But, until then, how about you guys “enjoy” the next chapter of Hyde’s recap of Midnight Sun?
Warning: One NWS picture underneath.
Chapter 5: Invitations
All-righty, then. Last chapter was all new stuff, in that it was full of events that took place off of Bella’s self-centered little screen in Twilight. So we got to see Wardo being angsty, Rose and Jasper being bitchy, and Alice informing Wardo that he is going to be in love with Bella or eat her, so he had better just get used to the idea (and slaps him in the face and sets Jasper and Emmett to guard him and won’t let him sing). Wardo angsts about this, and then resolves to change
We’re back to a chapter sharing a title with Twilight, so that means we’re back to Bella! I’m sure you missed her, surely having not gotten enough of her whining in the four books previous.
Wardo ushers us in with some nice, tepid, melodramatic angst, about how he’s in hell and all, and he can just suck it for all of me—he’s not slogging his way through Midnight Sun, so I’ll thank him to shut the hell up.
He still refers to Bella as “the girl”, never by name, which the further we get into this True Love BS, the ickier it gets. He’s determined to stay away from her, even though he knows it’ll just be so hard. *shivers*
He angsts over having to hurt her by rejecting her, which really just comes across as arrogant as all get-out—what, are you just that smug in your superiority that you know that everyone wants to be your friend and will just be so crushed that you don’t want to be theirs? Or is it more of a sexist bent, in that it’s just all the girls who are panting to get close to you, and will be crushed when you reject them?
Oh, and Wardo consoles himself with this dreadful act of cruelty he’s about to commit with the fact that her pain at his rejection will be “nothing more than a pinprick” compared to his own. Because he is more of everything better than humans and all.
Wardo tells us for sure that Bella knows he’s not human, and I’m still just baffled by this—how? This makes zero sense.
But Wardo’s behavior makes all too much sense, when he starts desperately analyzing her every move and parsing her every sentence when she speaks to him, and it’s disturbing as hell.
But he’s being all stiff and distant, because this somehow is the key to protecting her from his meanness and nomming and stuff. He likes to go running out in the evenings, too, so he can angst by himself. It’s actually somewhat decently written, talking about how he likes to run to take his mind off of things—only it’s clearly not taking his mind off of things, because while he’s out there, we get this.
Did I love her? I didn’t think so. Not yet. Alice’s glimpses of the future had stuck with me, thought, and I could see how easy it would be to fall into loving Bella. It would be exactly like falling: effortless. Not letting myself love her was the opposite of falling—it was pulling myself up a cliff-face, hand over hand, the task as grueling as if I had no more than mortal strength.
That’s got it all, doesn’t it?
- The pastede on yey love
- The predestination BS in the form of Alice’s visions
- SMeyer’s crappy writing referring to things that we never saw happen, these supposed visions of him being in love with Bella
- Said crappy writing really turning this character into one sick mofo, in that he’s thinking dreamily of Bella in the context of these visions, one of which we saw being her DEAD AND DRAINED DRY
- Really, really sucky description of the same ilk as “leaves floating across the pond the way a bowling ball wouldn’t”
- And just to cap it off, a dollop of Wardo being condescending towards humans
It’s like that whole paragraph drowned in a bucket of fail.
So, stunningly enough, we have a time reference here! I guess it’s to make up for the complete dearth in Twilight. But said reference really just means that we get a time jump—meaning over a month passes in one sentence. I bet Mervin loves that. Wardo angsts and tells us that it’s just getting harder and harder to stay away from Bella—but the readers sure as hell don’t get to see that. We’re pretty much back into the standard bad writer “telling and not showing” business, rather than SMeyer’s patented “show one thing, tell the opposite”. I can’t decide if I’m more annoyed or relieved to see such a familiar brand of suck amidst this three-ring circus of pain.
Wardo tells us how he is going to be all stalwart in the face of this supposed pain he is feeling in trying to stay away from Bella, because if he is “destined to love her”—and those were his and SMeyer’s words right there, folks, not mine—then isn’t the least he can do is avoid her?
At this point, all I want to know is this—just why, exactly, after four previous books and most of the previous chapters of this one of emphasis that Alice’s visions are mutable and not set in stone, is this vision suddenly The One True Word as Delivered From the Burning Bush?
Maybe…convenience? Or just because SMeyer said so, I suspect. Well, she can kiss me where I can’t reach.
Anyway, Wardo tells us that he’s been ignoring her for all this month or so—which I take to mean that they have had very minimal interaction—and given how much Bella likes to obsess over any and all of their interaction in Twilight and we never hear about anything that went on in this particular interim from her, I’m pretty sure I’m right. Keep that filed away for future reference. But, despite seeming to ignore her, Wardo tells us that’s really just a pretense, that in reality, he’s doing nothing of the kind, but rather “[he] still hung on every breath she took, every word she said”.
DEAR GOD. FROM THE MOUTHS OF
Then again, they’re probably the same people who think that “Every Breath You Take” is a love song and have it played at their weddings (and I am not joking about that one).
Without a chance to recover from that trauma, Wardo launches into a dry listing of his four “torments” with regards to Bella. First of course is the fact that she smells so good. I guess he felt the need to remind us because we’re otherwise in danger of forgetting in favor of all the other ways he obsesses over her. Second is the fact that he can’t hear what’s going on in her head—people have no right to privacy or secrets around him! The nerve!
