Madame Mervin, Hammer of Sues (das_mervin) wrote,
Madame Mervin, Hammer of Sues

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New Moon Notes: Chapter 9

It's been a while, hasn't it?

Well, I’m starting the New Moon review back up—and I’m doing something else with it. I’m going with the flow—it’s the general recap style now (example: cleolinda’s excellent Twilight recaps). That really gives me more to work with, and I realize that I leave out details when doing the style I was doing originally. There won’t be anymore final thoughts, because I’m giving pretty much all of my thoughts in the recaps now and every detail that irritates me.

To recap what’s happened thus far, as it’s been a while since I did this…

—Bella whined about getting old at age eighteen
—Alice threw Bella a huge birthday party, which went from zero to disaster in one blood drop because Jasper is an ass.
—Bella whined that the whole incident was her fault.
—Wardo left her for her own good.
—Bella whined a LOT about that, and is still whining about it.
—Jacob is her own personal whipping boy and she’s using him to fix up and help her ride a death cycle, which helps her hear Wardo’s voice in her head.
—Bella is still whining and shows no signs of stopping.

Got all that? Then let’s dive right into this.

Chapter 9 – Third Wheel

So, we begin this chapter with Bella trying to fool us into thinking she’s not miserable anymore. Well, we aren’t fooled in the slightest, because if she wasn’t miserable, she wouldn’t be whining so much. She’d still be whining, granted, but it wouldn’t be this copious. She tells us all about how she’s settled into a nice and acceptable pattern of “school, work, and Jacob—though not necessarily in that order”. Then she gives us an insightful view of herself and her behavior:

I was like a lost moon—my planet destroyed in some cataclysmic, disaster-movie scenario of desolation—that continued, nevertheless, to circle in a tight little orbit around the empty space left behind, ignoring the laws of gravity.

Now, in a good story, this would be some form of climax or big turning point. The heroine would have this in a flash of unpleasant realization, she’d stand up, brush off her pants, and play Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” for two days straight before coming to the conclusion that she’s been a fool and not seeing what is right in front of her and go have wild and awesome sex with Jacob (who, at this point, is a great guy and totally pwns Wardo in terms of personality and chemistry with Bella). Then there would be a totally righteous scene at the end when Wardo comes crawling back and she roundhouse kicks him in the face like Chuck Norris. There you go—a little tale of some female empowerment and the moral of the story being “You’re seventeen years old, and please to be understanding the difference between love and physical attraction (or obsession).”

In this story? Well, that pretty much sums Bella up. You know that shirt, the “I am the center of my universe” shirt? Well, let’s change that a little. “Wardo is the center of her universe. Everyone else is either a star, a planet, or some other insignificant piece of useless matter—including herself.”

Let’s give it up for Bella, the most codependent twit to ever blight us with her presence!

Anyway, she gets better riding the motorcycle, until one day she’s so good at it that *le gasp* she can’t hear Wardo’s voice anymore! Whatever shall she do?! Well, she’ll just start looking around for that damned Meadow of Great Sparkling. Because, even though she has obviously made the connection that putting herself in danger is what makes Wardo’s voice appear in her head, she somehow thinks the meadow will make him talk, too.

Anyway, Meyer decides to skip time again by giving us the excuse that BELLA isn’t keeping track of the days, so we don’t get to, either. However, she figures a time reference might be good, so she just sort of lobs one at us out of nowhere (kind of like Airhead, you see…); on one of the days they’ve designated for homework, Jacob appears and informs her that it is Valentine’s Day. He has a pink box, and Meyer randomly writes “Conversation hearts” as its own sentence. Flag on the moon. Bella calls herself a “schmuck”, and part of me wonders if Meyer in all her glorious ignorance, particularly about other cultures, knows the origins of that word in Yiddish, because, given the fact that the characters never curse in this story, I don’t think she’d use that word knowing what its true meaning is.

