Chapter One

Alice's Point of View

"Retard!"

I tore my eyes away from my short locker and gazed around the hallway. My fingers unconsciously tightened around the handle of the new locker. I hesitated, but began to skim over the faces until it landed on the one who spoke- a tall boy. The boy had brown hair and brown eyes. His lips were tugged up into a smirk. A proud smirk. I don't know the boy, not even a little. But I do know that he's talking to me.

"Retard." He smugly said again, watching- no, glaring at me. "Why do you go to this high-school, anyway?" The boy taunted me, stepping closer.

I ripped my gaze from him and turned my head away, closing my locker. Mama had told me that people in schools were mean, but she said that they were mean because they're different than me. She told me I was special, and they wanted to be just as special as me. My mother had told me that if they were doing things that I didn't care for, to turn away.

My eyes slowly started to water as I gazed down at my locker. I knew that attending a school for once would be different, but I didn't think that the students would be… cruel.

Speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil. I thought to myself, trying to block out my surroundings. Esme, my mother, was religious, she took me to church every Sunday. Only recently did we move up here to Forks, Washington. I miss my old Pastor.

Not only did I move to a new city for the first time, but I also am attending school for the first time. Esme thought it would be best and easiest to simply homeschool me for a few years. Of course, since we moved, Mama thought it might be a good idea to try school.

When I opened my eyes again, I noticed that the taunting had gradually began to grow louder and louder. People were... joining. They were joining in on taunting me. People thought they were stronger in groups, didn't they?

'Ignore them...' I could practically hear Esme's voice in my head. I slowly raised my hands up to my ears, covering them. I smiled to the floor as I thought about Esme. Esme wasn't my real mother, but she adopted me when I was real little. She told me not to call her Miss Platt, but to call her Esme. Then, I insisted mama. I think she shined with joy when I said that.

"The hell is she doing?" A voice rang out from the crowd. I snapped my head back up to focus on the same boy as earlier. I left my hands over my ears The one who called me that- that horrible word...

"Is she- covering her ears?" I was.

"I think she might be crying." I am.

Go away! I screamed in my head, gazing around at the crowd. I knew that half of them were purely observing. I knew they were just curious, but none of them would even help me...

"This school isn't for you, midget." The brown-haired boy stepped in front of the crowd and crossed his arms tightly over his chest. He gazed down at me with that proud smirk. "This school is for normal people-" He paused and gave me a full look over. "-and you're most obviously not."

The crowd gradually grew louder and rougher. They stepped even closer to me. I wanted out of here. I wanted help. I needed help. But I was scared... I was too scared to even talk. I heard that teachers are supposed to stop things like this - where are they?

"The hell is your issue, Riley?!" A female voice shouted from the crowd.

Oh thank god. Thoughts of relief flooded my mind.

"Well shit, midget number two is here." They boy, Riley, spoke with a smirk. He crossed his arm and stared into the crowd where the voice, my savior, came from.

I let my eyes follow Riley's gaze to search for the third voice- but I couldn't find the speaker. That is, until the crowd parted to make room.

The girl walked, or should I say rolled through the crowd like Moses parting the red sea. She long brown hair and... sass. A lot of sass. Her arms were crossed over her chest and she was mad. No, she was pissed. I could see the steam rolling out of her ears. But, despite the fact that she was in a wheelchair the crowd seemed relatively intimidated. Except for Riley, that is.

Behind her stood a tall and quite muscular man. He had short hair and a glare fixed permanently into his gaze. From the looks of it, he was the one that parted the crowd. The tall boy was quiet and didn't even attempt to talk to anyone, though he did have his hands clutched onto the girl's wheelchair. He was the one pushing her.

The muscular man began to push the girl forward a bit, closer to Riley. He lowered his hands from her chair and crossed them over his own chest, just as the girl was doing. Only then did Riley seem to back down a bit.

Wheelchair girl glared up at Riley from her chair, and Riley gazed back down at her. I watched the static flow between the two for a few moments. Then, I glanced around at the crowd.

The crowd around the girl and Riley were silent. It was amazing, I didn't know they could be so quiet! Mama Esme would be so proud of me. Maybe wheelchair girl and muscle boy would be my friend? I thought with a joyful grin.

I shifted my gaze over to muscle boy just in time to see him flex his muscles, as if to be threatening. And let me tell you, I was sure glad I didn't miss that.

Muscle boy doing that obviously felt like a threat to Riley. Riley stepped back a bit and clearly observed the threat. Riley glanced to the side in search of something- or someone- obviously in need of help. Whatever he was searching for, however, wasn't there. He grimaced and stepped back another step, watching the muscle man.

"Leave..." Were the only words that escaped muscle boy's lips.

The crowd slowly dispersed over time until Riley remained standing there. He glanced at the muscle man with a smirk. "Later, you disabled freaks." He muttered before turning away.

We were then left in the hallway. Peace at last.

"There are times I love your fighting reputation..." Wheelchair girl mused up to muscle boy. Muscle boy merely shrugged and glanced away, a soft, proud smirk tugging onto his lips.

Muscle boy obviously wanted the attention away from himself, because he quickly snapped his finger up to point at me. Wheelchair girl turned her head to stare at me, and a genuine smile broke over her face.

"I'm sorry, Hi." She gave me a warm and welcoming smile. It was - nice.

I threw my hand up in the air and waved at wheelchair girl eagerly.

