Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight and all it's characters
After Alice left my room, I picked up the box that had held the ring. It was empty and the sight made me feel like a weight had been lifted from my shoulder.
Now I finally had gotten rid of the ring, I could see what it had represented to me. It had been, my own eternal punishment. A cruel reminder of my mistakes and committed crimes.
For so many years I had held on to that ring, hoping, wishing and most of all wanting it to give me a sign of hope. A signal that would sooth my aching soul and glue the broken pieces of my heart together again. Like a fool I had desperately clung to all of the human emotions, causing me to be weak and vulnerable. Todays events had made me realize, I had to let go of all that and accept that the guilt and pain I felt, would never be replaced with love. It was my only chance to move on in this immortal life.
Letting go of Edward's ring, that false beacon of hope, was the first step to moving forward.
Grabbing some clothes from my wardrobe, I decided to go against Alice her suggestion and instead of wearing a dress, collected an old pair of jeans and a sweatshirt from my wardrobe. As a vampire, we attracted attention. Dressing down felt like a natural choice, one I was sure Alice would not agree with. Today, I didn't care about that.
Outside I could hear Emmet was waiting for me in the car, drumming his fingers on the dashboard while shifting in his seat every few seconds. He was nervous, and I knew, it was my strange behavior earlier today that hade made him nervous. And by keeping him waiting, it got worse each second.
Quickly I got dressed and pulled my hair together in a twist, securing it with a simple rubber band. Before leaving my room, I took one glance in the mirror at myself. In front of me was a person I hardly recognized, I looked plain... almost like a normal person. No one at school would suspect me to be a centuries old vampire. Pleased, I went downstairs.
When I got downstairs I picked up the brand new schoolbag Alice had bought for me. It was a baby blue, with dark straps and zippers. She had a matching pink version, with flowers printed across the front. Mine had small white stars. Knowing she would be upset if I left it home, I grabbed it in one hand and marched outside. I was ready to face the complaints about my clothes.
As I approached the car, for a moment I could see Alice her eyes widen with what seemed a combination of surprise and disappointment. Her mouth opened as she frowned, a look from Emmet stopped her from talking.
Silently I got in the back seat of the car. Alice was sitting in the front with Emmet. My big brother used the rearview mirror to look me in the eyes as he started the car. His eyes said enough, he understood something in me had changed but knew, now was not the time to talk about us. Putting the car in drive, he pulled out of our driveway. Slower than usual, taking extra care at each crossroad, he drove us to school. The entire trip all three of us remained silent. When we got there, I left the car first. Relieved to get out of the cramped space. Slamming the door shut behind me with such force by accident it would have a dent.
My brother and sister followed me, rushing to keep up with me as I headed to the administration office. Esme had arranged everything for us in the previous week, all we needed to do was collect our schedules. They were ready and without any further hesitation. I went to my first class, ready to start a new chapter in my life, in high school. With my brother and sister at my side.
My first day at school, was easier then I had expected.
Alice had been her usual social butterfly, talking to each teacher for both of us as soon as we entered a new class. Emmet made a very big impression on the coach during class and true to his words, had arranged for himself to get a chance to show his skills at practice today. Giving him the opportunity to join the team. Emmet had accepted the offer with a grand smile on his face, and told us about it during our history class. It was a smile that showed all his teeth and caused the two guys sitting at the table next to us, to move a table away. Obviously feeling uncomfortable around us.
This afternoon he would show what real humans were made off. That was at least what he had insisted. We just let him get all excited about playing with the humans. Knowing that once he had an idea an his head. It was difficult to change his mind and talk him out of it. After the simple 'smile' incident during class, Alice had scanned his immediate future. She had seen nothing, but for safety reasons, we had decided to come along with Emmet. Just in case there was an incident that needed clearing up or smoothing down.
So now Alice and I were sitting on the bleachers watching Emmet warm up with all the other guys. He had a big proud smile on his face as he mirrored each move around him. Alice kept focussing on his immediate future, trying to pretend us all from exposure. Leaving me with nothing to do except looking around and following the movement on the field.
Next to us were a few girls from our class. Whispering to each other about all the hot guys that were trying out or had joined the team this year. I didn't pay attention until, the words ' incredibly hot new guy' were mixed in the conversation. Glancing in the same direction the girls were facing, I caught sight of the ' hot guy'. They weren't just talking about the guys on the field, they had their eyes set on Emmet.
