View Full Version : Alice: A Loser's Life - Chapter 5 is now up!
28th Jun 2010, 2:05 AM
This is the story of Alice and Kev. You may have heard of them from the wonderful story that Robin Burkinshaw told on his blog at aliceandkev.wordpress.com (http://aliceandkev.wordpress.com) . Here in an alternate reality, Alice, despite being a clumsy loser, is able to use her good heart to make friends that make it possible for her to hope for a better life.
Chapter 1: Introductions
Kev strode past his daughter, Alice, and stopped in front of what was probably once a lovely city park, with lush grass and a handsome oak tree for lounging the days away underneath. In recent years, it had been overrun by weeds and fallen into disuse. Even an idyllic city like Riverview had patches that fell under the radar.
Kev pushed together the two remaining park benches that hadn’t been stolen around a shabby-looking table to create some semblance of a room. It was the best he could do for his daughter, since he had no job and no money and no skills. Alice cautiously placed her teddy bear in the weeds where passersby couldn’t see him. It was her most treasured possession in the whole world, and her only one.
To most of the outside world, this lot would look like an abandoned park. To Alice and Kev, it was their new home.
Alice didn’t remember her mother, who had died shortly after Alice was born. Kev had never really talked to Alice about her. Kev never talked to Alice about anything. It made him unhappy to be around her at all. Alice had overheard him tell stories of her mother going to explore the catacombs and never coming back, or being hit by a meteor while they had been hiking near the lake, but there wasn’t even a grave in the graveyard for her.
It was hard to tell when Kev was telling the truth. Half the time it was like he was speaking madness.
Alice looked at her father dragging a park bench through the weeds and wondered if she should try to help. She opened her mouth to ask and then quickly thought better of it. Alice craved attention from her dad, but sometimes she wished he wasn’t her father. Like maybe he could just pop out of existence. Or maybe undergo a major personality change. Or maybe if she could just stop talking to him altogether and depending on him to help her come up with her next meal.
She felt guilty for feeling that way about Kev. After all he was her father, and Alice had a good soul. But it just seemed like Kev was constantly angry with her for no good reason that she could see.
Before they found the park, they slept wherever they could on any park bench in town. Sometimes he would get so frustrated with Alice's presence that he would yell at her to leave, waking her from her fitful sleep to demand she go away.
Unfortunately, when sleeping outdoors next to her father, the strict restrictions Riverview placed on children and teens being out after curfew meant there was nowhere for her to go. And even though she and Kev hoped this new abandoned park would be a more permanent home, in an empty lot with nothing more than two benches and a table, there would still be nowhere for her to go.
Kev finished heaving the shabby park furniture together and surveyed his daughter with an angry glare.
“What are you looking at, loser?” Kev spat in her direction. “Isn’t this good enough for you? Do you have a better idea? Get out of my sight!”
Alice cowered away from him.
She was a loser. She knew it and everyone around her knew it. Sometimes she thought all her dad’s bad luck might be her fault. As her dad stepped closer to add some force to his words, Alice made a sudden resolution in her mind. She decided that even though she was a loser, she wasn’t going to let that rule her life. So far she had been following her dad around, just trying to avoid notice and make it from one day to the next. Not anymore. She would try as hard as she could to make a better life for herself. Even for her dad, even though he didn’t deserve it.
Dodging around her dad’s imposing form, Alice ran across the street without a word to her dad. She ran to the nearest house, not sure what she hoped would happen. She felt awful and smelly and lonely, but she was determined to make the best of things. And getting away and meeting the neighbors seemed like the first step.
She found Sandra and Eric Maplewood having an animated conversation in front of their house. With a wistful thought about what it would be like to have moved into a house with a bed, a stove, and a shower, Alice resolved to introduce herself.
"Hi! I'm Alice. I live... n-nearby. And I just wanted to meet you guys because we just moved to – to the neighborhood. I have a teddy bear named Puff."
"Hi, Alice," said Sandra, feeling like Alice was being a little awkward. "Nice to meet you. This is my brother, Eric. We just moved here, too." Despite Alice's awkwardness, Sandra could sense that Alice was upset. She had a good heart and wanted to say something comforting.
