GOOD HOPE CHURCH - CHAPEL

Good Hope Church"I just don't understand what's holding things up," Leticia Rutherford said as she slipped into the pew next to her daughter, Judith Linford.  "Jillian was almost ready before Janet and I left the room.  The wedding should have started by now.  We're completely behind schedule."

Dr. Fred Rutherford"Now, now, darling, just calm down," her husband, Dr. Fred Rutherford, said as he sat down next to her and patted her gently on the hand.  "I'm sure it's nothing.  Maybe she's having a little trouble with her veil or something and...."

"Trouble?"  Leticia furrowed her brow and bit her lip.  "Maybe I should go check on her.  Maybe I should see if everything's all right."

"I'm sure everything's fine," he reassured with a smile.  "Trust me."

"That's proving to be a huge mistake, already," Judith mumbled under her breath as she tried to avoid his gaze.

"Judith, please!" Leticia snapped.  "Do you have to do this here?  I know that you don't approve of our marriage, but this is supposed to be your sister's big day.  Can't you just let us have a moment of peace?"

Judith Stokes Linford"I'll have peace once that man you married is out of our lives for good!"  She folded her arms tightly across her chest and kept her eyes focused straight ahead to avoid looking at him.  "Daddy must be rolling over in his grave.  At least he didn't talk Jillian into having him walk her down the aisle!"

Leticia Stokes Rutherford"Judith, that will be enough!"  Leticia paused and took a deep breath to calm her jangled nerves.  Not wanting to incite any further conflict between her husband and daughter, she decided that a change of subject was in order.  "I sure wish that Helen could have made the wedding.  I'm surprised that she couldn't make it.  She is Jillian's best friend, after all."

"Ah, yes, Helen," Judith smiled slyly.  "It's too bad that her father took sick again and couldn't be left alone."  She struggled to fight the urge to grin broadly, savoring the moment.  "What a pity."

Burt Lamont"Look, there's Janet," Burt Lamont, seated on the other side of Judith, spoke up as he turned towards the back of the church.  He'd been struggling to ignore the conversation -- and Judith -- but was discovering that it was becoming easier said than done.

Janet Stokes=He caught Janet's attention and threw her a questioning glance that she responded to with a slight shake of her head.  Clearly, Janet didn't know what was causing the delay, either.

"I bet it's that Lake girl," Leticia sighed.  "Honestly, whatever Jillian was thinking by...."

"That's our Jillian for you," Judith muttered.  "Always out to save the world and every little urchin in it."

"Well, whatever Jillian's reasons, I hope she hasn't made a mistake."  Leticia glanced down at her watch again and sighed.  "I just wish that I knew what was going on."


LADY J'S JAZZ CLUB

Lady J's Jazz ClubNaomi Jackson sauntered into the club and looked around the room.  It was nearly empty, but she wasn't surprised considering that it was the middle of the afternoon.  Her mother, Dorothea, and her brother, Calvin, had insisted on going to the wedding, but Naomi just couldn't be bothered.  After all, why should she go to some overblown affair for people that she didn't know very well and was already certain that she couldn't stand?

She walked over to the bar and casually slid up onto a stool and motioned for the bartender.

"Bourbon.  On the rocks."

He smiled at her and quickly poured her drink and brought it over to her.  Taking her first sip, she strummed her fingers along the bar.  She let out a deep breath and looked around the room again.  There wasn't a person in sight and she was quickly becoming bored.  What was intended to be a fun afternoon out was quickly turning out to be a total loss.  However, it was still better than being stuck in that stuffy manor with only that wretched hag of a housekeeper to keep her company.  She laughed when she thought about how she'd conned the old bat into watching little Aubrey for her while she went out "shopping."

"Well, I'll be!" came a voice from behind her, nearly startling Naomi off of her bar stool.  "If it ain't little Naomi!"

Naomi JacksonShocked and caught more than a little off guard, Naomi spun around in the direction of the voice.  However, as soon as she realized who it was, she let out a squeal of delight.

"Tyke?  Tyke Harris?"

"In the flesh, Naomi," he smiled broadly as he spread his arms wide for her.  "Why don't you come here and give an old friend a big old hug."

Nearly overcome with joy, Naomi rushed into his arms a hugged him tightly.  Out of everybody she thought she might possibly see that day, Tyke had definitely not been on the list.

"What the devil are you doing here?" she asked as she pulled away from him and then stared at him in disbelief.  "I...never expected to see you here."

Tyke Harris"Well, darlin', the club back in New York hit kind of a rough spell," he explained as he walked over to the bar and motioned for the bartender to fix him his own drink.  "Business just dried up.  And without business, there's no need for a band.  Sure, me and the boys worked here and there in some of the other joints, but nothin' real steady.  A man's gotta eat, ya know."

"Oh, don't I know it!"  Naomi walked back to the bar and sat back down.  "You'd be surprised at how well I know it."

"Do tell."

"Now, I'm sure you're not interested in things like that," she laughed slyly and then took another sip of her drink.  "So, things got rough in New York?  That still doesn't tell me how you wound up here in Albanyville.  It's not exactly the center of the music world."

