A/N : So, I have to read Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy for one of my summer reading books for AP English. And the thought bubble appeared and said "Hey, you know what'd really help you understand the book? If you modernized it and used characters from Victorious." So, that's what I'm going to do. I highly encourage everyone to read the book along with the story, because it is a story that truly applies at all times.
To help make it easier to read, I will divide my story into 8 parts, as there are 8 parts in the novel. Up to 5 chapters in the book with consist of one chapter in my story.
So, without further ado, I present to you Tori Karenina. Happy reading!
While happy families resemble each other, unhappy families have unique traits differing from other unhappy families. Such a trait had grasped the Oliver household- a mansion.
Jade Oliver had discovered that her husband, Beck, had an affair with the co-star of his movie, and Mr. Oliver was sleeping in his study for the moment.
Jade had left the care of her children entirely up to the nanny, and had secluded herself in her rooms for three days.
Beck reflected on a dream he had after he awoke in his study.
"There were women, and wine; I was in New York, but New York was in Russia. The tables sang, beautiful music, nothing like that Justin Bieber my daughter listens to. Alas, words cannot describe the excellence of this dream…" He trailed off as he left the bed and into slippers Jade had given him as a birthday present.
It was only when he reached for his robe that he remembered why he was sleeping in his study.
"Jade won't- can't- forgive me," Beck said as their quarrel replayed in his head.
"It is my fault, but the blame does not lie with me". He replayed the events leading up to the fight.
Beck had gone to the premiere of his new movie, and after getting a treat for Jade, returned home happy.
He had checked several rooms in the house before finding Jade, who had opted to stay home.
She had a letter in her hand, which Beck immediately recognized as the letter- the note that disclosed everything.
Needless to say, Jade was not pleased.
"Did you honestly think that you could hide this from me?"
Beck- quite stupidly, he though now- smirked like a fool. He did not beg for forgiveness, excuse himself, deny the affair, or be nonchalant.
This smile confirmed Jade's fears. She recoiled, and in a typical manner, performed a tirade against him and left the room, insisting that she would not see him.
"What am I going to do?" Beck asked himself, but in his sorrow he could find no answer.
Beck, strangely, could not delude himself into feeling sorry for how he had behaved, mostly because he no longer loved Jade, who, at thirty-three, had mothered 5 living and 2 dead children for her thirty-four year old husband. His only regret, he mused, was that he did not hide the affair better.
Perhaps this affair would have remained hidden if he had predicted that Jade would react in the way that she did.
Clearly, Beck never truly thought things true in this matter because he figured that Jade knew about his infidelity and was choosing to ignore it.
He foolishly assumed that she should be indulgent- obviously this proved not to be true.
"This is a terrible situation," Beck said over and over while a solution continued to evade him. "She was so happy without my interference in household matters, and we had such a good life! There's something sordid and vulgar about making love to one's co-star. But what an actress!"
(Here Beck paused to remember Alyssa Vaughn's mischievous black eyes and her smile)
"But I never acted improperly while we were one the set. It only happened recently, and could only have happened recently. What am I going to do?"
Here life responded with its usual answer to such questions: carry on with your life as normal; forget about it. However, Beck found himself unable to forget until he escaped into the world of his dreams.
"Well, what shall happen is what shall happen," he said to himself as he put on his silk robe and tied it. He then walked to the window after drawing a deep breath.
After his springy steps allowed him to reach the window, Beck raised the blinds and pressed a buzzer near the window.
At once, Beck's old friend and assistant, Matthew, brought in Beck's clothes, shoes, and laptop. A makeup artist followed Matthew so that Beck would look picture perfect for the paparazzi.
"Are there any papers from the movie studio?" Beck asked as he took his laptop and sat down at his vanity.
"I have placed them on the table, Mr. Oliver," Matthew replied, shooting a look of questioning and sympathy.
A pause, and then, with a sly smile, he added:
"Someone came by private car, sir".
