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Waste-of-time friendships

Summary:
Bella seems to attract every queer person within a ten mile radius. Vampires, werewolves... She's seen it all. But what she's missing is a human friend. And of course, Bella wouldn't be Bella unless that person was strange and possibly dangerous, too. Mythical creature expertise doesn't always help with humans.


Notes:
There are a few things to say about this story : Amelia often thinks about drugs, drinking, suicide, etc. Although the actual act is never shown in my story, I suggest you don't read on if those topics make you uneasy. It's nothing major, though. I would like to thank my beta, bloodredskies for editing my work. She went through each chapter for me, and has been a great help. And lastly, I'd like to remind everyone to review. It's honestly the best gift you can give to any author, and how else could I improve if I don't know what you're thinking? Just spare me a minute once you're done.


3. Raindrops

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3691   Review this Chapter

The next school day began much more promising than the last.

"Ms. Betch? Please follow me to my office." Mr. Greene announced in a stern voice, holding his head up just a little bit. He eyed me suspiciously, and I could tell what he was thinking – "Why is she here? Shouldn't she be in an asylum or something? And who gave her permission to enter my school?"

Fabulous. It was apparently my lucky day- My first hour would be spent in the principle's office, listening to his endless lectures about responsibility. And then, if luck was truly on my side, I could go home. And preferably stay there for the rest of the year.

"Hey, Dad, I got kicked out of school! Aren't you just proud?" I had to admit, twenty-four hours was my personal record.

The office was just as I'd imagined it – in fact, my guess would have been a huge improvement. The walls were a dull gray, as was the carpet that covered the entire floor. There was only one desk and a couple of chairs in the middle of the room, not even the shadow of imagination visible in the objects. There wasn't even any decoration, if you didn't count the dreary flowers that stood on the far end of the table.

He could have asked me for help in furnishing. Some skulls would already be enough to prep the room up.

Mr. Greene motioned me to sit on the chair opposite to his. I put on my usual charade – the one that usually aggravated the teachers in no time – and folded my arms over my chest, not even bothering to look him in the eye.

"Well, Ms. Betch. Welcome to Forks high school."

Sure. That 'welcome' was comparable with 'unwanted'. I grunted, and sank deeper into the chair. My feet were almost in the air.

"As happy as I am to meet new students, I am afraid this little meeting is anything but out of pleasure. Is there something you would like to confess?"

Yep. Like drinking alcohol on the school grounds. As a seventeen-year-old. And coming late to class once I was done. How dim-witted can a person be? At least this guy doesn't have any limits. What the Hell does he want me to say?

I just shrugged, still not raising my eyes from the floor.

That did the trick.

"Ms. Betch. I do expect a little more respect from my students. Please, sit up correctly and look me in the eye when I speak. You are in a very tight spot at the moment, and your current behavior is not earning my sympathy the slightest."

When I didn't indulge his order, Mr. Greene exploded.

"Sit up at once! I will not tolerate this sort of behavior, Ms. Betch. A teacher and several students witnessed you drinking Vodka last afternoon in front of your Spanish class. Not only are you underage, but you seemed to show no shame whatsoever while doing it, and thereby broke one of the school's most important rules! I have already contacted your father. He should be arriving any minute. I have also considered reporting this to the local police department, but decided to refrain for the sake of your reputation. Continue like this, and I will inform Chief Swan."

Jail cell's calling! My, this day might actually turn out bearable. Even Jack will be here to witness the downfall of Amelia Betch! I let myself smile, knowing the reaction would exasperate the principle more than any other. I was right. Mr. Greene exhaled sharply and mumbled something under his breath.

I was about to step up a notch in my performance, when a furious knock interrupted our 'private' moment. Dad had arrived. Step in, step in, Dad… Come enjoy the show.

"Come in, Mr. Betch. Your daughter is already here." Jack rushed in at the words, and then stared at me incredulously. I finally lifted my eyes off the floor, and looked my father right in the eye. My previous smile was still plastered on my face.

"Good morning, Mr. Greene. Amelia." Dad's tone was polite, but I could hear the rage and despair building up underneath his kind manner. I was still looking at him, wearing that arrogant smile, and didn't even blink as his lips pulled down in a fuming grimace.

When Mr. Greene started talking I didn't turn my head. I wanted to see my father's reaction – It managed to amuse me every time. The way his upper lip twitched when he was angry was all the amusement I could expect from Forks. His face muscles were already straining to remain still.

