Also this story is rated M for language.
I posted up these stories separately at first and then realized that I had posted a very old version of them. I don't have a beta and these are not edited but I did go through and try to get as many errors as I could.
FGB for foosman
College. It's the beginning of your adult life. It's the time when you branch out on your own and find out who you are without the influence of family and friends that you've known your entire life.
This sentiment has left me standing in front of a rather large dorm on Seattle University's Campus. I had two duffel bags and two boxes in the back of my truck. That was all I brought to supplement my college life. I wasn't a flashy girl. I didn't even own a nice dress. I wore jeans and t-shirts. I loved my old broken in Birkenstocks and I considered myself very low maintenance.
Both duffels were stuffed to the zipper with jeans, shirts, socks and sweaters. Comfy clothes that would see me through this semester's grueling class schedule. I wanted to stay busy. I packed myself out at 19 hours and I was determined to get through college in one piece. No parties, no drinking, no drugs and no distractions. I would get the grades and graduate early.
When I finally made it up to the dorm I was assigned I noticed the other girl was already unpacked but no where to be found. She had taken up residence in the right room, leaving me the left one. From the look of her comforter and random nick-nacks she looked like a party girl. Beer posters, frilly fuzzy pink things littered around the room. Shoes with death trap heels. She seemed the sorority type just by looking at her things.
I wrinkled my nose and began the task of unpacking my own things. The room was bare with only a full size bed, nightstand and a sad looking desk with a hutch over the top. I sighed before diving in. I put the sheets on my bed and unpacked all my books. I suddenly felt foolish for bringing an entire box of them but honestly after the campus tour the library seemed much too far away to travel for reading material.
The shelves on the hutch were packed out and I carefully hooked up my laptop. Once my clothes were put away I placed a few photo's on the nightstand and above the hutch top. Charlie, Jake and Billy graced the frames with a few of Mom and Phil. Everyone was smiling and laughing. With a depressed thought I realized I wasn't actually in any with them.
I hung up Phil's rookie jersey on the back of my hair and laid dad's old Fork's PD shirt over one of the posts on my bed.
I might get a few rugs for the hard wood floors and I needed a nicer shower curtain. It was nice to have separate bathrooms.
Charlie went all out and got me a nicer dorm room than I needed. I tried to tell him I didn't mind communal showers but his face got all red when he realized they were co-ed.
I sat down and loaded up my email, connected to the dorm's wifi and proceeded to send a message to everyone. Charlie I would need to call, he never checks his email.
Once that was done, Charlie was put at ease and the light was dying outside I heard the front door close. It was time for me to face my roommate for the next two semesters.
When I came out into the living area I wanted to run right back into my room. She was gorgeous. Her hair was long and blonde corn silk. She had legs that went up for miles and her um…chest area…was well endowed. She was the epitome of perfection. She could be a model.
"Hi! I'm Tanya! You must be Isabella! I was waiting on you earlier but I got so hungry I'm sorry I wasn't here when you showed up."
She flipped her hair expertly and I felt the ends of my frizzy locks try to pull up into my scalp.
"It's just Bella. It's no big deal, I just put my things away."
She smiled and I felt a little better about conversing with her.
"Look, we're going to be living together for a while so maybe we should just get it all out in the open. I'm Tanya…I already told you that…uh, I'm a sophomore, I'm from Idaho…yes it's a funny state to come from. I'm 20, I took a year off from high school before coming out here. I'm majoring in Broadcasting. I take school seriously but I also like to have a good time. Uh, I sometimes stay out late and come home early but I'll always try to be quiet. I never bring guys back here and I don't play loud music or watch TV a lot."
She took a long breath and paused thinking for a moment before looking at me expectantly. I sighed. She sounded like she was signing up for a dating site. I was hoping I was done with these little introductions in high school.
"I'm Bella, I'm from a small town a few hours away called Forks. My dad's the police chief there and my mom lives in Arizona with her new husband. I'm 18 and I'm majoring in Literature. I want to be a teacher when I graduate. I study a lot, I'm quiet, I don't really go out and I like to read. I think that's about it."
Tanya looked crestfallen. She brightened though and came forward to hug me. It was awkward and I felt weird hugging another girl I didn't know. It was one of those hugs where your arms get all tangled because you both wanna hug above the shoulders and you're scooting your hips back so they don't touch. It was weird.
We made small talk for a few more hours and I actually liked Tanya. She was actually smart and beautiful. She had opinions and ideas that I respected even if I didn't agree with them. She could hold up her side of the conversation easily. I grew even more at ease. She reminded me of Rose. Rose was a knockout but she was sharp. Alice and Rose were both a year ahead of me, they probably knew Tanya.
I was begged and bargained with on living arrangements. Rose and Alice had an apartment with an empty room. They were using it as a work out room/ office/ storage room at the moment but I wanted to experience college…all of it. Granted I wasn't planning on partying I still wanted the experience of meeting people.
Finally the clock hit one AM and we called it quits when we both couldn't stop yawning. Sleep wasn't easy to get at first but when I did get it I was calm. I would get used to this routine and Tanya seemed to be a very nice person despite her outward appearance.
I guess you really shouldn't judge a book by its cover.
Bella needed help. She needed help badly. Her wardrobe was hideous and she had the biggest aversion to social situations. I was crying for her on the inside. I was forming a plan to get her out of our dorm room and into college life.
She seemed very level headed and smart so why not? She could handle the partying and the studying. I combed through my own closet picking out clothes I knew were too small. After my little 'touch up' last spring most of my shirt were a little…er…lacking in the bust area.
I giggled my new set and smiled. Dr. Browning did a really good job. I sighed and looked down at the small pile of clothes I had amassed. I would still need to go shopping for some shoes and underwear. She needed to feel sexy from head to foot; from the inside out. She needed a huge overhaul.
Her hair was amazing if she'd cut it and she had fantastic skin if she'd just highlight it with a little makeup. She could be a knock out if she really wanted to.
I would have Bella Swan looking like a fox by the end of the semester if it killed me.
Now where was that black tube top I had?
Same classes, same girls, same fucking everything. I would have been done with all this shit if I'd picked a major and stuck with it. Now I have a shit ton of hours that won't even apply to what I'm trying to accomplish.
