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/qst/ - Quests

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"You might be a smart girl, but you aren't a lucky one"

You play as Delilah, an unfortunate young girl going through tough times.

Right now, we are currently playing as Lawrence!
=Links and Information=


Thanks to an anon, here is the pastebin of just the text. With threads purposely being misarchived, this should be available and accessible instead:
Melancholic Quest Collection 1 (1-4): http://pastebin.com/hTK0fQmd
Melancholic Quest Collection 2: http://pastebin.com/cX4HC6Q9
Melancholic Quest Collection 3: http://pastebin.com/sTuR8xJv
Melancholic Quest Collection 4: http://pastebin.com/RPwa7nEt
Melancholic Quest Collection 5: http://pastebin.com/DJ71TtFc
Melancholic Quest Collection 6: http://pastebin.com/xxCdZfx6
Melancholic Quest Collection 7: http://pastebin.com/7skcyeX0

Quick Glance (SPOILERS) The quick Who is Who and what Delilah has. Mostly accurate.:


Twitter; @Cowboy_Sue
Discord; https://discord.gg/8CCdcQ3 <--updated to be working
Chat room with me and other players. I answer questions, post sketches, and act cheeky.
Since I vanished randomly for a few weeks, to recap where we are in thread;

>Lawrence has decided to leave the teddy bear from his childhood in Michele's room as a tribute
>PapaLaw has come in and Law has decided to confess a bit of what he was doing when he left
>Probably other important things that I don't remember right now but thats okay
The photograph in your father's hand is of Michele, posing for a quick picture with Charlie's arm slung around her shoulder. Both of them show off matching grins, and had you not known better than they could have appeared as real high school sweethearts.

You avert your gaze away, trying to clear the burn that sears across your throat.

"Tried..." you mumble, fingertips tracing the raised lines that drag across your neck.

"Hm?" It takes a moment, but your father manages to pull himself away from the photo. He tucks away the photo back into the book, and with him back towards you the courage to speak up returns.

"Tried to...bring back," you know to speak up for him, but it doesn't stop the trembles traveling down your hands. For now you focus on them, calloused fingers crisscrossed with each other in attempt to hold steady. "Looked for...Michele. Wanted to...find her. Bring home."

"You mean when you er...left." His back remains facing you, feeling just as uncomfortable when remembering that night.

"Thought...I could..." You almost say, thought I could make things better again, but the thought makes you feel even guiltier. Not only had you failed in bringing Michele back, you begin to doubt whether or not you would have even tried had you not fought with your father that night. As much as you'd like to believe otherwise, you being to wonder if you ever would have had the motivation to try and look for your sister in any other scenario.

The idea that you could really be that selfish takes all your thoughts away, but with your father standing by silently you feel the pressure to continue.

"Looked...asked around. But...couldn't find...Michele." In time.

"Did what...I could." And it wasn't good enough.

"I tried..." You stop to catch your breath, eyes and face burning like your throat. A slight waver in your voice, you force yourself to look up to your father now, "I miss...her."

"Me too." It is all your father can say, and while you have no plans to say anything more right now there's another guilty feeling that tugs away. You miss her, but you know better than to have any hope of seeing her again. You got to find out what happened to Michele- your father has no clue that his only daughter is dead. Even if he won't admit it, there's still the small bit of hope that he will see her again. It's the same feeling you held on to, the same one you would still hold had you not stood at her grave.

You've got nothing left to say, nothing for now anyways. With a heavy sigh, your father rubs at the corner of his eyes as he heads to the door, pausing and waiting for you. Rising up from the bed, you take one last look at the teddy bear sitting against the pillows and blankets. A gift left for someone that is never going to return home, you can't help but wave goodbye as you leave.


Trailing behind by a few steps, you follow your father downstairs and to the kitchen table. Plates and silverware already set out at four chairs, Delilah seated at one as your mother brings over the hot pan. You take a seat next to Delilah, the cassette player resting in her lap as she fiddles around with it.

"Have you figured it out yet?" your mother asks her, bringing a drink for your father as he takes a seat next to you.

"Almost." Delilah looks over the table, a grin coming across her face as she waits for your mother to serve the food.

"It was nice of you to give that to her. It's been sitting around for a while though, I hope it still works..." After dishing out food for everyone your mother finally takes a seat across from you, making herself a plate finally. "But if it doesn't, maybe you could take it over to that one friend of yours -oh what was his name. The one with the motorcycle and all those busted up cars around his house..."

"Boyd Russell." your father answers.

"Right, Boyd. He's still around you know, same house and everything. I see him sometimes at the store, he's well...he's looking a little rough, but seems to be doing alright." Neither of your parents really liked you hanging out with him; he was a few years older, a high school drop out, and would rather spend his time tinkering around with an engine or women rather than get a real job.

"Still not married, who would have thought?" your father scoffs, "That yard of his looks like a junkyard, but if you're needing a spare part for something chances are he's got it. Actually went down and talked to him a few weeks ago. Looking for this part I couldn't find anywhere else, not without breaking the bank anyways. Talked to him for a few minutes and what do you know, he somehow manages to dig through those scrap heaps of his and pull one out. Gave me a fair deal on it and that was that. Wouldn't really want to hang out with the guy, but I guess he's alright if you're needing something."

"Oh but, you know who did get married?' It doesn't take long for your mother to start talking about one of the boys that lived down the street, your parents going back and forth as Delilah listens. You tune out of the conversation, pushing around food on the plate as you think back to Boyd. Normally you would have just shrugged it off, you're not really in the position to go visit childhood buddies and if you were, Boyd would be low on the list.

But if you had to go to anyone here in search of anything like a gun, Boyd would be the man to turn to. Hell, you could probably ask him for anything and he'd find it for you. Even if a gun seems out of question for you, it might be worth seeing what he has to offer.

Or maybe it would be best to see what he's willing to take from you. You're a little unsure on what to do with everything Delilah is holding; even just carrying around John's pills look suspicious, much less if someone manages to dig around and finds everything else she has. There might not be much money in doing so, but unloading some or even all the pills and drugs on Boyd might be the safest thing for you to do right now.

>Plan to go see Boyd later today, go alone
>Plan to go see Boyd later, bring Delilah with
>It would be better just to stay here and figure out what to do yourself
>Plan to go see Boyd later, bring Delilah with
>Plan to go see Boyd later, offer Delilah to come with
>It would be better just to stay here and figure out what to do yourself
>>Plan to go see Boyd later, bring Delilah with
You decide that it would be for the best to go and pay a quick visit to Boyd, just to hurry and get it out of the way. For now you eat, listening as the conversation travels to talks of other neighbors and what they might be up to.

"Say, you helped Del with the cooking today didn't you?" A break in the conversation allows your father to address Delilah, who has mostly kept to herself as she listens to stories about people she has never met before. Not looking up from her plate, Delilah nods but forces herself to speak out loud.

"Y-Yeah, but just a little bit. I didn't do any of the actual hard stuff..."

"Well it's still nice of you to help. You help out in the kitchen often?" Rather than prying, your father seems to just want to make some small talk with Delilah.

"Not very often. When I get the chance to do it though I like it." She keeps her eyes on the table, but starts to talk to him the same as she had been with your mother. There's still that careful tone of being polite and respectful when she speaks, but it no longer feels like she's going to pass out just from speaking to him.

"That's good to hear. If it was warmer outside then I'd bring out the grill, show you how to use that."

"A grill? You mean cooking on actual fire? I don't think I could do that, aren't the guys always supposed to do that anyways?" Delilah occasionally takes peeks over at him, just as quickly looking away again.

"If you want to use it then you should get the chance to, doesn't matter that you're a girl. Hell, Lawrence couldn't care less how his food was cooked for him, but Michele? She would always beg me to set it up as soon as spring came. Can't really do any of that fancy stuff like Del can, but I can work the grill enough."

