A/N – Hi, this is my first time trying to write and post a chapter based Bella/Alice story so I hope you all like it and take it easy on me :] Also I have to give the biggest shout out to my fairy grammar mother lol Beetlebum101 you are the best thank you and if you are looking for something great to read you should check out her fic 'When Everything Else Is Gone' cause you wont be disappointed.
Rated M for some swearing. So now on with the show:]
"I am my mother's only one. It's enough." - Flume - Bon Iver
I touched my face gently, checking if the cold sweat I could feel on my skin was really there or just a figment of a dream. I rubbed the moisture over my fingertips. Why couldn't I just sleep through the night? What was so difficult? I missed the peace that sleep used to bring. I can't even remember my dream (or should I say nightmare?) but I would bet that it involved a car, a wet road and oncoming headlights. I sat up, pulling my legs towards me and leaning my head against my knees. I gripped at the roots of my hair, trying to wake my brain from its dreamy daze. The clock told me I still had two hours before I had to start getting ready for my first day of school – in the middle of the semester.
I knew it was useless to try and get any more sleep. I'm used to the early mornings anyway, so it's not too bad. I threw off the sheets and the chill in the air made me shiver as I moved swiftly to the closet. I craned my neck to look out the window and thankfully it wasn't raining. Maybe a jog would clear my mind. I threw on some sweats and grabbed my keys and phone, before tiptoeing out the front door. I didn't want Charlie to lose his sleep as well.
The ground was still slick with the night's rain. I started to pick up speed, heading in no particular direction. My feet made a repetitive rhythm and my thoughts fell in line. If I just got out of practice five minutes earlier or later, would it have made a difference? If I had been in the front seat instead of the back, I wouldn't be here right now. The smell of the trees and the cold breezes were so different to what I was used to. It wasn't bad; I just wish I didn't have to be here. I doubled back and picked up the pace, pushing myself. It was a natural reaction. I had always pushed myself. I just couldn't remember why anymore. I climbed the few stairs to Charlie's house. I guess it was our house now; not that it felt that way.
After a shower and a change of clothes, I headed back down stairs. Charlie was reading a newspaper, which he dropped as soon as he heard me enter. I got some orange juice out of the fridge, poured it into the closest glass and leaned against the counter.
"Hey, Bells, you sleep alright last night?" Charlie questioned, with a slight arch in his brow and I knew that he knew I didn't.
"Yeah it was… alright." I couldn't add anymore to that statement.
"I heard you scream again." Charlie said softly, turning his gaze back to the newspaper.
Dammit. I thought I had gotten past that. "Sorry," I said, moving my gaze to the ground.
Charlie coughed and quickly moved on. "So… where did you go this morning?"
I put my glass in the sink, leaning my weight against the frame. "I just went to get some air," I said to the white tiled wall.
"Well, be careful, Bells, you aren't in Phoenix anymore. There are animals in these woods…"
"Yeah, Charlie, I know. I'm not stupid." I turned and I knew that it bothered him when I called him Charlie but it just seemed natural that way.
"I know you're not but it's my job to keep you safe. Do you plan to take that bike to school today?" Charlie's voice became gruff and I knew he just hated my motorbike.
I flinched at the word school. It didn't go unnoticed.
"You don't have to go just yet if you don't want to. It's only been what? A month and a half."
It had been forty-six days exactly. "I should just get it over with. I'm afraid I won't get to graduate if I don't and I'm not going through another year of hell… I mean high school."
"Well, it's up to you but if you feel too overwhelmed, just take a half day." Charlie half smiled. Like taking a half-day would fix anything.
He grumbled again as I got my bag ready with some supplies. At least I would be getting out the house for a few hours. I decided to head out a little bit early in hopes of going unnoticed at school. Hopefully I could make it through this last year under the radar. I threw on some gloves and my leather jacket as Charlie reminded me for the fifth time about the helmet. He is such a worrier.
As I got on the bike, I flicked up the kickstand and balanced out my weight. It was only a short journey to the high school and the roads seemed to be practically deserted. I liked feeling the weight of the bike beneath me. I could tell it which way to go; I shift slightly and it moves along with me. I found an empty parking lot that I sincerely hoped was for students because getting my bike towed on my first day would not make me happy.
