Chapter Three

The Significant Other and I just bought a PS3 and Prince of Persia. I’m trying my damnedest to focus on New Moon but… seriously, can you blame me?

In all fairness, I shouldn’t have too much trouble. Chapter three is downright infuriating.

So Edward has begun breaking up with Bella, and deep down inside she suspects this is what’s going on, but he’s conditioned her so well up to this point that she’s desperate to just pretend like nothing is happening. If he left she would just die. Frankly, I wish this were true, but I would settle for Bella realizing it’s not the end of the God damn world when your very first boyfriend-vampire-soulmate dumps your ass.

Edward is distant at school. I’d say he’s cold and stoney, but he’s always like that (and ~*so dreamy*~). Bella hopes that Alice can tell her what’s going on, but she’s absent. Edward tells her that Alice and Jasper left because he was distraught over almost eating her, and Bella is wracked with guilt even though it’s NOT AT ALL HER FAULT. She asks Edward to come over later, and he’s all “yeah whatever.” Bella is hyperventilating by the time she gets to work.

Here is where I would blast the narrative for being so overwrought and melodramatic, but there are two key points to keep in mind here:

  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 starts convincing herself that there’s nothing wrong and Edward just needs time to get over himself what happened. Besides, she just fell down. That’s all. He didn’t slam her into the table and get glass in her arm on purpose. He loves her. She just fell down. She fantasizes for a while at work about how maybe Edward and her can just leave Forks together so his entire family doesn’t relocate. Right, that’s going to happen.

I could go on for a few more point-by-point paragraphs here, but I’ll sum it up succinctly for you all: Edward ignores Bella for the rest of the night, doesn’t stay over like he always does, and then continues ignoring her at school the next day. And then the next day. No explanation of what’s going on. No discussion of how everything has made him feel. He just ignores her. She panics, hyperventilates, desperately believes 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 glad that Edward will be inadvertently breaking his own cycle of abuse by up and leaving her. Maybe Bella will grow the hell up and, I don’t know, get a life.

The second 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.”

WOOHOO

I mean awww.

She asks if they can just put it off another year. Bella is under the impression that Edward is issuing her yet another order.

“Bella, it’s time. How much longer could we have stayed 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 understood what he meant.

Bella, Queen of Denial.

She finally gets that when he says we he means all the vamps in vamptown, 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.

Edward finally pulls out the big guns and says he doesn’t want her to go because he doesn’t want her. Wow. He’s tired of being human and she’s no good for him. Wowww. Bella begins entering shut-down mode. Before he leaves, he has the gall to make her promise that she won’t do anything stupid or reckless. “I’m thinking of Charlie, of  course. He needs you.” Wowwwww.

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 good bye forever, and stuff. He kisses her on the forehead. When she opens her eyes again, he’s gone.

Let me be the first to say “SO LONG, COCKBITE!”  Good freaking riddance, sister. But man, your first breakup. It sucks, right? Welcome to adulthood. It’ll only make you stronger. Why don’t you go on home, call your mortal friends, bitch about what a controlling jerk he was and how you don’t need him anyway, and take out your frustrations on a pint of Häagen-Dazs?

Bella, as everyone has probably already guessed, does none of the above.

She wanders off alone into the forest.

She trips over something, falls to the ground, curls up in the fetal position, and passes out.

Ugh. Are you serious?

Bella lies on the forest floor in the rain for hours. Night falls. She thinks she hears people calling for her, but whatever, her life is over, etc. She thinks she hears a big animal snufling around her, and then, suddenly, injuns!

Somebody named Sam Uley picks her up and carries her out of the forest, shouting that he found her. A search party was assembled at her house, made up of Charlie and a bunch of Quileute who I guess just happened to be in the area? People are asking if she’s hurt, and Sam replies she seems ok, but she just keeps saying “He’s gone.”

Wow.

Charlie gets her inside, bundles her up, and one of the town doctors has a look at her.

Let’s get a public opinion poll here. Your daughter is found unconscious and disoriented in the middle of the woods, babbling about her possessive and controlling boyfriend, who is nowhere to be found. How many of you would assume he drugged her, dragged her out there, and raped her?

Yeah, I thought so, too.

Well 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.

Sweet Jesus.

