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9.

Plan Failed

After four hours of nonstop surfing, we ended up with a tie. The both of us fell off our boards five times. That was the most fun I had in the past three years. The most memorable part was when she tried cutting me off, but ended up falling off her board and knocking me off my board as well. We laughed and laughed until our side started hurting. We ended our one-on-one surfing competition when we noticed the sun was beginning to set. “Who taught you how to surf?” I asked, as we made our way back to land. She chuckled silently and glanced at me, her eyes sparkling in the sunlight. She shrugged. “I sort of just…taught myself by watching people surf.” She explained, meekly. My eyebrows shot up and I had a smirk on my face. “Impressive.” We stepped onto the damp sand and dropped our boards once we were out of the water’s reach. “You hungry?” “Starving.” She giggled. Walking up to the surf shop, Vanessa lightly touched my arm and said, “That was a lot of fun, Jake. Thanks.” She quickly wrapped her arms around me and hugged me. I was stunned for a second before hugged her back. Letting go of each other, she smiled warmly at me and walked ahead of me. “Uh…you’re welcome.” I replied, with a goofy smirk on my face. I caught up with Vanessa and stuffed my hands in my pockets. We walked so closely that our arms brushed against each other. When we reached our picnic spot, she turned to me and said, “I’m going to go change real quick. I’ll be right back.” She headed for the surf shop and went inside. Kim came out a minute later with our picnic basket. She tossed me a bar of wax and I walked over to the boards. Standing them up, I began waxing my board as I thought about how this was the best date I ever had in my life. Ten minutes later, Kim came up from behind me and began waxing the other board. With a mischievous tone in her voice, Kim mentioned, “You guys were out there for quite awhile.” Here she goes again… Knowing that she’d want some information out of me to gossip with Jared, I purposely acted naïve and nonchalant to taunt her. “Yeah…” I said, with no excitement in my voice whatsoever. “It must’ve been really fun out there.” She continued. The corner of my mouth pulled into a playful smirk.
Twilight Inspired Written By: Alyssa Nguyen+Lorena Jasso

I stayed quiet for a second, pretending to give it a thought. “It was okay.” “Did you guys talk a lot?” She said, impatience spreading through her voice. “I guess.” I said, shrugging. From the corner of my eye, Kim pressed her lips together into a thin line and had a frustrated look on her face. I snickered as quietly as possible. “Was there any…special moments?” She hinted. “What kind of question is that?” I blurted. “Ugh, never mind.” She scoffed. Then she muttered something about me being hopeless and walked back. I laughed silently until she called out, “You’re welcome!” Confused, I slowly turned around. “What are you-” I stopped myself when I saw what Kim did. Our spot was decorated with lit candles, flowers in vases, and there was a music player next to the blanket. It transformed from a plain, simple picnic area to a somewhat fancy, romantic scene. I quickly walked back to our spot and pulled on my shirt lying on the blanket. Pacing back and forth in front of the surf shop, I panicked a little. I hoped that she didn’t think that I took it too far. After all, this wasn’t really supposed to be “date” date. It was supposed to be more like “two buddies hanging out” kind of date. This wasn’t something “buddies” would exactly do. A couple moments later, I heard the surf shop’s door open slowly with a quiet creak. I spun around to see Vanessa all dressed up, looking more gorgeous than ever. She was wearing a light purple, halter summer dress and her hair was tied up in a ponytail. Luckily, she didn’t catch me staring at her this time. Her eyes were focused on the surprise Kim left us. When her eyes met mine, she smiled widely with enthusiasm. “Jake!” She gasped, “Oh my gosh! You didn’t have to do this.” She rushed down the steps with her jaw dropped. “Um…it was nothing, really.” I replied, running a hand through my hair. Glancing at her outfit again, I added, “But you seem to be dressed for the occasion.” Her face flushed a dark pink and she stared at her feet. “Oh, yeah, I…um…Kim suggested I wear this. I didn’t know why, but now I do.” She said awkwardly, pulling at the dress a little. I chuckled softly as she twirled a strand of hair around her index finger. “You look beautiful, Vanessa.” I said, with a sincere smile. Her pink cheeks turned into a violent red now. Her eyes flickered to the ground and then back at me. A kind smile stretched across her face. She hesitated, her eyes focused on mine. As I held my breath for her answer, her deep, chocolate brown bored into mine. “Thanks, Jacob.” She finally said. Silently, I exhaled with great relief.
Twilight Inspired Written By: Alyssa Nguyen+Lorena Jasso

