"You might be a smart girl, but you aren't a lucky one"You play as Delilah, an unfortunate young girl going through tough times. Right now, we are currently playing as Lawrence!=Links and Information=Archives:http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=aCowboyNamedSueThanks to an anon, here is the pastebin of just the text. With threads purposely being misarchived, this should be available and accessible instead:Melancholic Quest Collection 1 (1-4): http://pastebin.com/hTK0fQmdMelancholic Quest Collection 2: http://pastebin.com/cX4HC6Q9 Melancholic Quest Collection 3: http://pastebin.com/sTuR8xJv Melancholic Quest Collection 4: http://pastebin.com/RPwa7nEt Melancholic Quest Collection 5: http://pastebin.com/DJ71TtFc Melancholic Quest Collection 6: http://pastebin.com/xxCdZfx6 Melancholic Quest Collection 7: http://pastebin.com/7skcyeX0 Quick Glance (SPOILERS) The quick Who is Who and what Delilah has. Mostly accurate.: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wXNWJdAKuqw-btrHDbvSkN5Gj3QhdY28XNKRUXMLHu0/edit#heading=h.8xfgre7nxqtyTwitter; @Cowboy_SueDiscord; https://discord.gg/8CCdcQ3 <--updated to be workingChat room with me and other players. I answer questions, post sketches, and act cheeky.
"Just wash those off and poke a few holes in them. We'll boil them in a moment." Already, your mother has set Delilah to work at the sink and with a pile of potatoes to the side. When you take a seat at the table Delilah can barely hide her smile, working diligently on her task at hand. On the table rests a large pile of mail, looking to be built up from a long absence. "I'm learning how to make Shepard's pie!" Delilah says excitedly."You missed it Lawrence. It was really cute earlier..." Mom takes out a cutting board and knife, getting vegetables prepped and ready. "When I told her we were making pie she looked so excited till I brought out the potatoes and onions." Your mother chuckles at this all while Delilah's face turns red. "I thought she was talking about dessert..." she mumbles under her breath, trying to work fast now. With her sleeves rolled up and hair pulled back, a determined look on her face, it would be hard to say that Delilah didn't look cute like this."Lot of... mail." You point out, taking notice that it has all been bundled together."Hm? Oh, right. Jacks and I were away for a little bit, over Minnesota to see your aunt. She's downsizing and since her daughter just had a baby we went to go help for a bit. We were only gone about two weeks, but they held all of our mail at the post office. Course your father said he would bring it in but kept forgetting to, we've been back almost a week and just barely went for it. That man forgets things more often than he wants to admit." Out comes the cast iron pan, the same one she had been using for years. Seeing her cook at the stove is a familiar sight, even if it's been years since you last saw it."That's a long way from here, isn't it?" Delilah asks."If you don't like car rides it can probably be a bit of a boring ride. I'm just glad you guys stopped by when you did and not a few days earlier. There might not have been anyone here- well, I guess you know where the spare key is, right Lawrence?" "Flower pot?""Yeah, still the same one. Could have let yourselves in that way I guess, but I'm glad we could have been here to see you."Feeling guilty and uncomfortable you decide to occupy yourself in the meantime, tearing away the bindings to sort through the mail."Tell me if you see anything from Natalie in there!" Mom says as you get to work, pulling out obvious and obnoxious adverts and tossing them to the side at your leisure. As much as it would be nice to talk with the girls you're mostly in here for the sake of stopping any too prying questions. For the most part your mother seems preoccupied with showing Delilah what to do next, setting up a new cutting board and showing her the safe way to cut the potatoes. [1/3]
Delilah struggles with using the knife a bit but learns to handle it as she goes along, becoming more confident in the motions."At this rate, you won't need to take home EC in school." "I don't know about that..." Delilah's eyes dart down at the talk of classes, trying to avoid the subject without being too obvious."Actually, aren't you about the age for that or did they not have those classes at your last school?""They did, but for the classes above me. I think people could start joining band then too.""Band, huh?" she asks, adding meat to the pan. "Was that something you wanted to try?""Um... maybe. I don't know if I would really be good at playing anything though...""Well music isn't for everyone. Maybe you'll be like Lawrence and draw instead. I heard one of the schools nearby always takes students to one of the art museums just two hours away, I bet those are nice trips." As your mother continues to talk about school Delilah keeps quiet, looking bitter about the subject more than anything else. "When's the last you went? There's no way any of the schools here have a winter break this long." "Um...last year. Before Christmas, I mean. We moved before I could finish the semester, and...and I'm supposed to catch up with everything later and g-go back in the fall...""We?""Me and my mom...""Just you two? Where's your mo-""Found it." You jump up, the letter your mother had been anticipating in hand. Keeping it aside as you sorted through the mail, it serves as a proper distraction as your mother cleans her hands off and gleefully tears into it. As she gushes over the vacation pictures her friend enclosed within, you try to look over at Delilah. She's set down the knife, instead holding her head with a pained and mournful look in her eyes."Oh, she's so lucky!" Mom says, flipping through the pictures, "For their anniversary the two of them went on a cruise. Oh look how ni- Sweetie, are you feeling okay?" Your mother takes notice of Delilah too, setting aside the pictures and a hand pressed against red cheek. "Do you feel sick right now?""My head just hurts a little... I'm sorry. Can I go wash my face off real quick...?""Of course, I've got this handled. Just tell me if you feel any worse, we'll be in here." Your mother watches as Delilah walks off to the bathroom, sighing and taking a seat by you. "I hope I wasn't pushing her too far. She must be going through a difficult time right now..." It's obvious to you that she's trying to egg out any information, to squeeze out what information you would know. Pretending to be too occupied, you go through the last pieces of mail. Mostly junk, you barely take the time to scan over any of it.[2/3]
