As per usual, the drive to school was monotonous. I drove at a speed which I thought was slow, but still I watched the human drivers go at the mere speed of about 70 or 80 miles per hour. How dull their human senses were.
I could see every inch of the car they drove, every microscopic scratch, every small detail.
I can’t recall much of my human hood, but I know it must have been very dull and colourless. There are some pros to being a vampire, I guess.
Like the speed, clarity and strength. But I believe the cons outweigh them, like the never-ending need for blood, not being able to sleep, living forever, hence watching human friends and family die. A negative which makes the idea of turning Bella Swan, the one I love, into a vampire more and more tempting. Of course I could never do that to her, for that would be the most selfish thing I could possibly do. She should live a full human life with me, if she wants to stay with me, and die naturally, like a human should, I don’t plan to live much longer than she does anyway.
Finally we arrived at school and a thought sprung into my head, a conversation that Carlisle, my ‘adopted’ vampire father, and Esme, my ‘adopted’ vampire mother had been having during the night, of how people were starting to get suspicious of Carlisle’s age at the hospital where he worked, and how we might have to relocate soon.
I put that thought to the back of my head, since it was Bella’s 18th birthday today, Bella had asked me to completely ignore the event, of course, she hated the thought of being older than me, when technically I’m 109 years old.
Alice, one of my ‘adopted’ vampire siblings, who had been in the car with me, was talking away to herself, or perhaps to me but I wasn’t listening, mostly Alice talking about the celebration she was planning for Bella.
I then read Alice’s mind and saw a vision of Bella arriving at the party and looking absolutely terrified as she saw a marching band, 1000 guests, a mountain of presents and many other things. Alice could see visions of the future as her medium, like I could read minds, and I glared at her in my mirror.
I stepped out of my Volvo and just then, I heard the rumble of Bella’s 1953 Chevy truck, I could see it, and I was sure Alice could see it too, but the rest of the school’s human populace wouldn’t be able to see or hear it since it was a half mile away.
The whisper of human voices got louder as more cars filed into the car park, at that moment in time I was listening to the musings of a certain Mike Newton, who had made an attempt to make his hair look like mine. I laughed as I listened to his thoughts,
Stupid Cullen…why would Bella want to date a weirdo like him…bet he had to beg to get a date with her… maybe Bella just likes him for his good looks… that’s why I know my plan will work…
Suddenly I was distracted by Bella’s arrival. She drove through the gate and Alice jumped up and down and clapped her hands. Alice was thinking about arranging a limousine to pick Bella up for the party. I glared at her and she whispered reassuringly,
“Don’t worry, everything will be fine…” I just laughed.
Alice held on tightly to the silver box containing Bella’s birthday present and I saw Bella frown as she caught a glimpse of the package.
She slammed the door of the truck and Alice, oblivious to Bella’s mood, skipped over to talk to her.
“Happy Birthday Bella!”
“Shhhhh!” Bella hissed, and looked around hoping no-one had heard.
Alice ignored her, “Do you want to open your present now or later?” She asked eagerly as they walked towards me.
“No presents.” Bella protested in a mumble.
“Okay… later then. Did you like the scrapbook your Mom sent you? And the camera from Charlie?”
Bella sighed, “Yeah, they’re great.”
“I think it’s a nice idea, you’re only a senior once. Might as well document the experience.”
“How many times have you been a senior?”
They reached me then and I held out my hand for hers. She took it eagerly and smiled. Her hand was warm and for a moment it was easy to forget the burning in my throat, I was so used to being near her now, I had all but forget the temptation her blood used to be to me. She looked into her eyes and her heart thudded loudly, I smiled.
“So, as discussed, I am not allowed to wish you a happy birthday, is that correct?” I asked.
“Yes. That is correct.” She replied.
“Just checking. You might have changed your mind. Most people seem to enjoy things like birthdays and gifts.”
