Last week we witnessed Bella's decision to be thoroughly reckless as she picked up a couple of broken down motorcycles and recruited her young friend Jacob Black to help her get them in working order. This will allow her to be reckless all over the roads of Forks.
This week we're onto Chapter 6: Friends.
Bella meets Jacob's friends. Charlie hangs out with his friends. Bella is friends with Jacob. She also sits with her friends at lunchtime. This chapter is brought to you by The Rembrandts.
Thoughts as I read:
I'm guessing the 'friends' of the chapter title will be Bella and Jacob, or perhaps now that she's finally moving on from Edward, Bella will actually start over again with Jessica and the gang. I'm hoping for a slightly happier chapter again now.
Bella and Jacob's plan to keep Billy from discovering the motorbikes pretty much relies on the fact that Billy's wheelchair can't get to the outbuilding where Jacob works on his car. It's a pretty safe hiding place though I do wonder how he's going to explain how both he and Bella have motorbikes to his father, Charlie's friend, when he's done with them.
Looks like the friends in the chapter title might be Jacob's friends, Quil and Embry. Bella is about as impressed with these names as I am. Thought I do like the idea of a name being a 'hand-me-down', that's a nice way of putting it. It doesn't take long for Quil and Embry to show up either, Jacob promptly introduces Bella as his friend. The new kids are way more interested in the bikes than in Bella, though I suspect they don't believe that Bella is just Jacob's friend.
"Bella and I are going to fix up these bikes," Jacob explained inaccurately. But bikes seemed to be the magic word. Both boys went to examine Jacob's project, drilling him with educated questions. Many of the words they used were unfamiliar to me, and I figured I'd have to have a Y chromosome to really understand the excitement.
Despite not understanding any of what they're talking about, Bella is surprised to find that she's enjoying herself. She's slightly baffled by this strange new sensation. This just shows how screwed up she's been recently. In fact, she's had such a good time that she's desperate to come back again on Sunday. Looks like she's just replacing her Edward obsession with a Jacob/motorbike one instead.
Back home, Charlie's as surprised as the rest of us at the change in Bella's mood. If I was him, I'd still be thinking about getting her to speak to someone, but I bet he's just relieved that she's acting slightly more normally now.
Even more surprisingly, Bella sleeps without weird dreams or nightmares. She doesn't feel 'numb' when she wakes the next morning.
I pushed that thought from my mind, and concentrated, as I got dressed, on the fact that I was going to see Jacob again today. The thought made me feel almost… hopeful. Maybe it would be the same as yesterday. Maybe I wouldn't have to remind myself to look interested and to nod or smile at appropriate intervals, the way I had to with everyone else. Maybe… but I wouldn't trust this to last either. Wouldn't trust it to be the same – so easy – as yesterday. I wasn't going to set myself up for disappointment like that.
There's the Bella we've come to know and love. Well, come to know at least.
So she heads back to Jacob's, after having come up with a plan to get Charlie to invite Billy out, leaving she and Jacob alone. And where are they spending their date, I mean day, together? At the dump of course. Jacob explains that this is the best place to find freebies to help save Bella some money, after all, this little venture might cost more than a hundred dollars!
Bella can't quite work out just why she is enjoying herself so much. Maybe it's, I don't know, because you're having fun and not spending all of your time with someone who might flip at any moment and take a chunk out of your neck! In the end she decides that it's actually Jacob who is making her feel this way. Whereas Edward was a cold person, well, vampire, Jacob is a happy person who makes people around him feel happy. His happy-making powers are so strong that they even work on Bella.
There is a funny moment when Jacob spots the missing stereo in the truck:
"Did the stereo break?" he wondered.
"Yeah," I lied.
He poked around in the cavity. "Who took it out? There's a lot of damage…"
"I did," I admitted.
He laughed. "Maybe you shouldn't touch the motorcycles too much."
Hehe. Actually that reminds me, Bella hasn't fallen over or injured herself for at least two chapters. I suspect we'll have another big accident coming up some time soon.
While we wait for that to happen, they drive to some other town to a parts supply shop and chat. There's quite a bit of talking about their age difference. Bella seems to think that Jacob is interested in her. I just want to yell at Jacob: Don't do it! Take your motorbike and run! Get out while you still can! Look at Edward, he had to leave town to get away from her!
Back at the shed, Jacob gets to work. Luckily he doesn't hand her a tool and invite her to join him, otherwise that would've been the source of Bella's next hospital trip right there. Later Charlie shows up with Billy and they have to run out of the shed to prevent Charlie from coming to investigate. The dash makes Bella laugh which is something she still can't get used to. You know things are messed up when laughing feels both right and wrong. Edward really did a number on her, didn't he?
Turns out everyone's been invited to Billy's for dinner and Bella once again, to her surprise, has a good time. She doesn't actually want to leave! She even plans to take her homework there after school the following day.
And I'm right. Jacob is becoming her Edward-patch:
I was nervous when we got to the house. I didn't want to go upstairs. The warmth of Jacob's presence was fading and, in its absence, the anxiety grew stronger. I was sure I wouldn't get away with two peaceful nights of sleep in a row.
I feel sorry for Jacob. She's going to latch on to him and wear him out like she did with Edward. Perhaps Bella's part supernatural being as well. Also, every time she talks about going upstairs to bed, I keep on expecting her to find a vampire there telling her there's something up with Edward purely because I feel like that is exactly the sort of direction these books would go in.
That night Bella doesn't sleep as well as before and she has a pretty crappy night with her weird dream. Except there's someone new there now; the guy who found her when she got lost in the woods. The dream-Sam's shape seemed to change slightly as well. Wooo! Foreshadowing!
Back at school, Bella is practically invisible. Jessica barely speaks to her, can't really blame her really after the way Bella's behaved for the last few months. Give Bella her due, she does try to make an effort, but it basically results in her sitting at the lunch table with a bunch of people eavesdropping on their conversations.
And so it's revealed that Angela and Ben (I don't even remember who these people are) were going for a picnic when they saw a big black thing which might have been a bear except it seemed way too big for one. Other people claim to have seen it too and finally Bella is able to contribute to the conversation by pointing out that there was someone in the shop at work claiming to have seen one too. Everyone seems pretty surprised at her jumping in like this, but Mike covers it well and agrees with her.
Lauren and Jessica seem really annoyed at Bella's decision to rejoin the group but Angela and Mike are nice to her. That's a good thing. It's about time she started hanging around with people her own age, instead of guys who are eighty years her senior and dead. So I guess this chapter's title did include Bella in it as well, she seems to be making friends again.
And it's just as well because she observes that she's been here exactly a year now. It's like nothing has changed.
Except, y'know, all that stuff that happened in the last year.
This chapter's not been too bad. I think I prefer the chapters without vampires and where Bella behaves like a nearly normal human being. I guess that's not going to last for long though. It's probably going to go downhill soon. I know from the movie posters that Edward's got to come back sooner or later. Sigh.