Anita Blake: A Letter from Ronnie Sims

Reprinted from Goodreads:

 

I don't honestly know what happened. One day, we were talking about our cases and working out, being strong, independent women. We didn't need to be in relationships with men; sure, men are great and if we ever found one we really liked, we would be happy, but we both agreed we didn't need to be defined by the men we were with. We were feminists; women who believed in ourselves and what we could do with our own hands. We made our own destiny; we had our own careers, were respected in our own fields. You've been a top animator and necromancer; I inherited the private detective business from my partner before he retired. Both of us make enough money to be comfortable; both of us had been (at least, I thought) happy.

Somewhere, in the last two years, that has completely changed. You went from being my best friend to a complete stranger. You went from being a hard-worker to barely showing up at the office (I've heard from Manny how frustrated he is at having to pick up the clients you drop when the ardeur makes you too weak to work). Dolph and Zerbrowski have mentioned in passing how difficult it is working with you, how they are always having to fight fires after you appear on the scene, arguing with some new sheriff or police officer who is trying to do his or her job. Or how you are constantly challenging all the female officers, who thought you, a fellow female in a male-dominated world, were an ally. Richard misses all the times you two used to go camping or watch musicals. The pain in his voice - I know he's seen a lot of the same changes I've seen in you.

Catherine told me she feels alienated from you, as if she isn't as cool as your paranormal boyfriends. We met for drinks a few days ago and remembered how we went to college together, how you were able to bail us out of biology class (I was always terrible with biology), how much fun we used to have on Coffee Fridays, hauling our backpacks to that terrible coffee shop that was so cheap just to pour over books and try to manage our way through our homework. Catherine didn't think I saw, but she had a tear in her eye when she mentioned she hadn't heard from you in months. She tried to sound happy about your boyfriends, but I could tell she felt like she wasn't as important as the men in your life anymore.

When was the last time we ran together? I miss you keeping pace; I know it was annoying at the time, two women of vastly different heights running together. Isn't it funny how when that is gone, you miss it so much?

I miss how we used to work out together. You always made me push myself, kept me from being complacent. I never wanted to work out my upper arms as much as you did, but you encouraged me to overcome my laziness.

I miss our frank discussions about sex. I always liked your more moderate view. You knew my history, how my parents were, but you were always telling me not to be afraid of commitment, not to sell myself short. That commitment didn't have to be a burden, to end up in the bottom of a bottle. You made me optimistic that one day, I could end up happily married to a wonderful guy.

But now...I don't even recognize you anymore. I saw you in the grocery store with Nathaniel...Micah...Jason? I'm not sure anymore. But you didn't even notice anyone else. The only person you saw were your boyfriends. It was as if no one else existed. You didn't see the children you nearly knocked over as you were in the health items. You didn't notice that you took the package of food that woman was reaching for. You didn't notice that you cut in front of that family in the checkout line. You never one took your eyes off one of your boyfriends.

I'm glad you have found love, even if it is in the form of the duplicitous Jean-Claude, who I still think is manipulating you and harming you (isn't it strange how much you've changed once you started to date him? Don't you ever wonder if perhaps HE is the one that did this to you?). I don't have a problem with Micah or Nathaniel or Jason or whomever you are dating. I just have to wonder...are you being yourself or have you changed into what you always dreaded you were?

A monster?