Twilight Chapter 20

So without any transition, Bella wakes up. She’s in a boring bland generic hotel room, which matches her personality perfectly. Also, so much for her insistence that she’s totally old enough to have her own place, since they’re holing up in a Motel 6.

 
I tried to remember how I got here, but nothing came at first.

“I know it involved a conveyer belt, an 18-wheeler, a country-western band and a gallon of margarita mix… but after that it’s all a blank.”

 
I did remember the sleek black car, the glass in the windows darker than that on a limousine.

… so she DOES remember how she got there. Does Bella not make the connection between driving and getting places?

Also, GRAMMAR FAIL. Okay it may not actually be incorrect, but that sentence is really damn clumsy. “Darker than that on a limousine”? Shouldn’t it be “that of a limousine” or “darker than a limousine’s”?

The engine was almost silent, though we’d raced across the black freeways at more than twice the legal speed.

Yes, clearly there are no radar sensors or traffic cameras ANYWHERE between Washington and Arizona. LOGIC. I feel like this book is tentacle-raping my brain.

 
And I remembered Alice sitting with me on the dark leather backseat.

After five hours of me droning about how hot her brother is, she stuffed a grapefruit in my mouth.

 
Somehow, during the long night, my head had ended up against her granite neck. My closeness didn’t seem to bother her at all, and her cool, hard skin was oddly comforting to me.

Again, this book seems like it was written by an alien trying to write a novel for humans without actually knowing anything about us. I mean, who uses a ROCK as a pillow while they’re sleeping? What is comforting about that? Smeyers, why do you fail so much?

 
The front of her thin cotton shirt was cold, damp with the tears that streamed from my eyes until, red and sore, they ran dry.

sheds a single crystal tear

Anyway, Bella rambles about how she couldn’t sleep, which may have had something to do with using the STONE-HARD CHICK as a pillow for the entire night. Nah, it’s because she’s SOOOOOOOOOOO sad because Charlie is sad, Edward is pissy, and Rosalie hates her. Okay, maybe she doesn’t give a shit about that last one.

But she’s not so upset that she doesn’t ogle the entire city of Phoenix, which sounds pretty damn unappealing the way Smeyer describes it: Phoenix — the palm trees, the scrubby creosote, the haphazard lines of the intersecting freeways, the green swaths of golf courses and turquoise splotches of swimming pools, all submerged in a thin smog and embraced by the short, rocky ridges that weren’t really big enough to be called mountains. Maybe I’m unable to appreciate the subtle nuances of Smeyer’s horrible descriptive prose, but this sounds really depressing. At the very least, uninteresting. I mean, smog? “Splotches”? Tiny rocky hills?

Seriously this shows what a shitty writer Smeyers is. Bella is always unfavorably comparing everyplace else to Phoenix, but the author can’t come up with any actual reasons WHY it’s so good. We’re supposed to find it appealing because Bella does, not because she actually gives us a reason.

 
The bright, open freeway seemed benign enough.

But lots of people have been mauled by freeways in the last year!

So they drive to a motel near the airport, and apparently Bawla fell asleep RIGHT THEN and had to be physically dragged into the motel room. Or she was faking it so someone would have to carry her again.

 
I had no memory of this room.

Seriously, who cares? Why is it such a big deal?

Bawla notes the time and the location, then notices that I was still wearing Esme’s clothes, and they didn’t fit very well at all. Well, if she has Kristen Stewart’s figure, then that means it’s splitting its seams around the waist and hanging loose around the chest. And why does she have to notice this? Does she expect Alice to also dress her lazy ass while she sleeps, so she won’t kill herself with a stray zipper?

Then Alice dances in and she and Bella have a really boring conversation about how they need to stay inside.

 
She walked in, and looked me over cautiously. “You look like you could sleep longer,” she said.

“Or do you just naturally have those dark pits where your eyes should be?”
“That’s what makes me look interesting!”

 
“We’ll need to stay inside,” she told me.

“I’m telling you this because you’re clearly so stupid that you’d probably go wandering out on the roof otherwise.”
“Telling me won’t help. I’ll probably do that anyway.”

