Ah! So I'm back from vacation and so many story ideas have been running through my head…and this is one of them. It may be a little controversial, though. It deals with social issues in children, plus dabbles with autism. Updates may be sporadic, but remember that I will never abandon the story! So…be sure to read and tell me what you think!
The other idea I have in my head won't be out for a while, at least I think not, but I'm really into the story line. It's about Edward and Bella after they break their engagement and try and continue with their lives. And like all my stories, it is all human and alternate universe. Put me on author alert so you get the email for when that story is posted. It will be called 'No Regrets'. (I used to have a story called that, but this story is different with a similar idea behind it.)
Maria was five years old when I decided that something had to be different about her. Unlike the other girls in her kindergarten class, she refused to make eye contact. When something upset or scared her, it was like she couldn't put her thoughts into words, so she just screamed. I'm one of the only people she'll talk to or touch- because she's scared. At first, I blamed myself. It had to be because of something I had done.
Maybe if I hadn't left her father back in Washington, Maria would be playing happily on the beach in La Push right now instead of sitting in a physiatrist's office. Maybe if I hadn't put her into preschool early, or maybe if I had simply been more careful. But I hadn't. Jasper, my ex boyfriend and Maria's father, and I are no longer together, and when we broke up I ran off with Maria to live in Florida. He sends money every single month, because he's too cowardly to get on a plane and see his daughter, and I'm too cowardly to get on a plane and see him.
I didn't know what was wrong, or if anything was wrong at all. So I took Maria to a shrink, and had to hold my baby in my arms as she sobbed when the unfamiliar woman asked her question after question. After five weeks of weekly appointments and observations, Dr. Gerandy determined that Maria had problems with social skills and anxiety. That was why she wouldn't talk to her classmates, why she clammed up when strangers approached her. Social skills come naturally to most people. When someone looks at their watch and shuffles around, you can assume that they want out of the conversation. People like you and I can pick up on signals and sarcasm and humor, but people like my daughter cannot. For Maria, everything is literal.
And because of that, she's not normal, apparently. But I hate when people say that. She's different…but isn't everyone?
Usually, by the time I arrive to pick Maria up from her social skills tutoring, she's waiting outside for me, sitting on a bench and reading a book. But today, I'm half an hour early, by some miracle. So I got out of my car and walked into the building, asking the secretary where I could find Maria Swan-Whitlock. She directed me towards the library, and I hesitated in the doorway of the room, peeking in.
Maria was sitting crosslegged on the floor near the wall of glass, with car magazines spread out in front of her. Sitting on the floor next to her is, I assume, her tutor. Although Maria has been coming here after school for a year, I have not met her tutor in person. Maria has told me plenty about Edward Cullen, but I had no idea that he was so young. The man sitting next to my daughter had to be in his early thirties at the latest. The last tutor Maria had was a private one, and had been over fifty years old.
I observed them for a moment, curious. Maria usually refused to talk to people or to even communicate with them. But she and Edward were talking animatedly, and reading the magazine. Although I am a complete girly-girl, Maria finds comfort in car restoration. It's like one of her vices. I let several minutes pass, and then stepped into the room. "Hey, baby." I said softly, and Maria's head shot up. When our eyes met, she abandoned her magazine and bolted over to my side, flinging her arms around me. "How was your day?" I asked, leaning over to kiss the top of my daughter's head.
"Hi, mommy. School was good…but your early. Is something wrong?" Worry instantly took over Maria's delicate features, and I shook my head quickly.
"No, nothing's wrong, I promise. I just got off of work early and came to pick you up right away." I explained, and it wasn't until then that I noticed that Edward Cullen had stood up as well and was hanging back several steps. "Oh, I'm sorry." I apologized, stepping forward and extending my hand. "It's nice to meet you finally Mr. Cullen, I'm Maria's mother, Bella."
Edward nodded, and shook my hand. "Hello, Mrs. Whitlock. It's nice to meet you too." He said formally, and I stiffened slightly at the mention of my ex's last name.
"Miss Swan." I corrected, and Edward nodded. "But, please, call me Bella."
"Bella, then. You can call me Edward." He said, and I could not pull my eyes away from his. They were an intense shade of emerald green, and they sparkled in the light. But he looked away from me and turned to Maria. "Mar, why don't you go back to that magazine? I would like to talk with your mom." Maria looked suspicious, but she reluctantly did as Edward suggested. "Why don't you sit down?" Edward gestured to a table and chairs, and we sat down.
I bit my lip nervously as we sat. "Is Maria doing okay?" I asked. "She's not causing problems or anything, is she? Because she really is a good girl, Edward, sometimes she just gets scared and nervous and she-" I rambled on and on, and Edward just stared at me with a confused, crooked smile on his face.
"Nothing is wrong, Bella. I just wanted to talk. I've been tutoring Maria for a year now, and I really think it's time that we sat down and talked one on one." Edward explained gently. I nodded, and let him continue. "Maria is highly intelligent." Edward said, and I couldn't help but smile proudly. "But…I've also noticed some other things. Maria…I think that she might have something more than social problems and anxiety going on. I see some OCD in her, and when you add up that with her paranoia and anxiety and fixation with something, like cars, and her social skills…" Edward trailed off for a moment, and I froze, wondering what he could possibly say. "Bella, the physiatrist and I agree that Maria could be autistic."
Well…I know that first chapter was a short one, but it's just a starter. Do you like it? Interested at all? Let me know. I'll try and update soon, but I also have made it my mission to update my story 'Chemicals' again before I update the next chapter to this story. Again, I hope you enjoyed this first chapter!
Xoxo- Melodyella aka Mellie