For Now and Forever
produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

 

Episode #1 (3/2/01)
March 1935

IT'S A BRIGHT SPRING MORNING AT THE CALLISON HOME IN MARCH, 1935

In a medium sized town, in an affluent neighborhood, on a tree lined street, and in a large, well kept house lived the Callison family.  It  was a sunny March morning in 1935 when Charles, patriarch of the family, entered the dining room and greeted his family.

"Thank you, Hannah,"  Charles smiled as he took the cup of coffee that the Callisons' faithful housekeeper offered to him before he walked over to his wife Francis.  He kissed her lovingly on the cheek.  "Morning, dear.  I can't stay for breakfast today because I've got to get to the office for a meeting with Douglas."  He sipped his coffee as he walked about the dining room gathering his jacket and briefcase.

"Not even some toast, Honey?"  Francis' shoulders seemed to slump in disappointment.  She could remember when, not so long ago, Charles would never miss a breakfast with his family.  He was a firm believer in a family being together for both breakfast and dinner.

"I really can't, Francis.  I do have a business to run."

Reginald, Charles and Francis' oldest son, looked up from the morning edition of The Daily Post.  "Why are you meeting Douglas so early, Dad?  Nothing critical, I hope?"

"No, son, just routine business.  Douglas just wanted to meet early today.  He mentioned something about having plans this afternoon."  Charles handed his cup to Hannah and then grabbed his coat and hat and headed toward the door.  "I'll see you for dinner, Dear!"  He called out as he reached for the doorknob.  "And I better be seeing both of you boys at the office shortly!"

"That reminds me.  I've got a meeting myself with advertising at nine."  Reginald pushed his chair back from the table before grabbing his newspaper and going to retrieve his jacket from the back of the large chair in the living room.

"I've got to go, too, Mom."  Middle son Trevor spoke up as he wiped his mouth and left the table.  "I've got an article due this afternoon and I still have lots of work to do on it."

"Well, don't forget to take Maggie to school as you go."  Francis began scurrying around the living room gathering up books and jackets for her children.

"Okay, Mom,"  Trevor smiled as he turned towards his little sister.  "C'mon, squirt.  If you don't hurry up, I'm leaving you!"

"I'm not a squirt!  I'm a young woman!  And you're not leaving me!"  Maggie asserted as she shook her fist at Trevor.  Neither Trevor nor Francis could help but laugh.  Trevor and Maggie had always enjoyed picking on each other.

"Yeah, okay, if you say so."  Trevor helped Maggie on with her jacket before they headed out the door.  "Bye, Mom, have a good day!"

After Francis waved good-bye to them, she shut the door quietly as if not to disturb the silence that now filled her home.  She leaning against the door as she let out a heavy sigh and tried to remember when all her children grew up.  With a slight smile on her face, she walked back into the dining room to sit and finish her breakfast alone.

MEANWHILE IN THE LAKE FAMILY LIVING ROOM

"Girls, you need to hurry up or you're going to be late for classes!"  Annabelle Lake called out as she rushed around the small apartment getting ready for work.  "I'm going to be late as it is!  I should have been at Charles Callison's office 15 minutes ago.  Lord, I hope traffic isn't bad."

"It'll be alright, Mom.  Besides, Sara and I have plenty of time to make it to class."  Stephanie continued to brush her hair as she looked at herself in the mirror.  She couldn't help but think how pretty she looked today with her new sweater and skirt.  Stephanie realized it wasn't easy being the most popular girl at Albanyville High, but she did have an image to uphold.

"Are you two coming home for lunch today?"

"No, Aunt Annabelle, we'll probably just meet up with Dane and grab something at The Well."  Sara grabbed her jacket.  The Wishing Well was a popular malt shop for students from both Albanyville High and Albanyville University.

"All right, then I don't have to worry about coming home for lunch."  Annabelle paused as she lit a cigarette before pulling on her coat.  "Douglas' meeting with Charles might last for a while.  Something about a contract between Callison Publications and a new author."

"Is Reginald going to be there?"  Stephanie finished applying another coat of lipstick before turning away from the mirror.

