Brighter than Sunshine
For my Rosalina Bambina.
"Vær så snill mamma, la meg bli!"
- "Please mom, let me stay here!"
It is the last words I speak on Norwegian soil.
Then the plane takes off and my mom drowns my crying out with teeny tiny liquor bottles. Dad is on the opposite row, leaning back in the white cushioned seat. We're flying first class. Nothing's ever good enough for the Brenden family. Or should I say Brandon now?
Mom and dad have decided it's time to Americanize, and what better place to do that than America itself?
So goodbye Scandinavia. Farewell to Europe. I'll miss it.
But I leave a giant fuck you and middle finger to our home town.
Prejudiced assholes. Ignorant fools.
The biggest tourist attraction in the three union countries. My ass. Fuck it.
I'm only sixteen but I don't need to wonder anymore. I know who they are, and because of that I'm a little relieved that we're going, but at the same time I'm going to miss them, no matter how bigoted they truly are.
Andrea, she was the freckled girl with troll's hair. And me, the Viking. Though ironically I never rooted for Viking football team. No way, Rosenborg 'till the end and hope to die. Our motto. My countrymen.
I'll miss the lot. Especially my great uncle who got me drunk at age ten. By accident of course, he thought I was fifteen and should be thrown into 'trønder' laws of drinking. Karsk, coffee and booze. As an adolescent I wasn't ready, but four years later I downed them like a pro.
Now I'm soaring over the Atlantic, listening to DCfC's Transatlantic, peering out the window to catch first glance of Lady Liberty. She's a Norwegian immigrant too, made with copper from the mines two hours from my town.
In New York, Ellis Island, I'll be a foreigner stepping onto new soil. You can fit my entire country in there, and five times more. It's pathetic, and so am I. Just a Viking…missing her troll.
The Troll and the Viking would never roam the mall again, or form our one-day-lasting clubs by the river.
I'll never be a senior! We pinky-promised to run across the bridge naked on May 16th!
Get pissed and puke, our nicknames had already been picked out. She would be Curly (Krølle) and I would forever be Boozy.
Address: by the play ground.
Phone: speed dial, people!
If life goes against you, go into reverse!
"And I couldn't say thank you, I just had to say MOO!"
Our cards to deal out to the little kids had been formed in our minds, tracing the lines of those before us. Our tradition set. We'd be Russ in the year 2013, and here I was in '11, numbing my ass on five thousand kroner seats.
Nine hundred bucks for luxury leather plane seats and a few extra inches of leg room. The decadence horrifies me.
The plane touches down, and I'm trapped in a giant apple. Green, red? They never told me the color, just that NYC is an apple.
The worms don't mingle around Plaza hotel. I wonder how much of grandpa's fortune they've burned off already. I miss him too, but I know he's resting in heaven with Nan. There's nothing to worry about up there.
We stay for three days, getting the whirlwind, snap-happy Japanese tourist experience, walking around like utter fools. But my mom is happy, going crazy in Soho and dad is constantly on the phone with his business partners.
His business? Not sure actually, I'd never cared until they told me we were moving.
Now I know it's something with trees… That's all though.
So we trip around the Metropolitan, before it's time to move on.
Again we fly, and a guy older than my dad asks me to join the Mile High Club with him. I ask him why he thinks I'm not already in it and he says I'm too young.
He just answered his own question, and I switch seats with my dad, sitting with mom again.
Even though I am sixteen, I hold her arm when the turbulence kicks in, telling her I love her so much and I didn't mean to yell 'I hate you!' before we came here.
She laughs, but forgives me, though to her there's nothing to forgive.
We have to drive four hours from Seattle, but it's okay since I'm used to be driving 10 hours to and fro' the north each summer. Until Gramps died that is. Then we went to Santorini instead. Oh the Greeks, how they inspired my palate and fuelled my passion for cooking.
But then we get to the dreary town, and I can't say I'm not disappointed.
Constant rain and my short hair filled with product don't mix well, and as the rain pour down on us I'm soaked and deflated just walking from the car to the house.
Our new house, on the west coast of America where I'll become Americanized.
