Long ago, Bela Swan had long since come to terms that her life would not be lived normally. She had seen what was supposed to remain unseen, had fought with a man who was not supposed to exist, she had attracted the attention of a family who was kind and had all the reason not to be. Bella Swan had long since come to terms with the fact that her life would never be lived normally. That was, until the day she turned eighteen years old.
Her story started out simple enough, some self-sacrificing bullshit excuse that makes her move to some small cloudy nowhere town in Washington with her estranged father and doing her best to convince herself she hasn’t made some horrible mistakes. It easier to that than she had expected, and somehow she found herself bonding with her father. Things start to go upward, start to get better, she’s made friends (actually real, living, breathing, people who want to get to know her) that care about her and think she’s funny.
Then, then , it happens. She sees them.
She didn’t notice at first, didn’t become aware of their existence until Jessica wanted to, “Bask in their collective hotness.” Bella sees them, she sees them-- and knows instantly that she would not be able to take her mind away from them.
She watches the tall blonde girl lean into a burly boy’s shoulder, watches a tiny elvish girl jump excitedly up and down, tugging on the arm of curly haired blonde boy, watches a redheaded teenager with a boyish smile says something that makes the golden haired girl rolled her eyes.
She wants to know them.
Bella notices her new friends staring at her. “Are they narcs?” The joke is lame and she knows it, but for some reason, everyone begins to laugh.
For the first time, they laugh with her, instead of at her.
She doesn’t think much of the Cullens at first. Sure she wants to talk to them, but in a way that you want to talk to some mildly famous person whose name you can barely remember. It isn’t until Edward Cullen, angry and black eyed and practically salivating, does she think that maybe she shouldn’t bother. She asks to change seats, and she makes some dumb comment when she finds him desperately trying to get away from that class, away from her .
It doesn’t make her feel better.
Time takes things, time is selfish.
Time gives things. Time is selfless.
Time destroys things. Time is ruthless.
Time builds things. Time is merciful.
Take a guess how she’s doing. No really, she wants to know, how do you think she’d be doing right now? Is she alright? Is she depressed? Has she fallen off the deep end and shaved her head and eyebrows, deciding to live in the forest as a hermit? No… she hasn’t. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what she’s feeling herself, hard to tell if she’s doing okay or not.
She goes on about things like usual, ignores the worried looks that Jessica and Angela shoot her, they were the ones that had encouraged her to be with Rosalie-- to take the collective hand that the Cullen's had offered her.
Bella could go on and on about how her 'found family' had hurt her, go on and on and on about the finer points of betrayal and broken promises-- but the truth of things is that them leaving was not something that had been entirely unexpected. It sounds bad, when she puts it that way, sounds like they were gearing for a go at her and then decide to run when the human got too clingy. But they weren't, no matter what her anxiety tells her, she knows why they left-- even if they refused to tell her.
She isn't stupid, isn't entirely oblivious to the way human (vampire) emotions work.
All she had to do was put herself in their situation.
For example: Let's say that you are this super powerful immortal being who survives off killing things like animals or humans. When making a friend of the things you're supposed to eat, you can't help but feel, how would she put it? Ah, yes. Superior. Better. Fundamentally more equipped than your little pal that was never meant to be your friend in the first place. So what do you do when that is tested? When something goes wrong and the control you have over things slips, and you realize that maybe you and the inferior little worm you've been looking down on isn't so different? You lash out, tear it down, and start over again.
Or, an even better example, when you are building something that requires your creative focus. (Art, literature, a statue, etc.) When you mess up, you go, "Hey this isn't so bad, let me fix it." And proceed to do just that, but sometimes, sometimes, you just make things worse. It slowly gets worse the more effort you put into it, and you realize that maybe you should take a break. Maybe you should get back at it sometime later. The path can then split one of two ways, your little piece of creativity gathers dust where you left it, forgotten , or you throw it away, and decide to try again .
In that situation it makes sense to leave it behind, doesn't it? It makes sense to try again sometime later, when you're better at whatever it was you were doing.
It makes sense.