"Where's your teddy? Did you leave him at home?" Sandra looked up and down the street and wondered which house exactly this barefoot little urchin had moved into. When she looked back down, she was shocked to find that Alice was starting to cry.
"Oh! Come here, it's okay." Sandra knelt down to give Alice a hug. Sensing another good heart, Alice let herself cry on Sandra's shoulder, so overwhelmed by loneliness that it felt good to be comforted by a complete stranger.
Across the street, Kev was busy relieving his own loneliness by talking to himself.
The hug lasted for too brief a moment, though. Alice wiped her eyes and Sandra, trying to be helpful, turned the conversation to other topics.
After making small talk with Sandra and Eric for a few minutes, Alice felt the temptation to take advantage of having access to a house—and plumbing. She quietly sneaked into the bathroom to brush her teeth. It felt so good to do just one normal thing. It made her feel better for a few precious hours. But soon, she started to feel hunger pangs.
Though she tried to distract herself from the hunger by making friends with Eric and Sandra, who hadn’t even minded that she used the sink to brush her teeth, Alice couldn’t hold out forever. Unwilling to go home and see if Kev had any ideas for dinner, she decided her best option was to eat some of the Maplewoods' food.
Alice stood in front of the refrigerator for a while before deciding what to eat. Her hunger battled with her innate discomfort with the idea of stealing. Finally she decided what she would take: a single box of juice. Even this little box of juice made the Maplewoods upset, though.
“What are you doing?” Sandra came around the corner and noticed Alice standing in front of the fridge, juice box in hand. Eric stood by looking disapproving. “That’s not yours to take, Alice.”
Desperately, Alice took another sip, hoping to finish the box before the Sandra and Eric threw her out. She was so hungry.
Sandra saw the look of desperation on Alice’s face and her expression softened slightly. “Look. If you do that again you’ll have to go home, alright? Stealing isn’t good.” Still, Sandra knew deep down that Alice was essentially a good kid. She watched with concern as Alice and her brother talked.
Alice understood why Sandra disapproved. This strange little ragamuffin introduces herself, cries out her sorrows, and steals a box of juice. It wasn’t the best first impression.
As the night wore on, Alice had fun watching TV with Eric. They got along surprisingly well. But eventually the citywide curfew forced her to leave the Maplewoods. It was time to return home and spend the night avoiding Kev and sleeping fitfully on the park bench. Tomorrow would be Alice’s first day of school, and she was determined to keep her resolution and work as hard as she could. She hoped to be as well rested as possible. She fell asleep clinging to that slender thread of hope.
Thank you for reading! I'm completely new at this, so I'm still trying to find a voice, and I know my pictures are not as amazing as some of the others on here, but I am happy to learn! Also, in case anyone wants to know, I contacted Robin Burkinshaw through his website and got his permission to use his characters to post this story. Enjoy!
Edit 6/18: I changed the story a bit to make it suck less :p Before it felt like a narrative of my game, so I made it more like a story. The events haven't changed, though. I'm still writing based off how Alice and Kev acted in my game.
19th Jul 2010, 8:59 AM
Chapter 2: First Day
Alice woke up hungry and not completely refreshed.
Still, she was eager to go to school and start making friends and working as hard as she could to make sure she wouldn’t end up like her father—homeless with a kid and unemployed.
“I shouldn’t think mean things like that about Kev,” she thought to herself, suddenly feeling guilty. “And I shouldn’t call him Kev! He’d be so mad…” Alice left that thought unexplored as Kev began to wake up. Alice hopped on the bus before she could encounter her father and see just how angry he might get.
Kev was an unpredictable guy. He acted on a whim, doing whatever he felt like regardless of anyone else’s feelings. Alice was a selfless soul who enjoyed helping others by doing what she could to brighten their day. Since they had a mere $4 in the bank, this was limited to a smile and some encouragement, but it usually seemed to do the trick. Still, sometimes she felt overwhelmed by the thought all the things she powerless to change.