He confirms that the Cullens have left. Carlisle got an awesome and sudden offer in LA and they had to accept it immediately. Okaay. The doctor leaves, the crowd of injuns disperses, Charlie stays up worried sick about his daughter. He gets several calls throughout the night, and one of them actually isn’t about Bella–someone is tattling on the reservation. They have been lighting bonfires. Yeah, in the rain. I don’t get it either. When Charlie hangs up he explains to Bella that those damn dirty redskins are actually celebrating the Cullens’ departure.

Charlie finally asks the questions that needed to be addressed.

“He left you alone in the woods?” Charlie guessed.

Bella just deflects it and asks how he knew where she was. Well, her note, of course. The note she never actually left. It’s in a close approximation of her handwriting, explaining where to find her. Okay. So Edward knew that Bella would go wandering off, disoriented and heartbroken, but he did it anyway? What a swell guy.

“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. […]

Of course it was, sweetie. When people abuse you, it’s because you did something to make them angry. It’s always your fault.

[…] He left me right here on the trail, in sight of the house… but I tried to follow him.”

Charlie started to say something; childishly, I covered my ears.

Seriously. The cop father. Not suspecting drugs or sexual trauma. I just can’t imagine this in any sort of realistic world.

Bella gets a terrible feeling about things, and escapes up to her room. Oh, look, the CD Edward made her is gone. And he rifled through her scrapbook and took out every photo of him. How sweet of him to try to protect and honor her by STEALING HER THINGS.

Bella immediately loses autonomy and all sense of time. Guys, I’m not joking. What follows is a direct transcription of exactly what is on the next four pages.

OCTOBER

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

JANUARY

She just gives. up. We don’t even get a narrative. We don’t even get a montage. We get month names. Bella, is for all intents and purposes, dead, for four months.

And, if you can believe this, it gets worse.

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31 Responses to “Chapter Three”

  1. This reminds me of how annoyed and angry I’d get with Disney channel parent. SO FREAKING USELESS.

  2. I’m sorry.

    I’d known about this, having seen said pages for myself, but… it really just doesn’t have the same impact unless you see it yourself, lol D:

    GOD WAY TO BE LAME I hate you, Stephenie Meyer. >_<

  3. Android 21 3/7 Says:

    I never read any of the books or anything nor do I ever want to, but I would honestly prefer month names to long montages about HOW SHE OH SO MISSES THAT HOT–ER I MEAN COLD SEXY STALKER!

  4. Mirthstrike Says:

    You’re totally gonna get slapped with a copyright suit for reproducing FOUR WHOLE PAGES VERBATIM of a published book.

  5. Forsakentale Says:

    Woa, just when I thought she couldn’t be more empty…..

  6. I’m not sure how to take this. On one hand, you’ve got what is essentially a book about how a teenager is taking life. This is kinda important. Perhaps my narrative style would simply be different.

    Or maybe I shouldn’t worry about it, because I wouldn’t write a story on this incredibly dull, yet somehow disturbing, subject.

    • If there’s one good thing I can say about Smeyer, it’s that she’s 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.

    • Moonshade Says:

      The one stick of credit I will give Smeyer is that the four month-pages are striking and actually get the point across very well.

      Sure, the point they get across is that Bella is obviously incapable of survival without her boytoy/master. But still. It’s much more eloquent than the next fifty pages of “OH NOES HE”S GOOOOOOOOONNNNNEEEE!!!!”

  7. AqtsVrtas Says:

    Anyone else find it a bit frightening that the entire vamp family seems to support Edward’s abusive behavior?

    “Carly, Esme, let’s move out of here so I can break up with my cheesegirlburgerfriend who is completely codependent and never ever see her again.”

    “Sure thing, son. We’ll pack the car!”

    • In my head, Carlisle is the reason Edward is so messed up. Carl constantly harping on Edward to control his urges, reminding him what a monster he is, that no one is going to love him for it (no one except his new family), and that if he doesn’t stay good he’s going right to hell…

      Well, in an interesting book, that’s what’s happening, anyway.

      • AqtsVrtas Says:

        Funny story, reading this blog made me go ahead and read Midnight Sun (girlfriend pestered me to read the series, blah, she loves it, blah, luckily she’s not codependent) and I have to say, seeing /more/ of Carlisle and Edward talking makes it seem even more so.

