Summary-

Why did Bella really leave Phoenix?

Was it because she wanted her parents to be happy?

Or was it because she was unhappy?

Is Bella really as selfless as everyone thinks?

It was the beginning of September, which meant that it was time to go back to school. I hated school for many reasons.

1. All the girls developedover the summer. Not me.

2. All the girls were tanned. Not me.

3. All the girls were beautiful. Again, not me.

I was made fun of constantly for the way I looked. Compared to all the other beauty queens at my school, I looked plain. Maybe it wasn't so much as being compared to the other girls at my school, but just people in general. I knew that I had a low self-esteem, but it didn't make a difference because I wasn't the only person that knew I looked ordinary, I got the great pleasure of being told by everyone at school. There's another reason to add on my list of why I hated school. I had never told my parents that i was being bullied at school, because they had worries of their own. My parents had separated when I was a baby. I went to visit my father Charlie (police chief of Forks Washington) for 2 weeks every summer. I don't mind it since Charlie and I were never really that close, and I had my mother's boyfriend Phil to be my replacement dad.

There was never a right time, to tell my mother Renee, since Phil was in the middle of his base-ball season, which meant they were out of town most of the time due to his, out of state games. Didn't she care about me at all? I had decided sometime in the middle of grade 9, that I wouldn't tell my mom. It's not like she could do anything. I was 14, and needed to start solving my own problems. Grade 9 turned into grade 10, and suddenly grade 10 had turned into grade 11. Nothing had improved.

Today was the first day of school, and I was most definitely not looking forward to the on-coming torture from fellow students.

I woke up to my I-pod speakers blasting Jamie All Over By Mayday parade.

I rolled over to turn off the alarm, and sighed as I lifted myself of the bed.

I walked downstairs only to find that my parents were gone. Again.

There wasn't even a note, no words of encouragement, or words of wisdom, on my third year of high school, no sign that she had even thought about me when she left, at god knows what hour of the morning.

Sigh

You're important to absolutely nobody Bella.

As I thought to myself I noticed that my mother had left her cell phone on the counter. Either she didn't want me to get in contact with her today, or she simply didn't know she left it behind. My mother and technology are on whole different levels. Neither one understanding each other.

Today was already off to a rough start, but I could tell that it could get a whole lot worse, and in fact it was going to.

I got ready, and out the door on time. Today I was wearing a black and white hoodie, with jeans. Ordinary clothes, for an ordinary girl.

I walked out and noticed that they must've taken my mothers Toyota because Phil's blue ford focus was the only thing left in the driveway. I was told specifically from my parents that if I had ever damaged that car, that the repair costs would come out of my college fund. Great. A car is higher up in their priority list then my education.

I walked to the car, got in, and drove at a safe speed to my awaiting high-school. A safe speed was usually 10-20 KPH below the speed limit. I'm danger prone and need to be extra careful, especially in Phil's car. I had my college money to save.

I arrived at the Arizona high school, parked the car and got out.

I tensed my body as soon as the voices started flowing around me.

"Ugh. Not Bella again. She's such a joke."

"Tell me about it. I heard she's adopted because her parents didn't want her."

"I heard her parents sold her!"

"Well I heard her parents keep her locked in a basement."

The rumors get worse and worse each year, but it's the pain they cause me that never gets any better. I don't think you could possibly get used to this kind of thing.

I walked through the school parking lot, trying to hide from all the people staring. I just wanted to step into a corner and shut the world out.

Knowing I couldn't do that I walked slowly to my locker and put my books away.

"Oh look its boring Bella."

I tried to turn around to see who was talking about me. Bad Idea.

The next thing I knew, my face collided with the door of my locker.

Everyone started laughing at me, and mocking me.

I couldn't take it anymore. I ran to the bathroom, in attempt to hide the tears that were ready to fall down my cheeks, and was humiliate me more.

As I was running down the hall I could still hear the faint teasing of kids behind me.

"...Well now she's broken-nose Bella."

I got to the bathroom, and hid in a stall, as I heard people come in.

I peered through the opening in the stall door, and saw that it was Chloe and her group friends.

