The "AwkWard" Contest
Story Title: Love Me Awkward, Love Me True
Pen name: Buff82
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, all respective characters belong to SMeyer. A/H Rated M for strong language and sexuality
To see other entries in the "AwkWard" contest, please visit the C2:
A/N: A HUGE thank you to Katbug86 for being my beta and all around support system. This never would have gotten done without her. [hearts bb]
High School. The electrified buzz as students spilled out of their classrooms into the hallways. Friends greeting one another in hushed whispers of gossip. Girlfriends and boyfriends leaning in for a quick stolen kiss. Boy's high fiving and fist pumping one another in congratulations for checking out the hot 'piece of ass' that had strut by in her barely-there mini skirt.
I hated it.
The buzz was deafening to my ears; the throngs of students suffocated me as I pushed my way through the masses. In my three and a half year high school career I had been kicked out of four different schools. Each time, made to start over, and each school was no different than the last. It was disgusting. I hated teenagers.
Not with-standing myself, I wasn't too fond of me either. As the Police Chief's daughter, I was expected to be perfect in many ways. I learned early on in my life that was a disappointment I would be met with many times over. I was in no way perfect, and I pushed back against the expectation with full force, rebelling to the extreme in most cases.
The current hell I was submerged in was different in only one way than the other schools I had, err… found a way out of. It was a school for the arts. When Charlie brought the pamphlet home for me I laughed in his face. He hadn't taken too kindly to my reaction and against my eventual pleas, enrolled me anyway. It was my own fault, and I wasn't delusional enough not to understand that fact.
I was perpetually unhappy. Although my graduation out of these fire pits from Hades was only a few short months away, I could not stop the eventual self destruction. My last school had been the worst. Jocks ruled the school above any other I had been to. Students would cower in fear or lay roses at their feet, bending on a knee in prayer to their sports playing Gods. They did what they wanted, spoke the way they pleased, and no one, not even the teachers, said otherwise.
That was, until the day Isabella Swan donned the halls. At first, I told myself I would ignore it. I was to graduate soon and be done with that kind of juvenile hierarchy. I made it through several months and then had the blessed break that was Christmas, away from the cave men for over two weeks. I forgot myself during that time, becoming accustomed to speaking my mind again. Not having to bite my tongue or hold back when I thought something was ridiculous. I put myself out of practice.
So when I returned from the glorious teenage-free (save my time spent with Jacob, but he didn't count) vacation I felt like a new woman. I walked the halls feeling lighter, without my normal mask of indifference. When I passed by the horde of cheerleaders and wanna-be's surrounding five large football players I snickered to myself and rolled my eyes. "Lemmings," I said under my breath, or so I thought.
My view of the hallway disappeared, and I was met with a wall of muscle. I craned my neck awkwardly and looked up at the thing in my way. He was tall and bulky and terribly unattractive, face littered with acne, no doubt from some kind of drug or performance enhancer. What do these chicks see in these guys? I thought idly waiting for him to speak or move, preferably the latter.
"What'd you say little girl?" He asked, flashing me a maniacal grin. He was trying to intimidate me, who the fuck is this ass? I inhaled deeply and closed my eyes for a brief moment, working to keep my anger in check.
"Lemmings," I said with an even tone, opening my eyes to meet his confused expression.
"Yeah, what the fuck is that?" He turned his body so that he was in between the crowd of onlookers and me, my back to a bay of lockers, effectively boxing me in.
Narrowing my eyes at him I internally danced at the chance to put this douche bag in his place. You asked for it buddy. "Lemmings are small rodents, usually found in the arctic. They're quite cute actually." I batted my lashes playfully causing the corner of his mouth to twitch upward. Ha! Hook, line, and sinker… boys are too easy. Unexpectedly, he stepped in closer and leaned his head down so that his mouth was at my ear. Ehhhhh, gross, I shivered and tried to hold back the bile that laced my throat.
"What's your name sweetheart?" He cooed trying to sound alluring. I bit my lip hard, drawing blood, trying not to laugh in his face. Seemingly, he bought the flirting eyelash batting a little too well. I furrowed my brows; idiot, jocks, and sarcasm don't mix!
