His teeth were deep in her throat, his eyes were desperate, urgent. She lay there covered in blood. We ran before he could do it. How would I have known? My vision had shown me murder. But in reality, I had denied Edward his happiness. Now I had to find a way to correct my mistake.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of Stephenie Meyer.
2. Chapter 2
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I sat in the kitchen table; Charlie sat across from me, propping his chin up with his hands. Between us lay a thick silence and an array of college brochures. I had never given much thought about going to college; I had grown accustomed to successfully being average in everything I did. And I was an averagely good student – but not being particularly good at anything was not helpful when you had to pick a career path.
I had made the decision to go to college simply because the alternative was too scary to think about. If I didn’t go to college it meant I didn’t know what to do with my life, and that meant being stuck in Forks working at the Newton’s outdoor shop… not knowing what to do with my life. And going back to Renee and her snugly private wedlock in Jacksonville wasn’t really in the cards anymore. So college it was. I think on a certain level moving to Forks taught me that change is not always a bad thing. And I thought making that decision was hard – now the brochures stared back, mocking me.
Charlie was even worse. if I had not got a clue how to go about this, Charlie looked like he was being tortured. I smiled internally; the apple really doesn’t fall far from the tree: we were both sat there in silence staring at the options for my future as if we were looking at the most complex puzzle in the world.
“Dad, go watch your football, I’ll have a think about this tomorrow.” I said
“Bells, you know I don’t mind, I want to help…” He said tentatively, but his face was evidently relieved.
“No, don’t worry, I have nothing to do tomorrow and I’m really tired anyway.” I waved him a goodbye and dragged myself out the chair.
I got to my room, turned my computer on and threw myself on my bed to wait for my Flintstone technology to come to life. My window was open, and my curtains were dancing with the cool breeze that eased its way in. The previous days had been quite unusual for me. Nothing out of the ordinary had happened: I had been to Port Angeles with Jess on Monday, the library yesterday and then work at the Newton’s, and had spent a lazy day at home today after I went food shopping in the morning. What was out of the ordinary was my mind. I think I had realised that in the past years my brain had been numbed to all kind of extreme feelings. I wasn’t depressed (as I thought I would be when I first arrived in Forks) but I wasn’t happy either. I was content – surely, bored most of the time - but I had grown used to the lack of things happening around me. I hadn’t even cried in a few months.
Then, after this weekend, something triggered in my brain and I felt again. At first, I was really scared. The depth of the moonless sky and the overwhelming power of nature made me feel utterly insignificant. As Billy Blacks’ narrative progressed, my body began to react in way that had become strangely unfamiliar to me, and that insignificance turned into a feeling of helplessness and fear. Fear unravelled into a deep burning curiosity, an exciting necessity to figure this mystery out. It was as if someone had just waved a raw piece of meat under the nose of a hibernating bear.
Now however, I was more frustrated than anything else.
I stood up and turned the internet on. It wasn’t like I suddenly believed in werewolves and vampires. But the mystery of this family that I had heard so much about being brought up in an environment so wholly unconnected to Forks High School was too much for my bored brain to ignore.
I had asked Jess on Monday as we drove back to Forks, but she had merely regurgitated the small town tale I had already heard.
“Emmett was going out with Rosalie, who was quite pretty but she thought so much of herself she would make Madonna seem humble. Alice went out with Rosalie’s brother, Jasper, but they were both freaks. It was all very incestuous, you know. And then there was Edward. Bella, picture the most beautiful model or celeb you have ever seen, and he would look ugly next to Edward Cullen.”
She had recounted me that fact as happily as Mr. Banner would have answered a question about enzymes. Although there was an edge to her tone, which with Jess meant there was more to the story that she had let on.
“Oh. So you ever go out with him then?” I treaded the water. She seemed flattered that I would think that, but blushed all the same.
“No. I think he might have had a long-distance girlfriend or something. He was always disappearing from time to time and they were loaded. Like super rich, so they can afford to travel loads I guess.”
“Where did they live? I have never seen any mansions around Forks!” I joked
“They lived just outside town, apparently. You were right about the mansion though, you should hear Ange’s dad going on about it.”
Angela’s dad worked at the local estate agents. I had made a mental note of that and would ask Angela about the Cullens next time I saw her. I was sure Angela would give me a less prejudiced account of the family’s stay in Forks.
I went over to the computer, who was purring with a lot of effort, and typed in ‘Cullen’ in my favourite search engine. By the end of that hour, I was more frustrated than I had been when I sat down, if that was even possible. Apparently, there were 1,070,000 results for ‘Cullen family’ and all its variations. I had thought, naively perhaps, that if they were so rich, there was bound to be something on Google. I was thoroughly disappointed.
