Character Alphabet Meme: Y & Z

Y is for Yours

Mary likes people. She really does; it’s the main reason she does her job. Sometimes she sleeps in the spare room above the office because she likes the sound of having company – of not waking alone, in an apartment that echoes.

There’s a time, though, at the end of the day, when the smile and the heels are off, where she enjoys solitude. This she can take for herself. She sits, and she reads.

Often it’s the case files – analysing old mistakes so she won’t make them again, trying to remember the names and the faces – but sometimes it’s the stuff she reads around the office: Tennyson, Wordsworth, bits of Hardy. She likes the imagery. List doesn’t understand it – he likes stories; he’s a man for beginnings and endings and characters – but sometimes he’ll wander round the office, reading out Hardy in the same false-aristocratic, terrible British accent he reserves for mocking Melinda. She’s thick-skinned; at first she thought he was mocking her, and pretty much took it in stride. It took her a while to realise: he’s learning. He’s learning the rhythms and the structures and trying to understand, even if he’s pretending otherwise. There’s been an improvement, though it’s obvious he still can’t see what she does.

So she sits there, with her one desk lamp and her old British guys, and she takes this. It’s enough.

Z is for Zest

Maybe she’s lost it. Perhaps that vital spark, that thing that makes it all worthwhile, has fled in the night. She may have lived too long. Melinda considers it, sometimes, and she’s tempted to drink a little too much scotch so she can stop thinking about it.

The feeling never lasts: she sees Mary, or List, or she solves a case, and she remembers why she’s here. The equation is suddenly simple again, and easy enough to solve.

The zest is there – the thing is simply finding it.

And so ends the Character Alphabet Meme! It’s taken longer than I thought, but I’m finally there, and it’s been very enjoyable. Thanks for reading.


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