The Cullen family packing up their things, Esme's throw pillows, Edward's piano, Emmett's games, Jasper's books, Carlisle's pictures, Alice's pens, Rosalie's... everything. Bella can not fault them in their thinking, it's perfectly healthy to leave a situation that becomes dangerous for you, perfectly normal to decide, "Hey, I don't want to be here anymore." Which fine , it's understandable to want to go.
What isn't fine, is the way they decided to rip her to shreds on their way to perfect vampire nuclear family.
That. That wasn't fine .
Bella wasn't a person with the healthiest coping mechanisms, she could admit that. So when she saw what was happening, she combed through the situation, watching from her mind's eye what they did, what they didn't, how, and why.
They were perfectly entitled to move, to leave her alone.
They were not entitled to break her heart, they were not entitled to tell her she was family and then excluding her out of familial decisions, they were not allowed to her hurt her because they think it's good for her.
Frankly, she thought that Rosalie had known better.
Well, that shows what she knows.
(It's nothing, Bella knows absolutely nothing about what happened and what was going on and why would they leave her here? Why would they not want her? Did they see something she didn't, did they decide she wasn't good enough for them and that she was disgusting and miniscule and mortal --)
Whatever. It was fine.
(Words she held onto when things were not, in fact, fine. She never thought she'd have to use them in regard to the Cullen family)
Hey, it’s me, you know that human you guys adopted? Aha-- you remember me right? If not your supposedly infallible vampire brains aren’t as great as you made them out to be. (But let’s be real, if your mind was that great you wouldn’t have done something so stupid-- ugh.) Look, I get that you think you’re doing the right thing here, and I understand that you guys are worried about my soul or whatever. But you have nothing to worry about! I’m fine!!!!
You guys were really quick to jump ship huh. Whatever. Just please respond. It isn’t funny anymore, please come back.
With love (and annoyance), Your human friend Bella
Okay, so this is the fifth email I’ve written you so far, and in each and every one of those stupid letters I’ve just been begging you to come back and fix me. Clearly, I should’ve expected less from you. So much for sisters am I right? Sorry. Sorry, that was mean of me to say. I don’t usually use low blows, but something about this entire thing makes me rethink my entire outlook on life, or more accurately, death.
I wouldn’t call me obsessed.
But that doesn’t mean everyone else would agree with me.
I don’t know how to explain it. I don’t know how to process the tight bundle of emotions in my chest, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. It just feels like I used to be a raging storm, full of wind and lightning and rain, and someone’s just taken it all away from me.
I know I make a lot of jokes about death. I know that. But I’ve never really meant them, not until now at least. Not until I realized you guys probably wouldn’t be coming back. It feels stupid. God it feels so stupid. You’d think a girl would learn, right? I must be so pathetic, just downright childish. Who does this? I mean who wants to die just because a girl doesn’t want to be in a relationship anymore? It feels like more than that though.
Tell Esme she’s more like my own mom now, so she can stop trying to fill that gap in my life. God another low blow. I really suck at this whole ‘moving on’ thing, don’t you think?
With reluctant love, Your human ‘friend’ Bella
Sorry about that last letter... it just feels shitty you know? Getting told by someone you cared about that you don't really matter that much anymore. But I don't want to vent to you anymore, it feels wrong, like I'm complaining about an issue so trivial everyone rolls their eyes when I bring it up. (At least... I hope they don't... should I apologize to Jake? He's been reluctantly listening to me ramble about Rosalie more than you have probably.)
The point is, if you're reading these letters, I'm not trying to make you feel guilty for leaving Forks.
At least, I hope I'm not.
Since you haven't replied and I've sent about like... twenty emails, I'm just going to talk about my day, and my week, and my month, and what feels like my eternity. It just feels like, if I pretend that you're on a vacation, that you've received my letters and actively read through them, then I have someone who understands, someone to talk to. I've never been good at explaining how I feel, but I've decided to give it a shot.
I hope you're cool with that, Fake-Imagination-Alice.
Anyway, I guess I'll just start about how my day went.
I'm not going to lie and say I didn't feel the absence of your family.
I'm not going to lie and say it doesn't feel like the clouds don't remind me of her sparkling skin.
