I hate this room. With a deep-seated fiery passion of a million hells. I don’t mean to be melodramatic, really. But it’s a fact. In the brighter daylight hours, it’s nearly bearable. But here, near midnight, it’s anything but. Dark, desolate, suffocating, and hidden corners and crevices. I could feel the familiar fear and panic creeping up my chest just opening the door. I couldn’t even get an ounce of comfort from the full moon tonight, blocked by the clouds so common here and even more so by the Cullens’ freakishly large mansion towering outside my window. Aunt Esme and Alice worked so hard to decorate this room for me; I almost felt a swelling of guilt when I reached in just far enough to snatch my school bag from the floor beside the door and bolt away from the room towards the kitchen.</p>
This was where I had been spending my nights since I moved up here to Forks, Washington a week ago. The kitchen was warm, and open. Always bright, and full of good memories. Nothing awful has ever happened to me in a kitchen. I’ve been doing all the cooking since I arrived. Esme was slightly peeved at first, surrendering her kitchen duties to a 17 year old girl, but she eventually gave in, seeing how much I enjoyed the tasks. And it was such a rarity to witness me enjoying anything.
So I’ve made a careful routine of spending my nights in here, baking, cooking, and doing homework. Anything but sleeping in that wretched, dark bedroom. Everyone in Phoenix called it insomnia. I’ve already had the lectures from physicians and professionals, all specifically trained and formally educated to keep my ‘well being’ their ‘top priority’. I’ve had the sleeping pills, and courses of medication meant to keep me knocked out for the customary eight hours per night. Of course, they’d never really understand. It’s not so much that I can’t sleep, but I won’t. I catch my sleep in 10 minute bouts during the day, though even then I try to fend it off. It’s difficult to do, and I spend my days in a cloudy lethargic haze, but it’s better than having the dreams. Dreams full of hitting and scratching, screaming and hiding, bruises and tears, and monsters hiding in my closet, biding their time. And those are among the more pleasant ones. The ones of my mom, Renee, were the worst by far. Her cold, limp body slung over the couch in a pool of her own blood. And her eyes…
I snapped out of that line of thinking and begin immersing myself in my English paper while waiting for my cookies to bake. It was a new recipe. I’ve been baking a new cookie every night for the last week. I’ve adopted it as my new habit. When I lived in the group home in Phoenix, I could cook up a lot of things during the night and the boys would always eat it up long before it had the chance to spoil. But Alice and Esme’s appetites couldn’t accommodate my particular level of nighttime boredom. So I settle for cookies. They always enjoy my creative recipes and names.
Thankfully, they haven’t questioned my weird late night mannerisms. They were too happy that I finally gave in and moved here with them to chance pushing me away with questions I had absolutely no desire to answer. Esme begged me to come here a year ago, when Renee died, but I wanted to spare them my dark mood and reclusive behavior, I hated to burden them. Yet here I am, I thought bitterly.
I let them think they had a kind of victory in my decision to move here from the group home in Phoenix. But really, I just couldn’t stay there anymore. There were too many people. Too many males crammed against me in such a small space. I was in a near-constant state of panic, and it was exhausting, which isn’t exactly beneficial to someone who’s trying to stay awake. I didn’t like boys, and I despised men. They terrify me after Phil. It’s irrational, I know. Not all of them are out to get me. Even if I wanted to take the chance, my mind and body had an automatic reaction that I simply couldn’t stop. My old psychologist mentioned something about defense mechanisms and anxiety attacks or what not. I didn’t care what they called it, I hated it. Never being able to get close to anyone of the opposite sex without hyperventilating and shaking in fear, even if I wanted to, was a major inconvenience in a co-ed group home. Suddenly the prospect of living with two women was too appealing. Maybe they did have some kind of victory after all.
But Forks was better. Small and quaint. I wouldn’t say I was happy here, because I’d never be happy, no matter the place or company I kept. I had seen too much. But it was a few steps closer to happiness than Phoenix was, so I couldn’t regret my decision.
I jumped up, dropping my pencil; startled from the loud sound of the timer signaling the cookies were done baking. Get a Grip Bella, Jeez. I waited for them to cool before I bean decorating the little man-shaped cookies appropriately.
