What this chapter should be called: The angst-fest begins.
Edward creep-o-meter: HE’S GONE THANK GOD HE’S FINALLY GONE!
I swear, I’m trying my damndest to focus on New Moon but it’s awfully hard when you just bought Lego Star Wars for your Wii. Just saying.
I’ll start by saying that this chapter honestly isn’t to hard to focus on, because it’s downright infuriating. This review may be awfully short, because I’m afraid if I read too much into it, all my anger would cause me to hulk out and chuck my computer across the room.
Edward and Bella have entered that awkward pre-breakup phase. Deep down, Bella suspects what’s going on, but Edward has her so well trained that she just pretends like nothing is happening.
“Edward was waiting for me at school, as usual, but his face was still wrong. There was something buried in his eyes that I couldn’t be sure of—and it scared me. I didn’t want to bring up last night, but I wasn’t sure if avoiding the subject would be worse.”
Edward is all distant and cold and stony, but he’s always like that, and it is ever so dreamy. Bella hopes that Alice will tell her what’s going on, but she isn’t there, having gone after Jasper, who’s still angsting around out in the woods. Bella is wracked with guilt because of this, even though it’s not even her fault.
“I swallowed, trying to dislodge the sudden lump in my throat. The guilt made my head bow and my shoulders slump. I’d run them out of their home, just like Rosalie and Emmett. I was a plague.”
Good God. (+1 Angst/Thesaurus Rape) And also, didn’t Rosalie and Emmett leave of their own free will? (+1 Stupidity)
At the end of the day, Bella asks Sparklepeen if he’ll come over later, but Sparklepeen isn’t buying what she’s selling.
Bella: So, I thought maybe you could come over later and we could frolic through a meadow while holding hands, and then we’ll have a candlelit dinner and then watch a romantic movie and maybe have sex afterwards? Or at least an open-mouth kiss?
Bella: Okay, maybe then we can go ballroom dancing, followed by a date at the fondue place down the street, and before we have sex we can reenact the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet?
Bella: Or we could just stare lovingly into each other’s eyes-
Edward: JUST TAKE THE FUCKING HINT!
Bella is hyperventilating by the time she gets to work, and tries to figure out how she can keep Eddiekins around.
“He just needed time, I told myself. He would get over this. Maybe he was sad because his family was disappearing. But Alice and Jasper would come back soon, and Rosalie and Emmett, too. If it would help, I would stay away from the big white house on the river—I’d never set foot there again. 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. No doubt I would also run into Carlisle with regularity—in the emergency room.”
“After all, what had happened last night was nothing. Nothing had happened. So I fell down—that was the story of my life.”
Fucking fell down?
Yeah, you totes weren’t thrown backwards into a glass fuckin’ table or anything. (+1 Stupidity) Besides, he loves her. She just fell down, that’s all. IT’S OKAY GUYS HE LOVES HER!
Now, here is usually where I would blast this book for being so wangsty and melodramatic, but there are a few key points to keep in mind:
1. Bella really doesn’t have anything else in her life besides Edward. She’s ditched her friends, given up on college, and starting steeling herself to abandon her family. Emerging from a harmful relationship like this would be incredibly stressful if you were doing it intentionally. The fact that Edward is dragging it out and causing her as much emotional distress as possible doesn’t make it any better.
2. It gets worse.
Bella fantasizes for a while about how Edward and her can just leave Forks together so his entire family doesn’t relocate. Right, that’s going to happen.
The following few paragraphs go something like this:
“What’s the worst that can happen? I flinched. That was definitely the wrong question to ask. I was having a hard time breathing right. Okay, I thought again, what’s the worst I can live through? I didn’t like that question so much, either.”
Guise, do u lyk, undurstand how 4 cerals this is?1?!? She wud die if he l3ft her, just die!11!! (+1 Angst)
“I leaned my cheek against my knee, staring at the physical tokens of my parents’ love. 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.”
EDWUUUURRRRD!!!!!!111!!!1!!!! (+1 Angst)
If there’s one good thing I can say about Meyer, it’s that she perfectly captured the melodrama, temper tantrums, and compete immaturity of a teenage girl. Unfortunately she wants desperately for us to believe that Bella is wise and mature for her age. Ugh. (+1 Stupidity)
Before I go on, I have to point out that this is not what having a girlfriend should be like. Guys, your girl should not be this unhealthily obsessed over you. She has hobbies and shit, like gardening or baking cookies shaped like Daleks.
