The Beginning Of After

Summary: My name is Vanessa Swan, four years old. My Mommy was raped when she was thirteen, and that was how I was made. This is her story.

Chapter One: Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman

Disclaimer: If my non-existent fairy-godmother were to grant me a wish, I wouldn't be wishing for Prince Charming. I'd be wishing for Edward Cullen.


Usually, the beginning of after proves to be the easiest time, the period whereby everything seems to flow into place, solidly fixing.

I fail to agree.

"Mommy . . ." my little daughter crooned in her sleep, curling herself onto my lap. I chuckled and kissed her forehead tenderly, adoringly. Never mind the fact that I was only seventeen. So much had happened over these past four years.

"I can see why you want to keep her, Bells. She's such an angel." My Dad, Police Chief Swan, grinned from the rear-view mirror.

"She's my baby, dad," I smiled back at him, "forever and always."

Dad grunted and pulled away from my gaze. "We're here," he said rather gruffly. "Go wake Ness up, Bells. She might not be able to get anymore sleep later."

"Sure." I nodded and looked down at my sleeping baby girl.

"Rise and shine sleeping beauty, we're here at your Grandpa's place." I murmured, pressing my lips against her chocolate curls. Vanessa stirred, clutching at my neck only tighter.

I laughed again. "Sweets, you'll have to get up or I'll never make you that hot chocolate I promised."

"Chocolate?" my little girl sniffled, her eyes blinking open in sudden alertness. I smiled at her eager expression and her high soprano voice. That was one of the many perks I loved about her.

"Yes, baby." I nodded and hugged her tighter to me.

"Um, Bells? I think I need some help. Your old man isn't as fit as he was back in the days." Dad called out from the cruiser's trunk. I leaned in towards my daughter and whispered, "Looks like it's time for Grandpa to hit the Gym, right?"

Ness only laughed and nuzzled my nose with hers affectionately. I grinned again, because this was why I'd wanted to keep her in the first place.

Don't get me wrong, Vanessa is my own flesh and blood.

"Isabella Marie Swan, I need your help, and if you don't get your butt–"

"Dad," I scolded, chastising him. "There are young ears flapping!"

"Sorry, sorry." I heard him apologize. Vanessa–being the little angel that she was–looked up blankly at me, her chocolate brown eyes twinkling.

"Mommy, Grandpa said butt." She giggled.

I couldn't help but laugh as well. My daughter was adorable like that.

As gently as I could, I opened up the door of the cruiser and got out, carrying Ness in my arms. She buried her face in my neck as I looked around, taking in our surroundings. Ah, good old Forks. It looked the same like in those pictures Mom had.

Mom . . .

I swallowed a huge lump in my throat.

My own mother had died not too long ago, back in September. It was December now, just after Christmas. It snowed here, and Vanessa found it intriguing. She squirmed to get out of my embrace, eager to play with the white stuff.

Back in Florida, my baby didn't get to see this often. In fact, this would be her first time experiencing snow.

"Mommy, Mommy! Look, snow!" she gasped, jumping around the mounds of snow, making imprints.

She bent down to play with the snow, making those pathetic snow balls she'd seen people do in the TV. Vanessa was always eager to try anything, and she giggled again when she made her first snow ball.

My daughter then stood up straight, dropping the now forgotten snow ball and gazed evenly at the sky. It was snowing, albeit lightly, and she seemed fascinated by the icicles perched on the tree near Dad's house.

"Bells? Care to help here?" my father grunted, and I turned to smile at him. Ness and I only had one duffel bag each, or in my daughter's case, one teeny, tiny duplicate of a normal duffel bag.

"It's not even five kilograms, Dad. You must really have gotten soft over the years." I teased him, taking my bag from him.

Vanessa and I barely had clothes. But with the money Mom had left us, the first thing I planned to do was to get her more clothes. She'd been wearing that same winter-jacket for more than two years now. It would kill me if she had to wear it for another two more.

"Baby, come over here and help Grandpa with your bag, sweetie." I called out to my daughter, who was a giggly pile of mush in the middle of a snow mound.

I was starting to get worried. What if she got a cold because of it?

