Disclaimer: I don't own anything related to Twilight, it all belongs to Stephenie Meyer - bless her. Also CSI - no copyright infringement intended.
"Emergency – which service do you require?"
"What is the emergency Sir?"
"My wife and I have found an arm"
"A human arm?"
"I think so"
"What do you mean – either it's human or it's not"
"It looks human, but it's not bleeding, I mean there's no blood on it"
"Where is the arm located?"
"It's in the forest, just east of Forks, Washington. I've just left my wife with it to walk up a hill to get cell phone reception"
"Can you give me your location Sir"
"Not exactly, my wife and I are hiking and camping, we're a long way from a road. The arm is in the grass on the edge of an open space surrounded by forest"
"That's fine Sir, if you would just keep your cell phone switched on we can work out your position using GPS. We'll have a team out to you as soon as possible. Can I have your name please"
"It's Tom, Tom Bailey"
"Okay Tom, just hold on there, we'll be with you shortly, I'm just sending a message down to the local police in Forks who'll probably ask a Crime Scene team from Seattle to take a look. Can you give me a brief description of the arm?"
"Yes, it's white skinned, we think it's a male arm because the hand is quite big, it still has pieces of clothing attached to it but there's something a bit weird about it"
"What's weird about it Sir?
"Well, you probably won't believe me but ...
the arm, well ...
I don't know how to put this but ...
it's still moving!"
Ten years earlier - Forks High School Canteen
"Sorry Mike, I already have a date for the Prom – you should ask Jessica, she's hoping you'll ask her and I know she's turned down Ben and Tyler already."
"Who's the lucky guy then" Mike asked, sounding disappointed. He had presumed he was onto a sure thing with Bella this time as he was considered to be the 'hottest' jock in the school by most of the female students. He wasn't used to being turned down and even though Bella had consistently refused his invitations since she had arrived at the school eighteen months ago, he had been confident she would capitulate this time as it was the Senior Prom and it was practically mandatory to have a date for the social event of the year.
As far as he knew, Bella hadn't had a boyfriend since arriving in Forks from Phoenix to live with her father, preferring to hang out with Angela and Jessica after school. "Maybe she's gay" he thought, which seemed to him to be the only logical explanation why she hadn't succumbed to his charms. He couldn't compute the fact that she actually might not find him attractive.
"Ah, that would be telling" Bella replied with a furtive wink. She didn't dislike Mike, but she was determined not to become another notch on his bedpost. Anyway, she had never had any inclination to attend any of the school's social events before and she couldn't understand why it was considered to be so important to have a date for the up-coming Senior Prom.
Normally she chose to stay at home with her books or researching on the computer; that was her idea of heaven, not jumping up and down to annoying music that sounded all the same to her. But against her better judgement she had decided she would go to the Prom this time, partially due to the incessant nagging from Angela and Jessica but also because it would probably be the last time her year group would be together before they all went their separate ways to work or college.
She hadn't actually secured a date yet, but she had decided to ask her science partner, Edward Masen, to take her. Edward was a quiet soul; he kept to himself and spoke to others only when necessary. He was a bookworm like her and spent every lunch time in the library reading scientific or medical journals. She guessed that he was heading for medical school as he was fascinated by the workings of the human body, but he excelled in all of the sciences as she did. Mr. Molina had put the two of them together at the beginning of this academic year to be 'subject buddies' as he called them, as they were considered to be at the same level of intellect, which meant streets ahead of all of the other students.
Edward was tall and lanky and over six feet tall already. His hair was an unruly mop of dark auburn and his skin was pale and unhealthy. He wore large thick-rimmed tinted glasses that obscured his eyes and the top half of his face plus his eyebrows were bushy and unkempt. He wore the same clothes practically every day; black jeans that were faded through over-washing and completely out of shape with a white t-shirt and checked over-shirt on top. His trainers weren't designer and he drove a beat-up truck that wouldn't have looked out of place on a farm. When he walked his shoulders were hunched up and he was invariably looking at the floor, probably trying to avoid eye-contact with anyone. None of the girls found him remotely attractive but as he didn't attempt to communicate with anyone at school other than when it was absolutely necessary, he was oblivious to the fact that he was the last person any girl with an ounce of self-respect would want to have as a date for the Prom.
