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Baffleball

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  1. Hey there Tara, hope you're doing good. I haven't been here in a while :)

  2. So since it's been... forever since I've even been here, or posted anything at all, or even looked at this blog for that matter, I figured I would post something just for the heck of it. (On a side note, I'm going to have to go back through and look at this blog, simply because I have totally forgotten what I've even posted in here O__o) So I've seen quite a bit of the Jan Spears saga (as I'll call it) on Youtube. To be quite honest, I think she's insane and she's evil... but that's what makes her such a neat character. I can't believe some of the lengths she went through to try and make Shawn love her, although considering the fact that she's an obsessed pyscho-woman, it's not overly surprising. And it's really cute how she thinks her Kewpie doll actually speaks to her. In many ways though, I feel bad for Heather Oleson. I mean, I'm sure she tried her best to act the part, and it's not entirely her fault if she can't act too well. I will definitely say I prefer Heather Lindell's acting, but part of me just feels bad for Heather Oleson, that's all. And... I do wonder if Jan will ever be back on the show, someday. That's all I guess... signing off.
  3. French fries Republican or Democrat?
  4. So I watched yet another clip on Youtube, involving Shane and Kim, who have become my favorite couple on Days. It was the clip where they were at London, and made love for the first time. They started kissing, and were just starting to get into it, when Kim hesitated and moved away, saying she wasn't sure about it. But then, Shane told her--for the first time--that he loved her, and she told him that she loved him back. So then... they made love. Now, once again... I'm impressed with the portrayal, and the way it was done in the storyline. I think that, too often today, romance can sometimes seem... forced in a storyline, or more lustful than anything else. Or sometimes, the opposite can be true, where the couple only acts nicey-nicey and it makes it look like love is nothing more than a few sweet words, a hug, and a peck on the cheek, with an occasional all-out smooch. But this portrayal, it was beautiful, and it was perfect. It's like... it showed what true love is really all about. Or maybe what true love should be all about, and what it should be like. Man, I keep finding more and more to praise Days of Our Lives about, heh. Well, at least the episodes that aired in the 1980's--I haven't seen much else to form an opinion yet. But so far, I just gotta say... the storylines are beautiful, and the characters are very well portrayed.
  5. Eh, chocolate I guess. Um, black or white?
  6. Left Behind II, Tribulation Force
  7. I watched another clip on Youtube the other day, one that involved these two. It was a scene where Anna woke up and discovered Tony gone, and had thought he had run out on her after she had poured out her heart to him, so she almost checked out and left the hotel. Then when Tony returned--apparently having just gone out and made some plans--he found out that Anna was leaving, and thought that she was running out on him. But thankfully, they managed to get that miscommunication straightened out, and it looked like their relationship had taken a turn for the better. Overall I thought it was rather humorous in some ways, though at the same time, not so humorous. I mean, it was very realistic, and unfortunately things like that can happen between real people. And yes, I know this is just a television show, but it had occured to me that things might not have been worked out so well, and they could have been angry at each other for a looong time, maybe never discovering the truth or only finding out after it was too late. So overall, it is good that those two got it worked out, apologized, and renewed their relationship. Oh yeah, and another couple I saw a little bit of was... Bo and Billie. Honestly I have not yet seen enough of them to form an opinion, but... Billie seems like such a ditz
  8. Well, I watched a few more YouTube clips of Days of Our Lives. And I saw a few new characters. Now, first of all... I must say that I like Shane and Kim very, very much. They are so sweet, and they're like the PERFECT couple, even though they've obviously had their problems in their relationship, just like any other couple. I also saw a little of Belle and... Shawn, was it? And Belle's miscarriage of Shawn's child. That was so emotional, and so sad. Furthermore, I saw Marlena for the first time, and I would say she is a very sweet woman and a kind mother. I haven't seen much of her yet, however I will say that my first impression was a good one. Although Daysfan and I talked a little about what happened when she was possessed in the series, during the 94-95 era, and from what she described... I think I do not wish to see that for myself, because frankly, things like that creep me out, big time. Anything that deals heavily with the occult, or actual demons... *shudder* Gives me chills. Plus I heard it was very poorly handled in the storyline anyway. Oh yeah, and I also watched the very, very first episode of Days. I'll say this, I'm slowly learning my way around the series, and I'm slowly figuring out who everyone is and what their names are. Anyway, one thing I found particularly likeable in the first episode was Julie Horton. Man, that girl was SUCH a spoiled brat in that episode, and in the following one... has no respect whatsoever for her elders. And yet somehow... she was just such a loveable character, in my opinion. I think I would like to see more of her, and... see how she grows up, hehe. Anyway, so far, I would have to say that my most favorite characters are Kim and Shane, simply because they are so wonderful together and they're a beautiful couple, and I also like Julie Horton, although I haven't seen much of her yet. So yeah, I think that is enough for this blog entry, heh. Signing off >.>
