produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



1935 READER AWARD - FAVORITE EPISODE

EPISODE #57 (Tuesday 8/28/01) click here for a printable version of this episode
same day - October 1935


THE DOCKS

The DocksLorraine DavisLorraine Davis was upset after the news of her expectancy was revealed to Patterson Monroe.  Patterson was understandably upset and angry with her.  In fear of hurting him and also of what he might think of her, Lorraine chased after him, followed by her husband Douglas, who was trying to calm her down.  She had to realize that, no matter what Patterson's opinions of their marriage might be, they'd had no other option...

"I-I know, Douglas.  I know this is the way things have to be."  She fought back another tear as she let out a sigh.  "B-but what must he think of me?  What kind of horrible, evil person does he think I am?  Surely, Patterson thinks I willfully and maliciously had an affair with you behind his back and then lied to him about it."  She began to feel the tears well up again, when another, more urgent, feeling struck her.

"Lorraine?"  Douglas asked tentatively when he noticed the sudden change in her demeanor.  "Are you alright?  Lorraine, what's wrong?"

"D-Douglas, I...I'm not sure."  She winced slightly as a sharp pain when through her.  Instantly, a look of terror covered her face.  "Oh, Douglas, something's wrong!  Something's...."  Her voice trailed off as her body fell limp in his arms.

"Lorraine?  Lorraine, sweetheart!"  He held her in his arms and slowly sank to the ground, carefully cradling her unconscious body.  "Oh, my god!  Lorraine!"


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JOSEPH HAYNE RAINEY MEMORIAL NEGRO HOSPITAL - MOMENTS LATER

Joseph Hayne Rainey Memorial Negro Hospital"P-please help me!" Douglas cried out as he rushed into the hospital with a still unconscious Lorraine cradled in his arms.  "It's my wife.  She just collapsed down on the docks.  She's expecting!"

"Um...sir, do you know what hospital you're in?"  The older doctor eyed Douglas and Lorraine cautiously as he took a step back from them.  "This is the Negro hospital.  You need to be at General.  They can help you there."

"But you don't understand!"  Douglas began to feel the tight grasp of panic begin to take hold of him.  "This is the closest hospital to the docks!  I-I don't have time to drive all the way to General.  Can't you see that she needs medical attention now?"

"I'm sorry, Mr....Mr.?"

Douglas Davis"Douglas Davis.  My name's Douglas Davis."  He glanced over at Lorraine and carefully pushed a damp lock of hair from her forehead.  "This is my wife Lorraine.  She's...she's expecting a baby."

"Look, Mr. Davis, I'm sorry, but there isn't anything I can do.  Like I said, this is a Negro hospital."  The doctor kept his eyes firmly fixed on Lorraine.  She clearly looked in need of immediate medical attention, but what could he do?  What if something happened?  The hospital would surely be to blame.  There'd be too much trouble.  "And you and your wife clearly are not Negro!"

Lorraine Davis"What kind of a hospital is this?"  Douglas quickly felt his temper begin to rise.  How could a hospital...any hospital...turn away a person in need?  "Aren't you sworn to help people?  Aren't you supposed to take care of people who need medical attention?"

"Mr. Davis, I'm sorry, but there's nothing I can do!"  The doctor's eyes darted from Douglas to Lorraine.  "You have to take your wife to General.  They can help her there!"

"What if I don't make it?  What if there's no time?"

The doctor furrowed his brow as he began to grow more nervous.  There was no way Memorial could treat this woman.  If something went wrong, there'd be too much trouble.  He had to think of the other patients and the care that the hospital provided them.  They couldn't provide that care if the hospital was forced to close because of some unforeseen complications.  He just couldn't risk it.


MANOR HILLS SANITARIUM, ANDERSONVILLE, IL

Manor Hills SanitariumGrace Davis stood in the hospital room and tried to gather together her courage.  She watched her mother closely as Louise Davis sat silently in her chair by the window.  She always sat in the same chair, never moving.  Every time Grace had come to see her, she'd always been in the exact same spot.

"Momma?" Grace finally spoke as she carefully approached her.  "Momma, it's me, Grace."  She'd grown to expect her mother's silence, but still found it unnerving.  No matter how many times Grace had come to visit, her mother never uttered a word.  She just sat in silence and stared out the window.  "Momma?"

As Grace stood next to her mother's chair, she reached out and stroked Louise's thin, limp hair.  She remembered when it had once been so lustrous and vibrant.  However, that had been years ago.  Too much had happened and the evidence of years of heartbreak and tragedy shown in her mother's appearance.

