For Now and Forever
EPISODE #21 (Monday
ALBANYVILLE GENERAL HOSPITAL
Lorraine sat nervously in the doctor's office. She knew she hadn't really been feeling well for the past few weeks, but she'd shaken it off as nothing. She'd told herself that it was just stress. After she'd collapsed in Patterson's arms, she could no longer deny that something was seriously wrong.
"Ma'am?" Dr. Rutherford spoke up as he entered the room. "I think I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt what's wrong with you."
Lorraine looked up at him with a uneasy gaze. His tone told her how serious things were. Suddenly, she became very afraid.
CALLISON PUBLICATIONS - CHARLES' OFFICE
"If Thornton Preston doesn't get that book to me soon, I'm going to fly to Los Angeles and get it from him myself!" Charles said angrily as he slammed his fist down onto his desk. "He was supposed to have The Manhattan Conflict ready for the editors months ago!"
"Well, Charles, the word is that he's been tied up all this time working on the film version of Tainted Woman." Douglas paced the office as he spoke. It had been his idea to lure Preston away from McBride Publishing after having read the novel version of Tainted Woman. It seemed like a sure bet at the time, but now... "He wrote the screenplay for the movie and DeMille keeps asking for rewrites. They're running way behind schedule."
"And their schedule is putting me behind schedule!" Charles rose from his seat and joined Douglas in his pacing. "I thought that book was supposed to be finished? If it's so finished, where the hell is it?"
"I don't know," Douglas muttered. He stopped and leaned against the desk and thought. Maybe this was all just a ploy to get more money. True, the contract that Callison Publications had offered had been very lucrative...lucrative enough to get Preston away from McBride. However, what other reason could be behind the delay?
"I'm afraid we should never have signed him."
"Charles, I'm sorry. This is all my fault. It was my idea. Maybe if I go and speak to him myself?"
"Why would he speak to you?" Charles asked as he rested his chin in his hand. "I can't even get him to return my phone calls! Besides, this isn't your fault. I was all for signing Preston. Now, it seems like the biggest mistake I could have made. We should have left him at McBride. Douglas, I'm afraid we're going to take a big financial loss over this one."
Douglas buried his head in his hands. There had to be some way he could talk to Preston. There had to be some way he could fix this mess.
"That locket really means a lot to you, doesn't it?" Trevor asked as he looked over Grace's shoulder and caught her looking intently at the picture of her and her mother that the locket contained.
She jumped slightly at the sound of his voice. She'd been lost in her own thoughts of her childhood and hadn't heard him coming up behind her. "It's the only thing I have that reminds me that I did have some good times as a child." It was those times Grace had always tried to focus on. She deeply longed to forget everything that had happened later...her father's drinking, the fights, her father's death, and her mother's slow descent into madness.
"Have you thought any more about going to see your mother in the sanitarium?" Trevor took a seat across from her at the table. "You really should go see her, you know."
"I know," she muttered as she lowered her head. "I-I just can't stand to see her like she is. I don't want to remember her like that. I don't want to remember all the bad things that happened."
"You can still do that and see her. Grace, you've got to think about what could happen. She's still not well. What if something happened to her before you got up the nerve to go see her? What if you lost your chance forever?"
She thought about what Trevor was saying and realized he did have a point. While her mother's mental state was the same as it was when she went into the hospital, her physical health was deteriorating as well.
"I-I just don't know if I can do it. She won't recognize me. She won't even know who I am. She barely knows who she is!"
"Grace, don't make a mistake by not seeing her." Trevor reached across the table and held her hand. "If you don't go to see her and something happens, that will be something you'll have to deal with for the rest of your life. Are you sure you'll be able to deal that?"
Grace knew that was something she wouldn't be able to handle, but she also realized that she couldn't stand to see her mother in her current state. She just didn't know what to do.
DANE & SARA'S APARTMENT
"This isn't going to work!" Dane said sharply as he flung his pencil down onto the table and started to rub his forehead to ease the tension that had begun to build.
"Honey, what's wrong?" Sara looked up from her English book and was disturbed to see her husband's aggravation.
