Boreal Springs

July 21, 2008

O`Hanlon – Round 16: ‘Mysteriously Quiet’

Filed under: O`Hanlon — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Mao @ 5:36 pm

Mary and Derek O`Hanlon are finally able to enjoy their elder years and Gina can relax finally knowing the truth. Julie and Asia think they’re ready to be parents, but will they have the same luck that Florence and Shaniqua did with the treatment?

Sara stopped by for an impromptu visit one night after work. She said that she needed to speak with their mother, but Julie managed to pull her aside with some dinner. She hadn’t wanted to nag her older sister, but she was genuinely curious about her situation.

“So, you guys are just going to be engaged forever? What about little Sade?”

Sara rolled her eyes, “not you, too, Julie. Don’t turn into mom.”

“I’m not, I’m just curious. Why don’t you just bite the bullet and get hitched?”

“Because we’re perfectly happy as we are… and nothing anyone says or does needs to change that. Why should we change if we’re happy? Everyone else I know who is married is miserable, save for a few.”

“I guess you’ve got me there.”

Julie and Asia were doing fairly well in their respective careers. Julie wasn’t career-driven, she didn’t have the same goals as Asia, but she worked to keep her mind busy. Asia enjoyed her job a lot, but felt she was ready to make the necessary sacrifice. She wanted to have a baby.

“You’re sure? You’ll have to take time off work,” Julie warned, questioning her sincerity.

“I’m sure, Jules. The process might take awhile, anyway. So it’s best to start early, don’t you think?”

“I’m just making sure that you’re sure. I know you, Asia. You love working.”

“But I love you, too, and I’ll love having a child with you.”

Derek, meanwhile, felt as if a gigantic weight had been lifted off his shoulders. He had told Gina everything he remembered, which was a lot. The incident still haunted him. It was amazing how much weight words held. Janine had been great to him, he would never rat her out… but she was dead and so was Thomas. The truth was safe with Gina.

So, as he raked the leaves into a small pile, he felt a new sort of contentment wash over him. He truly did feel bad for what happened to Katy, but he couldn’t help thinking that it had worked itself out in the end. How that possible, he couldn’t say, it was something he just knew.

Marla stopped by to announce her pregnancy. Of course, Mary and Derek were thrilled. Julie was happy to congratulate her twin, but she couldn’t help notice that something didn’t seem completely right. Only Julie would catch it, though, it was a ‘twin thing’.

“Are you sure everything’s fine? I mean, with Katarina around…”

“I’m sure, Julie,” Marla said with a sigh. “Don’t bring down my happiness, okay?”

“All right, all right… I was just checking. I’m allowed to be concerned.”

“Well, don’t be. I’m doing great.”

One afternoon, while everyone else was off at work, Derek shuffled around the house in a daze. He was bored and there was nothing good on TV. He hated days like this. Then, suddenly, the phone rang. With hesitation, he answered it. No one ever called when everyone else was out.

“Hello, Derek. Are you enjoying your freedom?”

A sudden chill ran down Derek’s spine at the sound of the voice coming from the receiver. He swallowed hard, trying to mask his surprise. All he could manage was, “what do you want?”

“We’re family, Derek. Do I really need a reason to call?”

“Yes,” he replied tersely, eyes narrowing.

“I suppose you’ve caught me. I need a favor… and before you say ‘no’, realize that it was I who saved you from imprisonment…”

———-

Note from Mao: A pretty boring round, until the end. It was a completely autonomous action. I have no idea why he called, but it ended up fitting with later rounds (which I’ve played already)… Also, so far no baby for Asia and Julie. :(

June 6, 2008

O`Hanlon – Round 15: ‘Lies, Lies, Lies, End’

Filed under: O`Hanlon — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 11:59 am

Mary O`Hanlon is relieved that the trial involving her husband, Derek, is finally over and that it was revealed he wasn’t the murderer at all.  In fact, there was no murder, Katy had spooked herself to death.  Gina Saunders isn’t completely convinced, but she knows her brother didn’t do it.  Julie and Asia are joining the family and Julie has something to tell her parents.

