Author's note: I used to be a "Feminista" and Dee is a parody of me (I am Polish but I have never carried a gun!) Please take this story with a grain of salt and a piece of chocolate!
Disclaimer: Scarecrow and Mrs. King belong to Shoot the Moon Productions and Warner Brothers and I'm making absolutely no money for this writing!
Yada, yada, yada...you get the picture...Episode 5 of "If We Had Never Met"
Scene 1: I Don't Want Candy!
Setting: Washington, DC
Late Feb. 2002
"I want candy! I want ca-an-dy!"
Lee couldn't shut the car radio off fast enough! 'I didn't like BowWowWow in the '80's and I sure as heck don't like them now! I DON'T want Candi!'. In fact, Lee was anxious for this whole 'Candi' episode to be over with!
"Honeycutt PC, this is Amanda Ki...Amanda Ste...uh, this is Amanda! How may I help you?"
"Vell, dis is Mr. Oz, I'm calling about my 'Over ze Rainbow' account. I need at least five more temps for our upcoming Scarecrow promotion..."
Amanda looked heavenward and wondered, 'Are You trying to tell me something?'
Francine sat staring at that all too tempting object on her desk. As Section Chief she now conducted business from Billy's old office. Yes, she was the one now who enjoyed telling staff 'Can I have my office back?'
But today, she battled with...a golden box of Godiva chocolate!
Beamon had lovingly given Francine the 'weighty' treat in an effort to ease her stress. Homeland security was a bear and he knew Francine occasionally found comfort in the alluring flavor of the cocoa bean.
"No" Francine said to the box. "I don't want candy!" That being said, she pushed the box aside.
Delilah Portensky stood by the water cooler and glanced with curiosity toward Amanda's office. 'I thought she had given her notice a few weeks ago and gotten married. Hmmm?' Dee stepped closer to peer inside Amanda's door. 'She certainly doesn't look very happy. Marriage problems so soon?' Dee studied Amanda's downcast face. 'Yes, she'll make a fabulous recruit.' With that, Dee, as her friends called her, walked inside Amanda's office and sauntered over to her desk.
"So! You're back!"
Amanda looked up. The last thing she wanted to do was explain. "Look, Dee, I'm just here temporarily because Mr. Harriman left a bunch of desperate messages while I was..."
"On your honeymoon?"
Amanda marveled at Dee's sudden interest in her life, "Dee, can I help you with something?"
Dee sat on the edge of Amanda's desk and leaned over to whisper, "I know exactly what you are going through Amanda."
'Yeah, right!' Amanda said to herself, 'I thought I was doing a good job of hiding it?'
"There's a group I belong to," Dee continued, "I think you'll find us...very supportive!"
'Support group?' Amanda crinkled her brow. "You mean like a woman's group?"
"Exactly!" Dee looked like a crazed salesman, her eyes were wild with conviction. She clutched Amanda's arm as she persuaded, "Amanda, we have a meeting tonight at 6:00. I'd really like you to come as my guest!"
Amanda shrugged, she saw no need to refuse Dee, since she was seperated from Lee for the time being, "Sounds intriguing...I'll go!" Amanda thought, 'Hey, if it helps my marriage I'm all for it. Anyway, if Dee is so devoted to this group, it can't be all bad! Right?'
Francine continued to review the Homeland intelligence reports piled high in her 'in box' but...every once in a while, she stole a glance at that delectable delicacy wrapped in gold and beckoning, still unopened on her desk.
"Hmmmm" Francine looked out the windows of her office to see if anyone in the bullpen was watching.
'Coast looks clear!' Francine quickly snatched the box of chocolates from the corner of her desk.
"Mmmmmmm." She lifted the package to her nose and indulged in the sweet fragrance of the confections inside.
After another covert glance around, Francine unwrapped the box of chocolates and stole a peek under the lid.
"Beautiful!" she whispered as Lee walked into her office. Francine threw the box down.
"Oh! Hi Scarecrow!" Francine looked behind Lee. She had expected Amanda to also come.
"Where's Mrs. Spy?"
"Cut the sweet talk Francine! You said you wanted to see me when I got back?"
Francine raised her eyebrows, "My, my aren't we testy this afterno..."
"Can it Francine! I'm here to discuss business! Now, what did you want?"
Francine could tell by the dark circles under Lee's eyes, he was in no mood for jesting. "Okay Stetson, I have a proposition for you..."
"Look, Lee, I'm serious...please sit down."