"She's not pregnant, is she?" The question nearly makes you choke on the spot, instantly bringing concern to your mother's face. "Oh lord, is sh-""No! She... she's not." Just try to regain your composure now."Sorry sorry, its just that if she's randomly feeling sick like this... well I guess I just want to check off the possibilities." Your mother rises from the table, going for a cup of coffee out of instinct while you try to ignore the need to smoke. She would hate to learn that you still do it, especially more than you used to. Even as an adult you might end up finding yourself sneaking off for a cigarette. Just wait a while longer, you tell yourself. Look through all the stupid junk mail for now and-The James Bower Children's Charity DriveJust a postcard sized advert, the words alone would be enough to ignite a fire inside you. Seeing the image of him with a boy and girl at his arms, smiling wide like he's done nothing wrong, makes your hands tremble with fury. With nowhere else to take the building up rage, you can only tear the card into pieces."Whoa wait, what are you doing?" With your mother calling out you stop, pieces falling to the table. She picks up one of the scraps, looking over it. "Why are you tearing this up? This is just one of those mass invitations I guess so it's not that important, but we get sent these for donating to him-""Why?!" "Why...? We try to do donations once in a while and we'd like to try and keep them local, to places that we know aren't going to end up abusing the money we send. I mean its not like we send a whole lot, but we like to help out the best we can." She sounds absolutely confused right now, unable to understand why you've become so distraught. Down in your palm rests the wrinkled and bent of piece of Bower's toothy smile, a flash of pain coming with the new wave of anger you begin to feel.>Try to act like its nothing, don't worry your mother>Tell your mother that this is a bad man, leave it vague>Tell her Delilah has been hurt by this man>Write-In
>>1032510>Tell your mother that this is a bad man, leave it vague>Tell her Delilah has been hurt by this manI'd like hint at it while still keeping it vague no details.
>>1032510>Tell your mother that this is a bad man, leave it vague
>>1032510>Tell your mother that this is a bad man, leave it vagueHiding behind his money, putting on a big show to cover up how he hurts people. Children.
"Don't give...him money." You go to throw away the pieces, wanting to hide any trace of the evidence before Delilah can see."What's gotten into you? It's not going to him, as far as I can tell anyways. He goes and finds kids in need of help and fixes them up, what's so wrong with that?""Bad man." The offensive picture is buried away in the trash now, but it feels like you're hands are stained with something foul. "Do you know something I don't?" Of course she doesn't understand. As far as your mother can tell, right now you're freaking out over charity given to a man helping the less fortunate in the community. But as much as you'd like to try and explain why this fucker needs to rot in a shallow grave this also does not feel like the time or place for that. "Terrible...man." Though it pains you to do so you'll bite your tongue for now, give only the bare minimum. "Bad things... hides behind...money. Hurts people... hurts kids.""Are we talking about the same man, how would you know all this?" "Know... someone. Been hurt...by him.""Who-""Is something going on?" Delilah asks meekly from the doorway."No. Everything...fine." You usher her in, knowing your mother will be smart enough to move on from the topic. "Feeling okay?" Delilah nods and looks ready to speak, but forgoes that and comes in for a desperately needed hug. She's not crying right now but that might not have been the case before, and you just give her the time she needs. Your mother might not fully understand, but you doubt she would be dense enough to not make some sort of meaningful connection at this point."Sorry about leaving like that," Delilah apologizes as she pulls away, rubbing at her eyes. "It didn't ruin the food, did it?""Hm? Oh, oh no it's fine. It takes a while for the potatoes to get soft enough to smash up. And th- ah! I almost forgot about the meat!" Your mother rushes over to go save the food cooking on the stove, muttering and worrying over if its salvageable or not. With her back turned Delilah leans in to whisper to you,"We should try calling Crockett soon..."You begin to nod in agreement but the smell of burning begins to waft over and soon after the fire alarm above begins to blare. Delilah covers her ears as you try to fan away the smoke, but when as the ringing in your ears starts to grow you opt for yanking down the alarm instead and pulling out the batteries.[1/2]
"Darn it..." Mom mutters, scrapping at the blackened mess stuck to the bottom of the pan. "I really need to get this stove checked out. I swear it was only on low.""Can we still use it?" Delilah asks."Not unless you want to eat potatoes topped with pan scrapings. I should have bought more meat while we were out, I'm just so used to cooking for two..." The mess slides into the trash, further burying away any chances Delilah would have to seeing Bower's face. "Guess I've learned my lesson, I'll go out and grab some more-""What about the potatoes?""Well... I'd rather not stop and start them. And trust me on this, I know better than to try and trust either of my boys to handle the cooking while I run out. They're just potatoes though, I'll show you what to do and you can handle them while I'm out. Or..." A familiar smile creeps onto your mothers face, the kind she would always put on before asking something from her kids. "I can stay here and work on them, and you can borrow the car and grab more meat for us Lawrence.""Can't Dad?" The response is force of habit from the previous times your mother would try to send you out to do something, and while you feel bad for doing such a childish answer you're glad that Michele come out instead."You know how he gets. Once Jacks is settled in he doesn't want to leave the house again till it's necessary. If anything, he'd just tell me to use the burnt stuff anyways... It's fine if you don't want to go. I'll just find other chores for you to do around the house while your poor mother has to try and drive out in the snow.">Go out and take Delilah, use a payphone to call Crockett>Stay here, call Crockett from the house>Write-In
>>1033180>Go out and take Delilah, use a payphone to call Crockett
>>1033180>Stay here, call Crockett from the houseEven if it sucks it's probably best if we don't get spotted out and about, Delilah too.
