Chapter Seven: Repetition
Better Title: Bella Swan? More like Bella Yawn. (ZING!)
The chapter begins with Bella paying a visit to the old Cullen house, the mansion that is hidden away in the forest. She hopes this will somehow stop the nightmares. She also hopes that visiting the now-empty home will trigger one of her Edward hallucinations, like the one she suffered from in Port Angeles. She loves hearing from Dream Edward, even if all he does is yell at her like an angry dad.
She is crazy, and if I had to choose, I'd pick the whiny Bella from the first book over this obsessed lunatic. I'm still holding out hope that in one of these books we'll be introduced to a self-assured, independent Bella or perhaps even a Badass Bella who ends every tough-talking statement with, "Blap Blap!" while making gun gestures with her fingers. But anything would be better than listening to Emo Bella Who Stalks Her Ex's House.
She drives up to the house, and while it looks just as it always did, she senses the emptiness. She stops in front of it, but Dream Edward's voice doesn't say anything or yell at her, so she gets out of her truck and walks up to the porch.
But then she has second thoughts. She doesn't want to look in the windows and see the empty rooms. She's scared of what the sight of Edward's lonely piano might do to her sanity. She backs away, hops in her truck, and heads to Jacob's house. I can't help but wonder if the Cullens were really inside the house the whole time hiding and giggling, like when your annoying schoolmate comes over and you pretend you're not home. (I KNEW YOU WERE HOME, TODD! I could hear the TV, and I knew you weren't sleeping because I heard you sneeze and you can't sneeze if you're sleeping, jerk-bomb!)
Jacob is still as friendly as ever. When she jokingly asks if he would ever get tired of her hanging around, he says that he could never get sick of her. In that case, he'd would love reading this book. As much as I like Jacob, I'm getting a bit impatient with him. He should ask Bella out. If he's too scared to ask her outright, he could bring it up in a roundabout way, such as by saying, "Hey. You wanna play spin the bottle with me, and no one else?"
One of the motorcycles is nearly completed, and Jacob laughs, saying that if he was smart, he wouldn't have worked so fast. He's worried that once the bikes are finished, Bella won't hang out with him. She says she likes chilling with him, regardless of the motorcycle project. She even offers to hang out a few days a week just to do homework together. Though it's not mentioned, after hearing this, Jacob probably ran out to the store to buy sexy soul music, erotic silk boxer shorts, and a robe for their "homework session." Bella sure enjoys leading this poor guy on.
At school, Angela and Mike are friendly towards Bella, but everyone else acts cold and mean. At work, Mike talks with her and she smiles and laughs. She then tells us that chatting and laughing with Mike "seemed harmless enough, until quitting time."
While reading that sentence, lower your voice for the last three words and suddenly Mike seems like a serial killer. And if you stop the entire story right here, you have one heck of surprise ending.
Instead of killing her, Mike asks Bella out…again. She kindly rejects him, saying that she doesn't date. Mike has always been annoying, but now it's getting sad and somewhat creepy. He's the type of guy who will go to the same college as Bella, just to be near her. She needs to reject him in no uncertain times. I suggest saying the following:
"Yo, Mikey. What's your deal, jerk-bomb? I ain't buying what you're selling. Got it? Now leave me alone until I'm out of friends, and then maybe I'll let you talk to me. Peace. I'm out like trout. Blap Blap!"
At home, Bella makes lasagna with Jacob. If that doesn't scream, "We're dating now," nothing does. Sorry, Bella, but if you only liked Jacob as a friend, you shouldn't have cooked with him. And I know that she did all the cooking while he hung out. But it's still a flirty thing to do. Guys don't cook with friends. We joke with friends. We watch TV with friends. We play sports with friends. We do not cook with friends, unless eating cereal right out of the box is considered cooking. Next she'll invite him to prom, as friends. And then they'll get married, as friends. And then they will go to couples counseling, as friends. And then they will get divorced, as friends. Someone needs to take this relationship to the next level, and since Bella is bug nuts crazy, Jacob needs to make the first move.
On Saturday, he comes over again for another homework session. (Homework on a Saturday? Losers.) After homework, when he's about to leave, Bella asks what time she should come up to the garage. He acts a bit coy and says he will call her. Maybe he's finally going to ask her out. Or maybe he can't tell time and doesn't want to look foolish by saying, "Why don't you come up around quarter after thirty?"
The next morning, Bella is trying to get over the bad dream she had. This time in her nightmare, she was lost in the forest near the Cullen house. Again, this is not very scary. Add a screaming zebra and a nasty teacher forcing you to recite "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening" in the nude, and now you have a real nightmare.
