A Rose By Any Other Name

One Saturday morning about fifteen years ago, Tracy and I were sitting at the kitchen table having coffee. I don’t remember what we were talking about and, for the purposes of this tale, it doesn’t really matter. Suffice it to say — the house was quiet, all three kids were still asleep, and we were sharing time together.

At about 8:30 AM, Terry, our oldest son, came downstairs dressed for work — jacket and tie with jeans. He poured himself half a cup of coffee, sipped from it, looked at us and furrowed his brow.

“Amanda…” he started haltingly, “is still asleep upstairs. I hate to say it but I have to go to work. I guess she’ll be down once she wakes up but, I gotta go. Sorry.”

He gulped down his coffee, snatched up his car keys and left for work.

The quietness of the house seemed quite loud right at that moment.

Tracy and I looked at each other over the rims of our coffee cups. “Do you know anyone named Amanda?” I asked her.

She shook her head and shrugged. “I guess we’ll meet her when she comes downstairs.”

And, we went back to our conversation.

About half an hour later, as we were rinsing out our coffee cups, we heard Terry’s bedroom door open and down the stairs came Amanda. She was a pretty young blond. She’d clearly just woken up and it’s entirely possible that she was a bit hungover.

I suppose it could have been a pretty awkward situation, coming downstairs and face-to-face with two strangers after having spent the night with their son but Amanda was having none of that. She walked into the kitchen as if it were just a regular, every day ol’ morning.

“Good morning,” she said as she slipped a coffee cup off the stand beside the percolator.

I’m sure this is what Tracy and I looked like at that moment.

“Good morning, Amanda,” I answered back. “Would you like some breakfast?”

Her head snapped around to glare at me, coffee sloshed over the edge of the cup as she shoved it onto the counter. Then she literally stamped her feet.

“It’s Chelsea!” she snarled before stomping out the front door, leaving Tracy and I both slack jawed.

We never saw her again.

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