Chapter 1: No Where to run
I smiled sadly as the sun hit me. She would have loved this freedom. I shook the thought from my head. I couldn't think like that. It wasn't smart or good. Not that this would last. I was almost back to the house, almost back to him.
I got into the house and quickly locked the door. I didn't need anyone walking in on this. I went to the kitchen and started on dinner. The better I behaved the less painful this would be. My hands started shaking and I dropped a hunk of cheese on the ground. I heard a frying pan whistle through the air before it made contact with my face.
I screamed as I fell to the ground. I wasn't given a chance to get up. He kicked me in the ribs so hard that I heard a crack. I groaned in agony. "Get up and finish dinner. Don't you dare fuck up again!" He ordered. His voice was hard, cold. "Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes sir." I replied obediently. I pushed myself to my feet and finished his meal. When I was done I went up to my room without eating. If I tried to sneak some food he would just hit me more. I sat on my bed, silent tears streamed down my face. I had been here for a year and I was stuck. He only allowed me to leave for grocery shopping, school, and a few other places on occasion. I would never be free.
I heard the door open and saw him standing there. He looked furious. He ran at me and pinned me up against a wall. I clawed at the hand he had around my throat. I would not die here, at least not like this. I was let off the wall only to have him punch me in the gut. I doubled over in pain. I didn't straighten up fast enough, so he slapped me in the face. "Stop your bitching and stand up!" He commanded. I did as I was told. He smiled at me before taking my head and slamming it into the wall. I fell to the floor and watched him exit the room through half closed eyes. That was the last thing I saw before the pain overtook me and I faded happily into unconsciousness.
I groaned as I awoke. I could hear the rain pounding on the roof and my alarm clock going off in the background. The combination was too much to sleep through. I pushed myself to a sitting position slowly, even that hurt. As I was breathing I felt another pang in my ribs. That was just great! They had just healed from last time! Knowing I didn't have time for this I pushed myself to my feet and went to the bathroom.
I looked horrible. I was bloody except for the tear tracks that let my pale, bruised skin show through. I cleaned myself up and fixed up my cuts. I winced, as I pick the big bloody scab out of my hair. It was so gross. I had to shower quickly after that to remove all traces of blood from my hair and body. After that was done I rushed around so as not to be late for school.
I grabbed an apple and raced to the beat up truck that was now mine. It was the only thing he had given me and that was just because he didn't want to drive me to school and to the grocery store. Besides I still had to pay for gas and the mechanic if anything broke. My truck roared to life causing me to jump. This was great. I still think he got this so that I could never go anywhere without him being aware that I was leaving or coming home. I pushed my truck's internal limit of 60 and arrived at school five minutes early. It was perfect: that was just enough time to get to class.
I was in Mr. Mason's class spacing when two new girls entered the class. They were extremely pale but total opposites. The tall one was statuesque. I swear my self-esteem fell three notches just by looking at her and it hadn't been very high to begin with. Her hair was golden, gently waving to the middle of her back. The short girl was pixie like, thin in the extreme, with small features. Her hair was a deep black, cropped short and pointing in every direction.
"Hi, I'm Alice Cullen and this is my foster sister Rosalie Hale. We just moved here a few days ago." Alice said smiling. It was odd. She seemed to make the other kids scared. How could anyone be scared of such a tiny kid? No one spoke.
"Welcome to Forks Alice and Rosalie." I called to the front of the class. The others turned to stare at me. "What? Seriously, you guys look like you think they're going to attack you or something. They aren't going to bite you." I said with a laugh. The class glared at me with a look that held all the hatred and disgust they felt for me. I rolled my eyes. Alice and Rosalie had stiffened slightly at that but relaxed just after. It was odd…
They moved to grab the last two vacant seats, which were on either side of me. Fuck! That meant I would have to focus somewhat in this class. "Thanks for saying something." Alice said, grateful.
"It was nothing. I had to go through the same thing last year." But for me it was sooo much worse. I added mentally while I shrugged. She flashed me a smile then turned to face the teacher. She had such nice eyes, so did Rosalie. They were gold. It was like butterscotch- pretty, but something seemed off about them. Something just wasn't right… I turned back to the front, tried hard to focus on the teacher, and shake the feeling.
Next I had government I settled down to have a nice easy class to see another new kid standing at the front of the class. He was just as beautiful as the others. He also had the same gold eyes, pale complexion, and dark purple shadows under his eyes. His hair was a honey blonde. He was muscular. Was he a weight lifter? Don't be so nosy it's rude! I mentally scolded myself. He looked like a senior. I was in the next year's government because I was way ahead of the game.
"Hello, I'm Jasper Hale. I moved here a few days ago with my family." How many new kids could there be? I felt bad for him. He was new and it was the middle of the year that had to suck!
