No, I'm sick of this. I mean, FOUR BLANK PAGES? FOUR BLANK PAGES? All because you're a shitty writer who can't manage to write characters who do NOT suck, and who are capable of handling things like ACTUAL PEOPLE?! I'm going to pretend that Bella just slit her bony wrists at the end of Chapter 3, and that the following pages are the publisher not knowing what the hell to put on stuff they had already prepped for the book.
LALALALALALALA CAN'T HEAR YOU LALALALALALA FUZZY LITTLE ANIMALS....
TIME PASSES. EVEN WHEN IT SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE. EVEN when each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but pass it does. Even for me.
THE PRETENTIOUSNESS, IT BURNS! This makes Dennis McKiernan's writing seem poetic. I mean, I know Stephenie Meyer seems to have had her development arrested in the early 90s, but this just reeks of bad livejournal poetry about the pain of living.
So we open our latest horrible chapter with Charlie finally getting fed up with four months of Bella's emoness.
CHARLIE'S FIST CAME DOWN ON THE TABLE. "THAT'S IT, Bella! I'm sending you home."
"Your chronic flatulence is just too much to live with!"
Apparently his outburst shocks Bella, who has apparently not been eating, listening to him, engaging with other people, and acting stupider than usual. But she can't IMAGINE why he would send her away.
"I am home," I mumbled, confused.
"I'm sending you to Renee, to Jacksonville," he clarified.
Honestly, given that Bella only stuck around Forks in order to be near Edward and become a vampire, I'm amazed she didn't ship herself out to the South as soon as his mail stopped coming.
"What did I do?" I felt my face crumple. It was so unfair.
What is she, five? Is she gonna throw a tantrum next because Charlie won't buy her a pony?
My behavior had been above reproach for the past four months. After that first week, which neither of us ever mentioned, I hadn't missed a day of school or work. My grades were perfect. I never broke curfew—I never went anywhere from which to break curfew in the first place. I only very rarely served leftovers.
.... so in other words, she's gone back to her pre-Edward persona. No-life-having mopey hausfrau instead of no-life-having mopey vampire whore. Anyone else totally not worked up?
"You didn't do anything. That's the problem. You never do anything."
"Your lazy ass just lies around watching daytime TV! I'm sick of it!"
So Bella apparently is so depressed that again, she is having trouble following the most basic of conversations, but she's valiantly trying not to mope lest Charlie worry. Oh, marvel at her unselfishness, all of you! Marvel at what a saint she is, even in the pits of blackest despair brought about by the most devastating of circumstances, ie a teenage breakup! MARVEL, DAMN YOU! BE IMPRESSED!
"You want me to get into trouble?" I wondered, my eyebrows pulling together in mystification.
I do. It might make you a slightly more interesting character. And there's a chance you might die.
I made an effort to pay attention. It wasn't easy. I was so used to tuning everything out, my ears felt stopped up.
So again, pretty much standard for Bella - ignoring the common sheep, acting oh-so-selfless, whining...
"Trouble would be better than this… this moping around all the time!"
That stung a bit. I'd been careful to avoid all forms of moroseness, moping included.
I mean, how could Charlie have possibly noticed me being mopey and morose? I wonder if it was my sudden switch to wearing all-black, my livejournal full of suicide poetry, those mysterious cuts all over my arm, the nooses and bottles of pills I keep all over my room...
"Moping would be better—that would be doing something. You're just… lifeless, Bella. I think that's the word I want."
Again... how could he tell? She's lifeless, dull and joyless ALL THE TIME.
Bella reflects again that WAAAAHHHHH, she tried so hard to make Charlie think she was just fine, and she actually thought she was a good enough actor to fool him even though EVERYONE sees through her.
How depressing to think that the effort had been wasted.
Yes, it's not depressing that her attempts to spare her father failed, and she's now causing him misery. It's depressing that her majesty's efforts were WASTED.
I sighed. "Then tell me what you do want me to do."
Oooh! Oooh! waves hand I can tell you what to do!
So Charlie points out that HELLO, she's not the first person to get her ass dumped. After all, his ex-WIFE - you know, the woman who had MARRIED him and promised to stick with him for richer or poorer, better or worse, etc - dumped his ass without even talking to him, because she didn't like the climate. She just ran right out. And she took his infant daughter with her, even though I'm pretty sure that's illegal and Charlie could have gotten her ass thrown in jail.
But we're supposed to consider THAT to be a-okay and Renee to be a WONDERFUL person, because it was what Bawla wanted.
Maybe she used her magic mind powers to lobotomize her mother and control her brain. I dunno. But if BELLA gets dumped by her boyfriend of six months, she basically falls apart.
Charlie even points out that he's no stranger to getting his ass dumped by a cold-hearted bitch, and that it's totally abnormal for Bawla to still be catatonic after FOUR MONTHS. Bawla sits there drooling and mumbling that she's fine.
"Bella," he hesitated, scrutinizing my reaction to his next words. "Honey, you're not the first person to go through this kind of thing, you know."
"I know that." My accompanying grimace was limp and unimpressive.
"Like, I TOTALLY don't wanna hear that boring old story about how my mom dumped you without a word, and you barely got to see me for years because of it. Like, that is SO uninteresting. And like, I am hurting WAY more than you did over mom, because Edward and I totally love each other in a true deep passionate way middle-aged people couldn't understand! TCHAH!"
In fact, Bella is being so emo that Charlie suggests she see a shrink. Bella gets pissed off by this for some reason, presumably because she thinks catatonic blankness is a perfectly normal reaction to getting dumped by your boyfriend.
"You want me to see a shrink?" My voice was a shade sharper as I realized what he was getting at.
"Maybe it would help."
"And maybe it wouldn't help one little bit."
