20. New Hope



I was could have almost been glad to have to concentrate and worry about Rosalie and the stuff with the police; it kind of distracted me from him. It was kind of hard trying to forget about him and leave it. I couldn't stop thinking about him. I wished I wasn't so easily fooled. I wished that I could hate him. I wished I wasn't so stupid. I wish I didn't keep hoping.

At school, it was amazing how unaware everyone was. Sure, they talked about the news, about Royce and Bruce King, but could they ever have imagined that one of their very fellow students had actually been in the centre of the brothers' disgusting, sickening entertainment once? It all seemed so far away for them. It always happened to someone else, not them.

Rosalie nowadays was always accompanied everywhere; at least one person had to be at her side at all times. Charlie had persuaded the secretary to change her timetables so they matched, without giving away the reason why. At least one of friend was in each of her classes, and we didn't need to bother too much about in between classes; she had crowds of admirers around her.

She found it extremely irritating, of course, and I understood, but she knew that she would have to be safer from now on. But she said in return I had to stop hiding out in the library at lunch break. Reluctantly, I had agreed.

Classes flew by nowadays, and I found myself drifting in and out with eyes glazed over, like a robot. So now I was drifting dully into the canteen, where the boys were already. For some reason, there was a bit of a crowd around the boys. Rose and Alice hadn't come yet. I walked over to Jasper and Emmet with questioning eyes. "Why are we so popular all of a sudden?" Jasper smiled.

"New girls. Tanya, Irina and Kate." That still didn't explain everything.

"And they are here because…?" Emmet grinned, showing his teeth while Jasper looked slightly sympathetic. They didn't need to reply because I finally noticed what the centre of attention was. I wondered why I hadn't noticed straight away. Standing in the middle of the small crowd stood Edward accompanied by three insanely beautiful girls.

I headed closer into the crowd to see them better. The shortest out of the three had chin-length silver blonde hair, almost a bob, straight as silk. I doubted that she even had to brush it. Her face was calm and expressionless, but not unfriendly, her big violet eyes penetrating innocence.

The dark haired girl beside her, the tallest, also had violet eyes, but darker somehow and she had a sly smirk on her face with a thin, dark eyebrow slightly raised, swapping glances with her silvery blonde sister. Her hair was exceptionally long, swaying to her thighs. But she didn't have innocence pouring out of her. It was darkness, not in a bad way, just dark and daring.

The third girl had strawberry blonde curls dancing on her shoulders, striking baby blue eyes matching her way-too-sweet smile, laughing-such an obviously fake laugh, which all the boys fell for-at jokes or something others were trying to impress her with. Her hand rested on…Edward's shoulder. I was surprised by my reaction. My insides flipped over multiple times, and my teeth were clenched. It shouldn't bother me at all, but it did.

She spotted me amongst he little crowd. "Hi, you must be Bella! Edward talks about you so much!" I gave her a large, very fake smile.

"I bet." I turned on my heel and walked off, ignoring my sisters who were talking to their boyfriends. I didn't pause when I heard a male voice call my name.

Halfway down the corridor there were soft, quick steps behind me. I stopped and span around. I was about to snarl 'What?' but failed to do so when I saw it was the silvery blonde one.

She looked taken aback by my expression, so I relaxed my face with some effort. "What do you want?"

"I'm Irina by the way, Bella, and I'm really sorry about Tanya. She can be nice," I raised my eyebrows at that. "But she's vain and likes a challenge. She can be absolutely evil, but she can be nice too." I guessed that the strawberry blonde was Tanya. I wanted to disagree but then I thought about Rosalie.

"She would probably get along with my sister, then," I murmured. She laughed at that. Then stopped. "And I'm sorry she tried to make you jealous."

"She succeeded," I confided, feeling I could trust this girl. "He broke up with me a while ago but I can't get over him. I know I shouldn't be so angry at him and everything because he needed some space, but…" I trailed off. She glanced at me sympathetically. I felt I could trust this girl quite a bit, even if I was jealous of her as well. "So, why did you come here?" I asked, changing the subject in a friendly tone, I hoped.

"My mother is Carlisle's sister, we came to stay for a while; the house is big enough." So that explained all the blonde hair. I could guess that their father-Kate's father, at least, had dark hair. I smiled to myself.

"You do know that newcomers in Forks are rare, which is why there's practically a riot every time someone new comes." She rolled her eyes and laughed again.

I heard more footsteps down the corridor, and turned to see Kate, glaring at Irina. "I'm getting sick of that crowd in there, staring at us like ornaments. And then I turned and saw that you'd abandoned me." Irina smiled apologetically.

"I came to talk to Bella. And she told me about how newcomers are as rare as dodos 'round here." I laughed again at her animal description. Even Kate smiled.