Beck did not reply, but looked at Matthew through the mirror; had someone with no prior knowledge of their relationship seen that glance, that person could immediately see that the two men understood each other perfectly. Beck's glance posed the questions of: "Why would you say that? Don't you know what's happening?"
Matthew put his hands in his pockets and stood in a relaxed position, gazing at his boss silently, good-humoredly, and with the smallest of smiles.
"I told her to come back on Sunday, and not to bother you or herself for any reason," he replied; clearly, it was a prepared phrase. At this point, Beck realized that Matthew was only trying to be humorous and draw attention to himself. Beck opened up his laptop and checked his e-mail. Choosing one, he read it and mentally corrected the usually misspelled words. While reading, his face brightened up.
"Matthew, my sister Tori will be here tomorrow," Beck said, while stopping the shined hand of the makeup artist from applying blush for a moment.
"Thank God," Matthew replied, demonstrating that he understood the importance of this visit as well as his boss did. Tori, Beck's favorite sister, might help solve the problem between Beck and Jade and save their marriage.
"Is she coming by herself, Mr. Oliver, or with her husband?" asked Matthew.
Beck couldn't speak, for the makeup artist was touching up his lips, and so he raised a finger. Through the mirror, Matthew nodded at him.
"Alone, I see. Shall I make sure the guest room is ready for her?"
"Tell Jade. Let her decide".
"Mrs. Oliver, sir?" Matthew replied, as though in doubt.
"Yes, tell her. And here, I've forwarded the e-mail to her. Make sure she reads it and tell me what she says".
Matthew knew that Beck wanted to know Jade's reaction, but only said:
"Very good, Mr. Oliver. I'll see to it at once". And with that, he left the room.
Beck was properly made up and was about to dress when Matthew, stepping slowly in his squeaky shoes, came back into the room. The makeup artist had left.
"Mrs. Oliver told me to tell you that she's going away," he said, his eyes laughing, his hands in his pockets, and his head on one side. "Let him do as he likes, she said, Mr. Oliver".
Beck remained silent for a moment; then a kind, rather pathetic smile appeared on his handsome face.
"Well? Eh, Matthew?" Beck said, shaking his head.
"Don't worry, Mr. Oliver. It'll all turn out ok".
"Turn out ok?"
"You really mean that? Who's there?" Beck asked, hearing the clack of high heels from the hallway.
"It's me, Mr. Oliver," a firm, pleasant, and female voice replied. Mary Finch's stern, freckled face poked around the door.
"What's the matter now?" Beck asked, while stepping toward the door.
Beck knew that what he had done to his wife was wrong, and it was with no doubt wrong, yet everyone in the house, even the live-in nanny, Jade's best friend, was on his side.
It helped that Beck was the one in control of the finances at the end of the day.
"You had better go downstairs, Mr. Oliver, and apologized to her again. Perhaps she'll change her mind by some act of God. It's a pity to see her so terribly upset. Nothing is right side up; take pity on your children! Apologize again to Mrs. Oliver. What else can you do, Mr. Oliver? There's no rose without-"
Beck cut her off with a "She won't see me".
"But, Mr. Oliver, you'll have done all you can. God is merciful. Pray to God, Mr. Oliver, pray to him".
"Thank you, Mary, you may go now," Beck said, and a blush crept onto his cheeks. "Well, let's get dressed," and with that, Beck disrobed quickly.
Matthew blew off an invisible speck, and the held up the shirt. He gathered it up like a horse's collar, and satisfyingly put the shirt onto Beck's well-tended body.
Beck sprayed himself with cologne, padded his pockets for the day, and began to feel clean, scented, physically fit, and happy despite his predicament.
He then walked into the dining room with a slight tremor in each leg. Freshly made coffee awaited him, along with letters and contracts from the movie studio.
He read the letters. One had a forceful tone, from a director who wanted Beck and Jade to costar in his latest film. Beck had to star in it; but there could be no question of his role until he reconciled with Jade. What upset him the most was that a financial issue had crept into the nearby reconciliation with his wife. The idea that he might be motivated by self-interest, that he would seek a reconciliation with Jade in order to star in a movie, repelled him.
