In the eleventh chapter of Untold, Kami meets her friendâ€™s at Rustyâ€™s gym to go over their plan to take down Rob and his sorcerers. Intrigued? Then itâ€™s time for Mark to read Untold.
Chapter Eleven: A Drop of Blood, a Single Tear
God, the first half of this chapter is absolutely heartbreaking, but Iâ€™m comforted by the fact that ultimately, this is about Kami realizing that she can move on by herself. Still, this hurts. It hurts so much, and I hate that Kami has to suffer like this because of things that ultimately other people did. At the same time, as someone who has always had severe self-esteem issues, I recognize a familiar behavior here. In one sense, Kami is blaming herself for whatâ€™s happened between her and her family, for Jaredâ€™s decisions, for her own feelings towards him, and for her own loneliness. And her perception is skewed here because she sees herself as the source of all these problems, even if that isnâ€™t the case. Itâ€™s terrible to watch happen because good god, yâ€™all, I have done this so many times. When youâ€™re in the thick of it, itâ€™s hard to appreciate the scope of a situation. And in this case, Kamiâ€™s got numerous things going wrong in her life.
Iâ€™m still struck by how true Sarah Rees Brennanâ€™s writing feels when it comes to dealing with the emotional baggage of an ex-partner or ex-friend. Even if Jared and Kami never dated, I think it would be foolish to ignore that they did have a â€œrelationshipâ€ of some sort. Itâ€™s gone now, but that doesnâ€™t mean that Kamiâ€™s feelings for him â€“ both emotional and physical â€“ still linger within her heart. So even touching Jared, regardless of the context, is able to trigger these haunting thoughts and desires in her. And itâ€™s not fair! She wants to move on:
She wanted to hold him, but he wasnâ€™t a part of her anymore. She couldnâ€™t keep pretending he was.
Granted, Brannan is speaking literally here, as Jared was once a real part of Kami, but I think this is easy to extrapolate to refer to the experience of losing a relationship. Iâ€™ve never been the person to break things off with a guy; Iâ€™ve always been dumped. So this experience, this lingering, this haunting, is something I know all too well. And I can tell Kami is trying to avoid projecting what she wants from Jared onto him, but itâ€™s hard when she misses him so much. Iâ€™m curious to know how long Jared is going to keep up thisâ€¦ well, I donâ€™t know what to call it. Tantrum is too dismissive of his genuine feelings, and charade isnâ€™t correct because I donâ€™t think heâ€™s pretending. Whatever this funk is, Jaredâ€™s hurting Kami, even if sheâ€™d insist that itâ€™s not the case.
And then thereâ€™s Kamiâ€™s father. IT HURTS MORE THAN ANY SINGLE THING IN THIS WHOLE CHAPTER. Oh my god, I get that heâ€™s upset and confused, and I do appreciate that he wants to make sure heâ€™s sorted his thoughts before he says anything to Kami. But itâ€™s your daughter, dude, and itâ€™s not her fault that she had to keep this secret from him. Doesnâ€™t that ultimately go back to Claire? Gah, itâ€™s all so complicated, though, and so I completely understand why Kami just breaks down and starts crying on the stairs outside of Rustyâ€™s gym. Itâ€™s all too much for her, and itâ€™s happening all at once.
THEN RUSTY HAPPENS. Okay, okay, so obviously, he fucks up by assuming that Jared was the one who made Kami cry (WHICH ISNâ€™T EXACTLY AN UNFATHOMABLE IDEA), and Iâ€™m glad that Rusty and Kami at least agree that maybe this shouldnâ€™t happen again. But Rusty. He initiates a fight with Jared to defend Kami. Yeah, it does drip with a bit of chivalry, but I still kind of adore it? Rusty is often apathetic or he relies on his humor to get through difficult situations. However, in this instance, he stands up for someone he cares about, and IT IS NOT A JOKE. Yes??? Great??? MUCH CUTE. Look, Iâ€™m not a violent person at all, and I literally cringe up and want to hide if Iâ€™m even in the same room as a fight, so I donâ€™t want this to come off as an endorsement of punching faces as conversation. But thereâ€™s a cathartic aspect to what Rusty does, and I canâ€™t ignore that!
Other than this, Kami and the group set up the machinations of their plan against Rob and his sorcerers, though it hasnâ€™t gone further than self defense lessons and stealing some of Rob and Rosalindâ€™s stuff in order to create spells against them. Iâ€™m interested in seeing how that works, but Iâ€™m mostly enamored with how differently I look upon Rusty. Oh god, character development is my favorite.
And, as a special bonus, the lovely Taryn commission threeÂ Lynburn LegacyÂ short stories for me to read THAT ARE REALLY GREAT, and they’ll go up today, Wednesday, and Friday, respectively. This is “The Spring Before I Met You,” and it’s set beforeÂ UnspokenÂ starts. Please note that the words “crazy,” “insane,” “mad,” “psycho,” and “lunatic” all appear in the text.
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