Disclaimer: The Twilight Saga and its characters are copyright to Stephenie Meyer. No copyright infringement intended. This disclaimer applies to the entire story.
A/N: This story is written in the form of a diary in first person, so while her perception of the world will be—as it always is—tilted, her vision of herself isn't. When she says she doesn't look appealing, it's not merely a misunderstood concept of aesthetics. The rough style (lack of synonyms, uncontrolled embolalia and such) is deliberate. I hope you enjoy! (Because this is probably the biggest piece of shoe I've published.)
"'The ekpyrotic process begins far in the indefinite past with a pair of flat empty branes sitting parallel to each other in a warped five-dimensional space... The two branes, which form the walls of the fifth dimension, could have popped out of nothingness as a quantum fluctuation in the even more distant past and then drifted apart.' No arguing with that. No understanding it either." — Bill Bryson, A Short History of Nearly Everything, page 167
Friday, the 12th of November
8:34 PM. Sitting on my windowsill with an apple juice and a pile of books, with the pen giving me company and The Rolling Stones in the background.
Do people actually start their diaries with a 'dear diary'? What a bunch of bullshit. I'll start this with a more likely situation.
Dear Emmett, who I know will find (and read) this old notebook in one way or the other, please know that I really don't give a crap about what you think. Yes, my thoughts are fascinating and I whine occasionally, but it's my diary. But if you ever—ever—read this publicly, I will never forgive you. Not ever. I'd say that I'll kill you, but I'll cut down on the melodrama.
Thank you, Emmett. You won't find anything interesting in it anyway, so go back to playing with your, well, you know what I mean. I know you so well.
Okay, now that I'm alone (me and my notebook? my God, that's sad), I'll start my third attempt at writing a diary. Yes, I'm that pathetic. I usually give up at around the twentieth page, so that's when you (yes, Emmett, I mean you) should grow worried if I don't write another entry. I'm usually pretty consistent with stuff, but a diary? I don't know what it is about it that doesn't let me finish. Will I burn it later? Probably. So why am I writing it? Probably because I feel a little lonely. I don't even care that I sound pathetic, I don't mind. It's not like anyone's going to read this anyway.
Other than you, my dear brother, and you probably don't have enough brain-function to realize what this is, so I'm not too worried.
I could've been a little more contemporary and written this in the internet, but there's something cool about writing an actual diary. (If only I had a life worthy of keeping track of, that would be even cooler.) So, how do I start? My name is on the cover, so repeating that is pointless (and Emmett, you ought to have learned my middle name by now). I'm seventeen, I'm averagely average on every scale you'll find and, well, I'm not easy on the eyes. And no, I'm not being humble. I'm not one of those knock-outs whining about a bad hair day, I swear. There are far worse things in life than uncombed hair.
But it's not like I have a missing limb or two heads or anything. (How unfortunate, because that's what it feels like most days.) I have long hair, which would be much cooler if it were thick or shiny or both. It is neither. It's just there. Kind of like a chicken with an ugly face attached to it.
Now that's a comparison you won't let me forget, Emmett. (Stop reading this, you already know where this is going, and PlayStation or Seattle Seahawks won't be included in my fascinating diary. Starting from now.)
I always keep my light brownish hair in a braid at school, I'm not even sure why. Maybe because I want to feel less of a chicken. I have a nose with a bump (see? I told you I'm not one of those knock-outs whining about bad breath), my eyes are small, eyebrows are undefined (and close to my eyes) and I have a huge forehead. I actually have a fringe to cover it up, the kind that was in fashion for a while, but now it just makes me feel weird.
Not that there would be a day when I'd feel normal.
I'm not overweight or anything, but my body is kind of shapeless. I don't have a defined waist, I don't have defined hips, I don't have defined calves or anything. I feel like an abnormally tall twelve-year old. My mother (yes, still living in Arizona and yes, still together with Phil) keeps telling me that I'll grow out of it, but I'm starting to doubt that. Seventeen years old and still without any shape that would make me look like a female?
Maybe I have Klinefelter's. (No, Emmett, that is not a new name for Wendy's.)
I know, realistically, I'm not the ugliest girl around, and it's not like everyone would tease me about it (not anymore, anyway), but it still doesn't feel like I belong. I don't. I don't hate the girls with fortunate looks merely because they have something to show, I don't think every popular girl is either evil, dumb or both, and I'm not one of those people who never socialize. I have a few close friends, I speak to all the students in my class if necessary and I try not to be bothered by the fact that I'm sadly underdeveloped.
