THE WISHING WELL SODA SHOPPE

The Wishing Well Soda Shoppe"It's about time you got here," Eliza Campbell snapped as she looked up from her magazine to see Stanley Fitzpatrick walking towards her.  "You were supposed to be here thirty minutes ago!"

"Ah, geez, Eliza," he shrugged, "I got caught up in the library and I lost track of time.  I was reading one of those detective books and...."

"Can it, Stanley," she interrupted, quickly tossing her magazine aside.  "Where's Maggie?  What's she doing?"

"You know she's got that big family dinner tonight."  Stanley plopped down into the booth across from her.  "In fact, I haven't seen her all day."

"Well....  As long as she's stuck with her family, I guess that means she can't be off mooning after my boyfriend."  Eliza leaned forward and propped her hand up under her chin.  "Honestly, you'd think I'd be able to trust my best friend, but...."

"I don't see what you're so worried about.  You're with Randy and Maggie's with me.  What's the big deal?"

Eliza Campbell"What's the big deal?"  Her eyes grew wide as if she couldn't believe he didn't understand the same things that she did.  "I'll tell you the big deal!  I've seen the way she looks at him when she doesn't think she's going to get caught.  Maggie gets all dreamy-eyed and stuff whenever Randy's within fifty feet!  And here I thought she was my friend."  Her shoulders slumped with a mixture of disappointment and assumed betrayal.  "I don't know why she went to so much trouble to get us together if she was just going to go out of her way to ruin it all.  If I didn't know better, I'd say she was just doing it all to spite me."

"Well, if Maggie were that underhanded -- which I really don't think she is -- why did she kiss me?"  Stanley lifted an eyebrow and nodded as if he were making a very valid and well-thought-out point.  "If Maggie really had no interest in me and were only interested in Randy, then why would she do that?"

"You've got a point," Eliza nodded.  "Now, don't get me wrong -- Maggie really is a great girl.  We've been best friends ever since...well...for as long as I can remember, but...."

"But?"

"Randy's just been so weird lately," she sighed.  "I mean, he barely says two words.  Not just to me -- everybody!  I can't figure out what's wrong with him.  And every time I turn around, he's all huddled up with Maggie talking about stuff.  Now, I don't think that Maggie would deliberately try to take Randy away from me.  I know she's not like that...."

"Then what's the big deal?"

"I told you that I see how she looks at him -- all starry-eyed and stuff."  She paused and took a sip of her soda.  "Sure, she'd never admit it, but I can tell she's got a crush on him.  And then with the way that he talks about her, you'd think that she was some kind of royal princess."

Stanley Fitzpatrick"Well, she is a Callison and they're practically royalty in this town," Stanley pointed out.

"And Randy can't stand a single one of them!"  She paused and took a long breath as her shoulders slumped.  "None of them except for Maggie."

"Ah, Eliza, I just think that you're making stuff up in your head.  Maggie kissed me, not Randy.  Doesn't that prove to you that she's more interested in me than in him?"

"You're really hung up on that kiss, aren't you?"

"Well...yeah!  Gosh, I waited forever for a chance to kiss Mags and then it finally happened!"  Stanley sighed and smiled, leaning forward onto his hands, his elbows propped up onto the table.  "She's so swell!"

"Maybe you're right," she muttered.  "Maybe there isn't anything to worry about."  She paused and strummed her fingers on the table.  "But I'm a sensible girl.  We can't take any chances."

"What...do you mean?"

"I mean that -- just to be safe -- we've got to keep Maggie and Randy away from one another."  Eliza started tapping her chin with her index finger, the gears inside her head quickly turning.  "If there is something going on between them, no matter how small, we've got to nip it in the bud right now.  Because, if we don't, we're going to be the ones left out in the cold."


THE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE - LIVING ROOM
DAVENPORT

Davenport"Now, what's prompted you kids to just up and run off to get married?" the judge asked as he straightened his tie and led them into the living room.

"Sir, we've waited a long time to get married and we just didn't think we could wait any longer," Burt explained.  "I love Janet, here, with all my heart and I just want to make her my wife."

"Besides," Janet continued, "my mother just threw a big wedding for my sister and I really don't want to make her have to go through all of that again."

"Well, I can understand that," the judge nodded.  "Do you have the rings and the marriage license?"

"Got them both right here."  Burt pulled the license out of his inside breast pocket and handed it to the judge.  "We just came from the courthouse."

"Hmmm."  The judge carefully examined the document and nodded.  "Everything seems to be in order.  Now, we do have to have witnesses to sign, but I can take care of that."  He stopped and walked over to the living room door that led out into the foyer.  "Ma!  Ma, you and Junior come down here!  We've got a young couple who want to get married."

"Married?" the judge's wife asked as she hurried down the stairs, their teen-aged son following right behind her.  "At this hour?"

