CALVIN'S HOME - LIVING ROOM

576 Tinsdale Dr."Naomi, would you set the table for dinner?" Dr. Calvin Jackson asked as he poked his head in from the kitchen.  "Ruby should be here any minute and I want everything to be perfect."

"How am I supposed to set the table and watch the baby?" Naomi Jackson asked as she cradled her infant son in her arms.  "I don't see what's so important about this silly dinner anyway."

"It's important because I love Ruby and I want you two to get along," he commented as he returned to the task of stirring the gravy he had simmering on the stove.  "Besides, if you can't even set the table because of Aubrey, how do you even except to find a job?"

"I...um...I'll get a baby sitter," she reasoned.  "I'll find someone to watch him while I work."

Dr. Calvin Jackson"Well, then, you need to be finding someone to watch him so that you can go looking for that job like you promised me you would."  He tapped the large wooden spoon against the side of the pan and sat it down on the counter before stepping back into the living room.  "Remember, you promised me that you'd get a job and help out with your part of the bills if I let you move in.  So far, you haven't even attempted to look for work."

"Well, I..."  Her voice trailed off as she shifted the baby in her arms.  "I haven't had time.  I've been busy."

"Busy?"  Calvin furrowed his brow and eyed her curiously.  "Doing what?  All I've seen you do since you've been here is read those silly movie magazines and sit with your ear pressed to the radio.  I can't even get you to help clean the house!"

"Clean the house?" she asked with shock.  "You sound like the only reason I'm here is to be your maid!"

"Naomi, that's not what I mean and you know it!"

"Well, it's hard trying to find a job nowadays.  There's not exactly that much demand for colored girl singers in this dreary city."  She paused and rolled her eyes as if his demands and suggestions were of the utmost in ridiculousness.  "And I can't exactly drag my baby around on job interviews with me!  Why don't...why don't you watch him for me sometime so I can go out looking for a job?"

"I spend almost all day everyday at the hospital," he reminded as he walked back into the kitchen to check on the pot roast.  "I can't just make my rounds with a baby propped on my hip!  You said that you were going to find a babysitter.  I suggest you do that so that you can go job hunting."

"Yeah, okay," she grumbled under her breath.  "Whatever you say.  You know, I'm beginning to think that you're just as bad as Momma!"

"I'll take that as a compliment," Calvin grinned broadly as he again poked his head back into the living room before going back to the kitchen sink to wash and dry his hands.  "Now, I've got to finish getting cleaned up for Ruby," he continued as he walked back into the living room and headed towards the stairs.  "The roast is nearly done and I need to you make sure that the gravy doesn't simmer down too far.  The potatoes are nearly done, too."

"You're expecting me to cook?" she gasped with offense.

"Of course, not," he sighed with a shake of his head.  "I want dinner to at least be edible.  I just want you to keep an eye on everything until I finish getting ready.  Ruby should be here at any time."

"Oh, all right," she muttered as he disappeared up the stairs and out of sight.  

However, instead of making another preliminary check on dinner, Naomi simply returned to reading her newest magazine.  She had only gotten half-way through an article on Claudette Colbert when the door buzzer sounded.

Naomi Jackson"I'm coming!" she shouted as she scooped Aubrey up in her arms and headed for the door.  "Oh, it's you," she sighed at the sight of Ruby Thomas standing on the front stoop.  "C'mon in.  Calvin said he was expecting you."

"How have you been, Naomi?" Ruby asked as she walked into the living room.  "Calvin said that you'd moved in.  Are you finding Albanyville to your liking?"

"This is the dullest city I've ever been in," Naomi grumbled and plopped herself back onto the couch and begin reading her magazine again.  "I can't believe that Calvin and Momma like it here."

"Albanyville is a beautiful city," Ruby smiled as she sat down in a chair across from Naomi.  "Everyone is so nice and..."

"Are you for real?" Naomi asked curiously as she popped her head up to eye her brother's girlfriend carefully.  "This city is so boring!  There is absolutely nothing to do.  Now, New York was a city."  Naomi's constant staring began to make Ruby more and more uncomfortable.  "So, what do you do for fun in this stupid town?"

"I...um...spend time with Calvin," Ruby blushed awkwardly.  "I really don't have that much free time.  I work a lot."

"Work?"  Naomi's eyes grew wide as the gears began to turn inside her head.  Maybe Naomi could convince Ruby to help her get a job.  "What kind of work?"

