Chapter 1, revised
I do not own Twilight
When my mom first told me she was getting remarried I reacted the way any almost eighteen-year-old daughter would.
"Great, who is he?"
I shrugged in answer when Renee dropped the bomb on me last month over dinner. She had taken me out for sushi, my favorite, so I should have known right then that something was up.
"Do you remember that high school soccer coach I was seeing a few months ago?"
"Bob?" I asked incredulously. Please dear God in heaven do not tell me she is marrying a man named Bob.
"Yes, but I'm not marrying him. Well, I saw him at that party I went to about a month ago. He introduced me to a friend of his who coaches baseball."
"At the high school?" I asked.
"Yes, his name is Phil, he's thirty-three, and he's very sweet."
"Wait, didn't he pick you up last week for some event thing?" I asked.
"Yes! That was him," Renee exclaimed, happy that I remembered. "He invited me to a school function for the coaches."
"Ok…I think I'm putting a face to the name now…"
"I know you haven't met officially yet, Bella, but we've gotten very close and I love him. I never thought I would fall in love so quickly, but I did. And we just started talking about getting married, and we want to do it soon."
"Why?" I asked. I had lost all interest in my salmon and tuna sashimi and seaweed salad. It lay on my plate getting warm.
"Because we don't see the point in waiting, dear. If you were in my shoes you would feel the same."
I snorted a quiet laugh.
"I invited Phil to come over for dinner tomorrow night so you could meet him and talk to him and we could discuss this marriage thing together."
I finally picked up my chopsticks and grabbed a clump of my seaweed salad.
The next night I met Phil Baker and I had to honestly say I like him. Sure he was about twelve years younger than my mom, but he treated her like a queen and obviously loved her. So I was all for whatever made her happy.
And then they told me about their honeymoon plans.
They wanted to go on an extended trip together, since Phil was thinking of transferring to Texas to be closer to his parents. Renee and I had not traveled much in the last seventeen years since we moved to Phoenix, so she was all for it.
And I made the decision to move in with my dad. If there was anything I wanted less, it was to be the third wheel on my mother's and new stepfather's honeymoon.
Now, don't get me wrong, I have nothing against living with my dad. I've spent two weeks with him every summer since I turned ten. I love spending time with him. I love my father to the ends of the earth. We are so much alike where my mother and I are polar opposites.
It's where my dad lives that's the problem.
He's the Chief of Police of Forks, Washington, a small town in the Northwest portion of the state. While the surrounding area is beautiful and the scenery lush, I can not stand the cold and the rain.
But like I said, I would rather be in Forks than be a third wheel and pretend like I don't hear anything on the other side of the wall every night.
My dad, Charlie, picked me from Port Angeles when my plane arrived mid morning. I could tell he had just come off an overnight shift at the station and had come directly up the 101 to get me. He had the telltale circles under his eyes.
"Want me to drive back?" I teased him as we walked back to his car from the tiny airport.
"You can't drive the cruiser, Bells, you know that."
"I was kidding, dad." I laughed at him. "You just look like you could use the nap."
"I'll nap when we get back. Where would you like to stop for lunch?"
"Anywhere is fine. Whatever you're in the mood for." I told him, tossing the two bags I carried into the trunk. Charlie piled the suitcases he had carried on top and shut the trunk.
"You're sure going to be easy to live with, Bells." He wrapped me up in a tight one-arm hug. "I'm real glad you're here, sweetheart."
"Aw, dad." I hugged him back as we shared one of our sporadic father-daughter moments.
During the drive back to Forks Charlie asked me all kinds of questions about how I was doing, and how mom was doing. I answered the former enthusiastically, but skimmed over the latter. I didn't know how much he wanted to hear about how happy mom was with Phil. At least for now.
We stopped at a McDonalds for lunch, and I got a salad and fries. I will never touch the burgers again. Not after the last time I went out for lunch with a friend and watched her get violently ill after a Big Mac.
Nope, never again.
Not that I had been keen on them in the first place.
Charlie helped me bring all of my suitcases and bags inside. The rest of my belongings had been shipped up from Phoenix last week and were already waiting in my old bedroom.
Charlie made good on his promise to nap after that, which left me alone to unpack my boxes and get settled. I was fine with it that way. It gave me space to think and consider how I wanted to reorganize things. I hoped I didn't make too much as I pushed and pulled my old furniture into a new formation.
