thepainted_lady: (Irritated)
I'm starting these up again, to finish the last half, but...not going in order. Because I have something to say, dammit.

Dear Melissa,

There is absolutely no reason in the world to get up at 6AM to go do fucking "cardio scuplt" or "ultimate conditioning" or even "sunrise salutations." I'm not a sunrise kind of girl unless I'm watching it come up before going to bed, you know?

I get it--you want to bond while we sweat and detox from whatever we managed to mess up in our bodies the day before, and that's fine. After you begged, I said I'd join in on your fitness quest. But for fuck's sake, if you must drag me around to gym classes like a hyperactive squirrel on crack could we please consider these lovely alternatives:

At 1:15PM: Yoga, The Ride, POLE DANCING, BODY ART, and something called Boing with Kangoo. I don't even know what the last two are, but they all sound way more fun than anything at 6AM.

And in the evenings, we have all of those again, with dozens of variations of yoga--including virgin yoga--which okay, neither of us qualifies for--and hippie yoga, which we could, and "turning tricks" which, let's face it, is right up my alley, and even your damn "ultimate conditioning" again.

Just think--you could even save on coffee...and learn to pole dance.

Begging you to stop showing up before the sun's even done so,
Lydia

[ooc: The list of letters and links to others can be found here.]
thepainted_lady: ([Amanda] Listen to me)
Dear Amanda,

I know there’s a lot you don’t understand--about me, about my life, about why I left, about why I didn’t want you here. The last is the worst, I think. I see it in your eyes every time you look at me, that hurt, the betrayal, the accusation. I’m a bad mother, or I never wanted to be one, or I don’t want you, or ... whatever it is you think. Maybe the first is true...maybe I am a bad mother...but you mustn’t think the other two.

The only thing I ever wanted for you was to be safe, happy, to have everything I never did.

I didn’t know about abilities when I left you with Carol--I didn’t know what I was except that I felt like a freak. She was older and married and able to give you so much I couldn’t--a stable home, a normal home, with two parents who loved you. Because she did love you. I could feel that from her, completely, and her husband was a good man. He wanted to be a good father to you, and that was something that no matter what I did, I couldn’t give you.

Even once I found out about abilities...what life was being the daughter of a single, teenage mother at a traveling carnival compared to a comfortable, cohesive family? You could go to school, have friends, put down roots, grow up learning to ride a bicycle and playing with dolls...We were outcasts, the people society didn’t want, and as far as I knew, you were normal. You had a chance at a life in a world that didn’t want me.

Then I found out you were like me, and, Amanda, you have to know I was going to come for you. I understood--you couldn’t stay there. Carol wouldn’t understand. You’re like me. But the government had been hunting us, and Joseph had been murdered, and there were new people in the carnival I couldn’t trust...Edgar was going to come for you, take you somewhere safe, and I was going to follow. I was going to do my best to find somewhere safe for both of us, to be with you...

But you found me first, and you overheard things that weren’t true, things I was saying to protect you, because I didn’t trust Samuel’s reasons for wanting you with us. You were my daughter, and he didn’t need to be making decisions about you. I had to assure him of my loyalty, though. He’d already taken the money, cut off my one avenue of escape...I had to placate him...to try and think of something else, another way to get to you, to make you safe...

I didn’t mean the things I said. I never meant for you to hear them.

You mean the world to me, Amanda. You’re the one thing I’ve longed for all of my life. Leaving you is the only regret I’ve ever let stay on my mind. You’re the one thing I did right--the best thing I’ve ever done, and I have wanted you with me from the day I walked out of Carol’s door.

I just loved you enough to give up what I wanted in order to try and give you a better life. I never meant to hurt you with that.

I’m sorry. I hope one day you’ll understand, and one day, maybe, you’ll forgive me.

Love forever,
Mom

[Complete list here.]
thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] Not your whore)
Samuel -

I’ve started this a million times, then crossed it out and thrown it away. Trying to put into words what you’ve done, what you did...it doesn’t come, not easily, maybe not at all. Not truly. The words to grasp it, to wrap around it, don’t seem to do it justice. Then, I think, nothing could. It’s something that has to be felt, and I’m not sure you ever could feel it. I know you know what betrayal feels like, and I know you know loss, and disappointment, and what it feels like to love someone who doesn’t love you back, but...

Can you combine them all? Do you have it in you? Did you even realize, ever, what you held in your hands all that time?

