Chapter Twelve – Balancing

 Chapter Number: Twelve

Chapter Name: Balancing

Page Numbers: 236-259 (Hardcover)

Date of Chapter: Thursday March 10 – Saturday March 12, 2005

Summary: Billy and Jacob have decided to visit Charlie and Bella to watch the game on television.

While making Charlie something for tea, Bella confesses to Jacob that Edward had given her a lift home. This makes Jacob laugh as it explains why his dad has been acting strangely and watching Bella with particular severity. Jacob still believes that the stories about the Cullens are all superstition.

As they leave, Billy tells Bella to take care, but says nothing about his beliefs regarding the Cullens to either Bella or Charlie.

The following day Edward drives Bella to school again and continues to ask her numerous questions, focusing in particular on people.

Over lunch, Edward informs Bella that he is going to be ditching afterwards to go hunting with Alice in preparation for being alone with Bella the following day.

Edward goes onto explain that Alice is the most supportive of his family where Bella is concerned. He describes the rest of his family as ‘incredulous’ as they cannot understand why Edwards seems unable to leave Bella alone. Bella agrees with Edward’s family on this point, despite Edward telling her once again that she doesn’t see herself very clearly. He explains that he finds her intriguing, as she never does what he expects, taking him by surprise.

Rather than pleasing Bella, Edwards words make her feel ‘embarrassed and dissatisfied.’ She feels that he is viewing her more as an experiment, although as she thinks about this she realises it is to be expected. This is indicative of Bella’s continuing view of herself as uninteresting and unattractive; she struggles to accept that someone like Edward could possibly be genuinely attracted to her.

Catching the eye of Rosalie, Bella is shocked at the intensity of her glare and the animosity held within it. Edward explains that she is concerned because he is not the only one who would be in danger if things were to end badly between him and Bella. Talking of this causes Edward pain. He clearly worries about spending so much time with Bella, a human, knowing of the temptation he represses when he is with her.

Although Edward’s words should scare her, Bella is unafraid, and thinks only about comforting Edward. Once again, this is further proof of Bella acting in a way completely opposite to what is expected of a human coming into contact with a vampire.

Edward and Bella are interrupted by the arrival of Alice, whom Edward introduces to Bella. Edward is obviously annoyed by Alice’s greeting of Bella, as she says ‘It’s nice to finally meet you.’

After Edward leaves to go hunting, Bella has Biology and then Gym. Without Edward there, she seriously considers ditching the rest of the day but doesn’t want to make things any more difficult for Edward than they already are. She realises that if she ditches, others will assume she’s with Edward and, if things should go wrong later, suspicion would fall on him.

In Gym, Mike is feeling friendly towards Bella again. Bella tells him she is not going to Seattle now, making Mike think she must be going to the dance with Edward, however, Bella assures him that is not the case. Mike continues to jump to conclusions about Bella’s plans when she tells him she will be doing the laundry and studying. Once again he asks if Edward will be involved in her plans and sounds rather too relieved when Bella says that he isn’t.

Continuing his role as admirer to Bella, despite going to the dance with Jessica, Mike suggests that Bella comes to the dance with rest of the group anyway, and that they would all dance with her. Encouraged by the thought of Jessica’s opinion of that idea, Bella firmly repeats her previous statement that she is not going to the dance – leaving Mike to sulk.

Leaving school at the end of the day, Bella finds that Edward has been good to his word and left her truck for her. Sitting on her seat is a note from him that reads: ‘be safe’.

That evening, Bella tells Charlie that she isn’t going to Seattle after all, but she doesn’t tell him she’ll be spending Saturday with Edward.

Wound up and nervous about the following day Bella has to keep reminding herself that Edward wants her to be safe and that all this was her choice. She realises that she is worried about what would happen if things ended badly, but that she is incapable of distancing herself from Edward.

Unable to sleep, Bella takes cold medicine to ensure she gets a peaceful night.

The following day, Edward turns up to Bella’s house. Although he initially looks serious, his mood lightens as he points out that they are both wearing the same outfits.

As they drive, Edward informs Bella that they’ll be hiking for about five miles – a fact that sends Bella into a panic. Knowing her clumsy nature, she is painfully aware of how dangerous outdoor activities can be for her.

As the conversation moves onto what Bella has told Charlie about her plans, Edward becomes angry when she is forced to reveal that nobody knows where she is or who she is with. He is incensed at the idea of Bella being more concerned about the trouble he could get in, rather than the trouble she could get in.

Bella is given further cause for panic when she realises that they aren’t using a marked trail, but a fears on this score are quickly wiped when she sees Edward with his jumper off and his shirt unbuttoned. Once again Bella feels that he is too perfect to want to be with her. Bella’s rapidly changing expressions and tone of voice as she tries to hide her thoughts from Edward confuse him but he doesn’t pursue the matter.

The hike through the forest takes most of the morning and Bella and Edward spend most of it in silence. When they do speak, it is because Edward has asked Bella another question left over from the previous two days interrogations.

While Bella feels that they are completely lost, Edward never falters as he leads her to the meadow. As they get closer, however, Edward lets Bella take the lead and she strides out into the meadow ahead of him.

Struck by the beauty of the meadow, Bella initially forgets why they had come, however, seeing Edward has paused in the shade of the trees, Bella is reminded of Edward’s promise.

The chapter ends with Edward taking a breath and stepping into the clearing in response to Bella’s encouraging smile.

Characters involved: Bella Swan, Charlie Swan, Jacob Black, Billy Black, Edward Cullen, Rosalie Hale, Alice Cullen, Mike Newton

Characters Mentioned: Jessica Stanley, Angela Weber, Jasper Hale, Emmett Cullen.

Places visited: The Swan residence, Forks High School, the forest, the meadow

Memorable quotes:
 “You take care, Bella.”
~Billy Black to Bella

‘ “Pleasant.’ His smile was amused; I felt like I was missing an inside joke.’
~ Edward’s response and Bella’s thoughts after she asks him how his night was.

“It’s nice to finally meet you”
~Alice to Bella

‘Edward flashed a dark look at her’
~Edward’s response to Alice’s greeting.

‘…concentrating instead on making things safer for him.’
~Bella’s preoccupation with keeping Edward safe.

‘There was nothing more terrifying to me, more excruciating, than the thought of turning away from him.’
~Bella on Edward

“Are you so depressed by Forks that it’s made you suicidal?”
~Edward feels that spending time alone with him could be fatal for Bella if no-one knows she’s with him.

Important Information Learned:
Alice seems to know quite a bit about Bella.

Bella feels as though she is incapable of ever leaving Edward.

Edward wants to keep Bella safe.

Edward and Bella are both wearing the same clothes, despite Edward being unable to read Bella’s mind.

Edward is able to find his way in the forest without the need of a map or trails to follow.

Edward’s eyesight is superior to Bella’s.