"Where keys?" Upon hearing you agree to this your mother's face lights up, going to her purse resting on the table, "Thank you sweetie! Just pick up a package of ground beef, they should still have some left. If not try to find something that I can grind up here instead- I'll trust you on that. And if Bunny wants to help me here-""Coming with." Both Delilah and your mother looks surprised by this, but neither try to ask for a reason."Ah, alright. Probably be good for her to get out of the house for a bit, wouldn't want your girlfriend to get all stir crazy," Mom says, counting out a few bills with car keys at hand, "This should be enough, and you two can grab something to drink if you'd like too." You take and pocket the cash, Delilah excusing herself to go get dressed for outside. "Now be careful while you're out there, drive slow and remember not to use the brake if you hit some ice!" You're left to deal with your mother's nagging now, her following close behind as you go to retrieve coat and boots. "Don't try to speed, there's no rush to get back! Make sure you take the main roads, it might be longer but they should be cleared out the most. And Lawrence-" You can't help but look back at your mother with a slightly annoyed look, wondering what else she could try to warn you about once more. "Stay safe out there.""Yeah. I will." Despite the worry on her face your mother manages a smile, the sound of Delilah coming down the stairs. The deep red pea-coat she's got on makes your heart skip a painful beat. "Oh! You look so cute in it!" Your mother goes over to look over Delilah, adjusting the collar and slightly too long sleeves for her. "Michele always looked so nice in this, but poor girl outgrew it faster than she wanted to. It's still a bit loose on you but at least it's clean, and it really does look cute on you. Don't you think so Lawrence?""Yeah..." Giving your boots one last check you stand up, heading towards the front door. "Lets go.""Make sure he doesn't drive too fast, okay? I know how he can get behind the wheel sometime-""Going now." You open the door and step out, forcing Delilah to rush behind to catch up. From the front porch your mother watches as you take the front, turning on the awful green Oldsmobile that you had always been embarrassed to drive before. With your passenger seated in and bucked up you pull out, taking extra care to follow each of your mother's rules while insight of her. Once around the corner and out of the way you can't help but feel slightly relived, at least knowing that each move isn't being scrutinized. "Your mom saw how dirty my jacket was," Delilah speaks up, hands brushing over and smoothing out the red, "So she said I could use this for now. It doesn't look weird, right? Cause the jacket looks nice but I don't know if it really looks good on me, and I know moms don't always tell the truth on stuff like that. If I look funny in i-"[1/2]
"Delilah." She stops her rambling, looking over with an anxious expression. "Is it bothering you, sorry I'll stop.""Look fine. You're cute." Even though you enjoy to tease, it's nice to watch Delilah's face flush from the compliment as she tries to decide whether to accept it or not. "So um, you grew up here, right? So that means the schools you went to are around here?" she asks after some time, watching out the window."Yeah.""Will we pass by any of them?""Not this...way." Delilah looks disappointed by this, and you're quick to add, "Can try...way back.""Cool, it's kind of neat being in your home town like this. I think it's about the same size as the place I moved from." It's nice that Delilah seems to feel alright being here, but you can't help but feel on edge. Not even from any cars with tinted windows or shift men; you've wanted out of this town for a long time, and coming back just brings back the memories of why you wanted to leave in the first place....At a gas station across from the supermarket, you pull up to where a payphone waits under it's glass walls. You wait by as Delilah inserts the quarters, keeping an eye out as the number is dialed. Each passing ring makes her looked more worried, but when the other end finally does answer she nearly drops the phone."Hello? Yeah, it's us... Lawrence is out here with me. We're at a payphone right now... I guess you're not in jail anymore right? Uh huh...yeah, yeah I think we'll be fine here. We made it here fine and his parents let us in-.... is she there with you? Oh... it's fine, will you just tell Grandma I'm fine?" You can barely hear Crockett's voice on the other end, mostly picking up everything from Delilah's side. She confirms the address of your parents' house, nodding and agreeing a bit more to what he's saying before offering the phone over."Uh...?" "He just wants to repeat everything to you he said." Delilah shrugs at this and you take the phone, ready to prepare yourself for this struggle."Law? You there?""Yeah...""Bit hard to hear you, especially being outside but that's fine. I just need to tell you everything I already told Delilah and, please do me this favor okay? I'm still poking around over here, working with some of my buddies that I used to work with. Having a bit of trouble on our end with getting us completely clear but it shouldn't be too much of a problem, especially if you two can just keep your heads down. But what I've got some intel- really important information about Delilah and that son of a bitch Bower. I'd rather not tell her about it now, it's kind of heavy. You're going to have to keep it a secret, and I mean this." You take a look over to Delilah, busy looking at her blurry reflection in the window.>Send her over to the store, listen to the information alone>Let her come over and listen, you shouldn't keep secrets from her>Tell him you'll call later and listen>Write-In
>>1034599>Ask her to wait in the car, listen to the information aloneBetter safe than sorry. As nice as it would be to not keep secrets from her, we already are, and what we're about to learn might be better in a more secure location.
