Chapter 11 – Cult
Bella begins this chapter by telling us how surprised she is to wake up every morning alive—meaning that YET AGAIN, an undetermined amount of time has passed and we aren’t ever going to hear when the hell this is supposed to be. But enough about that. Charlie is worried about her, because she’s jumpier than Robert Pattinson at a Twilight Convention. And Charlie, still in Dadbot 1.0 mode, blames her obvious terror on the fact that Jacob has vanished from her life—I mean, whatever shall she do without a man? And speaking of Jacob, Bella is pissing and moaning about him being gone, too. I mean, whatever shall she do without a man? She wants him around so he can entertain her some more, but he’s not calling, and nobody at the Black residence is answering the phone. We learn here that it’s been at least two weeks since the end of the last chapter, which, being a vague time reference, pleases me like you wouldn’t believe.
So, Bella wangsts some more about how it’s probably better that Jacob’s avoiding her, because that means Victoria won’t find him and kill him. Anyone notice that this is the only way that Meyer tries to make Bella seem selfless? “At least (insert name of whichever man she’s obsessing over at the moment) won’t be hurt! It’ll just be me dead!” I’m not fooled. Bella makes a big show out of being willing to sacrifice her life, but she’s only willing to do it for whatever male she is currently clinging to. She didn’t bat an eye when Laurent and/or Victoria were leaping around the woods in Forks, devouring people willy-nilly—but the instant it might’ve affected either her or Charlie, she puts on the selfless act.
Harry Potter walking out to face Voldemort, willingly and unarmed: UR DOIN IT RITE
Bella not giving a damn about random hikers dying: UR DOIN IT RONG
Bella also decides that she can’t run away, because Victoria would go to Bella’s house and maybe kill Charlie, or in the very least torture him a lot to find her. She also decides that she wouldn’t have anywhere to go in the first place, and doesn’t want to endanger Renee any—funny, considering she ran all the way to Phoenix in the last book, thus putting her mom’s life in danger…
So, Bella whines some more, and says: “The worry was eating a hole in my stomach. Soon I would have matching punctures.”
Great. It’s not enough that she has one Goddamned Hole™. Now she’s gonna have two to whine about.
Bella makes Charlie call Harry again (dammit, woman, do it yourself!), and finds out that the Blacks still aren’t around. Charlie tells her to stop being a pest. And then…
IT HITS HER!!!
*hides frying pan behind her back* What? Oh, the story.
Bella suddenly realizes what has happened with Jacob and why he’s avoiding her. She says it was “embarrassingly obvious”, but is defensive, because she was busy being selfish and feeling sorry for Poor Bella Swan. Well, she doesn’t phrase it exactly like that, but you get the idea (I should like to point out that either my .pdf has a damned funny spelling error or SMeyer managed to do a level of Thesaurus Syndrome I’ve never seen—Bella mentioned that she’s being chased by “revenue-obsessed vampires”. *giggles*). She suddenly realizes that Jacob has finally succumbed to Sam’s cult and is now a member. So, she weighs her options—she thinks about going to see Jacob, but is scared of leading Victoria to his house. But Sam is BAD. She says it’s been a week—even though it’s actually been longer than a week, closer to two—and no
So she makes a decision. She’s a woman on a mission! It’s now time for that classic, SAVING JACOB BLACK, starring Tom Hanks. She then says this: “I'd once seen a PBS show on deprogramming the brainwashed. There had to be some kind of cure.” Which is just hilarious. She saw it on PBS! She is learnded in these matters. And don’t you DARE challenge her Wiki and Google skilz!
First, though, she calls Charlie. But she doesn’t get but a few sentences in before mentioning Sam Uley, and if you’ll remember, Sam is the berries, so Charlie brushes her off—partially because he thinks Sam is a Good Egg, and partially because he’s got more missing hikers to deal with and an out-of-control wolf problem. Bella, naturally, thinks nothing of the fact that they are dead, but more on the fact that she doesn’t understand why Laurent would run away from mere wolves, for you see, Bella does not have time to worry about peripheral characters getting axed—they do not matter in Bella Land, for they were created by Meyer so they could get killed. They served a purpose, so we need not feel remorse. Don’t believe me about this? Well, allow me to show you what just about made my jaw drop.
Either wolves or vampires are going around killing people, right? The deaths are increasing. Charlie is running around where the wolves are—there’s a chance he could get killed. People are dying. And then this little exchange happens.
"Look, I really have to go. Don't worry about Jake, Bella. I'm sure it's nothing."
"Fine," I said curtly, frustrated as his words reminded me of the more urgent crisis at hand. "Bye." I hang up.
“The more urgent crisis at hand.”
Bella: Well, yeah, people are dying, but Jacob’s in a cult, and as a result he’s not paying any attention to me! Priorities, people! Let’s get them!
