Written 2008, 30 minutes after reading Twilight
There are few things that surprise me in Forks, but I suppose that was always a given from the moment I arrived. The school might look slightly less unremarkable than the one I had attended in Phoenix, and the students might be slightly more peculiar, but aside from this, any experience I would have in Forks could hardly startle me. To categorise the entire student populace as nothing but bland sheep would be unfair of me. There are a few there, different from me. Different from the widely accepted baseball or prom obsessed teenager.
Even so, despite the sharp peculiarities of the Cullen family, they are completely…normal.
Boys my age are hammering away at their favoured game-playing console, racing shiny cars through winding pixelated routes, seized by a curious, longing drive that stays cemented into their minds long after they have become adults. I cannot think of Edward as a boy, no matter how many hours we spend in biology, hands and knees practically connected in teenage excitement, but I see him when he drives. That’s the only thing that frightens me about him. His driving. And yet he seems the most like the other humans I know – except this is no Playstation or X-Box, and there will be no ‘game over’ screen if he crashes.
He will walk away.
Today is like any other uninterestingly normal day. I’ve served the required time for the day at high school. I’ve suffered bruises and other mishaps from Gym. I’ve traded the usual banalities with Jessica and others at the cafeteria. And here I am, like any normal girl in love, sitting next to my boyfriend in the twilight of a park – one of the few places Charlie…Dad…lets me go with Edward after class.
This is the safest time for us. That will never surprise me. My memories of Phoenix are still sun-kissed, even if my skin is not. I am a child of the sun. He is a man of the night. In this moment, as the weak light, smothered by clouds, fades into a strange, unsettling dusk, we are one. When we are here together, we are the everlasting twilight.
He holds my hand. Maybe he doesn’t realise it, but it is the same hand that burned with the promising sting of venom. Even now, I feel the phantom sting, and I welcome it. This is no surprise to me. I have remembered, dreamed, felt that sensation every night since my… “ordeal” hardly seems the word. Instead, I will say that it was the precise moment that I understood.
Edward Cullen owns me.
He has owned me from the moment he placed himself between me and death. I think my number was up then. It should have been up then. Somewhere, from the squeal of tyres on black ice to the dull thud of impact, he stole the reigns of my life from God or fate, or whatever it is that destined me to die that day.
As I think this, he tilts his head sideways to smile at me, in that painfully beautiful way that catches my breath. I am powerless to refuse his kiss – not that I would ever want to. For long, delicious seconds, my mind is cleared. But then he pulls away, topaz eyes suddenly murky, and he finds a more verbal subject to break the silence with. I let him. Perhaps his restraint over his own instincts surprises him. It would never shock me. I know him well. Better than he knows himself.
He will never want to see me become like him. Maybe he’s afraid that this will mean him interfering with my life. But he interfered simply by entering my thoughts. He interfered by saving my life and making it his own, to do with what he will. I belong to him. Why does he not see it? I should be dead, so why would becoming a vampire interfere with any course of life I would never have had anyway?
My palm aches, and I wish it was from Edward’s mark. It is only a wistful memory burning at my skin. My hand belongs in his, as surely as my life belongs to him. The sooner he realises this…I won’t say it will be better. I can’t know that, and I think that scares me.
But I know that now he owns my fate, he has unadulterated autonomy in which way my life should go. He has the right to make me like him. He won’t. Not yet, anyway. I can wait. Even though I expect it, one day, it will be one of those few surprises in Forks to sneak up on me. And I welcome it.
The twilight ends. Darkness has chased the dusk away. It is time to go.
Edward releases my hand. It burns once more, then fades to nothing but a distant itch. As I follow him to his car, I wonder if I think loudly enough, that he will hear me. I only have one thought I wish him to hear right now.