For Now and Forever
EPISODE #132 (Tuesday,
THE CALLISON HOME - STUDY
"What do you mean you remember?" Janet Stokes asked nervously as she struggled to keep her voice from shaking. "Remember what?"
"I remember what happened!" Judith Linford repeated coldly, her eyes still locked on her sister.
"But, I...I thought that you'd blocked everything from that night out of your memory." Janet quickly looked from Judith to Burt and grew even more nervous when she saw how closely he was listening to Judith's every word.
"Oh, I did. Losing my baby was the most traumatic...thing that I've ever gone through." Judith's voice cracked slightly as she remembered the pain that was still etched in her heart. "But I've been remembering. Gradually, it's all been coming back to me."
"It has?" Burt Lamont asked with a mixture of shock and interest. "Well, that's good! Now, maybe you can finally put all of it in the past and move on." He paused and eyed her with great interest. "So, tell us. Tell us exactly what happened that night. How did it happen? Why did you fall?"
"Why did I fall?" She repeated his question in a voice laced with ice. "Why don't you ask Janet. After all, she was there."
THE CALLISON HOME - LIVING ROOM
"I think it's great that they moved all of the furniture out of the way so people could dance," Reginald Callison said as he carefully glided around the room with his new wife in his arms. "This has truly been the most wonderful day of my life."
"Mine, too, darling," Jillian Callison sighed dreamily as she rested her head on his shoulder. "This entire day has turned out better than I could ever have dreamed." She paused and lifted her head so that she could look into his eyes with suspicion. "You know, you still haven't told me where we're going on our honeymoon."
"I wanted it to be a surprise," he laughed. "Let's just say that tonight we'll stay in the bridal suit of The Sunset Hotel and we board a plane for Chicago in the morning."
"We're honeymooning in Chicago?"
"No, silly," he chuckled. "We have to get a connecting flight. You know that the Albanyville Airport doesn't have direct flights to very many places other than Chicago. It's just not that big of an airport."
"So...." She lifted an eyebrow slyly. "Where's this connecting flight to?"
"You'll find out in the morning."
"But I want to know now!" She coyly fluttered her eyelashes at him and smiled. "Isn't there anyway that I could convince you?"
"There are plenty of ways," he grinned. "But nothing will convince me to tell you earlier than tomorrow morning."
"Oh, why do you have to be so stubborn?"
"Me?" He laughed heartily. "You're a fine one to talk!" The song ended and they stopped dancing so that they could politely applaud the orchestra that his father had hired before leaving the dance floor to get a drink.
"Just don't worry about it," he smiled as he lifted his hand to signal for the waiter to bring two glasses of champagne. "I want this honeymoon to be perfect in every way. I don't want you to think about anything other than how much we love one another, because when we get back, there's a lot of work to do to get you moved into the house and get everything set up."
"I just can't wait!" she exclaimed. "Our own home. I can't believe that your parents simply gave us the family home."
"I can. My father has always done the family thing rather big." He took a sip of his champagne. "And since the house was built by my grandfather to be handed down, it really does make logical sense. Now, when we get back, we've got to get you moved in and start interviewing housekeepers and...."
"Housekeepers?" She cocked an eyebrow as she listened to him. "Why do we need to hire a housekeeper?"
"To help you set up our home and help take care of our house," he explained as if it were the most logical thing in the world. "Granted, it's not nearly as big as this house, but you're going to need some help."
"No, I'm not," she said flatly. "If I'm going to be your wife, I'm going to take care of our home myself."
"Are you...sure you want to do that?" He looked at her with much skepticism. "I...I don't meant to doubt you, but...well...I don't think Manhattan society and finishing school had courses on cleaning house and cooking. Maybe you need a little help just to get started -- to get the feel of things."
"You sound like you think I can't do it!"
"Oh, I have no doubt that you can do anything that you put your mind to," he smiled as he took her into his arms and kissed her lovingly. "But let's just not even think about that until after we get back from our honeymoon. We've got all the time in the world."
"Which reminds me," she smiled slyly. "Where are we going again?"
"Ah, ah, ah!" He shook his finger in front of her nose to warn her that she was treading on dangerous ground.
"Well, I know we're not going to your family's cottage in Davenport. Your father offered it to Paddy and Steph for their honeymoon." She tapped her lower lip with her index finger as she thought about their possible destinations.
"You'll find out in the morning," Reginald reminded. "Let's not think about it until then. Right now, let's just enjoy this night."
"Oh, all right," she conceded as he again took her hand into his and led her back to the dance floor.
THE CALLISON HOME - STUDY
"W-what?" Burt stammered and quickly looked at Janet. "Honey, what's she talking about? You weren't there when she fell."
"Of course, I wasn't," Janet lied anxiously. "That's preposterous."