Maybe I'll streak my hair? A new home, a new me. It's just what I want. I want to be something. Though in Forks, I am nothing, not even an outcast. A wallflower. The first week no one even notices me, except the teachers who can't believe I'm only sixteen and yet can speak English fluently.
Sure my accent has a tinge of British in it, but I try to tone it down. Blend in.
But when in my life have I ever been normal? Last year I let Patrick cut my hair while he was drunk. While I was high on a water pipe filled with pot.
My hair used to flow to my waist, but in a stupid split second decision it was gone. I was emo for months, dying it coal black and spiking the ends. Corlin, the Danish boy, was my company that time. Until his reeking smell started to rub off on me and my clothes attracted moths.
Then I returned to Andrea and Marty, wearing Uggs and a Palestine scarf. Hoop earrings and fishnet stockings under booty short denim shorts. It was cool then. When I was fifteen.
Now Thanksgiving is closing in and I'm nervous as hell. My first American holiday, and I have no idea what to do. Dress up, dress down? I do neither.
The Whitlock's have invited us for dinner, my parents are inside with them but I excuse myself and go outside to the garden.
They have a swing set, because Jasper used to have a little sister. She's gone now. Like the old me.
Only she was hit by a car and I died on a plane.
Jasper sits with me, clinging to the chains with white knuckles.
An hour later we're sitting under a tree in his back yard, his head in my lap and my fingers in his hair. It's soft, like a girls, and I miss the feeling. I miss Janet, the foreign exchange student in 10th grade who made me realize what I was. She didn't know any other English word for it, and she spoke with a lisp.
Dythe. Dyke. Gay. Scissor sisters.
I didn't love her, I just let her kiss me and touch my boob at a house party.
Then, no one really cared, because even the boys made out. They weren't gay though, it was spin the bottle. Tongues were a must. With Janet, I used it all.
For such a small chick, she had power. While I writhed she held my hips down, pressing her tongue harder against me. My thigh had a hickey the next day, and the rest of me glowed in post coital bliss.
Once my first Thanksgiving dinner has been devoured, the women gossip about Mrs. Stanley's latest affair and the men retreat to smoke cigars.
Jasper takes me to his room. But it's wrong. He's straight and I'm not. He gets turned on by girls and I do too. It's wrong to lead him on, but then his hand is covering my small breast and squeezing. Why does it feel good?
And I think about Rosalie, who's dating the Spartan QB2, and I wonder what it would be like to touch her breast. Her, who's so small but so full breasted, and me, who's never gone higher than a modest B cup filled with tissues. I'm not using them today, so it's not embarrassing when Jasper pulls my top down and bites them.
So I tell him and he's pacing the floor, hands in his hair and pants undone.
The tent is still pitching, and I'm slightly fascinated. What does it look like? He thinks I'm crazy but pulls down his boxers, letting it spring. And I'm in awe. It's so…veiny. Kind of. And long and thick, and my hand only just reaches around it. And he moans the same way I do when I let him touch me under my panties.
I thought gay meant you can only have pleasure from the same sex, but Jasper tells me I might be bi, and I'm okay with that. As long as a threesome will be in the near future. Another female participant involved. He's not hard to budge on that, and when I'm seventeen I reach my sexual high.
Or so I think.
Jasper stays with me wherever I go, and I know that he loves me. I tell him I don't feel the same way and he says it's okay, but I'm not sure I can believe him.
What about when I go to CIA in New York to cook? I've already been promised a spot in their culinary program, winning a scholarship I don't really need. My parents can afford it.
But Jasper, I don't want to be the one to break his heart. His heart should be saved for the day he meets someone who's able to love him back.
But because I'm with Jasper, fake couple in public and fuck buddies in private, I become popular. Everyone wants to be me, be with me, and know about me. It's how I befriend Bella, and meet Edward. But I don't ever say his name, hearing the British seep out of me when I do. So he's dubbed Eddie, and he hates me for it. But Bella can't know, both me and Eddie knows it will break her heart, 'cause he's her true love and I'm her new bff.
But not forever; only until graduation when I can escape all of this.
