Disclaimer: I do not own anything that can be found in the Twilight series
I'm losing my mind, and it's only proved by the fact that when I came to the realisation that my sanity was hanging by a thread, my first thought was;l 'what am I going to tell my mother.' Honestly, the thought of breaking the news to my Mum that I've sacrificed my life and moved in with dear old Dad so that she could have her happiness is scary enough. Renee just thinks I wanted a change of scenery – well she probably knows the real reason but is too elated by the increase in her time with Phil to really object to a move that hardly does me any harm, at least that's what we all thought before I came here. But what's even scarier then facing my Mum when she thinks I'm having a 'tragic hero' moment, is the possibility that this move may actually have highly negative consequences, such as; the loss of any sanity I retained after living with Renee for seventeen years.
"Bella lunch is ready!" A high pitched voice called from downstairs and I screamed bloody murder, toppling backwards off my bed with a thump.
Charlie's footsteps came pounding up the stairs, yelling, "Bella! Bella! What's wrong!" His voice echoing through the halls of the small house before he burst through my bedroom door at full gallop, a piece of pizza hanging from his mouth and his hands stretched outwards in fists, ready to attack the cause of my terror.
His eyes darted around the room, taking in the pile of boxes on the floor, the closed window and apparent lack of threat before settling on me, sprawled across one of the boxes, with my legs hanging off the bed I'd just fallen off.
"Oh I see," he said, laughing as he stepped forward to offer me a hand up.
No, I don't think you do, I thought to myself but aloud I replied "sorry Dad, still as clumsy as ever I suppose." I grinned sheepishly, hoping he'd take my excuse with a grain of salt.
He did. With a nervous chuckle and mutterings about not wanting too many hospital visits he turned around and ambled out of the room and back to the kitchen, which was empty, except for Charlie.
See you might have noticed my problem by now. I've started hearing voices, in particular a high pitched female voice. When I first arrived at the house I would routinely go careening down the stairs to check my Dad hadn't snuck some girl in while I wasn't looking. The first time it happened I jogged down the stairs to the kitchen and asked Dad who was calling me – now that got me some weird looks, from both Dad and Billy Black – my Dad's best friend – who were both sitting at the kitchen table sipping beer. So I elaborated, asked them where the women was who called me, stranger looks, in fact I think Billy's eyes might have popped out, a WOMAN in the SWAN household. So I figured I'd imagined that one; laughed along with everyone else and went back upstairs to my unpacking. But the women kept calling me, sometimes she'd call me for meals, or tell me the movie was on or tell me I needed to email Renee cause it'd been weeks since we'd talked – who was she kidding I'd only been here three days! So after three days of hearing voices, it wasn't much of a stretch to conclude that the quaint little township of Forks had sent me utterly stark raving mad. Add this to the fact that I started at a new school tomorrow, I think I qualified as the biggest freak around.
The next morning progressed the same as every other morning I'd been here, though an hour earlier. I ate my breakfast with Charlie, occasionally exchanging a word or two in passing such as "can you give me the milk?" - very meaningful. I was just putting my empty cereal bowl on the kitchen counter when Charlie cleared his throat and I turned my attention to him as he briskly folded his paper, lying it on the table next to his coffee before meeting my eyes.
"I know you said not to get you anything," he started and I could feel my face morphing into an awkward smile at just the mention of a gift, oh please let it be something small or I will have no idea what to say!
"But I figured you would need some way to get around by yourself. Kids your age like to be independent don't they?" He asked and I cringed, what had he been reading!
"So, I got you. Well, come and see." Charlie finished as he pushed the chair back and lead the way towards the front door, all the while I was praying he'd just gotten me some old bike from a garage sale, I don't think I could handle the awkwardness if he'd bought me a new one, what if I crashed it!
Charlie opened the door with a flourish and I stopped mid prayer that the bike wouldn't be pink either. There, on the drive way, on our drive way. Was a huge lump covered by a dirty brown piece of canvas. That wasn't a bike.
I could only watch in amazement as Charlie unveiled his majestic surprise from under a moth eaten car cover. First I saw a pair of dulled head lights that looked to have been polished to try and make them look like they could actually produce light, and then came the body work – this baby was built like a house, square and solid, not sure if that's how I liked 'em but damn it was good to have wheels, even if they were a hideous red colour. And on the bright side, I could always start 'er up and plough myself up a field, cause I was quite sure this truck had been a tractor in another life. I was so shocked that Charlie had actually bought me a car that I could only stare in amazement at the gift, with the thought; this is so much better then a bike, running on replay through my head.