"Okay!" she sang and stood up valiantly, running over to her grandfather and picking one side of the handle. My father smiled down at his lovable grandchild as he ruffled her hair and tugged her along to his house–and my former home.

Being in Forks seemed like a distant memory to me. According to my mother, she'd left my Dad–and Forks–when I was only three years old.

I could remember the cold, the bitter rain, but I couldn't remember how attached my father was to this town. It was one of the downfalls to his marriage with my mother.

Taking a trip down memory lane was not advisable for me at the moment. I didn't come back to Forks for forgotten memories, pushed all the way back inside my mind. I came here for a new start with my daughter.

Florida meant a mere nothing to me. Not when both of my parents there were dead. Mom and her new husband, Phil–I refused to call him my 'dad'–had died in a car accident.

I gulped. Careful, Bella, don't go there, I reminded myself. Steeling my guts, I trudged forward into Dad's home, listening to his banter with my daughter.

She and my father had yet to totally bond. Dad never knew much about Vanessa, in fact, her hardly knew her until a week ago, when I'd contacted him to ask if it was okay for me to move into Forks with my daughter.

He had flipped out when I'd said 'my daughter.'

But in the end, my father got 'round to it. He didn't want anything happening to his granddaughter. Neither did I for that matter.

I headed up the stairs and into my bedroom, refusing to look at the living room and the wall on which the staircase seemed to be leaning against. There were pictures–painful, unbidden pictures that I didn't want to see–that were placed there.

Pictures of my mother and him had been placed in an uncoordinated manner. I couldn't allow myself to see them. The pain of remembering was just too much for me to handle.

As I walked in through my old door, I glanced at my former room. It looked exactly the same like I remembered it, the colors, how the bed's headboard was leaning against the left wall. There were even innocent, childlike drawings on the right wall.

But on the wall opposite where I was opened a window, and when I turned around, there was another set of windows staring at me. I realized that this was something I had not remembered.

It wasn't the fact that I had two set of windows in my room that startled me. It was the absolutely stunning and irrevocable view of the woods that came from both of them.

On the south window, it pictured the sun setting over a vast amount of trees, causing a somewhat green and yellow light which splayed across my room, the orbs in the dream-catcher on the other window sparkled.

Rainbows danced on the right wall, beautiful colors merging into one, and others mixing in with the drawings, so you couldn't tell whether or not they were part of the art.

"It's pretty," I heard my daughter sing from behind me, under my legs, as she ran around me to climb onto the new but somewhat small bed. Nevertheless, it was still too big for her, so she had to scramble onto it.

I smiled at my daughter's playfulness as she hid under the thick quilt.

This was another thing I was glad she inherited from me.

Vanessa looked nothing like the monster that was her father. She was the spitting image of me. She looked exactly like I did, and for that, I was grateful. No one would recognize her as that monster's daughter. She could be free to be whoever she wanted to be.

"Where can my Ness be?" I said in a sing-song voice. I heard a pealing of bells and grinned at the sound. From behind me, my father was chuckling as well.

"Adorable," I heard him say.

And he was right. My daughter is adorable.

"Come out, Ness. Come out, come out wherever you are!" I continued, slowly making my way towards the tiny pile underneath the covers of my bed.

"No!" she enthused. I smiled and ripped the quilt away, revealing my baby's tiny body. Her brown eyes blinked up once, and she started laughing.

It was like music to my ears.

I proceeded to attack her with tickles. I knew she loved those. She had a certain ticklish spot near her waist. I'd proudly say that I had found out about it whilst giving her a bath when she was just two.

Speaking of baths, I think it's time for my daughter to take a nice, warm shower.

"Dad, could you please pass the towel from her bag?" I asked my father breathlessly, turning up to meet his smiling face. He still held my daughter's bag, the action making it seem like he was holding a ticking bomb.

My dad never knew how to treat little children. But with Vanessa around, I was sure he would do his best to understand.

"Sure, here Bells." He told me and unzipped the bag. He pulled out one huge towel and a fuzzy pink bathrobe with the initials V written on the back. It was Mom's third birthday present to Vanessa, who'd loved and cherished the bathrobe so much that she couldn't bear to wear it often, in case the pretty color would fade away.

