Chapter 9

Another week passed by in which I heard nothing from the Cullens. Although last week had been confusing – after all; I had not known what was going on – this week it just hurt. It hurt because I had been so close to having a friend, so close to finally belonging. And all of that had been unfairly taken away from me.

It was Friday again and to be honest; I had never been more relieved to go on Weekend as I did now. I had put up a good front for the rest of the week, but I was tired of it. I was tired of caring so much.

Putting my pencils in my bag, I stood from the chair and walked over to Miss Landon’s desk. Since I had been so set on ignoring the pain, I had worked harder than I’d have normally done and so I had finished my drawing early.

She looked at my work for a moment, then smiled. ‘Looking good, Dalia, as always. If this is your last class you’re free to go.’

I nodded ‘Thank you.’ As I turned on my heel, I directed my gaze firmly to the ground, determined not to look at the senior tables, determined not to let them see the pain. It was in this fashion that I left the classroom and stepped into the deserted hallway. Classes were still going and it felt good to be left alone with my thoughts for a bit.

I would have to wait for Veronica anyway, so I decided to just sit in the cafeteria for a bit. Anything better than to go outside and face the rain, even sitting in a car with my sister.

As I entered the cafeteria, I came to a sudden stop. There, at the Cullens’ usual spot, sat none other than Edward Cullen. As if my day couldn’t get any better. I smirked. Instead of taking a seat as far away from him as possible – which I would have done, were I not so utterly pissed off – I marched over to him. I demanded answers.

‘Cullen,’ I said, stopping at his table and crossing my arms in front of my chest. I wanted to look as menacing as possible while I was at this. ‘We need to talk.’

’There is nothing we need to talk about.’

I grinded my teeth, angered by his complete disinterest. ‘Yes there is.’ Seating myself in front of him, I made a point of never letting my eyes leave his. It was difficult to keep my mind from drifting away in those beautiful brown eyes, but I managed. Or well, sort of. ‘I.. You.. I know you said something to Alice, something that makes her keep a distance from me.’

He cocked an eyebrow ‘Why would I do that?’ A smirk played at his lips, almost as if he knew that there was no way that I could prove my accusation and that even if I’d try, I would be the one looking like a fool. Damn him.

‘I am not stupid, Cullen. It doesn’t take some amazing mind reading skills to see when someone does something out of free will and when they do it because they’re forced to do it.’

His face only contorted a little and within a second, it was gone. I knew what I’d seen, though. So, a mind reader? Somehow it didn’t surprise me at all. It was even like I had already known, even though that was impossible.

‘Stay away from me and my family,’ he said, pushing back his chair roughly.

‘And what if I decide that I don’t want to?’

‘Then I will just have to make you.’ He stood and was about to walk away when I stopped him.

‘I know, Edward.’

He turned, an annoyed expression on his face. ’Know what exactly?’

What you are.
I smiled as his expression turned to something of a mix between horror and anguish. Once again I had not known where the knowledge had come from, but I was glad to know that once again the gut feeling had been right.

‘Follow me.’

I grabbed my bag and silently trailed behind him. There was a chaos in my head, not just about the strange things that were happening to my brain, but also about the danger of the situation. If I knew his secret, their secret, what would keep him from killing me?

‘Excellent question,’ I heard him murmur lowly.

I swallowed as we reached the deserted parking lot. What better place to kill me than here?

He scoffed ’Relax, I am not going to kill you. Yet.’

‘Oh please Edward, stop scaring her.’ I looked to the left, to see Alice – and the rest of the Cullens – had joined us by the silver Volvo. She smiled at me. ‘Don’t worry Dalia, he won’t hurt you. We just want to ask you some questions.’

Edward glared at his sister, then turned back to me. ‘How do you know?’

I knew this question would come, had dreaded it even, for I didn’t even know the answer myself. How could I explain to them that ever since I’d come to Forks, strange facts had presented themselves to me. Things that I shouldn’t be able to know, suddenly popped up in my mind as if I had always known them. Even if I could explain, how would they ever believe me? Hell, I didn’t even believe me.

‘That’s your explanation?’

I was confused at his question, then remembered his gift. Damn that mind reader. ‘Yes, I guess it is.’

‘What’s going on, Eddie? Quit with the mental conversations, so we can all actually understand what’s going on.’ The big, burly guy said, looking at me curiously.

‘She knows, Emmett.’

