Sumary: Romeo, quit thy name; and for that name, which is no part of thee, take all myself. She thought she had everything under control, hiding behind scripts and drapery, until something turned everything upside down. AH/AU

She's a teacher, he's one too. It is set during the 1970s in Spain.

This story was written as a gist for Drainedvictim. At first I wasn't keen on posting it but I gave in at last. So here it is.

Spring festival.

Costumes, decorations, scripts… It's driving me crazy but I can't deny that I love it. I'm the one in charge of the festival for the first time since I first arrived here. Nobody wanted to do it this year, and because I really enjoy all this stuff I thought, hey why not give it a try?

So here am I, trying to fix up the mess a few pupils have created in the background wall, how come no one can draw a moon and paint it? I don't think it's that complicated, just a make a big circle and fill it with yellows and whites. Apparently, it is a difficult task, because I'm here instead of down there, revising the script.

I take a brush, stepping backwards to take a look at the whole wall before starting to make up my mind as to where and how I'm going to paint it. Once everything is arranged in my mind I step forwards again and draw with a brush dipped in white paint a huge circle on the top right of the background. I leave the used brush on the little table and take a bigger one and dip it in white paint again. While I fill in my poor drawing, I begin to hum a song that's been playing in my head the whole week. I've been trying to write it, but when I reach a certain point of it, I just don't know how to continue, it frustrates me to no end.

I finish the last bit and step backwards again, to take a better look. Well, it looks better, but it doesn't seem very realistic. I leave the brush next to the last one I used and take a new one. Damn it, why am I using so many brushes? I will have to wash them later and that will take me time… bah! I think I have plenty of time. Still mumbling to myself, I dip the new brush in yellow paint and begin to give a few realistic details to the supposed-to-be moon.

After, 10 minutes fighting with the mixture of paint I've created, I decide that's that all I can do to it, if anyone knows how to improve it, they can come and do it themselves, I'm done. Content with my piece of work, I take the three brushes to the bathroom. Its empty, but it won't last long, in a few minutes the girls will arrive to change into their costumes and it would become Chaos.

That reminds me… I have to talk to Mrs. Clearwater and tell her she has to make a few changes in one of the dresses. If she keeps bugging me about the damn dress again, I think I'm going to make her swallow it. And I'm not a fight person.

I washed them with soap, making sure they are 100% clean; I shake them and dry them with a piece of paper. I can hear voices in the corridor, and assume is already 3 pm… let the show begin! How can I be so funny when I'm all alone?

"Good evening, Ms Swan" I'm greeted when I leave the bathroom.

"Hello girls, you ready for the rehearsal?" I ask them. "Of course, we are" one of them answers "the girls went to my house yesterday so we could rehearse our part properly" I smile proudly, they are really into it, and that's what makes me continue doing this without losing my nerves every day.

"Great idea! Get ready and let's start… where are the rest?" I asked, searching behind them without making anyone out.

"They will be here in no time, we bumped into Ms Denali a few minutes ago. She said she had to do something and then she was coming here" Sam answers.

"Okay them, see you in a few then. Don't forget make-up!" I tell them and leave.

I'm walking down the corridor when I see a bunch of boys entering their changing room.

"Hello boys" I greet them with a smile. "You ready?"

"Yeah, we'll be there in 'bout 2 minutes"

"Ok!" I said. They enter the changing room bumping into each other. Men.

"Miss?"

"Yeah, Mike?"

"Mr. Cullen said he would be a couple of minutes late, but that he would make it in time. He told me to tell you."

"Yeah, ok Mike. Thanks"

"No problem!" and rushes into the room again.

I'm walking to the auditorium and I feel a strange ache in the bottom of my chest. My mind begins to think on its own and relates Tanya's delay with Edward's. My rational side tells me that, probably, the reason of it may be that they are rehearsing, they might be talking about the play or… maybe… my non-rational side is acting now and images of them together assault my mind. The ache in my chest increases. Why do I react like this? That's unlikely to happen, impossible even. He's a priest, and I'm sure he doesn't approve of those kinds of relations. Still the ache in my chest doesn't go away, making me feel uncomfortable and weird.

I had been trying to erase Edward of my mind and heart a long time, and now that I had succeeded, I was not going to throw all my hard work out of the window. No, no, no.

I sit in my chair in front of the stage and rub my face annoyed. I sigh and yell "Sarah!"

