Archive for the ‘暮光之城’ Category

暮光之城 05

May 25, 2009

暮光之城 05

 

2. OPEN BOOK

The next day was better… and worse.

 

It was better because it wasn’t raining yet, though the clouds were dense 濃密 and opaque 陰暗. It was easier because I knew what to expect of my day. Mike came to sit by me in English, and walked me to my next class, with Chess Club Eric glaring at 怒目而視 him all the while; that was nattering 抱怨. People didn’t look at me quite as much as they had yesterday. I sat with a big group at lunch that included Mike, Eric, Jessica, and several other people whose names and faces I now remembered. I began to feel like I was treading 踐踏 water, instead of drowning in it.

 

It was worse because I was tired; I still couldn’t sleep with the wind echoing 迴響around the house. It was worse because Mr. Varner called on me in Trig 三角 when my hand wasn’t raised and I had the wrong answer. It was miserable because I had to play volleyball, and the one time I didn’t cringe 畏縮 out of the way of the ball, I hit my teammate in the head with it.

 

And it was worse because Edward Cullen wasn’t in school at all. All morning I was dreading 害怕 lunch, fearing his bizarre 古怪 glares 注目. Part of me wanted to confront him and demand to know what his problem was. While I was lying sleepless in my bed, I even imagined what I would say. But I knew myself too well to think I would really have the guts to do it. I made the Cowardly 懦弱的 Lion look like the terminator 終結者.

 

But when I walked into the cafeteria with Jessica — trying to keep my eyes from sweeping the place for him, and failing entirely — I saw that his four siblings 兄弟姐妹of sorts 相同 were sitting together at the same table, and he was not with them.

 

Mike intercepted 攔住 us and steered 引導 us to his table. Jessica seemed elated 興高采烈 by the attention, and her friends quickly joined us. But as I tried to listen to their easy chatter 閒話, I was terribly uncomfortable, waiting nervously for the moment he would arrive. I hoped that he would simply ignore 忽略me when he came, and prove my suspicions 懷疑false.

 

He didn’t come, and as time passed I grew more and more tense 緊張. I walked to Biology with more confidence when, by the end of lunch, he still hadn’t showed. Mike, who was taking on the qualities of a golden retriever 獵犬, walked faithfully by my side to class. I held my breath at the door, but Edward Cullen wasn’t there, either. I exhaled 呼氣and went to my seat. Mike followed, talking about an upcoming trip to the beach. He lingered 逗留 by my desk till the bell rang. Then he smiled at me wistfully 渴望地and went to sit by a girl with braces and 牙齒矯正器 a bad perm  燙髮. It looked like I was going to have to do something about Mike, and it wouldn’t be easy. In a town like this, where everyone lived on top of everyone else, diplomacy 外交was essential. I had never been enormously tactful 技巧; I had no practice dealing with overly friendly boys.

 

I was relieved that I had the desk to myself, that Edward was absent. I told myself that repeatedly. But I couldn’t get rid of the nagging 嘮叨的 suspicion that I was the reason he wasn’t there. It was ridiculous, and egotistical 自我中心, to think that I could affect anyone that strongly. It was impossible. And yet I couldn’t stop worrying that it was true.

 

When the school day was finally done, and the blush 臉紅 was fading out of my cheeks from the volleyball 排球 incident, I changed quickly back into my jeans and navy blue 深藍色 sweater. I hurried from the girls’ locker room, pleased to find that I had successfully evaded 逃避 my retriever 獵犬friend for the moment. I walked swiftly out to the parking lot. It was crowded now with fleeing students. I got in my truck and dug through my bag to make sure I had what I needed.

 

Last night I’d discovered that Charlie couldn’t cook much besides fried eggs and bacon. So I requested that I be assigned kitchen detail for the duration 期間 of my stay. He was willing enough to hand over the keys to the banquet 宴會 hall. I also found out that he had no food in the house. So I had my shopping list and the cash from the jar 罐in the cupboard 廚櫃 labeled FOOD MONEY, and I was on my way to the Thriftway.

 

I gunned 發動 my deafening engine to life, ignoring the heads that turned in my direction, and backed carefully into a place in the line of cars that were waiting to exit the parking lot. As I waited, trying to pretend that the earsplitting rumble was coming from someone else’s car, I saw the two Cullens and the Hale twins getting into their car. It was the shiny new Volvo. Of course. I hadn’t noticed their clothes before — I’d been too

mesmerized 迷住 by their faces. Now that I looked, it was obvious that they were all dressed exceptionally well; simply, but in clothes that subtly 微妙地 hinted at designer origins. With their remarkable good looks, the style with which they carried themselves, they could have worn dishrags 抹布 and pulled it off 達成目標. It seemed excessive 過份 for them to have both looks and money.

 

But as far as I could tell, life worked that way most of the time. It didn’t look as if it bought them any acceptance here. No, I didn’t fully believe that. The isolation must be their desire; I couldn’t imagine any door that wouldn’t be opened by that degree of beauty.

 

They looked at my noisy truck as I passed them, just like everyone else. I kept my eyes straight forward and was relieved when I finally was free of the school grounds. The Thriftway was not far from the school, just a few streets south, off the highway. It was nice to be inside the supermarket; it felt normal. I did the shopping at home, and I fell into the pattern of the familiar task gladly. The store was big enough inside that I couldn’t hear the tapping 輕拍聲 of the rain on the roof to remind me where I was.

 

When I got home, I unloaded 打開 all the groceries 雜貨, stuffing 塞入 them in wherever I could find an open space. I hoped Charlie wouldn’t mind. I wrapped potatoes in foil 鋁箔 and stuck them in the oven 烤箱to bake, covered a steak in marinade 滷汁and balanced 平衡 it on top of a carton 盒of eggs in the fridge.

 

When I was finished with that, I took my book bag upstairs. Before starting my homework, I changed into a pair of dry sweats 汗衫, pulled my damp hair up into a pony-tail 馬尾, and checked my e-mail for the first time. I had three messages.

 

“Bella,” my mom wrote

Write me as soon as you get in. Tell me how your flight was. Is it raining? I miss you already. I’m almost finished packing for Florida, but I can’t find my pink blouse 短上衣. Do you know where I put it? Phil says hi.

Mom.

 

I sighed and went to the next. It was sent eight hours after the first.

“Bella,” she wrote…

Why haven’t you e-mailed me yet? What are you waiting for?

Mom.

 

The last was from this morning.

Isabella,

If I haven’t heard from you by 5:30 p.m. today I’m calling Charlie. I checked the clock. I still had an hour, but my mom was well known for jumping the gun 魯莽行事.

 

Mom,

Calm down. I’m writing right now. Don’t do anything rash. Bella.

 

I sent that, and began again.

 

Mom,

Everything is great. Of course it’s raining. I was waiting for something to write about. School isn’t bad, just a little repetitive. I met some nice kids who sit by me at lunch.

Your blouse is at the dry cleaners 烘乾機 – you were supposed to pick it up Friday.

Charlie bought me a truck, can you believe it? I love it. It’s old, but really sturdy 強壯, which is good, you know, for me. I miss you, too. I’ll write again soon, but I’m not going to check my e-mail every five minutes. Relax, breathe. I love you.

Bella.

 

I had decided to read Wuthering Heights — the novel we were currently studying in English — yet again for the fun of it, and that’s what I was doing when Charlie came home. I’d lost track of the time, and I hurried downstairs to take the potatoes out and put the steak in to broil烤架.

 

“Bella?” my father called out when he heard me on the stairs.

Who else? I thought to myself.

“Hey, Dad, welcome home.”

“Thanks.” He hung up his gun belt and stepped out of his boots 長筒鞋as I bustled 忙碌about the kitchen. As far as I was aware, he’d never shot the gun on the job. But he kept it ready.

 

When I came here as a child, he would always remove the bullets 子彈 as soon as he walked in the door. I guess he considered me old enough now not to shoot myself by accident, and not depressed enough to shoot myself on purpose.

 

“What’s for dinner?” he asked warily 謹慎地. My mother was an imaginative cook, and her experiments weren’t always edible. I was surprised, and sad, that he seemed to remember that far back.

 

“Steak and potatoes,” I answered, and he looked relieved.

 

He seemed to feel awkward standing in the kitchen doing nothing; he lumbered 移動 into the living room to watch TV while I worked. We were both more comfortable that way. I made a salad while the steaks cooked, and set the table.

 

I called him in when dinner was ready, and he sniffed 嗅 appreciatively 欣賞地 as he walked into the room.

 

“Smells good, Bell.”

 

“Thanks.” We ate in silence for a few minutes. It wasn’t uncomfortable. Neither of

us was bothered by the quiet. In some ways, we were well suited for living together.

 

“So, how did you like school? Have you made any friends?” he asked as he was taking seconds.

