Chapter One: Teacher Work Day
I took a deep breath before stepping out of my blue Corolla. I mustered all the courage I had and walked into the school office.
"Excuse me," I said, catching the attention of the two office secretaries. One was the blonde cheerleader type and the second was the brunette wanna-be type. "I'm the new band director, Bella Swan."
"Welcome to Jones Middle School," the brunette said. "I'm Jessica and this is Lauren." she pointed to the blonde next to her and they both smiled widely and insincerely.
"The band room is on the second floor and your co-worker, Mr. Cullen, is already there. You'll get a chance to meet the other teachers at lunch," Lauren told me, still smiling. I nodded and thanked them to be polite before climbing the flight of stairs. The hallways were eerily quiet, but that's because the students won't be attending until tomorrow. Today was a day for the teachers to get their classrooms ready for the first day of school.
A "Nice," escaped me as I took in the band room. It wasn't too big for the number of students, but the rows wouldn't be cramped. One wall was covered with cubbies for instruments and music, one for every student. There was a low platform for the conductor with four rows of chairs and percussion instruments in the back of the room. Directly in front of me, behind the platform, the ceiling slanted down-ward. I knew the room had great acoustics. I slowly made my way up to the platform and I felt perfectly at home looking out over all the chairs, imagining them filled with young musicians.
"You must be Ms. Swan," a soft said from directly behind me. I jumped and swirled around quickly, attempting to stay upright. But, being me, my foot slipped off the back of the platform and I fell directly on my ass. I blushed before I found the courage to look up and face the person who had just witnessed my fall.
Just my luck: the man who witnessed my fall was the most gorgeous being I have ever laid eyes on. He was about eight inches taller than me, with messy (AKA sexy) bronze hair hanging down over emerald eyes. He had defined cheekbones and his lips curled up into a humorous smile, although it wasn't mocking. And that was only his face. My blush deepened and I'm sure I looked like a tomato. After what felt like an eternity (though it was probably ten seconds) I managed to say something.
"You must be Mr. Cullen." He nodded slightly and reached his hand down to help me up. I grabbed it and he pulled me up without any effort of my own. When it came time to release his incredibly soft and warm, I regretted having to do so.
"Call me Edward, Mr. Cullen makes me feel old," Mr. Cu- Edward told me with a comfortable smile.
"Then I'm Bella. Twenty-two is far too young for titles." My blush was fading and he made me feel at ease.
"So, you've seen the band room. Our office and the rooms for sectionals are across the hall, would you like to see them?" he asked politely.
"Sure. By the way, do you know anything about our schedule, class sizes or anything?" I hadn't been told anything except for what I'd be doing, not when, where, how many.
"Yes, the schedules and information were on my desk when I arrived. We can look at it that later." Edward led me out of the band room, across the hall, and into a little office with two desks, a printer, and a locked cabinet that held reeds.
"Which desk is mine?" I asked, excited that I have an office and a desk. Edward pointed to the desk closest to the door and I sat my backpack on it. I tried out the chair and, much to my delight, it was a spinny chair. I leaned back as far as the chair would allow and propped my feet on the desk.
"Don't flip it over," Edward warned in a serious tone, but his lips flickered up into a smirk. I crossed my arms stubbornly.
"I'm not going to fa-" My last word was cut off as I started to lose my balance and tilt backwards. I grabbed onto the desk to stabilize myself before hopping out of the chair. I took a step backwards to distance myself from what was sure to be my demise. Edward's soft, musical laughter filled the small space, bouncing off the walls.
"I'm sorry; it's rude of me to laugh. Do you want to see the rooms where you'll be doing sectionals before we look at the schedule?" he asked and I nodded, letting him lead me into the hallway. There were four doors to the right of the office. Edward opened the door to one and I saw about fifteen chairs set up around a much smaller platform than the one in the band room.
"So, are the other three like this?" I asked for clarification.
