Chapter Eight: Adrenaline
Better Title: The Adventures of Bossy Bella and Jacob the Shirtless Wonder
Bella is anxious to ride her motorcycle for the first time. Jacob makes sure she knows where the brakes, gear shifts, and clutch are located before letting her drive. She's scared, but says that she can do this because she has already "lived through the worst thing possible." Worst thing possible? Really? She better be talking about the time she stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-day, or else her comment comes across as very naive. Breaking up with your boyfriend, even if he sparkles, is not the worst thing in the world. There are far worse things that can happen, such as:
Slowly dying from an incurable disease.
Watching a loved one perish after her scarf (which you bought her for Christmas) gets caught in a helicopter propeller.
Losing the Olympic Marathon by three-tenths of a second.
Being buried (or eaten) alive.
Missing out on the factory tour because of your stupid peanut allergies.
Running out of food during the storm of the century and being forced to choose between eating your cat, your dog, or your own fingers.
Getting a sunburn moments before going to a sweater party.
I let Bella off the hook a few chapters ago, so she could her have a sad moment. But this is getting ridiculous, and borderline dangerous. Even if Edward does return, he probably wouldn't want to date such a clingy, obsessive woman. Although it's tough to tell what Edward would like. The dude writes lullabies and breaks into police officers' houses, so who knows where his mind is at.
After reminding Bella to only use the hand brake and not the foot brake, Jacob starts the bike with a kick. He then gives her the go-ahead to put the bike into first gear. As she lets go of clutch, Dream Edward's voice haunts her again, saying, "This is reckless and childish and idiotic."
Dream Edward is kind of a downer and a party pooper. The voice startles Bella and she loses her balance, collapsing to the ground. Dream Edward's voice speaks again, saying, "I told you so." So not only is Dream Edward a party pooper, he's also an annoying know-it-all.
I realize it's still early in the story, and things will change, but I'm applying for membership to Team Jacob. (I hope I get to be the goalie!) Comparing Jacob to Edward is like comparing Indiana Jones to Frasier or comparing Brad Pitt to John Malkovich. Who would want to hang out with an overprotective, prissy old man when they could date a rugged, outgoing young guy like Jacob?
He runs to Bella's aid, but everything seems to be OK. She loves the hallucination and wants to hear more from Dream Edward. She theorizes that Dream Edward is triggered by a combination of danger mixed with adrenaline and stupidity. She's anxious to try riding the motorcycle again, hoping Dream Edward will speak to her.
She tries to kick-start the bike herself, and after a few tries, it finally starts up. Jacob reminds her to release the clutch gently. Before she does, Dream Edward speaks up again, asking her if she wants to kill herself. She loves this voice, even if Dream Edward is crabby. Dream Edward continues, "Go home to Charlie."
Because vampires have all sorts of touchy, emotional powers, I'm assuming that this hallucination is actually Edward…or at least some magic spell he shoved into Bella's soul. Or maybe, because Edward's name backwards is Draw De, and Bella's name ends with a vowel, they can share thoughts on every second Wednesday of the month. Whatever the (probably lame) reason is for the voice, Edward's acting like a bully. If he were that concerned for her safety, he would just man up, come back to Forks, and encase Bella inside a rubber room filled with foam peanuts, pillows, and low-fat low-sodium foods.
Bella releases the clutch, hits the throttle, and soars down the road. The speed and wind is exhilarating, but she is only in first gear, and wonders what the higher gears will feel like. Dream Edward screams, "No, Bella! Watch what you're doing." He sounds like a rookie kindergarten teacher during craft time.
Dream Edward's voice distracts her, and she doesn’t see the turn in the road coming up ahead. She tries to brake, but forgets Jacob's warning about not using the foot brake. Her sudden stop causes her to lose balance and she falls. Jacob comes yelling after her, and grabs the bike that is pinning Bella to the ground. She seems OK, but she doesn’t realize the crash caused a bad cut on her forehead.
Jacob says they need to go to the hospital, and Bella says if they do that, her dad will find out about the motorcycles. She suggests they first go back to her house, where she can change. And then they will go to the hospital and tell her dad that she just tripped in Jacob's garage.
Bella lies a lot in these books. I don't even know if I can believe what she tells me. Maybe she never even read Wuthering Heights. And when she told me about going to the love-meadow with Edward, I bet she really just had sex with him in the back of his car behind the gas station. He's probably not even a vampire, but just some moody pale kid. I'm on to you, Bella Swan—if that really is your name. (I bet her actual name is something more mundane, like Jen Smith, or something awful, like Beulah Cantankerous.)