"I don't think so.  You know, you really should consider getting to know Reginald better.  That's the kind of man that would be good for you.  ...Prominent family ....quite a bit of money...lots of respectability..."

"Maybe I will."  Stephanie smiled to herself as she remembered the past that she and Reginald already shared.

"Come on, we're gonna be late!"  Sara tugged at her cousin's sweater as she headed for the door.

"Would you quit!"  Stephanie spat as she pulled away.  "You're gonna snag it!  Don't ruin it before I even have a chance to be seen in it!"

Sara rolled her eyes and took a deep breath.  Stephanie's vanity was almost legendary in the halls of Albanyville High and Sara  was sure that not much had changed since she graduated last spring.  "Sorry, but we're gonna be late!"

"C'mon, girls!  Let's go!"  Annabelle lead them out the door to start their day.

IT'S ALMOST NOON IN THE STUDENT CENTER OF ALBANYVILLE UNIVERSITY

"So, how's the biology coming, Patterson?" Dane Manchester asked as he sipped on a soda.

"Not so great."  Patterson shifted his armload of books as he stretched his neck to relieve the tension that had become an everyday occurrence since the spring semester started.  "There doesn't seem to be enough time in the day to go to class, study, and take care of Todd."

"You're doing a lot better than I would be in the same situation."  Dane paused and turned to wave at a cute blonde as she strolled past and smiled.  Handsome and popular Dane could have almost any girl on campus that he wanted.  "I don't know if I could go to college and raise a five year old at the same time."

"I wish I didn't have to."  Patterson lowered his head as he remembered the day, only a few months before, when he got the news that his parents had be killed in a plane crash en route to a family get together in Minnesota.  Patterson had originally planned on making the trip, but a last minute research paper had altered his plans and he had to remain home with his little brother Todd.  Now Patterson was left  alone to raise him.  "I really don't know what I'd do if it weren't for  Mrs. Oliver.  She's such a big help by watching Todd when I have to be in class."

"That trust fund of yours really comes in handy.  You're lucky that  you can afford to keep her on as your housekeeper."  Dane's eyes darted through the crowd of students  coming into the center and grinned slightly as he spotted a familiar halo of blonde hair.  "Hey, look, there's Jillian."  Dane threw  a hand in the air to catch her attention as he grabbed Patterson and proceeded to drag him along to catch up with her.

"I really can't believe that you're still chasing after her."  Patterson always found it a little bit amusing that no matter how many girls Dane seemed to charm, he never seemed to be able to work his magic on Jillian Stokes.  "Aren't you still dating Sara?"

"Yeah, I'm still seeing her.  In fact, I was supposed to be at The Well about fifteen minutes ago to meet her and her cousin Stephanie for lunch.  Hey, Jillian!  Wait up!"

"What is it, Dane?"  Jillian stopped in her tracks realizing that she couldn't get away and slowly turned to face him.  "I've got to get to the library."

"I could always help you study."  Dane looked at her and smiled.  There always seemed to be a twinkle in his eyes when he did that.  Usually, it was enough to mesmerize any girl in the room.  Patterson always thought it odd that she seemed to be the only one immune to him.

"I'll decline."  She looked back at him expressionless.  Jillian refused to let Dane know that she was not totally unaffected by him, but she knew how he was and she knew how he could be.  She couldn't let herself be caught up in that again.  She already had a man who loved her more than anything and she refused to do anything foolish to ruin it.  "Look, I've got to go.  Patterson, it's good to see you again.  Say 'hi' to that cute little brother of yours."  She allowed a smile to spread across her face as she thought of Todd, but it soon faded as she looked at Dane and then quickly  pushed past him.

"Dane, why do you chase after her like that?  Can't you tell she's not even the least bit interested in you?  Besides, you've got Sara.  She's a sweetheart."

"Yeah, she's a really great girl, but she's a little boring.  Besides, she thinks I walk on water.  Where's the challenge in that?  Now, Jillian on the other hand...."

"I don't think I'll ever understand you."  Patterson looked at his watch and then at the line that had formed at the cafeteria.  "Look, we better get something to eat before class."

