Author Topic: Divine Deception -- S4E24: Series Finale  (Read 21307 times)

Offline Katala

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Re: Divine Deception -- S207: Speck in Purity: Part 2
« Reply #120 on: May 17, 2016, 11:41:48 AM »
Poor Sadie, as I said earlier, the was doing well, getting better, and now he shows up and ruins it all for her.

"Two paths diverged in the woods, and I took the one less traveled...And it hurt man! Rocks! Thorns! Glass! Not cool Robert Frost, not cool."
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Offline experience

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Re: Divine Deception -- S207: Speck in Purity: Part 2
« Reply #121 on: May 21, 2016, 02:56:30 PM »
Hey thanks for the replies guys! I hope to have the next episode up tonight, although it may be tomorrow. It's a big chapter so I want to make sure everything is right.



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Re: Divine Deception -- S208: Swan Song
« Reply #122 on: May 21, 2016, 11:35:24 PM »
Divine Deception
"Swan Song"


Paper and plastic bags are stuffed in the corners. One of them holds a purple and white prom dress. Another a pair of matching heels with pointy toes. Cosmetics, hair extensions and a lot of hair spray. These are the things that fill my trunk along with the receipt of the hundreds of dollars that have left my bank account. I have just returned from the mall with my mother after she urged me so hard to forget about how Keith dumped my sorry butt and embarrassed me in front of the whole school, all the while being on the day I was brought into this world. And to make it even better, my mother told me that she wasn't buying me the dress. That I had more than enough in my bank account to pay it all off. This birthday keeps getting better. "I have something more important to give you for your birthday," she had said earlier. I can't say what it is. This morning she bought me my first car, a sweet ride. What else could she possibly give a seventeen-year-old girl?

She tells me to grab a parking space at the local Bistro. She knows how much I love eating here, though I am skeptical when she says that she'll be paying, her treat. I park anyway and follow her to a table on the patio. Usually we eat inside, but it's really warm tonight and, oh all right, we aren't allowed inside because we aren't dressed formally enough. When I want to argue with our server, my mother gives me a glare that stops me in my tracks. We place our orders.

It's a while before our meals arrive. We don't speak during that time other than small talk. While I can't say my conversational skills are put to good use, to say my mother is all there would be a complete lie. She's been absent since we left the house. I mean, she's here, but she's not all there if you get what I mean. Ever since she met Alicia there's something in her eyes I can't quite put my finger on.

We eat our meals in silence for a moment. Maybe "meals" is too much of a word for it. My mother has ordered a hamburger that, as she puts it, tastes like it just came out of the freezer. I want to suggest that she send the food back, yet I know she won't. She never does. She just gives me that look and explains like she always does that there are more important things to do than make somebody else's life miserable. So I don't say anything. I've ordered myself a special cake and it isn't half bad. I also ate a lot of junk food back when I was listening to Alicia fix that darn essay fifteen times so eating a proper meal really isn't in my realm of things to do today.

When I look over at her, I am startled by my mother staring at me. Her inquisitive eyes tracing my face. Her fingers drumming her chin as if she's trying to consider what she wants to say. When I ask her if something is wrong, she shakes her head and flattens the creases in her trousers, her fingers going to her burger immediately afterward, picking at the food she has to use to eat. Even if she says nothing is wrong, I know something is. I do the same kind of things when something is bothering me. "What is it?"

"It's your present," she says quietly.

My eyes widen. My car. She has to be talking about my car. I haven't done anything wrong with it. I didn't skip, just like she asked me not to. I even drove that annoying Alicia home when I didn't even have to. Maybe my mother is taking it back. Can't afford it, even if that is crazy. We can afford it. We can afford anything because that is who we are. My father left us will funds coming out the ying-yang and there is no way my car could have costed my mother that much.

"Your car was a physical gift and there is something else I want to give you." Something else? That must mean that I get to keep the car. It has to. "There are some things that can't be purchased and I want you to know that, Delilah."

"I know."

"No," she says firmly. "I mean it. Some things money can't buy, yet they are the most precious things in the world."

"Oh boy," I mutter and lean back in my seat. "We're not honestly having that talk are we? I mean, mom, we're in public!"

She smirks. "No, not that talk."

I sigh inwardly. Good. "Then what is it," I ask her. "You've been acting really weird ever since I introduced you to Alicia."

"That's precisely it. I hadn't expected you two to meet, especially when your sister said she'd moved to a different town."

