Chapter 6: Weight

It Can’t be

Chapter 6

More

**

When we’d first started dating, our mornings were loaded and we only had one day of the week when we shared classes. Two of them, back to back. A history lecture that was scheduled until 11, but usually cut out early by our underachieving prof followed by an AutoCAD lab that started at noon. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Not only did we have more than an hour together to eat lunch or sneak to my dorm room, but we also had 2 hours and 15 minutes next to each other in a quiet room. Always on the back row so no one could see what happened when she got bored.

She leaned over slightly and whispered, “Have you ever cheated on a girlfriend?” The game. Truth Or Dare without the dares. She’d started it. Getting-to-know-you questions. Anything from least favorite color to VH1 or MTV… The only rule was that we weren’t allowed to ask a question we weren’t willing to answer. I would’ve accepted if she refused to answer, just like I was sure she would, but nothing had ever come up that we weren’t willing to share with each other. My favorite part of the questions was that it would start as something random and on occasion became a long conversation about a completely unrelated topic, making us forget the original question. Leading to a round of ‘name that segue’.

I whispered back, “I’m not sure I approve of the question.”

“Hmmmm. Why not?”

“Because it seems sexist of you to not care if I’ve cheated on one of my boyfriends.”

Her laugh was so loud and sudden, she’d gotten a dirty look from the prof before her hands were ever over her mouth. Once she settled down, she elbowed me and told me she’d kick my ass for that.

“Do threesomes count?”

She stopped working to give me a surprised look. “You’ve had a threesome?”

“Hasn’t everyone?” I winked at her because I hadn’t.

“Uh… no.”

“Well? Do you consider having sex with two people at once, cheating?”

“I guess not… I think it’d be confusing though.”

“No. I hear it’s more fun… like eating cookies on a roller coaster.”

“I’m not big on cookies or roller coasters.”

“Then no three-ways for Sookie.”

She snorted. “You got that right.” Good.

“What about you?”

“No. I wouldn’t… It’s mean… I mean, unless everybody’s just in it for the sex, but I’m a relationship kind of girl. I couldn’t do that to someone I care enough about to be sleeping with in the first place.”

“That’s good to hear… I haven’t either, same reason. Broken bones?”

She leaned into the computer screen, squinting and biting her lip in concentration. “Ummmm… are we counting sprains?”

“No, but yes for fractures.”

“K… both forearms, right clavicle, right cheek, fractured pelvis and jaw bone and just in case… dislocated right shoulder and wrist.”

I stared at the side of her face for a minute to make sure she was done. “Jesus Sookie, car accident?”

She cringed. “Nope. My father’s a south paw…  What about you?”

“I’m a rightie.”

She raised her eyebrow. “I meant broken bones.”

Fuck… “Uhhhh, yeah. I broke my leg in middle school. Bike v. pot hole. The pot hole won… Your father did all of that to you?”

“Yeah, but not all at the same time. He was a nasty drunk. Good thing you aren’t dating my brother. You’d be here all day. Jason’s lucky he can walk.”

“You said he was a nasty drunk. Does that mean he’s dead?” He should be.

“No. They don’t let you have a lot of liquor in prison. He’ll sauce himself up as soon as he’s out of his jumpsuit again.”

“So…” I had no clue how to ask if he’d gone to jail for beating his children or something else, but thankfully, she knew what I was getting at.

“Bouncing checks. I told you, I’m trash. My family’s all kinds of screwed up. I haven’t talked to my mom since the week before I left for school, last year.”

“Why not?”

“That sounds like a separate question.”

“Fine. What did you talk about the last time you talked to your mother?”

She narrowed her eyes and groaned quietly. “I quit my job. I’m good and all, but not good enough to wait tables from this far away. The last thing I said to her was I was sorry she’d have to get her own job and that I heard the diner had an opening. The last thing she said was that I was a stuck up bitch. I spent my last week on my brother’s couch. Now it’s your turn.”

“I talked to mom just last week. My roommate had a friend over that didn’t know even when I’m there, I’m not ‘available’. She wanted to know how my new job was going… It was her passive-aggressive way of asking for money.”

She half smiled. “Nice. I guess I’ll have company when I don’t go home for Christmas this year.”

“You didn’t last year?”

“Last year I was still only working part time. I didn’t want to get swamped right out of the gate. So I didn’t have the money. I could do it this year, but my brother is getting married in March so I’m using that as an excuse to not go home ‘til then. I can’t take but so much of them.”

Professor Meadowbrook came over and stopped between us to lean in. “You two do realize that in a lab, you should actually get something accomplished, yes?”

Sookie scoffed at her and pointed between our screens. “Scuse us, but maybe you should pay less attention to our conversation since we’re both almost done with our assignments and…” She stood up enough to look over the class and sat down again. “… And I see 3 help screens open.”

“Miss Stackhouse, this course is crucial to your major…”

“Which is why I take it seriously. Is there something wrong with my work?”

Meadowbrook slid her glasses down her needle nose to look at Sookie’s screen, then mine… and then left us alone. I couldn’t look at Sookie because I would’ve started laughing. “She’s going to flunk you…”

“Pshhhh. She can try. What’s she going to do, go through and un-A me?”

That was it… The attitude I missed. She was always outspoken and sure of herself… but before she left… she was anything but.

Angsty was the word I used when I dealt with the police that were supposedly looking for Sookie. I’d rather have that Sookie back than have no Sookie at all.

**

No Sookie at all…

It wasn’t until about 10am that panic started to set in. I tried to hide it when I ‘calmly’ called the first few friends. Eventually, I spent 9 hours on the phone, calling all of our friends to see if Sookie had gone to say goodbye before we hit the road. Then I called them all again. Her family was called. Our profs and TAs were called. I had Sam come by to stay at the apartment so that I could go out looking for her anywhere I thought might have been an errand. And a few places that wouldn’t.

No one had seen her. No one had heard from her. Her mother actually asked what information about Sookie was worth to me. My imagination seriously fucked from knowing how much could happen in the 48 hours the police required before filing a report.

Jason was the only one to really share my concern. Once he’d gotten my messages when he got home from work he returned my calls. He was yelling into the phone. Not at me, just because I was there… I was yelling too. He swore ‘on a stack a’ bibles’ that he’d call me with news if he heard from Sookie… but the last time he’d talked to her was a couple months earlier when he called to tell her that his wife was pregnant.

