Loose Ends

Getting the Ball Rolling

Amy sat on the couch, arms crossed, deep in thought.

Why am I always so unprepared when the other shoe drops? That doubting voice in my head told me that weekend in New York was too good but to be true but I didn't wanna believe it. That voice also told me Ben had cheated on me and I was still hurt and angry when it turned out to be true. I guess that doubting voice can see the truth when I can't, or don't want to. Why do I keep forgiving and trusting people who can't be honest with me? Ricky said he liked me, dad said he loved me, Ben said he'd always be there, Lauren and Madison said they didn't tell anyone about my pregnancy, Ashley said she had my back, Adrian said she wanted to be friends…

Suddenly a light bulb came on. Amy had two problems. The first was that she simply lacked the ability to see through people's lies until their actions showed her the truth; that's why she was always so unprepared when the truth hit her in the face. The second was that it was simply a part of her nature to try to see the best in people and not cause other people pain. It was time to put her guard up with everyone in her life until she weeded out those who honestly don't care about her and her wellbeing from those that do.

How on Earth am I supposed to tell the good guys from the bad ones since I can't read people? Well the only way to get to the bottom of things I guess is to ask questions until I get the answers I need to make that decision. But what exactly do I need to know to tell my friends from my enemies?

She mentally went through all of her friends and frienemies, everything she had been through with her family, friends, and new acquaintances since band camp and got up to a get a piece of paper and a pencil to make a list. She made three columns and put a single letter at the top of each: "F" for friends, "E" for enemies, and "A" for allies. She quickly put Adrian and Ben's names in the enemy columns and Grace and Jack's names in the allies column but then drew a mental blank. Her dad and Ashley had always sort of been against her and her mom but were they actually her enemies? She and Ricky had never had a romantic relationship and since New York was a fluke he wasn't exactly a friend, but putting the name of her son's father in the ally column just didn't seem right either. Maybe it was too soon to start putting people in categories. I need to know how they really feel about me first. Instead she turned the piece of paper over and wrote down the name of every person who was or had been a part of or entangled in her and John's lives. After writing down all the names Amy was surprised to see that quite a few parents of her "friends" were included and spent time thinking about whom on the list to question first. It wasn't until close to 3 AM that Amy's plan had been finalized. She needed to start at the beginning of the drama and figure out how it had unfolded, so to speak, because that was the only way to figure out how certain people had become entangled in and/or a part of the drama that was now her life. These were going to be very personal, painful, emotional interviews but she needed to truth, and all of it. Some interviews would be shorter than others so she would start with those first. Amy gave herself three rules to follow as she carried out her knowledge quest:

1) Remain respectful but guarded throughout each interview

2) Speak to no one about what she was doing until it was their turn to be interviewed, even once word started to get out, and she knew it would

3) If an interview revealed that person was an enemy, sever all ties with them and shut them out of her life immediately, if possible.

It was going to be a long summer.

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