produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #126 (Monday, 11/4/02) click here for a printable version of this episode
Three Months Later
June, 1936 - Afternoon


GOOD HOPE CHURCH - BRIDE'S ROOM

Good Hope ChurchJillian StokesJillian Stokes stood at the window and gazed out at the bright, sunny day -- a perfect day for a wedding.  She inhaled deeply and fanned herself because, although the day was perfect, it was also hot -- unbearably hot.  It had been weeks since the last rain and Albanyville had been seeing record temperatures for so early in the season.  However, even that didn't bother Jillian.  It was her wedding day and she refused to let anything, even the temperature, spoil it.

She walked back to the dressing table and sat down before carefully sliding a few more pins into her hair.  Her make up was perfect; her hair was perfect; and her dress was perfect.  Everything was perfect -- except for one, minor detail.

As her expression darkened, she thought about the one thing about her wedding that wasn't going quite like she'd always imagined it.  True, her reasoning concerning the development was noble and generous, but the mere fact that she'd even opened her mouth to suggest it troubled her.  Gazing intently at her reflection in the mirror as she nervously twisted her engagement ring around her finger, Jillian prayed that she hadn't made a huge mistake.


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GOOD HOPE CHURCH - DRESSING ROOM #1

Good Hope Church"Up or down?" Sara Manchester asked as she stood behind her cousin, Stephanie Lake, both facing the mirror, with Stephanie's hair in her hands.

"I'm not sure," Stephanie muttered as she peered at her reflection.  "I like it down, but this is going to be such a sophisticated affair..."  She paused and bit her lower lip as she considered her alternatives.

"Well, I know that Jillian will probably wear her hair up."  Sara picked up a brush off of the dressing table and began running it through Stephanie's hair.  "So down might make for a nice contrast."

"I want it up," Stephanie announced suddenly.  "If Jillian's going to wear her hair up, so am I."

Sara looked at her cousin intently and took a couple of steps backward as she considered Stephanie's orders.  Finally, Sara picked up several bobby pins from the table and returned to her spot behind her cousin so that she could carefully twist Stephanie's long hair into a stylish and sophisticated chignon.

Sara Manchester"You're not wearing your hair like this just because Jillian's going to, are you?"

"Of course not!  An important event like this deserves just the right look."  Stephanie turned her head slightly as she examined her reflection.  "After all, I'm not a little girl, anymore, and I..."

"Hold still!" Sara snapped as she grabbed Stephanie's head and forced it back around.  "How do you expect me to do this when you keep fidgeting?"

"Okay, okay!"

Sara continued to work diligently on Stephanie's hair until she was finally pleased with the result and then stepped back to admire her work.

"So, what do you think?"

"Perfect!" Stephanie smiled as she slowly turned her head back and forth to examine her hairdo.

As Stephanie continued to gaze at her reflection, Sara bit her lip nervously as she considered a question that had been on the tip of her tongue all morning, but she'd been too nervous to ask.  Realizing that it was something that needed to be said, she took a deep breath and spoke.

"Do you think this is a good idea?" she asked.  "Is it really smart to be involved with Jillian's wedding like this?"

Stephanie Lake"It's not just Jillian's wedding!" Stephanie reminded firmly.  "It's a new a start for all of us.  This wedding is going to be the thing that helps us put all of the bad stuff from the past year behind us.  Today is..."

"I know, I know," Sara sighed.  "The first day of the rest of our lives."  She paused and eyed Stephanie suspiciously.  "Do you really believe that or are you just saying that because it sounds like the right thing to say?"

"I...um..." Stephanie stammered and then slumped back into her seat in front of the dressing table, a look of worry and fear covering her face.  "Oh, Sara, you're right," she confessed.  "This is all wrong!  I can't...do this.  Not today!  I don't even belong at the wedding, let alone in it!"

