A/N: Miserable At Best is a story that contains serious angst, dark themes, and lemons. It's rated M for a reason, so just know that you were warned. If you can't handle excessive profanity, drug/alcohol use, any type of sex, or other adult subject matter, then please take into consideration whether or not this story is for you.

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WARNING: In this story you will meet the most difficult, frustrating, douchiest, emotionally strained Edward you've ever read, and you're most likely going to want to hit him over the head on more occasions than one. But, just remember that everyone has a reason why they act the way they do. Be patient. Edward will win you over. Just give him the chance to do so.

Full Summary: Bella moves to Forks for her senior year and quickly becomes friends with Alice and the gang. Edward Cullen proves himself as less than desirable from day one, seemingly destined for failure with no intention of ever living up to the person he once was. But as Bella begins to see past the drugs, the mood swings, she finds the atrophy of a shadow belonging to a boy who had lost everything, including himself.

"Do you wanna be friends?"

It was a phrase I hadn't heard since kindergarten. In fact, I think it may have been the epitome of every six year-olds' conversation. I was positive that it was impossible for anyone to forget that first day. No one knew anyone, and at the age of six, you were invincibly brave enough to ask any question in the world.

I raised my eyes up from my map, meeting the dazzling smile that most certainly did not belong to a kindergartener. It was impossible not to be at ease with the grin this girl was giving me.

"Sure," I agreed with a cautious smile, "Let's be friends."

It was kindergarten again. Beginning the first day at a new high school in a new state, there wasn't a single face here that would be remotely familiar. For some odd reason, the grayish blue eyes that twinkled in the light and the short, spiky black hair that bounced as she moved gave me the ambition to agree to such an offer. It was genuinely rare that anyone made me feel so comfortable, let alone this girl I had never met before.

"Good!" She exclaimed happily. "Because boy do I know how much it sucks to be the new girl here. I mean what a joy – moving to a school where everyone has known each other forever. Last year, Junior year, was when I moved here." She held out a friendly hand. "I'm Alice Cullen, by the way."

I liked this Alice. There was genuine kindness in her, which was pretty rare in your typical teenage high school student. If I was going to start right off the bat by making new friends here – which I had sincerely doubted before arriving this morning – then I was really glad it was Alice who offered.

I was just the slightest bit bemused in pondering the excitement; why Alice seemed so entirely thrilled about being my friend. It was beyond me, yet at the same time I felt a strange sense of relief.

"I'm Bella Sw–"

"I know who you are, Bella!" She rolled her eyes. "God, doesn't everyone?"

She lost me. She threw her head back in laughter as she read the confusion on my face. "Bella, you just moved here, right?" I nodded cautiously in assessment. "Well then you've seen Forks, right?" I nodded again, still unsure of where she was going with this. "It's got like, seven people in the whole town! It's impossible not to know when someone new comes rolling in. We never get new students here."

Oh. Right, well I guess she had a point. I inwardly cringed at the idea of everyone knowing who I was already. With sinking suspicion I suddenly wondered if Charlie had anything to do with my apparent fame. The idea was far from appealing, and I almost had to restrain the urge to scream out loud.

I just didn't do the whole 'spotlight' thing.

I heard what I assumed was the first bell warning and decided I didn't want to be late for my first class. "Hey, um, Alice?" I asked her as I glanced down at my useless map in frustration. "Can you help me find my first class? . . .I have no idea where I'm going." I confessed with a frown.

She quickly tore my schedule sheet out of my hands, letting out a happy squeal as she shoved it back into my hands. "First Period Trig," she sang. "Follow me, my dear, and I shall lead you to our first class."

It was nearly impossible to follow Alice. She didn't walk, she sashayed. I wondered idly if her mood was ever anything but chipper. The way she seemingly danced through life had me curious as to the reason behind all her exuberance.

I vaguely ignored the apparent stares I was receiving. Before I freaked myself out into a state of paranoia, I remembered Alice's earlier words, and that all I was was something new for people to look at. Curiosity. They were staring at the new girl out of simply just curiosity.

