Sam smiled a huge smile and kissed Amanda on the cheek. “Great, give me your phone number and I will call you next week.”
The two of them were together almost every day during that summer. Even though they both had jobs; Sam was the dishwasher at the local diner and Amanda worked at the local hotel doing odd jobs, they worked their schedules out around each other. Emily had taken a turn for the worse and had lost all concept of reality. Amanda was worried, but did not have the mental, emotional or physical capabilities to handle it. She watched in silence as her mother slipped away.
In September, the beginning of their senior year, Sam had decided he no longer wanted to play football; he did not want to waste his time when he would rather have been with Amanda. Amanda felt the same way and by the middle of their senior year he asked her to marry him.
Amanda was scared and exuberant at the same time. She was almost seventeen and really had no idea about life or her future. On the other hand she was in love with Sam and could not imagine her life without him. She wasn’t sure if her mother was aware enough to handle this change; but she knew she had to do it.
On March 1, 1965 Sam Patterson and Amanda Stevens went to the Florida city hall and got married by the justice of the peace. They decided not to tell anyone at school as they were graduating in three months.
Sam moved into Amanda’s house; Emily did not even seem to notice. Between their two after school jobs they managed to put enough together to keep the rent paid and food on the table, but just barely.
In July, Emily passed away in her sleep. Amanda did not know what to think or feel; her mother had not been a large presence in her life for quite a while. She wasn’t even sure if her father was still alive and had no idea where to find Riley or if he was alive.
They arranged a simple burial; there was no one to attend a funeral, and filed the proper paperwork with the county. Now the two orphans needed each other more than ever.