Chapter 6

When the bell rang, I almost had to be dragged to my next class: PE. Not only did I not have a very athletic build (do I have to remind you about my five inches again?), I also had the unfortunate gift of always falling over my own two feet. Apart from that, I was not that bad a kicking a ball or dribbling, just as long as it didn't require me to move away from my spot. Despite being of the female sex, I was not capable of doing two things at once.

'We're going to play basketball,' Derek announced excitedly, apparently clueless to the fact that I was dreading the whole PE thing. You would say that the look of pure disgust on my face would have given something away, but then again, he could also just have chosen to ignore it. Things between us hadn't been going rather smoothly, after all.

'If I'm captain you can be on my team,' he tried again, but I just nodded once again. Couldn't this guy take a hint?

'Dalia, are you coming to the locker room?' Georgina, once again the savior of my universe.

I nodded and followed her when she opened a door. In my mind, I was still considering the possibility of just pretending I had forgotten my clothes, but knew the chances of Coach Clapp believing me were rather slim. After all, I hadn't actually hidden my dislike of PE. Leisurely, I changed into my PE uniform and at last, followed the others into the gymnasium.

As Coach Clapp started discussing plans for class – basketball, just like Derek said – I tuned out. Once again my thoughts drifted off to a certain bronze haired boy and I couldn't help but wonder how I had known his name. Perhaps someone had mentioned it before? Perhaps I had heard it at school but had not been consciously listening? Of course, this train of thought was unfruitful, because I knew the truth: there was no logical explanation for the fact that I knew Edward Cullen's first name.

Soon, we were divided into groups and I didn't have time to think anymore. I had been put in a team with Derek – to my great reluctance – and pretending I was actually paying attention to the game was my only escape of his endless rambling and well-meant advices. Next time I would get my hands on the ball, I would hit him with it in the face, I decided.

At that exact moment, however, everything suddenly happened very fast. I heard someone calling my name and looked up, just to find a basketball flying in my way at a dangerously high speed. My gut told me to duck, but I was too slow and soon felt the full impact of a ball hitting you square in the face. Let me tell you, not really a great feeling. But unfortunately, that's not where the pain stopped. Not prepared for the force with which the basketball would hit me, I stumbled backwards and fell to the floor in an uncomfortable heap of limps.

It did not take Coach Clapp – and with him; all the students – long to gather at my side and ask me how I was doing.

To be completely honest, it was not so much pain that caused tears to well in my eyes. More so, it was a combination of shock and perhaps adrenalin to make my eyes go watery. I was to be damned however if I was not going to use this to my advantage and so I gladly offered the Coach a tortured face. As I struggled to my feet, I held onto my wrist painfully – as if I had actually tried catching myself and had not, like I had done in reality, just fallen pathetically to the floor. 'I am fine, Coach,' I said, still cradling my left wrist 'My wrist hurts a little, but I am sure it's nothing serious.'

Worriedly – about my wrist, but perhaps also about his career – he nodded. 'Why don't you go to the nurse's office, Miss River, and have them take a look at that wrist of yours.'

Just for show, I shook my head, pretending to be brave. 'I am sure that won't be necessary, Sir.'

'Let them check it for any fractures, though, just in case. I will arrange for someone to bring your bag to your next class.' He turned to the crowd, clearly searching for someone. 'Jeffers, you take the girl to the nurse's office.'

Oh. Hell. No. 'Sir, really, I can find it myself.' I tried, fruitlessly. Five minutes later, I was crossing the corridors with Derek, much to my dismay. Even it if it wouldn't have been Derek, I would have rather gone alone, because now I'd actually have to go to the nurse's office. I shuddered.

'Are you sure I won't have to take you to the hospital?'

I sighed. 'Derek, I told you it's nothing..'

'But what if it's broken?'

Rolling my eyes, I turned my wrist several times, giving him a pointed look. 'See, nothing wrong. Just a little pain, but nothing that a good old pain killer can't fix.'

I almost sighed in relief when the nurse's post came into view. Although that would leave me in the hands of another fretting individual, at least I would be rid of Derek. As we neared the office and he still hadn't backed off, I stopped and turned to him. 'I will find it from here. Thank you for helping me.'


I held my not 'hurt' hand up. 'I promise nothing will happen to me on the way from here into the office.' And with that, I turned and bridged the last few feet until the door.

Inside I was greeted by a friendly looking lady, probably in her mid-fifties, with brown hair that was wrapped up in a bun. Smiling, she asked me 'What can I do for you, Miss?'

'I eh.. Coach Clapp sent me here after I fell and hurt my wrist.' I blushed, partly because of having to explain the situation, and partly because of lying about my injuries.

She nodded and sat me down on the exam table. 'No need to feel uncomfortable dear, everyone falls every now and then. My name is Julia Hemmond and I will just take a quick look at that wrist of yours if that's alright.'

I bit my lip, knowing that I really didn't have an option. Besides, she was actually kind of nice.. Trying my best to keep the fear out of my eyes, I nodded.

As she felt her way around my wrist, I tried to be consistent in telling her which places hurt, whilst trying not to look alarmed by her touch alone. This was harder than I thought and by the end of her examination I am sure she saw through me. However, she didn't say anything.

'Well dear, as far as I can tell your wrist is fine. Just try not to pressure it too much and I am sure it won't hurt anymore tomorrow. Now all I need is your name and then you're all free to go.'

'Dalia River,' I offered, as I pushed myself off of the exam table and followed the older woman to the desk.