" Alice, did you hear them talking." Moving closer to her, I gently nudged her shoulder. She tilted her head and winked at me. "About that hot new guy?"
"Yeah, the one that is also our vampire brother, who should be keeping a low profile. Perhaps this was big mistake."
My sister just giggled and shrugged her shoulders. " You can't blame them. He does look very good, flexing his muscles like that. Even you can't deny that."
Rolling my eyes I looked in the direction she was pointing at. The same direction the other girls were staring at. Emmet and another guy were now stretching their legs, standing across each other and leaning on each other's shoulders for support. Emmet was standing with his back turned to us, the fabric of his shirt stretching tight around his broad shoulders as his muscles flexed.
One of the girls sitting next to us, had moved to the edge of her seat. Holding the seat tight at either sides. It seemed like she was holding on, so she wouldn't fall off as she stared at him.
Looking at him, after Alice had pointed him out. I could understand why all the girls were talking about him. Emmet was... kind of hot. I had never considered him to be unattractive, just never looked at him from an outsider point of view. Or anything than a brother. And to the humans, with his thick dark curls, straight nose and strong mouth. He did have a handsome face, we all had. It was part of our nature. Part of the seduction that helped us lure our prey away from safety and right into our arms.
Before I could think about where on earth, those thoughts came from, my musing was interrupted by the shrieking of one of the girls.
"Oh my god, they are going to run laps after this. Let's move to the front so we can sit closer when he runs past us." The Barbara girl, who had been holding on to her seat, got up and started walking down the steps, leaving her friends behind.
Her movement caused two girls two giggle and shake their head. A third,got up also. "I know what you're planning. Wait for me you bitch." Calling after the girl who had started walking down the steps. The girl pushed past her friend in an attempt to get down at the front row first. I recognized her to be the one with the wild imagination, Melinda. " He'll just need one look at these babies, and he'll be eating out of my hands."
Adjusting her boobs, she pulled her shirt down, causing an even deeper V to show off even more cleavage. She might as well take her shirt of. Considering telling her this, I wondered what her response would be. Alice nudged me and rolled her eyes at me. Letting me know, she knew what I was considering and also alarming me to the fact that my sister kept a close eye on my immediate future also. Did she expect me to slip up?
I settled on staying seated and instead watching the show in front of me.
"Oh no you don't." The Barbara girl followed the Melinda girl. "Emmet Cullen has class and would never want to touch any of your used merchandise." Almost spitting at the other girl, Barbara got ahead again. At least she was right about my brother, he wouldn't fall for Melinda. Not for Barbara either, but that would be a later disappointment for the girl, one she would have to overcome herself. He was more likely to have them for dinner instead of taking them to dinner.
Stunned Alice and I watched both girls hurry down the steps. Pushing at each other to get ahead. All the while, they continued making nasty comments at each other.
"Is this normal teenage behavior?" Alice asked me with big excited eyes.
"Don't know." This time it was my turn to shrug. " But if you ever start acting like that I'm asking Carlisle to send us to a catholic boarding school."
At the mentioning of boarding school, Alice her eyes lighted up for a moment. Offcourse the uniforms, that would excite her. She had been slightly disappointed to find out, she could wear the same day clothes to school. But had quickly overcome that disappointment by buying all three of us a new wardrobe.
Both girls now were at the front row of seats and both of them sat down, trying to ignore the other. Melinda, was leaning forward in a move that probably was supposed to be seductive and Barbara sat down elegantly a meter away from her. Reapplying her lipstick and fluffing her hair. They only managed to ignore each other for about 2 minutes. After that, they continued to argue over our brother. At each remark made, each girl seemed to be more sure about their own superior attraction to the opposite sex.
"This is much more exciting, don't you agree." Alice whispered under her breath to me. I smiled and leaned back, knowing she probably already knew the outcome.
"Should we tell that Melinda girl, he will snap her neck if she ever suggests having sex with Emmet in the boys locker room, after practice." Alice leaned in and managed to tell me between two fits of laughter. I shook my head. " No, I think she should find that out by herself. Perhaps we could tell Barbara, our brother will never have children with her. Not even if he takes her to prom and get married afterwards."
