Jasper and I are on a date. It's a makeup date for him missing my birthday. He and Tanya went to visit his mother last weekend during my birthday to see her new place, so I gave him a get out of jail free card for that one. I didn't really even have time to celebrate. It's now the middle of April and the festival seems to be just around the corner. Everything that can go wrong, is going wrong and it feels like it's up to me to fix it. I've been burning the shit out of the midnight oil the last couple weeks. So, when my birthday came all I wanted to do was eat and watch a movie. Everybody complied...Carlisle grilled out, Esme made mac and cheese, and a cake. I ate and we all settled in to watch my personal favorite, Ninja Assassin. However, I fell asleep right before Meka and Riazo meet. It wasn't a bad time... I visited the grave earlier that day too though, and sobbing at my parents tombstones took a lot out of me. Some visits go better than others.
"I just really miss you. I feel so far from you," I said.
"Well if you didn't always have your nose in that damn binder, you wouldn't miss me so much."
"Well Jasper, I can't help it. I just wanna make sure everything is perfect."
"I'm sorry I just never see you Alice. If you aren't talking to Victoria or Alec, then you're scribbling or studying or nodding off. I can't ever get your full attention anymore."
"I'm sorry. This is just really important to me. I wanna make sure every penny goes where it should, and I wanna make sure we have enough of everything."
"I understand that Alice, but it's a small festival. How hard can it be to plan it?"
"Are you say that I'm exaggerating?"
"I'm just saying that you're probably making it harder than it has to be."
"You know what Jasper, you try planning a tri-county festival. This is like the volunteer club times a million... I have some faculty help but they said it'd be mostly my responsibility. I cannot beli... you know what, enjoy your fucking pizza."
"Yeah... I am."
"That's right...walk away from this like you always do when we fight or argue Alice. You're a chicken."
"I'm not a chicken but I'm not gonna be attacked because I wanna do something that might make a difference."
"Are you saying what I do doesn't make a difference?"
"Who in the hell is talking about you? Why are you being so self centered right now Jasper?"
The pizza was paid for already, so I got up and walked out of Maters and Cheese. I didn't get far because Jasper was right behind me. He grabbed me by the arm. It didn't hurt, but it was enough to stop me.
"Come where? I'm not getting in a fucking car with you Jasper."
"Get in the car Alice."
"No! I'm walking home!"
"Alice please? I'm sorry okay? I'm sorry I'm being a jerk. I am being a jerk and I'm being selfish and I'm sorry Alice. Please don't freeze me out? Please? Let's just talk..."
He let go of my arm and grabbed my hand instead, leading me to his car. I got in and sat with my legs and arms crossed. I didn't want to look at him because I'm too mad and I don't want him to see my angry tears.
"I'm sorry Alice. The truth is... I feel like I'm losing you. I mean you're consumed by planning this, and studying for the ACT's, and keeping your grades up, and all this stuff and I don't get to see you anymore and by the time you have spare time again I'll be gone for the summer."
"I have thought about that you know. We're gonna be okay Jasper. We are...in June we have Essie and Carlson's wedding and you're gonna be my date. In July you're visiting for the fourth and in August you're coming home. We're gonna be okay."
"Then why do I just already feel like I'm losing you?"
"Losing me how? To who?"
"Oh come on Alice...everybody can see that Alec wants you."
"What? That's ridiculous. We're just friends."
"Open your eyes. It's the way he looks at you. The way he's so willing to do every little task you ask him to. He's no better than Samantha."
"You're being ridiculous Jasper, really."
"I'm not...and you're naive if you think I am."
"Well... I guess I'm naive. It doesn't matter though Jasper because I love you...why are you...why are you trying to do this to us?"
"You're trying to tear us down. Why?"
"I'm sorry...I'm being a real bastard right now, huh?"
"Yes...you are but I love you anyway. Just don't give up on us Jasper..."
I hate Jasper so much right now, it's just a shame that I love him twice as much as I hate him. Even when he's being a jealous jackass I just can't resist letting him hold me, and wipe my tears, and nuzzle my neck.
We sat in the truck for about an hour arguing, hugging, cuddling, and making up. We talked about him being jealous and then we devised a plan to keep in touch during the summer. We have to talk everyday, even if it's for a minute, or thirty seconds.
Today we are putting up posters up all over the tri-county for the festival. We have permission, and since we want people to show up we're giving them a month to clear their schedules. Of course I enlisted Rose, Bella, Jasper, Emmett, and Edward for the job, but Victoria and Alec are coming along too since they are helping plan. Oh, and Jane...
We plan to end the day at Hot Toddy's where Edward and I are supposed to take the Gravemaker's challenge. I'm not saying that I'll win...but I'll get farther than him. My pride won't let me wimp out on this.
I feel guilty every time I put a sign over a missing pet poster, but it's for the good of the festival and I need to support Alice, so adios Larry the chocolate lab. This day hasn't been particularly eventful, though the guys and girls have divided up into teams. Since Edward and Alice are supposed to be taking the challenge tonight, a little battle of the sexes has broken out and the losers have to buy the winners meals. We are losing, but only because they gave us raggedy staple guns.