"I love it Dad!" I exclaimed, trying to sound super duper enthusiastic so Charlie would stop looking at me as if I was responsible for his final judgement. I could practically watch my father sag in relief at my admission and his face lit up like a Christmas tree as he attempted to lean roguishly against my truck. It felt kinda weird to lay claim to this vehicle – my truck, my truck, my truck. Ok, it's out of my system now.
"So can you drive stick?" Dad asked, still leaning on my truck.
"Yeah," and I almost added 'Phil taught me' but thought better of it at the last second and cut myself off, smiling awkwardly for a few moments before scooping my backpack off the ground at my feet.
"Well I'd better get to school!" I say, grinning nervously and I imagined it came off slightly manically because my Dad chuckled nervously before tossing me the keys, which I fumbled, but didn't drop – I have my moments.
"Now you have a good day Kiddo," Dad said, stepping off to the side as I clambered into the driver's seat and inserted the keys into the ignition.
"Will do Pop," I replied, mock saluting as I backed slowly out of the drive, before changing up into first and accelerating away, thankfully I didn't stall it, now that would have been embarrassing.
The school was about a ten minute drive from my place, so about a fifteen minute walk – I wasn't going very fast. But even with my snail pace driving I arrived a whole hour before school, ok so I was sort of nervous, you can't blame a girl for that. And when I arrived in the parking lot there was no one else there, a fact I both appreciated and regretted.
Ahead of me was a single level building that, when compared to my old school, could probably have fit in our library. It was even painted the same colour, a dull grey. It amused me for a second to sit in my car and pretend I was going to a spy school where the buildings were designed to blend into the scenery. But realising that I was living in a town that would make a grey building blend in was rather depressing so I was soon hopping out of my car and standing on the curb. I didn't bother locking the truck – my Dad was head of police and I'm sure anyone who wanted to steal something could do better than my dump truck. I'm not sure how long I stood there, just staring at the building through the slight misty rain that was falling, it was long enough that my legs started to stiffen up and it was only the sound of a car doing past that broke my day dream about very dull schools with too much water. Thankfully it wasn't another student, I wanted to make a slightly better impression then the loser who stands on the side walks gawking like someone whose never seen bricks put together like that before. With a nervous glance around me I made my way down concrete path to the school, praying for some sort of directions to the office, it didn't take long to find some.
"Aha!" I exclaimed, coming across a glass door with a wooden sign nailed to the bricks to the right of it. 'Cffice' it read, and I assumed that some kind soul had taken great pleasure in scratching out the other side of the 'O', it certainly amused me and I entered the office with a genuine smile adorning my features.
As I opened the door, a bell jiggled above my head and I heard the sound of paper being dropped and a soft curse.
"I'll be with you in a second dear!" A voice called beyond a door behind the office desk.
"Take your time," I replied, closing the door behind me as I stepped into the middle of the small room. The office floor was decorated with what I assumed was once beige carpet; but it seemed to have undergone a recolouring and now resembled a patch work of light and dark browns. There was a patch of amazingly clean looking carpet which I thought must have been position of the lone arm chair before it was moved over to the corner to cover a particularly nasty stain. Like most offices, the walls were decorated with certificates and pictures of the school in various years. A large desk took up most of the room and it was tilted on an angle just to fit it in the room, behind the desk was a door that I assumed was used to store records and such. I was just craning my head to see if I could make out anyone in there when a woman in her late thirties emerged, carrying a handful of files and looking at me with keen interest.
"You must be Isabella" She said smartly, as she planted herself on the chair and dumped the files in her arms onto the already crowded desk.
"Uh, yeah, but I prefer Bella." I replied, pushing down the urge to ask her how she knew me so quickly, it sounded rude in my head so I don't think it would sound any better out loud. As I spoke however the secretary's blue eyes flickered over me attire, giving me a once over before returning her gaze to my face.
"Well then Bella, I suppose you're looking for your timetable huh?" The woman said braking into welcoming smile and I nodded my head eagerly.
"Yes please," I replied, trying to remember my manners.
"Well you just give me a second darl and I'll go fetch it for you," she said before disappearing into the back room. I fought the urge to gag as she called me 'darl' – urg, not even my mother did that. But I quickly forced my face back into a smile as I saw her remerging.
"Here you are, hope you have a good first day." She handed me the timetable, thankfully leaving off the awful nickname and I smiled appreciatively.
"Thanks so much," I said, turning towards the door and walking back out into the rain, which had turned from a light mist into a steady shower.
"Damn" I cursed, ducking my head and walking quickly towards the main building. But quite suddenly the rain stopped and I looked up to see a boy with a soft baby face and carefully spiked blonde haired holding his umbrella over me.