"She nearly burned her eyebrows off one summer, you remember that? They were both really young then, even younger than you Bunny. I was inside while Lawrence was napping and Michele was out playing while Jacks was trying to cook. She tried to get a closer look at the grill and this big rush of fire comes out...she wasn't scared but I was. Nearly made Jacks get rid of that thing, but she just wanted to learn how to cook on it." Your mother chuckles as she remembers, looking up at her husband now, "Michele was always the adventurous out of the two, wasn't she?"

"Oh for sure. Can't tell you how many times I had to come rescue her from a tree she could climb up but not get back down from."

"What about Lawrence?" Delilah asks.

"She tried to drag him up there with her, none of the trees in our yard were big enough for a tree house but she liked to pretend there was one back there anyways. Her and Lawrence would go up there with blankets and toys and the like, but he weren't really thrilled with going up as high as she wanted," your father explains, "Michele would get stuck just because she couldn't figure out a good way to get down, but Lawrence only got stuck once. Wasn't here in our yard, over at the park I think. Couple of huge trees there, some bigger than the house. They go and climb them like they usually do, but somehow he manages to get himself out on this branch way high up. Michele managed to her herself down, but I guess Lawrence saw just how far down the ground was. Had to climb up there myself to help bring him down, and let me tell you he was holding on to me and having a fit so badly I lost my footing and nearly slipped. He didn't stop shaking the entire ride home, and Michele could never get him to climb any tree since then."

"I didn't mind that. Always made me so nervous when I would look out the window and see them way up there." You try not to roll your eyes at your mother's fretting, looking over to see Delilah trying to hide a smile.

"He's still kind of like that..." Delilah says, "He had to climb a fence this one time, and I thought it was pretty easy. But I get to the other side and he's not there, but when I look back he's at the top, looking scared to death. I didn't think it was that tall, but maybe I'm just that brave." With hints of smugness seeping into her grin, you easily cover it and most of her face with your palm. She fights to release herself, earning a laugh from your mother and even a bit of a smile from your father as you bully her. It feels weird to smile. None of this really feels right, but you try to enjoy it for what it is.


With your mother promising hat she can take care of the dishes, you pull Delilah away and upstairs to where the two of you can speak privately again. Of course, her and your mother believe that it's just for the sake of messing with the cassette player. The entire way to her room Delilah talks about how she can't wait to listen to the tape inside, and how she hopes to find some more to listen to later.

"I'm sure your music is fine but it'd be nice to have a couple of options, you know?" She continues pressing different buttons on the player, and making sure that your father is still downstairs talking with your mother you take a seat at the work desk. You take the time to write out a note right now, Delilah taking a seat in the blankets.

You remember that guy my parents mentioned earlier, Boyd? I plan on seeing him later today, just for a little bit. I would like if you came with me, but if you don't feel comfortable with it than you can stay here

"Oh, um sure. I don't mind, as long as I get to stay with you. But why are we going over there? What are we going to do?"

>See if Boyd will take everything but John's pills
>See if Boyd will take the drugs and John's pills, you don't want Delilah carrying any of it
>See if Boyd has any kind of weapon you could use for protection
>See if Boyd has any kind of weapon you could use for protection
>See if Boyd will take everything but John's pills
>See if Boyd will take everything but John's pills
We're going to get rid of the things of mine you've been carrying around. Boyd is the quickest way we can do that, and he might have something there that might be useful to carry around. Grab everything but John's medication and I won't ever make you carry anything like that again

"Okay, just give me a second. Should I just, carry them in my pocket or something?" Delilah starts to dig through the duffel bag, taking cautionary glances towards the door.

"Yeah. Meet down...stairs. Gettings keys." You move towards the door, stopping immediately as she calls your name.

"Lawrence wait," she says, coming up to you and clutching something small and dark in her hands. "I know you said everything but um...this too?" Delilah hands over the object, a black film canister, and waits for you check its contents. Peeking inside you can see white powder clinging to the edges, a small pile collected at the bottom.

"I'm not really sure what it is," Delilah starts to explain, "But I think you're supposed to uh, do it...up your nose, or whatever. I don't know really but Mich-...your sister g-gave it to me. I've been kind of scared to have it... Can we get rid of it?"

"Yeah. Will bring." The photo canister dips into your pocket, a grimace across your face as you think about Michele offering drugs to someone like Delilah or what could have happened had Delilah decided to try it. You're sure Michele meant no harm from it, but you can't help but avoid looking at her bedroom door as you head downstairs.


From a table by the front door you grab the car keys, poking back to the kitchen where your parents remain.

"Can I?" you ask, dangling the keys at hand.

"You need the car?" your father asks, looking up from the paper he's been reading.

"What for sweetie? Is there something you need?" she doesn't wait for an answer, your mother immediately turning around and walking over. Hard as she tries not to be obvious, your mother can't help but to search for a bag or any other signs that you might not be returning. When Delilah joins down the stairs, coat on and arms crossed over in an attempt to hide any bulging pockets, your mother begins to look her over too. Holding what she does in her pockets must be pressure enough, but being stared down does nothing to help Delilah's already trembling composure.

"Seeing friend." you say, pulling the tape deck out of Delilah's back pocket. "Fix this."

Your father shrugs and returns to his paper, "Sure. Just try not to be out too long."

"Er...yes... Yes! Go ahead sweetie! It'd be nice for you, probably help keep your friend from getting too bored here. Just remember to drive safely-"

Without missing a beat you say thanks and tug Delilah's sleeve to have her follow, not wanting to sit through yet another round of warning. You offer her a quick wave before heading back out to the car. The entire time Delilah is looking all around, keeping a tight grip cover over her pockets long after she has gotten into the car. She only reluctantly lets go when you try to hand the cassette player back, quickly stuffing it into a jean pocket.

"You don't think they noticed anything, do you?"

"No. Did good." You talk and turn the car on, wanting to go ahead and get this over. As bad as it is taking a young teenage girl on what is essentially a drug run, it's best to remember that this isn't a big deal. Boyd might not anything close to a role model, but it doesn't feel like you're really taking Delilah into real danger.

"Do I have to keep holding them in my pockets? I don't know where else to put them but I feel bad using the coat your mom is letting me borrow for something like this..."

"Sorry," you apologize to an anxious Delilah, "Not long. Over soon."

"Just don't speed..." she mumbles, sinking in against her seat, "I don't think your mom would be happy if you were pulled over.."

During the ride Delilah stays silent, too on edge to try and make conversation and you too busy thinking about your conversation earlier with Crockett. That visit you need to make with him needs to be alone, against any protest she might make to that. If it wasn't just for the sake of the information you and he need to cover than for the sake of not seeing how you might react to it. What little you heard over the phone was enough to make you feel sick; you can't imagine what know all the gritty details might do.

"He doesn't live out in the country, does he?" Delilah asks finally, noticing the houses become sparser and the yards wider. The ride across town has been uneventful, though that fact has probably done little in helping her settle down. In response to her question you shake your head, pointing to a house still a ways up. The closer you approach the easier it is to see the strewn apart mess that is his property, cars and scrap heaps scattered as far as he's allowed to go. The house itself is nothing great, part of the roof sunken in but not quiet fallen yet. You recognize it as the place in his living room that always dripped when it rain, a problem that Boyd said never mattered.

Delilah's eyes open wide as she takes in the sight of rusted and dented metal, probably in disbelief over how someone could live in this kind of mess. You maneuver through the piles, careful to avoid scratching up the car as you park beside the only two that still look capable of running. One you recognize as Boyd's, a faded yellow muscle car that had always been his pride and joy but would match the rest of his property if it were to one day shudder apart. The other vehicle you don't recognize, only noticing that is in a better state of repair by a long shot.
"Hand over." you say, turning off the car and reaching out to Delilah. She's quick to unload the contents of her pockets into your hand, watching and you stuff them into your own coat. Waiting for you to step out first, Delilah is quick to move behind you rather than walk with you. Something you come to expect, you've become better at not getting tripped up by her close steps. She look out to the yard as you knock on the door, the sound of voices inside traveling through. Taking a step back, you instinctively shoot an arm out in front of Delilah as the door swings open.