The blonde, who stood beside Emmett, rolled her eyes. ’Yes, we understood that much. But how does she know?’

‘She says she doesn’t know why, that facts about us just randomly came to mind.’

‘That’s all she’s got?’ The blonde quirked her brow.

She is right here,’ I said, offended by their lack of acknowledgment of my existence. Somehow as if what I had to say didn’t matter anyway.

Alice turned to me then, smiling friendly. ‘Is that how you knew that girl’s name, too?’

I nodded, glad that at least someone cared for my say in what was going on. ‘It’s like I had already known that her name was Bella, just that I hadn’t remembered it until that moment.’

‘But you know nothing else about her?’

I shook my head.

‘Alright, now we’ve established that we did not expose ourselves, I think we should decide what to do with her.’

I swallowed, not liking where the conversation was heading once more. ‘I won’t tell anyone, I promise. I can keep my mouth shut.’

Edward shook his head, brooding. ‘We can’t take that risk, what if she..-’

‘She won’t tell anyone, Edward.’ Alice said, convinced.

For a moment, he stared intently at his sister and I could only imagine him reading her mind, evaluating her reasons for saying that. Then, he looked irritated. ‘Fine. But if the Volturi comes for us, the blood will be on your hands.’ And with that, he grabbed the keys and stepped into the car.

The school bell rang as the others got in as well and I was surprised that for a moment I had completely forgotten about my surroundings.

‘I am sorry for acting the way I did,’ Alice said, smiling apologetically. ‘Well, I will see you on Monday!’

Waving awkwardly as she got in the car, I waited for them to speed off, before heading towards Veronica’s car. She was not there yet, as was to be expected. She always stayed behind to chat with friends and to make plans for the weekend.

When she finally arrived, she didn’t say anything – as was also to be expected. We simply got into the car and drove home. I didn’t mind though, especially now I had gotten so much to think about. It was strange that I had not even thought of my newfound knowledge yet. Edward was a mind reader – how very, very inconvenient. And the Cullens were vampires. Strangely enough, I couldn’t even get myself to be amazed at that bit of information. Once again it was as if I had always known that, albeit unconsciously. It explained their cold skin, their inhuman reflexes, their beauty and perfection. In hindsight it all made sense. There were the bad guys. The Edward hallucination had been right after all.

As I woke up, I noticed something was different – I just wasn’t sure what it was. Stretching, I sat up in bed and forced my eyes open. Silence enveloped me and I sighed, relishing in the fact that it was weekend. No boring classes for two days, no Derek, no teenage girls giggling and talking about boys and no vampires. It was bliss.

I frowned, suddenly realizing what I just thought. Silence? That was impossible, right? Jumping out of bed, I made my way to the window and threw open the curtains. I gasped, no rain! My first dry day in Forks had finally arrived and I was more than exited. I ran to my closet, threw on some clothes and went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and do my hair. Plans about all that I could do were already enfolding in my mind. Today would be fantastic!

When I arrived downstairs, I noticed that for once my parents were not sat in the living room, which was strange. If they were not out of bed before eight o’clock in the weekend, something must have been wrong. I shrugged.

I strapped my All-Stars to my feet, grabbed my coat and went out. It was cool outside, the dew still on the plants, but I didn’t mind. Crossing the road, I stepped into the cover of trees and soon left civilization (if one could even call Forks that) behind. Ever since we’d arrived I had wanted to explore the woods, but had not done so because of the endless rain showers.

There were no sounds of cars, no voices, no nothing. The only sounds that I could hear were the chirping of birds in the trees and the snapping of twigs under my feet. It was calming. For the first time since I had arrived at Forks I actually just felt relaxed.

I didn’t know how long I had been walking when the plantation became sparser. It must have been longer than I thought, for as far as I knew these woods were pretty big. The many trees finally made way for a large meadow and I took in the sight with astonishment. It was really quite beautiful, looking so undisturbed as if no one had been there for ages.

Touching the grass softly, I noticed the dew had dried and so I sat down contently. A couple of minutes rest wouldn’t matter. Besides, constantly tripping over roots was quite exhausting. I closed my eyes, enjoying the peace and quiet. Lying down, I propped my head up on my arms and looked at the sky. Although it was still covered in clouds, it did not look as depressing as it usually did. It was more of a pleasant, soft grey this time I guess.

Turning my head, my eyes widened with shock and I bolted upright. I was in someone’s backyard!

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