If you have a crush on someone and they introduce themselves to you, what do you do? If you’re Bella Swan, you tell them your life story and hope that you didn’t just make a huge mistake.
Mike’s making his move on Bella, sitting next to her in English and walking her to her next class. Mr. Doesn’t Understand Sarcasm, Eric, is jealous. Already, the triangle has begun to form.
Bella has the typical bad day at school that everyone has experienced at least once in their lives: Her trigonometry teacher calls on her and she gives the wrong answer, she hits a teammate in the face with a volleyball, Edward Cullen is nowhere to be found.
For some reason, Edward’s absence bothers Bella. I don’t know why; he seems to hate her. It should be a good thing that he’s not there. And Mike is following her around, having taken on “the qualities of a golden retriever,” telling her all about his life and smiling at her. I think he likes Bella.
Unfortunately, the feeling isn’t mutual: “It looked like I was going to have to do something about Mike, and it wouldn’t be easy.” It wouldn’t be easy. Bella, if you’re reading this, I’m begging you, try to make it work with Mike. Sure, he might not be as interesting or pale as Edward, but he comes with a lot less baggage.
After school, Bella makes dinner because, as she found out, “Charlie couldn’t cook much besides fried eggs and bacon.” In his defense, if all you know is bacon and eggs, you’re set for life.
The meal starts out in silence, but neither Charlie nor Bella are bothered by the quiet. Bella learns that Mike’s dad owns a sporting goods store and does pretty well. Yet another reason she should stick with Mike. Free backpacks for days!
The rest of the week goes by without anything happening. Edward still hasn’t shown up to school.
The next week, Bella sees snow for the first time. She doesn’t like it. Based on this, I’m beginning to suspect she isn’t human. How can you not like snow? She walks around with her binder in her hands, just in case someone tries to hit her with a snowball.
At lunch, Bella makes an extraordinary discovery: Edward’s back! And he’s staring at her! And he doesn’t look angry! Then in biology, Edward introduces himself to her. She proceeds to forget how to talk, as is usual when you’re around a beautiful, mysterious stranger. Then they become lab partners. Something with a microscope and onions and mitosis, I think. Don’t ask me what they did. I haven’t taken biology since Gangnam Style was a thing (2012). Then they touch! “When he touched me, it stung my hand as if an electric current had passed through us.”
Then she notices Edward’s eyes. They’re no longer black like they were on the first day she saw him. They are now dark butterscotch. The two get into a deep conversation. Bella gives Edward (and therefore, the reader) her reasons for moving to Washington: her mother is dating a minor league baseball player named Phil who travels a lot and so when he’s traveling Mrs. Bella’s Mom stays with Bella but that makes her feel lonely because she misses her baseball boyfriend Phil so Bella decided to live with her dad so that her mom could travel with Phil when he travels. Why she would tell all this to a stranger is beyond me. It’s beyond her as well: “I was in disbelief that I’d just explained my dreary life to this bizarre, beautiful boy who may or may not despise me.”
Bella’s Potential Boyfriend Power Rankings
- Mike – I’m still rooting for this guy, even though I think he’s setting himself up for a huge disappointment. He is a bit thirsty, which could hurt him in the next installment. He means well, though.
- Edward – moves up one spot from last time because he showed a concerted effort to get to know Bella, and because he didn’t act like he hated her.
- Eric – he slips down to third because he doesn’t really do anything with Bella to keep his spot or move up in this chapter. And I still can’t get over the fact that he doesn’t get sarcasm.
Joint Award for Best Simile and Best Typo:
“I made the Cowardly Lion look like the terminator” – Bella
Dear person who edited this manuscript: You missed something here. I’m assuming “the terminator” refers to the eponymous character from the 1984 Arnold Schwarzenegger film, “The Terminator.” If this is the case, then “terminator” should be capitalized. If this is not the case, then you should precede “terminator” with “a” instead of “the.” But that wouldn’t be as powerful an image as the first option.
All criticism aside, I like this simile. It’s easy to picture, and it’s almost humorous.
Best Food Image:
“I wrapped potatoes in foil and stuck them in the oven to bake, covered a steak in marinade and balanced it on top of a carton of eggs in the fridge” – Bella
Now I’m hungry. I like how she doesn’t just put the steak in the fridge. She balances it (key word: balance) on top of some eggs. This is a good sentence.
Best Statistic that I Made Up after Reading this Chapter:
27 percent of high school romances and 2.4 percent of marriages begin in a biology lab. This bodes well for Edward and Bella. Not so much for Bella and Mike, sadly.
Best Line to Quote if You Want to Make Your Friend Do Some Soul-Searching:
“‘You put on a good show…But I’d be willing to bet that you’re suffering more than you let anyone see’” – Edward
Best Proof for Bella Being a Monster:
“It was raining, washing all traces of the snow away in clear, icy ribbons down the side of the walkway. I pulled my hood up, secretly pleased” – Bella
I rest my case.