Once again—our heroine, ladies and gentlemen. The girl we’re supposed to root for and cheer on and sympathize with. Meyer, how the hell am I supposed to sympathize with a person at all if she has absolutely NO sympathy for anything unless it directly involves her? Tell me that. Because the reason Bella’s upset about Jacob joining the cult is not because she’s afraid Jacob’s been brainwashed, or he’s going to start doing illegal things, or because she’s honestly worried about her friend—she’s mad he’s not hanging out with her and entertaining her!
Anyway. Bella decides to call the Blacks AGAIN, and Billy answers. Bella growls at him (subtle, dear), asks to talk to Jacob, and surprise surprise, he’s not in. Bella shows off her smart skilz by confirming the cult status—she asks if Jacob is with EMBRY instead of Sam, and Billy says yes. She’s a marvel, that one. She hangs up, and drives out to La Push to wait for Jacob.
On the way, she drives by and sees Quil. He is getting bigger as well, but who cares about that—he’s extremely depressed and worried. Bella offers him a ride home, which he takes. He then exposits that Jacob and Embry ran away from him into the forest, prompting Quil to pull a Bella and wander into the woods looking for them. At least he didn’t lie down in the leaves and die when he couldn’t find them. Quil and Bella take time to bash Sam, and Quil then expresses the same fear Jacob had and that he doesn’t want to be next, and that his parents are basically doing the same thing Billy did with Jacob. Then Quil leaves, and Bella quickly forgets about him and all of his worries—doesn’t even bother comforting him. But did we expect anything else at this point? So she drives to the Blacks’ after dropping Quil off.
And then she parks outside of Jacob’s house and just sits there in her truck, staring.
No, that’s not creepy or stalkerish at all.
Wardo the Sensei: You have learned well, young Padawan.
So, another undetermined amount of time passes, Billy looks irritably at Bella from inside the house, and then somebody taps against her door that she totally didn’t see or hear coming.
I would buy that, save for the fact that she had her windows rolled down.
It turns out to be Jacob, and what does Bella notice first?
The first thing I noticed was his hair—his beautiful hair was all gone, cropped quite short, covering his head with an inky gloss like black satin. The planes of his face seemed to have hardened subtly, tightened… aged.
Ah, Bella. While a radical change like cutting off all of one’s hair would definitely be the first thing you’d notice, you just always have to phrase it in a way that makes you just about the most shallow thing I’ve ever seen: “Eww—you’re not as beautiful and you look old!”
Bella further tells us that Happy!Jacob has apparently turned into IWillSquishYourHead!Jacob. He’s pissed off, and Bella’s “sun” has apparently “imploded”. Man, first the planet she orbits blows up, and now the sun she feebly latched onto went nova. Our poor, pathetic heroine seems unable to catch a break (or a man). Bella finally notices that Jacob apparently has a posse—behind him stand the boys in the gang and they now all look alike, including the hostility towards Bella, save for Sam. Sam is kicked back behind everyone else looking like he just toked up a big doobie, ‘cause with him, it’s all good, baby. However, Sam’s marijuana-induced serenity sends Bella into a rage and she declares that she wishes she was a vampire so she could make Sam piss his pants.
Okay, stop, hold the phone, back up here.
You want to what?
I wanted to take a swing at him. No, I wanted to do more than that. More than anything, I wanted to be fierce and deadly, someone no one would dare mess with. Someone who would scare Sam Uley silly.
I wanted to be a vampire.
Bella, you just tipped your hand a little. No, a lot. Yeah, you tried to disguise it with more of that “I’m Selfless” crap you keep smothering us with, but it didn’t fool me.
It’s one thing for a person to briefly think, “Man, I wish I was Chuck Norris—I’d roundhouse kick Roberts so hard! That’d teach him for stealing the last cup of coffee! *grumble grumble*” People think that all the time. There’s nothing wrong with a little fantasy that involves you kicking the ass of somebody who irritates you. On the surface, that’s what that looks like.
Except vampires are real in this story, and we all know you want nothing more than to be a vampire, and we all know you’re going to be a vampire. And you, my dear, just revealed one of the main reasons you want to be a vampire. So you can be more powerful than anyone who annoys you or inconveniences you.
Meyer, we all know this is nothing but a god-moding, self-fulfilling fantasy, but do you have to be so blatant about it? Bleh. Where was I?
Bella immediately angsts about this wish and brings up The Goddamned Hole™, and Jacob demands to know what she wants and what she’s doing here. Bella says she wants to talk to him, but she’s too busy thinking about The Goddamned Hole™ because she’ll never get to be a vampire and kick the ass of anyone who pisses her off in the slightest. Jacob gives her a glare, and Bella is just SO hurt that he would turn such a mean look in her direction, and says they need to talk alone. Jacob looks to Sam for permission, and Sam loftily grants it before heading inside with all the others of the gang.
