Trigger warnings/content warnings: very brief mentions of recreational drug use and depression
Sometimes life deals you a certain set of cards and you’re expected to play the hand you’re given. For a Reinhart, that shouldn’t have been a problem. Their family name was synonymous with the sort of wealth and prestige most people only dream of. Perhaps that’s why, when Richard, a judicial powerhouse, and and his wife, Melinda, welcomed a second child into the world they were certain of one thing— she would be perfect. And how could she not? From the top of her downy head to the tips of her tiny toes, Ivy was everything you’d expect from one of the Northeast’s most affluent, fate kissed families and more…
Or so Richard, Melinda, and all of Boston thought.
Despite all that the life of a guaranteed trust fund afforded her, Ivy grew restless. Rambunctious. Unsatisfied and utterly, miserably bored. There were only so many times she could look at the same pristine dresses - pitch the same meticulously rehearsed lines - before her head threatened to explode. Whether it was a blessing or a curse she’d been instilled with an unquenchable curiosity and voracious appetite for life— every vibrant, gritty, decadent and depraved side of it.
You see, despite quite literally being born and bred to take the top one percent of society by storm, Ivy didn’t filter the world through the same rose colored glasses as her immaculate peers. For her, everything came in crystal clear, razor sharp clarity. Even at an early age she was perceptive enough to notice the good, the bad, and the hazy realm of shadows in between. And if she really sat down to think about it back then, that’s probably where Ivy would’ve placed herself— somewhere adrift within that all encompassing middle ground. She appreciated the stability of her prosperous lineage, but lusted after the liberating thrill of living laissez faire.
Maybe that’s why Ivy wasn’t dismayed, but rather somewhat fascinated, when she realized her parents weren’t quite the well intended, all American couple they led the public to believe. For the first time in all her years she’d finally been given a glimpse of what lay on the other side of boring trials and six course meals. She’d never go as far as to say she idolized them or their flair for deception after that, nor did she necessarily condone their little happily in love charade, but the idea of upholding the Reinhart image while, in the background, operating however the hell she wanted left her intrigued.
Much like everything else in life, she took what lessons she could from their influence and morphed them to suit her own needs. If they could go about life as they saw fit and somehow convince everyone to support them anyway, why couldn’t she? Who said the docile and obedient role she’d been scripted was the only role to play?
What happened in the years to follow wasn’t a rebellion so much as it was an act of discreetly trying on new skin. To the world she remained every bit the socialite on the rise, but behind closed doors Ivy stuck vintage, studded boots beneath her debutante gown and hid a jewel-toned streak within the bottom layer of her hair. She drew caricatures of all her parents’ friends on her walls behind her headboard and penned anonymous, lovesick letters to inappropriate men. Why? Because she could. Because, at that age, she had no idea who she really was beneath the golden cage charade but she knew exactly who wasn’t— a cookie cutter, carbon copy future trophy wife who never experienced life beyond tri-monthly botox injections and bits of kale running $90 a plate.
Make no mistake, Ivy still adored the wealth and status attached to her family’s name, but merely being Richard Reinhart III’s daughter or another pretty face wouldn’t cut it anymore. The only difference between her break from expectation and her older brother, Isaacs, was that Ivy opted not to flaunt it in their face. She dutifully applied early admission to Yale (the only acceptable Ivy League for a child of theirs, of course) and by the time she’d made it halfway through her degree she’d already road tripped across the country on the back of a perfect stranger’s bike and dabbled her way through a bucket list of drugs. She was young, she was free, and she was finally finding herself away from her parents’ discerning gaze.
Some things were harder to hide than others. For instance, Ivy couldn’t thwart a phone call to her parents alerting them that their daughter missed the week of finals so that she could nap on a yacht somewhere off the coast of France, and they certainly didn’t appreciate the publicity stain of her little three day marriage stint in Vegas. Where she earned their ire and annoyance, though, Ivy’s peers ate the antics up like cake. They were enthralled by the girl who’d throw a dirty denim jacket over a designer dress worth thousands. Wanted to know how she could treat sleeping on a beer spilled floor like a luxurious night at The Plaza Hotel. She delighted herself in shedding all inhibitions while, for all intents and purposes, falling back in line whenever Mommy and Daddy dearest got close to bringing down an iron fist.
Living so capriciously wasn’t without its pitfalls, though. By the time senior year came to an end and it was time to head home Ivy possessed little more than a tantalizing collection of memories and a checklist of fulfilled whims. Despite her intelligence and promising pedigree, she’d only scraped her way to a degree by the skin of her teeth.There wasn’t any reason to worry, though— not at all. She made quick work of placating her parents with the promise that her abysmal results were due to little more than a waning phase. Vowed, from the bottom of her heart, that she had a plan. All she needed was early access to her trust fund and she’d prove it’d all work out.
At the time, it seemed like a far fetched dream. How could anyone who’d blown off their education actually hope to make their mark on the world and succeed? To do her family name the justice it deserved without causing another scene? Richard didn’t have much faith in his capricious daughter, and implied her biggest hope would be to marry well, but with Isaac’s abandonment of their prestigious legacy he negotiated a deal: a quarter of what she’d inevitably be owed and one year. After that, if she hadn’t upheld her end of the bargain and satisfactorily salvaged herself in the eyes of everyone plus God, he’d cut her off and cast her out to fend for herself.
Desperate to redeem herself Ivy took that money, threw it together with what little she’d learned at Yale, and then a bit of networking and countless long nights later PAGESIX Communications was born. Now, eight years later, what started as a grassroots PR firm is slated to become one of the premier and most sought after agencies on the eastern coast. Maybe it wasn’t the law degree Richard and Melinda coveted, but she’d used her experience and knack for talking her way out of a bind to her advantage. She found a way to influence the public’s perception on a daily basis just as seamlessly as her parents fabricated every inch of their lives.
Ivy should’ve been ecstatic to prove her father wrong. Should’ve been content having everything a girl could dream of in life. Money, success, her parents’ approval and praise… Unfortunately, whatever high those superfluous things might’ve brought about faded with time. The weight of ‘for appearances sake’ and propriety fell back around her neck like a noose. With every passing day her million dollar grin grew more forced. Her interest in what life looked like from inside her parents’ pocket waned. Lost, lonely in the teeming crowd of Boston’s who’s who, and on the brink of a full blown depressive state she did the only thing she could think of. She packed up and ran as far as she could from the microscope of the proverbial spotlight.
Devinstone was more convenience than choice, it’s coordinates on a map coupled with the presence of her estranged brother a little too close to home for comfort, but she took what she (and her fraying sanity) could get. After all, it was only meant to be for a little while, right? Just a break to slow down and shake the fog from her head? That’s what Ivy told herself but, a year and a half later, she still hasn’t left.