What to gift a girl on her birthday

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Author Kurt

2018.08.28 02:28 KurtisEckstein Author Kurt

A collection of short-stories by author Kurtis Eckstein, mostly taken from WritingPrompts.
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2020.07.10 20:41 random8962c MIL (50f) seems to not like me (19f). What can I do?

My boyfriend (20m) and I have been together for 4 years and he introduced me to MIL very early on (after our second date). I thought she was sweet at first and I was sure we would get along since we we are both Hispanic, but she slowly began to show her true colors. Now, she's not very nice. She's commented on my acne scars to my boyfriend many times and has asked him if he could "truly love a girl with such an acne-ridden face." I recently got laser surgery for my acne, and it's cleared my face so much, and she didn't say a word. She's made snarky comments on my weight when I was overweight and still does even when I'm no longer over weight. She constantly makes comments on my behind and talk about how "LARGE" it is and has even gone as far as to imitate it by stuffing her pants with pillows, which triggered my boyfriend to go into a rage of yelling and cursing at her. During family events, she makes me very uncomfortable. While playing board games, she's yelled at me multiple times for not understanding the rules and I've really tried to hold back tears.

She's constantly comparing herself to me in terms of looks, personality, and intelligence. I think the scariest and creepiest thing she's done is get a Brazilian butt lift to have her's look like mine (I overheard her talking to her oldest daughter about it and I felt so weird).

Two years ago, a new member has been introduced to the family and it's my boyfriend's brother's girlfriend. To MIL, she's the perfect one. On her birthday, she threw this big party and made her a cake and everything. Whenever she visits, she makes dinner and they all watch movies together. On her graduation day, she was given flowers and gifts upon gifts. I get none of this and never have. MIL doesn't even remember my birthday and usually stays in her room whenever I come visit them. If she does see me, she just scrolls through her phone and looks like she's just ready to leave.

I'm not sure why, but I have this gut-feeling that she really wishes my boyfriend would break up with me. He loves me lots and is very protective of me. She makes me feel so excluded and terrible at times that I start to doubt myself. What can I do?
submitted by random8962c to JUSTNOMIL [link] [comments]


2020.07.10 17:38 WinterBright My found family is 1000% times better than my birth family.

Like a lot of LGBTQIA+ individuals I've had a rough go of it. Due to unfortunate life events I saw myself living on my own, moving to California, then moving back to Colorado where I came from and having to live with my parents. Things, aren't great. My parents are the type who only care if I'm safe as an idea, physically I'm okay. They don't care about my mental health or treating me with respect. Today if all days, is very difficult for me in regards to my family. Today is my birthday 🎂. Not only is today my birthday, but today is also my mother's birthday. Ever since I was little we celebrated together, until I came out and then changed my name. This time last year I was living on my own, and my at the time boss (Bless his heart, we're still friends) took me out to dinner with his wife so I wouldn't have to be alone. I wasn't on speaking terms with my mom at the time (I barely am now, and I only am out of necessity), as one of the last interactions I had with her was her telling me a slew of abhorrent things in a letter that I won't repeat, along with how ashamed she is to be associated to me. ANYWAY - my found family. I have so many loving and caring friends I am lucky to have, some I've only know for a short time at my new job, who have treated me with nothing but love and respect. When I'm at home, I get looks of contempt and disappointment, I see the way they sigh and glare in disapproval when they think I don't notice. Then my work... I come in today, my desk is adorned with confetti and streamers, gifts and happy birthday wishes all about. They celebrate Winter, they celebrate and love the person I am and love and respect me for being myself. Yesterday, another friend who I wouldn't see today brought me a cake decorated with "It's a girl!" Delicately written atop by their partner. How did I get suck equally unlucky and lucky? How did I find myself in this place where I'm forced to be around family who holds me with utter contempt for who I am, and those who I've just met who love me so much, and those friends I've held for years and years despite all the dramatic changes? I don't know what I'll do today. I don't want to go home, as I know my family will only want to celebrate [deadname] and my mother. I can partially understand it, but I'm tired of them pining for this idea of the person they think I was instead of celebrating the person that I am. Last year I didn't celebrate, this year I may have to out of necessity.
My apologies if this is a bit too rambley, today is a really weird day.
submitted by WinterBright to TransyTalk [link] [comments]


2020.07.10 17:04 ForeverLost81 Full Story - Please please try not to judge me harshly - I know I am a bad person

***long post** barely covers it but this is the short version. I started a job 2yrs 2 months ago, my boss was based mainly at another site an hour away but started frequenting our site. He started flirting with me a lot, knew I was married, have been since 20yrs old. Rumours he had slept with the two girls at the other depot but he dismissed that and sounded believable and I could never ask them as I am married. I just believed him. We got friendlier and he got flirtier until I told him nothing could happen. He told me he was a workaholic, thought he was born to work. He literally did work 7 days a week 6 til 10 as an average. Said he dumped the person who was probably the love of his life at 25 as he never wanted marriage and kids, said she was a bit of a nymphomaniac too. He said sex wasnt a big deal to him though. Told me he had had one night stand. Then told me his latest relationship was over, that he had moved out a few months prior after 6yrs but he would always be friends with her because they'd been through a lot at the start of their relationship when her ex died. Said he had never been intimate with her. Gave various reasons. I believed him when he said he hadn't as it was far fetched as lies go, he said they were friends more than anything and he always slept in the spare room once he moved in. So anyway I fell for him in the end, never been unfaithful before, was always a good wife, felt a little like I missed out on life in a way settling so young but I would never cheat. He changed that, I fell hard. He love bombed, told me he loved me from day one, we were meant to meet, he never felt love was like in the movies til me. Bombarded me with romantic messages, in and out of work, saw me nightly (husband worked away in the week). Messaged all day and all night. He bought gifts, he was thoughtful, was romantic, said he never knew love like in films was real until now. Said he never felt comfortable cuddled up etc or even sat on sofas with people but he felt entirely at ease with me. He said he no longer felt work was all he was born for. He had some quite big health issues, heart ones so often had high blood pressure etc, was in and out of hospital weekly. Fainted a few times and I wanted him to slow down work and out of work he was always helping his mum and sister out. One day he had cardio version and he still drove that night the hour to my house even tho he felt awful. He bought gifts a lot, saved coffee cup kids with my lipstick mark on them, went out of his way for me. Told me his family drama but obviously I never met them, apparently they knew about me though. Said he wanted me to meet them, his mum and sister. He did an awful lot for them too, his mum had health issues, had had Mrsa yrs ago and suffered since and told me his sister had mental anxieties and often caused drama, both worked in thr care industry so didnt earn much unlike him he said so he supported a lot. Anyway a couple of months later my husband found messages. I didnt want to hurt him to admitted only to a drunken work do kiss. I told him I was leaving him. He cried etc and my affair guy suggested I stay til the kids were older, then I said that's too long so he said just let's see the year out, save money so you're secure as he knew I was worried sick about leaving my husband for financial reasons. I told my husband I was done though as I didmt feel it was fair to him. The affair guy told me no matter his emotions I was the love of his life now and always would be. I went on holiday that had been pre booked with H and kids and when I came back my affair partner started pulling away. I started getting anxious. He said he was having family dramas with his sister and his mum, his health was getting worse and work was stressful, some I knew was true but wasnt convinced on all. I then got a picture off him from his ex girlfriends location according to the pic and I flipped. He calmed me down and said his phone had frozen. He was meant to be living with his mum at this point but again I wasnt certain. He told me he had sold his house to buy one nearer to me but I googled that house and it sold a year prior,I confronted him and he said it was a mistake. So from summer 2018 til xmas things got a little sketchy. He kept pulling back and saying he just needed to sort his head out. I offered so many times to end it and let him sort his head out and stuff he kept saying no. Then at xmas I got a disciplinary at work and was facing the sack. He said i would be fine, as an aside I actually wasnt in the wrong here but less than 2yrs stood no chance. All the while I was living with my husband mainly because I did always want to be friends with him at least and couldnt afford to leave but my husband knew my heart was gone. I got the sack in Jan 2019. Around the same time I was told I had skin cancer on my face and had to have surgery. Affair guy said it was all a bit much alone with his family issues helping out his sister in debt etc. He was always doing something for someone it seems. I got a new job but between jan and March I barely saw him. Intimate nights stopped, ended up being quickie in a hotel or meet up for a bit in the car at lunch. In march I went to his ex girlfriends house overnight, he told me he was at his mums. I saw his car. I messaged him and told him we should just be friends and I drove away but he saw me and chased down after me, cried and cried and said he didnt know what to do, life was too much, he wanted to die. That when I went on holiday the September before he had broke down and had more health drama, he went to his ex gf's and she just let him go back to 'his' room. He told me he stayed a couple of nights a week but hadn't dare tell me. He really did cry. I believed him when he said nothing was going on, stupidly. We carried on but I got more and more anxious. He kept putting me off meeting his family, made me more anxious after he said I could, I had asked about meeting his ex and he had said yes once he told her but to give him time as he just wanted to be normal for a little while longer, no health stuff, no telling his ex about me and upsetting her or my meeting his mum whilst we weren't 100% even tho he said his mum knew about me. Cried again and said his health was failing and he still couldn't see his own future never mind one with me, told me he wanted me at his funeral. I asked if his ex would be there and if I was found out she wasnt an ex, he denied. Told me he had lost the pics of us together, his phone had lost them so he couldn't send me them after I had asked for months. In april i was bad, i looked at his sisters public Instagram, there was a pic of her with her mum and boyfriend and then one of her with another woman. The woman i suspected was his ex gf. I called and he denied denied denied, said it was the sisters friend. That his mum had just gotten out of hospital that day and it was to cheer her up. He went mad at me suggesting it was his ex. Anytime i suggested the ex wasnt an ex he blew up at me, said he wouldnt be putting up with all this if he didnt love me etc. went away for a week that night and I believed him again but my god I was paranoid by now. Couldnt exactly ask anyone for evidence of anything, married after all. He then got his sister to privatise her instagram, made me more paranoid. When I got home he told me his dad died. I created a false instagram account, added his sister and found the day after his dad dies she had posted a cheery post about late start in work. Bad I know but I was digging at this point. He had denied so much until i had proven it. I had my face surgery which he went with me, barely spoke to me then avoided me for 7 weeks. I was a wreck now, still hadn't met his family, nothing seemed certain but he kept saying he was suicidal and needed space. In july on my birthday I went back to her house, a card in the window, to my amazing girlfriend.....I called him and told him to stay away from me as he obviously lied. He found me, again, said he was off work as he was so ill. Took me to the room he supposedly stayed in, bed made, he said she made it. I went into her room, his clothes in there, you name it. He told me thsts just how it always has been but he slept in the spare room and got his clothes the night before or from the laundry basket that was in his room etc etc. I wanted so badly to believe him and he kept saying he was just trying to keep her happy whilst sorting his head and his life out and she left him to it, that's why he was there, for space. Still insisted he was in the spare room. Said he wanted to die as he was in pain from his medical stuff daily and his mental health was awful. I kept talking about leaving him and he kept threatening suicide. My head was screwed. I carried on but he barely ever saw me, except for he fixed my car for me but no more romance, nothing like how it was. I kept telling him to leave her and me, sort himself out that way but he kept getting angry saying I was pushing him, how could I push someone with so many issues. How uncaring could I be. Said if he was using me what was he gaining as all we did was argue...I felt awful. I told him he needed to sort his life out, work less and start actually having a life, he was saying he was miserable and he said he would but I needed to back off, he said he would leave his job and her house but not until he felt comfortable enough to do so. Fast forward to November and I saw online his mums house sold and I questioned him, he hadn't told me, he said nothing. He also knew I had faked an instagram account because by this point his sister was pregnant and he told me it was a boy and she posted it was a girl, I admitted what I had done as I never once lied to.him. He has basically then said he wanted space til after xmas, that he was moving out of his girlfriends house and quitting his job, sorting his life out. I called him before xmas having seen him on WhatsApp, something he always refused to be on and he said I was stalking and stuff, said he was terrified I would show up at his mums or his ex's. I said i went to hers twice to find out the truth, I had no reason to go back and I never once made contact with her or his family. I left it til after xmas. When I called then he said he had quit his job, moved out in with his mum, wont tell me where he lives now or works. Said I am a stalker, I scare him and he has blocked any onlne trace of himself. His ex gf picture even disappeared off his sisters Instagram, he told me he isnt likely to talk to her again but I feel like he just wants to protect her from me. He told me nobody from his work would leave off the back of him leaving but I already know his receptionist left at the same time. He said he wants never to be in a relationship with me and that he never cheated; that I shouldve given him space and time. I even found out he lied about where he was born tho, why lie about that. The day his mum was in hospital was actually her birthday and it was his ex on thr picture. His dad owns the house he told me he sold to live nearer to me, his mum has been working thr entire time, his sister was in her steady relationship a year before he met me, I found that out on Facebook as she joined and that part is public. He is nowhere online except ebay, he hates social media. NOw I feel like I messed him up, made him want to commit suicide but he is now happy and I am crying every day wondering what happened to that amazing guy, what happened to me, what do I do now because I hate that he hates me, it hurts that he says I scare him. It hurts knowing he moved on so easily like i never really meant anything to him.
Found out during one of the last phone call his sister had a baby, he didn't want to talk to me and said she had it that morning and it was an awful day for him as they were both in intensive care and said i should think about what other people might be going through before calling. I found out later she had the baby 3 days earlier. I found out just recently that the day he said his mum was in hospital and his ex and sister etc were all there it was his mums birthday, she hadn't been in hospital. Found out his mum is not poorly like.he told me and is working still. Found out his sister was in a steady relationship from before I even met him, he told me it started around same time and his and mine and was on/off causing drama. Found out the house he told me was his and he sold at the start of our relationship so he could buy somewhere nearer to me sold a year before and is currently in his dad name according to land registry (his father who has apparently been dead a year). He is seeing someone else even tho he told me he wanted nobody. He never wanted WhatsApp or his family etc on social media, he now uses it and his family are now on Facebook. Did he just lie to me.because I was married, will he be being normal with this new girl he is seeing. I know no details of her just that he is buying her lots of gifts like he did me at the start but if she is single then he wont have the hassle of marriage, he will introduce her to his family, cannot lie about details regarding them etc. Is it just me that he has treated so badly?? His ex was with him 7yrs and still clearly loved him judging off a card she wrote but he couldn't maintain anything with me, is that my fault? What does she have better than me or if hes moved on now will be better after having hurt me and having changed his work lifestyle so much and having less stress and more free time. I broke NC last night, an 'accidental message and then he called but that threw me so I was a bit quiet and so he dialled off and I sent him one more and said I miss him and I am still struggling but he didnt reply. He only argued when i said he was cheating on me or needed to make time after how he started it all. And why string me along with threats of suicide for a year then now it's like I never existed. He is still friends with his other ex but I dont exist. Havent seen him since November. To be clear I did leave my husband as I know it's not fair and maybe I deserve to feel this way. I know he has treated me badly, counsellor said it was emotional abuse but I can't understand it, I still see him as a good guy deep down who wanted to be good and that I just didn't give him space. I still miss him. I come across as an awful person i know, I've done bad things. I am hoping not to be judged too harshly because I am sorry, truly sorry for what I have done. I just don't know how to move forward without missing him and feeling i messed it up.
submitted by ForeverLost81 to BreakUps [link] [comments]


2020.07.10 15:01 Tehvitan The Pledge, the Turn, and the Prestige: A narrative-focused analysis of The Last of Us Part II. (originally posted on r/gaming)

Disclaimer and Disclosure: This review contains spoilers of nearly all major plot points in The Last of Us Part II. I completed The Last of Us on grounded mode because I am a masochist. I am currently playing through The Last of Us Part II, but have watched my wife play through the entirety of the game.
The framing device for The Prestige (a film primarily about two magicians whose fates are brutally and inextricably linked) is a monologue by Michael Caine’s character about the three parts to a magic trick. With echoes of the three-act structure, Caine explains that the first part, the “Pledge,” is the presentation of something the audience is familiar with. The second part, “the Turn,” brings awe and disbelief—in the film, this is the magician’s disappearance from the stage. At this point, Caine says, the audience is trying to find the secret, waiting for the resolution, because making something disappear isn’t enough—you have to bring it back. And that journey, the “Prestige,” is the hardest part.
The Pledge
The end of The Last of Us has Joel and Ellie safe on the outskirts of Jackson, having survived a nearly endless onslaught of horrors ranging from the horde of infected that plague the world to the innumerable factions of tattered survivors the plague created. Ellie’s safety, however, comes at an incredible cost—the obvious societal cost is the devastating loss of a cure, but the personal cost is a destabilizing force in Joel and Ellie’s relationship, buried just below the surface. Despite everything they’ve gone through together and all they mean to each other, Joel risks undermining the whole of Ellie’s trust in him by taking away Ellie’s agency and choice as to what she does with her own life. This is what the audience knows at the outset of The Last of Us Part II.
Entering the game, you play as Ellie wandering through the streets of Jackson after a tough night, surrounded by burgeoning life and community—there are stores and pubs, theaters and children playing about. This hard-won slice of freedom from the infected is small compared to the wide world, but it’s a sanctuary, and it’s theirs.
Soon after, we switch to playing as Abby, an initially nameless girl who arrives in Jackson on a desperate mission. When we first meet her, we’re not sure who she is, what role she has to play, or how long we’ll be playing from her perspective—in retrospect, this is not only the beginning of the interweaving of Abby and Ellie’s storylines, but also our first experience with asymmetric information. As the audience, we carry Joel’s devastating secret to be kept safe from Ellie, but as the narrative unfolds, we become keenly aware that many characters in the story harbor secrets from us as well.
A short while into the game, we see the brutal killing of Joel at the hands of Abby. When the game was first released, several reviewers noted that the game was being review-bombed by users, leading to extremely disparate critic and user scores. They also noted that these reviews had come in just several hours after the release of the game, suggesting that most of them had been posted without the user having played through the entire game.
I think it’s clear that the review-bombing was in part a reaction to Joel’s murder—not just the fact of it happening, but the confluence of events that leads to it. As you play as Abby for the first time, you feel out of place—you play a character you don’t know or understand, but you are carrying out whatever semblance of a plan she has. This is different from the player experience in the original. In The Last of Us, you play as Joel and Ellie, knowing for the most part what their intentions are, and what they feel at each turn. Their choices are hard, but understandable, and players are well within the moral window to rationalize and support those choices.
As Abby, you run into Joel and Tommy and you help each other escape a terrifying onslaught of infected. Moments of extreme pressure and survival make for fast friends, but Abby uses that trust to bring Joel and Tommy back to her campsite where she ultimately tortures and kills Joel. It feels bad because a seemingly random girl wandering the mountains in search of Joel overcomes immensely improbable odds to kill a hero. It feels bad because she betrays a trust forged in the chaos of survival to do so. And it feels bad because the game makes the player complicit in Joel’s murder. But needling in the back of my mind is Joel’s secret. Watching Ellie witness Joel’s murder is heart-wrenching—I had to actively take some time to process it—but even in the moment, I couldn’t help but think that it had to be related to the cure Joel took from the world, and that Abby had a deeply personal stake.
The response from the community since the release of The Last of Us Part II has ranged from a deep appreciation for the game’s invocation of strong emotion to the misdirected anger and despicable death threats toward Abby’s voice actor, Laura Bailey. Joel’s death is a catastrophic event that shakes the player and the entire town of Jackson, but the fact of his secret cannot be forgotten. Obvious but obfuscated, Joel’s act of saving Ellie is the center of the story. It represents the love and restoration of a man who lost his daughter, lost everything. It represents the pain of betraying a loved one’s trust to keep that person safe. But it also represents the irretrievable cost of that choice to the whole of humanity.
Once you believe that Abby’s mission was personal and certainly related to Joel’s choice, a parallel forms—Abby is the dark half of Ellie. Fierce, even when alone, she is a survivor, fighting against impossible odds, against the professed wisdom of the collective, toward a singular goal in the chaos of the world. What we see in Abby is what vengeance looks like, even in the face of wrongs that are far past undoing.
The Turn
Ellie and Tommy are left alive by Abby and her crew, and they each embark (Tommy first, Ellie second, accompanied by her love interest, Dina) on a journey to avenge Joel. The player understands Ellie’s journey: Joel may have taken the cure from the world, but Ellie has no idea. As the narrative progresses, we see beautiful, comparatively serene flashbacks interwoven with the intense horror and stress of Ellie’s present journey. All the while, we see shadows of Joel’s secret echoing around Ellie in the past—the memories of a former Firefly who committed suicide after the group’s failure to stabilize society, Ellie unsuccessfully pushing Joel for answers when her doubts inevitably resurface. The player understands—Ellie is blameless here, because she was robbed of her choice, and cannot fathom why a group of people would travel nearly a thousand miles to murder Joel in cold blood.
But we learn that she knew all along. After Ellie confronts Nora (who Ellie later tortures for information on Abby), we are brought to a flashback several years prior where Ellie issues an ultimatum, and demands answers from Joel after she revisits the Firefly hospital where they were going to develop the vaccine.
He gives them. He tells her that creating a cure meant that she would have to die. That he couldn’t let that happen. And (through subtext) that even if she grew to resent him for his choice, it would still mean she was alive to do so.
This drastically changes the tenor of our outlook on Ellie’s journey to Seattle—it’s not that she doesn’t know why Abby killed Joel, it’s that she doesn’t care. We aren’t severed from our connection with Ellie as a character by any means, but we begin to understand it a little less. Nora’s conversation with Ellie tells us that Abby killed Joel because of what he did. Ellie knows this, but against her need for vengeance, it does not matter. She pushes forward, and we understand her a little less with each kill, with Ellie ultimately murdering Owen (Abby’s close friend and love interest) and Mel (a WLF medic pregnant with Owen’s child) before returning to her Seattle hideout, and abandoning the hunt for Abby.
All the while, the narrative neatly slots in parallels between Ellie and Abby—Ellie’s mission essentially traces Abby’s mission in reverse, both having love interests involved in pregnancies with another person. We begin to see that Abby may not be the dark half of Ellie, but rather an opposing reflection.
The end of Ellie’s journey in Seattle dovetails with Abby’s, just as we are brought back to the movie theater that Ellie and her crew use as a local base for the last time. The morning that Ellie and company prepare for their journey back to Jackson, Abby arrives, killing Jesse (the father of Dina’s child), and injuring Tommy. As Abby holds a gun to Ellie, telling her that she found the bodies of her friends that Ellie killed, telling her that Ellie and Tommy squandered their chance at living after she chose to leave them alive, we wake up as Abby on the morning of her first day back from killing Joel.
Abby’s story begins with a feeling of community within the WLF stadium not dissimilar to what we experience when we first walk through Jackson as Ellie. We walk in her shoes, experiencing life and all the little moments that make us human. We see the faces of those that Ellie killed, living their lives in the haven this group built. We see the aquarium Owen discovers with Abby, echoing Joel’s birthday gift to Ellie of the natural history museum tour. And we learn that Abby’s father was the first doctor that Joel shot as he entered the operating room to rescue an unconscious Ellie.
As we are introduced to Abby’s world, we see her wrestling with her part in an ongoing war between the WLF and the Seraphites. By the end of her first day back, she finds herself captured by the enemy, narrowly being rescued by two defectors from the religious sect—a sister and a brother (Yara and Lev). Yara’s left arm is shattered by the Seraphites, but the trio manages to escape together. After they reach a place of safety, Abby splints Yara’s arm and leaves.
That night, Owen tells Abby a story about an old Seraphite he encountered during a skirmish. The old man didn’t try to retrieve his weapon or continue fighting when his unit was overwhelmed—he just looked tired, and ready to die. That story wandering in her mind, Abby returns for Yara and Lev the next day and brings them to the aquarium for treatment and safekeeping.
Unfortunately, the conflict between the WLF and the Seraphites escalates into all-out war, and Abby finds herself rushing into the fray with Yara to rescue Lev, who has gone back to save his mother. The Seraphites’ island is in chaos and ruin—fire engulfs nearly everything in sight, Lev kills his mother in self-defense, Yara dies saving Abby, and Abby and Lev narrowly escape the island.
At this point, Abby has had a real challenge of a day. Her world has been turned upside-down, her closest friend is leaving for Santa Barbara to chase rumors of the Fireflies regrouping, and she just fought through the front lines of an active warzone to save the life of a former Seraphite. She returns to the aquarium for a bit of rest, but finds Owen, Mel, and her dog, Alice, all dead.
This brings us back to the intersection of Ellie and Abby’s stories. Abby holds a gun at Ellie after having killed Jesse, with Tommy cowering on the floor. She’s prepared to shoot when a sudden scuffle leaves Tommy badly wounded, with Abby chasing Ellie through the theater.
The ensuing battle is emotionally difficult to play. You control Abby, chasing and beating Ellie down, at one point, nearly strangling her to death. But as I watched the fight play out, my misgivings about Ellie’s intentions evaporated—it didn’t matter that she was single-minded in her vengeance, it didn’t matter that she knew about Joel’s secret. All that mattered was that she lived.
Abby ultimately defeats Ellie, moving to slit Dina’s throat before finishing Ellie off, but Lev intervenes. The former Seraphite, the boy who was told by his mother and clan that he was wrong about who he was, embodies whatever forgiveness and peace Abby can muster. And in the end, it’s enough. Abby leaves Dina and Ellie alive, warning Ellie to stay away from her, and heads to Santa Barbara with Lev.
The Prestige
We wake up as Ellie on a small farm with Dina and her newborn child, Potato (given name J.J., probably for Joel and Jesse). You find Dina in the kitchen doing something or other, you search for a toy elephant of Potato’s in the front yard, you meander through your vegetable garden before tending to your flock of sheep in the backyard—everything is idyllic, peaceful, at rest.
It could end here. Ellie could be content and live out the rest of her life on a small, self-sufficient farm with her love and their child. She could spend her days just living, traveling the short path between her hard-won slice of solace and the town of Jackson, wandering into town to see familiar faces, come and go as she pleased.
It could end here, and Ellie might be happy—but it’s not that simple. The sound of metal cracking against a hard surface—a shovel in the barn—brings Ellie right back into the basement where Joel was tortured. She relives that moment in her mind over and over, with stray sounds able to leave her stranded in the memory, alone. She hears him begging for her to rescue him, for her to be strong enough, but of course, she can’t. She hears him die thousands of times—she can’t sleep, she can’t eat—until finally, one night, she begins packing her backpack.
Dina finds Ellie in the middle of the night preparing for the journey. She doesn’t want to think it, but she knows that Ellie is going after Abby. Ellie tells her so. Dina says that she can’t handle waiting anymore, wondering day after day if Ellie is dead or alive, but Ellie won’t change her mind—she’s going.
Ellie’s departure feels like a ghastly unearthing. I can understand this as an attempt to rid herself of her PTSD—in fact, with everything she’s gone through, I’m surprised she doesn’t have infinitely more triggers. I can also understand the heat-of-the-moment promise she made to Tommy to make Abby pay after she shot him and he was left for dead. But watching everything unfold in what felt like an epilogue, I wondered if vengeance alone was sufficient to drive her to what almost certainly was her final journey.
We switch to Abby’s perspective one last time as she searches for the Fireflies with Lev. She finds a way to rendezvous with the regathering group, but is immediately captured by a brutal frat-like group that seems to pit their prisoners against infected in cage matches for their amusement.
You arrive as Ellie in Santa Barbara a couple of months later. You cut a swath through the Rattler ranks, ultimately finding Abby bound to a tall post on the beach, delirious, emaciated, tired. Ellie cuts Abby down, who in turn, cuts Lev down. Abby tells Ellie there are a few boats nearby they could use to escape. Ellie says nothing, but follows quietly.
What follows is an emotionally brutal battle between Ellie and Abby. When they reach the boats, Ellie tells Abby she can’t just let her go with Lev. Your heart sinks—why, Ellie—but Abby refuses to fight, until Ellie threatens to kill an unconscious Lev.
In my mind, I was fairly convinced that Ellie and Abby would both live. The combat sequence made me unsure. Each punch or grapple in the prolonged back-and-forth fight scene was agony, waiting for something to give, waiting for the end to come, until finally Ellie pins Abby beneath the water. She strangles and begins to drown her, holding Abby’s head underwater as she flails helplessly. A moment passes. Another. And then it happens—a single frame of Joel with his guitar, bathed in porchlight, flashes in her mind, and she stops. Ellie releases Abby, and tells her to just leave with Lev—and Abby does.
In one of the first scenes of the game, Joel visits Ellie at night, and plays a song for her on guitar: Future Days by Pearl Jam. The first lines: “If I ever were to lose you / I’d surely lose myself.” Throughout the game, we watch Ellie pick up various guitars and play a few notes of that song here and there, in remembrance. There is, however, a reason she never finishes it. It’s not because she can’t, although she is missing several fingers after her final confrontation with Abby—it’s because the song isn’t hers. The lyrics are beautiful, but the refrain is really Joel’s. The Last of Us was about Joel finding someone to live for, someone to love, and someone worth dying for, after having nothing and no one for so long. When Ellie lets Abby go, it’s not because she realizes that cycles of violence are pointless. I believe it’s because she realizes that she is more than just her relationship with Joel.
For the longest time after Joel tells Ellie the truth, she believes that she was supposed to die in that Firefly hospital, and that her death would be a gift to the world. Once Joel took that away, her purpose vanished as well—if she was not a cure, then she was nothing at all, just a husk of what could have been.
Whatever you may think of what Joel did, he gave Ellie a chance at life. He was willing to sacrifice everything to do it, and if given the chance to do it all over again, as he tells her in our final flashback, he would make the same choice. For Joel, the loss of Ellie would be the loss of himself, but what Ellie realizes in her moment of clarity is that her loss of Joel does not mean she has to lose herself too. We are more than what we can do for others, and we have value simply in living our lives.
The Last of Us Part II is a stellar piece of storytelling. Imperfect, sure, but it feels silly to magnify the imperfections until they blot out what is an eminently worthy conclusion to the original game. What everyone on The Last of Us Part II team crafted was nothing short of magic—through music, narrative, details, and gameplay, they unearthed the shallow-buried secret that defined the first installment, complicating our heroes and making us complicit in their questionable decisions and actions, journeying through fresh hellscapes and endless cycles of violence, until we arrive at the end with our hero, her humanity alive, and our faith in her just a bit worse for wear.
submitted by Tehvitan to lastofuspart2 [link] [comments]


2020.07.10 14:55 Tehvitan The Pledge, the Turn, and the Prestige: A narrative-focused analysis of The Last of Us Part II. (originally posted in r/gaming)

Disclaimer and Disclosure: This review contains spoilers of nearly all major plot points in The Last of Us Part II. I completed The Last of Us on grounded mode because I am a masochist. I am currently playing through The Last of Us Part II, but have watched my wife play through the entirety of the game.
The framing device for The Prestige (a film primarily about two magicians whose fates are brutally and inextricably linked) is a monologue by Michael Caine’s character about the three parts to a magic trick. With echoes of the three-act structure, Caine explains that the first part, the “Pledge,” is the presentation of something the audience is familiar with. The second part, “the Turn,” brings awe and disbelief—in the film, this is the magician’s disappearance from the stage. At this point, Caine says, the audience is trying to find the secret, waiting for the resolution, because making something disappear isn’t enough—you have to bring it back. And that journey, the “Prestige,” is the hardest part.
The Pledge
The end of The Last of Us has Joel and Ellie safe on the outskirts of Jackson, having survived a nearly endless onslaught of horrors ranging from the horde of infected that plague the world to the innumerable factions of tattered survivors the plague created. Ellie’s safety, however, comes at an incredible cost—the obvious societal cost is the devastating loss of a cure, but the personal cost is a destabilizing force in Joel and Ellie’s relationship, buried just below the surface. Despite everything they’ve gone through together and all they mean to each other, Joel risks undermining the whole of Ellie’s trust in him by taking away Ellie’s agency and choice as to what she does with her own life. This is what the audience knows at the outset of The Last of Us Part II.
Entering the game, you play as Ellie wandering through the streets of Jackson after a tough night, surrounded by burgeoning life and community—there are stores and pubs, theaters and children playing about. This hard-won slice of freedom from the infected is small compared to the wide world, but it’s a sanctuary, and it’s theirs.
Soon after, we switch to playing as Abby, an initially nameless girl who arrives in Jackson on a desperate mission. When we first meet her, we’re not sure who she is, what role she has to play, or how long we’ll be playing from her perspective—in retrospect, this is not only the beginning of the interweaving of Abby and Ellie’s storylines, but also our first experience with asymmetric information. As the audience, we carry Joel’s devastating secret to be kept safe from Ellie, but as the narrative unfolds, we become keenly aware that many characters in the story harbor secrets from us as well.
A short while into the game, we see the brutal killing of Joel at the hands of Abby. When the game was first released, several reviewers noted that the game was being review-bombed by users, leading to extremely disparate critic and user scores. They also noted that these reviews had come in just several hours after the release of the game, suggesting that most of them had been posted without the user having played through the entire game.
I think it’s clear that the review-bombing was in part a reaction to Joel’s murder—not just the fact of it happening, but the confluence of events that leads to it. As you play as Abby for the first time, you feel out of place—you play a character you don’t know or understand, but you are carrying out whatever semblance of a plan she has. This is different from the player experience in the original. In The Last of Us, you play as Joel and Ellie, knowing for the most part what their intentions are, and what they feel at each turn. Their choices are hard, but understandable, and players are well within the moral window to rationalize and support those choices.
As Abby, you run into Joel and Tommy and you help each other escape a terrifying onslaught of infected. Moments of extreme pressure and survival make for fast friends, but Abby uses that trust to bring Joel and Tommy back to her campsite where she ultimately tortures and kills Joel. It feels bad because a seemingly random girl wandering the mountains in search of Joel overcomes immensely improbable odds to kill a hero. It feels bad because she betrays a trust forged in the chaos of survival to do so. And it feels bad because the game makes the player complicit in Joel’s murder. But needling in the back of my mind is Joel’s secret. Watching Ellie witness Joel’s murder is heart-wrenching—I had to actively take some time to process it—but even in the moment, I couldn’t help but think that it had to be related to the cure Joel took from the world, and that Abby had a deeply personal stake.
The response from the community since the release of The Last of Us Part II has ranged from a deep appreciation for the game’s invocation of strong emotion to the misdirected anger and despicable death threats toward Abby’s voice actor, Laura Bailey. Joel’s death is a catastrophic event that shakes the player and the entire town of Jackson, but the fact of his secret cannot be forgotten. Obvious but obfuscated, Joel’s act of saving Ellie is the center of the story. It represents the love and restoration of a man who lost his daughter, lost everything. It represents the pain of betraying a loved one’s trust to keep that person safe. But it also represents the irretrievable cost of that choice to the whole of humanity.
Once you believe that Abby’s mission was personal and certainly related to Joel’s choice, a parallel forms—Abby is the dark half of Ellie. Fierce, even when alone, she is a survivor, fighting against impossible odds, against the professed wisdom of the collective, toward a singular goal in the chaos of the world. What we see in Abby is what vengeance looks like, even in the face of wrongs that are far past undoing.
The Turn
Ellie and Tommy are left alive by Abby and her crew, and they each embark (Tommy first, Ellie second, accompanied by her love interest, Dina) on a journey to avenge Joel. The player understands Ellie’s journey: Joel may have taken the cure from the world, but Ellie has no idea. As the narrative progresses, we see beautiful, comparatively serene flashbacks interwoven with the intense horror and stress of Ellie’s present journey. All the while, we see shadows of Joel’s secret echoing around Ellie in the past—the memories of a former Firefly who committed suicide after the group’s failure to stabilize society, Ellie unsuccessfully pushing Joel for answers when her doubts inevitably resurface. The player understands—Ellie is blameless here, because she was robbed of her choice, and cannot fathom why a group of people would travel nearly a thousand miles to murder Joel in cold blood.
But we learn that she knew all along. After Ellie confronts Nora (who Ellie later tortures for information on Abby), we are brought to a flashback several years prior where Ellie issues an ultimatum, and demands answers from Joel after she revisits the Firefly hospital where they were going to develop the vaccine.
He gives them. He tells her that creating a cure meant that she would have to die. That he couldn’t let that happen. And (through subtext) that even if she grew to resent him for his choice, it would still mean she was alive to do so.
This drastically changes the tenor of our outlook on Ellie’s journey to Seattle—it’s not that she doesn’t know why Abby killed Joel, it’s that she doesn’t care. We aren’t severed from our connection with Ellie as a character by any means, but we begin to understand it a little less. Nora’s conversation with Ellie tells us that Abby killed Joel because of what he did. Ellie knows this, but against her need for vengeance, it does not matter. She pushes forward, and we understand her a little less with each kill, with Ellie ultimately murdering Owen (Abby’s close friend and love interest) and Mel (a WLF medic pregnant with Owen’s child) before returning to her Seattle hideout, and abandoning the hunt for Abby.
All the while, the narrative neatly slots in parallels between Ellie and Abby—Ellie’s mission essentially traces Abby’s mission in reverse, both having love interests involved in pregnancies with another person. We begin to see that Abby may not be the dark half of Ellie, but rather an opposing reflection.
The end of Ellie’s journey in Seattle dovetails with Abby’s, just as we are brought back to the movie theater that Ellie and her crew use as a local base for the last time. The morning that Ellie and company prepare for their journey back to Jackson, Abby arrives, killing Jesse (the father of Dina’s child), and injuring Tommy. As Abby holds a gun to Ellie, telling her that she found the bodies of her friends that Ellie killed, telling her that Ellie and Tommy squandered their chance at living after she chose to leave them alive, we wake up as Abby on the morning of her first day back from killing Joel.
Abby’s story begins with a feeling of community within the WLF stadium not dissimilar to what we experience when we first walk through Jackson as Ellie. We walk in her shoes, experiencing life and all the little moments that make us human. We see the faces of those that Ellie killed, living their lives in the haven this group built. We see the aquarium Owen discovers with Abby, echoing Joel’s birthday gift to Ellie of the natural history museum tour. And we learn that Abby’s father was the first doctor that Joel shot as he entered the operating room to rescue an unconscious Ellie.
As we are introduced to Abby’s world, we see her wrestling with her part in an ongoing war between the WLF and the Seraphites. By the end of her first day back, she finds herself captured by the enemy, narrowly being rescued by two defectors from the religious sect—a sister and a brother (Yara and Lev). Yara’s left arm is shattered by the Seraphites, but the trio manages to escape together. After they reach a place of safety, Abby splints Yara’s arm and leaves.
That night, Owen tells Abby a story about an old Seraphite he encountered during a skirmish. The old man didn’t try to retrieve his weapon or continue fighting when his unit was overwhelmed—he just looked tired, and ready to die. That story wandering in her mind, Abby returns for Yara and Lev the next day and brings them to the aquarium for treatment and safekeeping.
Unfortunately, the conflict between the WLF and the Seraphites escalates into all-out war, and Abby finds herself rushing into the fray with Yara to rescue Lev, who has gone back to save his mother. The Seraphites’ island is in chaos and ruin—fire engulfs nearly everything in sight, Lev kills his mother in self-defense, Yara dies saving Abby, and Abby and Lev narrowly escape the island.
At this point, Abby has had a real challenge of a day. Her world has been turned upside-down, her closest friend is leaving for Santa Barbara to chase rumors of the Fireflies regrouping, and she just fought through the front lines of an active warzone to save the life of a former Seraphite. She returns to the aquarium for a bit of rest, but finds Owen, Mel, and her dog, Alice, all dead.
This brings us back to the intersection of Ellie and Abby’s stories. Abby holds a gun at Ellie after having killed Jesse, with Tommy cowering on the floor. She’s prepared to shoot when a sudden scuffle leaves Tommy badly wounded, with Abby chasing Ellie through the theater.
The ensuing battle is emotionally difficult to play. You control Abby, chasing and beating Ellie down, at one point, nearly strangling her to death. But as I watched the fight play out, my misgivings about Ellie’s intentions evaporated—it didn’t matter that she was single-minded in her vengeance, it didn’t matter that she knew about Joel’s secret. All that mattered was that she lived.
Abby ultimately defeats Ellie, moving to slit Dina’s throat before finishing Ellie off, but Lev intervenes. The former Seraphite, the boy who was told by his mother and clan that he was wrong about who he was, embodies whatever forgiveness and peace Abby can muster. And in the end, it’s enough. Abby leaves Dina and Ellie alive, warning Ellie to stay away from her, and heads to Santa Barbara with Lev.
The Prestige
We wake up as Ellie on a small farm with Dina and her newborn child, Potato (given name J.J., probably for Joel and Jesse). You find Dina in the kitchen doing something or other, you search for a toy elephant of Potato’s in the front yard, you meander through your vegetable garden before tending to your flock of sheep in the backyard—everything is idyllic, peaceful, at rest.
It could end here. Ellie could be content and live out the rest of her life on a small, self-sufficient farm with her love and their child. She could spend her days just living, traveling the short path between her hard-won slice of solace and the town of Jackson, wandering into town to see familiar faces, come and go as she pleased.
It could end here, and Ellie might be happy—but it’s not that simple. The sound of metal cracking against a hard surface—a shovel in the barn—brings Ellie right back into the basement where Joel was tortured. She relives that moment in her mind over and over, with stray sounds able to leave her stranded in the memory, alone. She hears him begging for her to rescue him, for her to be strong enough, but of course, she can’t. She hears him die thousands of times—she can’t sleep, she can’t eat—until finally, one night, she begins packing her backpack.
Dina finds Ellie in the middle of the night preparing for the journey. She doesn’t want to think it, but she knows that Ellie is going after Abby. Ellie tells her so. Dina says that she can’t handle waiting anymore, wondering day after day if Ellie is dead or alive, but Ellie won’t change her mind—she’s going.
Ellie’s departure feels like a ghastly unearthing. I can understand this as an attempt to rid herself of her PTSD—in fact, with everything she’s gone through, I’m surprised she doesn’t have infinitely more triggers. I can also understand the heat-of-the-moment promise she made to Tommy to make Abby pay after she shot him and he was left for dead. But watching everything unfold in what felt like an epilogue, I wondered if vengeance alone was sufficient to drive her to what almost certainly was her final journey.
We switch to Abby’s perspective one last time as she searches for the Fireflies with Lev. She finds a way to rendezvous with the regathering group, but is immediately captured by a brutal frat-like group that seems to pit their prisoners against infected in cage matches for their amusement.
You arrive as Ellie in Santa Barbara a couple of months later. You cut a swath through the Rattler ranks, ultimately finding Abby bound to a tall post on the beach, delirious, emaciated, tired. Ellie cuts Abby down, who in turn, cuts Lev down. Abby tells Ellie there are a few boats nearby they could use to escape. Ellie says nothing, but follows quietly.
What follows is an emotionally brutal battle between Ellie and Abby. When they reach the boats, Ellie tells Abby she can’t just let her go with Lev. Your heart sinks—why, Ellie—but Abby refuses to fight, until Ellie threatens to kill an unconscious Lev.
In my mind, I was fairly convinced that Ellie and Abby would both live. The combat sequence made me unsure. Each punch or grapple in the prolonged back-and-forth fight scene was agony, waiting for something to give, waiting for the end to come, until finally Ellie pins Abby beneath the water. She strangles and begins to drown her, holding Abby’s head underwater as she flails helplessly. A moment passes. Another. And then it happens—a single frame of Joel with his guitar, bathed in porchlight, flashes in her mind, and she stops. Ellie releases Abby, and tells her to just leave with Lev—and Abby does.
In one of the first scenes of the game, Joel visits Ellie at night, and plays a song for her on guitar: Future Days by Pearl Jam. The first lines: “If I ever were to lose you / I’d surely lose myself.” Throughout the game, we watch Ellie pick up various guitars and play a few notes of that song here and there, in remembrance. There is, however, a reason she never finishes it. It’s not because she can’t, although she is missing several fingers after her final confrontation with Abby—it’s because the song isn’t hers. The lyrics are beautiful, but the refrain is really Joel’s. The Last of Us was about Joel finding someone to live for, someone to love, and someone worth dying for, after having nothing and no one for so long. When Ellie lets Abby go, it’s not because she realizes that cycles of violence are pointless. I believe it’s because she realizes that she is more than just her relationship with Joel.
For the longest time after Joel tells Ellie the truth, she believes that she was supposed to die in that Firefly hospital, and that her death would be a gift to the world. Once Joel took that away, her purpose vanished as well—if she was not a cure, then she was nothing at all, just a husk of what could have been.
Whatever you may think of what Joel did, he gave Ellie a chance at life. He was willing to sacrifice everything to do it, and if given the chance to do it all over again, as he tells her in our final flashback, he would make the same choice. For Joel, the loss of Ellie would be the loss of himself, but what Ellie realizes in her moment of clarity is that her loss of Joel does not mean she has to lose herself too. We are more than what we can do for others, and we have value simply in living our lives.
The Last of Us Part II is a stellar piece of storytelling. Imperfect, sure, but it feels silly to magnify the imperfections until they blot out what is an eminently worthy conclusion to the original game. What everyone on The Last of Us Part II team crafted was nothing short of magic—through music, narrative, details, and gameplay, they unearthed the shallow-buried secret that defined the first installment, complicating our heroes and making us complicit in their questionable decisions and actions, journeying through fresh hellscapes and endless cycles of violence, until we arrive at the end with our hero, her humanity alive, and our faith in her just a bit worse for wear.
submitted by Tehvitan to truegaming [link] [comments]