I'm not going to lie to you, Fake-Imagination-Alice, because... well because I hoped you wouldn't do the same for me.
Do you remember that time I came home early, and we talked about my mother?
You probably have to, despite how much you probably want the memory of me scrubbed from your brain. That perfect vampire memory doesn't sound so great right about now, as I think about it.
But anyway, I remember thinking of it like a tree of issues that I hadn't managed to kill off yet, like me talking to you was pouring gasoline on it's branches, litghting a match and watching it burn as bright as James did.
…my wrists and my arms hurt when I think of him.
But that wasn't the point, I keep getting off track. (Off topic? Which one do you think sounds better?)
The point is, I had a good day.
The cafeteria served pizza, like real honest to god pizza, none of that school food crap.
Oh! And Jessica said something really funny.
So... yeah. It was a good day.
Love, Your human friend Bella.
The time that followed the Cullens departure were uneventful. Bella lost all track of the concept of time, routine something she clung to desperately. Go to school, smile at her friends, make an inelegant joke, eat an apple, head home, homework, cook for Charlie, sleep. Her weekends had no structure, the days she spent without something to hang onto spent sitting in her old rocking chair, and staring outside her window.
It was beginning to get too much for her father, Bella knew that, she felt guilty. But still, she did nothing different, nothing to show that she was as human as the rest of them. Her grades went up. Her weight went down.
Pushing and pulling, and endless cycle.
"Bella." Jessica said. "We're heading down to La Push this weekend." Her words were spoken slowly, like she didn't expect her to understand the words that were being spoken to her. "Do you... Do you maybe want to come with us? I heard that boy your friends with, Jacob, would be there, you get along well with him, right?"
She blinked once. "Um." What would she do? The thought of staying in her room feel stuffy all of a sudden, too full of memories of the people who left her. "Yeah." La Push was the one place the Cullens had never dared to touch. "Yeah, let's do it."
Bella didn't know it then, but deciding to do something other than stay in her room all day, led to a path of destruction she doubted even Alice would have been able to predict. (Kind of funny, if you think about the irony of trying to better yourself only to end up in a worse place than where you started.)
The trip took her father by surprise, Bella could tell that he was thankful to whoever had convinced her to leave the house. It was kind of disheartening, having it painted so obvious on Charlie's face that something was wrong with her. She wondered what would have happened if Jessica would have not been able to convince her to join them, would her father eventually grow tired of her depression, would he present her with an ultimatum? Her mother often did that when things got too dark for her to bare on her own.
She chatted softly with Angela in the van, laughing a little at Jessica and Mike's bickering, relishing in the dirty looks that Lauren shot her. She felt more human than she had since the Cullens had left. In those stolen moments with her friends, she began to wonder briefly, if this is what Rosalie had meant when she said she wanted Bella to have a more human life.
Bella felt like calling bullshit.
"Bells!" A familiar voice shouted excitedly when she exited the car.
She turned, a bit of surprise in her expression before she caught sight of a teenage boy who had called to her. "Hey Jake." She grinned, making her cheeks hurt. Bella had grown too used to not smiling.
"Where have you been?" Jacob whined a little, fiddling with the end of his ponytail. He looked like a kicked puppy, pouty lips with big eyes and all. "I haven't heard from you in a couple of weeks..." He trailed off, he knew that she was torn up about the Cullens leaving, but had no idea how deep into sorrow she had spiraled into.
Bella blinked, had it really been that long? "Sorry dude." She shook her head. "I..." She hesitated. "I kind of broke my phone."
She wasn't lying, two weeks after the... 'incident,' she had been so very angry. Long story short, Bella decided that everyone sucked, and decided to storm out of the house. She had went to throw her telephone on her bed, but overestimated the power in her arm, and shattered it against the pale purple walls of her bedroom.
Charlie hadn't been particularly happy about that.
Jake laughed a little. "Did you do something stupid?"
She glared at her shoes. "...kinda."
They spent the day together, laughing and living.
Bella only thought of Rosalie once.
Mike is such an asshole sometimes. A part of me wonders what Jess sees in him, why she lets him treat her like some second rate toy he gets bored of playing with every once and a while. I mean, what makes him so desirable? I mean, sure, his eyes are colored and his hair is blonde-- but other than that he acts like every other white boy you find on the street.
