"This is it. You're ready, and you'll be great" I murmur to my reflection in the mirror, trying to sound convincing. In approximately 2 hours, I will be an NYU graduate.
I do a once over on myself, approving my makeup and hair. I had never considered myself unattractive, but I also wouldn't go comparing myself to Rosalie, my gorgeous roommate. Rosalie Hale and Alice Brandon had been my saviors these past few years. Well, Alice mostly. Rose had gotten engaged freshman year to a goofball hockey player named Emmett Cullen, who I'd met a few times, so she hardly ever spent any time in the apartment. My self-inspection came to a halt when I went to smooth my shirt and realized what I was wearing.
"Alice, I really don't think this outfit is appropriate for graduation," I complained from the bathroom, pulling down the Juicy crop top she dressed me in. Alice Brandon didn't have limits when it came to fashion; in her eyes, anything goes. I silently thanked whoever started the graduation ritual of the robe that would be covering this outfit.
"Bella, don't you even start! We have to leave in 10 minutes", she yelled from the living room, effectively ending the argument before it started. I sighed, grabbed my bag and joined the girls for some champagne before we left for the ceremony.
The three of us stepped outside into the hot New York summer day. Alice decided she would drive, the pixie speeder that she is. I was slightly in a haze as we made our way to campus, allowing my mind to wander, and barely feeling my hair whip around with the top down in Alice's convertible.
I thought about the only thing that could possibly go wrong today. That would be ending up face to face with an epic asshole taking the form of my ex-boyfriend Jacob. Jacob is the first guy I've ever loved. The only thing bugging me was that he still held a place in my heart. Jacob is also the guy who broke my heart when I found him in his dorm room screwing some random sophomore. But I like to think he taught me something. I promised myself from that day forward that I would never let any guy screw me over again, and I'd be damned before I'd fall for another sweet talking man who tried to play me like a fiddle.
"Just wait until you meet Emmett's older brother, Bella!" Rose yelled enthusiastically, pulling me out of my daze.
"Who…?" I started to ask.
Then Rose took off like a bat out of hell when she spotted Emmett…who was next to a beautiful man I assumed to be his brother. Suddenly, it didn't matter if this man was a sweet talking fiddler, I had to meet him.
As Alice and I approached Rose, Emmett and the chiseled god, I really got a good look at him. He was tall and lean, with disheveled bronze hair and piercing green eyes. He was fiddling around with his iPhone, and for some reason his jaw was set and his nostrils were flared as if he were very angry. I felt my brow furrow…jeez, what is his deal?
Rosalie was peering around Emmett's back to gawk at him. Looked over at me, she simultaneously rolled her eyes and waved her hand to her face fanning herself, and mouthing "he's so hot, right?". I rolled my eyes at her and glanced up at him. His green eyes shot to mine catching me off guard, and I quickly diverted my eyes to Emmett, whose eyes were glancing from his brother to me with an excited gleam and a huge grin slapped across his face.
"Congratulations, kid!" Emmett said, as he lifted me up for a bear hug, swinging me around. "Rose tells me you sealed the deal with that up and coming PR firm, that's fuckin' sweet!"
"Thanks, Emmett. Yeah, I start first thing next week" I said mildly as he put me down.
To that news, I heard Emmett's brother give a "pfft".
"Oh hey Eddie, you've never met Bella! She's Rose and Alice's roomie" Emmett nudged Edward, winking and nodding in my direction. I felt a blush creeping up into my cheeks.
"Is that right? Nice to meet you, Ella" he said, glancing at me, using the most disinterested tone I've ever heard, and extending his non-iPhone-holding hand out, grasping my hand with a death grip.
"It's Bella." I snapped. "Nice to meet you as well, Eddie", I sneered, disengaging my hand from his and yanking it back, having to gently rub it to get the feeling back in it.
"It's Edward." He snapped right back, glaring at me. He then went back to his iPhone business.
Okay, not someone I want to mess with.
"Uh, we should go inside, they're starting soon. You girls have fun. See you later baby", Emmett said and kissed Rose goodbye.
I watched Emmett and Edward as they strolled towards the auditorium.
Edward didn't give me the time of day. How hard is it to get the name Bella right? Why is he so beautiful, and why do I still want to know him? I shook my head in attempt to clear my mind of him, and tried to give Alice a convincing smile.
Rose, Alice, and I walked into the auditorium and took our seats. I noted my dad, Charlie, had taken a seat near the back, as usual, a far away as people as possible, He looked on the edge of tears.
Honorable mentions were made and the next thing I knew, Edward was walking towards the podium. I sat up, curious as to why he would be speaking here.
He sighed and began, "Hello graduates, my name is Edward Cullen, founder of the Cullen Library here at New York University. As an NYU Alumni, I would like to pay my respects for the education I received here, which was a stepping-stone in getting me to the extremely prestigious position that I am in today." He sighed again, and continued in a dead voice. "I would like to encourage you graduates to chase your dreams, and attempt to attain the amount of success that I have. Thank you."
Okay, that has to be the worst encouraging speech in history.
"What an asshole!" Alice whispered loudly as the audience applauded politely.
"Yeah, but he's hot", Rosalie shrugged, stating the obvious.
All the graduates threw our caps in the air and Rose, Alice and I hugged each other while mascara stained tears ran down our cheeks. A turning point in our lives was here.
After the ceremony Rosalie kissed Emmett goodbye, and he gave Alice and I a goodbye hug. Rose and Emmett had gotten a lovely house on Long Island and she would be moving in with him tomorrow morning. Before we left, I scanned the campus one last time in search of bronze hair. I never found him.
As we drove to a bar uptown to celebrate our success in rounds of drinks, I couldn't help but reflect on the day. I had finished all of my schooling. I had graduated. And yet, that's not where my mind decided to wander. My thoughts were fixed on Edward Cullen. He was an asshole, and I wasn't surprised. However, I was both hopefully anticipating seeing him again, and dreading it at the same time. Who was I kidding; I didn't want that today to be the last time I was face to face with Edward.