Jacob continues to be the only halfway decent character written in this godawful series by making me sympathetic towards him still—he’s obviously unhappy, hopeless, and bitter. Bella asks if they can walk, and they do, and Bella notes that Jacob has found a less noisy path, which is actually considerably more subtle than Meyer’s usual ways of hinting that something’s up with the supernatural characters of the story. Bella goes introspective for a moment, hating on Sam and Billy for allowing Jacob to get all cultified like that, and then Jacob leaps in front of her so they have to stop in the middle of the woods and says that they need to get this over with already, and then says that he was totally wrong about the cult. Bella asks what it is, then, and he says he can’t tell her. And we get a little bit of empathy with the following conversation:
My jaw tightened, and I spoke through my teeth. "I thought we were friends."
"We were." There was a slight emphasis on the past tense.
"But you don't need friends anymore," I said sourly. "You have Sam. Isn't that nice—you've always looked up to him so much."
"I didn't understand him before."
"And now you've seen the light. Hallelujah."
"It wasn't like I thought it was. This isn't Sam's fault. He's helping me as much as he can." His voice turned brittle and he looked over my head, past me, rage burning out from his eyes.
"He's helping you," I repeated dubiously. "Naturally."
See? It’s not that bad this time around. Bella is reacting realistically to somebody she thinks has been sucked into a cult (“Oh, sure—first you’re all scared that all your friends have been brainwashed into joining the cult, and now that you’re hanging around with them, well, it’s just not what you thought it was. Right. Sure, Jacob.”), and Jacob is still being a sympathetic character that we feel sorry for. But we all know it won’t last.
Bella asks if she can help, if he’d only tell her what happened. Jacob says “no one can help [him] now”, and Bella turns on the tears and demands to know what Sam has done to him to make him this way, trying to hug him, and Jacob tells her not to touch him (which, if I didn’t know about what happens in later chapters, I’d be happy with this—I know what he is, because Meyer doesn’t know what the word “subtle” means, and he sounds like he’s repulsed by himself and thinks of himself as a monster, and that is much, MUCH more believable than Wardo going on about how HE’S a monster—I’d view this as progress, if I didn’t know what happens in later chapters). Bella asks if Sam is catching, and Jacob tells her to stop blaming Sam. Bella then wants somebody else to blame, because God forbid she blame Jacob for anything. Jacob wryly tells her that she doesn’t want to hear that, and Bella goes foot-stomp on us and demands to know who did this to him. Jacob then cuts to the chase and says it’s all Wardo’s fault and makes it quite clear that he knows exactly what the Cullens are, calling them “those filthy, reeking bloodsuckers that [she] loves so much”. Bella immediately reminds us of The Goddamned Hole™, rather than being shocked that Jacob knows about the vampires (which is really more of the same, actually—remember in Twilight how Bella was more concerned with how Wardo managed to get over to her that fast rather than the fact that he’d folded Tyler’s Van of Doom into a paper crane?), because it’s much better to angst rather than be realistic. Bella plays dumb, and Jacob spells it out for her—he knows the Cullens are vampires. Bella FINALLY acknowledges that it’s really, REALLY weird that Jacob knows about the Cullens and is now hating on them more than if they were baby-eating pedophiles—before launching back into feeling sorry for herself that they’re gone.
So, Jacob has made it quite clear that he knows the Cullens are vampires. So what does Bella do? Promptly tries to fool him into thinking that they aren’t by saying he’s just listening to Billy’s superstitions. *facepalm* Jacob informs her that no, it’s not superstitions, and Bella STILL keeps up a charade that they aren’t really vampires before dramatically wincing when she has to say the word “Cullens” and asking why he hates them, as they left a while back—how the hell are they to blame in any way for what Sam’s doing? Jacob says that it’s not Sam doing anything. Jacob’s still being vague about what is the Cullens’ fault exactly, so when Bella asks, he gets all up in her business and blames them “for existing”. That is perfectly valid. Now, Jacob, keep it up—go on to mention how Wardo’s a smug bastard with less personality than one of those hairs you find in your buttcrack occasionally. So, Jacob’s all mad and stuff, and that’s when Meyer really sticks her foot in it.
Imaginary!Wardo shows up.
Now, so far, he’s only showed up when Bella’s about to do something stupid/dangerous, and her adrenaline is going and she’s scared out of her mind (or something similar). Bella is not afraid at this point—sure, she may be in danger, but she’s not scared. But Imaginary!Wardo knows she’s in danger, because Jacob might go wolf out on us.
And you know what? Here’s a spoiler for you folks.
Imaginary!Wardo is never explained.
That’s right. When Bella tells Real!Wardo about this strange occurrence, the main thing he harps on is the fact that she was doing stuff he didn’t approve of. We never, ever hear any kind of explanation for Imaginary!Wardo. And this event right here implies that Real!Wardo is telepathically communicating with her, because Imaginary!Wardo knows stuff Bella does not.
So, basically, Imaginary!Wardo is something that Meyer has pulled right out of her butt and smeared all over her work and is now calling it art and demanding I pay money to see it and acknowledge it as great and awesome.
