When I opened my eyes in the morning, something was different.
Don't tell me - the continuous droning whine has stopped.
But no, Bella is horrified to see that OH HORRORZ THERE'S SNOW. Because snow and ice are horrible and unexpected things in a northern region with lots of water. Why oh why didn't she see this coming?!
I had enough trouble not falling down when the ground was dry; it might be safer for me to go back to bed now.
Someone needs to tell Stephenie Meyer that over-the-top clumsiness does not magically transform a passive, whiny, selfish character into an endearingly quirky one.
So Bella goes downstairs and makes herself breakfast without any major injuries requiring stitches, and contemplates that she's actually excited about going to school... and this scares her. After all, being excited about something might mean that she's losing her Weirdo Outsider status, and that would be TERRIBLE.
I knew it wasn't the stimulating learning environment I was anticipating, or seeing my new set of friends. If I was being honest with myself, I knew I was eager to get to school because I would see Edward Cullen. And that was very, very stupid.
Yes, it is. But lest you think this is any sign of common sense or brains on Bella's part, it isn't. Apparently it's because of the utterly average and self-obsessed teenager's SOCIAL AWKWARDNESS. Never mind that he acts like a bipolar stalker psycho - apparently she is just DYING to see the dude.
I should be avoiding him entirely after my brainless and embarrassing babbling yesterday.
Because of course, all social interactions must be based entirely on her perceived social idiocy. If I were her, I'd be more embarrassed about bitching endlessly to a perfect stranger, and contemplate avoiding him because he acts like someone with multiple personality disorder.
I was still frightened of the hostility I sometimes felt emanating from him, and I was still tongue-tied whenever I pictured his perfect face. I was well aware that my league and his league were spheres that did not touch.
Yeah, Bella's THAT kind of girl. She basically is fascinated by men who treat her like absolute crap, and in turns treats nice guys like absolute crap. Note how nice-guy Mike, who is all-around adorable and sweet, is not even in the running for Bawla's affections... yet the hostile bipolar Edward IS because he's hot and aloof.
So Bawla goes slipping and sliding down the driveway, being a huge drama queen about her allegedly freakish clumsiness all the way. And on the way to school she lapses into a classic Sue trait: she's gorgeous but humbly unaware of her universal appeal to all men, and the jealousy she inspires from less gorgeous women.
I was sure I looked exactly the same as I had in Phoenix. Maybe it was just that the boys back home had watched me pass slowly through all the awkward phases of adolescence and still thought of me that way.
... because of course Bella would have been exposed to ALL of Phoenix's boys, and they ALL would have seen her as a gawky adolescent. Wait a second, she still IS a gawky awkward adolescent. And no, boys do not eternally think of a girl whom they saw during an ugly duckling phase as being an ugly duckling - the moment she develops boobs and any hint of prettiness, they'll forget any past flaws. Seriously, a girl could have had a second head amputated and the guys wouldn't care as long as she was hot.
A more likely probability is that the boys in Phoenix had more girls to choose from, and they chose to ignore the antisocial sullen weirdo who sat in the corner contemplating what a mature outsider she is.
And yes, this is a thing Smeyer apparently thinks happens. It doesn't. Because that is not how men work. They don't care if you had braces a few years ago if you have a great booty now.
Perhaps it was because I was a novelty here, where novelties were few and far between.
I don't think they're SO starved for novelties that someone like Bella would be seen as a positive addition. This is the age of the internet - I know they could find something more interesting SOMEWHERE.
Hell, they could generate a more interesting social scene just by hanging out and stealing booze from Mommy's stash.
Possibly my crippling clumsiness was seen as endearing rather than pathetic, casting me as a damsel in distress.
I doubt it. And even if these guys were desperate enough to find that endearing, the adorability of it would wear off fast.
Whatever the reason, Mike's puppy dog behavior and Eric's apparent rivalry with him were disconcerting. I wasn't sure if I didn't prefer being ignored.
Oh how terribly embarrassing to have boys LIKE you! The horror! The misery! It's far better for them to crawl out the window when you enter the room and hold their noses when you pass by! That means they're actually worthy of your attention.
Amazingly poor Charlie actually gets a good shout-out, since he went to the trouble of hobbling out in the snow and ice just to put snow chains on Bella's truck. It's actually a fairly touching moment, but like any high points of the Twilight series, it doesn't last long - a van starts careening across the parking lot due to the ice. Yo, Forks residents - there's this magical substance called rock salt. It does wonders. Invest.