"Momma, I came to visit you because I want to talk to you."  Her thoughts turned to Trevor Callison and the feelings she'd begun to experience for him.  They were quite odd for her and she wasn't sure what to make of them.  Trevor was beginning to make her feel things that she'd never experienced before.

What she was starting to feel for Trevor was much different than the feelings she'd had for Dane.  Dane Manchester had been all thrill and excitement.  He'd been a juvenile crush that had obsessed her every thought.  However, when his true nature became apparent, Grace realized how foolish she'd been.  And, as always, Trevor had been there to help her through it all.

"Momma, do you remember my friend Trevor?"  She tried to force a smile as she knelt down next to her mother and took her hand.  "He's the man who's been coming with me to see you.  Anyway, he and I are very good friends.  I've grown to care for him a great deal.  It's kinda funny when you think about how much he used to get on my nerves.  I spent so much time trying to push him away, and yet he always kept coming back.  He never gave up on me."

Louise DavisLouise's vacant eyes continued to stare out into nothingness.

"Well, lately I've been finding myself having these...feelings, I guess you could say."  Grace hesitated for a moment and bit her lip as she thought about the stirrings in her heart that Trevor had begun to cause.  "I-I've never really felt like this before.  I don't know what it all means.  Am I falling in love with him?  Is this love that I'm feeling?  Oh, Momma, I don't know what to do!"

Tears began to well up in Grace's eyes as she thought about how difficult it was to pretend that she and her mother had a relationship like all of the other girls.  The other girls could go to their mothers and talk about such personal matters.  Grace desperately wanted a relationship like that.  However, considering Louise's delicate mental state, Grace realized that that was probably not possible.  She could pretend, at least.  She could confide in her mother.  Maybe the simple vocalization of her emotions and fears would lead her to an answer.

"W-who are...who are...you?  Louise's speech came weakly, but the mere sound of her voice startled Grace.  It had been so long since she'd heard her mother speak.

"Momma, it's me!  It's Grace!"  Her eyes lit up.  Was the haze in her mother's mind lifting a little?  Could she be able to give her the motherly advice Grace so desperately searched for?

"G-Grace?"

"Yes, Momma!  It's Grace!"

"N-no, t-that can't...that can't be!"  Louise's eyes searched her daughter's face for a clue as to her identity.  "No!"

Grace Davis"Yes, Momma, I'm Grace!  I'm your daughter!"  Her face beamed with joy at the sound of her mother's voice.  However, a gnawing in her gut told her that something wasn't right.  Something was wrong.

"No!  You're not Grace!  You're not my Grace!"  Louise quickly yanked her hands away from her daughter as her voice grew shrill.  "My Grace is a little girl!  My Grace is a baby!  Who are you?  Why are you trying to convince me that you're my little girl?  You can't be my baby!  Why are you doing this to me?"

"M-momma?"  Grace's eyes grew wide with fear.  Her mother didn't even recognize her!  She didn't know who she was.

"Why are you doing this to me?"  Louise continued to grow more and more agitated.  "Who are you and what have you done to my baby?  What have you done with Grace?"  Then, suddenly, she lunged at Grace and grabbed her by the throat, knocking her to the floor.

"Momma!" she screamed in fear.  "Momma, don't!  You're hurting me!"

Dr. Maynard"Oh, my God!" Dr. Maynard said as he burst into the room after hearing Grace's cries.  "Mrs. Davis, you have to calm down!  Mrs. Davis!"  He rushed to Louise's side and pulled her off of her daughter.  "Nurse!  I need help!"

"O-oh, my God."  Grace sobbed as she slowly backed away from her mother in terror.  "O-oh, my god."

"Doctor, here's a sedative," the nurse said as she hurried into the room and handed him a syringe.

With expert skill, Dr. Maynard injected the syringe into Louise's arm.  Within moments, her agitation ceased and her rantings ended.  Carefully, the doctor and nurse eased her back into her chair.

"Miss Davis, are you all right?"  He turned her concerned eyes toward her.

"I-I..."  Grace wasn't sure what to say.  She'd never seen her mother like that.  Not since she was young and she'd go into her violent tantrums.  "I..."

"Miss Davis?"

Stunned, horrified, and unable to speak, tears began to stream down her face.  This wasn't how it was supposed to be!  This wasn't the relationship she wanted with her mother.  Confused and frightened, Grace ran from the room.