Chapter 9 is the first time they actually USE THEIR WORDS! This is a milestone, guys.
We walked half a block in silence. Then, suddenly, “We’ve got to get squared away on how we feel about each other,” Jim said. I was dumbfounded…the revelation I’d been hoping for–he had some feelings. And he was assuming that I had some.
YES! Way to be honest and open, Jim. Elizabeth’s response is a little odd–she says she was a little piqued at his assumption that she had feelings for him, but I mean, whatever. Who can really explain their overwhelming emotions in those heady days of courtship? They are on cloud nine, and she floats back to her room:
Rainbows are made of sunlight and rain. The sunlight, which turned my world into a radiance of color, was the knowledge of Jim’s love. The rain was the other fact that he explained to me as we sat on the grass by the Lagoon–that God was calling him to remain single. Perhaps for life, perhaps only until he had had firsthand experience [as a missionary.]
WHAT. “I love you, but we can’t do anything about it.” That sucks.
Older missionaries had told him that single men were needed to do jobs married ones could never do. There were some areas where women could not go.
Ok. Like, I get it. You’re freer as a single person, for sure, and it’s better (I guess?) that he admitted his feelings rather than lead her on. At least they can face the future together now instead of wallowing in longing by themselves. But I also don’t see why they can’t, idk, get married and go somewhere that women CAN go. That seems like the obvious solution here. But never mind–he’s got his career ideas, and she has hers, and they’re going to sort it out. I can get behind this.
I was afraid to articulate, even to myself, feelings I might have to get rid of.
This is refreshingly honest, and again, I find myself most enjoying her writing when she really opens up, rather than when she is pontificating on the Evils of The World.
So, all in all, we’re a step ahead: Jim used his words, they have something in common at last, and they can think about the future together. Not a bad place to be, and definitely the most enjoyable chapter so far, because who doesn’t like being in love?! Love is great!
Let’s see if this continues in chapter 10.