Amanda had set her bowl of noodle stir fry down next to her
laptop. Todd's face was on the screen, lit by the light of his laptop and a
He was sitting at his desk, dressed rather warmly.
Amanda noticed the thick sweater right away. She
immediately grabbed a magazine that was nearby and began to fan herself.
"Oh, gee, it's just awfully hot here," she said,
feigning dismay, "Perhaps it might get so hot tomorrow that I would have
to go swimming." Then in her obviously bad acting act, “Whatever... should
Todd chuckled, "I could go swimming here, too. I just
have to find the local chapter of the Polar Bear club and then I would be good
They chatted a little more about the weather. In the
Northeast, it had been unseasonably cold and they had an early snowstorm that
left almost a foot of snow. In California, on the other hand, was warm and
At least for Amanda. She found it rather amusing that while
she was still wearing t-shirts, everyone else was wearing heavy jackets and
knitted hats with shorts and flip-flops.
Then Todd told Amanda of how he helped the other tenants
shovel the parking space near the building, only to have the snow plow bury
half of it again as it passed by. Like a lot of New England apartments, it was
a converted 1800s house with a flattened space for parking. When they widened
the road, there was little room left between the shoulder and the parking
The discussion finally moved on to Amanda's memories.
"I still have that one reoccurring dream and it's
always the same, except this time I see my necklace."
Amanda had been fiddling with it up until this point. When
she mentioned it, she stopped fiddling with it and grasped it firmly, as if
clutching it would bring back the memories she lost.
"Do you feel any connection, " Todd asked.
"Does it seem like a memory?"
"No," Amanda responded with a sigh. "It's
just like any other dream. If no one had told me how I was found, I would not
have thought anything of it."
Todd nodded, seemingly in deep thought. Amanda took the
opportunity to take a few bites of food. It was finally cool enough to eat.
Todd snapped out of his trance, and leaned forward towards
talked about me moving closer,” Todd said finally.
Amanda Nodded. “It would be nice to have a more familiar
face here,” she said thoughtfully. “The neighbors are nice enough but some are
a bit, odd.” Amanda resisted telling him about the apartment manager, who had
been creeping on her ever since she moved in.
did find an apartment nearby and I'll be moving in next month.” Todd was
hesitant to tell her, but he didn't want to just show up either.
"Really?" Amanda said, "where?"
Amanda said slowly, not sure what that meant. Finally, it sunk in. “Wait, 4C?
The apartment down the hall?”
where t-that," Amanda stammered, "that family lived, the only family
that didn't seem to want to kill each other?”
To keep rent costs down, Amanda moved to a part of town
that was a bit run down. Most kept their head down and kept to themselves. The
ones who didn't were usually at each other throats. It wasn't uncommon to hear
yelling and objects being smashed against the wall. Fortunately, there have
been no gunshots or deaths since she moved in three months ago.
Todd nodded again.
"I thought you meant like in the same town or even
down the street, but I wasn't expecting…" Amanda trailed off, not knowing
what to say.
"Well if you don't think…" Todd started.
"Oh no, that's great!" Amanda interrupted, but
she had mixed feelings. She knew that the relationship between her and Todd
could be something more than just friends, but she wasn't sure if she was ready
for something serious just yet.
Todd looked relieved. "I hope you don't mind, I've
made arrangements with the publisher to telecommute. I'm no longer tied to any
"I don't mind at all!" Amanda, smiled. "It
will be nice to see you in person, again."