Picking Apart Twilight, The Novel – Chapter 4
In my dream it was very dark, and what dim light there was seemed to be radiating from Edward’s skin.
Isn’t it amazing how Bella seems to already know everything about Edward despite the fact that she doesn’t know anything about Edward? How could she have possibly already been dreaming about his sparkles? She hasn’t even seen him sparkle yet.
This is the point in the book where everything starts revolving around Edward. I mean, you may have thought it was bad before. I know I thought it was. But now that Edward has invaded Bella’s dreams nightly, her obsession with him just won’t go away. We explore Bella’s exciting life of school and boys over the course of the next month. Now not only do we worry about Mike and Eric cluttering up Bella’s life, but now Tyler, the guy who nearly ran her over with his van, seems to be all over her. At first you would think that’s just so he can make things up to her after the accident. But, no. Apparently, now he’s a love interest. Of course. No less than four young men to choose from. Sure, this is normal for such a bland, boring young woman, right?
No one seemed concerned about Edward, though I explained over and over that he was the hero –
You know, this actually surprises me, too, for once. Why IS it that both Edward and Bella were standing in the same place behind the van that almost ran both of them over, but the only person anybody cares about is Bella. It’s not like everybody knows that Edward is a vampire. The Cullens seem to have hidden this fact pretty well, actually, so what exactly gives?
With chagrin, I realized the probable cause – no one else was as aware of Edward as I always was. No one else watched him the way I did. How pitiful.
Pitiful is one word for it, though I get the idea that my use of the word pitiful in this situation holds a different connotation than that from Bella’s.
Bella gushes for a couple of pages about how nobody pays attention to Edward, and how suddenly now Edward no longer pays attention to her. Could this possibly be where the two finally quit worrying about one another and the story simply ends?
Shoot. He’s talking to her again.
Well, before we get there, it’s important to know that Bella is obviously wanted by every boy ever. Despite the fact that there’s a girls-ask-boys dance coming up, no less than three boys ask her to said dance. Or, should I say, ask her to ask them. Or something. Because it totally works like that. And she turns them down. ALL OF THEM. She has this to say after first rejecting Mike:
I closed my eyes and pressed my fingers to my temples, trying to push the guilt and sympathy out of my head.
If you’re feeling guilty and sympathizing with him, why did you not just accept? He’s a perfectly good guy! What are you afraid of? That you might actually have a good time with him? What is wrong with him, exactly? The least you could do is take him on a test-run and then tell him it didn’t work out later. Would that be so bad?
Only after this exchange does Edward finally start talking to Bella again.
“It’s better if we’re not friends,” he explained. “Trust me.”
My eyes narrowed. I’d heard that before.
Oh. You have? Do you mind explaining, then? In what context had you heard that before? What does that mean? What did that mean in the past? Who said it to you? That could mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. So, you’re not going to elaborate on that? Oh… okay… that’s cool…
Bella insinuates Edward regrets saving her. Edward is pissed at the assumption. Bella storms away. Bella has gym class. I don’t care what Bella does.
There’s pages and pages of Bella’s boy troubles. Stuff about Edward, stuff about Mike, stuff about Eric, and finally stuff about Tyler. To all the boys asking, Bella makes up some bogus information about being in Seattle on the day of the dance.
“Sorry, Tyler,” I said, working to hide my irritation. “I really am going out of town.”
Why are you getting so irritated by all of this? You’re living the dream of every teenage girl. Knock it off!
In his rearview mirror, Edward’s eyes were on me. He was unquestionably shaking with laughter, as if he’d heard every word Tyler had said.
You see what I mean when I said that it seems like Bella already manages to know everything about Edward just by guessing? She doesn’t yet know he’s a vampire with super powers or that he sparkles, yet she dreams about his radiant skin and can immediately insinuate that he’s overhearing things from a distance that’s logically too far away. The most she knows about him for sure is that he’s maybe fast and strong, if she isn’t going absolutely crazy and imagining all that. How can she possibly even guess that he also has any sort of unique ability to hear anything or that his skin is shiny? This is ridiculous.