Next on the list is his curiosity—apparently, all Wardo here thinks about anymore is what Bella is doing, thinking, eating touching, smelling, ad infinitum. And that’s not creepy at all. He watches literally every minute thing she does and analyzes it. He quickly comes to the conclusion that she often tries “to say what her audience expected”. This is supposed to show how special and unique she is, in that she is above all these plebes and so much better than your average teenager and is playing to her audience when she speaks, keeping her own special and unique thoughts to herself. In reality it just makes her look like a spineless bint with no personality or opinions of her own—which really I get the feeling is exactly what Wardo is looking for in a woman. *shudder*
Last on his list of “torments” is one Mike Newton. You know, the most tenacious of the non-Stu competitors for Bella’s limp and unresisting hand. Wardo is degrading to him, telling us that he is “generic” and “boring” and “annoying”, all those things we’re supposed to think that Bella isn’t. The only good thing about him, as far as Wardo is concerned, is that he keeps Bella talking, giving Wardo just that much more fodder for his obsession. But even that pisses him off, because he “didn’t want Mike to be the one who unlocked her secrets. [He] wanted to do that.” Because no one else is allowed to touch his property.
Then he treats us to this little gem:
It helped that he never noticed her small revelations, her little slips. He knew nothing about her. He’d created a Bella in his head that didn’t exist.
…Wardo. Hon. Sweetheart. Angel.
YOU DON’T KNOW JACK SHIT ABOUT HER EITHER!!!!!
YOU’RE the one who has created a Bella that doesn’t exist! You’ve spoken to her exactly three times since you first met her, and by your own admission, you never know what she is thinking, can never hear her thoughts—you know nothing about what she likes, what makes her laugh, what she likes to do, or even her favorite color! All of these supposedly deep revelations on your part are based on you seeing what you want to see!!! You are a useless twit who is obsessed with someone you have created in your own mind!!!
Oh, yeah—and you’re an asshole.
But no, Wardo assures us that he does know all about her—because he’s seen it. He’s seen her “unselfishness and bravery that set her apart from normal humans” (like the way she shoves aside Wardo’s concerns about her possible damnation because she wants to be beautiful, and cowers next to the almighty man Wardo or Jacob when confronted with scary werewolves or vampires), the “abnormal maturity of her spoken thoughts” (like when she said “WAH, you wish I had DIED!!!”), like when she talks about her mother in a voice that is “loving, indulgent, slightly amused, and fiercely protective” (like calling her “harebrained” and admitting to being contemptuous towards her), and how Mike “didn’t hear the patience in her voice when she feigned interest in his stories and didn’t guess at the kindness behind that patience” (like when she totally ignores him and pretends he’s not there when he tells her his stories).
So I’m about to be violently ill at all this circle-jerking from SMeyer, and then she decides to lob this right at my head like a banana cream pie filled with lead, just for kicks:
Through her conversations with Mike, I was able to add the most important quality to my list, the most revealing of them all, as simple as it was rare. Bella was good. All of the other things added up to that whole—kind and self-effacing and unselfish and loving and brave—she was good through and through.
Sometimes there’s only one thing you can say. And so having said it, and I’ll say it again, this time in Mandarin.
Well, I’d like to move on, anyway, but Wardo won’t let me. He has to be a dick and keep putting Mike down in order to make himself feel better. He has the nerve to be all down on Mike for viewing Bella “possessively…as if she were an acquisition to be made”, and I would have totally Paul’d out right there if I hadn’t just laughed instead. But my smile just kinda froze on my face when Wardo confidentially lets us know that he “frequently amused himself by imagining backhanding him across the room and into a far wall…It probably wouldn’t injure him fatally…”
Our Hero, ladies and gentlemen.
We then get blindsided with the fifth
Man, these two really put the fun in dysfunctional.
Alice is fussy, because, since she foresaw it, she’s already Bella’s friend, and she’s pissed off at Wardo for being a controlling asshole to her too and not letting her talk to Bella. She’s also pissed that he’s trying to change the future—you know, to keep an innocent girl from being vamp’d or dead’d. But Alice doesn’t care about that—she just wants things her way, and now Wardo has gone and made the future all “snarled up and senseless again” and she’s just mad that she can’t have her way and she is really not ingratiating herself to me at all right now.
Anyway, we get to hear that Wardo is really just going to have the hardest time ever today because it’s the stupid girls’ choice dance coming up, and he’s up in arms because the “odious” Mike Newton is going to dare to ask Bella out. Why don’t you just run over there and stove his head in, there, Champ?
(I’d like to note that the previous remark is not at all funny in the context of later events.)
Wardo spies on him in this dramatic lead up, enjoying his every moment of discomfort like the asshole he is (seriously—this could have come across as teenaged-boy rivalry, but just sounded like Wardo was being a smug, arrogant prick and getting off on the hurt and humiliation of others). Not only that, but Jessica, having been demoted to Snacky’s Mean Girl in the spirit of Scary Sueness, is thinking all sorts of mean things about Bella due to the stupid love triangle over her wanting to go to the dance with Mike. Wardo, of course, wants to ride in like a crusader and protect his lady love from her petty cruelties, wrapping her in wool and putting her on a pedestal, but he doesn’t (that comes later).
Wardo gripes about what is comedown it is for him to be “fixating on the petty high school dramas that [he’d] once held in such contempt”. Again, a potentially good character moment flushed down the crapper when coming from this condescending douchebag.
