Amie and Jamie - Chapter 14 - Meeting Amie’s “friend”

Our flight continued. We were told to divert to New York for debriefing, but when the pilot made the plane’s billionaire owner aware of it, that order was quickly rescinded and we were able to go straight home. Score: one for the people, zero for the bureaucrats. I loved it. It helps when the people have lots of money and connections. What about my confrontation? Didn’t happen. I pictured myself sitting down for debriefing with an old man with a clipboard. It turned out to be an intelligent, attractive young woman named “Laura”. She was everything you would not expect of a bureaucrat, and I had no desire to be uncooperative with her.

When we all finished debriefing, Dr. Adams had a large van take us home. He and my mom moved me to my bed. I was tired, but felt refreshed just to be home. I had internet and TV. I said to my brain, “Brain … take a message to nerve cells, muscles, fat cells and other aspects of the body located below the waist: You will be receiving limited requests for movement. Divert as much of your resources as possible to healing. Be prepared over the next couple of weeks to gradually be resuming normal activity.”

My message must have gotten through. Healing went much faster than the doctor expected. Amie was amazing. We didn’t have to hire a nurse because she was there so much to help me. When we took the catheter out, I made a horrible mess in the bathroom because of swelling. I thought of my dad when I saw the mess I made. Amie cleaned it up. Imagine that … a spoiled, teen aged girl with wealthy parents spending her Christmas helping a friend recover from surgery. OK … scratch the word “spoiled.” I won’t go into any more gross aspects of my recovery. Amie seemed not to be bothered by any of it. She didn’t even tell any friends we were home so I wouldn’t have a lot of visitors interrupting during the day.

There were times I lay in my bed and thought about how unfair it was to have to go through all this to be normal. I didn’t complain to anyone, though, because I knew it wouldn’t do any good. I tried to walk a little more each day to speed my recovery. I began looking forward to returning to school, but I wanted to see if I could go back without anyone there knowing I had undergone surgery.

Mom always worked long hours, but now she had to catch up on work that piled up while she was gone. Many days, she came home with more clothes for me. I told her if she didn’t stop buying, we would need a bigger house. I could tell by her reaction that I had put an idea in her head.

When I was able to get out, Amie told me, “I want you to come to the hospital with me to visit a sick friend. It’s actually someone you know, but I’m not gonna tell you who. It’s a surprise. Put on your yellow dress. It looks great on you.”

I found the yellow dress in my closet and slipped it on. I found it was too small in the chest and even shorter than before. I must have grown 2 inches in height and several ounces in the chest. I change into a blue dress that I didn’t have to pull on the hem. As I was admiring myself in the mirror, Amie walked in. “Wow that’s cute, too. What’s wrong with the yellow one?”

“Well, it’s fine if I want to show off my panties to Houston, I can barely get it buttoned on top, and it’s tight in the hips.” I twisted around and looked at my rear end. Then looked at her. “You like big butts?”

“Oh yeah, I like that one. But, of course, that’s not all I’m interested in. “She changed her tone, faked an accent and held her hands up like an attacking bear. “I vant to fondle your brain. I get to zee butt later.” Then, she eyed my chest and dropped the theatrics.” Oh. You’re a growing girl … all over.”

I smiled. “Yep, up and out.”

She smiled back. “We better go before things get out of hand.” I had to agree.

We got into the Corvette and started out for the medical center. I had forgotten how rough the ride was in her car. It didn’t help that she always drove about one and one-half times the speed limit. We pulled into the parking garage and went into the hospital and went to the fourth floor. We went to the end of the hall and she said, “Wait here. I want to tell my friend you’re coming.” She went back down the hall and into a room. After a few minutes, she came back and got me. As we approached the room, she whispered, “Don’t look at the name on the door. I don’t want to spoil the surprise.” She opened the door to the room and motioned for me to go in first. I went in, almost afraid. I couldn’t imagine who it might be.

