Disclaimer: I own nothing, as usual. I will never own anything that Stephenie Meyer created, and I simply and humbly take her characters and twist them to serve another purpose. I am not making any monetary gain from this, nor do intend to claim Mrs. Meyer's work as my own in any way. I DON'T OWN IT; DON'T SUE ME! This applies for the rest of the story, and I'm making the disclaimer now so as to not annoy you with it at the beginning of every single chapter, because there will be many, many more chapters to come.
Wednesday. I like Wednesdays. Not only does it mean that I'm half-way through the week, but I have SOTW meetings during lunch. My best friend Alice is the president of the Students Of The World club in our school. She's always been active in the club, organizing food drives for the starving people of Haiti, collecting clothes and shoes for the poor little kids in Nicaragua, and advocating events for Darfur. She's an angel, that little one. I decided to join the club with her freshman year and have been by her side all along, fixing up the budget, doing the paperwork, and getting things done legitimately. Eventually, that landed me a spot as vice-president.
I loved doing meetings during lunch, because everyone was so eager to hear what our next project was. They were also extremely energetic because of all the caffeine in their Cokes, so they were extra willing to sign up for events and help us out. Today, we had exciting news for our 100-something members.
"Okay, guys, settle down, settle down! We have huge news for you, so we need you to sit down and be quiet," Rosalie, our secretary and fellow best friend, said in an authoritative tone.
Everyone looked at her, scared by the way she could command them, and looked at Alice, who was sitting on Mr. Whitlock's desk devouring a pepperoni pizza. She gulped down what was in her mouth barely having chewed it, and stood on the desk.
"Alright, so," she said clearing her throat, "This semester we're planning on focusing on 3 main projects, all aimed around Afghanistan."
"We'll make three main groups, and will need at least 40 people supporting each group. You are welcome to sign up for more than one if you'd like." Rose's voice was lighter now; her compassion always shone through when she was talking of projects. This is what made everyone love her besides her icy attitude sometimes.
"The projects are going to be really big this time, bigger than we've ever done anything before, so we really need your help. If you have friends that aren't in the club but are members of Active Youth or International Generation, please tell them to e-mail me or text me, or come see me. We really need the support," Alice informed the excited-looking faces. "So, now Bella's going to explain the projects while Rosalie passes around the sign-in sheet, and later you can come up and sign up for whichever project you'd like to participate in."
"Hey guys," I smiled, "Um, well, this time we're taking a step further in planning, and as Ali just told you, we've taken up 3 large projects to focus on. So, first of all, the project Alice is organizing is a fundraiser to buy burqas for Afghan women and girls. As you know, it is impossible for a woman to step out of her house without one, and many can't afford one. Sunni's mom agreed to donate some, and if we make enough money fundraising, she'll buy the necessary materials and make as much as she can. With the money that's left, we will purchase some.
"Rosalie's project is a book/material drive for the kids in Afghanistan. She'll post up a note on Facebook with all the things she will be collecting, and she also needs someone to make flyers for her. You can sign up for that when you write yourself down for her project. She mainly wants to collect school supplies, such as pens, pencils, crayons, notebooks, and things like that." I took a break to drink some of my Arizona raspberry tea.
"My project," I continued, "Is tied with the US Marine Crops. I got permission from the undersecretary of the secretary of the war department at the Pentagon to do a pen-pal program, where each student is assigned a service member and they write to each other, and eventually meet each other when the troops are allowed to weeks to visit us here, in DC, in the Auditorium of the White House. They think it's a huge deal, and want to film it, as all our events."
The people were practically bouncing up and down in their seats.
"Ok, so, now that you've got the main idea of each project, I'll pass around a sheet for each. Write your name, ID number, and cell number so we can get all that annoying paperwork done for Administration. The quicker we get papers approved, the more time we have to do all these things." Alice said excitedly.
"We will be having a meeting on Saturday afternoon at my house to coordinate everything," Mr. Whitlock said behind his desk. Mr. Whitlock was my favorite teacher in the universe. He sponsored our club and taught Advanced Placement International Affairs to a select number of seniors. Thankfully, I was part of the select few.
"Please let your parents know about these events. They can always lend a helping hand."
And so the first bell signaled the end of our happy world and the start of seventh period. People smiled and said their goodbyes to us as the filed out of the classroom slowly, a large queue at the door because of the large amount of people packed into a simple-sized classroom.
We stayed behind, Alice and Rosalie picking up their things heading for AP Political Science. Alice left me the sign-up sheets and promised to come to my house after school so we could sort things out. I escorted them to the door and threw away my lunch, making my way back to Mr. Whitlock's desk.
"You think this'll work, Mr. Whit?"
He looked at me thoughtfully and nodded. "I hope so, Bella. We're very ambitious this year, but we just started the school year. I'm sure we'll do great things in these coming 10 months."
I smiled at his reassurance and pulled up a chair to his computer. He was grading our papers today, so he gave up his Mac for me to organize the project sign-in sheets. The buzz of conversation faded as the late bell rung and everyone took out a silent reading book, as it was customary for us to do the first 10 minutes of class. I was exempt, of course, because of my constant planning and organizing, which Mr. Whitlock encouraged.
He handed back the reports we had completed two weeks prior, and sent everyone off to the computer lab to fix their mistakes and re-check their sources. I stayed behind because I received a nearly perfect score on my paper. I had worked on it 18 hours, researching, cross-referencing, and digging deep down into the topic. I sighed with relief when I saw a 19/20 painted in red ink over my name in the cover page.
I typed up all the event lists and saved a copy onto Jasper's desktop, on my USB, and sent it to Ali and Rose on an email. I printed a copy of the sheets and stapled them to the bulletin board at the entrance of the class where Mr. Whitlock had a large area dedicated to our club.
I signed my name in red ink above the title of my project. This was a tradition almost; we would sign our names on the top of our projects and proposals every time we started new ones.
I had no idea that this time, my signature would bind me to my project far more than it ever had.
A/N: This is how it starts. Don't worry, these first chapters will probably be narration, but I promise, the letters will come. I've never written a romance before, so please help me along the way. If you can give me tips or criticism, please do. I will love you sooo much for it.
Thanks for reading!
Always yours, ~R Vorenus~