Muscle boy bent over slightly and wrapped his fingers around the wheelchair's handles. Slowly, he began to push the chair in front of me.

Though I knew that these two were friendly, I couldn't help but be intimidated. I pressed my back against my locker and watched as they came closer. The wheelchair girl stuck her hand out to me with a grin as muscle boy locked her chair in place. "It's nice to see a new face every once and a while, I'm Isabella." She said.

I reached my hand up and quickly placed it in hers. She began to shake my hand with a curious gaze. Was she curious about me?

"You know, it's not often I get to meet someone who's the same height as me in my wheelchair." Isabella commented, "I always feel short, but now I'm not alone." She laughed "We can be short together, okay?"

Muscle boy cleared his throat from behind Isabella and gazed down at her.

"Oh!" Isabella laughed and pointed up at the boy. "That's my boyfriend. Don't mind him, he doesn't talk much, anyway."

Isabella sat and I stood in silence for a few moments before she spoke again.

"So... what's your name?" She asked.

I stared at her curiously before remembering that I haven't introduced myself.

"I-I'm Alice." I managed to stutter out with a crooked grin.

Isabella chuckled and smiled. "You know, I used to have a stuffed animal named Alice. It's an adorable name. I wish I had it."

"N-no, you don't." I said shyly. "Bad things follow my name..." I stuttered, then curiously asked. "Why are you talking to me when everyone else seems to hate me?" I spoke with a minor lisp. I had been working on my lisp with a professional - and I'm much better!

"Well, Alice..." Isabella sighed softly and gazed at me. "Because we're alike, me and you. We're different than the average person." Isabella gazed down at her lap, almost as if she was trying to figure out how to explain it to me.

"Is... Issa... Issab-"

"-Call me Bella." Isabella cut me off with a warm gaze.

"Bella." I repeated, staring at her. "Why are we different?" I questioned her slightly. "My mom calls me special, but -" I leaned forward to whisper in Bella's ears. "-I figured it was a mom thing."

Bella laughed softly and began explaining. "Because, Alice, we're not the same as other people. I-" Bella glanced down at her legs. "I can't walk anymore." She said almost proudly before gazing up at her boyfriend. "And he doesn't talk much because he's autistic."

Her gaze slowly shifted to me. "And you..." Bella slowly let her words trail off, seeming scared of my reaction.

"I have Down syndrome." I finished for her.

Muscle boy behind Bella sighed and glanced away. He crossed his arms over his chest as he stayed alert, watching the halls. I noted that when people walked by, they made a big circle around and away from Muscle boy.

Bella nodded a bit as she watched me. "Exactly..." Bella said softly. "That's why we have to stick together, to protect each other. That, and I know we'll be great friends, Alice." She assured me.

"I know we will too!" I exclaimed, jumping up and down. Bella widened her eyes a little in surprise at my response, but she made no comment to it.

"I've never had a friend before!" I started to slur my words together while talking to Bella. "Mama Esme has always been my only friend as well as my mother. She's great to me, though. She takes me to school and home every day. She did that at my old school, too!"

As I rambled on about Mama Esme, Bella's eyes became wider in confusion. I knew she was confused, I wasn't always the easiest person to understand. I would probably have to repeat myself to her again later, but she was here listening and accepting me. And I think the best thing about all of this, is when I look deep into Bella's eyes I only see confusion and happiness. She doesn't feel pity to me at all. She feels happy- happy to have me as a friend.

Bella nodded her head as I spoke and I rolled my eyes. I abruptly stopped talking and pointed up at muscle-man.

"What's your name?" I asked, staring intently at him.

Muscle boy twitched as he saw my gaze locked on him. He stayed quiet and merely watched me.

Bella smiled and began to talk for him. "His name's Jacob, but you can call him Jake."

Jake nodded softly and slowly turned his head away, going back to glaring duty, keeping the halls safe of- people.

"Come along Alice, let me walk with you. Where are you going, anyway?" Bella asked me.

Jake bent over again and unlocked Bella's chair, beginning to push her down the hallway. I picked up my feet and began to walk next to my new friends.

"I dunno..." I mumbled with a shrug.

"Ah, well don't worry about it." Bella began to wave her hand in the air. "We'll figure it out. Just stick with us, I promise not to ditch you in these crazy halls."


Hello to all that are reading~ For the record, even one person reading makes me a happy camper!

This is a touchy subject to write about, I'm well aware. That's one of the reasons I actually am writing about it. I should also note that there will be swearing, including words that I even I hate. (In fact, the first word in this story, the R-word, I despise. Sadly, there's no way to get around that one.)

Currently I'm editing this story and then I will proceed in continuing to write it! My writing skills have improved immensely since I've started to write this, so hopefully it will be more enjoyable. Feel free to Review, Follow, Favorite, or whatever else is even available! (Since it seems to be ever changing...) I'll do my best to not pester you on it, however I do enjoy feedback and critiques. If you can keep this in mind for me as a person, even if you hate the story, that would be fantastic.

Lastly, I write for myself. I write for my own amusement and my own enjoyment. Though I don't overlook people who read my stories and who comment and suggest for me, I can't promise to have a posting schedule. I don't want to make a promise I can't keep, but I can do my best. Since I am older, it will likely be much better than before.

XOXO Alice

**PS - For the record, Yes. I go by Alice. No, I don't go by Alice because of Twilight! It's just a coincidence! Sheesh!