produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

EPISODE #77 (Tuesday, 11/6/01) click here for a printable version of this episode
Same Day
January, 1936 - Evening


Charles CallisonThe Grand Sunset Room"Oh, Charles, that was beautiful," Annabelle Lake cooed as she grabbed his arm and cozied up next to him.

"I'm so glad you thought so," Charles Callison smiled slyly.  "In fact, I have one more thing to say to make this evening complete."

"What would that be?" she asked with a note of curiosity.  "Should I have the orchestra stop so that you can...."

"No, Annabelle, darling, what I have to say is just for you."  His expression took on a serious tone as he looked deeply into her eyes.  "Darling, I know that our relationship has been far from conventional.  You also know that, no matter happens, Francis will still hold a dear place in my heart."

She winced slightly at the mention of his wife's name.

"However, you've grown to become very special to me.  In spite of everything that's happened, you've become someone I rely on a great deal; and, for that, I love you...."

"Oh, Charles!" she sighed.

"That's why I want to ask you this...."  He paused for a moment and reached deep into his pocket to pull out a tiny box which she eyed in excited disbelief.  Flipping the lid open, he spoke again.  "Annabelle Lake, after the divorce is final, will you marry me?"

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The Grand Sunset Room"Mother, I just really don't think I should be here," Francis Callison whispered as she, her mother, and Dr. Fred Rutherford stepped off of the elevator and handed their coats to the waiting attendant.  "This is a Callison family function and...well...I am giving up my roll as Charles' wife."

"The fact that this is a Callison event is exactly the reason you belong here!" Mary Albany said firmly.  "You are still legally Charles' wife and, therefore, a Callison.  Even after the divorce, your children will still be Callisons!  You will forever be a part of this family."

Francis Callison"Mother, I realize that," Francis sighed as she nervously fingered the ornate silk scarf at her neck and looked around awkwardly, "but, considering what's going on between me and Charles, I don't think it's right that I'm here."

"We were invited!  Reginald hand delivered the invitations himself.  He knows that you belong at a Callison function, why can't you?"  Mary stood with her arms folded across her chest and glared at her daughter.

"Mrs. Albany, I'm sure you can understand Francis' reluctance," Fred spoke up as he took Francis' arm.  "This situation with her husband isn't exactly the most pleasant of circumstances."

Mary Albany"What I see is that my daughter is being pig headed and stubborn," Mary replied as she glared at her daughter's date.  His joining her had not been in her plans for the evening, but she'd had to relent when Francis had insisted that the only way she would attend was if Fred were on her arm.  "And I'll urge you to keep your comments and opinions to yourself!  They are most definitely not warranted or needed."

"Mother!" Francis snapped angrily.  "Why do you always have to be so short with Fred?  All he was doing was..."

Dr. Fred Rutherford"Francis, darling, it's all right," he said softly as he touched her gently on the arm.  "Your mother is only trying to look out for your best interests.  Any good mother would do the same."  Privately, he resented the constant opposition Mary posed to his blossoming romance with Francis.  If his plans to marry the soon-to-be divorcee were to be successful, it would clearly be against the wishes of her mother.

"Nice attempt to butter me up, Doc," Mary said with a sarcastic sneer.  "However, whatever you're selling, I'm not buying."

Taken aback by Mary's frankness, Fred could only stand in silence.  She was clearly going to be a formidable stumbling block in his quest to take Francis' hand in stumbling block that needed to be eliminated.


The Grand Sunset Room"Oh, Charles!" Annabelle gasped in shock from the sight of the beautiful diamond engagement ring.

"Please say that you'll marry me," Charles smiled as he took the ring out of the box.

"Of course I'll marry you!" she exclaimed as she fought to suppress her squeals of glee while he slipped the ring onto her finger.  "Darling, you just have no idea how happy you've made me!"

"But that can't be any happier than you've made me."

"Let's get married as soon as the divorce is final," she insisted eagerly.  "Let's do it the next day, if possible."

Charles laughed heartily at her exuberance.  "Darling, why the rush?  We have all the time in the world."

"Oh, I know that," she smiled coyly.  "It's just that, well, I know how things can happen...unexpected things...and I, well, don't want to take any chances.  I don't want to wait any longer than necessary."  She inhaled deeply as she held up her hand to gaze at the ring as it sparkled in the light.  "This is just like a dream!  And...and I don't ever want to wake up from it."

Charles Callison"Annabelle, there's no need to wake up," he muttered softly as he placed a finger on her chin and lifted her face so that he could look deeply into her eyes.  "This is not a dream.  It's all very, very real."  Overcome with the emotion of the moment, he pulled her into his arms and kissed her passionately to seal their engagement.  It was a kiss that was not looked upon favorably by anyone within viewing distance.  In fact, the kiss was looked upon with scorn and resentment by everyone watching, especially by his sons Reginald and Trevor who were standing just a few feet away.

As their lips parted, she grabbed his hand and began to pull him towards the orchestra stand.

"Where are we going?" he asked with a laugh.

"I'm so happy, I want the world to know!" she exclaimed.  "I want to announce to everyone, right now, that we're going to be married."

"No," he said firmly and froze in his tracks, bringing Annabelle to a grinding halt.  "Not tonight."


"This is Burt's night," he explained carefully, not wanting to upset her or ruin her happiness.  "Let's hold off on any grand announcements until some other time."

She eyed him with disappointment.  She wanted to let everyone in town know that she had finally gotten everything that she'd ever wanted.  She was going to be Annabelle Callison, a member of the most prominent family in town.  Finally, she was going to be a woman of substance and means.  However, she respected his wishes and nodded in agreement.  Forcing the issue would not be a good idea.

"I knew you'd see that it would be...." Charles voice trailed off as he caught sight of Francis as she slowly walked into the room flanked by Mary and Fred.

"Yes, dear?" Annabelle asked as she looked at him curiously, unsure as to why he'd stopped in mid-sentence.  

Carefully following his gaze, she felt her face flush with anger when she saw Francis.  How dare she show her face!  How dare she put in appearance to deliberate try to sabotage her evening!

Annabelle Lake"I see that your soon-to-be ex-wife has decided to barge her way in," she muttered with a scowl.  "I would think that she would know when she's not wanted."

"Annabelle, that will be enough," he chastised with a harsh look.  "I don't want you doing anything or saying anything out of the way to Francis.  I'm sure she's just here for the children."

"Whatever you say, darling," she muttered as her eyes burned with hatred.  She didn't care why Francis had shown up; all she knew was that she didn't belong.

"Now, you just stay right here and keep yourself out of trouble," he continued as he gave her a cautionary glance.  "I need to go find Burt.  There are a few things I want to talk to him about."

"All right," she cooed softly as she tried to cover the rage that was building inside of her.  "I'll stay right here and wait for you to get back."

He looked at her again, unsure whether to believe her.  However, he realized that he had no choice but to leave her on her own and quickly walked away in search of Burt.  As soon as he disappeared into the crowd, Annabelle again turned her attention to Francis and felt her blood began to boil.  Francis had no right nor reason to be there.  She didn't belong!  As Annabelle's jaw tightened, she took a deep breath and headed straight in her direction so that she could give her a piece of her mind.