One need not be a chamber to be haunted,

One need not be a house;

The brain has corridors surpassing

Material place.

Far safer, of a midnight meeting

External ghost,

Than an interior confronting

That whiter host.

Far safer through an Abbey gallop,

The stones achase,

Than, moonless, one's own self encounter

In lonesome place.

Ourself, behind ourself concealed,

Should startle most;

Assassin, hid in our apartment,

Be horror's least.

The prudent carries a revolver,

He bolts the door,

O'er looking a superior spectre

More near.

~ Emily Dickinson


March 4, 2012

Amanda Williams smiled tiredly as she walked out of her four year old daughter's bedroom. All she wanted to do right now was sleep. It had been a wonderful week, the best in a long time, it seemed like. The highlight of her year had been quitting her job at the bank on Friday. She had hated working there. Give her a cranky kid over a cranky customer any day.

All things considered, that was probably a good attitude to have, seeing as she was going to start a librarian job at the high school the following day, Monday. She was looking forward to it. Amanda wandered into the living room, and flopped into the recliner, kicking off her ballet flats. Church shoes, the soles almost worn out.

She picked them up and headed back to her bedroom, thoughts entirely on her bed. She could have sworn that she heard it calling to her.

As she passed by the closed door of Olivia's bedroom, she stopped. Her daughter was talking to herself again, it sounded like. Amanda peeked through the crack left between the door and the doorjamb. Olivia sat on the flat top of her toybox, which sat under the window, and looked out of the window at the night sky.

As Amanda listened, Olivia repeated a familiar rhyme, "Starlight, star bright/ first star I see tonight/ I wish I may/ I wish I might/ have the wish/ I wish tonight. I wish that I may have my daddy."

Amanda froze, turning almost in slow motion from the door, leaning against the wall for support as all the air was sucked out of her. She felt as though she had been punched in the stomach, yet numb at the same time.

David.

She hadn't thought of him in forever - well, a month or so anyway. She wondered disconnectedly if he ever thought of her.


March 5, 2012

David had plenty to think about, what with surviving his rookie year, getting a new partner, and two new arrest warrants. His mind was all ready crowded with things to think about when Sheriff Gentry stepped up to the podium in the muster room and began to read an email that he had been sent. So why, why, did all of that insist on flying out the window and being replaced by other thoughts as soon as the sheriff said the words "when a father is absent?"

Thoughts of Olivia and of Amanda. Thoughts that haunted him. Thoughts that drug him down. Thoughts that wouldn't go away.

He was still thinking those thoughts when dusk fell over Albany and the first star appeared in the sky. He smiled a melancholy smile at that star and whispered the old rhyme, all though he knew full well that it would change nothing about his decidedly awful day.

"Starlight, star bright/ first star I see tonight/ I wish I may/ I wish I might/ have the wish/ I wish tonight…" He paused for a moment, pondering what to wish for. "I wish… I wish that Amanda and Olivia have a good life."


March 9, 2012

Amanda felt like doing a summersault, a cartwheel, some sort of a cheer, as she slid behind the wheel of her car. She had worked one officially phenomenal week at the high school. It was a decided step up from being a teller, and she loved it.

She had even let herself get close to a couple of the students. Both freshman, Jade Hayes and Dylan Mitchell had shown interest in the solitary personal item that Amanda had put in her workspace. A picture of Olivia. She considered the similarities between the two teenagers as she drove to pick Olivia up from the daycare.

Both had fathers who worked as deputies for the Dougherty County sheriff's office. And both had remarked that Olivia looked like someone that they knew, but neither had known who.

Thoughts of David had briefly flickered through her mind, but Amanda hadn't dared to pursue the angle. It didn't really make a difference anyway, David wanted nothing to do with her and Olivia, and Amanda promised herself that the feeling was mutual.

She even almost believed herself. But just almost.


March 10, 2012

"What about you, David?"

David looked in mild surprise at the man who had posed the question, Adam paused before answering.

"I had a good dad." Again he paused as a thought came to mind. "I guess. I mean, the guy wasn't perfect. My parent's split up after he had an affair. But I think that he regretted it. And I struggled with it for a while,"David gesture dismissively with his hand, Coca-Cola and all. "But, you know, divorce just comes with the territory these days."

"I disagree, man." Nathan informed him. "Divorce happens because you make it an option."

David smirked at the table in front of him. "Nathan, you don't always know what's gonna happen. People change. You can't always work stuff out. Sometimes you need to part ways."

Adam shot him an assessing look before saying, "I think I agree with Nathan. People don't fight for their marriage any more."

"Thank you." Nathan said before turning to David. "Wait 'til you get married and have kids. You're gonna figure out real quick how much you don't know."

David bit the inside of his cheek to keep from telling his partner just how much he did know, irritated. He told himself that he wanted to defend his father, but, in truth, he wanted to defend himself. He wasn't about to admit that the things that his father had done and the things that he had done had any similarities. No way.

Nathan continued on, saying, "Man, if it weren't for my faith in God, I'd be in a tailspin right now."

"Yeah, me too." Adam seconded.

David tried to shake off his mood and said, "Look, guys... not everybody believes in that stuff. You're all religious, and that's fine. But you can't think that religion is the only way to live your life." He turned to Nathan. "It didn't work out for your parents, didn't they get a divorce?"

It was Nathan's turn to smirk. "That's the problem. They were never married."

David flinched as his thoughts flew to Amanda and Olivia.

"My father had six children from three different women. By the time I was born, he'd already left .I'll tell you what, man. I am thirty-seven years old, and I have never met my biological father."

David hoped his desperation didn't show through as he said, "Well, looks like you turned out alright."

Nathan started talking about a mentor, but David didn't really hear him, too embroiled in his own thoughts.

He heard loud and clear, though, when Nathan said, "I'm telling you man, not having a father has scarred me in more ways than I can count."

For the second time that week, guilt engulfed David Thomson.

He was grateful for Shane when the older man said, "Look, guys, I have enjoyed our little heart to heart, but I need to go pay some bills while there's still something left of my paycheck."

The other three men laughed and the mood shifted. With practiced force, David shoved the thoughts of Amanda and Olivia into the back of his mental closet.


This is the first story in a four story David/Amanda series, the "Star" series. Please review! Thanks! And I wanna thank Ariyah and Challenge King for being willing to listen to my rants and help me out.:)