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Wake Up Lonely

Summary:
Bella's searching for a new beginning and a second chance at her teenaged existance when she meets Edward, an outcast with a mysterious past who always seems to be on the outside looking in.


Notes:
Everything belongs to Stephenie Meyer and inspiration for the title comes from Emily Haines.

AU/AH/OOC


1. Party People

Rating 5/5   Word Count 3952   Review this Chapter

Wake Up Lonely

-ONE-
Party People

Edward

I eyed the room with distaste as I took a sip of my beer. All around me, the youth of Forks gyrated to the music, girls grinding against boys, girls grinding against girls, girls kissing girls fully knowing how the boys stared entranced.

It was all fake, and I was sick of this shit. I was surrounded by a room of peacocks, all strutting around and fluffing their feathers, waiting for someone to come along and be their mate for the night.

Jessica Stanley winked at me - her overly-lined eyes giving her a look of a raccoon rather than a siren. She blew a kiss through smudged red lips and I smiled back politely, hoping she couldn’t see how I shuddered from across the room.

Jessica Stanley had been a mistake. In tenth grade I had asked her to the homecoming dance upon my mother and father’s request. Mr. Stanley had been a friend of my father’s for years and she had just broken up with Mike Newton for the fourth time that year and was in desperate need of a date to the dance. I had been volun-told and next thing I knew, I was staving off Jessica’s advances and sexual innuendos for the next six months to follow.

I took another sip of beer and grimaced – warm beer. Gross.

Leaving the bottle on a table, I wandered through the house in search of something or someone that caught my interest, anything to hold a light in the dark, but all I saw was more of the same. The only thing that changed was the level of destruction in the room. The kitchen had been completely obliterated – the fridge door hanging open with its guts flung about the tiled room, the sink was clogged and over-flowing. Empty and broken bottles of booze lay everywhere the eye could see.

“EDWARD!” A high but familiar voice called out my name, the drunken body following not soon after. Alice wrapped her slender arms around my waist, holding on to me more out of a need to remain upright than out of affection. “I did’n know you’re here.”

Scowling, I pulled the cooler from her hand and placed it on the floor amongst the rest of the debris. With one arm wrapped tightly around Alice’s slight frame, I used my free arm to clear the top of the wooden island, the bottles crashing as they hit the ground. Alice’s 100 pound frame seemed heavier as she went slack in my arms when I tried lifting her to the counter top and I nearly dropped her when she suddenly slumped to the left.

“Come on, Alice,” I grunted as I caught her. “Work with me here.”

She only giggled and mussed up my hair as I righted her and sat her on the island.

“So grumpy,” she pouted, using her baby voice. “You’re always such a downer, Eddie.”

“Don’t call me Eddie,” I protested habitually, as I placed my hands on her shoulders to hold her steady. “Where’s Jasper, Alice?”

Alice didn’t answer. Instead she continued to try to play with my hair and my face. “Smile Edward,” she insisted, pulling the corners of my lips upwards. “You never smile anymore. Why won’t you smile for me?”

“I don’t feel like smiling.” My words were practically a growl as I leaned away from her touch. “Where’s Jasper?”

“Right behind you silly,” she giggled, waving comically at someone just behind me. I turned my head and saw Jasper standing behind me, smirking.

“Y’know, Cullen,” his slight southern drawl was more pronounced when he was drunk. “Some fellas might come to the wrong conclusion about yer current position.”

I realized how it must look to an outsider who didn’t know any of us and scowled. Alice was sitting on the island in the kitchen, her dress hiked up her thighs, her legs on either side of me for support, and her fingers running through my hair.

“Fuck you, she’s my sister. Are you going to help control the drunken mess or not?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m comin’.”

Jasper traded positions with me, making sure that the now-sleepy Alice was fully supported and I made my way over towards the opposite counter. I stood there silently for a bit, wondering how I was going to get her back into the house without waking up Esme and Carlisle, but left when it became awkward as Jasper started kissing her neck. It was bad enough knowing that one of my best friends was sleeping with my sister - I didn’t need to see it.

Picking a new beer out of the cooler, I left it unopened and just held it as I walked around the party. The bass on the music had been cranked up so high that the actual music was indiscernible. Only the loud thump thump thump of the music carried across and the party goers moved to it as if in a trance.

I watched as cash traded hands for pills and the smell of pot wafted over the entire scene. It was a typical Forks party.

Most people have small town kids pegged as sheltered, innocent little beings. Adults figure that these children are so far away from the gangs and thrill of city life that they’ll remain perfect and unmarred by the realities of their generation.

The reality was that this assumption was complete bullshit. Small town teens party harder because there is nothing else to do. In cities there are distractions from our mundane lives. There are underage clubs to hang out, concerts to attend, and sights to see. All around there is just more of everything. MiddleofNowhereville USA, however, has dick all, so we turn to partying and debauchery to bring any sort of interest to our mundane existence.

