Alright, Here Goes Chapter Two of This Rewrite. And As Always, Children…Play Nice.
Disclaimer: I Own Nothing except This Plot and A Few Surprise Characters
Chapter 2 – May or May Not Hate Me
Swallowing down a scream, I see what could be my worst nightmare. In that instant I knew what I had forgotten: Ms. Rhoads' class was in the library today for the project. I look into the faces of Mike, Tyler, Tanya, and some of the football team, glaring at me. They took a step towards me and I turned and tried to run, immediately colliding with what felt like a brick wall. I fall back and look up through the pain and see the big burly guy from earlier, whose entire face is clouded with anger. He turns his glare towards me and I gasp, preparing to scream.
Sensing my distress, he steps aside, turning his attention to my possible attackers. I take my opening and bolt through the door, ignoring the pain shooting through me as I run down the hallway, slipping occasionally but maintaining my footing. I make it outside and stop, grabbing onto one of the brick columns that lined the outer corridor in case it rained. Gasping for breath, I fight off the dizziness and let out a sob, falling to my knees. My breath starts to come in shorter rasps and my vision begins to fade in and out as a ringing begins in my head.
Is this a panic attack? I think blindly, knowing what I need to calm down. Knowing my friends are hidden under my bed, I search for something I can use and see it shining in the ground: a piece of glass. I grab it and pull up my hoodie sleeves, slicing above my bandages, continuing until I couldn't feel anymore.
When I feel calm enough, I drop the piece of glass and look down at my bleeding arm. I used to get nauseas at the sight and smell of blood, but now the ruby drops are like beacons of hope. I swallow and grab onto a nearby bench to help me stand up and an overwhelmed with dizziness. The cuts weren't deep, but there were a lot of them. I look at the ground, at the small puddle of blood that is forming. My blood. A swell of panic begins to rise within me at how I'm going to explain this to Charlie, but I stop myself short. Why should I care if he finds out? What's the worst he could do? I had nothing to live for, nothing going for me. I'm worthless, pathetic…
I sigh and grimace as I pull my arm to me, holding it from dripping as I slowly make my way to the closest bathroom, almost passing out. Once I make it, I check to see that I am alone before locking the door and going over to the sink, rinsing my arm under the warm water until it looks somewhat decent. I count twenty lines across my forearm from what I just did and see all the other scars from over the years. I reach down under the sink and pop out the hidden panel in the wall that I found when I was a freshman. In it I had all the necessities. Peroxide, band-aids, a couple shirts, cover up, and bandage wraps. I open the peroxide and pour it over the cuts, grimacing a bit at the slight sting. I remember when my mom would put this stuff when I fell down and scratched myself. I laugh at that now, since pain and I go way back. We're practically married.
I wait until the bleeding stops before I bandage up the new cuts. I grab one of the shirts and take off my hoodie and T-shirt, putting on the long-sleeved shirt. It was a personal favorite, seeing as it is pitch black and has a heart with a bullet hole through it and it's shattered. I put the hoodie and other shirt back in the bag before finding the cover-up and applying that to my face. I look up at the clock and see I have five minutes until class is over so I sigh and put my things back in the bag and slip it into the panel, closing it. A dark feeling swarms over me and I look at myself in the mirror.
"I am worthless," I whisper to no one. "I'm sorry I made you leave us, Mom. Maybe if I would have been better, been the daughter you wanted, maybe you would have stayed…" My voice breaks near the end and I swallow back the lump in my throat. I grab my things and make my way out of the bathroom and towards my next class. Art always seemed to make me feel somewhat better, but today I feel like that wouldn't happen. I grimace. When I first came to the art class in freshman year, I didn't think I had any skill. But the art teacher thought otherwise, despite her cool demeanor with me, and I slowly stole the number one position in Art.
I didn't realize where I was until I bumped into something, falling down. I hold back a groan and look up into the topaz eyes of the pixie girl from this morning.
"Ohmigosh! Are you okay?" She asks. It almost looks like she cares… No, don't you dare go there, Bella. She doesn't care about you, got it? I grimace and sigh.
"Yea, I'm fine," I say grudgingly. "Don't worry about it." I start to get up, and she helps me. My shock is evident.
"There you go," she says softly. "Where's your next class?"
"Art," I mumble.
"Really? That's so cool because I have Art next too!" This girl is way too happy. Her entire frame is practically vibrating with energy, which really pisses me off. "Oh, sorry. I'm Alice," she says, offering a hand. "What's your name?" Like she cares.
"Bella," I shrug, noticing the stares I'm getting. I start walking again and she falls into step with me. "Hey, why are you talking to me?" I ask her.
"Why wouldn't I talk to you, Bella?" She asks, looking at me incredulously. I sigh before turning to look her head on.