In Biology Mike comes over to ask Bella out, and Wardo is a complete asshole, calling Mike “weak” and a “coward” to himself while imagining “the sound it would make if his body hit the opposite wall with enough force to break most of his bones”.
I’m gonna have to pause here for a minute to point something out to SMeyer, something I think she may have missed. Yes—when we are angry with someone, we often fancy opening up a fifty-five gallon drum of whoopass on them. It’s often taken to ridiculous extremes, with fanciful outcomes and ridiculous overestimation and glorification of our abilities to dish out said whoopass. The point being that it is a relatively harmless way of venting frustration by mentally spinning a vindicating scenario. Then we move on, because said scenario is utterly impossible, usually illegal and/or simply wrong, and could no way happen—it’s a fantasy.
But when the person in question does in fact have the ability and, apparently, the motivation to carry out such a gristly attack? Not to mention the fact that in this case, he’s had no problem committing murder before. This is no longer idle fantasy heatedly conceived at the spur of the moment—this has become a THREAT. Wardo here is not salving his boyish pride—HE’S COLDLY AND ANALYTICALLY IMAGINING COMMITTING AGGRAVATED ASSAULT WITH THE INTENTION OF CAUSING GRIEVOUS BODILY HARM BECAUSE ANOTHER BOY HAD THE NERVE TO TALK TO BELLA.
SMeyer, I really have to say that I just love the fact that your ideal man is willing to violently harm anyone who so much as makes a pass at you.
So we get to hear that same stupid conversation where Mike asks Bella to ask him out, and if you thought it was bad with Bella’s “GAWD, these people suck, it’s just so hard to be me” attitude in the face of his attraction, oh, let me assure you, it’s nothing compared to Wardo here. Every time Mike gets put down, Wardo is exultant, but when he comes back for more, he’s instantly in a blind rage, and in a moment when Bella hesitates, Wardo takes the time to imagine her saying yes, and here are his thoughts on
In her moment of hesitation, I saw the future more clearly than Alice ever had.
The girl might say yes to Mike’s unspoken question now, and she might not, but either way, someday soon, she would say yes to someone. She was lovely and intriguing, and human males were not oblivious to the fact. Whether she would settle for someone in this lackluster crowd, or wait until she was free from Forks, the day would come that she would say yes.
I saw her life as I had before—college, career…love, marriage. I saw her on her father’s arm again, dressed in gauzy white, her face flushed with happiness as she moved to the sound of Wagner’s march.
The pain was more than anything I’d felt before. A human would have to be on the point of death to feel this pain—a human would not live through it.
Damn. SMeyer sure loves saving up all of her stupid crap just to dump a whole load on us all at once, doesn’t she? All in this one-time TV offer, we get:
- Wardo being all special and stuff, this time even specialer than Alice
- Praising of the Sue
- Bashing the plebes of Forks
- Ham-fisted foreshadowing
- Wardo’s sick obsession
- One True Love Destined to Be Together, in that it is physically painful to even imagine her with someone else
- Belittling of humans, because vampires can to everything more and better than lowly humans
But wait! There’s more! For a limited time only, we get a double helping of out-and-out sociopathy, absolutely free!
And not just pain, but outright rage.
The fury ached for some kind of physical outlet. Though this insignificant, undeserving boy might not be the one that Bella would say yes to, I yearned to crush his skull in my hand, to let him stand as representative for whoever it would be.
Yeah. Remember how I said my joke up there wasn’t going to be so funny anymore?
And I’m afraid I’ve got nothing else, man. That quote speaks for itself, and nothing I could say would put it or SMeyer down as much as it needs it.
Shall we press on? So Bella says no to Mike—although she really doesn’t because Bella never actually says no to any male—and poor Wardo is just so distressed that he can’t even enjoy Mike’s hurt. Asshole. Wardo finally realizes that he is jealous—although if wanting to crack a skull like a coconut is jealousy, I’d hate to find out what he does when he’s really mad.
Mike, understandably stinging from Bella’s roundabout rejection after a month of being strung along (even without Jacob in the picture, she still manages to be a cocktease somehow), is “almost rude” to Bella, and this just offends Wardo something fierce, the nerve of him. Watch it, Mike—he’ll carve your skull into an ashtray if you’re not careful.
Bella makes her excuse that she’s going to Seattle, and Wardo very creepily assures us that he will “find out the answers to everything” and will “know the wheres and whys of this revelation soon enough”, and dammit, does SMeyer really not know just how messed up this guy is?
Blah blah, Wardo obsesses over Bella some more, calls her selfless yet again just to piss me off, and then freaks me right out again when Mike looks away from Bella, thus breaking Wardo’s view of her face—that’s right, he’d been peeping in on this conversation inside the poor boy’s head this whole time. Well, Wardo says that he “wasn’t going to tolerate that.” I think that was supposed to be humor. It just made me want to hide under my bed. Seriously—he’s got the baiting “You see mah woman over there—DON’T YOU LOOK AT HER, YOU SUMBITCH!!! I KILL YOU IF YOU LOOK AT MAH WOMAN!!!!” thing going on. This is a sick, sick man.
Wardo goes on an on about her every move and gesture and how amazing everything about her is, from her sneakers to her left eyebrow, and I really can’t help but get major circle-jerk vibes here—Smeyer was, I think, enjoying this way too much.
