But why am I Jessica? @lalaland972
Chapter 4

But Why am I Jessica?

Chapter 4

Bella showed off her self-imposed social isolation out in the open. She wanted everyone to see how broken she was without Edward. As if she was not a person before she met Edward. It was painful to witness. She did not put in any effort into looking like a teenager who had access to a shower and a loving father. Bella sported greasy hair most days and her grunge attire downgraded from acceptable to abysmal. She just did not care about keeping up her appearance at all.

Unfortunately, there was nothing mapped out in the books for me to follow. The story was not supposed to pick up for months. In the grand scheme, it didn't alter my plans to travel to Helena to figure out my future. However, I was bothered by every student and teacher's complacency with Bella's depression over being dumped by Edward. Her friends left her alone. They justified it as respecting her wishes. I saw it as them not trying hard enough to be there for her. The teachers were fine as long as she still got her school work done and participated when necessary in classes. I knew Charlie cared, but he took months to finally force Bella to pull herself together and pretend to have a social life at least.

Am I just supposed to watch this go on and do nothing?

I knew the answer was yes. This was not my storyline to interfere with. I was just pretending to be a side character that most readers did not like. Jessica could be a bitch sometimes. Hopefully no one saw her that way after I inhabited her body, but who knows?

It was one week after the Cullen's left and I was fed up observing Bella.

I cannot do this for months! I tried to side line it, but I cannot watch this continue. Not when this all feels so real to me.

When I was a teenager, all I wanted to be was Bella with these two great love interests vying for the heart of this run of the mill normal girl. Today, I just wanted to save her.

When I walked into the Forks High School Cafeteria with my lunch, I walked past the table I normally sat at. Angela was already there; she offered me an awkward hand wave when she saw me pass by. Bella was at her table. The table she scared off others from sitting at with her. I don't know how she did it, but she kept that table always empty aside from her. And she would just spend the half hour for lunch staring out the window and not ever touch the food in front of her.

Doesn't she get hungry? I would be starving.

I did not say anything as I sat down directly across from her at the round seated table. I set down my lunch and pulled out 'Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince'. Jessica did not have reading books in her room when I came up with this idea to invade Bella's territory at lunch. I had to pull the book from the bookshelf in Daniel's room. I was grateful he did not mind, but it cost me reading to him at night. He was making me start from the first Harry Potter book though. It wasn't the worse tradeoff I supposed.

Bella looked at me for a second. A nano-second. She did not say anything. Her eyes were hollow, as if I was looking into a ghost's eyes. A ghost haunted by an unfulfilled life and past regrets. It was chilling. I did not back down though. I ignored her frigid nano-second stare and opened my book. I finished the first chapter as I ate my lunch that Jessica's mom had packed. I had forgotten how good the Harry Potter books were. It was a plus that I was able to snag the 6th book as well, it had always been my favorite.

After the lunch period passed, we both went our separate ways. Angela and Eric caught up to me before we headed into our next class together. "Are you going to let us in on what you are doing?" Angela asked me curiously. I was happy they asked. I had intended my plan to extend to everyone in our friend circle.

I explained to them both that we all needed to support Bella. She did not want our conversation, but we could at least be with her in some small way. I suggested we all take a day of the week to sit with her. Not all at once, but one person at a time. That way we wouldn't overwhelm her. The goal was not to talk to Bella, but just sit with her. Then maybe on some level, she would know we supported her and were there for her. Even Mike and Ben were on board with the plan after Eric clued them in. Lauren opted to remain out of it. True to her character, she was never a fan of Bella.

We stuck to that schedule for the next three weeks. In mid-October, everyone else aside from me was tired of having to share the burden of a silent lunch with Bella. I let them all off the hook and decided to stick it out on my own. They all understood and supported me for my decision.

Sitting with Bella once a week was tolerable. But once I was on duty to sit with her every day, it started feeding an anger in me at her. Her over reaction at the break up was infuriating. My anger eventually boiled over on October 14th. My thoughts on her ridiculous behavior had particularly been festering since I woke up that morning. I dreamed of my dead parents. That was real pain of loss. Someone leaving you but not because they wanted to. I understood a breakup was painful. I had experienced two myself. I did not want to belittle her pain over her breakup, but the way she went about it disgusted me. She still had a life she could live and a new love she could find.