 

“Well, I have a few classes with a girl named Jessica. I sit with her friends at lunch. And there’s this boy, Mike, who’s very friendly.

 

Everybody seems pretty nice.” With one outstanding exception.

 

“That must be Mike Newton. Nice kid — nice family. His dad owns the sporting goods 運動用品 store just outside of town. He makes a good living off all the backpackers who come through here.”

 

“Do you know the Cullen family?” I asked hesitantly 猶豫.

“Dr. Cullen’s family? Sure. Dr. Cullen’s a great man.”

“They… the kids… are a little different. They don’t seem to fit in very well at school.”

Charlie surprised me by looking angry.

 

“People in this town,” he muttered 低聲咕嚕. “Dr. Cullen is a brilliant surgeon who could probably work in any hospital in the world, make ten times the salary he gets here,”

he continued, getting louder. “We’re lucky to have him — lucky that his wife wanted to live in a small town. He’s an asset 有用人材 to the community, and all of those kids are well behaved and polite.

 

I had my doubts, when they first moved in, with all those adopted teenagers. I thought we might have some problems with them. But they’re all very mature — I haven’t had one speck 絲毫 of trouble from any of them. That’s more than I can say for the children of some folks who have lived in this town for generations. And they stick together the way a family should — camping trips every other weekend… Just because they’re newcomers, people have to talk.”

 

It was the longest speech I’d ever heard Charlie make. He must feel strongly about whatever people were saying.

 

I backpedaled 後退.

 “They seemed nice enough to me. I just noticed they kept to themselves 獨往獨來. They’re all very attractive,” I added, trying to be more complimentary 恭維.

 

“You should see the doctor,” Charlie said, laughing. “It’s a good thing he’s happily married. A lot of the nurses at the hospital have a hard time concentrating on their work with him around.”

 

We lapsed 陷入back into silence as we finished eating. He cleared the table while I started on the dishes. He went back to the TV, and after I finished washing the dishes by hand — no dishwasher — I went upstairs unwillingly to work on my math homework. I could feel a tradition in the making 正在形成.

 

That night it was finally quiet. I fell asleep quickly, exhausted. The rest of the week was uneventful 平靜. I got used to the routine of my classes. By Friday I was able to recognize, if not name, almost all the students at school. In Gym, the kids on my team learned not to pass me the ball and to step quickly in front of me if the other team tried to take advantage of my weakness. I happily stayed out of their way. Edward Cullen didn’t come back to school.

 

Every day, I watched anxiously until the rest of the Cullens entered the cafeteria without him. Then I could relax and join in the lunchtime conversation. Mostly it centered around a trip to the La Push Ocean Park in two weeks that Mike was putting together. I was invited, and I had agreed to go, more out of politeness than desire. Beaches should be hot

and dry. By Friday I was perfectly comfortable entering my Biology class, no longer worried that Edward would be there. For all I knew, he had dropped out of school. I tried not to think about him, but I couldn’t totally suppress 壓制 the worry that I was responsible for his continued absence, ridiculous as it seemed 雖然看起來荒謬.

 

My first weekend in Forks passed without incident. Charlie, unused to spending time in the usually empty house, worked most of the weekend. I cleaned the house, got ahead on my homework, and wrote my mom more bogusly 贗造 cheerful e-mail. I did drive to the library Saturday, but it was so poorly stocked 貯存 that I didn’t bother to get a card; I would have to make a date to visit Olympia or Seattle soon and find a good bookstore.

 

I wondered idly what kind of gas mileage 里程the truck got… and shuddered 顫慄at the thought. The rain stayed soft over the weekend, quiet, so I was able to sleep well. People greeted me in the parking lot Monday morning. I didn’t know all I did drive to the library Saturday, but it was so poorly stocked that I didn’t bother to get a card; I would have to make a date to visit Olympia or Seattle soon and find a good bookstore. I

wondered idly what kind of gas mileage the truck got… and shuddered at

the thought.

 

The rain stayed soft over the weekend, quiet, so I was able to sleep well.

People greeted me in the parking lot Monday morning. I didn’t know all their names, but I waved back and smiled at everyone. It was colder this morning, but happily not raining. In English, Mike took his accustomed seat by my side. We had a pop quiz on Wuthering Heights. It was straightforward 明確, very easy.

 

All in all, I was feeling a lot more comfortable than I had thought I would feel by this point. It was 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 bit at my cheeks, my nose.

 

“Wow,” Mike said. “It’s snowing.”

 

I looked at the little cotton fluffs 蓬鬆物 that were building up along the sidewalk and swirling 旋轉 erratically 不穩定地past my face.

 

“Ew.” Snow. There went my good day.

 

He looked surprised. “Don’t you like snow?” “No. That means it’s too cold for rain.” Obviously. “Besides, I thought it was supposed to come down in flakes 雪花 — you know, each one unique and all that. These just look like the ends of Q-tips 棉花棒.”

 

“Haven’t you ever seen snow fall before?” he asked incredulously 不置信地.

“Sure I have.” I paused. “On TV.”

 

Mike laughed. And then a big, squishy 柔軟的 ball of dripping snow smacked 啪打 into the back of his head. We both turned to see where it came from. I had my suspicions about Eric, who was walking away, his back toward us — in the wrong direction for his next class. Mike apparently 明顯地 had the same notion.

 

He bent over and began scraping 刮together a pile of the white mush 糊狀物.

 

“I’ll see you at lunch, okay?” I kept walking as I spoke. “Once people start throwing wet stuff, I go inside.”

 

He just nodded, his eyes on Eric’s retreating 撤退figure. Throughout the morning, everyone chattered 閒聊 excitedly about the snow; apparently it was the first snowfall of the new year. I kept my mouth shut. Sure, it was drier than rain — until it melted in your socks 襪子.

 

I walked alertly 警覺地 to the cafeteria with Jessica after Spanish. Mush 糊狀的balls were flying everywhere. I kept a binder 紙夾 in my hands, ready to use it as a shield 擋板if necessary. Jessica thought I was hilarious 熱鬧, but something in my expression kept her from lobbing 投擲 a snowball at me herself.

 

Mike caught up to us as we walked in the doors, laughing, with ice melting the spikes 穗 in his hair. He and Jessica were talking animatedly 歡快地 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. Jessica pulled on my arm.

 

“Hello? Bella? 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 Bella?” Mike asked Jessica.

“Nothing,” I answered. “I’ll just get a soda today.” I caught up to the end of the line.

“Aren’t you hungry?” Jessica asked.

“Actually, I feel a little sick,” I said, my eyes still on the floor.

 

I waited for them to get their food, and then followed them to a table, my eyes on my feet. I sipped my soda slowly, my stomach churning. Twice Mike asked, with unnecessary concern, how I was feeling.

 

I told him 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.

I decided to permit myself one glance at the Cullen family’s table. If he was glaring at me, I would skip Biology, like the coward I was.

 

I kept my head down and glanced up under my lashes. None of them were looking this way. I lifted my head a little.

 

They were laughing. Edward, Jasper, and Emmett all had their hair entirely saturated 飽滿 with melting snow. Alice and Rosalie were leaning away as Emmett shook his dripping hair toward them. 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 pinpoint 指出 what that difference was. I examined Edward the most carefully. His skin was less pale, I decided —flushed from the snow fight maybe — the circles under his eyes much less noticeable 引人注意. But there was something more. I pondered 沉思, staring, trying to isolate the change.

 

“Bella, what are you staring at?” Jessica intruded 闖入, her eyes following my stare.

 

At that precise 準確的 moment, his eyes flashed over to meet mine.

I dropped my head, letting my hair fall to conceal my face. I was sure, though, in the instant our eyes met, that he didn’t look harsh or unfriendly as he had the last time I’d seen him. He looked merely curious again, unsatisfied in some way.

 

“Edward Cullen is staring at you,” Jessica giggled 傻笑 in my ear.

“He doesn’t look angry, does he?” I couldn’t help asking.

“No,” she said, sounding confused by my question. “Should he be?”

“I don’t think he likes me,” I confided. I still felt queasy 嘔吐. I put my head down on my arm.

“The Cullens don’t like anybody… well, they don’t notice anybody enough to like them. But he’s still staring at you.”

“Stop looking at him,” I hissed 噓聲說.

 

She snickered 竊笑, but she looked away. I raised my head enough to make sure

that she did, contemplating 沉思 violence if she resisted.

Mike interrupted us then — he was planning an epic 史詩battle of the blizzard 大風雪 in the parking lot after school and wanted us to join. Jessica agreed enthusiastically.

