Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc, are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of their rightful owners. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

I could never thank EBKCullen enough for giving me the rights to this story and I can only hope to do this story the justice it deserves… But I guess I'll keep trying anyway.

Please review and tell me what you think.


Death didn't care about his long list of accomplishments or all the plans he had for the future. I know he would have met Death head on and fought him until the very end, but that didn't stop the pain of losing him. I wish I could still see his warm hazel eyes and still be able to hug him to me and just whisper how much I love him one last time…

Jacob Black was flicking wads of paper at the back of my head in a hopeless attempt to get my attention, but he'd been doing it to Lauren yesterday and I don't feel like starting World War 3 today. It was a common known fact that even talking with Jacob would be 'social suicide' and Lauren was my friend and I didn't want to upset her. That and the fact that I don't particularly appreciate jerks trying to get my attention by throwing bits of paper at me.

Instead, I turned to Lauren who was seated beside me. She was busy covering every inch of what used to be a blank page with the words 'I love Jacob.' She was like a love-sick puppy sometimes. This was the same girl who just last week was circling Tyler Crowley's name with love hearts so I didn't particularly expect her crush on Jacob Black to last. Nevertheless, I felt obligated to keep my distance - for both our sakes.

Deciding to leave her to her daydreams, I looked to my right where Rosalie, my best friend, was sitting. Despite it being an unusually warm day today, she was wearing a long sleeved top and a pair of loose-fitting jeans. I was one of the few people who knew of the angry red scars she was hiding underneath and I had no intention of breaking her trust any time soon.

A little over a month ago, Rosalie raced over to my house crying hysterically. She was covered in blood – most of which was her own. Her hair had been unevenly cut and she even had some bald patches.

The minute he saw Rosalie, Dad told me to take her to the hospital and he marched straight over to her house and gave Rosalie's mother a piece of his mind. Apparently Giselle, Rosalie's mother, decided that Rosalie was starting to outshine her in the looks department so she resorted to cutting up her own daughter.

To be honest, Giselle Hale was just a nasty bitch.

With sky-blue eyes that scrutinised your every move, searching for something to use against you, some days, all I wanted to do was rip out her fake head of bleach-blonde hair she kept flicking in my face whenever I was around.

She was hardly what you would call 'mother material' and if it were up to Dad, he would have had Rosalie out of that woman's reach long ago had it not been for all the obstacles that stood in his way.

Giselle was always out partying having never outgrown her teenage ways. She and my mother had known each other ever since they were in diapers and as a result, they were both pretty similar in that they were both unreliable and had very little time for their daughters. The only difference between Rosalie and I was that I had Charlie who was the best father I could have ever asked for whereas Rosalie's father walked out on her long before she was even out of the womb – a fact that Giselle made sure that Rosalie was well aware of. She was constantly blaming Rosalie for 'the love of her life' leaving her.

Rosalie however, was not one to be easily defeated. After the Giselle incident, Rosalie threw herself into school in her determination to escape her mother's claws as soon as she could. For that reason, it came as no surprise when I noticed that Rosalie was one of the only people in the class actually listening, let alone taking notes.

I really should have been paying more attention in this class especially because I absolutely sucked at Biology. The only reason I was in this class was because it was either Biology or Advanced Trigonometry and between Biology and Advanced Trigonometry, Biology seemed like the lesser evil. It wasn't until I got Mr Banner who was fantastic at speaking monotonously and had the ability to put all of his students to sleep did I realise that Biology was definitely not the lesser evil in this situation.

Nevertheless, I highly doubt Dad would have been pleased if I got kicked out of a class the first week into senior year. He would probably blow a casket if he heard I wasn't taking my future seriously enough.

"Mr Black, would you care to come up to the front of the classroom and explain the difference, or would you prefer to remain behind Miss Swan so you can throw some more bits of paper at her?"

The class laughed at Jacob's expense. He shot me an accusing look that I pretended not to notice. If looks could kill, Jacob would be digging his own grave right now. Mr Banner, with his balding head, beady black eyes and gold tooth, was glaring daggers at Jacob. I almost felt bad for him… almost.

Fortunately, Lauren didn't notice the look Jacob shot me as she was too busy staring up at him in wonder. I swear from the expression on her face, you would have thought Jacob was a god or something…

"I'll stay here, if that's okay, Mr Banner," Jacob replied arrogantly. His father was the mayor of Forks and as a result, Jacob believed he could get away with anything. He had a head so big I often myself scared of getting stuck in the doorway with him and his big ego.

Although being the mayor of Forks wasn't exactly a big achievement. The town of Forks was so small that if you had your head screwed on straight, knew enough people and had lived in Forks for over a year, then you were bound to be nominated for Mayor at least once during your stay in Forks.