A beer belly that has more than doubled in size and a head with half as much hair, you come face to face to a graying Boyd who has somehow managed to stuff himself inside the same faux leather jacket.

"Listen buddy, I don't know who you're looking for but they aren't here."

"Boyd." Leaning down to make better eye contact, you watch as the chipped sunglasses hanging off his greasy face lower as he looks your face over.

"Jesus fucking Christ...that you Law? What the hell happened to your face man? Looks like you lost somewhere down the road...wait, how long have you been back in town?"

"Come in?" you ask, gesturing to you and Delilah. She offers a what can hardly be called a wave, moving next to you but making sure she's still a step behind you.

"Uh, yeah. Yeah sure, come on in." Boyd moves out of the way to let you walk in, looking over Delilah before closing the door. On the same dingy and broken couch shoved into the corner of a living room desperately in need of cleaning, five teenagers sit around a television. Between the three girls and two boys are numerous bottles and cans of beer, most of them in the process of smoking their way through a carton of cigarettes. Boyd saunters over, standing next to the television as he speaks to them.

"Hey guys, got a buddy of mine back in town right now. Just gonna dip on over to the other room to talk to him for a bit if that's cool."

"I think we're almost out of Coors." One of the girls announce, holding up her half empty can.

"Already? I mean, just hold tight and I'll get it figured out. I haven't seen this guy in years! Used to get up to all sorts of trouble with this guy, right Law?"

"She your friend too?" Another girl calls out, balancing a cigarette between her fingers as she points to Delilah.

"Her? Er, no. She came with Law I guess. I-"

"You wanna come watch Jump Street with us?" the same girl calls out, now ignoring him as she addresses Delilah directly. "I'm the only one sitting alone over here."

"Uh...s-sure," Delilah agrees, looking at you once for approval before stepping forward, "If that okay with you?"

"Go on." You encourage, hoping this won't take longer than it needs to. The girl scoots over and offers a spot next to her, away from either of the boys.

"C'mon Law. We can talk in the bedroom," Boyd says as he has you follow him to the one private room of the house. The bedroom proves to be in worse condition than the living room, most of the junk from in there shoved carelessly in here to try and appear clean. He closes the door halfway, allowing him to hear any commotion from the living room. "So I'm guessing you need something, right? Only reason why someone like you would stop by."

You reach into your pocket, pulling out a tablet to hold out and show Boyd.

"No way, is that what I think it is?" Boyd snatches it out of your hand, closely inspecting it. "Are you really selling something like, what is this... ecstasy? What the hell have you been doing man?"

"Want it...or not?" you ask. He looks over the white tab in his hand, looking ready to ask a million questions but is stopped by the urgency written on your face.

"Show me what you've got."


You watch as Boyd digs through another box, busily scourging up what money he has stashed and strewn away.

"Shit Law, I don't know..." he mutters, tossing the box aside when it contains nothing he needs right now. "I've got about fifty here but I don't really think I'm gonna be able to find another hundred and twenty... maybe if you come back in a few days."


"Why not? You planning on fleeing the county or something?" Boyd pulls open a locked box stashed under the bed, pulling out a cumulation of crumpled bills and adding them to the pile. "Look at that Law, found another twelve bucks. But I don't really have anywhere else to look right now, sorry man."

You look between the pile of money and drugs, knowing that at the moment one severely out weighs the other. The money is much more appealing, despite coming from such a sleazeball, yet you aren't sure if you're willing to take such a loss. There's no doubt that Boyd would be able to get that amount of money later on, but you have no clue if that means a day's worth of waiting or a month.

"I can read it on your face man, you're not happy with this." Giving up on his search, Boyd takes a breather and sits on the bed. He takes the time to recount and smooth out the bills the best he can, all while eyeing your pile. "I may not have cash, but maybe there's something else I could trade you for. Wouldn't want you to walk away without an honest trade, you know? Got anything on mind? Just ask and I bet I'll find it somewhere around here."

>Take what money Boyd has now and offer to come get the rest later
>Ask Boyd if he'd have anything for self protection around
>Refuse the offer, you'd lose too much money on this deal and you need all you can get
>Take what money Boyd has now and offer to come get the rest later
Unfortunately there's not much we could get away with. A gun? And what, ask Delilah to hold it because no one would think to suspect her? That's just sleazy.

Worst-case scenario we can go buy a D-cell Maglite at the hardware store. It's an illumination device, and a majority of cops see it as such.

Maybe see if Boyd actually can do something to fix the tape deck.

Supporting. The tape player needs fixing for sure.

Also inquire as to who the hell all the people out front are
You let out a frustrated sigh but reach out for the money, "When can...get rest?"

"C'mon, you know I'll be good for it man. You aren't planning on running off tomorrow or something are you?" Boyd lays the bills in your hand and immediately you start counting them out again. You shake your head no to his question, but he soon picks up on the fact that you aren't messing around either. "I don't think I can get the rest tomorrow but just give me two or three days, I should be able to scrape up enough. Just stop by and you'll have the rest, cool?"

The situation isn't really ideal, but there's little else you can do. The drug money dips into your pocket and you wait for Boyd to hide away his newly acquired stash. Looking away as he enters the combo in to a safe tucked away under his bed, you look back out to the living room again.

"Who they?"

"What?" Boyd asks as he makes room inside. "You mean the ki-, the uh, guys out there? Just some buddies of mine. They come to hang around sometimes you know, just like we used to."

"How old?"

"All of them? I mean shoot, I don't know all their exact ages or anything but they're all at least sophomores in high school. No big deal, right? We were hanging around when you were about fifteen, remember?" You bite your tongue, stopping yourself from saying that Boyd has only seemed capable of making friends with people that young. And now, standing in the house years later, you can understand why. As a teen, you never thought it was odd that an adult would spend his time around a bunch of teens, more than eager to go out of his way to fetch what they requested. If anything, you were confused as how someone as popular as him would take the time to do that, but now you could never see him getting along with others his age. Even to you, a man who's been stuck living on the street, you feel some sort of relief knowing that you haven't stooped down as low as Boyd.

"Don't give," you point to the safe as he closes it, "to them."

"What kinda guy do you think I am? I would never do something like that-"

"But smokes...beer okay?"

"Hey now, they'd be legal for that over in Europe. You were doing the same and look, you turned out alright, relatively I mean. Anyways, this the only reason you come around? Sling some pills at your old friend?" Boyd rises back up from the floor, out of breath from the excursion.

"Yeah." you reply unapologetic, stopping at the door once more as you watch Delilah. "Actually...tape deck."


"Can you...fix? Tape deck?"

"Uh, maybe. I'll go ahead and take a look for you, those aren't really too difficult to work with."

When you approach Delilah, she tears herself away from the TV and hops up to her feet. "Are we ready to go?" she asks, the girl she was sitting with looking disappointed.

"Cassette." You take the deck player from her, handing over to Boyd in an attempt to keep space between the two. "Fix this." you tell him, Boyd looking over the player.

"Damn, haven't seen one this old in a while. Long as it still turns on I should be able to mess around with it, give me a few minutes." Going to the card table serving as a kitchen table, Boyd takes the tape player and begins to pry it open. If he held any good work ethic or followed instruction than you could see him holding a steady job, even if it was only as a repair man. You stay over in the living room though, not wanting to leave Delilah alone again. She hesitantly takes a seat again, the girl next to her laying back as the credits begin to roll.

"Maaan...I'm bored. We should just head over to Jim's place." she laments, letting her cigarette ash into the carpet.

