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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.


9. Superhero

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 3739   Review this Chapter

The doorbell echoed through the house.

It was strange to stand there at the door while the mansion looked vacant. Had I seen it when walking past by chance, I would not have believed that it was occupied. Not that it wasn't in good shape – there was not so much as a scratch in the flawless, white paint of the outer wall. But the general air around the place was… dead. The forest was silent; I detected no movement in the bushes around the field, nor the singing of birds in the trees. This I found extremely peculiar, as it was July and therefore midsummer. Why was everything so silent?

The house was silent, too – no scurrying of feet were distinguishable even after I'd pressed the doorbell, and no footsteps were to be heard from within. The only sound seemed to be that of my breathing and heartbeat – a slightly ragged rhythm that was accompanied by a fair dose of adrenaline. Yet I felt no ecstasy as the substance coursed through my veins – for once, I wished it were gone, so I were more in the position to think clearly about the situation.

All these thoughts were over in a fracture of a second, for I didn't have to wait long for the door to be opened. This I found strange, too – I hadn't heard anyone approach it while waiting.

A most lovable looking woman stood behind it, smiling warmly.

And, of course, she was the most beautiful woman I'd ever seen.

Her caramel-colored hair reached over her shoulders and fell down her back as smoothly as water; her golden eyes pierced right through mine; her figure was slight, yet voluptuous… And every detail melted into the next; the result was a masterwork of art.

I had never believed in God, but she surely was an angel.

Her voice didn't deceive her looks. "Good morning, or should I say afternoon? What can I do for you?"

I hadn't fully recovered from my shock as I answered, "I'm sorry… I'm Amelia."

There was an awkward pause in which I rearranged my thoughts. The woman waited patiently, the amiable smile never faltering.

"Is… is Bella here? I was at her house, but Charlie said she was out with Edward and I thought maybe…" Never before had I felt this insecure, this nervous as I was now in the presence of the divine creature. It was unlike me to ever feel awed by anyone, and now it was happening for the third time in the short time span of a week.

Her smile grew more pronounced once she heard my answer, and the woman moved aside while gesturing me to enter with her hand. "Yes, Bella is upstairs in Edward's room right now. Come on in!"

I stepped into the grand hall of the building, shocked once more by the pompous beauty of the mansion. The insides were as white and spotless as the exterior, and I found myself searching for a flaw in the light furniture of the room. I found none.

I was about to utter an excuse to leave the intimidating cleanness of the house when I saw Bella and her repelling husband-to-be emerge on the top stairs. They were walking hand-in-hand in the gooey fashion that was so typical for teenagers. I briefly wondered if she was that different after all, if she was nevertheless just another idiot adolescent.

But among my repulsion, a new feeling appeared. I didn't recognize it at first, but then remembered feeling something like it a long time ago. An image of a girl dressed in a fabulous, flowing, silk dress flashed through my mind, and I recalled feeling the same way as I looked at her clothes, wishing I were wearing that dress instead of her…

Envy?

"Amelia!" Bella came skipping down the stairs, a rather hesitant Edward following. He looked at me in sympathy, almost like he knew what I was thinking, or what I was feeling.

This intimidated me even more, and I realized how little I actually wanted to stand there. My instincts screamed at me to run, to hide from both Bella Swan as well as the stunning, alien people around her. I made my attempt to flee, knowing fully well how I would regret that decision later on.

"Bella. I… well, I was actually wondering if your offer from yesterday was still in force, but I see you're busy… with Edward… so I'll just leave. Bye." I turned on my heels, an odd sensation of unhappiness washing through me. I suddenly had the rare desire to cry…

Weakling! I told you not to believe her, did I not? Like anyone could be friends with you.

"No! Wait! It's not problem, Amelia, really. You're not disturbing us or anything."

I turned around again, and saw the familiar, friendly smile lighting up Bella's face. Edward looked disapproving, but didn't say anything. I tried my best to smile back, my muscles unaccustomed to move in that direction, and was pretty sure my expression looked more like a grimace than anything else. Bella seemed content with it, though, and motioned me to come closer with her hand.

I hesitated. There were no angry words, no raising of the eyebrows, not even any disapproving glances – if the one I received from Edward didn't count. All this kindness alarmed me even more.