My eyebrows narrow in confusion. I know who she's talking about when she refers to my sister. She's talking about Holly, though I haven't spoken with her for years. Like my mother said, the last time they had spoken was when she'd told them that she was taking the family and leaving town. My mother and Holly never had a close relationship. The most they've spoken since I've been around is one word sentences while trying to keep an argument from breaking out. They've had a difficult relationship to say the least. But I don't see what Alicia has to do with any of it.

"Alicia is your sister," my mother says as if reading my thoughts.

I roll my eyes. "Okay, I know I've been in a bit of a bummer mood today, and ha-ha jokes on me, but you couldn't have tried a bit harder on a prank? Mom, you don't got it anymore." I chuckle. There's not one line of humour on her face, though.

"I'm serious, Delilah. Alicia is your sister and she's been living with Holly for years now."

"All right, you're going to run with this story." I go back to picking at my cake. "Keep going, let's see how far you get."

"This isn't a joke, Delilah. This is the truth and I want you to know it." She must know that I am not going to fall for it, but she keeps going anyway. "I have kept things from you for a long time and I think now is a good time for you to know your past. And the first thing you need to know is that you're adopted."

A sprinkle hits the back of my throat as I gasp. I choke and spit it back onto the plate. "Okay, joke time's over. Now you're just getting ridiculous. To say that I'm adopted... It's not funny anymore."

"Darling, it's not supposed to be funny and for you to understand, I need to go back. Back before you were born." She pauses. "Before you were born, I had a daughter. Your father and I were slowly tearing apart and for some silly reason we believed that a child would stitch us back up. Her name was Alicia."

"Mom, this is complete hogwash--"

"Let me finish," she says with a raise of her hand that cuts me off. "Alicia was taken away from us after a woman turned our home upside down. Holly, thankfully, took custody of Alicia and she's been living with them ever since. Delilah, your story is no different. You were taken from your parents after your father was killed and your mother was taken away."

"You're serious," I say after my jaw drops. My mind returns me to my dinner with Alicia the other day. When I believed she told me some made up story just to have dinner with me. It can't be true. Alicia's voice is in my head.

"Mr. Alto wasn't much different. He'd had a lovely affair with some other chick who ended up killing him."

I try to keep my calm. I take deep breathes in and out as my mother continues on with the story about how she's not my biological mother, yet Nick Alto was my real father. My nails bite the under side of my chair to the point where I feel one break. I bring it up and start ripping the jagged edge of the nail until I pull the whole thing off.

"Your mother came into our lives and took everything. It started at our Halloween party and blew apart from there. She had Alicia taken from me, she seduced your father and married him. You were theirs and I was just there, like a nanny. Stubborn like a mule." 

It's a good thing we decided on staying outside because even here feels too confined. "W-who is my mother?"

Before the words can even leave her mouth, I know what they are. "Your biological mother is Sadie Lawrence."

The wave of confirmation almost knocks me off my chair. "No, no, no," I mumble as I stare into the eyes of the woman in front of me. I am waiting, impatiently, for her to say surprise, or gotcha or anything that proves this is some sick game of hers. But all I see is a woman with tears in her eyes. Her hurt has been uncovered and it breaks something inside of me. "I'm not a child of them. My father and the nanny--"

"She was never the nanny, Delilah," she corrects me. "I just told you that in hopes that you would never have to hear this."

"Then why are you telling me this?" I am yelling now and I don't care. I don't care that I am making a scene or that people are around and from the look on my mother's face, she doesn't care either.

"I am telling you this because you deserve to know. I have played this game for a long time, Delilah, and I have hurt a lot of people, but what I've learned is that the only people who get hurt are the players." She takes a deep breath. "I don't want to play anymore, and you want to know why? Because everything has changed. You came into my life when your mother went to prison and you changed everything. I hated your mother for a long time, but after seeing you and Alicia sitting at the table today it made me realize differently. My end with your father was inevitable and I just wanted somebody to blame, to point a finger at. Sadie's choices weren't right, but I have to forgive her, because if it wasn't for her, you and I would never have been joined. I would never have been happy. I would have just continued to hurt myself and others."

"I know this is a lot, Delilah, and I am so sorry for all of it." She clears her throat and puts a hand on top of mine. "Just know, while we may not be related by blood, you are and always will be my daughter."

