Generation Three: Alaina: Part Three
Warnings: partial nudity, implied sex, insanity
Miss Alaina Standish
Room 4, Pinenut Plaza Dormitory,
Sim State University
Dear Miss Standish:
Our office regrets to inform you that your father, Mr. Kevin Standish, has been remanded to the Goth Asylum for the Criminally Insane due to the circumstances surrounding your mother’s death. As the statute of limitations has passed for prosecution in this matter, your father will remain at the Asylum until he is deemed fit to return to society. At the present time, he is not responding to treatment and it is unknown whether recovery is possible.
As you may realize, due to your father’s unstable condition, you are now the present designee of the Standish estate, and all the properties thereof. It is therefore imperative you return to your family home as quickly as possible; as due to the strict conditions of the inheritance, the residence must be occupied by the legacy designee before any transfer of ownership may take place.
Please contact our office upon your return to Viper Canyon. Again, we express our regrets for your many losses.
Damon Bui, Attorney at Law
Alaina crumpled the letter in her fist and sighed.
Of course she realized she would need to return home. Much as she had wanted to complete her degree here at college, it was obviously not to be. She needed to drop out.
The house was empty now…
During her grandmother's funeral, Alaina hadn’t met her father's eyes once, and she was able to keep her silence until the last mourner left, and it was just she and her father alone in the cemetery.
“Daddy, I need to talk to you,” she had said to him quietly, and that was all she was able to say. Like a dam bursting, her father began to scream and rant... one minute begging her forgiveness, and the next insisting he wasn’t to blame.
“The attic!” he cried, pointing toward the house. “Do you know that’s where it happened, Alaina? That attic! That damn, cursed attic!” His voice quieted to a rapid, nervous whisper. “It made me do it, you know... it gave me the idea! The attic..."
He giggled and came close to Alaina, ignoring her discomfort. “She’s still up there, you know.” he whispered. "Do you know how I know?" He giggled again, like a child caught in a lie, and lowered his voice even more. “Sometimes at night she comes down and I see her.”
Kevin gasped and looked around wildly. “She might be here now!” he cried, and ran into the house, slamming the door behind him.
Alaina stared after him in utter confusion. She’d always known there was something not quite right about her father, but now she was beginning to realize just how deeply his psychosis lay. She followed him, and gently pushed open his bedroom door to see her father sitting on the floor, rocking back and forth, mumbling to himself.
“Daddy?” Alaina said gently, stepping into the room. “Daddy? Are you...?”
“Stay away from me, Margaret!” Kevin yelled, shrinking into a tighter ball. “I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to do it! I'm so sorry, Margaret! I should have just gotten a divorce... but I didn’t want you to take my little baby away from me! I didn’t want you to use Alaina like you’d done already! Margaret, please,” he begged, “I’ve paid! Paid and paid and paid!” He began to cry. “Please stop haunting me, Margaret! Please...”
“Daddy,” Alaina whispered, fighting back tears. “It’s me... it’s Alaina.” She took another tentative step forward.
“STOP!” Her father wailed. “I can’t take it any more, Margaret! Are you trying to kill me, too? Will you only be at peace when I’m dead? What do you want from me?” He turned his back on Alaina and crouched down even further, into a shivering, broken heap, sobbing loudly.
Alaina backed out through the door and closed it without a sound, tears streaming in rivulets down her face. She realized this was out of her hands. She’d have to contact the police, explain everything to them, and let them handle it as they needed to.
Yet, despite herself, she hoped they would be merciful. She couldn’t help but feel some sorrow for the broken, pitiful man in that room.
After all, he was her father.
“Well, that’s everything,” Alaina said to her cousin Carmen. “All packed and ready to head back home.”
Carmen hugged her. “I’m going to miss you!”
“What are you talking about?” Alaina asked. “You know where to find me! Aren’t you going to come visit?”
“Of course I will!” Carmen promised, “...but it won’t be the same as living here together, you know that.”
“Yes, I know,” Alaina said slowly, “but I need to do what I need to do. You need to graduate with honors, though, Carmen. Make me proud, okay?”
“Consider it done,” Carmen said, giving her cousin another hug.
The house seemed so empty.
Alaina had never known it like this, never realized just how huge it had become and how the rooms seemed to listen to her echoing footsteps. She wondered if the house realized she was the owner, now, or did it still expect her father to come walking in that front door?
It hadn’t been easy, turning her father over to the authorities, but it was something Alaina felt she’d had to do. She had known it was the best thing, and the police had not only taken care of Kevin, they had also investigated the attic and moved what was left of Alaina’s mother’s remains to the family graveyard.
It was a small comfort, although Alaina still did not want to rebuild any access to that cursed place. As long as she lived, she would never lay eyes upon the room in which her mother was shut away and left to die.
After only a few hours alone in her family home, Alaina made a decision. She did not want to live here by herself any longer than she had to.
She picked up the phone and called Leo.
When he arrived, Alaina couldn’t believe how happy she was to see him. She realized she hadn’t seen him since before her grandmother had died, and she rushed into his arms. Soon, everything came pouring out of her in a rush of tears and jumbled words.
Leo held her close with stoic reassurance as Alaina, through her sobs, told him about her Gran’s deathbed revelation, her father’s ensuing insanity, and the fact that she had to drop out of college to act as the legacy designee, which meant living in the family home.
“But I don’t want to live here alone.” Alaina whispered folornly. “...especially knowing my mother...in the attic...” she trailed off and shuddered, then held on to Leo’s hands. “Leo, I know we weren’t planning on getting married so soon, but I really need you now. Please, won’t you come to live here with me until we can plan our wedding?”
“I thought you’d never ask, Alaina.” Leo said softly. “Honey, I know you want a big wedding, and I do, too, since it’s what you want, but mostly I just want to be married to you. That’s all.” He smiled and held Alaina’s face between his hands. “From the first day I came to work here, I knew you were something special. You looked so haunted. You didn’t even know why.”
“I wish I still didn’t,” Alaina whispered, closing her eyes and letting a single tear fall from each. Leo wiped them away.
“Let’s go inside,” he whispered, kissing her gently. “We’ll make this house our own.”
Alaina didn’t have to be told twice.
To Be Continued...