Sarah is my right hand. I have to give it to her, she has some guts and patience. When I started here I could take care of everything. At first, I only had to be involved in little things but spring was here, and they did a grand play every year. Nobody had mention that tine tiny detail, if only I had known...

So because I, surprisingly, couldn´t handle everything I decided to get some help. I asked and looked for the right person, no one seemed capable of doing the job until I came across Sarah, I saw her directing everyone in her group one the day. They had to do a school project and she had everything so well planned that the rest of the group just listened let her guide them.

After her class, I talked to her and proposed her the "job". This is part of the school, I'm here volunteering too, no one pays me for doing this, and she could have refused me because of her homework and all if she had wanted to, but she agreed, telling me it was a pleasure for her to be part of the Arts Group.

Since then, she's been helping me with everything. I have to say that without her, I would have already quit.

"Yes, Ms Swan?" she asks while writing something on her notebook. "Oh, by the way!"She raises her head and adjusts her glasses while she talks to me "Mrs. Clearwater says she has already finished with the dress and that she left it in the changing room for Ms Denali".

Now that she has her stupid dress fixed, I hope she doesn't bug me anymore. "Thank you for telling me".

"No worries. Anything else?"

"Yes. I need you to postpone our rehearsal with the musicians. Bill is ill so they won't rehearse today. Could you find me another day?"

"Yeah, sure. Will…" she flips a few pages in her notebook "maybe Thursday at 1? Does it sound good? You told me you had a meeting at 3 so that gives you time to eat and arrive on time."

"I think you work too much, Sarah, I may be obliged to fire you, so can you rest a bit. You still a ten-grade girl, right?"

"Aha," she answers proudly "I got a 9'5 on my history exam the other day" She grins.

"That's great. Thank you"

"No worries."

I'm left alone for a few minutes until I begin to hear voices outside the auditorium. I rise from my chair and walk to the backstage. A few girls are already there, Mrs Clearwater making convex their beautiful dresses. We are rehearsing the ball scene today, so everyone has to wear ball gowns.

I talk to them, asking if they are ready and all. We are laughing until my name is called.

"Bella!"

I turn my head and spot Tanya walking in my direction. She is smiling and I can see why. She's wearing her new dress. I had let her choose the design, but when she tried it on she said it was a nun's dress instead of a gown. At first, I didn't know why she thought that, the dress was a beautiful red and black gown. But when she told me and Mrs. Clearwater that she wanted to lower the collar so that more cleavage was exposed I understood. I told her no without a second thought, she wasn't here to show herself off, she was here to perform. But she warned me that if Mrs. Clearwater didn't fix her dress she would refuse to go on stage and I would have been, surely, really fucked up. So, after trying to convince her that it was unnecessary and failing in it, I gave up and asked Mrs. Clearwater to lower her collar to expose more cleavage.

"I really like the job you both did to my dress."

I take a look at her. I have to admit it looks really good on her. She has her hair in a bum on top of her head and has a few loose strands along her perfect-shaped face. Her cheeks are a pinkish color and her lips are as red as her dress. The dress fits perfectly to her tiny waist and her cleavage is poking out of it. I have to admit she is pretty and that enrages me more.

"Mr. Cullen, you look really handsome in that tuxedo. You should have lived in the nineteen century!" I hear Mrs. Clearwater laugh her very weird laugh and I turn around to poke at him, just for a few seconds, it won't kill me, right?

Oh, so very wrong.

There he is, laughing along with Mrs. Clearwater. He is wearing a black tuxedo that looks incredibly good on him. I'm a lost of words. He is breathtaking. The suit accentuates his broad shoulders and strong back. The contrast between his tawny hair and the white shirt with its grey bow tie and black charcoal jacket makes him even more appealing. His long and expert fingers are playing with his dark blue cuff links. Mrs. Clearwater says something and he laughs showing his oh-so-sexy-crooked smile, melting me in the spot.

In an instant he stops and begins scanning the room, who is he looking for? Not me, of course, maybe Tanya's exposure. I lower my head and sigh. Why am I such a fool? I raise my head again and fine a pair of green eyes looking directly at me. I'm petrified. I can't tear my eyes of him. He smiles his sweet and loving smile and I'm done. I can't help it, and return his smile with a shy one. His smile gets bigger, and excuses himself from Mrs. Clearwater. My brain isn't working properly and before I know it he's in front of me.