There’s a mention of Mr. Banner, which really pisses me off, after what Mervin told me about him here, and then Bella looks up at Wardo. Her expression is consistently described as “bewildered”, and I have no idea what SMeyer was hoping to convey with that, but it failed, because all I can see is Bella with this perpetually stupid, vacant look all the time.
Fitting, really, now that I think about it.
Anyway, they sit there and stare at each other for a while, probably drooling the whole while. Actually, I’m almost certain that Wardo is, because BAM—we’re suddenly back to him wanting to nom on Bella. It’s the same dry, boring back and forth, with Wardo referring to the beast inside himself that wants to use Bella as a chew toy as “the monster.”
Look, SMeyer—I don’t care that he wants to eat her and that you’re turning it into a romance. I think it’s quite possible that it could be done well—particularly if you were using the traditional “vamping = sex” thing, thereby making Wardo’s desire to eat her a powerful sexual attractant. But will you please, please use a little consistency? He’s been sitting next to her and was all but breathing down her neck a few minutes ago and we didn’t hear a thing about how she smelled, just a bunch of purple descriptions about the magnificent way she blows her nose, the perfection of the freckle on top of her right ear, and Wardo’s tepid angst about her marrying someone who isn’t him and his random desires to murder other people for no reason. And then, out of nowhere, we’re back to this again, what reads like nearly the same stupid, mechanical list of how you want to eat Bella from the very first chapter.
Oh, and by the way, don’t remind me of better works in the midst of yours. Harry Potter’s chest monster was harmless, much funnier, and a much more real and less creepy version of the OMG I KEEL U HOR jealousy. Your monster is just a stalker (and sometimes a rapist), and reminds me of how much I’d much rather been reading HP than this dreck.
Okay, so I skimmed through that stuff again. When it’s not the same old bad dialogue, it’s Wardo waffling back and forth over idolizing her and wanting to eat her, ostensibly fighting with his pet monster. Oh, look, she’s blushing, and it makes me think of blood and the monster likes it, but oh, I can’t because I can’t hurt “the girl” and she doesn’t deserve that, oh, but the monster likes that I’m going to either eat or turn her in Alice’s visions, but oh, I can’t, but oh, even though I don’t see the future, I know that there is no longer any possibility of me not eating her or turning her, “what had I done?” (direct quote, oh the melodrama), and really, I wish he’d just get on with it.
Then he has to go and make me sick with a random insertion of how Bella is “so good” (yeah, good and terrible) and “precious.” Mervin spazzed a bit about that, and just knew that when he sneaks into her room, he’s going to crouch over her and pet and slaver over her, crooning about his Precious. Me? I saw him putting Bella down in a pit in the basement (for her own safety, of course) and making sure that she keeps moisturized, lest he be forced to punish her with the garden hose.
So blah, blah, more of the same, he would drain her dry if she weren’t so wonderful (and he is so not sorry for eating people before), and it’s still all the same sick but boring stuff we’ve seen before. Class finally ends, although much too soon for Wardo here, because despite the fact that we’re supposed to think he’s on the verge of ripping her head off and sticking a straw down her neck-hole, he still doesn’t want to be out of her presence. He’s just not strong enough to leave her alone, he says, as he’s been saying for this entire chapter, and he must *cling* to her. I think the werewolves calling him a “leech” is quite appropriate, you know.
But on their ways out of Biology, Wardo finally can’t stand it and has to talk to Bella. Why, I don’t know, but he does, so there. It’s all the same dialogue from Twilight again, and yet SMeyer actually manages to make it worse. Bella is huffy and hissy because Wardo is finally talking to her again after ignoring her all the time (entitlement whore), and of course Wardo patronizingly finds her anger “endearing” (asshole). Part of what makes all this worse is because on top of the stupid, wooden dialogue that we’ve all seen before, we now also have to listen to Wardo creepily and hungrily cataloguing her every move and talking about how unique it is and how special it makes her—and I am not kidding about this—nor am I exaggerating. For example, Bella closes her eyes briefly before she speaks, and even with this bad writing style, it’s clear that she’s trying for patience and to think of what to say next, and yet Wardo just obsesses over it, it’s so different, and why does she do it?!
So, in the course of this “conversation,” (and I use that term very loosely), Bella calls Wardo by name, and oh, but it does such “strange things to [his] body” and makes his nonexistent heartbeat speed up, and that right there is about as close to a chubster that this wet end ever gets, ladies and gentlemen. Can’t have something so crude in Mormon Land!
Anyway, Wardo spontaneously decides that he’s only going to tell her the truth from now on, because he just couldn’t bear for her not to trust him—yeah, I can tell you’re really into secrecy, here. Idiot. We have their stupid, circular conversation where he moans about being oh-so-dangerous and that Bella really needs to keep away from him, and she whines, and then we have to hear her get all tantrumy with her “YOU WISH I HAD DIED, WAH!!” thing, and once was too much and after hearing again I just want to grab her and shake her until her teeth rattle. SHUT UP, YOU WHINGING, CHILDISH LITTLE BITCH!!!
Sorry. After hearing SMeyer use Wardo rhapsodize over and over again how wise and mature Bella is, that just made me want to bitchslap somebody.
Wardo gets all huffy and indignant that she would dare to think ill of him—how could she not be appropriately grateful for him saving her (seriously—that’s how he comes off)? My, she is just so special and unique and her mind is like no one else!