2020.07.10 14:52 Tehvitan The Pledge, the Turn, and the Prestige: A narrative-focused analysis of The Last of Us Part II. (originally posted in r/gaming)

Disclaimer and Disclosure: This review contains spoilers of nearly all major plot points in The Last of Us Part II. I completed The Last of Us on grounded mode because I am a masochist. I am currently playing through The Last of Us Part II, but have watched my wife play through the entirety of the game.
The framing device for The Prestige (a film primarily about two magicians whose fates are brutally and inextricably linked) is a monologue by Michael Caine’s character about the three parts to a magic trick. With echoes of the three-act structure, Caine explains that the first part, the “Pledge,” is the presentation of something the audience is familiar with. The second part, “the Turn,” brings awe and disbelief—in the film, this is the magician’s disappearance from the stage. At this point, Caine says, the audience is trying to find the secret, waiting for the resolution, because making something disappear isn’t enough—you have to bring it back. And that journey, the “Prestige,” is the hardest part.
The Pledge
The end of The Last of Us has Joel and Ellie safe on the outskirts of Jackson, having survived a nearly endless onslaught of horrors ranging from the horde of infected that plague the world to the innumerable factions of tattered survivors the plague created. Ellie’s safety, however, comes at an incredible cost—the obvious societal cost is the devastating loss of a cure, but the personal cost is a destabilizing force in Joel and Ellie’s relationship, buried just below the surface. Despite everything they’ve gone through together and all they mean to each other, Joel risks undermining the whole of Ellie’s trust in him by taking away Ellie’s agency and choice as to what she does with her own life. This is what the audience knows at the outset of The Last of Us Part II.
Entering the game, you play as Ellie wandering through the streets of Jackson after a tough night, surrounded by burgeoning life and community—there are stores and pubs, theaters and children playing about. This hard-won slice of freedom from the infected is small compared to the wide world, but it’s a sanctuary, and it’s theirs.
Soon after, we switch to playing as Abby, an initially nameless girl who arrives in Jackson on a desperate mission. When we first meet her, we’re not sure who she is, what role she has to play, or how long we’ll be playing from her perspective—in retrospect, this is not only the beginning of the interweaving of Abby and Ellie’s storylines, but also our first experience with asymmetric information. As the audience, we carry Joel’s devastating secret to be kept safe from Ellie, but as the narrative unfolds, we become keenly aware that many characters in the story harbor secrets from us as well.
A short while into the game, we see the brutal killing of Joel at the hands of Abby. When the game was first released, several reviewers noted that the game was being review-bombed by users, leading to extremely disparate critic and user scores. They also noted that these reviews had come in just several hours after the release of the game, suggesting that most of them had been posted without the user having played through the entire game.
I think it’s clear that the review-bombing was in part a reaction to Joel’s murder—not just the fact of it happening, but the confluence of events that leads to it. As you play as Abby for the first time, you feel out of place—you play a character you don’t know or understand, but you are carrying out whatever semblance of a plan she has. This is different from the player experience in the original. In The Last of Us, you play as Joel and Ellie, knowing for the most part what their intentions are, and what they feel at each turn. Their choices are hard, but understandable, and players are well within the moral window to rationalize and support those choices.
As Abby, you run into Joel and Tommy and you help each other escape a terrifying onslaught of infected. Moments of extreme pressure and survival make for fast friends, but Abby uses that trust to bring Joel and Tommy back to her campsite where she ultimately tortures and kills Joel. It feels bad because a seemingly random girl wandering the mountains in search of Joel overcomes immensely improbable odds to kill a hero. It feels bad because she betrays a trust forged in the chaos of survival to do so. And it feels bad because the game makes the player complicit in Joel’s murder. But needling in the back of my mind is Joel’s secret. Watching Ellie witness Joel’s murder is heart-wrenching—I had to actively take some time to process it—but even in the moment, I couldn’t help but think that it had to be related to the cure Joel took from the world, and that Abby had a deeply personal stake.
The response from the community since the release of The Last of Us Part II has ranged from a deep appreciation for the game’s invocation of strong emotion to the misdirected anger and despicable death threats toward Abby’s voice actor, Laura Bailey. Joel’s death is a catastrophic event that shakes the player and the entire town of Jackson, but the fact of his secret cannot be forgotten. Obvious but obfuscated, Joel’s act of saving Ellie is the center of the story. It represents the love and restoration of a man who lost his daughter, lost everything. It represents the pain of betraying a loved one’s trust to keep that person safe. But it also represents the irretrievable cost of that choice to the whole of humanity.
Once you believe that Abby’s mission was personal and certainly related to Joel’s choice, a parallel forms—Abby is the dark half of Ellie. Fierce, even when alone, she is a survivor, fighting against impossible odds, against the professed wisdom of the collective, toward a singular goal in the chaos of the world. What we see in Abby is what vengeance looks like, even in the face of wrongs that are far past undoing.
The Turn
Ellie and Tommy are left alive by Abby and her crew, and they each embark (Tommy first, Ellie second, accompanied by her love interest, Dina) on a journey to avenge Joel. The player understands Ellie’s journey: Joel may have taken the cure from the world, but Ellie has no idea. As the narrative progresses, we see beautiful, comparatively serene flashbacks interwoven with the intense horror and stress of Ellie’s present journey. All the while, we see shadows of Joel’s secret echoing around Ellie in the past—the memories of a former Firefly who committed suicide after the group’s failure to stabilize society, Ellie unsuccessfully pushing Joel for answers when her doubts inevitably resurface. The player understands—Ellie is blameless here, because she was robbed of her choice, and cannot fathom why a group of people would travel nearly a thousand miles to murder Joel in cold blood.
But we learn that she knew all along. After Ellie confronts Nora (who Ellie later tortures for information on Abby), we are brought to a flashback several years prior where Ellie issues an ultimatum, and demands answers from Joel after she revisits the Firefly hospital where they were going to develop the vaccine.
He gives them. He tells her that creating a cure meant that she would have to die. That he couldn’t let that happen. And (through subtext) that even if she grew to resent him for his choice, it would still mean she was alive to do so.
This drastically changes the tenor of our outlook on Ellie’s journey to Seattle—it’s not that she doesn’t know why Abby killed Joel, it’s that she doesn’t care. We aren’t severed from our connection with Ellie as a character by any means, but we begin to understand it a little less. Nora’s conversation with Ellie tells us that Abby killed Joel because of what he did. Ellie knows this, but against her need for vengeance, it does not matter. She pushes forward, and we understand her a little less with each kill, with Ellie ultimately murdering Owen (Abby’s close friend and love interest) and Mel (a WLF medic pregnant with Owen’s child) before returning to her Seattle hideout, and abandoning the hunt for Abby.
All the while, the narrative neatly slots in parallels between Ellie and Abby—Ellie’s mission essentially traces Abby’s mission in reverse, both having love interests involved in pregnancies with another person. We begin to see that Abby may not be the dark half of Ellie, but rather an opposing reflection.
The end of Ellie’s journey in Seattle dovetails with Abby’s, just as we are brought back to the movie theater that Ellie and her crew use as a local base for the last time. The morning that Ellie and company prepare for their journey back to Jackson, Abby arrives, killing Jesse (the father of Dina’s child), and injuring Tommy. As Abby holds a gun to Ellie, telling her that she found the bodies of her friends that Ellie killed, telling her that Ellie and Tommy squandered their chance at living after she chose to leave them alive, we wake up as Abby on the morning of her first day back from killing Joel.
Abby’s story begins with a feeling of community within the WLF stadium not dissimilar to what we experience when we first walk through Jackson as Ellie. We walk in her shoes, experiencing life and all the little moments that make us human. We see the faces of those that Ellie killed, living their lives in the haven this group built. We see the aquarium Owen discovers with Abby, echoing Joel’s birthday gift to Ellie of the natural history museum tour. And we learn that Abby’s father was the first doctor that Joel shot as he entered the operating room to rescue an unconscious Ellie.
As we are introduced to Abby’s world, we see her wrestling with her part in an ongoing war between the WLF and the Seraphites. By the end of her first day back, she finds herself captured by the enemy, narrowly being rescued by two defectors from the religious sect—a sister and a brother (Yara and Lev). Yara’s left arm is shattered by the Seraphites, but the trio manages to escape together. After they reach a place of safety, Abby splints Yara’s arm and leaves.
That night, Owen tells Abby a story about an old Seraphite he encountered during a skirmish. The old man didn’t try to retrieve his weapon or continue fighting when his unit was overwhelmed—he just looked tired, and ready to die. That story wandering in her mind, Abby returns for Yara and Lev the next day and brings them to the aquarium for treatment and safekeeping.
Unfortunately, the conflict between the WLF and the Seraphites escalates into all-out war, and Abby finds herself rushing into the fray with Yara to rescue Lev, who has gone back to save his mother. The Seraphites’ island is in chaos and ruin—fire engulfs nearly everything in sight, Lev kills his mother in self-defense, Yara dies saving Abby, and Abby and Lev narrowly escape the island.
At this point, Abby has had a real challenge of a day. Her world has been turned upside-down, her closest friend is leaving for Santa Barbara to chase rumors of the Fireflies regrouping, and she just fought through the front lines of an active warzone to save the life of a former Seraphite. She returns to the aquarium for a bit of rest, but finds Owen, Mel, and her dog, Alice, all dead.
This brings us back to the intersection of Ellie and Abby’s stories. Abby holds a gun at Ellie after having killed Jesse, with Tommy cowering on the floor. She’s prepared to shoot when a sudden scuffle leaves Tommy badly wounded, with Abby chasing Ellie through the theater.
The ensuing battle is emotionally difficult to play. You control Abby, chasing and beating Ellie down, at one point, nearly strangling her to death. But as I watched the fight play out, my misgivings about Ellie’s intentions evaporated—it didn’t matter that she was single-minded in her vengeance, it didn’t matter that she knew about Joel’s secret. All that mattered was that she lived.
Abby ultimately defeats Ellie, moving to slit Dina’s throat before finishing Ellie off, but Lev intervenes. The former Seraphite, the boy who was told by his mother and clan that he was wrong about who he was, embodies whatever forgiveness and peace Abby can muster. And in the end, it’s enough. Abby leaves Dina and Ellie alive, warning Ellie to stay away from her, and heads to Santa Barbara with Lev.
The Prestige
We wake up as Ellie on a small farm with Dina and her newborn child, Potato (given name J.J., probably for Joel and Jesse). You find Dina in the kitchen doing something or other, you search for a toy elephant of Potato’s in the front yard, you meander through your vegetable garden before tending to your flock of sheep in the backyard—everything is idyllic, peaceful, at rest.
It could end here. Ellie could be content and live out the rest of her life on a small, self-sufficient farm with her love and their child. She could spend her days just living, traveling the short path between her hard-won slice of solace and the town of Jackson, wandering into town to see familiar faces, come and go as she pleased.
It could end here, and Ellie might be happy—but it’s not that simple. The sound of metal cracking against a hard surface—a shovel in the barn—brings Ellie right back into the basement where Joel was tortured. She relives that moment in her mind over and over, with stray sounds able to leave her stranded in the memory, alone. She hears him begging for her to rescue him, for her to be strong enough, but of course, she can’t. She hears him die thousands of times—she can’t sleep, she can’t eat—until finally, one night, she begins packing her backpack.
Dina finds Ellie in the middle of the night preparing for the journey. She doesn’t want to think it, but she knows that Ellie is going after Abby. Ellie tells her so. Dina says that she can’t handle waiting anymore, wondering day after day if Ellie is dead or alive, but Ellie won’t change her mind—she’s going.
Ellie’s departure feels like a ghastly unearthing. I can understand this as an attempt to rid herself of her PTSD—in fact, with everything she’s gone through, I’m surprised she doesn’t have infinitely more triggers. I can also understand the heat-of-the-moment promise she made to Tommy to make Abby pay after she shot him and he was left for dead. But watching everything unfold in what felt like an epilogue, I wondered if vengeance alone was sufficient to drive her to what almost certainly was her final journey.
We switch to Abby’s perspective one last time as she searches for the Fireflies with Lev. She finds a way to rendezvous with the regathering group, but is immediately captured by a brutal frat-like group that seems to pit their prisoners against infected in cage matches for their amusement.
You arrive as Ellie in Santa Barbara a couple of months later. You cut a swath through the Rattler ranks, ultimately finding Abby bound to a tall post on the beach, delirious, emaciated, tired. Ellie cuts Abby down, who in turn, cuts Lev down. Abby tells Ellie there are a few boats nearby they could use to escape. Ellie says nothing, but follows quietly.
What follows is an emotionally brutal battle between Ellie and Abby. When they reach the boats, Ellie tells Abby she can’t just let her go with Lev. Your heart sinks—why, Ellie—but Abby refuses to fight, until Ellie threatens to kill an unconscious Lev.
In my mind, I was fairly convinced that Ellie and Abby would both live. The combat sequence made me unsure. Each punch or grapple in the prolonged back-and-forth fight scene was agony, waiting for something to give, waiting for the end to come, until finally Ellie pins Abby beneath the water. She strangles and begins to drown her, holding Abby’s head underwater as she flails helplessly. A moment passes. Another. And then it happens—a single frame of Joel with his guitar, bathed in porchlight, flashes in her mind, and she stops. Ellie releases Abby, and tells her to just leave with Lev—and Abby does.
In one of the first scenes of the game, Joel visits Ellie at night, and plays a song for her on guitar: Future Days by Pearl Jam. The first lines: “If I ever were to lose you / I’d surely lose myself.” Throughout the game, we watch Ellie pick up various guitars and play a few notes of that song here and there, in remembrance. There is, however, a reason she never finishes it. It’s not because she can’t, although she is missing several fingers after her final confrontation with Abby—it’s because the song isn’t hers. The lyrics are beautiful, but the refrain is really Joel’s. The Last of Us was about Joel finding someone to live for, someone to love, and someone worth dying for, after having nothing and no one for so long. When Ellie lets Abby go, it’s not because she realizes that cycles of violence are pointless. I believe it’s because she realizes that she is more than just her relationship with Joel.
For the longest time after Joel tells Ellie the truth, she believes that she was supposed to die in that Firefly hospital, and that her death would be a gift to the world. Once Joel took that away, her purpose vanished as well—if she was not a cure, then she was nothing at all, just a husk of what could have been.
Whatever you may think of what Joel did, he gave Ellie a chance at life. He was willing to sacrifice everything to do it, and if given the chance to do it all over again, as he tells her in our final flashback, he would make the same choice. For Joel, the loss of Ellie would be the loss of himself, but what Ellie realizes in her moment of clarity is that her loss of Joel does not mean she has to lose herself too. We are more than what we can do for others, and we have value simply in living our lives.
The Last of Us Part II is a stellar piece of storytelling. Imperfect, sure, but it feels silly to magnify the imperfections until they blot out what is an eminently worthy conclusion to the original game. What everyone on The Last of Us Part II team crafted was nothing short of magic—through music, narrative, details, and gameplay, they unearthed the shallow-buried secret that defined the first installment, complicating our heroes and making us complicit in their questionable decisions and actions, journeying through fresh hellscapes and endless cycles of violence, until we arrive at the end with our hero, her humanity alive, and our faith in her just a bit worse for wear.
submitted by Tehvitan to thelastofus [link] [comments]


2020.07.10 07:41 Moondial19 AzurVerse: Observation 7. Diplomatic Tension.

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The rain seemed never-ending. It fell in stage curtains, blackening everything in a thick grey shade. Along with the biting wing and shrieking thunder, this was definitely a bad time to do something. Unfortunately, the world doesn't stop moving during a tropical storm. Even for a pair of twins.
"RUN! Put your foot into it!"
"I'M RUNNING! I'M RUNNING!"
Running as fast as the wind allows across the port were Selene and Cross, drenched to the point of saturation.
"We're almost there!"
"I know! I know!"
Through the haze of rain and wind, a large brick building appears. The main Lecture Hall. They rushed through the doors at breakneck speed. Taking a breather at the entrance, the pair began to quickly take off their inundated clothes. After all, there was something important to be done.
"I like watching storms as much as the next guy, but running through them is just awful!"
"Yeah, it must be bad for misses 'I conveniently lost my umbrella in the wind so I had to steal the only one my brother had'!"
"I did! Just ask Enty!"
"Yeah right..."
"Besides, you look good in that!"
"I'm only wearing this because my building is out of power and my jackets are still dirty."
"Well I think you should wear it more, regardless of the weather."
Cross was never one to care about fashion, being a proud practitioner in the function over form philosophy, however today was an exception. Along with his standard jeans and long-sleeve/undershirt combo, he wore a white with black trims caplet that reached from his shoulders all the way down to his thighs. Dotted along the caplet were grey dragonflies, Cross' favorite animal. It was a present from Cleveland for Cross' birthday. Cleveland's sowing skills surprising all except Helena who helped her make it. Fortunately for him, the caplet came with a hood, and for the most part, it's waterproof. Cross slowly took the caplet off and carefully hanged it a coat hanger, one that was already adorned with many different coats and jackets of various styles and designs.
"Looks like everyone else is here..."said Cross. If there was one good thing to come out of this day, it's that everyone arrived on time, a rare sight at the base. Especially with this current weather.
"Good, that means we can started right away." responded Selene. She continued, "Did your emergency handouts made it okay?"
"Yeah..." Cross said while pulling a folder out from under his long-sleeve shirt, "good thing that caplet was water-proof, or else these would've gotten ruined."
"Yeah, and we wouldn't want your precious handouts ruined, now would we?"
"Shut it."
"Now then...let's begin."
The pair brushed each other up and slowly walked down the hallway towards a large pair of wooden doors, guarded by two German battlecruisers. Even with them being closed, the distinctive chatter of many Kansens echoed from inside the room. After a quick sigh and a straightening of her cap, Selene and Cross walked up to the door.
"Commander, Head Researcher."
"Hey you two."
"Good afternoon Gneisenau, Scharnhorst, is everything ready?" Selene asked.
"Affirmative, Commander. All of the equipment has been set up according to your specifications, in addition, all participants have been provided the necessary pencil, spare sheets of paper, and towels as per your brother's request." Gneisenau responded.
"And we're here to beat anyone up who tries to get in!" Scharnhorst added.
"We are on guard duty sister, not active combat patrol." Gneisenau retorted.
"Same thing!"
"Ladies, can we please get in?" said Cross.
"Please, come in." responded Gneisenau.
The two ships parted and allowed the twins to pass through the door. On the other side was one of the few lecture halls used by the some of the more experienced ships to pass down their knowledge to the newer acquisitions to the fleet. Sitting in the many rows of seats are the respective leaders of each faction in Azur Lane, along with a few aids. Standing at the front podium were Belfast and Sheffield, attentive as always. They both bowed as the twins approached and quietly moved off to the side, just in case their services were needed. Cross and Selene stood behind the podium, Selene clearing her throat and Cross checking over his folder. All the while, the room was still full of voices, as if the audience haven't even noticed their arrival, or just didn't care at the moment.
"Hello? Is this-okay then. Alright everyone, quiet down so we can start."
Selene's voice cut through the noise with her characteristic soft yet commanding voice. The room slowly but surely quieted down. After the room fell silent, Selene continued.
"Thank you. Anyways, welcome everyone. I know the circumstances of today's meeting are a little difficult, especially with our original meeting hall being currently flooded, but I want to thank everyone for attending today. So, with that out of the way, let us begin with our Bimonthly Faction Meeting."
The Bimonthly Faction Meeting, was an idea put foreword by Cross to help lesson the tension that still exists between the many different factions currently at the base. While they may be united under one banner, old storms still brew between them. Selene liked the idea and began holding the meetings. The effect these meetings have been hard to discern, but Selene is hopeful they've helped.
"Before we get started, let us begin with role-call." said Cross
Cross has always hated public speaking. The idea of many eyes watching his every move wasn't a pleasant one to him. However, he has certainly improved since being stationed at the base. His improvement came in small steps, mostly due to his time ordering Akashi and Yuubari around. Eventually, in a few years, he was capable of leading small fleets around. But he always left the public works to his sister. Cross pulled out a sheet of paper from his folder and a pencil from his pocket.
"Washington."
"Here." The boastful leader of the Eagle Union, wearing her confidence as always. To her right sat Brooklyn, an expert in foreign "diplomacy" and to her left was Enterprise. Enterprise and Selene exchanged quick waves before Cross continued.
"Nagato."
"I am here." The soft-spoken miko of the Sakura Empire, looking as if not a single drop touched her. To her right sat her ever-present protector, Kawakaze. To her left was a slightly annoyed Akagi. It wasn't hard to see why, as her hair and tails were absolutely soaked.
"Queen Elizabeth."
"I am present." The Royal Monarch, defiant to a fault. Accompanying her was Edinburgh to her right, looking suddenly worried as if shocked by her Queen's brazen attempt to outdo Nagato. To her left was Warspite, giving a silent apology to Nagato, who looked confused by the whole incident.
"Bismarck."
"Present." Cold as always, the iron-willed leader of the Ironblood, careful not to show any weakness, even here. To her left was Prinz Eugen, silently amusing at the developing situation with the Royal Navy and the Sakura Empire. To her right sat her sister, Tirpitz looking, as usual, indifferent to everything around her.
"Yat Sen."
"Present!" The voluntary leader of the Eastern Radiance, always trying to display the glory and power of her nation, in some shape or form. Probably to make up for the small size of their fleet. Flanking her are Ping Hai and Ning Hai, looking disinterested and somewhat hungry.
"Vittorio."
"Present." While her sister Littorio held the title of leader for a while, Vittorio, after some convincing, reclaimed her role as the flagship. She now leads her fleet proudly and with distinction. Littorio sat to her right, still wearing a rose tucked into her hair, looking out at the other ships with a look of curiosity. To her left was Zara, always keen on standing with her friends.
"Rossiya."
"Here." The frozen Empress. Her addition to the fleet caused some ruckus in the other factions, mainly because no one particularly likes the Northern Union, but she has made some effort to bridge the gap, so to speak, between herself and the other flagships, with mixed success. Sat to her right was Avrora, a veteran fighter and much more familiar with Azur Lane than her comrades, and to her left sat Chapayev, coy as always.
"Richelieu and Jean Bart"
"Present."
"Aye."
Sat close but not too close to one another were the pirate and the cardinal. The process of reunification between the Iris Libre and the Vichya Dominion has been slow as of late, but fortunately, no one has shelled each other. The sisters have begun to repair their broken relationship as well, though it has became a bit complicated due to the addition of Gascogne. Each sister brought their own assistants. Richelieu brought Jeanne d'Arc and Le Triomphant, both of which are happy to see their former allies, and Jean brought Dunkerque and Algerie, who are a bit more tense about the situation they're in.
"Alright then, everyone's here. Sis, you can begin."
"Okay then. First things first, our current weather situation."
Cross handed Selene a sheet of paper, the latest weather report, while Akashi, who is manning the projector, started the slideshow.
"According to WMO, Typhoon Frank-"
A quiet snicker could be heard in the room.
"-is expected to pass completely over the islands in two days. We are currently working on restoring power to all buildings relatively unaffected by the storm, however, buildings moderately to heavily damaged will have to wait for the floodwaters to recede so we don't cause more problems. As for the storm itself-"
Bismarck quickly raised her hand.
"Oh, yes Bismarck?"
"Are you positive that the current meteorological phenomenon assailing us is not the product of Siren intervention or action?"
"Uh...Cross?" Selene whispered.
"It's not Bismarck, I've checked five separate times. All of our navigation, communication, observation and detection equipment are still running fine. Nor has Purifier tried hacking into our comms to prank-call us. Trust me, we're not under attack."
"That is good to hear, Head Researcher." and with that Bismarck lowered her hand.
"Anyone else, got any questions about the storm?" Selene called out.
A few other ships raised their hands.
"Not about the potential for Siren involvement."
Everyone but Queen Elizabeth lowered their hands.
"Do you have a question Elizabeth?"
"Yeah I do! I specifically ordered for some summer clothes and tea leaves and they have yet to arrive! What's taking them so long?!"
This time, Cross spoke up.
"Driving transport ships through a major storm like this is very dangerous, so they took a different route. Ironically enough, our shipment of storm equipment and clothing is being held back by this very storm, so if you girls ordered anything, it will probably take a while for it to come here. As for the tea shipment, we lost contact with it a few days ago but the weather is too bad to mount a search for it."
"But-but, my TEA!"
"Elizabeth, please, calm down." said Selene.
"Fine! But it better arrive soon! I can't relax without my tea!"
"Anyone else, no? Alright then."
The sound of wind and rain can still be heard, even through the thick walls of the lecture hall. Despite this, the meeting continued.
"Our next topic of discussion would be upgrading. We have successfully managed to stockpile a large amount of usable spare-parts and tech to repair and replace some aging equipment on your girls riggings."
Many Kansens began speaking, conversations and speculations about the sudden news. The prospects of fresh and new gear was enticing to all.
"Quiet down everyone. We can begin refitting after the storm has passed and basic base functions are returned to full capacity. There is one issue though."
Any conversations that continued stopped suddenly.
"As you all know, the storm has caused damage to many of the buildings on-site. Unfortunately, that includes the storehouse, where the parts are stored. Due to this, a lot of the parts have been damaged, some beyond repair. As a result of this, we only have limited parts available. We will need to decide where those parts will go too."
Aside from the howling wind and scratching rain, the room was completely silent.
"I know it's a complicated issue..." Selene resumed.
"But, I know we can come to a-"
Muffled noises started coming from the right-side doors. While no clear words could be heard, it was clear that several different voices were coming from behind the doors.
"It appears we are under attack." said Bismarck while standing up from her chair.
Her compatriots also stood up looking fiercely at the door.
"Pests. I'll take care of them quick." said Sheffield as she cracked her knuckles.
"Oy! I've been looking to blow off some steam!" Jean also began to rise, stretching while doing so.
"If they want a fight, we'll give 'em one!" Washington joined into the fray.
Before anything else happened, Selene yelled at the slowly arming attendants.
"Wait! You can't just start shooting up the place! Listen!"
Everyone quieted down, though they stayed standing, staring intensely at the doors. In the gaps of the howling wind, a few words can be heard.
"I...no"
"...I'm the...it!"
"Who made you...boss?"
"We..."
"SHUT IT!!!!"
After hearing Scharnhorst's voice cry out, Selene quickly reached for her phone and called Gneisenau. After a few tense seconds, she picked up.
"Hey! Is anything wrong?"
"What? Interlopers? What do you...oh."
All of the intensity of the moment quickly fled as Selene heard what was going on.
"Sis, what's going on?" asked a worried Cross.
"It's them." Selene deadpanned.
"Who?"
Right after Cross asked that, the argument outside grew in intensity, their voices much clearer now. Upon hearing a few words, all notion of danger also left Cross, replaced by ever growing annoyance.
"Let. Us. IN!"
"For the last time, NO!"
"I got this...I am Matsuri! Champion of Hololive and future wife to Fubuki! I will not be stopped! AYYYYYYYYYYY...*thonk*...owwwwwww"
"Can we please stop trying to punch them?"
"I don't see you trying to do anything Pinky!"
"Hey! Fakkyu!"
"We are wasting our time here, I wanted to read some more."
"You can read when we're done Blanny!"
"My name is Blanc."
As the scuffle continued, everyone slowly came to the realization and collectively sat down. Some, almost looking disappointed. Others, especially Sheffield, very annoyed.
"Uhhh...can we please talk to the Commander?"
"Commander Vale is currently busy holding a very important meeting with the flagships of the many factions of Azur Lane. These meetings are imperative to maintaining the stability of the fleet. These meetings, which you are now interrupting. I will ask nicely one more time. Vacate the premises immediately, or be considered enemies of the Ironblood."
Serious as always...thought Cross. By now, the entire room has begun to voice their grievances.
"We're members of this fleet too you know!"
Deciding enough is enough, Selene got back on her phone.
"Hey. Yeah I can hear them. Yes, they're very bright. Hey, ummm...let them in. Yeah, you heard me correctly, let them in. That's an order."
"What are you doing?" Cross whispered to Selene.
"Crisis prevention." she responded.
The doors were quickly opened and running out from was a girl. Her hair is lavender, as well as her eyes and dominating her look was a large white jacket covered with plus signs. She quickly ran up to the front of the podium and posed dramatically.
"Finally! I thought we would never get past those witches!"
"Hello Neptune..."
Neptune, Goddess of Planeptune, or so she says, as she has yet to display anything resembling divinity. Even when using her HDD. Ever since she showed up suddenly at the base with her friends, things have become much more interesting at the base. Especially to Cross who has yet to deduce how exactly they got here.
"Heya Commander! Watch any lewd st-"
"NO! I mean...*cough*...what are you doing here."
"To be with you of course...and to represent the proud faction of Planeptune!"
"How are you dry!?" asked Cross.
"My model only comes in normal, beach episode, stripped or bedtime. I don't have one for soaked."
"What?"
"Regardless..." Selene intervened, "what do you want Neptune?"
"To be in the meeting, of course!"
"You want to be part of this meeting."
"Yep! I even brought some associates of mine! Here we have Noire..."
"Don't put attention on me!" Noire shrieked.
"And...everyone's favorite! Blanc!"
"Hello, apologies for interrupted your meeting." Blanc droned.
"Don't forget about us!"
Behind the three goddesses were more colorful (literally) characters, to the amusement/displeasure of everyone else in the room, who were silently watching the scene play out. Even Akashi was now watching as an idol, fox and high-school cheerleader walked in accompanied by brown and pink haired triplets.
"Kizuna, Sora." said Selene, noticing the two walk up to the podium as well.
"Hai domo!"
"Good afternoon, Commander!"
"I assume you want to be here as well."
"If you want us to be...that is." said Sora.
"Come on Sora! Show some backbone!" cheered Neptune.
"While I appreciate backbone Neptune, I do not tolerate insurrection and disobedience." said Selene.
"If you want to join," she continued, "please quietly take some unoccupied seats so we can resume, okay?"
"Jeez, you're starting to sound like that bookworm. Whelp, whatever you say boss!" responded Neptune, much to the anger of Bismarck. She then pulled a slowly fuming Noire and a blank Blanc over to some seats in the back.
"We'll go and sit down, come Fubuki and Matsuri, we can find some seats over here." Sora led the her kitsuneko and under MP investigation friend over to near where the Sakura ships were sitting.
"Come on girls! Let's show our patience and attentive skills!" Kizuna cheered as she walked with two near exact copies of herself to a few empty seats in the middle row.
"Okay then...now we can resume."
Everyone started to settle down as Selene resumed the presentation.
"As I said before, we have a limited amount of parts available, so we need to create a system to best distribute them. I don't want anyone left out so...any ideas?"
"Equal distribution to all Commander, it only makes sense." said Rossiya.
"But we need them more than you! Most of us took a beating during the last operation! You joined the game late!" yelled Elizabeth.
"I will have to disagree, unlike your Royal Navy, we will utilize them to much greater affect." chimed Bismarck.
"Oh yeah? Who asked you turtleback?!"
The entire lecture hall quickly devolved into arguments as many different ships began fighting over pieces of metal. The recent arrivals however, were mostly quiet. Mostly. Sora and her friends where silently looking around at the mess with some astonishment. The Kizunas were trying, unsuccessfully, to perform damage control and Neptune was trying to squeeze her way into some of the arguments. Much to the dismay of Noire.
"How long did that last?" Selene asked.
"About forty seconds, new record." responded Cross as he looked at his pocket-watch.
The venue was quickly getting more violent as arguments heated up to the point that their soggy clothes felt drier by the second.
"Okay then, have any ideas?"
"Distribute them on a need-to-need basis. When the gear on them gets unusable, we give them the new stuff while scrapping their old gear for any usable parts. Waste not, want not kind of thing."
The aids were beginning to get involved as verbal shells were lobbed every which way. Belfast and Sheffield, still waiting off to the side of the podium, looked somewhat indifferent. It's not the first time a fight of this magnitude broke out. Akashi, however, was having a blast.
"That might work...do you think we have enough though?"
"I made some estimates...we should have enough."
While rules forbid the activation of rigging inside most buildings, that didn't stop anyone from using other means to hurt each other.
"We'll see how it goes."
"So...you're going to stop this?"
Belfast, attentive as always, has already called Vestal to come over just in case. Sheffield on the other hand, stood ready to intercept any projectile that could harm Selene. Not Cross though...
"Not for a few more moments. This will help them blow off some steam without blowing the roof of the building. I know the past few weeks have been very stressful for them so this might help...somewhat."
"You should do it soon. Jean and Richelieu are starting to pull at each other's hairs and Bismarck is starting to have her murder stare."
"I got this, we'll discuss the fine details later. You might want to close your ears."
Selene leaned into the microphone, took a deep breath and...
"WOULD ALL OF YOU SHUT UP!!!!"
Yelled with the force equal to the storm still raging outside. The entire hall looked like it was frozen, as if framed in a photograph. As if time itself has stopped. All of the attendants stared at each other awkwardly with faces of mixed shock, embarrassment, horror and amusement. Each of them took turns lowering down onto their seats, their movements janky and stuttered.
"Everyone calmed down? Good. Now, seeing how you girls failed to come to an agreement, I will be deciding what is going to happen. After the storm has passed, Cross and I will take stock of spare pieces and decide what is the best way to distribute them, okay?"
"But-"
"No buts! We will figure this out, okay? Is that fine?"
Some of the attendants silently nodded while the rest of the them remained silent.
"Good. Now, onto other matters. Our Independence Day party is still on so I need everyone to be on their A game for the preparations. We're expecting some of the Admiralty to be present so I want this to be good! We have the fireworks and standard performances already planned out...but..."
The mood quickly turned to dull to bubbling excitement. While Independence Day is an Eagle Union celebration, multiple other factions also take part in the event. From the Radiance helping with the fireworks to the Sakura Empire prepping the food.
"We still have several empty slots for performances, so, if anyone has any ideas. Would you please, one at a time, voice them?"
Washington was quick to raise her hand first.
"Sandy, Sara and Lex have been bugging us about something called and 'Idol' performance for this party. You think you can possibly arrange that?"
The thought of San Diego performing in front of the people who pay both of them as well as get funding for the base scared greatly both Cross and Selene. So she tried to drop the idea.
"W-well...you see...we just had the Polaris performance not too long ago so wouldn't it be-"
Unfortunately for the twins, the idea quickly caught on.
"Z36 and Z35 have frequently requested something akin to this performance." Bismarck added.
"A few among our ranks have also brought up similar requests as well." said Nagato.
"Come to think of it...I distinctly remember Javelin wanting one also..." chimed Elizabeth.
"I've always wanted to see one for myself." said Rossiya.
Soon the entire room became flooded with talk about outfits and routines as the many ships began parading their idol groups while others began drawing plans for ousting the competition. What started a a simple performance vacancy quickly became an idol contest. While they're not fighting each other, this fact did nothing to help Selene's quickly souring mood.
"Hey! We can try on some of your cosplays for the contest! What do ya think?"
"No way in hell Neptune!"
"Do you think Graf Spee would want to put on that outfit again? She looked rather embarrassed the last time..."
"I know you two performed so well during the Polaris trails, so I know you can do it again! I'll make sure to give you all plenty of yummy food for your big performance!"
"Idols? That's dumb as hell."
"I don't know, I'm sure Emile would love to perform, perhaps we should ask her...?"
As far as Cross was concerned, there was no hope in trying to steer the conversation away from the dreadful prospect of an idol competition for the Forth of July party. Especially in front of the admiralty. His sister on the other hand, was never one to give up.
"Whelp," Cross said to his sister, "you really messed up this time."
"How is this my fault?"
"You could've shot it down but you let it fly. Now it's bombing your hopes for a good Forth of July."
"I can't just say no to them without a good reason!"
"Without a good reason?"
"Yeah, I can't just walk up and say, 'hey I know you're looking forward to this thing but I'll have to cancel it so we don't look like a bunch of loons in front of our guest!"
"I think they would understand."
"Do you? It's like trying to steer a battleship when they get ideas, once it goes it just goes. Dammed iterta."
"Inertia."
"Whatever."
"Besides, steering a battleship isn't that hard."
"Have you ever steered a battleship before?"
"Partly. Amagi let me turn her steering-wheel a bit."
"Wait, she let you touch her wheel?"
"She was in dock so there wasn't any danger of me running her into a reef."
"What where you even doing on her?"
"She said something about an inspection of sorts. Couldn't find anything wrong."
The discussion about the idol competition was starting to become more organized, as the flagships were beginning to arrange a schedule. Though negotiations appeared to be in a deadlock.
"Regardless! I'd rather not have the end of my professional career be an idol show."
"Well, what are you going to do about it? If you're so scared about looking-"
"I got it! I'll just get the Party Planning Committee!"
"You're going to requisition the Party Planning Committee, an organization you approved to be created, to cancel an idea you let get out of control."
"You make it sound like my plan is doomed to fail."
"Oh I'm sure your planned is doomed to something."
"I just need to go to the person in charge of the Committee. By the way, who's in charge of it now?"
"That would be Lexington."
Knowing she now has no chance to stop this runaway train, Selene all but fainted and collapsed onto the podium. Only Cross, Belfast and Sheffield noticed this happened, to which the maids quickly moved her to the hallway to try and resuscitate her.