It wasn't like I had a reason to be stared at anyways. I figured once people started realizing that, the stares would quickly die down. I'd give it a week, maximum. After a week, Bella Swan would become just a name to everyone, which is how I wanted it to be. I liked being invisible. It was my comfortable skin.

The reason I moved to Forks was for a change. I had lived with my mom in Phoenix for so many years that I had actually gotten sick of the sun. Which, I refused to admit out loud to anyone since apparently all it did here was rain.

Not only did I get sick of the sun, but I missed my dad, Charlie. I realized, whilst burning in my sunbathing hometown of misery, that spending two weeks with the man every year didn't exactly earn me the 'Number One Daughter' award.

Renee had been nothing but understanding when I had told her my decision. Being recently married and all, I knew she was secretly thrilled to have me out of the house so that she and Phil could spend more time together and less time worrying about me.

When I had told Charlie, he had been ecstatic. Instead of awkwardly agreeing to let me come live in his house with only one bathroom which would need to be shared between a middle-aged man and a teenage girl, he welcomed me to this rainy little town with open arms.

I wasn't even bothered by the fact that him being the Chief of Police would damper my chances of getting invited to the big parties. I was almost as torn up about that as when I had discovered that eating a watermelon seed wouldn't actually make a watermelon grow in your stomach.

I wondered aimlessly where all these kindergarten memories were coming from.

Another thing that I allowed myself to be relieved about was that this was the first day of the school year for everyone, and that I wasn't doing something as drastic as starting out fresh in the middle of an already progressing year. I was functional enough to handle a lot of things, but I was fairly positive starting over halfway through a semester would not be one of them.

"Here we are," Alice announced in her sing-song voice, pulling me out of my cluttered thoughts. "Room 114! Or as I like to call it," she lowered her voice dramatically, "Hell."

I laughed, shaking my head as we entered the room. I think during our short walk, Alice and her obtuse observations had gathered that I didn't enjoy being front and center and, bless her heart, pulled me along to two empty seats in the back of the room.

Once we were seated, she turned to me with an enthusiastic look. "Okay, so I know we like just met," she began slowly, eyes burning with the excitement she could hardly contain.

"Yeah, like five minutes ago," I confirmed with a grin.

"But," she went on, "I feel like we should make some sort of pact."

A pact? What on earth could she have possibly meant by that? "Okay, I'm with you so far. . ." I responded nervously, wondering what I had gotten myself into upon my earlier agreement.

"To make this year the best." She finished her preposition simply. "A year that we're always gonna remember, even when we're fifty – and still hot, by the way," she added, matter-of-factly with a giggle. "I mean, something different. I don't want my senior year to be like every other boring year I've spent in school, ya know?"

I was hardly the kind of person who got excited over things as frivolous as making sure your senior year was fun. But surprisingly enough, Alice made it actually impossible not to smile and think fondly of such an idea.

"I think, Alice, we have ourselves a pact."

She held her hand out, fisting together all of her fingers except for her small pinky as she gave me a hopeful look. I grinned, rolling my eyes as I quickly connected my pinky with hers. The last time I had made a promise out of a pinky swear was, well, kindergarten.

Just then, the bell rang, officially starting my first day at Forks High School.


Once I managed to get my first class out of the way, the rest of the day didn't seem like it would be such a difficult task. The initial nerves I had held at the beginning of the day were starting to wear off and I actually wound up finding my way to my next class all by myself.

The aroma of old pages made me smile as I stepped into my AP English class. If there was anything I truly adored most in this world, it was books. I had always been the kind of girl who marked down the date on her calendar when a famous author was coming to town for a book signing. I would stay in my PJ's everyday if I could. I'd curl up in a ball on my couch and simply waste away the day by reading Pride and Prejudice for the two-hundredth time. That was my ideal day. I mean, I didn't necessarily broadcast the fact that I may have loved Jane Austen more than life itself, but I had never really been one to care or dwell upon what other people's impressions of me were.