To stop the bleeding, Jacob takes his shirt off and offers it as a makeshift bandage. Shirtless Jacob then rides the motorcycle back to get Bella's truck. She finally begins to see how handsome he is as he rides the motorcycle, looking sexy and strong, the wind tugging at his long, luscious black hair. My, oh my. I had to fan myself while reading this part or else I would have been overcome with the passion. (By the way, I'm straight. I swear.)
Jacob hides the bikes and takes Bella back home. On the ride, she is elated with the motorcycles and the fact that she can now summon Dream Edward's voice by acting silly and reckless. At home, she changes clothes and washes up a bit. Shirtless Jacob then drives her to the hospital. He doesn't seem to mind the cold January temperature.
She once again notices his strong, manly physique and asks him, "Did you know, you're sort of beautiful?" He laughs and says that she hit her head too hard. He jokingly adds, "Well, then, thanks. Sort of."
If Bella gave Edward the same compliment, he would reply, "'Tis but glamour, my love. For to feast on the soul of men, my kind was cursed with the looks of an angel and the appetite…of the devil. For this reason, we shan't be together. It's too dangerous, my lamb. Here, I wrote you a nursery rhyme."
Bella gets some stitches, Charlie believes the fake story, and her nightmares are getting a little easier to handle thanks to Jacob. But later in the week, she crashes the motorcycle again, and she is taken to the doctor again. And she lies to her dad…again.
Bella and Jacob are worried that they won't be able to hide their new hobby from Charlie much longer if they keep needing excuses for her hospital visits. Jacob thinks they should take a break from motorcycles for a bit, and she agrees.
Instead of riding the bikes, Bella suggest they go hiking and search for Edward's enchanted meadow. She wants to find this place again, hoping that it will activate Dream Edward. But when explaining the meadow to Jacob, she leaves Edward out of it, because she's a liar. She just tells Jacob that finding meadows is fun, and he believes her.
Even if she had brought up her ex-boyfriend, I bet Jacob would still agree to go with her. He does whatever she says, and lets her walk all over him. Soon they will have the following conversation:
BELLA: Hey friend, will you find an enchanted meadow for me? It's where Eddie and I talked about passion and touched faces.
JACOB: You betcha!
BELLA: And then we can go to the town dump and look for any old Cullen trash that I can lick?
JACOB: Sounds like a plan.
BELLA: And then we can break into his old house and I can sniff all the chairs he sat on.
JACOB: I'll bring sandwiches and we can make a day of it!
BELLA: You're such a great friend.
JACOB: I don't want to see you naked at all.
Bella prepares for the hike by buying new boots at the sporting good store, and wears them without breaking them in. It's odd that Dream Edward doesn't scream, "You idiot! You need to break boots in before hiking! You're such an idiot. You're going to get blisters and the back of your ankle is going to get bloody. Is that what you want? Is it!? I can't believe I dated you."
When it comes to searching for enchanted meadows, Jacob knows how to do it. He maps out the area at home using a grid pattern. He jokes about seeing the big black bear, and his dad just laughs it off. Billy isn't too worried about the bear, probably because the bear is really a werewolf. Or Billy knows that if a big black bear does attack, amazing Jacob could pin it to the ground with his awesome strength.
Bella and Jacob drive to the edge of the forest where they will begin their search for the meadow. She is worried that seeing the meadow will make her crazy, but that's silly because she's already crazy. It's like a guy who refuses to get out of the pool during a rain storm because he doesn't want to get wet.
They begin hiking through the forest, and Bella feels bad about slowing Jacob down. After a while, she asks how things are going between him and the recently werewolf-erized Embry. Jacob says Embry is still acting odd, and is still part of Sam's cult. Sam still looks at Jacob with an odd interest in his eyes, and Jacob's dad is still not very helpful about the strange situation.
They joke for a bit about what would happen if Jacob had to sleep at Charlie's house, and before they realize it, they have hiked six miles. Since they didn't find the meadow, and it's getting dark, Jacob begins to lead them out of the forest. He says they will eventually find the meadow if they keep using his grid system.
They joke about the prospect of seeing the big black bear, and Jacob kids that the bear will eat Bella because she probably tastes good. She reminds us that Jacob isn't the first person to tell her she tastes good. (But this time it was a joke and didn't seem icky.)
Prediction: After searching for a few days, Jacob and Bella locate the meadow of love. There they find Edward caressing Bella's mom's face and saying, "You smell even better then Bella, and you're much less whiny. Plus, you can buy me cigarettes…Oh crap! Hi Bella. 'Sup Jacob? We were just…uh…planning Bella's surprise party, weren't we, Rene?" Nine minutes of awkward silence follows.