Disclaimer: We don't own Twilight...if we did...well, we would have been in the Breaking Dawn Wedding scene and we would know what Bella's wedding dress looks like! :)
"In the New Year" The Walkmen
"Need" Hana Pestle
"He's Gone" Orianthi
"Can't Believe This Is Me" Jennifer Lopez
I was still reeling from the fact that Edward had put a restraining order on me. What the hell? It was an accident! There was no reason for that fucking order. He knows that I love him, even though it's all over. It's all over now. I'd been biding my time here in Arizona in my mom's new palatial estate, playing with the new "toys" that she got me, while I waited for my dad to arrange for me to transfer to the Quileute Indian School at the La Push Reservation. I really am enjoying all of the graphic design programs I've been playing with. I've been manipulating photos of Edward in Photoshop constantly. Sometimes I make images of him as a sweet, gentle lover. Sometimes I remember him as the asshole that he was, who with the power of his words, tore me to shreds. Right now, my favorite image of him is the one where I turned him into Rosemary's baby, the son of satan. I thought it was pretty apt considering my soul's status at the moment.
The Quileute Indian School is usually for Native American students only, but occasionally they accept non-Native students to attend. Since Dad's best friend, Billy Black, is on the board of directors, there was going to be no problem for me to be enrolled. Despite the fact that I hated transferring to a new school the last semester of my senior year, I knew that I didn't have a choice in the matter. Fate took matters into her own hands and left me reeling.
I knew there was no way I could face Forks High School, even if Edward didn't have the restraining order keeping me away from him. Life as I knew it was gone and I knew that it wasn't all my fault. Edward will never forgive me for shooting him. I've destroyed our future just for proving a point that I wasn't scared of him, when he was trying to bully me. I've done a lot of thinking about everything that happened that horrible day. I can't take all the blame. He was the stupid moronic fucker who brought a gun to my house and told me to kill him. What kind of sick fuck does that? Simple. The sick fuck who will always own me- body, mind, heart and soul.
So, I would start school on Monday. Mom insisted on buying me a first class ticket for my flight to Seattle from Phoenix. She said that nothing is too good for her little girl. I can't complain anymore about her spending money that she doesn't have, after she won a record $375 million, before taxes, in the Powerball lottery.
Even though I was going home, I really wasn't going home. I would be living in the on-campus dorms with the other students who attended QIS. To say that I was nervous was an understatement. It would be nice to at least know one person there. I've heard a lot about the campus. Rumors are that it could be one of the best kept educational secrets in the state. The school sits on 40 acres of land and was originally founded in 1930. It started out as a training school for orphans, later to have become a trade school, and is now a full blown middle school and high school for students. The school offers a wide variety of courses, even more than Forks High School does. The athletic teams are some of the best in the state, making it to the playoffs in almost every sport played. The number of state championships under the school's belt are staggering.
The only part that I was looking forward to, other than the eventual road to graduation, was the yearbook. The current yearbook editor had just moved out-of-state and the adviser was frantically trying to find someone to fill the spot. Billy told the teacher about my qualifications and I was "hired". I was almost excited that I would be able to put my top of the line camera to good use. There was no doubt that QIS's basketball teams would make it to state this year and I would have the chance to take some kick ass slam dunk shots, with the huge fucking lens mom got me.
I discovered that I love absolutely everything about graphic design. It's amazing. During the day, I can still be by myself, or at least in my own world, temporarily distracting my mind from its well of torment. I love taking a plain image from my camera and taking my pictures to create magazine-like pages that tell their story.
It was finally time to go back home, to Forks. I packed all my new clothes and techno gear in the new Louis Vuitton luggage set my mom bought me. It cost an insane about of money, but even I had to admit that it was fucking beautiful to look at.
Mom and Phil drove me to Sky Harbor International Airport early in the morning.
"Honey, you don't have to go. You can stay here and finish school in Phoenix. We can find you the best school money can buy." She's been trying to get me to stay for good since I stepped off the plane.
"Mom, I love you and I love you too, Phil, but I need to go back to Forks. It's been my home for years and I can't just leave it for good, not yet anyway."
"Even after everything..."
"Mom, I just can't explain it. I have to be there."
