What this chapter should be called: Everybody’s Mormon!
Bella like-o-meter: 3
Chapter 24 is arguably the worst chapter of this whole “book.” (I use that term loosely.) I say “arguably” because, again, for some reason, there’s an epilogue, instead of, you know, a chapter 25.
Anyway, Edward is pissed as hell because Bella is insisting on democracy. When you really think about this, it’s completely stupid that she’s even putting this to a vote, because it’s her choice and her choice alone. (+1 Stupidity)
“All right then,” he said, his voice seething with disapproval. “Up you go.” He helped me onto his back, and took off running. “
Edward really gets unreasonably angry whenever his girlfriend asks for democracy regarding her own personal rights, doesn’t he? (+1 Red Flag)
Edward’s voice “seethes” a little more, (+1 Thesaurus Rape) and they do the super sparkle run towards Chez Cullen, because remember, Bella’s not allowed to drive anywhere.
Oh, whoops, excuse me – according to a friend who pointed this out a few days ago, she is allowed to drive (which is very sweet of Edward, to give her permission to drive her own car), it’s just that Edward is better at it, even though we’ve never heard anything that at all corroborates the apparently fan-held fact that Bella sucks at driving. (Is it because she’s a woman?) Edward is really very chivalrous, and I’m sorry for thinking he’s a controlling dirtbag with less personality than a can of Pringles. (+1 Stupidity)
Moving on. They’re piggybacking it, Bella smooches Edward’s neck a few times, Edward asks if she trusts him again.
“I’ll earn your trust back somehow,” he murmured, mostly to himself. “If it’s my final act.” ”I trust you,” I assured him. “It’s me I don’t trust.” “Explain that, please.”
Oh, dear, this can’t be good.
“Well—” I struggled to find the right way to phrase it. “I don’t trust myself to be… enough. To deserve you. There’s nothing about me that could hold you.”
Yes, Bella’s afraid that she’ll drive him away, because she is oh so tragic and somehow boring at the same time. (+1 Stupidity) Yeah, remember, this is all her fault.
“I rolled my eyes. “The worst the Volturi can do is kill me.” He waited with tense eyes. “You can leave me,” I explained. “The Volturi, Victoria… they’re nothing compared to that.”
Oh, well, that’s just dandy. Edward does his best impression of sad Keanu, and Bella immediately worries that she’s upset her man by speaking the truth. Bella tells him that he shouldn’t be sad. Uh, what? You just said that him leaving you was worse than dying. Ohh no, I didn’t mean to make you feel bad about that! Sorry, punkin! (+1 Stupidity)
Bella: Oh, the Volturi? That’s nothing. They could only kill me. You could leave me, causing me to whine about a gaping hole in my chest for 400 pages.
Edward: Oh my God, I –
Bella: Oh, be quiet, silly! It’s not as if you would ever do that, right?
“He pulled one corner of his mouth up halfheartedly, but the expression didn’t touch his eyes. “If there was only some way to make you see that I can’t leave you,” he whispered. “Time, I suppose, will be the way to convince you.”
So, he says he can’t leave her…but we know he can. For the eight bajillionth time, I AM SO FREAKING CONFUSED. (+1 Stupidity)
“So—since you’re staying. Can I have my stuff back?” I asked, making my tone as light as I could manage.”
Ohh haha yeah do you remember when he stole her stuff?!? That was hilarious! (+1 Red Flag)
“Your things were never gone,” he told me. “I knew it was wrong, since I promised you peace without reminders. It was stupid and childish, but I wanted to leave something of myself with you. The CD, the pictures, the tickets—they’re all under your floorboards.”
Okay, so in short, Edward knew it was childish and wrong not to steal her things. Okay then. (+1 Red Flag) Couldn’t he have just given her a t-shirt with a witty phrase on it like most guys? Naw, he had to go and pack away her things, kind of like an abusive, controlling, bloodsucking squirrel.
Oh, this here is a gem.
“I think,” I said slowly, “I’m not sure, but I wonder… I think maybe I knew it the whole time.” “What did you know?” I only wanted to take away the agony in his eyes, but as I spoke the words, they sounded truer than I expected they would. “Some part of me, my subconscious maybe, never stopped believing that you still cared whether I lived or died. That’s probably why I was hearing the voices.”
This is her reason for hearing voices.
Yeah, Bella just suddenly decides that somewhere, deep down inside her poor tragic heart, she’s really know all along that Sparklepeen still cared for her. WHAT? Fuckin’ Christ on a sailboat, where the hell was this Bella for those 400+ pages of mind-numbing sobbing and incoherent whining and metaphorical hole-talk? (+1 Stupidity)
I mean, golly, Bella, you’re so brave and strong.
