Who wants to know what fish sticks and custard tastes like? Anyone? (you know a tiny, twisted part of you with no tastebuds does) :)
Disclaimer: I wish I owned something - even the DVDs....alas, all I have is the nine minute preview that was free on iTunes :(
Enjoy! A brief overview of the life of Amelia (Amy) Pond.
Fish sticks and custard, Amelia Pond decides, tastes dreadful. Not only that – they make her feel rather ill. She wrinkles up her nose and keeps eating. If you scoop a lot of custard onto the fish stick and chew it up real quick, it doesn't taste quite so bad.
"Amelia, really, I don't know why you insist on eating that. What about apples? You used to love apples."
But he doesn't like apples. He doesn't like them, so she can't possibly eat them. What if he knows she eats apples, and then he decides not to come, just to avoid her and her apples? She can't risk it. So instead, she eats fish sticks and custard and sometimes bacon, since bacon is too good not to eat. (and really, who hates bacon?) But she just can't risk the apples.
It just doesn't sound the same, she muses. Amelia Pond used to sound normal – familiar, even. A constant. Always her name, hers alone. And then he said it. "Amelia Pond" and it sounded….magical. Foreign. A strange name for a stranger girl. And she was so close to becoming that new girl – the one with the name straight out of a fairytale.
His voice rang with her name. It became his – she became part of him, twined together for eternity, him and her, always together, fighting the strangers who didn't live in Scotland and who didn't eat fish sticks and custard or seal cracks in walls with blinking humming metal tubes.
Now Amelia Pond just sounds boring – a stupid name for a stupid girl. They don't get to say it. They don't have the right – it's his name. He's the one who can say it and when he does, it makes her feel alive again.
"It's Amy," she says suddenly.
Because Amelia is his name, not hers, not anymore.
"Amy Pond then."
The teacher sounds exasperated.
"No, that side has to be tucked out. No, the other one. No, the other other one. Better. Now muss up your hair more. OK."
She eyes the boy from down the street carefully. He isn't perfect. His shirt is white and his pants are blue and his hair is so short that when he tried to make it crazy it didn't change at all. But he is willing to play with her, and dress up. Alright, so she sort of made him – blackmail was useful even in grade school – but he did it and he isn't complaining (too much).
"Now we eat fish sticks and custard and then we have to fix your time machine."
"Do we really have to eat that?"
"It's really not that bad. Trust me."
"But – "
"If you say another word I'll tell everyone you kissed me behind the school last week."
"But you kissed me."
"How will they know?"
He frowns, "Alright then. But I'm not making it."
"You have to make it. He made it."
"Well I'm not the Raggedy Doctor so you can make it yourself. I'll wear the clothes and I'll play act but I'm not cooking."
(well, even a nice boy has his limits)
She asks Santa every year for a police man or a doctor, but since the crack in her wall has been fixed, she doesn't think Santa takes her seriously. She did try to make a crack in her wall again, but her Aunt found her and was really mad. That was when the psychiatrists started. After all, she is ten now, and a bit old to still be believing in men that appear in her backyard, eat all her food, open her wall, and then disappear again.
She tries to tell them about the Doctor – about her magical, mad, Raggedy Doctor. They tell her aunt to give her apples for lunch instead of fish sticks, to get rid of the nightgown and forbid Rory from coming over to play dress up.
They say she made him up to combat loneliness, and a feeling of helplessness. She was frightened of the crack in her wall, needlessly frightened (they lied), and so she made up someone to come "fix" it. Because the crack was still there, fixed, but still there and therefore it was a dream. The food she made and ate herself, the broken shed is never mentioned.
He promised to take her away because she wanted to get away – away from the stupid little town, away from her new home that she had never wanted to get. He was a time traveler to take her back to see her parents, because she missed them. That's what they say.
Boy, did they lie.
She is thirteen, and too old to go telling stories about Raggedy Doctors and Time Machines. Too old to tell – not too old to believe. She still turns to Santa when she really needs something, even at Easter, even in summer. Because Santa sent her the Doctor, didn't he? Even though she hadn't wanted him, and he'd been rather a nuisance (what was he thinking, leaving her here when he promised, he promised, five minutes. He said he wasn't people, but he was people and it wasn't fair), he was perfect and amazing, a childhood fantasy she hadn't given up on.
How could she, when he might, just maybe, be coming tomorrow?
And so she doesn't talk about him anymore, but she keeps the dolls and the pictures under her bed in a suitcase filled with clothes and a teddy bear, and a nightgown she stole out of the trash. She takes it out when she's lonely, or frightened, or forgetting what her Raggedy Doctor looks like.
And sometimes, late at night, she sneaks down to the kitchen and makes herself fish sticks and custard for a midnight snack.
"I'm going to be a doctor," Rory announces one day, after school, when it's the two of them and Jeff is busy and can't come. They haven't played Raggedy Doctor ever since her Aunt forbid it, but they find they can still be friends with other things, and so they can still hang out – under close supervision.
