Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.
The drive from airport, to dad's house was filled with silence from Bella, and chit-chat from me. Sitting in the backseat of the cruiser, I was doing what I did best; smooth things out. Dad mentioned school, asked us how grades were going. He apologized unessesarily for the fact that we’d have to recalibrate to the new school. I appreciated it, but this wasn't his fault. Charlie had a habit of acting as a consolatory note for all wrong-doings, from the universe, which sometimes resulted in his own supreme awkwardness.
After the conversation had died out, I plugged in my headphones, and turned on some music. I looked out the window as tree after tree passed us by in blurs of green and black. The rain on the window trickled down, making jagged lines, and I thought back to Arizona, where is was hot and dry.
Bella had told me, late at night the day before leaving Phoenix that she didn’t like rain, then had rolled over and held her breath to keep her catching breath and tears from me. I knew mom’s marriage was seen as a mixed basket of blessing and curse in Bella’s eyes, but we both were very aware that our Mother was happiest when she was living a life free from responsibility. And as honest as her love for us was, we were a responsibility keeping her from experiencing her life fully.
When I was younger I thought how unfair it was, that our mother wasn't really our mom at all. In a lot of ways, Bella was the parent to both of us. As the younger Irish twin, I was the child of the family, even if by only a year. Bella cooked, washed clothes, put away the dishes that I washed. She had looked out for us in the basic household ways. And for that, I couldn't find myself frustrated with her lack of interest in the outside world. While mom had adventures, Bella did the same through her books. Both my mom and my sister were people who couldn't fully comprehend reality, or make truly meaningful connections. As much as Bella felt she and dad were most in common, I was able to see the ways Renee and Bella shared characteristics.
Bella had left behind perhaps one friend who she would email once, and then never speak to again. She would miss mom, but it wasn’t as if she was dead. We’d visit her, Skype her, keep in contact. In the end, Bella would be alright with this move. I, however, had left behind an entire school of people I was friendly, if not close friends, with. I had participated often with a teen run music program, that helped teens get in contact with each other, in efforts to create great music. I had an entire network of musically inclined people to record with. Those sort of things couldn't just be replaces, and they certainly didn't exist in Forks!
This move to Forks was hard on both Bella and I, but for two completely different reasons. She hated change, as well as the gloom of Forks, and I hated leaving the people and opportunities in Phoenix. Both meant the same thing; this move was leaving both of us frustrated.
With this last thought, the car stopped, and we found ourselves parked in the driveway of our childhood home. In front of the car was a large truck, that was rusted and red. We got out the car, and I tugged out the headphones from my ears.
“Uhh… I got a car for you two, from Billy Black down at the reservation so you could get to school. It's a little old, but…”
Bella, unusually, was the first to reassure him. “Its great!” I nodded in agreement, grinning at Charlie.
“Yea. Looks real sturdy. Like we could crush some smart cars!” I exclaimed, giving him a hug. He chuckled, as Bella went to inspect it further.
I grabbed two of the bags from the trunk, and walked as fast as I could with the heavy weights. Charlie jogged to catch up and unlock the door for me, leaving it open to get the rest of our bags in. I headed up to the room I slept in during my summertime visits, and set the large suitcases down, spinning around the room to get a good look at everything. Las time I had been here, there had only been one bed. Now there were two, with my small yellow bedside table between them. I had built the thing myself, with the crafty help of Jacob Black. The frame of the new bed was different, but seemed to complement the honey wood of mine. Against one wall was a desk of darker wood than the small table, with an ancient looking computer on it. I felt a shiver of gratitude toward Phil for buying me a nice laptop for my music and video editing. A large wardrobe filled the corner of the room, which reminded me that we would likely be needing a set of drawers. The old rocking chair sat beside the one window, sending memories of our childhood through my head.
The walls were a bland cream, but throughout my visits I had put up various pictures, some drawn by me, some printed, some random posters I had collected from different music events. Dad came up behind me, and I turned to face him.
“I hope you guys like it. I know it changed, and I didn’t make it fancy, but...” His unsure tone made my heart hurt a little. I had missed him, more than I’d even initially realized. I wrapped my arms around his middle, and pressed my face into his collar-bone.
“Sure.” He said gruffly.
