It’s both…and that’s the rub. I am NOT making excuses for him. It pisses me off when people say that. You are totally misunderstanding my observations all together. If you would just f@ckjng wait for the story to unfold, it could all make sense.
Jay’s attitude is very destructive toward a girl like Autumn, but he is not trying to destroy her. He really is trying to keep her safe in a volatile environment, and he feels like the best way to go about it is to severely restrict the world’s access to her.
So many men think like that! At least 50% of the global male population thinks like that. All those dudes in the Middle East making the women live in corners in tents covered from head to toe, they totally think like that.
This behavior actually might make sense, depending on WHAT the environment is actually like. In India where the broad daylight gang rape takes, it makes sense for men to try and control the women they care about by making all these women dress a certain way, or only go to certain places where the men believe the women will be safe and not raped.
So the hood in the 1980s? Kinda like India… there was a certain lawlessness to it, and that is what Jay feared, something like a gang rape happening to Autumn.
Autumn, on the other hand, felt his fears were unfounded. She was confident that she could navigate around the hood without anyone fucking with her. She didn’t think she needed Jay’s protection.
But…it wasn’t just about her, it was about him too. He knew he had a reputation to protect and he knew if anything happened to Autumn, it woukd fuck up his rep…and that he couldn’t have. Especially after he displayed her to everyone as if she was his prized pony. Because of that, he had to go in overdrive to try and keep her safe because now other men were trying to hurt Autumn, to get at Jay. Sooooooooo, maybe she did need Jay’s protection after all. Maybe she needed it because he put her in more danger when he paraded her around and drew so much attention to her.
Make no mistake, Jay was playing a finite game, and the point of that game was to possess Autumn, and to show her off as his possession, in which case she would have been defeated, because that was not what she wanted for herself or her life.
Autumn was playing an infinite game, which is to say she didn’t even believe in the concept of possession. She didn’t believe she could be possessed. In the end — I think it was a draw. Autumn was never entirely possessed, but she was captured and released.
As a writer I don’t make excuses for Autumn or Jay, they are both deeply and equally flawed characters, behaving badly — and if that’s not obvious to you, then WTF?
I am a reliable narrator cause this is fiction. A lot of this really did happen, but I explained that it has to be fiction because I don’t have access to the internal world of anyone but Autumn, and even some of that, I’m just making up.