 
“I ordered some food for you, it’s in the front room. Edward reminded me that you have to eat a lot more frequently than we do.”

“And you’re not actually REQUIRED to kill innocent animals. It’s just a fun side-bonus.”

 
I was instantly more alert. “He called?”

“You bitch, how could you not tell me?! I was planning to use Skype for a quick striptease and cyber-grope!”

 
“No,” she said, and watched as my face fell. “It was before we left.”

… because apparently he doesn’t care enough about you to call after what a day and a half. After all, it’s a well-documented fact that vampires can detect cell phone transmissions!

So the vampires just sit there watching TV for… some reason, while Bawla doesn’t really bother to eat.

 
Jasper sat motionlessly at the desk in the corner, his eyes watching the news with no glimmer of interest.

“Apparently another terrorist tried to blow up a plane with a bomb in his jockstrap, asparagus worldwide is infected with E Coli, and two countries just got hit by savage earthquakes. But that’s not interesting compared to someone trying to kill Bella!”

It began to dawn on me that they were too still. They never looked away from the screen, though commercials were playing now. I pushed the tray away, my stomach abruptly uneasy.

… this dumb bitch is hanging out with VAMPIRES. And it’s only occurring to her NOW that there is something to be uneasy about?

Oh wait, of course she’s not uneasy because she’s in a room with VAMPIRES, it’s because… SOMEHOW, Bawla knows that sitting in front of the TV and motionlessly watching with glassy eyes automatically means that you’re HIDING YOUR FEAR. Alert the stoners of the world! Tell that they are just hiding their fear!

 
“What’s wrong, Alice?” I asked.

Aside from this writing.

 
“Nothing’s wrong.” Her eyes were wide, honest… and I didn’t trust them.

“I KNEW for a fact that she had hidden the last Snickers bar!”

 
“What do we do now?”
“We wait for Carlisle to call.”

“It might take awhile. There are some pretty teen boys visiting the hospital, and Carlisle never misses that.”

It turns out that Carlisle SHOULD have called by now, but he hasn’t. And of course, Alice’s future-vision is conveniently not providing her with any answers, so Bawla can start getting hysterical like a bad Victorian heroine… except more insufferable, because a melodramatic Victorian heroine would probably just swoon and stop talking. She suddenly starts howling about how horrible it would be if the vampire family got hurt… a little late to start caring now, bitch. You didn’t seem to care so much when you were actually around them. Now that YOUR ass is safe, suddenly you’re all worry.

I also don’t buy that she’s devastated by the idea of Emmett, Carlisle or Esme getting hurt. No matter how much Smeyer tries to shoehorn in some deep family connections for these characters, it remains that Bawla has known them all for less than a day. I might be able to buy that a normal person could worry about someone they barely know. I do NOT buy that a narcissist would.

Also, Rosalie’s name is carefully excluded from the list of people that Bella worries about. I’m sure Smeyer believes that she was being subtle.

That’s the cue for Jasper to drop everything and stroke Bella’s giant Sue Ego.

 
“Bella,” he said in a suspiciously soothing voice. “You have nothing to worry about. You are completely safe here.”

“Unless I go insane and start chugging your blood. Which I’m always on the verge of doing. By the way, stay away from all paper products.”

 
“How could I live with myself when it’s my fault? None of you should be risking yourselves for me —”

Damn right.

 
“You’re worrying about all the wrong things, Bella. Trust me on this — none of us are in jeopardy. You are under too much strain as it is; don’t add to it with wholly unnecessary worries. Listen to me!” he ordered, for I had looked away. “Our family is strong. Our only fear is losing you.”