Alice felt conflicted by her fear of her dad and her innate desire to love and be loved by her father. Her good nature told her there must be some good in Kev, too.
“He’s not evil,” she thought. She could sense it. He had just had a hard life; even little Alice could see that. But his mean spirit weighed on her heart. Somewhere in the back of her mind she decided that she would spend more time getting to know her father.
“Maybe,” she thought hesitantly, her body trembling at the idea, “I could ask him about my – my mom sometime.”
Alice burned with curiosity about her mother. Sometimes Alice liked to imagine what kind of person would marry a man like her father, who she both respected and feared. And Kev certainly inspired fear.
While Alice was at her first day of school, he discovered a community garden right down the street from their lot.
While he quickly gathered up the shining produce to hoard for future meals, he met the Broke family. In the span of mere minutes, Kev acted on his attraction to Ruby Broke, kissing her by way of an introduction.
When she started to spurn his advances, they argued, becoming increasingly violent with one another until Kev beat her up and declared her a nemesis.
Alice had never seen him become violent, but she could sense that there was more to him than just a mean temper. Kev definitely inspired fear.
But Alice wasn’t around to see Kev get violent. She was busy seeing a different kind of mean-spirited behavior firsthand. That day at school, her very first day, Alice had her clothes stolen from her locker while she was at Phys Ed. She was forced to wear her smelly gym clothes back to class, and the kids laughed at her. Alice only had the one tattered outfit, so this was an especially crushing blow. There wasn’t even anywhere for her to keep any clothes at the lot, even if they could have afforded it.
“Great,” she thought to herself. “Everyone already knows I’m a loser, and the first day isn’t even over yet.”
At recess, the other kids left Alice alone. She naturally drifted toward the dumpster. It just seemed normal to hang out where the other kids would never go.
It was like the smell of the dumpster projected a force field that Alice could hide behind. As she examined the beat up metal object glumly, she noticed a familiar-looking pile of clothes. She grabbed her stolen clothes out of the dumpster and gave them a quick sniff. She sighed, and started tugging the sweater over her head.
Just as Alice awkwardly attempted to change clothes while hiding from sight, Anita Lobos accidentally wandered by.
“What are you doing?” Anita asked, staring openly at Alice struggling to pull on her jeans.
Alice started and blushed.
“I… I just…some mean k-kids stole my clothes,” she stammered, “only I f-found them just n-now and I…I just didn’t want—”
“Was it Skip Broke? He’s kinda a daredevil and sometimes he does mean things if kids dare him to.” Anita blinked solemnly at Alice. “One time he put gum on my chair and ruined my favorite dress. My mom took me shopping for a new one but there wasn’t another one as good as it.”
Alice zipped up her jeans, feeling embarrassed about her tatty underwear and feeling a pang that she didn’t have a mom to take her shopping for new clothes. She looked down at the ground and scuffed her shoe on the asphalt.
“Why are you hanging out at the dumpster, anyway?” she asked Anita cautiously.
“I’m a loner,” Anita said matter-of-factly. “Nobody bothers me over here because it smells. There’s usually no one here.”
Alice and Anita stared at each other for a few seconds before Alice suddenly blurted out: “Do you wanna come over after school today? I’m sure Ke—my dad won’t mind.”
Immediately Alice regretted asking her. Where exactly were they going to go? What would she tell Anita to explain to her why they live in a park with nothing more than two park benches for beds? Anita looked stunned for a few seconds before a breaking out in a smile.
“Sure!” she replied with enthusiasm.
A small smile crept over Alice’s face, too. She’d met someone. Someone like her. Maybe things weren’t so bad after all.
Sorry it took so long to get the second post up, but it took me a lot of time to mess around with the pics and make them better! I still have a lot to learn. Thanks for reading!
20th Jul 2010, 4:39 AM
Chapter 3: Friend and Foe
Anita Lobos and Alice played together at the abandoned park for a while after school.
