Previous entries can be found in the directory.
Chapter 6: Switzerland
Bella drives back from the Rez feeling overwhelmed by the weight of all the exposition Jacob threw at us in the last chapter, but still happy for having visited her friend. BUT THEN.
It came out of nowhere. One minute there was nothing but bright highway in my rearview mirror. The next minute, the sun was glinting off a silver Volvo right on my tail.
Cue Jaws music. Here's Edward at his most romantic; he's stalking his love on the highway, presumably after racing back across the state at top speed in a rage. You know, because of love. She's too afraid to look at his face. Just like Romeo & Juliet, huh? It's basically a direct homage to that scene when Romeo got exiled and Juliet visited Tybalt and then Romeo came rushing back like a mad man in his Volvo.
Bella mocks herself for being a total pussy as she keeps driving and avoiding his gaze, but I don't think it's the worst thing in the world to hide from your jealous, violent, unstable boyfriend when he's in one of his moods, you know? She drives straight to Angela's house, and when she stops Edward keeps driving. Obviously he doesn't want any witnesses.
At the door, Bella runs into Ben, who is Angela's boyfriend or whoever - he's leaving to meet up with Austin, who is also apparently a character in this book. A long time ago I mentally dismissed most of the Forks High Gang as not worth the mental Rolodexing, and for the most part I was right. What do we know about Angela? She is quiet and she has a lot of graduation envelopes to mail. That's it.
And that second part isn't even true for long, as she and Bella sit down and get to work. (But not before Bella condescendingly surveys Angela's house and feels reassured by her “easy human dramas.” Nice, Bella.) After a while Angela asks if there is something wrong; presumably Bella's all nervy and jumpy as she silently dwells on the beating she's about to get from Edward. Our narrator experiences a sudden urge to talk to “a normal human girlfriend,” to “moan a little bit, like any other teenage girl.” Knowing as we do how all teenage girls get trapped in bizarre love triangles involving supernatural douche bags with anger problems. Bella paints Angela a humanized portrait of her troubles, and it's still enough for Angela to see that Edward is totally Lime Green Jell-O of Jacob. Bella protests and says Edward thinks he's dangerous, but Angela shakes her head knowingly. Someone in this book is knowing?
“Bella, I've seen how Jacob Black looks at you. I'd bet the real problem is jealousy.”
“It's not like that with Jacob.”
“For you, maybe. But for Jacob...”
Who is this girl? She caught up awful fast! Is she Bella's guardian angel, suddenly coming in to knock some sense into her? Not that Bella listens - if she was George Bailey she'd have jumped off a bridge by now. Angela gives up and moves on to talking about college – Bella realizes that Angela and Ben (who she apparently also gives a shit about?) will be in Seattle soon, where the baby vampire is still a-killing. And she'll be a baby vampire too.
I can't wait for Bella to start killing some fucking innocents. Any moral ground this book once could have stood on has long since eroded. The lack of sex is now more of a perverse game than a religious necessity, right? I'm pretty sure S. Meyer's Mormonism stopped at the water's edge while the rest of her bruised psyche forded through. So let's get on with it.
They finish with the envelopes and Bella drives home, nervous that Edward is going to pop out like Michael Myers or something. Charlie's sitting in front of the TV, but he shows so much interest in Bella's day that she realizes he already knows she spent time with Jacob. Charlie is pulling for Jacob so hard it's kind of weird. Like maybe he calls him at night and gives him tips as to how to get in Bella's pants. Bella tries to find something to do in the kitchen, fearing that Edward is waiting in her bedroom; when she finally gives up and climbs the stairs, he's standing in the corner of her room, “hard” (his face!) and “tense.” He doesn't talk for a long while.
“Hi,” I finally said.
His face could have been carved from stone.
Tell us something we don't know, Bella! S. Meyer tries to get way too much fucking mileage about of the statue metaphors. I've had it. Edward's face can't be like a statue under ordinary circumstances if you are going to employ essentially the same phrase to indicate anger. He finally graces us with his voice, telling Bella he almost broke the treaty today rushing over the borderline to find her. That would have been pretty stupid. I mean, the idea of a vampire/werewolf borderline is fundamentally stupid, especially since we've seen that Jacob can apparently cross over to Forks High without any trouble, but to chase Bella into wolf territory with no suspicion of anything in particular is especially stupid. After all – Edward's fear is that Jacob might turn into a wolf too close to Bella, correct? Trespassing would be a pretty easy way to make that happen. no? I don't want to tell Edward how to do his job, but seriously, what a fuckwad.
