So I promised this final Twilight roundup nearly a year ago -- and by "promised" I mean "threatened you with the prospect of it even though I was pretty sure no one was really interested anymore" -- but I never got around to it. Until now. And actually, I'm only getting around to it now because I really really want to write something about Black Swan but figured I should do this first.
Anyone still reading? Good. Let's continue. [CAUTION: SPOILERS ABOUND!]
First, you have to get on the same page with me that Edward and Bella are meant to be together. This is indisputable and I will accept no argument to the contrary. What's more, I can PROVE they're meant to be by the sheer fact that the moment Edward and Bella are finally together as vampires, both of them instantly stop being so damn unlikable. Seriously. A vampire Bella is, ironically, a less-sucky Bella. Likewise, a vampire Bella means a less whiny-controlling-maudlin-sucky Edward. You know I'm right. As soon as they get together, all becomes right with their worlds. Even the painful, nagging cold sore that was Jacob Black's moody obsession with Bella, which he mistook for love, is healed and eradicated by the birth of her daughter and Bella's vampire transformation. The stars aligned, the universe righted itself, and Bella finally felt like she fit in. End of story.
The problem, of course, is all the stuff before the end of the story that's not really story at all. Or at least, not very interesting story. Most of it is manufactured nonsense. Edward won't change Bella; Edward leaves Bella; Jacob convinces himself he has half a chance with Bella even though she tells him multiple times that he doesn't; Edward thinks Bella is dead and tries to kill himself; Bella goes to save him; Edward and Bella are back together; Jacob continues to make an obnoxious, date-rapey nuisance of himself; Edward and Bella bicker over whether to change her some more; Edward wants to get married but Bella can't possibly commit herself to that even though she's been begging to spend eternity as a vampire for 3 books; etc., etc., etc. It's all a headache. My theory is, Edward and his mopey conscience screwed with fate from the very beginning.
If you read the excerpt of Midnight Sun from Stephenie Meyer's website (and I have -- it's Twilight from Edward's perspective), you learn that Edward questions whether fate would be so cruel as to destine a mate for him, given that such a destiny requires the death and soul-nullifying vampire transformation of some innocent human girl. I say, Fate does what Fate does and it doesn't concern itself with right, wrong, or soul-nullification. If something is meant to happen, it will find a way to happen. If two people are meant to be together, Fate will continue to bring about opportunities until it happens. And as we've already established, Bella and Edward are meant to be together. They're fated. So, in my mind, what Fate intended was for Bella to die in the crash in the school parking lot. Or, rather, "die". She would've been taken to the hospital, where the combination of her fatal wounds and Edward's obvious connection to her would've convinced Carlisle to change her. She would've become a vampire then; end of story. Edward fucked that all up.
So, instead, Fate sends some scary hooligans after Bella in Port Angeles, where she could've met her "demise" in much the same way Rosalie did. Edward got in the way of that too. Bella may have been clumsy all her life, but she was never in mortal danger until it was time for Fate to get her together with Edward. It's a pattern.
Of course, the next instance is the sudden and convenient obsession James develops for her. Clearly, here's a vampire who could -- and did -- feast on any human who caught his fancy. But Bella he must have because it would irritate Edward? Really? Okay, maybe it's not that far-fetched, but still. Convenient.
The thing is, in the story Edward prevents Bella from being changed by James's rogue bite by sucking the venom out of her wound. Unfortunately, this doesn't wash. Meyer establishes that when a vampire smells (and subsequently tastes) blood, his mouth fills with venom. If Edward's mouth is filled with his own venom, it's highly unlikely he's able to remove all the venom from her wound without replacing it with some of his own. Forget unlikely, it's impossible. Bella could not have been cleaned of venom in that ballet studio; it's not feasible. So what did happen, then? What about all the other books? What about Jacob? What about the Volturi? Get this: it never happened. None of it.
Everything from the point Bella passes out in the ballet studio to her soft-focus happily-ever-after with Edward and Renesmee is a figment of Bella's imagination, a venom-induced hysteria. Jacob's not a werewolf; he's a Native American kid with tribal lore and customs that intrigued Bella's subconscious. There is no old guard of bureaucratic bloodsuckers waiting to pounce on this mild-mannered group of "vegetarian" vamps; and even if there were and Edward went there to commit suicide, Bella and Alice wouldn't follow him on a commercial flight -- surely one of the Cullens owns and can fly a private jet. Bella isn't immune from newborn-itis because of her super-willpower; in fact, most of these alleged vampire superpowers are fictitious. As Edward said in the beginning, special powers are somewhat rare. Not all vampires have a "gift". And there is no Incubus, because there is no vampire semen. I'm sorry, there just isn't. Renesmee is an elaborate and horribly-named hallucination.
What I want to read, then, is the real story. What really happened after James and Edward changed Bella at the end of the first book? This is what I want to explore, and I think only a really detailed, concentrated work of fan fiction will do the trick. Bella's death will have to be faked; she'll have the standard, much-maligned first newborn year of thirst and strength and struggle. She'll have to move; will she try to see Charlie again? Will she resent Edward at first for not being able to save her or will their love be able to flourish? What will she do with all her newfound free time? Answer these questions for me, people. This is the story that should've happened. This is the story that Fate intended to happen. Let's let it unfold.