Bella loves the weekend. The freedom, the fun, the break from school and studying. She wants nothing more than to hang out with friends, laugh, dance, go out and get drunk. She spends most of her time with Rose and Alice, her two best friends who have recently acquired new boyfriends. This forces her to spend time with her absent and intriguing lab partner; Edward Cullen.
Follow her and her friends over the course of a single weekend in which everything is the same and everything changes.
This is an all-human story. Some OOC behaviour. Rated M for swearing and some mature themes. All recognizable characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. Any music references belong to their respective owners. No copyright infringement intended.
When it gets too much
I live for the rush
Got some money to spend
Living for the Weekend
The bell shrieks loudly and a stampede of students flee the classroom. I gather my books and give the floundering teacher a small smile. You can tell she's new by the way she waited until the end of class to give the homework assignments. Now we can all pretend to not have heard her. I would feel sorry for her rookie mistake but I get caught up in the swell of eager students in the hallway.
I allow myself to be swept to my locker where eager chatter and weekend plans fill my ears. The sense of anticipation, the relief that comes at the weeks end, is thick in the air and I am almost giddy.
It's only lunchtime but that won't quell the Friday Feeling.
I stash my bag and navigate my way towards the exit. A tampon sails pass my head; a favor from one senior girl to another. Shyness has no place in these hallways. I'm just grateful they aren't sharing condoms.
I don't hate school. Truly I don't. Learning can be fun and routine suits me. Without school, how would I appreciate the weekend? But it's banal and I feel hemmed in and the only redeeming feature is the occasional time my biology partner shows up.
I reach the outside and breathe deeply. The air is fresh and I am grateful to be free from the musty school scent - stale lunches, stinky freshmen and whiteboard markers- that no amount of air freshener will cover. The sun is bright and the wind is slightly cold and I like the way it wakes me up.
"Thank fuck it's Friday." I greet my friends Alice and Rose who wait for me at the gate.
"Truth." they agree and we link arms to walk to lunch.
My girls don't got to school with me. Perhaps it would be more bearable if they did. Alice attends some artsy school outside town where they sit on beanbags and talk about feelings. Her closest friend is the janitor. She's just not quite odd enough to fit in there. In my school she'd be a freak. Rosalie is slightly older. Her mom home-schooled her so Rose could concentrate on her modeling career without something as trite as education getting in the way. The day she turned eighteen, she enrolled in the local college to study engineering and now she only works when and if it suits her.
I am lucky to have friends like these. Before I met them, during my time with the New Girl stamp on my forehead, I spent my lunches with Jess. A nice enough girl with whom I had little in common and I always ran out of something to talk about before I'd finished my sandwich. The first time I met Alice, I was crying in the bathroom in the mall. An over-eager stylist had persuaded me to get highlights in my dark brown hair. Promised natural blondes and reds turned out to be yellows and oranges. Alice took me home and showed me her hat collection. Her best friend Rosalie came over with Nice 'n Easy in natural dark auburn and we never looked back from there.
They've taught me a lot, about life and myself, and I've never felt more at home with anyone else.
Together we stroll over the bridge towards town. The crosswind almost blows my uniform skirt up around my waist. I had the sense to wear leggings this morning so I leave it whip around my legs. I have learned that it looks much better to not react and just go with that kind of thing.
"How was school?" Rose asks sympathetically.
"Newton tried to engage me in a riveting game of Hangman during Spanish class." I answer.
"And how did that go?" Alice says.
"Great," I roll my eyes. "His word was boobies and he drew some on the stick figure. My word was imbecile and he spelled it with an 's'."
We chuckle and enter the diner. Billy's is the kind of place where the menu has illustrative photos which in no way resemble the food served. The waitresses have backcombed hair and acrylic nails and blow bubbles while they take your order. The jukeboxes don't work. Instead pop songs are piped through tinny speakers at a volume so loud you have to shout over. We love it here.
The diner is buzzing with the lunchtime crowd and we are lucky enough to find a vacant booth. I slide onto red mock-leather, rearrange my skirt and peruse the menu.
"So what's the POA for the weekend?" I ask. I normally leave it to the girls to make the plans. It's easier that way. I pretend not to notice the look the share above their menus. I know it means we'll be with the boys. That's cool with me. I like Emmett and Jasper. I don't feel like a fifth wheel or at least I try not to. I only feel uncomfortable when they try even out the number and that discomfort is not for the reason they think.
Out of all the boys who want Rosalie, she had to fall for my lab partner's brother.
"Emmett said something about DVDs and pizza in his place tonight if we're interested." Rosalie replies.
That's code for watching them make out in the dark but I nod anyway.
"And we're def hitting the club tomorrow night," Alice continues. "I've got a new dress that is just screaming to be worn. We can get ready in my house first."
That's code for getting giggly tipsy before we go anywhere and I can't wait.
"Fine by me," I agree. I need the release of a mad weekend to keep me sane. God knows, it's the only kind of release I'm getting.
