Reality


Don't be afraid of the space between your dreams and reality. If you can dream it, you can make it so.

- Anon


School passed slowly, the minutes stretching to seem like hours, as I longed to be out of the place. These days, school was just an awkward obligation; I'd long given up the notion that I actually had real friends here. Sure, I had acquaintances - people that would say hi to me if they passed me in the halls, or ask me what the homework was for Spanish, but nobody I could call a companion. I had no-one that I could call up just because I wanted to talk, or hang out with aimlessly. I was used to it. I would smile back at the people that said hi to me, but the smile would never reach my eyes. I would tell whoever asked what our Spanish homework was, but as usual, the conversation ended there. I tried not to let it get to me. In a year and a half I'd be leaving for college, with a chance of a fresh start and the opportunity to make real friends. I could barely wait.

Scottsdale High was more institution than school. Chain-link fences surrounded the three storey building, with metal detectors to greet us at the main entrance. The grey bricks of the main building reminded more of a prison than the high school it was supposed to be. It was a big school as well, catering for over 3000 students, making it easy to get lost in the blur of high school life. There were plenty of times when I felt claustrophobic in the halls, as throngs of students pushed past me, looking straight through me as they hurried to their destination. At times, it was like I wasn't even there. It was a hectic atmosphere, one that could easily overwhelm someone who wasn't used to it. No wonder I preferred the solitary pursuit of reading than group activities, such as spirit rallies and football games. There seemed to be something wrong with me in that sense, as I could find no-one I could really connect with.

I was extra clumsy today, and for the second time in a month, I walked into someone's open locker door, not paying attention to where I was going. People where used to my clumsiness by now, but that still didn't stop their staring when they noticed me on the floor. I simply smiled and picked myself up off the ground, attempting to hold onto whatever little dignity I had left. That wasn't much. I'd inherited my crippling clumsiness from my father, who was the police chief of a tiny town in Washington state. I saw him once a year, every summer for a few weeks, so I was more inclined to think my clumsiness was genetic, rather than something I had picked up by watching him. We spoke on the phone every so often - I wasn't completely cut off from him - but sometimes I wished I could spend a little more time with him. He was my dad after all. Unfortunately, a distance of over 1000 miles stopped that from happening.

I was suitably bored by the time dinner ended. I had taken to eating in the library, behind the large bookshelf in the classics section. It was slightly less pathetic than eating lunch in the cafeteria alone, and it allowed me ample time to read. I was much more interested in nineteenth century England than school gossip anyway. However, my day was going horribly and I had just discovered some long forgotten biology homework, questions on DNA replication, which was due in today. I spent my lunch hour frantically trying to recall the phases of mitosis and meiosis, as I attempted to finish the questions before the lesson, last period.

My day was made worse by the monotony that came with English. It used to be my favourite lesson, but there was only so many times you could go over Shakespeare before even it lost its magic. I listened to the rhythmic tic of the clock. Tic- tic – tic... wasted seconds turning into wasted minutes... It was times like this when I believed that school was pointless. Somewhere between the teacher explaining the plot of Romeo and Juliet for the second and third time I tuned out. It was so frustrating. I already knew this.

I put my head down on the desk. It wasn't as if anyone would notice. I was sat at the back of the room, and the only person with a direct view of me was the teacher, who was too busy trying to convince the rest of the class that Shakespeare actually was interesting to care what I was doing. I felt oddly tired, like I hadn't been getting enough sleep, though I knew I was getting the required 8 hours a night. I could feel my eyelids dropping as the sound of the classroom faded away. I tried to force them open. How stupid was I going to look if I fell asleep...

"Bella," A new sound entered my consciousness. It was a beautiful sound, instantly calming me for some unknown reason. I recognised the voice instantly.

"What do you want?" I asked, exasperated, I really didn't have time for this. I was supposed to be trying to stay awake in my English lesson. I didn't think to wonder how worried I should be that I was hearing voices in my head.

"It's Edward," came the reply. His tone had changed, instead of sounding surprised it was now... resigned?

"Edward?" I repeated, wanting to make sure I'd got it right. It fit, I supposed. Everything about the way he spoke screamed nineteenth century gentleman, his vocabulary especially. I didn't think that reading too many classics had affected my brain at this point.

"Yes," it sounded more like a breath.

"What are you doing in my English..." I began to ask.

"Miss Swan?" Another voice called, pulling me back to the present.