Once the men had their costumes complete, I produced 3 Ziplock bags and used my marker to write the name of the cookie on each white rectangle label. Gingerbread Zombies. It seemed all too fitting to the fact that I was, in fact, in a zombie state for most of the day today, as I would be tomorrow, as I have been for months.
Five hours, four cups of coffee, and two English papers later, I had breakfast made and was already dressed for school, donning my usual black hoodie and jeans, and wearing my long brown hair down. Esme had already rushed out for work, Gingerbread Zombies in hand, sending a wry smile to me regarding my newest creations.. Alice arrived to breakfast perfectly awake, as usual, and bounced in bright, shiny and bushytailed. She positively radiated refreshed, positive attitude. It made me want to vomit.
Her usual attitude was bubbly and excited. My cousin Alice was slightly shorter than me, with short, spiky black hair. We were born within a month of each other and our mothers were sisters. Still, gene pool aside, we were polar opposites. She was popular at Forks High School and could make friends with anyone. I naturally shied away from everybody. She kept up to date on all the latest fashion trends. I went out of my way to wear nothing attention grabbing. She was excited and graceful. I was introverted and clumsy. See where I’m going with this?
“Goood Moring! Mmm, Bacon and eggs! Are those Waffles? With Blueberries?!” She chirped and slid into one of the stools. Her little legs were swinging from the stool back and forth like a 17 year old toddler. “So help me God Bella, I’m going to gain so much weight while you’re here. Is there syrup? Maybe I should pass on that anyways…”
I just rolled my eyes at her and stuffed some eggs into my mouth. I loved Alice like a sister, but there was no getting a word in edgewise with her in the morning. When she looked up from her plate she stopped mid-sentence. Then she got that look that I instantly recognized as ‘Concerned Alice Face’. Here we go…
“Good grief Bella! You look terrible! Didn’t you get any sleep at all last night?” I cringed. I look terrible… Jeez, thanks, Alice for the self image boost. I simply gave a non committal shrug like I always did when she asked me that question, and kept eating. With a deep sigh and a disapproving shake of her little head, she let the matter drop.
Alice was like this often when it came to me; concerned but cautious. She was always trying to get me to open up to her so she could understand. I knew she only meddled like this because she cared, but I stayed quiet about my problems. I couldn’t explain it to her right, and she’d just get even more worried if I tried.
Where the fuck did I put that lighter?! I spun around in the middle of my bedroom for the third time, raking my fingers through my hair utterly frustrated. I had just woken up after a whopping 20 minutes of sleep from a particularly fucked up dream, and I really needed a fucking cigarette. Leave it to me to have a full pack and nothing to light one with. I really need to clean this shit hole and get organized. Think, Edward! Fuck! Last time I had it… Oh, right! I flung open the door to my balcony and immediately spotted it lying on the railing. There you are, I smirked.</p>
I lit the cigarette and performed a reverent pull. Ahh, much better. I never smoke inside my room. Because that shit clings and stinks. Carlisle was having a moment of precognition when he gave me the room with the balcony. Daddy C. sure knows how to put up his orphans. He adopted me 4 years ago, from a rather unseemly foster ‘situation’. Dr. Carlisle Cullen is a fundamentally good man and upstanding citizen of the Greater Forks Community. We don’t usually butt heads much, but then again, the good doctor is rarely home enough to do otherwise. Fine by me. He keeps me clothed and fed and rarely asks questions.
I suppose to most 17 year olds, it’s the ideal living situation. I’m probably as close to happy as I’m ever going to get. Emmet lives with us too. Another one of Carlisle’s acquisitions. Emmet is a year older than me and was here first. He loves throwing that up to me. As if I care. He’s the fucking golden boy of Forks, and a constant kiss ass. When the elders aren’t about, he’s also crude as hell. We don’t get along. At all. After a year of constant fighting and bitching from Carlisle, we made an unspoken agreement to stay out of each other’s hair. He’ll be gone in a year anyways.
