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Twilight: Reversed Roles (Prologue/Chapter One)
I had never really thought about how I might die –though I thought I might several times in the last couple of months– but even if I had stopped to think about it, I would have never imagined my life to end like this.
I stared breathlessly across the dark room, into the glowing eyes of the huntress, and she returned my gaze apathetically.
Surely it was an honorable way to die, in the place of someone else, someone that I loved. Meritorious, even. That should have at least counted for something. Anything.
I knew that if I had never moved to Forks, I wouldn’t be here, in this position, now. But, as aghast as I was, I couldn’t force myself to deplore my previous decision. When life awards you a dream that is so beyond your expectations, it’s not suitable to morn when it all comes to the finale.
The huntress smiled a murderous yet impossibly friendly grin at me as she danced forward to kill me
Chapter One: First Sight
Arriving in Port Angeles, Washington on a rainy day should’ve dawned me as a bad omen, but I was too distracted to really care. The flight had been quite lonely, thinking about my mother whose endless hope was for me to return home, but the upcoming hour-long drive to Forks in the car with Charlie worried me immensely.
Charlie greeted me outside of the airport, leaning on the police cruiser. He instantly straightened up, and gave me a slight maladroit hug, smiling from ear to ear. “You haven’t changed much, Bells. How’s Renée?”
“Mom’s fine, Dad. It’s great to see you.”
As we climbed into the cruiser, Charlie announced that he had bought me a car that “well suited me”. I instantly became suspicious, for my father knew how left-footed I was. I questioned where he had gotten it.
“Do you remember that new family, the Cullens, I told you about?”
I thought for a moment, searching my mind for any bits or pieces of my father’s monthly letters and emails. When I was younger, the letters had been something to look forward to during the time I spent in school. As I grew older, I started to skim the letters for any major topics, and then cast the letters aside. Finding no recognition to the name, I shook my head.
“They just moved in two years ago,” he hinted, waiting for the memory to surface in my mind.
I vaguely cited one of Charlie’s letters. He had described the Cullens as “one of his favorite families” and often put in detail the warm evenings spent with them. Charming and “quite lovely to look at”, the Cullens were obviously Charlie’s new best friends. He had claimed how friendly and elegant they were, and how they were excited on meeting me if I came to Forks.
“Carlisle bought a new car,” Charlie continued when I was unresponsive, “and was thinking of selling the car to a local dealer, but when he heard I was looking for one for you, he offered it for a lower price.”
“What kind of car is it?”
“Um, I think it’s a Dodge Ram, one of those pickup trucks. He said he bought it maybe ten years ago; he doesn't remember clearly.”
“How much did it cost?” I asked, fully willing to throw in my savings for this car. I wasn’t much for driving around in a cruiser, and the truck was my way out.
“Well, I kinda of already bought it for you…Consider it a homecoming gift.” Charlie shot me a hopeful glance, his face tinted red with embarrassment.
“Really? Wow, Dad, thanks. I truly appreciate it.”
He mumbled something inaudibly, and then shifted his attention back to the winding roads. Conversation subsided and we lapsed into silence, him driving and me studying the greenery that muffled the beauty of the quiet town.
When we pulled up in front of Charlie’s house, I glanced up the street and saw the absurdly new car parked up front. It was a deep glossy red, with a large square lights, tall tires, and a capacious cab that could probably seat at least six people. But that wasn’t why I loved it so much. When I opened the driver’s door, a small group of steps drifted out, allowing me to climb into the front without bruising or scraping myself like I normally did. This car was no doubt Bella-proof.
After thanking Charlie a few million times, I went up to my old room to unpack. Digging through my clothes and placing them neatly into one of the faded dressers that lined the wall, I thought of how my peers would receive me. I was an outcast, the new girl from a city so different from their own, while the others probably knew each other since diapers.
Tomorrow would be a new day, and I would have to receive it as it came.
Upon arriving for the first time to Forks High School, I immediately felt displaced with the other students. My teachers regarded me with awareness as they learned who I was. The daughter of the police chief’s frivolous ex-wife had finally returned home, perhaps to stay. Few students greeted me, offering tours and quicker routes for my traveling, but the others kept their distance. I laughed at the thought that they could possibly be more scared of me than I of them.
As I sat at the crowded lunch table with some of the analytical yet welcoming strangers who questioned my opinions on the town, I peered absently from the corner of my eye and that’s when I saw them.
Shadowed in the damp corner of the cafeteria, the pack of eight sat talking in hushed tones amongst themselves. The trays and plates in front of them were bare, whatever bits of food gone without a trace. Somehow, through all of their whispering and secrecy, I got the impression that they weren’t talking about me. They never once glanced my way, so it was easy to gawk slightly at them.
Despite the various ranges in sizes, all of the figures looked alike. The boys sat lazily in their chairs, looking bored. Two of the boys sat at the end of the table, one with short chopped hair and the other with a dark buzz cut, chatting in such a way that made me yearn for my old friends back in Phoenix. Another sat with his muscled arms crossed in front of him, inattentively speaking into his cell phone, his cropped black hair falling into his eyes to complete the look of utter boredom.
One boy observed the room around him with chilly slits for eyes. He looked like the type that was easily angered, and the chattering boys distanced slightly away from him. A smaller boy with slight features and a generous smile gazed admiringly at the table’s clear leader, who was a much older looking boy. He was taller and burlier than his similar looking tablemates, and his face seemed more aged than that of a typical teen.