…that is exactly the flow of that bit, by the way. In the middle of this mutual babyfit Wardo has to pull some of the same old “marvel at Bella’s Uniqueness” stuff out of his ass for us all to see. Flag on the moon and all.
Bella storms off (or tries to, but of course we have to hear about how OMGclumsy! she is), and of course Wardo is patronizingly “entertained” by this, because he’s an asshole, and they both frostily say goodbye and flounce off in opposite directions.
A Love Story For the Ages, isn’t it?
Wardo goes off to Spanish, and because he’s special, the teacher of course notices that he’s preoccupied obsessing over Bella, but of course doesn’t yell at him for not paying attention, because he’s too perfect, being a Cullen and all. Wardo is condescending about Emmett for a while—just to amuse himself, I guess—and I hate him for it (go write “dick” on his black briefs with his Chlorox pen, Emmett!).
So as school ends, Wardo is all hopeful for
Wardo, of course, can’t miss this. I don’t know why, exactly—I think it’s supposed to be all cute, him wanting to know what Bella is going to do, but due to the writing and his total sicko characterization thus far, I’m pretty sure he just wants to crow in smug satisfaction and revel in their hurt and disappointment at Bella’s hands
Bella does not disappoint. After leaving Wardo with a few precious seconds to worry that she’ll say yes to Eric and to bash the poor kid to boost his own ego, Bella gives her excuse not to go and not to actually say no by telling him that she’s off to Seattle that weekend. Wardo actually laughs at Eric’s dejection—and I’m supposed to like this guy why, SMeyer? He’s an asshole.
Bella hears him laugh and is all dramatic prairie dog, but Wardo is totally smooth and manages not to show how awesome he thinks it is to watch her crush boys right and left—I wonder if there’s some kind of sick fetish vid online for him?
Then it’s Tyler’s turn. Wardo belittles him for a while, and is all down on how “average” he is, and takes us aside to make sure that we know that he isn’t average. But then he has one of his mood swings and is back to his whiny angst about how horrible he is and how wonderful Bella is that that he can never be in the running for her affections because “she was too good for a monster”.
I bet you people thought that “Growing Up Cullen” was pure parody, didn’t you?
Then we get shades of the creepiness to come. Despite knowing that he should just leave and that Bella clearly doesn’t seem interested in all these boys, he has to see her talk to
And so what does he do? Whips
But don’t you guys worry—he has plenty more creepy stored up for later. Anyway, he takes the time spy on Bella and is as usual condescendingly amused by her anger. Tyler isn’t outwardly insulted, but he’s described in very unflattering terms—which was actually something of a relief, and moderately well done. It was a relatively subtle way of showing someone’s distaste for another character, as compared to the way SMeyer usually does it. Well, it would have been, if I didn’t know that Incidental Unwanted Suitor #3 had no personality beyond that which we just saw, so I know that it isn’t SMeyer being subtle at all, but rather just as stupid as usual, so no biscuit for you.
Bella says no without saying no to this one too, which Wardo just loves, because bam, that means she clearly as no interest in these “human males who wished to court her”. And I know that was SMeyer showing us all how Wardo is from another time and doesn’t talk like us but…seriously? That just sounds really stupid. Stilted, flat, pretentious, and nothing at all like what a real person would think—oh. Wait. I guess that really is Wardo to a T—so, carry on, then, SMeyer.
Oh, and she does, too. Wardo is thrilled by it all, by the “priceless” expression on his face, and tells us that he “was right to have waited for this”.
EXCUSE me? “Waited?” You blocked her in and held her at bay and forced her to do this while you watched, you asshole! Lemme guess—she had it coming, and she totally wanted it anyway, didn’t she? I mean, just look how she was dressed. *disgusted*
Wardo is now back to being insufferably smug and satisfied with himself. Rosalie channels some Awesome despite SMeyer beating her with the Flat Character Stick and tells him to “Stop being an idiot! If [he] can.” Hear, hear—but no, he can’t.
Alice harshes his buzz for him, though—she wants to talk to Bella now, and Wardo sees that in her visions the future is back to vamp’d or dead’d Bella again. I don’t know who sucks more, here, Wardo or SMeyer. As it’s ultimately her creation, I’m gonna go with SMeyer.
So, after the hour with Bella drawn out as painfully as possible over some ten pages, we get the entire rest of the afternoon and evening choppily condensed into less than one. Just for you, Mervin. Rosalie is bitchy to Wardo, which pleases us, and then he decides to go off on his evening flounce. Only he doesn’t. “Instead, [he] went hunting.” And I put that quote there highlighted for a reason. Cherish it. Savor it. Imagine the eager tone of his voice when he said it. We get all of his hunting crunched into two very small paragraphs, most of which are about Bella, and then, on his way home, he “realized that [he] was going to go find the girl”. And oh, man, but aren’t those two quotes next to each other just the living end?
He fusses with himself all the way back to Forks, telling himself that he’s being a very naughty boy, but we know that in this universe, as long as you acknowledge what you are doing is wrong, that makes it okay. In what I know was entirely unintentional, SMeyer wrote us an extremely subtle and creepy glimpse into the mind of an obsessed stalker.
I knew I would keep a safe distance from her. I only wanted to know where she was. I only wanted to see her face.
Yeah—I’d give anyone else kudos for that. See how he assures himself that everything is going to be okay, deluding himself into not noticing the way in his thoughts he justifies getting closer and closer?
