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    Chapter 15 – When your child dies

    Tina, Bette and Angie had been in New York for a couple of days.  The family stayed in a two-room Suite at the Mark hotel, where Bette stayed most of the time when she came to NY. The entire day was spent at RISD University in Portland, which is one of the best educational institutions when it comes to the education of an artist-sculptor.

     

    ”What are your impressions of today’s trip?” It was almost 10 p.m. now, and Bette was sitting on the couch with her legs stretched out on the ottoman. She was wearing black silk pajamas and her hair was pulled back. Next to her was Tina in a white lab coat, who had just come out of the shower and was listening to Angie and Bette talk while working on her iPad.

     

    ”It was interesting and quite exciting. Everyone is so creative, you can immediately feel this freedom and … flight of thought, or something. I enjoyed it. What do you think?”

     

    ”I think RISD is very good for the direction you have chosen. Better than anything we’ve ever visited before. So this is quite an appropriate option.”

     

    ”Yeah … we like everything, but it’s quite difficult to get there. ”

     

    ”Come on, there’s not much competition. Well, if you compare it even with the same Yale. And you have a great portfolio. I speak as a professional, not as a mom.”

     

    Angie smiled a little and continued. ”If that’s the case, it’s still very expensive, I don’t want you to spend so much money on it.”

     

    ”Ange, don’t even think about the money, really. Every parent should give their child the level of education that they are able to give. We can afford it, so just take care of the choice and where you will be interested. Okay?”

     

    Tina looked up from her work and put in a few words that were similar in meaning to Bette’s.

     

    ”But…” Angie hesitated for a moment, as if debating whether to say what she wanted to say. ”… I don’t know if it’s worth it. I mean, does a sculptor need such an elite education? I don’t discount the importance of learning, but I can learn theory and work with artists at a less prestigious college.”

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    Comments

    1. This was a difficult read for me. There are no words for me to write here. No explanation needed. I strongly felt the pain and it brought me to tears. The death was sudden and unexpected. That’s all I am able to write. Sorry.

    2. I love Bette and Tina. I applaud all authors willing to take the plunge and put themselves out there by writing a story and then accepting feedback. That being said and with all due respect, your story, for me, is far too dark and confusing. Angie has way too much control over her parents. Now she is friendly with Eddie who is in prison. She is on a very dangerous and destructive path. Much more than typical teenage rebellion. She is headed for major problems if not already there. Using tantrums and threats and disrespect and manipulation to control her parents is just not okay. Also, if she had sex with Eddie as you have implied, by California law she was in fact raped. Legally, Angie is not old enough to consent. That IS the law. And it is enforced in that state. That is not to say that Eddie should be charged with statutory rape but given the fact that he broke into the house and attacked Tina it is to say that he could have been and puts a much more serious spin on Angie’s first sexual experience. But did she lie about having sex? Why did she need to see a gynecologist? STD? Pregnancy? Serious issues all of which seem to be just glossed over. And to all of a sudden introduce an infant child to the story and have that beautiful baby die in such a sad and horrific manner is beyond the pale. Given all this couple went through with the miscarriage this is just too much and so totally out of left field. And to what end? What is the point? If it is intended as a cruel means to just grind them into the ground and show how the marriage fell apart, you succeeded. To me it is an arbitrary and somewhat callous plot device by which to totally end them. In reality, as statistics show, this couple would not only most likely divorce but there would be no coming back. Too many reminders. I have experience with SIDS. My nephew. The subsequent physical and psychological pain,loss, blame, grief, and anger is just so severe that one never really recovers. Look at what the miscarriage did to them? You have chosen two topics: underage sex/ statutory rape and SIDS and minimized both. Again I ask, why? This is just too much for me.

      • First of all, thank you for your opinion on this. Whatever it is, it’s important. I’m very sorry that this topic has affected your family.
        Secondly, going to the gynecologist after the first sex is a normal practice that excludes STDs, unwanted pregnancies and injuries. I don’t see anything strange about it. And conversations between parents and their child’s therapist about the child’s mental state may say more than meets the eye.
        Thirdly, I understand that this is probably too much for people who face stress and problems in life and come to this site to relax, read something for the soul. And the story about the death of a child may seem too blurry, incomplete, compared to other incredible stories on this site, but I write as I can and it may be far from ideal. I wanted to write a drama. And I wanted to make it as close as possible to life, to real life, and not to fairy tales. And in my experience, what I wrote often happens in life. Seventeen-year-olds have sex and you can think of it as rape, but in the end it’s not rape. Children die and parents deal with it in different ways, sometimes behaving differently than you think they should behave. And yes, everything is complicated and can’t be solved in a moment, but I think that’s what’s interesting. What’s interesting about simplicity? Perhaps I have a small vocabulary of English words and I just can’t Express what I want in a letter, so you see my story incomplete and minimized, but I really put my heart into it and try. I planned to finish this story in a few chapters, so it won’t mislead you anymore. Thank you and I’m sorry if this story has become something you’d rather not read and has taken up your time.

        • Not going to belabor the issue but trust me, this site is most certainly not too much for me. I think I have proven that and take some offense at the jab. I am 100 percent TiBette and make no apologies for that. I thoroughly enjoy reading those fairy tale stories you reference as well as high drama such as Remember Who You Are and I Will Not Let You Fall. Hard to get any more dramatic than these stories. It is absolutely your choice to write the story you choose to write and I applaud your efforts. I also stand by my feedback. Let us just agree to disagree. Best of luck with your story.

    3. Ada. I was not personally offended by your story. It is your story and your choice to take it anywhere you want. I just was not expecting it particularly now with the country in massive turmoil. I think I needed to read something more cheerful and uplifting. Thank you for writing on this site. Please continue

    4. Wow not many people go down the path of the 2nd child. Tough writing, difficult subject.

      A bit of a surprise, which is the only thing that did not work for me. Such a big emotional thing with no real foreshadowing.

      K

      • Thank you for reading this! Your thoughts are very important to me because I loved Love, Loss and Living. I remember reading this story and thinking about how completely you describe all the actions, all the characters. I had clear images in my head, and it’s so interesting.

    5. I really wanted to make a comment when I read this, but I decided to delay for a day of so.

      You have chosen a very dark story line to follow with this Bette & Tina story. And you gave no previous indication that such a tragic event occurred in their life. Couple that with the real life stress with this election going on and I was simply not prepared to grapple with this heart breaking story line. The timing for me was not good. But I guess that is a personal problem for me.

      If the loss of this child is what broke these two up, it’s hard to imagine them getting back together at all. Except for Angie, there would be so many bad memories that it would seem just in surmountable to overcome. I wish you well on showing us the path that they take to put their lives back together again. They have been through so much in their lives, but this would absolutely crush them. And it is obvious that they did not regain their footing enough to keep their family together. And that breaks my heart even more.

      I hope you can pull this story out of the pit of devastation. You have a big job ahead of you. Good luck….

    6. I worked as a pediatric respiratory therapist for 25+ years and SIDS is real. Such imaginable tragedy. I’m worried about Angie. Her love is most definitely blind and fails to see the red flags for substance and violence add that to Eddie’s emotional and physical abuse. The poor guy needs therapy. I do feel for Eddie but scared for my favorite family.

      Interesting chapter. Keep up the great work. I’m need to destress from Election anxiety. Thank you for sharing your talent.

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