Because of a Spoon
A/N - Hello all! This chapter is dedicated to my friend NewTownGirl for HER dedication :) I hope you enjoy this story - it starts off sweet but it might just get a little tart later on...
Chapter One: Impressions
"This is not my idea of a fun summer, Dad," I murmured, staring out the window as we turned into a big campus parking lot. I watched dads unloading cars, kids struggling to carry boxes of stuff, and moms towing younger siblings around by the hand, checking the opening-day schedule every two seconds.
Charlie's moustache twitched in my periphery. "Bells, I thought you liked books. Three weeks isn't going to kill you." The corners of my mouth turned down as his words trapped me. It wasn't the classes I minded – I was actually looking forward to nine hours a day of literature and the arts. It was living with a huge group of perfect strangers that concerned me. I had never been one to make friends easily.
The truck screeched to a stop and people stared at my rusty red behemoth. I wanted to glare at them, in their Mercedes and Audis, but I knew that wouldn't get me off to a good start. One boy in particular seemed to be laughing at me. I narrowed my eyes at him where he stood, body propped against a silver Volvo, the harsh sunlight glinting off his sunglasses and his car, nearly blinding me as I stumbled out of the cab. Stupid shiny Volvo owner.
I'd told Charlie that he didn't need to drive me, but he had insisted, worried that I wouldn't be able to carry my stuff by myself. He was half right, I acknowledged grimly, as I struggled with the lightest box, Charlie grunting behind me with my heavy suitcase. I was usually a light traveler, but this time I had packed as many of my things as I could in order to force Charlie to forego the police cruiser, which had little in the way of trunk space. My truck, however, had a nice – if rusty – bed which held everything secured with a few bungee cords.
I kept my head down, embarrassed to have this be my fellow campers' first impression of me: the average-looking, clumsy girl who can't even seem to carry a lamp and a few books. I couldn't help stealing a few looks around campus though, and I was simultaneously pleased and chagrined by the degree of beauty I found. The campus was gorgeous, of course – I had been expecting that. But the other kids were so good-looking. When Charlie had described it as a summer program for gifted kids, I had pictures the usual: glasses, pocket-protector types with braces. But some of these kids were downright beautiful. I noticed two boys in particular, both tall, one bulky and muscular with curly dark hair, the other leonine and blond. They were flirting with two equally beautiful girls, one tall and blonde, with a figure so beautiful that I didn't think she should be allowed at nerd camp, especially as she dressed to emphasize that beauty, and the other a pixie-like girl with dark hair, dainty and delicate features. I stared at them all in disbelief. They must have all known each other from another year; it was too early for such heavy flirting – half the camp hadn't arrived yet.
Of course, my room was on the third floor, and the bathroom was in the basement. Joyous. At least it would be good practice for college, I assured myself. Charlie helped me unpack halfway before giving me a one-armed hug and a gruff goodbye. It was a long drive back to Forks, and he had to get started if he wanted to make it home before nightfall. After he had gone, I plopped down on my bed and stared out the window. My room was tiny and musty, but I loved it. Like my truck, I didn't care if it was ancient; it had character. Besides, the wisteria curling in through my window was lovely, and it allowed me to peer out onto the quad without being seen.
"Um, hi, you must be Bella,"
I looked around to find a girl with dark hair and glasses standing in the doorway; the other bed was already occupied, so I assumed that this must be my roommate.
"Yes," I said. "You must be Angela – it's nice to meet you."
She smiled at me. "Are you done unpacking? I can help you finish up if you want – we're supposed to be in class in ten minutes."
"Are we?" I dropped the half folded shirt in my hand and followed her out the door. I wasn't getting the hang of this experience – but at least I had a nice roommate.
We reached the classroom within five minutes, but we were still the last to arrive. Once I stopped being embarrassed by all the eyes focused on us, my jaw dropped. This was, without a doubt, the most attractive class on campus. I recognized the perfect blond boy and girl, the muscled boy who was closer to man, and the tiny ballerina from the quad. I also gulped and slid into my seat when I noticed the bronze haired boy from the parking lot. Without his sunglasses, he was the most stunning of all. I hadn't noticed his beauty through my earlier irritation.
"Welcome to Human Rights and Global Politics." I glanced up at the professor, a woman with beautiful caramel colored hair, wearing a dress more suited to a beach party than a classroom. Nothing was as I'd expected – beautiful nerds, casual professors – what next, a game?
