Playing the Part
Chapter 1- Forget Me Not
The wind rattled the panes in the windows as I huddled up under my duvet for my weekly fix with Crush. I sipped my hot chocolate and grabbed the glossy magazine off of my bedside desk, carefully tearing the cellophane off. Yes, I am an English literature teacher with a weekly subscription to a magazine whose main audience is teenage girls and tweens and I don't even throw them away after reading them. No, I don't burn them either; believe it or not, I keep them. Stacks and stacks of them in one drawer.
I took another sip and looked down at the front cover into the dazzling green eyes I knew by heart, and always had. This was the reason I got the stupid mag. Edward Cullen. Girls anywhere and everywhere had the hots for him and this was taken advantage of by every magazine published. No magazine aimed at teen girls was ever published without at least one photo of the hottest actor in the world.
This issue of Crush claimed to reveal his deepest, darkest secrets. I wasn't the kind of sucker that fell for that - I was totally aware that half of the stuff you read was lies – but I loved staring endlessly at the photos. That was why I only allowed myself one night a week to read it; so that this obsession didn't completely take over my life. I skipped past the lazy slang-ridden first thirty or so pages until I came to the article about the bronze-haired, green-eyed Greek God.
My heart throbbed painfully as I read the caption 'I'm afraid of losing those closest to me'. "You didn't care about that ten years ago," I thought aloud, sighing and starting to read the article:
This week, I was lucky enough to meet THE Edward Cullen and get to ask him what makes him laugh, cry and what really makes him tick. I rolled my eyes at the wording.And I was feeling kind so I decided to share all with you. Here's your Crush scoop on the Culleniser:
What the hell? Culleniser? Really?
So, Mr Cullen, you have female admirers all over the world. How do you deal with this level of obsession and devotion?
Honestly? I don't really. I find it really hard to understand why people like me so much. I mean, you wouldn't go into a forest or something and take six billion photos of one tree, would you? So why do you need several thousand pictures of someone as ordinary as me just sitting in an airport not doing anything? Why do people care what my favourite pizza topping is or whether I have a celebrity crush? I don't really understand it at all, if I'm honest.
Just out of interest, what is your favourite pizza topping?
I almost gagged as I imagined this interviewer simpering at Edward, asking innocently about pizza when all she really wanted was to jump his bones.
(Laughs) See? Why do you care? But, for the record, pepperoni and extra cheese all the way.
I sighed, ignoring the pang in my chest as I remembered pizza nights. Pepperoni and extra cheese had been my favourite too. Pepperoni and extra cheese pizza with hazelnut chocolate spread on top… our Friday night treat.
Going back to the female attention… what qualities do you look for in a girl? Luck would obviously have to be a factor.
It would? I… I don't really know what I'd look for in a girl. I guess… I like girls that appear to be shy, but underneath it all are as fierce and protective as a tiger. And they have to have an incredible sense of humour, and a great personality. And I prefer brunettes.
Wow, you sure ask for a lot! On to the next question…
I snorted. She was obviously not his type so had decided to pretend that that had never happened. Bitch.
What are the easiest and hardest aspects of being famous, and what motivates you?
Hmm… well, I'm not sure that there is an easy part of being famous. I just do what I love, you know? And it never occurred to me that I'd become… this kind of… I dunno what I am, but I never expected the hype. I guess the easiest thing is that I get to do what I want to and I get paid for it (laughs). The hardest aspect… probably that I can't go anywhere or do anything without getting recognised or followed. And that I can't see my family and friends very often. And dating is a real problem. You never know whether a girl likes you for you or the character you play, you know? Or whether she just wants your money or a picture of herself on the front page of [Crush].
I spluttered with laughter into my drink as I read Crush in square brackets, meaning that he had said the name of a different magazine and they had changed it. Devious.
What was the last part of the question again?
What motivates you?
What motivates me? Woah. Um… well, I've already said this but I do love what I do so, in some ways, just doing the acting and the music motivates me. Other things… well, I want to make people, the fans especially, proud to say that they like me. I want the people that make me having this career possible to feel like they're not doing everything that they are for nothing, if that makes sense. And I'll do anything if my agent bribes me with a bar of chocolate… (laughs)
What are you scared of?
… I'm scared… of… (sighs) I'm terrified of losing someone I'm close to. I..I .. it just happened.. Once… is that all the questions?
Was he talking about me? No, he couldn't be… could he? He had said himself that he didn't care about me. I decided to go to bed and put the magazine down, to stop my head from spinning uncontrollably, even though I knew that sleep was hardly an escape from Edward Cullen…
The rain pattered against the window, running down and mirroring my tears. I pressed my forehead against the cold glass and curled my fist tighter around the scrap of paper in my right hand. I didn't need to look at it to know what it said, nor did I need to read it to feel awful; to regret everything.