First day back and I was dying. I was drained and dead just waiting for this hell hole to spit me out with a stupid piece of paper saying I was qualified to do what I was already doing.
I had eight more hours and I could graduate. Eight. How fucking comical is that? For the amount of time I was going to be here on campus I thought why the fuck not take a few more classes on Carlisle's dime? Further my education and all that shit.
This business communications class was something that I needed but really hated taking. I just wanted to run a fucking business. I already knew what kind. I already knew where, I already knew how but I needed that degree or Eleazer wouldn't hand over the deed.
He was a cool guy but way too much into this 'completing what you start' bullshit. I knew the record store like the back of my hand. I ordered the music, I labeled it, I put it on the shelves and I rang people up when they bought the shit. I had it down. I knew how to inventory, I knew how to handle the distributors. Why was I going to school to learn shit I already knew how to do?
I laid back in the seat I was in; I loved being in these auditorium classes though. They guaranteed that there would be more movies showing than lecturing which meant less notes.
A busty blonde trotted in and I rolled my eyes, they were all the fucking same; sky high legs, long over processed hair, fake tits, and nothing upstairs.
I flinched when she saw me and smiled like a cat with a mouse. Oh for the love of all that is holy please let her not sit by me. I glance around and frown when I saw that, like the idiot I am, I'm all alone in the row. Fuck.
She of course teeters her way over and sits right fucking next to me. Awesome.
"Hi, I'm Tanya."
Of course you are.
No use in being rude to her, we might get paired for an assignment. And getting laid wouldn't be so bad either. She seems like she might be easy to get rid of. We made idle chit chat until the lights dimmed and the professor walked out behind the podium. The next fifty minutes was thankfully an intro movie into the class and I didn't have to talk to Tanya again until it was time to leave.
"So, wanna get something to drink later? We could over some things for this class and just get to know each other."
Her long black lashes fluttered and she settled her hand on my arm like a suction cup. Leaning in I could practically hear her sniffing me as her eyes glinted sharply. She wasn't the typical bleached idiot. This one looked like a plotter. You know, one of those girls who sank her claws into you and did anything to keep them there. I could see her eyes calculating the price of my clothes and the quality of my hygiene.
"Uh, I have classes pretty late but maybe some other time."
I booked it without looking back. Bitches like her were nothing but trouble.
I love biology. I mean, I love it. I was in AP classes and Honor's classes in high school and I loved biology. It was great working with slides and microscopes. I felt like a little scientist when I worked out the labs. While literature was my passion I escaped into biology. It made me sad to know I wouldn't be able to do it after college.
I sat at the old two seater desk and ran my dull nails over the hard black obsidian top. It was comforting that some things don't change.
"Is this seat taken?"
I looked up to see who had spoken and lost my voice. He was gorgeous. What the fuck is up with all these pretty people running around SU? I nodded like an idiot and he smiled this Colgate smile that I'm sure my panties have just swooned over.
He slid into the seat with such masculine grace I was left staring at the spot where his ass met the plastic. He chuckled and my face bloomed like an atom bomb. I'm sure if it were humanly possible there would be a mushroom cloud above my head.
Sticking to one word answers seems like my best bet. I'm sure he sat with me because I look like a nerd. I want to make some kind of judgment against him but am reminded of Tanya and how that backfired in my face.
We talk for a little while and he is defiantly not dumb. He's very passionate about music and he likes to talk about bands like they're works of art. He's very intense and suddenly I'm worried about my no partying, no distractions motto.
Because this Edward Cullen has distraction written all over him.
I settled into a routine after the first week. It was nice and liberating to be able to decide where I wanted to go and how long I wanted to stay.
Tanya and I became study buddies and every night we would sit down for an hour or two and just do school work.
"Okay, so let me get this straight. Othello's Uncle marries his Mother? Why? Isn't that a little over dramastic?"
"You mean dramatic?"
I sigh and delve into the deeper answer that Tanya should write down. She's amazing at any social activity and anything mathematical but when it comes to picking apart a story or anything that requires more thought she's lost.
Suddenly her phone start to blare and light up like it's on fire and she snatches it up reading whatever message she's been sent.
"Oh my God…Oh My God! He wants to go out! I have to get ready! Okay, um, sorry, I have to bail on this but this is super important!"
I smile like I understand and get a little irritated when she just starts sweeping papers into her satchel bag. I flounder to get mine separated before she crams all my stuff in there too. After that she's locked in her room for ten minutes before she steps out looking like a Victoria secret model about to walk the runway. I'm not sure if her skirt is a skirt or an elaborate piece of lingerie. I shake my head and get back to reading. This is why I don't need distractions. I'll ace this test tomorrow and Tanya will still be thinking about what incest means.
I'm dying. I am a dying man in a desert of prickly cactus and mean vultures that want to eat me even though I'm still alive.
Tanya is the most annoying, irritating and frustrating person I've ever met. She's seriously about to turn me gay.
She's smart, oh there's no doubt about that but she's lacking passion. She's lacking the drive. For the past few hours she's been talking about politics and it sounds like she's just parroting what she's heard on Fox News. I've tried to move the topic into music but after hearing about her Miley Cyrus obsession I figured it would be pointless. She nods her head a lot. I mean a lot. It makes all those things on her ears jingle and I feel like I'm talking to a wind chime. Her makeup is really heavy and her hair seems like it's been fried into the 'windswept' style she's rocking.
I smile absently as I think about Bella. She's really shy and quiet but there's something about her I can't get over. We hardly talk in class but that's not from my lack of trying. She's just shut up tighter than a nun's twat. I can't seem to crack her. Maybe that's why I want to, because I can't. I think about her constantly and at the most random moments.
I'm pulled back into conversation by Tanya when I hear that influx of voice meaning she's asked me a question.
I feel lost for a moment but shake it off. I'm sure a yes or no will placate her and it does. She's delusional if she thinks I'm going to repeat this disaster again.
I pay for the meal and make a hasty escape claiming I forgot about a biology assignment which I feel is fitting considering the only thing I'm going to be doing with biology is forming a plan to get Bella to open up to me.
