Chapter Six: Switzerland
Better Title: Kidnapping is Fun for the Whole Family
Freedom is so overrated. I was wrong to criticize Edward's manipulative, abusive behavior towards Bella. It's obvious that he's only trying to protect her, and if protecting her means kidnapping her and holding her hostage, well…maybe I can look the other way, because it's all about love. Plus, he did buy her a new bed. Edward, you are one class act, and I wish you and your prisoner nothing but good fortune and grand times ahead. (My "sarcasm" hand is raised so high, and I'm stretching my fingertips with so much force, I fear my knuckles will lock into place and my fingers will shoot off my hand like Nerf bullets.)
I hate the scheming Edward. I hate the greedy Alice. I hate the apathetic Esme. I hate the rude Rosalie. And I particularly hate Carlisle, because he was built up as the most reasonable vampire of this clan, the one who made peace with the werewolves, but if he's letting Bella be held captive by his wife and kids, then he is nothing but an evil, awful, illogical buffoon.
This chapter is horrible. Or rather, what the Cullens do to Bella is horrible. The section of this chapter starring Angela is actually quite good.
It all begins with Bella leaving Jacob and driving to Angela's house to help Angela fill out graduation announcements. On the way, Bella looks in her rearview mirror and sees Edward following her in his Volvo. She knew that visiting Jacob was a no-no, and she was prepared to get a scolding from Mr. Dreamy Eyes, but she didn't expect him to follow her like a serial killer. This is beyond ridiculous. There are so many things wrong here that I don't know where to start.
First, why is Edward worried? I understand that Alice can't see visions of Bella when she's with Jacob. But Bella had decided to go to Angela's house later. Alice should have seen this and told Edward, "Dude, Bells be going over to Ang's house, yo. It's all good."
Second, why is Edward driving? If he wanted to secretly keep an eye on Bella, why not just run and hide in the bushes? I thought vampires could run super-fast.
And third, if Edward is being an overprotective prick, why not give Bella a damn cell phone? Then he could be that annoying guy who keeps calling and texting his girlfriend to check on her, which is slightly better than following her around in his car. Slightly.
Bella tries to ignore his car, and is somewhat relieved when she stops at Angela's house and Edward continues driving. But to me, this is even scarier. The least Edward can do is roll down his window and talk to Bella. Driving past her without a word is callous and evil, the type of behavior you'd associate with Hannibal Lecter, not Romeo.
Angela invites Bella into her room, and the two friends begin to fill out envelopes. This scene is nice, simple, and above all, real. I've said it before, but this book is at its best when the characters are acting like teenagers, instead of melodramatic sad sacks who throw reason and logic out the window for the sake of moving the plot in a certain direction.
Bella notices that the house is quiet, and asks where Angela's parents went. Angela says they went to a birthday party in Port Angeles. (No! Angela, call the cops. If your folks went to the realm of horror that is Port Angeles, they've probably been mugged three times already and murdered twice.)
As they address the envelopes, they talk about relationships. Angela asks about Edward, but Bella is reluctant to offer up any information. She's sworn to secrecy about the world of monsters. (Though it seems if you break this promise and reveal the secret, your punishment is hugs and kisses.) Bella stops herself from going into any more detail, and they change topics and discuss college.
Angela and her boyfriend Ben are both attending the University of Washington, which makes Bella nervous because she knows there is an e-vamp on the prowl in Seattle. She hopes that by the time Angela and Ben arrive, the vampire will have moved on. Of course, if she really cared about Angela, she would warn Ang about the monsters.
I guess Bella only cares about vampires and protecting their secrets. If Angela told Bella that she was going to the University of Volterra, Bella would probably say, "Cool. Um, you might want to be careful, because in Volterra there are…delicious ice cream stands and you might get addicted. (giggle)"
They continue to work on the envelopes. After a while Angela's boyfriend returns, and Bella takes the cue to leave. When she arrives home, Bella becomes nervous. She knows that the awful Edward Cullen is most likely waiting to scold, punish, and perhaps spank Bella for disobeying his "Never See Jacob" rule. She opens the door to her room, and sees the idiot standing stoically against the wall.