I would have given you the world, at a word. My life, my heart, my body, my soul--they were yours for the taking, because I believed in you, believed you were special, believed you could rise above the limitations Joseph put on you, could be the savior you wanted to see yourself as. You wanted to be our Messiah, and I believed you had it in you. I wanted to help you make your dreams come true.

I was foolish enough to believe that maybe, just maybe, those dreams included me. Joseph would never have allowed it, but I thought in taking charge you’d finally claim what had been yours for the taking all along.

Except...you didn’t want me. )

[Complete List Here.]
thepainted_lady: (Don't hurt me)
Dear Joseph,

You were my hero. I don’t know if I ever told you that, if I ever found the words to say it. I searched for a long time, always looking for the right thing to say, to try and tell you what you meant to me, but they never seemed to come. You could read people, though, you knew what we felt--I always assumed you knew. Did you?

A song came on the radio the other day--one from my childhood. Reba McEntire, if you believe that -- “The Greatest Man I Never Knew.” I didn’t get it, as a kid. I mean, I understood it on an academic level. I knew what she was singing about. I knew my life wasn’t normal, that some kids had people in their lives they could look up to, fathers they could call great men, fathers who didn’t do things to hurt them. But I didn’t get it.

I’d forgotten all about the song. It wasn’t one I ever liked much, truth to tell. It made me feel I was missing something, even if the song was so...painful on another level, I guess. This time I listened, and this time...I got it.

I don’t know what I was to you. I don’t know what any of us were, really. You made this place a home, a safe haven, but I don’t know if it was love or necessity. I thought it was love, but I...I saw what happened with Samuel. I heard the things you said. This wasn’t the life you wanted. We weren’t the family you wanted. But even so...you could have done something else, kept Samuel away from others another way. You didn’t have to create this for us. You didn’t have to take in a wandering girl who had nowhere else to go. But you did.

So, the song hit a bit hard. There’s one verse that goes:

The greatest man I never knew
Came home late every night
He never had too much to say
Too much was on his mind
I never really knew him
And now it seems so sad
Everything he gave to us took all he had


We did that, didn’t we? )

[Complete list here]
thepainted_lady: (Downcast)
Dear Gail,

We don’t talk, really. I mean, I’m not sure we’ve ever sat down and actually had a conversation, at least not a real one, deep and true. And yet, you’re family, part of this place, and of us. More than that, you’re a mother--a better one by far than I have known how to be. I watch you with Jennie and I...envy you, having her, having the chance to be with her. You make me realize that maybe I could have done things differently, if only I’d known this place existed.

Even now...you’re the one to have taken Amanda in. You’ve given her a home, a place to sleep, a feeling of stability that she doesn’t seem to get from me. You’re still more of a mother to her than I am, and I don’t know how I feel about that. I’m grateful. I’m jealous. I’m wistful. I wish I knew how to do it. You make it look so easy. I know it’s not.

I wish I had the nerve to actually talk to you about it, to ask you about it, but I just...feel lost, like a failure when I think of it, and I can’t seem to find the nerve to ask what should be the easiest questions in the world.

So....here’s this instead, a cop out, maybe, as a letter, a note slid under your door. I’d like to talk sometime, if you’re willing. I want to be a good mother to my daughter. You know her better than I do...

Can you help me?

Lydia

[complete list here.]
thepainted_lady: (Wistful)
[ooc: More of a canon answer, and obvs not aimed at any Peter she's actually met, or verses where she knows him? LOL]

Dear Peter,

You don’t know me, but I’ve heard so much about you and, as odd as this will sound, felt you enough times that I sometimes think I know you. There was a chance, once upon a time, that you were going to come to us. I saw it, saw you, lost and longing for a place, a home. There were three of you who needed us: you, Claire and Sylar. Claire and Sylar found their way here, but though Samuel found you...you’ve never found your way to us.

I find myself wondering time and again what might be different if you had.

We aren’t bad people. I know you’ve had...encounters with us that might lead you to believe that. You haven’t seen us at our best, haven’t heard of us at our best, but we are capable of so much more. At our core, we’re a family, just like any family. We have our good and our bad, our hopes and our dreams. We want to be safe, protected, loved, free. We want a home. We want the chance to live our lives as ourselves, without being persecuted for who and what we are.

For so many years, the carnival has given us that, and though we live apart from the outside world, we’ve been happy. But...we lost our heart. We lost our way. We’ve been wandering in the desert. I’d like to say we fell when Samuel killed Joseph, but it wasn’t all his doing. Joseph...Joseph wasn’t the saint we make him out to be, and somewhere inside of us, something was falling apart before that. A discontent, a restlessness, a need for something more. Samuel’s power, his drive, his need...it reflects something in all of us.

