produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #69 (Thursday 9/13/01) click here for a printable version of this episode
same day - November 1935, evening


THE CALLISON HOME - LIVING ROOM

2210 Elmwood Ln., Albanyville, ILCharles Callison"Reginald, you're a grown man...an adult.  I'm sure you can understand!"  Charles Callison looked at his oldest son earnestly.  Why couldn't they see that people changed?  Why couldn't they accept what was going on?

"I will never accept this!"  Afraid of allowing his emotions to get the better of him, Reginald Callison suddenly turned away to hide his pain.  "And I will  never understand it."

As Charles stood in the center of the room, surrounded by his family that had been devastated by his actions, he realized that this party would not be the happy coming together that Annabelle had envisioned.  In fact, it had turned into a complete disaster and she hadn't even arrived!

"Well, I see everyone is here!" the cool voice came from the doorway to the living room.

"I...um...I tried to stall," Hannah, the family housekeeper, muttered awkward as she trailed along behind Annabelle as she stepped into the room.  "But...but you know how she is."

Annabelle Lake turned sharply to shoot the maid a hateful glance before approaching Charles and taking him by the arm.  "Now that I'm here, the evening can begin.  Let's all have a wonderful night of togetherness!"

Everyone looked at each other with a mixture of nervousness, anger, and apprehension.  They all clearly realized that it would be a long, long night.


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THE DAVIS HOME - DINING ROOM

23 Green St., Albanyville, IL"It sure is quiet around here tonight without Grace," Douglas Davis commented before taking a bite out of his dinner.  "I swear, that girl spends more time on the telephone than anyone I've ever seen."

"Yes, I've noticed," Lorraine Davis smiled warmly.  "She's blossomed into quite the chatterbox, lately.  I wonder why?"  She didn't have to wonder too hard.  Lorraine was convinced that her sister-in-law's bubbly nature and constant glow of happiness was a direct result of her budding relationship with Trevor Callison, a man that Lorraine, herself, had once loved.

"I'm glad that things are going so well between her and Trevor," he commented, as if reading his wife's mind.  "Things must be getting fairly serious if he's taken her to a family dinner at his parents' house."

"Um...yes, it must be serious."  She looked away for a moment, growing slightly uneasy with discussion about her former love and his new girlfriend.

Douglas Davis"I...I'm sorry," Douglas spoke up as he quickly noticed the faraway look in Lorraine's eyes.  "I'm sure that Trevor dating my sister isn't a very comfortable situation for you."

"Actually, it's nothing," she replied, forcing a smile before taking in a deep breath.  Her past with Trevor was nothing, just like her past with Patterson.  None of it mattered, anymore.  She was married to Douglas and carrying his child and that was the way things had to be.  No sense fretting over it.

"Are you sure?"  He eyed her curiously, not quite convinced that it all meant as little as she claimed.  "I don't know how I'd feel if someone I'd once loved were dating someone else I cared about."

"C-can we please just change the subject?"  She casually glanced down at her plate as a feeling of forlornness covered her.  All of this talk about Trevor had brought up painful memories that were best left forgotten.

"You know, honey, you're right," Douglas smiled as he reached across the table and took her hand into his.  "None of that matters now.  We're married.  You are my wife.  Nothing from the past matters, anymore.  The only thing that truly matters is us and this wonderful life we're bringing into the world...together."

Lorraine DavisFeeling nervous and more than a bit uncomfortable, Lorraine quickly pulled her hand away before rising from the table and rushing into the living room.  How could Douglas act like this was a typical marriage?  How could he act as if the horrible events that brought about their union were only a distant memory that didn't matter?  They did matter!  They mattered a great deal.

"Darling, are you all right?" he asked as he quickly followed behind her.  "Did I do something wrong?  What did I say?"

Lorraine stood silently as an imaginary chasm began to widen between them.  Suddenly, she felt very alone...more alone than she'd ever felt in her entire life.


THE CALLISON HOME - LIVING ROOM

2210 Elmwood Ln., Albanyville, ILAnnabelle stood at Charles' side in silence as she carefully looked at his family.  The tension in the air was thick and she was quick to notice.

"Well, isn't anyone going to say 'Hello, Annabelle, so good to see you'?" she asked as she eyed them each carefully.  She suddenly realized that it would be a much more difficult evening than she'd originally thought.

Jillian StokesFinally, after much too long of a period of silence, Jillian Stokes cleared her throat carefully.  "Good evening, Annabelle," she said as she called upon everything she'd learned at finishing school.  "You're looking lovely this evening."  She approached her cautiously and extended her hand in a display of cordiality, hoping that the others would follow suit.  Jillian knew that an effort had to be made to placate both Charles and Annabelle or the night would surely be a total disaster.