Bella on the other hand was considered to be the beauty of the year group and was very popular with both sexes due to her outgoing and friendly nature. She was small in build even though she ate like a horse, with big green eyes and long brown hair that had natural auburn highlights. She was blessed with a radiant skin and a mouth that seemed to be permanently smiling. All the boys in her year group fancied her, apart from Tyler, whose measurement of female physical attractiveness was down to bra cup size alone. She had been asked out on numerous occasions but she was not interested in having a boyfriend, preferring to concentrate on her studies so that she could get a place at a college somewhere, anywhere, away from Forks, in fact any city where there was culture, diversity and a larger population. That was her ultimate goal.
Mike eventually stood up from the lunch table and wandered off looking dejected while Bella returned to reading her book whilst munching on her pizza. She was interrupted by Jessica who had witnessed Mike walking away from her and she banged her tray down making Bella jump.
"Did Mike ask you to the Prom?"
"Yes he did Jess, sorry."
Bella couldn't lie – especially to Jessica who had been a good friend to her when she arrived in Forks.
"Great" Jessica said but sarcastically.
"I turned him down, I told him I already had a date"
"Because I know you like him; I like him, but not in that way. I'm sure he'll ask you now"
"So I'm first reserve then" Jessica groaned.
"I'm sorry Jess, I don't know what to say"
"Oh well, thanks for being honest at least"
"That's okay." Bella felt a bit sorry for her and gave her a hug.
"So, who are you going to the prom with then?" Jessica was dying to know. Bella hadn't bothered going to the Junior Prom so this was a first.
Bella was reluctant to tell Jessica her plans as she knew what her reaction would be and it wouldn't be positive, so her answer was evasive. "I'm going to ask someone because I know he won't ask me, but I haven't asked him yet, so I would rather not say until he agrees."
"No, just leave it Jess. I'll tell you when I know for certain."
"How do you know he hasn't already got a date?"
"Oh, I'm pretty certain he hasn't – can we just leave it now?"
Jessica huffed and turned her attention to her salad then started wittering on about dresses and shoes. Bella realised that she hadn't actually thought about that side of things but first things first, she had to pluck up courage to ask Edward and then of course convince him to take her.
The bell went for the end of lunch break and Bella picked up her books and headed towards the science lab. It was now or never she had decided, so she took a deep breath and walked into the classroom with a determined look on her face. She was all for women's lib and equality and all that but she never thought she would ever find herself having to ask a boy for a date.
Edward was already in his seat and was bent over his text book as usual with his elbows on the desk and his fingers buried in his hair. The sun was making a rare appearance in Forks today and a ray of light had settled on his head; Bella noticed for the first time what a beautiful colour his hair was and also how soft it looked. He looked up at her with a surprised expression realising she had been staring at him and both of them suddenly felt embarrassed.
"Hi Bella" he stuttered. "We're doing photosynthesis today. I've just been reading up on it."
"Great ... umm ... Edward, are you doing anything on ..."
"Okay students listen up." Mr. Molina strode into the room and slapped some papers down on his desk and started fiddling with the overhead projector. Bella stopped talking and turned towards the front of the class knowing full well her face was turning slightly pink. She could sense that Edward's eyes were staring at her from the side but she couldn't bring herself to take the conversation further as 'the moment' had just flown out the window.
Mr. Molina launched into his lecture on the transference of light energy into heat energy then pulled the blinds down in the classroom so that he could show the class a number of slides. Edward had reverted back to giving his total concentration to either the presentation or his text book while writing copious notes on his writing pad. Bella had an idea.
She tore a piece of paper off her pad and wrote Edward a note.
Will you take me to the Prom Edward?
She shoved the piece of paper over to Edward's side of the desk and looked directly ahead of her so that she couldn't see his reaction.
Edward read the note and pushed it under his writing pad. He carried on writing notes and listening to Mr. Molina's lecture intently.
