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Song Title: Drumming Song by Florence + The Machine
Content warning: strong language
"Where am I?"
"Oh good, she's waking up!" Tiffany exclaimed. Bonnie cringed as her mother clapped excitedly, and her grandmother Abbot cheered. All the noises in the room sounded like intense, deafening echoes, but she tried to focus on the doctor's voice as she explained her current state.
"Seems like the sleeping pills wore off," she nodded. "She still may be in shock, so she may not speak right away. We'll release her when we feel that she's safe to leave."
"When will that be?"
"Honestly, Mrs. Pinciotti, we're not sure. It could be today, and it could be a few months from now. We just need to check a few things..." Bonnie tried to listen harder as the doctor mentioned something about "outpatient care" and "therapist", but the noise grew even more intolerable by the second.
She wished that she could just die.
"Bonnie, be careful!" her mother exclaimed. She ignored her and stood up; feeling proud, she wore a faint grin on her face. But then, the room began to spin again and her heart monitor beeped rapidly as her heart rate rose. She fell back onto her bed, wishing she could make that one step without her body nearly failing on her.
"She's not speaking yet, Kevin. She may still be in shock." she warned.
"That's fine, Marissa. I just need to take a few notes."
They left, and soon it was only Bonnie and the handsome doctor. She let out a sigh of relief, as she felt a cloud over her head float away and her dizziness floating along with it. He brought her a glass of water as he took a seat by her bedside. She gulped it appreciatively and sat the glass by her nightstand.
"I can talk," she said quietly. "My throat was just really dry."
"Well, I'm sorry to hear that. I know you're still recovering, so I won't force you to talk too much." he reassured. Bonnie nodded and smiled, but winced as the cracks in her lips begun to bleed slightly. He shook her hand as he introduced himself.
"My name is Dr. Kevin Clarke, but you can just call me Dr. Kevin. I'm assuming you are Ms. Bonnie Pinciotti?" he joked.
"You can just call me Bonnie."
"An ex-boyfriend." she muttered.
"And yet, life isn't so bad, right?" he asked. Bonnie scoffed and rolled her dry eyes.
"You of all people should know, Dr. Kevin, that money and fame doth not a happy person make. Truth is, for a long time, I was...a shell. To others, I looked fine, and that's how I wanted it to be. I didn't want people to think that I was suffering. I didn't try to kill myself because of a broken heart, or some dumb argument...I just wanted to really feel something other than indifference or anger."
"Well, that's...that's interesting." he stuttered, seemingly astonished.
"You're a therapist, aren't you? I'm sure this isn't the first case like mine you've seen."
"Not by a long shot, but I've never had a patient that so readily admitted it; especially after attempting suicide."
"Well I attempted it, and I lived, so I guess some higher being didn't want me to die yet, right?" she laughed. Kevin smiled as he took out his pen and notepad to jot down his notes.
"Do you have anything else that you want to get off your chest?"
"Michele Turner. I'm playing the part of Venezia Rojene."
"Come right in," the lady said.
If Heaven were on Simearth, this would be it for her.
She noticed the director, Michael Rushnik, staring at her with an amused smile on his face. "He probably thinks I'm so green," she thought to herself as she blushed nervously. Michele cleared her throat and approached him with the most professionalism she could muster at the moment.
"It's no problem, really. It was just the first day, so all you missed was a table read and a 'getting to know each other' orientation. Anyway, welcome to the family Michele!" he beamed. "Well, I'd show you around, but I'm afraid I don't have much time. I have a staff meeting with the other writers and producers, just to go over the smaller details and make sure everything's in order. Your cast mates are all chatting over there if you'd like to go introduce yourself, and Alona Isabel, our stylist, will be sure to get your character's costumes ready."
"Well, it was a basis of first-come-first-serve, and the only trailer left is that one." Michael pointed straight across to the empty trailer with her name on it.
"Of course, " she smiled nervously. "Thanks!"
