Stalking Vol 2 The Bridge of Reason HTML version

Chapter 7
The Undercurrents of Fear
We stopped at a convenience store cash machine, where I withdrew the last of my cas h.
Offhandedly, I flashed the twenties her way and mentioned that we were good for a couple of
glasses of wine and splitting an appetizer. Bonnie nodded in a preoccupied manner.
Half a block later, nearing the door to the lounge, she unexpectedly stretched her last two
steps to get ahead of me, then she just stood there. I reached around her to open it.
"Thank you kind sir," she said in Victorian fashion.
"It pleases me to fulfill m'lady's expectations," I said as she walked by.
Bonnie tch-tched me, then headed toward our preferred table in the back tier, three steps up.
With a confirming nod to Catherine’s raised brow, a familiar server who was dealing with
another customer, I trailed behind her jaunty pace wondering what the hell I had done this time.
Catherine soon brought two glasses of red wine—maybe rain wine would be more accurate,
because we went into Checkers only when the sky was bleak, which was enough for her to recall
our preferences.
We exchanged belated pleasantries and comments on the capricio usness of Vancouver
weather before Catherine reported the contents and price of the lunch special. After she left us to
make our decisions, with fatalistic cheeriness I said, "Was my bow too shallow, or did I forget to
spread my cape across the threshold?"
"You turned a courteous act into a power play."
"You scripted the play," I replied reasonably.
"The core of stalking is spontaneity. It doesn't matter if I contrive circumstances, because it
doesn't change the nature of your response."
"Why go to the trouble of creating games, when you can just tell me what you’re trying to
teach me?"
Sighing, she said, "People don't believe much of anything unless they are shown it. Even
then, they have to agree with the procedure, and like you, they still don’t work at making it
relevant to other circumstances." With a softening smile, she added, "You are caring and kind
until someone offends your image so your loyalty and generosity come with conditions; we all
give those away at some point. How often have you heard a diatribe followed by, 'I don't know
where that came from' or, 'That wasn't like me?' "
"O ften enough."
"Did you ever see a hand up their butt, forcing caustic words out of wooden lips?"
I chuckled at the imagery
"Irrefutable experiences followed by an assess ment of how they apply to your entire life are
the only way to turn those clues about your true nature into knowledge. Minutes ago," she
nodded toward the street, "you limited your help to a stranger, which told me that you were
feeding the camouflaged belief that you are superior, based on your judgment of his
circumstances. That you did this with your Assemblage Point in an advantageous position, and
me having just told you to pay attention to the nature of what’s happening, not what’s happening
to you, tells me how damaged you really are. Your comment after opening the door was just as
"That I judged you—how?"
"I'm a woman."
I snorted at the implication.