A few minutes passed and Bella was getting agitated. She wrote another note.
Are you ignoring me?
She shoved that towards him. Edward picked it up, read it and placed it under his writing pad with the other note.
Aaaaargh! Bella drummed her fingers on her desk which earned her a stern look from Mr. Molina who was opening the blinds because the slide show was over. Bella hoped that he wouldn't question her on what had just been shown as frankly she hadn't concentrated at all, so she looked down at her books trying to avoid eye-contact.
After another frustrating half hour, the lesson was coming to an end and Bella bent down to pick her bag up from the floor ready to throw her books in. The bell went and Edward stood up and quickly picked up his books and walked behind her out of the classroom. It was only when she picked her last book up that she noticed a small piece of paper on the desk, which had only one word written on it and it said
Bella picked the note up and then realised that she didn't know whether he had said 'yes' to agree to take her to the prom or 'yes' that he was ignoring her. "Why is life so complicated?" she yelled to the stuffed animals on the window sills. She grabbed her bag and hurried out of the classroom not knowing in which direction Edward had gone. She saw Angela in the corridor and sprinted up to her.
"Have you seen Edward Masen?"
"Yes he went that way – why?"
Bella didn't reply but walked quickly down the corridor until she spotted Edward in front of her. He wasn't difficult to follow as he was one of the tallest guys in the school, even when hunched over. She realised he was probably heading for the library so she slowed down to give herself time to compose herself then she walked behind him, following him into his peaceful sanctuary where he headed towards his favourite spot by the window. He threw his bag onto the table and turned round and jumped, not expecting to see Bella behind him.
Bella waved his note in front of him. "Does this mean yes, you will take me to the prom or yes, you're ignoring me?"
Edward looked slightly bemused at the sight of Bella bristling with frustration in front of him; this was new territory for him as girls were an alien species as far as he was concerned. He hadn't even considered attending the Prom and Bella's invitation had come as a bit of a shock to him, but he had taken a spur of the moment decision to accept as he had enjoyed her company in lessons during the past year and considered her to be his intellectual equal.
"Yes, I would like to escort you to the Prom Bella" he responded formally, but not sounding too enthusiastic.
"Good, that's settled then." Bella looked at him expectantly as she presumed he would want to talk about arrangements, but Edward looked at her blankly not knowing what to say next.
"Is that it?" she said.
"What do you want me to say?"
"I don't know." Bella looked flustered. She was in new territory herself but didn't want to admit that she almost expected him to be a bit grateful that an attractive girl had asked him out.
"Why have you asked me to take you Bella – I'm sure you've had plenty of offers already?" Edward was suspicious of her motives and hoped she wasn't doing it for a bet.
Bella looked blankly at him and didn't respond as she wasn't expecting that question.
"Am I a charity case – do you feel sorry for me, because if so I'd rather stay at home."
"No Edward, I didn't ask you because I felt sorry for you" Bella replied, quite taken aback by the accusation." I asked you because I've enjoyed working with you this year and I just wanted to spend one evening with you before we graduate and disappear off to different colleges and probably never see each other again."
Edward ran his hand through his hair feeling slightly contrite. "I'm sorry Bella, I've enjoyed working with you as well" he said sheepishly, "I must admit you've made my last year at school almost bearable."
They both chuckled and were given filthy looks by the librarian who told them to be quiet, so Bella left the library leaving Edward to get on with his studies, but only after they had made arrangements for their 'date' even though it was still a few weeks away.
The next day she told Angela and Jessica that she was going to the Prom with Edward.
"Are you mad?"
"Is he paying you?"
That was Jessica's reaction. Angela took a different view, presuming that Bella felt sorry for Edward because he never got invited to parties and didn't socialise at all after school.
"I think that's very sweet of you Bella, I'm sure he's very grateful" she said and patted Bella on the arm.
"I've not asked him because I feel sorry for him" Bella cried exasperated.
"Well, you can't fancy him" Jessica responded.
"No, I don't fancy him, in fact I don't fancy any of the boys in our year so I might as well go with Edward as with anyone else."
