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

 

EPISODE #42 (Tuesday 6/19/01)
same day - October 1935

MANOR HILLS SANITARIUM - ANDERSONVILLE, IL

Grace sat in Trevor's car and looked at the hospital that loomed in the distance just beyond the gate.  In just a few minutes, she would be doing something she'd avoided for years.  She was going to see her mother.

"It's going to be all right, Grace, there's no need to be worried."  Trevor held her hand in his as the guard slowly opened the gate.  "Besides, I'll be right here with you every step of the way."

"I know that, Trevor, and I'm so grateful for that."  She looked up again at the hospital and took a deep breath.  "I'm just frightened, that's all.  What if she's worse than Douglas said?  What if this is a mistake?"

"Then we'll deal with that when it happens."  Trevor pressed down on the accelerator and the car began its long journey up the winding drive.

THE DAVIS HOME - LIVING ROOM

Douglas rushed to answer the door as the bell continued to ring.  "Lorraine!" he said as he flung the door open, "what's wrong?  What's so urgent that you had to come over so unexpectedly?  Are you alright?  The baby?"

"Oh, Douglas, I'm fine," she muttered nervously as she stepped into the house and walked slowly into the living room.  "Well, as fine as I can be considering everything that's happened."

"Then what's so urgent?"  He watched her closely as she approached the couch and sat down.  He could clearly see her anxiety despite the fact that she seemed unable to look at him.  "H-have you thought any more about my proposal?"

"Y-yes, I have."  She wrung her hands as she sat on the couch facing away from him.  She couldn't look at him; if she did, she'd surely loose her nerve.  This wasn't the way things were supposed to turn out, but she knew she had no choice.  Her phone call to her mother had assured that.

"Lorraine, darling, tell me."  He quickly followed her into the room and sat down beside her.  Tenderly he wrapped a supportive arm around her shoulders and pulled her close.  This entire situation had been hard on all of them.  He could only image how difficult it must have been for Lorraine to discover that she was expecting his child.  "Tell me, Lorraine.  Have you thought about my proposal?  Are you going to let me be a father to my child?  Do you have an answer for me?"

"Yes, this entire situation has been the only thing on my mind.  How can I think of anything else?  All I can think about is everything that I'm doing to both you and Patterson."  Dear, sweet Patterson...he'd waited so long for her to love him.  He had always been so devoted to her.  Now she was expecting another man's child and he had no idea.

"Lorraine," Douglas spoke softly as he cautiously lifted her face so that their eyes met.  "Do you have an answer for me?"

"I've given this a lot of thought," she began tentatively.  "I now realize what's best...best for this child."  She paused for a moment as she took in a deep breath and silently prayed for courage.  "Yes, Douglas, I have an answer to your marriage proposal."

MANOR HILLS SANITARIUM - ANDERSONVILLE, IL

"So, she's still fairly unresponsive?" Trevor asked as he and Grace walked down the hallway with Dr. Maynard.

"For the most part."  Dr. Maynard carefully scanned Louise Davis' file.  "Of course, she has moments of lucidity, but for the majority of her time here she hasn't seemed to react to much outside stimulus."

"W-what about my brother Douglas' visits?" Grace spoke up as she stopped to look at the doctor.  "H-how has she reacted around him?"

"Well..."  Dr. Maynard hesitated slightly.  He knew he couldn't tell Grace everything.  Her brother had cautioned him about being too forthcoming with information concerning Louise's condition.  Of course, the majority of her most disturbing behaviors happened long ago.  "She had a couple of violent outbursts when she was first brought here.  During one visit, she apparently saw your brother as his father and lashed out at him, physically attacking him."

"Oh, god," Grace gasped as she leaned against the way to steady herself.  "I-I can't...I-I can't do this!  I can't see her like this!"

"Miss Davis, that was several years ago," Dr. Maynard reminded as he reached out and placed a calming hand on her arm.  "She's been much better since then.  I actually think this visit will do her quite a bit of good.  In fact, in her moments of clarity she often asks for you."

"See, I told you this was going to be good for both of you."  Trevor looked into Grace's eyes and nodded his support.  "You know this is something you need to do."

Grace swallowed hard and turned to face the door of her mother's room.  Trevor was right.  This was the moment she'd waited for and yet feared for so many years.  There was no turning back now.  "I-I'm ready to see her now," she muttered and then silently prayed for the strength to follow through with that statement.

SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY

"Sincerely, Thornton Preston," he said as he finished delivering his dictation to Sara.

"Would you like me to read that back to you, sir?" Sara asked as she looked up from the letter.

"No, Sara, it's fine the way it is.  Just send that out with the other letters."  He leaned back in his chair and stretched as he watched her carefully.  "So, you said you just got married?"

"Yes, Mr. Preston.  My husband and I got married last month."  She blushed slightly at the discussion of her personal life.  "We're very happy."

"How does he feel about you holding down a job?  I'm sure he's like most husbands and would prefer that you were at home."  Thornton rolled a pencil between his fingers as he spoke.  Maybe she'd reveal something that would clue him in as to her real reason for working for him.

"Honestly?"  Sara quickly grew uncomfortable.  "He doesn't know."

"What?  Your husband doesn't know you're working?"

"Um, no.  H-he wouldn't approve."  She lowered her head, embarrassed by her confession.  "You see, we've had some financial problems and..."

"Sara, you don't have to explain yourself to me.  Whatever troubles you and your husband are having are your business."  Thornton rubbed his chin and began to think.  Maybe Charles was helping the Manchesters out of their financial dilemma by paying Sara to spy on him.  It was a distinct possibility.

