The rain fell in gray sheets in the city of Kennebunkport Maine with a ferocious intensity, enough to deter the neighbor's cat from going outside for the day, but not enough to delay the opening of the local high school. Mud sucked eagerly at the feet of unlucky walkers and water from the road soaked them to the bone through coats and cloth.
A large yellow school bus pulled up to the high school entrance, spraying water into the unlucky students on the nearby sidewalk. Mud-slinging fights began amongst the more braver and sometimes older students as non – participants used backpacks, raincoats and other items to shield themselves from the flying missiles.
I used a spiral-bound notebook to shield the slightly – covered side of my face from the mud as I stepped off the bus. I was grateful for the boots; there was a deep puddle of water right in front of where the bus steps ended. I moved slowly because the ringleaders of the mud fight, namely my friend Lexi Cromwell, tended to attack the fast-moving targets, marking them as desperate escapees. I know that usually one would want to get out of a rainstorm as fast as possible, but the ringleaders usually wanted to give an escapee a parting gift before entering the sanctuary of the school. So the trick was just to shield one's self and then pray that they would get into the building unscathed.
I turned and nearly panicked when I spotted Lexi's figure approaching… or at least I thought it was her figure. Instead of her usual black jacket, she wore a plastic, bright red, clearly brand-new raincoat. She scowled when we made eye contact as she joined me on the path up to the school.
"Don't say a word… I know I look like a freaking target board!" she hissed angrily as she walked past me in an effort to get to the school as fast as possible. Thrown off guard, I stood there or a moment, and then quickly began to follow her.
"Well, other than the new raincoat, how were your last few weeks of summer?" I asked, now walking in sync with her to the school entrance.
"Awful," she snapped. "First, a family moved into that empty house that's down the road a ways from my place, the one in the woods that we all think is haunted. Second, my mom made me clean and dress up a bit so that I look 'remotely presentable'. The second-to-final insult was that she made me deliver the customary 'welcome-to-the-neighborhood' cookies. You know my mom… she can't bake to save her life! Then I find that the new family has a social queen…"
"Wait, wait, wait," I interrupted, cutting her rant off. She glared at me, as though interrupting her complaining was the most grievous insult she'd ever heard. "Slow down, start over, and explain again," I said. "You were going too fast for me to follow."
Lexi let out a sound of irritation, but didn't speak again until we were in the safety of the school entrance. We were safe in here; no one would dare throw mud in the pristine halls especially with Principal Franco still in the administrator's office. There was a rumor going around that the last kid who threw mud in here was hauled out of the school and never seen again after that. So not even Lexi would dare cross the principal, and that was saying something since Lexi loved causing trouble and chaos. It was a hobby for her, and she was considered daring by our school's standards.
But she still wouldn't cross Franco.
As we pulled our raincoats off, Lexi said, "So as I was trying to say, the new family was huge. The dad's a doctor, the mom's the stay-at-home-parent, and they've got six kids. The older three are the following; this princessy sort of girl, a guy who has got to be eating rocks for breakfast and play on the football team, and a moody sort of kid who was staring at me as though I was breakfast or something when I went over. The younger three is this shrimp who is probably a very short freshman, this girl who is super-quiet, and this tallish sort of boy with goldish hair." Lexi paused her explanation so she could catch a breath and have the energy to say, "They're all adopted so they've already paired off."
"In other words, someone has to tell Lianna that it's paws off then," I said, eyeing the sophomore class's social queen as she drifted by, her gaggle of loyal followers close behind her. They were all covered in mud while she remained clean, and it wasn't hard to guess that they had served as her living shields while she crossed the courtyard.
"Or we could say nothing and get a few days' worth of entertainment out of it," Lexi suggested, watching as Lianna discreetly selected the two lucky followers who were going to be her close cohorts for that day. "I'm thinking she'll go for the tallish kid, if he and his siblings do show up here. Tallish kid's girlfriend doesn't strike me as the type to flare up and protect him from being stolen."
I laughed at Lexi's display of calculation; it was in her nature to sort of take over a situation and make the best of it… the best for her of course. Plus, seeing Lianna get rejected by a guy would be something to watch. Boys never rejected her, so a reality check would be good for her.
The bell suddenly rang above us, sharp peals ringing throughout the halls. Lexi and I managed to beat the crowd to the list of homerooms on the wall near the entrance. Lexi threw a fit once she realized she had Dragone, or the Dragon as we liked to call him, for not only homeroom, but for English too. She hated him, he hated her. Everyone went home happy.
I had a teacher named Ms. Jysella. She was new this year, and I only knew that because my mother had been talking about her to Lexi's mother a couple of days ago. Still, I was apprehensive when I finally entered homeroom (after peeling Lexi off of me first, a near-impossible task to begin with), and took my seat in the middle row, second seat from the front.
I twisted in my seat to find Lew grinning at me. "Hey," he whispered, "Have you seen Lexi at all this morning? The guys and I were waiting for her to join the fight earlier in the courtyard. She missed a juicy victim."
