What this chapter should be called: Edward Cullen’s guide to controlling your woman.
Edward creep-o-meter: 15 GOOD LORD
Chapter two is an odd one. Half of it makes me go, “God, Bella, your school day is just so fucking exciting” and the other half creeps the everloving hell out of me. You’ll see why.
Bella skips down the school halls, absolutely thrilled to be holding hands with “the most perfect person on the planet.” Her words, not mine. (+1 Cream Count)
“Maybe it was the knowledge that my sentence was served and I was a free woman again.”
We all know that there’s no such thing as a free woman in Meyerland, but whatevs. Everyone at in Bella’s class is freaking out about their last year in high school. Except for Alice and Edward, of course, because lord knows how many times they’ve faked being high school kids for no damn reason. (+1 Stupidity) Given that Edward has already gone to Dartmouth and Harvard and whatnot, I’m not entirely sure why he just hasn’t given up on high school altogether. (+1 Stupidity)
Wait a minute, haven’t I talked about this already? I’m sure I have.
Jesus, I think this book might actually be making me stupider.
Bella ruminates more on her newfound freedom, keeping Charlie’s request in mind. She offers to help Angela, a boring mortal that we haven’t heard from in nearly a full book, address graduation announcements, revealing that Charlie un-grounded her.
“Really?” Angela asked, mild excitement lighting her always-gentle brown eyes. “I thought you said you were in for life.” “I’m more surprised than you are. I was sure I would at least have finished high school before he set me free.” “Well, this is great, Bella! We’ll have to go out to celebrate.”
Alice freaks out, and wants to party in another country or something to celebrate, being her wacky little self. While this is going on, Bella stops caring and thinks about Jacob. She’s so attentive to her “friends.” (+1 Bitch)
“Sure, I was free to go to anywhere I wanted — except La Push; free to do anything I wanted — except see Jacob.”
I just love it when relationships are based around a controlling other half. (+1 Red Flag)
Do you see how wrong this is? Edward has Bella so wrapped around his cold, dead finger, that what he says goes, no exceptions. What’s even more frustrating is that Bella really has no objection to this. We’re at the point where Sparklepeen could go, “Hey, Bella, I want you to drink this gallon of expired milk for me,” and Bella would be wiping the milk mustache off her face before Edward even finished the sentence. (+1 Red Flag)
I don’t know who to hate more: myself, for wasting my time on this pointless book, or Meyer, for creating such boring, abusive characters.
Bella whines about the fact that she can’t seem to grow a backbone, and then Alice checks the fuck out.
“She [Angela] was waving her hand back and forth in front of Alice’s blank, staring face. Alice’s expression was something I recognized — an expression that sent an automatic shock of panic through my body. The vacant look in her eyes told me that she was seeing something very different from the mundane lunchroom scene that surrounded us, but something that was every bit as real in its own way.”
And no one cares.
I’m serious. Everyone finds it completely normal that Alice just goes off into her own little world for minutes at a time. Normal. Let me tell you, if one of my friends did that frequently, and blamed it on “daydreaming” I would be frisking her for drugs. (+1 Stupidity)
All the blood “slithers” out of Bella’s face, which is just a bit too close to comparing her blood to snakes for my taste. (+1 Thesaurus Rape) Edward and Alice talks things out telepathically. Whatever’s going on is also not important enough to mention to Bella.
“I saw her eyes lock with Edward’s, only for a moment, and then she looked back to Angela before anyone else noticed. Edward was quiet, playing absentmindedly with a strand of my hair. I waited anxiously for a chance to ask Edward what Alice had seen in her vision, but the afternoon passed without one minute of alone time.”
And Bella enters Supreme Paranoia mode.
“I waited anxiously for a chance to ask Edward what Alice had seen in her vision, but the afternoon passed without one minute of alone time. It felt odd to me, almost deliberate.”
Never mind that we don’t even know if what Alice saw was bad. For all we know, Alice saw that Emmett would save three children from a burning to death when the 67th floor of their hotel caught on fire, or the Jets winning the Superbowl, or something. It could even have been something completely mundane. But Bella doesn’t know, so she immediately freaks out about it. (+1 Stupidity)
Also, it’s kind of her own damn fault that she doesn’t just pull Edward aside and ask, like a normal person. (+1 Stupidity)
Bella justifies her paranoia when Edward seemingly avoids alone time with her for the rest of the day, which is clearly so he doesn’t have to answer her questions. Am I even being sarcastic anymore? Bella does just make it all about her, yes, but Edward is also a controlling asshat, so I wouldn’t put it past him.
