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Amanda's Lament (WIP)

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« on: April 15, 2007, 06:01:23 pm »

Chapter II

    I stood still on the stage, my head up, and my back as straight as possible without flitching. The drama teacher looked me up and down, smiled, paced around me, smiled again and spoke with a thick English accent. He was a charming man in a way. I never really cared for him though. He was very honest and didn’t seem to take if it hurts anyone.

    “I suppose, you’ll have to do. Now take a seat and we can choose the rest of the cast of performers as soon as possible.”

    I took a bow and walked off stage feeling a bit relieved as I went. I took a seat next to a new girl by the name of Mia. She was a beautiful girl. She had long dark brown hair with light highlights. She wore a navy blue shirt with a black pair of pants. She also wore a beautifully shined pair of tap shoes. She had a beautiful voice when she spoke. A voice interrupted my trail of thoughts. I looked up and smiled as Marshall went toward us. He seemed happy as he came toward us. He wore a flannel shirt with somewhat new jeans. I noticed he was wearing new shoes as well. His hair seemed more cut then usual. 

    “What’s up?” said Marshall as he took a seat on the other side of me. I waited a moment before I turned to face him, smiled and whispered, “Not Much, Marshall.”

    “Umm did you get the part?” he asked. I smiled and waited a moment before I spoke. I always liked talking to him. He was like a brother to me. I felt relaxed with him and he with me. I guess it was because we knew each other more then I knew anyone else here. I always thought that he was a trustful face.

    “Yeah, I got the part, it was hard standing straight without flitching for about five minutes or so.”

    “Yeah, I can tell,” he said with a warm smile. “Umm so Mia, how’s it been?”

    “I’m good, it’s just I’m not sure if the drama teacher likes me or not. I mean he seems to think I’m clumsy or hard headed for some reason or another. I just feel a sense of condescension from him, even when he says nothing,” answered Mia.

    “He’s always that way toward new people,” I said with a smile, “Just ignore it and maybe next year, he’ll back off. That’s what happened when I came here at first, and then the next year, he just went to another student. He’s actually sweet once you get to know him.” I wasn’t sure if that was going to cheer up. I remembered how I felt when I was new here. I felt kind of like an outsider, but I got use to it after a while. I was glad that I wasn’t alone her though. I still had Jessica, Josie and Marshall with me which made adjusting here much easier.

    “Yeah, so anyway did Lucas ask you to homecoming yet?” asked Marshall. I shook my head. I wanted to say yes, but Lucas wasn’t really getting any of my hints. I frowned at the attempts and spoke softly.

    “No, I think he might be seeing someone else. I just don’t know who or –”

    “Or maybe he’s waiting for the right moment?” said Marshall as he got to his feet.

    “No, he’s seeing someone. I could tell he’s seeing someone else, and I don’t know who.”

    “Maybe he’s seeing Anika?” suggested Mia after a moment or two of silence. I frowned at the comment. I heard a lot of stupid things, but that was just plain stupid. I knew Lucas and knew he would never fall for Anika. Anika was annoying and self righteous. She believed that she was right and others were wrong. I hated her and hated to admit it, but maybe Mia was right. I was never really able to read someone’s heart. It was a mysterious with an answer I really wanted to not know.

    “No,” I replied, “He doesn’t like Anika, he told me himself that ‘Anika is a no good--”

    A large thud interrupted my sentence. I looked up at the stage. A young boy, probably a freshman, fell onto his rear. I took a deep breath before I spoke again.

    “Anyway, I’m sure he wouldn’t date Anika. I mean she’s the very definition of shallow and vain. He wouldn’t choose her over me.” I said this to prove something to the new girl and to me, but this wasn’t working at all. I felt no truth toward these words. “No, he has to be seeing someone prettier and smarter then me.” Sure it was lying, but at least I made my point string and clear.

    “Yeah, but still he’s not going to ask you out if you don’t ask first,” answered Marshall. I frowned at him, but he smiled at me. I wasn’t sure what he said or meant. I heard Mia take a deep breath. I looked at her, she looked at me and we just stood there looking at each other.

    “I think you should take each other to homecoming,” she blurted out after a moment or two. I was about to look at Marshall, but turned my attention to Mia.

    Both Marshall and I answered, “What?”