Well, you know what, bitch? I don’t think elephant shit smeared on a picture of the Virgin Mary is art—what makes you think I’ll believe your shit smeared on blank paper is literature?
Anyway. Imaginary!Wardo tells Bella to be quiet and not make Jacob any angrier, and Bella is confused regarding his appearance (and I’ve already pointed the stupidity out here). Jacob is livid, Bella beats us over the head with how she is totally in no danger because, after all, it’s just Jacob and he’s totally not about to explode into a werewolf, then tells him he’s being ridiculous. Jacob says it doesn’t matter, because the damage is done. Bella doesn’t get it—again—yells at Jacob, gets indignant when he doesn’t cower in fear at her RAAAAAAAAAGE, and Jacob abruptly ends the conversation and starts to walk off.
Bella tries a different tactic. She brings up Quil, and says that he’s scared and worried about Jacob as well, and doesn’t want to be next. Jacob despairs, and says that none of this should be happening, and that it’s over, and then he goes RAAAAAAAAAAGE on us and breaks a tree taller than him in half. Jacob, horrified that he would do such a thing to an innocent little tree, runs away and, when Bella tells him to wait, says he can’t hang out with her anymore. Bella then does this:
The silly, inconsequential hurt was incredibly potent. The tears welled up again.
"Are you… breaking up with me?" The words were all wrong, but they were the best way I could think to phrase what I was asking. After all, what Jake and I had was more than any schoolyard romance. Stronger.
Well, I don’t think that requires comment. But, if you really want one—FAIL.
Jacob says that if they had been in that sort of relationship, he’d say they should just stay friends, but, as they weren’t, he can’t do that. And that makes no sense whatsoever. But, either way, the concept of Jacob not being her friend anymore just sends Bella into a tailspin and she whines and wails that she NEEEEEEEEEEEDS Jacob, and then Bella says that while his mouth says “no no” his eyes say “yes yes” and I am not kidding. And, as Jacob has been talking about Sam and how much he’s been trying to do for him, Bella brings the subject back to herself—surely what he’s doing must be about HER, because isn’t everything about her?
And so, that’s how the following conversation comes up.
"I'm sorry that I couldn't… before… I wish I could change how I feel about you, Jacob." I was desperate, reaching, stretching the truth so far that it curved nearly into the shape of a lie. "Maybe… maybe I would change," I whispered. "Maybe, if you gave me some time… just don't quit on me now, Jake. I can't take it."
Mmhmm. So, to prevent Jacob from saying he doesn’t want to be her friend, she basically offers to prostitute herself out, lying and saying, “I’ll love you eventually!” How does Jacob react?
His face went from anger to agony in a second. One shaking hand reached out toward me.
"No. Don't think like that, Bella, please. Don't blame yourself, don't think this is your fault. This one is all me. I swear, it's not about you."
"It's not you, it's me," I whispered. "There's a new one."
"I mean it, Bella. I'm not…" he struggled, his voice going even huskier as he fought to control his emotion. His eyes were tortured. "I'm not good enough to be your friend anymore, or anything else. I'm not what I was before. I'm not good."
Ah, did anybody here miss that doormat “blame everything on herself” Bella we hadn’t seen in a while? I sure didn’t. Not to mention—did anybody notice that this is kind of a more emotional repeat of when Wardo “broke up” with Bella in chapter three, straight down to the “Baby, I’m No Good” speech?
So, Bella switches gears fast, and promptly pulls her Good Judge of People card on Jacob and tries to beat him over the head with it:
"What?" I stared at him, confused and appalled. "What are you saying? You're much better than I am, Jake. You are good! Who told you that you aren't? Sam? It's a vicious lie, Jacob! Don't let him tell you that!" I was suddenly yelling again.
Jacob's face went hard and flat. "No one had to tell me anything. I know what I am."
"You're my friend, that's what you are! Jake—don't!"
He was backing away from me.
"I'm sorry, Bella," he said again; this time it was a broken mumble. He turned and almost ran into the house.
You are damn right that Jacob was much better than you—he wasn’t flat as a pancake, for one. He was also nice, and didn’t spend every minute of the day whining about what he doesn’t have.
Notice how all that was past tense.
But, on a serious note—I am sick and tired of Bella constantly talking about how everybody is so much better than she is. Yes, there are people who do that—there are plenty of people who believe that nothing they do is ever good enough, and that they are no good and worthless and everyone is better than them. But what Bella does here is not display that attitude—she does it so people will disagree with her. She is fishing for compliments—Meyer is fishing for compliments.
So, now that Bella has been effectively told to piss off, Bella does something hilarious (and creepy). She stands outside of Jacob’s house in the rain and just stares.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Bella Swan:
So, the rain picks up dramatically and Bella continues to stand there and get wet, and dammit, woman, just get a stereo and hold it over your head already. The door opens, and then Billy rolls out and tells her to get her sorry ass home. Well, he doesn’t state it that way, but still. Bella drives home, and then says this:
I'd thought Jake had been healing the hole in me—or at least plugging it up, keeping it from hurting me so much. I'd been wrong. He'd just been carving out his own hole, so that I was now riddled through like Swiss cheese. I wondered why I didn't crumble into pieces.