We're still family if we aren't related? We are the only people in the Alto family who aren't related by blood and even if we used to be the closest, we are the farthest thing when real family is concerned.

"I know your father loved you, and as much as I don't want to say it, I know Sadie loves you too."

I can't take anymore of this. I push my chair away from the table and get to my feet. "This is complete bull," I hiss. She wants to talk about hatred? Let's talk about betrayal. I can't figure out if I am more upset regarding Sadie Lawrence, the town hussy who killed my father, being my mother or that Vita Alto, the woman in front of me, actually thought telling me all of this would be any good. I'm still waiting for the end of the joke, that it was all some prank, but after waiting this long, I realize the punchline is never coming. "I'm going home."

I storm off to my car and hope in. As I turn the ignition, I see Vita running toward me. "Delilah, honey, wait!" she calls. I don't listen. I've listened to her for fifteen years while my real mother hung out in some jail cell.

Fifteen years! Fifteen years she's lied to me and just because she say me and Alicia sitting together doing homework did she decide to step it up and tell me the truth. I may have been able to take the part about being adopted, but to say that I am the cursed child of Nick Alto and Sadie Lawrence... I sink down into my seat and apply more gas to the pedal. One thing after another today. First Keith and now this! I just want to get home and get into bed. Forget about prom. Forget about all of it! And definitely forget about Vita. She's dead to me and I never want to speak to her again.

Offline chetanhaobijam

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Re: Divine Deception -- S208: Swan Song
« Reply #123 on: May 22, 2016, 12:37:41 AM »
Great update. Nice bistro scene. Finally Deli got to hear the truth. Never expected her to react and leave like that, even leaving her dying mother. Sad for Vita. I wonder what will happen next.
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Offline Katala

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Re: Divine Deception -- S208: Swan Song
« Reply #124 on: May 22, 2016, 12:50:59 AM »
Poor Vita, she has done many terrible things in the past, but I still feel sorry for her.

With Vita dead, where will Delilah go? Will she live alone, or will she find Sadie, or will she do something else? Ther are too many questions!!! noooo
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Re: Divine Deception -- S208: Swan Song
« Reply #125 on: May 22, 2016, 03:22:42 PM »
Great update. Nice bistro scene. Finally Deli got to hear the truth. Never expected her to react and leave like that, even leaving her dying mother. Sad for Vita. I wonder what will happen next.

Let's face it... Delilah is a spoiled brat who gets whatever she wants and when she doesn't she runs away. Alicia said it point blank in Name Game that it's never Delilah's fault. Unfortunately for her, now she has to deal with it.

Poor Vita, she has done many terrible things in the past, but I still feel sorry for her.

With Vita dead, where will Delilah go? Will she live alone, or will she find Sadie, or will she do something else? Ther are too many questions!!! noooo


I was hoping for this to be Vita's moment where she finally opens up and shows that she isn't evil just for the sake of being evil. That there was a woman in there that could finally be happy.

Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Divine Deception -- S208: Swan Song
« Reply #126 on: May 22, 2016, 05:41:21 PM »
What a powerful end there, @experience.
There was so much emotion in this chapter and you really nailed it.
I almost felt bad for Vita in the end there. I hope that Delilah and Sadie will be reconnected, but at this point I feel bad for Delilah. I feel she'll regret her last words to Vita, and my heart breaks for her.

What a beautiful chapter! I can't wait for the next one.



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Offline experience

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Re: Divine Deception -- S208: Swan Song
« Reply #127 on: May 25, 2016, 07:51:36 PM »
I am so happy that you enjoyed it. :)

I said this last season, though it seems to be just how my path goes, but from this point on the story begins to finally open up. The planning has been put into place and now things can begin to unravel. So excited for what's the come!

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Re: Divine Deception -- S209: Condolences
« Reply #128 on: May 28, 2016, 09:24:57 PM »
Divine Deception
"Condolences"


*

My condolences
I shed a tear with your family
I'll open a bottle up
Pour a little bit out in your memory
I'll be at the wake dressed in all black
I'll call out your name but you won't call back
I'll hand a flower to your mother when I say goodbye
'Cause baby you're dead to me