    We looked at each other, frowned and went to class. I walked toward my class not sure what Mia meant. I hated to admit it, but she kind of had a good idea. Why shouldn’t I ask Marshall out? I paused at that question and frowned as I lingered on it. I closed my eyes, chided myself before I continued to class. I got rid of this idea before lunch, which was a mysterious stew that smelled like warm sock, mixed with seaweed. I prayed it was chicken, not because it was better, but because it left a cleaner taste in my mouth. I walked straight toward the cafeteria where I met up with Mia, Josie, Lucas, Marshall, and Jessica.

    “So anyway, luckily, I’ll get my license in a few weeks,” said Jessica as she ate her chicken sandwich with a slight grin. I wasn’t sure what to say. I took a deep breath and waited a moment before I spoke.

    “That’s cool,” I answered as I looked at my chicken with disguise. I took a bite and felt glad it wasn’t the stew.

    “Did you hear anything from your dad Jess?” asked Josie. I saw and heard something odd about her voice.

    “Nothing, he’s still in jail,” replied Jess. I saw that this made her feel a lot happier then normal. I wasn’t sure to feel sorry or to coagulate her. “And he’s staying there for all I care.”

    Mia frowned as she said, “Yeah, but –”

    “I’m 18 and legally capable of taking care of myself,” retorted Jessica with a lovely smirk on her face.

    “Umm but what about—“ Mia paused in mid-sentence.

    “I’ve got that figured out, I took a job near the meat processing plant.”

    “Oh,” replied Mia as she looked up at me. I frowned not sure what to say. Jessica seemed content on not caring at all. I just smiled and Mia said nothing for the rest of lunch. I felt something toward this new girl. She was kind and I kind of liked to be with her. I wasn’t sure where this was going, but I just wanted to be friends. I sighed a bit before I continued to try to finish my meal.

    Marshall asked, “So Lucas, who are you taking to homecoming?” 

    “I’m not sure, maybe I should take Anika,” replied Lucas as he took a sip of soda. I almost gagged at the news. Josie performed the Heimlich before it was too late. The piece of chicken flew out of my mouth and into Lucas’s hair. He took the piece out of his hair and frowned. I looked up from him to the far side of the cafeteria. There stood Anika with her ‘friends’.

    “Mandy, are you O.K.?” asked Jessica as she looked at me.

    “I’m fine,” I lied as I looked at Lucas.

    “I’m just kidding,” he said with a smile as he looked at me. I frowned at him as I finished my lunch. The day went without further incidents. I felt disappointed that he wasn’t serious about homecoming. I closed my eyes and decided to ask someone else to homecoming. If he did find someone it was probably for the best. I was pretty obviously and very confident so why bother with just one guy?

    I went home after school. I finished my US government homework after a while of page turning. I then went to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, washed my face and combed my hair before I went off to bed. I turned off my lamp and went to sleep. I woke up the following morning somewhat more relaxed than I was last night. I got up, got dressed, and went to get some breakfast before school. A few minutes past before I went out the door. I closed my eyes and felt somewhat calm as I walked up the street. I opened my eyes and decided to focus on my work rather then on other matters. I decided it was for the best not to think of it. I was hoping not to think of it at all. I closed my eyes again and just pretended everything was all right. It was best to pretend instead of wish. A familiar voice interrupted my trail of thoughts.

    Mia asked, “Amanda, are you O.K.?”

    “Yeah, I’m fine,” I lied. I hated to lie to Mia, but it was better than the truth; although now I wonder if it was really the best solution. Jack told me never to lie unless sit was a last resort.

    “Are you sure about that?”

    I looked her straight in the face. I wasn’t sure if she knew I lied to her or not. I wasn’t sure of anything really about Mia. I felt as though she could see through me with those beautiful eyes of hers. I saw sorrow reflected in her expression mixed with peace and calm. I wasn’t sure what to say. I turned away and simply walked off to school. I felt depressed inside, but I didn’t want to show it. I placed my façade as I normally did these days. I smiled and just bear it. I was going to study today and not to care about love or Lucas. Lunch again, this time it was mystery chili.

    “To be blunt, I’d prefer my chili without the mystery,” said Marshall as he looked at his plastic spoon full of odd-looking chili.

    “I think it might be pig’s meat,” replied Lucas with a slight gross expression.

    “I hope not,” I answered as I washed down the chili with some lemonade. I hated pig’s meat. I never liked the stuff.

    “Blah, that’s why I bring my lunch,” replied Josie. I smiled as I looked at her. I then looked at Mia. She seemed distracted by something. I wasn’t sure what to say to her. It was a week ago when she transferred to this school. I met her a few days after her move to Buena Veria. We talked to a few days after the school year began. She told me that her mother transferred from her previous office to the one here. Her mother worked with Lincoln’s Armory, which provided weapons for the army. The company had a large factory here, which was need for a new manager. We got along together so far.

