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The West Wing 'Turning Point'

The West Wing
"Turning Point"

Notes: Since Dr. Free Ride's real name has never been mentioned on the show I made it up for story purposes. I also guestimated on the timeline figuring that Dr. Free Ride left Donna during the summer of 1996.
The song used in this story is "There is no Arizona" By Jamie O'Neal no copyright infringement is intended.


Memorial Day weekend
1996
off campus housing, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Donna Moss sat curled up on the far corner of a blue sofa staring out the window. A two-page letter was crumpled in her hands.

/He promised her a new and better life, out in Arizona.
Underneath the blue, never ending sky, swore that he was gonna....
Get things in order, he'd send for her.
When he left her behind it never crossed her mind

There is no Arizona, no Painted Desert, no Sedona.
If there was a Grand Canyon she could fill it up with
the lies he told her.
But they don't exist, these dreams he's sold her,
She'll wake up and find there is no Arizona./

She had come home the night before from her second job around midnight. Instead of finding Calvin asleep on the sofa with the tv on like she had so many nights before she had found the apartment they shared dark and empty.

/She got a postcard with no return address, postmarked Tombstone.
That said, "I don't know where I'm going next, when I do I'll let you
know."
May, June, July....she won-ders why,
She's still waiting, she keeps waiting

There is no Arizona, no Painted Desert, no Sedona.
If there was a Grand Canyon she could fill it up with
the lies he told her.
But they don't exist, these dreams he's sold her,
She'll wake up and find there is no Arizona./

Donna looked away from the window and down at the paper crumpled between her hands. The paper was tearstained in spots, her tears not his. She thought she had found her knight in shining armor. She thought she had found her true love. The one she would spend the rest of her happily ever life with.

Exhausted from the events of the day Donna laid her head against the arm of the sofa and fell asleep.

/Each day the sun sets into the west, her heart
sinks lower in her chest.
And friends keep asking when she's going
Finally she tells them, " Don't you know/

Two days later Donna had packed the last box. Or at least the last box she could shove into her tiny car. Her neighbor Amanda Grey placed a hand on her shoulder as Donna shut the trunk.

"Donna, this is....."

Donna smiled bitter sweetly as she looked past her friend to the apartment building. "Crazy, I know."

"You can stay with me as long as you need to, you know that."Amanda replied as they walked around to the driver's door.

"He tossed it all away, Amanda.....like it meant nothing. I have to do something for myself."
"I can understand that."The brown haired girl replied quietly. "But New Hampshire? There's nothing there."

Donna squared her shoulders as she opened the car door. "There's the 'Bartlet for America' campaign office."

"Donna, you don't even know if they'll hire you...."

"I have to take a chance on something."Donna replied softly fighting to keep the tears at bay.

"You're determined to do this aren't you?"Amanda asked with a shake of her head.

"I have to, there's nothing left for me here. Calvin took it all."Donna whispered as she took a last look back at the campus. To think she had dropped out of college for him.

"Call me if you need anything no matter what time."Amanda pleaded as Donna closed the car door and started the engine.

"I will. "Donna promised as she threw the car into drive.

/There is no Arizona, no Painted Desert, no Sedona.
If there was a Grand Canyon she could fill it up with
the lies he told her.
But they don't exist, these dreams he's sold her,
She'll wake up and find there is no Arizona./
He promised her a new and better life...........out in Arizona./

As Donna hung up the phone she turned and saw a brown haired man standing in the office doorway.

"Hi."

"Hi."

"Who are you?"

"I'm Donna Moss, who are you?"

"I'm Josh Lyman."

"Ah."

"Yes."

"I'm your new assistant."

"Did I have an old assistant?"

end