The line is officially crossed in this part of the All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. Kellen and Wavy go from odd looks to doing things which warrant scrutiny. Really pushing you to remember, Wavy is but 13 and Kellen more than a decade older.
Summaries (with Commentary)
Part 3: Mixed Signals, Secrets, and Hand Jobs
It has come to a point with Wavy that Kellen, even if he won’t say it openly and shout it to the skies, is her boyfriend. All those who interact with the two know something is going on, though not exactly what, and with him buying her a ring worth 2 grand, he has made a commitment. Yet, it doesn’t take away the creep factor. Something some ignore, like Sandy, who Wavy takes a liking to since she teaches her about makeup and looking older, but people like Ricki and Butch thing Kellen is a pedophile. Which, legally, considering the way he kisses and lets Wavy touch him, as well as how he touches her, he is.
Yet, you have to constantly remind yourself of Kellen’s age, as the book makes a point to do. For with her being his reason for living [note]Cutcheon, who co-owns the car shop with Kellen, makes it seem before Wavy that he feared Kellen would one day just kill himself[/note], him treating her kinder than anyone before, and them both learning what love is through each other[note]We learn that previous to him seeing Wavy, Kellen hasn’t perhaps been on a date before.[/note], you have to keep noting their ages in your head.
But besides that, you also get to realize how fully complicated Val and Wavy’s relationship is. Val has done to Wavy something which will likely require years of therapy. She has made this girl think she is so dirty that when Kellen pushes back and against Wavy’s pursuits, she thinks it is because she is dirty. So she takes a bath in cold water and bleach. Also, when it comes to Wavy’s relationship with Liam? Oh, the reason it is so ostracized is because of Val, as Liam was just trying to read to his daughter who was on his lap, accused him of doing something dirty. Which, from then on, made it so he didn’t want any one getting the idea he’d do that to a child. Much less his own flesh and blood.
Yet, despite that, as the nurses end their time with the Quinn family, we see Wavy taking notes on how to pick up where they left off. How to get Val out of bed, how to make it so she will eat, and how to keep this woman who did so much damage to her alive. Not even out of spite, so Val can see what Wavy became despite her parenting, but because she loves her in a way. Because she knows she is all Val has. So while Liam may deny and ignore her, at least she has one parent who, in some form, cares for her. Even if it is just letting Kellen be who he is to her without making any fuss. [note]It seems Sandy is pretty much raising Donal and with the way she is presented, it sucks she didn’t have her own chapter. For while she is noted as spacey, considering she is one of the few adults Wavy connects with, it would have been nice to hear her take on things. Especially since Dee had a few chapters.[/note] [note]From what it seems, the way Wavy is quiet, Donal is loud. Also as much as Sandy maybe raising Donal, Wavy is the one making sure he doesn’t miss too much school. To the point, it sounds like she will get up earlier than she has to in order to make sure he goes if he misses too many consecutive days.[/note] [note]For reasons not defined, we learn Kellen is scared of water.[/note] [note]Despite the many years Wavy and Kellen have been around each other, she still doesn’t eat in front of him. At least with him able to physically see her consume food.[/note] [note]While Wavy and Donal remain close, often going for night swims together, he is quite jealous of Kellen. If only because he feels he takes all the words Wavy can muster in a day from him.[/note]
People thinking I was stupid wasn’t all bad. Sometimes they told me secrets because they knew I wouldn’t repeat them.
- “Part 3/Chapter 5: Wavy – October 1982” Page 160
If he wouldn’t touch me, that was bearable, but to have him look away from me wasn’t. I needed him to see me.
- “Part 3/Chapter 12: Wavy – March to June 1983” Page 191
Summer sneaked time for me, taking a minute from February, three minutes from English class in March, ten whole minutes from a boring Thursday in April. Summer stole time to give me another hour under the stars […].
- “Part 3/Chapter 12: Wavy – March to June 1983” Page 193
I loved how kissing made me soft between my legs but it made him hard in the same place. It was wonderful magic.
- “Part 3/Chapter 12: Wavy – March to June 1983” Page 194