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

 

EPISODE #31 (Monday 6/4/01)
a few days later, September 1935

Lorraine stood nervously on the front porch.  She reached out to ring the bell, but held back.  Did she really have the courage to do this?  Could she really tell him he was going to be a father?  She wrung her hands as she stared at the door.  She knew that once she made her announcement, there would be no taking it back.  This would change their lives forever.  Lorraine took a deep breath and rang the bell.

THE DAVIS HOME - LIVING ROOM

"Lorraine!" Douglas exclaimed as he opened the door.  "This sure is a surprise.  Um...won't you come in?"

"T-thank you, Douglas."  As she stepped through the door, she held her hands tightly in an effort to prevent them from shaking.  She nervously glanced around the living room and smiled at all the homey touches that Douglas and Grace had applied to it over the years.  Framed photographs of family, slightly worn furniture that signified that it was a living room where people lived, various mementos of their lives; it was all so warm and inviting.

"I really am surprised to see you, Lorraine."  He followed her as she walked further into the room.  He sat down in his chair and motioned for her to take a seat on the couch.  "Can I get you some coffee or something?"

"Um...no, thank you."

"Well, this is such a surprise because you've seemed to be avoiding me."  He glanced down at his hands that he was trying to hold still.  He didn't know why he was getting so nervous in her presence.  "I-I'm assuming that's because of what happened between us at Reginald and Jillian's engagement party."

"Yes, that has a great deal to do with it."  Just tell him!  Just tell him the truth and get it over with!  "What happened between us that night was a horrible mistake.  Well...I mean...it wasn't right.  I should never have betrayed Patterson like that.  I don't know what was wrong with me."

"Lorraine, we'd both had quite a bit to drink.  We were both hurt and needy and we found each other."  Douglas extended a hand to hold hers in a show of comfort and support.  "I agree that the timing probably wasn't the greatest in the world, but there's nothing to be ashamed of.  I'm not."

"It's just that what I did to Patterson was wrong.  You, too.  I've always considered you a good friend, but now I feel so awkward around you.  We crossed a line and we can't go back."  She quickly looked away from him.  She had to dig down deep inside herself to find the strength to tell him she was expecting his child.

"I-I agree," he stammered as he bit his lip and again looked down at his hands.  "That should never have happened.  My behavior was out of line.  I should never have made those advances to you.  I knew you were in a fragile emotional state that night and I should have seen that.  I feel as if I took advantage of you."

"Oh, no!  Douglas, you didn't take advantage of me!"  She snapped her head up and looked at him with such concern.  He was one of the most respectable men she'd ever known.  She couldn't let him take all the blame.  "What happened could only have happened if I'd wanted it, too.  I did want you that night, Douglas.  I really did.  I-I just wish that circumstances could have been different.  If it weren't for Patterson and...and..."

"Well, enough of dredging up the past."  He smiled at her warmly and took in the depth of her beauty.  He knew she never truly realized how wonderful she really was.  "Enough talk about that blasted party.  What do I owe the honor of this visit?"

"Well, actually, that night is the reason I'm here."  Lorraine took a deep breath.  This was it.  She had to tell him.  It was the right thing to do.  "Douglas, there's something I have to tell you.  There's something I have to say and it's going to change our lives."

THE SUNSET HOTEL - MARY'S PENTHOUSE

"Mother, I really think this night is going to be good for me," Francis said as she carefully inspected herself in the mirror.  She gently patted a stray hair into place and made sure her make-up was perfect.  "It's been so long since I've gone out and done anything.  This will take my mind off everything."

"I'm sure I don't have to tell you that I'm not happy about this."  Mary stood with her arms crossed and watched her daughter closely.  "Dr. Rutherford?  Of all people!  Surely you've heard the talk about him."

"I'm well aware what people have said."  Francis turned and glared at Mary.  "And, as you well know, I've had quite a bit said about me lately.  Who am I to judge someone else based on half-truths and malicious chatter?"

"That's all well and good, dear, but I still don't think going on date with this man is a good idea."  Mary sighed when she realized she had no one to blame but herself.  She'd always worked to instill a sense of strong will and determination in her daughter.  But why did those attribute pick now to show themselves?  If Francis had only exerted this much will months ago, she might have been able to ward off Annabelle's designs on Charles.

"Can't you allow me a little bit of happiness?"

"I just don't think it's a good idea to go cavorting around with one man while you're still married to another one!"

"Fred and I are not 'cavorting', as you put it."  Why couldn't her mother understand?  All she wanted was a little distraction from her problems with Charles.  She wanted one night where she didn't have to think about him and Annabelle and all the members of the ladies auxiliary.  "Fred and I are just having a friendly dinner.  We're just friends, Mother!  There's nothing more going on than that."

"That's what you might think."  Mary walked over and laid a cautionary hand on Francis' shoulder.  "But I know men like Fred Rutherford.  They never have innocent intentions.  You're life of marriage to Charles has shielded you from a lot of that.  Be careful with him because I have a sinking feeling that he's up to no good!"

THE WISHING WELL SODA SHOPPE

"Does Mr. Brady give you as hard a time in class as he does me?" Maggie asked as she sipped on her cream soda.  "I don't think I can do anything right for him!"

