For Now and Forever
EPISODE #84 (Monday,
THE DAVIS HOME - GRACE'S BEDROOM
Grace Davis laid in bed and tossed and turned, trapped in a fitful, troubled sleep. In her unconscious state, she thrashed her head wildly as she continued to be locked inside her dreams.
She continued to fidget and squirm in her uncomfortable slumber. The voices continued to come at her inside her head. However, inside the dream a new voice appeared.
It was the voice of her mother.
THE CALLISON HOME - LIVING ROOM
"Reginald," Jillian Stokes awkwardly spoke up as she sat on the sofa, wrapped in his arms, "maybe...we should postpone the wedding until this mess is over."
"Nonsense!" Reginald Callison exclaimed. "Annabelle Lake has caused enough problems for this family. I will not let her ruin our wedding, too."
"No!" He pulled her tighter and inhaled deeply. "Our wedding will happen just the way we planned it. We're not going to let anything stand in our way."
She rested her head comfortably on his shoulder and enjoyed the reassurance that his arms brought. However, there were still questions inside her head. There were things that had been eating at her that she needed to know the answers to.
"Darling," she muttered softly as she pulled away from him and looked at him with deep concern, "darling, why are you being so evasive when your father and Douglas ask you questions about the night Annabelle was killed?"
"I haven't the slightest idea what you're talking about," he grumbled with a nonchalant laugh. "I've told both of them and the police everything I know."
"But...but..." Jillian bit her lip nervously and furrowed her brow. "When they ask you what happened, you don't say anything!"
"That's because there's nothing to say. There's nothing to tell." Reginald kept his eyes stoically straight ahead. "Look, let's just drop this, honey. I don't want to think about Annabelle Lake or her death anymore. I want to think about us and our future."
"Reginald, we have to talk about this!"
"We don't have to talk about anything!" He stubbornly folded his arms across his chest and glared. "Why are you so obsessed with this? Why does what happened to Annabelle even matter?"
"But, darling, whenever they ask you what happened with Annabelle...when they ask you how you found her and how you wound up with the knife in your hand...you refuse to answer!"
"Leave it alone!"
"But...but..." Her hand flew up to her mouth and she felt her eyes fill with tears. "Darling, it's almost as if you want everyone to believe that you really did kill her! You and I both know that's impossible. There's...no way you could have been responsible for Annabelle's death!"
As Jillian eyed him with worry and confusion, Reginald merely looked straight ahead and sat in silence.
THE DAVIS HOME - GRACE'S BEDROOM
Still trapped inside the confines of her dream, Grace tossed and turned as the voices continued to echo inside her head.
"M-momma?" Grace murmured, still asleep. "Momma?"
"Momma!" Grace quickly sat up, dragged into consciousness. Her breathing was heavy a labored and she felt the beads of perspiration on her forehead. "Momma?" she questioned in confusion as she turned to look around the darkened, empty room. Glancing down at her hands, she saw that they were shaking fiercely and she clinched them into fists in an attempt to hold them still.
Feeling awkward and slightly off kilter, she climbed from her bed and stumbled over to the window and peered out. It was still snowing like crazy, just like it had been for hours. She'd heard that they'd forecast a major snow storm and, apparently, they hadn't been wrong. Supposedly, there could even be at least a foot of accumulation.
Walking back to her bed, she sat down and turned on the small lamp that sat on the nightstand by the bed. It cast an odd glow across the room. Grace sat very still as she listened to the silence that was only interrupted by the faint sound of conversation that drifted in from Douglas and Lorraine's bedroom down the hall.
"W-what?" She looked up with a start and glanced around the room. She'd been certain that she'd heard her mother's voice. As her heart began to beat faster, she realized that that was a foolish idea. How could she possibly have heard her mother? Certainly it was all in her head. As she sat very still, she listened closely in an attempt to hear the sound again. When the frigid winter wind whipped around the corner of the house and passed her window, Grace heard the faint howl. With a heavy sigh, she nodded in relief. The wind. That's all it had been.
However, the feelings of worry and anxiety that it had caused refused to leave her. Taking a deep breath, she reached for the locket she always wore around her neck and carefully opened it so that she could look inside at the picture of her and her mother.
"Oh, Momma," Grace muttered, becoming even more anxious than before. "It...it was only the wind."
True, it had only been the wind, but it had sparked a gnawing feeling inside of her that something was terribly wrong. Although she turned off the light and snuggled herself back under her covers, she couldn't push the feelings of worry out of her head. She knew she was probably being silly, but she couldn't escape the uncomfortable feeling that her mother needed her.
Taking a deep breath, she again slid out of bed and rushed to her closet. With a sense of urgency that she couldn't explain, she pulled on a long woolen skirt and thick sweater and grabbed her heaviest winter coat and gloves. Her mother needed her. She couldn't accurately explain how she knew, but she knew.