  9. So I watched a couple more clips on Youtube from Days of Our Lives. Honestly, these days, YouTube is my main source, whenever I want to look up a TV show or something. Well, I watched Shane and Kim's first date. This is the first time I've really seen the couple, and... I think they're charming. Kim has spunk, I'd say, and she's not afraid to voice her opinion, and when she doesn't like something or doesn't want to do something, she says so, clearly. She also has a heart, and seems like a sweet woman. And Shane, well... first off I'll say he's cute, LOL. Very good-looking. But yeah, anyway, I think he's a tad bit pushy sometimes, but he's very patient, he's very encouraging, and all throughout the episode I saw, he treated Kim like she was a queen. It shows genuine affection, and it shows he cares. Frankly... I wish I could see more couples getting along like they do. I mean, it would be nice if people in the real world could interact as well as them. When I started watching this episode, somehow I had a feeling that Shane would still get her to go horse-back riding, even though she kept insisting she wouldn't do it. I mean, he seems like a person who knows her very well, and he probably had everything planned out to the letter, including how she would react, and how he would talk her into going. But I can also tell it wasn't done out of selfishness... I think he was just trying to help her get over her fear of horse-back riding. He didn't push her or force her or anything, he just talked her into it, and then he was very encouarging when helping her get on the horse, even when they had a little miscommunication over which foot she was supposed to give him, heh. Then later, after they were finished horse-back riding and got back to her home, she was aching all over. He tells her what she needs is a hot bath, and that he's got just the thing to help with her aches and pains. She says he is NOT going into her bathroom, but... somehow, I sorta knew he would end up doing it anyway. In the next scene, she is in the bathtub, enjoying a hot bath, and then... Shane walks in, with his hand over his eyes. I'll admit I was a little "OH MY GOSH!" when he walked right in on her like that, but like I said, I kinda figured he was going too, heh. I thought that the way he kept his hand over his eyes was very gentleman-like. Overall, I think it was a very sweet episode, and they make an adorable couple. Both are charming, both are considerate, and... they're both hilarious together.
  10. Okay well... I am taking a break from that original fic series I was working on, partly because I have a bit of writer's block with it, but also because I spent so much time working on it yesterday it gave me a headache, LOL. Plus... I think it's getting a little ridiculous in some ways anyway. *snort* Anyway, the main purpose of this entry is I wanted to ask if anyone had any good recommendations for some good Days of Our Lives episodes. Like... which episodes were your favorite, and why? And which era did you like best? The 80's, 90's, or when? Personally.... from what little I have seen so far, I think I might like the 80's, although I tend to prefer TV shows from around that era anyway, because I like the way they were written. So far I have only seen the 1987 Christmas episode of Days of Our Lives, but... I think I might like to see more from that era as well. So anyway... like I said, I just wanted to ask for opinions and recommendations from other Days fans
  11. A/N Okay apparently I'm on a ROLL today, heh... third episode I've put up today O.o Anyway I hope this didn't turn out too bad or anything... it might be a bit sloppy or rushed in a way, but I sorta wanted to summerize what happened over a specific period of time. Anyway, thanks again, Daysfan, for your ideas and for helping! ------ A week had passed, and Melissa was rapidly getting used to a new daily routine, where she would receive an assignment, then go and gather whatever interviews or information she needed, then she would write the report and hand it in to Ms. Chiara. And everyone was overall pleased with her work, and Kitty was indeed a very helpful person... in more ways than one. Kitty often helped Melissa to improve her spelling and grammer, even going to great lengths to proof-read each sentence, and tell her how she could organze the wording better so that readers would not get confused, and Melissa also better learned how to maintain the readers interest by carefully choosing how she stated things, and in what order she stated them. But Melissa found herself valuing her friendship with Kitty in another way as well. All her life, Melissa had not had many friends... in fact, she had always been a loner, but she had never really been good at making, or keeping, friends. But with Kitty, things were different. She found herself being open and honest to Kitty like she hadn't anyone else... at least, not anyone outside her own family, or perhaps church. They had practically echanged their lifestories. And Melissa found this friendship to be soothing in a way... and she somehow found herself thinking less and less about her father's death. Then came the day when Kitty invited her to the Lewis Mansion, to meet some of her friends, and show her what she called a "Special Secret", also known as the "SS". Kitty showed her the room upstairs in the mansion, where the Lewis sisters, as well as their friends, hung out. Needless to say, Melissa felt honored and truly flattered--she had NEVER been treated this way before, especially people who seemed so... well, cool, and sophisticated. Somehow, these seemed to be the type of people her parents tended to avoid, and wanted her to avoid as well, but... now that she was among them, she could not imagine why anyone would not want to be one of them. They had everything. They had a nice room full of the very best things--almost every luxery imaginable. They had music of all kinds, games, movies, DVDs... almost anything you wanted to do or see, they either had it, or they could easily get it very quickly. Not only that, but Melissa found them to be excellent company. She found that they, like Kitty, would listen to her as she talked about herself, some of the rough spells in her life that she realized she hadn't fully gotten over... and soon enough, she found herself pouring out her heart to them more and more, even going so far as to tell