I got the idea for this story while I was brainstorming with my buddy ApterousAngel. Thanks dude, you bring the most random/cool ideas out of me.
When I stepped out of my new, though technically old, Chevy truck and gazed upon the school that had just recently enrolled me, I saw my second chance. The priceless chance, which I didn't deserve in the slightest and yet still obtained. I couldn't fathom how unbelievably lucky I was. Seriously lucky. I, in no way, thought it to be plausible for me to be presented with such a golden opportunity, so when it appeared, I grabbed for it with no intention of letting go and now I was left to wonder how wise such a choice was.
Swallowing the lump in my throat that rose along with thoughts of how my luck always diminished, I took cautious steps forward. A tiny sign nailed to a nearby brick wall directed me to the office and I followed the arrow hesitantly. I drew nearer to my destination, eyeing the school's main building, which towered over me in a domineering stance.
As I peered through the glass doors that surely led to the schools office, the downside to all of this reared its ugly head, uninvited. The unfortunate truth was, this wasn't just my second chance, it was my last chance.
"Hi, I'm Isabella Swan," I said shakily, the smell of polished furniture and the sight of the receptionist's friendly smile attempting to calm my twisted nerves, but they were wound too tightly and allowed nothing to break through their density.
"You're quite early," she reassured kindly. Her words annoyed me, even though they were meant to be a show of hospitality. It doesn't take a genius to know what time school starts and of course I was early for my first day. I needed to know where my classes were so I didn't have to ask anyone for guidance. No, there was nothing wrong with asking for help. But doing the expected and latching onto the first person to offer help like a lost child was something I didn't want to do. I wanted to show others that I was capable of navigating my way around without holding anyone's hand. "I have your class schedule and a map of the school to help you if you get lost." Well finally, the redhead has done something that sits right with me!
I gave her what I hoped was a thankful smile since my expressions were never cheery under pressure. I accepted the slip she handed to me, though I wasn't too keen on having to stand in front of the class while the teacher I had that period signed it for me. But I couldn't say anything as the receptionist flashed me one last smile, this one tighter, which gave me the impression that she was wordlessly telling me to get a move on. Without thanking her for her service, I quickly left to figure out where every class I had today was, not bothering to dwell on my lack of manners.
When I found and memorised my first two classrooms, students started to arrive, but I didn't pay attention to them and lowered my head to hide my face under the hood of my jacket. I continued on to find my third room, hoping that my early arrival to each class would broadcast my independency.
However, that wasn't even a consideration. As soon as first period had ended, a guy came up to me and offered me the help I'd been trying to avoid. I turned him down in a kind manner, but the hurt on his face made me loosen up a bit and I promised I'd ask for his assistance if it was needed. Not that I would need it. That seemed to satisfy...Eric, yeah that was his name, and he left me alone after that. And as classes passed, I began to recognise faces, but it still wasn't getting any easier to ignore the curious stares I was receiving consistently.
I just wanted to be old news.
When a girl named Jessica was courageous enough to talk to me and welcome me into her group at lunch, I felt less alienated. She was nice enough, but I still censored myself, only speaking when asked a question. I didn't need to worry about awkward silences though because once we were seated at a lunch table, there were enough people to keep a constant flow of conversation. I was okay with being the shy new girl. I was better than being the crazy freak girl. Yeah, I know, weird nickname. No one actually called me that, but after what happened, I wouldn't be surprised if it was my new label back in Phoenix, where I used to live with my mom.
I was momentarily trying to restrain myself from devouring every ounce of food in front of me. It was so hard taking small bites when I could probably eat everything on my tray in one go. I had a huge appetite, but trying to fit in meant I had to eat like an average teenage girl would. 'Which means hardly eating at all,' I growled silently to myself, savouring the apple bite in my mouth. I inhaled through my nose as I chewed and stopped myself from taking another bite. I sniffed the air again and once more after that. Something smelt...odd. I studied the cafeteria, seeking out the source of the smell that was starting to make my stomach churn. As I found my targets, my skin began to crawl unpleasantly in a familiar warning of danger. Danger... One of the many things that could destroy the frail peace I had sewn together with a weak thread of hope.
