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DC by elliejelliebean

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Table of Contents
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Story Notes:

Twilighted Supervisory Beta: qjmom

Twilighted Junior Validation Beta: devilsgenie

Author's Chapter Notes:

A/N: A new story! Yippeee!

Disclaimer: I do not own anything in this story. Not Stephanie Meyer's characters/plotline, not Sidwell Friends School, not the United States government.

Also, a statement about fact/fiction: This story will contain lots of real places, offices, people, etc. There is a bit of a blurry line between fact and fiction. For instance, President Dwight D. Eisenhower existed, and he very well could have had a daughter named Alicia born in 1924, as he actually did have a son in 1922. He did not have a daughter named Alicia, though I tell you that he did and that she, in turn, had a son named Carlisle Cullen, who is currently President of the United States. Carlisle Cullen is not president of the United States. He, however, could be, if he existed and a certain charming Illinios senator did not. Sidwell Friends School does exist, and most first family children go there--the Cullens, however, do not. You get my drift? Things will be as factual as possible--435 Representatives, 100 Senators, etc., but I will mix fact and fiction: the Masens are not a noble English family. ¿Comprendes?

Personal History

Early Life

President Carlisle Cullen was born on January 7, 1962 to Jim Cullen and his wife Alicia, the only daughter of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. His parents met during World War II when Jim, serving as a military doctor in Germany, was injured in an explosion. For treatment, he was sent back to his native Boston, where he had attended Harvard Medical School before the war. Alicia Eisenhower, while attending Boston University, was volunteering as a nurse in the war hospital where Jim was treated. They married in 1948 and lived in New York City for two years, where Alicia acted in several Broadway musical productions. Upon the birth of son Dwight in 1950, they moved to Thatcher, Connecticut. Son Grover and daughter Mamie were born in 1953 and 1957, respectively, and Carlisle followed in 1962. Jim worked as a doctor in the Jane Jillian Memorial Hospital while Alicia wrote a newspaper column and attended to the children; after Carlisle left the house in 1980, she began teaching third grade at the local elementary school.

President Cullen has been known to describe his childhood as “practically perfect,” joking that the one thing that could have made it more so was if the notable success of siblings Dwight, Grover, and Mamie was slightly muted, as Carlisle frequently felt overshadowed—Dwight is currently the ambassador to Germany, Grover is a successful surgeon, and Mamie has published two mildly popular novels.

Marriage and Family

Carlisle met his future wife, Lady Esme Amorth, daughter of Henry Amorth, Duke of Devonshire, while they were both studying at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. They describe being best friends during their freshman year at the university and becoming romantically involved during the summer after their freshman year. After graduating in 1984, Esme moved with Carlisle to New Haven, Connecticut, where he was to study at Yale Law School. There, Esme worked in an advertising firm. The couple was married in 1987, upon Carlisle’s graduation from the school a semester early.

Carlisle received a job in a prestigious law firm in his native Thatcher. Esme worked again in an advertising firm until the birth of son Emmett in 1992, upon which she quit her job and concentrated on raising her children. Daughter Alice was born in 1994, just as Carlisle was busy campaigning for the vacant Connecticut senate seat. He won the election, and the couple moved to Bethesda, Maryland in 1994 to ease Carlisle’s commute. They kept their Connecticut home.

In 1996, tragedy struck the family. Esme’s younger sister Lady Elizabeth Masen (née Amorth) and her husband Lord Edward Masen died in a car accident in their native United Kingdom, orphaning their young son Edward Masen, 3. As stipulated in the Masens' will, the Cullens adopted the young boy, raising him as a third child. He currently lives in the White House and is a junior at the Sidwell Friends School with sister Alice, 16, also a junior. Emmett, 18, attends Brown University.

The Cullen family is notably close to the family of Vice President Malcolm Hale, a former Ohio senator. Malcolm and his wife Beverly are parents to twins Jasper and Rosalie, 18.

Isabella Swan sighed and minimized President Carlisle Cullen’s Wikipedia page. She would soon live a meager half-hour away from the man—she figured she ought to get to know him a little better.

Washington, D.C., her future home, was so much different than the sunny paradise that was Phoenix, Arizona. She loved it there. She loved the cacti. She loved the heat. She loved that the barren land was defined more by the shape of it than what covered it—it felt more true and real. She loved her mother.

