4. Amanda

She laid on the couch in the front room in complete darkness.  The blinds were pulled, the electronics were off, the house phone was unplugged.  She didn’t want to talk to or see anybody, she needed the time to herself.  He’d been gone for over 2 weeks now, and she hadn’t heard a word.  Oh she had all kinds of assumptions, but she didn’t know the truth of what happened.

Knock Knock Knock Knock Knock

“No, go away,” she mumbled to herself.

Then louder KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK

“NO!!!” she screamed.

A key rattled in the lock and the door opened.  It wasn’t him.  It was Liz, her best friend.

“Amanda, you can’t just lay here forever,” Liz whispered.

“The fuck I can’t.”

“C’mon, how about a shower and I take you out for some food?” Liz begged.

“No thank you, please go away.”

“Have you heard back from the police or the hospitals?” Liz asked.

“No.  They don’t give a shit.  They think it’s just a typical lover’s spat where the guy runs out and reappears later on.”

The night he walked out on Amanda, it had been a typical lover’s spat.  It was storming that night, the kind of night they both love, but not that time. He came home late and of course, she asked where he had been since he hadn’t called. He blew up on her.  He couldn’t blame her.  They were still trying to rebuild the trust from the last time he cheated on her and she kicked him out.

She went through every emotion when she found he hadn’t come home by morning.  After calling his best friend to find he hadn’t been seen, she faced the fear that he may have ended up in an accident in the storm and took a morning drive searching the main stretch of road that lead towards his friend’s house.  Nothing.  She called the taverns.  She called his former bitch of a girlfriend.  Then she called the police.  When they said they couldn’t initially do anything for 48 hours, she began calling the hospitals.  Nothing.  He wasn’t even in the drunk tank!

After the initial panic, she got angry.  She wondered which floozy he had shacked up with and where he was sleeping.  She promised to get revenge and hurt him like only she knew how…only she had the power to do.  She locked herself in the house, their house, and started threatening his very existence.  Her anger was more intense than it had ever been.

How dare he run out on her!

“Let’s go Amanda.  I’m not taking no for an answer,” Liz said.

Amanda rolled her eyes and sat up on the couch.  Her hair looked like it hadn’t been brushed in a while, but it was still the long, beautiful chestnut hair that  all her friends envied.  When she stood from the couch, all of the blankets, fell to the floor as well as something small with brown stripes on it that looked rather old.  Liz looked towards it but Amanda snatched up it right away and headed for the stairs.

“Well this could be interesting,” thought Liz.

“I don’t want to go out, what if he actually comes back?” Amanda asked no one in particular.

She could hear Liz downstairs cleaning.  Ever since he left, Liz had been the one friend who went to the house to check on her.  If it wasn’t for Liz, Amanda probably would have gone off the deep end…more so than she already had.

As steam filled the bathroom, Amanda allowed herself to stand in the shower and just feel the water beat down on her tired body.  She hadn’t slept well since Jack left; most of the time, she just closed her eyes and tried to steady her nerves and calm her anger since it seemed sleep eluded her.  The mixture of anger and fear over Jack’s disappearance was wearing on Amanda more than she had realized.  She had lost weight, her skin looked pastey- almost sickly, and the sparkle from her eyes had dulled to little more than darkness.  She was nothing more than the shell of the Amanda everybody knew.

“Amanda? Are you ok?” Liz called.

“No,” Amanda whispered before calling out, “Be right there!”

She dried herself off and combed her hair out before throwing on her favorite pair of jeans and a blue cardigan.  She didn’t worry about make-up, it wasn’t going to help and hopefully Liz was taking her somewhere dark.  Besides, she wasn’t interested in impressing anyone.

When Amanda reached the bottom step, Liz said, “Well at least you’re cleaned up and dressed. C’mon.  I have something special that we are going to do.”

Amanda looked at her quizzically, but knew better to not ask.  Liz was never the type to tell what she had in mind until the very last minute when it came to random drives or surprises.  They stepped out into the cool, damp air and were off on their journey.