Chapter 7

On Friday, as I sat at the dinner table, I couldn’t help but drift off from the conversation at hand. Although this by itself wasn’t very unusual, the reason for it was, and I couldn’t help but think back on the events of that week.

‘Bella?’ The word had passed my lips before I knew it.

As if my voice had snapped her out of her trance, Alice turned her head towards me at a speed that I had not thought humanly possible, and looked at me in confusion. ‘You know her?’

Looking down at the drawing once more, I studied the dark, wavy hair, the warm, doe eyes, the eyebrows that were furrowed in confusion. I suppose one could call her beautiful. ‘No, I mean.. I am not sure..’

This caused Alice to frown even more. ‘But you know her name is Bella?’

I bit my lip, looking for the right words. What was I supposed to say? I knew for a fact that I had never seen her before, yet somehow the name had popped in my head as soon as I saw her. It was just like when I saw Edward.. ‘I don’t know, Alice, I am sorry.’ Remembering her far-off look, it was my turn to look confused. ‘What happened to you just now, Alice? You completely zoned out and then you started drawing.’

Alice’s expression turned unreadable. ‘I can’t explain now, Dalia. I have to go, I am sorry.’ And within mere seconds, she was gone.

Alice Cullen had not returned to class that day, nor the next. In fact, all of the Cullens had been suspiciously absent from school for the remainder of that week. Although I did not know the rest of the Cullens very well, I missed seeing Alice at school. She had so far been the only person I had actually felt comfortable around and I was afraid that somehow I had scared her away.

Besides uncertainty, there was another aspect of Monday’s happenings that wouldn’t leave me alone. Once again I had known the name of a person I’d never met. Even though I didn’t know for sure that this girl’s name really was Bella, something in my gut told me it was. And that scared me. Apart from my own strange cases of foresight, I was also pondering over Alice’s strange behavior. From the questions she asked me, my guess was that she didn’t know the girl either. So what had caused her to draw Bella, a girl she had never met?

‘Are you done with that?’

I looked up to find my mother impatiently looking at the plate in front of me. I now realized I had been aimlessly pushing the vegetables around for at least fifteen minutes.

‘Yeah, sure.’

She shook her head at my behavior – clearly seeing it as another piece of evidence for her ‘my-daughter-is-mad’ theory – and took the plate away.

It was at that moment that the doorbell rang and I looked up confused. Were we expecting people?

‘Can I get you something to drink?’ She was trying too hard. Again.

‘No thank you, I am fine,’ a velvet, beautiful voice answered. Edward Cullen.

Almost choking on the carrot I’d popped into my mouth when mom took my plate away, I coughed hard and dramatically. I really did not understand how others were able to act so casual around him – although I guess Veronica wasn’t exactly the epitome of casualty either with her constant flirting – when all I was able to do was stare. Stare and forget to breathe, that is.
I heard them ascend the stairs and let out a sigh in relief. Being around him truly was too much for my body. I was still not done coughing and my face was already turning a violent, glowing red. Apart from that, I was slapping myself on the back, occasionally alternating it with trying the Heimlich maneuver on myself – all without success of course.

Mom threw me another strange look, then simply left the kitchen.

Putting my face down on the table, I sighed. Why was I not the daughter with good genes? And, if we were wishing anyway, why wasn’t Edward Cullen upstairs with me? I was sure life would be so much easier if I were Veronica. Mom and Dad would actually love me, I would have heaps of friends and boys would fawn over me as if I was Scarlett freaking Johansson herself.

‘As if that’s ever going to happen..’ I mumbled to myself, then pushed myself up from the chair. I would just have to live with being a 5 feet and 3 inches tall midget, with no romantic interests and no friends. To my own defense, I was still debating about that last aspect, since up until Monday I had been quite sure Alice had wanted to be my friend. Now, I wasn’t too sure anymore.

Shaking my head, I decided I would stop thinking about it. Instead, I moved out of the kitchen, past the living room and up the stairs. For a moment I entertained the thought of listening at Veronica’s door, but then came to the conclusion that it would be pointless. If they were doing nothing, it would be senseless to listen and if they were doing something, I didn’t want to know.

