produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #4 click here for a printable version of this episode
March 1935

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ONE AFTERNOON, A FEW DAYS LATER, IN CHARLES' OFFICE

Callison PublicationsLorraine Blake"Mr. Callison?"  Lorraine spoke up as she knocked lightly on the door.  "You have a visitor."

"Who is it, Lorraine?"  Charles shuffled papers around on his desk as he worked on a report.  "I'm a little busy at the moment."

"Umm...it's Annabelle Lake."

Charles looked up immediately and took a deep breath.  "Well....send her in, Lorraine."  He leaned back in his chair and tried to prepare himself for Annabelle's entrance.  He was sure she'd use the guise of official business as a cover for her own personal agenda.  Soon, she breezed into the office.

"Charles!  Douglas just sent me down with these papers that need you signature."  She went straight to the desk and laid the forms in front of him.  Charles grabbed a pen and quickly scribbled his name before handing them back to her.

"Now, is there anything else?  If not, you're more than free to go."

Annabelle Lake"Oh, Charles," she purred as she moved closer to him.  "Why do you work so hard to stay so distant from me?  That's not going to accomplish anything."

"It's going to accomplish exactly what it's supposed to."  He looked at her sternly.  "Now, I have a lot of business to take care of, so if you don't mind..."

"Charles, when are you going to admit to yourself that you want more than what you already have?"  She leaned into him and reached out to caress his cheek.  He quickly responded by pushing her hand away.

"Annabelle, I've told you over and over that I love Francis and I will never even consider betraying that love.  I am a Callison and we have a standard of honor to uphold!"

"Ah, yes, but you're still a man."  She swiftly moved from the desk to a spot on Charles' lap.  She softly nuzzled his neck and ran her fingers through his hair.  "After 23 years of marriage, I'm sure things can get boring and dreadfully routine.  I can fix that for you, Charles.  I'm not asking that you end your marriage, just that you broaden your horizons to the many other experiences that life has to offer..

Charles Callison"Annabelle, you need to go."  He forced her out of his lap and got up to move away from her.

"Charles, I've said it before, and I'll say it again."  She smiled at him seductively.  "You'll wake up one day and realize exactly how much is missing from your life.  You'll want a little taste of the forbidden.  When that day comes, you'll come looking for me.  I'll be waiting."  She licked her lips before she turned to saunter out of the room.  Charles slumped back down in his chair and began to wipe the beads of sweat that had begun to form on his brow.  He knew she was more trouble than he needed in his life, but her words were beginning to ring true. 

I can't let her get to me.  he thought.  I love Francis and I won't let Annabelle ruin that.  I can't!


MEANWHILE, IN REGINALD'S OFFICE

Callison PublicationsReginald Callison"Come in,"  Reginald called out in response to the knock at the door.  He tossed the morning edition of The Daily Post onto his desk and looked up in time to see Stephanie walk in.  "My, I haven't seen you in a long time.  How are you doing, Stephanie?"

"I'm doing fine.  Looking forward to finally getting out of Albanyville High."  She smiled warmly as she ventured further into the room.  It had been so long since they'd been this close to one another.  She tried in vain to hide her nervousness.

"Well, Stephanie, what brings about this visit?  We haven't been in touch in a while.  What do you want?"  He folded his arms across his chest as he tried to analyze her movements and expressions.

"Um, I've just been thinking a lot about you lately."  She ran her fingers through her hair as she spoke softly.  "Thinking about you and want we once had.  Those were such good times, weren't they, Reginald?"

"Stephanie, that was a long time ago.  I'm sure you know by now that Jillian and I are going to be married.  Let's just leave the past in the past and move on."  He fumbled nervously with a pencil.  Stephanie was just as beautiful as the last time he'd seen her.

Stephanie Lake"But, Reginald, you were the best thing that's ever happened to me!"  She moved closer to him and put her hand on his shoulder.  "I loved you so much.  I really wish things could have worked out differently.  I still wish you'd chosen me over Jillian."

"But I did choose Jillian."  He took her hand in his and looked deep into her eyes.  "I love her, Stephanie.  That's not to minimize any of the feelings that I had for you, but Jillian is my life and my future.  Betraying her with you is a mistake that I'll have to live with forever and I can't allow myself to make that same mistake again.  You must get on with your life."

"I've tried, Reginald.  Really!"  She fought back tears as she turned away from him.  "If you could just give us another chance, I know that we could be just as happy as we were before.  I could make you forget all about Jillian.  She doesn't deserve such a wonderful man like you.  I love you and I always will."

Stephanie's declaration took Reginald off guard.  No matter what had happened between them, he did still care for her.  But he loved Jillian.   He looked hesitantly at Stephanie as he contemplated what to say.


A LITTLE LATER, IN TREVOR'S OFFICE

Callison PublicationsLorraine Blake"...and I really don't care much for Annabelle Lake."  Lorraine looked at Trevor and found him standing by the window gazing off into space.  She let out a heavy sigh as she realized that, once again, we wasn't paying attention to a word she'd been saying.  "Trevor, what's wrong?  Things just aren't the same between us, anymore."

"Lorraine, honey, nothing's wrong."  He walked over to her and took her in his arms.  "I just have a lot on my mind today with the paper."

"You always seem to have a lot on you mind," she muttered.  "And usually none of it is about me.  I feel like you're not even paying attention to me, anymore!  We haven't even talked in days!  Now that we're here together, you're head keeps taking you somewhere else.  It's like I'm not even in your life, let alone in the same room!"  He pulled away and just looked at her.  Oh, how quick she was to pick up on everything he was trying to hide.  She knew him entirely too well.  "We never spend time together any more.  How are we supposed to have a relationship if we're never together?"

Trevor Callison"Lorraine, you're worrying entirely too much."  He tried to dissuade her fears.  Secretly, he was trying to dissuade his as well.  "I've just been really busy lately.  It has nothing to do with you.  Once things settle down a little bit, I'll be free to spend as much time with you as you want."

"Do you promise?"  She looked at him doubtingly.  Even if they were to spend more time together, would he really be there with her, or off in his own head as he usually was?

"I promise."  He took her in his arms and kissed her deeply.  For just a moment, Lorraine's fears subsided and she felt the calmness that she had so enjoyed with Trevor.  Soon, however, her doubts and misgivings reappeared.  Trevor's promises were all well and good, but why couldn't Lorraine believe that everything would be alright?