Chapter 1: Moving Day
I knew it was her before she even opened her mouth to squeal. We'd only spoken on the phone three times but we had kept up a constant stream of communication via email. I think I would have known who she was even if she hadn't sent that picture to me last week. For one, there were no other pixie like girls standing around the front of the dorm. She looked like a dancer, only more graceful. She was petite with spiky black hair and she just radiated "I am FASHION." But what really gave it away was the wave of excitement that rolled of this girl. I hadn't officially met her yet but from our phone calls and emails, I could tell she was one of those people that, no matter what was going on in your life, you just had to smile when you were around her. She was so full of energy and life.
"Bella, Bella Bella!!!! You're finally here. I was beginning to worry."
Yep this was definitely Alice Cullen, my new roommate. Unlike most of the residents that were moving in today, Alice and I had only learned of our room assignments two weeks ago. I was on the wait list for this particular dorm. It was central to where I would be spending the next few years of my life....the Music Building. But more importantly, this dorm had 24 hour security. Well all the dorm had 24 hour security but this particular dorm got the full security update over the summer. I learned from Alice, upon our first phone call, that her original roommate, Jessica Stanley, had opted to stay elsewhere. This was spoken in a manner that I quickly learned was very un-Alice like. There was more to this story than she was telling me, and I intended to find out what was behind the venom in Alice's voice when she spoke of this person. As nervous as I was to be moving away from home and embarking on this adventure...I was excited to start...well more than that, I was ready to start over. I don't know why, but I just knew that Alice would be playing a much bigger role in my life than that of college roommate.
"Hi Alice! Sorry we got a late start this morning."
She ran up to me and threw her arms around my neck and gave me hug, which considering we hadn't officially met yet, kind of startled me, but then it just made me smile.
"What was the hold up?"she asked. But before I could open my mouth to explain, the explanation walked up beside us and stuck out his hand.
"You must be Alice. Hi, I'm Jacob, Jacob Black. I confess, I was the hold up." I thought I'd fall on the ground laughing at the look on Alice's face. She was gawking at him like he was the finest piece of chocolate cake she'd ever seen. I swear I saw a bit of drool pool at the corner of her lips. But this was the normal reaction he elicited from females....and probably a few males too. After she got her fill of him she turned those all knowing eyes on me and smirked. Yep, I knew immediately that she already had the wrong idea about me and Jacob. I had no doubt that she would soon know the whole history of Bella and Jacob but for now she'd just have to settle for the cliffs notes version.
"Uh, Alice, this is Jake. He's been my best friend since kindergarten."
"Ah, come on Bella, that's not all we are" Jake said while wagging his eyebrows at me.
Okay, so he was already being very Jake like. So I punched him in his arm. I knew it didn't hurt him but all the same when I looked up....err....down, he was laying on the ground rolling around like he was in pain. Alice stood there speechless, well almost speechless. She managed a shocked "Bella" in between her laughs.
"Okay, let me be a little more specific. Jake is obsessed with me and has been for years, he has even developed stalker like tendencies, hence his decision to attend the same University as me." At this, he jumped off the ground and just stuck his tongue out at me. Alice was still laughing but she looked confused. And Jake was still giving me suggestive looks. I knew I was going to have to give her just a little more info on us before we could continue with the days task....moving in.
"I'm kidding Alice. Jake has been my best friend since kindergarten. He also was my boyfriend for a little while, but the friend thing just works better for us." She looked somewhat satisfied at my clarification but gave me a look that I knew meant "we'll talk later."
How did I know this? I had just met her, but I had a feeling that this was just the way things were with Alice, and I had no doubt that she would get the whole story out of me one way or another.
"So what exactly was the hold up, Jake?" Alice asked in her wind chimed voice. "Overslept. Hey, I did most of the driving yesterday, I deserved the extra zzzz's." He shot a smile my direction when I started rolling my eyes at him.