I looked out over the balcony from our rather ambiguously large house to the dark back yard and took another pull from my cigarette. Fucking nighttime. I loathed this time of day. Much like a bad piece of Russian literature, it was long as fuck, and boring as hell. I had my hobbies, and sure, I could spend 9 hours sketching and listening to music. But if I was being honest with myself, and I very rarely am, there was only one thing I wanted to do in this world more than anything. Sleep. The last time I had a good, entire night’s sleep, was so many years ago, I don’t even remember what it was like. Carlisle was worried at first, probably still is, but there’s nothing he can do. It was like this every single night. Barely any sleep at all, if I even made an attempt to do so. It was the dreams… always with the fucking dreams. It literally, wasn’t even worth it to try to sleep anymore.
I threw my spent cigarette over the edge of the balcony just as the rain drops started to fall in typical Forks fashion. Once back inside the warmth of my spacious, albeit cluttered bedroom, I plopped down on my bed and resumed my sketch from earlier in the evening. It kept me awake almost as good as Daddy C’s secret stash of amphetamines, which was in serious threat of total depletion I might add. I’ve always limited my drugs to uppers for obvious reasons. Occasionally I’d get go get drunk with my friend Jasper, but not often.
Jasper Hale and I were friends since the first day of freshman year, and I told Mr. Johnson – our horribly under educated History teacher – to ‘go fuck himself’. Jazz loved that shit. He was the only friend I ever had, or needed here in Forks. We often have a rather silent relationship; we could always read other through looks and body language. It’s not a bromance or anything, it’s just how we are. But even though Jazz always has my back, and is always there to listen to my all my fucked up problems, I can’t help feeling alone. He tries to understand, but how could he? When he asked why I was always tired, I told him the truth. I’d rather walk around like a fucking zombie than experience the dreams that haunted me. Of course, he thought I was crazy. So I never brought it up again.
I finished my sketch and signed my name and date in the bottom right corner, shutting the book with a sigh. What to do now? I drummed my fingers on the hard leather bound cover of the book. Schoolwork. I suppressed a groan.
I had been out of school for the past week due to a minor disciplinary infraction. Suspended five days for smoking on campus. Wow, what a punishment, five days of freedom. Boredom is more like it. I always get good grades in school. Especially here, where I could probably teach most of the AP classes, even half awake. I mean, I did have 9 free hours a night to study and work.
With that thought, I began a rather lengthy Trig worksheet. Sleep deprivation makes every task more difficult. Most people don’t even realize how important it is to your health, both mental and physical. No one knows better than me. Before the incident 8 years ago, I never realized how much I took a good night’s rest for granted. My mother would always hum me to sleep at night after tucking me in. Of course that was before she hated me, before she sent me away and left me in the hands of underpaid social workers and poorly run institutions.
She couldn’t even look at me after what happened, couldn’t even bear to be in the same room as me. She never even fucking said goodbye. I wish I could say I blamed her, but I really can’t. I took away the one person she loved more than anything. More than me, obviously. Even now, 8 years later, I can see the flames clearly in my mind. I can feel the heat and smell the smoke. And if I sleep deep enough, I can watch perfectly as my father lies burning on the floor, screaming for help that will never come. I began shaking my head, unwilling to take that train of thought any further.
Once the sun was beginning to show signs of rising, I closed my textbook and began getting ready for my grand re-appearance at Forks High. I never really put much thought into what I wore, usually a simple t-shirt and jeans, my favorite black leather jacket, and scuffed boots. I probably looked much less well-to-do than I actually was, but I could hardly find it in me to give a fuck. The only real reason I even go to school anyways is to hang with Jazz and have something to occupy my time. Well, that and the fact that if my GPA drops below a 3.5 Daddy C. takes my Volvo away. All things considered, the good doctor knows how to bribe effectively.
Once I managed to dodge any and all contact with Emmet, I made my way out to said coveted vehicle and lightly trailed a finger up the hood to the driver’s door. Oh so pretty. I took note that Brandon, my next door neighbor, had already left for school, as her yellow Porsche was absent from the driveway. Of course she’s already left. She was all too willing to be up this early. I got in my Volvo and started towards Jasper’s house to pick him up.
