I'd never been a fan of flying. It was always too cramped, too impersonal. I felt like an inconvenience to everyone, to the stewards, the other passengers, the plane. It made me feel dead… like I was flying into my own limbo. All of us a bunch of dead drones, tolerating one another for the sake of the hope that the plane wouldn't crash. It was quite depressing. But, it got the job done. It got me to my destination faster. My destination just happened to be Forks, Washington. Never heard of it? Unsurprising. There's nothing to hear about Forks. It's the typical town you read about in crappy clearance novels. Little population, minimal crime, nosey neighbors, the whole thing. It bored me just thinking about it. But, nevertheless, it was where I was going. And that's why I was on this plane. Forks was the home of my father, Charlie. My parents had been divorced for years and while she decided to move to sunny Phoenix afterwards, my father couldn't bear to part with the town he fell in love. When they parted, I went to live with my mother in Arizona. And we lived happily together for years. Then she met her husband, Phil. Long story short, she wanted to travel with him. And I'd taken enough of her time. So, for my dear mother, I moved to the aforesaid Forks. And here I am.
The plane landed rather smoothly. I looked out the window and saw nothing but grey skies and rain droplets. I sighed. I didn't think I would miss the sun so soon. Charlie was waiting for me at the baggage claim and I couldn't help but smile when I saw him. He looked just like I remembered. Dark moustache that was actually graying a little, stern expression but kind eyes. It was…comforting, to say the least, in this foreign place. I'd been to Forks before, but it was years ago. I hardly remembered it. He smiled back at me awkwardly before we embraced in a one armed hug.
"Hey, Bells, how ya' doing?" he asked gruffly before letting me go.
"I'm good. How've you been?" I answered as we headed over to the spinning conveyor belt.
"Oh, you know, solving crimes, dishing speeding tickets." He pointed to his police badge and I shook my head lightheartedly. He then coughed a bit loudly and there was no more conversation. I was fine with that. Charlie was never much of a talker. Neither was I, so it all worked out rather well. Because Forks was rather small, I actually landed in Port Angeles and there was still a little ways of a drive to go. As Charlie drove slowly and carefully down the rain soaked highways, I watched the images around me flash by. It was so bleak, negative, depressing. For a brief moment I wondered what the suicide rates were here. Not that I'd ever attempt anything so stupid.
After what seemed too long a time, Charlie's cruiser finally pulled into the driveway. I looked up at the old two-story and smiled softly. It hadn't changed a bit. It was just too bad that I had. After Charlie helped carry my bags up the stairs, he told me once more how happy he was that I was here and retreated downstairs. I was thankful for that. I definitely needed some alone time. Alone time to figure out what the hell I was thinking when I decided to move down here. I glanced at the clock on my bedside table. It was eight o'clock. One more hour and I could at least attempt to go to bed. I growled quietly and sat down on the ill used mattress. Well, at least it was something new. It may not be good, but it was something new. It was a fresh start from the lackluster life I'd been living. Who knew, maybe this town would be great. Or, maybe it would be a town of nosy cousin fuckers, French pardoned. I glanced over at the clock again. It had been a whole 3 minutes. Deciding it was good enough I changed and climbed into bed. Tomorrow was my official start of school and I didn't want to have rings under my eyes. I may not have been a fashionista but I wasn't completely hopeless to the point that I didn't care what I looked like. The sooner tomorrow came, the sooner it would be over so I closed my eyes and tried to drift off.
A light knock jolted me from my slumber. I was always an uneasy sleeper, so bolting upright in bed didn't surprise me anymore. The door creaked open as I looked over and Charlie's balding head peered through it. He looked nervous at first, but apparently after seeing I was fully clothed, he pushed the door open further and stood in the doorway. The light from behind him stung my eyes and I winced as I gazed upon him. He smiled awkwardly and kicked the doorframe.
"Mornin', Bells. I just thought I'd let you know that I'm heading off to work. I wanted to make sure you were awake before I left."
"Yeah, thanks, dad. I'm up." Charlie smiled at me and I managed to return it. He nodded once and looked over his shoulder.
"Um, well, your transportation's in the driveway. I won't wait around for you to see it just in case you hate it but it will get you to school. Keys are by the door. And the papers you need for school are on the kitchen counter. You…uh, need anything else?"
