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Sunday, April 03, 2011

The Dance of Revenge - The Wrap Up

When I sat down and wrote Dance, I didn’t have a story plan on paper. Just in my head.

This obviously wasn’t ideal. There are a lot of gaps in my story (now that’s an understatement). I really should have done my research, huh? You know…found out what ‘pokers’ are really called, and just how many plastic surgery operations it would take to complete Sherrie’s face. It also wouldn’t have hurt to look at a map of France and pick a town to base my story in, rather than write evasively about Sherrie’s hometown location. ;)

But, I was 14 when I wrote it.

I’ve been harsh at times with my 14-year-old writing, but if the truth be told, I’m kinda proud of my 14-year-old self. I gave it a go, and whilst the story is not particularly original (‘Really? Noooo,’ I hear you saying), there are times when I showed, at least, a small amount of aptitude with my writing.

I didn’t write my book with stars in my eyes hoping that it would be published some day. I can’t remember even thinking that for a second, actually. I think I mostly wrote it for my friends. I loved taking it in to class after writing each new chapter, and seeing it passed around from one friend to the next during English period. (Sorry, Mr Duncan. We really weren’t listening to you, I’m afraid.) And, of course, their feedback was always lovely to hear. (No wonder I blog, huh?)

In any case, I always had an idea of where I wanted the story to go. For the purposes of making it less confusing, I’ll stick with calling the main character Sherrie during this final wrap up. Please note that much of what I’m about to write I recall wanting to make part of the storyline, however I feel that since publishing it here, I may have also set out a path in my mind as to where it should have gone as well, so it will be a mixture of my original plan, and one that I’ve thought of as I write this. To be completely honest, I can barely tell which is what…!

Now - if you haven't read this series and all, and want to, just scroll down the RHS of my homepage, and in the sidebar underneath the pink ballet slippers, you'll find the links to all the story so far!

Ok, deep breath…here we go:

The Wrap Up

Sherrie’s mother would track down the plastic surgery clinic in France and write Sherrie a letter explaining that she may be her mother. The letter would be intercepted by Marianna who, desperate to hold on to Sherrie as her foster daughter, would travel to visit Elizabeth (in her mysterious home town – the name of which would never be disclosed, of course) and offer Elizabeth a substantial payment. She would lie and tell Elizabeth she did not think Sherrie was her daughter, and Elizabeth – under pressure from Adam about money woes – would reluctantly accept the cash. Marianna would stipulate that Elizabeth was not to tell Adam or anyone else about their deal, so that the information would be kept quiet. Elizabeth agrees, hoping that someday she can reconnect with Sherrie.

Elizabeth would deposit the money and tell Adam that her aunt – who was left her mother’s money after her mother’s death – had decided to give Elizabeth some of the money – hence the payment to their bank account.

Elizabeth would then lose the plot after losing Sherrie – stressed from the lies and secrets and from missing her daughter - and Adam would have her admitted in to a mental facility, and then live it up nicely with his newly bulging bank account. (Bastard.)

Meanwhile, Sherrie would undergo surgery and her new face would not only not resemble her former self, but would be stunningly beautiful. A real masterpiece.(Hello, Return to Eden.)

Sherrie would then return to Marianna and Pierre’s home where she would be given an allowance, which she would then secretly spend on ballet lessons. (She had to do this in secret, in case people linked her to the missing girl back home. Natch.)

The bodies of the remaining missing from the train accident would never be found, hence, supposedly, keeping Sherrie’s true identity a mystery. ;)

As Marianna grows to love Sherrie more and more, she starts to regret lying to Sherrie, and keeping Sherrie from meeting her mother. So, one night – wracked with guilt over her lies – she confesses all to Sherrie: that she knew Sherrie’s true identity after Sherrie spoke her name at the plastic surgery clinic; about the letter from her mother. Sherrie, in turn, admits she knew her own identity from the start, and tells Marianna about her past and how Adam and Elizabeth treated her. The fact that her mother accepted the money from Marianna in exchange for staying away from her convinces Sherrie yet again that her mother hates her, and – once again – promises herself she will seek revenge on Elizabeth and Adam. Marianna and Sherrie agree to keep everything secret from Pierre and the authorities so they can stay together as mother and daughter.