On Monday morning I sit in my usual spot in communications. I refuse to move because of Tanya. I just plan on ignoring her as much as possible. Like I expected she comes in and sits down next me in her barely there shirt and tight ass jeans. She needs to stop trying so fucking hard.
We talk and I get a little abrupt. By the time the class is over she's out of her seat and storming off. I feel bad but what else could I do. I feel even worse when it sounds like she's crying.
I look down and see a ripped up sheet of paper with scribbles on it. It probably fell out of her bag when she left. Snatching it up I run after her prepared to apologize and tell her politely that I think it's best we stay friends but she's no where to be found.
I look down at the note and read it. The first line catches my eye and I can't stop.
Brightness floods the interstate
The longest roads are hard to make
But day is still on the early side
So take time
Take some time
I sit and think on love and life
Make my bed but not to lie
You grace me with your perfect smile
My heart is running another mile
So take your time
Take some time
My hands they shake
My heart might break
How do I make time for you
Please take some time
Take some time
Just me and you
I'm not the best at playing games
I love the most calming days
I feel trapped inside my skin
Like something is burning within
So I take the time
I take some time
Inside I feel like I should know you
You seem so close to me
But words escape when the time is right
I hate that I took so much time
I took the most of our time
Watch you as you leave the room
Like lightening bugs drowning in night
The day's course has run
And I'm out of time
I'm out of time
I am frozen to the floor reading the lines over and over again. They're not complicated or even very poetic but I feel as if they're written for me. I feel as if she's speaking to me in this crumpled torn sheet of paper. Suddenly Tanya has a heart and I feel like utter shit for stomping all over it. Maybe she's just too intense because she feels like she's got to be a certain way. Maybe all the talking is a nervous tick. Maybe she dresses like she does because she really thinks it's attractive. What I do know is that the shallowness outside is not mirrored on the inside. This ripped up, stained paper is a window into a deep ocean of thought and emotion.
Having no chance of catching up to her I hope I haven't fucked up too badly and she'll still show for class on Thursday. I'd give her the poem back and actually try. Who knew she'd be beautiful and deep?
I had no fucking chance with this guy. None, whatsoever. I felt silly and childlike when he shut me down with a few choice words. I felt the burn hit my stomach and heart like a mascara brush stabbing my eyeball. I thought for moment about trying to pump myself up and reaffirm my beliefs that I was a strong sexy woman but honestly I had no energy for that. I tried, twice a week to land this guy and he brushed me off repeatedly. Now, after today I didn't think he'd talk to me again after the way he basically told me to go fuck myself.
Sucking up the tears and fixing my makeup I resolved to not think about it again. Best to just cut my losses anyway. God, he was fine. He was sex and lust and everything primal just wrapped into a grungy mess. Edward Cullen might think he's flying under the radar but money like that can't hide. Sure he likes his torn up jeans that look faded and worn out and those awful plaid shirts. What many people couldn't spot were the brand names on those clothes. How his undershirts were Egyptian cotton and how his hair screamed product. That and anyone who knew anything about the social élite in Seattle knew his father was a fucking millionaire surgeon and his mother owned a world renowned decorating company. I mean shit, this boy was worth millions. I missed out. Truly.
I rolled my eyes as I thought about how there were other fish in the ocean. Only the sharks with lots of money were the ones I was targeting. Edward Cullen was clearly not interested in me and I had to live with it. Ugh. That was depressing.
I made it back to the dorms to see Bella sitting on the couch reading some book that looked like it was a million years old. Did they have paperbacks then?
"Whatcha reading?" I asked as I threw down my purse and jacket.
"Oh, it's a compilation of short stories." She barely looked up when she answered me.
"What class is that for?"
She snorted and finally looked up at me with an amused look on her face.
"Just for fun Tanya. I finished all my homework and decided to just relax."
My face froze into a neutral expression. I wanted to stop her, drag her into my room, sexify her and take her out to a party but after the draining day I had there was just not enough good humor in me to try. I nodded with a tired expression and trudged into my room.
I stripped and showered, taking my time under the hot spray before getting into bed. I didn't care if it was four in the afternoon. I was depressed and moody. God, I hope I get my period soon.
He was ignoring me. He was seriously ignoring me. What the hell?
A month and a half into school and it's like a light switch has been flicked. He was usually so talkative and…lively. Now he's just staring ahead like…ugh, like we'd never spoken before. What was his deal? I said hi and he nodded at me. I asked him how his weekend was, and he just shrugged his shoulders. Maybe he had a bad day? That had to be it, he couldn't have just decided to not like me overnight. And seriously if he was so upset with me he didn't have to sit next to me there were four empty tables in the back of the room.
I looked down and say a folded up piece of paper sticking out of his pocket. The doodle on the bottom corner looked really familiar…
I jumped a little when he cleared his throat and I saw his hand come down to shove the note further into his pocket. He was glaring at me when I looked up. He was kinda scary when he looked at me that way. Jeeze I was just looking at it, not like I read it.
When the bell rang he shot out of his seat and out the door. Like, I never existed at all.
I was standing in front of a non-descript door in a non-descript hallway in a fucking dorm. I hated dorms. I hated everything about these places. They smelled like sweat and desperation and they were always nasty.
Tanya had skipped class today which led to me asking around about her, something I hated to do but after pouring over those words for the past two days I couldn't bring myself not to. I finally tracked down her dorm number and tried to tell myself it wasn't strange that the second dude I talked to knew exactly which one she was in with no preamble.
While I was debating on knocking or not I heard a soft voice behind the door. It sounded familiar but it was hard to place due to the muffle the door was causing. I then heard Tanya's distinct pitch answering the other person. A door inside clicked and my hand came up without warning and knocked sharply three times. The door swung open to a vision of Tanya wearing pink sweats and a yellow top. I tried not to grimace at her appearance. She looked like she was getting ready for bed but her face was still painted on and her hair still looked like it was frozen in the middle of a blizzard.
"Hey, I didn't see you in class today…" Those weren't the words I had planned on using at all but they came out anyway. It seemed like a decent place to start. I was not starting with a sorry.
"Can I come in?"
