One thing that has always intrigued me is how two people can have completely different reactions to a similar set of circumstances. In 'The Truck Driver' by Serena Yates, both Joshua Becket and Robert Oldman are dealing with being cast aside by their families, yet choose to approach their rejection in totally different ways. Robert becomes even more determined to succeed, while Joshua chooses to try and circumvent his feelings of unworthiness by becoming a recluse. How they address these differences will determine whether or not they can be together.
I liked Robert's determination. He's not defeated by his parent's disapproval; he actually goes on to prove he doesn't need it. When Robert sets his sight on something, he doesn't stop until he gets it. If problems arise, he searches until he finds a solution. Robert is also generous, fair and loving. He doesn't take no for an answer very often, but when he does it's not until he's sure he understands why.
I felt sorry for Joshua because he's not even aware of the amazing person he is. He's done very well for himself considering he lost his parents at ten then was forced to live with an uncle who was indifferent to him at best. There's little wonder why he developed abandonment issues. However, Joshua's 'leave them before they leave me' attitude only makes matters worse. Regardless of what Robert does, Joshua keeps waiting for the other shoe to fall--waiting to be rejected, but, to his credit, Robert persists until he finds a way to help Joshua bridge the gap between his fears and his true feelings clearing the way so their relationship can grow.
Joshua's abandonment issues are even more pronounced and clearly defined in my second reading of this story. Even though he doesn't handle his fear of abandonment well, I still admire Joshua and understand him more than before. Despite his shortcomings, Joshua has a good head on his shoulders and, even without support, is making solid plans for his future. His way of dealing with his abandonment by becoming a loner, is not a healthy coping mechanism; it causes him a great deal of unnecessary angst. Fortunately, Robert has overcome his family difficulties, handling them in an entirely different manner than Joshua did. He's come out of the experience confident and secure. There's no denying that sleeping with the boss is a tricky situation, but Robert has a solution for any problem that arises. Robert is convinced he and Joshua will make it and won't give up without a fight. Even with the issues involved in starting a new company and the subsequent sabotage attempts, Robert is extremely considerate, still finding time to be with Joshua through it all. Robert is aware of Joshua's conflicted feelings but does everything he can to reassure Joshua he's there to stay. Robert is hurt when Joshua tries to leave, but Robert is not going to let Joshua off the hook that easily and makes Joshua acknowledge and talk about his fears instead of just letting him walk away from a relationship that's meant to be. Joshua and Robert are awesome men, and together can accomplish great things. Reading the story a second time only made me fall in love with them all over again. Thanks Serena!