Okay, hows about this one? Please review but be kind, I gotta read something! I decided to keep the chapters maybe shorter, seeing I have to read it out loud?
I have a beta so everything will be going to her first, please thank Macfaerie for all her wonderful help. I hope to update twice a week if she can handle that.
Translations: budgie=small parakeet , tame bird kept in a cage by people in Oz and UK. Not to be confused with 'budgie smugglers', small tight male swim pants usually called Speedos (so tight it looks like the wearer may be smuggling a budgie in them)
The Bro Code
Returning to Forks High felt like failing, to be honest. I know I was coming back as a teacher this time, but I always imagined I was cut out for something...grander. Something more than this little school in this little rainy town. After four years of college, and a year teaching at a rather exclusive private school, I thought I was on track. Then I was 'let go' due to 'economic reasons'. It was the old 'last in - first out' policy, and at first, it was no big deal.
At the time I graduated there were plenty of schools and plenty of teaching positions. Now though private schools are actually canceling up to half of their classes with so many people hit by the economic downturn. Suddenly those who had struggled and managed to just scrape together the fees by paring down every other expense they had, can't manage it anymore. Kids who had attended posh cushy schools are now back in the public sector and that's the only place new teachers are needed. Of course, that means plenty of private school teachers are in the same boat I am and we are all competing against one another. Suddenly I'm practically begging for any job, anywhere. My anywhere turns out to be back in rainy little Forks, Washington.
Walking through the empty schoolyard my mind is filled with memories, and my lips form a smile completely unbidden. This is where we sat, Alice, Jessica, Lauren, and Angela, a few of the boys and me, nobody special. We all went everywhere together. Eric was probably the most memorable because of his antics, his 'surfing' the tables in the lunchroom, his jumping off the roof of the science lab, breaking both ankles. It had been a dare, and even while he screamed in agony, he held his hand out for the other maniacs to pay up seeing he had indeed won their bet.
Then there was Tyler. Who could forget Tyler? I couldn't, the boy had almost run over me in the parking lot one winter. That was the winter my father sent me away … to live with my Mom and stepfather.
Shaking my head at the memory, I don't want to go there, not today.
Filling my mind with other memories as I passed the library, it was where we girls escaped the boys to discuss so many things alone. First kisses, first touches, a lot of firsts. Of course, being the daughter of the local Police Chief I had been last to experience the firsts. The boys were all very aware of the sidearm my father wore and nobody wanted to argue with that metal cockblocker. Dad's whole attitude had been clear. 'Touch my daughter and I shoot you.'
No, he just packed up my stuff and sent it on to me the next day, after driving me, still smelling of him, straight to SeaTac and putting me on a plane.
The girls had warned fifteen year old me that losing your virginity could hurt. They had no idea just how much.
I assume Dad didn't kill the boy in question because he continued his job here fora few years afterwards and never got locked up himself, so I had to conclude no bloodshed happened.
While my memories twist and turn, I realize I hadn't been the ideal teen. My friends had been a little adventurous, but we really did nothing that bad compared to teenagers today. I smile at the smoking lessons behind the science building, God, I thought I'd asphyxiate the first time Mike Newton handed me his half done cigarette and taught me to inhale.
I'd never wanted to smoke cigarettes but the others were all getting ready for their next little adventure, and I couldn't be part of it if I didn't know how to smoke tobacco.
That was Step One.
Step Two was going to be even more exciting.
Alice, who was tiny, hyper, and so innocent looking, had discovered her parent's supply of pot. After having tried it out herself, she promised to bring some to Mike's upcoming party. It was to be the party of the year. The very first unsupervised party we had ever experienced and our introduction to more than a little weed.
Mike's Dad was a thrifty man and he bought everything in bulk, for the considerable savings discount. Everything included Jack Daniels and Johnny Walker and just about every other liquor we had never heard of or tasted. It promised to be quite a night.
A night I needed to be prepared for and trained to enjoy.
Cigarettes now, weed at the party. At the time I was the only non smoker in the group.
I took a long drag off Mike's cigarette. Then I coughed and choked, my eyes streaming with tears. The others decided this was probably one lesson better learned away from school, so I met Mike in town that afternoon, needing to 'study' at the local library.
The kid's playground was situated in the front of the town's public parkland. It has trails winding through the edge of the forest that surrounds Forks like some soft green overcoat. We hiked a little way up one of paths less frequented than most, and crouched on a convenient rock, as Mike taught me the mysteries of tobacco smoking and how to breathe in air as well as the toxic smoke.
I still coughed and gagged until I thought I would vomit, but he encouraged me to take it slowly. That month I had 'so much studying to do'; we met every single afternoon until I got it right.
"Be calm, just enjoy the flavor. Breathe it in, now hold, right … now, exhale. See, nothing to it.", he encouraged
"Nothing to it, but a swift and sudden death if Charlie smells tobacco on me. I have to get home and change." I replied
I may have gone a little overboard, washing my entire outfit right down to my underwear and my paranoia fueled by guilt had me sniffing my clean clothing constantly. I hung it out on the outside clothesline to dry and flap in the fresh air, and if it got rained on, that was even better, another rinsing. Then I jumped in the shower, brand new cheap and stinky strawberry shampoo in hand and scrubbed the living daylights out of my hair, then cleaned my teeth vigorously, brushing until my gums bled.
Was it worth it?
Well the first two times I lit up, I thought I was going to choke to death on this big bubble in my throat but that feeling passed and when the high hit, I have to say I liked it.
No longer that shy and plain little Bella, I became the amazingly gorgeous and talented Isabella, loved by all, envied by girls, wanted by boys. She could sing, she could dance, she was amazing.
