In the last chapter, the rest of the werewolves were briefed on the situation with Victoria, and we were officially introduced to Sam and his fiancée, Emily. They are a highly disturbing pair in that Sam’s werewolfery actually comes across as a metaphor for when he comes home drunk and hits Emily. But Emily is perfectly okay with being maimed by her soon-to-be husband, because, after all, he says he loves her and he doesn’t mean to hurt her. And would you believe it or not, they haven’t even reached their height of disgusting yet.
As for Pauls? I went Paul twice, and Paul went Paul once.
Well, let’s dive right in.
Chapter 15 – Pressure
BAM, we’re in spring break. No, really, we are. Bella thinks on that, contemplating that she’d been stalked by a vampire last spring break as well. Hon, you were being stalked by a vampire for your entire last semester—only it was okay, because the right vampire was doing the stalking, I guess.
And then were back in La Push. I’m sensing bad things with this chapter, and that’s from the time-skipping and location-hopping alone. Anyway—the pattern now is Charlie hangs out with Billy, and Bella spends all of her time wandering up and down the beach all by her lonesome. Which…really strikes me as silly. I mean, last time she wandered brainlessly off by herself, Laurent almost ate her. But, hey, what do I know.
I’ll tell you what I know. I know that this brings out the Paul in me:
When we walked along the beach now, he always held my hand.
This made me brood over what Jared had said, about Jacob involving his "girlfriend." I supposed that that was exactly what it looked like from the outside. As long as Jake and I knew how it really was, I shouldn't let those kinds of assumptions bother me. And maybe they wouldn't, if I hadn't known that Jacob would have loved for things to be what they appeared. But his hand felt nice as it warmed mine, and I didn't protest.
You go, girl! String that boy along!
You know, seeing all of this…I have to wonder. Is it, perhaps, legitimate for Jacob to claim that is was indeed that her skirt was too short and so it was her fault that he forced himself on her in Eclipse?
So, Bella goes to work during the week, with Jacob following her the whole time (she’s gotta have somebody stalking her, or else she doesn’t feel properly loved), and Mike demands to know if she’s dating Jacob. Bella says “not in the technical sense of the word”. What the hell is that supposed to mean? Either you are or you aren’t. She further elaborates by saying she spends most of her time with Jacob. Mike tells her to wake up and smell the coffee and that Jacob is quite obviously smitten.
"I know," I sighed. "Life is complicated."
"And girls are cruel," Mike said under his breath.
I supposed that was an easy assumption to make, too.
Sorry—had to get that out of my system. GAD, I hate Bella Freakin’ Swan. What an arrogant, condescending, hypocritical little BITCH.
Later that night, Sam and Emily show up at the Blacks’ with cake, and apparently it’s very good cake, as it’s enough to make Charlie no longer distrust Sam and his posse. Jacob and Bella ditch, heading out to his little garage and holing up in the Rabbit. Naturally, Jacob holds Bella’s hand. *sighs and shakes head* This is used as a lead-in for her to ask why he’s so hot all of the time, and he exposits some more about his werewolfery and that he runs a temperature of 108 degrees F, and wouldn’t it be so much better if he was 108 degrees C, because every time he fondled Bella, she’d be writhing and screaming in pain as her skin blistered and peeled away? Oh, sorry—lost in a fantasy there for a second. Jacob then goes to tell her that, as he runs a temperature so hot, he can stand naked “in a snowstorm and it wouldn’t bother [him]. The flakes would turn to rain where [he] stood.”
Excuse me. *raises hand* Yeah, it me in the back again, Meyer. Um, we later find out that vampires can also stand out in the cold and not feel it, as they are already ice-cold themselves—however, because of their low temperature, werewolves pretty much scald them when they touch them. Hell, even humans are burning hot to the touch to vampires. So, if things that are only warm to humans are burning hot to vampires…how come things that are relatively cool to humans aren’t freezing cold to werewolves? How come snow isn’t so cold it burns them? Also, Meyer? Jacob is not the surface of the sun. He’s only about ten degrees warmer. Not even half of the temperature needed to boil water. He’s not irradiating, either. You are treating Jacob like a space heater (and yes, I know he is reduced to just that in Eclipse).