"Thanks," I told him, and gently placed my still giggling toddler back onto the bed. Even though Ness was already four, I still thought of her as a toddler, mostly due to the fact that she was really tiny for her age.

And also because when she was really excited, she spoke in a babyish tone.

"Come here baby," I cooed to my daughter, holding my arms out, "let's get you a bath, okay?"

Ness nodded eagerly before running up to my arms. I swung her up with ease–being a mom at such an early age had some benefits, like somehow managing to become bionic–and carried her out to the bathroom.

My head was doing me in ever since the flight started. There really was no explanation for it. What with the fat, noisy man who sat beside me snoring loudly into my ear, and the nosy stewardess who kept checking in on me and Ness every five minutes, I couldn't get any sleep at all.

Unlike my hyper-active baby, who'd done nothing but sleep the sleep of the dead.

"Mommy, can I use your shampoo?" my baby asked, her eyes blinking up at me innocently as I reached for the bubble soap.

"Of course, honey." I kissed her wet hair and she laughed, splashing the water at me. I smiled fondly once again. Ness had always been a water-baby. She loved the feeling of the water gliding against her skin. One time, she even pretended to be a mermaid!

It wouldn't surprise me if she wanted to become a swimmer one day.

After Ness was done in the shower and I'd gotten her dressed, I made sure Dad could entertain her with her teddy-bear and storybooks. I myself needed a shower, and normally I'd do it with Vanessa.

Today, though, was different. I needed to be alone with my thoughts.

But that would be hardly possible, because Vanessa always clouded every thought of mine. Even at this age, I was dealing with the same thoughts every parent had. Was she feeding enough? Was she sleeping enough? Was she learning enough? Was she eating the right food enough? Was my love for her enough?

Was anything I ever did for her enough?

These past four years, I liked to say that I've grown supremely mature. I didn't have a choice. A child usually meant for people to start growing up and be responsible.

My only wish for my daughter, albeit secretively, was for her to be happy. She'd constantly tell me she loved me, but if she knew the truth of how she was born, I knew it wouldn't be a pretty picture.

Despite her young age and childlike demeanor, my daughter was intuitive and perceptive. She had the thinking of an adult, only it was shadowed by her actions.

It was another thing she'd inherited from me. Or, so they say.

As I stared at my naked self in the full-body mirror in Dad's bathroom, I couldn't help but look down at my flat stomach, where there was a faint scar. It was from Ness's birth. I was too young to have a normal delivery, which could have possibly prevented me from producing anymore babies.

So the doctors did a C section on me. They knocked me out and did the procedure.

It was over within twelve hours.

I traced the scar, feeling the slight raising of the bump. It felt like it was all a distant memory, like my pregnancy with my daughter was all just a fading dream.

And yet I held reality in my arms.

One hot stab of fear caused me to shiver. Draping my own bathrobe over me, I leaned against the bathtub and took one deep breath. Hush now, Bella. Don't let Vanessa see you like this, I chided myself.

If there was one thing that killed my daughter, it was seeing me get freaked out or cry. She hated it whenever she saw me in those vulnerable positions. That's why I never wanted to tell her about the reason why she was born in the first place.

"Mommy, are you done yet?" my daughter said from behind the bathroom door. "I'm coming baby. Mommy's just finishing." I reassured her.

Taking another glance at the mirror, I took one more breath before forcing out a smile.

"Mommy, Grandpa's starting to have breathing problems." She said once more, and there was concern evident in her high-pitched voice.

"I'm coming, baby." I told her once again, and pulled the door open, only wearing my plain white bathrobe.

Truth be told, my father did look like he was having breathing problems. But it wasn't in the wrong sense. He was practically dying of laughter.

Oh, god, dying.

"What did she do, Dad?" I asked my father, bending down to pick my daughter up and carried her in my arms.

"She was –" he panted. "Talking about teddy-bears –" he took another deep breath. "Dominating the world!" he finished, bursting out into laughter once more.

"Did she now?" I laughed and hugged Ness closer to me.

"Mommy," she giggled. "Don't laugh at me."