And of course it's being drawn like a magnet toward Bawla, who is too busy standing there staring at Hot Rich Boy to bother trying to run or duck or dive over the hood of her truck. And just as the truck is about to end the misery of the readers, something tackles her out of the way (dang!) and holds her down to the ground. And oh lookie, the Spinning Van Of Icy Death is still trying to kill Bawla. Apparently the van also hates Mary Sues.
"Kill the Sue! KILL THE SUE!"
A low oath made me aware that someone was with me, and the voice was impossible not to recognize.
Okay, who talks about "oaths"? Is she supposedly talking about swearing (teh horrorz!) or is somebody voicing a vow?
And then somebody - oh, it's Edturd, enough with the alleged suspense - smacks the van and actually makes it stop, then drags Bawla instantly away from where the van crashes. And then everyone is screaming and freaking out because eeeeeeks Bella might be hurt! Nobody seems to give a damn about the driver, but what does he matter? He's not the Emo Queen of Phoenix..
Edturd is so very worried about Bella, who's bumped her wittle head. If she's so fatally clumsy, one would think she'd be used to it. He also claims to have been there the whole time, which of course Bella was able to notice is NOT TRUE because she was fixating on him while a van was about to hit her. Because... that's how people's brains work.
And then they found us, a crowd of people with tears streaming down their faces, shouting at each other, shouting at us.
Right, people cry for sullen antisocial teenage girls whom they probably have never even spoken to. But Bella's so awesome that everybody luvs her.
So while people finally get around to helping the poor guy whose van has crashed, Bella continues obsessing about Edward's prior location, while he stares at her with his weird weird eyes. Eventually he agrees to explain the whole thing to her later if she shuts up and goes away.
And since people's attention may have been temporarily shifted away from her, of course Bella turns being taken by an ambulance into an all-about-me woefest.
I almost died of humiliation when they put on the neck brace. It looked like the entire school was there, watching soberly as they loaded me in the back of the ambulance. Edward got to ride in the front. It was maddening.
"OMG like it's so totally embarrassing to like almost DIE and have people pay ATTENTION to you, like if you get squished by a van people are gonna NOTICE you, like all these common sheep people are gonna see that you got HURT and heaven forbid anyone see that!"
To make matters worse, Chief Swan arrived before they could get me safely away.
It's really quite bizarre that Bella is more informal with a stalkeresque guy she's just met… than she is with her own FATHER. "Chief Swan"?
Anyway, Charlie refuses to just accept Bella's self-diagnosis and starts asking the EMTs for their take on the matter. And since he's no longer bothering his daughter, she's now free to think about the important stuff: stalking Edward.
When they'd lifted me away from the car, I had seen the deep dent in the tan car's bumper — a very distinct dent that fit the contours of Edward's shoulders… as if he had braced himself against the car with enough force to damage the metal frame…
Evidently Stephenie Meyer has never even been in a fender bender, let alone a REAL accident, or she'd know that metal in a car crash doesn't neatly bend in the shape of whatever it hits. For one thing, it usually just dents inward with no indicator of what caused it; then it starts crumpling inward with some degree of elasticity. Even really extreme car accidents - such as one I recently saw, where a car smashed into a fire hydrant and pushed it THROUGH a fence and DOWN a hill - aren't so obvious.
So frankly Bawla shouldn't be able to see anything in the dent besides a dent. She certainly shouldn't be able to see that Hot Rich Boy had jammed his shoulder (or foot, or head, or nose) against it.
I tried to think of a logical solution that could explain what I had just seen — a solution that excluded the assumption that I was insane.
Personally I love the idea that the entire series is taking place in the head of a horny mental patient. It actually erases almost everything I hate about this book.
Naturally, the ambulance got a police escort to the county hospital.
Because of course Bella is SO important, she can't just say that her dad followed the ambulance. No, she makes it sound like there's a parade in her honor.
What made it worse was that Edward simply glided through the hospital doors under his own power.
OH HOW EMBARRASSING! He's like, being allowed to walk while Bella is like, having people pay ATTENTION to her and give her MEDICAL CARE which is like the most embarrassing thing EVER.
Anyway, they give Bella some rather basic care with a thermometer and a pressure cuff (which is odd because nobody bothers to sit there and actually observe her blood pressure, which is what they do with pressure cuffs), and Bella pulls off the neck brace while the nurse wanders off to find someone who doesn't talk in a droning whine.
