Blogging New Moon: Part 2
Dan Bergstein, SparkLife contributor, is reading New Moon and blogging about it.
Need to read the first installments? Catch up here.
Chapter Two: Stitches
Better title: Bella's Boo-Boo Ends The World
Despite the setup from the end of the last chapter, no one eats Bella. Emmett and Rosalie escort the hungry Jasper outside, probably to give him a rabbit to munch on or treat him to a monkey (I assume monkey blood taste like human blood, only a bit tangier). Edward and Alice try to stick around, but the blood, and the tension it caused, is too much for them and they both leave Carlisle alone with Bella.
Everyone is acting way too dramatic. It's not like Jasper killed Bella. He didn't even lick her, or try to sop up some of her blood with bread. The Cullens need to relax. Accidents happen. I bet if a similar situation occured at a werewolf's house, the wolves would just laugh it off and then get back to wrestling sharks.
Carlisle offers to drive Bella to the emergency room, but she says she'd rather have him treat her here at their house. As Carlisle begins stitching her wound, she asks him a few questions, such as how can he be around blood all the time and not freak out like Jasper. Carlisle says it comes from years of practice and experience. I'd hate to have been his first patient, or worse, his malpractice insurer.
Since Carlisle spends so much time working at the hospital, Bella wonders if the constant exposure to blood has built up his resistance and willpower. That's understandable. It's a lot like a chocolate factory employee who is so sick of seeing candy all day that she never touches the stuff, or a swimsuit photographer who is so tired of scantly clad models that he can only get turned on by women wearing thick sweaters and astronaut space suits.
Bella tries to take her mind off of her injury, and continues talking with Carlisle. She asks what made him turn to medicine, since a vampire doctor makes about as much sense as an alcoholic bar owner.
He says that he became a doctor not out of guilt about being a vampire, but because he loves to help people. OK, but I still don't get why he chose a profession where he's surrounded by blood. If I were him, and I had a strong desire to help people, I'd become a massage therapist instead. Not only do massage therapists help people, but the only way someone can die on a massage table is from extreme pleasure or a stray bullet.
After Carlisle finishes cleaning and sewing up Bella, she asks why he chose to fight his evil vampire nature and become a good guy. He says his decision to be good has less to do with making amends for being a monster, and more to do with his strong belief in God. Things begin to get a bit preachy here, and I tune out and start tapping The William Tell Overture against the book cover. I get a pretty good beat going as the two characters debate the existence of vampire souls.
Carlisle believes there is a point to everything, a meaning to life, and that even vampires have a capacity for good and a reason for living. Bella agrees, and he's a bit taken aback, since no one, not even his family members, agrees with him. I've stopped thumping The William Tell Overture and am trying to focus.
According to Carlisle, Edward believes in God and heaven and hell, but doesn't think vampires are included in that scenario. To Edward, vampires are soulless beings. Carlisle then asks if Bella would be willing to take a soul. And then there's more chatter about choices, souls, and responsibility. I think they're talking about the prospect of Bella becoming a vampire, but honestly, I reread this section a few times and I'm still not sure what is being said. It seems like a bunch of gibberish. A more clearly worded back-and-forth may have helped, and I offer the following suggestion:
CARLISLE: God is real and vampires are good.
BELLA: I know!
CARLISLE: That's so cool. No one else believes me.
BELLA: Not even Edward?
CARLISLE: Edward doesn't believe he has a soul.
BELLA: That's stupid. I like Edward's eyeballs.
CARLIISLE: But Bella, would you be willing to take a soul if it meant the soul you took was a soul that was missing a soul, and that the missing soul was also the soul of another soul?
BELLA: Yes. I understand exactly what you mean.
CARLISLE: Yay! Wanna go eat hamsters?
BELLA: [Sarcastically] No, Carlisle. I don't want to eat hamsters. [Super excited] Of course I want to eat hamsters, silly goose. I'll grab the hammer, you get the tiny net.