"I...I know it's late," Burt blushed, suddenly remembering the hour.  He was thankful that the clerk at the courthouse had been working late and had been kind enough to open up his office so that they could get the license.  "But this is really important to us."

"I'm sure it is," she smiled and then turned to Janet.  "And your dress is beautiful.  Very fitting for a young bride."

"Thank you."

"Well, now, if everyone's ready...."  The judge put his hand on Burt's shoulder.  "You stand right here and you, young lady, stand right here."  He turned to his wife.  "Dear, go to the piano and play something."

"Now...."  The judge positioned his glasses on the edge of his nose and looked down at the book he held out in front of him.  "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the sight of God and these witnesses to unite this young couple in the Holy bonds of marriage.  Marriage is a sacred institution, honored by God, and shouldn't be entered into lightly.  If there's anyone who has just cause as to why these two should not be joined together, let them speak now or forever hold their peace."

A lump instantly formed in Janet's throat and she quickly looked over at Burt.  They'd come so far.  Nothing could happen that might ruin their happiness.

"Judge, I...don't think anyone's going to say anything," Burt spoke up.  "After all, it's just us here."

Burt Lamont"Of course," the judge laughed.  "Very well, then....  Do you...um...Burton Landon Lamont take this woman...um...."  He glanced down at the license that he held in his hand under the book.  "Janet Mae Stokes, to be your lawfully wedded wife?  For better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love, honor, and cherish; forsaking all others from this day forward; as long as you both shall live?"

"I do," Burt beamed as he looked into Janet's eyes.

"And do you...."

"I do."

Janet Stokes"I haven't even finished!" the judge laughed heartily as Janet blushed.  "Do you, Janet Mae Stokes, take this man, Burton Landon Lamont, to be your lawfully wedded husband?  For better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love, honor, and cherish; forsaking all others from this day forward; as long as you both shall live?"  There was a pause of silence.  "Now, Miss Stokes."

"I do."

"All right, then," the judge nodded.  "You are exchanging these rings as a symbol of your love -- a never-ending circle that will bind you together, never to be broken.  As you place these rings on each other's hand, repeat after me....  With this ring, I thee wed."

Burt took Janet's hand, looked deeply into her eyes, and slid the ring onto her finger.  "With this ring, I thee wed."

Now it was Janet's turn.  She took Burt's hand, lifted it to her lips and kissed it tenderly, and then slid the ring onto his finger.  "With this ring, I thee wed."

"Then by the power vested in me by God, this county, and this state, I now pronounce you husband and wife.  Mr. Lamont, you may kiss you bride."

And that is exactly what Burt did.


THE CALLISON HOME - DINING ROOM

63 Mapleton Way"Well, what's this big secret?" Francis asked anxiously, the anticipation nearly killing her.  "You can't simply bring all of this up and then just leave us hanging!"

"Honey, I'm sure they'll tell us if you'd simply let them get a word in," Charles laughed.

"Well...."  Jillian glanced to Reginald who gave her hand a gentle squeeze.  "I went to the doctor the other day and...."  She paused.  "Reginald and I are going to have a baby."

"A...a baby?"  Francis's hand flew up to her chest in complete shock.  "A baby?  But...but...you two just got married!"

"Well, I'll be a son of gun," Trevor laughed.  "Reginald, you sure don't waste any time, do you?"

"Now, I know it's rather soon and...well...we didn't plan for it to happen so early," Jillian tried to explain.  "This is the last thing that either one of us expected, but...."

Francis Callison"But it's all so soon."  Francis was quickly growing flustered and she rose to her feet to begin pacing around the dining room.  "I mean, I just don't see how....  You two just got married.  There hasn't been time since the wedding to...."  Her eyes grew wide with realization.  "O-oh.  I...I  see."

Charles Callison"Francis, I really don't think that's important."  Charles got up and went over to his wife, taking her by the hand.  "Like you said, they are married now."

"Well, yes...."

"And they're going to have a baby -- our grandchild."

"Our grandchild?"  Francis's heart began to beat a mile a minute inside her chest.  "A grandbaby?  Oh...oh dear."  She left Charles's side and rushed over to her daughter-in-law.  "This is such wonderful news!  I'm so happy for both of you!  Now, there's going to be a million things to do -- we've got to make sure we set up doctor's appointments and we've got to go shopping for the baby and we've got to get a nursery taken care of and...."

Reginald CallisonJillian Stokes Callison"The baby's not going to be coming for months and months, Mom," Reginald spoke up with a quick glance to his wife.  "We've got plenty of time for all that."

"Yes, dear, I know, but you can't get started too early.  The sooner we can get things squared away and taken care of, then the less there'll be to worry about when it's time for the baby to come."

"Looks like Mom's gonna have something new to fuss over," Maggie leaned over to Trevor and laughed.

"How's it feel to not be the baby of the family anymore, kiddo?" Trevor asked with a grin.