"Is Jim a friend of yours?" Delilah asks, looking relieved as you come to stand by her.

"Yeah. He's cool, got paid the other day so his house is probably stocked up." A boy on the couch adds in, finishing his drink all at once. "Plus, his house is way awesome. He got a VHS player last month, it's pretty sweet." The girl next to Delilah pulls out a new cigarette, offering one to her. Delilah declines, but only after thinking about it for a few moments. The girl shrugs and looks over at you next, holding it out.

"What bout you big guy? Want one?" The girl offers it out, and as much as you would like one right now you also decline. She puts it back, the girl nearest to her giggling.

"Looks like you were turned down again." she teases.

"Oh please, I'm just being nice. You could learn something from me."

"Riiiight, I could learn how to get turned down by old dudes."

"That's so rude!" It's Delilah that gets the next word in, sitting up at the table as she stares down the girl on the couch. "He's not that old! And that's such a mean thing to say!" Catching even you off guard, her sudden outburst keeps the older kids speechless.

"Erm listen, he's not like...old like our parents or anything I didn't mean that. J-Just that uh..." The deep red in her face and the cans laying at a pile near her show that she wasn't ready for this, finding herself in a buzzed loss of words. "And like, didn't mean no o-offense to you either dude, just like... just messing around with ya. I know you wouldn't be creepy and go out chasin' little girls, probably." This time it's Delilah's turn to be at a loss for words, her face becoming flustered.


"Yo, Law!" Making Delilah stop immediately, Boyd rushes over with the tape deck in hand. Flourishing out like he's displaying a miracle, the play button is hit and music begins to play out. "Pretty great, right? Just needed to take off the back, mess with some of the wheels... easy stuff. Nice Talking Heads tape, by the way." Looking at the player, you're hit with a sudden wave of nostalgia for it. Boyd has a ridiculous grin on his face, but that too reminds you of the years before. Looking over, you see that Delilah has come to stand at your side, trying to avoid any eye contact with the older kids behind her.


"No problem Law, you heading out now?" You now and Boyd reaches a hand out to you, giving a rather weak handshake. "Alright, you take care man. I'll get that cash to ya."


"Yeah yeah, I know. Soon."


You lead Delilah out to the car, thankful for the fresher air of outside. The entire way she sulks, peeved off even after getting in the car. Hoping to cheer her up, you pull out the cassette player.

"Here y-"

"You're not creepy!" Yet another outburst that catches you off guarder, the player nearly falls out of your hand. Delilah is looking up at you now, frustrated as ever. "That girl in there was just being rude. You're not creepy or anything, I don't think you are anyways..." Embarrassed by herself now, she frets about in her seat.

And you can't help but laugh.

Raspy and making it hard to breathe, you manage to hand over the player. "Thanks." you grin, starting the car and finally pulling away from the house. Still unsure if you were laughing at her or the ridiculousness of all this, Delilah instead looks over her new present. Trying out every button, she becomes giddier upon seeing that it completely works now.

"This is so cool..." she says under her breath, listening through the headphones. The sun has started to move further down in the sky, just a few short hours before sunset now. After listening for a while Delilah sets the headphones back down in her lap, turning it off for now.

"Sorry about...music."

"It's okay, I don't mind. I bet I could find some more cassettes at a store or something." she starts to look out the window and asks, "So is this all you had to do today? Are we just going to stay at the house today?"

>You still need to go meet up with Crockett, and would prefer to do that today
>Crockett can wait till tomorrow, stay home with Delilah
>Crockett can wait till tomorrow, stay home with Delilah
While there wasn't exactly a promise, we can at least prove we aren't just dicking around. Might also be easier to be sure Del is comfortable being left alone at our parents' tomorrow.
"We can...stay home."

"Cool, that's fine." Delilah reaches over and turns on the radio, finding a station that she's satisfied with and leaning back to continue watching out the window. Tomorrow you'll have to go out and meet Crockett, and pray that Boyd manages to get the rest of your money collected. It's too late to go and collect any of it again -not that you'd really want to- but the idea of losing out on money you're needing to save up right now doesn't help make you feel any better either. At least you can rest a bit easier knowing that Delilah doesn't have to carry it around for you anymore.

Pulling back up into the drive way, you can see that Delilah has a troubled look.

"You fine?" Right away, you begin to wonder if one of those kids at Boyd's place gave her something, if you were stupid for leaving her alone with them like that.

"My head hurts a little... I think it was from the smoke or something." Delilah mumbles the last part, hurrying to exit the car. "It's not a big deal." She doesn't want to talk about it right now and you give it to her, leading her back into the house and finding your mother watching from the window. Of course she gets to the door before you, opening it wide and ushering both of you in.

"How was it? The car run okay? Get everything you needed done?" You return the keys back to the table, Delilah showing her the tape player.

"We got this working, I guess it needed more than just batteries."

"Oh see, I never would have guessed. I'm glad it's working now, Lawrence used to love that thing," your mother tries to hold back a wide smile. "I know they might not be stuff you would listen to really, but we have a box with some old cassettes over by the TV. Feel free to look through them, maybe you can find something you like."

"Where dad?"

"Tom picked him up, remember him? He and Jacks like to plays cards over at the Bakers sometimes. Should be back before dinner, though I'm not really planning anything too special for tonight. Hope that's okay with you two?"

"Yes ma'am." Delilah answers, you giving a halfhearted nod as you slip off your coat and boots.

"Great. I was just going to head up to the sewing room for a bit, I want to work on this quilt I'm working on. Promise I won't touch any of your stuff, just holler if you need anything. Or I guess ask Lawrence, he should probably know where most things are." Before heading upstairs your mother grabs you, give you a hug slightly too tight and lasting slightly too long to feel normal, a sigh coming from her before letting you go. "If the phone rings let me know, okay? I can't really hear it ringing from upstairs."

Promising to let her know, she leaves the two of you alone downstairs. Excited by the prospect of finding cassettes for her new collection, Delilah is more than eager to plop down in the living room and dig through the box. You just crash onto the couch, laying down and starring at the ceiling, listening to the plastic shuffle around. You begin to doze off, more than happy to take a quick nap, only to have a VHS thrust in front of you.

Delilah holds it out to you and asks, "I think this fell out of it's case, but it doesn't have a label. Do you know what movie it is?" Taking it from her, you are quick to recognize what she found. In black ink barely visible against the dark gray plastic, you point out the title written on the edge.

Summer Vacation 1977

"Wait, is this yours? How did you guys make this?" Delilah takes the tape back, looking closer at the writing.

"Cousin does...film. Let us...borrow."

"That's so cool! At my old school, one of my friends always got to borrow her dad's camera." Holding it up, Delilah asks, "Can I watch it then? Please...?" At the slightest hint of a 'yes' from you Delilah rushes over to the television, sliding in the tape and getting it to play. As the image begins to come in focus she rushes back to the couch, sitting on the ground in front of you. Knowing the contents of the video forward and backwards at this point, you instead take the money from your coat and begin to thumb through it once more. Just another small amount to add to your stash, it feels pathetic to know that you've stooped down to hustling drugs,

The idea of your parents finding all this out strikes you, and from there a downward spiral continues. Even just thinking about mentioning Michele's death to them makes you sick to your stomach, and no amount of planning or booze could get you fully ready to approach the subject. Even just getting the timing right seems impossible to figure out. You'd plan on saving it for the last second, to tell them and go, not having to deal with the aftermath that would come. It's cheap and cowardly and would be in line with plenty of your previous actions, but there's a nagging part of you that says this is too low even for you. The right thing to do would be to tell them as soon as you get the chance, to make time to sit them down and explain what happened, and to be there afterwards to try and answer the millions of questions they're bound to have. But if your parents don't take it well, if you have to take Delilah out in a rush because of it, that may put you in a precarious position. Crockett hasn't been able to give you any sort of indicator on when you might continue to Delilah's grandmother, and you feel much safer inside your parent's house over some cheap motel anyways.