I’ll sum up the rest for you. Edward goes on ignoring Bella, no explanation given. No discussion of how everything has made him feel. He just ignores her. She panics, hyperventilates, desperately clings to her delusion that they’re just going to leave Forks together, and takes pictures of everybody to prepare. The narrative goes on for several pages before anything happens, and is painful on several levels.
I guess I can say I’m kinda glad that Edward is breaking his own cycle of abuse by leaving her. Maybe now Bella will, I don’t know, get a life.
The next day, Bella takes her camera to school to take pictures of everybody. She passes it to Jessica so she can take pictures. Jessica does so, then tells Bella that, whoops, they used the whole…roll…of film.
This makes no fucking sense no matter how much I think about it. (+1 Stupidity)
After Bella gets home, she begins to flip through her pictures, and the first thing she notices is how OMG pretty Edward is.
“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. I flipped the picture over with a feeling of disgust.”
Keep this in mind, because I’m going to make a valid point with this quote as my evidence later on.
Anyways, the next day Bella finally decides she’s going to try talking to him. Edward agrees to come over, and beats Bella there. They take a short walk into the woods, and he finally decides to let her know what’s going on.
“Bella, we’re leaving.”
I mean, “aww.”
Bella still can’t wrap her pathetic human brain around what the fuck is happening. She asks if they can put it off just another year, mistaking Edward’s statement for another order.
“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.” 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.”
Bella Swan, queen of denial.
She finally gets that when he says we he means all the vamps in Sparkletown, including himself. Bella insists on going with them, completely missing the point yet again. She follows up with “You promised you’d never leave me ever ever ever!” before finally accusing “This is about my soul, isn’t it?” I swear, those are her exact words. She tells Edward he can have it because she doesn’t care. Not even joking. (+1 Stupidity) By the time she does this, Edward is obviously sick of her shit, so he pulls the big guns out.
“Bella, I don’t want you to come with me.” He spoke the words slowly and precisely, his cold eyes on my face, watching as I absorbed what he was really saying.”
You go, Sparkles.
He tells her to go get a life, and Bella enters shut-down mode. Sparklepeen then has the balls to give her one last order.
“Don’t do anything reckless or stupid,” he ordered, no longer detached. “Do you understand what I’m saying?” I nodded helplessly. His eyes cooled, the distance returned. “I’m thinking of Charlie, of course. He needs you. Take care of yourself—for him.”
For Charlie, my ass. (+1 Red Flag) Edward finishes his painful involvement in this chapter by telling her he will leave forever and ever and it will be like he never existed. So goodbye forever (if only!), and stuff. He kisses her on the forehead. When she opens her eyes, he’s gone.
Let me be the first to say, “SO LONG, COCKTEASE!”
Well, that sucks, Bells. Your perfect sparkly boyfriend/soulmate/foreverbuddy dumped you. Welcome to adulthood. Just go home, call up a mortal friend, and bitch about what a controlling dickhead he was while taking out your frustrations on a quart of Häagen-Dazs.
Bella, of course, does none of these things.
“With shaky legs, ignoring the fact that my action was useless, 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. I could not do anything else. I had to keep moving. If I stopped looking for him, it was over. Love, life, meaning… over.”
*facepalm* (+1 Angst)
Bella wanders off into the forest, trips, falls, curls up in the fetal position, and passes out.
Now, do you remember that point I told you I was going to make? Here it is. In book 1, and about half of chapter 1 in this book, Bella was constantly waxing pathetic about how amazed she was that Edward chose to be with her. I mean, she spent most of the book wondering why Edward loved her, and why he didn’t just leave her because she didn’t deserve him. And then he did leave her and now she’s all depressed. If you spend so long convincing yourself that he’s gonna leave you, why is it such a big shock when he does? Once again, Meyer fucks one over on common sense. (+1 Stupidity)
But anyways, back to Bella.
“As I lay there, I had a feeling that more time was passing than I realized. I couldn’t remember how long it had been since nightfall. Was it always so dark here at night? Surely, as a rule, some little bit of moonlight would filter down through the clouds, through the chinks in the canopy of trees, and find the ground. Not tonight. Tonight the sky was utterly black. Perhaps there was no moon tonight—a lunar eclipse, a new moon.”
I think these may be the only books I’ve ever read where the reasoning for the title was explicitly stated in the content. Subtlety? What’s that? (+1 Stupidity)
She hears people calling her name, thinks she hears a big animal snuffling around her (Gee, I wonder what that was?) and suddenly…Injuns!
