It started as a major miscalculation.The night was designed to be a treat for the two of them. At least that's the way that Amy, Amy Wentworth, planned it. She was taking her Cecelia, Sissy always, out for a Disney movie.
Since moving to the city, certainly a small city but bigger than the small town where her life, their lives, had exploded or maybe imploded, when her exasperating husband decided to 'go his own way' with the teen aged daughter of the local Presbyterian pastor! But that kind of scenario was no longer on her mind. Amy had fairly 'banished' that kind of thinking and was being positive and getting on with her life.
They had moved on a 'song and a prayer', so to speak and she had had enough money to get them settled in a small flat in the new place, the new city,
She'd had a talk any number of times with Sissy and Sissy was being very 'adult' about all of it. She admitted that she missed her daddy but somehow she knew that the act of rejecting her Momma was, in fact, an act of rejecting her also.
Amy had become increasingly concerned by Jack's almost total lack of interest in being a father. His life had been more and more wrapped up in sports and the like. That had been the case until his big 'announcement' about being in love and moving away almost immediately.
Amy, it seems the last one to know, only discovered that it was 17 year old Wendy Haws that Jack ran away with, via the local grapevine.
There was no more family for her. She'd been on her own since high school, and the death of her Mom. She'd worked after that but had to give up the house, since she couldn't afford it.
At first, Jack, Jack Lawler had been a whirlwind for her. He seemed to have been a port in a storm, as the old cliche mentions, that is until he began to service the teeny boppers locally.
Getting started over again had been a chore for her, actually for them but she and Sissy had made a kind of bond that allowed them to help each other.
Sissy was also, at 7, being very grown up about understanding things: the decamping of her father, his attitude, their need to move away, the reason that things were tight just then for them. They talked about all of it, and did that frequently. Amy was so proud of Sissy for being as level headed as she seemed to be, as she grew.
So, tonight was a movie night for them. The car was broken, again, and they had decided simply to take the bus. The movie theater was in the down town area and the bus took them almost right to the theater.
When anyone saw the two of them together, they would have sworn that they acted much more like girlfriends than a mother and daughter. And tonight they were a giggly pair, as they emerged from the theater.
The only problem was that the movie took longer than Amy had expected and as they hurried along to catch the bus, a few blocks away, there were rain drops on the side walk
Amy simply groaned, as they rounded the corner only to see the last bus on that route pull out from the curb and hustle away.
"Ohhhhhhh," Amy said.
"The bus, Momma!" Sissy added.
"Yes, we've missed it! Guess we walk."
"Okay," Sissy said, "But it might rain."
"Hope not!" Amy said.
It did begin to rain!
Amy took off her coat and put it over Sissy's head, making her, for the time at least, giggle. She shielded her own head with her large pocketbook.
As they walked, the rain increasing, Amy said to Sissy: "Honey, I'm sorry for being such a scatter brain! I didn't even bring an umbrella! How bad is that!"
"What's a scatter brain, Momma?" Sissy asked with anther giggle.
"OH, it's someone like me who isn't equipped for the weather!" Amy answered.
"It's fine, Momma," Sissy said, "A walk in the rain."
Then, gradually, as they slogged along, the rain turned into a downpour.
JOHN MALCOM AMES:
John Ames, Doctor John Malcom Ames, to be correct, was out that night because one of his patients at the Corey Hospital had had a seizure. He went, as soon as called, his dinner getting cold and his cat complaining, to the hospital to take care of the situation.
He came away from the hospital and was tired, realizing his mood was moving into downright grumpy.
"Okay, pal," he said to himself, "Straighten out!"
"Yes," he answered, "Or Amos won't even let you into the house."
(Amos was the lovely orange tabby who kept John Malcom Ames on a level keel and ruled his house.)
He drove slowly, calculating that he might settle himself that night with a stinger. That made him chuckle. Friends of his, who knew his fondness for stingers, called them 'whore's drinks'. That word image entered his mind now.
At the time that this encounter was brewing, John Malcom Ames, the Doctor: general medicine with a pediatrics specialty to boot, was 35 years old. He was pretty much, at that time, at the top of his craft and respected.