"Huh?" I said, raising my head from the desk and trying to remember where I was. I heard a few snickers from the other students in the class, amused by my blank-out. The teacher sighed in exasperation, rolling her eyes slightly. I had fallen asleep in my English class. Brilliant.

"I wanted to know your views on the importance of time in Romeo and Juliet."

"Err..." I tried to snap myself out of the post-sleep stupor that filled me. I shook my head one in an attempt to clear it. Yes Bella, you do have views on this topic. "I think time is very important."

"Care to expand," I wondered how much trouble I would get in if I gave the smart answer. Apparently I didn't think too much of the risk, as before my mind had even registered it, I was giving my answer.

"It is crucial. Shakespeare mentions time a lot in this play, like he's trying to signify that life is short, and we should make the most of it. Romeo and Juliet are married after knowing each other for one day, they are dead three days later. The couple seem to be racing towards their demise, almost like it's inevitable. It's as if they are fated to die. They get a taste of love, but they don't have time to appreciate it."

"Excellent answer Miss Swan." She said, "But next time, let's leave the sleeping to your home hours,"

My classmates snickered again. I groaned internally. My streak of bad luck was set to continue.

My mind was filled with him, as I walked home. Edward, I reminded myself, my own voice a poor imitation of his perfect musical baritone. I had never had recurring dreams before, so this was a strange experience for me. One of my mother's many 'phases' involved decoding her dreams and burning lots of incense. That was before the pottery classes, but after her yoga obsession. I was usually dragged along to her many classes, as she couldn't convince her new husband to join her. I mainly humoured her, her phases lasted little longer than high school romances. Not that you would know anything about that. I wondered if we still had the book she used somewhere in the house. I couldn't be certain, but resolved to look anyway.

I sat cross-legged on my bed, dream book in hand, a few hours later. It had been located after a short search at the bottom of the book shelf in the living room, next to a book on 'making your own floral arrangements' and another on the 'art of wine tasting'. I hadn't been invited along to those classes. I had taken a glass of water up to my room with me, and was sipping it as I flicked through the pages, trying to find something about the events of my dream. It was alphabetical, so naturally, I came to forests first.

'Forests' I read 'often signify a transitional phase in your life, normally when you are faced with a major decision. The natural aspect of the forest suggests you follow your instincts.' I groaned. It was one of those books - the kind that gave out vague descriptions so almost anyone could relate it to their own personal life. I didn't know why I'd bothered reading it in the first place. I flipped through more pages, searching for S.

'Stars indicate a major decision. You are putting some decision in the hands of fate or luck. It can also mean you are searching for something, or aspiring for greatness.' Again with the decisions. As far as I knew there was no great decision looming in the near future in my life. The most I had to decide was what to wear in the morning. I shook my head at my own stupidity. Clearly I was reading far too much into my dreams.

Something at the bottom of that page caught my eye as I went to shut the book. By the entry for 'Strangers' a single line was written; 'something unexpected is about to happen.' It stood out, different from the other entries by the length of the analysis and the sense of foreboding it created within me. That could mean anything, I told myself, but that didn't stop the feelings of unease that filled me.

Phil, my mother's husband, called for me before I had much time to analyse further. He was home from baseball training early, strictly minor league, and had opted to cook tonight. Besides me, he was the only decent cook in the house; we had both made a mutual decision to ban my mother from the kitchen, her 'adventurous' recipes were never very appetising. It was a miracle we both hadn't died from food-related illnesses before she married Phil. I decided to put the dream out of my mind, convinced I was thinking too much about it and my mystery stranger.

That night I dreamt of him again.


Disclaimer; I still don't own Twilight.

A/N; So I couldn't stay away. I got over 100 hits on this story within two days of posting it, which really shocked me. So I guess I'm continuing this. Still not sure on where I'm going to go with this, but I'll give it a shot. Thanks to mz(.)spiffy, my ever loyal reviewer (who is always offers encouragement and support with my work), and spellbound-99, for reviewing the last chapter. It's always nice to know what people think of my writing. And thank you to you, for reading this. If you have any questions about this, please review and I will do my best to answer them.

I just invented a high school for Bella to attend as I couldn't pick which one she would go to, and I didn't want to sound silly to anyone who actually went there when I described it wrong.

Grr... sorry about how long it took me to get this up. I was all set to do my final edit on Sunday night, but fanfiction had other plans. That glitch seriously annoyed me. I'm glad its fixed now.

Reviews make me really happy *hint hint*.

Perhaps a little preview of the next chapter will sweeten the deal?

Ostentatious Querida =]