This chapter is pretty much just one giant conversation between Bella and Edward, and while it’s not too painful to read, there is, of course, a whole bunch of crap added that we definitely didn’t need, that could have made it much shorter if Meyer had cut it. I really wish she would do that, even once.
So the chapter starts with Bella arguing with herself over whether or not what happened the night before was a dream…so in other words, pointless blather. More pointless blather about the weather, breakfast, and other things follows that, and then there is Edward’s car at the end of her driveway, and Edward asking her if she wants a drive to school with him. What a nice, creepy way to start the day; a vampire walking up to you out of the fog, asking if you want to spend time alone with him in his car.
“There was uncertainty in his voice. He was really giving me a choice – I was free to refuse, and part of him hoped for that.”
Maybe it’s just me, but something feels very off about how this sentence is worded. To me, it sounds like Bella isn’t used to being able to refuse things, even though there’s been no sign in the book thus far that anyone has ever stopped her from making her own choices about things. Even Edward, who wants her to make the choice to stay away from him for her own good, is still (for some reason) giving her the right to make that choice herself instead of making it for her. So why does she seem so surprised? Maybe I’m just reading this wrong.
Anyway, it’s no surprise that she agrees to go with him, and once she’s in his car he offers her his jacket again, because he knows Jessica still has hers. Awww, he’s so considerate, and she’s so horny about his scent and his ‘perfectly muscled chest‘ that she can see through his shirt since he’s not wearing the jacket…
Bella feels awkward as they drive, because she doesn’t know what sort of dynamic they should have, and then Edward starts talking to her about her questions and reactions to him, and accuses her of editing her responses when she tells him what she’s thinking. She tells him he doesn’t want to hear what she’s really thinking, which is a stab at him for when he said that the night before, so they go back to silence until they get to school, when Bella asks where his family is.
That question leads to a bunch of useless paragraphs about how the vampires want to fit in but they like shiny cars and driving fast too much, and then there’s Jessica, waiting for Bella with her jacket. Jess is very awkward about Edward being with Bella for some reason (is it really that much of a surprise, given the night before?), so she takes off, and Edward and Bella discuss what she’s going to say to Jess when she sees her in class.
Bella uses Edward’s ability to read Jess’s mind to find out what she wants to know, which is if Edward and Bella are dating, and how Bella feels about him. Bella takes that opportunity to find out where she stands with Edward, which is surprisingly clever for her, and he tells her that she should say yes to the question of whether or not they’re dating, because it’s “easier than any other explanation“. How romantic. At least he touches her hair while he does this, to make it somewhat less depressing.
Edward leaves for class, telling her he’ll be waiting to see what her answer is to the question of how she feels about him, and then instead of being happy that she’s just found out she’s dating the guy she’s got a crush on, Bella is irritated because Edward is going to ‘cheat’ to find out how she feels. If you’re dating the guy, how is that a problem? Why can’t you focus on the good parts of any situation for more than 3 seconds? So what if he knows how you feel about him; he just revealed that he wants to date you, and not only that, but he wants to let others know that! Clearly he feels something for you, as much as he shouldn’t! Aggh.
Mike starts talking to Bella once she sits down in class, asking about her time in Port Angeles, and then they chat briefly about his date with Jess…which he seems a lot happier about than he should, considering he didn’t want to date Jess, he only went out with her because Bella wouldn’t go out with him. But hey, maybe he’s just a generally lonely guy, so he’s happy with whatever he can get. I just can’t see this being how things would legitimately go in real life, unless the guy was just using the girl. I hope that’s not the case; poor Jess.
Blah blah blah, time and classes go by, Bella “agonizes” over crap that’s really not all that bad, and then she is in class with Jess, and Jess is excited to hear about what happened with Edward. Bella tells her all about all the things we already know, and then Jess asks if Edward has kissed her, to which she responds that “it’s not like that“. …What? He said you’re dating; how is it not “like that”? Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t; if he wants you to be dating, chances are it is very much “like that”, and you should know that! Besides, this makes it sound like you’re not even dating, which again, he just said you are!
Still, Bella says she doubts Edward will kiss her on Saturday either, so I’m willing to bet he will (even if only to spite her), and then Bella tells her about the waitress hitting on him and whatnot. Again, this is all stuff we already knew that to some extent I understand why is here, but still do not believe has to be here in such detail. Unfortunately, Meyer, I was paying attention the first time you described all this shit; I really don’t need to go through it all again.
