Chapter Eleven: Cult
Better Title: Jacob the Jerk
Bella is dealing with a lot right now. When not fretting about Victoria, she's crying over Jacob's absence. She even tells us, "I missed him horribly." At first I feel bad for her, but then I remember she rejected Jacob's romantic advances at the movie theater. Bella is really confusing. She's like a friend who says she hates softball, but then, when no one asks her to play on the softball team, she gets bummed out and cries.
She tries to call Jacob. When no one answers, the ever-rational Bella decides to call him every half hour until it's time for bed. But still no one answers. It's clear that the Blacks do not want to talk to her…or they are all taking a very long, relaxing bath.
With Victoria on the prowl, it's not safe for Bella to drive up to La Push by herself to check on Jacob. So all she can do is wait.
Call me crazy, but if a super-powered evil vampire was coming to get me, I might make a call up to Alaska and find Tanya and tell her what's going on. Or I'd write a note that reads, "Victoria's trying to kill me. Help me, Edward!" tie it to a helium balloon, and release it into the air while wishing with all my might that it reaches Edward. (I used a similar method on my 5th birthday when I wanted a pet cloud.)
While driving home from school, things suddenly click in Bella's mind. She finally realizes that Jacob wasn’t sick at all, but instead has been taken in by Sam Uley's cult. She's worried and desperately wants to see him.
She decides that she needs to rescue Jacob from Sam, even if Victoria is stalking her. She says she might need to kidnap Jacob because he may have been brainwashed by Sam. It's funny that she sees brainwashing as a bad thing. She was in the Cult of Edward, and was brainwashed by his beauty and breath, but I guess that type of brainwashing is okay because Edward sparkles and has dreamy eyes and drives fast.
Before heading out, she decides to call her dad at the police station to warn him about Sam Uley and let him know what happened to Jacob. At first, Charlie acts very professional, especially when Bella tells him that Jacob is in trouble. But once she says the bad guy is none other the Sam "I save daughters" Uley, Charlie acts more like a dad and says Bella is just being silly, because Sam Uley is a great guy.
Remind me if I ever find out that Tom Hanks is secretly killing baby seals not to go to Chief Swan, because Charlie doesn't arrest nice guys. Actually, scratch that. The chances of me finding Tom Hanks in the act of killing seals is, like, 10 to 1. And the chance of me trying to report such a crime to a fictional character is even greater. Plus, it's probably out of Chief Swan's jurisdiction. Still…you never know.
Bella pleads with her dad to investigate, but Charlie doesn't buy her story. She tells us, "My voice was starting to sound whiney." Starting to sound whiney? There must have been an error at the printers, because this sentence should have appeared in book one, paragraph two.
Charlie doesn't listen to her, and mentions he's very busy with another wolf attack. Bella is surprised, as she thought Laurent must have killed the wolves. But since the wolves are still eating hikers, we're not sure what happened between Laurent and the animals.
Maybe he simply ran away. Or the wolves ate him. Or Laurent bumped into Emmett in the woods. I like to believe that Emmett is hiding in the forest wearing camouflage and face paint. And the scared Laurent looked at Emmett and said, "You have to save me from the wolves!" Emmett then removed Laurent's head with one clean punch and whispered, "Consider yourself saved." At least that's what would happen in my version of the story. I miss Emmett…and Conner.
Bella drives to La Push, determined to wait for Jacob even if it takes all night. On the way, she spots Quil, they talk for a while, and she gives him a ride home. I hope this section wasn't important, because I didn't pay attention.
After dropping Quil off at his house, Bella drives to Jacob's house and waits. Billy looks at her from his front window, but she doesn't budge. Finally Jacob shows up…and he's a jerk. I no longer want to join Team Jacob. I now want to join Team Emmett, Team Alice, or Team Bella's Truck.
Jacob is mean and aggressive. He's not the Jacob Black that I feel in love with (in a heterosexual kind of way. I swear!). He's even bigger than before, with a harder face and short cropped hair. He walks up to the truck and curtly asks what Bella is doing here. Sam and the other cult members are with him. Bella is taken aback by his new appearance and attitude, and isn't sure what to say. I'd start by saying, "Dude?!" And then repeat as necessary in varying tones until I get all my answers.
Bella says she wants to talk to him, but her voice is tiny and weak. He doesn't move and tells her to get on with it. She gets angry and says she wants to talk to him alone. He turns to the others and speaks in their Native American language, and the other guys go inside (presumably to floss out dead hiker from their teeth).
With Sam and the cult member gone, Jacob relaxes a little, but is still angry. Bella and Jacob take a walk, and he says, "Let's get this over with." This is not Jacob. It can't be. This is probably just some mean guy who kidnapped him and used that Polyjuice potion from the Harry Potter books to disguise himself as Jacob. Please let that be the reason he's acting like an ass. (I even wrote this on a helium balloon and set it free while wishing with all my might. I also wished for a pet cloud, again.)