"She was the bright red beacon in the rain this morning," I whispered back, knowing Lexi wasn't going to appreciate me for alerting her comrades to the fact that she had a bright red raincoat. Apparently one lost respect once they had bright clothing in Lexi's circles. "Who was the 'juicy victim'?" I asked, frowning. I hoped that no one had been hurt and was stuck in the nurse's office on the first day of school.
Lew shrugged. "New kids. They had a shiny silver Volvo, and the car was just screaming at us to get it muddied," he replied. "So we obliged it and gave it another paint job. The driver and the passengers didn't get out though. We're sure it wasn't an admin because they parked in a 'Students Only' spot."
"They were probably plotting their revenge on the idiot who got mud on their new car," I said, rolling my eyes in annoyance. "How did you know that there were a few kids?"
Lew shrugged. "It's gloomy and rainy out there; there is no way they could have seen us," he said dismissively. "As for the number, well, we just kind of guessed that there were multiple people in it."
I nodded as Ms. Jysella approached the front of the room. I turned around, and focused on paying attention to the usual welcome speeches, list of rules and expectations, and the handing out of the usual emergency notices and papers to sign. It was the same, usual, boring routine.
It wasn't until third period that I met one of the new kids. That was Algebra, and I had been messing around with Lexi and her compass, mainly just trying to stick an eraser on the end of the point so she couldn't stab another student with it. Predictably, she had been furious to learn that she missed out on tossing mud at a Volvo, and a new one at that. While she couldn't drive, she loved messing up other people's cars using other methods than joyriding, which I'm sure she would have done if she could drive.
It was a true miracle that the police hadn't gotten involved yet.
"Cromwell!" the teacher, a thin woman named Marseille, shouted from the front of the room. When Lexi finally fell quiet, Marseille fluffed the front of her dress before announcing, "Attention, class, we have a new student today with us. Now I expect you to treat her with the same respect that you would to a teacher or fellow student." She was quiet until the titters in her room silenced… I wondered if she had any idea of the low level of respect for her in our class. Then she continued, saying, "Her name is Isabella Hale, and she recently moved here from Ashland, Wisconsin. I expect all of you to help her transition into this school; you were all new students at one point and I'm sure you all remember how terrifying it was for you on your first day."
Lexi's hand shot up like a bullet, and I hissed, "Lexi, no smart remarks when she's in this particular mood! Remember what happened last year when your teacher was in this same mood and you got all smart with them?" But Lexi ignored me, keeping her hand up and maintaining her focus on the teacher. That was when I spotted Isabella Hale enter the room, clutching her books close. She looked… oddly familiar as though I had seen her somewhere else before.
"Yes Miss Cromwell?" Marseille asked, pleased to have the appearance of running a strict classroom that was behaving while the new student was actually observing us.
Lexi shattered that illusion for us. "How do you expect us to remember our first days in school when you're going to be forcing math junk into our brains? We all don't have photographic memories after all," she replied smoothly, smirking when her response brought on more hidden laughter.
Ms. Marseille looked as though she had swallowed a particularly sour lemon. Recovering from the smart remark, she turned to Isabella and said, "Miss Isabella, why don't you sit in the seat behind Mark, second row from the window, third seat back?"
"Bella," the girl corrected, and Ms. Marseille blinked as though surprised that the girl had actually spoken. "If you don't mind, I prefer Bella," she said again, in case Marseille had missed it the first time.
"My apologies Isabella. Please take your seat," Ms. Marseille said, gesturing to the appropriate seat.
"We have twenty math teachers in this school, and we got stuck with the only one who has short-term memory loss," Lexi groaned, burying her face into her arms.
"At least we have each other. Besides, she won't remember to penalize you when you don't do your homework," I whispered back as Marseille began passing out math textbooks.
"Yes, thank God."
"Alexandra Cromwell! Stop talking or it's detention for you!" Marseille snapped from across the room. She turned back to Bella and began getting her book registered.
"I tell you, the woman has the ears of a bat," Lexi muttered even lower.
"I heard that!" Marseille spat. She looked tenderly back at Bella and said, "I apologize Miss Hale, that you have to consort with degenerates like Miss Cromwell. Her little friend Vanessa Woodley is much, much better behaved."
I made brief eye contact with Hale. We stared at each other for a few moments, and then I looked away first. I had the nagging feeling that I had seen her before, but from where I didn't know. I reached underneath my shirt, and pulled out my lucky charm. It was a gold locket that I had had for as long as I could remember, but the clasp was broken so it never opened, and Lord knows how many times I had tried in the past.
For some odd reason, I felt that I was going to need it.
A/N: So this story, Broken Glass is written in collaboration with Fyrepen33, and we'll be alternating chapters. To clear up any confusion, this is an alternate timeline after Breaking Dawn. It takes place ten years after BD ended, and is under the story that the fight with the Volturi did occur, and Jacob escaped with Renesmee via airplane. As for what happened after that, well, you'll have to keep reading to find out :). Okay, all original characters belong to both of us, and require our permission to use elsewhere (you can ask either one of us). The plotline of the story itself is credited to Fyrepen33. Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight and all other related media.