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Now with attempted rape! (The Awakening, Part 5)

January 15, 2009

TRIGGER WARNING:  Yes, there is attempted rape–or at least sexual assault–in this chapter.  I’m probably going to make fun of it a bit.  If you think you can’t handle the topic, or the lighthearted handling of the topic, I’ll just see you in Part 6, kk?  ❤

When last we left ~*Elena*~, her brilliant plan of forcing Stefan to dance with her because SHE’S THE HOMECOMING QUEEN DUH had been foiled and, mortified, she pretended to have a ravin’ good time with all the assholes at the dance and left with Tyler “Dogboy” Smallwood, his buddy Dick (no other name needed), and Dick’s girlfriend or whatever Vickie.

This chapter begins with Bonnie and Meredith at the dance, having completely different reactions to what’s been going on.  Bonnie, who is dancing with Raymond The Token Minority, is completely oblivious.  Meredith is ready to spring into action.

There are a few things going on in this scene as it pertains to the characters of Bonnie and Meredith.  The more I think about them, the more I like them.  For example, even though Bonnie’s the “warm” to Meredith’s “cool,” it’s Meredith who’s concerned for Elena’s safety and gets everyone to action.  This is either one of two things: to reveal more of Meredith’s character (because she certainly doesn’t have a defining characteristic like “psychic,” as Bonnie does), or to give her something to do because she barely does anything.  I’d like to think it’s more the first than the second.  I guess there’s a third option too: she might be doing something responsible as a balance to Bonnie’s irresponsible, flaky blindness.  Bonnie refuses to believe she’s psychic at first, even though she’s crazy about psychic phenomena, etc. Meredith keeps pushing her about it.  I think we’re supposed to wonder if there’s more to Meredith than meets the eye?  But if so, then why is she supporting the ~*Elena*~/Stefan relationship?

Bonnie is annoyed that she has to stop dancing, and pouts about.  Meredith reminds her of her promise.

This is also interesting.  Why is Meredith so obsessed with this promise?  Why is she taking it seriously?  It’s a stupid promise, and Meredith is supposed to be the “mature” one compared to Bonnie’s “immature” one.  Surely, she’s supposed to be so mature that she can see that what ~*Elena*~ is doing is…well, pathetic.  Pathetic and self-obsessed and ridiculous.  I mean, “He can’t turn down the Homecoming Queen”?  I can break this down two ways as well: the maturity is in her keeping her promise, or we’re supposed to think along the lines of what I mentioned above: that Meredith has some sort of idea of the weight of the blood promise that Bonnie doesn’t.

Either way, this is capped off with DoorMatt’s foray into the land of the aggressive-passive.  That’s where you start out like you’re going to zing someone and then you’re like “But I’m SUCH A GREAT GUY, I can’t say anything about my manipulative, immature, stupid ex”: “I’d say she deserves whatever happens–but it’s my fault, too, in a way…I guess we out to go after her.”  You try and you try, Matt.  And you fail and you fail, you sap.

Bonnie whines about leaving the dance and the dates are left behind to keep an eye out for ~*Elena*~’s return.  Bye, guys.  I forget if you ever come back.  Oh, and Bonnie bumps into Stefan crankily, which just proves that Stefan realizes that ~*Elena*~ is in danger.  Don’t forget, readers.  Every word counts.

*

~*Elena*~ is like the stars, everyone.  Like we didn’t know that already.  She feels cold and distant.  Only she, Dogboy, Dick, and Vickie have made it to the cematary, which feels like something out of a ’50s horror movie, and she just can’t get into it like they can.  Of course, their parents are alive–presumably.  So it’s not a sacred place.

The moon is low and full and red and creepy as heck, “like a big rotten pumpkin,” Tyler says, which is probably the most poetic thing he says in the series.  ~*Elena*~ is either really nervous about hanging out with a bunch of jocks with beer (who wouldn’t be?) or she has those psychic powers that you get by drinking Fell’s Church tap water, because the whole situation is freaking her out.

Vickie is surprisingly assertive for being a blonde minor character who’s dating a jock.  She leads them into the crypt of town founders Thomas Keeping Fell and Honoria Fell.  (Keeping?)   Dogboy ruins his previous line by asking ~*Elena*~ if she “want[s] to flick [his] Bic.”  Worst. Come-on. EVER.  I had no idea what that meant when I was a kid, but I knew it was kinda dirty.  And it is…just kinda.  I mean, it sort of falls flat.  But then again, his name is Smallwood.  I expect a lot in the way of disappointment from Tyler.