If you are dating a senseless vampire jerk, and you find him waiting for you in a darkened room, and he looks angry, don't go into that room. Call for help. Summon the werewolves with your werewolf call (three short whistles, followed by a loud howl). If the werewolves are busy being awesome, call me. I will gladly come over and beat your vampire boyfriend up. But whatever you do, stay away from the overreacting dumbass.
And don’t give me that crap about how Edward is simply trying to protect Bella because he's nice and caring. A nice caring boyfriend does not follow his girlfriend's car. A nice caring boyfriend does not make his girlfriend abide by ridiculous rules and restrictions. A nice caring boyfriend would never sit and wait in the dark for his girlfriend to return home so he can yell at her. (Also, a nice caring boyfriend agrees to see a romantic comedy if his girlfriend agrees to see Avatar.)
The infuriated Edward starts by saying that he almost crossed over into werewolf territory to "rescue" Bella from the evil wolves. Just when I think this series will end with Edward berating Bella to death, she (finally) fights back, saying the werewolves are not dangerous. And she's right. She's soooooo right. The werewolves exist only to protect humans from vampires (as is my understanding) and fly around with jetpacks (as is my greatest wish).
Bella and Edward continue to argue. She asks him not to overreact next time she visits Jacob, and he says, "There isn't going to be a next time." Ugh. I'm done. Even if Edward buys me a wonderful Christmas present, after which he finds a cure for cancer and poverty, I will still hate him for being such a foolish, short-sighted, controlling dork-bag.
Is this really what some women want from a boyfriend? Do they really enjoy being treated like a child? Do they enjoy being spoken to without any respect? If that's the case, I need to go tell a special someone that I refuse to see Did You Hear About the Morgans, and instead will be seeing Avatar…twice!
Bella asks if Edward is jealous of Jacob, and he raises an eyebrow. I'm jealous of Jacob, but not because of his relationship with Bella (he can have her). I'm jealous of his werewolf powers, and his presumably normal-sized wrists.
Edward is unwilling to compromise, and still forbids Bella from seeing Jacob. She then says that in the world of monsters, she considers herself Switzerland, meaning she is neutral. I would guess that in this analogy, Edward is a tiny, boring nation, perhaps the Principality of Lichtenstein, and Jacob is an awesome, badass country, such as the futuristic dystopian version of Australia from the Mad Max movies.
They agree to disagree and the fight, kind of, sort of, ends. Because Edward had to cut his hunting trip short so that he could pathologically stalk his lover, he needs to go hunting again. Bella is going to see Jacob while Edward is away, and isn't afraid to tell Edward this fact. Way to go, Bells!
But things don't work out as she expected. Instead, this book takes a turn for the worse. When Alice, instead of Edward, arrives to pick Bella up from work on Thursday, Bella becomes suspicious. Alice explains that Edward left for his hunting trip early, which I guess is an acceptable excuse for the Forks School District. (Does anyone in this book go to school?)
Alice locks the car doors and speeds off. First sign of trouble. She says Bella will be having a sleepover at the Cullen house for the next few days, and they have already cleared things with Charlie.
I have no idea how they managed to do that. I thought Charlie was angry with the Cullens for ditching his daughter and then taking her away for three mysterious days to Italy. Maybe he forgot about all that while he was busy growing old alone.
Alice tells Bella, "You're staying with me two nights, and I will drive you to and from school tomorrow." Creepy, right? Bella half-jokingly accuses Alice of kidnapping her, and Alice responds, "Sorry. He paid me off." It seems that Edward gave Alice a Porsche in exchange for Alice agreeing to take Bella hostage, thereby preventing Bella from seeing Jacob.
Can we take a step back? Why couldn't Alice buy her own damn Porsche? Since Alice has (nonsensical) psychic powers, I would assume she would have more money than the rest of Cullens. Did she blow all of her finances on bubble gum and Zhu Zhu pets?
Alice argues, "You don't seem to grasp how dangerous a young werewolf can be. Especially when I can't see them. Edward has no way to know if you're safe. You shouldn't be so reckless." This is her excuse for imprisoning Bella while Edward is out eating mountain lions?
This. Does not. Make sense.