"Yes, they can all fit fifteen comfortable and twenty squished," he stated matter-of-factly. We walked out of the sectional room and back to our office. I pulled my chair in front of Edward's desk and he spread out the schedule it read:
8:15- Swan= beginner saxophones
Cullen= beginner tuba/baritone
9:15- Swan= beginner clarinets
Cullen= beginner French horns
10:15- Swan= off period
Cullen= 7th grade band
11:15- Swan= 8th grade band
Cullen= off period
12:45- Swan= beginner flutes
Cullen= beginner trumpets
1:45- Swan= beginner percussion
Cullen= beginner trombones
END OF DAY
"I am so excited! They let me teach what I asked for!" I got a job and I like it, I sung in my head.
"I get to teach what I like too. What's your instrument?" he asked, his voice curious.
"I played the flute throughout school. What about you?" I pegged him for a… soft jazz sax.
"Trumpet, though I've always liked jazz." Well, I got the jazz part right. "We should leave now if we want any lunch," Edward suggested. We stood up, walked down a flight of stairs, and came to a yellow cafeteria. It was your average lunchroom, but the yellow. "Would you like wilted salad or out-date beef?" Edward muttered under his breath as we went through the line.
"I think I'll take the salad," I grumbled. Edward also chose the salad. We started to look for a place to sit when two men waved to Edward. One was lean and blonde; while the other man was tall, buff, and intimidating. Edward waved back and led me over to their table.
"Edward, my man!" the buff guy greeted him loudly, giving him an awkward (on Edward's side) fist bump. The blonde man, in contrast, merely waved.
"Bella, the blonde is Jasper Whitlock and the other is Emmett Cullen. Jasper, Emmett, this is Isabella Swan," he introduced us, always the gentlemen. I shook hands with them and sat down at the table. The salad, when drenched in ranch, wasn't all that bad if you didn't chew it or notice its texture. Lunch was a ten minute ordeal and the conversation was over the students.
"You ready to go?" Edward asked as soon as the last bit of food entered my mouth. I was getting the impression that Edward wasn't a big people person. Once again, he led us back up the staircase and into the band room.
"What needs to be done before tomorrow?" I asked, surveying the room.
"I've already laminated all the name plates of all the students, they just need to be taped onto the cubbies." The next couple hours were spent cutting and taping every students individual name plate. I had to use a chair to reach the top cubbies, something Edward found amusing. For the very top row, I had to stretch up onto my toes. I knew this was a bad idea, but I wasn't going to admit to Edward that I couldn't do it.
"Edward, can you hand me more tape?" I asked, still facing the cubbies on my toes.
"Sure, hold on." I turned around to look for him. Bad idea. Today was an extra clumsy day for me, apparently. The toe of my shoe slipped and I tumbled backwards off the chair.
I prepared for impact, only to fall into waiting arms.
Bella's body was lighter than I expected. This is the third 'incident' today alone where she could've caused herself some serious bodily harm. As her frame settled into my arms, I felt her warmth seep into my chest. I noticed her smell: sweet and floral.
"Thank you," she whispered softly. Her blush was cute and endearing.
"I think I should do the top row from now on," I suggested. She nodded and I realized that, much to my dismay, it was time to put her down. I sat her gently on her feet before taking her place on the chair. For another half hour, we worked quietly on finishing the name plates. Once all the names were taped, I found myself staring at Bella from across the office.
Her head was bowed over her lesson plans, her long hair tucked behind her ear. Her nose curved perfectly all the way to the end and it crinkled adorably when she thought hard. Bella's mouth was frowning slightly, trying to figure something out in her head. I caught myself before I started thinking about her eyes. I really can't have these thoughts about a co-worker. Bella interrupted my thoughts before they went farther with a sigh and packed up her bag.
"I'll see you tomorrow, Edward," she shot me a sweet smile.
This is going to be a strange year.
AN: So, this is my new story. Its been in the back of my head and I couldn't leave it alone. I will try to update all my stories in a cycle, so we'll see how that works. The title has nothing to do with the cover of Twilight. It's a play off of the olden days when students gave their teacher an apple to suck up.
FUNFACT: I like updating in the morning before school so I have a lot of reviews and emails when I get home.
My unofficial Beta, Music ADD, has done AMAZING things for this chapter. It was rough and I knew it. After she worked her magic, it has turned our a lot better. Thanks for reading and I like reviews, Emma