Poor Heather, literally stuck in the middle of the drama. XD
As for the drama itself... well, what do you make of it? I mean, WE know from reading the last few chapters that Aiken's done a lot of growing up since he walked out on Jessica. But she hasn't seen that. Even if Rain or Fara might've said off-camera that he's better now, that could still be hard to swallow when her last memory of him is so overwhelmingly bad. Even if she did have a firsthand account of his personal growth though, would she be so out of line if she were still hesitant to forgive him? Then again, all her hesitation aside, she IS still wearing his necklace and has mentioned on a few occasions (usually somewhat indirectly) that she misses him.
And what of Aiken? He's admitting his mistake. He's apologizing. He seems sincere. But is there more he could/should be doing?
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Don't just stand there! Kiss him!
In actuality, this is definitely the proper response. So the kissing may happen a few hundred pages from now ^_^; But try to not leave this conversation on a sour note, please...
I don't blame either of them.
While I don't blame Jessica if she gets mad at him, Jessica could've been honest with Aiken from the beginning about her status. Ofcourse its a tough subject to bring up (I've been there) but he should've atleast been aware of her being trans. I don't blame Aiken for being mad either or going through this period and especially seeing his sister being in the same position as Jessica, but he changed for the best.
I hope I don't come across as a massive jerk and I appologize if I offended anyone.
I do hope it doesn't end up being a massive fight between them that would really break my heart.
@Guest: I don't think anyone can really argue with that honestly. Though I don't think the beginning is the best time to bring it up but definitely sometime before proposal even if it was the fastest relationship in history.
Jessica forced Aiken into a reaction by not telling him prior to engagement. Aiken totally blew that reaction in the worst way possible.
Neither is ready to forgive the other and there shouldn't be any expectation that they would.
Rain needs both of them in her life but there is no reason for them to need or want each other. I also think that Heather needs a chance at developing romance too, her condition doesn't leave many options so it can help to be with someone who already understands.
I found this comic 3 days ago and just read the entire thing. Even if it is a little cheesy, and Rain is a tad Mary Sue-ish, I absolutely adore it. By far the best GSRM oriented comic I've read yet. Huge props to the author. Thanks for being awesome and making awesome stuff. I'll sure be following this comic for the future to come. :D
I don't think there's more he can do. While he did do some research on the subject, it's clear he's still not all that knowledgeable. All that can really be expected of him by this point is to apologize and learn more. I think his hands are tied when it comes to this. If Jessica doesn't forgive Aiken, or at least accept his apology since those are two different things, then Aiken she just nod and walk away for awhile and try again at a later time when he knows more. I have a feeling this will end with Aiken leaving the coffee shop and Jessica whispering "I forgive you" or "Apology accepted" under her breath. Those are just my predictions, though.
BTW: I kinda disagree on one point. Unless you're going to have sex with the person, I don't think it's necessary to admit that you're trans, even into marriage, though I certainly would tell before I even got to the point of proposal because if you don't accept me for who I am, I don't wanna marry you.
All in all, I hope they manage to, at some point in time, even if it's not this chapter, get back on even footing with each other and at least become acquaintances again.
...albeit I probably wouldn't forgive Aiken for a while after that, even if I did try to be friends with him if I were put in Jessica's position.
Honestly, I really hope they don't get back together. There are way too many stories already about trans women facing all sorts of nasty bigotry from their partners when we come out to them, then magnanimously forgiving said partners and getting back together. I would for once like to have something show that you know what? It's okay to be angry. It's okay to feel hurt and betrayed and not want to get back together with that person, even if they later change their views. I don't like the pressure trans women (and many other stigmatized groups) are put under to "be the bigger person" and forgive people who have been awful to us. The fact that he is better now doesn't erase his past actions.
And to those who were saying she should have disclosed from the beginning, no no no no no absolutely not. Being trans is not a dirty terrible thing that you have to warn your partner about. If you being trans would be a dealbreaker for your partner it is on THEM to ask YOU about it, you have no obligation to out yourself.
@Kira: Agreed. It'd be nice if they resurrected their friendship, but Aiken really burned the bridge as far as romance goes. You just don't go back to someone after that.
I wouldn't blame Jessica for "letting him have it" (verbally) right now. Can't blame her for harboring a fair bit of resentment and anger for the way he treated her. It would be normal as hell. What I hope is that after she tells him how much he hurt her that she might, at some point in the not-too-distant future that she would hear him out. She loved him enough to accept his proposal of marriage. And, as others have pointed out, she still wears the necklace he gave her.
Aiken is trying to understand something which, until a very short time ago, was almost unknown to him. And don't forget that his bigotry was learned from his father and, to a lesser extent, his mother (who went along with her husband). He was an adult when his father finally removed himself from their lives. Behavior and beliefs like that, learned from a parent over a very long time, is very hard to overcome. The shock of being thrown out by Fara, then what Kellen did and seeing how hurt Rain was were hard lessons for him ... but he seems to be trying to learn. I'd say he has come a long way in a fairly short time.
And, don't forget that at New Years, she told Fara that she hoped Aiken was at Fara's and hoping he would "take me back". She wanted to get back with him then. Those are feelings that aren't just going to go away easily. Although, Aiken sure tried like hell to make them go away.
New Years; http://rainlgbt.smackjeeves.com/comics/1696903/something-good/
One other thing in Aiken's defense (and after he was such an ass at Christmas, I'm surprised I'm defending him in any way, shape or form); Jessica had said she wasn't planning on telling him at all and only did so because she ran out of money to finish her SRS. I know several people had mentioned how she kept the "truth" from Aiken, and to an extent she did. But the truth is she might not have had to go through all this if she had been able to complete her transition. It had to be extremely difficult to tell him, and a huge shock to him. The entire event had to have been traumatic for both of them. (I can't find the page now where Jessica explains that ... but I seem to remember it?)
@Barn0wl: I would agree about her transition if it were a thing that just happens and is done with forever. The truth is that hormones must continue, dilation is an issue, additional costs will pile up, etc...
She would have to explain these at some point.
@Nesagsar: Yeah, I had completely forgotten about the fact that she was never going to tell him. I know this stuff is a big deal and personal, but it's asinine to keep it a secret. This is a part of her and it's important. This is massively intertwined with her life. It's unethical to have tried to keep it secret from him. Man, that's a shame, I really liked her character. Can't say I do anymore.
@:/: I personally wouldn't go so far as to turn against her. For me, I still have a lot of sympathy for Jessica because of this. She apparently didn't bring the matter up to Aiken out of some fear of rejection ... as it turned out, the fear was justified. Theirs was a "whirlwind romance" and she just may not have had time to gauge how Aiken would react.
@Barn0wl: Then why was she even marrying him? If he can't love her for who she is, then she shouldn't marry him. But she still should have told him, especially since she wanted to marry him.
@:/: I don't disagree. But there are many people who "marry in haste" only to "repent at leisure". She may not have thought it through too well. But that doesn't reduce the pain she experienced.
@Nesagsar: Extremely good point Nesagsar. At some point, it would have come out. Probably would be much better to talk about it early on rather than waiting till he found out by accident.
What an adult reaction.
I suspect that this is just the start of a long and quite painful reconciliation. While I am guessing Jessica will forgive him eventually - she did say sh still loved him - I doubt that she will do so any time soon.