"Don't mind her. She may seem lovely and nice, but there are a few screws loose in her head," Kate teased.

"Hey!" Irina elbowed her sister. It seemed I had made two new friends. But I couldn't stop the burning, raging, fire inside me at Tanya.

It seemed everyone was following me today; Alice and Rosalie appeared out of no where behind me, followed by their boyfriends.

"Sounds like we won't be having lunch today!" Emmet grinned, winking at Rosalie, who smiled in return. I pretended to gag. Emmet turned to me and put an innocent look on his face. "What?" It was the voice of a child, but I laughed a very slightly forced laugh.

I half-turned, yet again seeing more people. Angela, Ben, Mike and Jess. Everyone soon became preoccupied enough talking in the corridor (a teacher was bound to come out any second at the noise) so I sneaked off to the toilets, and sat in a cubicle, thinking.

I'd done this a lot at Phoenix, hidden in the toilets when I couldn't bear it anymore; I'd hidden from Amy, from Michelle, all my tormentors.

I was slightly overreacting. Even if Edward had hurt me, said he'd loved me then it turned out just as a friend, he was still hurt. He wouldn't be able to keep it in and act like a gentleman much longer. He still needed help. He would really snap very soon. I had already helped him a bit; I couldn't just turn my back on him now.

I thought back to that night, when he'd told me about his sister. His pain, his anger, his horror, his helplessness…all finally fully revealed. His helplessness…that was it.

I glanced at my watch; there was only ten minutes until the end of lunch, and I hadn't eaten anything.

I unlocked the cubicle door, and silently slipped out onto the now-empty corridor. My stomach clenched slightly; I had never ditched school before. I'd always been too much of a coward. But now I was different, and this was more important than missing one lesson of Biology and German.

It was almost too easy to get to the Mercedes. I headed home first, to grab some food-my stomach was resenting me for skipping lunch. My parents weren't at home, of course.

I grabbed a readymade sandwich from the fridge and sat on a stool, thinking of what to say when I arrived at Edward's house, during school hours. What if no one was home? I started to panic. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all.

I told myself to get a grip. There was no way I was going to go back to school now, fourth period had already started.

I quickly grabbed the keys, locked the door and slipped back into the car. Before I could change my mind, I drove towards Edward's house, the opposite way from school.

After fifteen minutes of trees and bushes and flowers and basically green, I realised that I was nearly there…I slowed, wanting to put it off. But the car was outside the grand white house too soon.

I grabbed all my courage and got out the car, walking up to the door.

Esme was surprised to see me, of course, but not suspicious. "Bella! I haven't seen you in ages! How are you? Do come in! And erm…aren't you supposed to be at school right now?"

I let her lead me in to the living room. And sit me down

"Well. Erm…I came because I have a kind of suggestion for erm…Edward." Esme looked at me encouragingly.

"So you have a cellar or something, don't you?" She looked slightly confused.

"Yes." But not annoyed or anything.

So I had no choice but to explain now. My next words came out rushed and quiet.

"Well, erm…I'm suggesting that you could put a punch bag or something down there, because he's got quite a lot of pent up anger for an almost-seventeen-year-old.

Because maybe he will snap soon, but it would help if he could take it out on the punch bag physically, and not accidently on people." I crossed my fingers in the hope that it hadn't come out of my mouth sounding wrong and offensive.

"That's an amazing idea Bella!" Esme's face was a picture of surprise and relief. "I had been wondering about what to do if he snapped."

"Well, that's pretty much it really. I'd better get going. Erm…and please could you not mention that this was anything to do with me. Please. To Edward." Realisation dawned on her face.

"You want to avoid him?" No anger or annoyance, just understanding.

I gave in and sighed. "Yeah, to be honest."

"Because he broke up with you?" I nodded, staring at the floor.

"He still really likes you, you know." I finally looked up.

"Esme, please. I don't want to hear it…it just…won't work."

She nodded.

"And erm...Edward...he might not want to go along with this...at first...so it might take a while to persuade him..." I felt embarrassed, as if I shouldn't know so much about him. She didn't seem to notice that.

"Of course, Bella!"

"So...erm...thanks, then." I stood up and quickly walked through the hallway, just as Esme was about to get up and see me out, and out the door. It was rude but...lately I was acting weird. I tried to forget about it as I got in my car, Esme at the door half-smiling but confused.

When she was out of sight I checked my watch. Maybe I could get back in time for Biology...

Okay, okay, you can kill me. Seriously. I deserve it. I have had serious writer's block, and a computer virus which deleted everything unfortunately, but I already have a back up copy on Fanfiction. If I was supposed to dedicate this to anybody, please say so, and please please review with suggestions :P