A/N: Sadly, "An Edwardian Birthday Surprise" didn't place in the contest. However, now that the contest is over, I can begin telling the rest of this story! I titled this chapter "teaser" because that is just what this is. This small chapter will give you a taste of what to expect with the longer story. I also wanted to let those of you who put this story on alert know where to find the new story. I will be posting this as a new story: "All That Jazz." Enjoy the teaser; I am hoping to have the new story up and posted by the end of the coming week. :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any of the characters from the Saga. Stephenie Meyer is the owner of Twilight. No copyright infringement is intended. This work and the original ideas presented therein are the sole property of this author.
From Bella's journal
21 October 1919
We leave tomorrow on the early train for Chicago where we will meet Aunt Esme and Uncle Carlisle for the first time and begin our new life with them. I would never have thought I'd say this, but I will miss Carson College when we leave. I had grown fond of the routine here and the quiet. Yes, I did so enjoy the quiet. This place seemed to hold the perfect balance for Alice and me. She could socialize with the other girls while I sat in our room and wrote. It was better this way and Alice was happier.
It had been nearly a year since Mother passed during the flu. A year since we were officially considered orphans and had become wards of the state of Pennsylvania until the lawyers could settle on where we belonged. Aunt Esme, Mother's sister, was desperate to adopt us and wrote to us the moment she was informed, but papers had to be drawn up and wills settled. Leaving Carson would be more difficult than I imagined when we came here a year ago, but Alice had high hopes for our lives in Chicago. She told me that we would start over and no one would know us. That might be fine for Alice, knowing as she did that someday, everyone would know her. But I was sure that no one would ever know me. Nor would anyone ever want to.
I capped my pen and put it down in the crook of my journal, sighing as I stretched across my bed to tuck the journal into my bag. Nearly all of our things had been packed away; only the small travel bags we would carry with us remained. Alice was in a temper this morning when she realized that all of our fine clothes had been packed away and we would be required to wear "orphan grey" for our travels. Really the clothes were quite sensible for traveling. A serge jumper that modestly covered our knees, a black turtleneck to keep us warm, and sturdy, buckled shoes.
"We look like twins," she groaned. "Orphan twins, no less!"
"Don't be silly, Ali," I said. "We couldn't be more different if we tried."
Alice just sparkled. Even in her "orphan greys," Alice's beautiful personality shone through in every fiber of her being. From her twinkling blue eyes that always looked mischievous to her button nose, Alice radiated both beauty and poise. Mere clothes couldn't contain her personality, her most beautiful feature. No, despite her grumpiness this morning, Alice remained perfectly beautiful.
"Well, you must let me curl your hair for you tomorrow morning," she continued. "We ought to both put our hair in curlers tonight."
After setting out our schedule for the night, Alice traipsed off to spend some last moments with her friends before our journey to Chicago. There was no need for me to say good-bye to anyone. The one bonus of keeping up a silent façade and never interacting with any of the girls here was that it left me with no ties to break. The only indication that I had been here for a year would be my admission and departure records.
I stood and looked around the now drearily empty room and found myself folded into the window sill, watching the October wind blow the leaves around the grounds of the college. It was an unseasonably warm day, so many of the girls were roaming the grounds in light jackets. I watched as Alice's group came into view, kicking up the leaves with their feet and laughing raucously as they went. Alice turned around and looked up at the building, completely unsurprised at seeing me in the window. She waved her hand at me, beckoning me to join her group. I shook my head quickly and motioned for her to go on without me.
I'd get cold out there without a heavier coat or I would trip over one of the many downed branches. It was safer to stay inside where it was warm. I could hear Mother's satisfied voice in my head as I watched Alice skip along with her friends. She'll catch a cold and be sick before you get to Chicago. No man will look at her then with her red, running nose. You're being smart, Bella. Practical.
A/N: Like I said ... just a taste of what is to come. This story will be mostly Bella POV. So you know, the family relationships will be outlined as the story progresses. This will not be a rewrite of Twilight set in 1920s Chicago; it will be its own story that will lead us to the o/s which I submitted for the contest. I hope the teaser leaves you ready for more! I'm making edits on the chapter now, so look for the new story by the end of this month (in about five or six days). ;) ~Jen