"Haven't you heard the rumors? I'm the freak, and worthless piece of shit that goes to this school. Careful," I say in a sarcastic voice, "I might sleep with your boyfriend." I sigh and look down, biting back tears. I didn't understand why I was even still standing here. I look back up and there's a strange glint in her eyes. The look disappears but there is a light still in her eyes.
"I have heard them, but I don't believe them. You're not a freak, Bella. And besides," she says as she opens the door to the Art room, "I want to talk to you. You and I are going to be the best of friends, I just know it!" She says, smiling. If Charlie doesn't kill me first I think to myself. Looking at this Alice girl, I could actually believe it. Giving her a small smile, I walk over to my easel in the back of the class and sit down, away from everyone else. Mrs. Whitman doesn't mind since I'm her best student. I mean, I entered a contest and won the Art department four thousand dollars, along with a thousand for myself. Except, Charlie took every penny. Nowadays, I'm lucky if I can scrape up a single dollar. I'm so deep in thought that I hadn't even noticed I was painting until I felt someone behind me gasp.
Blinking, I look up at Mrs. Whitman and see Alice just steps behind her. They were staring at my easel. On it was scenery of a forest during winter at night, overlooking a small village down in a valley, with the moon shining down unto it.
"Is something wrong?" I ask and they shake their heads.
"Miss Swan, if I may, I would like to have this painting put in our newest collection. What possessed you to paint this?" She stares at me.
"Do whatever you want with it. And I merely thought about life…" It wasn't a complete lie, but just as bad. I had been thinking about dying. She nods and motions for me to place the painting in the back of the class to dry. I do so, taking my brushes and washing them in the sink before drying them and putting them in their place. By the time I had finished, the bell rang. I look up in fear as I realize my next class. How I could have forgotten, though, is an amazement itself. I swallow, feeling Alice's eyes on me as I make my way to Mr. Banner's class.
I hold my head up as I make it into the room, noticing how I am the first one in here, like always. I take a deep breath, and ignore the pain as I walk to my seat in the back of the class. Mr. Banner is the only teacher who openly exploits my flaws aloud and to the whole class. All the other teachers just stare or shake their heads, but not him. I often wondered why he never got in trouble, but then I remembered that he is one of Charlie's fishing buddies. With a grimace, I wait for the rest of the class to file in.
I'm too busy staring at the wall to notice her until she's in front of me, clearing her throat. I jump slightly and look up, swallowing down a groan. Lauren Whitaker or Miss Bitch as I call her. She never physically attacked, but her verbal attacks were just as bad. I sigh.
"Yes, Miss Bitch, how may I not help you today?" I ask her innocently. I hear a few snorts and look around at the rest of the class. Even Professor Dickhead was here. She glares at me and I look down and back up before answering. "If you keep frowning like that, you're going to get a wrinkle worse than your mom when she saw your ugly face," I tell her and hear a covered up laugh. With a sneer, she turns and walks up to Sir Dick-licker and whispers something in his ear. He smirks at her, nods, and she sits down, a smug smile on her face. As Banner is about to speak, there is a knock at the door.
"I wonder who that is," he murmurs, opening the door. In walks the bronze haired god from earlier. "Ah, Mr. Cullen, I presume?" He asks. "Well, let's see, why don't you take a seat in the back there next to that thing in the black shirt," he motions to me and I look out the window. I hate new kids. I ignore his approach and stare as he sits down, waiting for Mr. Gay-man continues.
"As I was saying, it is so unpleasant seeing you Miss…Oh, now what is your name again?" He asks me. I look up at him and he's smirking. "Oh, wait…Now I remember! It's I'm-a-dirty-tramp-who-made-my-mother-leave-me, right?" He laughs, as does the rest of the class. I lay my head down onto my folded hands and sigh. "Oh, one more thing," he says. "I heard you were once again bad and skipped first period again. Late night working the corner, I assume," he drawls and I almost puke. "So, for that you get to go stand in the corner." My head jerks up at his words and he is smiling again. The corner he is talking about drips from the ceiling and smells like death. I don't move, torn.
"Now, Isabella!" He barks out at me, making me flinch. He glares at me for a few moments before I begin to stand up. He comes over to me, yelling in my ear. "You worthless little whore! Is this why Mommy left you? Because she realized what a worthless skank her daughter was? Didn't Mommy tell you? She never wanted you!" At that, I look up at him, shaking my head.
"You're wrong!" I yell back, my voice breaking. The class gasps and I place my hand over my mouth.
"Did you just talk back to me, Isabella?" He asks, his voice soft. He grabs me by the hair and I cry out. "I said, did you just talk back to me?" He yells and I whimper. With a grunt he tosses me backwards, making me stumble and fall. I land on my bruised ribs and cry out, making him laugh. I look up at him and glare. He kneels down and I spit in his face. "You little bitch," he says, his jaw clenching.