"Now honey, this God complex of yours isn't going to fix itself."
"How dare you suggest the Sullen Goddess needs psychiatric help! I will see my minions flay you alive for the maggots to devour, insect!"
"... and referring to yourself in the third person isn't healthy either."
I didn't know much about psychoanalysis, but I was pretty sure that it didn't work unless the subject was relatively honest. Sure, I could tell the truth—if I wanted to spend the rest of my life in a padded cell.
Oh, like Bella would tell the truth even if the shrink would believe her. Seriously, she lies all the time, and most of the time she doesn't even NEED to lie. Plus, her issues allegedly don't have anything to do with Edturd being a vampire, but just the fact that he dumped her. So she could leave that out completely and just refer to him as her boyfriend... unless the reason she's REALLY angsting is because she's been deprived of her chance to become immortal, hot and rich.
It's weird how Smeyer/Bella seems to regard it as a huge insult to even IMPLY that a person who SHUT DOWN MENTALLY AND EMOTIONALLY FOR FOUR MONTHS might need psychiatric care. Even though, you know, that's a pretty over-the-top reaction. Even most melodramatic teenage girls don't go that far. I guess Bella REALLY wanted those Swiss bank accounts.
"It's beyond me, Bella. Maybe your mother—"
"Oh wait, your mother probably would sympathize with Edward, since she's a homewrecking whore who ALSO ran away without a word. So I guess we won't get any help from HER."
Bella then volunteers to go out with one of those boring bitches she barely tolerates at school.
"That's not what I want," he argued, frustrated. "I don't think I can live through seeing you try harder. I've never seen anyone trying so hard. It hurts to watch."
Oh what a suffering saint is Bawla! Marvel at her self-sacrifice! No one tries to keep on living without purpose the way she does! People in impoverished AIDS-and-drought-ridden third-world villages composed of cardboard and plywood, be impressed by how hard Bawla tries!
Srsly, Smeyer has an interesting definition of "try." Because from the sound of it, Bella's way of "trying" to act normal is just to sit around drooling on herself and ignoring everyone around her.... and again, how can he tell? That's what she NORMALLY does, but now she makes out with Edward less.
I pretended to be dense, looking down at the table.
Pretended, huh? Do I even need to make fun of that?
So Charlie announces that he just wants Bawla to quit being a miserable whiny blob, and he thinks she might be able to if she left Forks. So Bella insists she's totally not leaving, and gives some lame-ass excuses that she obviously doesn't mean.
"I'm in my last semester of school—it would screw everything up."
"I didn't care about that when I was going to rush off with Edward a couple chapters ago, but now that is SO important to me."
Plus, how does she plan to justify staying in Forks in a few more months?
"I don't want to crowd Mom and Phil."
"Your mother's been dying to have you back."
"She must have forgotten what it's like to have you around. Lord knows I can't wait to get you out the door."
"Florida is too hot."
"Because now I hate sunshine and heat, even though I spent the whole first book whining about how much I hate the absence of heat and sun."
So Charlie points out that it's been months, and her ex-boyfriend hasn't called her even once, so she should quit living next to the phone. Bella gets pissy again, because This whole subject was utterly forbidden, as he was well aware. How dare he speak of that which the Sullen Goddess has forbidden! STONE HIM! STONE HIM!
"I'm not waiting for anything. I don't expect anything," I said in a low monotone.
"Just to be turned into a sparkly immortal with unlimited money. That's all I ask."
So pissy Bella goes to school and sits around looking at her calculus book so she won't think. And we're informed that apparently the "perfect" student is only getting a low A because she doesn't have a boyfriend anymore to distract her. Yes, Smeyer is telling us that you can't be a good student AND have a life. Die, woman.
We were working on Animal Farm, an easy subject matter. I didn't mind communism; it was a welcome change from the exhausting romances that made up most of the curriculum.
- OOOOOOOHHHH, marvel at Bella's overwhelming literateness! She thinks Animal Farm is EASY, because she's so very SMART and BRILLIANT!
- Also, for someone who allegedly is super-mature and self-aware, Bella doesn't seem to have any self-awareness at all, or she'd bother to note that maybe her thinking of romances as "exhausting" might just be connected to her ass getting dumped.
- Also, most high school English classes don't focus on romances. High school reading lists tend to focus on stuff more like Steinbeck, Fitzgerald, Salinger, Hawthorne, Cather, Twain and other fun authors... WHO DIDN'T WRITE FUCKING ROMANCES.
- Sure, they wrote books that included people who were in relationships sometimes... because that's a normal part of human existence, and writing a book with NO acknowledgement of that would be really weird. But they didn't write romances.
- But then, I suppose the romances were all Smeyer paid attention to in high school.
So while Bella is doing mundane things, Mike appears. Amazingly, this is NOT another chance to crap on the common man, but a chance for Bella to bitch and whine about how nice Mike is being to her.
Every Friday he asked me the same question. Never mind that I hadn't taken so much as a sick day. Well, with one exception, months ago. But he had no reason to look at me with such concern. I was a model employee.
How DARE he express concern for someone who has been moping and emotionally dead for the last four months, and had to be physically dragged back from the woods! What an asshole!
Having just had it pointed out to me by Charlie, I realized how lifeless my voice really sounded.
... again, how the fuck can anyone tell?
Also, if it's THIS obvious that she's had a total emo-meltdown and has been like this for FOUR MONTHS.... why hasn't she been seen by the school shrink/nurse/principal/whatever? Apparently the teachers have conveniently NOT NOTICED her being a hollow emo shell, but everybody else has. How wonderfully convenient!
He waved once before turning his back. He didn't bother walking me to class anymore.
Damn him for getting over her and no longer spraying his attraction all over her! Doesn't he know that he will never love anyone as he loved her, and should continue hopelessly humping her leg so she can brush him off?
