Chapter Seventeen – Visitor

Chapter Number: Seventeen

Chapter Name: Visitor

Page Numbers: 382-403

Date of Chapter:  March 16-18, 2006

Bella is overcome with equal parts relief and joy to see that the vampire standing in her hallway is none other than Alice Cullen. She rushes to embrace her friend, gasping and breaking down into tears. Finally she has a tangible link back to the life she’d been missing these past few months. Alice tries to quiet and comfort Bella, pulling the considerably larger girl to the sofa and sitting Bella upon her lap, murmuring quietly that “Everything’s okay.”

Eventually Bella calms enough to notice a strain in Alice’s voice and posture. She looks up to see Alice facing away from her, her expression tense, her eyes pitch black. Bella realizes that Alice is thirsty and apologizes quickly. Alice replies that she is the one to blame, and should not have let herself go so long without hunting. Her manner quickly changes as she glares in Bella’s direction and asks just how it is that Bella is still alive.

At once, Bella understands why Alice has come. Alice had seen a vision of the events of that afternoon on the beach;  she had seen Bella fall from the cliff into the violent water below. But no sooner had Bella confirmed this fact aloud, than Alice curtly disagreed. She just seen Bella fall from the cliff-side, she’d seen her jump.  Alice thought that the jump was an attempt to commit suicide.

Bella scanned her mind and tried to think of a way to explain her actions to Alice, but she isn’t fast enough. She felt a shocking jolt to her raw emotional state, as Alice began  her reprimand, imitating Edward’s voice. She rushed out that despite promising Edward that she wouldn’t purposely try to look into Bella’s life and future, that sometimes her mental abilities couldn’t be controlled that way. She goes on to explain that she’d seen the vision of Bella jumping from the tall cliff, and though she knew that she would not be in time to save Bella’s life, she wanted to come and see if she could be any help or comfort to Charlie. She’d seen Bella enter the water and drown, and that was all.

Alice then asks Bella if she’d given any thought to what killing herself would do to Charlie, but when she mention mentions Edward, Bella stops her short. She tries to convince Alice that she’d had no intention of killing herself, that the cliff diving had been something she was merely doing for fun. It’s quite obvious at once that Alice is not convinced.

But as she looks at the vampire’s skeptical face, another thought suddenly occurs to her. How was it possible that Alice had seen all of that, but not Jacob rushing in to pull her back to the shore? Her expression clearly states that Alice is troubled by this question as well. As Bella explains the story of how Jacob rescued her, she watches Alice’s face contort into many different emotions rapidly. Bella is even further baffled as her friend leaned in mumbling under her breath about something being “ridiculous” and purposefully smelled her shoulder a few times. Alice ignores Bella’s demand to know what she is doing and instead freezes Bella with an unexpected question.

Alice asks Bella who it was outside the door that she’d heard her arguing with moments earlier. Bella hesitates, she is unsure as to whether or not she should tell Alice the whole story about Jacob. Eventually she decides that since she’d told Jacob the entire story about the Cullens, that it would be only fair to be honest with Alice as well. Finally, and with great reluctance, Bella informs Alice that Jacob, her new best friend, is a werewolf.

The vampire is at first stunned. Vampires and werewolves… Bella sure knew how to choose nice friends. Upon finding out that Jacob is also a very young werewolf, Alice becomes even more agitated. She talks about what dangerous animals they are, causing Bella to half-heartedly defend Jacob and the other wolves. Alice is buying none of it, her mind is made up on the issue already. Her lecture goes on into how much of a magnet for danger that Bella still is… not even knowing the half of it.

Bella then informs Alice about the confrontation between she and Laurent, and that Victoria is back and stalking out a chance to get her revenge. Alice’s manner becomes even darker and more threatening, more so than Bella had ever seen from her, and she asks Bella to tell her everything. Bella complies and, with the exception of a few conveniently cast-aside details that she feared Alice would be angry with her for, Bella fills Alice in on all of the things that had been happening in Forks since the Cullens had left, right up through that afternoon and Harry Clearwater’s passing.

