Picking Apart Twilight, The Novel – Chapter 5
5. BLOOD TYPE
This chapter starts some new, relatively unfamiliar territory. Pretty much nothing that happens in this chapter happened in the movie at all, so I’m going in blind. And really, after reading it, I can see why it’s excluded. Some of the most bizarre traits of our two leading characters appear here, and it’s mindblowing.
After Bella has been extended the offer from Edward to be given a ride to Seattle the next weekend, she stumbles through class and lunch in a sort of daze. All of her friends keep trying to be nice and inviting, even after she’s turned down all of her male friends’ affections. Even her female friends, who are quite possibly jealous of her unimaginable popularity, are all still trying to be as friendly as humanly possible, while Bella seems to not take notice of any of their courtesy. Ah, just typical old Bella as always.
Edward Cullen is staring at you again,” Jessica said, finally breaking through my abstraction with his name.
You know what, maybe I’ve been all wrong. Maybe I’ve been over reacting this entire time. Maybe this is all just how real teenage girls actually work. Maybe when I was a teenage girl I was doing it all wrong. After all, I actually didn’t make friends nearly as easily as Bella did. Maybe she’s making friends so easily that she takes them for granted, so she can afford to spend all of her free time thinking of nothing but the desirable eyes of Edward gazing upon her. Is that it? Is that what I’ve been missing?
Edward sits by himself in the cafeteria today. That is, until…
Once he’d caught my eye, he raised one hand and motioned with his index finger for me to join him. As I stared in disbelief, he winked.
“Well…” He paused, and then the rest of the words followed in a rush. “I decided as long as I was going to hell, I might as well do it thoroughly.”
“I think your friends are angry with me for stealing you.”
“They’ll survive.” I could feel their stares boring into my back.
“I may not give you back, though,” he said with a wicked glint in his eyes.
I don’t care if he’s a vampire or not! All of this is outside of the appropriate comfort zone for two people who have barely spoken to one another. This is ridiculous! It’s totally dangerous just on the creepy psychopath sort of level!
Edward is straining to get Bella to tell him what she’s thinking (spoilers: it’s because he can’t read her mind when he can read everybody elses, but we don’t learn that for quite some time to come). She doesn’t really want to tell him what’s up, but he plays up the fact that he’s deadly gorgeous, gives her googley eyes, and asks her cooingly to spill the beans. And she does. Easily, without further hesitation.
“Aren’t you hungry?” he asked, distracted.
“No.” I didn’t feel like mentioning that my stomach was already full – of butterflies.
I just wondered… if you could warn me beforehand the next time you decide to ignore me for my own good. Just so I’m prepared.” I looked at the lemonade bottle as I spoke, tracing the circle of the opening with my pinkie finger.
Eugh, what is happening here? Isn’t running your finger around the edge of a glass or bottle like the international sign for, “I’m totally hot for you”? This is disgusting, these characters are seventeen-years-old.
What if I’m not a superhero? What if I’m the bad guy?” He smiled playfully, but his eyes were impenetrable.
“Oh,” I said, as several things he’d hinted fell suddenly into place. “I see.”
“Do you?” His face was abruptly severe, as if he were afraid that he’d accidentally said too much.
“You’re dangerous?” I guessed, my pulse quickening as I intuitively realized the truth of my own words. He was dangerous. He’d been trying to tell me that all along.
No shit! How many times does a man have to repeat to you, “You really should stay away from me”? How many crazy, creepy, bi-polar things has he said to you within the last 24 hours? Well, I’m glad to see you finally understand.
“But not bad,” I whispered, shaking my head. “No, I don’t believe that you’re bad.”
NO, YOU FOOL! What’s wrong with you!? You barely know him, and you’re already like the weak-willed woman in an abusive relationship! Seriously, let’s say for just one second that rather than being a vampire, Edward is just an unstable alcoholic, okay? That’s dangerous, right? Oh, but it’s okay, because he’s not bad. NO! He’s still bad! Danger is bad! Danger is very bad! And if you jump into it, you put yourself in that danger! See, the whole inherent problem with all of this is that Bella has no real idea that Edward is a vampire yet, and so for all she knows he just has this bad streak in him. And I guess girls love a bad boy, right? Well, that’s how so many women get into relationships that are unhealthy for them in the first place. Just accept that he isn’t a good guy! Don’t get wrapped up in it! And DEFINITELY don’t go to another city alone with him! What are you thinking!?
Lunch ends. Biology begins. But Edward has decided to skip class. Oh. That’s too bad.
Wait, no it isn’t. Apparently there’s some blood drive, and the class is being told to prick their fingers with a lancet so that they can learn their blood type… wait a minute, you can do that? They just hand these lancets out to students so they can prick themselves? Now, maybe it’s just my little backwater South Texas high school or something, but I’m pretty positive we wouldn’t have been allowed to handle anything that was designed to make us bleed on purpose. I can guarantee something would have gone wrong, or at the very least some adult somewhere would have been in some kind of an uproar. But, again, maybe that’s just at my old high school.
Bella doesn’t even get the chance to prick her own finger. She gets dizzy and begins to faint. So Mike starts dragging her to the nurse’s office. That’s when our gorgeous Edward shows up, much to the dismay of Mike. He carries her the rest of the way there.
