I leaned against the door of the car, and stared outside the rolled down windows. Solomon drove me to the airport, my sister Rebecca too busy to do it herself. I had stayed with them in Hawaii for a month after my mother's death but now it was time to leave.
My mother, Sarah Black was the best person you would ever meet. She was warm and polite to everyone she met and everyone loved her. Then a drunk driver killed her, speeding off leaving my mother's dead body behind in his wake. I was in the car with her and I heard her take her last breath, something I would never forget.
As I was only sixteen the police had to contact my next of kin. My other older sister Rachel was unavailable, so that left Rebecca. I hadn't seen Rebecca since I was fourteen and she married Solomon and moved to Hawaii with him.
That was two years ago. I didn't want to spend a month with my sister but it was better than the alternative. The alternative that Rebecca was now forcing me to choose.
I sighed and leaned further against the door. This was not going to end well.
In the Olympic Peninsula of northwest Washington State, a small town named Forks exists under a near-constant cover of clouds and rain. It was where I was born but I hadn't been there since and if I had a choice I would never step foot in the place.
"Jacob, If you lean anymore you're going to fall out of the car" Solomon said to me.
I could see in his eyes that he didn't really want me to leave. Solomon was a cool guy and I liked him. It's just my sister who I couldn't get along with.
"I'm not seeing the downside," I said pushing myself further.
It was too late to jump out the car anyway as we were pulling into the airport.
"I'm sure it won't be that bad. You'll make a lot of new friends."
"Sure I will." I deadpanned
"Don't be a stranger," he insisted. "You can come and visit anytime you want."
I knew he meant it. I also knew that Rebecca didn't want me anywhere near.
"Don't worry about me," I said. "It'll be great."
I grabbed my bags and headed towards the plane. When I turned around, he was gone.
It's a five-hour flight from Hawaii to Seattle, another hour in a small plane up to Port Angeles, an hour drive back down to Forks and another hour to get to the reservation. I wasn't not worried about flying by myself, it actually gave me time to think. The two hours in the car with Billy, though, I wanted to avoid with all costs.
Billy Black was my father although I had never met the man. My mother told me that he was an easy man to fall in love with but it was even easier to hate him when he drank. Which he did, a lot. He never lifted a hand against my mother or the girls but he was violent enough that she was scared of him sometimes.
When she was pregnant with me they got in a huge fight one night while my mother was driving. My father was drunk and in the passenger seat and in a fit of anger yanked the steering wheel towards him. They crashed. My mother was okay but it sent her into premature labor. My father lost movement in his legs and blamed her.
After that he was angry all the time. Mom was afraid to raise us around him so she packed our stuff and we moved. To say Billy was upset was an understatement. Apparently once you live on the rez you can't leave the rez. Mother told me that Billy was excited to have a boy. Something about traditions and heritage and he tried to get her to leave me with him but she refused. Mom tried to keep my away from the reservation lifestyle and I didn't mind. Big city life was nice. Mother made me promise I would never go on the reservation. If I wanted to meet my father let him come to me. It was all very weird and ominous but I listened anyway. Never cared to meet Billy. Now here I was. I wondered if my mother would understand I had no choice but to live on the reservation. It was either stay with dad or foster care.
To be honest, Billy had really been fairly nice about the whole thing. He seemed genuinely pleased that I was coming to live with him. I on the other hand didn't care for the arrangement. I could already see it going south pretty quickly. Billy had already gotten me registered for high school. We fought about it for days on the phone. He was insisting that I register in the school at the reservation.
However, I was too advanced for the level of work in that school and it would do nothing but hold me back. Forks High on the other hand at least let me skip a grade. I was a Junior even though I was only sixteen because I was smart enough to skip a grade. The Rez School was only allowing me to be enrolled as a Sophomore. Finally I had gotten my father to understand that education was important. I didn't see why it was such a big deal going to school off the rez anyway. It's not my fault that the other people don't ever leave the reservation. It was sure to be awkward with Billy. Having never met the man and the first conversation I had with him ended up being an argument.
When I landed I headed out, unsure of where to go next. I didn't ask if I had to take a cab or wait for someone to pick me up.
"Hey man," a voice called out "You must be Jacob Black."