 

The way she looked at Mike left little doubt that she would be up for anything he suggested. I kept silent. I would have to hide in the gym until the parking lot cleared. For the rest of the lunch hour I very carefully kept my eyes at my own table. I decided to honor the bargain 交易I’d made with myself. Since he didn’t look angry, I would go to Biology. My stomach did frightened little flips 翻滾at the thought of sitting next to him again.

 

I didn’t really want to walk to class with Mike as usual — he seemed to be a popular target 目標 for the snowball snipers 狙擊手 — but when we went to the door, everyone besides me groaned 呻吟 in unison 一致地. It was raining, washing all traces 痕跡of the snow away in clear, icy ribbons down the side of the walkway. I pulled my hood 風帽up, secretly pleased. I would be free to go straight home after Gym.

 

Mike kept up a string of complaints on the way to building four. Once inside the classroom, I saw with relief that my table was still empty. Mr. Banner was walking around the room, distributing 分發 one microscope and box of slides 載玻片 to each table. Class didn’t start for a few minutes, and the room buzzed 嗡嗡with conversation. I kept my eyes away from the door, doodling 亂畫 idly on the cover of my notebook.

 

I heard very clearly when the chair next to me moved, but my eyes stayed carefully focused on the pattern I was drawing.

 

“Hello,” said a quiet, musical voice.

 

I looked up, stunned that he was speaking to me. He was sitting as far away from me as the desk allowed, but his chair was angled toward me. His hair was dripping wet, disheveled — even so, he looked like he’d just finished shooting a commercial for hair gel. His dazzling 令人目眩face was friendly, open, a slight smile on his flawless 無瑕疵lips. But his eyes were careful.

 

“My name is Edward Cullen,” he continued. “I didn’t have a chance to introduce myself last week. You must be Bella Swan.”

 

My mind was spinning with confusion. Had I made up the whole thing? He was perfectly polite now. I had to speak; he was waiting. But I couldn’t think of anything conventional to say.

 

“H-how do you know my name?” I stammered 口吃.

He laughed a soft, enchanting 迷人的 laugh.

“Oh, I think everyone knows your name. The whole town’s been waiting for you to arrive.”

 

I grimaced 扮鬼臉. I knew it was something like that.

“No,” I persisted stupidly. “I meant, why did you call me Bella?”

He seemed confused. “Do you prefer Isabella?”

“No, I like Bella,” I said. “But I think Charlie — I mean my dad — must call me Isabella behind my back — that’s what everyone here seems to know me as,” I tried to explain, feeling like an utter moron 傻瓜.

 

“Oh.” He let it drop. I looked away awkwardly.

Thankfully, Mr. Banner started class at that moment. I tried to concentrate as he explained the lab we would be doing today. The slides in the box were out of order. Working as lab partners, we had to separate the slides of onion root tip cells into the phases of mitosis they represented and label them accordingly. We weren’t supposed to use our

books. In twenty minutes, he would be coming around to see who had it right.

 

“Get started,” he commanded.

“Ladies first, partner?” Edward asked. I looked up to see him smiling a crooked 彎曲smile so beautiful that I could only stare at him like an idiot.

 

“Or I could start, if you wish.” The smile faded; he was obviously wondering if I was mentally competent.

 

“No,” I said, flushing 臉紅. “I’ll go ahead.”

 

I was showing off 炫耀, just a little. I’d already done this lab, and I knew what I was looking for. It should be easy. I snapped  放入the first slide  載玻片 into place under the microscope and adjusted 調整 it quickly to the 40X objective 目標.

 

I studied the slide briefly.

My assessment was confident. “Prophase 初期.”

 

“Do you mind if I look?” he asked as I began to remove the slide. His hand caught mine, to stop me, as he asked. His fingers were ice-cold, like he’d been holding them in a snowdrift before class. But that wasn’t why I jerked 急拉 my hand away so quickly. When he touched me, it stung 刺 my hand as if an electric current電流 had passed through us.

 

“I’m sorry,” he muttered 低聲說, pulling his hand back immediately. However, he continued to reach for the microscope. I watched him, still staggered, as he examined the slide for an even shorter time than I had.

 

“Prophase,” he agreed, writing it neatly in the first space on our worksheet 作業指. He swiftly switched out the first slide for the second, and then glanced at it cursorily.

 

“Anaphase,” he murmured, writing it down as he spoke.

 

I kept my voice indifferent. “May I?”

He smirked 嘻笑 and pushed the microscope to me.

 

I looked through the eyepiece eagerly, only to be disappointed. Dang it, he was right.

“Slide three?” I held out my hand without looking at him.

 

He handed it to me; it seemed like he was being careful not to touch my skin again.

I took the most fleeting look I could manage.

 

“Interphase 中間相.” I passed him the microscope before he could ask for it. He took a swift peek, and then wrote it down. I would have written it while he looked, but his clear, elegant script intimidated me. I didn’t want to spoil the page with my clumsy scrawl.

 

We were finished before anyone else was close. I could see Mike and his partner comparing two slides again and again, and another group had their book open under the table.

Which left me with nothing to do but try to not look at him… unsuccessfully. I glanced up, and he was staring at me, that same inexplicable 無法說明的 look of frustration in his eyes. Suddenly I identified that subtle difference in his face.

 

“Did you get contacts?” I blurted 模糊說出 out unthinkingly.

He seemed puzzled by my unexpected question. “No.”

 

“Oh,” I mumbled 含糊說. “I thought there was something different about your

eyes.”

He shrugged, and looked away.

In fact, I was sure there was something different. I vividly 生動地 remembered

the flat black color of his eyes the last time he’d glared at me — the color was striking against the background of his pale skin and his auburn 赤褐色的hair. Today, his eyes were a completely different color: a strange ocher 黃土色, darker than butterscotch 褐色脆絣, but with the same golden tone. I didn’t understand how that could be, unless he was lying for some reason about the contacts 隱形眼鏡. Or maybe Forks was making me crazy in the literal sense of the word.

 

I looked down. His hands were clenched 緊握into hard fists 拳頭 again.

Mr. Banner came to our table then, to see why we weren’t working. He looked over our shoulders to glance at the completed lab, and then stared more intently 專心 to check the answers.

 

“So, Edward, didn’t you think Isabella should get a chance with the microscope?” Mr. Banner asked.

 

“Bella,” Edward corrected automatically. “Actually, she identified three of the five.”

 

Mr. Banner looked at me now; his expression was skeptical懷疑.

“Have you done this lab before?” he asked.

I smiled sheepishly 靦腆地. “Not with onion root.”

“Whitefish 白鮭 blastula 囊胚?”

“Yeah.”

 

Mr. Banner nodded. “Were you in an advanced placement program in Phoenix?”

“Yes.”

“Well,” he said after a moment, “I guess it’s good you two are lab partners.” He mumbled something else as he walked away. After he left, I began doodling 亂畫 on my notebook again.

 

“It’s too bad about the snow, isn’t it?” Edward asked. I had the feeling that he was forcing himself to make small talk with me. Paranoia 偏執狂 swept over me again. It was like he had heard my conversation with Jessica at lunch and was trying to prove me wrong.

 

“Not really,” I answered honestly, instead of pretending to be normal like everyone else. I was still trying to dislodge 逐出the stupid feeling of suspicion, and I couldn’t concentrate.

 

“You don’t like the cold.” It wasn’t a question.

“Or the wet.”

“Forks must be a difficult place for you to live,” he mused 沉思.

“You have no idea,” I muttered 低聲咕嚕 darkly.

 

He looked fascinated by what I said, for some reason I couldn’t imagine.

His face was such a distraction 分心物 that I tried not to look at it any more than courtesy 禮貌 absolutely demanded.

 

“Why did you come here, then?”

No one had asked me that — not straight out like he did, demanding.

“It’s… complicated.”

“I think I can keep up 跟上,” he pressed 堅持.

 

I paused for a long moment, and then made the mistake of meeting his gaze. His dark gold eyes confused me, and I answered without thinking.

 

“My mother got remarried,” I said.

“That doesn’t sound so complex,” he disagreed, but he was suddenly sympathetic. “When did that happen?”

 

“Last September.” My voice sounded sad, even to me.

“And you don’t like him,” Edward surmised 推測, his tone still kind.

“No, Phil is fine. Too young, maybe, but nice enough.”

“Why didn’t you stay with them?”

 

I couldn’t fathom his interest, but he continued to stare at me with penetrating eyes, as if my dull life’s story was somehow vitally important.

 

“Phil travels a lot. He plays ball for a living.” I half-smiled.

“Have I heard of him?” he asked, smiling in response.

“Probably not. He doesn’t play well. Strictly minor league. He moves around a lot.”

“And your mother sent you here so that she could travel with him.” He said it as an assumption 推測 again, not a question.

 

My chin 下顎 raised a fraction 一點點 . “No, she did not send me here. I sent myself.”

