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The year is 1918. Bella and Edward's lives are perfect. Just one week away from their wedding everything is going their way, until fate tears them apart. Almost a hundred years passes. Will fate bring them back together again?
Another day of high school. You would think I would be used to it by now, the never ending monotony, the glances, the outright stares and whispers from the people too curious to look away. I couldn’t blame them. To their clouded eyesight, my looks must seem flawless, angular, perfect.
Oh, how I hated it.
I should have been used to it now. I moved every two to three years to a new school, town, state. Mostly they just blurred together. I learnt nothing new. What else could there be to learn from teachers reading textbooks, that I couldn’t learn by reading the textbooks myself? And yet, I keep coming back.
I sighed as I pulled into the Forks High car park, navigating my way through the rusty wrecks that the students here called cars. Unfortunately the exterior of my car wasn’t in much better shape, all for the sake of fitting in. It was a big, red Chevy truck. There were no other words for it. It had been with an aching heart that I had sold my last car, a late model BMW Z4. Luckily I had ensured that my new truck had one special feature. A really big engine that could beat most high end BMW’s and Mercedes’ with a quaint 450 horsepower.
I pulled smoothly into my usual spot right near the back of the lot, unnecessarily wasting time staring at my reflection in the small mirror in my visor.
Honey ochre eyes stared back at me, blank and unreadable. My white skin contrasted strongly with my long brown hair and my lips were out of proportion.
Every human here saw perfection. All I saw was the monster I had become.
With a very loud exhale of breath, I left my car, locking it rather pointlessly. I stepped forward quickly with my head ducked, my eyes down and my shoulders hunched, trying to avoid the worst of the rain that constantly fell here, but also trying to remain as inconspicuous as possible.
It was a relief to arrive at my first class, English. I managed to arrive just ahead of the teacher so by the time I sat down, there was no time for the whispered conversations that followed me every were I went.
I managed to forget the class and my surroundings. School always seemed to move faster this way.
To say school was dull would be the understatement of the century. The only reason I kept coming back for more was the fact that it gave me a feel of normality. I had tried desperately over the years to hold on the shreds of humanity I still possessed. That’s why I only hunted animals.
Class after class passed, the only break from the tedium was lunch. Mike, the blond jock every girl here pined for, asked me out, again. I could barely control my frustration this time. You would think that after seven rejections, now eight, he would have gotten the message. I had only just managed to keep my head, saying no as politely as possible before escaping to my biology class. Stupid little boy, if only he knew.
Biology passed slowly so I found myself trying to ignore everyone and everything, but in no way succeeding. There was only about two minutes left till the bell and Mr Varner was trying to call the class to attention. The class finally got the message, quieting down with just thirty-two seconds left. 31, 30, 29, 28... soon I would be out of here.
“Okay guy’s. As you may have already heard, there’s a new family joining our school tomorrow, the Cullen’s. I have to make sure that you are all on your best behaviour and be sure to welcome them warmly.” He looked like he might go on, but the bell rand just as I got to zero in my head.
I quickly stood, moving expertly through the crush of people to get to my next class, gym. I loathed gym with a passion, but unfortunately, here at Forks high it was compulsory for all year levels. It wasn’t as though I was bad at it, but I had to control myself so well that there was no fun involved.
I entered the change room, escaping the drizzle that soaked through my jacket but unfortunately, the change room proved to be not much better. Jessica Stanley’s loud and obnoxious voice rang out, talking to her group of blond copycats about the new students who were sure to be her best friends.
“I hear they’re gorgeous, like supermodel gorgeous.” I tried to ignore her voice, but it was impossible. It was just so annoying. My enormously enhanced hearing may also have had something to do with it. I so wished I could have ignored her, then I wouldn’t have had to listen to her next sentence.
“I hear they’re all paired up, even though they’re like, adopted. It’s weird because they like, live together. Anyway, only one is still single. His names Edward apparently...”
I was finally able to stop listening but it was much too late. His name just had to be Edward. Today, of all days. My still heart ached as pain shot through it. Why, why did it have to be that name? My fists clenched and I froze. My breathing stopped and pain flew through me, savagely tearing at my heart, pulling me apart from the inside. Why, why, why did it have to be his name?
“Bella, are you alright?” a quiet voice spoke next to me. I recognised it, Angela, one of the only decent people in this whole school.
I turned to look at her, attempting a smile but only managing a grimace. I had to get out; I had to get away before I completely fell apart.
“No, Angela, I don’t think I am. Can you tell Coach Clapp I’ve gone to the nurse?” I asked quietly.
She nodded quickly, concern colouring her features. “Do you want me to come with you?” she asked. I was touched that she cared about me, but I needed to be alone when I completely fell apart.
“No, I’m fine. Thanks Angela.” I said, gathering my stuff and leaving quickly.