He even goes so far as to strike up a conversation with “Nothing Wrong With Mike” Newton. About cars. Suspiiiiiccccciiiiouuuuus.
“…Maybe. I really don’t know anything about cars,” Mike admitted. “I need to have someone look at it, but I can’t afford to take it to Dowling’s.” I opened my mouth to suggest my mechanic, and then snapped it shut again. My mechanic was busy these days — busy running around as a giant wolf. “I know a few things — I could take a look, if you like,” Edward offered. “Just let me drop Alice and Bella at home.”
Oh, being friendly without due cause? He’s definitely hiding something.
They get in the damn Volvo, and Alice just goes off on Edward for offering his help, because:
“You’re really not that good a mechanic, Edward.”
I just about sprayed my screen with Dr. Pepper and chunks of Oreo. Is this, finally, something that Edward is not absolutely perfect at? This can’t be possible.
“Though I suppose, for Mike’s car, you’ll do. It’s only within the finer tunings of a good Italian sports car that you’re out of your depth.”
Oh. So…okay. Not a flaw after all. He’s still better at it than most people. False alarm, my bad.
Edward and Alice play “keep the secret from Bella” the whole car ride home. Bella is in Super Duper Paranoia mode by now, but still keeps her mouth shut, dreading that it could be the WORST POSSIBLE THING.
“What had Alice seen today at lunch? Something he didn’t want to tell me, and I tried to think of a reason why he would keep secrets. Maybe it would be better to prepare myself before I asked.”
Bella prattles on like this for another paragraph, yet again failing to realize that she could have solved this whole problem a long time ago just by asking, “What did Alice see and why are you guys not telling me?” God. Bella must be dumber than I thought. (+1 Stupidity)
They get to Bella’s house, finally. Bella is worried that Charlie will get upset over the fact that Edward is in the house, so she decides to make something special for dinner. (Oh God why am I not counting sexist points?)
Bella heads up the stairs and goes on the internets, which takes about 5 minutes because everyone in this book seems to only have dial-up. (+1 Stupidity) She turns around, Edward is right behind her, and they kiss. For three paragraphs.
“If I had my way, I would spend the majority of my time kissing Edward. There wasn’t anything I’d experienced in my life that compared to the feeling of his cool lips, marble hard but always so gentle, moving with mine.”
Gack. (+1 Thesaurus Rape) This goes on for awhile, and Bella describes it as kissing a statue, again. I’m not sure why everyone thinks kissing a statue is oh so hot. I tried it at a mall once. It was quite uncomfortable, I got some strange looks, and security eventually asked me to leave. But Meyer thinks this is like, so hottt with a million t’s, so whatever. (+1 Stupidity)
This kiss is so steamy, it’s worth three paragraphs and results in half of Bella’s remaining brain cells dying in glee. (I’m still waiting for a five paragraph kiss, which will be so hot that Edward and Bella’s lips will fuse together, rendering them into some sort of Siamese twins. Whenever they try to say a word with a P or B sound, the result will be hilarious.)
Edward eventually has to back off so that he doesn’t dismember Bella right then and there. Bella reads an email from her mother, and we are treated to several paragraphs regarding how immature Renee is and how very grown-up Bella is in comparison.
“I’d spent most of my life taking care of Renée, patiently guiding her away from her craziest plans, good-naturedly enduring the ones I couldn’t talk her out of. I’d always been indulgent with my mom, amused by her, even a little condescending to her. I saw her cornucopia of mistakes and laughed privately to myself. Scatterbrained Renee. I was a very different person from my mother. Someone thoughtful and cautious. The responsible one, the grown-up.”
This serves as a very nice segue into Renee’s biggest mistake: getting married right out of high school. Sound like anyone we know?
“…she’d drilled it into me over and over — smart people took marriage seriously. Mature people went to college and started careers before they got deeply involved in a relationship. She knew I would never be as thoughtless and goofy and small-town as she’d been. . . .”