*


Everybody arrives. From old station wagons to limousines long enough to go on for days. People from the past pay their respects and those Vita has touched in the last fifteen years drop by on this sunny afternoon. Flowers around the complex open up as if rising to the heavens, the late fall air is warm to the point of being sticky and I listen to the birds singing their lullaby to Vita's final slumber as the clouds part for the sun. It's seems like mockery to me. It's such a perfect day and here I stand in the bushes looking over my enemy's funeral. Shouldn't it be raining? Shouldn't it be cold and miserable during this day the community lost such a powerful woman? Shouldn't I feel glad that it turned out so perfect? I should. I should feel happy while in reality all I feel is emptiness. Destruction is to take away something valuable from somebody else so that they feel the same emptiness they put on others. But how can Vita feel anything when she's to be buried six feet under the dirt? She can't feel anything and that, right there, is the perfect ending for this woman. I had taken everything from her and she took everything from me. Daughters. Husbands. Lives. But ever since I was released, Vita's always been one step ahead of me and it seems I've been taken for a fool. She's taken the final step and got out of this web of hatred... She's gotten herself out of this game, leaving me, and only me, stuck playing. And I hate her for it.

Maybe hate is too strong of a word. I look through the trees towards my daughter. Her eyes are puffy, her cheeks streaked with running mascara. She's here, though. She's alive and well, and been brought up with the same if not more love than I could have given. I can't deny what I've heard on the streets, what I've seen for myself. I managed to destroy the Alto name, but I never truly destroyed Vita. She grew, bloomed and became a better person because of it. I failed my mission and for the first time since I'd been taken into custody I think there may be a possibility that it was a good thing. Vita brought Delilah up better than I could have and has made better judgment calls. She was a job, but it was I who made it personal. I was pulled into the pool of hate and I dragged her down with me. Now it's only me swimming alone down here.

I spot Marlie in the crowd and a smile tickles the corners of my lips while I get a sense of nostalgia. She's the twin who could always put me in a good mood, always had a smile on. I take a step closer. She, like the rest of us during the last fifteen years, has aged. Her golden blond hair has paled and the line of her lips has receded. She doesn't wear a smile on her face now, yet she's there, giving my daughter a big hug and telling her that everything is going to be okay. Something else I can't be there for my daughter for.

I hate this. What's going to happen to Delilah now? I think momentarily. I know it's selfish and I know how bad it sounds, but with Vita out of the picture, I don't know what to expect from my own daughter. I've watched Deli for weeks and it's evident that she depends on Vita dearly. And Vita's always been there. Now what happens when she isn't? I suddenly get flashbacks to back when I was a child and woke up one morning to find my parents gone, leaving me to fend for myself. I instinctively start chewing my cheek. "Don't let it be the same," I whisper, hoping with everything I have that Deli doesn't follow the same path I did. Having nowhere to go or feel safe, passed on from guardian to guardian, family to family until she could find her own two feet, which could very well lead her to her end. "Because look where I turned up."

I can feel my breathing start to intensify and crouch down immediately, forcing myself to take deep breaths. "It won't be the same, it won't be the same," I tell myself as I rock from the tips of my toes to the backs of my heels. A nectarous flowery scent eases me back from my anxiety attack. It takes me back to the day I stormed out of Gobias's house and headed to the festival. When I saw Vita and she told me that I could move in with her until I found a place of my own. We sat at the campfire, talking about how much of a jerk Gobias was when she made the offer. Back then I was, in more ways that one, happy that she had asked. It was the opportunity to become the virus inside her walls that would terminate everything. I look up from my lap in search of the source of the sweet scent and find myself looking at a flower bush made of pink and white blossoms. Vita's favourite colours. And that smell... Her perfume.

"I would never have expected to see you here," somebody says behind me. I straighten myself up and turn to face him.

His striking blue eyes and jet black hair catch a shine from the bright sun up above. I can't put a name to the face even though I know for sure that I've spoken to this man before. That I'd felt something for him a long time ago. I look him up and down. His charcoal suit and red shirt underneath. The shape in his nose and the way his jaw curves on such a sharp angle. I know it. He's there at the back of my mind and he was one of the few people I could have said I was close to during my time with the Altos. He was one of the few who I could be myself around and think clearly. I haven't spoken a word to him since my wedding day when he disapproved in my decision to marry Nick. His name is on the tip of my tongue and then, and only then, can I finally spit it out.

"Vic."

"I never thought I'd see you again," he says as he looks down at his hands. He plays with his gold cufflinks.

I can't say that I had thought any differently. After our last argument, I didn't think he'd ever want to see me again. After he accused me of being secretive and stormed off. There are so many different things I want to say to him now that it all crowds at the back of my throat, allowing only one thing out at a time. The first thing is, "How have you been?"