Anita seemed confused when she first got off the bus. Where was Alice’s house? Actually, the bus didn’t even stop at the abandoned park. It stopped the next lot over, where there was a real house. At first Anita thought they were just playing in an abandoned lot and that Alice’s home was nearby. But it wasn’t long before she was feeling hungry and wanted something to eat.
“Wow, playing tag makes me kinda hungry, Alice!”
“Oh. Um. Me too. Do you want to play with my bear, Puff? He’s my favorite toy.”
Alice hoped to avoid talking about food with Anita, since she wasn’t sure where to get food for herself, let alone for houseguests. If houseguest was even the right word.
But once Alice picked her bear up off the ground to offer him to Anita, she began to put things together: Alice’s tatty clothes, the fact that Alice took those clothes out of the dumpster and put them on right there in the playground, a certain smell, and the fact that they hadn’t been inside since school let out. And why would Alice keep her favorite toy right here in this dump? Anita started to realize that Alice might be homeless. The thought made her feel uncomfortable.
“Um… I think maybe I’d better go home. My mom probably wants me home for dinner anyways. But we can play again soon.” Anita felt a little guilty talking about her mom making her dinner. The reality of Alice’s situation was just starting to dawn on her. How awful would it be to not have someone to make dinner for her? And where was Alice’s mom, anyway?
“Okay,” said Alice. “Thanks for playing with me.” She tried to keep her lips from quivering as she waved goodbye to Anita, whose clean, well-fed form pedaled away on a shiny bike.
Alice sat down on the ground and got out her homework, brushing away tears. It was almost time for curfew, anyway. She was stuck on the lot, dreading the moment Kev would come home, yet aching to hear his voice. He was the one constant in her life.
Earlier in the day, after Kev had eaten his fill from the community garden and stashed away all the extra produce to eat later, Kev had some time to think. The people in the garden gave him a wide berth after his performance with Ruby. Kev started to feel the lack of money weighing down on him. He had started thinking of ways to get money.
His initial idea was to just steal some money from someone, but since everything was electronic anymore, Kev didn’t even know where to start. He briefly considered stealing stuff from the neighbors and selling it, but Kev wasn't really cut out to be a thief. At any rate, not the kind of thief who would be willing to work without accomplices. He needed the security of connections and better minds than his to make sure any heist would go according to plan. As Kev meandered through town, oblivious to the disgusted looks he got from the people going about their business, he found himself in front of the abandoned warehouse.
It had a certain reputation, and Kev knew someone who knew someone who was looking for a decoy.
This was it! He could ingratiate himself with the local criminals and have a steady income along with certain … protections. Kev cracked his knuckles and headed in the front door. When he came out, he would be using the secret “employees only” entrance. Things were looking up¬ – in a way.
By the time Kev got home, Alice had given up halfway through her homework, too distracted by hunger to complete it. When she saw him coming, she quickly lay down on her bench, pretending to sleep. As Kev paced restlessly back and forth across the lot, muttering to himself, Alice managed to drift off to sleep, her body relaxing, her mind going blissfully blank…
“Alice!” Kev roared suddenly, snapping Alice out of her slumber. She sat bolt upright. She hadn’t noticed Kev moving toward her, but his yell was unmistakable.
“Get the hell out of my sight, you worthless street rat!” Kev yelled. “I can’t stand you being around here!”
Alice rubbed her eyes, unsure what to do. Anything she could say to her father would probably just send him over the edge, but it wasn’t like she could actually go anywhere. The police would be certain to find her if she ventured off the lot.
“Answer me! Don’t you have any respect for your own father?” Kev had worked himself into a rage.
Alice hopped off the bench and ran a few yards away without a word to her father. She turned back to see what he would do. Kev just sighed in frustration, throwing his hands up and glowering at his daughter. Alice took a few more tentative steps away from him. He finally turned away and heaved himself onto one of the park benches. After a few minutes, while Alice watched cautiously, he drifted into sleep.
Alice crept silently back to her bench and tried to sleep again, thoughts of food and fear and Kev slipping into dark dreams.