"Wait..." you stammer, pulling out the car keys and motioning Delilah over."Do I need to talk to him?" she asks, puzzled as the keys are shoved into her hands."To car.""By myself? Where are you going?" You answer by pointing at the receiver, but this only confuses Delilah more. "Why do I have to go to the car? Was I doing something wrong?""No. Need you...go car. Please." Knowing that the timer on the phone will run out soon you try to look for quarters to put in, balancing the phone and trying to get her to comply. "If it's something about me- wait, is it something about my mom? Or my grandma?""Delilah..." "You still there? Can you hear me?""Working on-""What? Speak up- er, sorry... Just can't hear you too well.""Working on...it. Hold on.""Do you need me to talk to him for you? I can do that that, I can help-""Car.""But-""Now." You didn't mean to be so blunt with her, you regret it the moment Delilah looks hurt. Just as you prepare to give an apology she backs away, taking the keys with to go sit in the car alone. You feel like an asshole for it, just as you should, but the phone at hand waits."I'm ba-" Click Already feeling shitty enough as is you scrounge up enough change to call Crockett back."Guess it ran out on you, huh? Glad you called back though, Delilah around?""In car.""In what? Oh, car. Alright good, I didn't want her to overhear any of this, not yet. Try to brace yourself for this, I know it's going to be kind of tough to swallow but believe it or not it might be just the thing we need right now..."...[1/2]
You hang up the phone, feeling sick to your stomach. At first there had been anger, but for once that turned to something else, a dry and bitter taste in your mouth. The more Crockett talked the more it made sense why he wouldn't have wanted Delilah to hear this. If it was up to you Delilah would never have to know. It'd be yet another thing that would hurt her, but you know it's a conversation that is going to need to happen soon.Seeing Delilah sitting in the front seat, head down and hands clasped together in her lap is a sorry enough sight. When she looks over at you with somber eyes it just makes your heart hurt even more, especially after the way you had just spoken to her. You try to think of an apology but once you get into the driver's seat you still feel shocked. Crockett told you some heavy news and yet you still can't process it. Delilah says nothing, waiting for you. Nothing comes up and you drive across the street in silence, finding a spot in the parking lot without a word. The more you think it over the quicker the anger starts to return to your throat, a burning sensation as you step out. Delilah must notice the new force in your actions, looking hesitant to come out now. She's only barely stepped away from the car when you come over, looking nervous about your sudden appearance in front of her. The anger and bitterness melts away when you hug Delilah, lifting her off her feet as you embrace her almost suffocatingly close. "What are you-""Sorry." You can't figure out anything else to say, even with the new information you have now. She thinks you're just apologizing for snapping at her earlier, but you really want to say sorry for everything she's been through, with everything she's had to go through even before meeting you. Nothing you can say right now will take away that pain though, and even if you can't ever make it like none of it happened you can do what you can to make Delilah feel better. Later you'll have to talk with Crockett, once again without Delilah, but it's for her own good. "I'm not mad..." Delilah speaks up finally, making you set her back down to ground. "Is everything okay though?""Will be." She might not realize it, but it's a promise you're making right now. They might be absolute hell right now, but with the tiniest chance you have now things can get better.So long as you don't fuck up....[2/3whoops fucked that up]
"How can they be all out of meat?" Delilah looks just as surprised as you are at the empty cooler section. A small paper sign hastily taped up hours earlier states that they are sorry for the inconvenience but that they will be out of certain items for an indeterminable amount of time. "Shortage." you say, picking up another paper that had fallen to the ground. This one had been posted earlier, stating that customers were limited on how much they may purchase at this time in order to allow other customers a chance to get their groceries. So much for that working."Oh, she's going to be so upset..." Delilah tries looking around for any sign of a stray package left behind but comes up empty handed. "And I don't think we can use 'pork hocks' either. Is there somewhere else we could go? I don't really want to come back empty handed.">Tell Delilah that it's fine. It's best to go home for now>Take Delilah over to the butchers across town, don't waste time>Take Delilah over to the butchers across town, show her around a bit during the drive>Write-In
>>1036330>Take Delilah over to the butchers across town, don't waste timeWe're hardly in the right frame of mind for sightseeing.
"Come on," you pull on Delilah's sleeve, having her follow you. "Somewhere...else."Through the store your head stays tucked down and into the collar of your coat, avoiding the gaze of anyone who might recognize you. It feels like a miracle when you make it to the car again, not garnering a single hello or second glance- more so than usual anyways."Where are we going now?" Delilah asks, buckling in as the car and its heaters kick on."Across town. Don't tell... Mom.""Cause you're driving around?""Yeah..." If things were better it might not be so bad to take a leisure drive, but you'll have to fulfill Delilah's want of seeing where you grew up from where she sits by the window. Maybe there will be a time when you can take her through without such heavy shoulders. "Did you go to school there?" Delilah asks, pointing to an old brown brick building. The winter barren trees mostly block the sign upfront the building, but you remember what it looked like up close well enough. Cars will fill the parking lot tomorrow, the streets leading to and away from the building empty as they usually are on Sunday. "Middle school.""Hey, like me!" She doesn't realize it, too busy trying to get a better look at the school, but the exchange just now makes you feel sleazy. It passes by soon enough, vanishing out of sight as you continue down the block. "Do we pass by your high school too?""No. Not this...way. That's other...side.""Oh, it'd be cool to see that too." Leaning against the window, Delilah continues to watch the residential streets pass by. These house by the school aren't as nice as the neighborhood you lived in, but you wouldn't call them unsafe. In fact, there isn't really any area of town you would call bad, not like over in the city. There's more than enough places where you wouldn't want to walk through at night, but here your concerns mostly rest on the talk that travels."Did you ever play there?" A park begins to pass by, a small one with the same tall metal slide."Not since...elementary.""Oh, I guess it wouldn't really be too fun if you're older. Where did you hang out then?""Out of...town.""Really? You didn't do anything here?""Sometimes. Old dance...hall. Abandoned. Would go...there. Usually night.""No way! Wouldn't that be creepy?" It's good to hear Delilah like this, unlike how she was earlier. [1/2]
