... is this what passes for character drama?
Pictured: my face during this chapter
There were so many questions I wanted to ask, but most of those questions would have to wait, because they were for Alice:
"Does Edward like me? Does he sorta like me, or REALLY like me? Does he like Emmett more than me? Does he like the same flavor of pudding as me? Does he like the same bands? Does he fit into my dumpy flannel shirts, which is obviously a sign of true love?! I need to know!"
How was Jasper this morning?
He was busy playing Simple Plan songs. So, standard for an emo vampire.
What had they said when I was gone?
"Thank God that bland boring girl is gone. Remind me again why she's always hanging around our house?"
What had Rosalie said?
Come on, it doesn't take a genius to know what she said. Four words: "I told ya so!"
And most importantly, what could she see happening now in her strange, imperfect visions of the future?
... and most importantly, what does it matter since those "imperfect" visions are totally unreliable, and deciding to turn left instead of right throws the whole thing off?
Could she guess what Edward was thinking, why he was so gloomy?
"Damn, I lost at Mario Kart again. Emmett did his victory dance three times last night. I'm so depressed."
Was there a foundation for the tenuous, instinctive fears that I couldn't seem to shake?
Was there a reason for my crippling phobia of ducks, or was I just being ridiculous?
So Bella spends the WHOLE morning not talking to Edward, which is sure to improve his brooding emo mental state and assure him that she totally doesn't have a problem with almost being eaten. But OH NOES! Alice isn't there! Alice and Jasper have gone off to Denali to bunk with the other "good" vampires (who are supposed to be evil slutwhores who have unmarried sex), apparently because Jasper is unable to control himself.
Granted, we already KNEW that, and so did Edward. But who knew that a vampire with hardly any self-control might snap if exposed to blood?
"Where's Alice?" I asked Edward anxiously.
He looked at the granola bar he was slowly pulverizing between his fingertips while he answered. "She's with Jasper."
"And they're having a lot more sex than I am, I can tell you that."
"And Alice, too," I said with quiet desperation. Of course, if Jasper needed her, she would go.
That inconsiderate BITCH! How dare she leave town to support her beloved husband in his time of need, instead of hanging around to coddle the cause of his troubles!
I swallowed, trying to dislodge the sudden lump in my throat. The guilt made my head bow and my shoulders slump.
This moment would be more moving if Bella hadn't proven herself to be a selfish bitch before. Recall how she talked about how her parents' divorce meant she wouldn't have to live in Forks, and didn't give a shit about her dad only getting to see her for ONE week out of the whole year so she wouldn't have to go to someplace WET.
So yeah, Bella only feels guilty about inconveniencing Hot Rich People that she's hoping to become one of, and Bella only cares about causing trouble for the special immortal rich club that she wants to join.
I'd run them out of their home, just like Rosalie and Emmett. I was a plague.
I can agree with that. And yet, note how she still apparently hangs around their house all the time even though she knows she's pushing people out of town.
So they both sulk and whine and refuse to talk to each other. This is annoying enough when they actually are disagreeing about something, but here they're just fussing and whining so they CAN. Bella asks Edward to come over to her house after work... which apparently surprises him. I don't know why.
"So you'll come over when I'm home, though, right?" I hated that I felt suddenly unsure about this.
"If you want me to."
"I always want you," I reminded him, with perhaps a little more intensity than the conversation required.
You've had this exchange what, sixty-three times? Yes, Smeyer - we've figured out that Bella is ALWAYS panting for it, and Edward is constantly refusing to give her the D. I'm shocked she hasn't dropped out of school so she can spend all day lying in meadows and cuddling in bed with Edward.
So Edward is distant and weird again... and by that I mean he acts like a teenage boy who's spent six months in a relationship with a clingy girl with no personality. Apparently Smeyer thinks that "true love" means 24/7 leg-humping passion without it ever letting up, and cooing over each other every time you interact. No unclogging the toilet, no arguing about bills, no overtime at work, nothing that actually might cast a pall on your "perfect" love.
And since Bella is incredibly annoying, she immediately has a panic attack because he's not lavishing attention to her. In a more realistic story, THIS would be the reason Edward dumps her ass. What guy actually wants to date a chick like this?!
If it would help, I would stay away from the big white house on the river—I'd never set foot there again.
Yeah, that might have helped if you had done that from the beginning, since you already knew Jasper could snap at any moment.
That didn't matter. I'd still see Alice at school. She would have to come back for school, right? And she was at my place all the time anyway. She wouldn't want to hurt Charlie's feelings by staying away.
... is it just my imagination, or does Bella sound a lot more upset by the idea of not seeing Alice than about Edward possibly dumping her? I know they're supposed to be master/slave friends, but this is striking up another note of unintentional LesYay.
No doubt I would also run into Carlisle with regularity—in the emergency room.
Ahahahahaha, be amused at how clumsy Bella is! She gets hurt a lot! She apparently didn't bother to factor this in to her interactions with the Cullens! FUCK HER.
Also, notice that she apparently doesn't give a shit about seeing Esme or Emmett. Charming.
After all, what had happened last night was nothing. Nothing had happened. So I fell down—that was the story of my life.
No, you got thrown across the room into a glass table by your adoring Nosferatu boyfriend. There's a big difference between that and "falling down."
And for eff's sake, it was not "nothing" if the building had to be evacuated and one of the occupants had to be physically dragged outside. So no, I don't think the people who live there are going to argue that it's "nothing" just because Bella went into total denial.
Compared to last spring, it seemed especially unimportant. James had left me broken and nearly dead from loss of blood—and yet Edward had handled the interminable weeks in the hospital much better than this. Was it because, this time, it wasn't an enemy he'd had to protect me from? Because it was his brother?
