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Amanda's Eyes - Chapter 5
Submitted by woody on Sun, 09/07/2008 - 14:21
Sometimes something you do on impulse, without stopping to think about it, has a huge impact on your life. Sometimes that impact is even positive.
Five – Breakthrough
Monday morning, before school started, he saw Kelly walking down the hall with her arm around Todd and his heart dropped through the floor. All day the sight kept replaying in his head -- Kelly with Todd, Kelly with Todd, Kelly with Todd. He barely made it from class to class. That afternoon, he barely acknowledged Amanda’s presence with a grunt, and she just crossed her arms, sat back, and ignored him. They might as well have been in separate rooms. Ken simply read the book; he wasn’t in the mood to try to talk to her, and she didn’t say anything to him. The hour passed very slowly, but he was thankful that there wasn’t any screaming or arguing. He just wasn’t in the mood for a battle and was happy to do this the easy way.
At home that evening, his resolve weakened and he was tempted to call Kelly and plead for another chance. He’d picked up the phone and had punched the first few digits when he put it down again. Kelly had broken up with him. She’d dumped him for a football player. She didn’t care about him anymore and begging for her to come back to him would only make him seem weak and ridiculous. He felt bad enough already -- no need to make it worse.
Tuesday, Ken worked at ignoring the Kelly-and-Todd couple when he saw them in the halls together. Yes, he still felt hurt and a little angry, but he held it in and managed to function during the school day. After school, at Lincoln, he made the mistake of asking Amanda how she was doing as she sat in her chair.
She looked like she was about to have a stroke. Her face flushed red, and she balled up her fists and screamed at him, “How am I doing? Oh, I’m doing just fucking great. How about you? How many times did you screw your girlfriend last weekend? Aren’t you going to give me a play by play of your dates? Come on asshole; give the poor blind girl a thrill.”
After the weekend he’d had, Ken was out of patience and not able to take anymore abuse from Amanda. “You are such a fucking bitch! You want details? Kelly broke up with me on Sunday. Oh, it was all very civilized -- she invited me to her house -- we sat on the front porch -- we talked, well mostly she talked. Kelly decided that to raise her image to the next level she needed to go out with a damn football player, and since one asked her to the homecoming dance, she accepted. We’d been planning on a great time at the dance together, but then she decided to go with her fucking football player instead of me. Of course she gave me back my letter jacket and asked if we could remain,” he growled, “friends.” Is that enough detail for you? You want the exact words she used to announce it to me?”
“Awww, poor little boy. Your girlfriend blew you off for a jock. I feel sooooo sorry for you. Maybe you should try out for the crying team. I’ll bet they’d take you. At least you HAD a girlfriend. I’ve never had a boyfriend and I never will. I won’t ever go to another school dance. I’m a cripple and I won’t ever even have a real date. Oh no, it’s such a shame that your plans for homecoming are fucked up. Think you’ll spend the night sobbing into your pillow? Maybe you can jerk off a few times to make up for what you’re missing. I bet she’ll be treating that football player right. Poor little Ken, no more girlfriend … no date for the dance.”
“You know, Amanda, I’m sick of listening to you feeling sorry for yourself and attacking everyone else because of it. Yeah, it’s true that you can’t see. You know what? You aren’t dead! You can walk, you can talk, you’d actually look pretty good if you made an effort. There isn’t any reason at all why you can’t have a boyfriend and go to dances, except that with your shitty attitude no one wants to be near you. Sure, life sucks sometimes, but at some point you have to get over it. If you’d try to be friendly, try to be even a little human, maybe even let people get to know you, you’d have friends to do stuff with. Instead, you sit there stewing in your own misery and trying to make everyone around you miserable too. You’re pathetic.”
“Oh, such an intelligent response. Can’t the bitch who’s always ready with the ultimate put-down think of something more creative to say? You may not be able to see, but you can still think, and talk, and you can certainly insult people. Surely you can come up with something better than that.”
Tears began to form in the corners of Amanda’s eyes and she sobbed, “You don’t know what it’s like -- no one understands -- everything I ever dreamed of is gone. One date. Just one fucking date. I was having fun and in a second it was over. My life is over and no one understands…” The tears were flowing freely now, making shiny lines down her cheeks while she wept.
Ken was silent for a moment staring at the quietly crying girl across the table from him. She didn’t look angry anymore, just sad. She looked like he’d felt Sunday night. He didn’t really think much about it. It wasn't preconceived at all … it just happened. Somehow the idea formed in his head and before his conscious mind kicked in to stop him he softly asked, “Amanda, is there still a real person in there? Can you get rid of the attitude for a few hours and be nice to people around you? Why don’t you come to my homecoming dance with me? I’ll prove that even being blind you can still have a good time.”
About to deliver an angry retort at the sound of any string of words directed at her, she froze in mid breath. Her mouth dropped open slightly as she processed the words and realized what he’d said. The tightness in her face eased ever so slowly, and Ken could almost see the pretty girl hiding behind the rage and pain.
Amanda whispered, “What the fuck… did you just invite me to your dance?”
“Yeah, I guess I did.”
“Sure, why not. I’ve been dumped and I doubt that you already have a date for this Saturday. I bought the tickets a month ago. You want to come?”
She sat still for a moment, a whole range of emotions running across her face, then in an almost normal speaking voice replied, “Why the hell not… if you’re really asking me, I’ll go with you. But I’m warning you. If this turns out to be some stupid, play-a-joke-on-the-blind-girl trick, I’ll find a way to make the rest of your life more miserable than you can imagine… even if it kills me.”
Amanda’s eyes sparkled.