Chapter 15:Abstruse Philosophy

Ghost-like, a cloud descends from twinkling ledges,

To nod before the dwindling sun and die.

-taken from Senlin:His Dark Origins, by Conrad Aiken

Abstruse:difficult to penetrate/understand, incomprehensible to one of ordinary understanding or knowledge;recondite.

Philosophy:doctrine:a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group/Love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self-discipline

(Lyrics used in story are by The Cure)

“Darkness you got my soul
I feel you across my veins,
My heart is getting cold,
Guide me through eternity”…..(Equilibrium by Alice’s Inferno)

“this dream never ends” you said
“this feeling never goes
The time will never come to slip away

“I..I don’t want you to believe her. Don’t trust her, Deanna.”

“Zac, you’re acting so silly. What on earth are you talking about? Onamara and I were just talking, she’s in the middle of showering, Zac! Goodness,what on earth has gotten in to you? Onamara came by and said she needed to gather some of her things and have a bath. ”

“this wave never breaks” you said
“this sun never sets again
These flowers will never fade”

“I need you to trust me, Deanna. Do you trust me?”

“this world never stops” you said
“this wonder never leaves
The time will never come to say goodbye”

“Of course I do, Zac. You’ve never given me a reason not to.”

“this tide never turns” you said
“this night never falls again
These flowers will never die”

“I love you so much, Deanna.”

“She needs to get dressed Zac. No, no, don’t turn around! Here Onamara, here’s your clothes, and get out now Zac.”

“Deanna, I’m going to go now. Thanks for letting me shower and get my things.”

“Alright dear,but why don’t you come back tonight for dinner with us?I’m making spaghetti.”

Never die
Never die
These flowers will never die

“Someone’s at the door, Zac. Aren’t you going to answer it?”

“this dream always ends” I said
“this feeling always goes
The time always comes to slip away”

“It’s Onamara. Don’t answer the door, Deanna. Maybe she’ll go away.”

“Zac, she’s family. Move so I can let her in. Goodness, you’re acting silly today!”

“this wave always breaks” I said
“this sun always sets again
And these flowers will always fade”

“Thank you, Aunt Deanna.”

“I was asking Zac about you earlier, Onamara. He told me how you’d decided to move out, and , well, I didn’t get the chance to ask you before..but..did we, did I, do something wrong?”

“”No. Uncle Zac kicked me out.”

“What? Noooo, no I didn’t Deanna. Hey, come on, I swear I didn’t!”

“this world always stops” I said
“this wonder always leaves
The time always comes to say goodbye”

Aunt Deanna, you need to hear what I have to say. Uncle Zac and my father killed my mother. I read it in those pages I took from..from my foster mother’s room.”

“Oh, Onamara, what’s gotten in to you? You’re accusing your father and your uncle..of murder?”

“this tide always turns” I said
“this night always falls again
And these flowers will always die”

“Zac, tell her this isn’t true! Defend yourself! Your niece thinks you killed your own sister-in-law! Tell her, tell her it isn’t true!..Why are you just standing there, Zac?”

Always die
Always die
These flowers will always die

“At least you’re not going to lie, right Uncle Zac? I’m sure it’s been eating you up inside. TELL DEANNA! TELL DEANNA HOW YOU HELPED YOUR BROTHER KILL MY MOTHER!”

Between you and me
It’s hard to ever really know
Who to trust
How to think
What to believe

Deanna, Onamara needs help…Haven’t you seen how detached and aloof she’s been lately? She’s in a horrible state of depression. I’m afraid she may need to be taken to an institution..I didn’t want to even think of such a thing before, but now…”

Between me and you
It’s hard to ever really know
Who to choose
How to feel
What to do

“I’ll prove it, Deanna. You’ll see. Then you’ll know I’m not lying..and I’m not fucking crazy!”

Never fade
Never die
You give me flowers of love

“Baby, this is exactly what I was talking about. She’s lost it, babe…She needs help, serious help, help we alone can’t give her..”

Always fade
Always die
I let fall flowers of blood

“Oh dear..I feel so bad for her. What are we going to do, Zac?”

“We’ll have to talk to someone..get her institutionalized. It’s what’s best, Deanna.”


“You’re right, Zac, she needs help. This is so horrible. I thought she could come here and be near her family. Now it seems we did nothing more than cause her grief. Is it our fault she’s ended up this way?