Monday night, I’d fallen asleep on our bed with my nose buried in her pillow and my thumb on the ‘talk’ button.

Detective Beck was the detective I was originally handed off to. I’d been sitting on the bench at the precinct since 2am on Wednesday… So that I’d be there to file the missing person’s report at exactly 3am. I’d woken up to go to the bathroom so that was the last time I’d seen Sookie… Beck spent 3 hours interviewing me. Antagonizing me. Belittling me. Accusing me. When he cut me loose he didn’t seem interested in finding Sookie as much as he wanted to find her body to confirm I’d been the reason she was missing.

And when I finally did leave for Shreveport two weeks later, the prick had me take a copy of our new lease to him so that he could notify the police there to ‘keep an eye on’ me… I’d come to the conclusion that there are only 3 kinds of cops. The Cynics: the ones convinced that Sookie had broken up with me and I just wouldn’t take no for an answer. The Sloths: the ones who were endlessly annoyed with my persistence. And The Imaginative: the ones who were sure I had done something to her and ‘looking for her’ was part of my ‘game’; proving as much would’ve made for one hell of a script.

It was a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from.

And I did it all, every single mother fucking thing within my power to do, only to find out that she skipped town because she thought she was carrying another man’s baby and didn’t have the spine to tell me.

**

Even as I sat in the car and watched her move through the house, I still missed her. Even after finding out that she cheated on me, I still wanted to forgive her…

I didn’t want to finally find her after all this time only to hate her.

I’d heard somewhere, about 5 years back more or less, that there was a law protecting people who didn’t want to be found. That all of the reports I’d filed were useless because if Sookie didn’t want to be found, they couldn’t tell me anything about her. Not even that she was avoiding me. As she disappeared from view on her way upstairs, I couldn’t help but wonder how many times she’d been found… That many cops couldn’t be that incompetent. She had to know I’d been looking for her.

“What are we waiting for?” Eric seemed like he wanted me to leave skid marks.

“A few things I’ll need if you’re going to be staying with me.”

“Most of my clothes and stuff are at Uncle Jason’s… I have everything I need.”

“You might have what you need. I need things like your birth certificate and such.”

“So that she can’t claim that you kidnapped me or something later?”

I shook my head, still watching the house. “No. School, DMV… My lawyers.”

“Your lawyers?”

“So I can have my name added to the ‘father’ field.”

“Seriously?”

“Unless you want it to say ‘unknown’.”

“No… no. That’s not… I didn’t expect that you’d care. I mean, you kind of… well, I thought you weren’t around on purpose too so…”

“I told Sookie that I was going to talk to you about changing your name if you want.”

“Holy shit! What did she say?”

“That she wanted to name you Northman, but wasn’t allowed. When the mother isn’t married, the father has to acknowledge the child as theirs.”

“How do you know that?”

“My secretary overshares about her sister.”

“Well… wow. I don’t know… I’ve always been Eric Stackhouse so…”

“I understand if it feels weird to change it now.”

He snorted out a laugh. “I’d screw up about a million times trying to get used to it… What am I supposed to call you?”

“Whatever you’re comfortable with. This is weird enough, we don’t need to add to it.”

“You’d be cool if I just started calling you ‘dad’?” More than ‘cool’.

“It would take some getting used to, but I’m sure I’ll manage.”

In the corner of my eye, I saw his head jerk towards the house. As Sookie walked down the stairs awkwardly with a small paper bag and a bundle of things in her arms, he scowled at her.

**

She stooped as she approached my side of the low car and held out the bag. She was crying but she seemed much more in control of herself than she had been before. “He’s on Allegra, all the same allergies as you. There’s a fresh prescription in there. He’s not allergic to milk, but too much dairy messes with him and he doesn’t behave when there’s ice cream involved. He has tubes in his ears so he needs plugs if he’s swimming, but he knows that…” She stopped to clear her throat and hand over a stack of cards. “Social security, insurance and his Mississippi ID, just in case… What do… What do you want me to do with your fish?”

Eric snarled at her. “I’ll let you know. Just don’t kill them or put any up for adoption.”

She looked like she was going to be sick again and tried to say she was sorry, but couldn’t get past the ‘I’.

He snorted at her. “The best part of this is that you’re just ignoring explaining yourself again by letting me go with him.”

“I’m not ignoring anything. And I’m not letting you go. I’m stepping back and giving y’all the chance to get to know each other.”

Ooooh. Before we get started, maybe you won’t mind telling me if anyone else should be included. How many brothers and sisters do I have?” That was too low.

She stood up while I told him to knock it off and she shoved the last items through the window to me and walked away with her hands over her face. “I know you’re angry and hurt, but you don’t have to be sadistic.”

“I’m beyond angry and hurt. Not only was my mother a dirty slut, but she was going to kill me. Do they put that on Hallmarks? ‘Congrats that your baby daddy is a winner.’

“We still don’t… we still don’t know everything. We aren’t going to know until we all calm down.”

“How the hell are you so calm?”

“Somebody has to be. Sookie isn’t stable and you’re too pissed at everything to let her try to explain.”

“She cheated on you.”

“That’s my dumb ass problem…” I opened the manila envelope that she’d given me with a soft bound leather journal. The envelope had a stack of pictures… 8 by 10s. There must’ve 50 of them. Baby pictures, soccer, school. They were in chronological order like she’d been saving them for me. “…Feel free to fester, but even if I never find out why she cheated, there’s more to why she kept you from me. Who archives baby pictures for someone she has no intention of contacting.”

He snorted that I was ‘kidding myself’ as I opened the journal… His birth certificate was sitting right on top of the first page…

Name of Registrant: Eric Gehry Stackhouse
Date of Birth: December 10, 1994
Sex: Male
Place of birth: Beckett, Louisiana
Institution: Pratt Hospital
Maiden name of mother: Sookie Belle Stackhouse
Age of mother: 23
Mother’s place of birth: Louisiana
Name of father: Unknown
Age of father: Unknown
Father’s place of birth: Unknown
Date record filed: January 10, 1995

Pratt? Why the fuck would he have been born at Pratt? It was… oh, fuck me…

I told Eric to stay put on my way back to the house.

