Here's to new stories! Please hang in there with me. I am trying the new copy and paste method of uploading via iPhone.

I wanted to post this chapter aspa test if you will, to see if this might be something you're interested in...? I have quite a few chapters completed already. Let me know what you think!


Chapter 1:

Answered Prayers

Senior year at Kankakee Valley High School was dawning on me quicker than I anticipated. I felt like I could remember my freshman year as if it were yesterday. Like all the other students, I was terrified and clueless, but now, I would rule the school with that familiar freshman class. In fact, I would even get out earlier than a lot of them. There was a small bunch of us who would be graduating early in December. We were the ones that worked our asses off with studying and advanced placement classes to get to do so. I would be eighteen in a month and once I graduated, I could truly begin my life. I sighed in happiness at the thought.

"What are you pondering about over there?" My mother asked from the drivers seat of her Pontiac.

"Senior year and graduating early," I replied excitedly.

"So excited to leave your old Ma alone, huh?" She teased.

"You guessed it," I answered with a laugh.

As we pulled into the DIY Craft Market, I noticed how busy it was not unlike every Friday that we came here. My mother, Renee Swan was an avid crafter. She was brilliant with her hands. For a living, she'd build and sell things online or in flea markets and did fairly well. She loved it and it paid the bills, so that's all she cared about. I myself always wishing that some of her craftiness had been passed down to me, but alas, I seemed to take after my father, Charlie more. It's not something I ever truly complained about because he was as equally brilliant in his own way. I never saw them as two separate people until they divorced a few years back.

"Should we split up?" Renee asked me.

"Sure. I'll meet you in the middle."

The northern Indiana heat was miserable in the month of August. I wore my hair up everyday, and pined for rain all the time. I did love DeMotte for being a small secluded town and for it's four seasons. I had called it home for seven years, and enjoyed it more each year. Slowly I made my way down the aisles of the outdoor craft market. It was a good thing that I never had a lot of money when I came to this place or I'd be a poor girl. There were a few things that caught my eye, but I knew my mother would think entirely different about them. She liked buying things to build and decorate herself, but I had recently gotten her into buying things that were already made, and changing or adding to them. Each stand I passed was set up neatly on old wooden tables. A lot of old wood and foliage was being sold at most of them. It wasn't until I spotted a stand out of the ordinary that something really caught my attention. I walked over to the stand that was placed in the middle of the market and saw that it was a painters stand. An old man sat behind the table, paintbrush in hand, painting a beautiful landscape on a large canvas. From what I could tell, the painting looked like one of the Rocky Mountains. I knew this only because I had an aunt that lived in Montana that I would visit as a kid. The old man stopped his brush strokes and looked over to me.

"That's beautiful," I said kindly. "The Rocky Mountains?" he nodded his head.

"Colorado," he answered in a raspy voice.

"Do you paint from memory?"

"It's the only way I can." His honesty was disarming. The man was probably in his seventies and I knew then that he had a story for each wrinkle that lined his face.

"Bridal Falls," A man suddenly spoke from beside me. The old painter and I turned to see a tall man with bright green eyes and wild copper hair staring at the painting.

"He knows," The painter said with a smile.

"I went there on a college trip," The man said nostalgically. "How much?" He began to dig in his pockets for what I assumed was a wallet.

"It's not finished," The painter said sadly.

"Well, when it is, how about you call me?" The man said happily as he laid down a business card. The painter smiled widely and nodded his head. I looked over to the man beside me and smiled deeply. He returned my smile and something began to flutter around in my stomach. I shook my head slightly.

"I'm going to buy this," I said proudly pointing to a picture frame laid out on the table. The man next to me leaned down to examine it. Inside the four walls was a large feather with a picture painted on it. Orange, red and yellow leaves adorned the trees that hovered over an old mossy cabin.

"It's fascinating," The man commented. "How?" He wondered aloud. The painter let out a raspy chuckle.

"My late wife taught me that. It's an eagle feather. The season is fall because it was her favorite, and the cabin was our hideaway. It takes some time to do, but it's worth it. The paint is acrylic."

"A hideaway," I commented softly.

"We all need one with someone," the man replied. I looked to him curiously. I couldnt help my eyes that wandered to his bare ring finger, or the smile that came across my face at the sight. The painter gave us a sad smile.

"You can tell a lot about a person by the art they purchase," The man commented.

"Oh?" I said piqued, "And what does this piece say about me?" The man laughed and pondered his reply for a moment.

"I'd say a beautiful piece for a beautiful soul. Would you agree with me, sir?" He asked the painter.

My cheeks were crimson and my throat went dry.

"Oh, yes, yes. Very beautiful," The painter agreed.

Before I could muster a reply I was either saved of embarrassment or interrupted...

"Baby?" Renee called.

I turned and spotted my mother coming towards me in the crowd. I suddenly felt incredibly young in comparison to the men I was standing with. Renee approached me with arms full of random trinkets.

"What have you found?" She asked brightly. She glanced to the man beside me and I could see her blush. Perfect.