"So, how do I look?" He asks slyly. My brain hasn't reacted yet and I keep staring at him unable to form a coherent sentence. I'm sure that if I open my mouth now I will make a fool of myself so I keep quiet, trying to make my brain to function again.

"Good" I say at last. He narrows his eyes at me and lowers his head to the right trying to make something out. "Just good?" Ok, his looks more than good, but what am I suppose to say. That he is a living Adonis?

"You look really good" I say, trying my best to sound convincing. He seems pleased with my answer because his smiles broaden

"Thank you, you've made me a happier man now"

And of course, she had to ruin the moment.

"Edward, you look marvelous!" She says laughing. "I cant believe someone so handsome is taking me to the ball. You look as if you had been taken out of a 1900's paint." She wraps her arms around him and laughs in delight.

He's going with you because the script says so. I'm about to gauge watching her all over him so I excuse myself with a I'll-see-if -someone-needs-me-elsewhere so lame I can't barely believe it myself and head to prepare the rest of the actors for the rehearsal.

A few minutes later everybody is in their positions, the music begins to play in the background. We don't have the orchestra so, of course, we have to use other methods: a recording.

The couples begin to dance, they are in the center of the stage and I can't tear my eyes off of him. He's just so perfect. The way his body moves along the song, his broad shoulders tensing and relaxing under the fabric of his tux is hypnotizing and in this moment a don't even care if he caches me staring, I just can't stop.

He keeps stealing gazes in my direction, which makes me a bit nervous but thrills me at the same time. He's not paying attention to her but to me.

I know I swore and swore that I would never get involve with that man ever, but I just can help it. I smile at him and he smiles back, I blush and he makes a mistake stepping hard on Tanya's foot, making her yell in pain.

"Oh my god" he says "I'm so sorry, I got distracted and I… I'm really sorry, are you ok?"

"Of course I'm not ok!" She yells angrily "You idiot!"

She storms out of stage and suddenly we hear a loud PUM!

What was that? We all run in the noise's direction to see Tanya in the floor, face down.

"Tanya!" I ran to her. She's not moving, is she unconscious? "Are you ok?" I touch her shoulder and try to see her face. She shifts and groans in pain.

"What happened?"

She groans again.

"I fell" She says it so low I can barely hear her.

"With what?"

"I DON'T KNOW!" She yells at me.

"Ok boys, there's nothing to see here. Go and get change, we will continue tomorrow, thank you everyone."

"All right, let's get up, can you move?" Edward comes behind me and helps her get up. She yells in pain. "My ankle! It hurts like hell!" I assume she can't walk so I ask Edward if he can carry her to the nursery. He agrees, lifts Tanya and carries her bride-style without an effort.

I watch them leave the auditorium and I cant help but feel sad and alone while they disappear through the doors.

I turn around and head to where my table is. Papers are all over it. Next week is the premier and I have to have this table clean by Friday. Sooo not going to do it now.

I grab my handbag and head for the exit. Sarah is still here somewhere, I wont disturb her now.

I'm heading down the corridor to where the classes are when I decide to go and check Tanya. I don't know why I have the urge to do it, but I do it. So I turn around and go in the opposite direction to where the nurse's is.

I knock politely on the door and wait for a response. Edward answers the door and greets me with a breathtaking grin. He's still wearing his tuxedo but the top buttons of his shirt are undone and he has removed his jacked. He steps aside and says "Come in. Tanya is in the farthest bed, she's really pissed off, especially with me, so be careful." He has leaned and is whispering in my ear. I can feel is hot breath washing over my already heated skin. I shiver and, immediately, curse myself for having such reactions.

"Oh, okay" I say, nearly sprinting down the room, trying to get as far as possible from him. She's screaming to the nurse but I don't know what they are arguing about.

"WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO TELL ME? THAT CANT BE, IM NOT ACCEPTING IT!"

"I don't care if you accept it or not, your ankle is sprinted and you'll have to rest for at least a week or so. I'm your doctor and you are going to do what I say."

They continue arguing, but at this point I can only hear incoherent things. Your ankle is sprinted and you'll have to rest for at least a week. That means we don't have a Juliet for the premier and we are so very fucked up. What are we going to do?

"Excuse me, what are you saying? She won't be able to perform next Wednesday?" I manage to get out.