Angela could see the logic behind this but Jessica proclaimed she would rather not go at all than be seen with Edward. Mike had finally asked her to be his date so she was already plotting how she would make sure that by the end of the evening he would have absolutely no regrets that Bella had turned him down.
The conversation turned to dresses and shoes and a trip to Port Angeles was arranged to do some serious shopping. Bella reluctantly agreed to go on the understanding she could spend some time alone in the biggest bookstore in the area while the girls were trawling every shop in the town. She didn't think it would take long to find a suitable dress for herself, but she knew that Angela and Jessica would probably visit every dress shop at least once before making their decision and Bella could think of nothing worse.
The final few weeks of term were taken up with exams and graduation. Bella's mother travelled to Forks from Florida for the ceremony with husband number four, following which they had an awkward meal out with Charlie and his new girlfriend Sue. The one and only decent restaurant in Forks was full of families celebrating with their offspring but Bella didn't really enjoy being piggy-in-the-middle of her warring family.
At the table, to take her mind off the bickering, her mind wandered back to the ceremony when she received her diploma; there had been whoops and cheers from the audience when she walked onto the stage, however when Edward received his diploma plus an award for being the outstanding student of the year, hardly a ripple was heard from the audience, the only clapping came from the academic staff. She had watched him walk away from the ceremony on his own and she felt sad that he had no family or friends around to support him and felt angry on his behalf.
The night of the Prom followed and Bella dressed herself in her small bedroom on her own. Her friends had all been to beauty parlours or spas during the afternoon and were travelling to the venue together, probably in one of those ghastly stretched limos she thought, but she wasn't into all that fuss and bother so she just took a shower and put a few rollers in her hair to give it a bit more lift, applied a small amount of make-up to enhance her eyes and colour her lips then slipped her dress on which was a slim-fitting sheath dress with spaghetti straps in emerald green silk. Charlie had bought her some tiny emerald and diamond studs as a graduation present and they matched her dress perfectly. She slipped on some silver strappy sandals that were slightly higher than she was used to and made her way carefully downstairs to wait for Edward.
They had arranged that he would pick her up in his father's car that he was borrowing for the evening. She had no idea whether he was going to wear a suit or go casual, but whatever he wore it wouldn't matter as she had already been ridiculed to her face by almost every girl in her year group for asking Edward to be her date, so she had a fair idea what she was in for whatever he wore.
She wasn't bothered that he wasn't handsome, in fact Edward was almost a caricature of a geek, but there was something about him that intrigued her and she was sorry now that she hadn't made an effort to get to know him better this year and now it was too late. As expected he had been accepted into an Ivy League University and she had overheard him telling Mr. Molina that he would be travelling to the East Coast almost immediately after the end of term, so there was a strong possibility she wouldn't see him again after this evening.
She heard the sound of a car pulling up in her drive and a few seconds later she heard a knock on the front door. Charlie had been hovering in the hallway having just strategically placed his police rifle in plain sight of whoever entered his domain and he introduced himself to Edward by shaking his hand very firmly before inviting him in.
Bella was waiting nervously in the living room not knowing what to expect. She had been having visions of Ron Weasley's hideous outfit that he wore in The Goblet of Fire and was wondering whether Edward would turn up in something similar, so now she was now starting to panic just a little bit even though she realised that was really quite shallow of her.
She stood up as Edward walked through the door but instead of the scruffy geek she was used to seeing in his check shirt and faded jeans, in front of her was a tall, upright, handsome young man in an immaculate tuxedo. If it wasn't for his bad skin he could have come straight from a runway in Milan. The geek had disappeared without a trace; in his place was a very classy and stylish guy.
She tried to say hello but suddenly realised that her tongue had stuck itself to the roof of her mouth and when she went to move away from the chair, her knees buckled underneath her. "Oh My God!" was the phrase that was running through her brain as she looked and then looked again at her date, wondering if he had just been visited by his Fairy Godmother and that he just might have to be home by midnight!
Whatever magic spell had been cast on Edward to make him look like this she didn't care, because now she just couldn't wait to get to the Prom and see her friends' reactions!