It was one of the hottest days of the year in Phoenix. I hate the heat but i'll take it any day over the cold. I was in the car with my mom, AC blasting of course. Renee was a very interesting mother. She was a best friend first and a mom second. It's going to be very hard leaving her.
She turned to look at me. Her amberish brown hair was frizzy. She looked me like she was about to cry, like it was the last time i'd ever see her, her brown eyes tearing up as she stared at me.
"You know this isn't goodbye forever, right?", I asked. Obviously poking fun at her.
"Yes, Yes, It's just that... I know you don't want to do this." I felt bad for her. I'm the one who wanted to move with my dad not her. It would be too much for her to travel with Phil while he was working, and periodically come back to Phoenix to make sure i was still alive. Phil was my moms new fiancé who she was utterly obsessed with. I could never know what it was like to be that in love with someone. For them to be your whole world. Your entire existence. I wish I could someday have that. She's been so much happier since they got together.
"It's fine Mom, I really don't mind," I lied to her. I know she can see through it.
"Well, I hope you do try to make it a good time. I don't like the thought of you being miserable while staying with your dad. Just... make sure you email me everyday. Promise, actually."
"I promise I will." I needed her to at least think that i'll respond to her emails daily. I looked down at my phone for a few minutes and suddenly we arrived at the airport. The car slowed to a stop outside the very large building that read "Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport". This was my first time coming to the airport. The other times my mom and I visited my dad in Washington we would do a road trip. It would last us a few days and we would stop in the cities on the way. I couldn't handle the thought of being on the plane. I had to keep telling myself that it would not be as bad as I thought it would.
"Goodbye Ben, I love you so much.", my mom said obviously teary eyed.
"Goodbye Mom, I'll email you soon. I love you." I closed the door shut, opened the trunk, grabbed my suitcase and looked up at the hotel. I took a few deep breaths and walked in.
The plane ride was not as bad as I thought it would be. The only two frightening parts were takeoff and some turbulence. I think I handled it very well. I got down to the gate and saw my dad, Charlie, standing there all by myself. He looked at me awkwardly smiling. I walked up to him and gave him a hug, it was only a little awkward.
"G-Glad to see you. I hope you like it in Forks as much as I do." Forks was the name of the town of only 3,000 people. It was very small but luckily it wasn't too far from larger cities. That's what I was used to. I only lived in Forks when I was very young and my parents were still together.
"Glad to see you too dad." I hope that sounded like it was true. Of course I was happy to see him but it wasn't like I was excited. He was never a fun person to be around but I guess i'm not either. It was easier to see him with my mom there to break the silence often.
"Well.... Let's go." He said abruptly after a few seconds of standing around. We walked down a few hallways and some stairs and eventually made it out to his car. I was surprised when we walked out to a police cruiser. I knew he was a police officer but I didn't know it was his only vehicle. I thought he had another car. I didn't mind or say anything.
"You can put your stuff in the back, Ben."
"Okay, Thanks.", I kept feeling like I sound miserable so that time I tried to sound peppier.
We sat in silence most of the ride. Every once in a while he would chime in with a few things about the town and the school. He mentioned my school, and the house. I listened and said "okay" and "hmm" every couple sentences to make sure he knew I was listening. I got on my phone for a few minutes while he was talking and suddenly I heard.
"...And I got you a truck too. For your birthday." I was shocked. I put my phone down. I couldn't even imagine the look on my face. I closed my mouth after realizing it was open. I looked over at him.
"What? You got me a car?", I was shocked to say the least. "I cant accept that." I hate large gestures like this., and this was a very large one.
"Of course you can. It wasn't expensive, trust me. You need a car to get around in a town like this. It's not like Phoenix, no buses, and everywhere is too far away for walking." I was silent. Trust me, I was grateful but I like getting things on my own.
"Well... Thank you, Dad. I really do appreciate I'm just shocked."
"You're welcome. Again, it's old, very, around 50 years. It's a Chevy Step-side."
"Where did you get it?"
