A/N: Hello my readers! Sorry it's been a while! No, I have not given up on my other stories, but I've had this idea in my head for a while and I couldn't wait to get started on my first all human story. It's a much different experience…tell me how I did!

I opened the last box, sighing in relief. My father and I had moved in a week ago, and I had spent most of my time unpacking. I never knew we had so many things. When I finished with my room, I had helped Dad with the rest of the house. This last box was filled with silverware. I neatly deposited the contents in the last empty drawer in the kitchen. When I was done, I folded the box into a flat square and shoved it in the garbage bag.

We had moved to the tiny town of Forks, Washington from Phoenix, Arizona. I was used to Phoenix; I'd lived there all eight years of my life. I was used to the constant sun, the vast spread of the city, the blistering heat, the big houses and fancy cars. But everything was different here. The clouds had hung over the sky all week, and it rained almost nonstop. It was much colder here, and much smaller. The houses were all small and shabby, and the cars were old and rusty. My whole life had been turned upside down.

It's not like I could blame Charlie, though. I knew he couldn't stand to live in our old house anymore. We had lived in one of the smallest houses in the entire city. Unlike most of the city's population, we weren't rich. We did pretty well: we had food on the table, gas in the car, and enough left over to buy a few non-essentials. But I understood why Charlie had to quit his old job. I wouldn't be able to stand to live in the same house that my wife died in, either. A month after she passed away, from a very serious heart failure that ran in her family, Charlie quit his job in favor of another here in Forks.

Forks. The polar opposite of Phoenix. Fire and ice. Dry and wet. South and north.

But I understood that, too. My mother had loved Phoenix. We would often have picnics in the park, and tour around the large city. I realized that anything that remotely resembled Phoenix would just remind my father of my mother.

I was surprisingly mature for an eight year old.

A knock on the front door interrupted my thoughts. I heard Dad's heavy footsteps, coming from the living room, where he had been rearranging the furniture, and raced to join him. While I was mature, I was excitable, just like any other eight year old would be. I stood beside Dad as he opened the door to reveal a short, kind-looking woman, and a small boy at her side. At the sight of the boy, I made a face and moved from Dad's side to behind his legs. I was in my 'all boys under eighteen years old are icky' stage.

The kind woman smiled at Dad. "Hello. I'm Esme Cullen, and I live next door," she introduced herself. "This is Edward, my youngest son." She indicated the small boy at her side. "I have another son, and a daughter, but they're with my husband at the dentists' and I didn't want to wait any longer to meet you."

She handed Dad a plate of fresh-baked cookies. My heart jumped at the sight of them.

"Nice to meet you, Esme," Dad murmured shyly. "I'm Charlie Swan, and this is my daughter Bella."

Esme smiled kindly at me, and I smiled back and wiggled my fingers at her. But I still stubbornly refused to acknowledge the boy. What was his name? Edwart?

Despite my initial impression of Edward, he and I quickly became great friends. I also became good friends with Alice and Emmett, Edward's older sister and brother, who were also fraternal twins. They were both a year older than Edward and I.

A year after my move to Forks, Rosalie and Jasper Hale moved in the house to the right of my house with their mother. Rosalie and Jasper quickly joined our little group, with Rosalie being mine and Edward's age and Jasper being Alice and Emmett's age.

I was twelve years old when I started having feelings for Edward. His beautiful green eyes pulled me in, and his soft bronze hair made him look so adorable. His arms were surprisingly muscular for a twelve year old, although he could never be compared to Emmett. He was perfect in every way, unlike me.

I was plain. I had boring brown eyes and flat brown hair. I had normal, nondescript features. My only redeeming feature was my height. While not terribly tall, I was taller than a lot of the girls in my grade, which was good, considering how tall Edward was. At fifteen years old, he stood a half a head taller than me, and a head taller than the girls in our grade. I was always grateful for this. I was closer to his lips, this way.

Fifteen years old

"Come on, Bella, Emmett's waiting!"

I rolled my eyes, though he couldn't see me, and pulled my shoes on. I grabbed my raincoat and tugged it on, and raced down the stairs. Edward stood at the bottom, in all his glory, and smiled at me. I smiled back and grabbed my backpack from the floor, and we ducked outside into the rain. Emmett, along with Alice, Jasper, and Rosalie, were already sitting in Emmett's old Suburban. "Took you long enough," Emmett grumbled jokingly. I gave him an apologetic smile as I climbed into the back of the car. Edward sat down next to me, and we headed off to school.

It was winter in the middle of freshman year. It took me a while to get adjusted to the looming, scary building called Forks High School, while Edward seemed to fit in from the very first day. He found a group of friends to hang out with by the second day. I was infinitely more shy than him, and I only had a few friends, apart from the Cullens and Hales, who were shy like myself.

Edward was out the door the second we pulled into a parking spot. He raced away without a backward glance to his group of friends. Mike Newton, Eric Yorkie, and Tyler Crowley, aka the biggest jerks in the whole school, greeted Edward loudly and swallowed him into their circle. I crept a little closer and listened to their conversation.

