Summary: Isabella Swan a shy, clumsy girl who was always teased on by the popular grew, more specifically, Edward Cullen. However when the years of being the laughing stock of the school go by, you start to grow a feeling of hate, hate for the one person who made your life a living hell. Though, when school ends altogether and you don't see each other for years, but then meet up later on, that hate doesn't disintegrate or give away, it just reminds you of all the horrible acts they did to you and that hate will make you do stuff youd never do.


"Duckling to Swan"

By Celene Hudor Midnight

Chapter 1, Remember?

"Alice!" I whine as I tried to tug my arm back from her hold. "I don't want to go and you can't make me!"

"Oh yes I can! You are coming to meet my family if you like it or not!" she hisses dragging me into my room and into my bathroom. "Now stop being a coward and get in the shower. I only have three hours to make you stunning!"

Groaning, I comply and shut the bathroom door in her face. Reluctantly, I strip down and hop into the shower.

It's Monday, January twenty third. It has been six years since I was in high school and was the shy, miserable girl who got teased constantly. However, now I'm a strong, successful artist and author who own a clothing store with Alice called Pixie Designs or well, that's what we call it. It was more known as Hale-Swan Designs. I met Alice a two and half ago at a clothing shop and we hit it off. Soon after, we decided to start a business together, both loving to design in some sort of way, whether it was with clothing or art. Not long after starting our business, in the same year span, it kicked off the ground and became a world wide known store and expanded from Japan to California. Now it's been a year since then and we are getting ready for celebrating Jasper, Alice's husband's sister, Rosalie's upcoming wedding to Emmett McCarty.

We were all going out to Olive Garden for dinner and it would be my first time meeting the rest of the family besides Jasper and Rosalie out of the almost three years we've known each other. However, I really didn't feel up for it. It's been a long day since no one came by the store today and my brain being fried from thinking of how I could add more to my up-coming novel, "Silent Tears". Though, when it comes to Alice, you just can't say no with her innocent looks, loveable personality, and of course, her damn puppy dog eyes. Curse those eyes!

Sighing disdainfully, I turn off the shower and step out, wrapping a towel around myself after drying my hair and body. As I open the door, a hand grabs my upper arm and pulls me before a mirror into a seat. Glancing in the mirror, I see it is Alice.

"Jeez missy! Why don't you just take a freaking bath instead? God! You took forever!" she scolds.

I giggle at her seriousness, but don't say anything as she starts to work her magic on me, hopefully making at least half way decent. Oh this is going to be a long three hours.

Three torturous hours later, we both are standing outside Olive Garden all dazzled up. Gulping, I take a deep breath and follow behind Alice inside two where her family are seated. Chewing on my lip, I stop behind Alice and gazed up at her family: Carlisle, Esme, Emmett, Rosalie, Jasper, and…

A gasp escapes my mouth as my eyes landed on him. He still looks the same as when we were in high school: unruly, bronze hair, sculptured body and face, and his piercing, emerald eyes. Yes, definitely the same as before.

"Hey everybody! We're finally here," Alice giggles before gesturing to me. "AS some of you guys already know, this is Isabella Swan or Bella as she prefers."

I whisper a soft "hi" and took my seat beside Alice, playing with the napkin I placed on my lap.

"Well, Bella…um…these are my parents, Esme and Carlisle, "Alice states after a couple of silent minutes.

I nod toward them and gave them a polite smile. "Nice to finally meet you," kindly said.

Esme smiles back, "And you sweetie."

Then she points toward Rosalie, Jasper, and Emmett. "And you already know Rose and Jazzy, but the big bear besides Rose is Emmett, her fiancé."

I nod again. "It's great to finally meet you. Rose always speaks of you. It's great to meet the guy who stole her heart."

His booming laughter fills the restaurant. "Same here. Rose speaks kindly of you."

I blush pink and look down, that is until Alice starts to speak again, causing my blood run cold and my body to stiffen as I look up and stare at the person she's indicating to.

"And this is my brother-"

"Edward Cullen."

Alice jerks her head toward me and gives me a confused look.

"Uh…yea Edward," she mutters, a curious expression on her face. "How do you know him?"

I peek over at Edward with a blank look and with a stony voice, greeted out, "Why don't you ask him!"

After saying that, I push my chair back, get up, and walk out. Distinctly, I could hear heads being turned toward him as he exclaims, "I don't know what she's talking about! I don't know her! I swear!"

Rolling my eyes, I shake my head and stalk out of the restaurant, not wanting to be in the same building as that bastard, let alone eating dinner with him.

