For Now and Forever
EPISODE #41 (Monday
After a long day of shopping, Jillian and Judith decided to stop in for a bite to eat. Judith was less than thrilled with the cafe's lower class patronage and tacky atmosphere. However, Jillian insisted and slowly began to lead her to a table when she caught sight of Janet sitting with a gentlemen in the back of the cafe. "Look! There's Janet and she's with someone. I bet that's that man she's been seeing."
Judith suddenly stopped dead in her tracks as the color began to drain from her face. She began to gasp slightly and reached out to grab Jillian's arm for support.
"Oh, stop being so stubborn," Jillian responded as she tugged on her sister to drag her forward. "I've wanted to meet this man for quite a while now. I want to know exactly who our sister is involved with."
"N-no," Judith muttered weakly. Her breathing grew shallow and her head began to spin. "J-Jillian."
"Judith?" Jillian turned to look at her sister and was horrified to find her face as white as a sheet. "Judith, what's wrong? Are you alright?"
Suddenly, a sharp pain ripped through Judith's abdomen as she doubled over in agony and crumpled to the floor.
"Oh, my god, Judith!" Jillian cried out as she dropped to her knees beside her now unconscious sister. "Oh, my god! Help! Someone help! Someone call a doctor!"
THE DAVIS HOME - LIVING ROOM
"Grace, are you ready?" Trevor asked as he stepped into the living room. "Are you ready to go visit your mother?"
Grace sat on the couch and looked at him with eyes filled with trepidation and fear. No, she wasn't really ready, but would she ever truly be? How could a person ever be ready to see their mother in the state her mother was in? How could a person ever be ready to be reminded of a history of pain and tragedy?
"Yes, I'm ready," she muttered softly. "I'm as ready as I'm going to be."
"Honey, are you sure you want to go without me?" Douglas asked as he looked up from his newspaper. "I don't like the idea of you going by yourself. If you're going to go visit our mother, you should be going with me."
"No, Douglas! I don't want to go with you." She looked down and at her hands that had begun to shake from nervousness. She couldn't go with Douglas. What if she couldn't go through with it? What if the sight of her mother upset her too much? What if the only thing she could feel for their mother was anger and hatred for everything that had happened? No, Grace couldn't go with Douglas because she was too afraid of the "what ifs". If this reunion didn't go well, she knew her brother would be terribly upset. She couldn't have him there for that. "I want Trevor to take me and he is going to take me!"
Douglas looked at his little sister curiously. He let out a heavy sigh when he realized that, although he wanted to be the one to accompany her, the fact that she was going to visit their mother was monumental enough. He was happy just to see her make the effort...no matter who was taking her.
"Just try to forget everything that happened before." Douglas got up from his chair, walked over to her, and gently took her hand. "Try to love her for who she is and not what she's done. She's not well. You know that. She couldn't help some of the things that she did."
"I know that, Douglas." She turned her head away in hopes of hiding the fear and apprehension that still plagued her. She fully realized that their mother's illness didn't make her completely responsible for some of her actions when Grace was younger, but she still had great difficulty separating feelings about the past from feelings for her mother.
"Douglas, I'll do the best I can. That's all I can promise."
"Grace, we have to go." Trevor hated to interrupt this important family moment, but he realized that they did have a drive ahead of them. He also realized that the longer this visit was put off, the more opportunity she had to change her mind. Trevor was sure that this reunion was something that Grace needed to do whether she was sure of it or not.
Grace looked up and into Douglas' eyes and inhaled deeply for strength. Quietly, she got up and walked toward the door and silently prayed that she wasn't making a mistake.
As the door closed behind Trevor and Grace, the telephone rang. "Hello?" Douglas said as he cradled the receiver between his ear and shoulder.
"D-Douglas, it's Lorraine."
"I wonder what's going on?" Burt asked as his attention was drawn to the large crowd that had begun to gather by the front door of the restaurant.
"I-I don't know." Janet watched as several more cafe patrons got up and went to join the crowd. As a few people stepped aside, her eyes grew wide in horror...Jillian was part of the crowd! Jillian was in the cafe with her in Burt!
"Maybe I should go over and see what's wrong." He slowly began to rise from his seat. "Maybe I can be of some help."
"No!" she blurted out as she grabbed his arm to hold him back. "T-there's too many people over there already. I'm sure that whatever's going on, there's enough people to handle it."
"But they might need help."
"Please?" Janet looked up at him as she tried to hide her fear and nervousness. Jillian couldn't see her and Burt together! Janet knew that if Jillian saw them, she'd surely expose all of her lies. Burt would know the truth and she'd lose him forever! "Let's just leave. There's too much going on here. I just want to be alone with you."
"Janet, honey, we can't leave." He reached down to lovingly touch her cheek. "The crowd's blocking the door. We're stuck here until whatever's going on is over."
"No, Burt, we can go out the side door." She motioned towards the door just a few feet away. "This cafe is connected to the bookstore next door. We can leave through there."
"Okay," he sighed in agreement. "If you're determined to go, we'll go."
"Oh, I knew you'd understand!" Janet hugged him tightly before they got up and quickly walked towards the door. As they exited the cafe, she never realized that the cause of all the commotion was her own sister Judith lying unconscious on the floor.
THE CALLISON HOME - CHARLES' STUDY
"There's got to be something in this contract that can tell us exactly why Preston is so intent on getting out of it." Charles carefully turned the page as he analyzed every word and phrase that was written.
"You'll find it, darling, I'm sure of it." Annabelle gently rested her chin on his shoulder as she read along with him. She knew that their constant work together to thwart Thornton Preston's plans was bringing them even closer together. She smiled with the realization that soon Francis would be a thing of the past. Annabelle wanted a wedding ring on her finger and knew that she would get it...as soon as she and Fred made sure that Charles' wife was out of the way for good.