Bella says she didn’t know it was Valentine’s Day. Jacob asks her to be his Valentine, and Meyer beats us over the head with the fact that Jacob is madly truly deeply in love with Bella, AND because Bella is a selfish, rude, inconsiderate bitch (and an Airhead imitator), she STILL won’t make it clear that she doesn’t like Jacob that way all while talking about trying to figure out ways to make sure they have a clear boundary. Here’s an idea, bimbo—TELL HIM YOU DON’T LIKE HIM THAT WAY. But, hey—we wouldn’t have a love triangle if she took a direct approach.

Jacob then asks which activities they will be doing tomorrow, “hiking, or the ER”, which, on the surface, actually made me chuckle, then just irritated me. Because, dude—why the hell is she having so many accidents while learning to ride a motorcycle? Why is riding a motorcycle so frackin’ dangerous for her? There are LOTS of motorcycles out there. People RACE motorcycles. I don’t constantly hear about horrific motorcycle crashes on the news. This makes no sense, other than emphasizing how LOL CLUMSY Bella is and provide an excuse for Phantom!Wardo to tell Bella what to and what not to do. In reality, this merely means that she is a complete IDIOT and can’t figure out how to ride a simple device without causing grievous bodily harm to herself.

So, Bella chooses hiking, and Jacob asks if they can ride bikes on Friday, and she disappoints him by telling him that she’ll be going to a movie on Friday. Somehow, she equates refusing to see him on Friday as a way of saying she just wants to be friends. Naturally, he is as crushed as Bella any time she discovers she cannot be with Wardo for a single nanosecond of time, so she immediately caves and invites him along. Bella then turns to the camera in a brief aside and tell us how connected she is with Jacob, and how, even though she agreed to go with Mike to a movie, she has no desire to go at all (because Bella is incapable of saying the word “no” to anybody with a Y chromosome), meaning that having Jacob along makes the prospect so much more appealing.

Jacob has a Seymour Krelborn moment and is shocked that she would like to be seen in public with him. Bella encourages him and drags him along even more, and even acknowledges that she is stringing him along and giving him the impression that she’s receptive to the idea of him being her boyfriend.

And then suddenly—and I do mean suddenly, as in, no transition suddenly, we’re in English class and Bella’s asking Mike if he wants to go to a movie. Mike is, of course, unsubtle and pushy, trying every method in the book to make it a date with Bella, and his eagerness and enthusiasm go and down with every idea he gets to make it a date and every way Bella shoots him down (without actually saying the words, you know, “I don’t want it to be a date, Mike, I don’t like you that way,” because Bella enjoys having hoards of young men sniveling after her in the hopes of getting a date with her). So she decides to invite a whole lot of people, including people who actively hate her and people she herself is not fond of (like Jessica and, of all people, Lauren, you know, the Scary Sue who never liked her in the first place and is derisive of anything she does?). They decide to go a movie called Crosshairs, which doesn’t exist. Unfortunately, it turns out that nearly everybody is busy, save for Ben, Angela (who, for some strange reason, I want to call “Bengela”, a la “Brangelina”…coincidence? I think NOT!), Jacob, and Mike. I’d like to point out this sentence: “Eric and Katie already had plans—it was their three-week anniversary or something.” This was clearly a jab from Bella/Meyer to show how *massive eyeroll* immature they are, and how they are nothing but shallow teenagers. It’s merely Bella/Meyer putting down somebody else to emphasize how Bella/Meyer’s relationship is/was DEEP and PURE and how ADULT and MATURE they are.

Well, you can just suck my—! [And that’s when Marten flew through the air and attached herself to Mervin’s face like a demented, furry face-hugger.]

