Disclaimer: Twilight and all its characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. I'm just subjecting them to my mental depravity.
Warning: This story deals with a particular fetish that you might not be comfortable with. If this is the case, feel free to read something else. I won't mind.
In regards to the fetish, I am in no way advocating its practice, or condemning the people who participate. I know there are a lot of misconceptions about these people and I don't mean to offend.
The unease she felt last night returned as she took her assigned seat, but for an entirely different reason. Although she didn't have any friends to worry about questioning her odd behavior, she couldn't help feeling like everyone was watching her, somehow knowing what she had done, and were just waiting for the right moment to spring.
The feeling didn't go away, even as her peers continued to ignore her existence.
When most students are asked the question—what is your favorite class—most of them will more often than not, jokingly answer—lunch. This however, was not the case for Bella Swan. For her, lunch was a time where social outcasts were forced to show themselves by standing awkwardly while searching for somewhere to sit.
Lunch was always a depressing time because it was here that her lack of friends became glaringly obvious. She would walk passed all the chattering tables and smiles, and take a seat at the only table that was ever open. One of the table's legs was broken, resulting in a pronounced tilt that would cause most things to tip and slide.
She held her tray in her lap, unable to stop herself from glancing quickly around at all that she was missing and the feeling of acceptance she wish she had. She took a deep breath and stuck her hand in her bag, relieved when she felt the soft material of her best friend, reassuring her that she would make it through the day.
It almost hurt to do this. To sit and laugh and pretend to be a part of this group, when really, it all just felt wrong. The smiles he flashed at everyone were empty and the things he said were pointless. There were expectations he was meant to meet and the people around him almost seemed to be clinging more than anything else.
They surrounded him, suffocated him, were dazzled by him—no, by the mask he wore. What he wore on those nights—that was the real him. Edward was just the persona he had to play.
And he hated it. Oh God, how he hated it.
When you're assigned a lab partner, it's typically difficult on both parties. Not only are you forced to work with someone who you probably wouldn't have picked, but you also have the worry of your partner flaking and forcing you to earn the grade alone.
However, this was not true of Bella and Edward.
No, Edward was actually too high and mighty to work alongside Bella and continuously did his work alone, leaving Bella to also fend for herself. Now although she could hold her own in Biology, there were some things you couldn't do without your partner, like labs that required more than two hands, or partner-oriented activities, in which he would either make up answers for her side or ask someone nearby to use theirs.
He treated her as if she was invisible and that hurt more than she would care to admit.
Her hand slipped into her bag for the second time of the day, clutching sadly at the small bundle as Edward ignored her once again.
The Volvo pealed out of the parking lot and Edward tried to use speed to quiet the hum of voices that filled his car. His usual group of friends had somehow invited themselves over, as they were prone to do. With Alice's incessant pestering, it had become easier to just comply.
They tossed their backpacks by the door and Edward followed as they descended into the basement, otherwise known as their game room. After playing pool for a couple hours, Edward was at a point where he could take no more.
"Mind giving them a ride home?" Edward asked Alice, who rolled her eyes and nodded. She was used to his need to bail.
"Leavin' already, Man?" Emmett asked.
"Got some shit to do. You know me," he smirked.
"Yeah I do," Emmett laughed.
Edward clenched his fists, restraining the urge to it hit him for being so damn clueless.
While everyone around her rushed out as the bell began to blare out their dismissal, Bella moved much slower. Although she hated every moment she spent on campus, she had acquired a sense of patience that came from being treated poorly by her peers.
Even her teacher seemed not to notice her as she bustled out of the classroom. Bella followed the stampede a few feet behind, rubbing her shoulder where the door had swung into her. Keeping her gaze pointed steadily to the ground and her arms wrapped around her books, she made her way to her truck.
The rain had been pouring steadily for hours and misjudging the depth of a puddle, she had stomped through one of the potholes. She barely managed to stay upright as the little pool soaked through her pant leg and water splashed into her books when they fell from her arms.
"Nice!" Irina snickered as she hopped by, effectively splashing more water onto her now damaged books.
Bella froze as Edward approached and watched him step over her stuff without once glancing her way. Her gaze remained fixed on him until he had slipped into his car with his friends and driven away.
Taking a deep breath, she gathered up her stuff and silently willed herself not to cry.
He pulled into the hotel parking lot, once again realizing how utterly pathetic his life had become.
There wouldn't be another meeting until next month and even as he vehemently denied that he would be attending, the date was stuck in his head, circled several times with bright red ink.
She flinched as the door slammed shut, having intended on merely slipping in to remain unnoticed.
"Bella? Is that you?" Charlie called from the kitchen.
She sighed, resolved to perform the part she always played in this dance.
"Yeah, Dad. It's me," she called back.
Charlie emerged, his inquisitive stare quickly landing on her.
"So how was it?"
"Fine. Mike told this really funny joke," she laughed lightly. "I guess you'd have to be there," she offered apologetically.
"I hope it wasn't anything to inappropriate," he asked with a raised eyebrow.
"What?" he asked defensively. "I've got to make sure my daughter isn't being exposed to anything..." he trailed off for a moment before weakly adding, "inappropriate."
She rolled her eyes before abruptly widening them in excitement.
"Oh! Jessica might be having a sleepover too."
"That sounds like fun."
"Mhm. She just has to make sure it's okay with her mom. She said she'd let us know."
"No boys will be attending, I hope?" He made it sound like a question, but they both knew it was more of an affirmation.
"Dad," she said again, exasperated.
Charlie chuckled lightly before sobering up a bit.
"I'm glad to see you're making friends here," he smiled, evidently proud that she was assimilating well.
"Me too," Bella smiled back.
When she finally made it to her room, she didn't waste a moment in removing her little stuffed lamb. Hugging the somewhat coarse keepsake to her chest, she curled up on her bed and allowed her tears to silently fall.
Another dance, executed flawlessly.
This was a peek into their "normal" lives.
There will be more of Mary in the next chapter.