I turned around to see a guy about my age. He was tall and slender, with russet skin, long rounded muscles and brown eyes. He had a thin face and shoulder length black hair with a slightly dimpled chin. His hair was longer than mine and ran down to his chest and he had an earring in one of his ears.
"Hey, yea" I held out my hand to him "Jacob."
"I'm Embry" he responded shaking my hand. "Embry Call. Billy sent me to pick you up."
I nodded my response, secretly glad that I had more time until I was forced to face my dad and followed him to the truck that would take me to my doom.
"She yours?" I asked, tapping the hood.
It was a brown 1996 Chevy K1500 and seemed to be in a really good condition.
"Nah." Embry said shaking your head "It's yours actually. Or so Billy said. He bought it for you, I think. He doesn't really have use for a truck you know."
I nodded again even though I knew Embry couldn't see me because he was staring at the road. I was silently grateful that Billy had thought to by me a truck. After that we didn't mention my dad again but the conversation was never boring. I liked Embry. He was a cool guy. He told me he was sort of an outcast on the reservation because he wasn't sure who his father was. He mom had come from a different tribe, the Makas but everyone suspected Embry was Quileute. He said that the elders said they would soon know for sure and that he was just as clueless as I was as to what that could possibly mean.
I started to regret not wanting to go to the school on the Rez. If everyone was like Embry maybe it wouldn't be so bad. Then again it was not like I was never gonna see anyone on the reservation. I had two years here before I could even think about leaving. I was counting down the days.
As we were talking I found myself staring out the windows watching everything as it flew past. It was beautiful, of course. I couldn't deny that but did everything have to be so green.
Eventually we made it to the reservation. It felt as though the whole reservation knew of my arrival as everyone was outside and staring. I wouldn't doubt it. I knew that word travels fast in small towns. Even faster on small reservations. Embry stopped at a small house and I assumed this is where my father lived. I had only seen this place in pictures and the pictures made it look bigger than it was.
"Here you go man" Embry said, getting out and handing me the keys to the truck. "Billy said to tell you door's open so just walk inside. I'll see you around man."
"Yea, see you" I replied and I found I actually meant it.
I grabbed my bags and headed inside the house. It took me only one trip to get all my stuff inside.
"Billy?" I called out as soon as I stepped over the threshold. He hadn't earned the right to me calling him dad.
Billy rolled out from what I assumed was his bedroom to meet me. He was heavyset, with a deeply wrinkled face and dark russet skin with black eyes.
"Jacob, son." he smiled "It's nice to finally meet you."
I stood there awkwardly not knowing what to reply. I didn't exactly return the sentiment.
"I'm sorry about your mother." he continued "Sarah was a great woman"
"Yea she was." I replied feeling a hurt within my chest that never went away since I lost my mother.
There was an awkward silence until Billy broke it. "You're bedroom's right down the hall on the left. I know it's small. The bathroom is right opposite. So you could go get settled and if you need anything just yell."
I nodded. I seemed to be doing that a lot today. I grabbed my bags from where I rested it and moved towards the room he pointed. Before I entered the room, I stopped and called out "Billy?" he turned his chair to face me "Thanks for the truck."
He gave a small smiled but said nothing. Just rolled himself into his room. I shook my head and then moved to enter my own room. When I opened the door I had to prevent myself from sighing. Small was an understatement but it would have to do.
I busied myself with unpacking my things thanking God that I didn't have a lot of stuff to crowd the room. I brought a few pictures of my mother and I which I placed around the room. When I was done I could see myself actually enjoying this room.
I sat on my bed and began to dread the next day. Forks High School had a frightening total of only three hundred and fifty-seven - now fifty-eight - students; there were more than seven hundred people in my junior class alone back home. All of the kids here had grown up together - their grandparents had been toddlers together. They knew each other. Then there was me.
I would be the new boy from the big city. Maybe if I looked like I was born and raised in New York it would be fine but my long black hair and russet skin pegged me as a Quileute. A Rez kid. A Rez kid who didn't grow up on the Rez. No one from the reservation ever went to Forks High before. My attendance was bound to draw attention and I found myself hating that fact.
I didn't sleep well that night. I was too anxious for the day to come. I liked meeting new people but no one liked being the new kid, especially in a small town.