I walked through the gaping hole in the frame to the sound of a cell phone ringing. Sookie was trying to clean out the sink and answered on speaker.

“Octavia?”

“Sookie, it’s been a long time since you’ve called my service. What’s wrong, dear?” The woman sounded grandmotherly.

“Eric’s here.”

“You sound upset. Did you two argue?”

“Not my son, Octavia. His father.”

“Sookie, you know by now they’re just hallucinations… It’s been so long though. Are you out of Xanex?”

“Not a hallucination. I swear. He touched me. I interacted with him.” She was defensive and getting agitated again. She’d been seeing me?

“Sookie…”

“Octavia. I swear. I thought I was just being crazy again too. Eric found him. He got curious and went looking for his father.”

“Are you sure?”

“This isn’t just me being insane…”

“Are they happy to have found each other?”

“Not under the circumstances. Who would be?”

“You’ve wanted to take care of this for years. How did you do when you told him what happened?”

“I couldn’t… they were too upset… it was wrong. It was all wrong… the questions didn’t get asked in the right order… I…” She leaned over the sink when her breathing started getting away from her again.

“Sookie, try to calm down. What happened?”

She gritted her teeth and forced out, “My son overheard me tell his father that I didn’t know Eric was the father when I ran…” She started sobbing. “My poor baby… after everything I’ve done to him… to hear that… that I was going to put him up for adoption… if… if…” I couldn’t take any more eavesdropping. I wanted, needed to hear the story in order and I wasn’t interested in having a middle man.

When I walked up behind her and put my hand in the small of her back, I was surprised when she didn’t jerk away. “Then tell me the right way. I’ll listen.”

**

After ending the call from Octavia and grabbing a roll of paper towels, she sat down at the kitchen table and rested her forehead on her hands.

“I didn’t cheat on you… I never… I…”

“Slow down. That’s not the beginning. You weren’t right for two months before you left. What happened?”

She ripped off a paper towel to have it ready. “I… Do you remember when we went on spring break with Sam and Calista?”

“Vividly.”

She nodded slightly as she continued, “Y’all got back a day after us… I ended up working at Rafters the night we got home because Lafayette said he was short staffed. I felt so good after the break, I was feeling charitable I guess… I stayed to help close up. Like usual, we all had a couple of drinks while we cleaned up and Barry offered to give me a ride home since you weren’t home to walk with me…”

Even though her voice started to shake, I still couldn’t have braced myself.

“…I remember getting into his car… and the next thing I knew, he was on top of me in our apartment. I… couldn’t… move… I… couldn’t… scream…”

I sat down next to her when my knees started to shake, wanting to offer my hand to her, but I couldn’t make myself do anything. Something horrible had happened to her, but it was while we were together and while I was doing shots with my friends on a Carnival Cruise.

“…I went to the emergency room when I could move enough to get up… there was ‘GHB’ in my system, but because it was spring break and I was a student… and I told them that my boyfriend was out of town… I know what they were thinking. They thought that I just got carried away and…”

“Sookie, why didn’t you tell me? You had to know I wouldn’t blame you.”

She took a staggered breath. “No. You’d have gone after Barry…” Oh fuck… I would’ve. I’d have gone after him and beat him to a pulp. I’d have walked right into his dorm and stomped the shit out of him in front of witnesses. I might have killed him if someone didn’t stop me. And I’m sure, at the time, our Christmas visit was still fresh on her mind. I was behaving right up to the point when I was introduced to her father and he had the balls to ask me how I was treating his little girl. I clocked him in a house full of his own family and didn’t apologize. “…You’d have felt guilty for not being home… we both would’ve been wrecked and we needed to focus… After all the crap with my dad, I thought I could just motor through.”

She’d been raped and instead of telling me… she kept it to herself so that I wouldn’t go off and do something stupid… like murder.

“I was just… I was a little jumpy. I was having nightmares and all, but I just wanted to forget about it… then. I. was. late. and we were always so careful…”

She took a minute to set her breathing straight and I felt like I was going to be rushing for the sink she’d just cleaned out.

“…I wanted to end it. Just get it over with… but when I went to the clinic… the wheel, that goddamn wheel… They said that it… there wasn’t any way to know exactly when it happened… I couldn’t… I couldn’t kill our baby. Eric, I just… I couldn’t… but I wouldn’t keep Barry’s… I’d hate it.”

“Why did you leave though? You could’ve told me when we got to Shreveport. Just lied and said it was a random customer…”

“I know that now… I wasn’t thinking straight… I… was worried that you’d want to keep it. ‘Love it anyway’. ‘It’s not the baby’s fault’… I knew I just couldn’t… I knew I’d hate it… I called Russell Edgington to turn down the job, but he thought I was playing ‘hard to get’… I ended up taking a job at his offices here… that’s when I started to lose it.”

“Lose it?”

She nodded slowly, taking another paper towel. “I started seeing Barry all over the place. I thought he was stalking me at first. And then I started seeing you too. Everywhere… after about 4 months I was so crazy… I couldn’t do anything without one or both of you watching me… I started seeing a therapist… There were medications that he thought I should be on, but I couldn’t take because of the pregnancy… He went to my OB… they came up with a reason for me to be bed rested until he was born… and I checked myself into a hospital… Russell was sweet about it. He sent me sketch books and Prismacolors… pajamas and chocolates…”

“Why did you check into a hospital instead of just therapy?”

“I hurt myself… It wasn’t on purpose, but… I lost it and put my hands into a plate glass window because I was going after Barry as far as I knew… I had Eric in Pratt. They let me keep him with me while they got my meds straightened out because my doctor was sure I wasn’t a danger to him. I… wanted to call you, but… but… they said that it might not be a good idea because your reaction could be a huge setback for me and I needed to put Eric first…”

“You knew I was looking for you though… Jason… the detectives…”

“You were looking for me. Not me and Eric… I… I was a chicken shit, Eric… I was too afraid that you’d be pissed or… I just… I was crazy enough that I had a case worker… That’s the Niall guy Eric mentioned… He knew that if anything happened and I went nuts to call my therapist so that he could tell you what happened… it’s in my will that you get Eric… I never wanted to hide from you… I was just… just so… scared… I…” She trailed off while she tried to settle down again. “…Eric was 6 years old before Family Services cleared me. They call it PTSD. I haven’t ‘seen you’ in almost 5 years. Barry in about 10… That was when I started getting ready.”

