ItSo…C: Chapter 15 and Epilogue
Before we wrap (Ha! See what I did there? Because you wrap Christmas presents…) this baby up, I wanted to address a few comments on the last chapter.
Also, Sherriff, whatever else Jesse might have done wrong, would it kill you to show a little sympathy for the victim of another crime? One that your department never noticed or looked into for two decades, until the victim started looking around on his own? Great taking care of your own there.
Yeah, the Sheriff…definitely has his own way of doing things. He hems and haws about the fact that it’s Jesse who is the “boy” who rightfully owns the farm. But then he tells Lindsey about how horrible it is that the farm was taken from Jesse and that “you can’t blame a man for trying to reclaim what was stolen from him.” And then he confronts Jesse and scolds him for “[coming] here under false pretenses…[and]…[being] dishonest with her from the start.”
And Skyknight says:
This is where I wonder how much time the author allotted herself to write this. Presumably not quite as compressed as Jerry “21 Days or Nothing” Jenkins, but the progression and elements don’t seem terribly well welded together.
Which makes me notice a couple of things as I begin Chapter 15:
1. We are informed twice in less than two pages that Lindsey’s lawyer’s eyes are brown.
2. We are informed twice in one page that she drives a Dakota.
(For the record, Jesse drives a Silverado.)
This all just feels so…rushed. Like there wasn’t time for a final read-through of the chapter. Repetition, irrelevant details so late in the game.
Anyway, yeah, Lindsey has a lawyer. Though she only got him so she could completely give up her rights to the farm.
Her first instinct had been anger and hurt and bitter resentment. She’d wanted to rail at Jesse and send him away. She’d wanted to keep the land to pay him back for lying to her, for making her believe he loved her when, all the while, he was plotting to evict her.
Makes sense to me!
But as soon as the first rush of emotion passed, she’d prayed. And as hard as the decision was, she’d seen that Jesse was as much a victim as she. The land was rightfully his, and she wouldn’t rest until he’d legally regained ownership.
Okay, I can kinda see that, too. Seriously, I can see that it seems to her that this is the right thing to do and what Jesus would do and so forth.
“But you’ve lived there in good faith and made the land productive. Even if the courts decide in his favor, he could be forced to pay you for all the improvements you’ve made, for the tree stock, etc.” [said her lawyer]
Or no. Whatever. Lindsey just wants to skip town, find a new job, move in with her sister, whatever.
Guess she’s also taken Clarence’s discussion of “rights” to heart.
In fact, she decides to track down Jesse and tell him personally that she’s not going to pursue her own rights.
Jesus (and Clarence) would no doubt want it that way.
Harboring unforgiveness would destroy her relationship with Jesus.
Damn, Lindsey, this happened yesterday. Does Jesus really expect you to forgive in under 24 hours?
She gets to Jesse’s trailer park, and sees him loading his shit into his FINE CHEVROLET SILVERADO, and quite naturally comes to the conclusion that he is getting ready to move into her house like right now.
So she confronts him and makes him feel how much he is wrong, gorammit.
“I would never keep something that isn’t rightfully mine, Jesse. You didn’t have to pretend to love me in order to get the farm back.”
Hell, he deserves it. Mostly because he was too stupid to put a stop to all this when he had the chance.
Jesse is utterly confused by this (big surprise, right?). So he has to set the record straight and tell her that he didn’t pretend to love her and plans to leave and hopes she’ll forgive him.
“The place means nothing to me without you there.”
Tears shoved at the back of his eyelids.
And so, just like that, they make up and go home to the farm.
Don’t get me wrong—I am no fan of the long, overly-drawn-out misunderstanding.
But damn, that was quick.
Oh, and they apologize to each other. Meaning that Jesse apologizes for lying to her from the start, and Lindsey apologizes for…
“…all that happened to you as a boy. For my unwitting part in forcing you to take such drastic measures.”
“Jesse, I am so sorry that I inherited this farm and forced you to plot against me and lie to me for weeks. I am a horrible person.”
Huh. And here I am so used to the women being awful in these stories. Now, granted, this is yet another story where the man has to change while the woman gets to stay just as she is. But Jesse needs to change.
By a factor of several dozen IQ points.
Christmas morning, and it is established that Lindsey and Jesse are going to share the farm.
THANK GOODNESS. Seriously, I thought Jesse would end up with the farm wholly in his name.
“Christmas isn’t about presents to me, Jesse. It’s about loving and giving, the way God gave us Jesus.”
Phew. For a minute there, I forgot this was a Christian Christmas romance.
And it’s really super-sweet. Jesse proposes, and both he and Jade get down on one knee.
The sweetness of the picture overwhelmed [Lindsey].
Hey, I’ll be the judge of that.
“…will you make our family complete and marry us? Will you be my wife?” Jesse slid the dainty solitaire onto her finger.
“And will you be my other mommy?”
THAT IS SO SWEET
So Jesse wants to get married like NOW, but Lindsey is all, “Ooo, but I wanted a Christmas wedding,” and I am like, “Well, fine, little princess.”
“Problem solved.” [said Jesse] “According to a very famous song, there are really twelve days of Christmas. So there you have it. Christmas begins today and won’t end until we’re married twelve days from now.” He squinted hopefully. “Okay?”
Wow. That is actually…an awesome idea.
And it is Jesse’s idea. He has knowledge and turned it into an actual plan!
IT’S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!!!
So they’re going to get married on January 5th, under the trees at the farm, which is also quite sweet.
One more “Thank You, Jesus,” and we’re out!
That was certainly a significant change from Christmas Town. A pretty bearable heroine, and a not-very-likeable hero with…well…
And a child who wasn’t an acquisitive, smarmy brat!
It truly is a miracle.
And that concludes our 2013 Wintermas program. A little New Year’s surprise is in the works, and then we will return to Paul Stepola’s epic quest to lie to his wife for as long as humanly possible.
Merry Wintermas, all. Thanks for being here!
You guys are…like family to me.