"Off Billy Black. Do you remember him?" I shook my head no. "Oh, well, he lives on the reservation in La Push. He's Jades Dad. Do you remember her? You both used to play together when you were little." I again, shook my head no. "Oh, well she's a little bit younger than you. You haven't seen her in a long time. But I got the truck off him because he can't drive it much anymore."
"Thank You." I repeated just to make sure he knew.
The ride wasn't much longer after that. We pulled up to a older white house with two stories. The drive was was dirt and sitting in the driveway, was a truck. I could only assume it was the one my dad got for me since it was a Chevy. It was a light shade of brown and looked pretty old. I absolutely loved it.
When we got to my room it looked exactly the same as I remember it from vacations. Except this time there was a desk with a computer sitting on top. I sat on the bed and waited for my dad to leave the room. He followed me around the house while I was searching for anything new or different about the house. There wasn't much.
I thought about what cities were nearby. There was Port Angeles and Seattle. I've gone to Port Angeles a long time ago with my mom and Charlie but I don't remember it well. Seattle is we're my flight landed today. Which was a three hour drive to Forks. We would have gotten a flight to the Port Angeles airport but there was no tickets available from Phoenix.
The service in Forks was terrible. I couldn't load a single app or message. I guess I didn't need to. All my music was already downloaded on to my phone or on the few cds I brought with me. This could be a way to finally not be as addicted to my phone. I'm only on it so much because I'm bored but now i've lost that. I also brought books so I could use those to past the time as well. Tomorrow is going to be my first day of high school in Forks. At the moment I do not know how I feel about that. It would be nice to start over and be in a different environment. At the same time, I would just like to be home. I didn't have any friends at my old school so it wasn't like I was missing out on much but it still didn't feel right leaving in the middle of the year.
It was already late by the time we got home. Hopefully Charlie wouldn't mind me going to sleep a little early tonight instead of going downstairs and talking with him. He definitely wouldn't mind. I had my first day of school tomorrow I need rest. I turned on my phone and went to the music app, grabbed my headphones, and pressed shuffle. It didn't take long until I was fast asleep.
I opened my eyes and I was on the beach. I know i've never been here before but it seemed so familiar. I started to walk down the beach feeling the breeze in my hair and listening to the waves crashing along the shore. I felt someone cold grab hold of my right arm tight, I looked and there was nothing there and the feeling had gone away. I stopped walking and looked around the beach. I seemed to be alone but I didn't mind. I tried listening to all the sounds going on in the background. Waves crashing, seagulls squeaking, and something else.... a howl, coming from behind me. It didn't seem to be coming from far away. I turned and there was nothing there. Then behind me, something bites the back of my neck, a mosquito. I hit it fast and it dies on my hand. Then another bite on my leg. Again I hit it and it dies. Then another mosquito lands on my forehead, and then another on my chest, and another, and another. I cannot catch up with the pests, another after another. I feel them biting on every part of my body and I start to panic. I was covered in mosquitos sucking my blood to survive and I couldn't defend myself. After a few seconds of this, everything goes black.
I jolt up from my bed in a sweat. I was trying to not scream. I didn't want to wake Charlie, I couldn't imagine what time it was. I checked the clock and it was 5:30. Even if I screamed, Charlie would be gone. He leaves very early in the morning for his job, I forgot about that. I don't think I'll be able to go back to sleep so I get up from my bed and walk to the bathroom and turn on the shower. I look in the mirror in disgust. My dark brown hair was pointed in different directions, my pale white skin was looking sickly, and heavy bags under my eyes. My hair wasn't too long, it was wavy and could easily fall into my eyes but right now it was sticking up.
It didn't take me long to get ready. I grabbed two books, my phone, headphones, my cd player, and my cds and shoved them in my school bag along with my notebooks and pencils. I went downstairs and looked out the window and of course, it was raining. I expect nothing less from Forks. I don't think there was ever a time I was in Forks and it wasn't raining. I then saw the truck, my truck, sitting in the driveway and I forgot that I didn't know how to drive it. It was a manual and I learned only on an automatic. Would it even start? The truck was older than my dad but it at least got here in one piece. I decided to skip breakfast today because I wasn't hungry. I got in the truck and my things down next to me on the bench seat. I took the keys that I found already in the ignition and twisted them up while pressing on the break. The truck roared to life and it was incredibly loud. I didn't even mind the sound of the truck I was just glad that it turned on. An uncontrollable smile crept across my face as I put the truck in reverse and backed out of the driveway. As long as I push the clutch and put it into first shift I think I could get to school. I don't even know if that was right. I would have to ask Charlie to teach me how to work this after school.