How in HELL can I be treated to two 500 page books about how Edward and Bella are in twu wuv, how other-halvey they are to each other, how lovingly committed they are, and how Bella is willing to become an eternally damned creature of the night in order to spend the rest of her life with Edward, and yet, she’s afraid of marriage? (+1 Stupidity)
For fuck’s sake, where the hell did this sudden fear of commitment come from? It’s completely out of character for Bella, and seeing as she has no character, that’s saying a lot. (+1 Stupidity)
But anyway, don’t get married! See, in a good book, this would be called out as blatant hypocrisy or an attempt to live vicariously through your child. Sadly, this is not a good book, and the message is simply left the way it is. (+1 Stupidity)
Bella rambles on about how responsible she is, which comes off as pompous and a little annoying. She then gets irked at her mother for asking how Jacob is doing.
“Charlie was prompting her, I was sure. I sighed and typed quickly, tucking the answer to her question between two less sensitive paragraphs.”
Bella is immediately convinced that the whole world is conspiring against her. What a lovely girl. (+1 Bitch)
I often get asked why I call Bella out on so many little, teenager-y things like this. Like most other things in these books, it’s not what’s written, but how it’s written. I mean, sure, there are days where I’m convinced that the world just hates me, but do I go on and on about it and expect everyone to take me seriously? No. But with Bella, we’re expected to believe that whatever she says is true, and that the fault is always someone else’s. There’s never any doubt, nor is Bella ever explicitly wrong (except for when it’s plot-convenient), and this is why Bella is a terribly written character.
Whoof. Anyhoo, Bella turns around to find Edward going through her closet. Not creepy at all. (+1 Red Flag)
“He was examining a flat black box with wires curling crookedly away from the main square in a way that didn’t look healthy for whatever it was. After a second, I recognized the car stereo Emmett, Rosalie, and Jasper had given me for my last birthday.”
Edward is just shocked that Bella might have wanted to get rid of anything that reminded her of the fact that he left her comatose on the forest floor. (+1 Red Flag) He never says anything like this, but hides behind the fact that it might hurt their feelings. (What the hell is he talking about? Emmett feels only RAGE!) He says he’s going to put another one in her truck, whether she likes it or not. Awww, how sweet of him, forcing gifts that she doesn’t need on her so that she feels the obligation to pay him back. (+1 Red Flag)
He also conveniently stumbles upon the airline tickets to Florida.
“Do you realize these are about to expire?” he asked, holding the paper out to me. It was another present — the voucher for airplane tickets that Esme and Carlisle had given me so that I could visit Renée in Florida. I took a deep breath and answered in a flat voice. “No. I’d forgotten all about them, actually.”
Edward says that Bella needs to go to Florida THIS WEEKEND. He literally demands that they go this weekend, because we all know that Bella is incapable of making her own decisions. (+1 Red Flag) Bella says it isn’t worth the fight with Charlie, though.
“Not this weekend.” “Why not?” “I don’t want to fight with Charlie. Not so soon after he’s forgiven me.” His eyebrows pulled together. “I think this weekend is perfect,” he muttered. I shook my head. “Another time.”
Oh, I’m just positive that Edward isn’t trying to get her out of Washington so she can’t see her werewolf pals. (+1 Red Flag) But Edward is smart enough to figure out that demanding his way isn’t gonna work, so he switches to his favorite tactic: guilt.
“You aren’t the only one who’s been trapped in this house, you know.”
What, did Charlie ground Edward to Bella’s bedroom, too? (+1 Red Flag)
“Suspicion returned. This kind of behavior was unlike him. He was always so impossibly selfless; I knew it was making me spoiled.”
I just laughed so hard I choked. Edward, selfless? Yes, because stealing your shit and leaving you near catatonic was for your own good, as is bullying and tricking you into doing what he wants. He’s really just protecting you! (+1 Stupidity)
Bella finally has the sense to ask what Alice saw at lunch.
“She’s been seeing Jasper in a strange place, somewhere in the southwest, she thinks, near his former . . . family. But he has no conscious intentions to go back.” He sighed. “It’s got her worried.”
Wait, what? I thought Alice saw the results of decisions that were consciously made, so how is she seeing something that Jasper hasn’t even decided to do yet? Once again, Meyer completely contradicts her own goddamn canon. (+1 Stupidity)
Bella is now sad that she’s spent the whole afternoon being paranoid for nothing.
“My imagination was sadly out of control. I’d taken a perfectly normal afternoon and twisted it until it looked like Edward was going out of his way to keep things from me. I needed therapy.”