Chloe was a tall, thin blonde, and stunning. She had all the boys after her, and all the girls wanting to be her.

Chloe's sidekicks were Danielle, and Mandie. Danielle had shoulder length straight brown hair; While Mandie had shoulder length wavy mahogany hair. Both girls were shorter than Chole by a couple inches which complemented the group as Chloe was always standing in the middle.

Danielle and Mandie never spoke unless it was something they knew Chloe would approve of. Such as making fun of me.

Chloe and I used to be best friends back in Grade 2. That was when she had a "crush" on a boy named Jordan. One day Jordan had asked me if I wanted to play with him at recess. Not knowing the consequences, I agreed. When I came in from recess with Jordan, Chloe walked right up to me and slapped me in the face. The teacher wasn't around so Chloe never got in trouble. She hadn't said a single nice thing to me since that day. I didn't miss the loss of me best friend anymore, she had changed, and I didn't like the person she turned into.

Chloe and her group had never done anything to me physically. They had just hurt me repeatedly with rude remarks and comments. It sounds like I'm being a baby, but to put up with it for 9 years was tough.

I sat in the stall with my feet on the toilet, so that they wouldn't know I was there. I heard them planning something, but I hadn't been paying attention. I was too busy trying to forget the incident, with my face colliding with my locker, and the laughter that followed.

When I heard my name mentioned a few times, I finally started to realize they were talking about me.

I had missed most of the conversation, but something in the back of my head told me that I should pay attention.

"...Bella's face would be priceless." Danielle stated.

Would? Great.This meant that they were planning on doing something to me.

"...yeah can you imagine how she'd react...she'll probably be crying. ...makeup running down her face" Mandie added

"What if she's not wearing makeup?"

"Why wouldn't she? She would have to; to cover up that hideous thing she calls a face."

Ouch. That mildly stung. I was used to being called clumsy, boring, even ordinary... but hideous? Though maybe I could find away around their plan, because it's true I did cry easy, but I only wore makeup on special occasions. There wasn't anything I could think of coming up soon. I was starting to get confused.

Pay Attention! Shot my conscience.

I listened harder, but I couldn't understand what Chloe was saying because the hand dryer was on.

".......the dress....... Bella......humiliated.....prom...."

I didn't start to think about anything, in case the girls were going to go into more detail about this. I needed to know more. As I heard the door to the bathroom close, I walked out of the stall, and leaned against one of the main walls in the bathroom like the conversation had aged me. Then it hit me.

Prom! That's a special occasion. Something I'd wear makeup to. A dress. They'd do something to my dress. Humiliate me. Make me cry, which would end up humiliating me more. But at prom of all places. I knew I had to get out of the school for a little while. I didn't care about the call my mother would get from the school saying that I had missed my classes. I didn't care about where I was going, or who saw me leave. I just had to escape.

I got to the parking lot, and jumped in the driver's side of Phil's car. Slammed the key in the ignition and pushed down the gas petal. I sped through Arizona at 110 KPH not caring if I got pulled over. Luck was on my side as I got home without being arrested. I parked the car, ran up to my room, and threw myself on my bed. I lay there crying for who knows how many hours, when I heard my mom knock on my bedroom door.

"Honey? Are you alright?"

"Yeah Mom I'm fine, just a little tired. It's been a hard day at school" I replied lazily.

"Ok, well you know you can talk to me about anything."

"Sure mom."

"Well Phil and I are going to be heading off to bed soon, so get some sleep alright?"

She didn't wait for my answer. I heard the door close; I got into my pajamas, grabbed my bag of toiletries, had a shower, and went to bed.

The next four months were all a big blur, because in the back of my mind I had known that something bad was going to happen on prom. I had to do everything I could to stop it. But how?

End Of December

I could only faintly hear people's voices anymore, since I had closed myself in a shell, since the semester had started. I closed myself off, but the one person who I forced myself to close because of, had also been the person to bring me back to the real world

It was the day before Christmas break started and everyone was in a hurry to get home, and away from school. I was just gathering my books from my my locker when I heard Chloe mention prom. That struck something in my mind, which forced my brain back in motion. Prom was getting too close, and I needed to do something before it was too late.