I rested my hand on her back and guided her to the blanket. She kneeled down and sat on her ankles. I sat down in the same position as her and placed my hands on my thighs. Leaning over the picnic basket in front of me, I took out a plastic container of sliced up rotisserie chicken. Also, there was steamed white rice in another container. There was even two other Styrofoam container with warm mashed potatoes and gravy. Another container had shrimp smothered in lemon pepper sauce. Then there was bottle of soda pop, two ceramic cups, two plastic plates, and a bag of utensils followed after. I opened each container and spread them out in front of us like a mini buffet. I passed Vanessa a cup and utensils. Taking her plate, I filled it with a scoop of rice and a few chunks of chicken. I did the same with my own plate. “Dinner is served.” I announced, with half a bow. She giggled and then took a bite out of her chicken. She chewed leisurely and the corners of her mouth stretched an inch. We ate quietly for awhile, unless we asked each other to pass a container of food. The bright reddish orange sunset made its reflection in the water glow beautifully. Each time the sun went down lower and lower, I counted down the minutes I had left with Vanessa. To break the silence, I swallowed my chewed up food and said, “Who do you live with if your parents aren’t home?” “What?” She said abruptly, as though I just broke her out of her daydream. She searched for something within my eyes but I ignored it. “You said they’re always on business trips.” I reminded her. “Who’s at home with you if they aren’t?” She paused and took a sip of her soda. “My aunt, uncle, and grandparents switch off all the time. My aunt babysits me the most.” She made a face when she said mentioned the babysitting. “Oh.” I said, waiting for more. There wasn’t. She just continued to eat her meal. I pressed my lips tightly, contemplating on what I should say next. I opened my mouth to say something, but Kim called out, “Jacob!” Vanessa and I turned our heads and saw Kim in the doorway. “Quickly!” Then Kim disappeared into the shop. I exchanged glances with Vanessa and both of us stood up at the same time. Vanessa brushed off the sand on her dress. “No, please, stay here. I’ll be right back.” I assured her, touching her arm. “But it sounds urgent. I should probably check it out, too.” She suggested, her eyes filled with concern. I considered it for a second, but before I could speak, Kim popped her head back out and called my name again. I gave up. “Fine.” I sighed.

