Bella was certain her mother wouldn’t hesitate to set someone up if she were in trouble, even if it that meant her own daughter. Veronica was fiercely protective of her daughters but more in a way like protecting a piece of property. She wouldn’t let anything happen to them if she could help it but ultimately, Veronica’s own needs would always come first. She didn’t have an emotional connection with her daughters but wanted them to shine as a reflection of herself. Much like her cars, her daughters were always supposed to sparkle but there was depth or closeness beyond the surface. She worked constantly and so she hired nannies to raise Bella and Ella for the most part. She was considered quite cold and calculating, which is how she got so far ahead in business. The only person she was close to was Ivy since they had been best friends in college. Bella knew this well and thought Ivy might be able to help.
Maybe Ivy had some insight on what Bella should do next without actually telling her what about her suspicions about her mother. She wouldn’t tell her everything, but just enough to grasp her intuition. Ivy may not have been truly “psychic” but she could sense much of what was going on with those who were close to her. Perhaps her mother had even confided in her with her plans for her father and for her future. Maybe Ivy was helping her. Bella couldn’t be sure about anything but she needed help so she had to take a chance and talk to Ivy.
That afternoon Ivy had been working on her thesis for the Order of Discordians’ Board of Directors. To be nominated to become the next high priestess of group, she needed to submit her research paper soon. This small religion was unknown to most people. Those who were aware of it brushed it off as an odd little cult. They were not perceived as dangerous but they were mysterious. The group was everything to Ivy as she had dedicated her life to promoting and furthering their cause.
They worshipped Eris, the Greek goddess of chaos and believed that following her was the ultimate path to the highest enlightenment. The core of their beliefs was that both order and disorder are just illusions. Neither one nor the other was any more important. While the majority of people in the world were guided by routine and order, they would actually be able to reach a higher level of being by allowing chaos or disorder to guide them. Chaos was a beautiful force that once accepted, could be used and would allow a person to truly attain power, influence, and of course wealth.
Ivy wasn’t surprised to see Bella. She knew that Bella was distressed from the events of the week with the dead body and the photos of her mother’s affair. But as Bella explained to her about her father’s poisoning and his detox at the hospital, Ivy was taken aback. She hadn’t anticipated her father’s hospitalization but Ivy remained calm. “Bella…my little Bebe, you look practically frantic. Your father will be just fine if he is in the hospital now. What is really the matter? Why are you looking so terrified?” Bella started crying uncontrollably. She couldn’t help it. She had to tell her what she suspected of her mother and how she was sure her mother was setting it up to make it look like Bella was responsible for the poisoning. Everything came pouring out. Ivy was stunned. This was not a part of the plan. Not at all a part of the plan.
Ivy had been carefully poisoning Bella’s father Josh over the past year. Not enough to kill him. Just enough to make him a little crazy so that Veronica would be forced to make some decisions about her marriage, her family and just how she would handle the chaos of Josh’s unpredictable and erratic behavior. It was the final part of her plan for Veronica but no one was supposed to find out.
She had been meticulously measuring and injecting a precise amount of antifreeze into just one Gatorade bottle out of a 6-pack that was always kept in the refrigerator at the pool house. Small amounts were undetectable by smell or taste and matched the perfect green shade of Gatorade. When she would visit Veronica at the estate, she would stop there on her way out and leave another pack of Gatorade. He was always gardening and drank at least two bottles a day. He only received a poisoned bottle, once a week at most. It was a minor amount but just enough to make him a little sick and cause a bit of mental confusion on occasion. No one was to ever find out and she had planned to stop it directly after Bella’s talent competition.
Now all of her plans were vulnerable and Bella could be in more danger than she could ever imagine. Far beyond her fears of her own mother or being accused of her father’s poisoning. If Ivy’s plans failed, Bella’s own life would be at risk by a chaos that would be set in motion beyond what Ivy could stop.