"Mr. Betch, I have already explained the situation to you through the phone. We are here to discuss the consequences. Is there anything you would like to say? A punishment you'd like to suggest? I'm sure you know your daughter better than I do." Oh, how I loved principles. Always so formal. It was not difficult to break through their shell to reach their rage, and I accomplished the task every time I had the motivation to follow it through. It usually only took a couple of snorts in the right places.

So easy to predict. So unlike Bella Swan.

Wait! What are you doing? You can't still be seriously thinking about that imbecile. What's gotten into you?

Though I hated to admit it – especially not with my 'voice' ringing in my head – I had spent a big part of the night thinking about my temporary colleague. I puzzled over what secrets she might have been hiding from me during work, and how that stunning man seemed to be connected to her odd behavior. Not only had she been covering something, but her manner had disturbed me, too – I didn't think I saw her staring at my outfit or make-up at all during that evening. She had been completely at ease around me, if you forgot the obvious embarrassment and awkwardness she seemed to carry with her wherever she went. She had not judged me, and had spoken to me like with any other person.

So she's insane. Who cares? Enjoy the show that's going on NOW. You're not going to get another chance like this so soon.

I pushed Bella out of my mind, and refocused. Mr. Greene and my father were having a very serious conversation, and neither appeared to be very pleased at the way it was going.

"Please, Mr. Greene, give her another chance. I know she's a little… haughty… but I assure you- This will not happen again! Amelia is actually a very nice, young lady. She's just been going through a tough time."

Yeah. Nice, young lady. That's exactly what I am. If you're as dimwitted as I thought you were, that's just what you would say. But hey- I already knew I was right.

"But you have to understand- This is no little offence. Alcohol is to be taken very seriously. I cannot – will not – endure escapades like this."

"It will not happen again. Amelia is under immediate, strict house arrest, and I will search through all her belongings. She will not have the chance, or even the will, I am sure, to buy any alcohol again."

"Drinking on the school grounds is unforgivable."

"Please. I'm asking you as a policeman – Give this poor girl another chance. She hasn't always been like this. The whole emo-act only started about two years ago. You see, she lost her very best friend, and I think she never really got over it. Amelia is traumatized… OUCH!"

I had kicked Jack as hard as I could with my iron boots. He was not going to mention Alex. Not that I cared, though. I didn't even know Alex. But he still shouldn't have started talking about him.

Not that I cared. Not that it mattered. Not that it hurt.

Traumatized, huh? How sweet. Another name for your state of mind. And congratulations - you are now an Emo, too! Another label to add to your collection! Hmm, let's see… you are now a Goth, an Emo, a punk, a 'mildly disturbed, young individual'… Did I get everything?

I needed adrenaline. Now.

I stood up fiercely, earning a startle from both men in the room, and stormed out. I grabbed my bag that was waiting for me outside the office, and stomped over to my rental car – The one I now dared to call mine.

My outburst had nothing to do with Alex. Not at all. I didn't even know him.

I revved the engine and slammed my foot down hard on the accelerator. The car sped up from 0 to 80 in less than twenty seconds. Cause an accident! Who knows – you might even kill somebody while you're at it!

The streets flashed by in a blur, and I could tell I was slowly losing control. The arrow on my dashboard was pointing dangerously to the right. 90…100…110… The speed was doing its job – Adrenaline was pumping through my veins, my whole body was under the familiar, releasing sensation of ecstasy…

I would cause an accident. Maybe I would even get to tear some unsuspecting pedestrian with me. Any minute now…

No, forget that last thought. No one should die because of me. I wouldn't make someone lose their Alex. A shadow of a tear started forming in my eyes, and I cursed myself for thinking the name. Crybaby, crybaby, crybaby…

The siren of a police car snapped me back to the present. Pah! Fine, then. Live through another day of tedium. Time to face the cop, sweetie… Maybe he knows Jack. My, Dad will be double proud today!

I pulled over and braced myself for the second lecture of the day. Frustrated adults were starting to lose their shine.

"Hey, young lady, what did you think you were doing? That was well over the legal speed limit! You might have killed yourself!" The policeman who appeared at my rolled down window did nothing but strengthen the Hollywood stereotype. I couldn't have picked a better cop to argue with. I let out a theatrical sigh.

"Do you have your papers with you? What's your name?" The cop had pulled out a little notebook, and was staring at me with ridiculous sincerity. I started feeling like a murder suspect under his intent gaze. Well, that would be something new. Maybe you really should commit murder or something. Jail beats school anytime.