Marianna’s son Paul, arrives home. He is resentful of Sherrie living at his home, and is concerned that Sherrie will take a slice of his inheritance if she stays. He makes life difficult for her, but then, eventually starts to develop feelings for her. However, he doesn’t make this known to Sherrie, and in turn, Sherrie has feelings for him that she keeps to herself.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth starts talking about Sherrie during her hospital stay, and a kind-hearted nurse who acts as a sounding board takes it upon herself to find out more about Sherrie. Not knowing that Adam doesn’t have Elizabeth’s best interests at heart, she eventually approaches Adam with her revelations that his wife believes Sherrie is still alive. Adam assures her his wife has convinced herself of this, and when the nurse insists that Elizabeth is quite certain that this is true, Adam strangles her and disposes of her body to ensure the secret that Sherrie is, in fact, alive somewhere does not come out. He then goes to Elizabeth’s doctors and insists her medication is increased and Elizabeth then lives in a virtual drug-hazed world from then on.

Adam finds himself a new girlfriend, and a baby is born – a young girl.

Meanwhile, Sherrie continues ballet lessons and is chosen to dance for a reputable dance company and eventually becomes a ballet star. After reaching dizzying heights with her career, after five years she quits to return to her hometown where, with Marianna’s financial assistance, she buys the ballet company that she was previously tutored at, and becomes a ballet teacher there. She finds Adam, and follows him. In a café one day, she attracts his attention, and Adam being Adam, flirts with her. Sherrie flirts back, but refuses to tell him her name. Adam is left intrigued. (Of course!)

Then one day Adam walks in to her ballet class with his (now) six-year-old daughter who is there to take lessons. He recognizes Sherrie as the beautiful girl from the café, and from then on, pursues her relentlessly. Sherrie leads him on but keeps him at a distance. Sherrie finds out through conversations with Adam that her mother is in a mental facility. She decides to visit her. She uses the excuse that she is an old friend of Sherrie’s – a girl from her ballet days. She is shocked to find her mother has aged considerably and is, of course, a rambling mess being drugged up to the nines. Her mother talks constantly about her daughter who ‘died in the train accident’ – obviously now confusing reality with the secret she has been keeping. Sherrie experiences the pain of losing her mother, and realises she still loves her, but is also still very angry with her. She eventually has to leave before she reveals to her mother who she is, but can’t help it when she promises her mother she will return again some time to visit her.

After she leaves, Elizabeth can’t help but think she recognizes the visitor’s face from somewhere. She picks up a magazine and flicking through, finds a photo taken of Sherrie taken during a ballet performance (as Louina Silk, of course). She realises the visitor is her daughter, has another meltdown and is drugged up even more.

One day, Sherrie walks in to the change rooms at the ballet school and remembers the photo that she had placed on top of the cupboard (the one she found in her grandmother’s bathroom). She climbs up, and is surprised to find it is still there. She brushes the dust away and decides she needs to find out who the man in the photo is. However, the only way to do that is to either approach her mother, or search through her mother’s things. Not wanting to admit to her mother who she is, she decides she need to use Adam.

Knowing that Adam’s partner is away (where, who knows?), she flirtatiously suggests dinner at Adam’s house. He, of course, falls over himself to get her there. Once there, whilst he is cooking, she goes through her mother’s things in the study and comes across more photos of the man in the photo. She turns one over and finds a first name. (Can’t remember what name I was going to use – hopefully not ‘Pierre’ again. Let’s say the name is Jacque.) Adam walks in and she almost gets caught, but makes the excuse she wanted to look at the photos on his desk, which happen to be some framed shots of herself as a child. Adam tells her about the accident. She is sickened by his lies and makes an excuse to leave. He tries to persuade her to stay in his usual, forceful manner, and recalling how he treated her in the past, she snaps and kicks him where it really hurts and leaves. (Hurrah!)

Paul arrives in Sherrie’s hometown to visit her with a package from Marianna. She insists he stay rather than make the long journey home. He reluctantly does so. They end up indulging in a drop or two of wine, talking to the wee hours of the morning and eventually kiss, which leads to more and their fate is sealed: they are in love.