Anyway, Tyler gets all “WE were founding fathers too” and Dick makes an “eaten by wolves” joke (THAT old chestnut) and Vickie here turns into Jerry Hall from Burton’s first Batman movie.  “Jaaaack, I want to look at the paiiiintings.”  Seriously, that’s how I imagined Vickie when I read the book, because she basically puts Joker faces on the statues of the founding couple.  ~*Elena*~ is sickened by such crass lawbreaking, but the boys are all about being as bad as you can be in a preppy, early-’90s whitebread town that may or may not have a coffee shop.  They want to move the statues to the center of town.  Fortunately, the statues don’t move, except they do, and suddenly ~*Elena*~ is falling…

Except she’s not.  Is it a vision?  A hallucination brought on from the alcoholic fumes of Dogboy’s breath?  It’s over so fast, who knows?

Either way, Tyler wants to comfort her.  He puts his hands on her arms and ~*Elena*~ has decided that she’s had enough of this short, awkward visit to the dark side.  She tells Tyler she wants to go back to the dance, and he sighs and agrees.  Dick and Vickie don’t want to go, though, and so they leave them.  Like in a horror movie.

Tyler seems like he’s going to not be a horrible guy, but then he’s all “Hey baby, wanna see my crypt”–not literally, because he knows he can’t beat the “Bic” comment from earlier, but his literal family crypt.  I know I always like to take my dates out to my future burial place.  This is pretty much the only place where ~*Elena*~ makes a mistake through the chapter, though, thank goodness, because she agrees to take this minor detour.  My notes say “Remember, girls, when you want out, back this up by agreeing to stay.”  But because ~*Elena*~ does a good job of being a role model and fighting her way through the rest of this chapter, I’m going to let it slide.  Everyone makes mistakes.  ~*Elena*~’s was compromising with a drunken jock.

(I’m just going to a take a second here and tell you about this giant, flying bug that keeps hanging out with me.  I’m sitting in the hallway because it’s slightly warmer than being downstairs at the table or down in the basement and, even though I have my headphone on, I hear this noise that sounds like a zzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzz which I think is a song starting on my iTunes even though I haven’t chosen one yet.  But no, it’s this flying bug.  And he lands, and I’m like “Oh no you don’t” and I…well, I toss him down the stairs.  I don’t even kill him.  But I’ve done this THREE TIMES now and he just keeps coming back–and not flying.  CRAWLING back to hang out on my–fortunately closed–water bottle.  I don’t know what to do.  He can’t have my water.  It’s my water!  And I’m trying to WORK here, little guy.  But I don’t want to throw him out.  And he’s been SO determined.  Uh, but now he’s heading for my notebook.  NO YOU MAY NOT HAVE MY “LITERATURE.”  OH NO I LOST TRACK OF WHERE HE WENT AHHHHHHHHHBUG!!!!!

I still can’t find him, so I’m going to go into denial now and continue.)

There is a red marble ball on Tyler’s family headstone, if you know what I mean.  No, literally.  It reminds ~*Elena*~ of the moon, but the moon is higher and white in the sky now.  ~*Elena*~ begins to shiver, which Tyler uses as an excuse to get close to her.

“Never in her life had Elena been in a situation like this.”  Well, she was dating DoorMatt.  He probably apologized to her every time he had a dirty thought.  But seriously, ~*Elena*~ is a fighter.  She tries to step on Tyler’s foot.  She says no.  She struggles.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t work, and Tyler starts in with his “but this is what you really want, or rather I’m going to tell you that so later you don’t press charges” bullshit.  Finally, ~*Elena*~ resorts to biting him and, let me tell you, I like her more in this chapter than any of the others (especially what comes in 8, but I’m getting ahead of myself).

Anyway, Tyler makes a fist and ~*Elena*~ goes into that calm place that suggests shock–or maybe the resolution of the morbid shadow that’s surrounded her since the beginning of the book.

*

Break.  Yes, I said break.  Now we get to Stefan’s whining, because Lord knows we can’t have a chapter without it.

BUT AT LEAST IT ISN’T FOLLOWED BY A DAMN FLASHBACK.  Smith must’ve decided that the whining slowed the chapter down enough.

Blah blah blah, the old unnamed homeless guy man.  “Strange things could happen when the need got out of control.”  But you won’t actually TELL US ABOUT IT, would you, Ms. Smith?  So Stefan thinks this could all be his fault, except maybe not, who knows?  But his darling Katherine-clone ~*Elena*~ is in trouble, so he must go like the gentleman he is.  I like that he refers to Caroline as a safe person to be with–he’s the ONLY one who would think that way–and “that supple, sun-bronzed creature who was absolutely safe because she meant absolutely nothing to him.”  I hate to tell him this, but that tan isn’t from the sun.