She stuttered for a moment and let me inside where I stood awkwardly for a moment. Finally she gestured to her room and I exhaled slowly before following her into the lion's den. The room was really fucking girly. I mean, I felt like I was walking into an eight year olds room, not a twenty something. If I sneezed glitter would probably kick up.
"I wasn't feeling well today, so I skipped classes. What are you doing here?"
I had nothing to open with but the prose so I whipped the sheet out of my pocket and thrust it at her.
She looked wearily at me for a moment before taking the paper and unfolding it. She read the lines and looked at me with a questioning expression.
"I…you dropped it on your way out last Tuesday. I figured you'd want it back. It's beautiful. I had no idea…I mean, I didn't mean it like that…I just, I really… It's a beautiful poem…er song…I mean, whatever you meant for it to be it was really good."
Her face seemed to clear up and she turned her back on me to look down at the paper again.
"Thank you, I uh, I didn't realize I'd dropped it. Thanks for returning it."
Not knowing what else to say or do I pulled out the other paper I had folded up in my pocket. It was corny and sappy and really not my style but ever since I read her words I felt like I had to give her some back.
"Uh, here. I just, I wrote it and it's not anything as good as what you wrote or anything I just thought, I don't know I wanted to show you that your words affected me."
She took the note and I felt like a tool standing in all the pink and fuzz so I did the only thing I knew to do. I bolted.
"Well, that's that, so I'll see you Tuesday."
The walk back to my apartment was long and frustrating. What did she think of it? She didn't even have my number. Oh God, what if she thinks I'm stupid what if she…fuck.
After collapsing in my bed, sleep couldn't come soon enough.
Something very strange was going on. I couldn't help but think it was somehow about me. I'm usually not a very self centered person but it was really freaking me out how I was being equally avoided by both Edward and Tanya. Edward's cold indifferent attitude was strange and out of the blue while Tanya's strange flighty behavior was easier to explain. I assumed that she just got bored of being around me.
I was actually enjoying the way that she was never around. It gave me more time to write and study on my own. Just a few nights after her visitor I was sitting in my room doodling in my journal when I heard a timid tap on my door.
Tanya slowly opened the door and peeked her head around the corner. I closed my notebook and set it down on my bedside table before raising my eyebrows at her.
"Um, I wanted to talk to you about something…ask you something…uh…shit well I don't know how to really do this…"
"Just ask me Tanya." I laughed a little at her nervousness.
"Okay well it's kinda hard to explain but just bear with me. So I think one night some of your stuff kinda got mixed in with mine and then I might have dropped it on accident because I didn't know I had it and someone else picked it up and then read it and gave it back to me thinking it was mine and then they wrote something to me and now I think I have to write them something back but I don't know what…"
"Whoa whoa whoa, slow down there. I have no idea what you're talking about."
She took a deep breath and sat down on the corner of my bed looking at my comforter as she began again.
"Okay, so I think that the other day, I accidently grabbed this and it's yours. I didn't know I had it, I just…I had no idea, I didn't take it on purpose I swear!"
She handed me a worn paper and I instantly recognized it as the missing sheet from my journal. It had been hanging on by a thread and finally ripped from the spiraling. I just laughed and looked at her with amusement.
"It's okay Tanya, I knew it was missing I just figured I had dropped it somewhere. It just got ripped from my notebook that's all. No biggy. Thanks for bringing it back."
"That's not all… so there's this guy in one of my classes and I've been trying to get a date with him for weeks. He's shot me down again and again and the other day he just snapped at me right as class was ending so I left as fast as I could. I couldn't just stand there after he basically told me to go to hell. I think that's when I dropped this. He picked it up and read it then he wrote me something in return."
I took the second sheet of paper from her. This one was heavier and felt like expensive paper. I let my fingers run over the creamy sheet before unfolding it. As I read the words I felt my face heating up. They weren't perverse or sexual at all but the emotion behind them was extremely deep and it felt as if I were intruding on a personal love letter.
"What's all this mean Tanya?"
"He wrote you back thinking you were me…I just…I really like him and I think he wants me to write back to him so…could you help me out?"
Suddenly I understood what was going on. I felt something inside me flicker, a little seed of doubt formed.
"I don't know…I mean, that's lying. If I write this and he thinks it's you what happens when he finds out you never wrote it? You're fooling this guy into thinking your something that you're not."
Tanya's eyes flashed for a moment before she looked down at her lap.
"Look, I know what people think when they see me okay? Blonde hair, big books, no brain. But I am smart. I can do a lot of things and I plan on being really successful one day. I have dreams and goals and I have brains. I just can't express them like you can. I'm not artsy or verbose. I'm rather blunt and crude most of the time but I am a good person and I know if you helped me maybe he could just give me a chance and that would be enough for us to start something."
"Would you tell him? After your…chance?"
"Yes…absolutely. I'd explain the whole thing."
I still felt wrong but looking at her so desperate at a chance with this guy broke something in me. I felt that way about Edward and if I had a chance to maybe start something with him using Tanya's help then I'd ask for it.
It hit me hard and I smiled widely.
"Okay, I'll write you a letter back to your guy and you help me look nicer for…well for someone I like, deal?"
She jumped and clapped like a maniac her hair waving around her face.
"Okay well um, I was hoping to give him the letter by Tuesday is that cool?"
I nodded and looked down at my hands.
"Could you help me look nice for class on Tuesday?"
Tanya rolled her eyes and grabbed my hand leading me into her room. I sat patiently on the bed as she ransacked her closet. Two hours later I had an outfit and Tanya had practiced some things with my hair and makeup.
I wandered to my room thinking about how I was supposed to write a letter to a guy I didn't know, a guy that Tanya herself barely knew. The words flowed out of me when I began thinking of Edward. If Tanya felt the way I did about him then it would work just the same.
Before falling asleep I took a deep breath and let it out hoping that this was going to work.
I was living in the Twilight Zone. It was official the world had flipped and everything wrong was right and everything right was wrong. Tanya presented me with a letter on Tuesday just as class was ending then she left in a hurry before I could speak to her. The words on the page made me feel weightless. She was into me. Her words were the sweetest thing I had read and they were for me. For me. The selfish asshole who had treated her like shit for the entire semester.
