Hit By Destiny
Outtake: "High School Reunion"
Isabella Swan POV
Edward glared at me, but I continued folding laundry with a soft smile gracing my lips, pretending to be clueless to his current frustration. As if ironing a shirt was that hard.
The babies were sound asleep in their beds and we could hear them through the baby monitor that was currently resting on top of the dryer. Anthony made the cutest sounds in his sleep. Edward once told me he never thought he'd meet anyone that he would love more than me – but then these babies were born. He didn't need to say out loud that he would sacrifice everything for them, because that was evident in his eyes. He would sacrifice me if that meant keeping the babies from harm. I loved him even more for that.
When we were done in the laundry room, we stepped outside for a moment, enjoying the fresh forest air. It was only May, Summer hadn't quite reached Forks yet.
"I never thought I'd miss Forks," I said, leaning back against Edward's chest. "But I miss these woods. I miss the smell of rain and trees. I miss the wilderness and the chance of seeing wild animals by simply looking out the window. It's kind of exotic, don't you agree?"
He snorted, shaking his head.
"There's nothing exotic about Forks, Sparrow, but I get your point. Do you want to move back?" he asked. I shook my head.
"No, I like Seattle."
"Good, because I'd die if I had to spend my eternity here. There's nothing to do. Even a two week vacation is pushing it."
I snickered, and he wrapped his arms tighter around me.
"I can't believe it's been ten years already," I said. "Ten years since high school. Unbelievable."
"Believe it," he said, kissing my head. "We made it out alive."
"I'm glad your parents decided not to go for a pool," I said randomly as I gazed out over the back yard. "It would've completely ruined the view." He laughed, kissing my head again.
We were spending two weeks in Forks and we were staying at Edward's parents house – in Edward's old room. This way we could get some time off the busy city as well as letting our babies meet their only grandparents. Since Carlisle and Esme barely had time to visit us in Seattle, which was why we decided to stay a while.
Also – the high school reunion that Edward and I had both been notified about just happened to take place during this time. Jessica Stanley (or did she ever become Mrs. Newton?) had orchestrated the whole thing. Since I no longer held a grudge against my high school experience, realizing I probably made it harder than it had to be during my years there, I thought it'd be fun to go. Edward, on the other hand, was as skeptical as they come. He saw no reason why we would ever go back to celebrate our high school years.
Edward's parents were going to watch the twins for the first time alone; I had faith they'd do great.
We stepped back inside, walking over to sit down in the living room. The fact that the babies were quiet for more than thirty minutes at a time for once was a miracle. Maybe it was the fresh forest air that did them in. Our babies were amazing, make no mistake, but god damn it if they didn't scream bloody murder as soon as we left the room – even though they were asleep. It was as if they had some built-in sensor for whenever their parents in their immediate vicinity. It was nothing short of ridiculous, and it had been the cause of many tears on my part. As if I wasn't sleep deprived already, it didn't help when they kept screaming and refused to calm down. The only one who would ever calm them down was Emmett – which was odd all in itself. Most babies cried in his presence; believe me, I had experienced it first hand when eating out with him. But not Anthony or Skye. They both relaxed the moment they heard Emmett's voice – which was one of the reasons Edward had recorded a lullaby for the twins, where he had forced Emmett to sing along with it. His singing voice was awful to say the least, but it was the only thing making the babies fall asleep – and stay asleep.
"Do you think Em and Rose will be there?" I asked. Edward shrugged. Neither of us had spoken to Emmett in forever; he and the missus had been travelling around the world for the past couple of months, so it was difficult getting a hold on them since their cell phones weren't always working. We had to rely on good old social media, where they uploaded pictures of their adventures whenever they got the chance. Envy was Edward's middle name, because I knew that if it weren't for the kids, he'd love to travel the world too. I always told him that we would eventually, as soon as the kids were a little older.