Breakfast with Billy was a quiet event. We sat, me on the couch and him in his chair next to it, eating cereal. The only noise to be heard was the hum of the television in the background. When I was half way out the door he wished me good luck at school. I thanked him, and dashed out the door.
It was drizzling still, it hadn't stopped since the day before, but not enough to soak me through immediately as I reached in my pocket for the house key to lock the door. I headed to the truck and made the long drive from the reservation to Forks High. Finding the school wasn't difficult, though I'd never been there before and it didn't even look like a school. The school looked like a collection of matching houses, built with maroon-coloured bricks. I found a park as close to the front office as I could. I figured I would get my class schedule now and ask for directions one time instead of wandering the halls like an idiot. I stepped into the surprisingly bright office. I was expecting it to look as dreary as it did from the outside. There was a counter right opposite the door I had walked through, a bell signally the woman behind the counter to my arrival. She had her head bent down over a book and didn't even look up.
"Can I help you?"
I was silent. I thought people in small towns were supposed to be polite. At not hearing an answer the woman looked up and I saw the immediate awareness of who I was in her eyes.
"You're Jacob Black!" She could at least pretend that there wasn't gossip about me going around. The Quileute kid hanging around the pale faces. "Of course," she said, after schooling her features into a poor mask of nonchalance.
She dug through a precariously stacked pile of documents on her desk till she found the ones she was looking for. "I have your schedule right here, and a map of the school."
She went through my classes for me, making sure I understood exactly where I had to go and gave me a slip to have each teacher sign, which I was to bring back at the end of the day. When I walked back outside the previously empty car park was now filled with students. I stuck the map in my pocket after trying to memorize it, dearly hoping that I wouldn't actually have to use it. I looked around and decided to follow a group of students and hope I find my classes that way. I was lucky enough that the boy in the black hoody I had chosen to follow was in the same English class as I was. The classroom itself was a lot smaller than what I was used to in New York.
I hung my coat on one of the hook available and then moved toward the teacher who was already staring at me. You'd swear these people never saw a Rez kid before. I was a Quileute not from a cult. The balding man, Mr. Mason, signed that slip and handed it back to me then turned to the class.
"Guys, this is our new student, Jacob Black. Be nice to him."
I internally sighed. So much for not bringing attention to myself. I walked towards the back where I saw an empty seat and sat there. The class was pretty easy for me to follow. It was the middle of the semester and I was afraid I would be far behind but I had already done all the reading that Mr Mason assigned and done numerous projects already on them.
I sat and pretended to pay attention and take notes while really all I was doing was doodling in the back of my notebook. Not soon enough the bell rang, a nasal buzzing sound. I got up and started calculating in my head what was the chances of purple sweatshirt girl being in my Government class when this guy came up to me.
"You're Jacob Black." What an opening. Is this how everyone was going to greet me?
The guy was Asian with greasy hair as black as an oil slick, brown eyes, and poor complexion.
"Yea I am." I said trying to now narrow my eyes at the way the guy was looking at me. I could swear he was checking me out.
"I'm Eric Yorkie, the eyes and ears of this school. I'm also gay and single."
I couldn't help but laugh out loud. Well the people here were quite forward, at least Eric was.
"Nice to meet you Eric," I said between laughs. When I looked at him I saw him looking dejected. He probably thought I was laughing at him being gay and not because he was so forward. I decided to put the guy out of his misery "I'm gay but I'm really enjoying being single right now. Bad breakup and all."
Immediately Eric's expression changed to hopeful "Well if you ever change your mind."
I laughed again, but this time more controlled "You'll be the first to know." He smiled and turned around to go to his class and I realized I had no idea where I was supposed to go.
"Eric?" I called out making him stop and turn towards me "Can you show me where my Government class is?"
Eric walked me right to the door. "Well, good luck," he said as I was about to enter the class. "Maybe we'll have some other classes together." He sounded hopeful. I smiled and shook my head but didn't bother to respond.
For the rest of the morning, finding my classes were easy enough and I didn't have to use the maps once. All the teachers gawked at me and all the students were whispering loudly about the 'new kid' but all that aside not a bad beginning to a first day.
