produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

EPISODE #32 (Tuesday 6/5/01) click here for a printable version of this episode
same day, September 1935


Annabelle LakeThe Gardens Restaurant"We should probably avoid eating here from now on," Annabelle muttered to Charles as they were being shown to their table.

"Why do you say that?" he questioned.

"We keep running into your wife."  Annabelle motioned across the restaurant toward Francis who was sitting with Fred Rutherford.  She glanced in Charles' direction and smiled slyly to herself when she noticed his uneasiness.  This was all going to work out just as she'd planned.

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343 Anderson Ln. Apt. #1, Albanyville, ILSara Manchester"Let's see exactly how bad things really are," Sara muttered to herself as she sat down at Dane's desk.  She knew her husband was prone to stretching things slightly out of proportion.  She couldn't get over the uneasy feeling that Dane might be making their financial troubles out to be more than they were in an effort to make her regret forcing him to marry her.

Sara pulled Dane's ledger out of the top drawer and carefully flipped through the pages.  Thank god he was an immaculate book keeper.  With pencil and paper nearby, she began to write down numbers and make her own calculations.  "Oh, this really isn't looking good," she mumbled as she scribbled on the paper.  

When she came to her final calculation, she let out a sharp gasp.  For once, Dane hadn't over-exaggerated their financial dilemmas.  In fact, if anything, he'd understated exactly how severe their financial problems really were!  "My god, we're not even going to have enough money for rent next month!"  Sara lowered her head into her hands and began to gently rub her temples.  As a headache began to form, she quickly began to grow fearful of exactly what their dire financial predicament would mean.  If they couldn't even make rent, how were they going to live?  How could he possibly stay in school?  How in the world could their marriage survive such desperate times?

Sara tapped her lower lip with the pencil as she tried to clear her head enough to think rationally.  It was obvious that they couldn't make it on Dane's pay from the printing plant alone.  Her mind drifted back to her original suggestion that she find a job to help with their finances.  She knew Dane was vehemently opposed to that idea, but Sara realized that logically it was the only true answer.

She glanced at the clock on the wall and realized that he wouldn't be home from work for several more hours.  Dane usually went straight from his last class to his job and never made it home until very late.  Often, Sara was already in bed when he arrived.  Surely she could find a part-time job in the evenings while he was at work.  She could work and be home before he ever arrived and he would never have to know.

Sara looked at the numbers she'd written down and sighed.  Her finding a job was the only answer.  She knew that if Dane ever found out, he'd be unbelievably angry with her.  She knew, however, that it was the only way they could make it.  She'd earn some extra money and hide it away to pay bills without him ever knowing; and she could always secretly alter his books to reflect the inflow of extra cash.

With a sigh, Sara got up from the desk and reached for her jacket.  She still had time to go job hunting before Dane arrived home.  She just prayed that she could find work that would pay enough to solve their problems.


Annabelle LakeThe Gardens Restaurant"It looks like your wife has decided to finally move on with her life."  Annabelle tried to hide her smile as she motioned toward Fred and Francis.  "I can't believe she's out to dinner with the good doctor.  It must be a date."

"How can you be so sure that they're on a date?" Charles grumbled as he tried not to look at the other couple.  "They both have connections to the hospital.  They're probably just working on some charity function."

"Oh, of course!  That has to be it."  She slyly glanced in Charles' direction to see his reactions.  "Why else would Francis be out with such a smooth charmer like Dr. Rutherford.  Surely you've heard all the talk about him.  He can be quite a ladies man.  If he has his sights set on a particular woman, I doubt anything could prevent him from having her."

"I'm sure that's not the case here."

"They do look awfully cozy, though."  Annabelle caught Fred's attention and cautiously nodded to him.  She watched intently as he reached over to hold Francis' hand.  "In fact, Charles, they're holding hands!"

Charles CallisonCharles' head snapped up and he glared across the room to where Fred and Francis were sitting.  They were holding hands!  He felt his blood pressure begin to rise as he quickly looked away.  He let out a deep sigh when he realized he had no right to be jealous.  After everything he'd done to hurt her, he had no business passing any sort of judgment on her actions.  Maybe this was a good thing.  Maybe this was proof that she was actually trying to move past his betrayal.

"Charles, are you alright with this?" Annabelle asked as she reached across to hold his hand.  "We could always leave."

"No, I'm fine," he muttered.  He turned to face Annabelle and looked deeply into her eyes.  Francis was moving on with her life and he needed to do the same.  He couldn't obsess over her any more.  He leaned in and kissed Annabelle passionately.  He couldn't see the wide eyed look of shock and hurt that covered Francis' face as she witnessed the embrace.