At lunch that day I thought about it too much and called her out. "There is more to life than Edward. I know you love him. But…you can find romantic love like that again."

Like with Jacob.

"With other people. Be sad, but don't give up on living because you feel your heart is broken. Go on despite it and put yourself together. Show him you are better off without him." Everyone had coddled Bella up to this point and never called out her behavior or spoke of Edward. Because of this, I had not expected her to actually acknowledge what I said and respond.

"You have no idea what you are talking about, Jessica," Bella snapped. Her spiteful words formed an arrow that hit me dead in the heart.

I drew in a frusterated breath while combatting the fury beginning to spark within me.

"Have you ever had someone leave you that didn't want to leave you? That would have done anything to stay with you?" I questioned her as Katie Smith and not as Jessica Stanley.

Bella cocked her head to the side before tucking a long, loose strand of brown hair behind her ear. Her confusion was easy to read off her facial expression. I clarified to her, "Has anyone very important to you ever died and abandoned you in this world? That is someone leaving you when they wish they could have stayed. That is not what Edward did to you. He did not die and leave you. He chose to abandon you. Yes, his family "moved", but I am sure he could have finished out his senior year here with you if he really wanted to." I was highly aware I could not slip up during my speech and reveal I knew more. I saved myself by closing out with the fluff of him "moving" when in reality he just plain left her.

"No… but it is not to my knowledge that you have either." It was true, Jessica did not have that kind of life experience. But I as Katie Smith had.

"You don't know me as well as you think you do." I stood up from my seat and collected my belongings. "I'll still continue sitting with you, but today I am fed up with you. Goodbye, Bella." I abandoned Bella on that note. I could not stand to be in her naive presence for a moment longer.

The next Monday at school, lunch went differently. Bella finally acknowledged my presence when sitting with me at lunch. She asked me how I did on the Calculus test and I pulled out my scored exam to show her my grade of a 105. I was the only student awarded extra credit for that exam. The corner of Bella's mouth flicked upwards when she saw my score.

I believe she almost smiled at me. If I keep going, I bet I can earn a smile.

I decided to ride the moment and commented about my improved brain recovery since she was paid to take me out of the baseball game at the beginning of the year in PE. I told her I was informed about the plot of her being talked into taking out the catcher, me, by her team to help them win. We both knew it was ridiculous. I overheard Jessica was characterized as the second worst baseball player after Bella in PE. It was appalling to hear the first time. I was in fact a pretty decent athlete as Katie Smith.

Bella actually laughed at my joke and quickly smiled. It was a short and soft laugh, but it was a huge mile stone. I was shocked at the end of the lunch period when she asked me to see a movie with her. I apparently had expedited the plot line by a huge chunk of time. I chose not to focus on that yet. She admitted it was to get Charlie off her back. She was afraid he was going to force her to move to Jacksonville to stay with her mom if she didn't start acting social again.

I wanted to invite the others, but Bella had not wanted that yet. She said it was too much socialism so soon. One person to hang out with first would be enough. We waited until Friday to see a movie. It was for the better in the end to not go on a week night. I had forgotten about the crazy stunt Bella was going to pull after the movie by engaging with some shady ass strangers down a dark alleyway. It was weird how the same situation presented itself. It was almost as if some force was imposing crucial events to the story to still take place despite the deviation in the timeline and my Jessica character playing a larger role than intended.

Bella was a nutcase wanting to so desperately to see Edward again. If I remembered it correctly, Bella never told anyone she pulled all those crazy adrenaline thrills off to see Edward again. Only the reader knew. Looking back, it was a great way to see Edward in book two still as a teenage twilight fan, but creepy she would go so far to see him again. Especially when you witnessed it firsthand, instead of just by reading a scene from a book. I could admit I felt that Edward partially drove her to it by not leaving her anything to remember him by.

That jerk.

But Bella still made dumb choices.

I should not have allowed Bella to approach the sketchy men eyeing us as we walked down the street after our movie, but when I realized what was taking place, it was too late. My reaction was pretty on par with Jessica's in the book when Bella rejoined me.

Is she an idiot with a death wish? After my great speech to this ding dong last week and she still pulls this shit? No wonder Jessica freaked in the book.

