Chapter One

Bella

Forks Washington was the most depressing place on the planet, or so I decided when I was a little girl and came to visit with my dad in the summer. It rained or was cloudy almost every day and while dad liked fishing and hiking I didn't. Fishing meant water, which in turn meant me falling in, hiking meant rough tracks...result...skinned knees and sprained ankles. I just wasn't cut out for the outdoor life, things bit me, stung me, tripped me or made me itch. Give me the safe and secure indoor life any time. So when Renee and Phil decided to take an extended and late honeymoon with the money his grandmother left him it was with reluctance that I volunteered to go live with Charlie for the last year of school. I was right enough that the change wouldn't hurt my chances of graduating, and one year in a school smaller than my year in Phoenix would be bearable, just.

Charlie made a real effort, he decorated my room, surprisingly a really nice shade of lilac. He installed a computer for homework and to e mail my mum and he bought me a car, well a beat up old truck really but I loved it. It was strong enough to provide protection when I had an accident which was always on the cards with my luck! The truck had belonged to Billy Black, one of dad's hunting and fishing buddies on the Reservation. I knew the Res really well because when I wasn't falling in the river or being eaten alive by bugs that's where I spent my time as a kid, playing with Billy's son Jake. I only remembered him vaguely because my torment in Forks stopped when I was old enough to shout loud enough. Then Charlie would rent somewhere close to our place and spend two weeks with me. Poor Charlie he never seemed comfortable in the sunny South, I never saw him in shorts, tee shirt or heaven forbid, swim wear. He always wore a shirt and pants however hot it got. Remembering that, I had come prepared for the Forks weather, thick jumpers, jeans, quilted coat, gloves, scarf, hat, boots. I was depressed just shopping for my year in hell!

Alice

My new best friend would be here soon, I'd told the others all about her, well almost all, I kept a few surprises to myself. Knowing what was going to happen in the future could be really depressing sometimes, no surprises nothing unexpected, but Bella Swan was different. I'd seen her arrive and us become friends but after that things were blurry, like they got sometimes when decisions still had to be made to set off a train of events. This last year at school was always a real downer because Rose, Emmett, and Jasper, had all graduated already and gone off to college yet again. Leaving Edward and I to soldier on alone. It was OK I guess, at least my mate was with me, if not it would have been really hard to complete the year. The only trouble was we couldn't show our love but had to meet in private, use excuses to be together. It was getting harder and harder but what was the alternative? Neither of us could see a way out, we hadn't planned it, stuff just happens sometimes. I hadn't seen it coming, it was like a bolt out of the blue, but then life was like that sometimes, adversity makes you stronger and all that wise crap that gets spouted. I was hoping I might be able to use my new friend as a cover for a few more days with my mate. I wondered if she would fall for Edward like all the other girls had, he was tall, handsome, and intelligent, but more than all that he was available and he didn't frighten the girls off like my other brothers.

The day Bella started at Forks High I was waiting in the car park next to the spot she would choose today and sure enough I heard the rattle of her old truck as it turned into the school grounds. As she parked up, I smiled and held out a gloved hand,

"Hi you must be Bella I'm Alice Cullen. We have the same schedule"

That had been easy to fix when you knew how. She smiled at me shyly and a little gratefully, well a new school could be nerve racking without a friendly face. Edward pulled up in his nice shiny Volvo just then so I introduced her to my brother, waiting for the pounding heart and sweaty palms his arrival usually occasioned in human females but no. She said hi then put her head down and she and I walked to class together. Well that was a refreshing change! A girl who didn't wet her panties as soon as she saw Edward, gods gift to women or so he thought. The crazy thing was that although the girls all swooned over him he never noticed any of them, he wasn't interested. One day his princess would arrive, at least I hoped so or he'd be bored for the rest of eternity.

By lunchtime Bella and I were friends, I'd told her a little about me and my family and she'd told me why she was serving out a years sentence in Forks. She liked it about as much as Edward did, I on the other hand made the best of wherever we settled down. There were always new people to meet, new experiences, new subjects to excel at, and fashions change all the while so I got to buy new clothes regularly. I was very girlie that way, obsessively so Edward told me but I just stuck my tongue out at him. I was disappointed that Bella wasn't into girlie things but there was time to work on her. I knew within a month I'd get her clothes shopping and in two a new hair style, I could be annoyingly insistent at times, something else my dear brother never stopped telling me. I missed Emmett most he always stuck up for his little sister, me!

Bella

Well my first day at school was slightly less horrific than I anticipated but only because of Alice Cullen. As I expected being the new girl I was the centre of attention. Something I always hated and the lessons were mostly repeats of things I'd already covered but Alice made the day less boring. We sat together at lunchtime in the cafeteria and she chatted about her family which was a strange set up. She had four foster siblings, Edward who I was introduced to, a nice looking guy but he knew it and I hated that in a guy. Then there were three older than them who finished Forks High last year, Emmett and Rosalie who were engaged which was slightly odd, but then where I came from what was normal? Her other brother was Rosalie's twin. Her foster dad was the local doctor so I expected to be on close terms with him fairly soon. As a klutz of the first order I spent a depressing large portion of my life in Emergency Rooms! The homework wasn't too onerous but after cooking Charlie's tea and spending some time telling him about my day I excused myself with a tale of homework and writing to Renee. As I mentioned her name I saw the look on my dads face, he still loved her after all these years. It was sad really because if not for me I think she'd have forgotten all about him.