Sorry—just needed to pull that tarp back off of your ass. Don’t know why you bother trying to cover it when I’m around, deary.
Jacob then asks if she wants to see an example of fast healing, too, and he whips out a knife. Bella panics and tells him not to do that (“ONLY I MAY BE THAT EMO, JACOB!”), so he politely puts it away. Then Quil is brought up, and it turns out he’s feelin’ hot hot hot and that it’s only a matter of time before he pops like the rest of them. And yet again, he gets depressed—and I still don’t get it. These guys seem to love being all wolfed-out. Why are they all of the sudden acting like it’s a terrible thing to have happen to you? I’m guessing this is just some of Meyer’s “Oh! Look! Conflict, let me show you it!”
Anyway—Jacob goes on an angst fit and says that he snapped after his father gave him lip and that he nearly murdered him as a result. Bella asks Jacob if he’s unhappy, and he says that he is not—which prompts the question again: Why is everybody hoping that it doesn’t happen to Quil? They all love it! Then Jacob cuddles some more, and Bella asks what the hardest part of being a werewolf is—Jacob responds that it’s the lack of control, and that he’s dangerous, and he brings up Sam again and informs us that he is very distressed about what he did to Emily and is sorry and guilty for it, but we all know that’s a lie, right? Jacob then remarks that he feels like he is “losing himself”, because he’s just that good at becoming a werewolf (as he’s got werewolf blood hitting him from both sides).
So, to cheer Jacob up, she asks what the best part about being all wolfy is, and he says it’s the speed. So, Jacob has speed, and Wardo has heroin. Nice books, these. Bella asks how fast Jacob can run, and he says he’s faster than a vampire. Bella can’t (and probably won’t) comprehend that, because the idea of anything doing something better than a vampire (meaning eventually better than her) just boggles her.
So, that brings the conversation around to vampires. Jacob asks if being around vampires “[creeped] her out”, to which she replies with a curt no. It’s because she’s an idiot, Jacob—and a hypocrite. Because she was never, ever uneasy or scared around Wardo, who is (so we’re TOLD, anyway) two seconds away from cracking her open and sucking the marrow from her bones, but she IS uneasy about being around Jacob, who wolfs out only when he loses his temper. Then Jacob wants to know why her “bloodsucker” killed old Jamesie-poo, and Bella really ramps up the drama about how that happened, complete with her stroking the scar where James bit her. After spending some time angsting about The Goddamned Hole™, Bella’s wallowing is interrupted by the fact that Jacob appears to be going wolfshit, because the very thought of somebody harming Bella in any way apparently makes him angry enough to go *poof*. Bella quickly calms him down, and starts telling him all about what the Cullens’ separate powers and abilities were, particularly that Alice could see the future. And…that leads to this:
Like how she'd seen me dying… and she'd seen me becoming one of them. Two things that had not happened. And one that never would. My head started to spin —I couldn't seem to pull in enough oxygen from the air. No lungs.
Jacob was entirely in control now, very still beside me.
"Why do you do that?" he asked. He tugged lightly at one of my arms, which was bound around my chest, and then gave up when it wouldn't come loose easily. I hadn't even realized I'd moved them. "You do that when you're upset. Why?"
"It hurts to think about them," I whispered. "It's like I can't breathe… like I'm breaking into pieces…"
So…lemme get this straight…
- The main reason for The Goddamned Hole™ is now apparently revealed—she will never get to be beautiful and immortal. It’s not that Wardo has left her for ZOMGFOREVAH (which, even if I didn’t know there were more books, and even if I didn’t know the end of this one, I would still know he was coming back because Meyer will not stop beating the ZOMGFOREVAH drum, and we all know when she beats that drum, the exact opposite of what she says will happen happens), but it’s that she didn’t get what she wanted.
