A/N: Make no money Blah blah, etc etc, I own everything except not what isn't not nothing on this. Capiche? Good 'cuz I'm not sure I do.
Fanfic Info: This is a Bellice story. It will be mostly T but it might stray into M territory. I have a love of citrousy scenes and may take my first stab at writing one. Some things will obviously be very different from canon. Also, I based Bella's looks on that of a drow elf from the forgotten realms franchise. However she is NOT a drow elf though there are many similarities. What is she? Well that is part of the mystery.
Without further blah blah here is the First Chapter. Enjoy.
I sighed, looking in the mirror. Looking at myself, all I could see was a freak, especially once now that the sun had risen. With a grumble I started the process of getting ready for my first day of school in Forks, wishing as I always did that I could crawl into bed and sleep the day away.
First is getting dressed. Long sleeves and a high collar are a necessity, as well as pants and shoes that cover every inch of skin. I even have to wear gloves and use a made up 'condition' for wearing them. The less skin I show the better or else I'm guaranteed to be stared at constantly. One of my worst fears if that someone will get a good look at me without any make up or covering and laugh or otherwise make my life a living hell.
You see every inch of my skin from head to toe is black. I don't mean Michael Jordan or Usher black. I mean ebony black. Charcoal black. From the top of my head to my lips to the tips of my toes my skin is black as a moonless night, as the inside of a grave or like sharpies that happen to be labeled with the color 'black'.
And that's only one of my problems.
After covering all my skin from my neck downwards next is putting on my brown wig of real human hair. Some girl from South America has once had this hair; seems kinda weird sometimes but I'm grateful for it and for how expensive it was whoever the hair belonged to before was probably well compensated. I needed a good wig to help take care of two of my other problems; my ears and my weird snow white hair.
Why is my paper white, completely devoid of color hair weird you ask? Well aside from the obvious that no one should come close to my hair color before the age of nighty was the fact that it refused to absorb dyes evenly. Every time I'd tried the color would end up uneven and leave huge splotches of different colored patches all over my head. In the end I'd given up on dying my white head of hair. Truth be told I loved my hair. It was thick and luscious and went down halfway down my back. However I was not eager to be any more of a freak at school. So the white hair went under the wig.
There was another reason I wore the wig. It had to do with my freakish ears that were, like, four or five inches longer than any normal ear had a right to be.
I'll just admit it, even though I hate hearing it form other people: I have elf ears. There, you happy? They slope kind of backwards and out and end in tapered points. They are way too big and stick out way to far to make hiding them under my hair an option. Again I had no desire to be branded a freak so I'd been hiding my ears (along with everything else) since elementary school.
Solution to both the hair and the ear problem? Wig. We never came up with a better way unless I wanted to wear funny hats all the time.
I tied my hair up as tight as I could to my scalp with pins and clips so it would fit better under the wig. Then I grabbed a comfy elastic headband and put it on so it pinned my long ears against the side of my head. It usually got really uncomfortable having to keep them like that for an entire day but I'd mostly learned to cope with it. Once I had all that in place my prized wig of straight brown hair would go on my head. I was about halfway done with my transformation into "normal" socially acceptable Bella Swan by this point.
Next I looked at my eyes. They were red and big on my face. Completely exotic and unnatural looking and I thought they looked cool as hell. All things being equal I might even consider leaving them as they were without disguising them for school. However there is one huge drawback to cool looking eyes; sensitivity to light, along with an extremely strong sensitivity to sunlight. Don't ask me why but while artificial light was always harsh sunlight near blinded even on a cloudy overcast day never mind a sunny one. So I had a pair of dark brown colored contacts that I put into my eyes. They were especially made to act as sunglasses to my eyes so the sensitivity would be tolerable in most cases and I didn't spend all day with a headache and squinting painfully at everything. They made my eyes a boring color instead of my awesome natural bright red but in the end I was probably be happy drawing the least amount of attention to myself.
Finally I looked almost like a normal girl except for one intsy bitty detail; my whole exposed face was showing. Black as pitch every invariable inch of it, even my lips. The only thing to break up the black of my face was the white of my eyebrows and my big eyes. This is where heavy duty professional stage make up comes into play, they kind they use on movie sets to really change how a person looks.
