In the interest of keeping the Cullen family alive, some of the characters have been talking to me. They are begging to tell their story. One of the siblings whom I have attached myself to is Jasper. I feel he is the most overlooked of the Cullens. He possesses an incredible gift; reading others’ emotions, and also manipulating the moods of others. He tries to use this for good, but it is difficult when being bombarded with the feelings of others. He is often on an emotional rollercoaster. Jasper, I imagine, is an emotional wreck most of the time. Dealing with his hateful, violent past is almost bad enough. He is the newest member of the vegetarian family, and being around humans is torture for him. Now, he must also endure the emotions of teenagers on a daily basis, while keeping tabs on the emotions of his family. He has a lot of plates spinning at once, and he is not always certain that he can keep them all above water. Jasper has a heavy burden. His perspective did not always come through in the books, and he has been speaking to me about his experience through Edward and Bella’s journey. So, this is an experiment. Hopefully, I’ve done Jasper some justice here.
You might notice some similarity between Edward and Jasper. As I read them, the two have a lot in common that the books don’t indulge in. The two are very introspective. Being able to read others makes them very curious, and they are often lost in thought over this. Another similarity is their pasts. Although Edward’s is not as involved as Jasper’s is, they both regret the violence they acted in. Although they’ve all killed, with the exception of Carlisle, only Edward and Jasper went on murderous sprees in their pasts. This is something they share. It would seem to me that these two are more brothers than any of the other siblings. My writing here explores this bond between them.
The other relationship that is explored here is between Jasper and Alice. This should be self-explanatory, but in case it is not; Jasper is dependent on Alice. Being tortured by his past, being surrounded by temptation, and enduring the general negativity that surrounds him; Alice is his one source of light in a dark, gloomy world. Their relationship is not solely based on love, but also of pure need. I think the books do not exactly explain the bonds between Jasper and Alice, so I have gone a little deeper here.
I did not follow the books’ scripts exactly. Most of Jasper’s experiences fall in private conversations with the family. These are times when Bella was either too far away to hear, or was not present at all. Therefore, his story does not always coincide with Bella’s, and there is no need to copy the books’ storylines. All of the characters belong to Stephenie, but I hope that my dive into Jasper’s world merely enhances what she has already begun.
I don’t know how much I will write in Jasper’s perspective. This one scene is the first to jump out at me, so it is what I have written so far. This exercise was mostly character development for Jasper, which is why most of the scene takes place in his head. Take it for what it is. So enjoy, and tell me what you think.
Now, without further ado…..
Living among them was harder for me than it was for the others. I only stopped feeding off of humans a few decades ago. It was my own choice; I didn’t want to live the rest of eternity like that. A killer. However, that doesn’t mean their blood and their scent is not tempting me every single minute. Fortunately, they naturally keep their distance. They can’t quite figure us out, but they know that we could be dangerous. Their instincts tell them to stay away. That helps me some. I could use my ability to soothe their fear, but I felt it is better this way; better to be wary of us and keep their distance. Otherwise, they might become brave one day and decide to get in close with us. This was dangerous for us; if one of them found out our secret or got too close…I don’t know if our family could survive that.
Some days I wonder why Carlisle and the others insist we play this charade. Why do my siblings and I go to school, surround ourselves with temptation? All the different scents. All the different hearts pumping blood through the different bodies. Sometimes, the heartbeats are deafening in my ears. The thought of that much blood in one place was almost too much to bear. Do they like to tempt fate? Are they just masochists? I glance at my siblings around our table in the little cafeteria. They hardly seem to notice the humans at all. Perhaps, if I could continue on this path, I could become as nonchalant as they.
I feel a hand on my arm. Alice, my angel, my saving grace, smiled her sweet smile at me. “Jasper, don’t worry so much. You are doing great.” Her positive energy melts away all of my anxiety. She has been my natural stabilizer. I let her optimism wash over me. It is easy for me to pick up on others’ emotions. That is another reason why high school is always so agonizing for me. So much worry, jealousy, doubt, rejection, fear. I could go on. High school is just one long tragedy. But it is all bearable with Alice by my side. Ever since she walked into my life, quite literally, her bubbly, positive nature has drawn me in like a magnet. She has been my beacon of light in this dark, tumultuous world. I know without a doubt that she is my only hope for a happy existence. True, since we’ve joined the Cullen family, I’ve gained the love and support of Carlisle, Esme, and our siblings, Rosalie, Emmett, and Edward. But I could not do this without Alice. I could not live this life day by day without giving in to the monster that rages inside me. She was my anchor. She was my only hope.
Appreciatively, I placed my hand on hers and smiled, looking into her eyes. Even her golden eyes twinkled. Everything about her was bright and glorious. Heaven only knows what I would do to these kids if she were not here…
My brother, Edward, cleared his throat from across the table. He was glaring at me. I knew that look well. Edward is able to read others’ thoughts. While at school, he often listens in on my thoughts, you know, to make sure I’m not going to lose it. That look he was giving me at that moment meant he had seen the gross display I was playing out in my head that involved every single body currently in the cafeteria. Edward gave me a short nod, confirming my assumption. He tries to be discreet when chastising me, not wanting to upset Alice or get Rosalie and Emmett involved. Heaven knows, once Rosalie started offering her opinion, how I should not be allowed to attend school yet, that she wouldn’t stop.
Edward stifled a snort. He had the same opinion of Rosalie. As much as we loved our sister, she was a snob and a shrew.
Another smirk from Edward.