After about two classes, I started to recognize several of the faces in each class. Being such a small school I guess it was inevitable and all. I made friends with this one girl Angela Webber. She was in both my Trig and Spanish class and was the only person to not stare at me as though I was something exotic.
She had light brown hair with streaks of honey and always-gentle brown eyes and wore the cutest glasses. Right before lunch we met up with one of her friends I had seen in one of my other classes called Jessica Stanley. She had voluminous curly, dark brown hair and blue eyes. She wasn't very tall, but her outgoing personality makes her seem bigger than she really is. I was surprised that someone as shy as Angela could be friends with someone as outgoing as Jessica. At lunch we sat at the end of a full table with several of their friends, who I was introduced to. I forgot all their names as soon as Jessica spoke them, not that anyone would care as they were too busy gawking at me. Seriously, you'd think these people had never seen a Native before.
I sat in the lunchroom trying to pay attention to the conversation that was going on around me when suddenly I felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. It was almost as though someone was staring holes into. At first I thought I was paranoid, then I turned around.
They were sitting in the corner of the cafeteria, as far away from where I sat as possible in the long room. There were five of them. They weren't talking, and they weren't eating, though they each had a tray of untouched food in front of them. They were all staring off into space except the blonde, who looked as though she was trying to kill me by the force of her glare.
I almost wanted to avert my eyes but I wouldn't give her the satisfaction. I found myself studying the five more closely. They didn't look anything alike. Of the three boys, one was big - muscled like a serious weight lifter. He looked extremely intimidating. Even sitting down I could tell he was at least 6ft. Not a guy to piss off then. Looking closer I realised although he looked scary at first he was actually very handsome with dimples and slightly curly, with what I knew to be dark brown hair that almost looks black. Another had honey blond hair that falls just above his collar. He was muscular, but lean, and not as bulky as the one next to him. The last was extremely attractive. Probably the best looking out of the three guys. His facial features were perfect and angular. He had high cheekbones, a strong jawline, perfect eyebrows, a straight nose and full lips. His hair was untidy and had an unusual bronze shade. He was more boyish than the others, who looked like they could be in college, or even teachers here rather than students.
The girls were opposites. The blonde one who was staring at me had to be most beautiful person in the world. Her long wavy blond hair that fell halfway down to the middle of her back. Even as she stared daggers she showed beauty, elegance, class, and money. I have no doubt that her beauty made every girl around her take a hit on her self-esteem just by being in the same room. The last girl was also very beautiful person, although not the same way as the blonde. She was petite with small, pixie-like features. She had large eyes and long, delicate eyebrows. Her hair was cropped short, spiky, and inky black.
They were all different and yet, they were all exactly alike. Every one of them was chalky pale, the palest of all the students living in this sunless town. They all had very dark eyes despite the range in hair tones. They also had dark shadows under those eyes - purplish, bruise like shadows. As if they were all suffering from a sleepless night, or almost done recovering from a broken nose. Though their noses, all their features, were straight, perfect, and angular.
The blonde girl was still staring at me. I couldn't understand why. I knew I hadn't had her in any of my previous classes so I couldn't have done anything to offend her. Unless this was her natural charm. I raised my eyebrows in question at her and in response she growled at me. Actually growled. I immediately turned back to my table who was blissfully unaware of what just transpired. Or maybe it was all in my head.
I turned to look at the girl again and yes that was definitely a growl.
"Hey" I called out immediately grabbing the attention of my table "Who are they?" I asked Jessica, nodding my head in the direction of the table.
She seemed like the one who would have the most gossip and I was curious to know about the girl that growled at me. She didn't even have to look up to know who I was talking about - probably already knowing from my tone - but suddenly he looked at her, the thinner one, the boyish one, the youngest, perhaps. He looked at Jessica for just a fraction of a second, and then his dark eyes flickered to mine. He looked away quickly, more quickly than I could and I felt confused. What was with these guys?
"That's Alice, Edward and Emmett Cullen, and Rosalie and Jasper Hale.; they all live together with Dr. Cullen and his wife." She said this under her breath pointing as she called their names. I glanced again at the table. The blonde, Rosalie, was no longer staring at me. Instead she was part of an intense conversation with the bronze haired boy, Edward.