More words were exchanged about him, some in a nature that was completely ridiculous. It made me snort and Alice break out in a fit of giggles. Especially when Emmet looked up in our direction, then to the girls on our right. I could have sworn, if it were possible the guy could blush, he would have been red behind his ears.
The two of the girls had now started a discussion who would have the best looking children with our brother. Something that was never going to happen and also kind of creepy since neither of them had ever met him in real life.
Down on the field, the coach had finally started the guys running laps. On purpose, Emmet stayed at second place. Leaving only one guy in front of him. As we both sat and watched him run, the idiot conversation on the front row continued. Getting more and more heated.
It looked like any moment, they would be getting into a real fight. I smiled and leaned forward, resting my elbows on my knees. Staring at the Melinda girl who had talked about our brother having sex with her in various and unappealing situations. My eyes were on the field, but my ears and mind were focussed on the conversation a few rows down from us. Melinda stopped talking when the Barbara girl pointed in my direction.
"Are you eavesdropping on our conversation."
Her acid voice challenged me as she turned around and glared at me. There was no threat for me. Instead her tone of voice angered me. And for a moment, I imagined leaping forward and punching her in the face with all my strength. A soft growl erupted from my chest and the burn in the back of throat presented itself. I was slipping, fast...
I felt Alice place her hand over mine. Letting me know, she had seen what I was thinking about doing. Her soft touch was enough to calm me down, help me control the anger that had taken me by surprise.
"Not at all, just here to support the guys on the field." Smiling as sweet as possible at her, I leaned back again and pretended to look at someone else on the field. Next to me Alice giggled, and I tried to stop laughing by biting my lip.
On the front row, Barbara was once again on the edge of her seat. The guys were coming around the corner, almost at the end of their lap. Emmet was still in second place. Smoothly running behind the guy in front, who looked like he could trip any moment out of fatigue. Just as they were in front of us. Barbara jumped up and waved her arms in the air.
" Come on Emmet, you can do it baby."
Screaming like a hyperactive three old, she continued to jump up and down as the guys finished. For another 3 seconds everything was silent, then almost like watching a movie in slow motion. Melinda jumped to her feet, elbowed her friend in the stomach and pulled her head back by her hair.
"Baby? You traitor, I thought we were supposed to be friends. Emmet Cullen is mine, I saw him first today in class. He is going to be my date at the next dance." Pushing the Barbara girl down on her seat, Melinda stood over her. "After practice, I'm asking Emmet out for date this weekend. Starting by giving him a very warm and private welcome to our school. " Her last words came out with a loud screech.
All the guys on the field stopped talking, including Emmet who pretended to be out of breath slightly. He had heard his name and was now staring at Alice and me with anxious eyes.
Barbara sputtered a few sounds before grabbing her bag. "Let go of me you cheap bitch." For the second time, calling her friend a bitch, she hit her right in the face with her schoolbag. Guys on the field yelled and pointed. The girls next to us screamed as Melinda swayed. For a moment it looked like she would regain her balance. Then she stepped back, her foot meeting nothing but air. Waving her arms in the air, her face showed fear as she realized, she was falling backwards.
"Help her." The other girls, who had stayed seated near us jumped up and started running down. But it was too late, help had already come from a different direction. Holding the girl in his arms was Emmet.
It took Melinda only a few seconds to regain her composure. Going from afraid to flirting in a few seconds. "You saved me." Wrapping her arms around his neck, she tried to kiss him. " Let me make it up to you." All the guys watching started to cheer Emmet on, and Emmet.. he just stared at me for help. His eyes turning darker at each second he was close to Melinda. I rose to my feet, understanding his silent plead for help. Before I could move, Emmet strained his neck, making sure his face was as far from her eager lips as possible.
" Thanks for the offer." Letting go of her suddenly, she fell down to the ground and landed on her backside. "I already have a girlfriend."
Alice looked at me and started laughing as Emmet came closer.
"Right baby." Wrapping his big arm around me, he pulled me closer and kissed my cheek. He let his cheek rest against mine for a second as he held me in a tight embrace. "I will make your life miserable if you do not play along with this Isabella Swan." Moving to my side, he kept his arm around me.