Every tick of the clock, every beat of my heart, every ragged breath I drew in seemed to be telling me the same thing: he's gone.
There was a knock on the door then, and Charlie poked his head in.
I hastily wiped my tears away but we both knew that he had seen them. "You not coming to say goodbye?"
I shook my head stubbornly.
"Oh, right," Charlie remembered. "You fell out." He came and stood by me, where I sat in the bay window seat. "Why don't you put your differences aside and say bye, Bells?"
"Can't," I muttered.
He sighed. "You want the last time you see him to be when you were fighting? Don't you wanna make up? Before he goes? England is a long way away, Bella."
As far as I was concerned, he had already gone- he had left me in favour of a pretty girl with a rich family; my Edward had long gone. I caught myself just in time; he never had been mine. "We didn't fight," I lied. "We came to a mutual agreement that we don't want to see each other again."
"And I'm sure he regrets that as much as you do," Charlie said.
I shook my head miserably, though I knew that he was right. He had just summed up what the note had already told me.
Charlie looked sadly at the carpet. "What was he supposed to do, Bella? This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. He can't turn it down on the off-chance that his best friend has loved him since forever and just isn't brave enough to tell him."
I glared at him. "He could have done anything. Anything but leave," I spat, choosing to ignore his second statement.
Charlie sighed again and leant down to kiss my forehead. "I'll tell him you send your best wishes."
"He'll know you're lying."
"Perhaps," Charlie agreed. "But it's better than telling him the truth." Then he left. I watched out of the window as he drove away in his police car, blue lights dormant and sirens off.
I sighed and looked down at my clenched fist. Then, slowly, I unfurled my fist and looked at the slip of my paper. Biting down hard on my lip, I opened it up and let my eyes slide over the words: I'm so sorry about yesterday. I need to talk to you. Meet me in our meadow at 8pm tonight. If you don't come, I'll understand, but there's something you need to know. If you don't come… I guess this is goodbye. I'll miss you, always. Edward xxx
I let a fresh tear dribble down my cheek. Why hadn't I gone? Now I'd never know what he had wanted to say… I'd never hear his voice again. I had never been more annoyed at myself for anything, than I was annoyed at myself for not going last night.
I had to see him. Just one more time. I leapt up and grabbed my keys, and then threw them back down when I remembered that my truck was in no state to be driven right now (that was Edward's fault too). I reached for my phone, and cried out in annoyance when my hand met air; why had I thrown it at the wall like that?!
So the only thing that came with me as I jumped down the stairs, pulled on my shoes and ran out into the rain was Edward's note.
I ran all the way down the familiar wet roads to the Cullens' house, desperate to get there in time. Of course, Murphy's Law meant that I had to get there just in time to see the car pulling away. Edward didn't look back…
I sat up in bed, jolting myself awake. It was with the image of the retreating car stuck in my head that I rolled out of bed and into the kitchen. I looked at the clock on the microwave as I sank into a wooden chair after flicking the kettle on: 3am. From this seat I could see right into the living room – well, the term should be living room, but it was more like a living closet – of my apartment. The blinking light on my laptop telling me that it was in 'sleep' mode reminded me of the writer's block that had invaded that morning.
It had been my dream ever since I had been a little girl to write a book. I didn't mind too much about making a living from it, or being successful, but it would be my dream come true to be able to walk into a book shop and see a book that I wrote on the shelf. Everything I tried, though, ended in disaster. I always got stuck halfway through and either couldn't finish or forced the words out. Any writer will tell you that writing is only ever good when it comes from within; when you don't have to think on the words, they just appear out of thin air. When you have to think about what you want to write, when you try to write things, it comes out all wrong. That is what is known as writers block, and only those people who consider themselves writers – even amateur ones like me – can understand.
The kettle clicked then, bringing me out of my train of thought. I got up and went to the work top. I stopped my hand where it hovered over the caffeine-filled coffee pot, and reached for a fruit tea instead. I went back to bed with a steaming mug of strawberry tea, gulped it down, huddled back under the duvet and fell into a much nicer, dreamless sleep.
Romeo and Juliet, one of my favourite books of all time- it was lessons like this in which I loved being a teacher. I mean I got to teach one of my favourite things in the world and share my passion with other people. I was also hoping that it would help me forget last night's nightmare…
"Quieten down please class!" The only down side to it, was I was sharing my passion with a bunch of year 10's- who I had a feeling wouldn't connect to the story as much as I did.
