Disclaimer: Twilight stuff owned by Stephanie Meyer. Lord of the Rings stuff owned by J.R.R Tolkien.

Prologue: Life isn't perfect, but it will give you layers

Change. Growth. Mutated. Morphed. All these words pretty much mean the same thing, yet I don't like using any of them. None seem strong enough or long enough or complex enough to label why I am the way I am. Not to be narcissistic, but before we begin I need to explain a bit. Once you get to know me, you understand I wasn't born this way. I hope to God no one can be born the way I am now. Like some people would put it, I have layers. A hell of a lot more layers than when I got started.

Most people out there that know my story don't really know my story. Sorry kids, but I didn't end up with the perfect, immortal husband or the extra-special, immortal daughter (who the hell would name their child "Renesmee" anyway?) So, as you can guess, my life didn't turn out as the perfect happily ever after. Want to know why….because life isn't perfect!

Not that life is all bad. No, there exists a whole lot of good, but come on!

Now people are wondering what all is different. Well, as you can see, I'm a bit more sarcastic and snappier than before. Thank you God! I've read my writing from those days and all I pretty much wrote was, "Edward is perfect.", "I love Edward.", "I might kinda love Jacob, but I still really love Edward!", and "I can't wait to be Mrs. Bella Cullen…I love Edward!"

Back then I didn't have too many layers. Those layers started showing up the year after I moved to Forks, Washington in the United States. As written, I had the 18th birthday bash, got a paper cut, Jasper flipped his lid, and Edward went all weepy about how we could never be together because he's a monster who would destroy my soul blah blah blah…you get the picture?

The Cullen's left Forks and me in a less than fragile state. Seriously, you want to talk about angsting, just go back and see me during those first weeks afterward. I didn't sleep, ate barely anything (made my figure go from a healthy, willowy to near anorexic), ran up my cell phone bill trying to call any Cullen (Dad got a bit more pissed than sympathetic at that one), and cried practically all the time.

This is where our hero Jacob comes in. Yep, that boy…man?…wolf?...werewolf-man-boy started showing up and helped me come to terms with the fact that if I continued to judge my entire existence on one guy (who was completely absent don't forget), I'd end up a starved, pathetic wreak for the rest of my life.

At first, I didn't really believe Jacob, but I did start eating food again so there was some progress. Still, as days followed I dreamed about Edward. Tried to call Edward some more, and cried myself to sleep almost every night. My life was blessed in that I had a best friend (wolf-boy Jacob) and a dad who held me and saw me through every bad part.

Time was starting to heal the wound.

In the winter after my 18th birthday is when things took a twist from the known story.

Apparently, the Volturi (we'll see more of them later) found out about my taboo knowledge about the undead. Soon enough my name got scribbled in on their hit list. Lucky for me (not!), Marcus (vampire leader who grimaces when he sees anyone and talks just slow enough for you to get annoyed and detached from the conversation), along with minion #1, Jane, and minion #2, Alec, were already in the United States doing something undead so decided to take a little detour and bump me off before they headed back home.

Never got a clear story on what happened next. The Volturi did most of this part from behind trees and bushes, so I didn't even realize what was going on until much later. Apparently, Jane tried to use her ability to render me unconscious with pain so Marcus or one of the witch twins (another endearment I use for Jane and Alec) could drain me dry, and that's when they realized vampire mental abilities had no affect on me.

Then they left me alone and I lived happily ever after…Ha! Gotchya!

Real story goes that Marcus let Aro (vampire leader who smiles too much, power hungry to the degree of almost-insane, and is curious about everything under the sun) know about my ability to ignore Jane. Aro gave Marcus the go-ahead to change me. Had they only changed me, I still wouldn't be the person I am today…I don't think.

It was a Sunday, if I remember right, and I just got done having dinner with Jacob's family. Parking my truck (sigh, miss that old thing), I just got out of it when Charlie (dad) ran out of the house. His eyes were red and kind of puffy. My dad never cried, so I knew whatever was wrong was really wrong.

"Bella," he gasped, his hand shaking as it held the phone, "It's your mom and Phil…The-They were found murdered in their apartment earlier today. I…"

All this was so long ago that I don't remember exactly what I felt or what happened in the moments following. Doctors say our brains block out bad memories as time passes, so maybe it's my brain keeping the pain of that news away.