  1. Yes, Smeyer. Please remove any kind of tension from your shell of a plot. Please assure us that NONE of the characters will die and that anyone who actually gives a shit about them shouldn’t worry.
  2. Then again, did anyone actually think Smeyer would kill anyone except maybe Rosalie? She’s like the Mormon version of Laurell K Hamilton – a sexually repressed, dumb-as-a-brick housewife who writes out her personal and sexual fantasies. Her darling characters will never end up dead, mutilated or in any other way imperfect.
  3. If their family is so strong, how come it’s taking them this long to KILL ONE GUY AND HIS DUMBASS GIRLFRIEND?!
  4. Again, I don’t know why the hell Jasper is rushing to coddle Bawla. His FAMILY is out there fighting some sort of super-vampire, and he’s only concerned about making sure poor delicate Bawla doesn’t get overworked and suffer the vapors.
  5. I almost threw up on my keyboard when he said that last line. THIS IS THE QUINTESSENTIAL SUE LINE. Apparently the superpowerful vampire organization featured in the following books isn’t frightening at ALL, and the possibility of one or more of them getting killed by James isn’t scary or upsetting. No, the only thing they’re afraid of not having this whiny bitchy chick whom they’ve known for TWO DAYS around!

In fact, this is so lame that even Bella can’t believe it. So Alice gives her the most backhanded compliment EVER.

 
“It’s been almost a century that Edward’s been alone. Now he’s found you.”

“He’s been the biggest pain in the ass you can imagine? Do you have any idea what it’s like to live with someone who hasn’t gotten laid in A CENTURY?! He’s got a stick up his ass the size of a redwood.”

 
“You can’t see the changes that we see, we who have been with him for so long.”

“He’s just as much of a dick as before, but now he’s more violent about it.”

 
“Do you think any of us want to look into his eyes for the next hundred years if he loses you?”

“The whining and bitching alone will be UNBEARABLE. He’ll be like, ‘Pass the salt, evil bitch who scuppered my one and only chance at having sex.’ We’d totally have to kill him.”

Seriously, I love how incredibly backhanded this compliment is. Even Smeyers can’t actually argue that Alice and Jasper give a damn about her, or that they logically would. They can’t come up with a reason more compelling than “Edward would be emo if you died.” And Bella actually finds this comforting! This gang of vampires is risking their lives because if they don’t, Edward will be even more of a whiny little bitch than he already is! Truly, this is a huge compliment.

So instead of focusing on the vampires fighting or, you know, something INTERESTING, we have Bella just lazing around the hotel room doing ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY NOTHING. Another symptom of Anitablakeitis – all interesting stuff that happens elsewhere must be ignored, because nothing in the world is so interesting as the Mary Sue doing jackshit.

Oh, and to reinforce that women are childish, Bawla refers to Jasper and Alice as her “babysitters.” Not “guardians” or “watchmen” or anything. It has to remind us LOL WIMMENZ ARE LIKE LIL KIDS BECUZ VAGINA!

And what does our allegedly smart heroine do? She stares at stuff. Not even the TV which might require some brain activity. No, she stares at the furniture.

 
I occupied myself with

“… counting the businessmen sneaking into motel rooms with their secretaries for an hour and a half. There were 58.”

 
memorizing the room; the striped pattern of the couches, tan, peach, cream, dull gold, and tan again. Sometimes I stared at the abstract prints, randomly finding pictures in the shapes, like I’d found pictures in the clouds as a child. I traced a blue hand, a woman combing her hair, a cat stretching.

Wow, this is almost as boring as the cloud-cathedral scene in Eragon. Aren’t you just fascinated by Bawla staring at the furniture? KILL ME.

 
But when the pale red circle became a staring eye, I looked away.

Honestly, Bella having the One Ring would explain a lot.

Eventually even Bella gets bored of being boring, so she wants to go to bed. It apparently has nothing to do with the fact that she’s been hanging around for well over twelve hours – it’s just because she’s bored. I hoped that by myself in the dark, I could give in to the terrible fears that hovered on the edge of my consciousness, unable to break through under Jasper’s careful supervision. Because having someone control parts of your mind is merely an inconvenience, not MIND-RAPE.

Even Smeyer seems to be bored by this, so she has Alice wander in and have an infodump conversation with Bawla about what the other vampires are probably doing.

 
“Carlisle wanted to lead the tracker as far north as possible, wait for him to get close, and then turn and ambush him.”

I don’t really understand why they don’t just FIGHT HIM.