God, I’m not even joking! She tells Edward that she knew, all along, that he still loved her, and so she heard his voice in her head when she attempted to kill herself uh did things that were like so totally reckless and dangerous.
“He spoke the words without inflection or emphasis. “You jumped off a cliff for fun.” “Er, right. And before that, with the motorcycle—” ”Motorcycle?” he asked. I knew his voice well enough to hear something brewing behind the calm.”
Yeah, Edward is mega pissed that Bella’s been doing something other than staying in the goddamn kitchen while he’s been gone, but that’s beside the point. (+1 Red Flag) Yes, Bella totally knows that this was why she was hearing voices!
“Again, as I spoke, the words brought with them a sense of conviction. Of rightness. Some deep place inside me recognized truth.”
It just feels so right that Bella can’t possibly be wrong! (+1 Thesaurus Rape) Nope hearing voices wasn’t a case of textbook schizophrenia, or a super sparkle power. Nor was it a case of being pants-on-head retarded. It’s because she knew that
“Edward loved me. The bond forged between us was not one that could be broken by absence, distance, or time. And no matter how much more special or beautiful or brilliant or perfect than me he might be, he was as irreversibly altered as I was. As I would always belong to him, so would he always be mine.”
Oh my Jesus. (+1 Thesaurus Rape/ Cream Count)
Edward then congratulates Bella on being such a trooper. No, I’m not messing with you. I wish I was.
“You were better at it than I was, you know,” he told me. “Better at what?” ”Surviving. You, at least, made an effort. You got up in the morning, tried to be normal for Charlie, followed the pattern of your life. When I wasn’t actively tracking, I was… totally useless. I couldn’t be around my family—I couldn’t be around anyone. I’m embarrassed to admit that I more or less curled up into a ball and let the misery have me.”
Well, I must have really missed that part where Bella made the effort to live life again. (+1 Stupidity)
I officially have no idea how Bella survived on her own for 16 years. Apparently all Eddiekins did was curl up into a ball, rock back and forth, and chant, “I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m okay. I’m okay.” If this is true, then yeah, I guess Bella is a true American goddamn hero. (BRAVE AND STRONG, REMEMBER!) All she had to do was pass out in the woods, wake up four months later, and start bitching about the hole in her chest. (+1 Stupidity)
They finally get to the frigging house. Ugh.
“I nodded. “I’d like to talk to everyone at once, if that’s okay. About something important.” I couldn’t help glancing up at Edward’s face as I spoke. His expression was critical, but resigned. When I looked back to Carlisle, he was looking at Edward, too. “Of course,” Carlisle said. “Why don’t we talk in the other room?”
The Cullens all crowd around the dining room table. Why do they even have a dining room table? It’s not like they use it. Don’t even give me that crap about it being a prop, because I know that the Cullens just have so much company over all the time. (+1 Stupidity) And then, Bella delivers her grand speech.
Which is essentially, “omg can u make me a vmapire now? pllllzzzzz??”
“You all know what I want. And I’m sure you know what Edward thinks, too. I think the only fair way to decide is for everyone to have a vote. If you decide you don’t want me, then… I guess I’ll go back to Italy alone. I can’t have them coming here.”
Bella brings up the good point that sometime in the future, Marcus is going to come down and play Six Degrees From Kevin Bacon with everyone using his Magical Relationship Radar, and no one wants that. So Bella puts it to a vote. I still can’t decide if this makes sense or is absolutely idiotic. The fate of her soul is being decided by democracy? (+1 Stupidity)
Edward counters that the Volturi won’t actually be able to find Bella, because – wait a minute –
” So I saw how Demetri’s talent works. He’s a tracker—a tracker a thousand times more gifted than James was. His ability is loosely related to what I do, or what Aro does. He catches the… flavor? I don’t know how to describe it… the tenor… of someone’s mind, and then he follows that. It works over immense distances. “But after Aro’s little experiments, well…” Edward shrugged. “You think he won’t be able to find me,” I said flatly. He was smug. “I’m sure of it. He relies totally on that other sense. When it doesn’t work with you, they’ll all be blind.”
Their tracker reads brainwaves or some crap, and Bella, as of right now, is immune to all super sparkle powers. Taadaa! Never mind how James could track her, Alice can see her future, Jasper can influence her emotions and, uh, Carlisle cares about her? As of New Moon, Bella is officially immune to super sparkle powers, no takesies-backsies, mkay? (+1 Stupidity)
Emmett, being Emmett, thinks that this is an excellent idea. (He actually brofists Edward across the table. I like Emmett.) Jasper agrees because he is a man. The girls disagree because they are soft women.
