Chapter 1 What the fuck?!?
It was a routine trip back to base when we ambushed. The middle of Afghanistan is a dangerous place, especially for U.S. military troops. I was providing cover for my comrades when I saw it. A sniper. Aimed at Marshall. I didn’t think, I just acted. I threw myself at him. Then there was darkness.
The next thing I know I am in a small bathroom looking in a mirror. Except I can’t be looking at a mirror, the person in the reflection is most certainly not me. What the fuck? That is all I can think as I put my hand to the glass and watch as the reflection mirrors my movements. What the actual fuck? How is this possible? How can this person staring back at me be me? The face staring back at me was heart-shaped with chocolate brown eyes and porcelain doll skin. My eyes were blue and I was tanned from all my time in the desert.
Okay, take a deep breath. Everything is going to be okay. I just have to think. I was in the desert and jumped to cover Marshall from a sniper. Shit. Was that it? Was I dead? Was this hell? I had a hard time believing hell was a place where you switched bodies with someone else.
“Bella! Are you almost ready? You’ve been in the bathroom for 15 minutes!” Shouted a feminine voice from outside the door.
Okay. So this body’s name is Bella. There is a woman waiting for her to be ready. Ready for what? What is going on? I decided that binding my time was the best course of action.
“I’ll just be a little bit longer!” I shouted hopefully loud enough for the woman to hear.
“Renee, tell Bella that she’s going to miss her plane if she takes any longer.” A male voice said.
“Did you hear that Bella?” The woman named Renee said.
“Yeah, I’ll be out in 5 minutes.” I called back.
Okay. 5 minutes to get your shit together because if you go out there and start trying to explain what is going on, they are going to put you in an insane asylum. Okay. I am a motherfucking marine. I can do this. Put on my poker face, get ready to bullshit my way to a plane, and gather as much intel about the situation as possible. Okay, I can do this.
Grabbing the doorknob, I walked out into the unknown.
“Honey, are you okay?” Renee (I think) asked me.
“Yes, I’m fine. I’m just nervous about the flight.” Hopefully that line would work.
“Oh honey. You know that you don’t have to go to Forks if you don’t want to?” Renee said.
I was distantly aware of the fact that she was still speaking but my mind was caught on the word Forks. Because Forks+Renee+Bella= Twilight. My brain was short circuiting. Was I really stuck in Twilight? One way to find out. I interrupted whatever Renee was saying.
“It’s okay. I want to stay with Charlie.” I looked at her hoping that she would have no idea who I was talking about. Because if she did, then that would mean I was in Twilight. There was no way around it.
“Okay. I’m sure that he will be really happy to see you.” She replied not seeming to mind that I interrupted her. Well shit. So that was that. I was in Twilight. I followed Renee out to a car and got in the backseat. A man, who I could only presume was Phil, was driving.
“Finally.” Phil said.
“Sorry.” I replied numbly. On the outside, I was stone faced. Completely emotionless. On the inside I was seriously freaking out. What the fuck? What the fuck? What the fuck? What the fuck? What the fuck? Okay, take a deep breath. Approach this calmly and rationally. What are the facts? My name is Bella. There is a woman named Renee who cares about me. I am on my way to a town named Forks to a man named Charlie. This is Twilight. I’m in Twilight.
Okay, so I was doing pretty good. I was not screaming and crying like I wanted to. I was stone-faced as we arrived at the airport and as we went through the process of finding my flight. The whole time, Renee kept looking at me with a concerned expression like she wanted to say something. Once I was sure I could keep it together, I turned to Renee and simply said, “Mom, it’s going to be okay. I’m going to be okay. I’m just a little nervous about flying there. But I do want to go to Forks.”
All of what I said was true. I was going to be okay. I was nervous about flying there because I was nervous about actually getting there and what that would entail. I also did want to go to Forks. I knew if I spent any serious amount of time with Renee, she would know something was off. She would know I wasn’t her Bella. Or that I wasn’t Bella at all. Charlie, on the other hand, would most likely chalk up any personality changes to the fact that I am a teenage girl and we haven’t lived together in years. Hopefully.
Renee seemed satisfied with my answer and we continued on our way.
On the flight over, I calmed myself down by taking deep breaths and counting them. Once I was at 50 breaths I knew I was calm. Okay, so what do I do now? Do I go along with the plot of Twilight? It was one of my favorite book series so I knew a lot of the details. Or at least I hope I did.
I debated whether or not to just ignore Edward or play along. If I ignored him, there was no guarantee that he would leave me alone. But I didn’t know if I could pretend to love him. And there was no way I could ever love him. Truly love him. Like I loved her. There was just no way. That kind of love only happens once in a lifetime. In the end, I decided to just let things be. I would not ignore Edward but I would not express any interest either. I would let things happen. Maybe we could be friends. Although how we could be friends with the mountain of secrets between us, I do not know. Yes, that is what I’ll do. I will be friends (as much as I can be) with Edward.
That decided, I moved onto other topics of things I needed to address. This body is so weak and thin. I could feel zero muscles. Which was a problem. I liked my muscles. I liked being able to show the boys what for. I liked being able to put them in their place if they ever forgot themselves and tried to get handsy or pushy. Strength wasn’t all there was to fighting but it sure as hell helped.
For the rest of the flight, I came up with a detailed workout schedule that would bring me back to where I was. I would have to ask Charlie where the closest gym was. Even in a town as small as Forks, there had to be a local gym. If not, I could change some things so that I could do it at home. But I would have to get weights. Plan sorted, I was surprised to hear that we were approaching our destination and to put our seatbelts on.