Sitting at a table that seemed to be secluded from the rest were five kids with untouched lunches. The smell was coming from them. One scent stood out in particular, but I couldn't tell which one it was coming from. They smelt so similar to each other. But what struck me into complete shock was something all five of them lacked. Not even the functioning bodies around them could block the fact that none of those kids smelled like a human.
I took in their faces one by one when I had the chance, knowing that they would probably figure out the exact same thing about me that I did them. There was a muscled boy, a body builder maybe, with short black hair whispering something to the beautiful blonde girl next to him. Then there was a lean, blonde boy sitting on the opposite side of the body builder. My eyes moved on to the tiny girl beside him, but once I took in her short, black hair sticking out everywhere messily and her small frame, I couldn't continue onto the boy beside her because she was staring right at me. Even from this distance, I could make out the spectacular topaz colour of her eyes. I swallowed my admiration and looked down at my food. She was unnaturally beautiful, just like all the others sitting at that table, but her appearance was strangely amplified, as if she was the only item worth cleaning while the others remained untouched on the shelf of outcasts.
"Who are they?" I asked Jessica suddenly, nodding in the group's direction without looking. I knew that girl was still watching me; the feel of two topaz orbs burning into my skull was hard not to notice. I dared another glance and I watched as she leaned forward, eyes drifting around the circle of nonhumans at her table.
"Do you smell that?" I heard her ask clearly, as if she was sitting right next to me. I kind of wish she was. My hearing was very acute as long as I focused on what I wanted to listen to and something gave me the feeling that she knew this. The kids around her nodded stiffly and I knew they were focusing their eyes on me now, which gave me a very uneasy feeling. Once the lingering flame of their eyes on me died away, I lowered my head and sniffed my hair. It didn't smell bad at all and I met the pixie girl's eyes again with a questioning look. The change on her face was miraculous as a hint of a smile touched the corner of her lips and I couldn't help but smile myself.
"Those are the Cullens; they're the adopted children of Carlisle and Esme Cullen." I heard Jessica say. She named each one, but I only listened when she named the one that had been holding my eyes. "That's Alice Cullen, I'm pretty sure she's going out with Jasper." I watched Alice glance at the blonde boy, Jasper, and shake her head. No, she wasn't going out with him. Jessica was wrong.
"Alice," I practiced saying the name, low enough that it would just be an undecipherable momble to human ears, but Alice's eyes met mine again and she flashed me a lovely smile. I tried to return it, but I was sure it would reflect the confusion I was feeling. Something about that smile invited me in, the beauty of it had sent my heart racing. The bell rang and I watched as each of the nonhumans stood up and left with a grace that stunned me. I had been a klutz in the years before I changed, but now I was steady on my feet, though nowhere near as majestic as the five nonhumans. Alice was just as small as she looked while sitting down. It was somewhat cute watching her dance, and I mean dance, away with the much taller members of her family. My grin was one of amusement as she past by me and I felt a little fuzzy inside when she winked playfully at me.
My heart sped up with anticipation while my stomach gave a perturbed flip when I walked into my biology class and saw only two seats available after the teacher signed my slip. There was one next to... I wasn't sure what his name was but he was 'related' to Alice. She was part of an adoptive family, I remembered that much. The other vacant seat was beside...
My legs instantly led me to the back of the room to the seat next to Alice without a second thought.
"Hi," I breathed as I sat down. I wasn't sure if it was my imagination, but I swear her chair was suddenly closer to mine.
