Chapter 10: The Insurmountable Obstacle
Hayden spent the night and the couple is woken up very early by Darcy calling Hayden’s cell phone. With no greeting or preamble, Darcy asks if Hayden has seen the paper and tells her that she’s in it, sports section, front page, “with your hockey player’s tongue in your mouth and his hands on your ass” (135). In disbelief, Hayden goes and gets Brody’s paper. (Considering this is current, I’m surprised she bothers to go for a paper and doesn’t just look online. Why does Brody even get the paper? He’s gone half the time, as Hayden points out so often.)
This is what Hayden and Brody get, apparently, for breaking Hayden’s rules about being seen together in public, since the photo had been taken when they’d met at Brody’s car at the arena. I somehow don’t think that’s the point the text is trying to make, nor the one that the characters will take away.
None of that matters in the moment, however, as Brody reads the article and discovers that it says he took a bribe and that Hayden is sleeping with him order to shut him up about her father. He seems surprised by this, despite the fact that it’s exactly what he thought to himself in order to accept Hayden’s rule that they not be seen together in public back in chapter 6.
Brody goes further though. He points out that everyone will believe the article because the author is an award-winning journalist. He then declares that “someone is trying to ruin” him. Now, I can see if someone was maybe saying Brody accepted bribes in order to point fingers away from himself (if he, whoever he is, was one of the players who did take a bribe.) The photo of the two of them was convenient, though, and not something that anyone could have predicted. I don’t see how someone could have an actual vendetta against him.
From the assumption that someone is out to ruin him, Brody moves on to declaring that he and Hayden should take a break in the hopes that he can avoid losing his career. And he makes a lot of good points about how hard he’s worked and how the investigation could destroy it. But Hayden thinks back to the night before, to all of the things that Brody had said in order to convince her of how great they were together and she realizes he’s not putting her first.
Given that they’ve known each other two weeks, I’m not exactly surprised he’s putting his career ahead of her. Maybe I’m a cynic (Ok, I *am* a cynic) but I’d be more concerned about his attachment if he didn’t. Granted, the romantic in me (I’m one of those, too) wants to believe there’s a middle ground.
Hayden is tired of people not putting her first.
How many times had the men in her life let their careers take the front seat while she sat in the back begging to be noticed? (138).
Well, according to the book, twice. Right now and her father throughout her childhood. But I think the answer is supposed to be “every time except with Doug.” But what happened to her realization the day before that her desire to have a man put her first made her like her stepmother? Y’know, the one who flat out said she wanted a man to put her first in every way, including emotionally and financially? And when Hayden realized how similar that was to her own desires (which at the time I thought weren’t similar but this chapter is proving me wrong), she was uncomfortable. Not to mention she wanted it to be a fling.
Anyway, Hayden uses this to instead of take a break with Brody, as he sees it (where they get back together after the investigation and media attention die down) to end things entirely. And this I do get, and it is in character for her. She wanted a fling. We’ve seen that she’s not entirely self-confident anyway. And she does want a significant other who is consistent—even geographically—so Brody ending things even temporarily, putting his career first, would be a red flag for her.
(I’ll end by pointing out that to become a professor, at least in the last couple of decades, you have to put your career first, ahead of almost everything. So Hayden should understand that. But that’s in the real world where you already need a PhD to be a “junior professor” at Berkeley.)