Chapter Eight: Temper
Better Title: Eww! That’s Just Wrong.
Sadly, the mission to rescue Bella does not end with Jacob slaying the vampires with an automatic crossbow and an out-of-control tractor trailer. Instead, Bella and Jake go back to his house and walk on the beach. Walking on the beach must be Bella’s favorite activity, because she does it all the time. In fact, if I didn’t know better, I would say “walking on the beach” was her code for having sex or using/selling drugs.
If I were hanging out with a werewolf who had just rescued me from the clutches of manipulative vampires, I would not go walking on the beach. I would be informing the werewolf about the various entry points to the Cullen compound, while loading a shotgun and strapping knives to my legs in preparation for “Operation: Thunderclap Leech Kill.”
But not Bella. She just enjoys beach walking, and would probably pass up once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to stroll along a cold, rocky shore.
ASTRONAUT: Hello! And welcome to Space Camp, where your dreams become a reality! What would you like to do first?
BELLA: You got any beaches I could walk on?
BELLA: Because I loooove walking on beaches. It’s kind of my thing. That’s why they call me Beachy Bella. At least, it sounds like that’s what they call me…
ASTRONAUT: Well, there is a beach about thirty miles away. Wouldn’t you rather try out the flight simulator or human centrifuge?
BELLA: Is the human centrifuge a type of beach? Can I walk on it?
BELLA: Will the human centrifuge touch my face?
ASTRONAUT: No. Not really.
BELLA: [LONG SILENCE] Which way was that beach you mentioned?
During their stroll on the beach, Bella asks Jacob about the wolf pack, and he reacts nervously. Something is up in the werewolf community, and after a little prying, Jake finally reveals that Quil has imprinted. That’s fantastic! Way to go!
Quil has found true love with a nice young woman named Claire. Claire is Emily’s niece, and was visiting La Push when Quil locked eyes with her and fell madly in love. It’s all so wonderful and romantic, just like a Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie. Did I mention that Claire is two years old? It doesn’t matter. That’s not important. It’s a sweet, passionate relationship between two people destined to be with each other. It makes your heart fill with joy. (Both sarcasm hands raised. Typing with tongue.)
How? Why? What? There are a lot of goofy things in this book, from Marcus to Dream Edward, but Quil’s budding romance with a two-year-old is beyond silly. What will these two lovers talk about on a date?
QUIL: You look lovely tonight, Claire. Is that OshKosh B’gosh? It’s very becoming.
CLAIRE: You face is funny. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha.
QUIL: Claire, you’re so witty.
CLAIRE: Chicken ‘uggets!
QUIL: Are you hungry?
CLAIRE: I want chicken ‘uggets!
QUIL: I’m not sure they have chicken nuggets on the menu, my love.
CLAIRE: [PUTS HAND ON HEAD] I’m a rabbit!
CLAIRE: Can I go on slide?
QUIL: You mean at the park? Put down the fork, my dearest. It’s not a toy.
CLAIRE: Can I slide at park?
QUIL: But the park is far away. And it’s nighttime.
CLAIRE: Why [unintelligible] the man [unintelligible] a horse? Drum!
QUIL: No, we can’t go on the train tonight, honey. Put down the spoon. Where is your shoe?
CLAIRE: Twinkle! Twinkle! Little! Star! [BANGS SPOON ON THE TABLE]
QUIL: I love you too.
In the book, immediately after Jacob reveals Claire’s age, Stephenie Meyer writes, “Rain started to fall.” That’s because God is crying after hearing about this ridiculous relationship.
Naturally, Bella is confused by Quil’s choice of life partners. Jacob tries to explain that it was not Quil’s decision, and that imprinting is like gravity: useless to defy. According to Jake, Quil will watch over Claire as she grows up, acting as an older brother, and then, when Claire is old enough, Quil will marry her and they will live happily ever after.
This is gross, but in such an over-the-top way that you can’t help but laugh. It’s like finding out that your grandma made adult movies under the name Bendy Wendy. Perhaps Stephenie Meyer is trying to show us that love is ageless. Or perhaps she sat down in front of her typewriter and said, “You know what group always gets a bad reputation? Pedophiles. I plan to change all that. Typewriter, activate!”
Jacob says imprinting occurs when a werewolf sees his mate for the first time. This begs the question: Are blind werewolves lonely? (Find out in my forthcoming epic poem, entitled, “Blind Leroy Falls in Love On the High Seas.”)