So we're told that Bella has basically been ignoring Jessica for MONTHS, and Jessica is justifiably pissed off at the girl who has been OPENLY rather than IMPLICITLY ignoring her.
It had been weeks, maybe months, since Jess had even greeted me when I passed her in the hall.
"After all, she'd gotten to KNOW me."
I knew I had offended her with my antisocial behavior, and she was sulking.
Notice that there's not the slightest hint that Bella might be in the wrong, and that Jessica might have a good reason to be offended. Bella has been a sullen obnoxious bitch to everybody who has tried to reach out to her, and by her own admission has ALIENATED people by being so antisocial. Why? Because instead of being semi-mature about a breakup like Jessica was, she has been acting like a mopey bitch.
In the last chapter, she's snarled at her father for suggesting that she see a shrink for her MASSIVE FOUR-MONTH-LONG MELTDOWN, and she sneered at Mike for expressing concern for her. And now we find out that that same attitude has alienated Jessica, to the point where Jessica is no longer speaking to her.
But is this regarded as Bella's fault? Of course not! It's implied to be JESSICA'S fault that she's offended, and that she's "sulking" (as if she had nothing to be upset about). Well, if not talking to someone who shrugged you off and treated you like dirt when you tried to be nice to her counts as sulking, then I think most people would be sulking.
It wasn't going to be easy to talk to her now—especially to ask her to do me a favor. I weighed my options carefully as I loitered outside the classroom, procrastinating.
You know, this sort of detached "I'm going to use people" attitude reminds me of some other characters I've read about. They were total sociopaths.
In fact, Bella considers lying to her dad about going to Port Angeles with Jessica, and only ditches the idea because Jessica's mom is a gossip and Charlie would find out she was lying. Smeyer's Rules For Life #372: Lying is better than telling the truth, as long as you don't get caught.
So after class, Bella decides to bother speaking to Jessica, since she wants to use Jessica for her own gain.
"Jess?" My nose wrinkled as I cringed, waiting for her to turn on me.
She twisted in her seat to face me, eyeing me incredulously. "Are you talking to me, Bella?"
Smeyer has the subtlety of a stack of encyclopedias in the fucking face. Again, Bella's oh-so-cowardly attitude is supposed to make us feel sorry for her and cast Jessica as the bad guy.
IT'S NOT WORKING.
"Of course." I widened my eyes to suggest innocence.
"I stopped talking to you for months and treated you like shit on my shoe, but I'm being perfectly sweet and nice now. I totally am NOT using you."
Having gotten to see how Bella treats people when she's in a pissy mood, Jessica assumes that Bella just wants to use her for something. Well... she's right. I mean, Bella's already established that she IS only talking to Jessica because she wants to use her for her own ends, and she's even putting on a big fake show to try to trick Jessica into doing what she wants. And yet... we're meant to sympathize with BELLA.
Seriously. This is the HEROINE. This is stuff that VILLAINS do. When was the last time you read a likable character who did this kind of crap?
"What? Do you need help with Calculus?" Her tone was a tad sour.
"Why are you asking me?" she asked, still unfriendly.
I mean, this sort of blatant reader manipulation is stuff like Christopher Paolini does. "So and so is a meanie, because she dares to be mad at my Sue for treating her like shit."
"You're the first person I think of when I want girl time." I smiled, and I hoped the smile looked genuine. It was probably true. She was at least the first person I thought of when I wanted to avoid Charlie. It amounted to the same thing.
"You're the first person I think of when I want to manipulate someone into doing my bidding and use them for my own ends. So, how about some girl time?"
So Jessica unbends and starts being friendlier, and she and Bella discuss incredibly vague movies with no real plots.
"How about that one with the female president?"
"You know? That one with no plot except that it had a female president?"
"Well, there's that new romantic comedy that's getting great reviews. I want to see that one."
"It stars the always-bland Jennifer Anisten as a single, humble sweet girl-next-door who finds love with Insert Male Star Here."
But Bella is more interested in a zombie movie, because everybody knows that if your boyfriend dumps you, you immediately become rabidly anti-romance.
She seemed surprised by my response. I tried to remember if I liked scary movies, but I wasn't sure.
"Edward never told me if I was allowed to like scary movies or not! So I just don't KNOW!"
So Bella plans to spend the entire evening ignoring Jessica and mumbling a few answers, thus confirming that she's a vile bitch in every sense of the word - she manipulates someone into spending the fucking evening with her, then schemes how to spend as little time as possible interacting with her.
The thick haze that blurred my days now was sometimes confusing. I was surprised when I found myself in my room, not clearly remembering the drive home from school or even opening the front door.
HOLY SHIT. And she actually gets OFFENDED when someone suggests she might need psychiatric care? How many people has she run over because she was driving in a daze? How can you be a PERFECT student when you keep having memory lapses and can't fucking concentrate?
But that didn't matter. Losing track of time was the most I asked from life.
... what the hell does that mean? Especially since she seemed pretty aware of the passage of time earlier.
And because continuity hasn't been raped lately, we'e also told that Bella keeps the car stereo Carlisle and Esme gave her in a trash bag in her closet. So... apparently Edward felt it was necessary to remove EVERY trace that he ever existed, but he just left the gift from his vampire PARENTS sitting in her car.
My eyes did not stray toward the black garbage bag that held my present from that last birthday, did not see the shape of the stereo where it strained against the black plastic;
If you're not looking, how do you know what it's doing?
I didn't think of the bloody mess my nails had been when I'd finished clawing it out of the dashboard.
Yes indeed, that there is the very image of mental health. Nothing cray-cray about ripping your fingernails to shreds to get your ex-boyfriend's parents' present out of your car.
