February had passed by quietly and uneventful, something that both relieved me as put me on edge. It felt like the quiet before the storm. After a lot of coaxing, I had agreed on having lunch with the Cullens again, given that they were the only friends I had. Although I liked Georgina, we’d never really gotten past the point of being people who hang out together from time to time. This might have had something to do with me always being flanked by intimidating vampires, though..
Things were finally starting to feel normal again, like they had felt before Bella Swan had entered our lives. But there were small things that gave away the truth. Firstly there was Alice who, although she never said anything about the subject after that day at the hospital, gave me these looks when she thought I wasn’t watching. I couldn’t really pin down the exact sentiment behind them, but it seemed almost like a mixture of pity and sadness. Secondly, there was the way Edward looked at her, staring as if she was his long lost love. He never said anything about it again, either, nor did I ask, but the looks told me all I needed to know. More than I wanted to know.
Today, however, today I felt something was different. It was a Wednesday, the second of March to be exact. As we sat at lunch, I immediately noticed the difference as I looked around at the Cullens. Alice wasn’t throwing me pitiful looks. Edward wasn’t staring at Bella Swan’s back longingly. Had I missed something?
‘Am I protective of you?’ Edward suddenly wondered out loud, effectively shaking me out of my own thoughts.
I shrugged ‘I don’t really know. Why do you ask?’
He shook his head, his bronze hair moving along with it. Naturally, it still looked flawless. ‘It’s just something she said.’
‘Bella. She said that I seemed very protective of you.’
I bit my lip, forcing the hateful thoughts about Bella Swan to the back of my mind. I didn’t know when I’d become such a jealous person, wanting to hit someone just for talking to my best friend, but I didn’t really enjoy this latest character development of mine. ‘I guess you look out for me.’
He nodded, emerging himself in thoughts once more. In that moment, I wished I was the mind reader, if only to know what Edward was thinking. Was he thinking of the way her hair moved when she shook her head? The way his breathing got caught in his throat when he watched her? Stop it, I scorned myself. Stop being such an overly dramatic teenager and quit wallowing in your self-pity. This, however, was becoming increasingly harder and harder.
As I raced out of the classroom, I breathed a sigh of relief. It was lunch break. No more stupid facts about the US government, no more boring stories of presidents that even my grandmother hadn’t been alive to know. Don’t get me wrong, History could be fascinating – when it was told by someone who had actually been there to see it. With Mrs. Anderson… well, not so much. Although she certainly looked old and musty enough to have been alive at the time of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. I’d expected Edward to wait by the door as he always did, but he wasn’t there. I tried hiding my disappointment, knowing I had no right to be about such a stupid thing. There was probably a normal, logical explanation for why he wasn’t here, no need to get all teary-eyed because of this. I sighed, he was really turning me into a hormone-crazed teenager..
‘What are you staring at, shortie?’
Caught off guard, I almost lost my balance. ‘God, Emmett, you scared me! Why do you guys always have to creep up on people?’ I knew the answer before he opened his mouth, regretting I had even asked.
‘It’s a vamp thing.’ He laughed, the sound of it bouncing off the walls, making everyone in the proximity stop whatever they were doing to stare at him. If the sound of it wasn’t enough, it was a strange thing to hear one of the infamous Cullens laugh. They always looked so serious and intimidating.. When he’d finally calmed down enough to talk, he smiled all-knowingly.
’So what were you staring at?’
I was about to spew some lame excuse when a strikingly beautiful blonde appeared beside Emmett, effectively taking away his attention from me. I knew it had not been her intention to help me out, yet I could not help but feel grateful to Rosalie. I really didn’t want to explain my one-sided, completely hopeless love for his brother to Emmett.
We’d walked the rest of the way to the cafeteria in silence; Rosalie and Emmett keeping up their imago, me just too uncomfortable by the presence of Emmett’s ice queen wife to open my mouth. I didn’t really mind, though, for Derek hadn’t given me a moment’s peace ever since I walked into class that morning. The endurance of that boy was truly remarkable when it came to stalking girls.
As we walked to our usual table, I noticed two things: One, Edward wasn’t there. This somehow seemed to confirm my fears and caused my imagination to work in overdrive. Two, the others didn’t seem surprised. As usual, I was the only one being left out. I sat down, deciding that I wouldn’t let myself be bothered by that fact. Whatever Edward did with his life was his choice.
I had just decided on this simple, but horribly difficult matter when I noticed people staring. And when I mean staring, I mean like staring. And with people, I mean everyone. Following their gazes, my eyes landed on two very familiar figures, who were in line for food. His eyes followed her with a look of interest and fascination while she picked out her lunch, in the meanwhile talking about God knew what. It took all of my willpower not to gawk at them. Instead, I forced myself to look away and I took a bite from my sandwich, trying to seem unbothered.
Edward didn’t join us for lunch that day. In fact, he didn’t even do as much as look in the direction of our table. Apparently Bella Swan was so special that not a moment could be spent not looking at her. Pushing the bitterness away, I thought back on what Dr. Hurst had been telling me in my dreams. ‘Everything is in your head’. I scoffed at that. If I was truly imagining all of this, I was sure I’d have made things easier for myself. In any case, I certainly wouldn’t have let someone else steal away the boy I loved.
I sighed, realizing that my attempt to not be bitter had failed once again. There just seemed to be no way around hating Bella Swan. It was almost as if she was made to be hated. But Edward didn’t hate her.. I shook my head, took another bite of my sandwich, and took pride in the fact that at least he never had to pretend around me. He could be himself. Also, he didn’t feel like eating me, so I guess that was a plus as well.
And yet, a voice in my head said dramatically, yet he chooses her. Despite wanting to kill her, despite having to try and be something he is not, he chooses her. Really, what does that say about you?
Putting down my sandwich, I excused myself from the Cullens; I suddenly wasn’t that hungry anymore. After throwing away my food, I went outside and sat down on one of the empty benches. I massaged my temples, trying to lessen the headache. Jealousy truly was a bitch.
‘Are you okay?’
I looked up, noticing Jasper had taken a seat beside me. I knew there was no point denying the feelings I was having and so I shrugged my shoulders. ‘Just stupid teenage stuff.’
‘What kind of?’
‘I’ll save you from it, it would bore you to death anyway.’
I doubt you could bore me to death,’ he nudged me, continuing on a more serious tone. ‘But please, I want to know.’
I sighed, putting a hand through my hair. What could I tell him? Speaking to Emmett about my love for Edward had been uncomfortable because of well.. obvious reasons. He would pester me to death about it until eternity. Although I knew that Jasper would probably take it a bit more serious, that was perhaps exactly what I was afraid of. Was I ready to be confronted with the harsh reality? Did I really want to hear him say that I didn’t stand a chance? I sighed. ‘Put simply; there’s this guy I like, but he doesn’t like me back.’
‘Have you told him?’
I shuddered at the thought. ‘Hell no. I would be so embarrassed afterwards that I wouldn’t be able to leave my room for seven years. Besides, there’s no point: I know he doesn’t. He’s just so perfect and I am.. well, me.’ Shaking my head, I stood from the bench, wrapping my arms around my body. ‘I’m going back in.. You know, before I catch a cold.’
He just nodded, making no attempt to follow.
My hand was already on the doorknob when his voice froze me in mid-motion.
‘Edward is a fool if he doesn’t realize how wonderful you are.’