A/N: Obviously, it's been awhile, but that's mainly due to my computer crashing, and me graduating, woo! :D

I thought we'd finally meet Edward this chappie, but some thumb wrestlers got in the way...but I promise next time for sure!


SM owns Twilight. I own dis here plot.

Go forth and read.



"Sooo." He clears his throat and pushes his sunny hair out of his pale eyes. "You wanted to talk?" He looks anywhere but at me. I shuffle my feet and shift my focus to a freckle on his nose.

"Don't – " I cut myself off before my voice breaks. I don't want to seem weak, wavering. I want to seem strong, confident in my decision, my choice. "Don't play stupid with me, Michael," I say with little aggression, but a firmness that makes me swell with self-pride.

When he rolls his eyes, I can see the water start to pool in them. This may be harder than I thought. "You know we aren't right for each other. It's not fair for me to string you along…."

"Oh, so that's what you've been doing?" he bites, baring his teeth, now looking me in the eyes. Fury, pain, and embarrassment, color his expression. "Stringing me along. God, what bullshit." I blink at his use of an explicative, surprised. "I know you agreed to go with me for your poor, ailing mother. I thought you'd at least start to like me. I'm not dumb, contrary to popular belief, Bella. You weren't stringing me along for shit."

"Mike – "

"We make a beautiful couple, you know that? People envy us. I'm the quarterback, you're head cheerleader – it's out of a goddamned movie! You're ruining this. Together we rule this school, we can – "

"That's not what I want!" I shout with so much passion, I can feel it vibrate through my body, my soul, down to my fingertips and toes. He staggers back a bit, stunned by my sudden fervent outburst. I've always been so subdued around him, I now realize. "And-and you would know that if you actually took the chance to know me! Really know me!" I'm yelling, and I don't know why. He's flinching, but it's bubbling up so fast and greatly, I can't stop it. "No one in this school even cares about what I think about things. Important things! Like the fact that I'm liberal!" His eyes widen at my confession.

"And that I hate cheering, and no, I won't be joining a sorority, and that I'm afraid to stand up to my own mother and tell her she's ruining not only her life, but her families." I stop to take a breath. "And I don't know why I'm telling you any of this," I say just slightly quieter. I reach up to grab at my hair, pulling it and reveling in the burn of my scalp. "But I'm breaking up with you, Mike."

He shakes his head. "I can't let you ruin your life. You need me. I can turn you around." I feel a stab in my gut at his words, and tears finally prick at my eyes. He reaches for my arm, but I jerk away.

"There's nothing wrong with me," I whisper harshly, not able to say the words louder. "I don't need turning around. Actually, you're right. I'll be turning in a different direction right now. Bye, Mike." I turn to walk away, hearing him call my name, and not looking back.

My pounding head and aching heart and fading spirit protest school, and I entertain the idea of skipping. Just this once. I look back at my car longingly. The problem is, I'm just not that kid. I don't even know how to do that. How will I pull it off? Won't the school know? Won't my mom?

As much as being a rebel sounds appealing, I'm not one. I can't even pretend to be one.

I really try not to sigh on my way into the school, really I do. But when I enter the crowded halls, I can't help myself. Students are everywhere; the B hall is where the majority of the lockers are, and therefore, the majority of the student population. I have to push past a crowd of thumb wrestlers. Thumb wrestling, really? That hasn't been cool since middle school. But it's rather curious how their countenance shifts from annoyed at my interruption, then to bashful when they see my face.

"Sorry if we're in your way, Isabella," a blushing boy on the skirts of the crowd speaks.

"It's okay, Ben." I smile when I see his eyes widen. He probably assumed I didn't know his name. Then, I try something I would've never thought to do before. I transfer my weight so I'm facing them, and I see some boys fidget. "Who's winning?" I try to sound honestly interested.

For a moment, no one answers. "Uh." A boy named Eric clears his throat. "Tyler was. I was rooting for him." It is then that I notice a wad of cash sticking out of Eric's pocket. I raise my brows, but lower my voice.