Bundled up and ready to face the icy winter night, she hesitated as she reached for the door of her room and listened carefully. Douglas and Lorraine's voices were very clear, though faint, and she knew that they were still awake. Pulling open the door just a tad, she poked her head out into the hallway and saw the soft glow of light creeping underneath the door of their room down the hall.
Grace let out a sigh when she realized that Douglas would never let her out in such horrible weather. Of course....
She furrowed her brow as she carefully stepped out into the hallway and quietly shut the door behind her. Tiptoeing to the top of the stairs, she made every attempt not make the slightest sound. She just knew they wouldn't understand. There was no way she would be able to explain to them why she just had to see their mother and why it couldn't wait. Heck, she couldn't even explain it to herself. It was only a feeling---a horrible feeling.
Grace moved carefully down the stairs in the dark and walked quickly through the living room and into the kitchen where she grabbed the keys to Douglas' car that hung on a peg by the backdoor. As she reached for the door that led out to the garage, she took a deep breath and prepared to meet the cold winter night.
CALVIN'S HOME - LIVING ROOM
"Calvin, I have to tell you again, that was an absolutely delicious dinner," Dorothea Jackson smiled as she sat on the couch and sipped her coffee.
"I thought you'd enjoy it," Calvin Jackson smiled warmly and walked into the room as he finished drying the last of the dinner dishes. "It's not often that you let me fix you dinner."
"And that's one of the reasons why I took you up on your offer." Dorothea watched her son closely through the door to the kitchen while he put the last of the dishes away and dried his hands.
"One of the reasons?" He moved back into the living room, carrying his own cup of coffee, and sat down in his chair. "Would there happen to be another reason why you came over for dinner?"
"Well..." She lowered her head innocently as she took a deep breath. "I was hoping that you'd tell me a little more about this girl you've been seeing. And don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about, either! I know you've been seeing someone for months."
"And what makes you think that?" He let out a hearty laugh, amused by her curiosity.
"I can tell these things. I am your mother, after all. We know things." She smiled slyly and waited for him to tell her about the new young woman in his life. After a few moments of waiting, she quickly realized that he wouldn't be quite as forthcoming on his own as she'd hoped. "All right, Calvin. Are you going to tell me about her or do I have to drag it out of you?"
"Mother, there's really not that much to tell." He blushed with embarrassment over how much attention she was putting onto his love life. "I met a lovely girl and we've been seeing quite a bit of each other."
"I could have gathered all of that on my own!" Dorothea shook her head slightly over how evasive he was being. "Well...? What's her name? Who are her parents? Is she working or is she in school?"
"S-she's a very nice girl," Calvin nodded as he rose from his chair and casually began to pace around the room.
He really would have liked to have been more open with his mother concerning Ruby, but he still felt quite insecure as far as she was concerned. After all, she was a wealthy young Negro woman from a prominent family. His own family background and social standing clearly wasn't as impressive as hers. However, she'd mistakenly assumed that he, too, was from a wealthy family and a suitable match for her.
He'd been too embarrassed about his mother's true status as a maid to correct Ruby. It had been a rather awkward tap dance the last few months as he carefully avoided mentioning his family to Ruby and Ruby to his mother. He was certain that if Ruby were to find out the truth, she would quickly see that he wasn't suitable for her and then that would be that.
"And?" Dorothea asked as she carefully watched her son's nervous behavior. "There's got to be more to tell than that!"
"Um...not really," he muttered as he paused by the front window and peered outside at the snow that kept coming down. "Momma, maybe you better let me give you a ride back to the hotel. Or, better yet, let me fix up the spare room for you so you can spend the night. It's still really coming down out there. I can't even see where the sidewalk ends and the road begins."
"Oh, and I promised Miss Mary that I'd be home in time for our nightly game of cards," Dorothea sighed with a disappointed slump of her shoulders. "Well, considering the weather, it just can't be helped. Let me at least phone her so that she won't worry."
Calvin walked over to the side table next to his chair and lifted the receive of the telephone and held it to his ear. As he made a curious face, he repeatedly tapped the phone. "Hello? Operator?" He made another curious face. "Hello?"
"Calvin? What is it?"
"Oh, this blasted snow storm," he sighed as he returned the receiver to its carriage. "The phone lines must be down."
"Oh, well," Dorothea muttered. "I'm sure Miss Mary will understand considering the weather. Besides, this could turn into a good thing."
"And how's that?" He eyed her curiously, sure that she was up to something.
"Well, now I have an entire night to needle you about the young lady you're seeing." She grinned broadly and let out a hearty laugh. "And, if the weather lets up, you can drive me home then. I do so look forward to a spirited game of cards!"
Calvin's response was more one of silent discomfort. He just couldn't let his mother know too much about Ruby because he was certain that she'd insist on meeting her and he knew that was something he just couldn't allow to happen. There wasn't any way he could let Ruby know that he wasn't quite as important as she thought he was. He was certain that if she were to find out the truth, then whatever future they might have together would be completely ruined.