He'd had girlfriends, had even been engaged once for a short time but she'd bailed on him, being impatient with all of his years of preparation. After that it was his doctoring and, a few years back, the discovery of Amos on the steps of the church, one sunday morning. Amos had become the love factor in John Malcom's house from the very first.
Amy Wentworth, her maiden name, which she'd taken back, after Jack had run off, was a petit and lovely 26 years old. She had short hair that in certain lights looked black and in certain lights had a red sheen to it. She had green eyes and was simply lovely, though her Jack never apparently saw that.
If we were to look on with the attitude of an assessor, with no malice intended at all nor any disrespect, we'd have to say that Amy Wentworth had a world class ass! It was simply the truth. She was small in the breast but her butt was to die for.
(Jack didn't apparently agree. He went for long blond hair and skinny hips!)
But this night, as John Malcom was coming from the hospital, in the rain now, since it was pouring, and showing no sign of letting up at all, an encounter was fated to occur. This might be kismet, or the fates intervening but it happened.
One of John Malcom's treats for himself, a treat that had only lately become a reality, was his new car: it was a Cadillac sedan, tan in color and with a light interior. He allowed it to be his way of spoiling himself.
As he drove along, letting the concern drain from him, after taking care of the little girl in the hospital who had the seizure. He simply smiled and said: "Yes, a stinger!"
He mused then and looked around his car environment for a few seconds and said: "I like this car!" (And well might he; it was a beauty.)
But, yes, I said kismet!
He turned the corner onto Davis street and passed the movie theater, which trumpeted outside, on its marquee, the Disney movie.
The rain then came harder and harder. He saw the couple walking ahead of him, on the right sidewalk. As he passed, he glanced at them and saw it was a young woman and a little girl. The little girl was sheltering her head apparently with the woman's coat and the woman had her purse above her head, holding it there to protect herself.
After he'd gone by, he made a quick decision and hurried around the block, until he came to where they were walking.
He pulled into the curb a little ahead of them and got out of the car, puling his trench coat collar up around his ears.
"Excuse me, Ma'am," he said. "Please let me give you a ride. The little girl shouldn't be out in this rain."
Amy and Sissy had stopped as soon as the man began to speak
"I'm Doctor John Malcom Ames from Corey hospital. Please accept my offer."
"But we're soaked," Amy said softly.
"The seats won't mind," he said, smiling, "Nor will I!"
But it was Sissy who turned the issue: "Momma," she said, "I'm cold!"
"Oh, honey," Amy said, "Yes, I'm so sorry."
"Get her into the back seat," John Malcom said. He then went to the trunk and came back with a blanket. He gave it to Amy, who wrapped it around herself and Sissy, causing Sissy to giggle.
"I'll put your wet coat in the trunk," John said.
He got into the car then, and turned around: "Where to ladies?"
Sissy giggled again, and said, with the freshness of youth: "I like you, Dr John Malcom Ames!"
John Malcom smiled and said: "A great compliment from a lovely lady!"
Sissy giggled again, and Amy was smiling.
"We live at 15 Hutton St." she said.
"Oh, my!" he responded, "That's a long walk from here!"
"I know," Amy said, the regret in her voice. "Car is broken, again, and we miscalculated and missed the bus. It's my fault!"
Sissy reached up then and stroked her Momma's face: "It's fine, Momma," she said, "See, Dr John Malcom has recused us now and we're fine."
John Malcom drove off then to take them home.
"This is a beautiful car!" Amy said.
"Thank you" he replied, "It's one of my two major ways of spoiling myself."
"What's the other one?" Sissy asked and he Mom immediately said: "Sissy!"
"It's okay," John Malcome said, "I don't mind telling at all. The other major way that I spoil myself is with Amos."
"Who's that?" Sissy asked, and Amy simply smiled.
"It's my cat!" John Malcom said, "Amos rules the home front for me."
Sissy giggled again. "Wish we had a cat!" she said.
"Rules at the apartment complex," Amy said, "We can't have pets."
"Well, you should come along one day and meet my Amos!" he said.
"Oh could we?" Sissy asked. "Momma, could we?"
"We'll see," Amy said.
Sissy said then: "That's adult talk for 'no'."
.... There is more of this story ...