Summary: Chapter 20: Impatience

Bella wakes up in a motel room in Phoenix and recalls racing there in the car with Alice and Jasper. Bella worries about the others being hurt and feels that she’d be at fault. Alice and Jasper assure her that the others aren’t in danger, and that no one wants to lose her because she makes Edward happy. Bella asks how a person becomes a vampire. Though Edward does not want Bella to know, Alice explains. When a vampire bites someone, a venom slowly and painfully spreads through their body. The transformation, so painful the victim wishes for death, takes several days. Suddenly, Alice has a vision. She describes and sketches a room filled with mirrors, which Bella recognizes as her childhood ballet studio in Phoenix. Carlisle calls, and Alice tells him what she saw. Edward informs Bella that James eluded them and got on a plane but says that Charlie and the rest of the Cullens are safe. Victoria went to Bella’s house in Forks, but Charlie wasn’t home, and Esme and Rosalie are watching over Charlie now. Though Bella knows that her mother is currently in Florida, she’s worried for her safety, and leaves a voicemail for Renée telling her not to go anywhere until she calls Bella back.

Summary: Chapter 21: Phone Call

Bella wakes up in the middle of the night. Alice has another vision and sketches a room in which she sees James running a VCR. Bella recognizes the room as one from her mother’s house in Phoenix. Alice calls the Cullen family to inform them and tells Bella that Edward, Carlisle, and Emmett are flying to Phoenix that morning to take Bella someplace safe, but Bella worries that her mother is in danger. 

Early in the morning, the phone rings, and Bella answers; on the other end, she hears her mother calling her name. Bella starts to speak with her, but suddenly James’ voice cuts in, and he tells Bella that he has her mother. He instructs Bella to find a way to slip away from Alice and Jasper, adding that her mother’s life depends on it. Bella pictures the airport where she, Alice, and Jasper will be picking up Edward, Carlisle, and Emmett, and figures she can sneak away there. James tells her to go to her mother’s house alone and call the number she finds next to the phone. Bella knows that she will be told to go to the room of mirrors and that she will die there. She writes a letter to Edward telling him she loves him and asking him to forgive her. She also asks him not to pursue James, because she can’t bear the thought of Edward being hurt.

Analysis: Chapters 20–21

Throughout the novel, many of Bella’s decisions are driven by her habit of valuing the needs of others more than her own, a habit that James ultimately uses against her. Her choices are often self-sacrificing, although in her view they are necessary. In the first lines of the book, Bella states that dying in the place of someone you love is noble, foreshadowing her actions for the rest of the novel. Moving to Forks was a selfless act on her part because she valued her mother’s happiness more than her own. Now that James is actively hunting Bella, she chooses to leave Charlie to save his life by luring James away from him and toward her. In the scene where Bella defies Alice and Jasper to follow James’s orders, while it may appear that she's being obstinate, Bella again demonstrates selflessness because she’s only defying them to save her mother.  James, the perfect tracker who learns through observation, quickly figures out that the easiest path to Bella is through the people she loves.