There is a story I remember from my lost catechism, the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years, longing for home, losing heart, needing to believe in the Promised Land, but ceasing to think it could be real. I think, perhaps, that’s us. Joseph failed as our shepherd. He had no vision for us, no guidance, just a code he clung to, but didn’t believe in. Samuel has a vision, but it’s tainted by hate, by vengeance, by too many years of belittlement and degradation.

We’re a lost flock in need of a shepherd. We say it’s an empath we need--an empath to replace Joseph. Some of them look to me, because it’s my ability, but I’m as lost as they, as trampled down and turned around as everyone else.

You could have been that person. Maybe you still could be. You’re good--I’ve felt it. Pure of heart and soul, longing only to help a world that you see hurting around you, but you don’t fit in, either. No one accepts you--not your friends, not your family. You’ve lost so much, been betrayed by those closest to you, found yourself alone in the wilderness not of your own making.

I know what that’s like. We all do. You could do great things here, save a lot of people, have at your hand countless family members willing to aid you in your quest to help a world in need. We could do good things in the world, instead of ill, with the right guidance. But you haven’t come, even though I’ve felt your soul longing for us without knowing what you reached for. Even when I called for you...you didn’t come.

Maybe one day you will. I just pray it won’t be too late.

~Lydia

[Complete List Here.]
thepainted_lady: (Happy girl)
Dear Jen,

It’s been a standard of our family for a long time to shun the outside world and connections to it. No cell phones, no Internet. These trappings have been something we’ve considered dangerous--a way to track us, to control us, to link us to a world that wanted nothing to do with us. Lately some of that has been changing, lifting, and while I can’t be certain it’s all for the good, it has brought about two things for which I am grateful: It brought my daughter back to me, and it gave me the chance to meet you.

I don’t really have friends outside of the family. Our way of life doesn’t lend itself to that, nor does my own...reticence with strangers, I suppose. Even with the aid of my ability, I find it difficult to open up to people, to let them into my life. But I have truly enjoyed getting to know you, seeing what you have done and accomplished out in the world. We’re so very different, on the surface, and, yet, I feel you understand me in ways I’m not sure many who are closer to me do, and that is a...welcome feeling.

You should come visit some day, to meet the Bowmans, our fire-breathers, and my daughter. Though their abilities aren’t the same as yours, they’re close, and they’re always eager to meet other people with affinity for fire. Amanda, I know, would greatly benefit, as even here I think she still sometimes feels alone, or a freak. Knowing there is someone like you, out there in the world--that she has choices...it gives me hope for her, and perhaps it could give her that hope, as well.

But, mostly, I think I’d just like the chance to sit and talk, to do more than chat randomly as we manage it here and there. I doubt our way of life would suit you for long, but there’s a freedom in it, if only for a few days, to be among people who understand, to be able to be yourself. I’d like to show you that, to show you our world, and to learn more about you and yours.

Maybe one day we’ll find the time.

Until then, I’ll keep looking forward to our chats, and the insights, understanding, and sometimes just fun and silliness that come from them.

All my best,
Lydia

[Complete list here.]
thepainted_lady: ([Amanda] Listen to me)
Dear Danny,

She’s beautiful. I don’t know if you care, or if you even ever think about us. I don’t know how you couldn’t. We were just kids, then, but now, somewhere in the world, you’re presumably a man. Maybe you’ve settled down, married, have other children--but surely, you must think of her sometimes, if not of me. You had to know I wouldn’t get rid of her, so wherever you are...does your mind rest on her, the daughter we made, the one you didn’t want?

I don’t expect you to think of me. To tell you the truth, I don’t think of you all that often. I thought I loved you, it’s true, and maybe I even did, to some extent, but I was fifteen--what did I know of love? You were an idea as much as anything, and a chance at a life away from the one I despised.

But I never stopped thinking of her, after I gave her up. Did you, after I left? I knew you didn’t want her, that you didn’t want me. I could feel it, sense it deep down inside. You wanted to run. I didn’t want to be abandoned. Were you relieved when you woke up to find me gone? Did you even try to look for me, or did you just continue on your way, one less burden to worry about?

It doesn’t matter, not anymore. I wouldn’t even begin to know how to find you, or where, to send this, but I thought you should know--she found me. I met her. And no matter what a mess we made of each other...we did something right, you and I. She’s beautiful, perfect, everything I could have hoped for in a daughter. I look at her and I see so much of me, but...how I could have been, if things were different. I see you, too. Your sass, your fire, your defiance..maybe some of those were mine, but I learned so many of them from you. She has your eyes, too. Your lips. When she smiles, sometimes I see flashes of you, and I remember.