"No problem. Guys, be nice to her! She's new." he yelled playfully to the rest of the cast. They all smiled and laughed politely, and Michele wanted to hide under a rock.
As she made her way towards her cast mates, she couldn't help but notice that everyone, with the exception of the stylist, was in-costume and looked great. Michele sighed regretfully before giving herself a mental slap on the hand; she just arrived at the trailer site of her first feature-length film, and a brilliant one at that. Now was not the time for insecurity and self-loathing.
Speaking of insecurity and self-loathing, she reminded herself to call Alex tonight before heading to bed.
"Yep, that's me! Your costume looks great, by the way."
"Thank you! I know what you're thinking, and no, this isn't my real hair color. Alona felt that 'Melodie' was meant to be a redhead." she mocked. Alona glared playfully before speaking to Fatima again.
"And don't worry too much about being late on the first day, we tend to be pretty lax about that around here. Rehearsal days are a completely different story, though. Anyway, if you ever want to talk or anything like that, my trailer is right there."
"Thanks, Eva. I really appreciate it."
"Oh shit, sorry! My jokes suck, I know. They always seem to offend people. Anyway, I'm Fatima. I play Oldera Michitt. It's such a weird name, but it's a Champs Les Sims movie so I guess that makes it okay, right?"
"Fatima, you're overwhelming the girl." Eva laughed.
"No no, it's okay, I'm fine. I like Fatima's jokes." Fatima gave a satisfied grin before sticking her tongue out at Eva.
"And so, the great Luke DeManSkank strikes again." Eva smirked. Fatima giggled quietly as Luke glared at them.
"Hi Luke, I'm Michele." she said, trying her best to ground her voice. The Luke DePeche was right there, in the flesh, flirting with her. She simply couldn't believe it.
"Hello, Michele. Hey, doesn't that name mean 'beautiful' in some language?"
"I don't know, " she blushed. Eva rolled her eyes and made a "gag me" gesture and Fatima once again laughed.
"Okay guys, that's enough fun. I need Michele for a costume fitting." Alona demanded. The rest of the cast reluctantly went back to their trailers for the night, since the call time for the next day was at 4 in the morning.
"It's great, isn't it?" Alona beamed. "I designed it myself. It's a tiny trailer so I couldn't fit much of my supplies in here, but I'd like to think that it's still rather classy. Now, let's get your costume out of the way."
"Well, it's a Champs Les Sims film, so I would go with something bohemian, feminine, and light."
"Bohemian, feminine, and light." she repeated to herself as she went through the racks of clothing. "Hmm, I think I have some things in my arsenal that fits your description." Alona went through all of her racks, shelves, and boxes while picking up random items to bring to Michele. She brought a black hair tie, a bottle of water, a comb, some make-up, a pair of sandals and a gorgeous beige dress with a necklace.
"So, what do you think?"
"I'm glad you like it! All I have to do is do a few adjustments and you should be free to go."
"Ugh, all I want to do is change into my pj's and..."
"Michele, you have a fiance." she reminded herself. "You love him very much. Don't mess this up because of a sexy actor." she drew in a deep breath as she opened her mouth to say the exact same words that came out of his.
"What are you doing in my trailer?"
"W-what? Aren't you in my trailer?" she said in disbelief.
"Um, nope. Your trailer is the one you passed to get to mine."
"Oh. Oh, fuck." she swore. "I am so, so sorry."
"It's fine. Hey, why don't you join me? I was getting lonely anyway."
"Thanks. Alona picked it out as Venezia's costume."
"You know, I don't think they could have chosen a better actress to play the part." Michele smiled politely and stared at the candle, trying not to cry. She twiddled her thumbs and looked anxiously around the room.
"What's wrong, cupcake?"
"I'm just worried, I guess. The biggest project I've ever done was a national commercial for Bigbucks Warehouse, and yet here I am working on a feature-length film with some of the biggest names of this town. What if I completely ruin the film?"
