Chapter 5

I couldn't stop thinking about him. About his hair, his face, the way he looked at me when he handed me back my cup. How much I had wanted to know what he was thinking at that exact moment. Although I didn't really know him, I had the feeling he was more important to me than anything else in the world. Somehow I had the feeling I already knew him.. The only problem was that he hung out with Veronica, not me, and that he had probably forgotten long about me, even when I was still pining over him every second of the day. If he would even fall in love with one of us, it was sure to be Veronica. She was pretty, funny and not to mention super hot. She also happened to be of his age, which might also be important. I mean, why would he fall for a fifteen year old, five feet and three inch tall gnome who wasn't even able to form a coherent sentence when she was in the company of other people? In his eyes I was probably just a little girl, one of that age where all girls suddenly discover the opposite sex and start having crushes on celebrities.

I sighed, I didn't stand a chance. Stretching out, I decided I might as well get out of bed. I had been postponing this moment, but I knew I would be late for school otherwise. My Mom would kill me if I already started messing things up again in my second week..

Strolling to the bathroom door with a couple of clean clothes, I came to the horrible conclusion that it's locked. Wonderful. 'Who's there?' I asked with my usual hoarse morning voice. It stayed silent behind the door and I tried again, this time a little louder. 'Hello? Who's in the bathroom?'

'I am.' Great, my sister takes ages to get ready.

'Hurry up, I need to use the bathroom as well.'

'You take as long as I do, stop complaining.'

'I will when you open the door.' I sighed 'Damn it..' Although I considered her a spawn from Hell, she was apparently a spawn from Hell with feelings, for it did not take long before the door opened. In the process of rushing past me, she almost knocked me off my feet, but luckily I regained my balance quickly. Taking a quick shower, I tried to do as many things at the same time as possible – soaping my hair and brushing my teeth, using the toilet and applying makeup – and in the end, I even had time left to have some breakfast. When I was at that, I thought about how miraculous it was that I had not thought about Edward for a good thirty minutes. Must be a new record, I mused. I remembered dreaming about him that night, though I couldn't recall the details anymore. Strange..

'At what time do you finish school today?' I inquired, as we got in the car. 'I don't really look forward to walking home in the rain again.'


I nodded, though I knew she wouldn't notice. At least today I wouldn't have to walk home, which was a plus. After this we remained silent, both hoping for us to arrive at the school as fast as possible.

When the school at last came into view, I remembered my thoughts of my first day in Forks and I silently agreed with them. It still didn't look like a school to me. Then again, that didn't really matter, since they taught the same, boring subjects as in LA, no matter what the buildings looked like. History, math and, unfortunately, PE. Why on earth we had that class was still a mystery to me. I mean, weren't we supposed to be old enough to decide for ourselves if we wanted to die fat and unhealthy at the age of thirty? And weren't we supposed to be old enough to decide for ourselves if we wanted to make a fool out of ourselves and hurt others in the process? Well, apparently not.

Getting out of the car, I sprinted to the doors. Yet, as small as the distance may have been, I managed to get my hair soaked and have it hang plastered against my forehead. How charming.. If Edward would have had even the smallest bit of interest in me before, it would have quickly dissolved after seeing me like this.

The boy I would have to worry about now, however, wasn't Edward. It was Derek, in which case I could only hope he would lose interest in me. He was waving at me like a mad man and I had to use all of my will power not to slap my hand palm against my forehead. How was I ever to become even remotely cool with a guy like that following me around like a little puppy?

I curtly waved back at him, hoping he would then stop behaving like an idiot, and wrung out my hair. I really would have to tell the boy I wasn't interested in him, even though he was probably the only admirer I would ever have. That was, in a way, quite ironic, since I was about to wave goodbye to my only chance of ever having any romance in my life. Walking up to him, I tried to come up with something.

'Hey Dalia,' he said, smiling sickeningly sweet at me.

'Hey, ehm Derek there's something I've been wanting to ask…-'

'The party, yes, of course I want to! I was just about to ask you the same thing. Wow, this is really so awesome, it's like we can read each other's minds!'

Shit, shit, this was not what I wanted at all. Of course I had heard about the school party thing – it would honestly be a bigger feat if I had managed not to have heard of it – but I had never even thought about going, let alone with him. I just had to be honest with him now, I decided, there was no other way. I gathered my courage. 'No, Derek, I.. it's that.. my grandmother's birthday is that evening and I already promised I would come. I am sorry.' Smooth Dalia, really great.

His face fell and for a moment I was afraid he would start to cry. Luckily for me, however, he managed to pull himself together. 'No, it's okay, Dalia, don't be sorry. I mean, there will be loads of other parties, right?' Again with the hopeful tone, but this time I felt too bad for him to go about and crush his hopes.

'Yes, eh, maybe.'

At that moment, the bell sounded and I let out my breath. Saved by the bell.. I fastened my pace, hoping that it would give me an excuse for not talking to him. When we arrived at the classroom, I quickly walked over to where Georgina was seated and took the seat next to her. Georgina, being the nice, wonderful person that she was, didn't ask anything about it and just let me catch my breath. I repeated this sequence of actions in History, English and, at last, Biology, causing me to have an overall good day. That is, until that moment.

'Miss River?'

Looking up from my thoughts, I nodded. 'Yes Sir?'