As soon as I left the gym, I headed for my car, feeling like my world was about to come crashing down, again.
I made it to my car, through the school the gates and 10 miles down the road before I could go no further. My shoulders shook with silent, tearless sobs and my memories overtook me.
February 22nd, 1918.
1 week. 1 week and I would finally be able to call him mine, my darling Edward. The beautiful engagement ring shone on my finger, much more expensive than it needed to be. Even so, I loved the way it glittered in the sunlight, a testament to the endless love we shared. Soon I would become Bella Mason and my life would be perfect.
The wedding would be amazing, the cake, the dress, the groom especially. It wasn’t going to be a very large wedding, but it would be perfect for us. Only our closest family and friends were invited.
I was waiting at home, even if it was somewhat impatiently. Edward said he would be here at 3pm, and it was now 2:45.
Mother and Father were out, as usual. Since the Spanish influenza had become pandemic they were constantly out, helping the community. It was Charlie’s job as chief of police to make sure he was seen as a community figure and as his wife, Renee was constantly by his side.
I looked at the clock again, gladly noting that it was now five to the hour. Just as I sighed with happiness, after all Edward would be here any minute, the door bell chimed.
I jumped up quickly, tripping on the hem of my skirt in the process, to answer the door.
After also stumbling on the perfectly flat floor several times, I made it to the door. I wrenched it out of the way in my haste to reveal my very own, personal miracle.
His perfectly unruly hair stood in every direction, coloured a gorgeous bronze. His brilliant green eyes sparkled with hidden passion and my favourite lopsided smile emerged on his face.
I breathed out, a smile appearing on my face to mirror his. But then I noticed something hidden in his eyes.
“Edward, what’s wrong?” I asked reaching out for him.
He grimaced slightly, pulling me into his warm embrace.
“I can never hide anything from you, can I Bella?” he asked quietly, sounding so sad it broke my heart.
I gently pulled away, dragging Edward through the door and to the couch. Politely I sat down next to him, but he wasn’t having that. The next thing I knew, I was snuggled into him, sitting on his lap.
I waited patiently, knowing he would tell me what was so very wrong eventually.
He sighed quietly, kissing my hair before starting.
“Bella love, you remember how my parents went to Chicago last week on business?” I nodded into his chest. “Well...they’ve fallen ill. The doctor, a Mister Cullen, is quite sure it’s the influenza.”
I sat up quickly, looking into his pained face. “Oh, Edward.” I whispered.
The influenza struck quickly and was almost always lethal. Elizabeth and Edward senior were unlikely to survive.
“It’s alright, sweetheart.” he said smiling sadly.
I reached up, cupping his cheek in my hand. “It’s okay Edward. We can wait as long as we need to.” As much as it pained me to say it, I knew that’s what he needed.
He leaned down, kissing me gently on the tip on my nose. “I knew you’d say that darling. You’re so kind and loving. Just one of the many reasons I love you.” He whispered, trying to lift the mood slightly. I smiled in return. My angel should never be sad.
“I have to go to Chicago, to...to say goodbye.” He stuttered. I leaned back into his chest, trying to comfort him as much as I could. “It will only be for a few days, then I will be back, and we can finally be together.”
“Don’t you want to wait awhile? We can wait weeks, months...years.” I added on with much distaste. I could barely wait a week as it was.
He chuckled lightly. “How about we just play it by ear. The wedding planner was quite flexible.”
“Ok. Do you want me to come with you? To Chicago?”
He looked at me, playfully horrified. “And risk getting you sick as well? With your bad luck it’s bound to happen.” He joked.
“Hmph.” I crossed my arms.
“You know you love me.” he whispered in my ear, making me melt.
“That’s totally unfair.” I whispered back with a shiver. “Why can’t I do that?”
He smiled into my hair. “You just need more practice.”
I turned looking into his eyes. The pain of his parent’s illness was carefully hidden, but I still saw it.
“I love you, Edward.” I whispered.
“I love you too, my Bella.” He whispered in return.
He leaned down to me, touching his lips to mine.
I loved him so very much.
I managed to force my eyes open. That was the last time I kissed him. He left for Chicago that very night, and I never saw him again. The day proposed for our wedding came and went with no word. I sent multiple telegrams but received no response until the 2nd of March. It was from a doctor, I didn’t know his name. He told me the news the destroyed my world and my heart forever. Edward was gone. The influenza had taken him from me just five days after his parents had died at only eighteen years old. I’d tried to take the easy way out. I left my parents, searching for a way to end my life, but before I even got the chance I was bitten. James, his name was. He was trying to create an army, but I wasn’t having it. I ran away, and started my life in exile.
I shook my head roughly. I couldn’t let this keep happening with just one mention of his name. I’d have to put up with him at school now. I would have to get used to it.
My car was still running and I needed to get home, so I floored it.
