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Acts of Forgiveness

Chapter Fourteen is finally out of the way.  It didn’t seem like a long chapter, but it was tough to write.  There were so many things I had to figure out–and, yes, the tone of the chapter actually changed several times.  In fact, the penultimate scene where Annie quizzed Kerry on his dream, Coraline was supposed to show up, but I decided to keep the focus on them both, and not bring her into the mix.

Still, plenty happened–

And plenty still to come.

And plenty still to come.

–and this finishes up the conversation in Emma’s hospital bay.

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

“Professor Salden sat me down for the next race.” Emma’s voice grew soft and reserved as she addressed Kerry. “She told me if I race again like I did yesterday, she’d send me back to the B Team—” She looked down as she swallowed hard. “And if I don’t shape up after that, I’m off both teams for good.”

“That’s not gonna happen—” Kerry shook his head. “You know better now, so there’s nothing to worry about.”

“I know.” Heavy frown lines creased her brow. “I’m gonna miss all the races this weekend

“But you won’t miss the Red Line race the weekend after.” He was referring to the race held the second weekend of December, which was the second use of the Red Line course, the most difficult on the school grounds. The first time the course was run was the weekend before the Samhain Races. “And you’ll be around for the next one in January.”

 

We’ve yet to see a big race on the Red Line, and there will be a mention of it in the next chapter.  But we now see that Erywin has laid down the law:  Emma’s not racing, which is a hit in personal points, and if she screws up again she’s off the A Team, and maybe out of Coven Racing all together.  Since you can’t give her detention, it’s serious enough.  That and the hospital stay, and learning that she almost lost an arm.

But she has questions . . .

 

“Yeah” She sat quietly with her handing resting on her thighs, both sets of fingers tapping against the heavy covers. When she raised her head she looked to Annie instead of Kerry. “Do you still want to fly with me? Be my wingmate?”

Annie raised one eyebrow. “I do not tell Kerry whom he can and can’t have as a wingmate.” A slight grin played upon her face. “That’s his decision.”

He didn’t give an answer, but asked his own question instead. “Did Vicky tell you how we did on the scavenger flight?”

Emma looked his way. “She told me we not only had the most targets and the farthest to fly, but that we found everything without needing a lot of looking around.”

“Right. That’s because we worked great as a team.” His face framed a bright grin. “I had the best pilot with me—”

“And I had the best navigator.”

“And if we’re gonna do the Polar Express next year, we need both working together—otherwise I’m not going.” Kerry slowly pushed himself up, using his cane to support him. “A third of the school year is up, and we probably wouldn’t get new wingmates until Advanced Flight Two anyway. I can put this behind me if it means having the best advanced flight team in the air.” He nodded towards the girl in the bed. “It’s up to you: whaddya say?”

 

I know:  Kerry’s being nice again.  But so is Annie.  In fact, Annie sort of sets the mood at this point–

 

Annie chose to offer an observation in that instance. “My father has not always worked with people with whom he’s had the best relationships, but when they are on the track, racing for their team, he’s always put his differences aside.” She pointed out the obvious. “You’re going to only have another year and a half of classes left: if your team is the best, why break it up now?”

For a moment Emma appeared conflicted, as if she didn’t know which course she should follow, which decision she should make. She finally found her voice. “I know—” She locked eyes with Kerry. “Nothing’s going to happen between us.”

“No.” He shook his head. “It won’t.”

“But you still want to be friends.”

“I know I can—I think you can, too.”

Emma looked down, making a faint sound as she exhaled. “Then . . .” She held out her right hand. “Wingmates?”

Kerry reached out with his right hand and clasped hers. “Team Myfanwy stays flying. And we’re gonna show them all when we do the overnight in a couple of weeks.”

 

No breakups, but Emma’s been schooled a bit.  She’s been warned by her coven leader and race coach; she’s been warned by people on her team, and she been warned by Annie to knock off her shit.  She’s apologized, though, and maybe even grown up a little in the process.

She does have one last question, and it’s one that others who’ve viewed these proceedings have asked as well:

 

“Kerry.”

He turned back towards the bed, the curtain barely open. “Yeah?”

“Why—?” Emma once more looked as if she didn’t know if she should ask what was on her mind. “Why are you always so ready forgive me?”

Kerry looked away and stared at spot on the floor for a few seconds before replying in hushed tones. “Because I know what it’s like to want something you can’t ever have . . .” He sighed slowly as he met her gaze. “It hurts.”

“Yeah.” She wiggled her toes under the covers. “Does it go away?”