"Mr. Preston!" Helga spoke up as she stood in the doorway of the library.  "This was just delivered by messenger for you."  She walked briskly across the room and handed the large envelope to Thornton.  "It's from Simmons."

"Ahh, exactly what I've been waiting for."  He smiled slyly as he held the envelope firmly in his hands and looked at Sara.  "Would you excuse us?  We have some business to discuss.  You can finish your revisions on those documents in my office upstairs."

"Yes, sir."  She looked at Thornton and then turned to look at Helga.  They were clearly up to something, but she wasn't sure what.  Taking a deep breath, Sara rose from her chair and walked out of the room.

"Helga, close the doors," he ordered.  As he watched his loyal housekeeper quickly move across the room to follow his instructions, he opened the envelope and pulled out a thick folder.  In just a few moments, he'd know everything there was to know about Mrs. Sara Manchester.

MANOR HILLS SANITARIUM - ANDERSONVILLE, IL

"Mrs. Davis?" Dr. Maynard said as he pushed the door open and knocked.  "You have a visitor.  You're daughter is here to see you."

Grace stood in the hallway and turned from the open door to look at Trevor with fear in her eyes.

"Go on.  You can do it."  Trevor nodded slightly and then smiled.  It was the shove that she needed.

Grace stepped cautiously into the hospital room and had to hold back a gasp as she saw her mother for the first time in years.  She was not at all what she'd expected.

"I think we need to leave them alone," Dr. Maynard muttered to Trevor as he stepped back out of the room and quietly shut the door.

Louise Davis was sitting in a rocking chair by the large bay window and facing the setting sun; however, she was looking at nothing in particular.  Her dark hair, once so shiny and vibrant, was now dull and lifeless and streaked with clumps of gray.  She rocked back and forth almost rhythmically and gave no indication that she even knew Grace was there.

"M-momma?" Grace muttered cautiously as she eased further into the room.  "Momma, it's me.  It's Grace."

No answer came.

"I-I know it's been a long time.  I know I should have come to see you sooner, but I couldn't."  Her voice shook slightly even though she tried to hide her fears.  She moved even closer to her mother and stood next to her as the sun streamed in its warming rays.  "M-momma?"

Louise slowly turned to face Grace, but her eyes were vacant and soulless.  She seemed to be searching Grace's face for some clue...some hint of a memory.  However, she found none.  Silently she turned to again stare out the window.

"Momma, it's me!  It's Grace!"  She knelt down beside the rocking chair and grabbed on to her hand and pulled it close to her chest.  "I'm your daughter!"

Still no response.

"I-I'm sorry!  I'm sorry I didn't come sooner!"  Grace tried to hold back her tears, but they began to flow uncontrollably and quickly streaked her face.  "I-I was so scared.  I...I...I'm sorry."

Louise turned to look at her again.  She seemed to be touched by Grace's display of emotions, but said nothing.  Her hand remained pressed against Grace's heart as she continued to rock.

"Oh, Momma, please say something!  Please tell me you know who I am!"

Not a word.

"Oh, Momma," Grace sobbed as she lowered her head to rest on the arm of the rocker.  "I-I'm sorry.  I'm sorry for not coming to see you.  I'm sorry for trying to forget about you.  Oh, Momma, I still love you."

Silently, Louise pulled her hand away and gently began to stroke Grace's hair.

THE DAVIS HOME - LIVING ROOM

"Lorraine, you can't keep me in suspense!"  Douglas eyed her closely.  "Are you going to marry me?  Are you going to let me be a father to my own child?"

She bit her lip and turned away from him.  All she could think about was poor Patterson.  He loved her so much and all she'd ever done was hurt him.  She'd left him last fall because he didn't supply her with the heart swelling emotions that she'd always longed for.  Then, when she started having problems in her relationship with Trevor, she turned to him again.  They'd hoped for a second change, a fresh start, but she'd betrayed him.  Lorraine cared for him deeply, but all she'd managed to do was hurt him.  Now this.

"Lorraine, will you marry me?"

She turned again to face him and took a deep breath.  "Y-yes," she stammered.  "Yes, Douglas, I'll marry you."

"Oh, you don't know how happy you've made me!"  He flung his arms around her and hugged her tightly.  "Lorraine, darling, this is for the best.  We can provide a home for our child...together!  You won't be sorry."

"It has to happened soon."  She looked down as her hand found its typical resting place on her stomach.  Though she was sure no one could notice the slight bulge, she could tell.  She knew it wouldn't be long before everyone else knew what she'd been trying to hide.  "We have to get married before everyone knows why.  They'll realize why soon enough."

"Oh, of course."  He continued to smile at her as a million thoughts raced through his head.  "You just let me take care of all the arrangements.  We can get a justice of the peace and get married here.  It doesn't have to be some overblown affair.  Just you and me and a couple of our friends."

"Yes, that sounds nice."  Lorraine's words began to echo in her own ears.  She was getting married and she was having a baby.  She let out a heavy sigh as she realized that she had to tell Patterson soon.  She couldn't enter into a marriage with Douglas without Patterson knowing about it first.  It was the least that she owed him.  The knowledge of that inevitability sent a shiver down her spine.  Hurting Patterson was the last thing she'd ever wanted and now it was the only thing she could do.  She dreaded telling him of her marriage plans, but what choice did she have?  It was the only thing she could do.

TO BE CONTINUED

TOMORROW

Jillian is shocked when Dane makes an apology.

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

2001- 2010 Classic Soap Productions