There was one last thing tugging at the back of my mind. Was it coincidence that the name Cullen had come up again?
~ ~ ~
The drive to school the next day was almost unbearable. I almost turned around five times, but I didn’t. He wouldn’t have wanted me to.
I arrived in the car park to see a new addition to the collection of cars normally here. A shiny, silver Volvo. Not exactly subtle.
I sat in my car for 10 minutes, trying to convince myself I needed to go to English. It was the bell that finally roused me from my seat, so I was late to class.
When I made it to my seat I almost died of embarrassment. If I had still been human I would have been blushing furiously. Not only did I run into the principle on my way in, I almost tripped. Me. I almost tripped. Today was not my day.
I wasn’t concentrating at all through my first two hours. I was struggling to keep it together. He just had to come today. The 1st of March. The day I was meant to get married.
I was on my way to my third hour when I finally noticed the smell. Sweet, yet familiar. Vampire.
I stopped in the middle of the hall, just outside the door of trigonometry. What were vampires doing here?
“Ms Swan, are you going to enter the class room, or are you going to be late?” Mr Simpson sneered behind me.
I walked into the classroom quickly without apologising. I wasn’t in the mood for a controlling teacher who couldn’t stand being wrong, as I had unceremoniously pointed out on several occasions.
Vampires here. Why? I truly didn’t understand what they could be doing at a school in the tiny town of Forks. Did they drink from humans? Or were they like me?
Questions ran through my head all lesson. It had to be the Cullen’s. There were no other new students here as far as I could tell. Jessica was sitting two rows in front of me still going on about the amazing good looks of the Cullen’s and how they were simply perfect.
Well, if they were immortal it would make sense. Good looks was one of our traits.
I listened closer to the irritating voice of Jessica. “...and they’re names are Rosalie, Emmett, Alice, Jasper and Edward. I tried to introduce myself to the Blonde one, Rosalie, but she was in a hurry...”
I couldn’t handle anymore. That name again.
I stood up quickly, ignoring the looks the whole class gave me.
“Ms Swan, what are you doing?” Mr Simpson glared at me.
I couldn’t just leave without an excuse. I wouldn’t be allowed back in.
“I’m so sorry, Mr Simpson. I really don’t feel well.” It was a lame excuse but I needed to leave.
He gave an angry huff but ignored my interruption as I left the room.
My mind was going at a million miles an hour. Five vampires here at the school, and the doctor made six. I couldn’t handle that. Maybe I should leave?
I was wracked with indecision. I knew I should leave, but for the strangest reason I didn’t want to.
I was halfway to the oval when I let out an exasperated and frustrated sigh. Everything was happening all at once, and I was struggling.
I stepped onto the wet grass of the tiny oval here at Forks High. Nobody was around and I was out of sight of the class buildings, protected by a line of trees. It was chilly, but that didn’t bother me. Temperature never bothered me anymore.
I looked up at the sky, taking a deep but totally unnecessary breath.
“Okay, I needed to establish what I’m going to do.” I whispered to myself.
Step one, find out what kind of vampires they were.
I pulled out the delicate chain that hung from my neck. On it was my engagement ring, shining brilliantly even though the sun was hiding behind the clouds. It really was beautiful, just like my Edward. It was gold with diamonds that matched the thin, intricate band that would normally wrap around my finger. I couldn’t bear to put it on. It hurt too much to see all the time, but it was always calming. And that was exactly what I needed right now.
Think, think, think! I chanted to myself. Why couldn’t I come up with anything?
I was still trying to figure that out when I heard almost silent footsteps coming up the small slope on the north side of the oval.
I wasn’t ready yet!
I looked over to where the steps were coming from, tucking the chain back beneath my clothes. I was preparing myself for anything, my muscles tensed and venom flowed in my mouth. The wind was blowing the scent in the wrong way, so I would have to make do with my other senses.
I was almost ready, and then I heard another set of feather light footsteps running. Then another.
All five of them were coming up that damn hill...Did I just curse?
I thought about running, but there was really no point. If they were friendly I’d be fine. If they were...not so friendly...well I guess I’d have to see what would happen.
I stopped breathing. I was so nervous. I’d met other vampires and covens before, but never this many.
I shifted my weight to my right foot, listening to the slight rustle the grass made beneath my foot.
Then I heard a voice. It sounded like golden wind chimes.
“Alice! What on earth is he doing?”
“Shush Rose! This is important!” another female voice answered. Alice I suppose.
Well they sounded nice enough.
From what I could here they had slowed down, just below the ridge of the hill. What were they waiting for?
“Dude, just go!” a voice whispered, managing to sound booming even as a whisper.
“Shut up, Em!” came the reply and I froze.
That voice. No it couldn’t be! But I would recognise that voice anywhere, like velvet, perfect, unforgettable. It couldn’t be, but it was.
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