She also hated coming back down and being Bella again.
Alcohol added to the high and after Mike's party, I didn't dare go home. Charlie would have skinned me alive. Alice called Charlie, who was fortunately called into work, and explained her Mom was ill and I was needed to help...with what, I have no idea. Babysit the budgie maybe while Alice saw to her mother, presumably. The fact her Mom was actually out on a date was great because nobody was there, but Alice, to witness my shame and pain when I spent half the night losing that fiery alcohol, and praying to the porcelain god.
Alice? She was fine.
She toked up regularly and was no virgin to either alcohol or the usual meaning of the word. She had been banging some boy for months and telling us girls every damned detail. It sounded kind of icky, to be honest and she insisted that with a condom, it really wasn't that gross, not as bad as you would imagine.
No matter that kind of put me off doing it, even if there was a boy who was willing. Really, 'Not that gross', hardly an encouraging review.
My turn did finally come. It was that year, and it was my downfall. Charlie had his schedule on the kitchen wall and it clearly showed he was doing an all-nighter that night, on the night I invited a new student to Forks High into my bedroom. I had gotten to the point where I was sure I was the only virgin left, and couldn't bear the shame a moment longer.
People should honor their schedule that's all I can say.
Him coming home and finding a certain copper haired green eyed boy in my bed was unfortunate, but I … we were soooo lucky he didn't get home even earlier.
All he saw was Edward Masen and I lying on my bed. I can't say fully clothed because that would be a lie. Edward had his boxers and jeans back on and I was half dressed, having freaked out at the blood. Edward took a shower with me, where he had washed us clean, then patted me dry.
So, yeah, Charlie could have gotten home earlier and caught us in the act, as it were.
Mind you, that was a fairly small window, teenage virgins are not known for a long first time.
I guess in hindsight, I should have put a top on but Edward was admiring my newly grown rack and paying it homage with his fingers and tongue and he pulled back just as Charlie opened my bedroom door.
"You, get dressed and get out of my house," he screamed at Edward, who did just that.
"Bella, what the fuck was going on here?" he asked me.
"Um, well, we were just...I was showing...Edward was looking ..."
"He had better have been looking at not touching. Looking is bad enough," Charlie had hollered and I had cringed." Maybe we need to go see that new doctor in town and get you examined."
I did everything I could to avoid that. Cried, begged, screamed.
Edward was fifteen as well but I still thought he could get branded a sex offender or something because I wasn't exactly the sixteen I had told him.
Dr Cullen had listened to Charlie bluster on about 'that damned punk kid' that had been 'perving' at his daughter. Thank God Dr. Cullen suggested he should have a chat with me, alone.
Charlie sat outside and Dr Cullen asked me if I had allowed this unnamed boy to touch me anywhere.
"No," I answered, crying.
"He didn't have sex with you, Bella? You need to tell me. If he was experienced, then you need to be tested for a variety of possible STD's."
I swore black and blue the boy had not laid a single finger on me and he believed me, thank the gods. Edward had sworn he had never so much as felt up a girl before and it had been a somewhat clumsy cashing of our v cards so I believed him.
He asked me if I wanted to tell him the name of the boy and I shook my head. Edward was their foster son so I didn't want to land him in trouble.
Dr Cullen explained to my father that it was against policy to internally examine a virgin without a clear need and he was convinced nothing had happened, just a little displaying of my chest area. No harm done.
No harm done.
No harm except Charlie decided he was not cut out to raise a teenage girl and shipped me to my Mom and I had not been back since. I refused to visit him on school breaks, no way was I going back to be his little Princess after that.
I know it was irrational, I was the one who did the crime, but I made Charlie serve the punishment.
The times Renee got all sorry for her ex husband and tried to talk me into flying back for just one single holiday, I made myself throw up and convinced her I had a phobia about flying, though it was cured by the time Phil bought tickets to take us to Hawaii for the next break.
And Disneyland for Christmas also seemed to be okay. I guess I had some form of selective flying phobia.
It only occurred when I had to go to Forks.
Charlie gave up and flew to us. He stayed in the guestroom of ex-wife, and her second husband. It was weird but better than the alternative. I was convinced all my friends knew what happened, and I was terrified of facing them. Alice emailed me and asked me what the Hell was going on. I was there one day, then I was gone the next. I asked her what she had heard and she swore nobody knew anything.
I couldn't flat out ask what Edward had said, if anything, but I hedged around it, and mentioned Mike and Tyler 'or any other boy' and she snorted.
"Did you have like, group sex or something?"
"God no, I … my Mom wanted me to move here, she hates Forks and doesn't think Forks High offers a good enough education" I lied, and Alice was mad at my Mom, but got over it.
Except now here I am, back at Forks High.
Talk about déjà' vu.
Mike took me into the staff lunchroom and introduced me to the other teachers and once again, our eyes met across a crowded lunchroom.
And once again, his green eyes sparkled at my brown.
And once again, his mouth lit up with a smile, kind of a cross between a lopsided grin and a smirk.
"… And this is Terry O'Brien, and this is Edward Cullen," Mike said, after telling me the names of every teacher in the room and finally indicating my green eyed Romeo of Freshman year.
Uh uh, I would know him anywhere.
That was Edward Masen.
Alive and well, and still in possession of all his limbs.
And all his fuck hot beauty, in fact, fuck me, the boy had grown into a beautiful man.
"Isabella, delighted to meet you." he said. My heart dropped. He had forgotten me!
"Again," he whispered, leaning in as if to brush some imaginary fluff from my blouse.
Oh … maybe not.