I had barely finished my thought when the instructor, Esme, announced that we'd be playing an icebreaker. Each person received a slip of paper with a question on it, which they had to ask the person to their right.
I read the one I was to ask the girl on my right, the pixie-ish one with the black hair. Describe your dream date. Well…that was more personal than I had expected. It turns out she got off easy, though.
"Say your name before you answer, please," Esme reminded us, nodding as we went around the table. She had the first question, asking a boy with dark hair and acne – the plainest student in the class – what animal he thought of himself as.
"Eric…uh, jaguar." The girl to my left bit her lip to keep from laughing. Esme smiled indulgently and Eric quickly moved on to the laughing girl. "What superpower would you want, and what would you use it for?" he mumbled.
"Lauren," she shook out her cornsilk blond hair. "I'd want all of them. I'd become a universal dictator," she smirked. The bronze-haired boy rolled his eyes. For once, I couldn't frown at his disdain – she was a little much for me. "What do you most admire in a man?" she shot to me.
I blinked at her in panic. What? That wasn't a fair question – give me the superhero one! Of course I would get this question.
"Um…Compassion," I decided. It was a good answer, I thought. It was what I most admired in anyone in general, but I could tell that some of the others had been hoping for a more provocative answer. Their faces slipped back into masks of mild boredom.
"Name," Esme prodded gently.
"Oh, um, I'm Bella," I stammered, flushing. I didn't glance around the table, so I couldn't see whether I'd earned any eyerolls.
"Do me," the girl on my right whispered after a moment.
I glanced at her, startled, before remembering that I was supposed to ask her a question now. "Right, describe your perfect date."
"Alice," she introduced herself pertly. "I'd like to go to IKEA." Everyone stared at her, with her little smile that seemed to indicate a private joke with herself.
"I'll remember that," whispered the blond boy, half audibly, to his muscular friend. Alice winked at me.
I learned that Alice's admirer was called Jasper, when he informed us that if he was a vegetable, he'd be a string bean. He proceeded to ask his friend the parallel question to mine: what he most admired in women.
We all sat up straight, eager to hear his answer. If I was boring in my answers, he was sure not to be – you could tell by looking at him that he was going to be the class clown.
"I'm Emmett," he said slowly, a grin curving his mouth into a jack o'lantern-esque expression. We each thought we knew what was coming. The guys nudged each other, and the perfect blond girl that was twice as pretty as Lauren narrowed her eyes. "And I'd have to say, the quality I most admire in women is…the ability to give birth."
We were all sort of shocked by that one. Slowly, we each burst out laughing at his originality and tact before he asked the bronze-haired boy what he would save from his house if it was on fire.
"I'm Edward," he announced, his voice clear, though less arrogant than I had expected. "If my house was on fire, I suppose I would save…family photographs."
I looked at Edward with renewed interest; his answer was surprisingly sentimental. I noticed that it was the other girls' cue to roll their eyes.
I paid attention to Edward's answers for the rest of the icebreakers; I learned that his favorite way to unwind was to play the piano, he ran cross country for his high school's varsity team, and that his favorite color was forest green. Basic bits of information, but pieces of a personality nonetheless.
While I was busy staring at him, Lauren leaned over and whispered in my ear, "Bella, Eric is staring at you. I can't believe it's the first day and you already have a boyfriend."
I blushed fire truck red, not daring to look over and see if she was right.
"He's not my boyfriend," I whispered back, quick to deny any claim to him. I was sure that Eric was a nice enough person, but I really wasn't in the market for anything in that department. Besides, what would he want with me, anyway? I assumed that he was too intimidated by Rosalie and Alice's flawlessness and Lauren's disdain to consider them, leaving me and Angela as the consolation prizes. Angela was pretty, but too shy to be really noticeable, whereas I sat only one space away from him, and my sometimes-pretty, average looks were definitely not intimidating.
Edward looked curiously at me, analyzing my new coloring.
"You should get with him," Lauren insisted with a smirk, still talking about Eric. I shook my head as vehemently as I could without attracting attention.
"No, really, I –"
"Alright, people," Esme called above the pockets of chatter that had sprung up in the wake of the getting-to-know-you games. "That's enough for tonight. Better rest up - tomorrow, the real fun starts."