"What is she doing here ?" Britney Epieu let out. She had just seen, from across the school's parking lot, a face she wished she'd never see again : Joan Smith, a girl who had spent the summer vacations here in Forks. Britney had hoped to never see her again.

Britney was a cheerleader in Forks High, and fit the common stereotype about those : blonde, naturally curvy, fit, and very strong-tempered. Bitchy, some called her, but always behind her back, when she or her posse couldn't hear. Britney had every boy at her feet, except for a few freaks and nerds, and many girls wanted to be her. And yet, the queen of Forks High had her first day at school ruined. A long night the day before, quite a hangover in the morning, and now Joan being apparently a new student in her school.

Joan was one of those weirdoes who believe themselves popular because a couple friends have told her she was — overconfident in everything she does. Daughter of the mayor Hugo Smith, she had spent several years in a private school, not returning to town very often or making any friends, until she reappeared in July this year. She had become quite the religious freak in the meantime, but you could only tell that by her necklace, a shiny cross. Other than that, her clothes were quite regular, if strangely arranged, and her make-up was actually outrageous enough to shock even Britney herself.

However, what repulsed Britney about the girl was not her appearance : that Joan's problem was, really, her beliefs. When they met, Joan's first words were : "Are you a Christian too ?" When asked what branch of Christianity she actually meant — Britney was, technically, part of the Presbyterian Church —, Joan's only reply was that there was only one true belief. Mistaking this as tolerance, Britney had hung out with her one afternoon, at the end of which Joan's cries of "That's not really Christian !", "God hates you for doing that!" or "That's not fair ! Why has God allowed this ?" had worn Britney's patience off, to the point she had almost punched her in the face after she was told, flat-out, that Britney was a good friend for being less "sexah" than Joan herself. Apparently, Britney had found in Joan someone who could actually out-bitch her.

Moving with her posse to her first class — French literature, forced on her by her French mother — Britney was disappointed once more in seeing the Joan girl was actually with her. However, she noticed what the other girl had seen when entering the room : Edward Cullen. The mysterious boy, part of a family of adopted siblings, was quite a good-looking guy, if you like the broody, pale kind, and one of those freaks that didn't like Britney. She couldn't help but watch Joan and Edward gazing at each other, then the boy looking away, in what seemed like disgust. Not as much a freak as I thought, in the end, she muttered to herself. Joan was now whipping the air with her long brown hair, in what may be an attempt at gaining attention, but reminded Britney of a cow trying to get rid of flies with her tail. The Cullen guy looked again, as did everyone, likely fearing to get hurt by one of the hairpins holding the girl's hair together. When he looked away again, Joan started to frown. Well, what did you expect ? Even I couldn't get a boy acting like that.

The mad girl then walked up to Edward, everyone looking carefully at her, fearing she might do something crazy once more. She then sat on Edward's desk. No one dared talk anymore, so Britney heard him clearly, despite sitting at the other end of the room.

"Who are you, and why are you sitting on my desk ?" he asked.

He looked darker than Britney had ever seen him, and from where she was she had the impression that his bronze eyes had gone pitch black — a ridiculous thought. The girl didn't seemed bothered by his… less than polite ways and winked at him.

"You're cute."

Wait, that was her answer ? Doesn't she know that a question usually begs for an answer ? What Britney might have had of esteem for the girl vanished suddenly. She wasn't only crazy or stupid, she was completely oblivious to the world around her ! Fortunately, the torture of watching her ended when the teacher entered the room and Joan found a seat at the back of the classroom.

Finally, the class ended, and for the rest of the morning, Britney didn't have to stand the weird girl any longer, apparently not being together. She had already ordered her posse to gather information about her, especially her timetable, in case they had any more courses in common.

At noon, when Britney walked down the hall to the cafeteria to meet her friends, she heard a noise in her back. Turning around, she saw a silhouette running through a door, leading to the school's large park. Wishing to know who that was — and why he didn't go to lunch like everyone —, she headed for the door herself. Whoever it was, after all, learning dirty secrets is always a good thing.

"What are you doing, Miss Epieu ?" Mr Saltzmann, Biology teacher, had glimpsed her.

"Nothing — Just preparing a surprise for everyone in the park. You know, making publicity for the cheerleaders !" She counted on Saltzmann's friendship with her parents to make him a little more lenient than he should.

"Fine, young woman. Just remember — don't do anything stupid. I believe we'll see each other right after lunchtime, won't we ?"

"Yes, Mr. Saltzmann."

"See you later then."

And he walked off. Finally alone — everyone was in the cafeteria by now —, Britney went in the park, to see the silhouette going into the woods that bordered the school grounds. Entering those woods herself, she tried to keep up with the mysterious figure, but soon realized she had lost him. Until she heard a noise behind her, like the wind blowing very hard. She didn't have the time to turn, though, before she felt something sharp burying deep in her throat. Unable to even scream, she fell on the ground. She caught a final glimpse of brown hair before everything went dark.