Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Next Steps

Part of Palmer's success is due to his ability to anticipate the thoughts and actions of others, and to plan his own actions several steps ahead.  He thought of it like a game of chess - he not only had to anticipate his opponent's next move, but the move after that, and the one after that, as many steps ahead as he could.  He thought of Zalika as a partner, not an opponent, but he felt that he knew what her next step would be, and he would be prepared.

Palmer anticipated that he and Zalika would have a difficult conversation, but that ultimately Zalika would say that she wanted for them to be together, no matter what, and Palmer felt the same way.  So Palmer had decided that he would propose at that moment.  He slipped out of the office a little early one day and visited a local jeweler to pick out just the right engagement ring.  He hadn't been there long when he saw William entering the store.  He muttered "Damn" under his breath.

William was one of Palmer's top political advisers, known as a brilliant political strategist.  William's experience, connections, and analytical skills had proven beneficial to Palmer time and time again.  Palmer had felt fortunate when William had taken an interest in his career early on.  One thing that William is not known for is his subtlety, and Palmer appreciated that as well.  When others would offer a breath mint, William would flat out say "Your breath stinks."  In his position, Palmer was surrounded by "yes" men and women, and he appreciated having someone who could bluntly say what others wouldn't.  Which is why he did not want to see William at this particular moment.

As William approached, Palmer asked "How did you know that I was here?"  William said "Do you really even need to ask?"  Palmer told William that he was not interested in what he had to say.  William told Palmer that the reason is because he knows that William is there to tell him the truth.
William:  You're making a big mistake.
Palmer:  I don't think so.
William:  You know that they will rip her to shreds.
Palmer:  They can try it.  I will defend her to my last breath.
William:  I know that you will, and that will make you vulnerable.  Has she told you about...
Palmer:  It hasn't come up.
William:  So she hasn't told you?
Palmer:  It's not as if she's hiding it, it just hasn't come up.
William:  If she hasn't told you, then she's hiding it. 

Palmer thought back to when he and Zalika had met and started dating.  He did not order the background check on her, but he knew that his people would run one on Zalika, because that's what they do.  It was William who had told him the findings.  Palmer didn't hear anything that had changed his feelings for Zalika, and he never told her about the background check.
William:  Look, she's a lovely woman.  Smart, charming, successful, funny as hell.  I know what she means to you.  Under normal circumstances, I would say that she is perfect for you.  But YOU are on track to become the PRESIDENT!  These are not normal circumstances!
Palmer explained to William that he understood that William's preference would be for him to meet a woman with a particular pedigree, particularly one with political affiliations that could benefit Palmer.  Palmer reminded William that he had dated women like this before meeting Zalika, and had been bored by them. Meeting Zalika and making a connection with her had been the most wonderful surprise of his life.  She excited him, understood him, comforted him, made him laugh, and so much more.  She was his partner, and he felt that he could face anything with her by his side.  Palmer said when he's elected as President, the job will be for 8 years maximum.  Palmer said that he will have a lot more life to live after that, and wants that life to be a happy one.  Zalika makes him happy.

William asked Palmer if he remembered when their associate Sutton had said that Zalika was a bit manly.  Palmer immediately frowned and tensed up and said "He was WAY OUT OF LINE with that comment!"  William said "You wanted to punch him in the face right then and there, didn't you?"  Palmer said "HELL YEAH I wanted to punch him in the face!"

William said "See, this is what I'm talking about.  Think of how you're feeling right now, and multiply those feelings by 1,000.  They are going to say things about her that are so much worse than what Sutton said.  They want to distract you and make you vulnerable to your emotions.  And when you defend her, they will attack you and use your own words against you."

Palmer turned his attention to the salesperson, who droned on and on about the cut, color, clarity, and carat weight of the ring that Palmer had asked to see.  Palmer purchased the ring.  William shook his head..
William:  You need to let her know what she's in for.
Palmer:  She knows.
William:  Does she?  Does she REALLY know?  Or have you been sugar-coating things because you don't want her to be hurt?  Do you want ME to talk to her?
Palmer:  Oh, no!
William:  You need to be frank with her.  Be brutally honest.  Right now she probably has romantic notions in her head about how wonderful it will be when you're both living in the White House and how you'll live happily ever after.  You need to let her know that there are wolves out there who will relentless seek to destroy you both at every turn.  Can you do that?
Palmer:  Of course.
William:  I know you, and I know that you want to protect her more than anything, and shield her from pain.  Being with you is going to HURT, and the only way that you can protect her from that is to let her go.

17 comments:

  1. Interesting development. Hope Palmer doesn't let William's comments sway him too much. He will have to have a frank and open discussion with Zalika, but hopefully, they can work it out. Nobody is that squeaky clean anyway! As far as what Sutton said about her being manly, ummm ask him if he remembers what Barbara Bush looked like! LOL!.