Yeah, your boyfriends lies to you, steals from you, and constantly controls you, but you’re the one who needs therapy. Right. (+1 Stupidity)
They go downstairs and Bella makes Charlie a special dinner so he won’t be angry, which is so battered housewife-y I shuddered. We get to learn exactly how Bella makes stroganoff, which I’m sure we all just really fucking needed to know. Charlie comes home to eat, and Edward excuses himself from dinner, somehow.
Speaking of which, how exactly does Edward plan on going to Florida with Bella? First off, it’s in my experience that Florida is generally very sunny, which means Edward is going be sparkling up a storm. Second, it’s going to get awfully fishy if Edward is always excusing himself from eating. Has Sparklepeen really thought this one through? (+1 Stupidity)
They make small talk, and Charlie brings up the subject of injuns.
“He invited us down to visit this weekend. He was thinking of having the Clearwaters and the Uleys over too. Sort of a playoff party. . . .”
Uh, isn’t it, like, late May, early June ish? What sports are in playoffs then? Then again, maybe the people of Forks are just really in to hockey. (+1 Stupidity)
Bella wonders if Edward will get upset that Charlie is going to be hanging out with werewolves. We all know this isn’t the case, because Edward has absolutely no interest in controlling Charlie. (+1 Red Flag)
“I knew I wouldn’t be allowed to hit a werewolf party, even with parental supervision.”
Allowed? Allowed? The only thing your boyfriend should get to allow you to do is if you’re planning on doing something to his toes or hair, and even then, what you’re planning on doing still sounds pretty funny. (+1 Red Flag)
And also, why is Edward so dead-set on Bella not being around any werewolves. They’re dangerous? From what we’ve seen, there’s only been one werewolf victim, and she seems to be getting on alright, compared to the numerous people we know Edward has killed. (+1 Stupidity) And it’s awfully hypocritical of Edward to be worried about werewolves hurting Bella when he routinely dangles her in front of Jasper like a piece of meat. (+1 Stupidity)
Bella cleans up the kitchen like a good little housewife, and Edward comes in to supervise Bella, striking up a conversation with Charlie on the side.
“Charlie,” Edward said in a conversational tone. Charlie stopped in the middle of his little kitchen. “Yeah?” “Did Bella ever tell you that my parents gave her airplane tickets on her last birthday, so that she could visit Renée?”
Do you remember that annoying friend you had in middle school? The one you told about your crush, and they swore that they would never tell, but the next day the whole school knew? Edward is that friend. Jesus, are you surprised he decided to go ahead and undermine her? Cause I am so freaking surprised. (+1 Red Flag)
“Charlie went on. “How many tickets did your parents give her?” “Just one for her . . . and one for me.”
Charlie all but flips the table at this. There is yelling, shouting, pointing the finger, and the first use of the word chagrin, which I’m told Meyer hideously overuses in this book. Charlie attempts to ground Bella again, for kind of no reason, to which Bella plays the “if that’s the way you want it, I’m moving out.”
“Do I need to remind you that I’m a legal adult, Charlie?” “This is my house — you follow my rules!” My glare turned icy. “If that’s how you want it. Do you want me to move out tonight? Or can I have a few days to pack?”
Bella immediately feels horrible after she says this, because she is a good character, remember? (+1 Bitch)
This is where I run in to some problems. First off, why isn’t Charlie just calling her bluff? It’s not like she’s gonna go to Florida, where she can’t bring Edward. (Though I’m sure if she did, it would magically become cloudy there all the time.) I guess Charlie could be worried she’s going to move in with Eddiekins, but still.
I say this because I’ve had my fair share of stupid little fights. “NO, mom, I will absolutely not empty the cat box without bitching about it! God, you hate me! I’m going to run away and move in with my uncle Kevin in North Dakota and I’ll live with his family in their motor home and be happy! So there!” To which my parents would promptly reply, “Go for it.” They were smart enough to know that I was eleven and stupid, and all I really needed was to sob about how unfair it was in my room for awhile and then everything would be okay. (If you didn’t have these fights with your parents when you were 11, you’re a liar.)
Why isn’t Charlie doing the same thing with Bella? After all, she’s about as emotionally mature as an eleven year-old. Because he’s a pushover, but only when it’s convenient. (+1 Stupidity)
“I took a deep breath and tried to make my tone more reasonable. “I’ll do my time without complaining when I’ve done something wrong, Dad, but I’m not going to put up with your prejudices.”