Excuse me? Wondering why you don’t crumble into pieces implies that you DON’T whenever you lose whatever man you’re clinging to at the time. So, you aren’t Swiss, my dear—more like bleu, or maybe feta. Mmm…feta cheese.
So, she arrives home, and Charlie sees her and goes Dramatic Prairie Dog when he sees Zombie!Bella walk in the door. He asks what happened, and Bella tells him that Sam said Jacob can’t be her friend anymore. Charlie goes concerned parent, and Bella goes to take a shower. When she comes out, she overhears Charlie getting all up in Billy’s business about Jacob telling his daughter to piss it up a well rope, and says that he’d better not pin any of Jacob’s weird behavior on Bella, and that “Bella’s made it very clear all along that she and Jacob were just friends”. Charlie, you are not living on the same planet that everybody else is. Charlie cusses out Billy some more, and says that it’s ALL JACOB’S FAULT if Bella goes back into that damned “woe is me” state again (‘cause, you know, it’s not like it’s Bella’s fault for having the inability to stand on her own two feet without somebody out there to hold her up), and that he’s gonna whup Jacob’s ass if that happens. Then he says he’s going to lock the whole gang up if they do anything bad, because he’s the chief of police and he can do that sort of thing.
Bella is outraged that Billy would accuse her of leading Jacob on, despite the fact that that is EXACTLY WHAT SHE’S BEEN DOING SINCE CHAPTER SIX OF BOOK I. She hates on Billy for a bit, and then climbs into bed and dramatically cries herself to sleep. If you guessed that she would have another SIMBOLICK!!!!111!!1 dream, give yourself a star.
It was a new dream tonight. Rain was falling and Jacob was walking soundlessly beside me, though beneath my feet the ground crunched like dry gravel. But he wasn't my Jacob; he was the new, bitter, graceful Jacob. The smooth suppleness of his walk reminded me of someone else, and, as I watched, his features started to change. The russet color of his skin leached away, leaving his face pale white like bone. His eyes turned gold, and then crimson, and then back to gold again. His shorn hair twisted in the breeze, turning bronze where the wind touched it. And his face became so beautiful that it shattered my heart. I reached for him, but he took a step away, raising his hands like a shield. And then Edward vanished. I wasn't sure, when I woke in the dark, if I'd just begun crying, or if my tears had run while I slept and simply continued now. I stared at my dark ceiling. I could feel that it was the middle of the night—I was still half-asleep, maybe more than half. I closed my eyes wearily and prayed for a dreamless sleep.
Bella’s dreams make Mervin go
Then she hears something that must have “wakened” her (um, correct me if I’m wrong, but shouldn’t that be “awoken”?).
Something is scratching on her window in a moment CLEARLY NOT RIPPED OFF OF SALEM’S LOT. Don’t you little bastards even think that. *cough*
And on that dramatic note, the chapter ends, pushing us directly into—
Chapter 12 – Intruder
Bella snaps her eyes open, wanders over to the window, and sees somebody outside swinging around like a monkey. She immediately thinks it’s Victoria, panics, and then thinks of Charlie, determining that she will remain silent through what will be her undoubtedly gory and torturific death (you can just see SMeyer smugly typing that, all while thinking about how selfless and wonderful and strong Bella is…)—
—before Jacob hisses at her to open the window. He apparently shimmed up to the top of the tree in the middle of the front yard and has somehow managed to bend it all the way to the window, and then Bella says that he’s twenty feet off the ground.
I’m sorry—did you just say twenty feet? Your second-story window is twenty feet off the ground? Um, Meyer? The average ceiling is only eight to ten. So…unless there’s about, oh, six or seven feet between the ceiling of the first floor and the carpet of the second floor…
Bella asks just what in the hell he thinks he’s doing, and he says he’s “trying to keep [his] promise”, and she replies by asking “when did [he] ever promise to kill [him]self falling out of Charlie’s tree”. Which, admittedly, amused me a little. Jacob ignores her and tells her to get out of the way and starts swinging about like a bad trapeze artist so he can throw himself into the window. Bella is alarmed, and then he lets go and comes flying at her. She starts to scream because she thinks he is going to “fall to his death”. From twenty feet? Oh, get real, you twit. Unless he falls on his head, he’s not in any danger of dying. He might hurt himself, sure, but he won’t die. Stop trying to dramatize this.
So, while Bella panics briefly at Jacob’s, ahem, death-defying stunt, he lands easily and gracefully into her room and gives a big ol’ grin.
