Edward creep-o-meter: 9
I went to the Significant Other’s folk’s place for our American Independence Day Food and Explosions Extravaganza, wearing my “And Then Buffy Staked Edward, The End” shirt. It turns out that Mikael’s aunt and cousin both feel exactly the same way we here at House Vampirely do. Getting into a very passionate discussion with two accomplished readers/writers from the family was exhilarating. We also got to bore the living daylights out of Mikael and his father.
The perils of living with a woman who has made a career of hating Twilight.
Chapter two is ratcheting up the creepy. And by the end of this recap, you’ll know why.
Bella goes to school. We, of course, want to hear all about this, and how she spends her time with the most perfect person on the planet (her exact words, not mine in the least). Everybody is panicking about this being their last year at high school, except for Alice and Edward. Good Lord, who knows how many times they’ve faked being high school kids. Given that Edward has “done the Dartmouth route” already, I’m not even really sure why he’s bothering with high school at this point. Wait, did I cover this already? I think this book is actively making me stupider.
Angela, her boyfriend B… uh, Bill… no… Ben! Right, another mortal we don’t care about. Angela, her boyfriend Ben, Alice, Edward, and Bella have lunch. They talk about senioritis. Bella mentions she’s free of grounding now. Angela and her should totally hang. Alice wants to party in another country. It’s wacky, completely enthralling hijinx all around.
Alice starts to have a vision in the middle of a conversation. The fact that Alice just completely checks out for minutes at a time doesn’t seem to bother the mortals in the least. Alice just says she was “daydreaming,” and she and Edward discuss things telepathically, without filling Bella in.
Bella enters Supreme Paranoia Mode.
Edward seems to avoid alone time with her for the rest of the day, clearly to avoid her questions. Wait. I’m not sure if I’m even being sarcastic anymore. On the one hand, Bella has to make it all about her, and on the other, Edward is a controlling asshole and I wouldn’t put it past him. He even goes so far as to strike up a conversation with Mike “Nothing Wrong With Him” Newton to avoid conversation with Bella. A conversation about cars. Hmm. That’s not suspicious at all.
I love when relationships are based on subterfuge and evasion.
Alice starts talking a mile a minute about how Edward shouldn’t have offered his services to Mike as a mechanic. Apparently, Ed is just not that good of a mechanic. I nearly dropped the book at this point. Something 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, it’s not actually a flaw at all. Edward is still better than the average person at auto mechanics.
Alice and Edward continue to have Silent Mind-Bullet Conversations, leaving Bella completely out of the loop. She spends two paragraphs waiting, hoping, and internally whining over Edward not telling her what’s going on–completely missing the fact that she could solve this very readily by just saying “What was Alice’s vision, why are you guys hiding it from me?”
Bella continues to stress and fret and not just ask what’s wrong. Edward continues trying to distract her by making out a little, and talking about random boring things that don’t matter. P.S. kissing Edward is still like making out with a marble statue. That’s hotttt with like a million Ts.
Bella gets an e-mail from her mother. We are treated to a page of Bella narrating how she’s had to take care of her own mother all her life. This is to prove how intelligent and mature she is. In a well-written character, it would also explain why she is so desperate to find someone (like Edward) to control her own life. But we’re not reading about well-written characters, are we?
This is a segue into the inevitable discussion of marriage again. I still do not get how I can be treated to two, 500-page books about how true their love is and how mated their souls are and how other-halvey Edward is, and be forced to swallow the horse crap that is Bella’s new fear of commitment. It’s completely out-of-character–and for someone with no character, that’s saying a lot.
Mom, apparently, got married right out of high school and immediately had a kid. So now she pressures Bella to go to college and wait until she’s “older” to even THINK about marriage. Don’t do what I did! Is this hypocrisy, or trying to live vicariously through your daughter? Neither, because Renée is Bella’s sweet and scatterbrained mother, and we are not allowed to find fault with people that Bella likes.
She has to write something about Jacob in her email. And then she realizes that Edward is standing over her shoulder. Oh but he’s totally not reading her write this email. That would be controlling. He’s actually staring at something in her closet. Sure.
Edward produces the two plane tickets to Florida Bella got for her birthday in the last book. Apparently they’re about to expire, and Edward is, inconceivably, all about going to Florida. Trying to get Bella out of town, are we? Of course, Bella can’t see through this at all. She’s just worried that Charlie is going to throw a fit. And you know he will.
I sighed. “Not this weekend.”
“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.”
I’m just positive he’s not going to try to undermine her decision to not go. He’s very respectful of her wants and wishes–so long as they’re in line with his. Otherwise, it’s Seduce Bella Until She Changes Her Mind time again!
I shook my head. “Another time.”
“You aren’t the only one who’s been trapped in this house, you know.” He frowned at me.
Suspicion returned. This kind of behavior was unlike him. He was always so impossibly selfless; I knew it was making me spoiled.
