I'd like you to meet Betty Simovitch. I imagine you already know her - either as Betty Newbie, wife of Bob and mother of Brandi, or simply as a young Betty Simovich embarking on a new relationship with Bob, her beau... well... this isn't that Betty. This is Parallel Betty.
This Betty has been to see a clairvoyant by the name of Wilf Truscott - he shuffled her cards, told her she needed to buy new underwear and stop swearing... and that she was going to marry her best friend Bob Newbie, get old, boring and grey with him, and have a daughter who she would name after an alcoholic beverage - but she'd manage to spell it wrong because she wasn't going to do very well at school and no... she was NOT going to become a Rock Star.
Betty wasn't too keen on these predictions, and decided that a few changes needed to be made if she was going to fulfill her dreams. Her pushy mum - Fatima Simovitch - had not succeeded in her own ambitions to become famous and had been niggling and nagging at Betty her entire short life to *be somebody*. Betty already thought she was *somebody* - without the fame and fortune that her mother craved. However, though she'd never admit it, she did wish to make music a career and not just a hobby. So having had her cards read by Wilf, she took action to ensure that at least some of his dire ditherings did not come true.
So she spent more time with her parents. Betty knew that her father, Vadim, was wrapped around her mother's little finger - but he wasn't quite wrapped around hers. She figured if she spent more time with him, he'd lend a hand with her homework and help her to get her grades up... if she got her grades up Fatima would allow her a bit more free time and Betty would be able to discover if her currently platonic feelings towards Bob Newbie - were in fact going to change into something a little more amorous. As a side effect of all this gentle scheming, she decided that she actually quite liked her dad.
So after a few days of hard work, knuckling down at school and all the family lovey doveyness... Betty finally had a moment alone with Bob at his house. The moment arrived. That one moment when everything could change for better or worse (quite literally if Wilf was right)... she closed her eyes and leaned forwards... just a little... and... and...
...nothing happened! Bob had closed is own eyes too and expected Betty to do the rest. They both stood there like a couple of space age idiots, waiting for the other to make that final move. Now even though Betty wasn't sure of her feelings towards Bob, she was also exceptionally stubborn and once her mind had set on a particular path, there was no getting her off it... so maybe Wilf Truscott had been right about more than just the need for new knickers!
Betty spent the next few days observing the relationship between her peculiarly unsuited parents... Fatima was an outrageous flirt, always on the lookout for the next victim to test her fluttering eyelashes upon. She was fairly outgoing, hardly ever home and very demanding when she was.
Vadim was almost her complete opposite. He was quite happy to potter around the home and could often be found tending his little vegetable plot in his underwear (Betty was always keen to make sure her father was fully dressed when bringing friends home from school - Dallas Shallow was still ignoring her phonecalls after being offered a hotdog by her near naked, barbequeing father). Vadim was also in the midst of a love affair... with the TV. Something her mother had been battling with since the day she met him... and yet...
... they were obviously very much in love. Something about their off beat relationship worked!
Betty reckoned that meeting her dynamic mother, might make Bob see her in a new light. So she arranged for them all to meet at Plum Tree Park for a picnic. Fatima was her usual charming self...
"Oh... you're unemployed Bob... how, errr.... nice for you."
Obviously unimpressed with her daughter's choice of prospective beau - Fatima still agreed to play a little music so that Betty and Bob could have a random and slightly embarrassing dance together in the park - little Travis Dermott took one look at the pair boogying on down by the climbing frame and had run for his mother. Even Fatima was starting to worry for her daughter's mental health...
... especially when Betty got her own guitar out and serenaded a singularily uninterested Bob. What was wrong with the boy????? Couldn't he see that her daughter was deeply in love with him, and had done everything she could to convince him but take all of her clothes off and run naked round the park screaming "I LOVE YOU BOB!"
Fatima stayed with the pair and shared an uncomfortable picnic, unwilling to leave her daughter in case she really lost her marbles... and completely unaware that in fact - Betty was NOT in love with Bob and having worn herself out being overtly friendly, had accepted that theirs was a relationship that was destined to remain platonic.
Later that same day, whilst her parents were out for dinner - Betty visited the local swimming baths on her own. This was something that she did fairly often when trying to sort her thoughts out. Even full of other swimmers splashing and shouting, Betty found that swimming lengths was the perfect way to shut the world out and the chaos with it. As she left the pool, her thoughts finally in order - Betty felt a little sad for the Betty That Might Have Been - but her resolve hardened with each step.
Betty had a plan.
Fatima had no clue that Betty was already on a completely different path to the one that she had observed earlier that day, and she spent her entire *date night* with Vadim, convincing him to take them all away on a family holiday... but she needn't have bothered...
...because Betty was no longer in Riverview, and in no need of a holiday. She had caught a late flight out and was already welcoming a new morning... in France.