Hmm… what would they understand about one of the themes in the book? There was conflict… I guess I could relate it too a war- but no, they wouldn't be interested in that.
"Oi! Please quieten down and everyone take one of the Romeo and Juliet books and pass them along please!" I handed the pile of books to the front desk, to a pair of students who were obviously very attracted to each other.
Then it hit me. Love. Why didn't I think about it before? Nearly all the student's could relate to that, or at least have some idea about it.
"Now class, in Romeo and Juliet- we see lot's of different types of love, romance, parental and family love, friendship and unrequited love. Can anyone explain one of these types of love?" Dang! Stupid question to ask to a bunch of immature year 10's.
And, as if on cue, 'Randy' the student I would say in this class had the worst reputation for 'trouble making', stuck his hand up. "Yes Randy." I sighed, guessing what would be coming…
"Well, romanticcc love, is when a guy and a girl love each other very much and then show their affection by doing-"
But I cut him off before he could give examples of what people in love do. "Yes Randy, thank you. I think we all know about that." I rolled my eyes, before scanning the class to see who else's hand was up. Ahh- Lucy, she was actually good at English. "Lu-"
But I got interrupted by Randy. "Miss, have you ever been in love? You know the lovey-dovey way?" I felt the whole class' eyes on me- even the one's of people who hadn't been listening before.
"No," I replied immediately, but for some reason Edward Cullen's face filled my head…
"What- never? Don't you believe in it or something?" Why did he care so much?
I felt myself blush- though I wasn't entirely sure why. "I.. I just think that you need to find the right person… and I haven't.. yet.. Kind of."
Sugar, why did I say that? I sighed. "Randy, to be honest I don't think that my love life- has got anything to do with you!" That's good, be strict- I was the teacher after all. "Now, who could explain any of the other types of love, please?" I smiled when I saw Lucy's hand rise again. "Yes, Lucy?"
"Well, unrequited love is when you love someone but they do not love you back. Like Romeo 'thinks' he loves Rosaline, but she does not love him." I could see that me and Lucy could get on very well.
"So is that what happened to you, Miss? Did you have unrequited love?" I could see a detention coming Randy's way soon…
But he was right, Edward did leave me; whether he knew how I felt about him was a different story. He was now living his big famous life and I was just a blip in his past. He was so much more then a blip in my past.. "Randy! One more time!" I warned him, pointing my finger at him and motioning him to shut up.
Luckily for the rest of the lesson, Randy did shut up- to my relief. But still his words lingered in my head and old memories came back, including last nights dream.
Eventually, the bell went- I let out a big sigh and sunk into my seat, closing my eyes for a bit to calm myself down. Who knew even my favourite book could turn an enemy against me?
I decided to pull out my phone and ring Alice; she would be the ideal person to help me.
"Bella!" Alice answered the phone almost immediately, I hardly heard one ring.
"Hey Alice," I replied- Alice had been one of my best friends; since Edward had left really, though I had never told her anything about Edward. When I met Alice at college she was studying textiles and I was studying English- I have no idea why we clicked as we did, but when I quite literally bumped into her one day on campus, we just got talking and that was that. She was the person that got me back on my feet after Edward had left. Unfortunately, no one as clumsy as me could stay vertical forever and I often needed a little push back up again. Now was one of those times.
"What's up?" she asked, obviously catching onto the tone of my voice.
"Eurgh… just class- same old, look I really need a girl's night out, are you free tonight?" I asked, secretly begging inside that she was free.
"Yeah, that sound's great. I've got some news to tell you as well!" she chirped at the end, a little to high for my liking.
"Okay great, shall we say 7 at Jazz?" Alice suggested.
"Sure, bye!" I slapped my mobile shut, before putting it into my bag and heading off to the staffroom. Deciding never again to teach Romeo and Juliet to Year 10s*.
*for those of you that live outside of the UK, year 10 is kids aged 14-15.
Hey guys! So… new fanfic to start the new year. And this is a collaboration too! Exciting stuff, eh? If you're here from THWTLAL then thanks so much for checking this out and I really hope that you liked it :D
Neither Laura nor I have ever done anything like this before so hopefully we've done okay *fingers crossed* We're not doing a chapter or a POV each but are simply just writing whatever we feel like doing and combining it to make a story :D Which is hopefully at least halfway decent XD
We have the next chapter written but I'm not sure when we'll be posting it because of the exams that I've got for the next two weeks. Hopefully fairly soon ;)
For once, I have nothing more to say XD Apart from please review- we'd love to know what you think :)
Thank you all very muchly :D