Twilight Inspired Written By: Alyssa Nguyen+Lorena Jasso

“Yay!” She barely whispered. I chuckled to myself and rushed to the door, Vanessa following me. I stepped in and found Kim and Jared sitting around a small television sitting on a small nightstand. Jared flashed me a frantic glance and tapped Kim’s arm. She raised the remote control in her hand and pressed REWIND button. The television flashed through various scenes and then paused. “Prepare yourself.” Kim whispered, before she pressed PLAY. There was an aged lady on the screen with long, dangerously red hair. She wore green glasses and had a bitter look on her face. She seemed so familiar. Where have I seen her before? She kept her voice in monotone. “Yesterday evening, a teen couple was camping in the forest and found a fellow store manager dead from what the police assume to be an animal attack. There were severe bone breakage and a major loss of blood.” I could’ve sworn my face was pale white at the very moment. The female reporter continued, “Chief Swan has reported that they haven’t seen anything like this in three years.” Charlie Swan was now on the television screen. The man seemed to have aged very quickly in the past few years. His hair and mustache were streaked with gray and white. He had small wrinkles all over his face and he seemed to gain some weight around the face as well. “It’s shocking to know that there’s still a vicious animal out there, murdering innocent citizens. Luckily, we have a pretty good feeling what animal it is, that is responsible for these serious incidents.” “And how’s that, Chief Swan?” My stomach dropped to the ground and I felt so nervous that I wanted to hurl right in front of Vanessa. “I’m not really authorized to say exactly how, but all I can say is that it has the same technique when it attacks its prey.” He explained, calmly. In the background, another policeman was calling Charlie’s name in a frantic tone. “Sorry, Ms. Clary.” Clary? Like…Dr. Clary! Wow, she’s on television now. Charlie ran his hand through his hair. “It’s urgent.” He placed his hand on the gun in his holster and ran off. “Well, you heard it here, folks. This is Samantha Clary and this is FNB30. Good night.” With a slight smile, she nodded and then the screen went black. I swallowed and my heart raced. Could there be a possibility that there was another vampire in Forks? Because I knew for a fact that the Cullens would have not done this. My stomach churned. I stared at the black television screen. I heard Kim taking Vanessa outside and after I heard the door shut, I spun around and faced Jared. His face seemed a little uneasy. “You know what this means, right?” He asked. I glanced at him, still silent. “We’ve got a vampire to kill.” I exhaled deeply and then stopped abruptly. “We?” “Uh, yeah…I sort of left the pack a few months ago.” He began, scratching his head. Before I could ask why, he added, “I had enough with Paul. He was always irritating me and trying to be the alpha male. So, I just left and I’m flying solo now.”
Twilight Inspired Written By: Alyssa Nguyen+Lorena Jasso

It seems as though Paul was driving everyone away. “Oh, well, that means we have you, me, and Seth. That isn’t enough people.” Jared glared at me, before he moved his eyebrows up. I knew what he wanted me to say, but I couldn’t. “We can’t leave out Leah.” He told me, crossing his arms across his chest. “What good is she? All she’s going to do is nag and whine about every little thing that we do. We don’t need that.” I explained, my blood slightly boiling. “Jacob, we’re going to need whatever we can get.” He snapped. I looked away, knowing that he was right. “Ask Leah tonight. But don’t be a jerk about it.” “I doubt that’s not going to happen.” I muttered. Jared let out a heavy sigh and mumbled something about me being hopeless. Frustration was written across his face. I gave in. “Fine. I’ll ask her tonight, after I drop off Van-” In a flash, I was out the door. I had totally forgotten about Vanessa. Slowly walking down the small steps, I noticed Vanessa wasn’t around. Instead, Kim was cleaning up the empty containers. “Where’s Vanessa?” I asked Kim. She glanced up from the stack of plastic containers and nodded her head in the direction of the side of the shop. I began walking towards the corner of the shop. I heard a distant voice and Vanessa talking. “Look, I have to go now. So, just tell Mom and Dad that I’m okay. ‘Kay. Bye.” Vanessa said, to whoever she was talking to. I heard her cell phone snap shut. Suddenly realizing that I was going to get caught red handed for eavesdropping, I turned away- a little too late. “Jake?” Pathetically, I dropped my shoulders and turned back around. I pressed my lips together, hoping that she wouldn’t be upset with me. “Jake, how long were you standing there?” She asked, calmly. I noticed her fidgeting with the phone in her hands. “At the very end. I swear.” Her face stayed expressionless, making me really nervous. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to. I was just wondering why you weren’t over there. Sorry. I won’t do it again.” I stammered. She reached out and touched my arm, making my skin tingle. With a kind smile, she assured me, “It’s fine. I’m not upset.” I sighed and smiled nervously. “You get worked up pretty easily, you know that?” She giggled, putting a strand of hair behind her ear. Smiling fully, I nodded and rolled my eyes. We took our time as we made our way back to our spot. As we walked, I thought about who could be calling her right now. It could have
Twilight Inspired Written By: Alyssa Nguyen+Lorena Jasso