"I'm afraid not. She has a pretty bad sprint, and she really should rest or it would get worse." The doctor explains. I turn around and Edward is right behind me, gaping. Shock is printed in his face, and I assume he did not know anything about this.

Tanya is about to combust. I excuse myself and ran to get Sarah as soon as possible, we need a substitute right away. I find her in the corridors of the second floor, talking to a boy, laughing about something he has said. I hate to interrupt her but it's a matter of life or death.

"Sorry, Sarah." I said, looking apologetically to the guy standing next to me. "Can I talk to you? It's important."

"It's ok, Sarah" the poor boy says. "We'll talk later, ok?" Sarah nods and he walks away.

"So, what's the matter? Something went wrong?"

"Yes, something is terribly wrong. Tanya sprint her ankle; the doctor said she has to rest for a week. She won't be able to perform, so we don't have a Juliet! What are we going to do now?" I'm hyperventilating. It's impossible to find someone to do it in less than a week!

"Ok, ok. Don't get all stressed up. I'll find someone, ok? Leave it to me" And with that she runs down the corridor, leaving me there alone with my thoughts.

How is she going to do it? I haven't event told her what kind of girl we need. She has to be good at performing of course, but she has to be a size 8, I think the probabilities of finding a girl with those characteristics is, simply, impossible.

I sigh and walk to the stuff room, I have to forget about this and focus on my job, teaching is why I'm here, I have a class now and I need to be concentrated on it.

My classes pass by without noticing. I'm so into the spring festival's problem that everything seems to fade out.

Sarah is waiting me outside my last class, writing something down on her notebook. She sees me coming out and runs to me.

She grabs my hand and pulls me down the corridor. "I've found a few girls, you need to go to the auditorium and check them, see if anyone is good for the role."

I ran along with her. We are running so fast, we are going to make it in a record time.

The doors open and I can see a few girls sitting in the front rows waiting. I assume they are the girls Sarah has found for the play. I walk down the aisle and sit on my chair. My table is clean, but, when did I clean it? Sarah must have anticipated my moves, like always. I open my personal notebook, where I keep all my notes and thoughts and grab a pen from the cup.

"Ok…" I check the list Sarah has left for me and go for the first girl " Ashley Thompson?"

"Me." A blond girl gets up and walks to the stage. She's thin and pretty, although she's blond. We'll have to change that if she's the one.

"Whenever you want" I urge her to begin and concentrate.

She clears her throat and begins:

" 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy!

What's in a name? that which we call a rose,

By any other name would smell as sweet;

So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd ,

Retain that dear perfection which he owes

Without that title! - Romeo, quit thy name;

And for the name, which is no part of thee,

Take all myself."

I like her. She's good. She needs to rehearse a bit but she is good for the role. She's not too tall, nor too short, but what about her size?

"It was really good. But before you leave, can I ask you a question?"

"Of course" She replays eager.

"What size are you?" my question seems to have shocked her a little, it's an odd question, but it had to be asked.

"Umm… I'm a 6?" It comes like a question more than a statement. She has the looks but is too thin for the dresses. You just couldn't make them smaller. It wouldn't look good, it may ruin the dress. I had to find the perfect girl who wears an 8.

"Ok, thank you." I congratulate her. She gets off the state and I call the next contestant.

"Taylor Elsbeth?"

Black hair, big blue eyes, thin but too much cleavage. Way too much. I urge her to begin with the speech.

"Thou know'st, the mask of night is on my face;

Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek,

For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night.

Fain would I dwell on form; fain, fain, deny

What I have spoke! - But farewell compliment!

Dost thou love me? I know, thou wilt say - ay;

And I will take thy word: yet, if thou swear'st,

Thou may'st prove false; at lovers' perjuries,

They say, Jove laughs. O, gentle Romeo,

If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully!

Or, if thou think'st I am too quickly won,

I'll frown and be perverse, and say thee nay."

Perfect speech. She's charismatic and has the skills to perform, but then again, she has too much cleavage and the outfits won't fit.

Damn Tanya and her clumsiness!

Two left. Please, let one of these be the perfect one.

"Petra Von Haste" A very, let's say, wise girl stands up and walks to the stage. No. That's the first thing I think when she positions herself in front of me. The outfit would, surely, not fit.

But I let her carry with her speech.

"The clock struck nine, when I did send the Nurse;

In half an hour she promised to return.