I knew dad had missed us. After only three years of marriage, my mom had tired of the tiny town of Forks, and one tense court battle later, it was decided that we would spend some time with Charlie every summer, and the rest of the year with mom. We’d been only three and two, so we had no idea what was going on, but as we grew up, we had figured out why we rarely got to see Charlie. I was more upset about it than Bella, as she had always hated visiting the rainy town. I found it to be peaceful, but also exciting, especially when I was allowed to wander the La Push lands with the reservation kids. Bella had come as well, but she disliked the hiking, as it often resulted in her falling. After her thirteenth birthday, she flat out refused to go, which meant Charlie had to come to us. I made a big enough fuss that a new plan was sorted, where he would visit half the summer, and then bring me back to Fork’s the rest of the time. It was great, to feel like an only child, if only for two months a year. Recalling this, I was happy to be with dad, if sad to leave my friends. I knew, deep down, that this would be worth it.
It was the first day of school, and both Bella and I hadn't slept very well. She had cried again, but this time I had climbed into bed with her, and hugged her till she and I finally ended up falling asleep. The rain and the thrashing of trees had woken me up multiple times, and if that hadn't, than Bella’s moving and talking had. She had the pesky habit of muttering things in her sleep, which was both hilarious, and creepy.
The morning of classes was boring as hell, and included a Geometry class I’d definitely learned everything about already. At the very least it would be an easy A. Throughout the day, I heard people whispering “Isabella” here and “Avamarie” there. I knew Bella would be near foaming at the mouth at being called Isabella, because I had already spent half my time telling people to call me Ava. Most people seemed nice, if a little doe-eyed. It was nothing I didn't except. Having lived in a big city, and being a person who liked to wander (in a not so smart way) around that city had made me aware of the more distasteful parts of the world. These teens were the very definition of sheltered. And I knew that certain experiences I’d had would not be understood here.
I got a lot of “Cool hair” and “Wow, what’s Phoenix like!?” It was all harmless, but annoying as hell. At last it was lunch, and I waited by the door for Bella. She eventually came, her face tight with agitation.
“Hey. How’s the juniors so far?”
“Nice but… talkative.” I gave a chuckle at her response, nodding.
“Sophomores are the same. People keep telling me they like my hair, but with like, a twisted confused face.” She gave a small smile, and shrugged, grabbing a tray and getting in line for lunch. I followed suit.
Afterward, she was beckoned to a table by a girl with very curly hair, and I was called away by a girl I’d met in third period, Emma. She seemed nice, and funny as well. She was a refreshing difference from the rest of the people I’d met; plain and boring. I had yet to meet anyone with any piercings in unusual places, dyed hair (save for one girl with a god-awful orange ombre), or edgy clothes. It made me feel a little strange, knowing that all the queer, POC, rocker types seemed to be either in hiding, or nonexistent in Forks.
The school was abuzz with the news of the chiefs daughters. Both girls were in nearly everyone's mind, these small-town people finally given something to gossip about. Isabella, the eldest, was seen as beautiful by near every boy in Fork’s Junior and Senior class. Avamarie was a spectacle of interest for everyone, though not as widely sexualized as her sister.
Isabella was waif-like and short, with very long chestnut hair, and large brown eyes. Avamarie was, if possible, even shorter, but much plumper than her sister, with hair completely buzzed, so that her head was covered in nothing but a velvet brown fuzz. Many of the people who encountered her, had snide thoughts of what a ‘shame’ it was that she’d cut her hair. I had yet to get any more than snatches of conversation, but even my brothers and sisters were finding at least some interest in the girls. If nothing else, the reaction from the male population was funny (and more than a little unsavory.)
We sat, playing with our food at the lunch table, speaking in quiet, fast tones. “Every man-child here feels disgusting.” Jasper spoke tensely, his hand gripping Alice’s.
“They smell disgusting as well.” Rosalie snarled, rolling an apple between her hands.
“You can imagine what I’m hearing currently.” I said with an eyeroll. Mostly thoughts of having sex with the eldest Swan girl resonating from at least half the male population. The girls of the school were either thinking kind or jealous thoughts. Most thoughts about the younger, were remarking on how friendly, but also unthreatening she was. It was tiring, having such pointless thoughts shared with me.
“Hey. How’s the junior’s so far?” Avamarie’s voice sounded from the door of the lunchroom, as the sisters walked in together. Her voice was unexpectedly gravely. A few eyes followed their path.
“ Nice but… talkative.” Isabella replied. Her voice sounded much softer than her sisters. But both were grating, regardless. Emmett smirked.