- She actually SAID she had The Goddamned Hole™. She wasn’t just thinking it metaphorically—now she’s basically saying that it is really there.
- This is one great big “PITY ME” call, isn’t it?
Sometimes, there’s really only one thing you can say.
So, Bella marvels at how she can tell Jacob anything, and he tells her that he won’t bring up the subject anymore, to which Bella whines that this “happens all the time”. YEAH. WE KNOW. Jacob then says that they are “a pretty messed-up pair”, in that “neither one of [them] can hold [their] shape together right”. Jacob, don’t you dare go comparing what happens to you to The Goddamned Hole™ Bella claims she has. What happens to you? You didn’t want it—it’s involuntary. Bella actively stabs herself in order to garner sympathy.
Bella then voices the audience’s thoughts (about herself, that is) by calling them both pathetic—what? You called Jacob PATHETIC? Honey, there is only one pathetic being here at the moment, and that’s YOU—to which Jacob responds by saying that “at least [they] have each other”. Yeah, there is that, Jacob—at least until Bella ditches your furry ass so she can go frolic amongst the vampires again. Bella is comforted by that thought, too (them having each other, not the vampire thing—she’s still beating us over the head that Wardo’s never coming back, remember?), but then starts whining—again.
And when we were together, it was fine. But Jacob had a horrible, dangerous job he felt compelled to do, and so I was often alone, stuck in La Push for safety, with nothing to do to keep my mind off any of my worries.
I felt awkward, always taking up space at Billy's. I did some studying for another Calculus test that was coming up next week, but I could only look at math for so long. When I didn't have something obvious to do in my hands, I felt like I ought to be making conversation with Billy—the pressure of normal societal rules. But Billy wasn't one for filling up the long silences, and so the awkwardness continued.
- “Felt compelled to do”? You obviously missed that part about how he has to do whatever Sam tells him to do, and that he doesn’t have a choice in this matter.
- God forbid that Jacob not drop everything and abandon his wolfy brothers to Victoria so that he can entertain you.
- Oh yes, Bella—it just SUCKS that it’s considered POLITE to make conversation with someone you’re freeloading off of. You can’t just sweep in and sweep out, taking what you want and doing what you want. Personally, I’m surprised she felt compelled to talk to Billy at all—she’s never been polite in her life.
- After reading that and the above part where she whined that she’ll never get to be a vampire now, if one more person calls Bella selfless in any way, I will kill someone.
Then Bella decides to try and hang out with Emily. Sorry for the quote-heavy chapter, but this one has got lots and lots of stuff in it.
Emily was a cheerful person who never sat still. I drifted behind her while she flitted around her little house and yard, scrubbing at the spotless floor, pulling a tiny weed, fixing a broken hinge, tugging a string of wool through an ancient loom, and always cooking, too. She complained lightly about the increase in the boys' appetites from all their extra running, but it was easy to see she didn't mind taking care of them. It wasn't hard to be with her—after all, we were both wolf girls now.
‘Kay. Let’s examine Emily briefly, shall we?
She apparently spends her days at the house. She’s always in the kitchen, cooking up a storm. She does the gardening, she does the weaving (are you serious? Weaving? Are you trying to paint me the picture of the perfect stereotypical “barefoot and pregnant” woman? Or is that just Meyer in her ignorance making her a stereotypical Indian, weaving blankets and beading moccasins and making dreamcatchers?), and she is apparently only joking around any time she complains about her work, because she loves doing it and just adores taking care of the werewolves.
On the surface? That’s kind of Mrs. Weasley. Mrs. Weasley does all of the cooking, all of the cleaning. She’s always taking care of large groups of people not because she must, but because she enjoys it. She has seven children, and is definitely a stay-at-home mom. So, I’m sure a Twifan might ask, what makes me think Mrs. Weasley is so great while I sit here and seethe over Emily?
The answer is quite simple.
- Mrs. Weasley doesn’t take any kind of shit from the people she takes care of. She may cook and clean for them, but they’d better shape up or ship out. Guaranteed that if Arthur had ever lost his temper and “accidentally” hurt her? She’d leave. She wouldn’t put up with that crap.
