Shadowed: Chapter 27: Marriage Lessons
Man, yanno how wives are, right? Always whining about their little problems. Wahhhh, my brother’s dead, whiiiiine, my family wants me in prison, boo hoo, nobody told me about the funeral just because I’m an international fugitive from justice.
Jae just goes on and on about her piddly little problems to her long-suffering husband. Geez, lady, just because you and your tiny children are on the run from the cops of the whole planet, it’s always something with you, isn’t it?
Jae, for reasons that make no sense to me because of the aformentioned on-the-run-from-the-law thing, calls her sister-in-law, who spills the beans that Berlitz’s memorial service already happened, and Jae Plus Family were cordially not invited.
She whines to Paul, like wives do:
“…he was my brother! I would like to have known, to have been thinking about him when they were. And Daddy has my cell number.* He could have called, could have tried to say the right things.”
“Now you’re dreaming.”
She shot Paul a look, and he realized she didn’t need his editorializing. She didn’t want this fixed. She wanted to be heard.
Yep, yanno how manly husbands are: always wanting to fix things. (How Paul or Jenkins thinks any could fix this problem is a question for the ages. Also, what would Jae have been thinking during Berl’s service? How much it sucks that a just and loving God sent her awesome brother to Hell for all eternity? Something like that?)
So, that’s our lesson for today, boys and girls. Wives want to whine about their emotions, husbands want to fix problems. A lesson on marriage from Jerry Jenkins.
*Speaking of, he forgot again. Jae doesn’t have a “cell.” She has a skull phone. I can’t believe we all remember this, but Jenkins just can’t.
Not that Jae could try to fix Paul’s problems even if she wanted to: he won’t tell her what they are! The elders, in their infinite holy wisdom, have decided to keep the Mass Exodus a secret until the last minute. That seems like a great way to engender trust in those uder you.
Paul wants to tell Jae, what with them being in love and all (har), but considers this situation akin to when he knew state secrets when he was in the NPO.
Paul found his first inclination was to pull Jae aside and start her thinking about their own details. How lightly could they pack?
Really, dude? You arrived like, four days ago with TWO SUITCASES. I don’t think packing light is really an issue.
(Even if it was, why are all these fugitives so bad at being fugitives? Shouldn’t they be ready to move at five minutes’ notice, all the time?)
Paul also takes some time out of his busy schedule to ruminate about how much he wants to punch Ranold. Of course, being the manliest of men, Paul’s feelings are natural and just mainfestations of righteous, justice-driven anger. As opposed to Jae’s, being fluffy womany feelings as they are.
This man was going to push to far someday, and Paul might just have to take him on.
I have a feeling Paul is a keyboard warrior of the first order.
Also, Ranold just falsely accused his only daughter of murder and had a memorial service for his unloved dead son without mentioning it to said fugitive daughter. What more does Paul want? (Then again, these are slights against a woman, which are, of course, not serious the way slights against a man would be.)
(Paul also assures himself that he’s not being unfair for wanting to take on an “old man,” because Ranold was a badass in his youth. Basically, this is a whole page is taken up with Paul having a one-man dick-measuring contest in his head.)
And in order to make Jae feel a little better, he reminds her that Ranold’s new job appointment is only interim.
“They don’t hand out jobs like that to old men, even as undermanned as they are.”
They don’t? Hey, Jenkins, I know that Hollywood has taught us all that positions of power at the top of organizations are most often given to 27-year-olds, but that’s not actually true in the real world. If anything, I would think Ranold would be just right for the job. This is Atheistopia, remember, where cancer has been cured and pollution has ended. I’m sure lifespans are at least a bit longer than they are today, and Ranold is only in his early- to mid-sixties. And he was one of the founders of the NPO. In essence, his entire career has been leading to this job.
But I’m sure Paul knows best.
Speaking of age, Straight is kvetching about his. And he’s a few years younger than Ranold (60 exactly).
It’s 2047 and the map and calendar were changed in 2010, so Straight was 23 when it happened. So it may actually be realistic that he thinks of Michigan as Michigan and not Heartland. Still, seeing as how Paul calls it Michigan, too, I’m not inclined to cut Jenkins slack this time.
Now, it’s not like I have any sympathy for Paul in general, but it’s kinda…in poor taste, perhaps?…for Straight, whose cover is secure, to whine to Paul about how he’s feeling tired and stressed. Paul, after all, is an international fugitive, in hiding with two very small children.
And Straight has so much reason to be happy! He’s turned the Evil Doctor of Death on to two hospitalized government agents, who have been made “logy and slow to perk up.”
The Evil Doctor of Death has also told Straight of two terminal patients (presumably not Atheistopian employees, since we are not told so), “both of which could provide great identities.”
Speaking of sensitivity and compassion, Paul and Jae finally get around to telling the kids that Grandma died. Brie asks if they’ll get to see her again in Heaven, and Paul reports that not everyone gets to go to Heaven. Because Jesus punishes people for the thoughts in their heads, don’tcha know.
The kids are pretty much okay with this, though, seeing as they now have Jesus in their hearts. Another two bite the dust.