A pretty young waitress comes to our table. It must suck to have to serve all these immature assholes at lunch. They act like they're better than everyone and I fell sorry for Kim in her grease-stained apron. We order the unhealthiest stodgiest food available. It's tradition. We need soakage, to line our stomachs for what's ahead and to just relax. We eat salad during the week but now we need burgers. Plus I've got a wad of cash in my pocket just waiting to be spent.
Ordinarily I am careful with money. I work part-time, I save my money for college and don't like to be a burden to my parents. But when I get guilt money in the mail from Phil by way of apology for taking my mother away from me, well I spend that like it's burning a hole in my pocket.
We laugh and gossip while we wait for our food. I listen while they gush about boyfriends and the wonders of love and lust. I'm not a bitter singleton, I just have little to add to the conversation Their relationships are new and exciting and their cheeks kind of glow when they talk. It makes me feel a little bit lonely and a little bit left out - like that year in summer camp when girls were filling bras and I was wearing an undershirt.
My mind wanders. I think about feeling that tingle they speak of. Would I even recognise it? I think I'd know it. I think of biology class and my neck gets warm.
"Earth to Bella," Alice waves her hand in front of my face. "God, are you even paying attention?"
"Sorry," I shake my head to clear it. "What were you saying?"
"Is it true about Lauren and Tyler going at it in the supply closet?" she continues.
I nod and lean in conspiratorially. There's something about that Mallory girl that bring out my bitchy side.
"She was caught on her knees beside the mop bucket. Apparently that creepy James guy opened the door at the most inopportune moment and caught the whole thing on his video phone." I say.
"That's wrong on so many levels." Rosalie grimaces and shakes her head.
Alice sighs. "Nothing like that ever happens in my school."
"And that's something to be eternally grateful for," Rose tells her. "Would you prefer if James still went there?"
"God no." Alice shivers. "That psychopathic bastard is gonna appear on America's Most Wanted one day. Mark my words."
"Look," I incline my head in the direction of the booth opposite. Lauren and her posse of wannabe Gossip Girls are crunching on rabbit food. Who goes to a greasy spoon diner to eat lettuce?
She waves - a sly little wiggle of her fingers- and a dollop of creamy salad dressing drips from the corner of her mouth. What can we do but burst into uncontrollable giggles?
Then, Rosalie's sparkly phone buzzes and sings at us from the table. The interruption brings our giggling to a halt.
"Hey Em," she croons into the phone.
Alice makes a gagging motion that sets off another round of laughter and Rose flicks the wrapper from her straw at us. I catch snippets of her conversation.
"…ya we just ordered….me, Alice and Bella…see you in a sec." She hangs up and addresses us. "The boys are on their way here."
Alice whips out a compact and applies some more lilac lip-gloss. It kind of makes her resemble a corpse. My gaze travels towards the door and I have to squint because the fluorescent lights are in my eyes.
Emmett walks in first, all brawny and full of life. He's followed by Jasper, who is pushing his blonde hair out of his eyes and walking with this inimitable sense of ease. I notice them, naturally. Everyone in the vicinity with a working set of ovaries does.
But I don't really see them.
All I see is Edward.
Edward Cullen. My absent lab partner. Emmett's younger brother. The only guy who makes my heart beat faster.
He's trailing behind them with his hands in his pockets. His distinctive mop of hair shines under the fluorescent lights his pale skin is complimented by a slate grey hoody. He's the closest thing to perfect I've ever seen.
I wish I wasn't wearing my uniform. I wish I straightened my hair this morning. I wish I hadn't misspelled organism that one time in bio. I wish all these things while Edward saunters through the diner and then I pray he will sit beside me.
The others are doing that slightly awkward half-standing, kiss on cheeks greeting thing. I wave hello at Emmett and Jasper, while Rose moves to let Jasper slide in beside Alice. The food comes and the boys order more and the whole time I'm just watching Edward hang back.
He has three option. Squish in beside Emmett. Pull over a chair from another table. Or sit next to me. I resist the urge to pat the vinyl seat beside me.
"Do you mind?" he asks, nodding to the empty space.
"Oh no, of course not," I mumble, hating the heat I feel in my cheeks.
The seat dips with the weight of his body and my heart rate spikes. This feeling isn't new to me. The rare times he comes to biology incites this in me all the time. But then, it's more formal and our shoulders don't touch like they are now.
"How are you anyway, Bella?" he asks.
"I'm good thanks. And you?" My voice comes out too high.
"Fine," he smiles.
I unwrap my cutlery in an attempt to mask my instinct to swoon.
"How's school?" he continues and it seems like he's being a bit of a smart-ass.
"Alright," I tell him, finally remembering that I have a voice and a personality. "Y'know, for those of us who actually attend classes."
He smirks at my dig. "Why bother? Life is so much easier my way."
Yeah. Easier. And isolated.
