A town that exists under an almost constant cover of cloud and rain, as far removed from the heat and the blinding sun as you could get. I have heard that it rains more on this town than any other in the United States of America. Forks was not my first choice mind you, but then again my choices were very limited right now. Very few High Schools in the Country allow a student to enrol as their own guardian. Perhaps there was an undercurrent of distrust within the school system; somehow the belief that a student would abuse this privilege and skip as many classes as possible and thus became just too scandalous to permit.
So much for common sense.
My mother would always say 'Callie, there is nothing common about common sense'. And she was right. She was right about a lot of things. Especially about the cancer. No matter how much denial I chose to swim in she was right; it was back, and I spent what should have been my Senior Year at High School nursing her until the last breath left her broken body.
So now I was alone. My father had lost his life in the war when I was seven years old. My mother never re-married, saying that my father was the only man for her and that she could never love another. I have always admired that about her, in a time when promiscuity was socially fashionable my mother only ever dated my father, only ever gave herself to my father. Their love was strong, strong enough to survive beyond the physical realm and while I'm not a religious person I still like to think that wherever they are, they are together.
I saved very little of my previous life besides my personal affects, instead choosing to donate to goodwill after I sold my parents house. There was enough from the sale to procure a furnished apartment in Forks above Newton's Olympic Outfitters and also some funds to live on until I could find part-time work. My mother had always been adamant that I return to school, even going so far as to have me promise 'a dying old woman' and that she would come and haunt me if I did not go back.
Sometimes, over the past month, I have found myself wishing she would come and haunt me. Just so that I could see her again.
Besides Mr and Mrs Newton, who owned the Outfitters below my apartment, I had only made one friend thus far – their son Josh, as I preferred to keep to myself most of the time. However that did not mean my arrival in Forks went unnoticed. Being the new kid in town was, on its own, nothing noteworthy but coupled with living alone and having no guardians – well it would appear that I have given the townsfolk enough gossip fodder to last right through to winter.
It wasn't hard to find the High School which, like most other things in Forks, was just off the highway. The only real traffic of the morning was heading in that direction and so I had followed, wearing my thickest Kevlar Jeans tucked into my riding boots and my most loved hoodie underneath my Leather Jacket. I admit a motorcycle is perhaps not the most logical choice for transportation in Forks, but it was my 18th birthday gift from my mother who had dismissed my protests of how unnecessary and expensive it was, simply saying that I needed a source of joy in my life and that she would not take it back. She was right. Again. It has become a source of joy in my life and I would never trade it in for a car no matter how chilled to the bone I may become while riding my Ducati.
I slowed down behind the other vehicles as I entered the car park. As I slowed down my bike I looked quickly around for some sign of where to and where not to park. I decided to park in front of the first building that I came to which had a sign above the door stating that this was the front office. I figured once inside I could get directions for parking when I picked up my timetable and signed any of the forms that may be needed of me.
I kicked down my stand and got off the bike, a brief glance confirmed that my arrival had not gone unnoticed. As I removed the key and immobilised the engine I could see a small group gathering in the closest corner of the car park watching me intensely. In the midst of this crowd I could just make out the spiked hair of Josh Newton, who had raised his hand in acknowledgement to me.
Josh knew that he had no chance with me after a brief discussion about what gender my type was. The discussion was deemed necessary by me after he had asked me out for the second time, and I had declined once again. After that I asked him if he would like to go see the new slasher movie that was playing in Port Angeles. We ended up grabbing some burgers afterwards and he and I became friends quite easily.
I wouldn't say that I advertised my sexuality, but with a height of 5'10" and my inherited lean strong build I found that I could 'dress for effect' when desired. Being most comfortable in jeans and a shirt didn't hurt either.
After I removed my helmet and placed it on the helmet clip I turned to fully address the crowd in front of me I waved to Josh as I shook out my hair that had been pulled back while under my helmet. My hair was not long by any standards, but even though it reached only the top of my shoulders I had found that I could perfect the dramatic hair toss with ease, which I threw in with a wink for Josh's benefit and as I sauntered towards the Front Office, shaking my head slightly in my own amusement, I could see him receiving High-5's and fist pumps from his friends.
Forks High School did not have the traditional appearance of a high school, instead looking more like a collection of houses with the matching dark red brick and grey roofing. There were so many trees and shrubs around each of these houses that I could not even guess at its size at first. Though I could estimate that with only approximately 370 students enrolled at the school that it would be nowhere near the expansive size of my school in Odessa.
Inside, the office was brightly lit and surprisingly warmer than I had expected. The front counter, which stood just inside the door, was manned by a very pretty young blonde. Her hair was held back from her face with a few clips though a few strands had fallen forward across her eyes. Her glasses were frameless, I assume so as not to take focus from her crystal blue eyes. She looked up at me, after appraising my attire and smiled.
"Can I help you?"
"I'm Callie Whitlock" I informed her, remembering that she had been the Administrative Officer I spoke with a week ago when I came to complete all of my transfer paperwork.
"Of course" she said smiling. She put down the folders that she was holding in her hands onto the desk behind her and she rifled briefly through the stack of paperwork at the front counter, before extracting the ones that she needed. "I have your schedule here for you, as well as a map of the school grounds." She said, leaning forward over the counter placing the papers face up for me. She went through my schedule with me, highlighting on the map where each of the buildings were that I would need and what she thought would be the best routes to take to each of the classes. She also gave me a slip of paper that I needed to give to each of my teachers and return to her at the end of the day.
I smiled warmly to her and thanked her for her help, before leaving I asked her where the student parking was. She took back my map, our fingers brushing lightly, and highlighted the area for me, but assured me that it would be alright to leave my bike where it was for today. I went back outside and after a quick check of my schedule began to make my way to my first class, desperately hoping that I would not have to stand at the front of the class and introduce myself.
Following the map I reached building three with some ease, grateful that a large black "3" was painted on the east corner of the building. The black numbering was on all of the buildings, I soon discovered, over top of white painted squares that helped it to stand out amidst the dark red brick. I entered the room behind two girls who stopped to place their coats on a long row of hooks just inside the door. I excused myself as I slipped past them and made my way up to the teacher standing at the front of the room.
Mr Sweeney was middle aged, closer to his early 40s I would guess, judging by the greying of his black hair at the temples. He greeted me warmly, welcoming me to his History class, putting me at ease by assuring me that he would not force upon me the embarrassment of introductions to the entire class and point towards an empty seat towards the back of the room next to the windows.
I made my way towards the assigned seat and sat down as the last of the students hurried through the door. Not wanting to be rude I turned in my chair to introduce myself to my desk neighbour, but found that I was stunned into silence by her appearance. Her skin was alabaster white, framed by bronze ringlets that brought out the faint rosy tinge over her stunning cheekbones. Her features were, without a doubt, perfect – straight, angular and devastatingly beautiful. Her eyes chocolate brown, will flecks of gold running through them. She was dressed impeccably, her clothing was not overly flashy but there was definitely money and style in them. I fear I must have looked quite the fool, sitting there with my mouth agape, and was thankful when the girl turned towards me, flashing a dazzling smile.
"Hello, I'm Renesmee Cullen."