30 minutes later...

The meeting had concluded, better than most had, as all of the ships left the building, their dreams of achieving song-and-dance related victory making the intense rain and wind a little more tolerable. Selene made a full recovery physically, though her psyche was still damaged. She left escorted by Enterprise to her office under Cross' umbrella, mumbling the entire way there. Seemingly unaware of everything around her. All that's left was Cross and Akashi, who were both cleaning up.
"Everything is turned off and secure, nya!"
"Thanks for manning the projector Akashi."
"I'll do anyathing for a friend in need nya!"
"For the right price, I assume."
"You knyaw me too well."
"Indeed I do."
Cross went around the empty lecture hall, making sure all the lights were off and any personal items were collected. As usual, Elizabeth forgot her "special pen" and whatever perfume Nagato was wearing rubbed off and is now permeating the air around the seats where she sat. After everything was where it should be, he and Akashi moved to the front door.
"Do you need any help getting to the dorms?"
"Nyope! I got my own little contraption me and Yuubari worked on!"
Akashi pulled out a long, dark green raincoat out of seemingly nowhere.
"Impressed, nya?"
"Is the coat the contraption?"
"Nyo silly! What it was stored in is!"
"Oh."
"Anyaway, I'll be off! I got to make sure none of my special stash got ruined by the rain!"
"Take care Akashi."
"You too sir!"
She quickly put the coat on and dashed through the door. She disappeared into the haze of rain not too far from the building. Leaving Cross alone.
"Whelp, everything's locked up and off. Hopefully nothing gets inundated here as well. Later, I really need to take stock of our supply depot, so I can work something out..."
Unknown to Cross, a quiet shadow has been watching him since he walked up to the door. Standing off to the side, in complete silence, she decided to make her presence known.
"Good afternoon, Cross."
He should've been scared. If not for the fact that this happened so often he became accustomed to it.
"Hello Amagi."
Out of a doorway leading to one of the maintenance closets stood Amagi. She softly stepped out of the doorway, into the light of the storm. She was wearing a kimono, as usual, but instead the well-designed and intricate dresses she normally wears, this one was plain violate, with no patterns whatsoever. The only distinguishing factor this one had was its slight reflective shine, as if it had a glaze of some kind.
"Do you like my new look?"
"It's rather plain for your tastes Amagi. Is your washer out of commission as well?"
"No Cross, our clothes washer is fine. And yes, this one is rather plain, unfortunately. This is my only dress that has some manner of water-protection, such a shame, really. *cough, cough*. I was really looking forward to wearing some nice and comfortable clothing today."
"Why are you here exactly?
"Why else, taking you home."
"Excuse me?"
"I have recently found out that you have gifted your only umbrella to your sister so...*cough*...I thought it would be nice of me to drop by to share mine. I am confident that my umbrella is much stronger than any you will find in stores."
Materializing out of thin air in a spark of purple flame was her umbrella. It consisted of only a few parts, a long metal shaft leading up to a red top. While mostly used to have shade from the sun, due to its sturdy constitution, it can be used for rain as well. Though it can be quite noisy.
"I'll be fine by my self Amagi, though I appreciate your concern."
Cross took the caplet off of its hook and began to put it on, careful to not let the zip from getting snagged on his shirt.
"Ah...I remember that gift Cleveland gave to you. It looks even nicer up close."
"She put a lot of work into it, typical Cleveland."
"I see..."
Cross finished putting the caplet on. Making sure that the folder he brought was safely tucked away under his arm underneath all of his clothing, be looked out the glass door, waiting for a break in the wind to book it.
"Cross, please, let me accompany you. I would hate for you to get sick."
"I'm more worried about you getting sick than me, Amagi. Besides, I'm a surprisingly fast runner."
"Cross..."
Amagi walked closer to him, to the point where they were almost touching.
"Please...just let me escort you home. It's much safer that way."
"How so?" the seriousness of his question doing little to dull the blush slowly forming on his cheeks.
"You know how keen the eyes and ears of a fox are, correct?"
"I don't know how-"
"And so by being with me, the odds of encountering potentially dangerous situations become significantly less, correct?"
She leaned a bit closer.
"I guess so-"
"So, scientifically and statistically speaking, it is not only much safer to walk with me, but also much smarter? *cough*. May I add that I too, possess equipment to protect us from the rain as well as my fire manipulation to quickly dry off any wet clothing we may have."
"Yeah...sure"
Cross' look of bewilderment mixed with awkwardness completely contrasted Amagi's look of confidence and joy.
"So then," she reached out her hand, "let us be off then?"
"Sure..."
Cross still had no idea how to handle that strange situation, but with Amagi insisting, the best choice would be to just go with it. Cross slowly took Amagi's hand, to which she quickly intertwined their arms and pulled him even closer. Before Cross could say anything, they were already out the door. Amagi's umbrella, offering some, though limited, protection against the onslaught. While Amagi would've loved to enjoy the walk together, Cross all but sprinted home, dragging Amagi with him. Partly from the storm, and partly to escape that ever increasingly awkward situation.

A few days later...

In a large violate sea, a pale girl sat alone on a stone pillar jutting out of the fake sea. She wore an expression of shear boredom as she kicked her feet to the rhythm of an absent song.
"Stupid Observer and her stupid rules!"
It was Purifier, one of the most dangerous weapons in the Siren Armada, bored out of her mind.
"Next time, she going to have to kill me to disable my long-range comms! So what if I accidentally reveal classified information when I prank call them! It's not my fault we don't just go over there and blow them up! AhhhhhhHHHHHH!"
With a quick jump, Purifier launched herself off of the rock. She landed back on the ocean's surface, effortlessly floating just above the edge. With her arms crossed, a large mechanical beast appeared behind her. Her rigging, its yellow lights glowing intensely with anger.
"What are those bums doing anyway? That lousy storm should've ended by now."
A few yellow screens appeared in front of Purifier, each full of information which she began ti study fiercely. The information displayed were scouting reports, intercepted transmissions, anything and everything Azur Lane was doing in the area. While many of the reports were boring, a few caught her eye.
"Ah. Having a little party are we?"
Purifier began to study the report in more detail. It was an order for supplies. Most of the contents were pretty standard for a massive party. However, it was the secondary order that was the most interesting. Stage lights, stereos, costumes, makeup. All listed under the order for an "Idol Competition." Purifier's eyes light up with excitement.
"Just what I needed! Oh! I get to wear that outfit I stole from that Commander's closet! This will be great! Look out stardom, here I come!"
Purifier dashed away at full speed towards the Siren Main Spire, cutting the water in twain, in search of her repurposed uniform.

July 3rd...

While Cross was against the whole idea of the Idol Competition, he somehow got roped into organizing the whole mess. Standing behind the nearly complete stage, he began to look over the names of the contestants. Mostly to help determine a schedule for the performers. Most of the names were familiar, though there were a few surprises. One name in particular, however, looked oddly suspicious.
"Purrichi? Where have I...wait."
The name sounded familiar, but he couldn't quite put his finger on it. As the pieces began to assemble themselves, a realization emerged in his head.
"Not again..."

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submitted by Moondial19 to AzureLane [link] [comments]


2020.07.10 05:54 alialibarrett I'm (21M) having so many issues with my best friend (21F) who was also my ex for a bit.

Tl;Dr my best friend and I tried a relationship for a while and didn't work out, now we're having fights over silly things and she isn't agreeing to try to go for therapy even though she knows she has Autism or BPD (Bipolar Personality Disorder).
I me this girl and we clicked right away. She had just broke up with her ex and she was so insecure and had so many problems.
We agreed to try it for a relationship, but it ended a month later only because I made a simple joke about her ex. There was a festival going on and I didn't have tickets but her ex had, so I said in a joking way, well you should go with your ex and she hung up in my face. After that I went and rented a car because I didn't have a car at that time and I bought her some flowers to make it right and so we can go to the concert, but she started saying she's really not into the mood and it made me really angry and I just exploded on her, saying that I literally always get myself broke for her, and I always get out of my way to look for her and take care of her, and that she doesn't take any jokes like a little kid. She said no one has ever said those words to her, and she decided she doesn't want a relationship anymore. I told her fine and then when we met she started hugging me and saying it's okay I just want to see some effort from you. 2 weeks later she travels to her family, and I text her "I love you" which she replies to, pls don't. I ask her what's the matter and she says she was hurt from what I did and that she needs to focus on her future and studying and she just had a heartbreak from her ex and she's not over him and relationships make her emotional and she doesn't want that. So she asked if we could be friends. I got angry at her again, that she broke up with me for a stupid reason, if she can't take a joke which led me to explode on her with words.. How will she go on when more issues start developing in the relationship? We kept having many small fights on text. One of them she was asking me, do you know BPD (Bipolar Personality Disorder) and I said what's that? And she said "Google it" and I did then I replied with "so are you saying I have that?" and she got angry at me because she thinks that SHE has it, not me. So we stopped talking and we ended on really bad terms, this was in October of 2019. Then I decided I'll give her some space, until her birthday, March of 2020. In those 5 months she posted on her Facebook that she needs help from her friends by liking her post about her assignment so she can get a good mark. So I went a bought her thousands of likes and comments so she can be happy.. But I never said it was me. I just told her friends and asked him to not say anything. I spent 5 months, collecting the best gifts she will ever get. I got her many sneakers and clothes. Like WAY too many. So much makeup and perfume and it was all way too much.. I couldn't even hold the boxes to go get them wrapped. a months before her birthday I get a message from her friend let's call her [Suzan] saying to me, she wants to send you this message which says [hi I don't mean to bother you or anything because you blocked me I couldn't send you this message, thank you for helping me with my assignment I appreciate it alot and I wish you all good and the best of luck] Then I replied with [okay whatever], showing no interest in her. Her birthday comes after exactly a month from her friend texting me and I sent her a text because I noticed she unblocked me. And I said, hi.. Happy birthday, I got you a gift and I'll send it to you today. She was surprised and she said she thought I forgot about her and that I hated her and she said how about I go and give her the gifts? I then thought about and decided to go. She literally was so surprised of how many gifts I got and how much the box was big. And she gave me a hug and we went to the car so we can talk. We started talking and she said I'm sorry for everything, and she admitted the fact that her problem is not communicating like adults and thinking that silence treatment will work. She was clearly happy that I was there, and invited me to her birthday party the next day. The next day comes.. Which I can easily say it's the worst day of my life.. She sent me the location of where the party will be at 11 PM, I went there a bit late. At like 1 Am. After I went in she was drunk. And she came and gave me a very tight hug. I felt so happy. I went to the balcony to look at the view and she came after me and kissed me and she went to all of her friends one by one telling them what I got her for her birthday and how amazed she was by the gifts. Suddenly after that I notice that all her male friends are starting to touch her. Touch her on her butt and try to make out with her. And she's going along with it.. Except for some guys which she never told them no but they kept going. Suzan, her friend started looking at me everytime someone is touching her, and she saw how devastated I was. Then suddenly one of her shitty friends sits on the couch and she comes and sits facing him on his lap infront of everyone. I then go to the room and her friend "Suzan" tells me she wants to talk with me. I go with her to another room were "Suzan and her other friend" are there and she started yelling at me, don't you have self respect for yourself? Can't you see how she's acting like a bitch and not respecting you? Yes you're not her boyfriend and she invited you as a friend, but she can't even tell how hurt you are, I just can't look at you everytime someone is touching her, your eyes tearing up are breaking my heart, she's my friend, but I'm telling you this because I feeling the heartbreak you are feeling right now.. She even was making out with that guy she sat on his lap even before you came and no one can do those stuff if they don't want to even if she's drunk and those are just sober thoughts and I just started crying infront of them both, while my ex was outside knocking on the door because she wanted to go to sleep, I then get out of the room and she notices that I was talking with two of her friends and she says " what are you guys talking about? And I tell her nothing and leave to the living room, she then follows me and talks to me that tomorrow morning we will talk but that I now should go home it's late, I told her no I'm not going home I live far away and I'm not driving at 4 Am which she got a bit angry at me but I insisted so I stayed. Then she goes to her room and I said oh finally she went to sleep away from these guys. Even at this point I was blaming all the guys and not her. Then suddenly I heard her moan for one time inside.. I can't describe the feeling I felt at that moment. Even though some of you will say she's not your girlfriend, but love is blind.. And I never felt heartbroken and shttier than that moment.. And even my friend noticed. I begged her friend to knock on her and get her out, she's drunk and I don't want anyone to take advantage of her "again defending her". Her friends goes and knocks on the door and calls her many times, after 20 minutes she goes out and is angry and drunk and just looks bad. And says what's going on? And I told her ask yourself, were you having sex with that guy? And she said no we were only making out I'm on my period and I already know my boundaries and there's a big difference between making out and having sex and I'll return all your gifts back and it's not your business anyway and you can't control me, She got angry and went back to the room with that guy, her friend Suzan looked at me and told me if you ever talk to her again you're an idiot, you did everything for her, she texted me and said that the gifts you got her are the best things ever and no one ever has done something like that to her before and she's still not respecting you or respecting your feelings. I stayed there until the morning shocked. Then I went home. I slept for like 5 hours before I get a text from her, then two missed calls, then she says "Look I talked to Suzan and they said you were sad and I really want to apologize for everything I did to you, I swear I didn't mean anything I was drunk I don't know if you can understand but please say anything don't keep anything inside of you" I then exploded on her again saying that every person there has touched her ass, tried to make out with her, that she always used to tell me she's shy, but clearly she wasn't shy in her birthday party and that I regret getting her gifts and that I hope I never see her again and many many things because I was literally dying from the inside. She said again I'm shocked of what you have told me on my birthday and that it's the second time I exploded on her and insult her like this. And then she said bye. But she didn't block me. Two hours later she started posting stories on Instagram that she "Hates herself". A couple of days later I ask Suzan if I should ask for my gifts back or no. Which she replies to "I don't know", then she sends me a message from my ex saying. "Tell him that I will put the gifts in my apartment for the whole day, because I was moving to an apartment in another floor anyway, he will take his stuff and he won't see me, I know I'm a bad person right now and I always do bad decesion and I feel bad for it, I'm sorry for getting you into this I'll be gone for a while and take care" She then deletes all her social media, I though about that message and wrote her a message telling her that I'm really disappointed in her and that she can keep the gifts because I got them just for her and I spent so much time and effort and money in getting them, and if you return them I will throw them away because I didn't ask for them back, you said when you were drunk that you wanted to return them. And I asked Suzan to send it to her because she deleted everything. She then downloads whatsapp again to text me, and she said my friends saw how you insulted me and they all said I should throw your gifts away but i will not be childish like you, I felt bad for you at first because I felt that I broke your heart but after you said those words to me I wish I never see you again in my life. And we started fighting over text but this time.. Unlike any other time we argued on text, she didn't block me and neither did I. We kept arguing and somehow we decided to talk for a bit and communicate, that she didn't know she was breaking my heart and she thought I didn't love her anymore and that anyway it's not my business and that she's not a whore, and she only made out with him but didn't have sex and there's a big difference. And we both just calmed down. A week after that we met, she talked about that day, and I told her everything she did while she's drunk and she said.. I don't remember most of these and I'm really sorry and it's shameful what I did and I will never do it again like that. I shouldn't have done that infront if everyone and everyone seeing me and hearing me. I thought that it's clear she felt bad about what happened and I realized that when I got her those gifts my intention was to get my best friend back, not my girlfriend. And she said she really wants us to be friends again. And if we want a relationship together again we both have to change, and that she checked herself back in December and turns out she has a mental illness but she doesn't know what it is yet and she says she thinks she has Autism, Then we spent the whole day together normally. And we got many groceries for our homes because the quarantine and lockdown starts the very next day. After I went home and quarantine started, we spent 4 months from March until now July, just texting, it was really going well and she sometimes initiates the conversation and tells me "Good morning" and I always send her snacks to her apartment because not all delivery services deliver there and everything was going smoothly. But deep down I was still hurt fr that day.. And I wanted her to make it up for me.. Although she has already said she will make it up for me and she will also get me a gift. But lockdown came at the wrong time.. 10 days ago I text her and I was somehow provoking her, and I didn't feel it.. Because I was still hurt. She said we're almost going to the fights and I don't want us to get into this situation of us fighting every once in a while, I want to be happy and I want you to be happy too, I told her honestly I'm still hurt from what happened, and I feel you lied to me. Because Suzan said you were making out with that guy even before I came, but you told me when we met that you just wanted to sleep and you were drunk and he followed you to the room to make out with you. She then got angry again saying" didn't we say to forget about the past? I told you to give us a solution to not fight like always, not mention the past, and yes I made out with him before you came, whether you came or not it happened and if it happens once and twice and 10 times it's not your business and I just want to ask you who do you think you are at that day? Everybody noticed you were trying to control me. I replied with " I didn't say anything about you making our with him, it's not my business yes but my question was why did you lie to me? And who do I think I am? Well let me tell you, I'm the guy that saw the girl he loved being touched by 5 men and then moaning in her room. And she replied with well that's who I am, A whore right?? Just like you just described me in your message. Then we went on a bit and she said I'm not getting over what happened and that she's over what happened and I told her, well of course you're over it you're not the one that got hurt. And she got angry because I accused her of lying and because I asked her "did you have sex with him? Which she felt insulted because she thought I was describing her as a whore. This was 10 days ago. And she blocked me Two days ago I try to make things right again and I send her a message from my friends phone and she says no, it's goodbye and I treat you like you treat me (but deep down if I want to do this and treat her like she treats me, she will probably hate me from the first day) She said that I made her feel bad about what happened and made her feel guilty and made her hate herself, and that I think of her in a wrong way and that there's no hope in even being friends. And that I previously during lockdown has told her "why don't you see a doctor" and she felt attacked by that. And we thanked each other for everything and she will always remember the good things about me and we both thanked each other and decided to forget about the past and to forgive each other, and she admitted that she hurt me but that I have hurt her too. And I told her okay, I just want you to be the happiest girl ever and I wanted us to be good friends again but if this decesion makes you happy then go ahead, and she said it's hard to say I'm happy but I think it's the best for us and we stopped talking on good terms this time without blocking each other.
I know that some of you here might say I'm in the wrong because I was just invited as a friend to her party, but I was really hurt and I decided to forgive her, but I don't know. The lockdown made me think about it alot and made me angry and made me think she was lying because Suzan mentioned that extra thing that she didn't say. I'm really bothered by all of this, I just want us to be friends again because we both want that, and if it wasn't for the birthday incident literally a day after I came back to her, we would have been good friends again, but so many misunderstandings are happening and she's not accepting the fact that she needs to see a therapist, even if she doesn't have anything wrong, at least check herself, and I'm always asking on reddit questions about her and it is shown in my history posts and I might need therapy too, I'm not claiming to be perfect human being, I get anger issue and provoke people alot. But at least I'm acknowledging it and trying to be open minded about it . I really want to be friends with this girl, and she does as well and I'm sure of that because I know her and I want to get over what happened, but my mind is killing me since March and always telling me I should take revenge in anyway.. And I don't want to hurt her but it's hurting me alot and I can't even focus on anything and everytime I take a shower I start crying because she's not trying to understand my point of view. I also forgot to mention above that I have an e-commerce business that I made, and the name goes by her name. And when I told her about it a day after we argued for the birthday thing she was amazed and felt bad even more so she had to make things right. I'm now hoping that she will just wish me a happy birthday in September so I can find a way to talk to her, I don't want to text her now so she doesn't think I'm dying for her. I really wasn't trying to insult her I just told her that I thought she was lying and that'd why I was unintentionally provoking her in someway. I want us to both be happy and I really need your guys suggestions on this . I can be a bit understanding on this but she isn't and she didn't try accepting to meet and work things out like when we met and worked things out a week after her birthday, I only saw her twice since March because of the lockdown but now everything is opening up here again and I really don't know what to do and I can't even sleep thinking about it. Please help...
submitted by alialibarrett to relationship_advice [link] [comments]


2020.07.10 04:49 Tehvitan The Pledge, the Turn, and the Prestige: A narrative-focused analysis of The Last of Us Part II.

Disclaimer and Disclosure: This review contains spoilers of nearly all major plot points in The Last of Us Part II. I completed The Last of Us on grounded mode because I am a masochist. I am currently playing through The Last of Us Part II, but have watched my wife play through the entirety of the game.
The framing device for The Prestige (a film primarily about two magicians whose fates are brutally and inextricably linked) is a monologue by Michael Caine’s character about the three parts to a magic trick. With echoes of the three-act structure, Caine explains that the first part, the “Pledge,” is the presentation of something the audience is familiar with. The second part, “the Turn,” brings awe and disbelief—in the film, this is the magician’s disappearance from the stage. At this point, Caine says, the audience is trying to find the secret, waiting for the resolution, because making something disappear isn’t enough—you have to bring it back. And that journey, the “Prestige,” is the hardest part.
The Pledge
The end of The Last of Us has Joel and Ellie safe on the outskirts of Jackson, having survived a nearly endless onslaught of horrors ranging from the horde of infected that plague the world to the innumerable factions of tattered survivors the plague created. Ellie’s safety, however, comes at an incredible cost—the obvious societal cost is the devastating loss of a cure, but the personal cost is a destabilizing force in Joel and Ellie’s relationship, buried just below the surface. Despite everything they’ve gone through together and all they mean to each other, Joel risks undermining the whole of Ellie’s trust in him by taking away Ellie’s agency and choice as to what she does with her own life. This is what the audience knows at the outset of The Last of Us Part II.
Entering the game, you play as Ellie wandering through the streets of Jackson after a tough night, surrounded by burgeoning life and community—there are stores and pubs, theaters and children playing about. This hard-won slice of freedom from the infected is small compared to the wide world, but it’s a sanctuary, and it’s theirs.
Soon after, we switch to playing as Abby, an initially nameless girl who arrives in Jackson on a desperate mission. When we first meet her, we’re not sure who she is, what role she has to play, or how long we’ll be playing from her perspective—in retrospect, this is not only the beginning of the interweaving of Abby and Ellie’s storylines, but also our first experience with asymmetric information. As the audience, we carry Joel’s devastating secret to be kept safe from Ellie, but as the narrative unfolds, we become keenly aware that many characters in the story harbor secrets from us as well.
A short while into the game, we see the brutal killing of Joel at the hands of Abby. When the game was first released, several reviewers noted that the game was being review-bombed by users, leading to extremely disparate critic and user scores. They also noted that these reviews had come in just several hours after the release of the game, suggesting that most of them had been posted without the user having played through the entire game.
I think it’s clear that the review-bombing was in part a reaction to Joel’s murder—not just the fact of it happening, but the confluence of events that leads to it. As you play as Abby for the first time, you feel out of place—you play a character you don’t know or understand, but you are carrying out whatever semblance of a plan she has. This is different from the player experience in the original. In The Last of Us, you play as Joel and Ellie, knowing for the most part what their intentions are, and what they feel at each turn. Their choices are hard, but understandable, and players are well within the moral window to rationalize and support those choices.
As Abby, you run into Joel and Tommy and you help each other escape a terrifying onslaught of infected. Moments of extreme pressure and survival make for fast friends, but Abby uses that trust to bring Joel and Tommy back to her campsite where she ultimately tortures and kills Joel. It feels bad because a seemingly random girl wandering the mountains in search of Joel overcomes immensely improbable odds to kill a hero. It feels bad because she betrays a trust forged in the chaos of survival to do so. And it feels bad because the game makes the player complicit in Joel’s murder. But needling in the back of my mind is Joel’s secret. Watching Ellie witness Joel’s murder is heart-wrenching—I had to actively take some time to process it—but even in the moment, I couldn’t help but think that it had to be related to the cure Joel took from the world, and that Abby had a deeply personal stake.
The response from the community since the release of The Last of Us Part II has ranged from a deep appreciation for the game’s invocation of strong emotion to the misdirected anger and despicable death threats toward Abby’s voice actor, Laura Bailey. Joel’s death is a catastrophic event that shakes the player and the entire town of Jackson, but the fact of his secret cannot be forgotten. Obvious but obfuscated, Joel’s act of saving Ellie is the center of the story. It represents the love and restoration of a man who lost his daughter, lost everything. It represents the pain of betraying a loved one’s trust to keep that person safe. But it also represents the irretrievable cost of that choice to the whole of humanity.
Once you believe that Abby’s mission was personal and certainly related to Joel’s choice, a parallel forms—Abby is the dark half of Ellie. Fierce, even when alone, she is a survivor, fighting against impossible odds, against the professed wisdom of the collective, toward a singular goal in the chaos of the world. What we see in Abby is what vengeance looks like, even in the face of wrongs that are far past undoing.
The Turn
Ellie and Tommy are left alive by Abby and her crew, and they each embark (Tommy first, Ellie second, accompanied by her love interest, Dina) on a journey to avenge Joel. The player understands Ellie’s journey: Joel may have taken the cure from the world, but Ellie has no idea. As the narrative progresses, we see beautiful, comparatively serene flashbacks interwoven with the intense horror and stress of Ellie’s present journey. All the while, we see shadows of Joel’s secret echoing around Ellie in the past—the memories of a former Firefly who committed suicide after the group’s failure to stabilize society, Ellie unsuccessfully pushing Joel for answers when her doubts inevitably resurface. The player understands—Ellie is blameless here, because she was robbed of her choice, and cannot fathom why a group of people would travel nearly a thousand miles to murder Joel in cold blood.
But we learn that she knew all along. After Ellie confronts Nora (who Ellie later tortures for information on Abby), we are brought to a flashback several years prior where Ellie issues an ultimatum, and demands answers from Joel after she revisits the Firefly hospital where they were going to develop the vaccine.
He gives them. He tells her that creating a cure meant that she would have to die. That he couldn’t let that happen. And (through subtext) that even if she grew to resent him for his choice, it would still mean she was alive to do so.
This drastically changes the tenor of our outlook on Ellie’s journey to Seattle—it’s not that she doesn’t know why Abby killed Joel, it’s that she doesn’t care. We aren’t severed from our connection with Ellie as a character by any means, but we begin to understand it a little less. Nora’s conversation with Ellie tells us that Abby killed Joel because of what he did. Ellie knows this, but against her need for vengeance, it does not matter. She pushes forward, and we understand her a little less with each kill, with Ellie ultimately murdering Owen (Abby’s close friend and love interest) and Mel (a WLF medic pregnant with Owen’s child) before returning to her Seattle hideout, and abandoning the hunt for Abby.
All the while, the narrative neatly slots in parallels between Ellie and Abby—Ellie’s mission essentially traces Abby’s mission in reverse, both having love interests involved in pregnancies with another person. We begin to see that Abby may not be the dark half of Ellie, but rather an opposing reflection.
The end of Ellie’s journey in Seattle dovetails with Abby’s, just as we are brought back to the movie theater that Ellie and her crew use as a local base for the last time. The morning that Ellie and company prepare for their journey back to Jackson, Abby arrives, killing Jesse (the father of Dina’s child), and injuring Tommy. As Abby holds a gun to Ellie, telling her that she found the bodies of her friends that Ellie killed, telling her that Ellie and Tommy squandered their chance at living after she chose to leave them alive, we wake up as Abby on the morning of her first day back from killing Joel.
Abby’s story begins with a feeling of community within the WLF stadium not dissimilar to what we experience when we first walk through Jackson as Ellie. We walk in her shoes, experiencing life and all the little moments that make us human. We see the faces of those that Ellie killed, living their lives in the haven this group built. We see the aquarium Owen discovers with Abby, echoing Joel’s birthday gift to Ellie of the natural history museum tour. And we learn that Abby’s father was the first doctor that Joel shot as he entered the operating room to rescue an unconscious Ellie.
As we are introduced to Abby’s world, we see her wrestling with her part in an ongoing war between the WLF and the Seraphites. By the end of her first day back, she finds herself captured by the enemy, narrowly being rescued by two defectors from the religious sect—a sister and a brother (Yara and Lev). Yara’s left arm is shattered by the Seraphites, but the trio manages to escape together. After they reach a place of safety, Abby splints Yara’s arm and leaves.
That night, Owen tells Abby a story about an old Seraphite he encountered during a skirmish. The old man didn’t try to retrieve his weapon or continue fighting when his unit was overwhelmed—he just looked tired, and ready to die. That story wandering in her mind, Abby returns for Yara and Lev the next day and brings them to the aquarium for treatment and safekeeping.
Unfortunately, the conflict between the WLF and the Seraphites escalates into all-out war, and Abby finds herself rushing into the fray with Yara to rescue Lev, who has gone back to save his mother. The Seraphites’ island is in chaos and ruin—fire engulfs nearly everything in sight, Lev kills his mother in self-defense, Yara dies saving Abby, and Abby and Lev narrowly escape the island.
At this point, Abby has had a real challenge of a day. Her world has been turned upside-down, her closest friend is leaving for Santa Barbara to chase rumors of the Fireflies regrouping, and she just fought through the front lines of an active warzone to save the life of a former Seraphite. She returns to the aquarium for a bit of rest, but finds Owen, Mel, and her dog, Alice, all dead.
This brings us back to the intersection of Ellie and Abby’s stories. Abby holds a gun at Ellie after having killed Jesse, with Tommy cowering on the floor. She’s prepared to shoot when a sudden scuffle leaves Tommy badly wounded, with Abby chasing Ellie through the theater.
The ensuing battle is emotionally difficult to play. You control Abby, chasing and beating Ellie down, at one point, nearly strangling her to death. But as I watched the fight play out, my misgivings about Ellie’s intentions evaporated—it didn’t matter that she was single-minded in her vengeance, it didn’t matter that she knew about Joel’s secret. All that mattered was that she lived.
Abby ultimately defeats Ellie, moving to slit Dina’s throat before finishing Ellie off, but Lev intervenes. The former Seraphite, the boy who was told by his mother and clan that he was wrong about who he was, embodies whatever forgiveness and peace Abby can muster. And in the end, it’s enough. Abby leaves Dina and Ellie alive, warning Ellie to stay away from her, and heads to Santa Barbara with Lev.
The Prestige
We wake up as Ellie on a small farm with Dina and her newborn child, Potato (given name J.J., probably for Joel and Jesse). You find Dina in the kitchen doing something or other, you search for a toy elephant of Potato’s in the front yard, you meander through your vegetable garden before tending to your flock of sheep in the backyard—everything is idyllic, peaceful, at rest.
It could end here. Ellie could be content and live out the rest of her life on a small, self-sufficient farm with her love and their child. She could spend her days just living, traveling the short path between her hard-won slice of solace and the town of Jackson, wandering into town to see familiar faces, come and go as she pleased.
It could end here, and Ellie might be happy—but it’s not that simple. The sound of metal cracking against a hard surface—a shovel in the barn—brings Ellie right back into the basement where Joel was tortured. She relives that moment in her mind over and over, with stray sounds able to leave her stranded in the memory, alone. She hears him begging for her to rescue him, for her to be strong enough, but of course, she can’t. She hears him die thousands of times—she can’t sleep, she can’t eat—until finally, one night, she begins packing her backpack.
Dina finds Ellie in the middle of the night preparing for the journey. She doesn’t want to think it, but she knows that Ellie is going after Abby. Ellie tells her so. Dina says that she can’t handle waiting anymore, wondering day after day if Ellie is dead or alive, but Ellie won’t change her mind—she’s going.
Ellie’s departure feels like a ghastly unearthing. I can understand this as an attempt to rid herself of her PTSD—in fact, with everything she’s gone through, I’m surprised she doesn’t have infinitely more triggers. I can also understand the heat-of-the-moment promise she made to Tommy to make Abby pay after she shot him and he was left for dead. But watching everything unfold in what felt like an epilogue, I wondered if vengeance alone was sufficient to drive her to what almost certainly was her final journey.
We switch to Abby’s perspective one last time as she searches for the Fireflies with Lev. She finds a way to rendezvous with the regathering group, but is immediately captured by a brutal frat-like group that seems to pit their prisoners against infected in cage matches for their amusement.
You arrive as Ellie in Santa Barbara a couple of months later. You cut a swath through the Rattler ranks, ultimately finding Abby bound to a tall post on the beach, delirious, emaciated, tired. Ellie cuts Abby down, who in turn, cuts Lev down. Abby tells Ellie there are a few boats nearby they could use to escape. Ellie says nothing, but follows quietly.
What follows is an emotionally brutal battle between Ellie and Abby. When they reach the boats, Ellie tells Abby she can’t just let her go with Lev. Your heart sinks—why, Ellie—but Abby refuses to fight, until Ellie threatens to kill an unconscious Lev.
In my mind, I was fairly convinced that Ellie and Abby would both live. The combat sequence made me unsure. Each punch or grapple in the prolonged back-and-forth fight scene was agony, waiting for something to give, waiting for the end to come, until finally Ellie pins Abby beneath the water. She strangles and begins to drown her, holding Abby’s head underwater as she flails helplessly. A moment passes. Another. And then it happens—a single frame of Joel with his guitar, bathed in porchlight, flashes in her mind, and she stops. Ellie releases Abby, and tells her to just leave with Lev—and Abby does.
In one of the first scenes of the game, Joel visits Ellie at night, and plays a song for her on guitar: Future Days by Pearl Jam. The first lines: “If I ever were to lose you / I’d surely lose myself.” Throughout the game, we watch Ellie pick up various guitars and play a few notes of that song here and there, in remembrance. There is, however, a reason she never finishes it. It’s not because she can’t, although she is missing several fingers after her final confrontation with Abby—it’s because the song isn’t hers. The lyrics are beautiful, but the refrain is really Joel’s. The Last of Us was about Joel finding someone to live for, someone to love, and someone worth dying for, after having nothing and no one for so long. When Ellie lets Abby go, it’s not because she realizes that cycles of violence are pointless. I believe it’s because she realizes that she is more than just her relationship with Joel.
For the longest time after Joel tells Ellie the truth, she believes that she was supposed to die in that Firefly hospital, and that her death would be a gift to the world. Once Joel took that away, her purpose vanished as well—if she was not a cure, then she was nothing at all, just a husk of what could have been.
Whatever you may think of what Joel did, he gave Ellie a chance at life. He was willing to sacrifice everything to do it, and if given the chance to do it all over again, as he tells her in our final flashback, he would make the same choice. For Joel, the loss of Ellie would be the loss of himself, but what Ellie realizes in her moment of clarity is that her loss of Joel does not mean she has to lose herself too. We are more than what we can do for others, and we have value simply in living our lives.
The Last of Us Part II is a stellar piece of storytelling. Imperfect, sure, but it feels silly to magnify the imperfections until they blot out what is an eminently worthy conclusion to the original game. What everyone on The Last of Us Part II team crafted was nothing short of magic—through music, narrative, details, and gameplay, they unearthed the shallow-buried secret that defined the first installment, complicating our heroes and making us complicit in their questionable decisions and actions, journeying through fresh hellscapes and endless cycles of violence, until we arrive at the end with our hero, her humanity alive, and our faith in her just a bit worse for wear.
submitted by Tehvitan to gaming [link] [comments]


