Chapter 231

Thursday, April 1, 2010 at 8:53 AM
The voice of the man standing here was so different from the one who had confronted her and spoken to her on the phone that all she could do was nod dumbly and step to the side.

She offered him a coffee as if everything hinged on her being as polite a hostess as possible in this two-person play. He fixed a cup and sat on a chair by the window.

He looked at her, a swath of dark hair falling partially over one eye.

“I’m some friend, aren’t I?”

“Wh…what? You’re a great friend, Richie. You and Jon are always there for each other.”

“I mean you, Manda, I’ve really been some friend.” He said this with self-disgust easy to hear in his voice.

Amanda had no idea what had caused the change in Richie’s attitude from one day to the next and just sat quietly as he mused.

“Something didn’t sound right about this from the beginning. I saw that note you left him and then he told me that you were married and that you had just left, taking everything with you, and that didn’t sound right. So, here’s what I want to know…why did you leave the way you did? Why make him feel like a fool?”

Taking a deep breath, her mind racing as to what she could and could not say, she began to tell him a little of what had happened.

“Jon’s mother came to see me and she had that…” she gestured to the folder now on the side of the bed.

Amanda turned pain-filled eyes to the dark-haired man sitting opposite her.

“She told me I had to leave, but I already knew that as soon as she said Jeremy was alive. How could I let anyone find out? I saw what the press does. They would have crucified Jon just for being with me. How could I do that to him?”

“Okay, I get that, but why do it the way you did? Why be so hateful in your note? Why take those things, especially the engagement ring, when you were leaving him?”

This was what had struck Richie as being one of the most strange things in a strange situation.

“Richie, you said that before. I didn’t take anything. Everything was on the desk.” She didn’t know how to convince him, but she knew what she had done.

Deep in thought, Richie didn’t respond for a few moments, then raised his eyes to her.

“Amanda, what did you write in your note?”

Puzzled eyes met his. “You said you read it.”

“I know, but tell me what you wrote.” He urged her.

Her eyes moved as she thought, never lighting for long on one object.

“I said I was leaving, but I couldn’t tell him why. That I could only bring him pain and he didn’t deserve that. I wrote I wasn’t who he thought, but that I love him.” It was not word for word, but what she remembered conveyed what she had written.

He cocked his head at her. “You’re sure that’s what you wrote?”

“Not word for word, no, but pretty close. Why?” Bewilderment continued to cloud her face.

“That’s not the letter Jon has.”

It was possible for her eyes to get wider.

“What letter does he have?”

“The one where you said you met him on purpose, to get what you could out of him. That you needed money. That you lied from the beginning about being married. That one.” He watched her carefully as he said this.

Tears filled her eyes as she heard this and she dropped her head so far that Richie almost didn’t hear her whispered words.

“Jesus … she hated me that much … she wanted him to hate me, so I could never come back…”

At that moment everything she had been through, all the shocks, the revelations, the horrible truths hit her and she folded over herself, hugging her stomach, her entire body shaking with the strain of her tears.

Richie sat there stunned as he watched Amanda trembling as she tried to hold in her grief and anger. He realized what she had said, what he had heard, and it nearly killed him to admit that he knew who had done this to both Jon and Amanda.

Moving from the chair to the crying woman, he raised her up by an arm and moved them to the side of the bed where he sat beside her with her in his arms. He held her as he would his daughter or his mother, offering simple comfort. As he sat there, he remembered when she had done the same for him.

As she absorbed his warmth and heard his murmured words of comfort, Amanda drew back again into welcoming numbness she had felt since learning about Jeremy. It was this lack of emotion that helped her through the next few minutes.

“I talked to Jeremy, Amanda.” Richie told her quietly.

“What? What did he say?!”

How bad did he make me sound?

“He told me everything … all of it … his affair and his son, the FBI, witness protection…”

Amanda’s eyes grew wider and wider as Richie relayed fact after fact that he could only have learned from speaking with Jeremy.

“He also told me you didn’t know.”

“I didn’t.”

They sat there in silence for a few minutes, each lost in their own thoughts. Richie spoke first; he had made his decision.

“Go back to him. Tell him everything. You’re free, Amanda. Tell him.”

“I can’t…” Amanda began.

Richie’s determined eyes met hers.

“Then I will.” He was reaching and dialing even as a protest rose in her throat.

“Jon?”

“Yeah?” The answer was tossed out distractedly from almost 3,000 miles away.

“There’s some stuff you need to know, man, about Amanda…” he began, his words rushing out.

“She already told me everything I needed to know.”

“But…” He realized he was speaking to a dead phone.

She looked at the phone in his hand and then at the silent man across from her. A heart-breaking smile crossed her lips.

She whispered, “… too late …”

10 comments

  1. Mary Says:

    You can't leave us hanging like that for to long. Please we need to know what happens next. I feel so bad for Amanda. She needs to try to talk to Jon, and she is going to need a lot of help from Richie. Thanks for a great story.

  2. Bayaderra Says:

    NO!!!!NO!!!! NO!!!!!!!

    Please tell us its not too late!!!!

  3. Alice Faye Says:

    well we all know he has a hard head just remember hard heads make soft bottoms! Knock his head in Richie!

    Great chapter. MORE!!!!

  4. Rike Says:

    Richie, go to Jon and tell him the facts, all facts!! Including that what his mother did.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    OMG...don't leave us hanging!

    Linda

  6. rutpop Says:

    Yay Richie will make everything alright. I can't wait for the confrontation with Jon's mother.

  7. Sandy Says:

    Love this story Sun...keeps me on the edge of my seat! Hope Richie just grabs her and takes her to the airport to fly to Jersey and confront Jon.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    You can't leave us in suspense like that. Please please tell me he believes her. Hopefully, she's not too late.

    Beth

  9. victoriajovi Says:

    Richie needs to make Jon listen... Please hurry we need to know what happens.

    Linda

  10. Rue Says:

    Love that Richie got the truth! Now all they need to do is convince Jon and hang his mother!

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