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He imagined that the day he ran into Amanda must have been extremely poignant for her. He stood next to Melinda not so much creating the second half of a couple as being dragged along like one of her body parts that had fallen asleep. Amanda looked quite grown up and yet still remained horribly cute. She wore a blouse of faux Asian design with a high rigid collar and sleeves that ended abruptly just below her ball and socket joints. The material seemed to fuse into the long sleeved black leotard that she wore underneath and he wondered if it followed her frail body all the way down to her thighs beneath the expensive European jeans that she wore loosely around her waist without a belt.
Melinda was wearing maroon stretch pants with stirrups that pulled them down past her ankles and a puffy oversized sweater that was vaguely reminiscent of a football player in full uniform. He kept staring down at the thick ankles that ended in athletic shoes and the way they seemed to amplify the filth of the stained beige music library carpet.
He wore his usual grounds crew uniform with a fast food logo ball cap covering his bleached blonde hair. His face was unshaven and slack with the exhaustion of nightly commutes to and from the university. Melinda bragged to Amanda of her acceptance into the special education program. He tried not to roll his eyes because he knew that her choice of study had been a compromise.
Amanda’s face had cleared of acne and had left small little x-shaped scars around her cheeks and subtly discolored patches around her lips. He had never fathomed how beautiful she had become when he let his mind wander back to her during his more and more frequent life reflections. He had seen her from a bit of a distance a few years earlier and she had looked about the same as he had left her.
Now she had filled out some and looked womanly in a librarian sort of way. He liked the way her waist looked in the jeans and was now postive that it must be a unitard beneath her apparel that created a short lag between the movements of her actual body and the clothing. It reminded him of the action figures with snap-on plastic clothes that he used to play with as a child. He thought about how comforting it would be to have a plastic injection model of her that he could dress and undress at his whim on nights that Melinda left him alone. He imagined the shallow molded lines that would separate the black unitard from her pale white skin painted on with expert precision by an elderly female toy-maker in China.
When Melinda was done speaking Amanda told her quite plainly of her acceptance to study the stringed instruments in Japan. She would be leaving at the end of the term and was looking forward to the new experience. She then asked about a sweet homosexual boy that she had had a crush on in the dormitory that she and Melinda had resided in sophomore year. Melinda said she didn’t know what had become of him.
He remembered Melinda making fun of Amanda that year because she was madly in love with the boy that everyone else knew was gay. He also remembered Melinda saying that Amanda had driven everyone away from her that year with her prude condemnation of everyone else’s hedonistic behavior. Amanda had gone so far as to convince her best friend Irene to change schools, move into her dorm room, and then completely alienate her within a seven-week period.
When Amanda was done speaking she said goodbye to Melinda and walked away. She had not glanced at him even once. Even after he had lamely held his hand up to her and groaned out an embarrassed hello, forcing her attention to him, she had simply let her eyes flow through him into the room as if she had heard someone call her name from the hallway.