After years of doing it it only took about ten minutes to cover my face with a color that covered up the black of my skin and made me look normal. It was a pain in the butt applying it evenly, not getting it on my clothes or anything and making sure it looked natural and not like I'd either had too much plastic surgery or like I was doing a bad impression of a clown. But like I said I've had years to master the art. I'm proud to say that even when people get close to me they usually have no idea that I'm covering my whole face. Still I normally am never close to anyone so I can't be sure if that observation would always hold up. Applying some eyeliner to make my white eyebrows match my brown wig and adding a different color to make my lips look natural were the finishing touches.
That was my long morning ritual but it had to be long. I had to hide my weird as heck skin color, my white hair, my long pointy eyes and my very bright red eyes. Those were only the things I could really do something about. There was nothing much I could do about my overlarge sharp pointy canines that went down almost all the way to my lower gums if I kept my mouth closed. I just had to remember to not show any teeth when I smiled and not to bite my lip lest my 'fangs' peek out from behind my teeth to make me look either cute or threatening. Part of the reason I never liked to talk to people was because if I wasn't very careful they would get a flash of fang. Also why I didn't like to eat lunch in the lunchroom. In fact around people it was better to keep my mouth shut altogether.
Yup. I'd been born a freak. And because of it I'd always hated every minute of school. Every. Last. One.
Forks would be no different, I was sure of it.
After looking at myself critically in the mirror for another minute making sure nothing was out of place I stifled a yawn and made my way downstairs with bone weary tiredness. No amount of coffee ever woke me up. I'd long ago resigned myself to stumble around half asleep during classes all day long.
Charlie, my dad, was sitting downstairs on the kitchen table drinking coffee and reading the newspaper. He looked up at me and I gave him an unenthusiastic smile as greeting.
"Hi dad," I said walking into the kitchen.
"Mornin' Bells," he said, taking the time to put down his paper and examine me critically. He'd always done this and for the most part I endured his scrutiny good naturedly. Since we'd decided as a family long ago to disguise my looks whenever I was in public Charlie would always fuss over making sure everything was perfect and I didn't have stray white hairs or patches of black skin showing. It was annoying since I'd been taking care of it all by myself for years but it was also strangely comforting. I also think it was one of his ways of letting me know he cared without so many words.
"You feel ready for school?" he asked me after finishing his inspection, sounding just a bit worried.
Never have, never will be. I hate high school.
"Fine dad. You know, rather sleep all day but that's nothing new," I said moving to the fridge.
"You know, if you have any problems..." he said letting his sentence trail off.
Why couldn't I get a GED? Or home school? I hate being around all those people.
"Fine dad, I have my cell phone," I said to him as I poured myself a glass of organic fresh squeezed orange juice, "I'll call if something comes up."
He nodded and went back to his paper as I drank my juice. I'm glad I'd at least broken Charlie of his incessant need to see me eat breakfast. It took him years to get it into his head that eating anything for breakfast, ever, just made me want to puke. Juice was the best 'breakfast' compromise I managed to get away with.
I washed my dirty glass and headed out the door with a quick 'goodbye dad' over my shoulder. His concerned gaze followed me out the door but if he was really that worried he wouldn't be making me go in the first place. School is for normal kids. I'm not normal. Why couldn't my parents ever get that?
With a huff I got into my ancient beat up truck and shut the door, my eyes stinging in the sunlight even though it was overcast. One of the few good things about moving to Forks was that the sun shone a lot less brightly here than it did in Phoenix. Another of the few good things was that I was suddenly the proud owner of my own motor vehicle. I was inordinately happy about it and even though it looked like crap I didn't care. It ran right? And it was big and had character. It took away my foul mood from having to go back to school when I first got it. Well, almost.
Feeling that I'd like nothing more than to curl up and pretend school didn't exist I started up the engine and pulled out of the driveway. I seriously hoped my sensitivity to light didn't lead to me crashing into anything. First day of Forks High school here I come. My life is hell. Bleh.