I laughed out-loud at this part. Edward, selfless? Right, stealing your crap in the last book and leaving you heartbroken was for your own good. Bullying or tricking you into doing things his way is because he’s protecting you.
Also, why the hell is he giving her lip for him being trapped in the house? Did Carlisle ground him to Bella’s bedroom, too?
Bella finally, finally gets around to asking what Alice had seen. It was something to do with Jasper going down south to see the family. Oh. Well. That’s… not at all what Bella or I was expecting. Bella is now chiding herself for being paranoid and assuming the worst. It’s all her fault! It’s not like Edward tried to avoid the subject and still seems to be keeping things from her. No no, she’s the one who needs therapy.
Bella makes Charlie a special dinner to keep him in a good mood with Edward there. Oh my God this is so “beaten housewife” I can hardly stand it. Charlie makes a comment about the Blacks inviting everyone down for some sports party. Bella wonders if Edward will get upset that Charlie is going to be hanging out with werewolves. We all know this is not the case, because Edward has no interest in controlling Charlie.
Edward and Bella get to washing dishes.
“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?”
Annnnd Edward completely undermines Bella. Are you surprised? Cause I’m freaking surprised.
Charlie seems okay with Bella going to visit her mother, until Edward mentions that he’d be going, too. Charlie shouts, stomps, and does everything but flip a table. (Also, I see my first use of the word “chagrin.” I’ve heard that the misuse of this word gets a little ridiculous, so I’m going to keep track!) Charlie attempts to ground Bella again for… uh, well, nothing at all, actually, and she calls him on it. By threatening to move out.
It’s battle of the nut-jobs!
Bella seems to like this new tactic of “say something shocking and terrible, then immediately follow up with something manipulative and seemingly reasonable.” She drops the “well, when do you want me to move out” card, then, when Charlie’s face turns purple, she sighs and does the whole “Look I’m trying to be reasonable but you can’t just order me around because I’m an adult and I can manipulate you like a pro now.”
Charlie eventually relents. Because he’s a pushover. A big, yelling, gun-toting pushover. She escapes to go to the Cullen Manor.
In the car, Edward insists that Bella has been talking about her mother in her sleep. Worrying about her and such. Bella is surprised at this. I’m just positive Edward isn’t lying in further attempt to get her out of town. But it’s okay if he does it, because he loves her. When she asks him why he had to go and make Charlie mad after she (very reasonably) said she’d have to wait until later, he says this:
“But, clearly, you were too much of a coward to deal with Charlie, so I interceded on your behalf.”
There’s that sweet caring boyfriend we know and love, belittling her so she remembers that she is only so much human chaff, and is, quite frankly, lucky to have such a wonderful perfect guy to hold her hand everywhere she goes.
She asks if this has anything to do with the party at the Black’s place, and he says “Not 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. Bella, miraculously, compares this to how Charlie was talking to her earlier. But she just doesn’t want to fight with Edward :(((
When Bella comes back, sans Edward, Charlie attempts to have The Sex Talk with her. Dad, seriously, the only time sex was even mentioned (and even then, through innuendo and eyebrow-waggling) was in chapter fourteen of Twilight. You have nothing to worry about.
That epic little lols-fest done with, Bella realizes she’s got an hour before Edward will come back to her room. This is just enough time to sneak down to La Push and actually see Jacob.
She is sneaking to La Push to see her friend. She has to sneak to avoid her boyfriend’s wrath. Why do Twilight fans not see the problem with this?
Bella tells Charlie where she’s going, and goes out to her truck, looking over her shoulder the whole way. She puts the key in the ignition, turns it… and nothing happens.
It is at this point that she realizes Edward is sitting next to her in the cab, turning a piece of her engine over and over in his hands.
While he turns this big piece of metal over in his hands in a gesture that isn’t a stretch to describe as threatening, he explains that Alice had a vision wherein Bella’s future disappeared. Naturally, this is because she’s going to go hang out with werewolves.
“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?”
This is not the dialogue of a loving, caring man, who is “anxious” for his lover.
This is the dialogue of a sociopathic creep.
I would expect this in a psychological thriller, in a suspense or mystery novel, something. I would expect this from a 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 frightened right now.
He continues to twirl a piece of her truck in his hands, murmuring idly about the nature of werewolves. If I were Bella, I would have started screaming for help at this point, because in not too many novels that engine piece would have ended up embedded in her skull at some point.
“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 well that’s kind of him.
With my lips mashed together, I retrieved my keys and stiffly climbed out of the truck.
“Shut your window if you want me to stay away tonight. I’ll understand,” he whispered, just before I slammed the door.
Whispering it like that means that he won’t understand, and will hold it against her for later. When he can disable her truck and break a leg or two. To protect her, of course.
Bella slams the door to the house and stomps upstairs. She shouts down to Charlie that her truck won’t start. He offers the use of his police cruiser, which is not in accordance with the law, so she declines.
When she gets to her room, she slams the window shut so hard the glass shakes.
Then, five minutes later, she sighs, gets back up and opens it again.
I have no. Freaking. Words. For this.