"Oh yeah, she's got the biggest ass ever!" Mike crowed, and the rest of the group laughed. "I can't believe she's with that Ben kid," Mike continued when the chortles died down. I clenched my fists. I immediately knew who they were talking about: my friend Angela, who showed me where my English class was on the first day. She was a freshman like me.

"…pathetic," I heard Tyler say, and I snapped out of my trance. "She could actually be pretty if she made any effort at all."

"You know who's really pathetic though?" Eric sneered. "Bella Swan."

My stomach clenched.

Mike snickered. "She's weird. And she really needs to learn how to dress like she's not a guy."

My legs wobbled, and suddenly I felt sick.

But underneath it all, I felt hopeful. I knew Edward would stick up for me. He always did. He was like a protective older brother to me, and I loved that, even as much as I wished that we could be something more…

But then I heard the worst sound in the world. It felt like someone had stabbed me with a red-hot welding iron, when I heard it.

Edward's voice.

"I know, right?" Edward chuckled. "And it wouldn't hurt if she lost a little weight, too."

Mike, Eric, and Tyler's laughter echoed in my ears. Suddenly, I felt numb. I could barely feel the tears as they fell down my cheeks. I stood for a moment in shocked silence, then turned away and stumbled back to the Suburban.

I pulled on the door handle, but it was locked, so I just collapsed on the wet pavement. I shivered uncontrollably, but not so much as from the cold but from Edward's comment. I wrapped my arms around my torso and cried. Shaky, strangled sobs ripped from my mouth, and tears made a burning trail down my cheeks. As far as I was concerned, the world as I knew it had ended.

The bell rang. I was late to class, but for once I didn't care. I was a model, straight-A student who had never been late to class, and now here I was, skipping. All because of two little sentences, spoken by the love of my life.

I stayed outside in the freezing cold until lunchtime. By then my hands and feet were completely numb, my face stung, and I was practically convulsing with shivers. I got up off the ground and brushed off my wet, dirty pants. If I was going to go and attend the last two classes of the day, I may as well do it with the tiniest shred of dignity.

The bell that signaled the end of lunch sounded just when I reached the cafeteria doors. I groaned, and did my best to ignore my empty stomach as I headed to biology.

Usually, this would be my favorite class, but today, and for every day from now on, this would be my least favorite. Not only was this the only class I shared with Edward, but I sat right next to him. I shivered in pure terror before opening the door to the classroom, and stepped inside. Thankfully, he wasn't in his seat yet. I hurried over to the table and sat down. I pulled my binder out from my backpack and pretended to be engrossed in our unit 5 study guide.

Of course, my heart nearly leaped out of my chest when I heard Edward pull out the seat to my left. I kept my head down. Characteristics of an amoeba: single-celled, no nucleus… I read fixedly.

"You okay, Bella?"

Ah, that voice. It's impossible to ignore that voice. And, mad as I was at him, I lifted my head and met his gaze. My heart fell at his expression. Instead of looking worried, he wore an expression that made me positive he was questioning my sanity.

"Yeah, I'm fine."

I knew he would see through my lie, but he just shrugged and started working on the homework that was due yesterday.

This was not the Edward I knew. The Edward I knew would have wrinkled his brow at me and demanded to know what was wrong. He would have stood up for me to his friends. He would have done his homework on time…

Thankfully the teacher started class at that moment. I studiously took notes and tried my hardest to ignore the boy at my side, the boy that I was hopelessly in love with.

When the bell rang, I stood up and shoved my binder into my book bag. To my relief, Edward was already gone by the time I left class.

Gym went by slowly, as usual. Mike Newton hit me in the face with a basketball and Tyler Crowley tripped me on the way to the locker room.

When the bell finally rang, I headed out to the Suburban. Emmett, Rosalie, Alice, and Jasper were already in the car. I opened the door, ignoring the chorus of "Hi, Bella, why weren't you at lunch?" and took my usual seat in the back. I hid my face behind the seat in front of me so they wouldn't see my red, puffy eyes. But of course, Alice missed nothing.

"You've been crying!" she screeched.

"No I haven't," I mumbled pathetically.

By this time the others had already seen my red eyes, and they started bombarding me with questions.

"Please, please," I protested weakly, and the onslaught ceased. "I don't want to talk about it." I turned to look out the window and saw Edward walking towards the car.

"Alice? Can you do me a favor?" My voice quivered.

"Sure, anything, Bella."

I sniffed. "Come sit next to me."

"But that's where Edward sits."

"I know."

Alice said nothing more and silently moved to sit next to me. I gave her a weak smile. "Thanks."

Just then, Edward opened the door and hopped in the car, and Emmett started driving us home.

The ride home was silent. Emmett pulled into his driveway, and we all got out. I walked to my house without stopping to chat with Alice and Rosalie like I usually did.

Later that night, when Charlie was sleeping and the lights in the Cullen's and Hale's houses were out, I sat down on my bed and cried for a good thirty minutes. Why do I have to be so miserable? I thought to myself. I've never felt this horrible in my life. What's so good about him, anyway?

Huh. Good one, Bella. Everything is good about him.

And that's when I made my decision. I realized that I would never get over the beautiful bronze-haired boy. My best friend. The only one I'll ever love.

I will wait for you, Edward Cullen. No matter how long it takes.