Posted by: Megan | November 23, 2010

Gisselle, ma hell

Ruby and Gisselle are sent back to Greenwood immediately, a state of affairs that Gisselle takes less than kindly to, and which Ruby endures because she’s looking forward to getting back to work with Miss Stevens and because she is a martyr. Upon their return Gisselle promptly takes out her aggression on little Samantha, accusing her of going through Gisselle’s things while she was gone and using her perfume and makeup. Samantha tearfully denies this, but the end result of Gisselle’s bitchery is that Samantha moves in with Ruby, but not before Gisselle publicly mocks Samantha for being a virgin who fantasizes about the previously mentioned hot racist douchebag Jonathan Peck. Oh Gisselle. Charming. Kate takes over as Gisselle’s wheelchair pusher and Samantha is excluded from the Mean Girls.

Ruby gets a phone call from Louis, who heard about Pierre’s death from Mrs. Penny. His eyesight is still improving (I’m so sure she cares, Louis, her father just died) and he wants her to come over the next day for dinner. Ruby has serving duty at dinner and doesn’t feel right getting someone else to take her place (translation: Go away Louis), so Louis suggests that she come by after dinner. No, says Ruby, I’ve got homework to catch up on. (From the Latin: “Fuckus Offus”), but Louis really wants her to come over, so she finally agrees to find time after she’s a little more caught up on everything. Like grief. Ruby feels a little guilty after she hangs up the phone, worried that Louis might think that more is happening between them than really is, and she doesn’t know how he’ll take it once she tells him about Beau. Ruby? Probably not well.

The days go on, and Samantha spends more time with Ruby since Gisselle and the others still won’t talk to her. Ruby tries to encourage her to make new friends, but Samantha doesn’t want to hear it. One day, Ruby comes home from class to find Samantha curled up in her bed crying. Ruby asks what’s wrong, but Samantha will only tell her that everything’s fine again and she’s back in the group. When Ruby tries to figure out why Samantha is crying then, she realizes that something is really wrong and, oh man, to just get it out there: Gisselle accused Samantha again of using her things, going so far as to accuse her of wearing G’s panties to try and work out her sexual frustrations. When Samantha denied all of that, Gisselle made her masturbate in front of the rest of the group in order to be “friends” with them again. Yeah. Ruby is horrified and tells Samantha that she didn’t have to do that, but Samantha insists that Ruby doesn’t understand what the ostracizing was like, and begs her not to say anything to Gisselle, as Samantha had to swear she wouldn’t tell Ruby. Regardless of the situation, Gisselle still wants to room alone, so Samantha remains Ruby’s roommate.

Yeah, that was unpleasant. As the week goes on, Ruby notices that Gisselle seems especially worn out and tired. Thinking that caring for herself is too much of a strain, Ruby tells her sister that she needs to move back in with either Ruby or Samantha, but this infuriates Gisselle. Later that day Ruby gets a call from Beau, who tells her that he’s under restriction due to his and Ruby’s trip to see Uncle Jean, who was (according to Daphne) so upset by their visit that he has to receive electric shocks. Ruby is understandably upset by this news, but Beau tells her that he’s sure Daphne is making it up, and besides, it’ll be the holidays soon and he’s also sure that his restriction will be lifted in time for him to see Ruby. After the call Ruby tries to talk to Gisselle again before bed, but she doesn’t answer her door.

Ruby goes painting with Rachel the next morning, blah blah blah BAYOU blah blah blah art, brief appearance by Buck Dardar to remind us that he exists, exit Rachel. There’s a dorm-wide pajama party at Ruby’s dorm that night, with popcorn and dancing and pranks, but she’s surprised that Gisselle doesn’t participate and instead goes to bed early and locks herself in her room. On Sunday, Ruby goes to visit Louis, who is excited to tell her that he can see clear silhouettes now. He tells her that he’s agreed to go to a clinic in Switzerland for a while and that he can attend a music conservatory while he’s there. Good. Go away. Louis tells Ruby that he wants to her come and see him as often as possible before he leaves, and that his grandmother and cousin are pretty pissed off about his relationship with Ruby. He doesn’t care though, as he knows that she’s the reason he can see again, and that he knows he can rely on her to be there for him. Ruby is worried about this line of thinking, but doesn’t speak up and mention Beau. Louis plays her a piece that he wrote for her, and then they go to have beignets. As they leave the music room, Ruby is sure that she sees Mrs. Clairborne watching them angrily, and it turns out the next day that she was right.