"If you change your mind, we can come and get you anytime, day or night. Okay, sweetie?"
We checked most of my luggage at the curb, but my new camera and laptop, they were being carried on with me. I was pretty sure I would get the laptop out once electronic devices were permitted and work on some of the photos I had taken of the Arizona desert in the winter.
Mom and Phil followed me to the security checkpoint. Phil gave me a quick one-armed hug. "Love you, Bella."
"I love you too, Phil." I looked at mom and she was tearing up. It never failed. She is the queen of water works and I don't mean the property from the Monopoly game.
"Have a safe trip, my dear sweet, Bella." She hugged me tightly to her and I embraced her just as tight.
"I will, mom. I love you. Thanks. For everything."
She kissed me on the cheek. "Anytime, my darling. Call me when you land."
"I will." I handed the security guard my ID and my ticket. As I looked back through the glass wall and I passed through security, I saw mom wrapped in Phil's arms. She was still crying and he was rubbing her back, comforting her. I had never been jealous of my mom until that moment. I wanted that back. I felt the tears threatening to fall. I quickly composed myself and waved to them and made my way to the gate for my flight.
Dad was actually waiting for me, as I got off the plane in Seattle. One of the perks as being a cop, he could by pass the security checkpoint without a ticket.
"Hey, Bells." He reached to take the carry-on from me.
"Hi, dad. I've got it." He looked upset that I wouldn't let him help me. "I've got a lot more bags that we will need to pick up. You can help me carry those."
I noticed he was looking closely at the bag. "New luggage?"
"Yep. A whole set. I tried to tell her no, but with my new laptop and camera needing as much protection as possible, I didn't fight her long." I hugged my bag to my chest and dad grinned.
"Do I even want to know what all your mom bought you while you were visiting her?"
"Probably not, dad." I smiled at him.
"How was your trip?" He asked as we finally made our way to baggage claim.
"Well, dad, it was at least warmer and drier than it is here. I enjoyed seeing the new house. I still can't believe after all these years of playing the lottery that mom hit the big one. I kept telling her I didn't need her to buy me all these things." I held up my laptop bag. "But honestly, dad, I would marry my laptop and camera if it was legal."
"Well, I'm glad you enjoyed your little gifts, because that isn't everything your mom got you." He rolled his eyes. What in the hell did Renee do now?
"What do you mean?" I asked him cautiously.
"You'll see soon enough." Charlie harrumphed. "Let's get all your luggage gathered up and we will head to the house. Are all those yours?" He pointed to the luggage on the carousel that matched mine.
"Yes. Yes, it is." I hid a smile, as I heard dad mumbling something about not needing to spend money just because you have enough to buy a small island in the Caribbean. He put all of the suitcases on a cart and began to wheel it outside.
I looked at the curb and didn't see the cruiser.
"Hey, dad. Where's your car?" I heard him mumble something unintelligible and we headed to the parking garage.
"I didn't drive my damn car to pick you up, OK?"
"Dad, please tell me you didn't drive the thing all the way to Seattle. Even you have told me not to drive it too long of a distance, since it is older than dinosaurs." The thing was my 1950-something rusted out, faded red, Chevy truck.
"No, I didn't drive the thing. It's been given its retirement."
"What?" I nearly screamed at my dad.
"Your mom bought you one more surprise, Bells. You can't drive it since you aren't allowed to leave campus without a parent checking you out, but you are going to get to drive it home to Forks."
We stopped beside an absolutely magnificent red convertible.
"This?" I asked timidly. No fucking way. This car is bad ass. No way Renee bought this for me.
"Yes." He rolled his eyes. "I tried to talk her out of this, but you know how your mom is once she decides she is going to do something. There is no talking her out of it."
How I knew that all too well.
"I know, dad. What is it?" I walked around and gently stroked the sides.
"It's a 2011 Astin Martin DBS Volante." I didn't really know car names, but Charlie spoke almost reverently about it.
"Um, it's beautiful. It's really mine?" He opened the truck and put the luggage in, then tossed me the keys.
"Yes, Bells. It's all yours. This thing has some major power. Try not to get pulled over on the way home."
