Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. Stephanie Meyer created and owns all of these characters, and gave them the vivid personalities and lives that continued on in my head after the last page of Breaking Dawn. This is just my imagining of what might be in store for them a little further down the road...
This is my first foray into this kind of writing, so any pointers and constructive criticism is welcome!
Chapter 1: A Family Discussion
I kept both my hands and eyes on the single sheet of paper as the discussion around me grew steadily more intense. The course schedule for my first day of school at Hanover High had sparked deep concern from my family. Though it was literally my first day of school, most of the classes were junior Advanced Placement. Every class matched one on my aunt and uncle's schedules, with one exception.
"I thought we had this all covered," glared Rosalie. Though I was not looking at my beautiful aunt, I knew how her golden eyes would flash and how she was likely flipping her golden hair away from her perfect face. "Who was supposed to take Chemistry with her?"
"I thought she was taking Biology," said Emmett, who was by far the most relaxed of the eight vampires in the room. It was the first time he had spoken since it was discovered that there was a single class on my new schedule that another member of the Cullen family would not be taking with me.
"Are you taking Biology?" Rosalie asked.
"No," said Emmett, "I'm in something called 'Earth Science,' whatever that means."
"Then why would you mention that you thought she was taking Biology," she hissed back. She was clearly irritated with Emmett's lack of worry. Rose usually saved her disdain for anyone but her partner.
Just then, my dad spoke up, "I'm sure we can find a way to sort this out. We just need to shuffle a few things."
"Edward," replied my mother, "school starts tomorrow. Even if we can get it all figured out, she'll probably have to go to the class on her own for the day." I finally looked up, to see my mother's lovely face in a familiar expression of worry, a small crease in between the eyes that were once the same color as mine. Her eyes now matched my other relatives, gold or black depending on the day, but I had seen a few pictures when they were different. I was the only one with the deep chocolate eyes that never changed, though most of my physical appearance did alter, unlike theirs.
"It will be okay," chirped my aunt Alice. Despite the positive words, she had her hands on her temples, as she often did when she tried to divine my future. She could not see me directly, but by searching the paths of those who cared for me, she was able to alert the family to any danger. "We'll all keep our own schedules, and Nessie will be fine," Alice continued. "At least I don't see us moving on anytime before the end of the school year."
"But, who will look after her in Chemistry?" replied my mother, her flute voice shaking into some strange octaves I had never heard, showing her stress.
I took a step toward her, my hand outstretched, and then thought better of it. I wanted to show her how much I wanted this. I wanted a chance to be independent, even if it was for only one class that I probably understood better than the high school teacher did. I wanted to show her how I loved them all dearly, but wanted just one chance to be on my own. I wanted to show her how much it would mean to me if they trusted me to try.
However, if I was going to convince them that I could pass for human without any of their supervision, I'd better work on communicating in the normal way.
"I think I want to try this on my own." I said. My eyes traveled the room to take in each reaction. Alice smiled at me with understanding and relief. She understood what it was like to be an oddball even within our special family, and she was relieved that my decision explained the incomplete visions she was having. She could see my future as long as it was through the lens of a vampire's fate, or even a human she knew well. When I ventured off on my own, or with my best friend Jacob, I disappeared. However, over the years since I was born, she'd worked to accept that and develop a trust with me.
My parents had struggled harder to balance my desire for freedom with their worry for my safety and well-being. I suppose it was difficult for them. After all, I was only six years old chronologically. I physically looked about the same age as the vampires who had been frozen as teenagers. I knew I was intellectually far above most seventeen year olds from the various online tests I had taken before asking permission to attend high school. I had read thousands of books since the time I was a few months old.
However, there were things most teenagers experienced that were completely alien to me. Young adult fiction baffled me in a way that 'War and Peace' and even Mom's Jane Austen's books did not. I found the descriptions of teenage emotions so confusing that I didn't even dare to speak about it to Jake, to whom I confided almost everything. I couldn't remember ever wanting to keep a secret from Jake, but these feelings, the questions I was having were too hard to unravel. I couldn't even try to express them though touch, let alone words.
I realized that everyone was still staring at me, and I should make my case as best I could.
"Look," I started, holding my own hands together so I wouldn't be tempted to reach out and make my parents see. "I know what a risk you are all taking for me. I appreciate that and honor the chance to live up to that responsibility. I know that if I make a mistake..." I broke off for a second as the many possible mistakes ran through my mind. I could share a thought with someone with my touch; I could reveal my superhuman strength; I could say the wrong thing and reveal my relative's long history of attending many different high schools. So many ways to reveal the secret and by that give the Volturi an excuse to punish me; punish me and my whole family with death.
Or even worse, I could be overwhelmed with the smell of human blood and reveal us in a way that would not only put us in danger from the law keepers of our world, but also disappoint my vegetarian family by breaking our own most sacred rule: human life was sacred. I was risking the lives of every human I may encounter, and I was risking the lives of my family. I so wanted a chance to have a peek at normalcy, I was willing to risk it all.
I pushed on, "I know if I make a mistake, we'd all suffer the consequences. But I'm sure I could keep myself in control before I did anything too dangerous." I looked at the sympathy in the eight pairs of eyes that were focused on me. "All right," I admitted, "I can't know that. But I really feel that I can make this work. Give me one day, and if you aren't all satisfied with my performance, then we can go to the backup plan and live in the woods of Canada near Tanya and Kate for a few years. Just please, let me try this."
I looked back at the piece of paper. The class that had caused all this concern was the final period of the day. "Alice and I have music theory right before I go off to Chemistry on my own," I reported. "If I'm not 100% sure I can make it through, she and I will come home sick and we'll figure out what to do at the end of the day. Just please, please let me try."
I realized as I finished that it was probably the longest speech I had ever made aloud. My family realized it as well. I watched my Dad's face as he processed his own thoughts while listening to the others. After a few minutes, he smiled.
I knew I'd have a chance to be a high school student, even if it was for only one day. There was going to be one class where I would not be babysat by a parent, aunt, or uncle.