I knew I was in deep shit. I didn't see the hand coming until I felt a stinging across my cheek. I let out a sob and someone throws a box of tissues at me.
"Got an issue? Here's a tissue!" I hear one of the football players call out, making everyone laugh. I feel a new set of eyes on me and look up at the new kid, his back rigid as he stares at me. There is a black rage in his eyes, along with something I can describe.
Banner grabs me by the hair again and yanks me to my feet, shoving me towards the door.
"Out of my classroom, now!" He says and I grab my things and limp out, with the class laughing at my shame. "And don't come back!"
"I don't plan on it!" I yell back at him, making the class go quiet. Slamming the door, I limp away from the room, waiting until I am far enough away to lean against a wall and sink down to the floor, crying. I cried for my best friend, myself, I even cried for my mom despite what happened. Hearing footsteps, I wipe my tears away, sniffling. I see the big guy from earlier coming around the corner and see him look around before spotting me. He comes my way and I stand up, preparing to run. When he gets too close, I turn to make a run for it, but his surprisingly cold hands wrap around my waist. I scream.
"Shh, it's alright, I'm not going to hurt you. You don't need to be afraid of me, I promise." His voice is deep, but calming. I was still trying to get out of his hold, but his grip was making me cold and shaky. My vision was going fuzzy and I could hear my heartbeat. A shriek nearby brought me back.
"Emmett, put her down! She can't breathe!"
"Alice?" I gasp. I felt myself being lowered to the floor and didn't hesitate in lurching to my feet, putting some distance between me and the big guy, I assumed is named Emmett. He looked guilty and Alice looked horror struck. While I gasped for breath, I heard more footsteps. I turn my head slightly and see the rest of the gang from earlier. "Oh, great," I croak. "Just what I need, more people to thrash me around." For some reason, this family made me feels brave and it scared the hell out of me. "What do you want with me?"
"How can you say that, Bella? We just want to help you." Alice sounds hurt but I know better.
"If I needed your help I would ask. I am absolutely, most definitely, fine, okay? How can you not comprehend that? I have been taking care of myself since I was a kid. I didn't need someone than and I don't need anyone now. So, do yourself a favor and back the fuck off!" By now, I was yelling and my voice kept breaking. I turned away from them slightly and closed my eyes, trying to slow down my heart. I thought I was doing a good job until I felt the familiar ache in my body and the faint tremor in my hand.
"Bella, are you okay?" I heard someone ask, but the sound is muted.
"Shit," I gasp as I fall to my knees, panting. I felt like I would either puke or pass out, and neither would be good right now. I felt them come towards me and I groan. "Don't touch me. I'll be fine, this happens a lot." I swallow and take another breath. I felt someone grab me by the waist and I cry out in pain as they touch my ribs. I pull away from them and into a standing position before I try to run away. I go out of the closest door, which lead out to the main quad.
As soon as I hit the fresh air, I slow down enough to take a few breaths. I wince at each one and lift up my shirt, seeing the bruises. I had a cracked rib, but couldn't tell which one it was. Wincing, I turn and walk back inside, going to the music room to wait for my last class. Since I am ahead in all my class, they let me get away with having only four classes this semester. I heard the bell ring and realize that I am going to be late if I don't get up.
I make my way towards the building and belatedly notice that I am now two minutes late. Mrs. Rhoads was going to kill me. I had missed first period, and now I am late to my last. I get to the door right as she is about to close it, out of breath and in pain.
"Bella, I believe this is your first time being late to my class. I will let it slide, but only this once, alright?" She asks and I nod.
"Yes, Mrs. Rhoads," I say and limp over to the piano, feeling eyes on me the entire time.
"Aww, did somebody hurt the little freak?" I hear someone call out. "Why don't you go home and cry to your Mommy?" A few laughs answer him and I hold back tears.
"Kyle," Mrs. Rhoads says," that is enough." I sit at the chair and notice someone is sitting next to me. I look up and see the bronze god from class. He looks at me and I cower away. He looks confused and writes something down on a sheet of paper, sliding it to me.
(Bella italicized, Edward bold)
Hello, my name is Edward Cullen. Are you alright? Did I do something to upset you?
I read the note and scoff.
Why do you care?
I pass it back to him and his shock is evident.
Why wouldn't I care? You're hurting and I only want to help.
I don't need your help. You don't even know me…
As he was reading the note, Mrs. Rhoads came by to hand us our homework assignments from the other day and saw the note.
"Bella, what is this?" She asks and I look away.
"Why do you care?" I mumble loud enough for her to hear.
"I care because you're usually one of my best students. But, you skipped my first class, left in the middle of Mr. Banners, and are passing hostile notes to a new student. What is wrong, Bella? Should I call Charlie?"
