CALVIN'S HOME - LIVING ROOM

576 Tinsdale Dr."I want to know where you've been!" Dr. Calvin Jackson said as he followed his sister---carrying her baby in her arms and fighting to carry her suitcase---down the stairs.  "You haven't been here in days!  I know for a fact that you didn't go back to Miss Mary's and..."

"Just drop it, Calvin," Naomi Jackson snapped as she dropped the suitcase by the front door.  "I don't have to explain anything to you!  I'm leaving and you won't have to worry about me again."

"You're my sister, Naomi.  I'm going to worry about you whether you're here or not.  Now, why don't you save me a lot of worry and at least tell me where I can reach you."  His tone softened slightly as he folded his arms across his chest and waited for an answer.

"It's none of your business," she argued.  "You never wanted me here, anyway, so I would think that you'd be happy that I'm leaving."

"Look, it's not that I didn't want you here," he explained, "but...well...you can be so difficult.  You promised me that you were going to go look for a job and you never did.  All you seemed to want to do is sit around the house listening to those absurd stories on the radio."

"I happen to like A Ray of Hope.  It's very motivational."

Dr. Calvin Jackson"It's a soap opera!"  Calvin shook his head in disbelief.  "Instead of listening to those darn things, you should be out trying to make something out of yourself.  You've got a baby to support now!"

"I know that!  I'm not stupid!"  Her jaw tightened as she thought about how overbearing her brother could be.  "You're just like Mama!  Always hovering over me just waiting for me to do something wrong!"

"And usually we don't have to wait very long, now do we?"

"You all must really enjoy the mistakes I've made.  I bet you both just whoop it up over coffee laughing about poor 'ol Naomi---poor stupid Naomi!"

"You know it's not like that.  Mama cares about you.  I care about you.  We only want what's best for you."  Calvin carefully took her by the hand and led her away from the front door and into the living room.  "Even you have to admit that you have a habit of making choices that don't always turn out to be in your best interest.  Neither one of us wants to see you make those same kinds of mistakes again."

"But can't you see that things are different?" Naomi asked.  "This time I know exactly what I'm doing.  I'm going to finally live my dream."

"What are you talking about?"  Calvin paused to eye her closely.  He could tell that there was much more going on that she wasn't telling, but he just couldn't be sure of what it was.  "Have you found a new singing job?  Is that what this is about?  Don't tell me that you've managed to fall for another slimy record producer who's filled your head with all kinds of nonsense about making you a star!"

"This has nothing to do with that!" she grumbled.  "But I'm about to have everything that I've ever wanted and when I do, I'm not going to need you or Mama ever again!"

Naomi JacksonShe quickly rose to her feet and headed for the door, but Calvin was right on her heels.  He refused to let her get away so easily.  He had to know what sort of trouble she was getting herself mixed up into now.

"You could at least tell me where you're going," he said softly as he watched her pick up her bag and turn to open the door.  "If we don't know where you are, you know Mama's gonna be worried about you."

"All right," she grumbled.  "If you really have to know, I've got a job as a maid."

"A maid?"  His eyes grew wide with surprise.  After all of the nasty things she'd said about their mother's job, this was the last thing he would have expected.  "For who?"

"The Manchesters.  They live out by Spring Lake.  You know, that big old house that looks like a stupid castle."

"Well...I..." he stammered, a little embarrassed that he hadn't believed in her.  "I hope that you do the best job that you can do and don't do anything that's going to make them want to fire you."

"You still don't believe in me, do you?" she muttered with more than a touch of sarcasm and disappointment.  "Well, I'm going to show you!  I'm going to show all of you.  By the time I'm finished, you're gonna be coming to me and begging me to forgive you!"

As the door slammed behind her, Calvin's shoulders slumped under the extreme weight of worry that he was carrying.  Something about Naomi's new job just didn't sit right with him.  For some reason, there seemed to be more to it---more that she wasn't telling.  With that realization, he became determined to find out exactly what that could be.


