Written: May 7-8, 2001
Archive: At the smkfanfic list; at fanfiction.net, and I'd be
honored to be elsewhere, just email me and let me know where
Timing/Summary: It's fall 1983, and Amanda is doing a little thinking.
Author's Note: Yes, it's short. I think it was meant to be short. With PAX about to start the series run over again, I thought that getting inside Amanda's thoughts would be a good idea. And yes, I guess it could be a companion piece to "Heaven Help the Lonely Ones"
My ego loves praise. The realist in me needs truthful comments (good and bad). Flames aren't as appreciated considering the heat wave we're facing here, but hey, I could use them to barbecue outside instead of heating up the house...
At twilight, Amanda found herself in the garden under the kitchen window, replanting flowers that had been neglected for quite some time. She thought it would be nice to start getting into a regular gardening routine around the house - her mother loved fresh flowers around the house, and it would give them something to do together. It wasn't as if she didn't have enough to do. She sat back on her heels and thought for a moment. It had been barely a year since her divorce, and she had found all sorts of distractions: a Junior Trailblazers den mother, a Bombers little league couch, housework, trying to find a part time job, various charitable events. As it was, she ran herself ragged almost every day. But with everything she was doing, there really wasn't any time for her - she did so many things for so many people. All these things she did had purpose: gardening and housework for the benefit for those who lived in the house, coaching for the boys, school projects, and charity work - all to support other people, their benefit, their cause. When was she going to have her own cause to support?
Her mother's main cause was to marry her daughter off once again. She could just hear her mother's voice in her head - different words every time, but the same meaning: The boys needed a father figure, and they could use a man around the house to clean the gutters, fix things here and there... She'd been dropping more and more hints about the man Amanda was currently seeing - he was nice, dependable, and punctual. Amanda sighed. Yes, he was nice. Nice and... boring.
`Boring? Where did that thought come from?' She shook the thought out of her head. She leaned forward to work once again on the soil she was turning with the small spade. Who was she to complain? After all, how many nice men found out you had kids, thought "instant family" and turned tail and ran. This man didn't run away, back off, or seem disinterested because she had kids. There was nothing to think about. She thought about Joe's repeated requests to move the family to Africa while he worked for the EAO. She remembered how exciting that would have been, until the practical side of her woke up. In no way could she have moved two small children across to the other side of the world.
Once again she found herself sitting back on her heels thinking how
nice it would be to find a little excitement in her life. Just
something that would be different, and would be for her alone. Here she was, just 20 minutes from the center of political power for the United States, and she was complaining about her life being boring. She was happy to not hear what was going on in the government anymore - she'd heard enough from Joe in those weeks here and there that he was home to last a lifetime, yet she was thinking about injected some excitement into her life.
She laughed softly to herself. 'What exciting thing could a divorced housewife do? Monte Carlo night for the PTA is about the extent of excitement that I get these days. And even then, I've chickened out a couple of times. A coward, that's what you are Amanda King - you can't even find something that you could do yourself, something to take a chance on.'
Her thoughts were broken by her mother's voice from the kitchen. She hadn't noticed that it had gotten dark around her. "Amanda, dear, it's getting late." Living at home once again with her mother. A step backwards in life - the wrong path taken, maybe? A long slow sigh came from deep inside her as she got up and gathered her tools to place on the planting bench a few steps away. As she went into the kitchen, she noticed that the calendar hadn't been turned to the new month yet.
October already. Halloween less than 30 days away and no costumes started yet. She headed upstairs to get ready for bed. Her mother's voice followed her up the stairs.
"Amanda, dear? You asked me to remind you that you had to drop Dean off at the train station tomorrow morning. Don't forget to set your clock!"
She didn't answer as she made her way wearily up the stairs. Maybe tomorrow she'd think of something exciting to add to her life that she wouldn't back out of.
The End... until she goes to the train station, that is.