A/N- I'm sorry. Shoot me. Please. First, I apologize for the ridiculously cliche title. I had no working title while I was writing this, so...yeah. Any suggestions for a new title are welcome.
Let me first say that yes, I am anti-Twilight. I don't like the book and I think the characterization is, at best, two-dimensional. I took it to myself to make Twilight, well, better. This is a story rewrite completely. It starts with the first book, Twilight. The characters are about the only thing that stays the same- events are rewritten, dropped, and omitted almost completely. Some things that take place in, say, Eclipse, will happen much earlier. Plot mauling is rampant. Some events are still here- key word is some. Because of this, you needn't of read the Twilight books to read this. Thanks. I also apologize for what will come. Comment with criticism or other things. Warning: mild language in later chapters. This is the shortest- and personally, my least favorite- chapter in the story. Be warned. It Gets Better.
Edit: Chapter dividers re-added. Again. I apologize for the inconvenience. I originally had dashes as chapter dividers, but apparently that won't work. So, instead, enjoy the periods.
Chapter One- Junior year
The teen swiveled around, only to be face-to-face with Billy, sitting in his wheelchair and looking like he wanted to say something. Then again, when did he not want to say something?
Jacob waited impatiently, shifting his weight from one leg to the other. He wanted to leave. It was about to be his first day as a junior at Forks High. He wanted to go, now, not be waiting for Billy to say something wise and uplifting. However, he knew his wishes would not be granted when Billy opened his mouth and began speaking.
He was pleasantly surprised when all Billy did was grunt, "Have a good day".
He left his house, only to be greeted by an excited Quil. They both began walking the way to Forks High- it was somewhat of a tradition to walk to school the first day for them. While Jacob usually drove, this was an exception.
"Jacob," Quil said, a sideways smile on his face, "what's up?"
Jacob shrugged, not really knowing what to say. He finally replied with an off-handed "the usual" and continued walking. Quil looked mildly surprised at his curt reply but merely turned around and continued walking.
"So," he said with a smile still on his face, "plan on meeting any new girls this year?" followed by a suggestive wink.
Jacob rolled his eyes at Quil's immaturity. "No, Quil, I do not plan on 'meeting' any girls this year unless I imprint, and that's very doubtful." He shot a quick agitated look at the teen for good measure and continued. "But of course you're planning on 'meeting' girls, huh?" he said, still sounding annoyed. Quil just gave a quick hyena-like chuckle and continued walking.
"Hey, Jacob?" he said, his voice not as mirthful and happy as before. Jacob sighed and continued walking. "Yes?" he asked after a short pause.
"Why do we do this?" he asked.
Jacob looked over at him. "Do what?" he asked, a bit perplexed. "Do you mean walk to school on the first day?" Without waiting for a reply, he started speaking yet again. "Well, it's tradition," he said, a smile on his face. "The same reason people celebrate certain holidays, or, y'know, do stuff. It's tradition, and it's nice to have something you can do every once in a while, I guess."
Quil stared at Jacob with a void expression, and Jacob actually paled. Here was Quil, his upbeat friend, with one of the most unfriendly expressions he'd ever seen on his face. "No," he said slowly. "I mean this. Going to school. Through the motions. Why?"
"We're not skipping school, Quil," Jacob said, a small smile on his face. "I kind of want to see-"
"I'm not talking about skipping school, Jacob." Quil's voice had changed from his usual cheery one to a solemn tone, now.
Jacob's head turned around quickly to face Quil. How had this seemingly innocent and spontaneous conversation taken a completely different route in less than five minutes?
"Then what it is about?" he asked, startled by Quil's uncharacteristic coldness.
After a few more minutes, Quil seemed to have recovered. A halfhearted smile now covered his face. "Sorry," he apologized. "Didn't mean to jump you, man," he laughed. "I mean, why do we go to school? Or even do this 'normal' stuff?"
"What do you mean, normal?" Jacob asked, his eyes narrowing. "Do you mean human? Average? What?" Quil reddened in the face a bit and then finally began to talk.