*spitting out fur* ANYWAY. *glares at the little grey-and-white fuzzball*

So, Mike suggests another movie while giving a shameless plug to Rotten Tomatoes, and Bella emphasizes that she wants to see Crosshairs, saying that she’s “in the mood for action. Bring on the blood and guts!” Mike takes on a “maybe-she’s-crazy-after-all expression”, and I got pissed off. You are NOT unique and special for liking gory movies just because you are a girl, bitch. No one is going to look at you funny for going, “Yay, blood!” This is either one of two things—it could be just Meyer taking something that is common (girls liking gory action flicks) and declaring it UNcommon in an effort to make people look at Bella funny and give her more attention to make her unique and speshul. Or it would be Meyer doing more of her patented Mormon misogyny. Why would a GIRL like gory movies? I mean, aren’t girls afraid of blood? I mean, come on! Only big, strong, manly MEN like action movies!

*flips off Meyer for either case*

So, anyway, we fly forward past that little bit of disgustingness and suddenly we’re at Bella’s house, and Jacob makes a big reveal—he drives up in the Rabbit he’s been reconstructing for who knows how long, and is very proud of himself. He gets to drive tonight, and Bella concedes to Jacob being older in the weird game they’ve been playing trying to decide who’s older than who. Personally? I agree—Jacob is the more mature of the two at this point in the game. I don’t remember HIM ever saying, “WAH, THAT ISN’T FAIR!” at any point in this story.

So, Mike shows up, and Bella extricates her hand from Jacob’s, because he’s all the sudden being as pushy as Mike and had insisted upon holding her hand. Jacob makes a comment about Mike thinking Bella is his girlfriend, and Bella makes not-so-veiled comments that Jacob is kind of doing the same thing. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure she got two of her incidental characters mixed up (Tyler and Mike), not that it’s any surprise. None of the incidental characters have any personality whatsoever—they have less personality than Edward, and that’s hard to do—and they mean absolutely nothing to Bella.

So, “Mike got out of his car and crossed the road”, which I guess gives us the answer to the age-old question of “Why did the Mike cross the road?”: To get to the Mary Sue on the other side and hump her leg like an annoying, unneutered yap-yap dog. He sizes up Jacob, and Bella gives us another aside, stating how big and old Jacob looks now at age sixteen, which I’d like to point out is incredibly stupid—the key to any story about a normal human discovering the realm of the supernatural is finding a way to make it seem like the supernatural element has always been there, just out of sight and blending in. That’s how you get your audience to suspend their disbelief. Two examples:

1. JKR’s wizards are out there. We just don’t see them, because they are hiding. But they are there—maybe you passed by one on your way to work today. Maybe that freak accident or disaster was the work of Dark wizards. And maybe, just maybe, you’ve actually had a face-to-face encounter with a wizard. But you wouldn’t know about it—because you’ve been Obliviated.

2. JRRT’s Middle Earth is basically a prehistory. A mythology, if you will, of the world. His ME contains dragons, Dwarves, Elves, Orcs, and Hobbits. And the reason we don’t see any of these creatures today? Well, the last dragon was killed in The Hobbit. Most of the Elves crossed over to the Undying Lands, and those that stayed behind do this nifty thing called “fading” over time. The orcs got wiped out after the Fall of Sauron. Dwarves retreated deep into the mountains, and I do mean into the mountains. Hobbits all stay in their little holes in the hills. We just don’t see any of these creatures anymore—but they were here at one point—and some are still around. But now it’s the age of men.

Now, in Meyer’s created universe, she is spinning a tale that says vampires and werewolves do exist, but we just don’t know about it. As hinted in the two examples I provided above, the key for me or any reader to suspend their disbelief and go along with this is that the author MUST write it so that the evidence is all around us, but that we just don’t notice it.

And you know what?


The werewolves and vampires in her stories may as well march about with sandwich boards on them, declaring their species! The Cullens make ZERO EFFORT to blend in and be unnoticed! And before you cry that they can’t help being cold and unnaturally beautiful and alluring and all that jazz? Dude, they are in a small town and do nothing but flaunt how goddamned rich they are. They wear designer clothes, they drive hot rods and extremely expensive cars, they live in the biggest and most elaborate house around—THEY DO NOT BLEND IN. And the werewolves? How could I NOT see that there’s something wrong with this person? Over the course of maybe three months, Jacob suddenly grows about two feet, bulks up despite not doing any kind of exercising, and ages not two or three years, but about TEN. If that were to happen, you KNOW he’d get pegged for being on steroids, at the very least—more likely a pituitary problem.