In Norway I would already have graduated, swam in the river before May 1st and bought a condom and cucumber at the grocery store wearing only a bathrobe with nothing underneath.
Mine is pink with yellow ducks on it. It's adorable. I wonder if Curly ran without me?
Jasper and I become an item, romantically or not, we are together. The sex is great, I can't deny that, but when I turn eighteen and imagine Rosalie Hale between my legs instead of him, I know I'm not bi. My body may react to his touch, but the orgasms are mild. Not mind blowing. I just cum. And that's unfair to him.
At school things are chaos. Graduation is next week and resident whore – Tanya Denali, crab-denial – is hosting the biggest party in Forks history.
It doesn't seem so grand to me though, remembering the parties I went to back home. But here in small town America, Tanya is the queen bee.
Everyone's going, so it doesn't surprise me when virginal Bella in white approaches me and asks for a makeover. It's tomorrow, so I'll go over three hours before. I don't need any more time than that. But Jasper comes over, nervous and horny and needy, and I don't have the heart to turn him down.
After graduation, I tell myself. But after our second round I kick him to the curb, just as a familiar green Beetle almost skids over my front lawn.
It's her. Hale. Ro. The golden beauty, the reason my wrist is sore every morning from heavy self-pleasuring. But then Jasper opens his big, fat mouth, "Crazy Ro, slow down!" and I slap him. Not hard, just on the shoulder, and he shrugs it off as if it's nothing. But it's not nothing, it's the girl I lust after. The object of my every fantasy.
I wonder, if I put on Emmett's football jersey, would she like me then?
But of course she won't, she's Ro Hale.
So I push Jasper off my porch, yelling to mom I've ran out of hairspray. She doesn't even have the time to respond before I'm flying like a bat out of hell in my ballet flats. They're not made for running, but I don't care. I want to apologize, to explain.
"Oh hey Rosalie, we've never talked in the two years I've been here but I have an insane crush on you and I'm sorry if Jasper hurt your feelings by calling you crazy. I don't think you're crazy, I actually think you're the most beautiful thing on earth."
When I come to her street it's quiet, no cars in the drive way so I know Emmett's not here.
I've seen them make out and it always hurt, if he was here doing…that with her, I'd just breakdown in tears. But there's only silence, until I hear music.
In the window facing the street, Rosalie is perched on the sill with eyes closed. But I can see the tears rolling down her cheeks, accompanied by a melody.
I never understood before
I never knew what love was for
My heart was broke, my head was sore
What a feeling.
Did she and Emmett break up? Should I go up and comfort her? No, I can't, I stay on the pavement until the song finishes and she turns back to her room. She doesn't even know I'm here. Here just dying to confess my feelings.
So I leave, scurrying back to my own house to get ready, fixing up for our final bash.
Bella is an easy task as it turns out, once she gives me her ideas and pictures. Highlights, 'cause Eddie boy aka 'lover boy extraordinaire who won't have sex but will do everything else' loves the damn things.
Personally I think it screws up with her natural chocolate, but it's like Japp, caramel pushed between it. And it doesn't turn out ugly either, as I streak and brush and cover. Aluminium is trashed in the bathroom, and ammonia reeks through the house. I open the window, peering outside.
"Did you and Ro have a fight or something?"
"No. I've never even talked to her Bella, why would I fight with her?"
Why would I ever want anything but passion and love from that gorgeous creature?
The number one woman on Emmett McCarty's to-fuck list.
"Oh it was nothing, she just seemed a little strange when I told her you're coming over."
She seemed a little strange when her car ruined my mom's petunias too, but I don't tell her that. Instead I just nod my head and then bop to the radio.
Eddie picks up Bella as I leave, glaring at my use of nicknames, calling me a fairy in return. It doesn't even phase me, for I'm ready to drown my sorrows in the poor excuse that Americans call beer.
What happened to Tuborg and Carlsberg? Every tenth Danish person is an alcoholic for a reason; they make the best beer. But I manage to chug down the keg, trapped inside Jasper's arms and cheered on by half of the football team.
They call his name, and I know that Emmett is here. Which only means…
But I don't see her, even though I stretch my neck into the sky until I stand on my tippy-toes.