He shrugs. "Life's life. You look well."

I know he's just being polite. I looked at myself in the mirror this morning and even after doing my makeup, I've looked better. I still can't help myself from blushing, though. He's always been able to pull off the mask that hides my emotions. "I probably looked a lot better the last time you saw me." Instantly, I kick myself for saying something so stupid. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to bring that up. So soon anyway."

"Better you than me." Vic chuckles. "It's just the elephant in the room."

I smirk. "We're at a funeral for a woman neither of us cared much for. What's another elephant?" We both laugh quietly and then silence takes over. I can hear crying in the background and people blowing their noses.

"Where have you been, Sadie?" Vic finally speaks again.

I make a face. "Where have I been?" Sunset Valley is a small town. Everybody pretty much knows everybody and for Vic not to know what happened and where I went is complete nonsense. 

"I mean were the stories true... with what you did to Nick?"

My hands have started to sweat so I wipe them on the sides of my dress. For how long it's been since Vic and I last spoke and the rage between us, I don't want to throw anything else in what little we have left. But I know that it was my secrets more than anything that damaged whatever we once had. "Yes," I whisper.

I watch as my confirmation hits him with force. So much that he takes a step back. It's not everyday that somebody who meant a lot to you a decade ago opens up and tells you that they killed their first husband. I close my eyes and say goodbye to the thought that this reunion with Vic is more than just an extension to this play of ours. "You were right..."

I look him in the eyes as he holds me in his frank stare and swallow hard. "How so?"

"You told me that one day I would understand. It just wasn't then."

I feel my eyebrows knit together on their own. "I wanted to tell you, Vic. I always did."

"I know," he reassures me. "I was just too proud to see it. It seems death has a way of bringing everybody a little closer."

I don't understand until I follow his gaze.


Holly has arrived, Vita's very distant daughter. Their relationship had been rocky since the moment I met Vita and from what I heard, she moved far away, never wanting to visit. Until now. And she's the person Delilah bolts for. I observe Holly closer. The girl whose home I tore apart holds her arms open for my daughter. I can't understand it.

"She's gone, Holly!" Delilah sobs. "Mom's gone and I just left her!"

My gut churns inside of me as my body breaks out in a cold sweat. I'm about to run out from my hiding space to comfort my daughter, make sure she doesn't get pushed away because of my past actions when I hear Holly's voice. It's as soft and genuine as the first time we met. "I know," she coos as she strokes Delilah's red locks. "I know." With her arms still around Deli, she walks her back to the casket.

"That's your daughter," Vic assumes.

I don't look back at him. I just continue to watch my daughter and Holly make their way back. "I never wanted this for her," I mumble. "I never wanted any of this for any of you."

"I believe you."

I spin around on Vic. "Why?"

"Because I stand by what I said fifteen years ago. You've never been like anybody else in Sunset Valley. Deep down you are kind and genuine."

I am kind and genuine? I don't agree, but everybody is being called to the casket and I don't want to argue. I feel Vic place his hand on my shoulder.

"Here," he says and passes me a business card. "Call me sometime when you get a chance." I take the card from his hand hesitantly and watch as he starts towards the casket. "It's good to see you again, Sadie."

"The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing." Deli is at the front with the casket as she reads. "He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul."

*
"Oh, you made it!" I can hear Vita back during Halloween night as she pulled me into a big hug. "I was worried that you'd bail."

"Never. After my Leisure Day party, I thought I owed you one." I smile at what I remember comes next. "No pregnancies this time, got it?"

"I can promise you that."
*

Holly has taken over for Delilah because she can't control her crying. "He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me."

*
"I shouldn't have lost my head," I had said regarding my fight with Gobias. "I was just so furious."

"And rightly so. I've wanted to tell you for a while, Sadie, but things just came up. Gobias has never been a nice person. He is bad to the core and looks to hurt others. He's always been passive, though."

"Well, it doesn't matter. I have no clue where I am staying tonight."

"Nonsense, you'll be staying with me."

*


"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies," Delilah speaks again. "You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows."

*
"That horrid woman has taken everything from me, don't you understand? You, my career, my friends, and now this house, and if you aren't careful, Nick, she's going to take everything from you too!"

I replay the motion of Nick pulling away from her in my mind. "You've been through a lot lately, Vita. Take a long walk and figure things out."