So, basically, I’m saying this—I can’t suspend disbelief for these guys. The vampires are noticeably vampires, and the werewolves are noticeably werewolves. They don’t blend in, and they don’t attempt to blend in.

Once again, PHAIL, Meyer.

Where was I?

Jacob and Mike have a pissing contest in the form of the “crush the other’s hand” game, and, naturally, Jacob wins. Then the phone rings from inside Bella’s house, she runs to answer it, and it turns out Angela has stomach flu, and, as Ben and Angela are codependent as well (because that makes your relationship True Love and one that’s assured to last, after all, and Ben and Angela are pretty much the only incidental characters that Bella deems worthy of any of her time at all), Ben has no desire to go unless he’s got his precious Angela beside him. So, no Ben. Bella gets irritated at Angela for having the nerve to be sick and leave her stuck in this awkward situation, but at least she admits this is rather selfish. Not that she’s sorry, or anything, but still—it’s a step in the right direction. And I’d like to point out that, even if Bengela had been in attendance, Mike still would’ve been the odd man out. So, no soap, Bella.

She goes back outside, and Mike is visibly pouting and irritated, while Jacob is all bubbly and cheerful—actually, this is the first time Jacob is actively irritating me, because he’s kind of coming across as a smug bastard, radiating total “ha ha, loser, she likes me better than she likes you” attitude. Nice foreshadowing for when he becomes the Big Furry Douche (© cleolinda) in Eclipse. So, Mike suggests that, as pretty much everybody has bowed out of the party, maybe they should try again later when more people can come. Jacob continues to be somewhat of a douche and says he’s still up for it and tells Mike that he can leave he and Bella alone any time. And, as the Men Have Spoken, Bella, who would have rather called it off and gone later, obediently goes along with them.

Bella also says that Jacob should drive, as he’s proud of his car and Bella is also proud of his car and compares herself to a mom bragging on her son (which makes their relationship vaguely creepy as a result). Mike irritably agrees. I would like to point out that we spend a very long time talking about how cheerful Jacob is and how unhappy and irritated Mike is. I would also like to point out this:

Mike climbed in the backseat of the Rabbit with a disgusted expression. Jacob was his normal sunny self, chattering away until I'd all but forgotten Mike sulking silently in the back.

Oh. Bella completely forgot about someone who is supposedly her friend, and is making absolutely no effort to entertain someone who is, for all practical purposes, her guest, as she is the main host to this little shindig. Color me surprised.

Mike then lurches forward and sticks his face next to Bella’s (is he not wearing a seat belt? I know Rabbits are small, but still…). Bella, in response, sticks her face in the window. Mike demands to know if the radio works, and the following conversation ensues:

"Yes," Jacob answered. "But Bella doesn't like music."

I stared at Jacob, surprised. I'd never told him that.

"Bella?" Mike asked, annoyed.

"He's right," I mumbled, still looking at Jacob's serene profile.

"How can you not like music?" Mike demanded.

I shrugged. "I don't know. It just irritates me."

"Hmph." Mike leaned away.

‘Kay, let’s cover everything that irritates me…

  • Yet AGAIN, the Men Speak For The Puny Wimmin. It is one thing for a male author to write like this—it is quite another for a FEMALE author to write like this. Yeah, I know Meyer was just trying to show how well Jacob knows Bella, but it really doesn’t FEEL like that. It feels like what I just described.

  • Jacob is still coming across as somewhat of a douche in this scene.

  • I can understand somebody not liking music in the car…but somebody just not liking music at all? That’s a little odd, if I do say so myself. In no small part because music was one of the things that Bella and Wardo “bonded” over in their maturity and speshulness. Unless, of course, this is just Bella cutting out of her life anything that reminds her of Wardo, one of those things being music. In that case, that’s just incredibly stupid.

  • Okay, Meyer, we get it—Jacob’s at ease, Mike is annoyed.