His eyebrows 眉毛 knit 打結  together. “I don’t understand,” he admitted, and he seemed unnecessarily frustrated by that fact.

I sighed. Why was I explaining this to him? He continued to stare at me with obvious curiosity.

 

“She stayed with me at first, but she missed him. It made her unhappy… so I decided it was time to spend some quality time with Charlie.” My voice was glum 悶悶不樂by the time I finished.

 

“But now you’re unhappy,” he pointed out.

“And?” I challenged.

 

“That doesn’t seem fair.” He shrugged, but his eyes were still intense.

I laughed without humor. “Hasn’t anyone ever told you? Life isn’t fair.”

 

“I believe I have heard that somewhere before,” he agreed dryly 不露表情.

“So that’s all,” I insisted, wondering why he was still staring at me that way.

 

His gaze became appraising 評估. “You put on a good show,” he said slowly.

“But I’d be willing to bet that you’re suffering more than you let anyone see.”

I grimaced 做鬼臉 at him, resisting the impulse 衝動 to stick out my tongue like a

five-year-old, and looked away.

 

“Am I wrong?”

I tried to ignore him.

“I didn’t think so,” he murmured smugly.沾沾自喜

 

“Why does it matter to you?” I asked, irritated. I kept my eyes away, watching the teacher make his rounds.

 

“That’s a very good question,” he muttered, so quietly that I wondered if he was talking to himself. However, after a few seconds of silence, I decided that was the only answer I was going to get.

 

I sighed, scowling 皺眉頭 at the blackboard.

“Am I annoying you?” he asked. He sounded amused.

 

I glanced at him without thinking… and told the truth again. “Not exactly. I’m more annoyed at myself. My face is so easy to read — my mother always calls me her open book.” I frowned.

“On the contrary, I find you very difficult to read.” Despite everything that I’d said and he’d guessed, he sounded like he meant it.

 

“You must be a good reader then,” I replied.

“Usually.” He smiled widely, flashing a set of perfect, ultrawhite 超白的teeth.

 

Mr. Banner called the class to order 守秩序then, and I turned with relief to listen. I was in disbelief that I’d just explained my dreary 可怕的life to this bizarre 古怪, beautiful boy who may or may not despise me. He’d seemed engrossed 全神貫注in our conversation, but now I could see, from the corner of my eye, that he was leaning away from me again, his hands gripping 捉住 the edge of the table with unmistakable tension 緊張.

 

I tried to appear attentive as Mr. Banner illustrated, with transparencies 幻燈片 on the overhead projector 投影機, what I had seen without difficulty through the microscope. But my thoughts were unmanageable.

 

When the bell finally rang, Edward rushed as swiftly and as gracefully from the room as he had last Monday. And, like last Monday, I stared after him in amazement.

 

Mike skipped 跳 quickly to my side and picked up my books for me. I imagined him with a wagging 擺動的 tail.

 

“That was awful,” he groaned. “They all looked exactly the same. You’re lucky you had Cullen for a partner.”

 

“I didn’t have any trouble with it,” I said, stung by his assumption. I regretted the snub 冷落 instantly. “I’ve done the lab before, though,” I added before he could get his feelings hurt.

 

“Cullen seemed friendly enough today,” he commented as we shrugged into our raincoats. He didn’t seem pleased about it.

 

I tried to sound indifferent. “I wonder what was with him last Monday.”

 

I couldn’t concentrate on Mike’s chatter as we walked to Gym, and RE. didn’t do much to hold my attention, either. Mike was on my team today.

 

He chivalrously covered my position as well as his own, so my wool-gathering 白日夢 was only interrupted when it was my turn to serve 發球; my team ducked 躲避 warily 小心翼翼out of the way every time I was up.

 

The rain was just a mist as I walked to the parking lot, but I was happier when I was in the dry cab. I got the heater running, for once not caring about the mind-numbing 使心靈麻木 roar of the engine. I unzipped 拉開拉鍊 my jacket, put the hood down, and fluffed 使鬆散 my damp hair out so the heater could dry it on the way home.

 

I looked around me to make sure it was clear. That’s when I noticed the still, white figure. Edward Cullen was leaning against the front door of the Volvo, three cars down from me, and staring intently in my direction.

 

I swiftly  迅速地 looked away and threw the truck into reverse 倒轉 , almost hitting a rusty 生鏽的Toyota Corolla in my haste. Lucky for the Toyota, I stomped 用力綵on the brake in time. It was just the sort of car that my truck would make scrap metal of. I took a deep breath, still looking out the other side of my car, and cautiously 小心地pulled out again, with greater success. I stared straight ahead as I passed the Volvo, but from a peripheral周圍 peek 偷看 , I would swear I saw him laughing.

 

32hsiung@pchome.com.tw

雄伯

暮光之城 04

May 24, 2009

暮光之城 04

 

“Have they always lived in Forks?” I asked. Surely I would have noticed them on one of my summers here.

 

“No,” she said in a voice that implied it should be obvious, even to a new arrival like me. “They just moved down two years ago from somewhere in Alaska.”

 

I felt a surge  洶湧of pity, and relief. Pity because, as beautiful as they were, they were outsiders, clearly not accepted. Relief because I wasn’t the only newcomer here, and certainly not the most interesting by any standard 標準.

 

As I examined them, the youngest, one of the Cullens, looked up and met my gaze, this time with evident curiosity in his expression. As I looked swiftly away, it seemed to me that his glance held some kind of unmet 沒有滿足的 expectation.

 

“Which one is the boy with the reddish brown hair?” I asked. I peeked at 偷看him from the corner of my eye, and he was still staring at me, but not gawking 張口瞠視like the other students had today — he had a slightly frustrated expression. I looked down again.

 

“That’s Edward. He’s gorgeous 帥氣, of course, but don’t waste your time. He doesn’t date. Apparently 明顯的 none of the girls here are good-looking enough for him.” She sniffed 嗤之以鼻, a clear case of sour grapes 酸葡萄. I wondered when he’d turned her down 拒絕

 

I bit my lip to hide my smile. Then I glanced at him again. His face was turned away, but I thought his cheek appeared lifted 提高, as if he were smiling, too. After a few more minutes, the four of them left the table together. They all were noticeably  顯著graceful 優雅— even the big, brawny 肌肉結實 one. It was unsettling 心神不寧 to watch. The one named Edward didn’t look at me again.

 

I sat at the table with Jessica and her friends longer than I would have if I’d been sitting alone. I was anxious not to be late for class on my first day. One of my new acquaintances, who considerately 相當地 reminded me that her name was Angela, had Biology II with me the next hour. We walked to class together in silence. She was shy, too.

 

When we entered the classroom, Angela went to sit at a black-topped 黑色桌面的 lab table exactly like the ones I was used to. She already had a neighbor. In fact, all the tables were filled but one. Next to the center aisle 走道, I recognized Edward Cullen by his unusual hair, sitting next to that single open seat.

 

As I walked down the aisle to introduce myself to the teacher and get my slip 紙條 signed, I was watching him surreptitiously 秘密地. Just as I passed, he suddenly went rigid 僵硬 in his seat. He stared at me again, meeting my eyes with the strangest expression on his face — it was hostile 敵意, furious憤怒 . I looked away quickly, shocked, going red again.

 

I stumbled 絆住 over a book in the walkway and had to catch myself on the edge of a table.

 

The girl sitting there giggled 傻笑.

 

I’d noticed that his eyes were black — coal black.

 

Mr. Banner signed my slip and handed me a book with no nonsense 無聊的話 about introductions. I could tell we were going to get along 相處得好. Of course, he had no choice but to send me to the one open seat in the middle of the room. I kept my eyes down as I went to sit by him, bewildered 困窘 by the antagonistic 敵意的 stare 凝視he’d given me.

 

I didn’t look up as I set my book on the table and took my seat, but I saw his posture 姿態 change from the corner of my eye. He was leaning away from me, sitting on the extreme edge of his chair and averting 轉移 his face like he smelled something bad. Inconspicuously 不明顯地, I sniffed  嗅嗅 my hair. It smelled like strawberries 草莓, the scent of my favorite shampoo 洗髮精. It seemed an innocent enough odor 味道. I let my hair fall over my right shoulder, making a dark curtain 簾幕 between us, and tried to pay attention to the teacher.

 

Unfortunately the lecture was on cellular 細胞 anatomy 解剖, something I’d already studied. I took notes carefully anyway, always looking down.I couldn’t stop myself from peeking 偷看 occasionally through the screen of my hair at the strange boy next to me.