- While she actively likes taking care of people, she does it because she not only feels she needs to, but because the family can apparently afford it. They may live poor, but she is there to take care of the children as they grow up, and Mr. Weasley’s salary affords her the chance to stay home and do just that. What, exactly, does Sam do for a living? He…runs around as a werewolf. And just how does that sort of job allow him a salary? How are he and Emily affording this house, all that food to feed the wolf pack?
- Mrs. Weasley is not afraid to give an authoritative figure a piece of her mind. She is not afraid to stand up for what she thinks is right.
- Mrs. Weasley is with her husband by choice.
- Mrs. Weasley killed Bellatrix Lestrange’s ass deader than dead.
Emily here displays none of that. Also, I’d like to ask this to Meyer—just what, exactly, were Emily’s ambitions before Sam imprinted on her? Did she have any at all? And why were they suddenly swept away and completely forgotten once she and Sam got together? Was her sole ambition like Bella’s here—to catch a man who can take care of her and tell her what to do?
And as I asked up there in that list—how can Sam take care of her? He has no legal, paying job, and the job he DOES have is one that leaves Emily unable to make her husband angry in the slightest, less he *poof* into a werewolf and maul her further. Does Emily have some sort of inheritance? I sincerely doubt it—Meyer wrote pretty much all of the people on the reservation as poor and ethnic. She obviously doesn’t have a job—how are they affording to do this? Besides house payments, bills, new clothes to buy for when Sam goes wolfshit and doesn’t get a chance to take his clothes off proper, and all basic necessities, they buy ungodly amounts of food to feed these people—one meal alone consisted of several dozen eggs. We all know what that particular bit is—that’s a big plot hole. Thank you, Meyer. We missed them.
Emily, on the other hand? I hate her. Because she is basically everything Bella actually aspires to be. Emily sits at home, quietly and uncomplainingly doing the chores, cooking the food, and taking care of all of the big, strong men. She pretty much has no choice in this matter, because these people descend upon her any time they want a meal—which appears to be quite often. But who cares? She’s got a guy who says he loves her (even though A) he had no choice in the matter and B) he either doesn’t love her enough to avoid her whenever he feels rather angry or he loves her because he knows she now understands that she’d better not make him angry). He can apparently support her somehow, so goodbye to all ambitions to maybe try and go to college, or get a job, or start a career, or do something interesting with her life.
Once again, Meyer has no idea what a feminist heroine is. Yes—it is possible for a person to stay home and cook and clean and raise children and still be considered a feminist (and I know there are people who will disagree with me on that, but please, let’s not start philosophizing about feminist movements during a sporking, it’s rather pointless—we’re in it for the lulz, remember? No srs bsns). But the point is that they made that choice, it was what they wanted, not what society dictated they do, and they are still in control of their lives, not deferring automatically to their husbands or their children. Their lives don’t revolve around doting on these people because they should—they do this because they want to.
Bella hangs around with Emily until Sam arrives—they, apparently, have an “aura of love and contentment”, which, if you know the full story of these two and all involved? Yeah. Cree-pee. But we’ll be getting to that in Eclipse. So, after Sam and Emily drive Bella and her Goddamned Hole™ outside, she paces the beach out in the open, leaving her scent all over everything to make it easier for Victoria to find her. She’s so courteous to vampires, I must say.
So, then we get to hear about how being alone is very bad for Bella, because, even though she has plenty of other things to think and worry about, more often than not she finds herself dwelling on the Cullens, and we all groan in unison because it means that we’re going to get to hear more wangsting about The Goddamned Hole™. However, before she wangsts about that, we hear some wangst about how she is “getting in deeper and deeper with Jacob without ever having consciously decided to progress in that direction and [she doesn’t] know what to do about it”. Uh, Bella? I have an idea. A couple of ideas, actually. Several, maybe.
- Tell him to stop holding your hand.
- Tell him to stop holding you in general.