On a much brighter side, there is one boy who I can potentially see as boyfriend material.
Jake's nice, isn't he?
I tried to get Jessica to talk to him earlier today, hoping that maybe some sparks would fly, or at the very least she'd realize the difference between a nice boy and a 'nice guy.' I'd put a little trademark sign on the second one, but I can't figure out how to do that on the computer. Anyway, my little scheme didn't even really work the way I wanted to. Jake absolutely hated hanging around Mike, and a couple other of his 'bro' friends I didn't know.
It's not like I could blame him, after all, I was equally (if not more) repulsed by the sheer amount of bruised egos and small dicks hanging around me today.
Jake liked Eric though, got on well with Angela, and was civil with Jess.
Not my desired outcome, considering I'd hoped Jess might notice the difference between dope af and stale white bread, but I did notice something odd, anyway.
Angela seemed strange, I guess. Like she kept shooting me and Jacob weird looks.
I wonder if she saw something I didn't, she's always been better at that than I have.
Love, Your human friend Bella
Sooooooooo... I think I hate you.
Y'all are some type of stupid thinking I wouldn't notice the college fund. Not fucking cool dude. What, did you deposit money in the bank account when I wasn't looking? LIke that would make up for everything that's happened since I've known you? Fuck off.
A part of me is hoping that you did this before you left Forks, before you decided not to cater to the whims of some puny human anymore. But I know you didn't, because I've been running my mother's bank accounts since I was thirteen you fucking asshole.
I get notifications still.
Since Renee doesn't know where the money came from, I'm donating all of it to a charity.
I don't need your blood money.
Don't pull a fucking stunt like this again.
Sincerely, I won't hesitate bitch
"So you've decided to hang around La Push more?" Her father asked, visibly trying to hide his excitement. Jacob watches from the living room, giggling into the palm of his hand.
"Yeah dad." She grumped a little. "I really like the beaches." Her voice is deadpan. "The people leave much to be desired, though."
She can practically feel Jake beginning to pout, his lower lip wobbling. Bella finds herself wondering when they had become so close to each other, but decides that question could be answered at another time, and instead turns to face her father once more.
Charlie Swan smiles, and there's a curious look in his dark (yet warm) brown eyes. It becomes clear suddenly, that he's seeing something similar to his friendship with Billy Black, something ageless and endless, immortal and invulnerable. He's seeing another pair of teenagers become attached to each other in such a way that could only last lifetimes, and he's so very happy for her it actually kind of hurts.
"Well alrighty then, Bells." He said then, tone light and voice gruff. "Maybe Jake will get you into some friendly teenage trouble."
How right he would be was something she'd never be able to tell him.
You're still a cunt, but I have feelings I need to process, and so far the only way to do it is by writing them out to you like I'm some seventeenth century scorned lover. (Which I kind of am, sort of.)
Jake's been weird.
I've been hearing and seeing the disembodied voice of your stupid-as-fuck sister.
And I'm like fifty percent sure Victoria wants to fucking kill me still.
Not to mention there are fucking wolves the size of bears now???
You know, just a regular Tuesday.
Yeah that's right, Victoria's back. What she's doing right now is such a fucking mystery though, she hasn't tried to kill me, though Laurent said she would, and these giant wolves came out of nowhere while I was out hiking (i wasn't hiking I was chasing your sister's voice but lets not talk about that) and straight up fucking wrecked him??? I don't get it... I hope your cousins weren't expecting him back or something, I remember Edward mentioning something about sending him up there.
But I don't want to get to much into my near death experiences right now, it's not like you're even reading these. (yeah I got another alert for more money in the account, you ass)
Jake is being strange. He's always running a fever, and looks near death somedays-- but for some reason Billy won't take him to the hospital. It's irresponsible, and frankly, pisses me off-- but I can't really say anything to Jacob without him going near ballistic. Adding on, he's been scared lately. He says that Sam Uley and his pack of thugs keep looking at him, he told me that sometimes at campfires, when they start telling stories, Sam and his 'second-in-command' Paul or something, will just stare him down-- unflinching and shameless.