"Yeah, you're right.  I can work on Jillian later."  Dane grinned impishly to himself as he thought about how much fun he knew Jillian could really be.

IT'S EARLY AFTERNOON AT THE OFFICES OF CALLISON PUBLICATIONS

"Lorraine...?  Lorraine?  Are you even listening to me?"  Trevor Callison propped himself on the edge of the desk as he pulled the file from Lorraine Blake's hands.

"Sorry, Honey, I just want to get this report finished for your father before lunch.  He's been in a meeting all morning with Douglas."

Trevor grabbed her hand as he pulled her from her chair.  "There'll be plenty of time for that later.  You need to eat.  I bet you haven't had a bite since this morning."  He laughed as he hid the folder behind his back when she tried to reach for it.  "Lorraine, I told you that it can wait!"

"Okay."  She folded her arms across her chest when she realized that there was no winning with him.  Trevor always seemed to have a way of convincing her to do what he wanted.  Maybe it was the mischievous gleam in his eye or the boyish grin that would flash across his face.  He always looked like he was up to something even when he wasn't. Lorraine thought about how he could make her heart melt every time he looked at her.  "I guess I can put this off until later.  Besides, I think your father will understand."

"So, you think that contract is fair?"  Charles asked as he followed Douglas and Annabelle out of the office.  "I don't want to spend an arm and a leg to get him on board the Callison team, but I don't want him to feel manipulated either."

"Charles, I think this contract is more than fair.  It's way more than Preston is getting with McBride Publishing.  You know as well as I do that, with his track record, his books are gonna make Callison a lot of money.  Rumor has it that Fox has optioned the last one for a movie deal."

"Well, Douglas, I read his last book and I think that if they can get DeMille, it could be a big movie.  I must have seen Cleopatra six times last year."  Annabelle pushed past Lorraine as she reached for her jacket.

"Trevor, son, why are you and Lorraine still here?  It's lunch!  Go get something to eat!"

"That's what I've been trying to tell her, Father."  Trevor lowered his head slightly to hide a laugh as he glanced at Lorraine.  She knew he had been right about the report waiting until after lunch, but she really felt like she needed to impress Charles.  Lorraine knew that she wasn't exactly from the same social class as the Callisons.  Sure, her father was a prominent college professor at NYU, but it wasn't quite the same as owning your own company.

"Well, I hate to meet and run, but I've got another very important engagement for lunch."  Douglas reached out to shake Charles' hand.  "Annabelle, I'll see you in the office later?"

"Um, yes, Douglas."  She looked around impatiently as she wondered exactly how long it would take for everyone to leave.

"Well, Douglas. Lorraine and I need to get going, too."  He took her by the arm and lead her towards the door.  "Let's walk you out."

"I'll be back after lunch, Mr. Callison,"  Lorraine said as she walked out with Douglas and Trevor.  "Annabelle, are you coming?"

"Oh, oh, yes,"  she stammered.  "Wait!  You go on without me.  I just realized I left my purse in Charles' office.  Good seeing you again, Trevor."  Finally alone in the office, Annabelle took a deep breath and looked at Charles.  "My purse?"

"Oh, yes, Annabelle, let me get it for you."

"Well, actually, wait," she paused for a moment allowing him to turn and face her.  "My purse isn't the only reason I'm here.  Let's step into your office.  There's something I want to discuss with you."

IT'S LUNCHTIME AT THE GARDENS RESTAURANT

"I still remember the first time I saw you at that dance.  You had on that white dress and you had your hair up."  Reginald gazed across the table at Jillian.  Their food had been on the table for nearly half an hour, but neither one of them had touched a bite.  "You just took my breath away."

"Oh, Reginald."  She blushed slightly as she lowered her head.  She fumbled nervously with her napkin before looking up at him.  Was this going to be the moment that she'd been waiting months for?  "Poor Helen.  I think she really did care for you a great deal."

"Forget Helen.  She's such a ditz anyway.  We were only going out for companionship.  You saw how quickly she dumped me once she got asked out by the quarterback for the football team!  Besides, she's ancient history.  It's just you and me now."