Lee scooted back one of the chairs facing Francine's desk and sat down. 'What does she want?'
"Lee, you know that ever since Billy...ever since his untimely death...I've served as Section Chief. As you probably know, Homeland Security and gathering international intelligence are top priorities for the Agency right now."
Francine continued, "Anyway, as you can imagine, things have been very busy, very...well, we've been on overload. You know that old saying 'Don't work harder, work smarter'? We can't even do that! Lee, this Agency is literally stretched to the limit and..."
"Can you get to the point Francine?"
"Lee, I'm asking you if you want to take my place as Section Chief."
Amanda came home from work, exhausted. She'd have just enough time to make dinner for herself before Dee arrived. As Amanda took off her coat, she took a good long look around her den. "Too quiet." She smiled bittersweetly as she recalled all of Jamie and Phillip's science projects and Social Studies adventures that had been accomplished in this room.
Amanda's mind then wandered to Lee. She cringed at the thought of Lee alone in his apartment. At least she expected him to be alone. Amanda dropped down unto the couch and rubbed her eyes. What *was* Lee doing right now? "How is this one gonna get worked out?" she wondered out loud.
Dee strapped on her gunbelt and shoved her steely weapon inside. She never left home without her Beretta pistol. Dee smiled. "Tonight's gonna be a great night! I can just feel it!"
Dee had told Amanda that she would pick her up at 5:30. Dee liked it that way. Since she was driving, Amanda would have no way out. No way to leave early or go home before she had a chance to be...converted.
Setting: Secluded Elk's Lodge in Chevy Chase, MD
6:00 p.m. That same evening...
"Order! Order! This meeting for the Ultra Feministas will now come to order!"
Amanda sat nervously next to Delilah. She couldn't ignore that uneasy feeling in the pit of her stomach. 'What have I gotten myself into?' Amanda wondered as she looked around. All the women at this meeting looked angry and bitter, even...vengeful.
Dee smiled smuggly at Amanda. "Amanda, I know this is just what you need!"
Amanda weakly smiled back and gulped as she heard the Chief Historian continue. She wondered, 'How can I get out of here?'
"We have many guests visiting with us tonight. Please stand up guests! Girls, let's give them a friendly Feminista round of applause."
Dee forced Amanda to get out of her seat and stand. As the members clapped uproariously, Amanda looked around the room. She was shocked to see Lee's ex-lover Francine standing up toward the front. 'She's a guest too?' Amanda couldn't believe that Francine would join a group of 'Ultra Feministas'. She was pretty sure Francine liked men.
Francine had not yet noticed Amanda as the guests were instructed to sit back down.
The next orator nodded thanks to the Chief Historian and took her place at the podium. Amanda thought it strange that this speaker wore a long, black, hooded robe.
The crowd jumped to their feet and started cheering wildly for this woman. Amanda remained seated, 'What is going on here?'
"Ah, yes, yes. I appreciate your adoration. Ah, yes. Sisters, Feministas, please, please sit down."
The zealous group slowly ceased their clapping and obediently followed their leader's command.
"Now, as President of the Ultra Feministas, I want to introduce to you...a new convert! Our very dear friend, Senator Mallory Jezreel."
As Senator Jezreel stood up, the crowd again rose to their feet bursting out in cheers and ferverent applause.
Senator Jezreel walked over to take the micrphone. "Feministas, it is with great pleasure I join you tonight! Madame President has encouraged me to share my testimonial..."
"Sh! Sh!" echoed throughtout the auditorium. Finally the 'sisterhood' became quiet and settled down.
"It's been a long road to Washington for me as you well know." Senator Jezreel began, " I've had my triumphs...and I've had my disappointments."
"Yeah! Men stink!" someone in the crowd yelled. Everyone had heard about Senator Mallory's philandering husband.
"Yes, I've had my disappointments. That's why I find this wonderful group of women so supportive. You understand women's issues..."
Mallory continued, "You understand the downtrodden! The misunderstood!"
"You tell it sister!" Someone nearby yelled.
"Yes, Feministas, it's our turn to right the wrongs. It's our turn for vile men to experience what we have for the past six thousand years!" Senator Jezreel pounded her fist on the podium.
As someone yelled "All men are rotten!" Amanda thought, 'But Jamie and Phillip have grown into two wonderful men!'
Senator Jezreel continued, "It's our turn to dominate! It's our turn to force men into submision!"
With Dee consumed by Mallory's rantings, Amanda pondered, 'I thought this group was supposed to support marriage? If only they knew Lee! He's such a good man, even if he does make mistakes...' She crept away unnoticed toward the aisle and out into the lobby.