"Oh, I'm just...a maid for the Stokes family."

"A...maid?" Naomi gasped.  Well, scratch the idea of trying to talk Ruby into helping her get a job.  "You can't just be a maid!  Why, Calvin couldn't actually be dating a simple maid!"

"W-why not?" Ruby asked as she felt herself feeling more and more nervous and out of place.

"Well, it's bad enough that Momma is a maid.  Calvin hasn't been the least bit happy with that fact for years!" Naomi explained casually.  "I just can't believe that he would lower himself to actually date a maid."

"L-lower himself?"

"Yes!  My brother is a very important doctor.  He saves lives for a living," Naomi reminded.  "I don't know how he'd get too serious about someone who gets paid to jump on command like a dog in a circus act!  Darlin', I wouldn't get too attached to Calvin, if I were you.  I'm sure that whatever little...fascination, I guess it is...will be over before you know it.  I just can't see him getting serious about someone whose main goal in life is to scrub toilets."

Ruby Thomas"B-but, I'm...I'm only working so that I can...save money to go to...nursing school," Ruby muttered softly as she sunk down into her seat.  Naomi's assessments of the situation were making her more and more uncomfortable.  Could Naomi's evaluations of her relationship with Calvin be accurate?  Was she really only a temporary fascination for him?

"Nursing school?  How sweet!" Naomi giggled.  "Well, now, you just march yourself right over to that lily white Albanyville University and sign yourself up in the morning.  I'm sure that they'll admit you right away."  She let out a self-amused laugh.  "If you want to go to nursing school, you'll have to go far away.  Certainly you don't think that he's just going to give up his position at Memorial and follow you, do you?"

"I...um...well...no."

"I can just see it now," Naomi laughed.  "You'll go away to nursing school---once you slave away a couple of years to earn the money, of course---and then you'll be gone a couple of years studying.  He's going to just sit and wait for you to make something out of yourself?  I don't think so!  By the time you make yourself good enough for him, he'll have long moved on with someone far more suitable for him and..."

"W-when's dinner s-supposed to be...ready?" Ruby muttered as she fidgeted in her seat.

"In a bit," Naomi smiled.  "Honestly, though, I don't even know why you're wasting your time---or his for that matter."

"I...um..."  Ruby paused and bit her lip as she glanced down at her watch.  "I...um...oh, gee.  It's later than I thought and I...um...I really can't stay for dinner."

"You can't?" Naomi gasped with false surprise.  "Oh, dear.  What a shame."

"Yes, um..." Ruby continued as she quickly rose from her seat and headed for the door.  "Just...apologize to Calvin for me, please.  Tell him that I'm...sorry."

"Oh, I'll be sure to," Naomi smiled again as she followed Ruby to the door.  "Now, you don't be a stranger.  I think that you and I could get along like sisters.  Well, at least until Calvin finds someone better suited for him."

As Ruby hurried off down the walkway, Naomi quickly closed the door behind her.  A maid!  How could her brother even think to become involved with someone so...so lowly?  Naomi just couldn't fathom the idea.

"Was that Ruby's voice I heard?" Calvin asked as he came back down the stairs.  He paused at the foot of the stairs and glanced around the living room before making a face when he realized that Ruby wasn't there.  "I could have sworn that I heard Ruby's voice."

"Oh, you did," Naomi nodded as she returned to her seat on the couch.  "She was here.  Strange girl."

"Strange?"  He eyed his sister curiously.  "What do you mean by 'strange?'"

"Well, we were just talking about her plans for nursing school and things like that," she explained calmly.  "I told her how I thought that was a wonderful idea, but she just starting acting all...odd, you could say.  She just got up and left without saying a word.  Really strange."

"What did you say to her, Naomi?" he asked sternly.  "I know how you can be!"

"Me?"  Her eyes grew wide with surprise.  "I didn't say anything!  We were just talking.  Honestly, I haven't the foggiest idea what got into her."

"Great," Calvin grumbled as he headed back into the kitchen to check on dinner.  When he discovered that the potatoes had boiled over and the gravy had simmered down to sludge, he groaned in frustration and disappointment.  So much for his plans for a perfect dinner.  It was all ruined!  However, the state of the food was the least of his concerns.  What was really on his mind was what had gotten into Ruby.  Why in the world would she have just shown up and then disappeared without even saying a word to him?


