Extra - What You See

Sharla Ruben is 47
Joshua is 41; Melissa is 15 

July 2025

Sharla smiled to herself as she folded the paper neatly and put it down.  So... Cory had done it again.  She felt vindicated now.  All these years... she'd known he'd never stop drinking, regardless of what Sam had told her.  He just wasn't that strong.  She knew, and she'd been right.

Sharla liked being right.

The front door slammed.  "You're late," Sharla called out, without even looking up.
"So what?" Melissa replied.
She got up to meet her daughter in the hallway.  "So, I told you when to be home, and you're late."
"What does it even matter?"
"It matters," said Shala, "because I told you to do something, and you didn't do it."

"I don't even know why you care!" Melissa said.  "It's not like you're even home to know what time I'm back most nights.  Why start caring now?"  She pushed past Sharla and disappeared into the kitchen.

When she was out of sight, Sharla smiled again, as she headed back into the living room to pour herself a drink.  She wanted Melissa to get over he outburst before she joined her and Joshua for dinner.

A mother probably should hate fighting with her daughter, but it pleased Sharla to see that Melissa had the fight in her.  She'd have hated it if the girl had turned out like her father.  Poor, stupid David.  It wasn't like he'd even been her type - he was a good person, a quiet, caring man, someone a person might think they could depend on.

The kind of man Cory had been, when they first met.

A romantically-minded person might speculate that Sharla's relationship with David was some misguided attempt to recapture what she'd once had with Cory, to try to fall in love all over again.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Not now that Sharla had seen where loving would get you.  She had no intention of ever going there again.  No, it had noting to do with recapturing lost love.  Sharla had simply chosen David because she knew he'd be a man she could control.

Sharla had used David, she'd admit that freely.  It didn't really matter, anyway.  His fool of a wife had taken him back, so it wasn't like she'd really robbed him anything.  There was the little matter of Melissa, of course.  She'd been a mistake, and one that Sharla would have taken care of, had she not been careless with the pregnancy test results.  Cory had been paying more attention than she'd realised, and once he knew there was a baby coming, there was no way out.

So she'd kept the baby, and she'd kept Cory.  And, she'd kept David, too, for as long as it suited her. It wasn't like she'd ever promised him that they'd have a future together. She'd known all along that it would never happen, not with a man like him.  Not now that Cory had taught her about the other, hidden side of a quiet, caring man.

Sharla would take someone like Joshua any day.  He was ambitious, like her.  He knew what he wanted, and he wasn't afraid of who he walked over to get it.

Maybe that seemed hard, but at least it was honest.  At least you know there are no secrets, what you see is what you get.

With a man like Joshua, there'd be no surprises.


This wasn't even on the schedule, but it kind of wrote itself, during my eight hour drive in the last couple of days.  It came into being here in the gaps between my uni paper and the other r/l stuff I'm here for.

So, Dee accused Sharla of only marrying Cory to improve her standing, and Sharla didn't deny it.  But I found myself thinking, what if Dee was wrong...?  Not that it excuses Sharla - Rose is kind of disillusioned with Cory right now, too, but I imagine she'll deal with it in a very different way.  

'Real' update coming soon! :)


  1. Ugh, I hate Joshua and Sharla, I hope she opens her eyes and sees what he's trying to do with her daughter and I wished that her sister-Dee-had told her the truth about him.

  2. Glad you posted this little extra! It certainly puts a new spin on things.

    Ugh, don't you just want to hit Joshua, standing there with that smug/guilty look on his face, with poor Melissa standing there in the background?

    Going off what AV said, I wonder what Sharla would think if she did find out the truth about Joshua. Would she believe it? And if she did, would she view it as a kind of weakness on her daughter's part? Would she think she "let" it happen?

  3. Joshua and Sharla aren't very enjoyable, but they match well together, they both only see and do things to get better themselfs.
    I'm worried about Melissa, since Sharla sees her as something that never should have happened, I don't think she's going to much to help her daughter, when thigns between Melissa and Joshua go further ...

  4. Sharla and Joshua are definitely suited for each other; such evil, manipulative, controlling people. Poor Melissa, having to deal with that all the time.

    I'm glad you put that extra, it was interesting to see from Sharla's point of view- not that it made her look any better.

  5. Thanks for reading, everyone!

    Apple Valley, they're quite a pair, aren't they? As for Dee telling Sharla, see my answer to Carla below...

    Carla, I think a lot of how Sharla would react to the truth about Joshua, would depend on who told her... I don't know that she would even believe Dee. Even if she did, given that the relationship was consensual she'd probably blame Dee for seducing him, see it as another part of Dee's promiscuity, not the cause of it. When I think about it, we actually don't know that Dee hasn't tried.

    As for finding out about Melissa... I've had some thoughts about if/how/when that might happen, and about Dee's reaction. It's off in the future, though, so I don't want to say too much now :) Interesting thoughts you've raised, though.

    Tanja, given Sharla's attitude to Melissa, you are right, even if she did know what was happening she might not value Melissa enough to be much help to her.

    coolkat2, that is one thing I'll say for Sharla and Joshua, they are just right for each other!


Thanks for reading and commenting!