[MH] New Home, Old Home [Ho 3.3]

edited January 2013 in In-Game
Officer Becky takes you to an apartment complex a few miles away. It's a small apartment complex, maybe 30 years old, but clean. It's made of brick, mostly, with green trimming on the windows.

A few minutes later you are seated in the living room of a fairly small second-floor apartment. You're next to Officer Becky on the couch, while Mrs. Ellis sits across from you. She looks pretty much just like Teddy, only older. She's about the same height, dark hair (worn longer than Teddy's), with those same big eyes that Teddy has. Her greeting was cheerful and easy, with a ready smile, and she asked if she could get you anything, like a Coke, or tea of water? Do you ask for anything?

She also insists that you call her Peggy.

She leans forward in the old thin-striped recliner (brown, gold and green) Her elbows resting on her knees and hands clasped together.

"It sounds like you've had a hard day today, Holly. I'm sorry for that. Officer Parr tells me that you maybe have some questions. Is that right?"

Comments

  • [Holly]

    Holly didn't sit right away, she kind of hovered around, looking, peering at things, the furniture, the TV, not that a TV mattered, but the kind of TV was telling. She also looked at the floor, the light fixtures, not touching or going over to examine them, but its obvious she's checking everything out, observing, trying to understand who the Ellis's are.

    When she sits, she does so on the edge of the couch cushion, uneasy. She tries to make eye contact, tries to be polite, but she's nervous and worried. She finds her words, "Yes... Peggy. I have some questions. I hope they aren't too direct, I don't want to be rude." She was about to say but, but that would devalue everything she'd said before.

    So she asks her questions, not like a striking serpent, but attempts to stay neutral, a light tone. Her eyes are serious, however, a little intense and piercingly dark. "Why do you want to be a foster mommy? Where would I stay in the apartment? What chores would I need to do? Can I..." then she breaks a second, blinks a couple times at the last question. Her eyes become glassy and tears drip down quickly. She sniffs once and continues, her voice breaking a little, "Can I get new clothes if I-if I need them?" She looks away, reaching the back of her right hand up to wipe at her cheeks, blinking like it would make the tears go away.
  • edited January 2013
    The TV is an older model. Still a tube, actually, rather than a flat one, like the Bays have, and tiny in comparison. The furniture is... eclectic and a little worn, but clean and serviceable. The place as a whole is a little shabby but very tidy.

    Peggy meets Officer Becky's eyes, then looks back at you Holly.

    Without calling any excess attention to it, she reaches for the box of tissue and places it in front of you.

    "Well Holly... those are good questions." She says looking at you steadily with very kind eyes.

    "I was adopted when I was six, into a big family. I have two sisters and two brothers. And I always wanted to have more babies myself, but I never did for various reasons, and now I'm too old for that. I also, always wanted Dora... Teddy to have a sister or two. And there are people out there... like you, and like I was, that need homes and families."

    "As for where you would stay. I would say that by mid-week we can clean out the office and that can be your room. I have another bed in storage. In the meantime you would probably stay in Teddy's room. Or if that's uncomfortable, you can stay in mine, and I can sleep in Teddy's room with her for a few days. On chores, we all clean up after ourselves around here. We'll sit down and figure out how to divide the work equally between us for the rest of it.

    "And..." Her voice drops, but she keeps it steady, "Holly, if you want to stay, you'll get whatever you need."

    She reaches out to touch your hand. Her fingers are a little cool.

    "I know... I know you just had a very bad experience. But I promise if you decide to stay, then you're part of our family--not a stranger, not a... servant--and we'll take care of you, okay?"
  • [Holly]

    Holly pulls out a few tissues after nodding to Officer Parr and quickly dabs at her eyes, but all the while, she's trying to watch Mrs. Ellis. Despite herself, she smiles at the mention of the name Dora, such an adorable name for a girl with such pretty eyes. She stops moving completely when Mrs. Ellis tells Holly that she's adopted. Its as if she's run into this string of lost people who want to help her and she's struck by this radical turn in her luck.

    Holly turns her hand when Peggy touches it, turns it palm up and closes her fingers around Mrs. Ellis, just holding her there until she stops speaking. She waits for long moments to make sure she is done talking, then swallows before replying, "I like the school here a whole lot. If I go back to Social Services, I don't know where I would go. Teddy is one of my very few friends in school. We had a sleepover at Ashley's last night. I got to know her more and I like her a bunch." She pauses, then adds earnestly, "She loves you very much."