2020.07.10 04:35 MILisanasshat My MIL has turned into a psycho

Hi, I'd love any advice you guys can throw at me. I've followed on my regular account for a while because I have a JNMom but this the first I've really felt the need to post. It'll probably be long and I'm sure to forget some things, sorry my brains all over the place.
Some background info: -I(29F) have been married to my DH(30M) for 4 years, we've been together for 7 years. -I had my daughter at 16, basically arranged myself into DCF custody to get out of my mother's house and established a pretty decent life for the two of us with their guidance. -DH and I met in my fourth year of college, at that time I had just closed on my house and had a decent paying job. -DH is unable to have children due to a sports injury in highschool and he was more than happy to dive head first into a parenting lifestyle once he met DD(13f) He moved in about a year and half later and they've been inseparable ever since. -MIL was equally as supportive and thrilled to add both myself and DD into her family. Really.. up until 3 months ago she was the mother I've never had and a fantastic grandmother to my daughter.
The backstory: DH had a highschool reunion a couple years ago and an old friend told him that he ran into DH's first girlfriend and she confided in him that she had found out she was pregnant right after she had moved away and that it was DH's daughter. They would have been 15 and they broke up because she was moving right before his injury. DH didn't really believe it but the more he thought about it the more concerned he became and he tried to reach out to her but we couldn't find any information. All we knew was her name and the town his friend had seen her in. No social media, no basic record search turnout, nothing. About a year ago he decided to hire a private investigator to see if he could track her down, it lead nowhere until 3 months ago. The PI found a recent place of employment and a coworker informed him that the ex was in rehab for a heroin addiction, that she was pretty sure her child was pregnant (I know, SO much teen pregnancy, I'm sorry) and in foster care. She gave him both of their names and confirmed the girls age and her story that an old highschool boyfriend was the father. The PI advised DH to get a lawyer to request a paternity test from DCF. He did, the lawyer reached out and DCF got back to DH within 24 hours of the request, granting it. It was crazy fast, almost two years of speculation and nada, to contact within a week. DH took the test and she is his daughter(SD, 15F). We talked about the situation and agreed we would try to get custody if his daughter was willing, expecting some pushback and delay. Except there was none, a social worker came out to our house, did an inspection, and gave us temporary custody, SD was in our home without ever meeting us three days after the inspection. (There is still real court things regarding her mother and permanent custody but the whole thing was very fast and sort of negligent IMO).
The MIL story: MIL was aware of all of this as it happened, I don't think she ever thought it was real. The moment we had confirmation that SD existed and was pregnant, MIL was dead set against accepting this child. It started with dropping remarks about the kind of teenager who gets pregnant (those kind of girls, she'll probably dump a baby on DH and leave, refered to her as a hoodrat once without knowing a thing about her, ECT) and lead into her sitting us down and expressing her concern that we would allow a strange teenager into our house. She made solid points about us not knowing about SD's stability, habits, or integrity, and we did hear her out. But when we stood firm that we had considered and knew full well what we might be getting into, she changed tunes about how DD needed protecting from that kind of influence.
I'm going to be really honest here guys, my kid knows all of the adult things. She has a grandmother who is an addict and a grandfather who is a child molester, had a teen mother ECT. I'm a firm believer that children can not make educated decisions about the world if they are never given real information about what it holds. She is not sheltered and she never needed to be. I made sure she was safe and rose up beyond all of my upbringing to ensure she wouldn't have to experience it first hand but with knowledge of what I came from. She also knew about this whole ordeal and was fully involved in discussions from the moment it was all confirmed. My daughter has so much empathy it's insane, when we explained what was happening the first thing out of her mouth was how horrible it was for SD to be pregnant in foster care without a family, and if we were able to take her in.
I realized MIL comments were triggering me on a personal level, and also that some of my support and understanding with DH came from my empathy for this child that shared so many obstacles I had been faced with. (Adding that I am still and have been for years, in therapy and we've discussed what this situation as whole might bring up for me) I told MIL as much and she apologized. However she told DD to watch herself behind my back later that evening and DD encouraged her to give SD a chance before condemning her. I let it go expecting she would come around because she's generally such a kind person.
SD arrived a little over a month ago and is really a far better kid than even I expected. She's very smart, and reserved. It's clear she's been neglected, she's independent and apologetic in a way that makes it easily recognizable. DD went out of her way to make her comfortable with both her friends and in our home and the two of them have hit it off. SD was completely receptive to the idea of therapy and parenting classes and has been fully participating in both. She has practically attached herself to DH and they are fast developing a relationship. She asks me a million questions about everything.. everyday, all day. She's decided DH's for discussing the past and I'm for discussing the future lol.
And MIL has been a straight up jackass from the very first time she met her. Within five minutes of meeting SD she suggested abortion, made a comment about how she always knew SD's mother was trash and expressed disgusted shock that SD got along so well with DD. SD shut down almost instantly, I defended her and DH suggested that MIL come back another time whenever she got over what ever was up her ass. MIL had an attitude, and tried to take DD for a sleepover "so she could have some space like she was used to" and huffed when DD politely declined. She left and immediately started texting DD about how sorry she was that she had to see that, (honestly the tone of the exchange was hostile but it was civil), how hard this must be for her, that she hopes she knows that she's always a phone call a way if things get too rough for her here and more I can't even remember. DD just told her that she loved her and she's glad she has so much support for her but that she's very comfortable and she wished MIL would give SD a chance because it breaks her heart to think that she's missing out on all the love and guidance that MIL can offer her. MIL told her shes too young to understand.
Since then MIL has doubled down on possessiveness of DD, she's requested to pick her up almost everyday. She is dropping by with gifts and calling all the time. If DD brings up SD, MIL changes the subject or pretends she didn't hear her. She's always been doting but this is excessive and blatantly aimed at making SD feel unwelcome. Last week, she asked me if she could take DD on a cruise for her birthday (yes.. a cruise.. in the middle of a pandemic.. do they even exist right now??) I told her no and that I thought she was being petty and mean. She feigned confusion and said she had a headache and hung up. She came over today and brought up the cruise she was taking DD on in front of both girls and I pulled her outside and told her to cut it out, and it blew up.
I very stupidly began my rant with something along the lines of "that child your alienating is your actual grandchild, who's going to give birth to your actual great grandchild".. it was a super long rant but all she got out of it was that I threw in her face that DD wasn't her grandchild and that I was an ungrateful leach who stole her son's youth and her hospitality just to rip DD out from under her the first time we disagreed. She also said much more but again.. super long. I did apologize and try to clarify that what I meant was how I couldn't understand her treating her own flesh and blood like that when she had always been so good to me and my daughter but it only made it worse. After trying to talk it through for another hour (no joke.. an hour) we got nowhere and she suggested she leave. I agreed but naturally on her way out she stopped to hug DD and tell her goodbye and that she'll always love her, even if I never let her see her again (I literally never even remotely implied that), then looked straight at SD and said "do you see the trouble you caused our family?". I told her to get the fuck out, she tried yelling back but I basically shoved her out and closed the door. Then I went to console both girls, I don't think my daughter has ever seen me mad like that, at the very least had never seen me yell at MIL and SD was distraught with guilt and apologies.
I called DH and he called MIL to tell her not to contact any of us until she's able to act like a rational human being. She basically disowned him, and then text me a whole bunch of stuff about letting that vile girl poison our family against her (the kid hasn't said a word about MIL), and I just reiterated that we loved her but we wouldn't allow her to abuse SD and not to contact us until she figured herself out.
And now I'm sitting here stewing, I genuinely feel like I'm in the twilight zone. My MIL went from my best friend and a wonderful mother and grandmother to a complete crazy bitch so fast. I keep trying to note previous red flags but there weren't any. She was great, for some reason unbeknownst to me she just decided her granddaughter isn't allowed to be apart of this family and is being so nasty about it. I don't know where to go from here.
submitted by MILisanasshat to JUSTNOMIL [link] [comments]


2020.07.10 02:21 alialibarrett I'm [21M] having so many issues with my girl best friend and ex [21F] and I really need help

I me this girl and we clicked right away. She had just broke up with her ex and she was so insecure and had so many problems.
We agreed to try it for a relationship, but it ended a month later only because I made a simple joke about her ex. There was a festival going on and I didn't have tickets but her ex had, so I said in a joking way, well you should go with your ex and she hung up in my face. After that I went and rented a car because I didn't have a car at that time and I bought her some flowers to make it right and so we can go to the concert, but she started saying she's really not into the mood and it made me really angry and I just exploded on her, saying that I literally always get myself broke for her, and I always get out of my way to look for her and take care of her, and that she doesn't take any jokes like a little kid. She said no one has ever said those words to her, and she decided she doesn't want a relationship anymore. I told her fine and then when we met she started hugging me and saying it's okay I just want to see some effort from you. 2 weeks later she travels to her family, and I text her "I love you" which she replies to, pls don't. I ask her what's the matter and she says she was hurt from what I did and that she needs to focus on her future and studying and she just had a heartbreak from her ex and she's not over him and relationships make her emotional and she doesn't want that. So she asked if we could be friends. I got angry at her again, that she broke up with me for a stupid reason, if she can't take a joke which led me to explode on her with words.. How will she go on when more issues start developing in the relationship? We kept having many small fights on text. One of them she was asking me, do you know BPD (Bipolar Personality Disorder) and I said what's that? And she said "Google it" and I did then I replied with "so are you saying I have that?" and she got angry at me because she thinks that SHE has it, not me. So we stopped talking and we ended on really bad terms, this was in October of 2019. Then I decided I'll give her some space, until her birthday, March of 2020. In those 5 months she posted on her Facebook that she needs help from her friends by liking her post about her assignment so she can get a good mark. So I went a bought her thousands of likes and comments so she can be happy.. But I never said it was me. I just told her friends and asked him to not say anything. I spent 5 months, collecting the best gifts she will ever get. I got her many sneakers and clothes. Like WAY too many. So much makeup and perfume and it was all way too much.. I couldn't even hold the boxes to go get them wrapped. a months before her birthday I get a message from her friend let's call her [Suzan] saying to me, she wants to send you this message which says [hi I don't mean to bother you or anything because you blocked me I couldn't send you this message, thank you for helping me with my assignment I appreciate it alot and I wish you all good and the best of luck] Then I replied with [okay whatever], showing no interest in her. Her birthday comes after exactly a month from her friend texting me and I sent her a text because I noticed she unblocked me. And I said, hi.. Happy birthday, I got you a gift and I'll send it to you today. She was surprised and she said she thought I forgot about her and that I hated her and she said how about I go and give her the gifts? I then thought about and decided to go. She literally was so surprised of how many gifts I got and how much the box was big. And she gave me a hug and we went to the car so we can talk. We started talking and she said I'm sorry for everything, and she admitted the fact that her problem is not communicating like adults and thinking that silence treatment will work. She was clearly happy that I was there, and invited me to her birthday party the next day. The next day comes.. Which I can easily say it's the worst day of my life.. She sent me the location of where the party will be at 11 PM, I went there a bit late. At like 1 Am. After I went in she was drunk. And she came and gave me a very tight hug. I felt so happy. I went to the balcony to look at the view and she came after me and kissed me and she went to all of her friends one by one telling them what I got her for her birthday and how amazed she was by the gifts. Suddenly after that I notice that all her male friends are starting to touch her. Touch her on her butt and try to make out with her. And she's going along with it.. Except for some guys which she never told them no but they kept going. Suzan, her friend started looking at me everytime someone is touching her, and she saw how devastated I was. Then suddenly one of her shitty friends sits on the couch and she comes and sits facing him on his lap infront of everyone. I then go to the room and her friend "Suzan" tells me she wants to talk with me. I go with her to another room were "Suzan and her other friend" are there and she started yelling at me, don't you have self respect for yourself? Can't you see how she's acting like a bitch and not respecting you? Yes you're not her boyfriend and she invited you as a friend, but she can't even tell how hurt you are, I just can't look at you everytime someone is touching her, your eyes tearing up are breaking my heart, she's my friend, but I'm telling you this because I feeling the heartbreak you are feeling right now.. She even was making out with that guy she sat on his lap even before you came and no one can do those stuff if they don't want to even if she's drunk and those are just sober thoughts and I just started crying infront of them both, while my ex was outside knocking on the door because she wanted to go to sleep, I then get out of the room and she notices that I was talking with two of her friends and she says " what are you guys talking about? And I tell her nothing and leave to the living room, she then follows me and talks to me that tomorrow morning we will talk but that I now should go home it's late, I told her no I'm not going home I live far away and I'm not driving at 4 Am which she got a bit angry at me but I insisted so I stayed. Then she goes to her room and I said oh finally she went to sleep away from these guys. Even at this point I was blaming all the guys and not her. Then suddenly I heard her moan for one time inside.. I can't describe the feeling I felt at that moment. Even though some of you will say she's not your girlfriend, but love is blind.. And I never felt heartbroken and shttier than that moment.. And even my friend noticed. I begged her friend to knock on her and get her out, she's drunk and I don't want anyone to take advantage of her "again defending her". Her friends goes and knocks on the door and calls her many times, after 20 minutes she goes out and is angry and drunk and just looks bad. And says what's going on? And I told her ask yourself, were you having sex with that guy? And she said no we were only making out I'm on my period and I already know my boundaries and there's a big difference between making out and having sex and I'll return all your gifts back and it's not your business anyway and you can't control me, She got angry and went back to the room with that guy, her friend Suzan looked at me and told me if you ever talk to her again you're an idiot, you did everything for her, she texted me and said that the gifts you got her are the best things ever and no one ever has done something like that to her before and she's still not respecting you or respecting your feelings. I stayed there until the morning shocked. Then I went home. I slept for like 5 hours before I get a text from her, then two missed calls, then she says "Look I talked to Suzan and they said you were sad and I really want to apologize for everything I did to you, I swear I didn't mean anything I was drunk I don't know if you can understand but please say anything don't keep anything inside of you" I then exploded on her again saying that every person there has touched her ass, tried to make out with her, that she always used to tell me she's shy, but clearly she wasn't shy in her birthday party and that I regret getting her gifts and that I hope I never see her again and many many things because I was literally dying from the inside. She said again I'm shocked of what you have told me on my birthday and that it's the second time I exploded on her and insult her like this. And then she said bye. But she didn't block me. Two hours later she started posting stories on Instagram that she "Hates herself". A couple of days later I ask Suzan if I should ask for my gifts back or no. Which she replies to "I don't know", then she sends me a message from my ex saying. "Tell him that I will put the gifts in my apartment for the whole day, because I was moving to an apartment in another floor anyway, he will take his stuff and he won't see me, I know I'm a bad person right now and I always do bad decesion and I feel bad for it, I'm sorry for getting you into this I'll be gone for a while and take care" She then deletes all her social media, I though about that message and wrote her a message telling her that I'm really disappointed in her and that she can keep the gifts because I got them just for her and I spent so much time and effort and money in getting them, and if you return them I will throw them away because I didn't ask for them back, you said when you were drunk that you wanted to return them. And I asked Suzan to send it to her because she deleted everything. She then downloads whatsapp again to text me, and she said my friends saw how you insulted me and they all said I should throw your gifts away but i will not be childish like you, I felt bad for you at first because I felt that I broke your heart but after you said those words to me I wish I never see you again in my life. And we started fighting over text but this time.. Unlike any other time we argued on text, she didn't block me and neither did I. We kept arguing and somehow we decided to talk for a bit and communicate, that she didn't know she was breaking my heart and she thought I didn't love her anymore and that anyway it's not my business and that she's not a whore, and she only made out with him but didn't have sex and there's a big difference. And we both just calmed down. A week after that we met, she talked about that day, and I told her everything she did while she's drunk and she said.. I don't remember most of these and I'm really sorry and it's shameful what I did and I will never do it again like that. I shouldn't have done that infront if everyone and everyone seeing me and hearing me. I thought that it's clear she felt bad about what happened and I realized that when I got her those gifts my intention was to get my best friend back, not my girlfriend. And she said she really wants us to be friends again. And if we want a relationship together again we both have to change, and that she checked herself back in December and turns out she has a mental illness but she doesn't know what it is yet and she says she thinks she has Autism, Then we spent the whole day together normally. And we got many groceries for our homes because the quarantine and lockdown starts the very next day. After I went home and quarantine started, we spent 4 months from March until now July, just texting, it was really going well and she sometimes initiates the conversation and tells me "Good morning" and I always send her snacks to her apartment because not all delivery services deliver there and everything was going smoothly. But deep down I was still hurt fr that day.. And I wanted her to make it up for me.. Although she has already said she will make it up for me and she will also get me a gift. But lockdown came at the wrong time.. 10 days ago I text her and I was somehow provoking her, and I didn't feel it.. Because I was still hurt. She said we're almost going to the fights and I don't want us to get into this situation of us fighting every once in a while, I want to be happy and I want you to be happy too, I told her honestly I'm still hurt from what happened, and I feel you lied to me. Because Suzan said you were making out with that guy even before I came, but you told me when we met that you just wanted to sleep and you were drunk and he followed you to the room to make out with you. She then got angry again saying" didn't we say to forget about the past? I told you to give us a solution to not fight like always, not mention the past, and yes I made out with him before you came, whether you came or not it happened and if it happens once and twice and 10 times it's not your business and I just want to ask you who do you think you are at that day? Everybody noticed you were trying to control me. I replied with " I didn't say anything about you making our with him, it's not my business yes but my question was why did you lie to me? And who do I think I am? Well let me tell you, I'm the guy that saw the girl he loved being touched by 5 men and then moaning in her room. And she replied with well that's who I am, A whore right?? Just like you just described me in your message. Then we went on a bit and she said I'm not getting over what happened and that she's over what happened and I told her, well of course you're over it you're not the one that got hurt. And she got angry because I accused her of lying and because I asked her "did you have sex with him? Which she felt insulted because she thought I was describing her as a whore. This was 10 days ago. And she blocked me Two days ago I try to make things right again and I send her a message from my friends phone and she says no, it's goodbye and I treat you like you treat me (but deep down if I want to do this and treat her like she treats me, she will probably hate me from the first day) She said that I made her feel bad about what happened and made her feel guilty and made her hate herself, and that I think of her in a wrong way and that there's no hope in even being friends. And that I previously during lockdown has told her "why don't you see a doctor" and she felt attacked by that. And we thanked each other for everything and she will always remember the good things about me and we both thanked each other and decided to forget about the past and to forgive each other, and she admitted that she hurt me but that I have hurt her too. And I told her okay, I just want you to be the happiest girl ever and I wanted us to be good friends again but if this decesion makes you happy then go ahead, and she said it's hard to say I'm happy but I think it's the best for us and we stopped talking on good terms this time without blocking each other.
I know that some of you here might say I'm in the wrong because I was just invited as a friend to her party, but I was really hurt and I decided to forgive her, but I don't know. The lockdown made me think about it alot and made me angry and made me think she was lying because Suzan mentioned that extra thing that she didn't say. I'm really bothered by all of this, I just want us to be friends again because we both want that, and if it wasn't for the birthday incident literally a day after I came back to her, we would have been good friends again, but so many misunderstandings are happening and she's not accepting the fact that she needs to see a therapist, even if she doesn't have anything wrong, at least check herself, and I'm always asking on reddit questions about her and it is shown in my history posts and I might need therapy too, I'm not claiming to be perfect human being, I get anger issue and provoke people alot. But at least I'm acknowledging it and trying to be open minded about it . I really want to be friends with this girl, and she does as well and I'm sure of that because I know her and I want to get over what happened, but my mind is killing me since March and always telling me I should take revenge in anyway.. And I don't want to hurt her but it's hurting me alot and I can't even focus on anything and everytime I take a shower I start crying because she's not trying to understand my point of view. I also forgot to mention above that I have an e-commerce business that I made, and the name goes by her name. And when I told her about it a day after we argued for the birthday thing she was amazed and felt bad even more so she had to make things right. I'm now hoping that she will just wish me a happy birthday in September so I can find a way to talk to her, I don't want to text her now so she doesn't think I'm dying for her. I really wasn't trying to insult her I just told her that I thought she was lying and that'd why I was unintentionally provoking her in someway. I want us to both be happy and I really need your guys suggestions on this . I can be a bit understanding on this but she isn't and she didn't try accepting to meet and work things out like when we met and worked things out a week after her birthday, I only saw her twice since March because of the lockdown but now everything is opening up here again and I really don't know what to do and I can't even sleep thinking about it. Please help...
submitted by alialibarrett to relationship_advice [link] [comments]


2020.07.09 22:00 ChickenSeesASalad I’m in love with somebody who I’ll never be able to be with and it’s affected my relationships in the past. How do I get over it?

About two years ago, I met a wonderful girl, we’ll refer to her as Delilah (not her real name), who I became decent friends with, almost, but not really best friends. We had a crush on each other during June-July and had some moderate levels of flirting, but it never progressed beyond that because we’re both clueless and didn’t know we liked each other back. We talked a lot and fell out of touch for a while somewhere between September-February. We were both distracted with school.
To be honest, I didn’t really think of her much up until March when we started talking again, when she reached out to me and told me happy birthday. It was great to be talking to her again and I only saw her as a friend. She had moved to another country for private family reasons, and we had a large time zone difference but still found time to talk every single day. In addition to that, I had been almost completely over her and I was starting to somewhat be in a relationship with a girl, but I said I wanted to take it slow at the time. The thing is, I didn’t know her reaching out to me we would mess me up so much.
We talked so much that the romantic feelings I suppressed deep inside me towards her started to come out again. The girl who I was talking to? I started to question if I really liked her or not. It felt like shit. It made me feel like a big mess, and in the end I ultimately ended it and left her because it felt wrong to like somebody else at the same time while I was with her, which she didn’t deserve at all but I didn’t want to be in a relationship where I was questioning if I actually loved my SO.
It made me feel extremely guilty and during this time I made another mistake to lean on delilah while i was upset about it. We’ve become extremely close to each other and have admitted to each other that we’ve had feelings for each other in the past, but we both made it clear that we’re never going to happen. Long distance is something that we both can’t do.
Since then, we’ve always found time to do things together despite the large time difference. We’ve stayed up for hours before just to listen to music and talk to each other, and sometimes we send gifts back and forth to each other for the hell of it. We talk about getting to fall in love with each other, cuddling, marriage, and her proposing to me.
I know it’s never going to happen, and I respect that. I still have a crush on her, and she knows it since I’ve told her. She still likes me, but not as much as I like her.
It’s a terrible feeling. I know I need to get over her, it’s been almost a year. It was embarrassing to admit to her that I still like her, and I know it’s going to be a huge problem if I don’t get over her. It already was when I broke someone’s undeserving heart because of me having a crush on someone I can’t get over. I feel like I’ll never be able to get over her and love somebody else. It feels to me that it’s impossible for me date somebody else without thinking of her and getting that shit feeling. As long as I like her, I’m never going to be able to date anybody else, it’s stupid to date somebody when you’re not over somebody else, but I can’t get over her. I need help moving on but I have no idea what to do.
Is this intense feeling of love normal or am I some sort of psychopath? How do I get over her? Has this happened to anybody else? I just feel so confused and doomed.
submitted by ChickenSeesASalad to dating [link] [comments]


2020.07.09 20:46 caitica86 Thinking back on the whole relationship and realizing it was probably mostly lies.

TLDR: As usual, a long post. Wrote this last night about my recent PA ex. I think I’m trying to rationalize the man in the other room with the man I love, they are not the same person. I’ll never know how much of how he treated me was completely fake. I’ll never know whether he ever meant anything he said and it’s fucking horrifying. If you read the whole thing, I think it’ll make it clear why so many women not only stay with porn/sex addicts, but why we invest so hard in trying to help them recover.
He’ll show you how amazing it is to be loved by a good man, then rip it away so insidiously that you’ll find out you have trauma symptoms.
-You notice him at work because he’s hardworking, creative, funny, organized, strong, and has a green mohawk and Misfits and Circle Jerks tattoos. -Sometimes he goes out of his way to help you with small tasks at work. -He starts sticking around the bar after hours to “avoid traffic” but really it’s to talk to you. -He’ll make you feel special by joking around and playing with you, finding ways to touch you, tickle you. -He’ll make you think he’s singling you out with inside jokes and pranks. You’ll start a prank war. -He’ll call consistently and never ever ghosts you or blows you off. -He’ll show up to the company dodgeball game to hang out with you afterward. He’ll do a shot with you, even though you’ll later find out he doesn’t drink hard liquor and you respect him for it. -He’ll plan and initiate dates that feel unique and tailored to your shared interests. -He’ll ask questions and remember the answers. -On your second date, you’ll play around like kids and he’ll ask permission to hold your hand. -He’ll kiss you so passionately you’ll feel like you’ve never really been kissed before. -He’ll tell you interesting stories from his time living overseas. -He’ll let you know he’s super attracted to you, but in a subtle, respectful way that makes you feel beautiful, valued and honored, never objectified. -When he gets more serious, he’ll tell you about the son he adores and the cheating ex-wife who hurt him. -He’ll tell you how important monogamy is to him and you’ll start pinching yourself, “Is this real?” -When you have sex, he’ll be attentive, creative, and masculine all at the same time. He’ll tell you how beautiful every part of you is. He knows a ton of positions, so you assume he’s trying some things from porn, but it’s nbd because you’re into it too and happy to have finally found someone who matches your high libido. -He’ll take care of you in bed and there’ll be lots of snuggling afterward and in the morning. -He won’t notice the parts you think are flawed. -Hugs in his strong arms will become what you crave when you need comfort. -When he gets fired unfairly, he’ll call you first, in tears, making you think he’s totally vulnerable with you. -Then he’ll call his mom with your arms still wrapped around him. -He’ll make sure you’re taken care of by helping maintain your car. He’ll let you know you can count on him for help. -He’s extremely clean and tidy- military tidy. -He’ll show up to your family events and squeeze your hand through funerals. -He’ll talk about building things with you- actual things, but they point to sharing your lives together. He’ll make plans for them, price them out, and take you to look at supplies. You’ve been engaged before, yet never felt so cherished. No one has ever committed to you so fully before. -You’ll almost buy a bus together and move into it to renovate it into an adventure home. (Someone else got it first) -You’ll go hiking and camping and plan backpacking trips, but even going grocery shopping will be fun with him. -He’ll never let you pay, even years in. -He’ll bring up starting a joint savings account for a trip to his former home in the UK that he thinks you’ll love. -You’ll make a list of places to visit and talk about how much to save for each trip and when you’d be able to go. These plans go out at least a decade. -You’ll talk about all the sex stuff neither of you have tried and decide you feel safe enough to try them together. And try them. -He’ll surprise you with handmade gifts and household projects. -He’ll show you he loves you by going with you to a work party full of people he dislikes. -Then he’ll tell you he loves you by singing Elvis to you in the rain, in the green glow of his car light. The morning after, he’ll take sweet, non-sexual pictures of you two in bed together. -He’ll tell you he doesn’t want a future without you in it and his actions will align with those words. -You’ll talk about eloping on a mountain and getting matching tattoos. -You’ll move in together and build a home together. -He’ll support your success by offering his GI bill when you get married, completely unprompted. -You know you can rely on him. You know you’ll have a good life together. You never expected to feel so complete, so compatible with another person. It feels amazing. -You know he probably watches porn sometimes when you’re not around and you don’t think much of it when he won’t watch porn with you. There’s definitely nothing weird going on. -A million tiny things every single day confirm that you’ve found someone amazing, you two fit so well, you never expected to meet someone who fits so well.
Until...
-He starts to get really down for no apparent reason. You try to get him out of the house more, but he’s always tired. -Sex changes. He becomes almost obsessed with your butt and asks for anal almost every day, even though it hurts you sometimes and you’ve talked about it. “It was your idea to try it in the first place” he says. Yet he stops letting you touch his backdoor and shuts down when you bring it up. -He no longer tells you your whole body is beautiful and sexy, in a weird way; he can only describe your butt. You tell him the fixation makes you uncomfortable and ask him to work on describing more of you, but he seems to not be able to. For example: You ask him what he likes about your boobs and he thinks real hard before saying “They’re round” as if it’s super complimentary. He can’t say anything specific about your face anymore and just tells you he loves all of you. He never does anything to change this. -He tells you he’s been messaging a female friend from middle school, just a friend, tells you to be transparent. But you find out it’s someone he barely ever knew and he’s asking her to meet him for drinks without mentioning you or the future he’s supposedly so excited to build together. You ask him to mention his girlfriend and she ghosts. He plays dumb. An innocent mistake. He didn’t know she was taking it as a date. -His night-shift job starts getting to him. His mind isn’t occupied enough. He sleeps or watches TV or plays video games in the dark all the time. He never wants to do anything outside anymore. He never wants to go anywhere. He stops planning dates. Stops cleaning. Life gets harder, but you’re sure it’s just a rut and he’ll come out of it. You encourage him to leave the house with you, but it makes him grumpier. Your options are to spend time with him on the couch exclusively or not spend time with him at all. -He stops watching things with you because you’re interested in them. He asks to switch to something “you’ll both like” even though you point out it always devolves into things only he likes. -Suddenly, the TV is always on and he’s always on his phone, usually Facebook. -He starts drinking more. He always had a beer or two in the evening before bed, but now it’s up to multiple 6-packs a day and since he now works nights, it’s happening in the morning. When you wake up, he’s already drunk but refuses to admit the drinking has changed at all when you mention your concerns. -You ask if he’s upset or if something has changed, is he mad at you? but he always says no, he loves you, he’s tired from the night shift. -Sometimes he makes you feel guilty for asking him to do something you used to do together, saying he’s switched his sleep schedule on the weekend to spend time with you, can’t you be happy just being with him in the house? -A few months later you find a trans escort site in his phone internet history. He says it’s a friend of his brother’s, who runs a boarding house for transitioning people. You believe him. You know how discriminated against trans people are and feel sympathetic to her. -You find a weird oily stain on his armchair one day, front and center, where you sometimes have sex, but it wasn’t from you. The only thing that makes sense is lube. He tells you he masturbated and got overzealous with the lube, but it still seems weird. Why didn’t he clean it up? -Then you find a text to a trans escort, asking to make an appointment. She was sick that day. He’s so apologetic and tells you he thinks he has a problem. You’ve never heard of porn addiction before. -You realize it happened on his birthday, while you were feeling guilty for having to work. You realize it was the day you came home to a stained chair. You wonder if he found a different prostitute that day... -You get tested and thank god it comes back negative. -To try to seem more transparent, he tells you he has a prostate toy you didn’t know about. You make sure he feels loved and supported because he was ashamed of it. You start using it on him during sex and it seems special, more loving again. -Yet, You’ve never felt so uncomfortable in your body in your life, even though he swears he doesn’t want a trans woman in real life and that he loves your body. You stop taking good care of yourself too and start gaining weight. -You find out that as soon as you leave, the second you’re out of the driveway, he starts watching porn. You find this out by getting a flat tire and returning home to him jerking it on the couch less than two minutes after you left. Somehow, he’d managed to open 50+ tabs that fast. -You find cam girls in his favorites on the Xbox browser. Ugly ones. With saggy tits. One who’s schtick is dumping piss on herself. One who is the same ethnicity as his half-sister, who used to work in porn. He has no idea how that got there. Probably spam. He’s not into that stuff. -He fakes transparency by letting you check his phone whenever. You have his passwords. You feel safer. -You don’t find anything for a while and believe when he says he’s stopped. You’ve never had a reason to be skeptical of his word in the past. -But your mental health begins to deteriorate. You can’t focus at work, tired all the time, compulsively check his phone every time he falls asleep, rather spend time on the couch than outside. -After one big project, you hit a bad depressive episode and don’t go to work for 5 days. Your coworkers worry about you. You tell HR you had a miscarriage, because what else could explain this much pain and fatigue? The regular vomiting at work? The intense anxiety? Cancer? -You realize you might not hurt as much if he had just died. You start to want to die. -You beg him to help you. You beg him to get help. Certainly the man from before Until, the man who loves you and cares for you so well, the man who only wants good things for you, he’ll help you. He’ll fix his problems to help both of you. He can fix anything, you’ve seen that with your own eyes. -But he doesn’t. Sure, he gets up before you to clean the house and makes you breakfast on the weekends, he’s sweeter and snuggles you longer and holds you tight when you cry, but he won’t talk about it. He doesn’t do or say anything to address the problem. -You put your foot down. Couples counseling or you’re out. You’re afraid you’ll lose your job and your mind if something doesn’t get better soon. -He picks a CC and holds your hand tight through the first session. Responds to her questions. You think “we’re facing our issues together.” You feel relieved. -COVID happens. You’re furloughed and don’t go anywhere but the grocery store and get so bad- the worst depression of your life. Anxiety follows you like a ghost. The other women follow you like a million ghosts. You lose all sense of self. You can’t breathe well anymore and your chest is always under pressure. You want to die enough to occasionally think about how. -CC stops going well. He decides he doesn’t like the therapist after she coaches him to respond to your questions in a way that shows understanding. He refuses and gets frustrated. You get mad at him. -You decide to tell someone, you have to for your sanity, but you’ve ghosted your friends for four months to avoid pity and embarrassment. You didn’t want them to tell you to leave him on the spot. -You finally tell someone and decide you should have told someone months ago. You’re not living a secret terrible life anymore. -He treats you coldly for a week. You’re being desperate, needy. Questioning everything he says and does and it makes you feel like you want to die. You start fighting a lot. Crying even more. Why does it keep getting worse? -After a hug that turned into sex one day, he tells a joke about finding a third. You tell him you’re not ready for those jokes. But you think that maybe when he gets better, that’s something you’d consider. -Two weeks later you find out he made profiles on threesome apps using a photo of you two, saying you’re married. At first, he pretends he doesn’t know how the apps got on his phone, then he shuts down and won’t talk to you anymore. -You realize he lied through all of CC and never intended to put your needs before porn. You have another breakdown. You move out of the bedroom into the office/guest room. -You tell him his behavior has become abusive. He knows exactly what he’s doing to you, he’s seen you collapsed on the floor sobbing uncontrollably, he knows you’re having suicidal ideations, he admits it’s his actions causing it, and still will not change. -Another ultimatum: he starts therapy with a CSAT AND stops lying or the relationship is over. This accidentally causes your paranoia to kick into high gear, searching for a broken boundary, any lie. -Somewhere in there you find a few Reddit subgroups that have porn addiction resources. You learn and it makes you smarter and stronger. You find out that everything you’ve gone through is a normal reaction (oh my god). But you also find out that he isn’t even beginning to try to change. More broken heart. -You start attempting to take care of yourself, even though everything aches all the time. -He starts therapy, but self-sabotages by starting the video chat with his phone battery low and letting it die during, or sleeping through them. He even lies to the therapist, saying his phone broke and he had to wait to get a new phone- stalling to avoid making the next appt. -Then you catch him in a lie. He deleted search history from the Xbox. He denies, then claims he started to PMO but turned it off and didn’t finish so he thought it didn’t count. -You break up with him on the phone. He tries to get you to recant with promises of always caring for you, putting you through school, buying a house for you. He promises to start getting help and finds a new therapist that night (but does not contact). -But your heart is still being dumb because you leave a window open: we’re broken up, but if you work really hard at recovery, maybe we can try again in the future. -He makes a very convincing show of trying to get better, but you’re a bit smarter now. You know he’s still not committed to healing. His routine is totally unchanged. He misses therapy appointments. It continues to break your heart, but he so lovingly tells you he wants to change and that you’re still the only one he wants. He still wants you to be his wife, to have that future. -You check his phone and find he’s been using tinder. And moved to texting a girl. Not sexting like you expected, but getting to know her. And planning a date with her at your favorite spots. You didn’t feel cheated on until now. You text her to tell her he’s a married sex addict with herpes because what do you have to lose? She blocks him. -You scream at him and he’s defensive. He can’t believe you’d violate his trust by going through his phone!!!!!!!!! -When you call your one friend for help, he brings his deer rifle into the bathroom with him and you nearly have a panic attack when you realize what he’s doing. You get him out, lock up the gun, and call his family. He sleeps the rest of the day. Skips work for the next three days, but has some seemingly meaningful conversations with you. -Except that you have no trust left for him. You can’t tell the difference between the truth and lies from him. There may not be a difference. You don’t recognize this man. This man hurts you and doesn’t seem to care at all. He wants you to just BE happy, not to MAKE you happy anymore. -You look at his phone one last time (for now) and see that he told Tinder girl he’d never been married. -It’s always been such a secretive thing, this prior marriage, so you move on instinct and message his ex-wife. She isn’t his ex-wife. He’s been lying to you about that for years. -You thought the porn addiction/borderline sex addiction was the only issue, but it isn’t. Anything he’s ever told you is now a potential lie. All of it, from “I love you” to “I always want to wake up to you” to that Elvis song he sang to everything he ever made you feel. -And it all falls away. All feelings of responsibility for helping him. All loyalty to the relationship. All desire for the beautiful future that could only exist with him. Gone. Almost. -But not totally. You still hurt and grieve, but the pain doesn’t feel like your soul has been stabbed anymore. You still want him to get better, but don’t want to know the details. When he talks, you assume he’s twisting something to make himself look less bad, because that’s who he is now. -You want to be mean to him, which you’ve never felt before. You recoil if he tries to touch you. -Life still feels numb and blah, but something inside has woken back up and you’re not waiting for him anymore. You want him to get better, but you don’t want to be there for it anymore. You know he’s still messaging other women (two weeks ago he was telling you he was still committed to you alone while using tinder) and he’s lying to them too and you almost don’t care (you’re still possessive, but you know it’ll fade).
Now he’s the guy who fucked up your heart, and wouldn’t fix himself.
And now you fix yourself and design your own good life. And you write things like that while crying over the future you still REALLY want. You don’t want a future alone. You want a future together. You want to be family the way he was supposed to be family with you. You worry you’ll never have a future together with anyone, because how could anyone else come close to your relationship before UNTIL and still be trusted?
All that good love for years and it turns out this man really had porn and tinder and cam girls where his heart belonged. He is a master manipulator.
You see that he’s moving from porn to sex addiction and worry. You feel the need to protect others from him.
No one ever deserves to have this happen to them. I would not wish this on people I hate.
Edit: I forgot about the lies about his kid. -He’ll tells you about the child he adores, how awful the baby momma is. She won’t let him see the kid and he was passed out drunk when she, sober, took advantage of him and got knocked up. She told him she’d get an abortion, but he was called to DFCS a few months after she gave birth and that’s how he found out about his kid. -He’ll tell you he’s never missed a child support payment as though it makes him a hero. He’ll tell you he’s meeting with lawyers to get his paternal rights. That he desperately wants to be a father to his child. -You’ll offer you help him. You know you’ll love the kid just because it’s his. You can see yourself as a step-mom with this guy. -But after a few years, you realize that he has no interest in his kid. He never tries to make contact, blows off texts from the baby momma, does nothing to get his rights. He lied about that too. He never talks about the child, except in terms of how much more money he’d have if he didn’t have to pay child support. HE DOESN’T EVEN KNOW THE CHILD’S BIRTHDAY. -His mom tells you that he screwed baby momma while broken up with his ex and she even doubts his sexual assault story. Now you do too, because it fits perfectly with his victim ruse. He didn’t do anything. He didn’t mean to. Someone did it to him. Where have I heard that before?
submitted by caitica86 to loveafterporn [link] [comments]


2020.07.09 14:57 Horrorfan16 I text you yesterday and asked to meet the kids and I for lunch next week...not even for reasons you would know. My thoughts after that text were a slap of realization

M, all our years together. Supposedly being the closest person to you and love of your life. Your soulmate. It hit me that if you actually (highly doubtful) respond or even shock me and actually meet the girls and I somewhere that day. It will have been the most meaningful thing you ever did for me for this event? I had a lot of birthdays as your significant other... you never really did shit for me? I know I started falling off on yours. I’m sorry for that. Between coming home to gifts I was surprising you with gone and you with another female along with fucking another one in a hotel room on yours. And the birthday I planned myself and you were 4 1/2 hours late too.. because you had to go get green from your baby mom and then stop at work to “help” off the clock.. was more important then my birthday. While I sat at home with my hair all pretty in that sexy ass red dress and heals. I remember how you stopped dead in your tracks when you saw me. I was surprised when you hugged me and even kissed me then. We weren’t back together tell the next day. You even promised to take me to the movie I was dying to see so badly still... it was cute. We never went. The next summer I was pregnant and exhausted. Doing everything I could to bond you out of jail. And support the two kids and both of us. Get ready for this one. I was still have manic episodes too.. we grilled out at my parents. I was happy you did the cooking and pretty much took my place on waiting on my family. And they wonder why I work holidays? lol at least at work I’m tipped. After our youngest was born and we had moved.. I never told you this.. but I swear you forgot.. it was nice to get my nails done. You handed me your credit card in the way out the door. My parents had invited us for dinner. I ended up brining the food and grilling. You were so tired I didn’t let you help me. When we got in the car you hugged me and promised next year we would do something amazing and have my parents take the kids for a few days. You told me it was ok, everything would be better next year... looking back I see just how much I was left out of or pushed aside with.. I waited so long for things that would never happen...for my anyways. I was never a priority. I see now how little of attention you paid to me. You once said that you wanted to be with me and not the me I thought you wanted me to be. How would you have known that? You looked past me and not at me. I see that now because your doing all the things I asked to do, and your enjoying them. Things had you paid any attention to me about you would have experienced and loved with me at your side and made beautiful memories with. Memories that I’m not having and now watching unfold brings the tears everyday. Tears that made the events of last year happen. I had almost put it out to my mind finely. Tell I for the yearly reminder from the cemetery for my fee’s for the grave site. Made me kinda happy when I looked at the dress I had and noticed it was too big now. Black low cut dress with two red stripes at bottom. A note saying I wanted my pandora and penguin bracelet on me and my ring. I took the red bow and pearl necklace out of the envelope. It’s scary to think I did all this. Everything. You never told me happy birthday that day. Or after. I’ve spent basically every holiday alone since. Gone to every doctors appointment alone since. Everything alone. Hell Im not even wanted at our daughters birthdays. I’ve realized how the world would have been if I did die that day. Because it’s already like I’m not even in it. Over this last year I’ve reached out for help, support. Told people I’m suicidal a lot. No one has done anything at all. Not even you. You still don’t even know the reason jesse,Jamie and her boyfriend were always at my house was because of that and how sick I was. Jesse found me. He was the only one last year who bothered to show up to say happy birthday. After that. I was never alone. Well tell there bullshit brought police to my house. This year. I’m mentally worse. I’m worse because not one person has been there for me. Really there for me. People are always around long enough to get something out of me but not a real friend. I don’t socialize anyways. All anyone has done is shown me how much I don’t matter to anyone. How life is truly better without me. Just like you had told me. When you had said you realized your life was happier without me in it. I still want to die more then anything. Now that everything is shattered there isn’t much for me is there? Another holiday alone, another night crying,another day I’m too depressed to get out of bed. Another cry for help go unheard. Anther day wondering what happened to us,my dreams,my family. Everything I worked so hard for.. Everyday is a struggle. So I asked you to meet up with us so I won’t be alone. I you do meet up with us. It will be the most important thing you have ever done for me. It will be the one thing I’ve needed this whole year. One person to show they care.
submitted by Horrorfan16 to UnsentLetters [link] [comments]


2020.07.09 09:31 ThrowRAExRoommate My Roommate/Best Friend Says He Wants To Live By Himself, I don't know what to do.

