"Are you ready for your first day?"
My father's voice brought me out of my reverie. "I'm sorry, Dad, what did you say?"
Charlie just chuckled. "I asked if you were ready for your first day of school. You seemed a million miles away."
I shook my head to clear it. "I'm as ready as I'll ever be."
"I think you'll like Forks High. It's small, and you'll do great. I think you'll like it a lot better than that huge school you went to in Phoenix."
I smiled for my father's benefit, but I was already convinced I'd hate Forks High. I couldn't find my niche back in Phoenix when I went to school with 3000 kids. How was I going to find it in a school with a student body of 300?
I had only been in Forks for two days, and I was already regretting my decision to move here. My mother had remarried and decided to do some traveling with her new husband, a minor league baseball player. Mom felt guilty about leaving me, so after much discussion I decided to move to the gloomy town of Forks, WA, to live with my dad. It just so happened that my dad, Charlie Swan, was the Forks chief of police and was very well known. I had a bad feeling that people were going to stare and point a lot.
I also missed the warmth of Phoenix. Forks was overcast most of the time, and I hated it. The gloomy weather usually affected my mood. I was just starting the second semester of my junior year, and I had no clue how I was going to survive a year and a half of this.
Charlie's voice once again broke into my thoughts. "Be sure to look for Alice Cullen at school. I know she'll be excited to see you."
"Who?" I asked, slightly confused.
"You remember Alice. She's Dr. and Mrs. Cullen's daughter," he explained. "You two used to play together when you were little. The Cullens are good friends. Carlisle and I go fishing and camping, and Esme takes pity on me and feeds me a few times a week. Alice is a good kid, and so is her brother Emmett. You'll like them a lot."
I just smiled and nodded. I really didn't remember Alice at all. Then again, I had blocked out most of my memories of visiting my father in Forks. I loved Charlie and loved spending time with him, but I hated being in Forks. For the last four years, our time together was spent vacationing somewhere warm and pleasant. As happy as I was to spend time with Charlie, I felt like I was being exiled to my own personal hell.
Charlie stood up from the kitchen table and brought his dishes to the sink. "Time for me to head out. I'll see you at the diner this evening."
"Really, Dad, I can cook for us," I insisted. "We don't have to go out."
"Nonsense, Bells. It's your first day of school here. We should celebrate." I rolled my eyes, which didn't go unnoticed by Charlie. "Bella, I know you're not happy about going to Forks High, but keep an open mind about it. I think you'll learn to like it if you give it a chance."
I suddenly felt awful. Charlie only wanted me to be happy, and I was sabotaging it. I didn't want him to think I felt that way about him. I really did love my dad.
"I'll try," I promised.
"That's my girl. Have a great day." Charlie lightly ruffled my hair before he left.
I left the house not long after Charlie. I wanted to allow myself enough time to check out the school before class began. I got into the red truck Charlie had bought for me. The truck was ancient, but I absolutely loved it. Charlie's friend Billy Black had sold it to him. Billy lived on the Quileute reservation at LaPush and was no longer able to drive. Despite the fact that the truck was so old, it ran pretty well thanks to Billy's son Jacob, who had totally rebuilt the engine.
It took me less than five minutes to get to school. It was still a little early, so I had no trouble finding a parking spot. I took a deep breath before I headed to the school office.
In the office I was greeted by a middle-aged woman with very red hair.
"Good morning, honey," she said cheerfully. "How can I help you?"
"I'm new here. I'm-
"You must be Isabella Swan," she said, cutting me off.
I just nodded and let the secretary, who I later learned was named Mrs. Cope, chatter on about the school and what I could expect. She gave me my schedule, a map of the school, and my locker assignment before wishing me good luck on my first day.
The first bell had rung, so I made my way to homeroom. I had my nose in my map and nearly knocked someone over as I rounded a corner.
"Oh my gosh, I am so sorry," I apologized.
