Well, here it is – the final chapter! I would just like to take the time to thank all my readers for reading, and to also say thanks for all the awesome reviews. In particular I am grateful to, Lala Lola, xoxcrescentmoonxox, and Abilgail (Nightcrawlerlover) for the amazing feedback on every chapter. It is very much appreciated. Enjoy the last chapter!
Chapter Eighteen - Coming to Terms with it All
"So the cops found a diary all about Stephanie?" Dean asked Danny in shocked disbelief. It was Sunday afternoon and Danny and Stephanie had just returned from the police station. Office Grant had phoned at just after 8am, asking if Danny and Stephanie could visit the police station, rather than the police visit them at home. For now at least, Regina's capture and processing, had taken precedence over the fire at the Smash Club. Following Danny and Stephanie's return home, a meeting was now being held in the Tanner living room to update and reassure everyone, and to bring any questions or concerns they had out in the open. Attending the meeting were Danny, Stephanie, Jesse, Joey, Kimmy, Carmen, Dean, Michelle, Nicky, and Alex. Danny had questioned Jesse over whether Alex and Nicky should be present for the conversation, but Jesse had pointed out that Regina had come after the twins as well, and that they needed to hear the truth, rather than be left in the dark wondering.
Danny nodded in answer to Dean's question, "Unfortunately yes. And other diaries were found devoted entirely to Regina's best friend in Pasadena – Danielle Harris. Steph why didn't you tell us about Danielle?"
Stephanie briefly looked down in her lap, before meeting her father's gaze, "She was just so scared Dad, and so relieved to have Regina out of her life. Regina had been tormenting her for years, not just a few weeks. She was afraid if she rocked the boat, Regina might rediscover her."
Joey said, "What I don't get is how Regina was able to harass Danielle for years, yet never tried to physically hurt her, but after only a few weeks, she tried to ki … harm Steph?"
"The police psychiatrist who came to speak to Steph and I at the police station said it was because Steph made it clear almost from the moment that Regina started behaving strangely toward her that she wasn't interested in forming a friendship, whereas Danielle just put up with her for years."
Stephanie nodded, "Danielle said the same thing when I spoke to her. That she was really shy, and just wanted a best friend, so she just went along with whatever Regina told her to do."
"The psychiatrist said there were different types of stalkers and that he believed Regina to be a 'Rejected Stalker'. "
"What's that mean Dad?" Michelle asked.
Stephanie answered before Danny could, "It means that when Regina was rejected by Danielle she felt insulted and wounded, and as a result she developed a fixation on me, because physically speaking I was the closest thing she had to Danielle."
"But I still don't get it," Michelle protested. "You met Regina last year, therefore she would have noticed that you physically resembled Danielle right away, so why did she only show signs of being obsessed with you a few weeks ago?"
"I don't know for sure, but I think that Regina still considered Danielle her best friend when Danielle was living in Hong Kong. Danielle admitted that she never broke off her friendship with Regina before leaving, so Regina would have just presumed they were still friends. When Danielle's family returned to Pasadena in mid August, and Regina phoned her, Danielle made it very clear that she no longer wanted her as a friend, and advised Regina never to contact her again. Unfortunately for me I was just conveniently there looking like Danielle. So she simply transferred her friendship with Danielle onto me."
"Oh I get it now," Michelle nodded.
"How did Regina get like that?" Nicky asked.
Danny looked over at his young nephew, "It's a hard question to answer Nicky, but the psychological term the psychiatrist used was that Regina suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder."
"I have no idea what you just said Uncle Danny!" Nicky said.
"Me neither," Michelle said.
"Wow, Regina has a lot of big words wrong with her!" Alex exclaimed.
"I'll try and explain it so that you understand," Danny said. "Basically Regina doesn't look at things like most people do. She sees herself as very important and thinks that only her feelings matter. She thinks it's okay to treat other people badly."
"Didn't her parent's teach her to care about other people?" Nicky asked.
Carmen shook her head sadly, "Perhaps they didn't Nicky. Or maybe they tried and she wouldn't listen."
"How did Regina find us at Grandma and Grandpa's?" Michelle suddenly asked.