There was only one girl that sat at that table, and her artistry replaced her obvious loneliness. Short, dark hair glistened in a stray beam of sunlight, and her long eyelashes sealed her eyes shut as she tried to focus on something unseen. Long legs were crossed under the table and the top one swung with anxiousness, accidentally kicking the boy sitting across from her.
He shot her a look with his friendly eyes, and she shrugged nonchalantly as an apology. He tossed his chin-length hair away off one of his massive forearms, and he seemed just as older and sophisticated as the table’s leader. The girl mumbled something towards him, and he shook his head and laughed quietly at her, sharing the private joke. The two looked as if they were modeling for a matchmaker ad, where you see a perfect couple giggling with each other while the words printed across the front scream, “You can end up like them!”
It was hard for me to look away from the pulchritudinous students, and I couldn’t decide on which was more indefectible, the exotic beauty or her assumed partner. She was pretty in an unnoticeable way, while his masculine features stood out and made him seem inhumanly beautiful. The others, however, looked like something out of a weight lifting magazine, and if you made them stand in a lineup, I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the first four boys.
“Who are they?” I asked one of my classmates, a small girl with untidy wisps of dark curls. She glanced up and looked to where I gestured. A small smile played on the corner of her lips. My slightly fried thoughts allowed her name to reappear in my memory. Jessica Stanley; I should’ve remembered such a simple name.
“Those are the children of the Quileute Indian tribe,” she explained. “They live in La Push, an area about fifteen minutes away from Forks, on a reservation.”
“They’re very…nice-looking.” I assayed my words carefully, searching for an apathetic statement.
Jessica snickered slightly, and then pointed towards the babbling boys at the end of the table. “That’s Quil Ateara,” –the boy with the black crew cut- “and that’s Embry Call.” She moved her finger towards the boy with the chopped hair. “Definitely the class clowns of the bunch. They’re also extremely flirty, so don’t get all flustered if they talk to you. Quil has an acclaimed girlfriend, and Embry isn’t open for relationships apparently.
“Jared, the one on his cell phone, is what people could call…easily disinterested. His girlfriend goes to La Push High, so don’t expect him to respond, should you ever talk with him.” Jessica winked broadly towards me at this statement. I frowned in return, and urged her on.
She advanced to the next boy, the callous-looking one. “That’s Paul. He has the worst temper, and can change moods in the blink of an eye. Don’t get him angry or you’ll end up like…” Just then, one of the kids from the neighboring table threw a paper airplane into the air, meaning for it to hit his tablemate in front of him. Instead, the plane twisted wildly and hit Paul in the back of the head. He jerked up from the table, quivering with anger and flinging strings of curses at the shrinking student. The table’s leader stood up, looking annoyed yet calm, and gently but firmly pulled him back down into his seat.
Jessica breathed a sigh of relief, as did the boy who had thrown the airplane. “God knows what we would do without Sam,” she mumbled under her breath, motioning towards the commander of the table, who was now heatedly talking to Paul. By the looks of his motions and the pace of his words, I could only imagine how motherly Sam sounded. “Sam’s such a great guy,” sighed Jessica as she nodded towards him. “He keeps all of his boys in place, so they don’t end up fighting with us. And, quite honestly, I don’t think our best fighter here could even take down Seth.” She signaled towards the smaller, perhaps the youngest, boy who was nodding severely along with Sam’s lecture.
“And don’t get me started on Leah Clearwater!” Jessica exclaimed as she motioned towards the lone girl at the table. “She is courted by most of the junior class and yet she snubs each and every one of them! If she wasn’t Seth’s sister, the other boys in the pack would be chasing after her like there was no tomorrow. There’s even a rumor going around that she’s going to be elected to be homecoming queen, but she’d probably deny that too! ” Jessica sniffed slightly at the comment, and I covered up my laugh with a cough. Obviously, Jessica was hoping to be elected as well, and she apparently didn’t like her competition.
“I’ve saved the best for last,” Jessica announced, climaxing towards her big finale with an overdramatic voice. She pointed towards the flamboyant boy, the one with the longest hair and the biggest smile. “That’s Jacob Black, resident bad boy of Forks High School. Completely gorgeous, of course, but don’t bother with him. Just like his wingman Embry, he doesn’t date.” Again, Jessica gave a sniff, peeved by this fact as well.
Jacob got up from his table, tray tucked under one arm, and he slowly advanced towards the garbage cans. As he dumped his tray into the trash, he looked up and caught my eye with his own dark brown ones. The corner of his mouth twitched up slightly, in something similar to a half smile, and then he twisted around and walked quickly back to his table.
Jessica gaped at me. “Oh. My. God. Jacob Black actually looked at the new girl!” she crowed, and the other table patrons glanced up from their conversations. I flushed red and stammered over my words of explanation. It was only coincidence that he looked at our table out of ten other tables that surrounded the garbage cans, and he looked at me instead of my seven other peers. “But he smiled at you!” Jessica insisted. “He never even looks at me and I’ve been here longer than you have!”
As Jessica hyperventilated with another girl at the table, I looked casually from the corner of my eye at that dark table again. Jacob’s face, which had been attentive and mischievous, had now darkened and covered by a shadow. Sam sat next to him, whispering to him and the other members. They all nodded seriously, Jacob biting his lip as he silently agreed.
When he looked at me again as we filed out of the cafeteria, his eyes were no longer as amicable as they once were. In fact, they were wary. I turned before he could catch me staring, curiosity pulsing through me like a stream into a river.
Just what had Sam said that made Jacob suddenly become stiff?