THE SUNSET HOTEL - JUDITH'S PENTHOUSE - LIVING ROOM

The Sunset Hotel, Penthouse C, Albanyville, IL"Sir, I don't know who you are, but you have to leave!" Ruby Thomas insisted as she tried to block Mark Linford's path.  "Mrs. Linford isn't accepting guests!"

"Oh, you silly little girl, I am not a guest."  He pushed past her and moved into the living room.  He'd been arguing with the maid for entirely too long.  She wouldn't even let him in the door until he forced his way in.  "Just go get Judith and tell her that her husband is here!"

"H-husband?"  Ruby's mouth dropped in shock and embarrassment.  "O-oh, Mr. Linford, I...I didn't know who you were.  You see, your wife asked me to..."

"Yes, yes, yes," he interrupted as he waved his hand in the air to silence her.  "Now, just get my wife."

Ruby ThomasAs Ruby hurried from the room, Mark quickly found the bar and he poured himself a drink.  He took a sip and carefully surveyed the penthouse.  Recognizing the lavishness of it, he smiled and nodded to himself.  Judith had made herself a rather nice, if only temporary, home.

"Mark!" Judith spoke up as she stood in the doorway of the living room, her eyes still filled with the surprise that Ruby's announcement had brought.  "W-what are you doing here?"

"I came to take you home to New York!  What the devil were you thinking, running off like you did?"  He eyed her carefully and was quick to note her advanced pregnancy that shown despite the roomy dressing gown that she wore.

Judith Linford"I-I had to take care of some things for Mother."  She worked to contain her uneasiness around her husband.  Mark's sudden arrival was something she hadn't counted on.  It was bound to put a drastic crimp in her plans.  "I had to bring some money to Jillian, but..."

"Yes, I know.  I've already spoken to her."  He took another sip of his drink and sat down on the sofa.  "She mentioned something about you collapsing?  Are you and the baby okay?"

"We're both fine."  Judith watched him closely.  Although their marriage had never been one of deep love and devotion, Mark did seem genuinely concerned.  But, was it true concern for her and "their" child, or concern for what his social status would be if something were to happen to her?  "But the doctor said that I probably shouldn't do any more traveling until after the baby comes."

Mark Linford"And when were you going to phone me and let me know you weren't in Los Angeles?  Didn't you think I had a right to know where you were?"

"Well, I was planning to."  Eventually.

"I left my bags down at the front desk.  I'll call and have them brought up."  He reached for the phone and began to place his call downstairs.  "If you can't travel until after the baby's born, then I guess I'm stuck here, too."

"W-what?"  Judith's mouth dropped open in shock.  Mark couldn't stay in Albanyville!  If he didn't go back to New York, he'd ruin everything!  She couldn't have him hovering around her, watching her every move.  And, besides, what would he do when he found out that Burt was in Albanyville?  Judith began to wring her hands as she worried about the problems that Mark's presence would cause.


JOSEPH HAYNE RAINEY MEMORIAL NEGRO HOSPITAL

Joseph Hayne Rainey Memorial Negro Hospital"Please!  You've got to help my wife!"  Douglas' eyes began to fill with fear.  They were wasting precious time arguing about the philosophy of medicine and race.  Lorraine needed medical attention and she needed it immediately.  "Aren't any of you going to do anything?"  He looked at the small crowd of doctors that had gathered, but none of them seemed inclined to step forward.

"Mr. Davis, there's really nothing that we can do."  The doctors looked at one another awkwardly.  It was a difficult position to be in, but they all clearly realized what could happen.

"Damn you all!" Douglas shouted as he turned to take Lorraine to General.

"What in the world is going on out here?"  Dr. Calvin Jackson asked as he walked briskly down the hallway.  "I can hear this ruckus all the way down in my office!"

"I'm sorry, Dr. Jackson," a younger doctor muttered.  "We're just having a little...problem."

Douglas Davis"I'll tell you what's going on!"  Douglas spun around as his eyes blazed with fury.  "My wife is unconscious and expecting a baby.  Something's wrong with her and these doctors won't do a thing to help us just because of the color of our skin.  If something happens to her or the baby, it will be on all of your heads!"

"Is this true?"  Calvin's eyes moved from doctor to doctor.  "We're refusing to treat a woman who's in obvious need of medical assistance?"

"Calvin, they're white.  What if something happens?  You know that people will place the blame on this hospital and our staff."