I shook my head before I chewed her out. I admonished her stupidity and advised her to find much safer adrenaline rush outlets that did not involve approaching creepy strangers that could have kidnapped her. She agreed with me but questioned why I chose to call her approaching those men as her seeking an adrenaline rush. I realized my slip of tongue and stealthily covered my tracks that exposed my mistake of insider knowledge. After that topic was moved on from, I felt I didn't need to push her to Jacob at this point because I trusted she would come to interact with him on her own like she did in the book.

I was right, of course. Bella would inform me during our lunches of the time she spent with Jacob. Since she looked to be emotionally healing, I was able to sway her to sit back with the gang during lunch. Lunch spent with Angela, Ben Mike, and Eric was refreshing. I even welcomed Lauren's presence despite her obvious dislike for Bella still. She was getting better though. Less rough around the edges. I forgot how much I missed sitting with them all at lunch. I hardly noticed yet I was allowing myself to get so swept up in the Twilight life, I kept putting off buying my tickets to Helena despite having the money for a round trip weekend visit.

Finally, another main plot point in New Moon occurred, and it was only December 2nd. Mike's feelings for Bella and I were constantly wavering, but he had been smart enough not to bring it up to me again. I could tell at times on his face that he wanted to have an important conversation, but I always dashed away with a clever excuse before he would pull me into another awkward conversation. I assumed he gave up sometime after noticing how back to normal Bella was becoming without Edward. It reminded me of when I previously asked him how he would feel about Bella if Edward was out of the picture. Of course, my prediction was right; I owed that to New Moon.

Mike asked Bella to a movie during lunch on the Friday before finals week. Oblivious or on purpose, Bella opened the invitation to everyone sitting at our table. Before anyone else could answer, Ben looked at me and asked if it would be free. I nodded my head and laughed. After that, everyone present at lunch said yes to going. Bella pulled me aside afterwards and assured her intentions of spreading the invitation was not to abuse the fact I worked at a movie theater. I assured her it was fine and asked her if she would invite Jacob.

"I hadn't thought of that, but good idea. I will. I think you guys would get along." I told her we shall see while laughing internally of how well I already knew Jacob Black.

As expected, Bella once again demanded we saw the goriest, most blood thirsty movie title out at that time. We had rather limited options since December usually consisted of Christmas or feel good movies. I wanted to see "Just Friends" with Ryan Reynolds, but Bella dictated we see "Aeon Flux". Obviously we had to give in, or she wouldn't see anything with us.

Angela caught the flu "apparently" going around, and her dutiful boyfriend Ben was skipping the movie to take care of her. It was too much of a coincidence of how soon it onset and prevented Angela and Ben from going to the movie from lunch time that day. I admitted to myself that Jessica should not be attending the movie either. She was "busy" in the books. Aka avoiding Bella post their shared moment of Bella approaching strangers while with Jessica. But one could understand that reaction given how Bella pulled a psycho stunt that could have endangered Jessica as well. If I didn't have the keen insight on the Twilight Saga that I do, I very well could have reacted just the same as Jessica Stanley in the story.

Thus, before show time it was me, Mike, Bella and Jacob. One could almost mistake it for a double date between two teen couples. I had a brief introduction with Jacob. It was fun. He towered over Mike and me who were waiting outside of the theater when him and Bella walked up together. I was in awe of how gorgeous he was. His chiseled face was balanced with the puppy dog brown eyes he had only for Bella. His tan skin and raven hair were a physical contrast compared to Edward for Bella's second love interest. I relished in being all knowing in that moment.

"Jake, this is Jessica and Mike." Bella gestured her hand out as she directed his attention to each of us when she called our names. Jacob's fierce brown eyes flicked over to Mike and then myself.

"Jacob. Only close friends can call me Jake," Jacob said while narrowing his eyes at us. I enjoyed the sassiness from him. It was very Jacob like.

"Great. I would prefer calling you Jacob anyways." Jacob's dark-eyed gaze made me a tad uncomfortable. His intense stare almost seemed as if he was sizing me up. I wouldn't let him think my 5'1" stature defined my personality or boldness. Mike just said whatever. I hung back a little as we all walked into the building together. As I suspected, I caught it. I witnessed Jacob's hand sweetly reach for Bella's and she shooed it away.