    “Bye,” said Mia as we departed toward out next classes. I spent most the day studying and whatever. I went to my job as I normally did. I finished my shift somewhat earlier then usual due to lighting problems. I met up with Lucas at my home. I spent the rest of the night with him.

    “So how are you?”

    I smiled and replied, “I’ve been better.”

    He smiled at me and we continued to talk.

    “So anyway do you have a date for homecoming?”

    I paused at the question. I wasn’t sure what to say. I wasn’t sure where this was leading, but had my feelings that it wasn’t good at all.

    “No, umm I’m still looking,” I lied as I looked at him. I wanted to kiss him, but restrained myself. I wanted to just ignore my feelings, but felt stupid for doing such an act. “So what about you?”

    “Yeah, I’m still looking as well,” he said as he looked at me. I wasn’t sure what to say. Something about him was off. I couldn’t put my finger on it though, but something made me feel uneasy. I wasn’t how to feel, as I looked him in the face.

    “So anyway,” I continued. I felt his hand on my right cheek. I felt something toward him as he looked into my eyes. I smiled not sure what to say. I closed my eyes and wanted him desperately to kiss me.

    “Umm…wow look at the time,” he said as he looked at his wristwatch. I smiled as he waved bye and went out the door. I took a deep breath before I went to work. A few minutes past before I went to bed. I woke up a few hours later. It was still dark out as I got out of bed. I looked at my clock, which glared 4:55 a.m. I frowned as I went to eat some breakfast. I got dressed a few minutes later. I went to work on some of last night’s homework. I frowned as I read Lord of the Flies. My mind wasn’t really into this reading. I wasn’t sure what to say. I closed the book, checked my watch before I went out the door with my backpack in hand.

    I met with Mia half way between my house and school.

    “I’m just not sure if Lucas really likes me,” I replied as I walked alongside Mia. I wasn’t sure what else to say.

    “Does he seem interested at all?”

    I wasn’t sure what to tell her. I wanted to say yes, but was that the truth? Did he really like me? Or was that just I hoping on it? I looked at her; man, she had beautiful eyes, which seemed to cut through me every time I looked into them.

    “Well did you ask him if he did?”

    “And ruin our perfect friendship?”

    “Nothing is perfect,” she answered.

    “I don’t know, I just don’t get him some times,” I admitted as we went along. I looked up at the sky for a moment or so. “I just don’t think we should ruin what we have.”

    Mia asked, “What is that?”

    “What do you mean ‘what is that?”

    “I mean what do you have? If you don’t love him, then what is it?”

    “He’s a friend, that’s how I want it to stay,” I replied.

    “Maybe you two were never meant to be,” she suggested as we entered the high school. I paused at the thought, maybe she was right. I had my doubts and fears about Lucas and me. I feared for the worst with him, but wasn’t sure why. I looked at Mia again. There was something about Mia that made me feel safe. I wasn’t sure what it was. I had this feeling with her that I didn’t have with anyone else. Even Lucas wasn’t able to make me feel this way. She made me feel confused and somewhat relaxed. I’m not sure how to put it. I had this feeling with her that made me want to be with her and not. I might just be going insane or something. I closed my eyes and quickly went toward my first class. I wasn’t sure what to say as I went away. I opened my eyes and hoped that the day would just end soon. I went to my first classes trying to put this behind me. I tried as hard as I could to get rid of these thoughts, but something continued to haunt me. I lingered on these thoughts before I went to my last class.



    I went home as usual, but something made me feel nervous. I wasn’t sure what it was, but something seemed off as I entered my home. I entered the kitchen and there she was again. Gwen was standing there with another person.

    “Hello Amanda,” she said as she motioned for me to seat down. I took a seat opposite both Gwen and her friend. “Amanda, this is Henry. Henry, this is Amanda. Anyway, Henry would like to ask you a few personal questions. I will leave you two alone so as not to distract you two.”

    She got out of her chair and went to the living room. I frowned as I looked at Henry. He seemed nice, well nicely dressed. He had a clean suit, thin-rimmed glasses, well-groomed hair and a friendly face.

    “Hello Ms. Nash, how are you?”

    “I’m good,” I replied not really sure where this was going.

    “I’m here for your own protection Ms. Nash. I’m here to make sure you are well taken care of. It’s my job to see to it that you have a loving home. I know that it might sound confusing, but I assure you that you’re not in trouble. I just need you to ask you a few questions and hopefully find a new home for you.”