I can now make fun of it, though, and that helps a lot. I laugh when people compare me to a horse or a donkey or any other animal there is, and I really am not bothered that they see me for who I am. And again, no, this doesn't interpret to: "You really don't see yourself very clearly." I wash our bathroom mirror often enough, and trust me, it shows me pretty clearly. I don't mind anymore if people see how unfortunate my combination of genes is, because it's the truth. My father is one of the only people to keep repeating to me that I look nice (notice the adjective, it's not 'beautiful' or 'adorable' or 'pretty', it's nice). People lie.
Alright, I'll forget the self-pity for a moment and try to see something positive about myself. I think I have nice straight and strong teeth, as far as body parts go. But when I laugh, I guffaw, which surely isn't pleasant neither on the eyes or ears. (Straight and strong teeth? Guffaw? I'm a horse.) I'm average at most subjects, I get decent grades and sometimes help others with Mathematics.
It's funny, though, because I get Maths better than Emmett does and he's a year ahead of me, so I have a Math class with my brother. I don't know where Emmett was when God gave away brain cells, but he sure as hell wasn't in the right place. He sometimes convinces me to do his homework (while he's at a party and I'm at home... because I have an awfully interesting life) but I try to get something back for it, not because I'd need anything from him, but because our mother is back in Arizona and he needs to realize that do be in the receiving end of nice gestures you'd have to offer something back. Wow, now that I'm reading this, it feels like I'm trying to replace our mom.
That isn't my intention, I think. Although Emmett is a year older than I am, he still behaves like a three year old. It isn't anything new. Men are just boys in a bigger body with a bigger... er, you get what I mean. I have a knack for directing the conversation (with myself? how sad) in the most awkward direction. I don't mean to do it, it just sorta happens. Oh, well.
You might've noticed. (Yes, Emmett, I'm still talking to you. I can see you, you know. Please stop hovering behind my back, it's annoying. And stop laughing, the 'big' comment was about your feet. Geez.)
I'm glad I have a brother who respects my privacy by barging into my room and demanding a duck tape. (He didn't actually see what I was writing, thank God. Not yet, anyway.)
(Which makes me wonder, what was he really laughing about? I need to get to the bottom of this.)
The one thing that I am really good at, and I mean really, really good at, is Drama. I love it. I don't care that I don't have the looks to enter the real world of drama and acting, I don't even care that I never get the princess part. I can play the prince. As a frog. Really, I don't mind. If I ever made it to the film world — a pause for laughter, hahahaha — I think I'd make a great villain. The good aspect is that I'd love-love-love to play a villain, the bad one that, well, female villains are usually expected to be sexy. You might have noticed somewhere between my whining that I am as sexy as a pile of rotten tomatoes.
Now that I think about this, why is this? Do men want to see a bad girl with tight black leather and kitten eyes — a Catwoman? Probably. Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction (though she was more crazy than sexy. Not that much of a comfort, but still), O-Ren-Ishii in Kill Bill vol 1, Annie Wilkes in Misery... ohh! Cathy Bates won an Oscar for that role, and she isn't a classical beauty, if I do say so myself. I feel a little better. But only a little.
Yes, I am obsessive about films and film-making. (I clearly chose the right place to work.)
I haven't told anyone this yet, but I want to try and get into SUNY, Purchase College in Purchase, New York. Don't laugh. That wasn't nice. I'm fully aware of the pathetic attempt to get into that college (it's so far), but I've almost gathered enough money to fly there. (Emmett never understands why I don't have money when I work in a cinema, but I put it aside. If he's going to drink someone's money, it won't be mine.)
Okay, back to the subject. I've been in a Drama class in our school since first grade and it's not even funny how much I want to get into that college. I have time, because I have to finish my junior year, ace my exams and survive the senior year. Meanwhile, I can do further research on how to get into SUNY. I'm one of the organizational people in our Drama class and I've been to more plays than anyone else in our school (even without counting the ones where I played the Trojan Horse or an ugly-faced Christmas tree), so I have a fairly good idea how the acting stuff works.
I love acting. I convinced my friend Angela—she's a lovely and quiet girl—to go with me last year, but even I had to admit that acting wasn't for her. She's good at that Literature stuff.
Ohh, someone's at the door and Emmett seems to be in the garage. I'll be right back.
Monday, the 15th of November
7:17. Lying on my bed, waving my feet in the air to the sound of Jason Mraz and finally having something exciting to write about.
