Soon: Chapter 21: Totally Unjust
Answers to the mysteries, people! Were you up nights wondering about the car tailing Paul and Straight to the
Army of God Recruitment chess tournament? And how about those guys sitting in the lobby?
“Oh, Paul! Where were you last night?” [Jae asked when Paul got back home]
“What do you mean?”
“Where were you until you came back to the hotel alone just before dawn?”
“You had me followed?”
“And I called your room. Till well past midnight. And I had people pounding on your door till all hours.”
“I don’t believe this.”
Oh, believe it, folks. Paul is just as outraged as Jae. He’s been serially cheating on her for eight years, has been lying to her for months about his newfound faith, and he’s upset that she’s upset that he’s hiding things.
“Were you with another woman?”
What? What are you talking about, Jae? I can’t believe it would cross your mind that I would be with another woman, given my long history of faithfulness to you!
“Just admit it, Paul. Don’t you think I know by now? I read her letter.”
Gotta love the innocent act. What letter? I mean, I get so many letters from women, it’s hard to keep track of who’s who.
“Paul, you met her in Washington. And now Toledo, too–how can you flat-out lie to me?”
That’s a damn good question, though Jae doesn’t yet know the half of what Paul is lying about…
“Angela Barger? You went through my things? I can’t tell you how offended I am, Jae–“
He’s offended. Paul is offended. Paul is an absentee dad, a faithless husband a hundred times over, lies about the most important issues in his life, is cruel, condescending, and emotionally abusive, and he is offended.
Please remember: at this point, Paul is a Real True Christian.
Oh, and one other thing: Jae found Angela’s letter when she was cleaning up after Paul’s stank ass because he was camping in the den for a week and refusing to sleep in their bed.
But I’ll let Jae speak for herself:
“Oh, are you? Well, here’s how offended I am. School’s out next week, and I’m taking the kids to Washington for the summer. That’ll give us both time to think.”
YOU GO, GIRL!
I also have my doubts that Paul knows what grades his kids are in.
“If you’d stop yelling and listen for a minute–”
“Listen to what?”
“Jae, this is totally unjust–“
That’s what he wants her to hear: that she is being unjust. Not that there is a long explanation for his actions that involves religious faith, and they desperately need to talk about what this means for their lives and their childrens’ lives. No, it’s most important that Jae is unjust. That is top priority.
“Truth hurts, Paul?”
I’m sure it does, and that’s why newly-minted RTC Paul is incapable of telling it to his wife.
“We can work this out.”
“We’re going, Paul. It’s set. The kids are excited.”
Jae asked Paul to call only on Saturdays and only to talk to the kids. “When I want to talk to you,” she said, “I’ll be in touch.”
And she was gone.
OH YOU GO GIRL JAE YOU ARE DA AWESOMEZ!!!
Enjoy this, folks. Take a deep breath and revel in a woman standing up for herself, because you better believe the book doesn’t give a crap. After all, Jae is wrong, isn’t she? She is falsely accusing Her Man of unfaithfulness when he has been TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY FAITHFUL FOR VERY NEARLY THREE MONTHS.
Really, Jae is just unlucky. (One could argue that her married life has been one long string of bad luck, but I digress.) She is unlucky because out of the (no doubt) HUNDREDS of times Paul has cheated on her, she chose to have him tailed THE ONE TIME he wasn’t cheating. (Not that he had the opportunity, what with the Christian Kidnapping and all.)
I frankly don’t even know why this whole marriage thing is an issue. Aren’t we in eeeevil Atheistopia? Why does the institution of marriage even exist? Why does Jae, a lifelong atheist who was raised by atheists, have any care for faithfulness in relationships? Why does Paul need Turbo Jesus in order to realize that he shouldn’t cheat on his wife if she doesn’t want him to, but she doesn’t need Turbo Jesus to know the same thing? Why aren’t all relationships in Atheistopia open? It’s very strange. After all, I am often informed by RTCs that marriage is a Christian institution and that any morality Others have, they owe to Christian Tradition.
Anyway. The plot:
Alone in the house, Paul hated himself for letting the argument get out of hand. He was ashamed at how things had deteriorated.
That’s what he hates himself for–letting the argument get out of hand. Not breaking his wife’s heart for eight years. Not for getting women drunk and horizontal across the USSA and the world. Nope, the only thing he’s upset about is letting the argument get out of hand.
Paul, you stupid ass, that wasn’t an argument. That was your wife taking the kids and leaving you.
But never mind all that: time for a new mystery to replace the lame private detectives!
That weekend, with time on his hands, Paul decided to finish the task he’d neglected so long: clearing out his mother’s house.
I love how the book is pretending that Paul has all this time because his family moved out. As though Paul would have been spending his time with them if they were there. Don’t forget, he blew off ice skating with his kids the first time he wanted to clean the house. Their presence or absence have no effect on his daily activities–what Paul wants to do, he does.
And the upshot of the mystifying mystery is this: the Come-to-Jesus letter from Paul’s father has disappeared from his mother’s house.