“No, Deanna. We can’t allow ourselves to think that way. I was afraid of this…It seems to me all that’s happened to her has really taken its toll. Believe me, I’m sure she had problems before she ever came here. I don’t think there’s anything we could have done differently…”

“Well, maybe we could send her to your father’s house in San Juan? She’d still be with family there…”

“No dear, we can’t throw her off on someone else, that wouldn’t solve a thing. She needs to be put away…locked up..”

“Locked up? Zac, why do you have to say it like that?”

“Deanna, can’t you lock a damn door!”

“Aunt Deanna, please just hear me out! Just look at these papers, please! It’s all right there, I’m not lying!”

“Stop, Onamara, just stop!”

“No, no Aunt Deanna, don’t let him tear them up! Dammit, no!”

“Just calm down, Onamara. You know, Zac and I were talking, and we think it would be in your best interest if you sought help for-”

“No! How can you believe him! He’s lying to you!”

“You should leave, Onamara. Deanna and I have had enough of this, and if you step foot in this house again, we WILL send you to a damn institution. You’re crazy-you’’re sick!”

“Onamara, Zac just needs the time to cool down, and so do you. You can come back in a while,okay?”

“No, she cannot!’

“Onamara, please! Please, just come back later!”

“Zac, you don’t have to be so cruel.”

“You’re right, Deanna..we all just need to cool off….”

“I can help you with that…if you’d like..”

“Are you flirting with me, babe?”

“Let’s go to bed, Zac. Let’s just go to bed together and when we wake up, everything will be okay again…Right? Don’t you think?”

“I don’t know about all that baby, but I know I could never say no to you.”

“I love you, Deanna. None of this should ever have happened. I should have known better than to bring her here, to our home.”

“I don’t want to think about all that now, Zac. I just want you to make love to me. I wanna be happy again..”

“Okay, baby…let’s go to bed.”

“Zac, wait. She’s supposed to come back, right? And then what? What are we going to do?”

“Deanna, enough. Sh. Just be quiet. Let me love you.”


The Next Morning…..

What the? Deanna, what the hell?!”

“What, Zac?! Oh, you mean Onamara? Well, I was getting dressed for work and she knocked at the door. Now be a dear and start a pot of coffee for everybody while I finish getting dressed.”

Deanna left the room to finish dressing in the bathroom, leaving Onamara and Zac alone together.

“What are you doing in my bedroom, Onamara? Why are in my house?!”

“First of all, Uncle Zac, I’m in your bedroom because Deanna told me to wake you up-I told her you and I needed to talk. Second of all, all your lies are about to tumble around you, you bastard.”

Zac sighed. Fine. He’d hidden so much for so long. He’d known someday it would all come to bite him in the ass. Knowing his wife, maybe telling the truth wouldn’t hurt a thing. No matter what, he was sure in the end he’d have what he’d wanted from the start.

“Alright Onamara..We’ll sit down tonight and talk all this out.”

“You’re going to tell her the truth. You deserve to be in jail for what you’ve done.”

“Maybe so. Like I said, tonight. Around 11, so Deanna has time to relax after work.”

“You can bet your ass I’ll be here.”

Without Deanna on her side, Onamara wasn’t sure she had much against her uncle..


“Deanna baby, we have to sit down and talk. There’s some things you need to know..”

“Well, I just got home from work. Can it wait? I mean, I’ve only just gotten out of the shower…and I’d like to start dinner.”

Deanna had always known something wasn’t quite right..

But she loved Zac fiercely, so she turned a blind eye on many things and convinced herself that all was well in her small slice of heaven.

She wanted to prolong this talk Zac wanted to have with her..She had a feeling that afterward her whole life was going to change for the worst..

“Why does it feel like you’re saying goodbye?”

“Deanna, I only want to make love to my wife. Is there something wrong with that?”

“You know, we’ve probably put this off long enough..I’ve been living in my make-believe world for some time now. Maybe it’s time for me to grow up..face things I didn’t want to face before…”

“Plenty of time for all that later. Please. Just give me this, and then I’ll tell you everything….”


“Is this some kind of sick joke, Zac?!”

“For once Deanna, I’m not lying to you. ”

Now that he’d started he couldn’t stop.