been one of her family members if her parents were involved. Then for some reason, I felt Vanessa’s eyes on me once or twice. Each time I would catch her looking at me, I wondered what she was thinking. Biting the inside of my cheek, I thought, This is my chance. I quickly tried to think of a strategy or plan. I figured I would just dive right in and ask her. “Vanessa, I-” “Jake!” Jared called out, standing in the doorway. Plan failed. I sighed and then shouted back, “Yeah?” “We’re about to close up. So, unless you want to stay out here while it’s pitch dark outside, I think you guys should head home.” Jared suggested. After Jared went back inside, my eyes flickered to Vanessa and she seemed upset. When she caught me looking at her, she flashed me and innocent smile. I replied with a half smile. She glanced up at the sky and then at me. “I guess it is getting dark.” I breathed out and then put on a big smile. “Yeah. I’ll just…take you home now.” I said, awkwardly. “Okay.” She mumbled. We began walking back home silently. During our silent stroll, I was struggling to build up some confidence to ask her out properly, but each time I managed to get some confidence, I end up shutting myself down with my negative thoughts. Most them were absurd, but were still possible. I had convinced myself that one of her responses could be laughing uncontrollably in my face or running away. I shook my head, thinking that I was the most pathetic person in the world right now. “What?” Vanessa asked, kicking a rock. I glanced at her, confused. “You shook your head.” “Oh. I was just thinking…how stupid my dad was for revealing all of my horrible childhood memories.” I lied. Thankfully, she bought it. She giggled. Her cheerful voice lightened up my heart. “Those stories weren’t that bad. I have a lot of my own too, you know.” A curious smirk crept onto my face. “Really?” I said. She rolled her eyes at me, playfully. “Of course! One time, I was watching my aunt straighten her hair and I was curious about where the heat came from. So, like an idiot, I brought it up to my face and tried to get a good look at it.” She paused, looking away in embarrassment. “Then I stuck my fingers in between the flat irons and…nearly burned the skin off my fingers. See?” She showed me her two scarred fingers and then quickly set them down. “Stupid, I know.”

Twilight Inspired Written By: Alyssa Nguyen+Lorena Jasso

I smiled kindly at her. “It wasn’t that stupid.” Her cheeks flushed a warm pink. I’ve always loved it when her cheeks gained color. It brightened up her beauty even more. “Well, I just hope that this wasn’t a recent experience, ‘cause then that would be just plain humiliating.” I joked. Unexpectedly, she punched me in the arm, but I barely felt a thing. “I was a kid!” She protested. She crossed her arms across her chest with a half smile. I tried to muffle my laughter by pressing my lips tightly together. “I know, I know. I was playing around.” I defended myself, trying to stifle my laughter at the same time. She put her hand on my forearm and gave me a little push. Continuing our walk home, we talked about our previous summer. I had to lie about mine, of course. Because I can already imagine what she’d say if I told her I had spent my entire summer wallowing in my own pathetic despair. Instead, I told her that I went to California and went surfing there for a month. Then I said that I went to Portland after and visited some relatives. I felt bad lying to her, but then again, it wasn’t anything too personal. It wasn’t like I was lying about my identity. Still, a pang of guilt hit me each time I said a lie. Vanessa had recently visited Alaska for some foreign exchange program her previous school had. She told me about the weather, the animals, and the time change. She mentioned something about always waking up late for the tour. The whole time she was talking to me, I would randomly space out for like five seconds to stare at her beauty. She caught me once, but didn’t say anything about it. We were just a couple of houses away from my house. I suddenly felt sad, knowing that this was the end of our day. I really wanted to spend more time with her, but I didn’t want to sound needy and ask her. Instead, I kept quiet until we reached the front of my house. I walked up to the front door and opened the door a little bit. “Um…the car keys are inside the house, so just wait out here for a second and I’ll grab them and run before my dad can even see me.” I rambled. To be honest, I didn’t like the idea of leaving her outside at night by herself, but I was literally only going to take a second or two. She giggled. “Like any of the other stories are worse than the one about you face planting right into the water.” She teased. I rolled my eyes. “Trust me. It can get a lot worse than that.” I warned her. “I’ll be right back.” Then she stopped me. “Well, if he does tell me any more stories, I swear I won’t ever bring it up.” She promised me. “I’ll be right back.” I repeated, almost in a pleading tone. Right when I stepped foot into the house, she tried grabbing my arm, but I slipped out of her grasp. Turning around, I faced big, brown eyes begging me to let her in. “Come here.” I sighed, taking her wrist. She grinned
Twilight Inspired Written By: Alyssa Nguyen+Lorena Jasso

