For Now and Forever
1935 READER AWARD WINNER - FAVORITE EPISODE
EPISODE #57 (Tuesday
Lorraine 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!"
JOSEPH HAYNE RAINEY MEMORIAL NEGRO HOSPITAL - MOMENTS LATER
"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. 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!"
"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
Grace 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'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?
"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!"
"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!"
"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..."
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.
THE SUNSET HOTEL - JUDITH'S PENTHOUSE - LIVING
"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."
As 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.
"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."
"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
"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."
"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."
"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?"
"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?"
"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
"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."
"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.
Her 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."
Tears 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.
TO BE CONTINUED
Stephanie feels sorry for someone.
For Now and Forever
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