Chapter Twelve -Time

Chapter Number: 12 

Chapter Name: Time 

Page Numbers:  pp. 267 -286

Date of Chapter:
   June 4 – June 5 2006

Walking to the car after school, Alice discloses to Bella that she is planning a graduation party for her and it suddenly dawns on Bella that graduation is only a week away.  The deadline agreed for Carlisle to change her into a vampire is almost upon her — and she realizes in a panic that she isn’t ready to leave her human life behind, even though it’s what she’s wanted more than anything.  Without her realizing it, the time for preparing herself has slipped away. 

Alerted by Bella’s stricken silence on the way home, Edward drags an admission out of her that she is isn’t really ready, but Bella insists that the combined threat from Victoria, the Volturi, and the recent mysterious intruder in her room makes it too dangerous to postpone her transformation.  Edward insists that he won’t let her go through with this until she feels safe and can freely decide what she really wants.  None of the Cullens had a choice about becoming a vampire; he is determined that Bella’s decision should be unforced.  

Bella asks Edward why he doesn’t want her to be a vampire, thinking it has to do with the fact that she will no longer be soft and warm and tempting. Edward laughs and reassures her that she’ll be the same girl he has always loved — just a little more durable.  In spite of the human aspects that he will miss, he tells her it will mostly be a relief not to have to worry about killing her. But he hates the idea of changing her because staying human would be such a better choice for her.  It seems criminally selfish to him to allow her to become a vampire (and possibly lose her soul) just so he can keep her forever. If there were any way for him to become human for her he’d do it, whatever the cost.   

To Bella’s horror, Edward then asks Bella why she won’t marry him.  After many evasions, she admits that she finds the idea of getting married straight out of high school embarrassing and ridiculous.  It’s just not something intelligent, responsible girls of her generation do.  Edward is surprised by her answer — and relieved.  It never occurred to him that her reservations might be about marriage itself.  When he admits to worrying that perhaps she was more interested in immortality than in him, it’s Bella’s turn to laugh, assuring him that without him, she wouldn’t want to live even a day, let alone eternity.   

Reassured, Edward tells Bella that he understands her qualms about marriage; but he asks her to try to understand how natural getting married seems to someone of his own era.  For a moment she visualizes herself as a radiant, turn-of-the-century bride-to-be, before quickly returning to her own reality.  Edward, for his part, remains unwilling to relent and change Bella unless she marries him first.  They agree they are glad to understand one another’s perspectives better, but it is still an impasse.  When Edward arrives the next morning to take Bella to school, she is staring blindly at a newspaper report on the latest string of gruesome murders in Seattle.  The newborn vampire there is clearly getting scarily out of hand. Bella is terrified by the idea of the Cullens going to Seattle to deal with it, but also of the Volturi turning up to sort things out themselves.  And something is inexplicably blocking Alice’s vision of what is going on. Unexpectedly, Edward suggests that the two of them ditch school and go consult Jasper.   

They find the Cullens watching the latest murder reports on CNN, and debating whether the time has come to intervene.  Emmett is raring to go; Carlisle demurs, pointing out that it’s not their responsibility.  Edward is anxious to forestall an untimely visit from the Volturi.  And Jasper suddenly figures out what is behind the events in Seattle.  Before sharing his revelation, he insists that Bella should be included in the discussion, because she is now one of the family.  But if she is to understand, she will need to know more of his own history.  He rolls up the sleeve of his sweater to reveal row upon row of overlapping scars like the one Bella carries from the bite James left on her hand.   

Characters Involved:
Alice Cullen, Edward Cullen, Bella Swan, Carlisle Cullen, Esme Cullen, Jasper Hale, Emmet Cullen, Rosalie Hale

Characters Mentioned:
Charlie Swan, Renee Dwyer, Jacob Black, Victoria, Jane, Caius, Aro,  

Places Visited:  Forks High School parking lot, the Swan home, the Cullen home  

Memorable Quotes:
“Not until you’re ready.  And definitely not while you feel threatened.” ~ Edward to Bella

“Not one of us had a choice…I won’t let it be that way for you.  You will have a choice.” ~ Edward to Bella

“There’s no point to forever without you.  I wouldn’t want one day without you.” ~ Bella to Edward 

“It’s the most selfish thing I’ll ever do, even if I live forever.” ~ Edward, about changing Bella.  

“You.  That’s what I’m keeping.  You’ll always be my Bella,  you’ll just be a little more durable.” ~ Edward to Bella

“I’m not that girl Edward.” ~ Bella to Edward

I was going for the wedding march, but it sort of sounded like a dirge. ~ Bella

“Jasper, what happened to you?” ~ Bella to Jasper
Important Information learned: 
The idea of leaving behind her humanity terrifies Bella. 

Edward is determined that Bella stay human until the danger is past, so her choice will not be made under duress. 

Bella has been worrying that Edward won’t like her as much when she’s not human. 

Edward thinks that allowing Bella to become a vampire is the most selfish thing he will ever do.

Edward has been worrying whether Bella is more covetous of immortality than of him.

Bella is unwilling to marry Edward because it seems tacky to get married straight out of high school.

Jasper has a mysterious past which has left him covered in scars from dozens of vampire bites.   

Chapter Prepared By:  December