I Wasn't Talking about Him
Melody didn't want to be found again, not by her captors. Not by the Spaceman. She reinvented herself, in more ways than one. Life on the streets had taught her how to survive at any cost, and a life imprisoned had taught her how to manipulate any type of confinement- physical or otherwise. So she broke rules, ran when she needed, stole, lied, cheated- anything necessary to stay ahead. And it paid off at last. She had found her mother in a sleepy little town on a small island on the other side of the world.
Amelia was an outcast when her daughter found her. She kept going on about an imaginary friend who only Melody, now Mels, truly accepted as real. Despite the psychiatrists, or rumours, or looks, or complaints, Mels encouraged her mum's fascination with the Raggedy Doctor, and joined in. Not only because she knew he was real, but because she wanted her mother's affection, and listening when no one else would seemed to earn it. She relished the connection with the girl who would one day love her more than anything else in the universe. Then he came along.
Amelia had known Rory for almost a half a year before Mels had found her, and that gave him an unfair advantage. Because though Mels knew her mum wasn't crazy, he had played along with her despite the whispers and isolation. He was her mum's best friend first. And it annoyed her.
No one would take Amelia away from her- not when it had taken Melody so long to find her. So she encouraged Amy to brush him off. They would play hide- and- not- seek; tag- he's always it, and blind man's bluff in which he was always cold. She couldn't stand her mother's attention divided from her, so she did her best to make the young Williams boy feel as unwelcome as possible, giving whining tones and eye rolls whenever he was around. And he was always around.
Mels had a penchant for giving people titles instead of names. Call it a defence mechanism. Or, in actuality, the one part of her lifetime of training that was wholly hers. She could call people what she liked, as long as she was completely focused on her mission. For the astronaut of her childhood, she had The Spaceman. For that elusive target of her future assassination attempts, she was alternating between Sweetie, My Love, and Idiot; she just couldn't decide if he deserved irony or a direct shot to his overlarge ego. But, for young Rory, she was partial to Mr. Clingy.
For years, she did her best to make Amelia ignore him, and she did her personal best to cut him out of their lives. But he just kept coming back. She had to hand it to him; he was unshakably loyal to Amelia. After awhile, she began to admire his tenacity. Then she began to observe him. To really take him in. After the fourth psychiatrist, her mother had begun to go by Amy, in an attempt to shake off her "A Mad Amelia" label and also to come to terms with the idea that her Raggedy Doctor really was imaginary. This, along with nature's developments, had made her more noticeable to the same boys who had once dared taunt her mum. Mr. Hypocrite, she called each of them. Mels, of course, had punched any boy who had even come close to teasing Amelia, and hated that they now thought they were worthy of her. She privately noted she had never had that problem with Rory Williams. He had treated Amelia as priceless for as long as she could remember, never calling her crazy and even dressing up as, in his mind, a fictional figment of his friend's imagination.
She began to appreciate the little things Rory did, compared to the other blokes in her mother's life. Like how he would offer to carry her things, and not just as an excuse to make her walk with him. Or, how he would stare at her when she wasn't looking, but not in a creepy, stalker, lustful way like every other boy. Just as though he couldn't quite believe she was real. She noticed he actually listened to what Amy said, and didn't just tune her out and gawk while she was talking. His hugs were for genuine comfort and affection, never used an excuse to grope. And, if she was completely honest with herself, she also appreciated how she too was always included in their small circle.
If (on the rare occasion) Mels had books, Rory carried two sets. If she spoke, he listened to her, too. He never treated her like she was an object or a third wheel, never took to heart her insults, never tried to shut her out of Amy's life like she had done to him. After many years of close observation, she came to the conclusion that he really was as selfless as he seemed. Slowly, her appreciation became admiration. In all her years of imagining a true relationship with her mother, she had never allowed herself to hope for the same with a father. But, the more she saw of Rory, the more she let herself dream that such a good man could belong to her in the same way Amy belonged to her.
When creepy, slightly- off Jeff came into the picture and Mels saw a true comparison for the first time of another man in Amy's life, that cinched it. Rory was her father. She felt it in her bones. He was the only one who would ever be worthy of her good- hearted, if somewhat thick, mum. From then on, her fantasies took off. The three of them, a true and proper family. Now including a man who would always think she was beautiful just because she was his. Who would always come for her even if there were an army in his way. Who would never let her down and who would be worth waiting for. Ironically, plain and simple Rory Williams from Leadworth fit all these dreams.
Amy had forgotten what it was to be on the outside, but Mels never did. The outside provided a perfect view. Where others saw a scrawny boy who couldn't hold his own, she saw a guy who would fight even harder for what was his. Where Amy saw an awkward and quiet schoolboy who mumbled and stuttered in front of her, Mels saw a young man so in love it befuddled him. People saw someone to ignore, she saw remarkably subtle and sweet. Others saw weak, she saw a power yet to be fully grasped. He was, she realized, Mr. Understated. Her ostracized view allowed her to see so many different facets of a man Amy was still brushing off, that she decided without a doubt he was surely the man who helped make her who she was.
And so, if she had any hope of being born or having a relationship with her father, she had to make an effort to undo all the damage she had wreaked as a child. She invited him along when they went to parties. Even took up some of the required reading if it meant he had to be in the same room as Amy and her to complete their studies. She made sure to support any of his dreams as she always had for her mother, and she smiled to herself when he asked her opinion when he decided to go into nursing, like she mattered too. She couldn't deny loving him as a second closest friend, and tried her best to truly get to know him on his own merit.
Whereas when they were kids, she and Amy had tried to run him out of their sphere, Mels now made a genuine effort to bring him closer to them. There was a time when their games ensured he would always be in a separate room, but now she invited him in for his input in their conversations, until he too had garnered his own spot at Amy's. She relished the burgeoning relationship of the two who were surely her parents, and even loved the fact that this man she had come to accept as her dad joined in on her mother's scoldings toward her.
She just had to open Amy's eyes so she could stop wasting her time with anyone else and see what was in front of her. What she had always had. What Mels not only envied but also hoped to have for herself one day. A man who was gentle enough to truly care for all others, but strong enough to fight for what was right even if he couldn't possibly win. Someone who would scold her to do what was necessary but always come for her when she called, without question. She learned from him a patience to wait for the person she loved, and (secretly) she gained a love of knowledge. He didn't have the over- the- top temper of her mother, but his firm chastisements reprimanded just the same. He indirectly taught her to be as straightforward as possible, but to balance rebuke with uncompromising love. And, she learned that it was sometimes necessary to love quietly but unconditionally if that love wasn't ready to be returned.
Her former annoyance now turned on her mother who couldn't appreciate the man in front of her. The man who was so much more than he seemed. The man who was worth waiting for. He was, she realized at last, Mr. Perfect.