Bella goes home. The boys apparently get hooked up with other dates to the dance. Bella cooks some enchiladas. That’s cool, I guess.
Now comes the several paragraphs where Bella starts obsessing over Edward, basically finally admitting to herself that she really likes him, I suppose.
Of course he wasn’t interested in me, I thought angrily, my eyes stinging – a delayed reaction to the onions. I wasn’t interesting. And he was. Interesting… and brilliant… and mysterious… and perfect… and beautiful… and possibly able to lift full-sized vans with one hand.
Good lord, I see fewer ellipses spattered throughout an emo kid’s LiveJournal page! Interesting? We haven’t heard anything interesting about this guy at all yet. We don’t actually know anything about him! Unless “quiet” is the same thing as “interesting”, which, in personal opinion, it isn’t. And oh, he was pretty darn good at one lab in Biology class. Now he’s brilliant? Do we know if he’s particularly good with anything else yet? Mysterious? Yeah, I guess, just because Bella doesn’t actually know how to ask him any questions about himself and lets him do all the asking of her. Perfect? How do you know? How can you say that when you know a total of nothing about him? Beautiful?
The only one of those things she knows is particularly probable is that he’s strong enough to lift a van. At least she got the part right where she claims that she’s uninteresting. She’s right, you know. There’s nothing interesting about our lead protagonist.
Bella tells her dad she’s going to Seattle next Saturday. He asks her very few questions. She gives him the information that she’s going alone, she doesn’t need her dad with her, and that she’s not coming back in time for the dance. Her dad then just sort of gives up on the line of questioning. He seems quite cool with it, all things considered. Wow. That was shockingly easy. What a dad.
So, despite the fact that Edward and Bella are minorly pissed and not on speaking terms with one another, Edward pops up the next day and asks something weird.
“I heard you say you were going to Seattle that day, and I was wondering if you wanted a ride.”
That was unexpected.
“What?” I wasn’t sure what he was getting at.
“Do you want a ride to Seattle?”
“With who?” I asked, mystified.
“Myself, obviously.” He enunciated every syllable, as if he were talking to someone mentally handicapped.
This is a somewhat confusing circumstance. Bella seems so uncomfortable with everyone’s affections and being asked to the dance. Sometimes it seems like she wants to be seen, sometimes it seems she thinks everyone on Earth is annoying. But here, this tremendously gorgeous young man asks her to go somewhere with him, and it’s not to the dance, but rather to an entirely different city. Alone. With just him. I get that he’s a pretty lad and all, but is that really basis enough to accept this? Isn’t that quite a bit more forward than being asked to a dance? Weren’t you annoyed by all of these other relentless pursuits? Isn’t this a bit on the strange side?
“It would be more… prudent for you not to be my friend,” he explained. “But I’m tired of trying to stay away from you, Bella.”
That’s… weird. Isn’t that weird? That’s really weird. That sounds quite a bit more forward to me than all of the other guys combined. But of course, for no real reason, Bella is thrilled at this proposal and is floored by this choice of words. Is it solely because he’s beautiful? Or does she seriously find this quiet man all that terribly “interesting”?
“You really should stay away from me,” he warned. “I’ll see you in class.”
BWAHAHAHA! What was that nonsense? Is this statement funny to anybody else besides me? This would be like me saying, “Smoking is really bad for you, you know. …See you outside on smoke break.” Also, this statement added on top of him already asking her to join him alone on a road trip to Seattle… does this not add any more discomfort to everything? If it were me, I’d be increasingly uncomfortable. “Spend time with me. I can’t stay away from you. You shouldn’t spend time with me. See you later.” It’s completely bi-polar and sounds pretty dangerous to me, whether he’s a vampire or not. It sounds at the very least like a sexual predator or potential psychopathic murderer, forget the vampire part that nobody knows about yet.
And so our chapter ends on this magnificent tension! Will the boys happily find all their appropriate dates to the dance? Will Edward kidnap Bella in the biggest missing persons case in Forks history? Will her dad much notice or care? And just how many adjectives can Bella use to describe Edward, anyway?
Find out tomorrow in Chapter 5, Blood Type!