Study Guide: Twilight by Stephenie Meyer - BookNotes

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CHAPTER 12. Balancing


Charlie greets Billy warmly and helps Jacob carry Billy out of the car and into his wheelchair. Charlie invites them in to watch the game on TV. Jacob and Bella talk about the car he is building and she confesses to him that the person Billy saw in the driveway was Edward Cullen, which makes Jacob laugh at his superstitious father. When pressed by Bella, Jacob says he doesn't think Billy will mention this to Charlie since they've already had disagreements on the Cullens. After the game, the Blacks leave, but not without Billy warning Bella to take care. Charlie then asks Bella about her day and she mentions how she and her partner won in badminton at Gym; when Bella reveals that her partner is Mike Newton, Charlie asks why she doesn't ask him to the dance. She tells him about Jessica and assures him she doesn't mind being alone, a trait she shares with Charlie.

The next morning Charlie is around for breakfast again and notices the good mood that Bella is in. Edward arrives after Charlie leaves, and on the drive continues his questions and cuts off her own queries. During lunch, Edward tells Bella that he's leaving school after lunch with Alice so that they can go hunting, in order to make their time on Saturday safer. Bella opines that the other Cullens don't like her but Edward says that they simply don't understand why he can't leave her alone. As they spoke, Bella and Rosalie exchange looks and Rosalie holds Bella's gaze until Edward breaks it off by addressing his sibling. He apologizes and says Rosalie is worried about him and Bella spending so much time together in public especially if it ends badly. Alice introduces herself to Bella in a friendly manner; she will be dropping off Bella's truck at school, which Bella finds amusing since her keys are in a pair of jeans in the laundry at home.

At Gym, Mike wishes Bella a good trip to Seattle, but she says that's cancelled. Asked if she'll be going to the dance with Cullen, Bella lies and says she will stay home, do laundry, and study for a Trig test. She stresses that she will not see Edward at all, remembering what he said about their being seen in public too much. Mike says Bella can go to the dance as part of a group but she negates that option. After school, she finds her truck waiting for her, the key in the ignition, as well as a note from Edward telling her to "Be safe." Bella goes home and tells Jessica the same lie as she told Mike about her Saturday plans, then does the same to Charlie. Charlie volunteers to not go fishing that day, as he'd planned all along, but she insists he goes. She remembers Edward's advice to tell Charlie where she will be and with who, but sticks to her choice.

Bella wakes up early the next day, Charlie already gone fishing. When Edward arrives, it's without his Volvo, as he previously said. They get into her truck and he directs her outside the town limits to a road. They stop briefly at the end of the road, and Edward wants her to follow the pavement until it ends, and from there they will go on a five mile hike; he grows angry, however, when he finds out the lies she told for this day and how it meant that nobody knew where she was except Edward and Alice. He offers to take her home but she agrees to go ahead; while she worries about her clumsiness and hurting herself without a discernible trail to follow, that isn't the case when they trek through the woods. When they finally arrive at the destination, she sees Edward step into the midday sun and what it does to him.


Bella seeks to protect Edward in her own fashion by lying about what she's doing on Saturday, claiming she won't be with him at that time. Edward sees this as a threat to Bella's life, however - he feels that people knowing they're somewhere together will make him more accountable for her. Thus this appeal to his intellect makes it less likely for him to give in to his instinct.

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