produced/written by G. Matthew Smith



EPISODE #156 (April 2, 2012) click here for a printable version of this episode
Same Day
July 1936 – Afternoon

REGINALD & JILLIAN’S HOME – LIVING ROOM

2210 Elmwood LaneJillian Stokes CallisonJillian Callison sat in silence on the sofa in her living room with her mother, Leticia Rutherford, on one side; her mother-in-law, Francis Callison, on the other; and surrounded by her sisters, Judith Linford and Janet Lamont, and husband, Reginald Callison.  Everyone waited with baited breath for her reaction and response to the woman who was apparently her new housekeeper and nursemaid, Mrs. Eudora Whitehead.  Unfortunately for Jillian, her mother-in-law had taken it upon herself to hire Mrs. Whitehead without even so much as consulting Jillian.  That was a sticking point which she was far from comfortable with.

“Jillian, darling, you’re not saying anything.” Reginald finally spoke after several long moments of silence while everyone had waited for Jillian to fully react.  “I think it’s wonderful how Mother went out of her way to find just the right housekeeper with the proper qualifications so that we wouldn’t have to be bothered with it.”

“Of course you would,” she grumbled, unable to will herself to look at him directly.

“Now, Mrs. Callison, I already have a daily schedule worked out,” Mrs. Whitehead interrupted as she began to read from the pad of notepaper she held in her hands.  Dr. Campbell has recommended a course of necessary vitamins which will compliment your daily meal plans for proper nutrition and….”

“Wait!  Stop it!”  Jillian threw up her hands and quickly jumped up from her seat as she pulled herself out of Francis and Leticia’s grasp.  “I am not in favor of this at all!  I don’t need a housekeeper!  I don’t want a housekeeper!”

“Jillian, please?”  Reginald’s voice was deliberately gentle and soothing so as not to overly excite his wife.  “You heard what Dr. Campbell said before we left the hospital – this baby isn’t going to be an easy one and you have to do whatever you can to avoid unnecessary stress and….”

“The only unnecessary stress I’m experiencing right now is this!” She motioned around the room towards the various members of her family who were quickly growing quite uncomfortable, “and that woman who I did not invite into my home!”  She walked swiftly to where Mrs. Whitehead was standing and glared directly into her eyes.  “And I want you to leave.  Now.”


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SPRING LAKE

Spring Lake“Are you still thinking about what Eliza’s mother said to you?” Maggie Callison asked as she propped herself up onto her elbows and looked at Randy Lamont who was sitting beside her on the blanket facing the lake.

“A… little,” he muttered, unable to look at her.  Instead, he continued to focus his eyes on the lake where his girlfriend, Eliza Campbell, was rather unwillingly frolicking in the water with Maggie’s de facto boyfriend, Stanley Fitzpatrick.  “I just can’t get what she said out of my head… or how she looked at me… like I wasn’t even good enough to be seen in her presence.”

“Randy, you can’t listen to a single word Corinne Campbell says.”  She reached over and grabbed hold of his arm, finally forcing him to turn to face her.  “She’s a petty, spiteful woman.  I don’t think she’d ever think anyone was good enough for Eliza.”

“She wasn’t talking about just anyone, Maggie.  She was talking about me.”

Maggie looked at the deeply pained expression on Randy’s face and let out a slow sigh.

“Anyone who could ever think you weren’t good enough doesn’t have the first clue what they’re talking about,” she said as she took his hand.  “You’re the nicest, most decent, most honorable boy I’ve ever known.  You’re more than good enough for anybody!”

Randy Lamont“If I remember right, that’s not what you thought when you first met me.”  He pulled his hand away from hers, quickly jumped up from the blanket, and began to walk away.  “I believe you called me a complete idiot and told me I should’ve stayed wherever it was that I came from.  I’m not so sure you weren’t right.”

Having Randy remind Maggie of their first, confrontational meeting caused her eyes to well up with tears and she quickly turned away from him, unable to see the pain the memories clearly brought him.

“I… I’m sorry about that,” she muttered, more than a bit embarrassed by her earlier judgmental behavior.  “I didn’t give myself a chance to know you first.  I… made assumptions that weren’t true.”

“But you did make them…. Just like Eliza’s mother made them…. Just like every other person.  To everyone else I’m just “that Lamont boy” who doesn’t have any future or anything to offer anyone.  Mrs. Campbell’s right.  I’m not good enough for….”

Maggie Callison“You stop that, Randy!  You stop that right now!”  The forcefulness in Maggie’s voice caused him to turn to look at her.  “Don’t you let anyone – especially Corinne Campbell – ever tell you that you aren’t good enough.  You’re more than good enough for anyone.”

Randy hesitated for a brief moment as his eyes met Maggie’s and the silent words of a thousand unspoken conversations hung in the air between them until finally….

“Even you, Maggie?  Am I good enough for you?”

Randy’s question caught Maggie off guard and she sat in stunned silence as she tried to quickly gather her thoughts.  Unfortunately, before she could give him an answer, Stanley’s uproarious voice began to grow increasingly louder, causing them each to turn in his direction and see him running in their direction.

Stanley Fitzpatrick“Mags!  Randy!” he called out as he waved at them.  “Are you guys going to actually get in the water or not?  I thought that was the entire reason for coming out here in the first place!”

“I… um….” Maggie stammered, not quite sure what to say or how to react.  Her uneasiness was quickly increased by the sight of Eliza hurrying up the hill towards them, clearly far from happy that Stanley had seemed to abandon her in the water.