"Hey," she replied with a sort of excitement coating her tone. Her voice was soft and enticing, high-pitched like those little jingling bells people went crazy with at Christmas. "You're Bella Swan," she announced, already grasping the fact that I liked the abbreviation of my name. It wasn't much of a surprise that she knew me. The name Swan instantly brought on images of my dad Charlie, who was the police chief of Forks. And everyone who knew him would certainly know he had a daughter. Sadly, there weren't many secrets in this underpopulated town.
"And you're Alice Cullen," I countered, watching as her eyes lit up a fraction more. My danger instinct had settled and left nothing but an enjoyable warmth growing as I relished in Alice's proximity. I observed her topaz eyes for a while, not sure how to voice the words that constantly plagued my mind. Her smile remained in place and it almost looked like she was waiting for something. Whether it was what I wanted to say or not didn't really matter as sparkling irises urged me to speak my mind. "You're... not human," I finally said.
"Neither are you," she replied nonchalantly, her chin resting in the palm of her hand as she leant her elbow on the table.
"What are you?" I asked, pushing things a little too far over the personal boundary.
"Not human, like you said." I frowned slightly at her avoidance. It wasn't wrong that she kept it secret, not at all, but something about not knowing bothered me. I tried to ignore the anger arising in me, knowing that the emotion could lead to some unwanted past re-enactments.
"I understand," I said with a nod and looked to the front of the class. Of course, no one would have heard us talking, but I needed to smother the little sizzle of anger I was feeling and morph it back into polite curiosity. My animalism wouldn't get the better of me. Well... not again, anyway.
I took in a breath, preparing to release it as a sigh while the boring repeat of a class I'd had at my old school droned on in the background. But the sigh got caught in my throat and I exhaled normally just to take the air in hastily through my nose again. What the hell kind of perfume is Alice wearing? It was like a flouriest combined with the candy shop, powdered with the overwhelmingly sweet scent that each member of her family carried. It was also convenient because it didn't sting my sensitive nose like a lot of other girls' perfume did. Geez, whatever it was, it kind of made me like being around her even more. How the hell does that work out?
"What are you?" she finally asked and I stopped my pondering, raising an eyebrow as I did so.
"Why would I tell you if you won't tell me?" She nodded as if she'd been expecting my answer. I sighed a little and rolled my eyes. "If you knew what I was going to say, why even bother asking?"
"I was hoping you'd be captivated enough by me to let the answer slip," she admitted with a teasing smile.
"Oh please, it's going to take a lot more than looking cute and being elegant on your feet to captivate me," I said, returning her earlier expression. But it faltered once I realised that I had unintentionally confessed that she was cute. I was such a loser when it came to talking to pretty people!
"I'll be sure to try harder then," she whispered, her voice rich with what I thought, though couldn't believe, was seduction. I caught her eyes and there was something swirling in them which sent my heart rocketing and sent shivers through my being. She was gradually drawing me in with an invisible line that had tightened around me and she hadn't even said anything remotely sensual! It was pathetic how foolish one could act at the simple change of tone in someone's voice. But, then again, she is really good looking...No! I wouldn't stoop to such a level! I didn't even know what she was! I quickly ripped away from her hypnotic stare and gave a disproving scoff. She seemed surprised, but it was effortlessly overtaken by an exited smile beaming with a fascination that made no sense to me. Was she happy that I broke that bizarre hypnosis thing?
"What?" I asked her as she continued staring at me in amazement.
"You're very different." Was all she said, her expression never changing.
"Well, thanks, it's always nice to know that from a fellow freak," I muttered, looking back to the front of the class. I didn't plan on actually listening to what was being said, but hopefully Alice would leave me alone if I pretended to. Though all thoughts of ignoring her vanished once her sweet laughter reached me. It was almost like she was singing a miraculously mind-blowing symphony for my ears only. I watched her in awe as her quiet laugh came to an end and I felt the need to applaud her for allowing me to hear such music.
"I like you," she announced casually, her excited smile melting into a warm one and I was appalled at myself. She could be some kind of supernatural-eating monster for all I knew and I wanted to reach over and hug her!