“I’m sorry for doubting you,” Mary said, feeling incredibly guilty.  “It wasn’t that I didn’t want to believe, but my job and the evidence–”

“It’s all right,” Derek assured her, happy to have his name cleared and the tension gone from the house.  “I can’t blame anyone for not believing me… it all pointed at me.”

“Sara did,” Mary frowned.

Derek smiled, “that’s because she’s stubborn as a bull, like me.”

Julie was happy the house was back to normal with the trial over and done with, but she knew her news would turn everything upside down.  When she arrived home with her bags and Asia, she told Asia to wait a moment while she spoke to her mother alone.  It wasn’t easy, but Julie told her everything.  Mary was suitably flabbergasted.

“Asia… is–you’re… engaged?” She blinked, several times, unable to recooperate from the shock of it all.  “I think, I think I need to sit down.”

“I know you’re probably upset that I didn’t tell you, but I thought you’d disown me or something.  If you’re worried about the name, there’s this–”

“No, no,” Mary said, raising her hands up.  “Just… let me have some time.  Let it sink in…”

Julie wasn’t sure what to think about her mother’s reaction.  Derek had been a lot more understanding, but then again, Aunt Shaniqua was also a lesbian and in a relationship with a mutual child.  She just wished her mother didn’t have such a stigma.  She wanted to tell Mary that she couldn’t give it away–the name, the house–to Marla, because she was an alcoholic.  But Julie couldn’t throw her twin under the bus like that.

She’d just have to wait it out and hope her mother came to terms with it on her own time.

Meanwhile, Julie and Asia were joined in matrimony.  They wore contrasting suits instead of traditional dresses and even did away with the traditional arch.  Nothing about them was rigid and traditional, so why maintain the guise?  They were happy with one another and their differences from everyone else.  It was certainly easier because Shaniqua Saunders and Florence Anderson had paved the way.

The entire family showed up with their respective spouses.  Sara was especially pleased, as now that someone had gotten legally wed Mary would stop breathing down her neck about her unsuitable relationship with Nathaniel.  How Mary could be so rigid was anyone’s guess, it likely had to do with her own background and the whole mess with Derek.  She likely didn’t want her children to suffer the same way.

Mary did her best to go along with the idea that she was getting a daughter-in-law instead of a son, but it wasn’t easy.  She still couldn’t understand how they’d have children.

Marla was there to support her twin, but her beau was not accompanying her.  Julie asked and Marla simply said that he was busy finalizing his divorce.  She assured her that she’d meet him soon enough.  Julie was skeptical, but Marla seemed happy–and significantly less buzzed–than usual, so she wasn’t going to push it.  She was just happy to see her again.  Aperture seemed like it was too far away–they’d never been so far apart before.

After all the wedding hubbub died down, life resumed as usual.  Asia got a job as a G.P. at the newly built Aperture Hospital and Julie still hadn’t decided on a career.  Gina and Derek had a quiet breakfast one morning where Gina finally decided to confront him.

“I want to know what really happened, Derek,” she began, not unsympathetically, “I know you didn’t do it, but I know you were involved.  I don’t know what happened at the trial and I don’t want to.  I just want to know your involvement.  We’re getting old, brother, and the time for the truth is waning.  Don’t you want to get it off your mind and ease your soul?”

He sighed, thinking about it for a moment.  She was right–as always.  Gina had this uncanny ability to read people with such precision it was startling.

“All right, Gina.  I’ll tell you the truth of it.  It all began when Katy and I arrived back from University…”

————

Note from Mao: Uneventful round.  You have no idea how long I’ve waited to use the contrasting suits!  And now you know a bit about what happened at the trial.  Yay.

June 4, 2008

B.S.U. Campus – Round 14: ‘Lies, Lies, Lies, Pt. 4′

Filed under: B.S.U. Campus — Tags: , , , , — Mao @ 6:45 pm

Julie O`Hanlon and Asia Ternynck are in love; Julie’s parents are oblivious. Marla O`Hanlon has her own vices and Katarina Anderson is more than ready to indulge her friend.

