A/N: This is my first adventure into writing anything. I am a science person for goodness sakes! I discovered Twilight last August (2009), discovered fanfiction Feb 2010 and have become addicted to both.
This is a story that came to me and began writing itself, in my head. I needed to get it out so that I could think of other things. I already have the first few chapters written, again, in my head.
I hope this does not turn too emotional, but I can tell you I believe in 2 things: Canon couples (except Jake & Renesmee) and HEA!
Disclaimer: I do not own these characters, but they do own me. I am just hoping to put them into some unique situations.
The Little Issue
Bella is ready to start graduate school, but first she wants to change one thing and needs a plastic surgeon for that. Edward is the plastic surgeon, but will he agree to what Bella wants? What can he do to make her see herself more clearly? AH/ Canon
A Sunday in March in Arizona
I sit at my desk staring at the 4 letters in front of me. Damn it! It was time to make a decision. Today was the day for the indecision to end.
I picked up the letters, my notebook, and added them to my laptop bag, grabbed my keys and left.
I arrived at the library a short time later.
"I can do this." I told myself. Which one first though? How do I decide when I don't even have it in me to choose which one to look up first?
As I walked past the tables towards the library periodicals section, my eyes fall on a paper sitting on a table.
The Seattle Times
Well I guess that is a sign of where to start. I set my belongings down, open my bag and place everything neatly around me. I power up my computer, open the correct letter, and turn my notebook to the page labeled "Seattle, WA."
I have already summarized my offer, the cost of living information, transportation data, and information about the graduate school. This is my own way of trying to be logical about this. Other pages are titled "Atlanta, GA," "Durham, NC," and "Chicago, Il."
I open the Sunday paper on the table to the Classifieds. I have the computer on and a Google map open showing the University of Washington at Seattle. I don't have a clue as to the city's layout, so this is my only indication of where these streets are. I have to be close to the University so that I can walk to campus or take public transit. Walking is preferred though, but it does rain there quite a bit.
The Apartments section is long and all the abbreviations take some getting used to. I have always lived in campus housing, so finding an apartment of my own is a new adventure. My eyes are drawn to an ad for a sublet of a 1 bedroom, 1 bath near the campus for only $950 per month. This is much lower than most others and worries me some. The contact information says to call Rose and lists her number.
I jot down the information under my apartments heading and leave room to add more information once I can talk to her. I add a few more possibilities to my notebook.
Once I have grown tired of my "apartment hunt," I start to read through the paper. I am hoping this gives me some feel for the city. Since it is the Sunday edition, the paper is rather large. I skip over the Sports and turn instead to the Life section. On the second page I see the article that makes Seattle my decision.
A New Kind Cosmetic Surgery Practice
I am usually not one that believes too much in signs, but the paper lying out for me, the apartment ad that seemed to be made for my budget, and now the last piece of the puzzle, a plastic surgeon.
As I read through the article, I know that this man must be my doctor. He is relatively new, only practicing for 2 years, and specializes in treating accident and crime victims. Even though I am neither, I want a compassionate doctor.
The only picture shows his back as he is talking to or treating a young boy who had been burned in a car accident. They have quoted him some, but the quotes seem disjointed. Almost like someone edited out most of what he says.
What he does say that sticks out to me is "I became a doctor to help my patients. I know that this field is my calling because not only do I get to help them physically but after the procedures, they have a new self-confidence and are on their way to healing both externally and internally."
I add the information on Doctor Edward Cullen, MD to my notebook, power down my computer, and gather my things to leave. I need to make a few calls soon in order to make sure this all works out.
As I sit down on my bed, I flip my phone open and type in the number that I recorded in my notebook. On the 3rd ring, I hear "What!"
"Excuse me." I reply. "Is this Rose?"
"Well, if it's not, then some asshole stole my fucking phone. Didn't they?" An angry female voice replies.
I am starting to doubt that the signs meant anything and am at loss of what to say. I don't usually cuss and am not used to be cussed at, especially by a stranger over the phone.
"Hello? Are you still there?" She asks. "What is it that you want? It better be good since you are calling me so early."
"Early?" I ask. "It is almost noon."
"Look, I don't keep the same hours on the weekends as you obviously. So just talk to me so that I can get back to bed." She says in an irritated fashion.
"O…K." I mumble. "Well… I was looking at the Seattle Times this morning and saw your ad for an apartment for sublet. I am looking into graduate school at the University of Washington and need a place to live. Is your place still available? Can you tell me more about it?"
"Oh! I am so sorry. I almost forgot about that. Between the wedding, my courses, and planning the move I forgot that my fiancé put out the ad" she responded, sounding much more calmly.
"Yes, I can see how you would be distracted by all of that." I respond.
"Yes, the apartment is still available. I believe today is the first day the ad ran. You sure are eager!" She states. "Anyway, it is a 1 bedroom, 1 bath, with a remodeled kitchen. My future sister-in-law and mother-in-law insisted on decorating this place, so it is pretty nice. It is only about 700 square feet, but that's plenty of space for just you and your boyfriend, if you have one."
