I was moving to Forks Washington. Forks is in the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington State. Forks is almost always under cover of clouds. I hated Forks. I loved my home in Phoenix Arizona. I was definitely going to miss sunny Phoenix. My mother tried to convince me I didn't have to go live with Charlie in Forks. But she was wrong. I had to go live with my father for my mother's sake. I saw how much it hurt when Phil, my mother's new husband, would travel for work & she couldn't be with him because she had to be with me. I had to stay with Charlie. Besides it would make Charlie happy to have his daughter back in his house. When I landed in Port Angeles it was raining. I definitely wasn't shocked. Charlie was waiting for me in his cruiser. This was the main reason I was planning on buying my own vehicle. I did not want to be seen driven around town in the Chief of Police's cruiser.

Charlie gave me an awkward one armed hug when I got off the plane. "It's so good to see you, Bells," he smiled as he said it. "How's Renee?"

"Mom's fine. It's good to see you too, dad." I wasn't allowed to call him Charlie. At least not to his face.

"I found a good car for you," he stated as we headed towards Forks.

"What kind of car?" My suspicions got the better of me. It was the way he said good car for you as opposed to just a good car.

"Well, it's a truck actually, a Chevy. I bought it off of Billy Black. You remember Billy from down at La Push, don't you?"


"He used to go fishing with us during the summer," Charlie prompted.

Well, that explained that. I have blocked out the most painful memories and those are some of them. "Oh."

"How cheap is it?" I asked. The fact was the car didn't matter as long as it was in my price range.

"Well, honey. I already bought it for you as a homecoming gift."

Wow. Free. You couldn't argue with free. "You didn't have to do that dad. I was going to buy myself a car." I smiled. "Thanks."

Eventually we made it to Charlie's. He still lived in the small, two-bedroom house that he'd bought with my mother in the early days of their marriage. There, parked on the street in front of the house was my truck. It was a faded red colour, with big rounded fenders and a huge cab. I loved it. It was a solid iron vehicle, one that never gets damaged. "Wow, dad, I love it. Thanks."

I unpacked my stuff as soon as I got upstairs. Now it was time to focus on what I was truly dreading. High school. Forks High School had a frightening total of only three hundred and fifty seven, well with me it will be fifty eight, students. I was going to be the new girl. A freak.

I wasn't going to be what they expected. I was ivory-skinned, without even the excuse of blue eyes or red hair, despite the constant sunshine in Phoenix. I never related well to people my age. That was another reason I wasn't looking forward to high school.

Finding the school wasn't difficult, even though I had never been there. I parked in front of the first building which had a small sign over the front door reading FRONT OFFICE. I went into the front office in hopes of getting directions.

The red-haired woman looked up. "Can I help you?"

"I'm Isabella Swan," I informed her. I saw the awareness in her eyes. A topic of gossip, more than likely. The daughter of the Chief's flighty ex-wife come home at last.

"I have your schedule right here, and a map of the school." She brought several sheets to the counter to show me. She went through my classes for me, highlighting the best route to each on the map, and gave me a slip to have each teacher sign, which I was to bring back at the end of the day. When I went back to my truck, students were starting to arrive. I pulled my truck out of my spot & took it to the student parking.

My first class was boring. Mr. Mason was covering everything I had already done in Phoenix. When the bell rang I wanted to bolt however a boy with hair as black as an oil slick leaned across the aisle to talk to me. "You're Isabella Swan, aren't you?"

"Bella," I corrected him. I noticed that everyone nearby was paying close attention.

"Where's your next class?" He asked me.

I looked in my bag & told him "Government with Jefferson in building six."

"I'm heading to building four. I can show you the way." Definitely over helpful. I fought the desire to roll my eyes. "I'm Eric."

He made small talk on our way to the next class. I answered his questions vaguely. I didn't want to give him the wrong idea. The rest of the morning was just as boring as my first class. One girl sat with me in both Trig and Spanish. She walked with me to the cafeteria for lunch. We sat at a table with several of her friends who she introduced me to. It was there sitting in the lunchroom, trying to make conversation with seven curious strangers, that I first saw them. I first saw her.

They were sitting in the corner of the cafeteria, as far away from where I sat as possible in the long room. There were five of them. They weren't talking, and they weren't eating, though they each had a tray of untouched food in front of them. They weren't gawking at me, unlike most of the students, so it was easy to stare at them without fear of meeting an excessively interested pair of eyes.

They didn't look anything alike. Of the three boys, one was big --- muscled like a serious weight lifter, with dark curly hair. Another was taller, leaner, but still muscular, and honey blond. The last was lanky, less bulky, with untidy, bronze-coloured hair. He was more boyish than the others, who looked like they could be in college, or even teachers here rather than students.

The girls were opposites. The tall one was statuesque. She had a beautiful figure, the kind you saw on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Her hair was golden, gently waving to the middle of her back. The short girl was pixielike, thin in the extreme, with small features. Her hair was a deep black, cropped short and pointing in every direction. She was captivating. I felt my heart jolt just looking at her.

And yet they were all exactly alike. Every one of them was chalky pale, the palest of all the students living in this sunless town. Paler than me. They all had dark eyes despite the range in hair tones. They also had dark purplish bruise like shadows under their eyes. They were all inhumanly beautiful. It occurred to me that others might think the perfect blond girl or the bronze-haired boy were the most beautiful but there was no doubt in my mind that the little pixie like girl was definitely the most beautiful.

As I watched, the small girl rose with her tray – unopened soda, unbitten apple – and walked away with a quick, graceful lope that belonged on a runway. I watched, amazed at her lithe dancer's step, til she dumped her tray and glided through the back door, faster than I would have thought possible.