We walked into the theater soon after, and the seating arrangements were predictable as well. Bella sat between Mike and Jacob. I was left on the end of the row next to Mike. I didn't mind it though. I anticipated having a front row seat to this event was going to be more fun than when I read the scene in the book. I could not contain my excitement for the line Jacob would dish to Bella later in the evening about Mike being a marshmallow. I couldn't recall the exact phrasing, but I knew it was a favorite burn of mine.

Twenty minutes into the movie, my eyes caught attention to a palm up hand on the armrest shared between myself and Mike.

What? No way. Is he trying to pull some stunt to see if Bella or I will take his hand? He asked her out to the damned movie in the first place!

I indiscreetly extended my chest forward in my seat and peered over in Bella's direction. Mike and Jacob each only had one hand facing palm up. Jacob's was offered to Bella and Mike's towards me.

Did Mike back off of pursuing Bella because Jacob was here?

The confusion left my head dizzy and I quickly excused myself to the restroom. In front of the women's bathroom mirror I worked to reclaim my thoughts.

This is a fluke. If I hadn't messed up this event by being so nosy and inserting myself in it, Mike would have offered his hand to Bella and not me.

Or so that is what I told myself to believe. I splashed cold water on my face in the bathroom sink. I looked intently at the face staring back at me in the mirror. It was not my face. It was a reminder of who I was not anymore.

What the hell am I doing? Why am I complacent in this charade as Jessica? I cannot settle in this world until I know. Even if it turns out my family doesn't exist here, am I really fine with living my life as an imposter? Pretending to be Jessica Stanley? I will have to work for everything from scratch! My degrees, my future. It is all unwritten here and I would have to bust my ass again to be an engineer.

I stopped my pity party before I got too far ahead of myself in the women's restroom. I splashed myself with cold water again and admired the beauty of the make-up free face Jessica pulled off well. Jessica was a very pretty girl after all.

"I wanted to talk to you." I expected that line to come from Mike but not Jacob. He was standing a few feet off from the entrance of the women's restroom when I exited.

Geez. How long has he been waiting there? I was in there for more time then needed to "pee".

"Why?" This was the first time we met. He had no reason to need to talk to me. We were strangers.

"Bella has told me what you have done for her since he left. What kind of friend you have been for her. I just wanted to say thank you. I have been waiting to meet you to say that in person." Jacob's dark eyes locked on me intently. He was being a bit much.

"Well…I didn't do it for you. I did it for Bella."

"I know. I just wanted to say it, nonetheless. I am glad she has at least one good friend in Forks."

"Sure. We should head back in the theater now. We are missing the movie." I began to take my first step forward to direct us to returning back to the movie.

"Did I do something to offend you?" Jacob asked softly. "I feel like you are being dismissive of me."

A sharp intake of breath filled my lungs. I was making a bad impression on Jacob. It was not my intention. I just wanted to get the night over with, so I could resume on my Katie Smith agenda and stop pretending to be someone I was not. I was tired of inserting myself into a story I didn't belong in. Thus, I decided to make up a reasonable excuse to leave early.

"No. I am just tired of being the fourth wheel in the theater. I should leave so you and Mike can duke it out for Bella amongst yourselves without me there. It's not like either of you would notice, but still, I will take my leave. Can you let them know I went home early and will catch up with them at school on Monday?" I turned away from Jacob and began to walk to the exit doors.

"Jessica, wait." Jacob lightly grasped my arm before I could push open the exit door. I took a deep breath and turned around to face him.

What more does he want from me? Leave me be, Jacob Black.

I looked up to his dark brown eyes that seemed to be insisting I hear him out.

What are these Twilight boys on that makes them go off script more than they should?

If he had something to say, this was his moment, or I would continue my exit in the next five seconds.

"I am sorry if we are making you uncomfortable." This was not Jacob Black like behavior. He should have been haughty or cocky about his affection for Bella. Dramatizing to me about how he would win her over the marshmallow Mike. "I'll stop. I can't promise if Mike will. But, Bella would be happy if you stayed to the end I am sure. I would like to get the opportunity to know you more too, as Bella's friend."

I just couldn't win tonight. I was never a bitch as Katie and enjoyed that I changed some folk's in Forks perception of Jessica. But in that moment, I highly considered playing the true character of Jessica Stanley to remove myself from the night's events. In the end, my do gooder bleeding heart won out. I would resume on my original mission tomorrow, but would finish playing out my role as Jessica, minor character in the Twilight Saga, tonight.