So Bella goes rushing out to get into Jess's car, pretending not to be emotionally dead and mentally ill. Jess tries to express concern about Bella and questions her sudden decision to pretend to have a social life.
"Why did you suddenly decide… to go out?" It sounded like she changed her question halfway through.
"Why did you suddenly decide to stop being an antisocial bi... to go out?"
Then Bella asks to switch the radio because apparently ALL SONGS ON THE RADIO remind her of Edward. Ah yes - ALL the songs remind her of Edward. Terrible nu-metal, classic rock, adult alternative, pop, indie rock, blues, jazz... ALL of them. Apparently the ONLY kind of song that doesn't remind her of Edward is rap, despite the large number of rap songs which are all about money, treating women like shit, and being an asshole. So yeah, rap doesn't remind her of Edward.
Then again, I bet Smeyer never listens to any rap harder than this:
Her eyes squinted. "Since when do you listen to rap?"
"I don't know," I said. "A while."
"Ever since I decided to avoid anything having to do with romance, because as we know, all songs except rap are about romance."
It would be much too hard to interact with Jessica normally if I had to work to tune out the music, too. I nodded my head, hoping I was in time with the beat.
"Uh, this isn't a song. It's a commercial for breath mints. Why are you still nodding? You have the rhythm of a deaf rhinoceros."
Bella then starts interrogating Jess about her love life, trying to get her to talk a lot so Bella can avoid socializing - because as we all know, being super-smart means you should ignore people less intelligent than you are.
The movie was playing early, so Jess thought we should hit the twilight showing and eat later.
- SEE IT? See, she included the word "twilight" in her sentence, because that's the title of the first book! It's subtlety! SHE USED THE WORD "TWILIGHT!"
- Be impressed, damn you!
- Also, no movie theaters base their movie start times on the DAYLIGHT. That would be insanely stupid. All year round, they base it on the clock.
- But I guess it's less "deep" to include "Jess thought we should hit the 5:00 PM showing and eat later."
I was happy to go along with whatever she wanted; after all, I was getting what I wanted—Charlie off my back.
"Clearly I love my father so much that my unhealthy emotional state was all about sparing HIM, as long as the bastard doesn't bother me with his stupid concern."
And because Stephenie Meyer is squeaky-clean and family-friendly and will never admit to watching an R-rated movie EVER, Bella thinks a horror movie is supposed to be non-stop gore and violence from the very first frame. Bitch, even the stupidest of zombie movies have more setup than that.
A young couple was walking along a beach, swinging hands and discussing their mutual affection with gooey falseness.
As opposed to the gooey REAL mutual affection she and Edward had. I mean, that guy isn't even verbally abusing his girlfriend! He isn't threatening to kill her while talking about how much he wants to sex her! She isn't pathetically humping his leg! TCHAH! This is SO fake.
I resisted the urge to cover my ears and start humming. I had not bargained for a romance.
"Damn you, zombie film! You lied to me! I came in here to see 97 straight minutes of unadulterated carnage! How dare you develop your characters! Twilight: The Movie didn't do any of THAT."
"I thought we picked the zombie movie," I hissed to Jessica.
"This is the zombie movie."
"Then why isn't anyone getting eaten?" I asked desperately.
Our heroine. Marvel at what a font of compassion and kindness she is. Not an ounce of selfish uncaringness in her whole PPPBBBSSSSHHHHHHH... sorry, I just spewed Pepsi out of my nose.
Someone shushed us from behind.
It's official, people: Bella Swan is that annoying person in the theater who waits until the movie starts, and then refuses to shut up.
So because Bella is horrified by the idea that there would be a ROMANTIC SUBPLOT OH HORRORZ in a zombie movie before the zombies have even appeared, she goes wandering out of the theater to get popcorn.
I would LOVE to know what Bella plans to do for the rest of her life. Apparently she plans to constantly avoid all music, all movies, and all books in any way related to romance, even if it's just a fucking subplot. So she's what, going to hide in her room for the rest of her life sticking pins in voodoo dolls and collecting cats? And again, the whole reason for this is because ONE GUY she dated for six months dumped her pasty ass.
Seriously. If a non-Sue that nobody was treating with kid gloves did that, people would tell her, "Grow the hell up. This isn't the first time this has ever happened to someone, and it won't be the last. So quit acting like a martyr, and get a life."
"You missed everything," Jess murmured when I slid back into my seat. "Almost everyone is a zombie now."
"It's kind of like if I were hanging out with your family."
But oh noes! At the end of the movie, Bella sees the zombie and the soon-to-be-nommed heroine, and I realized which one resembled me the most. Yay! Finally a hint of self-awareness after putting up with her for the past book-and-a-half. Now show her Vanity Fair and have her realize that she also resembles Becky Sharp.
"I'm cold, heartless, mercenary and eat human flesh. I feel such a kinship with Bella!"
"Where are you going? There's, like, two minutes left," Jess hissed.
"I need a drink," I muttered as I raced for the exit.
I know the feeling. Plus, I honestly can't imagine that there's much of a twist in a zombie movie with one survivor about to be devoured.
I sat down on the bench outside the theater door and tried very hard not to think of the irony. But it was ironic, all things considered, that, in the end, I would wind up as a zombie. I hadn't seen that one coming.
Oh the IIIIRRRROONNNYYYY! She wanted to be a vampire and nagged her boyfriend endlessly about it, but she ends up being a zombie! See that? See what Smeyer did there? With the irony? She was being ironic! With Bella becoming a zombie instead of a vampire! It's irony! KILL ME.
WHEN IS THIS CLUSTERFUCK GOING TO BE OVER? Please tell me that Bella self-identifying as a zombie means she's going to start biting people and eventually get shot in the head by Bruce Campbell!
"Honey, you got reeeeal ugly!"
