produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #89 (Thursday, 2/21/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
A Few Days Later
January, 1936 - Afternoon


THE SUNSET HOTEL - MARY'S PENTHOUSE - LIVING ROOM

Naomi JacksonSunset Hotel, Penthouse A"Well, I'm sure you can understand what a shock it was to see you," Dorothea Jackson explained as she sipped on her cup of coffee.  "After all, you haven't even as much as written me a letter in months."

"I've been a little busy," her daughter Naomi Jackson muttered flatly.

"I can see that."  Dorothea glanced in the direction of her infant grandson who was being held securely in his mother Naomi's arms---a grandson that Dorothea had known nothing about until Naomi's unexpected arrival.  After a long, thoughtful pause, Dorothea spoke again.  "Naomi, why didn't you tell me about the baby?"

"Because I knew how you'd react."  Naomi tried to remain cool and aloof.  She was determined not to let her mother get under her skin like she always seemed to do.  "I knew that it would just start another round of arguments.  I just didn't feel like dealing with it."

"Oh, but, Naomi!"  Dorothea let out a heavy sigh.  "How do you expect to take care of this child?  You're...you're not even married!"

"Why don't you let me worry about that!"

"And what about the father?"  Dorothea eyed her carefully.  "Certainly he's going to do something to help you raise this child.  If he were any type of real man he would have married you!"  She paused again and looked at the baby closely.  "Honey, who is the father?"

Naomi sat in silence and gently rocked her son as he lay peacefully in her arms.  Did she dare to tell her mother the truth?  Could she risk revealing her plans to the one person she knew could never approve?


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JOE'S CAFE

Joe's Cafe"How are you doing?" Patterson Monroe asked after what seemed like an eternity of silence.  He eyed Stephanie Lake carefully, unsure about exactly what feelings were churning deep down inside of her.

"Numb," she muttered as she stared blankly down at her hands as they rested in her lap.  "I just...can't believe that no one was there.  You'd at least think that one of the Callisons would have come to the memorial service!"

"Steph, considering the circumstances, I'm sure you can understand."  He reached across the table and forced her to take his hand so that he could give it a gentle squeeze.

"Douglas wasn't even there and she was his secretary."

"Honey, you know that his mother just died, too."  

Patterson MonroeAs Patterson continued to watch her carefully, his heart broke for her.  No matter what horrible things that Annabelle Lake had done, no matter what kind of turmoil she'd thrown at the Callison family---a family as near and dear to him as his own---she was still Stephanie's mother.  No matter what had happened, there was still a bond of love that a child has for her mother.

"I...I know," she sighed.  "I just...thought that...maybe...."

"Look, Dane and Sara were there," he nodded as he tried to find positives to out-weigh the negatives, "so was her mother.  It's not like we were the only two people there."

"Dane and Sara wouldn't even speak to me."  Stephanie took a deep breath as she tried to fight back her tears.  "Heck, they wouldn't even look at me."

"Well, Sara's mother was nice enough," Patterson nodded.  "I thought the arrangement of flowers that she brought was quite beautiful."

"Yeah," she smiled briefly as a warm memory flooded over her.  "Roses.  Red roses were always Momma's favorite flower.  That was really nice of Aunt Joyce to remember that."

"See, it wasn't all bad.  It really was a lovely service."

"But...but..."  As her eyes began to fill with tears, she quickly turned away to hide her sudden outburst of emotion.

"But?"

Stephanie Lake"But what happens now?  What am I supposed to do without Momma?"  Stephanie bit down on her bottom lip to keep it from quivering.  "I...I just got two more bills in the mail this week.  There's no way I can pay them!  How...how am I supposed to be able to afford to live without Momma?  I can't...I can't do it on my own!"

"Yes, you can!  You're Stephanie Lake, the most popular girl at Albanyville High!"  Patterson smiled broadly in hopes that his positive outlook and good humor would prove contagious.  "You can do anything!"

"I'm not in high school anymore, Paddy," she sighed.  "I'm in college...and not doing very well at it, either, I might add.  My days of being the most popular anything are over.  The only thing I could get voted today would be town pariah!"

"Steph, you're being way too hard on..."

"Excuse me," the deep, booming voice came from behind them.  "I really don't mean to interrupt, but, young lady, that voice!"

Both Patterson and Stephanie turned around simultaneously to see who was speaking to them and they both furrowed their brows with curiosity.

"Oh, please forgive me," the man chuckled as he reached into his breast pocket.  "Let me give you my card."