“It all started with Ibbie…..He said Ibbie kept wanting to break things off with him because of Day. She felt that Day had feelings for him, and Ibbie didn’t want to interfere. That’s when Zef started saying how sick he was of Day. Well, a few times Ibbie had broken things off with him, and when they’d break up she’d be seeing other guys…That really pissed off Zef..”

“You know what Zac, I’ve changed my mind. You don’t have to tell me all of this…..”

“I love you, Zac, and that’s all in the past. None of it matters now.”

“Oh but it does, Aunt Deanna.”

And so the story unfolded…..

It had all begun with Ibbie. Ibbie had felt it was wrong of Zef to bring Adoria Day’Lee to Cali and lead her on, and she felt horrible that Akemi and Adoria thought so negatively of her. Several times she had left him to be with her roommate. She’d even had true feelings for him…but Zef had ruined all that by starting ugly rumors about her around the town. She always fell for it when he’d come crawling back apologizing. She finally just picked up and moved one day, but she stayed in touch with Akemi, and eventually Akemi began to believe Ibbie’s stories about Zef…Akemi told Adoria…and they all became close…Zef didn’t like that…When Adoria got pregnant, Zef’s first intent was to leave her..Besides, she could die, and why would he want that kind of relationship or that kind of stress? But then, Zef’s brother had reminded him that they were married…and Adoria had Life Insurance…

That’s when Zef’s plan began to take shape.

Adoria would have to die. He wanted that money, and he knew his brother was struggling and needed money.

Back when they’d all been in college, Deanna had had a serious crush on Zacarias. When she moved back to their hometown, Deanna came back with a badge..She was a cop, a damned good one at that. She had lawyer friends and invited judges over for dinner……

And Deanna’s crush on Zac had never stopped….she didn’t even seem to remember how Zac and Zef used to make fun of her back in school, calling her lard-butt and pudding-face..

Zac did some wining and dining. It was all too easy. It didn’t take long at all before they were saying I do…

Zac started to get desperate. The house he shared with Deanna had once belonged to his parents. His asshole father had moved to San Juan to live it up in a mansion and left Zac the deed to the house. Zac had big dreams and a car with a gas tank that almost always ran on E.

Timing. It was all about the timing…

Adoria had Onamara, and they all came out to visit Zac and Deanna…

That’s when Zac and Zef began putting arsenic in Adoria’s food…

Adoria had always known Zac hated the house…Adoria also knew her husband had been cheating on her. He put on such a good front..

Through it all, Zef acted as if he really loved Adoria, and maybe in his own warped and twisted way he did…When they’d gotten married, he really had been happy and in love. But Zef’s personality, his nature, did not allow him to handle things very his mind, he truly felt that Adoria would die anyway..He told Zac all the time he was showing his wife mercy…

And then, when Adoria and Zef returned home, Zac began to have second thoughts about it all. He called Adoria one day while Zef was at work. He told her everything.

But it was already too late.

Stomach pains…difficulty speaking…retching…tenderness…excessive saliva and clammy sweats.

“But it was organic!”, he’d said…”And never a lot!”……

Dryness and tightness in Adoria’s throat..Delirium and sparkling red eyes..  And Zef was still poisoning her..

Adoria wrote her goodbyes to her daughter.

She never said a word when the Memory Book came up missing..She never told Zef about the phone call. Delirious and broken-hearted, she’d accepted her fate.

Valentine’s Day came. In her confused state of mind, Adoria still managed to notice the strange actions of her husband..This was it, he wanted her gone and she knew it. Perhaps he’d grown tired of waiting out her slow death and wanted that woman she knew he’d been seeing..Wanted to have her and not feel any remorse over a wife he’d left at home..

He’d brought dinner to her right before he’d left..

Lightheaded…pain in her head..he’d left, and she’d called her friend Akemi…

Akemi took her to the hospital…but she couldn’t stay with her. Atilio, Akemi’s husband, had to work late and Akemi needed to be home with her son Toshio.

The doctors called Zef..Adoria was where he’d known she’d be..Of course she would have called a friend to take her there..He’d been expecting it..

“Pull the plug..It’s what she would have wanted…..”

A letter turned up, months later…It had gotten mixed up in the postal office..but finally it reached its destination.

Cat had opened the letter from Adoria, months after Adoria’s death..Months after Cat had seen Ibbie and Zef together and run them over, killing them on impact.