  • You know what? I think this chapter is going to make both of your main protagonists of this book—Jacob and Bella—extremely rude. There’s usually a reason somebody is a third wheel, as this chapter painfully illustrates, and if you didn’t catch the fact that Mike is the third wheel through the writing, Meyer helpfully pointed it out with her chapter title. And why is this the case? Jacob and Bella are completely ignoring Mike—I mean, Bella admitted to forgetting about him earlier. He’s not just sulking for no reason, kiddos. They are making no effort to include him, much less be polite to him.

Anyway, the ride to the theater lasts about as long as that conversation up there, and then they’re at their destination. Jacob has Bella buy his ticket, as he’s only sixteen and thus not allowed to buy a ticket to an R-rated movie. Bella and Jacob still spend most of their time ignoring Mike, and then Bella actively says that she wishes Mike would’ve stayed home—but only because his sullen attitude is “not much of an addition to the party”. In other words, she doesn’t want to have to put out an effort to keep him entertained. She wants somebody like Jacob, who keeps himself entertained merely by being in her presence and spends all his time and effort entertaining her. However, she didn’t want it to be a date with Jacob, so Mike stays.

Hmm—if you go somewhere alone with a guy, that makes it a date…damn, I’m a whore.

Why is Bella so incapable of making it clear that it’s not a date? Why can’t she just flat-out say, “It’s not a date, guys”? Why this roundabout method of making sure it’s not a date?

So, they apparently Apparate into the theater (damn, but this particular book has extraordinarily bad jump cuts), and “in just the opening credits, four people got blown up and one got beheaded”, which is mostly showing Meyer’s Mormon upbringing and her not having ever seen an R-rated movie, just like Bella leaving for two minutes in the last movie (the zombie one) resulted in her missing the entire scene where everybody gets zombie-fied. R-rated movies are not like this. I have never, ever seen a movie that goes from zero to gore in two minutes with no hint of what’s going to happen beforehand, nor have I ever seen a movie that is wall-to-wall blood, guts, and killing with absolutely nothing in between—just as everyone knows that a real zombie movie is zombies through the whole thing, not just one little scene. I’m just gonna assume that Bella and Co. are watching a snuff film. So, during said snuff film, Bella notes the couple in front of her are the stereotypical “female buries face in date’s chest while date comforts her in a manly fashion” couple. Mike is stiff and irritated. Jacob laughs at the sheer ridiculousness of the movie’s mayhem—and personally? I’m gonna laugh, too—because this is ridiculous. Meyer, please write what you know—and it’s more than apparent that you don’t know rated R movies.

So, Jacob laughs, and Bella laughing with him somehow means that the lines of their relationship are blurring. *rolls eyes* Dude, if laughing with a guy who’s your friend means the lines in your relationship are blurring, me and my best friend’s boyfriend are secretly making time behind her back, and my best guy friend is cheating on his wife with me. There are ways to signal that two friends are slowly becoming more than friends. Laughing together, while it can be used as such, does not mean ONLY that.

So, the movie progresses, and then we get this:

Both Jacob and Mike had claimed the armrests on either side of me. Both of their hands rested lightly, palms up, in an unnatural looking position. Like steel bear traps, open and ready. Jacob was in the habit of taking my hand whenever the opportunity presented itself, but here in the darkened movie theater, with Mike watching, it would have a different significance—and I was sure he knew that. I couldn't believe that Mike was thinking the same thing, but his hand was placed exactly like Jacob's.


Bella? There is only one reason why Jacob takes your hand whenever the opportunity presents itself—and that would be because the opportunity presents itself. You DON’T. TELL HIM. NO. You NEVER, EVER make it clear that you just want to be friends. You let him paw you, you let him hold your hand, you let him trail behind you.

And Meyer? The cliché way a guy “subtlety” gets cozy with the girl he wants to get jiggy with is to stretch and JUST HAPPEN to put his arm around her. Get with the times.