brightly and snickered quietly to herself. I guided her to the wall behind the kitchen. “Stay here and don’t make a sound.” I advised. She nodded happily and folded her arms across her chest. Glancing around the room, I realized Billy wasn’t here. I signaled to Vanessa that the coast was clear. Vanessa followed me into the kitchen where I found Sue in the kitchen, sitting at the dinner table alone. She was having a cup of tea and was as still and silent as a statue. “Mrs. Clearwater?” It took a moment before she glanced up at me with red rimmed eyes and smiled weakly. “Jacob. Vanessa.” She sniffled, wiping her eyes. “I…I didn’t hear you come in.” I walked over to Sue, took a seat next to her, and rested my arm on the table. Vanessa sat next to me in another chair. “Yeah, I was just going to get my car keys but-” Sue dropped her gaze and stared at the floor, sniffling. “Mrs. Clearwater, what’s the matter?” She looked up at me again, with watery eyes. “I don’t know if you guys watched the news earlier but there was another attack and the victim was…my stepbrother.” She bit her bottom lip and whimpered. My chest tightened and I was speechless. I heard Vanessa gasp behind me. “That’s terrible. I’m so sorry, Mrs. Clearwater.” Vanessa reached out and kindly took Sue’s hand in both of hers. “I wish there was something I could do to help.” Vanessa said every single thing I thought, but couldn’t say because of my sudden shock. Sue patted Vanessa’s hand and managed to work up another smile. “That is so thoughtful of you, Vanessa. Thank you. I appreciate your consideration, but I’ll hopefully manage to get over it.” Vanessa flashed Sue a warm smile and dropped her hands, setting them back in her lap. She noticed my abrupt silence and nudged my elbow with hers. “Where’s my dad? Does he know about this?” I asked, calmly. “Yes, he does know. That’s why he’s at Embry’s house with the others.” She informed me, eyeing me as though she was sending me a secret message. But I understood. They were having another urgent meeting. She took a sip of her tea and stood up. “I need a moment. I’m going to be outside to collect myself.” Vanessa and I got up from our seats as well. “It was a pleasure meeting you, Vanessa.” “As were you.” Vanessa replied, politely. Sue reached over to hug Vanessa and then me. I was still in my somewhat paralyzed stage when she hugged me, but I managed to hug her back anyways. “Good night, kids.” Sue said, before she stepped outside.

Twilight Inspired Written By: Alyssa Nguyen+Lorena Jasso

“Good night, Mrs. Clearwater.” Vanessa and I said simultaneously, and then she closed the sliding glass door. I snatched the car keys off the table and rushed us out of the house. I was quickening my steps as I walked towards my car and I couldn’t stop myself. Then a soft, soothing voice stopped me. “Are you okay, Jacob?” Vanessa asked, concern coating her voice. I stopped in front of my car and faced her. Her brown eyes searched for something in mine. “Did you know Mrs. Clearwater’s stepbrother?” I sighed, trying to remember. “I think I met him once or twice at Seth’s birthday parties. I don’t really remember. But Seth had always talked about him. Come to think of it, I think that was the only uncle he has ever talked about. I’m going to have to call him later tonight.” I mentioned, as a note to myself. The distressed look in her eyes saddened me. I was making our date upsetting and gloomy by adding more to the depressing moment. “But don’t worry about it. You don’t need to be concerned about us.” “Okay…” Out of nervousness, my eyes flickered to the ground, the sky, and then my car. I didn’t mean to sound eager to end the night, but I asked, “So, are you ready?” “Already?” She whispered, almost inaudible. The expression on her small face seemed unhappy. My eyebrows lifted when I asked, “What?” I already knew what she said, but I wanted her to say it again, so I know that I wasn’t imagining things. She paused, looking at her feet. “I said I’m all ready.” She said, quickly. A smirk played on my lips and I went over to the passenger to open the door. “Ladies first.” Before she stepped into the car, she flashed me a smile. I closed her door and rushed to the driver’s side. Stepping in, I heard a cell phone ring. I glanced at Vanessa and she smiled sheepishly as she pulled out her cell phone. She opened it to see the caller I.D. and closed it again. “Anna.” She muttered, putting the phone back in the pocket of her dress. All of a sudden, she let out a small gasp. “What happened?” “Nothing. I just forgot my other clothes at the surf shop.” She explained, waving me off. I scratched the back of my head.