"I…uh, don't think so. Thanks, dad and I'll see you after work." He said everything too quickly for me to really ask the questions I wanted to, such as what the hell was in the driveway. But Charlie seemed discomfited enough so I decided not to bother him with it. I would see it soon anyway. Charlie opened his mouth as if to say something else but reconsidered and gave another small smile before lumbering down the steps. I listened as the stairs creaked with every step and sighed as the front door opened and slammed shut. By straining my ears I could hear the sound of his cruiser pulling onto the street. Then I was really alone. I finally made eye contact with the clock and saw that it was six o'clock. A little too early, but not enough for me to go back to sleep. Huffing, I slowly rotated and placed my feet on the carpet. It was slightly cold and I picked my feet up for a moment. They quickly got used to the feel, however and I quickly made my way to my suitcase to get out my toiletries before heading to the bathroom.
Well, I didn't look like an utter failure, but morning was definitely not my friend. However, thanks to my early start on sleep, there were no bags under my eyes. Lazily, I drug a brush through my hair and decided that a pony tail would be best. I would just tolerate that one stupid strand that always fell down my right cheek. A simple concealer and lip gloss were added and I was done. Easy part over, now came to the important stuff: what to wear. I smirked at myself in the mirror. Yeah right, like I had that many choices. T-shirt and pants, it wasn't that hard to decide. Still sort of smiling at my own good mood, I headed to my room and pulled out my clothes. I decided on the first two things that matched which happened to be a yellow shirt with blue writing and simple jeans. Thunder rumbled outside as I pulled the shirt over my head and I groaned. I'd forgotten about the constant precipitation here. No matter, I came prepared and also grabbed a light windbreaker with a hood. Thoroughly satisfied with my attire, I looked at the clock and was still about fifteen minutes ahead of schedule. This was good. If I got to school early and did all my paperwork quickly, I might not be late for first period and might also be spared from that awkward, 'look at the new kid' moment.
I headed down the stairs, noting how much I enjoyed the sound of my feet on the steps, and almost skipped into the kitchen. This light mood must have been to suppress my nerves but I wasn't complaining. I found the papers Charlie had mentioned quickly and briefly glanced at them before placing them in my messenger bag. Then I fumbled around in the kitchen in search for some breakfast, finally deciding on some Raisin Bran and non-expired milk. I'd sort of forgotten I was living with a bachelor. Nothing was in the fridge save for milk, beer and wienies. I guess it was my job to do the shopping now. I took a bite of the cereal and grimaced at the bland taste. Maybe doing the shopping wouldn't be too bad.
As I ate, I made special care not to glance down the hall and into the driveway. I couldn't really imagine what I'd gotten as a vehicle and I didn't want to know until it was time to go. That way, if I did hate it, I wouldn't have time to dwell on it. Silly fantasies ran through my mind about what the car was, be it a Mercedes, Ducati, Mustang. Maybe it was a horse. Maybe this place was hick enough that they rode horses to school. I almost choked on my cereal at the thought and toned down my cynicism as I rinsed my bowl. Then I stood in the hall, messenger bag over my shoulder, and tried to stare through the front windows. It wasn't at the correct angle to see and as I took my first step towards the door, my heart began racing. I was excited, actually excited about what was waiting for me. The key on the table gave no clue, as there was no brand on it. Shrugging, I opened the door, glanced to my left and gasped.
A red, old school Chevy. I didn't know much about cars but that was definitely what it was and I loved it. I smiled as I pressed my hands against the screen door, getting a better look. It was old, ugly and mine. And I loved it just for those reasons. Charlie could really come through for me. I'd have to remember to thank him when he got home. Closing the door behind me, I bounded down the steps and practically skipped to the front door. It creaked open and I noted the rusty, worn sides. The seatbelts only went over my lap and it was a standard with nostalgic dials and interior. "Awesome," I muttered to myself as I put the key in the ignition. Thank god my mother thought that knowing how to drive a stick was something every woman should know. The truck stalled for only a moment before roaring to life. I actually jumped at the sound, it was so deafening. Then I patted the dash and put it in gear and pulled out of the drive. Another good reason I was getting to school so early…no one would be able to laugh at my truck while I was still in it.