“You scared me for a minute there,” he admitted after a pause. His tone made it sound like he was confessing a humiliating weakness. “I thought Newton was dragging your dead body off to bury it in the woods.”
“Ha ha.” I still had my eyes closed, but I was feeling more normal every minute.
Wait. Go back to that laugh. “Ha ha”? Did you actually think that was funny? Was that forced? Was it sarcasm? Was that actual laughter, or was it literally just the two words, “Ha ha”? There’s really no indication, and past that, there’s no further description. I’m sure glad somebody wrote about it.
“How did you see me? I thought you were ditching.”
“I was in my car, listening to a CD.” Such a normal response – it surprised me.
Why? You don’t know anything about him. Why should something so normal surprise you?
Another woozy kid gets brought into the nurse’s office. Edward suggests that Bella leaves the room. She does.
You actually listened to me.” He was stunned.
“I smelled the blood,” I said, wrinkling my nose. Lee wasn’t sick from watching other people, like me.
“People can’t smell blood,” he contradicted.
“Well, I can – that’s what makes me sick. It smells like rust… and salt.”
No. I vehemently disagree with this. This is so highly improbable that I’m doubting it up and down. The other kid only pricked his finger. He’s likely bleeding very little. Droplets, maybe. And you’re telling me that from across the room you could nearly instantaneously smell that? No. Get out.
Mike invites Bella to the beach one more time, plainly avoiding inviting Edward. Bella accepts. He says he’ll see her in Gym. Bella doesn’t want to go to Gym. Then something else weird happens.
“Bella has Gym next hour, and I don’t think she feels well enough. Actually, I was thinking I should take her home now. Do you think you could excuse her from class?”…
“Do you need to be excused, too, Edward?” Ms. Cope fluttered. …
“No, I have Mrs. Goff, she won’t mind.”
“Okay, it’s all taken care of. You feel better, Bella,” she called to me.
What!? That worked!? Alright, maybe the book is trying to insinuate that Edward used his magic vampire charms to coax the instructor into allowing them to leave campus. But at the same time, I can’t help but feel that an old office official like that wouldn’t be that lenient. And you know, the office lady is trying to help Edward out by excusing him, too, but he rejects it saying his teacher won’t mind. I mean, if it were me, I’d definitely want to have the paperwork from the office saying I was excused, you know, just so that I could have that double barrier. And wait a minute, again, maybe Forks High School works differently from my high school, but I know in the case of my educational institution, you were definitely not allowed to leave campus unless you already had a note set up, or a parent called, or a parent arrived at the school early, something completely legit like that with paperwork and stuff. A student can’t just request to LEAVE! Right?
“Where do you think you’re going?” he asked, outraged. He was gripping a fistful of my jacket in one hand.
I was confused. “I’m going home.”
“Didn’t you hear me promise to take you safely home? Do you think I’m going to let you drive in your condition?” His voice was still indignant.
“What condition? And what about my truck?” I complained.
“I’ll have Alice drop it off after school.” He was towing me toward his car now, pulling me by my jacket.
He’s keeping you from your car! He’s dragging you by the clothes over to his! Do you KNOW he’s going to take you home? Do you really know? And are you really going to let some other person you’ve never once spoken to in your life drive your car home? And how exactly do you plan on letting her drive the truck home, anyway? She never gives the keys to Alice. She never even gives the keys to Edward. I suppose we’re just meant to assume that Alice later hotwires Bella’s truck to bring it home to her. Yeah, that must be it.
“Let go!” I insisted. He ignored me.
“You are so pushy!” I grumbled.
“It’s open,” was all he responded. …
“I am perfectly capable of driving myself home!” …
He lowered the automatic window and leaned toward me across the seat. “Get in, Bella.”
…I was mentally calculating my chances of reaching the truck before he could catch me. …
“I’ll just drag you back,” he threatened, guessing my plan.
HOLY CRAP! SCARY AND UNHEALTHY! TURN BACK, BELLA, TURN BACK!
But she doesn’t. She rides with him. And she answers more of his inane questions about her boring life, like about what kind of a person her mom is, even how old Bella is. Finally, amazingly, Bella starts asking questions about Edward, about his family, etc. Granted, he doesn’t give answers with much depth to them, but now we start to get a vague idea as to how much he cares for his adoptive family. Just as they pull up to Bella’s house (which happened really quickly, apparently, and Bella barely noticed) Edward makes mention that rather than going out to the beach with Bella and her friends (where he isn’t actually invited, anyway) he’s going to be out camping with his family. That’s cute, I guess.
“Don’t be offended, but you seem to be one of those people who just attract accidents like a magnet. So… try not to fall into the ocean or get run over or anything, all right?” He smiled crookedly.
The helplessness had faded as he spoke. I glared at him.
“I’ll see what I can do,” I snapped as I jumped out into the rain. I slammed the door behind me with excessive force.
…Wh… what? What the hell? Out of everything Edward’s said and done to you thus far, this is what you get pissed about? He’s showing genuine concern for your safety now! And now you’re offended? Where on Earth are this girl’s priorities? Where’s her compassion for her fellow man? Doesn’t she recognize human decency when she sees it? I’m gonna assume no.
And thus ends chapter 5, in which an emotionally unstable teenage girl gets herself into an unhealthy relationship with a dangerous man. What sort of thrilling adventures will take place on the beach? Find out tomorrow in Chapter 6, Scary Stories.