The next morning during homeroom, Ruby is summoned to Mrs. Ironwood’s office. They are joined there by Mrs. Randle the secretary, who, Mrs. Ironwood tells Ruby, is there to take notes of the proceedings. Mrs. Ironwood badmouths Ruby’s upbringing for a while, before announcing that this hearing is the first step in the expulsion process. Ruby’s been accused of trespassing in an off-limits area of campus after curfew, and of engaging in immoral behavior on school property. Now, hmmm…who does that sound like? Ruby wants to know what the hell is going on, and demands to know if this is all about her visiting Louis. Mrs. Ironwood tells her that no, it’s about her being seen in the boathouse with Buck Dardar, which was witnessed by Mrs. Gray, Ruby’s Latin teacher. Ruby denies it immediately, but Mrs. Ironwood points out that, as Ruby’s teacher, Mrs. Gray is more than capable of identifying Ruby. Oh, if only there was someone else on campus who looked exactly like Ruby.

Ruby again denies it, saying that there was no way that she could have been at the boathouse at that time, and wants them to bring Buck in there to verify it, but Mrs. Ironwood tells her that Buck was already brought in that morning and wrote out a confession, naming Ruby, and was summarily fired and is gone. Ruby tells her to ask Mrs. Clairborne where Ruby was the night before, and the headmistress is naturally appalled that she would try to bring an esteemed old lady into this. When told to ask Louis then, she is equally appalled. There will be a panel at 4:00 that afternoon, and they will decide Ruby’s fate. Naturally, should Ruby want to avoid all that, she can just confess and accept her expulsion, but she declines that offer. Ruby preaches a little about the inherent goodness of BAYOU folk and leaves.

It turns out that Deborah Peck (bitchy racist sister of the aforementioned hot racist douchebag, who has apparently changed her name since the last time she was mentioned, as her name at the dance is Susan) is going to be sitting in on the panel (I’m assuming she’s student body president or somesuch), so everyone knows all about the hearing and Ruby hears them whispering all day. Gisselle is overjoyed, since she assumes that Ruby’s expulsion will mean that she gets to leave Greenwood too. You know what else might accomplish that, Gisselle? Getting expelled yourself. Ruby refuses to give in and later tells Rachel that none of it is true, and if she could only get Louis to come and speak on her behalf, they’d have to let her stay. Meanwhile NO ONE HAS EVEN CONSIDERED THE POSSIBILITY THAT IT WAS REALLY GISSELLE.

SPOILER ALERT.

IT WAS GISSELLE. THE OTHER SISTER? THE ONE WHO LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE RUBY, HAS BEEN TIRED IN THE MORNINGS, HAS BEEN LOCKING HERSELF INTO HER ROOM AT NIGHT, AND WHO LOVES THE MENS?

IT WAS GISSELLE.

Ahem. Ruby goes to her hearing, where Mrs. Ironwood, Mrs. Randle, Deborah, a handful of other teachers, and Mrs. Gray are waiting. Mrs. Gray gives her testimony, which is that she was returning from dinner the evening before when she saw a young woman going down to the boathouse. Suspicious, she followed, and saw the girl and Buck Dardar in a compromising position through the boathouse window. (Gisselle does not waste time.) Once she got a clear view of the girl, Mrs. Gray realized that it was Ruby. After this, she was so very overwhelmed by her sensitivities that she hurried away and called Mrs. Ironwood. Mrs. Gray, crying, leaves after that, but not before telling Ruby how disappointed she is in her. Whatever.