Julie sighed, listening to her Aunt Gina on the other end. Gina knew the circumstances between Julie and Asia the second they visited for dinner and was intent on getting Julie to fess up to her parents. Unfortunately, Julie wasn’t so easily swayed. She was the heir to the O`Hanlon name and being a lesbian could jeopardize that.

She didn’t want to give up her birthright, but she also didn’t want to give up Asia. She hoped that Gina was right and that her parents would love her no matter what, but who could say? Julie wasn’t ready to risk it.

Meanwhile, Marla and Katarina were indulging themselves. The new connection to Aperture gave them a bevy of options. They could often be found skipping out on class in favor of getting toasted and singing really bad 70s hits in a karaoke bar.

They enjoyed themselves so much that they decided they would surely move to Aperture upon graduation. Who could deny the pull of the city life? The sleepy burb, with its white picket fences and perfect lawns, was hardly their style.

Marla had always had her own problems and shortcomings. They were both thanks to Katarina dragging her through trouble and also her own issues with being second fiddle to Julie. She loved her twin dearly, but she was jealous. Julie was in love–even if it was a girl–and she got to take the house their grandmother Eileen had founded Boreal Springs. What did Marla get? Failing grades, as far as Boreal Springs Summit University was concerned.

She spent a lot of time milling the bars of Aperture. It was there that she met her own kind of special friend.

She spoke to him secretly on the phone in the house back on campus. They would meet downtown, but he never came back with her. Marla was afraid he’d see the place and realize she wasn’t as wealthy as she seemed. Hanging out with the mayor’s daughter and Thomas Anderson’s granddaughter, Katarina Anderson, had given Marla the appearance of being wealthy. The O`Hanlons were comfortable, but hardly wealthy.

So she kept her true life a secret and enjoyed the thrill of meeting her beau in the hot spots downtown, being wined and dined. He was a little older than her and was going through a divorce. Her parents would be livid if they found out.

Julie decided that there was no way she could ever leave Asia behind, no matter what her parents might think. So she proposed. Asia was overjoyed and hoped this meant they could finally be open about their relationship. She had been concerned, too, but she was a teen and silly. She knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Julie was the one for her. She just hoped Julie was as secure as she was when it came time to face her parents.

——–

Note from Mao: Very boring Uni turn. At least it’s over, yay! Any clue as to who Marla’s mystery beau is? You’ll find out eventually, no worries. Marla really does enjoy booze, too. Anytime Katarina drug her downtown, she headed straight for the bar! Lush.

May 20, 2008

O`Hanlon – Round 14: ‘Lies, Lies, Lies, Pt. 3′

Filed under: O`Hanlon — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 12:39 pm

Mary O`Hanlon is finding herself in a difficult place in her life.  Her daughter is an unwed mother and her husband, Derek O`Hanlon, is on trial for the murder of his first wife.  Gina Saunders, his sister, isn’t talking, but she definitely seems to know something.

Despite her better judgment, Sara agreed to come over and talk with her mother.  They chit-chatted idly about the recent house remodel until Mary finally brought up the topic forefront on her mind.

“When are you and Nathaniel planning to get married?”

Sara sighed, “mom, I told you.  We’re happy as we are–”

“But what about Patrick, Sara?  And how can you guarantee that Nathaniel will stick around and won’t leave you?  Could you be a single mother?”

“Yes, I could,” Sara replied angrily, offended.  “Easily.  And Nathaniel isn’t going anywhere.  We don’t need rings or legality to keep from running off.  We are happy the way we are and Patrick will be happy because we’re happy.”

Defeated, Mary turned her attention to her husband.  The trial had started and so far, the prosecution had a pretty solid case.  Even worse was the surprise witness they had planned to pull out of thin air.  No names had been called but everyone was definitely worried.

“I didn’t do it,” Derek said defiantly.  “If they want to stick me in jail, fine.  But I didn’t kill Katy.”

“It’s not us that has to believe it, Derek.  It’s the jury.  If this surprise witness is as big as Ryu is claiming, then your ship might just be sunk.” Mary confided sadly.  She was stuck between her duty and her husband.  “If you didn’t do it, then who did?”

Derek shrugged, “you saw that email Ryu got, didn’t you?  Do then you know who did it.  It wasn’t me.”