"I have never met anyone like you in my entire life.  I have danced with some of the most prominent young men in New York society and even got proposed to a couple of times..."  She felt a catch in her through when she realized she'd mentioned proposals.  She didn't want to feel like she was leading him in that direction.  Jillian didn't want Reginald to ask her to marry him because he felt like it was something he was supposed to do.  She wanted him to do it because he wanted to do it.  "I mean...no one could ever hold a candle to you.  You are the greatest love I've ever had."

"So you've loved others?"  He grinned wickedly as he teased her.  He leaned back in his chair as he watched her squirm a bit trying how to untie herself from her own words.  "How many others have there been?"

"One or two."  She smiled innocently as she realized exactly what he was doing.  He always enjoyed the more playful aspects of their relationship.  She remembered the time he had too much to drink and put ice down her dress.  She was so mad at him at the time, but she could never stay mad for long.  There were always so many more facets to Reginald that no one else ever saw.  No one but her.  He interrupted her memory by reaching across the table and taking her hand in his.

"Jillian, I love you like no one else in the world."  He rose from his chair knelt down beside her while he reached in his pocket.

"Reginald?"  Was this it?  Was this the moment?

He pulled a tiny satin box out and held it in front of her.  Slowly, he opened it to reveal the most beautiful princess cut diamond that she'd ever seen.  "Jillian Marie Stokes, will you do me the most gracious honor of agreeing to become my wife?"  Jillian felt the tears of joy begin to form as she held out her hand.

"Oh, yes, Reginald, yes!"  He slowly slid the ring on her finger.  "Marrying you is the thing I want most in the world.  I love you so much!"  He flew to his feet and took her in his arms.  Their lips met to seal their destinies and as they kissed, they knew that this was the most right thing in the world.

MEANWHILE, A FEW TABLES OVER IN THE RESTAURANT

"Ahh...I hate it that you got tied up in the library and couldn't meet me and Stephanie at The Well."  Sara smiled at Dane as she draped her napkin over her lap before looking at the menu.  She had only eaten at The Gardens a few times before and was thrilled that Dane had offered to take her there for lunch to make up for their missed date.

"I'm sorry.  I really tried to get away, but that paper for American History has been taking up a lot of time."  Dane looked at Sara, but quickly his attention was drawn away when he spotted Jillian and Reginald.  "You know how I feel about my studies."

"That's one of the things I love about you so much.  You're determined to succeed and you've set your goals.  I wish I could be so certain of the things I want out of life.  The only thing I'm really sure of is you!"

"Well, you've just got to find something you want and go after it.  Be stubborn. Don't give up."  Dane continued to watch Jillian.  He couldn't pull his eyes away as he saw her hold out her hand to admire a shiny new ring that was now on her finger.  An engagement ring!  He couldn't believe it.  Jillian was actually going to marry that dud!  Dane knew that Reginald Callison was the last thing  she needed.  Reginald was a boring sod who was entirely too focused on his family's business.  He couldn't give her the life of excitement that Dane knew  he could provide.

"...but then Stephanie said..."  Sara's words trailed off when she looked up from her menu and noticed Dane lost it thought.  "Dane?  Are you even listening to me?"

"Ummm....sorry, Honey.  I was just thinking about all the things I have to do this afternoon."  Dane really did care about Sara.  She was a sweet girl.  Not quite as interesting and complex as Jillian, but sweet.  A little boring, too.  Maybe she should be the one with Reginald.  Dane held back a little laugh at the thought.  "Now, as you were saying."

"I was saying that Stephanie said I should cut my hair.  What do you think?"

"No, don't cut it.  I love it just the way it is."  Dane raised his hand to stroke her dark locks.  He smiled at her before looking over her shoulder again to see Reginald and Jillian in a kiss.  His thoughts grew dark as he focused on the happy couple and remembered a time not long ago.  It was a time when Jillian would kiss him like that.  A time when Jillian was telling Dane how much she loved him.  Now Jillian was going to marry Reginald.  Not if Dane could help it.