"No, it isn't!" Judith snapped. "I remember! I remember you there!"
"Judith, just calm down." He grabbed her by the shoulders and forced her to look at him. "Why don't you tell us exactly why you fell. Did you trip? Did you just pass out? Why?"
"I...I don't remember that," she muttered softly and then looked away, afraid that he'd be able to see the pain in her eyes. "I don't remember how. But...I remember that she was there!" She spun her head around and glared at Janet again. "Tell me! Tell me what happened! Why are you keeping it a secret from me?"
"I'm not keeping anything from you!" Janet shouted. "I wasn't there! How would I know what happened?" She quickly glanced at Burt in an attempt to see who he believed.
"You were there! I...I remember seeing you!"
"Maybe...maybe you just remember seeing me after you fell," Janet rationalized as she hurriedly tried to think of any number of reasons to discount her sister's memories. "You've said yourself that entire night is hazy for you. Maybe you're just confused. You know that I'm the one that found you at the bottom of the stairs and called the ambulance. You were...barely conscious for a moment before you completely passed out. Maybe that's what you remember."
"Now, wait a second," Burt interrupted as he threw up his hands between the sisters, "Janet, why don't you tell us everything you remember from that night and maybe it'll help Judith sort out what she's starting to remember." He stopped and took a deep breath. "First of all, where were you when she fell?"
"I told you," she started to explain, silently praying that he'd believe what she was saying, "I was in my room working on some sketches. I...heard Judith scream -- it must have been during the fall -- and I immediately went to see what was wrong. I found her at the bottom of the stairs, barely conscious. She passed out and I called the ambulance. She must have seen me right before she passed out. That's what she's remembering, except it's all still so fuzzy in her mind that she's not getting everything straight."
"Judith, could it be that Janet's right about what you're remembering?" Burt's eyes almost pleaded with her to agree in hope that he might force her to put this foolish nonsense aside.
"It...could be," Judith muttered, unable to look at him. "But...I know what I saw! I saw her!"
"After you fell!" Janet was trying hard not to grow angry. Why couldn't Judith just accept what she was telling her? Why did she have to try and stir up trouble?
"Maybe...maybe Janet's right," Judith muttered. "Maybe I am...a little confused."
"See. Doesn't it all make logical sense?" Burt moved to Janet's side and put his arm around her as if to protect her from her sister's wild accusations.
"I suppose it does."
"Good," Burt sighed and then turned to speak softly to Janet. "Look, she's still clearly upset and...well...I don't feel right about leaving her like this. I'm gonna go find your mother so she can stay with Judith and then we can have the rest of the night for each other. Is that okay?"
"Oh, Burt, that's more than okay," Janet sighed, but then quickly glanced in Judith's direction.
As Burt hurried away in search of their mother, Judith and Janet stood in awkward silence. Finally, once he was clearly out of earshot, Judith spoke.
"You were there!"
"I thought we settled this," Janet said through clinched teeth. "I was in my room. What you're remembering is from after the fall."
"Why are you trying so hard to convince me that I'm wrong?" Judith eyed her suspiciously. "What are you hiding from me?"
"I'm not hiding anything!" Janet protested. "We're trying to convince you that you're wrong because you are wrong! I was not there!"
"You're lying," Judith hissed, "and I'm going to find out why. I don't care what I have to do, I'm going to force myself to remember every little detail about that night and if I find out that anything you've told me is a lie, I'll make you wish that Daddy never had you released from that nut house!"
THE CALLISON HOME - LIVING ROOM
"Honey, what are you thinking about?" Patterson Monroe asked as he held his new bride, Stephanie, in his arms and they danced to the orchestra. "You've barely said a word since we came on the dance floor?"
"I'm just enjoying the feeling of being your wife," she looked up him and smiled. "After everything that's happened this past year, I didn't know it was possible for me to be this happy."
"Steph, just remember that anything is possible." He leaned down and kissed her on the forehead. "But...well...I get the feeling that there's something wrong. Is there something else you're not telling me?"
"Am I that obvious?"
"Right now? Yes," he laughed. "So, what is it? What's got you so bothered? This is supposed to be the happiest day of your life."
"It is! It is!" she insisted eagerly. "It's just that...well...." She let out a weary sigh and turned her head away from him. "Paddy, it's Todd."
"I thought that once the wedding got closer, he'd be able to understand more, but...." Her voice caught in her throat. "Oh, he hates me, Paddy. He really hates me. I've tried everything that I can think of to make him like me and...and...nothing seems to work."
"Steph, honey, you've just got to give him time." He reached out and stroked her cheek, forcing her to turn back around and look at him. "This is all pretty difficult for him. It's gonna be a big adjustment."
"I know," she sighed. "He's really been through a lot for just a little boy. I mean, your parents died and...."
