Vultures and Thieves

Alice's POV

Sometimes, days just suck.

I'm an optimistic person. Not all of my days suck. In fact, hardly any of them do, anymore. Plenty of them are great, most of them are normal, and quite a few of them include my actually being quite pleased with their outcome.

But, some of them suck, and it's plain and simple as that. It's to be expected, with a girl like me. Some of these days would be enough to turn any polite, unsuspecting seventeen year old girl into an axe murderer.

Not me. I pretend to know how to deal with these days. I've had practice.

"Are you sure you don't want to go home?" My sister asked me, giving me the typical 'comforting touch' on the shoulder. I shrugged nonchalantly, perched on the edge of the high school cafeteria table. I swung a foot, pretending carelessness.

"Bella, if you drove me home every time I tripped over someone, you would not pass junior year." I teased, and I heard her sigh. Sometimes, I wondered what it was like, on the other side of things. It couldn't have been easy for her, having a sister like me all the time. "I'm fine, see?" I wiggled my fingers. "I'm just as much as a freak as I was before."

"You're insane, Alice."

"But proud." I answered back, sticking out my tongue. "And that makes all the difference, now, doesn't it?" The antics I'd just caused were all part of the diversion. It's not that I mind making a fool of myself every now and then – it's become an art I've accepted – but, rather, that people notice I'm blind when I do.

And then they pity me. I really, really don't like pity. It has no use – I'm blind, you're not, and we are both getting along just fine.

The 'incident' that caused this day to go down eternally as suck happened about ten minutes ago. In most places, I'm perfectly fine walking on my own, but sometimes things will go a little haywire. I usually don't eat in the cafeteria, because of how noisy it is. For me, covering my ears is like putting on a blindfold. I move around by echolocation – listening to where the sounds bounce off of objects by clucking my tongue. When there are so many people talking at once, or a lot of noise in one room, I can't 'see straight' – so to speak.

That's why we usually eat lunch in the library, but we decided to take the chance today. There were rumors about the new kids in town. In a town as small as Forks, Washington, we don't get many newcomers. Not since me, roughly eleven years ago. I wanted to know who they were – not necessarily meet them, but I wanted to know who they were. Meeting them would come later – and eventually, they'd get over the fact that I was blind, and they'd look past it, like every other person in this school.

We'd been waiting on line for lunch when it happened. I'd been careless, my fault really. I hadn't been thinking when I reached across the counter, took a step forward, and ran right into Emmett McCarthy, the football team's quarterback.

Of course, being small in stature, the run in sent me staggering backwards before landing on my behind.

Emmett helped me up, but that's not the point. I laughed it off, brushed it aside, and soon the gazes at me ceased.

The lingering feel of pity did not.

And, that's where we are now. Me, on the edge of the table, blocking out the voices off the masses, and Bella, on the chair, because she's clumsier than me with ear plugs on.

I'm just saying, that's all.

"Mom has an appointment at four today." Bella said. "It's a new one; she's got to be there earlier. Are you coming along?"

"Yeah." I said, trying for chipper. She fell for my act. Sometimes, I know there's too much on my sister's shoulders. She not only does the cooking, but she's also our sole driver. "Where's the doctor?"

Our Mom, Esme Platt, has been paraplegic since she was seven.

I like to think that's why she adopted me. She knew what being suddenly different was like.

"In Forks, for once in our lives." Bella said. I could hear the relief in her voice.

"Nice, Bells." I grinned. We usually had to go to Seattle or further to get a halfway decent doctor -one in our town was like Christmas and a birthday wrapped into one. "There's a new doctor in our town?" Like I said – we don't get newcomers. It's an event if someone sees a stray dog.

"Mom found him." Bella said. "He's really good – just moved in. I checked him out online."

She'd Googled Mom's new doctor? I couldn't say that surprised me entirely. Not only was she way too over-protective, but that was just classic her. "Do you think he…" I trailed off, waving a hand. If there were newcomers in our school and a new doctor in town, the chance that they were related was pretty strong.

"I don't see any other explanation. Plus, I may or may not have Googled that, too."

That was typical Bella for you. She wasn't great as a social butterfly. My sister preferred to get her information other ways – books, the internet, and other such things that don't involve contact with another human.

"And what did the great Isabella Platt come up with?" I asked, taking a bite of the apple in my hand. I had no doubt she'd come up with something – she spent whatever little free time she had on her computer or reading.

"His name is Dr. Cullen." She began. "He recently moved here from Seattle with his three children. He's pretty recognized."

"And he just upped and moved to our tiny town?"

"It appears so." She said. "The three kids are all in our school. Or are going to be in our school."

This was why she'd wanted to go to the cafeteria today. I knew there had to be something up – if she didn't already know something about them, she'd have been fine with eating in the library and meeting them whenever she did – most likely in a quiet, unannounced way. But knowing them – knowing who they were before anybody else had – it would definitely have piqued her interest.

The bell for the end of the period rung; I heard it seconds before Bella did. I hoped off of the edge of the table, turning back towards Bella's direction. "We're going shopping after." I told her; it wasn't a question.

And, of course, since I wasn't listening, that was when I ran into my second person of the day.

Like I said, sometimes days just suck.

Author's Note:

This is my second full length Twilight story. I hope that you'll enjoy it. It is all human. I'd really like to know what you're thinking on this one, so … please review!