I made my way to the front office. It wasn't too hard to find with all the big pointy signs. The school seemed to be designed with a few small, brick buildings and two larger ones, all of them having large numbers painted in white on the brick work, which was kind of hard to miss. I knocked on the door then opened it and a woman with red, curly hair looked up from her desk. She seemed to be too happy for a Monday morning but I just ignored it.
"Hi, I'm Bella Swan. I'm the new transfer student."
"Yes, Isabella, we've heard so much about you." She smiled
God that could not be a good sign and I just said I was 'Bella.' Was she partially deaf as well as a morning person? "It's Bella," I said a little too harshly, but it was already said what could I do now.
"So, Bella, here's a map of the school with your locker location and combo. It's better to memorize that than to carry it around and here is your class schedule. Have a great first day, now."
She waved at me before I had even moved to leave. I took one look at the map and decided that I would head for my locker first. I was lucky; it was just down the hall. It was difficult to miss the big chunks of light grey metal sticking out of the walls. I followed the locker numbers down to seventy-seven and realized they didn't go beyond double digits. This obviously wasn't a big school but that worked out fine for me. I'm not in the mood for crowds.
My locker was actually big enough for all my stuff so that was a pleasant surprise. That could possibly be the high light of my entire day, right there. Distracted by the wonder that is my new locker, I missed the guy that had decided to stand at my side until I was made to look at him.
"Hey, I'm Yorkie… Eric Yorkie," he said in a bad English accent.
I was far too amazed by the fact that I could almost see my reflection in his hair. I moved slightly and my reflection moved as well. This, Eric, was it? Used far too much product. "So?" I slammed my locker, as I could see him trying to get a glimpse of what was inside. I knew it wasn't like me to be so bitchy but I just couldn't seem to care what his name was.
"Is that your motorbike outside?" He said with excitement.
I ignored him for the moment as I looked at my map, trying to find first period history with Mr. Wright. It seemed to be located in building three. "Yeah, it is."
"That's so cool. I've always wanted a motorbike. Think I could ride it sometime?" Eric asked, all wide-eyed and hopeful.
Ha! Yeah, he could ride it straight to hell. "Sorry, Eric, I have to go. I don't want to be late for my first class," I said, taking quick steps. I think he got the hint and I was left alone, which was what I wanted in the first place.
I got to class just before the bell rang. I knew when I stepped in the room that everyone was looking at me. I could feel their eyes on me, almost burrowing into my skin. I hate being the new kid. I looked straight at the teacher and he just sat there. You would think they would know a new student when they see one. Everyone else seems to.
He seemed to take notice after a moment, swiveling awkwardly in his chair. "Ah, you must be the new student. Isabella, is it?"
"Okay 'just Bella', here's a copy of your text book. If you have trouble with any of the material just speak to me after class."
I took the heavy textbook and casually scanned the room for a seat. There were a few and you could see the preppy students trying to make eye contact and smile. Like that would make a difference. I chose to sit at the back because then it would give people less chance to stare. I took a seat next to a mousy looking girl with glasses and long brown hair, not unlike my own. It was hard to concentrate on whatever he was trying to teach, as it was extremely boring. I just copied whatever he wrote down and hoped for the best.
"Okay, read chapter sixteen and seventeen and answer the following questions." Mr. Wright continued to make chalk scribbling on the board as I moved to open my textbook.
The rest of class was pretty quiet as I thought over all the work I had to catch up on. I jotted down a few notes when the girl beside me cleared her throat and I turned instinctively at the sound but wished I hadn't.
"Hi, I'm Angela, I was wondering if you needed someone to show you to your next class?" Angela pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose as I contemplated my answer.
She didn't seem to be as outwardly annoying as Eric but there was no point in trying to make friends. It just invites questions. "Thanks, but no thanks. I'm doing fine on my own."
"Oh… okay then. But if you need someone to sit with at lunch you're welcome at my table. My friends wouldn't mind."
I packed up my things and didn't really give Angela an answer but I was thinking about it. I checked my schedule and map as I walked through the hall. Hopefully if I looked deep in thought no one would approach me. My system of looking busy worked and I got to English before the teacher so I decided just to take a seat.
