(sigggh) You were doing so well last chapter, E-Merl. But let’s see if I can throw you a couple of crumbs here.

To be fair, he is correct that Rachel is nervous about this confrontation, and hey! It is pretty damn brave to volunteer to fight Frigg one-on-one in any circumstances.

Unfortunately, he’s still getting caught in a classic young-man-in-love mistake, one I’ve definitely made myself: he’s so eager to prove himself useful to Rachel that he ends up implying she can’t handle the burden of her self-appointed mission, the one that now defines her life. She recognizes his clueless good intentions, but that only goes so far, especially when her aforementioned nervousness is rubbing her patience raw.

John Gray’s Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus is not a perfect book, but it does a great job of explaining certain differing, traditionally male and female perspectives and expectations. Had E-Merl read it, he might’ve realized that his correct role here was to sympathize with her nerves but to believe in her. After all, she’s being brave too.