"You get used to carrying one of these when you live in a town that's trying its best prove the sun a myth." He said cheekily and if he'd stopped there I would have been impressed, but he continued with "and what is an angel like you doing out in this thunder storm." Complete with eye brow wiggle.
"This is hardly a thunder storm," I remarked, still not sure he'd actually said that.
"Oh but darling you are definitely an angel," he shot me a suave smile he probably practiced in the mirror this morning and offered his arm to me.
"It's ok, I've got it," I say, taking his umbrella and leaving him standing in the rain, his arm still extended.
"Hey! Wait up Isabella!" 'Mr Smooth' called as I made it to the veranda outside the front doors and put his umbrella with the others sitting drying outside the door.
"How do you know my name?" I asked, I may have been reserved with the secretary, but I had no such hesitation with another student.
At this, the guy seemed to finally get control of his hormones long enough to be embarrassed. "Well, people have been talking about you for weeks now; you know how it is in a small town."
I had to squash the urge to ram my head into a wall, there was no way I wanted to be the centre of any sort of attention and what exactly could people have been saying about me for weeks! What had Dad told them....
"Well just so you know, I prefer Bella" I replied and the guy grinned happily.
"Well then Bella, let's start this over, I'm Mike, Mike Newton." And I knew he'd practiced that one.
I laughed nervously, "see you later then, Mike Newton." I turned to go through the doors when Mike called after me.
"Later Angel!" He yelled and I winced, blood rushing to my face as I snuck a look at the other people in the corridor. My eyes caught the gaze of a girl with light brown hair and similar coloured eyes. Her mouth was lifted in a knowing smile and she rolled her eyes at a person behind me, I assumed she was trying to tell me that he was like this with everyone and no one would find it odd. I smiled thankfully at her, looking cautiously over my shoulder at Mike, who had found himself a friend to talk to, before I moved towards her.
"Hey there," the girl said as I approached and I smiled in reply. "How's it going so far?" She asked me as I reached her and I copied her earlier move, rolling my eyes mockingly and jabbing my thumb over my shoulder.
"Resident Casanova, that one." She said, and confirmed my suspicions that he flirted like that with everyone.
"You have experience with this?" I asked, and she giggled.
"About six years worth, that's about when Mike decided girls didn't have cooties."
"Not cooties, Angela, that's just when they started getting interesting to look at." Mike said, as he came from behind us and threw an arm around my shoulders.
"Ew!" I ducked out from under him and side stepped so I was just behind Angela. "He didn't really say that did he?" I asked.
"Sadly, he did." Angela admitted, shaking her head with a disappointed look on her face, before she turned around and headed off the down the corridor, still shaking her head, though I could tell it was more in exasperation then annoyance.
"She digs me," Mike said cockily and I wasn't sure whether to be impressed or repulsed by his over confidence so I decided to flee after Angela, rather than sticking around to decipher the puzzle that was Mike Newton.
"So what class do you have first?" I asked, catching up to the brown haired girl as she looked over her time table.
"Chemistry, you?" She asked, turning her eyes to me.
"Damn, I've got Physics," I muttered, as I ran my hand through my waist length hair and Angela peered over at the time table in my hand.
"Well I can take you if you want?" She offered, and I nodded my gratitude.
It didn't take us long to get to the physics class room, though I think my first estimation of this school had been slightly under par, it was definitely bigger then our library. I couldn't even remember which turns Angela had taken to get here! Though I was very thankful that she'd volunteered to make sure I got to all my classes until I knew my way around.
I walked into the classroom with fifteen minutes before school was due to start and took a seat in one of the middle rows, slightly off to the side – don't want to appear too enthusiastic or the teacher might call on me, and too far back and they'll think I'm a slacker. No, the middle of the range suited me just fine. Over the next quarter of an hour the class gradually filed in, there were about seven people in the class; some came in and smiled at me, others shot me curious looks but the real surprise when a tall, lean blonde entered the room. I thought I'd seen some really gorgeous people, flawlessly tanned skin, natural blonde hair, stunning blue eyes, but anyone I'd ever thought was beautiful was thrown out the window when my eyes caught a glimpse of this perfection. His skin wasn't tanned, in fact it was paler than me but it seemed to have an ethereal glow about it and I swear the guy had never had a breakout in his life. His hair was a natural golden blonde and windswept and totally unaffected by the rain outside, for a second I thought that water wouldn't dare touch this guys hair in fear of ruining perfection. He was tall, lean and muscled like you wouldn't believe and I would have thought him a God, except God's don't glare like that.
