Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. Amanda Knox, an American college student who Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir - Kindle edition by Amanda Knox. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. ISSN: print / online. DOI: / . Book Reviews. Amanda Knox, Waiting to be Heard, A Memoir. New York, NY. Amanda Knox: Waiting To Be Heard. Chapter December When I first told Carlo and Luciano I wanted to talk to Prosecutor Mignini, I didn't think of it as .
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The story was eye-catching and deepy troublesome. But, we later discovered, it was also completely wrong. The man whose DNA was found all over the murder scene, who had a history of breaking into buildings and wielding a knife much like the one that inflicted the fatal wounds, was a troubled drifter of Ivorian origin named Rudy Guede. He was arrested in Germany three weeks after the crime, extradited, tried and found guilty. But by then their over-hasty conclusions had ignited an international firestorm, so the narrative took an abrupt U-turn.
It is this story — though a less sensationalist, more depressing, version — that Knox tells in her memoir, Waiting To Be Heard, a book just published in the States, but not, as things stand, to be brought out in the UK, because of our libel laws. One of her Italian roommates looked on sympathetically as she spent whole evenings struggling to roll a joint. He talks to me about a lot of things but never about himself. He always has a little trouble holding on to his train of thought when I let my fingers trail across my neck.
As we wait for dessert, my foot touches his ankle. He puts his hand on mine and pulls it back suddenly because the sorbets have arrived. His cell phone just rang. As though they were one, all eyes in the restaurant fix on him as he deftly switches it off. Half-gulped mouthfuls caught in rasping throats. People choking, their fingers clenching knife handles or the creases of starched napkins. There always has to be one, no matter where, no matter when. The boor. He nods his head at this group and that, as though to express his dismay.
He looks at me and his shoulders have slumped a little. Some man or woman who answers the phone in the middle of the show. Reinvigorated, my prince charming came to sit next to me when the coffee was served. He felt the little hook at the top of my thigh. He lifts my hair and kisses my neck, in the little hollow spot at the back.
He whispers into my ear that he loves Boulevard SaintGermain, he loves burgundy and black currant sorbets. I kiss his little cut. The coffee, the bill, the tip, our coats, all that is just details, details, details. Details that get in our way. Our hearts are slamming against our chests. He hands me my black coat and then. I come to my senses. All at once. What could possibly have distracted you when my shoulders were so round and warm and your hand was so close!? What business was more important than my breasts offered to your view?
How could you let yourself be sidetracked while I was waiting for your breath on my back? I button my coat all the way up. I ask him to walk me to the nearest taxi stand. But no. As if nothing has happened. Classy almost to the end, I have to grant him that. Give me something, an address, a phone number. I need to walk. I kick some imaginary tin cans. I hate cell phones, I hate Sagan, I hate Baudelaire and all those charlatans.
I hate my pride. They never close them again afterward. She supposes. She imagines. She waits a few more days. To see.
She knows that a Predictor pharmacy test costs nine euros. She remembers from the first baby. She runs to the pharmacy. Not her usual pharmacy, one more discreet where no one knows her. She goes back to the house. She waits. She prolongs the exquisite agony. She remains master of the situation. She folds laundry. She goes to day care to pick up her child. She chats with the other moms. She laughs. She fixes the after-school snack.
She butters slices of bread. She really gets into it. She licks the spoon from the jam. On the neck. On the cheeks. On the head. She gets him settled in front of a box of LEGOs and she lingers a little while, getting in his way. She goes downstairs. She stops. She picks up the test. She loses patience with the packaging. She tears off the wrapper with her teeth.
She pees on the top of the doohickey. She puts it back in its case, the way you cap a ballpoint pen. She sets it down somewhere. She reads the instructions. You must wait four minutes and check the test windows. If both windows are pink, madame, your urine is full of hCG human chorionic gonadotropin ; if the two windows are pink, madame, you are pregnant. Four minutes is such a long time. She drinks a cup of tea while waiting.
She sets the kitchen timer for a soft-boiled egg. Four minutes. She burns her lips on her tea. You can already read the result. She knew it. She flings the test to the very bottom of the trash can. She arranges other empty packages on top to cover it completely. She feels better. She breathes in deeply, she takes in air. Now she can think about other things.
She imagines it. Five millimeters: a grain of wheat. A centimeter: a pasta shell. Five centimeters: this eraser sitting on the desk. Twenty centimeters and four and a half months: her hand wide open. Exactly like when she runs her fingers through the hair of the older one. Just the same. She told her husband. Various settings, tones of voice, repeat-the-soundingjoy. She told him one evening, in the dark, when their legs Pregnant were intertwined but just for sleeping.