them secrets, things she had done as a child that not even her parents knew about, things that she had never told anyone else. Somehow... it just seemed so right to confide in these people, that they were okay to talk to, and sometimes, they even confided in her. However, Melissa noticed that things seemed to be... changing, somehow. She knew that her perspective on things had certainly changed. She was still pretty much a Christian, but she felt like God really didn't have a place in her life anymore. After all, why did she need a deity, anyway? She now had the best friends in the world, and they didn't seem to need God. In fact... they were so successful in nearly everything they did, they were cool, they were popular, that it seemed like God was just an obstacle, something that just got in the way of everything that made one successful or popular. As far as Melissa was concerned, God either had to do things HER way, or... maybe He wasn't worth following at all. Though other things seemed to change... like, for one thing, she seemed to grow distant from her mother. Her mom was doing better these days, although for some reason, Melissa found herself frequently annoyed and frustrated by her, to the point where she practically stamped out of the room if her mother said something she didn't like. And it seemed like the smallest little things could make her angry with her mother... deep down, she wondered what the problem was. Her mother didn't seem to have changed at all... she was the exact same, hard-working person she had always been. But Melissa... well, she knew she had changed, but it seemed like all the changes were good for her, and for the best. So... what was the problem? However she found that she didn't need to think about it all that much, because she could just retreat to the Lewis Mansion, go to the SS, complain about her irks and dislikes about her mother and family in general, and it seemed like her friends were always good listeners. However as the weeks rolled by, she found that sometimes Daphne would give her a *look* when she started complaining too much, and would sometimes, rather vocally, change the subject, or put on a movie and insist everyone stay quiet and watch it. Vivian would sometimes listen to Melissa when she wanted to vent, but would often gently steer the conversation in another direction, or would sometimes snap at Melissa and tell her to stop going on and on about things. Melissa would then apologize profusely, and practically grovel, at which Vivian would preen and tell her it was alright. However, Melissa never could take the hint that she was really starting to get on their nerves with her constant complaining about... everything, really. Somehow, Melissa found it rather... comforting, to rant about the same things over and over again, as though it would make things better for her, or change the things she disliked so much about her life or her past, or whatever. However, her friends made the habit of either changing the subject, or getting occupied by putting on a movie or turning up the music LOUD, (until Mr. Lewis ordered them to turn it down) or, in the case of Justin, just leaving the room. They never bothered to tell her directly that how she acted sometimes bothered them so much, so she always assumed that they were always ready and willing to listen to her vent. Melissa didn't even realize how bad her attitude was becoming, although her mother noticed... however, from Melissa's perspective, her attitude wasn't the problem, it was how her mother was. It had almost gotten to the point where Melissa didn't even speak to her mother anymore, and her mom endured her daughter's cold shoulder, and newfound snobbery, by focusing on her daily chores around the house, and her job. Then one day, after Melissa had been hanging out at the SS for about four months... out of the blue, she got a new offer, something she never thought she would recieve. It happened when she was on her way home from work one day, having completed an article about how the general population in the town seemed to enjoy growing chrysamthemums in their flower gardens this year, more than any other. It had actually been a rather exhausting article to write, because it had required gathering a lot of information, and interviewing several of the local townsfolk who had some of the more impressive gardens. She was fully prepared to go the Lewis Mansion, where she could spill her guys about how hard her day was and hopefully get some sympathy... something which she was rather used to getting from them. (Little did she know that sometimes they were just giving it to her in order to shut her up.) However, on this brisk, early-April morning, she encountered someone on the sidewalk, someone who introduced himself as Adam Carak. "Hey there, Melissa," he greeted her, starting their conversation, raising his hand to "tip" his imaginary hat. "It is Melissa, isn't it?" "Yes," Melissa said, looking at him with puzzlement. "Who're you?" "I'm Adam Carak, and I own the Jekk Dinner Theatre in the middle of town. I assume you've seen it?" "Yeah... I think I have," Melissa said, furrowing her brow. "Why?" "Because I would like to offer you a part in one of my plays," he said. "I've seen you around, and I think you would be perfect for it." "You want me to star in a play?" Melissa echoed, blinking. She wasn't sure how to feel about the offer, although she felt somewhere between puzzled and flattered. "What kind of play?" "Oh it's set during World War 2, only with a few creative twists," he said. "Listen, if you're interested, contact me" he added, and handed her a slip of people with a cell phone number on it. "Now I have other potential actors to talk too, so I need to scurry along. T-T-F-N!" With that, he seemed to "tip" his imaginary hat again, and then he was off. Melissa stared after him for a moment, then turned and hurried toward the Lewis Mansion. ----------------- "...So I think I might do it!" Melissa said excitedly, looking around at her friends in the SS. Her friends, for once, seemed to be more attentive toward what she was saying, unlike she was when she was venting on and on and needed their sympathy. However, she was delighted to have their full attention, and