"That, darlin', is a story in itself."


GOOD HOPE CHURCH - CHAPEL

Good Hope Church"I wonder what the delay is," Francis Callison sighed as she fanned herself in an attempt to brave the heat.

"I'm sure it's nothing."  Mary Albany reached over and patted her daughter's hand reassuringly.  "Weddings are a complicated thing to put together.  Remember, when you got married, we fought with the buttons on your dress for almost an hour."

"I hope that's all it is."  Francis looked down at her watch and noted the time.  The wedding should have started fifteen  minutes ago.  Despite her mother's assertions, Francis couldn't avoid the gnawing feeling that something was going horribly wrong with her son's wedding.

"I bet it's Stephanie," Maggie Callison grumbled.  "She's probably got something to do with this.  Why Jillian even considered...."

 


"You don't think that Jillian's gotten cold feet, do you?" Douglas Davis asked curiously.  "I  honestly can't even think of any other reason why this wedding hasn't started yet."

"I can," Lorraine Davis muttered.  "Stephanie.  I knew that this was a bad idea as soon as Jillian told me about it."

"Well, as strange as it sounds, I can see Jillian's point of view."

"I can't!" She pulled her hand out of his and folded her arms tightly across her chest.  "I just don't know what she was thinking.  How could she do this?  How could she support this?  I just don't understand."


"I'm starting to get worried," Leticia sighed nervously.  "What's taking so long?"

"Darling, there's nothing to worry about," Fred smiled.  "I'm sure that it's just a little technical problem, nothing more."

"Look!" Judith spoke up suddenly as she pointed towards the front of the church.  "There's Reginald, Trevor, and Patterson.  The ceremony must be about to start."

"Thank goodness!"  Leticia let out a huge sigh of relief.

"But...who's that with them?"  Judith furrowed her brow as she looked intently at the fourth man standing next to Patterson.

"I think that's Dane Manchester," Burt commented.  "He's a friend of Patterson's."

"But...isn't that the fellow that Reginald punched at the engagement party?"  Judith rubbed her chin as she tried to remember.  "What's he doing here?"

"Shhh," Leticia hushed as the first strains of music began to start.  "Thank heavens!  The wedding's starting."


As the delicate melody filled the church, the bridal procession began.  First down the aisle was little Sally Fenton, the younger sister of one of Jillian's sorority sisters, nervously scattering her rose petals.  Closely behind Sally was Todd Monroe who, despite not looking very comfortable in his tuxedo, was doing a respectable job carrying the rings.  The sight of the two children in their formal dress inspired a small flurry of flashbulbs as everyone raced to capture the precious moment on film.

Next to make their trip down the aisle was Janet Stokes.  Carrying a small bouquet of white lilies, she carefully stepped towards her place at the altar, pausing only long enough to smile warmly in Burt's direction.  Burt returned her smile with a loving nod and then awkwardly reached down to his pocket.  Yes, it was still there -- exactly where he put it.  He smiled slyly as she moved passed him and towards the altar.  He had big plans for later.

When Janet had nearly reached her place at the altar, Sara Manchester began her walk down the aisle.  With butterflies flurrying inside her stomach, she silently prayed that everything went off as planned.  She kept her eyes focused straight ahead, almost too nervous to look at anything or anyone else.  When she saw her husband Dane standing at the altar, she kept her eyes locked on him, believing that the sight of him would soothe her worries.  Unfortunately, Sara saw an odd and curious expression on Dane's face.  Although she couldn't put her finger on exactly why, the sight of Dane made her even more anxious.  Pushing the troubled thoughts out of her head, Sara continued on towards the altar.

Once Sara had taken her place next to Janet, it almost seemed as if the entire congregation heaved a huge sigh of relief.  And then, right on cue, the grand bridal march began.

Reginald CallisonJillian StokesWith the first notes of the march, everyone stood and turned towards the back of the church as Jillian made her grand entrance.  Her sophisticated regal gown inspired a series of ohs and ahs as she made her walk towards the altar on the arm of her father-in-law to be, Charles Callison.  She was all smiles.  But then, why wouldn't she be?  After all, it was the day that she'd longed for -- the day that she would marry the man of her dreams.

As she slowly walked towards the altar, she smiled lovingly at her family who beamed with pride and then turned to warmly nod in the direction of Francis, soon to be her mother-in-law.  When she reached the altar, Charles guided her to Reginald's side who took her arm and smiled.

"Jillian, I love you," he said softly.

"I love you, too."

However, it wasn't over.  Once he'd given Jillian over to his son, Charles turned around and hurried to make a quick dash up the aisle towards the back of the church amid a series of warm laughs.  As the doors to the vestibule closed behind him, the guests erupted into the gentle buzz of anxious chatter.  Moments later, the bridal march began to play again.

Stephanie LakeWhen the doors swung open, he appeared with Stephanie on his arm as he began to lead her on her own walk down the aisle.  You see, Charles had to pull double duty as substitute 'father of the bride.'  After all, it was a double wedding.



 


TOMORROW

With these rings, we thee wed.




 


produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

2001- 2011 Classic Soap Productions