There in the hospital bed was my dad! He was smiling. “Hello, Jamie. My, you’ve changed!”

I was too stunned to speak, so Amie broke the silence. “Your mom told me where he was. I came up here yesterday and told him everything that has happened.” She turned to my dad. “Tell her what you think, Mr. Simms.”

“Well, Jamie,” he began, “I can see that you have a propensity to buck the system, and I can tell you where you get that.” He pointed to himself. “I was always reluctant to ‘go along with the program’. There were times that got me into trouble. I’m not surprised that you’re like me in that regard, but I would never have guessed something like this.” He looked me over. “I have a beautiful daughter.”

I wanted to hug him, but I didn’t feel comfortable doing that. “Thanks, dad, but where have you been? What have you been doing? Why are you in the hospital?”

“Whoa! I knew you’d have lots of questions, but slow down. First, I never left Houston. I had to dry out. I had to dig into my retirement money and get an apartment, then I contacted some old co-workers from the refinery and was able to get a position as a chemical engineer. I wanted to contact your mom, but I never could bring myself to do it. As far as being in the hospital, I had acute appendicitis. I’m fine, though. I was laying here yesterday and an angel appeared.”

“An angel?” I wondered if my dad was having hallucinations.

He motioned toward Amie. “Your friend here is an angel who brought you to me.” I pretty much failed to be a father to my son. I hope you’ll give me a chance to be a father to my daughter.”

I was hesitant. “Well … yeah …”

“It’s OK, Jamie. I didn’t expect to be welcome with open arms. Give it time. I expect to get out of here today,” he looked toward the door, “and get back to work. I’m enjoying my job. We have a big project going right now. I’d tell you about it, but you’d get bored. That’s way more than enough about me, though. What else is new with you and your mom? Any other news would pale in comparison to this.” He motioned toward me. I sent word to her that I was here, but I didn’t know if she got it. I see your mom’s name in the paper once in a while when she’s on a big case. She kicks ass in court, doesn’t she?”

“Yeah, I wouldn’t want to go up against her in court. Did Amie tell you that I wanted to look you up?”

“That’s why she came to see me and arranged this meeting. She’s an angel and she’s a brilliant girl. I can see why you two are friends. We had your I. Q. tested, you know. Usually in the offspring of parents with above average intelligence like your mom and me“, he cleared his throat to soften the braggadocio of the remark, “there is ‘regression toward the mean’, but it turns out that your I. Q. is higher than either of ours. We agreed that we wouldn’t want it any other way.”

This piqued Amie’s interest. “Wow! What’s her I. Q.?”

“I don’t remember the numbers. Her mom probably still has the scores in her files. She a great one for keeping things filed.”

Amie looked happy. “One project completed, a new one beginning.”

My dad looked puzzled, so I explained, “Finding you was our project.”

Dad nodded that he understood. Amie handed him a small piece of paper. “Here’s our emails. Send us your address and maybe we can come by some time. I have pretty reliable transportation.”

I looked at her. “Yeah, a Corvette.”

“Yeah, but it’s 2 years old,” she responded with faux defensiveness.

My dad expressed pity. “Oh, you poor thing! You’re probably embarrassed to be seen in it.” I could see that my dad and Amie would get along great.

Amie went along with that. “Yeah. I keep some dark glasses in the car in case I see someone I know.”

My dad kept it up. “Maybe your dad could scrape up the money to buy you something better, but I’ve seen the shack you live in … maybe not … poor fellow.”

At this point, I began to wonder what was going on. “Amie, what are ya’ll talking about? Your dad…”

“Stop!” Amie held up her hand to stop. She addressed my dad again. “Jamie has a difficult time understanding sarcasm, and can’t understand jokes very well.”

“Well, that’s her mom there.”

I decided to shut up and let them have their banter. Who knew when they were serious or not?

Long story short (too late) … my visit to see Amie’s “friend” successfully reunited my dad and me. That began to fill an empty space within me.

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