No matter what I thought of Rosalie, though, there was this nagging doubt constantly in the back of my mind that perhaps she was right. Perhaps I shouldn’t be around this many humans all the time. Going to school was a liability. Not just for me, but for the whole family. If I mess up just once, then all of us would be exposed and endangered. I couldn’t allow that to happen. Carlisle and Esme, who took me in as a son, meant too much. My family meant too much. Alice meant too much.
Once again, I turned to meet her twinkling, smiling eyes. Every time I look at her, I have to think; imagine my luck! To meet an angel like her among all the demons I’ve met in my lifetime. Still smiling, Alice swept a strand of hair from my face. Overwhelmed with love, I kissed her forehead and wrapped my arm around her shoulders, pulling her into my chest. She was only too happy to lay her head there. I could have sat like this for eternity.
Feeling calmer, more at peace, I felt able to face the students in the cafeteria without imagining killing them. As I turned my gaze, I noticed Edward lost in his own thoughts. Edward is an observer, like I am. As I read the students’ emotions, Edward reads their thoughts. We learn about people this way. Naturally, we’ve come to the same conclusions about high school. Ultimately petty and depressing. Rosalie fits right in. Emmett and Alice are both optimists, always seeing a bright side to everything. Being stuck at school does not affect them anymore than if they were in a field of roses. Edward and I, on the other hand, can hardly stand it. However, school is better than the alternative. I imagine wasting away eternity without a constant distraction such as school, would leave us so bored that we would have to resort to our instincts…
I expected a reaction from Edward reading my thoughts, but he was still lost in his own. I followed his gaze, a glare really, to a girl sitting across the cafeteria. She did not look familiar. This must be the new girl everyone was talking about. The fact that the students around her were filled with intrigue and wonder supported my theory. I also picked up on the girl’s curiosity, but it was not for the same reason as the others. Just as Edward was staring her down, so was she staring at him! Edward never gave the humans a second thought, so the fact that he was intently paying this one attention caught me off guard. Both looked away after a minute, the girl feeling both embarrassed and curious. However, Edward was frustrated and downright furious. The look on his face only proved what I picked up. What could have caused him to get so worked up over a human girl?? Had she discovered our secret in such a short time here? I nervously glance back at the girl. She was looking at my brother again. Christ.
My siblings saw this exchange as well, and the look on Edward’s face worried them, naturally, as it did me too. I’m sure they were coming to the same questions I was. The anxiety I was picking up from them, particularly Rosalie, was bearing down on me at the same time. It almost pained me physically. I might have tried to calm them, but my own questions were too prominent. I was a part of the anxiety. There was also spite and utter hatred. Edward was enraged because he didn’t understand something. Something about the new girl. Even if I could not read emotions, his scowl and clenched fists were evidence to this. Rosalie was becoming angry at the girl too, only because she sees it is upsetting Edward. As obnoxious as she is, Rosalie was always protective of her family. That desire to protect was overwhelming me now. In one moment, our happy family had turned into a boiling vat of acid. It all weighed me down until I felt like I was sinking. I gripped Alice’s shoulder in an attempt to keep afloat.
“Alice, get Jasper out of here.” Edward muttered through his teeth. Great. Now Rosalie will start about how I can’t handle myself in public. “It’s for him, not for the others.” Edward added, either responding to my thought or Rosalie was thinking along those lines already.
Alice stood up and took my hand. I would follow her anywhere. We took our trays over to the trash can and threw away our untouched food, just like every other day. All the while, Alice was smiling and dancing across the floor. Her gracefulness was always astounding. True, vampires have the agility needed to move stealthily when hunting or hiding. We are the most graceful creatures on Earth. But, Alice’s movements surpass even that. Perhaps it is a skill from her human life that has been enhanced. Perhaps she was a dancer. No one knows where Alice came from. Her and I met at a bar (so typical for human dates, it’s almost funny). She had a vision about the Cullen clan, and we came to join them. Through the years, I have never met another vampire quite like Alice.
So, while twirling light on her feet, Alice led me out of the cafeteria. I did not mind leaving early. I actually preferred it. It gave me a minute’s rest from the emotional bombardment of the high schoolers. It was also a break from the temptation boiling inside me. Usually, Edward accompanies us when we leave early, but today it seemed he stayed behind with Rosalie and Emmett. Perhaps he had not composed himself from his frustration and felt the need to do that before leaving. It was not like Edward to lose his composure. Not much could ruffle his feathers anymore. This hit shook him harder than he was used to.
Alice looked back at me, and I smiled wide at her. Alone, at last, until our next class.
“What is wrong with Edward?” She asked, worried. I frowned. I hated to see Alice upset. If she was not her usual chipper self, what hope did I have?
“I’m not entirely sure.” I shrugged. “The new girl frustrates him, but I don’t know why.”
Alice seemed to think about this, then winked at me. “We’ll find out soon enough.” Her optimism swept over me once again. My girl was back, I could relax.
Just then, Edward was behind us. He had collected himself, but was still visibly upset. I was about to ask him what happened, but he anticipated my question, only muttering, “I can’t hear her thoughts!” and let out a low growl.
Alice and I looked at each other. This has never happened before, to our knowledge. But, we could not ask Edward anything further. At that moment, the bell rang and the hall filled with students. Edward disappeared towards his Biology class. Alice grabbed my hand and squeezed. She knew I always needed help when this happened. All the human scents breeze by. The crowding brought beating hearts closer. I almost choke with the yearning that rose up in my throat.
Alice pulled me towards our English Lit class. We sat in our seats in the front row – upwind, and prepared to hear a lecture on William Blake for the umpteenth time in our lives.