But only sometimes. Mostly, I just see her. I see the years I lost, and the things I missed out on. You missed them, too. There are so many more you’re going to miss, as well. Does that bother you? She hasn’t asked about you. I don’t know what to say when she does. I’d like to tell her that you loved her, too, but if you had....life would have been so different for us all.

People change, though. They grow up. They regret the things they did when they were careless children, frightened and irresponsible. Have you? Do you?

Maybe one day, she’ll find you, too. If so--I hope for your sake, and hers, you’ve changed, grown. But if not--it’s your loss. Because we created something amazing, you and I, and if you could see her, talk to her, I think you’d see that, too.

Lydia

[Complete list here.]
thepainted_lady: (If you wanna play...)
Dear rube,

It’s probably rude of me to call you that, to lump you in with all the rest. You think you’re special, I’m sure. I should know your name, remember it, carry it inside like some precious treasure locked in my heart. I saw you, touched something in you--no one has ever known you that way, understood you so clearly, spoken so honestly to you about the things you want, need most.

Did you tell your friends about your magical night, afterward? That the beautiful girl at the carnival picked you, smiled at you, chose you to stay after hours. How when the lights turned off, and the music died down, she took you back to her trailer and did things to you that you didn’t think people actually did outside of movies. Do you brag about it, now, the things you did to me, the way I fit into every sick fantasy you’ve ever had?

Or are you one of the quiet ones, one who thought we connected, that you saw me as surely as I saw you. Was I shy and tender? Did you make me sigh and hold you a bit tighter? Did I remember your name, then, and when the morning came, did you beg me to stay with you? You could take me away from all this, give me a better life. You were sweet.

I don’t remember your names, either of you, any of you, just that you were less objectionable than the ones who thought they had the right. You, at least, had the courtesy to ask. Maybe I should apologize for not remembering more, but I’m not going to. I’m a story you tell. You’re a way to fill the nights, to push back memories, faces that blur together. Another town, another face. You’re not who I want, not what I want, but you’ll do, and if you have something we need, even better. You’ll come back the next time we’re in town. Maybe I’ll choose you again--or maybe this time it will be your best friend.

You get the story, the fantasy, the thrill.

And I get a night of not having to be alone.

Thank you for that,
The Exotic Temptress

[Complete List of Letters.]
thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] Dead in your arms)
Dear Dreams,

I believed. Despite every instinct that told me not to, I believed up until the end that he could be saved, that we could still find a place in the world. I bought into the fairytale, even after everything I'd seen, that if you were just good enough, just believed hard enough, just worked hard enough...you'd be rewarded, your dreams would come true.

He'd see me there. He'd realize his potential, turn from the path he was on, be the man I believed he could be. We'd be together. He'd stop saying, doing, hurtful things.

I believed.

Hell, I even still believed after the fucking bullet hit me. He'd bring Claire. He'd make sure I was saved. He'd see what had happened. He'd save me.

And then he kissed me.

Let's just say, it wasn't anything like the old song, and everything I'd held on to, everything I'd believed was destroyed, including you.

So don't you dare try and raise your head again now because he's full of pretty speeches about remorse and puppy dog eyes. I'm not the same girl I was before, and I won't be fooled again.

Lydia

[Complete list of letters.]
thepainted_lady: (....Excuse me?)
[Complete list here.]

Dear Carol,

I got your voicemail. I know you said you never wanted to hear from me again--don't worry, after this, you won't. You're right, of course. It's better for everyone this way. I just thought you would have wanted to know Amanda was safe--even after so long away from her, that would have been my primary concern.

By now you've seen the news, I'm sure. You know about people who are different. You should realize Amanda and I are two of them. She wasn't disturbed, wasn't setting fires to spite you. She didn't need therapy. She was trying to deal with an ability she didn't understand.

If I'd realized she was like me, if I'd known what I was, maybe I never would have left her with you. But I thought you'd be good to her, love her, raise her right, give her everything I never could. For a while, I guess you did, and for that, I'll be grateful. But you hurt her, too.

I know what that's like. You never had to feel it--to feel so lost, so different, so out of control, when your body and emotions are rebelling against you. You were always perfect, in control of everything. Perfect daughter, perfect wife, perfect mother, perfect sister.