I watched the revelers, undecided if I despised them or envied them, but not one turned to look at me any longer than a flicker of a glance.

There had once been a time when I would have owned this scene. I had been charismatic, able to charm my way into any lady’s favor, or out of any tight spot. I would have danced to the thumping bass, drank Emmett McCarty – super jock – under the table, I would have had fun. It sounds egotistical as hell, but I used to be that guy. I was the guy with the great face, the perfect body, athletic talent, brains, charm, wit, and basically anything he’d ever wanted. I was the guy that other guys wanted to be and girls wanted to be with.

My mother always said I had a smile that could light up a room, but there was no light to be had in this room.

I was not that guy anymore. I couldn’t be if I tried.

I didn’t even know why I bothered showing up at these parties anymore. I didn’t really talk, I didn’t smile, I wasn’t that guy. I was the guy who is no more affecting than a dusty lampshade. I was just taking up space, another body in the crowd. I was no one.

I slouched down in a couch and just sat there, unopened beer in hand, looking but not seeing as life happened around me. I wanted someone to wake me up from this nightmare.

Maybe it was this state of mind that made me do it, or my own weakness and desire to be who I once was, but when Tyler Crowley offered an escape in the form of powdery white lines, I took it.

I closed my eyes, leaning my head back as I waited for the high to hit. I wanted to feel the numbness it brought and I wanted to fly with the sense of complete euphoria.

>>>

Bella


Looking around anxiously, I couldn’t see anyone I recognized. This didn’t exactly come as a surprise. I had only been in Forks for a few days and hadn’t met a whole lot of people yet.

The only people I knew were the Hales; my new next door neighbors, Rosalie and Jasper.

The twins were ridiculously intimidating, but seemed to be genuinely nice people. Then again, this was Forks. Forks was a small town and small town people tended to act a little nicer to your face. It’s amazing what the power of small town gossip can achieve.

Anyways, Rosalie and Jasper were like Nordic gods. They both had pale white skin, large, pale blue eyes with dark lashes, and waves of golden hair that was as rich in colour as fields of wheat in the sun. They were also both really, really tall.

I was a meager 5’4, so most people seemed tall to me by default, but the Hales were excessively tall. Jasper towered a solid foot higher than me, though his frame was more lanky than muscular, and Rosalie looked like a super model at 5’10 in bare feet. Not that her feet were ever bare.

Rosalie seemed to have a penchant for expensive looking, high-heeled shoes. I scanned the crowd, looking for the flashy red heels to stand out now, but there were too many people.

Why the hell am I here anyways? I thought anxiously, as I drifted from room to room in search of the only two people I knew. Rosalie had invited me to the party tonight, informing me that if I ever wanted to be anyone in Forks, I would have to be here for this very unforgettable party. She promised it would be the event of the year.

Where do all these kids come from? I thought Forks was a small town.

I practically ran back downstairs after checking out the upper floor of the house, only slightly guilty that I was snooping around a house when I didn’t even know the name of the owner. Jennifer or Julie or something like that…

Upstairs had been a bit closer of a look at the town of Forks than I had ever wanted. Either the upstairs rooms had been locked to stop people from entering, or the rooms were already occupied. Either way, the doors were all closed, so thwarted couples resorted to making out and writhing in various states of undress in the hallway.

The bathroom had been the cherry on top of a prize-winning cake. Various partiers, whose nights had taken sour turns, were ridding themselves of the toxins that invaded their bodies.

Rule number one: Bella Swan does not do puke. Ever. Ugh.

I shuddered in revulsion as another green-faced partier past me and frowned at the crowd. Several people watched me curiously, probably wondering who the new girl was. The population in these parts tended to be fairly constant and a new kid in school was a rare event. They’d probably been prepped on how to welcome me to their classes.

I made my way into the kitchen and was dismayed to see that this, too, was a hotbed of moral misconduct (as my dad would call it) and was about to back out when the male half of the couple looked up at me.

“Hey new girl,” he greeted with a warm smile. He turned away for a few seconds as pale hands with dark purple nail polish pulled him back down for a kiss, but then he pulled himself away, righting the small girl on the counter at the same time.

“Bella,” I replied, reminding him what my name was.

He half-raised an eyebrow but his eyes were smiling. “I know your name, new girl. You came to the party!”

“Uh, yeah, I did,” I nodded, smoothing my hands over my pants to remove the clamminess. I hated this sort of awkward social situation. Meeting new people, showing up at parties – it was all very un-Bella-like. I had intended to be un-Bella-like. Phoenix, Arizona Bella had been boring and plain. She’d been invisible as she wandered the halls of school and didn’t have any really close friends with the exception of her mother.

