The Twilight Twenty-Five
Prompt: Prelude
Pen name: Juliebutterfly
Pairing: Alice
Rating: M

A/N: This is a multi chaptered fic written for The Twilight 25 challenge, 25 prompts over 3 months.

A big thank you to FrogQueenLaurel for betaing this, and to Kay Cannon and Dahlia Black for their help and support.

The rating goes for the entire story, not this chapter alone.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we'll be landing at Heathrow International Airport in about 15 minutes, please fasten your seatbelts. The time here in England is now 8.37 am." The voice on the loud speakers woke me and I sat up, startled in my seat, a little confused from sleeping. For the most of the plane ride I had been too excited to sleep. But for the last half hour I had somehow managed to doze off. I should have tried to sleep more, seeing as it was now close to 9 in the morning and I was already feeling jet lagged, but it was too late for that now. I debated for a few seconds if I should take a quick nap once I arrived at the hostel, but quickly decided I would be too excited to sleep anyway. I was finally doing the thing I wanted, that is to travel, I was not going to let a little jet lag stop me. I could always crash early if I got tired.

As the plane got ready for landing, I had to pinch myself several times to make sure this was real. I had been wanting this for so long that I had trouble believing it was actually for real this time. I had been abroad before, traveling with my parents as a child and doing a few trips with my girlfriends through college, but this was the first time I was completely on my own. To say my parents were less than thrilled about this was the understatement of the century. My dad had thrown a complete tantrum when I told him. My mom hadn't said much but her silent disagreement spoke louder than words.

For most part, I considered myself an independent person, but when it came to my parents I was everything but. My dad was a scary man and he had a very clear plan as to what was best for his daughter and he could be very convincing when trying making sure that plan was followed through.

After graduating high school, I had wanted to take a gap year, just to work, clear my head and decide what to do for college. But according to my dad, there would be no such thing. I was going straight to college, no funny business. I had then tried to at least get out of Conneticut by applying to colleges in other states, but again my father had put his foot down. He was a Yale alumni and so would I be. The only thing he didn't have any influence over was my major. He tried very hard to push me in the direction of law school, but even he couldn't control everything so instead I majored in Art with a specialty in Pop Art. Not the most useful degree to end up with, but at least it was something I was remotely interested in. A small part of me also had to admit that my main reason for choosing that degree was to piss off my dad. At least with that degree, as useless as it might be, I was able to avoid working at his law firm for the rest of my life. No matter how hard he tried, my father couldn't find a reason to hire an Art major to work at his firm. I knew it was a huge disappointment to him and that thought alone was enough for me to justify my poor choice of major.

After finishing the undergraduate program, I had worked up the courage for weeks to tell my parents that not only would I not be going back to Yale, or anywhere else for that matter, for my graduate degree, I would actually be taking whatever job I could find so I could save enough money to travel around Europe for a while. Only after the vague promise of going back to grad school when I returned, had I convinced my mom that I should go to Europe and experience some of the art I had been learning about for four years now. The art really had nothing to do with me wanting to get out of there, but if that was what it took to convince my parents it was a good idea to let me go, I was happy to pretend that was the reason for it.

During all four years at college I had spent every school break helping my best friend Seth out at the upscale restaurant where he was working as a bartender. I started out working as a waitress, but during the last year in school, I worked as a hostess, both during holidays but also when someone called in sick. I didn't really need the money as my parents paid for school, so I put it all into a savings account instead.

Thanks to Seth I managed to get a full time job at the restaurant after college. I wasn't sure my savings was large enough for a 3 month backpacking trip through Europe so I pulled all the hours I could at the restaurant just to be on the safe side.

During the months I worked at the restaurant, I spent every free second I had studying maps and guide books, making long lists of places I wanted to go and things I wanted to see. Often Seth and I would get together after the restaurant closed, he would mix up some cocktails and we would make plans as to where I would visit.

After just about four months of working at the restaurant I had enough money saved up to book the trip. I bought a plane ticket to London, booked a hostel there along with a few other cities and decided to book the rest of the hostels along the way.

As the plane touched ground safely at Heathrow, I had to pinch my arm just once more to make sure that this was the real thing and not just a dream. It wasn't until I had gone through baggage claim and was actually standing outside on the street with my backpack that I was sure this was the real thing.

While I waited for the shuttle to take me into London, I searched through my purse for the directions to the hostel I would be staying at for the next few days. For once feeling impulsive and not caring to much as what the future would bring.

End note: Thoughts, comments and reviews are always highly appreciated. Let me know what you think