Title: Coming Of Age – Part Eleven – Moral Support
Timeline: Two years post season 5
A/N: This is part eleven of Coming Of Age – Hunter and Amanda’s Story.
This chapter is from Amanda’s POV
Part One – Explanations
Part Two - Discussions
Part Three - Meetings
Part Four - Conversations
Part Five - Confessions
Part Six - Worries
Part Seven - Understanding
Part Eight - Sharing
Part Nine - Acceptance
Part Ten- Confrontation
I saw a surprised look cross Debbie’s face when she saw me standing there. She must have seen something in my eyes, and without a word she put her arm around me and led me into the house.
I let out a sigh of relief when I heard the door close, and she pulled me into her ample arms. She held me as my body shook, the pent up anger at my mother, the worry about Ben, thoughts of Hunter finally causing a flood of tears which I couldn’t seem to stem.
Finally I was able to compose myself and pulled away hoping that my face told her how grateful I was to be here. I pulled my backpack off, dropping it on the floor and let Debbie push me slowly towards the sofa, sitting me down. I lent back, finally relaxing, watching her leave the room. I could hear noises coming from the kitchen and minutes later she was back carrying a plate of food and mug of coffee.
“I’m not hungry.” I said quietly, the thought of food turning my stomach.
“Of course you are!” Debbie replied, putting the plate into my hands.
I’d realized rather quickly that food was Debbie’s answer to all problems, and I didn’t want to hurt her feelings so took a bite from the toast, sipping on the hot chocolate to wash it down. Perhaps there was something to Debbie’s theory after all I thought as I finished the last piece of toast and felt more like myself.
“You want to tell me what’s happened?” Debbie asked, settling in the chair opposite me.
“My mom kicked me out.” I answered flatly, still unable to come to terms with it.
“Because of Hunter?” Debbie said, and I could only manage a nod in response.
“Let me tell you something honey. When Michael started seeing Ben, we argued. Big time. I told him I didn’t want him seeing him. All I could think of was what if Michael got it. It took me a long time to realize that the disease wasn’t who Ben was. I had to accept that my son had found the person he wanted to spend the rest of his life with and that in the end all I wanted was for Michael to be happy.”
“My mom’s not like you. She won’t change her mind.”
“She’s scared for you. Mother’s are like that.” Debbie said. “She just needs time and education. Perhaps I could go talk to her.”
The thought of Debbie, with her bright red hair and loud clothes sitting in my mother’s house made me smile. I think that in Debbie my mother would have met her match, but I didn’t want to drag her into this. I wanted to heal the wounds with my mother, but I was smart enough to know that as long as Hunter was part of my life, I would never be welcomed back there again. The hurt from that wasn’t as bad as I expected, perhaps because I felt that just maybe I had found a new family.
“Thank you for the offer, but I don’t want you to get mixed up in my family problems.” I replied, hoping my words didn’t hurt Debbie.
“That’s fine honey, but if you change your mind, I’ll go talk to her. I can be very persuasive when I need to be.” Debbie answered, a smile twitching at her lips.
I had no doubts about that at all, but I’d made my bed, and now I’d have to lie in it.
“What honey?” Debbie said, a concerned look crossing her face.
“All my school books and clothes are still at the house. I just grabbed a few things.” I said, looking at the small back pack. “I’ll have to go back….”
“I could come with you.” Debbie suggested. “Just as moral support. I promise I won’t shoot my mouth off.”
I managed a smile before another thought occurred to me.
“I don’t have anywhere to go.” I said, the realization hitting me suddenly.
“What about your Dad’s?” Debbie asked.
I shook my head. “I don’t see him very often, and he has a new family now.” I replied and could feel tears threatening again.
“Ok.” Debbie answered. “The first thing you need is sleep. You can use Michael’s old room. After that, we’ll see if we can come up with a solution to these problems.”
I nodded wearily. Everything seemed to be falling apart, but I didn’t regret a single thing I had done. Perhaps Debbie was right, and after a few hours sleep things would become clearer.