Perchance she cannot meet him: - that's not so.—

O, she is lame! Love's heralds should be thoughts,

Which ten times faster glide than the sun's beams,

Driving back shadows over low'ring hills;

Therefore do nimble-pinion'd doves draw love,

And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.

Now is the sun upon the highmost hill

Of this day's journey; and from nine till twelve

Is three long hours – yet she is not come.

Had she affections, and warm youthful blood,

She'd be as swift in motion as a ball;

My words would bandy her to my sweet love,

And his to me. –

O, heaven! She comes. –"

She keeps moving around the stage, mimicking Juliet's gestures.

She's good, but not good.

I cross my fingers and pray that the last one will be the one.

"Janet Johnson"

She climbs trembling the stairs to the stage. Positioned herself in front of me, she keeps her gaze down, nervous. "Janet, what size are you?"

"I'm an 8." She responds quietly. She's too shy for this. But maybe she gets more comfortable when she's performing, so I tell her to begin.

"Thou know'st, the mask of night is on my face;

Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek,

For that which thou hast heard me speak to-night.

Fain would I dwell on form; fain, fain, deny

What I have spoke! - But farewell compliment!

Dost thou love me? I know, thou wilt say - ay;

And I will take thy word: yet, if thou swear'st,

Thou may'st prove false; at lovers' perjuries,

They say, Jove laughs. O, gentle Romeo,

If thou dost love, pronounce it faithfully!"

She doesn't move, she barely raises her voice. She's too shy to act.

"Thank you very much." I tell her with a smile. I turn around and thank the rest of the girls again. "We'll let you know by tomorrow, ok?"

They all nod and leave the auditorium. I'm tired, very tired. This is too much. We don't have a Juliet and the play is round the corner.

"Bella, I've been thinking while they were performing, and I thought that maybe… well… I'm not sure, but maybe.. ummm…" She hesitates and it makes m even more nervous.

"Say it, what is it?"

"Well… maybe you could perform it. I know what you're thinking" my face must have a weird expression because she gets more nervous and explains herself "I could take care of the preparations and everything. I know how to do it; I've seen you a thousand times. I can do it. And you'll save the play" She's right; she has the capability to take over my place, but me? Acting? No way, I'm not that flawless on a stage in front of hundreds of people. "You know the script by heart, you've adapted it. I know you are capable. I've seen you performing while you corrected the mistakes of others and you are really good. And besides, you are a size 38! The outfits will fit you perfectly!" How did she know that one of the problems were the outfits? This girl is cleverer than I thought.

I smile to myself. I could give it a try. It's true that I know the script by heart, I love the play and I had always wanted to be part of it, but I had never thought about having a role on it, and not any role, but Juliet's role!

"I could give it a try…"

"Oh really?" She screams and hugs me excited. "That's awesome; I thought you were going to scream at me and tell me I was insane."

Maybe the insane one is me. I may be getting myself in something bigger than I think.

###

Six days to go.

14:50.

The rehearsal is about to begin.

"Go to the changing room and get dressed" Sarah urges me, pushing me to the exit.

"Ok ok, I can't understand why you are so eager about me acting."

"I don't know, either!" Who really believes that? I can't help but laugh at that, she doesn't know how to lie at all.

I storm to the changing rooms and get myself into one of Tanya's dresses. It fits me ok but the cleavage is lower than I am use to and when I look at myself on the mirror I can't help the blush that creeps along my neck and cheeks. How can she go out there wearing this? I try to hide them a bit, but it's just useless. Apparently, I have more than her and it seems that they are going to pop out any time. What if I put a T-shirt under the dress?

"Dear? Are you ok? Does it fit?" Mrs. Clearwater asks from the other side of the door.

"Umm… Mrs. Clearwater.." I begin turning around in front of the mirror trying to get comfortable enough with my reflection.

"Can I come in?" She asks. I open the door and let her in.

"I can't go out like this? I fell very exposed!"

"It's ok, most women during those times dressed like this. It suits you even better than to Ms Denali. Quit complaining and get out there. Everyone is waiting for you."

The corridor seems to get narrower with every step I take. I can't swallow, my lungs are closing, it's getting harder and harder to breathe, why am I so nervous? The old maroon doors to the auditorium feel heavy when I open them.