... does this dense skank really have to ask if it was the fact that JASPER was involved that makes him so upset?! Of COURSE that's what different from last time, you simpering dolt! There's a huge difference between a cartoon villain calm deciding he's going to eat you, and your BOYFRIEND'S PSEUDO-BROTHER doing it because he went loco.
I guess a person who doesn't give a shit about her own family wouldn't be able to imagine OTHER people caring about any members of theirs, even in a bitchy, selfish way like Edward. We're heading towards Anita Blake levels of self-centeredness, sociopathy and inability to understand ANYBODY else's feelings.
So Bella then decides that instead of having the Cullens leave their home, she and Edward should go somewhere else and dry-hump in exotic places.
If he could just last through the school year, Charlie wouldn't be able to object.
Technically, he can't object NOW. After all, Bella's decided she's going to be a hot rich person forever, so why bother with a high school diploma?
We could go away to college, or pretend that's what we were doing, like Rosalie and Emmett this year.
Yes, I'm sure Charlie won't notice the fact that his wallet is NOT being sucked dry.
Surely Edward could wait a year. What was a year to an immortal? It didn't even seem like that much to me.
Wooooowwwww, she really is delusional. But who am I kidding? Bella has convinced herself that it's healthy and safe to date a VAMPIRE who is always on the verge of murdering her. Clearly she could convince herself that a year is no big deal.
So Bella keeps fantasizing about the two of them running off to Aruba or something, and having sparkly sex on the sand. Then....
Mike Newton appears, and is FRIENDLY and SOCIAL and actually TALKS to her, which ruins her fantasy buzz. STONE HIM! STONE HIM FOR ANNOYING THE SULLEN GODDESS!
Mike interrupted my fantasy. "How was your birthday?"
"Ugh," I mumbled. "I'm glad it's over."
Mike looked at me from the corners of his eyes like I was crazy.
I knew I liked Mike. Why can't this book be about him becoming a kickass vampire hunter? Mike "Van Helsing" Newton, kicker of undead ass in a gloomy overcast town!
So Bella mopes through work, and she mopes on her way home, and is only slightly less mopey when she sees Edward's car. I feel sorry for the other Cullens if THIS will be their relationship for all ETERNITY. In addition to their relationship being creepy, codependent, abusive and misogynistic, apparently every time Edward is less than demonstrative, Bella is going to turn into a clingy needy basket case who has actual PANIC ATTACKS and won't say a word to anybody or try to fix the situation.
So Bella goes inside, and finds her dad and Edward watching ESPN.
I'm not sure why, but this strikes me as incredibly funny. Maybe because Smeyer has implied that watching sports is a stupid, boring thing that ORDINARY men like Charlie do, and that her sexy soulmate Edturd would never do, because he's too busy smoldering Byronically at her Sue.
"Hi," I said weakly.
"Dad, what is Edward doing watching sports? He should be doing something SEXY and ROMANTIC like licking my photograph or stealing my panties! Not something that OTHER guys do!"
"... stealing your WHAT?"
"I only did that twice! It's not like it's a habit!"
"Hey, Bella," my father answered, eyes never moving. "We just had cold pizza. I think it's still on the table."
... and what is Edward's excuse for not eating the pizza? Or is he just storing it all in his cheek like a hamster? Are cheeks of hamstrous size another magical vampire power you get for no reason?
So Bella has another panic attack because OH NOES Edward is continuing to watch ESPN and talk to her dad. I mean, what could be worse than male bonding or watching sports? That is the obvious sign of impending breakup! PANIC! PANIC! PANIC DAMMIT!!!!!!!
I tried to get control of myself, to reason with myself.
I've seen no evidence that she could possibly manage either reason or control.
What's the worst that can happen?
We could have an entire horrible book filled entirely with Bella being emo and melodramatic? No, the worst would be a lot, lot worse.
So Bella continues deluding herself that hey, maybe Edward's there to sweep her off to the Caribbean RIGHT NOW instead of waiting another year. Yeah, that's MUCH more likely than breaking up.
And for the record, I don't have any pity for a person who reacts to a possible breakup by just hiding in a corner and refusing to talk about it. You can deal with your issues and possibly even save your relationship if you talk about whatever the problem is. But since Bella and Edward's relationship has the depth of a coat of wall paint, Bella just reacts to a serious problem by refusing to talk to Edward, and hiding in a corner having her little fantasies of eloping to Maui. SHE DESERVES TO GET DUMPED.
But who am I kidding? If Edward decided to dump her, she couldn't possibly say anything to that! I mean, if she disagrees with anything he says, he just dazzles her with sex appeal until she does what he wants.
In front of me, on the table, my presents from Charlie and Renee were where I had left them,
Wait, Edward said he was taking them to her room! BASIC CONTINUITY!
I touched the pretty cover of the scrapbook my mother had given me, and sighed, thinking of Renee. Somehow, living without her for as long as I had did not make the idea of a more permanent separation easier.
She's living across the country from her mom, going to school there full-time, with no plans to move to Florida EVER or visit her unless she's given tickets as a gift. That's a pretty permanent separation.
And Charlie would be left all alone here, abandoned. They would both be so hurt…
- I don't see why Bella's mom would care. Again, she's living on the EAST COAST. It's not like she sees her daughter anyway.
- If I were Charlie, I'd be relieved at the idea of not having to deal with Snotty McBitchypants for awhile. I mean, he hardly ever sees her and they barely interact. He probably has more personal relationships with the fish he catches.
- And again, I can't bring myself to actually believe that Bella cares about hurting her parents. A few pages ago she was drooling over the prospect of leaving in a mere nine months (since the school year isn't actually a YEAR); I doubt Charlie would somehow be less emotionally engaged by then.