Carlisle then reveals a bit about Edward's real mother, Elizabeth Masen, who was suffering from the same influenza that killed her husband and infected her son (both named Edward). Elizabeth was on death's door and was still trying to help her son, who was also in bad shape. Before dying, Elizabeth, as if sensing Carlisle's vampire powers, begged him to do whatever he could to save her son. Carlisle, who was lonely and had been thinking about making a vampire buddy, decided to transform the dying Edward Masen into the vampire Edward Cullen.
If I were a lonely vampire, the first person I would transform into my vampire buddy would not be some sad, recently-orphaned teenager. For my eternal friend, I would choose an attractive young lady, or a ninja, or Abe Lincoln. Or maybe a good, loyal dog would be the best undead companion.
This brings up another question: Can a vampire infect a species other than human beings? Can they make vampire hawks? Vampire worms? Vampire oak trees? And if a vampire infects another vampire, does that vampire become super powered? Maybe a second vampire just grows out of his back like a tumor.
Because I can't seem to find Stephenie Meyer's phone number, I will try to answer all vampire combination questions myself, in a forthcoming 900-page single-spaced reference book entitled Vampire Plus One Equals Fun.
Back to the story. Carlisle asks if he can take Bella to her house, and Edward pops in saying that he will escort her home, but first she needs to change out of the bloody clothes or else Charlie will freak out at the sight of her. Alice gives Bella one of Rosalie's shirts to wear. Bella asks if Jasper is OK, and Alice says he's really upset at himself for acting like that. Bella feels awful about the whole silly mess, but everyone tries to reassure her that it was no one's fault.
Alice gives Bella her remaining, unopened birthday presents. Then Edward and Bella drive off in silence. She can't handle the awkwardness and finally asks for forgiveness, prompting Edward to say she has nothing to be sorry for, and that everything was his fault. The blame game is played quite a bit in his chapter, and to help make everyone feel better, I decree that the accident was all Eric's fault. If Eric had been more attractive and charming, Bella would have fallen for him instead of Edward, and none of this would have happened.
They arrive at Bella's house, and she pleads with Edward to stay the night. (He usually watches her sleep because he's a pervert. But they can't have sex because he would kill her, so he's a rather wholesome pervert.) He agrees to stay because it's her birthday.
He sneaks into her room with her birthday present, as Bella goes through the front door and quickly says goodnight to her dad. In her room, Edward helps Bella open the first present since her arm is injured. Carlisle and Esme have given her and Edward plane tickets to Florida so that they can go visit her mom and her mom's boyfriend (husband? sugar daddy?) Phil. Bella loves the gift, and Edward starts to think that maybe he should have spent money on the gift her got her, since she's now a birthday princess who loves expensive presents.
But Bella says she'll love whatever his present is. He opens it for her, and inside is a blank CD. He plops the disc into her CD player, and she wells up with tears at the sound: Eddie made a mix CD of his own songs for Bella. The first song is the lullaby he wrote for her, and the rest of the CD probably includes such Eddie C. hits as "Dolphin Blood Hangover" and "Lions, and Tigers, and Bears…Oh Yum!"
Bella complains that her arm hurts, and Edward grabs some painkillers from the hallway. He returns, she takes the meds, and then he puts her to bed. Before falling asleep, she asks for one more birthday present: a kiss. A typical Edward/Bella smooch ensues, but he suddenly becomes more passionate than before, losing control a little bit and rustling up her hair in a hot, sexy manner. Then he ends the kiss. Bella is about to drift off to sleep when she remembers the last time Edward kissed her like that was when he was leaving her to hunt James. It's his goodbye smooch, and this scares Bella. Where's he going?
Prediction: Bella's fears of Edward leaving worsen when he gives her a hug that lasts slightly longer than usual. She also gets suspicious when she spots him at the mall buying a map of Alaska, luggage, and a copy of "Breaking Up With Your Star-Crossed Lover For Dummies."