Students started to slowly flood in as I kept my eyes on the table, scratching into a loose sheet of paper with my favorite blue fountain pen. I just loved the way the pen seemed to glide while writing. I used it to draw too but maybe all artists were pen snobs. Not that I was an artist by any standards; I just liked to draw. I spun the pen around my fingers as I remembered the day I got it. It was my seventeenth birthday and I was at the mall with my mom. She insisted we spend the day together and she would buy me whatever I wanted and then I saw this in a store window. It may have been more expensive than a pair of high tops and jeans like my mom was expecting me to want but I wanted this and I remember her voice got all high, like it always did when she was surprised, and she said, "Bella, it's a pen. I could get a thousand pens for that price." Yeah, she could have but I wanted this one. I replied, "yeah, but this is the only one I want." I took off the cap and read the inscription on the side. It said simply, in little gold swirly letters, "The Only One." I bit my lip inside my mouth to keep the tears at bay.
"Hey, are you okay?" I looked to the girl beside me whom I hadn't even noticed before.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Just tired," I lied, as I blinked and yawned for dramatic effect. She didn't seem to buy it, as she looked me in the eye. Her own eyes were blue; that clear, light blue like tropical water or a blizzard blue crayola.
"Hey, are you Bella Swan?"
I wanted to sigh. It's only been a few hours and already everyone and their grandma knows my name. "Yeah," I said with boredom because I'd rather not be me. The girl got a slight smirk on her lips, like she knew something I didn't.
"The same Bella Swan who broke the four hundred meter freestyle record at nationals last year?"
Fuck. She knew who I was. Just fucking great. I was probably sitting next to the only person in this whole school who knew about the swim world. Does this school even have a swim team? It did say the home of the 'Spartans' on the welcome sign. I really wish I could lie and say no because I didn't feel like I was that same person anymore but she could just Google it and have my picture in ten seconds. So what would be the point in lying?
"I used to be."
"What do you mean you used to be?" The girl with spiky, black hair asked and I was starting to see this as a sort of one-sided conversation.
"I don't want to talk about it," I whispered putting my focus back on doodling. I let my hair fall to the side creating a curtain between us.
"Sorry but I just can't believe you're at our school. Are you going to join the team? We're so going to win nationals with you on the team this year. I can talk to the coach today if you want," she continued to ramble.
I looked out at the woods and they seemed to surround this place. I could just imagine walking into the woods and getting lost for hours. Not being able to find my way back but not really wanting to either.
"Bella… Bella, did you listen to anything I just said?"
I tried to remember what she had said but nothing came to me so I just shook my head. She sighed and smiled at me even though I was being incredibly rude.
"I was just saying it's going to be so great having you on the team this year."
What? When did I agree to this? This girl had to be crazy. I had hardly said two words. "Sorry, what's your name?"
"Sorry, I haven't even told you my name. I'm Alice." Alice stuck her hand out waiting for me to shake it but I wasn't a touchy person. I just looked at it until she seemed to get the picture. She slowly drew back her hand and frowned.
"Look, Alice, I'm only going to say this once. I don't swim anymore." I tried to focus my eyes on her to get across my seriousness.
"But why?" Alice asked as the teacher entered.
My jaw seemed to lock automatically and my teeth grated together as I focused back on doodling. Alice seemed to take my ignorance as a sign that the teacher had entered but teacher or not, that was none of her business. Miss Jacobs started the class by handing out a new book and I was glad to be starting something instead of jumping into the middle. It was a small book with the title 'The Destructors' by Graham Greene. Miss Jacobs continued to talk through the book as I glanced out the window again, watching the wind move the trees.
The bell sounded and I raced out of class before Alice could ask me any more questions. I walked down the hall not even sure if I was going in the right direction but it didn't really matter. I took the two pieces of paper out of my pocket and unfolded them as I continued down the hall. I followed the quickest route to class when I hit something hard and fell hard onto the floor, my books spilling out across the tile.
"Ow..." I cradled my arm as I hit my elbow at an odd angle. Then I noticed someone else tending to their own injuries. "Sorry," I said to the guy with a mop of blond hair. I got onto my knees and started to collect my books and paper together. At least no one else seemed to see the fall.
"It's okay." The blonde guy smiled as he picked up my history book.
After I picked my dignity up off the floor, I stood up and dusted myself off. The blonde boy turned out to be really tall as he got up. He must have been about a foot taller than me. I looked at my book in his hand and he seemed to catch on.