“Ready for what?”

“Telling you… Explaining everything… I’d been keeping an eye on you online anyway, but I was ready to get in the car and take Eric to Shreveport the next time he asked… but he didn’t. I didn’t want to mess with his head, so I was just waiting… Him being in Shreveport with Jason kind of… I was going to go… I took the week off of work… I was coming to talk to you next week.”

“When you first realized it was me…”

She sniffled. “You mean when I thought planning my trip to Shreveport had made me snap or when you touched me and I knew I hadn’t?”

“Snapping. You said you ‘knew better’…”

“I thought I was hallucinating because I’d spent the day trying to figure out how to approach you.”

“So thinking about things makes it worse? Eric said some days are better than others.”

She nodded. “I’ve probably ruined every holiday for him since he was born. I have to be stoned to get through his birthday because all I could think about is that I wanted you there more than anything… I’m so fucked up…”

“Sookie…”

“I’m sorry…”

“I don’t hate you.” I couldn’t. When she’d used the word ‘snowballed’ it was an epic understatement, but still…

I thought that hearing it would make her feel better since saying it worked for me. I hated myself for every second I’d spent being angry with her. I knew her family wasn’t any help to her. Jason didn’t know why she left and she wouldn’t have trusted anyone else… She’d had our baby in a mental hospital because of the trauma of being raped and then raised him to be a great kid (temper aside) on her own.

It didn’t seem to help though. She looked like she was thinking about trying to hold it back before she sputtered and yanked more paper towels away from the roll. The blue of her eyes looked almost inhuman against the red area around them. “Would you like for me to explain to Eric?”

Her sobbing got louder.

“Sookie, say something.”

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why don’t you hate me? You have every right…”

“I can’t hate you for something that you can’t really be blamed for… I just wish you’d known that all along.”

She choked into her paper towel. “Eric hates me.”

“He won’t forever. I’ll explain everything to him so you don’t have to go through it again. You can’t fault him for having my temper. He’ll grow out of it.”

She tried to laugh, but it just sounded like a cough. “I tried… you know… so you wouldn’t be a stranger to him…”

“I can tell… Are you going to be ok so that I can take him back, spend some time with him?”

She thought about it for a minute. “Yeah… yeah I think so.”

“No. Promise me. Now that everything is in the open, we’ll deal with it as a family. No more running. Promise me.”

She nodded slowly. “Yeah… I promise.”

I still wasn’t sure of my legs so I stood up slowly to leave…

“Eric?”

“Yeah?”

“I know… I know I don’t have any right… any right to ask, but… can I… I missed you so much. Can I… can I just… hug you?”

All I could do is nod. Even if I didn’t want it, I probably wouldn’t have denied her anyway… after what she’d been through…

Her arms went around my sides, passively at first and she laid her head on my chest. As soon as my arms went around her back, hers tightened. I’d missed her too much. It felt too natural to rest my chin on her head, stroke her back, hold her closer…

She was in pain and had been for so long… We all had.

“See. 16 years and you’re already ruining my shirts again.”

She snorted out a laugh and tightened her grip. It felt too good to hear her mood lighten, even that much.

“Friday, right?”

“What’s Friday?”

“When you’re coming to Shreveport.”

126 thoughts on “Chapter 6: Weight

  1. okay, you win, I can’t hate Sookie anymore… she still should have told Eric about everything when it happened but since her PTSD was that bad I can understand some of her reasons why she didn’t tell him

    keep cranking out the chapters, I love it!!

  2. Wow. That’s intense. You can’t even imagine how excite i was to see that email. I am just in love with your stories.

  3. Oh my, I figured something like that happened, but I was thinking Uncle Bartlett. What a horrible memory. I’m so glad he listened to her though. I think young Eric will listen too. He certainly needs to know. I can almost imagine what will happen if either of them ever meets Barry. Thank you so much for posting this so quickly.

  4. I always love reading your “strong” Sookie – I recently re-read Saints & Sinners and am currently re-reading Dead Tired, so I’m not sure what to think about this “broken” Sookie. I am looking forward to them becoming a family. It’s sooooo sad right now, but I know they’ll be able to heal each other, in time. Thanks for starting another great story! I just love the banner for this one!

    • Don’t get me wrong – I love all the stories by Ericizmine.
      But you like “Strong” Sookie better and I like “Broken” Sookie better.
      Sookie in Dead Tired and Dead Sexy are so way over the top “know-it-all’s” that I find them irritating. Saints & Sinners at least had a lot of comic relief to balance out her personality. Bored to Death was much better with Gran and Eric sharing the spotlight. ICB has a Sookie that is “real”. Her flaws make her genuine. I can’t wait for them to find their way back to each other. Looking forward to more.

  5. Wow, a psych hospital, hallucinations, drugs. She really had a rough time. I had a lump in my throat while I was reading this.

  6. You know, we will eventually really get around to building you that gold statue. <3 Great work. I'm loving the new story.

  7. You got to use the Crazy Sookie reference. Nice. At least now I can understand what was going on. Poor EJ… It will take him a while to forgive her, even if it wasn’t really her fault.

  8. Awesome chap as always. I hope Eric JR will understand, I’m sure he’ll be upset still. Can’t wait for the next chapter. You are definately in my top 3 of all time best fanfic writers!!!

  9. Fantastic! I had a feeling it was something like that. I didn’t think she would cheat on Eric. I mean really, who would?! But now that it’s out in the open, maybe they can try to work it out. I’m sure it won’t be easy though…
    Cheers, Balti K

  10. What a roller coaster she has been on! I knew there was a reason I didn’t hate Sookie. You write such an enthralling story. Thank you! Now I can’t wait for the next chapter again! LOL. Great job!

