RATING: G
NOTES: New series. See Part One.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own the West Wing or any of its related
characters. Don't sue.
SUMMARY: Different people of the West Wing reflect on their lives so
far.

I miss coming around here. I'm not entirely sure what happened
because it all happened so fast. I'm just stopping by to get the last
of my stuff. I can't work here anymore, but still, I miss coming
around here. There are lots of good people here.
Yes, even Josh.
Sometimes I wonder if the memo is what did me in. I doubt it
though. I don't think I ever really fit in around here. I tried, but
I think that some part of me never got over what happened on the
campaign, and so my bitterness interfered with my social skills.
Mind you, the memo certainly didn't help.
I was only doing my job. I know now that it was more than that
though. The bitterness was in the memo too. However, I want someone
to just try and look me in the eye and say "that memo of yours did
not do one shred of good." No one can; everyone recognized that I had
some valid points; even this administration did because it started
making policy changes within twenty-four hours of the senior staff
reading the thing.
I did my job. Nothing else.
Now I've found another office and I'm back to freelancing. The way
I understand it, no one had any objections to my resignation. Danny
Concannon bugged me for a week, trying to get me to say that they
forced me to resign; I think he felt guilty so he wanted to put the
story on the front page. However I couldn't tell him what wasn't
true. There was no story. I resigned by my own merit.
There were a lot of things that prompted the decision. The memo
may have been a small part of it; it may have gotten the idea into my
head even, but it was not the reason I resigned and the resignation
was not forced. The President met with me about it, told me that he
was disappointed but he would allow it to go through provided that I
utterly convince him that it was my choice and something that I
really wanted to do. He said he did not want me to resign and that if
I was receiving any sort of pressure to make this decision, he would
not except the resignation.
God bless that wonderful man.
I told him I was receiving no pressure of any kind, that the
decision was mine and it was what I truly wanted. He nodded, smiled
weakly, said he'd miss my input, and then he gave me a hug and said
good-bye. I haven't talked to him since, and I've only talked to the
others very little.
My life thus far has been strange. Granted, I grew up a spoiled
rich kid who loves to argue, but there's more to me than that.
There's so much more; I just never let anyone see it.
Never mind that now.
I think I was always destined for politics, what with the love for
arguing and all. Sure, a hell of a lot of people love to argue, and
everyone wants to be right, but a politician is someone who argues
not because they want to be right, but because they are right. In
political arguments, everybody's right. It's just a matter of who's
tougher in the battle.
Ever since I was a little kid, I've argued like a true politician:
tough as nails. That's the way it's supposed to be done.
There are some things that make me feel weak, and when I feel
weak, I lash out. The memo was a lash out that was mixed with some
truth. Some of the things I wrote in that thing weren't very nice, I
admit, but the rest of it was the truth as I saw it.
True, I may have been especially harsh on Josh, but that's just
the consequence of things. His inflated ego deserved it.
I respect these people. On the campaign, we worked so hard
together, so closely. We got Bartlet the Oval Office. I know that
people don't really see me as a part of that venture, but goddamn it,
I was. I worked as hard as anyone on that campaign. Then, when it
came time to pick staff positions, I was left out and we all went our
separate ways. They went to the White House and I got a job at
Lennox/Chase for $900,000 a year.
My childhood was in no way traumatic. My parents are happy, loving
people and they always have been. I was never abused, assaulted or
mugged or tied up or whatever. I am not gay and I do not have any
objections to people who are. I am not an "ice bitch" as I've heard
myself referred to as.
So why am I alone?
I think I'd be happier if you didn't answer that question,
actually. I don't want an answer. I've had three different jobs in as
many years. I'd left all three by choice, but the choice was made
because I no longer felt comfortable with the people I'd been working
with. Does it say more about me or more about the world that I can't
seem to get along with anybody for longer than ten to twelve months,
I wonder?
Don't answer that question either. It's rhetorical.
My stuff is in a nice box, just waiting for me to come and pick it
up. I'm going to miss this place. Sometimes I wonder if I can't take
it all back. I think about it more, and I realize there's one thing
that I can't take back or change and it's the most important thing.
It's the thing that makes me an outsider now, the thing that sets me
apart.
I wasn't at Rosslyn.
No one blames me for not being there, I know that. It just wasn't
part of the plan. I made sure that everything at the meeting was
going to go smoothly, and then I didn't come along. I wasn't there
when bullets started flying; I didn't hear the screams; I didn't see
the blood... I wasn't there.
When Josh was shot, I came to the hospital. It was so hard for me
because of all the conflicting feelings I have for him, but I was
there. I tried to be there for him and for the others... But I
wasn't there when it counted; I wasn't there when the bullets started
flying. I just wasn't there. Donna took care of Josh. Toby and Leo
handled Josh's workload. I just couldn't help but disappear into the
background.
When the chance came, I found another job and I resigned. No one
said anything except the president. So like that, I left the White
House.
Daisy is staying behind to work in the communications department.
I know Toby and Sam will take good care of her. They're good people.
They all are. CJ and I have clashed a few dozen times, but she's a
good person. I'm a good politician, and she's a good person. That's
why we clashed.
I clashed with all of them, now that I think about it. We never
really fit together, and by "we", I mean them and me. They were a
family all on their own, and I was the outsider, the one to fight
with. I never felt welcome here; I've never fit in; So I left, or
actually, I'm still in the process of leaving. I think some people
are glad to be rid of me. It's kind of depressing. I feel like as
soon as the door closes behind me, they'll break out the champagne.
My entire life, I've tried to be the best person I could be.
Somehow I think that whoever that person is, she's not very popular.
Can it be that I failed that miserably? On the outside, I try not to
let people see how I feel. I allow myself small bouts of emotions, I
guess, but I would never let anyone see me cry. I've been crying a
lot lately.
There's something in the box that I know I didn't put there. It's
a card with a picture of two Golden Labradors sitting on the edge of
a dock, staring at the horizon with their backs to the camera. I feel
the tears threaten as I open the card and find it signed by the
senior staff and a few other people. In the center of the card is the
printed message "We wish you luck in your future, but we'll miss you
just the same."
I put the card back in its envelope and turn towards the door just
in time to see a figure walking away, a figure that's obviously
Josh's. I smile weakly, thinking about all the good times we did
have. With a sigh, I grab the box and head back into the hallway. I'm
proud to have worked here.
Softly, I say goodbye.

***********************

 

 

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