But, given that it’s SMeyer, that is supposed to be romance.
Eat me, SMeyer.
You all know what’s coming. It doesn’t make it any less horrifying, though. Yes, Wardo runs back to Forks, hunts down the Swan household, and immediately starts thinking about how best to spy on Bella—breaking in isn’t necessary (yet), but he runs through his options all the same. And, sure enough, his gaze lights on the window, and he shinnies right up the front of the house and swings down off the roof to the window on the side.
HE IS LOOKING IN HER WINDOW. HE HAS HUNTED HER DOWN AT HOME AND IS PEEPING INTO HER BEDROOM.
DO I EVEN NEED TO EXPLAIN WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS.
Well, apparently so, since this is SMeyer’s ideal man, and the man idolized by so many teenaged girls. HE IS SPYING ON HER WHILE SHE IS ASLEEP. IN HER BEDROOM. HE IS VIOLATING HER PRIVACY. Oh, but we’re not done yet! He watches her—this being Mormon Land, she’s all bundled up in winterware fit for the tundra to bed, so no premarital underpants—and sees/heard that she’s talking in her sleep, and of course wants to know what that’s about. Wardo calls himself a peeping tom—worse than a peeping tom, really—and can totally see him singing “Mea Culpa” out there *shudder* But hey, it’s all good, because now that you’ve acknowledged your sins, everything is just A-Okay, and you can just sin thine ass off, boy, and OH MY GOD IS HE CRAWLING INTO HER ROOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
There is some description of the room but it didn’t penetrate because he’s thinking that he needs to get some oil so the window won’t squeak THE NEXT TIME HE BREAKS INTO HER HOUSE AND SITS IN HER ROOM!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, look, he’s not succumbing to the urge to rifle through her belongings—he’s keeping his distance, just like he promised! BULLSHIT, YOU STALKING FREAK.
So yes, he sits there, breathing on her while she sleeps, and we are actually supposed to think that this is the Most Romantic Thing Ever. I think there is supposed to be some angst here, about how he is a monster and not good enough for her and was fooling himself into thinking that he had some sort of chance, but even if it hadn’t been lame and badly done would not have changed the fact that HE IS IN HER ROOM WATCHING HER SLEEP!!!!!!!
But Wardo is PMSing again, back to deciding that woe is him, he has to leave to keep her safe (why didn’t you do that the first time, champ?), and then SMeyer has to take an already repulsive and terrifying scene and make it utterly enraging.
She kicks off the scene with a little tidbit for Mervin: it seems this is the “first night [Bella] dreamt of Edward Cullen”—meaning that yes, she’s talking in her sleep and he hears his name, because sure as shooting, she’s having A SYMBOLIC DREAM—the First SYMBOLIC DREAM, in fact. And we all know what that makes Mervin do.
Then she turns around and pisses me off with what I think is her explanation of why vampires are Better Than You—because they never change. They are frozen in time at the moment when they were changed, and that is not just physically, but mentally too: “[his] personality, [his] likes and [his] dislikes, [his] moods and [his] desires; all were fixed in place.” Her explanation, naturally, makes no sense—this is supposed to be why when vampires True Love never changes over time—that they are always looking at their One True Love with “the incredulous eyes of first love” in “a way that never faded”, which is thus better than your boring love. Aside from the fact that by definition falling in love is change and thus it doesn’t seem to work that way (despite SMeyer’s handwaving assurance that it does)—she pretty much just showed her butt in spectacular fashion on the whole “character development” thing. By her own admission, HER CHARACTERS NEVER CHANGE. THEY ARE, BY HER DEFINITION, STATIC.
And I’m afraid that that makes Hyde go
And you know what? Even all of that is not enough of a punch in the nose. SMeyer is going all out, here—because with that, Wardo realizes that HE LOVES BELLA!!
I could no longer pretend I was only in danger of loving this girl.
I struggled to find words to name the feelings that flooded through me, but I had no words strong enough to hold them. For a long moment, I drowned in them.
When I surfaced, I was not the same man I had been.
I would always love this fragile human girl, for the rest of my limitless existence.
And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Wardo In Love. The Love to End all Loves, because as a vampire he does everything more and better than mere humans (and yes, he pretty much does say that). Now the Monster of Conflict is totally gone in the face of his All-Consuming Love, and he but now he understands the futures Alice saw. He can’t possibly stay away from her, and that is how he might eat her. Or he might have her changed to keep her with him forever (notice the lack of any consideration as to how Bella would feel on the matter). But he decides (for her) that he will manage a relationship with her with her still as a human and not hurt her. And so the scene closes with him sitting there, standing over her, getting used to her scent.
That’s right. You heard me. It closes with him HAVING BROKEN INTO HER ROOM, STANDING OVER HER BED, WATCHING HER SLEEP, AND SNIFFING HER
Right. Okay. So. There it is.
Let’s make a quick tally of the events to date, shall we?