From what I understood the curricular for this class to be for the year, we would spend one semester on creative writing, and the other on studying and analyzing classic literature. Those words were the closest thing to heaven I'd heard in a long time.

I wasn't a geeky school girl, I really wasn't. English truly was the only subject in school that ever got me genuinely excited to learn. I wasn't sure why, but I had just always been fascinated by everything it involved.

I decided to be semi-brave and sat down in a desk basically right in the middle of the classroom. That way my teacher, Mr. Barner, wouldn't think poorly of my seating decisions and judge my character as a slacker for sitting in the back like I really wanted to just do. It also meant that I was not seated in the front row, and therefore, eyes had no reason to wander astray to me for any significant reason.

He sat at his desk, doing what I assumed was the attendance in his head, calling out a few names he didn't recognize – including mine – to make sure we were all there. He smiled warmly at me, not going out of his way to embarrass me with a "Let's Welcome The New Student" announcement. I loved this man already.

He started out his lecture explaining what he expected from everyone; how he wanted behavior in his classroom to be and what the year was going to be about. Then, he moved on to discuss the concept of "Editing Partners."

"I have already paired each of you up at random with another student in this class. That is the partner you will have for the whole semester of Creative Writing. During class, I will give you time to peer-edit your partner's paper and your partner will do the same. Everyone get where I'm going with this?"

A majority of the class nodded their head. "Good," he stated in approval. "Once I read off names, I want you to take a few minutes to talk and introduce yourself to your partner." I wondered why that was necessary. Everyone in this class had known each other since diapers.

He began reading off the assigned names he had paired together. Almost all the way through his list, he finally got to my name. "Bella Swan and Edward Cullen." I subtly looked around the room, trying to pick out who Edward was. I was interrupted shortly into my search.

"For whatever reason he thought was necessary," Mr. Barner was speaking directly to me, "Edward has chosen not to attend class today. You may take these next couple of minutes as free time if you'd like, Bella."

No one was ever sick on the first day of school. It just didn't happen, coincidence or not, leading me to believe that either Edward was going to be extremely late to class, or that he actually was skipping the first day.

Seriously? Who skipped the first day of school?

I couldn't get over my slight shock as the minutes dragged on. In attempts to try and figure out this boy I had never met, a thought occurred to me. Edward Cullen. As in, Alice Cullen. It wasn't exactly a common name, so I knew they'd have to be related somehow. I reminded myself to ask Alice about him during lunch.


I spent my free period in the library before heading to the cafeteria, the only period I was seriously nervous about. I took extra slow steps to the cafeteria, counting the tiles on the floor and actually going out of my way to remain behind the excited lunch crowd.

Alice had invited me to sit at her table with her and her friends. I had this cryptic feeling that I wasn't going to be welcomed there, for some reason, and my nerves only intensified as I began to worry about how her friends would perceive me.

I stayed simple, getting a salad, an apple, and a carton of skim milk before I began to scan the crowd for Alice's spiky black hair. If she was standing in line somewhere, she was going to be pretty easy to miss, what with her grand height-span of barely reaching five feet.

I didn't need to search for long. I was waved over to a table in the corner, cringing slightly as about fifty pairs of eyes turned in my direction and hurried over to where she was. Once I finally reached the table, I continued to ignore the fact that everyone's eyes were on me and sat down to the empty seat on Alice's right.

She wasted no time jumping into introductions as I diverted my gaze strictly towards the food in front of me.

"Everyone," she sang. "This is Bella Swan."

She started down the line with a big, burly looking boy who had a dimply smile from ear to ear. He extended a friendly hand to wave in my direction. The childlike smile he possessed made it impossible for him to seem threatening, which he would have on any other occasion. The massive muscles shown off very profoundly through his gray t-shirt indicated that this boy ate his Wheaties.

"That's Emmett," she told me. "I know you may think otherwise, but trust me – he's not gonna bite."

I grinned shyly. "Nice to meet you, Emmett."

