Introducing "Just like Eve"

Breaking from its traditional non-fiction format, whispers of mystery is currently following Karina’s fictional novel, Just like Eve. Karina began the themes explored here in 2008, in a non-fiction book she titled The Feminine Mystery, alluding to Betty Frieden’s 1963 classic, The Feminine Mystique, which explores what Frieden calls “the problem that has no name” -- a problem Karina believes is Eve’s second curse to desire her (earthly) man, not sexually, but as a completion to her. Realizing her discoveries were too controversial for non-fiction, Karina decided to clothe her message in fiction, which is not her forte. For years, she tried many story-lines and faced much writer’s block. In late 2017, she birthed Just like Eve, utilizing a backdrop she could write about with her own sport of tennis, mixed into the storyline of her heroine getting kicked out of church for being the object of the youth pastor's temptation. In April, 2018, she took a step of faith to pray the Spirit would inspire her with an entry to post every month. Her prayers have been honored.

Take a sneak preview of Jasmine’s discoveries

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

8: You Complete Me


Jasmine would not expect a disc jockey of a secular station to seamlessly segue to its music format from a pre-taped radio preacher, but she was amused by the choice of the first song after the sermon, Bruce Springsteen’s 90s classic, “Secret Garden”: 
"She'll let you in her house
If you come knocking late at night
She’ll let you in her mouth
If the words you say are right”
            “If the words you say are right.”  Jasmine had never caught that line.  The song featured in Jerry Maguire, and the words the hero said were right, exactly right: “You complete me.”  Jasmine’s mind raced back fifteen years, as Jazzie at sixteen-going-on-seventeen, and feeling those words reverberate through every part of her body.  Maguire, played by Tom Cruise, spoke the line when he returned to his girlfriend after their separation.  The film writers brilliantly expressed what every girl longs for: to be “completed” by her man.
            Jazzie watched the film in the theater with her two best friends, Jill and Stacey.  They were Juniors in high school, and, a month earlier, Jazzie had broken up with her boyfriend and heart-throb, Steven, because he wanted sex and she didn’t want to give it.  Except – she didn’t know she was breaking up with him.  She thought she was giving a mindless threat, not actually breaking up.  The couple had been arguing, not even about sex, then he said something absurd: “You’re really cute when you’re mad.  Makes me want to quit talking and see what’s behind your shirt.”  Later, she scolded herself for not taking a different tact, something like, “Not funny.  How about a hug instead?”  Why, she wondered, had she flown off the handle and yelled back, “If that’s all you’re after, we’re through!”  She hadn’t really meant it, but he had taken it literally.  To her horror, he suggested that was all he was after. “If that’s how you feel, I guess we are,” he replied.  “I guess we are,” said the angry Jazzie, and he turned and walked away.
            For the following month, Jazzie discovered what a broken heart feels like.  She also learned something no one had ever warned her about: a broken heart comes with a tortured mind.  Hers was obsessed with questions about their final interaction.  In the heat of the moment, Jazzie believed Steve took her comment literally, and she also took his literally.  What if one of them had misunderstood the other?  What if he misunderstood and thought that she really wanted a break-up and was just using his silly comment to do it?  Or what if she misunderstood him?  What if his reply, “If that’s how you feel” was a reaction not to her words, but to the anger in her voice?  Desperately wanting Steve back, she wanted more than anything to believe that one of them had misunderstood the other. 
When her mind was not obsessed with questions over their final argument, it was instead torturing her with fantasies of their reunion.  She imagined it many ways, all, of course, clearing up the misunderstanding.  Just in case she had to be the one to initiate clarity, she imagined a few different settings, mostly at school, and a few ways she could break the ice.  Unless another, more brilliant option presented itself in the moment, she decided upon the simplest: “Did we misunderstand each other?”  Still, no fantasy at her initiation turned out as beautiful as any when he initiates the reunion.  Her favorite image had him approaching her at school, during lunch, when she is sitting with her best friends, and he sits down next to her, and whispers in her ear, “Jazzie, I just want you to know, it’s not your body I want.  It’s you.”  In this fantasy, she asks her friends if they’d be willing to excuse her, to which they smile and nod, and then she and Steve walk off together, holding hands, to their favorite spot on campus, the pole vault.  As a Varsity pole vaulter, Steve had a special place in his heart for this place on campus, so Jazzie always felt extra connected to him when he shared the spot with her.
            How similar -- yet better – was Dorothy’s reunion with Jerry Maguire, who knocks at Dorothy’s door, walks into a home filled with women complaining about their ex-s, and says to her, “You complete me.”  Jasmine felt heat spreading through her chest, up her neck, down her arms, into her face, down her abdomen and even into her legs.  Chills tingled all up and down her spine.  “You complete me.”  Jasmine now had a new fantasy.  She wanted Steve to knock at her door and say, “You complete me.”  Nothing could better capture her deepest desire than to be “completed” with her man, and – even better – for him to be “completed” by her.
            Walking out of the theater, Jill quoted the line, “You complete me,” sighed, swooshed down, and pretended to faint.  Jazzie and Stacey both laughed and mimicked her fainting spell.  Stacey proposed a friendship vow: “We will only date a guy who ‘completes’ us.”  All three girls cast their right hand into the center, clutched them together, and popped their hands down, then back up, and then up to the ceiling.  It was a done deal.  Jazzie, Jill, and Stacey had vowed to one another to seek out only men who “complete” them.  If he doesn’t complete her, or if she doesn’t complete him, the relationship is a no-go.
Jasmine turns off the radio and lets her mind return to 2012.  She had long since forgotten her first boyfriend.  Horrified, she wonders how she would have survived that break-up had it occurred now.  She and her boyfriend would have cell phones, and they would be used to non-stop texting when they are not together.  They would be not only “friends” on social media, but “in a relationship.” Publicly, they would be known by all of their friends and friends of friends to be dating.  Should they have a change to their “relationship status,” they would have to make that public.  And, would a “relationship status” change also mean that one would “de-friend” the other?  And, if they did not do that, would she have been “spying” on Steve every moment she could – and sometimes when she shouldn’t have been – and scheming, all the time, to clear up the “misunderstanding”?  Her tortured mind would have also questioned whether the “misunderstanding” get cleared up personally, or by text, or by a social media message, or by publicly hinting at it on social media?  Taking a deep breath, Jasmine prays a very big “thank you” that she had been spared from an even more dreaded first break-up in the social media age.
Looking down at her Bible, Jasmine sees again what sparked her astonishment just before hearing Springsteen’s song: the three curses of Eve, the familiar first of childbirth, the chilling third, and the curious second, “Yet your desire will be for your husband” (Gen 3:16).  In an instant, the passage speaks to her: “You complete me.”  Another synchronicity.  Are these the same?  Does a woman’s longing for “You complete me” equal “your desire will be for your husband?”  If they are the equal, then why would the desire for completion be a curse?
 © 2018 by karina.  All rights reserved.  Please use only with permission from the author.
Continue to 9: The Ancient Obsession
Return to 7: Synchronicity

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