“All right, then. Edward has offered an alternative for you to consider,” I said coolly. “Let’s vote.” I looked toward Edward this time; it would be better to get his opinion out of the way. “Do you want me to join your family?”
The voting finally commences. Everyone votes yes except for Edward and Rosalie. Edward is just being a spoiled brat. After all, how will he ever manage to control her once she’s a sparklepire? At least Rosalie has a reason.
“I don’t mean that I have any aversion to you as a sister. It’s just that… this is not the life I would have chosen for myself. I wish there had been someone there to vote no for me.”
I THOUGHT CARLISLE SAVED HER?!!?!?!
See, this is what I’ve been telling you all along! Carlisle has damned young adults to an eternity of soullessness and sparkling, without even giving them a say in the matter! Maybe you shouldn’t just go around biting pretty dying people willy-nilly, Carl. (+1 Stupidity)
Ah, well. I miss Rosalie the Bitch. The vote is yes, so Edward goes off into the other room to break things.
“An earsplitting crash echoed from the other room. ”
Noooot joking. Remember, ladies, if a man has a temper, it’s a good thing, because it means he is oh so passionate about protecting you! (+1 Red Flag)
Since Bella is the poster child for reason and logic, she immediately turns to Alice and asks, “my room or yours?” (+1 Stupidity) Alice nearly passes out, because this is more than she’s ever dreamed, and Edward charges back into the room, screaming bloody murder.
“No! No! NO!” Edward roared, charging back into the room. He was in my face before I had time to blink, bending over me, his expression twisted in rage. “Are you insane?” he shouted. “Have you utterly lost your mind?”
Awwww he’s just so sweet and loving, guys! (+1 Red Flag) There’s not any way that this kind of behavior could possibly be viewed as abusive, amirite?
And shame on you Edward, for being such a cockblock.
“Um, Bella,” Alice interjected in an anxious voice. “I don’t think I’m ready for that. I’ll need to prepare…”
Alice isn’t quite ready to turn a woman to her side just yet. Oh, and Edward is glaring at her now, because to do something proactive in Meyerland apparently takes a penis. Bella’s not put off by this. Well, okay, maybe Carlisle will do it! Bella’s kind of a slut, it seems.
“In the interest of remaining inconspicuous,” Edward said, still talking through his gritted teeth, but looking at Carlisle now, “I suggest that we put this conversation off, at the very least until Bella finishes high school, and moves out of Charlie’s house.”
Ed’s got a point, I guess. Turning her right the hell now might cause a few problems.
He then goes on to say that maybe they can wait a few years, instead of a few months. Atta boy, Ed. Just dangle it over her head. You can withhold it as punishment for later, when she insists on seeing her friends against your wishes. God forbid Bella actually get things her way for once in this series. (+1 Red Flag)
So, riddle me this, Batman: if Edward truly loves Bella like we’ve been told he does for the last two books, why isn’t he encouraging Bella to pursue what would make her happy? It’s understandable that he would caution her against choosing an eternity of beauty and sparkles (that was sarcasm, if you couldn’t tell) but if he really loves her, shouldn’t he be allowing her to do her own thing? (+1 Red Flag)
Er, anyway, Edward reminds Bella that she still has parents, and they will naturally come looking for her. He suggests that it would be less conspicuous if they just waited until Bella graduated from high school and moved out of Charlie’s house. Isn’t this just delaying the inevitable? (+1 Stupidity) Also, aren’t we expecting a bit much from Charlie to notice that his daughter has become a vampire?
“I looked at Carlisle. “After graduation?” “You have my word.” I took a deep breath, smiled, and turned back to Edward. “Okay. You can take me home.” Edward rushed me out of the house before Carlisle could promise me anything else.”
Edward packs Bella off before she can do anything else he can’t control. (+1 Red Flag) Once they get there, Edward has apparently moved far enough through the five stages of grief to attempt to bargain with her. He manipulates her into admitting that she would really like him to be the one who bites her, then say’s she’ll have to wait at least five years for that to ever happen.
“He smiled faintly, and then pursed his lips. “Five years?” My face twisted into an expression somewhere between chagrin and horror. ”
DING DING DING MAGIC WORD! (+1 Thesaurus Rape) Yeah, I know he just said “we’ll wait until graduation” but now he says he wants to her to wait five years instead. What a douche. (+1 Red Flag)
Something doesn’t taste right about this whole “you have to wait to be bitten” thing. Hmm.
“No way. Nineteen I’ll do. But I’m not going anywhere near twenty. If you’re staying in your teens forever, then so am I.”
It’s a good thing that all these kids are apparently Mormon. Once Bella’s supposed to be 21, she’s gonna regret she ever said that.
Edward switches tactics, saying that if Bella ever wants to get bitten, she better damn well be married first.