***Thanks for reading! Please leave comments if you have them so I can improve :)***
20th Jul 2010, 1:02 PM
At first I was a wee bit sceptical, considering how Alice and Kev are already established as characters in my head (was addicted to roburky's Alice&Kev and stalked the hell out of that blog for updates), but you have won me over now. I enjoy that you let them stay in character and experience the hardships that made me fall for them in the first place. Looking forward to see more of your take on Alice and Kev!
(I've played their lives countless times, but suck at keeping them in less fortunate conditions ^^" )
20th Jul 2010, 5:41 PM
I love your story so far! I've never read roburky's before so I didn't really have a clue why they were in the abandoned park at first >.< Hehe ^.^ But now I do! I love how you're able to give the characters voice w/o having like 3 humongously long paragraphs per picture :p Can't wait for the next update! :D :D
20th Jul 2010, 8:08 PM
@SchiZohybrid Thank you! I was a bit skeptical at first myself :D Hopefully the improvements coming up in their lives are realistic and don't disappoint o_O!
@touchejenny awww thanks! I hope you get to read all of RoBurky's story, it's really amazing >.< I actually have outlined a back story for Alice and Kev that isn't RoBurky canon, and a backstory for Eric and Sandra, too, and I need to figure out how best to stick it in.... :)
21st Jul 2010, 7:38 AM
Chapter 4: Changes
The next morning, Alice thought she wouldn’t make it till she got to school. She was so hungry it was all she could think about. She tried again to finish her homework, but it was no use. She would have to do something to get some food. As soon as the sun came up, she knew she’d be safe to venture out without fear of the police. She sat on the bench, waiting for dawn to give way to daylight.
As she sat there, stomach growling, she eyed the Maplewood’s side yard appraisingly. Maybe it wasn’t necessary for Alice to go too far to find something to eat. Maybe she wouldn’t even have to steal anything – at least not anything anyone would ever want.
As the sun rose above the treetops, Alice steeled her resolve and marched across the street to Sandra and Eric’s. There, on the picnic table in their side yard, was a plate of burnt, fetid hotdogs. Eric must have left them out after he made them last night, probably because he burned them.
Grabbing a hotdog delicately by the bun, she grimaced at the smell. She started to pick through it gingerly, looking for a piece good enough to eat. But that wasn’t going to cut it. If she were going to eat a rancid hotdog, she’d have to do it with gusto.
A wave of nausea rolled through her body at the same time as her stomach let out a tremendous gurgle. Trying not to think about it, Alice thrust the hotdog into her mouth as fast as she could right then and there. She gulped down about half the hotdog before she couldn’t stomach any more. Feeling a little queasy, she looked around furtively and set down her plate.
The Maplewoods would never know what she had done.
Kev started to stir across the street. Alice glanced over and decided quickly it was best he thought she had never left the lot. She ran back over and started working on her homework like nothing had happened. Kev stood up, ignoring Alice, and grabbed a fresh, crisp apple from one of his pockets. Alice looked at him out of the corner of her eye as she erased one of her answers. What was he doing? Where did he get that?
Kev ate the apple quickly, smacking his lips and enjoying the taste of it.
Alice was shocked. He must have found an apple tree, or blown some of their money at the grocery store. She didn’t know about Kev’s trip to the community garden, and she didn’t know if he had any more where that came from.
Feeling a little disgusted and ashamed, Alice finished up her homework and wondered what she should do until the school bus came.
She looked at her father muttering to himself. Alice decided to make good on her resolution to try talk to Kev and improve their relationship. Maybe then he wouldn’t wake her up in the middle of the night. Maybe then he’d share some food with her.
Alice stood up and cleared her throat intentionally. Kev looked over at her.
His face didn’t look angry, so she took a deep breath and said aloud: “Good morning.” The words rang in the air in the silence that followed. Kev looked a little surprised, but said nothing.
“Did… did you see the stars last night? They were r-really pretty,” Alice cast about for a topic of conversation that wouldn’t make her father upset.
Kev looked at his daughter with curiosity. “Yeah, the stars are great. Easy to see them in this town, not much light pollution.”
