Love isn’t always enough, Maisie knew. Rev. Bradley couldn’t understand what she was telling him. Talks big talk about listening, but you can’t listen when you’re a paternalistic ass convinced they know better than everyone else.
She had chosen silence in the face of indifference. No not, indifference, but arrogance. The worst kind of arrogance, the kind that cloaked itself in concern and care. Just a guiding held on the till.
The fucked thing, Maisie realized, was that Rev. Bradley did feel a fatherly love for her. He wanted her well, would give her the shirt off his back. But he couldn’t hear her, see her or understand her. His love made her smaller, made her as if still a child.
They were riding back from Maryville, on 411, past all the town and out by the farms and open spaces. The sun was a fading, burnt orange in the sky. She looked at that. She focused on that. The cool window from the open window. The promise that spring was finally here.
Her hair was growing out, and it whipped in her face, like electrified anemones, wild and ecstatic. That venomously downed all her bitter thoughts, and let the warm ones, the hopeful ones, remain and thrive, in this beautiful evening.
She turned and looked at Rev. Bradley. He was talking, she was half listening. And whatever love he felt, he would never turn to him, never trust him, never ask for his help. Love isn’t always enough to bring them close. Love couldn’t still make someone a stranger, or an enemy.