By the time I arrived at school, it was seven o'clock. I'd gotten out to go in, only to discover that the school didn't even open its doors until seven thirty. So, with a huff, I crawled back into my truck to sit and wait. The rain pattered lightly on my windshield and I watched as it made obscure designs on the glass. I always secretly loved the rain. It was very…pure to me. Granted, I'd always be a sun girl at heart, being born and raised in Phoenix, but I would also always hold a soft spot for rain. I let my mind wander as I watched more kids slowly pull into the parking lot. I thought about my mother, about Charlie, school and my truck and debated with myself on to what to make of it. Just as I was certain to coming to a conclusion, something caught my eye. It was a small silver Volvo and it was practically careening (but with expertise) into the parking lot. I followed it as it passed me and parked a few rows behind me. The occupants in the car just sat there for a moment before the door finally burst open. Someone stepped out of the passenger seat and just as they were about to turn around, someone came up and knocked on my window. In spite of myself, I let out a slight scream and almost flew to the other side of the truck. The boy on the other side of the window, an Asian guy with great looking hair but poor skin grinned widely at me and motioned for me to open the door.
"Sorry, you scared me," I murmured as I complied with his request and stepped out of the car.
"Oh, I'm sorry I scared you," he replied, obviously trying to be cool. "I'm Eric, Forks High newspaper editor. You're Isabella Swan, right?" I was about to answer when he nodded, answering for me and writing something on one of those cliché notepads. He had the makes for a journalist that was for sure. "I was wondering if you needed a guide for your first day?" He grinned again, a smile that I just barely trusted and pulled out a camera and taking a picture of my face.
"It's Bella. I'm sorry, am I news or something?" I asked a little too rudely as I rubbed the flash from my eyes.
"Yep," Eric replied, pocketing the camera. "A new student is huge news at Forks. I mean, who would honestly choose to come here." He laughed and I decided that I liked the way it sounded. However, I didn't like the sound of me being news. I just wanted to blend. That's what I did: blended.
"Uh, actually…Eric, could you not do a story about me? I'd rather sort of just sneak myself in, if you catch my drift?"
"Uh…sure, no story," he replied dejectedly, though I couldn't bring myself to care. "So, may I walk you to class?" I glanced at the clock, noting that it was just now seven thirty and sighed.
"Thanks, Eric. But I'm just going to the office and the school is small enough. I don't want to burden you."
"It wouldn't be a burden, honestly." He flashed me a smile and I started to feel the 'puppy' vibe from him. I needed to get away from this guy quickly. Not that he seemed all that bad, I just didn't do clingy.
"No, thank you. But I'll definitely look for you in the cafeteria, okay?" I promised, forcing what I thought was a weak smile. If it was weak, Eric didn't seem to notice and he laughed again before making me swear and running off to a tacky looking van. I shook my head after him and followed the small strands of students into the building. A few of them stared, but not long enough for me to take it as anything but an observation. Perhaps I wasn't giving this town enough credit. The office was just inside the doors and the women were nice enough and not incompetent. My paperwork was finished and filed quickly and I walked out with my new schedule in hand. Advanced English, physics, pre-calc, lunch, Economics, art and a free last period… not too bad. At least all of my harder subjects were out of the way early. As I was glancing at my schedule I accidentally bumped into someone. It rather hurt. In fact, whatever I hit was so hard I almost worried I'd tanked into a pole. However, looking up confirmed my initial thought.
The girl was a few inches taller than me, pale as snow with intense brown eyes. Her blonde hair fell in beautiful ringlets around her face and her plump lips formed a grimace that was still gorgeous. I'd just bumped into the most beautiful, scary thing I'd ever seen. And she was glaring at me. Actually, she wasn't really glaring. That just appeared to be the way her face fell. She stared at me for a good minute before I finally managed to make my brain make words. "S-sorry."
Her eyes scanned for a moment and I watched as she inhaled deeply. Then her eyes closed for a moment and she shoved past me, causing me to almost lose my balance. I turned and watched as she barged down the hall, knocking over two freshmen in her way. Note to self: stay out of her way. Deciding to shake it off (beautiful high schoolers were rude, it was common knowledge) I made my way down a short hall and entered my English class. Thankfully, the teacher didn't make a fuss about my arrival and I quickly sat down, scribbling my name in the Hamlet book she'd given me.
"Hey," a semi-sultry voice cooed at me. Resisting the urge to groan out loud I looked up into a boy's face. He had a round, prepubescent face and dirty blonde hair with blue as that weren't particularly anything. Overall he was cute but I could tell by his voice that he was going to be a pest, too. "You're Bella Swan, right?" He smiled again, then must have noticed my perplexed expression because he spoke quickly again. "E-Eric told me that's what you wanted to be called."