 
“Esme and Rosalie were supposed to head west as long as they could keep the female behind them.”

… am I the only one who remembers that they’re living in WASHINGTON? You can’t get much more west than that! Are they planning to swim to Hawaii?

 
“Do you think they’re safe, really?”
“Bella, how many times do we have to tell you that there’s no danger to us?”

“We’re an entire pseudo-family of Sues and Stus! We couldn’t possibly be harmed by anything, because the author wuvs us too much!”

 
“Would you tell me the truth, though?”
“Yes. I will always tell you the truth.” Her voice was earnest.

“I’ll totally screw up the facts all the time and withhold information from you, but that’s not the same as lying, right?”

So Bella finally asks how a person becomes a vampire, which pretty much sets up a big blinking sign saying “I want to become a vampire.” It seems Eddie doesn’t want her to know, because anyone who has seen ANY Mary Sue stories involving vampires knows that the love interest always turns into a vampire.

 
“Edward doesn’t want me to tell you that,” she said firmly, but I sensed she didn’t agree.
“That’s not fair. I think I have a right to know.”

Yes, it’s true that she THINKS that.

But honestly, how does she have a “right” to know how vampires are made? Knowing won’t help the current situation, and knowing about the existence of vampires doesn’t mean you get to know whatever the fuck you want.  That’s like saying, “I know about the CIA, therefore I have a right to know about all their secret surveillance missions.”

 
She sighed. “He’ll be extremely angry.”

“He might say some more four-letter words, bitch at me, and even WHINE.”

So Bella starts being creepy and insisting that “It’s none of his business. This is between you and me.” In other words, Bawla doesn’t give an actual shit about Edward as long as she gets what she wants, ie hottiehood, wealth and immortality.

And we were friends now, somehow — as she must have known we would be all along.

Funny how Alice becoming her friend coincides with Bawla getting what she wants.

 
She looked at me with her splendid, wise eyes… choosing.

“Should I knock her out or just tie her up with duct tape?!”

 
“I’ll tell you the mechanics of it,” she said finally, “but I don’t remember it myself, and I’ve never done it or seen it done, so keep in mind that I can only tell you the theory.”

…. are we still talking about vampirism? Because I honestly don’t know what the “non-mechanical” aspects of getting vamped are, and…. uhhhhhh… this is a little weird sounding.

 
“As predators, we have a glut of weapons in our physical arsenal — much, much more than really necessary. The strength, the speed, the acute senses, not to mention those of us like Edward, Jasper, and I, who have extra senses as well. And then, like a carnivorous flower, we are physically attractive to our prey.”
I was very still, remembering how pointedly Edward had demonstrated the same concept for me in the meadow.

… the hell? I could buy that vampires “pretty up” to draw in human prey. That might actually make sense. But I’m pretty sure that sparkling like a little girl’s purse isn’t going to make most people tear off their clothes and rush towards you… except teenage girls with tiny brains, like Bella and most of Twilight’s audience.

Either that, or Alice means that they’re good looking, and Bawla is just interpreting it as, “Durrrrrr hee hee SPARKLIES I like pudding DUURRRRR!”

She smiled a wide, ominous smile. “We have another fairly superfluous weapon. We’re also venomous,” she said, her teeth glistening.

Big deal. I’m venomous enough to make popsicles wither, but nobody considers MY tongue a weapon.

Oh wait, she’s being literal.

Seriously, this is actually kind of a cool idea – Alice says that it paralyzes their prey so they can finish chugging their blood, and if they DON’T kill their prey the venom keeps spreading and eventually transforms the prey into a vampire. Aaaaaaaannnnddd…. just like that, all plausibility dies.

