NOTE: Bella is seventeen years old. This is in present time.
Dad smiled pleasantly then gave me a hug. "How was the trip?" he asked as he took my bags from me and slung them over his shoulders. He had taken a leave from the police station to pick me up at the airport, where I arrived.
It had been two years since my parents divorced. I stayed with my mom for awhile. But when she remarried just recently, I decided to try out living with my dad instead. It's not that I don't like Phil—I do. But I always felt like the third wheel. So I'm hoping moving in with my dad was a good idea.
"Fine," I smiled then followed him to the parking lot.
"How's your mom doing?" he asked. He fished his keys from his pocket then used it to unlock his car—a police cruiser. I would have protested not to go in it, but I missed my dad too much to bother with the fact I'm going to ride a very conspicuous vehicle.
"Scatterbrained as usual," I joked as I helped him get my bags inside the trunk. "But Phil's handling her just fine."
"That's good," he laughed. He slammed the trunk shut then made his way to the driver's seat. I made my way to the passenger's side and strapped myself in.
Dad turned on the engine and soon we were zooming out of the lot and toward the road.
I didn't know Dad was well-off here. I mean, he didn't write about how he was doing. He was always asking me how I was doing instead.
So it completely surprised me when I saw Dad's apartment. He was really living in the posh side of the city. I should have believed my mom, but I thought she was joking. I would have believed it if it came from Dad's mouth, but he doesn't brag.
Dad's apartment was only on the third floor so the elevator trip wasn't that long. He opened the door of his home and I couldn't help but gasp. It was bigger than our house in Forks. And I was just talking about the living room. I wasn't exaggerating because our old house was just really small, not that spacious.
"Wow," I blurted when I plopped on Dad's couch.
"I'm glad you like it," Dad chuckled. I turned my head in his direction.
"Dad, this place is awesome," I said. "How did you afford this?"
"The station pays well," he joked then brought my things into the guest bedroom. I followed suit and was amazed to be standing in an all-white room. Even the bed sheets and head board were white. I walked over to the nearest window and gasped.
"I'm totally glad I moved here," I joked. I jabbed a thumb in the direction of a small door leading to… "I even have my own bathroom!" in Forks, I had to share with my mom. It was fine then. But when Phil moved in, it grew awkward to step inside it. I mean, I'm not used to seeing guy stuff other than Dad's. But I didn't say this to Mom. She suspected I was conscious of her new husband, but I didn't complain.
I tried my hardest not to because she's happy.
"Well, I'll leave you to unpack, okay?" Dad said. He looked down at his watch. "I have to take care of something first."
"Okay, Dad," I said, already unzipping one of my bags.
"I'll be in the living room if you need me," he added before going out of my room. MY ROOM
I unzipped my suitcase and couldn't help but smile when I took out Edward's cap. I traced my finger on the sewn letter E on the front. Then I began to wonder how he was doing. Was he in another private school? Was he popular there? Was he still playing the piano?
I blushed at the next question that appeared in my head: did he grow more handsome than before?
My stomach churned at the realization that I might never know the answers. It was possible I wasn't going to see him again.
I sighed then continued unpacking.
"New York Prep School..?"
Dad nodded and took another bite of his four-cheese pizza. We were in his kitchen, eating takeout.
"Dad, are you sure?" I asked sheepishly. I shook my head. I couldn't clearly see myself in a posh high school. It didn't process in my head. "I mean, I'm fine with enrolling to a public school. You don't have to—"
"No, Bells, I'm sure," he grinned. "I have the money to give you the best so I'm giving you the best." I blushed and looked down at my half-eaten pizza. Even though he was my dad, I was still uncomfortable knowing that he was going to spend so much money—for me.
He hesitantly put his hand on mine and squeezed. I looked up at him and bit my lip. Instantly, I knew he was serious and bent on this decision of his.
"Bella, honey, I haven't been for you for two years," he said, almost pleading. "Please. Just let me do this for you." After a moment, I nodded.
I smiled faintly. "Thanks, Dad," I said. "What you're doing for me is—really awesome." He nodded then cleared his throat as he pulled back his hand from mine. Then we returned to eating.
After dinner, I went to my room and called Mom to tell her I was fine. Aside from being a scatterbrain, she was a total worrywart. So I had to report to her as much as possible so that she wouldn't end up thinking I was kidnapped or something.