- Establish your distance.
- Tell him you patently don’t feel that way about him—because you don’t.
Basically, it all boils down to this—STOP ENCOURAGING HIM. You are manipulating his feelings and his actions strictly to make yourself feel better—because you are flattered by the fact that this guy is apparently madly in love with you, and you are doing nothing to discourage that—just like you do with every other guy who likes you. Only this one is particularly vile, because you claim this guy is your best friend, rather than the faceless masses that you don’t give two shits about. So, your quote is wrong—you’re not getting in deeper with Jacob. Jacob’s sure getting in deeper with you, but your feelings haven’t changed and never will.
And speak of the
Jacob wanders up to find Bella in the position to best garner sympathy for herself, which he gladly supplies. He says that he’s going to be taking the day off tomorrow (I love how this werewolf-thing is just another day at the factory, not, you know, a calling and a duty for the safety of the tribe), and that they’ll be doing something entertaining for a change. Bella then decides that now would be the best time to launch into “My Life Is Nothing But Blackness” mode, and we get the hyperbolic and exaggerated “I don’t even know what fun is” spiel. We are not entertained. Jacob ponders what they could do for a moment, and then decides upon cliff diving, freezing weather be damned. Bella isn’t sure. And I’m gonna transcribe this bit for you to see, because it’s so very, very wrong.
But it had been days since I'd heard Edward's voice. That was probably part of the problem. I was addicted to the sound of my delusions. It made things worse if I went too long without them. Jumping off a cliff was certain to remedy that situation.
"Sure, I'm up for it. Fun."
"It's a date," he said, and draped his arm around my shoulders.
See, Meyer, it’s stuff like that. You beat us over the head with how we’re supposed to think Bella’s slowly falling in love with Jacob, and that their relationship is turning into something else, etc. And then we see stuff like this. Jacob says it’s a date? Bella spends her whole time thinking, “Ooo—I’ll get to hear Edward’s voice!”
I feel so damn sorry for Jacob. And even better—he never finds out that this whole time, Bella was basically just using him. I mean, lack of sexing aside—she was totally lying there thinking of another man the whole time. I’m surprised she didn’t call out the wrong name at an inopportune moment.
Seriously—I know that Paolini has the “showing rather than telling” syndrome, but Meyer here takes this to a whole new level. Sure she tells us how we’re supposed to feel all the time, but unlike Paolini, she does show us things—only she shows us the exact opposite of what she’s telling us!
So, anyway, Bella insists that Jacob get some sleep because he looks so tired and BAM, it’s the next day.
That’s incredibly jarring.
Bella sneaks off, because Charlie would totally be HELL NO if he knew what she was up to, and she starts contemplating that maybe this cliff diving thing will be fun, because it’s a “date with Jacob, a date with Edward”. Bella then tries to convince me that she knows this is wrong and messed up, but I don’t buy it—because if she knew it was wrong and messed up, she’d stop. This is just her being all down on herself so that the audience will tell her that she’s wrong and jump in defense of her. Well, I won’t—it’s wrong and messed up, and it’s pissing me off.
She arrives at the Blacks’ house, but she soon discovers that Jacob isn’t in. It turns out that early that morning they found signs of Victoria and they’ve gone off to try and finish her. Bella panics and flips out, because, after all, NOTHING can take out a vampire in Bella’s world, for they are perfect and immortal
"It's not as dangerous for them as you think it is. Sam knows what he's doing. You're the one that you should worry about. The vampire doesn't want to fight them. She's just trying to find a way around them… to you."
"How does Sam know what he's doing?" I demanded, brushing aside his concern for me. "They've only killed just the one vampire—that could have been luck."
"We take what we do very seriously, Bella. Nothing's been forgotten. Everything they need to know has been passed down from father to son for generations."
That didn't comfort me the way he probably intended it to. The memory of Victoria, wild, catlike, lethal, was too strong in my head. If she couldn't get around the wolves, she would eventually try to go through them.
