Just a story idea that popped into my head while watching...what do you know, The Bachelorette, of course!

I just revised this today (Oct. 3, 09). So if you read it before then, you might want to reread. I added and changed...A LOT.

Thank you for reading! Enjoy!

Oh, yeah! I almost forgot...

Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or The Bachelorette! Never will.


A Step in the Right Direction

Bella POV

Seattle, Washington
December 2008

I awoke to the sound of my annoying roommates jumping on my bed and informing me of their plans for the day: shopping.

Wow, what a shocker.

I didn't exactly oppose though—as per usual. After telling them that I needed a few minutes to wake up, they left and I laid back down enjoying the peace and quiet. Reluctantly, I decided to go; I needed a few items to buy. My old coat just doesn't seem to do it for me at thirty degrees in the morning.

"Hey, Bella! We have a surprise for you!"

Alice, that little sprite.

She knew I hated surprises since the first day I met her. You would think she would understand my absolute mortification when I get home my third day of school as the new girl my sophomore year to find she threw me a party with the kids from Forks High. I knew all but thirty of them…

Thirty-one people were there. That includes Alice.

"Bella?" I ignored her, my attempt to rest for just a few extra minutes before today's events kicked me in the ass.

Yes, I dread shopping that much.

"Bella, get up! We are leaving in one hour…that is barely enough time to do your hair and makeup," Alice said from the doorway to my room.

As a result of Alice's job—a buyer for Nordstrom—most days she picks out my clothing and does my hair and makeup. I try not to complain; dealing with an angry best friend is tiring.

I was still lying in bed, willing my body to wake the hell up. I rubbed the sleep from my face before slowly getting out of bed and heading towards the bathroom.

"God," I moaned, my voice still rough with sleep. "Alice. I'm up… happy?"

"Very, thank you. Now, get in the damn shower! We have a lot to do." She stood against the doorframe of my bathroom, arms crossed, with a tight scowl on her little face. This was the prime time of her day.

There's no messing with her now.

After showering and getting dressed, Alice's choice of course, I was poked and prodded; our morning ritual.

I sat on the stool in my bathroom while Alice talking and curled my hair with the hot iron. I would never actually admit it, but I enjoyed our morning ritual. It gave us a chance to talk about anything and everything without the weight of our issues. We called it our "chi time".

"Can you believe it about Jessica? I guess it's not that hard to believe honestly, but her and Tyler Crowley? Seriously?" Okay. So I guess it's more like Gossip Girl than Oprah, but whatever. It works.

"What are you talking about?" I must have droned off for a bit and missed the first part of our "conversation".

She sighed in annoyance. "She actually married that man whore, Tyler Crowley. They have eight kids!"

"What?" I looked at her through the mirror incredulously. Jessica…Forks High, Jessica? Married to Tyler Crowley? Okay, that's just hilarious. "They're meant for each other."

"Yeah, I know! Supposedly, she has three sets of twins plus two others…my God, she was bu-sy."

"Ew, I do not want to hear that, Alice," I laughed. There was a slight pause as she gathered more hair to put on the iron. Rose chose this moment to walk into the room dressed and ready, looking stunning as always.

Rose could make Levi's and an Old Navy t-shirt look Haute Couture.

"Hey, chickadees, we almost ready?" she asked standing in the same position Alice was earlier.

"Yup. Just a few final touches," Alice mumbled in concentration while working on a particularly stubborn piece of hair.

"So, did I hear you chatter boxes talking about Tyler Crowley…the one from high school?"

I decided to answer since Alice seemed to not be paying attention. "Yeah. Alice said he married, Jessica Stanley. Well, now I guess she's Jessica Crowley. But I guess she has eight kids. Three sets of twins and two others."

Rose burst at laughing at that particular piece of information before responding. "Oh my god, that's hilarious. I mean, I knew she would eventually get knocked up what with her sleeping with more than half the population at Fork's High, including some teachers. But, eight kids? My vajayjay would be screaming to retire."

"I know, apparently Jon & Kate Plus 8 started a trend." We laughed as Alice finished up the last of my hair.

~*~

We finally left a few minutes after ten. Traffic in the city was usually bad at this time of the year, everyone traveling around for the holidays. We arrived in downtown Seattle a while later, finding a spot in the parking garage rather quickly. Maybe luck is on our side, I thought.

It was a few days before New Years and the mall was packed—hundreds of people were squirming their way from store to store for those after-Christmas clearances. We rode the escalators up to level four of Pacific Place Mall.

After Rose and Alice fought over where to eat, claiming the importance of nutrition after a good "workout", we finally made our way into Thai Ginger. The restaurant glowed warmly, relaxing us all. After hours of shopping and only a granola bar for breakfast, I was starving.

The waiter seated us at a table near the back and went to get us each a Coke.