Lorraine Davis"I can't believe that I'm hearing this!  We went into medicine to help people...no matter who they are!  True, we wanted to be able to provide appropriate medical care to our people because so many hospitals refuse to treat Negroes, but how can we turn someone away just  because there might be trouble or because they're different then us?"

"B-but, Dr. Jackson..."

"Enough!"  Calvin quickly walked towards Douglas and Lorraine and helped him with the burden of holding her.  "Mister....?"

"Davis.  Douglas Davis."

"Mr. Davis, take your wife into that examining room over there."  Calvin pointed down the hallway.  "I'll be with you shortly."

"Thank you, doctor!  Thank you!"

"What the hell do you think your doing?" the older doctor asked as his eyes filled with worry.  "Don't you care what happens to this hospital?"

Dr. Calvin Jackson"I care very much, but I refuse to let this poor woman and her child suffer because of some foolish prejudice.  Haven't we all been on the receiving end of that entirely too much?"

"But..."

"No!  I will take care of Mrs. Davis and I will take full responsibility for my actions."  And with those words, Calvin turned to rush down the hallway towards the examining room.  He silently prayed that precious time had not been lost amidst all of the arguing.  With determination in his eyes, he vowed to do whatever it took to save this woman and her child.


THE CALLISON HOME

2210 Elmwood Ln., Albanyville, IL"I'm sorry that Mr. Callison isn't here right now," Hannah Meadows said as she followed Francis Callison up the stairs and down the hallway to the bedroom.

"Hannah, that's more than okay," Francis replied as she opened the closet and pulled down several large boxes from the top shelf.  "I'm actually here, now, because I knew he wouldn't be.  I just don't feel like dealing with him today."

"Yes, ma'am."  Hannah nodded and then eyed her employer carefully.  "Can I help you with something?"

"No, I just came to get a few things that I'd left behind when I..." Francis paused for a moment as if the vocalization of what had happened was too much for her.  "when I moved out.  Actually, I'd like to be alone, if you don't mind."

Hannah Meadows"Of course, ma'am.  I'll be downstairs doing laundry if you need me."  Hannah turned to leave, but as she reached the door, she turned to look at Francis again.  With a worried sigh, Hannah shook her head and then left to work on her chores.

Alone in the bedroom she once shared with her husband Charles, Francis took a deep breath and began to sort through boxes that contained pictures, letters, and memories.  An old photo album caught her attention and she pulled it out of the box.  After sitting down on the bed, she began to flip through the pages.

A picture from her wedding reception; a picture of her and Charles in the hospital the day she'd given birth to Reginald, the tiny baby cradled in her arms; pressed flowers from the funerals of both of his parents and of her father; pictures of the family trip they'd taken to Florida when Maggie was just a baby...the memories that they brought back were overwhelming.

Putting the album back in the box, Francis walked back to the closet and reached deep inside.  Was it still there?  Had they moved it to the attic?  Finally, she found what she was looking for and pulled out another box.  After gently lifting it's lid, she pulled out the long veil she'd worn at her wedding.  Although slightly yellowed with age, it still looked as beautiful as it had looked on the day Francis had worn it as she'd walked down the isle.

Francis CallisonHer lip began to quiver as she remembered how happy she'd been that day.  She'd found the love of her life...the man she wanted to spend the rest of her life with.  Now, she was in the midst of getting a divorce.  Carefully draping the veil over the back of a chair, she turned to see the picture of Charles that sat atop the dresser.

"Oh, Charles," Francis sighed as she fought to keep her voice from cracking with emotion.  She took the picture into her hands and then pulled it close to her chest.  "Where did it all go wrong?  What's happened to us?"

Tears began to well up in her eyes as she thought of how her life had changed.  "I loved you so much the day I walked down that isle and said those vows to you.  I promised to love, honor, and cherish you until the day that I died.  I never broke that promise...I never will."

Charles CallisonTears began to stream down her face as her emotions began to break free.  "Oh, Charles, I  love you so much.  Why...why did you have to ruin everything?  Why can't you break free from that witch Annabelle?  If you'd only forget about her, I'd forgive you.  I'd forgive everything!  If only you'd stop this foolishness with her, we could put our marriage back together again."

Francis continued to hold the picture of Charles to her chest as she sobbed.  Little did she know that her husband had come home early and was standing in the doorway of their bedroom, listening to every word.



 


TOMORROW

Stephanie feels sorry for someone.




 


produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

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