Stephanie took it from him and looked at it intently, not quite understanding what it meant.

Mr. Willis Lowell - Producer
WALB-Radio

"Young lady, have you ever thought about working in radio?" Willis Lowell asked as he inspected her carefully.  "You have the most perfect voice.  So full of emotion and character!"

Willis Lowell"Well, I...I never really considered it before."  Her eyes darted from the stranger to Patterson and back again.

"Um...Mr. Lowell, what are you trying to say?" Patterson spoke up as he eyed the card intently.

"What I'm trying to say," Mr. Lowell sighed, "is that this young lady could be quite a success.  Look, I'm running late for an appointment.  Miss, if you ever decide to pursue a career in radio, don't hesitate to look me up.  I really think I could use a voice like yours."

And with a courteous nod of his head, Mr. Lowell was off just as suddenly as he had appeared.

As Stephanie continued to stare blankly at the card, Mr. Lowell's words continued to echo inside her head... "A career in radio...."


THE STOKES MANSION - LIVING ROOM

76 MapletonWayLeticia Stokes walked briskly down the stairs and turned to step into the living room when she paused suddenly.  Her daughter Judith was sitting alone in a chair by the large French doors and gazing out at the snow covered lake.  Leticia sighed wearily.  Alone was how Judith seemed to spend nearly all of her days.  Ever since the accident, Judith rarely left the house.

"Judith," Leticia spoke up as she finally walked into the room, "how about going into town with me today?  I hear that there's a wonderful after-Christmas sale still going on at Lerner's.  I think that we're both due a few new dresses."

"That's okay, Mother," Judith Linford sighed, never taking her eyes off the lake.  "You go on without me.  I'm sure that you're more than capable of picking out clothes on your own.  I'll just stay here."

"Oh, darling, why won't you come with me---get out of the house, do something?"  Leticia stood there, awkwardly wringing her hands.  Why did Judith have to be so difficult all the time?  "All you seem to want to do is either stay in your room and sit in that chair looking out at the lake.  I just don't know how that can be good for you!"

"It's what I want to do, Mother," Judith muttered flatly.  "Now, if you're going to go shopping, you better hurry before all of the good bargains are gone."

Leticia Stokes"Oh, please come with me.  It would do your mood and your spirits a world of good to get out among people.  You can't just shut yourself off like this from everyone!  You can't keep yourself locked inside this house for the rest of your life mourning your dead child!"

"I will do as I please," Judith spat as she quickly turned to face her.  "If I want to wall myself up in the basement and rot there, it will be my decision!  It would be a far better fate than having to deal with the loss of my precious child."  And her hold on Burt Lamont, as well, but no need for her to bring that up.

"Honey, all throughout that pregnancy, you acted like the baby was nothing more than a bother for you and..."

"Well..." Judith's voice trailed off slightly.  True, she had been more than a little annoyed by the restrictions placed on her by the child she'd been carrying.  She sighed with the realization that it was true that sometimes you didn't appreciate what you had until you lost it.  "Well, I see things much clearer now."

"Judith, do you want to be trapped in mourning for the rest of your life?"  Leticia walked further into the room and eyed her daughter closely.  "Don't you want to eventually become the person you used to be?"  Leticia winced slightly as the words came out of her mouth.  The person Judith used to be was less than pleasant, but it was much better than the wet mop she appeared to be now!  "Please come with me.  We can stop at The Gardens for a bite to eat---get some air and some good food.  We can see people.  The ladies at my bridge club are always asking how you're doing and..."

Judith Stokes Linford"Oh, all right!" Judith snapped as she slowly rose from her seat.  "If it will get you to shut up, I'll go!"

"Now, that's much better.  You go upstairs and get dressed."  Leticia began to scurry around the room, her mind a flutter with plans as if she were planning a gala affair.  "I think that lovely emerald green dress would be nice.  You know the one with the little matching jacket?"

"Yes, Mother," Judith sighed.

"Now, where is that husband of yours?" Leticia asked as she gently tapped her chin with her index finger.  "He should go out to eat with us.  I think that would be lovely."

"I haven't the foggiest idea where Mark is," Judith muttered, disgusted at the mention of her husband.  "And, actually, I really don't care.  He could go back to New York for all I care."

"Oh, Judith," Leticia replied with shock and disdain.  As her daughter walked out of the room and headed up the stairs, Leticia could only stand and shake her head.  Whatever would she do with that daughter of hers?