Jess points out that Edward must like Bella if he was ignoring the pretty waitress for her, even though that’s kind of flawed logic, and Bella says she thinks he likes her, but it’s hard to tell. Again, really? How is it hard to tell? He JUST SAID YOU ARE DATING. Most people don’t date people they don’t like, especially not when said person is someone who has told you repeatedly that they shouldn’t be around you for your own good, yet can’t seem to stay away from you! If how he feels about you trumps that, I’m pretty damn sure he fucking likes you! Still don’t know why, but yeah!
They discuss how intimidating and gorgeous he is, and Bella has a very hypocritical thought about Jess’s view on things; she says Jess acts like Edward’s being gorgeous excuses any of his flaws, but that’s exactly what Bella has fucking done. She’s decided that because he is pretty and she’s attracted to him, it doesn’t matter that he’s a vampire. Bella, seriously, become even the slightest bit self-aware, here. You can’t look down on Jess for doing something that you are doing to a MUCH worse degree. I’m pretty sure Jess would be way more turned off by finding out he’s a vampire than you have been. But damn, those abs, eh? Totally worth dying for.
Bella goes on about how much more unbelievable Edward is behind his good looks, despite that she knows next to nothing about him, and then Jess confirms that Bella likes him, and asks her how much she likes him. Is this actually a thing that teenaged girls do? Because I don’t remember doing that. I remember being asked if I liked someone, but once the answer was out, no one pressed about degrees of liking the person. But I guess Meyer needed a way for Bella to reveal that she believes that she likes Edward more than he likes her, so she and Edward can have an asinine conversation about that later, so there you have it.
Class ends, and as Bella and Jess leave, Bella makes sure to change the subject to her brief conversation with Mike about his date with Jess, so that she doesn’t have to talk about Edward anymore…and apparently they’re able to talk about that approximately two sentence long conversation for the entirety of the next class. Dear god, I’m so glad I was never that kind of teenaged girl. I’d have had to stab myself, I’m pretty sure.
When they leave for lunch, Jess confirms that Bella isn’t going to be sitting with her and her friends, and then there is Edward, waiting just outside the class for Bella.
“Jessica took one look, rolled her eyes, and departed.”
.…Why would she roll her eyes? She wants this for Bella; she’s excited about it…that is a completely nonsensical reaction. I’m not sure why that annoys me so much, but it does…maybe because Meyer keeps having Bella treat Jess like shit, and then seems to be trying to make it look like Jess is being a bitch here, when she really isn’t a bitch at all. I don’t know.
Bella and Edward exchange hellos, then don’t speak anymore (because Edward looks irritated again; yay) until they get to the lunch line, where Edward begins piling up food for the two of them. Good of him to decide what she wants, isn’t it? But hey, I guess he pays for it, so whatever.
Everyone stares at them “in amazement” wherever they go together, because I guess Edward must never have been seen with anyone outside his family ever before now, and for some reason everyone is much more invested in that than there is any reason to be…and then they’re sitting at their lunch table, with Edward proving he can eat real food if he wants to, and them discussing Bella eating dirt on a dare. This is just such important and interesting information; I can barely stand it.
Edward informs Bella that Jessica is analysing everything he does, which for some reason irritates him, despite that she is very useful to him so I can’t really see why he’d be annoyed by her…and then they discuss how pretty the waitress was, and how little Edward noticed her. Again. Luckily that doesn’t go on for long, though, before Edward mentions that something Bella said to Jess bothered him, and they have an exchange that I really can’t tell if is meant to come off as flirtatious or full of annoyance, because the comments seem quite bitey. I don’t like how the line there is so blurry with these two. How is this supposed to be a desirable relationship for the reader, when it’s always on the borderline of annoyance and even, in some cases, mental/emotional abuse?
Edward tells her that he wants to know what she’s thinking all the time, he just sometimes wishes she wouldn’t think the things she does, and then asks if she really thinks she cares more for him than he does for her. And here we go; bring on the inane crap!
Bella tries to evade the question at first, but then answers that she does think that that’s the case, which he says is wrong. After much delay due to Bella being distracted by how pretty Edward is yet a-fucking-GAIN (and this delay significantly annoys Edward, so maybe he doesn’t have as much control over his temper as we were led to believe in previous chapters), she explains that she thinks she cares more than he does because it sometimes seems like he’s trying to say goodbye to her when he’s saying something else, and because of “the obvious“. Alllllrighty then.
Edward calls her perceptive, which again she ISN’T, because it didn’t just ‘seem’ like he was trying to say goodbye, he was ACTUALLY FUCKING TRYING TO, repeatedly, and was VERY clear about it…but says that that’s exactly why she’s wrong, and then asks what she means by “the obvious“. This gives Bella a chance to get all self-deprecating and go on about how ordinary she is aside from her clumsiness, and what a contrast that is to him.