 

During the whole class, he never relaxed his stiff 僵硬的 position on the edge of his chair, sitting as far from me as possible. I could see his hand on his left leg was clenched 緊握 into a fist 拳頭, tendons 手腱standing out under his pale skin. This, too, he never

relaxed. He had the long sleeves of his white shirt pushed up to his elbows 手肘, and his forearm was surprisingly hard and muscular 肌肉結實beneath his light 淡色skin. He wasn’t nearly as slight 微不足道as he’d looked next to his burly 魁梧的 brother.

 

The class seemed to drag on 慢吞吞進行 longer than the others. Was it because the day was finally coming to a close, or because I was waiting for his tight fist to loosen 鬆開? It never did; he continued to sit so still 安靜 it looked like he wasn’t breathing.

 

What was wrong with him? Was this his normal behavior? I questioned my judgment on Jessica’s bitterness 怨恨 at lunch today. Maybe she was not as resentful 怨恨 as I’d thought. It couldn’t have anything to do with me. He didn’t know me from Eve.

 

I peeked 偷看 up at him one more time, and regretted it. He was glaring down at me again, his black eyes full of revulsion 嫌惡. As I flinched 退縮 away from him, shrinking against my chair, the phrase if looks could kill suddenly ran through my mind.

 

At that moment, the bell rang loudly, making me jump, and Edward Cullen was out of his seat. Fluidly  流暢地 he rose — he was much taller than I’d thought — his back to me, and he was out the door before anyone else was out of their seat.

 

I sat frozen in my seat, staring blankly 茫然地 after him. He was so mean 卑鄙. It wasn’t fair. I began gathering up my things slowly, trying to block 阻擋the anger that filled me, for fear my eyes would tear up. For some reason, my temper was hardwired 接線到 to my tear ducts 輸送管 . I usually cried when I was angry,a humiliating tendency.

 

“Aren’t you Isabella Swan?” a male voice asked.

 

I looked up to see a cute, baby-faced boy, his pale blond hair carefully gelled 膠化into  orderly spikes 穗狀 , smiling at me in a friendly way. He obviously didn’t think I smelled bad.

 

“Bella,” I corrected him, with a smile.

“I’m Mike.”

“Hi, Mike.”

“Do you need any help finding your next class?”

“I’m headed to the gym, actually. I think I can find it.”

 

“That’s my next class, too.” He seemed thrilled 興奮, though it wasn’t that big of a coincidence 巧合 in a school this small.

We walked to class together; he was a chatterer 話匣子  — he supplied 供應 most of the

conversation, which made it easy for me. He’d lived in California till he was ten, so he knew how I felt about the sun. It turned out he was in my English class also. He was the nicest person I’d met today.

 

But as we were entering the gym, he asked, “So, did you stab 刺 Edward Cullen with a pencil or what? I’ve never seen him act like that.” I cringed 畏縮. So I wasn’t the only one who had noticed. And, apparently, that wasn’t Edward Cullen’s usual behavior. I decided to play dumb 裝啞巴.

 

“Was that the boy I sat next to in Biology?” I asked artlessly 無掩飾地.

“Yes,” he said. “He looked like he was in pain or something.”

“I don’t know,” I responded. “I never spoke to him.”

 

“He’s a weird 古怪的 guy.” Mike lingered 逗留by me instead of heading to the dressing room 更衣室. “If I were lucky enough to sit by you, I would have talked to you.”.

 

I smiled at him before walking through the girls’ locker room 衣櫃室 door. He was friendly and clearly admiring. But it wasn’t enough to ease 平息 my irritation 憤怒.

 

The Gym 體育 teacher, Coach 教練 Clapp, found me a uniform but didn’t make me dress down for today’s class. At home, only two years of P. E . were required 必修. Here, P.E. 體育 was mandatory  強制all four years. Forks was literally 實際上 my personal hell on Earth.

 

I watched four volleyball 排球 games running simultaneously 同時. Remembering how many injuries I had sustained 遭受 — and inflicted 痛苦— playing volleyball, I felt faintly nauseated 嘔吐.

 

The final bell rang at last. I walked slowly to the office to return my paperwork. The rain had drifted away, but the wind was strong, and colder. I wrapped my arms around myself. When I walked into the warm office, I almost turned around and walked back out. Edward Cullen stood at the desk in front of me. I recognized again that tousled 蓬亂的 bronze hair. He didn’t appear to notice the sound of my entrance.

 

I stood pressed against the back wall, waiting for the receptionist 接待員to be free.

He was arguing with her in a low, attractive voice. I quickly picked up the gist 要點 of the argument. He was trying to trade 更換 from sixth-hour Biology to another time — any other time.

 

I just couldn’t believe that this was about me. It had to be something else, something that happened before I entered the Biology room. The look on his face must have been about another aggravation 惡化 entirely. It was impossible that this stranger could take such a sudden, intense dislike to me.

 

The door opened again, and the cold wind suddenly gusted 吹過 through the room, rustling 移動 the papers on the desk, swirling 旋轉 my hair around my face. The girl who came in merely stepped to the desk, placed a note in the wire basket 繩籃, and walked out again. But Edward Cullen’s back stiffened 僵硬 , and he turned slowly to glare at me — his face was absurdly 荒謬 handsome —with piercing 刺穿, hate-filled eyes. For an instant, I felt a thrill of genuine 真正 fear, raising the hair on my arms. The look only lasted a second, but it chilled 使寒顫 me more than the freezing wind. He turned back to the receptionist.

 

“Never mind, then,” he said hastily  匆促in a voice like velvet 柔和. “I can see that it’s impossible. Thank you so much for your help.” And he turned on his heel without another look at me, and disappeared out the door.

 

I went meekly 溫順地 to the desk, my face white for once instead of red, and handed her the signed slip 紙條.

 

“How did your first day go, dear?” the receptionist asked maternally 慈母般地 .

 

“Fine,” I lied, my voice weak. She didn’t look convinced.

 

When I got to the truck, it was almost the last car in the lot. It seemed like a haven 避風港, already the closest thing to home I had in this damp green hole. I sat inside for a while, just staring out the windshield 擋風玻璃 blankly 茫然地. But soon I was cold enough to need the heater 熱氣 , so I turned the key and the engine roared 響起 to life. I headed back to Charlie’s house, fighting tears the whole way there.

 

32hsiung@pchome.com.tw

雄伯

暮光之城 03

May 24, 2009

暮光之城 03

 

Inside the truck, it was nice and dry. Either Billy or Charlie had obviously cleaned it up, but the tan  褐色 upholstered 皮套 seats still smelled faintly  模糊地 of tobacco, gasoline, and peppermint 薄荷. The engine started quickly, to my relief, but loudly, roaring to life and then idling 怠速at top volume 最大量 . Well, a truck this old was bound to have a flaw 瑕疵. The antique 古董 radio worked, a plus 附加物that I hadn’t expected.

 

Finding the school wasn’t difficult, though I’d never been there before. The school was, like most other things, just off the highway. It was not obvious that it was a school; only the sign, which declared it to be the Forks High School, made me stop. It looked like a collection of matching 相同的 houses, built with maroon-colored 褐紫色 bricks. There were so many trees and shrubs 灌木 I couldn’t see its size at first. Where was the feel of the institution 機構? I wondered nostalgically 懷舊地. Where were the chain-link fences 鍊條連結的圍牆 , the metal detectors 偵測器? I parked in front of the first building, which had a small sign over the door reading front office. No one else was parked there, so I was sure it was off limits 閒人莫停, but I decided I would get directions inside instead of circling around 繞圈子 in the rain like an idiot. I stepped unwillingly out of the toasty 舒適的truck cab and walked down a little stone path lined with dark hedges 圍籬. I took a deep breath before opening the door.

 

Inside, it was brightly lit 燈光明亮, and warmer than I’d hoped. The office was small; a little waiting area with padded 有墊底的 folding 摺疊 chairs, orange-flecked 橘色斑點 commercial carpet, notices and awards cluttering 堆滿 the walls, a big clock ticking loudly. Plants grew everywhere in large plastic pots 塑膠花盆, as if there wasn’t enough greenery outside. The room was cut in half by a long counter, cluttered  堆滿with wire baskets full of papers and brightly colored flyers 傳單taped 捆綁 to its front. There were three desks behind the counter, one of which was manned 坐by a large, red-haired woman wearing glasses. She was wearing a purple 紫色 t-shirt, which immediately made me feel overdressed .

 

The red-haired woman looked up. “Can I help you?”

 

“I’m Isabella Swan,” I informed her, and saw the immediate awareness light her eyes. I was expected, a topic of gossip 閒話  no doubt. Daughter of the Chief’s flighty 輕浮的 ex-wife, come home at last.

 

 

“Of course,” she said. She dug through a precariously 不穩地 stacked 堆放pile of documents on her desk till she found the ones she was looking for. “I have your schedule right here, and a map of the school.” She brought several sheets to the counter to show roe. She went through my classes for me, highlighting 劃出 the best route 路線 to each on the map, and gave me a slip 紙條 to have each teacher sign, which I was to bring back at the end of the day. She smiled at me and hoped, like Charlie, that I would like it here in Forks. I smiled back as convincingly as I could.