"Welcome to Forks Jasper!" I yelled up to the front. I didn't care that everyone hated me. It was nice to see them irritated by my actions. I couldn't be his friend but at least I could be friendly. He moved to the empty seat beside me.
"Are you Rosalie's brother?" I asked. I wanted to be sure. I hated it when people made assumptions, so that was something I refused to do myself.
"Yes, She's my twin." He flashed a small smile. He seemed kind of stiff next to me, tense, worried maybe.
"Are you okay?" I asked, concerned.
"Yes, I'm fine." He said with another small smile. I shrugged and tried to pay attention to the teacher.
I was sitting in the back of Trig when in walks yet another pale new kid. This one had brown hair and a very stocky build. Was it national new kid day or something?
"Hi, I'm Emmett Cullen. I moved here a few days ago with my family." Did they practice that? I mean their explanations were all the same.
"Welcome to Forks." I told him as he moved to take the empty seat beside me.
"Thanks." He said smiling at me. I saw the kids in front of me squirming around. I rolled my eyes, and jumped at the chance to get him back.
"Grow a backbone Newton! I don't think Emmett is going to kill you or anything." Emmett laughed at that. I think he had a different meaning behind my words other then the one I was intending… I left Emmett alone as Jessica went in for the kill (gossip). I looked away smiling. He didn't have a chance. She would question him all period.
It was the last period before lunch and Rosalie came in and sat next to me, since she didn't say anything I didn't bother her. She must have heard about 'the real' Bella that Jessica had made up. It was Spanish so I pretended to be busy translating the paragraph even though I already knew what it said.
I left the class as soon as the bell rang and proceeded to the cafeteria. It was nice. I got through the lunch line quickly and went to my normal table. It was empty, which was also normal. The other kids didn't talk to me anymore. They had given up on that last year. It was February, so why should I expect that to change now? Besides with all the rumors and lies that were spread about me I was surprised they didn't call me a demon child or something equally ridiculous.
"Excuse me, but do you mind if we sit with you today?" A familiar bell-like voice asked me. My head snapped up to find the source. It was Alice Cullen. She was accompanied by what I could only guess was her family… all the new kids. I eyed them warily. Was this a prank set up by Lauren? Their faces were friendly, open. I immediately felt bad. How could I judge them like that? I didn't even know them yet!
"Thanks." Alice said sitting next to me.
"Just a question, are all of you related?" I bit my lip hoping they wouldn't take it the wrong way.
"Well, sort of." Emmett laughed.
"Emmett, Edward and I are Carlisle and Esme's adoptive children. Edward is the bronze haired kid. He's getting his schedule straightened out. Carlisle is a doctor at the hospital. Rosalie and Jasper are twins. They're foster kids." I nodded taking it in.
"Rose and I are dating." Emmett interjected.
"Alice and I are dating." Jasper stated smiling.
"Cool. It must be nice to see the one you like all the time."
"That doesn't bug you?" Emmett inquired, confused.
"Should it?" They smiled at me. It was nice. They were talking to me like I was actually an equal. In this school I was anything but. Of course Lauren chose just then to come over and ruin it.
"Why don't you come and sit with us? You don't have to sit with her." Lauren informed them. I clenched my hands into fists. She was talking like I wasn't even there! I hated that they all did that!
"We like sitting here, thanks." Alice said. Her voice had gone cold.
"Oh! No one's told you about her yet have they?" I bit my lip looking down. This was when everyone started to leave. When they decided I wasn't worth it… that I was too screwed up.
"She used to live with her foster family in Seattle but she killed her little sister. They didn't press charges, but they didn't want her anymore. Charlie took her in, but she's a wreck. She's always hurting herself on purpose and she's rebellious. I even heard she tried to steal Charlie's money, and she's slept with half the guys in the grade." She added at the end. I kept my eyes down and forced the tears back. I wouldn't cry now, I couldn't! Not in front of Lauren. I would never give her the satisfaction of seeing how broken I really was. I felt Jasper stiffen. I looked up. He looked like he was in pain.
"Lauren. We like it here, okay? Let us eat in peace." My brow furrowed. Did Alice just tell Lauren off? My head snapped up and I saw Lauren walk away. She was irritated. I turned to the Cullens/ Hales.
"You don't have to pretend. You can just go sit with them." I said, freeing them of any obligation they felt they had to sit with me.
"Bella, I want to hear it from you. What's the real story?" I bit my lip. I couldn't tell them! Charlie would find out and hurt me, or worse hurt them; I couldn't bear it if that happened, so no the whole truth simply wouldn't do.
