If I should die...
How would twilight be different if Bella had a disease and was dying before she came to Forks? Would it shake Edwards resolve to change her if he knew that they would only have a short time together.
4. Field Trip
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Why was I doing this to myself? I wondered again as Charlie pulled the cruiser into the parking lot of Forks High School. I could feel the blush rise up my face as I looked to see the students gathering waiting for the bus.
“I promise that Jacob will be over in the next few days.” Charlie stated misinterpreting my reaction.
I turned to look at him trying to smile over my rolling stomach.
“It’s no big deal Dad.” I whispered reassuringly, “But it will be nice when I don’t have to inconvenience you anymore.”
“It’s not an inconvenience, Bella.” Charlie stated smiling his crinkly eyed smile. I smiled wider leaning over the seat to kiss him on the cheek.
“You know I love you, Dad.”
He blushed slightly, clearing his throat before answering, “I love you too.”
“See you this afternoon.” I mumbled getting out of the car.
I had to give myself credit. I was definitely getting better at showing emotion in front of Charlie. We both were so bad at showing emotions; it was nice that I didn’t really have to work at it anymore. Then again I was making up for a lifetime of I love yous in a few short months so that was quite the incentive. I cringed slightly as my thoughts started down darker avenues. No I would not think of all the things that he would miss, I could only live in the now. And in the now, I was walking towards a large group of students excited about what could possibly be the worst day of my life.
Sighing, I sucked in a deep breath trying to calm my nerves. It could be worse. Yeah right! I thought lifting my chin and plastering, what I hoped was not a phony looking smile on my face.
Mike saw me immediately and waved me forward.
“I can do this.” I muttered to myself walking forward.
He started chatting with me, brilliant smile lighting up his face. I tried to pay strict attention but my eyes were scanning the crowd looking for person that had my nerves on edge. I looked twice but did not see him, my stomach calmed minutely. I looked back to Mike and he was staring at me expectantly.
“I’m sorry. What?” I asked flushing a little.
He just smiled shaking his head at me curiously, “I wondered if…”
“Oh, Mike.” Jessica yelled cutting him off claiming his attention, expertly pushing me out of Mike’s line of sight. If I hadn’t been so nervous her reaction probably would have been funny. I was definitely not trying to lay any claims on Mike. But I was too nervous so I made my way to a picnic table. I sat down pulling my IPod out of my bag to listen to music as I scanned for the Cullen’s without distraction
Angela Weber walked towards me smiling sweetly; I turned off my IPod smiling back. She stood next to me for a few second contemplating what she would say.
“Do you mind if I sit with you?” She asked shyly.
“Sure.” I answered smiling invitingly. Angela and I had never really talked much but she was very relaxing to be around. However, she always noticed much more than Jessica.
“Is everything alright?” She asked, concerned taking her seat, “You seem a little tense.”
“I’m fine.” I muttered flushing a little, looking at her quizzically before asking, “Is it that easy to tell?”
“No not really.” She answered being sweet surely, “You just seem a little anxious.”
“I am a wee bit nervous.” I admitted, “I hate hiking. I’m not very good at it.” That was an understatement. Flat surfaces were not kind to me, I couldn’t imagine the pain uneven dirt and roots could inflict. Hell, if I was being honest lose pebbles could just as easily be my downfall.
Not to mention that I was horribly afraid that Edward Cullen would show up, making this day all that much worse.
Think of the devil and he shall appear. I didn’t hear Angela’s voice anymore as a unique shade of bronze caught and held my attention. Edward and Alice Cullen had just joined the group waiting for the bus. Thankfully, his gaze had not found me yet so I felt no guilt in staring just a little. Plus if he was going to glare at me like last Monday, I was definitely going to ask Mr. Banner for a new partner and save us both some unneeded stress.
He was standing next to Alice looking tense and extraordinary beautiful. There was really no need to deny it. Not like he would ever be interested in me. Nor should I care, I mentally chided myself.
There was something about the way that they were standing, that caught my attention. The way that they were staring at each other though Alice’s mouth never moved and Edward’s only seemed to tremble. I would bet what was left of my life they were somehow having a conversation. Edward intensified this suspicious when he jerked his head slightly, as if nodding to an unasked question. If I hadn’t been paying such close attention the movement would have been lost but sadly I was.
Edward chose that moment, to look towards me meeting my eye before I could look away. But in the second that our eyes met he didn’t look angry just frustrated somehow. I looked back at Angela flushing, wondering how much of the conversation that I had missed. Since she was as shy as me, I guessed it probably wasn’t much once she caught my distracted expression.
