A/N: I am quite a fan of all human romances, so…I figured I'd give one a try. I'll try my best to be unique, with no clichés – or as little as possible. Also, even though this is with the most popular characters (i.e. Edward, Bella, Alice, Jasper, Rose, Emmett) I will try to include side characters that are often forgotten. I don't know how good I'll be with (shudder) fluff, but…I'll do my best. Frankly, I don't know where this story is going, but I'll write an outline if it gets enough interest.
My Dream Job
Chapter One: Snap Decision
I hesitated for a moment, my index finger poised above the keyboard. One click, I knew, and my life could be changed forever. Well, not in the exaggerated Hollywood way, where you win a million bucks and live in a mansion for the rest of your life with butlers named Jeeves. But in a way significant enough to create suspicion in this town. Not to mention gossip.
Gossip. I groaned internally. Because with the word came the unwanted image of an overly enthusiastic, frizzy-haired Jessica Stanley, whom I had spent all of high school avoiding as much as possible. When I had first arrived in Forks in my junior year, she had been quick to "befriend" me – or rather, milk all bits of information. I would never forget that first lunchtime conversation. She'd leaned across the table with an evil smile on her face, reminding me of a vultures expression before it swooped down on its prey. And so it began.
"Do you have any siblings? Specifically hot brothers?"
"Uh, no." I was a little uneasy at her last comment, but I let it slide. I figured that she wasn't all that bad. After all, she invited me to sit with her friends, right?
"Did you have a boyfriend back in Phoenix? Did you like anyone?"
Now that was a more personal question. "Not that I know of."
Undeterred by my negative response, she continued: "Was there a tragic breakup between you two?"
At that point, my face had been so flushed with annoyance and embarrassment that I could put tomatoes to shame. Thankfully, Angela Weber had stepped in and routed the conversation away from me, chattering about an exciting movie she'd recently seen. I'd shot her a grateful smile, and we became inseparable friends, much to the disappointment of Jessica.
With a shudder, I brought myself back to the present. I glanced at the outline of my face, barely visible in the computer monitor. I was a mess. Yep, I thought, that pretty much sums it up. My dark hair was heavily tangled and unkempt; my eyes had purple bags underneath them from lack of sleep; my expression was sleepy but rather scary. If I had seen myself on the street, I would have taken a picture and sent it to the nearest horror movie producer. And then I would have run for my life.
I stared blankly at the glass screen. Blue Dusk Agency: the best choice for tourists everywhere! boasted a large headline at the top of the website. What am I doing again? I asked myself. Sleep deprivation had never been good for my memory. Oh, right. Signing up for a job. As a tour guide. In Paris.
I'd spent the whole day researching tourism, figuring it was the best option. I had nowhere to go, so I was stuck in an interior designer's worst nightmare: Charlie's old, creaky house. In fact, there was still that weathered rocking chair from my diaper days. I shivered at the thought. My friends, whom I'd lost contact with over the years, were out drinking and partying and having fun. Not that they were self-absorbed jerks who'd forgotten about me. It was just that...time had passed. We got busier; our lives changed so much that there wasn't much familiarity anymore. New jobs; new friends; new responsibilities. Our contact just kind of...faded over time. Messages trickled in every few months or so, and I was lucky to receive one call a year. Basically, my social life was dead, though I didn't want to accept it. Today, however, was different. I'd been checking my email when I came across a bright advertisement. Want adventure? It asked, in big bubble letters. Sign up as a tour guide for the Blue Dusk Agency! My interest was piqued. I definitely needed something to spice up my life. A job as a tour guide seemed perfect. Travelling to exotic cities; meeting new people; learning fascinating history...it was perfect. So I clicked on the ad, leading me to the agency's website. And, miracle of miracles, they were hiring. I figured I knew enough French to get by, and my knowledge of history was decent. My people skills could use some work, but hey, they trained you, right? It was a simple matter of filling out a form until they emailed you back to tell you whether you'd gotten the job or not. And if you did, you'd fly straight to Paris.
Wait, Paris?! I thought. The full impact of my actions hit me. What was I doing?! Signing up for a job that would take me thousands of miles away to a city that I'd never visited? Without any familiar company? Oh, sure, I was desperate for money. But not that desperate. I can do something else, right? I thought. I scrambled for options. Ads in the newspaper! Waitressing! Anything! Suddenly my idea didn't seem so briliant anymore.
Well, Swan? I jumped at the voice. In my zombie state, I was imagining the nasal tones of another age-old enemy: Lauren Mallory. Are you going to do anything for once? She asked me. I marveled at how perfectly I'd captured her voice in my current state of insanity. Or are you just going to sit there and stare at the screen? Are you chicken, Swan? Chicken? With a final imagined sneer, she faded from my mind. Okay, that proved it. I needed a straitjacket. And yet...it was the perfect motivation. Imagined or not, her snarky comments were wounding my pride. I was not chicken. And I was going to prove it. Narrowing my eyes into determined slits, I clicked the 'submit' button.
Abruptly exhausted, I collapsed onto my bed. I took one last glance at the screen, reading: your request will soon be viewed by the tourism agency. Your results may come in two to three weeks. Thank you for your time. A smile appeared on my lips. I did it, I thought, before letting sleep take me. I did it.
The weeks passed with agonizing slowness.
I was impatient for a response from the agency. The first week, I could barely contain my excitement. I cleaned the house unnecessarily, wiping down the counters for a fifteenth, then twentieth time. My anxious energy took me outdoors often, hiking down unused trails that were slippery from the previous rain. I hated hiking, but it kept me busy, and that was the only reason I did it. I was lucky, actually; it didn't rain the whole week. But Sunday came around, and the ground was slick once more. And I still hadn't heard from Blue Dusk. I was more nervous now, reverting back to the habit of biting my nails. Unable to take my frustration outdoors, I paced holes into the already worn carpet. By Monday the third week, I was ready to explode. The suspense was literally killing me. My eyes were wild and unusually bright with anxiety. Even gruff, solitary Charlie was driven out of the house by my unsettling behavior. He constantly made excuses to leave the house every time he saw me, claiming he had important work with the police force. Police force my ass, I'd thought. But at least I know how to drive out unwanted company now. Actually, all kinds of company.
Fate seemed to be taunting me, because I only received my reply at the end of that week. I held my breath, opening up the much-awaited email. And there it was. My acceptance form. I observed it with shining eyes, careful not to ruin the moment. And then I celebrated louder than ever before, throwing up my arms and dancing around the room. I opened up my window and shouted,
"I'm going to Paris! You hear that? I'm leaving this tiny, wet, depressing town forever! I'm going to Paris, baby! Paris!"
I quickly rushed back into my room to behold the golden ticket once more, taking in every inch of its beautiful appearance. Carefully I printed it, along with a voucher for a business class flight to Paris. Wow. Business class, I thought wistfully. I'd never flown business class before, though I'd seen the luxurious seats plenty of times. I couldn't believe I'd actually be sitting in one now.
I'd thought that God had been kind to me and opened up a door to the opportunity of a lifetime. Pity that I couldn't see that it was not a golden opportunity, but an iron cage of loneliness, ready to swallow me upon entering.
A/N: Good? Bad? Review and tell me what you think! It will get more exciting later on, I promise.