  11. What a little roller coaster! I was def starting to think it was rape so I started the story feeling kinda bad for Sookie but then when early on Eric Sr. Says that she just cheated I was mad all over again! But now that I’ve read through the whole thing I’m back to feeling just horrible for her. The situation is enough to drive anyone a little nutty. I’m glad that they finally got to talk abt it though. Eric Sr. Def needed to know what happened. Poor Eric Jr! This may be kind of hard for him to deal with. I hope dad breaks it to him well.
    Thank you for posting! I was getting a little anxious… My fingernails weren’t going to make it much longer, lol. Anxiously awaiting the next posting :)

  12. Glad you proved me wrong when I said the mistery wasn’t going to be revealed at least in two more chapters. I wonder how will Eric Jr.react to the news,i’ sure he will be shocked,and probably guilty because how he reacted….. She’s not completely innocent,but the circumstances were horrible for a young girl.
    Thanks for updating,again,your alerts are a bless in my inbox.

  13. Thank you so much for the new chapter. I see what you mean about most people being partially right…she was raped, just not in Myrtle Beach. Poor Sookie! I am glad that she told Eric Sr what happened and hope that Eric Jr will at least be somewhat forgiving. I cannot wait for the next chapter!!! I am really loving the frequent updates :)!!!

  14. Glad to finally know – phew!
    I know I feel better, but I’m guessing it’ll be a little harder for young Eric.
    (sorry abt dbl post last chap – tried to edit spelling, but failed)

  15. Sookie’s been in hell literally for over 16 years! Insane coupled with her tendency towards avoidance resulted in a colossal fuck up. Epic! But of course I feel bad for her, and I am glad Eric Sr is being so calm, understanding and generous.

    Barry needs to lose his nuts – in a terrible industrial accident. Give him a little GHB and arrange a castration.

  16. Interesting who the rapist was. The only thing I’m wondering now is did Sookie have mental issues before. I know rape is traumatic and then when she asked for help she was pretty much called a slut but still….
    Not to belittle what any woman goes through but breaking apart like a fragile little egg doesn’t seem a regular (I won’t say normal because there is no normal) reaction to the situation.
    Looking forward to reading how Mini-me Eric takes it and them starting to work through their issues.

  17. I feel so bad for Sookie to have been that traumatized. I love that Eric the elder kept it together long enough to discover the truth. I can’t wait to watch them grow together as a family. Thanks uber much for the update!!!!!

  18. Ok, ok…I so don’t think Sookie is selfish! What a reason! At least I was right on, but I am really sad she did not trust Eric enough to help her through it at the time. Well, hopefully they can all heal together as a family, but it is going to be rough for sure…OK, great interlude. Now I need to dig out the end of my frakin’ driveway.

  19. I shall erect a golden statue of you and leave offerings at its feet! … not life size, that would JUST be creepy.

  20. Roofies are evil and you are brilliant. Two absolute truths :) In their bed, in their home…that poor girl. Strange as it is to say, you write trauma unusually well. It’s always evocative without unnecessary detail and extra pain that could hurt those of your readers with our own horrible memories. I’m grateful to you for that almost above all else and you know by now how grateful I am for your incredible stories.

  21. OMG I feel so sorry for Sookie I’m glad that Eric went back inside to talk to her I hope that they can come together and help each other heal. I can’t wait to read more thanks for the fast updates your amazing.

  22. I had a feeling that the sexual assault was the reason behind it and I know that I said yesterday I would call her a ‘twat’ from here on out BUT now that I got the facts I take it back…Something about your writing just does that to me….I get caught up in it, not like a soap opera but more like RL…yah, I know…I sound like an idiot but its all due to your Ninja-Ass-Kickin’ skills in writing these two….Some of these scenarios I couldn’t come up with on a ‘Great’ day so I choose to live vicariously through your writing…lmfao…awesome chappie! ;)

  23. Okay, I love you again but what happened to my pretty pictures down the sides?

    Poor Sookie. I figured she’d have to be in a pretty bad way to keep them apart all this time. But a psychotic break? How awful :(

  24. Poor thing. What a horrible life she has had–they al. Have had in many ways. I hope that they can turn things around. Thank you for sharing.

  25. Okay. That poor child heard his mother say that she thought of aborting him and then that she was going to place him for adoption…I canNOT imagine how much that hurts…and now he’s going to hear that his mother was raped and sick enough that it took 6 years for the state to decide she was fit…

    He’s still only a child. How much can he handle?
    Yes, he should know the truth, but I’m concerned for his wellbeing. No, he probably shouldn’t have said those things to her, but he’s working on the assumption that he wasn’t wanted.
    His thought processes and reactions are not going to mimic those of
    an adult and yes, kids are resilient, but there’s only so much a 15 year old can reasonably be expected to understand. That isn’t the right word; he will understand in the strictest sense… I hope I’m making sense.
    I know most everyone is sympathizing with Sookie, but my concern is with Little Eric.

    • p.s. I’m looking forward to them dealing as a family. This was heartbreaking in a lot of ways, they ALL lost out on too much, I hope they can find a measure of happy (or at least peace) in the future. The near future.

  26. The truth finally comes out! I’m glad that Sookie spoke up and told her side of the story. I’m still a little pissed that she held out telling DaddyE for so long. She could of written a letter at least! Ejr will come around and as a family we will soon see spunky Sookie again. Loved the chapter and SO LOVE the STORY!

  27. Love it. It actually struck a bit of a chord in me. I can sort of understand why Sookie did what she did.
    I actually like the shorter chapters, if it means we get them sooner!

  28. a real reason. adds strength to sookie’s character and absolves her at the same time. loved it . great job. thanks for the wonderful update.

  29. Poor Sookie! I see how a good writer can turn her reader’s perception of a character’s behavior around 180 degrees. We’ve been bouncing back and forth.
    I hope they work on it together. They still obviously love each other.
    You’re the best!

  30. I almost wish it had been Sookie just being a cheater. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like that written before. If there’s ever someone cheating it’s always Eric. I so wanted Sookie to be the bad guy for once. However I do still love this story :) I did think that Eric took everything too calmly. I know you’ve explained that as him being able to hold his temper these days but I still think that with as hurt and angry as he was that he probably would have lashed out (verbally) instead of being as understanding as he was. Especially when he heard that she “cheated” on him.