"Aw, but you're just too cute baby." I twisted her around to tickle her. She laughed freely and then squirmed, indicating that she wanted to be put down. So I let her loose and pushed both of my daughter and father out the door. I needed to get changed.

I wore a Jacksonville High baggy sweatshirt with matching sweatpants. After I'd unfurled my hair from the towel, I headed downstairs towards the smell of pizza.

Ness was babbling aimlessly to my father, who looked completely out of place. He looked over her shoulder and gave me a frown. I winked back at him before grabbing the tiny pan. I searched in the fridge for milk, and maybe some chocolate bars. I was making hot chocolate the traditional way.

"Dad, do you want some too?" I asked my father, pulling my head out of the fridge, carrying all the ingredients I needed. It was enough to make drinks for three.

"Yeah, sure, thanks Bells." He answered, and he was playing with my daughter's dolls. She pretended to be the superhero, saving the damsel in distress.

It was rare for Ness to experience company other than me, my Mom, and Phil. Other than that, she was pretty lonely. That was one of the reasons why I decided to move here; for my daughter to gain a more interactive life, to make her more sociable. She didn't deserve to be shut out.

"All right, drinks up!" I called and turned around to place the cups on the kitchen counter. I barely took a look at all the pictures that lined the wall against it.

"Mm," Vanessa sighed in contentment as she drank from her icy-blue plastic cup. Dad and I shared a long look before looking away.

It wasn't like me to just hide things like my daughter from my own father. He knew that, and so did I. And yet I refused to tell him the full story of how Ness came to be. She was here, and that was all that mattered.

"Dad, are you free tomorrow?" I found myself suddenly asking my father. He looked mildly surprised before nodding, unsure.

"Of course I am. It's a Saturday."

"Then can you take care of Ness for tomorrow? I need to enroll myself in the high school here. And I need to find a job." I looked down and traced the outline of my cup. It was silent for awhile.

I knew Vanessa had no idea what was going on, because in the next moment, she said in a soft and pained voice, "Mommy, you're leaving me?"

Panic and hurt shook my heart, causing me to snap up and look into my daughter's beautiful brown eyes. Only she could be the only living human to breathe life into the clichéd saying of 'eyes that twinkle.'

"No!" I said, denying, the protest loud and desperate in my ears. "I will never do that!"

Vanessa looked from me to her grandfather, and then she said, "Then why are you leaving me with Grandpa? Did I do something wrong, Mommy?"

At times like this, I forget that my daughter is only four years old.

"No, baby, come here," I whispered, urging for her to climb on my lap. She complied, peeling herself away from Dad's hug. "Mommy just needs to get herself a place at school, and then she needs to find a job, so she can support you."

I enunciated every word, every syllable, so that she could understand. And she did. My smart little four year- old nodded seriously. "Okay."

Smiling, I kissed her forehead. "I love you Ness, now finish up your hot chocolate. It's almost time for your bedtime."

"I love you too, Mommy. More than my own life." Her hand reached up to touch the golden, heart-shaped locket that contained a picture of me and her, with the inscription written in French: plus que ma propre vie. It was her birthday present from me this year. Although I was repressed with money, I'd crammed it all just to get her that gorgeous locket.

"Am I really forgotten?" Dad asked, bewildered, his voice surpassing some emotions.

I looked up to give my Dad a tiny grin, "No not really. But thank you Dad. For letting Vanessa and I stay here. I don't know where else we would have gone without you."

"Thank you Grandpa!" Vanessa echoed.

Dad laughed and reached across the counter to ruffle Ness's hair. "You are very welcome, Ness. And you too, Bells. This was the most that I could do for you."

And then he grimaced, remembering.

I forced back another lump in my throat. Remember your focus, Bella. Do not forget it.

Finally, after I'd fed Ness the veggie pizzas Dad had gotten for us–Ness wasn't much of a meat-lover. She was still at the phase where she hated people killing animals–I'd helped to clear the dishes, placing them gingerly in the dishwasher.

I wondered idly when my father had gotten it. From what I heard, Dad was more of a fan for the traditional ways. Instead of a machine doing all the work, he preferred to do it himself.