Alice laughed, “Of course you’ll enjoy it. Everyone is supposed to be nice to you today and give you your way, Bella. What’s the worst that could happen?” She meant it as a rhetorical question.
“Getting older.” She answered anyway, her voice shaky.
“Eighteen isn’t very old,” Alice said, “Don’t women usually wait until they’re twenty nine to get upset over birthdays?”
“It’s older than Edward.” Bella mumbled.
Yet again, Bella was getting paranoid about her age.
“What time will you be at the house?” Alice continued, changing the subject.
“I didn’t know I had plans to be there.” Bella replied.
“Oh, be fair, Bella!” she complained. “You aren’t going to ruin all our fun like that, are you?”
“I thought my birthday was about what I want.”
“I’ll get her from Charlie’s right after school.” I said.
“I have work.” Bella protested.
“You don’t, actually.” Alice said smugly. “I already spoke to Mrs. Newton about it. She’s trading your shifts. She said to tell you ‘Happy Birthday’.”
“I- I still can’t come over.” Bella stammered, scrambling for an excuse. “I, well, I haven’t watched Romeo and Juliet yet for English.”
Alice snorted. “You have Romeo and Juliet memorized.”
“But Mr. Berty said we needed to see it performed to fully appreciate it- that’s how Shakespeare intended it to be presented.”
I rolled my eyes.
“You’ve already seen the movie.” Alice accused.
“But not the nineteen-sixties version. Mr. Berty said it was the best.”
Alice glared at her. “This can be easy, or this can be hard, Bella, but one way or the other-“
I interrupted her threat, “Relax, Alice. If Bella wants to watch a movie, then she can. It’s her birthday.”
“So there.” Bella added.
Alice laughed again, “Sounds good. See you tonight, Bella. It’ll be fun, you’ll see!” She grinned, pecked Bella on the cheek and skipped away to class.
“Edward, please...” Bella started to beg.
“Let’s discuss this later. We’re going to be late for class.”
The day progressed without much event and neither Alice nor I brought up Bella’s birthday again.
We sat at the usual table for lunch. Now that my other ‘adopted’ vampire siblings, Jasper, Rosalie and Emmett had graduated Bella’s human friends weren’t as frightened of sitting with Alice, Bella and I.
When school finished, I walked Bella to her truck, as usual. I held the passenger door open for her,
“It’s my birthday, don’t I get to drive?” Bella protested.
“I’m pretending it’s not your birthday, just as you wished.” I replied.
“If it’s not my birthday, then I don’t have to go to your house tonight...”
“All right.” I muttered and walked round to the passenger door. “Happy Birthday.”
“Shhhh.” She whispered half heartedly.
We drove to Charlie’s house, talking about Bella’s radio, smiling internally, knowing that Emmett, Rosalie and Jasper had got her a new one for her birthday.
Then, we watched Romeo and Juliet, no surprise, Bella cried at the end. We spoke about the Volturi, the vampire royalty, almost and how they keep the law... and give the punishments if the law is broken. For there is only is law, Keep the secret.
Charlie arrived with a pizza box in his hands.
“Hey kids!” He grinned. “I thought you’d like a break from cooking and washing dishes on your birthday. Hungry?” He told Bella.
“Sure. Thanks, Dad.” She replied.
Charlie didn’t ask about my lack of appetite, he was used to me passing on dinner.
“Do you mind if I borrow Bella for the evening?” I asked when they were done.
Bella looked at Charlie hopefully.
“That’s fine – the Mariners are playing the Sox tonight,” Charlie explained, “So I won’t be any kind of company...Here.” Bella looked downhearted.
Charlie picked up the camera he’d bought for Bella and threw it at her.
Bella missed it, and I caught it just before it hit off the ground.
“Nice save.” Charlie murmured. “If they’re doing something fun at the Cullen’s tonight, Bella, you should take some pictures. You know how your mother gets – she’ll be wanting to see the pictures faster than you can take them.”
“Good idea Charlie.” I replied, giving Bella the camera.
