An Introduction to Swirl and Daisy: The Non-Romantic Romance

Betas: xsecretxkeeperx

Chapter 31: A Farewell to Eleventh Grade 2004-2005

. . .

It was a dark and stormy night. (Not really. More like, a bright, mildly windy afternoon.) A sea of costumed teenagers, most of whom had never thought to step foot inside the habitually vacant library, leaked into the hallways of Forks High. The tiny building couldn't handle its new status as the place to be and the more than four hundred students and faculty clamoring to show off their disguises. The Wolverines, Carrie Bradshaws, and Disney princess skanks in the crowd displayed a distinctly loose interpretation of the term "book character" on the Fly-Your-Geek-Flag invitation, but faith in intelligence was restored by the Lancelots, the Hermione Grangers, the Cats in Hats, the Princess Buttercups, and by one increasingly cheeky Jesus Christ.

Mrs. Brooks, the librarian, was huddled up in her office, presumably with a good book and a tumbler of brandy. It was more than she had bargained for under the title of Book Club Sponsor, and apart from the shelves of books, her library had become unrecognizable. Twinkle lights, streamers, two tables full of book-themed food, and a dance floor in the Applied Science and Technology section lent themselves to a party atmosphere of grand proportions. Above it all hung a large banner with the luminous faces of Emmett, Angela, and the consulting detective formerly known as Bella drawn onto it by the skilled hand of Edward. It was important that people knew who had put on this shindig.

The evidence led to but one reasonable deduction: This was the greatest, most awe-inspiring book club of all time. The Guinness Book of World Records would surely be interested.

In the midst of it all was I. Cunning, inscrutable, keenly observant. And my pipe needed shining. The tweed sleeve of my Inverness cape swiped over the polish, finessing it into an immaculate gleam.

Dorothy of Kansas, aka Angela, approached me with the flustered smile of a usually levelheaded someone enjoying her first adolescent exploit. "Have you heard? We throw the best party this side of the rainbow." Her stuffed dog, Toto, was equally as excited in his squared, woven basket. "We're legends."

"To be sure, Dorothy. To be sure." A British lilt tinted my voice. "It does, however, beg the question: Will anyone from this party be inclined to show up to Book Club next year without the flair of festivities?"

The exhilaration deflated from her faster than a punctured balloon. "About that, there's something I need to talk to you about."

"No need. I'm well aware that you're resigning as president of Book Club."

"How?"

"It is my business to know things. That is my trade." She was unconvinced. "I could hardly fail to notice the slight faltering of your breathing, the bounce of your leg, the sudden need to avoid my gaze. What other conclusion would support such apprehension?" I stuck the pipe back in my mouth and sipped the tobacco-less air. "And because Bella is resigning, as well."

"She is?"

"Indeed," said I. "As is Emmett."

"Emmett?"

"He told me not fifteen minutes ago, citing a desire for Book Club to go out with a bang."

"This makes me so sad," said she. "It was nice having a guy-friend for once."

"Fear not. We shall meet again."

"I know, but I'm still going to miss it."

I tipped the edge of my deerstalker hat in her direction. "As will I. Perchance, have you seen Dr. Watson?"

"He's running around taking pictures." Ever the biographer, that Watson. "Too bad the Yearbook's already printed. This party deserves to be immortalized. Speaking of yearbooks, there's this one autograph in mine that you have to read." She scooted Toto aside, and pulled out the large book from her basket. "It's from the guy dressed as Bridget Jones. He goes on and on about how awesome this party—wait, Bella, what is this?"

She held out the yearbook to me, but I didn't need it to read the inscription she was referring to.

What you do in this world is
a matter of no consequence.
The question is what can you
make people believe you have
done.

Sherlock Holmes

"Was that you?" asked she.

"Naturally."

"Did you sign all your autographs as Sherlock?"

"It is my business to know what other people don't know. I only wish to share my wealth of knowledge." (Not really. I hadn't wanted the hours I'd spent scouring the Internet for Sherlock's best quotes to go to waste.)

"People are not going to want to look back at their yearbooks to find a quote from anyone other than Bella Swan."

"Perhaps."

"Bella, stop acting like you're in Never Never Land and sign my yearbook properly."