There was a noisy clank as a tray dropped loudly onto the table and the empty spot on Alice's left became occupied. Alice spun around, throwing her arms around the neck of the boy who had just sat down. The two shared an enthusiastic kiss as she spun back around in my direction looking rather flushed.

"Jazzy, this is Bella Swan," she told him with a big smile. "Bella, this is my boyfriend, Jasper." The whole little make-out session suddenly made sense. I shot him an embarrassed smile as he grinned back and waved.

"Mike Newton," she nodded her head in the direction of the boy to the left of Emmett. His face was extremely boyish, giving him a young, youthful appearance opposite of both Emmett and Jasper's. He flashed me a wide smile as I shyly smiled back.

Too nervous to notice her before, my eyes now focused on the girl sitting across from me. The term 'girl' was putting it lightly. She was the kind of girl you only saw in the movies; the kind that looked like she had just stepped out of a Sports Illustrated magazine if not Hollywood itself.

I didn't realize I had been staring until her icy blue-eyed gaze pulled me from my dazed trance. "Take a picture, it'll last longer," she snapped before throwing her shiny blond curls behind her shoulder impassively.

"S-sorry," I stuttered, suddenly taken back by this girl's apparent hostility.

The others at the table just laughed. "Rosalie!" Alice exclaimed angrily, "Don't be a bitch unless that's the impression you want her to have of you for the rest of the year." She then turned to me. "Don't mind her. She's just looked into one too many mirrors."

Rosalie just shrugged, not bothering to defend herself when she knew she didn't have to. I suppose a majority of my time would be spent staring into my reflection too if that's the face I got to see every time.

The rest of the lunch went on as just a basic, typical questioned, first conversation basis. They took turns asking me about general things in my life: what was my old school like, why did I move to Forks, what was my family like, did I have any pets, and so on.

At one point I had remembered something from earlier in the day. "Hey, Alice," I pulled her out of a conversation she had been having with Rosalie about shoes. "Do you have a brother that goes here?"

For amount, her eyes unanticipatedly grew dark. I quickly back-tracked, wondering if I had asked something I shouldn't have. Before I began to panic, seconds later her eyes grew light again and she actually laughed, though it sounded awfully forced to me.

"No brothers," she confirmed mid-laugh. "Emmett's actually my cousin," she paused. "And his brother, Edward, is also my cousin."

By the strange way her eyes had so abruptly turned harsh before, I decided not to ask any more on the subject, simply nodding with a polite smile of acknowledgement to her answering my question. Although, that didn't keep me from wondering. . .


The day dragged on to be surprisingly uneventful. A few kids had gone out of their way to introduce themselves, each seeming pleasant enough to be civil towards. Neither Emmett, Jasper, Mike, or Rosalie had appeared in any of my afternoon classes.

After lunch, I went to my Spanish class and sat through fifty minutes of lecture on how the only things we were to say in the room required to be of the Spanish origin. Then I had world history; a boring class I knew I'd regret taking after only a day in the cheap plastic chairs. No matter who you were, to a teenage girl, world history would never be interesting.

My last class of the day was Biology. The seating assignments had been made previous to our arrival, so I was pleased when I appeared to have a lab table to myself. I always preferred individual work to partner work.

Alice made me agree to meet her in the parking lot after school before I went home. I warily glanced around to search for her before she suddenly popped up in front of me, appearing out of nowhere. "So, Bella, what'd ya think of your first day here? Love it? Hate it?" She asked enthusiastically as we walked out the front doors.

I shrugged. "I'm not gonna go and kill myself just yet," I joked.

"Good to hear," she laughed. "As long as the rain hasn't turned you suicidal yet." She pursed her lips in thought for a moment before she mused on. "You know, Bella, you should really come over and hang for a while."

Normally, I would have politely inclined and used Charlie as an excuse to get out of something without being rude about it. That was normally. Since I actually enjoyed Alice's company, I found the idea surprisingly appealing. "You sure?"

"Of course!" she quickly responded.

"Okay," I answered, smiling hugely inside at the invitation. "Sounds like a plan."

