Blogging New Moon: Part 16
Chapter Sixteen: Paris
Better Title: The Cullens Ruin Everything!
The fire that Bella sees in the water is really Victoria's hair. There. I just saved you from reading this lousy chapter. Sorry if I sound grumpy, but it's only because by the end of the chapter, the Cullens are back. And I've got a sinking suspicion that soon Jacob will take a back seat to Edward…stupid, shiny, Edward.
Anyway, let's get this over with so that I can go buy Shakira's new song "She Wolf" and add it to my Werewolves play list, which so far includes Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London," TV on the Radio's "Wolf Like Me" and Miley Cyrus's "Party in the USA" (The last song has nothing to do with werewolves, but I need to practice for karaoke night.)
The chapter begins with Bella being saved from the ocean by awesome Jacob. As she regains her breath and coughs up water, she dips in and out of consciousness, and only picks up bits and pieces of the conversation going on around her. Sam and Jacob mention something about a hospital, but Bella can't figure out what's happening.
While all this is going, she looks out in the bay and sees a small fire burning on the water. You don't find out what this "fire" is until the end of the chapter, but I've already let it slip that it's Victoria's hair, meaning the e-vamp was watching Bella from the bay.
The author included this chapter-length mystery of "What is the Fire?" to ensure that people will actually read this chapter. Without it, these twenty pages are nothing but space filler. It's a neat literary trick. Perhaps I would have stuck with Moby-Dick if every few pages Ishmael said, "Look at all the symbolism and such. By the way, I wonder what that demon I saw last night really was, the one made out of smoke and mystery." Even if that demon turned out to be a nothing but a rabid donkey, it would have kept me interested.
Jacob carries Bella back to his house. She gets her mind working again and admits cliff diving by herself was stupid, and Jacob agrees. With everyone in agreement that Bella is a fool, she changes the subject to Victoria and asks what happened during the hunt. Jacob says they lost her again when she went into the water.
Vickie's dip in the ocean worried Jacob, and he thought she would attack Bella on the beach, so he rushed home. Remember gang, swimming is easy for vampires because they don't need to breathe air. That super power makes me wonder where the air goes when vampires sniff teenage girls? Maybe the air gets sucked into their bellies and they belch it out later like a frog or a well-fed uncle.
Bella recalls that Sam mentioned a hospital, and Jacob gives her the sad news: Harry Clearwater had a heart attack. Poor Harry. Of all the literary characters who ate spaghetti outside, he was easily one of my top ten favorites. Maybe even top seven.
Bella asks if there is anything she can do, but Jacob says she should just stay in his house. He grabs some clothes for Bella and is about to leave her alone so she can change in private, but Bella tells him to stay put. Sadly, this does not lead to a sexy, naked party with candles and lotions and giggles. Instead, Bella is just scared and doesn't want to be left alone.
The obviously-weary Jacob stays with Bella. She keeps her wet clothes on as she sits by the radiator. Jacob and Bella fall asleep. Bella doesn't have a nightmare, but images of her past fill her dreams. The last image is of the mysterious fire on the water. (See? The fire mystery makes you want to keep reading. I'm going to use this trick when I write Early Evening: A Wererhino Romance, to help spice up the chapter in which Lan Lergstein, the mighty wererhino who is strong, is stuck at the mechanic, waiting for his jetpack to be fixed.)
When she wakes up, she thinks about Romeo and Juliet for a few pages. Bella wonders what would have happened in the play if Romeo was a jerk and broke up with Juliet. Bella is certain that Juliet would be miserable for the rest of her life.
Bella brings up the character of Count Paris, Juliet's other choice of life-partner. In the play, Paris doesn’t do a whole lot. But Bella thinks things would be different if Paris and Juliet were friends. If Romeo left because he was an ass, Juliet might be able to have a relationship with Paris. And maybe Juliet could even love Paris, though not in the same way she loved Romeo.
This is a weird thing to bring up because…Whoa! I just realized that Bella's life is mirroring Juliet's! Stephenie Meyer is so creative and wise. Holy cow! I just realized that West Side Story is just Romeo and Juliet in New York! Holy cow again! I just realized that my parents were Santa Claus! This part of the book is a little heavy handed.
First, if Romeo left Juliet, and Juliet didn't have any poison handy, all that would happen is that Jules would be sad for a while and listen to emo harpsichord music and dye her hair eight different shades of purple. Then, in a month, she would meet some other guy who is way better than Romeo because he has a car and she will fall in love with him. Why? Because Juliet is thirteen. Thirteen!
Thirteen-year-olds have a lifetime of experience ahead of them. What you love when you're thirteen, you'll think is silly later in life. For instance, when I was thirteen, I loved jetpacks and robots, but now…um…well, I'm not a good example. The point is, Juliet would find someone else to love. And she would later snicker at the thought of dating someone as lame as Romeo. Trust me. She would be fine.
Second, if Juliet married Paris, even though she didn't love him, their relationship would be horrible. Juliet would begin to resent Paris and they would have fights such as this:
PARIS: Hi honey. I'm back from the Count office.
PARIS: What's wrong?
JULIET: You tell me, Count Asshead.
PARIS: You mispronounced my name again. You do that a lot.
JULIET: I'm tired of being stuck in this…this…whatever this is. Because it's not a relationship.
PARIS: This is about Romeo, isn't it?
JULIET: [sobbing] Why can't you be better!? Be more like Romeo! Be better!
PARIS: I don't know what you want? Can we not do this in front of the kids?
JULIET: I hate this!
PARIS: Maybe you just need to get out of the house more. Take that weaving class we talked about…
JULIET: Argh! I'm stuck. I'm . . . I want out!