I placed my full-size bed under the window and propped up several pillows along the back of it so looked more like a day bed. I pushed my desk closer to the wall jack under the opposite window and left my dresser where it stood by my closet. My old rocking chair from when I was baby still sat in the far corner. I dusted it off and threw some small pillows on it for aesthetics.
I was giving myself only today to get my room in order since I would be starting at Forks High tomorrow. Charlie had already signed me up last week. I was actually excited to be going. I didn't have many friends back in Phoenix, and those that I did have were all on the bowling team with me.
I was hoping for a fresh start with new people here. And I prayed Forks was not as cliquey as Phoenix.
Charlie woke around dinnertime, a little grumpy and unwilling to cook. He took a quick shower and we headed out to the diner together. I watched some of the high school kids milling around trying to recognize faces, but not a single won struck any old chords in my mind.
"So, would it embarrass you terribly if I drove you to school tomorrow morning?" Charlie asked me.
"No," I shook my head. "I think that would be pretty cool, and it would certainly send a message to any would-be suitors." I was being a total wiseass and my dad knew it.
Charlie just grinned and cut up his steak, taking a big bite. "You have a point there, Bella." He teased in return, and cut up another piece of steak. "But just tomorrow morning. I want to take you out tomorrow afternoon after school so you can pick out a car."
"What?" I choked on my smoked salmon sandwich. Charlie reached over and patted my back until I had caught my breath. "Are you serious?"
"Very, you need your own way of getting around. And you can consider it your birthday present. You are turning eighteen after all."
"Wow, dad. Thank you.
"Just a fair warning, Bells. You're not exactly going to be spoiled for choice up here."
I took Charlie's words seriously. But that didn't mean I wasn't excited. I went bed that night eager for the next day to come.
Renee had actually picked a good time to get married. Forks High was only in its first week of classes when I transferred in. I went straight to the front office after Charlie dropped me off, promising to be back by the time school got out.
"Can I help you?" asked a middle-aged woman behind the main desk as I walked in.
"Hi I'm Isabella Swan, I'm transferring in today from Phoenix." I said clearly.
"Oh, you're Charlie's daughter. He spoke so enthusiastically about you on the phone last week when he signed you up."
"Oh," I said quietly in response. I read the name plaque on her desk. Ms. Cope. She got up from her desk and busied herself with pulling my file from a cabinet and putting together a bundle of papers.
"All right, Isabella, I'll just need you to sign in here just for today, and then have this slip signed by all of your teachers today and bring it back at the end of the day for me. Here's your map of the campus and your schedule of classes. Alice Brandon is coming down to take you on a tour of the school and show you where all your classrooms are."
"Ok, and you can call me Bella." I signed in on the pad and took all of the papers.
"Have a great day, Bella, and welcome to Forks." Ms. Cope smiled wholeheartedly at me, and I had to wonder what happy pill she was taking and if she would mind slipping me some.
I thanked her again and turned to go. But just as I turned to head out the door another student walked in, and we crashed. My papers scattered everywhere along with the binder and notebook I had been carrying.
"Oh shit, I'm so sorry." He apologized as he knelt down and began helping to collect everything.
"Mr. Masen, it is precisely that language that has brought you in here today. You would think to be wiser in your choice of words when walking in here. Now finish helping this poor girl to clean up her papers and get in my office."
"Yes, Mr. Green, sorry, sir."
My fellow student helped me to finish getting my things into a semi neat pile and then he offered me his hand to help me up. I took it and almost fell over when I looked up at his face for the first time.
He had the greenest eyes I had ever seen.
"I'm Edward, and I'm sorry. I wasn't paying attention."
"No, it's my fault. I'm a walking accident waiting to happen."
Edward chuckled at my joke and ran his hand back through his untidy but beautiful bronze locks.
"You must be Isabella, the chief's daughter."
"How did you know?"
"Because I don't recognize your face, and I'm in here often enough to know all of the gossip."
I heard heavy footsteps behind us and knew it was the principal, "Mr. Masen, now!"
"Yes sir," Edward nodded curtly. "Well, I gotta go."
"Good luck," I called after him. I watched Edward disappear around the corner and heard a door slam.
I stood there for a minute in a daze. Had that really just happened? I had just made a complete fool of myself in front of the most attractive boy I had ever seen. I would be lying if I said his eyes hadn't made my heart flutter at the first sight of them.
But I was broken from my daydream by the office door opening again. This time a short girl, my age, with dark, spiky hair walked in and introduced herself as Alice Brandon, president of the senior student council.
"So how come you decided to move to Forks, Bella?" Alice asked as we began walking down the hall away from the office.