"I will never forgive you for this, Sadie!" she screamed at me.

"Good, then you will never forget it either."
*

I close my eyes and take a deep breath as Holly continues. "Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

"Amen," Delilah says quietly. The crowd in the chairs repeats.

I stare at the casket as tears pool in my eyes. "I'm sorry," I mumble. And I stay there, watching everything as rest of the day goes by. Until the light becomes dark and the filled seats begin to empty. I stay and watch over Delilah. Not only because she is my daughter, my responsibility now. But because Vita had done it for me when I needed it most. Now I can do it for her.



***

((A psalm of David found HERE
Beginning Lyrics from Melanie Martinez's Dead To Me))
   

Offline chetanhaobijam

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Re: Divine Deception -- S209: Condolences
« Reply #129 on: May 28, 2016, 11:45:04 PM »
Awesome update and a very emotional one. Nice to see Vic again. I think he hasn't' lost faith in Sadie and is ready for another try. And I wonder who will live with Deli in that house and support her. Will Holly and Alecia move in that house? Looking forward for next update.
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Offline Katala

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Re: Divine Deception -- S209: Condolences
« Reply #130 on: May 29, 2016, 01:07:03 AM »
Poor Sadie, she did actually make friends with Vita all those years ago,but always ignored it until now :(

I wonder what will happen to Deli, as I said before. Too many questions.

It's good to see Vic again, though (and maybe it's just me), I feel a bit suspicious of him.
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Offline LivvieLove

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Re: Divine Deception -- S209: Condolences
« Reply #131 on: May 29, 2016, 03:29:22 AM »
Aw, I've always liked Vic, but after everything going on here it makes me wonder if there's something suspicious about him... XD

I'm glad Sadie has come to peace with herself in small ways. She's starting to see the system for what it is.

Your chapters are so poetic, I'm always blown away by your writing. Truly, utterly blown away. I really don't know what else to say because I'm still reeling from what an incredible chapter you've written. I have so many questions I want to know the answers to. I can't wait to see how you answer them.

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Re: Divine Deception -- S209: Condolences
« Reply #132 on: June 02, 2016, 05:13:02 PM »
It is so great to hear all of your thoughts and that you enjoy the episodes as they come. Personally, as the writer I am happy to have Vic back. There was always something about him that made me sad for what happened between him and Sadie... Even if he is just a bunch of pixels lol haha.

Now we also get to see Delilah's path open up. Her subplot makes me excited to share.

Just a heads up, because of a weapons mod, this week's episode will be mainly on here, although the extended version will be on my blog.

http://sims3storiestv.wordpress.com

Offline experience

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Re: Divine Deception -- S2E10: Imperfect Tomorrow
« Reply #133 on: June 05, 2016, 11:03:11 AM »
Divine Deception
"Imperfect Tomorrow"


The snow descends down onto me, each flake's kiss a reminder that I am no longer in Sunset Valley. I'd heard stories about how different the weather in Riverview was to home, but if I'm completely honest I hadn't expected it to be this cold. Since I've arrived, the snow has risen to my ankles, freezing my toes hidden inside a pair of cotton ankle socks. I haven't checked, though I'm sure their wet. My jeans are damp and my blouse is sure to follow. Its only protection coming from a cargo jacket that I had once thought would be enough. Living in Sunset Valley all my life, I've been used to mild winters. Not this. I should have grabbed the goose down. Unfortunately, the only extra clothing I hold is in my knapsack and I can't say that it is going to help me much.

After the funeral this afternoon, after everybody went home, I stayed with Vita for a bit, thinking of our last conversation. When she told me that she wasn't my mother. That the woman I believed to be the family maid was actually in love with my father. That I am the child of them. I sobbed at Vita's side for hours, reliving what I said to her and I hate myself for it. I wish I could take back those words and seen what Vita was trying to tell me.  Even if I wasn't her daughter biologically, we were as close as any other mother and daughter. Maybe even more. And what she said about Sadie Lawrence being my mother... I was so angry with her, but I was more shocked than anything. Now, now that the shock has worn off, I can't say what I feel. I feel lost, like I have no hold on anything. I grin at myself. I even contemplated contacting my real mother. But I decided against it. For so long I cared about the Alto name, the power my family had over the rest of Sunset Valley. Now, I want to get as far as I can away from it. I need a brand new start.