Thankfully the hospital personnel have gotten bored of serving the Uncrowned Queen of Phoenix and have brought the poor kid who was DRIVING the car. He actually got hurt and has a bloody head injury and cuts all over him, presumably from smacking his head against the dash and having glass shatter all over him. Yet he's getting almost equal care to Bella, who… really isn't suffering from anything except a Plot Device.
In this boy's case, therefore the people rushing about in extreme concern actually makes sense. They're not just there to reaffirm the speshulness of the fragile flower of a patient. But since Bella is so awesome and such a Sue, the guy starts babbling about how he's SOOOOOOOOOO sorry he almost landed her with the ultimate humiliation: death. After all, one must grovel when they have so inconvenienced the Queen of Phoenix!
He ignored me. "I thought I was going to kill you! I was going too fast, and I hit the ice wrong…" He winced as one nurse started dabbing at his face.
"Don't worry about it; you missed me."
"How did you get out of the way so fast? You were there, and then you were gone…"
Note that he actually SEES her and recognizes her during his spinout, because she's SO awesome and SO famous that even during a car crash, people are gawping at her. Never mind that during a car skidding and spinning on ice at high speed, it's hard to focus on any ONE person and see exactly what is happening to them… because usually everything around you seems to be spinning. And sometimes you're being shaken around like a hamster in a hurricane. Bella shines so bright that you can't NOT focus on her, no matter what!
Bawla tries to explain that Edward yanked her out of harm's way, and Tyler is inexplicably coherent enough to be surprised by this.
I knew I wasn't crazy. What had happened? There was no way to explain away what I'd seen.
Four words: knock to the head. It can do some crazy shit to your brain even if you don't have a concussion, but apparently Bella is too awesome for a scrambled memory.
So anyway they X-ray Bawla's head and find nothing at all except the word "Phoenix" where a brain would normally be. Seriously, they find nothing wrong, which makes me wonder why they gave her more fawning medical care than this Tyler kid who actually was INJURED. But they won't let Bella go yet because she needs a doctor's say-so.
So I was trapped in the ER, waiting, harassed by Tyler's constant apologies and promises to make it up to me. No matter how many times I tried to convince him I was fine, he continued to torment himself. Finally, I closed my eyes and ignored him. He kept up a remorseful mumbling.
Bawla's constant sneering distaste for everybody else is getting old fast. It's annoying enough that Stephenie Meyer is having every other character trip over themselves to appease her Mary Sue, but said Mary Sue is too cool and awesome and mature to actually appreciate any of that. No, it's such a BORING EMBARRASSING DRAAAAAAAG to have people apologize to you! The only thing to do is tell them off and ignore them completely, during which they will mutter and blabber like a crazy person because they have committed the unforgivable sin of drawing attention to Bawla Wan.
Anyway, Hot Rich Boy finally shows up and asks if she's sleeping.
Edward was standing at the foot of my bed, smirking. I glared at him. It wasn't easy — it would have been more natural to ogle.
Because when a guy is being a jerk and smirking at you, you should just be thinking about his hawt bod.
Anyway, Edward brushes off Tyler's apologies with four words, which suggests to me that Bawla wasn't really trying very hard while she was disdaining him and trying to get him to quit apologizing. Bawla demands to know why Hot Rich Boy (still smirking) isn't being given the SOEMBARRASSING treatment at the ER, and he basically says that he's there to spring her. Her exclusively, natch.
Then a doctor appears, and basically he's young and hot and incredibly awesome, which causes Bella to almost wet herself with lust again. For some reason, she thinks it's unusual that a doctor would look tired and have circles under his eyes.
From Charlie's description, this had to be Edward's father.
Charlie's description was that Hot Rich Doctor was hot. This doctor is hot. Therefore, this doctor must be Hot Rich Doctor. Evidently Bella failed basic logic, no matter how many books she read (which of course determines your intellect).
So Hot Rich Doctor - also known as Carlisle - observes her X-rays and pokes at her head a bit, while Edward sits there snickering and smiling patronizingly at her. Why is this guy supposed to be the love interest again? Frankly he's coming across as an asshole even to the queen of assholes.
And Carlisle gives her the standard speech about how she can go home with her dad now. But the idea of her dad being nice to her at home is such a DRAAAAAAAAAG that Bella would prefer to limp through her school day instead. Carlisle says that she should take it easy today, but of course Bella is more fixated on the fact that Edward is getting to go home.
"Someone has to spread the good news that we survived," Edward said smugly.
Or the bad news that Bella survived to whine another day.
"Actually," Dr. Cullen corrected, "most of the school seems to be in the waiting room."