"Are you sure you can resist not reaching for her hand or making love sick eyes at her for the rest of the night?" I asked Jacob in a teasing tone. Jacob was amused with my response. His eyes twinkled and a smooth smile crept up on his lips.

God he is devastatingly handsome. But young! Remember that Katie. Do not be a pervert! He is definitely underage.

Jake threw his hands up in the air as if he was pleading guilty as charged. "I have never been one to shy away from demonstrating my feelings, but tonight I can make an exception." He took down his right hand and extended it to me. I observed his lean arm. I was curious to see how much it would really bulk up when his transforming abilities kicked in. I took his hand and shook it. He caught on to the fact I was assessing his forearm and bicep.

"Don't worry. I'll bulk up. My body is just recovering from my growth spurt." I offered him a sly smile. I knew he would fill out much faster than he could ever anticipate. I decided to catch him off guard.

"But you're perfect as you are." His jaw slightly dropped. I witnessed the reaction I wanted. It was fun to tease Jacob. "Let's go. We got to put you into position to save Bella from Mike's future advances." Jacob's eyes reviewed me curiously as we walked back to our theater.

"Are you sure it was Bella's hand he wanted?"

There is no way Jacob saw Mike offering his hand to me, right? I am sure he was so caught up in focusing on Bella he could not have thought to look to see if Mike was after Bella's other hand.

"How could it not be? Bella's a catch." That answer came off my lips as we slipped in the doors of the theater.

I only took one glimpse for the rest of the movie, but Jacob seemed to have kept his word and retracted his hand from being offered to Bella to take. Mike gave up on my hand when he excused himself to the restroom. We caught up with him after the movie ended, and the course of events held true with him coming down with the flu as well.

While Bella, Jacob and I waited for Mike's reprieve from puking his guts up, we had a nice conversation. I finally got Jacob's take on their bike reconstructing project. I laughed constantly about how animated he was with his story telling or recounting Bella's klutzy antics in his workshop.

God, what an awful character trait to have.

Jacob remained a friendly distance between us both. He spread his attention between Bella and myself and surprisingly never made me feel like a third wheel. I wasn't sure if I was mistaken, but Bella did not seem to like the lack of attention Jacob was paying to her or the fact she had to share him.

When Mike emerged from the men's restroom, I felt just awful for him. He looked like shit. Mike felt so sick we arranged it that I drove Mike home in his car. Bella and Jacob followed me and then took me back to my car at the theater. The goodbye between the three of us was awkward to say the least. Bella and I were not friends who hugged goodbye. We just offered a head nod of respect and parted ways. Jacob insisted he give me a hug even though I told him I was fine without it.

When he enveloped my petite frame in his enormous body, it must have been a laughable site. He was warm though. Too warm. His change was upon him and this would be the last time we would talk most likely. It didn't bother me that event was about to unfold. "Thanks for keeping your word, Jacob. You're a good guy," I whispered in his ear out of ear shot of Bella. He smiled sweetly at me and I could have sworn a slight blush tinged his cheeks. But, it must have been the fever burning in him.

We parted ways and Katie Smith was back into play.

When he enveloped my petite frame in his enormous body, it must have been a laughable site. He was warm though. Too warm. His change was upon him and this would be the last time we would talk most likely. It didn't bother me that event was about to unfold. "Thanks for keeping your word, Jacob. You're a good guy," I whispered in his ear out of ear shot of Bella. He smiled sweetly at me and I could have sworn a slight blush tinged his cheeks. But, it must have been the fever burning in him.

We parted ways and Katie Smith was back into play.

1. Chapter 1 4512 0 0 2. Chapter 2 6624 0 0 3. Chapter 3 8017 0 0 4. Chapter 4 4830 0 0 5. Chapter 5 6361 0 0 6. Chapter 6 2738 0 0 7. Chapter 7 2820 0 0 8. Chapter 8 2755 0 0 9. Chapter 9 3839 0 0 10. Chapter 10 5930 0 0 11. Chapter 11 4080 0 0 12. Chapter 12-1 9773 0 0 13. Chapter 12-2 12564 0 0 14. Chapter 12-3 10121 0 0