Halfway through the movie, Mike gets sick and runs for the bathroom. Bella goes to see if he’s okay, and Jacob follows Bella, because that’s what he does. He remarks that the movie sucks, and then goes into the bathroom to check on Mike. When he returns, he continues to be an unsubtle douche by saying the following:

"Oh, he's in there, all right," he said, rolling his eyes. "What a marshmallow. You should hold out for someone with a stronger stomach. Someone who laughs at the gore that makes weaker men vomit."

Yes, Jacob. That is the exact way to impress the girl you like—emasculate somebody you don’t know and basically say, “Choose me. I’m totally the Pikachu to your Ash.” Although I would like to inform you of something, Jacob—Bella is not dating Mike. She’s never expressed interest in Mike. So, basically, Jacob here is emasculating Mike for absolutely no reason other than to make himself look better. Your “Ditch That Zero And Get With A Hero” speech makes you look like a real jerk. Or a douche, as it were.

Jacob meanders over to a bench and Bella sits next to him, and then Jacob puts his arm around her. Bella FINALLY tries to make it clear that she’s not comfortable with that, and Jacob ups his douche-ness by forcibly taking her hand (no joke: “He reached out and took my hand firmly, wrapping his other hand around my wrist when I tried to pull away again.”) Bella then calls his pushiness “confidence”. Uh, Bella? That’s not confidence, dear.

So, Jacob starts in on her, and Bella whines at the audience. Jacob asks if Bella likes him. She says she does. Jacob asks if she likes him better than anybody she knows. She says yes—which is extremely odd. Because…where does Wardo fit into this equation? Does she love him, but not like him? That’s not romance—that’s annoying relatives. Anyway, Jacob is pushy again, saying that he’s going to be annoyingly persistent until she agrees to go out with him. Bella mournfully declares that she never shall, and Jacob asks if it’s Wardo that’s standing between them. She dramatically cringes for attention, and Jacob gives it to her, and then this happens:

"But don't get mad at me for hanging around, okay?" Jacob patted the back of my hand. "Because I'm not giving up. I've got loads of time."

I sighed. "You shouldn't waste it on me," I said, though I wanted him to. Especially if he was willing to accept me the way I was—damaged goods, as is.

‘Kay, couple of points to harp on…

  • “Damaged goods”? What the hell?! That rubs me wrong—because that’s what some rape victims see themselves as. You are HARDLY damaged goods. You’re just a whiny, petulant little bitch. There’s a difference.

  • So nice that Bella finally admits to stringing him along, isn’t it? I mean, she basically said it right there—“I want Jacob to pine after me. I’ll tell him he shouldn’t, but basically do nothing to deter him. This is so nice.” Then she spends time worrying that she might alienate Jacob and he won’t be her friend anymore. GEE, BELLA. I WONDER WHY JACOB MIGHT GET MAD AND AVOID YOU AFTER ALL THIS. COULD IT BE BECAUSE YOU’RE AN INSENSITIVE PIG?

Anyway, Bella tries to pull her hand away again, and Jacob won’t let go, and he insists that it’s perfectly okay for him to hold her hand because it doesn’t bother her, when it’s quite clear that the main reason he’s holding her hand at this point is to shove it in Mike’s face and go “nyah nyah”. Bella points out that it means something more to him, and he says that that is his problem, not hers. Um, no, Jacob, it IS her problem, because you won’t stop pissing on her. So, Jacob starts fondling her hand, and discovers the scar where James nom’d on her. We get an LOL CLUMSY BELLA moment, and then Jacob’s presence thankfully prevents Bella from having an angst fit because he pointed out something that might remind her of Wardo. He also mentions the scar is cold, but before we can elaborate on that, Mike stumbles out in all his pukey and putrid glory. Bella shows compassion for once and agrees immediately to leaving early, because Mike honestly looks sick. Jacob decides that, as Mike’s down, he can be an even bigger douche and so mocks him for being a pussy. Mike angrily informs him that he was sick before the movie even started, meaning the stomach flu has struck again. Jacob gets an empty popcorn bucket for Mike, and they stick him in the backseat. Jacob continues to be a douche when Bella shivers and he immediately puts his arm around her to keep her warm—while you’re driving, Jacob? Now, really.

