The jet crash Amanda Michaels survives severs her memories from before. She learns early in Taming the Telomeres that Jonathan was her high school crush, the two were inseparable. But, despite learning this, Amanda feels nothing.
In Targeting the Telomeres, the stand alone book #2 in the series, Amanda recalls a flash of a memory of her time with Jonathan. That flash causes her to seek out Jonathan to try to rekindle what they had together, something she believes will make her more whole as a person. This chapter highlights her feelings about Jonathan, from Part II of Targeting:
Almost no mail ever comes for her. In fact, more still arrives addressed to Kyle Perless, the former farm owner, than to her. Amanda takes them over to the Crossroads Broken Halo rehab facility and asks Helen, the coordinator, to forward them to him at his condo. Once in a while there’s a stray letter to Kent. Every time one arrives it still hits her right in the gut, robbing her of her breath. She thinks of the first time she walked in his room in the farmhouse, the feeling of it all. But this one is addressed to her, so she flips the envelope over and checks the return address as she tears open a corner. If the contents are what she thinks they are, they might help her remember something, anything.
Looking for somewhere comfortable, she walks down the hallway to her room and plops down on the bed, the perfect spot to read her old high school letters she wrote to Jonathan. Before she starts reading, she lays the folded papers down and gets up to light some incense. She blows air over it, ensuring the stick is lit, and takes in the pine-needle scent. Back on the bed, she unfolds several pages and her eyes focus in on the one on top:
It’s so boring here this summer without you. My mom’s always trying to do stuff with me. Not what I want to be doing though. I’m doing the club soccer team with Reston and practicing twice a week. Charlyne and Iris and I went to a movie last night at the Starr Center. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were spies or something. I didn’t think it was any good.
Bobby Firstine totaled his dad’s Suburban after Michael Beasley’s party last Saturday night. Holy shit. The cops arrested him, he flunked the DUI test. Big trouble! His parents were out of town and he’s up shit creek. Wonder where that creek is, anyway. Ha ha.
Jonathan – I miss you sooo much. Can’t wait until you’re back!! Can you come home now?
The second page is a photocopy of a handwritten letter, just like the first:
I saw your mom at the Giant supermarket with your sister. Your mom’s always so nice to me. She wants me to come on another trip with your family. She says the ski trip we went on was one of her favorite family trips ever. Do you remember how cold the weather was at Seven Springs? And the night we had that snowball fight outside the cottage after dinner? Your sister was so mad at you when you stuffed that snow down the back of her coat, I thought she was going to kill you. We have a game tomorrow at the Loudoun Striker Field. You know I hate the Strikers team. They beat us on penalty kicks the last time we played. Anyway, I miss you and wish you were here right now.
P.S.: What day are you getting home again? I always forget, is it the 15th or the 16th of August? Write me back!!
* * *
Instinctively she closes her eyes: Jonathan, in a dark blue puffy ski jacket; chasing his sister, he pounces on her in the snow and stuffs the mushy snowball right between the nape of her neck and the top of her pink coat.
Why didn’t I help her? Why did I laugh at her?
She’s crying. Her brother climbs off. Seeking revenge, she jumps up and grabs any snow she can, throwing it at him, tears running down her cheeks. I’m still laughing. So mean…
“Help me Amanda, help me!”
Oh my God, I remember? Why didn’t I help her? What a bitch I am. I was.
She opens her laptop, finds Jonathan’s profile on Popchat, and sends him a private message:
I got the old letters. Thank you for sending them. Remember when you shoved the snowball down your sister’s ski coat at Seven Springs? I remembered it! Maybe things will keep coming back to me. I saw David the other day, we rode horses here at the farm.
Amanda waits, hoping for a quick response, and just before bedtime she notices his reply:
I thought they might help. Hope to see you later this summer? I’m coming home at some point.
Amanda starts imagining herself getting back together with Jonathan, imagining what that will be like.
(c) R.N. Shapiro 2018 All Rights Reserved
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I decided to write a number of chapters involving this relationship, they appear in Parts II and III of Targeting the Telomeres.