At 6'4, Jacob towered over the majority of the student body. He was relatively tan and had black eyes that made me want to beg the ground to swallow me whole. There was something almost predatory in his gaze that absolutely frightened me.

"That was a rhetorical question, Mr Black. Get up here. Now."

A knock at the door halted Jacob's groan. At the sight of our principal, Mr Greene, the whole class froze. What was the principal doing in our class?

He looked like he did every other day in that he was wearing his trademark black suit and his balding head was still as shiny as ever.

"Whoa," Rosalie muttered under her breath. She nodded towards the doorway. "Cops."

Shocked, I turned to look back at the door as Mr Greene murmured something quietly to Mr Banner, and sure enough, through the tiny gap in the door, I could vaguely see two police officers standing out in the hall.

"Miss Swan." Mr Greene's voice snapped my gaze back to him in surprise. He took a wary step towards me and I felt my heart lodge itself in my throat. He approached me as though I was a frightened deer, like if he made one sudden move, I would run away. "Can you come with me, please? Grab your things."

I had a terribly bad feeling in the pit of my stomach telling me that whatever waited for me in the hall wasn't good news…

"Miss Swan?"

I was shaking from a spike of adrenaline and I could barely hear anything over the sound of the blood rushing to my ears.

"Bella." Rosalie nudged me. As soon as her elbow touched my arm, I shot up from the table, my plastic chair scraping across the floor with a tortured screech. Without looking at anyone, I fumbled with my bag, swiping everything off my desk and into my bag.

The whispers that had started caused me to shake harder than ever before. I didn't want to know what was waiting for me, but I didn't want to stay in the lab for a minute longer. The whispers were everywhere and the walls were closing down on me. I just had to get out.

The walk of shame out of the room was one I endured in silence. I did not dare look up in fear of what I would see in the eyes of my classmates so I simply kept my eyes firmly trained on the ground. Somehow, I managed to remember to put on foot in front of the other as I numbly walked into the hall, listening to the classroom door snick shut behind the principal. It's funny how the door snick reminded me of the sound of a gun going off…I half expected to feel the pain in my chest and find out that someone had shot my in the chest whilst my back was turned.

I didn't – couldn't – say anything.

I just stared blankly at Mr Greene and the two police officers who only returned my blank look.

Fear gripped a hold of my chest and I struggled to catch my breath.

"Isabella," the principal began to say, "I am so sorry to have to tell you this… but… Chief Swan… Your father… He was called to an armed robbery."

I waited, feeling my chest tighten almost painfully. You know that moment when you know there's more and that in many ways, you know what's coming, but all you can do is wait for it because you don't want to believe what your gut is telling you?

I was experiencing that right now.

"He was shot, Bella. He's in the hospital, Bella, but the doctors don't think he'll make it. I'm so sorry. He was –is - a great man, Bella."

The two officers stepped towards me and began speaking. I looked at them, but their words flew over my head. All I could hear was the muffled sound of them talking. I hope whatever they were saying wasn't important because their words didn't register with me.

Despite it being a relatively nice day as it was neither cold or hot, I began to feel both all at once. Goosebumps formed all over my skin and I couldn't stop shaking and I began to sweat all over, my entire body going into shock.

Suddenly, there wasn't enough air in the hallway for all four of us. Didn't the rest of the men in the hallway notice the sudden lack of oxygen?!

My hands flew to my neck in a flurry. Why couldn't I breathe?

I felt hands on me. My heart felt like it was going to explode or break into a million indistinguishable pieces. Dark spots danced into my vision.

This must be what dying felt like.

"Breathe... It's going to be okay. Come on Bella!"

Those words were whispered in my ear over and over again on constant replay. After a while, my heart stopped racing and my lungs cleared, allowing me a few precious gulps of air. The spots across my vision began to disperse and ever so slowly, my vision returned.

I saw Rosalie leaning over me. Mr Greene was currently attempting to usher the students away, trying to convince them that nothing was wrong and when all else failed, he began to threaten detention.

"I'm sorry, Bella." Rosalie whispered, rubbing circles on my back. Despite her calm façade, I could see the beginnings of tears in her eyes as well. Charlie loved Rosalie like a daughter and she saw him as the father she never had. She was like a sister to me.

"Come on, we'll take you both to see the Chief. There is still hope yet, Miss." One of the nameless officers whispered, giving me the look. I didn't know it at the time but in the weeks and months that followed, the look would haunt my every step. The one filled with sympathy, often accompanied by the cocking of one's head to the side and the softening of the chin – oh my goodness, you poor thing. It was usually full of good intentions but the look meant nothing to me. Absolutely nothing.

Rosalie and I reached the hospital in time to whisper our goodbyes to Charlie. We held his hand as his heart gave way and we both put on a brave face as we said goodbye to the only parent either of us had ever known.

Our worlds came crashing down on us that day and life as we knew it would never be the same.

A/N: What do you think? :)