I peek when I manage to slightly crack them open and everyone is getting ready. People are running, shouting and moving things around. It's madness and its giving me a headache. I descend the side-stairs to the seats and sit myself beside a very concentrated Sarah.

"Why so much fuss?"

"Oh, Jinx!" I startle her. "I… its because I told them you were not directing the play anymore and they all went crazy. I was preparing my speech to let everyone know that you are taking Ms Denali's place.

I cant help the smile that spreads on my face as she tells me about her speech.

"…and all. So, you ready?" I'm so immerse in my thoughts that I miss what she just told me. I nod, not very convinced and stand up at the same time she does.

"Everyone, listen, I have something to tell you." They all stop in their tracks and look at her. Impressive. "I suppose you all know that Miss Denali, our Juliet, had an accident and that she won't be able to perform with us." There are ooohhss and huuuhhs all over the place. "We've been looking for a substitution but we haven't found anyone good for the role…" she looks at me and smiles. Suddenly, every single pair of eyes in the room focuses on me. I keep looking at her "So, Miss Swan will be the one to take her part in the play." All the eyes in the room grow in surprise and that's when I spot him and everything downs on me. I hadn't thought of the chance of acting with Edward, in the same scene and maybe ... oh my god! Kissing. No, no no no no. I feel like a huge iron ball hits me. Right now, right here.

The walls begin to close and I can hardly make out the noises of applause. Something is pulling me, its grabbing my arm and pulling. Who is it? I can't move, I'm stuck. Fright has paralyzed me, its affecting me in a way I never thought possible. I'm not this nervous, ever. Why today? Why now? I rack my brain trying to find the answers, but I find none.

The arm has stopped pulling but now something cold is touching by bare back. It's hard and, at the same time, I can feel a slightly weight on the center of my chest.

###

The dark has consumed every spot. I hear faint voices but I can't make anything coherent out of them.

"Bella…"

"Bella…"

I know that voice, so rich, so silky, it's him. Why is he calling me? Is he looking for me in the dark? Is he trapped to? I try to scan the darkness, there is no sign of him. The voice his getting lower, nearly impossible to hear.

"Come back with me…" I try harder, and that is when I see a dim glow in the distance, I'm moving towards it. And there he is, standing in all his glory, waiting for me, with a beautiful broad smile on his perfect face.

###

She begins to open her eyes, her breathing becomes more accelerated, which is slightly positive. Sarah is on my right, she is screaming like mad, but I can't hear her, I've blocked out everything around me, she's unconscious on the floor but she's coming back, that's the only thing that's in my head right know.

Her chocolate eyes are completely open; she scans the room and asks what happened.

"She's awake!" Sarah screams and hugs me. She's still holding Bella's hand. We are both waiting for the doctor to come.

Thank you for taking care of her I thank Him.

I can't stop looking at her. She looks so fragil, like porcelain, as if she could break in a million pieces any minute. She turns her head and our gazes lock.

"Everything is ok now" I whisper to her. I can't stop the urge and kiss her on her forehead. Its little but it's enough to let her see through me, through the walls I've been trying to built around me, to keep me protected and cold-hearted towards her. I'm done running from her. All I think about is her, how she looks, how she smells that sweet strawberry aroma. It makes me want to taste her all over. I know that is so out of line, but I can't forbid those thoughts from appearing on my mind. I have the urge to put my arm around her, protect her, and never let her go. I want those things and I am going to have them and damn the consequences.

###

The sun is setting, the light is coming through the huge window and the heat from it makes me relax even more. There's not a single noise in the room. I turn my head and gasp. There are tons of bouquets of flowers everywhere and my favorites are beside my bed. Pink roses, and there's a little card with Get well written on it. My first thought is Edward, but I quickly rule it out. Rosalie? Alice? Maybe Sarah? I don't want to think about it. I zone out again looking at the beautiful roses.

###

I'm hearing whispering, giggles and more whispering. Who's here? My lids are heavy; I'm still feeling the dizziness of the Advil I took hours ago. Two blurry figures are gesturing a lot in front of my bed, the hyper activeness of one confirms me who they are.

"Hey you two, stop messing around, people are trying to sleep"

"B, oh my god! You are awake! I thought you were never going to wake up, you've been sleeping for sooo long, how are you, are you feeling dizzy? Are you hungry? Do you want some water?