"They all look like they fell out of a fashion catalogue." I said with a small laugh and even that was an understatement.
"Yes!" Jessica agreed enthusiastically. "They're all together though - Emmett and Rosalie, and Jasper and Alice, I mean. And they live together."
Her voice held all the shock and condemnation. There was the small town mentality I was expecting. After meeting Eric I wondered if I was wrong about Forks. Thank you Jessica for proving I was not.
"They don't look related." I said
"Oh, they're not. Dr. Cullen is really young, in his twenties or early thirties. They're all adopted. The Hales are brother and sister, twins and they're foster children."
I raised my eyebrow at that. Foster kids weren't that old. "They look a little old for foster children."
"They are now, Jasper and Rosalie are both eighteen, but they've been with Mrs. Cullen since they were eight. She's their aunt or something like that."
"That's actually really cool. They sound like nice people.."
"I guess you could say so," Jessica admitted reluctantly.
The things jealousy could do to a person.
"Have they always lived in Forks?" I asked.
Usually I was not one for gossip and I tried not to talk about people behind their back but there was something about these five people. Something that made me feel drawn to them and it made me want to know all I could about them.
"No," she said in a voice that implied it should be obvious. I'm the new guy. How much could one expect me to now about the town. "They just moved down two years ago from somewhere in Alaska."
They must be happy to finally get the attention off of them. No longer the new kids. I wondered if I would get to experience to joy of no longer being the new kid. Then again,look at the attention the Cullens and Hales were getting and they had been here for two years already. Maybe they were fed up of being looked at as if they came from a new world. The unwanted attention would get to anyone.
As the thought passes through my mind, Edward, looked up and met my gaze, this time with evident curiosity in his expression. I held his gaze, as I did his sister's, even though I wanted to look away. He looked at me with an intensity as though he was trying to read my mind. Still I never dropped my eyes and after what felt like an eternity he looked away.
"Don't waste your time." Jessica said suddenly and my eyes snapped to her, my expression confused. "On Edward. You're staring. Don't bother. He doesn't date. Apparently none of the girls here are good-looking enough for him and I'm pretty sure someone like him isn't gay."
Did I have a sign on my back or something? I didn't respond, instead getting lost again in the mindless chatter around the table. After a few more minutes, the five siblings left the table together. They all were noticeably graceful - even the big, brawny one. It was unsettling to watch. How could one so big move so graceful.
I sat at the table with Jessica, Angela and their friends longer than I would have if I'd been sitting alone. I was anxious not to be late for class on my first day and hoped I could continue my lucky streak of not having to use the map provided. Luckily Angela had Biology II with me the next hour. We walked to class together in a comfortable silence.
When we entered the classroom, Angela went to sit at a black-topped lab table exactly like the ones I was used to. She already had a neighbour. In fact, all the tables were filled but one. Next to the centre aisle, I recognized growly's brother, Edward Cullen by his unusual hair, sitting next to that single open seat.
As I walked down the aisle to introduce myself to the teacher and get my slip signed, I looked at him. I couldn't help myself. There was something curious about them. Just as I passed, he suddenly went rigid in his seat. He stared at me again, meeting my eyes with the strangest expression on his face. It was hostile and furious and I wondered what I could possibly do to illicit such a response from him.
I looked away quickly, shocked but not before noticing that his eyes were black. Coal black. Could eyes be that colour? Mr. Banner signed my slip and handed me a book, introduced me to the class. I realized I had classes before with everyone in this class except Edward. Of course, he had no choice but to send me to the one open seat in the middle of the room.
I placed a smile on my face, hoping not to anger him anymore that he was already but all it served to do was make him tense up more. I set my book on the table and took my seat. He leaned away from me, sitting on the extreme edge of his chair and averting his face like he smelled something bad. I tried to pay attention to the teacher and ignore Edward who was acting as though I killed his favourite dog.
Unfortunately the lecture was on something I'd already studied. I pretended to take notes anyway, trying to focus on that and not on a tense Edward. Of course I failed miserably and ended up sneaking peaks at Edward during the class. During the whole class, he never relaxed his stiff posture on the edge of his chair, instead he was actually trying to move further away from me.