'Dalia River,' she repeated, as she wrote something down on a sheet, then looked at me with a warm smile. 'Well, enjoy the rest of your day, Miss River.'

Thanking her, I left the office and made my way to the cafeteria. It would be no use going to my next class already, since I was almost half an hour early. So instead, I dropped myself on a chair at one of the many vacated tables and let out a sigh. How wonderful it was to be here, instead of in PE. How wonderful to be anywhere, instead of in PE. I smiled to myself. Yes, my day had definitely taken a turn for the better.

From my point at the far right corner of the cafeteria, I immediately noticed when they entered. Even though I could not directly see the doors they came through, it was just as easy to follow the stares of the few other students.

When she noticed me, she smiled and waved. Whispering something to the honey blonde, he simply nodded in response and then they were heading over to where I sat. Although to me it didn't seem like that big a deal, judging from the looks I received from the other students; it was. 'Hey Dalia!'

I smiled and waved awkwardly at her. I did not know Alice Cullen very well, but despite that liked her a lot. It was the man next to her that made me feel uncomfortable, with his eyes fixed on me the entire time. 'Hey..'

Sitting down with unnatural grace, she gestured to the guy. 'Dalia, this is Jasper Hale. Jasper, this is the girl from art that I told you about!'

Nodding, a small smile appeared on his lips, but his gaze didn't soften – something that made me want to disappear. 'Nice to meet you. From what Alice told me, you're quite the artist.'

Of course, I blushed. I wasn't complemented much on anything. Although I wasn't really bad at a lot of things, I wasn't good at them either. And that just left me being.. average. And that's just what I told them.

'Average? Nonsense Dalia, that picture you drew of me was fantastic!'

'That's only because you sat so still that I could practically put the paper on your face and copy it! Honestly, at some points I was afraid that you weren't even breathing anymore.'

A second was spent in silence and for a moment I was afraid that I had somehow managed to offend her. Then Alice started laughing and her bell-like laugh resounded around the cafeteria. 'If you exaggerate that even more then I don't think Jasper will ever believe a word we say anymore!'

Jasper now openly smiled and I couldn't help but think that when he did, he truly was quite the catch. I mean, not that I was really into him or anything – since I was already completely obsessed with a certain Cullen – but I just mean to say that he truly was quite beautiful if he didn't look so pained all the time. 'I have learned long ago not to trust a word you say, Alice!'

I, too, laughed now and couldn't help but shake my head at them. They were really friendly and I didn't understand why the other students kept their distance from them. Even Jasper, although at first kind of intimidating, really seemed like a nice guy.

Alice playfully huffed and stood from her chair. 'Let's go to class, Dalia, before he offends me even more.'

When I stood from my own chair, she casually linked her arm through mine and practically dragged me out of the cafeteria, leaving Jasper behind. I looked around one more time to give him an apologizing look, but judging from his smile he didn't really seem to mind. Meanwhile, chaos was quickly ensuing in my own head. My mind was bordering on a panic attack and it took me all my strength to keep breathing. I didn't want to tell Alice this, though, because I didn't want her to think I was weird. Or well, weirder than she probably already thought I was. I had managed to calm down my mind throughout the nurse's examination, but being touched two times truly was too much for me.

Trying to focus on anything but the chaos in my mind, I could not help but notice the coldness of Alice's skin. It truly was strange, but again I decided not to say anything. Besides, it even helped me stay calm, because it did not actually feel like someone was touching me.

'So how is your wrist?' Alice inquired playfully.

Turning red, I looked at my feet. In my embarrassment, I didn't even wonder how she knew. 'It's fine, really.'

'I am sure it is..' She mused, then laughed again. The rest of the walk was spent in silence and from the look on her face, I could see she was thinking about something. Once again, I didn't comment about it, thinking that perhaps she would think I was being nosy. 'Dalia, do you know that feeling that some people just give you from the start? Like that you just know you'll like them, even before you know them?'

Frowning, I had to admit to myself that I didn't. Like I said before, all things social weren't exactly my strongest suit. I did understand what she was talking about, though, and so I nodded. 'Why?'

Stopping in front of the art classroom – of which I only now realized that we'd arrived there – she turned to me and smiled. 'Because I knew from the moment I saw you that we'd be great friends.'

We laughed together as we made our way in the still empty classroom and sat down at one of the tables. As Alice took out her stuff from her bag, I thought about just how much I liked her. She was the only person in Forks that had not made me feel like I was somehow strange. Even Derek, who had practically fawned over me every second of the day, made me only more aware of the fact that I was new, and therefore interesting. Not to mention Edward, the one boy I fawned over but who wouldn't even do as much as look at me. Well, that is if you don't count the confused look he'd given me the first time I'd seen him. Thinking about it, I only realized just how upset I was with him about it. I mean, was I really that far beneath him that he couldn't even stand the sight of me? Was I that worthless that I didn't even deserve his answer when I said something?

The sad part was that I knew the answer to it; yes. I was that far beneath him and I was worthless next to him. I wanted so badly to just be able to talk to someone, to vent my frustration, but knew that I had no right to feel so personally belittled by Edward Cullen.

I sighed, wondering if perhaps I could confide in Alice. Although she was his sister, I trusted her not to tell him about it if I'd ask her. Yes, I could definitely talk to her! Turning to her, I was about to open my mouth, when I noticed the far-off look on her face. Her eyes were looking in the distance unfocusedly and her eyebrows were pinned together in confusion. Suddenly grabbing hold of one of the pencils from her pencil case, she started sketching, still looking in the distance.

Looking over her shoulder, I quickly realized she was drawing a face. 'Bella?'

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