MANSION - LIVING ROOM
Leticia Rutherford called out as she raced to her daughter's side. She
knelt down next to Judith, who had collapsed on the floor, and shook her.
"Judith, are you all right? Judith!"
Linford slowly opened her eyes and tried to focus on the sound of her mother's
voice. "What...what happened?"
"Dear, you fainted." Leticia
explained as she, along with her other daughter, Janet
Stokes, tried to help
Judith to her feet. "What's wrong? Do you feel ill?
Should I call a doctor?"
"No, I'm...fine." Now standing shakily on her own two feet, she pushed both her mother and sister
away. "I just...need a drink of...water. Mother, call Ruby and
"I'll get it," Janet spoke up
quickly and hurried out of the room.
gone out for the night," Leticia explained as she tried to help her
daughter over to a chair. "She was on her way out when Jillian
called." She paused as she inspected Judith closely. "Are
you sure you're all right? People don't just faint for no reason."
"I said that I'm fine!" she snapped
angrily. "I think that I should know better than anyone else if
something's wrong with me!"
"Judith, here's some water," Janet
spoke up as she hurried back into the room. After handing the glass to her
sister, she took a step back and looked at her intently without saying a word.
Judith took several long sips of water before
becoming acutely aware that both her mother and sister were watching her
closely. "Would everyone just stop staring at me!" she snapped
angrily. "What do I have to do to convince you that I'm fine? I
just stood up too quickly, that's all."
"Maybe I should call a doctor,"
Leticia said softly and reached over to gently lay her hand on her daughter's forehead
to check for a temperature, only to have Judith swat it away like an annoying
fly. "Let me call Fred at the hospital. He can come right home
"If you think I'm going to let that
quack examine me, you're out of your mind!"
"Judith, Fred's a very respected
doctor," Leticia pointed out sternly, "and he's your step-father."
"Don't remind me," Judith grumbled.
"Janet," Leticia whispered softly
as she leaned over to her, "you keep your sister still and I'm going to
call Fred. Whether she likes it or not, she needs to be looked at."
"I'll...do my best," Janet
muttered, her eyes darting to Judith.
Once Leticia had hurried out of the room,
Janet stood in silence, not wanting to broach any sort of topic that might
don't know why she's getting herself so excited," Judith finally spoke as
she slowly felt the color returning to her cheeks. "I told her I was
"She's just worried about you, that's
all," Janet explained. "Mothers worry about their
"I wouldn't know," Judith shot
back. "Fate took my chance of being a mother away from me."
Janet winced because of her sister's words
and because of the role that Janet knew she'd played in the loss of Judith's
"Of course, you know all about that,
don't you, Janet?" she asked coolly, her eyes narrowing. "After
all you were there."
"How many times do I have to tell you
that what you remembered is wrong?" Janet shouted angrily. "I
was there after you fell! After!"
Janet's outburst caused Judith's eyes to grow
wide with shock. "For someone who keeps insisting that they don't
know anything about my fall, you sure get quite upset when I bring it
up." She kept her eyes locked on her sister. "Tell me,
dear, why is that? What is it about my baby that makes you, of all people,
"N-nothing! I'm not...upset."
"Yes, you are." Judith,
feeling her strength returning, gripped the arms of the chair and slowly pushed
herself to her feet. "You're hiding something, Janet. I'm sure
"And I'm going to find out exactly what
felt her heart begin to beat faster. Suddenly, Judith lunged at her and
grabbed her tightly by the wrist.
"Tell me!" Judith demanded.
"Tell me what you're hiding! Tell me what happened the night I
Janet's eyes filled with fear and
terror. She couldn't tell Judith that she was the one responsible for the
death of her baby. Janet couldn't tell her that she'd gone temporarily out
of her head and pushed her down the stairs. She just couldn't!