My plan seemed to have worked because I was about half way there and the truck was still moving. I didn't even know how to get to school but the town wasn't big so I couldn't really miss it. On the way to school I couldn't get over my dream last night. It seemed completely random and meaningless. I've never liked bugs, at all. You'd think that on the night before my first day of school I'd get a dream about being bullied. To be honest, i'd rather have that dream.
I finally made it to the school and lined up behind a row of cars. Each car was picking a spot to park in and it was very slow moving. The other cars were similar to mine, not chevy trucks, but older cars. The nicest cars there was a red convertible and a shiny silver car. I finally parked in a spot and turned off the loud engine. I walked across the parking lot and into the front of the school. I entered the office and it was completely empty bedsides a short older woman behind a counter. She has curly gray hair, and glasses that have the string of beads holding them to neck. She looked up at me as the door shut behind me.
"What can I help you with?", she asked.
"Umm, this is my first day. What do I need to do?"
"Well. We already have your forms all set up so all I need to do is give you your schedule and then you're all set to start your first class." She handed a small stack of papers to me. There was more than just a schedule. There was also a map of the school and a list of general rules. The map was incredibly small compared to my last school. I walked through the door connected to the main office that led into the rest of the school. The hallway was lined with bright fluorescent lights. There were two rows of multicolored lockers lining the hallway. There weren't many other students in the hallway, just a few. There was a boy with blonde hair and a girl with pink glasses. I walked by them and they looked at me, almost confused, wondering who I was most likely. I walked down a few more hallways looking for the room number, #122. It took me a few minutes to find the room but I still made it to the room before the first bell rang. This was my English classroom with Mr. Mason.
The class went by pretty fast. In the beginning, I did have to introduce myself to the room but it wasn't as embarrassing as I thought it would be. Most of the kids were looking away from me. When I sat back down, Mr. Mason started reading a book I forgot the name of. I was busy staring out the window at the full lot of cars. The class was over soon. My schedule was set up very different from my old school. I had four classes, everyday, for the rest of the school year. The other four classes had the same schedule but from September to mid - January. This was the first week of new classes. At least I wasn't the only one having to deal with new classes.
My next class was Trigonometry with Mr. Varner. Another class that went by pretty fast. I was about to have a panic attack through most of it because I had no idea what was going on. I already had started this class at my old school, but I didn't make it through much of it before I left. I didn't learn anything in that class, and seeing the same thing as I did before and still not knowing what I was doing was embarrassing. There was a girl with brown hair and brown eyes sitting next to me. She had high cheek bones and a pointed chin. She was vigorously erasing her entire notebook paper while making a high pitched mumming noise. Then, I did something I thought I'd never do, I started talking to her.
"I don't understand any of this, do you?", I figured she didn't because she was erasing her entire paper but I didn't want to be rude and assume she didn't know what she was doing.
"Does it look like I know what I'm doing?"
"Well.... No", I replied, almost worried if I already made the wrong impression.
"Do you how to solve this equation?", she asked while pointing to the third problem on the sheet. "I've been trying to figure it out for fifteen minutes now and I cant do it." Her voice got more frustrated by the end of the sentence. She never took her eyes off the paper.
"No I don't. I'm sorry. That's actually why I asked you, I cant figure out any of this." She finally looked over in my direction and seemed confused. She realized she was talking to a stranger and not another student she's known for years but never talked to.
"You're the new kid right? I heard about you but I haven't seen you yet." She almost sounded excited when she asked. Not in a "I can have a new friend" way but in a "I'm eager to find out all the information I can in the remainder of the class period" way.
"Yes I am. I'm from Phoenix."
"WOW. Phoenix, like Arizona?" I nodded. "Aren't people from Arizona supposed to be like, super tan?"