1) Bella has been in Forks roughly six weeks
2) Edward wants to eat her liek woah
3) Edward cannot read her mind
4) Edward was absent for one of the weeks of her stay in Forks thus far, so he’s spent only five weeks around her
5) Edward spends only one hour a day with Bella, and this is in a class, for five days a week—so, he’s spent roughly 25 hours actually in her presence tops
6) Edward saved her from getting smushed
7) Alice saw a vision of Bella either getting eaten by Edward or being turned into a vampire
8) Edward then spent a month actively ignoring her
9) During this month, he spied on her through others' heads but never interacted directly with her—so, he’s only actually interacted with her for about a week's worth of his alloted time
10) Given that SMeyer obsessively outlines every word spoken between Bella and Edward, we can assume that what we see is exactly what we get, and thus Edward has had exactly four conversations with her: One about the weather and why she is in Forks, one to ask if she was okay after being almost-smushed, one to be mean to her at the hospital so she wouldn’t rat the vamps out, and one to…not really talk about anything, just to get in a winkie after she spoke to Mike Newton
11) Edward has broken into her house to watch her sleep, all mussed and dowdy and snoring
And that’s it. That is the sum total of their interactions to date. They’ve known (and I use that term loosely) each other for roughly a month, spent no time together, and haven’t really talked together. Edward knows nothing about her except all these assumptions he’s made based on spying on her—most of which we know from reading Twilight and listening to what’s going on in Bella’s tiny mind aren’t the case at all.
THERE IS NOTHING THERE. No tension, no shared experiences or likes and dislikes or opinions or senses of humor or ambitions—NOTHING. There was no building of any sort of relationship between the two of them. They know nothing about each other. Bella thinking Wardo is hot is the extent of any physical attraction between the two, and that’s cheating, because Wardo himself admits that humans can’t help that. They’ve never laughed together, never had a real, unguarded and mutual conversation. Wardo does nothing but condescend to her, snap at her, insult her, and lie to her. They don’t talk, they have nothing in common that we’ve seen, they’ve done nothing together, they have no shared history or similar experiences over which they can bond. They aren’t even friends—they are casual acquaintances at best.
And as such it insults my intelligence for SMeyer to think that I’m going to believe that this is love and romance simply because she says it is, even though she has shown me nothing of the kind. I don’t relate to the characters, I see no evidence of attraction, and there is no basis for any kind of relationship—there is no relationship. And yet SMeyer still has the nerve to tell me that this is Romance, Love of the highest order, and that her epic
Well, I think really just have one thing to say to her at this point.
So, after that, the scene changes—Wardo finally leaves Bella’s house, thank God, and he runs wee wee wee all the way home. Esme is all concerned and stuff, but she’s on my list since her little stunt in the last chapter, condemning a girl to death just to make sure that her son wasn’t gay.
Wardo gets dressed and runs to school, strolling out of the woods when no one is looking (he was totally burying a body back there). Bella comes roaring up in her Sue-truck, still obsessing over Wardo and ostentatiously parking as far away from the Volvo of Great Justice as possible—that’ll teach him. There is actually a moment where I cheered here—not cheering for Wardo, but just in general. Turns out the idiot had completely forgotten that she was mad at him, because he’s a self-centered ass, as well as the “arrogant fool” that he calls himself, and has this great moment where he realizes that, duh, idiot, just because you’re all mad-crazy obsessed with her, it doesn’t follow that she feels anything for you at all!
But then I just got depressed, because we know that that isn’t at all the case. We’re supposed to be all, “Oh, no, Edward, don’t say that, you aren’t, you’re wonderful and we love you and Bella does, too!”
Get stuffed, asshole.
So, he says that it’s better that she doesn’t like him—back to that line again. But right after that, he says that’s not gonna stop him! He’s coming in for a landing, Bella—open your hanger doors!
So Wardo marches right up there and is gonna act all smooth but is really just a complete dick to her, and yet this is supposed to just make us swoon. He calls her “exceptionally unobservant”, which is in and of itself spot-on, except that he tells us that is a joke, because really, “was there anything she didn’t see?”
How about anything other than the inside of Wardo’s ass?
She is hissy about him blocking her in—a legitimate beef, to my mind, but she’s just whiny about it, and he tells her that he trapped her in for his own personal amusement, and of course is patronizingly amused at her anger, as per usual. Asshole.
Then he’s creepy again, getting angry when she’s not playing along with his new little fantasy that he concocted last night (WHILE HE WAS WATCHING YOU SLEEP, RUN, BELLA!!!). He’s nasty and snappish all the sudden, and of course she just crumples and is going to leave, off to go cry, no doubt. Then he’s all (falsely) contrite. Bella whines at him, wanting to know why he won’t just leave her alone. I would be cheering for her, developing some sort of survival instinct or figuring out that this guy is not good, but we know from Twilight that her mouth may be saying no, but her eyes are saying yes.
Wardo thinks to himself oh, he’s tried to leave her alone, but he’s “wretchedly in love with [her]”, and I had to try to keep from vomiting all over myself. Then he suddenly gets a wonderful, awful idea and knows what he’s going to do to keep Bella near him, and so right after the bitchface and then the remorse, now he’s laughing. Bella quite reasonably asks him if he has multiple personality disorder or something; I think that RPattz clearly nailed Wardo’s mental stability, and frankly I can’t figure out how STUPID Bella must be not to get that this guy AIN’T RIGHT. And yet she finds it attractive.
But, I guess since he’s pretty, it’s okay. Anyway, so he offers her a ride to Seattle for her trip-she-made-up-and-was-actually-going-t
You know, to make an appropriately fitting comparison, I found that turn of phrase reminiscent of Tom Rogan, the abusive husband from Stephen King’s IT—specifically, of the way he senses weakness in Beverly Marsh and pursues it.