 

When I went back out to my truck, other students were starting to arrive. I drove around the school, following the line of traffic. I was glad to see that most of the cars were older like mine, nothing flashy 俗豔. At home I’d lived in one of the few lower-income neighborhoods that were included in the Paradise Valley District. It was a common thing to see a new Mercedes 賓士or Porsche 保時捷in the student lot 停車場. The nicest car here was a shiny Volvo, and it stood out 顯著. Still, I cut the engine as soon as I was in a spot, so that the thunderous 隆隆 volume 音量 wouldn’t draw attention to me. I looked at the map in the truck, trying to memorize it now; hopefully I wouldn’t have to walk around with it stuck in front of my nose all day. I stuffed 塞入 everything in my bag, slung 懸吊the strap 帶子over my shoulder, and sucked in 吸入 a huge breath. I can do this, I lied to myself feebly 微弱地. No one was going to bite me. I finally exhaled 呼氣 and stepped out of the truck. I kept my face pulled back into my hood 風帽 as I walked to the sidewalk, crowded with teenagers. My plain black jacket didn’t stand out, I noticed with relief.

 

Once I got around the cafeteria 自助餐廳 , building three was easy to spot 偵查. A large black “3” was painted on a white square on the east corner. I felt my breathing gradually creeping toward hyperventilation 過度換氣 as I approached the door. I tried holding my breath as I followed two unisex 男女通用的 raincoats through the door. The classroom was small. The people in front of me stopped just inside the door to hang up their coats on a long row of hooks 掛勾. I copied them. They were two girls, one a porcelain-colored 瓷器顏色 blonde , the other also pale, with light brown hair. At least my skin wouldn’t be a standout 顯著here. I took the slip 紙條 up to the teacher, a tall, balding 禿頭 man whose desk had a nameplate 名牌 identifying him as Mr. Mason. He gawked at 張口瞠視 me when he saw my name — not an encouraging response — and of course I flushed  臉紅 tomato red. But at least he sent me to an empty desk at the back without introducing me to the class. It was harder for my new classmates to stare at me in the back, but somehow, they managed. I kept my eyes down on the reading list the teacher had given me. It was fairly basic: Bronte, Shakespeare, Chaucer, Faulkner. I’d already read everything. That was comforting… and boring. I wondered if my mom would send me my folder 文件夾of old essays, or if she would think that was cheating. I went through different arguments with her in my head while the teacher droned on 嗡嗡地說. When the bell rang, a nasal 鼻音 buzzing 嗡嗡 sound, a gangly 身材瘦長 boy with skin problems and hair black as an oil slick 掩飾 leaned across the aisle to talk to me.

 

“You’re Isabella Swan, aren’t you?” He looked like the overly helpful, chess club 棋藝社 type.

 

“Bella,” I corrected. Everyone within a three-seat radius 半徑 turned to look at me.

“Where’s your next class?” he asked.

 

I had to check in my bag. “Um, Government, with Jefferson, in building six.” There was nowhere to look without meeting curious eyes.

 

“I’m headed toward building four, I could show you the way…” Definitely 明確地over-helpful. “I’m Eric,” he added.

 

I smiled tentatively 猶豫地. “Thanks.”

 

We got our jackets and headed out into the rain, which had picked up. I could have sworn several people behind us were walking close enough to eavesdrop 竊聽. I hoped I wasn’t getting paranoid 偏執狂. “So, this is a lot different than Phoenix, huh?” he asked.

 

“Very.”

“It doesn’t rain much there, does it?”

“Three or four times a year.”

“Wow, what must that be like?” he wondered.

“Sunny,” I told him.

“You don’t look very tan 曬成褐色.”

“My mother is part albino 白化症.”

 

He studied my face apprehensively 恐懼地 , and I sighed. It looked like clouds and a sense of humor didn’t mix. A few months of this and I’d forget how to use sarcasm 嘲諷.

 

雄伯註:貝拉賣弄幽默,說母親有白化症,男生信以為真,還恐懼地打量她的臉孔。機智反應上就讓她瞧不起,故憤而嘲諷想,若所遇之人皆如此,自己的嘲諷本事,將無用武之地。

 

We walked back around the cafeteria, to the south buildings by the gym. Eric walked me right to the door, though it was clearly marked 標明.

 

“Well, good luck,” he said as I touched the handle. “Maybe we’ll have some other classes together.” He sounded hopeful.

 

I smiled at him vaguely and went inside.

 

The rest of the morning passed in about the same fashion 方式. My Trigonometry 三角

teacher, Mr. Varner, who I would have hated anyway just because of the subject he taught, was the only one who made me stand in front of the class and introduce myself. I stammered 結結巴巴, blushed 臉紅, and tripped 絆住 over my own boots on the way to my seat.

 

After two classes, I started to recognize several of the faces in each class. There was always someone braver than the others who would introduce themselves and ask me questions about how I liked Forks. I tried to be diplomatic 外交, but mostly I just lied a lot. At least I never needed the map.

 

雄伯註:同學好心跟她交談,貝拉卻只是為了禮貌,勉強回應,自我解嘲說,初到陌生地方,總得有人引路。

 

One girl sat next to me in both Trig 三角 and Spanish, and she walked with me to the cafeteria for lunch. She was tiny, several inches shorter than my five feet four inches, but her wildly curly 捲曲 dark hair made up  彌補 a lot of the difference between our heights. I couldn’t remember her name, so I smiled and nodded as she prattled 閒聊 about teachers and classes. I didn’t try to keep up 湊合.

 

We sat at the end of a full table with several of her friends, who she introduced to me. I forgot all their names as soon as she spoke them. They seemed impressed by her bravery in speaking to me. The boy from English, Eric, waved at me from across the room.

It was there, sitting in the lunchroom, trying to make conversation with seven curious strangers, that I first saw them.

 

They were sitting in the corner of the cafeteria, as far away from where I sat as possible in the long room. There were five of them. They weren’t talking, and they weren’t eating, though they each had a tray 盤 子of untouched food in front of them. They weren’t gawking 張口瞠視at me, unlike most of the other students, so it was safe to stare at them without fear of meeting an excessively interested pair of eyes. But it was none of these

things that caught, and held, my attention. They didn’t look anything alike.

 

Of the three boys, one was big — muscled 肌肉結實 like a serious weight lifter 舉重選手, with dark, curly 捲曲的 hair. Another was taller, leaner, but still muscular 肌肉結實, and honey 討人喜歡 的 blond 白人. The last was lanky 瘦長, less bulky 大塊頭 , with untidy 不乾淨, bronze-colored 銅色 hair. He was more boyish than the others, who looked like they could be in college, or even teachers here rather than students. The girls were opposites. The tall one was statuesque 優雅. She had a beautiful figure, the kind you saw on the cover of the Sports Illustrated 插圖 swimsuit issue 雜誌, the kind that made every girl around her take a hit on her self-esteem 壓下自尊 just by being in the same room. Her hair was golden, gently waving to the middle of her back. The short girl was pixielike 頑皮, thin in the extreme 極端瘦, with small features. Her hair was a deep black, cropped 剪短 short and pointing in every direction.

 

And yet, they were all exactly alike. Every one of them was chalky 粉筆般 pale 蒼白, the palest of all the students living in this sunless town. Paler than me, the albino白化症. They all had very dark eyes despite the range in hair tones 色度. They also had dark shadows under those eyes — purplish 紫色, bruiselike 瘀傷般 shadows. As if they were all suffering from a sleepless night, or almost done recovering from a broken nose. Though their noses, all their features, were straight, perfect, angular 有嶙角. But all this is not why I couldn’t look away. I stared because their faces, so different, so similar, were all devastatingly 毀滅性, inhumanly beautiful. They were faces you never expected to see except perhaps on the airbrushed 噴霧的 pages of a fashion magazine. Or painted by an old master as the face of an angel. It was hard to decide who was the most beautiful — maybe the perfect blond 金黃色 girl, or the bronze-haired 銅色頭髮 boy.

 

They were all looking away — away from each other, away from the other students, away from anything in particular as far as I could tell. As I watched, the small girl rose with her tray 盤子 — unopened soda 汽水, unbitten apple — and walked away with a quick, graceful 優雅的 lope 奔走 that belonged on a runway. I watched, amazed at her lithe 輕盈 dancer’s step, till she dumped 傾倒 her tray and glided 滑倒through the back door, faster than I would have thought possible. My eyes darted 疾駛 back to the others, who sat unchanging. “Who are they?” I asked the girl from my Spanish class, whose name I’d forgotten.

