Amanda and Jamie: Hand Me Downs – extended ending
This was for Kris who wanted something sentimental and sweet today, and Ermintrude who missed Lee. Thanks for the ideas ladies.
"Mom, can I go over to Ricky's and show him my new stuff?" Jamie looked expectantly at his mother.
"Sure, just don't be late for dinner."
"I won't." The boy ran towards the door, paused with his hand on the knob, then hurried back to give her a hug before continuing on his way, a wide grin plastered on his face.
Amanda smiled and started to pick up the bags, tissue and price tags that Jamie had left scattered all over the floor. His happiness seemed to fill the room and she knew she was beaming, pleased that she had been able to do this for him. A tap on the window drew her attention and, seeing Lee peeking in, she gestured for him to enter.
"Come on in; it's safe. No one's here but me. Do you want some coffee?" She set down the papers she had been collecting and started to pick up the pot.
"No, thanks. I only stopped by for a minute. You look really pleased with yourself. Something special happen?"
"No, not really. I went shopping today and bought Jamie some new clothes for back to school. He really liked them and it made me feel good to be able to give him something he wanted."
"He wanted clothes?"
"Yeah. He usually has to wear Phillip's hand me downs and it really bothers him...I guess some of the kids were teasing him about it." Amanda gave a slight shrug and felt some of her happiness dim at the memory of Jamie's outburst the other week.
"I know how he must feel." Lee put his hands in his pockets and nodded.
"Really?" Amanda looked at him, surprised. "I would have thought you were the popular jock in school with all the girls swooning over you."
Lee looked a bit sheepish. "Yeah, well maybe later on, in high school, but when I was younger...well, let's just say that my uncle had no concept of what a kid should be wearing. He always bought me white button down shirts and navy blue pants until finally, one year he was busy and Barney had to take me shopping. That was the first time I actually had some 'cool' clothes. It sure made starting another new school easier. "
"I'm glad you had Barney when you were growing up. It sounds like he was pretty special."
"Yeah, well..." Lee looked uncomfortable and Amanda noted how quickly he changed the subject. "Listen, the reason I stopped by was that I saw you at the pawn shop on the corner of George and Phillip Avenue the other day."
"Really? I didn't see you."
"I'm a spy, remember? You're not supposed to see me," he teased.
Amanda folded her arms and raised her eye-brows. Lee obviously understood her meaning and threw his hands up in mock protection from her stare. "Okay, okay – just kidding. Actually I was in the back getting some information from the owner. He's one of my snitches."
"Oh, I'm sorry! I wouldn't have gone there if I'd known... I hope I didn't ruin anything."
"No, don't apologize. There was nothing to ruin. He didn't have anything that important. I...um..." Lee rubbed his neck, and hesitated before continuing. "I noticed you were pawning your bracelet and I just wondered why."
"Oh... you saw that?" Lee nodded and Amanda bit her lip. She really didn't want people to know what she'd done, but with his connections, Lee would find out somehow. Better to just get it over with. She nervously rubbed at a non-existent spot on the counter, avoiding Lee's eyes. "I needed the money. I wanted to get Jamie some clothes and there just wasn't enough to go around so I pawned the bracelet. It was one Joe gave me for our fifth anniversary."
"Joe gave it to you?" Lee frowned then continued slowly. "It must've been pretty hard to give up."
"Well, I thought it would have been but then I realized that Joe and I have been apart for a long time now. It didn't really have any sentimental value anymore. It was just a piece of jewellery that I was used to wearing." She stared at her bare wrist and rubbed it, thinking that losing the bracelet was a small price to pay for her son's happiness. After a moment she realized that Lee was studying her thoughtfully. "Was there something else?"
Lee gave himself a little shake as if he too had been lost in thought. "No, I was just wondering what you were doing there. You know how nosey we federal agents can be." He gave a light laugh.
"Yep, as bad as the IRS," Amanda quipped back.
"Aww—now that's hitting below the belt." Lee tried to look offended but ended up grinning. "Listen, I've got to go. I'll see you around."
"Okay, bye." Amanda closed the door and shook her head. He popped in and out for the strangest reasons. Sometimes she was sure he was just making up excuses to come over...
Two days later...
Amanda opened the mailbox and pulled out the usual assortment of bills. Couldn't the mailman ever bring something else? She started to shut the box then realized there was one more item in the back. It was addressed to her but there was no return address. Turning it over in her hands, she went inside puzzling over what could be inside and who had sent it. It wasn't her birthday and she hadn't ordered anything....
Setting the bills down on the counter Amanda unwrapped the rectangular box and lifted the lid. There, nestled in a satiny bed, was a silver bracelet. Gasping, she lifted it up noticing how the sunlight shone off the small heart that hung from the delicate chain. It wasn't the bracelet that Joe had given her. It was similar but much more elegant. Carefully she put the bracelet on and admired how it looked on her wrist, then went searching for a card or a note. Finding none, she thought for a moment. There was only one person who knew about her bracelet...A smile spread over her face as she gently traced the heart with her finger. Maybe there was a reason for him coming over all the time...