This Barbie Doll replica had a lyrical mind that I was somehow fascinated with. I couldn't understand my new intense need for her words. They were only words after all. I mean, I enjoyed poetry and I loved reading work by my peers but only when it wasn't pretentious or predictable. Tanya's words were neither. They were clear and refreshingly simple. Maybe it was the fact that my mind was trying to come to terms with the outward appearance or maybe it was because I had never had this sort of relationship before. The fact that I had met a woman and was interested in what was in her mind over what she looked like was new.
In other Twilight Zone news Bella had done a complete 180 on me. I admit I had shied away from her since finding Tanya's letter but it was only because I no longer wanted to give her the impression I was interested in her if I was pursuing Tanya. Bella was…dressed differently. She was acting differently. I made an attempt at figuring out what was going on but to be honest after my misconception of Tanya I admitted I was lost when it came to women.
When I first met Bella she had this quiet shy beauty about her. She was soft and real and just a great girl but now she looked older. Her hair was pulled back, she had lots of color on her face and her clothes were….tight. They left nothing to my imagination. Bella's figure was something I could definitely go for. I saw myself with a lithe fairy like girl, someone dark haired with intense eyes. While Tanya wasn't physically my type she was my lyrical match. She had depth that I appreciate and furthermore that I wanted to explore. I felt like she could understand what made me tick inside. That's what was important to me in the first place.
But looking at Bella, batting her eyelashes and giggling so sweetly made me realize that physically she was quickly becoming my singer. Her body was singing a siren's call to my own. I was feeling shitty now because while I was lusting for Bella I was also feeling a connection to Tanya through our letters. I felt that I was cheating on her. Tanya had done nothing but try to gain my affections and my attention since we met. After more than half a semester of sitting beside her I felt like every time I looked at Bella I was committing a crime.
In terms of any man at the crossroads between their physical desires and their emotional ones, I was fucked.
It wasn't working. No matter how slutty Tanya dressed me, no matter how I acted, he never did anything beyond smile and make small talk. I was sure that he would have done something by now if he were interested. While I was subjected to the tortures of looking like a tramp every day in the perchance that I would see Edward somewhere I never did outside of Biology.
I woke up at ungodly hours and let Tanya have her way with my appearance. I had given up. So it came to be that as I gave up I still continued to write Tanya her letters. It was sick in a way. The boy I was writing to in those letters didn't take any notice of me. He didn't find me attractive and he didn't want to get to know me. But every night Tanya would come home, talk for a few minutes, a glow about her that I envied and then she would lock herself up in her room to talk to the guy she was slipping my letters to. I had hoped she would have explained to him by now that it was really me writing them but I couldn't bear to inflict upon her the depression I felt at being rejected. This was apparently my way of living vicariously through her. I had formed a pattern of studying every night and spending my weekends tagging along with Alice and Rose. They were thrilled to have me out and about and with what little I had learned from Tanya they were impressed at my ability to look decently seductive when we went to bars and open mic nights.
Everything changed one night though. It was finals week. I was cramming and Tanya was partying. Without any warning she came bursting into my room, drunk and slurring her words as she wobbled her way over to me.
"Hey, I, uh, I know I said I don't bring anyone back here and I haven't so far have I? But um, tonight, I kinda did and I was wondering if you wouldn't mind leaving us alone for a bit. We're gonna chill in the living room and watch some TV for a little bit but after that everything's cool okay?"
I looked at her blankly and my head sort of did a throbby thing where I felt like I should be annoyed but I wasn't.
"Okay Tanya. I'll stay in here. But I'm going to grab some food in a few minutes. I promise to slip in and out and not say anything okay?"
Just as I was about to lean forward again I saw a flash of fiery hair and pale skin fly past my doorway.
Like a moth driven to that flame I got up and walked slowly to the doorway and looked out as Edward fucking Cullen sat down on our couch/love seat and threw his legs up on the coffee table.
His head turned to me so quickly I almost panicked that he might have broken it.
"You two know each other?"
Tanya's voice, which was always so nice and sweet to me was suddenly hard and suspicious.
"Yeah, we're in biology together. You know Tanya, Tuesdays and Thursdays."
I saw Tanya take a minute to work that out and when she did her face went ashen.
"Bella, let's talk about this in my room. Please, just…don't…"
"Did she tell you about the letters?" My voice sounded dead to myself, I had no idea how it sounded to them.
"Um…" Edward shook his head warily as if the answer to my question might kill him. I knew it was killing me.
"Go ahead, ask her to write you another one. I'm done doing it." I turned to Tanya with despondency in my eyes I knew could be seen.
"Thanks so much roomie for helping me with my image. I guess you know how well that turned out."
With that I grabbed my jacket and purse, flying out of the room. I was on the phone with Alice as soon as I hit the sidewalk and within an hour I was sitting in Alice and Rose's apartment sobbing my eyes out as I explained what I knew of the situation. It wasn't really Tanya's fault. I never told her that Edward was the person I was trying to impress. I never asked who the recipient of the letters was.
Rose wanted to go and have some kind of showdown. Alice wanted to take me to the spa and get the full treatment. I gave a watery laugh as she muttered something about my split ends and what that harpy had done to my natural moisture levels. Rose was kind enough to get some of my things in the morning for me so that I could stay with them until the semester was over. I strategically planned for the moments I knew Edward and Tanya were in classes to get the rest of my stuff.
My diligent studies in Biology had paid off. I asked Angela, a girl in our class to let me copy her notes. I would suffer attendance wise but if I scored high enough on the final I wouldn't have to worry about that.
The day for finals came and I was a wreck wondering how I was going to have to handle Edward. Would he even be there? Would he even care about what happened?
"The hell is she talking about Tanya?"
"Okay, so don't be mad, but um, those letters, I…I didn't really write them. Bella did. She's been helping me and I didn't know how to tell you. I mean, you just, you didn't pay any attention to me until you read what she wrote and then you wrote me that amazing letter back and I just – I just wanted to keep your attention, to see where this would go and then I was going to tell you I swear!"
I felt my body go hot and cold simultaneously. My brain couldn't work through the situation fast enough.
