Quote from Kathy Reichs

My friend was aboard Sewee, untying his vessel from an...

2018-05-07

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My friend was aboard Sewee, untying his vessel from an ancient sunken post.
“Ben?”
No response.
I slipped off my shoes and waded to the runabout. Pulled myself up the tiny ladder. Found Ben’s hand waiting at the rail. He effortlessly hoisted me into the boat, maneuvering my weight like it was nothing.
I sometimes forgot how strong Ben was. How warm his hands could feel.
Ben released me. Went back to coiling line.
“Are you okay?” I immediately realized it was the wrong thing to say.
“Of course I’m okay.” Gruff. Distant.
I stood watching him, unsure what to say next. Unbidden, the image of a bench sprang to mind. The two of us, huddled close. Me crying in his arms.
I felt blood rush to my face, was grateful for the concealing darkness.
“No one expects you to like Chance,” I said finally.
“Good.” Not looking up. “Because I don’t.”
Another awkward silence. Then Ben huffed, “You like him enough for both of us.”
I straightened, surprised. Was that what was bothering him? Jealousy?
Why would Ben be jealous of Chance? After everything that spoiled boy had done to me?
Did Ben think I was some ditz? That my memory reset with every pretty smile?
Am I?
I felt a nervous twinge in my stomach. Felt it grow.
Ben. Jealous. Because of his feelings for me. The issue would not simply go away.
“Ben. I . . .” Words failed. My face grew hot.
Ben’s hands stopped moving. He stared at the deck, his long black hair fanning his face. He sucked in a breath, as if on the verge of something.

Kathy Reichs
Kathy Reichs in "Terminal"

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