    Holly looks around again, at the furniture, at Mrs. Ellis and her compassionate expression, at Officer Parr. Then, "I would... I would like to be your foster kid, Peggy. I choose to stay in Teddy's room for a little bit, if she doesn't mind. If it is a bother, I can sleep in the office. I work hard. I will be good, I promise." She swallows again and waits, but she's squeezing Peggy's hand and a tiny hopeful smile is on her lips.
  • Dear Diary,

    I think I may finally have a mommy. She's so pretty, Diary. It was worth it, telling on the Bays. I thought I would lose everything, school and Nyx and Ashley and even Teddy. But now I'm going to be Teddy's foster sister! If you had told me that breaking my arm would get me all this, I would have done it last year!

    My new home needs some work, it is clean, but not spotless. I am so happy! I am going to make my new home super beautiful and wonderful. With Teddy as my new sister, I might have a chance to tell Ashley I'm sorry. Maybe, just maybe if I am nice and don't mess up anymore, we can be together again. I really like thinking about the S-E-X with her, Diary. I know, I know I shouldn't, but I do. I can tell you, just you.

    You showed me before, something about Nula. That Teddy has her coat or her robe, and that maybe I could help Ashley get her heart back. I don't think I love Ashley, Diary. But maybe if I help her get her heart, then she will touch me again? I will need to think about that.

    Thank you for showing me what to do. I'm so happy!
  • Peggy smiles back at you. She raises her eyebrows slightly at the 'work hard' and 'be good' comments.

    "I'm sure we'll figure it all out."

    Officer Parr checks her watch again and stands.

    "We can go get your things now, okay? I'll bring you back here afterwards."

    When you stand, Peggy steps over and gives you a hug. It's a little tentative, light, she doesn't want to hurt your arm, and she's not sure what sort of abuse you've gone though.

    "I'll see if I can get Teddy to come home, so we can all talk when you get back."
  • [Holly]

    Peggy's hug is soft and Holly leans into it, bringing her left arm up to make it a bit tighter. She holds onto herself enough to say quietly, "Thank you, Peggy. I'm happy to have a second chance." She ignores the pain, almost pushes through it, like it is a mark of her dedication to be a good foster for her.

    Holly walks over to Officer Parr and without making eye contact, she says, "Uhm, Officer Becky. Liam and Nolan were always breaking my things and so I, uhm, I hid some stuff in the basement room. I really need them back, they were... Renna's toys and they're all I have left. Of-of then. Behind the milk crate is a cinder block that moves. you can see the groove if you're looking, I scraped out all the mortar with a uhm, a fork. It looks spooky back there, but Badtz and Barbie and Ken are hiding there and I don't want them to be left alone. Please don't leave them behind. Ok?"

    If a Manip is needed, I'm happy to roll it here, just to ensure it happens.
  • Her eyes flick to your arm when you talk about Liam and Nolan breaking your things, and her mouth tightens a little bit.

    "You can fetch whatever is yours, Holly" The policewoman replies, 'I'll be with you the whole time. It will be fine."

    She says goodbye to Mrs. Ellis and guides you out to the car.

    There is a lot of activity at the Bay's house. When you pull up there are already two squad cars there. You recognize Officer Hansen on the lawn. He has Trish and Mrs. Bay and both boys standing in a group. You see that Mr. Bay is already in the back of a squad car.

    Officer Becky gets out and goes to talk to Officer Hansen for a moment, then comes back and gets you, opening the door. When they catch sight of you Mrs. Bay looks furious. Trish looks confused and upset and looks away. Nolan looks pretty shell-shocked.

    Liam is looking at you with sullen anger.
  • [Holly]

    The police cars and Mrs. Bay's anger are pretty frightening, of course. Holly sidles up to Officer Parr and says quietly, "I feel like I should. I know it won't help, but I feel so bad for making them so angry, Officer Becky." But that would only make things worse, and there's no way to be sorry when you ruin someone's life.