Not that I hadn't dreamed of becoming a mythical monster once—just never a grotesque, animated corpse.
"I dreamed of being a SPARKLY animated corpse instead of a rotting animated corpse! That was so much better!"
It was depressing to realize that I wasn't the heroine anymore, that my story was over.
- Yeah, we should be so lucky.
- Plus, what kind of egotistical asshat thinks of herself as "the heroine"?
- Also, I would like to remind you that Smeyer is basically telling people, "If your boyfriend dumps you and doesn't come scuttling back, your life is OVER. There's nothing more to it."
So Jessica comes out, and boring-ass dialogue about the scawy scawy movie ensues.
It was inevitable that I would have nightmares, but they wouldn't be about zombies.
It would be about something infinitely more horrifying: BEING SINGLE!
Yeah, how often do you hear of teenage girls having NIGHTMARES because their boyfriend dumped them? Personally, never.
So they go wandering off... somewhere, with Bella doing her usual antisocial shtick, and then they go wandering past a bar to get to the McDonald's. Ah, gastrointestinal mayhem. And it has... MEN in it. Not effeminate teenage boys or completely passive middle-aged slobs, but actual men. And you know what that means.
So yeah, Bella decides that those guys hanging out in a bar are TOTALLY the guys who tried to rape her so she could be rescued by the Big Strong Man in Twilight. She doesn't have any real REASON to think that they are the same men, except that there are four of them, and one of them is short and dark. Got that? If you see THESE GUYS...
... they are totally rapists! Rapists all travel in groups of four! If you see four guys hanging out, call the police because they TOTALLY want to rape you!
So does Bella avoid the bar because of the possibility of drunken rapists? Nope! Does she call the cops and announce that the men who tried to rape her almost a year ago are sitting in this bar? Of course not! Does she tear out their throats and eat their brains because, well, she's a zombie? Naturally... NOT.
No, of course not. Because what would our self-destructive asshat of a heroine ever do if she actually AVOIDED a potentially dangerous situation instead of running headfirst into it?! We would have no fucking plot... not that there is one anyway!
Let's make this more interesting, with a multiple choice quiz. Does Bella react to the prospect of potential rape by...
- A. Being saved by Batman in a cliche demonstration of a hero's badassery?
- B. Defending herself with a combination of basic martial-arts and acrobatic dexterity?
- C. Sprouting wings and flying away from danger due to her being half angel, half fairy and half space alien?
- D. Stupefying them with the power of her unselfish pure-hearted sweetness?
So tell me, what do you think the most likely answer is? Come on! Tell me what you think! Give me the answer! The answer is....
NONE OF THE FUCKING ABOVE! All of those answers are FAR more likely than what actually happens. You may want to set down any drinks, food, cigarettes and small children, because you are almost certain to choke on them or drop them.
Okay, here it is: Bella goes wandering over to the bar, because she WANTS TO GET RAPED.
Wow. I mean, WOW. I didn't think Smeyer could GET ANY MORE OFFENSIVE. I mean, do you remember that whole ridiculous scenario where she had four random rapists show up to menace Bella, using rape as a cheap way to imperil her so Edward could dive in to save the day. As if that wasn't fucking offensive enough, she then had Bella announce that she TOTALLY wasn't traumatized by the whole thing, because her sparkly boyfriend was there.
And now... NOW she apparently thinks that cutting is too mundane for a soul as tortured as Bella's! No, she has to try to use rape to express her deep inner misery. She actually TRIES to get herself raped because she's just SO emo and miserable because she doesn't have a sparkly boyfriend.
This is SO. FUCKING. OFFENSIVE to every woman and man who has ever been sexually assaulted. I can't believe that any editor allowed this shit to go to print - no, "shit" is too generous a word for this. Shit has a purpose in life. This is VILE. Who in their fucking mind would look at this and think that it was ANYTHING other than fucking revolting?
Now I don't mind sexual assault in a book series, if it's handled as something other than a cheap way to fling the heroine into her hottie boyfriend's arms. I mean, Patricia Briggs had her heroine be raped in one of the Mercy Thompson books. Was it just a cheap peril to toss her into her boyfriend's arms? Was it a way for her to express her emo misery? FUCK NO. It was handled as the life-altering trauma it was. Smeyer is apparently just taking a page from LKH's book, where women get raped, but either they secretly wanted it or they get over it by cuddling their big-donged boyfriends.
"Bella?" Jess whispered. "What are you doing?"
I shook my head, not sure myself. "I think I know them…" I muttered.
"I totally hope they'll rape me, since I can't possibly mar my perfect pasty skin by becoming a cutter."
"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?"
So Jessica tells her to come on, getting more and more alarmed.
It seemed too coincidental that I should be in Port Angeles with Jessica, on a dark street even.
- She wasn't with Jessica when she was almost attacked. Jessica was off with Angela.
- Most streets are dark at night. YOU DUMBASS.
- What is coincidental about this? If she had a semi-normal social life, this would be a pretty normal evening for her. But because she's at Port Angeles at night, suddenly there's a DEEP MEANING to this.
the tension in my legs as I tried to decide whether to run or to stand my ground,
... or just flop to the ground, since I'm too passive to bother moving.
the dryness in my throat as I struggled to build a decent scream,
... but decided not to. I mean, it's so HARD.
the tight stretch of skin across my knuckles as I clenched my hands into fists,
But don't worry, I wasn't going to hit anyone or anything. I just wanted to make it sound like it.
the chills on the back of my neck when the dark-haired man called me "sugar."…
Yes, nothing terrifies me like being called "sugar."
There was an indefinite, implied kind of menace to these men that had nothing to do with that other night. It sprung from the fact that they were strangers, and it was dark here, and they outnumbered us—nothing more specific than that.