And yet some how, you manage to think of yet another option, something much easier than the other two but yet another thing to keep you up at night.

>Talk about Michele's death as soon as you can
>Wait as long as you can to tell your parents
>This isn't a good time, keep her death a secret

>Talk about Michele's death as soon as you can

The sooner it's over with the sooner we can stop worrying about it and maybe start to fully process this shit
>Talk about Michele's death as soon as you can
>Talk about Michele's death as soon as you can
Might be best if we try coming to terms with it ourselves first. Borrow the car tomorrow to meet with Crockett, using the rear view mirror to tell ourselves Michele died few times.

We should probably also make sure mom and dad are home at the same time so we don't tell one and the other knows something's wrong the moment they come through the door.
Your stomach churns at the thought, but it would be the right thing to do. Tonight would even work, you would need to figure out what to say, sit them both down, and just break the news. Much easier said than done, but you have the luxury of a few hours before it happens-

'Hello? Do you think this is on?' Your mother's voice talks between the noise, coming out of the television. On screen, the camera was turned on while pointed at the ground, her sandals in the shot as she messes around with the camera.

'Did you follow the instructions? Melissa took a lot of time to write those instructions for you!' Another pair of feet come into frame, the camera finally swinging up as a much younger Michele looks right into the lens. 'The lights are on, sounds like it's runnin' too.' The picture on screen isn't too clear, plenty of noise and static blurring the black and white image, but your sister's face is clear enough for you. A flashy smile at the camera, and then she starts to guide your mother over.

'Dad is still trying to get the fire goin'. How's it coming along Dad?' The camera pans over, taking a bit to focus on where your father knelt down, a smoldering campfire in front of him. Coughing, he covers his mouth from the smoke and gives a quick wave to the camera.

'Law, you got that kindling yet? I nearly got this going.' He starts to fan what little flame he has, your mother zooming in to try and show it off. Another set of shoes step into frame, and the camera begins to zoom out once more as fifteen year old you answers.

'It's right here.' Grumpy that you were put on firewood duty, you stood next to the fire with an arm full of sticks. You start to hand the wood over to your father, waiting as he feeds it into the slowly growing fire.

'C'mon Law! Smile for the camera!' Michele calls out and seeing that your mother is filming, you just make an exaggerated annoyed gesture.

'Aw Lawrence, you can give your mom a nice smile can't you?' Leaving the rest of the wood with your father, you went over to the picnic table and sat down, pulling a drink from the cooler.

'I don't know how to smile.' You knew how to respond just right to get on your mother's nerve, something you enjoyed doing. It wasn't long before Michele came back in frame, rushing over and throwing her arms around your neck, forcing you to look back at the camera.

'Don't be so mean!' Michele says, pinching and pulling on one of your cheeks. 'Just smile nice for Mom!'

'Nah, I don't wanna-' Your objections are cut short as Michele attempts to force a smile on you, leading to the two of you wrestling as she keeps trying to force a smile on your face. The camera bobs in your mother's hands, trying to stay focused on the scene. As your father stands up the camera moves over to him, following as he walks back over to the table for matches. By the time the camera has turned back to the two of you, Michele is being held far back by one of your arms as she tries to reach for your cheeks again, both of you laughing at this game of keep away. From there the tape begins to repeat stills of images, static muffling your mother talking.

"Battery...died." you explain, knowing that this continues on for a few minutes. Sitting up from the couch, you can see that Delilah is still starring at the screen. "Not much...else."

"You were so cute..." Delilah breaks her sight from the television, wiping her eyes and sniffling. "Just like in your pictures. You look so different now but I can still tell it's you."

"Was a...little punk."

"You were cute! Trying to act all tough and cool like that," she smiles more, "And you had that notch in your eyebrow and your cowlick...You and your sister were so cute playing together like that too. Was it always like that?"


"It was hard to see, but you were already trying to grow out your facial hair too weren't you?" Delilah stands up now, wanting to look over your face in comparison.

"Had hair."

"Barely, I could see that much. It was like peach fuzz," she reaches out and rubs a thumb over your chin, "And now here you are looking all shaggy with it."

"Not that...bad."

"I've seen worse. But when it's long like this it's all scratchy." To illustrate her point, Delilah holds you in place and rubs her much smoother cheek against yours, pulling away almost instantly. "See? I bet if it was like in the video then it would just be ticklish instead."

"If I...grow it?"

"Like a real beard? Um, maybe. As long as you keep it nice looking," she continues to look over your face, trying to imagine what it would look like if you did let it grow. You let her hands hold your cheeks, letting her move your face around as she inspects it carefully. "It was kinda weird though..."


"Hearing you talk, like...like normal. S-Sorry for saying it like that." Letting you go, Delilah instead reaches up and starts trying to pat down your cowlick, in a move to avoid eye contact. "But like, I knew you didn't always talk like this but I guess I wasn't ready to actually hear how you used to be."

"Sounded way...different."

"Yeah, kind of. I could still tell that it was you though." Pulling back now, she starts to keep her hands to herself instead. Her demeanor shifts from musing to troubled, and when she does speak again its much quieter. "M-...Michele was really cute too."


"She looked like a good big sister."


"And you're still going to tell them about... about that, right?" You nod. "A-Are you going to tell them everything? Or...sorry if I'm prying too much I just can't imagine d-doing that..."

>Your parents deserve to know everything that happened
>Save your parents some of the rougher details
>Your parents deserve to know everything that happened
Just don't answer questions they don't ask. Don't tell them how if they don't ask, don't tell them where if they don't ask.

... don't tell them what she was doing if they don't ask.
>Your parents deserve to know everything that happened
"Everything," you say, "All they...want." It's not going to be pretty, but it's better than trying to lie to them. Michele might have gone down the wrong path, but your parents still deserve to know what happened. Certainly not something you look forward to, but Delilah looks more anxious about it than you. Instead of saying anything she resorts to biting her nail, face scrunching up with discomfort.

"I'm sorry you have to do that."

"It's fine."

"No, it sucks." Sounding agitated now, her fretting turns to nervous scratching at her neck. "How do you think it's going to go? We wouldn't have to leave early, would we?"

"Don't think...so." Not enough to really calm her down, and no doubt she's not prepared to handle all of this stress.

"I should um, I shouldn't be in the room when you do it, right?" Delilah eventually asks, trying to keep her nails from digging too deep into the skin.

"Probably...be best. Stay in...room."

"I thought so. But I just...ah..." She stops herself mid sentence, fingers traveling up to scratch at her head and try to clear her thoughts. Ready to tell you something, Delilah fights the urge to speak up again. In such a short amount of time she's become stressed out, eyes becoming red and glossy with tears. You can't pinpoint what exactly it was that set her off the edge like this, feeling dumb and useless as her face hides between her hands. "I'm sorry..."

"It's fine. Don't w-"

"Not about this. I'm not talking about this, I'm talking about..." Teeth dig into her bottom lip, once again silencing her own thoughts. "It's something I need to t-talk about with you too, I have to. I don't want to, I don't want you to hate me b-but... if you can talk to your parents about this, then I think I can talk to you about th-this." Delilah takes extra care in not telling you what this is, but it's no doubt eating her up on the inside even right now.

"Okay. You can...tell me. Won't hate...you."

"You say that now."

"I promise-" You have to stop and cough, chest and throat feeling sore. Itching for a cigarette, you start to regret not taking the one from earlier. If your mother didn't hate smoking so much you'd just go to the garage for a quick cigarette, but the instant she catches a whiff of smoke she'd start lecturing you all too late on how bad they are for you. It's annoying enough for you to deal with, it would explain Delilah's mood if she was going through similar.