"Nah. Most roof... missing. Lots light." Not that you were there too often, but you do remember spending nights out too late, doing dumb teenager things in a building that had lost its use after a particularly bad storm threw a tree down into the roof. There wasn't anyone really wanting to foot the costs for repair and so the dance hall was left there, empty and abandoned for any group wanting to come by and waste time. There are a few memories of someone sneaking in a six-pack of beer, sometimes a working radio, and how you all talked about how much you hated this place. No one wanted to stay here, there wasn't a teenager that didn't have leaving this place as their goal. Now you wonder how many ended up stuck here, it was bound to happen to at least a few. "Wouldn't people get mad at you for trespassing though?""No one... cares. Don't go...out there. Too boring. Nothing to...do. Rather drive...out of...town.""You should take me out there, it sounds like fun.""Maybe..." You want to be careful with making promises right now, but Delilah doesn't seem to notice your avoidance of a solid answer. She looks over the small plaza in front of the court house, most of the Christmas decorations still up. Waiting at a stoplight now, she keeps her gaze set on the scene as she starts to speak to you."Is it weird that I miss my mom?" she asks lowly, "Er, maybe not miss but... I want to make sure she's okay. This is the longest I've been away from her and it's weird...""Not weird.""Is it weird that I'm not homesick then? Not even for my old house, :"No." You wait for another question from Delilah but instead her sniffing, looking over just to see her rubbing at her eyes. "I miss the group too..." she admits, trying to keep herself from crying, "I feel bad that we left them that way, that I get to sleep in a warm house and eat good food while they're..." Delilah stops before she can let out a sob, regaining herself rather well. "They'll be fine..." This is just for herself, a reminder to repeat to help her feel at ease. "At least Mr. Crockett was okay... I was scared he'd be in jail right now cause of us." Before you have a chance to say something, to steer the conversation in a more optimistic direction Delilah asks the question you had been fearing."You two talked for a while. It was about me, right? What is it, is it bad?" Delilah starts to mumble now, speaking under her breath- "And don't say it was nothing...I'm not dumb...">You'll make up for keeping secrets from Delilah, make a promise with her>Apologize but tell her that there are times when you have to keep secrets, for her sake>Change the subject, the less you talk about this the better>Write-In
>>1043484>Apologize but tell her that there are times when you have to keep secrets, for her sakeShe'll be disappointed most likely, but better that than upset.
>>1043484>You'll make up for keeping secrets from Delilah, make a promise with her
"You'll know...later. Now not...time," you say, keeping your eyes fixed forward on the road. "Sometimes...better to...keep secrets. Helps you.""Cause I can't really do anything useful..." Delilah mutters, bitter with herself."It's painful...to deal...with. Don't need...you worry...if I...can handle." When Delilah stays silent you start to feel guilty about all this, but recounting what Crockett told you over the phone makes you steadfast on the decision to keep her oblivious, at least for now. She seems fine with keeping quiet for the rest of the car ride, leaving you to try and fiddle with the radio to fill the silence in the mean time. The small white building that rests on the end of the street has a, thankfully, empty parking lot at this time. You take the time to prepare inside the car first, to tug up the collar of your coat to keep as much of your lower face hidden as possible. Not really somewhere you wanted to go, but shouldn't be too much of a headache as long as the trip remains quick. Delilah follows one step behind as usual, though she still has spoken a word since earlier. It's a hopeless wish, but you begin to toy with the idea that maybe everyone has forgotten about you, or that you've come back so unrecognizable, or maybe they will have a new person working the front. The bell jingles above the door as the two of you step inside and immediately you're greeted with a booming voice from the backroom,"I'll be up there in a moment!"You cringe, praying that it would at least be the husband here today. Before, you had tagged along with your mother on errands and learned quickly that the duration of the visits were dependent on who was running the shop. When the man was here it would always be a quick stop, in and out just like any other errand. When your mother and the wife got a chance to talk though-The freezer door swings open and you try to prepare for what's bound to come next, Delilah standing back completely unaware of how terrible this is about to be. "And what may I help you with today sir- Ah, Lawrence?! Why, is that really you boy?" With her usual wide stance and worked hands resting to her hips, the same woman stands before you."Hello...Mrs. Daniels." Upon hearing her name she lets out an excited squeal, the red flecked apron on her dress the only thing keeping you safe from a backbreaking hug. "Oh it is you! It's so good to see you! Did you come with Del? Hm?" It's unsure which she spotted first, the ghastly scars on your face or the young girl standing behind you. "Who's your friend there?" she asks the slightly easier question, even if her eyes are stuck on your cheek."Friend.""My name is Bunny..." Delilah seems taken aback by the woman's robust attitude, taking half a step behind you as a means to shield herself.[1/3]
"Well, aren't you precious!" The lack of questions now just tell you that Mrs. Daniels will ask your mother all the difficult questions later, this woman knows better than to try and get them from you. "So, you two here for business or just to chitchat?""We need to pick up some ground beef." Delilah answers for you."Oh, easy enough. This for your mom?" Mrs. Daniels asks, pulling on gloves. You nod and she pulls out a piece of meat, cutting it down to pieces. "So I guess you're staying with her right now, hm? Have you been back in town for long?""Came yesterday." She's treating this like you had just left on a trip, and you begin to wonder if she's just being polite or if that's how your mother told it."Ah I see I see. Well give me a bit, I can have this all ready for you in a bit!" Mrs. Daniels takes the pieces over the meat grinder set up behind the counter, feeding them in. "It's so nice to see you again, you know? It's really hard to believe how tall you've gotten in the past couple of years. I remember when you only came up to my shoulders. We all thought you were going to be stuck like that as an adult." As the woman talks Delilah takes a look around the shop, looking over the massive amount of photos put up over the years. Family gatherings, snapshots of friends, local events; all of them just places wherever they can fit. "I think I found your parents." Delilah announces and you can already guess which photo she's talking about."Is it the one with the fish?" Mrs. Daniels asks, "Don't Jacks and Del look so nice together in that picture? Course that was before they even had Michele yet, so they hadn't had time to grow any gray hairs or wrinkles! If you keep looking I'm sure you'll find a few with the kids." Delilah preoccupies herself with this, searching over photos of mostly unknown faces. The beef is finally packaged and priced, and you begin to think that this trip isn't going to turn out as bad as you expected."I think I found one with your mom and Michele...but I don't know if I'm seeing your pictures..." Delilah stands back, trying to look over the wall as a whole. "Here, let me help you," Mrs. Daniels hands over the package of meat and steps out from behind the counter to stand by Delilah. She scans over the pictures only briefly, right away smiling as she finds one and pulls it down. "I've always liked this one of him." You organize and put away the change, listening to the girls speak."How old is he in this?""Oh, probably just starting high school I think. This was taken at the grand opening for the school's garden. The students were the ones who did most of the work putting together so they decided to hold a little party for it. There's not much growing this time of year, but it'd still be a nice place to go visit."[2/3]