Anyway, he can sense ~*Elena*~’s rising panic.  Finally, a hint of some sort of actual power.  I was starting to worry he was a Cullen or something.  But he suddenly starts getting dizzy and weak as he goes up the cemetary hill.  Oh no, what’s going on?  We’ll never know, this chapter, anyway, because we switch back to Tyler and ~*Elena*~.  She is thinking that it is “strangely fitting that [the moon] would be the last thing she ever saw.”  Why is this “fitting”?  Also, ~*Elena*~.  You’re with a drunken future frat boy.  Why do you think you’re going to die from a jock-punch?  Candy Cameron didn’t.  I think it’s just more of the ~*Elena*~ is dooooomed thing.

Anyway, Stefan comes to rescue her, and tosses Tyler into the family headstone.  Look, Smeyer!  It’s called ACTION!

~*Elena*~ even goes right for a weapon once she’s no longer pinned down, bless her heart.  But don’t worry, ~*Elena*~!  It’s just Stefan with a “killing light” in his eyes!  She is suddenly more frightened of Stefan than Tyler, but don’t worry, her pre-Bella gene will kick in soon.

Stefan goes off into a speech about gentlemen and manners, including the freakin’ awesome line “But I had no idea that your charater was quite so underdeveloped.”  If this were Twilight, it’d be SO IRONIC, guys.  Here I can’t even make the joke.

Anyway, Stefan goes at him.  “A GENTLEMEN doesn’t–” *beat* “Nor does he” *beat beat*  I loved this when I was a kid!  He was defending her honor!  He was promoting gentlemanly something-or-the-other!  Except now I think, “A GENTLEMAN doesn’t hurt a lady.  But he sure pounds the stuffing out of another man.”

~*Elena*~ stops him from going too far.  (The author has already gone too far by saying that Stefan’s voice is “like a rapier dancing,” but there’s nothing we can do about that but continue on.)  He looks at her and reminds her “of some predator, some great bird or sleek carnivore incapable of human emotion.”  A BIRD, YOU SAY?  But then he gets back to normal and assesses the situation.  Tyler will live to rape another day.

Stefan is the only one who can take her home, as Dick and Vickie are not an option.  Also, her dress is ripped down the front (DON’T WORRY, SHE’S WEARING A SLIP OF COURSE, BECAUSE THIS WAS 1991), so going back to the dance to her friends is also not an option.  ~*Elena*~ then takes a moment out to think of how beautiful Stefan is, which makes me thrilled that this book isn’t in first person.  I hate to keep making the comparisons, readers, but they’re RIGHT THERE.  What can I do?  Anyway, Stefan’s car is at the boarding house, so that’s the best option right now.  He, gentlemanlike, puts his blazer around her shoulders and they head that way and there’s a brief mention of Stefan not crossing the bridge.  K.

(HOLY CRAP THE BUG JUST DROPPED OUT OF THE SKY ONTO MY BOOK.  I TOLD YOU HE WAS AFTER ELENA.  I KNEW HE WAS MALE!)

Uh…Stefan’s room is accessible through a closet door.  I guess it’s more like having the staircase from Beetlejuice at floor-level rather than at the top of the stairs, but I like to think of it as the closet door in my grandmother’s house, which is a tiny one in the back of the closet that leads to the attic.

(BUG, HOW CAN I TURN THE PAGE WHEN YOU’RE JUST SITTING ON THERE STARING AT ME?  HAVE I TURNED INTO ELENA?  Okay, I moved him onto the notebook so I can finish this.)

She asks where the bathroom is, and the chapter ends.  For real.

In the next chapter, she goes back to be annoying as hell and I forget what else cuz I’ve only done a little pre-reading for my next post.  See you then!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. trappedintheattic permalink
    January 16, 2009 1:02 pm

    Hey, I’m wearing a slip as we speak!

    • bookslide permalink*
      January 16, 2009 2:52 pm

      Paris Hilton would disapprove.

  2. verdancyhime permalink
    January 20, 2009 11:56 pm

    forget slips. it’s all about the petticoats. XD

  3. Sandra permalink
    August 1, 2009 12:27 pm

    LOL. you’re hysterical. I think slips are sexy as hell. I hope that bug is alive.

    • bookslide permalink*
      August 1, 2009 1:06 pm

      Unfortunately, the bug eventually died, but I think he had a lot of fun in the meantime. I found him on the staircase the next day. I truly believe he died of old age–some bugs only live a short while, right? No one squashed him or anything.

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