that she seemed to have their interest. "Wow," Daphne said, and chuckled softly. "I've performed at that theatre myself, you know," she said, and her eyes seemed to glaze over slightly, as though she were traveling back in time. "Vivian and I--heck, all of us--used to perform in a series of plays. I remember Chiara used to enjoy those plays... hell that's kind of how Kitty got her job as an assistent editor, because she helped write at least one of the scripts for the play. And it was a packed house that evening, and everyone loved it!" "That's our Kitty!" Vivian beamed. "Melissa, I think you should take the job. You'd be great at it." "I think I will, too!" Melissa exclaimed. "I've always wanted to be up on stage." They chit-chatted for a little while about the Jekk Dinner Theatre, and compared stories about various plays and acts they had done on the stage. Then eventually, the subject of conversation moved on to other things. "So I had sort of a rough day today," Daphne said. "The wheel on my motercycle had a flat. Good thing I noticed, too, because I could have gotten into an accident if I hadn't." "Oh, I had a rough day, too," Melissa said, predictably pouncing on the first chance to rant about how awful her day was as well. During the next twenty minutes, the conversation in the room became a contest over who got more attention--Melissa with her story about how hard it was to write an article about flowers, or Daphne's story about "narrowly escaping death" by having discovered, "just in time", that the tire on her moterbike was flat. After the conversation was well-engaged, and everyone was either pre-occupied with music or the current movie that was playing, or at least offering false sympathy, Justin got up and left the room. "Where're you going?" Kitty called out, speaking for the first time in minutes, but Justin slammed the door shut without even looking back. "He's been like that, lately," Sebby shrugged, as though it didn't matter much. "Yeah, he'll be back," Daphne said. "Alright, dearies, can we please keep it down?" Vivian cut in in a sweet tone of voice, pointing at the TV screen. "I mean, this is my favorite part!" Daphne, as well as the others, fell silent, although Melissa tried to continue her general "venting", but was immediately shushed, so she fell silent as well. For the rest of the evening, they pretty much stayed quiet, except for some general chatter here and there. But after the movie was finished, Melissa bid her friends a fond farewell, then departed for home. On the way home, she took out her cell phone and called up Adam Carak, to let him know she accepted the job offer. "Wonderful!" came his cheerful reply. "Be at the Theatre around 9:00 AM tomorrow morning, and we'll discuss your role in the play. Oh and it'll give you a chance to meet the other actors as well." "Alrighty," Melissa answered. "See you then."
  12. A/N Thanks again to Daysfan for helping. Enjoy! The Lewis Mansion somehow appeared even larger, and quieter, now that there wasn't a Town Party going on. Plus it seemed that all traces of the party had been cleaned up, or moved. Kitty lead the way as she and Melissa walked through the large Banquet Hall, where the party had taken place three days ago. Their footsteps seemed to echo against the glistening marble floor, as they made their way toward Mr. Lewis's office, located just off to the right of the Hall. They passed by the banquet tables, which were now empty, and had their silky tableclothes changed. They looked like they were ready for another event, perhaps one that would take place very soon. Other than those tables, and the paintings and portraits that hung on the walls, and the lovely chandalier that hung from the ceiling, the room was quite empty. In fact, with the floor so spotless that one could see one's own reflection, and the general squeaky cleanness of the rest of the Hall, it looked more like a museum, or perhaps a brand new place that was for sale, rather than a place where the Christmas Town Party had been held merely days earlier. When the two young women arrived outside Mr. Lewis's office, Kitty stopped, and said, "You go on in. I'll wait out here." Melissa looked at her, puzzled. "I thought you were coming in with me," she said. "I said I would meet you here, and I agreed to walk to you his office," Kitty replied, "but you need to see him for yourself. Go on, you'll be fine," she said assuringly. "You'll get to see what a wonderful man he is." She stood to one side of Mr. Lewis's office door, and made a swooping gesture with her arms, almost as though she were showing off the way to see historic landmark. "Alright," Melissa said, and began to move past her. "Wish me luck." "I already have," Kitty winked, then slipped off. Melissa watched her go, then she took a deep breath and slipped into the room. ----------------- Kitty made her way upstairs, to a room that few knew about, and even fewer were allowed inside. It was a comfortable room that was fair-sized, had a rather large sofa, a complete TV/DVD/VCR setup, and a computer. In other words, just about every luxery that could possibly be put into one room... well, this room had it. It had been made special for the Lewis daughters, as a gift to them, and they made the room their own. It was truly a place where one could be comfortable and entertained for hours and hours, with several different forms of entertainment. Kitty opened the door without knocking, and was a little startled when Daphne rushed toward her. "Careful!" Daphne exclaimed, and then Kitty realized what caused her to react so. There was a brand new boom box in the room, right next to the door, and she had almost slammed into it upon entering. "Give me a hand with this," Daphne said, and Justin Lipton came to her aide. With some effort, they both managed to move the enormous radio unit so it was safely out of range of being slammed by the opening door. Kitty shook her head as she shut the door behind her. "If you guys bring anymore of this... *stuff* in here, we're not gonna have any more room to hang out in here," she said jovially. Daphne gave her a look, although her expression was also one of mild amusement. "You know you like having this stuff as much as we do," she said