Walking up to the school on my first day things started going badly for me before I even walked through the front doors. More precisely they started going badly for me as I walked up the steps to the main entrance. Mostly because, like a clutz, I tripped over my own two feet and a step to end up falling and sprawled on the floor.
"Hey, is that the new girl?" I heard someone whisper loudly as people all around the immediate area stopped to stare.
I've never blushed in my life because my skin tone prevents anything like that from happening. However I could and did feel my face and neck growing hot from embarrassment as blood rushed to those areas. Face burning, I gathered up my books and whatever tiny bit of dignity I had left and hurried inside the door. I could just feel the stares of the student body at my back.
So much for blending in and being invisible.
"Isabella Swan. Err, its my first day here. I need to get my schedule," I said politely to the lady sitting behind the desk in the registrar's office. She didn't answer for a second and just looked at my face.
"What?" I said sounding a little more panicked than I wanted to. Did some of my makeup rub off? Is there something freaky about me that she's seeing?
The woman blinked and smiled apologetically. "Oh it's nothing hun, just for a minute I was struck by how much you look like your father. Not exactly the same mind you but you two are a lot alike. I see him every month along with my husband at the civil servant's monthly lunch in you know," she said to me.
"Uh.." I said intelligently, not knowing how to respond to that. In Phoenix no one knew anyone. Now a complete stranger was sharing details of her life and talking about my father. It was beyond weird.
After rifling through some papers she handed my my schedule, "Here you go Isabella dear. Tell your father Margaret and Tom Plank say hello."
"Err... sure. Margaret and Tom Plank. Got it," I said still finding the situation completely bizarre.
The woman just smiled at me widely before I turned and walked away.
As I was walking away the woman, Margaret I guess, called back to me, "Oh Isabella dear, do you want me to get a student to show you to your class? It's only a few minutes to the bell and I wouldn't want you to be late."
No, I don't want anyone to show me around. I don't want to meet anyone. I don't want to talk to anyone. And what's the deal with this Isabella dear junk? Can't say I'm really liking it here lady.
Before I could reply the woman was waving her hand and calling out to someone.
"Oh, Oh Angela dear come here! You have Mr. Holtz first period don't you dear? Be a sweetheart and show Isabella the way to the classroom will you? She's brand new here, she's Chief Swan's daughter."
I was starting to get seriously ticked off at this lady. I'm used to the big city where everyone stays out of everyone's business. Why is this woman gossiping about me to another student? The less people knew about me the better as far as I was concerned.
Something was telling me staying anonymous and under the radar in Forks wasn't going to work though. After the last few minutes of conversation, just call it a hunch.
"Sure thing Mrs. Plank," came the hesitant reply from the girl.
I turned and looked at Angela who smiling at me in a friendly way. Damn. Though I was feeling prickly inside there was no way I could take it out on someone who seemed to be trying to be nice without being obnoxious.
"Hi, I'm Angela," she said extending her hand for me to shake.
"Bella Swan," I said shaking her hand after hesitating for a moment. Her eyes flickered curiously to my gloved hands but didn't say anything about them. A good start in my book.
"Well we really should get going. Why don't you show me you class schedule and we'll see if we have any more classes in common?" she asked.
I showed it to her and we turned to walk to class. Turned out we had English, Biology and American History together. I could tell she was trying to be nice and make me feel welcome which I appreciated, but it still made me uncomfortable. I'd never been comfortable in my own skin around other people, or during school, or in the middle of social situations. When she asked me to sit at lunch with her and her friends I hesitantly said yes not wanting to appear rude. Still I was anxious thinking about being forced to eat and forcefully socialize.
Mr. Holtz made me introduce myself in front of the whole class which I did as quickly and to the point as possible wishing it to be over. The overhead lights and the light from the windows were too bright and everyone was staring at me like I was the most fascinating thing since wonderbread. In Phoenix the new kid would get a cursory glance before being summarily ignored. I was starting to miss Phoenix even with it's horrible never ending sunshine.
Holtz was an all right teacher, if a little boring. Struggling to stay awake was more my problem. As it had always been. In all my classes ever. Thankfully I didn't fall asleep on my desk in my very first class in Forks.