Bella turned round and took a picture of me.
“It works!” She smiled.
“That’s good. Hey, say hi to Alice for me. She hasn’t been over in a while.” Charlie noted.
“It’s been three days, Dad.” Bella reminded him. “I’ll tell her.” She added.
“Okay. You kids have fun tonight.” Charlie said as he walked towards the living room and TV, where he probably would stay for the duration of the night.
I smiled triumphantly and took her hand as I pulled her from the kitchen.
Happily, I drove Bella to my house; and I told Bella how my family were so excited, since we hadn’t celebrated a birthday in the family for 70 years or so. She sighed, but agreed to lay off them a bit. She looked worried when I told her that Rosalie would be there. Rosalie was jealous of Bella, because she was human and was particularly icy towards her. We also talked about what Bella wanted for her birthday, but it was the one present I never wanted to give her... immortality.
Just then, we arrived at the house and as soon as Bella caught a glimpse of the decorations, she winced.
“This is a party,” I reminded her, “Try to be a good sport.”
“Sure.” She muttered.
I walked round to open Bella’s door and reached out for her hand. She took it and said,
“I have a question.” I waited for her to continue, “If I develop this film...... will you show up in the picture?”
I started laughing, and I laughed until we walked in the front door.
My family were all waiting in the living room, and when we walked through the door they started singing, ‘Happy Birthday!’ while Bella flushed red and looked down.
Alice had gone way over board, with lots of balloons, roses and cake, lots and lots of cake. I saw Bella wince as she looked around.
Seeing her distress, I wrapped my arm around her waist and kissed the top of her head.
Esme kissed Bella on the cheek and Carlisle put his arm around Bella’s shoulders,
“Sorry about this Bella.” Carlisle stage-whispered, “We couldn’t rein Alice in.”
What’s all this fuss over her, why is she so special? Rosalie thought and I glared at her for a second while Emmett greeted Bella,
“You haven’t changed at all,” He said, “I expected a perceptible difference, but here you are, red-faced like always.”
“Thanks a lot.” Bella replied as her face blushed deep red.
“I have to step out for a second,” Emmett stopped and winked at Alice, “Don’t do anything funny while I’m gone.”
“I’ll try.” Bella laughed.
Alice skipped towards Bella and smiled, “Time to open presents!” She declared excitedly, pushing Bella towards the table covered in gifts. Everyone in the room was thinking of what they had given her.
I hope she likes them. Esme thought happily.
Hope she listens to some decent tunes on this. Emmett laughed internally in the garage.
Stupid human, who does she think she is? Rosalie thought nastily. I hissed under my breath.
“Alice you know I don’t want anything-“ Bella said in a gush.
“But I don’t listen,” Alice interrupted, smiling, “Open it.” She added as she handed Bella a large silver box.
“Um.... thanks.” Bella said as she looked into the empty box. We all laughed. Rosalie only managed to grin, although she tries to hide it. Suddenly the penny dropped,
“Thanks, Jasper, Rosalie!” She smiled and I knew she was remembering the complaints I had made about her radio earlier on today. “Thanks Emmett!” She shouted louder, even though he could hear clearly.
We heard him laugh from the garage, and we all joined in.
“Open mine and Edward’s next!” Alice squealed excitedly.
“You promised.” Bella said as she glared at me.
“Just in time!” Emmett shouted as he jumped into the room.
“I didn’t spend a dime.” I said as I brushed a strand of hair from her face.
“Give it to me.” Bella sighed unhappily and Emmett laughed.
Bella sighed, took the package off Alice and stuck her paper into the edge of the paper and jerked it up.
“Shoot.” She muttered as the paper cut her finger.
I sucked in breath and everything went hazy.
Must-blood-hunger-must-blood-human-blood. Jasper thought.
“NO!” I roared as I jumped towards Bella.
The small table collapsed as I pushed Bella towards the ground away from Jasper as he pushed and pulled at me to get towards Bella and... her blood.