Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Unanswered Question from the Twilight Saga

After resisting for many years, I've caved to Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga, and have read all but Breaking Dawn. I'm well on my way from mocking the series to earnest enjoyment of it. I'm not there yet -- I still yell "You're so stupid" to the books even though I can't put them down.

There's a scene in Eclipse (so far my favorite) where Jacob cuts himself in Bella's kitchen and Bella goes on a tear cleaning up any trace of his blood (except on the knife..."You're so stupid!") so Edward won't freak the frak out when he returns to the Swan residence. It forced me to confront the question that was lurking in the back of my mind since the first book: if Edward is overcome by the scent of Bella, if she is his own personal brand of heroin, and they spend every possible second together and he sleeps over at Bella's, like, all the time — what happens when Bella gets her period?

Luckily Jen K, of The Keepin' It Real Book Club, knows Beth. And Beth doesn't just ask the questions; she takes it upon herself to answer them.

Twilight: The Lost Chapter
Bella groaned and rolled over in her bed. The bright sun streaking across her room had woken her earlier than she’d intended to rise. The brightness in the room told her it was going to be an exceptionally sunny day in the usually gloomy town of Forks. Bella curled up, sinking deeper into her bed, enjoying the warm cocoon of pillows and sheets, thinking of what she would do with this unexpected day of sunshine. As her mind raced over possibilities, she thought “Maybe Edward and I can go out on a picnic!”

The thought of a picnic with Edward, his skin shimmering in the sunlight, was enough to rouse Bella. As she sprung up in her bed, however, she doubled over in pain, wincing as she felt the tightness in her lower abdomen.

“Ugh, no, no, no,” she muttered to herself, folding her arms across her waist. Bella recognized the pain as the cramping which accompanied the onset of her monthly courses. Her eyes darted to the calendar tacked to her wall, and a quick calculation of dates confirmed that she was indeed due for her period.

Head hung, Bella rose from her bed, sighing heavily. She hated this stretch of time, this painful, but necessary separation from Edward. During her monthly time, Bella and Edward were forced to refrain from seeing each other. In fact, Bella was unable to see any of the members of Edward’s family during this week of her month.

Seeing as Edward and his entire family were vampires, it was impossible for them to be near her while she menstruated. Her blood was intoxicating to them, particularly to Edward, and when she menstruated it was extremely imprudent for her to be in their company. In addition to the danger raised by the temptation of the blood in the menses she shed, her body’s scent was apparently heightened during this time of her cycle, making her all the more appetizing to them.

Initially, when it was realized that Bella’s period was a significant issue in their physical relationship, Bella experimented with suppressing her menstruation, first taking birth control pills throughout the entire month, never giving her body a chance to cleanse itself. Bella, however, was clumsy and often dropped the pills, losing them under her bed, so she quickly switched to the shot. While Bella initially delighted in skipping her menses, Edward told her that her scent changed with the manipulation of her hormones, so she put an end to the birth control regiment. She couldn’t bear the thought of Edward’s primal attraction to her being tampered with.

Out of bed, Bella left her room, heading downstairs to the telephone, needing to inform Edward of the onset of her courses. As she passed the front door, she glanced out and saw that Charlie’s cruiser was already gone for the day, most likely he was out fishing, she thought. Bella leaned heavily against the wall the phone was fixed to, and unhooked it from the receiver. She cradled the phone between her shoulder and ear and quickly punched in Edward’s number, miserably resting her head against the cool wall.

The phone rang hollowly a few times, then Edward picked up, his voice purring her name before she even said hello, “Bella, dearest, how are you this fine morning?”

“Edward, I’ve started my period,” she offered desolately.

A cold pause met her announcement.

“It’s the right date, I just… forgot to look at my calendar this week, I guess,” she apologized.

“It’s fine, Bella, really. I can take this time to hunt with my family,” Edward said, quickly recovering his composure.

Bella smiled to herself. Her boyfriend’s consideration and control never failed to impress her. The only time the tremendous age difference between them was evident was when Edward remained infinitely patient with the inconveniences brought on by her human condition. He was so perfect, excelling at everything, and she was just an awkward teenage girl who happened to have a delicious blood scent. As she said goodbye to him and hung up the phone, she thanked whatever fate there was that brought this smoldering vampire to her.

2 comments:

Danielle said...

when they asked Stephenie Meyer about Bella's period she said that that was stale blood and that vampires don't like stale blood. :D

Crissy Calhoun said...

TMI, S Meyer!

Actually it's nice to know she thought it through, even if her reasoning may not be physiologically accurate.

thanks Danielle!