But, tiredly, I let it go. Too much had happened today. It was time for me to get some much needed rest before I faced the difficulties tomorrow.

"Mommy," Vanessa said sleepily as I tucked her in beside me. I was supposed to be sleeping in the living room, on Dad's old recliner. Actually, he wanted to give me his room, but I declined. I thought it was better for Ness to sleep on her own now, but she'd gotten edgy and she didn't want to sleep in my room all alone. She'd been too used to having me beside her all the time. "Can you sing me to sleep?"

It wasn't like my daughter to ask me things. She was like me, utterly selfless, always compassionate, so she rarely got the chance to speak for herself.

And who am I to deny her?

So I held her tighter to me, humming out a tune from one of the songs I'd heard on the radio. It wasn't complete, because I hardly knew what I was singing as well. But it did not matter, for my baby had already been lulled to sleep.

I gently kissed her forehead once more, telling her that I loved her, before I allowed myself to fall into my bitter dreams, ones that I can never escape from.

The morning found my daughter all dressed up in her children's pants and pink t-shirt. She wore her parka over it, probably due to the fact that it was still snowing. I found myself shivering slightly.

Even though I was wearing another shirt beneath Dad's old, long-sleeved jersey, I found it difficult to repress the cold. Forks had its perks, but not all of them were suitable for a sun-loving person like me.

"Be good and listen to Grandpa, okay baby? When Mommy gets back, she's going to cook you some tomato soup, and maybe even give you another cup of hot chocolate. Is that good?" I asked my little Vanessa, who was puffing out breaths in the cold winter air. She grinned at how visible they were.

Since I was already bending down, all my daughter had to do was to lean forward and wrap her tiny arms around my neck. I hugged her closer for a second. This would be the first time in months that I've left her alone for any period of time.

Vanessa whispered, "Yes, Mommy. I won't get into trouble for you. Grandpa said he was going to take me out to his work. He said he was going to show me around today."

I grinned. It was just like my Dad to want to show his granddaughter off to the world. He cherished all of his family, no matter how brief he knew them. That was why he became the Chief of Police here in the first place.

"Now Mommy wishes she can stay behind," I grumbled to Ness. She giggled, her arms tightening around my neck. I felt her lips at my hair when she replied, "Then stay, Mommy."

I sighed.

"Maybe next time," I amended, pulling away to give my daughter one last kiss on her forehead.

"Bye-bye, Mommy!" she giggled and ran up into her grandfather's waiting arms. He swung her up, carried her on his shoulders, and gave out a startled gasp.

"My god, Bella, she sure as hell –"

I gulped. "Dad, there's no need for cursing."

"Sorry," he apologized, before continuing, "but Vanessa needs some proper food. Even you look like you're going to fall out of starvation soon. You're all skin and bones, Bells. I think you need some time off taking care of Ness."

"I'm okay Dad. I don't need any time off. Besides, she needs me."

"We'll talk about this later. In the meantime, I have to head off to the station." He grunted, shifting Vanessa on his shoulders. "What time are you coming home?"

"Gee, I don't know. This whole enrollment plus job-hunting thing might take hours. I'm worried I'll only be back by night, at most." Sighing, I looked up at the dark sky. Snowflakes still floated down, and I wondered, if you saw Forks from an outer-space perspective, would it be like seeing the inside of a snow-globe?

I didn't know the answer to that, so I said my farewell to my father and daughter as I hopped into Dad's cruiser. He was getting a ride from another police-officer. Someone named Harry Clearwater, I think.

Either way, I was grateful that I didn't have to walk to Forks High School. Once I got my first pay here, after setting aside fifty percent of it for Ness's first school year, I'd get myself a car. I wouldn't mind if it was old and battered, if didn't work most of the time. At least I would have a car.

Finding the high school was fairly easy. Like many other stores and buildings in Forks, you could find Forks High School just off the highway.

But as I parked in the student's lot, incredulously eyeing the sign, I wondered why on Earth did it look so different? The crest was there, the usual symbol and wordings: Home of the Spartans engraved onto the neon sign board.

Where were the metal detectors, the barbed fences? A lone security guard sat in front of a mini-building, with a sign written on top of it. 'Cafeteria,' it read.