"It's a fine time to think about that, now!"  Sara quickly rushed up behind Stephanie and grabbed her by the shoulders, forcing her to look up at her reflection in the mirror.  "This wedding starts in less than an hour!  You can't just tell Jillian that you're not going to do it."

"Oh, gee, a few minutes ago you sounded like you were trying to talk me out of this and now you're trying to talk me into it?"  Stephanie snapped her hand around to look at Sara with confusion.

"It's just that...well..."  Sara hung her head and sighed, fully aware that the situation was much more complicated than it sounded.  "I'm not convinced this is such a good idea.  I mean, I think you and Jillian are both doing this for all the wrong reasons.  But..."

"But?"

"But you can't just back out of this an hour before the wedding!"  Sara grabbed Stephanie's arm tightly and shook it in an attempt to drive home her point.  "What are Reginald and Jillian going to say?  More importantly, what's Paddy going to say?"

"He'll understand!" Stephanie snapped and then jumped to her feet, pulling her arm out of her cousin's grasp.  "If I go to him and tell him why I can't do this today, he'll understand!"

"But, Steph!"

"No!" she replied firmly as she threw her shoulders back and strode quickly towards the door.  "I can't do this today and the sooner I tell Paddy and Jillian, the better it's going to be for all of us."


GOOD HOPE CHURCH - DRESSING ROOM #2

Good Hope Church"Nervous?" Trevor Callison asked as he watched his older brother, Reginald, pace around the room.

"You asked me that the last time I tried to get married," Reginald Callison quickly replied, not even missing a beat in his stride.

"And?"

"I'm nervous as hell," Reginald confessed with a sigh and then slumped down into a chair by the door.  "I'm nervous that something's going to happen again that's going to keep me from marrying Jillian .  I'm nervous about this idea of Jillian's to actually include Stephanie, of all people, in what should be our day."

"Well, didn't you try to talk Jillian out of it?"

Reginald CallisonReginald looked up at his brother, shook his head, and laughed.  "You've obviously not being paying attention.  Once Jillian's set her mind to something, no one talks her out of it.  I guess you've just been too busy with..."  He stopped himself and his expression grew solemn.  No, it would be best not to mention something so troubling on what was supposed to be a joyous day.  "I'm...sorry.  I didn't mean to bring up...."

"Grace?" Trevor asked, now his turn to begin to nervously pace around the room.  "It's okay.  You didn't bring her up.  I'm always bringing her up in my head every moment of every day since she's been gone.  I just can't understand how...."  Noticing the dark cloud that had descended on the conversation, Trevor stopped himself.  He couldn't let his worries about Grace Davis spoil the day.

"Are you all right?" Reginald asked with concern.  "I know that all of this as been difficult for you and...."

"Let's not talk about any of that right now," Trevor spoke up before taking a deep breath in an attempt to push away all of his troubled thoughts.  "Let's just think about your big day."

"And Stephanie and Dane...."

"How did Dane end up involved in all of this?"

"I'm still trying to figure that out," Reginald grumbled.  "Jillian mentioned Stephanie and I opened my mouth about Dane and...."

Trevor Callison"I see."  Trevor furrowed his brow as he thought about their options.  "You know, it's not too late to just call off the whole thing."

"What?  Are you kidding me?  Why, Jillian would...."

"I'm not talking about the wedding!  I'm talking about Dane and Stephanie."  Trevor folded his arms across his chest and began to, once again, pace around the room.  "There's still time to just tell the both of them that you don't want them anywhere near the wedding."

"If I only could," Reginald sighed, "but Jillian is determined to use our wedding as a symbol of new beginnings for all of us -- a way to put all of the horrible things that have happened over the last year behind us.  Besides, I couldn't do that to Paddy.  For whatever reason, he's friends with Dane and he's in love with Stephanie."

"I guess that there's only one thing to do."  Trevor walked up behind his older brother and gripped Reginald's shoulder firmly.

"What's that?"

"Just grin and bear it."