After class was over I saw some guy with a varsity jacket get up and head straight for me. What did I do? I bolted. Gathered up my books and headed out the door as fast as I could. I was already out the door and heading down the hall when a hand grabbed my elbow. I had to struggle not to flinch and jerk away at the contact.
I turned and saw that it was Angela looking concerned. "Hey, you practically ran out of there. Are you ok?" she asked letting go of my arm.
I nodded and kept walking forcing her to keep pace. "Fine. I'm fine. Just got a little claustrophobic in there and I really need to find my locker before next class," I lied while doing my best to give her a sincere smile. It was actually surprisingly nice that she came after me and looked concerned even if it freaked me out a little bit.
"Just..." I said, wanting to say something more truthful but not comfortable really opening up to a stranger, "all the attention. I really could do without it," I said finally.
Angela nodded sympathetically. "Any little thing is big news in Forks, so you'll probably have to put up with tons of curious people for a while. But it will die down eventually, don't worry."
Great, I groaned internally, the beauty of small town America. Wonderful. Just beautiful. Peachy. Stupid nosy losers with no lives, every last one of them, I sw-
My internal rant was cut short by the sight of two girls walking in our direction. I know there were two of then, my peripheral vision told me that, but my eyes instantly locked on just one of them. She was short, a couple of inches shorter than me and I'm a pathetically tiny 5'2". Unlike me at the time, awkward and literally tripping over my own feet on a regular basis this girl moved with a grace that made it look like she was floating, like a butterfly or hummingbird going from flower to flower but with even more perfect ease and finesse. Her face was almost unbearably pretty and perfect, her small fey features lit up with a blinding smile as she talked to the girl next to her. There was just something different about this girl and against my will I found myself intrigued. When she turned and locked eyes with me I swear my heart skipped a beat. They were an exotic yellow and gold that reminded me pictures I'd seen of the eyes of a lion. When she looked at me her expression turned to one of curiosity and it made something funny in my stomach flip. We held eye contact for another second before we passed each other in the hall. I had to fight really hard not to turn around and watch the girl as she walked away like some kind of dork.
"I see you noticed those two, huh?" asked Angela next to me.
"What?" I practically squeaked, embarrassed that I'd been caught staring.
I think Angela was fighting an upwards quirk of her lips, but I couldn't be sure. "Don't worry everyone has that reaction. It's unfair how perfect those two are. Actually, their entire family is ridiculously beautiful and perfect. It's almost unnatural."
They had both been beautiful and perfect? Honestly I had just looked at one of them and everything else had been blocked out. All I could tell you about the other girl is that I think she had blonde hair, maybe.
"What were their names?" I asked, though in reality I was only really curious about one of them.
"Rosalie Hale was the blonde. Alice Cullen was the one with short spiky hair. They're adopted sisters," she explained.
Alice Cullen huh? Something about her just pulled me in. For someone who had spent pretty much their entire life keeping people at a distance so they could never find out my physical peculiarities and make my life hell for it, it was a scary and disconcerting feeling.
"They're really popular I'm guessing?" I asked conversationally.
"Oh, totally. The Cullens are the most popular kids in school. Sometimes I think the whole entire school is either in awe of them or completely jealous. I think it makes it twice as bad that they never let anyone hang out with them. They really keep to themselves."
Yup. That was a clear sign to forget Alice Cullen even existed. Anonymity was how I survived and having an interest in the popular kids wasn't going to end anywhere good. Not like I'd have a chance in hell to get close to them, a shy freaky girl always covered from head to toe and wearing leather gloves for no reason. Luckily for me, I had no interest in getting close to them or anyone else.
Still, those eyes. They weren't exactly normal. Just like my eyes weren't. Maybe that's why I was feeling drawn to her? Some kind of kinship because of our physical anomalies?
That thought made me laugh darkly in my mind. Oh yeah so many similarities. When people saw Alice Cullen revealed they must see beauty and exotic eyes and want to be around her. If people saw me uncovered they would run, stare, laugh, mock, take out their phones and take pictures of me and call me a freak while calling CNN or the National Enquirer. The idea that Alice and I would have anything in common was laughable.