- And despite this whole oh-so-angsty contemplation of how she'll ditch her parents, note that she was a LOT more emotional about Alice temporarily leaving town than she was about leaving her parents behind forever.
But we'd come back, right? We'd visit, of course, wouldn't we?
I couldn't be certain about the answer to that.
I don't really see why not. Oh wait, this is another contrived attempt to include DRAMA.
I leaned my cheek against my knee, staring at the physical tokens of my parents' love.
Yes, the tokens of parental love that she rejected before even seeing them.
I'd known this path I'd chosen was going to be hard. And, after all, I was thinking about the worst-case scenario—the very worst I could live through.
Wow, I really hope that something WORSE than that doesn't come up, something that she CAN'T live through. If THAT happened, it would be SO shocking and devastating.
It wasn't a half-bad idea, to make some record of my life here. I felt a strange urge to get started. Maybe I didn't have that long left in Forks.
If you think Edturd is there to sweep you away right away, it's TOO LATE. And again, what about her life in Forks is so fucking wonderful? Bella's everyday life is devastatingly dull except for the sparklepire stuff, which is devastatingly dull when it isn't offensive.
So Bella randomly runs up to her bedroom and starts taking pictures. It's almost as boring as it sounds. Apparently she's COMPLETELY convinced herself that Edward is about to sweep her away to parts unknown, so she has to record her incredibly boring and mundane life in Forks. Maybe she's planning to write a sentimental autobiography?
Change was coming. I could feel it. It wasn't a pleasant prospect, not when life was perfect the way it was.
"Life was perfect, with constant emotional abuse, sexual frustration and arguments about me not being a vampire."
Actually, you notice that getting turned into a vampire is the ONE option that she never brings up. Why? Because that would actually solve the problem, as well as all the problems in the next three books' worth of shitty writing. So Smeyer doesn't even bring it up because she doesn't want us to notice that the ENTIRE HORRIBLE SERIES after Twilight is completely unnecessary.
He would get over this. Probably he was worried that I would be upset when he asked me to leave. I would let him work through it without meddling. And I would be prepared when he asked.
Seriously, where did she get this stupid idea that he plans to run away to the tropics with her? She scrabbled up some dumbass ideas to explain away him being weird and distant, and has now apparently decided that the ONLY possible reason for him being weird and distant is that he wants to run away with her!
WHERE DID SHE GET THIS IDEA?! I'm sure Smeyer would insist that Bella is subconsciously rejecting the idea of Edward dumping her, but this has gone over the edge into total delusion. You don't need to be super-experienced in relationships to know that "distant and weird" often precedes a breakup. And not being willing to even THINK about the possibility that she and Edward might break up shows what a freaky crazy bitch she is.
Also, you'd have to have MUCH bigger cojones than Edward has to sit around watching sports with your girlfriend's father, right before asking her to drop her education and run away with you.
So then Bawla sneaks up and takes a picture of Edward. Yeah, that was random. She pretends to be all light and flirty when Charlie demands to know what the hell she's doing. Then she insists that Edward take a picture of her and her dad.
"You need to smile, Bella," Edward murmured.
"No no, I said SMILE, not bite your lip. SMILE. No, don't paw at your damn hair. SMILE. Stop biting your lip!"
"Let me take one of you kids," Charlie suggested. I knew he was just trying to shift the camera's focus from himself.
"After all, even I can tell you're about to break up, so we need a pic for Bella to rub all over her nipples."
"Enough pictures for tonight," Charlie said then, shoving the camera into a crevice of the sofa cushions and rolling over it.
... so he gives her a camera just so he can try to break it? Does Smeyer even know how people are supposed to treat cameras, or does she usually deal with unwanted devices by cramming them into the couch and SITTING on them?
So Edward announces that he's going to go home, and Charlie doesn't really give a shit.
"Will you stay?" I asked, no hope in my voice.
I expected his answer, so it didn't hurt as much.
Yes, they said this in front of her dad. Why don't you just keep his spare clothes in front of your bedroom door, dumbass?
So Edward drives away, and Bella stands outside and gets rained on. Why? Because she's emo, and it's supposed to be bad symbolism... or something.
So the next day, Bawla is still deluding herself that she's about to be carried off to a tropical paradise, and keeps taking boring pictures of everything around her. This photo-taking better have something to do with the fucking "plot," or I may go on a killing spree. (Spoiler alert: it doesn't!)
I turned and snapped a few of the forest by Charlie's house. Funny how it didn't seem sinister like it used to. I realized I would miss this—the green, the timelessness, the mystery of the woods. All of it.
I bet she goes right back to whining about Phoenix as soon as Edward and the Cullens aren't there anymore.
So we don't hear much about that day, except that Edward is distant and weird, and Bella does a horrible job in English class even though allegedly she's sooooooo brilliant and literate. She then asks her classmates - I won't call them "friends" - to pose for pictures. Why? So she can be a huge bitch about them.
A predictable picture war ensued. I watched them hand the camera around the table, giggling and flirting and complaining about being on film. It seemed strangely childish. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for normal human behavior today.
"Ugh, all those HUMANS being friendly and social and having FUN. They should be like me, barely speaking to their boyfriends because they're busy having panic attacks over barely speaking to their boyfriends!"
"That's okay. I think I already got pictures of everything else I needed."
"There are at least five rolls of pictures of ME biting my lip and looking awkward and expressionless."
So Bella goes to work, drops off her film, and then orgasms over how hot Edward looks in the pictures.
It was almost uncanny that anyone could look so… so… beyond description. No thousand words could equal this picture.
Nothing emphasizes what a bad writer you are like saying that you can't describe something. If you can't describe something, DON'T POINT OUT YOUR OWN SHORTCOMINGS.
The contrast between the two of us was painful. He looked like a god. I looked very average, even for a human, almost shamefully plain.
