Silenced: Chapter 5, Part 2: Secret Watching
Back in Chicago, Jae is ready to call Straight to ask him over…but he calls her first. The whole conversation is by turns creepy, more creepy, then stupid.
He said Paul had asked that he check in on her. She was struck that he sounded so kind, not as if he were merely following through on a promise to a friend.
What does she expect him to do, bark at her? “Mrs. Dr. Stepola, are you and the mini-Stepolas safe and secure? Duly noted, I shall check in again in 48 hours.”
Also, it’s kinda odd that Paul thinks Jae needs looking-in-on. After all, we’re in Atheistopia, where the crime rate is low, the rents are reasonable, and travel times are half what they are today. And Paul can talk to Jae on his skull phone pretty much any time he wants. So, why bother Straight about this? I’m guessing it is yet another way to keep Jae as disconnected from her family as possible, or just general distrust of a woman-folk being alone, but then, I am not one to give Paul the benefit of the doubt in any circumstance.
Jae, sensing Straight’s Passionate Sincerity, volunteers that she is “struggling“…
“How so? Missing your man?”
You’re gross, Straight. I’m just putting that out there. There’s just something in the way you say that, coupled with the secrets that you and Paul are keeping from Jae…
“Exactly. That may be a surprise to you after what you’ve witnessed in our home, but—”
“Oh, no, ma’am. I understood well all the pressures you both were under…”
“What with you both being filthy unsaved atheists and married, and we know how that always works out…”
“…and besides, Paul has kept me up to speed on how things have changed around there in the last few months. And of course I noticed that too.”
Wow. Okay, first of all, yeah, I am sure that Paul has been constantly telling Straight about what a fantastic husband and father he has become, with his new habit of not actually telling his wife to her face what a useless idiot she is.
And, it’s fantastic to know that Straight keeps tabs on the state of his friend’s marriage, while conspiring to keep a major secret from the other party to that marriage. That is just so creepy I can hardly wrap my head around it. Honestly, the way Straight puts it, makes it sound like he is peeping into the Stepolas’ windows every night.
Jae was nearly speechless. Had she overestimated the distance she’d felt from this man?
Or had he just been shy? Having seen him in action at the hospital poked holes in that theory.
Indeed. Generally, someone who touches people who don’t want to be touched and talks to people who don’t feel like conversing isn’t someone who can be described as “shy.”
Jae invites him over for dinner so he can visit with the kids…and her.
“I do hope you can stay awhile. I’d like to talk to you privately.”
“Whatever you wish.”
LOOK AT HOW CUTE HE IS
*cough cough* Anyway…
Then Jae makes the monumental mistake of asking Straight what he would like for dinner:
“Well, ma’am, as long as you asked, I love fish.”
“Any particular kind?”
She chuckled. “So I can’t go wrong.”
“Not with fish, ma’am, no.”
Jae chuckled? If it was me, Straight would be lucky he wasn’t there in person, because that is pretty smackable behavior, at least coming from a non-friend who calls you “ma’am.” I mean, I could see that kind of teasing between two people who are close (though even then…), but coming from this guy, it just feels incredibly obnoxious to me.
Jae’s in for just a lovely evening, isn’t she?