A kid named Sam Uley pops out of nowhere, picks her up, and carries her out of the forest, yelling that he found her. A search party consisting of Charlie and a bunch of the Quileutes, who just happened to be there, are assembled at the Haus des Swan. People ask if she’s hurt, but Sam says that she seems fine, and that Bella keeps saying, “he’s gone.” Wow.
Bella finds it odd that this strange Sam dude scoops her up and carries her out of the forest. But yet, when the Cullens were carrying her up the stairs and to and from the car in the last book, Bella found nothing out of the ordinary about it. (+1 Stupidity)
On another note, does anyone else think it’s a little odd that Carlisle and Esme totally are behind Edward when it comes to his more creepy tendencies? It’s like, “Hey, Carl, Esme, let’s move out of here so I can break up with my cheeseburger/girlfriend who is completely codependent and never ever see her again.” “Sure thing, son. We’ll pack the car!” (+1 Stupidity)
Charlie takes Bella inside and piles some blankets on her. One of the town doctors pops in to take a look at her.
“I don’t think there’s anything wrong with her,” I heard the doctor mutter to Charlie after a moment. “Just exhaustion.”
Quick public opinion poll here: You find your daughter passed out in the woods, babbling about her possessive and creepy boyfriend, who is nowhere to be found. How many of you assume that he drugged her, dragged her out there, and raped her?
Yeah, me too.
But the doctor doesn’t bother to mention, check for, or even ask about drugs or sexual trauma. He takes her freaking pulse and says she seems fine. Most incompetent doctor ever.
Seriously, do they live in such a small town that the thought of rape just never occurred to them? Or is it because most people have a nothing but good opinions about Carl so his kids can’t be all that bad? Or what? Oh, whoops, I forgot, Edward’s pretty, so in Meyerland he can do no wrong. Yeah, that explains everything.
The doctor confirms that the Cullens have left, and the crowd of natives diperses immediately. Charlie stays up all night with Bella, getting several calls throughout the night. One of them isn’t about anything to do with Bella, but rather someone is tattling on the reservation.
“Bonfires?” I asked. My voice didn’t sound curious. It sounded dead. Charlie frowned. “Some of the kids from the reservation being rowdy,” he explained. “Why?” I wondered dully. I could tell he didn’t want to answer. He looked at the floor under his knees. “They’re celebrating the news.”
The native kids are lighting bonfires to celebrate. In the rain. Yeah, I don’t get it either. (+1 Stupidity) Not to mention that I would be building bonfires too if my life were free of Edward.
Eventually Charlie gets around to asking the big question:
“He left you alone in the woods?” Charlie guessed.”
Bella deflects the question and asks how he knew where to look for her. Well, her note, of course. Y’know, the one she never actually left. It’s a close approximation of her handwriting, explaining where she was going. Okay, so Edward knew she would wander off, disoriented and heartbroken, but he still did it anyways? What a great guy. I can award posthumous red flag points, right? (+1 Red Flag)
“I want to know if Edward left you alone out there in the middle of the woods,” Charlie insisted. His name sent another wave of torture through me. I shook my head, frantic, desperate to escape the pain. “It was my fault. He left me right here on the trail, in sight of the house… but I tried to follow him.”
Yes, honey, of course it’s your fault. Whenever someone abuses you, it’s because you made them angry. (+1 Stupidity/Angst)
Also, this is a classic case of Meyer uses the most dramatic words possible to describe the feelings of her characters. We aren’t allowed to imagine to imagine the feelings of her characters, but rather it’s shoved in our faces like a meringue pie. (+1 Thesaurus Rape)
“Charlie started to say something; childishly, I covered my ears.”
And the cop father doesn’t even suspect drugs or rape. (+1 Stupidity)
Bella gets a horrible feeling about her possessions, and “lurches” up the stairs to her room. When she gets there, hey, look! Edward stole back all the stuff his family gave her.
“I didn’t have to flip any farther than the first page. The little metal corners no longer held a picture in place. The page was blank except for my own handwriting scrawled across the bottom: Edward Cullen, Charlie’s kitchen, Sept. 13th.”
So not only does he decide to protect and honor her by STEALING HER STUFF, he also leaves just enough so that she can remember him. (+2 Red Flag)
“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.”
Oh, dear Lord. (+1 Angst)
What follows is my favorite four pages in the book. In fact, I like them so much, I’m going to give you a direct transcript.
She just gives up. We don’t get a narrative, or even a montage. Bella, for all intents and purposes, is dead for 4 months.
And if you can believe this, it gets worse.
Thesaurus Rape: +2
Red Flag: +4
Thesaurus Rape: +5
Cream Count: +3
Red Flag: +13