*New Story Alert!*
So, i was recently looking into my family history and a few weird facts popped up about my origins and background. The result, of course, was an idea for a story. I was intending to make this a one shot, BUT there was just too much information to include within one chapter, and i decided to make it a full length story. It's much more exciting that way anyways!
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or the characters, they most definitely own me.
I hope you enjoy this first chapter!
Chapter One: The Box
"Bella can you grab the other two boxes, honey?"
I sighed, shutting my eyes to drown out my mother's nagging. It wasn't just today she'd been hounding me to help her with her packing, it was every single day since we found out we were moving house. I had my own packing to do, and I know I sound like a spoiled child right now, but she and my father could certainly pack their things between them.
I looked into the spare room, frowning slightly, "There's no more left!"
There was silence from downstairs, and I leaned against the doorjamb from the first floor landing as I waited for her response. I'd definitely miss this place. I'd lived here my whole life, and Chicago was most definitely the home I knew and loved. This house was big and old, and I absolutely loved it. It was designed in the late Victorian era, around 1870 according my father. I'd lived here since I was two years old, so all my memories were stored in this house. I could remember falling up the wooden steps, dancing on my father's feet on the circular porch before he'd chased me around the outside, swinging from the top of the heavy oak door, running through the house and up the landing to save myself from the imaginary monster my mother and father had created when I was six years old. I'd grown up here.
I looked down the hallway, glancing at my mother and father's room before following the trail of sunlight to the bottom room – my room.
It had been mine since I was a child. I loved it because it was the biggest, and also had a million hiding places I'd used throughout my childhood. I could see myself walking up the stairs, sometimes with a book in hand, other times with a cup of juice or coffee. As I watched, I got older. I looked down to the bottom of the stairs, seeing myself walking up slowly with the aid of my father's hand, towing along a storybook and my giant polar bear teddy, I looked around four. As I reached the top, I saw the seventeen year old me, carrying my favourite copy of Wuthering Heights and an apple, with my backpack slung over my shoulder as I headed to do some homework.
All those memoires belonged here. And I was leaving.
To be frank, I didn't want to leave. As much as a "new adventure" excited me, I didn't want to leave behind my childhood. Although my father's encouragement and promise that "The past is gone... We have a future ahead of us now Bella" made me realise that moving house was necessary, I knew for a fact that he only said those words because he'd received an amazing job as the Chief of Police.
In the little town of Forks.
I had to Google the place... Who has to Google where they're going to live?
It turns out Forks is the wettest place in the US. Its nickname is "Logging Capital of the World". And its population is 3120 people.
A small town.
I cringed, banging my head against the doorjamb as my mother and father spoke about where there could possibly be more packing boxes. I hated the idea of a small town, everyone knew everyone. I hated being the centre of attention now, and I knew I'd have some publicity being "the new girl" and everything.
Also, there was no chance of me finding any friends in the town of Forks. If I couldn't find a niche within a school of over 5000 students, I wasn't going to find one in a high school that's student body totals the exact number of students in my year group in Chicago. I was too plain. With dark brown eyes, mahogany hair, a slim figure and pale skin, I was nothing but ordinary.
"Bella? There should be some in the attic!" My mother's voice filtered up to me from the bottom floor and I pushed myself away from the door to head up to the next landing.
I took the stairs carefully, passing by my father's office, my mother's art room and my study before I reached the narrow, old wooden staircase that used to scare me as a child. I walked upstairs carefully towards the flip door of the attic. I hated this place. And the fact that I'm a klutz and everything around here is a trap, I could be in for a dangerous time. I don't normally go past my study.
I undid the dusty latch of the attic door, wondering why on earth there would be packing boxes up here when we barely ever use the attic. I pushed it open slowly, scowling at the darkness that loomed in front of me. The whole house was lit up, and the doors had been opened to air the place before we left tomorrow, and diving into darkness freaked me out a little.
I walked up the last few steps before placing my arms on the floor and pulling myself up as quickly as possible. I reached for the string that would give a little light and within finding it I let out a sigh of relief. My father had been up here only a few days earlier, removing everything we were taking with us. We still owned this house, and it would stay that way until my mother and father decided what to do with it. If I knew Renee, she'd want to keep it to pass on to me. And if I knew Charlie, he'd want to make Renee happy.
It was mostly empty, except a bookshelf on one side that had dust as thick as my mahogany hair with books scattered here and there – they weren't our books apparently.
The floor was full of dust and I made an attempt to hold my breath so the dust wouldn't filter down my throat and cause me to fall ill. I walked towards the opposite end of the attic, seeing the cardboard boxes immediately. I tugged on the five boxes with one hand, shutting my eyes as a plume of dust evaporated into the air around me. When I was sure it was gone, I opened my eyes again and moved the boxes towards me further.
Before I could move, a wooden box clattered onto the floor in front of me. I frowned, wondering where it could've come from as I set the packing boxes down and moved towards it. I looked at the wall for a long moment before my eyes caught the opening to my left. I pressed my fore head against the wall to get a closer look. The wall, which I thought had been completely one wall, was in fact two. The wall my head now rested against was positioned behind another, which jutted out about six inches in front. The box in my right hand had been stashed in there, and had now fallen into my possession. I moved back on my heels from where I'd bent down, running my fingers along the old box as my mind ran away with thoughts about what to do.
After a few seconds of hesitation I nodded my head with the knowledge that I'd take one look. Nothing was going to kill me.
I blew gently on the box, blowing off the light sheen of dust it had overcome during it's time in between the two walls.