That's why when I got home from the funeral, I went straight up to my bedroom and started packing. I only packed the essentials. Toothbrush, paste, a few snacks. A bottle of water. I tossed a green sweater and a pair of jean shorts into my knapsack and now I have realized that they aren't very useful. More of a waste of space. As I was about to leave I checked my cell phone for anything that I might need. It was full of messages and texts from people sorry for my loss. There was one, however, from a lawyer asking to meet with her the following morning regarding what's been left to me, a guardian and what the next steps for Vita are moving forward. Whenever the lawyer arrives at my place, they'll find nothing but an empty house. The only way anybody will be able to find me hopefully would be by my phone, which I left in the house, and my bank card, which after taking out only the necessary funds, I tossed over my shoulder never to look at it again. The money will allow me to get Bridgeport where I will find a simple job. Public transit should keep me out of the media's eye and never will I have to worry about the name Alto again.

By seven at night, the roads have started becoming darker and houses become few and far between. I'd asked the bus driver where the nearest motel was and he said to follow this road north. Either I heard him wrong or he was messing with me because I have been walking for hours and from the looks of it I am walking farther and farther from civilization. I chuckle to myself regarding the irony. Isn't that exactly what I wanted? Yes, yet I didn't want to spend the night building an igloo to sleep in. I hear a car behind me and immediately turn around, the lights blinding me. I stick out my thumb as I attempt walking backwards. The snow is building up so much that it makes it difficult to walk and I don't even know where the side of the road ends and the ditch begins. The car slows down as it tries to pull over. It fishtails for a moment and then it's as if the driver decides it isn't wise and drives off again, slopping a bunch of wet snow and mud up the side of my face. I stagger backwards and fall down.

"Jerk," I grumble. I push myself to a sitting position and close my eyes for a moment. "What am I doing?" I'm starving. I haven't eaten since before the funeral. I don't know where I am and to top it all off, I'm now soaked. My hands are shaking. The wind is starting to become more harsh. I pull my knees close to my chest and cry. Tears don't flow down my cheeks. I don't think I can make any for a while because ever since Vita left, that's all I've been doing. My face still tightens, though, and the back of my throat aches like it's time to sob some more. I don't. My hands cradling the sides of my face, I tell myself to get up. "Get over it. This is what you wanted." And I'm right. This is what I wanted.

Within a few minutes, I have urged myself to my feet. I dust off any powdery snow and try to figure out which way I came and which way I want to go. In the distance I can see some lights. I think they are lights and not the stars. No, they're colourful. Green and blue and yellow. I walk closer and see some red ones too. They're holiday lights hanging from the roof of an old farm house. The closer I get, the more I am able to see. A scarecrow hangs inside what I guess is a vegetable garden, hidden under a foot of snow. A windmill spins violently from the vicious wind and snowmen crowd the one side of a large pond, iced over and ready to be skated on. Inside, I can see the lights on. Somebody is home.

I make my way across the lawn and to the front porch. I take a deep breath and knock. It isn't long before I can hear footsteps. They're clear, like whoever is on the other side is walking along hardwood. Then the door opens. A middle-aged man stands in the door frame, his red plaid shirt wrinkled and tucked into his jeans. "Can I help you?"

"I'm so sorry to disturb you..." I say, a shiver rattling my words. "I'm from out of town and was wondering if I could use your washroom."

The man looks me up and down. He's not scrutinizing me, per se, but there's a hint of confusion on his aging face. He looks past me into the night, scratching through his grey and brown hair. "Where are your parents?"

"I missed my bus," I lie, "and I don't know exactly where I am. I'm just trying to find the nearest motel."

"There aren't any for miles and by the time you find one you'll have caught your death," he explains. "Come in, you must be freezing."

I don't hesitate. When he opens the door, I follow him through. He leads me through the old house to a washroom and turns the light on for me. Once I am done and open the door again, the man is waiting on the other side. "Thank you. Is there any way I can get directions to that motel?"

"Are you hungry?" The man doesn't wait for me to answer before he leads me to the kitchen.

"Starving," I blurt out. I collect myself and say, "I haven't eaten much all day."

"Well, we were just sitting down for dinner. You are more than welcome to join."

I look past the man into the kitchen and see a young man and an old woman. "I feel as if I'm intruding."

"Nonsense. We have plenty to go around." He walks over to a chair and pulls it out. "What's your name?"

I pause for a moment and decide on my nickname. "Deli." I take a seat.