She just smiled at me quizzically before following my gaze.
“I’m sorry.” I muttered getting redder. “I’m a bit distracted.”
“I see.” She said looking quickly back at me.
“He doesn’t like me very much.” I blurted out before I could stop myself.
She looked at me understandingly then glanced toward Edward out of the corner of her eye.
“I think you might be wrong about that, Bella.” Angela whispered looking back towards me as I gasped in shock.
“Why?” I asked resisting the urge to look in his direction again.
“Well, he is kind of staring at you.” Angela whispered flushing in embarrassment.
“Does he look angry?” I couldn’t stop myself from asking.
“Not at all. I think you’ll be fine.” Angela said smiling as we stood up since they were now loading the bus.
Though I would not dare look in Edward’s direction, I did notice that Mike was making his way towards me as we walked to the bus. Guess his intentions, I turned towards Angela quickly, “Do you want to sit together on the bus?”
“Yeah, that would be great.” She said giggling noticing Mike too.
Mike finally made it to us with Jessica close on his heels.
“Hey Bella, Ang.” Mike said smiling brightly.
“Hey Mike.” We said in unison.
“Bella, I meant to ask you earlier. Do you want to sit with me?” he asked not noticing Jessica. Who was giving me a look that should surely be causing physical burns.
“Sorry, Mike. I already asked Angela if we would sit together.” I said trying to look appropriately upset so that I would not hurt his feelings. I didn’t particularly care for Mike but he was a nice person.
“No big deal, maybe on the ride home.” He said his smile falling a little.
“Maybe.” I muttered knowing I would definitely be asking Angela to spare me again. Plus, I would not do that to Jessica, I had a feeling she could make my life very difficult if she chose to.
He turned from us then talking to Jessica as we passed. I hoped that he would ask her to sit with him; she would be a much better person to devote his attentions.
The bus ride to the forest was extremely uneventful. Angela and I chatted a little but I mostly just listened to my IPod trying not to look at Edward. He and Alice had sat in the seat the farthest way from mine but the few times that I had chanced a glance at him he was staring intently in my direction.
The long trip seemed very short as the bus stopped to unload. My nerves, which had dulled slightly, surged into overdrive making my stomach clench and my palms sweat. I must have looked like I was going to be sick because Angela smiled at me encouragingly as we stood up to file off the bus.
Angela looked at me curiously but filed off as I waited for the crowd to file out. I had learned through experience this was best considering that I usually tripped and crowds pushing on you tended to intensify this affect. Only instead of just taking myself down, I would usually take a few others with me.
Edward and Alice were the last to get off the bus. Edward tensed considerably as he passed me but Alice grabbed my hand smiling, “You coming, Bella.”
I took a deep breath, trying unsuccessfully to calm my nerves, as I followed her off the bus. Surprisingly, her hand was just the support that I needed and I didn’t stumble once.
As I followed her down the last step, she didn’t relinquish my hand so I was force to stand next to her and Edward as Mr. Banner explained and handed out our assignment. She turned to me then smiling beautifully, I looked back at her not able to copy her smile.
“Bella, since you have never officially met my brother. This is Edward.” She stated beautiful trilling voice smiling up at Edward. He glared back at her but she just stuck out her tongue.
A giggle slipped before I could contain it, they always seemed so extraordinary that this normal sibling behavior surprised me. They both looked back at me then smiling at my outburst as I flushed biting my lip.
“It’s nice to meet you.” Edward whispered in a soft velvety voice smiling, still tense.
His voice was almost as beautiful as his face. You could almost feel the sweetness of it wrap around you like a comforting blanket.
“You too.” I whispered sincerely looking into his deep golden eyes.
Alice gave a meaningful glance to Edward before turning away saying, “Well I better go find my partner.”
“Shall we.” Edward stated ushering me towards the path that we were to follow.
“Sure.” I muttered surprised I could get the words out past my stomach, which was in my throat.
I looked down the ominous wooded path, again wondering why I hadn’t just stayed home. Shaking my head to clear it, I shuffled forward following Edward and the others into the woods.
I tried to keep my eyes on my feet to keep my embarrassment to a minimum but Edwards tense stance made this difficult. I stumbled a couple of times. Edwards hand shot out as if to catch me but I righted myself so he pulled it back amazingly fast. I was about to suggest that we split the assignment in half and go our separate ways but Edward’s voice broke into my musing.