Now, ordinarily, I’d find Bella’s subsequent outrage over the fact that he waltzes into her house without permission after telling her to piss off somewhat justified, not to mention refreshing. Jacob just gave her a brush-off, and now he’s in here, back to his usual self, clearly expecting her to accept him without question—and for once, Bella does not do just that, even though he’s got the Almighty Y Chromosome. But she just had to go and phrase it like this:
I'd cried myself to sleep over this boy. His harsh rejection had punched a painful new hole in what was left of my chest. He'd left a new nightmare behind him, like an infection in a sore—the insult after the injury. And now he was here in my room, smirking at me as if none of that had passed. Worse than that, even though his arrival had been noisy and awkward, it reminded me of when Edward used to sneak in through my window at night, and the reminder picked viciously at the unhealed wounds.
Yes, Jacob—she WHINED about you! She was busy carving your name into her thigh (under Wardo’s, of course) when you had to show up and spoil it! Not to mention that she had to bring up The Goddamned Hole™ again, AND remind us of Wardo being creepy when he snuck into her room all the time.
I would also like to point something out…
Jacob sneaking into her room and Wardo sneaking into her room have a completely different flavor to them. They are the same act, to be sure, but…
Wardo’s felt like a predator or a stalker sneaking in—I mean, she didn’t know about him doing that for the first two months he did it, after all. He did it silently, without her permission, and never, EVER announced his presence—he just showed up beside her, and made himself at home wherever he pleased.
Jacob…feels more like Glen Lantz from A Nightmare on Elm Street. It didn’t feel uncomfortable, and it didn’t feel like Glen was monitoring his girlfriend’s behavior. He announced his presence, and half the time Nancy was irritated with him (not to mention that this scene now feels less like Salem’s Lot and more like Nightmare, now that I think about it…). This feels considerably more real.
Now—COME ON, FREDDY!!! SHOW BELLA WHAT A NIGHTMARE REALLY IS!!!
So, after that paragraph, Bella goes total Bitchface on him and tells him to get out. Jacob acts like a total dumbass and can’t fathom why Bella would be angry with him—after all, he “came to apologize”. Bella automatically says she doesn’t accept and tries to push him out the window—no, that’s not a joke or a hyperbole. After she panics about him running the risk of dying by falling out of her tree, she tries to push him forcefully out the window, and such a fall probably WOULD hurt him (were he not, you know, a werewolf), because you don’t fall out of a window on your feet. However, her logic for doing such an act is impervious: “after all, if this was a dream, it wouldn’t really hurt him.” That’s real great, Bella. That’s just wonderful. Fortunately for Jacob, her shoving him doesn’t move him in the slightest. This makes Bella step back and drink him all in, and she elaborates upon how huge and hot (as in temperature) he is and that he has no shirt, and it’s not important. This, however, is.
Oh. Recap. Right.
Bella then gets the vapors. I’m not joking here, either. She nearly passes right out and Jacob has to catch her and put her on the bed. Jacob asks if she’s okay, and she goes, “Bitch, are you for real?” and Jacob FINALLY remembers what happened in the forest a few hours ago. Meyer writes that “anguish replaced some of the bitterness in his face”, which makes no sense, because she’d just mentioned that he was back to being old Jacob not two minutes ago. But I don’t pretend to understand this shit. So, Jacob apologizes officially, and Bella says she wants no apologies. Jacob is understanding and says how horrible he was and Bella reiterates the fact that she is very confused about this whole situation, prompting Jacob to reiterate that he can’t tell her. And then Jacob tries to poop his pants: “His eyes were squinted, his teeth clenched, his forehead wrinkled in effort.” Fortunately for us, he can’t do it, and I immediately started thinking of MST3K, episode 904, “Werewolf” where, upon seeing our wolfed-out hero straining something like this, Mike says the cure for being a werewolf is Imodium AD.
Jacob then corners her, and asks if she’s ever had a secret that “she couldn’t tell anyone”. Her thoughts jump to the Cullens, she tries not to look guilty, MY GOD, BELLA, HE KNOWS THEY’RE VAMPIRES ALREADY. Jacob has to spell it out for her and essentially says that he has the same problem she had regarding the Cullens—he can’t tell her what his deal is just like she couldn’t tell what the Cullens’ deal is. Bella pouts anyway, and tells him he can just eff off if all he came up here to do is say he couldn’t tell her what was going on (she’s so sympathetic towards other people’s plights, isn’t she?).
Jacob then informs her that this is driving him insane because he already told her everything she needs to know, and everybody in the audience says, “Right, right, the day on the beach in chapter six of Twilight,” while Bella goes, “Bzuh?” Jacob starts saying that if she guesses his secret, he gets around the rules of having to keep it from her and they can’t blame him for anything. Then he breathes in her face, and we don’t hear anything about his breath being sweet, fortunately. Bella is still completely clueless while the audience just sighs, kicks back to read a book, and waits for our oh-so-clever heroine to catch up with the rest of us. Bella senses our exasperation and indignantly informs us that she’s not catching on because she’s tired. Right.
