A few weeks ago, I took a road trip to Forks with my family. The journey and the beautiful Olympic National Park inspired me to write again. Please enjoy and let me know what you like or don't like.
Stephanie Meyer owns it all.
MORE FACT THAN FICTION
The drive to Forks from my dorm room at the WSU in Vancouver was just under 5 hours, so I had plenty of time to figure out what I was doing. My little Civic was a great little car so I knew that the drive was nothing for her. Don't ask me why she's a she but she is. The tunes were on and my best friend was joining me on this little adventure.
Forks, Washington had no connection to me, or my family, but I was hoping that I might find some answers within the town. I knew that the lady who held all the answers didn't reside in Forks but she choose that town to set her story. Why I needed answers is a strange story in itself.
First off, I grew up in Spokane with my father, Charlie. My mom died when I was 9 so my dad and I relied on each other for everything. I learned to do everything that my mom did quickly, including the cooking. I worried that if I didn't learn to cook that I would die of malnutrition. My dad is not known for his healthy lifestyle. He's a cop so grabbing food while on the go is normal so most of the dinners that he gave me came out of a brown bag oozing with grease. The meals were easy. The housework was basic but done. My life has not been easy but it's been good.
I'd always been quiet in school, but an excellent student. My best friend, Emily is the only one who knows me to the core, and who I trust with every secret. Emily is nothing like me, or at least I think so. She is so outgoing, tall, blonde and athletic. Emily could easily hang out with any group at our school but she still sticks with me. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a geek or nerd spending all my time in the library or chess club but I don't have a lot of time for extras. I really needed to get a scholarship for university because my savings just wasn't enough. Dad's pay covered all the basics with little extra to be had.
My routine through high school was very non-descript; wake up, school, lunch with Emily, homework, cook dinner, more homework, sleep and repeat. That routine was rocked to the core one afternoon in February of my senior year when Emily dropped a book on the table in front of me at lunch.
"Have you read this?" she looked from the book to me a couple of times with her hands on her hips before I even glanced at the book cover. The cover was mainly black, with a pair of hands cradling a shiny red apple. 'Twilight' was the title, and I knew that if it wasn't on our English read list then no I hadn't read it.
"Should I?" I continued to eat my lunch and mentally run over the algebraic equations that I knew would be on the test that afternoon. It was not unusual for Emily to overreact to even the smallest of things, so I wasn't fazed by her appearance that day.
"Bella! The main character's name is Bella."
"That's funny, but not unusual."
"Her name is Bella Swan, and her father Charlie is a police officer." That definitely caught my attention. I turned and gave Emily my full attention. "She lives in Washington State, in Forks, and falls in love with a vampire."
"Okay the first part is really strange but I can assure you that I'm not in love with a vampire, Emily." I laughed. "You'd be the first one to know if I was." I finished my lunch, gathered my books and left for algebra.
It was difficult to concentrate in algebra, which isn't unusual, but today was 10 times harder. I had read books with the name of Isabella in it, and sometimes even Bella but not my first and last name. The added twist of Charlie was just too freaky. Emily was totally justified in her overreaction today.
After school, Emily gave me the book and insisted that I start to read it right away. She said that other than the coincidences, it was a really good book. I told her that I would get to it once I was finished my biology project.
When I got home that night, I kept the book close to me while I made dinner. As the spaghetti sauce simmered, I picked up the book and by 4 am I'd finished it. I was stunned. The author had not only used my name and my dad's but had described me and all of my faults to a tee. I was stunned at the similarities, including what my mom had been like. I was saddened as I read those passages because I ached for my mother on a daily basis still. Charlie was an incredible dad but as I grew older it became for difficult to talk to him.
I reread the book a couple of times over the next few weeks. Emily tried to engage me in conversation about it all the time at school but I tried my best to keep my head in the schoolbooks, not Twilight. At night, in bed, it was another story. The image of Edward haunted my dreams.
There was something about the character that drew me in. I knew that me and every other girl who had read the book was envisioning Edward as their boyfriend but I felt that there was more to the character, deeper. I wanted to know what he was thinking through out the book.
I began making sketches of him, his angular jaw, straight nose, bronze tousled hair, and lean muscular body. Most of my drawings were landscapes and very amateurish, but the pencil would glide over the page as I drew him. I quickly filled one book and then another. His eyes haunted my dreams and were starting to disturb my waking hours.
As final exams and university loomed over me I tried to push Twilight out of my mind. The summer went by in a flash as Emily and I prepared to go to Washington State University in Vancouver. We had managed to get in the same dorm building, just not as roommates, but that wasn't diminishing our excitement.
"Oh my God, Bella. I can't believe how beautiful it is up here." Emily's voice brought me out of my thoughts. We'd just passed through Hoquiam and were now entering the Olympic National Park area of the peninsula. I'd been studying this area during my courses at WSU so I knew how picturesque the area is.
"There's a giant Sitka not far from here that we should stop at. I believe it's the world's tallest."
"Sure, Bella. Giant trees, that's why we're travelling this road." Emily was giggling in the seat next to me. We were traveling to Forks for the weekend. I kept telling Emily that it was to see the Hoh Rainforest but we both knew that we were checking out Forks because of Twilight.
We turned off at Lake Quinalt to check out the spruce, just to justify the trip. As a biology student it was amazing to see the forest and I should have stayed longer to make a good study of the area but I just couldn't. Emily probably would have killed me if I dawdled any longer at the tree. She practically sprinted through the forest to get back to the car.
We made idle chit chat for the next couple of hours, as we got closer to Forks. The scenery blurred past in a beautiful mix of deep vibrant greens with flashes of yellow and purple. I could totally see why Stephanie Meyer had based her book in such an exquisite location.
Approaching the town limits all conversation stopped and the atmosphere within the car changed. At the south end of the town we could see the 'Forks Welcomes You' sign and we pulled over into the parking lot of the Chamber of Commerce's visitor center and Timber museum.
Emily turned to me and we just looked at each other for a moment. "Where to next, Bella?"