MANSION - DINING ROOM
Callison---Charles---called me again this morning,"
Burt Lamont mentioned
casually before taking a bite out of his sandwich. "He's just being
so insistent that I change my name to 'Callison'. I don't see what the big
deal is. Just because I found out that Landon Callison is my real father
doesn't have to change who I am. Why should it change my name?"
know," Janet Stokes muttered as she stared down blankly at her plate .
It had seemed like a lovely
idea at the time---a nice quite lunch together. Now, however, she found
herself feeling quite odd and out of sorts. Janet couldn't exactly put her
finger on what it was, but she felt very unusual. Was it another strange
memory, coming seemingly out of nowhere, that was tapping her in the back of her
mind? Was something trying to break free from the dark recesses of her
memory? Was that what had her so distracted? She wasn't sure.
"And this is even harder
on Randy," he continued, not realizing the conflict that was going on
inside Janet's head. "Oh, sure, he hasn't said much about it.
He won't actually talk about it to me." Burt paused and let out a
worried sigh. "But I know it bothers him. He'll always be my
baby brother, but the idea that we aren't full brothers is something that I know
he's having trouble dealing with. I know I am."
"I mean, Pa's off god
knows where and Ma's gone now, so...well...we're the only family we've
got." He paused awkwardly as he realized exactly what he'd said and
then sighed. "Well...I mean I'm the only family he's got. I
just found an entirely new family. I know that has to be difficult for
"Y-yes, Janet, it's
true. But...but, it was long before I ever met you! I-I didn't even know
you existed. Since you kept the truth about who you really were from me, I
had no way of knowing that you two were sisters!"
she stammered and winced slightly, a searing pain piercing her temple.
"I just don't have any
idea how Randy would react if I were to honor Uncle Charles' request and change
my name." He sighed and looked down at his plate and the half-eaten
sandwich that he no longer had an appetite for. "It would be like I
was taking away the only family Randy has. It would almost be like we
weren't even brothers anymore."
I'm surprised by how much of a recovery you've made since the last time I saw
you," Dr. Talbot Campbell said as he and Judith walked into the living
room, adjacent to the dinning room. The sound of their voices drew Burt
and Janet's attention away from their own conversation.
let's just say that I ran into an old friend who reminded me of how much I was
missing out on," Judith Linford smiled slyly as she thought about her
run-in with Joyce
Scott. "I've spent entirely too much time feeling
sorry for myself. It's time I got my life back in order."
"And like I said, there's
no reason why you and Mark can't try to have another child whenever you're
ready," Talbot smiled. "Of course, there's no rush. You
have all the time in the world."
"Thank you, Dr.
Campbell." Then, out of the corner of her eye, Judith spotting Burt
and Janet sitting in the dining room and suddenly became very
uncomfortable. Discussing the repercussions of the loss of her baby---the
baby she had in fact shared with Burt---with the knowledge that he was listening made her
quite nervous. "Oh, I see we have company."
"Well, Judith, I have to
be getting back to the hospital." Talbot pulled on his coat and began
to walk towards the foyer. "Now remember, I still want to see you in
my office for another follow-up exam."
Judith blushed, slightly embarrassed by her doctor's devotion to her case.
After Talbot had left, Judith
casually strolled into the dining room to join Janet and Burt.
"I couldn't help but
overhear," Burt spoke up with a slight hesitation. "From the
sounds of it, you're getting back to your old self."
"Yes, in fact, I
am," Judith replied rather curtly. "I've begun to realize that
I've missed out on a great deal of living by obsessing over...." Her
voice cracked as she tried to swallow back her emotions. "I have to
put the baby behind me."
has more to do with me than with Burt. True, he was very much
involved, but I'm the one who has to carry this secret."
"What the devil are you
"I'm talking about this
"T-the baby," Janet
muttered as her eyes began to glaze over. The uneasy sound of her voice
immediately drew both Burt and Judith's attention and they stared at her with a
mixture of surprise and confusion. "T-the baby!"
"Yes, you twit, the
baby," Judith snapped. "What else could I be talking
cautioned as he quickly lifted his hand to motion for her to be quiet.
"Janet, are you...all right?"
b-baby." Janet stared blankly off into space as she gripped the edge
of the table tightly in an attempt to keep her hands from shaking.
"Oh, my god! The baby! Your baby!"
"Well! If this just
"Judith, will you shut
up!" Burt snapped and quickly jumped up from his seat and rushed to Janet's
side. "Janet, what's wrong? What is it?"
"The baby!" she
cried out again and then suddenly bolted from her chair and ran out of the
dining room, through the living room, out through the large French doors, and
out into the snow.
"Janet!" he called
out as he began to race after her.
Judith said firmly as she grabbed his arm. "Just let her go.
She's been having outbursts like this for as long as I can remember. No
one ever really knows what's going on inside that warped little mind of
"But I just can't let her
run out like that!" He yanked his arm away, but stopped in his
tracks, only allowing his eyes to follow in the direction which Janet had
run. "She sounded like she was upset about something. She
sounded like she...she knew!"
"Oh, don't be ridiculous!"
Judith laughed. "There's no way Janet could know
about...about..." She couldn't bring herself to say it---about our
baby. "Look, Burt, just let her get whatever this is out of her
system. Besides, this gives us a moment to be alone---a moment to
Burt turned and eyed Judith
curiously. A moment to talk? What in the world could she possibly
have to say that he'd even be interested in hearing?