"What was she talking about? You helping her?"
"I was helping her dress up for classes. She said there was a guy in her Biology class that she wanted to impress. I had no idea it was you I mean if I did…"
The sentence died on her lips. What? She'd what? She'd stop lying to me about the letters? She'd have dressed Bella like a clown to eliminate her competition? I grit my teeth at the thought. There was no competition. Bella was the girl I was after. Bella was it for me.
The girl that I had physically been attracted to for the past three months was also the author of the mindgasm letter's I had been reading. And from the looks of things Bella had no idea she was writing to me. So if those were Bella's letters, all that passion…who was she writing them to? Was she envisioning someone else as she wrote those words? Was she just writing to appease Tanya and help her out? Were they empty words? Or was she writing to me?
I leaned forward and braced my head in my hands as my elbows dug into my thighs. This was bad. This was really really bad. But the only person I could seem to fit any blame on at the moment was Tanya. She had lied to me for over three months. She had used Bella for over three months. She had…my mind was close to shutting down with how many thoughts were cross connecting. I was freaking out.
I was right. I had been right all along. Tanya was one of those girls and Bella…Jesus fucking Christ, Bella was it for me. She was everything. The entire time my body was screaming at me and it was right. Bella was the one.
I stood up abruptly, my body needing something to do before I actually went against every moral ever instilled in me and hit a girl.
"Let me get this straight. You lied to me for months. You let me think you wrote those letters when it was really Bella. You…" I let out a little laugh that may or may not have sounded close to insanity and looked Tanya dead on. I took in her hair again, her tight clothes and then her eyes. They were so cold. So icy and frigid. There was no remorse there. She did what she had to do in order to get what she wanted. She didn't love me. She didn't even like me. I was just something she wanted. And when I turned her down I became a challenge.
"Stay away from me. I don't want you near me in class. I don't want to talk to you on the street or anywhere are we clear? We're done. In fact I think it's safe to say we never really even started."
I left Tanya standing here gaping in her drunken haze and exited the apartment hoping that Bella had only gotten to the lobby of the dorm. Unfortunately she had disappeared and I was again left to think about the information I had learned tonight.
I was so confused. On some level I understood what had happened. But as my brain tried to work through everything sequentially I felt myself losing the truth.
From the first day that I had met Tanya, I was right about her. I was right about the type of person she was. When she dropped that letter – Bella's letter, she lied. Not outright, but she did lie.
I avoided Bella because I didn't want to give her the wrong idea when I was pursuing Tanya, and it seemed that Tanya was helping Bella attract my attention in Biology without knowing that it was me. I had no doubts that if Tanya knew I was the one Bella was trying to impress she wouldn't have helped Bella at all.
I walked around campus for a while. Just steeping in my moroseness. I had fucked up big time. Tanya had laid the groundwork but I had gone against all of my instinct and my attraction to Bella. I should have looked deeper. I should have read between the lines. Laughing bitterly to myself at that thought. I should have read between the lines, literally.
Bella was all over those words. She was in them. I should have known that. But how could I have. I didn't even know they knew each other much less were roommates. Suddenly I felt angry. Anger at Tanya for making me feel like this was somehow my fault. I was at fault for not trusting my instinct and for not following my heart. But Tanya was at fault for everything else. She was deceitful and conniving. The hate I felt for Tanya was snowballing inside me. The more I thought about it the more I wanted to hit something. The more I thought about it the more helpless I felt.
I had to find Bella. I had to tell her how I felt. I had to tell her that I had no idea that she was the author of the letters and that I really did feel attracted to her. That it was a struggle for me to be as friendly as I was and nothing more.
I was going to go home, clean myself up, and get a good nights sleep. Tomorrow I'd go back to their dorm room and I'd explain everything to Bella. We'd be okay. We had to be.
I finished the semester well. Despite the emotional turmoil that had kept me up nights, crying I managed to sneak a lot of studying into the between hours. I showed up to all my finals and sat in a secluded corner away from the door hoping that should Edward or Tanya come looking for me that they wouldn't see me immediately through the windows. For my biology final I showed up right as the bell was ringing and sat at the seat closest to the door. For Edward to speak to me he would have to move and that wasn't possible once the tests were passed out. I was the second to finish and bolted from the room before I had a chance to change my mind.
I didn't need any more humiliation on top of what had already happened. I could tell he wanted to talk to me from the way he looked at me as I walked in but I didn't know if I could handle the soft timber of his voice asking me if I was okay. Explaining to me how he and Tanya had cleared up the situation and had laughed it off. I couldn't handle knowing that he didn't find me remotely attractive when I was practically half naked next to him half the semester. I just flat out couldn't handle any more rejection.
A week after school ended I started working at a coffeehouse called Riley's. Riley himself was a young man who inherited the place from his Uncle James. The weird part was that his 'Aunt' Victoria was now 'girlfriend' Victoria. While Victoria and James had not been married, they'd been together for years. It seemed weird to me (and everyone else who worked at the café) that they were an item. But they seemed happy and Vicky wasn't really old enough to be considered a cougar yet so the news came and went without much fanfare.
I bussed tables most days, taking down orders and clearing away plates. While we mostly served coffee we also had a kitchen open that made sandwiches and soups. I was trying to get Riley to let me bake some things for the place and hoped to maybe move into the kitchen instead of having to be around so many people. I didn't have anything against being a waitress, mostly the people who came into the place were quiet ones wanting a mellow place to read or do some work.
I had moved into the room that Alice and Rose had offered me at the beginning of the semester. They were amazing about the whole thing. Alice and Rose both went to my dorm room and got my things out for me. They packed everything up and even managed to do it without causing a scene with Tanya. Alice said I owed her big for holding Rose back. From the sound of it Tanya may have had a little inferiority complex when it came to Rose.
She should, Rose is actually a real blonde and she's classy.
The mean thoughts were everywhere these days. The longer I went on thinking about what happened the more resentment I seemed to accumulate.
Alice and Rose had been so sweet to me, making me feel welcome and liked. Alice curbed her desire to remake me and instead helped me to work with what I already felt comfortable with. Cute long sleeved shirts and stylish jeans with expensive rips in them. Accessories and shoes that didn't send me into a panic attack and most importantly didn't make me look like a hooker.