    Holly walks into the home, heading downstairs to get Badtz, Barbie and Ken, first, retrieving them from their little den. Then she packs them in her knapsack, gets the library books that she has checked out right now and and the school laptop, if it isn't destroyed. She says to Officer Parr, "This was my room. It wasn't so bad, but it got cold at night sometimes. The uhm," she looks to the puke stain on the floor, probably untouched, "That was from today. I didn't clean it." she sort of stares at it numbly, forgetting that she needs to get her sodden clothes out of the washer so she could see if they were salvageable.
  • Officer Becky looks around at the dark, raw and rather dungeon like basement when you take her downstairs, no matter how many times she sees stuff like this you can tell it gets to her. Maybe because of her own past.

    She watches you gather your things. The school laptop is fine. When you stop to look at the puke stain she looks to. It's not just the stain either, I mean you kind of went through it a couple of times. Anyway, she comes over to you and puts a hand on your shoulder.

    "You don't need to clean it. Not anymore, Holly."

    You're interrupted by the sound of two men descending the basement stairs.

    "...get pictures of this whole place. Can't believe they kept a kid like this. There's another webcam too, like the bathroom, I think it's over by the west wall."

    "Are they charging the boy with that too? Poor girl, I mean that stuff gets on the net and it's never..."

    Officer Becky interrupts them sharply.

    "Chief!"

    "Becky?"

    The two men emerge into the basement. This is Jarrod's dad, you remember. He's in a crisp blue uniform only with stars on his collar. The other man has a windbreaker on and a camera in his hands. Chief Kent's expression tightens when he sees you're down here and he shares a glance with the other man. Then he comes forward.

    Becky's giving him a death glare. She seems very protective of you.

    "Uhm... Hi, I'm Chief Kent. You're Holly, right?"
  • [Holly]

    Holly inclines her head with a question, quietly asking "What's a webcam? What would get on the net?" She clutches the backpack to her chest, worried about the answer.

    Then Chief Kent comes up and introduces himself. Still clutching the backpack to herself, she forces a smile to be polite, "Hello Chief Kent. I'm Holly Hobbie." She slides a step closer to Officer Becky, "I got my stuff from this room already. In here," she glances down at the backpack. "I left my clothes in the washer yesterday because when I found them Liam and Nolan had peed on them. All of them. I don't know if they are ruined. Can I take them if they are ok or do you need them? For-for evidence?"
  • edited January 2013
    The Chief shakes his head slightly in disgust, he's angry at the Bays, that's for sure.

    "If they're okay, you can take them, Holly. You put that incident in your statement, right? The prosecutor hasn't decided what's going to happen yet, Holly, but we may need you to testify in court about what happened. You need to be ready for that."
  • [Holly]

    Holly nods at the chief, but she looks worried. She looks over at Officer Becky, almost reaches over to take her hand, but hesitates, then heads for the stairs. Now she's looking at over for webcams or anything they could have hidden.

    Once she reaches the top of the stairs and the washer room, Holly glances at the trash bags still lying by the washer, then says, "Officer Becky, I used this bag to carry up my clothes." Then she opens up the washer lid and looks down to see what has happened to her clothes.
  • When you head up the stairs you glance over and see the man with the camera slung around his neck pulling something out from behind some boxes on the top shelf of one of those metal shelving units. You can see that it's round as he turns it over in his hand, shaking his head.

    Your clothes are damp and stuck against the sides of the washer. You can still smell the pee, so can Officer Becky.

    "If you want them, Holly, we can take them. If you wash them with vinegar and baking soda, they'll probably be okay." She says, softly.
  • [Holly]

    When Officer Becky offers her advice, Holly nods slightly. She's standing over the washer, staring down into the drum like its some wishing well. Here were her nice clothes. Is this the price for a new home? But still, they had so much potential. She had dreamed about wearing them for weeks.

    "I saved my chore dollars all summer long to buy new clothes for school, Officer Becky. I wanted to be pretty, and make friends, too." She continues to ponder for a few more moments until she makes a decision. Holly reaches her left hand down into the washer and starts pulling the damp clothes out of it and putting them into a new bag, "I think some vinegar and baking soda is worth a try. I can save them. I don't give up easily."

    Then that's it. Her garbage bag of smelly, damp clothes, her dolls and a few knick-knacks in her backpack and Holly Hobbie has removed herself form the Bay's home.
  • edited January 2013
    You and Officer Becky go back outside to her waiting squad car. You walk by the Bays again, still gathered into their little group by officer Hansen.