“Stanley!” Eliza cried out in anger.  “Don’t you dare run away from me!  If I manage to get my hands on you, I’ll….”  Before she could say another word, she noticed the obvious awkwardness shared by Randy and Maggie and immediately knew something was going on.  “You two seem rather… cozy up here all by yourselves… rather content to leave me along with that goon Stanley.”

“I am not a goon!” Stanley snapped.  “Geez, I was just having a little fun.”

Eliza Campbell“Clearly you’re not the only one.”  Eliza’s eyes darted from Maggie to Randy as she observed the looks of embarrassment on their faces as well as the awkward tension that seemed to exist between them.  Without wasting a moment, she grabbed onto Randy’s arm and pulled him tightly to her side.  “I thought you two were coming down to the water.”

“Yeah, Mags,” Stanley nodded.  “What gives?”

“We were… we were just about to head down,” Randy muttered, unable to look at either Maggie or Eliza.

“Actually… no.”  Maggie jumped up from the blanket and began to hurriedly collect her things.  “It’s getting late and I really want to stop by and see Jillian.  Stanley, would you take me home please?”

“Aw!  But, Mags!”

Now, Stanley.”

With her bag slung over her shoulder, Maggie grabbed his hand and pushed past Randy and Eliza as she led him towards his jalopy, never bothering to even look back over her shoulder at Randy.  If she had, she would’ve seen him watching her as she walked the rest of the way up the hill – and Eliza watching him very closely.


REGINALD & JILLIAN’S HOME – LIVING ROOM/FOYER

2210 Elmwood LaneJillian, darling, I think you’re overreacting and being a tad unreasonable,” Reginald said softly as he tried to avoid getting his wife any more upset than she clearly already was.  “You heard what Dr. Campbell said and….”

“Yes, I heard what he said – he said that there’s a chance I might not be able to have this baby.  I understand that.  But there’s no reason why you have to force this… this… woman on me.  I am not an invalid!  I don’t need a nursemaid!  Besides, you heard Janet.  She’s more than willing to help me with anything I need.”

Leticia Stokes Rutherford“Dear, you know your sister just got married,” Leticia carefully reminded.  “She has more than enough work of her own to help set up house with Burt.  You can’t honestly expect her to put all of that on hold just to run into town every day to help you keep house.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that,” Judith openly smirked with a sideways glance towards an increasingly uncomfortable Janet.  “I have a feeling that our dear sister is going to have an opening in her busy schedule very soon.”

Judith Stokes Linford“Jillian, you know we only want what’s best for you,” Francis spoke up.  “For both you and the baby.  We only want to do whatever we can to make these next few months as easy for you as possible.”

Janet Stokes Lamont“Then if that’s the case, the best thing everyone can do is simply leave me alone!”  Unwilling to listen to another word, Jillian pushed past Reginald and stormed out of the living room causing everyone to erupt into a clamor of concerned panic.

“Let me go have a word with her,” Reginald said quickly, motioning for everyone to sit down.  “I’m sure if I can get her to calm down and listen to reason, I can convince her that having Mrs. Whitehead’s help is for the best.”

Francis CallisonAs Reginald hurried out of the living room and into the foyer, he found his wife in tears and clutching the edge of the banister at the foot of the stairs.

Mrs. Whitehead“Jillian, are you all right?” he asked as he came up behind her and put his hand lovingly on her shoulder.  “You’re not ill, are you?  The baby…?”

“I’m fine,” she muttered weakly, attempting to choke back her tears.  “Just a little embarrassed, I suppose.  I don’t… know what’s come over me.  I didn’t mean to… to lash out at everyone like that.  I know everyone is only concerned about me and the baby, but….”

“But you had an idea in your head about how you thought this married life of ours was going to go, didn’t you?”  Reginald pulled his wife into his comforting arms and cradled her head against his shoulder.

“You know me far too well, Mr. Callison.”  She let out a weak laugh.  “You know I was determined to be the best, old fashioned wife you could ever hope for without any help from anyone.  I just didn’t… plan for either a baby or any of the difficulties that’s going along with it.”

“Sweetheart, there’s nothing wrong with needing help.  You could have an army of maids, housekeepers, and assistants and you’d still be the best wife I could ever hope to have.  I know you wanted to do it all on your own, but we’ve got to put all of that aside and think about what’s best for the baby.  If that means having Mrs. Whitehead helping you around the house and taking care of you when I’m not here, then so be it.”

Jillian looked up at Reginald and let a soft grumble.  “Well, Dr. Campbell did recommend her and she does have nurses’ training, which I suppose could be helpful, all things considered….”

Reginald Callison“Does that mean you’ll agree to hire on Mrs. Whitehead?”

She paused for a brief moment and quickly weighed her options.

Jillian Stokes Callison“Yes,” she finally nodded, “but only on a trial basis.  If there’s any reason I decide that this isn’t working out, then I want that woman out of this house.”

“Oh, I have a feeling that by the time all is said and done, you’ll realize exactly how indispensable Mrs. Whitehead is going to be.”  A smiling Reginald pulled Jillian into his arms and hugged her tightly.  “You’ll see.  This is all for the best.”

However, no sooner were the words of agreement out of her mouth, Jillian was already having second thoughts.  Despite her privileged and pampered upbringing, she was quite the independent sort and had grown unaccustomed to being under anyone’s watchful eye.  Having Mrs. Whitehead’s constant presence in the house was something she knew she was going to have trouble getting used to.