"I lived with my foster family in Arizona and after their daughter died… they decided they didn't want me anymore. I came here and moved in with Charlie, my real dad." I explained.
"How did the rumors start?" Emmett questioned.
"I don't know… I'm clumsy, so I do get hurt a lot, but I don't do it on purpose.
"We believe you." Jasper assured me.
"Who was that girl anyway?" Rosalie inquired.
"That was Lauren. She's the biggest gossip hunter and rumor spreader this school has. She makes the rules and holds the power. If you threaten that power or don't follow her rules she'll tear you down and you end up an outcast, like me." I warned them. They frowned at that.
"Is that what happened to you?" Alice questioned.
"Something like that," the bell rang before anyone could reply. "See you later." I called over my shoulder as I rushed to Biology II. I settled into my lab table. I was sitting alone. I was the only one in the class that was that lucky.
"Class we have a new student." My eyes snapped open to focus on the bronze-haired boy at the front of the room. Boy wasn't the right word. He seemed older then that, older then the rest of us in a way. He had the same pale skin and golden eyes w as his siblings of sorts. It had to be Edward Cullen.
"Hello, I'm Edward Cullen. I moved here with my family a few days ago." I shook my head.
"Welcome to Forks Edward." Jessica called before I could get it out. I could see that hunting look she always got when she found a single guy. It irritated me. Edward wasn't a prize to be won! I felt oddly protective of this guy. I shook my head to rid it of the notion. Why should I be over protective of him? He looked muscled enough that he wouldn't need protecting.
As he sat down next to me he stiffened. His grip on the table was tight, as if he was holding himself back from doing something. He turned to glare harshly at me. His eyes were coal black. The hairs on the back of my neck rose up and I fought back a shiver. When he looked away misery welled up in me and it was hard to keep it off my face. This Cullen hated me. He must believe the rumors. I thought, sad. I could practically feel smugness radiating off of Jessica as she realized that Edward hated me as much as everyone else. Maybe all the Cullens/Hales had been pretending to like me. I looked down at my desk as I thought about it.
I looked straight ahead and forced myself to focus in class even though I could feel disgust coming from Edward. I couldn't stop myself from peeking occasionally through the screen of my hair at the strange boy next to me. During the whole class, he never relaxed his stiff position on the edge of his chair, sitting as far from me as possible. I could see his hand on his left leg was clench He glared at me many times through out the class period other then that he was very still. He didn't even look like he was breathing. The class seemed to drag on longer than the others.
I peeked up at him one more time, and regretted it. He was glaring down at me again, his black eyes full of revulsion. The moment the bell rang Edward Cullen was out of his seat. He was out the door before anyone else was out of their seat.
"I feel so bad for Edward. I would die if I had to sit next to her! She's such a whore!" Jessica called loud enough for the entire class to hear. They all started sniggering. I ducked my head and ran from the room to my next class. It was gym and we were playing badminton. None of the new kids were in this class with me.
No one would be my partner so Coach Clapp let me play by myself. I was against Jessica and Lauren. They were hitting the birdie as hard as they could so they could see me run all over. As I was trying to save the birdie I tripped over my own feet and fell face first to the gym floor. As my head smacked against the gym floor I could hear laughter from all around. Of course my pain made them laugh. It always did. I forced myself to my feet and hit the birdie back over the net. The rest of the class I just ignored everything but the stupid birdie.
The rain had drifted away, but the wind was stronger, colder. I wrapped my arms around myself. I went to the office to hand in a note a teacher had told me to only to find Edward in there. I stood back waiting. I could hear him clearly. He was arguing with her in a low, attractive voice. I quickly picked up the gist of the argument. He was trying to trade from sixth-hour Biology to another time, any other time.
I could easily believe that this was about me. It was completely possible that this stranger could take such a sudden, intense dislike to me…if he had talked to anyone about me, if Jessica and Lauren had gotten to him.
The door opened again, and the cold wind suddenly gusted through the room, blowing my hair around like crazy. The girl who came in merely stepped to the desk, placed a note in the wire basket, and walked out again. Edward's back stiffened, and he turned slowly to glare at me, his face was absurdly handsome, with piercing, hate-filled eyes. For an instant, I felt a thrill of genuine fear, raising the hair on my arms. The look only lasted a second, but it chilled me more than the freezing wind. He turned back to the receptionist.
"Never mind," he said hastily in a voice like velvet. "I can see that it's impossible. Thank you so much for your help." And he turned on his heel without another look at me, and disappeared out the door. I went meekly to the desk, my face white, and handed her the note.
I exited the warm little office and went to my truck. The second it roared to life I was already pulling out of the lot. I knew I was speeding far too quickly back to Charlie but school was almost as bad. I let a single tear fall. For me, nowhere was safe.