    "You ungrateful little bitch!" Mrs Bay yells at you all of the sudden. "How could you do this to us?" And she bursts into tears. Trish tries to comfort her mom, but she's looking at you, then away. She's clearly ashamed.

    You're just about to the car. Hansen moved to calm Mrs. Bay and herd them a little farther away. Liam takes the opportunity to break free, before the cop can corral him. He runs for you and suddenly he's right there in your face, crowding you, he's slammed his hands on either side of your head, against the squad car. It makes a loud pop.

    "You think you won? You think I won't get you? Better think again." He hisses at you.

    The cops are going to be here in just a sec.

    But Liam is trying to scare you. (spending his string) So roll to Hold Steady.
  • [Holly]

    Rolling Cold to Hold Steady:
    #DiceRoller( 2d6+1 )

    (+1 XP)
  • [Holly]

    The threat is real, and scary. Liam is a demon in Holly's eyes, he will hurt her. There's always school, or the ice cream parlor, or somewhere where he will get her. He's a juvenile, his parents will take the brunt of this, not him. But maybe, this might help get him in trouble. Holly's eyes are wide with panic, most of which is real and she crumples down and away, flinching and screaming, "Please don't hit me anymore, Liam! I'm sor-I'm sorry!!" She holds her left hand in front of her face and lets herself cry a bit.

    As a result of the 10+, asking the MC a question:
    How can Holly and Ashley become friends again?
  • edited January 2013
    Hansen grabs Liam roughly from behind, pulling him away. His eyes are wide as he knows what you're setting him up for. Becky came around the car and is cradling you against her as best she can with the splint in place, saying calming things. She hustles you into the squad car as soon as she can.

    Ashley's in a pretty dark place right now. She thinks she's hurt someone who was already terribly vulnerable, and she's afraid that she's damaged her most important friendship and maybe lost the girl she thinks she genuinely loves... maybe forever. On top of that, her control freak (and catholic) mother has been at least clued in to the idea that she might be gay. Which is not encouraging when the mother wants grandchildren to replace her own lost child.

    But Ashley's affection towards you is genuine. You forgiving her for what she did, and convincing her that it's for real, that ought to do it.
  • [Holly]

    Holly is panting, her breaths coming sharp through her nostrils as she looks at the Bays through the car window. She's staring a Liam, her face emotionless. She's still scared, but she won't show it. "Officer Becky... will I ever be a human?"
  • "Oh sweetheart." Becky reaches out and touches your arm. "You are human. Those people are monsters."

    You now she thinks you're talking metaphorically. She pulls the squad car away. The Bays all watch you go.

    You're driving for a minute when Officer Becky speaks up again. Her voice sorrowful.

    "Holly I have to tell you about something else we found. It's... not nice. It looks like the boys set up some cameras in the house. One in your room and one in the bathroom." She glances over at you. "It looks like they were making recordings of you, and then putting together short films of you either undressing or naked and... putting them online."
  • [Holly]

    For almost a minute, Holly stares at Officer Becky in the rear-view mirror, shock in her eyes as she processes all that she's heard about the internet. At the library, where you can research books. at school where people watch YouTube and other things on their phones or iPads. The computer science class where Chazz hacked and got to a pornographic site. The last one lets it fall into place for her. The horror of being out there for gross people like Liam. Looking at her like meat like Liam did this morning.

    Finally Holly's eye flutter and she blanches, like she's going to be sick. Its all too much, too overwhelming. She's the object of lust and ridicule and hatred. The impression of hope from Peggy evaporates and she's miserably sad at her life, with her bag of ruined clothes and her backpack of Renna's toys.

    In a small voice, barely audible over the car engine, Holly says numbly, "I want... I want to crawl in a hole. And never come out." She slumps over towards the window, laying her head against the cool glass and looks out to watch the telephone poles pass by, too dumbstruck to cry or scream or throw up or anything dramatic.
  • edited January 2013
    She looks back at you, sadly.

    "I'm sorry, Holly. I know this doesn't help but he actually recorded what happened yesterday. I mean... we don't have video of all of it, but there is sound. It will make it easier to prosecute him."

    She goes quiet, glancing at you occasionally, as she drives you back to your new home.