First time posting, and this is jumbled, apologies. Going to try and keep some details vague because this would be kinda easy to figure out otherwise.

My (M21) best friend / roommate (M22) and I have lived together for 2 years now, and planned to live together for another. I think it's also important to note that I'm gay and he is very straight. We are both actors going to the same university, and met abroad through a mutual friend as we both had the option to study abroad or go to a community college our first semester. My friend T introduced us when I went to visit her in her country, and explained we were in the same program. Once we were at our school in the spring, we had a bunch of classes together, and we became apart of a friend group. We were really the only guys, and had to figure out housing soon, so we decided to live together (at a friends joke-ish suggestion).

Before living together, we were good friends, but not that close. But once we started living together, we did a lot together. We had about 2 classes together, we would play games together, watch shows together, a lot. I still had my separate friends from study abroad and he was apart of this club, so we did have our own stuff. But we just got along super well. His study abroad guy friends soon also became my friends, and they'd chill a lot at our place, since it was just an apartment with no RA. He also was dating a girl in our friend group in our freshman spring, but she was insane and broke up with him over the summer, which he was devastated about. So I was also constantly trying to be his wingman and such at college theatre parties and what not. We just clicked on a lot of things. He came to my family's for Thanksgiving, I went on his private yacht for winter break, we would confide in each other about quite a great deal. Around spring 2019 (Sophmore 2nd semester), he reconnected with his ex, who, while insane, was a good friend and made him incredibly happy. I was always as supportive as I could be, would give them space and time, let myself be sexiled, whatever. We even went on another trip on his yacht spring break, which my birthday fell on. The whole day we did whatever I wanted, and it was my 20th birthday, and probably my best one ever. So I've always been grateful for that. By the end of spring semester, we had done a student show together, had seen each other in our school productions, watched anime and played video games together, met each other's family's, the dude was like a brother to me.

The plan for summer was for us to get internships wherever, and for him to live in my house's backhouse (for free, by the way.) We had a lease starting in August that we signed with some "friends" for a 2B2B apartment, which we kinda regretted as we realized we should've just stuck to the two of us, but whatever. Well, plans fell through, since he didn't find an internship, so he went back home to the east coast (we're on the west coast). We managed to get some time to hang out before hand, and we would play video games weekly or so. Over the summer, his crazy GF decided he wasn't being good enough, and dumped him again, which he did not see coming. She told me, and I confided with him he should probably talk with her more and try to be more of a presence, which he thanked me for, and she was happy about, but eventually she just had enough. He cameback early August and stayed at my back house, but the second day he was back, she broke up with him 15 minutes into a coffee date. I gave him space, and we hugged it out and talked a bit. He's always been a little bit more reserved emotionally, with me being very much the opposite, but he was heartbroken, and I tried to distract him and support him as best I could.

Then junior year started. A week into school, a friend had a house party, and though he wasn't feeling amazing, I convinced him to come. This was like 3 weeks after he had just been broken up with. The cops were called, and as I was leaving, me being a drunk gay guy, I found a acquaintance who was walking in the same direction and convinced her to walk with us. Eventually, I met up with my roommate and pals along with my new friend, and they hit it off. Talked the whole way there, I made sure to lead the group a long way back so they could give each other their numbers, and boom. They've been dating ever since and are in mad love.

But junior year kinda sucked for me. I was cast in a show that required me to be present and participating every day, for 4 hours, along with other class work. The show was crazy and it really stressed me out since I was a lead and had never been one before. I hated my classes, and our suitemates were unbearable to live with. He also disliked his classes, but had his new GF, and was head over heels in love with her. I again, was very supportive, let her sleep over whenever, encouraged him to invite her over, and what not.
Spring semester was only worse, since I was in another show that was taking up all my time, but now with morning classes that required me to be up at 7 AM and then go to bed at like 2 AM since I had to rehearse. When I get stressed, I get freaked out about my friendships and what not, and my roommate was always about to go to bed when I got home, or at his girlfriends. We'd hang out on the weekends sometimes, but it wasn't exactly the same. I would get stressed and cry, and he would try to comfort me, but I felt like such a burden. Whenever we had issues, I always encouraged us to try talking through them, such as when he felt I was being very touchy in the sense of like, poking him or hugging him a lot. Once he told me that, I made sure to always ask if I could hug him, and make sure to give him ample space. If we had issues, I just wanted to talk them through and figure them out.

Once quarantine started, things became...I don't even know. It was my birthday again, so him, his GF, and a mutual close girl friend of our's came to my beach house. We had a good time, and I was constantly stressed about our friendship, but some one on one time helped and made me feel good.

Once things got shut down, he decided to stay at the apartment along with me (My family is local to my college, so I could've done either or.). His girlfriend stayed at her place across the street, and our suitemates left. We did Zoom classes, and it wasn't amazing. I admittedly got really frustrated with him. He would go over to his girlfriends, and not tell me when he was going to comeback and such, which I expressed made me uncomfortable because I just didn't know where they were going or what they were doing. Like, sometimes, they'd still go out to get lunch and whatnot. I was fine with him spending time with her, I just wanted to make sure they weren't going into crowded places or whatever and exposing themselves. He's also always really sucked with texting and calling, and I would get lonely and sad. I encouraged him to invite his girlfriend over since we were also pretty close now, and I didn't mind. I just liked not being alone. He said it was fine though, and would just invite her over whenever. I wanted to try and work out some schedule, so no one was constantly alone and what not, but he didn't want to. He would usually just do one night there, one night at our place, one night she would come over, and repeat. But the farther along quarantine got, the more nights it was him there and her not coming over. I asked if I had done something, but he said it was fine, and they just wanted privacy and what not. Which, again, I understood, but reiterated that I just liked having people over, not even to hang with, just to share a space with, y'know?
There would be some nights when I also would just get upset because they could be a very, very physical couple. Like, all of our friends have commented on it to me and to him, but they brush it off. As a single person whose been single for my whole life, I would voice my frustration saying I understood their wants and such, but asked that they just express they wanted some alone time or privacy, and I would give them that. Like, I'll go hang in the living room if you guys want to chat and cuddle, but don't do it when we're all watching Tiger King together. And quarantine could be a lot. His dad even collapsed like 3 weeks into it, and he didn't even fly back home or anything. His dad was fine and it didn't turn into anything, but he seemed dead set on staying on the west coast (In my suspicion because each summer prior he would leave his relationship stable and happy, and then be broken up with promptly once he was gone for more than a month).

But we started doing stuff like we used to. We watched shows again, cooked meals together, played games, it was a good time. The semester fizzled out, and we would just hang and do whatever. I would zoom with my other friends, he would visit his GF, it wasn't awful. And with just the two of us in the apartment, it felt like old times. Still, I could get stressed and emotional, but there wasn't a night where we didn't hug it out and made sure all was well between us. If he needed space or alone time, I would make sure to give it to him, no matter what.

He then went away for a month on his yacht, to be with family. I wished him well, and just stayed at my apartment while visiting home a good amount. We didn't really text a whole lot, because he just would never reply, which saddened me, but it was ok. I would play an online game with our mutual friends (His guy friends originally from study abroad who soon just turned into my friends as well). I was texting to try and sort out a plan on what we would do once our lease ended and we could move into our next apartment, for just the two of us, which had a lease we had signed on back in December 2019. Once he came back, I moved back home to wait for him to quarantine, then I'd come back for 2 weeks, then we would move our stuff.

Well, he returned June 28th, and I stopped by to say hi the 30th. It was his b-day the 1st, and his girlfriend and I had planned on doing some social distance bday thing, but decided it against it just due to him maybe not being clear. Still, I had left some stuff at the apartment, and was heading to get tested actually for COVID nearby, so I figured it wouldn't hurt. I stopped by, and he was out for a walk, so I texted him to let him know I had a gift and such and was just gonna drop it off, but he insisted on coming back.

When he did, we sat down outside (masks on), and just caught up. It was nice, impersonal if anything. And then he said he had something to tell me. My heart dropped. He told me about spending time in his own bedroom on the yacht, and talking with family, he figured it was best for him to live by himself the upcoming year. I just started to cry. He offered to help me find a new roommate, or pay 40% of what his part of the rent would've been. I just was so sad, and angry at the same time. I asked if he wanted to find an apartment with separate bedrooms, and he said no. He said he still loved and cared about me, but that he wanted privacy and felt like he was being "surveyed." I just truly was shocked. I knew things had been kinda rough, but it was quarantine. Things are rough for everyone. I made him know he was screwing me over, and he only said, "I'm sorry." I just couldn't stop crying. Eventually, I asked if it was that awful living with me, to which he replied, "Was it that awful living with ME?" He said I just seemed stressed out whenever he was around, and that when he wasn't, I did fine. Again, I would stress out sometimes I had upset him and annoyed him, but I didn't feel like that was making him go insane. Eventually, I composed myself, and said I would talk with my parents. I asked if he still wanted to be friends, which he replied yes. He still wanted to have me over, he still wanted to watch our shows, still write a script together, just not live together. My parents were sympathetic, and luckily we are fortunate enough where I could have just told him to fuck off and that we could've paid the rent all on our own (I can't live with complete strangers, and none of my friends are looking for housing rn. A lot of people are trying to get out of their's.) We also knew after senior year he was probably going to try and move in with his girlfriend (He literally was thinking this like 6 months into their relationship BTW), which I supported and understood 100%. I just didn't think it would be that soon.
I just cried a lot, and was sad at my house. That night, us and his best friend (from like 2nd grade who studied abroad with him and also goes to our school, who I'm also really close with now) all played a game together. I had told the friend, and he offered to just chat with me, but I said it was fine. We played, it was fun, when we all hopped off, I called my roommate and confirmed if the only thing he wanted to change of our relationship was the roommate part of it, which he said yes, 100%. Which made me feel better, but I still kind of was dying on the inside to a point. I viewed this guy like a brother (which I told him, and he said he felt the same), and I just felt so hurt. My parents decided it would be best if I just moved back home, so I called him some days later and told him the apartment was his. His first response was to ask if I was alright, which just made me feel like shit. I wasn't alright, but I wanted what was best for my friend, which was screwing me over. I confirmed if that's what he wanted, and he said yes, and he asked again. I told him I wasn't, but no matter what I do, I really love the guy. He's one of my best friends and I just want to be friends.

Which I guess is where I need advice. My parents told me he could be a dick whose just done a lot of good things for me, or a good guy who's doing a dick to me now. My sister said we seemed really close and to focus on the friendship part, saying it's ok to be upset but that losing our whole friendship over this wouldn't be too worth it. My mom's asked me if I had a crush on him, and I don't think I do. I tell myself I don't. There's like literally 0% chance of us even ever having a relationship also (He is VERY straight and while he is a cute jock type, I don't view my guy friends as viable options ever). I'm worried our friendship will end because he already sucks at texting and calling, and most of my friends convinced me that in our case, it was okay since we were roommates and saw each other face to face a lot. But now we won't, I'm worried he's just going to get sick of me and never reach out. Most of the time, I would be the one asking to play games or watch shows, which he was always down to do, and would also always ask, but I usually initiated. Practically, the apartment is sorted out, but I'm still hurt and annoyed. Emotionally, I'm confused. I just want everything to be like sophomore year where we would chill, play Switch games, and watch anime. We play a lot together right now online with friends, and are fine when it's just the two of us, but I still can't help but feel sad and think a lot about what I could've done better to prevent this from happening.

TL;DR: Best friend and I live together for 1 amazing year, 1 ok but busy year. We planned to live again for one more year, but now he says he wants to live alone. He still wants us to be friends, and so do I because he's like a brother to me. I'm hurt and sad and don't know what to do.
submitted by ThrowRAExRoommate to relationship_advice [link] [comments]


2020.07.09 09:30 shaypearl Haunted doll with a demon

The Story of Anneliese and Me
It all started with some stupid doll as a gag gift for my friend’s birthday. The doll had extremely curly strawberry blonde hair and these terrifying eyes that were almost entirely black. It had a cute little nose and rosy cheeks with peach colored lips. The doll wore this white stained dress with a frill around the collar and a flower design going down the dress. As innocent as the doll looked it should have been fine but I guess I fucked up when I decided to give the doll a name and backstory to freak my friend out a little. But before I named the doll I had it in my house for a week or so before giving it as a gift to my friend during this time a few things happened but nothing very alarming but noticeable enough that it only happened when the doll came to our house then stopped when it left. Things would fall off counters at you or be thrown but like I said nothing to bad. When I gave the doll to my friend it stopped which is something I didn’t really notice at the time but then two or three years later things started to fall again and be thrown but only this time more violently. Before I go off the deep end I should tell you some more about when I gave the doll to my friend. First off I named the doll Anneliese which was my first mistake, the second was giving it a back story although now I don’t remember the backstory but I bet it had something to do with a little girl dying and now haunting the doll. I should have realized the doll was actually haunted but I guess ignorance is bliss as they say. Before I get into what has recently happened I want to just tell some of the small odd things that have happened throughout my life that I can remember. The first paranormal memories I have are in this small three bedroom two bath trailer I used to live in. I remember seeing shadowy figures walking through the hallway at night all through the night and I would just watch them not afraid. I heard from my parents that a man had died in that house but I was young so I didn't really understand. I once saw something very terrifying to me at that young age, it was a gorilla although odd I knew it was a demon when I saw its red glowing eyes. I was so scared I ran to my sisters room as it followed me and for years after that I could feel its glowing red eyes watching me until one day I no longer felt the same stare. There were also several times the electronics and music boxes were messed with. One night while I was sleeping the Tv turned on by itself although I was not frightened because I was half-asleep I just got up and turned the Tv off. My mom often had her music boxes playing by themselves and also had one thrown to the ground by what was seemingly an invisIble force. Another experience my mom had was the radio turning on by itself to a station that no one in our house listened to. We were primarily country and pop listening to household but the radio was playing classical music. My mother had been so startled and scared she just left the livingroom and went to bed without turning the radio back off. When we were moving out of this house the shelves in my parents closet that had nothing on it fell to the ground we assumed it was the spirit wanting us to stay. We also figured that this house had several different spirits in it. We then moved to a house with a basement, it was a nice house with lots of trees in the yard. As you can probably tell the basement was the problem area in the house it always had this dreadful feeling to it like you were being watched. We had kept two of my hamsters down there and a Tv with an old gaming cube; I often liked to go down there with my mom while she did laundry and I played the game with her sometimes too. I hated going down there by myself because of the awful feeling you would get. An odd occurrence with this basement was that the Tv would turn on by itself a lot. My mom tried to tell me it was the moisture in the basement that made it do that she failed to mention it also turned on by itself when it wasn't plugged in. I have one vivid memory of this happening when I was home alone and I woke up to loud talking not knowing where it was coming from. It took me a few minutes to figure out that it was the basement that the sound was coming from. It had been the Tv on some gospel show because it had been sunday and the Tv was on full blast so it could be heard all through the house. When I first heard it I thought someone was preaching outside but when I figured out it was the basement Tv my stomach dropped because I knew I would have to go down there and turn it off. All I remember after that was running down as quickly as possible to turn the Tv off then sprinting back up the stairs to safety. We soon moved from this house to another though never having fully unpacked from the house before. The next house was a two story house with a kind of walk in crawl space. When we first moved into this house it was like a shared living space type thing. Some other family lived on the first floor while my family lived on the top floor but only for a short amount of time. I remember hating that family’s kid. She was a few years younger than me and extremely annoying and spoiled. Thankfully they moved out soon after we moved in so when we had the house to ourselves there were four bedrooms, two livingrooms, and two bathrooms. There was also a bar and a large mud room and a large kitchen. I first started living in a room that was on the second floor and had a window that went out onto the roof. It was a nice little room with a closet but it became a very scary room for me. The first thing scary I remember was when I was going to bed and my bedroom door was open and through the crack of the door I saw a white figure peering through the crack where the hinge was. I freaked out and ran down stairs crying to my mom although she obviously didn’t believe me and thought I was trying to just stay up longer. So she yelled at me and made me go back upstairs to my room but as I was walking up the stairs the white cloudy figure looked around the corner of the wall where the stairs were at me. At that point I was hysterical and crying to my mom about the white cloudy figure I had seen twice. This figure also showed up another time when my friend was over it peering down the stairs at her she was terrified when telling me. There was also this cheerleader doll I had that had a voice box in it. I had gotten this doll as a birthday gift from my old neighbors. I had really liked the doll until it started playing its little chants by itself. It did it once just sitting in my room with no one and nothing touching it; so I put it in my closet now scared of the doll. But the doll still played by itself in the closet so I took the batteries out of the doll. While my friend had been over and the doll in the closet with no batteries after she had seen the white figure glancing down the stairs at her the doll started singing its little chants so her and I threw the doll down the stairs scared of it and what was controlling it. When then moved from that house as well the the one that I live in now; this being the house that I had brought the doll into and other stupid things. While living in this house my curiosity in the paranormal spiked and I had the smart idea of making and playing a ouija board by myself. That had caused some unfortunate events to happen, mostly me just being super scared. After playing with the made board that night at two am I had a pouch of color pencils sitting on my dresser. The pencils slowly only a couple at first started to fall to the floor. I had tried to ignore it but then a few more fell and then the entire pouch was thrown to the floor with what sounded like a lot of strength. After that I often heard heavy footsteps in my room mind you my floor is carpeted and no one including else was in the room but me not even animals. I got tired of it so I searched up ways to get rid of the thing in my room which I eventually succeeded in. There was also a spirit who I assume attached itself to my father that followed us through all of our house. It had first been in the first house but I guess it found interest in sticking along for the ride. This spirit has a male feeling to it and is now in my dad's bathroom; you can often feel it watching you which is really creepy and invasive when you are trying to take a shower. I’ve found that female spirits know what privacy is while the male ones have no clue the word or concept exists. Now that I think I have gotten most of the experiences out of the way I’m going to tell you something you probably won’t believe and that I barely believe myself. This is the story of how my best friend and I met a spirit and how she learned to see these spirits. First you need to know the story and inspiration for my friend group to do what we did. It had been the Cheerwine festevil and all the shops were open and when happened upon a little antique shop. This shop had a ground floor, a basement, and an upstairs although the upstairs was off limits. My friends and I had gone to the basement after looking around upstairs; there was many cool thing down in the basement but it had a very eerie feeling to it so we being the rookie ghost hunters we were asked the owner about if she had any odd experiences; she had said the normal for an old building that there were odd noises but nothing significant. This sparked our curiosity and so we all pitched in some money to buy a 26 dollar ouija board. When we first played it was just me and the friend I gave the doll to before we had bought the board and nothing happened. One day me and the other friend went to a park and played; and surprisingly it worked first we got some male spirit then we got Riga. Riga had turned both our lives upside down in ways you wouldn’t expect. She claimed to be able to know the future telling us our soulmates names. But she also liked to play games and lie to us filling our head with these odd things we didn't want to happen. I had been sceptical of her but also hopeful that some of the things she said were true. I had been told I had a soulmate named Gabreil that lived in Washington which is a place I’ve always wanted to go road tripping to. Riga said I would go to college and eventually get my dream job as a psychiatrist. She filled our heads with an idea of a bright future but with odd bumps along the way. We asked her things that I know we shouldn’t have like when we would die, my age of death being 58 and my friends being 74. What was kind of surprising about some of the stuff she told us is that it aligned with the things a palm reader had told us too. But who knows maybe she just stole what the palm reader had said. Now we had asked RIga many questions and got many answers not knowing what was true and what were lies. But one night at the skating rink I told my friend about the third eye and how to open it of course I forgot to tell her what would happen if she did open her third eye. Before she opened her third eye she was seeing people's auras so I was confident she could do it. She ended up opening her third eye while we were sitting in a parking lot of one of the movie theaters in town. When she first opened her third eye she freaked out and it shut again but she was able to more easily open the second time. She had freaked out because she saw a bloody and broken nose Riga in the back seat. Almost immediately after she opened her third eye we went into the movie theater to watch Annabelle comes home for the first time. Now I was skeptical and thought my friend was making it all up even though I was the one that told her to open her third eye. I thought maybe she was the one who was moving the planchette and was making up that she was seeing ghosts but that was just my paranoid personality coming out. I trust her and now believe she is telling the truth because why would she lie to me. Riga is the one who first informed us about Anneliese. We were in the car when Riga said I had a demon attached to me and that its name was Anneliese, by this point I had almost forgotten about that stupid doll. But I wasn’t that lucky because Anneliese hadn’t forgotten about me, the girl who unknowingly named her. Now when I was first told her name I hadn't realized yet that that was the name I named the doll so long ago but it hit me in the walmart parking lot that the doll was in fact haunted by the demon who had returned with its awful energy and habit of throwing things at people. It first started with earrings falling to the floor a couple times while I was home alone. Then my parents also had a couple things thrown at them. I had also ended up with an odd hand shaped bruise on my inner thigh; it didn’t stop there though I also ended up with a few scratches too. Then things started to settle down a bit till I with my big mouth said I wanted more paranormal experiences and so Anneliese did just that with a can of beans. I was beading down to get a bottle of water which is about a foot from the so called pantry we have and then I was hit in the head with a can of beans needless to say I am very careful getting water now.
If there are any questions I can probably answer them.
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2020.07.09 09:07 Justwonderinif Gilliverse V

<<< Timeline IV
2004, Continued
2005
2006
2007
2008
Timeline VI >>>
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2020.07.09 09:05 Justwonderinif Gilliverse IV

<<
2003, continued
  • March 7-18, 2003: Fall
    • Jimmy discovers from Irene, one of his former elder law clients who represents the class in the Sandpiper Crossing lawsuit, that the company has offered a settlement which if accepted by D&M and HHM will result in a payment to Jimmy of $1.16 million. Irene has refused to accept the settlement because the D&M and HHM lawyers have advised her they believe they can get Sandpiper Crossing to offer more. Jimmy tries to persuade Howard to accept the settlement, but Howard refuses.
    • Howard and Chuck meet with their malpractice insurance agents, who inform them that the insurance carrier will need to raise HHM's premium substantially or arrange to have Chuck supervised by another attorney at all times. Chuck refuses and instead decides to fight the insurance company in court. Howard disagrees with Chuck's plan, and says Chuck will be forced to retire since his judgment can no longer be trusted. Chuck sues HHM for $8 million, the value of his share of the partnership.
    • Mike becomes a contracted "security consultant" to Madrigal, a paper transaction designed to launder his stolen money by having him give his cash to Lydia, and then receive monthly checks from Madrigal as supposed fees for his expert advice. Kim takes on Gatwood Oil as a second client in order to have an income sufficient to cover office expenses in case Jimmy can't pay his half while his law license is suspended. Nacho admits to his father that he is working for Hector, and begs him to follow Hector's orders. Nacho's father refuses and orders Nacho to leave his house.
    • Jimmy pulls a series of psychological and social manipulation tricks to turn Irene's friends against her, so that she believes refusing the Sandpiper settlement is against the interests of her fellow clients. She decides to accept it, meaning Jimmy will receive his much needed share. He returns to his office to give Kim the good news, but she is too busy preparing for an important meeting with Gatwood Oil and leaves in a rush. Due to fatigue from overwork, Kim falls asleep at the wheel and drives her car off the side of the road, crashing into a boulder.
  • March 18-22, 2003: Lantern
    • Jimmy visits Kim in the hospital, where her broken arm has been put in a cast. After she is discharged, the two return to the site of her car crash and Jimmy picks up her scattered Gatwood Oil papers. The following morning, Jimmy feels partly responsible for her accident because she took on a second client to keep their office open during the suspension of his law license. Kim replies that she alone is responsible, and expresses guilt at the possibility that she could have killed someone by falling asleep at the wheel.
    • Chuck promises to abandon his breach of contract lawsuit against HHM if he's allowed to keep his position with the firm. Instead, Howard presents Chuck a check for $3 million—the first of three installment payments. Chuck believed HHM couldn't afford to pay him $8 million, so he'd be able to stay with the firm, but Howard used loans and personal savings to raise enough for the first payment. Howard criticizes Chuck for putting his personal vendetta against Jimmy ahead of the firm's needs, but then praises Chuck profusely as he informs HHM's staff of Chuck's immediate retirement.
    • Hector attempts to bribe Nacho's father Manuel to allow him to use Manuel's upholstery shop as a front for Hector's drug business. Manuel demands that Hector leave, but Nacho reminds him that saying no to Hector could place their family at risk, so Manuel reluctantly takes the money. Francesca presents Kim with get-well gifts from her clients and Kim tells Francesca to cancel her meeting with Gatwood Oil and postpone her other appointments. They rent movies at a Blockbuster store, which Kim watches with Jimmy while staying home from work.
    • Jimmy tries to make amends with Chuck but Chuck tells Jimmy it's in his nature to hurt everybody around him and that he was never all that important to Chuck anyway. Chuck later relapses and his electromagnetic hypersensitivity symptoms cause him shut off the power to his house and stack all his appliances outside, then destroy the walls of his house and remove old wiring in an attempt to find out what's making his electricity meter continue to run. Unable to find the source, he finally destroys the meter itself.
    • Jimmy checks on Irene, expecting her friends to have forgiven her after she agreed to accept the Sandpiper settlement. To his shock, Irene's friends still don't trust her, because now they think she'll do anything to get on their good side. His attempts to take the blame himself make Irene's friends respect him more and her less. He finally stages an argument with Erin Brill, his former D&M colleague, in which he "accidentally" admits to the tricks he played to get Irene to accept, which vindicates Irene to her friends and causes Irene to withdraw her acceptance.
    • Nacho plans to ambush Hector in order to protect his father. Before he can act, he's pulled into a meeting between Hector, Gus, and Juan Bolsa. Bolsa says that because Salamanca family trucks have been attacked, their routes for smuggling drugs from Mexico to the U.S. are not safe, so from now on Gus's organization will handle the cross-border smuggling for both Gus's operation and Hector's. An enraged Hector suffers a stroke and collapses. As Mike advised, while Hector's bodyguards are calling for an ambulance and Gus is rendering first aid, Nacho takes the fake nitroglycerin capsules and replaces them with the real ones. Gus seems suspicious, but says nothing.
    • The next day, Jimmy and Kim move out of their office space. They apologize to Francesca for laying her off, but she says she will be able to return to her job at the Motor Vehicle Division. Kim insists that Jimmy keep his contact list, despite the fact that his admission to tricking Irene has guaranteed the end of his elder care law practice. That night, Chuck lies on a couch in his wrecked house and intentionally kicks a table several times. His kicks cause a gas lantern to fall and start a fire, but he makes no attempt to leave.
  • March 23-31, 2003: Smoke
    • Howard calls Jimmy and Kim about the fire at Chuck's, and they arrive as Chuck's body is taken away. Jimmy sees the appliances outside Chuck's home and realizes his electromagnetic hypersensitivity symptoms returned. He falls into a deep depression which Kim tries to help him out of. Howard takes on the responsibility of arranging Chuck's funeral.
    • Mike receives his first payment from Madrigal Electromotive as a contracted security consultant, which Gus arranged to launder the money Mike stole from the Salamancas. Though meant to be a paper transaction, Mike enters a Madrigal facility, performs a detailed security audit, and turns the results over to the facility manager with instructions to let Lydia know he was there.
    • An ambulance comes to take Hector to the hospital after he suffers a stroke at a meeting with Juan Bolsa, Gus and Nacho. Following Mike's advice, Nacho takes the fake capsules containing ibuprofen from Hector and replaces them with Hector's real nitroglycerin. He tries to dispose of the fakes but is interrupted by Gus, who says they need to meet with Juan Bolsa immediately. Bolsa puts Nacho and Arturo in charge of the Salamanca operation for the time being. Afterwards, Nacho drives to a bridge and throws the ibuprofen away, unaware Victor has followed him.
    • Several of Chuck's friends and associates attend his funeral and give Jimmy their condolences. After the service, Howard tells Jimmy and Kim he believes Chuck relapsed because Howard forced him out of HHM, so he feels responsible for Chuck's death. Kim is shocked as Jimmy lets Howard shoulder the blame and immediately regains his happy-go-lucky demeanor.
  • April 7, 2003: Breathe
    • Jimmy begins to look for a job as part of his suspension from legal practice. At Neff Copiers, he interviews for a sales position but they reject him given his legal background. As Jimmy leaves, he turns around and gives them the "hard sell" on needing the job immediately. The owners fall for the con, and Jimmy is upset for how easily they fell for it, and refuses to accept it. As he departs, he notices a collection of Hummel figurines among their awards.
    • Lydia meets with Mike to discuss his recent security audit, reminding him his job was only meant to be on paper as a front to launder the stolen money. Mike tells Lydia if she has any complaints to talk to Gus, and when she does, Gus tacitly approves of Mike's continued actions.
    • Howard meets with Kim and Rebecca to discuss Chuck's estate. This includes a sealed letter and US$5,000 for Jimmy, just enough to prevent him from challenging the will. After Rebecca leaves, Kim furiously accuses Howard of treating Jimmy poorly since his days in the mail room. That evening, Kim gives Jimmy the check, but decides to hold back on the letter. Jimmy checks on the value of the Hummel figurines at Neff Copiers and then calls Mike.
    • Gus learns that Hector is comatose, and arranges for Dr. Bruckner, a skilled physician from Johns Hopkins to oversee his treatment; additionally, Dr. Bruckner speaks fluent Spanish and is able to explain Hector's health and course of recovery to the Cousins who have arrived to watch over Hector. Tyrus brings Gus a copy of Hector's medical file, revealing there was no nitroglycerin in his system despite being part of his heart medication.
    • Nacho and Arturo arrive at the Los Pollos Hermanos chicken farm to take their share of the next drug shipment. Arturo strongarms Gus's men for an extra kilo as he had seen Nacho do in an earlier deal. As they leave, Gus suddenly leaps on Arturo and suffocates him in a plastic bag. Gus then tells Nacho he knows he switched Hector's medication, but has yet to tell the Salmancas. Gus warns Nacho, "From now on, you are mine."
  • April 8-9, 2003: Something Beautiful
    • Nacho aids Victor and Tyrus to make it appear that his car was attacked and the drugs picked up at Los Pollos Hermanos stolen, including riddling the car and Arturo's body with bullets and shooting Nacho twice. Nacho calls the Cousins, who burn the car and take Nacho to veterinarian Dr. Caldera, who succeeds in saving Nacho's life.
    • Juan Bolsa tells Gus that because drug and cash shipments have been disrupted several times, Gus should begin investigating the feasibility of making meth within the United States rather than relying on cocaine from Mexico, unaware this is what Gus intended. Gus visits Gale Boetticher, a post-graduate student and researcher at the University of New Mexico, who reports on the poor quality of a meth sample Gus asked him to evaluate. Gale says he could produce a higher quality product, but Gus assures him he is destined for better things.
    • Jimmy asks Mike to steal a valuable Hummel figurine from Neff Copiers and replace it with an inexpensive one that looks similar. Mike refuses, so Jimmy turns to Ira for help. Ira agrees, but during the theft, he finds one of the owners is sleeping in the office. He calls Jimmy for help and Jimmy creates a distraction that enables Ira to leave with the Hummel.
    • With her arm healed, Kim returns to work on the Mesa Verde account. Bank president Kevin Watchell welcomes her back and shows her plans for their aggressive expansion. Concerned about the rate of growth, and increasingly bored with banking law, Kim gives the work to her paralegal Viola, and asks to be dropped off at the courthouse.
    • That evening, Kim decides to give Jimmy the letter from Chuck that was part of Chuck's will. Jimmy reads the undated letter aloud, which appears to have been written while he worked in HHM's mailroom. It seems on the surface to be full of praise, but is slightly condescending and contains backhanded compliments. Jimmy calls it "nice", but Kim begins crying and runs off to their bedroom.
  • April 10-12, 2003: Talk
    • Mike is revealed to be discussing his son at a group therapy session with Stacey, and ends his time by saying "You wanted me to talk. I talked."
    • Jimmy is offered a position as a shift manager at a cellular phone store. He initially declines, but when Kim suggests he see a therapist instead, he accepts the position. The store sees little traffic, and Jimmy soon becomes bored. Ira meets with Jimmy to hand over his share of the stolen Hummel figurine and offers to steal others in the future.
    • Kim avoids Mesa Verde work by spending the day in Judge Munsinger's courtroom. He calls her to his office during a recess, warning her that if he sees her again in his courtroom, he will assign her pro bono work. When Munsinger returns to the bench, he spots Kim again waiting in the audience.
    • As part of covering up the fake attack on Nacho and Arturo, Victor sells the Salamanca's portion of the drugs to the Espinosas's, their rivals. After Nacho tips them off, the Cousins raid the Espinosas's headquarters, killing most of the gang and recovering the drugs. After returning the drugs, they retreat back to Mexico to avoid police scrutiny. Nacho recognizes that Gus had planned for this, as Gus is now able to expand into the Espinosas's territory without resistance. Nacho convinces his reluctant father to let him stay with him while he recovers from his wounds.
    • During lunch with Anita, Mike explains that Henry, another member of their support group, has been lying about his past, falsely claiming to have a wife who died. At the next meeting Mike is put in a bad mood when Stacey says she was able to get through most of a day without thinking of Matt, so he angrily confronts Henry about his lies. Having been exposed, Henry wordlessly leaves the room. Mike then condemns Anita, Stacey and the other participants for being so self-absorbed they are unable to see through Henry's obvious falsehoods.
    • After performing another Madrigal site inspection, Mike meets with Gus, who feigns anger that Mike did not tell him Nacho intended to kill Hector, but Mike points out that he had promised only not to kill Hector himself. Mike then asks Gus bluntly for information about "the job" he wants done.
  • April 13-14, 2003: Quite a Ride
    • Jimmy sells pay-as-you-go phones to a customer who saw his "privacy sold here" sign. He then starts selling prepaid phones on the street, but the venture proves unsuccessful when he is mugged by three teenagers. Kim tends his wounds while Jimmy is concerned that he did not realize the teenagers' intent because he was not thinking clearly. He promises to call the psychiatrist Kim recommended, but instead returns to CC Mobile and spends the day removing the storefront sign.
    • Mike escorts engineers through the laundry to evaluate it as a site for Gus's planned meth "superlab". One glibly asserts he can easily do the job, but is turned away by Gus, who listens in from a nearby room. Another, Werner Ziegler, impresses Gus by forthrightly expressing his concerns about the risk. Gus offers him the job of planning and overseeing the lab's construction.
    • Kim thrives in the environment of her pro bono criminal defense work. While waiting for a client to dress before going to court, Paige calls from Mesa Verde and insists they need her help immediately to fix recently filed paperwork. Kim hangs up on Paige and sees her criminal case through, then goes to Mesa Verde. Paige informs her that the bank's legal staff had to drop everything else to fix the problem, and reminds her that when she became Mesa Verde's outside counsel, she promised that the bank would be her sole focus. Kim apologizes and promises it will not happen again.
    • Jimmy meets Howard in the courthouse restroom and sees that he is looking sleepless, but Howard does not divulge why. Jimmy offers Howard the phone number of the psychiatrist Kim recommended. Howard claims he is going to therapy, so Jimmy throws the number away. Jimmy meets with his probation officer and states his intent to resume practicing law once the one-year suspension of his law license is over.
  • April 15, 2003: Piñata
    • Late at night, Kim tries to review her Mesa Verde records for the next day's work, but her attention is drawn to her pro bono criminal defense cases. She goes to bed and finds Jimmy asleep, surrounded by notes and sketches that show he still dreams of re-starting the Wexler-McGill law office once his suspension is over. The next morning, Jimmy explains that he decided not to go to the psychologist as she suggested, and leaves for work at the cell phone store. Kim meets with Rich at Schweikart & Cokely, where she makes a successful pitch to join as a partner and run a new banking division, which will enable her to handle both Mesa Verde and criminal cases. She informs Jimmy of her acceptance over lunch, falsely telling him that Schweikart & Cokely sought her out. He leaves the table and experiences an anxiety attack, but returns to congratulate her and tell her he's supportive.
    • While at the cellular phone store, Jimmy gets a call from a relative of his first elder law client, Geraldine Strauss, and learns that she died and the relative is her executor. The executor asks questions about the will Jimmy drew up. He explains that he no longer practices law and refers the executor to HHM. Jimmy breaks down emotionally from the call, and after work, Jimmy re-watches his first elder law commercial, which starred Geraldine.
    • Gus and Mike discuss arrangements for housing Werner Ziegler and his construction crew while they build the meth "superlab" under the laundry. While Gus has already installed two modular homes within a large warehouse for basic needs, Mike recommends adding several amenities to keep the workers happy, as well as security and monitoring provisions for both entrance and exit. Gus agrees, and after learning that Hector's health has taken a turn for the worse, has Mike work with Tyrus to complete preparations. Mike apologizes to Stacey for his behavior in exposing Henry's lies at the support group meeting, and Stacey allows him to begin seeing Kaylee again. Mike meets Werner and his workers when they arrive, and explains their living arrangements. Kai, one of the workers, appears dismissive and disdainful, but Werner vouches for him and says he'll settle in once the work starts. Despite Werner's assurances, Mike tells his security team to pay special attention to Kai's activities.
    • Gus visits a still hospitalized and unconscious Hector late at night and recounts a childhood story about a coati that ate the fruit from a lúcuma tree Gus had carefully tended in Chile. He trapped the coati, which broke its leg in trying to escape. Rather than killing it, which would have been humane, Gus held it and let it suffer until it died. As Gus finishes the story, he gets up to depart, with Hector still unconscious in his bed.
    • Jimmy visits HHM to pick up his $5,000 inheritance check, and notices the firm is downsizing and Howard is still disengaged and depressed following Chuck's death. Howard explains that HHM is having trouble paying out to Chuck's estate and its reputation has been severely damaged by recent events, so clients are leaving. Before departing, Jimmy tries a "tough love" pep talk to rouse Howard back into action. Jimmy uses the money to buy pay-as-you-go phones for resale on the street, which he stores at the nail salon against Mrs. Nguyen's wishes. He preemptively seeks out the three teenagers who robbed him before and tries to convince them to either help sell his phones for a share of the profits, or take a smaller cut as protection money for leaving him alone. They attempt to rob him again instead, but he leads them on a chase that ends with the boys caught in a trap sprung by Huell and Man Mountain. They tie the boys up and hang them upside down. While Huell and Man Mountain use bats to smash through a room full of piñatas close to their heads, Jimmy obtains an agreement that the boys will leave him alone and tell everyone else on the street that he's off-limits.
  • April 16 - December 31, 2003: Something Stupid
    • Over eight months, Jimmy and Kim are shown to be drifting further apart, even as they continue to live together. Kim's arm heals and her cast is removed, leaving her less dependent on Jimmy. She thrives at Schweikart & Cokely, with the Mesa Verde expansion proceeding on schedule, and Kim finding time to continue the pro bono criminal defense work that gives her personal satisfaction. Jimmy continues his boring job at the cellular phone store, but his side business re-selling prepaid phones on the street continues to grow. Jimmy's increasing contacts with Albuquerque's criminals cause him to frequently use the "Saul Goodman" alias. The time jump ends in early 2004, with Kim and Jimmy on opposite sides of Kim's bed, still in split-screen, while Kim's side slowly goes dark.
    • Hector begins to recover, and Dr. Bruckner helps with his therapy. Dr. Bruckner shows Gus video footage of a session which indicates Hector has improved cognitively and has limited mobility in his right hand, a sign the therapy is working. Dr. Bruckner dismisses Hector knocking a glass of water over as an involuntary action, but Gus sees that Hector did it purposely so he could ogle the nurse who bent over to clean it up. Gus tells Dr. Bruckner to end further treatment, in effect trapping Hector's healed mind inside his unhealed body.
    • Werner's crew begins excavating the meth "superlab" under the industrial laundry. The work proceeds more slowly than anticipated, and when Casper accidentally knocks over a ceiling support with the skid-steer loader he's driving, Kai and Casper get into a shoving match. Mike intervenes to stop the fight and later meets the crew at their warehouse quarters, where Werner apologizes for their behavior. Mike wonders if they would be better off without Kai, but Werner suggests that his crew just needs some rest and relaxation, since they have been on the job far longer than anticipated.
  • June, 2003: Jesse graduated high school?
  • July 8, 2003: Walt Jr’s 10th birthday
  • August 11, 2003: Skyler’s 33rd birthday
  • September 7, 2003: Walt’s 45th birthday
  • September 24, 2003: Jesse’s 19th birthday
  • November 12, 2003: Jimmy's 43rd birthday
2004
  • Approximate: Leonel and Marco Salamanca are 27 years old
  • January 1-16, 2004: Something Stupid
    • Jimmy shows Huell a prospective space for his new law offices, which he plans to finance with the profits from his cellular phone side business. Kim takes Jimmy to a reception at Schweikart & Cokely; initially charming and gracious, he increasingly feels out of place, and ducks into Kim's office. As he looks around, he realizes how successful she is, and how much better her office is than the one he showed Huell. He returns to the party and embarrasses Kim by making a fool of himself during a conversation with Rich and the other S & C lawyers.
    • Jimmy continues to re-sell phones on the street, with his business now based in the back of a van on the outskirts of town. An off-duty police officer in plain clothes arrives and displays one of Jimmy's business cards, which he took from a drug dealer who purchased one of Jimmy's phones. He suggests Jimmy target a better class of customers and Jimmy argues that he's running a legal, legitimate business. During the dispute, Huell returns from a trip to buy lunch. Because he's wearing headphones, he doesn't understand the context of the argument, and strikes the police officer with a shopping bag containing sandwiches before Jimmy can stop him. The officer knows Huell from past interactions and arrests him. Jimmy is still a month from being reinstated to the bar, and can't represent Huell, so he enlists Kim's aid. Kim reluctantly accepts, but refuses to use unethical tricks to ruin the police officer's reputation. She wants Jimmy to assure that Huell will not flee before his court appearance, but Jimmy's reply is less than convincing. Kim tries to plea bargain with Suzanne Ericsen, the prosecutor in Huell's case, but his arrest record precludes Suzanne from agreeing to a deal. On her way to meet with Huell, Kim stops to buy office supplies and then calls Jimmy to tell him to stop whatever he's doing to help Huell, because she has a better way to handle the situation.
  • January 17 - February 1, 2004: Coushatta
    • Kim enlists Schweikart & Cokely employees to aid Huell's defense and previews a plan to bury prosecutor Suzanne Ericsen in motions and paperwork when Suzanne refuses to budge on seeking the maximum 18-month sentence for Huell. Jimmy takes a bus trip to Huell's hometown, Coushatta, Louisiana. Along the way, he uses the office supplies Kim purchased to write postcards and letters of support for Huell, and enlists the other passengers to help. The mail is completed with Coushatta return addresses and Jimmy sends it from there so it will have a Coushatta postmark. When Judge Munsinger receives the mail supporting Huell, he insists on avoiding a trial, so Suzanne and Kim try to reach a plea deal. Suzanne is suspicious and investigates, but Jimmy has arranged for pay-as-you-go cellular phones to receive Suzanne's calls, which he and the student film crew who made his TV ads answer with scripted lines that vouch for Huell as a hometown hero. Jimmy has also created a fake website for the Coushatta church which appears to take donations to aid in Huell's defense. The phony show of support convinces Suzanne, and she makes a favorable deal that keeps Huell out of prison. Kim and Jimmy make out in a courthouse stairwell and have celebratory sex that night.
    • The next day, Kim meets with Kevin and Paige to discuss the ongoing Mesa Verde bank expansion. Kevin is still interested in rapid growth, but an increasingly uninterested Kim counsels caution. Later that day, she pulls out the tequila bottle stopper she kept as a souvenir of the previous scam she ran with Jimmy and reminisces. Jimmy scouts for new offices in anticipation of having his law license restored. Kim is elated by the success of their trick and indicates to Jimmy that she wants to engage in similar behavior in the future.
    • Mike arranges a strip club outing for Werner and his construction crew. Mike and Werner head to a quieter bar to talk personally, but Kai starts a fight at the strip club and Mike has to return to restore order. By the time he gets back to the bar, Werner is drunk and discussing with strangers the engineering details of underground concrete construction. The next day, Mike explains to Werner that even though he did not expose precise information about the meth lab, the men he spoke to would likely remember him, making it possible for someone to discover who built it and who owns it. Werner promises it won't happen again, and Mike makes a veiled reference to the likelihood that he will be killed if it does, which Werner acknowledges he understands. Mike updates Gus on construction and reports on the reasons for the delays, including the need to blast through a solid rock wall to install an elevator. He informs Gus about Werner's conversation at the bar and assures Gus he's keeping a watchful eye on Werner to prevent a similar action from happening again.
    • Nacho has recovered from his gunshot wounds and takes on a more prominent role in the Salamanca organization. During weekly collections from their drug dealers, Nacho trains Domingo to handle punishment for dealers short in their weekly payments the same way Hector taught Nacho to do when Domingo was short. When placing money in his safe, he looks at the fake Manitoba identity cards he's had prepared for himself and his father. To his surprise, Eduardo "Lalo" Salamanca arrives to aid in running the family business. Unlike Hector, who did not concern himself with day-to-day details, Lalo seems to be interested in every aspect of the enterprise, giving Nacho cause for concern.
  • February 8-February 12, 2004: Wiedersehen
    • Jimmy and Kim successfully work a scam to replace the approved plans for the Mesa Verde bank branch in Lubbock, Texas with plans for a bigger building without going through the city government's lengthy refiling process. On their way back to Albuquerque, Jimmy talks of getting reinstated to the bar the next day, and using their combined abilities for more scams, but Kim counsels caution.
    • Jimmy attends his reinstatement hearing and answers the committee's questions. One member throws him off at the end by asking why he wants to practice law and who inspired him; Jimmy pauses a bit at both but still provides eloquent answers. They tell him that they will let him know the results by mail in a few days, but Jimmy becomes nervous after he leaves and waits near the hearing room. When the committee leaves, he finds out from their secretary that they have denied his reinstatement. When Jimmy confronts the panel's chairman, he tells Jimmy that some of his answers were insincere, and he can apply for reinstatement again in a year.
    • Kim and Jimmy meet in the parking garage of S&C's office building and Jimmy complains about how he was treated during the hearing. Kim identifies the problem, and points out that Jimmy never mentioned Chuck in his last two answers; since his dispute with Chuck was the reason for his suspension, the panel members considered his answers to be less than genuine. Jimmy gets defensive about his relationship with Chuck, and argues with Kim. He accuses Kim of "slumming" with him any time she needs a favor or wants to run a con, and says she sees him only as "Slippin' Jimmy". Kim angrily points out that she has been Jimmy's biggest supporter since they first met, and has helped him recover from all his mistakes. That night, Jimmy returns to Kim's apartment and wordlessly starts packing his belongings. He admits he screwed up at the hearing and damaged their relationship, and Kim asks if he still wants to be a lawyer. He says he does, and Kim says she will help make it happen.
  • February 13: Kim's 36th birthday
  • February 14- March 21, 2004: Wiedersehen
    • Lalo and Nacho visit Hector, who has been transferred to a nursing home, and communicates only by moving the index finger of his right hand. Lalo reminds Hector of the time he burned down a hotel and killed its owner after the owner, a former college professor, treated Hector disrespectfully. He reveals he kept a souvenir — a concierge bell from the front desk. He ties the bell to Hector's wheelchair, allowing Hector to communicate more effectively. Lalo asks Nacho to step away while he talks to Hector about Gus and then asks Nacho to take him to Los Pollos Hermanos so he can meet Gus in person. Gus acts happy to meet Lalo, but gives Nacho an angry glare, and Nacho can only look back apologetically. Lalo tells Gus that the Salamancas are appreciative of Gus' efforts to save Hector and postulates that perhaps Don Eladio wants continued bad blood between Gus and the Salamancas in order to preserve his own position. Lalo suggests that perhaps Gus and the Salamancas should cooperate more closely, but Gus states he is happy with the current arrangements. Lalo then takes back his original statement, replying that the Salamancas would never really do anything to injure their relationship with Eladio. Lalo asks Nacho to take him to Gus' chicken farm so he can see the location where the Salamancas pick up their drugs after Gus' trucks bring the shipments over the border.
    • Werner and his crew prepare to blast the rock preventing construction of the elevator in the meth lab under the laundry. When the pre-firing test fails, Werner traces the electrical wire for one of the charges. While in the construction area, he suffers a panic attack before finding a splice that has come apart. He repairs it, returns to the rest of the crew, and pretends there's nothing wrong, though his hands are shaking behind his back. Tyrus drives a semi-truck over a pothole outside the laundry in a move timed to coincide with the detonation, which masks its sound and shock. Werner's crew celebrates the successful blast, knowing the end of their longer than expected job is in sight. Werner admits to Mike that he misses his wife and asks if it's possible to fly to Germany for a weekend, and then come back to finish the work. Instead, Mike offers Werner a longer than usual phone call with his wife, which Werner accepts. After the call, Werner returns to his housing unit, but looks around the warehouse at the video cameras. When Mike receives his morning report from the on duty security team the next day, he notices a few monitors show displays with dead pixels. He and his team check the warehouse, and find that Werner used a laser to temporarily disable the cameras by increasing their voltage, creating a flash effect of several seconds that permitted him to move through the warehouse undetected. He then used a hacksaw blade to cut through the padlocks for the doors leading to the roof, and escaped by climbing down the building's maintenance ladder.
  • March 22 - April 1, 2004: Winner
    • Mike arranges a search party to locate Werner Ziegler, while he tries to track down Werner through a money wire agency by pretending to be Werner's brother-in-law and convincing the clerk to let him look at the security camera footage. After confirming that Werner had been there, Mike meets with Gus and shows him the note Werner left indicating he would be gone for four days to be with his wife, and would return to complete the work on the meth lab. Gus confirms that Werner's wife is due at the Denver International Airport within the day. Mike convinces Gus to let him try to find Werner and make him return rather than kill him. While reviewing the transcript of the last call Werner made to his wife from the warehouse, Mike discovers that he is likely going to a local hot spring, and begins calling hotels near facilities in the New Mexico area.
    • Lalo stakes out Gus' chicken farm, where he sees Gus, Victor, and Tyrus leaving to search for Werner. He follows and observes the meeting between Gus and Mike. He tails Mike as Mike continues to search for Werner, but Mike notices the car that's following him and evades it. Lalo goes back to the money wire agency where he saw Mike meet with Gus, but the clerk refuses to give him any information, so he kills the clerk and reviews the security camera footage that shows Mike picking up tourist pamphlets for the hot springs, then burns down the building. Lalo calls hotels until he locates Werner and then places a call to him in which Lalo pretends to work for Gus, enabling him to extract some details of Werner's work on the "superlab" before Mike arrives at Werner's location and ends the call.
    • Mike takes Werner to a remote site and calls Gus to inform him of Lalo's activities. Gus realizes that Lalo knows about Werner and can trace his work back to Gus, so he intends to send men to kill Werner, but Mike persuades Gus to let him do it. Mike has Werner call his wife at the airport and convince her to return to Germany, then assures him that his men will be sent home without incident. He also promises to make Werner's death look like an accident and ensure there's a believable story for authorities to accept, so that his wife will know he died but won't wonder how or why. Werner walks off to look up at the stars and Mike shoots him in the head. Later, Mike meets Gus at the construction site, which Gus is showing to Gale, and it is revealed that the underground meth "superlab" has been created in accordance with Gale's design.
    • On the anniversary of Chuck's death, Jimmy and Kim place "in memoriam" ads in the local newspapers. Jimmy then spends the day feigning mourning at Chuck's gravesite as several of Chuck's former associates visit it. Later that day, Howard holds a celebration to dedicate a law library reading room in Chuck's name, at which he announces HHM's recovery from its recent setbacks. The reading room was paid for by an anonymous donor, but Kim and Drama Girl, who's working as a server at the catered event, reveal to the guests as gossip the fact that Jimmy was the anonymous donor. Kim has Jimmy use these events to his advantage prior to the reinstatement appeal, hoping to influence the panel by showing that despite how he appeared during his first hearing, Jimmy is actually grief-stricken over Chuck's death. Later, Jimmy and Howard sit on a panel reviewing potential candidates for scholarships in Chuck's name. Jimmy focuses on Christy, a student whose background includes a shoplifting charge when she was younger, and tries unsuccessfully to persuade the other board members to award her a scholarship. He follows her out to give her the bad news, and tells her the results were predetermined because the wealthy and powerful will never look past her mistake. He uses the same phrase Chuck used to cut ties with him - that she's "not all that important" to them[a] - and encourages her not to stick to the straight and narrow path she is trying to follow, but to cut corners and do whatever is necessary to succeed because "the winner takes it all". In the parking garage afterward, Jimmy's car won't start and he weeps uncontrollably out of frustration for Christy's situation, recognizing the similarities between her circumstances and his.
    • When Jimmy returns home, Kim is preparing a speech for Jimmy to use at his appeal, and he makes the same point about himself that he made to Christy about her situation - that no matter how hard he tries to overcome his past, the people with wealth and power won't let him. At his appeal hearing, Jimmy begins to use Chuck's last letter to him as part of his argument, but stops midway and gives a seemingly impromptu speech about his remorse for Chuck's death, how much Chuck influenced his decision to pursue the law as a career, and how hard he'll work to be worthy of the McGill name if he's reinstated. Jimmy's speech earns visibly emotional expressions from the panel and from Kim. He wins reinstatement and then stuns Kim by revealing that his speech was actually an insincere performance. When the panel's secretary arrives to lead Jimmy to the office where he'll fill out the paperwork so he can regain his law license, he asks for a doing business as form and states his intention not to practice law under the name "McGill". As he walks down the hall, an even more shocked Kim asks Jimmy what he's doing. He briefly turns around to face her and says "S'all good, man!"
Timeline V >>>
submitted by Justwonderinif to Timelines [link] [comments]