Jacob calls and says that the bikes are finally finished. That was the reason he was acting so sly yesterday. Bella is so excited that she rushes out of the house. She arrives at Jacob's house and sees the two motorcycles, one red, one black, hidden under a tree. He even tied a ribbon around the handlebars. You can't tie a ribbon around a lullaby. You also can't drive a lullaby, or look good while straddling a lullaby. Just sayin'. *cough*Jacob-is-better-than-Edward*cough*
After loading the bikes onto Bella's truck, the two head to an isolated area where Bella can learn to ride. They drive by a cliff overlooking the ocean. A group of young men are standing on the cliff and one of them leaps off. Bella screams and hops out of the car, thinking the man just fell to his death. But Jacob laughs and explains that these guys are cliff diving. (Note: Never invite the naïve, overreacting Bella to a magic show because she will probably scream, "The rabbit!? Where the $#*% did the rabbit go! Call the cops! This guy destroys rabbits with his mind!")
Bella is shocked that people would jump from such a high cliff. Jacob says he cliff dives too, but not from up here. She demands to try cliff diving immediately. Bossy Bella doesn't have much of an attention span, and has obviously forgotten why they came out here in the first place. She's like a dog who chases after a stick, but halfway to the target, decides he'd rather stare at you and pee.
He calms her down and tells her they can't dive right now because it's cold. She gets back in the truck and continues to drive along the road. He says the cliff divers were the La Push gang, and he doesn't seem to like them very much. (Finally, this chapter becomes interesting.) The gang, which is lead by Sam Uley, acts as protectors of the local Native American community. But there's something fishy about them.
Jacob says the gang is always showing off and acting tough. Sam is in his twenties and still hangs out with teenagers, whom Jacob calls Sam's disciples. Jacob then gets quiet. He doesn't like talking about the gang, or maybe he's a bit ticked off because he just spent a lot of time and energy fixing Bella's motorcycles, when he could have pushed her off a cliff instead and she would be just as happy.
They arrive at the secluded spot, and Jacob hauls the bikes off of the truck. He offers Bella the red one, and now she's getting a little scared about riding it. Perhaps to buy some time before actually hopping on the death machine, the nosy Bella pries more into Jacob's hatred for Sam.
Jacob says Sam treats him oddly. Ever since he was young, no one cared much about Jacob, even though his dad was, more or less, in charge of the reservation. But now something has changed, and Sam seems very interested in him. Maybe Sam is forming a bowling team and thinks Jacob has the skill needed to take team "Green Eggs and Sam" to victory.
Jacob's friend Embry has become one of Sam's disciples, and it scares Jacob to think that Sam has some sort of persuasive power over these guys. Embry missed a week of school, and when he came back, he acted differently, like he was terrified of something. After that week, Embry started hanging out with Sam and the gang. Jacob describes it as some sort of cult.
He says the same thing happened to a guy named Paul. He went missing for a week, and then came back as one of Sam's groupies. Now Sam is looking at Jacob funny, as if he's next on the cult's membership list (or bowling team roster).
Bella asks if Jacob talked to his dad about this, and Jacob says his dad was not very helpful, saying cryptic things like, "It's nothing you need to worry about now." I know the feeling. I got similar advice when I asked my folks what's in pepperoni.
This part of the book is great. The cult is genuinely creepy. I'm assuming that these teens go away for a week, turn into werewolves, and come back feeling scared and violated. I'm also going to make an educated guess that Sam Uley isn't a nice guy, and might be the villain of this book. That's too bad. I was really hoping that all werewolves were good guys, in the same way that all firefighters, Marines, and Ghostbusters are heroes. Now I only hope that if Sam is an evil werewolf, he's really, really mean, and not just some hungry dude who has access to a ballet studio and a VCR.
Bella promises Jacob that everything will be OK, and that if things get bad, he can always stay at Charlie's place. He hugs her, but she still thinks this is a friend hug, and not a lover hug.
Bella, you idiot, kiss Jacob and marry him and have babies and live happily ever after as a fun-loving motorcycle couple that bikes around the country solving crimes and going above the law when the law just won't do. It would be the perfect life. Besides, Bella Black sounds like a superhero (or a delicious energy drink) whereas Bella Cullen sounds like a line of affordable undergarments: The Bella Cullen Collection.
Jacob stops being quiet, and his happy demeanor returns. They joke around about who is older, and Jacob compares her pale skin to his darker skin, saying, "I've never seen anyone paler than you…well, except for – ". He stops because he doesn't want to upset her, but he was probably going to say "Edward," or "albino pigs."
They then get ready to ride the motorcycles.
Prediction: After riding bikes, Jacob finally builds up enough courage to ask Bella out. He's been waiting for this moment for weeks, and memorized his carefully chosen words perfectly. He opens his mouth and says, "Um…hey…um, Bell. I was thinking. I don't know. Um…maybe, if you like to eat food. Do you think maybe we can eat food together at, like, a restaurant…together? Alone? Um…No, I'm just kidding. [nervous laughter] That was a funny joke, right? I really had you going, didn't I, buddy? Ha ha. I'm just messing around. Let's go make lasagna and not kiss. Not kissing is my favorite!" He then speed walks to the truck and doesn't say another word for the rest of the book.