And the fact that there were FOUR of them, which automatically makes them rapists!
Seriously, so if Bella encountered four elderly nuns on a dark street, she would think they were menacing?
I didn't understand why, but the nebulous threat the men presented drew me toward them.
People, we now have official proof: Bella is magnetically attracted to men she thinks will treat her badly. The worse they'll treat her, the more she's interested.
It was a senseless impulse, but I hadn't felt any kind of impulse in so long… I followed it.
"Bella, why the hell did you douse that guy in glitter and then give him a blowjob?"
I saw no reason for fear. I couldn't imagine anything in the world that there was left to be afraid of, not physically at least. One of the few advantages of losing everything.
Oh, what a wonderful person is Bella! Apparently if your boyfriend dumps your ass, it doesn't matter if you get raped, beaten and/or killed. Because OH WOE OF EMO, you are SINGLE and that's a fate worse than DEATH!
I want to set this book on fire, pee on it, pour acid on it, and feed its remains to Cthulhu.
I was halfway across the street when Jess caught up to me and grabbed my arm.
"Bella! You can't go in a bar!" she hissed.
"Alcohol must never be consumed in these books! Even if none of us are Mormon, we inexplicably stick to their rules!"
"Are you crazy?" she whispered. "Are you suicidal?"
"There are FOUR of them in there!"
"No, I'm not." My voice sounded defensive, but it was true. I wasn't suicidal. Even in the beginning, when death unquestionably would have been a relief, I didn't consider it. I owed too much to Charlie. I felt too responsible for Renee. I had to think of them.
- Yeah right. Smeyer can claim that Bella cares so much about her parents, but I call bullshit.
- Bella hasn't shown any signs that she feels indebted to Charlie, and she sure as hell doesn't feel responsible for Renee (or she would have at least considered moving to Florida).
- She's already said that Edward is her whole life. Not her family + Edward, just Edward.
- She was perfectly happy to ditch both her parents FOREVER as long as she got to run off with Edward to live a life of luxurious immortality.
- People who are really suicidal don't usually worry about whatever the survivors will do without them, especially if those survivors are mature adults.
So again, Smeyer is writing something she obviously knows jackshit about.
And I'd made a promise not to do anything stupid or reckless. For all those reasons, I was still breathing.
Guess what she spends the rest of the book doing? THAT'S RIGHT! Stupid reckless shit!
but what I was doing fight now didn't really count. It wasn't like I was taking a blade to my wrists.
Yes, apparently self-destructive behavior like TRYING TO GET RAPED doesn't count. Only cutting yourself counts!
So Bella keeps trying to get over there so she can get her fix of abuse, and Jessica keeps trying to stop her. What a bitch! That stupid whore Jessica, trying to keep someone she thinks is her friend from getting raped, beaten and possibly killed! How inconsiderate.
Because it wasn't Jessica's voice that rebuked me now. It was a furious voice, a familiar voice, a beautiful voice—soft like velvet even though it was irate.
Yes, apparently she even gets horny when she IMAGINES someone snarling at her. Also, Edward doesn't have a "velvety" voice when he's angry - he snarls and screams obscenities at women. Because he's a misogynistic prick.
It was his voice—I was exceptionally careful not to think his name—and I was surprised that the sound of it did not knock me to my knees, did not curl me onto the pavement in a torture of loss. But there was no pain, none at all.
He was here to verbally abuse me again, which is SO HAWT! I rolled around in the street yelling, "Tell me I'm a bad girl! Tell me how naughty I've been!" and masturbating vigorously. Jessica thought it was weird.
"Go back to Jessica," the lovely voice ordered, still angry. "You promised—nothing stupid."
Just when you think this series has hit the bottom, somebody throws down a shovel.
Yes, our poor fragile wittle protagonist is SO stupid, passive and self-destructive that she NEEDS A MAN TO TELL HER NOT TO GO OFF AND GET RAPED. She can't decide this on her own, and her female classmate can't convince her... NO, she needs a man to order her around with his sexy voice. Even the HALLUCINATION of a man.
I was alone. Jessica stood a few feet from me, staring at me with frightened eyes. Against the wall, the strangers watched, confused, wondering what I was doing, standing there motionless in the middle of the street.
So obviously she's NOT alone.
I shook my head, trying to understand. I knew he wasn't there, and yet, he felt improbably close, close for the first time since… since the end. The anger in his voice was concern, the same anger that was once very familiar—something I hadn't heard in what felt like a lifetime.
Yes, in Smeyer's world rage = concern, so if a man treats you like shit it must be because he's really CONCERNED about your well-being. Remember that, girls. If he doesn't regularly snarl at you, HE DOESN'T CARE.
And I'm sure the dumbass author is totally unaware of the irony that Bella ONLY feels close to Edward when she's got a chance to be degraded, abused or injured. Troo LURV.
"Keep your promise." The voice was slipping away, as if the volume was being turned down on a radio.
"But trying to get gang-raped so TOTALLY doesn't count, Edturd! It's not like I'm cutting myself!"
"You're splitting hairs."
"... how about showing up at a frat party so some guy can slip me a roofie, and I'll end up getting gangbanged, robbed and shown on youtube for posterity?"
"What, are you kidding? We have to keep the story in line with Smeyer's Mormon beliefs. So the self-harming has to be offensive and idiotic, but can't include alcohol, drugs, sex or mutilation."
"Plus, you need to stay a virgin until you're married, even though it's obvious you don't have any moral qualms with giving it up."
I began to suspect that I was having some kind of hallucination.
No shit, Sherlock! What tipped you off, the disembodied voice?
I ran through the possibilities quickly in my head.
"... but was then run down by a cement truck, because I was just standing in the road contemplating my fucking navel."
Option one: I was crazy. That was the layman's term for people who heard voices in their heads.