I got to the car, and was about to get in, when I lost my footing and slipped on the ice underneath me. The holiday season brought great joy, but also brought snow, and ice. This for me meant a lot of bruises and trips to the hospital.

I didn't listen to all the laughing and teasing, that was going on around me; I got up, opened the car door, and drove off. Today I was finally going to do something, about the problem with Chloe.

I got home to find my mother, and Phil sitting on the couch watching television. When they noticed I was home, my mother turned from Phil, and mentioned that Charlie had called.

I was halfway upstairs to my room, when I figured the quicker I called him the quicker the conversation would be over.

I walked back downstairs to the kitchen phone, since the phone that was usually in my room broke when I slammed it against the wall when I had gotten mad at something Chloe had done.

I picked up the phone and dialed Charlie's phone number, and waited for 3 rings. I was convinced he wasn't home, and I was about to hang up when he answered.

"Hello?"

"Hi Ch-Dad."

"Oh hey Bells. What's up?"

"Uhm.. Well you called today?"

"Oh yeah, that's right, I did. Well I just wanted to know... if.. well...uhm"

Charlie wasn't very good with getting to the point in a conversation. Now I know where I got it from.

"What did you want to know dad?"

"Well you see, you haven't exactly spent a Christmas down here in Washington, since you were four. So I was wondering if you know, you could possibly come down here this year."

This was the opportunity I was looking for, something to get out of this dreaded city, and away from Chloe, and her friends.

"Of course Dad. I'd love to spend the holidays with you. When do you want me down there?"

The rest of the conversation was just confirming what day I'd be going down there, when I was coming back, and if I would be ok being on the plane alone. I told Charlie I would be fine. I was 17 not 7.

After the call had ended I went up to my room, and figured I would get my homework done now, so I wouldn't have to worry about it later. My work only took a couple hours, so I had a shower, got into my sweats, and went to bed. The next morning came, and was officially the holidays. For about 2 weeks I would have no more school, no more Chloe, no more teasing, and no more humiliation.

A trip to Charlie's would be good, since this could be the only way I could save my self from what could be the most embarrassing moment in my entire life.

I woke up, and went downstairs to make everybody breakfast. It seemed like no one in the family but Grandma Swan, and I could cook.

Breakfast was simple. French toast, with sausage, and eggs.

When we all sat down at the table, I told my mom and Phil, about me leaving for Charlie's tomorrow.

They thought it would be a great idea. I knew they only thought it was a good idea because they could spend time together without leaving the house.

After I did the dishes, I went up to my room, and started packing what little winter clothes I had. Arizona's weather was nothing close to what I would have to endure, down in Washington. Phoenix was warm and sunny, whereas Forks was cold, and constantly raining.

I would have to get used the rain though if I was going to be moving in with my dad.

In my opinion I would take rain over Chloe any day.

Packing the things I would need took less then an hour, so I read my beat up copy of Wuthering Heights to pass the time.

I finished the book in time to start making dinner.

I headed downstairs and took out the ingredients I would need to make fried chicken.

After we had finished dinner, I headed upstairs to have a shower, and climb into bed. I would have to get up early to catch my plane in the morning.

I fell into a dreamless sleep, and before I knew it, my alarm was going off. I looked up to see that I was late. 40 minutes late! This could not be happening. I ran around my room, trying to find clothes to wear, thanking my lucky stars that I had everything already packed. I ran a brush through my hair, and threw it back into my bag, quickly brushed my teeth and called a cab, to take me to the airport. I looked like a mess.

I boarded my plane with less then 3 minutes to spare. After 17 years, luck was finally on my side.

Once the plane landed in Port Angeles, I walked over to grab my luggage, and went to the parking lot to find Charlie. It wasn't a very easy thing to do since he wasn't the only Police man there.

Once I found him, I loaded everything into the trunk of his cruiser, and was sucked into a very awkward hug. After a few mumbled greetings we got into our respective seats, and drove off towards Forks.