Anyway, Jacob remarks that he’s not cold at all, even though it’s freezing outside, which makes Bella say that he’s probably got a fever.

Excuse me?

Okay, okay. Meyer has always shown herself to be about as smart as a turnip when it comes to basic biology, but—dude! A fever makes you feel COLD! Surely she’s had a fever before, or knows someone who’s had a fever! You get COLD! IDIOT!!!

Anyway—sorry, sorry. So, Bella touches Jacob’s forehead and remarks that he’s burning up, although he once again reasserts that he feels great. He says it’s her who’s cold, and she concedes that that may be the point. Mike pukes again, and Jacob makes it clear that the main thing he cares about is whether or not Mike got vomit on his car seat. Man, Jacob turned into a douche in a hurry, didn’t he? So, Jacob keeps his arm around Bella, and somehow a single arm around her makes her totally warm. I don’t think that’s how it works. And, as Jacob doesn’t talk during the ride back and Bella easily pushes Mike out of her mind, she has time to go introspective. Strap in.

I stared out the windshield, consumed with guilt.

It was so wrong to encourage Jacob. Pure selfishness. It didn't matter that I'd tried to make my position clear. If he felt any hope at all that this could turn into something other than friendship, then I hadn't been clear enough.

How could I explain so that he would understand? I was an empty shell. Like a vacant house—condemned—for months I'd been utterly uninhabitable. Now I was a little improved. The front room was in better repair. But that was all—just the one small piece. He deserved better than that—better than a one-room, fallingdown fixer-upper. No amount of investment on his part could put me back in working order.

Yet I knew that I wouldn't send him away, regardless. I needed him too much, and I was selfish. Maybe I could make my side more clear, so that he would know to leave me. The thought made me shudder, and Jacob tightened his arm around me.

Bella? Admitting that you know it’s wrong to keep encouraging Jacob does not make it somehow better when you do it. So stop trying to justify yourself in some way by saying that, because you know it’s wrong, that means you can keep doing it.

And no freaking kidding you haven’t been clear enough!! You never tell him NO!!!

And you know what? You’re right about the part where no amount of investment on Jacob’s part can put you back in working order. That’s because you refuse to get better. I don’t know why you’re so determined to remain forever in mourning for your lost vampire sparkle-peen love, but that’s because you have basically made a choice not to move on and do something with yourself. So you do need to be condemned and torn down. I’ll gladly set the charges.

Oh, and Meyer? Quit with the analogies. They’re incredibly stupid.

So, they get Mike home, and Jacob mentions that he’s starting to feel odd. Bella thinks he might be sick too, but he assures her that he’ll get home all right. He promises to call her as soon as he gets home. Before Bella can get out, Jacob stops her. Bella whines to the audience that she doesn’t want to hear what Jacob has to say, but he merely says that he will always be there for her, and that he promises never to hurt her (at least, not until Eclipse). Bella says she knows, and that she appreciates him, and Jacob hangs onto that statement like the pathetic little hanger-on that he is, and Bella once again tries to make us believe that she really is feeling guilty about leading Jacob on. Bella, the thing about guilt is this—if you honestly feel badly about doing something? You’d stop.

So, Jacob goes funny again and drives away. Bella laments that it sucks that Jacob isn’t her brother, and how she’d never wanted to use Jacob, it had just happened, and how she never meant to love Jacob because love was merely something somebody else could use to break you, and it’s all very laughable. Bella calls Jacob her drug (her own personal brand of heroin, perhaps?), and that there is basically no way at all she can keep from hurting Jacob, because she refuses to change, but that’s not going to stop her from letting him try to make her happy.

Our heroine, ladies and gentlemen.