PARIS: Go soak in the tub. I'll make us Steak-umms for dinner. You love Steak-umms.
JULIET: [becomes slightly happy] Really? That'd be OK, I guess. [Sniff] Can I call you Romeo tonight?
PARIS: Of course, my Sugar Blossom. Of course.
And then, two years later, they would get divorced and have a brutal custody battle. Paris would lose his job as Count, and Juliet would become addicted to mead and name all of her cats Romeo. It doesn't end well.
Finally, Bella thinks all of these thoughts are silly, because Romeo did love Juliet, and that's why the story is timeless. She argues that no one would want to read a story called, "Juliet Gets Dumped and Ends up with Paris." She's right. No one would read that. But people would read, "Paris (Who is a Werewolf) and Juliet."
She shuts her eyes and realizes how stupid she's been acting by putting her life in danger. Bella then thinks about falling from the cliff and keeps coming back to the mysterious fire on the water. She snaps out of it when she hears a car approaching. Billy and Sam return, and they let Jacob and Bella know the bad news: Harry Clearwater has died.
Jacob sits next to Bella, with his face in his hands. Bella rubs his shoulders, and Jacob takes her hand and holds it to his face. No, this does not lead to a sexy naked party either. Jacob thinks she should go back to her house to be with her dad. He hops into her truck, ready to drive her home.
On the ride, Jacob puts his arm around Bella to keep her warm. Bella understands that Jacob is now very important in her life. Things between them cannot continue in this annoying, cruel, and frustrating puppy-love phase much longer. She finally contemplates making Jacob her man-buddy. But I'm warning you now, don't get your hopes up for sexiness, because everything is about to go sour.
She tells us that if she were to start a relationship with Jacob, she would have to tell him everything about Edward, about the voices in her head, and explain to Jacob that he is really her second choice for a kissing partner. Who on Earth would want to date someone who told them that?
You should run away from any relationship that begins with the person saying, "I love you a lot. But I love someone else more. That's cool, right? So when should we get married? I always wanted a fall wedding." Jacob, you can do better. Way better. You could date anyone you wanted, even princesses or pop stars or the adorable and witty Amy Adams.
Bella goes back and forth over what to do. Should she lock lips with Jacob and kick things up a notch, or continue being a wishy-washy nincompoop? They arrive at her house, and Jacob gives Bella a hug. Again, just so you're not as disappointed as I was, there will be no snogging, smooching, tonsil tennis, canoodling, or tubnicking. (I made that last word up. Could you tell?)
Things in the truck are getting sexy and tense as Jacob holds Bella. She thinks about kissing his exposed shoulders and then…oh my. Quick, hand me a glass of water and a fan! I may be overcome with the vapors after witnessing all this passion.
She's about to go in for the kiss, their bodies so tense and hot that it's a wonder they don't burst into love flames. But then Bella stops things. She's not ready for this yet, and is about to explain herself when Jacob shouts.
He senses a vampire nearby, and isn't sure what to do. Should he change into a werewolf (they call it "phasing," which is so cool, and much better than my suggested term, "tubnicking-maximum"), or should he drive Bella to safety? He decides to get Bella away from here. But as they drive away from Bella's house, Bella sees Carlisle's car.
Aw crap. Crap. Crap. Double Crap. There are more explicit words I'd like to use. But since this is family-friendly site, I'll go with, Tubnicking-Supreme!
I wouldn't be so disappointed if it were Emmett's jeep that showed up. But Carlisle's car means things are about to get stupid again with talk of ever-lasting-love, how horrible it is to be a vampire, and boring speeches on the subject of potential danger.
Bella is shocked to see Carlisle's car and demands that Jacob stop the truck. She tells him not to worry, and that Carlisle isn't here to hurt her. Jacob still doesn't trust this situation, and rightfully so. It could be Victoria pulling a trick on Bella. (Please tell me it's Victoria pulling a trick on Bella. Please?)
But Bella is stupid, and tells Jacob that this isn't a trick. Jacob is getting mad, and when Bella asks him to drive her back, he says, "No. Take yourself back, Bella." Once again, I'm high-fiving a book.
Bella is stunned at the response. But Jacob explains he can't go back there because it's Cullen territory, and if they catch him breaking the treaty it will start a war. He gets out of the truck and runs away saying, "I really hope you don’t die." You tell her, Jake! Now I'm fist-bumping the book. (I would have chest-bumped the book, but I didn't want to scare away the other people in my dentist's waiting room who are already looking at me in an odd way.)
Bella drives back to her house, nervous and excited about what she'll find when she gets there. She opens the door and as she looks for the light switch, she suddenly remembers why the fire on the water was so familiar. It was Victoria's hair! Vickie was watching Bella in the ocean, and had it not been for Jacob and Sam, Victoria would have killed Bella right then and there on the beach!
She turns the light on and sees someone waiting for her. The chapter ends.
Plot question #958: If Jacob could sense that a vampire was in Bella's house, why didn't Sam and Jacob sense that Victoria was in the water watching Bella earlier? Hand in your answers first thing tomorrow. Please show your work. No partial credit. Answers involving "Werewolves can't smell wet vampires" will not be accepted because that is just silly.
Prediction: Inside the house, Bella finds Carlisle in the kitchen. He looks up and says, "Hey Bella. Sorry for the intrusion, but I was just wondering if could tell me what fruit tastes like. I can't remember. Is it sweet or salty?"
Bella answers, "Fruit is sweet, usually."
Carlisle then snaps his fingers, walks out of the room, and heads to his car muttering, "A-ha. I knew it was sweet. Esme is such a liar…" Bella wishes she had stayed with Jacob.
Read more Dan! Here's the Blogging Twilight Index Page!