Apologies! Posts during March and into April may be brief and/or a bit slapdash due to one heck of a crazy spring semester.
Chapter 5: Certainly not the plan *I* would have gone with…
Sadly, this hockey romance novel has had exactly zero hockey in it so far (and since it’s June in the book, I’m not hopeful that there will be any either) but Joe has an idea now and he presents it to Emma using a hockey metaphor.
“The way I see it we can keep on playing defense or we can go on the offense” (56).
If you have a bad feeling about this, join Emma. On the bright side, at least Emma understands hockey enough and knows what Joe does to respond with “Spoken like a true right winger.” Other heroines in these novels would have simpered and said they didn’t understand. In fact, when Joe says they have to go “mix it up” in order to score, Emma asks, “You want us to scrimmage with someone?”
No dear, sadly. That would have been a better novel.
Joe declares that they should do the opposite of what anyone is expecting them to do, which would be to… stay married. At least, stay married for a couple of years (!!) until the gossip dies down. Understandably, Emma does not like this plan. So, Joe guilts her into it.
“Let’s recap for a minute here, shall we?” he suggested emotionally. “And remember exactly whose fault it is we are in this mess in the first place. Because had you told me who your father was, or how he felt about you being involved with hockey players period, I never would have even been dating you, never mind asking you to run away and marry me. You would have been safe in your little girls-only dorm at Brown. And I would never have had my own rep trashed to other owners, or have been tossed back to the minors or had to work my way up to the NHL all over again. The bottom line is you owe me, sweetheart…. You owe me big” (58).
That… that doesn’t seem right to me. I mean, yes, okay, she absolutely should have been upfront with Joe while they were dating—maybe not the very minute they met, but very quickly, so that they could have, together, made an informed decision about their relationship in the face of Emma’s father’s disapproval. (However, she was 19 at the time, which is over the age of consent for marriage, regardless of parental approval, in every state including Rhode Island. I’m finding conflicting information on what the ages are, state by state, actually, with one site saying 18 for RI, another saying 16. EITHER WAY, though, at age 19 they were absolutely old enough to get married, legally, without parental consent.)
Next, it’s not like Emma could have seen all the repercussions. Now, the fact that she didn’t tell her father that she didn’t actually sleep with Joe actually IS her fault and almost certainly contributed to that whole “rep trashed” thing.
I still don’t think Emma has to give up two years or so of her life in order to apologize. I’m curious, though, what do you guys think? Does she owe him?
Emma certainly thinks so, because “her inability to be honest with him had cost them both a tremendous amount of hurt” (58).
Joe suggests “a friendship and an affair” during these years, since “it’s not as if [Emma’s] still a virgin” (61) and apparently Emma still can’t be honest with him since she doesn’t correct that inaccuracy. On the other hand, she does negotiate for herself. She says that if they ever have sex (and she’s not promising that they will), it’ll be on her terms (although she does not clarify that that means.) Joe agrees, and his stipulation is that while they’re married, they’re exclusive to each other.
I would have negotiated a lot more in this bargain. Like, where are they going to live? What are they going to tell people? When can they start talking about divorce? How involved will they have to be with each other’s lives?
But no. They’re just going to go for it. They’re not even going to think about other solutions or possibilities—they’re getting (re)married six hours later in Emma’s apartment.
I guess with a novel where the first time these two see each other after seven years it’s naked, screaming, covered in cookie crumbs, and with the police called, waiting six hours is downright glacial speed.