The Twilight Twenty-Five
Pen name: Amethyst Jackson
Rating: T this chapter, M later on
Disclaimer: Neither Twilight nor When Harry Met Sally belongs to me. Please don't sue.
A/N: Thanks to Elizabethan for the beta!
Chapter One: Prelude
"In the beginning, we hated each other –"
"No, you hated me. I had no problem with you."
"And then we became friends."
"We were friends for a long time –"
"– and then we weren't."
"And then we were lovers."
"It sounds simple, but… it's not."
Standing on Angela Weber's porch, surrounded by suitcases, I waited, and waited some more. Angela had been one of my first friends in Forks, and she was the nicest human being I knew, so I felt unable to refuse her kindness. Still, I wasn't looking forward to it.
For as long as I'd known Angela Weber, she'd been dating Edward Cullen. Because he was two years older than us, and therefore in college by the time I arrived in the middle of my junior year, I'd only seen him once or twice in passing. Angela was rarely willing to share the time she had with him. He took her to prom, of course, but I didn't attend either year. Dancing was hazardous to my health.
Angela and I had both graduated in June, and I had been accepted at Northwestern. I planned to major in English Literature. In a bizarre turn of events, Edward Cullen happened to be accepted for transfer to Northwestern as well. Evidently, he was some brilliant doctor in the making. Angela had thought it a fantastic idea for me to ride all the way to Illinois with Edward, who planned to drive there rather than fly. Driving there alone wasn't even an option for me; my truck probably wouldn't have made it out of Washington.
I accepted, because taking a plane would severely limit the amount of luggage I could carry with me, and I had a lot of books that wouldn't be cheap to ship to Illinois. My dad was okay with it because he knew the Cullens well; Edward's father was the best doctor in a hundred mile radius, according to Charlie. I'd said my goodbyes to him when he'd dropped me off at Angela's house some minutes ago.
Now, I was waiting outside on the porch while Angela and Edward attempted to swap enough spit to last them until they met again. Disgusting.
"Call me when you get there?" I heard Angela's voice asking from just inside the door.
"I'll call you from the road," Edward's deep voice promised. There was another pause, probably for more kissing. I let out a frustrated sigh and started tapping my foot against the wood beneath me.
"I'll miss you," Angela said.
"I'll miss you more, but we'll see each other in no time. Just a few months, and I'll be home for Thanksgiving."
"Right," Angela sighed. "Well, drive safe, and take care of Bella, okay?"
"Sure, no problem," he replied, and suddenly the front door opened with an enormous creak. Edward, tall and lean, emerged from the screen door, followed by Angela, who had obviously been crying. Instantly, I felt guilty for my impatience.
"Bella, I don't think you two have ever been introduced. Bella Swan, Edward Cullen," Angela said, gesturing between us as though suddenly possessed by a game show hostess.
"Hi, it's nice to meet you," Edward said, holding out his hand to shake. I took it, noting how it dwarfed my tiny hand. "Angela's told me a lot about you."
"Likewise," I said in answer to both, pulling my hand back when he relaxed his grip.
"I guess we should get on the road," Edward said. "We have a long drive ahead of us."
"Right," I agreed with a nod.
Edward took a sudden step forward, and I stumbled back in kneejerk reaction.
He chuckled, and I heard Angela laughing behind him. "I was just going to grab some of your bags, if that's all right with you?"
"Oh," I blushed. "Yeah, of course."
Edward picked up two of my suitcases, and the second one slid immediately from his fingers. "Christ, what's in this one?" he asked, hefting it into the air again. I was begrudgingly impressed when he made it all the way to the car without setting it down again.
"Um, books," I answered, following with my two lighter bags.
"Books?" he frowned, looking completely confused. "Well, at least it's not shoes."
I tossed my bags into the trunk with the ones he'd just loaded. "I need my books. I feel naked without them."
Strawberry lips pursed, evidently refraining from commenting, for which I was grateful. I hadn't really meant to make any references to nakedness, but I was always sticking my foot in my mouth.
Turning away from the trunk, I found Angela in tears again. Shooting a glance at Edward, I stepped forward and gave Angela a quick goodbye hug.
"I'll wait in the car," I said.
Neither of them paid much attention to me as I slid into the cushy leather passenger seat of the Volvo. That new car smell still lingered. To keep myself from watching out the side mirror, I flipped through the CDs I found in the glove box. The Beatles, the Sex Pistols, Jeff Buckley…Beethoven? Random.
"I'll see you at Thanksgiving," I heard, and suddenly, the driver's side door swung open and Edward's long body slid gracefully into the seat. His fingers twisted the key in the ignition and he rolled down his window.
"Goodbye," Angela said on a sigh, leaning in. "Take care of each other."
"Sure," I said with a smile, resolving to make an effort to be friends with Edward. If Angela saw something in him, after all, he had to be a nice guy.
"Good luck," she said, backing away, and Edward's hand curled around the gear shaft, shifting easily into reverse. Twirling the steering wheel, Edward swung us out of the driveway and onto the road. In silence, I watched what had become my home fly past the window, and soon, we were on open highway.
"Well…I guess we'd better find something to talk about, huh?" Edward said awkwardly.
"I guess," I agreed. We had a good thirty-six hours of road time ahead of us, basically a three-day trip, although Edward's crazy driving might cut down the travel time considerably.
"So…you're going to study literature?" he began, sparing me a quick glance from the road.
"Yup. And you're pre-med?"
Another uncomfortable minute passed.
"So, uh… what's with the random CD collection?"
Edward gave me more than a glance. "You've already been through my CDs?"
"Well, what was I supposed to do? Watch you and Angela make your heartfelt goodbyes?" I said defensively. "And really – who has the Sex Pistols and Beethoven right next to each other?"
Edward shrugged. "I do."
And that was how my first encounter with Edward Cullen began.