“All right. Forget time limits. If you want me to be the one—then you’ll just have to meet one condition.” “Condition?” My voice went flat. “What condition?” His eyes were cautious—he spoke slowly. “Marry me first.”
Yes. Yes. You just read that right. They are waiting until marriage before they bite each other, and –
OH MY GOD
GETTING BITTEN BY A VAMPIRE IS TOTALLY AN ANALOGY FOR SEX.
Yes! Bites = sex. It’s about the most avaricious metaphor to ever be published. This is also why I’m thinking that while Edward subliminally represents the uber-Mormon, Bella is the non-member whom he must guide and protect and will eventually convert etc etc etc.
Which reminds me oddly enough of at least a dozen seminary videos, only about a billion times more one-sided and sexist, and without the excuse of being stylized for the sake of making a point.
Jesus. It’s downright creepy. It’s interesting to see all the weird and subtle ways Meyer managed to work her beliefs into a book that, on the surface, has absolutely nothing to do with them.
But, oh Lordy, does everything make sense now! They are waiting until marriage before they bite each other! It’ll be special that way. Your first bite is always special! And once you’ve been bitten, you can’t go back to being unbitten! It’ll be more meaningful when it’s with your husband. (+1 Stupidity)
The part that is truly hilarious about this is that Bella, little miss true eternal love, dying without her beloved, cannot go a day without seeing his face, hallucinates when he’s not there, absolutely flips the fuck out at the very thought of marriage.
“Oh, c’mon,” I said, an edge of hysteria in my voice. “I’m only eighteen.”
An eternal life of love and commitment? No problem. Picking out pillowcases at IKEA and filing joint taxes? Aw, hell no. (+1 Stupidity)
Bella gives some watered-down excuse about how her parents got divorced, and then quickly switches gears to how her mother wouldn’t approve. Edward calls her on her BS, but smugly holds it over her head. If she wants him to bite her, then she has to do exactly what he says. Not at all creepy. (+1 Red Flag)
“Would this have gone better if I’d had time to get a ring?” “No! No rings!” I very nearly shouted.
This wakes Charlie up, so Edward decides it’s probably a good time to GTFO, so he hides in the closet (like he’s been doing for the last two books HEY-O). Cue serious discussion between Bella and Charlie about why he shouldn’t ship her ass to Jacksonville.
“You didn’t leave me a number, and you didn’t call. I didn’t know where you were or when—or if—you were coming back. Do you have any idea how… how…” He couldn’t finish the sentence. He sucked in a sharp breath and moved on. “Can you give me one reason why I shouldn’t ship you off to Jacksonville this second?” My eyes narrowed. So it was going to be threats, was it? Two could play at that game. I sat up, pulling the quilt around me. “Because I won’t go.”
So her response is basically “you can’t make me lol pppppppbbbfffttbbtt.” Her explanation for what was going on is that Edward heard about her cliff diving and she had to go to L.A. to explain in person.
This puts Charlie in a state, roaring about how Edward didn’t do crap for her when she was clinically depressed for almost a year, and, essentially, how he is a rotten kid. All true.
“I want you to stay away from him, Bella. I don’t trust him. He’s rotten for you. I won’t let him mess you up like that again.” “Fine,” I said curtly. Charlie rocked back onto his heels. “Oh.” He scrambled for a second, exhaling loudly in surprise. “I thought you were going to be difficult.” “I am.” I stared straight into his eyes. “I meant, ‘Fine, I’ll move out.”
As Charlie looks about ready to have a heart attack, she starts cooing about how she doesn’t want to leave, but if he wants her to stay, he’s going to have to be nice to Edward. After all, he wants Bella to stay with him, right?
Wow. In some ways, Bella is just as abusive and manipulative as Edward. (+1 Bitch) Bella goes on to state that her and Edward are a package deal, then tells Charlie to get the hell out.
Edward reappears and half-heartedly insists she not start anything with Charlie over him. She reluctantly agrees not to, and then…
“I grinned. “If Charlie kicks me out, then there’s no need for a graduation deadline, is there?” His jaw tightened. “So eager for eternal damnation,” he muttered.”
Good God! She’s learning! Oh my Lord, are we going to have two passive-aggressive manipulative sissies in this series?
Anyway, something about souls, yadda yadda yadda.
“Forever,” he vowed, still a little staggered. “That’s all I’m asking for,” I said, and stretched up on my toes so that I could press my lips to his.”
Nobody gives a crap.
Thesaurus Rape: +4
Cream Count: +1
Red Flag: +11
Thesaurus Rape: +49
Eye Rape: +1
Cream Count: +7
Red Flag: Sparklepeen- +33 Wolfballs- +2