I began to worry as I looked around. The buildings were all like tiny houses, except it had only one floor. Tiny blocks that stretched all around me in a messy circle. Numbers were written in black bold on each building, but they did not make any sense.

Why, in the right world, would building one end up beside building four?

Something was really weird with this place.

Since this was not to be helped, I got out of the cruiser and headed towards the building with the words, 'Main Office' scrawled on top in graffiti.

I got into the so called office, noticing that it didn't look like an office at all. Instead of the normal metal chairs and tables, it looked completely cozy, like you were in a stranger's comfortable living room instead of the place where you'd expect the Principal's Office to be.

A woman with graying hair sat behind one wooden desk, directly in front of me. She'd tried to hide the fact that she knew I was here, because she was focusing so hard on the blank piece of paper that laid untouched towards her left.

"Excuse me?" I cleared my throat, standing over her desk and trying not to look out of place.

"Oh, hello dear, I didn't see you there." The woman, whose nameplate read 'Ms. Cope,' looked up in feigned innocence.

Yeah, right. And I'm a talking Chihuahua.

"No, it's all right," I said, interjecting sincerity in my tone. After all, it was my first day here. "I just came in here to enroll in this school? I'm Isabella Swan."

"Oh, right! Of course! You're the Chief's daughter, right?" Ms. Cope pretended to look surprised. I really hated it when people acted this way, doing faux expressions on their faces just to attract attention.

"Yes, I am," I answered. I did not have to be a mind-reader to know her thoughts. She was probably wondering why I sounded so formal and stiff.

"Good, good. All that you have to do is to hand in your documents and papers from your previous schools. And then you'll be ready to go!"

I nodded stiffly. How I wish that I could be done with this. I wanted to be with Vanessa. I was already missing her.

After I'd given Ms. Cope the proper documents and papers needed, she'd given me a schedule–apparently, they'd already taken care of it the minute they heard that I was moving here. New people happened very rarely here in Forks.

I was wished a very good afternoon and a belated Merry Christmas by Ms. Cope, who looked properly happy that Forks' population had increased by one more. Or, secretly, it had increased by two more. Next Monday would be the official start of my year here in FHS. Until then, I had one more day of Winter Break left. One more day of freedom with my daughter left.

The horrid case of Forks was that this town was a massive, gossip-filled town. I dared not mention my Ness in front of anyone, otherwise I'd be damned. My daughter should not be subjected to the heated stares and disapproving expressions that were once showered upon us, upon me.

But who was I to let what people thought of me and my daughter? I made my decision, and I was going to stick to it, no matter what the consequences were.

When I first had Vanessa, I made a secret pact within myself to create a better life for her. I would do everything–anything–just to keep her happy. She became the utmost important person in my life, and there was simply nothing that could compare to her.

And to think that I was only thirteen back then.

I shook my head discreetly, causing several people in the diner I was currently in to look at me. After the ordeal in FHS, I'd read through the local newspapers that this particular diner needed a server girl, no matter if she was going to work part-time or not.

This was the perfect opportunity.

They'd stated that they were going to allow work through the night, since this was a twenty-four hour diner. I could have school by day, work by night. And I could probably cram in some studying time.

But even so, what about my daughter? I would have too little time spent with her.

Perhaps I could have a word with the manager. Hopefully, he could understand my situation. I wouldn't want Child Services knocking through my door again.

Bella! My inner-voice reproached me.

Gulping once more, I walked past the cashier towards the door that clearly claimed to be the office. I took a deep breath before knocking.

"Come in!" a deep voice called out.

And come in I did.

A man who looked to be about in his mid-forties sat behind an office desk overflowing with papers. He had kind, black eyes that seemed slightly too large for his old, wizened face. His straight nose and taut jaw and russet skin all indicated that he was native-American.

"What can I do for you, Miss?" he asked once more in his deep bass. Somehow, it reminded me of the way the Monster's voice sounded like. But instead of frightening me to bits, it soothed my ragged mind, calming my tense body.

"I came here looking for a job, sir." My stiff shoulders were definitely much lighter now. Confidence radiated throughout me, almost like a second glow to my skin.