Trevor Callison"I...um...."  Maggie's shoulders slumped as she sunk back into her chair.  "I don't know."  She pursed her lips as she thought about the pros and cons of the situation.

Just then, the doorbell rang.  A few moments later, Hannah came into the room.

"Who is it, Hannah?" Charles asked curiously.  "We weren't expecting anyone."

"It seems that Maggie has a visitor"

"A visitor?"  Francis shot her daughter a look of disappointment.  "Oh, Maggie, you know this is a family dinner.  Why do you have to have one of your friends stopping by right in the middle of it?  Your brother and Jillian have just made this huge announcement and...."

"Francis, honey, dinner's practically over and it's obvious that Maggie wasn't expecting anyone," Charles reminded.  "Maggie, just go see who it is and let them know that they're interrupting dinner."

Hannah Meadows"It's Randy Lamont, Mr. Callison," Hannah explained.

"Randy?"  Maggie carefully draped her napkin over her plate and rose from her seat.  "I wonder what Randy's doing here."  Without saying another word to anyone else, she hurried out of the dining room and through the foyer to the front door.  "Randy, we're having dinner and my mom's about to have a fit!"

"I...I'm sorry to interrupt," Randy muttered as he looked down at his feet.  "I just...I just wanted to come see you."

"Well...I guess it's okay."  She stepped outside and pulled the door closed behind her.  "Just for a minute."  However, an awkward silence hung between them for several minutes.  "Randy, for someone who just dropped in for an unexpected visit, you're sure quiet."

"I...I know," he muttered.  "It's just...well...I haven't been so nice to you lately and I wanted to apologize."

"You...do?"

"Yeah."  He finally looked up at her.  "Oh, Maggie, I've been an absolute heel.  I've been treating you pretty horribly just because you're a Callison and I...I didn't want anything to do with anyone in your family because of Burt."

"I know all of that's been on your mind quite a bit lately."  She slowly moved past him and down the steps towards one of the large trees in the front yard, Randy following along behind her.  "Have you...have you talked about it with Eliza?  Maybe she can...."

"I can't talk to Eliza about anything," he grumbled.  "She doesn't understand anything."

"But she's your girlfriend!  You're supposed to be able to talk to her about things like...."

"Burt and Janet eloped tonight."

"W-what?"  Maggie was definitely surprised by the news.  After all, Randy had been quite vocal about his disapproval of his brother's wedding plans.  "But I thought that...."

"Now, don't say anything to anyone.  Burt and Janet want to keep it a secret until they're ready to tell everyone."

"I understand.  My lips are sealed."  She made the motion of pulling a zipper across her lips and throwing away the key, but then paused and looked at him curiously.  "But you've been so against Randy being involved with Janet lately.  What...changed your mind."

"Janet," Randy confessed.  "We had...a little talk tonight and she made me realize how stupid and bull headed I've been acting.  I've been...well...giving them both a lot of grief about all the wrong things for all the wrong reasons."

"And she made you realize that and convinced you to give them your blessing?"

Randy Lamont"I'm the one who brought up the idea of them running off to get married."

"Wow.  That is a big change of heart."  Maggie went over to him and gave him a big hug.  "I'm proud of you, Randy."

"Well, I...."  He blushed in embarrassment and quickly turned away from her.  "But that's not really what I came out here to tell you."

"It's not?"

"No."  He paused and inhaled deeply, the warm summer air filling his lungs.  "Like I said, I wanted to apologize.  I didn't...I didn't want you to be mad at me."

"Mad at you?  Of course I've been mad at you," she laughed.  "But we're friends.  Friends get mad at one another and then forgive one another.  That's the way things like that work."

"But...but that's just the thing.  I don't...necessarily think of you as...a friend."

"You...you don't?"  The smile quickly faded from Maggie's face.  "Oh.  I...well...."

"Maggie, you're...more than that."

Maggie Callison"I am?"

"I told you that I talked with Janet earlier and she made me realize a lot of stuff."  Randy moved closer to Maggie and put his finger under her chin so that he could lift her head up and look into her eyes.  "A lot of stuff about her and Burt, yes, but more than that.  She made me realize a lot of stuff about myself and how I feel about...well...things."

"She...did?"  Maggie bit her lip nervously.  "What kind of...things?"

"My feelings are...well...more than just...well...friendly."  He moved closer to her.

"How...how much...more?"

Without saying another word, Randy leaned in towards Maggie and gently -- carefully -- pressed his lips against hers and kissed her in a way that she'd only dreamed of being kissed.  Caught up in the moment, she kissed him right back the way she'd always dreamed of kissing a boy.  And in that moment, no one -- not Eliza, not Stanley, not anyone -- else in the world mattered.



 


NEXT TIME

The Fourth of July Ball begins!




 


produced/written by G. Matthew Smith

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