I stood, grabbing my bag and followed Debbie up the stairs, into Michael’s old room which looked as if it had never had anything done it since he was a child. I glanced around it quickly, but the thought of sleep over-rode any further investigation. Debbie closed the drapes as I pulled my sneakers off and climbed under the crisp sheets.
“You stay there as long as you need.” Debbie said, walking to the door. “Just holler if you need anything.”
“I don’t know how to thank you.” I said quietly.
“Hush child. If that grandson cares for you as much as he says he does, that’s good enough for me. Now get some sleep and try not to worry, we’ll find an answer to all your problems.”
I watched Debbie walk from the room, closing the door and closed my eyes. I was tired, but I wondered if sleep would elude me. I sighed, wondering where Hunter was and how he would react to what I’d done as I slowly drifted off to sleep.
The incessant ringing of my cell pulled me out of my dreams, and I searched hurriedly through my backpack for it. I flipped it open, glancing at the screen at the time, amazed to see I had slept for five hours.
“Where are you?” The sound of Hunter’s voice bought all that had happened today flooding back into my head.
“At your Grandma’s.”
“You getting those cooking lessons?” I could hear the laugh in his voice as he spoke.
“Nooooo……” I hesitated momentarily.
“What are you doing there then?”
“It’s a long story.” I said. “I’ll tell you later.”
“Come to the hospital, Ben’s awake. Or at least he was about an hour ago. He’s gone back to sleep but naturally this time, if you know what I mean.”
“Ohhhh that’s great news.” I replied before continuing “I’ll come later if that’s ok. I’ve got a few things to sort out first.”
“What sort of things?” I heard a slight touch of worry in his voice this time.
“Nothing important.” I replied, trying to sound light-hearted, but I knew I wasn’t fooling Hunter.
“Amanda…..you and me….we still ok right?”
This time it was more than worry in Hunter’s voice, and I quickly and hopefully convincingly re-assured him.
“Of course we are. I love you Hunter, nothing will ever change that.” I replied. “I’ll text you when I’m on my way, ok?”
“Have to be won’t it.” He replied, and I could tell he wasn’t completely convinced.
“Say hi to Ben and give Michael a hug for me.” I said, and this time I received loud laughter in response.
“Yeah to the first, will think on the second.”
“Ok.” I felt relieved that I had managed to change the subject. “I’ll see you soon.”
I hung up and lay down, too many things filling my head to concentrate on any one in particular so decided to head back downstairs.
Debbie was stretched out on the sofa, eyes glued to the TV when I walked down the stairs. She quickly flicked the sound off and patted the seat next to her. I gave her a smile and walked over, sitting down, tucking my legs under me.
“You sleep?” She asked giving me a look I imagined would make a grown man agree with anything she said.
“Yes, thank you.” I replied. “And Hunter called. Ben’s awake!”
“I know, Michael called earlier.” She answered. “Now perhaps that son of mine will start taking care of himself instead of worrying about everyone else.”
It was on the tip of my tongue to ask if she ever wondered where he got that from.
“Now what are we going to do about you?” She asked, looking at me intently.
“I don’t know.” And I really didn’t.
“Well I think we should go and see your mother. I talked to Carl, and he said……”
“Oh please I don’t want to drag you all into this…”
“Just let me finish.” Debbie held up her hand. “He said he’d go with us if you wanted him too. I don’t think your mother will make a scene but having him with us might make things easier for you if she does. Him being a detective and all.”
Would my mother make a scene or would she just let me disappear from her life without a backward glance. I really didn’t know but knew I had to find out. Nothing she could do or say would make me change my mind.
“Please say thank you to Carl for me, but if it’s alright with you, I’d just like you to come with me.”
“Good girl. I’ll just get my coat. I’m looking forward to meeting your mother.”
The tone of Debbie’s voice made her feelings about my mother and her actions quite clear.
I didn’t think my mother would be feeling the same away about meeting Debbie, I thought as we walked out the door.