  1. We later find out that venom constitutes ALL their bodily fluids. Yes, ALL their bodily fluids, like blood, saliva, and mucus. Which is totally pointless, since venom cannot do the stuff that those fluids do, like carry oxygen, start the digestive process and keep the body lubricated. Because Stephenie Meyer fails at biology forever.
  2. In fact, venom has one purpose: to destroy tissue. That’s all.
  3. … but don’t worry, semen doesn’t turn into venom. We can’t have Bella getting vamped vagina-first. That might actually make sense AND justify the sex=vampirism metaphor.
  4. There’s a huge problem in the idea of the vampires’ venom as described, because basically you can only either kill your prey or turn them into a vampire, and they need to eat pretty frequently. So, in other words, just a few careless vampires who don’t kill their prey all the way – or a few thousand vampires who DO kill their prey all the way – will end up decimating the human population and eventually end up outnumbering them vastly. Have you seen Daybreakers? Like that, but sparkly and “perfect.” Just do the math and think about how fast a handful of vampires could kill vast numbers of people and/or multiply like unspayed lab mice.
  5. … I wish I were watching Daybreakers instead of reading this shite.
  6. I mean, it didn’t make sense, but at least THAT Edward wasn’t a douche.
  7. And it had Willem DeFoe has a car enthusiast named Elvis with a crossbow! I mean, how could that be cooler?
  8. Where was I?
  9. Oh yes, Twilight. Here’s the biggest problem with this potentially cool idea: it explains nothing. How does venom make your eyes randomly change colors? How does it make your skin go all diamondy yet still allow you to move? What does it do to the muscles and bones to allow someone to go faster than the eye can see? How does it give you psychic powers?
  10. Smeyers is trying to use a biological explanation for something supernatural, and like most such explanations, she’s failing miserably at it because a biological agent COULD NOT make those changes happen as they’re described. It’s like Laurell K. Hamilton’s weres – supposedly therianthropy is a virus or something like that, but it also gives you mystical sex-fu, telepathy, super-healing without the need for food, GHOSTLY INFLUENCE, etc.
  11. Alice mentions that “the heart stops” when they become a vampire. Again, this doesn’t make sense – if there’s a biological basis for vampirism, and it KILLS THEM PHYSICALLY… what the fuck is keeping them aware and animated?
  12. There’s just so much fail here, it actually burns.

Oh, and the venom hurts so much that the victim basically is in hell for a few days, which somehow doesn’t drive the person insane. And apparently they don’t resent the person who turned them into a vampire or anything, since they’re building a small chapel to worship Vampire Joseph Smith officially. Seriously, he turned multiple people into vampires for purely selfish reasons, but they act like he’s a saint.

Of course, Bella just shivers and then just drops the whole “agonizing pain for three days” thing. Apparently the prospect doesn’t worry her, and she doesn’t worry about it at all.

 
“We’re also like sharks in a way. Once we taste the blood, or even smell it for that matter, it becomes very hard to keep from feeding.”

“Also, we sometimes we pop out of the water and eat random boatgoers.”

It also turns out that Alice has no memories whatsoever of being human, so she doesn’t remember the whole vampire transformation. Why does she have no backstory? Because character development and interesting backstory are reserved for characters that Smeyers doesn’t like. People she DOES like get big blank canvases, like how Bella apparently had NO LIFE WHATSOEVER before she came to Forks.

 
We lay silently, wrapped in our individual meditations.

“Hmmm, does this scene of us on a bed provide endless fuel for yuri fanfiction?”
“… I think I’ll stare at the bedspread for six hours. It’s like I’m stoned, but weed isn’t allowed in this series.”

The seconds ticked by, and I had almost forgotten her presence, I was so enveloped in my thoughts.

Thoughts? Bella has thoughts? Don’t bother telling us what those thoughts are.

 
Then, without any warning, Alice leaped from the bed, landing lightly on her feet. My head jerked up as I stared at her, startled.
“Something’s changed.” Her voice was urgent, and she wasn’t talking to me anymore.

“Suddenly the fangirls are flocking to Team Jacob! This is horrible!”

Jasper bursts in to see what Alice is seeing.

 
“What do you see?” he asked intently, staring into her eyes.

“And does it involve the Eye of Sauron?”
“No, he said he didn’t want to be in a series this lame.”

 
Her eyes were focused on something very far away.

“I see… I see you going to the pyramids! I see a tall dark handsome man in a different series! I see great riches in your future! Now cross my palm with silver!”

 
“I see a room. It’s long, and there are mirrors everywhere.”

