Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Flip Side of Twilight

For the past year or more, it seems the entire country has been caught up in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. I have to admit that I was excited to read it myself as soon as the first book was released, upon excellent reccommendations from trustworthy sources. But disregarding the fact that I felt like I was perpetually trapped inside the mind of a teenage girl, I was seriously concerned that the book lacked both sides of this uniqe love story.

So, being a guy, I decided to present what I feel must have been Edward's side of the story.

This particular exerpt begins on page 218 under the chapter called Complications. First I’ll quote Stephenie Meyer’s words and then I’ll give Edward’s version, and afterwards you’ll understand why the chapter is entitled “complications.”

Stephenie Meyer's version

Mr. Banner shoved the tape into the reluctant VCR and walked to the wall to turn off the lights. And then, as the room went black, I was suddenly hyperaware that Edward was sitting less than an inch from me. I was stunned by the unexpected electricity that flowed through me, amazed that it was possible to be more aware of him than I already was. The crazy impulse to reach over and touch him, to stroke his perfect face just once in the darkness, nearly overwhelmed me. I crossed my arms tightly across my chest, my hands balling into fists. I was losing my mind.

The opening credits began, lighting the room by a token amount. My eyes, of their own accord, flickered to him. I smiled sheepishly as I realized his posture was identical to mine, fists clenched under his arms, right down to the eyes, peering sideways at me. He grinned back, his eyes somehow managing to smolder, even in the dark. I looked away before I could start hyperventilating. It was absolutely ridiculous that I should feel dizzy.

The hour seemed very long. I couldn’t concentrate on the movie – I didn’t even know what subject it was on. I tried unsuccessfully to relax, but the electric current that seemed to be originating from somewhere in his body never slackened. Occasionally I would permit myself a quick glance in his direction, but he never seemed to relax, either. The overpowering craving to touch him also refused to fade, and I crushed my fists safely against my ribs until my fingers were aching with the effort.

I breathed a sigh of relief when Mr. Banner flicked the lights back on at the end of class, and stretched my arms out in front of me, flexing my stiff fingers. Edward chuckled beside me.

“Well, that was interesting,” he murmured. His voice was dark and his eyes were cautious.

“Umm,” was all I was able to respond.

“Shall we?” he asked, rising fluidly.

I almost groaned. Time for gym. I stood with care, worried my balance might have been affected by a strange new intensity between us.

He walked me to my next class in silence and paused at the door; I turned to say goodbye. His face startled me – his expression was torn, almost pained, and so fiercely beautiful that the ache to touch him flared as strong as before. My goodbye stuck in my throat.

He raised his hand, hesitant, conflict raging in his eyes, and then swiftly brushed the length of my cheekbone with his fingertips. His skin was as icy as ever, but the trail his fingers left on my skin was alarmingly warm – like I’d been burned, but didn’t feel the pain of it yet.

He turned without a word and strode quickly away from me.

Now let’s explore the exact same scene, seen through Edward’s eyes. Let’s not forget that this scene took place right after they had lunch together where Bella had asked Edward to eat some of her human food. He of course did to show her that he was able to.

Jared Palenske's version

Mr. Banner shoved the tape into the reluctant VCR and walked to the wall to turn off the lights. Then, as the room went black, I slid my seat closer to Bella. Being the huge baseball fan that I was, and with my family it was hard not to be, I was hoping that today might be the day that I made it to second base with her. Damn it, if only I could read her thoughts. I just wish I could know what she was thinking. This really made things more difficult and created a slight obstacle, but there was no way I would let it prevent me from wooing Bella into making out with me. Still though, I really wished I could read her thoughts, and I was getting a little pissed off that I couldn’t. Wouldn’t you know it…the one girl that I had really fallen for and I couldn’t even use my gift to know what she was thinking. Advantage: Bella.

It wasn’t long into the movie when I first noticed the grumbling in my stomach. “Oh, no,” I thought to myself. “This isn’t good.”