I'm scared for him.
But at least he still lets me braid flowers into his hair.
Anyway, I met Leah Clearwater (more like met her again, Charlie said we used to play when we were younger) and it turns out she kind of hates me? I don't know why, but Charlie told me that her dad died earlier this year, and her fiancée cheated on her with her cousin... so I can't really complain how she's treating me right now tbh
I don't know how to help her, even though I kind of want to.
From what I remember from my time as a tiny child in Forks, the Clearwater siblings were wonderful, sometimes I get flashes of what feels like my childhood-- a tall girl with scraped knees, a chubby little baby without any teeth, a mud covered pack of little boys.
But I can't tell if that's all me, or something my mind came up with because of the guilt I felt when I didn't really remember anybody.
Anyway, from what I can (vaguely) remember about Leah as a child, was that she was the fucking coolest! She always used to bring me cookies, and she'd punch out anyone who talked bad about how short Jake was or about how clumsy I was-- she was a protector. It's something I can appreciate in a person.
But I only have those fuzzy memories about her, I don't know what she wore, what her favorite game or color was, why she hung around with me-- I don't know anything about her.
So I'm going to find out.
Love, Your human friend Bella
Leah Clearwater still kind of totally hates me, but at the moment she has been admittedly less vocal about it. (I'll consider it a win) Jake's still been really weird though, he cut off all his hair-- one of his (in my opinion) best features. There goes all my hard work as a flower-hairstylist, but even worse, he's been hanging around with Sam Uley, the real big guy who he was scared of a week ago.
Since he's been with those wannabes, he's been waiting on Sam hand and foot-- and won't handle any disrespect about his 'alpha'... whatever that means. (I think it's some gang lingo that Sam came up with, it sounds like the type of lame thing he'd say)
There have been some murders all around us, hikers mostly-- Charlie said that it looks like animal attacks, but I know better. The bodies have been drained of blood.
Angela and Jess think I've been anxious because I'm afraid of all the death, but the truth is I've been anxious because it has to be Victoria. Who else would it be? Who else wants to kill me, huh? I just hope that she comes and fucks with me soon-- I don't like the fact that all these people are dying because I set James on fire.
But... a part of me wants her to come and grab me because I just don't want to be here anymore.
The second I think it though, I always get angry at myself. Who would keep Charlie company? Who would Leah hate? Who would Jess laugh with? Who would Angela read to?
Every answer to those questions doesn't have to be me, but I'd rather that they not have to go through a period in time where the questions remained unsolvable, unanswerable.
But then again, what do I know, right?
Love, Your human friend Bella
What the fuck dude? Wolves! Like absolutely bat-shit-ly insane, huge fucking wolves! That's not even the worst part! No, the worst part is that they turn into testosterone filled dickwads when they feel like it, and somehow they've turned Jakey into one of them!
"oh it's the genetics Bella, don't worry, it's in my blood, Bella, it's all natural" Fuck off.
Other than that, things have been the usual. Remembering your sister, avoiding the hallucinogenic disembodied voice, and trying not to die before making sure that Charlie would be okay on his own.
Yup. Everything's the u-sh (pronounced like 'us' in 'usual')
I'm so tired, Alice. So very tired it actually kind of hurts when I blink, because even closing my eyes for the briefest second reminds me of the rest I may never take-- the sleep that may overcome me.
Brightside, Leah said something nice to me earlier this week.
I know! It was such a surprise.
When she found out I killed James she said, "I guess for a leech lover, you aren't that bad." Which was awesome! On the downside though, when she found out that Victoria was killing everybody because she wanted to kill me, Leah just sort of stared at me, for a real long time. It felt like she was considering take my head off, and then delivering it to the vampire herself. It wasn't a fun thought, mainly because I thought we had just started to get alone, you know?
Leah actually kind of reminds me of your sister sometimes, because I could never tell if she wanted to kill me or not-- or whether she was serious or joking.
Maybe, instead of them being similar, I'm just exceptionally unobservant?
I don't know, that doesn't feel quite right either.
Love, Your human friend Bella
Victoria attacked us.