"Who's the girl?" As soon as Delilah asks that question you realize what picture they're looking at."Oh, that's Vanessa. She was Lawrence's girlfr-""No. No she...was not." All Mrs. Daniels does is chuckle at you, opening the frame to remove the picture. "Oh sure, maybe not officially. But you two would have been cute together and I know how much you pined after her. Vanessa was a lovely girl, well she still is. Her family still lives out in the country, so she comes around and visits often. And every time she's visited so far her little ring finger has been bare~" Mrs. Daniels once again giggles at your frustration over this, handing the picture over to Delilah. "I have an extra one somewhere in my box of photos. Take this as a welcome back gift in the mean time, and make sure to tell Del I said hello! And if I happen to see your little gal pal Vanessa around-"You take Delilah by the hand now, leading her away from a laughing Mrs. Daniels and to the car. All things considered, this trip was a rather painless one. Now you only have to get home and-"You look cute in this." You look over to Delilah's seat, the picture in her hands as she looks it over. In the picture you're carrying a large flower pot, putting on a dopey grin with Vanessa standing just behind you, a large smile on her on face. "Look, your cowlick still looks the same too! Heh, you should smile like this more often." "Looks dumb.""So? It's still cute!" Delilah continues looking over the picture, holding it carefully in her fingers. "And she's pretty...did you two go to school together?""Yeah.""Lucky..." The picture is passed over, letting you look over the black and white photo. "She looks like a nice girl. But you two didn't date? It sounded like you really liked her."Tell Delilah>It was just a school crush and nothing more>Vanessa was nice, but she didn't like you that way>It was for the best>Write-Inand choose what to do with the photo>Keep it for now>Rip it up, no use holding on to it>Write-In
>>1046003>Vanessa was nice, but she didn't like you that way>It was for the bestAt least that's what we kept telling ourselves to make it hurt less.>Keep it for nowMaybe just to reminisce about the times we weren't a fuck-up.
"Didn't like...me. Not like...that." You give the photo one last look over before tucking away in your coat. "For the...best. Probably doing...well." "I think she's missing out." Delilah says, quick to defend you."Missing out?" The car pulls out and onto the street, finally starting the ride to head back to the house. "Not sure. No job. No car. No home. Don't have...anything.""You have me-""Anything... useful." You can't help but feel a grin crawl on your face at the offended look Delilah has, but inside you're still try to hold back the sense of failure. "Besides...good thing...she didn't.""And why is that?" Delilah asks, sulking in her seat now. "Would have...boring job. Wouldn't learn...to draw. Same thing...every day. Wouldn't have...met you." At this, Delilah's face begins to soften up a tad bit as she attempts to keep up the facade of resent. You really doubt Vanessa, or anyone else, would have been able to quell all the pent up angst and restlessness you held up as a teenage. If anything, a relationship with her would have came to a belligerent end, most likely with her inability to deal with the temper you had especially back then."You still have to watch a movie without falling asleep with me later..." Delilah mumbles, holding the butcher package in her lap. This time it's calm in the car, Delilah mostly content to watch the outside. Even just thirty minutes away, you're reminded just how different things are here. The houses are spaced apart, with lawns and more privacy than anything you'd find in a city. While the houses are mostly the same in size they all have a different feel to them, much less cookie-cutter than where you've been spending the past few years. For anyone else it would be a comfy drive, a small sightseeing trip through town. ..."Finally! I was wondering where you two went off to!" Working from in the kitchen, your mother calls out immediately upon your return. Snow clings to both Delilah and your shoulders, falling just minutes before arriving back. "Here, sorry about the wait." Delilah hands the meat over, your mother looking over the package."Oh...? Did you head over to the Daniels? That's so far out of the way, I could have did something else!""Too late." you answer, kicking off and leaving your boots behind where they lay at the front door. Delilah leaves her behind in a much tidier fashion, just as carefully removing the coat to hang up. [1/2]
"Hmph." Your mother returns to the kitchen, the sound of meat hitting a hot pan following soon after. "In that case I would have given you a list of errands... How was Gloria?""Fine." The picture pokes at your from inside the coat, though you know bringing it out would just send your mother through another awkward spiel about your failed love life. "That's good. I'm glad she's been picking up, her husband died a few months ago and I know that she's been taking it rather hard. Maybe I should invite her over to dinner sometime soon..." Over by the stairway you notice a closed cardboard box, your name written on the top in cursive handwriting. "This mine?" you ask from the living room, your mother peeking her head in to take a look."Yep! Just some of your things from when I cleaned out your room, I figured you'd like to look through it and see if there's anything you'd still like. I didn't want to accidentally throw away something you still wanted... why don't you take that upstairs so Jacks doesn't end up tripping on it? Maybe Bunny wants to take a look through them." You pick up the box easily enough, noting though that it is rather heavy and filled up. Delilah has already come to follow half a step behind, no doubt curious about what might be inside. "Need help?" you ask your mother, but she only encourages you to head up and take a look through the box. From the sounds of it, your father is still in the garage doing whatever the hell he's been doing for the past few hours. You lead Delilah to your room, setting the box on the ground as you take a seat on the edge of your bed. "So, this was your room huh?" she asks, looking around."Yeah. Been cleaned. Otherwise...couldn't walk...through here.""Why? Wait, do you throw your clothes on the ground? That's so gross, that's what a laundry basket is for!" Delilah scolds."Some were...clean clothes."[2/3]
"That's even worse!" Mostly done with berating you, Delilah takes the time to look around your room. She looks up at the shelves up on the wall, cassettes and any knick knack you could find to hold them upright resting on top. "There's not too much in here...was it usually like this?""Lot of...it took...down.""Maybe I'm still trying to get over how many pictures that Mrs. Daniels had. It looked really cool though, it was too bad to hear about her husband..." she meanders over to the dresser now, opening drawers only to find them empty. "But it's neat how you guys all have your pictures up there. Like that one of your parents, you look a lot like your mom.""Yeah?" you start to work the tape off of the box to get into the contents inside."Yeah, and your dad-..." Delilah falls silent before finishing the sentence, moving on to the closet. She seems uneasy though, brought on upon herself. "Are these your clothes? I guess that's what you're wearing today, huh? Good thing they still fit, I don't think you'd be able to really fit in anything else.">Ask Delilah if she's scared of your father>Let Delilah check out the box by herself, go take a look at Michele's room while you're alone>Stay here and go through the box>Write-In
>>1048090>Stay here and go through the box>Ask Delilah if she's scared of your fatherSee if we can't nip that in the bud somehow, dad might've startled her during a bad dream and it got muddled. Only one way to find out.
