Umbrellas rushed past, boots peeking out beneath their colored, portable awnings, as rain formed puddles amongst the passing feet. Sighing, Bella gripped at her suitcase and pulled her hood closer. Of all the days for New York to drown, it had to be the one where she was running late to catch a train.
Clutching her luggage even tighter she stepped out onto the sidewalk and immediately became drenched. Her raincoat did little to cover her face or hands and her sneakers already were stained darker. Brushing angrily at her bangs, Bella gave up on the hair that was now a bundle of frizz plastered to her forehead.
It was cold, it was wet, and it was lonely outside Port Authority and she thought longingly of the warm bed abandoned only hours before. The hot mug of coffee forgotten on her parent's kitchen table mocked her as she wished there was more motivation to keep moving than just a dark, deserted dorm room.
Stores, offices, and apartments passed her by as Bella pushed her way through the mass of faceless bodies all bent on finding someplace dry. She had blocks to walk and little patience with which to do it and the smells of the shops and the cars and the dirt mingled into something faintly unpleasant and purposefully ignored.
The homeless huddled under awnings and tucked themselves more securely into corners. Buildings loomed above her, the windows glinting through the rain, most were lit up as business continued regardless of the maelstrom beyond their doors.
Lost in her thoughts, Bella was wrenched back into reality as noise and screams engulfed her and a quickly increasing crowd rushed forward. Girls' high pitched voices mingled, making Bella wish for a thick pair of ear plugs.
Photographers and a limousine blocked the street ahead of her as Bella halted bewildered.
Hoping to avoid being trampled, she edged her way towards the coffee shop ahead. Stopping briefly under an overhang to pull out her cell phone and check the time, she cursed and stuffed it hastily into an available pocket. She had fifteen minutes before her train left and no money for the subway to get her there any faster. Turning, she found her path blocked by a man in a suit and behind her clamored people, begging for attention. Didn't they notice the rain?
Perhaps she should have wondered who they were all excited for. At another time Bella might have taken the time to assess the situation but at that moment she was soaked and tired and running late. Tapping the shoulder of the man in front of her impatiently she raised her voice, "Excuse me, but I really need to get by." Without turning around the hulking suit replied "No autographs."
Sighing in frustration Bella nearly stomped her feet. "I don't really care about paper and pens, both of which would probably melt in this god awful weather! I really just need to get by. The trains don't wait and I refuse to sit at Penn, freezing, until the next one arrives!"
"No can do," was all she got and now Bella began to seethe. Usually the situation would have been amusing, in fact she might have eagerly watched to see who stepped out from behind tinted windows, but it was not her day and she felt more like a drowned rat than an excited girl. Any good mood she still harbored officially ran out.
"No!" She snapped, "no, no, no! This is ridiculous. I am not some psychotic fan girl of whatever stuck up snob is in New York now. I'm not going to launch myself at anyone, I'm not going to harm anyone, I just want to trudge my way in a timely fashion towards my train!" By now her voice was rising steadily "It's raining like the motherfucker and I am cold, I look disgusting and any makeup I might have applied in a random burst of vanity is officially gone, in fact it's probably smeared across my face and I look like a freaking raccoon!" Bella was officially ranting. "But I wouldn't care if I could just get somewhere dry, warm, and preferably on my train! At which point I will have to throw away everything I own because it is now too soggy to save seeing as I've had to wait for whatever lazy son of a bitch these crazy people are screaming for!"
"That would be me," a cool, deep voice responded. Bella froze.
"Shit," she whispered, this is going to get embarrassing. Looking up slowly she met green eyes and a crooked, dazzling grin.
"Edward Cullen," he stuck out his hand from under an umbrella and Bella grasped it, strong fingers gripped hers in brief contact. She was barely aware of the crowd still clamoring for attention behind her.