IT'S EARLY AFTERNOON IN CHARLES' OFFICE

"Well, Annabelle, what did you want to talk to me about?"  Charles went and sat down behind his desk.  He sorted through some papers while he waited for an answer.  Soon, he paused and looked up at her.  Annabelle walked slowly to the desk and leaned against its edge as she straightened the seam in her stocking.

"Well, Charles, how are you and Francis doing?"  She smiled coyly.  "I mean, it can't be easy having a successful marriage when much of your time is occupied with Callison Publications.  How do you do it?  I barely have time for a social life, and I don't have near the commitments that you do."

"When you love someone as much as I love Francis, you make time.  Granted, it hasn't been easy through the years.  We've had as many problems as any other couple.  We just realize that we have to work them out together."  Charles studied Annabelle closely.  He knew that she was up to something, but what?  Her type was always up to something.  "Why do you ask?"

"Just curious.  That's all."  She placed her hand on his and looked deeply into his eyes.  Charles quickly grew uncomfortable and looked away.  He felt his face flush.  Not as much from the embarrassment of her obvious advances, but more for the feelings that began to stir inside him.  He'd been stable and responsible for so long.  He had to put away all the foolishness of childhood long ago.  He looked at her as a million thoughts raced through his head.

"You are such a handsome man, Charles."  Annabelle leaned in closer to him as she lightly stroked his face.  "I would hate to see your charms wasted.  I don't think that Francis appreciates you as much as she should.  She's always so involved with her charity functions.  I appreciate you, Charles..."  She leaned in even closer and their lips met.

"No!"  He pushed her away and moved away from the desk.  He turned his back to her and thought again of Francis and his family.  They were his life.  "I love my wife very much, Annabelle.  I will not throw it all away for the likes of you!"

Annabelle stood up straight and grabbed her purse from the desk.  "You might be rejecting me now, Charles.  But I assure you that there will come a day when you finally wake up and realize that your precious wife is draining your soul.  When you realize that I'm the one who can give that back to you, you'll come running to me."  Leaving those words ringing in Charles ear, she turned on her heel and walked out.  Charles ran his fingers along his lips, still feeling the presence of that near kiss.  Yes, he did love his wife, but why was the excitement of that near moment burned in his head?

TREVOR & LORRAINE ARE ENJOYING LUNCH AT JOE'S CAFE

"You really shouldn't worry so much about what Father thinks of you.  He really does like you."  Trevor paused for a moment as he took a bite of his sandwich.  Lorraine squirmed a bit in her seat.  She knew she wasn't exactly from the same social circle as the Callisons.  The fact that Charles liked her as his secretary was all well and good, but to like her as his son's girlfriend?  She wasn't sure.  "And he loves the work that you do.  In fact, he told me just yesterday that he's never had a better secretary."

"That's just it!  I'm his secretary.  I'm no better than the hired help."

"You really do worry too much.  Look, I wanted to go out with you because of who you are as a person, not what you do for a living."  He took her hands in his and looked deeply into her eyes.  "I have had more silly society girls try to chase me down than I care to even think about!  If that's what I wanted, I would have had it a long time ago."

"Well, looks like we all had the same idea!" came the voice from behind Trevor.  "Care if we join you?"

"Douglas!"  Trevor rose from his chair to extend a handshake.  His eyes were quickly drawn to the young woman that accompanied Douglas.  "Now who is this?  You're important lunch date?"

"Trevor, Lorraine, I'm sure you remember my sister Grace."

"Oh, my,"  Trevor stammered a bit as he remembered the little girl with her hair in braids he had last seen.  "Grace, I know it hasn't been that long, but you have grown into a beautiful woman."

"T-thank you, Trevor."  Grace blushed as she lowered her blonde head to hide her embarrassment.  She looked back up slowly to smile at Trevor revealing two slight dimples on both cheeks.

"Douglas, Grace, you two must join us!"  Trevor moved around to hold a chair out for Grace.  Lorraine couldn't help but eye the young girl.  Cautiously, she analyzed everything about her from her flaxen hair and bright blue eyes to the demure powder blue sweater and skirt that she wore.  "Grace, you must be....a senior now?