blandly. "Besides," she added with a smirk, "we can afford all this, so... why shouldn't we take advantage of it, and live a little?" Kitty's only response was to grin, and shrug in a "You've got a point, of course" way, and then she went to sit down on the end of the sofa. It looked like everyone was there. Justin had taken his usual spot at the other end of the couch, beside Tony Vuel and Stephen (Sebby) Sebbers. Vivian appeared engrossed with a magazine, and was standing near the television, although she did smile and greet Kitty once she noticed her. Everyone in this room had been friends for quite some time, and they loved to hang out in this room in order to talk about things, such as their jobs or even to complain about how much their families sucked sometimes. But most of all, they enjoyed the various forms of entertainment and amusement that were at their disposal here in this special room. It was like... a place where they could escape from the outside world, whenever they needed too. Or just when they wanted too, as well. "So, what's up?" Tony asked. "Melissa Howel has come here to interview Mr. Lewis," Kitty announced. Heads turned in her direction. "Oh?" Daphne said. Even Vivian had put down her magazine, and joined the others at the couch. They were all seated now, and the couch was just barely large enough to hold them all. "I heard about her... she's the daughter of Greg Howel," Daphne murmured. "He had a heart-attack right in the middle of the Christmas Party, and... well, my dad said it ruined the mood, and the party didn't make anywhere near as much money because of it." She shook her head, and snorted softly. "I think I overheard my dad mumbling something about... how he wished that if someone had to die, they could do it at home rather than in his mansion, because it ruins everything." Kitty shifted slightly. "I... happen to know that Melissa is a sweet girl," she said. "She's grieving over the loss of her father, and frankly... if she heard you saying something like that, I don't know how she would react." Daphne shrugged. "What does it matter? My dad's always muttering things like that, and if she's here to interview him, she'd better get used to it fast. I mean, he's always very charming whenever he meets someone face to face for the first time, but after a while, what's undernearth his charm always pokes through." She leaned back on the sofa, and stretched her arms over her head. "Besides, this is our room... no one ever comes in here. I can say whatever I want." "That's just the thing," Kitty said. "I think we should invite Melissa to come here." Daphne raised her eyebrows, almost as though someone had told her there was a spider crawling on her shoulder. "Invite her to come here?" she repeated. "But... her family just moved here, and... she's just some reporter person, isn't she?" "I work for the local newspaper, as an assistent editor," Kitty reminded her. "And you've written articles for the paper yourself. I think you might like her... you both like to write, and I think you might have more in common with her than you think. Who knows?" "Maybe we could let her here," Vivian chimed in. "I mean, if you think she's okay, Kitty, then I say okay! I know you wouldn't suggest we let anyone uncool in here." "Well... alright," Daphne said, with a shrug. "It wouldn't hurt anything, especially if you say she's okay, Kitty." "Are we going to watch that new movie, or not?" Sebby interjected. Tony grinned. "Apparently it's rated R," he said, almost mischieviously. "So... be prepared." "Ha, Justin had better be prepared!" Daphne chuckled, glancing over in his direction. "That last movie we watched, where the vampire's head got cut off and blood spurted everywhere, I thought he was going to start screaming like a little girl!" "Oh shut up," Justin said in response. "If I remember correctly, we almost had to peel Kitty off the ceiling." "Don't you go picking on our Kitty, now!" Vivian said, in that firm but almost playful tone she used when she was trying to play peacemaker, and to keep things from getting out of hand. "Now come on, just stick the movie in, and let's watch it." "Righto!" Sebby said, and grabbed the DVD, then walked over to put it in the machine to play it. --------------------- The interview with Mr. Lewis went pretty well, all things considered. Although for some reason, Melissa couldn't shake this uneasy feeling when she was talking to him. He seemed... charming, and he had manners, but at the same time, there was something about the way he talked that made her feel like she was speaking to a snake. However, when he answered her questions and talked about what happened at the party in general, he showed no malice, he merely said that it was "unfortunate that such a tragic event had to take place on Christmas day, during a Town Party, of all places and times." And he appeared genuinely saddened... unlike he had three days ago, when she had overheard him sounding as though he were offended. Maybe... it was just stress, or something, she thought, with a mental shrug. She wasn't sure how else to explain it... he certainly didn't *seem* like a snake, and she still remembered what Kitty said, about how once you got to know him, he wasn't so bad. Perhaps... it was possible to get off on the wrong foot with someone, and to misjudge them. After all, everyone said stupid things sometimes, didn't they? And someone as rich and powerful as Mr. Lewis probably had a lot of things on his plate, so it was probably no wonder he said stupid things sometimes. Finally, she thanked Mr. Lewis, and left the office. Now all she needed to do was write down the events of the party from her own point of view, then include it with the interview, and she would have a story to put on Ms. Chiara's desk. "I guess I'm going home for now, then," she murmured to herself. She glanced about as she entered the Banquet Hall again, hoping to see Kitty, but she could not spot her anywhere. So after a couple of minutes, she shrugged, then headed toward the door, and showed herself out. Even as she walked toward her family's home, she frowned slightly, because... somehow she could not shake this feeling that something else was going to happen in her life... and soon.
