This is my first fan-fic. Please review and let me know if I should continue or if I'm really way off base. Thank you in advance!
Finally, I sealed the envelope. I had been staring at it for my entire free period struggling with whether this was right thing to do. I'd never interfered with the outcome of this assignment before, but I had to believe that I needed to do this, because I was doing it for Alice. The thought of her name made my eyes fill with tears that I quickly brushed away. I couldn't let anyone see me cry, not about this. There were eyes everywhere. At any moment someone could walk in and they would know what was making me so emotional. I couldn't let them see that. I had to be the strong one.
Here in Forks Middle School, I am the seventh and eighth grade English teacher. This has been my home and place of employment for the last four years. I love my job. I love exciting kids about literature and poetry. I love the fact that I get to spend two years with every kid in this school. I love that after spending those two years with them, I know the intimate details of what makes each one of them tick. I love it when those kids come back to visit me reaffirming that I have made a difference in their lives. They have definitely made a difference in mine.
"Miss Swan, can we come in?" Completely immersed in my own thoughts, I jumped when Jasper Whitlock called my name even though he said it in the most quiet and soothing voice.
"Of course, come in, come in." I said as I quickly wiped the last remaining tear that was about to give me away from my face. I watched as my fourth period English class filed in to take their seats. I quickly read over the names as I took attendance. Everyone was here, everyone except for Alice. When I said her name, it was like a cloud fell out of the sky and weighed down on the hearts and heads of all her peers.
"Miss Swan, Alice is in the hospital again. She has an infection but is doing better. Mrs. Cullen told me to tell you that she would be back in a couple of days." I gave Jasper a sympathetic look to let him know that I understand how much he's hurting. Jasper and Alice had been inseparable since the second grade. They had a connection that was way beyond their years.
I met Alice Cullen a few years ago when her older brother, Emmett, was in my class. But it wasn't until last year that I really got to know her during seventh grade English. Her personality was infectious. I felt like a better person just knowing her. She had confidence, grace, and a compassion for others that was undeniable. She was also a real firecracker! She didn't take crap from anyone and she always made her opinions very clear.
Her parents were amazing. They made teaching so easy. Her father, Dr. Carlisle Cullen, was considered to be one of the best physicians in the state of Washington. Her mother, Esme Cullen, had her own house restoration business. She turned complete dumps into showcase homes. Despite their demanding occupations, they were always present at every school play, football game, parent conference, PTA meeting, and more. They were involved in every aspect of their children's educational and extra-curricular career. After having Emmett in class for two years and Alice more than one year, they had insisted a long time ago that I call them by their first names. We had become close friends over the years.
They were the perfect family. Everyone in Forks envied the bond they shared, but no one could ever find a reason not to like them. They seemed indestructible. That is until last summer when Alice took a nasty spill on her bike and was bruised from head to tow. At first it seemed like she was going to be okay, but as the weeks went on, the bruises got worse, not better. Carlisle immediately had her checked out by multiple specialists. After what seemed like a thousand tests, Alice was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. This rocked the Cullen family, the entire community, and myself to the core.
How do you tell a thirteen year old girl that she might die? Suddenly, all the things that should be important to a teenager just weren't anymore. What she was going to wear, who was dating who, how she was going to get her parents to take her to mall. These things all seemed so trivial now. Staying alive was her first priority and with that came an infinite number of doctor appointments, constant medical tests, and grueling chemotherapy treatments. Things no child should ever have to think about.
Alice at first took the news hard. Who wouldn't? She cried and asked "why me?" However, once the initial shock was gone, she fought it head on. When her chemo treatments caused her to lose her short, black, spiky hair that was her trademark, her parents wanted to have a wig custom made for her. She turned them down. She simply stated she was not going to hide her cancer under fake hair. She wanted to be a reminder to everyone that they should not take anything for granted. She was the sick one yet she became a role model for living life to the fullest. She refused to be treated any different and lived as normally as she could. She sung in the talent show and had a role in the school play. It was a small role because she couldn't make all of the rehearsals and tired real quickly. However, everyone knew that she was talented enough to be the lead. She had already declared in third grade that she was going to be an actress and no one doubted for a second that she wouldn't make it in Hollywood.
"Miss Swan? I finished my tree poem. Could you please read it?" I had been in my on little world for most of the class when Jane brought me back to the present. I immediately put a smile on my face and began to read. Every one of these kids deserved to have my undivided attention, especially when poetry is involved.
When Jasper confirmed what I suspected, that Alice was in the hospital, I realized right then and there that sealing that envelope and mailing it was exactly the right thing to do.
