Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight and all character names. This plot belongs to the author, IReen H.

No copyright infringement is intended or expected. Respect.


A/N: Jumping around - writing for different characters based on the prompts... nonlinear, non-cohesive. Unbeta'd and roughly written.


Word Prompt: Stigma

Plot Generator—Idea Completion: A leap of faith.


"Isabella Marie Swan."

The crowd broke into applause, again, for seemingly the hundredth time that morning, as she got up from her chair, tucked her curls behind her ears, and climbed the steps to stand in front of half the town.

In the deep blue of her gown, her head held high, her smile faintly smug – she accepted her diploma. The principal pressed her hand and congratulated her warmly.

"You did it, Bella. I know it was hard."

It was hard.

High schools are like small towns. Small town high schools are like petri-dishes full of colliding particles. The membrane that protects your business, keeps it yours, just doesn't exist.

Oh my God, did you hear?

No! What?

I heard that Isabella Swan got knocked up by that guy… you know, from the rez. The one she went to homecoming with.

No way!

At first it was just hushed whispering. Then, when she didn't begin to show within the week, talk turned to how she must have aborted the kid at some grimy big-city clinic. The hushed whispers turned to disdained stares as the tight-nit teen community openly shunned her.

Then she began to show.

But the disdain continued.

She sat in her classes, staring straight forward, watching the teachers, taking her notes. Trying not to think about what her swelling belly meant to those around her. She would occasionally ponder the looks she got from boys suggesting they missed the slut-boat.

Similar expressions twisted the faces of girls who fancied themselves better than Isabella because they had the good sense to go on the pill.

She'd gotten used to it.

She was in the empty computer lab, her T.A. period, when Victoria Spencer peered through the window in the door, opened it, shucked her backpack, snapped her gum and said, "Hey, Preggo."

Bella looked up from the screen, raising one eyebrow, a skill she was secretly proud of.

Victoria rode to school on a long-board. She battled school administration over the "distracting and unnatural" color of her hair, the two studs and a loop in one delicate nostril, her habit of smoking on campus behind shop-class and her tendency to ditch P.E.

She liked to flip Mr. Banner the bird behind his back.

"You live over by the divide, yeah?"

Bella nodded.

"Can you give me a ride? It's fucking pouring out there."

Twenty minutes later Bella was unlocking the passenger side of her pick-up while Victoria stood waiting, the rain running her dark make-up, her eyes bloodshot against the smear of mascara.

Or maybe she was stoned. She often was.

"So. Is it a boy or a girl? Do you know?"

Bella cranked the heat all the way up and answered over the blare of the vents.

"Boy."

"Rad. Are you having a baby shower?"

Bella laughed. "No."

But she did have a shower. Victoria gave her one. The day before graduation Victoria dragged her to Chuck-e-Cheese, told her she had to get used to places like these, and dumped a mountain of tokens on the bright yellow plastic table.

"Just don't eat the food. The pizza here is toxic waste." She bent and spoke directly to Bella's belly-button. "You hear that? Jay-bay?" Then she rubbed Bella's tummy and inundated her with onesies, swaddling blankets, a pacifier and a big box of newborn diapers.

"It's not much. But it'll get him home from the hospital." She paused. "Except. You need a car-seat. Do you have one of those?"

"Yeah. Jake bought two, actually. So we'll have one in both cars. That way we won't have to move it around all the time."

Victoria smiled. "Good man. Let's play skee-ball."

No one clapped louder than Jacob Black, standing at the back of the crowd, his baseball cap smudged with motor oil and sweat.

He wasn't graduating that day. And he didn't care. He had a good job at the Forrester Garage, an apartment lined up near the J.C. and a small iridescent ruby set in white gold, tucked in a velvet box in his pocket.

His dark eyes followed Bella as she accepted her diploma, turned, found him and gave him a tiny wave. He gave her the big smile he shared easily, and then put his hand over his heart and pointed at her, mouthing, "You."

Over the heads of the community gathered below in metal seats, she repeated the gesture.