I managed to keep my composure and not confront Alec whenever he stared Alice down. I guess if he's just looking it can't hurt, but I still don't like the thought of him thinking about her. She is totally oblivious to it though. It amazes me how she doesn't notice how creepy he is. Maybe she's just gotten used to it over time. I mean, she has had to deal with his weirdness her entire life. Maybe I'm the odd one out for even saying anything about it... I just can't help it!
Since we talked last night I do feel better about the state of things, and we did make a plan to stay in touch, but I'm worried that won't be enough. I need to do this, I need to start getting more familiar with the company I'm gonna run some day but...I've just grown so attached to her. She's like a vital organ to me now.
Suddenly an array of hooping and hollering broke out across the street. The girls had reached the finish line we marked. They'd finished hanging flyers before us. After a victory dance on the sidewalk, they came over to do it in our faces. Alice was the leading of the gloat parade. I just let her have her moment in the sun.
After doing our victory dance I took a little time to brag about my exceptional poster hanging ability, to Jasper in particular. He had a look on his face that let me know he wasn't amused. That's what was so funny about it. He didn't complain about having to pay for my meal, he always does no matter how much I protest, but felt good to earn it this time.
When we were walking to Coach McCarty's van he grabbed my hand and kissed it, looping his fingers with mine. I smiled at him and leaned in.
We ended up in the very back seat on the way to the restaurant but I didn't mind. It gave me a chance to catch a nap and cuddle with Jasper at the same time. Why not kill two birds with one stone? It was a short, comfortable sleep. Then again I can't say I've ever had a bad nap whenever Jasper's holding me.
I took the last bite and everyone cheered. I finished before Edward, but it's come at a price. Before they could take my picture I booked it outside, to the woods and I puked up the Gravemaker challenge right onto the edge of the forest floor. While I was doing so I felt Jasper come behind me and push my hair out of the way. When I was done blowing chunks I wiped my mouth and turned to him, leaning against his chest for support. I could hear the thudding of his heart and smell his cologne. It was comforting.
"You won, it damn near killed ya, but you won," he said.
"I know... I'm the winner."
"Come on winner...let's go get you cleaned up."
"Alice you're gonna fail this test, like you failed the other ones. You're never going to learn how to drive because you're a loser. A crappy driver. It'll never happen for you, so you better be rich enough to afford a chauffeur or your ass is gonna be on the bus because I don't have time to drive you around," said Edward.
"You son of a bitch! How dare you say that to me! I'm gonna kill you!"
"Yeah...and when you go to prison you still won't have your license. You can't do it."
"Shut up! I can do it! I can't believe..."
"Can't believe what Alice? I'm just being real with you. I'm letting you know about yourself. You can't drive. Never will...accept it. Embrace it. At least though, you'll save money because you'll never have to worry about a car note or car insurance."
"I'm gonna go in here, take this test, and when I come out I'm going to kick your ass and tell Bella, and Daddy, and Esme on you!"
"Boo hoo little baby. Boo hoo."
I knew having Edward take me to my driver's test was a bad idea. He didn't want to bring me. He only agreed because he wanted the day off of school, and I needed to go so I wasn't in a position to argue. It's just like he went crazy though. As soon as I got in the car he started putting me down, telling me I'll never drive...talking to me like a dog. Edward and I have exchanged our share of nasty words, but some of that stuff was just downright mean that he said to me! It's the first time since middle school that Edward has managed to really hurt my feelings.
I walked in, checked in and took my seat waiting. There weren't that many people there yet, so I got back quickly. I've had all of the driving instructors here, so they all know me and I know them. This time I had Betsy, again.
"Alice, back for another try?"
"Yes I am."
"Well good. Come on, let's start."
I got into the car. She made me show her where all the bells and whistles were, and I did. Then I pulled out. I knew the driving course pretty good by now so I could just do it without her giving me too much instruction. I'd gotten three quarters of the way through without incident when a dog ran into the middle of the street. I threw on brakes quickly, so quickly that the tires squealed and I could smell burnt rubber. Afterwards I drove back to the DMV preparing to hear that I'd failed again. That could have caused an accident...stopping for a dog. I don't particularly like animals, but I can't hurt one. Plus, I think I saw that one on a lost dog sign Saturday. He's got a family.
I put the car in park and held my head low. Betsy cleared her throat a couple times while scribbling on her clipboard.
"Well Alice...I did have to take off some points for your abrupt brake. That wasn't safe, and had there been cars behind you it would have caused an accident, however, your technique was good, your speed control was excellent, and you seem to be an overall safe driver. It's my pleasure to tell you that you have passed this test and you can get your license."
"What? I passed! Oh my gosh, I passed!"
I hugged Betsy and jumped out of the car. I handed her the keys and she handed me a slip of paper to give the people to make my card. Before I went back into the building I walked over the Edward's jeep where he was reading one of Carlisle's old medical magazines. I tapped on the window for him to unlock the door. When he did I opened it and smacked him.