I settled myself in the supple leather seats and sighed. It's like the car was hugging my body. "I think I've died and gone to heaven, dad." He looked over at me and shook his head with a grin.
"It is much more comfortable than the truck. That's for sure."
I started the engine and it purred.
Like a kitten. I backed out and began to drive it.
"Dad, this is a sweet ride!"
"It definitely is. Your mom even had a garage built to keep it in while you aren't driving it. To, and I quote, 'Keep the new car out of the harsh weather elements of Forks.'"
I laughed. Dad even used air quotes when he quoted mom.
"Um, there are a few things your mom wanted me to point out about the car. The seats are heated so when you get too cold, you can warm up more quickly. It has a 6-disc CD changer. She shipped a ton of CDs for you. I've got them in your room." I saw him point at the dash. "She said she bought you a new iPod. That can plug in here and you can use it for your radio, I guess. She mentioned something about a USB connector. I have no idea what that is, but there's one somewhere."
"Dad, it's the cable that connects devices to..."
"Bells, you know I don't know a lot about technology." He mumbled again. All I made out this time was mom's name. Dad was funny when he was mad and couldn't win a "fight" with mom. "The most important thing, especially for you and your lack of coordination." He pulled out a box from under the passenger seat. I looked at it as we stopped at a light.
"A first aid kit? Mom got me a first aid kit for the car?" I shook my head as I chuckled.
"Well, you do trip over your own feet, even when you are standing still, so this is probably not a bad thing."
"I know dad. You and mom have told me on more than one occasion that my middle name should have been Grace instead of Marie." He smiled. Then suddenly Charlie's smile wavered.
"I talked to Billy this morning. Everything is in place. You will start school the day after tomorrow." I swallowed nervously and noticed my hands were beginning to shake a little.
"That's good. Thanks for taking care of that for me, dad. I know you probably had to call in every favor you had to make this happen."
"Actually, that was the weird thing. Billy said that when he brought your name up to the board, they immediately said you could attend. You are going to be rooming with Emily. I am not sure how much you remember about her. She's Leah and Seth Clearwater's cousin. She is on the yearbook staff too so you will at least have one class with her." Harry Clearwater was one of dad's fishing buddies and when I was younger we all were often forced to go on the fishing expeditions. I can remember Leah being a little bit of a bitch. I hope her cousin doesn't have the same personality.
"OK. So, uh, when do I move into the dorms?" This was something that was making me very nervous. Being away from Charlie, from my room, the room where I shared so many special moments with Edward.
"When we get home tonight, you need to gather up everything that you need from home and we move you in tomorrow morning. That gives you the afternoon to get settled in before class on Monday morning."
"Sounds good, dad." The rest of our trip was spent mostly in silence. As much as I wanted to ask about Edward and how he was, I knew that dad would likely tell me it was none of my business anymore.
As I pulled into the driveway, it wasn't the huge garage that rivaled our house that caught my eye. It was the spot. I saw the tree and the missing bark from where the first bullet hit. I put my car in park and put my head against the steering wheel. I felt Charlie's hand rubbing my back.
"Are you alright, Bells?" Dad asked, his voice full of concern.
"I don't know. I guess I have to be." I looked over again at the snow-covered ground. I know that by now that the rain and snow washed away the blood that I caused Edward to spill, when I shot him. I couldn't lose it in front of Charlie. Not again. He would ship me out on the next flight to Arizona- for good. I have to be here. This is my home.
I opened the door grabbed my computer bag and headed inside.
After I packed everything that I needed for school, I sat down on my bed and looked around the room. Reminders of him were everywhere. I'm not quite sure how to breathe without Edward here. Despite everything, I'm not sure if I'm ready to say goodbye to all that we were. I know it's going to take time for me to not need him anymore.
I walked around the room and all of the reminders of him everywhere. The bed, where we made love and on that day where we fought. My bulletin board was covered with random candid shots of us together through the years. I ran my hand gently over all those reminders of our happier times together. Our first junior high dance. Our junior prom. There is absolutely nothing sexier than Edward in a tux. In the corner of my desk sits a stuffed elephant that he won for me at a carnival. He named it Rosie, because it has rose colored cheeks. I picked it up and went to lay down on my bed. I hugged Rosie tightly to me, as I curled up in bed. I looked at Rosie.