>>1048090>Ask Delilah if she's scared of your father>Stay here and go through the box
sorry guys, have to head back to my hometown for a night. Be back tomorrow!
>>1032491Man its been a whileI want to get into this but there is so much reading and I never finished part 2o_o;
>>1055758Get to work anon.
>>1055868I'm tempted. I have a lot of things I should be doing but that stuff is boring.
>>1055868>MOSEnearly had MOOSE as your ID that wouldve been cool
"Can I look through these?" Delilah asks, pointing to the box of clothes. "I promise, I won't look at any underwear.""Go ahead."With permission, Delilah starts to rummage through the box of clothes, pulling out shirts to look them over. "Was this stuff you wore in high school?""Those gone. Stuff from...after prison." You know it's going to make her uncomfortable, but figure this would be as good of a time to ask. "Delilah.""Hm?" she muses, too occupied with laying the clothes out on the floor."Does Dad...scare you?"There's a sudden shift in her body, but she continues to lay out the shirts. Delilah takes the time to meticulously smooth out one of the shirts, letting out a nervous laugh, "He doesn't scare me. Like he's way different than your mom, but he doesn't seem mean or scary.""It's fine. You can...tell me.""Your dad doesn't scare me, I swear." Delilah finally looks back at you again, holding one of your shirts against her chest. "He's your dad, he can't be that bad." It doesn't sound like she's trying to lie or cover up anything, but her answer doesn't set well with you either. If she's not scared, you can't really figure out what it might be. "Are you going to open that?" It looks like she's gone through your clothes enough, the same shirt from earlier still held tightly in her hands and behind her back."What's that?" you ask, finally tearing away the tape from the box in front of you.Delilah grins. "Mine.""My shirt?" You have no reason to try and get it back from her, seeing no harm in letting her keep it. As you pull open the flaps Delilah kneels down on the ground, looking more excited than you to look through the contents. Right away you can tell it's a bundle of items thrown together with care, things that weren't trash or clothes that your mother had to go through and pick up. Your baseball glove from middle school rests on top, worn out and forgotten had it not been here. "You played sports?" Delilah asks, picking it up and trying it on."Little bit. Dad wanted," you start to shift through the rest of the box, "Wasn't good.""Does that mean there's pictures of you in a baseball uniform? You'll have to show me- I bet your mom would have some." The glove gets tossed aside for now, Delilah ready to see what else might be inside. Most of them look to be souvenirs from the trips the family took together. It didn't matter how much you protested them you would always end up bringing back something. Several shot glasses from gift shops and stands from the visits and road trips, you thought they were cool but had to sneak them behind your mother's back. A half filled jar of coins, the lazy attempt at saving money. A few rocks, ones that you must have found interesting as a younger child and couldn't toss out later. A leather wallet that you used in high school, even though younger you left it empty you take it as a replacement for your stolen one. [1/2]
"Oh, no way!" Looking up, you can see that Delilah is holding a cassette player in hand. "You had one of these? Lucky!" "Christmas gift. Pretty old.""I wonder if it still works..." she fiddles around with it, trying all the buttons and examining the inside, "I think it might need new batteries..." As Delilah continues to try and work the cassette player you pull out one of the last items from the box. The moment your fingers brushed up against the fuzzy texture, you knew instantly what it was going to be. The oldest item in the box, you start to feel a sad warmth spread in your chest."Maybe there's some batteries downstairs," Delilah looks back up you, eye lighting up as she spots what rests in your hand. "Whoa wait, was that in there? Is it really yours?"The dark blue teddy bear holds her attention now, a checkered patch over where one of the ears had been torn off long ago. "Yeah. Is mine.""It's so cute! Who gave it to you?" Delilah moves over, taking a closer look at the bear. "Mom. Was toddler. Said I...wouldn't stop...crying till...she bought." You had loved that thing for years, only growing out of it around middle school. From there you did what any teen boy would do, and stuffed it away out of sight. Couldn't let your friends know you had something like this laying around your room, even if you didn't have the heart to simply toss it out. Must have just been easier to stash it away and try to forget about it. There were times when your mother would ask about it, she wanted to keep it as some sort of keepsake. For whatever reason you couldn't have been bothered to search the room for it, and you're surprised that she even put it back in here. "Aw, you were a little cry baby~" Delilah teases, reaching out for the bear. In retaliation you hold it out of reach, keeping it away even as she begs for it. You remember the bear, while you're certain that Michele had her own sort of security blanket. She hadn't been ashamed to keep hers around, and your certain that it would still be on the bed. Or in her own box, if your mother did the same for her.You finally let Delilah hold it, watching as she looks it all over. "Wow, you were really rough with this thing.""Course. He was...my friend. Took him...everywhere. When sis...was busy""Heh, I can just imagine high school you walking around the halls with his teddy bear at hand." Delilah holds the bear away, knowing that she has all the power to tease you now. "It is cute though, I wouldn't think a boy would keep something like this around for so long. Does he have a name?""Mitch.""Mitch?""Like...Michele.""Oh, I get it." Delilah tugs on the remaining ear, testing to make sure he's still held together well.>Let Delilah have it as a gift>Give it to your mother as an apology>Leave it in Michele's room as a memento >Write-In