  31. i hate being right :( poor Sookie, and Eric is such a good man…makes me love him more!!

    thank you, thank you, thank you for tellings what was doing so soon and in one chapter :D

  32. You are the best !!! I’m not mad at Sookie now. I figured the truth would set her free. Love it !

  33. I had a feeling she was raped. There’s no way she would have ran from Eric. Love the chapter. Hopefully Eric can calm his son down and make him understand.

  34. i always get a little thrill when your alerts show up, now your thrilling me daily! careful, you might spoil us! great chapter, can’t wait to see how Eric handles telling eric.

  35. yeah, yeah… I guess this just goes to show that I should’ve had more faith in you as one of my faves. You’ve won me over- now I feel bad for her too.

  36. i pretty much guess oh so correctly on what was wrong with sookie but hearing the story on her background is gonna be something else.

  37. Loved the chapter!!! I thought something like that had to have happened. Can’t wait for the next chapter!! Keep up the great work.

  38. my guess was correct about the rape, it was a sad story while she was telling Big E, i just don’t know how Little E is going to take it…My guess is he going to say she made it all up so Big E does not hate her…. i hope she can work everything out. Octavia being the therapist interesting, hope to see more of her. So is Sookie really going to Shreveport? until the next chapter…

  39. This is probably the most emotionally devistating, and beautifully brutal fanfic I’ve read. You wrote the confusion, vulnerablity, despairation, and fear inherent to mental illness and PTSD so very well and I can not wait to see how you work to heal the family. And I can’t wait to see what Sookie says or does when she sees the house that Eric built!

    While I love long chapters, the frequent posting is turning out to be quite a treat! I love having something to truly look forward to reading in the evening, especially since I haven’t remembered to visit the bookstore lately!

  40. Thanks for the quick updates!!! Keep them coming, please, I’m completely addicted to this story (and all of your other ones…).

    Thanks for NOT going with the obvious and having Bill/Uncle Bartlett being the one who raped her! So glad to not have to see that fanon cliche again.

  41. Awesome update. Sookie’s story is so tragic. Her father deserves to be put down for what he did to her. He set the foundations for her struggle. Poor darling. Glad Eric is being the clear/calm one. You brought tears to my eyes several times. Brilliant work

  42. I would up with a few tears myself. Great chappie!!! Like everyone else, I’m dying for the next installment. I’m glad that Eric is being reasonable…even if he’s freaking out emotionally.

    I also have to echo others in experiencing surprise at the ‘broken Sookie.’ I just re-read Dead Tired/Sexy, Saints & Sinners, and I’m almost through AIW…again. It’s definitely a departure, but it’s awesome just the same.

  43. Gah, I knew you’d come through and not make Sookie evil! Have to say, when I thought she might have been raped, I was expecting it to have been Bill. You always write him as an asshole anyway (which he deserves!) and CH had him rape Sookie, so Barry was an interesting twist. Lucky for Eric Sr. that he has Eric Jr. now so he can’t try and find Barry to beat the shit out of him all these years later.

  44. Yay! I knew something had to have happened as Sookie isn’t one to cheat. Awesome twist. Eric Jr’s reaction should be interesting. Love this can’t wait for more!

  45. Wow as usual you do not dissapoint.
    girl has been out of it since she was raped. ok i give, poor sookie.
    now time to splain all to eric jr but sookie should have trusted eric better then that and just what time of therapist tells you not to contact the father cause it would do more harm. time to make kill octavia posters.

  46. *scowls at ericizmine* Well I hope you’re happy. I am COMPLETELY sympathetic to Sookie. She’s too scared and broken NOT to be sympathetic to her. PTSD. Fuck me.

    I’m glad Eric was the bigger person and stayed to listen to her REASONS. I can totally feel for her not knowing if she was carrying her rapist’s child. Not being able to terminate on the chance it was Eric’s. Little Big Eric will probably not be so accepting at first but I think he’ll come around.

    I’d like to think if I was in the same situation that I’d have told Eric what happened but with him, justifiably, punching Sookie’s father just before I understand her be afraid he’d react violently and ruin his life.

  47. That was a perfect ending to a long shift at work, I love these short chapters every night, a little slice of heaven to end the day with!! :)

  48. I figured she’d been raped.. Very sad what she went through and Jr. Certainly had a tough go..
    I’m glad Eric (daddy) walked back in and got the real story.

    Rebuilding their relationship and E dad and E Jr getting to know each other will be quite the ride!
    Loved it!
    Thanks for all of the frequent updates!! You rock!

  49. Loved it. You have me in tears now. Everything that she went through just built and built. I hope Eric Jr. doesn’t end up blaming himself when everything comes out. Please update soon, I have to know what happens next.

  50. I knew it! Okay it wasn’t Bill(but I still don’t like him) but ugh. *hugs Sookie*

    I hope their son understands.

  51. I’m very glad I only just started reading this story, because if I’d read it before this chapter was published I would have been in a real state. I’m not entirely sure why I did start reading because I don’t usually read AH/AU stories, but knowing it was yours I gave it a whirl. And I’m very glad I did. Heartbreaking stuff, but the future looks bright for them. I can hardly wait for the next chapter.

  52. awwwwwwwww. I teared up and everything. I feel bad for wanting to slap her now… I’m glad it’s all out in the open and I hope that Eric Jr is as understanding as Eric Sr. *happy sigh* When’s the next chapter going to be up?? *watches inbox like a hawk* Now?…. Now?…. How about now?

  53. Thank you for putting us out of our misery! I agree with what most posters said above, what a relief to know and understand, I hope they can come together as a family, etc.

    I am interested to see how you handle Eric Jr. Teenagers can really pull out one thing you say and hold onto it to use it for justification for appalling behavior. I know – I have a 15 year old. :) How long is it going to take for the son to get exactly what she has been going through? He’s been with her in the house the whole time … will he have compassion for her, or will his temper and hurt linger for a long time? I’m interested to see where you go with this, to see if it’s anything like what’s been going on in my house.

    Thanks for posting! I look forward to the next chapter!

  54. Sorry, but not all people react in the same way to horrible situations. Not a copout at all, rather enlightening to see how somebody can be effected by an assault and how it can be so devastating to a life/lives. If its not your thing, that’s fine, but don’t knock what you don’t understand.