This, of course, is just toooooooo embarrassing to be borne by Bella. Oh, the humiliation of having people be concerned about you.
And of course they would only be concerned about Bella, not about the poor kid who got bashed around in a totaled van and is presumably having glass picked out of his face. Bella, after all, is SO important and awesome that half the school would show up ON A SCHOOL DAY lest their goddess have actually gotten a booboo!
This is, of course, another Sue trait - the Sue attracts attention like a magnet attracts iron filings. But being the humble creature that she is, she doesn't WANT the attention.
Anyway, Carlisle is fawning all over her and catching her when she gets dizzy, and tells her that she was SO lucky. Tyler, of course, has been pretty much forgotten. Wanna bet nobody in the waiting room is there for him because he isn't important? And Bella further cements her status as being the Most Important Person Present by deliberately mentioning Edward was standing next to her and therefore saved her from A Fate Worse Than Attention.
Carlisle starts obviously ignoring her and paying attention to Tyler… which means that he's DEFINITELY avoiding the topic. Why else would anyone else pay attention to a plot device rather than the Sue?
Another interesting point - Bawla doesn't seem to notice that she might be making life a LOT harder for Edward. Who cares? She wants what she wants, and other people have to provide! Good thing she doesn't take an interest in ferreting out people's adulterous affairs or crime histories, because she apparently would figure that she DESERVES to know.
Bawla starts harassing Edward for an explanation, and when he leaves the room in an obvious refusal, she starts chasing after him screaming that she wants his sparkly body. No wait, that last part comes later on. Anyway, Hot Rich Boy basically tells her to go get stuffed. Since he's Hot and Rich, Bawla refuses to let up - even though she's being more deliberately annoying and stalkery than her entire school put together.
"You owe me an explanation," I reminded him.
"I saved your life — I don't owe you anything."
True. It's not like he did something wrong, which is usually when one owes an explanation to someone else. If I elbow-jabbed somebody for no reason, I'd owe them an explanation. If I stopped them from getting hit in the head with a brick, I would not.
And even though Edturd clearly wants Bella to get lost and quit bothering him, she keeps pestering and whining and generally being a huge pain in the ass. Does this not scream "True Love" or what? So she blabbers a huge incoherent rant about how WAAAAAAAAAAAA he totally rescued her from being squished by a van. She hasn't actually got any concrete evidence, she has reasons to be doubted, and she can't even say what she thinks is the facts - she just burbles on randomly and starts crying.
I love it when we readers get a strong female character with a brain.
"All I know is that you weren't anywhere near me — Tyler didn't see you, either, so don't tell me I hit my head too hard."
Puh-leez. The easy explanation would be that since Tyler didn't see him and she didn't see him until the moment of impact, she simply got a small bang that temporarily scrambled a few key neurons. But no, this is a Big Revealing Moment.
"That van was going to crush us both — and it didn't, and your hands left dents in the side of it — and you left a dent in the other car, and you're not hurt at all — and the van should have smashed my legs, but you were holding it up…" I could hear how crazy it sounded, and I couldn't continue. I was so mad I could feel the tears coming; I tried to force them back by grinding my teeth together.
I'm sure it wasn't Meyer's intention, but this sounds EXACTLY like the sort of incoherent blabber that a concussion victim would probably have suffered. Especially since there's either a continuity error here, or Bawla ISN'T REMEMBERING IT RIGHT - she previously claimed there was an indentation exactly in the shape of Hot Rich Shoulders, and now suddenly it's a pair of hands.
"You think I lifted a van off you?" His tone questioned my sanity, but it only made me more suspicious. It was like a perfectly delivered line by a skilled actor.
And Bella's response sounds like the crazy guy with the tinfoil hat who thinks every grocery-store cashier is a secret agent out to get him. If it's perfectly delivered by a skilled actor, you would be hard-pressed to tell it apart from the real thing. She just sounds like she's fishing for evidence of lies - everyone is lying, and if they don't sound like it, it's because they're so GOOD at it!
"Nobody will believe that, you know." His voice held an edge of derision now.
Way to blow your cover, Hot Rich Guy.
"I'm not going to tell anybody." I said each word slowly, carefully controlling my anger.
Except of course for the people she's already told.
Anyway, Bawla keeps harassing the Hot Rich Guy, insisting that she wants to know why even though she doesn't plan to tell anyone (more). She also insists that she's not gonna let it go, presumably because it allows her to fixate on and stalk Eddie-boy even more than she already does.