I was all dressed for bed-a gray tank top and plaid pajama bottoms—when I dialed Mom's number on my cell. "Hello?" Mom's voice sounded from the other line.
I rubbed the back of my ear and swept my ponytail over one shoulder. "Mom, it's me," I replied. There was rustling of paper and I knew she must have been rummaging through bills.
"Bella!" she exclaimed. "I'm so glad you got there safe. How's your dad?"
"He's fine. And of course I got her safely. You don't have to be so worried about me, you know."
"Sorry, honey" she apologized. "It's just that I miss you already."
I pursed my lips. "I miss you too, mom," I said softly. I sat on the foot of my bed and added, "Anyway, I just called to say that. Say 'hi' to Phil for me, okay?"
"Okay, sweetie," she said. "Love you."
"Love you too," I mumbled then hung up. I looked at my cell phone, sighed, and then collapsed on my back on the bed. I didn't stand up after that. I already succumbed to a deep slumber.
My eyes only opened to the blurry sight of a barely-there sun from outside my window. It was New York so the sun didn't shine much. I rolled off bed and went out my room.
I was alone in the apartment, I noticed. Dad left a note for me on the kitchen table. It said: ALREADY WENT TO WORK.
I sighed and decided to just lounge around and read a good book. Dad said I was going to attend school tomorrow so I was free today. Thank goodness for that.
"Are you sure you can handle getting to school alone?" Dad asked me for probably the millionth time. Seriously—I forgot he was as protective as Mom whenever he wanted to be.
I slung my backpack over my shoulder and sighed. I looked up at him sarcastically. "Dad, I'm seventeen. I can handle using the subway."
He seemed to hesitate for a bit. But then he gave in. he knew I was independent. "Fine. But make sure you have your phone with you, okay?"
I hugged him then smirked. "Okay, Dad" I said then went out the door.
When I got to the elevators, I pressed the down arrow button and waited. Suddenly, my heart began beating fast inside me. I was nervous—really nervous. This was my first time attending private school after all.
Conscious of myself, I smoothed out barely-there wrinkles on my collared blouse and blue pleated skirt. Since I wasn't used to high socks, and I had the paranoid thought that they were slipping down, I repeatedly tugged them up.
"Good morning, young lady," a voice said behind me, making me turn around. It was an elderly woman with a kind face that matched her kind voice.
"Um, good morning," I said politely. I smiled to make it more welcoming.
"First day of school?" she laughed as she stood beside me. She, too, was waiting for an elevator.
I nodded. "I just moved here," I found myself explaining. Well, she seemed nice enough.
"I notice that you'll be attending New York Preparatory?" she wondered, looking at the emblem on my blouse. I nodded.
She smiled again. "Good luck," she said. "New York Preparatory is a wonderful school."
"Thank you," I smiled back. And just in time, an elevator opened in front of us. We both went inside. She pressed the L [for Lobby] and the doors closed.
Moments later, the elevator opened and the lady and I separated. In a quick pace, I exited the building and went straight toward the subway. I didn't get lost one bit because I managed to study the train schedules and directions with led to the school. Dad also helped me since he knew his way around here.
"Bella Swan," I shyly said to the secretary in the Administration Office. It was still early and I was already intimidated from everything. I knew private schools were for rich people and I knew they matched the students' lifestyle.
New York Preparatory looked like a large museum—incredible structures and details and everything. The floor was tiled with marble squares and the trimmings were expertly carved with intricate curves and Renaissance-like figures. I instantly knew that I didn't belong here.
But I couldn't say that to my dad. My tuition was probably a thousand bucks a year… or probably more.
"Miss Swan, here are your schedule and school map," the secretary said in a kind tone as she handed me my paraphernalia. I said my thanks then scurried out the massive office. My heart beat erratically inside me as I heard the echoing sounds of my footsteps.
To avoid looking like a tourist, I memorized the fastest routes to my class. I didn't want to have a map under my nose all day. After a few minutes, I sat up from my stupor—a chair just outside the office—and walked to my first class.
My heart began to pound once again when I noticed that many were staring at me. I used my long wavy brown locks to hide my reddening face. I was not good in dealing with attention.
It was a bad idea to form a curtain with my hair. I realized this when I accidentally bumped into something hard. My face reddened all over again. I thought I walked into a wall but then hands held onto my arms to keep me from falling on my butt.