Except you didn't believe me when I told you about myself, about Dad. You didn't believe my daughter when she told you about herself. You were so blinded by how the world should be, you couldn't see how it was.

Maybe you'll have to wake up now.

But either way, Amanda's with me. I can take care of her, now, and I will. I love you, Carol, but I'm better for her, for what she's going through. I can give her what you can't. So, thank you for all you did--for being there when we both needed you. But my daughter isn't troubled, she isn't a freak--she's special. Like me. And we're going to be just fine.

I wish you all the best in life.

Lydia
thepainted_lady: ([Samuel] Now hear my confession)
[ooc: Complete list is here.]

Dear Samuel,

This is one of those letters I don't think I'll ever send, which, ironically, would change my answer on the purity test from yesterday. The thing is, though, I don't know that I could stand it if you ever realized how I felt and were...appalled or disgusted or, worse, amused by it. I've never been good at anything real, at knowing how to make things last.

It would all be so much easier if I could just play a part. Be the Painted Lady, the Exotic Temptress for you, lure you in like I do them. But you're not them. You're not anything like them. They touch my skin, think they're possessing me, but I don't remember their names--they just pass right through like wisps of smoke.

You stay, you linger, etched into and under my skin along with your ink. You don't realize it, but I feel every casual touch down to my core. I don't think I could ever be rid of you, no matter how much time or distance came between us.

I'd be yours, if you let me. Am yours, even if you never see how deeply, how much I want you, have always wanted you. All you need to is speak the word I don't think you'll ever say. You look at me, and I feel stripped bare, and, yet...you don't see so much.

Maybe that's for the best. Maybe you never should. Maybe it's better a fantasy, no matter how barren a life of fantasy can become when it never reaches reality. It's dangerous, the things I feel, and I don't think I'd survive the loss of the dream, as well as the hope of one day.

I don't know. Some days, you look at me, and the words tremble on my lips. I wait, and I think, now's the time, this is the moment. Tell him. Move to him. Then the moment passes, and I've stayed frozen in the shell of a life I created for myself.

I don't know what's right anymore. But I love you.

Maybe one day I'll find the courage to let you know.

Lydia
thepainted_lady: ([Edgar] Trust you with my life)
[ooc: The list.]

Dear Edgar,

Sometimes I struggle to find the right words to tell you what you mean to me, how you make me feel. Even now, with pen to paper, knowing I can rewrite this if need be...I find myself hesitating. Some of the words are so easy--best friend, family, love. They're words people use every day, and I think maybe it's their very simpleness that belies what they mean. I know...I know what you feel for me, what you want, and I know you think that I don't love you as much, or that I don't see you, don't feel you.

You're wrong.

I need you, Edgar. I need you the way I need air and water and sunlight. When you're not here, or when things aren't right between us, something inside me breaks, hurts, and you're the only person who can fix it. You think I see you as less than, somehow, or less important than them, but...they come and go, Edgar. You're my constant. You're my northern star. I don't know who I am when you're not around--it's like I'm not me, not fully. You're a part of me.

No one has ever made me feel as safe as you do. No one has ever made me feel as cherished, as special, as loved. You don't look at me and see a piece of flesh to be possessed, but a person to be respected and protected. You believe in me when no one else does, not even me. You make me feel like maybe I can do something, be something more than what I've been before. You're the one I trust with myself, my life, my daughter's life.

And I don't want to lose that. I don't want to do anything to jeopardize that. Because if I lost that...if I lost you...your friendship, your love, your respect, you in my life...I don't know what I'd do. I think I'd lose me.

You're not less than. You're not...unworthy. You're special, more special than you know. I love you. You're my best friend. You're my family. You're my home. You make me strong, complete. I wish I had more than words to make you see...

I'm damaged. I'm broken. You deserve so much better than someone like me. You deserve someone who doesn't need you to hold her together, someone capable of standing up for herself, someone you can build a life with. You deserve the best of everything, not someone who'd just...I would break us, Edgar. Everything that we have...it would disappear and I'd lose you, and I can't bear that. It's selfish, I know, to want you near, to bind you to me in any way when I should just set you free. But what you want...I don't stay away because you're not worthy, Edgar. Please never, ever think that. It's me. I don't deserve you, and I'm a coward--too afraid of what I might lose to risk what I might gain.

I just thought that you should know, at least this once, how much you mean to me, now and always.

Love always,
Lydia
thepainted_lady: (Carnival beauty)
Here's the challenge, each day for the next month, write a blog in letter form to the following people:

The Letters )

Profile

thepainted_lady: (Default)
Lydia

October 2011

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