"Tell me how this is supposed to be, Rosie. How am I supposed to make it to tomorrow and the next day and the next, without him?" At that moment, it was as if Rosie's eyes were actually looking right at me in understanding. Nothing is making it easier or taking my pain away. Not even the hours I spend immersed in front of the computer screen or the camera's viewfinder. "Edward knew how much I loved him and that he was my everything. Despite all the lies he told me, Rosie. I loved him. I still love him. I know I shouldn't be wasting my time thinking about him since he's not thinking about me, but I can't just erase all of those memories from my heart and mind, as much as I know that I need to."
I got back up and began taking all the pictures down from the wall. Just the thought of them being in my space was an unimaginable torment.
"I can't believe this is me." I tell myself. I honestly feel as if I am lost in a dream, not a dream, more of a nightmare. Like a coward, Edward left me and didn't even tell me he was leaving. He left it up to our dads! I can't stay this way forever. I'm tired of running away. I have to find a way through this. I have to find myself. Maybe who I am is waiting for me at QIS. I guess I will find out.
Dad loaded everything in the cruiser and we began our trek to La Push. I hadn't been here in years. It had changed a lot. I noticed a small shopping center with a few clothing stores, a music store, a pet store. The other store I saw made me almost happy. It was a Barnes and Noble. I could shop for books in La Push and not have to have Charlie take me to Port Angeles.
"I can't believe how much it has changed here, Dad."
"I know, Bells. Every time I make a new trip here, it seems as though another business has opened. They are building a new sporting goods store. I can't wait. I've never liked going to Newton's for my fishing gear." I inwardly cringed when I remembered what I'd done with Mike-Fucking-Newton. I would not go down that road again. Right now the last thing I want is a relationship- with anyone.
Before I knew it, we had arrived at the school gates. They had a majestic look to them. They were surrounded by stone enormous pillars. At first glance, one would think that the campus was the original from the 1930s, but all of the buildings were immaculate. The first building we past was the brand new multipurpose athletic center, where the QIS Wolves hold all their pep assemblies and the basketball teams play. Next, we passed the three-story brick school building. It didn't look much older than the activity center. In the back of the school, were iron tables and benches. It was obvious it was designed for students to spend time socializing.
"Wow, Dad. This campus is absolutely amazing."
"I know, Bells. Unless you know someone from La Push, you would have no idea of how much things have changed around here. Since the Quileutes opened their casinos, they have had tons of money to not only construct new buildings, but to hire some of the best teachers and coaches from across the country."
"I had no idea that a casino could be so profitable. This campus almost looks like an Ivy League school." I was amazed. This school was unbelievable. It was perfect and this is where I was going to graduate from. Maybe this wouldn't be too bad after all.
"The tribe said that gambling is the white man's ultimate entertainment." Charlie laughed.
"I don't know that I would go that far, dad." I laughed too. "Gambling did pay off for mom, even though it wasn't at a casino."
At last, dad pulled up outside the dorms. There are two, one for boys and one for girls. But these dorms didn't look like any dorms I had ever seen. They looked like luxury condos. Between the two dorms was a plaza-type area that was also designed as a student hangout.
Charlie and I got out of the car. I grabbed my laptop and camera bag. I saw a man in a wheelchair coming down the ramp to see dad. I recognized him immediately. It was Billy Black, dad's best friend and fishing partner.
Dad reached out his hand to shake Billy's.
"It's good to see you."
"You too, Charlie." Billy looked over at me. "Hi, Bella, how are you? What do you think of the campus so far?"
"I'm OK, Billy. You're looking good."
"Well, I'm still dancing," he laughed out.
"This campus is out of this world. I can't believe this is a middle school and high school campus. It looks more like a college campus."
"We are very, very proud of our school here. We are also pleased to have you join our 'little' school."
"Thanks so much for helping me get in, Billy." He glanced at me with a look that I couldn't define.
"It was no problem, no problem at all. Are you ready to see your room?"
"Emily," Billy said in a bit of a raised voice. "Come on out and meet your new roommate."
