(Edward, Jacob, and Bella step out of the multiplex)
Bella: What do you think?
Edward: That movie is so bogus, man. I'm not that pale and my hair is not that thick (tosses his head; Bella has to step back as his 'do wooshes past). Jacob?
Jacob: Totally agree with you, bro. My pecs aren't that big (flexes his chest; looks down). Oh, look--popcorn (Picks out the kernel caught between two abs, pops it into his mouth). Mm!
Bella: What do you think of how they did me? Do I really do all that?
Edward: Do what, babe?
Jacob: What you talking 'bout?
Bella: You know, how that actress, whatshername uh--Jenn Proske--does me? All that looking down, biting my lips, muttering? Am I that bad? Huh?
Edward: Worse, babe.
Jacob: She was being nice.
Bella: What? You're kidding!
Jacob: Did I mutter?
Edward: Did I bite my lips?
Bella: But I--I mean, is that right? (Edward and Jacob stop at their tracks, cock their heads, give her a "Come on!" look). Forget it (shoves her way past the two).
Jacob: What's the matter with her today?
Edward: I don't know, maybe it's her time of the month.
Bella: Shut up! Edward, if you think you're going to see me later you, you can--forget it! (Stomps away).
Jacob: Did she just leave us?
Edward: I don't care, do you?
Jacob: Not if I can wash your hair.
Edward: Not a chance! I'm setting a record--eighteen months without shampooing. Look--(swings his head around; a small breeze rises).
Jacob: (Pinching his nose) Ew! It's a wonder you don't have any head lice (Scratching behind his ear) Ow.
Edward: Do you want to shop for a pair of extra-tight jeans?
Jacob: Love it. (The two walk away arm in arm. Victoria and Laurent exit the theater)
Laurent: You liked it?
Victoria: Wouldn't know, was too busy draining my seatmate.
Laurent: Sucks worse than you do.
Victoria: Love it when you talk dirty.
Laurent: Let's stalk Bella.
Victoria: Boring. Let's get hot curlered.
Laurent: Sounds like a plan (Bella steps out of a corner).
Bella: But what about me?
Victoria: What about you?
Bella: I'm your mortal enemy. My boyfriend dismembered your boyfriend. You should be plotting to make my life a living hell.
Laurent: My. Do you smell something, Vicky?
Victoria: It's the stench of desperation, Laurie.
Laurent: Life's too short, Bella. Get a life. Us, we're getting permed! (They saunter away. The Volturis Jane and Aro come out of the theater)
Aro: But see, comedy need not be so shoddily done; think Keaton, think Chaplin--
Jane: I don't care, I had fun.
Aro: Enjoyment does not guarantee quality; filmmakers Freidberg and Seltzer are counting on your dislike of Stephanie Meyer to draw you to their work--
Jane: I laughed my ass off.
Aro: You were also blinded to the film's many flaws--
Jane: I laughed so hard I farted.
Aro: I noticed. Have you been drinking the blood of an alcoholic?
Jane: I peed on my self a little.
Aro: I did not have to know that.
Bella (stepping up): Aro! (They stop and stare) Look at me! I'm still human. Edward has failed to convert me. By the rules you yourself have set, you should destroy me.
Aro: What is disturbing you, my child?
Jane: Who stuffed the bug up your ass?
Bella: No one did. I mean--
Aro: You are obviously upset; otherwise, you would not have put yourself in this position. (Aro whispers in Jane's ear; Jane nods. To Bella) Do you really wish to be punished?
Bella: Yes! Jacob and Edward, they just--left me! They left holding hands.
Aro: Oh, my.
Bella: Life isn't worth living anymore. Tear my throat out, snap my neck, do what you want.
Aro: Very well. (Takes his large drink, dumps it on Bella's head. As he walks away with Jane, he talks over his shoulder) I apologize, any other day I would oblige, but today I really am in a hurry. We have reservations for two at Momofuku Ko, which take at least a week to procure, are randomly selected by computer, and Michael who I used to count on as a friend simply refuses to lift a finger to help me. Refuses! (Stops, spreads out his arms) Tell me, is life unfair? Is it? No--don't answer that. (He turns and disappears).
(Bella gapes. She sits on the street curb and begins to cry. Jason and Aaron walk out of the theater)
Aaron: I'm telling you, Jaze, the movie rocks! The audience loved Edward's spinning bling--
Jason: Not as much as the hairy nipples all over Jacob--
Aaron: Nuh-uh, Becca's underwear scene is way hotter--
Bella (stepping out in front of the two, her hand held up like a traffic cop): Stop! (The two stop and stare) You two--you're the directors of this movie?
Jason: Yep. Why?
Bella: It's a piece of garbage. It blows chunks and reeks of week-dead cat. (Shrieks at the top of her voice) It sucks!
Aaron (shrugging his shoulders): Hey--guilty as charged. But it's still way better than the Twilight movies, right? (To Jason) I still think we should have cut out at least ten minutes, made it run even faster--
(Bella's shoulders slump. She shuffles out on to the street and lies down on the middle of the road)
First published in Businessworld, 8.26.10