I knew what was coming next. It had happened once before when I had attempted to eat a whole gallon of ice cream on a bet with Emmett. I won, of course, but paid for it later. Stupid human food. Never has sat well with me, and I could already tell that the pizza Bella dared me to eat was going to be no different. I was hoping that the little bit that I ate wouldn’t have been enough to affect me, but I could tell that my hopes were in vain. Oh Bella, why?...why did you have to dare me to eat that wretched piece of pizza, and why did I have to try to be so macho and prove that I could do it?

My stomach was really starting to roll then and the gas pains were becoming unbearable. I was beginning to wonder if I was even going to be able to make it through the movie or if I would have to make a trip to the bathroom before it was over. I knew that if I got up to leave I wouldn’t be able to explain it to Bella. And there was no way I could just leave without talking to her…I might end up making her mad, especially because it seemed like it could have been that time of the month for her.

There would be no chance at all of getting to second base if I made her mad, that’s for sure. Nope, I was simply going to have to have to tough this one out no matter how much it hurt. Sheesh, the things you do for love. I hope someday Bella will realize how much crap I had to deal with just to make her happy. It gets pretty old having to always put on a show just to win her over. Oh well, if we end up getting married then I’ll be able to be myself, until then though I would have to continue putting my best foot forward.

Whatever it takes to get her to make out, I thought. But what if she doesn’t want to make out? Damn it…why couldn’t I read her mind? The gas pains were absolutely killing me by this point and I felt like I was about to explode. I knew my chances at scoring with her would surely be ruined unless I held it in. It was my only choice.

I crossed my arms tightly across my chest and balled my hands into fists. I was losing my mind but it was all I could do to hold off the pain and keep from screaming out loud. I quickly glanced over at Bella to see what she was doing, hoping she couldn’t tell what was going on.

I noticed that she was sitting the exact same way I was. I began to wonder if she was teasing me when I noticed her smile. I grinned back, my teeth clenched tightly to trap the scream that was begging to escape. Maybe she knew what I was experiencing and smiled to let me know it was okay. Was she trying to tell me it was okay to fart around her? Maybe she was cool with it. If only I could read her thoughts! It was much too difficult to try to read what she was thinking from her expressions alone. No, I couldn’t chance it. It was too risky, and besides, what was knocking at my back door was much more than gas, I was afraid. I was just going to have to fight it. I could almost feel myself sweating even though it was impossible for me to do so.

The hour seemed very long. How long could a stupid biology movie go on for, anyway? I realized that I hadn’t been paying the least bit of attention to the movie because every ounce of my lifeless body was preoccupied, wrestling my irritable bowel syndrome. I tried unsuccessfully to relax, but the rumbling that seemed to be originating from somewhere in my lower intestine never slackened. The overpowering craving to race to the bathroom refused to fade, so I continued to crush my fist against my ribs, my fingers now aching from the effort.

I couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief when Mr. Banner finally flicked the lights back on at the end of class. Relieved that class was finally over, I couldn’t help but chuckle.

“Well, that was interesting,” I murmured, still wondering if she knew my secret.

“Umm,” she mumbled. Not a good sign.

“Shall we?” I asked, jumping up as quickly as I could, hoping that some movement and being on my feet might help relieve a little pressure.

I walked her to her next class even though I wanted to have some quality time with the toilet. I wanted to say something but was in far too much pain to talk. So we walked in silence.

When we got to her class she turned to face me and that was when I noticed a small piece of food stuck to the side of her cheek. It was obviously left over from lunch. We stood there staring at each other, her at me and me at the piece of food on her beautiful face. What was that, anyway? I wondered to myself. A chunk of pizza, or maybe it was a bit of apple. Whatever it was, I for sure had to remove it before she went to her next class. She would have been so embarrassed and mad at me if I didn’t remove it, but how could I without her knowing? I had to be careful. Very careful.

I slowly raised my hand, hesitating slightly, worried that she would realize what I was doing. Then quickly I reached towards her cheek and brushed the particle of food along her jaw line causing it to fall harmlessly to the tiled floor below our feet.

Embarrassed that she may have known what happened, and about to explode in my pants, I quickly turned and headed for the nearest bathroom. Second base or not, I had to get the bathroom…fast.

Life is just too funny to be taken so seriously