"Yes, he has." Now it was Patterson's turn to look away, hiding the pain in his eyes that the memories of his parents had caused.
"Oh, Paddy, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you think about your parents today. This is supposed to be the happiest day of our lives and...."
"It is the happiest day of our lives," he smiled warmly as he turned back to face her. "How can I get married and not think about my parents. They should have been here." He paused and then thought wistfully. "Actually, they were here. All around us. I could feel them. I wish they could have met you. I know they'd have loved you just as much as I do."
"Oh, Paddy!" She threw her arms around him and hugged him tightly.
"And just give Todd a little time. He'll come around, eventually. I'm sure of it."
THE CALLISON HOME - STUDY
"The head of the legal department?" Lorraine Davis asked in shock. "Oh, Douglas, that's wonderful!"
"Now, honey, it's going to mean a lot more hours and a lot more responsibility." Douglas Davis paused and took a sip of his bourbon and water. "I'm not going to be able to be home as much and...."
"But this is what you've been working for!" she exclaimed with excitement. "Oh, honey, I'm so happy for you!" She threw her arms around him and kissed him. "I'm so proud of you."
"Thank you," he smiled. "Thank you for believing in me. Even when I didn't want to let myself have too much hope about getting promoted, you always kept telling me that Charles would be a fool not to do it."
"Douglas, I've always believed in you. You're going to be the best darn head of that department that Callison Publications has ever seen."
"I...uh...excuse me," Trevor Callison spoke up, not quite sure that his timing was appropriate. "I...um...need to talk to you, Douglas, but...well...if I'm interrupting something...."
"Trevor, have you heard the good news?" Lorraine asked, still full of so much excitement and pride that she thought she'd burst.
"Yes! Douglas got promoted!" She threw her arms around him again and hugged him tightly. "He's the new head of the legal department."
"Really?" Trevor's own face registered joyous surprise. "Gee, Douglas, I had no idea that Dad was even considering you for it. Congratulations."
"Thank you, Trevor," Douglas continued to smile as he reached out and shook Trevor's hand. However, he quickly remembered that Trevor had said that he needed to speak with him about something -- and it sounded urgent. "So, Trevor, what's on your mind? What did you want to talk to me about?"
"It's um...." Trevor paused as he searched for the right words. "It's about Grace."
"Trevor...." Douglas shook his head slightly, cautioning him that he was approaching an undesirable topic. "I think it's best if you just leave this alone."
"Leave it alone?" Trevor's eyes grew wide with confusion. "How can you say that? How can you expect me to just 'leave it alone?'"
"I expect you to do it because you have to do it!"
"Boys, I...I think I'm going to go talk to Steph and Paddy and leave you two to talk," Lorraine said softly as she shot her husband a cautionary glance.
Once Lorraine had stepped away, Trevor immediately continued with the conversation.
"Douglas, I just want to know if you've heard from her? How is she? Has she asked about me?"
Douglas stood in silence as he tried to figure out the best way to answer Trevor's questions. Of course, this wasn't the first time that they'd been asked. It seemed as if every time Douglas and Trevor saw one another, all Trevor wanted to do was talk about Grace and her sudden disappearance from town.
"Yes, I've heard from her," Douglas finally spoke, careful not to reveal too much. "She's settled in and doing fine and...."
"Settled in? Where? Douglas, where is she?"
"I don't think that's such a...."
"Please! I have to know!" Trevor grabbed hold of Douglas's arm as he tried to implore him to give him some solid news, some tiny piece of information that might help answer the thousand questions rattling around inside Trevor's head.
"Grace doesn't want you to know where she is," Douglas calmly explained even though his heart went out to Trevor. "She...she wants you to forget about her and move on with your life."
"Forget about her? Move on?" Trevor shook his head, not able to believe the logic in it all. "Douglas, how can I do that? How can I just forget her like she never existed? For Pete's sake, I love her!"
"I know that, but...well...you don't have a choice. You have to put whatever feelings you have for my sister in the past and move on. There's no point dwelling on them."
"I don't have a choice?" Trevor reached up and raked his fingers through his hair. "You have a choice! You have a choice whether to tell me what's going on with Grace and where she is or not."
"I can't do that!"
"Trevor, listen to me." Douglas grabbed him firmly by the shoulders. "Grace doesn't want to see you anymore. She said that it's over between the two of you. I can't tell you where she is because she doesn't want you to know. You have to accept that and move on."
Overcome with frustration, Trevor couldn't say another word. Instead, he just slammed his fist down into his hand and turned and stormed off.
As Douglas stood in silence and watched Trevor walk away, he knew that he was doing the right thing for both him and Grace. However, he also knew that Trevor wasn't about to let things go so easily. Trevor needed a diversion. He needed something -- anything -- to take his mind off of Grace. Douglas quickly realized that he needed to figure out something before Trevor started really digging for the truth.