I hadn't realized we had stopped until we were standing in front of a canary yellow sports car. I couldn't imagine what drove her parents to buy her a Porsche, but I wasn't going to be judgmental until I actually met them. I refused to let the idea of wealth damper my opinions on this lovely girl.

When eyes fell back in her direction, Alice's face had fallen with a frown now crossing her lips; something I had thought to be impossible for her. I followed my gaze to where her's was when I realized we weren't alone. Leaning against Alice's shiny car with his sulky gaze diverted towards the ground was the cause of Alice's sudden tension.

The exact same ominous look crossed her face as the one from the lunch table, leading me to believe that the boy standing with his head down, hands in pockets, was no one other than who I assumed to be Edward Cullen.

I pursed my lips as I studied him carefully. His hair was an odd copper color that was hard to miss as flashes of bronze danced in the sun's occasional flicker of light. It was a mess – flying out in hundreds of different directions in a disarray of an unkempt bed-head sort of look that I deemed to suit him just fine.

He appeared masculine, though nowhere near comparable to Emmett. His muscles were subtle yet defined, giving his structure a lean but firm build. The way his red shirt clung to his frame was too attractive not to notice. The stubble running along his jaw and chin gave him an appearance older than he actually was, adding to the overall I-don't-give-a-fuck-about-life look.

He moved his tired looking gaze from the ground to Alice's guarded expression. "Edward," she stated curtly, proving my assumption to be correct. I was trying to figure out why her reaction and attitude was so strange towards him. He looked innocent enough.

His eyes were the most strikingly bright color of green I had ever seen. The way the rich emerald practically sparkled was a huge contrast to the rest of his almost hostile appearance. I found myself oddly entranced by this boy. . .In a way, he was actually kind of beautiful.

"Alice," he finally spoke. His voice almost sounded raspy. Raspy and smooth at the same time. He kept his eyes solely on her, never once acknowledging my presence, which was as much as I would have guessed by the way he had just shown up in the first place. "I need to borrow some money."

"Way to show up today," she said coolly, ignoring his request as he hastily shoved his balled fists into his pockets without so much as an acknowledgement that she had spoken to him. He waited silently for a response to his initial purpose of conversation. The apparent strain between the two was almost exhausting to witness.

I couldn't understand the look she was now giving him. It seemed cautious as she carefully leaned back against her cheery yellow car. "Why do you need it?" Her voice sounded deflated. Another un-Alice-like quality.

"Groceries," he responded nonchalantly, moving his eyes to anywhere but her now skeptical gaze. "I need to get some things from the store." The way he clipped his words had me unconvinced that what he was stating was the truth.

"Edward. . ." she started as her face softened in concerned, a fleeting plead from the delicate confines of the frown her lips were forming.

"Don't." He stated harshly, moving his icy glare back up to meet her face. "Just don't."

And that was the end of that conversation. I watched in confusion as she reached into her large handbag, pulling out her pink polka-dotted rhinestone wallet. With grudging defeat, she reached into it, placing two twenties in his ready hand.

Without another word he stalked away. "So that's Edward," I confirmed, rocking back and forth from my toes to my heels, at a loss for what I was suppose to say. "He seems. . .pleasant." I chuckled nervously.

There wasn't a single trace of humor in her face as her eyes met mine. She stared at me for a long moment before finally just shaking off whatever was making her so upset. With a slow smile, she opened the door to her car. "Just follow me to my house," she ordered cheerfully.

Still slightly baffled about what had just went down, I nodded, walking slowly over to my truck. I got in, turned on the ignition that roared to life, and pulled behind Alice as I followed her out of the lot.

She had said they were cousins, hadn't she? If he had just been there, why hadn't he been in school? I had too many questions for that particular subject. I knew none of it concerned me, and that it was absolutely ridiculous for me to be reading into their exchange so much.

I followed her for about ten minutes before we were pulling into the driveway of a huge, Victorian styled white home. My eyes flashed from Alice's car and back to the house. So I guess they were really rich.