So much the better, he answered. She told her other child too. He lifted her sweater and he said: Where is he? Right away, she goes to the photos in the middle to look at them all over again. Numbers in color: probable date of delivery.
She raises her eyes and grabs hold of the post office calendar hanging next to the microwave. November Saint Saturninus. She sets the book down haphazardly. Because for the rest how should you eat? Before the end of the third month comes the first mandatory visit to the gynecologist. For the blood tests, the social security papers, the declaration of pregnancy to send to her employer. She goes during her lunch hour. Pregnant She sees the same doctor who brought her first child into the world.
They talk a little about this and that: and your husband, the job? Next to the examining table is the ultrasound. She settles in. First and foremost, he has her listen to the beating of the invisible heart. The sound is set fairly loud, and it resonates throughout the whole room: boom-boom-boom-boom-boom-boom What an idiot, she already has tears in her eyes. And then he shows her the baby.
A tiny little fellow who moves his arms and his legs. Ten centimeters and forty-five grams. His spinal column is clearly visible, you could even count the vertebrae. The doctor makes jokes. He says: ha, I was sure of it, that shuts up even the biggest chatterboxes.
While she gets dressed, he puts together a little file with photos that came out of the machine.
Her breasts, too. Now, she wears a 36C. She went to a maternity shop to download clothes that fit. She splurged. A linen dress with little mother-of-pearl buttons all the way down. She mulls it over in the fitting room, she gets bogged down in calculations. When she comes back out, with the dress in her arms and hesitation on her face, the saleswoman says: go ahead, treat yourself!
Besides, a pregnant woman should always have her way. She really has to pee. As usual. Pregnant Another topic of infinite deliberations is the sex of the baby. The fifth month is coming up and with it the second ultrasound, the one that tells all. At work, she has a lot of worrisome problems to solve and decisions to make every other minute. She makes them. But this. Sometimes he stops, he takes measurements, he comments, sometimes he moves it quickly, smiling.
Finally he says: okay, you can get back up. In the summertime, a huge belly, it keeps you warm. Not to mention the nights. You sleep so badly, no position is comfortable. But fine. The date of the wedding is approaching. Tension mounts in the family. She offers to take care of the bouquets. While she waits she runs to shoe stores looking for close-toed white sandals. The bride wants to see them all wearing the same shoes. How practical. Impossible to find white sandals at the end of August.
She looks at her big little boy posing proudly in front of the mirrors at the store, with his wooden sword jammed into one of the belt loops of his Bermuda shorts, and his new shoes. Suddenly, she receives a good kick in the stomach. A kick from the inside. Will that be all? You want a balloon, sweetie?
Often, he asks his brother to lend him a hand. Before going to bed she sometimes flips through decorating magazines to find ideas. On Thursday, August 20, she has to go to the six-month exam. What a drag.
Especially since the bridal couple went to Rungis that same morning and brought back mountains of flowers. They requisitioned both bathtubs and the plastic kiddie pool for the occasion.
If he wakes up before she gets back, could you give him a snack? After taking a shower, she slides her big belly behind the wheel of her car. Big ones and little ones, too.
In the waiting room, there are already two other ladies. Yes, thanks, and you? She puts down her bag and sits. He plunks her name into the computer. Then she gets undressed. Pregnant Gynecologists have a trick of their own. Sometimes it works, a little bit, more often not. He places the monitor in another position but his movements are so brusque and his face is so old all of a sudden.
She gets dressed. He types a bunch of stuff on his keyboard and at the same time he makes some phone calls. To be in so much pain that you throw up all over yourself instead of pushing like they tell you to. To see your husband powerless and so awkward as he caresses your hand and finally to push it out, this dead thing. For the sake of the others, her grief can surely wait two days.
And that Saturday, she put on her linen dress with the little mother-of-pearl buttons. Before going to the church they stopped at the clinic so that she could take, under close supervision, one of those awful pills that force all babies out, wanted or not. She threw rice at the newlyweds and she walked down the well-raked gravel paths with a glass of champagne in her hand. She raised her eyebrows when she saw her Little Lord Fauntleroy drinking soda straight from the bottle and she 29 30 Anna Gavalda worried about the bouquets.
She made small talk since it fit the time and the place. They say it brings luck. She tried to smile, of course. The car cost forty-nine thousand euros, but, strangely enough, what made the man hesitate back at the dealership was mainly the cost of the registration and taxes. Great layout.
