Sabriel and TropicalSorbet are my wonderful prereaders and Magnolia822 is my beta. They all make this better.
Esme held off with registering me into the local high school until we had word from the agency about my status.
A week came and went, and no temporary placement for me was found. But it was no matter, since my one week with the Cullens had been better than my entire fifteen years on earth. When they surprised me with fixing up their guest room with a new, beautiful purple comforter, bed linens, and a computer, it was pretty clear they wanted me to stay with them.
One week. It's all it took. I had a family. I small one, but more than I'd ever had before.
Carlisle and Esme seemed to be two of the most genuine people I'd ever met, and even though I didn't totally trust them yet, my heart wanted to.
Oh, so very badly.
After Esme had successfully registered me in school, she took me shopping in town.
Even though the school had a uniform policy, we still had to outfit me with proper shoes, a good backpack, and what she called "weekend attire."
All throughout the trip I'd been in a haze. I took pictures of everything, noticing my film was quickly dwindling down to the last few exposures. I wondered if maybe the Cullens would allow me to do chores around the neighborhood to save some money for more film. I'd have to ask soon.
It seemed like I wouldn't have to wait to long, though. We entered a drug store so that Esme could drop off a prescription for Carlisle when a row of camera supplies caught my eye. My mind wandered to all the possibilities of having just one more roll of film, how many moments I could catch. I must've spent too much time staring at them because a nudge of Esme's shoulder brought me back to reality. She took a pensive look at me and then glanced at the items in front of me.
"Bella, you seem to be enjoying your camera very much, but I can't imagine you have much film left. Pick a couple more rolls. I have no idea what kind you need so just grab the ones you want," Esme said with an easy smile.
I officially loved her.
I gingerly grabbed two rolls and held on to them until we reached the checkout counter.
That day was a good day.
The day finally did arrive, however, that I had to attend school. I'd had my fair share of first days and my nerves were always in full swing. The high school was small enough, smaller than the school I attended before. A lot of people might think that a small town school is a good thing, but not me. Small town schools meant everyone knew everyone else, and that meant news travelled fast. I didn't like to be the center of attention. I wanted to blend in.
So, with my hair parted and braided, my glasses thoroughly cleaned and aligned on my nose, Esme dropped me off at the front gates.
"Have a great day, sweetie. I'm sure you'll make a few friends today." Her smile was reassuring, but not enough to quell the incessant butterflies that came with every new environment. I would never get used to it.
As I walked towards the door and through the halls I could see and sense the usual stares and chatter surrounding the "new girl". Since it was the middle of the school year, all of these people around me already had friends. I was fully prepared to be the odd girl out since I was already so used to keeping to myself and my fictional characters that filled the pages of my favorite books.
But when I entered my Honors English class for first period and sat down in one of the empty seats in the second-to-last row, I never realized how my life would fully change... more than it already had.
With a few seconds remaining before the final bell rang, a flurry of students hurried into class, chattering and giggling and taking their seats. A skinny girl with short, raven's black hair walked towards me and stopped right in front of my desk.
"You must be the new girl," she said, a genuine smile lit up her face. "And you're in my seat." She laughed when she saw my obvious look of embarrassment.
"Oh, it's no biggie. There's really no assigned seating here, but people have their favorite spots. May I sit next to you?" she asked, pointing to the empty seat next to me.
"Of course," I said immediately, trying to find my voice.
The little, pretty girl held out her hand. "I'm Alice Masen."
"Bella Swan," I responded, giving her hand a light shake.
"Nice to meet you. Don't be nervous. Everyone here is pretty nice," she said, glancing over to a group of three girls entering the room. "Well, almost everyone," she amended with a roll of her eyes.
Alice and I continued our small talk for a few more moments before a deep voice broke through our chat.
"Excuse me, coming through."
I looked up... and up, and locked eyes with a tower of a boy- all tall, lanky and...
Time stopped, just like in my books about when girl meets boy.
His reddish, brownish hair flopped over his eyes. I couldn't quite make out the color of them... green? Gray? Blue? I don't know, but I do know that one side of his mouth lifted into a smart grin, and I liked it a lot.
Alice and I leaned away from each other to allow him to pass through, and as soon as he did he flopped down into the seat behind me.
"Ready for the quiz, sister mine?" God, his voice. Wait... what? Sister?
"As ready as I'll ever be, brother dear," Alice answered smiling at him knowingly.
She must've seen my confusion all over my face because she confirmed what I was thinking.
"That dork is my twin brother, Edward. Say hello to Bella, Edward."
Before I could turn around, I felt his breath and heard his voice right at my ear.
I was frozen in place, my face probably a deep shade of crimson.
Just then, the teacher, Mr. Hall, began the class and unfortunately introduced me to the entire class. As I looked around, I noticed Alice's kind face, the group of girls Alice had given the stink eye to (they looked a bit on the snarky side... every school had those), and a group of boys that sat around Edward. Some looked nice, others looked at me like I was a joke, and one of the boys leaned into Edward and they both snickered.
