My life officially sucks. My flighty mother had finally flipped her lid and married her equally goofy boyfriend and I had been shipped off to Timbuktu. Well, not really, but Forks, Washington was just as foreign and disgusting. The few months I had spent here with my father when I was a child were filled with painful memories. This little Podunk town was under a constant cover of clouds and rain. On the rare occasion that the sun did shine, there was nothing to do here anyway. I had never heard such eerie silence in the middle of the day.
Tomorrow was the first day of my two year sentence here. I had to survive Junior and Senior year in continual dampness, then I was heading out to college someplace sunny. Like Florida. Or Hawaii. On the up side, I got the chance to reinvent myself. Back in Phoenix, I had lived in a bubble of sorts. I kept to myself and tried to blend in. These people had known me my entire life and it was hard to break out of my shell of self-doubt and insecurity. I was a walking cliché of the broody teenage girl. Now, however, I had the chance to be the person I felt inside.
When Renee had told me that I was going to live with my dad, I was outraged. I had rebelled and threatened to run away and other stupid things kids tell their parents in order to manipulate them into giving in. Renee was having none of it. So, last week I grudgingly helped her pack my room up into boxes and ship them off via FedEx to Forks. As we were going through my clothes, mom realized that the majority of my wardrobe would be completely insufficient for the climate I was moving to. She mumbled something about a shopping trip and left the room. When she returned, she had a shiny, black credit card in her hand.
"Bella, I was going to give this to you at the airport, but after looking at your clothes, I think you need to go ahead and break it in here. I'm sure Phoenix has a better shopping district than Port Angeles, anyway. It has a five thousand dollar limit on it, but I'm not paying for it. Charlie has already gotten you a job and a car, so you'll have to make the payments yourself. However, I think you are old enough for this kind of responsibility and you're going to need to get yourself a whole new wardrobe before you leave. Take the rest of the afternoon and go shopping. I'll finish packing and ship your stuff off to your dad."
She handed me the credit card and I stared in awe as the black awesomeness with my name engraved in silver letters. Maybe this move wouldn't be so bad after all if it meant that my parents thought I was old enough for a credit card.
"Mom, this is great! Thank you so much!" I hugged her tightly and quickly grabbed my purse and keys from my desk. "I'm leaving now!"
I was completely jazzed at the thought of buying a whole new wardrobe. I drove Renee's civic to the Metrocenter mall. My afternoon was a blissful experience. Instead of buying my typical denim and t-shirts, I looked for things that expressed the way I felt inside. I bought several dressed at Hot Topic that would illustrate my moody emo side. Then wandered around Dillard's looking for feminine and flirty. Aeropostale and American Eagle bags were included eventually. Then on to shoes and accessories. I had only ever owned one pair of dress shoes at a time. I LIVED in Nikes. It was hard to force myself out of that habit. In the end, I had bought more shoes than I had dresses. I imagined I'd end up wearing heels with my jeans just so I'd have a reason to wear them all. Who knew I had it in me to be such a shoe whore?
For my first day at Forks High, I decided that I would bring on the attitude. I knew that if I went in there with something pink and frilly on the first day, that it would give the impression that I was a sweet little thing. And I could be, but that wasn't the way I wanted to be seen. I wanted to go in, guns blazing and dare anybody to screw with me. I had lived in the shadows for much too long, been the butt of too many jokes. I was done with that and from here on out I was going to be ballsy Bella.
I searched through my closet and found the perfect outfit. It was actually the very first purchase I had made on my brand new credit card. It was a black and white plaid corset dress. It had spaghetti straps, a short skirt, and a tight corset tie up the front. I paired it with a tight baby tee, fish net stockings and motorcycle boots. Satisfied with my selection, I jumped in the shower hoping the warm water would help relieve some of the stress of the first-day-of-school jitters that were getting to me. I couldn't be a nervous wreck and pull off the attitude, so I wrangled myself under control.
My long brunette hair took ages to dry, but today I felt it was worth the effort. I admired the shiny locks, curling loosely down my back when I finally switched off my blow dryer. After getting dressed and applying dark eye shadow and liner to give myself a mysterious bitch look, I decided that the long flowing hair didn't go with the look. I ended up pulling my hair up in dog ear ponytails. Proud of my attempts to look the rebel part, I grabbed my backpack and headed down the stairs.
Charlie had left for work about an hour ago, so the house was quiet as I locked the door behind me. There, in the driveway, was my very own transportation. When Renee had told me Charlie had gotten me a car, I imagined something along the lines of a Ford Escort. Something safe and small and inconspicuous. When we pulled up in the driveway of my new home on Friday, I was shocked to see a shiny black and chrome motorcycle sitting there.
"What's with the bike, Dad? I thought you said you were never gonna sell your Harley?" Charlie, Dad as he insisted I call him, had owned a 1980 Harley Davidson EIectra Glide my entire life. The one high point of my visits with him was our leisurely rides on his bike. He had taught me to ride last year when I got my license.
"I got it for you, Bells, but I don't want you driving it in the rain. Only on sunny days. You're not good enough with it yet to handle on wet pavement. Other days, you can drive my truck to school and work."
I was in speechless that my overprotective father would buy me a motorcycle. But I wasn't about to argue with him. When I stepped out the front door on my first day of school, I was ecstatic that the sun was shining brightly. Me and my bike would make the perfect entrance. I grabbed the shiny helmet and leather riding jacket from the hook inside the garage, and stepped on the machine. When it rumbled to life, I felt like nothing could ruin this day for me. I stuffed my pony tails up into the helmet and pulled the guard down over my face. The feel of such a powerful force between my legs made it seem like I could conquer the world. Look out Forks, here comes Bella.