2020.07.09 08:48 Justwonderinif S-Town Timeline II

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March, 2005
  • Early March; John writes:
    People already stopping by and asking about opening date. We decided on Monday, March 14, day before my birthday.
  • March 3; John writes:
    I buy sign letters from Commander Board. Also deposit another $1,000.00 from the investments account. Exhibit 6.
  • March 9; John writes:
    I pay Mark Gilbert for Dozier work around premises and deposit another $700.00 in the checking account. The source of this money was a milling machine I sold out of my shop in February. Exhibit 7.
  • Mid March; John writes:
    PANIC! Jeff and Cheryl had begin to show signs of losing interest. There was a load of stuff to get done. They encouraged me to go ahead and that is exactly what I did. Only about 5 days before opening day. Tables were built, Mark Gilbert called to help cleanup grounds, posts to put up, chains to stretch, loose stuff on building, garbage still everywhere, tarps to nail and block down, and the whole week freezing and raining. Jeff was rarely seen on weekends these days, and Cheryl and the kids and I finished what was left of the cleanup. Meanwhile Jeff criticizing, this ain't right that don't suit him, this ain't no good, that ain't where it ortta' be.
  • March 12; John writes:
    Buy swing at Lowes so customers will have a sit down place. Two days left to open. For the week of March 5 thru 12 I was pretty much on my own for finishing the extensive list of "to do's"
  • March 13; John writes:
    Day before opening. Last pre-opening order from Deb's nursery. Jeff is in a good mood. We bring ALL container stock over to the shop on Sunday evening in pouring rain, storm and wind. Tornadoes are blowing around Bibb County and weather sirens blowing.
  • March 14: John and Cheryl and Jeff open Woodstock Garden Center next door to her house. John writes:
    Opening day. I deposit another $1,200.00 from my (not the joint) investment account. $600.00 cash out (pay cash for first orders of tender plants in case new suppliers don't trust a new checking account. Exhibit 8. Deposited 2 days later on Wednesday.
    By March 14 my total investment in this business including monies loaned to Cheryl, and cash paid to Deb's nursery, Arvell, Joe, Gray, and others was $9,350.00. By March 14 morning Jeff and Cheryl (my combined 66% parents) had coughed up: 00.00. I had already been paying Cheryl cash for the water, phone, and light bill. Furthermore the sweet promises of payment of the $1,000.00 loan had begun to occur less frequently. On March 14, Cheryl brought by (around lunchtime 50.00 in change for the box. Over the next week she would add the following: [Twin Roll Paper Towels $1.00, Clock $10, Battery for clock $3, two small garbage bins $8, bottle of glue $1, two pair scissors $10, round of drinks for machine $35.]
    Including the 50.00 in change this brought her total investment in this business to about $118.00 between the end of December until closing day on May 16. Many suggestions were contributed (Such as how I needed to buy concrete statuary, etc), but not one penny more was contributed. No sign of the $1,000.00 either.
    Between the end of December and closing day Jeff contributed a paint brush, some stiff wire, some small sheetrock screws, and I would estimate his expenditures to be about $20.00. Also contributed was much complaining, griping, hot air, and cigarette butts. I have difficulty in accurately appraising the exact value of these items. There was to be no more financial contribution by the two of them for the rest of the period the business was open.
    I paid for every single item used in that business from December 30 to May 16 down to the office supplies, bank drawer, pens, paper, light bulb, telephone wire, paper towels, cups, pots, pans, hoses, soap, outlet covers, breakers, wire, all lumber down to the last nail, even to the roll of toilet paper hanging on the stop.
  • March 15: John’s 39th Birthday
    • John and Olin are close friends.
    • Tyler is 13 years old
    • Michael Fuller is 34
    • Rodney is 35
    • Approx: John meets Olin in a parking lot in Birmingham. Olin bought azaleas from the Garden Center. John and Olin laugh about "Megaphone" and share a tender moment. Olin wants to make a move and doesn't.
  • March 17; John writes:
    First stock of tender bedding plants arrives. Exhibit 11 shows payment. Another batch arrives the next day on Thursday.
  • March 21; John writes:
    Another $300.00 deposited. This time the source was books sold out of my shop.
April, 2005
  • April 4; John writes:
    Another thousand dollars deposited as a result of tools sold out of my shop once again.
  • Week of April 18; John writes:
    One of Cheryl's friends goes over to Jim Norman's and buys out his old, mostly dead, and diseased plant stock. Furthermore they plant the choice pieces, and want to bring over the garbage and dump it off onto me to sell at whatever price for them. This material constituted a plant pest/disease problem and I wasn't about to risk several thousand dollars stock to be contaminated by this material. They were also remodeling Cheryl's kitchen, and she was afraid they were not going to finish the job if I couldn't be pressured into taking this stuff.
  • Friday, April 22; John writes:
    Jeff and I go over to look at the crap. He is in agreement. Later on they call me over to the house to discuss it, and Jeff is going hog wild, towering over Cheryl asking "Whaddya think baby tell 'im what you think?!" Meanwhile Cheryl is sitting on a small stool near the floor with tears streaming down her face. Jeff is going into full swing, I am inching my way to the door. Jeff starts hollering at me to get my ass back there, meanwhile leaving room to holler and cuss back at Cheryl, and I make out with some comment like "if they are going to act like that I wish I was out of it especially since I paid for everything anyways."
    To top it off, it is going to freeze, and I had to bring the rest of the plants in by myself. Later me and Mary Grace go over and stash plants indoors and vacuum. No sign of Jeff or Cheryl.
  • Saturday, April 23; John writes:
    Jeff comes over to lecture me on how "we equal partners in dis here and don't you fergit it." Also I heard a lecture on how "this here place is costin' me money every day," (although he hadn't put a cent into it hardly), also a lecture on how he ran a group of forty sheetrock hangers and how this place was "stressin" him and how it wouldn't be worth the stress if it was making a thousand dollars a day. Also much blowing of cigarette smoke in my face, thumping of cigarette butts, Jeff seemed to think a place just wasn't right unless a pile of cigarette butts was laying everywhere. He seemed to enjoy coming over and thumping them out on the grounds, and scowling at me when I stopped to pick them up. After a few weeks the parking lot of Woodstock Garden was beginning to look more like the Green Lantern. I received a finishing lecture from the "equal partner" about how he could "rent this here out or sell this here," at which I offered to take him up on. He didn't seem to like having his bluff called (I had the money and he knew it), and flew into a fit until a customer came in and spent about an hour talking about how her Richard Wright house was falling apart. This seemed to cheer Jeff up.
  • Late April and Early May; John writes:
    Jeff comes over usually after work in variable moods sometimes cheerful and other times scowly. At other times he has started drinking his beer out styrofoam cups on the garden center porch and thumping out his cigarette butts. April 15 has come and gone, and when I gently inquired of Cheryl about the 1,000.00 I was informed that "that money is already gone." In this same month I was informed about how Jeff had bought a thousand dollar prom dress for his daughter and wasn't going to let her wear it; another time I was told that Cheryl's sister had been knocked up by a 16 year old boy and how they were going to have to contribute $600.00 to get her married off, another time I was warned to lock up the money because Cheryl's brother was on crystal meth and had been arrested 4 times this month. Meanwhile they have a huge row one Saturday morning with Arvell Kornegay's grandson and daughter. The whole situation for this time was like a nonstop showing of Jerry Springer.
    Cheryl informed me that I was going to just have to work my thousand dollars out of the business, and sat me down one afternoon for a rethink of the finances. Throughout this time they seemed to enjoy coming over and bragging about how they were spending a thousand dollars here or there... another time it was for a thousand dollar beauty walk dress.
  • Saturday, April 30; John writes:
    I reluctantly place the potting soil order with BWI. This was the purpose of my last check deposited. Exhibit 15. I say reluctant because by this time you never knew what was going on from day to day. When it arrived Jeff wanted to know "What's all this shit doing out here?" His exact choice of words.
May, 2005
  • Sunday, May 1; John writes:
    This is the day of our "rethinking financing" discussion with Cheryl. Sunday. Since I had over ten thousand in by now, and Cheryl and Jeff wanted to quickly make back their 2000 they had already paid Johnnie Faye, she wanted me to start writing checks to herself and myself as a factor of four to one. Her first check was 250.00. I subsequently removed a thousand dollars from the account for myself. Check number 139. Exhibit 16 is Cheryls cleared check.
  • Sunday, May 8; John writes:
    The same situation. 2200 for me, 550 for Cheryl. Her and Jeff were in an extra cross mood on this night (Mother's day Sunday), Exhibit 17. Jeff and Cheryl by this time are constantly criticizing everything. Cheryl comes over to rearrange the merchandise after closing. Nothing suits Jeff, everything is overstocked/understocked, needs to be put here, or over there. Suggestions keep coming about what I need to be stocking instead, but still not a cent more spent by either one.
  • Monday, May 9; John writes:
    Cheryl comes over at lunch, and tells me one of her friends wants to install a little ice cream stand on the garden shop grounds. She wants me to know that whatever objections I have are irrelevant because so far I have been running the show and they have had no input in the business whatsoever. I bite my tongue about no money whatsoever, and assure her I have no objections, and she seems encouraged, cheers up, describes the space required, and informs me that they will be settling up Friday after hours.
  • Saturday, May 14; John writes:
    Friday comes and goes, no ice cream stand in sight. Not one on Saturday or Sunday either. A stack of beer cans has been deposited by Jeff in a cooler out behind the building however. Not well hidden, mind you, in plain view where a customer could pop up the lid and view the remaining coors light cans. They decided they wanted to work the weekend shift, so I only came over for an hour or so those two days and after closing Sunday evening.
  • Sunday, May 15; John writes:
    Sunday Evening. Since we owed ALA TAX about 500.00 and had orders on the way, we did not write checks to ourselves this evening. This week had not been as busy as Mother's Day week. Cheryl remarked the low stock, so I prepared orders for Monday at home that evening. Cheryl was in a good mood while we went over sales slips, the baby playing on the countertop. There was also only about 800 in checking with about 6 or 7 hundred dollars in the drawer.
  • Monday, May 16; John writes:
    Cheryl comes in at noon telling me we are understocked. I place the orders I had prepared the previous evening. Jeff comes in at about three complaining that we are overstocked, and I call back and reduce the orders while he is sprawled out on the potting soil bags. He is doing the beer in a styrofoam and cigarette thumping thing again today, complaining about how his head feels like it is about to bust.
    I ask what happened with the ice cream stand, he just looks at me like I am some sort of idiot. He spends most of the day on the bags of soil with his sunglasses on (doing his Corey Hart impersonation) blowing smoke and thumping butts out the door. I made the grave error of cleaning up some of the King's butts which seemed to set him further into his attitude problem. I had to go over and let the lawnmower man in and out of the fence so Kristy worked for about an hour and a half. By closing time Jeff was fully loaded.
    • In another telling of the same day, John writes:
    Jeff came in that Monday, loading up on Coors Lite, attitude problem painted on and sunglasses in place, piled up on the bags of potting soil (doing the Corey Hart thing), glaring from side to side, blowing smoke, thumping cigarette butts, and complaining about how his head felt like ti was going to bust.
    He wanted "some kinda check," and I explained to him that there was only about 800 in checking, Ala tax was due, and orders were coming in. Also the week after Mother's Day had not sold nearly as much as the previous week.
    I thought he had cooled off, but by closing time, he had an audience on the porch and made a big deal out of telling me that "I hope you ain't gonna try to slip outta here tonight without leaving me some kinda check." He followed me to the truck like some school bully after a kid's lunch money and proceeded to tell me loudly (in order to impress his audience) about how this place was "stressing" him, how it wouldn't be worth it if it was making a thousand dollars a day, and he was ready to close it tonight, and was he and Cheryl were going to dictate to me what was to be done about my investment.
    I went straight to City Hall and told Cheryl that I was being kicked out, I wanted my thousand dollars back, and I wanted Boozer Downs as a witness.
    After meeting, all three of us met in the garden center office, but Jeff wanted to go out on the porch so he could put on a big show and impress the Kornegays. It worked. Their light went on before Jeff finished screaming, hollering, turning red, spittle flying, beer can jiggling in right hand... a perfect Jerry Springer Moment.
    • Boozer Downs says that Jeff was pacing angrily around John while John called out latin plant names, to taunt him; John writes:
    Boozer and I left.
  • Tuesday, May 17; John writes:
    I asked Billie Hudson to perform a bank scan, and asked Bob and Jackie Neff to help me clean out. Cheryl came over at lunch apologetically, and by afternoon Jeff's sister Shelly and a friend came by with a video camera to cause trouble. Jackie called the cops. Before Cheryl got there Jim Normal had driven by twice, Billie Daily had drove up and rocked on the porch, Anne Kornegay's driveway was as busy as a Wal Mart parking lot the day before Christmas, even her sister from Tuscaloosa had driven up to set in the swing and watch the festivities.
    Cheryl had told me that we have until tomorrow (Wednesday) to get everything out, but by (Tuesday) afternoon, had changed her mind because "Jeff was acting crazy and she didn't know what he might do next."
  • Wednesday, May 18; John writes:
    By [this] morning, Cheryl wanted 250.00 which I left with Donna Brothers. When Cheryl picked up the last dollar she was obviously ever going to get out of me, her attitude assumed that of Jeff's. She began moaning, and complaining about how was a pansy, pussy, pantywaist, etc. and having a fit over me actually getting everything out.
    Meanwhile, merchandise began to disappear from the premises. Cheryl told me that they had given a pallet away to one of their friends (Mark Gilbert), and the rest must have been stolen. A police report was filed.
  • Thursday-Saturday, May 19-21; John writes:
    I was continuously put off until Saturday about picking up the rest of my stuff. I counted bags, and it turns out the bag count was accurate. They had hidden the remainder of palletized stock behind their house. This was the most effort they had put forth in weeks. Cheryl acted surprised that the only pallet missing was the one given away. The police report filed shows the material recovered on Friday, May 20th, but it was not discovered "not missing" until Saturday, May 21.
    I never received the rest of my merchandise because Cheryl said that I didn't know what it was like to have to go home and live with and listen to Jeff. So I got out quietly. She promised to mail all of my paperwork to me, but April 15th of [the following] year came and went without a sign of it.
    I have had no communication with Cheryl since that Saturday morning. [May 21]. They attempted to re-open the next season, and presumably sold the merchandise. Currently the premises are for sale still bearing the material I bought and paid for and is still on site.
  • June 7: Cheryl's 33rd Birthday
End of 2005
  • August:
    • Cheryl and Jeff's 2nd Anniversary.
    • Cheryl is 33. She stops working as Town Clerk at some point in 2005.
    • John shows up at a Town Hall meeting and announces, "The Town Clerk owes me 10,000 dollars."
  • October 3:
    • Tyler's father, Rodney is arrested and convicted (same day) for having sex with a 14-year-old girl.
  • November:
    • Mary Grace's 79th birthday
    • Approximate: Reta says that John must have boarded up Mary Grace's bedroom sometime in 2005, since Mary Grace thought she was 78 when John died.
  • December:
    • "Brokeback Mountain" is in theaters.
    • Tyler and his brother and sister and mother move in with Miss Hicks.
  • James Howard Kunstler's book, The Long Emergency is published. John became a fan of the book, of Kunstler, and of the concept of "Peak Oil." John and Kunstler began communicating directly in 2009 or 2010.
  • The web site peakoil.com is created
2006
  • Approx: Cheryl's brother Johnny built the doggy mansion.
  • Cahawba Christian Academy Board of Directors votes to join the Alabama Independent School Association
  • Olin sees "Brokeback Mountain" almost every day. He purchases a giant TV, and asks the local movie theatre to host a screening.
    • Olin tells John about the movie, and John discounts Olin's feelings.
  • John's become close with a guy from town. The guy has some college, and goals. John is head over heels. John tells the guy he loves him, and the guy never calls back.
    • John has been distant from Olin. John connects with Olin and cries on the phone about the man he's in love with.
    • John told Olin he was desperate to have a one on one love relationship.
  • March 15: John’s 40th Birthday
    • Tyler is 14 years old
    • Michael Fuller is 35
    • Rodney is 36 (incarcerated)
  • Olin sends John a copy of the Brokeback Mountain short story. John cried when he read it. John occasionally re-reads the story.
  • John would intimate that he wanted a closer relationship with Olin, but nothing ever came of it.
  • Approximate: Faye Gamble starts working as town clerk (ten years before John's death), and meets John.
    • Faye in a 2017 Photo
    • John came into her office one day and introduced himself by saying, "I guess you know who I am."
  • April: John still hasn't spoken to Cheryl. It's been a year. And John's things are still at the Garden Center. Per the small claims suit, Jeff and Cheryl opened the garden center in April/May of 2006, and sold his merchandise.
  • June 7: Cheryl's 34th Birthday
  • August, 2006: Cheryl and Jeff's 3rd Anniversary.
  • November: Mary Grace's 80th birthday
  • December 12, 2006: John files a small claims suit against Cheryl and Jeff for $2,792.00.
2007
  • Cahawba Christian Academy Board of Directors votes to hire Dr. Steve Morgan as Principal.
  • Approximate year that Mary Grace is diagnosed with dementia
  • John makes a random comment about living with Olin.
    • John asks Olin if he's still looking for a partner. Olin says he's no longer looking. But the two do not become a couple.
  • February 2: John requests an extension on on his small claims suit against Jeff and Cheryl Dodson
  • March 15: John’s 41st Birthday
    • Tyler is 15 years old
    • Michael Fuller is 36
    • Rodney is 37 (incarcerated)
  • April/Approximate: Cheryl is ordered to pay John $100.00 a month per the outcome of the small claims suit.
  • Cheryl Acker Dodson's brother passes away. (Cheryl is 35)
    • Cheryl calls John to let him know she will be missing a payment.
    • Cheryl says John B was broken hearted about Cheryl's brother, and loved him, as did everyone in the town. Kendall Burt pays for Cheryl's brother's funeral.
  • June 7: Cheryl's 35th Birthday
  • August, 2007: Cheryl and Jeff's 4th Anniversary.
  • November: Mary Grace's 81st birthday
2008
  • March 15: John’s 42nd Birthday
    • Tyler is 16 years old
    • Michael Fuller is 37
    • Rodney is 38 (incarcerated)
  • At some point during 2008, Jeff Dodson helps John get the internet at the McLemore house.
  • Cheryl says she would run into John and he'd want to be friendly and have her come to the house, and she said that since he sued her, she never felt like they could be friends again.
  • John is known to have told his friends that he suspected he was suffering from mercury poisoning.
  • April 6: Photos of the property shared by Reta
  • April 6: More photos of the property as shared by Reta.
  • June 7: Cheryl's 36th Birthday
  • August, 2008: Cheryl and Jeff's 5th Anniversary.
  • November: Mary Grace's 82nd birthday
  • December 27: Tyler’s daughter born
2009
  • March 15: John’s 43rd Birthday
    • Tyler is 17 years old
    • Michael Fuller is 38
    • Rodney is 39 (incarcerated)
  • Approximate: John conceives of the maze, and starts clearing the land for the maze.
  • June 7: Cheryl's 37th Birthday
  • August: Cheryl and Jeff's 6th Anniversary.
  • October 26: Planting the maze - Photo Credit: Reta
  • November: Mary Grace's 83rd birthday
2010
  • Cahawba Christian Academy Board of Directors votes to hire Ms. Shelley Jones as Principal.
  • March 15: John’s 44th Birthday
    • Tyler is 18 years old
    • Michael Fuller is 39
    • Rodney is 40 (incarcerated)
  • April 8: Former Woodstock Town Council member Daphne Miller Brooks is sentenced to two years in prison for embezzling almost 2 million dollars from her employer. Daphne was interviewed extensively for S-Town, but most of the interviews weren't used.
  • Approximate: John sends an email to James Howard Kustler and they begin communicating first via email, then via phone. Per Kunstler:
    I heard from John B McLemore of Woodstock, Alabama for the first time somewhere around 2010, maybe, something like that, or 2009. He sent me e-mails, and they were interesting e-mails. You know, they were obviously from somebody who was a fairly erudite person who was interested in the things I’d been writing about in The Long Emergency. We had this correspondence and then he started calling me.
    He was a particularly interesting guy. First of all he had this very flamboyant mode of presentation. You know, he was like a character out of Tennessee Williams meets Bizarro World. You know, he was flamboyantly Southern and he sort of played up on it. And I enjoyed talking to him.
    ...We would mostly talk at first about world issues and economic issues and markets and commodities and oil and natural gas and, you know, all this stuff that I was writing about. But eventually he started talking to me about the town itself that he was living in and how he called it “Shit Town.” And how everything in it was busted, rusted, shot up, broken, deformed, messed up, ruined. You know, in some way that everything including the human personalities and families and relations in the town were all in some kind of terrible condition. And it all seemed kind of emblematic of the ruined condition of the fly over heartland of America that ended up voting for Trump, right?
  • June 7: Cheryl's 38th Birthday
  • August: Cheryl and Jeff's 7th Anniversary.
  • September: Satellite images. School buses and the 18-wheeler on the McLemore property.
  • November: Mary Grace's 84th birthday
2011
  • March 15: John’s 45th Birthday
    • Tyler is 19 years old
    • Michael Fuller is 40
    • Rodney is 41 (incarcerated)
  • April 18: Tyler’s daughter born
  • June 7: Cheryl's 39th Birthday
  • July 24: Reta visits John and Mary Grace
  • August, 2011: Cheryl and Jeff's 8th Anniversary.
  • November: Mary Grace's 85th birthday
  • Undated: Email from John B. to Kunstler. Apparently, Kunstler thinks we are moving to a salvage economy, but John makes the point that nothing new is salvageable.
2012
2013
  • Cahawba Christian Academy Board of Directors votes to hire Rev. Tim Bonds as Principal.
  • Tyler and John work on the maze.
  • John starts calling Faye and talking about suicide.
  • February 21: John comments on an internet forum
  • March 15: John’s 47th Birthday
    • Tyler is 21 years old
    • Michael Fuller is 42
    • Rodney is 43 years old.
    • Bubba said John started getting tattoos at the age of 47
    • Friends say that John started drinking heavily around this time.
  • June 7: Cheryl's 41st Birthday
  • June 16: John tries to upload a picture to his youtube profile
  • July:
    • July 4: Brian meets his future wife
    • July 12: TAL episode "500" is released.
    • Victim complaints are lodged against Ervin Heard
    • After eight years, Rodney is released from prison.
  • August, 2013: Cheryl and Jeff's 10th Anniversary.
  • Approximate: Mr. Not-A-Good-Person does yard work on the McLemore property. Over time, John became attached to the man, and didn't want him to leave... Didn't like it when the man had other commitments.
    • John B. would later tell Brian that he had a sexual relationship with Mr. Not-A-Good-Person.
    • Due to the way Brian ends the podcast, many think that Mr. Not-A-Good-Person is Rodney, Tyler's father.
    • After John died, Mr. Not-A-Good-Person told Brian that he started dating a woman, and John started using derogatory language when talking about the woman. The two had a falling out.
  • September 14: John complains about Gmail's new compose box
  • Fall; John writes:
    In the fall of 2013, three spaniel puppies were dumped in my yard. I had them fixed, and they have been with us ever since. That's how you get dogs around here: they just suddenly appear.
  • October:
    • October 13: John joins Disqus
    • Rodney registers as a sex offender.
    • Black Sheep Ink moves to Bessemer.
    • Whites Only Back room with pool table and stripper pole installed...
  • November: Mary Grace's 87th birthday
  • December:
  • Late DecembeApprox: John and Brian talk on the phone for the first time.
S-Town Timeline III >>
submitted by Justwonderinif to Timelines [link] [comments]