There was a carving on the front of the box. I narrowed my eyes, the dim light only giving me the chance to see it vaguely. It looked like black swirls, starting from the edges and travelling to the centre, meeting and forming a combined pattern. I got up, moving towards the light in the middle of the attic before I sat down again, crossing my legs and taking a closer look. It was much more beautiful in the light, and very old.
In the right hand corner there was another engraving, only this one was hand drawn, although impeccably neat and controlled.
Two initials – EM
I felt like somehow, even by just finding and looking at this box, I was invading this person's privacy.
But I didn't find the box. The box found me.
I ran my fingers over the carvings one more time, lingering around the initials before I turned the box, looking for a latch. Part of me hoped that there was a padlock, that way I couldn't see what was inside.
But there wasn't.
There was a simple gold overhang which looped into a silver hook. I undid it slowly, shaking my head at myself before I attempted to reconcile my guilty thoughts.
If this box really was as old as everything implied, then the person was dead, and I was invading no "alive" person's privacy.
The box creaked a little as I opened it, and soon enough I found myself staring into a collection of personal possessions. The lid fell back onto the floor, startling me a little, but not enough to capture my attention.
The first thing I saw was a blank piece of folded over paper, but as I put my hand inside and lifted it out, I discovered it was a photograph. Unfolding it gently, I stared down at the couple looking back at me, both with blinding white smiles on their faces. They were outside my house, or rather their house, because it was theirs long before it was mine. I dated this picture to around 1900, if my History classes had been of any use to me over the past years.
The man in the photo had one arm wrapped around the woman's shoulders, and she was smiling brightly as they stared into the camera. His free hand however, was touching the head of a newborn baby that the woman held, and I could tell that this was probably their first photo together.
Setting the photo down gently, I looked back into the box. There was another photograph, one which I lifted up quickly this time, eager to see the beautiful couple and their baby.
But he wasn't a baby anymore, he was a child. I looked at the picture, seeing the boy sitting on his mother's knee and holding his father's hand as they posed for a family photograph. He looked to be around ten, with a wild mass of hair on his head and a cheeky grin. Even though the picture was in black and white, I could tell he had dark hair, bright eyes, and a collection of bruises on his knees that his mother was trying to cover with one hand and the length of his dress shorts.
I laughed a little at the cute little boy, setting the picture beside the other before I looked into the box again.
The next thing my eyes met was a book.
Lifting it out, I brushed the imaginary dust off the leather cover, biting down on my lip as I anticipated what was inside.
I turned it around to the front, looking at the plain brown cover, complete with a black string to keep it closed. Slowly, hesitantly, as if the mother or father, or even the little boy himself was about to run into the attic and shout at me for looking, I opened the cover.
On the first page there were only two sentences, which captured my attention immediately and gave me the information I'd desperately wanted to know since I'd laid eyes on the ten year old boy in the picture.
This book belongs to Edward Anthony Masen Junior. 1917.
Private - which means it's not for you.
The writing was elegant, definitely not that of a ten year old boy, so I guessed that he'd been older when he began to write in it. Maybe near my age?
I ran my fingers over the black ink, staring at the words over and over again.
I shouldn't be reading this.
But there was so much information in it. Gaining an insight into who had lived here years before me, who'd had a childhood and formed memories in this house too.
I suddenly felt an indescribable urge to stay, to continue my life here as I'm sure the boy would have done.
"Bella? Did you get those boxes?" My father's voice boomed from the bottom of the attic stairs, making me jump.
"Umm, yeah. Two seconds." I stalled him before he could come upstairs.
I got up, leaving the box and its contents on the floor as I moved towards the packing boxes. I grabbed them and moved to the stairs, bending slightly so my father could grab them.
"I'll turn the light off and be down in a second." I told him.
He nodded, fitting the boxes under his arm before walking away quietly.
I turned around, staring at the box I'd opened.
Pandora's box, apparently.
The contents just lay there on the floor, but I somehow felt like I'd hurt someone, or something, by opening them. I felt like I'd invaded privacy, and took notice of something I was never meant to find.
I walked towards it, lifting the photos and setting them back inside the box, taking one more glance at the little boy before I grabbed the book gently. Just as I was about to put it inside, my instincts told me not to.
What was I going to do? Put it back where I'd found it? Never read about the boy in the photo? Never find out about his life?
What if someone else found it?
I frowned, staring down at my findings before shaking my head.
No, I'd keep it. I'd keep it safe.
I shut the box quietly. It contained everything that was originally there. Everything except the book, which I held in my other hand.
I held the box in one hand, and the book in my other as I moved to leave the attic. I glanced around, taking one last look at the room, and a hard look at the corner where I'd discovered these secrets.
That's what they were – secrets.
Edward had obviously wanted no-one to find them, hence why he'd put them in the hiding place. But now I had them.
I shoved my guilt to the back of my head, pulling on the light switch before I turned around and left the attic.
I walked straight downstairs to my room. Everything had been packed and sat in boxes, but I somehow didn't want these possessions to be stuffed with everything else.
I moved to my backpack, which held things I wanted to keep for my trip. I opened it quickly, before opening the box once again. The pictures were there and a few more things underneath that I'd have to look at later. I closed it shut and set it inside the bag before lifting the book. I closed it once more with the string, content that I'd have plenty of time to read it once I'd helped my parents with their packing.
I looked down at the book and wooden box as they lay in my bag. Why did it feel like stealing?
I sighed, lifting the zipper, and closing my bag tight.
So, that's the first chapter! I hope you guys enjoyed, and could you please give me some feedback? Otherwise i don't really see a point in continuing with a story that no-one likes.
Please review! And any questions? I'll answer them in the next chapter :)