Chiding myself at the absurdity of dwelling on some girl I'd passed on the hallway briefly I turned to Angela and asked her something about our history class. Little did I know then that wouldn't be my last interaction of the day with Alice Cullen.
Lunch. I dreaded lunch. And the Forks cafeteria lunchroom was worse than most. Other than the fact that it was crowded full of noisy people it had windows. A lot of windows. Even though the light was diffused that much natural light always made me a combination of clumsy, sleepy, irritable and on edge. As I stood in line to get my lunch thankfully no one talked to me but I could feel a multitude of eyes on me even with my back turned. It was enough to have to make me fight the urge to run.
After getting my lunch of salad – minus dressing – plus an apple I turned and looked over the sea of faces for a place to sit. It turned out it hadn't been just my imagination. A lot of people were looking at me. I froze like a deer in the headlights having had no previous experience in this kind of situation and having no idea what to do.
I saw someone wave at me and I realized it was Angela. Feeling momentaraly relieved I started heading for her table until I realized who she was sitting with. Well it wasn't like I knew any of them but it was that the table was full of people and every last one of them was looking at me anxiously waiting for me to come over. I hated being the center of attention. It went against every instinct I had. With all the lights and all the stares and all these people looking ready to pounce as soon as I sat down, I freaked.
Walking as fast as I could I headed for the exit throwing out my tray full of salad but pocketing the apple. I headed for the doors that led back into the school not really thinking where I was headed, just needing to get away from this awful situation where it seemed everybody wanted something from me.
On my way to the door I happened to look to the side and saw Alice Cullen looking right at me with a surprised and curious look on her face. Great, I knew I was making a scene. Everyone was looking at me and everyone knew something was wrong. But why did this girl have to know I was a freak right from the start too? And what did I care what Alice friggin Cullen who I hadn't even met yet thought of me anyway?
Disgusted at myself I looked away from her and reached the double doors that led out of the cafeteria. I needed to find somewhere where I could regroup. Where I could hide. Preferably away from any damn windows.
I knew where I could hide, same place I'd often hidden in Phoenix. After a minute of looking around the near deserted hallways I found what I was looking for. Making sure no one was looking I opened the door and slipped inside.
I breathed a sigh of relief as I closed the door behind me and leaned on it, almost complete total darkness enveloping me. Places like this had always been my sanctuary. Where was I? In the janitor's closet. Don't knock it, it has everything I need that you can't normally find in any normal American school. It's quiet. It's private. And it's mercifully dark. It's not perfect since the sun is still shining outside but it does help to clear my fuzzy head and release a lot of nerves. Mercifully dark. Even if it did smell funny.
Feeling mostly safe now and rapidly calming myself I walked over to a small stool at the end of the tiny room and sat down dodging a mop and cleaning cart. Tiredly I pulled the apple out of my pocket and took a tentative bite. It wasn't organic and I could still taste some residual chemicals and pesticides along with some of the wax they used on the skin but I ate it anyway. Halfway through the first day and the whole school probably already though I was a freak and I was even more tired than I had gotten used to expecting during the day.
I wasn't built for this. I knew that deep down in my bones. I believed in destiny, a little, and my destiny was not to spend daylight hours rotting away at a school. I didn't belong here.
No one got that though. Especially not my parents. At risk of sounding like a stereotypical angsty teenager no one understood me. Then again who in the world would get my issues when I barely understand them?
I was in the middle of my bout of self pitty and half way through my apple when I saw a shadow underneath the door. Instinctively I froze and slowed my breathing to almost nothing, trying to do nothing to give myself away and hoping they would just leave. Instead the handle turned and the door slowly opened.
Standing on the other side of the door, looking amused and apologetic was Alice friggin Cullen.
"Hi," she said mischievously and with humor in her voice, "Bella Swan right? Mind if I join you?"
So what did you think? Was it interesting? Worth continuing? I'd like your support. Please leave a note and let me know how much you did (or didn't) like this chapter.
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