Michele didn't exactly know where this was going, or if it was good or bad; but either way, she was under Luke's spell. He was sweet, sensitive, funny, toned...
She would definitely have to be careful around this one.
"So, how is the psych ward treating you?"
"They're giving me medicine for my headaches, so those are gone. I'm still getting used to the nightly checks, the horrid food, the invasion of privacy, and the semi-rude staff; but you know how that goes." she smiled.
"They told me you bit an orderly." Kevin said with a stern look on his face. Bonnie grimaced as she nodded her head.
"Bonnie, biting people is never a solution."
"I'm just...I'm not crazy. I'm perfectly sane, and I hate it when people make me feel as if I'm anything but. I know I lost my temper, but I couldn't help it."
"Well then, this probably won't help matters." he sighed regretfully.
Bonnie blinked repeatedly and opened her mouth to form a coherent sentence, but again, she fell silent. This time, however, her silence was due to genuine shock.
"I thought you were already aware of this, ma'am. Your early ancestors from Champs Les Sims had a history of this behavior, and were often unwilling participants of torturous 'experiments' which only made their ailments worse. I had to do a report on your ancestors for my thesis," he chuckled. He noticed the scowl on Bonnie's face and cleared his throat.
"The experiments seemed to have ended somewhere around the third generation, or in other words, your grandmother's generation. I'm not quite sure how she escaped the compound, but she did; and she started a new life here in Sunset Valley. I'm sorry you had to find out this way. The good news is, there are medications available for most mental conditions, so you'll still be able to live a normal life..."
"But...I'm not crazy. Depressed? Sure. But crazy? No." she laughed in disbelief.
"I never said you were crazy, Bonnie. Crazy is dismissive. What you are is mentally unstable, which is a dangerous place to be. Tell me, have you ever heard voices inside or outside of your head that were not your own?"
"Sometimes, but only when I'm really depressed or really happy. Doesn't everyone?" she mumbled nervously.
"No, I'm afraid not. What do these voices say to you? Are they mean? Are they nice?"
"I'm not crazy." she insisted as she rose from her seat and inched her way towards the door.
"Bonnie, I realize you're in shock right now..."
"Stop it, just stop it!" Bonnie screamed. She leaped out of her chair and ran out of the room, slamming the door behind her and ignoring the frantic calls from Kevin. It was too much, too soon, and she felt as if she was losing her sanity again. Her eyesight narrowed into tunnel vision, her throat begun to close up, and all she could think of was running.
She had to get out.
But it was too late to stop. She knew they would find her and probably bring her back to that awful place, so she continued to run wherever the unforgiving sidewalks would lead her.
"A 'Beast'," Ella whispered wistfully.
"You want a motorcycle? Really?!"
"Nothing at all, but you don't seem like a motorcycle type of girl."
"Well, I'm full of surprises." she winked.
"That's for sure."
"Yeah, why wouldn't I be?" she shrugged.
"Well, I don't know. I guess I thought you'd be stressed with all the events that have occurred over the past few weeks."
"You know, life is way too short to stress out about small stuff like that. Right now, I'd rather just sit here with a cute guy on my arm and enjoy this movie."
"Sounds good to me," he laughed as he gave her a peck.
The doorbell rang and Ella reluctantly got up to answer it. "I swear, if it's another one of those journalists I'm gonna kick some nuts."
"What if it's a girl reporter?"
"I'll still kick her." she joked.
"Hey, dollface! The band and I are touring here for a month, so I thought I'd do some sleuthing and find out how my favorite blonde is doing." Ella laughed nervously and extended her hand for a shake, but he simply scoffed and shot it down.
"I haven't seen you in a year, Ella. I think I deserve a hug."
"Yeah, I heard. Trouble seems to follow you."
"I know, and this time, it followed me straight to my doorstep." she sighed. Why, of all the opportunities for Eric to come down and visit her, did it have to be when she was finally settling into her life in Sunset Cove and with Jordan? Why did the sight of him always make her second-guess herself? Why is it that every time she manages to repair her life, something or someone comes along to screw it up?
