A Venetian Bather,
oil on canvas, 1889.
oil on canvas, 1889.
One of the standard difficulties in first person POV, is suggesting the mind and motives of other characters, particularly if one is fond of the idea that actions speak louder than words, and particularly when applying that platitude to the male gender.
Do you think Johnnie Thresher has more on his mind than crime?
"Because it was bound to happen sooner or later and another time I might not be there. Now stay where you are until I check out the house."
I stayed. No point in silly argument. Or silly questions designed to uncover personal meaning in his ride-to-the-rescue comment. I was too tired. And I was glad he'd offered. I sat, twisting my bracelets and watching the rain trickle down the windshield in runic patterns.
Just when I realized he'd been gone an inordinate length of time, he opened my door to a gust of wet, sweet wind.
"All clear. Rain's coming on heavy again. Can you run for it?"
"You must be kidding. A stumbling stagger will have to do." I hauled myself out and down from the SUV, ignoring his offered hand.
Johnnie followed me to the porch and into the house. The house had that sense of emptiness, of waiting, that houses have when one has been gone a long time. Within the placid stillness I heard water running.
"I've started a bath. Get out of those clothes, get in it and soak." He picked up a handful of files from the stairs. "I found hard copy membership lists in the file cabinet. Your husband seems to have acquired data from the SOS as well. I need to do some cross-referencing after the riot today. And make sure you eat."
He turned to go.
"Just a minute. Wait," I bleated. "I haven't asked. I meant to ask. Are you all right, yourself? All that punching and pushing. How do you feel?"
"Feel?" He hesitated, turned back and gave my besmudged and bedraggled body another slow up and down survey. He reached out and lifted a straggle of hair from my cheek, examined it, twining it around his fingers before smoothing it back.
"I feel an infinite curiosity," he said, and was gone.