It was the day when Roddy would come home. Rita's siblings were all very excited and so were her parents. Only two in the house weren't. Rita had mixed feelings and wasn't sure whether Roddy would be the same as before. Karleen wasn't excited either, because she had looked amnesia up on the internet and was sure he wouldn't be the same. Amnesia patients usually weren't, she had found out.
Roddy came off the taxi boat and his eyes widened as he took in the swaying form of the house. He shook his head, then turned back to the taxi. Rita watched it all from her window in a state of shock. When Karleen came back from her shower, she discovered Rita in the corner, clutching her knees and crying. Karleen looked out the window. Nothing. No stampede could be heard. Roddy, the idiot, had probably turned back at the last moment. Rita couldn't stop crying. "Why, Karly? Why?" The sixteen year old muttered angrily as she put her hand on her sister's back. "Rita, amnesia is a weird thing. They don't have the memories tying them to that place anymore. He doesn't remember what you've been through together, so he was able to leave. Don't take it so hard." Rita gradually stopped crying, but she was sombre and depressed for days afterwards. Finally, Karleen was tired of being a roomie with her and wanted her sister back! How dare that creep abandon Rita! No Roderick St. James was going to disappoint a Malone! Fuelled by her anger, she stormed into town on her small boat, the Microchip, and phoned from the pay phone nearest the dock. She wouldn't dare use the family phone to do this. "Yes? Operator? I'd like the number of a Mister Roderick St. James. No, don't bother putting me through to him. I just want the number. Thanks." After writing it down and hanging up, she deciphered the number. Havarti Avenue was the place to go. Man, he really didn't have money. Havarti was the seedy side of Ratropolis. She deciphered it further and discovered he was renting an apartment on the street. After hailing a taxi, she arrived at the decrepit red building. After paying the driver to wait a while she stormed to the front and read the numbers. Carla Jesse? Oh. No. Bad, bad and double bad. She was next to Roddy's apartment! Carla was the number one heart-breaker in the city. If only she wasn't too late. Karly raced up the stairs of the low to no security building. Arriving at 103, she knocked. The Roddy who answered looked so tired and worn out. "What's up? Who are you, miss?"
"Karleen Malone. Rita's sister. How's it going?"
"Not great. I was dumped by my new girlfriend today."
"Have you been stalking me...Karleen? How did you know that?" Karly rolled her eyes. "It doesn't take a genius. She's next door and she's famous for dumping guys after the first date."
"Why are you here?"
"To save you heartbreak and knock some sense into you!"
"Give it a whirl. Be my guest. Go ahead."
"Alright then. YOU SLIME FACED, CHEESE-NOSED, BACK STABBING, STINKY BREATHED, SON OF A WOODEN WORM! You fight with my sister, ignore her and leave her. NOBODY, and I mean NOBODY crosses a Malone and gets away with it!"
"Rita said we were only friends. Why are you so upset?"
"I'm upset because you ignored my family and sister and hooked up with THE DUMPSTER HERSELF! I'm tired of rooming with a zombie! Got that, Roderick? Come back or deal with ME?" She stuck her thumb in her chest for good measure. Roddy looked shocked, as well he should have been. His voice softened. "Why is Rita a zombie?"
"She saw you get out of the taxi then turn back."
"Why is that such a big deal?"
"You really are a slime faced fur ball, you know that? You're acting dumb as a post too, if you don't mind me adding that."
"Actually, I do. I want you to stop." Suddenly, he felt his tie yanked by one of Karleen's hands and her other hand making a fist under his chin. "Still sure you want to mess with me, Roderick? I'm not just a computer geek. I'm a country girl."
"Fine, fine! Just put me down. I'll come back with you. I won't pack my stuff yet, but I'll give your family a fair chance."
"You'd better, bud." Then she released her hold, smiled cheerfully and grabbed his wrist, bringing him to the waiting taxi. When they arrived back at Karleen's house, she brought him out of the car. When the kids tried to hug him, she held a hand out to signal for them to stop. Miraculously, they listened. Karly brought Roddy upstairs. "Karleen, I still don't understand why she's a zombie."
"You really are dense Roddy. She might tell you herself, so wait." They walked into Rita's room and there she was in the corner, sobbing as she banged her head against the green wall. "Rita? It's Karly. There's someone here to see you."
"Karly. I know you're just trying to help, but I heard. He has a girlfriend. He turned back. He hates me. You know he's the only one I'd accept a visit with."
"So, Rita. Who's the guy?" Rita whirled around quickly, her eyes widening as she slowly stood up on wobbly legs. "Is that really you, Roddy?"
"Don't believe your eyes? Sometimes it IS hard to see what's plainly right in front of them, isn't it?" Karleen smiled and walked from the room to leave them alone. Rita walked closer to Roddy slowly. Gently, she touched his chest. It WAS him! She sobbed. "I'm sorry Roddy. I'm so, so sorry."
"I'm the one who should be sorry. Something with my ex-girlfriend triggered my memory and I wonder now, after your sister almost pounded me to a pulp, why I didn't see it before." Before she could answer, he drew her close. As she was stuttering a response, he put his finger to her lips. When he withdrew it, she was silent. That's when it happened. He joined his lips to hers oh so gently for a long first kiss. When they withdrew, they were breathless. Their eyes shone.
"I love you, Rita. I've wished for the guts to say it for a long time."
"That makes two of us. I was afraid of what you'd think. Afraid your feelings were different. Then, I lost my chance."
"I gained mine."