    I paused at what he said, “I beg your pardon?”

    “Ms. Nash, I’m with Child Protective Services. I work to improve the lives of those in the community. Now let us begin. My first question is; has any of your parents beaten or threatened to beaten you in any way?”

    I looked at him not sure what to say.

    “No,” I replied quickly lied. My father did beat me a few times, but that was when he was bored. He never threatened to beat me if he was able to do, he did so with no remorse.

    “I see, my second question; where is your mother?”

    “I don’t know,” I replied honestly not sure where she was.

    “Do you have any brothers or sisters?”

    “No,” I said as I watched him write everything I said.

    “Do you have any relatives that live the area?”

    “My uncle George, but he left to serve in the Middle East.”

    “I see, so do you have any other relatives living in California?”

    “No,” I said as I looked at him. He was still writing as I answered his questions.

    “How old are you?”

    “I’m sixteen,” I said as I looked down at my shoes.

    “I see, well that’s all for now.”

    “I have a question,” I said as he organized his suitcase.

    “What is your question?”

    “Where is this going?”

    “My colleague explained that you were being neglected by your parents. You stated that your father is a drunk and your mother is never around. We believe that you need to be put into a proper household with loving parents. I’m sure you’ll—“

    “So you’re going to put me in an orphanage?”

    “No, nothing like that; we are going to put you in the care of forester parents.”

    “What about my education? Will I still –?”

    “Don’t worry about it, we will let you still attend high school. This is just a temporary assignment. This is just until your father is willing to confront his drinking problems or until you reach 18 years of age.”

    He closed his suitcase and went to speak with his colleague. I knew something bad was going to happen and now it did. I looked at Gwen and Henry as they spoke to each other. I went to my room and wanted to just runaway. I wasn’t going to some forester home. I wasn’t going to do that. I wasn’t going to be some hopeless child pitied by all. I was going to be stronger then that. I flung my backpack onto my bed. I looked at the clock over my window, which continued to tick loudly as the minutes went by. I took a deep breath and quietly slipped out of my house. I went to see Jack in the hospital. I wasn’t sure where else to go. I closed my eyes and felt somewhat at peace. A few minutes passed before I reached the hospital.

    I never liked the hospital. It was a painful place. I never liked the plain white walls. I lost my favorite pet here. My grandfather died in this place. He was very old and I was very young. I didn’t remember how he died. Jack comforted me when I heard the news. I was about eight when my grandfather left me. I looked back at this and just shrugged it out of my mind. I entered Jack’s room a few minutes later.

    “Hey Amanda,” said Jessica and Jack as I entered.

    “Hey guys,” I said as I stood by Jessica’s side. “So how are you two?”

    “I’m good,” replied Jessica.

    “I’ve been better,” retorted Jack. “How’s it going Amanda?”

    “It’s been going down hill. I was wondering if you’d like to adopt me?”

    “May I ask why?”

    “Two people visited my house, both from Social Services, they told me that I was going to be sent to a forester house. They told me that they wanted me to be in a proper home. I figured that I could live with you two. So what you think?”

    “Amanda, you know we’d love for you to stay with us. It’s just well we’re not really related to and I’m not sure we can legally be your guardians,” explained Jessica. She looked up at Jack. I wasn’t sure what she was thinking. I wasn’t sure what to say. I felt my heart sink and hope quickly faded away.

    “Amanda, it is possible that we could be your guardians,” replied Jack a moment later. “I mean I could ask your father to transfer legal guardianship to me, but that’s if he voluntarily does so.”

    He smiled at me and I smiled at him. He was always there for Jessica and me. I was glad I knew him. He was more of a father then my real father was. I wasn’t sure what to say as I looked at Jack. I felt a new sensation of hope surge through me at these words. I was now more hopeful to find a new home, a loving home. I felt no regret or remorse about leaving my old father. He was someone I never liked. He never treated me with respect. He always considered me a failure and always hated me.

    I paused at these traits and fear quickly replaced my hope. My hopes were quickly dashed. I knew my father hated me, but wasn’t really willing to give me away. I wasn’t sure why he wouldn’t let me go. I felt a surge of hatred rage through me as I thought of him. I hated him so much. I looked at my fists and frowned as I looked at Jessica and Jack.

    “I’m sorry, it’s just my father’s kind of hard headed. He never thought of me as more then just a failure.”

    “I know the feeling,” said Jack softly. “We are all in the same boat. My father never cared much about me. My son-in-law never treated Jessica good either.”

