The second time through, I was struck by Bella's statement, “I'm here...which, roughly translated, means I would rather die than stay away from you.” I thought to myself, how on earth did she get to this point. In my humble opinion, this is still the weakest part of the Saga. However, I want to go back and document Bella's love journey in an effort to discover how this happened.
I am going to look at the following areas:
Let's face it, Edward is gorgeous, or at least Bella thinks that he is which is all that really matters. I would be lying if I was to conclude that this was not a factor in Bella's love journey; however, I do not think that it was by any means the only factor. Even as gorgeous as he was, Bella didn't like him very much while he was being rude. If you remember the scene in first sight when she first saw Edward. She acknowledged his beauty, but if was almost in an academic way. She wasn't thinking lustful thoughts.
It is true that Bella spends a lot of time thinking about Edward's beauty; however, I am beginning to wonder if she really finds it attractive and not somewhat repulsive. Here is what I mean. Bella almost seems to be using Edward's beauty to feed her insecurity. Often her gushing over Edward is followed immediately by her disparaging herself. It is almost as if she is trying convince herself that there is no way that someone this beautiful and this special could possibly have affection for someone so plain and ordinary.
Bella couldn't help but be flattered that the most gorgeous guy in the whole school was paying attention to her. Especially when she learned that he routinely ignores the other girls. Even when he is treating her like a pariah, he still isn't ignoring her. Bella was well aware of the fact that Edward was caught staring at her twice before they had ever spoken.
She was taken off guard and more than a little flattered when the most beautiful guy is school starts having a pleasant and perfectly polite conversation with her during biology. I mean she was well aware by then that Edward ignored everyone. Then Edward began an earnest attempt to really get to know Bella. Jessica and Mike had spent more of the time talking and not listening. Edward really wanted to get to know her. Edward had a way of making her open up to him like nobody else. After Edward failed in his attempt to ignore Bella, he began again to try to get to know her.
Bella was taught by her mother to go to college, start a career, and only then starting looking for a relationship. This being instilled deeply into her psyche, she had no interest in dating anyone in high school. So when Mike, Eric, and Tyler asked her out on a date she was immediately repelled. None of them had taken the time to really get to know her, to really become her friend, before they tried to be her boy friend. This immediately turned Bella off. Edward didn't do this. He took the time to become her friend first, and then and only then did he attempt a romantic relationship. In New Moon, we see Jacob succeed doing exactly the same thing. He worked on being Bella's friend first and from there their relationship grew into something romantic.
Notice how that Edward didn't suggest anything even slightly romantic until after the meadow. Even the trip to Seattle could have been completely platonic. This allowed him to slip under the “boy shield” Bella had built to keep her safe from shall we say “horny toads.”
Notice how when Jessica demanded details that the one Bella chose to share was how Edward only had eyes for her in the restaurant and completely ignored the hostess and the waitress although in Bella's opinion both women were older and more attractive than she.
Ask Ginny Weasley, Mary Jane Watson, or Lois Lane; there is just something besotting about someone saving your life. I don't think that we can take for granted the events in the parking lot that day. At that point Bella discovered that there was more than meets the eye to Edward Cullen. She found out that he was unbelievably fast and able to juggle small minivans with a single hand. Bella had found her own private super hero. But it was more than that. Obviously Edward didn't want people to know about his amazing speed and strength. This means that he had exposed himself to her and risked public exposure to save her life. Her life was more important to him than his secret. It is little wonder that she began obsessing about him. Remember she didn't start dreaming about Edward until after he had risked exposure to save her life.
I'll talk a little about how the thought that Edward had saved her because he may have felt something for her impacted her when I talk about affection. Even if he had only save her because she was human, that tells vast amounts about Edward's character. If he saved her purely because she was human, it means that he values human life above himself. This makes Edward a man a great character. The kind of character that worthy of her affection.
In many ways, reading Midnight Sun Edward's love journey is much more believable than Bella's. He begins following her in earnest through the minds of her friends Mike, Jessica, but especially Angela. He learns more and more about her and discovers a character worthy of affection. Then only after he has fallen for her character does he see her as beautiful. When Mike asks her to the dance, he can keep his distance no longer. After that every word that Edward says is laced with, “I love you.”
His affection for her is the reason behind his attentiveness. His affection for her is the reason behind his being there to save her. His affection for her is the reason for his self control.
Saving her from the van could have been chance. He could have saved her that day only because she was human. But saving her from the attackers, that was altogether different. He didn't just happen to be there, he had to have been following her to be there at the right time. This is probably the reason that the first question that she asked was why he was in Port Angeles.
Yes, Bella does seem to fall in love with Edward very quickly. Part of this is the vast amount of time the author skips over while Edward is ignoring her. I also believe that one of the reasons that Bella's falling in love with Edwards tends to sneak up on the reader is that the story is told in the first person, and it sneaked up on Bella. If Bella had seen herself slowly falling for Edward, she would have run from that as fast as she could because smart girls waited until after they finished college as started a career before they pursued a romantic relationship.
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