"Yeah." I said reluctantly. "Maybe that's why they kicked me out." She started laughing, a lot. The joke wasn't very funny but her laugh seemed fake, I ignored it.
"What's your name?", she asked.
"Ben. Ben Swan. You?
"Jessica Stanley. Umm, why don't you sit with me at lunch? It's the next period." I sighed in relief. I wasn't going to have to sit alone during lunch. It also seemed like I have a new friend even if she did seem a little fake.
"Yeah sure, Thank you."
"No problem.", she replied.
When the bell rang, we walked out of the classroom and down the longest hallway yet to the cafeteria. The line for food wrapped around a corner and was lined with student talking with their friends. Jessica and I waited in line by ourselves, not talking, for a few minutes until two other kids showed up. They were the girl with the pink glasses and the boy with blonde hair I saw in the hall earlier when I first walked in. They didn't seem to be a couple, just friends. They all started talking to each other but I wasn't paying attention. The line finally started to move pretty fast. When I got my food and sat down I was alone. Then I heard someone yell my name.
"Ben! I thought you were sitting with us." It was from Jessica.
"Oh yeah! Sorry I forgot." I didn't really forget I just didn't want to wait for them to come to me and find a table.
I walked over and sat down and the girl and the boy earlier introduced themselves.
"Hey, My name is Mike Newton." The blonde boy said.
"And my name is Angela.", the girl with the pink glasses said.
"Hi, I'm Ben Swan." I was glad I had a table to sit at and I wasn't going to be alone. I didn't mind being alone I just didn't want people thinking I was weird for sitting alone.
"Yea, Ben is from Arizona actually. He moved here yesterday." Jessica added
"Arizona! That's cool. Why did you move to such a cold place?", Mike asked.
"Umm. I didn't really have a choice."
"Oh." The table went silent. A few minutes later, Jessica, Mike and Angela started talking together. After a minute a boy named Eric came over to the table and sat down with us. He introduced himself and he already seemed to know my name. I was sitting in silence looking out the window and that's when I saw something strange. Five people, who all look similar, pale white, walked by the window headed for the door to come into the cafeteria. I guess it wasn't "strange" but I felt weird about it. I couldn't explain why.
"Hey Jessica, who are those five kids over there?"
"Oh. Those are the Cullens. They're like a whole adopted family, who are dating each other. See the girl with the blonde girl with the really tall guy? That's Rosalie and Emmet, who are together. Then the weird girl with the boy who looks like he's in pain? That's Alice and Jasper and they're together." I looked in awe. They were all so beautiful. All thin, muscular, pale, and have beautiful eyes. For a second, there was only four of them. Then, there was another walking through the cafeteria door. "Oh, and that's Edward Cullen. He's beautiful isn't he? He has never dated anyone here. I guess no one is good enough for him. Not like I care or anything".
The handsome boy went to sit with the rest of his family. He has brown, almost bronze hair. He was very tall and very pale. He had very strong facial features, high cheekbones. I couldn't help but to stare at him while he sat with his family, staring at the table. Then, he looked up at me. I don't know why, but I didn't look away at first like I would have in any other situation. His almost red eyes felt like they were staring into my soul. After a second I looked away and tried to not think about it. That didn't work, I looked behind me again and he was back to looking down. After that I joined back into the conversation again until lunch was over. This conversation mainly consisted of Mike getting to know me. He asked why I came here, if I had a job, if I had a car and more. I gave him all the answers he wanted. He seems very nice compared to some of the others. Angela and Eric were very nice. Jessica was the only one that didn't seem like the nicest but she was at least nice to me.
Mike told me that he would show me where the Biology room was since he also had that class. Angela also had that class next. When the bell rang, the three of us started walking down there. I stood in the middle with Mike to my left, and Jessica to my right. I almost felt like I was trapped. When we got to class, both of them walked in first, and I walked over to the teacher.
"Hello, I'm the new student, Ben."
