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The Twilight Saga 2: New Moon


The Twilight Saga 2: New Moon: Page 10


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Regardless, I snapped a picture of my room. There wasn't much else I could do tonight��it was too dark outside��and the feeling was growing stronger, it was almost a compulsion now. I would record everything about Forks before I had to leave it.

Change was coming. I could feel it. It wasn't a pleasant prospect, not when life was perfect the way it was.

I took my time coming back down the stairs, camera in hand, trying to ignore the butterflies in my

stomach as I thought of the strange distance I didn't want to see in Edward's eyes. He would get over this. Probably he was worried that I would be upset when he asked me to leave. I would let him work through it without meddling. And I would be prepared when he asked.

I had the camera ready as I leaned around the corner, being sneaky. I was sure there was no chance that I had caught Edward by surprise, but he didn't look up. I felt a brief shiver as something icy twisted in my stomach; I ignored that and took the picture.

They both looked at me then. Charlie frowned. Edward's face was empty, expressionless.

"What are you doing, Bella?" Charlie complained.

"Oh, come on." I pretended to smile as I went to sit on the floor in front of the sofa where Charlie lounged. "You know Mom will be calling soon to ask if I'm using my presents. I have to get to work before she can get her feelings hurt."

"Why are you taking pictures of me, though?" he grumbled.

"Because you're so handsome," I replied, keeping it light. "And because, since you bought the camera, you're obligated to be one of my subjects."

He mumbled something unintelligible.

"Hey, Edward," I said with admirable indifference. "Take one of me and my dad together."

I threw the camera toward him, carefully avoiding his eyes, and knelt beside the arm of the sofa where Charlie's face was. Charlie sighed.

"You need to smile, Bella," Edward murmured.

I did my best, and the camera flashed.

"Let me take one of you kids," Charlie suggested. I knew he was just trying to shift the camera's focus fromhimself.

Edward stood and lightly tossed him the camera.

I went to stand beside Edward, and the arrangement felt formal and strange to me. He put one hand lightly on my shoulder, and I wrapped my arm more securely around his waist. I wanted to look at his face, but I was afraid to.

"Smile, Bella," Charlie reminded me again.

I took a deep breath and smiled. The flash blinded me.

"Enough pictures for tonight," Charlie said then, shoving the camera into a crevice of the sofa cushions and rolling over it. "You don't have to use the whole roll now."

Edward dropped his hand from my shoulder and twisted casually out of my arm. He sat back down in the armchair.

I hesitated, and then went to sit against the sofa again. I was suddenly so frightened that my hands were shaking. I pressed them into my stomach to hide them, put my chin on my knees and stared at the TV screen in front of me, seeing nothing.

When the show ended, I hadn't moved an inch. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Edward stand.

"I'd better get home," he said.

Charlie didn't look up from the commercial. "See ya."

I got awkwardly to my feet��I was stiff from sitting so still��and followed Edward out the front door. He went straight to his car.

"Will you stay?" I asked, no hope in my voice.

I expected his answer, so it didn't hurt as much.

"Not tonight."

I didn't ask for a reason.

He got in his car and drove away while I stood there, unmoving. I barely noticed that it was raining. I waited, without knowing what I waited for, until the door opened behind me.

"Bella, what are you doing?" Charlie asked, surprised to see me standing there alone and dripping.

"Nothing." I turned and trudged back to the house.

It was a long night, with little in the way of rest.

I got up as soon as there was a faint light outside my window. I dressed for school mechanically, waiting for the clouds to brighten. When I had eaten a bowl of cereal, I decided that it was light enough for pictures. I took one of my truck, and then the front of the house. I turned and snapped a few of the forest by Charlie's house. Funny how it didn't seem sinister like it used to. I realized I would miss this��the green, the timelessness, the mystery of the woods. All of it.

I put the camera in my school bag before I left. I tried to concentrate on my new project rather than the fact that Edward apparently hadn't gotten over things during the night.

Along with the fear, I was beginning to feel impatience. How long could this last?

It lasted through the morning. He walked silently beside me, never seeming to actually look at me. I tried to concentrate on my classes, but not even English could hold my attention. Mr. Berty had to repeat his question about Lady Capulet twice before I realized he was talking to me. Edward whispered the correct answer under his breath and then went back to ignoring me.

At lunch, the silence continued. I felt like I was going to start screaming at any moment, so, to distract myself, I leaned across the table's invisible line and spoke to Jessica.

"Hey, Jess?"

"What's up, Bella?"

"Could you do me a favor?" I asked, reaching into my bag. "My mom wants me to get some pictures of my friends for a scrapbook. So, take some pictures of everybody, okay?"

I handed her the camera.

"Sure," she said, grinning, and turned to snap a candid shot of Mike with his mouth full.

A predictable picture war ensued. I watched them hand the camera around the table, giggling and flirting and complaining about being on film. It seemed strangely childish. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for normal human behavior today.

"Uh-oh," Jessica said apologetically as she returned the camera. "I think we used all your film."

"That's okay. I think I already got pictures of everything else I needed."

After school, Edward walked me back to the parking lot in silence. I had to work again, and for once, I was glad. Time with me obviously wasn't helping things. Maybe time alone would be better.

I dropped my film off at the Thriftway on my way to Newton's, and then picked up the developed pictures after work. At home, I said a brief hi to Charlie, grabbed a granola bar from the kitchen, and hurried up to my room with the envelope of photographs tucked under my arm.

I sat in the middle of my bed and opened the envelope with wary curiosity. Ridiculously, I still half expected the first print to be a blank.

When I pulled it out, I gasped aloud. Edward looked just as beautiful as he did in real life, staring at me out of the picture with the warm eyes I'd missed for the past few days. It was almost uncanny that anyone could look so�� so�� beyond description. No thousand words could equal this picture.

I flipped through the rest of the stack quickly once, and then laid three of them out on the bed side by side.

The first was the picture of Edward in the kitchen, his warm eyes touched with tolerant amusement. The second was Edward and Charlie, watching ESPN. The difference in Edward's expression was severe. His eyes were careful here, reserved. Still breathtakingly beautiful, but his face was colder, more like a sculpture, less alive.

The last was the picture of Edward and me standing awkwardly side by side. Edward's face was the same as the last, cold and statue-like. But that wasn't the most troubling part of this photograph. The contrast between the two of us was painful. He looked like a god. I looked very average, even for a human, almost shamefully plain. I flipped the picture over with a feeling of disgust.

Instead of doing my homework, I stayed up to put my pictures into the album. With a ballpoint pen I scrawled captions under all the pictures, the names and the dates. I got to the picture of Edward and me, and, without looking at it too long, I folded it in half and stuck it under the metal tab, Edward-side up.

When I was done, I stuffed the second set of prints in a fresh envelope and penned a long thank-you letter to Renee.

Edward still hadn't come over. I didn't want to admit that he was the reason I'd stayed up so late, but of course he was. I tried to remember the last time he'd stayed away like this, without an excuse, a phone call�� He never had.


Again, I didn't sleep well.

School followed the silent, frustrating, terrifying pattern of the last two days. I felt relief when I saw Edward waiting for me in the parking lot, but it faded quickly. He was no different, unless maybe more remote.

It was hard to even remember the reason for all this mess. My birthday already felt like the distant past. If only Alice would come back. Soon. Before this got any more out of hand.

But I couldn't count on that. I decided that, if I couldn't talk to him today, really talk, then I was going to see Carlisle tomorrow. I had to do something.

After school, Edward and I were going to talk it out, I promised myself.

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