I saw an absolutely beautiful girl with long, silky, dark hair and olive skin walk towards me. She radiated beauty. Wonderful. My roommate would be the most beautiful and likely most conceited girl on campus. Just my luck.
"Bella, it is so nice to meet you." She ran up to me and shocked me by giving me a huge hug. She then looked at me with a truly genuine smile. "I can't wait to show you around and show you the yearbook classroom. It has a state of the art computer lab with Macs, and we have tons and tons of Nikon cameras to take pictures. You are just going to love it. Come on, let's go see our room." She grabbed my hand and pulled me with her.
If I didn't know any better, I would say that this was Alice's doppelganger. She and Emily are so much alike it's almost scary. What I could see of the lobby of the dorm as we entered, was furnished incredibly, like a five star hotel. Leather couches, a 72-inch screen television, a bank of desktop computers. It was like nothing I'd ever seen before.
"We are on the top floor in a corner suite." We took the elevator to our floor and she opened the door to our room. I am pretty sure that my mouth hit the floor with a very loud thud. It was designed just like the lobby. "We've got a living area here and a television and a blu-ray player. Billy said that you have your own computer. The entire campus is set up for wireless internet. So no matter where you are, in class or just hanging out, you can use the internet."
"Come on, let me take you to our room." This was nothing like I expected. This wasn't a dorm room. This was an apartment. "We have separate bedrooms, but we share the bathroom."
"This is mine?" I asked. The room was beautiful. There was a computer desk next to an entire wall of windows that overlooked the forest behind the campus. The bed was queen-sized and had the most beautiful bedding I had ever seen. It was in various shades of purple. There were even accents of purple throughout the decor scattered in the bookcases and shelves in my room. "This room is just gorgeous. I love it." I sat my laptop bag on the desk and walked in a circle surveying my surroundings. "Are all of the rooms like this?"
"Well, Charlie told Billy purple was your favorite color and the school's maintenance department put it together for you."
"Do they do this for all of their students?"
"Well..." My question seemed to make Emily extremely uncomfortable. She wasn't looking me in the eye like she had been. "No, they don't. The board wanted to do something special for you after what you've been through." I began to wonder if it was really the board who did this or if it was Renee's doing. Either way, the room was magnificent and at this point, I was for whatever it took to make me feel more comfortable. Dad took that time to make his way into my room with my luggage. He was looking around the room with the same look I likely had a few minutes ago.
"This room is really something, huh, Bells?"
"It's great, Dad."
"We all want you to feel at home here, Bella," Emily said.
"I'm sure it will be fine." I smiled and her and Charlie.
"Bells, I hate to drop you off and run, but Sam got sick and had to take off for the day, so I need to go into the station." I didn't want to cry in front of Charlie, but I had just gotten back to Washington. I was really going to miss him.
"That's fine, dad. I totally understand. I need to get unpacked and settled in, and it could take me all day to get things the way I want them." He came and hugged me and kissed me on the head.
"I love you, Bells. Call me if you need me for anything. I mean anything."
"I will. Thanks again, Char-, dad. I love you, too." I kissed him on the cheek and he blushed.
"Talk to you soon, Bells." Dad walked out the door. I looked around and begin making a list in my mind of what I needed to do, when I heard Emily clear her throat.
"Before you unpack, would you like to go to the student union? I'm supposed to meet some friends there. We can pick up a snack and then maybe we can take a quick tour of the rest of the campus, and I will help you get all your stuff put away when we get back." The look in her eyes was begging me to come along and there was no way that I could tell her no. I've missed having a friend, and I could really see Emily and I being friends. Maybe not as close as Alice and I had been, but...
"That's great. Let's go. I can't wait for you to meet them." She was almost jumping up and down with excitement as she led me to the student union.
As we entered the room, I saw a tall, extremely muscled guy, with short dark hair and dark eyes. He had more muscles than any teenager I had ever seen. He noticed us and smiled. He was gorgeous. I could see his deep dimples from across the room. There was something familiar about him, but I just couldn't put my finger on it.
"Hey, Emily. It's good to see you."
"Hey. I'd like you to meet my new roommate, Bel-"
"Yes, Bella Swan. It's been a long time. I don't know if you remember me or not. I'm Jacob Black."