"Money! I've been working on the numbers and I'm just not making enough at the plant." He got up from his seat and began to pace the floor. "Thank god Mother and Father had already paid for this semester before they found out we were getting married. But I'm not making enough money to support us and scrape together tuition for next semester. Unless something changes, it looks like I'm going to have to drop out."
"Oh, Dane, you can't mean that!" Sara rushed over to him and wrapped her arms around him in hopes of giving him some comfort. "You can't just give up on your dreams."
"What choice do I have? I can't afford it." He looked at her with a touch of scorn. "Thanks to this marriage. Thanks to you!"
"Dane, we don't have to worry about my education. I'm on scholarship. My school is already paid for! I don't know why you won't let me get a job, too. Surely with both of us working, we can managed to earn enough money to live and pay for your tuition, too."
"No!" Dane pushed her away and threw himself onto the sofa. "I will not have my wife working. A man takes care of what's his. How can I let myself be supported by you? What kind of man would I be if I let you pay for my education?"
"You'd be a man who's smart enough to know what's best!" His tone began to anger her. What was the big deal about her working, anyway? It was her fault that he'd been cut off by his parents. The least she could do was help out financially.
"I'd be a damn fool, that's what I'd be! What kind of man would I look like if I let my wife help pay for my education? Sara, this is all your fault! You and your damn blackmail! If you hadn't been so bound and determined to force me to marry you, we wouldn't be in the spot we're in now!" Dane's frustration level had reached its breaking point. With an angry glare, he stormed out the door.
Alone, Sara slumped down onto the couch and buried her head in her hands and began to cry. Maybe marrying Dane hadn't been such a good idea after all.
"Why must they put these classes so far apart?" Stephanie grumbled to herself as she rushed along the walkway. "How do they expect me to get from Algebra to Biology in 15 minutes? High school was so much easier!"
"Whoa! Slow down!" the attractive young man said as she bumped him in an attempt to pass by. "Where's the fire?"
"Oh, these classes are too far apart!"
"Here, let me carry those for you," he reached out and took her armload of books and smiled earnestly. "Just slow down. You'd be surprised how quickly you can maneuver across campus. It's not that big of a deal."
"Well, if you say so." Stephanie looked at him closely as they walked and noted his handsome face, dark hair, and the fraternity pin he wore proudly on his collar. She smiled and fluttered her eyelids. He was very cute.
"My name's Clark Saxon." He smiled at her and stuck out his hand as he juggled her books with his other arm.
"I'm Stephanie Lake." She shook his hand as she tilted her head slightly and smiled coquettishly. It was her best pose, in her opinion.
"Well, Stephanie, would you like to grab a soda with me at The Well after class?"
"I...um...I'd love to!" she exclaimed. Suddenly, her smile turned into a frown. "But I can't. I've got to report for work study in the English department after class. Maybe some other time?"
"How about later?" He flashed her another smile that nearly made her melt.
"Well...I'm done with work about seven..." She paused to think. Of course, she had that paper for Humanities class she had to write, but it could wait. "Sure! I'd love to."
"Then, it's a date!"
A date, Stephanie thought to herself as she took her books back from him. She looked up and realized she was right in front of the science building. She'd made it to class in plenty of time and managed to get asked out by a fraternity boy. Maybe things weren't going to be so bad after all.
ALBANYVILLE GENERAL HOSPITAL
"Well, Dr. Rutherford, what is it?" Lorraine nervously wrung her hands as she waited for the news. "What's wrong with me?"
"It's not fatal," he laughed as he sat her chart down next to her. "in fact, I think you're going to be very happy."
"Happy? How am I supposed to be happy that I'm sick?" She looked at him curiously. What could possibly be wrong with her that she'd be happy about?
"You and your husband should be very thrilled."
"H-husband?" Lorraine furrowed her brow as she looked at him again. What is he talking about? "I'm not...well...what's wrong?"
"You're going to have a baby," Dr. Rutherford smiled. "Congratulations. You and your husband must be very happy."
Lorraine's jaw dropped as her heart fell to the floor. A baby! How in the world...? Her mind quickly turned to Douglas and the night they'd spent together. Suddenly, she realized that her entire life was about to fall apart.
TO BE CONTINUED
Lorraine tells Jillian a secret.
For Now and Forever
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