Yeah, because all that matters is what you look like.
... oh wait, their personalities both suck too. So I guess their looks ARE all that matter.
So we're treated to more boring shit about what Bawla does now that Edturd isn't around to tell her that she's stupid and irrational - she writes a letter to her mom (why is she writing a letter and not an E-MAIL?), writes in her photo album, and continues wangsting about how Eddie is not paying attention to her. Wow, Smeyer really doesn't know how to narrate the whole "time passing" thing - she goes over every single day's events instead of just lumping them together. IT'S BORING. We don't need to hear how Bella has been sleeping every night, when she sleeps the same every night!!!!!!
Also, since apparently Edturd is working up the nerve to tell her that he's dumping her, he's being quite the asshole here. So what, he's just dangling her around until he feels like telling her that he's gone?
But I couldn't count on that. I decided that, if I couldn't talk to him today, really talk, then I was going to see Carlisle tomorrow. I had to do something.
And precisely what does she think his pedo-Vampire-daddy can do about him being moody and weird? He's been moody and weird for a century, so if they could make him sunny and pleasant methinks they would have done it before.
After school, Edward and I were going to talk it out, I promised myself. I wasn't accepting any excuses.
"... unless he smolders Byronically at me again, dazzling me with his sex appeal until I'm unable to speak around my drool."
But instead, Edward asks if he can come over, and he shows off a little bit of halfhearted assholery. But it's obvious his heart isn't in his snotty arrogance, so Bawla becomes emo again.
He did beat me home. He was parked in Charlie's spot when I pulled up in front of the house. That was a bad sign. He didn't plan to stay, then.
Or maybe he knows that Charlie doesn't know what the driveway is for.
So they go wandering off into the woods, still being weird and distant with each other. Bella has yet another panic attack on the way... which is really getting old. I mean, I've read characters who reacted to killing their loved ones with less over-the-top melodrama than Bella does about getting dumped!
And what is this biiiiiiggggg built-up scene leading up to? Oooooh, I'm sure it will shock our socks off!
"Bella, we're leaving."
What a shock. He's dumping her.
Bella, in her usual delusional state, thinks that "we" means the two of them. But of course, that ISN'T what Edward means.
"Bella, it's time. How much longer could we stay in Forks, after all? Carlisle can barely pass for thirty, and he's claiming thirty-three now. We'd have to start over soon regardless."
... these people have rock-hard, pure white skin that SPARKLES if you shine a light on them, and they're literally cold as ice. But people are only going to notice something odd if they don't AGE?
Somehow I suspect that all the people of Forks already know the Cullens are vampires, and are just letting the Cullens THINK they're so clever and stealthy.
His answer confused me. I thought the point of leaving was to let his family live in peace. Why did we have to leave if they were going? I stared at him, trying to understand what he meant.
He stared back coldly.
Wow. Smeyer is taking away all need for me to make fun of how stupid Bella is. She's actually demonstrating that Bella is blindingly dumb, and all the other characters are acutely aware of this. Do I actually have to say anything funny?
"When you say we—," I whispered.
"I mean my family and myself." Each word separate and distinct.
"And the pet wallaby named Sticky. And Alice's imaginary friend Bumpers. And Esme's hairdresser Carlos. But that's it! That's all!"
"Okay," I said. "I'll come with you."
Does he need to spell it in mile-high blinking yellow letters?! HE'S. DUMPING. YOUR. ASS.
"You can't, Bella. Where we're going… It's not the right place for you."
"We're going to live in the Anita Blake universe. There's only room for one bitchy, passive, whiny Sue who all the men inexplicably want!"
Bella keeps insisting that she needs to be with Edward and that "you're the best part of my life." Maybe it's just my callous self talking, but it sounds like Bella is freaking out over the idea of Hot Rich Immortality slipping out of her hands, forcing her to be a... NORMAL PERSON.
"I'm no good for you, Bella."
Again, I can't even make fun of this.
"What happened with Jasper—that was nothing, Edward! Nothing!"
"You're right," he agreed. "It was exactly what was to be expected."
Yeah, I wish I could actually ENJOY this scene, where Bella gets blindsided by reality and finds out that yeah, you can't just blot out everything you want and have things turn out as you want. Normally, I would find such a scene very entertaining...
... except that it's obvious Smeyer wants us to side with Bella and agree with all the crap she's spewing. We're supposed to TOTALLY buy into the idea that they're soulmates, and that risking your life for a hot boy is a perfectly normal and healthy. We're supposed to go, "No, Edward, no! You know you're MEANT TO BE TOGETHER! You should totally keep risking her life rather than turning her into a vampire and/or leaving the area! You should NOT shit or get off the pot!"
And you know what? I am not doing those things. If neither of these immature twats are willing to compromise, then they are going to break up.
"You promised! In Phoenix, you promised that you would stay—"
"As long as that was best for you," he interrupted to correct me.
And you also said "as long as it makes you happy," you lying sack of shit.
And it's obvious Edward doesn't really care about Bella's well-being, because this asshole has been:
- keeping her around his family even though he KNEW PERFECTLY WELL that Jasper was eventually going to snap. And if Edward happened to be off organizing his Linkin Park CDs, well, Bella would die.
- dangling her around for DAYS and ignoring her obvious upset. Apparently he was either working up the nerve to tell her "We're done" or he was waiting for the movers to ship out all their stuff. Either way, I'm surprised he didn't just leave her a "Dear Jane" letter and leave without really breaking up in person. Or just text the breakup, since he's such a tool.
"No! This is about my soul, isn't it?" I shouted, furious, the words exploding out of me—somehow it still sounded like a plea. "Carlisle told me about that, and I don't care, Edward. I don't care! You can have my soul. I don't want it without you—it's yours already!"