"I'm Jim." He gestures to the young man and then to the woman. "This is my brother Nathan and our mother Lily."

Smiling in reply, I notice the kitchen become silent. Jim puts a plate down in front of me and I instantly look down at it. A garden salad made with what looks like fresh produce. I mean, really fresh. Like one knows it just came out from a personal garden and not some cardboard box at the local grocier. I'm about to ask the mother when I catch the side of her face. She seems rather absent. She stares blankly at her food, her painted lips pursing every time she chews, but it is almost as if she never blinks. Occasionally, as if to remind me that she's not some robot, she curls a few strands of her silver hair behind her ear.

"You seem really young to be travelling alone," Jim reappears. He takes the seat across from me and begins picking at his own salad. "May I ask where you are headed?"

I shrug. "I keep moving and hope that one day I make it to Bridgeport."

Jim smiles cheerlessly. "Bridgeport is a long trek and if this weather keeps going the way it is, I doubt the bus station is going to be operational tomorrow morning."

My eyebrows knit together and my gaze ventures back to my food. "I thought Riverview was used to this weather."

"We are, but his is pretty bad. I won't be shocked if schools are closed and it takes some time for the roads to be cleared." He pauses. "Deli, if you'd like, we have an apartment just above the barn that you are free to have for the night. You shouldn't have to be out there tonight. It's not nice out there."

It's a nice offer and I appreciate it even if it's not what I want to hear. I had wanted to keep moving. A warm bed does sound nice too, though. "That would be great," I say before taking a mouthful of my own salad. "Thank you."

"Nathan will show you to your room after dinner."

I haven't been able to get a good look at Nathan since I arrived. He's a slim young man, probably a year or two older than me. His hair is brown, rich, something his brother and mother lack. His eyes are exact replicas of Jim and Lily's. They big, but it's as if he's squinting all the time. His ears stick out a bit too far from his head and his rounded jaw is specked with stubble, evidence he's missed a day or two of shaving. He looks at me with uncertainty.

"Is something wrong?" I ask him, meeting his gaze.

"You look really familiar." There's no kindness in his tone. His straight arrow attitude hits the target in my chest. I feel my heart lurch a moment. I've come from the Alto family. I've been to numerous events and in the media since my mother dropped out from being mayor of Sunset Valley. I've even found myself on a website called "Where Are They Now" that keeps up to date with what celebrities of any kind are doing. I know I've been seen and I can only hope Nathan is mistaken. That I just look like some other girl looking for a dream job in the big city.

"All redheads look the same," I joke, but I can see on Nathan's face alone that he doesn't find what I said humourous.

"Nathan, it's getting late," Jim says as he cleans up the dishes and takes them over to the sink to wash. It's strange to see such a thing. I come from a home where dishwashers are essential. I keep my comments to myself, however. "Show Deli to the apartment above the barn, would you?"

Nathan doesn't take his eyes off of me as he gets to his feet, the corners of his mouth curving downward in what I can only decrypt as disgust. "This way," he groans and he starts toward the front door.

"Thank you again," I say to Jim. I gather my knapsack and slug it over my shoulders.

"You're more than welcome. If you need anything, please don't hesitate to ask."

I make my way out the front door and close it behind me, finding Nathan's footprints in the snow. It's the best I can do to follow him. The snow is coming down in blankets and I can hardly see what's inches in front of me, let alone meters since he has a good head start. I make it to the barn and take the stairs up to the landing. Inside Nathan has turned on the heat and tossed a clean blanket on the bed. The bedroom is completely furnished. Bed, dresser, a standing mirror. There are even flowers in vases that I am sure Lily put together.

"Enjoy," Nathan says. He walks past me without giving me another look and closes the door behind him. The storm swallows him and I left alone.

"Thanks," I say to myself. I drop my knapsack on the floor next to the bed before I sit down. I go over the events of the day. The funeral. The travel to Riverview. This family. I bury my face into the pillows and fall asleep.


***

((Extended version found HERE))       

Offline chetanhaobijam

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Re: Divine Deception -- S2E10: Imperfect Tomorrow
« Reply #134 on: June 06, 2016, 09:08:16 PM »
Awesome episode. Like the snowy Riverview. It was good for Jim to give Deli a solace in his house. She must be freezing after walking on the snowy grounds of Riverview. Good luck with her nice clean start. And can't stop wondering what's Sadie's mission this time. Looking forward for next episode.
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