The next morning I went over to Angela’s house to return her a DVD she had lent me. I also had other intentions – and wasted no time in my attempt to solve my mystery asking her almost straight away about the Cullens.
“Bella its weird, I never actually spoke to any of them. Edward was in my Biology class before they left, but he always kept to himself. They all did. I think I bumped into Alice once in the hospital when mum broke her leg and she was quite polite. But I never properly met any of them.”
“Why did they leave?” I asked.
“It was really out of the blue, no notice, mid-week. I have absolutely no idea. But Dad knows Dr. Carlisle, said he used to be a “stand up man”, whatever that means.”
“What’s that Ange?” Angela’s dad was by the door getting ready to leave and had obviously heard us.
“I was just saying dad how you used to really like Dr. Cullen. Do you know why he left Forks?”
“Oh yeah, Carlisle, nice guy.” He spoke while he was doing his tie, “Shame they left so unexpectedly. Lovely house – still empty, you know? They haven’t even bothered to rent it out.”
Even though he hadn’t answered Angela’s question, an idea was forming in my head – one too uncharacteristic of me, too adventurous, too dangerous.
“Where was it that they lived?” I asked before I could miss my chance. As Angela’s dad answered, he was already making his way out, and probably barely realised he practically gave me the directions to the Cullen household.
I said my goodbyes and left not too long after Angela’s dad. I jumped into my Chevy and turned on the ignition, my heart was pumping with adrenaline, my lips felt like twitching, but I tried to stop my muscles. I felt like a child doing something wrong, even though I had never been that child.
I was too curious, too frustrated with the little information I had. I needed to know the truth about this family, or at least something close to it. I was addicted to it, and I wouldn’t rest till I had figured this out. I had reached a brick wall, and this was the only way I could find some answers.
I drove down the straight earth lane slowly, my hands sweaty around the steering wheel. The forest became thicker, blocking the light from overhead, so dense that I actually felt goosebumps, although I was not entirely sure they were temperature-related. After about 5 minutes or so the woods opened up and in a clearing stood the most beautifully situated house I had ever seen. I cut the engine off and just sat there, awed. The white house was covered in ivy, giving it an eerie stance, but it was stunning all the same.
Whatever the Cullens were, they surely had charm and good taste. It was such an open house with full-length glass windows and white walls, hidden under the green tendrils. I was mystified by the house, I thought I could even feel a deep energy reverberating from it. Then something caught my attention. The main entrance, a thick, dark-wooden door, was… ajar.
My breath was caught on my throat. My first reaction was to turn the Chevy around and put my foot down to the floor. But I took a deep breath and tried to reason. Whoever was it that broke in there firstly, wouldn’t do it in the middle of the day, and secondly, they definitely wouldn’t hang around. I listened attentively. The only sound to disturb the unnerving silence was the rustling of the trees in the breeze.
My fingers were prickling. I opened the door and slowly stepped out. Part of my brain had declared me insane, but that deep burning curiosity held me in a trance. I knew that going into this house was wrong – breaking-the-law-wrong. But I needed to go in, I was sure I was going to be pointed towards an answer.
I slowly stepped over the dusty steps before the main entrance, pausing every so often listening for any possible evidence that the burglar was still in the scene. I pushed the door opened. My heart was lodged in my throat, beating so fast it sounded like it was humming.
I stepped in and I might as well have stepped into another century. It was beautiful scene: light was coming down the marble staircase through the glass windows on the second floor, shinning through the cloud of dust that clung to the air. It was exhilarating; even the smell was amazing. There was a grand piano in the corner, half covered in a white sheet, and a few scattered pieces of furniture. In one side of the room there was a sofa, covered in dust. On the floor in front of the sofa was a crumpled piece of paper. I looked around me, but then felt immediately stupid; who would be there to see me?
I went over and picked the piece of paper from the floor, un-crumpling it with my trembling fingers. It was a hand-drawn picture of – a dark-haired girl being bitten by a vampire. Suddenly all the excitement and curiosity vanished and I was scared to my very core. I started realising just how wrong I was to have come here, I was about to turn and run when another I saw another drawing on the floor. I bent down to pick it up, palms sweating, heart beating so fast it was hurting my chest. I felt my legs go weak and it felt like time had frozen around me: staring back at me from the piece of paper was a hand-drawn, roughly sketched, mirror image of me.