"Yes, I'm fine." she nodded. "So, wanna meet my boyfriend?"
"Oh, dear, it's okay. You took your medicine, right? And you're cooperating with the staff?"
"Mom, I ran. They were saying all this stuff about Daddy and Grandma and I just..." she sobbed and convulsed violently, turning mute once again. Her eyes were beet red, and her bloodied feet looked horrifying. Tiffany tried to contain her disgust as she consoled her daughter.
Bonnie sighed as her mother spoke to her as a two-year old, and apparently started baby-proofing the house to confirm her suspicions. "Mom, I'm not crazy. I was just a little depressed." she said slowly, focusing on the words.
"Of course dear, Dr. Kevin explained everything. Now go on and change out of that ratty gown."
"I don't know if we should do it Tiff, I mean, we're the only ones she has left. Her friends have ditched her and her sister stole her boyfriend. Sending her back would betray her trust, and what if she decides to...you-know-what again?" Jack whispered quietly.
"Jack, if she's at the hospital, where she belongs, then they can prevent another you-know-what attempt and quickly come to her aid if she goes through with it. We don't have that here. If she goes back, they'll put her on some nice meds, release her and we can pretend this never happened."
"Medication doesn't solve everything-"
"Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to call Dr. Kevin." she interrupted. Jack scowled as she picked up the phone and dialed his number.
"You realize that if you do this, she'll never forgive us, right?"
"Oh poo," she said sarcastically. "I'd rather have my daughter pissed at me than dead, or worse."
"What's worse than death?"
"So that's what you're really doing this for, isn't it? It's all about the 'image'."
"You're only defending her because she's a loon!" she screamed. Jack's jaw dropped as her eyes narrowed into slits of anger.
"I-I can't believe you just said that..."
"I will not apologize for protecting this family." Tiffany whispered furiously, paying no mind to his embarrassment. "Bonnie isn't stable and this family isn't either. She's going back, and that's final."
"I know. There was a situation at the hospital, so I got to go home early." he explained.
"One of my patients is a mentally unstable socialite, and she fled the psych ward. The entire staff is going crazy trying to catch that girl."
"Hmm, a crazy socialite in the psych ward, eh? What's she in for, a juice addiction?" she joked.
"Patient confidentiality, sweetheart." he smiled.
"So, how's my little Trisha?" he cooed while kissing his daughter on the head.
"Ugh, noisy. Nothing new. She seems to be very happy that Daddy's home, though." Kevin grinned widely as he watched his daughter shove pureed peas into her nose. "It's amazing how little kids can do some of the grossest things and still manage to make onlookers adore them with one look."
"You're just a giant softie."
"Well, c'mon! I'm your wife!" she joked. "Just tell me. I promise I won't tell a soul."
"Have you heard of the Pinciottis?"
"Which one? Political Pinciottis or Sketchy Pinciottis?"
"Both of them. They're two sides of the same coin."
"Figures. I always thought our political leader was sketchy. Anyway, what about them?"
Kevin cleared his throat as he debated whether or not he should divulge such scandalous and personal information about the Pinciottis. He sighed as he chose his wife over his integrity, and began informing her on the various mental obstacles the Pinciottis have faced.
"This is exactly what I was afraid of, Chris." he groaned. "I don't want you to dig too deeply into this, especially when my patient is in such a fragile state. I understand you've been looking for that nonfiction goldmine...but this isn't it."
"Fine, I'll spare your stupid patient."
"I give you my word," she huffed. Trisha began to wail loudly as she shoved her food onto the ground. "It's your turn." Christy said, walking away.
Kevin sighed as he grabbed their child from the high-chair and put her on the floor to play with her dolly. Then, he felt a sudden vibration in the pocket of his khakis.
"Dr. Kevin Clarke." he answered.
Chapter Commentary here. Next Episode: Goodbye, Apathy >>