'Please fetch us another five microscopes from classroom 34.'

Nodding, I stood up from my seat. It's always nice to run errands for teachers, because you get to miss class and have a free ticket for sauntering around the school hallways. And since Physics was the last class before lunch, I was completely done with paying attention anyway. As I made my way through the maze of tables, I did my best not to stumble over any of the bags littering the floor.

Casually crossing the hallways, I checked the numbers on the doors. 32, 33, 34! Stopping in front of the corresponding door, I took a deep breathe. Although running errands for teachers was fun, having to go into classrooms full of people that would stare at you wasn't. Especially not if you're as socially awkward as I am.

As expected, all the students looked at me when I entered. I, however, tried not to pay them any attention (as if!) and walked up to the teacher. Shyly, and not to mention very silently, I asked him for five microscopes.

He nodded and gestured to a table in the back, filled with microscopes. I walked up to them awkwardly, constantly aware that everyone was still staring at me, and picked up one of the instruments. God, they were heavy. I picked up another one and clumsily held this in the other hand. Apart from being heavy, they were also quite difficult to hold. I hadn't thought about this problem before, but now I turned back to the teacher and gave him an all but desperate look. Fortunately for me, he understood, for soon the other three microscopes were graciously picked up and we left the class.

All the time, I had not dared looking up to meet the other persons gaze. I mean, it was embarrassing enough that they had to help me carrying these stupid microscopes, I really didn't want to make it any worse by saying something stupid. However, when we neared my destination, I felt forced to at least thank them for helping me. But, looking up, I stopped dead in my tracks, almost dropping the microscopes in surprise. It took me a couple of seconds – more like a couple of minutes – to regain my posture, but then I swallowed. 'Well ehm, thank you for helping me.'

He nodded.

'And ehm.. thank you for Friday.'

Once again he said nothing, simply walked up to Mr. Banner's desk and put the microscopes down. Then, without as much as a look in my direction, he left.

For a moment, I simply stared at the place I had last seen him, then I shook my head. I could hardly stare at that door for the rest of the day – or for the rest of my life, for that matter –, I reminded myself, then went back to my seat. I must say I was a bit surprised about his cold demeanor towards me. Not that I had expected him to take me into his arms or anything, but I had expected some sort of sign that he had at least heard what I said.

I sighed, knowing full well that he would never show any interest in me. And what was worse, the only guy that probably ever would, was waving not so subtly to get my intention from the row in front of me. Pretending Mr. Banner had my undivided attention, I looked past Derek. In reality, my former Physics teacher had already covered the whole germs thing, but I would let myself be eaten before I would let Derek know that. Besides, if Mr. Banner heard it would only lead to more homework.

Luckily for me, I didn't have to keep up the pretence for much longer, for soon the bell rang and I got to go to the only hour that I actually enjoyed at this school; lunch. I leisurely put my books into my bag, all the while hoping that Derek would be gone when I was done – which of course was very wishful thinking – and swung it over my shoulder.

When Georgina and I enter the hallway, I make sure my left side is flanked by her at all times, while I keep my right side as close to the wall as is physically possible. I'm pathetic, I know. In the cafeteria, we sat down with the same group we sat with last week. Some of them I still remembered, some of them I didn't. I suppose it didn't really matter, since I was in no mood to talk with any of them. I stared across the room, at a table containing only five people. They didn't talk, nor eat. I tried to keep myself from staring, but knew that that was exactly what I was doing. From the corner of my eye, I noticed movement and instinctively turned my head to it; my sister. And even better; she was marching right up to the Cullen table. Guessing from the looks everyone was giving her, this was quite an uncommon thing to do, but Veronica – as always – didn't really care what other people thought. In other words; she was stupid enough to mistake their looks of disbelief for envy.

Leaning against their table, she turned herself to the object of my fantasies. Or as I rather liked to refer to him (because the other phrase made me sound like a creep); Edward. She furiously blinked with her long lashes, giving the impression she had something in her eye. Normally, this act alone would make many a guy fall head over heels with her. Edward Cullen however.. well, he seemed to stay rather calm under her flirting. I think my sister noticed this as well, for now she also starting twirling her hair around her finger and started batting her eyelashes even faster.

'Wow, that girl is really making a fool of herself, isn't she?' One of the girls, Celina I think it was, commented.

'Yeah, she really is..'

Celina scrunched her nose. 'Well, if her plan was to make him go to the prom with her, I think she'd better give up now. The Cullens never hang out with anyone outside of their family. Anyway, speaking of the prom, are you guys going? It's James Bond style, you know?'

Some of the others giggled like school girls – which I guess they actually were – and started discussing boys. Out of politeness, I turned my head away from the Cullens and focused on the conversation at hand. Though, I must admit, I was far more content with watching the strange family than with discussing dresses and boys. There was something about them that fascinated me.

'Are you going?' I asked Georgina, trying to show at least some interest in her.

She nodded 'I am going with Ryan,' she pointed to a boy sitting at the other end of our table. He was an alright looking guy; sandy colored hair, brown eyes. Nothing special really. 'So I heard Derek asked you, do you already have a dress?'

I give her a tortured look. 'No.. I kind rejected him. I.. I am not so fond of dancing.' And I am not so fond of Derek, I added mentally.

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