"Can't say I've ever been to Neverland, but Peter Pan and Tinkerbelle suggest it's quite the retreat," I said, nodding toward Emmett and Rosalie on the dance floor.

"Bella," she said in a warning.

"I could perhaps make one exception."

"Thank you," said she, handing me her yearbook.

. . .

Dear Angela (revised),

You know you're totally my BFF
and my love for you is greater
than even my love for Harry Potter.

Can you believe we're seniors now?
To quote Rizzo from Grease,
"We are going to rule the school!"
Especially with our awesome
party-throwing skills. We are
invincible!

Here's one last Sherlock quote
that I haven't gotten to use yet:

"The world is big enough for us.
No ghosts need apply."

I have no idea what that applies to,
but it reminded me of HP (because of
the ghosts!).

Love you! Bella

.

Bella, Bella, Bella,

You're such a beautiful and
wonderful person. You've
always been there for me and
I can't thank you enough.

I have so much fun with you.
Even though it was kind of a bust,
B.C. was a blast and gave us the
best opportunity for some teenage
shenanigans. Remember the felt
sex organ debacle? That was
HILARIOUS. Who would have
guessed the preacher's daughter
and police chief's daughter were
such pervs? (Don't let your dad
see this! LOL!) Emmett's a perv too,
but everyone already knows that.
;-)

You're my best friend and always
will be. We are going to have
houses next to each other and
everything like we planned.

I can't wait for this summer so
we can read the 6
th book together!

Love, Angela

"This is not normal."
- Daniel Radcliffe, POA

.

Bourke,

It has been the best year ever with you
and Ang around. You guys are the coolest
and I'm glad we got to hang.

We have to get together over the summer
& talk about HBP. I still think it's Hagrid.

The Boy Who Never Grows Up,

Emmett

.

Dear Emmett,

I have taken to living by my wits.

Sherlock Holmes

P.S. This year has been incredible! You're
such a fun dude. I hope we hang out next
year, even without Book Club.

P.P.S. It's totally not Hagrid.

.

"Oh, my, god. Becky, look at her butt.
It is so big."

I still can't get it out of my head.

Thanks, Rosalie

.

Rosalie,

Mediocrity knows nothing higher
than itself; but talent instantly
recognizes genius.

Sherlock Holmes

.

Bella,

You don't know me because I'm a
lowly freshman, but there's
something I've wanted to tell you
ever since I saw you. You're hot and
Edward Cullen is the luckiest guy
on the planet. I hate him.

Signed,
Too-Afraid-To-Tell-You-My-Name

P.S. This party is insane!

.

Dear Frosh,

Education never ends.
It is a series of lessons,
with the greatest for the last

Sherlock Holmes

.

Hey Chica!

HAGS!

I totally don't understand how you
survive on 3 hours of sleep.

Thanks for the, um, "helpful hints"
on vocab. Keep in touch you crazy,
obsessed person.

Jessica

.

Dear Jessica,

You have a grand gift for silence.
It makes you quite invaluable
as a companion.

Sherlock Holmes

.

Bella,

I am so glad I was able to be friends
with you these last couple of years. I am
going to miss you next year. You helped
keep school entertaining. You know if
you are ever bored just call me.

By the way, I am still going to be in
state for college, so you don't have to
cry yourself to sleep. We should, in fact,
do something over the summer, K?

Always your friend,
Cynthia Brandon

555-9532
Cynthiakay {at} hotmail .com

.

Dear Cynthia,

To let the brain work without sufficient
material is like racing an engine.
It racks itself to pieces.

Sherlock Holmes

.

Hey sexy thang!

One more year. Have a great summer.
Please do something else than
worshipping Harry Potter.

Eric Yorkie

AIM: HollabackBoy88
Yahoo: MrBrightside88
MSA: BehindTheseHazelEyes88
e-mail: eric_yorkie {at} netscape .com

.

Dear Eric,

Don't talk. You lower the IQ
of the entire street every time
you open your mouth.

― Sherlock Holmes

.

Bella,

THANK YOU!

~Alice Brandon

.

Dear Alice,

Because it is my desire.
Is that not enough?

Sherlock Holmes

P.S. Clearly my desire is not
enough or this day would
have come months ago.
But whatevs.
You look great. Stage 6 is
within our grasp.

Mwahahaha!