Jacob tries to poop again, panting this time, and asks if she remembers the day they met at La Push way back when and when she says she does, he tells her to recount it. She does so, working her way up from the pointless stuff to the part where Jacob was not actually Jacob but some idiot named Plot Device who was there simply to exposit and move the plot forward and make sure that Bella wouldn’t have to strain her two brain cells too hard to figure out that the Cullens were vampires. Jacob asks if she remembers all the stories, and Bella says this:
My head churned. Only one story really mattered. I knew he'd begun with others, but I couldn't remember the inconsequential prelude, especially not while my brain was so clouded with exhaustion.
Um, is it just me, or did Bella basically just say, “The only legend of those people that matters is the one that directly affected ME. All the other ones are pointless”? Way to respect another person’s culture, Bella. Although that’s par for the course, where Meyer is concerned.
Bella tries to get Jacob out of her room and says she’s tired and she’ll think about it in the morning, and just generally irritates me—because here is Jacob, trying his hardest to explain his behavior and make amends and he’s desperate and aggravated, and all Bella can say is, “Yeah, um, that’s great and all, but can we do this later?” After all that nonsense of how he broke her heart? You expect me to believe that?
Jacob then says he knows she only kept one story in mind, and he’s openly contemptuous about it. Go Jacob. Then he asks if he was the one who told her what Wardo was that day, and Bella still acts like she’s keeping some big secret and I just want to smash a wine bottle over her head because GODDAMMIT, JACOB KNOWS ALREADY!!! HE SAID SO!!! So Jacob says she understands now something of what he’s going through when it comes to loyalty, and then yet again tries to poop. Bella hates on Sam for that, and says that her keeping the secret was “all essentially voluntary”, and that she kept the secret “out of love; unrequited, but true”, reminding us again that she actually bought Wardo’s cock-n-bull story about how he didn’t love her when he left. But the point of that statement was mostly to point out at how Jacob doesn’t seem to be doing it voluntarily.
Then she asks if he can get out of this, and he says no, he’s in it for life, “longer, maybe”. Bella asks if they could run away, and Jacob goes Chicken Soup on us and says he couldn’t run away from this, but that he “would run with [her] if [he] could”. He says he has to leave, because Bella looks like she’s about to fall asleep standing and because the rest of his posse will be wondering where he was. When he says he’ll be telling them about this, Bella angrily tells him that he doesn’t have to, and he says he will whether he wants to or not, prompting Bella to declare that she hates them. Jacob tells her not to hate them and then starts sucking Sam’s dick again, saying how great and “cool” he is (Jesus—why does everybody have to suck everybody else’s dick? Bella sucks Edward’s dick, Jacob sucks Sam’s dick, and—well, pretty much everybody sucks Bella’s dick). Bella is disgusted by this, and instead asks why he shouldn’t see her. He says “it’s not safe”.
That makes Bella afraid. However, before I can fly into a rage at the fact that Jacob saying it’s not safe for him to be around her gives her cause for alarm, but Wardo’s constant spewing of what a monster he is pretty much turns her on, Bella corrects herself by saying she thinks he means his own safety regarding Vampy Victoria running around. Jacob apologizes again, and said he’s still going to try to keep his promise, and Bella forgives him, and Jacob tells her to work on figuring out what he told her. She says she’ll try. Jacob then says if she figures it out, to come see him—then dramatically adds “if you want to”. Bella doesn’t get it (naturally), and Jacob waves her off and says to at least call if she’s repulsed by his secret. Then he tries to go out through the window, and Bella insists he use the door, which he does. Then he hugs her and leaves.
Now—how do you all think she figures this out? Through her own intuitiveness? By seeing him werewolf out? Anything like that?
Nope. She sees it IN A DREAM.
Once again, my ratty .pdf copy comes to my rescue and made me laugh until I broke a rib because Bella apparently does not have “the peaceful, creamless sleep [she’d] yearned for”. That’s not a spelling error on my part, dears. I’m sorry, but Bella hasn’t had a sleep like that since she met Wardo.
Back to our recap. To make a long story short, Bella’s wandering around in the woods, Jacob arrives, they tiptoe through the tulips, and Jacob turns into the very wolf she saw in the field that day a week ago when Laurent made his cameo. Bella wakes up screaming (again).
I’d just like to take this moment to say FUCKIN’ COP-OUT.
So, Bella now remembers every word of Jacob’s stories, and we get an italicized flashback that is basically Meyer cutting-and-pasting a scene from Twilight (and if any of you reading have read our Airhead sporkings, you know how I feel about that), which I have already recapped—you wanna know what he said, read the recap of chapter six. And now, Bella knows Jacob is a werewolf, and she has a big scene about this revelation. And then, for some odd reason, logic is randomly injected into the story and a “small, dry voice” in her head just wants to know what the dealio is with this—because I don’t remember all these histrionics when she found out Wardo wanted to eat her with duck sauce, and Jacob here isn’t even dangerous to humans—he works to protect them. Bella justifies her hysterics by saying that one myth being true is quite enough. Um, no—you don’t pick and choose what you want to be true and what you don’t want to be true. Continuing forward, Bella says something stupid:
Besides, there'd never been one moment that I wasn't completely aware that Edward Cullen was above and beyond the ordinary. It wasn't such a surprise to find out what he was—because he so obviously was something.