Given that Charlie’s “prejudices” mostly have basis in solid fact, Bella needs to stop whining. (+1 Bitch)
Bella really seems to like the tactic of “say something rude and spiteful then immediately follow it up with a logical argument. It’s battle of the nutjobs. Charlie eventually relents, because we all know that Bella-Sue will always get her way (+1 Stupidity), and Bella makes a hasty escape to Chez Cullen, mostly so she can try to give Edward a stern talking-to in the car.
We also get our first glower of the book, which is nice. Seriously, searching for these two little words have turned this book from a total crapfest to a mini treasure hunt.
“What was that ?” I demanded. “I know you want to see your mother, Bella — you’ve been talking about her in your sleep. Worrying, actually.”
While on its own, this is kind of sweet, the next sentence only firms my conviction that I would rather lick used hobo tissues than ever know Edward Cullen.
“But, clearly, you were too much of a coward to deal with Charlie, so I interceded on your behalf.”
How sweet and caring, belittling the girl he loves to make her remember that she is a frail woman, incapable of confronting her own problems, and quite lucky to have a man that will hold her hand everywhere she goes. (+1 Red Flag )
“Does this sudden urge to see Florida have anything to do with the party at Billy’s place?” His jaw flexed. “Nothing at all. It wouldn’t matter if you were here or on the other side of the world, you still wouldn’t be going.”
Yikes. (+1 Red Flag) Bella has the rare common sense to compare this to what Charlie was saying earlier, but decides that it’s not worth her time, because she just doesn’t want to fight with Edward.
When Bella comes back, Charlie tries to have the sex talk with her. Awkward, especially considering that the only time sex has ever even been mentioned in these books is a few little paragraphs in Twilight. Charlie, bro, you have nothing to worry about.
That little lulz-fest over and done with, Bella decides she has just enough time to sneak down to La Push to see Jacob. Ugh, do you guys see how WRONG this is? She has to sneak around someone who supposedly loves her more than life itself to see a friend. Jesus on a pogo stick. (+1 Red Flag)
She gets all the way to her truck, jumps in the cab, and turns the key a few times. Surprise, surprise, the truck doesn’t start. Bella suddenly becomes very aware that someone is in the truck with her.
“Edward sat very still, a faint bright spot in the darkness, only his hands moving as he turned a mysterious black object around and around. He stared at the object as he spoke. “Alice called,” he murmured.”
Here’s a flag. Color it red. There’s your red flag. (+1 Red Flag)
Edward just sits there, turning this piece of metal over and over in his hands, a motion which I’m sure is in no way threatening. He explains that, due to Alice’s crippling inability to see werewolves, Bella’s future goes poof whenever she involves them.
“Because she can’t see the wolves, you know,” he explained in the same low murmur. “Had you forgotten that? When you decide to mingle your fate with theirs, you disappear, too. You couldn’t know that part, I realize that. But can you understand why that might make me a little . . . anxious?”
First off, this is complete bullshit. If this was true, Bella’s future would have been popping in and out of existence since the middle of book 2, and Alice should have freaked out a hell of a lot sooner. (+1 Stupidity)
Putting that aside, this is not the dialogue of a loving, caring boyfriend.
These are the words of a disturbed, sociopathic, creep.
I would expect this in a psychological thriller, in a suspense or mystery novel, something like that. I would expect this from a truly sinister person.
But I am expected to believe that this is from the person she wants to spend the rest of her life with.
I am more than a little scared right now. (+3 Red Flag)
Edward continues to sit there and twirl the engine piece, pondering the nature of werewolves. Bella just sits there and listens, which I find incredibly idiotic. I would have started screaming for help 5 minutes ago, knowing it was more likely than not that the engine piece would end up embedded in my head. (+1 Stupidity)
“I’ll put your car back together in time for school, in case you’d like to drive yourself,” he assured me after a minute.”
Oh, how very sweet of him. (+1 Red Flag)
“Shut your window if you want me to stay away tonight. I’ll understand,” he whispered just before I slammed the door.”
I would be so lucky to ever find love a fraction as true as this. (+1 Red Flag)
Bella stomps up the stairs, yelling to Charlie that her truck won’t start. She runs into her room, and slams the window so hard it rattles.
And five minutes later, opens it right back up.
Stephenie Meyer: setting women’s rights back 50 years.
Thesaurus Rape: +2
Cream Count: +1
Red Flag: +20
Thesaurus Rape: +4
Eye Rape: +1
Cream Count: +2
Red Flag: +25