I had given the assignment last week. I had assigned it in previous years and it always seemed to work out well. We were practicing proper business letter format and I didn't just want them to write a random made up letter. They were boring to write and even more boring to read. I told the students to choose someone they admire, explain to them why they admire them, and then ask for some words of advice. The kids came up with some pretty interesting people: politicians, sports stars, teachers, parents. All in all I was pretty pleased with their letters. Some of them were really good.
Then I came to Alice's. The letter itself was exceptional. It was obvious she did multiple drafts. It was concise, insightful, and demonstrated proper format to a tee. However, when I saw who she was writing too, my heart just sank.
Edward freakin' Masen. Shit.
There was no way Edward Masen was going to answer her letter. She had a better chance of hearing from the Pope himself. Edward Masen was Hollywood's next big up and coming actor. He was said to be a genius on the screen and has already won an Oscar. However, his real life left little to be desired. He was known as a player and was linked to a number of women. He was reckless and often pulled little stunts that got his picture in the newspaper, usually in a compromising position. He was obnoxious and reveled in it. And he was fucking gorgeous.
I decided that I was going write Mr. Masen a letter of my own to include with Alice's. She had never mentioned the cancer in her letter and would probably give me a piece of her mind if she found out what I was about to do. She did not want pity, but I was desperate. If there was any chance that telling Edward Masen about Alice's cancer would get him to write a letter to her, I would tell him a thousand times.
He just had to write her back. He couldn't be that heartless, could he?
I woke up to the most God awful sickly sweet smell that made me want to vomit immediately. My head felt like my brain was trying to explode out of my eyeballs. I looked around and realized I was not alone.
What the fuck happened last night? Okay, think, Masen.
After dinner with friends we decided to hit a local club and check out a new band. I really didn't want to be recognized so I wore a hoodie to hide my unruly hair that girls screamed for and I cursed at on a daily basis. The music was okay, a little boy bandish for my taste, but at least they played their own instruments. I remember enjoying the alcohol...a lot.
Oh, wait. Now I remember. I am such an idiot.
I went home with Tanya. What was I thinking? Actually, I know what I was thinking except I wasn't thinking with my actual brain. I was thinking with the part of my body that always wants free love when I intoxicate myself. I could feel the panic starting to consume the room. I mean, this just wasn't some groupie, this was Tanya Denali. We had been in a couple of films together and she had made in distinctively clear that she was interested in me. She was considered one of the sexiest actresses on the planet, but I never really saw her that way. Don't get me wrong, she was gorgeous, but she always seemed so dramatic and high maintenance. She was so not my type, yet she was lying next to me in my bed, in my house, naked. I can't even say that I enjoyed it because I can't remember what happened.
Way to go, fuck face.
This situation had to be handled very delicately. If I acted all lovey dovey it would surely show up in the press that we were together. I couldn't even stomach that thought. If I treated her like she was any other one night stand, who knows what she would say about me in public. I already had some embarrassing moments that were still fresh in the minds of Americans. I could not afford to have the wrath of Tanya breathing down my neck. I looked at the clock and realized that it was one o'clock in the afternoon. Perfect! I had a meeting with my publicist at two. It was just the excuse I needed to get her out of here.
Okay, here it goes.
"Tanya," I whispered as I nudged the comforter around her. "Good morning, or should I say afternoon."
"Uhhh...what the hell, Eddie. It's too early." She barely even moved and yet the sound of her voice told me this was not going to be good. She also was under the impression that because we had sex, I think, that she could just call me any nickname she wanted. Who does that? No one in my entire life has ever called me Eddie. I needed her to go, now!
I tried to sound nice. "I think we both could use some more sleep, but unfortunately I have a meeting downtown in about forty minutes that I can't miss."
"Yeah, I need to get going too." I could tell that she really didn't have to go nor wanted to. "This was fun, Eddie. We should do it again sometime." With that she tried to lean in and give me a kiss but I just couldn't do it. I quickly gave her a peck on the cheek and moved off the bed in the same motion almost falling over the pile of clothes I had worn last night. It was like she was contagious. I couldn't get away from her fast enough. If I hadn't known that this could end very badly for me, I would have burst out laughing at the shocked look on her face.
"Yeah, well, I going to go shower now. I'm sure I'll see you around. Bye, Tanya." And with that I closed the door and turned on the water. It wasn't exactly graceful, but I was almost positive she wouldn't still be in my house when I got out of the bathroom.
Or would she?
I felt like an imbecile as I listened with my ear pushed against the bathroom door, dripping wet with nothing but a towel around my waist. Satisfied that she had indeed left, I slowly opened the door, just in case she was planning to ambush me, and made my way to the dresser. Tanya was no where in sight and I exhaled in relief. Once dressed, I was ready to go see Jacob. I ran my hands through my hair one more time in an effort to make it look normal. Giving up on the impossible, I grabbed my keys and headed downtown.
