GENERAL HOSPITAL - EMERGENCY ROOM
my god, Jillian!" Janet Stokes called out as she rushed into the emergency
room quickly followed by Burt
Lamont. "We came just as soon as we
heard. What happened? What's going on? Was anyone hurt?"
"Honey, just calm down,"
Burt said gently as he held her hand for support.
"I...can't calm down!" she
snapped. "I have to find out what's..." Immediately
noticing Judith's emotional state, Janet began to grow increasingly
worried. "W-where's father? Was he...hurt badly?"
"Janet, I don't know...how to
say this," Jillian spoke up, not sure of exactly how to break the tragic
news to her already emotionally fragile sister, "but...well...father
is...dead. He didn't survive...the accident."
Janet's eyes grew wide from shock as her hand flew up to her mouth to muffle the
cries that wanted to break free. "N-no!
That's...impossible! I just...saw him tonight. We all saw
him! We were all...together and.... No!"
"Janet, darling, it's going to
be all right," Burt said tenderly as he took her into his arms before she
could completely break down. While he held her, he took a deep breath and
turned his attention to Jillian. "How...did it happen? They
said on the radio that it was some kind of accident."
"Apparently Nelson and Judith
were in Judith's car heading into town," Reginald began to explain.
"Judith was driving too fast and the roads were wet. She didn't make
that sharp curve coming into the city. I think that the police said
something about the brakes failing."
"Dear lord," Burt sighed
with a shake of his head. "This is horrible."
"The doctors said that it's a
miracle that Judith wasn't killed, too," Jillian continued as she glanced over
to a row of chairs where her oldest sister was sitting, still extremely
distraught, while being comforted by Dr. Talbot
"Jillian, if any of you need
anything at all, let me know." Burt slowly began to lead Janet over
to a chair so that she could sit down. "I feel such a strong loyalty
to all of you for being so welcoming to me that it's the least that I could
I see you're trying to weasel your way into all of the finest families in
Albanyville, now, aren't you?" Reginald spoke up coldly as he eyed
Burt. "First the Callison family and now the Stokes family!
It's a good thing that the Rockefellers aren't in town or they just might be
next on your list!"
you know good and well that it's not like that!" Burt argued.
"I love Janet very much and that makes me care about her family.
Besides, it hasn't been that long since I lost my own mother. I know
exactly how difficult it is to lose a parent."
"This is not the
same!" Reginald felt his temper begin to rise. How dare Burt
Lamont try to worm his way into places where he didn't belong. "From
what I understand, your mother was sick for a long time before she died.
It wasn't like you didn't know it was coming. Nelson was in the prime of
his life, the picture of perfect health, and he died suddenly and tragically."
"You seem to have an awfully
high opinion of a man who couldn't stand the sight of you!" Burt
countered. "It's amazing how death can change a person's
"Well, he would have come a lot
closer to accepting me as part of his family than he would you. You're
just an over glorified stable boy, after all!"
of you stop it this instant!" Jillian ordered as her eyes began to fill
with tears that were brought on by a mixture of anger and sorrow. "I
will not have you two going at each other like a couple of little boys on the
playground. This is a hospital and my father just died and I can't...I
"Oh, Jillian, I'm...so
sorry," Reginald muttered, quickly overcome by embarrassment because of his
outburst. "I wasn't thinking. I...lost my head and I..."
"I...apologize, too," Burt
sighed. "I wasn't...thinking." He paused and took a deep
breath before turning to address Reginald. "Look, I know that you
don't like me. I know that you resent me for being Landon's son,
but...well...there's nothing we can do about that. Besides, this isn't the
time or place."
With a silent nod of agreement,
Reginald took Jillian by the hand and led her down the hallway so that they
could check on Judith, leaving Burt and Janet alone.
"How are you...holding
up?" Burt asked softly as he pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket so
that she could dry her eyes. "I'm here for you. You know that,
"Y-yes," Janet stammered
shakily, still too emotional to think straight. "I just...can't
believe...that he's gone. This is just so...so..."
You did it! It's your
"Janet, are you all
right?" Burt asked with concern as he saw a strange look cover her face.
"I...I'm fine," she
mumbled as she tried to focus her eyes which were growing blurry.
If you hadn't done all of those
horrible things, none of this would have happened!
"Are you sure you're all
right?" He continued to eye her closely. Her breathing was
labored and she was looking exceptionally pale. Something was definitely
"I said that I'm...fine."
You killed Gordon and you killed
your sister's child! God is punishing you!
"You don't look
fine." Burt carefully lifted Janet's chin so that he could look into
her eyes and immediately noticed that she was more than a little
disoriented. "Let me get a doctor over here to look at you."
"No!" she snapped angrily
and quickly jumped up out of her seat. "No! I said I'm
You took two lives. Now,
one has been taken away from you as punishment. There's only one left!
"No! Janet cried out
again before crumpling to her knees.
Burt immediately rushed to her side
and waved for a doctor to come help. However, Janet was barely aware of
any of it. It was almost as if everything that was suddenly going on
around her wasn't really happening and she wasn't really there. She was
lost in her own terrifying thoughts. What if her father had died as a
punishment for her sins? What if his death wasn't enough? Would
someone else have to be taken away from her as penance? Would it be Burt?