Edward tells her that she doesn’t see herself very clearly, which is true, but again not in the way he’s thinking; she doesn’t see herself clearly because she doesn’t see what a self-absorbed, whiney bitch she is on top of being ordinary and clumsy, while he thinks what she doesn’t see is how every male in school was thinking about her the day she showed up. What the fuck? Every male in school? She is one fucking person; she can’t possibly be to the tastes of EVERY GUY IN THE SCHOOL. Especially because not all the guys would be stupid enough to fall for someone as bitchy as she is, especially as she was in those first few days. Just fuck off, Meyer.
Bella gets embarrassed by the implications of what Edward is saying, so she changes the subject back to the ‘goodbye’ portion of her argument, which Edward again says is exactly what proves that he cares the most; because he can say goodbye to her if leaving is the right thing to do to keep her safe from him. …Except that he didn’t do that, and clearly can’t do it, or he would have by now, since he knows he’s a danger to her. So…yeah, more flawed logic.
They get a bit flirty about her not getting into any life threatening situations yet today, while Bella thinks more dark thoughts that I’m not even going to bother with because again, when is she EVER doing or thinking anything good without a bunch of badness as well…and then Edward asks her if she really needs to go to Seattle on Saturday, or if she just said that to get out of saying no to all the guys asking her to the dance.
Bella again evades the question by trying to get after Edward for stopping traffic so Tyler could ask her, and blaming him for being the reason Tyler thinks the two of them are going to prom together, but Edward asks her if she’d have said no if he had asked her, and she has to admit that she probably wouldn’t have. She does say, though, that she’d likely have chickened out in the end anyway because of her clumsiness, which Edward teases her about but says would not actually have been a problem, because dancing is all about who leads.
He changes the subject back to Seattle again, asking if she minds if they do something different, and she says she’s okay with them doing something different as long as she can drive, because she’s terrified of his driving…and because she doesn’t want to have to explain to her dad why she isn’t taking her truck, because “less is always more” with Charlie. I assume that means she is once again thinking far too little of Charlie, because when does she do anything other than that, so she is once again being a stupid, ungrateful bitch.
She asks Edward where they’re going on Saturday instead, and he says the weather is supposed to be nice so he’ll be staying “out of the public eye“, and that she can stay with him if she’d like to…which again surprises her, because he’s giving her the choice. Seriously, what’s up with that?
She asks if he’ll show her what he means about what happens to him in the sun, and he says he will, then says if she doesn’t want to be alone with him he’d still prefer if she didn’t go to Seattle alone, which leads to yet another conversation about how unsafe it is for her to be alone because she’s so incapable of taking care of herself, with her only argument against that being that she’s from Phoenix. She says she doesn’t mind being alone with him anyway, and he says he knows, but thinks she should tell her dad anyway, to give him some incentive to bring her back. Well that’s fucking creepy.
She still doesn’t agree to tell Charlie, and then suggests they talk about something else, and then this chapter gets even more inane than it already was, as they discuss Edward and Emmett’s hunting trip, and their preferences as regards the type of animals they eat. I’m sure this is only coming up because Meyer wants to make it important down the line, but that just depresses me all the more, because it means there’s more pointless, stupid crap to come. Yaaaay.
I hate Bella’s attitude during this conversation though, because she’s intentionally trying to be ‘cool’ about everything he’s saying, and that drives me right up the fucking wall. As boring as this conversation is for me, if it were actually happening with someone in real life, it would be pretty fucking interesting and/or terrifying, so acting like it’s just the most natural thing ever is just fucking stupid.
For a brief, shining second it looks like this conversation is going to end, when Edward asks her what she’s really thinking, but then nope; right back to bears as Bella asks how they hunt bears without weapons. REALLY? Do you still not understand what a fucking VAMPIRE is, you brainless twit?!
Blah blah blah, on and on about how Emmett is like a bear when he hunts and Edward is like a mountain lion, so their preferences are fitting, and then Bella asks if she’ll ever get to see them hunt, which Edward says absolutely will not happen, in the angriest way possible. She asks if it’s too scary for her, and he says if that was it he’d take her out right away, because she needs a healthy dose of fear so she might actually listen to him, and then says he’ll tell her the real reason why she can’t see it later.
Then they get up to head off to class, and Bella vows not to forget that he promised to tell her later, which is not surprising given how she’s acted when he’s said similar things before, so looking forward to more of that shit…and then the chapter ends. So yeah, all talk and not a lot of action, and definitely not anything all that interesting or important at any point. This is such good writing.
(See Mike’s take on this chapter at http://emptystress.wordpress.com!)