"Oh, sorry, here's your book. Where you headed to in such a hurry anyway?" There was a slight twang to his voice but it was smooth, like he spoke with it on purpose.
"I have media with Mr. Mason," I said and it seemed to rhyme in a lame way.
"It's just up those stairs third on the left." He pointed up the stairs next to us and I realized that my map only had the first floor on it. Wasn't that just useful.
"Thanks…" I paused when I realized I had no idea what his name was.
"It's Jasper but my friends call me Jazz," he said with a warm effortless smile.
"Thanks Jasper," I said as I headed for the stairs.
"Oh, and say hi to Emmett for me." He shouted as I left and it seemed weird but maybe he was just weird.
I knocked on the door to the class then opened it slowly. I was late but at least I had a good excuse, on account of it being my first day. "Sorry I'm late. I had trouble finding the class."
"That's okay. I'll let you off seeing as it's your first day but don't make it a habit." Mr. Mason pointed at me and I could tell he found it funny, in the way an old man like himself would. I let him finish his joke and he took on a serious tone again. "You can sit next to Emmett but tell me if he talks too much or distracts you."
"Come on, Mr. Mason, I'm not that bad."
I followed the voice to a huge guy and he was the only one sitting by himself as the rows were set up two's. I took the spare seat beside Emmett.
"I have to get some work sheets from the photocopier. I'll be back in two minutes." The two minutes seemed to be almost a threat as Mr. Mason left the room.
"Jasper says hi." I turned to Emmett to relay the message; it's the least I could do after almost breaking his legs.
"How do you know Jasper? Do you have class together?" Emmett raised his eyebrows in slight confusion and I think this is what Jasper was wanting.
"No, I just ran into him in the hall." I use the word 'ran' loosely.
"And you guys spoke about me." Emmett gestured to himself putting a hand on his heart. "I always knew I was the most exciting thing at this school but this just proves it." Emmett smiled and he had dimples when he smiled. He looked almost like a child.
"Better you than me." That was all I could say.
"Yeah, I have heard some stories about you," Emmett spoke, ominously.
I'd rather not know what these stories are, even though I wanted to ask. It was a tricky business. Did I really want to know what other people thought about me? I weighted the options in my head and decided not to ask about the stories.
"Is that your bike in the parking lot? Vintage Ducati Shotgun, right?" Emmett asked with a knowing smirk.
I was surprised he actually knew the model. I turned to him and he immediately smiled. "You know about bikes?" I inquired.
"A little but it was my girlfriend, Rose, who told me the model. She loves motorbikes."
A girl that liked motorbikes seemed like my kind of girl but that's not what I'm here for; I'm here to study and get into a good college. I don't need friends. It's just a year. I'll be out of this place before I know it and I'll never have to see any of these people again. "Cool," I said turning back to my English book.
The rest of class was uneventful and I just counted the minutes until lunch. I should have had breakfast; that way I wouldn't sound like I have a hungry bear in my stomach. I cut through the hall, navigating past the sea of people. The cafeteria was a lot smaller than the one in my old school but what was I expecting? There didn't seem to be any vending machines either and nothing looked sponsored by Vitamin Water. I took a place in line, getting fries and a coke. Once I paid, I looked over the cafeteria and there seemed to be a lot of empty tables. That was lucky. I took a seat at a table by the window.
I never thought of myself as a loner. I was always grouped with the jocks and always had friends but now I was the loner person that sat on their own at lunch. If my friends could see me now, I wonder what they would say. Nothing, probably. None of them have even bothered to call or email me since I left. Well, Emma did but she was always the nice one of the bunch. The rest just asked, "when are you coming back?" which in bitchy language, translates to, "we need you to win, get back on the team." That's one thing I'm not going to miss about the sport. That, and the early morning practices and the smell of chlorine in my hair.
I got my schedule and my map out on the table and flattened it out. My last two classes were Biology then Art. Not too bad. I liked the idea of getting to take art class this year but I was feeling pretty tired. Charlie was right, maybe a half-day would be good but it's only two classes. I opened my English book to where I had left off in media and put my feet up on the nearest chair, under the table. I should have gone to the library but it was too late now.
"Hey, Bella, these are my friends. This is Mike, Jessica, Angela, Lauren and Tyler." The boy known as Eric pointed to his friends as they began to fill the seats around me.