"That's for saying all that mean stuff to me! I passed, you ninny! Take that! Ha!"
"Alice, don't you see?"
"Don't I see what jackass?"
"I said that to you to get you in the right mindset to pass the test. All you needed was a little reverse psychology."
"Yup...and it worked. You're welcome and I forgive you."
"Whatever. I'm going to get my license and I'm driving home..."
"No you're not. Not unless you want me to drop you off at the car lot so you can buy your own damn car to drive home."
"Edward, come on. I've driven before."
"You owe me because you said mean things to me. It hurt my feelings."
"I've repaid you because I helped you to pass. Now go on, I'm trying to read."
"I'm driving home."
"I'd like to see it."
I snatched the keys out of the ignition and ran into the building. I'm gonna drive home.
"Well a celebration is definitely in order! I'm proud of you Alice. I know how much this meant to you," said Carlisle.
"You know, you could call me that more often," he said as he gave me a warm smile. "So, what kind of car are you thinking of?"
"Oh, I was just gonna get something small with my savings."
"Alice you don't need to do that."
"Because...money for your first car has been available since your birth. It's taken care of. So look for something new, something safe, and dependable. Sports cars are out of the question, and no monster trucks either please?"
"Alright. Congratulations again, Alice."
I had gone by the store to tell Esme first and she ordered a cake. Then I went to the doctor's office to tell Carlisle. The entire time Edward was sulking like a baby because I stole his keys and forced him to be a passenger in his own Jeep. I can't help myself... I've been waiting for a really long time to have the green light to get behind the wheel and now that I have it, I'm driving to the moon and back!
When the time came Edward and I went to pick Nessie up from school. I didn't give his keys back after our first round of errands, because I knew if I did I'd never get them back. So I kept them. When Nessie came out of the school I honked the horn twice and she came running to the Jeep, seemingly excited to see me behind the wheel and not Edward.
"Alice, you did it!"
"I did Nessie! I can drive now!"
"I'm so happy! Now I don't have to look at Edward in the morning anymore."
"Alright...next stop, Forks High and then...home I guess. I don't wanna give Edward too much of a heart attack."
When we got in the school parking lot everybody was in their usual spot, except they weren't hovered around Edward's jeep, they were hovered around Jasper's range rover. I pulled up and honked the horn, putting the car in park and turning it off. Edward quickly snatched the keys while Bella and Rosalie started screaming. When I got outta the car they tackled me, hugging me and jumping with me. I showed them my license and they commented on how good my picture was. It was the conversation I've been waiting to have for a year. I just wish my mom and dad could be here to see this...
After a few minutes Rosalie left to go to work and Emmett high tailed it over to football tryouts. Edward followed him and Bella started on her way to the library to stock the summer reads shelves. It's about that time. The only ones left were me, Jasper, and Nessie, who had opted to stay with me instead of going to watch the tryouts.
"Gimme your keys," I said.
"Not a chance," said Jasper.
"Please? I'm a good driver. Please Jas, please?"
I tried stealing his keys but he was too quick for me. Before I could take them he and Nessie had gotten in the car. He threatened to lock me out if I tried to take them again, so I agreed to play nice. I guess I'll have to live to drive another day.
Alice is getting her car today. She wouldn't tell me what she picked out, instead she says she wants to surprise me. I'm just concerned it's gonna be something dangerous like a Ferrari. I'm sure Dr. Cullen will try and make her get something reasonable, but with Alice you never can tell.
I didn't have much homework to do this weekend. Just a little for math and a one page paper. The paper, I did without much effort. It was just a reflection on The Fall of the House of Usher. The math homework was more difficult to complet,e but I managed to get it done. It's the last thing I have to go over before the test on Tuesday. Isn't that an odd day to have a test?
After I shut my book I went downstairs to find something to eat. I didn't want to ruin my appetite though. As soon as Alice picks out her car we are supposed to picnic at the lake. She's promised to prepare a meal with her own two hands. I'm skeptical about trying it, but if it's sandwiches and pudding cups how can things go wrong?
The beeping of a horn brought me out of my search for food. I walked down the hall and opened the front door, only to see a pink Volkswagen Beetle with eyelashes sitting in the driveway. I'm just glad it's nothing that goes too fast.
"You know Alice, I think you may have found your knack. These are really good peanut butter sandwiches," I said with a chuckle.
"Don't tease me Jasper! It's not funny. I can't cook but I did my best. I have bologna too."
"Well that's good because I'm starved. Oh, that reminds me... I got you something."
I reached into my pocket and pulled out the keychain I bought for her. It was a little pig that you could squeeze to make his eyes pop out of his head. Kind of like a stress reliever.
"A keychain. My first one! Thanks."
"No problem. Just promise me that you'll be safe on the road."
"I promise Jasper. I'll be safe."
"I don't know what I'd do if I lost you."
I put my hand up to her cheek and felt her soft skin beneath my fingertips. She gave me a tiny smile before leaning in to kiss me. Afterwards we sat on the sand, watching a man fish, and curse every time he didn't get the kind of fish he wanted. It was the perfect Saturday.