"Oh, I'm tired of reading this again and again," Charles sighed as he tossed the contract onto the desk and leaned back into Annabelle's waiting arms.
She nuzzled her head closer to him and gently kissed him on the neck before he turned to meet her lips with his own. The passion that Annabelle had brought to his life had become a great comfort to him during that past few months. It had helped to provide a refuge and an escape from a life that had grown tedious at best. If only Francis hadn't been hurt in the process...
"Do you two have to do that here?" Reginald's cold voice intruded on the amorous embrace shared by Charles and Annabelle.
"You could knock before just barging in." Annabelle slowly pulled away from Charles and gave Reginald an icy glare. "Your father and I were in the middle of something."
"Yes, I could see that." Reginald continued to watch her with cold and unflinching eyes. "But do you have to carry on like that here...in my mother's house?"
"It's my home too, Reginald." Charles rose from his position behind his desk and slowly walked over to his son. "You're mother moved out, remember?"
"And I remember why she left! She caught you carrying on with this...this woman!"
"Reginald, why do you have to act this way towards me?" Annabelle subtly began to use her charms. "We've known each other for years. You've never been so cold towards me before."
"You weren't carrying on with my married father before!" Reginald moved closer to her as he kept his stern tone. "You do remember that he is still married, don't you? Of course, that's never mattered to you before! No wonder Stephanie turned out to be the conniving little schemer she is! With you as a mother, I bet Florence Nightingale would have turned into the bride of Frankenstein!"
"Reginald! You watch your mouth!" Charles grabbed his son by the arm and forced him to face him. "I will not have you speaking to Annabelle so rudely!"
"With all due respect, father, I'll do as I damn well please." He yanked his arm away and quickly headed for the door. "Lord knows you do."
ROUTE 87 - ANDERSONVILLE RD.
"Are you okay?" Trevor asked as he reached over and grabbed Grace's hand for support. He kept his eyes firmly focused on the road ahead as his car continued towards the Albany County line.
"I'm fine," she muttered softly and continued to look out the window at the fields and cows as they went by. "O-of course I'm nervous. This is a big deal for me. I haven't seen her in so long. Trevor, what will I say? How will I act?"
"Grace, honey, I can't pretend to know what it's been like for you. I've always had the most loving parents right by my side to support me. I haven't gone through the things you have. I'm sure that when you are there, in that moment, with your mother, you'll know exactly what to do."
"Trevor, are you sure?" Her hands began to shake as they past a road sign that said "10 miles to Andersonville." The hospital was way before the city limits, so she realized that they would be arriving at any time.
"I'm positive." He cautiously scanned the road for a glimpse of the hospital that sat off of the main road down a long and winding drive. "We should almost be there. Keep an eye out for the turn."
"Okay," she muttered, still unsure of what she was doing. Soon, the hospital came into view as they rounded a bend. "Trevor! That's it! That's Manor Hills."
Trevor took a deep breath and slowed the car down before turning onto the drive. As they stopped at the massive iron gates, he turned to looked at Grace and found her nearly shaking with fear. "It's going to be alright. Everything's going to be fine."
"I don't know if I'm doing the right thing. I don't know if I can go through with this." As Grace looked past the gates at the hospital, a chill ran down her spine. The dark and ominous structure cast a looming shadow as the sun passed behind it. It only intensified her own sense of dread. As she took a deep breath, the guard nodded to Trevor and slowly opened the gates so that they could drive inside.
"Oh, my, what happened?" Judith muttered as she rubbed her head and tried to clear the hazy that covered her mind. "W-what am I doing here laying on this filthy floor?"
"Well, gentlemen, I think she's going to be alright," Jillian spoke up to the crowd of strangers that had gathered to assist them when Judith collapsed. "Judith? What happened? You just doubled over in pain and passed out. Is it the baby? How do you feel?"
"I feel fine!" Judith tried to sit up with some difficulty, but yanked her arm away from a man who was trying to help her. "Do not touch me!"
"Would you like a glass of water?"
"What I'd like is a bottle of Chardonnay!" Judith winched slightly and steadied herself as Jillian helped her into a chair that a couple of strangers had hurriedly pulled out for her. "However, considering the baby, I don't have that option."
"We need to get you to the hospital to make sure you're alright. To make sure the baby's alright."
"Jillian, would you quit worrying about everything! I said I'm fine! The baby's fine! I just got dizzy, that's all." She leaned back into the chair and inhaled and exhaled slowly. She carefully looked past the crowd to the back of the restaurant and was surprised when she saw Janet no where in sight. Surely her own sister would have come to see how she was after she'd taken such a nasty spill. Where in the world had Janet and her young man taken off to?
"But, Judith, you grabbed your stomach before you fell like you were in pain!"
"I said I'm fine!" she insisted firmly through clinched teeth. "All of this traveling and gallivanting around has just worn me out. I haven't eaten all day. This is just from exhaustion and nerves concerning Daddy and Janet. That's all!"
"Just promise me you'll see a doctor to be sure." Jillian handed her sister a glass of water as it was passed to her by another stranger. "You can't take any chances as far as your health or the health of your child is concerned."
"If it will get you to shut up, alright! I'll see a doctor. I tell you, though, that this is a waste of time. I feel fine!"
Of course, she was only agreeing to the exam to placate Jillian. Judith's mind was too occupied with thoughts of their sister Janet and why she'd suddenly disappeared with Burt Lamont. For that matter, what the devil was Burt Lamont doing in Albanyville, anyway? Judith secretly vowed to discover everything Janet was hiding. Judith feared the worst.
TO BE CONTINUED
Lorraine has an answer for Douglas
For Now and Forever
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