The girl who I had nearly taken out just smiled and waved it off. "It's OK," she said. "No harm done."
This girl was tiny, barely five feet tall, and her long black hair was pulled up in a high ponytail. Her big blue eyes were lively, and they immediately widened in recognition.
"Bella? Bella Swan? Is that you?"
I just stood there for a moment trying to place who this girl was and how she knew me. I hadn't been to Forks in years. Then I remembered my conversation with Charlie at breakfast. "Alice Cullen?"
"Yes!" she squealed as she grabbed me in a huge hug. She was freakishly strong for such a small person. "It's been forever! I've been so excited to see you every since Charlie said you were moving here!"
I didn't like to draw attention to myself, so I was a little uncomfortable with Alice's display. No one really seemed to notice, though, which made me wonder if Alice was always this exuberant. I was pretty quiet and wasn't sure if I could handle a friend who was so outgoing.
"Let me see your schedule," Alice said. I handed it over, and she began to squeal again. "We have a couple of classes together, first period English and fourth period math. Yay!"
Before I knew it, Alice was dragging me off to our first class. I introduced myself to the teacher, and he gave me a class syllabus. When I went to take a seat, Alice waved and pointed to the seat next to her. I sat down, and she introduced me to the two girls sitting behind her.
"This is Bella Swan," she told them excitedly. "We used to play together when we were little. Bella, these are my friends Angela Weber and Nessie Wolf."
"Hi, Bella! Glad to meet you!" Nessie seemed as excitable as Alice, and I wondered if I could really handle two friends like that. She was also a rather small girl, and I wondered how these little people had so much energy. Nessie's auburn curls bounced excitedly as she spoke.
Thankfully Angela seemed quiet. She was definitely taller than the other two and had light brown hair and a warm smile. I liked her immediately.
Class began, so our conversation was cut short. The class seemed pretty easy, especially since I had already read several of the assigned novels. English was my favorite subject, so I was sure I'd enjoy it.
The morning flew by pretty quickly. Nessie and I had second period American history together. She chatted animatedly the whole way to class as everyone stopped to stare at me, the new girl. In a school as small as Forks High, anyone new stood out.
Alice insisted that I sit with her at lunch. She led me to a table that already had several people sitting there: Angela and her boyfriend Ben, Nessie, and a boy and girl I hadn't met yet.
"Bella, this is my brother Emmett and his girlfriend Rosalie." Although Emmett appeared to be about a foot and a half taller, it was obvious he and Alice were brother and sister. He had curly black hair, big blue eyes like Alice, and a mischievous smile. He looked as if he was fun to be around.
Rosalie, however, seemed aloof and barely acknowledged me. I tried not to be judgmental, but her long blonde hair and supermodel looks screamed "bitch" to me.
We were soon joined by a tall, handsome blonde guy who reminded me of a surfer. Alice happily introduced him to me. "This is my boyfriend, Jasper Hale."
Jasper shook my hand and asked me how my first day was going. He and Rosalie were twins, which surprised me since he was so friendly. Everyone at our table but Rosalie was friendly, and I found myself falling into easy conversation with them.
All too soon lunch was over, and it was time for fifth period biology.
"My cousin Edward is in that class," Alice said as we got up from our table. "Maybe you'll get to meet him."
Emmett laughed. "I doubt it. Edward isn't exactly Mr. Personality these days."
Alice glared at her brother. "Em, he's our cousin. You could be a little nicer."
Emmett held up his hands defensively. "Hey, I love the guy like a brother, but you have to admit he hasn't been very social lately."
"Can you blame him?" Alice asked. "If you'd been through what Edward's been through, would you be Mr. Sunshine?"
I was intrigued about this cousin Edward and his issues, but it was class time. Angela and Ben had biology with me, so they walked me to class. I introduced myself to Mr. Banner, and, after giving me my textbook, he directed me to the only open seat in the classroom.
