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
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.
doing 50-50 grind on my skateboard and a park bench jumped in the way,” he had
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
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
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
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
Amanda chuckled. "A book with many blank pages."
"I bet you'll get some of your memory back," Todd said, "Even
then, keep note for the next few months, then write about it."
"Seriously, " Todd leaned over and gave her a card,
"I personally know a CEO of a publishing company. I can get it published
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 until all of the
arrangements were made.
The doctors had placed her age at 16 and Child Protective Services
had to get involved. They placed 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 jobs are allowed to use the internet in this house"
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 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 she liked, and started to think 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
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.