For the first time, I actually felt a small pang of jealousy. I realized warily that Alice seemingly had everything. She was more than just a little pretty, she was easily a people person and good with popularity, she was both funny and sweet, and from the sound of it, she led a pretty good life. A happy life.

"Alice," I commented, taking in the magnificent house. "You have a beautiful home." I couldn't keep the amazement from my voice. "Wow. Who all lives here?"

She laughed at my expression, tugging on my hand as she led me in through the vast garage. There weren't any other cars here except her's and mine. "Me, my mom and dad, Emmett, Seth," she paused. "And Edward."

I had so many questions to ask, and there were so many things I wanted to know. Something inside me warned me not to go there though; not yet, at least. I went with a simple question instead, resisting the urge to pry too much. "Where is everyone?"

She shrugged as we walked through the door entering inside. "I don't know I guess," she admitted. "My dad, Carlisle's, is probably working at the hospital. Emmett's always either at baseball practice or over at Mike's. My mom, Esme, is probably out with Seth somewhere, and Edward's. . .around."

I took in the incredible space around me. The walls were painted in warm, neutral colors while the carpet evened out the tones. The furniture spread throughout the house was simple, yet remained exquisitely elegant. The spacious feel was almost overwhelming, illustrating the massive size of the overall house.

"Who's Seth?" I asked absentmindedly as I continued to look around.

"Seth's also my cousin," she informed me. "He's Emmett and Edward's nine year-old brother." She paused for a long moment, pursing her lips as she carefully placed her backpack on the floor. "He's autistic."

I had always had a soft spot for kids with special needs but then again, who didn't? Renee ran a part-time daycare and I often helped keep the kids entertained and occupied. Ever year, she always had one or two who either had special needs or a disability.

"That must be really tough," I sympathized with a frown.

I followed her up the grand staircase to where I was assuming her bedroom was. She nodded with an ambitiously hopeful smile. "It is, but it's worth it. He's the sweetest little boy you're ever gonna meet in your life." She sighed fondly.

"I'd really like to meet him sometime," I declared with a smile.

I was actually dying to know more because I knew there was more. For whatever reasons I didn't know, her family was apparently a sensitive topic. So instead, we sat down Indian style in the middle of her huge bed as she filled me in on basically everything about herself she had neglected to tell me before.

Two hours later I was convinced Alice would soon become the sister I never had. We bonded simply just because our personalities complimented each other. In the way that I was timid and reserved, she was talkative and outgoing.

Eventually after we had come to the consensus that it was time for a snack, we went back downstairs. We wondered into the kitchen as I continued to be amazed with this transfixing house I was in.

She dug around in some cabinets before spinning around, holding a container of Oreos in one hand and a box of Vanilla Wafers in the other. She wagged her eyebrows back and forth, opting me to be the snack selector.

"Which one?" she asked dramatically.

"Oreos," I decided after a moment of contemplating. "Definitely the Oreos."

"I was hoping you'd pick them!" she squealed before setting them down and dancing around the island over to the refrigerator. "I'll get us some milk." She informed me as I sat down on one of the stools at the granite counter.

We sat there for ten minutes, giggling as we dunked our cookies into our large, full glasses of milk. There was this irresistible aura surrounding Alice that made it impossible not to smile when she did. I couldn't recall ever meeting someone like that before.

Without warning, we were suddenly joined in the kitchen. If I hadn't had a vague sense of what he had looked like three hours ago, then the person standing before me would have been more of a stranger than he already was.

To say I recognized him would have been a stretch though, considering the immense differences I immediately depicted from the earlier glimpse I had gotten of him in the school parking lot.

He looked like even more of a mess than he had before, and it wasn't just a little noticeable. The bags under his eyes that I had failed to notice before had become more profound, giving off the strong impression that he rarely slept during the night.

If his bright jade eyes had seemed like a contrast in his face before, now you couldn't even miss noticing them if you tried. His eyes had looked somewhat normal before; pretty, even. Now, not only were they distraught and clouded, but they were about as bloodshot as it was ever possible for eyes to be. Rimmed with red, the way his gaze seemed almost unfocused actually made him look scary.