Shivering, I pull the shawl around my shoulders tighter, trying to shield myself of the chilly wind as I shifted from foot to foot. I hear the door chime and a person coming to stand beside me. Glancing to my right, I see it's Esme. I heard her sigh and saw her turn her stare out into the night before slowly turning toward me, giving a small smile.

"What a beautiful night, don't you think?" she asks wistfully.

I smile back and nod. "Yes it sure is."

Silence engulfs us as we stand there next to each other. After a while, she speaks again.

"You know, I remember you," Esme breezily states.

I blink and raise an eyebrow. "You do?"

She nods. "Yes I do. You were Charlie, the chief of police's daughter in Forks." I nod before she continues. "You were a quiet, smart girl who always was an outcast which caused you to be picked on…" she pauses. "Especially by my son-Edward."

I turn my head toward her, my eyes wide. How did she know that? No one knew accept for the people who bullied me and well…me It was the one thing in the past that I wanted to keep buried and possibly forget.

"I know you're probably asking yourself how I know right?" she questions.

I hesitate, not sure if I should admit it, but slowly, I nod once again in consent.

"Well, when you guys were in school together, Edward would come home with a conflicted face every time he'd pick on you or hurt you in any way."

I give her a disbelieving look.

"No, no, it's true," she says. "It started out just a few times, every couple of months, but then as you guys started to get older, it turned into every couple of days in a month, then into everyday. In eight grade, I couldn't stand him being upset, so I confronted him, asking what was troubling him."

She sighs heavily and stared blankly into the night. "He and I were close for a mother and a son, so it was pretty easy for him to tell me his problem," she sniffles slightly and whips the tear that dripped down her cheek. "He said he kept hurting the girl he liked or as he said then…loved." She glances my way when she says that. "But he didn't exactly know how to tell you. Like every boy, he didn't know how to show his feelings or express them, so as the years went on, the problem grew and more drastic stuff happened to you, not just hurtful words. Then senior year came and you guys graduated. After that, Edward turned into a shell of himself, blocking everybody out."

I hold up my hands to tell her to stop for a minute. "Wait! So you're telling me that Edward lik-"

"Loved," she cut me off.

I wave a hand dismissively. "Yeah, whatever he felt. But how could he? I was the geek; the plain Jane in the school and how he acted toward me didn't give the signal of 'oh I like you'."

Esme sighs. "I don't know why he loved you, but he did. There's no helping that face and for the way he treated you, well…have you ever heard of the saying that boy picks on girl because he likes her?"

I give her a 'you-crazy' look. "He didn't just pick on me though."

"Either way…it was the way he expressed that he loved you," she explains.

I shake my head. "I still don't believe it. Do you see all these marks?"

I lift my hands and legs one at a time, showing the scars made from him and his 'friends' and the still existing bruises on my wrists from his tightening of his hands around them. I hear her gasp and let out a little strangled cry.

"Yeah, that's what your 'son' and friends did to me. And you want to know what? When he did it, he laughed with his friends. These marks and the hate I feel for them are the reminders of what they did to me. The memoires will always be with me for as long as I live," told her, acid dripping from my voice. "There's noting I can do about it either. They will never go away."

Tears started leaking out of her eyes. "I'm so, so, so sorry! I didn't know he did that to you. I-I-I thought he was just doing harmless actions like stealing your belongings…oh I didn't know! I'm so, so sorry!" Esme cries, tears staining her cheeks.

"Don't apologize. It's not your fault," I gently say, trying to sooth her.

She stops crying as I rub her back, but still sniffle. "Yes it is! If I just told him to stop before it got worse you-you-you wouldn't be like this! I'm such a bad mother!" she starts to cry again.

I put my hand over her babbling mouth to make her look me in the eyes.

"Esme, it is not your fault, AT ALL!" I demanded. "Don't blame yourself. It's done and there's nothing anybody can do. You hear?"

She wipes her eyes and nods slowy.

I sigh and drop my hand. "Good. Now we have to go back in there. You okay?"

She smiles and nods. "Yeah, I am but…" she pauses and gives me a wary look. "Are you?"

I stiffen and state with as much calmness as I can muster, "As okay as I can get."

Esme nods hesitantly before starting for the door, stopping just before opening it and gazes back at me. I take a deeper breath then exhale before striding through the door as confidently as I can with Esme behind me.

As we walk toward our table, their heads turn to us with confused smiles on their faces. I give them a tiny smile back and sit down in my seat. As dinner is brought over to us, Alice leans over to me and whispers, "What was that all about?"

I glance at her and shrug my shoulders. "I don't know what you mean."

She rolls her eyes. "I bet you do."

"And I bet I don't."

She sighs in frustration. "Fine, don't tell me."

I shrug again. "Okay."

