Not mine. :(

Usually when someone says, "I hate you," there is an underlying meaning that that person actually does not hate whoever he or she is speaking to. Usually, it means that deep down, he or she really loves that person. He or she simply uses hate as a form of denial.

That was not the case when dealing with Edward Cullen. For I, in fact and all actuality, loathed him with all that I was. Ever since our parents thrust us together at the tender age of thirteen with high hopes that we would fall in love, we hated each other. There was no underlying love between us – just a hate that would stun and silence even the devil himself. He pulled my hair, I knocked his two front teeth out. He called me names, I dented both of his shins. He broke my arm, I broke his jaw. The kid was stuck in headgear throughout his freshman year of high school. I still make fun of his photograph every chance I get – which is a lot more often now that our parents dropped a bomb the size of Africa on our heads.

It was a Thursday night and I'd normally be out with my friends at this time. However, my parents had decided to arrange a dinner party for both our family and the Cullens. My father worked with Edward's in the corporate world, a mess of numbers and words that I couldn't understand. So for the entire dinner Edward and I glared at each other across the table, trying to one up the other. I won by kicking his already bruised shin. Smirking, I sat back and crossed my arms over my chest, completely ignoring the steaming meal before me. Edward scowled at me while bending down to rub his abused shin.

"So what exactly was the point of this dinner, mother, with the one boy I hate?" I asked sweetly in the middle of the meal. My mother half-glared at me as she set down her wineglass, but she was quick to grin brightly at my father and the Cullens. The four adults turned to focus on Edward and me. My eyes bounced from the adults to Edward, who sat just as confused as I was, back to the adults.

"Why, honey, so we could announce your engagement!" I choked on air, spluttering and coughing. Crazy, psycho woman say what?

"My what?" I cried, curling my hands into fists on the table. Edward looked like a deer in headlights, eyes wide, mouth hanging open. My mother and Mrs. Cullen smiled widely.

"Your engagement. To Edward." My heart stopped. Then I laughed, and their smiles dropped.

"You're joking right? Is this some early April Fool's joke?" I laughed, elbowing my mother. She was glaring at me and the rest of the adults and Edward were staring at me. My smile dropped and my laughter died down. "Please, tell me you're kidding."

"I'm afraid not, Isabella." My father shook his head and downed his wine and I wished I could be him. "The Cullens and I were discussing it and since Edward is going to, one day, take over his father's company, we thought it would be best if he didn't do it alone."

"But why me?" I argued, slamming my fist down on the table, but only enough to shake the silver- and glassware. "Why not one of the hoochies Edward normally hangs out with?"

"Because they are not born into money, Bella," Edward's mother, Esme, explained politely. She shook her head disapprovingly. "Maybe she's not ready, Renee."

"Yes!" I cried, turning to my mother. "I'm not ready. I'm only nineteen. I don't know the responsibilities of a housewife!" My mother tutted.

"Nonsense. She's perfectly ready. Look, Bella, Edward seems to enjoy the idea." I turned to look at Edward's emotionless face. He was staring at my mother and me with a blank look. I scoffed.

"He so does not." My mother's jaw clenched.

"Isabella Marie, you are to be married to Edward and that is final."

I find it pathetic that I am nineteen, living with my parents, and have no say in my life whatsoever. Being married at this tender age was not something I had in mind. Instead, I planned on partying it up until I was twenty-five and then I would get married and have children with the man I'm in love with – not someone I want to rip the heart out of every time I see him. I knew Edward wasn't happy about the idea; the boy was never particularly hard to read. But the fact that he didn't argue – not once – irked me to no end. Why wouldn't he fight it? It was blatant that we loathed each other and couldn't stand to be in the same room together; our parents were lucky we got through dinner without stabbing each other with forks and knives.

I sat up in my room with my cell phone open in my hand, thumb over the green 'send' button and the name 'Alice' highlighted. Obviously, she wouldn't be happy; she hated Ass-ward as much as I did. She had been my best friend since elementary school when we both fought over who got to use the dump truck first. She was there when I broke Cullen's jaw after he pushed me off my skateboard and made me break my arm. In fact, Alice lied to my parents' faces that Edward had simply lost his balance on the board. I gave him the dirtiest look possible when he threatened to tell the truth, and our parents still don't know exactly what happened.

As I was about to press the button, Edward walked into my room, a forlorn look on his face. I sighed in frustration and set my phone down on my bed. Alice would have to wait.

"What do you want, Ass-ward?" I growled, leaning back on my hands. He kicked at a dirty shirt on my floor with the toe of his shoe.

"I'm sorry about our parents." I raised an eyebrow and scoffed.

"Really? That's all you're going to apologize for?" I retorted, straightening challengingly. He raised his chin and stared at me.

"Yes." Rolling my eyes, I stood up and pushed past him, unsure of where exactly I was going to go.

"Please. Save your pathetic apologies for someone who needs them. Like that girl you gave herpes to." Edward had always hated it when I implied that he was a walking STD bank. I was almost positive it was true since Edward had slept with almost every girl in our grade – except Alice and me.

"I told you. I don't have any STDs!" was his lame response. I snorted and walked downstairs, still partially unsure of my destination. The Cullens were still here and were discussing marital arrangements with my parents much to my utter disliking.

"Yeah, and I'm fucking Lief Ericson." I rolled my eyes as I walked out my front door without a response to my parents. As far as they knew, Edward and I were getting away to spend a little 'quality time together.' I scoffed at the thought; Edward would never step foot into my car. He might spread his crabs and herpes to my seats.

I left Edward on the curb, staring after my silver sedan. Smirking in the rear-view mirror, I turned towards Alice's house with my iPod blaring through the cassette player. I bobbed my head along and pulled in front of the big blue house with red shutters. I honked and waited and finally, my pixie best friend bounced out of her front door and jogged over to my car.

"What's up, buttercup?" she asked, closing the door. I roared away from the curb and sped down the rest of the street. I came to a rolling stop at a stop sign. "Uh, you're supposed to come to a complete stop there..."

"I'm getting married," I grumbled, bending over my steering wheel. Alice cooed and applauded, squealing in excitement.

"Can I help you pick out your colors? How about catering?" I sighed.

"You're forgetting the most important question, Ali. Aren't you going to ask who I'm getting married to?" A look of realization passed over her face and she giggled in embarrassment.

"Oh yeah. Well, who's the lucky guy?"


"Ooh! Wait, what? Come again?"

"You heard me." I turned on my blinker and drove towards the end of town. "Our parents arranged it and dropped the bomb on us just tonight over dinner."

"Ew! Why Edward, though? I mean, sure, he's attractive but he's got the personality of a badger! He's always pissed off!" Alice remarked, grabbing the 'oh shit' bar as I took a turn too fast.

"Apparently, he's gotta take over his family business when his dad dies and his parents didn't want him to do it alone." I rolled my eyes at the stupidity of the idea and came to a stop at the boardwalk. I killed the engine and we sat in my car, further discussing my shitty luck.

"Dude, that's fucking stupid! I think he's perfectly capable of running whatever business his dad owns on his own!"

"Yeah, so do I, but apparently it's not enough to convince my parents." I sighed and rested my forehead on the wheel, shutting my eyes.

"Well, do you know when the ceremony is?" My head snapped up and I glared at Alice.

"No, let me get right on that." I rolled my eyes sardonically and put my head back down. Alice tutted and reached over to rub my back.

"Hey, at least he's good-looking. Be happy you're not getting married to that creepy old homeless guy who always sleeps in the cardboard box."