Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Re-Read: Chapter Thirty Six- Believed

"Why do you love him?"

The chatter among the group becomes more enthusiastic as Jared leaves the cave to retrieve the new ball her acquired during the recent raid. Andy and Lily are nominated as captains and they quickly go about dividing the teams with Kyle and Jared with Andy and Ian and Jamie on Lily's team. Lily asks Wanda if she would like to be on her team, but Wanda declines because of her leg. Ian tries to sit the game out with Wanda, but she and Jamie insist he plays with the others. 

Wanda tries to get to her feet, but is unable to balance with her bad leg. Strong arms catch her and she is about to turn and thank Ian, but it turns out Jared is the one holding her up. They fall into conversation, Jared observing how much Wanda cares about Jamie and even Ian. Wanda tells Jared it is because Ian believes her and watches out for her. She also takes the time to thank Jared for coming to her defense during the tribunal and apologizes for hurting him and Jamie by coming to the caves. To Wanda's relief, Jared tells her that Jamie has actually been better since her arrival. Wondering why Wanda cares so much for Jamie, he asks her directly, "Why do you love him?"
"In part because Melanie does. Remembering him the way she does...that's a powerful thing. And then, when I met him in person...I can't not love him. It's part of my...the very makeup of these cells to love him. I hadn't realized before how much influence a host had on me. Maybe it's just human bodies. Maybe it's just Melanie."

Jared wonders how often Melanie talks to Wanda, which is when she wants to or is interested in what is going on. Wanda also tells him that Melanie is silent now because she is mad about the Kyle situation. Jared laughs at this, knowing how Melanie would react and want Kyle to "fry." Wanda also tells him that Melanie also has a strong, violent reaction to the Seeker, who Jared says is still looking for her, but he also reassures her that she is safe in the caves. 

Jared's curiosity returns to Melanie, wondering if Wanda can hear her now. She is aware of Melanie, who is listening very closely to their interaction. Whispering, Jared wonders what Melanie is thinking and Wanda asks Melanie what she wants to tells him. Melanie is hesitant to interact, curious as to why Jared believes them now. Wanda relays this to him and he tells her it is a culmination of things: her kindness towards Walter, saving Kyle's life, and even as far back as when she put herself between him and Kyle on her first night in the caves. Somehow, he always believed, but he would not allow himself to entertain the truth. When Jared asks how straightforward the connection is, Wanda tells him that Melanie hears, sees, and feels everything she does. Touching Wanda's face, Jared speaks to Melanie. 
"You don't know how sorry I am."
The moment is interrupted by Kyle calling to Jared to join the others on the make-shift field. While Kyle did not seem to notice Wanda next to Jared, others did, including Jamie who watches them with a satisfied smile. Jeb's face is more curious, while Maggie and Sharon share the same fire-filled expressions. Ian looked over at the two with worry, Wanda thinking he is concerned Jared is upsetting her, but Melanie tells her that is not the source of his unease. Jared takes off to join the others playing soccer, while Wanda remains as scorekeeper, though she has a tough time with her job. A few players excuse themselves from the game after a short time, but quickly return with boxes of granola bars. Jamie, Jared, and Ian all work through the crowd to bring Wanda handfuls of snacks. Kyle approaches the Wanda and Ian and Jared close ranks around her. Speaking through his brother and Jared, Kyle addresses Wanda, telling her he is not sorry and thinks he was in the right. Ian shoves his brother, but Kyle tells them he is not done. Though Jared tries to stop him, Kyle continues, saying he was in the right, but she did save his life. 
"So I figure, a life for a life. I won't kill you. I'll pay the debt that way."
When Ian calls his brother a "stupid jackass," Kyle retaliates, calling Ian stupid for having a "crush on a worm." Ian lifts his fists to Kyle, but Wanda's words cut through the crowd.
"I'll tell you why. I didn't let you fall because...because I'm not like you. I'm not saying that I'm not...like humans. Because there are others her who would do the same. There are kind and good people here. People like your brother, and Jeb, and Doc...I'm saying that I'm not like you personally."
Kyle stares for a moment before breaking into laughter. He turns from Wanda, calling back, "Life for a life." Wanda is not sure she believes him; humans are good liars. 

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