  55. Great use of mis-direction over the Spring Break/Myrtle Beach angle – you’re so brilliant at that type of sleight-of-hand. We can try and guess but you always best us :)
    So it happened in their apartment and it was someone they knew – poor Sookie. No wonder she was OCD-cleaning the place those last two months. The long, lingering manifestations of not just the rape but her subsequent actions have been a hard burden to bear for Sookie. It’s a positive sign that she had planned to go and see Eric and explain everything to him. She must be strong to even contemplate doing that given she had no way of knowing what reaction she would get. This Sookie has strength of character for me, regardless of what other people might think.
    It’s been interesting to read the reviews you get for this fic. Certainly there’s been a lot of divided opinion. Some of it was hard to read – the lack of empathy for Sookie and the noise of the fevered polishing of pitch-forks going on in the background. Thanks for putting us out of our collective misery with this chapter – looking forward to seeing how this family work things out.

  56. As a survivor of rape, I can tell you that, in my personal experience, I have actually hallucinated my attackers til the point where I thought the attack was happening again.

    It’s not a copout, especially when you add in the fact that she’s already got PTSD from the abuse that her father gave her. It’s not hard to see that she would end up in a mental hospital with the added trauma of rape, especially rape in her own home where you are supposed to be safe from danger.

    I’m not trying to start a fight or have a go, I’m just pointing out that it is completely plausible.

  57. Yes! Thank you!
    You fixed the lump in my throat. Now I have no problem to see why she ran. Why some part og me belived Sookies would cheat is beind me…. an I deeply apologise.
    And Eric sr is just…*sighs*…. best!

    Keep up your fabulous work!

  58. Loving this story. I was in tears when Sookie was explaining to Big Eric what had happened to her. Love the shorter chapters and being able to read them each night before I go to bed. Keep up the wonderful work!!!!

  59. So glad I don’t have to hate Sookie any more. Her mom was a bitch. What a rough life she has had. I Hope Eric can help her put it all back together.

  60. Yeah, I had a feeling! This was a deep, er the deepest chapter so far, I was feeling very very emotional reading this phenomenal piece of writing. I’m very glad that Sookie came clean with Eric he deserved it definitely. That had to have been extremely hard for her to relive the trauma of the past. PTSD is no joke! I experienced it for years after my ex-husband tried to end me 11 years ago, the paranoia, shakes, jitters and seeing phantoms that are not there is a scary scary way to live. I took at least 5 years after he went to prison to really start coming back to my normal self, well as normal a self I had before **snort**
    Thanks so very, very much for this update, I can’t wait for her to go to Shreveport and they can as Eric said and do this as a family, I’m impressed that he’d even give a shit after all these years, and hopeful that they are actually in love enough to work this out. I sssssooooo hope Jr understands when Sr tells him the truth, it’s going to be hard I’m sure but he seems like a well rounded mature teenager, if that’s even real **snort** Thanks again!!

  61. intense chapter. now i feel bad for calling her all those names =(
    really glad that Eric gave her a chance to explain . LOVE

  62. WOW!! Are you serious? Copout? Apparently your life has been roses then… PTSD Is real and debilitating to the point of not being able to move when the fear grips you and at anytime it desires to grip you, like…. grocery shopping, taking your child out for ice cream etc. so not good when you HAVE to go out in public and feel ashamed that you just acted a fool and couldn’t stop yourself!
    You know I can understand why you don’t want to read this but why comment at all? Just don’t read it, plain and simple! Nor am I trying to start a fan fiction fight with you but come on, really was all that really necessary?
    FANTASTIC STORY Ericizmine your writing skills are amazing and a change in story type has been fruitful for you I see because you have sssssoooo many folks who actually love this story!!

  63. OMG!!!
    it sounds weird to write this but I’m so happy she was raped…only because she didn’t cheat on him. Does that make sense?!?
    Can’t wait to read more!
    Alcide who?
    L&D what?
    Meanwhile???

  64. I just knew it had to be big for SOOKIE to run from Eric keep up the great work I can not stop reading and Ican not wait for more,Thank you again for your love of Eric and Sookie

  65. I knew it, her behavior just wasn’t right for someone who had cheated. I am loving this Eric, not leaving before he got the real story and being strong for his family. Can’t wait to see how Eric Jr. reacts to the truth.

  66. Not every story is for everyone, folks. I love EIM’s writing, I love many of her stories. This one, not for me.

    I won’t get into fights w/ y’all. I’ve emailed her off post with my reasons for what I said. You don’t know what I’ve lived through & I don’t need to explain myself. I am glad she has many fans that do love this story…that’s your prerogative. As it is mine to not care for this story.

    I’m sorry I can’t gush over every single story…that’s not honest. As I said, I TRIED to like this story, I wanted to. It just didn’t happen this time.

    • And that is totally acceptable FanzofEIM, however, if you are going to criticize something, make it be constructive. You are right that not everyone is going to love every single story that EIM writes, but give her some credit for doing something that is completely different from her other stories! She has brought something to us that goes against the grain to how we view our “normal” Sookie, and I applaud her for that. I applaud that she has brought to life the reality of what can happen to an individual when something so tragic occurs. Women and men will all react differently to situations. You have to remember that Sookie was indeed suffering in her own way from being beaten as a child by her father, someone who she should have been able to trust. Then, when she thinks she can trust this man she works with, he breaks that trust and drugs and rapes her, in her own home and in her bed. EIM has the creative balls to bring this story to life and show just how something like this kind of violence and betrayal can make someone go “crazy” by being fearful of being harmed again!
      We all have our own tragic stories, and we all respond in different ways. But if you don’t like the story, then don’t read it, or give some constructive criticism behind your dislike, don’t just say EIM is a “copout” for her story. It’s not fair to EIM as a writer, nor is it fair to anyone else out there that may have had the same kind of response to a brutal attack. Mental illness, and that is what PTSD is, is a real and true thing that happens every single day. I applaud EIM for bringing to light that there is more than a physical breaking of the body during a rape, there is also a spiritual, emotional, and mental breakdown as well that is very serious!

  67. Wow way to bring out the torches and pitchforks guys. Should we storm the castle next? Didn’t realize people weren’t allowed to have a different opinion. This is EXACTLY why I typically refrain from comments on things like this. I would think an HONEST review of the story would be more welcome then just saying it’s great for the hell of it.

