Once upon a time, there was a woman named Olivia Spencer.
Olivia grew up on the island nation of San Cristobel (which doesn't exist, but is in the Caribbean). Olivia's parents were working class, and her father died when she was fairly young. Olivia was wild, adventurous, ambitious, all things her strict Catholic mother didn't like. When she was 16, she had the defining experience of her life. She snuck out and went to a party at the American Embassy, and there she met a young man who thought she was beautiful, and plied her with drinks, and then took her up to a bedroom and raped her. Instead of being supportive, Olivia's mother condemned the girl for her foolishness. When Olivia realized she was pregnant, she went to her mother, begging for help with terminating the pregnancy, but her mother insisted that Olivia have the child. In the midst of the argument her mother suffered a fatal stroke. With no money and a younger brother to raise (and a useless older sister to prop up), Olivia had no options - she had her baby girl and gave her up for adoption. The experience only fueled her ambitions - she would prove her mother and everyone else wrong and make something of herself, no matter what it took.
Clip: Olivia tells Buzz about her rape.
She managed to get a high quality education, studying in both San Cristobel and in Europe. Eventually, she became the personal secretary of Richard, the Prince of San Cristobel. After Richard's wife Catherine (aka Reva Shayne - don't ask) disappeared, Olivia began a relationship with Richard and eventually became his fiance. But when Reva reappeared on San Cristobel, everything fell apart. Prince Edmund, Richard's ambitious and illegitimate half-brother, set a plan to destroy Reva in motion, and Olivia was caught up in his machinations. Eventually she did the right thing and helped Reva escape, but the situation cost her her relationship with Richard. With her life on San Cristobel at a dead end, Olivia decided to move to Springfield, the small town in the Midwest that Reva was from, because -- well because -- it boggles the mind. But nevertheless, there she was, in Springfield.
It took her a while to find her footing. She became involved with Reva's estranged husband, Josh, but the start of the romance was rocky and at one point she attempted suicide. Josh found her in time, and the two of them became closer as his relationship with Reva deteriorated. Soon they were married and she was working for his company, but within a few months the marriage was over because Olivia had allowed herself to be blackmailed into the bed of millionaire Alan Spaulding because of her underhanded business dealings. Then she and Alan married, despite her attraction to his charismatic son Phillip. When things soured with Alan, she and Phillip began a torrid affair that resulted in pregnancy. Eventually she and Phillip married, but he became controlling and unstable. While Phillip was ill, Olivia manipulated him into signing papers that made her and their infant daughter Emma his sole heirs. A war ensued, culminating in Phillip nearly kidnapping Emma. But Phillip disappeared, and the danger seemed over.
Olivia began an affair with the much younger Bill Lewis. When her citizenship status nearly got her deported, the young man married her, but this marriage too was short-lived due to Olivia's manipulative, underhanded behavior. Time and time again, she undermined relationships because of greed and lying - but the funny thing was, she always ended up friends with her exes. She also ended up a millionaire - by the end of her fourth marriage, she owned substantial stock in the three most important companies in town as well as her own luxury hotel, The Beacon.
Eventually she ended up in a relationship with restaurant owner Buzz Cooper. This was probably the most healthy of her relationships. While she was dating Buzz, Emma nearly died due to the negligence of Olivia's personal assistant Ava Peralta. Olivia decided to have Ava driven out of town by whatever means necessary, but in the midst of this discovered that Ava was the child she'd given up for adoption years before. She also learned that the town DA, Jeffrey O'Neill, was the man who had raped her years earlier. Though the process was painful, she eventually forgave Jeffrey and earned Ava's forgiveness. Her relationship to Buzz, however, did not survive the turmoil, though again, they remained friends.
Clip: Olivia thinks she may have gotten Ava killed.
Clip: Ava confronts Olivia about the circumstances of her birth.
Clip: Olivia and Jeffrey confront each other about the past.
Clip: Buzz and Olivia break up on their wedding day.