I was in danger of being distracted by his livid, glorious face. It was like trying to stare down a destroying angel.
A destroying angel is a mushroom. Is she saying Hot Rich Guy is a mushroom? And why can't she go through a whole scene without practically having an orgasm over how hot Hot Rich Guy is?
Also... livid means discolored; for faces, usually red. It's sometimes used for "angry," but that's a very recent addition to the English language, especially for someone who likes to write lines like "I'm quite old enough..."
"Why did you even bother?" I asked frigidly.
…"I don't know," he whispered.
I presume she's talking about why he rescued her, not why he's bothering keeping his secrets secret from a whiny demanding bitchdiva. If it's the former, I would LOVE to know the answer too!
The waiting room was more unpleasant than I'd feared. It seemed like every face I knew in Forks was there, staring at me. Charlie rushed to my side; I put up my hands.
OH THE HORRORZ! People are there paying attention to her! They… they have actually noticed her! HORROR! HUMILIATION! Bella must now commit seppuku because of the shame of being NOTICED and having people be CONCERNED about her!
"There's nothing wrong with me," I assured him sullenly. I was still aggravated, not in the mood for chitchat.
…. Mike and Jessica and Eric were all there, beginning to converge on us. "Let's go," I urged.
So, because Edturd refused to spill all his secrets to a stalkery sullen girl whom he barely knows and doesn't seem to like, she's sulking and treating her dad and "friends" like a swarm of mosquitoes. Don't you wish you knew this girl? She's so kind and unselfish!
Anyway, Charlie characteristically doesn't say anything in the police car, which allows Bawla to continue stalking Edward in her head. Naturally, she doesn't have an iota of doubt about what she claims to have witnessed, because of course everything the Sue sees is totally real and utterly important. It couldn't be a head-bang-induced bit of neuron-scrambling…. no! It must be significant!
I was positive that Edward's defensive behavior in the hall was a confirmation of the bizarre things I still could hardly believe I'd witnessed.
Honestly, she sounds like she's one foil hat away from living in a basement with fifty cats, and calling the FBI to report on the sparkly cabal of Ubermenschen who are ruling Forks and planning world domination. And of course, monitoring her thoughts through her sparkly earrings.
When we got to the house, Charlie finally spoke.
"Um… you'll need to call Renée." He hung his head, guilty.
I was appalled. "You told Mom!"
I slammed the cruiser's door a little harder than necessary on my way out.
The horror! She almost got squished flat like a pancake, and HEAVEN FORBID someone tell one of her parents! Never mind that it would be disrespectful, inconsiderate and downright rude to ignore Renee and not keep her informed of important stuff involving her only daughter… no, it's just so EMBARRASSING to have one's mom informed that her kid was almost killed.
Seriously, can Bawla get any nastier without actually committing a murder? She treats her dad and classmates like lumps of walking excrement, treats her new hometown like a cluster of shacks occupied by toothless brainless rednecks, gets angry if anyone does ANYTHING related to what happens to her (even if it's pretty standard and no normal person would be upset), and stalks Eddie Boy.
Anyway, she disdainfully informs us that of course her mom is hysterical and has to be calmed down, just because her only child was almost killed in a car crash. But of course, now that Bawla has a Hot Rich Guy to stalk, she isn't really inclined to leave Forks.
And more than a little obsessed by Edward himself. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I wasn't as eager to escape Forks as I should be, as any normal, sane person would be.
Or maybe she's abnormal and insane, which would be a more pleasant explanation than the obvious one - that she is one of those girls who chases after men who treat them horribly and aren't at all interested. Is Meyers aware that being "obsessed" by a person like this is not a sign of what a mentally healthy person her Sue is?
Charlie continued to watch me anxiously, and it was getting on my nerves.
Doesn't he know that the Queen of Phoenix does not want his attention despite nearly getting killed and needing medical observation? He should go crawl into a corner and stare at his toes until he has an expensive present to lavish upon her!
I stopped on my way to grab three Tylenol from the bathroom. They did help, and, as the pain eased, I drifted to sleep.
So basically she DID bang her head with enough force to cause pain for the rest of the day. Sorry, but I've had brain-scrambling incidents that didn't leave lasting pain hours afterwards, but left me without coherent memories of things like a person's clothing color.
That was the first night I dreamed of Edward Cullen.
… and yeah, that's not stalkery at all. I wonder if she doodes "B + E" and "Mrs. Edward Cullen/Bella Cullen/Mrs. Bella Cullen" all over her textbooks.