Having finished with the letters, Beck pulled the contracts toward him, scanned them, made brief notes on a legal pad, and put them away. He began to drink his coffee while unfolding the damp morning paper, which he then read.
Beck read a moderately liberal paper, that expressed the views of most people, and though he could not care for matters of science, economics, or politics, he views on all of those conformed strictly with the views of the majority and of the paper. When the majority changed their views, Beck changed his; rather, Beck did not change tem, but they changed imperceptibly by their own doing.
Whatever the current styles were and whatever the thinking of Beck's moderately liberal party were, Beck wholeheartedly agreed with. Religion, family life, marriage, and society needed reform according to the liberal party, and so Beck followed them and stood for progressivism. He readily understood everything he read in his paper, and this satisfied him. Tiny bits of information about everyday life that was found in the gossip column, however, no longer gave Beck a quiet, ironical pleasure.
Beck smiled happily once he finished his breakfast, but at once was reminded of everything and he receded into his thoughts. Two childish voices outside of the door awoke him from his reverie. Tanya, his oldest daughter, and George, his youngest son, were bickering over a dropped object.
"I told you you can't put passengers on the rood," Tanya cried in French. "Now pick them up".
"All are confused," Beck thought. "Here are my children acting strangely". Beck went up to the door and called them in. Tanya and George dropped the box-turned-train and came into the room.
Tanya, her father's favorite, leaped at her father and basked in the comforts associated with him. After hugging him, she was about to leave, but Beck had her stay.
"How's Mom?" he asked, while rubbing her back. "Hello," he said, smiling at George.
Beck knew he did not love the boy as much as he loved Tanya, but he always tried to treat them in the same way.
Beck's smile was not returned because the boy felt the coldness in it.
"Mom's awake," Tanya replied.
Beck sighed and thought: "So she didn't sleep again". Aloud, he said:
"How is she? Happy?"
Tanya knew that her parents could not be happy, and that her dad must know that, and so he was pretending when he asked her about it in a light-hearted tone.
She blushed for her father, who realized it at once and then also blushed.
"I don't know," she said. "Mom told us not to go to school but go visit Grandma will Miss Hill!"
"Well, go then, sweetie. Oh, wait," he said, still rubbing her back and holding her back.
He went over to the mantel and took out a chocolate and a fruit pastille (Tanya's favorites) from the box that lied there.
"For George?" asked the little girl, while pointing to the chocolate.
"Yes, of course". And, rubbing her back once more, he kissed her cheeks and let her go.
"Your car is ready, Mr. Oliver," said Matthew, "but there's a woman visitor here to see you".
"How long has she been here?"
"About thirty minutes, Mr. Oliver".
"How many times have I instructed you to let me know immediately?"
"But, Mr. Oliver, I must give you time enough to finish your coffee," Matthew replied in the rough and friendly tone which made it impossible to get mad at him.
"Well, have her come in at once," Beck said with a frown of vexation upon his face.
The woman, a D-list actress in desperate need of work, asked him to do something absolutely impossible and unreasonable, but Beck listened attentively. He then gave her advice about who to write to and gave her a note in his handwriting for the person who could help her.
Having gotten rid of the actress, Beck grabbed his sunglasses and stopped for a moment, trying to think if he had forgotten anything.
He forgot nothing except for the one thing he tried the hardest to forget: Jade.
"Ah, yes". He lowered his head and his handsome face assumed a cheerless expression. "Should I go?" Beck asked himself.
An inner voice told him that it would be useless to go, and that it would only result in hypocrisy. The voice continued to say that it was impossible to fix their relationship because Jade could not become attractive or desirable again, and because it was not possible for him to turn into an old man incapable of love.
Nothing could come of it now except lies and hypocrisy, which were contrary to Beck's nature.
"It'll have to happen eventually," he said while summoning up courage, "for it can't remain as it is". He straightened himself up, lit up a cigarette, inhaled a couple of times, threw the cigarette into an oyster-shaped ash tray, walked rapidly across the gloomy living room, and opened the door leading to Jade's bedroom.