"I'm going to look through these again." Delilah says after some time, returning to the box. Feeling at too much of a loss to do much else, you watch as the VHS reaches the end of it's tape, clicking before rewinding itself. In reverse you watch the scene all over again, you and Michele acting how siblings should. It's tough to watch, and reminds you just how hard this is going to be for you later.


Even after the return of your father and a quick dinner together, neither you or Delilah say much. Giving an excuse of a headache, Delilah only manages a few bites of her dinner and remains silent unless spoken to. The silence is filled up with your mother asking how the game went today, but it seems even your father is acting standoffish, surprising in that his games were usually something he was proud of. He answers all of her questions, but with short and direct answers. You've lived with him long enough to know that he's not angry, but his attitude doesn't make you feel any better either. You keep trying to look for the perfect opportunity to talk, but each chance you get passes because of your own hesitation.

Dinner finishes before you even speak up, mother ready to clean up and your father to head off to garage.

"I need-" you stop, seeing that you caught them off guard just by speaking up. Already knowing what you're going to say, Delilah gives you a quick look of pity as she helps to clear off the table. Knowing that it's either now or never, you don't either of them in the eye as you continue. "Need to...talk. To both...of you. Tonight."

"Oh, sure sweetie. Just give me a minute and we can talk- er, right Jacks?" This has already raised red flags to your mother, who tries not to sound too worried but already is thinking of everything that could be wrong.

"Sure. You mean right now?" You don't look at him and just nod, knowing that it's too late to take it back. Agreeing to meet in the living room in a few minutes, your mother helps Delilah with starting her laundry before the younger girl goes back up the stairs, leaving you to deal with this alone. You sit on the couch and wait patiently. Soon your father comes to sit in his chair, not saying a word as you wait together. Already, your heart had begun to beat uncomfortably quick and your breaths feel harder to take. Mentally you go over how this conversation needs to go, what all you need to say, the questions they might ask- everything you can to prepare for this.

Nearly all of it goes out the window once your mother comes in, apologizing for taking so long as she takes her seat. The clock on the wall ticks away the seconds that pass, everyone waiting on you to initiate the conversation. You wish for anything that could calm your nerves right now; a smoke break, a hard drink- hell, at this point it feels like even having Delilah in the room could at least give you what you need to get through this. Making her sit through this would be too cruel, an you keep reminding yourself over and over again that you are a man, and that you can do this.

"M-..." Stuttering already, you take a moment to clear your throat and your head.
Deep breath, and you look up at your parents.

"Mom. Dad." Your mouth feels dry, but you've got to continue. "This about...Michele." Looking up, there's a new wave of attentiveness that washes over your parents.

They're all ears, and ready to hear every little thing you have to say.

>Tell them never mind
>Tell your parents that your sister is dead (roll 1d100 for composure)
Rolled 37 (1d100)

>Tell your parents that your sister is dead (roll 1d100 for composure)
Rolled 30 (1d100)

>Tell your parents that your sister is dead (roll 1d100 for composure)
Rolled 24 (1d100)

>Tell your parents that your sister is dead
Rolled 31 (1d100)

>Tell your parents that your sister is dead (roll 1d100 for composure)
Rolled 17 (1d100)

How are those rolls treating you anons
Rolled 89 (1d100)

File: PayDatRent_1284.gif (56 KB, 450x300)
56 KB
Fuck the rules, reroll as much as I want.
Rolled 12 (1d100)

Rolled 88 (1d100)

This is the conversation they've been waiting for, you can't go and fuck it up now.

"Michele is-...she's...-" You dance around the last word, knowing that once it's out the hardest part is done.

"What about her? Do you know where she is?" Your mother sits on the edge of her seat, no longer trying to keep a calm demeanor. Beside her, your father remains silent, perhaps prepared to face bad news already. There's still desperation in her voice, hinting that she still hopes that her daughter will return one day. Something that you're about to ruin, another thing you're going to take away from them.

"D-..." you can't find yourself saying the word, looking down to avoid their intense gaze. It feels harder to breathe, like each breath you take is more difficult than the last.

"Please, just tell us sweetie!" Your mother already sounds close to tears, with all the urgency and fear a mother could have in this situation. You don't want to be the one to bring bad news again, you're tried of being the one that ruins things for the family, you don't want to do this anymore.

"Lawrence." This time it's your father speaking, strict and blunt as ever. "Spit it out. What is it about Michele?"

"Jacks, please. Don't rush him-"

"I'm not trying to, but we've gone years with hearing anything from her and I want to know what's happening with our daughter." His tone might be angry, but it's not directed to you or her.

"You're getting all worked up, just try to calm down now an-"

"D-Dead..." Of course your voice had to crack, more than usual. Your eyes and throat burn with tears, but it's far too late to stop now. "M-... Michele is...dead." The words are more than enough to stop your parents, the coming break in silence coming anxiously quick.

"No, y-... you're kidding, ri-..." Even with disbelief, your mother begins to lose herself in the swelling tears.

"How in the hell, what do you mean she died? What the hell happened? Jesus I...were you there? What happened?" If your father hadn't spoken up then maybe you'd have the courage to look them in the eyes, but right now it's taking all you've got just to keep talking.

"Wasn't there...when happened. Was there...too late. After she...was d-...gone. Never saw...before then." Just barely too late, if you could have just been there earlier that day then this conversation wouldn't even need to happen. You could have came home with your sister and things could have been alright again.

"How did it happen?" He's starring at you, the burning on your neck is proof of that. Your mother is too busy trying not to choke up and leaving him to interrogate.

"Don't know...for sure. There was...fight. With boyfriend. She had...knife wounds."

"Was it that Charlie bastard?"

"No. Didn't know...this guy. Were living...together. He died...too."

"W-Was he...? Was he k-killed? Did Michele...?" It's hard to understand your mother speak right now, each word choking her up.

"Don't know." When you were at the apartment, there were plenty of rumors spreading around. A domestic fight that got out of hand, revenge on a cheater, a double suicide; none of it could give you a clear enough story on what happened. "Came there...that day. She wasn't...home. Came back...later. Cops. Ambulance...wasn't allowed...closer." A mournful sob shakes your mother to the core and she no longer holds back her crying.

"My baby giiirl..." she sobs, "My p-poor baby..."

"It wasn't here, right? She wasn't hiding out somewhere in town was she?"

"No." You finally sneak a look up, your father wanting to ask a million questions but unable to come up with just one at a time. There's anger and despair in the room, the realization that their daughter died young.

"Th-They b-buried her at l-least, right...?" Your mother reaches for tissues, trying to calm herself down as she wipes away the tears. "My baby was at least b-...b-buried in a proper g-grave, r-right? They wouldn't just let her lay in s-some morgue, would they?"

"Buried. Has a...plot. Wasn't there...for funeral."

"We h-have to bring her back her Jacks. I c-can't let my baby be buried in s-some cemetery f-far away like this...she should be b-...b-buried by her h-home..." It's another round of crying, your father holding her for comfort as she cries into his shoulder. "W-We need to have a s-service here...we need to call the family and let them kn-know and...oh my god. She's dead, our daughter is dead."

Hearing your own mother speak so bluntly about this is too much for you, head collapsing in your hand as you try to keep it together.

"We have two plots already bought, I think there's a couple more around it. I'll see if we can get one right next to ours..." Your father is monotone, a sign that he really wasn't ready for this news. You want to offer up some good news, anything to make them feel even a little bit better about all this, but you can't think of anything meaningful.

"I'm sorry." It's a hollow apology, one you're sure they didn't even hear over the talk of burying their child. "My fault..."

"I can't believe...Jesus, the l-last time I s-saw her we...we were f-fighting. The one time I l-lose my temper and I n-...never got the chance to a-apologize..." Your mother speaks between her weeping. "What if she h-hated me?!"

"She didn't hate you, I promise." your father tries to assure her but he's not taking this news any better.

