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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.


8. Achilles Heel

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2232   Review this Chapter

What should I have done different? What should I have said instead of those hideous words? How could I have sealed my happiness?

No answers came to me; try as hard as I might to think. I could have done a million things – Turned around and apologized, made a joke out of my odd behavior, or not have spoken at all in the first place, in which case all this trouble could have been spared. At this very minute I would be joyful, thinking about the upcoming visit with anticipation, and not wallowing in my misery the way I was now. I cursed myself for being such a fool – why was I so distrustful? Bella had had nothing, but good intentions with her proposition.

But deep down, my inner voice still screamed at me for believing her silly words. I was distrustful for a reason – humans, especially teenagers, were deceitful, lying creatures that aimed only for their own fortune. Bella Swan simply happened to be a better impostor than the rest of them, and had found my Achilles heel that she was now using against me. She saw my desire – my need – for a friend, for someone who could understand me and not judge my personality by my looks. I hated to admit it, but I was not complete the way I was.

Nonsense! You're perfect the way you are. You're not content, I'll give you that, but who is? Nobody is happy – they just don't see the facts. YOU know how pointless life is, and that makes you richer, complete. The OTHERS are not complete, my dear. And now they're pulling you down with them.

Even after a day of contemplation, I came to no agreement with myself. I didn't know what to make of Bella – was she my enemy or my friend? Had she wanted to be my friend, but our last exchange had made her my foe? Surely any positive feelings she might have still felt towards me were destroyed by my bizarre and cruel reaction.

And that was what I feared the most, that I had made a new enemy – the kind that could bring you down easily. If Bella was playing against me now, I'd have no hope to win the battle. She read me too well.

As evening approached, I felt my apprehension skyrocket. The thought of seeing Bella again at work split my feelings in two – on one side I feared our impending meeting, and what she might have to say about our last encounter. On the other side, I felt relief. By the end of the evening my doubts would be resolved – and knowing was always better than being left in the dark, right? When I went to bed that evening, I would know exactly where I stood, and could plan my future attacks ahead. The missing knowledge of Bella's own plan was unnerving, but work would clear all that.

So I repeated those thoughts in my head as Jack drove me to the store, and the mantra continued as I opened the door to the shop. It'll be over by evening, it'll be over by evening…

But Isabella Swan wasn't there.

My luck had left me at the time of my greatest need. Mike informed me that Bella didn't work everyday, and that he had lessened her shifts because of the forthcoming wedding. I was stuck with him and him alone for the evening.

And as if that wasn't punishment enough, I'd have to face another day of deliberation and worry. Another day of pure and absolute torture.

But tomorrow she would work again, wouldn't she? The Newtons needed employees on weekends too. Maybe the shop was busier then. Surely Bella would show up, too.

My hopes were crushed the following day. I entered the store bright and early on Saturday morning, hoping for the knowledge I longed for, but found the shop empty, once again, except for the delicate figure of Mrs. Newton – a despicable lady with whom I didn't get along any better than with her son.

My luck had not quite left me, however – the store was busy for the whole three hours I spent there, and Mrs. Newton didn't have the chance to bore me with her endless, futile chattering. Though this fact gave me some consolation, I couldn't help but note the increasing tension that was building up in my stomach.

Bella was not here. I'd have to live through another day without the information I needed so desperately.

The hands of the clock seemed to slow down, and I soon felt like the world was running through a time loop – the ticks were unbearably far from each other.

Eleven-thirty. Only one hour left to go.

What if Bella didn't work on Sundays, either? What if I'd have to wait another day until I could finally confront her? But one day was not much – after all, I had plenty of days behind me, already. One more couldn't do any harm. Besides, battle tactics took long to prepare; I doubted Bella had hers finished yet, either.

And with these thoughts, time must have progressed. It took at least fifteen minutes, right? I glanced at the clock again.

It was eleven-thirty-one.

This couldn't continue! I couldn't live through every minute this way, wondering whether Bella hated me or not. I had two options – I could either face her and see what side she had taken, or I could run, and avoid her until the rest of my days. Option two was tempting, but I decided against it – what sort of coward was I? I could deal with one adolescent.

But either way, I couldn't continue the way I had. I couldn't not know whether I was seeing her again or not. I needed a concrete fact to work with.

And tomorrow she would be at work, for sure. She would. Tomorrow would come quickly, right?

I glanced at the clock.

Eleven-thirty-two.

That's IT!!

No more of this rubbish! If Bella Swan wasn't coming to me, I would go to her. Fate couldn't hide her from me.

So the minute I was free to leave work, I threw the vest on the counter and hurried outside.

But I had forgotten about my one problem – I had no car. Jack was waiting on the parking lot with his cruiser, wearing his uniform as he had just come from work.

Crap, crap, crap! Nothing had to work well today, did it?

But my determination couldn't be stopped. I slammed the door behind me as I scrambled onto the passenger seat and nearly shouted at my astonished father. "Bring me to the Swans. Now."