“You don’t say.” He muttered. Now that I was seeing them with my own eyes, new things about them came to surface. Avamarie, for example, had more piercings than expected in her ears, as well as one in her nose and lip. Her face had cosmetic products on it, while Bella’s did not. Bella’s face was rounder than the minds of the other student’s had conveyed, and she slouched, which I had not gathered from anyone’s mind. Both their clothes looked worn, but their shoes new. As they traveled through the lunch line, their conversation continued. Once they had both gotten their food, they parted ways to separate tables. Bella’s table greeted her, then jumped right into talking about the second juiciest piece of gossip; us.
I near enough groaned. After her friends had given her the usual rundown of who we were, I went to listen to her mind. It was routine to check and make sure no one had any suspicions about us. But as I focused I realized something that made the first feelings of fear I’d felt in decades swarm into me. I couldn't hear her.
“How do you like Forks so far?” Emma’s tinkering voice asked me, her blue eyes wide and attentive.
“Its alright, I guess. I spent most of the time here when I was a kid on the reservation though. My dad’s friends with most of the guys there.”
“Oh that's cool! My mom’s half brother married a lady from there.” She mentioned, biting into a soggy frie.
“Oh really? That’s nice. Do you visit?”
The conversation carried on, and Emma told me more about her uncle, and her cousins. I smiled and nodded, as four more of her friends came to sit with us. An Asian boy plopped down next to me, chewing on a bright red apple. “Hey, Avamarie, right?”
“Yea. But call me Ava.”
“Right. I’m Ken. So how you feel about Forks?” The conversation I’d had with Emma repeated with this new set of people.
After I’d finished with my second granola bar of the day, I moved onto the small salad I had chosen. A red-headed girl, whose name I recalled began with an ‘H’ leant closer to the center of our little group, and spoke in a secretive tone. “So, have you noticed the Cullen’s yet?”
I quirked an eyebrow at her, setting my fork down. “No…? Care to share?”
“Over there, the table in the back corner.” She tossed her flame red hair toward the table filled with 5 extremely pale people. “The blondes are twins, Rosalie and Jasper. The brunettes are Alice and Emmett, and the coppery haired one is Edward.”
“Ooookay? So other than ye olden names, why are you pointing them out?”
“They’re adopted… but together. Like.. Together, together.” Allen, an extremely tall and thin boy with hair that seemed to stick out at every angle explained. “The tiny short haired one, and the blonde who looks like he’s constipated are together. And so are the supermodel and the literal rock of a man!”
I hummed, picking my fork back up. “Well I guess that's okay. It's not like their kids will be inbred, right?” My new friends all seemed to be frustrated with my inability to see what was up.
“But look at them Ava!” Emma near enough screeched, Allen, ‘H’, Ken, and the so far quiet boy with the chunky glasses, and general nerd aesthetic all nodded in agreement at Emma’s outrage. I looked back at the table, squinting. They were all pretty. But in a very artificial, sort of eerie way. Their skin was even paler than Bella’s and I’s, and they weren't talking. At all. In fact, they were barely moving. And their trays were still completely filled with food, while the rest of the cafeteria’s inhabitance had eaten most of their lunch.
“I guess they are a little weird. They all kind of look related….” I spoke slowly, shrugging. Allen nodded frantically.
“We’ve been trying to figure out what the fuck is up with them since basically forever. I mean, how can people that pretty have all been adopted at random. They must have been like handpicked. And Rosalie has to be from Russia or something, like have you seen her ass?!” I giggled.
“As of yet, no. I look forward to it.”
“Who gives a shit about the blonde, lets talk about that lean, mean, knife-cheekbone machine with the copper hair!” ‘H’ declared.
“Harper, you only like him because he’s nearly as ginger as you.” The nerdy guy spoke up at last.
“Isn’t he beautiful though!? Ava, you have to be on my side on this!” I chuckled to hide my nerves, ready to drop the bomb I’d been carrying since this morning.
“Sorry, can’t say anything but the fairer sex appeals to me, bud.” There was a brief moment of shock, before Emma spoke up.
“Oh… So you're gay?” I nodded, the usual feeling of trepidation in a dangerous situation creeping up my spine. “Well that's cool.” I nearly sighed with relief. Next to me, Ken smiled.
“We’re cool Swan. Just be careful with the rest of the jackasses in this school.” I wrapped a cautious arm around his waist, and gave him a brief side hug. The others reassured me that they too “were cool” and we all stood up to throw out our trash.
“I still think he’s a real hunk.” Harper grumbled. Emma nudged her, speaking as she dumped her half eaten cup of fries into the trash.
“He is. These girl-lusters just can't appreciate art.” I laughed freely, feeling glad to have found, if not the rocker types, the ‘cool’ ones.