“Your werewolves suck, Billy! They’re nowhere near as powerful as vampires, and you’re just deluded into thinking you could even have a chance at taking them on! You just got lucky that one time with Laurent!”
Way to disrespect a whole culture, Bella. That’s great. I agree—she is totally worthy of the term “leech-lover”. Because, even when it’s a bad guy, she does nothing but talk about how powerful and awesome they are and how anybody who thinks they could take on even one and win is stupid.
Oh, and yeah—I saw that whole “brushing aside his concern” thing, Bella. I’m ignoring it—because, while you apparently won’t acknowledge it, I happen to know that you are not selfless, and that you’re only putting on this act in the hopes that I will admire you.
Bella then leaves the house and skips down to the beach, and apparently everything is silent. No animals, no wind, no nothing. What—is there an earthquake coming? No, just a storm. We spend a very, very long time describing said growing storm, and then we all leave to nurse our wounds because Meyer was beating us with the Scenery Symbology Stick. Bella promptly decides that she’s sick of La Push, because NOBODY’S HERE TO ENTERTAIN HER, GODDAMMIT!!!!! Bella spends her time trying not to think about how Jacob’s in danger, and that surely nothing will happen to Jacob, because if he got killed, it would be, as Bella says, “unfair” to her.
…excuse me? Wait, wait, wait—back up. Show me that paragraph again.
I tried not to think about the danger Jacob and his friends were in. Because nothing could happen to Jacob. The thought was unendurable. I'd lost too much already—would fate take the last few shreds of peace left behind? That seemed unfair, out of balance. But maybe I'd violated some unknown rule, crossed some line that had condemned me. Maybe it was wrong to be so involved with myths and legends, to turn my back on the human world.
…I…I have no idea what to say to that. Bella is scared that Jacob will be hurt and/or killed strictly because that happening to him will mean that…he won’t be around to keep her entertained anymore (not to mention her “turning her back” on humans. Uh, Bella? You ARE human).
And it gets even better. Bella then switches directly from that to grousing that she’d been wanting to cliff dive today, because she’d “really been counting on hearing Edward this morning”. I am in awe, folks, at the sheer level of selfishness being displayed here. Paul? Thank you.
Bella then complains about The Goddamned Hole™ and starts picking her way down the beach. Meyer pulls out that Scenery Symbology Stick again and starts whacking merrily away at us while we cringe, and then Meyer actually writes something I approved of: “The cliffs were a black knife edge against the livid sky.” That sentence jumped out at me, and I liked it. But then we forget about that, and Bella thinks about how Sam and his buds had been cliff diving, and how that looked so freeeeeeeee, which leads to her thinking about Imaginary!Wardo, which leads to The Goddamned Hole™. She talks about how intolerable it’s been and how unbearable the pain is, and then—get this, folks:
She decides to go cliff diving without Jacob.
Jacob had promised me cliff diving, hadn't he? Just because he was unavailable, should I have to give up the distraction I needed so badly—needed even worse because Jacob was out risking his life? Risking it, in essence, for me. If it weren't for me, Victoria would not be killing people here… just somewhere else, far away. If anything happened to Jacob, it would be my fault. That realization stabbed deep and had me jogging back up to the road toward Billy's house, where my truck waited.
Hey, folks! Did you miss Bella blaming every little thing on herself so everybody else will tell her it is, in fact, NOT her fault?
Oh, and Bella? They are not hunting Victoria FOR YOU. It’s their JOB. They’d be hunting her regardless of your presence. You are a PAWN.
So, time to save the rant until the finish line. Don’t worry—you’ll hear my fury over this in a moment.
She drives as fast as she can out to the cliff in question, and then goes not for the lower outcropping, but to the very top, the place where Jacob said that only the hardcore daredevils jump (which we know now was only because they were werewolves and have super strength, endurance, and healing-powers). And, as stupid as this is, she’s grinning like a mad man, because Imaginary!Wardo is probably already on his way. She briefly contemplates the cold water, and then she steps to the edge. Naturally, Imaginary!Wardo shows up and starts telling her not to do this, and Bella smugly tells him back that she’s going to, because he “wanted [her] to be human”, and that she needs to be all reckless and stupid because he “won’t stay with [her] any other way”, which is a lie, because he shows up whenever he feels like it, apparently. And suddenly, it’s raining—I have no idea when that started. Imaginary!Wardo keeps getting madder and madder, and Bella just thinks that’s the best thing ever.