I didn't care that I was under house arrest. I didn't care that I was most likely bringing myself closer to my doom. I didn't care that my father looked too bewildered to say anything.

I had made up my mind. Bella Swan wouldn't avoid me any longer.

Jack stammered something about house arrest, but nonetheless drove me to the familiar house of the Swans. He seemed too satisfied in the fact that I had found a friend to forbid me from seeing her, and after some minutes, the baffled look on his face disappeared, and was replaced by a contented grin.

He shouted something after me when I bounced out of the car when we arrived, but I was too concentrated on the task at hand to care. I had to be careful when I spoke to Bella; she should not see my regret for the words I had spit at her.

I rang the doorbell many times before anyone had the time to rush to the door. To my great displeasure, it was Charlie who opened it, and his daughter was nowhere to be seen. He looked surprised to see me. "A-Amelia! What are you… Aren't you under house arrest?"

Charlie shot a questioning look at my father who was still sitting in the car, and from the corner of my eye I saw him shrug back. But I ignored Charlie's question, and shot one of my own. "Where's Bella?"

"She's not home. She usually spends the weekends over at Edward's – wedding preparations, you know. But I'm sure if you come back later she'll –"

I didn't let him finish, but bounded back to the cruiser as soon as he told me where to find Bella. Jack shook his head as I climbed onto the seat beside him once again, but didn't comment my rudeness in any other way – there was no point, and he knew it.

"Do you know where the Cullens live?" I asked him without hesitation, irritated about my prolonged search. Destiny really was trying to hide her from me.

"Well yes, I do, but do you really think it's a good idea? You can't just disturb Bella when she's in the middle of planning her wedding, and I doubt her fiancé would be that happy, either," Jack argued, but I could hear from his tone that he wasn’t that disapproving at all – Was that amusement I sensed in his voice?

That exasperated me even more, and I could feel myself approaching my limits. "To the Cullens', then. Now."

Jack did as I’d asked – no, commanded – him to without a further protest. I was glad to see my influence had not quite dissolved in the past few days of weakness.

But I soon found out what his real intentions were, and how little they had to do with my intimidating character. Jack was timid as he spoke, careful with his choice of words. "You and Bella seem to be getting along really well. I glad to see you open up to someone."

I snorted and kept my eyes firmly fixed on the road.

"She's a nice girl. Very friendly, kind, caring…"

And most probably resentful at the very moment. A part of me was sure – very sure, indeed – that she would give me nothing but bitter words once I arrived at the Cullens. I had done plenty wrong – the vindictive words I had uttered last night, the way I'd panicked… And what was I doing now? I was interrupting their perfectly peaceful Saturday morning.

A second part of me was hopeful. Could Bella still like me? She had analyzed me so well before; perhaps she understood my persona well enough not to be offended by my reaction. This tiny part of me I suppressed – hope was never good. Hope was always crushed.

And then there was the "ego". She told me not to be an idiot, and to believe the notion I'd had from the very beginning – Bella Swan was a fraud, and only wanted to destroy me with her kind words. She was good at reading people, and was now using it against me.

This part of me was the smallest, yet its lungs were the strongest. My voice screamed at me frenziedly throughout the entire car ride.

"I think the driveway is here… no wait, still a few yards. The house is hard to find," my father muttered, mainly to himself.

We drove part the curve once before we finally found it. The driveway was shadowed by trees and fauna of all sorts, giving the impression of a forest.

That was precisely what it was – A forest.

Though I was impressed by the driveway, it was nothing compared to what I felt once we reached the house.

Needless to say, it was beautiful. Like every other aspect about the Cullens, the house – no, mansion – rose above all vegetation, and shone through the green of the plants like a diamond. It was situated in the middle of a vast meadow, and I could hear a stream tinkling in the distance while everything else was still. Even the grayness of the sky couldn't affect the polished majesty, yet welcoming flair of the home.

I was thoroughly awed and intimidated.

The talk that I had earlier classified as standard gossip suddenly rung true in my ears. The Cullens really were filthy rich.

While I stared at the house, trying my best to cover the astonishment on my face, Jack had stopped the car a few yards away from the manor and was now looking at the house, too, a twinge of amazement still visible in his features. "It's a beautiful house."

I didn't answer – when did I ever? – but this time it was out of more than just protest. There was no need for agreeing words.

"I know I'm doing what every parental guide warns us unsuspecting parents from doing, but I can't deny you a friend, can I? Bella's good for you. So I'll be here to pick you up in the afternoon, all right? If you need to come home earlier-" he said this with a concerned grimace, knowing fully well how things usually ended when I got involved "– just call. Don't do anything stupid, though, or I won't be this generous again. You got it?"

"Yeah, whatever." I was glad to see that my old ability to remain untouched was still intact. I would need this ability while talking to Bella.

And so I got out of the car, and stepped towards my doom.