If Bella had begun to scream at me, I would have known exactly how to react. But the way things were, I had nothing to work with. Not a single gesture to warn me of the events to follow.

It was as if Bella had forgotten our last meeting completely, as if it were wiped from her memory for good.

Or was this another trick?

Bella noticed my apprehension, and stopped a few feet away. Edward stayed beside her all along, keeping his arm wrapped around her waist in a protective manner. His body always stayed a few inches ahead of hers.

Was Edward Cullen afraid I might hurt his fiancée? What an amusing idea. I had come up with it a few times before…. But only in my thoughts…

Ha hah. So now he was a telepathist, too? Gosh, what did this man not do?

I silently giggled at my thoughts while noting the increasing tension of Edward's figure.

Bella's eyebrows furrowed, clearly not very pleased with Edward. She struggled a little in his grasp, yet he wouldn't let go – his arms seemed to have created an unbreakable restraint around the poor girl.

Eventually, Bella surrendered and let out an exasperated sigh. "Edward, seriously. Let me go."

Edward released his grip slightly, but still didn't stir from his position next to Bella. I pretended to be oblivious to their silent disagreement, and said the only thing that came into mind.

"The house is… big."

Bella smiled. "Yes, it is. Very light, too."

And a silent moment followed, accompanied by a feeling that was so unlike me, but so typical for Bella – awkwardness. I looked away from the couple – embarrassed by my own loquaciousness – and observed that the beautiful lady from earlier had gone. When had she left the room? I hadn't heard a thing.

"So… what would you like to do? I don't want to bother the Cullens too much. Maybe we should go to my place?" Bella's tone was casual again, and a light smile adorned her lips.

That was my cracking point.

"What? No words of hate? No screaming and yelling? You're just going to act like nothing happened?" My voice, unlike hers, was strained. Why was Bella Swan still dancing on the tip of my nose, so near but yet so untouchable? I had come here seeking for answers, not new riddles. Not a human being on earth would simply forget the scene I'd made a few days ago.

Bella's brows furrowed once again as she went over what I'd said. Her pondering took a few seconds, after which she finally left Edward's side – the latter half reaching out for her when she did so – and came to stand before me. Her chocolate eyes penetrated mine. "I… I didn't know you were still thinking about that. I thought that by coming here, you'd forgiven me. Was I wrong?"

I couldn't believe my ears. "Excuse me, what? Why should I forgive you? You didn't do anything. I was the one who let you down. I-I'm sorry about that. You know, I actually had a great time that evening, and I don't know what went into me when I talked to you that way."

My voice broke in the middle of the sentence; wetness started gathering in my eyes. My emotions were going overboard.

No need to cry, no need to cry, no need to cry…

Great. I was pretty sure that weeping didn't belong to the image of a Goth.

But though I cried and breathed shakily, Bella didn't touch me. Her position remained the same, and while I saw how much she wanted to comment my crying, she held her tongue. Nothing but her expression gave away the fact that I was shedding futile tears.

And that was when I noticed the true character of Bella Swan. Her analyses hadn't been attacks on my weakest spot. Her friendly smile and unprejudiced manner weren't there out of cruelty. She understood me.

So Bella had unlocked my personality, and saw what I needed to hear and to feel, and respected my unsaid wishes. She had knowledge of human nature, an ability that was only found seldom amongst the ignorant teenagers of the world.

Ashamed of my tears, I turned my head away from her and looked out of the large window on the other side of the room instead. The window was huge – or was the whole wall made of glass? But despite not seeing the two people in the room, I felt their presence with every cell of my body. Bella was radiating confusion and sadness, while the invisible waves I received from Edward were more disapproving.

I had found him rather repellant after hearing Bella talk of him. He, apparently, had come to the same conclusion about me.

Bella seemed to have gathered her thoughts again when she answered in a quiet tone, barely above a whisper, "I don't blame you for anything. It was my stupidity to take such a huge step so soon. I should have seen your reaction – in a way, I knew it was too early. I know this is going to sound a little strange to you, but I actually understand what you're feeling right now. Though you are a puzzle, I feel like I may have a chance at solving it. But then I thought I'd messed it up by inviting you over – you're not a very sociable sort of person. I realized my sudden offer must have been quite a shock for you."

