The Long Road Home, Chapter 3: Detour (Alice)

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The Long Road Home: The Journey of Alice and Jasper, Chapter 3

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. This is a work of Twilight fanfiction.I have attempted to keep the story as much in canon as possible, and all historical references are accurate.

**Chapter Note: This chapter is in Alice's POV, beginning nine years after her transformation, in 1929. I hope you enjoy it.

Chapter 3: Detour

I love New York City in the morning.

There is an almost palpable feeling of excitement to the air, in the morning, as the New Yorkers begin their workdays. I watch them all. Businessmen in their suits and hats, clutching their briefcases as they dash in and out of the subway stations, on their way to their high-rise offices. Laborers in their dungarees, toting the tools of their trade, heads down and faces set with resignation to the coming day's hard work. Newsboys on the corner, shouting out the headlines, imploring people to buy their stacks of folded newspapers. Women bustling by in their various styles, some in the newfangled short dresses, some in the more old-fashioned longer skirts, some towing children or lugging sacks of groceries or nothing at all, destinations unknown. Newcomers to the city, slack-jawed in amazement as they goggle upwards at the skyscrapers, something never seen anywhere before. All races, all classes, all kinds: it's all here, in this huge, noisy, dirty, wonderful city.

I love to watch, to see everything flow by me, the hours rushing by, while I sit untouched by time.

The roads are horrible here, far too narrow now for all the traffic. Since Mr. Ford popularized his inexpensive assembly-line-built motor-cars a few years ago, New Yorkers, always on the cusp of the fashion trends, had bought more than a half-million automobiles, more than Paris or London, more than anywhere else in the world. The narrow streets of what used to be New Amsterdam were now clogged with backed-up cars, horse-drawn carts driven by frustrated men, bicycle messengers, and even brave pedestrians, dancing through the hodgepodge of obstacles.

Sidewalks were slowly being added, roads slowly being widened as old buildings were torn down to make room for the soaring skyscrapers that now were beginning to clutter the skyline, but it was not fast enough for anyone's tastes. But then again, New Yorkers aren't known for their patience.

I liked to sit in a little café I'd discovered a while back, when I first came to the city. Not that I eat, but it's something that humans do: to sit at a table in a diner and order a cup of coffee and watch the passersby.

I never drank the coffee, though; I chose my favorite table wisely, next to both the wide front window and the potted plant, in the corner so I can see everything, outside and in. When I knew no one was looking I managed to pour the coffee into the plant, and no one was the wiser. It's so easy to get away with it's not even a challenge. I could probably even do it when someone was looking and still not get caught; I'm too fast for their weak eyes to catch.

What is a challenge is sitting among so many humans.

Although I loved to watch them, to listen to them, to see the stories of their brief, frantic lives flicker around them as they pass, it hurt me to be there, in the midst of them. It burns so, like an open flame blazing down my throat, to smell them, to smell their blood.

It makes me thirsty.

That's why I had to do it, though. I sat there in the middle of a river of humanity and suffered from thirst. I must learn to control myself, I told myself, to be master over this thirst, so it doesn't become my master. If that happens, everything I have built for myself, everything I have striven to do, collapses, and I become the monster I've refused to allow myself to be.

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