"I like you too," I responded without even a reason to back myself up. I knew nothing about this girl and yet I liked her? No wonder I wasn't human, I was too weird to be one. I decided that the only way I could justify my words was to actually find out some more things about Alice. Of course, there would be questions too personal for either of us to answer, but I could surely get some decent information that could, at least, classify me as a friend.
But things didn't go the way I wanted them to. Alice had different ideas and begun interrogating me about why I moved here and how I was liking everything so far. I left out a lot of details, but I still told the truth. One of them being how I hated getting water in my socks because it made you feel unpleasant and grouchy until they dried. Aside from that, all I had found out about Alice was a little bit of details about her family and that she was a fashion addict.
I wanted to know so much more, but the bell rang and interrupted one of my questions and I frowned because her 'brother', whose name I found out was Edward, was pulling her away before I could finish. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end as a warning when Edward glared at me on his way out of the room, his hand firmly grasping Alice's arm, who was smiling dreamily in my direction and giving me a finger wave. I had no time to respond as she was dragged out of my sight.
By the end of the day, I hadn't even seen a glimpse of Alice. I wasn't happy about it, but I had tomorrow to have another shot at friendship with her. Once I went to the office and handed in my slip, I was planning to go straight home, but, of course, the once welcoming receptionist wanted to know how my day went. I didn't want to be rude so I answered her question and five minutes of time I could have used to get home had been wasted on our small talk.
I hurried to my truck once I had escaped and pulled out my keys. I tensed as I was about to insert the key into the lock. Something was very wrong. I could smell Alice's scent, growing stronger as I inhaled deeply. She was closing in and I knew she didn't intend to reduce her lightning speed. I was too slow to react and wouldn't have time to turn around so I braced myself for impact, hoping it was enough to stop myself from smashing through my Chevy as if it were made of fragile glass. Her rock hard body slammed into my back forcefully and I had glued myself to the ground firmly enough that I only leaned into my Chevy lightly.
"We're going to be best friends," Alice whispered into my ear and I shivered as her cold breath tickled my ear. My previous thoughts of remarking on her sudden attack left my mind as I felt her temperature seep through my jacket. Because of what I was, normal temperatures seemed colder but Alice... Alice was like a huge block of ice. I struggled against her strength and she gasped when I actually unhooked her vice grip just so I could turn around and wrap my own arms around her petite form. I never enjoyed the cold before, but feeling her hard, freezing figure squashed into me made me change my mind completely. The clashing of our opposite temperatures was a new experience for me and my insides danced with a foreign warmth.
"I hope so," I mombled, breathing in the inviting aroma Alice possessed before I released her thin shoulders. I knew the other nonhumans were waiting for her, probably growing impatient and it wasn't right to hug someone for so long either, even your newly made friend, who felt really nice when she was pressed into you. Alice was staring at me, her breathing uneven and her hands still lingered on my hips, as if she was deliberating whether she should let go or not. I was pleased to have an effect on her, but something very important was missing. While my heart soared with delight in my chest, hers didn't. Alice didn't even have a heartbeat now that I focused hard enough. I thought my senses were messing with me and reached out for her chest. I was too curious and didn't pull back when fire met ice once more. My hand rested over the place where her heart should be and all I felt was the soft rise and fall of her chest. No heartbeat. I met her eyes in bafflement and opened my mouth to say something.
"I'll see you tomorrow," she quickly said, interrupting me before I could let out my flood of questions. She bolted over to a sliver Volvo, with clearly inhuman speed I might add, and disappeared inside of it as it sped out of the parking lot. The curiosity turned to need at that moment. I wasn't going to respect her privacy any longer. No heartbeat, freezing skin, incredible speed and strength; I needed to know what she was. If Alice really did want to be my friend then I would have to know if I was safe with her not. There were certain beings that I should avoid and if Alice was one of them, then we just couldn't have a friendship. No matter how much it surprisingly kills me to say so.