"You want my kidney too? I don't want it without you! Hand me a butter knife, and I'll cut it out right here!"
Ugh, the writing of the emo-teen-girl "poetry" of "I don't want it without you—it's yours already!" made me actually cringe and take another shot of tequila.
Again, I think Smeyer means for us to sympathize with Bella, but this is just making her look incredibly pathetic. Yeah, beg that man to not dump your tapioca ass, girl. Say you'll sacrifice your soul if he JUST WON'T LEAVE YOOOOUUUUUU!!!!!!!! It's not like you haven't been degraded enough yet.
So because Bella is completely incapable of figuring out the subtle clues of "I'm leaving and you're not coming with me," Edward finally tells her: "Bella, I don't want you to come with me." As if she wasn't pathetic enough, Bella then repeated the words in my head a few times, sifting through them for their real intent. Sifting through them? Uh, hello, it's not too hard to figure out the "real intent" of those words. I can only imagine what a conversation with Bella must be like.
"Someone pass the salt."
"Salt... hmm... pass... huh..."
"It's been ten minutes, Bella. PASS THE SALT."
"Hmmm... salt... has the same number of letters as 'love'... and so does 'pass'..."
"PASS THE FUCKING SALT ALREADY."
"You… don't… want me?" I tried out the words, confused by the way they sounded, placed in that order.
"How could ANY man not want me? I'm a Sue!"
So Edward gives her the really cold brush-off, and again I'm amazed that he didn't just leave her a note saying, "Bella, we're done. Edward." I mean, leaving it until the last minute and dangling your girlfriend till the last millisecond? What a bastard.
This is honestly a very difficult scene for me to read. On one hand, Edward is being a contemptible asshole to his girlfriend, and deserves to be curb-stomped for being such a prick. On the other hand, Bella is a bitchy delusional gold-digger, and hating Edward for treating her badly makes no sense.
So it's difficult to read a scene where I hate both people, and failing to sympathize with one would implicitly be sympathizing with the other. Decisions, decisions.
"Of course, I'll always love you… in a way."
"I'll always have a place in my heart for a girl who comes back for more verbal and emotional abuse. I'll love you the way I love that brand of hair gel I don't use anymore."
"But what happened the other night made me realize that it's time for a change."
"I've decided that my NEXT boring chick with low self-esteem will be a blonde."
"Because I'm… tired of pretending to be something I'm not, Bella. I am not human."
- Uhhhhh... since when was he pretending to be human? I must have missed that part.
- He trots out the "I'm a vampire, I'm dangerous/tortured!" thing every five minutes.
- So... dating a human means you're pretending to be one. How does that logically work?
- Or does he mean he's pretending to be a human in general? Because, uh, I don't see why the Cullens should all move because one little douchebag wants to come out of the coffin.
- Also, when a vampire says that in fiction, it usually means that they're going to stop denying their true nature of a bloodsucking killer, and they're gonna stop angsting about being a bloodsucking killer because they're not human and they won't pretend they are. It doesn't mean they're dumping their whining girlfriend.
I mean, Thomas Raith said something like that in Jim Butcher's Turn Coat, when he informed his brother that the skinwalker's torture "reminded me of what I really am... I’m... not wandering around blind anymore. Not trying desperately to be something that I’m not.” What did that mean? It didn't mean he was dumping his human girlfriend and claiming that he couldn't be a vampire AND be in love with her. No, it meant that he was claiming that his nature was that of a soul-sucking incubus who eats people's life energy, and that trying to live on what he could get from hairdressing was just deluding himself.
Also, Thomas didn't trot this speech out like Edward did. Edward is just randomly dropping cliches because apparently his girlfriend can't understand "I am dumping you." There's no actual emotion behind anything he says. Thomas's talk with his brother was emotionally wrenching and powerful, especially since he came to that conclusion because he had been TORTURED, healed and fed young women before being tortured again. There was an actual REASON for him to start going all, "I'm a vampire, this is what I am," and it made logical sense after the horrors he had been through. It was the only way he could cope.
So Bella keeps begging him to not dump her, and Edward pulls out another dumb line.
"You're not good for me, Bella." He turned his earlier words around, and so I had no argument. How well I knew that I wasn't good enough for him.
Uh, there's a HUGE difference between "you're not good for me" and "you're not good ENOUGH for me." They have totally different meanings, you dumb bitch. And actually, she is good enough for him. They deserve each other.
So Bella FINALLY gets it and FINALLY accepts it, and Edward asks for one thing.
As I watched, his frozen eyes melted. The gold became liquid again, molten, burning down into mine with an intensity that was overwhelming.
Then I realized his face had caught fire again.
"Don't do anything reckless or stupid," he ordered, no longer detached. "Do you understand what I'm saying?"
"Do NOT do any crazy reckless stuff that might attract the attention of studly shirtless werewolves who might get your horny li'l self on the rebound. Don't do that. I can be as self-destructive as I want, but you do NOT get to. Because you have a vagina, so you have to obey me."
His eyes cooled, the distance returned. "I'm thinking of Charlie, of course. He needs you. Take care of yourself—for him."
"But it's been established that I don't give a shit about Charlie."
"No, you forgot that you're a suffering saint who cares deeply about her parents."
"Really? Then why did I insist at the start of Twilight that I didn't care that my parents divorced, and that I forced my dad to only see me for a few days a year because I threw a bratty tantrum about staying in Forks? And how come I treat him with total indifference and/or contempt?"
"And I'll make you a promise in return," he said. "I promise that this will be the last time you'll see me. I won't come back. I won't put you through anything like this again. You can go on with your life without any more interference from me. It will be as if I'd never existed."
