Opening my eyes, the first thing I noticed was the grey cover of clouds above my head. And the fact that I was not dead, of course. Then I noticed someone standing next to me and I decided it would be best to inform them of that small detail as well, before he would go into shock or something. I quickly scrambled to my feet, but had to hold on to the front of the blue car as I was overwhelmed by a wave of nausea.
‘I’m alright, really.’ I tried to comfort the boy, seeing that he still looked deathly pale. After that, I gave myself a once over, noticing my hands had some scrapes on them, there were holes in my jeans, but apart from that I appeared to be fine. No broken bones and hospital visits this time, I was very pleased with myself. It’s only then that I looked at the boy beside me. He was a little bit taller than me – which was not very shocking given the fact I was only a tiny 5 feet and three inch tall. Hardly impressive. Anyways, he seemed to be of the same age as I was.
‘I’m so sorry, I didn’t see you coming and then…-’
‘Don’t worry about it, I’ve had worse,’ I shrugged.
‘I am Derek Jeffers, by the way.’
‘Dalia Rivers,’ I offered, ignoring his outstretched hand. I didn’t want to touch it and besides, it was far too formal. I mean, we were teenagers for God’s sake. Also, he had only minutes ago nearly driven over me, so I guess that meant we were kind of past the point of shaking hands.
‘I know. I mean… you know.. it’s..,’ he scratched the back of his head sheepishly, then settled upon; ‘It’s a small town.’
I sighed, knowing I should have expected this. I mean, I shouldn’t even be surprised if they had checked my background and had looked into my criminal record – not that they would find anything of course.
‘Are you sure you are alright? I can take you to the hospital if you like!’ Derek offered.
I nodded, a bit too fast, for my head already started aching again. ‘Thanks, but I really am great. So eh bye.’
He seemed confused, but snapped out of it as I turned and started walking again. ‘Will I see you at school tomorrow?’ He sounded hopeful, too hopeful. This conversation was starting to get really awkward, really fast.
‘Yeah sure, gotta go now, though. Bye.’ I quickly crossed the street – this time I did look left and right – and walked up to the supermarket. I noticed our car was still parked outside, which was a relief since I didn’t want to have to walk the entire way back anymore.
The supermarket was small and the different aisles were narrow. A handful of windows let in some greenish daylight, but the shop was mostly illuminated by bright fluorescent tubes. Overall, it created a... depressive atmosphere.
I swiftly made my way to where I could see the food products stacked up to high above my head. When passing them, I did my uttermost best not to bump into anything and when I finally found my sister I had only knocked over one can of beans. A real feat for me, I tell you.
‘What happened to you?’ Veronica gave me a once over, then threw me a disapproving glance.
‘I eh.. fell.’ I really didn’t want to tell her that I had had a near death experience on my first day in Forks.
She nodded, not very convinced. But then again, she wasn’t very interested either. ‘I already got some spaghetti for tonight, bread for tomorrow morning and apples. So all that is left is some milk.’
‘Spaghetti? That’s just great..’
Luckily it was at that moment that we found the milk and so, no outburst came. I knew I was getting on her nerves with my sarcasm – hell with breathing alone – but found that I didn’t care much. After Veronica paid, we put the groceries on the back seat of the car and drove ‘home’. I’d put on the stereo and closed my eyes, and when the music turned to nothing but noise, I knew we were back.
Before Veronica could ask me to help with the groceries, I jumped out of the car – almost losing my footing – and walked into the house. In the meanwhile Mom, Dad and the guys from the moving van had placed all the big furniture into their respectful places and hundreds of cardboard boxes littered the rest of the space. Feeling a bit like Indiana Jones, I jumped from one empty place to another, making sure to avoid all boxes that had the message “Fragile” on them. It’s in this fashion that I finally reached the living room.
When they looked up, I put on my chagrin face once more. But before I could even think of another bad thing I could say about Forks, Veronica stepped into the room, holding the groceries in one hand and waving to my parents with the other.
