That was the fourth person in two days to accuse her of being a heartless bitch. What the hell did they want from her?
In the last book, Box of Rain, Jo came to terms–in some small way–with her issues with her mother. This book she needs to take a hard look at herself.
Why should she have to prove anything to them? She was tough when she needed to be tough. The only way to get at the truth sometimes was to cut through the bullshit, and you couldn’t do that without causing a little blood to flow. That wasn’t who she was, but it was how to get the job done.
If no one wanted to look past the hard outer shell, to hell with them. That was why she’d grown the shell, to keep others out, keep them from having access to the vulnerable parts. It was lonely in her fortress, true, and oh—the tears gathered unexpectedly till she blinked them away—oh, how she wanted someone to come inside, to see her, to love her anyway, to live with her in her quiet, most intimate spaces. But she couldn’t do that, could she? Because if someone did, then changed their mind about her, she would know that her detractors were right. She’d know she was heartless and scum and worth their scorn.
I’m not sure where this bit will fit into the book, but sometimes the pieces come to me out of order. I’m sure I’ll find a place for it somewhere.
If anyone saw the real her and rejected her, how could she survive that? So screw them. Screw them all. She would find Avril’s friend—alive—and get Lily safe somewhere with her baby where they could live a good life. If that wasn’t enough—no, it had to be enough. This was about them. Drowning in self-pity wasn’t going to solve their problems, and that was all that mattered right now.