"Amelia Betch. No, I don't have my papers with me. Or my driving license. Not even drugs. Sorry, you picked the wrong day."

Unfortunately, my last comment did not provoke the officer the way I had intended it to. The genius' eyes bulged at the sound of my name. He knows Dad. Even better. You're ruining your reputation quicker than I'd have thought.

"Amelia Betch? Jack's daughter?"

I rolled my eyes at his expression – Disbelief, pity, and confusion, all at the same time. Well, well. Jack's been doing some image repair, telling everyone in town about his 'sweet, lovable, courteous daughter'. Or then he's just plain stupid. You know what? – I'm betting on option number two.

"That's me. So… do you want to inspect me for drugs or something? Alcohol? Mr. Greene can give you a report about my past behavior, you know. Might help you with the case." A night in a jail cell would be the most interesting event in over two months. It might actually entertain me for a few minutes.

"Amelia… Shouldn't you be at school?"

"Nah. I can't know for sure, but I think they banished me. Drinking on the school grounds, you see."

"Drinking… Coke?"

Jack really hadn't been very truthful with his friends. I raised my eyebrows at the cop's desperately hopeful expression. He looked dumbfounded.

"Well, you've gotten yourself in quite a situation, Amelia. With the speed you were going at, I should take your license away."

I shrugged. I would drive, whether I had a license or not. A scrap of plastic really wasn't enough to determine who could drive and who not. "But since you're the daughter of one of my best friend's, I think I'll go a little easier on you. Just let me call Jack, and then if you promise to drive more responsibly in the future, I'll let you go. All right?"

Whatever. I could always go to jail some other day.

The officer pulled a cell phone out of his pocket and raised it to his ear. I kept my apathetic face up, staring straight at the wet road ahead of me. I was a little irritated- The slippery, uneven streets of Forks would have caused the perfect accident. Amelia Betch, 17 years old, was killed today in a brutal car crash in the little, northern town called Forks. Her body was never recovered from the burning vehicle…

"So, Amelia, you can expect to be in quite a lot of trouble when you get back home." Commissar Dunderhead had ended his phone call, and was now staring at me with a hilariously sincere expression, his eyes trying to persuade me to change my ways without words. He was failing miserably- All I was mentally getting was "Stupid teenager" and "You should be ashamed of yourself!"

When I remained unaffected by his measly attempt at chivalry, he sighed and finally turned his gaze away from me. His missing telepathy skills forced him to speak out loud. "Look, Amelia. I've known your father for many, many years now, and I know how much he loves you. He used to talk about you 24/7, and the whole town knows how proud he is of his little girl. But stunts like this… well, let's just say he's more than a little disappointed. I understand you're having a rough time- Wasn't it something about your friend dying? I'm sorry about that, and I can comprehend why you are acting the way you are. But life goes on, never forget that. Even at the darkest of times, happy ones follow. Do you hear me?"

I erased all my earlier thoughts about how this day was supposed to be better than the last. It was worse.

I didn't even look at the cop when I shrugged.

From the corner of my eye, I saw him shake his head disapprovingly. This old guy was slowly starting to get on my nerves. "Well, I guess I'll let you go now. But remember – Be responsible. You don't want to cause any accidents. Forks is a small town – If you start driving uncontrollably again, I'll find out sooner than you think. And then you can say goodbye to your license for good."

I pouted my lips and rolled my eyes. If he wasn't letting me go now, someone was going to get hurt. And that someone wouldn't be me. I signaled him to leave by placing my hands on my steering wheel again and rolling my window back up.

But before I had time to escape, the cop laid his hand against the glass. "Amelia? Your father is a great man. My best friend. I owe him a lot. So if you ever need anything, just come to me, ok? I can help you with anything you might need." He paused for a second, eyeing my conspicuous outfit, before adding: "Anything legal, that is."

Had I been in a better mood, I would have snorted at his last remark. Was I that obvious? Oh come on. You know how they are. "Goth" equals "criminal" in their minds. Not that they're too far off, in this case.

The policeman withdrew his hand from my window. "Just ask for Charlie if you need something. Charlie Swan."

Yeah, yeah. "Hey, Charlie, could I have a word? You see, my dad won't let me out of the house to buy drugs, so I thought maybe you could do it for me."

Charlie Swan. What a fitting name. This man was the closest thing to a swan that I could imagine. His grace, his beauty, his purity… the perfect equivalent.