I do know that a little while later I was in my room, lying on my bed when it hit me. Vampires! For some reason, I became convinced that my mother and stepfather were killed by vampires. Grabbing my cell, I dialed Edward's cell number. He never answered my calls anymore, so it didn't really surprise me when it went to voice mail.

"You've reached cell phone number 888-555-"

Idiot didn't even have the decency to put in his own voicemail other than the already existing company one. Right after this, a terrible idea hit me.

They went after my mom. How long until they went after Charlie?

Rushing out of my bedroom, I skipping almost all the stairs to the main floor as I shouted, "Dad! We need to get out of here now! Call Jacob or Billy. We'll stay with them. Dad!"

When I got to our dining room, I slipped and fell on my butt. It took a minute to realize the floor was slick because it was covered in my dad's blood.

This I do remember perfectly. Charlie was laid out on the floor, beside the kitchen table. Not a chair out of place or any sigh of struggle…other than the body. His eyes, chocolate brown - my eye color – were staring at the wall behind me in a blank way. His mouth seemed to be open, but it was hard to tell since the right side was ripped open all the way to his neck, from where all the blood was gushing out.

For an awful moment, I thought he might be alive, so I started to crawl towards him. I can still feel my hands touching the warm blood on the floor.

"Daddy," I whispered, trying really hard not to cry or throw up all over him. I didn't ever get the chance to touch his forehead (where it wasn't torn to shreds) or brush his curly brown hair – also like mine – before a cold, apathetic voice interrupted.

"Your father is dead, child."

I looked up and saw a towering figure standing in the kitchen doorway. He looked around Charlie's age, dressed in black robes, long dark hair flowed beyond his shoulders, and his face reminded me of a bloodhound. What I really noticed though was the pale skin and crimson eyes.

Vampire. No mistaking it.

Perhaps it was my year before with the Cullen's, running away from Victoria and James (two vampires that wanted me dead for various reasons that are no longer important) that developed my instincts to run without pause. Dad would have been proud at how fast I jumped up and dashed to the bathroom.

Slamming the door shut and locking it (yeah genius, that'll keep them out for a full five seconds), I took my cell phone out of my side pocket. My fingers hit the 3 button to speed dial Edward and my brain was going, 'Call Edward! He'll answer. He'll know what to do. The Cullen's will come and save you. Why are my fingers covered in blood?'

With the phone to my ear, I looked at my hands. Suddenly coming to terms with the fact that they were covered in blood, covered with Charlie's blood, covered with the blood from my Dad's corpse.

This is when I started to cry.

Losing any ability to stand on my own feet, I crumbled to the ground and clutched at the rug carpet we kept right outside the bathtub so no one would get water on the tile floor.

"You've reached cell phone number 888-555-1234. The subscriber isn't here to answer at the moment-"

I started crying harder. After that beep, I think I screamed/sobbed something along the lines of, "Edward! Pick up your damn phone! Vampires! Charlie – Oh God! Charlie – there was blood! Help me! Edward!"

Don't know why they waited this long, but eventually, during my very loud breakdown where I went on crying for help after the phone automatically ended the message, Marcus and his minions broke down the door. I lost the cell phone as they dragged my screaming self out of the house and into a black, nondescript car.

Ever since I fell in love with Edward Cullen and learned the truth behind his amber eyes and pale nature, I dreamed of the day I would turn into a vampire, and we'd share our eternities together. In my dream, I saw him taking me to our valley. It would be beautiful in the summer. Grass and flowers all over as he'd lay me down. Holding my hand in comfort, his amber eyes full of love and promise. I'd get a little apprehensive just before, but Edward always knew what to say to calm me and make me feel loved. Then, in a loving embrace, he'd turn me out of love and respect towards my wishes.

Instead, the universe said, "To hell with it. We'll have her be changed in a car on the way to the airport."

Yes, folks. My grand entrance into the world of the immortal ones was in the backseat of that black car. My sire, Marcus, probably would have waited until we were at least in the private jet on the way to Italy, but I was already screaming at the top of my lungs that he didn't think it would be any different once the venom hit me.

By the time we got to the sacred halls of the Volturi in Volterra, Italy, I was pretty much done with the transformation and a newly made vampire.

This is where my story really began.