THE SUNSET HOTEL - MARY'S PENTHOUSE - LIVING ROOM

Sunset Hotel, Penthouse A"What the devil is going on here?" Mary Albany asked as she stood in the doorway with her hands on her hips and glared at Fred.  "I go out for a little bit and I come home to find you hanging all over my daughter and trying to fill her head with a load of bull!"

"Mrs. Albany, it really isn't like that," Fred tried to explain rationally.  He was fully aware of how Francis' mother could be and really didn't need to be on her bad side if he had any hopes of convincing Francis to marry him.  "I'm trying to find out why your daughter is so insistent about trying to salvage a marriage that has only brought her pain and heartbreak and..."

"I don't know what kind of garbage you're trying to sell, but I'm not buying it!" Mary said forcefully as she walked over too him and stared at him sternly.  "Ever since you starting chasing after my daughter, I've suspected that you were up to something.  What is it?  Her money?  Are you after our good name?"

"Mother!" Francis spoke up angrily.  "I can't believe that you're talking to him like this!"

"Well, apparently someone has to because you're not going to!"  Mary shot her daughter a disapproving look.  "I just can't understand how you can be so blind where this quack is concerned!"

Dr. Fred Rutherford"I only have Francis' best interests at heart," he tried to explain.  "I've grown to care about her and love her a great deal.  I only want what's best for her."

"If that were truly the case, then you'd have disappeared out of her life a long time ago!"

"Mother, I think that I'm more than capable of handling this myself," Francis said softly as she tried to diffuse a situation that was nearing a boiling point.  "After all, I'm a grown woman and I can decide for myself what's best!"

"Yes, dear, I know that," Mary smiled warmly as she took her daughter's chin into her hands, "but you can be overly trusting.  It's that genuine goodness that leads you to want to see the best in people."  She turned and shot Fred and cold glare.  "Even if there isn't any!"

"Mother, let me handle this," Francis repeated.  "Alone!"

"I will not leave you alone with this witch doctor so that he can fill your head with nonsense!"

"Mrs. Albany, with all due respect, this really is between me and your daughter."  Fred's jaw began to tighten as he tried to quickly think of ways to run interference around Mary.  "I love Francis very much and it would thrill my soul if she were to consent to being my wife once her divorce is final.  I hope that you can see how much I love her and can eventually respect and honor our wishes to..."

"Marriage?" Mary gasped with shock.  "Over my dead body!  Francis is married to Charles and she is in love with her husband.  Isn't that right, dear?"

"Y-yes," Francis nodded.  "Fred, I'm unbelievably flattered by your proposal---really I am---but I can't marry you.  I'm...I'm going to work out my marriage to my husband.  He's the one I want to spend the rest of my life with---not you."

"Even after everything he's put you through?  Even after all of the pain and all of the tears he's caused?"  He shook his head as if he couldn't believe what he was hearing.  "Why?  Darling, why are you being so foolish?"

Mary Albany"Foolish?" Mary laughed.  "You think my daughter's being foolish for wanting to salvage her marriage to the man she loves---the father of her children?  If you think that whatever friendship or flirtation or whatever you want to call it can hold a candle to what she shares with Charles, then you're the fool!"

"I said that this was between me and Francis!" Fred repeated through clinched teeth.  "Now, butt out!"

"Fred!" Francis gasped, more than a little alarmed by the tone he'd taken.  "I can't believe you're talking like that to my mother!"

"Oh, darling, I'm so sorry," he replied as his voice softened.  "I didn't mean to.  I...I'm just getting so frustrated.  Here I am trying to make a big impassioned plea on my own behalf and I've...got to do it with an audience that I wasn't expecting."

"Fred, I never meant to lead you on.  I never meant to hurt you."  Francis reached over and gently touched him on the arm in an attempt to display her sincere remorse.  "I love Charles.  I can't betray my heart.  I can't marry you."

"But...but..." Fred stammered.

"You heard her, now deal with it!" Mary said firmly.  "She's in love with her husband and she's not in love with you."  She paused and took a deep breath.  "Now, I think that your visit is over."

"W-what?" he gasped as he looked up at Mary.  "What do you mean?"

"Well, I would think that you'd be smart enough to understand, you being a doctor and all," Mary laughed.  "But since that's apparently not the case, I'll spell it out for you.  G-E-T-O-U-T.  Get out!"

"But, I...I..."