"I'm buying this," I said pointing to the feather painting. My mother leaned in closer to examine it.

"That's extraordinary," She breathed. "You did this?" The painter looked to my mother for the first time.

"Yes ma'am."

"You have a gift."

"God given," He replied smiling.

"Nice bird house," The man said to my mother. She had bought a condo style bird house made with old drift wood.

"Thank you," She said sappily. I rolled my eyes and went to hand the painter my money trying to drown out their conversation.

"I appreciate you," He said kindly.

"The feeling is mutual," I replied. I took my new piece of artwork in my hand and clutched it to my chest tightly. When I looked back to my mom and the man I saw that they were still in conversation but slowly walking back towards our Pontiac. I followed behind them keeping my distance. I couldn't figure out why I didn't want to hear their conversation. They stopped in front of the car, and without speaking, I grabbed the keys from my mothers hand and got into the drivers seat. Renee was being overly flirtatious and it annoyed me. The man was polite to her, and if I didn't know any better from seeing it, he kept glancing my way. Renee never noticed the small gesture but I did and I didn't remove my eyes from him for a second. After a moment he handed my mother back her birdhouse and smiled kindly. Renee gave a wistful wave and turned to get into our trunk. Before the man disappeared, he met my eyes and winked at me. My stomach started to flitter and it was unknown to me. I studied his attire for the first time. I wanted everything about him seared into my memory for life. His khaki pants, white button up and old brown shoes did me in almost as fast as his green eyes. As soon as my mother opened the passenger door, I realized he was gone. Vanished. Had I really been just looking at him?

"What's the hold up, Bells? It's hot!"

"Oh!" I jumped. "Who was that?" I asked carefully as we pulled out of the lot.

"You know what? I never got his name, but oh was he charming!"

"Evidently," I said dryly. In all my years here in this small town I wondered why I had never seen him before, and realized that I desperately wanted too again.

"Okay, so what is your schedule?" Rosalie asked from beside me.

"Mine is Math, English, Science, Film Literature," Alice stated.

"I have Science, Math, English, Film Literature."

"Oh, thank God we have one class all together!" Rosalie shrieked. We stood at our new lockers on the second floor of KVHS for the fourth and final year.

"Which one?" Alice asked.

"Film Lit, whatever the hell that is," Rose laughed.

"I think it sounds interesting," I countered.

"You would!" Rose shot back teasingly.

"Ha, ha," I sneered. "Do we have the same lunch?"

"I have C lunch, what about you guys?" Alice asked in her perky voice.

"Same here!" I agreed.

"Aw, I have B lunch," Rose said sadly. "Oh well."

Breaking our conversation was the first bell telling us to get moving to first period.

"I'm gonna run," I said packing my book bag quickly, "I still have to pee first!"

I said goodbye to my best friends and bolted for the bathroom. I peed in record time and decided to check myself out in the mirror. I was hoping to see someone entirely different than the girl I was four years ago, but I seemed the same to myself. I stood five and a half Inches tall in skinny jeans, converse and an old band t-shirt. I was cursed with pale skin and some freckles, long untamed auburn hair, and big brown eyes. I was indeed thin, but none of it was muscle mass unfortunately. Luckily I had gained a little butt to make up for my lack of a rack up top. The last bell rang, so I picked up my bag, slung it over my shoulder and sighed before heading to first period.

By the time fourth period came on the first day of our senior year, the girls and I were ready for it to be December already. At last we were headed down the hall on the second floor to a class I was looking forward to. Not only because I shared it with my two best friends, but because I was genuinely curious about film. It's always been a secret passion of mine.

"So, who the hell is Mr. Cullen?" I asked curiously.

"I bet he's ugly and old," Rose laughed. She stood inches above me with her heels. It use to intimidate me, but now I know she only wears them out of her own insecurity and to attract boys. She complains of sore feet often, and it makes me laugh. Her long blonde hair was god-like and envied by every girl in the school. She knew it, too. Her D-cup size and rock hard ass was the icon of every boy here. Rosalie is one vein seventeen year old, but I adored her nonetheless. She was a strong person and I envied that quality. Alice on the other hand was the perfect median between us two. She was witty, yet quiet, a prude but also knew how to have a good time. Her short dark pixie haircut described her personality perfectly. She was thin and small, but not quite as lanky as me, and of course had a bigger rack.

"I heard he used to teach here but moved away to teach at some college and cheated on his wife so he had to move back," Alice piped.

"Where did you hear that?" I asked.

"Jasper has him second block." I knew Alice's long time boyfriend, wouldn't lie.

"That's not what I heard from Jessica Stanly," Rose countered quietly.

"Pray tell," I teased.

"I heard he's poor and lives with his mother and rumor has it, incest is practiced there."

"Ew, gross, Rosalie!" Alice shrieked.

"I guess we'll have to make our own assumptions. Room 212, Mr. Cullen," I announced.

