Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Original Meeting

Amanda couldn’t concentrate. She was trying to gather notes for her book, but her mind was preoccupied with the prospect of meeting Todd the upcoming Saturday.

The last time they met in person, they were both in the hospital. She was still recovering from the head injury, and he had a broken arm.

“I was doing 50-50 grind on my skateboard, and a park bench jumped in the way,” he had told her.

Amanda gave him a look that indicated that she knew he was lying.  She still had a hard time speaking, so she got used to using exaggerated facial expressions to get her point across.
He held up his good hand. “Okay, okay,” he said. “I’m just clumsy, and I tripped over my own two feet.” He then shrugged, "I don't even own a skateboard."

Amanda laughed. He still seemed to be hiding something, but she decided to let it slide.  Back in the present, Amanda reached into her bag and pulled out a tattered business card.
She remembered explaining to him what happened to her partially through slurred speech and partially through gestures. It became a game of charades that had them both laughing.

"You know, you could write about your experience," Todd suggested.

Amanda chuckled. "A book with many blank pages."

"I bet you'll get some of your memory back," Todd said, "Even then, keep a note for the next few months, then write about it."
Amanda shrugged.

"Seriously, " Todd leaned over and gave her a card, "I, personally, know a CEO of a publishing company. I can get it published for you."

Amanda took the card while looking at Todd suspiciously.
He only stayed for one night. After all, his arm was already in a cast, and there were no other problems.

Amanda had to stay there a few more days while the state child services made arrangements.

The doctors had placed her age at 16, and Child Protective Services had to get involved. They put her in a group home until they had all of her paperwork in order. During this time, she lost contact with Todd, but she kept the business card close.
Amanda opted to get her GED and passed with a high score.
Her social worker gave her a refurbished laptop when Amanda settled in her permanent foster home. She found that she had an interest in programming and designed a flash game that seemed to be popular at first. She even made a few hundred dollars with a donation button, but her foster mother suggested that she stop wasting her time on the computer and get a “real” job. She then forbade her from using the laptop in the house, because "those who have real jobs are allowed to use the internet."

Amanda didn't have a choice but to let the website die.
When she found out that the library was offering free Wi-Fi, she would take her laptop with her. The library was in walking distance so that she would go there frequently.

Amanda didn't like being deceptive, but she told them she was studying or finding a good book to read. All the while using the free online software to write a book on how she learned to program. It included humorous stick figure comics she drew herself.

When she was researching on how to self-publish, she thought of Todd. There was something about him that she liked and she found herself thinking about him - a lot.

So what if he was lying about knowing some CEO. She reached in her beat-up laptop bag that she had bought from a local thrift shop and pulled out the business card.

It turns out that he wasn't lying, and he got her book published.
Her foster parents did finally find out about her scheme after her foster mother accidentally opened Amanda’s first royalty check. However, they weren’t as angry as Amanda thought they would be. Writing books, after all, could be a valid profession.

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