"Bella," I mumbled. He purred my name back to me. Warning! Right the ship! We've gone off course!! My brain screamed. Get to your point, dipshit.
"Yeah," I made my voice the same soft sultry tone he was attempting. "You and your friends really remind me of lemmings."
He leaned his weight into his right arm which was perched above my head against the puke green lockers. "Oh yeah, how is that baby?" Fuck, I thought, I just may throw up all over you dude.
"They are known for traveling in mass groups, and thinking more as a group and not as individuals. Not thought to be very intelligent, they've even been known to follow one another to the point of death."
He pulled back, his face inches from mine, twisted in confusion. I stared back impassively and waited. Five, four, three, two, one. Narrowed confused eyes became wide, and he scoffed at me. Bingo.
"You're saying we're dumb?" He half shouted, half whispered. I wasn't quite sure he wanted his friends to understand what had just happened.
Shrugging, I smirked at him. "I did say cute, lemmings are rather adorable little fuzz balls." My tone seeped with mocking intentions. I prayed he got the point. Anger flashed behind his eyes. I gasped as his hand grabbed my hip bone painfully, pushing me into the lockers; the metal clanked and strained beneath the force.
"I don't know who you think you are little girl, but people don't fuck with me like that." He was seething - expecting me to cower, to back town to apologize and beg for his attention like the others… fuck you dickweed.
Squaring my shoulders, I locked my jaw tightly into place. "Again, I am Bella, and I fuck with whomever I want to," I gritted through my teeth.
His fingers dug aggressively into the skin covering my hipbone and I willed back the tears. I would not cry, and I would not look around for the hopes of an intervening teacher. He looked at a loss for words, anger abundant, and my brain scrambled for a way to bring the jerk to his knees. By the way he held me so violently; physical communication seemed to be my best bet. I'm gonna have to kick this guys ass and embarrass him.
Exhaling a heavy sigh, I readied myself. This is gonna be gross. Without giving it a second thought I grabbed Jock Boy by the back of the neck and thrust my face into his, attacking his lips. He responded immediately, which was nasty, and his tongue plunged into my mouth. A half second after his tongue touched mine I bit down. Coppery blood filled my mouth, and Jock Boy screamed out in anguish. As he pulled away, hands clasped tight over his mouth, eyes wild with searing pain, I stomped the heel of my foot on top of his, and he doubled over, howling again. With all of the strength in my 110 pound frame, I pushed him hard against the lockers, where a round head shaped dent formed perfectly. I couldn't help but smile as he lay curled in a ball on the ground, crying.
I spent the rest of the day in the office listening to the disgusting recount of my fellow students and teachers. Each one of them claimed James, that was apparently Jock Boy's name, was talking friendly enough to me when I accosted him out of nowhere. I said nothing to my defense, as I knew no one would back me up. I was expelled before school was over.
That incident landed me at Washington's School for the Arts. The hierarchy there was much different, as there were no jocks or cheerleaders. Instead, it was split up by the gifted and the ones who wished they were. I could care less, as usual, to where I fell on that rating system. As I didn't want to be there in the first place.
Charlie said he chose the school because, beside the fact that I had already been kicked out of most schools in the Olympic Peninsula area, my love of singing and playing the guitar would be fostered there. I said I thought it was because he was spiteful and hated me and was quite possibly the spawn of Satin himself; sent here to raise me as his own only to ruin my life at the ripe old age of eighteen. He quipped nonchalantly with another claim that when I played it was the only time he saw me truly happy, and he wanted to see that more. Right, Dad - play the 'I care about you too much' card, or would you rather be referred to as Beelzebub?
Nevertheless, WSA was where I found myself on a Monday morning. The buzzing in the halls were the same, the mass of students, and the suffocating plain beige walls. It was High School with a fancy name.
I was surprised to find that I had to declare a major in order to graduate, and my schedule would be created accordingly. This isn't college people, I thought irritated as I stood in front of the secretary raking through the list of possible majors. I decided to go for music major, and the plump, rosy cheeked secretary smiled kindly as I handed her back the form; my selection checked off. Her plain brown hair was salted with grey. It reminded me of what my hair might look like in years to come, and I fleetingly felt sorry for the woman who had to suffer the same plain brownness that was my life.