He was waiting at the curb of his modest middle class home and jumped in before I even had the chance to pull into his driveway.
“It’s about fucking time, man. Rose has been up my ass all morning about this party you’re throwing tonight.” He said while bucking his seat belt.
I scoffed “The party I’m throwing? I never wanted to have the damn thing in the first place. I would have put up more of a fight if Emmet hadn’t threatened to tell Carlisle about my suspension.” I lazily laid my head back on the seat and started the drive towards school. “You coming?” I asked, lolling my head in his direction.
He snorted “Yeah, sure, I’m going to a party with a bunch of fucking drunken obnoxious seniors with a combined I.Q. of my mom’s credit score.”
I chuckled, “Now, now Jazz, you’re insulting your future wife you know. You’re not going to bag Brandon by insulting her intelligence.”
“Alice is going to be there?” He asked, sounding curiously disappointed. I nodded and raised an eyebrow at him. “Well, fuck! I already told my mom I’d stay home this weekend and help her with lesson plans.” He frowned and slumped down into his seat defeated. I rolled my eyes.
Jasper has been secretly carrying a torch for my neighbor ever since I’ve known him. I’m starting to wonder if he’ll ever get the balls to talk to her. How fucking hard can it be? Every time I see him staring at her across the cafeteria or in the halls, I have to physically resist the urge to call her over and get it over with. Hey Brandon, this is my friend Jasper. Could you do me a favor and fuck him senseless so he’ll stop pining over you like a lost puppy dog? I suppressed a chuckle at the thought.
When we pulled up to school, I made it a point to park next to Brandon’s Porsche. It was the least I could do for the sorry bastard. She was still in her car, arms flailing about, talking animatedly to someone in the passenger seat.
“Oh Shit!” Jasper shot up in his seat and turned to me with a smirk. “You missed all the excitement over the new girl didn’t you?”
“New girl?” I asked in a bored tone and closed my eyes. People around here always went ape shit over fresh meat. I could care less.
Jasper rolled his eyes at my obvious indifference,. “No way, man. You’re going to get a kick out of this. New Girl is Alice’s crazy cousin. She moved in with her a week ago.” I frowned. I had a new neighbor and didn’t even notice. No. I had a new crazy neighbor and I didn’t even notice. Suddenly I was interested. It’s not exactly comforting to be living in such close proximity to someone who’s crazy. I waved my hand for him to continue and opened my eyes to look at him. Pleased by my reaction, Jasper settled back down and continued.
“Wednesday, Newton tried to work his ‘charm’ on her in Bio, and she completely fucking freaked out. Had some kind of weird, random emotional breakdown or some shit. She started crying and shaking then ran out of class. It was quite the event. Usually I’d figure Mike just finally got a normal reaction from his usual ‘ass grab technique’, but when Crowley tried to help her up yesterday after she tripped, she did the same thing.” He finished with a shrug.
Just then, Brandon and her passenger exited her car, and began walking towards the building. I couldn’t see the passenger’s face because it was hidden behind long brown hair peeking out from under her black hoodie. I assumed this was Crazy Cousin, or New Girl. She seemed to drag her feet lazily while she was walking towards the school.
I was about to question Jasper further on New Girl’s obvious mental instability, but his attention was entirely fixated on Brandon’s retreating rear. I sighed and got out of the car to make my way to class.
Alice just wouldn’t shut up about this party tonight. We were in her rather ostentatious screaming yellow Porsche, waiting for the bell to ring to go to class.</p>
“It’s going to be so much fun, Bella! Emmet‘s parties are landmark events! You have to come; everybody’s going to be there!” She squealed at me.
That was exact reason I didn’t want to go. The though of being in a house filled to the brim with drunk guys made me shudder.
“Alice,” I pleaded quietly, “Please don’t make me go to this thing. I’m really uncomfortable about the whole idea.” I didn’t want to tell her the real reason why I didn’t want to go, it would make her suspicious, and the rumors flying around school were already drawing her attention to my behavior.