>>1057258>Leave it in Michele's room as a memento
Whatever happens to the rest of the stuff doesn't really matter, but you still wouldn't have the heart to toss out the bear. Delilah hands it back over, picking up the cassette player once more. "Is it okay if I mess around with this?" "Go ahead." The longer you look at the bear the heavier your chest feels. Clutching it you rise up from the bed, moving out towards the hall. "Be back.""Um, okay. I might go down and see if there are any batteries I can find for this."You leave Delilah behind in the room, walking towards the door that has remained closed. At the door knob you hesitate, looking over at the stairs to make sure you're still alone. Before prison, in that short amount of time you had been home after the hospital, your mother had insisted on leaving Michele's room exactly how it was. She'll be upset if she comes home and finds that I touched her roomWith a deep breath and trying not to think about it too hard, you open the door.You were hoping the room would have been like yours; tidied up but mostly the same.It breaks your heart to see that the room is exactly how it was when you left. Dust has gathered up on the shelves and dresser though, something your mother wouldn't have allowed to happen before. She might not have wanted to move things, but she also didn't want her daughter to return how to a dirty place. She had allowed herself to make the bed and wash the clothes that stayed in the hamper, but otherwise it was how Michele had it. Even the textbook she had from school remained on the desk, opened to whatever page she had been reading a paper with scribbled notes resting beneath it. You let the door close behind you now, not wanting to be seen in here. It doesn't look like anyone had come in here for a long time, the closed vent allowing the room to become cold compared to the rest of the house. You switch the lamp on, allowing a soft light to finally fill the room. It doesn't really feel right for you to be in here like this; had you done this as a teenager Michele would have had a fit, yelling at you to stay out of her room while she was gone. Just typical requests from a teenager wanting to keep her privacy, and you would do it just to annoy her. But rather than mischievous there's a feeling of mourning. It no longer feels like the room of a teenage girl trying to deal with life and school, but now a place to mourn. It feels like Michele should walk in at any moment, fall down on the bed, and complain about school, other students, her boyfriend. To spill whatever was bothering her that day, and you would listen. But Michele isn't here.She's buried under cold hard dirt and snow, with a grave marker that might as well not be there.And you weren't able to bring her home. [1/2]
Though the thoughts have passed through before they hit harder than before now, the final confirmation. Knees too weak to stand you end up collapsing on the bed, the yellow flower pattern of her blanket shifting beneath. "Sorry..." You speak words that can't even fall onto dead ears, only finding the words to apologize when there's no one around to hear. "I'm so...so sorry." A burning sensation begins to blur your vision, a tight squeezing blocking breath to your lungs. Everything hurts, and once more you have only yourself to blame.You don't sob, not this time, but hiding your face behind a palm in an empty room you can easily feel the hot tears against your hand. For now you just need to take a moment, just enough time to clear your head and compose yourself before facing anyone else. It's one of those moments where the tough facade you keep up could easily shatter, and you'd rather not have to pick up the pieces again so soon. "Lawrence? You in here son?"The moment your father speaks it feels like your heart has jumped up and out of your chest, like you've been caught red handed."Dad-""I just came up to let you know, lunch is ready." Your father stands at the doorway, and you begin to wonder if he's too afraid to step in."Okay.""Had to come check it out, huh?" He takes a look around, you standing sheepishly from the bed. "Hopefully we didn't end up moving around too much stuff. I remember how she would chew Del out about how she could do her own laundry. Course, you didn't mind that mom did it for you.""Yeah..." A nervous chuckle escapes from you. As your father continues to examine the room you in turn look over your father. Delilah claims she isn't afraid of him, and while you can't see how he could frighten someone by accident you just want to know what's wrong. What could he possibly be doing to scare her? He's never been rude to guess, and you can't fathom him saying anything awful to her. "Your mom is still hoping, you know." your father speaks up finally, breaking the invisible boundary and taking steps into the room. [2/3whoops]
"She blamed herself for such a long time, Del probably still does. She thinks it's her fault all this happened, that she messed up somewhere.""She didn't.""Doesn't matter how many times you tell her that. Del still thinks it's her fault that Michele is gone." He walks over to the desk, touching the surface as he looks over the handwritten notes. You couldn't imagine it any other way, your mother would hold on to any hope she had left. Your father is harder to read though. He had always been a straight forward man, someone who didn't beat around the bush and got to the point. If something was broken than he knew when to call it quits, he wouldn't delude himself in fixing it. "She's tried not to talk about it too much, but when she's thinking that if one of her kids came home than maybe both of them will." He hesitates, but picks up a photo that had been wedged under the book. >Ask your father if he thinks Michele will come home>Tell him that she shouldn't get her hopes up>Tell him that you went to go look for her, but failed (don't mention her death yet)>Write-In
>>1062568>Tell him that you went to go look for her, but failed (don't mention her death yet)