Foreword/ An Introductory Author's Note:

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This fanfiction was originally going to be an alternative to Twilight. It still is, but not in the way you think. My summary might not be too clear, but this fanfiction is about decisions. Bella moves to the dismal town of Forks grudgingly, but learns to settle in a town she dislikes. Originally, she meets Edward, figures out his secret and learns to live with it. But what if a strange sensation - instinct - told her that a future with Edward meant bringing out the worst in her? What if she could decide to not be with him in the first place? What if instinct warned her away from entering Edward's world as deeply as she was originally meant to? I know people love a B/E pairing with a lot of cheesiness, but I'm going to be stir-frying up a wok full of angst, betrayal, decisions and unrequited love here :)

Thanks for reading this (if you plan to). Don't just pass this over as yet another story.

This first chapter is going to be really slow, but because I'm readying you for everything else!

Disclaimer: I dis-claim Twilight :)

Ash xx


(A thought, lingering in the ghettos of my head, out of place:

If I had the power to turn back time and do things differently, would I? Could I? Were there serious mistakes in my life that I was willing to erase and choose all over so I could live with the best possible outcome? Was it really possibly for me to live my life again without having to deal with the consequences of possible mistakes? I would've liked the answer to be "yes" for every bothersome question I had to ask.)

For starters, I didn't want to admit the fact that I was moving to Forks simply because I wanted to make my father happy (and because I had nowhere to go). It was a mistake, moving to a town that rarely ever saw the sun, constantly tormented by rain and grey thunderclouds. I had hardly made it out of the airplane, and yet my mind had been set: a dismal place was no place for Bella Swan. I hugged my dad tightly; it had been a while since I'd seen him and the alternative to his company under the ever-cloudy skies of Forks would've been travelling all around USA with my mom and her Mr. Random Henchman, Phil. Or maybe I'm being a bit too rude – just her new husband – and thus, my new dad. Stepdad, at that. The car ride home was as boring as my expedition on the airplane.

Hey, I really had to lighten up.

My dad got me a truck, which was sort of exciting because back home, in Phoenix, I had had to borrow mom's car. There I go – referring to Phoenix as "home". It wasn't anymore. I needed to school myself into considering Forks as my new home.

Dad was nice about my sociopathic attitude. He personally knew that a change of scenery took a lot of getting used to. Change is like shoes: you need to break it in to be truly comfortable; my dad has plenty of experience with changes, considering the fact that mom had practically thrown him out. I tried not to think about mom – she was my best friend and my own child. If I blocked out the pain, I could survive.

We started off Forks with dad's amazingly sensitive question: "So, how're things back home?"

Firstly, it struck me odd that he was referring to Phoenix as home. But I knew that he was just trying to be nice to me and making me comfortable (I know comfort doesn't include you yourself brewing up some spaghetti the day you arrive in a town you dislike, but it was the right type of comfort I needed).

"The usual," I replied, scooping up some spaghetti. "Phil's busy playing ball and mom's busy taking care of him."

Dad nodded curtly; I didn't want to make him uncomfortable, but I couldn't leave Phil out of anything he asked me about home: Phil was an integral part of all the decisions I've taken thus far that have put me in my current situation: eating dinner at dad's place with all my belongings upstairs. And the rain beating a tattoo on the roof.

"She's happy, I'm guessing?"

"Not so much about letting me out into the wilderness. Happy with Phil, if that's what you mean to ask."

He nodded to my answers and poked thoughtfully at his spaghetti.

"Good food," he commented half-heartedly.

"Thanks."

Silence for the rest of the night.

Sometimes, I look at men and I wonder what their point is on this planet. Sure, men are responsible for the existence of everybody in the world, but I nominate that as one of the lamest reasons for existence. Besides consuming natural resources, contributing to carbon dioxide emission and making babies, men don't do much. I figured that out with my dad: his evenings are not at all about having dinner at different places or doing something innovative and creative. He hasn't got a hobby, I've realized. He spends his evenings talking to his Boy Band Clan (a group of dads his age that live somewhere around La Push) and watching way too much of the Sports Channel for my liking. But he's the man behind the gun in this neighbourhood: I'm going to go one step ahead here and say that I'm looking forward to being called "Officer Swan's daughter."