Bella's response: OH NOES MY LIVE IS OVER I'M SOOOOOOO MISERABLE I'LL NEVER BE A HOT RICH IMMORTAL I WILL NOW CUT MY ARM TO SHOW MY MISERY WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA....
Edturd then tells her that it's no big deal for her, because "You're human—your memory is no more than a sieve. Time heals all wounds for your kind." Well, it doesn't hurt that she's also going to DIE eventually, and that hormonal teen crushes tend to be sources of embarrassment rather than angst after awhile.
"Well"—he hesitated for a short second—"I won't forget. But my kind… we're very easily distracted."
"Throw us a few shiny objects and some Twinkies, and we're totally happy."
Also, I don't know what he means by "I won't forget." Uh, so vampires are supposed to have perfect recall or something like that? Well, I call bullshit:
- Alice and Edward seem to have huge gaps in their memories for no adequately explained reason.
- And if vampires had perfect memory and perfect recall, how come they seem to be so distant about the emotions they experienced in the past? I mean, how come they aren't FRIGGIN' incapacitated by their past emotions?
- How come, for example, Esme isn't paralyzed with grief every time she thinks about her dead baby?
He took a step away from me. "That's everything, I suppose. We won't bother you again."
The plural caught my attention. That surprised me; I would have thought I was beyond noticing anything.
"Alice isn't coming back," I realized.
Uh, he said before that they were ALL leaving. Not just him. Try to keep up, Bawla.
And again with the LesYay. Does Smeyer have the faintest idea how all this sounds?! IT'S NOT EVEN SUBTLE! She seems as upset about Alice not coming back as she does about EDWARD!
I don't know how he heard me—the words made no sound—but he seemed to understand.
Uh, he heard you because you said it out loud, as shown by the quotation marks around her words. This is like those Anita Blake things where she says, "I made it a question" when in fact it's the QUESTION MARK that makes it a question.
"No. They're all gone. I stayed behind to tell you goodbye."
"And to pick up the dry cleaning. Those bastards said they couldn't have it done before Sunday."
Also, if they're already gone, then he was just dangling Bella for DAYS before breaking up with her. He could have said from the beginning that he was going away and that they were dunzo, but he didn't. Instead he hung around being weird and quiet, and not bothering to alleviate her overwrought emotions at all.
EDWARD CULLEN IS A COLOSSAL DICK. And fuck you, Edward, for forcing me to side with your passive-aggressive witch of a girlfriend.
"Alice is gone?" My voice was blank with disbelief.
"But I was going to ask her to elope to Mexico with me!"
"She wanted to say goodbye, but I convinced her that a clean break would be better for you."
"Which is why I hung around being weird for days so you would be emotionally tenderized for maximum trauma."
"Wait!" I choked out the word, reaching for him, willing my deadened legs to carry me forward.
I thought he was reaching for me, too. But his cold hands locked around my wrists and pinned them to my sides. He leaned down, and pressed his lips very lightly to my forehead for the briefest instant. My eyes closed.
Yes, he wouldn't be Edward Cullen if he didn't make a goodbye kiss sound suspiciously rapey.
So then Edward vanishes, and Bella goes tottering off into the woods.
I followed him into the forest. The evidence of his path had disappeared instantly. There were no footprints, the leaves were still again, but I walked forward without thinking.
... if there's no evidence of where he went and there's nothing to follow, how the fuck could Bella FOLLOW him?!
I could not do anything else. I had to keep moving. If I stopped looking for him, it was over.
"... and then I realized I had to pee. Okay, I'll stop moving for FIVE MINUTES, and then I'm back to my torturous quest of emo-ness."
Love, life, meaning… over.
Stephenie Meyer #59: If your hot rich boyfriend dumps you, there is no meaning or point to life. You might as well just die now.
Seriously, I can understand being depressed about a breakup. It happens, it hurts, and eventually you move past it. That's a normal response. And you can sort of expect a teenage girl to be ridiculously melodramatic about it.
The problem is, again, SMEYER DOESN'T THINK THIS IS JUST A TEEN IDIOT'S MELODRAMA. She thinks this is the "real deal," and that Bella's reaction to it is what any right-thinking person would have under the circumstances. She thinks that becoming a suicidal emo zombie in response to being dumped is a totally acceptable reaction.
So Bawla keeps walking randomly, and eventually falls down sometime after sunset. Then she just lies there in the fetal position, being emo. Yes, this is a totally normal and acceptable reaction to being dumped. And wouldn't you know it, the forest is completely devoid of light because it's a NEW MOON.
See, it's symbolic because Edward is the "light of her life" and so now that he's gone, her life is empty and dark just like the forest when the moon isn't there OH HELL THIS BAD SYMBOLISM BURNS SO BAD!
Not tonight. Tonight the sky was utterly black. Perhaps there was no moon tonight—a lunar eclipse, a new moon.
A lunar eclipse is not the same as a fucking new moon. For one thing, lunar eclipses only last for a few hours and they ONLY happen during a FULL MOON. Additionally, refracting light from the Earth's atmosphere means that the moon doesn't VANISH during an eclipse, the way it does during a new moon.
As with biology, zoology, logic, literature and the Bible, Stephenie Meyer FAILS at basic astronomy due to total lack of knowledge.
So Bella just lies there like a lump and doesn't even respond when she hears someone shouting her name. No, she'd rather just lie there being emo. Oh, and it's raining too.
I thought about answering, but I was dazed, and it took a long time to come to the conclusion that I should answer.
It took several hours, since this basic "yes/know" question overloaded my tiny brain.
So she... just lies there. Doing nothing. Isn't this fascinating? Then a big animal comes by and sniffs her, then goes away. Yep, our heroine could have just gotten eaten by a bear, and it wouldn't matter at all. Why? BECAUSE HER BOYFRIEND DUMPED HER WAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH.