"She had copies of all my keys," Jesse told his youngest niece.
"Then all she needed to do was look up Katsopolis in the book, or on the net, drive to the address, and try every key until one fit the lock," Dean said.
"And even if anyone noticed her, she hardly looks threatening does she!" Jesse said. "She would weigh what – one-fifteen, one-twenty at the most?"
"Yeah Jesse!" Kimmy said sarcastically. "It's a well known scientific fact that there's a strong correlation between weight and violent behavior!"
Shooting Kimmy a look, Jesse appealed to the rest of the group, "Does everyone else understand my point?"
"Sure Dad!" Nicky nodded. "You are saying that Regina didn't look scary enough for people to be afraid of her."
"Thank you Nicky!" Jesse approved. He indicated to Kimmy, "See Kimberley. Nick gets it!"
"And I'm saying I don't believe Regina looked harmless. Her eyes were evil!" Kimmy said dramatically. "Similar to looking into the eyes of a snake!"
"How many snakes eyes have you looked into?" Jesse asked dryly.
"Including yours, just the two sets!" Kimmy retorted.
"She always has a comeback doesn't she?" Carmen said to Joey.
"Uncle Jesse, can we stick to the topic!" Stephanie pleaded seeing that her uncle was about to make a further comment.
"Jesse's theory probably explains why no one noticed her lurking outside the Smash Club either," Joey said. "I mean she managed to block off two exits, disable the fire alarm, and sprinklers, and set the fires without anyone seeing or stopping her."
"I noticed her," Kimmy protested. "And I have this to show for it!" She indicated the bandage on her head.
"Joey what do you mean two exits?" Stephanie asked. "I thought the front entrance was clear?"
"Regina also blocked the kitchen access," Jesse said grimly. "Luckily the kitchen door is close to the main street, so several passer bys helped clear the door and free people almost immediately after the fire started. The police said she probably would have blocked the main door as well, but she either ran out of time, or decided it was too risky! The fire chief said that if she had succeeded in doing so that he doubts everyone would have gotten out okay."
"According to the police, female arsonists are very rare," said Danny, "But in Regina's case it wasn't so much about the arson itself. For her it was just a convenient way to make sure that Stephanie, and the people around her, got what she perceived they deserved."
Michelle said. "But I thought Regina was obsessed with Steph! Why go after Nicky, Alex, Grandma, Grandpa and I? If Steph had been with us it would have made more sense!"
"She knew we wouldn't expect it," Stephanie said quietly. "She knew it would have been almost impossible to get to me, so she settled on the next best option – my vulnerable family."
"I wonder if the cops found my missing binoculars when they searched Regina's car and house," Kimmy wondered. When Stephanie had mentioned to her last week that Regina had been using binoculars to spy on her at Dean's, Kimmy concluded Regina was probably using the pair from her apartment.
"Your binoculars – I have them up in my room!" Alex admitted sheepishly. "I was using them to try and catch Regina outside. I'm sorry Kimmy … I didn't know you thought Regina had taken them."
"Alexander Katsopolis – you do not take people's things without asking," Jesse said sternly.
"It's okay! I'm the one who borrowed Nicky's Yo-yo!" Kimmy looked guilty. "I was secretly practicing in order to beat Alex's Yo-yo record. I put the Yo-yo in the pocket of my work pants, and forgot about it until later at work. That's how it ended up in the cash register. I understand you were blamed for that one Alex, so let's call it even."
Alex grinned at Kimmy in agreement; while Nicky gave her the same stern look Jesse had just given Alex.
On Friday afternoon, nearly a week after the fire at the Smash Club, Stephanie hurried down the front stairs of the school, in search of Dean's car. A blonde teenager was sitting on the low brick wall that separated the school grounds from the street, and she stood up to greet Stephanie as she drew nearer.
"Hi Stephanie – Steph!" Danielle Harris gave her a small smile. "I've been waiting for you." Her eyes widened as Stephanie stopped in front of her, "Gosh, you were right, looking at you is like looking into a mirror."
Stephanie smiled back, "Except for hair length." She regarded Danielle silently for a beat before saying, "Look Dani, I didn't say anything to the police about you – I promised I wouldn't, and I didn't."