I feel really different, being here in Forks. Lying on my bed, an old novel pressed against my chest, my eyes boring a hole into the roof, I'm making an oath to myself: my negative attitude is really bringing me down. I'm going to try and like this town, however sunless it might be. I already look like I fit in: lifeless hair and pale skin seems to be a rave in this town. Dad has already got me a truck (that I really like, by the way) and I start school tomorrow. For the sake of my sanity, I'm going to let myself believe that leaving my mom was a righteous move, even though she's the only good friend I've ever really had. If only she hadn't married Phil! But I can't afford to be lonely all over. I need friends and I need a life here.

I can feel this great void of Change just moving around me. Maybe a moment ago, I was shy and sad, now I'm full of strength. Next thing you know, I'll be angry for no good reason. For a while, ever since dad suggested I move in with him, I've felt very strange: as if everything has already happened and I've already finished a lifetime. I don't know how to explain whatever I'm feeling, but it's as if I've been given a second chance and my mind is determined to do things differently. My body's already willing to ignore this strange sensation, but my mind feels it something necessary to linger upon.

I know I wasn't always this sociopathic and grudging. I used to appreciate things. Be shy. But I do not like the way things are going. It's as if I had a dream one day about the course of my life and my mind chose to keep me from making those mistakes. I just….changed as soon as the option of moving towns condensed in front of me. The transition from a happy, familiar life to a life full of the unknown.

It hurts my head to be analyzing myself. I'm better off facing things head on and doing what my intuition tells me. Maybe, if I follow my instincts, this strange sensation will go away. And anyway, I have school tomorrow to think about.

(A midsummer night's dream:

Like every dream stretches on for eternity but only a few scenes stick to the mind, I saw a movie on fast forward in my mind. It's the same dream I've been seeing for quite a while. The same scenes stick: clouds, mirrors, bite marks, company of a daring boy, children, chasing animals. I see some of these blurry flashes of information with more prominence than others. And then, of course, there are always the amber eyes. Everyone has amber eyes in this dream. And everybody's so cold…. And those that aren't are so unbelievably warm…)

I opened my own safe, brown eyes at night when I felt colder than usual. I saw the window a tad open and went to shut it, hearing the echo of silence in my ears. Waking up in the middle of a dream makes you remember it more; I saw the flashes again and felt them to be so familiar…so casual….but so unreal. The oxymoronic nature of the dream struck me odd: warmth and frost in the same stretch of time, happiness and sorrow in the same words, loss and gain with a single decision, safety and danger….

I couldn't sleep for a long stretch of time. I just sat there in my tank top and shorts, hugging my duvet, thinking about change and the like. How much difference your choices could make. By moving to Forks and condemning myself to a life so different to the one I had in Phoenix, I knew I had inevitably changed my future. I wonder how differently things would have gone – maybe I'd finally settle someplace with mom and Phil. Maybe Phil would become a national-level player and we'd move to California. Maybe I'd become a California girl, get a good guy as my boyfriend and become a writer. Maybe I would've escaped the mercy of this little town after all. But that wasn't the path I'd chosen; I'd chosen to come here and my life would be completely different now.

Have you ever let yourself listen to the babble of your left hemisphere? Sometimes at night, while I lie despondently in the dark, I start to get used to the silence of the room. I start to think when I can't sleep. Usually, the first thing that my mind and I look for are answers. Haven't you ever seen your future spread out in front of you? When mom married Phil, I imagined myself throwing a hissy fit at her and running away from home, moving to a woman's shelter where I would live my own life with my own money and decisions. I closed my eyes and imagined that as my future. Just like that, I imagined my future now: a monotonous routine going through school everyday under the cloudy skies, with a few people in the school sticking to me like bad luck, simply because I was something new to look at. Intense boredom seemed to be the theme.

Which is pretty smooth, because I can tell (it's that feeling in the pit of my stomach again) that my imagination of the future wasn't too far a shot. For the short term, anyway.


A slow, short chapter to begin with :) Review!