The drive to the high school was much too short for my liking. I would have preferred to spend some more time riding, but it was time to face the music. I pulled into the parking lot, and angled my bike into a spot near the front of the lot. To the right of me was a shiny, silver Volvo and the most delicious looking boy I had ever laid eyes on leaning against the hood, cigarette in hand. Some skanky looking blond was wrapped around him, all but dry humping him in the parking lot. Disgusting, but I could see her point. He was tall and lean, dressed in a tight black t-shirt and dark jeans. I couldn't see his face from where I sat on my bike, but the broad expanse of his back and the way his shirt clung to his shoulders was almost enough to make my mouth water. And that hair. He had the most scrumptious sex-hair I had ever seen. The dark copper color glinted in the sunlight and as I stared he ran his long fingers through it, managing to make it even more sexy.
I stepped off my bike and took my helmet off, shaking my hair out from the mass of tangles that I knew were threatening from being smashed into such a confined space. I propped it under my arm and headed up the sidewalk to the building marked 'Office'. I passed a couple of boys on my way in, and they both whistled at me. In typical Bella fashion, I blushed, but instead of acknowledging them, I just kept walking. Blushing did not go well with rebel attitude.
I spoke with Mrs. Cope, the secretary, and she handed me my schedule and gave me a map of the campus. When I left the office, there was a blonde Adonis propped against the wall beside the door, one foot resting on the wall, his knee bent. All he needed was a cowboy hat tipped low on his head and he could've been in a Marlboro ad.
"Hey, gorgeous." He looked at me and grinned, his blue eyes sparkling. His deep Southern accent had a strange effect on my ability to speak, so I just flashed him my most charming smile. He pushed himself off the wall and took a step toward me, extending his hand. "I'm Jasper. Who might you be?"
"Nice to meet you, Jasper. I'm Bella." I held my hand out for him to shake, but instead he lifted my hand to his lips and kissed the top of each knuckle. His attention made me bold and reinforced my determination to saw what was on my mind instead of being the blushing rose I was accustomed to. "Love the accent. I bet you have panties falling wherever you go." It was a statement more than a question.
"Oh, I don't know about everywhere." He pointedly looked down at my feet. "I don't see your panties laying around anywhere."
"Maybe I'm not wearing any." I smiled at him again and he dropped my hand in shock. I could feel him still staring at me as I walked away so I glanced over my shoulder and winked at him for good measure.
By the end of third period, I knew that I had definitely made an impression. I could hear whispers whenever I walked down the hall and I had caught more than a handful of horny teenage boys ogling my goods. I was the shiznit. When I entered the lunchroom after my third class, my insecurities came back briefly. I hated eating alone. Nothing said loser more than a person forced to eat in a corner by themselves. I was scanning the room, trying to find Angela, a girl I'd met in English. She had seemed nice enough and I thought she might let me sit with her. In the midst of my survey, I felt a pair of strong hands come to rest on my waist and warm breath on my neck. I was ready to turn and pummel whoever this asshole was, but then he spoke.
"Hello, again, beautiful." There couldn't be more than one sexy Southern accent in Forks High, could there? I turned and looked into Jasper's baby blues.
"Hello, yourself." He still had his hands on my waist, but I felt them slide slowly down so they were resting on my hips. Even if I was being Bold Ballsy Bella, I wasn't about to let him grope me in the middle of the cafeteria. "Even if you are adorable with your sexy accent and those blue eyes, keep your hands off the good till invited, got it?" I grinned at him to show him I wasn't mad.
"Sure thing, sugar. I'll be waiting on my invitation." He winked at me and I could feel the blush rising. I tried to fight it, but I knew it was of no use, so I just turned on my heel and headed to the food line. I felt Jasper fall in line behind me as I reached for a sandwich.
"Wanna sit with me? I remember well how awkward it is the first day at a new school."
"I'd like that, cowboy. Thanks." I grabbed a bag of chips and a Diet Coke and paid for my food, then waited on Jasper to finish. He started walking toward the back of the room, to a table of what could only be described as the pretty people of Forks High. There was a big burly guy with dark hair and dimples, a blonde Barbie doll, and a little black-haired pixie who reminded me of Tinkerbell. And the bronze-haired god that had me swooning in the parking lot this morning.
As we walked over, Jasper was beaming. He slid into a seat and patted the space next to him indicating I should sit beside him. "Hey, biotches! This scrumptiousness is Bella. Hands off, boys, she said no touching." He winked at me. "Bella, this is munchkin is Alice," he pointed to Tinkerbell, "this is Rosalie," to Barbie, "Emmett", to brawny, "and Edward", god in denim.
"Hey, guys. Good to meet you." I smiled my best smile at them. We spent the lunch hour talking like we were old friends. Jasper made a point of telling embarrassing stories about both Emmett and Edward, which in turn got him told on. Alice and Rosalie mentioned an upcoming shopping trip and invited me along. We discussed the ins and outs of mall versus boutique shopping and annoyed the boys with our fashion critique of the many skanks that were staring at them. As lunch was drawing to an end, I felt Jasper had put his hand on my thigh under the table, and run his thumb along the top of my stockings. I slapped him hard on the back of the head.
"Oww, Bella." He looked like a pouty toddler.
"I told you, hands off the goods, bud, until invited." I looked at Alice and asked "Did you hear me say 'Jasper, would you please grope me in the lunchroom?'"
Alice giggled at me, but replied with a straight face. "No, Bella. I didn't. I'm sure I would have noticed."
Emmett and Edward were absolutely cackling with laughter and Jasper was trying to look hurt. "Sorry, cowboy. You'll know when you've been invited."