THE CALLISON HOME - LIVING ROOM
"Reginald, certainly you don't want people to think you're guilty, do you?" Jillian eyed him carefully. Of course the thought that he actually killed Annabelle was preposterous. No one in their right mind who knew him could possible think he was guilty.
"Let people think what they want to think," he muttered under his breath. "Other people's opinions have no effect on me."
"What?" she gasped as her hand flew up to her mouth. "You can't be serious!"
"And why not?" He turned to look at her sternly. "Anyone who knew Annabelle knew she got exactly what she deserved. In my opinion, everyone is just wasting a lot of time and effort trying to figure out who killed her."
"I cannot believe I'm hearing this!" Jillian jumped up off of the sofa and began to pace around the room. "I can understand you not caring what regular people think. I can especially understand how you really don't care about those leaches at The State Examiner, but what about the police? Don't you worry that they might think you're guilty?"
"I'm not talking about this," he said firmly and let out a heavy sigh. "I'm tired of Annabelle Lake dictating the lives of this family!"
"Reginald, why are you refusing to talk to me about this?" She walked over to him and gently touched him on the cheek. "It's...it's like you're trying to keep this from me. I thought we weren't going to have secrets, anymore. I thought we were going to be honest and tell each other everything!"
"Like you told me everything about Janet?" He pushed her hand away and glared at her angrily. "If you'd told me about everything that she'd gone through, maybe we could have kept her from running away!"
"But...but she came back! She came back and it's like none of that ever happened."
"And once all of this mess concerning Annabelle blows over, our lives are going to be back to normal just like they were before she decided to dip her nasty fingers into my parents' marriage!"
"Darling, why won't you talk to me about this?" She grabbed onto his arm and held him tightly as she pleaded with him to tell her everything that he was holding inside.
"Because I don't want to!" he snapped and jerked his arm away. "None of this is important and I just don't feel like discussing it!"
"But the police are going to think you're guilty!"
"Then let them," he muttered as he reached for her coat. "I'm through talking about this. Put your coat on and I'll take you home."
"Oh, Reginald, it's snowing like crazy!" she exclaimed as she stood with her coat in her hands. "The roads aren't safe. We can't go out in this weather!"
"Fine," he grumbled and took her coat back from her and hung it up. "Just have Hannah fix up the spare bedroom and you can spend the night. I'll take you home in the morning."
"W-what are you doing?" Jillian asked as she watched him putting on his coat. "I...I thought you said that we weren't going out!"
"I said that I'm not taking you home! I'm going out alone!"
"Oh, but, Reginald! The roads!"
"I'll be fine," he muttered through clinched teeth. "I just have to get out of here. If I stay here any longer, you're going to keep pressing me over this and we're going to wind up fighting and I don't want that."
Before she could respond, he stormed out the door and let it slam loudly behind him. Filled with a mixture of worry and confusion, Jillian sunk down onto the sofa. She didn't care what he said or how much he protested; Reginald was clearly hiding something from her. However, she had no clue what it might be. Why wouldn't he say anything in his defense? Why wasn't he worried that people would think that he actually killed Annabelle? As she let out a weary sigh, she thought that it almost seemed like he wanted people to think he was guilty.
MANOR HILL SANITARIUM
"Oh, Dr. Maynard!" Grace called out as she raced down the hallway. "How's...my mother?"
"Miss Davis!" Dr. Maynard exclaimed with shock. "What in the devil are you doing here? Where's your brother?"
"He's...at home," she stammered awkwardly. "I came alone."
"You mean that Mr. Davis let you come all the way here alone in weather like this?"
"Doctor, that's not important right now. I have to see my mother. I...I can't explain it, but I just have to see her."
"I understand," he muttered curiously as he led her down the hallway to her mother's room. "In fact, I'm glad that you're here. I've been trying to get through to your brother for most of the night, but the storm has knocked out the phones."
"You've been trying to get in touch with Douglas?" Grace looked at him with confusion. "Why? What's wrong?"
"Well, Miss Davis, I...hate to tell you this, but..."
"What, Dr. Maynard? What?" A sense of panic and worry began to set in. What wasn't he telling her? What was wrong with her mother?
"It's your mother," he sighed solemnly. "She's taken a very bad turn for the worse. That's why I was trying to phone your brother."
"A...turn for the worse?" Grace furrowed her brow as she tried to understand what he was saying. "What kind of turn for the worse?"
"She...might not make it through the night." The doctor lowered his head after the delivery of the news, deeply saddened. "I'm glad that you're here. It's good that she has her family here."
"C-can I see her?" she asked with nervous apprehension. "Can I see my mother?"
Dr. Maynard simply looked at her and nodded before extending his hand and reaching for the knob on the door of Louise Davis' room. As the door swung open, Grace stood very still and inhaled deeply as she prepared to see her mother for what could be the very last time.
TO BE CONTINUED
When worlds collide.
For Now and Forever
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