And then she promptly jumps. Or, as Meyer phrased it: “And I flung myself off the cliff.”
She screams as she goes, and the wind twirls and twists her, and then she lands in the water, remarking that she hadn’t been scared at all during the fall and says it was no challenge at all—that is, until the current catches her. It gets even better, folks—she gets disoriented and has no idea which way to the beach or even which way is up. The water is apparently black in all directions—yes, she fell from such a height that she has plunged straight into the Marianas Trench. As she’s sitting there, drowning, what do you think her big thought is? Why, Wardo’s still there! Apparently, “he owed [her] that much, considering [she] was dying” (SAVE IT, MERVIN, SAVE IT *breathebreathebreathe*). Imaginary!Wardo tells her to keep swimming, and Bella makes it pretty clear that she’s kind of just giving up at this point. But, because Imaginary!Wardo told her to try to survive, she does so, because The Man has Spoken, and as a lowly female she can resist his orders about as well as Jacob and the other werewolves can resist Sam’s. It’s a pretty weak effort, though, and eventually, she gets to this point:
I didn't want to fight anymore. And it wasn't the light-headedness, or the cold, or the failure of my arms as the muscles gave out in exhaustion, that made me content to stay where I was. I was almost happy that it was over. This was an easier death than others I'd faced. Oddly peaceful.
I gotta speak up at this point, but only to point out one thing—Meyer? Did you just call drowning a peaceful death? You don’t know JACK SHIT.
Bella then calls herself LUCKY about this particular death, because instead of her life flashing before her eyes, why, it’s WARDO flashing before her eyes! He’s all crabby and cranky at this particular turn of events, naturally, because Bella’s stuff flashes before her eyes in real time and so sees his reaction to the actual events going on at the moment. Imaginary!Wardo keeps yelling at her, and Bella pretty much makes it clear that she’s giving up and dying and drowning because, hey! She’s happy! It’s Imaginary!Wardo, he’s there, and everybody’s just feeling great. Bella loses her last breath, and we end the chapter with Bella saying goodbye to Wardo and that she loves him.
Right—we done now? Okay. Now I can let loose.
WHAT IN THE HELL WAS THAT????!!!!!
Meyer? You care to explain? Oh, you don’t? Well, SIT YOUR ASS DOWN, little girl, and let me EDUCATE you on a few FACTS.
So, Bella wasn’t trying to commit suicide here. She just wanted to do something dangerous and reckless, so that Imaginary!Wardo would appear in her head. That’s what Meyer writes in later chapters, and has Bella as highly indignant that anyone would even dare to ASSUME she’d tried to kill herself.
Time for a list, bitch.
Meyer, do you have ANY IDEA what cliff diving IS? Do you? Oh, that’s right, you don’t—BECAUSE YOU DON’T DO RESEARCH, YOU LAZY HACK!!!!! Allow me to ENLIGHTEN your sorry ass. I’ll be sure to state them as simplistically as I possibly can and use small words, so they won’t fail to penetrate your thick skull.
- g = 9.8 m/s2 = 32.2 ft/s2. That’s the acceleration of gravity, my dear, not the velocity.
- We never hear how high the cliff these boys are jumping off of is, but, considering you thought that the werewolves were committing suicide the first time you saw them, and that they in their newfound manliness were out doing extremely dangerous things, we’re going to assume it’s actually very high. The average height (for safe diving) is 30-35 meters. We’ll be generous and say the cliff is 35 meters high.