His face was different. Everything was different.

He wasn't smiling. He wasn't even frowning. He was glaring. His harsh stare was directed towards the ground though, where it always seemed to be. As I began to become accustomed to the sudden change in the atmosphere, I noticed a smell that hadn't been there before he had entered the room only moments ago.

I knew I was staring, but I literally couldn't look away. His presence appeared incompetent of blending into the scene which surrounded him. The vibrant tones of the house only made his appearance darker than it already was.

I watched as he reached for the open milk carton we had left sitting on the counter in front of us. Alice grimaced in disgust as he held the carton to his mouth, not bothering with the decency to pour himself a glass.

I focused on the scent now taking over the kitchen. It was bitter with almost a certain sweetness to it. Realization suddenly hit me as I figured out what I was inhaling. My eyes darted quickly from Alice's tense face to Edward's bloodshot eyes.

In that instant I was fairly positive that groceries hadn't been what he had purchased with the money Alice had so kindly lent him. In fact, what Edward had boughten certainly wasn't found in a grocery store. Her hesitant face, her torn expression whenever he was brought up into a conversation – it all made a little more sense now.

"Edward, you promised," she whispered angrily under her breath.

"Yeah?" he snapped bitterly, slamming the carton back down on the counter with unnecessary force. "Well things don't always go as planned, Alice. And for all you know," he stated coolly, "I did get groceries."

The way he was talking to her made me grit my teeth together in anger. What the hell was his issue? High or not, you didn't talk to family that way. Or anyone. I was learning more and more about his illustrious character as the day continued on, and it was actually starting to make me sick.

"I have to go to the bathroom," Alice suddenly squeaked, promptly scurrying out of the room in dismissal before anyone could say anything else, leaving me alone with this. . .seemingly terrifying boy.

I glared daggers into his back as I watched him scavenger through the pantry cupboards. I knew it wasn't in my place to say anything, but at the same time I couldn't just sit here and say nothing. Even after knowing Alice for only a day, I already knew by now that very few things upset her. I couldn't not say something in her defense after she had done nothing to deserve his apparent crap.

I meant to sound all tough and demanding, but my voice only came out quiet and weak. "Why did you lie to her?"

I regretted saying anything as soon as he turned around. The continuous glare he normally held for the floor was now burning into me as I finally had a chance to really look into his piercing, hostile eyes. "What's your name?"

I gulped, all traces of my initial heroics gone. "Bella."

"Bella," he repeated in a clipped tone. "I can't believe I'm already telling you this after just meeting you like two minutes ago, but fuck off." His words did just as much damage as I knew he had intended them to do.

I had no response in me, shocked at his unrealistic anger as I watched him retreat from the room in the same haste he had entered it in, without a single regard of an apology.

I felt entirely as if I was having trouble breathing; as if the atmospheric pressure had suddenly dropped in the room – like a thunderstorm had passed through and left a much colder temperature along with scattered remains in its wake.

I didn't know why he was the way he was, and I probably didn't want to know. He was cold and bitter, and I knew from that moment on, I shouldn't even bother wasting any of my time associating with him and his obvious issues.

He had been so cruel and all I had done was ask an honest question. In fact, I knew I hadn't deserved his response. His harsh words rang in my head. Fuck off. I most certainly would fuck off. I couldn't subject myself to the pain he was probably capable of by letting my curiosity get the better of me. I took what just happened with Alice as my warning to stay away and just leave it.

His beautifully twisted face wouldn't leave my mind. And just like how kindergarteners recoiled by tears when any form of malicious words or behavior were directed towards them, I too was fighting the strong urge to cry.

In the light of the sun, is there anyone?
Oh, it has begun. . .
Oh dear you look so lost, eyes are red and tears are shed,
this world you must've crossed, you said,
You don't know me, you don't even care, oh yeah.
- Boston, Augustana