 

As she looked up to see who I meant — though already knowing, probably,from my tone — suddenly he looked at her, the thinner one, the boyish one, the youngest, perhaps. He looked at my neighbor for just a fraction  of a second 不到一秒, and then his dark eyes flickered 閃爍 to mine.

 

He looked away quickly, more quickly than I could, though in a flush of embarrassment I dropped my eyes at once. In that brief flash of a glance, his face held nothing of interest — it was as if she had called his name, and he’d looked up in involuntary response, already having decided not to answer.

 

My neighbor giggled 傻笑 in embarrassment, looking at the table like I did. “That’s Edward and Emmett Cullen, and Rosalie and Jasper Hale. The one who left was Alice Cullen; they all live together with Dr. Cullen and his wife.” She said this under her breath 小聲地說. I glanced sideways at the beautiful boy, who was looking at his tray now,

picking a bagel 麵包圈to pieces with long, pale fingers. His mouth was moving very quickly, his perfect lips barely opening. The other three still looked away, and yet I felt he was speaking quietly to them.

 

Strange, unpopular names, I thought. The kinds of names grandparents had. But maybe that was in vogue 流行 here — small town names? I finally remembered that my neighbor was called Jessica, a perfectly common name. There were two girls named Jessica in my History class back home.

 

“They are… very nice-looking.” I struggled with the conspicuous 明顯的 understatement 低調.

 

“Yes!” Jessica agreed with another giggle 傻笑. “They’re all together though —

Emmett and Rosalie, and Jasper and Alice, I mean. And they live together.” Her voice held all the shock and condemnation 譴責 of the small town, I thought critically 批評地. But, if I was being honest, I had to admit that even in Phoenix, it would cause gossip 閒話.

 

“Which ones are the Cullens?” I asked. “They don’t look related…”

 

“Oh, they’re not. Dr. Cullen is really young, in his twenties or early thirties. They’re all adopted 收養. The Hales are brother and sister, twins —the blondes — and they’re foster 收養 children.”

 

“They look a little old for foster children.”

“They are now, Jasper and Rosalie are both eighteen, but they’ve been with Mrs. Cullen since they were eight. She’s their aunt or something like that.”

 

“That’s really kind of nice — for them to take care of all those kids like that, when they’re so young and everything.”

 

“I guess so,” Jessica admitted reluctantly 勉強地, and I got the impression that she didn’t like the doctor and his wife for some reason. With the glances 眼光she was throwing at their adopted children, I would presume 假定the reason was jealousy 妒嫉. “I think that Mrs. Cullen can’t have any kids, though,” she added, as if that lessened 減少their kindness.

 

Throughout all this conversation, my eyes flickered 閃爍 again and again to the table where the strange family sat. They continued to look at the walls and not eat.

暮光之城 02

May 24, 2009

暮光之城 02

 

“What kind of car?” I was suspicious of 懷疑 the way he said “good car for you” as opposed to 相對於 just “good car.”

 

“Well, it’s a truck actually, a Chevy.”

“Where did you find it?”

 

“Do you remember Billy Black down at La Push?” La Push is the tiny Indian reservation 保留區 on the coast.

 

“No.”

“He used to go fishing with us during the summer,” Charlie prompted 提示 .

 

That would explain why I didn’t remember him. I do a good job of blocking 阻擋 painful, unnecessary things from my memory.

 

“He’s in a wheelchair 輪椅 now,” Charlie continued when I didn’t respond, “so he can’t drive anymore, and he offered 提議 to sell me his truck cheap.”

 

“What year is it?” I could see from his change of expression that this was the question he was hoping I wouldn’t ask.

 

“Well, Billy’s done a lot of work on the engine 引擎 — it’s only a few years old, really.”

 

I hoped he didn’t think so little of 看輕 me as to believe I would give up that easily. “When did he buy it?”

 

“He bought it in 1984, I think.”

“Did he buy it new?”

 

“Well, no. I think it was new in the early sixties — or late fifties at the earliest,” he admitted sheepishly 靦腆地.

 

“Ch — Dad, I don’t really know anything about cars. I wouldn’t be able to fix it if anything went wrong, and I couldn’t afford a mechanic 技師…”

 

“Really, Bella, the thing runs great. They don’t build them like that anymore.”

 

The thing, I thought to myself… it had possibilities — as a nickname, at the very least.

 

“How cheap is cheap?” After all, that was the part I couldn’t compromise on 妥協.

 

“Well, honey, I kind of already bought it for you. As a homecoming 回家的gift.”

 

Charlie peeked sideways 斜視 at me with a hopeful expression.

Wow. Free.

 

“You didn’t need to do that, Dad. I was going to buy myself a car.”

 

“I don’t mind. I want you to be happy here.” He was looking ahead at the road when he said this. Charlie wasn’t comfortable with expressing his emotions out loud. I inherited 遺傳 that from him. So I was looking straight ahead as I responded.

 

“That’s really nice, Dad. Thanks. I really appreciate it.”

 

There is no need to add that my being happy in Forks is an impossibility. He didn’t need to suffer along with me. And I never looked a free truck in the mouth — or engine.

 

“Well, now, you’re welcome,” he mumbled 咕嚕地說, embarrassed by my thanks. We exchanged a few more comments on the weather, which was wet, and that was pretty much it for Conversation. We stared out the windows in silence.

 

It was beautiful, of course; I couldn’t deny that. Everything was green: the trees, their trunks covered with moss 苔蘚 , their branches hanging with a canopy 樹頂 of it, the ground covered with fern 蕨類植物. Even the air filtered 過濾 down greenly through the leaves. It was too green — an alien 外來 planet 行星.

 

Eventually we made it to Charlie’s. He still lived in the small, two-bedroom house that he’d bought with my mother in the early days of their marriage. Those were the only kind of days their marriage had — the early ones. There, parked on the street in front of the house that never changed, was my new — well, new to me — truck. It was a faded 褪色的 red color, with big, rounded fenders 防護板 and a bulbous 球形的 cab. To my intense 強烈的surprise, Iloved it. I didn’t know if it would run, but I could see myself in it.

 

Plus 而且, it was one of those solid 堅固的iron affairs that never gets damaged —the kind you see at the scene of an accident, paint unscratched 未被刮傷, surrounded by the pieces of the foreign car it had destroyed.

 

“Wow, Dad, I love it! Thanks!” Now my horrific day tomorrow would be just that much less dreadful. I wouldn’t be faced with the choice of either walking two miles in the rain to school or accepting a ride in the Chief’s cruiser 巡邏車.

 

“I’m glad you like it,” Charlie said gruffly 嚴肅地說, embarrassed again. It took only one trip to get all my stuff upstairs. I got the west bedroom that faced out over the front yard. The room was familiar; it had been belonged to me since I was born. The wooden floor, the light blue walls, the peaked 尖頂 ceiling 天花板, the yellowed lace curtains 窗簾 around the window —these were all a part of my childhood. The only changes Charlie had ever made were switching the crib 嬰兒床 for a bed and adding a desk as I grew. The desk now held a secondhand computer, with the phone line for the modem 數據機 stapled 釘住along the floor to the nearest phone jack 插座. This was a stipulation 規定 from my mother, so that we could stay in touch easily. The rocking chair 搖椅 from my baby days was still in the corner.

 

There was only one small bathroom at the top of the stairs, which I would have to share with Charlie. I was trying not to dwell too much on 詳述 that fact.

 

One of the best things about Charlie is he doesn’t hover 俳徊. He left me alone to unpack 打開行李 and get settled, a feat 技巧that would have been altogether 完全 impossible for my mother. It was nice to be alone, not to have to smile and look pleased; a relief to stare dejectedly 沮喪地 out the window at the sheeting 一大片 rain and let just a few tears escape. I wasn’t in the mood to go on a real crying jag 一陣哭. I would save that for bedtime, when I would have to think about the coming morning.

 

Forks High School had a frightening total of only three hundred and fifty-seven — now fifty-eight — students; there were more than seven hundred people in my junior class alone back home. All of the kids here had grown up together — their grandparents had been toddlers 幼童 together.

 

I would be the new girl from the big city, a curiosity, a freak 怪人

 

Maybe, if I looked like a girl from Phoenix should, I could work this to my advantage. But physically, I’d never fit in anywhere. I should be tan 皮膚曬黑, sporty 運動型, blond — a volleyball 排球 player, or a cheerleader, perhaps — all the things that go with living in the valley of the sun.

 

Instead, I was ivory-skinned 乳白皮膚, without even the excuse of blue eyes or red hair, despite the constant sunshine. I had always been slender, but soft somehow, obviously not an athlete; I didn’t have the necessary hand-eye coordination 協調 to play sports without humiliating 羞辱 myself — and harming both myself and anyone else who stood too close.