"Why, thank you, Jillian!"  Annabelle smiled as she eyed her with a mixture of surprise and apprehension.  "I saw this at Lerner's and thought it would be just the perfect thing to wear to an event as important as this."

Trevor Callison"Important?" Trevor Callison grumbled under his breath to Reginald.  "To her, maybe."

Grace DavisOverhearing his comment, Grace Davis gave him a cautionary look and a sharp pinch on the arm.  The pain, of which, made him wince and he fought the urge to cry out in surprise.

Catching a glimpse of the exchange between Reginald, Trevor, and Grace, Annabelle gave them a curious look as they all stood with their hands clasped in front of them in an attempt to appear innocent.

"Now, where's..."  Annabelle said as she tried to exude as much charm as possible.  Suddenly Maggie Callison stepped into the room.  "Ah!  There she is!  And how is the prettiest Callison of them all?"

Maggie's eyes grew wide from the shock of the comment and quickly looked to her older brothers for some kind of hint as to what was going on.  "I...I'm fine," she muttered as she attempted to avoid Annabelle's gaze.

"I swear, you're looking more and more like your father everyday!"

Maggie Callison"I am not!" Maggie snapped angrily.  "I look like my Nana!  You do remember my Nana, don't you?  She's my mother's mother!"

Annabelle froze slightly as she bit her tongue and suppressed an urge to make a stinging retort.  Finally, she took a deep breath.  "I most certainly do remember your grandmother.  She's a fine woman."  She's also pushy, overly opinionated, and rude! she thought.

Maggie rolled her eyes and let out a heavy sigh.  Who in the world did Annabelle think she was fooling?  Maggie was way too smart to be conned over to her side with a few words of cheap flattery and condescension.

"Um, Maggie," Grace spoke up as she tapped the young girl on the shoulder.  "M-maybe you can come with me and we can see if Hannah needs any help getting things set up for dinner."

"Oh, all right," Maggie sighed before a slight smile covered her face.  "It would give me a chance to tell you about what we've been studying in Biology class."

"Oh, really?  What's that?"  Grace looked at her curiously.  Maggie was clearly up to something.

"We've been studying spiders!"  Maggie smirked slightly and shot a wicked looked at Annabelle.  "Have you heard of the black widow?"  

Charles Callison"Maggie!" Charles snapped angrily.

"She kills all of her husbands!"

"I...I think that's enough science class for today," Grace muttered, both aghast and amused by the comment.  "Now, let's go see what Hannah is up to."  With a sharp tug on Maggie's hand, Grace quickly pulled her from the room.

Annabelle Lake"Well, children today sure are spirited," Annabelle laughed as she did her best to ignore Maggie's comment.  "That girl, she's...she's...as sharp as a tack, isn't she?"  Silently, she began to wonder if it would be possible to put the youngest Callison up for adoption after her wedding to Charles.

"I think I'm going to be ill," Reginald muttered to Jillian who did her best to hide a laugh.

"Let's just make it through tonight." She replied as she kept her fake smile on public display.

"Oh, Reginald," Annabelle spoke up with a smile as she walked over to him.  "I thought that you'd like to know that Stephanie is just doing wonderfully at school.  Why, she's even thinking about becoming a journalism major!"  A blatant lie.

"Really?"  He quickly looked from Annabelle to Jillian and noticed his fiancée's face flush with annoyance.

"Yes!  Isn't that splendid?  I'm sure that all of the time you spent with her must have had something to do with that!"

"Oh, my, it's getting a little stuffy in here," Jillian spoke up as she began to fan herself.  "Darling, would you care to join me outside?  The air in here is starting to get a little stale."

"I thought you'd never ask!" Reginald exclaimed as he took her hand and quickly led her past Annabelle and out the front door.

"I honestly can't understand what your father hopes to accomplish with this dinner," Jillian said once she and Reginald were outside, away from the thick clouds of tension.  "Surely he doesn't think that everyone is going to fall in love with that woman tonight!"

Reginald Callison"These days, I have no clue about what Father is thinking," Reginald sighed as he leaned up against one of the columns on the front porch.  "He's completely blinded by her!"  He glanced over at her and noticed her staring off into space.  "I...I'm sorry I brought you to all of this.  You're getting to see my family at their worst."

"Well, actually, this is taking my mind off of...other things."

"I know.  I know."  He wrapped his arms around her tightly and pulled her close.  "I just can't believe that there's no trace of Janet.  Where in the world could she have disappeared to?"

"I wish I knew," Jillian muttered.  "I...I'm just so worried about her, what with everything that she's already been through."

"Are you sure she didn't go home?  Back to New York?"

"That's doubtful.  Mother hasn't said anything about her being there and I just can't tell her that I've lost my sister!"  She began to wring her hands in worry.  Janet just had to be okay.  Jillian didn't know what she'd do if anything happened to her.