"Who are they?" I asked the girl from my Spanish class, whose name I'd forgotten.

As she looked up to see who I meant – though already knowing, probably, from my tone – suddenly he looked at her, the thinner one, the boyish one, the youngest perhaps. He looked at my neighbor for just a fraction of a second, and then his dark eyes flickered to mine.

My neighbor giggled in embarrassment, looking at the table like I did. "That's Edward and Emmett Cullen, and Rosalie and Jasper Hale. The one who left was Alice Cullen; they all live together with Dr. Cullen and his wife." She said this under her breath.

Strange, unpopular names, I thought. The kind of names grandparents had. But maybe that was in vogue here – small town names? I finally remembered that my neighbor was called Jessica, a perfectly common name.

"They are… very nice-looking." I struggled with the conspicuous understatement. I thought mainly of Alice, the small pixie like dancer.

"Yes!" Jessica agreed with another giggle. "They're all together though – Emmett and Rosalie, and Jasper and Alice, I mean. And they live together." Her voice held all the shock and condemnation of the small town, I thought critically. My heart plummeted. Alice was with Jasper.

"Which ones are the Cullens?" I asked getting my sense back together. "They don't look related…"

"Oh, they're not. Dr. Cullen is really young, in his early twenties or early thirties. They're all adopted. The Hales are brother and sister, twins – the blondes – and they're foster children."

"They look a little old for foster children."

"They are now, Jasper and Rosalie are both eighteen, but they've been with Mrs. Cullen since they were eight. She's their aunt or something like that."

"That's really nice for them to take care of all those kids like that, when they're so you and everything."

"I guess so," Jessica admitted reluctantly, and I got the impression that she didn't like the doctor and his wife for some reason. "I think that Mrs. Cullen can't have any kids though," she added as though that lessened their kindness.

"Have they always lived in Forks?"I asked. I wanted to know all I could about Alice even if she was straight and taken.

"No," she said in a voice that implied that that should be obvious even to a new arrival like me. "They just moved down two years ago from somewhere in Alaska."

I wanted to ask more about Alice but without her sitting there anymore it would be hard to point her out without Jessica knowing I took an immediate liking to Alice. So instead I asked, "Which one is the boy with reddish brown hair?" He was staring at me with a frustrated expression.

"That's Edward. He's gorgeous, of course, but don't waste your time. He doesn't date." I bit back a smile. She thought I was interested in Edward. So far off base. "Apparently none of the girls here are good-looking enough for him." She sniffed. I wondered when he had turned her down.

I walked to my next class with my new acquaintance Angela. She took her seat. I looked around there was only one vacant seat now. I sighed deeply. Right next to Alice Cullen. I slowly walked back to take a seat next to her. She tilted her head and bit down on her lip. I smiled at her. Her face lit up and she smiled back. "You must be Bella," she whispered. Her golden eyes lit up.

I nodded. I didn't know if I should admit that I knew who she was or not but before I could stop myself the words were flowing out of my mouth. "You must be Alice."

She raised her eyebrow. "You pick up information quick."

The teacher called our attention to the front of the class. I spent the whole period stealing glances at Alice. When the bell rang, I gathered my books and went to leave. I had gym next. How I dreaded gym. Alice sat still. She looked zoned out. I touched her hand. It was cold but it was sending warm shivers though out my body. "Alice, are you okay?"

"I'm fine." She smiled at me. She looked at my hand resting on hers. Her eyes showed confusion. I pulled away & apologized.

"I just wanted to make sure you were okay," I said.

She tilted her head again. "Never apologize Bella. Not to me. Be careful in Phys. Ed." With that she had took off. Her graceful movements still amazed me.

I walked to the gym. I started to wonder how Alice knew I had gym next. I didn't remember mentioning it. Maybe she saw my timetable. That seemed likely but how did she know that I am such a klutz especially in Phys. Ed. I shrugged it off.

I guess I should have heeded Alice's warning about Phys. Ed. I had took a ball to the head. I was fine but dizzy. As I walked out of the gym class Alice came bouncing up to me. "Are you okay?"

"Huh? Oh yea. I guess. How did you know that I got hurt?"

"You are the talk of the school Bella. It is a small town after all."

"Oh." That seemed to make sense.

"You headed home?" She asked me. She looked like she was going to grab my hand, then thought better of it.

"No. I have to go to the office to hand in my slip."

"Oh. Can I walk with you?"

I smiled. I do anything to spend more time with Alice. Too bad she was with Jasper. "Of course you can." I reached out & automatically grabbed her hand.

"That doesn't bother you?" she asked.

"Hmm… What doesn't bother me?"

"Holding my hand. Isn't it cold to you?"

"It's comfortable," I smiled at her. Oh how I wish she wasn't with Jasper.

"You don't believe everything you hear, do you Bella?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean this town talks. A lot. They don't always get it right."

"Oh." She must know that Jessica was telling me about her family.

"Jasper & I aren't together. I know that is what everyone says. But we aren't."

I smiled. It was hard to hold in my joy. "So are Emmett and Rosalie together then? I don't want to fall for any small town gossip."

"Yes. They are. They make it obvious that they are together."

We made it to the office & I handed in my slip to the receptionist. "Did you have a good day, Ms. Swan?"

"Yes I did." I smiled. The truth was I didn't have a good day until I met Alice. Then when she told me she wasn't with Jasper it was the best day ever. I imagined what it would be like to kiss Alice.

Just then I heard her say a soft, "oh."

The receptionist looked up. "I see you met Ms. Cullen. You've been showing her around Alice?"

"Not yet. We just met the period before last but I am sure I will show her around a lot now." She grinned.