"But now I'll-...I'll never know for s-sure..." Your mother knows just how to hurt your heart, every part of you hurting as she cries out "I should have been a better mother, it's my f-fault." You just want to say something to make to make this better, but you're useless in this. Absolutely and completely useless, there's only one remotely positive thing you can bring to this, something that isn't going to do much to relieve their aching hearts.

"Michele...saved her." You point to the upstairs, doing your best not to stutter. It's enough to get their attention, and you share the one silver lining there is to this.

"She knew her?" your mother manages to ask.

"Saw Bunny...on street. Offered her...place. Kept away...from danger. Was nice...to Bunny...when others...weren't."

"I'm...I'm glad she was able to do something good then." He may still looked shocked but your father sounds genuine with this, maybe just grateful to have any good news about Michele at this point.

"I'm sorry. So sorry." you say again with their attention on you, but you once again lose the will to look either them in the eyes. You instead wait with your head bowed, listening as your parents continue to mourn.

This might be out of the way, but they still don't know that you plan on leaving soon.


After your mother says she needs to go lay down, you linger on the couch for a while longer, barely able to hear your parents talking from their bedroom. There could have been done more gracefully, a better approach could have helped with their coping right now, but you can't go back and redo this. What's been done has been done, and now you have to move on from it.

Or, at the very least, forget about it long enough to fall asleep tonight.

The trudge up stairs takes longer than usual, your entire body feeling heavier than usual. Your burden should feel lighter right now but it doesn't, instead you just feel drained. Dark outside but not too terribly late, bed is more than welcomed at this point. Reaching your room, you've decided that after all that you've gone through today, a much needed cigarette break is in order. Not wanting to go back downstairs for the night, you close the door behind you and turn on a lamp.

With all that was going on, you'd almost forgotten about Delilah being here. But her presence in your bed is more than a reminder, laying out on top of the covers like she hadn't planned on falling asleep yet. Changed out of her clothe from earlier, you finally figure out which shirt she had 'borrowed' earlier. Much too big for her and with the collar hanging loosely from her neck, Delilah has already went ahead and claimed one of your old concert shirts as a nightie for herself.

There's a hint of a smile on your face but it's taken away by the thudding pain in your head. Taking a step, you feel something shift beneath your foot and find a photo pinned beneath your sock. From where Delilah's hand rests across the bed, it may have been dropped by her and you quickly bend down to rescue it from the floor.

When you see that it's the picture of you and Vanessa, you double check to make sure it's actually the one you received earlier. Every crease and dirty edge looks the same, and you'd have just assumed it dropped out of the pocket if you ever brought your coat upstairs. The only way it could have came up here is if it was brought up, the likely culprit asleep in your bed.

>Wake Delilah up and ask about the picture
>Let Delilah sleep, today has been long enough
>Take her back to her room
>Let Delilah sleep, today has been long enough
>Let Delilah sleep, today has been long enough
Simple and clean
No lewd alterior motives here no sir.
You tuck the photo away into your pocket for now, tossing the blanket over Delilah before shutting off the light and cracking open the window. A small breeze wafts through as you sit on the floor, quick to add the trail of smoke from a lit cigarette. With a long exhale, you try to clear your mind of the last hour. Morning is going to be hard to deal with too, another thing you have started to loathe. There's no doubt that your parents will remain awake for most of the night; either planning or mourning, most likely both.

The best thing you can do right now is not think of it at all. Just finish this smoke, go to bed, and deal with the morning as it comes. Your shoulder and head slumped against the wall, you watch the gray transparent trail lead up and to the outside. Things would be nice if you could leave just as easily, to not have to deal with the knot in your stomach. Anything that you've been rebuilding from the two of them must be gone now, there's no way things are going to be okay again. They just lost a daughter, things can't be okay-

"...Lawrence?" In the dark, you can just see the outline of Delilah's form against the bed, the orange light of your cigarette doting her eyes.

"I'm here."

"I tried to stay awake for you," Delilah whispers as she continues laying down, "falling asleep was an accident, I'm sorry."

"It's okay. Does head...feel better?"

In response she slowly shakes her head, pushing herself up and keeping the blanket close. "It still hurts." Delilah speaks calmly and softly, fingers coming to touch her forehead. They linger for a moment, drifting down to rest against her chest next, "But my heart has been hurting too." You start to jump up to come to the aid but fall back down, Delilah sliding off the bed and wraping her arms around your neck to stop you.

"I don't mean like that," she whispers with her face pressed against your neck, "It hurts because I've been a bad person."

"Delilah, it...can wait."

"It's about Michele. It can't." You remain silent, Delilah releasing you to sit back down in front of you. She stares at the hands resting in her lap, taking deep breaths as she closes her eyes. With an anxiously shaking hand you take another nervous breath of smoke, not sure if you're going to be capable to handle this tonight.

"I have to tell you this Lawrence, I'm sorry," she sniffs, "After knowing what you just had to do by yourself, I f-figured I could be just as brave. And if I don't get this out then I...I won't be able to sleep at night." It sounds like you have no other choice now, nothing other than sitting patiently for Delilah to get out what she needs. It looks like she's going to start several times but stops short, getting no more than a word out at a time. When she finally does start it's with a falter, her voice breaking away as she tries to convince herself to do this.

"Y-...Your parents have been such n-nice people, it r-...reminds me that parents can be nice. And you, oh my god... I can't say I love you and k-keep this to a secret from you." Delilah stops a sob, digging her fingers at her chest. "It k-kills me to walk around and see all these happy p-pictures of her on the w-walls, and...and I c-can't even stand to l-look at your dad." She's losing it more and more with each word, a tremble traveling through her body. You'd reach out to her but it feels like that wouldn't be the right move at the moment, that the slightest touch would just make her collapse.

"Even he's b-been so nice to me, he reminds me so much of you b-but every time I see him, every time I look him in the e-eyes." It didn't take you touching her, Delilah collapses forward, not hitting the floor only because you catch her by the shoulders. "All I s-see is M-...Michele! Every time I l-look at him I...I can see her in his eyes and...and then all I c-can see is Michele l-looking at me with her blood on my h-hands..."

You stiffen up at this, not sure what she's talking about now. Her nails claw at your arms now, trying to get a good hold on them as Delilah tries to talk past her crying.

"It was my fault...!" She would be so much louder if she had the energy, but you can feel it in her hands; she's just as drained as you. "I was scared and th-they had been fighting s-so loud...I thought h-he got her and...and I thought he was going to g-get me next! I thought he ki-...killed her, and that he was g-going to come in and h-hurt me again like a-at the s-store...like in my room...I d-didn't want that to h-happen again, I d-din't want anyone to h-hurt me like that again. So the k-knife, th-that terrible knife th-they gave me f-...for hurting me, I had to use it- I didn't have anything else. I was so scared, I w-was hiding in the bathroom and he was c-coming and there was nowhere else f-for me to go so I had to p-pull out my knife and...and to escape I had to... L-Lawrence...!"

Delilah pulls back to look you in the face, a deep red face with soaked cheeks, and you listen as she manages to choke out; "I d-didn't look and I ended up s-stabbing Michele... I did it! It was my faaault..." Her chest buckles with each breath, ready to go into a panic attack at any second. "How can I l-look at any of you- how can I say I l-love you after I d-did that to her?"

Your blood runs cold long before the shock hits you, frozen in place as you're forced to stare at her face. The first thing you feel isn't anger, far from it. You're in grief, mournful for Michele and a hopeless despair for what Delilah has gone through. You don't say anything, barely able to choke back your own sob as you let go of Delilah's shoulders. There's a desire to run away sprawled over her face, but her body betrays her pleas to run.

"I t-told you, I said you would h-hate me..." she whimpers, face scrunching in pain as she grabs her head.

"I...I don't..."