    She walks you up to Peggy's door. Peggy sees the look on your face and immediately brings you inside, helps you put your things down and hugs you, stroking your hair.
  • [Holly]

    Holly tries to put on at least a neutral face for Peggy. The worry of what they will hear the recordings causes cracks in her smile, but she keeps quiet. As soon as she has a place to sit or lie down, she will try to find a way to sleep.
  • When you say that you want to rest, Peggy tells you that you can at least take a nap in Teddy's room. She leads you in there. It's cluttered, but I don't know how messy it is. Once you take your shoes off and get settled in the bed, Peggy pats your shoulder and leaves you there.

    Looking around at the darkened room, it occurs to you that you might learn a lot about Teddy here. Maybe we can get Teddy to describe what it's like in here right now.
  • edited January 2013
    Sure! It's pretty cluttered, and really you could say it's messy. Um, when we moved here, I never really totally got used to having less space, so there's just lots of stuff, you know? It's not a big room, so it's like bed, desk, dresser. There's a small closet.

    Against the wall near the door is a big CD rack filled with, like, a couple hundred albums. My school laptop is sitting on the desk, alongside a pair of nice studio headphones and a mess of papers and crud, and there's a couple of recent concert posters on the wall.

    I'm usually pretty neat about putting my clothes away and everything, since I'm in charge of laundry, but I've only been home a little bit in the past day, and I was in a hurry both times ... two sets of clothes are scattered, mostly over the bed. The party clothes from last night, and the school clothes from yesterday. Doc Martens tumbled in front of the dresser.

    Everything's all kind of lived-in, cozy, though maybe also a little worn-out in places too. A little bit boyish, I guess.
  • [Holly]

    Holly mumbles thanks to Peggy and heads into Teddy's room. Through the fatigue and the worry, Holly's curiosity overwhelms her and once Peggy leaves her alone, she sits up and looks around at the things in Teddy's room. She looks at the two sets of clothes, recognizing the party clothes and what she wore to school Friday, and looks for a hamper of some kind to put them away. Then she walks over to the CD rack and starts looking through all the CDs, just pulling them out one by one, looking at the covers, seeing if she knows any of the music from what she's overheard other people listening to or talking about. She stares at the concert posters, then picks up the Docs and puts them in the closet with her other shoes.

    Her curiosity finally sated, Holly sits on Teddy's now cleaned bed and puts her head on the pillow, smelling the scene of the girl she held in her arms this morning, before all this awfulness began, before she made Ashley sad and got her in trouble, before she tried to get Teddy to touch her, then hurt her, before Liam and her arm and Nula and Jarrod and the hospital, Officer Becky, Peggy... such an incredibly eventful day.

    She looks over at the cordless phone on its base. She could try to call Ashley right now, but that's pretty scary. It might be good to call Teddy, though, so she doesn't freak out when she comes home to a new fake sister. She retrieves the phone and sits on the corner of Teddy's bed and dials her mobile number, because she memorized it along with Ashley's and Hunter's, too.
  • Yeah, some of the music is popular stuff, and bunch of the CDs are for more obscure bands I picked up here and there. There's a big section in there too, it's older music, stuff like Tower of Power, Earth Wind & Fire, early Chicago ... music my dad liked. His family growing up, I don't actually know much about them, they were a mixed family, like black and white and a little native American, so there's lots of old soul and black pop, that kind of thing. I got into it back then, listening to it with him.

    The laundry is, uh, I don't have a hamper here, there's just a little laundry closet room off of the kitchen. There's a laundry basket in there.

    Aaand, sorry, but I don't think I'm going to be picking up the phone. It's going to come up saying "Home", so I'll assume you're mom, and I don't really know how to talk to her right now. And I mean really, unless it's Ashley, I'm probably not picking up, so it'll go through to voice mail.

    I'll assume you're mom, though, like I said, so I'll be listening to the voice mail pretty much as soon as possible. Unless I get really tied up in something, again.
  • [Holly]

    Holly waits for the message beep and says, "Uh, hi Teddy, this is Holly. I'm, uh, staying with your mom right now. I had to, uh, leave the Bays. For-for good. So, when you come home, I will be here, please don't be mad. Your mommy said it is okay. I won't be mean anymore, I swear. I'm really, really sorry for before. I'll be a better friend, I promise. I'm going to, uh, take a nap on your bed now.... bye."
  • --End Scene--
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