I kept my eyes fixed on the trees outside, though internally, my mind was spinning. Bella's words had only strengthened my epiphany, and proved that she did understand me, at least to some degree. But the fact that she was blaming herself…

I had found the most insane person in Forks. Of that I was sure.

Not even the Cullens could compete with Bella.

She didn't continue, and neither did Edward. He had moved back to Bella's side in the meantime, and was now grasping her arm in the same protective manner as before.

Goodness. That man had some problems.

I found that it was my duty to decide what happened next. I didn't like that feeling – somehow, Bella always left the choice to me. It was not a good position for me to be in; the incident last Thursday had proven that. I usually only mucked up whenever I had to react correctly.

But not this time.

"Ok then, what should we do?"

All right, I'll admit it. My voice was not very convincing, and the friendly words tasted twisted in my mouth; my body language didn't communicate that outgoingness very well, either.

But Bella seemed to have swallowed it, for her answering tone was as light and glad as ever. "I don't know. You can choose. But… let's go somewhere else, ok? It's hardly appropriate that I should invite my guests over to a house that isn't even mine."

There it was again, the strange sensation that she was keeping something from me. Bella appeared to want me out of the house quickly; I even observed a slightly nervous twisting of her fingers as she spoke.

Before I had the time to respond, though, Edward had turned Bella around to look at him. "This is your house, love. You're part of the family."

I suppressed a gag. Edward was obviously a helpless romantic, and every word that escaped his mouth was honeysweet – combined with his hilariously good looks, I could only picture him in some horrible romance tale taking place in medieval England. "No fear, my dear lady, I shall slay the dragon keeping you hostage, and then take you as my wife!"

Bella didn't seem to mind his tacky manner, though, and she answered in an almost identically sweet voice, "I know that, Edward. But I think we should still go out. It's not fair towards your family. They already have to endure me."

Strange sensation number two. Why did I get the feeling that she meant something completely different from what I thought she was saying?

Edward took her face in his hands – earning another near-gag from me – and spoke with even more intense adoration than before. "My family will endure you a hundred times if it makes me happy. You can stay here. I'd rather you did."

"So that I can keep an eye on your friend," I added mentally.

Bella stared back at her fiancé with a disapproving look, but eventually had to yield. Edward's eyes scorched bright gold when he turned to look back at me, making me nearly jump back at the force in them. "Bella's friends are my friends. Stay as long as you like."

Something about his tone told me that the statement wasn't entirely heartfelt.

Bella scrambled free from his arms – for he was holding her tightly against his body, again – and motioned me to follow her upstairs after throwing a questioning glance at Edward. The latter nodded, and stepped aside to let me pass. His eyes never left my direction.

"Where are we going?" I made no effort to keep my voice the same friendly one from earlier. I figured I could risk being myself again, now that Bella seemed to have forgiven me, as strange as that seemed. I was astonished by how quickly she had moved away from the topic.

But then again, that had been me. I had begun to talk about something entirely different.

"In Edward's room. I really don't want to disturb the Cullens."

I snorted at her. "What, am I such a nuisance?"

"No, no. Not at all. It's just…" She didn't finish her sentence, but drifted off in her thoughts. My newly found curiosity flared up again when I realized that I was getting closer to her secret.

Was I close to the solution of the riddle? Perhaps the answer was in the Cullens. There was something extremely peculiar about the whole family, at least judging by the parents and one son I'd met. Bella was an average Joe; her home had not left me baffled the slightest. But this home…

Maybe I could squeeze the answer out of her. I didn't need malevolent reasons to find out, right?

I was simply curious.

We had reached a door on the third story of the colossal house. We were about to step inside, when, without a warning, a high, clear voice sounded from behind us. I jumped at the sudden noise in the otherwise silent house. "Hello, Bella. Hi, Amelia."

Bella didn't seem as surprised as I was at the sound, but twirled around casually. "Honestly, you shouldn't scare people like that. You nearly gave me a heart attack."

I didn't understand why she was the one saying it. Her stance was usual, her face tranquil – I seemed to be the only one affected by the unexpected appearance.