I expected him to show only a small sign of recognition like everyone else had; or just ignore me like every other totally beautiful and unobtainable person did when they saw me. I didn't expect him to glare me down as he walked to his seat at the back of the classroom, and even when he sat down I could feel his stare on the back of my neck making the hairs stand on end. He kept it up until the teacher came two minutes later, only stopping when his name was called and I assumed this was because he looked up at the teacher because as soon as it was past his name I could feel his stare return.
The teacher was the typical science teacher, a balding 40 something year old man with an apparent obsession with explosions; shortly into the lesson he'd demonstrated; static electricity, what happens in a short circuit and just for fun, how to light a Bunsen burner and burn magnesium. He went through the usual welcome process when he walked in the door but thankfully didn't make me stand up and introduce myself, I don't think I could have done it without stuttering. About half way through the Bunsen burner demonstration I glanced back to see if the pissed off blonde was still glaring at me or if my imagination had taken over at this point. He was; his eyes were black, reflecting the orange flame from the burner and fixed solely on me. I sunk lower in my seat and turned my attention back to the front, wondering exactly which deity I'd offended for them to send this lesser god to torment me.
When the bell finally rang I already had my books stuffed in my bag, in fact they'd been there for the past ten minutes. I leapt up from my seat and almost tripped over a desk in my haste to get to the door, I was two steps from the door when it opened to reveal another god. This time with windswept bronze hair and honey coloured eyes, but they widened as they settled on me and darkened to just a few shades lighter than the other god's black. And his shocked expression transformed into a snarl followed closely by a glare to rival scary at the back.
Oh. My. Gosh. HELP!
I know that my fear showed clearly on my face as I ducked my head and dodged around the man who appeared to have become a statue in the door way, I didn't even look where I was going and ran head long into someone after taking just three steps down the hall.
"Oof," they groaned as we bounced off each other and fell to the floor.
"Woah, Bella why the rush?" Angela asked, looking at me from where she was sprawled on the floor.
"Angela I'm so sorry," I said, scrambling to get up and grabbing the books we'd dropped as Angela picked herself up.
"It's ok Bella," she reassured me, taking her books from the pile in my arms. "It happens to all of us."
I laughed nervously, "thanks."
"No problem," she replied, "but why exactly did you look like you'd just seen the devil himself?"
"Cause I think I just had physics with him," I whispered, glancing around to make sure said guy wasn't listening in – you know what they say, speak of the devil and the devil shall appear.
"And then his right hand man showed up at the door," I continued, still in a hushed tone.
"You've lost me," Angela said, looking at me like I was some sort loony escaped from the asylum, I certainly felt like one.
"Well, I was in physics except this guy kept staring at me throughout the whole class. He walked in the door and totally loathed me. I didn't even do anything other than look at him and he glared at me like he was planning my murder!"
"Well do you know his name?" Angela asked and I nodded.
"Ah," Angela made a sound of acknowledgment but said no more, she looked to be pondering her next words.
"Well that sort of explains the glaring," she said at last and I for the life of me I couldn't figure out what that was supposed to mean and told her so.
She laughed, "Well, the Cullens aren't exactly known for being sociable."
"But his last name was Hale" I pointed out, very confused.
"Oh, I forgot you don't know" Angela said, looking pensive for a second before launching into her tale.
"There are five Cullen kids; Rosaline, Emmett, Edward, Jasper and Alice. They're all adopted by Dr Cullen and his wife. Rosaline and Jasper are related, I think they're cousins or something, and their last name is Hale. But I don't think any of the other three are related. Jasper, which you already know is in our year, along with Alice and I think Edward - you can never tell with those guys. And Emmett and Rosaline are in the year above. I've never actually heard of any of them taking to anyone besides themselves, they came two years ago and a couple of people tried to welcome them, but you get the vibe pretty quickly that they don't like talking to anyone but themselves. They even date each other!"
"Seriously?" I asked as Angela stopped us outside a door, the hall ways rapidly emptying out.
"Yeah, Rosaline is with Emmett and Jasper 's with Alice. And it appears that Edward is single, though he definitely does not date any of us that are less than perfect." Angela smiled at the end of her statement to show she was just kidding about the perfection bit. I laughed, though some part of me wondered if she was kidding.
"I'd better get going," Angela said, looking around at the empty hall way. "Will I see you at lunch?"
"Yeah," I smiled hesitantly at my newest friend "thanks Angela."
"It was my pleasure, see you after class Bella" and then she was gone, and I was moving into the classroom, pleading with whoever was listening that there weren't any Cullens in this class.