"Don't say it like that, Jacob," he said, sounding annoyed- something else that surprised Jacob as well. "You know what I mean. We're freaking werewolves. If we wanted and kept on shifting to wolf form, we may very well live forever. Just like-"
"The bloodsuckers," Jacob spat out. Quil gave a disapproving look at the euphemism and sighed. "Like the vampires, I guess. But that's not what I'm saying." He gave a tired sigh and continued. "I mean, we could be doing other things besides this. But-"
"-we don't," Jacob finished lamely. "Because it's tradition."
Quil paused for a moment, thought about this, and sighed.
"I don't blame you, Jacob," he whispered.
Jacob winced inwardly at his friend's weak voice, at his demeanor, at everything Quil was at that moment. He felt pity for him, but he couldn't say he understood.
"Let's just...go to school," Jacob muttered.
They continued to walk.
If you had been in Forks High this particular morning, you would notice one of two things.
One of them was the fact that Jacob and Quil, two Native American-looking boys, were late for the first day of school and were arriving at about 8:30 instead of the preferred 8 o'clock sharp.
Two, the petite brunette Bella Swan was being carried unconscious to the office by a very annoyed looking Edward Cullen.
Most people would notice the second.
Jacob sputtered in surprise as he saw Bella Swan, childhood friend of his and Charlie's daughter, being carried to the office, passed out, and narrowed his eyes when he saw who was carrying her- one of the leeches.
"Isn't that-" Quil began.
"-Bella," Jacob offered quietly.
"She-...Didn't she- move in with her mom? Renee, right?" Quil asked, confused. He wasn't really shocked nor worried about this. He was worried about Jacob. While he couldn't quite put his finger on why, Jacob's face when he saw Bella portrayed a mixture of emotions.
He shook the thought out of his head and sighed. "Whatever. Let's get to homeroom. I don't want to fail because you're ogling your new girlfriend." He laughed mischievously and took delight in Jacob's expression of disbelief and poorly hidden embarrassment. "Good God, Quil, she's passed out!-" he started, only to watch in a mixture of agitation and amusement as Quil shot down the hall.
"Whatever," he muttered under his breath. He followed Quil without reluctance.
After all, he didn't 'want to fail' either.
"I miss mom," Seth wailed piteously.
Leah sighed, trying hard not to feel agitated. Sue Clearwater had left days ago on 'important business matters', which was quickly detected as lie by Leah. Business matters? Ha! What sort of 'business matters' would Sue have as a grocery store clerk?
Leah had confronted her mother hours after her mother announced that she would be leaving 'for a while'. Seth had went to his bedroom to sleep; it was nine o'clock.
"Mom, what's really going on?" the shapeshifter asked, not really knowing if she wanted to hear the answer.
"Leah," her mother said, placing a hand on her daughter's shoulder, "it has something to do with the Quileute tribe as a whole. I can't give you the details. Just...I can't, okay?" An apologetic half-smile, sympathetic eyes that mimicked Leah's-
"You can't even tell me where you're going, Mom? Not even how long you'll be gone? Nothing?" Her voice was teetering on the edge of 'pleading' now.
"No. I can't. I told you that I'd be back in a few days. Maybe. I don't know, and I can't tell you. Trust me. Please, Leah." Her mother's eyes were now almost as pleading as Leah's voice was.
"You know what?" Leah hissed, anger suddenly flaring up inside of her. "If dad were still alive I'd think you were having an affair. Running off to god knows where-"
Leah held up her hand to her now flaming-with-pain cheek.
"But the fact of the matter is you're dad isn't alive, Leah. I'm not having an 'affair.' I'm not even going to go see some man. I'm doing something for the tribe-"
The teenage Quileute ran down the hall, only to run into her room and slam her door.
The morning afterward, Sue had left on a plane to Italy. Leah was furious and refused to talk to her mother the way there or the way back. Seth was miserable, and cried openly when his mother left on the plane. Leah did not. She merely stood there, stony-faced, as her mother left, leaving her and her brother alone.
A voice in the room shook Leah back to the present. "Leah, I miss Mom," Seth repeated, this time with more urgency.
Leah sighed, fighting back the strange mixture of anger and sadness that welled inside of her.
"Yeah, Seth," she muttered, her voice now edged with bitterness. "Yeah, I miss her too."