Edward Cullen. Where do I begin? He’s like one of those seemingly nice sociopaths on a crime show: the rich, perfect young gentleman who has a few girlfriends in the basement. Edward may not have any dead girlfriends (
though Bella almost becomes one), but he certainly has had someone in his basement. I mean, really:
“Oh, we have weapons.” He flashed his bright teeth in a brief, threatening smile. I fought back a shiver before it could expose me.
He can never turn it off, can he? He is a predator at heart, but Bella hides her reaction to some of his darker patterns of thought to spare his feelings. And to keep him from running away from her in a fit of self-loathing. Edward is the most interesting thing that’s happened to her all year; of course she’s not going to let him get away.
Like many people suffering from an addiction (in this case a raging blood fetish), Edward feels very bored without the fulfillment of it. All those tasty teenagers, thinking stupid thoughts, just begging to be slaughtered without mercy–if only stupid morality didn’t keep getting in the way. High school is his own personal purgatory. Dunno why he spends all his time at high school if he hates it so much. It’s probably another exercise in masochism. He has gotten used to a life without human blood–without the fun of the hunt–but it does not satisfy him. Bella Swan has the sweetest blood he has ever smelled, and it takes all his control not to stage a school massacre then and there. Every other temptation pales in comparison.
Originally, he only means to be polite to make her forget the earlier murderous vampire death glare he was giving her (and to prove to himself that he can face her without massacring a school), but oh, noes! SHE IS CUTE. LIKE A KITTEN. AND SHE IS SO VULNERABLE AND FRAGILE OMG.
Adding to his obsession, he cannot read her mind, which means he can play mind games that actually challenge him. After perusing the thoughts of the entire school, it’s a nice change to figure out someone the hard way (even if he complains about not having 24/7 access to her every thought all the freaking time. What a hard life, Edward). Bella is his favorite puzzle, his favorite toy. He’s quite fond of her, of course, and does everything he can to keep her alive, but of course, Bella is just a seventeen year old girl. I mean, ACTUALLY a seventeen year old girl. As such, she can never understand the depth of a century-old vampire’s angsty sublime delicious paaaaiiin. One could almost say that his attitude towards Bella is a bit condescending. “Look at the little kitten fall down! OMG! So funny and cute! Kitten is angry! Also cute! Look at her little nose scrunch up!”
And I just summarized Midnight Sun for you. Also, Edward may be bipolar. Anyway. Did I mention Kitten is fragile? I did? Much as Edward may rail against Bella’s luck, he acknowledges his debt to Lady Fortune. Bella’s constant mishaps give him the perfect excuse to hang around
and run her life. Much as Bella might protest that she is big and strong and fierce, Bella has never had anyone take care of her, not her mother, not her father, not a friend. So she picks a boy who does. Bella needs a maternal figure in her life, especially because Charlie is barely even a father, and Edward steps in, ridiculous as it sounds. Who else will worry over Bella’s every bruise, or fret that she’s cold? No one else, that’s who. Is it wrong that I find this relationship kind of adorable? Yes. Yes, it is. If Bella is a kitten, then Edward is a mama kitty, full stop. A very dominant, slightly kinky mama kitty, but a true mother at heart nonetheless. It’s only a simple matter of transferring his murderous fantasies of consuming Bella’s blood to every boy who thinks unchivalrous thoughts at his kitten.
No one ever said Edward was healthy.