"I ruined e-everything you w-were working on. I made you w-waste y-years looking for her and nothing I can do will fix it!" She begins to sob into her hands, shoulders shaking violently. Partially in shock still and not knowing what to say, you're silent. Nothing you say will convince her otherwise, you're not smart enough to come up with the magic words to make her stop. All you can do is reach out with your equally shaking hand, letting your fingers brush past her cheek even when she tries to pull away. You can't stop, resting your palm against the side of her cheek and fingers tangled in the short dark hair that frames her red cheeks. Her tears soon fall down the back of your hand, Delilah shaking her head in an attempt to move you away.

"No, stop it! I d-don't d-deserve it!" she cries, falling closer to the floor again. It hurts your heart to watch her like this, it always does, but the actual pain that shoots through your chest is something new. It's near crippling, the tingles of pain traveling to the tips of your fingers. It's too much, the pain and watching her cry, and you only want both to stop right now. Your sudden movement towards her was enough to make her flinch, but pulling her in against your chest makes Delilah beat against in hopes of freeing herself. At any other time you'd have let her go at the slightest sign of fear, but you can't stop it right now. You just want the pain to go away, barely able to feel her hits past it.

Either exhausted or giving up, the beats begin to fade away with the pain you feel. Her crying doesn't stop, Delilah having no other choice but to lean against you as she sobs the rest of her energy out. Eventually, you only hear sniffling and the occasional hiccup as she attempts to wipe her face dry. "Why don't you push me away...?" she asks.

"Cause you...don't. You believe...in me. I need...that. Keeps me...going. I can...do good. Do it...for you." you finally let your hold on her loosen, giving Delilah room to breathe properly. "You make...me feel...like I...can be...better."

"You're amazing," Delilah praises you with tears in her eyes, "You're the most amazing person I've e-ever met. You made me r-remember that people can be good, and I want to be able to take care of you too!" You don't think about the news she just told you, from the pain there's a new feeling of calm that starts to run through the numbness in your chest. With some adjustment, Delilah sits against your leg and rests her head against your chest, calming herself down as you relight the cigarette that died in your fingers. Still half of it left, you sit there blowing smoke out of the window like you had as a teen. Too deep of a hit makes you cough, holding out the cigarette as you try to clear your chest. It leaves your hand, Delilah not skipping a beat as she brings it up to her lips and tries it. Coughing much harder than you had, she's quick to pass it back.

"I still can't get why you like those..." she mutters, and you give a tired grin.

"Don't make...good choices." you respond, taking the next one much better. As you enjoy the smoke leaving your mouth Delilah reaches for it again, looking it over before taking a shorter and slower breath. Even after all of this, you can't help but chuckle at the disgusted face she makes at trying it. To your surprise, she tries it one more time and manages to hold what little smoke she has in her lungs for a few seconds this time. Her eyes closed, you can see that she's trying to feel for the taste of it better and you yank what's rest out of her hands.

"Can't be...sharing packs." you explain briefly before taking the very last of it in one go, coughing up a storm as you flick the butt out of the window. "Waiting on...Crockett. Then can...go. To your...grandma." Delilah doesn't respond to this, hand holding her head again.

"I don't think I can talk to them again..." she says, "I don't think I c-can talk to your p-parents right now. It w-wouldn't feel right, it f-feels bad enough having them be th-this nice to me...I can't do it, I r-really can't do it..."

"Could just...run off." you say, only half joking. Your head feels foggy, like you can't really keep your thoughts straight. "Live behind...alleys. Hide beside...dumpsters."

"I don't care..." Delilah says, burying her face against your shirt as she winces in pain. "Go anywhere you want, just take me with you. Don't leave me."

>You can find somewhere else to stay, this is too much for Delilah
>Ask Delilah to bear it here for a while longer

>Ask Delilah to bear it here for a while longer
Up and disappearing again, and after this, would break mom's heart, and who knows what it'd do to dad.
"Little while...longer." you say, "Won't be...much longer." She doesn't like that answer, her face scrunching up more.

"I'll try my best." she says, holding her heads in her hands. "Can I sleep in here though? Is that okay?"

"Yeah." Either of you being alone tonight might not be a good option and you'd rather not try to fight Delilah on the matter. She crawls back into your bed, this time under the covers, as you stand and feel for the photo in your pocket. You double check to know where you place it as you finally get dressed for bed, wanting nothing more than to sleep. There's barely enough room for you in bed normally, the wall it's pushed up against being the only thing that keeps Delilah from being moved off.

"You have...to sleep." you remind her, moving on to your side.

"I'll try to," Delilah yawns, barely able to keep her eyes open at this point. It doesn't take long for her breathing to become slower and deeper, her eyes finally staying shut as she easily drifts off to sleep. You feel somewhat jealous of this, forced to lay there alone now, awake and listening to the wind outside. What little sleep you do get comes in short spurts, often times waking up to Delilah's restless squirms. Only an ache remains from the pain in your chest, and even if you can't properly sleep there's still a strange sense of calmness in you right now. Slowly, your periods of sleep last longer and longer and you somehow manage to keep asleep for a few quick hours. The only reason you wake up this time is from a knock at the bedroom door, pausing as you try to orient yourself once more.

"Lawrence, sweetie? Are you awake?" your mother's solemn voice calls out to you. At your side, Delilah shifts around in response to your own movement while remaining asleep. Panicking for a moment, you hastily throw the blankets to cover her up before lumbering over to the door. Still fairly dark outside, you notice that it's fairly early as you come to greet your mother. "Sorry for waking you up," she says, "I just came to let you know where Jacks and I are going." She's already dressed for the day, and you can easily tell from her face and voice that sleeping wasn't easy for her either. You just nod for her to continue, coughing to the side and unable to find your voice this early.

"We were making plans last night, me and your dad, and we really want to hold a service for Michele here." Just another nod from you, the only thing you can really manage. "We're going to go see about buying a plot here, getting the proper paperwork for everything in order. I uh, hope moving a grave isn't too big of a deal... I just can't believe this still. Why didn't anyone give us a call? I don't mean you, but after they...found her, wouldn't they have taken the time to contact her family? Do you think that they really don't care? How many other people did they bury without telling anyone? I-...sorry, I didn't mean to go into that, I didn't get much sleep. We're going to go to see about bringing her back here, and then go from there. Not sure how long we'll be out, but just letting you know. Are you good, anything you need?"

You just shake your head, hoping that she can't see Delilah sleeping in your bed from here.

"Okay, we're heading out then. Eat whatever you find in the kitchen, don't worry about the phone or if anyone stops by. We'll see you later, okay sweetie?"

"Alright." you mutter, and at the same moment your mother reaches out to hold your cheek. Her thumb brushes over the bumps leading through your cheek, your mother watching with a heartbroken expression.

"My poor kids..." she laments, pulling back once your father calls for her from downstairs. With another quick goodbye, your mother leaves to meet him and the two soon leave out the front door. You stand in the hallway and listen, not feeling much better from last night.

"You have to go out today too, don't you?" From the bed, Delilah talks and sits up, rubbing her face as she tries to wake up. "You have to go see um, Crockett...right?"

"Yeah." You come back over and sit on the bed, becoming a source of warmth for her as she huddles up against you.

"Does that mean I'll have to stay here alone?" she asks. Before you were fine with leaving her for a few hours with your parents, but if she's potentially going to be alone for that time instead you might have to rethink your plan. Of course you still need to go meet up with Crockett, but the conversation that happens between the two of you needs to be kept a secret from Delilah for now. Having her stay here would be the easiest, but bringing her along might by the safest.

>Bring Delilah along and find a way to deal with it
>Leave Delilah here, a few hours should be fine
>Leave Delilah here, tell her where the gun is
>Leave Delilah here, a few hours should be fine
It really should be fine. The neighbors probably still watch out for each other, but we can pull down the ladder into the attic for a worst-case scenario.

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