Jacob then acts a bit too emo for my taste, and sadly tells Bella, “I’ll never see anyone else, Bella. I only see you.” Come on, Jake. Snap out of it. Where’s the badass I fell in love with (in a friend sort of way)? The one who eats vampires? The one who mouths off to school principals? The one who (probably) strikes matches off the side of his face? I’m not a fan of this sad-sack Jake. This is like finding out that Batman cries in the shower, where no one can see his tears.
But not to worry, folks. Jacob is about to become awesome once again.
After Jacob reveals his not-so-secret longing for Bella, she is a little weirded out and thinks about going home. But he assures her that he will stop being creepy, and shoots her the charming smile that she cannot resist.
They ride motorcycles for a while and then go back to Jacob’s house to eat. After dinner, they hang out in the garage and reminisce about how nice things were when Edward was away and Bella spent all of her time at Jake’s, during the months I like to call “Rad-tember” and “Dan-uary.”
Jacob asks if Bella is seriously considering becoming a vampire, and she tells him she’s more than just considering it. He is a little ticked off and says, in an awesome way, “You know what this will mean?” He reminds Bella that if the Cullens bite her, it will nullify the treaty and the werewolves would attack the vampires. (And I will cheer so loudly that my neighbor is going to think I’m watching the end of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, again.)
But Bella once again defends the vampires. Jacob gets angrier as Bella keeps prattling on about how the vampires are nice people. She asks Jacob if he would ever forgive her if she became a vampire. He replies, “You won’t be Bella anymore. My friend won’t exist. There’ll be no one to forgive.”
I love Jacob. Sure, he sounds like a Star Wars villain in this scene, but that’s OK. Star Wars villains are cool. Plus, Jacob’s right. If bratty Bella wants to be a vampire, then she can’t be friends with Jacob anymore.
Deal with it, Belly. Go off to Alaska and eat bears and bigfoots. And then when Edward acts like a strict parent and refuses to let you watch TV because he fears the bright lights might hurt your eyes, you can rush back to Jacob. And Jacob will laugh and say, “Who are you? You’re not Bella. Bella is dead.” And then he will go back to making out with someone better than you (maybe Kristin Bell or a mermaid).
Jacob says they can still be friends for a few years, until Bella makes the transformation. She drops a bomb, telling him that her transformation isn’t years away, but a few short weeks from now. Jacob flips out. He bursts a can of soda in his hand, as his body shakes. (Wolf! Wolf! Wolf!) His wild eyes focus on Bella, as a growl echoes in his chest. Things are about to become amazing…and then it stops. Jacob calms himself down. No werewolf!? Agh!
I get mad and frustrated. My chest shakes. My hands quiver. If I’m ever going to turn into a werewolf, this is what will set it off! Quickly, I try to flex my calf muscles (where I still believe the werewolf “activate” muscle is located), but nothing happens. Still, my head kind of hurts now, and I think my shins are slightly fuzzier. Eh…it’s a start. I just need more practice.
Jacob tries to control himself as Bella explains that she wants to become a vampire right away, before she is too old for Edward. She says, “He’s all I want. What else can I do?”
And Jacob once again proves to be the best character in this book (next to Emmett), by saying, “Anything. Anything else. You’d be better off dead. I’d rather you were.” Take that, little Miss Grumpy Slacks.
Bella doesn’t like Jake's response and yells at him before storming off. I’m no werewolf expert (yet), but I don’t think yelling at a werewolf is a good idea, especially one who is already infuriated, and specifically one who just said he’d rather you were dead.
Bella rides her motorcycle to the Cullens' house. And I really, really, really don’t want to go any further. Things are about to get lame. The story will drag to a halt. And characters are about to do things that make no sense (which isn’t that much of a surprise in these books).
Instead of blogging about what happens next in the book, is it all right if I blog about something more interesting and exciting? Such as botany, or maritime law? See, gang, the thing to remember about maritime law is that cases regarding Limitations of Shipowners Liability must be heard in the federal courts, and should not be handled by state government. I wonder what would happen if a Shipowner was stuck in an elevator with a member of State Government…
SHIPOWNER: This elevator is stuck. I’m going to tell you about my Limitations of Shipowners Liability.
STATE GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL: Don’t be a fool! That’s a problem for the federal courts! This elevator sure is stuck, huh? Let’s tongue kiss.