In the fall of 2007, Olivia learned that she had dilated cardiomyopathy, a fatal heart condition, and that she would need a transplant to survive. Desperate not to spend her last days alone, she developed an attachment to Gus Aitoro, a longtime acquaintance who was about to marry his long-lost high school sweetheart (and mother of his son Rafe), Natalia Rivera. Natalia, who had managed to raise Rafe alone by working three jobs after being thrown out by her devout Catholic parents, had just moved to Springfield from Chicago so her son could be near Gus. The two women fought over Gus, but eventually he married Natalia, though he remained a devoted friend to Olivia.
One day, when Olivia's time was nearly at an end, Gus was riding his motorcycle. There was an accident and he was critically injured. Despite the animosity between them, Natalia decided to donate Gus's heart to Olivia because she didn't want to see Olivia's daughters be without their mother. Olivia survived the surgery, but was despondent when she learned her beloved Gus's death was the reason for her continued life. Depressed and suicidal, she holed up in her suite at The Beacon, resolving to die. Natalia, who worked as a maid at the hotel, refused to let this happen, insisting that she wouldn't let her husband's heart go to waste. She nursed Olivia back to health, and a tenuous friendship began to form. Olivia helped Natalia in many ways when her son Rafe, angry over his father's death, shot Jeffrey O'Neill (Olivia's latest ex-husband, who she had briefly married while ill to protect her daughter Emma from her absent but still crazy father Phillip). Olivia helped Natalia financially and even read Rafe the riot act when he was acting like a jerk to his mother. The 19 year old ended up in prison for his crime, leaving Natalia distraught.
Throughout this time period, Olivia was growing to like and even rely on Natalia. She realized that the young woman was smart and capable, and asked her to be her personal assistant. She encouraged Natalia to buy a farmhouse on the edge of town, and when the deal nearly fell apart due to the underhanded dealings of a business associate, Olivia made a great professional sacrifice to protect Natalia's investment. Natalia helped Olivia through a relapse of her heart issues, and eventually convinced Olivia to move into the farmhouse along with Emma so that it would be easier to manage her illness. After a few early conflicts, they settled into a happy routine. Emma noticed this, and wrote a school essay called "My Two Mommies." People at the school assumed it meant the women were a lesbian couple. At first both women were shocked but then Olivia made a startling discovery - Olivia Spencer, five times divorced maneater and bitch on wheels, was hopelessly in love - with a woman.
Natalia clearly had feelings for Olivia as well, but Natalia was a strict Catholic, and Olivia's self-worth was extremely tied into her seductive capabilities with men. Confused and conflicted, Olivia tried to convince Natalia to marry Frank Cooper (Buzz's son and briefly a flame of Olivia's), even though Natalia didn't love Frank. Natalia eventually agreed to the engagement, thinking it was the right thing for everyone involved. But as the wedding day drew near, the tension between the two women increased as their unspoken feelings welled higher and higher. Finally, Natalia discovered Olivia at Gus's graveside, pouring out her heart. She pushed Olivia for an explanation of what was wrong, and finally Olivia blurted out that she loved Natalia. Despite this, she insisted that Natalia should move forward with the wedding, because she believed that Natalia's life would be better with Frank. Natalia couldn't do it though - she couldn't stand before the altar and say vows that she didn't mean. She ran out of the wedding, and when Olivia went to find her, Natalia told her that she was in love too.
Over the next few months, they quietly explored the possibility of a relationship. Rafe was released from prison, and Natalia's decision to delay telling him about her feelings for Olivia resulted in him finding out by accident. The boy was shocked and infuriated, and both Olivia and Natalia feared it might destroy Natalia's family. But they decided to move forward with every aspect of their relationship - going public as a couple and beginning, tentatively, to explore their physical attraction to each other. Then one day, Natalia felt queasy. Her friend Blake said "If I didn't know better, I'd think you were pregnant." Natalia had slept with Frank a few months earlier in a moment of heterosexual panic. Was it possible that she had gotten pregnant and just not realized it? Natalia decided to take a pregnancy test just to be sure. She snuck upstairs while Emma and Olivia were in the farmhouse kitchen, making treats for the next day's 4th of July Barbeque. And then...
Once Upon a Dream
Chapters 20-? - in progress