Let’s say that Veronica was everything a parent could ever wish for. She was pretty, smart and was good in her interaction with others – apart from with me that is. I suppose my parents would have wanted me to look more like her, but well.. She was your typical Los Angeles beauty queen; five feet and nine inch tall, tanned, with wavy blond hair and big, blue eyes. I, on the other hand, seemed to be the complete opposite with my pathetic five feet and three inch, pale skin, red hair and grey eyes. I would burn in the first rays of sunshine in the spring and for the rest of the year would pretty much not tan at all. The greatest thing about it was that I didn’t even knew where I got it from. My Mom could be my sister’s twin, if it were not for the grey that was slowly starting to spread through her hair. My Dad used to be your all-American football player, with his brown hair, tanned skin and lean body. So even in our family, I was pretty much an outsider.
While I was musing over the sad reality of my life, Veronica had disappeared into the kitchen to start with dinner – because she even excelled at that.
‘I’m going to my room,’ I muttered, knowing that no one cared anyway.
When I opened the door, I nearly had another heart attack. I would probably never get used to this.. Dropping myself onto the bed, I brushed my still damp hair from my face. Why, of all places, did we have to move here? We could have moved to someplace else, any place but here. But no, my mother just had to decide to move to the hamlet that is Forks.
A voice called me to come down, probably to have dinner or something. I sighed as I heaved myself up again, putting all my effort in plastering a fake smile on my face. I think I had made it pretty clear by now that I had no desire to be here, yet here we were. I might as well make the best of it, I decided.
When I walked into the kitchen, I noticed everyone was already eating. ‘Thanks for waiting for me, guys. I really appreciate it.’ My intention to let go of my grudge had apparently failed, but hey, they deserved it. Sitting down, I reluctantly took a bite from the pasta. I’d never liked spaghetti, to be frank, but somehow it seemed to taste even worse now we were in Forks. After a few bites, I gave up and put down my cutlery. ‘Can I go to my room, Mom, I am not feeling so well.’
She studied my face for a moment, then probably came to conclusion that I did look pale, and nodded. They always forgot this was just my natural skin color, but I guess it sometimes worked in my advantage. I quickly stood from the table and went back to my room. Standing in front of the window, I could only vaguely make out the shapes of the trees and bushes in our backyard. The moon offered little light, as it was nearly constantly hidden from sight by the grey clouds.
As I thought back on the day, a sudden, horrible realization hit me: I had to go to school tomorrow. The thought of it alone was sufficient reason to jump out of the window, but I decided against that idea – if just for the sake of wanting to cause a bit more of a mess for my parents when I would die. Grabbing my pajamas, I locked myself in the bathroom and turned on the shower. Feeling the warm water on my skin, I finally felt at ease. If I closed my eyes, it would be as if I was back in my private bathroom in LA. As if we never moved to this stupid place. Then suddenly the warmth was gone and cold, ice cold water was pouring down on me.
I jumped away from the water screaming and, of course, slipped. I clung to the shampoo shelf for dear life and then finally found back my footing. Resting my head against the wall, I tried to ignore the cold water that was making my legs grow numb. At last, when I noticed them becoming an unhealthy looking shade of purple, I turned off the water and grabbed a towel. When I had changed into my pajamas, I combed through my wet hair and threw my towel in one of the corners of the bathroom. I didn’t feel like bringing it down to the laundry, but I did it mostly to piss off my mother. I tried blow drying my hair, if only to look a bit decent on my first day of school, but quickly stopped when the smell of burnt hair started filling the room.
Entering my ‘room’ I noticed it’s only 9pm, but since I was pretty much out of ideas to spend my time, I nestled myself beneath the covers. Despite the bed being so small, it really wasn’t all that bad. I yawned and pulled out my phone.
Scrolling through my messages, it was depressing to see just how few people had actually cared enough to ask about my first day here. I guess it was understandable, though. I hadn’t exactly left on good terms.
The rain was now no more than a drizzle and the soft sound of it splashing against my window made for a comforting background music. I tried not to think about anything – especially not tomorrow – and after a long, long time dozed off into a restless sleep.