So this was originally supposed to be an outtake for Under These Lights from Alice's point of view. Things obviously got way out of hand. I've gotten a lot of positive response about my Alice from UTL, so I figure a few people will be interested in her story.
Still, I've written this so it can be a stand alone story for the Jasper and Alice fans out there.
I have this mostly finished. It's around 20 short (for me anyway) chapters. Hopefully I'll be able to post everyday. I'm going to be out of the country from most of the summer with no internet access (probably) so I'm getting it up as quickly as possible. That means no beta, folks. Sorry for the mistakes.
I don't own Twilight or Friday Night Lights.
I've always been a person in transit.
It's my mother's doing, with her wandering ways and short attention span. She was just passing through Texas when she met my dad, all those years ago. Their romance burned bright but fast, and Mary Jane was back on the road before she even knew that I was cooking in her belly.
Growing up, I always like our lifestyle, never questioned it. Moving around so much, we saw a lot of beauty. Things were always fast and new and exciting. It made me good at observing but never interacting. I had to keep a distance from people because they were never permanent. The only constants were my mom, Mary Jane, and the yearly trips I did with my dad, Coach Carlisle Masen. I loved those trips because I got to pick where we went. And I never ever picked Texas.
Until, now. Technically, this moved to Dillon, Texas was my choice. Technically, I picked this.
Still, with my mom all in love – really in love – for the first time, and me with only one more year of the unbearable cruelty that is high school, moving in with Coach was just the thing to do. M.J. found herself a pro baseball player, and I couldn't make her choose between staying with me or going on the road with him.
Now that I'm here, I can't help moping a little.
Texas. Fucking Texas. Where the people are conservative, ignorant hicks who stare at me like I'm from a different goddamn galaxy. Where everything is sweltering and gross. Where people have big hair and think Jesus had blue eyes. Who ask me about football and then get real offended when it becomes clear I don't give a fuck.
Coach worries a lot in the first few weeks after I move in with him.
"Kids ain't supposed to spend so much time alone," he tells me as I cook us dinner. "I don't know if you get this but your old man has an in with the Dillon youth as head of our very own Dillon Panther football team. I could make some introductions, get someone to show you that ropes."
I bite tongue, deciding not to tell him I don't give a fuck about the ropes. I'm used to being alone. It is much preferable to spending any time with these crazy assholes. I don't want to talk about shooting things, football, or the glory of Texas. Being alone is for the best.
And it's not really alone. I'm with Coach.
"It's fine, Pop," I reply instead, jumping up to kiss his cheek. "Don't worry about me."
"You ain't lonely?" he asks, still worrying.
"No," I assure him. "This year I just want to focus on my art. I need to solidify my portfolio and all that if I have any chance of getting into a good school. No time for friends."
He stares at me for a long moment. I wonder if he can tell how much I hate it here, how much I hate the people here and the way they whisper behind my back. Coach likes it here, belongs here, and I sure don't want to hurt his feelings.
"Okay, Ali," he says. "Whatever you say. I just don't want you regrettin' movin' here with me or anything like that."
"How could I regret spending a whole year with my Pop?" He grins. I really do love my dad, even if he wasn't physically there every day of my misspent youth.
Coach progresses to complain about the lack of meat in the meal I've prepared, and I'm glad he's decided to leave me alone about being alone.
"So I met your little star throwing guy today, I think," I tell Coach as summer dwindles and the first day of school approaches. He gets home from work to find me sitting on the back deck with a cold beer and a cigarette.
"Throwing guy?" he asks, confiscating the beer and scowling at the smoke. "You can do better than that."
I just shrug my shoulders and go back to my cigarette.
"And you're too young to be smokin'," he mutters.
"Eighteen," I remind him.
"And what have I told you? Hands off the beer because you sure as hell ain't legally allowed to be doin' that," he continues, sitting down next to me. "While we're makin' rules, shouldn't you wear a little more in the way of clothing? That ain't lady like."
I grin at him, not even bothering to defend myself on all three counts. "Wow, Pops," I say. "That may have been more parenting from you in twenty seconds than I ever got from the seventeen or so years with M.J."
Coach sighs. "The discipline thing with you is kinda a lost cause, ain't it?"
"I won't drink your beer," I promise him.
"Damn right you won't."
Coach is seriously the one redeemable thing about this town. Living with him has been such a change for me from the chaotic life I shared with my mom, but I don't mind.
Sometimes it's peaceful here. When no one is around and the sun is going down it feels peaceful. It's almost beautiful. I try to focus on this.
"Throwin' guy?" he snaps suddenly, shakin' his head in disgust as he sips on the beer that was mine only a minute ago. "And you call yourself my daughter."
"Fine. Quarterback. I admit that I know that much about football," I say.
"So you met Jasper? Great kid. Been working with him since pee wee," Coach says. I get this weird, irrational flash of jealously. This cheesy cowboy has probably spent more time with my dad than I have. It's nobodies fault, but I still don't like it.
"I don't like him," I reply.
"You don't like him?" Coach repeats in disbelief.
"He called me little lady," I shout, totally offended again at the memory. "I was at the diner, you know how much I love breakfast."
"More than is natural or healthy, that's for sure," Coach replies, shaking his head. We will never agree about food. With my vegetarianism and hate of football, it's a little amazing that he hasn't disowned me at this point.
"So I was sketching because there is this really fat woman that seems to run the place? And she's all mean and yells at everybody but somehow customers seem to like it?"
"Yeah, Big Bertha. She's a Dillon institution."
Fuck, this town is weird.
"Right. So I was trying to sketch her but I was having a hard time getting her chin rolls just right," I continue. Coach shakes his head and sips his beer. "I'm drawing and minding my own business when this tall as fuck Texan is talking at me."
"Alice…" Coach reprimands, not liking my language.
"Seriously, Coach," I continue. "It was bordering rude. I had to take my headphones off and stop drawing to listen to him. By the time he finally left with his silent lover Bertha was gone and I'll never get back the moment when her chins looked like they did."
"Silent lover? You mean Bella? I though the Swan's were out of town."
Ah yes, the Swans. I've heard a lot about them. The towns wealthiest and most talked about family. Apparently the dad's an adulterer and the mom's a gold-digger and their daughter is a cheerleader.
The cheerleader and the quarterback. Nothing cliché about that at all.
"No, the lover was a dude. He just loitered behind your throwing guy and wouldn't stop grinning at me," I explain.
"Oh, that's gotta be Cullen. Don't you be gettin' involved with my fullback, Alice. That boy don't know how to stay outta trouble."
I roll my eyes but secretly I like little moments when he acts all father-like. There weren't enough of them growing up.
"So what did Jazz want?"
"To introduce himself or some shit," I reply, finally finishing my cigarette.
"He seemed all shocked and offended when I didn't know who he was. What, is he some sort of local celebrity? This town is messed up," I say.
"I sure would have loved to see this," Coach says, smiling now. "Jazz is a great kid. A real talent and an excellent leader. He's got heart. But lately he has definitely been thinkin' a little too highly of himself."
"Are you sure his name is Jazz?" I ask. "I could have sworn it was Jeremy."
Coach just laughs and laughs, even though I wasn't trying to be funny.
Things pick up real quick if you stick with me. Reviews mean I might be inspired to take a study break and update again this weekend... Just sayin'. Thanks for reading!