Twilight
Stephenie Meyer
Contributed by Sung Miele
Chapter 20
Summary

Charlie is awake at home, waiting for Bella to arrive; Edward confirms that James isn’t there yet. Bella then rushes into the house, pretending to be upset and wanting to leave immediately for Arizona. Charlie asks if Edward broke up with Bella and she responds that she broke up with him, that she doesn’t want to wind up stuck in Forks. Packing quickly, she’s ready to leave the house when Charlie quickly asks her to wait a week: Renee called up, things aren’t going well in Florida, and if Phil doesn’t get signed they’re moving back to Arizona so he can be a shortstop for the Sidewinders. Bella sticks to her plan, though, and repeats the words that Renee said when she left Charlie many years ago. This stuns Charlie and Bella makes good her escape. Edward drives Bella in her truck, with Alice and Emmet as escorts; Edward says that James is following them now. Bella is concerned about Charlie and Edward says he’ll forgive her; she also wonders why James is so intent on her and Edward explains that James is thrilled by the challenge of hunting her with a coven of strong fighters as her protection. Further, while Victoria will fight with James, Laurent isn’t as sure.

They arrive at the Cullen home. Carlisle confronts Laurent, who says he can’t stop James once he starts a hunt. Laurent decides to head north to the settlement in Denali, warns about underestimating James, and apologizes before finally leaving. Edward asks Rosalie to take Bella upstairs to trade clothes but she refuses; he then asks Esme, who does as she’s asked, switching clothes to confuse James briefly on Bella’s scent. They plan to leave in three groups: Esme and Rosalie will take the truck while Carlisle and Emmett and Edward will take the Jeep; Alice sees that James will track the Jeep while Victoria will follow the truck. Once they give chase, Alice and Jasper and Bella will head to Arizona in the Mercedes with dark-tinted windows. Edward gives Bella a kiss goodbye before he leave, and the truck and Jeep group depart. Alice gets a call confirming Victoria is on Esme’s trail; Jasper tells Bella that she’s worth it, and they leave.

Analysis

Bella repeating the words Renee used when leaving Charlie years ago is a striking scene, again showing how fragile families can be. It’s worth considering that Renee is the person which threatens the stability of the Cullen family as well; her presence is unstable as a Phoenix transplant in Forks as well as a human in love with a vampire.

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