The plane ride to this cold wet town was bearable. The car ride from the airport--alone with Charlie--was a different story. We knew my situation well and he was cautious to stay clear to protect myself and his own well being. The car ride was filled with awkward silence but every now and then he would have the courage to ask me questions about Phoenix, about my mom, and about her new husband and I absentmindedly answered each one with a forced smile.
It took us some time to arrive at the house I once called home. It felt different this time—I guess growing up and with newfound eyes I saw it differently from when I was younger. Charlie helped me with my bags and I reached down to grab a lighter bag when his hand made contact with my glove covered hand.
"Sorry." He muttered as he quickly retracted his hand from mine.
"It's ok Ch-Dad." I corrected myself quickly.
"Um…school starts in about an hour if you feel like going today. If not there's always tomorrow." He stated softly and I could tell he was trying not to push too hard. "I know how hard it is for you to be around people right now but I think if you were careful you could start a new life." He suggested.
"What if I hurt people Charlie?" I asked gazing sadly into the gloomy sky.
"You'll be careful. You'll learn to be careful." He advised. "Look Bells, I'm not going to pressure you to do anything. It's a tough time for you—for us—right now and whenever you're ready you can try to live the life you want."
"I'm just scared." I spoke softly.
"I know you are Bells. No one blames you for being afraid."
"I'm not afraid for me. I'm afraid for other people."
"I know you are." He sighed out.
"You know what Dad." I spoke softly after a long moment of deliberation.
"What's that?" He asked.
"I think I'll try it for today and if I feel uncomfortable can I come straight home?" I asked looking into his deep dark brown eyes that mirrored my own.
"If ever you feel uncomfortable or scared there you just let me know and I'll come get you." He assured me. "I got you a surprise but it won't be here till tomorrow but for now let's get these into the house and I can take you." He smiled softly.
"OK." I agreed as he led me into the house.
Nothing much has changed since I left this home so many summers ago. My room was exactly how I've left it. I could only smile to myself as the memories of the past flooded my thoughts. I walked around my small room--side stepping the luggage and bags that cluttered my bedroom floor. I gazed at a picture of when I was younger—Charlie was holding me in his arm in this one and another was when Renee was holding my hand as we walked through the park. I gazed down at my glove covered hands and fought away the tears that threaten to fall from my tired eyes. I wiped away the beginnings of a tear and called out to Charlie.
"Are you ready Dad?" I called through the house.
"Whenever you are Bells." He replied and I caught a hint of concern in his voice.
The ride to school wasn't as torturous as the one from the airport. Now there seemed to be some decrease in tension. We've broken the ice back at the house. He knew I was scared. I knew he was scared. I knew he was worried for me. And he knew I was worried for everyone else.
He pulled the cruiser to the front of the school and came to subtle stop.
"The administrators are expecting you today or tomorrow so they should have your class schedule ready for you. The office should be easy to find." He told me.
"Thanks." I said softly and departed from the car. I strolled to the entrance catching glances from the other students. I heard whisper and murmurs every so often as I passed groups of people. I just hoped they knew to keep their distance.
"Hey! You must be Isabella! I'm Jessica!" A perky girl came up to me suddenly. So much for distance I thought to myself. She offered her hand for me to shake and I hesitantly stared at it for a moment.
"Hi I'm Bella. It's nice to meet you Jessica." I greeted forcing a smile. I reached out with my covered hands and took hers and shook it gently.
"Where are you headed to?" She asked politely.
"The main office. I have to pick up my class schedule." I replied.
"Oh it's this way. Here let me show you." She offered as she linked arms with me and towed me down the hall. The physical contact she felt she needed to give out made me extremely uncomfortable.
We reached the office in no time and she ushered me through the door.
"May I help you?" A middle aged lady asked us.
"Yes I'm Bella Swan. I'm here to pick up my class schedule." I told the lady as I walked up to the counter.
"Ah of course. We're so glad to have you Bella." She said genuinely. "Here's your schedule and here's a map of the school just in case but I'm sure our students will be more than willing to help you dear." She added handing me the two slips of paper.
