Bella has just achieved her Masters and has taken the job of director of the Forks library. Due to events in her past, she is jaded against men in general. Can she turn the library around in only one year, and can Edward convince her that all men aren't out to hurt her?
"Kevin Allen Scott…"
"Winifred Millicent Sherman…"
Oh my, Millie's first name is Winifred. I'd go by my middle name as well.
"Carson Marcus Shultz…"
Poor Carson, he was the only guy in my women's studies class.
"Henry Alabaster Simons…"
Thank god I won't have to listen to him clear his throat a hundred times a day anymore.
"Isabella Marie Swan…"
This would be the third time I had listened for my name to be called at a graduation ceremony. First time was from high school in Phoenix. Second was from college when I received my undergrad, and now I was getting my Masters in Literature from Cornell University here in New York. This particular graduation had been a long time coming. There had been many days I didn't think it would happen. To say I'd had a few road blocks in the past few years would be a gross understatement.
Walking across the stage, I was careful not to trip over my own feet. The last thing I wanted was to end up with the most hits on a YouTube video. Dean Peterson smiled and extended his hand out to me. I was leery to take it, no telling where or rather in which graduating girl it has just been. I plastered on a smile and held back the vomit that threatened to come up as I shook his hand. The picture was taken and I took my empty diploma folder. Heaven forbid I owe this school one more dime.
I turned to the audience as I heard the reason for all the hard work these past few years. Full class schedules, summer school, online courses when I had to. But it was all worth it, she was all worth it. Her big blue eyes were shining in the bright light of the June sun, her dark brown ringlets bouncing as my dad bounced her on his shoulders. She was my reason for everything, my one-year-old daughter, Jessica.
I stepped off the stage and waved to my little miracle. I watched as she was so excited and waved back, stopping to blow me kisses. Her giggles and kisses had kept me going more times than I cared to remember.
Having my dad here was the icing on my cake today. He was the only guy in our world right now and as far as I was concerned, it would stay that way indefinitely. Men were lying, cheating pieces of slime, my dad, of course, excluded. The killer part was that they were all the same. They would say nice things to you, take you to nice places, and then expect you to have sex with them. Then when you did, they dumped you and moved on to the next short skirt. Some took their time and made you feel special; told you how beautiful you were, how nice you smelled. But in the end, the outcome was always the same. They were all the same.
I didn't always feel that way. I was in love once, with Jessica's father, Mike Newton. I thought he hung the moon. He could do no wrong, and I just knew I would spend the rest of my life with him. We started dating our junior year of high school. Our fathers both worked in law enforcement and our families were always around each other. He even proposed after my graduation from college. We moved in together and life was really good, until I told him I was pregnant with Jessica.
At first, he seemed excited and would talk to my stomach. Then shortly after we returned from a holiday trip home when I was about five months along, he came in one night and said he didn't love me anymore. He moved out and went back to Phoenix. I was left to have our baby alone and raise her by myself. It was during the first few months after Jessica was born that I ran low on money. My electric bill was due, and I needed to buy groceries. I took the engagement ring Mike had given me to the pawn shop, only to find out that it wasn't real. The pawn shop owner was a woman, and she took pity on me and gave me one hundred dollars for a cheap piece of tin and cut glass.
I called my mom back in Phoenix to cry on her shoulder about Mike, but she became so angry that she refused to have anything to do with me or Jessica. My father called me later to tell me that apparently Mike and my mother had been having an affair. They had been together for a while. Now I understood why he didn't love me anymore, he had my mother to take care of him.
A month later, my father filed for divorce and moved from Arizona to a small town in the Pacific Northwest. He was offered the job of police chief and said he loved it there. So in two days' time, I would make the cross-country trip with my father and daughter from New York and begin my new life in in the tiny town of Forks, Washington.
Three new "D's" were now my mantra. I was determined to make a better life for my daughter, devoted to her above all others, and I would be damned if I'd ever let another man have a chance to hurt us again.