… she’s having a vision of the eighties?

 
“The floor is wooden. He’s in the room, and he’s waiting. There’s gold… a gold stripe across the mirrors.”

He’s waiting for a gold stripe across the mirrors?

But since Alice is her usual incredibly helpful self, she doesn’t know where or when this whole scene is. Remind me why the hell anyone cares what she says.

“He’s waiting for something. And he’s in the dark now.”

“Oh… wait… he was waiting for the porn to start. How do I turn a vision off?”

 
Jasper’s voice was calm, methodical, as he questioned her in a practiced way. “What is he doing?”

“He’s furiously masturbating to a Martha Stewart special.”

 
“He’s watching TV… no, he’s running a VCR, in the dark, in another place.”

“We’re back in the eighties! Because nobody in the year 2005 has a VCR!”

 
“Can you see where he is?”
“No, it’s too dark.”

So he’s not even turning on the TV or anything?

 
“And the mirror room, what else is there?”
“Just the mirrors, and the gold.”

There aren’t any floors or ceiling or walls, just mirrors and cheap fake gold. That’s all there is.

 
“It’s a band, around the room.”

“Is it Aerosmith? Because I really like Aerosmith!”

 
“And there’s a black table with a big stereo, and a TV. He’s touching the VCR there, but he doesn’t watch the way he does in the dark room.”

“He still hasn’t realized that just touching the VCR won’t make the magic picture box work. He’s kind of stupid, you see.”

 
“This is the room where he waits.”

“That’s all he does in here. He waits. He also has designated rooms for dancing, walking, being bored, and staring off into space.”

Apparently it turns out that James has made a NEW decision that means he’ll eventually wander back into the mirrored room and play with an outdated recorder that nobody except Smeyer uses anymore. But Alice has no idea where the rooms are, when they will be, and whether anything significant is gonna happen there. Clearly we should all listen to Alice.

“But we do know that he won’t be in the mountains north of Washington, being hunted. He’ll elude them.” Alice’s voice was bleak.

Let’s all stop and applaud the amazing skills of the Cullens, who are unable to hunt down and kill ONE VAMPIRE.

Then Carlisle calls Alice, and they have a dull conversation about her vision. Carlisle…. apparently doesn’t really say much except that James got on a plane. Without shoes, or money, or any of the other stuff they require for you to get on a plane. And this was in 2005, so he would have to waltz through X-rays and stuff.

Things to note:

  • Apparently James is able to psychically figure out where Bella was headed, since she neglected to mention anything about Phoenix.
  • Either that, or James is waiting in dark and/or mirrored rooms in the wrong city. Which is a hilarious idea. “Bwahahahaha, I’m sitting here waiting for Bella Swan to wander in… anytime now… anytime… I’ve been in New York for four days, and I’m getting really bored… she should be here sometime soon… HELLO?”
  • Apparently Bella’s brilliant “diabolical” plan has flopped like a two-day-old decaying fish left out in the sun. Because she claimed he totally wouldn’t follow her to where she said she would go… and he did.

 
She paused. “Yes,” Alice said into the phone, and then she spoke to me. “Bella?”
She held the phone out toward me. I ran to it.
“Hello?” I breathed.

I love how Alice doesn’t even mention who it is, but she just assumes that it’s Edward. It could have been her dad at the end of the line, and she would have been saying, “Oh darling, I have long X-rated dreams about your pasty corpsey body ravishing my pasty corpsey body! Hurry and murder that guy so we can finally devour each other’s nougat of love!”

But of course, it is Edward. Yippee.

 
“Oh, Edward! I was so worried.”
“Bella,” he sighed in frustration, “I told you not to worry about anything but yourself.”

“It pisses me off when you worry about me! If I could slap you around through the phone, I totally would. Jasper, slap her around for me.”

 
It was so unbelievably good to hear his voice. I felt the hovering cloud of despair lighten and drift back as he spoke.

Remember, girls! Your moods shouldn’t be dependent on how your life is going, but how much attention a MAN pays to you!