Anyway, Bella still won’t say one way or another, and Wardo keeps being pushy about it, but she manages to circumvent the issue by bringing things back to herself and her problems—“WAH, YOU DIDN’T WANT TO BE MY FRIEND.” Wardo is all circular with his patented mood-swings and push-pull bit, saying that he wants to be her friend, but that she totally shouldn’t be. Then he stares deep into her eyes—the “melted chocolate of her eyes”, no less—
—and oh, but he’s losing himself in them.
“But I’m tired of trying to stay away from you, Bella.”
Yeah—AS EVIDENCED BY THE FACT THAT YOU FRACKING BROKE INTO HER ROOM LAST NIGHT.
Then he gets all up in her face and actually demands an answer about the Seattle trip, and she caves and says yes. But then Wardo’s conscience, which we’ve seen nothing from up to now, suddenly “smote” him, and I just laughed at that. Then he does a one-eighty AGAIN and tells her to stay away from him, and then runs away off to class, and that’s finally the end of the chapter.
Now, before I sign off for the nonce, I feel the need to address a very serious point brought to my attention by our SMeyer Quote Sporkage with regards to the Epic Tale of Edward and Bella’s Great and True Love. Because that’s what SMeyer says it is: True Love. You’ve seen here that she says it was True Love—and not just any True Love, but apparently the Best and Truest of True Loves of All Time.
Okay, just for the sake of argument, let’s give SMeyer the benefit of the doubt and say that she really did set out to write a love story, not this dysfunctional and abusive sub/Dom thing here. Let’s say that in her mind, she dreamed up this great and epic love story, and that the flaws in the piece are functions of her truly inferior writing skills—that she simply lacks the ability to convey her vision. Let’s say that Bella wasn’t meant to be self-centered and whiny, that she and Wardo have personalities in her mind, that Wardo is romantic and concerned for Bella’s safety, not a domineering and controlling abuser. Let’s just play along with SMeyer’s little fantasy for a minute. I know it’s tough, but humor me.
Honestly, I could even almost manage it. She’s whined about how people are all wrong when they say such things about her beloved creations, so maybe it really is possible that her story was much better in her head before she got it out on paper. Maybe she has vision, but is just a really crappy writer. Maybe in her mind, this was a story of two people whose fates were intertwined, and despite the hardships thrown in their path, they simply couldn’t help but love each other.
And that is the point that I feel the need consider, SMeyer. Because that can’t be chalked up to crappy writing. You spell it out time and time again in the text, that no matter how dangerous it may be to Bella’s life or soul, Edward simply can’t stay away from her.
And I simply cannot brush that aside—because that is not love.
By its very nature and commonly accepted definition, real love is at its core complete selflessness, a willingness to put the needs and wants and safety of another first beyond anything of your own—even to the point of completely separating yourself from them. The concept of loving someone enough to let them go is a time-honored tradition, often seen as the epitome of love, in that one can spend the rest of one’s life suffering the pangs of longing, but will silently endure in the face of the continued safety, happiness, or what-have-you of the object of their affections. It’s been explored in art throughout history, in music and visual media and cinema and literature. The opera Madame Butterfly comes to mind, where the protagonist, abandoned by her husband, sends her son away to live with his father in America because she cannot support him. Or in the movie Casablanca, where Rick Blaine sends the only woman he ever loved away from the Vichy-controlled city and to safety with her husband, despite the fact that he could have gotten the husband out of the way and kept her for himself. Or, appropriately enough, in The Princess Bride, where our heroes have been captured outside the Fire Swamp and Buttercup willingly gives herself up to a loveless marriage to Humperdink in order to save Westley’s life.
And yet, what do we have here with Edward? Over and over it is stated that the only outcomes he can foresee to his continued contact with her is her death—drained dry by his urge to feed—or her damnation, what Edward believes to be the ruin of her very soul by being turned into a vampire. But what does he say? “I’m tired of trying to stay away from you.” He dismisses these concerns simply because it’s too much work for him, and he’s tired of it. And in his own words, he then labels himself for exactly what he is—selfish.
This is not True Love, SMeyer. If it was, Edward would have the strength to leave her, because his very presence is a danger to her. But no, that’s simply too hard for him—he does was he wants, what is good for him, and how Bella feels about it is never really examined—she doesn’t even know that this fate looms before her, because he hasn’t told her. He even directly says that, despite the fact that he believes it would cost her her soul, he would change Bella simply so he could keep her with him forever. He makes all the decisions, and only with himself in mind, doing things the way he wants, and for his own benefit.
And even if it were well-written, the fact remains that you reiterate this over and over again, that Edward simply cannot stay away from Bella, no matter the danger he is putting her in. And similarly, Bella does the same, clinging to him after he has said time and time again that it would be better if she didn’t, because it would hurt him if he accidentally hurt her, and demanding to be changed into a vampire even though that is the last thing he would want for her. And so, despite all your protestations and assertions that your story is the Truest of True Loves, I’m going to have to call you on the carpet on this one, SMeyer. This is not love. This is blind infatuation and selfish obsession, as evidenced by Edward’s complete disregard for Bella’s needs, wishes, and safety in his pursuit of making himself happy.
Or, in plain netspeak, rather than all that tl;dr:
With that, I’ve exhausted myself, and I’ll be seeing you all next time in Chapter 6: Blood Type!
( Chapter 6 - Blood Type )