"No, it is just me. I am finishing up college and am moving on all by myself." I reply, a little apologetically. "But it sounds great. I have been living on-campus for 4 years, so 700 square feet and a kitchen are like a wet dream to me."
What did I just say? What is wrong with me?
Rose begins laughing.
"Look, why don't I send you some photos and information about the area and you can call me back. Since you are the first to call, I will put you at the top of the list of potential renters. We can talk some more later, once you have the information and I have had more sleep. By the way, what is your name?"
"Bella Swan," I respond.
We exchange email addresses and she says that she is adding my phone number to her contact information. I let her know that I will call her before supper tonight. We arrange a time and I wait for the email.
About 30 minutes later, I am looking through the photos of a perfect apartment for me. It turns out that it is only about 2 blocks north of the main part of the Seattle campus on 15th Avenue. Even though the science buildings are further south on campus, it seems like an ideal location.
The apartment building is a three story brick building with large windows in the living rooms. Rose's apartment is beautiful. Hardwood floors, walk-in closet, modern kitchen with stainless appliances and a built in table to eat at, remodeled bathroom, and lovely colored walls: grey kitchen, red bedroom, ivory living room and bathroom. There is even storage in the basement, although I have nothing to store.
This is the place. It is screaming at me to move in. My first apartment! How am I going to wait until 5:30 to call Rose back? Don't I have anything else to do?
I pull out my textbooks and class notes and begin working on my assignments for the upcoming week, trying with great difficulty to concentrate on each subject. But it is hard to think about my Science and Technology courses or Medicinal Chemistry or even my English Romanticism course.
What was I thinking a few years ago when I decided on so many minors with the Biochemistry major?
Maybe this was part of my problem with my social life, or lack there of. How can you have a social life when you are taking 18-21 semester hours of courses each semester translating into 24-30 contact hours when you include laboratory courses, working as a teaching assistant, and trying to maintain a high GPA so you won't lose your honor's scholarship and can get into graduate school?
But it paid off, didn't it? I am a few months away from graduating Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a major in Biochemistry with a concentration in Medicinal Chemistry. On top of that I will complete my minors in English Literature and Science, Technology, & Society. I am an honor's student with very little student loans to pay back, a rather large savings account for something special, and I got accepted into each graduate school I applied to. But…at what cost? I am alone.
Before I can let myself become sucked into self-loathing over the lack of attention from the male population, I notice that it is now 5:30.
I pick up the phone and call Rose about the apartment.
She answers with a pleasant, "Hello Bella! You are punctual."
"This is a rather important phone call, so I didn't want to keep you waiting." I reply. "Plus, I have been anxious all day. I think I made up my mind about 10 minutes after I got your email."
"And what is that decision might I ask?" Rose says.
"I would love to sublet you apartment, if we can come to some agreement on the logistics. You know, rent, time period, furniture…" I hesitantly answer.
"Well, I am not doing this to make money off of anyone, but I need to at least cover the monthly cost of the place. With the mortgage, fees, and taxes, $950 would be my out of pocket expenses. I know you mentioned graduate school and that you will be alone, is this too much for you?" She asks.
"No, I have looked at my budget. Since I am going into the sciences area, I will receive a monthly stipend for being a teaching assistant and my tuition is paid for. I do not have a car or any other extraneous expenses; so I should have no problem covering that amount. What are the terms of your lease, your wishes about the space, and time frame for moving? I would like to be in Seattle by June."
"OK, I have lots of questions for you too, but first I will answer yours one at a time. First, I am a non-smoker and prefer that anyone in the apartment is also a non-smoker. I don't mind if you paint or hang anything on the walls, as long as you can repair any holes before you move out. I don't need most of this furniture because my fiancé and I have already bought new furniture for our new place. So if you want, I can leave it all or none of it. And finally, I am getting married at the end of May and can have the place ready for you to move in by June 1st." Rose responded in a continuous stream of words before finally taking a breath.
"Wow, I knew I focused on your ad for a reason. That all sounds perfect! I don't smoke, don't know anyone in Seattle yet but can make sure no one smokes when they come over. I loved all your colors and have no furniture so if you want to leave yours, I will be sure to treat it with care. I am finishing up school here in May and can move anytime after graduation. I want to spend the summer there getting myself ready for graduate school. "
"Well, I will have someone write up a lease agreement and mail it to you this week. I will need your mailing address, but we will just say for now that the apartment is rented, the lease agreement will be a technicality." Rose says. I can almost hear her smiling over the phone when she adds, "Now can I ask you a few questions?"
"Sure?" I say, although it comes out more as a question.
"You said you are alone and know no one. Why would you come here then? Won't you be lonely? And what is your area of science? I am graduating as a mechanical engineer specializing in automotive engineering."
"That is impressive Rose." I answer, before beginning to answer her questions.
"Yes I will be alone, but I am OK with that. Everyone I know is moving on to other places, but isn't that what you are supposed to do after college?" I respond, trying to sound confident. "Besides, my dad lives in Forks so this will be closer to him than I have been since I was little. He will be thrilled to have me in the same state.