Ruby begins to defend herself, but is interrupted by the appearance of Miss Stevens and Louis, who is there to testify on Ruby’s behalf. Mrs. Ironwood immediately protests, but is outvoted. He tells the panel that Ruby was visiting him at the mansion the night before, and that she was there from 7:15 to 9:00 (the sighting of the terrible makeout was 7:30). Mrs. Ironwood is all “How do you know what time is, you’re blind” but Louis explains that his sight is improving greatly, and to prove it he correctly reads the office clock. The panel is suitably impressed, and after Mrs. Ironwood tries to argue and Louis offers to get both Otis (the butler) and his grandmother to testify as well, Ironwood has to back down and Ruby is cleared. In the hall, Louis and Rachel laughingly tell Ruby that Louis, knowing that Mrs. Ironwood would challenge his testimony on account of his eyesight, asked Rachel for the time before he went in, and then he guesstimated how much time had passed. Oh those two crazy kids. Ruby is highly amused at the thought of how pissed off Gisselle is going to be.

And she’s right, Gisselle is livid, but Ruby cannot find it in her to care. She also can’t stay angry with Buck, who she’s sure was coerced into signing the confession. The only thing that does bother her is how upset Mrs. Gray clearly still is, and how sure she is that it was Ruby she saw. Ruby. Ruby Landry Dumas. IT WAS GISSELLE. One afternoon, Ruby peeks into Gisselle’s room to see the state of it, and as that state is messy, she starts picking up a little. As she’s cleaning, she hangs up a white silk blouse, and remembers that Mrs. Gray had described a similar article of clothing as that worn by the harlot. As Ruby’s little brain starts clicking slightly faster, she notices a pair of Gisselle’s shoes that have mud on the bottom of them. Clicking faster now. She hears Gisselle in the other room and quickly hides in the closet. Gisselle yells at Samantha a little, then comes into the room and locks the door. She follows that by standing up out of her wheelchair. OMG you guys, this is just like on Buffy when Spike was all “Oh noes I’m in a wheelchair” and Dru and Angel were all “Haha you can’t walk so we’re gonna do it all the time because you can’t stop us” and then in secret Spike was all “Hahaha I am the one who can walk again” and yeah, it’s just like that.

Ruby immediately reveals herself and she and her sister have a nice spat. Turns out that Gisselle’s been teaching herself to walk again for a while, but has been pretending that’s not the case because people treat her better. Watching her sister walk around the room Ruby finally realizes that it was Gisselle in the boathouse (with the lead pipe and the caretaker), and Gisselle speaks for us all when she’s like “Well, yeah”. And yeah, she might have told him that she was Ruby, though she’s not sure he believed her, but she was doing it so that they could go home! Really! Ruby demands that she go and tell the truth to everyone, especially Mrs. Gray, but that’s not something Gisselle is going to do. In fact, she’s not going to tell anyone that she can walk again, and there’s no way that Ruby can prove it. Also, if Ruby does tell on her, then Gisselle is going to tell Mrs. Ironwood that Ruby and Miss Stevens are having an affair. When Ruby is horrified by this, Gisselle laughs at her and tells her that everyone knows about Miss Stevens except Ruby, but no one will believe that’s the case. Ruby is forced to agree to keep Gisselle’s secret, though she once more can’t believe that they’re sisters. And on another Ruby/Gisselle showdown, we close.

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Responses

  1. Okay, I did not remember any masturbation scene and I am totally horrified. D:

    • Yeah, it’s truly appalling. I think it’s one of the darkest places that these books have gone to, along with Vera planning Audrina’s assault. I didn’t want to skip it, because it’s an important example of how terrible Gisselle is, but it was hard to even write as little about it as I did.

  2. What is it with V.C. Andrews and public masturbation? Vera totally did it in front of Audrina, and Giselle’s just plain twisted.

  3. So glad to come home from the holidays to a new post in my feed! =)

  4. Yeesh whatever happened to a good old fashioned swirlie? I could see maybe making her streak through the school or something, but making her do that…Ew! Giselle is one sick puppy.

  5. I love love love your blog!!! Please continue – my work days are so boring without new posts!

    • Thank you! I’m working on a new post, I promise! Wedding planning is remarkably time-consuming!


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