But don't you DARE suggest she needs a shrink! She totally does NOT!
Option two: My subconscious mind was giving me what it thought I wanted. This was wish fulfillment—a momentary relief from pain by embracing the incorrect idea that he cared whether I lived or died. Projecting what he would have said if A) he were here, and B) he would be in any way bothered by something bad happening to me.
Play that tiny violin a little harder, Bella. Waaahhh, my boyfriend dumped me so he doesn't care if I get raped and die!
I could see no option three, so I hoped it was the second option and this was just my subconscious running amuck, rather than something I would need to be hospitalized for.
I can think of an Option 3: Bella and Edward are such perfect eternal soulmates that they are psychically linked through their perfect sparkly soul-bond. That option is so puke-inducing that I am genuinely amazed that Smeyer didn't select it, especially since it would give her another opportunity to hammer it into our skulls that Bella and Edward's Lurv is the bestest and awesomest EVER.
So, being verbally abused by a hallucination makes Bella happy, because she was freaking out over the prospect of forgetting Edward's perfectly perfect voice wot is perfect.
The sound of his voice was something that I'd feared I was losing, and so, more than anything else, I felt overwhelming gratitude that my unconscious mind had held onto that sound better than my conscious one had.
I was not allowed to think of him. That was something I tried to be very strict about.
... so she doesn't allow herself to think about him, but then she freaks out because she might be forgetting what he sounds like.
I did not edit that, people. She literally contradicts herself ONE SENTENCE after that! Editor? Editor, please?!
And because we're not bored enough, Bella contemplates for awhile about how she basically sits around being emotionally numb, because she cannot cope with the horrifying emotional pain of having her boyfriend dump her worthless ass.
And then Smeyer comes to the next incredibly offensive and disgusting message in a chapter that is fucking crammed with them. It's bad enough that she depicts being dumped as cause for a total mental breakdown, and has her heroine TRYING TO GET RAPED RGGGRRRRRRRRR.....
... but this is the part that really, really, REALLY makes me mad. What is it?
The wise thing would be to run away from this potentially destructive—and certainly mentally unstable—development. It would be stupid to encourage hallucinations.
But his voice was fading.
Yes. As if it weren't disgusting enough that Bella tries to get raped because she's SOOOOOOO emo and miserable, she is cold-bloodedly and deliberately deciding to endanger herself because WAAAAHHH otherwise she doesn't get to hear her asshole ex-boyfriend's sexy voice! I AM SO MAD RIGHT NOW THAT I COULD AAARRRGGGGGGHHHHH CUTE FUZZY ANIMALS -
Okay, okay, I'm calm now. I just get a little FUCKING ANGRY WHEN SOMEONE IS THIS FUCKING -
So Bella tests her hypothesis by stepping forward, and Imaginary Edward snarls at her. This somehow PROVES to her that her subconscious is doing this, and not her giant crazy cortex. Meanwhile, a bunch of spectators are just watching her sit in the middle of the road, drooling on herself and mumbling, "Edward is hot... Forks is lame... I'm so smart... I hear voices and do what they say..."
So some random dude walks over to her, and Bella sneers at him like she does for every mere mortal.
He was fair-skinned and fair-haired, and he stood with the assurance of someone who thought of himself as quite good-looking. I couldn't tell whether he was or not. I was prejudiced.
Like a Mormon version of Anita Blake, Bella only wants to bang the supernatural boys! Humans need not apply!
So since Edward is violently jealous of any guy who even says "hi" to Bella (since that is all this dude has said to her), Imaginary Edturd starts snarling, and Bella orgasms over how sexy it is. The guy sort-of-hits on Bella, and she brushes him off. She also notices that the guy she identified as her potential rapist is NOT the same guy.
I suffered a curious sensation of disappointment that this was not the terrible man who had tried to hurt me almost a year ago.
"Awwww, I was hoping he would brutally assault me. I was looking forward to being gang-raped!"
Seriously, I almost wish she had gotten across the road with no interruptions, because it would have been strangely hilarious if Bella had wandered up to this random man and started expecting him to rape her.
"Phil, what's that girl doing? She just put a roofie in her own drink, knocked it back, and then lay down in the road with her legs spread. It's kind of creepy."
"Ignore her. Maybe she'll go away."
"Aren't you guys going to rape me?"
"No, why would we?"
"Aaawww, I was hoping you would brutally rape me as an expression of my self-harming emo wangst."
"... Phil, call the police. We got another crazy."
So Bella blows off the guys, and comes up with the lame half-lie that the guy she hoped would rape her looked like someone she knew.
The threat that had pulled me across the street had evaporated. These were not the dangerous men I remembered. They were probably nice guys. Safe. I lost interest.
"Ew, nice guys. I only like guys who treat me like shit and want to kill me!" Seriously, Smeyer just made it official - Bella is only interested in guys who are abusive and nasty to her. She doesn't even pretend that Bella isn't a hardcore masochist.
So Bella blows off the guys who probably don't beat and rape their girlfriends, and goes off to eat with Jessica. But oh HORRORS, her zombielike numbness doesn't come back, and she freaks out because she wants to be all weird and unfeeling again. Fuck this character. Fuck her with a power drill.
"What were you thinking?" Jessica snapped. "You don't know them—they could have been psychopaths!"
I shrugged, wishing she would let it go. "I just thought I knew the one guy."
"I was hoping he would rape me, which is a suitable substitute for cutting myself."
"Oh, you're just a skanky popular girl with FRIENDS and a social life. You don't understand my angsty dark soul!"
"You are so odd, Bella Swan. I feel like I don't know who you are."
Trust me, Jess, you are better off that way.
