Hi, all. While I'm working on Celestial Navigation Two, here's a short story that just popped out of my head. Hope you like...
Summary: Donna remembers her first day with the Bartlet Campaign.
Spoiler: In the Shadow of Two Gunmen II, the scene at the hospital while Donna is waiting for surgery results and remembers...
Disclaimer: I own none of these characters. I'm not making any money from this, but I love it dearly. Please, send feedback.
In the Beginning...
How did this story begin? I wish I could remember, but that fraction of my life has been reduced to nothingness by everything that happened after. I think I was in love at some point, but now I'm not even sure about that.
I do know I was entirely miserable.
Becoming a full-time worker while still in college was unacceptable but that was the road my boyfriend has chosen for me. He was a big shot medical student and I was just along for the ride. A stupid, worthless girl with no goals, suffering from indecision and. what else did he call me? A doormat. That's all I was.
No more of this.
I packed my things and left while he was in class. I drove as far as my little crappy car would take me, and that was New Hampshire. It died right in front of some municipal building, and I came in to use the phone.
They were gathering volunteers to work on Josiah Bartlet campaign. A red-haired woman whose name I could not pin down in my memory had me on the list before I could protest or utter a single syllable.
I was drafted. Someone could use my help.
I chose the office closest to me and the lady with the signup sheet nodded.
That was the day. My new life was just around the corner, I could feel it. Even though they had put me down to assist some guy whose name sounds like he's old and furtive and has a receding hairline - Lyman, Lie-man, I would vouch my heart to this chance. A chance to set aside every other memory in my life.
A real chance for a soon-to-be real person.
Studying political science for a while helped a lot. While I was bombarded with phone calls I did not know how to answer, many things were becoming clearer. Like, for example, that invitations to interviews, late-night shows and early morning shows go to the press secretary's assistants. Or that domestic state issues are taken care of right here, in this office. All domestic issues, right here.
In this empty office.
When is my boss showing up already? There is noise outside and greetings are heard. A young man - older than me, but still young - walks in and stares at me.
I wonder who he is. I chatter something into the phone and wonder what I'm wearing and whether my clothes are untidy. His staring is impolite. He says hello.
"Who are you?" he asks.
Mind your own business, jerk. I've had just about enough of jerks like you.
"I'm Donna Moss, who are you?"
There. Don't think you can just waltz into my boss' office and ask me questions.
"I'm Josh Lyman," he says.
Oh, my. I didn't expect this. I have a cute boss. A young boss, whose name I suddenly like.
"I'm your new assistant," I say, hoping to god he likes me, too. I've nowhere to go if he doesn't.
He never had an assistant before and is having difficulty believing me. I've already been told that Mr. Bartlet has trouble remembering names, but it seems to catch on to his staffers. I have to repeat my name to him because he's asked for it again.
"I was assigned to you by the woman out front. Becky. That's her name."
"You mean Margaret?"
He doesn't look pleased. I think he's determined to get rid of me. If I'm out of the building, there's no way I can ever return - I don't have a pass card. That means moving in with my parents - quick, he's going to leave!
I run ahead of him to block the exit.
"Okay, she didn't assign me. I just ended up here. Please, give me a chance."
"Who are you?" he says again. Maybe he needs a doctor to check his hearing. That would be my job to arrange, too.
"I'm Donna Moss," I say as patiently as I can and try to smile. "I drove here. From Wisconsin."
He smirks at first but then returns to his desk.
"When did you boyfriend leave you?"
He IS a jerk. How did he know? And I left him, anyway, not that it's any of his business. I should tell him that. later.
"What makes you say that?"
He says something nasty about my age. Hey, look who's talking.
"I'd like to work for this campaign. I have a degree in Poli Sci."
"Do you? From where?"
Okay, so I don't have a degree. When in doubt, lie, that's a well-used tactic. However, I tell him the truth. I'm prone to exaggerations and overstating.
"I think I'll be good for this job," I say pleadingly, surprised at the power of groveling in my voice. Please, give me a job. I'm at the end of my rope. Please, I beg you. "I think you might find me valuable."
If you do, I'll pledge my undying devotion to you. I will type and file and research for you, I'll even bring you coffee - if you ask nicely. You're not too old to be getting your own coffee. In other words, I'll be the best assistant ever.
I don't know how long we've been standing there, or how long I entreated him to accept me. Finally, he takes off his pass card and hands it to me. I hold it in my fingers as if it's the pass to my entire future. Which it is. Bless you, Josh Lyman.
This day was magical and fresh and I felt like I was born again. I know now that, in my darkest hour, when the world is dark and I've little faith left, I will look at this card and remember that day, with its promise and generosity.
And all hope shall be restored.
Thanks for reading,