"Ah, that would be the serving job, am I correct?"

"Yes, sir," I nodded.

"I have to give it to you kid, you've got manners." He gave me a warm grin, of which I had to return. I hardly ever smiled that way in front of other people, except for my daughter and father.

"My name's Billy Black. And this is the Lodge." The man introduced himself, his palm offered for a handshake.

I nodded one more time before shaking it, "Bella."

His kind eyes froze, before tightening. I immediately took my hand out of his hold. And then he burst out laughing, "Bella? Really! It's been such a long time! The last time I've seen you, you only came up to my waist! And I'm on a flipping wheelchair!"

I felt as though I was staring into blank space. I had no idea what he was talking about.

"Oh, come on! Surely you remember me? Uncle Billy, remember? God, you've gotten older, and prettier!"

"Um, thanks?"

Billy laughed and rolled away from his desk to my side. "You must be confused. Your Dad and I are great friends. You used to visit my family in the reservation when you were younger and your mom–ah, well, never mind."

"Now I remember," I pretended, even though I spared his family a bare thought. Like I had said, I didn't come here for a trip down memory lane.

"So what brings you here sweetheart?" he asked, eyes boring. If Charlie and him were great friends, surely he'd have known about my situation?

"A new start," I replied, looking down.

"Oh. Well, do you really want this job then?"

"Yes, sir, I need it."

"Hmm, can I take a look at your applications? Have you had any experience with this?" Billy was all about business now. That's more like it.

"Indeed, sir. I was a cashier for a certain branch of Wall-Mart back in Florida for nearly two years, so I would know how deal with people from all ages, of different well-beings, and completely different backgrounds. I would know how to help a customer with their choices, be it between a burger and lasagna. I would also know how to approach them and be sociable."

Okay, perhaps the last part was a lie. I was barely sociable towards people nowadays.

"Wow, kid. That's . . . impressive." Billy Black hesitated and I looked up to meet his questioning gaze.

"How long do you wish to work? I imagine that, since you have school and everything, you'll be working the night shift? But it usually ends at five o'clock in the morning."

"Uh, could I ask a favor, sir?"


"I have a daughter, sir." I finally confessed, staring seriously into his black eyes, which widened with realization and shock. But I continued on. "And I intend to spend time with her, but I need to work for her benefit. She's starting school next year –"

"But that would mean –"

"Yes, I had her when I was thirteen."

A deadly silence enveloped us. How stupid could I be? Why did I just reveal to Billy Black about Vanessa? Why could I not keep my mouth shut?

"All right, then. We'll see what we can do," he finally breathed, though he looked indefinite. Suddenly, he looked determined. "What do you say about working from five till two a.m. in the morning?"

He's serious isn't he? He has got to be serious!

Not even my work at Wall-Mart was this good!

"It's –" I took a deep breath, spluttering. "It's brilliant, sir! When do I start?"

Billy looked up, thinking, "Monday? How do you feel about that? And you get weekends free. My friend, Sue, she can babysit your daughter for you. She'd love it. All her kids are grown-up now, anyway. Her son, Seth, is probably your age. He studies at Forks High."

And that, was the best news I'd ever received in such a long, long time.

A/N: Well, there you have it! The first chapter of TBOA! I hope you liked the start, because I had fun writing this. If you want to know more about why Bella and Vanessa moved to Forks in the first place, you'd have to continue reading this! But that would mean reviews, though. So if this chapter gets one or two reviews, I'd be happy enough to continue on.

This story came to me while I was watching Sixteen and Pregnant. Not exactly in the sense whereby Bella was stupid enough to get knocked up at thirteen, but because she was raped. I know this is a very sensitive topic, and I wanted to write it because of a tragic incident with one of my own friends. We should do everything we can to prevent these kind of events from happening; unwanted pregnancies, the dilemma faced by the girl and the tragic loss of one's virtue.

I really care for this story, I swear I do. So please, please tell me if you'd want me to continue it. Because I sure as hell do.

Okay, I'm done ranting. If Twilight just so happens to be your addiction, hey, feel free to leave a review. =)

-Serenity AKA Serene.