Her Aunt pricks her ears up at the word 'Doctor' but remains in the kitchen, pretending to wash dishes next to the open window that faces the yard where the two are resting. She rolls her eyes and kicks Rory.
"Keep your voice down. Whycome?"
He can't come up with a reason, (not one he's willing to share) but he says, "I figure, I've been dressing up like one ever since I was a kid – got plenty of practice."
"My Raggedy Doctor is not a doctor doctor. It's, like, years and years of schoolwork."
"But, if I'm a proper doctor, maybe it'll be almost like a Raggedy Doctor."
She looks at him, shocked, and realizes what he didn't want to say. She can't think of words so she wraps him up in a hug so tight neither can breathe, and she pushes back tears. A doctor doctor, of her very own, who won't leave in disappearing blue box (but who can leave very quickly in a red car, she soon learns, after their very first fight). (and alright, he doesn't become a proper doctor, but a nurse is like a doctor and it's good enough for her) (and he doesn't seem to like apples either – what is it with doctors and apples?) (they do say an apple a day…) (but she never really believed that…) (well, never believed it all the way…) (a healthy dose of skepticism is well…healthy) (but so is a decent amount of trust)
Her aunt dies when she is seventeen, two days before her eighteenth birthday. She wears a fancy black dress to the funeral, but underneath she wears a too small, old, dirty white nightgown. Because she can't get through this alone, and her Raggedy Doctor can make her smile, even if he's light years away. Even if he broke a promise.
When he shouts for Amelia, her heart stutters in her chest. Amelia Pond – like a fairytale. Like a magic world where a Raggedy Doctor will appear in her backyard and eat all her food and fix a scary crack in her wall and break a promise. Like a magical world she wants to remember. And he isn't getting away this time. So she finds a cricket bat (hey, she was rushed. It'd been twelve years).
As she cuffs him, she wonders if he hasn't got any more clothes – because really, though she loves him to death raggedy, shouldn't a man with a library and a swimming pool and a swimming pool inside a library be able to get himself some new clothes? She'd have offered, twelve years ago, had he asked. But he hadn't asked.
Why six months? It had been the first thing she'd thought of, and she replies in anger without thinking, only wanting him to finally understand that the little girl he was looking for was right here, dammit, so why can't he see? It's been twelve years! Twelve long, painful years that she can't bear repeating, so why is he acting like he's seen her five minutes ago?
And it's not like he has a right to be angry at her - he said five minutes and came back in twelve years, so why should it matter that she said six months? Hypocrite - that's what he is, scolding her for lying to him when he lied to her all those years ago.
But she knows exactly why six months. Knows it down to the day (six months give or take, to be honest). Because six months (give or take) ago she had eaten her first apple in twelve years. So why is he coming now, when she's finally gotten used to the idea that he isn't going to?
Is it possible he did like apples? That she spent twelve years avoiding her favorite fruit like the plague for nothing? And then, the forbidden question – is it possible she had chased him away by not eating apples?
He's not done yet. Because he's still cooking, isn't he? It's been five minutes (for him, give or take) and he's still cooking. She doesn't know what that means, but it's more convincing than anything else he's said so far (and the apple, the apple helps).
Unless of course, time travelers often ooze bright yellow glowy stuff from their mouths. But she doesn't think they have epileptic fits often (she hopes) (because it'd be a bit of a pain) (and maybe she doesn't want to be a time traveler if that's true) (but maybe she still does).
She can't possibly come. It's her wedding tomorrow. And it's been fourteen years since fish custard and cracks in her wall. And she's spent fourteen years trying to forget her Raggedy Doctor (not really so raggedy with a bow tie) (what a stupid tie).
She tells him she grew up, that she doesn't want to come anymore. (she lied). Because she is the Scottish girl in the English village, and neither of them belong. If he leaves her behind she might have to find a new name, because Amy Pond sounds like something out of a fairytale too, when he says it.
And there are knobs and buttons that her fingers ache to touch. And it's shiny, and bigger on the inside, and she's terrified that it's all a dream. Why is she so special? Why should she get a chance to run away, when millions of people around the world want the same chance? It's almost unfair (but she has waited) (waited long enough)
And then she is in his machine, his wonderful, glorious machines with a swimming pool inside a library (she never understood that, don't the books get wet?) (and she's in her nightie(that's embarrassing)) (she's always in her nightie with him) (maybe it's lucky). And sure, it's her wedding tomorrow, but he has a time machine (let's forget how badly he's been late, shall we?) (after all, two years is better than twelve, isn't it?), and she has a million adventures just waiting for her. All of time, anything that ever was or ever will be. How silly, to think that a man ready to take on the universe in a bow tie would be scared off by a fruit.
Malus pumila - The latin/scientific name for 'apple'