Twilight Inspired Written By: Alyssa Nguyen+Lorena Jasso

“Did you want to go back for it?” I asked, awkwardly. She shook her head and smiled warmly at me. “It’s fine. I’ll just pick it up next time.” Next time? Was she going to let me take her out on a date again? “Okay.” I put on my seatbelt and glanced at Vanessa. “Do you like music?” She nodded at me. “Yeah, I love it.” I turned on the radio and searched for a station with good music. Vanessa and I exchanged glances and nodded in agreement when we found the right station. Aside from the music, we drove in silence the whole way to Vanessa’s house. Once in awhile, I would steal a glimpse of Vanessa. She had rolled the window down a little bit, causing some of her hair to fly everywhere. Her eyes would occasionally close as she inhaled the fresh, cool air. How could I have been so lucky to find a girl like her? She wasn’t exactly mine…yet. But I knew that I wasn’t going to give up. Hopefully, I would have the guts to ask her tonight. We were pulling up to the curb in front of her house. She turned to me with big, innocent eyes and said, “Would you walk me to the door?” I grinned broadly and nodded. “I’d be happy to.” I quickly got out of the car so I can open her door like a gentlemen. I held out my hand, palm facing upward, and she rested her small hand in mine. I helped her out the Rabbit and forced myself to let go of her hand afterwards. We walked up to her front door. She looked me in the eyes and her lips curled. “Jake.” She began, with a big smile. “Today was a lot fun.” I smiled happily and felt all cheery and giddy inside. “Thank you.” I shoved my hands into my pockets and my eyes flickered to the ground for a second before meeting her eyes again. The side of my mouth curled up into a smirk. “No problem. I’m just glad that you had fun.” I chuckled, lightly. “I did.” Did her smile just grow wider because she was really happy or was I just imagining things? Nope. She was definitely happy. That made my smirk form into a full grin. The moment I saw her hand pull out her house keys, I had the sudden urge to blurt out the question I’ve been dying to ask all night. She brought the keys up to the door knob and stuck it in the keyhole. I felt as though time was slowing down and something was giving me my chance to ask her. She turned the key and pushed the door open. Hurry, I thought. Before she could step inside her house, I mentioned, “You know, my friend and I are going to Seattle tomorrow to hang out. Do you want to come with us?” She turned around and looked at me, with a slightly tilted head.

Twilight Inspired Written By: Alyssa Nguyen+Lorena Jasso

She thought about it for what felt like forever. A smile slowly formed upon her face. Thankfully, she answered me before I suffered an anxiety attack. “Sure. I need to get out of this town anyways. Pick me up at twelve?” “Yeah. Perfect.” “Great. Good night, Jake.” She said to me, before she closed the door. I heard a click sound and figured she locked the door. Walking towards my car, I thought, Ugh, that wasn’t the original plan. Smooth move, Jake. Now I had to tell Embry that Vanessa was going to join us on our “Hunt for an Imprint” trip. This was going to be difficult.

Twilight Inspired Written By: Alyssa Nguyen+Lorena Jasso