Jacob had been my publicist for the last few years. As a person, he wasn't someone that I think I would become good friend with. He was always friendly, but there was something about him I didn't trust. I couldn't help but sense that he could turn on you at any time, like he was a wolf in sheep's clothing. But as a publicist, he was good and that's why I kept him around. He spent most of his time doing damage control for me. I tended to get myself into trouble...a lot. For every story that was reported about me and my antics, there were four more that he was able to squash before they got out. If I hadn't already been paying him a fortune, I would have given him a bonus.
"Hey, Edward. How's it going?" Jacob greeted me with a smile and a small man-hug, obviously happy with the percentage he was making off of me.
"You know, same old, same old. Go out, get shitfaced, bring home a Hollywood starlett, and shove her out the door before breakfast." The look on his face was one that I had seen before. It was the 'what the fuck did he do now and how am I going to cover his ass on this one' look.
"Who was it?"
"It's not as bad as you think." Who was I kidding, it was worse than anything he could be thinking.
"I'll be the judge of that. Who. Was. It?" There was a tone from Jacob's voice that told me that I needed to be honest, and now. It was almost as if he were growling.
"Tanya Denali." I looked out the window as I barely whispered her name. I couldn't even look at Jacob.
"For fuck's sake, Edward! What were you thinking? Were you at least nice to her this morning?"
"I was a complete gentleman...until I acted like she has the Ebola virus when she tried to kiss me." Jacob groaned at the visual in his head.
He seemed to be deep in thought when he finally spoke. "Okay, I'll call her publicist and explain to her that it would be in the best interest of both of you if your little rendezvous didn't become public. I will convince her that it would hurt Tanya's career if she were linked to you."
"Jacob, I'm hurt." I was a little offended.
"Edward, you're a man-whore and everyone knows it. It's what they expect from you. However, if it got out the Tanya slept with you, she would be viewed as a slut. No studio wants a woman with that reputation anywhere near their movie." I couldn't argue. Jacob continued. "What we need to do is start working on your public image and I have just the thing."
Say what now?
"Take a look at this." He handed me a letter that was written on pink stationary. "This was brought to my attention by one of the people who reply to your fan mail. I think this could help the way the public sees you."
I took the letter and started to look it over. I received hundreds of these daily, letters from teenage girls proclaiming their undying love for me or asking me to marry them. I could practically hear the high pitched squeals coming off the page. One of the best ideas Jacob had was to hire a professional fan mail reply group when it was obvious that I couldn't handle it myself. This letter was different, though. This teenage girl, Alice, did not beg me to marry her. She actually told me that admired me for my acting ability. She went on to cite several examples from my movies to support her thoughts. She told of her own acting aspirations and how she sung in the talent show and participated in the school play. She then asked me for my advice on pursuing an acting career.
"Okay, it's a nice letter. Granted it's not like ones I usually get, but I don't understand how this is going to save my public image." I was confused.
Jacob started to sound smug. "Normally it wouldn't, however, this came along with it." He handed a folded up piece of paper from a yellow legal pad. It was another letter written by an Isabella Swan. Apparently she was a teacher at Forks Middle School in Washington and Alice was her student. It explained the assignment and why Alice had chosen me as the person she admired. And then I saw it. The reason why Jacob had a shit-eating grin. Alice has cancer. She didn't mention that in her letter, did she? I quickly scanned the pink letter and saw that there was indeed no mention of cancer. The teacher obviously wanted to bring that fact to my attention. I continued reading until the last line. It gave me chills.
'No one knows just how this will end for Alice. Please, please consider writing a response. It would make her day to receive a letter from you. No, it would make her life. Sincerely, Isabella Swan'
When I got done reading, I looked up to see Jacob practically busting at the seams. I could read his mind. He wanted to use Alice and her condition to make me look good. I could guess it would mean a trip to Forks and some photos that would mysteriously make it into the paper. The article would describe an actor going out of his way to visit a poor cancer victim.
"I don't know about this. Even I, the most unscrupulous person on the planet, can see that using a cancer patient to get good press is inappropriate."
"Oh, get a grip, Edward! We wouldn't be using her. If you went to Forks to visit her personally, it would make millennium. The press it would create for you would just be a bonus. We wouldn't even send our own photographers. Miss Swan would probably have the local paper cover your visit. We would just borrow their photos and put it in every newspaper in America. Voila, you become the guy with a heart. All that would be require from you is a trip to Forks to meet the girl. Chat with her a little, sigh some autographs, and then you'll be on your way. Easy sleazy!"
When he put it that way it didn't sound so bad. I would give Alice something better than a letter and should would give me a sense of morals in the eyes of the fans. "Okay, Jacob, set it up. "I'll go to Forks." Washington here I come.