I didn't like it one bit.
As Mr. Hall prepped everyone for the quiz, he told me I was exempt, but since I had already read the book the quiz was based on, I opted just to take it. It seemed to please him, but the snickers from the evil girl squad shook my confidence a bit. I was no one's teacher's pet, I just wanted to do well.
When everyone turned in their quizzes, we were paired up for an assignment. Naturally, Alice picked me and we immediately set to work. She was an amazing girl, and very smart, coming up with explanations and possible meanings behind the actions of the characters in the book. I was truly in awe of her. We finished our work early so we ended up chatting about books and places she wanted to show me around the island. I think I'd found a kindred spirit in her.
I should've known the ease of my first day wouldn't last long.
"So Bella, where are you from?" The boy next to Edward asked me once everyone started to socialize. I didn't really know how to answer. I was from a lot of places.
"What's a matter? Cat got your tongue?" The boy sneered. I glanced over to Alice who looked a little more than annoyed. She was about to say something back when her brother chimed in.
"Leave her alone, Marcus."
The boy, Marcus, laughed. "Oh, whatever, Masen. You her protector now, or somethin'?"
I chanced a glance at Edward and saw a brief glimpse of hesitancy before he straightened up and showed off that smirk again.
"Nah. I was just gonna say that she might be as deaf as she's blind. Really, Bella, where did you find those frames, some old guy at the senior home?"
That earned a roar of laughter from his friends and ire from me I'd never felt before.
Alice's face was pure shock at her brother as I stood up abruptly and turned to look at him right in the eyes.
"You, Edward Masen, are a despicable excuse for a human being!" I shouted, grabbing Alice's open water bottle and flinging its contents at his face.
I didn't stick around long enough to see his reaction, but the gasps and laughter was enough of a giveaway. Mr. Hall followed me into the hallway as I tried to run with blurry eyes.
"Ms. Swan! Stop, please!" I stopped in my tracks as the tears ran down my face. I felt the man stop behind me, gasping for air.
"Ms. Swan, I heard what they said to you and I'd like to apologize. However, you must simply control your temper. I don't want to have to send you to the principal's office. I can tell you're a bright girl, but you are not exempt from the rules, young lady," he said, peering at me from above the rims of his spectacles. I looked down at my shoes in embarrassment.
"Yes, Mr. Hall. I'm truthfully sorry for causing a scene. It will never happen again, you have my word. Just please, I can't have my foster mother know about what I've done. I can't... I mean, I just got here and... oh!" I couldn't stop the sob that escaped me. It felt as if my new world was about to implode into millions of little pieces.
"Oh, Ms. Swan, please don't cry. It's not worth it, I promise you," Mr. Hall consoled me with an awkward pat on my shoulder.
"Bella!" Alice exclaimed, running out the classroom towards us.
"Mr. Hall, I can take her to the restroom and help her calm down." Alice was next to me in a heartbeat, patting my back calmly.
"Yes, yes, Ms. Masen, I think that's a good idea," he said. "Class is almost over anyway, and I see Ms. Masen already has her things and yours, so go. Tomorrow's a different day, yes?"
We nodded silently as Alice ushered me to the bathroom.
"Oh, Bella. I'm so sorry. I don't know what the hell got into my brother back there. It's so out of character for him. But don't worry, I told him off and his stupid friends. They're such idiots."
I said nothing, listening to her go on and on about the "Irina the bitch" and her cronies who were laughing at the boys' antics.
But I wasn't really paying much attention. All I knew was one thing.
I hated Edward Masen.
A/N: Hi there. Still out there? Yes I'm still here. No, you don't wanna know ;)
So... Some of you have read Anne of Green Gables and some have not. For those who have I have some character swaps for you.
Bella= Anne Shirley
Edward= Gilbert Blythe
Alice= Diana Barry
Irina= Josie Pye
Esme= Marilla Cuthbert
Carlisle= Matthew Cuthbert
Obviously, I've taken some liberties with family connections (Diana and Gil are NOT siblings in the books, and Marilla and Matthew are siblings in the books, not married). Not everything translates, nor would I want it to. LM Montgomery's work is perfect as it is, and I won't try to duplicate everything. You will start to recognize certain events, like the one you read today... since we have no slates in school anymore, I went with water bottles. The effect is the same, yes?
Thank you for your continued patience. It means the world to me. I can't promise regular updates. BUT, I can promise not to ever abandon my stories... it's not my style.
Ready for some fic recs? Got a few for you!
Bringing Bella Home by Counselor (or anything by Counselor, in all honesty)
The Heir and the Spare by SleepyValentina
The Love Boat by Twilly
Dodge and Burn by AbstractWay
A Love so Broken by mafaldac
Letters to Corporal Masen by solostintwilight
Until next time. Stay classy, fandom ;)