When Bella is at last finished with her story, Alice seems quieted, and regretfully admits that she probably shouldn’t have interfered or come at all. Taking that to mean that Alice was thinking of leaving straight away, Bella feels a heavy panic set back upon her. She physically latches onto Alice’s clothing and begs her not to leave. Bella’s response clearly bothers the vampire, and Alice hurries once again to try and comfort and calm her. Bella is clearly an emotional mess. Alice agrees to stay, at least for the night.

The phone rings in the kitchen, and thinking it must be her father, Bella rushes in to answer it. The voice she hears on the other end of the line is a very short, and to the point Jacob – not Charlie. Jacob explains that he was only calling to make sure that Bella hadn’t been killed by the vampire who’d been hiding inside her house. Before Bella can assure him that it was only Alice, and that she wouldn’t hurt her, Jacob had hung up the phone on her. Leaving no chance for any fence-mending at the moment.

Having a thirsty vampire/unusually good smelling human sleepover, made it a necessity for Alice to hunt right away. She promised Bella that she would be back within an hour. Bella busies herself with a few of her own human necessities in the meantime, showering, preparing some food for herself and Charlie, and even making up a guest-bed on the sofa for Alice.

True to her word, Alice is back even earlier than promised and she and Bella sit together. Afraid to ask, but still needing to know, Bella finds out the Edward doesn’t know Alice has come… he isn’t living with the other Cullens now. Bella takes that to mean that he’s out pursuing his “distractions,” and she intentionally lets the subject of him drop. They begin to discuss the other members of Alice’s family, just as they hear Charlie approaching. Bella meets her father at the door, finding him weary and exhausted. He is surprised by their houseguest, but upon hearing that it was only Alice who was in town, he says that he is glad that Bella will have some company while he is so busy doing all that he can for Sue Clearwater and her children. He hurries off to the kitchen and the food Bella had prepared, and then upstairs to retire for the night, leaving Alice and Bella sitting together of the sofa again. Soon after the day’s events begin to take their toll on Bella as well, she explains that “near-death experiences do that” to her. Despite her desire to sit up and talk to Alice for hours, she soon slips off to sleep.

Bella awakens early the next morning to find herself laying on the sofa-bed that she’d made up for Alice. She overhears Charlie and Alice talking in the kitchen, and chooses to lay still to hear their conversation. She hears Alice asking her father “how bad” something was, and immediately thinks they are talking about Harry’s family. All too soon however, she finds out that is not at all the case. Charlie tells Alice about the extent of his daughter’s suffering in the days following Edward Cullen’s goodbye. Bella had been in a near catatonic state, not eating, sleeping, speaking, or moving at all. Charlie, feeling helpless and afraid, had Renee come to take Bella back to Florida with her, thinking that being away from Forks would make things easier on their daughter. The result of that visit had brought Bella around from her unresponsive state, but only to fly off into a fury, screaming that she wouldn’t leave. In the months the followed, Bella began her zombie phase and did all she could to hold up a good enough front to appease her father… doing whatever she could to make him think she was well enough to stay at home in Forks. She then was faced with the knowledge that all of her trying had been in vain, her dad hadn’t been at all fooled. He had lived and suffered every worry and ache of Bella’s pain along her in silence. This knowledge hit her like a speeding truck. It had been nothing but a wasted effort in the end.

As Bella tries to take this revelation in, she then hears Alice’s quiet voice apologizing to Charlie for all that had happened. His father’s voice then changes, growing hard. He makes it astounding clear that while he doesn’t blame Alice, he does blame someone. Edward. He begins to not so subtly talk about Jacob and how good he’d been to Bella, how much better she’d seemed to become from being around him. How much better for Bella that had Jacob had been as opposed to… yeah. Charlie seems a little taken back when, instead of arguing in her brother’s defense, Alice simply agrees with him about how good it was that Jacob was around to help Bella out of her depression. This causes his harsher tone to fade again, and with more honesty, Charlie confides in Alice about his worry that Bella might not ever truly get over this.