Alice didn't hesitate in the least to start a conversation full force, "So, Bella, we wanted to ask you something; promise us that you won't make any presumptions right away, just give us a chance to speak before saying anything…okay?"

Oh no, what the hell? I knew that look. She was giving me the infamous pout. That thing could convince Donald Trump to get rid of his toupee. They knew I couldn't say no to that! She whipped it out every chance she thought I was going to resist whatever she wanted. That was not a good sign.

"Uh huh…," I replied suspiciously.

"Well, you see, there's this casting for a really great…opportunity…here today and we think you should try it out," Alice hesitantly started her speech she had to have conjured up with Rose.

~*~

"Seriously, Alice…Rose…there's no way I am doing this!" I realized I sounded like a whiny child, but I couldn't find it in myself to care."Bella, it really won't be that bad," Rosalie coerced while shoving me up to the registration table.

"Ugh! This is so unfair. You guys owe me a year's worth of Ben & Jerry's just for this!" I tried my best to resist a bit more, but it was a failed attempt. I had given in.

"So that means you'll do it?" Alice asked excitedly while bouncing up on her toes in anticipation for my response.

"If I am being forced to sign up for this, so are you both," I challenged them.

She squealed in delight and hugged me along with Rose. "You won't regret it! I promise!"

There in front of me hung a huge sign: ABC's The Bachelorette sign ups and auditions! When they told me at lunch that there was a casting at the mall today, I immediately freaked. I asked them what exactly it was for, but they were cryptic with their responses by saying things like, "oh just you wait and see" or "it could change your life, Bella! Just give it a chance."

It baffled me as to how I was supposed to give it a chance when I didn't know what it was.

Honestly, what could it hurt? Sure, I could embarrass myself by putting my lonely-self out there by saying "Hey, I sleep alone at night and I would love for you to try and set me up with some hunky men on national television, kay thanks!"

Well, it's not as if I will actually get on the show. Why would they want, boring ol' Bella? If Alice, the cute, fun, pixie girl and Rosalie, the stunningly beautiful confident girl were applying with me, there was no chance in hell I'd get the show, that's for sure.

So, whatever... I did it.

"Next!" A short brunette woman said, bringing me out of my reverie.

"Hi, my friends and I would like to sign up?" My words came out sounding like a question because I was completely embarrassed and I really didn't know what else to say.

"Okay, please, each of you, fill out these forms and bring them back to me when you are finished." She handed us huge packets of paper. "Here are your tickets. When your number is called, please step over here and I will show you to the room where you will tape your audition tape and answer a few questions." She handed us our tickets and called for the next person in line to step up. I took that as our cue to leave. Rose and Alice were so excited; one would have thought they just won the lottery.

"I can't believe you guys talked me into this! There's no chance in hell I am going to get on this show. Did you see all those women lining up? They were gorgeous," I said hysterically. We looked around a moment before sitting at a nearby table to fill out our applications.

"You will thank us soon enough. You seriously don't see yourself clearly do you, Bella? You're beautiful," Alice encouraged while filling out her packet.

Rose sighed dreamily as I quirked my eyebrow in amusement.

"…Rose, I know what you're thinking. Get over him already! I don't know what you see in him," Alice teased.

Rosalie had some weird obsession with James Blunt. Anytime someone uttered the words, "You're Beautiful" she practically got wobbly in the knees.

I laughed and playfully smacked her on lightly the arm. "It's actually kind of sad how obsessed you are with that man. I take pity on him for your stalker tendencies."

"Hey! James Blunt is way better than your Ryan Reynolds obsession," Rose retorted.

"To each their own, Rose, to each their own."

"This is going to be so great. I think this is a big changing point for us, ladies," Alice interrupted our banter while winking at me and tapping her temple. "Trust me." I rolled my eyes at her presumptuous behavior.

Alice always said that she had sort of a sixth sense. She said she had a "feeling that something was going to happen" good or bad—and it did. Or at least, that's what she claimed.

Sooner rather than later, to my absolute horror, our names and numbers were called for our auditions to be taped. Rose and Alice were called first. They left me while following a man into a back room.

When my name was announced, I handed back the pile of paper work to the woman at the table and followed the man that had called my name. He led me through a wooden door and down a hallway. I assumed this was the "business" part of the mall. We reached a closed door with a piece of paper taped to it that read: "Auditions and Taping in progress: Room 2". He opened the door and gestured me in.

I was so nervous that my cheeks flamed red. My hands were fondling the hem of my blouse; a nervous tick of mine. There were two men and a woman sitting at a table straight ahead of me. The two men both looked to be in their mid-forties, while the woman was probably around my age, maybe a bit older. There was a white backdrop set off to the right with a stool on it; it looked like a set up at a mall portrait studio.

They beckoned me forward with a polite "Hello.", "Welcome!", and "Please be seated." I stalked forward, tripping on the cord that was connected to the camera in front of the taping area. After getting over the embarrassment of my clumsiness, I sat down on the black stool and faced them.