"Thank you." I told her as I turned and exited the door. I peered at my schedule while Jessica looked over my shoulders to see what classes I had. She just kept inching closer and closer and suddenly she screamed and my heart stopped beating in fear. What have I done I thought to myself.
"Bella! Bella! You're in my first period!" She exclaimed in excitement.
"That's great." I forced out.
"C'mon it's this way." She told me as she linked arms again and dragged me through the halls greeting random people every so often. Most of them told me their names but I barely knew whose name goes with which face--I met so many people it got confusing.
We finally made it to class and I gave my slip for the teacher to sign.
"Welcome to Forks Isabella." The teacher greeted.
"It's Bella." I corrected him courteously.
"Of course. Please find an empty seat." He suggested.
I looked around the room and found an empty desk in the back. I practically ran to the desk to avoid the inevitable stares and greetings from the other students. I sat down and desperately tried to become invisible but those wishes were long gone out the window.
"Hi Bella. Welcome to Forks." An angelic voice spoke. I was hesitant to turn at first but when I did I saw the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. Her skin was pale which only complimented her pixie like hair and her golden eyes. Golden eyes? I have never seen those before but now I realized they are the most entrancing of eyes.
"H—Hi." I returned her greeting stuttering from shear shock from her beauty. Why would this model like girl talk to a simple ordinary—correction plain looking girl like me?
"I'm Alice Cullen. It's nice to meet you." She introduced herself extending her pale hand.
"It's nice to meet you too Alice." I hesitantly shook her hand and even with gloves on I felt the sting of her icy cold hands.
"Are you cold?" She asked noticing my shiver.
"Just a little bit." I answered looking down my hands.
"It can get a little cold around here at least today isn't as bad as it could be." She pointed out. "You're covered up like you are going to Alaska or something." She smiled at me warmly as she noticed my attire.
"I get cold really easily." I lied.
"Understandable. So where are you from?" She asked.
"Um…Phoenix." I replied meekly.
"Drastic weather change." She replied.
"Bella I'm so glad you're in my class!" Jessica said in excitement as she took a seat in front of me.
That was the last thing Alice said to me before the teacher began his lecture. Every so often I would gaze through the veil of my hair and look at her beauty. She stared off in the distant not once paying any attention to the teacher. She looked as if she was in her own little world never noticing my intense stare. The class—lucky for me—flew by quick and so did my other classes with little incident. I met a few genuinely nice girls and some charming boys throughout the day but as expected I tried to keep a distance—for their sake.
Lunch period arrived pretty quickly as I navigated through the halls and students to find the cafeteria. The room was pretty loud as conversations from different groups of students stacked on top of one another and silence was nonexistent. I got into the line and grabbed a bottle of lemonade as I gazed around the lunch room trying to find a solitary table I could hide at. I quickly found one—I paid for my drink and made my way over to the table managing to only trip once. I felt eyes on me as I moved across the cafeteria.
I sat down facing the cafeteria with the wall to my back and studied the room of students. I continued to gaze around noticing some people I've met since I've been here. Most of them were still in line. I continued around the room and then my eyes fell on her table—Alice. She was sitting there with four other people. One girl and three guys—they were just as beautiful as she was. Their beauty far surpassed the mediocre standard that was at this high school.
I continued to stare—I couldn't help myself—and then they all looked up at me simultaneously. Embarrassed about being caught I quickly tore my eyes away from their table. Their beauty burned an image in my mind and yet one of them stood out the most. He seemed to be the youngest of them all and truthfully the most angelic. His bronze hair and golden eyes burned their image permanently in my mind. I dared another glance and my eyes met with that beautiful angel. We stared intently at one another for what seemed like centuries and then he broke his concentration and turned back to his family. I noticed his mouth move to say something but I was too far to hear. But somehow I knew they were speaking of me because after he was done they all turned their attention to me once again.
I quickly looked away again and stared at the line and noticed that Jessica and some other people I've met were headed towards me.
Great I thought to myself. Can't they sense that I'm dangerous to be around?