    I felt somewhat relaxed as we continued to talk.

    “I have my driver’s license,” said Jessica. I smiled, both thankful and relieved that she changed the subject. “So Jack, I was wondering –“

    “No,” said Jack with a large grin.

    “You didn’t hear my question,” replied Jessica defensively.

    “I know what you were going to ask. I don’t have enough money for a new car. Besides you can always borrow my car if you don’t dent it.”

    “O.K., fine,” said Jessica. I smiled not sure what else to say or do. “So how’s it with you and Lucas?” She turned her attention to me. I frowned not sure what to say.

    “It’s going along well,” I lied.

    “Mm… yeah, anyway I’m graduating this year. I’m glad to say two colleges are willing to accept me on. One of the colleges is willing to give me a scholarship and the other a grant. I’m hoping to go for the scholarship next fall.”

    I smiled not sure what to say. I wasn’t sure what would happen to me after high school. I wanted to be a chief after high school. I was a good cook. I knew a lot about cooking. I knew how to cook a mean for more then two people. I was patient and very relaxed when I cooked. I had some ideas for a restaurant somewhere quiet and peaceful. I drew a design for my new place. I was hoping to make it look like a peaceful French café. I had no idea how to fund this, but was willing to do whatever it took to find a way to.

    Most of my teachers considered me optimistic and hopeful. Most of my friends consider me patient and somewhat reliable. I wasn’t sure how to define me. I guess I would be considered optimistic because I saw something good in almost everything I did. I saw hope in something hopeless, but sometimes this failed me.

     I closed my eyes as I went out the hospital doors. I looked up at the sky. I felt a cold peace grow inside me. I wasn’t sure how to get my father to transfer guardianship. I wasn’t sure where to get the documents or how to request for them. I hated not knowing what to do. It was sort of like a pet peeve of mine since I was six. I took a deep breath and accidentally crashed into someone. I saw onto my butt as papers flew everywhere.

    I looked up and saw a young woman as she said, “I’m sorry, are you O.K.?” 

    “I’m good,” I replied as I helped her with her papers. She had a lot of legal forms and papers. She looked about three years older then me. She had on a beautiful blouse, skirt and had on a pair of black high-heeled shoes. “My names Amanda by the way.”

    “Hi, my names Michelle.”

    “Umm…Michelle, do you know anything about adoption?”

    “Umm…what do you mean?”

    “I mean I was wondering if you knew anything about adopting a child.”

    “Oh yeah, I run an orphanage down by Franklin street. Why do you ask?”

    I smiled not sure what to say. This was my chance to find out as much as possible about adoption. I felt more hopeful now then ever before.

    “My friend wants to adopt and I’m not sure what to tell him.”

    “Well, it’s a long process and very hard to start. I could help your friend adopt the child in question, but I’m not sure how long it would take.”

    “I see, umm…. thanks. How can I contact you?”

    “Ah well here’s my business card with the address of the orphanage on the front.”

    I smiled not sure what else to say.

    “Thanks,” I managed as we departed. I wasn’t sure what to think as I went home. I was going to finally be able to leave my old house for something better. I felt a deep sensation of peace and hope surge through me. I felt as if I found the exit of a sinking ship. I can’t explain how I felt as I entered my room. I yawned a bit as I slipped into my bed. I hoped for the best and feared all the unfortunate possibilities. I hated to avoid the possibility that this was not going to work. I wasn’t going to believe that this was not going to work. I was hopeful and more optimistic then I was about anything else.

    I closed my eyes as I lay in bed. I had my fears and my doubts as well. Yes; this seemed like a good idea and plan, but something was off. It was too good to be true. I had to admit that much about it. I feared what might happen and felt my hopes crash to pieces. I tried to sleep, but felt nervous and hopeless. What if this doesn’t work? What if I’m not able to find a better home? I feared these questions and the possible answers. I woke up a few hours later. I heard my father yell at something distant and far away. I heard a gun shot a few seconds later. I felt my heart race as I got out of bed. I rushed to the front door not sure what was going on.

    I went out the door and froze at what I saw next. My father was wrestling with three police officers. He was holding onto his
shotgun as he struggled against the police. The three officers were trying to take it away from him. The gun slips out of his hands and onto the floor. One of the police was able to hand-cup my dad. The other two pushed my father to the floor. He was drunk as hell as they placed him in custody. I smiled as they took him away. I felt no remorse as I watched the police cars drive away.

To be continued
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