"That's My Q" #96 - Making a choice


The bed was narrow, but she didn't mind. Amelia had grown up a tomboy and thought nothing of camping out whenever she could get her mother to let her. The close quarters didn't bother her either. <Like a ship's cabin...> She slept perfectly fine, except for a vague impression of a nightmare. <The dark water pouring in...> Another woman's fear. She barely remembered it when she awoke, and dismissed it at once.

The next few hours were much better than the previous night. She spent some time helping to install smaller, lighter weather instrumentation, some improvements over the original set of equipment. <How did she know how to do it?> Though she was working with Noonan here and there, they stuck to business. <He's still cute.> She was glad to put her emotional struggles behind her and simply work.

Amelia couldn't toss off her realizations so easily, though, especially as the day wore on. She remembered the angry look on her husband's face, the moment of fear, and then the mastery, the changing expression as he neither hurt her nor shouted at her. Tears nearly came, and she forcefully pushed them away. <You're not going to be able to hide from this forever...> And another personality, determined now, made its decision and forced her away from her work. She spent a moment sitting at a table with a pencil and paper.

"I know we've had our problems lately, and I admit it has been my fault, though it probably hasn't been what you think. You know I'm independent and a bit of a tomboy. I sometimes think you don't mind that, like a lot of men probably would. That's not why I've been sparse with attention. The cause runs deeper than that.

"My father is an alcoholic. I saw my mother leave him and take him back several times before they finally divorced. I saw her tears and determined that I would never trust a man. I thought I could never trust a man. That's why I hesitated to go through with the wedding, and that's why I never held you to a high standard of fidelity. I didn't want my heart to be broken like hers was. I thought I could be entirely independent and save myself from hurt.

"Swallowing my pride and writing this out is probably one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do. I'm willing to go through this because I've seen in you a glimmer of a man I could trust, someone I could be vulnerable with. You deserve better than what I've been.

"I don't know if I can open up right off. It'd be a long and difficult journey. But I'm willing to try it, if you're willing to continue to show the control that you showed last night, when I hit you and you didn't hit back. I must be my father's girl after all.

"This flight will probably be good for both of us, giving us both some time to think. If you're willing to give this another try, I'll make the first step.. while I'm gone, go ahead and have my stuff moved back into the master bedroom. Until you decide, I continue to be:

Amelia Earhart Putnam"

Most of it was difficult for her to write. The rest of it was difficult for Kitty to let her write. Between the two, more tears were shed, a couple drops blotting part of the letter. She considered copying it out and decided she'd better let it be. She might not have the ability to write that again. She put it in an envelope and sent it off. <Even though he's not MY choice...> Kitty thought sadly, <I'll do what's right. In this body, I am wedded to him, and I will uphold that contract.> And for the first time, she hoped that she wouldn't survive the fateful flight ahead.

She didn't want to be unfaithful to Evans.


Lt. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer Starbase Ronin