I sat at my lab table and found myself sitting next to the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. His untidy bronze hair was striking against his porcelain skin and emerald green eyes. Even though he was sitting, I could tell he was tall and lean but well built. I tried not to drool, and I hoped he couldn't hear me gasp at his beauty. He was just perfect. I was completely rendered speechless. How did I get so lucky to have this Greek god as a lab partner?
"Hi," I said shyly once I found my voice, not sure how to approach this Adonis but not wanting to seem unfriendly.
He responded by giving me a cold stare and turning away from me. I looked around to see if there was possibly something around me that could have affected him that way. Nope. Just me. I tried again.
"Hi, I'm Bella."
"I know who you are," he snapped.
I just sat there with my mouth open and wondered how he could be so rude. As Mr. Banner began lecturing, I noticed my partner scooting his stool further away from me. I could feel the blush creeping into my cheeks and tried not to cry. Tears were my usual response to anger, and I really didn't want this idiot to see my cry. I was livid. I hadn't done anything but say hello to this guy, yet he couldn't stand me for some reason. He was stiff and rigid throughout the whole lecture, and when the bell rang he practically ran out of the room. I just stood there in shock.
"Bella, are you OK?" Angela had walked up behind me and placed her hand on my shoulder.
"I just can't believe how rude this guy was," I seethed.
"Edward Masen? Yeah, he's not always friendly," Angela replied.
"Edward? Alice's cousin Edward?" It all started to make sense to me.
Angela nodded. "He's had it rough lately, but it's no excuse to be rude."
"What's his problem?" I asked as we walked to our next class. "Why does he live with the Cullens?"
"His parents died, so he moved here to Forks," Angela explained. "I know it has to be hard on him, but he doesn't have to be so unfriendly. You've seen how great Alice and Emmett are. Alice is an amazing friend. You'd think some of it would rub off on Edward."
I wanted to talk to Angela some more, but we had reached out last class of the day-gym. In Phoenix I was only required to take two years of gym. Forks High, however, required four years. Between this and Edward Masen, I was sure someone was out to get me.
As I expected, gym was a disaster. I was forced to play volleyball even though I was sure I'd injure someone. Thankfully no one was seriously hurt, especially the poor guy who got hit in the head by my serve. The highlight of my day was when the coach sent us to the locker room to get dressed.
The final bell rang at 2:30, and I hightailed it out of the school as fast as I could. I didn't want to run into Alice or anyone else I had met today. I just wanted this day to be over. Unfortunately, I wasn't meeting Charlie at the diner until 5:00. I went home for a bit to do some homework, but I couldn't get my mind off of Edward Masen. I had no idea why he had gotten under my skin so badly.
I was relieved when it was finally time to meet Charlie. He was already at the diner when I arrived, but fortunately he hadn't been waiting long.
"So how was your day?" Charlie asked after we had ordered.
"Pretty good," I lied. "My classes seem easy, and I met a few people."
Charlie nodded. "Did you see Alice?"
"Yeah. I met her this morning. We have a couple of classes together, and I sat with her at lunch. I met Emmett and some of their friends." I paused for a moment. "I also met Edward."
"Nice kids, all of them," Charlie said.
"I don't know," I contradicted. "Edward wasn't very friendly."
"He really is a good kid," Charlie insisted. "He's just been through a lot, losing his parents and all. You'll like him once you get to know him."
I doubted that, but I didn't feel like arguing with my father.
Charlie continued. "Esme Cullen called today. She invited us to dinner tomorrow. You can hang out with Alice outside of school and perhaps see that Edward isn't so bad."
Great. My own father was taking up for Edward Masen. I could deal with Alice and her endless supply of energy, but her cousin was another story. Edward annoyed me, yet for some strange reason I couldn't get him out of my mind. He had been rude to me, though. I was nothing but nice, yet he chose to treat me terribly and ignore me. We'd have to work together as lab partners, but that didn't mean we'd have to be friends. I finally decided to make my life easy and just dislike him. I only hoped I could stick to that decision.