"Are you boys gambling?" They all look toward each other, anxiety evident. "You know there's a no tolerance policy…"

"Uhm, Isabella, it's just that – " Ben starts, but I silence him with my hand, almost blushing when I realize how rude that is and how much power it conveys.

"Call me Bella. And count me in." I grab some bills from my wallet, not really knowing who to hand them to. Ben takes them hesitantly, as if they might bite. "I think it's cool you don't follow the rules. I mean, this place is ridiculously strict, right?"

Cricket. Cricket. Cricket.

"Uh yeah…" Tyler finally says.

"Were you hit over the head with a spirit stick or something, Cheerleader?" a boy near the back of the huddle questions. I'm surprised to find that a name doesn't come to mind.

"Excuse me?" I ask, offended.

"Did you fall out of a twirl or something? Someone not catch you?" The boy steps forward with each question. I recognize him. He's fairly new here and hardly fits in. I heard a rumor he's here solely on scholarship money; quite the scandal, really. I also heard a rumor he lives on the other side of the lake.

"What are you going on about?"

"I see right through your little fake mask. Trying to be a little do-gooder and get us in trouble, huh? Earn some sort of citizenship award? So you can smile when you accept it, wave like a beauty queen? World peace and all that shit?"

My lips form a tight line, and my face reddens. I'm so angry and so offended, I don't even have a word to say.

"Jake, stand down," Ben whispers, but I hear him.

"Who do you think you are, Jake?" I ask, jabbing my finger at his chest.

He flicks it off. "I know who I am. Why don't you ask yourself the same question, Princess." He stalks off after his parting words, leaving me gaping.

What a frustrating, pig-headed, close-minded fool! Oh, I just want to slap him! Ask myself that question? What's that supposed to mean?

"What a-a-a butthole!" I cry, wishing for once I'd curse, but I was raised as a lady. Ben laughs, but some of the others don't look too convinced.

"Don't turn us in, okay? I don't want to get kicked out. My mother would kill me," Eric says, losing some of his reserve.

"I wasn't planning on it." I tell them all honestly, moving some hair behind me ear. "I just wanted to try breaking the rules. See how it felt, ya know?"

Ben and Eric nod, but Tyler snots. "Yeah well, try again when the world stops spinning for you." He brushes past me and the other boys soon follow, leaving me with just Ben.

"I think that was cool of you for trying." Ben rubs the back of his neck, his ears tinted pink. "Angela says you're actually nice, under all that exterior."

I debate whether or not that's supposed to be a compliment. "Uhm thanks. I think." The warning bell rings, thankfully saving me from the awkward conversation. "Bye, Ben."



"Where the hell have you been?" Lauren tugs my on my wrist, yanking me into my seat.

"Ow." I rub away the sting. "Would you mind?" I say with venom that is usually not present at school, or any public setting for that matter. She raises her brow, waiting. "I was talking to Mike." It's half true.

"So…it's done?" she whispers. Well, attempts to whisper. Lauren-whispers are like my normal speaking voice.

"Uh, yeah."

"So he's….available?" She wiggles her brows suggestively and smirks. I frown.

"As of like 10 minutes ago. You know, Lauren, a good friend wouldn't be boning my ex-boyfriend less than 24 hours after my break up." She rolls her eyes and turns around to the front of the classroom. How silly of me to forget. You aren't a good friend.

"Jeez," she mutters, surprisingly quietly. "Someone's on their period." I'm not, but I'll let her believe what she wants to. I can't believe I have to last a whole freaking day in this school with people I'm beginning to loathe.

But suddenly, and idea springs into my head, and I smile to myself. I may not be a rebel, but I am a very, very good liar.



A/N: Just in case anyone needs any reassuring, THERE WILL BE NO BELLA/JACOB ROMANCE. Puke in my mouth, much? I just needed a connection of sorts(:

A lil cliffie in this one. That probably won't happen often, I'm really not that clever. I'll be quicker next time! Summer is upon us. Hallelujah, right?