Here we go.
I also decided to treat my interactions with Charlie as missions. Undercover missions. Looking at it tactically helped me deal with the situation. Looking at it from an undercover point of view, I would be able to call him dad. I would be able to act like he was my father because that was what undercover work really was, acting.I didn’t really know what exactly to do, seeming as I never had a dad myself. I had many foster dads but I never stayed anywhere long enough to really consider any of them a father figure. I would just have to go based on movies and tv. That should work great. Heavy sarcasm there.
Here we go.
I departed the flight and went to baggage claim. I had to pay extra attention to the fact that I was looking for Isabella Swan’s luggage. Eventually the two suitcases came around and I picked them up. Now it’s time to face Charlie.
Here we go.
Remember. This is an undercover mission. Call him dad and smile and be polite. Don’t forget to answer to the name Bella. Okay. I can do this.
This is what I kept repeating to myself on the walk over to where Charlie was.
“Hi.” I said as I finally found him.
“Hey Bells.” Charlie replied in a stiff sort of tone, like he didn't know what else he should be doing.
Oh dear lord this was so awkward.
Putting a smile on my face I said, “Okay, do you want to grab one of these bags and show me where you parked the car.” That seemed to do the trick. He smiled awkwardly and moved to grab the bigger suitcase.
“Sure. It’s this way.” He said, leading me to the exit.
We spent much of the car ride in silence. I turned on the radio the first chance I got and we were listening to an alt rock channel. Charlie didn’t seem to mind. Maybe he liked alternative rock.
Eventually, Charlie started talking. “So, it’s good to see you Bells.”
“It’s good to see you too. Dad.” My response was somewhat stilted. Undercover mission is what I repeated to myself.
“I found a good car for you.” He continued and I remember this from the book.
“Really? Thanks!” I told him with false enthusiasm. Although it was nice of him to buy his daughter a car, even a crappy one like the truck.
“Do you remember Billy Black down at La Push?” He asked.
“I think so.” Is what I decided to go with, because Bella didn’t remember in the book but I sure as hell knew who Billy Black was.
“Well he’s in a wheelchair now, so he decided to sell his old Chevy truck to me for pretty cheap.”
“How old is old?” I asked just because I felt like it. I already knew how old it was.
“Honestly Bells, it’s from the late 50’s early 60’s, but Billy’s son did a lot of work on the engine so the thing runs great.”
I already knew this to be true. The thing ran really loud but it never caused Bella any trouble. I also know that Edward for sure sabotaged it in order to buy Bella a new car in Breaking Dawn. But all I said on the matter was, “Okay cool. Thanks dad.”
“You’re welcome.” He said, clearly surprised by me just letting the matter go.
We spent the rest of the car ride in silence once more.
Eventually, we arrived.
“Here we are.” Charlie said, gesturing to the house he had just pulled up to. The truck was in the driveway.
I got out and walked over to the truck. It was really sweet of Charlie to buy his daughter a car so that she would be happier here. “Thank you.” I said to him more sincerely this time with a warm smile on my face. That was the first genuine thing I had said to him. Maybe I could make this work.
“You’re welcome.” He muttered again, clearly embarrassed by my sincerity.
Once I was alone in my room, I started to unpack. Putting away my clothes, I noticed that Bella had little in the way of clothes for the cold and wet. I was already planning an out of town trip to secure some combat knives and some other essentials, like music. I absolutely needed a little mp3 player and a pair of headphones for if things get really bad. Music was my coping mechanism for my nightmares. It was also my coping mechanism in general. I always felt better when I could listen to music.
I sorted through Bella’s books and found that she preferred older books, there was little fantasy and sci-fi which is what my book cases were mostly comprised of. A trip to the public library was also in order then.
After putting the books away on bookshelves, I finally found Bella’s stash of cash. There was quite a bit for a teenager. I remember that Bella was planning on buying a car before Charlie told her he had already done so. This meant that Bella had a fair amount of cash. There should be enough for an mp3 player, earbuds, and clothes. As well as knives, knife holsters, and sharpening materials.
I may be stuck in a weak body (for now) but damned if I was going to be defenseless.
With everything unpacked, I started to go through the workout routine I cooked up on the flight over. I started out not using any weights (because I didn’t have any) but it was still extreme. I was exhausted pretty quickly, but I continued. My arms hurt but I still continued. My everything hurt but I still continued. I was trying to exhaust myself to the point that I would not have any nightmares. Which wasn’t healthy but I didn’t care. I didn’t want to have any nightmares.
Eventually I finished. My entire body felt like jello. On the clock in the room, it said it was 7:00 pm. I should make some dinner.
I was covered in sweat so I took a quick shower and put on some clean clothes before heading downstairs. My body still felt like jello but I persevered. I looked in the fridge to find not much there. But there was cereal. As I was grabbing a bowl Charlie walked in.
“Hey Bells, what are you doing?” He asked, seeming confused as I pulled out a box of cereal.
“Making cereal.” I responded.
“For dinner?” He seemed stuck on this.
"Yes, for dinner. I’m too tired for anything else and I don’t want to go out. So, cereal.” You can never go wrong with cereal.
He seemed to finally realize my exhaustion as he let the matter go. “Okay Bells, I’m going to the diner for dinner. Are you sure you don’t want to come?”
“Okay.” He said somewhat awkwardly before leaving.
I enjoyed my cereal in peace.
I slowly made my way upstairs and collapsed into bed.
The first day in Forks was done but tomorrow I would have to face an altogether different and more hellish beast. High school.