We stayed up late on the weekends and I slept in on Sunday's, the only day the café was closed. Tuesday nights I called Charlie and Renee and the rest of the week was spent doing laundry, cleaning up the apartment or working.
It a month and half into summer break when I saw Edward again. He walked into the café and ordered a plain coffee with cream. I panicked and asked Bree to take it to him. She obliged without fuss, commenting on how sexy he was.
I however was a clumsy idiot and in my haste to get away banged my knee on the corner of the counter. Edward's head whipped around to the noise and I felt like a deer caught in headlights. His face lit up and he stood up so quickly that he knocked his coffee over, right onto Bree. I took that moment to slip away into the back of the store. I heard him apologizing to Bree and I heard her soaking it up. I could just imagine her batting her eyelashes and putting her hand on his arm.
I wanted to laugh. Bree was seventeen and the biggest airhead I'd ever met. I heard a few, 'omigoshs' and 'totallys' before there was a pregnant pause. I held my breath, my hand clutching at my chest as I flattened myself out against the prep counter. There was a moment of soft mumbling and then Victoria came into the kitchen and jumped when she saw me standing right next to her.
"There's a guy out there asking for you, said his name is Edward. Are you okay?"
She put a hand on my arm and I took a deep breath.
"I can't see him please, I just can't."
Vicky smiled at me softly and nodded once.
I heard her tell him that I was busy in the back and there was a muted response before I felt myself relaxing.
I worked in the back for the rest of my shift, organizing the bags of coffee and throwing out all the outdated food in the fridges. I mopped, wiped, scrubbed, and swept until the back area was pristine.
"Well, you're shift is up Bella, I'll see you tomorrow okay?" Riley's face looked tired but happy and I nodded at him before taking off my gray apron. Moving as though I was wading through quicksand I gathered my things and crept out from the safety of the kitchen. There in a seat by the window was Edward. His eyes trained on an empty cup in front of him and a stack of paper's strewn about the small round table.
It was like a magnet the way his eyes slowly swung to meet mine.
I bit my lip and kept close to the barstools along the counter as I made my way out the door and to my truck.
"Bella, Bella wait, please just hear me out."
I shook my head and got in my truck before tearing out of the parking lot. The farther I drove the angrier I got. I was so tired of feeling depressed over the whole thing I was tired of feeling…nothing. I was angry and it felt good to be angry. He chose that over made fake piece of plastic and lies over me. He made his bed. He could lay in it.
Twice a week I would get off work and go to that coffee shop. I would leave her a letter and a twenty dollar tip. I wasn't sure if she read them but she never gave any indication that she had. I would order a cup of coffee most days she would send someone else over to serve me, once or twice though she did it herself. The first time she was so hurried I thought she might spill the coffee on herself. The next few times she just ignored me and whatever I said to her so I gave up on verbal conversation altogether.
But I never stopped writing her the letters. I left them right under the $20 tip every time and I would leave the café like a kicked puppy every time.
My moods were erratic when I wasn't there waiting for a sign from her. I went over the letter's each night that Tanya had given me. They were new and different since I knew she had been the one to write them. I had convinced myself that she had been writing them to me. Small turns of phrase that would stand out and make me smile sadly.
I wrote poems and songs to her. Mostly I wrote letters. Letters telling her how sorry I was. How I felt about her. How she had captivated me completely. How confused I was when I first met her and the attraction I had to Tanya based solely on her letters. I told her how I felt about the way she made me feel in those words and how I had blinded myself.
I told her about how I had tried to find some sort of depth in the words Tanya would speak. I tried to make her see that I was sorry for everything that had happened. I just needed to give me a chance. I just needed her to understand and maybe give me a shot at making it all up to her.
I was torturing myself. I kept the letters he left but I never read them. They sat in a withering stack beside my bed and each time he left one I would add to the pile. I would look at them with something akin to longing.
It had been about two months since Edward came into the coffee shop and started leaving me letters. It had been two months of seeing him twice a week and saying nothing. I was reaching my limit and I guessed Edward had already reached his.
"Please. Please just talk to me."
I pressed my lips into a tight line and shook my head curtly. I wouldn't talk to him. I refused to do this to myself, not when I was finally getting pasted it.
My conscience snorted. It knew I was nowhere near getting over it… which bothered me the most. Nothing really happened between Edward and I. I guess I was just upset about what would never be. I was upset that he didn't even find me physically attractive. That he ignored me in favor or Tanya. It bothered me that it wasn't really his fault and he didn't know what was going on but I felt like he should have. He should have known and he should have given me a chance.
I turned quickly but he grabbed my wrist gently and tugged me back. He pulled a letter from his back pocket and set it in my hand.
"Read this. Please, if you wont talk to me just read this letter. I wont come in here anymore and I wont try to talk to you just please say you'll read this."
I looked into his green eyes and felt myself nodding. I felt myself melting into his desperation. What more did I need for him to do to prove to me that he was interested? HE came in here twice a week to deliver a letter I didn't take five minutes to read. I felt shitty suddenly and my anger evaporated.
He blew out a breath and nodded to himself before gathering his satchel bag and leaving the shop. A crisp twenty on the table right on top of my letter.
I looked up at the clock on the wall behind the counter and sighed. Only ten minutes til time to clock out anyway.
I ripped the envelope and pulled out the sheets and suddenly felt antsy. It was like I was reading this letter out of order or something. Like I was missing so much information from the others and I was just jumping right into this letter.
I took a deep breath and looked around one more time, seeing the coffee shop was empty before I began reading again.
As my eyes ran down the page I felt tears prick my eyes and before I knew what was going on I was throwing my scarf around my neck and grabbing my bag. I had to find him. I had to track him down. Oh God what if I couldn't find him. What if I never did. I needed to get home and open those letters he might have left a phone number or an address in one of them.
Before I could make it to my truck I saw him. He was leaning against a shiny black car, his arms crossed, his head bent.
His head whipped up and I dropped my bag by my truck before running across the street to him. I threw myself into his arms and felt tears soak into his wool coat.