We sit there, silently eating our food until Alice throws up her hands and yells, "Ugh! Just tell me what's going on between you and my brother!"

I gaze down as a blush covers my face and neck as everybody around us turn around toward the commotion. Esme waves her hand at Alice.

"Honey, shh, you don't want the whole restaurant to hear you!"

Alice pouts. "But mom! Bella won't tell me what's going on and I'm her best friend!" she whines.

I stifle a giggle as Esme replies, "It's her chose if she wants to tell you or not. You have to be respectful of that."

Alice huffs and crosses her arms like a five year old. Her face is hilarious and I can't help but burst into laughter and soon the whole table follows. After we all calm down, we settle into just eating and easy chatting. However, throughout it, I feel eyes on me. I look toward the person staring at me to see it is Edward. I scowl and shoot him a glare. Startled, he accidentally drops his fork and splashes everybody with spegatti sauce.

Lifting my chin up in the air, I continue to eat and chat with Alice, Rose, and Esme. As the night progresses, I keep catching Edward staring at me unmoving and each and every time, I shoot him a death glare, causing him to look away. Soon our dinner is finished and we are all ordering desert when Carlisle decides to ask questions to me.

"So Bella, where did you go to school at?"

Glance at him and sip my hot chocolate. "What do you mean? College…High School…Elementary School…?"

"Any," he says.

I nod and wipe my mouth. "Well, I grew up in Forks." I peek over at Edward to see if there's a reaction before continuing. "And attended school there through elementary and high school."

"Really?" he asks. "Is that how you know Edward?"

I hesitate. "Uh…yeah, I guess," I mutter, looking at the table cloth.

"Then hoe does he not know you?" Carlisle questions.

"He definitely knows me," I say through clutched teeth.

"No I don't!" Edward hard voice speaks. "I've never met you and which doesn't explain how you know me and why you keep giving me death looks."

I roll my eyes. "It explains a lot. Trust me," I say coldly.

"I doubt it, I've never met you in my life," he states.

I shake my head. "Yes you have, just think back."

He growls, "I really don't know who you are and it doesn't give you the right to be rude to me."

I hiss, "Yes it currently des! IF you remember correctly, you were the one who-"

"Hey guys, I'm so sorry I'm late, but I had to stay late at work," a familiar voice cut me off.

I gazed behind me to the blonde women walking toward Edward, giving him a kiss on the lips before sitting down besides him in the empty seat.

Tanya.

My blood boils as I stare at her, remembering all the times she tripped me and pulled my hair. Tanya Denali was the bitch of the school and one of the girls in Edward's 'pose'. My hands clutch in anger as I keep staring at her with such hatred. She was the worse of the girls: Irina, Jessica, Lauren, and Victoria. She was deceitful, evil, and the most beautiful and hottest girl in our school. I hate her with such dry passion.

Breathing in, I turn my back on her before I did something harmful. I'm not that kind of girl, I'm not that kind of girl. I chant in my head repeatedly as I sip more of my hot coco. In the corner of my eye, I caught sight of Esme giving me a worried look. I smile reassuringly and look at Tanya who had her arm around Edward's waist, resting her head against his shoulder, which I shouldn't have done as anger spurred to life again. I gulp and clutch my hands onto the chair, breathing hard.

"So, what were you guys talking about?" her voice rang out.

Nobody answered. I watched as she gazed around, waiting for someone to answer, then landed on Edward. He grins at her and shrugs his shoulders.

"So Tanya, this is Isabella Swan," Alice says, breaking the silence.

My eyes widen as Tanya switches her gaze from Edward to me and her eyes flash in recognition.

"Isabella, is that you?" Tanya exclaims, pronouncing my name more, knowing I hate the name.

I wince, but nod my head despite knowing who she is.

"Oh, I haven't seen you in awhile. You look so-" she breaks off and smiles sweetly, too sweetly."How are you?"

I give her the same smile, playing along as everybody stares on confused and puzzled, more so Edward, and Esme looking upset, but as she realized what was really going on, starts to shake her head.

"Oh Tan!" I coo, "It's so good to see you. I've been great! What about you hon?"

Her smile turns stiff. "I'm excellent!"

I grin. "Oh, good, good. I'm glad," I say, keeping up the facad.

"Can someone please explain to me what's going on?" Edward asks, confusion lacing his voice.

"Sweetie pie, don't you remember Isabella?" Tanya says, faking politeness.

Edward gives a slight shake of the head. "Should I?"

Tanya nods quickly. "Oh yes! You should mister. We were such good friends! Weren't we Isabella?"

I smile sweetly. "Oh most definitely. We were like this."

I cross my middle finger and pointer finger together.