"My mom got remarried last month and I didn't feel like being the third wheel on their honeymoon."
"That would have been awkward." Alice agreed. "So what's your locker number, I'll show you that first and you can make sure it unlocks."
"Um…it's in building 3." I read off the paper with all of my information on it.
"Ok, maybe I won't show you that first." Alice admitted. "It's too far away, so maybe we'll end there."
I merely shrugged and handed over my schedule so Alice could plan a route around the school to show me.
We stared off again and Alice began pointing out classrooms as we passed them. We walked by the gym and she took a moment to peek through the glass window in the door, I watched as she waved enthusiastically to someone I couldn't see, and then we continued on our way.
"You don't play any sports do you?" Alice asked. I noticed from the sign on the wall that we were walking through the history hallway now.
"I was on the bowling team back in Phoenix." I admitted a little sheepishly. "But I'm not very athletic."
"I think you should try out for the cheerleading squad. You're really pretty."
I scoffed and pushed some hair behind my ear. "Thanks, but I don't think I'm really cheerleading material."
"Sure you are," Alice gushed at me. We kept walking. Alice had stopped pointing out classrooms a few hallways ago, but I was keeping track of which department we were in as we made our way along. "You're lean, you're pretty, and you're tough. I can tell. That's very important."
I scoffed again, but thanked Alice for her continued compliments. She went on and on about she had gotten involved with the cheerleading squad, having not been interested herself when she first came to Forks High as a freshman three years ago. But she had thrown caution to the wind and tried out for the hell of it and actual made the squad her freshman year. She's been on it ever since.
Alice talked so animatedly about everything that I couldn't help but be infected by her enthusiasm and by the end of the tour I promised to show up at tryouts. Alice advised me to wear something I would be comfortable moving around a lot in. With a promise to see me at lunch, we had the same lunch period, Alice left me at my second period classroom door and skipped, yes skipped, off down the hallway to her own class.
I stood outside the door waiting for a few minutes, my eyes on my watch as I waited for the bell to ring. Just like back in Phoenix, Forks High started at 7:30 with first period, homeroom, and then second period. Right on time at 8:15 the bell rand loud and clear overhead and I stepped away just as the door opened and a flood of students poured out on their way to second period.
I was glad I had this particular class early in the morning. It wasn't among my favorites, but I was good in science, and I knew it. Otherwise I would not have stuck myself in AP biology.
The science building at Forks, building 4, was definitely not as high tech as Phoenix, and I liked that. I walked into the classroom once the stampede had cleared, going over in my head Alice's offer to try out for the cheerleading squad.
Charlie would like it, to know I was getting involved and going to school events.
It could be fun, I thought as I approached the teacher's desk. "Hi, I'm Bella Swan, I'm transferring in today." I introduced myself and handed over my slip of paper.
"Oh, you're Chief Swan's daughter. You look just like him."
I glanced at the nameplate, Mr. Barnes. I watched him sign his name in the correct spot and took my slip back as he indicated where I would sit. He handed me the book for the class, a huge college-level biology text, and the handouts from the past few days. I sat down in my seat and began going over the sheets.
There wasn't much they had done in the first week that I didn't already know from my previous biology classes that I had taken in Phoenix, and I was confident that it wouldn't take me long at all to catch up.
Students began pouring in as the four minutes between classes began to come to a close. Mr. Barnes stood by the door ready to close it as soon as the bell finished ringing. So far no other students had claimed the seat beside me. I wouldn't be left alone. I would get my work done faster and have more time to sit here and go through the textbook to see what I was in for.
The only part of this class I was really not looking forward was the various dissections that we were scheduled to perform throughout the year. I glanced over the class schedule in the last minute before the bell.
What? A whole cat? A whole week of a whole cat?
Oh, this was going to be pretty. Pretty disgusting.
The bell rang again signaling the end of social time in the hallways and Mr. Barnes shut the door. Only moments later there was a bang from the outside. "Ah, there you are, Edward."
I looked up when I heard the name as Mr. Barnes let the last student into the room.
"Sorry, I was having a visit with our principal." Edward apologized, laying on the smartass just a bit.
"I already know, give me your pass." Mr. Barnes held his hand out and Edward handed over his get-of-detention-free card. "Now take your seat," He told Edward sternly.
Edward walked over and dropped into the seat beside me. "Fancy seeing you here." He grinned at me.
I turned my attention to the front of the room, fixing my hair so it formed a long, brown curtain between us and Edward couldn't see just how red I had turned the moment he sat down next to me.