SPRINGHILL MANOR - LIBRARY

54 Spring Lake Dr."Dane?" Sara Manchester called out as she walked through the front door.  "Stephanie?  Anybody home?"  After pausing to listen for a response, she realized that the silence of the house meant that no one was home.  Where could everyone have gone?  Her mother had dropped her off before leaving to go somewhere---Sara had no idea where---but where were Dane and Stephanie?

Walking over to the closet in the foyer, she pulled off her jacket and hung it up before turning around and walking into the library.  She paused in the doorway when it dawned on her that, although no one was home, all the lights were on.

"That's odd," she muttered to herself.  "I can't believe that Dane would have left and not turned out the lights.  Electricity is expensive and..."  She laughed to herself with the realization that the price of power didn't really matter.  They could afford it, after all.  But still...

As she moved further into the room, she immediately spotted the over turned end table.  Now that was definitely out of place.  Something strange was going on.  Sara was certain of it.

After turning the table upright, she knelt down to pick up the frame photographs that lay in disarray on the floor and then careful put them back in their normal places.  However, she hesitated as she held a picture of her and Stephanie, both little girls at the time, and Stephanie's father.

It had been taken one Christmas many years earlier during a time when both of their families were all still together.  Well, almost all.  Sara's mother had run off several years before that Christmas and it had only been her and her father.  It was a difficult memory that she quickly brushed away.  Her mother had returned and was making a concerned effort to make up for her past mistakes.  In fact, over the past few months, Sara and her mother had grown increasingly closer.  Sure, they had their differences of opinion, but Sara couldn't help but be overjoyed to have her mother back in her life.

Just that night, Sara and her mother had gone out to dinner---just the two of them---as a part of their efforts to recapture some of that mother/daughter bond that had been missing from their relationship.  However, it had seemed like the only thing that her mother was concerned about discussing was Sara's college plans.

Sara ManchesterAlthough she had protested otherwise, it had seemed to Sara like her mother was making a strong attempt at persuading her to drop out of college.  "There's no need for college," she'd said.  "You've got a husband and a home, what more do you need?  Eventually, you and Dane are going to have children.  Certainly you can't raise a child and go to college at the same time!"

Sara wasn't entirely sure what her mother was up to, but she'd found her statements to be quite odd.  After all, Dane had recently remarked that he, himself, thought that she needed to drop out of school.  Of course, Sara had firmly refused, but now that her mother was making the same observations, maybe they did have a point.  It wasn't like she was going to have to work or anything.  When she and Dane had children, she was certainly going to be home raising them.  Why would she need college for that?

With a shake of her head, Sara looked back down at the picture she was holding and sighed before putting it back in its proper place.  After throwing herself down onto the sofa, she reached over to the coffee table to pick up her latest issue of Movie Mirror and immediately saw the script for Stephanie's next show laying on the floor.

"Well, Steph was here, that's for sure," she muttered to herself before picking it up to quickly skim through it.  Realizing that she couldn't make heads or tails out of the story that was going on---she didn't listen to The Trials of Prudence, after all---she tossed it aside and then folded her legs up under herself Indian style and began to read the article on Jean Harlow that she'd been intending to read all day.  She'd just have to ask Stephanie what happened to the table when she got home.


ALBANYVILLE GENERAL HOSPITAL - EMERGENCY ROOM

Albanyville General Hospital"How is she doing?" Reginald asked with concern as he gazed down at Janet who, though still clearly upset, was much more docile.  "It looks like that sedative that the nurse gave her helped."

"This is just going to be so hard for her to deal with," Burt sighed as he held Janet in his arms and stroked her hair.  "For all of you, actually."

"But we'll make it through this," Jillian nodded and then stopped to take a deep breath before turning to look down the hallway where Judith still sat, nearly overcome with grief, as she was being consoled by Dr. Campbell.  "Even Judith will be all right...eventually.  We're a family.  We'll make it through this together.  I just...don't know how mother is going to react to the news."

Just then, as if on cue, Leticia Stokes came rushing through the doors of the hospital, frantically searching the room for her family.

"Oh, dear lord, there you are," Leticia said, nearly out of breath as she hurried over to them.  "Fred and I were at The Gardens when Jasper told us about the accident.  It's all over the radio, but they aren't giving many details.  He just dropped me off at the door and he's parking the car."