"Um…I don't remember…?" Edward stutteres.

"You should though. Isabella was such a doll," Tanya drawles. "She had messy hair, pale skin, mud brown eyes, and a really skinny body. Do you remember her now?"

He scrunches up his forehead. "No, no I don't."

She fakes a sad face. "Aw! That's too bad..wait, actually it isn't!" she cackles. "She was such a dork back then…" she glances me over. "And appears still is."

I shut my mouth. Afraid to say anything that would just be stupid.

"Reading and only concentrating on school work. Oh all the fun we had with her," Tanya laughs on.

Edward gives her a confused look still.

"Eddie, don't you remember?" He winces. "Maybe his will jog your memory. We use to call her the Ugly Duckling."

I cringed at the name.

"Oh, you remember right Isabella?" Tanya smirked.

I grind my teeth as she giggles.

"Ugly Duckling! Ugly Duckling! Ugly Duckling!" Tanya sings.

Tears start to rim my eyes, but I blink them back, not giving her the satisfaction she wanted.

"Tanya, stop!" Edward harshly says. "That's enough."

Tanya turns to him. "Aw Eddie! You don't mean that. You enjoy making fun of her, just like in school."

More tears stung my eyes.

"I said stop it!" Edward growls.

She flinches, but holds her ground. "Come on! Say it with me. Ugly Duckling! Bella, the Ugly Duckling!"

Everybody starts to say stop, but she keeps saying it. Her chanting fills the building. Everybody tries to shush her, but nothing helps. My anger from before starts to boil to heating point and Esme could see this. Frantically, Esme attempts to shush Tanya once more, but the chanting keeps going. My face turns red and my hands clench and unclench. As everybody saw my resolve faltering, they quieted and the room went silent accept for Tanya's gleeful laughter and chanting.

Before I knew what I was doing, I snarl erupts from my throat. Standing up, I slap y hands onto the table before bellowing, "SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY!"

Hearing my voice, Tanya shrinks back into her seat.

"I am sick and tired of you! I might have been weak and too scared to fight back from your abuse before, but not now!" I take a deep breath and lean toward Tanya, staring straight into her hazel eyes and hiss, "All you are is a conceited, slutty bitch who preys on people's shame and weakness, but hear me now when I say you will NEVER ever be able to bully or take advantage of me again." I point to myself. "This duckling grew up to be a successful, independent, strong, brave, beautiful swan despite how you guys use to treat me. So why don't you just scurry out of here before you make a bigger fool of yourself to everybody?"

I give her a glare. Her face is stricken and scared. Gulping, she gathers her belongings and 'scurries' away. After a few minutes of silence, an eruption of applause, laughter, and praise bursts out. I start to giggle despite my currently low self-esteem from hearing my horrible nickname again. Well, that is until a voice breaks through all of the commotion.

"HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT TO HER!"

I shift my gaze toward the voice to see it was from Edward. I stare at him shocked, thinking how before he was trying to stop her from continuing with her ranting.

"You have no right to say that to my girlfriend!" Edward growls. "You better apologize to her!"

I stare at him in utter disbelief.

"Apologize to her?" I gape. "Are you crazy? With everything she did to me? Like I'm going to apologize to that bitch!"

"Take that back! She did absolutely nothing to you!"

I narrow my eyes. "Sure she didn't do anything accept ruin my school years."

He scolds. "Stop making up lies."

I roll my eyes and laugh without humor. "Oh yeah, I'm making up lies."

"You are!" Edward exclaims.

"Edward…" Esme whispers.

Everybody turns toward her.

"She's not lying," she calmly states.

He chuckles dryly. "Oh now you have my mother on your side?" he says to me before turning to Esme.

"You never did like Tanya," he muses.

"I never said I didn't like her," Esme replies.

"But you never showed your like for her either," Edward retorted.

She sighs and shakes her head. "Fine, think that, but I always liked Tanya."

"But you like Bella more than Tanya, even though you knew Tanya longer."

"Edward, I just can't believe you'd take Tanya's side."

"Why? She IS my girlfriend," he answers.

"Yes, but what she did to Bella is unacceptable."

"She didn't do anything to her!"

Esme closes her eyes and shakes her head again. "I can't believe you would forget Bella and what she meant to you."

He throws his hand sup. "I don't know her for the last time!" he yells and stands up. "Whatever. I'm out of here. I didn't even want to be here."

Glancing at Rose and Emmett, I see a flash of pain on their faces at his words as he storms out.

"Fine! Run away! This is why I didn't believe your mom when she told me you actually loved me once!" I called after him and sat back down to see everybody looking at me wide eyed.

Sighing, I slumped into my seat. I guess I have a lot of explaining to do.