She typed a few things into the computer before slapping one final key with authority. Upon the last loud click the printer began to spew papers, and she turned to collect them.
"Here you are Isabella, your schedule and a map of the school." She handed them to me with a warm smile, and I nodded in thanks.
"Intermediate drawing! Why is there an art class on here?" I shrieked a slight tremor to my voice. I could not do art. That was a class I would gladly skip and except a failing grade with honors if I was made to take it.
"Oh, yes dear. Each student is required to take one basic art course in order to graduate." She returned to the papers at her desk, and I squinted at my schedule again. Well, I guess that makes some sense, this is a school for the arts. They probably want you to be all diverse and shit.
My head snapped up, mouth falling open in recognition. "Wait – does that mean I just have to take the class to graduate?" Please just tell me I just have to attend, that graduating doesn't depend on –
"Yes, you have to take the class and providing you pass, it will count as the special credits to earn your diploma."
My mood went completely black; I stalked out of the office muttering curses under my breath. The students had long been in class. I found my locker, red and shining, and leaned against it with a huff. First period was music theory, and I thought I would take my time getting to class. I meandered as long as I felt acceptable, stopped by the bathroom, and then finally found the large wooden door with a frosted glass window leading to my classroom.
As I entered the class, I held up my map to the teacher who stood at the blackboard, supplying me with a rather impressive hairy eye. "Sorry, I got lost," I said weakly, shrugging my bag off my shoulder.
The teacher's expression softened and he nodded. "You must be Isabella, I am Mr. Hinkle, please take a seat anywhere that is open." He turned back to the black board and the scale that was drawn out.
"It's Bella," I said as I found a desk near the back, dropping into the seat unceremoniously.
He didn't turn back to face me, but his shoulders lifted slightly, and he shook his head so I knew he heard me.
The rest of the day passed like the normal first day of school. Students stared and whispered rumors of how I killed someone and was sent to WSA to be tamed. Some of the rumors were rather imaginative, and where I normally ignored anything being said about me, I quite enjoyed hearing some of the more creative stories.
I sat at lunch, alone at a round table, listening to the table behind me discuss my arrival. One boy animatedly spun the tale of how I cut off James' dick, fried it in the deep firer in the cafeteria, and then made him watch while I fed it to the school security's dog. I had to chuckle at that one because the thought of it did thrill me a little. Well, a lot.
Just as I was about to get up and throw my untouched lunch in the trash, a small girl who looked to be about twelve, flitted to my side. She stood bouncing on her toes and smiling at me like an idiot. She had been the first person to truly acknowledge me all day, aside from my teachers, and her eagerness threw me.
"Um, hi?" I said shifting my gaze in either direction, waiting for the balloon filled with whipped cream to hit me in the face.
"Hi! I'm Alice!" She chirped and before I could open my mouth to reply, she plopped down in the seat next to me. "I'm in your music theory class, I saw you this morning, and you're Bella!"
"Uh, yeah. Bella." I pointed to myself like a Neanderthal; Me, Bella – you, Alice.
"What's your next class?" she bobbed in her seat, the sound of her toes tapping on the floor filled the air around me.
"Um…" I glanced down at the paper folded up next to my tray; crumpled from being folded and refolded several times. "Intermediate drawing," my voice was glum even to my own ears.
"OH! Perfect, with Mrs. Bradley? I have the same class!" Alice shot me a brilliant smile, and I couldn't help the corners of my mouth that tucked into my cheeks.
"Okay," I laughed lightly. "Maybe you can help me then, I suck at drawing."
Alice rambled on about the class as I stood and tossed my lunch in the trash. She was nice enough, and although she prattled on, and I could barely get a word in, I felt comfortable around her. She didn't have that 'air' about her. She seemed genuine. A small twinge of hope spun in my stomach at the prospect of having found an actual friend.