  13. A/N Again I want to thank Daysfan for her encouragement, for being an idea bouncer, and for helping me write this And now, the next chapter of my original fic series (which I am totally enjoying writing) -------------- Melissa sat on the edge of her bed in her room, clasping her hands together, knitting her fingers together. She leaned forward slightly, her elbows on her knees, and rested her chin atop her folded hands. She had just recieved news from the hospital. Her father had suffered a massive heart-attack, and even though the medics who came to his aide at the Town Christmas Party were able to stabilize him, and even though it looked promising... he died just a few hours after he arrived at the hospital. The doctors had done everything they could, but it just wasn't enough. The damage had been just to great. Melissa felt numb inside, as she replayed the events in her mind. There was nothing she could have done, and yet as she pondered the events, and thought over every little detail over and over again, she couldn't help but wonder if there was *something* she could have done. Something which would have helped save her father. "Maybe if I hadn't been so pre-occupied with the Lewis girls, and wondering what it would be like to be with them," she muttered under her breath. "I-I might've noticed something... I WAS standing right next to him, after all..." Her voice sounded shaky even to her own ears. She straightened, unfolding her hands and allowing her arms to go limp at her sides. She drew in a breath, only when she tried to release it, it became a sob. Tears flowed freely down her face as she collasped on her bed, burying her face into her pillow. She never liked to cry in front of anyone, especially her family. But now, in the privacy of her own room, the tears flowed freely, and the sobs erupted from her throat, as all that pent-up emotion was permitted to run free in a combination of soft wails and drops of water. However, the sounds of her cries were muffled due to the fact that her face was pressed into the pillow, and she preferred it this way. She hated people seeing or hearing her cry. Dad.... she thought, anguished. How could he possibly be gone, just like that?! This was just too much for her to bear, too quickly. Her family had just barely moved to Knights Town, and they were just starting off their lives here... and it was Christmas Day! NOTHING terrible could EVER happen on Christmas day, especially not something so tragic. HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN TO HER, HOW COULD THIS HAPPEN SO SUDDENLY?! HOW COULD HER LIFE CHANGE IN JUST A FEW HOURS?!?!?! Her sobs intensified as she silently continued to ask these questions, almost prayerfully, her heart crying out for an answer, any answer. But none came to her--it was like God wasn't even there. Her heart pleaded for an answer, or some kind of acknowledgement to her deep loss, and to her pain... but there was nothing. Apparently God wasn't even there right now, and He didn't even care. She and her parents had always been Christians... so why would God let this happen? Had He left? Was it that He didn't care anymore? Or maybe He never was there, maybe He never did care... She turned over in her bed, onto her back, so she could stare up at the ceiling. Her face felt hot, her eyes ached and her vision was blurred from crying. "You're there, aren't you?" she whispered--at least she thought she had spoken, but she couldn't even hear her own voice now. However, she did feel her lips moving, as she continued. "God, tell me you're here... give me SOME sign that you're here, and you still care. Tell me there's... a reason for this, that you still have a purpose for my life, even though you let this happen." She stopped, and continued to stare up at the ceiling. Her vision was slowly clearing now, and she could see the light that hung from the middle of the ceiling, as well as the places where the paint was starting to flake away. She lay there silently for several minutes... or was it just a few seconds, or an hour? She was no longer aware of passing time, she was simply lying there, staring upward, waiting for something or other. What am I waiting for? she thought, blinking her eyelids. What exactly did she expect to see, anyway? A flicker of light in the ceiling? Or maybe a crack to form and cause the room to cave in on top of her? She gritted her teeth, then sat up, swinging her legs over the side of the bed. This was silly. What was she expecting to accomplish, anyway? She sighed deeply, and leaned forward again, resting her elbows on her knees, then clasped her hands together and rested her chin on top of them. She was now back in the exact same sitting position she had been before she had started crying. And with the exception of her puffy eyes, which she could see in her reflection in the little mirror on her jewelry box, she might not have been crying at all. Melissa grimaced. She was having a hard time breathing through her nose, because it had been stopped with mucus, and she didn't have any tissues. So she attempted to wipe it on the edge of her sleeve, not even caring that she was getting it dirty. There was one reason why she'd always hated crying, and it was simply because her always plugged up her nose, even if she only cried for a very short time. Her mind, again, went back and replayed the events that had happened at Mr. Lewis's mansion, at the Town Christmas Party. Her brother shouting for someone to call an ambulance, and someone whipping out their cell phone to do just that. Everyone forming a circle around her father, as he lay there