So much has happened, I don't know where to begin! No, that is a lie. But Friday night was interesting, to say the least.
Jasper—Emmett's best friend—is at the door, looking for my brother (obviously). But he isn't alone, there's some quiet dude with him. Jasper introduces us. Apparently, Edward (what a name! I feel like reading Jane Eyre or something similarly sappy) is his cousin. By the time we both realize we've met before, we've already played two sets of carrom in our garage. (Carrom/corona is an awesome game a little similar to billiard, except the table is square and instead of balls you're dealing with discs, like in a hokey game.)
Anyway, I didn't realize I'd met him before because, well, the Edward from my childhood was so very gaunt. He used to have this look on his face that was somewhere between perpetual terror and childish impatience, kind of like he couldn't decide if he's allowed to have fun. He was the quietest creature on planet Earth (I'm not sure if he ever even uttered a word around us), and yet, he managed to be annoying as hell. He followed us everywhere. Hey, I was a kid, what did I know?
Emmett and I spent quite a lot of time in Jasper's parents' cottage house near Forks.
The Edward I met on Friday was clearly not similar to the one I'd known back in Cutlery 101. He's taller than Emmett (which isn't much of a feat because Emmett is only an inch taller than me). It's strange to see them do the 'pat on the back nice to meet you dude' because Edward must be at least six foot four (five? six? I'm not sure. I didn't run for a measuring tape the moment I saw him). He's grown out of his scrawniness (you hear that, body? Some people grow up and blossom, and what do you do? Procrastinate). I didn't pay much attention to his appearance on Friday, we were just having fun playing carrom. I shared about ten words with Edward ('thank you' and 'your turn,' mostly) and didn't notice him up until today.
And what a Monday it is. I'm (pleasantly) surprised to see Edward in my school (neither Jasper nor Edward even mentioned the fact that Edward was about to move here!) and I casually say 'hi' to him (because that's what people do, and no, I do not have an ulterior motive behind it). He smiles and greets me back, again, because that's what people do. But my God, the giggling, the blushing, the following, the curious stares and hesitant hellos that follow him the whole day. I wouldn't have noticed or minded otherwise, but he's a junior and shares quite a few classes with me.
The girls annoy the hell out of me.
That's why, before our third period (Biology), I am wary of him sitting next to me. I've been sitting alone in that class because, firstly, Angela isn't there, and secondly, I don't mind sitting alone. All the space for myself, why would I mind? I pay enough attention to Mr. Banner (he's a little crazy, but that's another story) to know what he's talking about, so I don't really need help.
Edward approaches me hesitantly and that surprises me because we (kind of) know each other. He scratches his curly hair (yes, really, talking about combing, I don't think he's been introduced to a comb, no offense intended) and smiles, again—a little hesitantly.
"Is this seat taken?"
"No, it's Bill's. He's six foot seven and has boxing listed as one of his many sporty extracurricular activities. You don't wanna mess with him."
"Oh." He waves in a 'it doesn't matter, that's fine' kinda way and turns away from me. I'm taken aback by his enthusiasm to sit next to me, so I stand and grab his sleeve.
"Don't you wanna know who Bill is?"
He frowns. A few girls are paying attention to our conversation, but I don't really care. "A kick-ass boxer?"
"Yes. But other than that."
I hold on to his shoulder to keep myself from falling because of my guffaw-laughter fit. I might receive a few curious looks (glares) from his new fans, but Edward and I are friends. Aren't we? Well, at least we aren't strangers.
"It's obvious you're new," I explain, trying to catch my breath. Edward patiently waits for a more elaborate answer. "Bill is my imaginary friend. He lives in the fifth dimension."
Edward scratches his uncombed hair but smiles. "Oh."
"So if you're nice, he might let you sit beside me in this lesson." I try to remain serious as I caution, "Best behavior."
Edward tilts his head on the side and stares at me for a moment. I stare back.
"You are... something else."
"I wouldn't wanna be something, now would I? Else is much better. I'm a nutcase, so you might wanna return to normalcy before you ruin your new-found fame."
"Is that a promise or a threat?"
Edward immediately—and exaggeratedly—slumps down beside my seat. "Thank God. Please be on your worst behavior."
More than a few eyes land on us when our classmates enter, but the lesson starts pretty soon. The assignment for today requires for us to work together, so we get away with speaking. Edward leans on our half-made poster about the diminishing ozone layer when I lean closer and ask, "From your behavior earlier, I take it that you don't like your new-found fame? Or is it old? Do girls always swoon and faint at the sight of you? If so, I'm sorry to disappoint you."