.

Hey Bella,

On the one hand, it's great to finally
be done with high school, but on the
other, I'm going to miss you, Edward,
and the gang.

I know we've had some ups and downs
over the years, but I think it's turned
out all right.

I'll come down and visit from UDub.

Jasper

.

Dear Jasper,

A strange enigma is man.

Sherlock Holmes

P.S. I'm going to miss you too,
but I'm sure we'll be seeing
you around a lot. You don't
know what this means yet,
but always remember me as
the diabolical genius I am!

. . .

"What's going on over here?" asked Watson. A dapper bloke was he, wearing a tailored three-piece suit and black, felt top hat. A camera hung around his neck, reminding me of the yearbook photographer from middle school. There was no mystery here: Watson was as intoxicating as the cocaine fix I was wont to take on occasion. (Not really. Hugs, not drugs.) Jasper trailed behind him, predictably dressed in his Faramir costume and carrying a rather cantankerous disposition. Something was amiss.

"Bella's annoying me with her Sherlock shtick," answered Angela.

"Don't try to stop her. It'll only get worse."

"I want to know how all this came about. Of all the fictional characters you could have gone as, why Sherlock?"

"Watson, please explain." My attentions were better spent observing Jasper.

"Well, we knew we wanted to do a couples costume, but she refused to dress up as Arwen—"

"And he refused to dress up as Ron Weasley," I inserted, knowing he would omit his portion of the blame.

"I thought I was telling the story."

"Then continue, old fellow."

"Our back up would have been Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet, but Bella rightfully objected." He pointed behind him, where a wall of Lizzie Bennets waited for an absent Mr. Darcy to ask for a dance. "Romeo and Juliet killed themselves. Heathcliff and Catherine married other people out of spite. And we didn't want to go as anyone people wouldn't recognize, like Bassanio and Portia."

"Who?"

"Precisely. So we asked ourselves, who is the greatest literary couple that never met a tragic end? And voila! I present Sherlock Holmes, possessor of a 2310 SAT score, mind you, and his quick-witted, devilishly handsome chronicler, Dr. Watson."

"I didn't know Bella had even read the books," said Angela.

Watson laughed. "She read the 1950's television show."

"You cut me to the quick," I said absentmindedly. Jasper was rubbing his eyebrow furiously and looking everywhere but at our circle of friends. I checked my pocket watch. 4:13 PM. It was go-time. "Bee in your bonnet, Whitlock?"

He focused in on me at the sound his name. "Hmm?"

"You are perturbed."

"Why do you say that?"

"Aside from your recently acquired habit of fidgeting and obvious agitation, you have crumbs on your shirt. This indicates you've been to the dessert table. The Jasper Whitlock we know and love doesn't eat carbs unless it's a federally sanctioned holiday." He bashfully dusted off the imaginary crumbs. I'd only included that remark for show, having seen him hit up the dessert table earlier. "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth. We know that today is not a holiday, which leaves only one other viable option. I do declare, Jasper Whitlock is in love!"

The group did not seem at all as impressed with my deductive reasoning. Watson pinched the bridge of his nose, as if embarrassed for me.

"Hardly," said Jasper, chuckling.

"Your nonchalance substantiates my theory. You say, 'hardly,' as if a casual aside, but I couldn't help noticing the slight faltering of your breathing, the bounce of your leg, the sudden need to avoid my gaze."

"That was the same speech she gave me," Angela told Watson.

"She only rehearsed the one," Watson muttered back.

"Pray tell," Jasper said, having missed their exchange. "If I'm so in love, where is this lucky lady?"

"She is not here, thus the root of your anxiety."

"Who? Who is it?"

"None other than Alice Brandon."

Jasper turned on Watson. "You told her!"

"Believe me when I say, she did all the talking."

"Do not fret, old fellow. The game's afoot." I once again held up my pocket watch. "And I predict any hard feelings on your end will come to a screeching halt in three, two, one." I waved my hand, indicating the predetermined location from which Alice was to emerge at exactly 4:15 to fulfill Stage 6.

Only she didn't.

My three companions gave me weary glances. "I'm still in a bad mood," said Jasper.