I spent the car ride looking at the passing scenery; everything was a blur of green. When we finally pulled up to Charlie's house, we both got out and around the car to grab my luggage. I only had one suitcase, and I insisted on carrying it. It didn't take long for Charlie to give in.

I walked into my room, and noticed that nothing had changed since I last stayed here. Every time I came down to visit I would be interested in a new color or style, and it wasn't worth redecorating every time if I would only be there two weeks.

Charlie walked in behind me, and after I put my suitcase down on my bed, I turned to see Charlie leaning against the door frame, looking out of place.

"I'm just going to unpack now."

He didn't move.

"Okay."

... Awkward silence.

He was gazing up at the ceiling, and not paying attention.

I cleared my throat to get his attention.

"I'll be downstairs soon, to start making dinner."

"Alright."

He pushed himself off the door, and walked downstairs. Charlie usually doesn't hover, but he probably feels like he's not being a good father, if he leaves me alone too much.

Just like putting my clothes into my suitcase it didn't take very long to take them out.

I walked downstairs to find ingredients to make something for dinner. Charlie had next to nothing in his fridge, besides beer.

I told my dad I'd be going into town to get some groceries. He told me to take the cruiser since he didn't have a regular car.

I quickly turned down his offer, saying that I needed to walk off the jet lag.

I walked along the main highway with my hair in a pony tail, big sunglasses, and a big heavy parka. I was never the one who liked to be noticed by anyone. Finding the grocery store wasn't that hard. There were very few stores in this town, and the layout seemed pretty basic. The main stores, where you could find the things you needed were on a four way intersection, then a few stores branching of the main road into town. After that you were headed on your way out of town.

I walked into the grocery store and only found a few handfuls of people. Half of the people inside were people that worked here. I couldn't imagine what people did in this town. It's so small and boring.

I walked around, gathering what i would need to make lasagna. I walked to the front of the store, and pai with the money that Charlie had given me before I left. I made a mental note that I would come back tomorrow, to fill Charlie's empty fridge.

I walked back the same way I came into town, and ended up at the house, not even 35 minutes from when I left.

I put my coat and boots away, and headed towards the kitchen to make dinner.

I found a note on the counter from Charlie.

Bella-

I didn't have time yesterday to take today off, and I forgot to tell you.

So you can make dinner, and put it in the fridge, and I'll reheat it when I get home.

Make yourself comfortable, and I'll be home as soon as I can.

-Charlie

After I ate dinner, I put what I knew I wouldn't eat in the fridge for Charlie, then sat down at the table to call Renee.

I got the answering machine, so I included in my message that I would send her an in-depth e-mail the day after tomorrow, telling her how my stay was.

I hung up, and did the dishes, then decided to watch TV.

After getting bored with cable, and its 60 something channels, I headed upstairs to have a shower, and get ready for bed.

I dreamt that I was in a forest with a few people, when it started raining and got darker by the minute. Finally after trying to get out of the rain, I found a tree that I could use as a big umbrella. I stood under it, and waited for the rain to die down. In front of me I saw a faint shadow, and as it walked closer to me my heart rate picked up drastically. As the shadow was about to walk into the moonlight, and expose who he was he let out a musical laughter that stopped my heart. I reached out to touch him, but before I could, there was a deep howling in the distance, and before I knew it he was gone, and I was sitting in my bed, covered in sweat.

Great. My first night in Forks, and I'm already having nightmares.

I went downstairs and found Charlie lounged across the couch watching a football game.

"Good mornin' Bells. Great dinner last night, it tasted amazing."

"Thanks dad."

"Yup. So what are you doing today?"

"Well I was planning on doing more grocery shopping, so that I can make dinner every night."

"Oh that's great, before last night I haven't had a home cooked meal, in years."

"Oh." Was all I could say.

I walked into the kitchen to grab a pop tart for breakfast.

I walked back into the living room, and asked my dad for the money to do more shopping. He handed me the money, and told me to take the cruiser. Knowing that I wouldn't be able to carry everything, I reluctantly accepted.

I drove down the highway and got stares from everyone, and anyone that was in eyesight of the car, knowing that a small 17 year old girl, wasn't supposed to be the one driving it.

