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by Stephanie Meyer
p.12 As the day passed, I considered ways to get out of whatever was going down at the Cullen house tonight. It would be bad enough to have to celebrate when I was in the mood to mourn. But, worse than that, this was sure to involve attention and gifts.
Attention is never a good thing, as any other accident-prone klutz would agree. No one wants a spotlight when they’re likely to fall on their face.
p.84 I felt the smooth wooden floor beneath my knees, and then the palms of my hands, and then it was pressed against the skin of my cheek. I hoped that I was fainting, but, to my disappointment, I didn’t lose consciousness. The waves of pain that had only lapped at me before now reared high up and washed over my head, pulling me under. I did not resurface.
p.113 “Hi,” one of the men called, his tone both confident and a bit sarcastic. He was fair-skinned and fair-haired, and he stood with the assurance of someone who thought of himself as quite good looking. I couldn’t tell whether he was or not. I was prejudiced.
p.118 It was a crippling thing, this sensation that a huge hole had been punched through my chest, excising my most vital organs and leaving ragged, unhealed gashes around the edges that continue to throb and bleed despite the passage of time. Rationally, I knew my lungs must still be intact, yet I gasped for air and my head spun like my efforts yielded nothing. My heart must have been beating, too, but I couldn’t hear the sound of my pulse in my ears; my hands felt blue with cold. I curled inward, hugging my ribs to hold myself together. I scrambled for my numbness, my denial, but it evaded me.
And yet, I found I could survive. I was alert, I felt the pain--the aching loss that radiated out from my chest, sending wracking waves of hurt through my limbs and head--but it was manageable. I could live through it. It didn’t feel like the pain had weakened over time, rather that I’d grown strong enough to bear it.
p.124 I wondered how long this would last. Maybe someday, years from now--if the pain would just decreased to the point where I could bear it--I would be able to look back on those few short months that would always be the best of my life. And, if it were possible that the pain would ever soften enough to allow me to do that, I was sure that I would feel grateful for as much time as he’d given me. More than I’d asked for, more than I’d deserved. Maybe someday I’d be able to see it that way. But what if this hole never got any better? If the raw edges never healed? If the damage was permanent and irreversible?
I held myself tightly together. As if he’d never existed, I thought in despair. What a stupid and impossible promise to make! He could steal my pictures and reclaim his gifts, but that didn’t put things back the way they’d been before I’d met him. The physical evidence was the most insignificant part of the equation. I was changed, my insides altered almost past the point of recognition. Even my outsides looked different--my face sallow, white except for the purple circles the nightmares had left under my eyes. My eyes were dark enough against my pallid skin that--if I were beautiful, and seen from a distance--I might even pass for a vampire now. But I was not beautiful, and I probably looked closer to a zombie.
p.136 As we skulked back to the makeshift garage, I contemplated my luck. Only a teenage boy would agree to this: deceiving both our parents while repairing dangerous vehicles using money meant for my college education. He didn’t see anything wrong with that picture. Jacob was a gift from the gods.
p.196-197 “Maybe we’ll see the super bear,” Jacob joked, eyes on his design.
I glanced at Billy swiftly, fearing a Charlie-style reaction.
But Billy just laughed at his son. “Maybe you should take a jar of honey, just in case.”
Jake chuckled. “Hope your new boots are fast, Bella. One little jar isn’t going to keep a hungry bear occupied for long.”
“I only have to be faster than you.”
“Good luck with that!” Jacob said, rolling his eyes as he refolded the map. “Let’s go.” p.201 Time began to trip along much more quickly than before. School, work, and Jacob--though not necessarily in that order--created a neat and effortless pattern to follow. And Charlie got his wish: I wasn’t miserable anymore. Of course, I couldn’t fool myself completely. When I stopped to take stock of my life, which I tried not to do too often, I couldn’t ignore the implications of my behavior.
I was like a lost moon--my planet destroyed in some cataclysmic, disaster-movie scenario of desolation--that continued, nevertheless, to circle in a tight little orbit around the empty space left behind, ignoring the law of gravity.
p.274 Charlie’s voice was angry. “I’m not buying that. It doesn’t make any sense.”
It was quiet then, and I realized he was on the phone. A minute passed.
“Don’t you put this on Bella!” Charlie suddenly shouted. I jumped. When he spoke again, his voice was careful and lower. “Bella’s made it very clear all along that she and Jacob were just friends...Well, if it was that, then why didn’t you say so at first? No, Billy, I think she’s right about this...Because I know my daughter, and if she says Jacob was scared before--” He was cut off mid-sentence, and when he answered he was almost shouting again.
“What do you mean I don’t know my daughter as well as I think I do!” He listened for a brief second, and his response was almost too low for me to hear. “If you think I’m going to remind her about that, then you had better think again. She’s just starting to get over it, and mostly because of Jacob, I think. If whatever Jacob has going on with this Sam character sends her back into that depression, then Jacob is going to have to answer to me. You’re my friend, Billy, but this is hurting my family.”
There was another break for Billy to respond.
“You got that right--those boys set one toe out of line and I’m going to know about it. We’ll be keeping an eye on the situation, you can be sure of that.” He was no longer Charlie; he was Chief Swan now.
“Fine. Yeah. Goodbye.” The phone slammed into the cradle.
p.374-376 What if? What was the right thing to do?
I couldn’t imagine my life without Jacob now--I cringed away from the idea of even trying to imagine that. Somehow, he’d become essential to my survival. But to leave things the way they were...was that cruel, as Mike had accused?
I remembered wishing that Jacob were my brother. I realized now that all I really wanted was a claim on him. It didn’t feel brotherly when he held me like this. It just felt nice--warm and comforting and familiar. Safe. Jacob was a safe harbor.
I could stake a claim. I had that much within my power.
I’d have to tell him everything. I knew that. It was the only way to be fair. I’d have to explain it right, so that he’d know I wasn’t settling, that he was much too good for me. He already knew I was broken, that part wouldn’t surprise him, but he’d need to know the extent of it. I’d even have to admit that I was crazy--explain about the voices I heard. he’d need to know everything before he made a decision.
But, even as I recognized that necessity, I knew that he would take me in spite of it all. He wouldn’t even pause to think it through.
I would have to commit to this--commit as much of me as there was left, every one of the broken pieces. It was the only way to be fair to him. Would I? Could I?
Would it be so wrong to try to make Jacob happy? Even if the love I felt for him was no more than a weak echo of what I was capable of, even if my heart was far away, wandering and grieving after my fickle Romeo, would it be so very wrong?
Jacob stopped the truck in front of my dark house, cutting the engine so it was suddenly silent. Like so many other times, he seemed to be in tune with my thoughts now.
He threw his other arm around me, crushing me against his chest, binding me to him. Again, this felt nice. Almost like being a whole person again.
I thought he would be thinking of Harry, but then he spoke, and his tone was apologetic. “Sorry, I know you don’t feel exactly the way I do, Bells. I swear I don’t mind. I’m just so glad you’re okay that I could sing--and that’s something no one wants to hear.” He laughed his throaty laugh in my hear.
p.503 “Charlie?” I asked.
Edward frowned. “Sleeping. You should probably know that I’m breaking the rules right now. Well, not technically, since he said I was never to walk through his door again, and I came in through the window...But, still, the intent was clear.”