Chapter Twenty-Three: The Truth
Better Title: The Glower Hour
Can someone explain this chapter to me? I understand what happens in the story, but the conversations between Bella and Edward are written in a code that I'm not able to crack. (So far, I've established it's not written in English or semaphore. And holding the book up to a mirror revealed nothing.) Perhaps the author just plucked random bits of dialogue from soap operas and made-for-TV movies, mixed them all up, and threw them into this chapter randomly.
For the first three pages of the chapter, Bella thinks everything that happened in Italy was a dream. Even when Edward (who watched her sleep all night) speaks to her, she thinks she's dreaming. Once she rubs her eyes and gets a good look at him, she assumes she died after jumping from the cliff. Why else would he be with her? She tries to determine if she's in heaven or hell. Edward says, "I can't imagine what you could have done to wind up in hell."
Oh gee, I don't know. What could possible send Bella to Hades for all eternity? Maybe she once said a swear word. Or maybe she didn't eat her veggies. Or maybe it's the fact that she ignores the thousands of innocent people who are dying in Italy right now at the hands of the Volturi vampires! Sorry. Sorry. I assumed all my anger had been left on the pages of the last blog, but I was wrong. I'll try to keep it together.
Edward explains that their trip to Italy was real, and tells Bella that she's been asleep for nearly fourteen hours. Charlie told Edward never to come back into his house, so Edward is breaking the rules by sneaking in to watch Bella sleep.
Bella flips out. She's angry at her dad for banning Edward from his house. I'm siding with Charlie. Why would Bella assume Charlie would just let Edward come back? Did she honestly expect the conversation to happen like this:
EDWARD: Hey Charlie. Mind if I come in?
CHARLIE: Not at all, silly goose. Come right in. Go upstairs and watch Bella sleep. Just try not to ruin her life again. OK?
EDWARD: I make no promises.
CHARLIE: Well, that's good enough for me. Can I call you "son"?
Edward offers Bella an apology. He didn't know that Victoria was going to strike again, and he feels awful for leaving Bella unprotected. He especially feels bad for making her turn to the werewolves for support. He describes them as "immature, volatile, and the worst things out there besides Victoria." Whoa! Back the truck up.
First, werewolves rule.
Second, does Edward honestly think werewolves are evil? The same werewolves who don't kill innocent people? The same werewolves who saved Bella's life while he was being a doofus? The same werewolves who have more humanity and compassion in their tails than Edward and all the Cullens have put together? The same werewolves who aren't afraid to fight, and, in fact, go looking for a evil instead of running away from it? The same werewolves who have unmentioned jetpacks? Are those the werewolves that Eddie thinks are so horrible? I wonder who else is on his "worst things" list? A few guesses:
4. Tom Hanks
Third, Edward ran away to kill himself after learning from an unreliable source that Bella was dead. I'd consider that action to be both immature and volatile, wouldn't you? People in immature glass houses shouldn't throw volatile stones, Eddie.
Fourth, werewolves rule.
As Edward continues to apologize, Bella tries to make him stop. She doesn't want him to feel guilty about putting her in danger. She tells him that none of this was his fault (but it was). She assumes that he wanted to commit suicide out of guilt for leaving her unprotected.
But he says that's not true. He wanted to die because he does not want to live in a world without a Bella. (I feel the same way about Twizzlers, so I know where he's coming from…for once.)
He admits that he was stupid for not checking out the information about Bella's death before jaunting off to Italy. He even acknowledges that the series of events that lead to his suicide attempt were pretty coincidental. I half-expected him to add, "See Bella, the only reason I left you and then tried to kill myself was because Stephenie Meyer made me. She also makes me murmur, mutter, and glower all the time."
At this point in the chapter, the conversation becomes muddled and confusing. There's talk about remembering what the other person said before, and what those things meant. Someone mentions a forest. They talk about lies. I think someone murmurs and mutters at the same time. There may have also been some glowering.
From what I gather, Edward loves Bella. Bella loves Edward. After Jasper attacked Bella, Edward had to leave…for some reason. (I'm still not clear on that part). When they broke up in the forest, Eddie lied to Bella by saying he didn't want her anymore. In fact, he wanted her very much. But he couldn't tell her that because he wanted her to be able to move on. So he acted like a jerk-bomb. And his plan eventually worked because after a few months, she was finally moving on thanks to the ridiculously awesome Jacob.
Did I get all of that correct? I could go back and reread this part of the book, but I don't want to. The sooner I get this done, the sooner I can reward myself with Twizzlers. (I tie them into knots before eating them, because they taste better that way…despite what the producers of Mythbusters keep telling me in curtly worded email responses.)
When Edward explains that he will always want Bella, she stares at him, mystified. He then shakes her shoulders, which is rather odd and somewhat abusive. She says this all must be a dream because why would he want to be with her at all? He says she is an idiot. I agree. Also, didn't this exact same conversation occur about seven times in the last book? (I know this because there are seven dents in my wall from when I threw the first book across the room.)