 
“We’re outside of Vancouver. Bella, I’m sorry — we lost him.”

“We think he may have joined the logging business…. or maybe the film industry!”

 
“He seems suspicious of us — he’s careful to stay just far enough away that I can’t hear what he’s thinking.”

Because he somehow magically knows what Edward’s range is.

 
“But he’s gone now — it looks like he got on a plane. We think he’s heading back to Forks to start over.”

“Or to break your father’s bones one by one until he tells him where you are. But don’t worry.”
“I’m not. I’m more worried about not getting to hear your voice for another 24 hours!”

 
“You don’t have to worry, though. He won’t find anything to lead him to you. You just have to stay there and wait till we find him again.”

The Cullens really suck at this, don’t they? No vampire pun intended but…. they REALLY suck at it. They failed to track him, they failed to ambush him, they failed to catch him, and they’re pretty obviously going to fail at keeping him and Bella out of the same general space. Would it be so hard to write vampires who aren’t made of epic fail?

“I’ll be fine. Is Esme with Charlie?”

“Because he’s such a loser, he totally needs a date!”

 
“Yes — the female has been in town. She went to the house, but while Charlie was at work. She hasn’t gone near him, so don’t be afraid. He’s safe with Esme and Rosalie watching.”

“Unless Rosalie, like, breaks a nail or gets a split end. Because after all, she’s BLONDE and therefore immediately shallow and selfish.”

 
“What is she doing?”
“Probably trying to pick up the trail. She’s been all through the town during the night. Rosalie traced her through the airport, all the roads around town, the school… she’s digging, Bella, but there’s nothing to find.”

“Except…. um, that website that the people of Forks put up, BellaSwanSightings.com. You know, the one where people dazzled by your sullen brilliance and lack of personality can send in pictures of you so others can bask in your bland glory. Apparently some hackers hijacked satellites so they could take pictures of you all the way to Phoenix.”
“Oh, the woes of being so inexplicably popular!”

“And you’re sure Charlie’s safe?”
“Yes, Esme won’t let him out of her sight.”

“… and for some reason, she ordered Rosalie to bring her lingerie, perfume and copy of the Kama Sutra to your house. I don’t understand why. She only said something about Carlisle having had a headache for the last century.”

 
“And we’ll be there soon. If the tracker gets anywhere near Forks, we’ll have him.”

“Unless we lose him AGAIN. But I’m sure that won’t happen. After all, We Haz Eleet Skillz!”

 
“I miss you,” I whispered.
“I know, Bella. Believe me, I know. It’s like you’ve taken half my self away with you.”

Codependence = Troo Lurv! If you’re away from your Troo Lurv for even a day, you should be mopey, whiny and insist that you’re incomplete. Because as all emo teenagers know, you’re not a complete person by yourself!

 
“I love you,” I reminded him.
“Could you believe that, despite everything I’ve put you through, I love you, too?”

No. No, I can’t. Actually, I can’t believe that either of them is capable of love for anyone, especially since they don’t even KNOW EACH OTHER. They just wanna bump uglies.

 
As soon as the phone went dead, the cloud of depression began to creep over me again.

Women, take note: without a man in your life, everything is bleak and depressing.

So with that nauseating and totally pointless call finished, we see that Alice is apparently drawing the incredibly nondescript room on a piece of paper. And despite the fact that it’s basically a room with almost nothing distinguishing about it, Bella immediately realizes that it’s a ballet studio.

 
“It’s a ballet studio,” I said, suddenly recognizing the familiar shapes.

What, the rectangles? Yeah, you can only find those in ballet studios.

 
“Do you know this room?” Jasper’s voice sounded calm, but there was an undercurrent of something I couldn’t identify.

Hysterical laughter at the idea of Bawla the cartoonish klutz queen ever having come NEAR a room surrounded by glass?

Meanwhile, Alice is sketching more important and unique details about the place… like an emergency exit… or a TV… or a table.

 
“It looks like a place I used to go for dance lessons — when I was eight or nine. It was shaped just the same.”

