Sunday, December 23, 2012

Re-Read: Chapter Thirty- Abbreviated

"I love you. Even if you're not there, if you can't hear me. 
I love you."

Wanda continues to hold back sobs as Jared calls out to Melanie. Speaking to Melanie, Jared tells her that the kiss was for her, not for it.  He tells Melanie if she is there that he loves her. Jared falls silent after his declaration, as does Melanie and Wanda painfully buries herself among the boxes in the cave. Though Melanie is not speaking to Wanda, she is working through what just happened with Jared. She is at once relieved that Jared recognized her existence and angry that he kissed Wanda, who feels anger of her own directed at Melanie. She wonders how Melanie could be angry with her when it was her memories that caused Wanda to fall in love with Jared. 

The pain of Wanda's position among the boxes is no longer bearable and she tries to push through to the entrance. Melanie offers her assistance in getting out, but Wanda stubbornly refuses to take her advice. It is only when Melanie apologizes that Wanda hooks her foot around the edge and yanks herself out of the cave. With Jared no where in sight, Wanda curls up o the mat and tries to push him from her mind. She turns her thoughts to the others, including Jamie, Kyle, Jeb, and Doc. When Wanda can no longer ignore the cries of her stomach, she heads towards the main area. Jamie is waiting for her at the entrance to the big garden, both showing signs of relief at seeing each other again. He also tells her that, though she does not believe others are happy with her being in the caves, he is. Though there is truth in Jamie's words, Wanda believes he is still not able to separate her from his sister, who he truly longs for. 

After retrieving her dinner from Trudy, Wanda sits and eats under Jamie's protective stares. As Wanda finishes her meal, she notices the kitchen filling up and Jamie tells her that nothing has changed; people are coming to hear her teach. With Jeb, Ian, Doc, and Walter absent, Walter is the first to ask a question about the Dolphins. When Wanda insists on sleeping in the supply corridor, Jamie too insists on making camp there. With the six raiders home, Wanda feels awkward going about her chores and the raiders are just as uncomfortable, particularly be unaccustomed to how the others now treat Wanda. The worst of it came from Kyle, who wears his hostility openly while keeping his distance under Jeb's orders. 

During another class, Trudy's husband Geoffrey asks about the Healers, a favorite topic of Doc's. Unfortunately, Wanda is unable to answer his questions since healing was never something she was interested in when she had access to the information. Ian deflects from Geoffrey's anger at the lack of information, changing the subject to the Vultures. Wanda approaches Ian after class, wondering what she said that upset everyone so much, but he tells her it is nothing she said; they have mortality on their minds. It is then that Wanda demands to know where Walter is. Answering her, Ian relays to her the severity of his condition; Doc believes Walter is in the final stages of cancer. He also tells her that Walter has been asking for her, or rather, saying her name. With that, she asks to see him and does not care what the others think. 

Jamie joins Wanda as Ian takes her to see Walter. They pass the others in the garden, including Kyle, who does not hide his disgust at seeing Jamie and Wanda hand-in-hand as Ian escorts them through the caves. His anger rises when Ian reaches for Wanda's other hand. When they are out of Kyle's sight, Wanda tells Ian she wishes he would not provoke his brother's anger and give him more reason to hate her. Though Wanda expresses her fear, Ian tells her that Jeb has made it very clear that if Kyle cannot accept his rules concerning her, that he is no longer welcome in the community. The three continue in silence, but Melanie is vocal in reassuring Wanda that she does belong with the others. 

When they come upon the hospital room, they are assaulted by the smell of decay, alcohol, and bile assault their noses. With Doc passed  out on one cot, Ian asks Walter if he is up for visitors. Wanda steps forward, asking Walter if there is anything he needs. His eyes slowly take her in, focusing on her face. 
"Finally," he gasped. His breath wheezed and whistled. "I knew you would come if I waited long enough. Oh, Gladys, I have so much to tell you." 

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