2020.07.09 08:47 Justwonderinif S-Town Timeline I

1840
Late 1800s
  • Bibb County comes into it's own as a thriving coal county.
1889
  • October 1: Mary Grace's mother, Daisy, is born. Daisy weighed 2 1/2 pounds.
1899
  • Jesse Miller's son Brooks is born.
1890s
  • Population is on the rise and citizens start to steal from each other, murder each other, and burn each other's houses down. A newspaper calls the county "Bloody Bibb."
1891
  • Jesse Miller (early 40s) has extorted a lot of land for himself, was locked in jail, but escaped. He signed all his land over to his son Brooks (12 years old)
1896
  • Supreme Court decision Plessy v. Ferguson: "Separate buy Equal" - confirmed and legalized racial segregation in schools, and in private and public buildings.
1907
  • Tom McLemore's sister, Gertrude, is born.
1921
  • Tom McLemore born.
1926
  • November 29: Mary Grace Miller born. Mary Grace was an only child and liked it that way. She says she got all the attention and didn’t have to share her toys. She was a daddy’s girl, but she suffered a bone disease called osteomyelitis when she was a child.
Unknown
  • Brooks Miller transfers 124 acres of Jesse Miller's land to Mary Grace.
Late 1930s/Early 1940s
  • Mary Grace went to elementary school in Woodstock then attended high school at a private school in Birmingham called The Misses Howard’s School for Girls. She would catch the bus at the general store in Woodstock and return home every day. One story she tells is about how other kids would have to stay late because they would not have their lesson books up-to-date, but not her. She will say that Miss Pearl was a hard teacher, and you always wanted to do what she said. She also talks about how Miss Howard wanted to be buried in England and wonders if she was.
  • Mary Grace's mother, Daisy, walked her to the store every morning and would be there every evening to walk her home.
  • When she rode the bus, neighbors say that Mary Grace would get off the bus and teach his sister piano lessons. Afterwards, they would drive her home.
1944
  • Tom McLemore's Cousin Jimmy is born on April 4.
  • Approximate: Tom McLemore is a Private first class in the army during WWI, serving in the Philippines, New Guinea, and Luzon.
1951
  • Mary Grace says she met Tom McLemore at the Presbyterian Church in Greenpond, where they were later married. The reception was at the home of Reta's Granddaddy Holdsambeck.
1952
  • Tom McLemore and Mary Grace Miller are married. Wedding Photo Reta's father was an usher. Reta's aunt was a bridesmaid, and Reta's older sister was a flower girl.
1950s
1954
1955
  • December 1: Rosa Parks sits in the Blacks Only section of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. When the bus fills with white people, she is told to move farther back, and give up her seat in the Blacks Only section. She refuses.
1956
1958
  • Mary Grace works as an Assistant Librarian at the Hammond, Indiana Public Library - unconfirmed
  • Tom works as an "Iron Buster" at McKee Construction in Hammond, Indiana - unconfirmed.
  • Aunt Daisy was diagnosed with breast cancer while Mary Grace lived in Indiana.
1959
1960
  • Tom and Mary Grace leave Indiana to move back into the old house with Brooks.
  • Brooks bought Mary Grace a new red Thunderbird. Either a 1959, 1960, or 1961. It was still on the property when John passed.
  • Mary Grace always wore bright colored clothes, well before they became fashionable. And hats, she loved hats.
1962
1963
1965
1966
  • Mary Grace is pregnant and prays for a genius.
  • March 15: John born
    • John is given his paternal grandfather's name as a first name, and his maternal grandfather's name as his middle name.
    • Tom McLemore is 45 or 46
    • Mary Grace is a librarian now, or has worked as a librarian in the recent past. Where? Birmingham? Bibb County?
  • November: Mary Grace's 40th birthday
  • Alabama Private School Association formed by a group of eight Segregation Academies
1967
  • March 15: John’s First Birthday
    • Tom McLemore is 46 or 47
  • March: Lee v. Macon
  • November: Mary Grace's 41st birthday
  • December 4: Lurleen Wallace and Bibb County lose "Wallace v. United States"
    • Years later, Bibb County would be the last county in Alabama to comply with the school desegregation order, long after Brown v. Board of Education. Bibb County was under a court order to desegregate until 2007.
1968
  • March 15: John’s 2nd Birthday
    • Tom McLemore is 47 or 48
    • November: Mary Grace's 42nd birthday
1969
  • March 15: John’s 3rd Birthday
    • John is Pre-School Age.
    • Tom McLemore is 48 or 49
    • November: Mary Grace's 43rd birthday
1970
  • Cahawba Christian Academy is incorporated as a private Christian school in Bibb County, Alabama.
    • Member of the Alabama Private School Association. ie: Segregation Academy
    • First year of classes were held in Eoline, Alabama for grades 1st through 12th.
    • Pre-school was held at the old pastor’s manse of The Brent Presbyterian Church.
    • First headmaster was Rev. Aubrey Elam.
  • March 15: John’s 4th Birthday
    • John is in Kindergarten at Cahawba Christian Academy? In Eoline, Alabama? Or Alpha Christian Academy in West Blocton?
    • Kindergarten photo?
    • Tom McLemore is 49 or 50
    • November: Mary Grace's 44th birthday
    • Rodney is born
1971
  • Pictures of the house in 1971
  • March 15: John’s 5th Birthday
    • John is in 1st Grade at Alpha Christian Academy
    • 1st Grade Photo?
    • Photo of box John made as a small boy.
    • Mary Grace says their bird could call John B. and that it sounded just like her. John would come in the house want to know what she wanted, and she would say, “Nothing, it was Romeo that called you.” That would make John so mad.
    • Tom McLemore is 50 or 51
    • November: Mary Grace's 45th birthday
    • Rodney is a year old
  • Approximate: Land for Cahawba Christian Academy donated by Mr. and Mrs. W.E. Belcher, Jr.
  • Long after Brown v. Board of Education, schools in Bibb County finally start to actually desegregate in 1971 or 1972, due to law suits, and court orders. Centreville High School's first year of desegregation was 1971.
1972
  • September: Cahawba Christian Academy moves to present location.
  • March 15: John’s 6th Birthday
    • John is in 2nd Grade at Alpha Christian Academy. (Noted that John looks to have been one of thousands of children whose parents refused to send them to desegregated schools, and formed "Christian Academies" to circumvent the public school system.)
    • Undated Alpha Christian Academy Class Photo
    • Tom McLemore is 51 or 52
    • Rodney is 2 years old
    • June 8: Cheryl is born.
    • November: Mary Grace's 46th birthday
1973
  • March 15: John’s 7th Birthday
    • John is in 3rd Grade at Alpha Christian Academy (feeder school for Cahawba Christian Academy?)
    • Tom McLemore is 52 or 53
    • Rodney is 3 years old
  • May 16: Local news story about "Instant Academies"
    • June 8: Cheryl's 1st Birthday.
    • November: Mary Grace's 47th birthday
1974
  • March 15: John’s 8th Birthday
    • John is in 4th Grade at Alpha Christian Academy (feeder school for Cahawba Christian Academy?)
    • Tom McLemore is 53 or 54
    • Rodney is 4 years old
    • June 8: Cheryl's 2nd Birthday.
    • November: Mary Grace's 48th birthday
1975
  • March 15: John’s 9th Birthday
    • John is in 5th Grade at Alpha Christian Academy, even though most kids his age would be in fourth grade.
    • Tom McLemore is 54 or 55
    • Rodney is 5 years old
    • June 8: Cheryl's 3rd Birthday.
    • November: Mary Grace's 49th birthday
1976
  • March 15: John’s 10th Birthday
    • John is in 6th Grade at Alpha Christian Academy
    • Undated school photo
    • Tom McLemore is 55 or 56
    • Rodney is 6 years old
    • June 8: Cheryl's 4th Birthday.
    • November: Mary Grace's 50th birthday
  • Exact date unknown: Mary Grace goes to a garage and asks if they have any extra motors John can tinker with. John put the motor back together perfectly.
  • Approximate: Reta and Charlie get married.
1977
  • March 15: John’s 11th Birthday
    • John is in 7th Grade at Alpha Christian Academy or Cahaba?
    • Tom McLemore is 56 or 57
    • Rodney is 7 years old
    • June 8: Cheryl's 5th Birthday.
    • November: Mary Grace's 51st birthday
1978
  • March 15: John’s 12th Birthday
    • John is in 8th Grade at ? Cahawba Christian Academy? - middle school?
    • Tom McLemore is 57 or 58
    • Rodney is 8 years old
    • June 8: Cheryl's 6th Birthday.
    • November: Mary Grace's 52nd birthday
1979
  • March 15: John’s 13th Birthday
    • John is in 9th Grade at Cahawba Christian Academy?
    • Tom McLemore is 58 or 59
    • Rodney is 9 years old
  • June: John finishes middle school
    • June 8: Cheryl's 7th Birthday.
  • September: John starts first year of high school at Cahawba Christian Academy. He is 13 years old.
    • Mary Grace worked as a librarian at Cahawba Christian Academy. Does anyone know if Mary Grace was the librarian at the school when John attended? How long was she the librarian at the high school?
    • Yearbook Photograph of Cahawba Christian Academy
  • November: Mary Grace's 53rd birthday
1980
  • March 15: John’s 14th Birthday
    • Tom McLemore is 59 or 60
    • Rodney is 10 years old
  • June: John finishes first year of High School at Cahawba Christian Academy.
  • September: John starts his 2nd year of high school
  • November: Mary Grace's 54th birthday
1981
  • March 15: John’s 15th Birthday
    • Tom McLemore is 60 or 61
    • Rodney is 11 years old
  • June: John finishes 2nd year of High School at Cahawba Christian Academy.
  • September: John starts his 3rd year of high school
  • November: Mary Grace's 55th birthday
1982
  • March 15: John’s 16th Birthday Junior Year Photos
    • Tom McLemore is 61 or 62
    • Rodney is 12 years old.
  • June: John finishes 3rd year of High School at Cahawba Christian Academy.
  • September: John starts his senior year of high school
  • November: Mary Grace's 56th birthday
1983
1984
  • March 15: John’s 18th Birthday
    • Tom McLemore is 63 or 64
    • Rodney is 14 years old
  • June: John finishes first year at College
    • June 7: Cheryl's 12th Birthday.
  • September: John starts second year of College
  • November: Mary Grace's 58th birthday
1985
  • March 15: John’s 19th Birthday
    • Tom McLemore is 64 or 65
    • Rodney is 15 years old
  • Tom Moore recommended John to a school counselor.
    • 1985 Photo of Tom Moore
    • John went on medication at some point, but didn't like how it affected his personality. John went off his medications.
  • June: John finishes second year at College
  • June 7: Cheryl's 13th Birthday.
  • September: John starts third year of College
  • November: Mary Grace's 59th birthday
  • December: Cheryl at Christmas
1986
  • After declining enrollment, Cahawba Christian Academy closes grades 1-12 in 1986 and kept the pre-school open.
    • The pre-school was operated by Mrs. Mary Lynn Davis.
    • The building was rented to the Bibb County School System as an elementary school for two years while the Brent Elementary School building was being renovated.
  • Approximate: Reta and Charles move to Florida
  • March 15: John’s 20th Birthday
    • Tom McLemore is 65 or 66
    • Rodney is 16 years old
  • June: John finishes third year at College. Last year.
    • John got a D in Chemistry but was brilliant about electroplating, and devised a technique for gold plating utilizing potassium cyanide.
    • During a final exam, John walks out on school, and never comes back. Brian says that John just said, "Fuck it." John's explanation is that "He lives life on a Grand Scale."
    • June 7: Cheryl's 14th Birthday.
  • September: John does not attend a fourth year of college
  • November: Mary Grace's 60th birthday
1987
  • March 15: John’s 21st Birthday
    • Tom McLemore is 66 or 67
    • Rodney is 17 years old
  • June 7: Cheryl's 15th Birthday. Cheryl attends high school with Tyler's mom, Maya
  • Approximate: Road crews are working outside the McLemore property.
    • John takes water to them, and meets his first love, William.
    • William (a tattoo'd road worker) helps John come out of the closet/isolation.
    • John would help William with official paperwork
  • November: Mary Grace's 61st birthday
1988
  • The money received from renting Cahawba Christian Academy school buildings was used to reopen pre-school through 6th grade at the old Southern Methodist Church building with Ms. Becky Davis as principal.
  • March 15, 1988: John’s 22nd Birthday
    • Tom McLemore is 67 or 68
    • Rodney is 18 years old.
    • June 7: Cheryl's 16th Birthday. Cheryl attends high school with Tyler's mom, Maya
  • John and William are in the first year of their sexual relationship
  • November: Mary Grace's 62nd birthday
1989
  • Cahawba Christian Academy returns to its present location and begins rebuilding enrollment.
  • March 15: John’s 23rd Birthday
    • Tom McLemore is 68 or 69
    • Rodney is 19 years old.
  • June 7: Cheryl's 17th Birthday. Graduates High School?
  • John and William are in the second year of a sexual relationship. (The relationship ends after two years.)
  • November: Mary Grace's 63rd birthday
1990
  • Cahawba Christian Academy continues to renovate the building; and joins the Alabama Christian Education Association.
    • The Rev. Elam returned as headmaster until Ms. Diane Thompson was named Principal.
    • The school added a daycare facility by donation of S.E. Belcher, Jr. family.
    • With this expansion the school provided daycare through 12th grade.
  • March 15: John’s 24th Birthday
    • Tom McLemore is 69 or 70
    • Rodney is 20 years old.
    • June 7: Cheryl's 18th Birthday. Graduates high school.
    • November: Mary Grace's 64th birthday
1991
  • March 15: John’s 25th Birthday
    • Tom McLemore is 70 or 71
    • Rodney is 21 years old.
    • Tyler born
    • June 7: Cheryl's 19th Birthday.
    • November: Mary Grace's 65th birthday
  • Horology experiences a "Hey Day" according to Allen Bearden
1992
  • March 15: John’s 26th Birthday
    • Michael Fuller is 21
    • Rodney is 22
    • Tom McLemore is 71 or 72
    • Tyler not yet a year old.
  • June 7: Cheryl's 20th Birthday.
    • Jeff says he first saw Cheryl in 1992.
    • Jeff was fighting and winning “Toughman” competitions, local amateur boxing events won by process of elimination. Cheryl's cousin Buddy was the “Road Warrior.” Jeff was the “Gentleman.”
    • Jeff at one of the competitions
    • Cheryl says they didn't start dating until 10 plus years later.
  • Horology experiences a "Hey Day" according to Allen Bearden. John's business card
    • In John's earlier years, he traveled to London, and visited with other Horologists. He wrote about and consulted on Horology.
    • John made over 150k per year, in the nineties, according to Allen Bearden.
  • Approximate: John meets Michael Fuller, who is making a habit of hanging out at Senior Frog's and Quest, and going to jail.
  • November: Mary Grace's 66th birthday
1993
  • During one meth'd out night in 1993, Tyler's Uncle Jimmy, was beating on the door of someone's trailer and got shot in his head. It was too risky to take the bullet out. Uncle Jimmy is Tyler and Jake's mother's brother.
  • March 15: John’s 27th Birthday
    • Michael Fuller is 22
    • Rodney is 23
    • Tom McLemore is 72 or 73
    • Tyler is a year old
    • June 7: Cheryl's 21st Birthday.
  • Horology experiences a "Hey Day" according to Allen Bearden;
  • Approximate: Michael Fuller is hanging out at John's as a place of safety. Michael Fuller was an exotic dancer. John would be up in the middle of the night, after working on clocks. Michael would hang out there, even hiding from the cops.
  • November: Mary Grace's 67th birthday
1994
  • March 15: John’s 28th Birthday
    • Michael Fuller is 23
    • Rodney is 24
    • Tom McLemore is 73 or 74
    • Tyler is 2 years old
    • June 7: Cheryl's 22nd Birthday.
  • Horology experiences a "Hey Day" according to Allen Bearden; John made about 150k per year. John's business card
  • Approximate: Michael Fuller can stay at John's as long as he wanted. Michael Fuller finally goes home to his family and rehab, and gets sober. Michael Fuller says John helped a lot.
  • November: Mary Grace's 68th birthday
1995
  • March 15: John’s 29th Birthday
    • Michael Fuller is 24
    • Rodney is 25
    • Tom McLemore is 74 or 75
    • Tyler is 3 years old
    • June 7: Cheryl's 23rd Birthday.
  • Horology experiences a "Hey Day" according to Allen Bearden; John made about 150k per year. John's business card
  • November: Mary Grace's 69th birthday
  • People who knew John well, say that he was "quite racist" when he was younger, and not as much so as he got older. This despite Brian hearing John use racial epithets during visits and phone conversations.
1996
  • March 15: John’s 30th Birthday
    • Michael Fuller is 25
    • Rodney is 26
    • Tom McLemore is 75 or 76
    • Tyler is 4 years old
    • June 7: Cheryl's 24th Birthday.
    • November: Mary Grace's 70th birthday
  • Horology experiences a "Hey Day" according to Allen Bearden; John made about 150k per year. John's business card
  • Woodstock incorporated as a municipality called North Bibb 1996.
1997
  • John's Aunt Gertrude (Tom's sister) passes away. On the last day of his life, John and Tyler drove by Aunt Gertrude's house and John said how much he missed her.
  • March 15: John’s 31st Birthday
    • Michael Fuller is 26
    • Rodney is 27
    • Tom McLemore is 76 or 77
  • Tyler is 5 years old
    • Bubba says that when Tyler was five and six years old, he would have to miss school, and go to the job site with his Dad to lay bricks.
  • Horology experiences a "Hey Day" according to Allen Bearden; John made about 150k per year. John's business card
  • Cheryl Acker (later Dodson) is town clerk. Cheryl said she met John in 1997 or 1998.
    • June 7: Cheryl's 25th Birthday. This is her first of eight years as Town Clerk
  • November: Mary Grace's 71st birthday
1998
  • February: Mary Grace at Reta's sister's 50th birthday party
  • March 15: John’s 32nd Birthday
    • Michael Fuller is 27
    • Rodney is 28
    • Tom McLemore is 77 or 78
  • Tyler is 6 years old
    • Bubba says that when Tyler was five and six years old, he would have to miss school, and go to the job site with his Dad to lay bricks.
  • Horology experiences a "Hey Day" according to Allen Bearden; John made about 150k per year. John's business card
  • Cheryl:
    • June 7: Cheryl's 26th Birthday.
    • This is her second of eight years as town clerk.
    • John would help Cheryl stuff envelopes for parade notices.
    • John helped Cheryl plan the Christmas parade, and Open House.
    • John and his mother were always around, hanging out at Town Hall.
    • Mary Grace had a Pippy Longstocking vibe about her. She would wear a red skirt, green sweater, and purple hat, and socks that clashed with her shoes -- and the kind of bright red hair you get in a bottle.
    • Mary Grace would want to know about scandals, and John would tease Cheryl telling her that she was the scandal. (Cheryl was getting a divorce.)
    • John would help Cheryl with her job of annexing property into the town. John would drive with Cheryl to Centreville to the probate court. John would help deal with records of the court. He wasn't getting paid, but he would help Cheryl work.
    • John and his mother attended Town Council meeting regularly, and annexed their land into the town limits.
    • Cheryl says these years were some of the best years of John's life.
    • Cheryl says that as a divorced, single mom, she now feels like she was one of John's projects.
    • Cheryl says that she mentioned she liked The Goo-Goo Dolls and John bought her their CDs and made her CDs, too. He left one of his own raps on one of the CDs.
  • Undated photo of John with children's toys
  • Daphne Brooks called John "idealistic." [Daphne Brooks is the woman who went to prison for embezzlement who spent hours talking to Brian. Brian originally thought Daphne might be her own chapter.] Daphne says: These were good times for John. He never complained.
  • November: Mary Grace's 72nd birthday
1999
  • January: John advertises his services in the January/February edition of the NAWCC Mart & Highlights.
  • March 15: John’s 33rd Birthday
    • Tom McLemore is 78 or 79
    • Rodney is 29
    • Tyler is 7 years old
    • Michael Fuller is 28
  • Cheryl:
    • June 7: Cheryl's 27th Birthday.
    • Cheryl says these years were some of the best years of John's life.
    • This is her third of eight years as town clerk.
    • Cheryl says John continued to be engaged with building the town.
    • Cheryl says that as a divorced, single mom, she now feels like she was one of John's projects, and they were very close friends.
  • November: Mary Grace's 73rd birthday
  • Reta and Charlie retire.
2000
  • March 15: John’s 34th Birthday
    • Tom McLemore is 79 or 80
    • Rodney is 30
    • Tyler is 8 years old
    • Michael Fuller is 29
  • Cheryl:
    • June 7: Cheryl's 28th Birthday.
    • Cheryl says these years were some of the best years of John's life.
    • This is her fourth of eight years as town clerk.
    • Cheryl says John continued to be engaged with building the town.
    • Cheryl says that as a divorced, single mom, she now feels like she was one of John's projects, and they were very close friends.
  • Town of North Bibb name changed to Woodstock in 2000.
  • November: Mary Grace's 74th birthday
2001
  • March 15: John’s 35th Birthday
    • Tom Mclemore is 80 or 81
    • Rodney is 31
    • Tyler is 9 years old
    • Michael Fuller is 30
  • John and Cheryl are still very close friends. This is Cheryl's fifth of eight years as Town Clerk.
    • Cheryl says that as a divorced, single mom, she now feels like she was one of John's projects, and they were very close friends.
    • Cheryl says John continued to be engaged with building the town.
  • May 17:
    • John sends Cheryl flowers: "You so good, my leg's so tired."
    • Cheryl's wedding day. Husband: Wade. Second marriage.
    • Cheryl realized John liked her.
  • June 7: Cheryl's 29th Birthday.
  • June 28: Woodstock police chief resigns
  • November: Mary Grace's 75th birthday
2002
  • March 15: John’s 36th Birthday
    • Tom McLemore is 81 or 82
    • Tyler is 10 years old
    • Michael Fuller is 31
    • Rodney is 32
  • Cheryl:
    • June 7: Cheryl's 30th Birthday. This is her sixth of eight years as town clerk.
    • John and Cheryl are still very close friends.
    • Cheryl says that as a divorced, single mom, she now feels like she was one of John's projects, and they were very close friends.
    • Approximate: Jeff Dodson moves to Woodstock
    • Jeff Dodson in a 2017 Photo
  • November: Mary Grace's 76th birthday
  • Approximate (any time in a ten year window): John tries to tell Mary Grace that he is gay, but she leaves the room. They never talk about it again.
  • Two of John's friends describe watching him perform fire gilding. They said he did it dozens of times a year ie: at least twice a month.
2003
  • March 15: John’s 37th Birthday
    • Tom McLemore is 82 or 83
    • Tyler is 11 years old
    • Michael Fuller is 32
    • Rodney is 33
  • John makes a "mix-tape" CD for a friend. Link to songs on CDs
  • Approximate: John tries meeting men through a phone service called "Megaphone." It's a singles line for men.
    • John and Olin Long each joined Megaphone with the purpose of finding someone to date.
    • John pings Olin and Olin responds. Olin Long lives in Birmingham.
    • John and Olin talk on the phone for the next 15 months, usually just after Olin's night shift, when would be finishing up in the Clock Shop.
    • John meets a gross man from "Megaphone" at the Church of Christ parking lot. The guy shoves his tongue down John's throat. John leaves and goes home to take a bath and wash his mouth out.
    • John meets a man from Megaphone who comes to the house. The man gropes John, masturbates into the garden, and leaves.
  • May: Cheryl says that her son and Jeff's son became friendly, and she started dating Jeff soon after. She says they were married three months later.
  • June 7: Cheryl's 31st Birthday
  • August: Cheryl and Jeff Dodson get married.
    • This is the third marriage for Cheryl and the third marriage for Jeff.
    • Cheryl and Jeff purchase their home from John and Mary Grace's cousins: Reta and Charlie Lawrence.
    • This is Cheryl's seventh of eight years as Town Clerk.
  • November: John's father falls in the driveway and is taken to the hospital.
  • November: Cheryl's dog has puppies. The mother is subsequently hit by a car. John and his mother take in all the puppies. John wrote:
    November of 2003, I was presented with a box of ten newborn puppies whose mother had been killed by a car.
  • November 29 or 30: Mary Grace's 77th birthday
  • November 30: John's father passes away from injuries sustained when he fell in the driveway. John's father was 82 or 83 when he died. John wrote:
    My father died on Nov 30, 2003. We went to the hospital, and dealt with the puppies when we came home. We planned the funeral and buried my father between trips back and forth between the hospital and the house to tend to the puppies. We mourned death and raised new life. Tombstone
  • December; John writes:
    My mother and I spent the winter cleaning up shit and piss twice daily, mopping the floors with bleach and hydrogen peroxide, and laying out mountains of paper and plastic sheeting while we raised them. Somehow, all of them [puppies] survived.
2004
  • John has started to shutter his clock restoration business.
  • March 15: John’s 38th Birthday
    • Tyler is 12 years old
    • Michael Fuller is 33
    • Rodney is 34
  • March 22: Cheryl and Jeff's daughter born. This is Cheryl's last year as Town Clerk.
    • John and Mary Grace send gifts and attend baby shower?
  • New Town Hall for Woodstock is completed
  • Approximate: John sends Olin a picture of himself; John and Olin Long finally meet in person. They develop a close friendship.
  • Cheryl and Jeff and John are very close friends and John spends a lot of time at their house, and is close to their kids.
  • June 7: Cheryl's 32nd Birthday
  • August: Cheryl and Jeff's 1st Anniversary.
  • November: Mary Grace's 78th birthday
  • After Christmas; John writes:
    "I reach agreement with Cheryl about opening garden center after several previous conversations with her about it. Cheryl and Jeff wanted a 3-way partnership with the profits going 33% each way after the original investment had been recovered. Beyond that I was to receive $1,000/month for running it. It was my expectation that all 3 of us would, of course, have about 33% money wise invested."
January, 2005
  • January 5; John writes:
    "Cheryl had bought the building from Johnnie Faye Champion for $3,000.00 and still owed Johnnie Faye $1,000.00. She did not feel right asking Johnnie Faye questions about where to get the best plants and other business questions until the remainder was paid off. On January 5th I loaned Cheryl Acker $1,000.00 cash in the form of ten one hundred dollar bills counted out in my kitchen over the dishwasher. Her small son was a witness, and my mother was sitting out in the hall. Exhibit 1 shows the source of the money: A private investment account. This loan was accompanied by sweet promises to pay back as soon as Jeff received his Income Tax Refund. This sweet promise would fizzle out over the next dozen weeks or so."
  • January 11; John writes:
    "I tour greenhouses as Plantersville, AL."
  • January 12; John writes:
    "I meet with Johnnie Faye Champion, she shows me paperwork and Trade "secrets" of previous ownership (Her former husband)."
  • January 15; John writes:
    "First order of evergreens and shrubs placed and paid for cash with the remainder of the money from the private investment account."
  • January 17; John writes:
    Tour WO Bearden Nurseries and make contact with other nurseries as advised by Johnnie Faye.
  • Mid January; John writes:
    I additionally loan/give Cheryl Acker another $100.00 cash to pay Arvell Kornegay for assisting with cleanup. By January and February, we were attempting to cleanup the catastrophe left behind by the former owner, which was about as big a mess as the Chernobyl blast."
  • Mid-Late January; John writes:
    "Cheryl advises me to open business account with whatever bank."
  • January 20; John writes:
    Checking account opened at First United with initial deposit of $1,500.00 with $600 cash out used to purchase plants from Debs Nursery. Also to register and attend GSHE.
  • January 21; John writes:
    Attend GSHE in Mobile. Meet more growers and suppliers. Exhibit 2 shows initial checking account opening, source of money (our investment account) and that it was a DBA account with my name only on this account.
  • Late January; John writes:
    Open account at Gray Lumber for building materials.
  • January 28; John writes:
    Another check for $2,000.00 goes into the business with $500.00 cash out. This also used Deb's Nursery for deciduous flowering shrub stock. Exhibit 3
February, 2005
  • February 1; John writes:
    A monthly distribution check from our account. I contributed it to the business. Exhibit 4
  • Early February; John writes:
    Buy handy cart from Wal Mart with cash out money, write check to DT Wesley for Plastic Tables (Feb 4), buy second hand shovel, rake, and other miscellaneous garden tools from Glenn Majors (Feb 9). Also write checks to Gray Lumber payment on account. Exhibit 5.
    All of us in cleanup phase. Jeff's kids very helpful, too. Still no sign of payback of $1,000.00 loan but still sweet promises.
  • February 19: John gets measured on Cheryl Acker Dodson's door.
  • February 28: John sells a milling machine out of his shop to help fund the Garden Center ($700.00)
  • Late February: John writes:
    Much repair completed. Tables built (Gray lumber supplies wood). Besides $100 paid to Arwell, another $100 cash paid to Joe Mize for spraying down and cleaning grounds.
S-Town Timeline II >>
submitted by Justwonderinif to Timelines [link] [comments]


2020.07.09 08:25 Justwonderinif Tara Grinstead Timeline I

1992
1993
  • Paul Bowden becomes District Attorney (prosecutor) for the Tifton Judicial Circuit. A position he still holds as of 2018. He is prosecuting Ryan Duke.
  • June 20: Bo's 9th birthday.
  • Summer: Tara graduates Hawkinsville High School
  • Undated: Tara is Miss Pulaski County (Hawkinsville is in Pulaski County)
  • Undated: 1993 Approximate
  • Fall: Tara starts college - freshman year
  • November 14: Tara's 19th birthday
  • November 30: Ryan's 10th birthday
  • Christmas - may be from a different year.
1994
  • June 20: Bo's 10th birthday.
  • Fall: Tara starts sophomore year of college
  • November 14: Tara's 20th birthday - Tara at 20
  • November 30: Ryan's 11th birthday
  • Christmas - may be from a different year.
1995
  • June 20: Bo's 11th birthday.
  • Fall: Tara starts junior year of college
  • September 22: Se7en is released in theatres
  • November 14: Tara's 21st birthday
  • November 30: Ryan's 12th birthday
1996
  • June 20: Bo's 12th birthday.
  • Fall: Tara starts senior year of college
  • Approximate: Billy and Connie move to Ocilla. Connie says she and Billy lived in Ocilla for eight years, and Tara lived with them for four of those years.
  • November 14: Tara's 22nd birthday
  • November 30: Ryan's 13th birthday
1997
  • Spring: Tara graduated college? - Middle Georgia University? Tara with Billy and Connie
    • Rhett Roberts graduates from Irwin County High School
  • June 20: Bo's 13th birthday.
  • November 14: Tara's 23rd birthday
  • November 30: Ryan's 14th birthday
1998
  • Tara is Miss Charisma of the Georgia Sweet Potato Pageant in 1998. Possible photo from that pageant
  • June 20: Bo's 14th birthday.
  • Fall: Tara is hired at Irwin County High School in Ocilla, GA. Approximate. Tara's sister Anita said that Tara worked at ICHS for eight years before she disappeared.
  • Tara moves in with Connie and Billy who have been living in Ocilla for about a year.
  • September: Ryan Duke and Josh Bowden start 9th grade/freshman year.
  • Football season: Tara is a cheerleading coach - (picture could be from 1999 football season.)
  • November 3: Newt Hudson wins election to Georgia House of Representatives. Where he has served since 1982.
  • November 14: Tara's 24th birthday
  • November 30: Ryan's 15th birthday
  • Tara and Marcus meet at a friend's house. (of 1999)
  • Marcus is a police officer with Ocilla PD.
1999
2000
  • At some point in 2000 (or 2001?), an unnamed juvenile, who had once been in Grinstead's homeroom at Irwin County High, made a a series of threatening phone calls to Connie and Billy's home. The calls were intended for Tara. A trace on her phone determined he was the source. He was moved from her class. And it is thought proven that he had nothing to do with her disappearance. However, when Tara was followed, later this year, she may have over-reacted, because of the phone calls.
  • June: Bo Dukes, Ryan Duke, Josh Bowden - finish sophomore year.
  • June 20: Bo's 16th birthday.
  • September: Bo Dukes, Ryan Duke - start junior year.
  • November 7: Newt Hudson wins election to Georgia House of Representatives.
  • November 14: Tara's 26th birthday
  • November 30: Ryan's 17th birthday
  • Tara has lived with Connie and Billy in Ocilla for two years.
  • Marcus is a police officer with Ocilla PD.
2001
  • At some point in 2001, a former student (someone over 18), followed Tara. According to Marcus: It was basically a traffic incident. He was following her, and she called police. When police responded he ran. She felt threatened. He was arrested.
  • June: Bo Dukes, Ryan Duke, Josh Bowden - finish junior year.
  • June 20: Bo's 17th birthday.
  • August 31: Stalking incident resolved. Lindsey implies this is Vickers, but it's clearly not - if you look at the timeline.
    • According to Marcus: The name blacked out is C** M**, not a juvenile. Was believed to be an isolated incident. It was basically a traffic incident, he was following her, she called police. When police responded he ran. She felt threatened. He was arrested.
  • September: Bo Dukes, Ryan Duke, Josh Bowden - start senior year. According to Bo:
    I was probably the most popular person in my class. I was elected class president... I threw great parties and pushed the envelope every weekend. Ryan was my friend, my best friend, his family was broke and I didn't care, he was my friend.
    My senior year was an election year for my grandfather. There was a flag issue here its really complicated but was the death of the Democratic party in Georgia. I thought it was a mistake then. My grandfather thought "it was the right thing to do". And he got voted out of office for it.
  • Marcus joins the army at some point before the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. He will eventually become a ranger
  • September 11: 9/11 Attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.
  • Tara has lived with Connie and Billy in Ocilla for three years.
  • November 14: Tara's 27th birthday
  • November 30: Ryan's 18th birthday
2002
  • January 11: After a 3 year absence, the Miss Tifton pageant is back. Tara's 1999 photo is featured.
  • Tara has lived with Connie and Billy in Ocilla for four years.
  • Ryan's senior picture
  • Bo's senior picture
  • Bo and Ryan at Senior Prom
  • June: Bo Dukes, Ryan Duke, Josh Bowden - graduate Irwin County High School in Ocilla, GA.
  • June 20: Bo's 18th birthday.
  • November 5: Newt Hudson loses election to Georgia House of Representatives. Bo now says that the Republicans cut the Democrats out during the 2002 elections. And that "everyone is a Republican now."
    Democrats Tracy Stallings’ and Newt Hudson’s defeats were probably related to their positions on the state flag controversy. In fact, news coverage indicated that eventual winner Republican Mark Butler sought to use the 2001 flag vote as a campaign issue to defeat Stallings (Pedraza-Vidamour 2002).
  • November 14: Tara's 28th birthday
  • November 30: Ryan's 19th birthday
  • Christmas 2002
2003
January 1, 2004
Sunday, May 2, 2004
  • [Big Fight] 10-15 men from Ocilla (Irwin County) and Fitzgerald (Ben Hill County) traveled to Mystic, GA (Irwin County) to fight.
    • Rumors are that up to 40 men were involved, including: Joey Stone (20), Joey's friend Lewis, Josh Bowden (besties with Lewis), as well as Bo and Ryan.
    • According to Joey Stone, he and Lewis and Ryan and Bo and other friends were partying in Fitzgerald. (Joey doesn't say where in Fitzgerald and it is assumed this is not a party at a pecan orchard.)
    • Josh Bowden arrived at the Fitzgerald party and said, "Ya'll come on. Let's go, these boys are talking junk. Let's go get 'em."
    • As a result, in Mystic, two men were nearly beaten to death, and subsequently hospitalized.
May, 2004
  • Joey said that Paul Bowden, Josh's dad and the district attorney for Tifton Judicial Circuit (Irwin County), arbitrarily charged Joey and Lewis and one other man for the fight, and protected Josh and Bo and Ryan and anyone from Irwin County. Only Fitzgerald residents were charged.
    • Joey and Lewis and one other man were forced to plead guilty or risk nine years in prison via a jury trial.
    • [The podcast suggests that Paul Bowden - currently prosecuting Ryan for murder - wanted the 2017 gag order to protect the boys who always knew who murdered Tara. The story is told to illustrate how Paul Bowden would favor boys from Irwin County, back then, and all these years later.]
June, 2004
  • Ryan's brother Stephen -- Anthony Vickers -- graduate from Irwin County High School.
    • Tara and Anthony begin a sexual relationship.
    • Anthony's mom says she once caught Tara climbing out the window of Anthony's bedroom. Vickers:
    We saw each other after high school, and went on there for a year or two. Most of the time it was just her house. It was so recent that I got out of school that we kind of kept it, just kept it on the low.
Summer, 2004
  • June 20: Bo's 20th birthday.
  • Joey's friend Lewis (also charged and convicted in the big fight) says that he was hanging out a lot with Bo and Ryan during this summer. Lewis says that every time he and Josh spent the night, Bo and Ryan were there, too. "When I was with Josh we were hanging out with Bo."
September, 2004
October, 2004
  • According to Marcus, Tara broke up with him in October of 2004
  • Marcus is an Army Ranger, serving in Iraq.
November, 2004
  • November 14: Tara's 30th birthday
    • According to Marcus, Dolly was a birthday gift from Marcus to Tara, to ease the pain of the breakup.
    • November 2004 was the last time Marcus was in Tara's house.
  • November 30: Ryan's 21st birthday
  • Undated: Tara, her father Billy, and her stepmother Connie
December, 2004
  • December 12: Photo of Bo
  • Christmas 2004 with Tara's mother Faye, and sister Anita.
    • [According to Marcus, the chain lock was in place as recently as early as November 2004. Some time between December of 2004 and her death, Tara installed a hotel-style lever lock on the inside of her front door.]
January/February 2005
  • After eight years of living in Ocilla, Connie and Billy move away. Tara has had her own place for about two years, after having lived with Connie and Billy the first four years she lived in Ocilla.
  • Tara is still seeing Anthony Vickers. Vickers:
    Very few people knew about our relationship. There's probably only three or four people that actually knew and we knew that they would not talk at all. When we would see each other, I would usually go over to her house. Would be the easiest thing to do. She would pick me up and we would go over there and just hang out. You know, watch a movie or something. That's kind of how we did it.
  • Tara is seeing Heath Dykes. Note:
    • Heath Dykes was a married police officer from Perry, GA.
    • Heath Dykes graduated from Hawkinsville (just like Tara) a few years before Tara.
  • Tara enters a doctoral program at Valdosta State University (unconfirmed)
  • Marcus is an Army Ranger, serving in Iraq.
Thursday, March 30, 2005
  • Drama at Tara's. Anthony Vickers is arrested in front of Tara's house for causing a disturbance. Heath Dykes is inside. Reports are that Tara did not call police. Tara's neighbors called it in, not Tara.
    Vickers: She wouldn't answer her phone, and I went over there, and knocked on the door. And we were still kinda on the low. She didn't want a bunch of folks knowing that I was over there. And we got into a little argument there, and I went to leave, and the police station's only a block away. So, a neighbor called, and only a block away, I was getting in the car, I was actually driving, pulling out of her driveway. And they stopped and pulled me out of the car. I was trying to leave and trying to do right. I said what I needed to say, and I was leaving, and then I couldn't leave. Well, I only lived like two blocks down the road so it wasn't like I made a thirty mile trip or nothing.
    Tara: Anthony's behavior was abnormal and was very aggressive on this day. I was very scared for my well-being as well as scared about Anthony. Anthony invaded my privacy in my home, while doing so in a raging and out of control manner.
Summer, 2005
  • June 20: Bo's 21st birthday.
  • According to Marcus, he and Tara went to a movie as friends.
  • July: Ryan and Bo and Ryan's brother Stephen are living with Ryan's dad in the trailer across from the Medical Center. Possible location. [In February of 2019], Stephen testified that Bo wasn't really "living there." And the prosecutor clarified that "Bo stayed there more often than not."
  • Late July/Early August: Tara and Marcus visit St. Augustine together for a beach trip. Immediately following this trip, Tara becomes concerned about Marcus's temper, and says as much to her brother-in-law.
  • Early/Mid August: Marcus returns to the Middle East. Tara writes to Marcus, and again, Marcus believes Tara is ending the relationship.
Friday, August 26, 2005
  • Irwin County High School Indians Football v. Turner County (Ashburn, GA) @ Turner County High School (L) 14 - 12
September, 2005
  • Tara's 2005 ICHS picture
  • Ryan and Bo and Ryan's brother Stephen are living with Ryan's dad in the trailer across from the Medical Center. [Note: Ryan's dad may not have lived there at the time. But he owned that trailer or was renting it, and the boys lived there.]
    • Ryan and Bo are 20. Stephen is about 19.
    • Ryan is working at Modern Dispersions in Fitzgerald.
    • Reports are that Bo was not working as his family was wealthy and he did not have to work.
Friday, September 2, 2005
  • Irwin County High School Indians Football v. Tift County (Tifton, GA) @ Tift County High School (L) 33 - 0
Saturday, September 3, 2005
  • Georgia vs. Boise State at home Win 48-13
Sunday, September 4, 2005
Friday, September 9, 2005
  • Irwin County High School Indians Football v. Atkinson County (Pearson, GA) @ Atkinson County High School (W) 24 - 20
Saturday, September 10, 2005
  • 5:30PM: Georgia v South Carolina at home W 17-15
Friday, September 16, 2005
  • Irwin County High School Indians Football v. Jeff Davis (Hazlehurst, GA) @ Irwin County High School (W) 36 - 0
Saturday, September 17, 2005
  • 1PM: Georgia v Louisiana Monroe at home W 44-7
Friday, September 23, 2005
  • Irwin County High School Indians Football v. Bacon County (Alma, GA) @ Bacon County High School (L) 29 - 22
Saturday, September 24, 2005
  • 3:30PM: Georgia v Mississippi State Away W 23-10
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
Friday, September 30, 2005
  • Irwin County High School Indians Football v. Appling County (Baxley, GA) @ Irwin County High School (L) 34 - 16
Saturday, October 1, 2005
  • Marcus returns home from the Middle East for a three week leave. Marcus does not reach out to Tara, or tell her he is home.
Sunday, October 2, 2005
  • Tara learns from a friend that Marcus is home from the middle east.
Tuesday, October 4, 2005
  • Tara and Marcus talk on the phone. Date Approximate
    • He is home and she is in Waycross.
    • Tara asks if she can come visit Marcus, and he says no, that the relationship has been over for a year, and that they would never get back together.
    • Tara is so shocked and distraught that she requests assistance while driving home from class in Waycross.
    • [Dana said that when Tara disappeared her relationship with Marcus had been over for a year.]
Wednesday, October 5, 2005
  • Tara takes the day off from school to recuperate from the bad news.
Friday, October 7, 2005
  • Irwin County High School Indians Football v. Charlton County (Folkston, GA @ Charlton County High School (L) 45 - 0
  • Marcus has been in Ocilla for a week.
Saturday, October 8, 2005
  • 3:30PM: Georgia v Tennessee at Tennessee W 27-14
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Friday, October 14, 2005
  • 6:43AM: Tara sends an email to Marcus's mother
  • Undated: Tara letter to Marcus
  • 9AM: According to Marcus, Tara knocked on his windows at 9am. She was crying and said that if she found out he was dating anyone she would kill herself.
  • Other reports have Tara stopping by school at 9am and then spending the rest of the day with her mother. Unclear if this is Faye or Connie. Confirmed by correspondence, Tara stopped by the Harper's home in the evening.
  • Irwin County High School Indians Football v. Pierce County (Blackshear, GA) @ Irwin County High School (W) 30 - 28
Saturday, October 15, 2005
  • 7:15PM: Georgia v Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt W 34-17
Sunday, October 16, 2005
  • Tara and her mom go to the fair in Perry.
    • Tara spends the rest of the day with her mom in Hawkinsville.
    • Unclear if this is Faye or Connie.
  • Marcus has been home for two weeks.
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
  • JH, a software company salesman, stopped by Tara's room at school. The software he sold targeted keeping children interested in school.
  • Tara sends a friendly email to Marcus and he does not reply.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
  • Tara has lunch with a friend and talks about the argument with Marcus.
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Friday, October 21, 2005
  • Tara shops in Fitzgerald.
  • Irwin County High School Indians Football v. Brantley County (Nahunta, GA) @ Brantley County High School (W) 22 - 20
Saturday, October 22, 2005
  • Ryan and Bo and Ryan's brother Stephen are still living in the trailer across from the Medical Center. Unclear if Ryan's dad is living with them.
  • Ryan is employed at Modern Dispersions and has the weekend off.
  • Pageant girls arrive at Tara's for hairstyling and makeup application. The girls leave at different times throughout the day because some were competing earlier.
  • 12:30PM Georgia home game against Arkansas.
    • Reports: Bo Dukes and Ryan Duke are at their home in Fitzgerald that afternoon, drinking, and watching the game with a group of friends.
  • 3PM: Georgia Sweet Potato Pageant begins at 3PM in Fitzgerald - Tara arrives later.
  • 3:52PM: Georgia game ends. Georgia won 23-20.
  • 6PM: October 22 police log starts at 6PM and ends at 6AM
  • 7:45PM: Dana walks Tara to her car.
    • 7:45PM: Kickoff for Auburn LSU game.
  • Tara speaks to Rhett Roberts in front of his house in Ocilla.
    • Rhett's parents own the house that Tara is renting.
    • Rhett's brother Luke would eventually become a tennis coach at Irwin County High School. Rhett Roberts brother Luke is not the Luke Roberts who writes for the Ocilla Star in 2019.
  • 8PMish: Tara arrives at the home of Irwin County's former superintendent Dr. Troy Davis - for a BBQ.
    • They all watched the LSU Auburn game on a TV Troy had on the deck.
    • While at the BBQ, Tara received several calls. Tara said one call was from a pageant girl.
  • Tara's neighbors - the Portiers - have been out all day, at their cabin. But return home to spend the night.
    • Troy says Tara was on one call for a very long time, and that at the end of the call, Tara said, "I love you, too." Troy said Tara told him the call was from a man who lived in Perry, with the assumption being that it was Heath Dykes.
    • 10:20PM: According to Godwin, Heath spoke to Tara at 10:20pm.
    • Approximate: At Troy's urging, Tara texts "I'm cold" to a friend of Troy's who Tara is casually dating.
    • 11PM: Troy said Tara helped them bring the TV inside, and left as the local news came on.
    • 11:15PM: Tara leaves the BBQ.
Sunday, October 23, 2005
  • 1AM: Marcus leaves the White Horse Saloon in Fitzgerald, drives to Ocilla, looking for his friend, Sean, an Ocilla police officer. Sean knew both Marcus and Tara, and was one of the officers who responded when Anthony Vickers was arrested for disorderly conduct.
    • 1:49AM: Sean received a call from the dispatcher that Marcus was looking for him. Sean and Marcus meet up.
    • 2:45AM: Sean was summoned to a house where a local man had walked inside someone's house, and refused to leave. Marcus joined Sean on that call. A few minutes later, Sean and Marcus left the residence and searched for the man - ending at a local gas station.
    • 4:28AM: Marcus heads home and is in bed by around 5AM.
  • After midnight/Before sunrise: Ryan says that he stole Bo's keys out of Bo's pants pocket and drove to Tara's while everyone was asleep.
    • Ryan says he drove to Ocilla, broke into Tara's home, and went through her purse.
    • Ryan says Tara surprised him and he punched her so hard it killed her.
    • Ryan says he drove back home and got a quilt and gloves.
    • Bo says that Ryan told him that he [Ryan] killed Tara in her bed. That he used a card to trip the lock on her door, and came in while she was asleep.
    • [Note from user on DB: Tara had a regular doorknob with a turn lock that locked from the inside. When she was not home, that was the only lock on her door. On the inside, she had hung Christmas bells on the doorknob. If someone tried to enter, the bells would “jingle” when the doorknob was turned. Near the top of the threshold of the interior she had also installed 2 additional locks. One a chain, the other a hotel-style lever lock. Both these locks would be in place when Tara was home. When Tara was not at home, the only thing securing the door was the doorknob, which be opened by popping or picking the lock. Some people think that whoever killed her was already in her house when she arrived, and that explains why Dolly was still outside. Some believe that she was incapacitated or attacked soon after arriving home by someone already in the house. Or that she opened the door herself to whoever did this. If she was already asleep, nobody could have gotten in once she locked the chain and hotel-style lever lock at the top of the door. No photos exist of the entire frame of the door in question. This was intentionally not revealed in the beginning stages of the investigation.]
    • Bo thinks the motive was sexual. But says that Ryan denied that.
    • Bo says he was never at Tara's house or in her car.
  • 6AM: October 22 police log starts at 6PM and ends at 6AM
  • 7:45AM: Sunset
  • Early Morning: Tara doesn't show up for church
  • 9:30AM: Ryan calls 411 from G&G Food Mart, a couple of blocks from Tara's house. 411 connects Ryan to Tara's home, and no one picks up. Ryan told Jason Shoudel he hoped she would pick up, and/or was making sure she was dead and that no one was there.
    • Ryan told Shoudel he drove back to Tara's, wrapped her body in a blanket, drove it out to the orchard, and dumped the body, twenty minutes away.
    • Tara doesn't show up for a scheduled lunch.
    • Tara isn't returning phone calls.
    • Tara's family and friends become concerned.
  • Afternoon: According to Bo, Ryan returned home in the afternoon, and told Bo that he killed Tara.
    • According to Bo, at some point, Ryan threw Tara's keys and purse in a dumpster in Fitzgerald.
    • Tara's neighbors - the Portiers - have been out all day, at their cabin. But return home to spend the night.
  • Late at night:
    • Tara's mother calls Heath Dykes in Perry and asks him to check on Tara.
    • Heath Dykes drives over an hour to Ocilla, in the middle of the night.
Monday, October 24, 2005
  • 12:30AM: Heath Dykes knocks on Tara's door. He leaves his business card in the front door jam, and calls Tara's mother.
  • Tara does not show up for work at Irwin County High School in Ocilla - right down the street from her house.
    • Students are sitting in her class, waiting.
    • The principal, Bobby Conner, calls Tara's neighbors, the Portiers.
    • Joe Portier - Tara's neighbor - noted Tara wasn't home and called the police chief Billy Hancock
    • Marcus Harper's stepmother and another person from the school drove to Tara's home.
    • Before LE arrived, Joe, Marcus's stepmother, and one other person from the school entered Tara's house.
    • A latex glove is found in Tara's yard. If Heath Dykes was at Tara's on Sunday night, no one can figure out why he didn't see it or pick it up. Word is that Joe picked up the glove and was told to put it down.
  • 8:50AM: The Ocilla Police Department responded to a missing person report made by neighbors and coworkers at the Irwin County High School. There is no known description of her clothing. Her car is parked in the driveway of her residence. Her house was locked and the only items that appear to be missing are her purse and keys.
  • Tara's friend Maria Hulett was already en route from Hawkinsville. Maria arrived at 8:50 AM, LE was there. Detective Barris allowed Marie to check if anything appeared out of the ordinary.
    • Speculation: Between 8:50AM and 11AM, Anita strips Tara's bed of its sheets, and may have made the bed. This was to hide any potential evidence of an affair.
  • 11AM Chief Billy Hancock brings in GBI Agent Gary Rothwell.
  • Bo says that Ryan's brother Stephen told Bo that Tara is missing.
    • Bo says that he told Stephen what Ryan said and "it didn't register with Stephen."
    • In February of 2019, Stephen testified that he never heard anything about it.
  • Afternoon: GBI interviews Anthony Vickers. They search his car and his Dad's car. (At some point during the investigation, Anthony is swabbed and takes a lie detector test. He is cleared of suspicion.)
  • Bo's Aunt, Suzanne Connor (and other teachers) distribute 2,000 flyers throughout the county in an effort to alert the community about their missing friend.
  • Marcus has been in Ocilla for three weeks, for leave. Does anyone know when he returned to the army?
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
  • Ryan and Bo drive out to the orchard where Ryan shows Bo Tara's body. According to Bo:
    I didn't want to believe him. [Ryan's] brother told me [Tara] was missing on Monday. I told his brother then that Ryan told me he killed her on Sunday. I wanted it to not be true but by Wednesday I realized I had to confront him about it. That's when he took took me to the orchard.
  • Bo now says:
    • They decided to burn the body.
    • "There was a huge search going on and this place was already pretty remote. There also just happened to be a huge stack of firewood right there."
    • There was a huge stack of seasoned spit wood there, and fat lighter.
    • "I thought completely getting rid of [the body] was the best option. After I stopped freaking out. Also I realized I could easily be implicated then. He used my truck and put her in my family's orchard."
    • "This was a lot of wood. And what is called fat lighter. It's old pines that have the tar still in the wood and is incredibly flammable."
    • Bo said the lord's prayer, then started the fire.
    • Bo's families company owned 2,000 acres in 2005, and he and Ryan were just lucky no one came round.
    • Bo was very angry. And later that day, he cried.
  • A $10,000 reward for Tara's safe return is posted.
  • Tara's friend Mandy said that three days after Tara went missing, the glove was still sitting on a police officer's desk in Ocilla, unsealed.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
  • According to Bo:
    • It took two days for the body to burn.
    • "Apparently the fire spread after [Bo and Ryan] left so then it looked like a wildfire which is pretty normal."
    • They left the fire burning on Thursday, and it started a small wild fire.
    • "When we left even though the fire was still going, it didn't look like there was anything [of Tara's body] left.
    • Bo and Ryan were out at the orchard for about 12 hours. So - overnight?
    • Bo didn't go back to check after that Thursday.
  • Jannis and Andy Paulk start the "FindTara" web site.
Friday, October 28, 2005
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Sunday, October 30, 2005
  • Massive search of Irwin County carries over into Ben Hill County.
  • WMAZ coverage
  • Approximate: By the end of October, Ryan and Bo have moved from the trailer across from the Medical Center to the house across from Taylor's. (In February of 2019, Stephen testified that before they moved, Stephen was trying to get Bo to pay rent, and to pay his share of expenses. It's unclear Stephen is saying this about the trailer across from the medical center, or the house across from Taylor's.)
Monday, October 31, 2005
  • Halloween
  • CNN's Nancy Grace first airs one of several episodes about Tara's disappearance Transcript. In the interview, Tara's sister Anita tells Nancy that Tara had worked at ICHS for eight years.
  • Tara's family sets up their own tip line.
  • WALB coverage
Tuesday, November 1, 2005
Wednesday, November 2, 2005
Thursday, November 3, 2005
Friday, November 4, 2005
  • Candlelight vigil held by current and former students on Irwin County Courthouse steps.
  • Vigil for Tara reported on December 7? reports on the vigil "on Friday." Quote from Andy Paulk: “If you see any of these searchers out , tell them thank you."
  • CBS Reports
Saturday, November 5, 2005
  • [Per Jason Shoudel's 2019 testimony], at a party in the pecan orchard, Bo Dukes and Ryan Duke drunkenly confess to killing Tara and burning her body in Bo Dukes's uncle's pecan orchard.
    • Those at the party and witness to these statements include: Zane Dill, Cliff Benson, Jake Dukes, Ben McMahan, and Garlan Lott.
    • Bo now says it was rough when he told a couple of his friends about it one night, then denied it the next day.
Timeline II >>>
submitted by Justwonderinif to Timelines [link] [comments]