  1. Yes, because the only long skinny rooms in the world are ballet studios.
  2. Wait, so we’re supposed to believe that Bawla, who claims to not be able to walk on a level surface with no obstacles without falling down… once took DANCE LESSONS?
  3. It’s official: Bawla only is clumsy when she’s doing something that she doesn’t like or stuff that doesn’t make her look awesome.

“That’s where the bathrooms were — the doors were through the other dance floor. But the stereo was here” — I pointed to the left corner — “it was older, and there wasn’t a TV.”

Right, because even after eight years, nobody could possibly have MOVED anything or BOUGHT anything. It will all stay exactly as Her Majesty knew it! It’s like a historical monument!

 
Alice and Jasper were staring at me.

“We only just realized how stupid you are.”

 
“Would you have any reason to go there now?” Alice asked, breaking my reverie.
“No, I haven’t been there in almost ten years. I was a terrible dancer — they always put me in the back for recitals,” I admitted.

So, I guess you can add “bad dancer” to Bella’s long list of defects and non-skills. I’m amazed they even let her go past one lesson, since she’s supposed to be walking lawsuit bait.

Wait wait, let me guess… Smeyer was a rotten ballet dancer.

 
“So there’s no way it could be connected with you?” Alice asked intently.
“No, I don’t even think the same person owns it. I’m sure it’s just another dance studio, somewhere.”

Yes, I’m sure he happens to be hanging out in a totally unrelated dance studio that you have totally never been in before while he tries to hunt you down. And Bawla is actually supposed to be SMART?

Of course, Alice and Jasper clue in that HELLO, THIS IS TOTALLY IN PHOENIX. So of course, Bawla wants to send a huge blinking signal that I IZ IN PHOENIX NOW! by calling her mother, because she assumes that of course James and his girlfriend will target her mom even though she’s not even living there. What do you wanna bet that Bawla’s phone call actually leads to her being attacked?

 
He thought about it. “I don’t think there’s any way it could hurt — be sure you don’t say where you are, of course.”

Well, the fact that she’s all upset and freaked out sort of indicates that Bawla is in Phoenix because otherwise she wouldn’t be WORRIED. Smeyers needs to have her lobotomy reversed before she tries to come up with any kind of plot.

 
“Mom,” I said after the beep, “it’s me. Listen, I need you to do something. It’s important. As soon as you get this message, call me at this number.”

“I’m totally not worried about your well-being because I just happen to be in the same city as you. That’s not what’s going on. And I totally don’t know that an evil vampire is planning to track me to Phoenix. There’s no way I could know that. No way.”

 
“Please don’t go anywhere until you talk to me. Don’t worry, I’m okay, but I have to talk to you right away, no matter how late you get this call, all right? I love you, Mom. Bye.”

“And PS, you better not have changed my room at ALL, okay? If you do, I will stare sullenly at you, and maybe speak disparagingly to someone who doesn’t know you!”

Family dinner, mother holding platter with roast on it

I settled into the sofa, nibbling on a plate of leftover fruit, anticipating a long evening.

Yes, this attitude truly conveys her fear for her mother. Also, why do they only have fruit? Would it kill them to order a pizza?

 
I concentrated on the news, watching out for stories about Florida, or about spring training — strikes or hurricanes or terrorist attacks — anything that might send them home early.

Uh, this is Florida we’re talking about. They have hurricanes at least twice per weekday, once a day on the weekend.

 
Immortality must grant endless patience.

So why is Edward such an impatient a-hole who wants everything when he wants it?

They sit around and do absolutely nothing for awhile, and apparently Jasper and Alice are content to just sit there and stare at the walls. These are possibly the dullest vampires ever written.

 
Jasper, too, seemed to have no urge to pace, or peek through the curtains, or run screaming out the door, the way I did.

Because nothing says, “I want to run screaming out the door” like eating fruit.

Bella falls asleep and Alice has to carry her to bed.

Damn, this chapter was dull; basically the characters just sit around in a hotel room talking, and occasionally make a phone call. If Bella, Jasper and Alice had a threesome, it would be just like an Anita Blake chapter. Also, is it just me, or has Bella gone for a day and a half without a single pee break?

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