Alice breathed a sigh of relief at Kev’s calm answer. “Yeah, huh, I never heard about that but that’s good, I bet,” Alice said in a rush. They were having a conversation, a real conversation, together, like… like two people who liked each other. Or maybe two strangers waiting in line next to each other. But still, a real conversation.
They continued talking about random things, Alice carefully steering the conversation away from anything that wouldn’t make Kev angry. They mostly talked about the stars and the clouds and the weather. Those were things they both saw a lot of, and both could appreciate their beauty. When the bus finally came, Alice was feeling pretty good. Her homework was done, her stomach was somewhat full, and her relationship with her dad was changing for the better; she was sure of it.
Still, it seemed like every day of her young life was a struggle for Alice. The good days were when Kev slept somewhere else in town, leaving her alone on the lot. Though Alice was constantly on edge when Kev was gone, worrying that he would come home and destroy her peace at any moment, it was better when he wasn’t there. He continued to suddenly yell at her with no apparent provocation. But sometimes, every now and then, when Alice and Kev were both at home in the evenings, both fed from work and school, Alice would strike up a conversation with Kev. They never had much to talk about, but they talked nevertheless.
Alice listened to Kev’s conspiracy theories with a confused but polite smile. He would entertain her with ghost stories she was never quite sure whether he believed or not. Those were pretty good days, too.
But by far the best days Alice had were the days when she stayed at a friend’s.
Alice and Anita had continued to be friends at school. Alice didn’t dare ask her to visit again, but she was surprised when just a few days after their first playdate, Anita invited her to come over after school.
“Of course!” she had replied, just grateful to get away from the lot for an evening.
After school that afternoon, Alice rode the bus to the Lobos house with Anita and her twin sister Carlotta. She’d never been in this part of Riverview before. The houses were big and nice, with gorgeous flowers and lush lawns. She pressed her nose against the window, taking it all in.
When she got to the Lobos’ house, she stood outside a little reluctantly as it became clear to her that Anita was quite rich. She felt a little too smelly to really fit in here.
Anita and Carlotta didn’t seen to notice, though. While Alice was attempting to sneak into the Lobos’ shower, Carlotta interrupted her and asked her to play tag.
“You’re it!” she screeched, tearing through the house and sliding down the staircase. Alice followed at a jog, taking in the beautifully decorated surroundings and wondering if she’d be able to sneak a nap on one of their beds.
The three of them played for a while, moving from tag to the giant swing set, until Anita reminded them it was almost dinnertime. Alice bit her lip. That was probably a clue that she was supposed to go home. She could smell the scent of Mrs. Lobos making dinner. The thought of leaving this homey scene made her want to cry.
“Anita?” Alice asked tentatively. Anita looked up. “Do you think I could maybe stay the night at your place? I’m having so much fun, and we could do our homework together and stuff…”
“Oh yes!” Anita replied without hesitation. “My mom and dad won’t mind at all. It’ll be fun! C’mon let’s go tell my mom to set a plate for you.”
Alice followed Anita inside, hardly able to believe her good luck. She didn’t usually have good luck.
Anita approached her mom in the kitchen and asked if Alice could stay the night.
“Absolutely! Make yourself at home, sweetheart. We’ll do up the couch for you,” Mrs. Lobos said, smiling at Alice. Alice smiled back, thanking her and immediately heading to the bathroom for the shower.
Anita and Carlotta played while Mrs. Lobos finished dinner.
Alice felt like this whole evening, the food, the friends, the family, all the comforts of a home were part of a surreal dream. Only Alice’s dreams were never this good.
Just as Alice was getting ready for bed, the phone rang at the Lobos house.
“Alice, honey, you have a call. Just pick up one of the handsets,” Mrs. Lobos called sleepily to her from upstairs.
“That’s weird,” Alice thought. “It’s a little late for a phone call. Who could be calling, anyway?” She picked up the phone. “Hello?”
“Hey, Alice.” It was Eric Maplewood.
“Hi,” said Alice in a confused voice. Why was Eric calling?
“So my sister and I were thinking you could, like, come over, if you wanted. To our house. In the mornings. You’d be welcome to make yourself at home. We’re early risers,” Eric said, sounding a little distracted.