By the time I'd finally calmed my heart down again, I felt another wave of surprise wash through me. It had taken me a while to rest my eyes on the new figure before us, but once I did, my senses went haywire once again.

I shouldn't have been surprised, I knew that – weren't all the Cullens ridiculously gorgeous? I had already made that observation. Yet it shocked me each time.

This Cullen was tinier than the rest – several inches smaller than me, in fact – and her dark hair was cropped short, giving her an even more fragile appearance. No, fragile was the wrong word – this girl was delicate, but not in any means fragile. Something about her made Bella look incredibly weak while standing there.

The so far anonymous girl walked forward – or should I say, danced – and chuckled lightly, sounding like a fairy as she did so.

Where had I heard that description before?

"Sorry. It's just too fun. I'm Alice, by the way." She turned to me and offered her hand.

I just stared at it in confusion, noticing only a few seconds too late what it was there for. Before I had time to react, Alice pulled her hand back again and look at me with a baffled expression. She turned to look at Bella again. "I'm going out with Jasper, but call me if you need anything, ok? We could go shopping with Amelia."

Whilst I was shaking away my horror at hearing about the pending shopping trip, Bella concentrated on something else Alice had said. "Oh. I-I'm sorry. I can go to my place, really. It's no big deal…"

"Nonsense. You stay here. I'll see you around!"

And the tiny Cullen danced off again, leaving me dazed and confused. I stayed where I was, and blinked.

Bella chuckled at my expression, but I could hear the forced humor in her tone. Something Alice said had upset her, and I had a feeling it wasn't the shopping I was referring to.

She turned the knob of the door, and we entered Edward's room.

The room was tidy and light like everything else in the house, and the back wall was the same window as the wall downstairs. This confirmed my suspicion – the whole back wall of the house really was made of glass. Apart from a large bed in the far side of the room, the only furniture were shelves filled with CDs, a huge bed, an expensive-looking audio system in the corner, and a black leather sofa on the other side of the room.

I was quite surprised – I had imagined Edward's room to be some chamber filled with roses and gooey romance novels.

Bella dropped onto the black couch and beckoned me further inside. I let my gaze go over the endless shelves of CDs, and realized what Edward's hobby was – he obviously liked music. The names of the albums were mostly completely unfamiliar to me, though I could make out some artists I'd heard of – all from a different century.

"Edward is an enthusiastic musician." Bella had noticed my curiosity.

"I can tell."

"He writes music himself, too. And plays the piano."

"Uhuh."

"You should hear him play. I promise, it's the most beautiful thing you'll ever hear. He's extremely talented."

I didn't even feign my interest. This was just another example of how Edward Cullen always hung over us when we spoke – though Bella understood me well, she seemed oblivious to my apathy when it came to her husband-to-be. It was as if she couldn't comprehend why somebody wouldn't like him.

But there was something I was interested in about him. "He has a strange family."

Bella's smile disappeared for a fracture of a second. "I guess so. They're incredibly nice, though."

"No doubt. But their whole story is a little odd, is it not? The doctor at the hospital said they're all adopted, meaning they're not actually related to each other. But still they all look alike. Pail skin, golden eyes, stunning features…"

Bella merely shrugged at my question. She struggled to compose her face, but she couldn't quite hide the concern from her eyes – concern for what?

I continued my interrogation. "And then they're all so silent. Even now the house is completely still, and I know at least Edward and the other woman are at home. Plus, I didn't hear Alice approach us. Do all the Cullens have the uncanny ability to appear out of thin air?"

My words were followed by Bella's shaky laugh and not-so-honest joke. "You're absurd. What are you suggesting? That I'm marrying a superhero or something?"

Huh. That made sense. Maybe the Cullens were superheroes. They lived a normal life during the day, but as soon as night came they went out to defend the lives of poor innocents caught in the crossfire between them and Dr. Frankenstein…

Someone's been reading too many comics.

"Hey, Amelia, have you ever been to the theatre? I was at this wonderful play with Edward a few weeks back…"

At the time I hadn't noticed, but when I reflected back to that moment, I realized what Bella had done with those words.

She had steered me away from the topic. She had made me forget my thoughts.

Which meant that I'd gotten close to the core of the riddle.

But once we started talking, all I could think about was our discussion.