“It does.” He gripped Annie’s hand. “Something better always comes along.”

 

Something better always comes along.  We know what Kerry lost in his move from California to Wales, and what came along that was better, and like it or not, those two events helped define him now.  He’s been hurt a lot, and that’s one of the reasons why he doesn’t want to hurt anyone else.  And because he’s twelve and isn’t that good picking up on different social situations, he doesn’t realize that he’s been hurting Emma more by not shutting her down right away.

He tells her what he understands best:  I know you want me, but you can’t have me.  I’ve been there, and it hurts, and that sucks.  And I don’t want to do that to you . . . but it gets better, because something else good will come along.

It did for him.

He’s gotta figure it will for her as well.

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2 thoughts on “Acts of Forgiveness

  1. ” Nothing’s going to happen between US. ” If I were Kerry, I’d reply, ” Nothing’s gonna happen, because, in the first place, there is no US, there has never been an US and there never will be. I can’t put my finger on this particular statement of Emma’s, but bottomline, Emma was very presumptuous that there had been ” something ” between them..

    And, Kerry is such a Gary Stu . Kerry’s attitude is unbelievably complacent. I admire his very forgiving nature, but he doesn’t even seem to recognize the extreme danger Emma has put him through, and because he’s alive doesn’t erase the fact that Emma has almost got him killed , not once, but twice. Annie is somewhat a Mary Sue here, except we know she ‘s no push-over.

    And, I don’t think Emma;s done.

    Just my assessment of these events , so far.

    • This is really difficult to answer, because the last time someone laid a “that character is a Mary/Gary Sue/Stu” on me, it was my daughter, and I ripped her apart over it. (Not one of my characters, by the way: it was a female character from another series of novels.) If you feel they are too forgiving, fine, then they are: they’re not gonna be assholes over this incidence.

      Should Kerry walk away from Emma? He could, except with only 28 students in their level he’s gonna run into Emma every single day save for the weekend, and if he races he’s bound to run into her there. I’ve given my reasons why Kerry is the way he is, and that’s that. Otherwise he’s liable to stew over his actions because he got pissy when he didn’t want to get pissy. Is he passive? Yes, that’s been said. Is he laid back? Yes, again said. Is he wissy washy at times? Hell yes. He doesn’t have good social skills: he’s still learning. And Kerry can’t call out Emma for what happened, because it happened on the track, and Judgement Trials aren’t allow for on-track actions. If he wants to screw her he can wait and do it later in another race and just call it a “racin’ deal,” because that’s what racers do. Kerry’s already laid out that nothing will happen between them, and he’s also cursed her. He’s not going to shun another social-awkward kid; he won’t. It’s not him.

      Should Annie do something? She can’t call Emma out for what happened because that’s not how Judgment Trials work. And if she does go after Emma, she’s the asshole girlfriend, which has been explained several times. And if she goes after Emma she makes Kerry look weak. She’s already given her warning; that’s all she needs.

      If they didn’t want to accept her apology they wouldn’t have seen her. They would have said, “Nope, fuck you,” and left it at that. And then dealt with the fallout of going to classes with her and, in Kerry’s case, getting someone new with whom to fly. That would have been a completely different scene, and would have made them both look kinda bad.

      And extreme danger? Racing here is already established as being dangerous, and Emma put herself in more danger by racing like an ass, because she came within two seconds of getting her arm ripped off, which may have actually killed her instead of Kerry. She was in a coma for twelve hours and then spent the following morning hearing how she fucked up and she’s the blame for putting another racing in the hospital and screwing your team in the standings. If that doesn’t get you in the mood to reevaluate what you did and figure out how to make things right, then you’re a sociopath–which is a statement that can be laid at Lisa’s feet.

      Everyone in that scene had plenty of time to think about what happened and to decide what course of action was right–and Annie and Kerry would have had plenty of time Sunday morning and early afternoon to figure out what sort of response they would offer, regardless if Emma apologized or not. They’re two of 149 students who are expected to help run the world one day, and they know what sort of responsibilities with which they’re already being saddled–like being Guardians, who aren’t just running around zapping people who piss them off. They start acting like Normal kids caught up in a romantic triangle of sorts, and they can kiss that whole Guardian stuff right away.

      And they aren’t normal kids: they are something *quite* different and exceptional. That, too, has been mentioned several times. You can’t judge them by the same yardstick one would judge regular Middle School kids. They are not those kids, and never will.

      And if Emma isn’t done with Kerry–well, she knows what *could* happen to her if she decides to go that route. As I say, “You’ll have to wait and see.”

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