Obviously there was a problem if a seventeen year old girl’s best friend is her mother and just her mother. I had had a few other friends, but nobody who’d ever stick their neck out on a line for me, or vice versa.

I’d come to Forks to give my mother time to get used to her new marriage with Phil Dwyer, a semi-professional baseball player in the minor leagues. My mother had a phobia of commitment after her first marriage to my dad, Charlie, had fallen apart and she had walked out on him. Taking the steps to get married again had been a huge step forward for her and I was not about to get in the way of her miraculous leap of faith. That is why I’d exiled myself to Forks, Washington – trading my flip flops for rain boots – as I gave my mom the space she needed to start a fresh life. I also felt I needed to spend some more time with my dad, who was largely absent for the majority of my life as a result of my mother’s actions.

Finally, a reason for moving to Forks was my need to get away from who I was in Arizona. I was a nobody and completely inconsequential. I wanted to have real friends for the first time in my life. I didn’t know if this could happen in Forks, but I was hoping.

Running into the Rosalie and Jasper had seemed like a gift from the heavens. They were both gorgeous and exuded cool, beauty, and confidence. They were the type of people I had always wished I had been, so needless to say I was pretty stoked when they actually invited me to a party.

“Imaliiiice,” the small, dark-haired girl waved from beside Jasper. Her features were delicate, like a dolls. Large brown eyes, perfectly bowed red lips, and short, sharply cut, bobbed hair like black silk – did everyone if Forks look like they stepped out of the pages of Vogue?

“What was that?” I asked, trying to feel less significant next to this dark-haired girl.

“ALICE!” She laughed. “My name’s ALICE!”

“Got it,” I nodded, my eyes widening at the volume of the sing-song voice coming from this tiny girl.

“Sorry,” Jasper apologized, running a hand through his thick tangle of honey blonde hair. “She’s had a bit too much too drink.”

“So I can see,” I replied as I watched Alice try to swat Jasper as punishment.

“Yeah, I gotta get her home soon,” He frowned as Alice started kicking her legs up in boredom. “You want to come with us? I can walk you home if you help me get her into her house without waking up her parents.”

“Yeah, that’d be great!” I said. This party had been a huge mistake and I just wanted to get the hell out of here. I wasn’t exactly sure where Jenna’s (or was it Janie’s?) house was in relation to my dad’s so a guide would be more than welcome.

“Cool,” he nodded, wrapping an arm around Alice and lifting her off the counter and onto the floor. “Can you do me a favor?”

“Sure,” I replied hesitantly. What could Jasper want from me?

“Rosalie, my sister, is somewhere in the house,” he nodded towards the crowd in the living room. “D’you think you can go in there and try to find her while I track down Alice’s coat and shoes?”

“Yeah, no problem.”

With a deep breath I turned and walked back out into the crowd, searching for the blonde goddess, but she was nowhere to be seen. I had to ask five people if they’d seen her before someone pointed me upstairs.

I climbed the steps slowly, stepping over the people who had chosen to sprawl out on the different levels, but finally made it up to the top. I walked past the bathroom without looking in, I’d had enough of that earlier, but all the rooms still had the doors closed.

“Hey, excuse me,” I stopped a boy with short, pale blonde hair, and a sort of ‘do-gooder’ air to him. “Have you seen Rosalie Hale anywhere?”

“Rosalie? Yeah, she’s just in here,” he said, pointing to a door near him. “I’ll get her for you.”

I tried to stop him from opening the door – I really didn’t want to see Rosalie going at it with anyone behind door number one – but the blonde boy just pushed through, ignoring my protests.

“Hale, this girl is looking for you,” he called into the dark room.

I peeked in nervously from behind him and was relieved to see the room’s inhabitants were not doing what I thought they were doing. Rosalie and some other girls were jumping up and down on the bed like a trampoline, waving glow sticks around while a guy with dark, auburn hair sat on the edge of the bed, leaning against the wall with his eyes closed and a small, content smile on his face.

I was trying to make out his features in the dark of the room, the main lighting the twirling glow sticks, but couldn’t see much. I started as his eyes suddenly opened and he stared back into my eyes. There was something wild about them that sent a shiver down my spine, accentuated by the twirling neon lights that whirled around his head.

“Bella? Is that you?” Rosalie asked, stepping down from the bed. The youthful vibrancy that she had while jumping seemed to evaporate and she instantly regained the statuesque poise she had had when I had first met her as she walked across the room towards me. “Why are you looking for me?”

“Jasper is going to take Alice home and wants to know if you’re coming,” I said, my eyes moving from Rosalie’s face back to the bed where the dark haired boy continued to stare at me with his burning, wild eyes.

“Tell him I’ll find my own way home,” she smiled. “Goodbye, Bella.”

I gasped at the suddenness in which I was moved out of the room and the door shut firmly in my face.