Screw it. Back to Eclipse…
At the Cullen house, Bella finds Alice sitting on her Porsche. Alice doesn’t seem too upset that Bella ran away to La Push. Bella simply goes to bed. She wakes up in the middle of the night and finds Edward in the room with her.
And then they kiss for pages and pages.
Bella doesn’t seem to mind that the Cullens kidnapped her, held her against her will, and dictated who she can and cannot be friends with. All of those outrages fly right out the window. Because Edward is so freaking hot, she’s not mad at all.
And then Edward changes his mind about holding Bella hostage. He decrees that she can see the werewolves whenever she’d like, and admits he was wrong. What the hell happened? Did I miss the chapter where Jacob knocks some sense into Edward with a sledgehammer? A few days ago, Edward destroyed Bella’s truck to prevent her from seeing Jacob. Yesterday, he had his family conspire in a plot to kidnap Bella in an effort to prevent her from seeing Jacob. But now…he doesn’t care?
Maybe next Edward will tell Bella that she doesn’t need to go to college, and instead advises her to become a motorcycle stunt driver or professional cliff diver.
During this multi-page love-fest there is a lot of touching, and talk of restraint and self-control. Bella seems anxious to get it on with Edward, but he keeps reminding her that he would kill her if they became too passionate. I doubt that.
Bella seems ready to have “naked fun time” with Edward right now, if only he weren’t going to kill her in the process. But what would really happen if Edward and Bella had sex? I’m not interested in the naughty details (OK, maybe a little), but I’m curious how and why Edward would kill her. Would he forget that he loved her, and bite her neck? He’s already bitten her once before, in the first book after the James attack. So I think the guy could control himself a little bit, and not murder his one true love.
I think the real reason Edward is denying Bella sex is that he doesn’t know how to do it. I may be wrong, but I think Edward is a 110-year-old virgin. I understand that he wanted to wait for the right person. That’s very noble. But come on, dude! 110 years without so much as a one-night stand? I think there’s something else behind Edward’s chastity. Eddie grew up in a time when sex wasn’t talked about openly. He probably has no idea what to do in the bedroom. For over a century he’s been using his monstrous tendencies as an excuse to avoid sex. The poor guy is just nervous.
I imagine when Bella and Edward finally do take things to the next level, it will be awkward, quick, and filled with Edward’s gentle whispers of, “Is that normal? Is that right? That doesn’t feel right. Eww. Please don’t laugh. Are you OK? Is that supposed to happen? Why can’t I stop crying?”
Anyway, the cuddle fest continues. Edward apologizes for being mean. Bella apologizes for being dangerous. They murmur and touch and kiss and snuggle. They talk about beds. They talk about passion. And it just keeps going, and going, and going. The chapter ends with Edward humming Bella’s lullaby, and Bella falling fast asleep…despite being sexually frustrated.
Glowers: 0 (Book Total: 7 Starting to worry about this one, guys)
Murmurs: 4 (Book Total: 23)
Jacob calls Bella with more news regarding the wolf pack.
BELLA: What’s up, dork. Still wish I were dead?
JACOB: No. Sorry about that.
BELLA: It’s all good. Want to hold me in a platonic way, later?
JACOB: Sure. But can I ask you something first?
BELLA: OK. Shoot.
JACOB: Will you go with me to Embry’s wedding?
BELLA: Embry’s getting married?
JACOB: Yeah. He imprinted last night. It’s pretty exciting.
BELLA: Who’s the lucky gal? Don’t tell me it’s another baby.
JACOB: No. It’s nothing like that. He’s going to marry a wheelbarrow.
JACOB: Her name is Karen.
BELLA: But…that’s not right.
JACOB: I knew you’d act like this. You’re so ignorant, Bella. Embry and Karen love each other. It’s not gross. It’s beautiful.
BELLA: I didn’t say it was gross. It’s odd, though.
JACOB: He saw her at the garden center, and fell in love instantly. He became very protective of her. It’s kind of sweet.
JACOB: I can’t believe how judgmental you are. It’s people like you that attacked my great-great grandfather when he married a walrus. And I suppose you think it’s funny that my great uncle dated a pile of leaves named Denise. You just don’t understand werewolf culture, Bella. I hate you! I wish you were dead! By the way, the wedding is this Saturday at my house.
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