almost lifelessly on the floor... her mother nearly in tears. She also vaguely remembered seeing Mr. Lewis standing nearby, wearing an expression on his features that she could not place, although it didn't seem to be one of sadness or concern. In fact, if anything... now that she thought about it, it actually looked... hostile? She narrowed her eyes, focusing on the memory for a moment. She remembered he had turned away, but not before muttering something aloud... something like... "How could someone have a heart-attack HERE, at this party, on Christmas Day! Really!" Melissa gulped. Her heart turned to ice as she remembered those words, and it was like she had heard them for the first time, and they were amplified. However, before she could ponder the thought further, a knock on the door shattered her train of thought. She straightened, and a small gasp escaped her lips. "J-just a minute!" she exclaimed, and wiped her eyes on her sleeves--she didn't want anyone to know she had been crying, not even her mother. And she figured it was probably her mother at the door, checking on her. Finally she stood up, smoothed her clothes, then faced the door, forcing an expression of serenity on her features. "Come in," she called out. The door opened. It was indeed her mother, and her face bore tear stains, as though she had just finished crying. "Honey, are you alright?" she asked gently. "Yeah, just dandy," Melissa muttered, although she heard the tremble in her voice. "How are you doing?" Her mom came into the room and wrapped her arms around Melissa, embracing her tightly. "Oh, Baby... I'm not okay," she said, and drew in a shakey breath. "But I will be... I will be in time." She remained motionless for a moment, and tightened her embrace on her daughter, as though drawing support and strength from Melissa. Melissa relaxed and melted into her mother's arms, returning the hug as affectionally and empathically as she was recieving it. Finally, her mother pulled away, and placed her hands on Melissa's shoulders, holding her daughter at arm's length and looking straight into her eyes. "Your father was so proud of you," she said. "And he would still be, if he were here." Melissa pressed her lips together in a thin line, feeling emotion stir within her chest. She *wouldn't* cry in front of her mother. She just wouldn't. Right at that moment, Melissa caught a slight movement out of the corner of her eye. Someone had just peeked into the room, then backed out again--someone was apparently waiting just outside the door! "Who's out there?" Melissa asked her mother quietly, staring toward the door. "Oh, yes," her mother side, and seemed to compose herself. "You have a guest," she said. "I just wanted to make sure you were up for the company, before I let her in. But... perhaps I also needed to hug my daughter," she added, her voice thick of emotion. Melissa smiled. "Anytime, Mom." Her mother returned the smile. "Well, I'll leave you with your guest, now," she said. She turned toward the door, and said, "Alright, you can come in now!" With that, she left, just as the guest came in. It was a girl around Melissa's age, though maybe a couple of years younger. She had short black hair, and a pretty, roundish face, and friendly dark brown eyes. She was dressed in a pair of blue jeans with a green T-shirt. "Hello, you must be Melissa Howel," she said. "I'm Katherine Fisher, the assistent editor at the Knights Daily Times, although most people just call me Kitty." Melissa blinked. The Knights Daily Times was the paper where she'd published her first article. She felt her throat constrict at the mere thought of it--she had been so, so happy this morning, when she had proudly shown her father her published article on the front page. That moment had felt like one of the happiest moments of her life, and it seemed like things could only get better from there. "I'm sorry, it seems like I may have caught you at a bad time," Kitty said, her mildly pleasent expression changing to one of concern and sympathy. "You look like you have been crying." "Nah," Melissa said immediately, wiping at the corner of her eye instinctively. However, there was something about the way Kitty looked at her made her just want to tell the truth. "Well, I guess I have... a little." Kitty nodded in an understanding manner. "If you want, I can come back later." "Nah," Melissa said again. She gestured toward her bed. "Sit down." They both sat down on the edge of the bed. Melissa folded her hands on her lap and glanced sideways at Kitty, who pulled a notebook out of her pocket and flipped through it. She seemed to make a little note of something or other, then she slipped the notebook and pencil back into her pocket. "So, what's this all about?" Melissa asked, in what she hoped was an even tone of voice. Kitty folded her hands in her lap, in what seemed to be a rough imitation of Melissa's current posture, and seemed to be all business. And yet at the same time, she was somehow rather friendly and pleasent about it, in the way she talked. It was almost as though they were matter-of-factly discussing something important, but at the same time, they could have been talking about the last movie they had watched at the local theatre. "Well," Kitty began, "that article you wrote for the paper was well-recieved by the public, and plenty of people seemed to like it. And," she added with a smile, "I'll say that I was rather impressed by it myself. The creation vs. evolution issue has always been a touchy subject, but you were fair on both sides, pointing how each point of view had valid points. And although you made