"Alice, calm down" I say, my voice barely a whisper. I can't believe she said all that without taking a breath "you are giving me a headache, dear. I'm ok right now." And smile at both of them. "I may be a bit hungry…"

"Of course baby doll, I'll go and get you something" She laughs heartily and we both join her. She stands up and bounces outside the room. Now the laughs that once had surrounded the room begin to fade away, leaving Rosalie and I in a very singular silence.

"Thank you for the flowers" I say, staring absently at the ceiling. It's weird how the mood has changed in a couple of minutes. There is something on the air, something neither of us want to talk about, but we both know it's there.

Another long pause.

"They aren't ours…" she says so low I have to turn my head to confirm Rosalie said what I barely heard.

"What do you mean they aren't yours? Who are they then? Because I think you are the only ones that know I like pink roses" I'm positive no one knows I fancy pink roses. I don't go telling people what my favorite flower is. Rosalie and Alice knew because my father sent me a bouquet on my last birthday, they asked me and I told them. Maybe they were Sarah's… yeah, definitely Sarah's. I remember telling her one day, when we were having coffee, but then again, why wouldn't she sign the card? It wasn't that obvious they were hers, right? I think I'm over thinking this too...

"They are Edward's"

The room gets silenced again, like if someone had pressed the mute button. My mind is blank, there is not a single thought running through it. I am absolutely speechless. Is she fooling with me? I don't think so. And why do I get all worked up about this? He sent me flowers, he is being nice, end of discussion. But still, why? Our relation is practically non-existent. We left everything set when we talked. We agreed that the best thing was to forget, no friends, no nothing, just plain work buddies. I'm a wrecking mess right now, but I have got the urge to know further.

"What did you say?" I can't believe I managed to speak that up. Those three miserable words are still lingering in the air, as if my mind couldn't wrap the fact that he cares about me and, somehow, found out that pink roses are my favorite.

"Look I shouldn't have told you this, ok? I was just going to see how you were doing and I saw him entering your room. It was very early in the morning and it was weird, and… I don't know! I just had the impulse to see what he was doing, I wasn't thinking straight. It was rude and I'm sorry for intruding in your life that way." She's breathing heavily, as if she is about to faint here in the middle of the room. I'm a bit glad she has this word-vomit thing. Otherwise, I don't think she would have told me. She's a loyal friend, and privacy is one of the few things you lack on a school. Gossip is the top activity here and everyone likes to be part of it.

Hey, there you have your answers, shouldn't you be jumping for joy? My inner self reminds me. I should be jumping for joy, shouldn't I? It's what I wanted, him to care about me, isn't it?

I don't know what to think, I don't know what to feel. My head keeps telling me I should just see it as a simple gift, a little something a colleague gave me, there are lots of bouquets here from different teachers and students, they are all caring and nice and it doesn't mean anything, but my heart keeps going the opposite way, the one telling me it's more than a simple get-well gift, that he feels something for me other than simple "friendship".

I caress Rosalie's hand. "It's ok, I really appreciate you telling me" I assure her.

"You're not mad? I know this is a taboo topic and that you told us not to talk about him if it wasn't absolutely necessary, but I think this was the case."

"Of course I'm not mad. It's Ok; I know I've been a bit bitchy with you both about this topic. You know it took me a long time to get over it" or at least pretend to be over it, I thought "I'm sorry for that. Come on, cheer up, don't give me that face, I want to see a smile" I demand. She opens her arms and gives me a broad smile, as if saying taraaa!

We start to laugh like kids, and just in the perfect timing, Alice arrives with our food. I get up, grab a blanket from the bed and lay it on the floor. Alice has brought Caesar salad and chicken with marinara sauce. It smells delicious when we open the food containers and place them on the blanket. I give a silent pray, thanking Him for the food we are about to eat, because neither of them are as religious as I am. They wait till I finish, I say a whispered "Amen" and we all start to eat picnic-like.

###

I'm watching silently, my back resting on the closed maroon doors of the auditorium's main entrance. My second on board is doing a great job, directing, supervising and, of course, correcting perfectly well even the tiniest mistake of the actors. She would be a very talented director one day.

I walk down the aisle, keeping attention to the performance taking place up in stage. I sit down in the front row, next to my table, and follow the scene. Sarah spots me and waves energetically at me, she makes as if to coming right towards me, but I shake my head no and point to Ned and Romeo. She mouths "aaahhh, ok", gives me a thumbs up and turns her head to them.