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    1. Phyllis, LOL! Yes, Barbara had to deal with a lot of unkind things being said about her appearance. As for Zalika, I think that she cold handle herself with comments made about her appearance and anything superficial (although I'm sure that such comments would wear on her after a while and she'd have bad days). Palmer would probably have a tougher time with that than she would.

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  2. In Palmer's place I would be wanting to punch William in his junk right about now. However, dude's advice is very sound and at minimum he should have a more frank discussion with Zalika as William said.

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    1. Punch in junk...you are a trip!

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    2. LOL Muff @ junk punch! I don't think that William is the most tactful person, but I do think that he's telling Palmer the truth as he sees it, and that he has genuine concern. But now that he's expressed his concerns and given his advice, he needs to step back because what happens between Palmer and Zalika is really none of his business.

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  3. I am so glad I didn't mention she looked like a man too.( He might have punched me in my stuff!) That has been bothering me since they got together! Remember once I asked if she used to be a man? LOL

    I am twixt and between whether he should re-examine this relationship or not. I like that they get along so well but I don't want either of them hurt by what might be said about her in public...true or not.

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    1. LOL The grandmommy! Palmer would never want to punch a woman. He would defend Zalika though, that's for sure. It wasn't Zalika that you asked about her once being a man, it was Dragon Jennifer after she won the Yoga challenge (yes, I remember that good laugh you gave me back then). I think that Zalika has a "hard" look to her, but I don't think she looks like a man. Even after seeing bald photos of this headsculpt, the sculpt looks more like a woman than a man to me. I know that others disagree. :)

      William has given Palmer a lot to think about. I wouldn't blame Palmer if he had second thoughts about taking the relationship to the next level. I do like Palmer and Zalika together though, and think that the would be good for one another.

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  4. I know that this is just a story and you as the author want this to be as believable as possible thus the internal struggle of both Palmer and Zalika vs the world, but I'm a hopeless romantic who is single. That said let him give Zalika that ring. That's a win for me too lol.

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    1. Doll Crazy thanks so much for this! I love this and all of the other comments so much. As I'm writing, I sometimes wonder if I'm writing characters that people can identify with. I'm glad that you are pulling for Palmer and Zalika to overcome the challenges that they face right now. Who knows, we may just see a wedding in their future.

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  5. Amo tu blog, saludos desde El Blog de Boris Estebitan :)

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    1. Bienvenidos a mi blog, y muchas gracias por sus comentarios! :)

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  6. Hmmm ... hurt being with the one you love, the one you feel is your soulmate vs. hurt from being without that special person. I'd go with the former. The good times would compensate for the bad. Empty days though, plus living with the memory of loss, that would seem like a constant, open sore. Bleh.

    Zalika has strong features. But I think she looks feminine. She's just solid. She looks sensible. (That Otaku though - shudder - looks crazy. LOL. Sorry.)

    I'd like to see them married someday. The press and the people would talk against ANYONE he wed. They'd find something to pick at so Palmer will need to develop a thicker skin against the negative comments, etc. I wish them the best luck though.

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    1. Hi D7ana! So I know how you feel about the Otaku's looks, and now I know how you feel about Zalika's looks. What I want to know now is how you feel about Dragon Jennifer's looks. LOL

      Would the good times really compensate for the bad, or would the bad times just make the good times turn bad? I do think that the press would have negativity towards anyone linked with Palmer, but sometimes they're not negative right off the bat (they build them up, so that they can tear them down). with Zalika, they might try to tear her down from the beginning.

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  7. Dragon Jennifer looks like she's been bombed. And she has the soot all over her. The poor motherless figure ... ;-P

    That is a good point ... that the bad times might turn the good times. Palmer backing out is not likely an option, lol. I mean, him ditching public service? Then he'd be resentful.

    Maybe there is more than one "soulmate?" Is it worth chancing though?

    I'm enough of a romantic to want them to try; I'm enough of a realist to think, I would never get involved with someone in the limelight. But these two have met.

    We'll see what happens. Looking forward to doing so ;-)

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    1. Yes, I do recall you saying that Jennifer looked like she had been in a fire, and would perhaps make a good firefighter. I'm still confused as to why the "Special Version" of Jennifer has to have the black smudges on her face, when her Caucasian counterpart does not.

      Yep, I could see Palmer being very resentful at the mere thought of giving up his dream and what he's passionate about. I don't know if there can be more than one "soulmate". I guess I just feel like if it's meant to be, it will happen. But that doesn't make the heart hurt any less.

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  8. It looks like Palmer is determined to maintain the relationship. I wonder how Zalika will react after she sees the ring. Will she change her mind about ending the relationship after Palmer expresses his commitment to her, or will she walk away in an attempt to conceal her shameful past?

    dbg

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    1. Thanks for your comments Debbie! If Zalika walks away, it will certainly be a shock for Palmer. He prides himself on being able to read people, and he's also used to getting what he wants. But will Palmer really go through with the proposal, or have William's words affected him more than we know?

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