He goes on to ask about Edward, and if he’d be returning. Alice tells him that Edward has no idea that she has come back to Forks, and that when she’d last spoke to her brother, that he’d been somewhere in South America. Seeming somewhat contented by that, Charlie allows the subject to lapse and Bella decides that she’s done enough eavesdropping for one morning.

With Charlie having returned to La Push to help out with Harry’s funeral arrangements, Bella and Alice had the full day to talk and catch up. Alice tells Bella that all of the Cullens are now living in Ithaca, New York. She goes on to inform Bella that Carlisle was working at a hospital as well as teaching at Cornell University, where Jasper was also taking classes as a philosophy student. Rosalie and Emmett had returned from traveling, Esme was busy with a restoring project, and that she, herself, had been successful in digging up some of the mysteries of her own hidden past.  Alice had uncovered her human name, date of birth, so-called death, and the fact that she’d had a younger sister. Bella feels comforted in hearing about the family that she’d once her considered her own, and lost. She is relieved that Alice seemed to know well enough not to mention her brother, the prodigal son.  

Early the next morning, Bella and Alice both pretend to sleep as Charlie leaves to house to attend the funeral. Bella decides to spend the morning getting caught up on some long-neglected housework while she and Alice continue to chat. She was busily scrubbing out the bathtub when she suddenly heard the doorbell ring below. Bella looked up, surprised, to see Alice’s usually serene face troubled. Her surprise turns to downright confusion as Alice states that she has “a fairly good guess who” it was at the door, and that she had better leave for the time being. Alice? A guess?!? Alice then tells her that going by her inability to see him the last time, that she was sure that the person at the door was Jacob, or one of the other werewolves. It’s then that Bella realizes what this all means: Alice cannot see the wolves in her visions. And Alice didn’t like that fact, not one bit.

The doorbell rings again, as Bella tells Alice that she is there as her guest and doesn’t have to leave. Alice laughs and kisses Bella on the cheek, before hurrying off in a flash.

Characters Involved: Bella Swan, Alice Cullen, Jacob Black, Charlie Swan, Edward Cullen, Rosalie Hale

Characters Mentioned: Carlisle Cullen, Victoria, Laurent, Harry Clearwater, Esme Cullen, Jasper Hale, Sue Clearwater, Sam Uley, Leah Clearwater, Seth Clearwater, Dr. Gerandy, Renee Dwyer, Emmett Cullen, Cynthia, Tanya

Places Visited: Swan home

Memorable Quotes:
“Would you like to explain to me how you’re alive?”
~Alice to Bella

“Are you saying you didn’t jump off a cliff?”
~Alice to Bella

“No, but…” I grimaced. “It was for recreational purposes only.”
~Bella to Alice

“He was a fool to think you could survive alone. I’ve never seen anyone so prone to life-threatening idiocy.”
~Alice to Bella

“What did you think you were going to find? I mean, besides me dead? Did you expect to find me skipping around and whistling show tunes?”
~Bella to Alice

“It’s not normal, Alice, and it… it frightens me. Not normal at all. Not like someone… left her, but like someone died.”
~Charlie to Alice

Important Information Learned:
First and foremost: We have Cullen interaction! Hallelujah!

Edward is not living with the rest of the Cullen family.

Alice was not in support of Edward’s plan to leave Bella behind in Forks, and tried to reason with him.

The natural prejudice that Alice feels towards werewolves is much the same, and just as strong, as how the Quileute’s feel about the vampires.

Bella was unsuccessful in attempting to shield Charlie from the amount of pain she was in after the Cullens left Forks, and he blames Edward for all his daughter has been through.

Alice and Bella discover that Alice cannot see werewolves in her visions. Alice finds this fact very disturbing.

Chapter Leader: Likeasunburn