I shyly tried to take myself out of view from all the glances, hating how much attention I already got on my second day.

I walked into the store, now familiar with the aisles, and gathered things we might need.

After paying for everything I loaded the bags into the trunk and drove back home.

I unloaded everything into the fridge and cupboards, and decided that I'd go sit with Charlie, since it was the intermission. I sat down on the recliner and turned facing him.

"Dad I wanted to ask you something."

"Sure Bells what is it?"

I needed to ask if I could move in with him, and this could be my only chance to get away from Chloe for good.

"CanImoveinwithyou?"

"What?"

I took a deep breath and steadied my self.

"Can I move in with you?"

"Oh."

A look of shock came across his face, then he sat back and within seconds he was beaming.

"Of course you can. I'd love for nothing more. Does your mom know?"

Shoot. I forgot about that part.

"No, but I wanted to ask you first, since it is your house."

"Well if your mom says it's ok then you it'll be yours to."

I jumped up from the chair and ran to him, saying thank you repeatedly.

I made dinner for us, and we sat down and talked about what we would do with my room, and the shared bathroom, if I was allowed to move in.

After Charlie helped me with the dishes, I had a shower, and got ready for bed.

The next morning came quickly, and I had my repeated nightmare of hiding from the rain, someone laughing, and then a howl. It really confused me, and I didn't know what to make of it. I shrugged it off, and got dressed. Charlie had gone to work, so I took the time to walk to the library and send an e-mail to my mom since Charlie didn't own a computer.

I included in the e-mail, how Charlie still didn't know how to cook, how green everything was because of the rain, how small the town was, and how much I missed her. I ended the e-mail saying how I'd be home in about a week, and how when I got back I had something to ask her.

The days at Charlie's house were becoming routine. I'd wake up, make us breakfast, he would go to work, and I would start on the daily cleaning and chores. While the laundry is running, I would sit down with a book or watch T.V. I'd put the laundry away, then start dinner. Charlie got home by the time dinner was done. We sat down, watching some kind of sport, while eating our dinner. When we were finished I'd go do the dishes, then have a shower, and go to bed.

When it was time for me to go, Charlie and I had become more comfortable around each other, and less awkward. We had regular conversations, and joked around. We were both sad that I was leaving, and not even sure if I would be aloud to move in. If Renee said I couldn't, then I wouldn't see him again till July, for my annual visit.

I boarded my plane, and headed back to Arizona, hoping that my luck hadn't run out.

After I got settled back into Phoenix, it was dinner time, and we were all sitting around the T.V watching a baseball game, with Phil criticizing, everything that players did wrong. When it was a commercial, I muted the T.V and turned to my parents.

"Mom when I sent my e-mail, I wanted to talk to you about something, and I think that now would be a good time to ask. I was wondering if I could maybe stay with Charlie until I graduate, since I haven't seen him in a while, and I know that you sometimes miss some of Phil's games to stay with me, so I think that this would be better for everyone."

My mom looked at me then Phil, then back to me again.

"Honey is this what you want?"

"Yes."

"Then of course, you can move in with Charlie."

We talked for a bit during every commercial, about when I would be going down to Washington for good. We had decided that I wanted to spend some more time, with my mom, and the sun. I'd have to get more winter, and water resistant clothes. Plus Renee needed time to sell the house, since her and Phil would be moving to Florida.

We decided that the middle of March would be the only appropriate time. I didn't care when it was, as long as it was before prom.

It was finally the night before I was leaving to go to Forks. I had everything packed and ready for my journey tomorrow.

I went to bed dreaming of laying in a meadow that was being showered with a light spray of mist, and I was finally happy.

I woke up grabbed my suitcases and headed out the door. I loaded my luggage into the trunk and Climbed in the back seat.

My mother drove me to the airport with the windows rolled down. It was seventy-five degrees in Phoenix, the sky a perfect, cloudless blue. I was wearing my favorite shirt, sleeveless, white eyelet lace; I was wearing it as a farewell gesture. My carry-on item was a parka.