The scene is flawless, both of them are very talented performers, well I have to say that that's why I chose them. Although is the first time I've seen the scene being rehearsed, they've learn the script perfectly and the meaning and feelings of it is greatly shown in their movements and tones. I know this because, as head of the Arts Department, I'm the one that wrote the script and adapted 'Romeo and Juliet' for this school play. The names and main characteristics of the play are still in it, but I've changed the story and the dialogs a bit, so that it doesn't get to heavy for performers, as well as for spectators.

They both bow at me, I give them my nod of approval and they head to the back of the stage. Sarah comes to my side and sits beside me. " I didn't know you were coming to see us today" she says, the worn pages of her notepad being flipped back and forth. "How are you feeling? I suppose that since you've decided to join us, we could.. umm..." she leaves her notepad on the chair beside her and turns to me fully. "that.. umm... we could rehearse the scene we couldn't yesterday..." she's playing with her fingers nervously. I'll lie if I say that I wasn't expecting this. I knew I had to do it, I had taken over Tanya's character, so this was normal: rehearsal, of course, not getting all worked up like I'm doing right now.

"Yeah, ok, no problem" I'm trying to act nonchalantly but I pretty much think I'm failing on it. She's looking at me suspiciously, as if trying to read my mind or something, and, seriously, its making my seat hot.

"Are you sure you are ok with this?" Ok, so what's all this 'are you sure about this' question? She knows something, doesn't she? It's not that I would care but still. Right, Bella, just go along with it, you are going to be fine and there is nothing to worry about.

"'Course I'm fine with it. Now let me just get ready and we'll start in no time"

###

The dress is as fit as I remembered, and uncomfortable as well. I don't know why Mrs. Clearwater had to get it so unbelievably tight. Anywho, I'm here, standing on one of the side entrances to the stage waiting for my turn.

I can see Sarah sitting on my desk, watching carefully every detail in case something is not right. She occasionally takes notes and smiles. I see we finally have gotten the whole orchestra together and now the music is not coming from a hideous recording, its coming from the wonderful hands of all the musicians sitting by the edge of the stage.

There are couples dancing to Camille Saint-Saënz. It starts slow and they start to dance along to it. It's Halloween's night. Everybody is wearing dark colored gowns and masks. I can't hardly make out anybody, but there is someone that stands out from the rest. Broad shoulders that tense and flex beneath that charcoal suit, piercing green eyes that occasionally look my way a millisecond, just to return to their initial focus again. The violins make their appearance, the couples dance in circles, moving along the room. The ostentatious Victorian dresses floating in the air making their wearers look more gracious and mysterious at the same time. I walk along the side of the stage, scrutinizing the guests, but focusing half of the time on one single person. I stop at the corner of the dais. He has stopped dancing and he's looking at me, during the bridge of the song, someone has asked his partner for a dance and now I have his full attention. He walks in my direction and I followed suit. We reach the center of the stage, the couples, very discreetly, have moved to the sides, so now the attention of the audience is on us.

My heart is thumping, I can't control the nervousness and the heat that is spreading through my body. The music increases its tempo, the instruments get louder and he grabs me forcefully by the waist. We are close, very close, but our bodies are barely touching. My breathing is erratic, my chest rising with each lungful of air I take. I'm sure my blush is giving away all the wave of emotions I'm experiencing. His smell is surrounding me, his gaze penetrating me. I have the feeling he isn't just looking at me, my soul is bear for him and I'm scared shitless.

And the music gets quicker again. Still holding me, he begins to dance. We begin to make circles again, slower ones, together with the speed of the violins. Cellos and basses join, the dance changes, he moves in a circle, stops, grabs me by the waist and lifts me. I land on the ground and repeat the movement three times. Now the steps are vals-like, we gain speed together with the violins and the wind instruments join in. The symphony is coming to an end, the sad story the notes are telling approaching its macabre ending.

We bow to each other and he kisses my hand. I'm wearing gloves, but I still can feel his skin in contact to mine. Electric currents fly through my overheated skin, warming my heart and making it come to a stop, just to go unbelievable fast a second after.

I walk away, violins still playing in the background. I move flawlessly through the crowd, the last piano notes ending my appearance on stage after throwing a provocative look to my mysterious partner.

The last note is played and I'm out of view and my heart out of his reach.

For now.

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