Carly Kemper looked out the window of her mom's battered green Subaru, sighing as she saw the sign for Forks WA flash by. She was moving there with her mom and cat the day before the first day of her senior year of high school, something she dreaded more than sticking needles under her fingernails.
To sum it up bluntly, Washington was green and wet. Already the large amount of moss and trees unnerved her. When they left Florida, it had been over 100 and perfectly sunny.
Carly was used to warm weather. Really warm. Like, Florida warm. Washington was nowhere near Florida warm.
They were moving from Tampa beach so that her mom could finish writing her novel. Of course, everything was about the novel. So far, her mom had gotten up to about halfway through, then had a severe case of writer's block. She decided that they needed to move somewhere quiet, have a change of scenery, and maybe, just maybe, an idea would come to her.
That's the way Carly's mom was, a quiet, go-with-the-flow type person with once in a while wild streaks.
They entered the town, and it did little to lift Carly's spirits. It was small, the sign said only about 3,000 people. They drove along the main drag, and she memorized where the grocery store, the Bank, and the School were. It wasn't hard... everything was off the main street.
Her mom looked at a hastily drawn map, then turned off onto Cherry street. About halfway down, she pulled into a driveway next to a one-story grey house.
"Here we are!" Her mom tried to say cheerfully.
Carly got out and grabbed her backpack and suitcase, her mom doing the same. They didn't have much stuff, just four bags and the cat crate between them. Her mom unlocked the house, and they went inside. The interior of the house wasn't much better, the walls painted lavender and yellow.
"Go upstairs and choose your room." Her mom said tiredly. Carly sighed, but didn't argue. She had the feeling that this place was sucking the life out of her.
She hit the stairs and found a hallway. The hallway had three doors, she tried the last one, and found a small bedroom. She plopped her stuff down on the bed, and started unpacking.
When she was done, her art stuff adorned the desk, a lone stuffed animal guarded the bed, and her clothes inhabited the closet. There was a floor length window, and outside she could see the mountains and a bunch of trees.
She hung a drawing on the wall, and put a photo on the nightstand. The photo was a picture her, her mom, and her dad on one of those rare occasions where they'd all been smiling at the same time.
She sighed and touched her father's face. He had left a few years ago, when mom had become obsessed with her writing. He promised that Carly could come and live with him in California, but so far, he hadn't called at all.
Someday, they would be together again, but just not quite yet. Maybe after graduation.
Carly dropped onto the bed without bothering to set an alarm or undress. If she missed school tomorrow, it wouldn't be so bad.
The next morning, Carly carefully picked her way through the crowded hallway of Forks high school, trying not to trip on random feet and shed jackets After what seemed like hours in the packed hallway, she finally got to her classroom, 2H. The classroom was less inhabited that the hallway, but there were still a lot of people... All staring at her. Or so she thought.
Flipping her blond hair over her shoulder, Carly walked quickly to the teacher to hand in her attendance slip. Without word, the somber teacher scribbled something on it and pointed to a seat in the back. Keeping her head down, Carly walked down the isle, avoiding the feet...except one.
That one foot felled her like a log, causing her to crash onto the floor...Hard, earning giggles from the class. Blushing furiously, Carly proceeded to the back, taking the only empty seat next to a pale, blonde boy.
Palms still smarting from the linoleum floor, Claire looked over and noticed that the boy next to her was doodling on his iPod touch.
Great. He was one of THOSE guys... Actually, his appearance wasn't that bad, white button up shirt, black tie, casual jeans and a hat.
He switched off his iPod as the bell rang and caught Claire's eyes.
His eyes were beautiful, Just looking into them made her feel like a melted marshmallow, but also like a rabbit caught in a trap. Carly almost missed his quiet voice, she was totally lost in her own thoughts.
Carly blinked twice, completely speechless.
"Hi?" He tried again.
"H-hi..." She forced her brain to work so she could formulate a reply.
He smiled faintly at her expression of brain-fry and leaned over.
"My name's Elias. You must be... Carly? Carly Kemper? Everyone's talking about you."
Carly made her brain wrap around his name and tried not to drool. Elias.
The teacher started talking, and Elias shifted back to his original position, later taking out is iPod and playing on it more. Carly didn't dare peek over at him to see what he was doing.
Halfway through the history lecture, the teacher had them take out their worksheets.
Carly pulled her paper folder out of her bag too fast, slicing her finger with the cardboard edge. She sucked hard on the cut, trying to contain the blood dripping down her hand.
Just out of her line of vision, she saw Elias stiffen and gag slightly. He stood up, raising his hand while already walking out the aisle.
"Sir, I don't feel well, I need to go to the nurse." He pushed the rest of the way past her, nearly knocking her out of her seat as he went.
What was his problem? Was he deathly afraid of blood?
Elias didn't return all period, nor did she see him in any of her other classes.
That night, Carly came home more confused than when she had left, the pale boy in her class taking up most of her thoughts. In a daze, she pulled the necessary ingredients out of the cupboards and started making spaghetti. Her mom left a note on the counter saying she went to somewhere called Port Angeles for the day to pick up some stuff for the house. Carly crumpled the note and tossed it into the trash can.
While she waited for the water to boil, she pulled out her laptop and turned it on, a familiar picture of her and her mom appearing on her had been at the beach last summer, and they were both smiling, the sun backlighting them perfectly.
Sighing, Carly opened up her web browser and checked her e-mail. Nothing.
She logged onto her facebook. No notifications. Her friends were doing a great job at missing her. Carly went back to the stove, stirring the pasta. She returned to her facebook page, intending to click off and go play solitaire until dinner was done, but she noticed a red notification in her friend requests.
It was probably some random guy in India... It was too early for anyone here to start stalking her on facebook. She clicked on the notification.
Elias H. Cullen sent you a friend request.
Carly hit 'accept' on the friend request then shut down her computer. Obviously he wasn't too scarred by her accident in History, she could give him a chance.
That night, Carly logged onto Facebook again, a small part of her mind hoping that Elias would show up and chat, but he didn't. She wanted to find out a little more about him - especially what the disappearing act regarding her cut in class was all about. She could ask him tomorrow.
Carly never found out the next day, or the day after that.
Elias didn't show up to school again until almost two weeks later.