"I know that," Danielle reassured her. "The police contacted me, after they found eight diaries dedicated to me." Even though it was a warm September day, she shivered.
"Yeah, she wrote in a diary about me as well!"
"I'm so sorry. I should have come forward when you asked for my help. Even though I always suspected that Regina was more than capable of harming people, I was still shocked when I saw her picture on the ten o'clock news last Saturday, and then was later informed by police that Regina had tried to kill you."
"Not just me," Stephanie corrected. "My uncle's club was packed that night. Regina blocked the exits; any of number of people could have died. She knocked out my uncle's girlfriend, left her in the middle of the fire."
Danielle scuffed her sandals on the ground, "I was so scared after viewing the Saturday news, after they said Regina was still at large. I thought she was going to try and come after me next."
Stephanie looked guilty, "With everything that was going on, I didn't even think to phone you and warn you. Now, I'm the one who's sorry."
"It's okay. Officer Wilson phoned about midnight on Saturday night, after searching Regina's bedroom, and he sent a squad car over to watch the house. My parent's were so sorry they hadn't taken me seriously much earlier, my mom was even crying."
"I'm happy to hear that – well not about the crying part, but at least now you finally have the support from your family that you need. When did you arrive in San Francisco?"
"Last night. My Dad and I drove up, took us just over six hours. We actually had a lot of fun on the way up – we really bonded and we haven't in a long time. Dad and I have just now come from the police station. He's over there." She indicated to the street, where a tall blonde man stood in front of a parked car, watching them closely.
"Dad won't let me out of his sight," Danielle admitted. "It's kind of nice that he's being overprotective, at least for now anyway." She laughed, "I expect I will get sick of it pretty soon."
"I know what you mean, my family's the same. That's my boyfriend's car over there." She nodded further down the street, where Dean's car was stopped, but at least, unlike Danielle's father, he was waiting in the car.
"I'll be one of the witnesses for the defense at Regina's trial next year, so at least I will be able to back you up, like you deserve to be."
"Are you okay with that?" Stephanie inquired. "Facing Regina in court will be very difficult. I'm not looking forward to it myself, but it's something I need to do."
Danielle let out a deep breath, "It will be scary, but I think I can handle it."
"I'm sure you can," Stephanie said quietly.
"I think we are going to be okay, you and I Steph!"
Stephanie nodded, "At least the worst is over, and Regina Powell is in a place where she can't hurt anyone anymore!"
Excerpt from Regina J. Powell's Diary
Tuesday, December 15th 1998
Hello there! This is my first entry in my new diary, since being admitted to the Stonewood Juvenile Correctional Facility for Adolescent Girls. I would have written sooner, but Dr. Evans has only just granted me the privilege of keeping a pen in my room. Before that, they were concerned that I might hurt myself or someone else, which is ridiculous – well at least the first part anyway, he, he! No one in here is aware of the existence of this diary, a visitor of another girl smuggled it in for me, and I have the perfect hiding place for it.
You will be pleased to know that I have been a model patient so far. I have religiously taken my twice-daily meds, and attended my psychotherapy sessions every day without protest. In fact my behavior in general has been top-notch. I think the clinicians in here truly believe they are getting through to me, and that I want to change my ways. They would be wrong of course, as I don't want to change. I'm just an excellent actress, and know how to fool people when I want to.
I don't actually mind being in here, not since Karyn was brought in as a patient for poisoning her father. Okay, so poisoning someone is really not my style, as it is a pretty passive way of hurting someone, but I'm pretty impressed with Karyn all the same. Physically she looks a lot like my previous traitor ex-best friends. She has long blonde hair, and similar facial features. She also has several tattoos and a pierced nose. I've never liked piercings so I plan on telling Karyn to get rid of it. If she listens to me we will get on fine!
So in general things are really looking up for me. Just remember though, I won't be in here forever, and when I am released everyone who ever hurt or rejected me had better watch out!!!
Better go, someone is approaching my room, and I think it's one of the security guards!
Regina and Karyn – Best Friends Forever!!!
Regina J. Powell.