"Isabella is it?" the first man asked.

"Uh…yes, but you can just call me Bella."

"Okay, Bella. First, we would just like to ask you a few questions…this will be your audition tape. If we like you, we will call you and ask for a second meeting and interview…and so on." He skimmed through a pile of papers in a folder, probably the packet of info I just filled out. "Now, why did you decide to audition for our show?"

I hesitated. "Well…honestly?" I paused for a moment; their silence was an approval for me to continue. "My friends and I were out shopping today and they sort of talked me into it. It's hard to say no to them sometimes," I said with a small laugh. That was the god-honest truth.

"Good. What do you do for a living and where do you live? Tell us about yourself," the woman asked.

"I'm an author and editor," I said with a small smile. I seriously had the perfect job. Working my own hours and writing stories I love. I decided to be an editor to pay the bills, while the writing was my real dream. It doesn't get much better than that. "I live here in Seattle, in an apartment on Capital Hill with my best friends Alice and Rosalie. They are actually auditioning for the show, too."

"What do you do in your spare time? Describe yourself for us." These seemed to be pretty simple questions. I relaxed significantly; glad they weren't asking more embarrassing questions.

"Let's see…well, I love to read books—classics are my favorite. As I said, I live with my two best friends. We've lived together since we went to college at the University of Washington. I majored in English and minored in Photography. I love to ski; it's the only sport I can do without falling on my butt."

Oh my God, did I just say "butt" on camera?

"Okay, great. Now, what sort of thing are you looking for in your ideal man?" Oh, great. This is where it gets awkward.

"Um, well, I want to be able to be myself around…him. That's about all I can tell you though. I really can't sit here and tell you about my perfect guy because, honestly, I haven't met him yet. Wouldn't it be a little odd for me to describe when I haven't even met him yet? Don't get me wrong, I love a handsome man and I like it when he has a sense of humor and is loyal and all that jazz, but that's so…I don't know… cliché. When I find the right guy, I will just know."

I ended with a loud sigh, realizing that I probably scared them with my rant. Hell, I scared myself. Ugh, I just ruined that chance. Wait, I thought, why am I so worried I screwed it up? It was messing with my brain function.

After some curious and questionable looks, the first man spoke. "Wow, okay, thank you very much, Isabe- I mean Bella." He said with a wide smile.

"Uh, sure. Thanks for having me." That was it? That wasn't so bad.

I got up and left the room awkwardly while they whispered among each other. Outside, the same man that walked me to the room escorted me back to the main mall area. Rose and Alice were waiting for me, looking over the railing toward the rest of the mall talking about some shoe sale at Prada.

"Hey, girls. How'd the auditions go?" They both turned around with smiles.

"Good, I guess, not much to say," Rose said looking over the railing at the mall.

There was a short pause before Alice asked, "How did yours go?"

"I guess it went fine. I'm pretty sure I screwed things up though when they asked me about my," I air quoted, "perfect guy. I started babbling. I don't know what got into me," I said with a laugh. "I think it was the nerves wearing on me."

"I'm sure you didn't, they like the unique ones," Alice said excitedly while we walked out of the mall.

Rose nodded and shrugged. "When was the last time you watched the show and were not thoroughly entertained? Whether it's the people or the dates or even Chris Harrison."

"Ok-ay…whatever you say…I believe you," I laughed. They didn't believe it for a second.

"No poking fun, Bella. I just have your best interests at heart," Alice said with a "humph" and butted-out chin.

"I know, I'm just teasing. You know I love you girls," I answered with an awkward side hug as we were walking.

We got into the car and drove home. After watching a movie we went off to our rooms for a good night's sleep after our long day.

I couldn't help but ponder my 'perfect guy' after I got into bed. Really, would I ever find someone that I could settle down with and be happy? I was already 24 years old, but have only been in one relationship. Sure, I had dated people, but it rarely got past the first date.

My last relationship with Jason was three years ago in college. He was in my Creative Writing class. After partnering up for a project, we hit it off. At first, he was great. He would take me out to dinner, have movie nights with me, and go to the Mariner's games.

However, after a while, I realized that I didn't have feelings for him. He was more of a best friend than a boyfriend. It only lasted a year, and I would be lying if I said that it lasted because of love. No, it lasted that long because I was too afraid to break it off. I was a coward. Jason loved me and I was hoping that if I stayed with him I would learn to love him back. But no, that's not how it works; I learned that the hard way.

I wanted a fairy tale ending, but it was hard for me to believe such things because I grew up in a family with divorce and un-happy endings. I liked being independent; I hated to rely on someone else. I desired to have someone to comfort me when I am sad, to love me unconditionally, and to be there through thick and thin. I could only hope that one day I would find my perfect match; my soul mate.


So, whatdoya think? Thanks for reading!