Unsurprisingly, Jessica wants to get the hell out of there, and she's not interested in talking to a creepy crazy person who stands in the middle of roads gawking at strange drunk men. I think we're meant to sympathize with Bawla because ooooooooo, bitchy Jessica isn't sympathizing with her pain and crap, what a mean person she is. But guess what! I think most people would be freaked out and not want to talk to you if you went around doing insane shit like Bella does.
When we go back in the car, she tuned the stereo back to her favorite station and turned the volume too loud to allow easy conversation.
What an evil bitch! She's playing LOVE SONGS in defiance of the Goddess of Phoenix's commands, and she's trying to AVOID CONVERSATION with the holy one! STONE HER! STONE THE SATANIC WHORE!
Again, totally normal if you were dealing with someone who had been an antisocial bitch for months, played nice for one day, and started acting mentally ill.
Anyway, Bella is saved from actual confrontation (after all, she can't be active enough to ARGUE with someone!) because she's busy navel-gazing about how she is sooooooo freaked out because her numbness is missing, and she's also delighted because she was afraid that she was forgetting all those creepy unsexy details about Edward like his pee-colored eyes, his corpselike skin, his angry snarls, etc.
Because there was just one thing that I had to believe to be able to live—I had to know that he existed. That was all. Everything else I could endure. So long as he existed.
The rallying cry of delusional Twilight fans everywhere! Embroider it on a banner!
So apparently the real reason Bella doesn't want to go to Florida is because she's afraid that if she leaves, she might not believe in sparkly vampires anymore. So what is she going to do, spend her whole life in a rainy little town because she couldn't believe in vampires in Florida? Damn, she's a loser.
Forbidden to remember, terrified to forget; it was a hard line to walk.
Sorry, still don't care.
So Bella makes her vague faux-social goodbyes to Jessica, and Jessica is pissed at her. BOO HISS! How dare she have a problem with Bella's insane behavior, which could have gotten both of them in big trouble!
She glared out the windshield instead of looking at me. She seemed to be growing angrier rather than getting over it.
"Like, TCHA, get over it, Jessica! Like, me trying to get raped has nothing to do with you! It's not like YOU could get hurt or sexually assaulted trying to rescue me after I manipulated you for my own ends! You're such a BITCH to poor innocent me."
But don't worry, Bella isn't bothered by the Evil Bitch's Evil Disapproval of her behavior, because I'd forgotten her by the time I was inside. Which is all that a person who disapproves of the Sullen Goddess deserves!
And for some reason, Charlie is pissed off because Bella went off and did non-mopey stuff. You know, what he was griping about just this morning. I'm starting to see a resemblance between Bella and her dad.
I looked at my dad, surprised. "I went to a movie in Port Angeles with Jessica. Like I told you this morning."
"Humph," he grunted.
"I just assumed you were lying, like always."
"Stop making those innocent eyes. You lie at least three times before breakfast."
"Yeah, that's fine. Did you have fun?"
"Sure," I said. "We watched zombies eat people. It was great."
"Uh, a few months ago you refused to go to any movie that didn't have some Hollywood bimbo ending up in a wedding dress."
"Daaaaaaaad, movies with any amount of romance in them are LAME."
So because Emo Bella hasn't been Emo enough, and there isn't anyone around to rape her, she decides to have a massive attack of PHYSICAL PAIN. Because her boyfriend dumped her.
I lay in my bed a few minutes later, resigned as the pain finally made its appearance.
Suddenly I saw a giant income tax form!
It was a crippling thing, this sensation that a huge hole had been punched through my chest, excising my most vital organs and leaving ragged, unhealed gashes around the edges that continued to throb and bleed despite the passage of time.
Quick, go write bad poetry about it and post it online!
But of course, the pain is SO REAL to poor Bawla that she actually thinks she can't breathe or hear her own pulse. That's right, she actually thinks there's a hole in her chest, and Smeyer tries to convince us that Bella's VITAL FUNCTIONS ARE STOPPING because oh woe, her boyfriend dumped her ass.
I swear, I've read some self-indulgent crapfests with idiotic emogasms, but this is undoubtedly the most hilariously excessive one I have EVER seen.
Or it WOULD be... if Sneyer didn't spend the ENTIRE. FUCKING. BOOK talking about Bela's "chest hole" as if it were real. Eventually you just wish somebody WOULD punch a hole through her just to shut her up. Whenever she mentions it, a kitten cries.
I could live through it. It didn't feel like the pain had weakened over time, rather that I'd grown strong enough to bear it.
Bella, strong? TCHA! She is a woman, therefore she is weak, pathetic and totally passive.
And come ON. Smeyer seriously thinks that the ultimate pain of life is GETTING DUMPED? She thinks that there is nothing more traumatic, painful and devastating than having your boyfriend of six months dump your ass?! Obviously this bitch has had an absurdly sheltered, privileged life where nothing bad or interesting ever happened to her.
Whatever it was that had happened tonight—and whether it was the zombies, the adrenaline, or the hallucinations that were responsible—it had woken me up.
... and it only took four months of whiny self-indulgence to get there. FUCK THIS BOOK. FUCK IT WITH ALL THE FUCKING ATTACHMENTS ON THE DRILL!
For the first time in a long time, I didn't know what to expect in the morning.
I know what to expect - whining, self-indulgence and horny drooling over hot Indian boys since there aren't any rich white boys around.
I swear, I thought the last book was bad. But this book is only on the fourth chapter and already it has made the first book look like it should win a Nobel for literature. If you took a hundred whiny selfish emo girls, boiled them down into paste, distilled all their worst characteristics, and pressed them into a humanoid form, YOU WOULD STILL ONLY HAVE ENOUGH FOR BAWLA'S LEFT FOOT. This book is so idiotically plotless, self-indulgent and totally FUCKED UP that it makes my brain burn!