Friday, September 12, 2008

Chapter 15: Sabina Almost Chokes

Weds, October 21, 2074 7:21pm: Dewilliker Academy- Rawling Hills, Pleasantview


Enoch once told Sabina in passing that the Academy's downstairs bathroom was the most heavily ventilated room in the building. It was the only useful information that he had ever seen fit to divulge to her. Sometimes Enoch would come by with Laurie whose job it was to distract Roan while Enoch and Shane smoked pot in the bathroom. Sabina never did ascertain what Laurie got out of doing that. Enoch must have pestered him into it. Laurie would probably commit murder if Enoch asked him to.


Coughing wildly, Sabina tapped the excess ash from her cigarette into the sink. Her throat ached and her vision swam. There followed an ebbing nausea that threatened the return of her dinner. She wiped her watering eyes with the back of her hand. Only a few minutes ago, this had seemed like a good idea. She flicked the cigarette into the toilet and flushed. Never again would she try something for the sake of looking older.


Sabina stumbled into the living room, tripping on the hem of her dress. She flopped down onto the couch, struggling to keep her bile where it was. As she closed her eyes, the cushions gave way, cradling the contours of her body. A maple-scented breeze brushed against her face. Though she had not heard it open, the front door shut with a polite but firm bang. Sabina chose to ignore it. If it was a burglar, he could take whatever he wanted just so long as he did not make her get up.


A woman in ominously pointed heels neared the couch. The quick rhythm of her stride was a perfectly even staccato. Sabina's heart sank. This was ever so much worse than a burglar. Blearily, Sabina pushed herself up. Her arms shook with a newfound frailty. Was this reaction to cigarettes normal? She felt a headache coming on.


The woman halted at Sabina's feet.
"Coffee, Sabina," she chimed.
"Is it half past seven already," Sabina asked, rubbing her irritated eyes.
"Naturally," Adelaide sighed.
"I don't feel so good. Could we take a rain-"
"Nothing like a nice, hot beverage to settle your stomach." Though probably untrue, this seemed to be the final say in the matter. Sabina had not even mentioned her stomach.


Adelaide did not wait for Sabina to stand but passed by as confidently as she would have in her own home. That was Adelaide. At all times, she comported herself as though she ruled the world. Sabina followed Adelaide into the kitchen, keeping her eye on the bustle of Adelaide's dress as it swayed to and fro. Sabina had never before noticed how Adelaide moved her hips when she walked. She mimicked it, committing Adelaide's swagger to memory for future use.


Miss Dewilliker had the coffee prepared and laid out for them on the counter as she did every other Wednesday. Sabina and Adelaide began the tradition when they were children, thinking it a very civilized way for two ladies to spend an evening. Back then their "coffee" had been nothing stronger than tepid water but otherwise, the meetings had not changed.
Adelaide handed Sabina a cup. Without tasting it, Sabina knew it to contain the exact amounts of sugar and cream that she enjoyed.


"Mother wants to host an informal cocktail party on the fourteenth of next month," Adelaide announced. "You are of course invited." Sabina took an overly ambitious gulp of coffee and began to choke. The heat did not mix well with her already scorched esophagus. "Are you alright, dear?"
"I'm fine."
"Are you sure? You look a bit green."


"No really, I'm alright." Sabina blew on her coffee to cool it down. She was cured of her nausea but in its place was a sharp indigestion. She preferred to pretend that it did not exist, even when the pain shot up as high as her ribcage. Adelaide eyed her suspiciously.
"Anyway as I was saying, it'll just be the usual suspects- the Goths, the Calientes, the Dreamers, you and your parents, maybe Ian's parents as well."


Sabina almost choked for a second time when the Calientes were mentioned. She knew that she would still have to see Troy socially but she didn't think that she could bear it. The way he always put his arm around Siren in public, whispering things to her, kissing her...
Sabina would need to make her excuses. But she was a poor liar and Adelaide was extraordinarily cunning. Her only hope was to tell the truth and let Adelaide lie to everyone else. She could confide in her best friend of seventeen years, couldn't she? The woman whom Troy affectionately called his niece? It wouldn't be a betrayal. Right? Sabina opened her mouth to speak but the words failed her.
"Doesn't you mother think that this is all a bit soon," Sabina asked.
"Perhaps but I believe that it will give her a sense of normalcy. And if there's one thing that my mother thrives on, it's normalcy." Adelaide looked to the clock above her head. "Well, I'd best be going. If I leave Frannie with Mom too long, she starts to like Mom better." Adelaide strolled over to the sink and deposited her cup. Sabina began to panic, her illness forgotten. She could not allow Adelaide to leave. They were alone and Sabina didn't know when she would have another opportunity like this.


"Isabella and I are going shopping on Saturday. Would you like to come along?" Adelaide was walking out of the kitchen as she spoke.
"Yes, but Adelaide-"
"Good. I'll see you then."


"Adelaide." Sabina stopped her in the living room. Adelaide stared quizzically. It would be nice to finally tell someone. Cathartic, even. Sabina's heart raced nonetheless. "I- Um, well. I have a problem. You see, about a month ago, I became romantically involved with... Laurie." Crap! Why did say that?


"Laurie?" Adelaide looked as though she were suppressing a laugh.
"Well, um, yes. But it's over now and I don't really anticipate running into him at the cocktail party."
"Why didn't you tell me about this? Or anyone, really? Your parents would have been elated. His parents probably moreso, come to think of it."
"I-" Sabina scowled as though she had been slapped across the face. There was a time not long ago when she had expected to marry Laurie. But now even if she could somehow play the role of Laurie's wife, there was no way that she could live at Caliente Manor, sending desperate glances to Troy across the dinner table, playing house with Naomi, teaching Thackery to swim, chatting with Siren over tea... It was worse than depraved. It was unnatural.

"Fine, keep your secrets," Adelaide said. "You're almost grown and I know that I am no longer the center of your universe. If you change your mind about the party, give me a call. Otherwise, I shall be happy to tell everyone that you are sick." Sabina was overcome with gratitude. She threw her arms around Adelaide's shoulders and squeezed. "You darling girl," Adelaide chortled. "It's his loss, you realize." Sabina increased her grip. Adelaide's figure was nothing at all like a man's but maybe if Sabina held her close enough, she could find some reminder of Troy's body in hers.



  1. They, uh, didn't do anything, right?

  2. Interestingly, no. The most physical contact they've had at this point is, I guess, cheek kisses. But Troy feels a thousand times more guilty about this than he does about the women he sleeps around with (or used to sleep around with, considering the fact that he stopped shortly after meeting Sabina). As well he should feel more guilty, really.

  3. I'm wondering - how much of your stories are gameplay-related and how much of it you imposing the story you already have in your mind?
    Like how you were describing Troy in your comment - I'm guessing you have In-teen so you have adult-teen love interactions? And then you just ran with it in the tale or it was something you planned all along?

  4. I have Inteen but I don't play the game anymore so I really only use it for pregnancies. Troy and Sabina were born in-game (like, back when I was still playing the game) so their subplot came long before I thought about writing it down.

    It's hard to say how much of the story is inspired by game play. Much of it comes from plots that occurred to me as I was playing the game but it has since gone off in so many different directions... But yeah. Troy and Sabina met in game and hit it off. Then I just basically shrugged and went with it.

    Sabina (pre-story) was also very flirty with Jorge. But that was just too nutty.