“Oh! O-ok. Thank you. I – I might do that. Thank you,” Alice stammered.
The sound of a muffled voice could be heard in the background.
“Oh yeah, don’t worry about your dad,” Eric added. “We tried to get a hold of you at your place and he already knew you were over there. That’s how we got this number.”
Alice gulped. Mrs. Lobos must have called her dad on his cell phone. He was not going to be happy about wasting their pay-as-you-go minutes. Or about her staying the night at Anita’s without telling him.
“Well, take it easy, kid,” Eric said, hanging up.
“Bye–“ Alice said, but she was just speaking to a dial tone. Weird.
As Alice finally climbed into bed, she thought about the kindness that Eric and Sandra and the Lobos family had shown her. Their kindness, more than anything else, made the days she spent at a friend’s house the best days of all.
Across town, Kev sat by himself on his bench in the park, looking up at the stars. To his surprise, he actually kind of wanted to talk to Alice. She always had something nice to say about the stars. Kev stayed up late, lost in his thoughts, thinking about all the things he had lost in his life and secretly hoping he wouldn’t have to lose his only daughter – his only connection with the women he once loved.
27th Jul 2010, 7:26 AM
***Here we have Kev’s backstory, I hope you like it! Thank you for reading, and please leave comments if you have them :)***
Alice went over to Anita’s again the next day after school, trying to avoid Kev and his wrath as long as possible, but felt it would be pushing it to ask to stay the night two days in a row. When Alice finally got home, Kev was asleep on his bench. She approached quietly so as not to wake him, but gave out a stifled gasp when she got closer.
“What on earth?” she thought to herself, clapping her hand over her mouth and looking sidelong at Kev’s sleeping form. There on the table in front of the benches were several beautiful, big, ripe fruits and vegetables, just waiting to be eaten. She picked up one of vegetables and examined it, a thoughtful look on her face.
Kev must have harvested them while she was away and left them on the table. Could he possibly have left them out on purpose? For her?
Still hungry since Riverview's curfew had forced her to come home before she could eat dinner at Anita’s, she grabbed a bell pepper and sank her teeth into its fragrant flesh. It tasted amazing. Not quite the same as a meal, but it was nutritious and fresh. Much better than rancid hotdogs.
Alice finished her homework and climbed onto her bench to sleep, her heart feeling warmer to her father than it had in a long time.
Kev stirred on his bench, sitting up and yawning. He looked over at his daughter, asleep on her bench. He noticed the bell pepper missing from the table and a small smile stole across his face. Then he looked back to Alice, his smile fading.
Kev did leave the vegetables out on purpose. He wanted to see Alice grow up well. The conversations they had been having made his outbursts of sudden anger toward Alice much less common. He still disliked being around her, but he felt a conflict between doing the best he could for his daughter and his natural dislike of anything that reminded him of the past – his wife, his mother, and the life they had that was destroyed so unfairly.
Alice really looked a lot like her mother. Her mother was quite a woman, Kev thought fondly for a moment. He allowed himself to remember...
Fiery, daring, and passionate, with an exciting tendency towards criminal activity, it was hard to imagine a person less like meek, good, clumsy Alice. She was beautiful and magnetic, and Kev had loved her fiercely, but Kev’s fond feelings faded as he remembered how volatile his relationship with Anne had been. And how short. Kev had struggled with mental troubles since he was a teenager. Maybe that was how Anne had convinced him to get married when he got her pregnant at seventeen.
Just after their high school graduation, when Alice was just a few weeks old, Anne and Kev had had a huge fight. Kev was every bit as hot-headed as his wife, and their arguments were something spectacular. It seemed they never lacked for things to fight about, either. Anne’s pregnancy was the last straw for her parents, who quickly kicked her out and cut all ties. Kev’s mother, Rita, had welcomed Anne with open arms, but living together with Kev’s mother had put a lot of strain on their relationship. Though Rita loved and cared for Alice, she was terrified of Anne’s explosive moods and criminal connections. Kev loved his mother and his young wife with equal fervor. It had made things very difficult.