“I forgive you..signed, Adoria Greaves”, and a photo of Adoria and Zef had fallen out..Cat had stuffed it with torn pages from Adoria’s Memory Book in to a shoebox and hid the shoebox in her closet in a far corner…..


“That night”, Deanna said to Zac,”that night they came..I told you..I told you that it was such a shame..Do you remember?”

“You and I were standing outside, and I said,’It’s such a shame something so terrible is happening to someone like her…’ And you’d agreed with me..You looked like you felt bad for her, and all the time…you were killing her..and she’d come outside..and we stopped talking and all I could do was stare at her..She was beautiful..She didn’t look sick at all…”  “They weren’t killing her then, Deanna. It started on that night…”, said Onamara.

“Do you remember?!”, screeched Deanna. “Do you remember us talking outside that night?! Adoria walked back inside, and..and..and you told me that dying would be better than the pain Adoria was in.”

“And the night went on..we danced, we ate, we talked, we laughed..and all that time, you and Zef were killing Adoria.”

“That’s enough. Deanna. Onamara. We’ve all said enough.”

“No, that isn’t enough!”, shouted Onamara.

“I think Zac’s right. I need some time to take all of this in.”

“I know you do, baby. Here, just relax now..”

Onamara watched in disbelief as Deanna let Zac massage her back and whisper in her ear.

What was wrong with that woman?

“I think we should all get some rest. I know I for one need my sleep before work tomorrow. Onamara, I hope you’ll sleep in your room tonight. It’s always nice to have you home instead of out wandering the streets. Isn’t it, Zac? Isn’t it always nice having Onamara home?”

“Yes dear, it’s always nice.”

Onamara was shocked speechless. She watched as her uncle led Deanna to the bedroom, holding her hand as Deanna leaned heavily against him.

‘Now what?’, thought Onamara..


“Going to work, baby?”

“Yep, I’m leaving now. Could you tell Onamara I’ll see her when I get home? I think she’s asleep.”

“Well, I didn’t see her in her room. I just went in there to use the computer.”

“Oh no, I know, she slept in the attic for some reason. As long as she’s comfortable there, I guess it doesn’t really matter though. Right?”

“I’m sure she slept just fine, babe. All the old furniture is up there.”

“Good, good. Gotta run honey. Love you!”

They kissed and Deanna left for work.


Later that night…

“Onamara’s gone again, Zac.”

“Oh…well, perhaps that’s a good thing, don’t you think?”

“No. I don’t like it when she’s gone. This is her home too now, Zac.”

“Alright baby. I’m sure she’ll be back. Just relax. She’ll be back..”


“She still hasn’t come back, Zac.”

“I’m sure she’s fine baby. It’s only been a few days.”

“But where could she be? Why would she just leave? She loves it here!”

Zac rolled his eyes secretly at his dimwitted wife. She was going over the deep end..

“I know she does, dear. That’s how you know she’ll be back.”


Today was a coherent day for Deanna.

It had been over a month since Onamara had left…

Today, Deanna remembered…Today, Deanna knew..

Yes indeed, a coherent day for Deanna.

“Zac, will she go to the police?”

“Honey…you’re a cop. Wouldn’t you have heard about it if some crazy woman had turned me in?” Zac laughed as he finished tying the cord on his pajama pants.

‘Oh..yes, I’m sure you’re right. I’d just hate to lose you.”

“Baby she doesn’t have any proof. All she had were those stupid pages from the journal and I tore all that crap up.”

“Oh..I’m so glad baby. I love you, Zac.”

“I know, honey. I love you, too.”


‘If it worked for one, it’ll work for another’, Zac thought as he laid Deanna’s life insurance papers back into the drawer in the kitchen hutch.

He hummed as he prepared his wife’s breakfast.


The hotel room’s alarm clock went off.

Onamara had somewhere to be.

She fetched the keys to the car her instructor had been letting her borrow.

“Today you will learn of your capabilities. You will study under my wing, and I will teach you more than mere techniques.”

“You will learn of respect, and blah blah blah. Couldn’t you please just cook the damn rice before you start!”

“Hush, Hidetaka!”

“Ohh, phooey!”


“Okay, okay!”

“Today, your training begins.”