"Actually, I think he likes me."  Eliza Campbell grinned slightly.  She'd known Maggie since they were children and had been best friends for years.  She never quite understood how Maggie had so much trouble when it came to teachers.  Eliza knew that all you had to do was just act like you were paying attention and they'd fall all over themselves to help you.  That was especially true if you were a member of a family like the Callisons or the Campbells.  "He gave me an 'A' on that essay last week."

"An 'A'?" Maggie wrinkled her nose in aggravation.  "I only got a 'C'!  I really worked on that one, too!  You just scribbled yours out right before class!"

"I told you he liked me."  Eliza glanced towards the front of the room when she saw Randy Lamont walk through the doors.  She let out a small sigh.  The new boy in school was very cute.

"Oh, god, him again!" Maggie grumbled when she caught sight of Randy.  "I hope he stays away from me.  I can't stand to have another outfit ruined by that clumsy oaf!"

"You don't like Randy?"  Eliza cocked an eyebrow as she asked her question.  "Why, I think he's just the cutest boy to hit Albanyville High in years!"

"Randy Lamont?  Cute?"  Maggie rolled her eyes.  Eliza sure could be so gushy when it came to boys.  They never really had that effect on her.  Well, only one.  Patterson Monroe was the only guy she knew that could make her all giddy like that, but he was too old for her.  Maggie let out a heavy sigh when she realized that poor Patterson would never see her as anything other than a little girl.

"Yes, I think he's wonderful!"  Eliza watched Randy closely as he approached the soda jerk and got something to drink.  "I think I'll call him over.  I wonder if he's asked anyone to the fall dance?"

"Don't you dare!"  Maggie glared at her friend.  "Don't drag him over here!  Randy Lamont is the last person on earth I want to have within ten feet of me!  I can't stand him!"

Eliza looked at Maggie carefully.  Why did she have such a negative reaction to him?  She knew they'd had a couple of run-ins, but Eliza was sure he wasn't nearly as horrible as Maggie had claimed.  She considered the evidence and smiled to herself.  At least Maggie wouldn't be any competition for the position of Randy's date to the dance.  Eliza could have him all to herself.

THE DAVIS HOME - LIVING ROOM

"Lorraine, you still haven't told me why you came to see me?"  Douglas looked at her closely.  She was clearly anxious about something, but he couldn't quite put his finger on what it was.  Maybe she really did feel completely awkward around him because of what'd happened.  "You said it had to do with that night at the party."

"Um...yes."  She stammered slightly as she tried to find the strength to tell him the truth.  She'd come this far; she couldn't back out now.  She couldn't change her mind.  "D-Douglas, there's something...there's something I have to tell you."

"Well?  What is it, Lorraine?"  Douglas moved from his chair to sit beside her on the couch.  He tone told him that what she had to say was very important.  He quickly grew worried as his mind raced to considered all the possibilities of what it might be.  "C'mon, Lorraine, don't leave me in suspense like this.  Tell me what's on your mind."

"D-Douglas..."  She took another deep breath.  "Douglas, I'm having a baby."

His eyes grew wide with shock.  This was definitely not what he'd expected her to say.  "I-I'm sure that Patterson is going to be very happy.  He's going to make a wonderful father."

"N-no, Douglas," she began to sob and quickly looked away.  "I'm having your baby!  Because of that one night we shared, I'm carrying your child."

THE GARDENS RESTAURANT

"Thank you so much for asking me out to dinner," Francis smiled as she looked across the table at Fred.  "I think this must be the first time in months that I've allowed myself a chance to relax."

"And you deserve it, dear."  Fred reached across the table to hold her hand.  She nearly pulled away, but reconsidered and allowed it to rest comfortably in his.  "After everything you've been through these last few months, you deserve any shred of happiness you can find."

"Y-you know, Fred."  She stammered slightly and looked away.  "I really am impressed by how nice and gentlemanly you've been.  Considering all the stories that have floated around the hospital, I was a little concerned."

"I thought I assured you that that's all they were!  Those are just stories spread by old harpies who have nothing better to do with their time."  He grumbled slightly as he was again reminded that some things would never die.  He thought he'd managed to get over the rumors of the past, but they kept returning over and over again to haunt him.  "You know all too well about that."

"Y-yes, I do."  Francis felt embarrassed for again judging him based upon the comments of others.

"I'm nowhere near the womanizer those catty nurses have made me out to be."  He smiled at her warmly as she again looked into his eyes.  "They're all just resentful that I won't have anything to do with them.  Why, I wouldn't even give the time of day to the majority of those spinster hags."

"Honestly, I-I don't see that horrible side to you, at all."  She allowed a sigh of relief to escape her lips as she felt the momentary resurgence of tension slowly begin to slip away.  "You've actually been very charming, gentlemanly, and supportive as far as I'm concerned."

"Uh oh," Fred muttered as his eyes quickly caught sight of familiar faces in the doorway.

"What?

"It looks like we have unexpected company in the restaurant, this evening."

Francis allowed her eyes to glance in the direction of Fred's gaze.  Her draw dropped when she saw what had brought about his response.  Charles and Annabelle were standing in the doorway of The Gardens and requesting a table.

TO BE CONTINUED

TOMORROW

Charles and Francis try to show each other that life goes on.

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

2001- 2010 Classic Soap Productions