THE CALLISON HOME - MAIN FOYER
"Come on, everybody, they're about to leave!" Maggie Callison called out as she raced into the foyer, quickly followed by all of the party guests.
"Not quite yet, dear," Francis Callison laughed as she stood at the bottom of the stairs. "The girls still have one very important thing left to do before they head off on their honeymoons."
"We sure do!" Jillian spoke up, Stephanie by her side, as they looked down at the crowd from their position on the second floor landing. "Now, we need all the single girls to get together so Steph and I can throw our bouquets."
"Now, you all better stay out of my way because I'm going to catch one of them," Maggie warned with a sly grin.
"Maggie!" Francis chastised. "Don't be so over eager!"
"Okay, on the count of three," Stephanie said as she and Jillian turned around and prepared to honor tradition. "One...two...three!"
As soon as the bouquets went airborne, there was a rush of girls trying to find the exact spot where each one would land. Of course, each girl was so eager to catch one of the bouquets that a shoved friend or a stepped-on foot didn't matter. However, in a matter of moments, the contest was over and the victors held their prized catches up in the air for all to see.
"Oh, my gosh, I actually caught it!" Ruby Thomas laughed. "I can't believe it."
"And I've got the matching one," Janet Stokes grinned as she waved her bouquet at the crowd. "Maybe there'll be another double wedding."
"I don't think so," Burt Lamont said softly as he came up behind Janet. "I want our wedding to be ours and ours alone."
Janet smiled at him and then wrapped her arms around him and pulled him into a kiss. They both knew that with their secret engagement, a wedding for them wasn't as far off as anyone might expect.
"What...does this mean?" Ruby asked as she turned to her boyfriend, Dr. Calvin Jackson. "What does catching the bouquet mean?"
"It means that whoever catches it is the next girl to get married." He grinned slyly and pulled her into his arms. "Doesn't sound like too bad of an idea, does it?"
"M-married?" she stammered awkwardly. "I...um...well...."
"All right, girls, come on down here!" Reginald Callison spoke up as he looked up at the brides who were slowly making their way down the stairs. "Paddy and I have our cars ready and waiting outside. Let's get this show on the road."
"Yeah, Steph, I want to get to Davenport before it gets too late." Patterson greeted his new wife with a kiss as she reached the bottom of the stairs.
"Stephanie, at least you know where you're going," Jillian grumbled. "I can't pry our destination out of him!"
"I know where you're going," Charles Callison grinned slyly. "And trust me, Jillian, you're going to love it."
"You know?" Her eyes widened with surprise and she turned to her new husband. "Darling, why does your father know and I don't?"
"Because he's not going with us," Reginald grinned slyly.
"Oh!" she grumbled in annoyance.
"Now, wait a second!" Mary Albany spoke up as she quickly walked over to Reginald, her housekeeper and close friend, Dorothea Jackson, close behind her. "You can't leave until you give me a proper good-bye."
"Of course, Nana," Reginald smiled and then hugged her tightly.
"Now, you take good care of this little lady." Mary paused and stepped back as she looked at her entire family, standing together. "And I want you all to know exactly how much I'm going to miss you."
"Nana, you act like your not going to be seeing us for a while," Reginald laughed. "Jillian and I are only going to be gone for a week or so."
"Well...." Mary glanced from Reginald to Dorothea and took a deep breath. "There's something I've been meaning to tell you all."
"Mother, this sounds...serious." Francis took a step towards Mary, a look of concern on her face.
"Honey, it's not life or death," Mary laughed. "It's just that...well...you know that I've spent most of my time traveling since your father died. I only came to Albanyville for Reginald and Jillian's engagement party last year, but you starting having some...well...problems...." Without thinking, her eyes quickly went to Charles. "I only stayed in town because you needed me. Well, now that everything is back to normal and this family is back on track, it's time for me and Dottie to go back on the road. We're due in the Catskills in a few days."
"W-what?" Calvin asked with confusion as he looked at his mother. "Mamma, you can't just leave!"
"Hush, Calvin," Dorothea said softly and then grabbed her son's hands. "My place is by Mary's side. It's not like I'm leaving town forever. We'll be back for visits."
"I've just gotten use to having you around again."
"Calvin, listen to your mother," Mary spoke up. "We're all family. That doesn't change just because all of us aren't going to be in the same town." She turned to speak to the newlyweds. "Now, you folks better get going. You can't put off the rest of your lives on our account."
"Oh, Nana, I'm going to miss you." Trevor came over and hugged his grandmother tightly.
"And I'm going to miss you, too." She took a step back and turned to face the entire family. "We're going to miss all of you."
TO BE CONTINUED
Mary and Dorothea bid Albanyville "good-bye"
For Now and Forever
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