Jacob explains that the situation with Sam is not bad, and that he was wrong about him. Sam is a great guy and is helping Jacob. So Bella's concern over Sam's cult is not necessary. Sorry, but that's not a good enough explanation, Mr. Black.
Bella demands to know what's going on, but Jacob says he can't explain it to her. She starts crying. She's worried that Sam did something to Jacob. He tries to reassure her that he's fine, and that she shouldn't blame Sam. She asks if Sam isn't the reason, then who is responsible for this sudden change? Jacob says it's the Cullens' fault, though he calls them "those filthy, reeking, bloodsuckers that you love so much."
I'm not a huge Cullen fan, but they always seemed very hygienic, so I'm not sure Jacob's adjectives are justified. Perhaps he should have referred to the Cullens as "those well-dressed, wealthy, very white, handsome, non-scary bear killers that you love so much."
Question: Why do both werewolves and vampires need to live in the same small town? Is there a tax incentive for monster residency? Does the water in the town taste like Swedish Fish? Because then I'd understand. But this rivalry seems silly, considering both groups could just move away. (The werewolves could stay with me until they found a place of their own. I'll make them spaghetti and we could stay up late watching LOST on DVD!)
Bella is taken aback by the accusation. She loves the Cullens so much that she can't understand why anyone would hate them, blame them for anything, or call them names. She wants to know more, but Jacob is acting strange and angry at the mention of the vampires. She asks if he suddenly believes his grandfather's stories, and he says he was wrong to even question those legends. At this point, if Bella doesn't understand that Jacob is a werewolf, she is the dumbest character in literature, next to the deadly boulder from The Lord of the Flies. (And even that boulder had a better personality.)
Bella is furious. She says that Jacob is silly for falling for superstitions, and even if the Cullens were cruel to the Native Americans, the family left months ago. Jacob says they know the Cullens left, but something happened that cannot be stopped. How cryptic! Something that cannot be stopped? Hmm. Maybe he's talking about a neverending war between werewolves and vampires…or a Slinky placed on an escalator.
Bella keeps asking questions, and Jacob is getting visibly perturbed at the vampire talk. Dream Edward's voice haunts Bella's head again, warning her to be quiet and not push Jacob too much. She doesn't understand that warning, because she can't imagine how Jacob could be dangerous.
Jacob turns to head back to the truck, and she tries to talk with him, but he says she should go home and that he can't hang out with her anymore. She asks if he is breaking up with her, even though they never dated.
He says this isn't a breakup, because if that were true, they could still be friends. He can't be friends with her at all. Bella is crying and doesn't know what to say. She thinks this is all her fault because she pushed him away at the movie theater.
She starts to babble about how she's sorry that she doesn't think of him in a romantic way, but maybe someday she will, although we all know the only way she'll smooch Jacob is if Edward dies. Jacob starts saying that he's no good for her. (She's a sucker for that kind of pillow talk.)
He tries to calm her down, and says it wasn't her fault. He adds, "I'm not good." Oh my god! Bella should marry him right now! He's just like Edward, and now he's even moody and talks about dangerous relationships. Add a wig and an amazing older brother and Jacob could be Edward.
Bella yells and cries, and Jacob runs into the house, leaving her in the rain. Eventually, she leaves and thinks about sadness and gloomy things on the ride home.
She thought that Jacob was the plug that could fill the make-believe hole in her chest caused by Edward, but in truth, he carved another hole, and now Bella compares herself to Swiss cheese. I liken her to a Connect Four board or one of those games at family-friendly restaurants where you have to jump over pegs. (The trick to that game, by the way, is to always start from the lower edge, and then cheat.)
At home, Charlie says Billy told him that she had a fight with Jacob. But Bella tells him what really happened: Sam is evil and did something to Jacob, and now Jacob can't see her anymore. Charlie isn't sure who to believe, and Bella goes upstairs to take a shower.
After the shower, she hears Charlie on the phone, talking to Billy. It looks like good ol' Charlie is trying to win the father of the year award because he not only believes Bella, but is willing to shout at his friend Billy to get to the bottom of things. It's nice to see Charlie act tough.
We only hear one side of the conversation, but it appears that Billy is blaming all the drama on Bella. And Charlie doesn't believe a word of it. He says that he and the other police officers will be keeping a close eye on Sam and the cult members. After that conversation, Charlie has risen on my list of favorite characters, beating out Rosalie and whoever the hell Ben is.
Bella crawls into bed and has a dream about Jacob in which he transformers into Edward. She wakes up in the middle of the night and hears a noise at her window. Someone or something is trying to get in!
Prediction: Victoria crashes into Bella's room. Dream Edward speaks, saying, "Bella! Hurry! You need to…hmm. Well maybe if you…Actually, I got nothing. Sorry kid, you're going to die. Later! By the way, I made out with Jessica last year after we had one of our fights. I grabbed her butt too. It meant nothing. I thought you should know. Adios, Lamb."
Just as Vickie is about to bite Bella, a pack of werewolves saunter out of Bella's closet and chase Victoria away.