Soon: Chapter 24: The Big Date
So, does this sound like a date to you?
“…let’s get dessert or something.”
“I’d love that, Paul.”
Sounds like one to me!
Paul and Angela head out, and gaze deeply into each other’s eyes over coffee and dessert. They talk shop, which is apparently a huge turn-on for Angela. And she lets a piece of information slip that is simultaneously important to the plot, and hilarious to me.
Remember the sad prostitute Paul talked to, the one who told him about Angela’s meeting? Well, Angela has talked to her on multiple occasions, and she’s scared of her extremely legal
pimp employer, Mort:
“Wait–what? Who’s she worried about?”
“She’s one of Morty Bagadonuts’s girls. I don’t think that’s his real name, but he’s notorious. Lives in a pent–”
“Penthouse at the Babylon, yeah.” Paul told her what he knew.
She looked ashen. “Lucy’s Mort is Jonah?”
Paul nodded. “You could help me nail this guy.”
“I’d be happy to.”
Hell, she should help nail this guy, since she’s done a better job than Paul has at his own investigation, and SHE DIDN’T EVEN KNOW SHE WAS DOING IT.
This is just beyond pathetic.
Paul was talking to one of Jonah’s disciples.
Face to frakking face.
AND HE WAS SO OBSESSED WITH HIS LATEST CONQUEST THAT HE FAILED TO ASK THE WOMAN IF SHE KNEW THE MASS MURDERER AND CULT LEADER AND OH YEAH, SHE DID.
It is time, once again, for the epic double facepalm:
Oh, and just as an aside, it bugs the crap outta me that Paul INTERRUPTS ANGELA WHEN SHE IS TALKING.
It is difficult to even encapsulate how much Paul is failing in every conceivable sense, but let’s just look at a few:
Failure as an agent of the NPO: it is Paul’s JOB to track down Jonah. And even as a double agent, this is a mission he wants to complete–Jonah is a “false Christian” (and he’s hurting people). And while the Chicago and Vegas bureaus are doing Paul’s work for him, he’s busy chasing a skirt. So busy that he failed to notice that HE WAS HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH ONE OF JONAH’S DISCIPLES.
Failure to tell Angela the truth: During their dessert-eating (which lasts for HOURS), Paul conveniently forgets to mention the fact that he is married and has two little kids.
BUT HERE IS THE BEAUTY PART: When Paul takes Angela back to her hotel, she tries to kiss him, but he ducks and she gets his cheek. FOR THIS, HE CONGRATULATES HIMSELF for “upholding his marriage vows.” He ADMITS that he has been dreaming about Angela, staring at Angela, but only counts the actual kiss as worthy of guilt.
Now, he does feel guilt (refreshingly, he feels guilt both for Jae and for Angela) but his conclusion is this:
He would have to set things right [and tell Angela about Jae].
If nothing else proved God was working in his life, that did.
Funny thing: some people manage not to serial cheat on their spouses for eight years even without having God in their lives.
Two more notes:
Note #1: Out of all the times Paul has lusted after another woman, this is the one time you could at least make an argument that it’s okay. Paul and Jae are separated at this point. Now, he certainly needs to tell Angela that, but it’s very strange that he barely seems to register that there is a difference in his life. Then again, it was Jae who left, and Paul doesn’t exactly have a history of taking her seriously.
Note #2: Angela has great self esteem. Here is the scene:
He took Angela back to her hotel and walked her to her room. She looked up at him expectantly. “Until tomorrow, then,” he said, and she reached for him.
She pulled him toward her by his shoulders, and he offered her his cheek. Giving him a peck, Angela whispered, “Chivalry lives.”
Now, I am no RTC, but that would not be my reaction were I to move in for a kiss, and the guy ducked. I would just think that the guy did not want to kiss me. So, go Angela, I guess.
I suppose that now that the atheists have cured wars, cancer, and homelessness, God has enough time on his hands to make sure Paul doesn’t return Angela’s kiss.
And on the note of The Date That Wasn’t Really, I’m going to take a break from Soon and move on to wintery-er pastures. Starting on Black Friday (the real beginning of the Wintermas Season, don’tcha know?) I will be doing a review of Jerry Jenkins’ Twas the Night Before. Soon will resume after Wintermas.
Ho ho ho!
Picture from Chronicle of the Old West