Friday, 3 July 2015

Chapter-by-Chapter: Twilight, Chapter 12

I've not done too badly at getting caught back up with these posts. Earlier today we read Chapter 11, which had Edward harassing Bella for information about herself with a slight complication in the form of Billy Black.

Now we're onto Chapter 12: Balancing.

What Happens?

Edward has to leave school at lunchtime after driving Bella there so she's left truckless. That is, until Edward does some sort of magic trick to drop off her truck at school so she has a way of getting home. Then they go on a hike together but spend most of the time not talking.

Thoughts as I read:

Will this be Bella trying to balance having a normal life and Edward? Or Edward trying to balance being a teenager whilst being a vampire? Or is this simply what they've moved onto next in Gym? I guess we'll have to read on to find out.

Charlie shows up right behind Billy and Jacob. We learn that Billy is in a wheelchair, I'm guessing that this will be significant somehow. Billy and Jacob have come round to watch TV since theirs is broken. I'm guessing that another reason for being there is so that Billy can warn Charlie about Bella and Edward.

The adults hang out in the living room while Bella makes food in the kitchen. Jacob goes with her to quiz her on who ran her home. Bella's had enough questions for today though and plays it coy. All the same, within half a page she's confessed that it was Edward and worries that Billy will say something to Charlie. Jacob dismisses it though. Apparently this isn't a regular get together, they've hardly seen each other for ages. I get the impression that it's been since whenever Billy ended up in the wheelchair. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that werewolves and vampires were probably involved.

Bella doesn't really believe Jacob though, so stays with the guys and neglects her homework, just in case it looks like Billy is about to share a little too much. He doesn't but he does tell Bella to take care; this is a very loaded statement and obviously means so much more.

Then Charlie tries to be a good father and check up on how Bella is getting on. He's going fishing on Saturday so she'll be all alone (except for Edward but she obviously doesn't tell him that). And then it's off to bed, where for once we don't actually get an Edward dream.

Next day, as soon as Charlie leaves, Edward arrives. You'd think Charlie would notice the strange car lurking at the end of the drive, wouldn't you? Edward says it's still his turn to ask questions and is shocked when Bella reveals her lack of dating history. I'm not sure why this comes as such a shock to everyone, all she ever does is moan about things! Edward's in a bit of a funny mood today; it's not until they get to school that he reveals he's leaving early with Alice so can't drive her home.

Bella does point out that she can walk home and that she doesn't have her truck key (so Edward can't just go and bring the truck to her like he seems to think he will) but this doesn't stop him. He's going to bring it to her before the end of the school day. He does at least reveal his reason for leaving early; he and Alice are going hunting as a precaution for spending the day with her. Always practice safe Saturdays, kids.

Alice has been chosen as designated hunting companion because she's the least bothered by her brother being with Bella. I can understand why the others are 'incredulous'. They also can't understand why Edward is obsessed with Bella. Bella actually echoes my sentiment here when she says 'Neither do I.' At least we're all as baffled as each other then. I personally can't see the fascination with either of them, perhaps that's what makes them so suited to one another.
Edward does share a little more about his obsession:

"Having the advantages I do," he murmured, touching his forehead discreetly, "I have a better than average grasp of human nature. People are predictable. But you… you never do what I expect. You always take me by surprise."

This takes me by surprise. I wouldn't have thought Bella was all that surprising. I mean, I can't read minds or anything, but she's seemed pretty predictable so far.

While Edward is talking, Bella starts staring at the other Cullens which causes Rosalie to turn around and glare at her until Edward gets angry about it. This behaviour is apparently because Rosalie is worried about Edward being so public with Bella. I guess this is because if Edward goes wild and eats Bella it'll be a lot harder to cover up if everyone knows they were together.

Alice comes over for introductions. She seems nice enough. And then Edward gets ready to go:

"Have fun, then." I worked to sound wholehearted. Of course I didn't fool him.
"I'll try." He still grinned. "And you try to be safe, please."
"Safe in Forks – what a challenge."
"For you it
is a challenge." His jaw hardened. "Promise."

Bella's accident proneness never gets old.

And now we get to learn just what the chapter title meant. It's about the balance of the relationship. It is 'on the point of a knife' which makes me think of Galadriel in Lothlorien during The Fellowship of the Ring (stray but a little and it will fail). As far as Bella's concerned this all depends on Edward's decisions and instincts, not on Bella's decisions and instincts obviously, she clearly has no say in any of this.

Mike has decided to speak to Bella again, quizzing her on Seattle, her weekend plans and Edward (who he insists on referring to as Cullen, mate I think you should adopt my moniker, Mood Swing Boy). He gets miffed when she, once again, refuses to go to the dance.

Later Bella finds that somehow Edward has returned her truck to her, complete with the key that she thought was under a pile of laundry in the house. Does this mean that Twilight vampires don't need to be invited into someone's house to gain entry? He's also left her a note reminding her to 'Be safe'.

I have no idea why Bella is telling everyone that the Seattle trip is cancelled and she's not doing anything this weekend. Surely if you're going some place with someone who wants to eat you, you should let at least one person know. But having made the decision not to tell anyone the truth, she then spends a good page fretting about whether or not this was the right thing to do before dosing herself with some unnecessary Night Nurse and putting on a Chopin CD to help her sleep.

Next morning Bella's up and breakfasted before Edward shows up:

"Good morning," he chuckled.
"What's wrong?" I glanced down to make sure I hadn't forgotten anything important, like shoes, or pants.

You know, I could actually believe that Bella might leave the house without trousers on.

Is the matching outfit thing supposed to be a sign of their compatibility? They're already strange enough to be a perfect match.

As agreed Bella drives and Edward gives directions. They're off on a hiking trip.

Five miles. I didn't answer, so that he wouldn't hear my voice crack in panic. Five miles of treacherous roots and loose stones, trying to twist my ankles or otherwise incapacitate me. This was going to be humiliating.

Edward has so done this on purpose!

Bella picks this moment to come clean on the whole 'who knows where you are?' thing. Guess what happens? If you said, Edward gets angry you'd be right. After all, this means that no one knows where she is or who she's with. Bella does helpfully point out that Alice knows but Edward isn't exactly impressed by that. He's still in a mood when they get out of the car, but he flashes a bit of chest to help cheer Bella up.

It's a pretty mood start to their hike and they walk in silence. In fact this continues all morning until they get to a sunny patch. I'm sorry, if I was going out for a walk with Mr Click and fell out with him along the way, I'd sit down to wait for him to take me home. It'd be pointless to carry on otherwise.

But there's a reason Edward's brought her here. He's got a big revelation to make, apparently:

Edward seemed to take a deep breath, and then he stepped out into the bright glow of the midday sun.

Now if this was a proper vampire novel the next chapter would begin: And exploded into a big ball of flames.

I feel like counting up all the pages where Bella and Edward fall out, have a snit, get moody with each other, argue, disagree, or in some way irritate each other. I'm betting it'd be at least a quarter, if not a third of the book! Ah, it's so romantic.

Today's questions raised:

  • Just what are we balancing in this chapter?
  • What led to Billy being in a wheelchair?
  • Why is Edward so obsessed with Bella?
  • Do Twilight vampires need to be invited into a building to gain access?
  • Does the fact that Bella and Edward wore matching outfits to go hiking a sign they're destined to be together?

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