It was silent for a moment, and I thought for sure I had finally won this argument, but when I looked up at her, I knew I had lost. She was giving me the classic ‘Alice Pout’. No one could deny that look even if they wanted to. And honestly, I wanted to show her that I could try to be normal for an hour or two, hoping maybe it would suppress her worries about me for a while.
“Ugh! Fine! I’ll go in with you and chat with Rose for a few minutes, then I’m going back home!” I said, annoyed.
She squealed and started bouncing in her seat. “You’ll see, Bella, You’ll have fun!” I rolled my eyes and opened the car door just as the bell rang. I had a mantra I had to repeat to myself at times like this, walking across the quad and feeling the eyes of every soul on my head. Hood up, head down. I was feeling more tired by the second. The day hours always amplified my drowsiness.
I heard snickers and whispers as I passed the groups of people. I didn’t make out what they were saying because I was intently tuning them out, and returning to the numb state I used to get through the school days. I had three episodes so far with guys touching me, and I assumed I was probably the laughing stock of the entire school by now. As if reading my mind, Alice leaned up into my ear. “I promise I won’t let anyone bother you.” She whispered, and patted my arm.
But I didn’t say anything back; I just continued walking with my head down, and my feet dragging against the wave of exhaustion that was rising in me.
By the time lunch came, I realized I was being avoided like the plague by the entire student body. This fact made me so relieved, I almost smiled. Almost. It made everything so much easier, being avoided. They all still did the snicker/whisper thing, but that I could definitely handle.
I never ate school food, so I produced my bag of Gingerbread Zombies and took my seat at the end of the table next to Alice, and across from Rosalie, Alice’s best friend and Emmet’s girlfriend. Emmet and Rose were both seniors, but the two of them and Alice were nearly inseparable. I was told that the three of them were the most popular in school, and I could easily understand why. Rose, with her beauty, Alice, with her unbridled enthusiasm and friendliness, and of course, Emmet, the big quarterback who everyone was dying to impress.
Emmet and I haven’t really talked much, mostly because he scares the hell out of me, but Rose and I are becoming something akin to friends.
I said a quick hello, and dug in my bag for my book I had just checked out from the library. I didn’t have my old collection anymore, so I always had to settle. But even though the books were usually bad, they still kept my attention focused and away from the crowded room.
They knew better than to attempt to include me in their conversation – which seemed to center around tonight’s party – so I just munched on my cookies and started reading with my head down. This is what I did every day; try to be invisible.
The sound of the bell brought my attention back to the cafeteria, so I quickly put my book away and headed for Biology. I liked this class because I had the lab table all to myself, and could sometimes even catch a few minutes of sleep. Mr. Banner never said anything because he knew I already had this course in Phoenix.
I kept my head down all the way to the classroom, walking slightly slower than usual. My exhaustion was quickly overwhelming me, making my eyelids droop and my footsteps falter despite my efforts to stay coherent. The only thing keeping me awake at that moment was the freezing cold rain soaking through my hood and hair. Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! I chided myself mentally, rubbing my eyes furiously with my fist in an attempt to delay the inevitable.
Once I was in my seat in the warmth of the Biology classroom, I knew I had to catch at least ten or twenty minutes of rest. I knew I was pushing it when I stayed awake in English, but I had papers to turn in. It was better for me to sleep here, at school, where bells were constantly blaring at regularly timed intervals; I knew I could never get to sleep deep enough to dream. I crossed my arms on the lab table and laid my forehead down on them. Listening to the footsteps around me as people made their way to their seats, and staring into the darkness created by the veil of my arms and hair; I slowly let my eyes flutter closed, and welcomed the sweet release of unconsciousness.
Crazy New Cousin Girl was passed out at my lab table when I arrived to Bio. So now I’m sitting here staring daggers at her soaked, black hood in unmasked disdain. Must be nice... I thought bitterly, as I started my – no, our – lab assignment. I should wake her up like the prick I most definitely am. I should rip that hood right off her head and start shaking her. I should have told Mr. Banner I wasn’t okay with it when he asked me. But I didn’t. It almost felt like sacrilege to disturb something as peaceful and unattainable to me as sleep.</p>
So I swallowed my annoyance and envy, did the fucking assignment, and hoped she enjoyed her A. Once I was done, I immediately regretted going so fast. I had absolutely nothing to keep my attention away from the fact I could barely keep my eyes open. I started doing what I always did in these situations; eyes drooping, head dropping, and then snapping back up. I did that five times before I ran a hand over my face nice and hard, and shot a look at the sleeping figure to my left. Fucking Bitch. I could hear her breathing deeply in the silence of the classroom, and she was emitting the softest snoring sound, I was sure I was the only one that could hear it.