Wait… what was his name?

"Charlie Swan?" I spoke for the first time in a long while, rolling my window down again. Charlie looked taken aback, but nodded. "Maybe your dad has talked about me."

"No. I haven't heard of you at all. Dad's stories are too much to bear. But your family name sounds vaguely familiar. And trust me – That's an achievement. Have you been on TV or something?"

What was I doing?

"Ah, I see. Maybe you know my daughter, Bella? I heard you work at the Newtons' now, too…"

I nearly screamed.

Why was this Bella haunting me? Why did my every action, every thought, lead back to her? Now it's official – You're losing your mind.

"Yeah. I know her." I wasn't quite sure what my face was giving away. If even half of my hatred towards that girl was visible, Charlie would be hiring bodyguards for her. Indeed, the cop was staring at me in confusion, probably not fully comprehending the look in my eyes. I rolled my window up without a word, and left.

The ride back home was… strange. There was no other word to describe the bizarre state my mind was currently in, or the questions that kept pouring into it at an alarming tempo. My feelings were going haywire, not entirely agreeing on which emotion to sense. Bella Swan was killing me, and there was nothing I could do to defend myself.

Yesterday afternoon had been bearable. Bella was obviously not completely like everyone else, that much was sure. She was a little insane, I assumed, and a little suicidal, perhaps. She wasn't scared of me. Not yet…You'll get her round…

Either way, she was not normal. But not unusual, either.

She was average, the typical sort of teenager. So she had inherited a set of beautiful, deep eyes from some unknown source – Charlie couldn't have given them to her – and had somehow formed complete ignorance about self-preservation. Her mental alarm system was not working right. I could comprehend that.

But why was she taunting me?

Bella's name seemed to appear in my head automatically every few minutes. Everything I did somehow led back to her. She was not that special. In fact, she wasn't special at all. Just an idiotic teenager.

And though I couldn't admit it to my conscious mind, my subconscious came up with a plausible answer; Bella Sawn was not exceptional, but she was special enough; special enough to keep my mind off someone else.

I grumbled as I parked my car and stepped out into the rain. The cold moisture fell over my eyes, and I could feel my make-up starting to spread. Soon black trails of water would be decking my cheeks. But I didn't care.

The cold rain washed away the Punk for a minute. When I was cold, so cold that I started to go numb, my ego slipped away for a split second – a fleeting moment that was soon replaced by the new me again. But that split second was enough to scare me.

I raced inside as soon as I found my breath again. So now the rain was more than just an inconvenience – It was dangerous.

To my surprise, I was panting once I reached the kitchen. My schoolbag lay on the couch, dripping from the rain drops that reminded me of my little moment. I turned my back to it, hoping it would dry quickly. I didn't want to go anywhere near the wet thing.

I grabbed myself a sandwich from the kitchen and stomped upstairs. I only had a few hours before work, and Jack would be arriving soon, too. He had apparently left for work after our talk with the principle, and that could only mean one thing – He was upset.

I entered my room and closed the door with a loud bang, though there was nobody there to hear the demonstration. I practically ran to my bed, carrying the sandwich in my hand. Running away from your thoughts… Dear, dear. When did this happen the last time? It's been a while…

The dry bread brought me back to the present. I was finally able to function properly again, to see things from a safe perspective. Now, are you done? Seriously, Forks is starting to get the better of you. Get a grip!

My head was still ringing from my recent dose of adrenaline, helping me clear my mind from the unhealthy thoughts. I stared out the window, trying to ignore the fact that the rain was still tapping against my windowsill, and thought about my next move. Jack was already more than disappointed with me – I could be pleased with my progress in that specific area. I had achieved parental dissatisfaction in the measly time period of two days. School had also been a success. The teachers wouldn't want to see me around there for a while. I briefly nagged about the fact that I would be under house arrest – An even more definite house arrest than the previous one. Now Jack wouldn't let me set one foot outside the walls if it wasn't for work.

But despite my efforts and the ensuing victories, I wasn't satisfied. Of course it wasn't any wonder, as I was never really satisfied with my dull life, but still the missing sensation of triumph was missing. Usually, I actually felt something after triumphing. Now, I was empty.

And once again, my thoughts returned to Isabella Swan. She had to be the reason of the missing emotions. After all, she was the only one to interact normally with me, even after my indifferent behavior and stinging remarks. Bella had not started to detest me yet, and I could not comprehend why.

Bella Swan. What an unusual character in the play of stereotypes…