06/08/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

A is for Amy & Adonis: Chapter O

Oprah said it, and it was true:

What I know for sure is that there is no strength without challenge, adversity, resistance, and often pain.

Equally true was this thought of Amy's:

What I know for sure is that there is no weakness without challenge, adversity, resistance, and often pain.

The moral was obvious. The difference between strength and weakness was attitude. PDP. Perception. Direction. Persistence. Amy knew from public relations theory that reality was the most malleable concept on the face of the earth. Amy also knew, and so did people everywhere, that what you believe alters what you experience, which eventually alters what is. Example: people with a spiritual faith, any faith, recover from illness better than non-believers.

Nothing to do with religion. Everything to do with individual faith - and faith, as it's applied to everyday existence, is just another word for attitude.

Win one for the Gipper. Send a man to the moon. Find a cure for cancer.

Life might seem like an immovable object. But inside us, dwelled an irresistible force. Now, Amy just had to get Charlie's in gear.

This was the story - he told her last night over the phone. He'd had an affair with an Italian woman. ("Not as pretty as you, Amy," he said. Amy felt she liked the woman already.) Her name was Caterina. She was studying English at Cal State Fullerton. They had a week-long "relationship." They were just friends at first, he said, but she had these big, beautiful brown eyes. One night, they started slow-dancing when he was wearing only a pair of tights, and well, you know. (Amy took a mental note of this as a potential route of seduction.) Caterina left for Florence soon afterwards and neither of them were heart-broken. Just one of those flings. But then, a month later, she rang to say she was pregnant. She said she wanted to have the child. He said he thought they should marry. She wasn't so sure and asked him to fly out to talk it over. Unfortunately, he didn't have the money for the flight right away. Two months passed by the time he saved the cash, and when Charlie tried to ring her to arrange the trip, he found her line had been disconnected. That was three years ago. Now Charlie woke up every day feeling guilty. He was missing his kid's childhood. He didn't even know whether it was a boy or a girl. How bad was that?

It was a sad story. But Charlie was being weak. Amy told him so.

Amy knew all about being weak. The vicious cycle: self-doubt, self-blame, self-pity. Then the law of emotional inertia kicks in. A person who is depressed tends to stay depressed. Lack of hope tends to destroy any plans to create new hope.

As a fellow sufferer, she of course felt compassion for Charlie's difficulties. She knew what it felt like when life was so tough that the "too-hard" basket was overflowing. But curiously, she wasn't restricted by her own weakness when she thought about Charlie's life. Instead, she felt inspired to help him. It's way more fun to be the doctor than to be the patient.

There was, of course, a solution. And, as in any other public relations problem, there were four steps to success.

First, accurately assess the situation. (Where was his child? Where was Caterina? How were they coping? How did Caterina feel about having him enter the child's life at this date?)

Second, decide on his goal. (Did he want to live near the kid? Did he want the kid to live near him? Would visiting every year be enough?)

Third, devise a strategy to deliver the goal desired. (Find out Caterina's phone number and start asking questions.)

Fourth, and most important, believe your own PR. (In a word, attitude. If he wanted to have contact with his child, then that was enough. All he had to do it try, and keep trying, and eventually he would find a way.)

Amy told Charlie the four points over the phone.

There was a silence. An awkward one, long enough that she noticed the subtle static on the cordless. Then he finally told her he hadn't thought she was the bossy type and said goodbye.

Amy hung up her phone and shrugged.

It was a setback. But it didn't worry her. She felt a seriously positive mental attitude forming in her head.

(more to come)

For those who are new here, A is for Amy & Adonis is a serial internet novella which tells the story of the romantic redemption of Amy Franklin. The aim is to provide a fun and fast read with characters you can connect to emotionally. And, as you probably noticed, it's all free.

The chapters are short. So it's easy to catch up.

READ EARLIER POSTS (just click on the one you want)--

Chapter A
Chapter B
Chapter C
Chapter D
Chapters E & F
Chapter G
Chapter H
Chapters I & J
Chapter K
Chapters L & M
Chapter N

Nota Bene -- All the chapters will be archived on Huffpost so people will be able to catch up with the story no matter how late they come to the novella.

I have decided to post two chapters a week. So, if you like what you read here, stay tuned with Huffpost email alerts or follow me on Twitter. --Steven

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