Charlie is surprised to see Bella home so soon, so she tells him Mike was sick and goes to wait by the phone, because she has nothing else to do with herself but wait for the Word of The Man, even if it isn’t Wardo. Unfortunately, Jacob does not call, so she calls him. She tries twice, and Billy finally answers. He tells her that Jacob was too sick to call, and Meyer beats us over the head with Bella’s thinking that Jacob must be sick. Billy also is about as able to hide the fact that there is obviously something more wrong with Jacob as the Cullens are at hiding the fact that they are vampires. Seriously—the conversation may as well have gone like this:

Bella: Hi, Billy! Jacob was supposed to call me—he was getting sick.
Billy: Oh, yeah—he was just too sick to call. And he’s totally not turning into a werewolf.
Bella: Okay!

And, of course, we have Bella turning to us after every single one of Billy’s responses to tell us how to feel about how suspicious he is, because only she is wise enough to interpret the way Billy is acting. Granted, we kind of do need it—the dialogue is flat and lifeless. But on the other hand, the dead herring that Meyer is trying to make us cut down a tree with is explaining things nicely.

So, Bella goes to bed, thinking she might go and take care of him tomorrow, since she lives to be a man’s doormat. Unfortunately, she wakes up at 4:30 a.m. in the throes of the stomach flu herself and spends the rest of the night in the bathroom. Charlie finds her later, and stares at her like an ape trying to solve a Rubik’s cube, before FINALLY coming to the conclusion that Bella must have the bug that is going around. Bella has Charlie call the Newtons and tell them she won’t be making it into work, and she spends the entire day in the bathroom. Charlie goes to work so he can have access to a bathroom, but thoughtfully puts a glass of water next to her before he goes.

Okay…you know, I’ve had the stomach flu. I don’t spend all my time in the bathroom. I stay in bed, wrapped up in blankets, with a WASTE BASKET next to me. Yes, Bella—there is such a thing as a trashcan you can throw up into. And you don’t have to tie up the bathroom the whole time by throwing up into a trashcan! So, essentially, this is just Bella being, yet again, a selfish bitch. I’m not sympathetic in the slightest. And on top of it, it is Meyer displaying a strange sort of unawareness of illnesses—vomiting isn’t the only symptom of stomach flu—there is also a fever, in which case you’d want to be in bed! This doesn’t sound like stomach flu—this sounds like food poisoning.

So, anyway, Charlie comes home, finds out she’s getting a little better, then gets a phone call from the Newtons—they called to tell Bella that Mike feels better already, which automatically means it will only last twenty-four hours for her, too. Um, I don’t think it works that way. However, because Meyer doesn’t know what biology is, the bug naturally and conveniently lasts only and exactly twenty-four hours. Charlie is happy to see her recovered. So, she decides to call Jacob, because, as this is the perfect twenty-four-hour bug that affects everybody in the same degree and for the same duration, he’ll surely be better.

Jacob answers the phone, and he sounds horrible. He sounds very distressed and upset, and when Bella says that he’ll get better soon, he whispers that he doesn’t think they caught the same bug. He says that he hurts all over, and this is actually a good scene and I feel very sorry for Jacob. He sounds scared. Bella offers to bring him something, and he immediately says she can’t come over and to stay away. She says to call her when he feels better, and he’s extremely bitter in response. He says to wait for him to call her, and she says goodbye before he hangs up. Meyer then pulls an Eragon: “‘Bella,’ he whispered my name” (yes, Meyer—we know he whispered Bella’s name. Because, you know—he said her name there in the quotation marks. Perhaps you didn’t notice you’d written it?), and the chapter ends.

Now, let me just say this—that was probably the most (and only) effective bit of writing Meyer has ever done. If she hadn’t beaten us over the head with foreshadowing about Jacob being a werewolf, I’d be honestly worried for him. That was relatively good writing.

Well, see you guys next time with Chapter 10 – The Meadow.

Stinger: “"You shouldn't waste it on me," I said, though I wanted him to. Especially if he was willing to accept me the way I was—damaged goods, as is.”

( Chapter 10 - The Meadow )
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