|Written by Douglas Wilson|
|Sunday, 31 January 2010 14:29|
Bella is warned in this chapter (again) to “take care” (p. 239). But in her considered opinion, Edward was still top of the line. “There was nothing about him that could be improved upon.”
Oh? How about if he weren’t a vampire? But actually, this blows the gaff. If he were not a vampire, he would not be attractive to her. She is attracted to him, fascinated by him, precisely because he is so bad for her. If he were not dangerous, the thrill would be entirely gone. He would be just another schlep at a small high school out in a rainy part of the country. He would be boring, not exciting.
Edward is going to be with Bella on the morrow, and so he is going to go off hunting today. Why? So that his blood lust might have that edge taken off, for he is watching out for Bella. “If I’m going to be along with you tomorrow, I’m going to take whatever precautions I can” (p. 243). He then tells Bella that she can always cancel if she wants. Here, you lead. Here, make it easy for me—I might kill you, and I sure wish you would do something to head that off. Take some responsibility here, Bella, said the fellow who might make the whole thing “end badly.” Sure, make her make the decision.
Edward explains to Bella why his sister has been acting a little odd. You see, other people’s lives will be affected if Edward and Bella have been seen a lot together, and then the whole thing “ends badly” (p. 246). Bella’s response to this is classic, right out of the textbooks. “I realized slowly that his words should frighten me. I waited for that fear to come, but all I could seem to feel was an ache for his pain” (p. 246). Right. He might bite her in the neck, take her life away from her, propel her into his haunted realm of ethereal and ghostly beauty, and she feels bad for him. Poor buddy.
Not that she forgets herself entirely. “But a tiny voice in the back of my mind worried, wondering if it would hurt very much . . . if it ended badly” (p. 251).
Edward is astonished at this, as am I, frankly. “So you’re worried about the trouble it might cause me—if you don’t come home?” But then Edward, the perfect one, offended by this, exuded “waves of infuriated disapproval” (p. 255). The perfect one alternates between black anger, crooked smiles, lame jokes, and cold fury. The right minded reader would look at something like that, shake his head, and go off and do something profitable—unless he had to finish the book because of the reviews he was writing. Edward is amazed at her response, and as a consequence gets the sulks.
So, Bella has a boyfriend who might kill her, and who is emotionally erratic—now huffy, now displaying his perfect teeth in a boyish grin—and what is her conclusion? This is a Mary Poppins boyfriend. Practically perfect in every way.