"I doubt it," he said eventually. "Last thing I heard, they were in Greece or something, or was it Egypt? Anyway, I doubt they'll come back for a simple reunion. How fucking ridiculous is that anyway?" I knew what he was referring to – the fact that there were three reunions taking place at the same time, the year before us, our year and the year after us. Probably because not enough people wanted to participate, and because it'd be too expensive to have three separate parties.
"I miss them," I said, sighing. "I hope Jasper and Alice will be there. I wonder how many we'll be."
"I bet plenty of bitches will be there," he muttered.
"Because the ones that come want to show off how good time has treated them, and how good they're doing. Successful bitches and all that shit, and they want people to know it," he said, rolling his eyes. I laughed.
"Well, considering this is Forks, what are the odds that more than maybe two per class has been successful in the last ten years?"
"Touché, Sparrow, touché."
He touched my cheek softly and I leaned into his touch, smiling in contentment. I loved him so much my heart ached. Every now and again, I felt afraid I'd lose this feeling, that I'd stop loving him for one reason or another. Then there were times like this, when I couldn't be more sure of my love for him. He was my life, forever and always.
"We should get another kid," he said.
"It's only been six months since I pushed not one, but two babies out of my vagina. I think I'm gonna pass on pushing out another one any time soon," I replied, shaking my head to show that he was crazy. He laughed.
"But your pussy is still all stretched out and ready for a baby right now. Let's do it before it snaps back," he argued.
I slapped his chest.
"Hey! My pussy is not all stretched out," I muttered in offence.
He laughed and pressed his lips to my hair.
"I'd love to have a bunch of kids with you," he murmured, his lips still by my hair. "I'd have you constantly pregnant if I could. You've never been more beautiful than when you had our babies in your belly. You glow like no other. Being a mother suits you very well."
I blushed, guessing I'll never get used to his declarations of love.
"I envy our babies for having the best mom ever," he added. I rolled my eyes, turning my head up to meet his lips.
"I think your pussy is all stretched out," I joked. "I wonder if they'll have a prize for that at the reunion." I scratched absentmindedly at my leg, and I noticed him looking and smiling crookedly.
"Then your leg should win the prize for shittiest thing ever," he said.
I looked away from him, knowing it to be true. Lately, my leg had started to bother me again, especially when it was cold out. The pregnancy had probably put that extra pressure on my leg that the doctors had told me to avoid, and now I was paying the price for it. I guess Carlisle had been right all along when he told us ten years ago that I'd never be able to run again – I could barely even jog right now.
"Hey," I said, nudging Edward as I saw in his eyes that he was obsessing again. "Don't do that."
"That. Being all Emoward. Stop." I sighed deeply. "It could be a lot worse, I could have ended up in a wheelchair. At least I can still walk."
"Yeah, but for how long?"
"Shush you, stop that negative attitude. We both know it won't get you anywhere."
Just to make a point, I stood up from the couch and walked confidently toward the stairs. I hoped he didn't notice how much focus it required.
I put the finishing touches on my hair, before applying some lipgloss top my lips. I turned to Edward for an inspection.
"I'm gorgeous, aren't I?" I teased. He nodded.
"You are, as always. Are you excited?"
"I am. Weird, isn't it?"
He nodded. "But it's okay. You just have to accept that I won't share your excitement. I'm only going because you want to go, okay?"
I nodded and grabbed my purse. I was dressed in a nice pair of dress pants, that were boot cut, and a tight and trendy blue blouse. Alice had designed it. I knew Edward loved it because it gave me an awesome cleavage. My sparrow necklace was secure around my neck; I never took it off.
We went downstairs, where we found Esme and Carlisle with the kids.
"I'm so glad you guys got two of these," Esme said, kissing Anthony's cheek. "Now we won't have to fight whose time it is to cuddle with our grandchild."
We all laughed and I stepped over to say goodbye to the kids. I murmured declarations of love, and was treated with my babies' most beautiful smiles. I was going to miss them, even if we were only going to be gone for a few hours.