Alright then. Friendly lot this is.

I carefully made my way back down the stairs, stumbling as my sneakers caught a few errant limbs, but finally I was able to escape outside to the fresh air of the town. I hadn’t realized how intensely the smell of alcohol had been in the house until I stepped outside and was finally able to breathe clean, fresh air.

“New girl, you comin’?” Jasper called. Alice was riding him piggy-back and singing softly to herself

“Yeah,” I jogged to keep up to Jasper’s long, quick stride. Even with Alice on his back, he wasn’t slowed down and moved with an easy grace that was rare in most teenage boys.

We walked in silence to the soundtrack of Alice’s quiet, nonsensical melodies, and arrived at the Cullen household in about fifteen minutes. The white and grey craftsman styled house had a small, beautiful garden surrounding it and a covered wrap-around porch. There were many windows on the charming house and I noticed that several of the windows allowed light to stream out into the night. I didn’t know why Jasper wanted to sneak Alice in to the house – it looked as though her parents were waiting up for her.

Jasper seemed to notice this as well and swore under his breath, but Alice remained blissfully unaware of what was happening as she continued to sing to herself.

I took a step back trying to hide behind Jasper’s tall frame. I had nothing to do with any of this, and I knew that, but I still didn’t want to be there when Alice got in trouble.

Her parents, a blonde man and a woman with light brown hair came out and took hold of Alice from Jasper, dismissing him with a curt ‘thank you’ and half ushered, half carried Alice into the house spouting the usual parental lectures of ‘we’ll deal with this in the morning’, and ‘I’m very disappointed in you Alice’.

Jasper sighed and nudged me back towards the road when the mother showed back up at the edge of the porch.

“Jasper, wait,” she called and Jasper and I both stopped to look to see what she wanted.

“Yes, Mrs. Cullen?”

“Was Edward there, at the party?” Her face seemed oddly anxious and her hands were clasped tightly together.

“Yeah, he was there,” Jasper nodded.

“Was he having a good time?”

“Not really, no.” Jasper replied solemnly and I had a feeling I was missing out on something big. “Didn’t look like it anyways. I didn’t see him before I left though.”

“It’s a start,” the mother sighed. “I just hope he comes home soon.”

“He will,” Jasper smiled reassuringly.

“Goodnight, Jasper,” She said and went back into the house.

I wanted to ask about this Edward Cullen and why his mother was so worried about him, but Jasper’s face was set as he quickly walked back to our block where our houses stood side by side in the silent night. It was obvious that the odd exchange was not to be placed up for discussion.

I was surprised when he walked me all the way to my front door and waited patiently as I fumbled with my key in the dark.

“Umm, thanks for walking me, Jasper,” I thanked him, dismissing him, but he remained calmly standing by my door.

“I wouldn’t be much of a gentleman if I just left without making sure you got inside safely,” he mumbled softly and I noted that his slight southern drawl seemed more prominent when he was relaxed and quiet than it had been at the party.

“Rosalie doesn’t sound southern like you do,” I blurted out, thankful for the darkness as my cheeks and ears burned red at my forwardness.

“Rosalie doesn’t like to remind herself that she’s from Texas,” Jasper chuckled. “She worked really hard to lose her accent because she thinks it makes her sound less refined. She wants to be some big Hollywood starlet one day and she claims her drawl would hold her back.”

“Oh,” was all I could think of to say as I finally got the door unlocked and opened. “Thanks again.”

He nodded his goodbye and then turned and strode across the grass to his own house. I shut the door as softly as I could but found my silence was in vain as Charlie was sitting up in the living room, newspaper in hand, waiting for me.

“Goodnight Dad,” I waved as I walked towards the stairs, but apparently Charlie was awaiting my arrival for more reasons than to just make sure I made it home safe.

“I hope you didn’t take any open drinks from anyone,” he said and I could tell that he was waiting to see if he could smell alcohol on my breath when I replied.

“No, I would never take open drinks from anyone,” I replied, rolling my eyes. “I didn’t have any drinks. I hung out for a bit and then Jasper Hale, the guy next door, walked me home after we dropped this girl off at her house.”

“Good,” he nodded, his mouth firm beneath his thick, brown mustache. “I’m sorry, Bella. I know this might seem a bit much in comparison to Renée’s rules, but I’ve been the chief of police for longer than you’ve been alive. I know what the kids around here get into.”

“I know, Dad,” I nodded. “You’re just doing your job.”

“As a father,” he added.

“As a father.”

I changed into my pajamas and crawled into bed wondering what these kids were like if that’s the kind of party they threw. Tomorrow was Sunday, but I would have to attend my first day of school with these kids the day after.

I hoped that I could break out of who I had been in Arizona and be someone fresh and new and exciting here in Forks, but I sincerely doubted my abilities if the party tonight had been any indication.

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