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:
- 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.
- 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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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.