Carlisle and Esme assured they'd call if something happened, and they would text out throughout the night to update us. They knew how much we needed a night off, but they also knew how difficult it would be. It took us almost half an hour to say goodbye, eventually they had to push us out the door.
I drove us to Forks high, because I wouldn't be drinking.
When we got there, I nodded in appreciation at the decorations. There were lights and banners decorating the main entrance, welcoming us all back. It was going to be interesting to see what the school looked like nowadays. How much had changed in ten years? I hadn't seen much of the school the last time we were here – that time we snuck into the music room to get laid.
We walked up the steps to the entrance, recognizing a lot of people on the way. A few people were standing outside, smoking and laughing, catching up on old memories. They nodded in greeting as we passed them, almost in respect.
Making our way through the hallway, toward the new cafeteria, brought back a few memories even though the place looked nothing like old times. There had been quite a lot of changes made in the past few years. The lockers had been replaced, and the wall re-painted. It looked new.
The party was taking place in the new cafeteria – which, according to rumor, was almost twice as big as the last one. There were more than twice as many students going here than when we were kids, so the changes had been necessary.
The rumors hadn't been wrong.
We entered the cafeteria, taking it all in. There was a small stage at the other side of the room, another banner was hanging over it. The room was sparsely decorated, but there were table cloths on the tables, and flower arrangements. Jessica and her team had done what they could with what they had. It looked nice.
We walked through the room, toward the floor-to-roof windows that covered two out of the four walls. It brought in a lot of light, and it made the room appear even larger. Outside, we got a perfect view of the new gymnasium as well as the forest and a small park.
"I'm impressed," Edward admitted.
"Enough to move back?"
He snorted. "Not even close."
I looked over my shoulder, only now noticing the people here. The ones from our year, glanced at us but looked away when they caught me looking at them. It was as if they were afraid of us, they didn't dare to come forward and say hello.
At that moment, a pair of very familiar faces showed up.
"Alice!" I called out. Alice and Jasper spotted us. Alice ran over to us and wrapped me into a hug.
"God, I've missed you guys," Alice said, letting me go. "Why do you never visit us in New York?"
"Because we have two little ones to take care of," Edward replied, hugging her.
I gave Jasper a long hug; I had missed him even more.
"How are the little ones?" Alice asked. "I have presents for them in the car. You'll love them!"
She gestured wildly with her hands and something sparkled on her finger. A smile grew on my lips and I looked at Jasper, he met my gaze. I gave him a look, which he was able to read immediately. I smiled even wider as he nodded at my unasked question.
I hugged him again, this time with a little more force.
"Congratulations! I'm so happy for you!" I said, letting go of Jasper so I could hug Alice instead.
"What the fuck is going on?" Edward asked, sounding confused.
"They're engaged!" I said, grabbing Alice's hand to show Edward. "Look! Finally!"
"It took three tries, but eventually she said yes," Jasper said, sounding not the least bit bitter about being turned down two times. "I guess being persistent pays off."
More congratulations and hugs were exchanged, and Alice had never looked happier. She told us all about the proposal, telling us she had wanted to tell us sooner, but she thought this would be funnier. As she spoke, I got the feeling someone was watching, and every time I turned my head, there was someone there, turning their head away at the same second. People were really watching us – but still, nobody had dared to approach us.
"One, two, one, two, is this thing on?" A voice echoed through the room through the speakers, and we all turned to look toward the stage, where the woman of the hour was standing. Jessica. "Great," she said. "Now, if everybody could just find their seats, that'd be great. We don't have assigned seats, but it would be nice if you tried shake things up a bit. Find an old friend."
People started moving around quickly and I looked at Alice.
"Are you an old friend?" I asked, she nodded and hooked my arm.
"Then I guess you're mine," Jasper said to Edward. They both chuckled.
We found an empty table and sat down. All tables were round with room for six. People milled around for a moment, until most had settled down.