I wondered if I should feel afraid. I didn't—just numb. It didn't matter. The snuffling went away.
Please let a meteorite smash her to a pulp. Apparently she won't care, since she's now single.
Seriously, Smeyer really hammers it into our heads that single people are the most pathetic and hopeless individuals in the world. I mean, just look at it:
- Charlie, who is divorced, is a pathetic sad-sack who just lies around watching sports.
- Renee, who is remarried, is supposedly happy with her new hubby.
- The Cullens were all miserable until they got
a hot teenage "son"their "true love," at which point they become totally happy in every way.
- Edward is a whiny little bitch until he meets Bella. Then he becomes a slightly less whiny little bitch.
- Then he gets suicidal after dumping her ass.
- Bella becomes sucidal when she gets dumped, actually claiming that HER LIFE IS OVER.
I know Mormons are really big on marriage and consider it essential for getting to heaven, and dim tweens (Smeyer's intellectual/emotional equals) consider a hot guy to be their ultimate ambition in life. But it's kind of ridiculous to depict getting dumped by your boyfriend as the WORST LIFE-ENDING THING EVER, all single people are completely and utterly miserable, and that all you need is the "right" relationship to make you deliriously happy forever.
I mean, it's not just that you need a "perfect" partner like Edward, since Renee is depicted as being infinitely happier with her toyboy than Charlie is by himself. Apparently ANY heterosexual relationship will make you LIGHT-YEARS happier than any single person could ever be. And what is part and parcel of becoming one of the "perfect" vampires? Why, finding a Troo Luv. You apparently don't get to be "perfect" and single. None of the vampires except Skanky McSluttikins has relationships that begin, progress and end, as you'd expect an IMMORTAL to have.
So eventually someone with a lantern comes wandering over and finds Bella.
"Have you been hurt?"
I knew the words meant something, but I could only stare, bewildered. How could the meaning matter at this point?
Just THINK about that. Think about it. Smeyer is SERIOUSLY saying that Bella can't understand words... because her boyfriend dumped her.
So the guy introduces himself as Sam Uley, and says that Charlie sent him to look for her. Bella just... sits there drooling on herself.
The tall man held out a hand. I gazed at it, not sure what I was supposed to do.
"Hand? Hand? What is hand?"
So after Bella sits there drooling and doing nothing, Sam just picks her up and carries her away. He honestly seems pretty casual about the whole thing, like he finds drooling zombie emo chicks in the woods ALL the time, and the sight no longer makes an impression on him. Maybe Edward's done this to other idiot girls before?
I hung there, limp, as he loped swiftly through the wet forest. Some part of me knew this should upset me—being carried away by a stranger. But there was nothing left in me to upset.
"Yup, he could be taking me off to a shed full of sharp rusty objects so he can slowly rape and dismember me... at the same time. But it doesn't matter, because MY BOYFRIEND LEEEEFFT MEEEEEEEEE..."
So he rejoins with the all-male (naturally - according to Smeyer, women are silly irrational idiots with their menses and uteri and whatnot) search party and announces that he's got her. And of course, all the guys there are DESPERATELY worried about Bella's well-being, and apparently none of them are....
- Pissed at her for wasting all their evenings because she was too lazy to walk home.
- Even vaguely concerned that she was, I dunno, raped or something. When people are too traumatized to walk or UNDERSTAND WORDS, it's usually something more serious than "My boyfriend dumped me!"
- REALLY pissed when they find out the reason they had to go out in the cold wet woods looking for her is because SHE GOT EMO because "my boyfriend dumped me!" As in, if they strangled her I don't think any jury would find them guilty.
"No, I don't think she's hurt," he told someone. "She just keeps saying 'He's gone.' "
"She's never really gotten over Joaquin Phoenix's fake retirement." Seriously, this is when ACTUAL MEN would start getting pissed off, when they realized that Bella caused all this trouble because her boyfriend dumped her.
So Charlie drags Bella's insert carcass back to the house with all the guys following him. Apparently NOBODY has anything better to do than cluster around Bella and help care for her.
But Charlie managed to get me through the door and to the couch in the living room.
"Dad, I'm all wet," I objected feebly.
Lemme get this straight - she's supposed to be SO traumatized and zombiefied that she can't figure out WORDS, can't WALK, or even figure out what an extended hand means. But she is concerned about ruining the couch.
So some elderly doctor appears, and Bella recognizes him even though we've NEVER seen this man before.
"That's right, dear," he said. "Are you hurt, Bella?"
"My boyfriend DUMPED MEEEEEEEEE MY LIFE IS OVER LIFE HAS NO MEANING..."
"THAT'S all that's wrong with you? I thought you had been raped or beaten or had a stroke. Charlie, next time she wanders off, don't bother calling me unless she has a REAL problem."
It took me a minute to think that through. I was confused by the memory of Sam Uley's similar question in the woods. Only Sam had asked something else: Have you been hurt? he'd said. The difference seemed significant somehow.
.... no. No, it isn't. One is present tense, one is past tense. Unless the past tense usage means much longer ago than the very recent past, THEY ARE USED FOR THE SAME THING.
"I'm not hurt," I lied. The words, were true enough for what he'd asked.
Stephenie Meyer: She puts the "moron" in "oxymoron."
So the doctor asks what happens to her, and Bella... doesn't say anything. Apparently the mistress of lies just ran dry. And for some reason, EVERYONE is very interested in what happened to Bella, even though she's not hurt in any way and just decided to lie in the woods without moving.
Three tall men with dark faces—from La Push, the Quileute Indian reservation down on the coastline, I guessed—Sam Uley among them, were standing very close together and staring at me.
"Seriously, Jacob's obsessed with THAT girl? She's plain as yogurt."