There's more talk about having hurt feelings and being able to move on. Ed asks Bella if she still loves him, and she answers,"Duh!" (I'm paraphrasing). To convince Bella that this is no dream, he goes in for a passionate kiss. It's so passionate that it takes up two lengthy paragraphs of naughty description.
During these two paragraphs I begin to think about those tanning mirrors people hold under their chins in movies and on TV. I've never seen one of those in real life. Have you? Can you buy them? Maybe "neck and chin tanning mirrors" are another fabrication of Hollywood, just like Light Sabers and Blair Witches. What do you call those mirrors, anyway?
When the kiss is over, Edward reassures Bella that he's not going away. He tries to rationalize why he left in the first place, mentioning that he wanted her to have a shot at living a normal life. But now he doesn't want to leave because…of some reason. (Not sure what that reason is. Probably has something to do with passion and souls.)
He tries to explain how much Bella means to him by comparing her to a comet in the moonless sky that is his life. Wow. This chapter just keeps on going, huh? There is a lot more talk about hearts, love, and hollow, empty lives.
Can I be done now? No? Well can I blog about something else for the next few paragraphs?
I could blog about the commercial that's on right now. It's about a fiber cereal, and that guy who's in other commercials is in this commercial. You know that guy, right? He's like, a middle-aged dude. He's in all kind of ads. I think he was on The Wire. Anyway, he's talking about fiber. No wait! I'm thinking of some other guy from The Wire. Never mind.
The Wire is a good show. Can I blog about that instead? See, it's not until you watch all five seasons of The Wire that you truly appreciate the Dickensian nature of the story. It's genuinely epic. Or I could blog about corn and acorns, and how the two words are similar, yet one is a vegetable and the other is an inedible nut. That's funny, right? No? Crap. On with the story…
Edward explains that while he was away, he was trying to track Victoria, because he felt obligated to kill her after what James did to Bella. But Edward is a horrible tracker, and went looking for her in Brazil, when in fact Victoria was back in Forks.
How did this happen? Why did he go to Brazil?
EDWARD: Now, if I were Victoria, where would I go to seek revenge? Would I go back to Forks to kill the only woman I ever loved? No. That's silly. Would I go to Florida to kidnap Bella's mother? Ha! That's laughable because it's too easy. Hmm. Wait! I've got it! Brazil! Pack my Glower Goggles, 'cause I'm heading to South America, baby!
By the way, Emmett killed James, right? So why is Victoria going after Bella and not Emmett? This is like if your boyfriend breaks your heart, and you seek revenge by attacking your boyfriend's brother's clumsy girlfriend. It seems misguided.
Edward thinks it should be easy to find and kill Vickie now that he knows she's hanging around Forks. Bella hates the idea of him trying to kill Victoria (she still assumes Victoria is the Voldemort of vampires, I guess). Plus, she says she has more important matters than Victoria to deal with.
Bella is worried about the Volturi coming to Forks to check if Edward and Alice made good on their promise to turn her into a vampire. But Edward says that since vampires are immortal, they don't perceive time the same way humans do, and it may be a while before they come to Forks. Bella might be thirty years old by the time Aro and the gang decide to check on things.
This sets Bella off. She hated turning eighteen, and the mention of thirty makes her sick, because it suggests Edward has no intention of turning her into a vampire. She argues with him, but he says he wants her to live a human life. Then there is more talk about souls, but nothing beats my favorite line from earlier in the book, "This is about my soul, isn't it?" (P.S. If that line is in the movie, I want it as my ringtone. Not joking.)
She reminds Edward that she will die some day, in the hopes that this will convince him to transform her into a vampire. He says that when she dies, he will follow right behind her. (Don't believe him, Bella. It a trap! Just like the time my brother told me that if I ate a live caterpillar, he would do it to. But he never did! He just pointed and laughed, and that's exactly what Edward will do too.)
She then argues that the Volturi will come back and see that she is still human. Edward says with a grin, "I have a few plans." At the risk of spoiling the next books, I believe I already know what Edward's plans are:
Step One: Put Bella's hair down.
Step Two: Run away and let Emmett and Jacob handle it.
Step Three: Continue to search for Victoria in outer space, which is the most logical place she'd be.
Step Four: Move to Detroit, change his name, and begin a new life as private investigator Leroy Munny.
Bella assumes that whatever plans Edward is concocting, they all involve her remaining human, and this makes her mad. Then, not only does Edward glower, but Bella glowers too. It's a glower party! Good thing I've been practicing. (The trick is to not worry so much about your nostrils. Let the lips do all of the work!)
Bella gets up and puts her shoes on. She tells Eddie that she's going to the Cullens' house to take a vote on whether or not she should be turned into a vampire. Edward, realizing there's little he can do to stop her, offers to give her a ride. And I honestly cannot believe a book that had the potential to be very cool is ending in such a disappointing manner.
Prediction: Bella makes her case to the Cullens, arguing that she should be turned into a vampire. Then, on little slips of paper, they vote by anonymously answering the question, "Should Bella be made into a vampire?" Three people wrote "Yes." Three people wrote, "No." And one person writes, "Whatever. Let's go head butt some tigers."
Looking for more Dan? Here ya go.