"In a few minutes, our awesome staff will bring out the food for everyone. A three course meal, of course, and while we're eating you're more than welcome to come up here on stage to make a speech. We encourage people to tell us what they've been up to. At the end of the night, we'll also have a prize ceremony. Outside, in the hallway, there are a couple of voting booths, where you can leave your votes in the different categories. The polls will close at nine and we'll count the votes and present the winners at ten. I hope you guys have a magical night." Jessica was awarded with an echoing round of applause and she curtsied, before leaving the stage and taking a seat by one of the tables closest to the stage.
"Wow," a voice boomed. "Have you guys missed us so much that you applaud us for showing up? You shouldn't have…"
We all turned our heads toward the entrance, and the people at my table all burst into wide smiles. Emmett and Rosalie showed up after all!
"So where's my lil'bro and the momma of my nephew and niece?" he continued, his voice loud. He scanned the room, unable to spot us – or maybe he was just pretending. "And where is that awesome photographer and his awesome fashion designer of a girlfriend?" I looked at Edward and rolled my eyes. Now, Emmett was just being ridiculous. Was he trying to be funny?
Jasper pushed his chair back, standing up. "His fiancée," he corrected loudly.
"Hey dude!" Emmett called back. "Remember your sister, the very successful entrepreneur?" He slapped his arm around Rosalie's shoulders, pulling her to his side. Rosalie slapped his chest, not looking even slightly amused by him. They finally made their way toward our table, and we all hugged. I guess hugging was our thing tonight.
They sat down, and the gang was finally back together.
The food was brought in, and our table was busy with talking. We kept interrupting each other, and talking while someone else was in the middle of telling a story. We laughed. A lot. I got the feeling that we were the happiest table in this place. We laughed louder than anyone else and we had a lot to catch up on.
While people were finishing the main course, Alice pushed her chair back.
"I need to go to the bathroom," Alice said. "Join me, ladies."
We kissed our men goodbye, making our way through the cafeteria. I felt like royalty, walking with the two most beautiful girls in the room, having people follow us with their eyes. In the hall, a group of people were milling by the voting booths. I wondered what kind of categories we'd be voting for.
We disappeared into the girls' bathroom, noting that it had gotten quite a makeover as well, with new booths and sinks. Alice disappeared into a booth, while Rose and I stood by the big mirrors, checking our reflections. Rosalie fluffed her hair and re-applied her lipgloss.
One of the booths opened, and a woman that I remembered being in the class below us came out. She washed her hands in the sink next to me, she met my gaze through the mirror.
"Finally, a goose becomes a swan, am I right?" she said, laughing lightly with a voice soft as if she was simply making an innocent joke. She smiled, as if what she just said was absolutely okay, as if we had been friends. I didn't even know her name, I only recognized her as someone who used to mutter Goose in the hallway just like everybody else.
"Excuse me?" I said, seeing Rosalie glare at her as well. The woman's smile faltered.
"What? I was just joking," she said. "I just meant you look good. Like really good."
"So you tell me that by calling me a goose?" I turned my body to her, staring her down.
"I didn't! I called you a swan!" she argued.
"But you did it as a backhanded compliment, referring to me as once being a goose, which I wasn't. I never was a goose. I was a swan, and soon, I'll be a Cullen."
She pursed her lips, looking irritated. "Way to be overdramatic. Take a damn compliment, would ya?" she said, drying her hands on a paper towel before leaving the bathroom with her head held high. As if she had won this argument. As if, indeed.
"What a bitch," Rosalie muttered.
"Memories brings back the worst in people," I said. "Maybe some people are retreating into their old selves."
"Only if they're not happy with who they are tonight. Which you are," Rosalie said.
"I guess you're right," I said. "Have you seen Tanya or Lauren yet?"
Rosalie laughed, but shook her head. "No, I haven't. I bet neither of them dared to appear. Last thing I heard, Tanya was dumped by her fiancée. I think she lives in Portland now, being a single mother."