Funny, I don't remember asking them to join me.
"So, how are your classes so far?" The girl from my history class asked politely.
"They're alright." School is school, after all.
"Hi, I'm Mike. A bunch of us are going to the movies tomorrow night. Do you want to come?" Mike had a baby face and spiked blond hair, molded into tall points.
"We are?" A nasally voiced Jessica cut in.
"Well I was thinking about it," Mike defended, "but, Bella, if you wanted it to be just you and me I could pick you up…"
"Sorry, Mike, I'm gay."
"Gay?" Mike seemed almost stunned, his eyes frozen with shock.
"As Christmas," I replied. Being gay wasn't something I thought about a lot or over analyzed. It was just a part of who I was; like, I'm right handed and I'm gay. I was born both.
"Are you sure?" He asked as Angela gave him a swift punch to the shoulder, effectively shutting him up. I took the opportunity to leave before I became part of some sort of gay, fact-finding mission.
Biology class was deserted and I decided to just sit in the class to get some peace and quiet. I don't know why everyone seemed to want to talk to me; I'm not really that interesting. I leaned my head in my hands, following the patterns in the black, granite worktops. At least no one here knows what happened. I don't have to see people look at me with pity and mumble about being sorry and not knowing what to say. My eyelids felt heavy and I closed them for just a second before I heard the door close and I bolted upright looking towards the door. A boy with a blue sweater and unusually colored hair approached me. It wasn't red, more like copper or rust. He ran his hand through his hair and pushed it back out of his eyes.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you," He said quietly.
"It's okay," I yawned. "It's better if I don't fall asleep on my first day."
"Yeah, especially not in Banner's class. He's a bit of a hard ass." He smirked and you could tell he knew he was attractive but he wasn't smug about it. "Sorry, I haven't introduced myself. I'm Edward Cullen." The way he spoke seemed to be aged, like he should have been born in the 1920's or something. Just the way he said 'introduced' seemed odd.
"Bella swan," I said back although he probably already knew.
"Yeah, my friend told me about you, you're a swimmer right? Weren't you, like, training for the Olympics or something like that?"
I clutched at the edge of the desk I didn't enjoy people talking about me. Rumors I could take, but the truth seemed much more hurtful now. "Who told you?" I asked through gritted teeth.
"No one," Edward defended, sensing my anger.
"But you just said your friend told you." I turned his words on him as I tried to remember to breathe.
"Yeah, but everyone knows."
"Everyone knows what exactly?" I took a breath trying to calm down.
"It's a small school; we only have three competitive sports: football, baseball and swimming. As soon as they heard you were coming here, they were amazed, especially the coach. He thinks you'll make him famous."
"I'm not here to make anyone famous." I sighed. "I'm here to do my time and graduate. That's it."
"Okay, that's fair enough," Edward said putting his hands up. "But why give up on something you're so obviously good at?"
I didn't give up on swimming, I just didn't love it anymore and I don't think I have for a long time. I looked to Edward and my mouth pressed into a hard line. I wasn't planning on giving him an answer and I think he could tell, as he stopped talking and focused back on his text book, taking out a smaller note book and a pen, lining them up carefully on the table.
"So…" Edward sighed, filling the awkward silence. "Are you friends with Newton's group?"
"Newton?" I questioned.
"Mike Newton. You know, blonde, spiky hair, hits on anything female."
"Ah, Spiky, I know who you mean and no, I'm not."
I was really getting sick of these 'why' questions today. Why couldn't everyone mind their own business? "I don't need any friends."
The rest of the day passed uneventfully and with no more why questions. I headed back to my locker, picking up my now heavy backpack and my helmet. I got a few stares walking into the parking lot but I tried to pretend like I didn't notice. I didn't wait around in the parking lot as I put my helmet on. Parked a few cars away, a group caught my eye mainly because they owned the shiniest cars in the place. They were all attractive and I noticed Alice staring at me but not in a curious way. Her jaw tensed and she seemed almost angry. A bead of rain hit my nose and I gazed up at the cloud-covered sky. I better get home before it gets heavy I thought, as I turned the key, starting the engine. The word 'home' seemed to linger. Home… I guess that's what it is now.
A/N thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed it and I really appreciate any reviews.