Intermediate drawing had been as horrible as I thought it would be. In front of each of our easels were bowls of fruit and we were instructed to draw what we saw. I spent the entire period drawing tattoo designs and completely ignoring the teacher's attempts to redirect me back to the assignment. I was going to have to figure out a way to pass that class without doing the work - not likely.
Days faded by, and I began to figure out the system of gifted verses the ones who wished they were. Although, seemingly more civilized, and just a simple matter of fact that there were students who had obvious talents and ones who had to work at it more; underneath the façade was the same old High School bullshit. The gifted kids saw themselves to be better than everyone else, there for, the other students were lucky to be in their presence. (i.e. they were jocks and cheerleaders in shinier wrapping.) The kids who had to work harder than the gifted were like the math geeks or the chess team. They were the ones that deserved the attention more because of their dedication and the fact that, while it wasn't a natural gift, they were able to raise themselves to the level and be on par with the 'gifted' ones on most occasions.
I began to hate the Gifteds, as I had come to call them. Alice thought my assertion of the pecking order was hilarious. Then again, she didn't quite fit the mold either, and was able to look at things from a non biased view. I would place her among the Gifteds, although I would never lump her in with them. She was naturally talented with her drawing and ability with design, but she didn't see herself that way. It was merely something she was passionate about. I really liked Alice, she had the same take no bullshit attitude I did on most things, only she was bubblier. Well, bubbly period, I was not fucking bubbly – at all.
"Ugh, don't look now, here comes Jessica," I sneered her name and rolled my eyes as Alice watched her approach.
"Hi Ladies!" Jessica's fake smile plastered to her face. One thing about the Gifteds I had found comical was that they were desperate for Alice to join them. They simply could not understand why she had no desire to hang out with them. I, by association, had been added to their conquest of friendships. Especially since Alice had chosen me over them. I grinned back, letting that thought flash in neon lights through my head; Alice chose me, bitch.
"What's up Jess?" Alice's voice was neutral, but I knew she was hiding her irritation. She had told me on more than one occasion how she couldn't stand Jessica out of all the girls – oh and Lauren. I was just glad Lauren hadn't tried to talk to me ever. I would cut a bitch. Her face just got under my skin more than anyone I'd ever known, which translated to, not good for her.
"Well, I was just wondering if you guys wanted to join us for a movie and dinner tomorrow night. They're doing a dollar dog night at the theater in Port Angeles, and it should be a lot of fun."
I choked on my soda, fizzing bubbles burning my nostrils. Dollar dog night? I was trying so hard not to fall to the floor and roll around in a fit of laughter at the pathetic girl in front of me.
Alice threw me a weary glance, warning me to keep my mouth shut. Even though she seemed to hate Jessica so much, she never wanted to let her know to her face; which I didn't understand, as she could be just as blunt as me most times. "Um, maybe, I'm not sure what my plans are," Alice looked at her hands as she spoke like they held a mini calendar and would supply her answer.
Jessica shrugged, happy with the 'maybe', "Well, text me if you'll be there." With that she bounded off back to her heard of cattle grazing against the tile walls of the cafeteria.
"Gawd…" Alice exhaled heavily, palming her forehead.
"Al?" I looked at her expectantly.
"Hmmm?" she mumbled, looking up.
"If you hate her so much, why don't you just tell her to bug off?" As I bit into my apple, her returned sigh was drowned out by the loud crunching noise in my ears.
"I… I don't know Bella."
My nose scrunched in confusion, there was a reason, why didn't she want to tell me? "Alice, why do you even hate her in the first place…? I mean beside the obvious?"
Alice's shoulders slumped, and I was surprised by her uncharacteristic posture. Her face turned up to me, a hesitant note hung in the air; her pale grey eyes were sad. "I, I don't want to…" My expression must have showed support, as she paused and then her thin lips set into a straight determined line. "Jessica broke my brother's heart," she supplied finally, venom lacing her tone.
Whoa, what – back up. "Brother? I didn't even know you have a brother?" I'd been attending WSA for the past week and a half, Alice was the only person I had even talked to, and boy could she talk. Was it weird then that she never mentioned a brother?
