HOSPITAL - EMERGENCY ROOM
is she doing?" Reginald asked with concern as he gazed down at
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."
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.
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
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
"Oh, Momma," Jillian
sobbed as she ran into her mother's arms. "I'm so glad that...you're
"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?"
is..." Jillian froze and she began to tremble. She couldn't say
it. She couldn't say the words.
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
Jillian mumbled weakly.
"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..."
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
"Nelson?" she asked, not
sure as if she could believe her own ears. "Dead?
"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!
"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.
"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..."
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..."
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!"
Leticia apologized weakly as she struggled to compose herself in light of her
daughter's behavior. "Judith shouldn't have...attacked you like that
"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
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.