"Yeah, I don't get it either. Okay, she's a vampire groupie and she doesn't like him that way. Big deal."
"And we got called out to find her in the woods... while it's raining... at night.... because her boyfriend dumped her ass. I can see why."
"Hey, come how we don't smell like wet dog?"
Mr. Newton was there with Mike and Mr. Weber, Angela's father; they all were watching me more surreptitiously than the strangers. Other deep voices r umbled from the kitchen and outside the front door. Half the town must have been looking for me.
Yeah, Charlie WAS going to call the National Guard, but they started blocking his calls after he notified them because Bella was dating a boy he didn't like.
Seriously, WHY DO ALL THESE PEOPLE CARE? And why are none of them angry?! If you're going to have people rushing around in the woods in the dead of night, you better have a REASON.
So Bella lies that she got lost, and of course Charlie translates this into "Evil Edward did something!"
"Do you feel tired?" Dr. Gerandy asked.
I nodded and closed my eyes obediently.
He asked you a question, dipshit. You can't OBEY a question.
So of course, the topic IMMEDIATELY shifts to the Cullens, and how Carlisle asked the other doctors not to say anything about how they were moving. Yeah, apparently every detail of Bella's life is immediately common knowledge because "it's a small town" and they have nothing more interesting to talk about. But when the Great And Mighty Godlike Cullens are leaving and command silence, there's not a single loose-lipped nurse who spills the beans.
... CONTINUITY? Continuity is for LOSERS.
I heard Charlie whisper thanks to the volunteers as, one by one, they left.
"Hey Charlie? Don't call us next time your daughter decides she's too lazy to walk home."
So Bella lies there like a lump, pretending to be asleep while Charlie answers the phone. Yes, apparently EVERYBODY in the town is upset about her disappearance, for they might have been deprived of the glorious presence of the Emo Queen Of Phoenix! And even though she was apparently just gone for a matter of hours, word managed to go around to EVERYONE in the entire fucking town. Nobody has ANYTHING better to do than hang around their phones finding out if some person they don't know is okay.
"Yeah, we found her. She's okay. She got lost. She's fine now," he said again and again.
"So you can stop sacrificing goats now. No more need."
So right after Charlie crashes for the night, he gets another phone call about something burning on sea cliffs outside the reservation. So then he calls Billy. It pretty obviously involves the Cullens, because Charlie starts throwing a shitstorm tantrum at his oldest friend AGAIN. Oh, and Billy even sent the guys who FOUND Bella, but that doesn't stop Charlie from being a dick to him because he DARES to not like the Cullens.
"Bonfires?" I asked. My voice didn't sound curious. It sounded dead.
So in other words, normal.
I could tell he didn't want to answer. He looked at the floor under his knees. "They're celebrating the news." His tone was bitter.
How DARE they celebrate the Cullens leaving! Don't they know that their lives are only given meaning by the presence of the almighty and godlike Cullens?!
So Charlie rages and splutters about how horrible it is that some of the Quileutes are DARING to celebrate the departure of a family he barely knows, and who dicked around with his daughter by not telling her they were going even though she was dating one of them. And he's raging AGAINST the people who just took time out of their lives to help him find the aforementioned worthless daughter, including his oldest friend. I mean, who do they think they are? Do they think this is a free country or something, and that you're actually ALLOWED to dislike the glorious white bloodsuckers?!
Yeah, Charlie's working hard to kill whatever liking I once had for him.
So Charlie then brings up that Edward left Bella alone in the woods, and Bella won't answer that because presumably it means admitting Edward did something assholish, and we know this series can never do THAT. So instead she asks how he knew where she was, despite the fact that he called SEARCH PARTIES which means he DIDN'T. The reason: Edward left behind a forged note by her.
"When you didn't come back, I called the Cullens, and no one answered," Charlie said in a low voice. "Then I called the hospital, and Dr. Gerandy told me that Carlisle was gone."
"He said THEY were throwing a party too, since some of then might actually be able to get laid now. BASTARDS!"
"Where did they go?" I mumbled.
He stared at me. "Didn't Edward tell you?"
"Or did he, like the rest of his family, sneak out of town without telling you anything? Well, he's a dick but the rest of them are glorious!"
I shook my head, recoiling. The sound of his name unleashed the thing that was clawing inside of me—a pain that knocked me breathless, astonished me with its force.
Whoops, my bad.
So apparently the lame excuse is that Carlisle has a new job in L.A., which Bella describes as the last place they would really go. Of course since some of them were hanging out in AFRICA, I doubt L.A. would be such a big deal.
So because Charlie is determined to blame Edward (and not his equally dickish family, since Alice clearly didn't bother to tell HIM either), Bella goes up to her room. And it's time for more silly melodrama.
Everything looked exactly the same as I'd left it. I pressed down on the top of the CD player. The latch unhooked, and the lid slowly swung open.
It was empty.
So the dick gave her a birthday present, KNOWING that he would almost certainly be taking it back. What a charmer.
And apparently he has LITERALLY gone through everything in her room, removing all the stuff he gave her, photos, the lot. He removed everything, and apparently went through EVERY SINGLE THING. Think about that. That means Edward was rifling through her underwear to make sure that she didn't hide anything related to him in there.
It will be as if I'd never existed, he'd promised me.
Now if only he could promise the readers that.
So then Bella collapses to the floor and goes emo again.
I hoped that I was fainting, but, to my disappointment, I didn't lose consciousness. The waves of pain that had only lapped at me before now reared high up and washed over my head, pulling me under.
I did not resurface.
Hooray! I guess that means the story is over and we don't have to read any more. Wow, it was a short book. Sucky, but at least it didn't drag on like the first book. At least we don't have a sappy "happily-ever-after" ending...
... it's still going, isn't it? DAMMIT.
Well, here's the summary of this story: