Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 11)
The rain stayed soft over the weekend, quiet, so I was able to sleep.
People greeted me in the parking lot Monday morning. I didn’t know all their names, but I smiled at everyone. It was colder this morning, but at least it wasn’t raining. In English, McKayla took her now-normal seat by my side. We had a pop quiz on Wuthering Heights. It was straightforward, very easy.
All in all, I was feeling a lot more comfortable than I had thought I would feel by this point. More comfortable than I had ever expected to feel here.
When we walked out of class, the air was full of swirling bits of white. I could hear people shouting excitedly to each other. The wind was freezing against my cheeks, my nose.
“Wow,” McKayla said. “It’s snowing.”
I looked at the little cotton fluffs that were building up along the sidewalk and swirling erratically past my face.
“Ugh.” Snow. There went my good day.
She looked surprised. “Don’t you like snow?”
“Snow means it’s too cold for rain.” Obviously. “Besides, I thought it was supposed to come down in flakes—you know, each one unique and all that. These just look like the ends of Q-tips.”
“Haven’t you ever seen snow fall before?” she asked incredulously.
“Sure I have.” I paused. “On TV.”
McKayla laughed. And then a big, wet ball of dripping snow smacked into the back of her head. We both turned to see where it came from. I suspected Erica, who was walking away, her back toward us—in the wrong direction for her next class. McKayla had the same idea. She bent over and began scraping together a pile of white mush.
“I’ll see you at lunch, okay?” I kept walking as I spoke. The last thing I wanted was a wad of dirty ice melting down my neck the rest of the day.
She just nodded, her eyes on Erica’s back.
I kept a sharp lookout on the way to the cafeteria with Jeremy after Spanish. Mush balls were flying everywhere. I had a binder in my hands, ready to use it as a shield. Jeremy thought I was hilarious, but something in my expression kept him from lobbing a snowball at me himself.
McKayla caught up to us as we walked in the doors, laughing, her usually sleek hair turning frizzy from the wet. She and Jeremy were talking animatedly about the snow fight as we got in line to buy food. I glanced toward that table in the corner out of habit. And then I froze where I stood. There were five people at the table.
Jeremy pulled on my arm.
“Hey? Beau? What do you want?”
I looked down; my ears were hot. I had no reason to feel self-conscious, I reminded myself. I hadn’t done anything wrong.
“What’s with Beau?” McKayla asked Jeremy.
“Nothing,” I answered. I grabbed a soda bottle as I caught up to the end of the line.
“Aren’t you hungry?” Jeremy asked.
“Actually, I feel a little sick,” I said.
He shuffled a few steps away from me.
I waited for them to get their food, and then followed them to the table, my eyes anywhere but the back corner of the cafeteria.
I drank my soda slowly, stomach churning. Twice McKayla asked, with a concerned tone that seemed a little over the top, how I was feeling. I told her it was nothing, but I was wondering if I should play it up and escape to the nurse’s office for the next hour.
Ridiculous. I shouldn’t have to run away. Why was I being such a coward? Was it so bad to be glared at? It wasn’t like she was actually going to stab a knife in me.
I decided to allow myself one glance at the Cullen family’s table. Just to read the mood.
I kept my head turned away and glanced out of the side of my eye. None of them were looking this way. I turned my head a little.
They were laughing. Edythe, Jessamine, and Eleanor all had their hair entirely saturated with melting snow. Archie and Royal were leaning away as Eleanor flipped her dripping hair toward them, leaving a wide arc of splatters across the front of their jackets. They were enjoying the snowy day, just like everyone else—only they looked more like a scene from a movie than the rest of us.
But, aside from the laughter and playfulness, there was something different, and I couldn’t quite figure out what that difference was. I examined Edythe, comparing her to my memory of last week. Her skin was less pale, I decided—flushed from the snow fight maybe—the circles under her eyes much less noticeable. Her hair was darker, wet and slicked down against her head. But there was something else. I forgot to pretend I wasn’t staring as I tried to put my finger on the change.
“What are you staring at, Beau?” Jeremy asked.
At that precise moment, Edythe’s eyes flashed over to meet mine.
I turned my head completely toward Jeremy, shifting my shoulders in his direction, too. Jeremy leaned away, surprised by my sudden invasion of his personal space.
I was sure, though, in the instant our eyes had met, that she didn’t look angry or disgusted as she had the last time I’d seen her. She just looked curious again, unsatisfied in some way.
“Edythe Cullen is staring at you,” Jeremy said, looking over my shoulder.
“She doesn’t look angry, does she?” I couldn’t help asking.
“No.” Jeremy looked confused, then he suddenly smiled. “What did you do, ask her out?”
“No! I’ve never even talked to her. I just… don’t think she likes me very much,” I admitted. I kept my body angled toward Jeremy, but the back of my neck had goose bumps, like I could feel her eyes on me.
“The Cullens don’t like anybody… well, they don’t notice anybody enough to like them. But she’s still staring at you.”