Amanda checked to see if anyone had followed her. With a sigh of relief, she walked over to the ladies room. Amanda considered her two choices. "Nah, I better go in here instead, I don't think anybody will follow me."
Amanda slipped into the men's room. 'At least it's clean...' Amanda glanced under the stalls. She didn't see any feet. 'Good, I'll just get into one of these', Amanda entered a stall and closed the door. She stepped up on the toilet seat and crouched down to remain hidden as she pulled her cell phone out to call Lee.
Before Amanda could make her call, she heard soft footsteps pad into the men's room. 'Oh great! I didn't think there were any guys here!'
Amanda held her breath. She watched underneath her door as the intruder's shadow fell before each stall. It was then she heard Francine enter the stall next to her and whisper, "Bravo one we have contact. Bravo one."
Amanda stood up on the seat and peered over to look at Francine.
"Agh!" Francine was startled. "Amanda Stetson! What on earth are you doing here!"
"What am I doing here? Francine, what are you doing here? A girl from work invited me..."
"And you came? Look, when I saw Lee today, I could tell something was up. I don't want to know the details, but I can tell you Amanda, if Lee married you, he's got it bad for you! You shouldn't be here!"
Amanda tried not to show it, but, she was jealous that Francine had seen Lee. " I know I shouldn't be here, I was just about to call Lee to ask him to come pick me up."
"What do you mean? Didn't you drive?"
"No, I came with Dee..."
"Dee? Dee Portensky?"
"Yes, we both work at Honeycutt..."
"Amanda! The Agency has been trying for months to get 'in' with Portensky! You're a God-send! You're our connection! You've got to 'convert' tonight! We need you! This is..."
"A matter of National Security." They finished together.
"Amanda, Portensky's father is none other than Dr. Topson, an internationaly known psychologist..."
"Dee's father is the man who wrote *Tough Love*? You've got to be kidding! They are nothing alike, they don't even have the same last name..." Amanda was shocked.
Francine explained, "Dee goes by her married name but its anyone's guess why! Her ex-husband claims she tried to shoot him at point blank range. Dee's parents offered to help their troubled marriage but Dee just rebeled more and more..."
"Tried to shoot him?" Amanda marveled at how little she knew about her co-worker.
"No charges were ever filed." Francine explained.
Amanda shook her head in wonder. "Francine, I don't think I can do this..."
"Amanda, please, Senator Jezreel has convinced the Ultra Feministas to execute Dr. Topson with Dee's help! Mallory has other family friendly advocates targeted also. That's why she's so thrilled to have the Feministas on her side. She figures these women will do anything she says, even her dirty work."
"I was wondering why she was here..."
"Amanda, Mallory will use every bit of her influence to get her own way...even if it means using the Feministas to destroy her opposition. Please, I know it will be difficult but, with your help, we'll be able to prevent them from carrying out their murderous plans."
Amanda stared at Francine. She didn't want to see anything happen to Dr. Topson. She still couldn't believe Dee was his daughter. Amanda remembered listening to him back in the 80's when she was raising Philip and Jamie alone. "Alright, Francine I'll do it, but..."
"Don't worry Amanda, I'll be right behind you."
Lee leaned back on his couch and rubbed his brow. 'Where is Amanda?' He had tried calling his wife every 15 minutes for the past two hours but there was no answer. He left only one message on her answering machine.
He still couldn't believe they had been seperated for the past two days.
'Amanda didn't believe me when I told her Candi and I had broken up before Christmas.' Lee felt despondant. 'That was before Amanda and I had even met!'
It was almost ten o'clock at night when Dee finally dropped Amanda off on Maplewood Drive. Amanda's head was spinning. She couldn't get the 'Reddy Rite' song out of her head. After 'conversion', all new Feministas were required to go through the Reddy Rite and sing the Reddy Rite song. 'I am woman hear me roar...' Amanda knew she'd be singing it in her sleep.
"Hi Mom! It's Mandy, sorry to call so late! Jamie and I are glad you and Lee made it back home safe! We were hoping the two of you would come over for dinner this weekend. I'll even make succotash! Phillip and Delores will be there, and the kids miss you like crazy. Will you be able to make it?"
Amanda mumbled "I'll let you know." They said their good-byes and Amanda went upstairs to take a shower. She felt soiled. All that blathering at the meeting! She was worn out. She didn't even notice the message on her answering machine before she went to bed.
(End day 1)