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Keeping Up Appearances

Summary:
This is set right after the end of New Moon. Bella always bumps into things, right? What if the school counseler thought that Edward had something to do with that? Based off the song Face Down by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Love 'em!


Notes:
I'm hoping this will be on the short side. I'm thinking 3-4 chapters. Enjoy! Companion story to this is I'll be Watching You.


4. A Figment of the Imagination

Rating 4/5   Word Count 975   Review this Chapter

Edward had just stormed out of my office. I’d never, in all my years of teaching, seen such anger and arrogance. More counseling sessions were going to have to be demanded. If he was going to graduate, Edward Cullen was going to have to meet with me after every school day. Treating Bella Swan with such contempt was absolutely out of the question.

How could I put a stop to this kind of behavior? I thought for a minute, and the idea suddenly came to me. I picked up my phone, and dialed the police station.

“Swan here.” Charlie answered gruffly.

“Hi, Mr. Swan. I’m Bob Banner, Isabella’s science teacher. I’m calling to…express my concerns.”

“Oh, is Bella not keeping her grades up?” He really was a concerned parent. For a while last September, I had thought he wasn’t. I mean, Bella had been clinically depressed, and he hadn’t called to ask for my services. I would have been happy to help.

“No, no. Her grades are great; perfect. I’m calling in regards to my concerns for Edward Cullen’s relationship to Isabella.”

“Oh.” His voice dropped an octave. “Go on.”

“When Edward and Isabella walked into my class today, I noticed that your daughter was covered in bruises. Were you present when those were incurred?”

“No.” He answered unhappily. “I wasn’t. I didn’t know she had hurt herself this morning. Oh well, that’s Bella, I guess. She‘s always bumping into things.” The poor man was unaware of the very real danger he welcomed into his home on a daily basis!

“Sir, if I may, how much do you know about Mr. Cullen?”

“Edward?” Charlie seemed to growl, “More than I wish to know.”

So, there was some hostility on the father’s part…. “Do you know anything of his background?”

“Sure I do. He’s dating my daughter, isn’t he?” Charlie was upset now.

“What do you know, Chief Swan?” I kept my voice calm, soothing.

“Well, Edward was adopted a few years ago. They moved down from Alaska in his freshman year of high school, and they just moved back from Los Angles.”

“Is that all?” The boy had been in his house every day for not quite a year, and he only knew what the Forks gossip circle could tell him? If my…If Bella was still underage, I would have reported him for being a neglectful parent.

“I guess so.”

“Does Edward have any anger management problems?” I asked.

I heard a sigh on the other line, “Mr. Banner, you’re wearing my patience thin. What are you getting at?”

It was my turn to sigh, “I don’t know how to tell you this, but Edward practically admitted to me today that he beats your daughter.” It was true, he had seemed so smug on the way out of my office, and all the evidence was there. It had to be him!

“HE WHAT? I’M SORRY, BUT I HAVE TO GO. NOW.” Before the phone could slam, I heard some mutterings about background checks, and guns. The line went dead. It was not a pleasant thing, but shouldn’t families know their faults so they could eventually overcome them?

I had one more call to make. The phone rang, “Hello, Esme speaking. May I ask who is calling?”

“Hi, Mrs. Cullen. I’m Mr. Banner, Edward’s science teacher. I’ve called to express a few concerns.”

“Oh. It’s not Edward’s grades, I hope. He’s always had a perfect grade point average. What’s wrong?”

Mrs. Cullen was to be too concerned with Edward’s grades. The Cullens seemed to be the kind of people that would push their children too hard. Maybe that was why their children were living in an almost incestuous relationships. It would also explain their daughter’s eating disorders.

“No, no. It’s not about Edward’s grades. I’m worried about his and Isabella’s relationship.”

“Oh. What’s wrong? I do hope Bella isn‘t in trouble.” Her voice was one of over concern. It made one wonder if she was actually sincere.

“Well Mrs. Cullen, I’m going to be blunt. Bella showed up to school today with a black eye. Edward told me he had been over at the house when it happened.”

There was an awkward silence. “What’s your point Mr. Banner? I hope this isn’t going where I think it is.” Her voice was one of mamma bear protecting her favorite cub.

“Well, not an hour ago, Edward admitted to me that he beats Ms. Swan.” I declared in a sheepish voice.

Esme’s voice became menacing, “Mr. Banner, I never want to hear misguided speculations like that again! My Edward loves Bella with all his heart. He would never do that to her, because he knows it would kill me. He loves me too much to do that. I am going to hang up now. Just be glad I‘m not pressing charges.” The line went dead.

I sat back in my chair. It was only natural for the mother, who wanted everything to be perfect, to protect her son. I knew I was right. It was too late to stop it anyway. The chips were just going to have to fall. I glanced up, and thought I saw Jasper and Emmett Cullen glaring into my window. Weren’t they supposed to be somewhere back east at school? I quickly looked down, and upon raising my eyes again, they were gone. Just a figment of my imagination, I suppose.

****

After a few more hours of checking papers, I finally decided to call it a day. As I walked to my car, I felt that something was wrong. Upon reaching my old white Buick, I noticed that all four of the tires were slashed. Who had done this? Had the Cullen boys really been figments of my imagination?