Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Twilight: She said she wasn't hungry

[Originally posted at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings.]
[Bella and Edward's lines are from the original, as is Jessica's first line.  Some of the descriptors are too.]

"I got lost," Bella told me sheepishly. "And then I ran into Edward," she gestured toward him, and it seemed normal enough, but something bothered me about the way she said it. There was something that I couldn't quite place, something off. For a moment I thought it felt like fear, but I brushed it off. What was there to be afraid of?
"Would it be all right if I joined you?" Edward asked.
My brain shut down. All I manged to say was, "Er... sure."
Angela apparently didn't have that problem, because she she explained to Bella that we'd already eaten. And apologized for doing it without her.
Bella took it well and said, "That's fine -- I'm not hungry." On the one hand, it was a good thing she didn't feel left out. On the other hand she seemed to skip meals a lot, and that worried me. Reflecting, I would have been willing to spend a meal watching her eat if it meant I'd know for sure she got a good meal in her. On the other hand, it wasn't my place to tell her when and what to eat.
"I think you should eat something," Edward said to Bella in a low, commanding voice. One might even say menacing. I didn't like the way he said that to her at all.
"She-" I started, weakly. He cut me off.
"Do you mind if I drive Bella home tonight?" The syntax said question, the tone of voice not so much. I felt like I shrank, and I think in a sense I probably did. My shoulders lowered, as did my gaze and with it my head, I got ready to curl up, instinctively preparing for the attack that I didn't actually expect, but I felt would come if I spoke back. "That way you won't have to wait while she eats," he finished.
On the one hand, that seemed reasonable enough. Why have us wait around for Bella to eat when someone else, who apparently hadn't eaten himself, with a car could stay with her and drive her home? On the other hand I did not like the way that he was pushing Bella to stay with him, and pushing us to leave. His low authoritative tones were there to turn suggestion and request into command, and I don't trust those who try to command their equals rather than persuade them.
And on the third hand, I was afraid. I started to talk anyway, "But..." and stalled after one word. The way that Edward glared at me made it hard to think, I got cold and an unpleasant feeling took over my stomach.
Then there was warmth as Angela took my hand. I wanted to look to her for reassurance, but I knew I had to respond to Edward so I kept my eyes on him and tried to stand up straighter, "She said she wasn't hungry, so there's no need for you to give her a ride. We can drive her home. Now."
"Honestly, I'm not hungry," Bella insisted, looking up at Edward.
"Humor me," he said, the same commanding tones. The same indication that it was an order not a request. The same attempt to push her around.
There was a moment's pause, and I broke it with, perhaps, more force than was called for, "No!" Edward and Bella both seemed surprised. "She doesn't have to humor you and you don't get to order her around." Bella looked relieved, Edward looked like the world had turned inside out and the buildings were washing up and down while the sea stayed steady as a rock. "Bella, would you like to go home now?"
Apparently she did because she came to us, and we headed toward the car, Bella between Angela and I. I tried to set a fast pace, I wanted to be gone before Edward recovered.

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