"I am graduating with a major in Biochemistry but concentrated on Medicinal Chemistry. The University of Washington has a great interdisciplinary program in Medicinal Chemistry. They have offered me a nice stipend and a first year bonus grant, so I would be crazy to turn it down, although I did have nice offers from Duke, Georgia Tech, and The University of Chicago too. But today was decision day and with your help I made my decision, so thanks." I respond.
"Your welcome, I guess. But I could help in more ways than with an apartment."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, I will still be in the city and know lots of people our age. I would love to meet up with you. Introduce you around. I think you would fit in nicely. This place can be scary sometimes if you are alone, especially if you don't know the area." Rose states. "And if you are single like you said, I even know the perfect guy, aside from my fiancé that is. He is my fiance's …"
"Stop there please." I stammer. "I am not ready for all that help just yet. The apartment is enough for now. I have some things to take care of this summer, but I have to do them alone. If I can take a rain check on your offer, I may be ready once I get settled and start school."
"Are you sure Bella? You could always come to my wedding or my soon to be sister-in-law's engagement party in June. Both of those would give us a chance to meet with no expectations on my part. Or we could just meet for drinks somewhere."
"Look, let me think about all that. You are being so sweet right now and today has been full of lots of new information. I need to focus on finishing school here, now that I know what direction I am heading in that is. We can keep in touch and make some plans, OK?"
"Sounds great, Bella. I could use a new face around me. I have been around my fiancé and his family since we were kids. I love them all, but we need some new blood, so to speak." Rose responds. "You have a great week. Send me your mailing address and I will mail you the lease. I will email you once it is in the mail and we can coordinate our moves more closely. Now I better go before Emmett starts trying to eat the countertop. That man stays hungry!"
I decide Emmett must be the fiance. With final goodbyes and my agreeing to stay in touch and think about the blind date, I close my phone and shut my eyes.
I am trying to imagine myself, my new self, in Rose's apartment. Can I really be getting ready to do this?
With just a few phone calls tomorrow, I hope the answer to that will be a yes! The first call to my dad to tell him I am coming to Washington state, the second call to the graduate school at the University of Washington, and the final call to the office of Doctor Edward Cullen, MD for a consultation appointment to become the new me.
Meanwhile in Seattle the same day
I can't believe it! What a self-righteous thing to do? Who do I think I am? How could I have agreed to this? My intent in opening my practice was to focus on my patients and no matter how the article is written, it seems like the focus is more on me.
I throw the paper down on the coffee table, lay my head back, and pinch the bridge of my nose with my fingers. I know it is a nervous habit, but it seems to help calm me down.
Just as I am about to drift off to sleep, my cell phone rings. I glance down and sigh as I see the caller ID. I had almost let this episode pass out of my system, but here it comes again.
"Hello, sister dear. What can I do for you?" I say as I answer the phone.
"Oh Edward! Did you read it? Wasn't it great? This will work just as planned. Everything is perfect." Alice chirps into the phone.
I sit there quietly for a few moments, completely confused. Just as confused as I was when she suggested that I agree to have an article written about my medical practice. How that little pixie even knew someone wanted to write one about me, I didn't know.
She seems to have the ability to know what is coming before it happens. She gets these ideas and over time we have all learned to just go with it. This time though, I don't see where it is all leading and she is not offering any hints to me.
I let out a sigh. "Alice, are you sure we read the same article? How can this be great? I seem like a pompous ass. I want to help people, but they edited me so terribly that I come across as in it for my own gratification."
"Edward, you are so silly. You needed exposure and to be noticed by the right person, I mean people. I can tell you that because of this article, good things are just around the corner. Trust me. You know I am only looking out for your best interests."
I have no idea what people she is referring to, but assume that there is no need to argue, so I let it go, for now.
"Alice, my practice is busy. My patients are happy with their results. I don't feel like things aren't good." I respond.
"Well, all that is good, but now things are on the verge of being great! You just have to be open to what presents itself. Please be sure to do that, please Edward."
She is practically begging me for something, although I don't know what, and it makes my head begin to ache. I have to get off the phone before this gets worse.
"Anything you say Alice. I know you love me, but I still don't see the point of this. I will trust you though, not to have steered me in the wrong direction. Now if you wouldn't mind, I have to go. I have to get a good night's sleep."
"Thanks Edward. I know you are just saying that, but you will see. Maybe not this week or even this month, but that article will change your life! I have to go too. I have a party to plan and call Rose about her wedding. See you this week. Remember we have a lunch date on Friday." She prattles off and hangs up before I have a chance to answer her again.
I don't know what she is referring to, but know enough to just go with it. I will find out eventually; however, according to Alice, it may not be any time soon.
Maybe when I see her Friday I will be able to get an idea of what she is up to. While she has ideas about what is to come, I am pretty good at reading people. I will have to use this to my advantage; I don't like surprises, especially if they are going to lead to life changing events.
Just a few more days, and maybe I will be out of the dark on whatever Alice is cooking up.
So what do you think? I already have the first few chapters outlined and will begin typing them up soon. Let me know if you have any
suggestions, but be nice. This is my first.
I need a Beta if anyone wishes to volunteer!
Thanks for reading.