The werewolves have never harmed Bella. Meanwhile, Jasper nearly killed her. I hate you, Alice. I hate your powers. I hate your stupid Porsche. I hate that you were all too willing to go along with Edward's dumb plan in exchange for a shiny gift. But what's worse is that Carlisle must have approved of this friendly kidnapping. Is Dr. Cullen really that dense? Does he truly believe that the werewolves are deadly killers, even though they have never killed anyone? Does he think kidnapping a teenage girl is appropriate behavior? If so, Dr. C. is off my Christmas card list. (Good news, Tyler, you're back on my list!)
Alice just laughs off the idea that kidnapping Bella is wrong. She seems excited to have a slumber party, saying, "I'll give you a pedicure and everything." Well, isn't she the world's happiest prison guard?
At the Cullen house, Esme brings in some Italian food that she bought in Port Angeles, where she was probably mugged and set on fire. Bella sits with Esme, Alice, and Rosalie and watches movies…against her will.
Bella is annoyed, and rightfully so. She asks where she is going to sleep, since the Cullens do not own beds. Alice says she can sleep in Edward's room; he has a big couch. She then asks if she can go home to grab some clothes and whatnot. But Alice says that won't be necessary because they have already collected everything she needs for the next two days.
Bella asks if she can make a phone call. She needs to tell Jacob that she can't see him this weekend. Alice reluctantly allows this. Bella calls Jake and says their plans for the weekend are off. He reads between the lines and understands that Edward doesn't want her to see him. Bella tries to make light of the situation and jokes about being held prisoner.
The amazing, awesome, terrific Jacob then says, "We'll come and get you," implying that he and the other wolves would rescue Bella from the clutches of the evil Cullens. This my favorite line in the entire series.
Please, please, please let the werewolves help Bella. This could be my Christmas and Hanukkah present. And I won't ask for anything for Arbor Day this year. Please!? I promise I'll be good! I will accept any type of rescue mission, even if it's written in a vague, confusing, Stephenie Meyer-esque action sentence: "And then the werewolves did things in the room and more things happened, and then Bella was glowerlously rescued."
Bella tells Jake that the Cullens are only trying to keep her safe, and that everything is fine and dandy. She hangs up and calls Edward. He doesn't answer the phone because he's probably killing a mountain lion, or sniffing Bella's dirty clothes, or making a cage for Bella out of solid gold and platinum.
She leaves him a teasingly angry message, saying that he's in trouble the next time she sees him. I imagine that she will punish him by kissing his neck later.
Bella says she's sleepy and Alice shows her to Edward's room, where Bella finds a giant, luxurious bed. Edward bought it to make Bella's captivity nice and pleasant. She is shocked. While she gets ready for bed, she tells us that the Cullens' overprotective behavior is "irritating." No, Bella. Mosquito bites are irritating. People who push the elevator button more than once are irritating. Missing shoes are irritating. What the Cullens are doing to you is not irritating. It's criminal.
Bella hops into bed and soon hears a knock at the door. She assumes it's Alice, but it's Rosalie. Rose asks if she can come in, and the chapter ends…erotically.
Glowers: 0 (Book Total: 7)
Murmurs: 2 (Book Total: 17)
The next night, Bella calls Jacob once again.
BELLA: Hey Jake.
JACOB: Hi Bella. How's it going at the Cullen Prison?
BELLA: Stop it, Jake. They're just trying to protect me.
JACOB: I think they're taking things too far.
BELLA: Well, last night they did saw off my toes.
BELLA: It's no big deal. They just didn't want me to be able to run, or tip-toe. Whatever.
JACOB: No! Bella, that's not "whatever." This is dangerous.
BELLA: And they did chain me to the radiator. I asked Alice why, and she just giggled and screamed, "Girls' night!" She's a hoot.
JACOB: Bella! You idiot! They're enslaving you.
BELLA: They also permanently blinded me with chemicals. It's so annoying.
JACOB: I'm coming to save you!
BELLA: No, Jake. It's OK. Really. They just didn't want me to be able to look at things that are dangerous. I guess I can understand that. The Cullens are so sweet and nice.
BELLA: Later, Esme is going to tear out my tongue, so this is probably the last time I can ever talk to you. Crazy, right? But I can't complain. They got me a bed! A big pretty one!
JACOB: (STRAPS ON JETPACK AND GRABS CROSSBOW) I'm on my way.
BELLA: Oh Jake. You're being silly. But if you are coming to rescue me, bring me a sleeveless shirt. I no longer have arms. I'll explain later. Bye-bye.
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