They bought it for next to nothing. The renovations, on the other hand. On the walls are huge, gilded frames that overwhelm the nineteenth-century engravings they hold—mostly hunting scenes. Obviously, his socks are made of lisle yarn and come up to his knees.
This Man and This Woman He drives kind of fast, lost in thought. Kevin, what a horrible name. She remembers that awful scene when she mentioned adoption. The whole deal. What, no shit? Hold on, are you kidding me?
Oh, come on! You know, Melun. Sixth zone on the Paris-area transit pass. Four in all. I'd go to the University of Washington in Seattle, a bike ride from my parents' houses, and give myself a chance to season up. By the time high school graduation came around, I'd already started looking into junior-year-abroad programs.
Most of my high school class had been more sophisticated than I was. They lived in Bellevue, a decidedly upscale suburb with mansions on the water. Their neighbors were executives from Boeing, Starbucks, and Microsoft. I received financial aid to attend Prep and lived in modest West Seattle, not far from my lifelong friend Brett.
I was the quirky kid who hung out with the sulky manga-readers, the ostracized gay kids, and the theater geeks. I took Japanese and sang, loudly, in the halls while walking from one class to another.
Since I didn't really fit in, I acted like myself, which pretty much made sure I never did. In truth I wouldn't have upgraded my lifestyle even if I could have. I've always been a saver, not a spender. I'm drawn to thrift stores instead of designer boutiques. I'd rather get around on my bike than in a BMW. But to my lasting embarrassment, in my junior year, I traded my friends for a less eccentric crowd. I'd always been able to get along well with almost anyone. High school was the first time that people made fun of me or, worse, ignored me.
I made friends with a more mainstream group of girls and guys, attracted to them by their cohesiveness. They traveled in packs in the halls, ate lunch together, hung out after school, and seemed to have known each other forever. But in pulling away from my original friends, who liked me despite my being different, or maybe because I was, I hurt them. And while my new friends were fun-loving, I was motivated to be with them by insecurity.
I'm ashamed for not having had the guts to be myself no matter what anyone thought. This didn't change who I was. Like most teenagers, I was too well aware of my flaws. I felt lumpy in my own skin. I was clumsy with words, and I knew I was way too blunt. I'd do things that would embarrass most teenagers and adults -- walking down the street like an Egyptian or an elephant -- but that kids found fall-over hilarious.
I made myself the butt of jokes to lighten the mood. The people who loved me considered my kookiness endearing. My family and friends would shake their heads goodnaturedly and sigh, "That's Amanda. I was good at it, and that always allowed me to feel on par with others.
In college I finally found my footing off the field. I stayed in touch with Brett and met a small group of intelligent and offbeat students at the university's climbing wall and in my dorm.
I dated a Mohawked, kilt-wearing, outdoorsy student named DJ. My next-door neighbor was a girl from Colorado named Madison. She and I grew close and looked up to each other.
She wasn't like most of the students. She didn't play sports, drink, smoke, or go to parties. She was a conflicted Mormon and a musician, majoring in women's studies and photography. I kept her company at night in the campus dark room.
She encouraged me to be myself. Most of my other friends were male. We played football, jammed on the guitar, talked about life. After we smoked pot we would choose a food category -- burgers, pizza, gyros, whatever -- and wander around the neighborhood until we found what we considered the best in its class.
As I got ready to leave for Perugia, I knew I hadn't become my own person yet, and I didn't quite know how to get myself there. I was well-meaning and thoughtful, but I put a ton of pressure on myself to do what I thought was right, and I felt that I always fell short.
That's why the challenge of being on my own meant so much to me. I wanted to come back from Italy to my senior year at UW stronger and surer of myself -- a better sister, daughter, friend. While I was figuring out what I would need in Italy -- my climbing gear, hiking boots, and a teapot were among the essentials -- old friends from high school and new friends from college dropped by with well-wishes, little presents, and gag gifts.
I received a blank journal and a fanny pack and tins of tea. Funny, irreverent Brett brought me a small, pink, bunny-shaped vibrator. I was incredulous; I had never used one.
She winked. I laughed. The bunny was typical Brett. She liked to tease that I was regrettably behind everyone else. In high school she tried to coax me into straightening my hair and wearing makeup. I tried the first and thought it was okay.
I tried the second and felt like an imposter. Her newest cause was to convince me to give casual sex a chance. I'd heard the same thing from other friends. It seemed to make some sense. I yearned to break down all the barriers that stood between me and adulthood. Sex was a big one -- and the one that scared me the most.
I'd bloomed late and didn't kiss a guy until I was seventeen.