Sunk deep in the night

I sink in the night
Standing alone underneath the sky
I feel the chill of ice
On my face
I watch the hours go by

The hours go by…

You sleep
Sleep in a safe bed
Curled and protected
Protected from sight
Under a safe roof
Deep in your house
Unaware of the changes at night

At night
I hear the darkness breathe
I sense the quiet despair
Listen to the silence
At night
Someone has to be there
Someone has to be there

Someone must be there”

-The Cure


~ by Daylilypetals on 12/07/2009.

3 Responses to “Chapter 15:Abstruse Philosophy”

  1. Oh, Lilydee! There is so much going on here. Such a long chapter!
    I love the plot, but was very confused while reading it all. It’s like someone punches you repeatedly in the stomach.

    It doesn’t make sense to me that Onomara keeps coming back. Nor that Zac got his hands on the Memory book and shredded those pages.
    I can understand Deanna to a degree, especially if she is now delirious from being poisoned, but she is a police woman… Shouldn’t she know about these things? Shouldn’t she have reported Zac? She sounded like a good person to start with… I understand some people can be blinded by love, but she is corrupted by love.
    And Adoria knew… yet still trusted the man who was poisoning her with her little daughter?

    I’m curious to see where this leads to, maybe I’m not looking at it from the right perspective.

  2. “It’s like someone punches you repeatedly in the stomach.” LOL When I read that, I was like “Oh my goodness, it was THAT bad?!?!” 🙂
    Though sometimes confusion is not what a writer will aim for, it’s what I was aiming for with the recent few chapters. I needed a sense of mystery and confusion to hang like a fog-I wanted the readers to see shadows and wonder what those shadows belonged to..Mara keeps coming back because of Deanna. When I sketched the story out (before posting it here) I already had decided that she felt sorry for Deanna. Not only that, but she knows that Deanna can help her prove how her mother really died, but she needs Deanna to trust her and feel close to her. Those are her reasons why..why she keeps returning to that house.
    Zac never got his hands on the Memory Book. Mara doesn’t even remember where she left it. All Mara had with her with those pages that were folded around the small photo of her mother and father. Do you remember those pages she found in Cat’s closet when she returned to Cali because she needed more cash? That’s what he shredded up, thinking it was the only proof that Mara could possibly have. He didn’t want Deanna to read it and he has always been worried that the truth will be unveiled.
    Of course Deanna SHOULD have reported Zac. However, she’s been madly in love with Zac since they were in school, way back in the day. She’d had a crush on him from the start, even though back then both Zac and Zef used to make fun of her and call her names, pull her hair, and mock her, etc. Zac was always what Deanna could never have, but when she came back to Sunset Valley, all grown up and with a badge, she fell perfectly into Zac and Zef’s plans. It’s not just poison that has eluded her-she’s been disillusioned for a very long time.
    Many of the people around Mara seem so crazed and in their own worlds, each wrapped up with their own secrets, guilt, and shame. I said from the start each story will have a piece of me within it…To be 100% honest, all these people represent the people I lived with the many times I was taken into a home and out of state’s custody. Each family seemed to have their own secrets, their own agendas…they all seemed so wrapped up within themselves. You start to feel so alone and panicked, and desperate to find someone that you can be close to. For Mara, she hopes to find other relatives that aren’t like Zac, or Cat..or maybe even unlike Deanna, too.
    “She sounded like a good person to start with.” How can one be defined by their actions or their hidden thoughts as either good or bad? For I myself have days I dwell in the stench of shame and regret over things I have done…yet many who know me consider me “good”. The line between good and bad people has been grayed since the beginning of time. Mara herself is neither good nor bad.
    Yes, Adoria knew..but she didn’t know until the end was near…or maybe she did know..Maybe she too was disillusioned?
    Yet Adoria knew Zef’s way of thinking, and knew he wouldn’t keep a responsibility like a daughter in his life. This is why in the page I shared with you from her Memory Book she states that she hopes Zef loves their daughter enough to do right by her…She was pretty sure doing right by her would mean someone else raising her. And trust was not really part of her way of thinking-she was beyond all that by that point. It was more just an insane hope, a crazy prayer, a dying woman’s last wish.

  3. OOh no! When I wrote that ‘repeatedly punched in the stomach’ I did not mean bad writing or story-telling at all but the exact opposite. It’s really good! I basically meant that the discoveries and shocks came coming and coming… I was totally enthralled reading this.

    And thank you so much for explaining your perspectives on your characters. You are so right… there is good and bad in everyone. And of course, each family has its secrets…

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