"Well Hello there, I heard we had a new student coming in today. My name is Mr. Banner. Welcome, you can take the last open seat right there." He pointed to the table I would soon be sitting at everyday and I audibly gasped. Edward Cullen was sitting in the seat next to mine. I don't know why I made the sound and I immediately regretted it. Mr. Banner obviously noticed. "Is there something wrong with that, Ben?"
"No, not at all. Thank you." I walked over to the table while looking down at my feet. I felt him looking at me as I sat down. After a few minutes, I quickly looked over at him and he was still staring. His pale white arms flexed, almost like he was in pain. He has is hand over his mouth and nose. I wondered if I smelled bad, I knew I was sweating earlier today in the hot classrooms. When I smelled myself, all I smelled was my deodorant. I looked back quickly. I couldn't pay attention to what the teacher was babbling on about. All I could think about was him. Even without turning my head, I could still see his arms still flexed hard. He eventually took his hand off his mouth and nose.
Not once did I look back at him, not once did I look up at the teacher, all I could do for an hour and a half was look down at my legs while his eyes were on me. I'm sure eventually he stopped staring at me, but I didn't want to look up and check. I was too scared.
When the bell rang, he basically jumped from his seat and ran to the door. I was shocked but glad I could finally lift my head. My neck was in so much pain. Suddenly, Mike appears by my side.
"So, you have to sit with Cullen the rest of the year. That sucks. He looked at you for so long and he looked like he was in pain." I was shocked anyone else noticed it. I'm glad I wasn't alone or being paranoid.
"Yea, that was super awkward. I'm not excited with having to deal with this the rest of the year. What class do you have next?"
"I have gym next. What about you."
"Well I can show you where it is if you want."
"That would be great!" I'm glad that I had someone I could get along with. "I have to stop at guidance for a minute. Do you mind?"
"Not at all. We better get going now though, we don't want to be late.", he said as he swiftly started walking towards the door. I followed him until we got into the hallway where he finally matched my pace. I'm tall, 6'0, but I'm slow. I'll trip and land on my face if I go to fast. We walked to the guidance office and Mike waited outside as I walked in. I needed to grab a locker combination, cause I was currently carrying all my things to every class. When I walked in, he was there. I didn't get to close to him. He was at the desk, visibly frustrated. I couldn't hear to much.
"I'm sorry sir but there's nothing I can do."
"No environmental science, no physics, no zoology. What about honors biology?" He was getting more and more frustrated.
"I'm sorry, but we're already halfway through the year, you took your midterm already, and we have no open spaces in any science class."
"Whatever.", he said forcefully while turning around. He stopped for a split second, looking at me. "Guess Ill just have to endure it." He said as he walked out of the room. At this point, I didn't even care about the lock today, I just wanted to get out of there. It's obvious he wanted to switch the class because of me, but I couldn't tell why. Seemed very rude to be honest. I walked out of the office and met back with Mike.
"Where's your lock?"
"It was too busy in there. I'll get it tomorrow probably." We walked through a set of doors that led outside. It was a short walk on a sidewalk to the gym, which was in a separate building.
Gym class didn't go well. We were playing volleyball and I am not good at any kind of sport. I'm extremely clumsy and I wasn't given the option not to play. I probably fell around 4 times. It was incredibly embarrassing but I was thankful when it was over.
I walked to the parking lot after class. My car was at the opposite side of the lot from the entrance. I passed by the two newer cars I saw earlier. I wasn't surprised to see all of the Cullens, including Edward, surrounding the cars talking. As I walked by they all went silent. Two of them, Alice and Emmett looked at me. Edward remained frozen, unmoving. If anyone were to own those cars, of course it would be the Cullens. All who seem the most popular and unpopular people in the school. I got back to my truck and it roared to life. I got into the long line of cars exiting the school.
When I finally got home, I did some homework and cooked food for Charlie and I. He wasn't much of a cook and he gets home late. I assumed he didn't have anything ready. While I was cooking, I didn't think about how I have new friends, or my new classes. My mind was focused on him and the possible explanations for his actions. I came up with nothing. I told myself many times to stop thinking about it, but I couldn't. It was my obsession for the rest of the night. I couldn't keep my mind off it. I got so frustrated at one point, I was fighting back tears.