Jillian Stokes"Oh, Momma," Jillian sobbed as she ran into her mother's arms.  "I'm so glad that...you're here now."

"It's going to be okay, darling," Leticia sighed as she held her daughter tightly.  "How...is everyone?  Where's Judith and your father?  Were they hurt very badly?"

"Mother, I...father is..."  Jillian froze and she began to tremble.  She couldn't say it.  She couldn't say the words.

"Jillian, honey, what is it?" Leticia asked curiously as she tried to fight the horrible gnawing in the pit of her stomach.  "There's something your not telling me.  It's not...Judith, is it?  How badly was she hurt?"

"N-no, not...Judith," Jillian mumbled weakly.

Leticia Stokes"Then I don't..."  Leticia's voice trailed off as her eyes quickly scanned the room.  

Janet looked like she was in a daze and both Reginald and Burt had awkwardly solemn expressions on their faces.  Jillian couldn't even seem to look her mother in the eye!  As Leticia's eyes traveled down the hallway, she saw Judith, still near hysterics cradled in Dr. Campbell's arms.  Only one thing could possibly have had such a devastating effect on Judith.  It was in that moment that she knew.

"No!" Leticia cried out.  "He can't be...he can't..."

Burt Lamont"Mrs. Stokes," Burt spoke up as he left Janet's side and rose to his feet to take Leticia by the arm.  "I'm afraid that...your husband was...killed in the accident."

"Nelson?" she asked, not sure as if she could believe her own ears.  "Dead?  I...I..."

"Leticia, darling," Dr. Fred Rutherford spoke up as he ran into the emergency room.  "Is everything all right?  Are they okay?"

"Oh, my god, Fred," she gasped and fell into his arms.  "Nelson's dead!  Oh, god!  Nelson's dead!"

"There, there, Leticia, it's going to okay," he sighed as he held her tightly in his arms.  "I'm here.  Everything's going to be okay."

Meanwhile, down the hall, Judith watched her mother in Fred's arms and felt her face begin to burn with anger.  Overcome by a sense of uncontrollable rage, she sprang to her feet and bolted from Talbot's side.

Judith Stokes Linford"You!" Judith cried out.  "Get away from my mother!"

"Judith, calm down," Jillian spoke up sharply as she reached out in a futile attempt to grab her sister as she rushed past.  "This isn't the time or place to..."

"You've done everything you could to destroy this family!" Judith shouted as she pulled her mother out of his arms before beating him violently with her fists.  "Why can't you leave us alone?  Why can't you leave my mother alone?  Why are you even breathing when...when..."

Dr. Talbot Campbell"Judith, stop it!" Talbot ordered as ran up behind her and pulled her off of Fred.  "I mean this instant!  I will not have you turning this hospital into a boxing arena."

"Oh, T-Talbot," she sobbed as she grabbed onto him tightly.  "My Daddy is...dead!"

"Fred, I'm...sorry," Leticia apologized weakly as she struggled to compose herself in light of her daughter's behavior.  "Judith shouldn't have...attacked you like that and I..."

"No, darling, it's okay," Fred nodded.  "I know how difficult this is for all of you.  I know how she feels about me and I know how much her father meant to her.  It's...understandable how she feels."

"But that doesn't excuse..."

Dr. Fred Rutherford"In this instance, yes, it does."  Fred paused and took a deep breath.  "I think that I should just leave.  I really don't have a place here, right now.  You need to be with your family.  You've just lost your husband.  I'm only in the way."

"No, Fred, please," Leticia begged as she fought back her tears.  "Don't go.  I...want you to stay.  I...need you...to stay.  For me."

As Fred stood silently and watched Leticia trying to compose herself and handle her grief like a dignified lady, he smiled inwardly.  He would stay for her.  She did need him, after all.  In fact, he would quickly become her pillar of strength and support through such a difficult time.  And he had every intention of milking it for all it was worth.



 


TOMORROW

Patterson discovers that Stephanie is missing.




 


produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

2001- 2011 Classic Soap Productions