Well, more accurately, she attacked the wolves.
I was there too though, so I feel like I can say 'us' without it being to presumptuous. But here's the thing, she did it entirely alone-- and even with whatever little quirk (Jake's convinced me to watch My Hero Academia) she has, she still decided to attack the entire pack without any back up-- and we didn't know why... at least at first.
Paul thought it would be an easy win.
He almost died.
He charges her, over confident and ready to tear her apart, when two other vampires-- newborns-- leaped from the trees and wrapped their arms around him. They held him together, watching the wolves who had been ready to spring in and follow through in their promise to kill every vampire that threatened their way of life, when Victoria started talking.
"I don't want to kill him." She said, though the smile on her lips had convinced me that she was lying through her pearly fangs. "Isabella and I just have to have a little chat."
I had moved forward immediately, but Jake took the back of my sweatshirt in his huge jaws, and wouldn't let me move forward. No matter how hard I tried, he wouldn't let me go-- until Sam's wolf nodded, his legs and body still tensed. It was clear that my best friend didn't want to let me go, but he still obeyed, something that got me wondering just how strong that voice Sam had was.
I remember looking at Leah's wolf then, and feeling like something had punched me in the stomach.
I asked Victoria to let Paul go, but she refused-- something about not trusting 'dogs.' It had made my blood boil, but I knew I had no real choice when the newborns started to tighten their arms around him.
"Listen listen listen." She crooned outload to her goons. "Listen how her little human heart runs wild." She'd said the word 'human' like it was something to be deteseted, something that deserved nothing-- and I knew in that moment that if she wanted she could kill me, and get away with it.
"I didn't like James much." She had said when I was close enough, whispering the words in my ears-- voice smooth and melodious. "But see-- I'm a very loyal person by nature, and I find I owe him a little bit of vengeance, just this once."
Victoria was on me then, gripping my face and baring her strikingly white teeth. "Which vampire killed him? I only want their name, little dove-- only that one will die, the rest will live, and so will you."
I hadn't believed her for a second, and began to laugh.
Her fingers squeezed me tighter, and I have the bruises to prove that she hadn't been the least bit gentle. She asked me what was so funny, but she worded it like some sort of supervillian, like I was supposed to care what she was saying and doing to me.
I told her I had killed James.
Her response was curious.
"Oh?" She sighed, like she was actually disappointed. "I guess you'll have to die then."
What happened next, I really don't know.
All I remember, is wanting her off.
And then she was.
I remember watching as she yelped, red hair everywhere as she was shoved off of me by some type of invisible force-- and was launched into the trees.
My head felt like it had been split open, and I was distantly aware of the blood trickling from my nose and ears-- it was enough to distract the newborns, who rushed forwards, forgetting about Paul, and wanting me.
The wolves made quick work of them.
What happened next... was Jacob staring at me (a little naked) like I was some sort of superhero.
I guess... in that moment, I sort of was.
The wolves told me that I had been the one to shove Victoria off of me, that something I did had sent her flying over the trees of the forest.
I don't like the thought I might be something different than human, not anymore.
Love, Your human friend Bella
Bella Swan finished up her last letter, pressing send and then getting up from her computer. She stumbled out of her chair, stretching her arms out behind her, trying to get some feeling back in them.
Whatever she had done to Victoria wouldn't hold her for long, and Bella could only imagine how angry the vampire would be after getting launched into space. Bella winced, gripping at her jaw, whatever the woman had planned would hurt many people.
She was tired.
Suddenly, a doorbell could be heard reverberating throughout the house-- Bella felt her muscles relax. It was probably Jake, she decided as she made her way downstairs. He had promised to meet up with her as soon as the elders finished having a council meeting.
"Jake?" She called opening up the door with a yawn, head craned upward as she expected to be met with the warm brown eyes of her best friend. Bella rubbed at her eyes tiredly, nobody stood in front of her. She looked again, finding only an oddly looking familiar Mercedes parked in front of her house.
"I can't believe I have to say this again." A gentle voice said. "But down here."
Brown eyes met gold.
"Hey Bella." Alice Cullen said. "How've you been?"
Worse now, she thought. Fuck.