Jake and I had decided rent a small U-Haul and make the drive from Phoenix to Seattle sans parents. At first, both Renee (my mom) and Billy (Jake's dad) hadn't thought to much of this idea. But they both knew how important it was for me to be able to do this on my own and since Jake is my ever present boulder, it just made sense. So we started our drive 3 days ago with the U-Haul trailer in tow. In reality it wasn't that much different from previous summers drives we had made. My dad, Charlie Swan, lives in Forks, Washington. It's roughly 100 miles or so from the University of Washington, which played a big role in my selection of Universities. Not only does he live there, but he is also the Chief of Police. It isn't a big town, not at all. Population is roughly 3,200 but he loves his job and his town. Jake and his dad Billy moved to Phoenix from La Push (the Quileute Indian reservation located 20 miles from Forks) after Jake's mom died in a car crash when he was 4. He and his family are full blooded Quileute Indian. And believe me, Jake is a gorgeous man. He is used to being gawked at and drooled over. He has dark russet colored skin and long black hair. He typically keeps it pulled back in a lose pony tail but will on occasion wear it lose, which I like best. He has just started to fill out and make the transition from teenage boy to full blown man and his smile, well it just lights up a room the minute you see it. Yep, if only it could be like that for us. But more importantly than the way he looks is just Jake himself. He is a fiercely loyal friend, which is the real reason he decided to attend the University of Washington.
"So, where are your parents Alice?" Through our two week long "get-to-know-you" sessions, one of the many things I had learned was that Alice had been adopted when she was 5 by Carlisle and Esme Cullen. She also had a brother who was the same age and had been adopted a year before Alice. They currently lived in Alaska and she had told me flat out that her and her brother were terribly spoiled by their parents. This worried me a little since I went to school with way too many spoiled kids, but she seemed to be different, up until this point at least.
"Well Esme is in Alaska. Carlisle, Edward, and I made the trip down together."
"I thought Esme was coming with you, is everything okay?" I asked.
"Oh, everything is great Bella. Two days ago, Carlisle got a phone call and was invited to interview for the position of Chief of Medicine at a hospital in a nearby town....Forks. He and Esme have been wanting to move closer to me and Edward since last year. So we figured it just made more sense for Carlisle to come down with me and Edward instead of Esme."
"Your parents are moving to Forks...Forks, Washington?"
"Well it all depends on the interview that Carlisle has in two days, but if it goes well, then yes. Why Bella, what's wrong?"
"Just tell Dr. Cullen that if he happens to get a speeding ticket while he is there, to let me know" I said while allowing a smile to creep on my face. She gave me a very quizzical look.
"My dad is the Chief of Police in Forks." Alice just looked at me and laughed while saying "It must be fate Bella, we are just meant to be friends." I was surprised that the topic of my dad hadn't come up during our talks and emails.
As usual, it took Jake a few seconds to catch up.
"So wait, Forks is going to be your parents new base of operation, well okay given that the Doc does well in the interview. That's pretty cool." Then Jake got what I liked to call 'the look', meaning he was formulating a plan. "Hey maybe we can drive down in a few weeks and spend the day at La Push before it gets too cold."
"Oh Jake, that's a perfect idea" I exclaimed. Once again I got that quizzical look from Alice. "Jake has family that lives on the Quileute Indian reservation at La Push. First Beach is an amazing place to visit. Plus you can meet my dad and get a first hand look at Forks."
Only then did I notice a very young looking blonde man standing behind Alice. He started humming 'It's a Small World.' Alice just laughed.
"Bella, Jake, this is my dad, Carlisle Cullen."
"Well it's good to see that Alice is already making friends with people who have connections, and Bella, I very well may need to take you up on the offer to speak to the Chief of Police. One of the vices all of us Cullen's have is the love of driving fast And I think it would be wonderful if you would take Alice on the tour."
"You know how he is Alice. Doesn't like anyone to make a fuss over him and likes to do things himself. I dropped him at the dorm and he and his roommate are moving boxes. I think he'll like his roommate this year. His name is Jasper Hale. Seems like a really nice kid."
"Dad, I'm sure he isn't a kid anymore."
"Alice, you are all still kids to me" he said smiling down at her.
"Well Dr. Cullen, it's really nice to meet you, Alice has told me a lot about you."
"Please Isabella, call me Carlisle." It was evident Alice hadn't told him about my preference of names.
"Only if you call me Bella."
"So Jake, I know you have to get your stuff moved in too. If you'll just help me unload these boxes I'll let you get to your new room. We'll take the U-Haul back this afternoon. "Not a chance Bella. I told your mom I wold make sure you got all moved in and that's what I'm going to do. I am here to serve my lady."
So Jake like. Alice laughed and with that we started hauling boxes to our new room. And I took the first steps into my new life that should have started a year ago.