But all I can hear is Emmett, talking to Jasper as if they're best friends, though I know they only have History class together.
"She sure is fucking fine, ain't she?"
"Like a plumb ready to be plucked."
"Oh she's been plucked all right!"
They make me want to hurl, but Jasper's grip is too strong and I'm trapped with him.
With Jasper and his one-sided love.
"And I plan on plucking tonight too."
"Yeah. I got this list, all the places and positions I want to do before college…and in college too, but I'm saving the best for then. Right now, my little lady is gonna let all these fuckers know who she belongs to."
And then he's gone, and I'm writhing in Jasper's arms. But I'm drunk, and he's trying to help me stand straight while chatting mindlessly with friends and laughing at some kid who's skinny dipping in the pool. But Rosalie, oh Ro! To Em it's all a game, and she really is on his to fuck-list.
Hiding my sobs makes it hard to breathe, hard to keep balance, straining to stay coherent.
The bushes move and people stop talking, staring the movement. Listening to her ecstasy.
Someone is snickering, Tanya Denali is shushing people while her phone is hosted in the air to record this.
What the fuck is he doing to her? Even I, in my buzzed state, can hear her pleasure is mixed with unwanted pain.
I slap Tanya, stomping on her phone while she calls me a bitch.
The noises stop and Emmett is out of the bushes, grinning from ear to ear while buckling his belt.
I'm out of there before she returns. I can't look at her. I can't see her happiness with someone else, even if the joy is fake.
Because with Rosalie I'd do anything. Give her the moon and the stars, recite poems and write songs. I can't stay and see her be given plastic when she deserves diamonds.
Six years ago I fled my demons, dropping out of my life plans.
I never spoke to Jasper after I told him it was over and watched him cry. I couldn't stay in Forks. Or America, the place that changed me.
I went home, hiding in a one bedroom house on the tip of the north, crossing the border to Russia on a daily basis and shooing reindeer out of my garden.
I stayed up for the midnight sun in the summer, and lit lights all day during the black winter.
But I was alone, separated from my own: Americans. Chefs.
I went to a cousin in Trondheim, working for him in his restaurant for three years until it was time for me to move on.
I still wasn't a chef though, just talented. I could make parfait and a flawless hollandaise without breaking a sweat, but I still didn't have the glory of that certificate hanging on my wall.
12 to 12 work was fun and all, enthralling and exhausting, educational, but I craved more.
So I'm back, I've been back for six months now, living with my parents first until the CIA let me back in. I will be forever grateful for the head of admission who granted me the space, because now I'm already top of my class.
Manhattan lures me in one day, wrapping me tight in warm clothes to shield me from the October wind.
Then I see it, the hair so fair and golden, a butterfly flowing with color along the grey pavement.
I stop her, talk to her, beyond excited and ecstatic that she's here. Not even six years has weakened my infatuation with her, and the years have been nothing but good to her.
Features lifted to womanhood. Free.
And so I fall into talking, letting the conversation flow so easily. Because I'm with her, looking down at her but up at the same time. Into stars and the moon. Night sky and shining sun. She glows, eyes fixated.
And in her sadness and happiness – through tears and smiles, she reminds me of the northern light I saw in Finmark when I moved back to Norway, and how it danced across the sky. Hosting colors a rainbow could only dream of.
She's my light. My Ro. My everything.
I'm yours and suddenly you're mine
Suddenly you're mine
And it's brighter than sunshine.
~ Fin ~
A Viking's Note.
A small companion piece to Inlove Withmyjj's "Brighter than Sunshine" from Alice's (my) point of view.
Hey, they voted us as cutest couple, let us be adorable and utterly gross. We're in love!
Rosenborg – football/soccer team from Trondheim.
The italic ramblings is something all graduates do in Norway. They dress up in funny red/black/white/green/blue overalls (depending on your major) and go on a 17 day drinking binge where they give out cards with stuff like that written on, and do pranks.
http:/en[dot]wikipedia[dot]org/wiki/Russefeiring - if you want to know more about russ.
CIA - Culinary Institue of America.