“There’s still conspiracy, Derek.” Gina interrupted.  “They could charge you with conspiring Katy’s death.”

Derek was thankful for a break from all the legal talk.  Between meetings with his lawyer and constant badgering from Mary, he needed the intermission.  He was always happy to see Sara, she visited him often and was the bright point of his otherwise dismal days.  He just wished she and Mary could get along better.

“I wish you could see Patrick, daddy,” Sara said sadly.  “I’ll have to bring him over once he’s capable of withstanding the cold.  The doctor said due to his skin he might be a little sensitive.  Nathaniel doesn’t remember it, but I don’t want to risk it.”

“It’s all right, I’m sure he’s fantastic.  I’m not going anywhere.  You just bring him around when he’s ready.”

Sara nodded, not mentioning the fact that by that time, Derek might be behind bars.  Instead, she smiled, “he has grandma’s red hair.  It’s really a sight.”

Gina, meanwhile, was unable to take her mind off her brother’s possible guilt.  She had heard the phone conversation, but Derek still denied it.  If he hadn’t killed Katy with his own hands, had he conspired with Janine?  Did he ask her to do it so he could be with Mary?  Was it just a matter of Janine hearing him wrong and doing what she did because she wanted him to be happy?

It was like one big murder mystery.  Gina was a writer by nature, but even she couldn’t figure this one out.  She’d just have to trust in Derek and hope that he was telling the truth.

Mary tried to keep her mind occupied with gardening.  Legally, she wasn’t really supposed to discuss details of the prosecution’s case to Derek.  No matter how much she wanted to warn him, she couldn’t.  She could talk to him as a wife, but not as the DA.  She was dubious as to whether or not Ryu could actually deliver.  Lilith Yu was a strange and bizarre woman, but hardly trustworthy.

To ease their mind, Julie visited with her ‘friend’ Asia.  Marla had remained behind, too busy with her studies.  Mary and Derek found Asia very charming, but couldn’t help but wonder why exactly she had accompanied Julie home instead of Marla.  At the very least, she could have brought home a prospective husband for them to meet!

Anytime they tried to ask Julie, though, she distracted them or turned the conversation elsewhere.  Eventually they gave up and just let it be.

When the dinner ended, Asia went to the bathroom only to be stopped by Gina.  She pulled her into her room and smiled.

“Is Julie going to tell her parents?”

Asia was startled, “w-what?”

“That she’s gay.  You’re her girlfriend, right?  My sister was gay, it’s all right.  But I can see it written all over your faces.”

“I-I don’t… know.  I mean, I want her to tell them, but she’s worried.  All the stuff that’s happening–”

“It doesn’t matter.  She needs to tell them… especially if she wants to keep her spot as heir.”

———

Note from Mao: Wow, an elder only round that didn’t put me to sleep!  As for Sara visiting, she did it EVERYDAY on her OWN.  It was weird.  As for Asia and Gina, Gina actually did follow her into her room and stop and talk to her.

May 18, 2008

B.S.U. Campus – Round 13: ‘Lies, Lies, Lies, Pt. 2′

Filed under: B.S.U. Campus — Tags: , , , , , — Mao @ 2:09 pm

Asia Ternynck joins the hood as Julie O`Hanlon’s secret girlfriend. Marla O`Hanlon drags her best friend and cousin, Katarina Anderson, to University with her. Can this diverse group of girls get along?

Katarina Anderson had been hesitant when her mother insisted she go to University. The deciding factor for her had been the freedom and, of course, Marla. Katarina was a bit of a wild child, so she didn’t get along with many people. Marla was her one true friend and though she felt bad for dragging her into all her misdeeds, she knew she couldn’t do it alone.

She wasn’t surprised to find out that Julie brought her girlfriend with her. Katarina had always suspected her cousin walked to the beat of her own drum.

Katarina stilled had plenty of fun with Shang Yu. When he was out with his band, he would drop by. Of course, they both knew that it was risky. Any one of the girls in the house could rat them out. Then Katarina would be forced to face the wrath of both her mother and Aunt Florence. It was a scary thought, but not scary enough to keep them from seeing each other on a regular basis. They were birds of a feather, they had to ‘flock’ together…

Despite the unsavoriness of the situation, the girls did their best not to say anything. That is, until Shang brought up the unthinkable.