We entered the class room to find it nearly empty and no teacher in sight. I glanced back down to my schedule and 212 was the place to be. We each took a seat at the same long rectangle table in front and sat quietly waiting. After the second bell rang, 10 more people had entered the room. A few of them we knew and a few we didn't.

It was ten minutes after classes had started and still no sign of our new teacher. I had put my headphones in to play some Bon Iver giving up on waiting. Everyone else in the class began to mingle. I kept my music low enough to hear when this Mr. Cullen showed up, and when he did, silence took over the room. I took my headphones out and raised my head up out of my arms. I couldn't stop the small gasp that left the mouth. There he stood in front of us with his green eyes and copper hair.

"Afternoon, class. I'm sorry for the delay, the copier was out of ink for the third time today. I am Mr. Cullen and I'll be teaching you about Film Literature." his voice was velvet and I was once again instantly intoxicated by it. Every eye in the room was trained to him like obedient dogs. He wore the same shoes and khaki pants as the day I met him, his shirt being a different shade of white. I glanced around the room and saw every girl drooling already. Rosalie included, which shocked and angered me, though I wasn't sure why.

"Mr. Cullen, is there even such a thing as Film Literature?" Mike Newton asked sarcastically.

"Mr. Newton, If you leave this room knowing more about film than when you entered, you'll have your answer."

"You know my name?" Mike asked shocked.

"I think everyone knows the quarterback of the football team." The class chuckled causing Mike to huff.

"Okay, but what if I do leave the room not knowing anymore than I did?"

"Then I think I'll be out of a job," Mr. Cullen said plainly. The class took it as a joke and all laughed loudly. "So, shall we get aquatinted?"

Mr. Cullen started at the back of the room making each of us introduce ourselves and list our favorite movie. Everyone in the room named a film made after the year 2000, which wasn't surprising. Each movie was either one of the likes of Saw, Talladega Nights, or Batman. All fine movies in their own right I'm sure, but to be honest, I hadn't seen many of them. When he came to our table, I stiffened significantly.

"I'm Rosalie Hale. I'm a senior, head Cheerleader and my favorite movie is Mean Girls." Mr. Cullen smiled kindly at her.

"I enjoy Tina Fey's work," He said. Rose looked confused for a moment before shrugging it off.

"Oh, me too," She answered with batted eyelashes. She in truth had no idea who Tina Fey was. I rolled my eyes at her and shook my head.

"I am Alice Owens. I'm a senior and my favorite movie is Pride and Prejudice."

"Good choice. Which version?" Mr. Cullen asked intrigued.

"Um, the only version?" Alice stated matter of fact.

"Which would be?" Mr. Cullen asked gesturing his hand at her to continue.

"The Keira Knightley one!" the class and Mr. Cullen laughed. I tried too, but it was my turn and I still hadn't decided on a movie yet. Everyone grew quiet waiting for me.

"Um, I'm Bella Swan. I am a senior, and I don't really have a favorite movie," I said quietly.

"What's the last movie you watched and loved?" Mr. Cullen asked. I took notice in the fact that he was standing right in front of me and didn't do that to anyone else who had gone. It was severely intimidating.

"The Hours."

"Excellent movie." He smiled at me sweetly before going back to his desk. I felt embarrassed and hurt with the thought of him not remembering me. Was I easily forgotten?

The rest of the hour went by quickly with Mr. Cullen discussing the syllabus. When the bell rang, everyone sprang from their seats in excitement except for me. I took my time gathering my things and watched Mr. Cullen from the corner of my eye. He was going through papers on his desk and I noticed his hands for the first time. Long, thin, and beautiful. More apparently, Rose couldn't take her eyes off of Mr. Cullen either and I was beginning to get annoyed.

"See you tomorrow, Mr. Cullen," she said seductively. God, she was ballsy.

He glanced at her, then quickly to me.

"Have a good day, Miss Hale," Mr. Cullen replied not removing his eyes from me. I wanted to melt under his stare.

"You coming?" Rose asked impatiently.

"I'll meet you at the car," I replied absently. Before I knew it, I was the only one left leaving the room.

"Bella?" Mr. Cullen said softly just as I reached the door frame. I turned around slowly and met his green stare.

"Yes?"

"Are you enjoying your painted feather?" He asked kindly. I was taken aback. The worry that he might have forgotten me vanished, and I felt overwhelmed with new thoughts and feelings. Was this really happening? I stuttered in breath and felt my stomach begin to do that strange unfamiliar flitter. He seemed genuine and I was in no way creeped out by him. In fact it was quite the contrary. I found myself aching for any attention he would give me.

"Very much so. It hangs where I can see it easily every day."

"As it should be. It's good to see you again." I smiled widely at him and then before I could stop myself, I winked.

"Likewise," I said clearly, surprising myself before turning and leaving the room without looking back. I felt savvy beyond my capabilities and left my first day of school excited to return the next day just to see him once again. I would get to for the next four months, and I would get the most I could. I wanted Mr. Cullen even though I knew he would never want me back in the same way. I accepted that, and decided that any time with him was better than none. My prayers of seeing him again were answered. Now tell me, what were the odds of that happening?