Feeling guilty about the fact they are foster brother and sister, they decide to keep their affair quiet as to not upset Marianna.

Sherrie eventually feels secure in telling Paul about her mother, Adam, her accident and her true identity. Paul is shocked she has kept something like this from her, and he leaves upset. Sherrie, in turn, is convinced he used her to find out this information so that she could not lay claim to any money from his family. (Love never runs smoothly, you know.)

Sherrie visits her mother again, this time with the photos of the mystery man in hand. Her mother – who is now a complete space cadet after taking so many drugs, forgets that she is Louina Silk and Sherrie once again tells her she is a friend of Sherrie’s. She makes an excuse as to why she has the photographs, and shows them to her mother. Her mother gasps. “Jacque!” she screams and begins to break down and cry. She tells Sherrie that Jacque is Sherrie’s father. Sherrie is confused – her father’s name was not Jacque. She asks her mother if she is certain and asks for Jacque’s surname. (Let’s say it’s…Brown. Ok, I know that’s not French, but I’m over thinking up French names, ok?) Her mother assures her it is Sherrie’s father. She explains that she was only 15 years old when she developed a relationship with him that led to her pregnancy by which Sherrie was born. He was 18 years old at the time, and both families were upset by what had happened. He was sent to another town and told he was never to contact Elizabeth or their unborn child ever again. The father that Sherrie knew was a good friend of Elizabeth’s that posed as her father, until he eventually met someone he wanted to marry – hence, his ‘death’.

Sherrie sets out to find her real father. Marianna uses her contacts at the police station to track him down. They meet and reconcile. He comes back to their hometown to meet Elizabeth again. Elizabeth instantly recognizes him. He vows to help Sherrie get Elizabeth out of the mental facility. Sherrie listens to Elizabeth tell Jacque everything about Sherrie’s disappearance, the money from Marianna, the fact that Adam raped her etc and Sherrie breaks down and admits to Elizabeth that she is her missing daughter.

Meanwhile, Adam approaches Sherrie again and apologises for his behaviour. He showers her with gifts and flowers etc until Sherrie agrees to meet him for dinner. He is smitten with her, and Sherrie knows it. She leads him on so that, in the meanwhile, her father can investigate the missing nurse from the mental hospital that he and Sherrie suspect may have disappeared at the hands of Adam (after Sherrie’s mother asks about her). He and Marianna investigate Adam with the help of the police. The police eventually suspect Adam is, in fact, involved with the nurse’s disappearance. Adam’s house is searched, and the body of the nurse is found buried in the backyard. He is arrested and sent to prison for life. (Revenge at last. Ha!)

Sherrie and her father help Elizabeth to eventually leave the mental facility. Elizabeth and Jacque fall in love again, and they eventually get married.

At the wedding of Elizabeth and Jacque, Marianna, Pierre and Paul attend. Paul and Sherrie reconcile, admit their love to their family who all approve of their union, and kind of ride off in to the sunset after that. Probably to Paris. Or London. Or Australia - seeing that they were the only places I could describe in the book.


Well...was it what you expected?

Thanks to those who have been reading. I’ve had a ball posting it! As cringeworthy as it's been at times. ;) 



Tara @ Our Whirlwind Adventures said...

Nicely wrapped up Jodie.
Thank you for sharing [and causing me to become addicted to] Dance. It's been one hell of a reading journey. Well done :)

Miss Pink said...

Oh wow.
No i didn't expect it to end that way at all but i like it!
I loved this series and thank you for sharing it with us. I was hooked pretty quickly and will miss it.

Thea said...

It was all fantastic...still so impressed with the 14 year old you. xx

BS said...

Jodie, it was/is a great story, despite the 'Eden' influence, you have a creative imagination (from an early age apparently). (Of course, she just had to be a famous ballerina.) Thank you for sharing it with us.

Now, when is your next novel coming out? You should really foster your talent.

Not sure what to do with my Sundays now........

Katie said...

Well, I didn't mean to be away as much as I have been. Just finished reading and I absolutely loooooooved it.
I am especially grateful for the wrap up. I would have cried many tears without closure.

Thank you, Jodie, for sharing this gem. It has been such a fun ride!