"I'm sorry. I, I didn't read your other letters but. Please give me a chance to make this right. I'm so sorry. Please."
"Hey hey, it's not your fault okay? Tanya…she fucked with both of us. I just wanted a chance to make things right. Bella, I've never met anyone like you before. I've never connected with someone in just words before and now, I want to see if we have something outside of that. I should have trusted my instincts but I didn't and I'm so sorry for that."
I stroked my cheeks and held my face in the palms of his hands like I was something rare and precious.
"I've been so sad and confused...a-and I'm tired of feeling that way. I want to give you a chance but you have to understand that I'm not…I've never really been in a…I just, what I'm trying to say is that..."
The pressure around my face increased slightly before disappearing and Edward's lips were on mine. The kiss was so sweet and gentle I stopped breathing.
One of his hands slid down to my neck and the other went to cup the back of my head. He pulled back and kissed my cheek then lower, my jaw, then my neck.
"I don't want you to be sad and confused anymore either."
Pulling away he looked into my eyes and smiled. I breathed in the smell of rain and Edward and grinned at him.
"Do you want to…get a cup of coffee?"
I made a face and he laughed.
"Um, how about a coke?"
"A coke would be lovely."
"So what um, what did you think of my letter."
"Stop fishing for compliments Edward, it doesn't suit you."
He laughed and grabbed my hand, swinging it a little and we walked over to Henry's for a coke and to talk about everything that had happened.
"I need to get inside or I'll be late and so will you! You have to be across campus in like…ten minutes."
Edward grinned and pressed me further into the wall. His lips on my neck his hands in my back pockets.
"Edward I'm serious. This is the first day of classes, we have to make a good impression. Oh God you're so good at that…"
"I just…fuck I want you so bad right now. You look spectacular today."
I rolled my eyes and gripped the back of his neck. Giggling I kissed him back and he wedged a leg between mine. This was getting out of hand. Suddenly a throat cleared and my eyes slammed shut. If that was my professor I was going to just die. No, I would switch classes, I had time still, oh god please don't let it be my professor.
"Tanya." Edward's voice was short, clipped, and slightly pissed.
I turned and looked at her. My eyes wide and my breathing non existent. She looked different and the same. Her hair was darker, almost a honey brown color now and her clothes weren't as revealing but they were just as tight. She looked…weird.
"Um, hi. I just wanted to say hi. See how things were for you guys. They look good."
Edward and I both looked at one another before smiling.
I felt bad. I mean I felt really, really bad. But that didn't stop the big part of me feel kinda pissed that Bella had ruined it for me with Edward. Edward represented the highest point for me. Years of figuring out how the male mind worked, the best ways to slide into their lives. To be fun and sweet, sexy and caring all at the same time. It took time to accumulate a wardrobe that could bring a man to his knees. It took time and patience to make it to the place I was at and that mousy little girl had managed to screw me right out of the Everest I was mere feet from reaching the top to.
Edward looked at me like the smug arrogant bastard I knew he could be. Bella didn't seem to know where to look.
True I was doing my best to tone down my sex appeal. It was hard to do, but I was working it. I wanted to show Edward that I could be sweet too. I could cover up all the important stuff and I could be deep and thoughtful.
Eventually Bella would screw something up. She had admitted to me before how she'd never had a deep relationship with a guy before and how she was worried that she would screw things up with her 'mystery man'. I wanted to snort at that thought. I saw him first. I spent my entire life preparing myself to stand beside a man of Edward's caliber. I knew the importance of his family's position. I could appreciate the money the title. I would be perfect in all social situations. I was perfect for him. It should be me standing there against that wall. It should be me kissing him and laughing.
Bella's voice broke me out of my revere and I smiled tightly at her.
"So how have things been?"
Obviously they had been good for them if they looked like this. I wonder if they started dating as soon as he left my dorm room. I wonder if they were living together now. What happened to them over the summer?
Edward decided to answer my question.
"Things are great actually. I wanted to say thanks to you actually. I've been meaning to get around to it. Without you, I don't think Bella and I would appreciate what we have as much as we do. I mean, I had known that there was something special about her when I met her in biology but honestly, without you there to put things into perspective I doubt we would have made it this far. So thanks Tanya, really."
His smile was half sarcasm and half genuine. I felt the spike of jealousy and resentment dig further into my chest.
"Well, we should get together soon and talk. It would be really fun."
"Actually, while I appreciate what you've done for Bella and I, I'm going to have to decline. In the end you still lied and manipulated the situation. But it was nice seeing you again. You in this class?"
He pointed to the door right beside them and I shook my head still unable to come up with a response to what he said.
"Good, then Bella wont have to drop it."
I blinked a few times at his cheery tone and condescending words made my stomach fall. I had no chance in hell with him. Edward Cullen held grudges. It was apparent in his words and his demeanor.
I licked my lips and looked down at the flat sandals I was wearing. I felt like an idiot. I didn't look like myself and I wasn't acting like myself but that was the rub. I didn't even know who I was anymore.
I said a generic 'goodbye' and walked down the hall to the parking lot. Across the street a yard full of kids were playing. A little dark haired girl sat on a bench watching a bunch of other girls play. The group of girls were wearing cute little skirts and printed shirts, their hair pulled up in pig tails and curls. They sang and danced and occasionally stopped to point and whisper at the girl on the bench.
The dark haired girl clutched at a book and sniffled as she looked down. Her ratty jeans hung a little too loose on her slight frame and her purple shirt was also ill fitting.
"Ring around the Rosie, pockets full of posies ashes, ashes, Amber is stupid!" The tallest girl with red hair called out with an obviously fake and loud cackle. The other girls laughed at this and Amber flew off the bench to run inside.
I slide into my car and pressed my head against the wheel. I wanted to go over there and tell them to be nice to her. To not be so mean and hateful because one day, they were going to get it back to them ten fold.
Starting my car I drove back to the dorms to pick out my outfit for tomorrow. Maybe I'd study a little, who knows. There was nothing sad about a junior still living in the dorms. There was nothing sad about a twenty four year old woman alone in a dorm, picking out an outfit instead of hanging out with friends. Nothing at all.