it clear that you favor the creation theory over evolution, you didn't allow your personal beliefs or opinions to bias what you wrote about evolution." She nodded, looking thoughtful. "It's hard to find someone who writes the facts, without being biased." "Well... thanks," Melissa said, feeling the corners of her lips forming into a small smile. "I... try to be fair." "And that's why Ms. Chiara sent me here, to talk to you," Kitty said. "She would like you to work for the paper on a regular basis, and get the inside scoop whenever something newsworthy happens. She said that someone like you would write the truth." "I..." Melissa stammered, absorbing the news. "I just... wow..." She released a breath that was the cross between of a chuckle and almost a sigh. "This is so sudden." "Just think about it, and give me your answer soon," Kitty said. "Maybe in a couple of days, at the latest. But we really want you on the newspaper staff. Also," she added, "I noticed you sometimes have trouble with spelling and grammer... I just wanted to say that if you need any help in the future, I'm here for you. As the assistent editor, it's my job to make sure everything looks alright in the papers, and I can certainly give you a few tips on spelling, and how to organze sentence structures." "That's... that's a very nice offer," Melissa said genuinely. "I appreciate it." "No problem," Kitty said, rising. "Okay, well, I need to get back to the office... but here's how you can get in touch with Chiara," she said, handing Melissa a piece of paper with a number scribbled on it. "Oh, and..." She handed over another piece of paper. "Here's my cell phone number, if you ever... want to get in touch with me." "Alright," Melissa said, "thanks." Kitty nodded, then turned and headed for the door. She stopped just outside, and turned back to look at Melissa, and added, "Oh and... if you ever need to... you know, talk or anything... you can call me." She smiled, then departed. ------------------------- Two days later, after considering all of the pros and cons, and after talking it over with her mother, Melissa called Ms. Chiara and told her that she'd accepted the job. Chiara was quite pleased and enthused by this news, and said she was happy to have Melissa on the newspaper staff. But when Melissa went to the office to finalize everything, and when she recieved her first official assignement for the newspaper... her heart sank into her toes. "You're kidding," she blurted, hoping that this might have been a joke, or that she had heard wrong. "No I am not," Chiara said cheerfully, seemingly oblivious to Melissa's shocked reaction. "You would be the perfect person to cover this story, because you were there. So I want you to go there and get the interview, and write down what happened from your own point of view. Have the article on my desk by 7:30 tonight. Now, get going!" With that, she turned her attention to shuffling through the mess of papers on her desk, and seemed to forget that Melissa was even in the room. After Melissa left the office, she withdrew her cell phone from her pocket and dialed up Kitty's number. When Kitty heard the news that Melissa had accepted the job, she sounded very happy. "I knew you would!" Kitty exclaimed. "Oh you're going to be awesome, I just know it!" "Yeah, I guess," Melissa said, deadpan. A short silence followed. "Melissa, um, what's the matter?" Kitty asked, puzzled. "I thought you'd be happy--" "I just got my first assignment," Melissa said hastily. "I'm supposed to go to the Lewis Mansion and interview Mr. Lewis on what happened at the Christmas Party, and I'm also supposed to write about how my dad's heart attack crashed the party, from my own point of view." Another short silence followed. "Um... I see," Kitty finally said. "Wow." She was silent again for a few seconds. "Okay look... maybe I could go with you. I mean, I'm a good friend of Vivian and Daphne, and I know Mr. Lewis pretty well. And listen, Melissa, Mr. Lewis is... kind of rough around the edges, and maybe he's even a bit harsh sometimes, but he's a good, decent man, and a caring person. Once you get to know him, he's not all that bad." Melissa frowned. For some reason, a warning whistle seemed to be going off inside her mind. It was as though a voice, deep down, was telling her, "Don't believe a word she says--remember what your father warned you, and remember what Mr. Lewis said at the party." She narrowed her eyes, her fingers gripping tightly around the cell phone as she held it closer to her ear. She still remembered Lewis's words, where he sounded offended that her father had had a heart-attack at his party, as though it was some personal insult aimed at him. But at the same time, she felt like... maybe what Kitty said made sense. Maybe if she just got to know the Lewis's, before she tried to judge them... maybe they wouldn't seem so bad. "Okay," she finally answered, and nodded, even though she knew Kitty couldn't see the gesture. "Great!" Kitty said. "Okay, I'll meet you outside the Lewis Mansion in half an hour. And," she added chipperly, "don't worry. Like I said, once you get to know them, I'm sure you'll see they're alright. Talk to you soon, bye!" Then the connection closed. Melissa shut off her cell phone and stuck it back in the pocket of her britches. She blinked, and left the building, feeling almost like a zombie. In half an hour, she was going to meet Mr. Lewis face to face. Kitty's words echoed within her mind, and seemed to make perfect sense... but why did she also have a bad feeling about this?
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