Oddly enough, most people, I think, would feel somewhat satisfied if Lucy finished her growth arc here. She's speaking her mind and taking charge. This is the moment of highest success for her. From here on in, wacky hijinks ensue to make her revenge less fulfilling than simply telling off Jon directly. She's not particularly witty here, and her sarcasm isn't thick. It's just simple, direct assertiveness bordering on aggression. It's what she's wanted since she talked about the revenge novels she read after naming her imaginary boyfriend Rusty (see how what seemed like a throw-away trait wraps back neatly into her growth arc?)
In addition, at the end of March, I'll be in Boston for PAX. If you are going to be there for that, let me know, and we can meet up. Unless you are an axe murderer. Or, actually, any kind of murderer. Just, no murder, OK?
Fiction below the fold, table of contents here.
* * *
Now that Christine was going to be there for me, I felt like I had to go through with my plan. Provided she didn’t kill me for what I had just done to her. The thing is, she could always back out. She told me that whenever I got into one of my situations; “Lucy, just say no.” I’d explain that I have trouble disappointing people. Then she’d say: “I’m always disappointed in you Lucy.”
Then, if I was having a really bad day, I’d cry. She’d buy me a McFlurry or a Blizzard and everything would be good again. I may not find initial solace in frosty goodness, but I understand a kind gesture when I see one. Which is more than I can say for Christine. Not that she doesn’t appreciate it when people are nice to her, but it is an appreciation tinged with a bit of shock and doused in suspicion.
I finished with Jon relatively quickly. The last two days had been pretty much the same as the others. He would take me to some pseudo-nice place for dinner to make up for hurting my feelings. Then, he’d insult his dead wife, make me feel inferior, then promise to make it up to me the next night. I had his number this time though and told him to meet me at the station early tomorrow night. “I don’t want any more of your shenanigans. I just want to get this speech done; you don’t need to make anything up to me.”
“Yes, I do,” Jon said. “Sometimes when I start talking, I never know when to stop.”
“Have you thought that the right solution is to not start talking?” I asked him. I think what had ticked me off was when he had told me that my last speech idea reminded him why people have a drafting phase in their writing.
“I’ve considered that,” He had said. “But, then I think: I’m the one paying, so my opinion matters more. Your objection is noted and rejected.”
I gave up on arguing with him then and began to hum Abba songs while I drafted. Instead of reading my notes, I simply handed him the papers. He would read them, and then either laugh derisively and scribble it out or write a note on it and hand it back. The first note read: “I’m tired of laughing. Pretend I did.” My next idea read: “Hire a body double.”
“I don’t think we’re going to make any progress if you insist on being so stubborn,” He said.
“I wouldn’t be so stubborn if you’d give me something to work with and weren’t such a pain.”
“Well, I’m sorry if I’ve offended you. It is part of my creative process.”
“Well, then it is no wonder you’re a glorified QVC salesman.” For the first time in our brief working relationship, Jon called the writing session before I did. I stopped off at the Dairy Queen before I went to give Christine the good news.