Knowing that I wouldn’t be able to concentrate on things like math when Edward Cullen would be in the room next to mine, I decided I would just take a shower. As I stepped under the stream of hot water, I closed my eyes and for a moment, forgot about the existence of Edward Cullen. All I could think of was the warmth that enveloped me and the content feeling it gave me. I didn’t relish in this feeling for too long, though, for I now knew exactly how long I could spend before the water would turn cold. That, unfortunately, wasn’t too long – eleven minutes, to be exact. Quickly getting to the job of soaping my body and hair, I couldn’t keep my thoughts from wandering to the boy in the next room anymore. I could easily imagine the uninterested look on his face – the same one he’d worn on the day Veronica had tried flirting with him – and couldn’t hold back a laugh. He was a bit of a mystery to me, for despite his obvious attractiveness and the fact that he could date any girl in the school, he seemed utterly disinterested in all of them. Unfortunately, that included me..

‘Shit, fuck fuck,’ I screamed, as once again cold water poured down on me. Turning off the water, I slapped myself against the forehead. Once again Edward Cullen had kept my brain from functioning.

As I toweled myself, I looked at the bleak sight in the mirror. The ruffled, ginger locks, the ghostly pale skin, the grey, misty eyes; I sighed. He would never see anything in a girl like me.
I quickly turned away from the mirror, realizing it would only ruin my night, and put on my pajamas. They were a simple sweatpants and a loose fitting shirt with the Hogwarts crest on it. Not exactly sexy, but they were comfortable. Throwing my towel in a corner, I unlocked the door and stepped into the hallway. Since I still wasn’t quite ready to face my homework, I decided to get myself some tea, perhaps mustering up the courage to do math in the meantime. As if..

Luckily for me, my parents didn’t notice when I passed the living room, probably too engrossed by their drama series. This spared me a round of advice and preaching and so, I was pleased. As I waited for the water to boil, I listened in on the drama, easily recognizing Claire of McLeod’s Daughters’ voice. How I hated that show.

It was then, when I was pouring the hot water into a mug, that I heard their footsteps descend the stairs. I had to stop what I was doing to control my breathing, before I was able to turn around. When they passed the kitchen, my heartbeat sped up and beat so loud that I was sure he could hear it. As he looked to the left, his eyes met mine and for a microsecond we just stared, but then he looked away and I doubted it had ever even happened.

I heard Veronica bid him a good night, but wasn’t able to function until I heard the front door close. For another second, I stared off into space, then I spurred into action. Rushing out into the hallway, I paid no attention to my sister, even when she asked me what was wrong with me. Instead, I threw open the door and ran outside, into the pouring rain.

As my eyes searched the front yard, they met with the sight of a silver Volvo. I jogged up to it, all the while trying to shield my head from the rain.

Edward, who was standing by the side of his car – seemingly not minding the downpour – turned to look at me. His face was unreadable, although I thought I’d seen a flash of confusion – he was probably questioning my sanity, too.

‘Edward Cullen?’ Only after his name had passed my lips did I notice just how stupid it sounded. As if I – or anyone for that matter – didn’t know who he was. ‘I.. you are Alice’s brother, right?’ Stupid question, of course he was.

He furrowed his brows, almost as if he himself was contemplating how to answer that question (or perhaps just the extent of my stupidity). ‘Yes..’

‘Is she alright? Alice, I mean. I haven’t seen her at school this week and she left so suddenly on Monday that I was afraid I’d done something wrong or that she’s mad at me. So I thought..-’

‘Alice is fine.’ His voice was velvet, yet the look in his eyes and the tone of his voice told me all I needed to know: don’t ask questions.

I just nodded, too bewildered by his curt, almost rude manners to do anything else. As he stepped into the car and started the engine, never letting his eyes leave mine, I realized something was off about him. And that’s how Edward Cullen left me, staring at his car that slowly disappeared in the distance.

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