But Jacob? Jacob, who was just Jacob, and nothing more than that? Jacob, my friend? Jacob, the only human I'd ever been able to relate to…
Pardon—I’d just like to point out that you’ve never been able to relate to ANYBODY, human or otherwise. You’re far too self-centered for that.
But the main thing I wanted to point out was her justification in being horrified to find out Jacob is a werewolf but not being horrified to find out that Wardo is a vampire. It’s stupid, that’s what it is. Just because you know somebody is not normal does not make it any easier to find out that they are something you’ve grown up to believe is a fairytale, not to mention that it can KILL YOU. And then she goes on to say that while Wardo was obviously speshul, Jacob was just perfectly normal. YOU CALL GROWING TWO FEET AND GAINING ABOUT 100 POUNDS OF MUSCLE AND HAVING YOUR TEMPERATURE GO UP ABOUT TEN DEGREES AND STAY THERE IN THE SPAN OF THREE MONTHS NORMAL?
I rest my case.
So, Bella brings the camera back to her, and says that there is something very wrong with her, as she clings so desperately to monsters. Well said, bitch. But, of course, nobody takes note of this (least of all her), and she quickly gets dressed and runs down stairs to get to Jacob’s. She runs into Charlie on the way, who’s just waking up. He asks where she’s going so early in the morning, she tells him, and he’s suspicious pretty quickly. But he starts hinting that he’ll let her go, until he says he doesn’t want her stopping along the way because there was another attack with a witness—not to the actual attack, but to a “huge gray wolf” running around where the dude disappeared. He also mentions that the rangers are going hunting with a lot of volunteers, as there is a reward for dead wolves and Charlie fears accidents from drunken hunters with guns. Bella panics when she hears people are going to shoot the wolves. Charlie is rather surprised by her panic and asks if she’s “turning into a treehugger”. Then Bella notices that he’s got a gun and hiking boots and panics again when she realizes he’s going hunting too. And then she decides not to go to La Push. No, I have no idea why all this made her decide not to go to La Push, but she doesn’t.
So, she has a crisis after Charlie leaves—she has to warn Charlie about all this, but she wants to keep Charlie safe from the werewolves she thinks are eating people.
And that’s when we get this quote from Bella:
They had to stop! Charlie was out there in the woods. Would they care about that? I wondered… Up until now, only strangers had disappeared. Did that mean anything, or was it just chance?
I needed to believe that Jacob, at least, would care about that.
Basically, Bella is okay with Jacob and Co. running around killing strangers. But if he kills somebody she knows, well, all bets are off.
So, Bella calls Jacob a “monster(s)…a bad one”, as opposed to a good monster, I suppose. Bella tries to make us believe she cares about the hikers, but all we have to do is scroll up a little and look at that paragraph up there to know that she doesn’t. She makes mention that these werewolves are nothing like what she has seen in the movies. So, then she compares Jacob to the Cullens and brings up The Goddamned Hole™, just in case we missed it. Her comparison is thus:
But it couldn't be worse than what the Cullens endured in their quest to be good. I thought of Esme—the tears started when I pictured her kind, lovely face—and how, as motherly and loving as she was, she'd had to hold her nose, all ashamed, and run from me when I was bleeding. It couldn't be harder than that. I thought of Carlisle, the centuries upon centuries that he had struggled to teach himself to ignore blood, so that he could save lives as a doctor. Nothing could be harder than that.
The werewolves had chosen a different path.
I notice she doesn’t bring up the fact that Wardo had an epic flounce ten years into living with Carlisle and went off nomming people on his own. Oh, no—but that was “reasonable,” I forgot.
So, this right here could be a real and viable conflict for Bella—were it not for these four facts.
- As Bella is comparing these werewolves to movie werewolves, she should know that movie werewolves have absolutely no control over themselves, have no choice regarding their transformations, and oftentimes are completely and utterly unaware of the transformation in the first place.
- Jacob obviously hates himself and considers himself a monster, at least with what we’ve seen so far.
- The fives wolves—one of which was Jacob—came upon Bella and, rather than killing her, attacked Laurent.
- The legend of the werewolves, which proved to be 100% true, says that the werewolves are protectors.
So, in other words, this is not convincing in the slightest. Bella’s an idiot for the sake of creating dramatic tension.
We end the chapter with her trying to make us believe she has to make some kind of choice to make, which is silly, and on that note our chapter ends.
Well, that’s all the time we have for now. So I’ll see you guys next time with Chapter 13 – Killer. Ciao.
Stinger: “I'd once seen a PBS show on deprogramming the brainwashed. There had to be some kind of cure.”
( Chapter 13 - Killer )