2020.07.09 08:02 Justwonderinif The Keepers Timeline II

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Fall, 1969
  • September: Cathy goes to visit Koob at Manresa, the Annapolis retreat where he lived and worked. By this time, Cathy had learned that The Order had declined her request to live outside the convent and teach at a public school. The Order had told her that she had to go back into the convent, or stop being a nun. She had to give an answer by December 31. Koob said his sister in Boston gave Cathy expensive clothing, including a bright red suit. Cathy styled her hair fashionably and wore the suit to see him at Manresa. “She was beautiful,” Koob recalled, and his fellow Jesuits just stared at her. “I remember thinking, ‘Do you know what you’ve done?’ And I said that to her later.”
  • Russell begins teaching at Rock Glen Middle School (across the street from The Carriage House Apartments)
  • Cathy begins teaching at Western High School.
  • Maskell victims: Jean, Deb Silcox and Lil Hughes start their Junior years at Keough. Charles starts his Junior year at Mt. St. Joseph. Maskell victim Teresa Lancaster starts her sophomore (10th grade) year at Keough.
    • Wehner said that despite Cesnik’s promise to intervene with Maskell on her behalf, the priest continued to abuse her after she returned from summer break, even more violently than before.
  • Cesnik lived in a modest apartment in Southwest Baltimore with another nun, and her students would occasionally drop by in the evenings or on weekends to chat, sing and play music. “She was the reason I became a teacher,” Hoskins said. “I’ve never met anyone like her.”
    • Cesnik maintained close ties to her former students, who visited her apartment regularly. Maskell remained a frequent topic of conversation for some of them.
  • Maskell begins third year as school chaplain and counselor at Archbishop Keough.
    • "My parents fought a lot and embarrassed me," says one alum from the class of 1972, who mentioned this to Maskell during a smoking session. "He homed in on that. And he said, 'Come sit on my lap.' I sat on his lap, and he rocked me back and forth until I started getting weird feelings. As he was rocking me, he said, 'Your father isn't affectionate enough with you.' I was upset because he was saying stuff about my father, and it made me cry," she says, adding that her mother called the school to complain about the incident only to have her call transferred directly to Maskell. "She told him to just leave me alone."
    • Deborah Wisner, of Keough's class of '74, also went to see Maskell to smoke and discuss family problems. She says he showed her a series of ink blots, diagnosed her as "sexually frus­trated," and recommended further counseling. She avoided his office from then on by walking up an extra flight of stairs.
    • Former Keough student Karen (not her real name) says Maskell called her into his office one morning and told her that someone had seen her with her boyfriend naked in a parked car. "I told him that it couldn't have been true," she recalls. "No matter what I said to him, he said, 'I understand, dear. Now let's talk about it.'" According to Karen, Maskell had specific questions about her boyfriend's anatomy. For six hours, she says, he interrogated her. "He told me my problem was that I was frigid," she claims. "He took his big pocket watch out. He said he could hypnotize me and help me."
    • Other Keough alums also recall that Maskell presented himself as a sexual healer. Several women said that Maskell claimed to be an actual gynecologist. ("He's always been a frustrated doctor," says his half-brother Tom).
    • One of these women adds that Maskell was so taken with himself that, as part of her counseling, he put his face within a few inches of hers and asked her to look into his eyes and tell him how beautiful they were and how good looking he was.
    • Ann (not her real name), says Maskell invited her on a boat ride with some other girls. As they drove along the Beltway, she asked him where the other kids were and was told they couldn't make it. They arrived at the boat, docked in the Dundalk area, and after helping her aboard, Maskell suggested that they just sit around and talk. At some point, she says, he told her about a church renovation project that unearthed, behind an old radiator, dozens of desiccated condoms.
    • "I really don't think you should be talking to me about these kinds of things," she told him. He changed the subject, but after he lapsed into a description of sights he'd seen on lovers' lane, Ann says she asked to be taken home. She stayed away from Maskell, but about a year later, she discovered to her chagrin that Maskell was sitting opposite her in a confessional. She claims he quizzed her about her sex life, which, at 14, was nonexistent, and as she tried to answer his questions, she squeezed her eyes tight in the vain hope that he wouldn't see her. That was her last confession for 20 years.
    • Stacy (not her real name) knew Maskell from both St. Clement and Keough, where she was a member of the class of '72. She claims that one day during ninth grade, Maskell summoned her to his office to mention that her reading aptitude was below par. He sat on his desk, perched above her. "He said that I wouldn't have gotten into Keough unless he'd pulled strings. I was kind of frightened. I said, 'Gee, I thought I got in on my own merit.' And he said, 'No, you have a reading disability, and you would never have gotten in if it weren't for me.' And then he asked me if there was anything that I could do for him. I said, 'No, not that I can think of.' I didn't know what he was getting at," says Stacy.
  • October, 1969: Edgar and Margaret's twins are born but the girl has to say in the hospital as she's premature and under-weight.
Monday, November 3, 1969
  • Cathy types a letter to Gerry Koob: My very dearest Gerry: 'If Ever I Should Leave You' is playing on the radio. My period has finally arrives, ten days late, so you might say I'm moody. My heart aches so for you. I must wait on you, your time, and your need, because your life is so erratic. I think I can begin to live with that more easily now than I did two months ago, just loving you within myself. I must tell you, I want you within me. I want to have your children. I love you.
Tuesday, November 4, 1969
  • Three days before Cesnik disappeared, Koob called her from a Catholic retreat to tell her he still loved her. He was prepared to leave the priesthood for her and hoped she’d leave the nunhood for him. “I said, ‘If you decide to leave, we’ll leave and get married,” Koob told The Huffington Post in an interview.
Wednesday, November 5, 1969
  • Two days before Cesnik disappeared, Hobeck and a classmate visited Cesnik at home, and Cathy asked whether Maskell was still bothering them. “We told her no, and that was the end of it,” Hobeck said.
Thursday, November 6, 1969
  • And another former Keough student, who spoke to The Huffington Post on the condition of anonymity, visited Cesnik at her apartment the night before she disappeared to discuss the abuse going on at the school. In the middle of their conversation, this woman said, Maskell and Magnus barged into Cesnik’s apartment without knocking. “Maskell glared at me,” she said. “He knew why I was there.” The woman said she left Cesnik’s apartment at that point.
  • The anonymous woman says her boyfriend was there, and Cathy's roommate Helen Russell Phillips was there. [Why hasn't the boyfriend been asked about this?]
Friday, November 7, 1969
  • According to Abbie: Cathy drove someone to Western High School on the morning of November 7. That person saw several pieces of mail on the dash of Cathy's car. This suggests that the letter to Cathy's sister was mailed after last pick up time on November 7 and picked up on usual postal rounds November 8. Police investigated where the letter might have been mailed from but there was no conclusive outcome.
  • The following day at school, Maskell called [Anonymous] into his office. With a gun in his hand, he warned her that if she ever told anyone about the abuse, he would kill her, her boyfriend and her entire family. “That I remember as though it happened yesterday,” she said, “because I have been protecting my family ever since.” Cesnik vanished that night.
  • 11:30AM: Western High School student Juliana Farrell says that Cathy was her 11th grade English teacher in 1969. Juliana says Cathy was excited to get an engagement gift or her sister (that night) and that was the last time she ever saw her.
  • 2:30/2:40PM: Western High School is out for the day. (Gerry Koob says he didn't have a retreat that day.)
  • Margaret and Ed's daughter is ready to be picked up from the hospital the next day. Six months earlier Ed had choked Margaret.
  • 7PM: Koob and Peter McKeon are in Baltimore at the Tower Theatre watching Easy Rider. Theatre located at 222 N. Charles Street? Movie Listings
  • 7:30PM: According to Cathy's roommate, Helen Russell Phillips, Cathy left the Carriage House Apartments. Cesnik said she was going to swing by the bank and then shop for an engagement gift for her sister. “She never came back,” said Russell.
    • Missing Persons Report notes that Russell said Cathy was going to "cash some checks" at Hechts.
    • Cathy drove the green 1969 Ford Maverick to a First National Bank at 705 Frederick Road in Catonsville. Cathy cashed a $255.00 paycheck ($1,800.00 in 2017), then went to Hecht's Edmondson Village (now a Skill's Center) where she bought buns at the Muhly’s Bakery location inside Hecht's department store. Hecht's Edmondson Village was at 4501 Edmondson, across the street from Edmondson Village. It is speculated that Cathy bought a necklace for her sister at Hecht's. Then Cathy vanished. The box of bakery buns were found in her car.
    • [Per Missy Muhly: There was a Muhly's Bakery in the center of the Hecht Company Store on the first floor right as you walked in. It stayed open until either 9 or 10 at night, depending how late The Hecht Company Store stayed open. It was in that location from around 1965 to 1980. There was also a Muhly's Bakery located in the Edmonson Village Shopping Center from around 1969 to 1971. That location would have closed around 6 or 7 PM.]
    • Russell said that the two “always communicated” and that Russell was sure Cathy would have called if she had planned to go somewhere else. Also, she said, “convent habits die hard; we didn’t stay out after 10 o’clock.”
  • 8PM Approximate: The movie "Easy Rider" would have been over. If Koob and Pete didn't have dinner before, they had dinner after, then start the drive back to Manresa. Peter told investigators he was back home in Beltsville when he got the call about Cathy's disappearance. Koob says that he and Pete were in Annapolis, at Manresa, when Russell called about Cathy's failure to arrive home.
  • 8:30PM: A flight attendant who lived at the Carriage House remembers seeing Cathy in her car in the parking lot as if she was waiting for something. According to Abbie: A neighbor reported car was back at that apartment parking lot at 8:30pm but the neighbor did not see if Sister Cathy was in the car.
  • 8:30PM: A Carriage House resident told police that Cathy's car was pulled into its regular parking space about 8:30PM, but couldn't say who was driving or how many people were in the car.
    • Another witness told police that a similar car pulled up near Cathy's Maverick and that she followed it. “She knew who pulled in behind her,” a former investigator said. “She either met them at the bank or the shopping center.” But the report of the second car was not substantiated.
    • Detective Childs says that there is a police report indicating that someone saw Cathy's vehicle "leaving the scene" with Cathy trying to exit the vehicle from the passenger side. The witness apparently said that Cathy never got out of the vehicle.
  • 9PM-10PM: According to Abbie: A man was walking on Mardrew Road toward North Bend in the area where Cathy’s car was found. He reported that he passed a white man (age 20-25 years old, about 6’1”, 150-170 pounds, slender build, dark hair, dark clothing.) The mans left arm was hanging as if it was limp and he made a stomping noise when he walked.
  • 9:30PM: Ed walks into his house and his wife Margaret notices that his shirt is bloody. Ed says he got into a fight at work.
  • 10PM: According to Abbie: Others reported seeing car parked oddly on curb across the street starting around 10:00pm.
  • 10PM: According to Abbie: A woman said she saw a young white male (wearing a light jacket) park a dark colored car in the 5500 block of Carriage Court about 10PM. The young man walked south toward Frederick Avenue (down the hill away from the car he just parked.) The woman thought this unusual because there was ample room to park further down the street.
  • 10:30PM: According to Koob, he and and Pete are back at Manresa in Annapolis, drinking Tia Maria, and talking about the "Easy Rider" from 10:30PM - Midnight, when Russell called to say Cathy was missing. But Pete told the Baltimore Sun that he drove to Cathy's from Beltsville, MD where he lived at the Christian Brothers Monastery.
  • 10:30PM: Other people told police they noticed the car left near the apartment about 10:30PM. [Police received several calls about the “oddly parked vehicle.”]
  • 11PM: Per the Baltimore Sun, when Cathy didn’t return by 11, Russell grew worried and placed a frantic call to Gerry Koob at Manresa. Koob and McKeon had just returned from dinner and a movie in downtown Baltimore. The two men rushed back to the city from Manresa. It would have taken about 40 minutes to get to the Carriage House
  • 11PM: According to Abbie: *Other people saw [the car] around 11:00pm and 11:20pm.
Saturday, Nov. 8, 1969
  • Koob's account places Russell's call to Koob after midnight: Concerned about Cathy, early in the morning Russell called McKeon and Koob, who drove to Baltimore from Beltsville to comfort her. After hearing Russell’s story, the three called city police to report Sister Cesnik missing.
    • 1AM: In The Keepers, Gerry said that he and Pete got to the Carriage House quickly, listened to Russell for about an hour, then called the police at 1AM. A police officer showed up and wrote everything down and left. After the officer left, Gerry said mass. At 3:30 AM, Gerry and Pete went to take a walk and discovered Cathy’s car parked in the middle of Lantern Court, practically blocking traffic, with the door ajar, keys in the ignition. (Other reports say 4:40AM)
    • 1:30 AM: Missing Persons Report notes that Russell called the police to report Cathy missing at approximately 1:30AM.
  • 4:40 AM: McKeon found Cathy's car, unlocked, in the middle of the street, across from the Carriage House driveway. Other reports have Russell and Koob also finding the car with McKeon. The car was towed to the Southwestern District station. “We went to it and opened the door,” said McKeon. “There was a broken umbrella in the back seat. It looked like there had been a struggle.”
  • The tires were muddy and brake pedal was muddy. But the gas pedal wasn't muddy. This suggested to investigators that the person who drove the car back to the carriage house was driving with both feet and had mud on his left shoe, but not his right.
  • 8AM: According to Abbie: Other people saw [the car] at 8am on Nov 8.
Sunday, November 9, 1969
  • Thirty-five city police officers and 5 dog teams scoured a 14-block area of southwest Baltimore from dawn until dusk. Police knocked on doors, searched alleys and deserted buildings, and sent men and dogs through rain-soaked park areas from Athol Avenue to the Baltimore County line. They were aided by many civilian searchers. Police theorized that Cathy may have left the car and gone into a wooded area. The car was found a mile from sprawling, wooded Leakin Park. Police, aided by K-9 corps dogs and civilians, searched the Leakin Park and Irvington areas of the city without a trace.
    • According to Abbie: K-9 and police searches were done of fields and areas with no helpful findings.
    • Photo 1 of the Search and -Photo 2 of the Search
    • City police took the car to the Southwestern District station, and a manhunt began in Southwest Baltimore and the neighboring areas of Baltimore County. No trace of Cathy was found until the hunters stumbled upon her body weeks later.
    • The car was processed by the crime lab. In the vehicle, police found a box of buns purchased at Muhly’s Bakery, which was located in the Hecht company store in Edmondson Village, along with leaves and twigs. Branches had been caught in the car’s radio antenna. A twig hooked with long piece of grass found on the turn-signal lever. According to Abbie: The Ford Maverick was towed to police for processing, report is very short, just says “Car processed for latent prints with negative results and if pictures are needed two days advance notice is required.”
    • County police say that no unaccountable fingerprints turned up in the car. Except for the umbrella and a twig hooked with a long piece of grass on the turn signal lever, nothing significant was found.
    • Police still don’t know how and where Cahty was abducted or how her car, its wheels muddy, was returned to her neighborhood.
  • Baltimore Sun: City Police Search For Missing Nun, 26. Cathy was described as 5 feet, 5 inches tall, 115 pounds with green eyes, blonde hair and fair complexion. She was wearing an aqua coat, navy blue suit, yellow sweater and black shoes. Baltimore Sun front page. Baltimore Sun's Map incorrectly identifies the location of Cathy's abandoned car.
  • Ed and Margaret pick up their daughter from the hospital.
  • Ed and Margaret watch the evening news about Cathy's disappearance. Ed laughs and says that Cathy will be covered in snow by the time they find her. Ed is smirking and laughing. Shortly afterwards, Ed bought new tires they could not afford and didn't need.
Monday, November 10, 1969
  • Police continued to check tips and leads but don’t resume large-scale searches. Captain John C. Barnhold Jr., head of the city’s homicide squad, said there was “no evidence of foul play” in Sister Cesnik’s disappearance. “We could find no evidence of violence of any kind,” Barnhold said.
  • Photo of Cathy's father and "a friend outside Cathy's apartment on November 10.
  • The man assigned to investigate Cesnik’s disappearance was Nick Giangrasso, a 28-year-old homicide detective who had worked in the Baltimore City Police Department for five years. Giangrasso led the investigation for the three months Cesnik was missing, then had to turn the case over to Baltimore County detectives when her body was found outside the city limits. But Giangrasso, now 72, spent enough time on the case to feel like something suspicious was going on between the police department and the church. “The Catholic Church had a lot of input into the police department,” he said. “A lot of power." He said it was clear to him from the fact that her car had been deposited back at her apartment complex without any signs of struggle that she had not been the victim of a random robbery or assault. “It looked too clean,” he said. “It had to be somebody who knew her.”
  • The first person of interest in Giangrasso’s investigation was Gerard Koob, a Jesuit priest. Koob was one of the priests Cesnik’s roommate had called when she realized Cathy had not returned from her shopping trip, and he had been the one to call police to report Cesnik missing.
    • The police brought Koob in for questioning, but he had an alibi for the night that Cesnik disappeared. He and a fellow priest had gone to dinner in downtown Baltimore and watched “Easy Rider” at a movie theater afterward. He produced receipts and ticket stubs and passed two lie detector tests. According to Abbie: "Father Koob and Brother McKeon were given lie detectors tests, both of which showed no deception/were negative."
    • Giangrasso had a gut feeling that Cesnik had been murdered by someone with ties to the church. “I personally thought it was in-house, within her social network — the priests and the religious order,” he said. Giangrasso interviewed half a dozen priests who knew Cesnik as his investigation continued, and there was one in particular whose name kept coming up: Father Maskell, who worked with Cesnik at Keough. Giangrasso said he tried to interview Maskell a number of times about Cesnik’s disappearance, but the priest always managed to elude him. “He was always busy and never available,” Giangrasso said. “It got to the point that Maskell was the number one guy we wanted to talk to, but we never got a chance.”
    • In Baltimore in 1969, Giangrasso said, it was very difficult, if not impossible, to investigate a Catholic priest for any crime. Maskell in particular was a difficult target. At the time, he served as the chaplain for the Baltimore County police, the Maryland State Police and the Maryland National Guard. Maskell kept a police scanner and loaded handgun in his car, drank beer with the officers at a local dive bar, and often went on “ride-alongs” with his police friends at night to respond to petty crimes or catch teenagers making out in their cars.
    • Bob Fisher, the owner of an automotive repair shop in southwest Baltimore where Maskell took his car on his days off, remembers the priest boasting about his police privileges to anyone who would listen. “He’d say, ‘I’d hear something on the scanner, and we’d jump in the car and take off, and we’d catch these people!’” said Fisher, 74. “Really wild stories.”
    • Maskell’s older brother, Tommy, was a hero cop who had been shot and injured while trying to stop a robbery. Going after Maskell would mean violating the unwritten rules by which the police operated. “We’re a police family,” Giangrasso said. “The policeman’s involved, his family’s involved, we try to help the guy out. When we found out Maskell’s brother was a lieutenant, we knew we had a problem.”
    • Giangrasso remembers feeling pressure from his superiors to leave Maskell and other members of the clergy alone. “I felt like the church was coming in and interfering, and the chain of command was coming down and checking on us — ‘How much longer are you gonna be playing with this case?’— as if to say, you gotta back off and move on,” he said. The Baltimore City police did not respond to a request for comment.
Tuesday, November 11 , 1969
  • City homicide detectives said they had no reason to believe that Cathy was kidnapped.
  • Joyce Helen Malecki, 20, went missing the evening of Nov. 11. She had left her home in Baltimore to go shopping in Glen Burnie and for a date with a friend stationed at Fort Meade Army base. Police begin searching for Malecki.
  • Approximate/According to Abbie: Police interviewed workers at Edmondson Village. They did not find an employee who recalled selling anything to Sister Cathy. But not all Hechts’ employees were interviewed. We know she was at the shopping center.
Wednesday, November 12, 1969
  • Approximate (From the Huffington Post):
    • On a frigid day in November 1969, Father Joseph Maskell, the chaplain of Archbishop Keough High School in Baltimore, called a student into his office and suggested they go for a drive. When the final bell rang at 2:40 p.m., Jean Hargadon Wehner, a 16-year-old junior at the all-girls Catholic school, followed the priest to the parking lot and climbed into the passenger seat of his light blue Buick Roadmaster.
    • It was not unusual for Maskell to give students rides home or take them to doctor’s appointments during the school day. The burly, charismatic priest, then 30 years old, had been the chief spiritual and psychological counselor at Keough for two years and was well-known in the community. Annual tuition at Keough was just $200, which attracted working-class families in deeply Catholic southwest Baltimore who couldn’t afford to send their daughters to fancier private schools. Many Keough parents had attended Maskell’s Sunday masses. He’d baptized their babies, and they trusted him implicitly.
    • This time, though, Maskell didn’t bring Wehner home. He navigated his car past the Catholic hospital and industrial buildings that surrounded Keough’s campus and drove toward the outskirts of the city. Eventually, he stopped at a garbage dump, far from any homes or businesses. Maskell stepped out of the car, and the blonde, freckled teenager followed him across a vast expanse of dirt toward a dark green dumpster.
    • It was then that she saw the body crumpled on the ground. The week prior, Sister Cathy Cesnik, a popular young nun who taught English and drama at Keough, had vanished while on a Friday-night shopping trip. Students, parents and the local media buzzed about the 26-year-old’s disappearance. People from all over Baltimore County helped the police comb local parks and wooded areas for any sign of her.
    • Wehner immediately recognized the lifeless body as her teacher. “I knew it was her,” she recalled recently. “She wasn’t that far gone that you couldn’t tell it was her.” Cesnik was still clad in her aqua-colored coat, and maggots were crawling on her face. Wehner tried to brush them off with her bare hands. “Help me get these off of her!” she cried, turning to Maskell in a panic. Instead, she says, the priest leaned down behind her and whispered in her ear: “You see what happens when you say bad things about people?” Maskell, Wehner understood, was threatening her. She decided not to tell anyone. “He terrified me to the point that I would never open my mouth,” she recalled.
  • Although the presence of maggots would appear to be unlikely in the usually cold month of November, the autopsy disclosed maggots in Cathy's throat, a detail never made public.
  • Jean said she was taken to Maskell's office, where a man she has not identified said he had beaten Cathy to death because Cathy knew about the sexual abuse, and was going to go to the police. Jean said she was threatened with the same fate if she did not swear eternal silence, and refers to this man as "Brother Bob." Jean said Maskell asked Brother Bob, "Did you take care of it? Is she going to be quiet?" And Brother Bob said, "Yes. She's not going to tell anyone anything." To this day, Jean is terrified by Brother Bob.
  • Malecki’s abandoned, unlocked car was found parked in a lot of a vacant gas station in an area of Odenton called Boom Town. Her car, with the keys still in the ignition, was found by her brother. Her glasses and groceries she had purchased in Glen Burnie were found in the car.
Thursday, November 13, 1969
  • Malecki’s body was found floating in the Little Patuxent River by two deer hunters on the western edge of Soldiers Park, a Fort Meade training area. The FBI and military police immediately closed the site. City police continued to check leads in the disappearance of Sister Cesnik.
Friday, November 14, 1969
  • An autopsy of Malecki’s body revealed that the victim was stabbed and choked and her hands were bound behind her with a cord. She had a number of scratches and bruises indicating a struggle. The cause of her death was either choking or drowning -- further test were needed to determine the cause. Malecki was described as 5 feet, 7 inches tall and 112 pounds. She had brown hair and brown eyes. Baltimore homicide detectives reported that Sister Cesnik was still considered a missing person with no new leads.
  • Approximate: Cathy's sister Marilyn is back in school and a letter from Cathy appears in her mailbox. Marilyn's father instructs her not to open it and to call the police. Marilyn gave the letter to the office and it hasn't been seen since.
  • According to Abbie: By November 14, 1969 Sister Cathy’s father had the envelope from the letter Cathy sent to her sister, postmarked November 8.
Saturday, November 16, 1969
  • Police investigated whether a pair of black high-heeled shoes found near Malecki’s watery grave belonged to Sister Cesnik, who was said to be wearing black shoes at time of her disappearance. “We have no indication that they are Sister Cesnik’s shoes, but we will check it out,” Capt. Barnold said at the time.
Sunday, November 16, 1969
  • Cathy's 27th birthday
December 25, 1969
  • Edgar gives Margaret a necklace for Christmas. The pendant is a wedding bell with Cathy's sister's finance's birth stone. Speculation is that Edgar got this necklace from Cathy when he killed her, and that Cathy had purchased it at Hecht's when she was there (buns.) A jeweler on the The Keepers said it looked custom made. But there are photos on the internet from people claiming they have the same necklace, purchased around the same time, but in Oklahoma. Gemma has said that individuals have sent them other pictures of this necklace. One woman said she had the same necklace but with a different birthstone and that her brother had purchased it at a different Hecht's and given it to her for Christmas. Meaning of Peridot
Friday, January 2, 1970
Saturday, January 3, 1970
  • On a gray Saturday morning, two hunters crossing a snow-crusted field in Lansdowne stumbled on the partly clothed body of a young woman sprawled halfway down an embankment. The only evidence of life was fresh animal tracks.
    • With Baltimore’s daily newspapers on strike, the discovery of Cathy's frozen, mutilated body made barely a ripple compared with the furor over her mysterious disappearance eight weeks earlier.
    • Cathy's partly clad body was found by two hunters, a father and son, in a remote area in Lansdowne in Baltimore County. The body, partially hidden by an embankment and snow covered, was discovered about 100 yards from the 2100 block of Monumental Avenue. Police said it was probable that Cathy had been carried to the area or forced to walk there. (A car could not have been driven from Monumental Avenue to where the body was found.). An autopsy revealed a skull fracture caused by a blow to Cathy's left temple by a blunt instrument. Baltimore County Police take over the homicide investigation, which remains open to this day.
    • After the body was found, Dr. Werner U. Spitz, then deputy chief medical examiner for Maryland, said Sister Catherine had died from a 2-inch circular fracture of the left temple that was inflicted by a heavy with a blunt object, probably a brick. Marks on her neck indicated that she also had been choked.
    • Cesnik had choke marks on her neck and a round hole about the size of a quarter in the back of her skull. An autopsy confirmed she had been killed by a blow from a blunt object, probably a brick or a ball-peen hammer. But no one came forward with information about the murder, and the police never solved it.
    • In his report, the pathologist was unable to say with certainty whether she had been raped, because the lower body had been mutilated by animals. But he noted that “the disarray of the clothing suggests a sexual background to this killing.”
    • Dr. Spitz thinks Sister Catherine was killed somewhere else the night she disappeared and then dumped in the Lansdowne field.
    • The $255.00 ($1,800.00 in 2017 currency) was never found, although her purse -- containing personal articles -- lay near her body, along with several articles of clothing. Her rings and watch had not been removed, which prompted detectives who handled the original case to doubt the robbery motive.
    • That Cesnik’s body was found outside of his jurisdiction, in Baltimore County, where Maskell was chaplain, was no coincidence, Giangrasso thought. Nevertheless, he had to turn the case over to Baltimore County police. The county police never charged anyone.
Timeline III >>
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