I could see his hand on his left leg was clenched into a fist, and his expression a mixture of anger and pain. This class seemed to suddenly drag on longer than the others and it had everything to do with me waiting for Edward's posture to relax. It never did; he continued to sit so still it looked like he wasn't breathing. What was wrong with him? Was this his normal behaviour? Was he and his family just weird and that's why they growl at people and tense up.
It couldn't have anything to do with me. He didn't know me from Eve. Neither did his sister for that matter. Finally, the bell rang loudly, making me jump, and Edward Cullen was out of his seat. Although the movement was quick, it was still graceful, and he was out the door before anyone else was out of their seat. I sat frozen in my seat, staring blankly after him. What an ass. I began gathering up my things slowly, trying to block the anger that filled me.
I didn't need this on my first day. Whatever that guy's problem was he better sort it out cause there is no way I was continuing the rest of my semester in this class like that.
"Aren't you Jacob Black?" a male voice asked. I looked up to see guy with pale blue eyes, blond hair, a baby face. He was altogether good-looking and was, smiling at me in a friendly way.
"Yea, that's me" I answered, with a smile.
"Do you need any help finding your next class?"
Everyone, with the exception of a few I won't name, was nice here, even if the did stare plenty. It was refreshing.
"I'm headed to the gym, actually. I think I can find it."
"That's my next class, too."
He seemed thrilled, though it wasn't that big of a coincidence in a school this small. We walked to class together; he was a chatterer - he supplied most of the conversation, which made it easy for me. After my last class I didn't really feel like talking to anyone but Mike was easy company. He was the nicest person I'd met today aside from Angela.
But as we were entering the gym, he asked, "So, did you stab Edward Cullen with a pencil or what? I've never seen him act like that."
So, apparently, that wasn't Edward Cullen's usual behavior.
"Nah" I laughed "Though he was acting as though he had a stick up his butt"
That made Mike laugh. "He looked like he was in pain or something."
"I don't know," I responded. "I never spoke to him. It must've been a hell of a big stick."
"Don't sweat it. He's a weird guy." Mike said as we walked into the boy's locker room. He was friendly and clearly admiring. But it wasn't enough to ease the irritation I felt after the last class. The Gym teacher, Coach Clapp, just had us running laps for the period which was easy enough. I was always and active guy and I didn't mind a bit of physical activity.
The final bell rang at last. I walked slowly to the office to return my paperwork. The rain had drifted away, but the wind was strong, and colder. I found I didn't mind the cold. I barely felt it even though it was probably freezing. Mom would always joke that I was like a walking furnace, always warm.
When I walked into the office, I had to stop myself from turned around and walking back out. Edward Cullen stood at the desk in front of me. He didn't appear to notice my entrance even though the bell had sounded. I stood pressed against the back wall, waiting for the receptionist to be free. He was arguing with her in a low voice, trying to trade from sixth-hour Biology to another time - any other time.
I just couldn't believe that this was just about me. It had to be something else, something that happened before I entered the Biology room. The look on his face must have been about another aggravation entirely. It was impossible that this stranger could take such a sudden, intense dislike to me. Either that or this guy had some major issues.
The door opened again, and a gust of wind suddenly moved through the room. The girl who came in merely stepped to the desk, placed a note in the wire basket, and walked out again. But Edward Cullen's back stiffened, and he turned slowly to glare at me with piercing, hate-filled eyes. I was getting tired of this constant stare down. Didn't this guy have a voice.
"You got a problem?" I asked him. If this was about me he could at least talk to me face to face. He narrowed his eyes at me, body becoming completely still.
Still looking at me he spoke to the receptionist, ignoring my question "Never mind, then. I can see that it's impossible. Thank you so much for your help." And with one last look at me, he disappeared out the door.
"Ass Hole" I whispered to myself as I walked up to the desk, and handed her the signed slip.
"Get along with everyone?" the receptionist asked concerned. I could see she was confused as to what just happened
"Yeah, the people here are all just peachy," I chuckled, walking back out the way I came.
When I got to the truck, it was almost the last car in the lot. I sat inside for a while, just staring out the windshield blankly. I could not help but think about Edward Cullen, even though I tried very hard not to.
Clearing my head as much as I could, I turned the key making the engine roar to life and began making my way back to the reservation