But she had always been “gifted”, at least according to various IQ and standardized tests, and after the most boring sophomore year ever, the Phoenix schooling system had been deemed insufficient to educate her. Her mother Renee, a kindergarten teacher, couldn’t afford any Phoenix private schools, and her dad Charlie insisted that if he was paying for the school, Bella ought to live with him.

It wasn’t that he was mean-spirited, but he understood how often Renee was gone with Phil, travelling because of his career in baseball. Besides, he was in full-on Dad mode, a result of marrying the 35-year-old Janelle last year and having a baby six months later. He could take care of her better than Renee could. Or at least, that’s what he claimed.

So Bella was moving in one week to Washington, D.C., where her father worked in the Department of Homeland Security. She would be attending the prestigious Sidwell Friends School, along with the children of every notable politician in the area—including the President. She thought they were all sure to be snobby, status-obsessed young people who were all too aware of the power of their parents.

She looked around her perfectly disorderly bedroom. The bright desert sun shone through the window, illuminating particles of dust in the air. Clothes covered her floor and bed, and the room was a sort of organized mess. Her laptop sat on her bed playing music.

“Bella, honey,” her mother called. “Dinner!”

She could smell chili—Phil must have cooked dinner tonight. She could just barely hear her mother’s laugh from downstairs as she turned off her music, closed her laptop, and left her room.

God, she would miss it here.

Downstairs, Renee and Phil were dancing around the kitchen, the vintage radio that sat on the counter blaring Latin music. Bella smiled and watched them for a second, still taking in the fact that she had only two weeks of this left.

“Ay, mi Bella,” Renee said loudly in broken Spanish, trying to talk over the music. She walked over to Bella and put her hand on her cheek. “Bella Bella. No puedo creer que vas a dejarme sola aquí, en este desierto. Te quiero mucho.”

Oh, my Bella. Beautiful Bella. I can’t believe that you are going to leave me alone here in this desert. I love you so much.

Ever since Bella started taking Spanish the year before when she started high school, her mother had been learning with her through an online course. It was one of her obsessions. Renee wasn’t very good, but she liked it. Plus, Phil couldn’t understand them when they spoke it, which was always a plus.

Phil turned off the music, and suddenly there was silence.

“I don’t have to go, Mom,” Bella responded quietly.

“No, Bella. Es necesario que vayas. Estoy siendo egoísta. Te necesito, querida.”

No, Bella. It’s necessary that you go. I’m being selfish. I need you, dear.

Bella wanted to cry. She couldn’t leave her mother. She couldn’t leave Phoenix. She didn’t have anything against Charlie or Janelle or her little half-sister. She didn’t have anything against Washington, D.C. or private school. She just had something against not being here, in this middle-of-nowhere desert city where she had her friends and her house and her mother.

“Shall we eat?” Phil asked loudly, a little oblivious but perfectly loving as always. He and Renee were well-suited for each other.

They ate spicy red chili with cornbread and Aguas Frescas. The burnt red Mexican tile under Bella's feet was cold; she realized, as she felt it, that this tile was rarely used in houses in Washington. Hardwood, carpet, or softer, more neutral stones were more likely alternatives.

After dinner, she stepped outside onto the rough dirt, still without shoes. She dodged cacti and watched out for snakes as she navigated her way to the top of a nearby hill. She sat in the fetal position on the dirt, watching the sun go down.

“You’ll write me every day,” Renee said suddenly from behind her, startling her. She sat down next to Bella. “Or call. It doesn’t matter. I’ll drop whatever I’m doing to talk to you, querida. And if you need to come home, I don’t care about cost or missing school, you tell me, okay?”

Bella nodded and looked at her mother’s skin. It was wrinkly, sort of leathery, and covered in faded freckles, consequences of too much sun and moistureless air. Her brown hair hung in waves around her face. She wore no makeup, but was still very naturally attractive. Janelle was blonde and pale. She didn’t have any wrinkles, yet, and her face was always covered in a layer of tasteful makeup, evening her skin tone and drawing attention to her pretty grey eyes.