"Excuse me." From a hidden tweed pocket, I pulled a modern device: my cell phone. There was no need to check my text messages, as the welcome screen illuminated my problem quite clearly. The pocket watch was a minute off. Damn. Luckily Alice broke through the crowd before I had to vamp for time. "By Jove! See there? Do I spot Eowyn in the distance?"

Indeed, I did. Alice's brunette spikes were tucked under a long, wavy, reddish-blonde wig, and she wore a bottle green, fitted gown with funnel sleeves and a belt of metal rosettes. Most importantly, she wielded Eowyn's sword. Jasper was breathless at the site.

"You have a special talent for conquering the hearts of Ringers," said Watson, amused.

"I've had practice."

It only took Jasper thirteen seconds to recover from his stupor and strut over to her, without another look back at us.

Stage 6: Happily Ever After – Check

"What do you think he's going to say to her?" asked Angela, glowing with anticipation.

"If I was a betting man," I said, taking a puff from my pipe, "he's saying, 'You've kept me waiting.' "

"Why on Earth would he say that?"

"It's the first thing she said to him three years ago. They've kept each other waiting, really." I turned away when the kissing started. PDA made me sick. Watson was watching me closely, with that handsome smirk in place. He'd never kept me waiting and I was so glad for it. "What are you thinking?"

"I'm wondering how in the hell your crazy plot worked."

I saluted him with my pipe. "It's elementary, my dear Watson. Elementary."

His eyebrows rose. "Interesting. Very interesting."

"What is this 'interesting' nonsense?"

"It's just that you created the Diabolical Plot in sophomore year, not elementary school."

"Your point?"

"I'd have assumed someone as deadly clever as Sherlock would enjoy the occasional turn of phrase. As the Diabolical Plot was conceived in sophomore year, the double entendre, 'It's sophomoric, my dear Watson. Sophomoric,' comes to mind."

I could see why Sherlock was so bloody fond of Watson. "Excellent, Watson. You're an inspiration."

"Then allow me to astound you further." He took a step forward and rested his hand against my neck. At first, I supposed it a gesture of sweetness. I was soon proven wrong. "As I suspected, your heartbeat has quickened. Your lashes flutter quite frequently over dilated pupils. Though minutely, your breath has deepened. A flush tickles your cheeks and runs down to your chest. And this," his thumb ran over my lower lip, caressing it from my teeth's grip, "is your most damning tell. You are suffering from a condition commonly known as tumescence."

"You've surpassed yourself, Watson," I croaked.

"I think not," said Angela. "It seemed to escape both your notices that Dorothy's still standing here, becoming increasingly uncomfortable. Tumescence? Dear Lord, save us all."

. . .

My Darling Sherlock,

Another year filled with mishaps and adventures has passed. I can't be the only one who feels High School is flying by too fast. If I could, I'd freeze this moment so as to take in and commit to memory every moment, every detail of my time with you. But then I'd unfreeze it (assuming I had the power) because I know the best of our lives is still ahead of us.

I cannot express the depth of my gratitude for all the hard work you put in this year to make our dream future a reality. You are an amazing woman and I don't know what I ever did to deserve you (although, I see that according to some random freshman, I don't. Laugh out loud).

Love to the moon and beyond,

Your Watson (aka Swirl)

.

Dear Edward,

It was a dark and stormy night. The heater was out, so the only things keeping me warm were the fireplace and Willow. Maybe there was a blanket thrown in there. The lightning and thunder were putting me on edge as I sat in the family room, waiting for Dad to come home from work so the house wouldn't be so very empty.

Three pounding knocks on the front door scared the wits out of me. Who would be coming around on a night as dreadful as this? If I was Sherlock, I would have deduced that my incredible, loving, devoted boyfriend would drive through terrible weather conditions to get to me if he thought I was even a little scared. As soon as I opened the door, you jumped into action, bouncing around all over the house, singing My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music to cheer me up.

You kept me warm the rest of the night.

Thanks for making my life awesome. I can't imagine it with anyone else. You are my lobster. (Alice explained to me that Friends' reference and it's actually very sweet. Lobsters mate for life and so it means we're soul mates).

Love Forever,

Your Bella Swan

P.S. OMG! You know what I just realized? Swans also mate for life. That would make so much more sense in the context of our relationship. I take back what I wrote before.

You are my swan.

Love Forever,

Your Swan