"NO!" I yell, shocking her. "I, I mean…No, please, don't." I beg quietly. She looks concerned and nods, placing a hand on mine gently, giving it a light squeeze. I try to smile back, but place a hand around my waist, swallowing down a throb of pain.
"Are you alright, Bella?" She asks and I glare.
"Will you people please stop asking if I am alright? I am perfectly fine. I don't need anyone to ask if I am okay, nor do I need anyone breathing down my damned neck. I fell earlier and cracked my rib, but I have it bandaged and I will be fine, alright? I have not been having a good day and I really don't want any more psychotic treatment…" Mrs. Rhoads nods and turns away to start the class.
After a little while, she came back over and slipped me a lollipop, which I smiled faintly at. I remember that today's class is lengthened by forty-five minutes due to a day we missed two weeks ago, and I smile. I remember the hell Charlie gave me when I told him, and I earned a slap to the face, but he had to let me, in order to keep up appearances. I was secretly pleased, but knew that all hell would break loose when I got home. My thoughts were interrupted when Mrs. Rhoads spoke up.
"Does anyone have a piece that they would like to share with us?" She looks at each of us and I briefly raise my hand, a warm feeling starting to burn in me. "Yes, Bella?" She asks.
"I would like to play something I've been working on, if it would be alright," I ask and she nods, a smile on her face. I knew everyone would be pissed at me, but I wanted to show Edward that I didn't need someone to help me, even thought a part of me desperately wanted one.
"Very well. If everyone would make their way to the auditorium so that we can experience the music in better attitude," she says and we make our way to the auditorium.
After we get there, and everyone is seated, I take my seat at the piano on stage, turning slightly towards them so that they could see I had no sheet music in front of me. "This is a piece I like to call River Flows in You," I say and turn back to the keys. Taking a deep breath, and pushing the pain to the back of my mind, I begin to play. My fingers flow effortlessly over the keys as the notes from last night fill my head. As each second passed, the song became more exquisite. I heard a couple gasps and smiled faintly, turning it up a notch.
The music filled and consumed me, swirling around me. But with the pleasure of playing, there came sadness. As the notes began to drift, I felt alone and vulnerable. The song was supposed to show a fight and how someone overcame their obstacles, coming out on top. The room began to fill up as more and more people entered the auditorium. People may hate me, but when I played, they always seemed to forget for a moment who I was. And as the last note filled the air, poignant silence resulted before people were applauding.
I look out at the different smiling faces and see one in the front row that shocks me: Tanya. She motions to me and I walk to her, my guard going up.
"Yes?" I ask. She forces a smile at having to talk to me, but there is both excitement and a calculating look in her eyes.
"I want you to come play at my family's reunion in a couple months. My father will pay you a thousand dollars for the entire event. Deal?" She has a secretive smile on her face but I swallow and nod.
"Sure, I guess…" I reply and she nods, turning to her friends to tell them something. They all giggle and I sigh, wincing again. The pain comes back full force and Mrs. Rhoads comes up to me.
"Care to enchant us once again?" She practically begs. I sigh, but nod.
It didn't matter if I played for Tanya's family, or if they liked my music. I am still the girl they can't stand, the girl they attack. I sit at the keys again and the room goes silent. I think for a few seconds before knowing what I want to play. I started to play and thought of my mom. I wanted her to be proud of me, but I never measured up in her eyes. I felt tears forming and swallowed the lump in my throat as I play, unable to hold back the single tear that falls onto the keys.
"Why is she crying? An angel like that shouldn't cry. Maybe it is the music…" A velvet voice whispered and I held back more tears, still playing. I was no angel, not even close. At long last, the song came to its end. As it did, the doors burst open and an angry voice I know all too well rings out.
"Isabella Marie Swan! What are you doing here? You had me worried sick!" I flinch and swallow hard. I look at his aged face, see the new wrinkles and gray hairs on his head. At 45, Charles Earl Swan was an intimidating figure. His voice reverberates off the walls and I manage to get up without tripping and scurry over to him.
"Dad, I…I told you I had to stay late today, remember?" I ask quietly. I can smell the alcohol from where I stand and feel fear sinking in the pit of my stomach. He glares at me and his eyes are bloodshot. I see Banner's sick smirk out of the corner of my eye and know he told him what happened in class today.
"Get in that car, right now," he says in his deathly calm voice. I don't hesitate, leaving ahead of him without a glance behind me.
When I get into the car, Charlie's forehead has a vein popping out and his skin is a sickly purplish color that I didn't like at all. I. Am. In. Deep. Shit.
I immediately know I am in for a long night and stay silent the entire way. When we pull up he gets out of the car and comes around to my side, grabbing me. I try to pull away but he punches me in the head and I gladly welcome the black waters of unconsciousness.
So…Another Chapter Done. I Know My Faults When I Started Writing This Years Ago, But Hopefully I Can Make Up For It.
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