Saturday, January 12, 2013

Re-Read: Chapter Forty Six- Encircled

"Why does Jared have Sharon in a headlock?"

Jamie tries to sit up, but Ian keeps him from getting too far as Wanda and Doc continue to treat his wound. Doc cautiously reopens the diseased skin with an X-shaped cute. Though it feels strange, Jamie assures Doc he is not in any pain. When the Doc is done, Wanda sprays the Clean across the cut and it begins to work immediately. Wanda and Doc continue with the Heal and Seal, which rapidly works to close the wound. At Jamie's request, Ian lets the boy up so he can watch the others work on his leg. He is also curious about where the "magic" medicine came from and is astonished when Wanda tells him Jared took her on a raid. 
"You should have seen her. She was incredible."
Shocked to hear Jared's voice so close to her, Wanda turns and see Sharon and Maggie fleeing the room. Wanda cannot understand how the they could hate her so much to not be happy about Jamie's recovery. Jared tells Jamie the story of their raid, complete with Wanda "robb[ing] them blind!" While Jamie is enthralled with the story, Melanie cannot help but think how much more valuable Wanda is to her family than she is. Wanda quickly silences her, telling Melanie that she would not have been here to save Jamie without her; they are a team. 

After Jared's story, Doc wonders how Wanda explained the scar on her face to the Healer, since any other soul would have had the injury taken care of. Without pause, Wanda tells him that she had to have fresh injuries and her story about falling on her knife while hiking. In that moment, Wanda is pleased with their success and with having those she loves around her. Her glow is dimmed by Ian's question about fresh injuries coupled with the anger in his eyes. Wanda tries to pacify him and Jamie that her wounds were necessary to their plan. Jared also chimes in, stroking his finger across the faint pink line still adorning her arm, and tells them how much he worried for her, but spoke of her actions with quiet admiration. Ian's fingers find her cheek and she leans into his touch as he tells her not to go on anymore raids. Before Wanda can respond, Jared speaks up, thinking of the new possibilities to be found with her joining them. Ian fires back and Wanda tries to calm him down, saying the wounds were her idea. While he does not doubt it, Ian know she would do anything for Jared and Jamie, regardless of her own safety. 

Ian wonders what kind of man Jared is to sit back and watch Wanda hurt herself.  Before Jared can respond, Jeb steps into the room with words of his own. 
"A practical one. It's why Jared's the best at getting what we need. Because he can do what has to be don. Or watch what has to be done. Even when watching's harder than doing."
Their argument is deterred for now as the others paw through the box of food Jeb brought with him. Setting up portable stoves, people begin to gather around each other in the small space. Seated between Jared and Ian, Wanda sits with Jamie on her lap. The boy may be too old for such an arrangement, but at that moment, it was just the comfort he, Wanda, and even Melanie needed. Even Kyle joined their group and Wanda could feel nothing but contentment. Melanie too felt the warmth of the group and did not even protest Ian's arm around Wanda's shoulders. 

As the hour draws late, some of the others leave for the comfort of their own beds, leaving more space for those that remained. Wanda found her head on Jared's stomach, while Ian's rested on hers. Jamie attached himself to Wanda, his face resting on her chest. Doc stretches out alongside her, while Jeb rests on the bed and Kyle is on Jared's other side. Kyle tells the others that he is going out with Wanda the next time she raids, but Ian is adamant that she is not going out again. Wanda agrees, saying she will not go unless she is needed, but even that is not enough for Ian, who thinks Jared and the others will use her like a tool when they go out. 
"She never takes into account her own wants - her own happiness, her own health, even. She'd do anything we asked to, even if it got her killed. It's not fair to ask her things the way we'd ask each other. We stop to think about ourselves. She doesn't."
While the others remain silent, Wanda feels the need to speak up for herself. 
"That's not true. I think about myself all the time. And I...I want to help. Doesn't that count? It made me so happy to help Jamie tonight. Can't I find happiness the way I want to?"
After a little more sparring, Ian concedes, telling the others that if Wanda goes out, he will go too, if only to protect her from herself. Kyle teases that he will be out there to protect the rest of them from her and Jared murmurs that he will be there to bring them all back alive.

No comments:

Post a Comment