Francis Callison"Fred, maybe you better go," Francis said softly.  "I don't...think that continuing this is going to be good for either one of us.  I appreciate all the support that you've given me---really I do---but I can't return your feelings.  If we keep seeing one another, you're only going to get hurt and I don't want that."  She looked away uncomfortably and bit her lip.  "Maybe it is best if you just leave."

"All right," he muttered softly as he began to rise to leave.  "If that's what you really want."

"It is," Francis nodded.

Fred paused to glare hatefully at Mary and then took a deep breath as he pushed past her and headed for the door.  Maybe his entire ploy to win Francis' hand had been foolhardy.  Maybe he never really did stand a chance with her.  He shook his head slightly as he thought about all of the time that he'd wasted---for nothing!  Thank god he'd formulated a back-up plan.


THE STOKES MANSION - LIVING ROOM

76 Mapleton Way"So, Mother, where are you planning to take this...situation...with Dr. Rutherford?" Judith asked pointedly.  "I certainly hope that you're not planning to fall in love with him!"

"Judith, I don't think anyone ever plans to fall in love," Leticia countered, "that's something that just happens.  Nobody has any kind of control over that."

"Lord knows you didn't," Mark mumbled under his breath as he glanced up at his wife.

"You are falling in love with him!" Judith gasped.  "Mother!  How could you do this to Daddy?  How could you be so stupid?  You're going to rip his heart out!"

"Honey, I'm not in love with Fred," Leticia tried to explain.  "We haven't been seeing one another that long."

Judith Stokes Linford"But you are seeing him romantically, aren't you?"

Leticia looked away from her daughter, slightly embarrassed to be discussing such personal matters, and nodded weakly.  "Yes, I am.  Fred and I have been out on several occasions and...well...there has been quite a bit of romance."  In spite of herself, Leticia smiled warmly.

"I can't believe this!" Judith shouted as she began to angrily pace about the room.  "How can you be married to one man and chase after another man like a dog in heat?"

Naturally, with those words, Mark's head popped up and he nearly spit out his martini.  Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!

"Judith!" Leticia chastised sternly.  "Don't be vulgar!  What's going on between me and Fred is nothing like that.  He is a kind and gentle man and I enjoy myself when I'm with him.  I haven't...been this happy in the company of a man in years!"

"Mother, dear, you are an old fool," Judith sighed with a shake of her head.  "I just can't believe that you're doing this to Daddy."

Leticia Stokes"Whatever is going on between me and your father is his doing, not mine!  I've given him chance after chance to change over the years and he refuses to be anything more than the arrogant, overbearing man that he's always been."

"He's your husband!" Judith reminded.  "That should be enough for you!"

"I could very well say the same thing to you," Leticia responded firmly as she shot her daughter a cool stare.

"And what's that supposed to mean?" Judith asked incredulously.

Mark Linford"Would you like me to spell it out for you?" Mark asked as he finally re-entered the conversation.  "B-U..."

"Oh, shut up!" Judith snapped as she quickly spun around to face him.  "This has nothing to do with me!  This is all about Mother and what horrible things she's putting Daddy through."

"I'm not listening to another word of this," Leticia muttered as she tried to keep her temper in check and turned to walk out of the room.  "I'm going upstairs."

"Mother, I'm not finished!"  Judith spun around to face her again and quickly stormed after her.  "I forbid you to see this man again!  Do you hear me?  I forbid it!"

"You forbid?"  Leticia's eyes grew wide from shock.  She couldn't believe what she was hearing!  "Last time I checked, I was the parent and you were the child.  You have no place telling me to do anything!"

"Well, somebody needs to keep you on a short leash so that you don't ruin your life!"

"You know, you're starting to sound just like your father," Leticia grumbled angrily.  "And I'm not listening to him, either!  I'm a grown woman and I can do what I want to do when I want to do it.  If that means that I want to become romantically involved with Fred, then I will!  And you can't do a damn thing about it!"

And with those words, Leticia stormed out of the room leaving Judith fuming and nearly speechless.  As her hands balled into fists, she realized that she had to stop her mother from destroying her father and their family's good name.  She was certain that nothing good would come of her mother's involvement with Dr. Rutherford and was determined to find out everything she could about him so that she could keep her from making the worst mistake of her life.



 


TOMORROW

Stephanie begins a new career.




 


produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

2001- 2011 Classic Soap Productions