It isn't that I don't like Edward, because I do. He's a likable guy like that. (Too many likes, I might need to find a synonym dictionary.) But my problem is that when I get annoyed, I take it out on the wrong way. I throw sarcasm at my insecurities and expect everything to heal itself. I usually fail, but I don't want to lose a potential friend because of my passive attack. Or is it aggressive? Geez, I think too much.
Surprised, Edward locks eyes with me and I finally realize what all the fuss is about. His green eyes are "a sight to behold." (But no, I do not blush after having thought that. I blush in awkward situations, like if I had walked in on people having sex or something. I would blush if there were a chance, but lying to myself isn't one of my admirable qualities.)
Therefore, no blushing from me.
"Uh," he stutters. "Um, no. It was never like that in Chicago. I dunno what's their problem."
"I do. It's the eyes." I point at mine before pointing at his. "Definitely the eyes."
"They're—" I shut up before saying something equally dumb and embarrassing, "—green."
"So?" he asks. "What does that have to do with anything?"
"It's, well, rare." I swallow. "Maybe they've never seen that before."
"That's life. Anyway, if you have that many admirers, why did you sit next to the one who had the audacity not to fall on her knees in front of you?"
"Exactly." He points at me with his ballpoint pen before adding something to the poster. "Exactly. I needed a friend."
"I'm your friend?"
He avoids my eyes. "I mean, uh. It's just..."
I chuckle, leaning closer and pretending secrecy as I whisper, "Don't worry, I won't tell anyone."
He leans away. I think I have a small seizure when I realize what he might think. I cringe. The thing with being unappealing (and knowing it!) is that I forget that people can easily take my bold actions the wrong way. And my actions are straight-forward only because I am fully aware of how ugly I look. I just don't stand a chance. But I probably need to let Edward know that. No hay problema.
"Good." He smiles. "I was so afraid to be seen around you."
"That wouldn't make you any different from anyone else, really," I joke, smiling. "No biggie."
He huffs and smiles, probably not quite sure if I'm joking or not. Unfortunately, Biology ends soon and we go our different ways for the rest of the day.
Until Drama rolls around.
There aren't that many people in our Drama class. It has changed a lot over the years, sometimes reaching as many as forty four people, sometimes as little as nine, but this year, we have twenty people, most of whom were here last year as well. The thing about our Drama class is that it includes students from all grades, starting from Grant Elementary School (some from East Side) and ending with North Cedar High School. The older students sometimes belittle and tease the younger ones (yes, I am speaking from experience), but we mostly have a nice environment. We laugh and joke and fool around and improvise with the assignment we've been given.
We're currently working on Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats (you know, the musical written after T. S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats? Exactly, a musical. You might as well cover your ears before Christmas.) The Arts people are already trying to create the best junkyard (with little point, I might add, since a junkyard shouldn't be the most difficult task in the world. Just throw a few garbage bins upside down and—tada! I am a genius. Then again, it would smell pretty horrible. Oh, well.)
Anyway, as we're reading through the plot (we only have an hour to perform it) and adding jokes to the flat tone of the dialogue, there's a knock on the door. I, being the organizational part of our group and a bit of a leader of sorts, (not to mention, being me), yell, "It's open!"
Edward's curly and uncombed hair peeks in. "Is this, um, room—" He checks something from paper. "Nine oh one?"
A few chuckles make Edward purse his lips. I smile, trying not to laugh. "The first number signifies the number of the floor. We don't have nine floors."
Edward fumbles, frowns at his paper and turns it upside down. "One oh six?"
He shuts the door.
"Sorry about the lack of number plates on our doors. Our Student Body President has been trying to fix this problem for a while. Adam used graffiti to make vice principal realize we need numbers, but he got detention for two months and we got smelly corridors." A few people laugh. "Are you gonna join us? The teacher's in some sort of a conference, so I'm your boss today."
He looks around to see people snicker and tease me. Edward frowns. He doesn't move.
"Grab a chair, Edward." I point at the chairs next to the windows before I realize I haven't introduced him to the others. "Oh, people, that's Edward. He's from—" I turn to Edward. "You're from Chicago, correct?"
"—Chicago. He's made peace with my imaginary friend and he likes to, well, I'm not sure, but we'll find out."
A/N: Please comment and hate and nitpick and ramble and ask questions. I love it all. I'll reply and love you.