- After some quick calculations, do you know how fast Bella is going to be going when she hits the water? About 230 ft/s—70 m/s if you’re metric. You wanna know how fast that is in mph? About 157 mph. Again, for metric, about 252 kph. However, that’s not including atmospheric conditions. A little more research—I know you don’t actually do it, but you do know what it is, right, Meyer?—and taking into consideration that Bella might have been falling like a skydiver (splayed), she would’ve been going 55 m/s, or 123 mph. Either way, this is not slow.
- Water is not a solid object. You can pass through it. But have you ever slapped the surface of water? Or maybe done a belly flop off of a diving board? Yeah, it kind of stings and can really hurt, right? That’s because, while water is not solid, it has such a thing called “surface tension”. That’s how water manages to hold a sort-of shape, why water beads together like it does, and how, if it is light enough and/or has enough surface area and speed to support it, an insect or even a bird or a lizard can walk/run across water without sinking.
The above facts come together to form a very grim truth—cliff diving is dangerous. You need to have a lot of experience and practice, and know how to hit the water precisely. A belly flop is basically a death sentence, because at speeds that high and with the entire force of your falling weight behind it, it can knock you unconscious and you could drown. People have also been known to break limbs and, even worse, necks from not landing properly. Also, it is very, very important to know the current and the depth of the water involved. You hit a bad current? You can get pulled under and out and drown. Too shallow of water? Yeah, that’s a pretty obvious danger. However, while cliff diving is obviously dangerous, it is still considered fun and exhilarating, and there are some locations so popular for cliff diving that local communities have even gone so far as to add little platforms for people to jump from—and more and more locations are doing this as well, so as to avoid illegal cliff diving (yes, it is not allowed in some places, due to the fact that it’s just too dangerous), not to mention that platforms are there for people who don’t quite have the leg strength to get a good enough distance away from the cliff face. Diving in high winds is probably the stupidest thing you could do, considering that, if you dive straight off without a platform, you can be blown right into the cliff face or hit the water too close to the cliff at the bottom, where it is often shallow and rocky.
So, with all of that in mind, let’s see…what did Bella know before she made this jump?
Hmm. Maybe that wasn’t the best approach. Instead, why don’t we examine what she didn’t know?
- She didn’t know how high the cliff was.
- She didn’t know if it was legal
- She (apparently) didn’t know that water is not air and you do not pass through it with ease and that it does, in fact, offer some resistance.
- She didn’t know the depth of the water.
- She didn’t know the patterns or severity of the current.
- And last, but most certainly not least, she didn’t know how to cliff dive.
Oh, wait, I just realized—she did know something—two things. She knew that a bunch of guys who were werewolves were jumping off of the cliff and not getting hurt—you know, the guys who heal superfast and are just much less fragile than humans in general? She also knew that she was jumping in the middle of a huge storm with lots of rain, lightning, and high winds.
Now, I’m sure one could easily chalk up all of the above to the fact that Meyer is a dumbshit who doesn’t research and has not a lick of common sense. I mean, I don’t cliff dive and never will, but even I know that the reason you have to learn how to properly cliff dive is so that you can learn how to break the surface tension of the water with your hands or feet before the rest of you hits, otherwise it’s gonna be just as if you had dived into a brick wall, and Bella here pretty much just throws herself off of the cliff with no finesse or anything in a high wind (which brings up the question again of how she didn’t get blown into the cliff face).
In light of all that, how about another fun factoid: Why did Bella choose to jump off of the cliff with no supervision? Because she was looking to ease The Goddamned Hole™. That’s right—she was tired of the pain and was looking to end it.
And what happened when she finally did realize she was going to die?
She gave up and let the current drag her away, happy to die because she was “with” Wardo.
And yet, we are supposed to believe this wasn’t a suicide attempt. I’m supposed to think of this as just another one of her instances of reckless behavior. I’m not supposed to think that Bella basically just threw herself off of a cliff to find some way to get her high school boyfriend of about four months “back”, because risking her life and/or dying is the only way she feels she can be with him.
Yeah, I’ve got two words for you, Meyer.
So, shall we continue on? Yes, we shall indeed.
( Chapter 16 – Paris )