“Nice day for a field trip.” He stated smiling at me slightly.
“Sure.” I muttered then added honestly, “if you like tromping around in the cold and the wet.”
I flushed, wincing at how stupid my answer sounded.
“You don’t like the cold.” He observed looking at me with his penetrating golden eyes.
“Not particularly.” I answered darkly, mentally chiding myself again for my absurd answer.
He stared at me intently for a few seconds, before turning away wincing as the wind ruffled my hair. I just continued to stare at him trying to understand his curious behavior. Did I smell bad? I wondered trying to make sense of his constantly changing moods one minute his was perfectly pleasant the next hostility radiated off him. I tried to inconspicuously smell my hair but it smelled the same as normal.
Suddenly, I realized that his hostility should frighten me but instead I was intrigued.
“Why come her then?” He asked almost roughly, hands fisted at his sides.
“For Charlie.” I muttered without thinking still trying to understand his strange behavior.
He loosened slightly nodding his head and we continued to walk in silence. I looked back at my feet trying to scan the plants at the ends of the path trying to find the ones on our list.
“Is it worth it?” he asked as I looked up he was staring at me once more. His body still less tense than it had been.
“It’s better than the alternative.” I whispered truthfully mesmerized by his beautiful face.
“You disliked being in Phoenix.” He stated still staring intently. I looked at him questioningly, I had never mentioned where I was from. Just how much did he know about me?
“Alice.” He answered reading the question in my eyes, a smile lighting his face.
“Ahh.” I said flushing but smiling in return, of course Alice would know where I was from. I had told her the first day in the office. Of course, she would probably relay any information she could in an attempt to make her brother not hate me. “No I love Phoenix.” I muttered longingly finally answering his question.
He stared at me perplexed mulling over the information before whispering, “I don’t understand.”
Of course he didn’t understand who in their right mind would understand the convoluted workings of my brain. I glanced at the ground trying to figure out if I should explain honestly or lie. Would he really dislike me less if he understood that I was not here to torture him, just myself?
“This was the best solution. I needed to spend quality time with Charlie and this way will cause my mother the least amount of suffering, hopefully.” I stated biting my lip hoping to put an end to the direction of this conversation. It made me reveal much more about myself than was truly necessary.
“What about you?” he asked not taking my hint.
“What about me?” I asked wondering why he cared but his expression gave away nothing.
“That doesn’t seem fair to you.” He stated frustration flashing in his eyes.
“Haven’t you heard life’s not fair?” I said with a hint of sarcasm marring my voice.
“Actually, I have heard that before.” He whispered smiling a crooked smile so beautiful that it took my breath away. I looked away trying to catch my breath before making a complete fool of myself. I could feel his eyes boring into me but I continued to stare at the ground trying to control my breathing. But the steady breathing hurt a little since my body was quickly getting exhausted from all the walking.
“You put on good show but I would say that you are suffering more than anyone knows.” He whispered softly snapping my attention back to him.
Was I really so easy to read? Of course I was hadn’t my mother always called me her open book. All my emotions were right there on my face for the whole world to see. I had been so stupid to think that I could pull this off.
“Why does it matter to you?” I asked more angry than necessary since I was really only angry at myself.
“I’m not sure. I am just trying to understand you but you don’t make any sense. Usually people are very easy to read but your quite difficult actually.” He stated frustrated again.
My eyes snapped to his as I laughed in surprise. He had just guessed in one short conversation what I was trying to keep from the whole world, my suffering. Yet he thought I was difficult to understand.
“What?” he asked looking at me perplexed.
“It’s nothing really, just that you have guessed more in one conversation than I would like anyone one to know and you find me hard to read.” I stated still giggling a little. Understanding flashed in his eyes and he laughed with me. The sound was magical; I got caught up in the wonder of it.
“I have never tried so hard to converse with someone.” He stated frowning, seeming a little upset by this fact.
“Well considering that most find me very easy to read the change is kind of nice.” I teased smiling wondering at this strange conversation I was having.
We walked in silence for a few minutes before he whispered, “You’re a very unique individual, Bella.”
I think that freak would be a more appropriate word but since he was being so friendly I didn’t want to darken the conversation.
“Thanks.” I muttered then added lamely, “I could say the same to you.”
He looked at me with unreadable emotions in his eyes before whispering darkly, “That’s an understatement."
We followed the path in silence then as I tried hopelessly to understand this strange beautiful boy. The only thing I was sure of was that I was quickly becoming infatuated with Edward Cullen.