Kev couldn’t remember what they had fought about that fateful day. All he could remember was Alice’s plaintive crying in his mother’s arms in the background as he did the unforgivable once again in his memory. He had hit her. Kev had slapped Anne straight across the face.
That had enraged Anne. Yelling at the top of her lungs how she was finished with Kev, his stupid mother, and their yowling baby once and for all, she hadn’t even paused to grab her coat before storming out of the house. Kev had followed her at a distance.
“Where do you think you’re going, Anne?” he had shouted after her retreating form. “You always say that and you never leave. You don’t have the guts!”
She whirled around. She definitely had the guts. It was her inexplicable love for Kev that kept her around.
“I think I’m gonna go on a lovely camping trip, since it’s the only way I can get away from your ugly face and this godawful life and this whole goddamn town,” she growled, voice laced with sarcasm, “and I’ll come back when I’m good and ready.”
The comments hit home.
Though he kept up a façade of anger, Kev was wracked with guilt. He had somehow crossed the line into abuse with the woman he loved. He never meant to become violent. Silently, he let her storm away, Alice’s cries filling the air and eventually drawing him back inside. It was the last time he saw Anne alive.
Anne had never intended to go on a camping trip, but she had intended to walk into the hills and maybe spend the night under the stars. She was enough of a daredevil that the idea of wandering off into the hills and fending for herself for a night sounded like a good way to get Kev back for what he said and did. But she underestimated how difficult that would be with no preparation, and she hadn’t realized how hungry and exhausted she was.
Her body was found a few days later. The last time Kev ever cried was the day the police came to Rita’s house.
Then the anger, burning through him like fire, had consumed him. Kev had been angry with Anne from the moment she left, angry with her when she stayed out too late, when she was just gone with no warning for days on end, and angry with her for being stupid enough to die and leave him with a tiny, helpless baby – who looked just like her mother.
He was angry with the world. He became bitter and mean-spirited, forced to grow up far too quickly. And he grew to hate Alice. He hated all children for reminding him of what could have been.
The next four long and dark years Kev and Alice spent at Rita’s house ended in a devastating house fire.
Kev had rushed his daughter outside to safety, leaving her in the care of the neighbors who came across the street to gawk, then ducked back inside* through the flames to help his mother, but it was too late. Rita had third degree burns and smoke inhalation. She died several days later in the hospital, but not before racking up enough medical bills to run through all the insurance money Kev received for the house.
Kev was devastated. His rock, Rita, was gone. He had depended on her for everything the past four years. Now, his mother gone, the house burned, and all his possessions destroyed, Alice and Kev were utterly alone in the world.
They had loitered around town at first, staying in public parks, sometimes staying with an acquaintance of Kev’s. Eventually Kev drove away any friends he had with his anger, bitterness, and his mean spirit. Kev's last friend became a stranger about the same time Riverview enacted a strict curfew to cut back on the riffraff. And that’s what brought them here...
Kev shifted a little in his seat, snapping out of his reverie. He hated dredging up these old memories. He glanced at Alice, scowling. Things would be different if he hadn’t had to stick around and take care of Alice, he was sure of it. He stood up to yell at her and blow off some steam, but something stopped him. She looked so much like her mother…
Kev turned suddenly and headed for the street. He needed to get away before he did something he would regret. Again.
*When I built young Kev and Rita and Anne to take some shots for his memory scenes and set Rita’s house on fire, Kev actually did duck back in the burning house where his mother lay, fainted from fright (she had the coward trait). I don’t know why he did it, but that’s what gave me the idea to write it this way. Crazy sims, eh? :D
9th Oct 2010, 4:11 AM
Please post again i love this soooo much!
9th Oct 2010, 8:50 PM
I haven't read the original version but I really like this one a lot. It flows so well and has all the elements of love and tragedy that seem to make a story great. I'll definitely be following it.
17th Oct 2010, 1:59 PM
Wow, interesting take on the original story! And just as good! Eager for the next update already. :)
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