Twilight
Stephenie Meyer
Contributed by Sung Miele
Chapter 21
Summary

Bella wakes up confused, realizing she’s in a hotel room and remembering how they got there. Jasper drove while Alice sat with Bella in the back seat. They covered a three day trip in one and found a hotel near the airport, just in case. Alice asks to come in to Bella’s room and says there’s some food waiting, as Edward reminded her that humans eat more frequently than she’s used to. Bella asks if Edward called and Alice said no, she was told this before they left. Jasper and Alice are waiting for Carlisle to call, which worries Bella but doesn’t bother the vampires nearly as much. Bella is concerned about something happening to the others, especially those chasing James, but Jasper tells her to stop, as none of the Cullens are in jeopardy - it’s Bella that they fear losing. Alice adds that Edward has been alone for almost a century and they don’t want to look into his eyes for the next hundred years if he loses Bella.

They continued to wait throughout the day. Alice and Bella talk: Carlisle and his group were to take James as far north as possible before ambushing him; Esme was to take Victoria as far West as possible and if Victoria turned around, Esme and Rosalie were going back to Forks to watch over Charlie. Bella then persuades Alice to tell her how someone becomes a vampire, as Edward refused to tell her. Alice knows Edward will be very angry but gives in: she explains that vampires have a venom that doesn’t kill but merely incapacitates. If someone survives a vampire attack - highly unlikely, given the wide array of predatory gifts they possess as well as the feeding frenzy vampires have when tasting blood - then the poison spreads and in several days the transformation is complete.

Suddenly, Alice says something has changed. She goes to Jasper and says she’s seeing a long room with mirrors and a wooden floor. That room remains in the future but is waiting for another decision that has yet to be made. Currently, James is watching something on a VCR in the dark in another room. All this information means the tracker’s plans have changed, and that change will lead to those two rooms. The phone then rings and Alice answers: it’s Cullen, confirming that James eluded his group. Edward then speaks to Bella: Edward apologies to her for losing track of the tracker, who seems to have gotten on a plane, probably to Forks. Bella confirms that Esme and Rosalie are watching Charlie, and tells Edward she misses him and loves him. After they hang up, Alice begins to sketch the long room she sees in her mind and Bella recognizes it as a ballet studio, the one where she used to go for dance lessons ten years ago. She’s not sure if it’s the same room but the one she knows is around the corner from her mother’s home.

Bella decides to call her mom at her house, since she’s supposed to be coming home soon from Florida. Her only permanent number is at home, and she’s supposed to check her messages regularly; Alice checks with Jasper, who sees no harm since the call won’t indicate where they are. Bella makes the call and leaves a message telling Renee to call back at this number but not to worry. Even as she marvels at the patience of Alice and Jasper, she falls asleep again.

Analysis

Pay special attention to how the description of James in the dark room foreshadows the trick he plays on Bella. The differences in how time is perceived between humans and vampires is emphasized in several ways this chapter: the speedy arrival to Phoenix, the patience the vampires show while waiting for news, and the way Alice describes the importance Bella has for Edward. This last point is especially interesting, as Edward’s love for Bella takes on dramatic proportions by being literally once-in-a-century and his potential loss of her being equally long-lived.

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