This post will contain book spoilers for Eclipse through chapter 8. Go Read
Temper, temper, temper.
Hold on a moment, let's look at the definition of "Temper".
1. a frame of mind; mood or humor
2. a sudden outburst of anger; tantrum
3. a tendency to exhibit uncontrolled anger; irritability
4. a mental condition of moderation and calm
5. a rare word for adapt
More than the angry emotions that are dealt with here, I think number 5 might be the appropriate definition.
We left off last week, with Bella making her escape on Jacob's motorcycle. A little rebellion for being 'kidnapped'? Certainly. A little banter with Jacob evolves into a serious discussion. Jacob shares with her the details of the latest wolf to imprint on a mate. The complication here, is that the imprintee, Claire, is only two years old. Bella is unsurprisingly shocked, as I'm betting we all were the first time through. I'm glad that Stephenie Meyer included this piece of insight into imprinting though, as it truly outlines for us what it is. That it goes beyond "mating", beyond the implication of sex and procreating the next generation of wolves. That it is more about total commitment to the target, their needs and well-being. The most recent Twi-Theory was on this topic. Check that out for a more in-depth look at this subject.
The more important thing they discuss follows this. The subject of Jacob imprinting. He claims it is impossible for him, since he doesn't see anyone besides Bella. Other girls hold no interest for him. Sweet of Jacob? Yes. Sad for him, too. But, it plants that seed in our minds. That someday, Jacob just might imprint on someone. Someone Not Bella. What would that bode for Bella, should she choose Jacob. What would happen if she did, and then he imprinted. We've seen the foreshadowing of that possibility in Sam, Emily and Leah's relationships.
We get to see Bella and Jacob act like teenagers then. They both need it. To take a break from the angst and worry that consumes their lives. Even they acknowledge this, reminiscing about the early days of their friendship. Fixing the motorcycles and hanging out in his garage.
They can't ignore their issues for long though. Before too much time, Jacob just can't contain it any longer. He asks Bella straight out if she was serious about becoming a vampire. Of course, she is. They argue a bit about the treaty, but that's not the real issue here. As always, this story is about relationships. To Jacob, it will be as if Bella had died. It would be better to him if she HAD died, than to become what she is intending to be.
We've gotten to know Jacob well enough by now that he doesn't take surprise well. I think the biggest part of his reaction was finding out that there were mere weeks before Bella's planned transformation. He must have thought he'd have a few more years, both to spend time with her, and to try to change her mind.
Hm, sounds like someone else we know, doesn't it?
Bella leaves then, as it's obvious the conversation is over. Likely forever, from the looks of things. She hops on her motorcycle and returns to the Cullen House. Alice is waiting for her in the garage. Poor Alice, sitting on her beloved Porsche. If she's running a guilt trip on Bella, it works enough to keep Bella staying at her house, but she doesn't push it. I really think it's a sweet sisterly moment for them. Neither of them are happy with the situation, but they love each other too much to do anything that would make it worse.
Okay, Team Edward. You're dying for this part, aren't you?
I really miss Sabrina this week, I wanted a Team Jacob opinion. Do they get as hot and bothered as us Team Edward girls (people? don't want to assume anything here....)?
Bella is woken in the middle of the night. Edward has returned home and (probably following a signature Edward smirk over her sleeping surface choice) moved her to the bed. Their reunion is sweet. The issues they have to resolve are still there, but I love seeing that the negative emotion just dissolves. It doesn't mean that things are forgotten. In the grand scheme of things, however, their love is bigger than any of their issues, and they can just be together in the moment of reunion.
I honestly think this scene, famously referred to in the Twi-community as "The Leg Hitch", is the most intimate moment we are privy to in their relationship. I want to hear your theories on this moment. Is Edward just a tease? Was he trying to distract her from the whole "kidnapping" issue? Did he just get a little carried away himself? Really just "demonstrating the benefits"?
My theory: Maybe some distraction. But I think he got a little carried away, personally. A combination of missing her over the weekend and having her in his bed. Even if he doesn't sleep in it, it's still his. Men have a pretty strong territorial instinct. (Guys, if you are out there: Tell me your thoughts on this...) I think there's a psychological difference in having their woman in their bed, as opposed to her bed. And we know how possessive Edward can be. He was still in control of himself, but relaxed, in the moment. And certainly within the realms of "normal" for a human relationship, maybe he just wanted to experience a little of that.
Either way, the moment is cut short, much to our dismay, I know. Bella's too.
As much as we love that moment with them, the real key to this scene comes a few lines later.
Three quotes from Edward:
"I'm sorry. I was wrong. It's much easier to have the proper perspective when I have you safely here." "I'm going to try to be more reasonable and trust your judgment." "And . . . most importantly . . . I'm not willing to let this drive a wedge between us."
To me, this is really a big moment of growth for Edward. He is recognizing where he has acted inappropriately in the past. He admits his responsibility, and recognizes that their relationship is more important than petty rivalries. Whether it's a rivalry between Edward and Jacob, or one between vampire and werewolf. That distinction truly doesn't matter in this moment. He's placing the value of their relationship higher than that, and that's what is truly important.
I have more on this subject, but stay tuned for next week's Twi-Theory for that.
Bella explains the fight with Jacob. It's another example of Edward's growth, a continuation of the previous part. He's angry with Jacob yes. For hurting Bella's feelings, though, not just for trying to win her over, or bringing her to the reservation. It's still the relationship that he's holding the most dear.
The chapter concludes on a lighter note. She expresses concern over Rosalie's story. Of course, Edward assumes she's meaning Rosalie's real story, after all, that was the moral of the story, so to speak. But of course, this is Bella. If I were honest, it would probably be what I would fixate on, too. A little show of jealousy, wanting to know what kind of attention Tanya gave Edward. A comfort to Edward, maybe. A little show of jealousy from our partners can be good for the ego. And it shows that things are okay with them, that the little things are what's bothering them now, as opposed to the big issues.