"You okay?" a smooth, gentle voice—with a hint of a Southern accent—came from the person I bumped into. I looked up and bit my lip in embarrassment. It was a tall man with short blond hair and icy blue eyes.
"Um, I'm fine," I mumbled as he let go of me and I stepped back. He grinned.
"You must be new," he guessed. He guessed right. I nodded. Was I really that obvious? "I'm Jasper Hale—a senior."
"Yeah," I said, absentmindedly opening and closing my hands. "I have it stamped on my face, don't I?"
He laughed. "Pretty much," he joked. Then he prepared to turn away, but not without adding, "Well, have a good first day…"
I smiled. "Bella," I said. "Bella Swan. I'm a junior." He tipped an invisible cowboy hat and walked away. I let out a ragged breath.
I had to admit that he was cute—like Texan boy cute. But Edward was much cuter. My stomach churned again. I really missed him. With a huff, I continued to walk to class.
"I'm Alice Brandon"
I smiled politely. We were having PE—my least favorite subject—in Central Park, running laps, when this pixie-like girl with spiky hair caught up to me and introduced herself.
"Uh, hi," I said as I continued to jog at a normal pace. "I'm Bella Swan."
"The moment my boyfriend told me he bumped into a transferred student, I just HAD to meet her," she giggled. "The girl, by the way, was you."
I laughed. She was definitely a pocketful of sunshine. So she was Jasper's girlfriend.
"If you don't mind me asking, why'd you transfer to New York?" she asked conversationally. "I mean, you practically ooze 'I hate the hustle and bustle'."
I grinned. "Uh, it's complicated actually," I said. She shrugged.
"Try me," she challenged. We slowed our running since we just passed the finish line. We both collapsed on the grass—the spot near my bag—and I started on my boring life story.
"Um, my mom remarried," I said. "Her husband moves a lot and I could sense she wanted to go with him wherever he went. I knew I was being a burden so I went here to live with my dad." She nodded. I laughed and added, "come to think of it, it doesn't sound that far-fetched."
She laughed. "Well, I'm glad you moved here," she said. Then she suddenly looked down. I realized she was staring at Edward's cap which was poking out of my bag. "Cool cap."
I smiled. "A friend of mine gave it to me before he went away," I said.
"You must be special to him, then" she grinned. I blushed then laughed nervously.
I hitched a breath when I suddenly heard someone say, "Hey, Edward!" Alice turned her head to her left and grinned wider.
"Hey, Jazz!" she said as she quickly rose to her feet. Slowly, I looked up to see Jasper in a PE uniform.
"I see you've acquainted with Bella," he said to her. I stood up and inserted my hands in the pockets of my jogging pants.
"I can tell we're going to be the best of friends," Alice laughed, looking at me. I let out a laugh as well.
"Sorry," Jasper joking apologized. "She's too enthusiastic for her own good." At that, Alice punched him on the arm.
There was nothing I could do but laugh… because my heart was still thrumming in my chest like a jackhammer pulverizing a block of cement.
My heart's beating got worse when Jasper turned in the direction of the open field and said, "I better go. Edward and Emmett are probably looking for me." Edward?
Alice turned to me with a confused expression. So did Jasper. I blushed. Did I just say that out loud?
"Do you know Edward?" Jasper asked me. I shook my head.
Before I could reason out, two tall figures ran up to us. My knees felt like jell-o when I saw the familiar head of bronze hair. Was he really Edward? Maybe he was someone who looked like him. Maybe…
"Dude, you can hang with Alice later," the familiar guy said, rather irritated. Jasper rolled his eyes.
"I was just going,"
Suddenly, Alice interjected. "Guys, this is my new friend…"
But I interjected her this time. "Hi," I said, half-smiling at the guys. The larger, more muscular one grinned.
"Yo," he said, doing a peace sign with his hand. "My name's Emmett McCarty."
The other guy with the bronze hair—is he Edward?—turned to me with a deadpanned expression. "Hey" he said. My smile faltered. He was rather hostile. He was most definitely not Edward.
"Edward, what's with the attitude?" or he was. But maybe they just had the same first name and face—it didn't mean he was Edward Cullen. Emmett clapped Edward's shoulder and introduced him properly. "This is Edward Cullen."
My eyes widened. Oh great.
I am DEEPLY sorry for not updating this one for months. Well, here you go. =))