*by Stephenie Meyer*
TWILIGHT - chapter 4 - INVITATIONS
In my dream it was very dark, and what dim light there was seemed to be radiating from Edward's skin. I couldn't see his face, just his back as he walked away from me, leaving me in the blackness. No matter how fast I ran, I couldn't catch up to him; no matter how loud I called, he never turned. Troubled, I woke in the middle of the night and couldn't sleep again for what seemed like a very long time. After that, he was in my dreams nearly every night, but always on the periphery, never within my reach.
The ماہ that followed the accident was uneasy, tense, and, at first, embarrassing.
To my dismay, I found myself the center of attention for the rest of that week. Tyler Crowley was impossible, following me around, obsessed with making amends to me somehow. I tried to convince him what I wanted مزید than anything else was for him to forget about it - especially since nothing had actually happened to me - but he remained insistent. He followed me between classes and sat at our now-crowded lunch table. Mike and Eric were even less friendly toward him than they were to each other, which made me worry that I'd gained another unwelcomed fan.
No one seemed concered about Edward, though I explained over and over that he was the hero - how he had pulled me out of the way and had nearly been crushed, too. I tried to be convincing. Jessica, Mike, Eric, and everone else always شدہ تبصرہ that they hadn't even seen him there till the وین was pulled away.
I wondered to myself why no one else had seen him standing so far away, before he was suddenly, impossibly saving my life. With chagrin, I realized the probable cause - no one else was aware of Edward as I always was. no one else watched him the way I did. How pitiful.
Edward was never surrounded سے طرف کی crowds of curious bystanders eager for his firsthand account. People avoided his as usual. The Cullens and the Hales sat at the same میز, جدول as always, not eating, talking only among themselves. None of them, especially Edward, galnced my way anymore.
When he sat اگلے to me in class, as far from me as the میز, جدول would allow, he seemed totally unaware of my presence. Only now and then, when his fists would suddenly ball up - skin stretched even whiter over the bones - did I wonder if he wasn't quite as oblivious as he appeared.
He wished he hadn't pulled me from the path of Tyler's وین - there was no other conclusion I could come to.
I wanted very much to talk to him, and the دن after the sccident, I tried. The last time I'd seen him, outside the ER, we'd both been so furious. I still was angry that he wouldn't trust me with the truth, even though I was keeping my part of the bargian flawlessly. But he had in fact saved my life, no matter how he'd done it. And, overnight, the heat of my anger faded into awed gratitude.
He was already seated when I got to Biology, looking straight ahead. I sat down, expecting him to turn toward me. He showed no sign that he realized I was there.
"Hello, Edward," I کہا pleasantly, to دکھائیں him I was going to behave myself.
He turned his head a fraction toward me without meeting my gaze, nodded once, and then looked the other way.
And that was the last contact I'd had with him, though he was there, a foot away from me, every day. I watched hime sometimes, unable to stop myself - from a distance, though, in the cafeteria یا parking lot. I watched as his eyes grew perceptibly darker دن سے طرف کی day. But in class I gave no مزید notice that he existed than he showed toward me, I was miserable. And the dreams continued.
Despite my outright lies, the tnor of my e-mails alerted Renee to my depression, and she called a few times, worried. I tried to convince her it was just the weather that had me down.
Mike, at least, was pleased سے طرف کی the obvious coolness between me and my lab partner. I could see he'd been worried that Edward's daring rescue might have impressed me, and he was relieved that it seemed to have the opposite effect. He grew مزید confident, sitting on the edge of my میز, جدول to talk before Biology class started, ignoring Edward as completely as he ignored us.
The snow washed away for good after that one dangerously icy day. Mike was diappointed he'd never gotten to stage is snowball fight, but pleased that the ساحل سمندر, بیچ trip would soon be possible. The rain continued heavily, though, and the weeks passed.
Jessica made me aware of another event looming on the horizon - she called the first Tuesday of March to ask my permission to invite Mike to the girls' choice spring dance in two weeks.
"Are آپ sure آپ don't mind... آپ weren't planning to ask him?" she persisted when I told her I didn't mind in the least.
"No, Jess, I'm not going," I assured her. Dancing was glaringly outside my range of abilities.
"It will be really fun." Her attempt to convince me was halfhearted. I suspected that Jessica enjoyed my inexplicable popularity مزید than my actual company.
"You have fun with Mike," I encouraged.
The اگلے day, I was surprised that Jessica wasn't her usual gushing self in Trig and Spanish. She was silent as she walked سے طرف کی my side between classes, and I was afraid to ask her why. If Mike had turned her down, I was the last person she would want to tell.
My fears were strengthened during lunch when Jessica sat as far from Miks as possible, chatting animatedly with Eric. Mike was unusually quiet.
Mike was still quiet as he walked me to class, the uncomfortable look on his face a bad sign. But he didn't broach the subject until I was in my نشست and he was perched on my desk. As always, I was electrically aware of Edward sitting close enough to touch, as distant as if he were merely an invention of my imagination.
"So," Mike said, looking at the floor, "Jessica asked me to the spring dance."
"That's great." I made my voice bright and enthusiastic. "You'll have a lot of fun with Jessica."
"Well..." He floundered as he examined my smile, clearly not happy with my response. "I told her I had to think about it."
"Why would آپ do that?" I let disapproval color my tone, though I was relieved he hadn't دیا her an absolute no.
His face was bright red as he looked down again. Pity shook my resolve.
"I was wondering if... well, if آپ might be planning to ask me."
I paused for a moment, hateing the wave of guit that swept through me. But I saw, from the corner of my eye, Edward's head tilted reflexively in my direction.
"Mike, I think آپ should tell her yes," I said.
"Did آپ already ask someone?" Did Edward notice how Mike's eyes flickered in his direction?
"No," I assured him. "I'm not going to the dance at all."
"Why not?" Mike demanded.
I didn't want to get into the safely hazards that dancing presented, so I quickly made new plans.
"I'm going to Seattle that Saturday," I explained. I needed to get out of town anyway - it was suddenly the perfect time to go.
"Can't آپ go some other weekend?"
"Sorry, no," I said. "So آپ shouldn't make Jess wait any longer - it's rude."
"Yeah, you're right," he mumbled, and turned, dejected, to walk back to his seat. I closed my eyes and pressed my fingers to my temples, trying to push the guilt and sympathy out of my head. Mr. Banner began talking. I sighed and opened my eyes.
And Edward was staring at me curiously, that same, familiar edge of frustration even مزید distinct now in his black eyes.
I stared back, surprised, expecting him to look quickly away. But instead he continued to gaze with probing intensity into my eyes. There was no سوال of me looking away. My hands started to shake.
"Mr. Cullen?" the teacher called, seeking the answer to a سوال that I hadn't heard.
"The Krebs Cycle," Edward answered, seeming reluctant as he turned to look at Mr. Banner.
I looked down at my book as soon as his eyes released me, trying to find my place. Cowardly as ever, I shifted my hair over my right shoulder to hide my face. I couldn't believe the rush of emotion pulsing through me - just because he'd happened to look at me for the first time in a half-dozen weeks. I couldn't allow him to have this level of influence over me. It was pathetic. مزید than pathetic, it was unhealthy.