Hank had something he wanted to ask Stella, but finding the right time was a challenge. Living together afforded him the opportunity to study her a bit more, learning the subtleties of her personality and moods. It was hard not to dissect her like he was performing a character analysis, but she kept things wrapped up so tightly to herself that at times, he was forced to interpret things for himself.
For example, he knew when a case she was working on was bad when she actually spoke to him about it. Not overtly, but vaguely, as they were lying in bed, in the dark, she might just softly and casually mention that her current investigation was at a standstill and it was weighing on her mind. The next day he would come across the gruesome details of a crime that had the police baffled. Sometimes there would be accompanying photos of her, stone-faced and grim. There was almost always unflattering comments about public outcry and the incompetence of the investigation team. The worse the crime or the longer it took for an arrest, the worse the outcry and the more demeaning the comments were about incompetence.
As lead investigator on any high-profile crime under the jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police Department, Stella bore the brunt of the criticism. The press found her bluntness and stoicism to be especially aggravating and they seemed to delight in targeting her when progress was slow. Neither did she receive any of the praise for a job well done when justice was served. The congratulations were always extended to the team of detectives who worked tirelessly to serve justice.
You just want to be noticed, you want to be the centre of attention, to have special treatment, to make your mark. But it’s all just a performance. All of it. You perform for me, for your solicitor, your doctors, your nurse, your psychiatrist, even your family. It’s all just one big performance as protection against the dreaded black hole of your heart. Well, guess what, Paul, it’s time to grow up. It’s time to take responsibility for what you’ve done. Let’s stop this pathetic charade.