 

When I finished putting my clothes in the old pine dresser 松木衣櫃, I took my bag of bathroom necessities and went to the communal bathroom to clean myself up after the day of travel. I looked at my face in the mirror as I brushed through my tangled 糾纏, damp hair. Maybe it was the light, but already I looked sallower 氣色不好, unhealthy. My skin could be pretty — it was very clear, almost translucent-looking 清澈 — but it all depended on color. I had no color here.

 

 

Facing my pallid 蒼白的 reflection in the mirror, I was forced to admit that I was lying to myself. It wasn’t just physically that I’d never fit in. And if I couldn’t find a niche 適當地位 in a school with three thousand people, what were my chances here?

 

I didn’t relate well to 相處得好 people my age. Maybe the truth was that I didn’t relate well to people, period. Even my mother, who I was closer to than anyone else on the planet, was never in harmony 和諧 with me, never on exactly the same page. Sometimes I wondered if I was seeing the same things through my eyes that the rest of the world was seeing through theirs. Maybe there was a glitch 毛病 in my brain. But the cause didn’t matter. All that mattered was the effect. And tomorrow would be just the beginning.

 

I didn’t sleep well that night, even after I was done crying. The constant whooshing 淅瀝聲 of the rain and wind across the roof wouldn’t fade into the background. I pulled the faded old quilt 棉被 over my head, and later added the pillow, too. But I couldn’t fall asleep until after midnight, when the rain finally settled into a quieter drizzle毛毛雨. Thick fog was all I could see out my window in the morning, and I could feel the claustrophobia  幽閉恐怖症 creeping 爬上 up on me. You could never see the sky here; it was like a cage.

 

Breakfast with Charlie was a quiet event. He wished me good luck at school. I thanked him, knowing his hope was wasted. Good luck tended to avoid me. Charlie left first, off to the police station that was his wife and family. After he left, I sat at the old square oak 橡木 table in one of the three unmatching 不相配 chairs and examined his small kitchen, with its dark paneled walls, bright yellow cabinets, and white linoleum floor. Nothing was changed. My mother had painted the cabinets 櫥櫃eighteen years ago in an

attempt to bring some sunshine into the house. Over the small fireplace in the adjoining 鄰近的 handkerchief-sized family room was a row of pictures.

 

First a wedding picture of Charlie and my mom in Las Vegas, then one of the three of us in the hospital after I was born, taken by a helpful nurse, followed by the procession 一大排 of my school pictures up to last year’s. Those were embarrassing to look at — I would have to see what I could do to get Charlie to put them somewhere else, at least while I was living here..

 

It was impossible, being in this house, not to realize that Charlie had never gotten over my mom. It made me uncomfortable. I didn’t want to be too early to school, but I couldn’t stay in the house anymore. I donned 穿上 my jacket — which had the feel of a biohazard 防菌裝 suit —and headed out into the rain.

 

It was just drizzling 毛毛雨 still, not enough to soak me through immediately as I reached for the house key that was always hidden under the eaves 屋簷 by the door, and locked up. The sloshing 潑濺 of my new waterproof 防水 boots 長筒鞋 was unnerving 嚇人的. I missed the normal crunch 嘎吱聲of gravel 碎石 as I walked. I couldn’t pause and admire my truck again as I wanted; I was in a hurry to get out of the misty wet 迷霧的溼氣that swirled 旋轉 around my head and clung to my hair under my hood.

 

32hsiung@pchome.com.tw

雄伯

暮光之城 01

May 24, 2009

暮光之城 01

 

PREFACE

前言

 

I’d never given much thought to 思考過how I would die — though I’d had reason enough

in the last few months — but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.

 

I stared 凝視 without breathing across the long room, into the dark eyes of the hunter, and he looked pleasantly back at me.

 

Surely it was a good way to die, in the place of 代替 someone else, someone I loved. Noble 高貴, even. That ought to count for 解釋 something.

 

I knew that if I’d never gone to Forks, I wouldn’t be facing death now.

But, terrified as I was 雖然我害怕, I couldn’t bring myself to 沒有勇氣 regret the decision.When life offers you a dream so far beyond any of your expectations, it’s

not reasonable to grieve 痛苦 when it comes to an end.

 

The hunter smiled in a friendly way as he sauntered 從容走來 forward to kill me.

 

 

===========================================================================

  1. FIRST SIGHT

 

My mother drove me to the airport with the windows rolled down 車窗拉下. It was

seventy-five degrees in Phoenix, the sky a perfect, cloudless blue. I was

wearing my favorite shirt — sleeveless, white eyelet 圓孔眼lace 鑲邊; I was wearing

it as a farewell gesture. My carry-on 小皮箱item was a parka 有套頭外套 .

 

In the Olympic Peninsula 半島of northwest Washington State, a small town

named Forks exists under a near-constant 幾乎是固定 cover of clouds. It rains on

this inconsequential 不重要的town more than any other place in the United States

of America. It was from this town and its gloomy, omnipresent 無所不在shade that

my mother escaped with me when I was only a few months old. It was in this town that I’d been compelled to spend a month every summer until I was fourteen. That was the year I finally put my foot down 堅決不再這樣; these past three summers, my dad, Charlie, vacationed 度假 with me in California for two weeks instead.

 

 

It was to Forks that I now exiled 放逐myself— an action that I took with great horror. I detested 討厭 Forks.

 

I loved Phoenix. I loved the sun and the blistering 讓人曬得起水泡的heat. I loved the

Vigorous 有活力, sprawling 伸展的 city.

 

“Bella,” my mom said to me — the last of a thousand times — before I got on the plane. “You don’t have to do this.”

 

My mom looks like me, except with short hair and laugh lines 微笑的輪廓 . I felt a spasm of panic 一陣驚慌 as I stared at her wide, childlike eyes. How could I leave my loving, erratic 乖僻的, harebrained 傻氣的 mother to fend for herself 自生自滅? Of course she had Phil now, so the bills 帳單 would probably get paid, there would be food in the refrigerator, gas in her car, and someone to call when she got lost, but still…

 

“I want to go,” I lied. I’d always been a bad liar, but I’d been saying this lie so frequently lately that it sounded almost convincing 令人信服 now.

 

“Tell Charlie I said hi.”

“I will.”

“I’ll see you soon,” she insisted. “You can come home whenever you want —

I’ll come right back as soon as you need me.”

 

 

But I could see the sacrifice 犧牲 in her eyes behind the promise.

“Don’t worry about me,” I urged 建議. “It’ll be great. I love you, Mom.”

She hugged me tightly for a minute, and then I got on the plane, and she was gone.

 

It’s a four-hour flight from Phoenix to Seattle, another hour in a small plane up to Port Angeles, and then an hour drive back down to Forks.

 

Flying doesn’t bother me; the hour in the car with Charlie, though, I was a little worried about. Charlie had really been fairly nice about the whole thing. He seemed genuinely 真正地 pleased that I was coming to live with him for the first time with any degree of permanence 永久. He’d already gotten me registered 註冊for high school and was going to help me get a car.

 

But it was sure to be awkward 笨拙 with Charlie. Neither of us was what anyone

would call verbose 囉唆, and I didn’t know what there was to say regardless 儘管如此. I knew he was more than a little confused 困惑by my decision — like my mother before me, I hadn’t made a secret of my distaste 不喜歡 for Forks. When I landed in Port Angeles, it was raining. I didn’t see it as an omen 惡兆just unavoidable. I’d already said my goodbyes to the sun.

 

—       

Charlie was waiting for me with the cruiser 巡邏車. This I was expecting, too.

Charlie is Police Chief Swan 天使警長to the good people of Forks. My primary

motivation 動機 behind buying a car, despite the scarcity 貧乏 of my funds, was

that I refused to be driven around town in a car with red and blue lights on top. Nothing slows down traffic like a cop. 警察可攔住交通

 

There is nothing like swimming in summer. 夏天游泳最好。

There is no place like home. 沒有一個地方像家那麼好。

 

Charlie gave me an awkward, one-armed hug when I stumbled my way off 搖晃地走下the plane.

 

“It’s good to see you, Bells,” he said, smiling as he automatically caught and steadied 穩住 me. “You haven’t changed much. How’s Renee?”

 

“Mom’s fine. It’s good to see you, too, Dad.” I wasn’t allowed to call him Charlie to his face.

 

I had only a few bags. Most of my Arizona clothes were too permeable 單薄for Washington. My mom and I had pooled 合資 our resources to supplement 補充 my winter wardrobe 衣櫥, but it was still scanty 貧乏. It all fit easily into the trunk 行李廂of the cruiser.

 

“I found a good car for you, really cheap,” he announced 宣佈 when we were strapped in 套上安全帶.

 

32hsiung@pchome.com.tw

雄伯