It was quiet, deep, and repetitive, like a lullaby. And it was making me even more tired than I already was. There was still thirty minutes of class left. Shaking my head furiously, I decided I couldn’t take any more temptation. I raised my hand and cleared my throat to get Mr. Banner’s attention when he didn’t look up from his desk.
“Yes, Mr. Cullen?” Mr. Banner asked in a knowing tone. I frequently requested early dismissal from classes at times like these. Mr. Banner was one of my easier subjects when it came to such privileges.
“Excuse me Mr. Banner, but could I please be excused early today?” I asked as politely as I could in my highly aggravated state. I hoped he missed how my words were slightly slurred. When he got a defiant look on his face, I added “After all, I am working for two this afternoon.” I nodded my head in Crazy Sleeping Bitch New Girl Cousin’s direction and smirked.
Mr. Banner let out a long sigh and nodded his head. He allowed her rude behavior, for reasons unknown to me, so he couldn’t chance getting in trouble with the faculty. With a triumphant smile, I gathered my things. Just as I was about to get up from my seat, I heard a quiet whimper from the seat next to me. I looked over and noticed she was shaking lightly in her sleep. I stared at her trembling form for a moment, and considered waking her from what was most likely a nightmare, but decided against it. That’s what you get .I inwardly smiled.
With that final thought I rose from my seat and quickly exited the room, shutting the door behind me. I paid no attention to the loud, strangled screams coming from the science building behind me as I made my way to my Volvo.
“I’ll be home Sunday evening. I’m trusting the two of you to not kill each other in my absence.” Carlisle said distractedly as spun around the living room for the second time, patting at his pockets, trying to locate his keys. Sometimes I’d swear we shared DNA.
“Aw, come on Carlisle, me and my buddy here?” Emmet threw his big sweaty arms around my shoulders while I grimaced.
“Sweet Christ, Em. You fucking stink, go take a shower before I have Carlisle lecture you on the benefits of deodorant.” I snapped as I slapped his arm away from me in disgust. He always smelled bad when he came home from practice, and I couldn’t wait to remove myself from his stench. But Carlisle was about to leave for some medical conference on the east coast, so I had to show him off like the good son I wasn’t.
Carlisle shook his head disapprovingly and let out an exasperated sigh. “Please, Edward. Don’t use that kind of language.” He chided as he continued his hunt.
I smirked, “Sure thing Daddy C.” He hated it when I called him that. Just as the words left my mouth he spotted his keys on the couch and retrieved them with a victorious grin. Once he had his suitcase in hand and was walking past us to the door, he stopped mid stride and turned to Emmet, scrunching his nose up at him. I perked up a bit at his obvious notice of Emmet’s foulness.
Please give him the deodorant speech. I pleaded with my eyes when Carlisle met my gaze. But instead he furrowed his brow and frowned at me.
“Edward, when was the last time you slept?” he asked, concern lacing his tone. I had to suppress a groan.
“I slept last night; I just had a long day.” It wasn’t a lie. He looked skeptical for a moment, but eventually nodded.
“Make it an early night then, you look exhausted.” He said then went to turn back towards the door, but stopped and added, “Emmet. Deodorant. That’s all I’m saying.” I chuckled darkly while he exited the house, and made my way upstairs to my room to prepare for the long night ahead of me.
This is my first fan fic, and I won’t be jumping POV’s so much in the next chapters. Only once for each EPOV and BPOV. I just had a lot of back-story to tell here, hence the length, but other chapters may be equally as long, or longer, depending on how frisky I feel. And dark Edward always makes me feel frisky. A new chapter every night. Reviews appreciated.