produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

EPISODE #128 (Wednesday, 11/6/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
Same Day
Reginald & Jillian's and Patterson & Stephanie's Wedding Day
June, 1936 - Afternoon


Good Hope ChurchDane Manchester"Dearly beloved," Reverend Rutledge began as he stood at the altar in front of Reginald Callison and Jillian Stokes and Patterson Monroe and Stephanie Lake, "we are gathered here today before God and these witnesses to unite these two couples in the bonds of holy matrimony.

Marriage is a sacred bond and should not be entered into lightly.  If there is anyone with just cause as to why these two couples should not be joined together in wedlock, let them speak now or forever hold their peace."

And with those words, all eyes suddenly fell on Dane Manchester who was taking a deep breath and acting as if he were about to speak.

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Good Hope Church"Surely that Manchester boy isn't going to say something," Dorothea Jackson muttered under her breath as she leaned over to her son, Calvin.  "If he tries to pull something to ruin this wedding, I'll horsewhip him myself!"

"Just calm down, Mamma," Dr. Calvin Jackson sighed with a shake of his head.  "He's not going to say anything."

They both paused for a moment as if they were holding their breath, waiting for the worst to happen.  However, no objections came.  Dane only stood next to Patterson in silence.

"See.  I told you so."

Dorothea Jackson"Thank the heavens," she sighed in relief and then began to fan herself.  "As if this blasted heat weren't enough today...."

"Shhh," he whispered as Reverend Rutledge began to continue with the ceremony.  

With a smile, he reached over to take the hand of his girlfriend, Ruby Thomas, and turned to look at her.  However, he was startled to find an odd and uncomfortable expression on her face.

"Ruby, are you all right?" he whispered with concern.  "Is the heat getting to be too much for you?"

"I'm fine," she muttered shakily as she began to fan herself with a bulletin.

Dr. Calvin Jackson"You don't look fine.  Should I go get you a drink of water or...."

"N-no," she stammered awkwardly.  "It's...not the heat it's just that...."

"What?  What is it?"

Ruby looked away from Calvin nervously and took a deep breath before turning back to him to speak.  "It's just  Look at all of these people.  The Callisons and the Stokes and...well...I just don't belong here.  I'm just a maid for Jillian's family, that's all, and I...."

"Oh, nonsense!" Dorothea interjected softly as she leaned across her son so that she could speak directly to Ruby.  "I'm the housekeeper of Reginald's grandmother.  The Callison family has always considered us a part of their family.  And if we're a part of the family, you're a part of the family.  You belong here just as much as we do."

Ruby Thomas"T-thank you, Mrs. Jackson, but...."

"No, 'buts,' Ruby," Calvin said firmly.  "Mamma's right.  Wherever I am, you belong.  Right by my side."

Ruby leaned back in her seat and turned her attention to the minister and his message and considered what they'd both said.  Sure, they sounded convincing, but so did Calvin's sister, Naomi, who'd repeatedly gone out of her way to tell Ruby that she didn't belong.  Even though Ruby knew that her feelings were irrational, she couldn't bring herself to move past the idea that maybe Naomi was right.


Good Hope Church"And in Ecclesiastes 4, it is written that 'Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor.  For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.  Again, if two lie together, then they have heat, but how can one be warm alone?'"

Reverend Rutledge paused for a moment and looked down at the two couples as they stood hand in hand, listening to his message.

"Moreover, in Ephesians 5, Paul writes 'So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies.  He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the Church:  for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  This is a great mystery:  but I speak concerning Christ and the church.  Nevertheless let everyone one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband."

He gently closed the Good Book and smiled warmly as he nodded.

Rev. George Rutledge"Yes, Reginald and Patterson, today you leave your childhood behind and become men.  I implore you to be men who love and cherish their wives.  As Paul has said, you should love your wife as much as you love yourself because, in marriage, you become one and your wife becomes a part of you."

"Jillian and Stephanie, likewise should you respect your husbands.  Give them the proper honor and reverence that they deserve as they are the heads of the home.  However, as a wife, you must also help your husband and support your husband.  In Genesis 2, verse 18, it says, 'And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a help meet for him.'"

"What this scripture is trying to say is that God created a wife for Adam to support him -- to raise him up when he was in need.  I'm sure that you've all heard the expression 'Behind every successful man is a successful woman.'  That's what I'm trying to say to you, today.  To be a successful wife, you must love and support your husband.  Only then, will he be a successful husband.  When he is a successful husband, you shall be a successful wife because, in marriage, you two are one."

"Face each day with the love you share.  Weather any storm that life should throw at you.  Together, in love, you can accomplish all things."

Slowly, the minister stepped down from his pulpit and walked to the front of the altar where he turned to face the two couples.

"Gentlemen, do you have the rings?"

Reginald CallisonPatterson Monroe"We do," replied Reginald and Patterson, in unison.

"These rings that you are about to exchange symbolize the unbreakable bond that you are about to share.  A perfect circle, never ending.  This will be your lives together.  Whole, complete, united.  Reginald, will you take Jillian's hand."

Reginald turned to face Jillian and took her hand into his, gazing lovingly down into her eyes.

"Do you, Reginald Charles Callison, take this woman, Jillian Marie Stokes, to be your lawfully wedded wife?  To love, honor, and cherish; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; as long as you both shall live?"

"I do"

"And do you, Jillian...."

Jillian StokesStephanie Lake"Wait," Jillian spoke up suddenly.

A slight gasp filtered through the room.

"Darling, what is it?" Reginald asked softly, a knot of dread forming in his stomach.  "Is something wrong?"

"N-no," she muttered weakly as she reached out to grab his arm.  She swallowed hard to fight the dryness that had begun to appear in her throat.  "N-nothing's...wrong.  I just...I just want to...."

Suddenly, Jillian's world went dark as she collapsed into Reginald's arms.