“So, you’re a lesbian, right?” Shang said, looking at Julie. “You know, if you ever need a silent observer–”

Julie glared at him, “get real, Shang!”

“Shang,” Katarina interrupted. “They’re lesbians, that means they have zero interest in men sexually! The last thing they want is you watching.”

Shang laughed, obviously joking, “who cares what they want–this is all about me, baby.”

“I think we’ll pass, Shang. Thanks.” Asia said, shaking her head.

Asia wasn’t a native of Boreal Springs, but she knew enough about Shang to fill an almanac. He was a womanizing fool who spent his days playing guitar and wooing women. She had seen him get burned, too. That was always the best part. She did her best not to pay attention, but it was hard. Sometimes, men like Shang needed a good slap. It would be the only time Asia would ever cheer for a cheerleader.

Of course, Julie and Asia furthered their relationship without Shang’s perverse eyes. They were quite happy together and Julie was certain she had made the right decision in asking Asia to come to University with her. She just wished she could share her happiness with her family. They expected her to carry on the family name and that wasn’t something you could do easily without some way to procreate. Florence Anderson and Shaniqua Saunders had managed it, though, and Julie was convinced she didn’t have to give up her claim on the family name just because of her life choice.

Besides, it wasn’t like Marla wanted it, anyway. Julie was the only option.

Asia wasn’t as happy parading around in secret. She wanted to meet Julie’s family and get it all over and done with. She was certain it wouldn’t be as big a deal as Julie was making it.

“I just can’t, not now,” Julie sighed, wishing Asia would understand. “Everything is a mess; my dad is on trial for murder and my older sister, Sara, just had a baby… unwed. Mom is livid right now. It’s just bad timing.”

Asia wasn’t giving up, “so what will be good timing, then? We’re nearly two years into University, Julie. They have to find out eventually. The sooner, the better. They’re your family, if they love you, they’ll accept you.”

“It just isn’t that easy. I wish it was, but it wasn’t. Just a little more time, please? I promise, I’ll tell them… just not now.”

“Okay, but I’m holding you to that promise.”

Katarina wasn’t a smart girl, this much had been proven throughout her years in public and private schooling. Even tutors found themselves at a loss when it came to getting information through that thick skull of hers. So, to survive University, Katarina had to find an alternative option. Lucky for her, a lot of her professors were perverts with tenures. Katarina Anderson found she was getting A’s for the first time in her life. She even made the Dean’s List!

Who knew the Dean was a perv, too?

———–

Note from Mao: Who better to sleep their way through Uni than Katarina? Seriously! I know Marla wasn’t in this one much, but she hasn’t done anything interesting yet. Maybe she’ll find love next round. I need to update the database, but I feel lazy today.

May 2, 2008

O`Hanlon – Round 13: ‘Lies, Lies, Lies, Pt. 1′

Filed under: O`Hanlon — Tags: , , , , , , — Mao @ 10:55 pm

Mary O`Hanlon has the unfortunate fate of being opposite her husband, Derek, in the courtroom while questions are raised as to his involvement in Katy Saunders’ death.  Gina knows more than she lets on, but isn’t about to offer up the information.  Marla’s hanging out with Katarina Anderson and Julie is keeping a secret that could jeopardize her role as heiress.

Julie eventually finished her car, much to her joy.  She was free to roam in it and she took advantage of that.  Her parents didn’t have cause to worry, though.  Julie was good about letting them know where she’d be and how to reach her.  She was different from Marla when it came to keeping secrets about the company she kept…

Marla spent her nights away from home and in the company of Katarina Anderson and her rich friends.  They did all the stuff girls their age shouldn’t be doing–partying, drinking, getting into clubs.  Marla wasn’t nearly as cut loose as Katarina, but she still hung out with her.  They were friends, best friends, and Marla wasn’t going to risk losing her popularity because Katarina was a little wild!  It wasn’t like her parents knew about her sneaking out, anyway.