Bella rested her head on her mother's shoulder and they watched the brilliantly-colored sky fade to navy. They sat until the desert air, easily manipulated because of its lack of moisture, became too cold to sit comfortably with summer clothing. They went inside, where Phil was watching the news.

“President Cullen arrived in Iowa today to attend a Town Hall Meeting about his education initiative, with First Lady Esme Cullen and children Alice, Edward, and Emmett accompanying him. In a daring move, the president announced that his children would be answering questions at the meeting scheduled for tomorrow night. Said the President, ‘I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m old and I don’t remember a whole lot about my school days. Moreover, it’s simply a completely different game these days. I need some student perspectives, and Emmett, Edward, and Ally here were already going along for the ride.’ The President has received criticism for presenting his children as examples of the typical American student because they attend private rather than public schools…”

A picture of the white house lit up the screen. The camera zoomed out onto the entire city, spanning the memorials and congress and the great library.

Home sweet home, she thought, trying not to be bitter.


“You’re so lucky!” Bella's friend Rory exclaimed, sitting on top of my kitchen counter with a bag of Cheeseburger-flavored Doritos, her favorite. “I mean, we’ll miss you, chica, but shit! Going to school with Edward freaking Cullen? Not that Emmett isn’t super sexy—he totally is—but People says he’s at college now. Besides, Edward is hotter.”


Bella rolled her eyes at Rory from the fridge, where she was grabbing Cokes for Rory and their other best friend, Carlos. “Actually, Edward isn’t even a Cull—“


“Stop downplaying it, girl. You’re lucky as hell and you know it,” Rory objected.


“Yeah, Bells, I’m celoso,” said Carlos, taking a bite of one of Rory’s chips and grimacing. “Alice está buena!”


Bella laughed. “Yeah, because you know how into girls I am, Carlos,” she said sarcastically. “But come on, let’s be real. What interest is the first family going to have in me? Absolutely none, that’s how much.” Bella closed the fridge and sat on the counter next to them. “I’m just going to be the freaky new girl with no friends. I’m the furthest thing from lucky—I’m moving away! I’m not going to have you, school, my family, anything…” She trailed off.


Rory put her arm around Bella's shoulder, her dirty blonde hair falling into Bella's face. “We’ll miss you, chica, that’s for sure,” she said quietly. “This year won’t be the same.”


The day had arrived. Bella's stuff had all been shipped—all that was left was an enormous suitcase with all the stuff that she would need until all of the boxes were unpacked.

Her flight left at 3:42 in the afternoon. She got there at 3:00 in the hurry of all hurries—Renee had spent way too long on pictures, only to forget where she had put her keys. Phil was at work; Bella had said goodbye to him the night before.

She arrived at the gate, breathing hard, at 3:27, only to learn that the flight had been delayed for two hours because Air Force One was landing at Sky Harbor International. She wondered if the president’s family was here and got jitters in her stomach—only to remember that she would no doubt have classes with them once she got to school. Getting worked up about their presence in the same enormous building was ridiculous.

As she waited, she had that horrible feeling of anticipation in her stomach that makes it almost physically hurt, and it was complimented by intense boredom and dread at the prospect of saying goodbye to her mother. It was not a pleasant two hours.

Finally, they announced that Flight 401 to Washington, D.C. was boarding. Bella's heart pounded in her chest. Her mother was flustered, frantically gathering all of their stuff from their small camp among the rows of uncomfortable plastic chairs. She could tell that her mother was trying to hold back tears. 

“Say hello to your father and Janelle for me, and try to like it there, sweetie, and don’t get into trouble. Who am I kidding? Of course you won’t get into trouble. You should be telling me…Oh dear. I’m rambling. I should just…I’m just going to miss you, baby. So much. I love you. I adore you. Oh, my baby. Querida…Te quiero, niñita.”

“Oh mom,” Bella said, tears running down her face. Renee pulled her into a hug. “I’ll miss you. I love you so much.”

“You should go,” Renee said, wiping her eyes furiously.

“Yeah, I should,” Bella whispered, walking away from her mother. She was crying in earnest by the time she handed her ticket to the lady at the door.

As Bella entered the portable hallway and turned the corner, her mother out of sight, she heard Renee yell, one more time: “I love you so much, Bella!”

Bella couldn’t believe she was doing this. Seriously. What the hell was she thinking?

Chapter End Notes:

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