Bella tries to make up fast, and weirdly succeeds without taking her clothes off. I have to say, I wasn't expecting Edward to be at all gracious about any of this. He's still not exactly enlightened, but he diffuses fast enough and hugs Bella and sighs. And to Bella's credit, she doesn't back down when he tells her she won't be seeing Jacob again. Bella has a backbone? What is going on here? They end up at kind of a friendly stalemate, neither one of them seeming like as much of an asshole as they seemed before. How did that happen? Bella declares her own body to be neutral territory.
“I refuse to be affected by territorial disputes between mythological creatures.”
Her vagina is Switzerland, basically.
“You are... well, not exactly the love of my life, because I expect to love you for much longer than that. The love of my existence. I don't care who's a werewolf and who's a vampire. If Angela turns out to be a witch, she can join the party, too.”
Sounds hot. Edward makes plans to go hunting the following weekend, Bella makes plans on the DL with Jacob. “It wasn't sneaking around,” she tries to convince herself. But when she gets off work on Thursday and walks out to the waiting Volvo, it's not Edward inside. It's ALICE. YES.
Alice is sitting in the car blaring music Bella doesn't recognize (so, not Linkin Park or Nickelback, ZING) and she's too busy singing along to pay any attention to Bella for a while. Can vampires get high or what? Because how do you explain Alice's behavior throughout this book so far?
“Bella!” Alice said suddenly. “What if like, the color that I know as blue is like, what you think of as green? And so our whole lives I've been seeing your green as blue, but we just have different names for the same color? Isn't that fucking heavy?”
Bella has to shout over the “wailing” music so I'm just going to pretend Alice is listening to Bitte Orca for my own edification. Eventually she turns down the volume and tells Bella that Edward left on his hunting trip early.
“All the boys went, and we're having a slumber party!” she announced in a trilling, singsong voice.
Alice's enthusiasm is perhaps too tinged with menace for Bella to see it as innocent. “You're kidnapping me, aren't you?” she asks. Alice rather unapologetically confesses as much – Edward bribed her by buying her a Porsche like she stole in Italy. Here's your S. Meyer vocab word of the day, by the way:
“Sorry,” Alice said, not sounding the least bit penitent.
In the Cullen garage, Alice shows off her car and “stroke[s] her hand down the length” of it (you're welcome). Bella contemplates the enormity of the bribe and realizes Edward intends this to be the first of many slumber parties whenever he is away. Bella sort of rightly points out that this is insane but Alice doesn't give a fuck. I can't begrudge Alice for betraying the sisterhood here; she's had it with both of these assholes and is just taking what she can get from them. It's what I would do, too.
That night, Alice puts on Bella's favorite movies and insists on giving her a pedicure. “I wondered if she was working from a list – maybe something she'd compiled from watching bad sitcoms.” Let's hope it's a list she compiled from watching bad porn instead (Alice pouts when Bella announces she wants to go to bed, so you never know what might have been next on the agenda. "Pillow Fight!?-Joey Tribbiani).
Alice tells Bella she's sleeping in Edward's room, and we get to once again laugh at Edward's interior design skills. Bella thinks about sleeping on his “black leather sofa” and also realizes that his gold carpet is thick enough that she could sleep there. Home & Design magazine is basically beating down the Cullens' door to photograph this place. I'm sorry, did I say Home & Design? I meant Tacky Fuckwad Feng Shui Quarterly. And it gets worse.
First though, Bella calls Jacob to cancel. He gripes and says "bloodsucker" and blah blah blah. I don't understand why Bella's entire night with Alice and other female Cullens is reduced to a paragraph and her tenth conversation with Jacob about the tension between wolves and vampires unfolds over three pages. Mortal enemies, sticky love triangle - we fucking get it.
Then Bella uses Alice's cell phone to call and (sort of) comically threaten Edward. She goes up stairs to his room feeling righteous, but Alice follows her. Don't get excited. Alice is just coming to watch Bella react when she sees that Edward has filled most of his bedroom with an enormous iron bed. This guy.
The coverlet was a dull gold, just lighter than the walls; the frame was black, made of intricately patterned wrought iron. Sculpted metal roses wound in vines up the tall posts and formed a bowery lattice overhead.
Edward decorates like a rapper in the late nineties. Edward makes Kanye West's design sensibilities look like Siddhartha Gautama's. The liquid connecting Edward's synapses is Miller High Life.