"Speaking of easy," he continues. "Did you finish the bio assignment?"
"Yup. It's not due 'till Wednesday but I'll email it to you before then if you want to look over the finished product,"
He shrugs. "Whatever suits you."
We've reached the end of the road in terms of things to talk about so I begin to concentrate on my food. I can feel Lauren's eyes on me from across the aisle. Lunch with the elusive Edward Cullen is breaking news to the likes of her. She's one of his many female admirers. I wonder is he even aware of the effect he has on people. He's good-looking and charming and mysterious. I compare their misplaced feeling to having a crush on a celebrity - fun but ultimately pointless.
Sometime I place myself in the same category. He sits beside me for maybe an hour a fortnight if I'm lucky but what do I really know about him?
I know he sometimes writes in green ink. I know his email address and that he always signs off with the word 'best', because that's how we deal with shared assignments. He does his half, I do mine and we email them to each other. No after school study groups for us.
I know his dad is a doctor. I know his brother is his best friend. I know he's smart and he never goes to school. Rumour has it he bribed the admin office to always mark him present. Some say he's a genius. Others say he pays people to do his homework.
But one time I saw him in the college library, hunched over a desk with papers all around him. His eyebrows were creased with concentration and he was furiously highlighting passages. So clearly he does have to study to get those perfect grades.
I know he drinks straight vodka - no ice. I know that when the sun shines his hair looks the colour of an old penny and it makes a v-shape on the back of his neck. I know he hates onions and never dates.
But none of these things mean that I know him, no matter how much I try and tell myself otherwise.
Frustrated by my secrets, I listen to Jasper and Rose bicker about last night's game. It means nothing to me. I stretch across the table for the ketchup, not wanting to interrupt the conversation. My arm isn't long enough to reach and I'm about to get up but Edward passes it to me.
"Thanks." I mutter gratefully.
My fries deserve my concentration again. I stab one with my fork and use my knife to smear it with ketchup. I pick up my burger and catch sight of Alice delicately nibbling hers. Rose is actually feeding Emmett fries in a nauseatingly cutesy way. I want to gag but instead I tear off a ginormous chunk of meat. I spear another fry and paint it red.
Blood rushes to my cheeks and paints them red too, when I notice Edward watching me intently. Discreetly, I check my reflection in the napkin dispenser. After ascertaining he's not gawking at some hideous blemish I return his stare. Most people would look away, avert their eyes in natural action.
Not this guy. He captures my gaze and holds me in place. It strikes me that this is the first time he's ever looked me straight in the eye. I can't look away. Why would I even want to? His eyes are greener than I had thought and full of a weary intensity. Why won't he let me look away?
Kim comes back, her arms shaking from the weight of the laden down tray. The moment has passed and we all go back to eating. Alice kicks me under the table but I ignore her.
Edward uses his knife to cut his burger in half. He looks inside before he bites. He eats his fries with a fork and spreads his ketchup with a knife. If he wasn't sitting on the outside of the booth, I think I might fall off my seat with the illogical elation that action brings.
We share a smile and then I duck my head. Why does he turn me right back into an awkward pre-teen? My hair forms a curtain across my shoulders that I leave closed.
The boys become engrossed in the serious business of eating so us girls chat among ourselves. We plan outfits and schedules. We argue about what movie to rent later. I relax again slightly though I can never quite forget Edward's presence beside me. It's like my body is aware of him, even when my mind doesn't want to be. Inwardly, I sigh. When did things get so complicated?
When the food is gone and Emmett and Rosalie's game of footsie has gone as far it can in a public place, it seems like a good time to leave. We all toss our money on the table. Edward picks it up, tidies up the notes and adds extra for the tip.
Outside, I turn to go one way and everyone else goes the other.
"Aren't you coming Bella?" calls Emmett. "I promise I cleaned up since the last time."
Huh? I turn around, confused. They can tell.
"To Emmett's," Rose reminds me. "I thought you said you were going to hang out with us."
"Now?" I question. "But I'm meant to go back to school."
"Live dangerously," teases Jasper. "I'm sure you won't miss much in one afternoon."
I stand and blink, considering my options.
I could be a good girl, go back to school and diligently take notes. I could listen to that Miley Cyrus song we secretly like on my iPod and wonder how on earth I can relate to tween pop tunes about stuttering.
I could go hang out with my friends, start the weekend early. I could use that time to surreptitiously continue to mentally stalk Edward Cullen. I could be rendered feeling left out and awkward.
"Come on Bella," Edward turns around and waves at me to follow. " Ditching a couple classes never hurt anyone. Trust me."
The problem is, I do trust him already. That could definitely lead to hurt.
But it's the weekend. I don't want to go back to school. I want to have fun.
My mind is mind up for me and I wonder if his hands have some kind of magnetic pull. I fall into step beside them and inside I'm whooping with the freedom of it all.
Thanks for reading! Reviews are always welcome!