They were too caught up in their own issues.  Derek was under immense scrutiny due to the case of his former wife’s death being reopened as a murder.  Being the DA, Mary didn’t have a choice as to which side she catered to.  She had at least managed to get Derek put under house arrest instead of being thrown in jail–he was now their prime suspect.  Derek was not pleased with this.

“I don’t know what you want me to do,” Mary said, exasperated.  “I’m just doing my job.”

“I’m your husband, Mary!  Do you really think I killed Katy?”

“N-No, Derek, but it’s the law.  No one is saying anything yet.  You’re innocent until proven guilty and since you didn’t do it, there’s no proof.  It’s just legality we have to push through–all this senseless rooting and digging for evidence that’s not there.”

Julie, meanwhile, was worried about her twin.  Marla was living large, sure, but it wasn’t healthy.  She was up all night and barely got enough rest for school in the morning.  Julie was no ‘good-two-shoes’, but she sure didn’t like what Katarina was doing to her twin.  She wished there was something she could do, but Katarina’s hold on Marla was strong.  It was the typical high school popular crowd BS that Julie despised.

Julie was also carrying her own secret on her shoulders.  Anytime she considered confiding in her parents, she was reminded just how much turmoil her family was in.  So she kept quiet.  She couldn’t just blurt it out–it could bring everything crashing down around her.  She didn’t want to destroy what was left of her family.

The tension between Mary and Derek intensified as days went on.  They never found any proof, but Derek refused to talk and so that didn’t help his case any.

Julie had tried to deny her feelings, but it was impossible.  They had been there for so long and now that they’d escaped, she didn’t know how to make them go away.  She couldn’t just make them disappear!  So she struggled to work on silly things like high school math and college applications.  It wasn’t easy knowing she carried the weight of her lineage on her shoulders.

Meanwhile, Derek tried to keep the peace between Sara and Mary.  It wasn’t easy, Sara was extremely temperamental and she refused to listen to reason.  Sure, Derek was upset, too, but Sara was outraged.

“Don’t say that about your mother, Sara,” Derek scolded into the receiver.  “She’s just doing her job.  You know she loves you.”

“Then why would she do this us!?  To you?!” Sara wailed on the other end.  “She’s being selfish!”

“Sara, please, calm down.  If you don’t want to do it, quit.  It isn’t like Nathaniel is hurting for money.”

Sara fell quiet for a moment, “but… I like working.”

“So find another job then, get your mind off of things.”

Julie had a confrontation of her own in mind planned.  One morning, when Marla actually managed to wake up early enough for breakfast, Julie decided to bring up all her late nights.  The response she got was hardly understanding.

“Don’t even start!” Marla snapped.  “So what if I go out?  They’ll never find out if you don’t tell.”

“I won’t,” Julie sighed.  “I’m just worried.”

“Whatever,” Marla rolled her eyes.  “The only reason you won’t is because I know you’re little secret.  I’d hate to have to break it to mom and dad that their chosen child is a lesbo.”

Julie’s eyes narrowed, “shut up, Marla.  You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Sure I do.  You’ve got it bad, and don’t think it doesn’t show.  Mom and dad are just too busy with their own dramas.  They’ll figure it out soon enough.”

Gina found her brother reclining on his bed and joined him quietly.  They sat for a moment before she spoke.

“Did you do it, Derek?”

Derek closed his eyes, “no, I didn’t.  I didn’t kill Katy.”

“I heard you on the phone–you were talking about it…”

He turned to her, “you were eavesdropping?”

“Not intentionally, no.  I was going to the bathroom and I happened to hear the tail end… but it was enough.  Derek, what have you done?”

“I didn’t do anything!  I didn’t kill Katy!”

Gina moved to the side of the bed and shook her head, “I hope for your sake that’s the truth.”

Julie couldn’t deny who she was and she knew Marla was right.  She had known for awhile and it was even more clear after she met Asia.  She was in love–teenage love, sure–but it was love all the same.  Asia wasn’t nearly as sure as Julie, but that was okay.  If Julie could just convince her to come to University with her, she was sure she could make her see it was okay.  If only she had as much confidence when it came to telling her parents the news.

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