"Only for the next few months.  I graduate in May."

"And what are your plans after that?"  Trevor returned to his chair and leaned across the table towards Grace as he talked.

"I think she's gonna enroll in the nursing program at AU."  Douglas interjected.

"Yes, that's my plan.  I want to do something worthwhile with my life."  Grace looked at Trevor and smiled.  "I think that if I can help the sick and infirm, than that would be wonderful."  Lorraine leaned back in her chair as she watched the exchange between Trevor and Grace.  She looked quickly at Douglas and saw that he was also focused entirely on his sister.

"Well, that just sounds wonderful."  Lorraine muttered a bit too sarcastically as her attention drifted to the other diners in the restaurant.  Sure she's pretty and charming and sweet, but why does she have to hog all of Trevor's attention  she thought as she watched the other people enjoying their meals.

"Lorraine, did you say something?"  Trevor asked, bringing her back into the conversation.

"No, nothing."  Soon, Trevor was again asking Grace questions leaving Lorraine to wonder what had happened to their wonderful lunch alone.

MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE GARDENS

Jillian carefully ran her fingers through her hair as she walked out of the ladies room.  He had finally done it.  Reginald had asked her to be his wife!  She stopped for a moment and leaned against the wall as she held her hand out to admire the beautiful ring.  She never really thought he would do it.  He did have a slight playboy reputation.  Of course, that was before they met.  It was hard to believe by looking at him now.

"Jillian."  The all too familiar voice intruded upon her bliss.  She turned around slowly to see Dane standing in the hallway.

"What, Dane?"  Her face grew stern as she folded her arms across her chest in a defensive stance.  It seemed to be the usual posture she took when dealing with him.

"I just wanted to say 'hi'."  He extended a hand out to touch her shoulder, but she quickly pulled away.

"Well, you said it.  Now, if you'll excuse me, Reginald is waiting on me."  She maneuvered around him and prepared to walk away.

"You know, Jillian, I've never really understood what you see in that boring sap of a boyfriend of yours."

Her head snapped back around with a slight fire in her eyes.  "You look here, Dane Manchester, Reginald Callison is a decent, honest man whom I respect very much!  Most importantly, he loves me with all his heart.  Those are things I wouldn't expect someone like you to ever understand!"  She all but spat the words at him.  He responded by grabbing her arm and pulling her close to him.

"You know, Jillian, I remember once when you didn't have any problem at all with 'someone like me'."  His gaze nearly bore a hole in her as he forced her to remember the short, yet passionate affair they had back before she'd met Reginald.  "In fact, you rather enjoyed it, if I recall."

"That was a long time ago."  She felt her resolve strengthen as she threw her shoulders back and snatched her arm away.  "One of the worst lapses in judgment I think I've ever made.  Thank God I came to my senses."

"Did you really?"  Dane smirked a little.  Despite her best efforts to hide it, he knew he had gotten to her.  High and mighty Jillian wasn't quite the ice princess that she so often tried to portray.  Dane knew that all too well.

"Reginald loves me, Dane.  That's something you could never do.  I wised up when I realized that you were never going to settle down.  I realized that I was just going to be one in a cast of thousands.  We were over a long time ago.  Move on!  I have."

"Have you really?"  He leaned in to her and reached out to stroke her face before she threw up her hand to stop him.

"Look at this, Dane!"  She waved her hand in front of him to allow the light to bounce off her ring.  "Reginald asked me to marry him and I said yes.  We are going to be husband and wife!  Why don't you go focus on your girlfriend and leave me alone?"  She stormed off leaving Dane alone in the hallway.

As much as you try to deny it, Jillian, I still affect you.  He smiled slightly as he watched her walk back towards her table.  This wedding will never happen..  You'll see that I'm the only one who can give you want you need.  Marrying Reginald will be a mistake that will haunt you forever.

TO BE CONTINUED

NEXT TIME

Trevor is preoccupied.
Stephanie sets her sights on a man.
Grace is attacked.

 

For Now and Forever
produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

2001- 2004 Classic Soap Productions