      • Magistrate of Mediocrety Says:

        Dead serious: Stockholm syndrome. It’s insanely easy to brain wash someone. Long stretches of emotional abuse punctuated with random acts of kindness.

  8. Millenous Laughter Says:

    Well, to be fair, Bella’s been something of a dead character since she was first introduced to us in chapter one of Twilight. Should we now be upset that Smeyer’s making her pages easier to read for people who are vision-impaired?

  9. Interimname Says:

    As the child of a police officer, I have to say that this is a ridiculous portrayal of one’s reaction. Maybe it’s because we lived in close proximity to a highly crime-ridden South Florida city (and not buttfuck nowhere next to a wide expanse of national park/ocean), but I swear to you that even staying out past 10 or going ANYWHERE without saying where it was first would result in yelling and questions. If he could have done weekly drug tests, he would have. Regardless of any reason to suspect.

    He’s a bit of an extreme case, but it still stands that Meyer is a terrible character builder. Not that I was given any reason to believe she was before now, but this is just silly.

    Also, also: I get the feeling you saw the movie before you started on this journey to read the books? Perhaps seeing the chick playing Alice helped create a fondness for her. I’m just saying, because the character is pretty flat (which is fine, it helps you to build your own interpretation and create something where nothing is), but the actress was SMOKING HOT. So that could help.

    • Haha, yes, you totally nailed it. I had watched the movie before I started on the book. So I imagine the actress playing Alice when I read Alice’s lines. Which vastly improves my view of her character, lol.

      • Moonshade Says:

        I’m definitely a fan of Movie!Charlie. Who, you know, acted sort of like a cop, even if he is a lax and laid back one.

        “Going out, sweetie? Don’t forget your Mace.”

  10. “She trips over something, falls to the ground, curls up in the fetal position, and passes out.”
    Wow, I never knew ANYONE who could pass out so often (and for such a stupid reason). Except diabetic people, maybe. Is Bella going to be suddenly diagnosed with diabetes and have to amputed of her left leg (why not) because Charlie was such a lame dad he didn’t notice ? And because of her amputation, Edward won’t love her anymore and actually GO on a blood frenzy and suck her dry and leave her to die, and the next books will actually be on someone interesting and NORMAL ? (Like say, Mike ? Cause I’m kina fed up with vamps right now)
    No ?
    Well… One can always dream, right ?

  11. Katie Cole Says:

    Does no one think rape because they live in such a small town that something like that just never occur ed 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? I mean come on people…

    I like Charlie. I don’t know why. I mean, yes he seems like a bad father but it isn’t all his fault. Bella has been living with her mom for the majority of her life. He’s just out of his depth when it comes to dealing with his teenage daughter. My own father acts this way most of the time. Maybe he just feels too embarrassed to ask if she was raped? Who knows…at least he gets a bit better later on.

  12. Katie Cole Says:

    Rebotco
    Rebmevon
    Rebmeced
    Yraunaj

  13. Guys, aren’t you forgetting? Beautiful people can do no wrong! That’s why no one suspected Bella was raped. Because she was with Edward!

  14. The Brigeeda Rocks Says:

    …Ok, so…Charlie’s a horrible cop-dad. Barely pretends to take an interest in his daughter’s welfare after being unconscious in the woods for hours.

    How has no one compared him to Officer Barbrady yet?

  15. I liked the four pages of months.
    So much easier to read than SMeyer’s terrible narrative.

  16. Eleanor Says:

    What I don’t get is why Bella was so surprised. 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 she’s all clinically depressed and psychotic. If you spend so long convincing yourself that he’s gonna leave you, why is it such a big shock when he does.

  17. You know, I found the zaga online and I have it opened for reference as I read your recaps, so that I can check those hysterical points you make… ROFL! And one silly but annoying detail I’ve noticed but can’t help mentioning: Bella doesn’t speak, she “mumbles;” she doesn’t walk, she “stumbles.” AAAAAAAIIIIIGGGGHHH

  18. ColorfulNeko Says:

    Gosh, so much for Smeyer setting a good role model for teenage girls reading her books.
    I mean, seriously. “If your creepy, stalker boyfriend leaves you,curl up into a pathetic fetal position, go catatonic for four months, and then throw yourself off a cliff.
    What a wonderful message for girls.
    *sarcasm*lol

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