd let him get to me.

The smaller brown jar was placed on the shelf, in place of the other. It was darker, tinier, and stood out from the rest. The figure stood back, moving their weight from toe to heel, admiring their handiwork. A satisfied sigh of relief could be heard...

I shook my head, snapping myself out of the daydream. It was weird, but it seemed familiar. Messed up didn't even begin to cover how I was feeling.

It was raining hard by the time I got out of the building. The skies had opened and water poured from the heavens, crying the tears I couldn't bring myself to shed. How did he know about my dad? That wasn't on any of my records, I'd checked. There was no way he could have known. Still, I knew he'd hit a nerve. I tried to think of something else, anything else, not wanting to relive that day in my mind.

The rain ran down the back of my collar, soaking my neck. My hair clung to the side of my face. I didn't care. I walked onwards, heading in the direction of a house that could never feel like home.

The lamp light was switched off and the room was plunged into darkness...

I was missing something. I knew I was. It would be the thing right in front of my eyes, a simple detail that I didn't even think was relevant...

Like who was driving the van...

Disclaimer; Incase you failed to see this in my other chapters - I don't own Twilight, no matter how much I wish I did.

A/N; I know, I took my sweet time finishing this chapter. My AS level exams finished on the 17th of June, but my teachers, deciding I hadn't suffered enough for their liking, have pilled on the work, giving me minimal free time. It's been hectic since I last updated, let me tell you. In short, I lost all my motivation, blame a combination of writers block and my school for this, and found this chapter exceedingly difficult to write. I'm starting to get back into the swing of things now, as school is finally over, and I have more time to write. Hopefully I can get back to some semblance of a 'regular' update, but I'm reluctant to make any promises I won't be able to keep.

I'm updaiting this in an internet cafe in Greece, so at least you can all see that I'm commited to this story. This was supposed to be finished before I went on holiday - but my computer decided to crash about ten minutes before I was about to leave (Querida was not impressed) and so I've had to rewrite the last half here. I apologise if its not up to regular standard, but I tried my best. I'll sort any major problems when I get home (in 10 days), but until then, I hope this isn't too awful.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed this chapter. Major Thanks to all of you that have stuck with me this far, and thanks to those of you who have put this story on update or favourited it. It means a lot that people out there like what I'm writing, and it makes me want to work super hard to make everything as good as I can possibly make it.

The major sections in italics, everything bar the last sentance, are sections of Alice's re-curring dream (it's been mentioned in earlier chapters, but not in any detail), it's getting more prevalent now.

If you have any questions, ask away, but I won't respond until after I get home. Also, seeing as I've only just finished this chapter, there is every chance that there are glaring errors in this chapter (I didn't have time to get hopeisabluebird to work her magic and check my work). They will be sorted when I return too.

Review? Please? I think I deserve one, seeing as I am suffering in the midday heat to bring this to you all. (Its worth it though).

Until next time,

Ostentatious Querida =]