We had wandered out into the halls, other students filtered around us like a line of ants on a path, moving dutifully around a leaf that blocked their way. Alice sighed, shrugging, and then glanced around, her eyes falling on whatever she seemed to be looking for. Her chin jutted into the air, nudging in the direction that had captured her gaze. My eyes shifted to where she motioned.
Against the far wall a tall boy struggled to open a locker, papers falling through his arms. His back pack hung awkwardly off his elbow, weighing him down. Just as he popped the lock with a successful breath, he dropped a pencil case. It rattled to the ground bursting open and paint brushes of all different sizes strewn across the floor. It was painful to watch as he cursed beneath his breath and shoved the papers he held into his locker. His lanky form bent in half as he dropped to his knees and hurriedly collected the brushes.
"That's my brother," Alice sighed again.
"Oh," I breathed. They were an odd pair; he was tall where she was miniature. Her short spiky black hair was in contrast to his, which fell long and shaggy into his eyes. It was brown and shiny, glinting of coppers and reds. Alice was always dressed pristinely, as if she had just walked off the run way. Her brother, however, looked like he had just rolled out of bed. A worn flannel shirt hung unevenly from his body. Had he missed a button? I squinted at him as he stood.
"Jessica dated him?" I queried and then felt like a bitch at how it must have come off.
"Yeah, Edward is what you would call one of the 'Gifteds'," she eyed me pointedly as she spoke.
I balked, "He is one of them! But I've never seen him before."
"No, Bella, he's like me, as you so delicately put it. A Gifted who doesn't give a fuck what the rest of the Gifteds think."
"Oh, why did Jessica date him then?"
"She was trying to lure him into the group, put him in his place in their society. He fell for it, unfortunately; at least that he thought she liked him. And then when he still wanted little to do with their group she broke up with him… broke his heart." The sad gleam returned to Alice as she watched her brother turn the corner and disappear. "Anyway," pulling a deep breath in, she flared her nostrils. "That was sophomore year and he hasn't dated since. He won't even talk to girls. I yell at him about it all the time, but he doesn't listen."
"That's so sad," my voice was sullen while I played with the strap on my bag. Feelings made me uncomfortable, and that shit made me feel sad.
"Anyway!" Alice chimed, her mood flipping a one eighty. "That's why I hate that loathsome whore," she finished with a smirk, pulling a laugh from me.
I dropped my arm around her shoulders as we walked down the quickly emptying hallway. "Well, we'll just have to figure out a way to get her back then?"
She stopped short, jilting me, as my arm was still around her. "No, Bella, we can't. I promised Edward I would leave her alone. He thinks it would be more humiliating for him if his little sister stuck up for him."
Sighing, full of disappointment, I pulled Alice along with me again. "Alright, Al, but it's a damn shame I tell you – a fucking travesty, it could have been brilliant."
She giggled as the warning bell rang, and the two of us said a quick goodbye before sprinting to our last class of the day.
Washington's School for the Arts was proving to be an alright experience; fucking epic in comparison to my other schools. I think a lot of that had to do with Alice. Charlie was beyond ecstatic when I brought her home after school one day. He came in, putting away his gun, and Alice pounced on him immediately.
I thought the poor man was going to have a heart attack in the middle of the kitchen as I prepared spaghetti and meatballs. Then a sly smile stretched across his face when I mentioned Alice was going to stay for dinner.
"Looks like Bells has a friieenndd," he sang playfully, shaking his hips in time.
I flushed red for numerous reasons. Prominently, because Charlie looked and sounded like an uncoordinated five year old girl, and secondly because he acted like I'd never had a friend over. Well, that might have been true, but still he didn't have to let Alice know that.
Of course Alice clapped and jumped up and down, bubbly little shit. She was easily excited. "Oh, am I Bells' first friend to come over!!"
I rolled my eyes, all of the sudden very consumed by the concentration it took to stir the spaghetti sauce. Charlie left us to have our 'girl talk' as he put it, eliciting another eye roll from me. Yes, and then we're going to break out the Ouija board and play M.A.S.H.