"Mike. Mike Newton."
I sighed, not being able to help myself. "Hey, Mike."
This conversation was turning out like I had expected it to so I quickly tuned out, nodding and humming when it seemed appropriate. Mike, like Eric, also seemed like a nice guy. But…they were too much too soon. It was my first day… a little breathing room would have been nice. I wasn't being shallow or anything; I just didn't know what to do with all of this attention. I mean, just by considering two people 'attention' shows how little experience I have with it. Mike seemed to catch my subtle drift after a few minutes and, while still looking hopeful, he turned back to face the teacher. Greatly relieved, I smiled at the back of his head and picked up my book to learn all about the enigmatic Hamlet.
After English, Mike offered to walk me to my next class. At first I couldn't think of a good excuse to let him down but we soon discovered my class was nowhere near his and he would be late if he took me. With promises to talk later, he ran down the hall, book-checking a freshman as he went. I rolled my eyes at him and made my way down what I assumed was the right hall. Apparently though, it was the wrong hall. I ended up having to ask someone where to go and by the time I found the right room, the late bell had rung about two minutes ago. Thankfully, I had the new student excuse. Not so thankfully, I was going to be the object of everyone's attention for at least four minutes while I got situated. The door was locked when I attempted it so I knocked twice. I could hear the room fall quiet as everyone peered through the door. My cheeks were already red. Great. The teacher, Mr. Ibarra, finally came to the door and smiled at me as I introduced myself and offered my schedule for proof I was supposed to be in here. He nodded, pushing his glasses up on his nose and led me in the room, where all fourteen kids were staring from their lab tables.
"Class, this is Isabella Swan. She's new, make her comfortable and such," he grunted before taking a seat at his desk and searching through a drawer. I quickly corrected him on my name and he insured he understood by saying my name again in his next sentence. "Bella, please sit next to Alice. Alice, raise your hand." A frail hand shot up confidently to my right and I immediately looked over. The girl known as Alice was sitting at a lab table and she gave a wincing smile as I made eye contact with her. I couldn't move. I had thought that the girl I'd bumped into this morning was beautiful but this girl…was stunning. Her skin was just as pale white but her eyes were a lighter topaz brown. Her raven hair was cut short and styled well in spikes around her pointed face. I'd never felt so ugly in my life.
"Bella?" Mr. Ibarra interrupted my thoughts. "Bella, you can take your seat now. Alice won't bite." The class giggled a bit as Alice shifted awkwardly in her chair, almost as if she were offended by his comment. I took a step forward and noticed how alertly the girl watched my movements. I almost felt like the prey to her predator. My cheeks reddened again and as I felt the burn, Alice jerked her head away. I made it to the table and sat down as Mr. Ibarra began writing formulas on the board. I watched him, while keeping an eye out for Alice in the corner of my eye. Her head was buried and turned away from me. I could see her hands grasping the purse in her lap tightly and bit down on my lip, subtle sniffing my shirt. I didn't smell, I thought. Maybe she was just antisocial? No, that didn't make sense because she seemed very welcoming at the beginning. Mr. Ibarra instructed us to take notes now and both Alice and I pulled out our notebooks at the same time. I watched as Alice flipped to her most recent note page and saw how gorgeous her handwriting was. Archaic almost but with the gentle sweeps of more modern writing. My own chicken scratch was practically screaming embarrassment from my notebook and I scoffed at it as I reached for a pencil in the cup in the middle of the table.
I hadn't noticed that Alice was already reaching for a pencil, too and our hands briefly touched before we both jerked away. Instinctively, I wrapped my hand around the other to warm it. Alice's hand was freezing, inhumanely freezing. I looked over at her and she made eye contact with me this time, giving me an embarrassed half smile before grabbing a pencil and extending it to me. I took it, taking care not to touch her and smiled back, feeling the blush return to my cheeks. Alice stiffened and exhaled very slowly as she turned her entire body away from me and began to take notes. I stared at her for a few moments more. She was polite, but straining against her etiquette. It was like she was trying to be friendly but something was holding her back. Perhaps she was possessed. An interesting thought. Knowing it was rude to stare, I picked up my pencil and began scribbling down formulas like everyone else. I'd find out more about this Alice later.