Over the course of Chapter Thirteen, we will emerge dazed into the sunlight of right now. That's right - the flashback which has taken up a quarter of the novel is coming to an end, which mean things are going to happen. Well, kinda.
First things first, we're going to conclude a little experiment I started around twenty updates ago. Remember how, when we first met Jeremy, I told you to write down some information on Jeremy? Well, grab that sticky note, because we're going to find out how old Jeremy is:
"What was it like, growing up in the Children's Village?"
"I guess it was okay. Better than here," he said.
"What did you learn?"
"Stuff," he said.
"How old are you?"
"What's it to you?" He wiped his nose on his forearm, childlike.
And so it went. Questions. Short answers. "What do you do at Re-Cy?"
"Sweep the floor. Burn stuff. That's it."
"What kind of stuff?"
In case you couldn't glean it from this oh-so-subtle bit of characterization, Jeremy is younger than Emmeline. Probably sixteen, certainly no older.
Be honest - did any of you call this? Did any of you read that bit of text earlier and see a boy younger than the protagonist? Because I sure as hell didn't. How many teenage boys are that fixated on virginity?
Study this passage, this dialogue apparently borne from a woman upset that her teenage son won't chat with her after school. Study it well, because this is how Jeremy is going to talk for the rest of the book. He is going to whine and grunt and act like an asshole, and all because his parents sent him to public school. Oh, sorry...sent him to the Children's Village. My, did I stumble into that arcane trickery that writers call symbolism? I think I did.
Oh, but in a moment of compare and contrast, we also get our first look at the new Gatekeeper, who is a Nice Guy:
"The little bit of light through the window slit. That's how I saw you..."
...I watched him as he walked away. I watched the way he walked, strong strides, arms swinging only slightly but with rhythm, head up, alert, back straight, shoulders wide.
Oh dear, I believe the temperature rose in this room. Needless to say, we'll be seeing more of McSexy the Gatekeeper later.