Dinner consisted of Alice talking my Dad's ear off about school and what it was like. He was eating up every word. The only details he had managed to pry from me were '…umm 's okay *shrugs'. We wrapped up, and Alice helped me clean the dishes before she said she had to get home. I hugged her goodbye, which felt a little awkward at first, but I was getting use to Alice's touchy-feely nature.
As she was leaving she whipped around with bright eyes. "Oh, Bella I almost forgot, do you wanna spend the night tomorrow? My parents went out of town today, and they won't be back until Saturday evening."
"Uh, yeah, sure. Sounds like fun." My eyes grew broad as I realized the possibilities I had just opened myself up to. "Wait – but no makeovers."
Alice's excited face fell in an instant, but I was none too happy about the evil glint that resurfaced almost immediately. "Ok, Bells, no problem. See ya tomorrow!"
Before I could grill her on her obvious ill-intentions, she was in her car and pulling out of my drive way.
It was Friday morning, and I was ready for the weekend to begin. Dragging my butt out of bed had proved to be harder than normal, and as I roamed the halls sleepily, I had trouble paying attention to my surroundings. Coffee in hand, I ambled around the crowd of teens swapping ipods, and copies of Romeo and Juliet. It was the production the drama department was putting on for the spring play, and most of the kids were very involved.
Thrusting all of my books into my locker, I hooked my empty backpack over my shoulder and shut my locker with a hard clank. The sound echoed off the walls, and I grimaced, the caffeine had not yet kicked in. With a jerk I turned and began my march to music theory.
Before my brain could register what was happening, my right arm was scorching in burning pain. I heard, rather than saw, the cardboard of my coffee cup slap on the ground with a splat, like a dead fish. "Fuck!"
The hard clack of a plastic container along with the cluttered roll of a hundred paintbrushes sounded in front of me. "I am so sorry, are you alright?"
I looked up with a scowl and was met with the softest moss green eyes. Suddenly I was in a meadow, curled up in the tall grass breathing in the warm dewy air; rays of light dancing and swirling, brightening each individual blade. My expression fell and I couldn't help but stare. "Edward?" I breathed.
I had not seen him up close, only a few times from a far, and I had never taken the time to really look him over, except for the first time Alice pointed him out. Underneath his lanky awkward stance, and shaggy bronzed hair, he was absolutely gorgeous. His eyes twinkled with concern and then the calming green was gone as he bent to pick up his paintbrushes.
It was then I realized my mouth was hanging open. He looked back up at me and frowned. "Sorry," he muttered softly.
The flames on my arm had dampened; I wasn't sure if it was from the shock of Edward, or because the air was cooling the hot liquid. Edward stood, all of his things collected, and I continued to stare, dumbfounded and completely befuddled. I couldn't even bring myself to close my mouth.
"I... it's… whatever," I shrugged finally redirecting my gaze to his shoes.
"Are you okay then…?" He drew out slowly; I think he was asking for my name as he diverted his own gaze.
"Um, Bella. Yes I'm fine. You just got me all hot when-…" I shut my mouth as soon as the words tumbled out. Shit. That sounded bad. Recover Bella, recover!! My gaze lurched to his when he let out a small laugh, and I could feel the heat radiating off my cheeks and neck in waves.
"What I mean to say is you burnt the shit out of my arm," I finished lamely, and the humor left his eyes.
The warning bell rang, and he looked up to the ceiling as if it were evil. "I'm… I'm really sorry about that."
I waved him off, feeling like the biggest ass, "Its fine, I'll see you tonight," I mumbled once again, not thinking clearly.
Edward's eyes scrunched in confusion at me; he was taking steps backward when his toe snagged on his heel, and he tripped slightly still looking bewildered. I didn't even feel like explaining myself as he tried to right his gangly frame, grabbing hold of a water fountain, simultaneously pressing into the button and spewing water all over the front of his jeans.
"Shit!" He yelled and looked down to see the perfect pee stain-esque spot on his pants. Staving off my own laughter, I took the opportunity to flee, face blazing and a new dread filling me for my oh-so-fun sleepover at Alice's house.