    I’m another one that isn’t so thrilled with this story. At first the fact that Sookie wasn’t being painted as “the almighty Goddess Sookie who can do no wrong” I loved. The fact that she was being shown with flaws and not perfect was great. My biggest disappointment was that just as I expected a few chapters in, Eric is going to forgive everything and Sookie is back up on her pedestal. To me the rape was predictable. But that’s just me…my opinion. I actually think FanofEIM has a good point. Again…my opinion.

    Will I still read? This story I’m not so sure on but in general I do enjoy reading EIM’s writing and stories. Normally the moment I get my email update I’m over here ready to read.

    Now if you will excuse me i’m going to go read the chapter of Collide I haven’t read yet while you point those torches and pitchforks in my directions since a honest difference of opinion is obviously not welcome here.

    • It wasn’t the difference of opinion that I am upset about, and the others that commented as well (atleast I think from their posts). It’s the personal attack that gets me. You had an actual reason behind why you don’t like the story, that’s fine, but you also didn’t just say it was a copout. That to me is a personal attack on EIM and her writing abilities, and us for liking the story. Difference of opinion is actually welcome, but trying to make someone feel bad for their creative writing is just mean. Not every story is going to be good for every one of EIM’s readers. If you don’t like it, then just don’t read it!
      And as and FYI, I usually don’t comment on these either, but I felt compelled to do so on this story because it is something that is so different for EIM to write a more delicate and broken Sookie!

    • Haha…
      No pitchforks for you.
      Free thinking is indeed welcomed here, however being insulting to anyone other than me isn’t something I’m down with.
      I can’t speak as to anyone else’s motivations, but a poorly worded comment posted for all to see might have been aimed at me as the writer, which I don’t mind… But as I told the commenter privately, she trivialized rape and ptsd.
      That is my reason for getting out my honing stone.
      I love it when people enjoy my stories, but don’t lose sleep when they don’t.
      I’m glad you enjoy them.
      **ps.
      I know the rape is cliche bc this is svm. :D

  68. ok don’t hate her anymomre. EIM thank you for writing such amazing stories that when I see an update in my email I squee like a fangirl dropping her pants for Justin Bieber.

  69. I knew there had to be rape involved. No way would Sookie cheat on Eric. He’s doing so well dealing with this! Our hero, and, hopefully, Sookie’s!!!!

  70. its impossible that each chapter gets better but every one does. its amazing. i figured she had been raped. she was so brave telling him. eric was great. i see lots of healing in the future. love love love it

  71. Okay, so she was raped. I’m glad she was able to tell Eric, at least he has some idea of the hell she went thru. NOW, please hurry with the next the chapter. Your readers need the reconciliation!!

  72. Just had to share some love and say that you are an AMAZING writer. I know that because you’ve somehow made me hopelessly addicted to a story that has made me cry every chapter so far. Looking forward to more!

  73. Officially going through ICB withdrawal! It’s been 29 hours since you updated last, lil. Pick up the pace lovely lady! ;) I think I have re-read everything 4 times to see what I missed. Phenomenally written!

    • Ugh.
      You’ve been spoiled.
      Sadly, you will have to suffer a day without. I do have other stories to work on. 7 chapters in 8 days shouldn’t be too much of a disappointment. :D

      • Sniff, sniff! LOL. You have been working your tail off, I think we can give you a break. I guess just take it as a compliment to your mad skills that we want another chap! Keep up the excellent work, on all your stories! Much love!

  74. wow, im really glad i started reading when this chapter was already out… im definately sympathetic to sookie now, though it seems like 5 years was quite a while for her to have been trying to get up the nerve to tell little eric. i cant wait for more… though i do hope you dont neglect your other stories :)

  75. wow. that was intense. i didn’t cry but was very close. i so want to forehead slap sookie for not trusting eric. And why didn’t she go to the police (with him)? Her problems all snowballed…what a monumental understatement. Great chapter. You’re imagination is amazing. I’m surprised your family don’t smell smoke when you’re working on these babies, cause lady, you’re on fire!

  76. OMG My heart is beating so fast! I didn’t think there would be any reason… any possible excuse and now… I just can’t imagine what she was going through! My heart hurts for all three of them!

  77. Due to some depression of my own(it comes in cycles) I’m just now catching up on fanfiction. (I haven’t checked updates since October) I’m a survivor… I like seeing that element in stories(as long as it’s after the fact & not a description, descriptions I just can’t handle). I noticed a lot of people are on Sookie’s side now.. I don’t like how she handled everything & I’m angry at the system that she got deposited into.. I know that most of the time when you have to go in for treatment they notify(not with details just that you’re receiving treatment) a roommate, next of kin, or other emmergency contact.. For everyone to be in the dark is next to impossible.. I managed to keep thinks & treatment away from my immediate family but because I was in school & even though the crisis center kind of blew me off when I didn’t want to do the police report/public trial thing my roommate was notified I was getting inpatient treatment(also since they dnt allow you to drive yourself home)
    I also find it a bit difficult to believe that with all the “stalking” Sookie did of Eric that an investigator never picked up a trace of her…

    I do admit that I was, as others have stated, looking forward to the cheating Sookie for just a bit since I’ve never seen it done before…

    (I know I usually don’t leave reviews.. I’m afraid of getting flamed if I’m not gushing over a story… Or for my crazy typed-on-a-palm-device typos… I just couldn’t not say anything for this one.. Sorry & I’ll go back to me quiet reading.)

  78. Well shit girl, you got my head spinning every which way… first I thought that she had left cause she was scared that they would end up back in the trailer park if they had the kid… but then I was like well why the hell did it take her so long to go back when they both were already successful… I was like WHAT! when I thought she cheated… the rape thing as cliche as it “is” I suppose… I didn’t even consider… *boo me* I’m glad Eric knew in his gut that there was more to the story and didn’t allow his initial assumption take EJ away from her while he’s pissed and don’t know what’s really going on. Since your Eric isn’t a vamp… I love that he’s a sweet heart… but still bad ass kicking her dad’s ass, LOL! shit head deserved it.
    You’re awesome in your story telling and with every story I read… I feel like I’m going to get cancer faster and die from the lack of sleep I get from your addictive stories.
    Thanks for sharing!

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