For a moment I panicked as the other girls all stared at me, then I felt Emmet squeeze my side in a not so gentle way. Shy I leaned into him for support, wishing they would all stop staring at us.
"She's just shy about us dating." Hugging me tighter, Emmet held onto me desperate. Both the Barbara and Melinda girl, gave me a look that could kill. If I were still alive. Melinda was the first to find her composure, collecting her bag and walking up to Emmet. "I'm leaving now, if you ever get bored with that little freak. Let me know."
The word caught me off guard and caused a wave of guilt to disappointment over me. Even to the humans at this school, who didn't even know me, I was a freak. Pulling away from Emmet, I mouthed a quick sorry at him. Then I ran as fast as was allowed, staying within human speed limits. Emmet followed me, catching up with me as soon as we were out of sight.
"Bella, I'm sorry for putting you in that position." He did sound sorry. Making me feel even more guilty. Shaking my head, I slowly turned to face him. He kept his distance this time, arms stretched out with his hands open. "No. I'm sorry."
Closing the distance between us, I let him hold me. This time, finding comfort in his embrace. For a moment we stood there, just the two of us.
"Do you think, I will ever fix myself?" Whispering into his chest, I stayed there. Hoping he wouldn't let go, not just yet. I felt his hand move up and gently rub my shoulder.
" You are asking me to predict the future, when we have our own psychic in the family." Bending down, so we were face to face, he smiled at me. A wide and open smile, with eyes that showed he wasn't mad or angry or upset at me.
I thought about his answer and smiled also.
Playfully punching him in the shoulder, I pulled out of his embrace and took a step back. As I did, I took a good look around. We were completely alone in the parking lot. No students, no car and most of all, no sister.
"Emmet. Where did Alice go?"
Emmet scanned our surroundings, a frown forming on his forehead. He too, could not spot Alice. She was never far behind us, always keeping a close tab on me and what I was doing. Just in case I would slip up. Anxious, I started to walk back to the field. To where we had been sitting earlier. There were a few guys talking to Barbara. At least she had moved on quickly. But no where, Alice could be seen.
"Have you seen my sister?" Emmet asked the first of the guys who looked up at us.
"The other sister, the one you are not dating?" He tried to be funny but his smile slipped off his face, fast. As both Emmet and I were not laughing, in fact Emmet's face showed the same expression I remember seeing the first time we'd met. He too understood, something was wrong. The small group had become silent as they stared at us. Emmet stood in front of them, his feet slightly apart and his arms crossed in front of his chest.
One of the other guys pointed at the office at the far end of the field.
"Yo...you...you're sister went with the... the coach." Stuttering he avoided looking at us, as he answered. We both looked at the little office. It seemed quiet, too quiet. Leaping forward, Emmet jumped over the rails and started running towards the office. I followed him, only one step behind.
Keeping a human pace, it felt like the field had no end. Finally we did reach the office. Emmet first,signalling for me to slow down. I did.
Focussing on the sounds inside, I could hear breathing, a heartbeat and something that sounded like... dripping. Pushing past Emmet, I kicked the door open.
There in the middle of the office, on her knees was Alice.
Quickly I ran to her and sat down, wrapping my arms around her. She responded by grabbing hold of me, her hands desperate as they clung to my body. As she did, I felt her small body tremble against mine.
"Alice." She didn't respond. Pushing her long hair out of her face, I noticed her eyes were blank, there was no indication she had either heard or seen me. Hugging tighter, I hoped she would feel my touch. " Alice, it's going to be alright. We're here, you're safe."
Emmet didn't come on. Curious I tried to lean away from my sister so I could see him, but Alice wouldn't let go.
"Emmet, can you please come help me with Alice." Getting up, I pulled her to her feet also. She was a marble statue, uncooperative and almost unmovable, even with my vampire strength.
My brother growled at me. His voice tense and low, a mere rumble.
Swinging round, I dragged Alice towards him.
Letting go of Alice, she moaned and took a step forward, straight into Emmet's arms. He picked her up and stepped back, outside and away from me. Outside in the light, where finally I was clearly able to see his eyes.
They were dark, darker than before... almost black.
The dripping sound caught my attention again, and slowly I turned towards it. My entire body revolted as my mind finally understood what the dripping sound was. It was blood.