A Tale for the Modern Attention Span
Steel Bolt thought about what a beautiful, vivacious person his sister Viveka had been in her youth. Without question, the most popular 16 year old in town. Gaggles of pubescent girls followed her wherever she went, pining to be her friend. And boys, well suffice it to say there were countless boys dying to curry favour with the gorgeous, intelligent, robust-chested daughter of the richest man in town. And her, Viv, so unaffected as to be nice to all the girls, and slightly encouraging to the boys—though she knew she wasn’t ready for that kind of relationship.
Or so she thought, until the evil butler talked his way into her bedroom.
Once introduced to her burgeoning sexuality, Viv become a more-than-willing participant. Soon after the fling began, she stopped hanging around her friends and she quit every club and team she belonged to, all in favour of rushing home right after school, going directly to her bedroom and waiting for him, sigh, to be able to sneak away for a few minutes.
The affair was revealed only after she became pregnant. Viv naively thought it would be cause for celebration and happily told her parents.
Steel shuddered when he remembered his father’s rage. He thought Daddy might actually kill that Benson Benoit.
He also thought Viv might expire from a broken heart after her lover was banished from Crescendo Cove.
During the subsequent months of her pregnancy, she clung to the consolation that soon she would have a small piece of that man to call her own, always and forever. When the labour pains arrived, however, Howard Bolt brought in a doctor friend of his who saw to it that Viveka was sedated and the baby taken away.
So devastated was Viveka when she awoke and discovered the truth, she decided to punish her parents by never taking an interest in living again. The best way to facilitate that, she soon learned through observation, was to sit with Mom and wait for 3:00 p.m. to roll around. (It broke sober Marian’s heart to see her daughter, the person for whom she had such great aspirations, becoming a mirror image of her own wretched self. Perhaps even more distressing—to drunk Marian—was that the girl kept drinking all the damn gin; hence the genesis of Viveka’s vodka addiction.)
For twenty years Viv didn’t really do any living. She was content to walk around stately Bolt Manor in a drunken haze, feeling sorry for herself and mumbling about the baby that had been taken away. (It should be noted that she gave up on her mother’s 3:00 o’clock rule mere months after beginning her career as a dipsomaniac.)
But then she cleaned herself up, Steel thought, and look at her now. She’s a bright, intelligent woman, on the cusp of a notable painting career. If I ever wanted proof that alcohol deadens a person and that I should not drink, I need look no further than the life of my sister…. If for some reason I did require more evidence, I could always cite the example set by my brother.
Continue Reading: Assorted Sordid Sorts, Part 3