"Maybe that'll be a wake-up call for her," I said. "It's never too late to change, maybe she'll realize that too."
Rosalie snorted. "Tanya? Changing? Not likely."
"One can hope."
Rosalie shook her head again, and for some reason I hoped she was wrong. I had left high school behind me, and I wished other people did too. That they learnt from their experiences and realized that their behavior wasn't okay anymore.
But maybe that was wishing for too much. Maybe some were destined for evil.
Just look at my mother.
When the desserts had been eaten, and the tables cleared, we all had to help out moving some of the tables out of the way so we could get some free space for dancing. Soon the middle of the room was completely cleared. People started mingling, and some finally dared to approach us. A few guys from the old football team talked to Emmett, sharing old memories from the field. A couple struck up a conversation with Alice, talking about her collection of clothes. Apparently the woman was wearing a piece designed by Alice.
"Look," Rosalie said, nudging toward the stage. "Lauren is here. I guess that's why we didn't think she was here."
"That's… huh, she's changed," I said, amazed.
Lauren, someone who used to dress only slightly less slutty than Tanya, who had her hair just as bleached, now looked like a real soccer mom. Her hair was cut short, and it was brown. It was probably her natural hair color. She was dressed in a pair of dark grey pants and a beige button up shirt. She looked like someone who sang in church every Sunday. Very conservative.
"I'm just taking a wild guess here," I began, "she's probably not a bitch anymore."
"Oh, I wouldn't go that far," Rosalie said. I raised an eyebrow in question at her, and she smiled. "Soccer moms are the worst."
"It's time," Jessica said, gaining everyone's attention, "to reveal the winners."
I rolled my eyes. I had seen the categories, but I hadn't voted. People voted in categories such as 'biggest success' and 'biggest transformation' as well as categories that referred to our old high school selves, like 'sexiest guy' and 'hottest girl' and crap like that. Going through the winners would take forever, because there were like fifteen or twenty categories, and people were supposed to make speeches. I just wanted to go home. I was tired.
I leaned back against Edward's strong chest, yawning.
I applauded politely as people made their way up the stage to receive their prize. A guy that used to be quite heavy ten years ago got the prize for biggest transformation, because he had lost over a hundred and fifty pounds. It was amazing. Some winners really deserved what they got.
I was not very surprised when Edward received the prize for sexiest guy way back when, he made a short speech, clearly showing he couldn't care less. People applauded weakly when he was done, considering he more or less made fun of this entire shindig. I didn't know whether or not I was proud of him for that.
A part of me had wanted to win something, just to get some kind of recognition, but I didn't. But I guess there really hadn't been a category where I could have won anyway. Emmett and Rosalie won the category of 'hottest couple then & now'. I wasn't surprised, Rosalie was more gorgeous than ever. We left as soon as all the categories had been presented, and everyone had done their stupid speeches. Jessica proclaimed it was now time to party all night. But we decided we weren't really up for it.
"Want to go to that pub that opened last year down the street?" Jasper said. "My dad says it's decent."
"Yeah, sounds like a plan," Edward said, and we all agreed.
We left the party, walking through the hallways in a group, just like old times.
I realized now that high school really was behind me. That life had nothing to do with my life now. The people from then made no difference to me. And winning a stupid category wouldn't change anything. I didn't need to be approved by these people. The people that made a difference were the once that were in my life. My best friends and my children and my extended family.
I was happy. I hadn't needed to go to the reunion to realize that. I knew I was happy. I was happier than words could ever describe. Maybe I just needed a reminder of what I had come from. Maybe that was the reason most people came. They wanted to know who they were today, by being compared to who they were before. They needed to realize that the people that used to defined them didn't matter anymore, because they were now defining themselves. People were happy, because they had moved on.
I looked up at Edward, smiling at him.
We had moved on in the best way possible, and I could only hope people would be doing the same.