Episode #331

Previously ...
- Sarah consulted Diane for advice on how to mend her relationship with Matt.
- Molly helped Kelsey get a job as assistant manager at the Objection boutique.
- After Stan overheard him on the phone, Nick made a call to have Stan taken care of. Later, he received word that he could breathe easy again.
- Jason gave a copy of Alex's manuscript to Sarah, who showed it to Diane. In turn, Diane called Alex in for a meeting and told him that Vision wants to publish his novel.


As she enters her parents' living room, Molly Fisher finds the rest of the family--well, most of it--already present. Paula, Ryan, and Claire sit on the sofa, engaged in conversation, while Jason and Bill are positioned near the television, flipping through various ESPN channels with what is apparently little success in finding anything entertaining.

The others look up as Molly and Brent enter.

"Oh, hi, dear," Paula says, rising to greet her daughter with a kiss on the cheek. "Hi, Brent."

"What's going on?" Molly asks once she and Brent have said their hellos. "Did something happen?"

Paula shakes her head quickly, as if to allay any panic. "No, nothing like that. We all ... well, Sarah wanted to get everyone together."

Molly flashes a quizzical look at her mother and then at Brent, who looks equally puzzled.

"I'm not sure why, exactly," Paula admits. "But she said it was very important."

Alarms ring in Molly's head. What, does Sarah have a sudden desire for a family reunion? That doesn't seem right. Something has to be up.

Jason must recognize Molly's uncertainty, because he speaks up: "Trust me, it's nothing bad. Just let Sarah do what she needs to do."

His vote of confidence makes Molly feel a little better about the whole thing. She and Brent exchange another set of baffled looks.

Before they can do any more wondering, Sarah comes down the stairs.

"Oh, good, everyone's here," she says, her gaze fixed specifically upon Molly and Brent. She makes her way to the center of the living room; Jason, recognizing that this is what they are all gathered for, switches off the TV.

Sarah clasps her hands together. "Okay, first, thanks for showing up and being willing to listen to me. This isn't the easiest thing for me to do, but I know it's necessary, and I want all of you to see and hear me do it."

Now she turns and faces Molly and Brent. The other five pairs of eyes in the room settle on them, as well.

"Molly, Brent," Sarah says, then pausing to draw a deep breath. "This mess between the three of us has been going on for a long time. You might not agree with the way I've handled it at times, and I might not agree with things that either of you have done."

Images fire through Molly's mind, split-second memories of the events and the feelings that have brought them to this point: Brent and Sarah standing before a priest, renewing their vows; Sarah confessing in the hospital to having slept with Matt; Sarah shoving her off the pier and into the bay. There are also flashes, whose dates and times Molly can't even pinpoint, of all the times that she herself ran to Brent for solace or strength or just for fun, times before she even admitted to herself or anyone else that she had deep feelings for him.

Sarah is right. None of them are blameless.

"But you two have chosen to be together now," Sarah continues, "and I have my own life, too. Dwelling on the past isn't going to help any of us, and it definitely isn't going to do our futures any good."

Beside Molly, Brent exhales sharply. She wonders what he thinks of this speech.

"So as much as it might hurt me to do this, I have to," Sarah says. "I have to let go of the past so that we can all move forward. That's why I wanted to say this in front of the whole family, so everyone knows that I'm serious and that I really mean it. I want to give you my blessing to be together."


The sidewalks are busy with the weekend traffic, as people are out enjoying the summer afternoon. Brian Hamilton and Diane Bishop work their way deftly through the throngs of people on Platz Street.

"Let's stop in here for a second," Brian says, pointing out that the Objection boutique is celebrating its grand opening.

"You're just like Samantha." Diane eyes a scantily clad mannequin in the display window. "Begging for whatever you see in the window as you walk past."

The two of them enjoyed a late lunch, and though Diane is ready to pick up Samantha from the babysitter and head home, she's also interested in checking out what this Objection store has to offer.

"My little sister's birthday is coming up," Brian says. "Maybe I can find something here."

A catchy flamenco tune escapes from the upscale boutique. They walk into the crowded store, and Diane stops and holds up the tiniest pair of panties Brian has ever seen. "Do you think Keri would like these?" she asks with a smirk.

"I wouldn't let my sister out of the house in those, no matter how many layers of clothes she wears over them!"

"Fine ... prude," Diane adds under her breath as she replaces the hanger.

They continue searching the store, until Brian rounds a corner and nearly runs into a large woman pushing a stroller. "Sorry!" he apologizes, backing away from the woman and her baby--and right into an employee of the boutique.

An assortment of clothing carried by the young woman scatters to the floor. "Oh, perfect," the girl mutters, bending to the floor.

Diane stifles a laugh, while Brian crouches down to retrieve several of the items. He glances to the pretty employee's nametag on an impulse. Kelsey.

Brian offers an embarrassed smile. "God, I'm such a klutz."

"Nah, we're just so busy!" Kelsey Barker comments, blushing deeply at her own misfortune.

"Well, it is the opening weekend," Brian says sympathetically, steadying Kelsey's armful of garments as he adds the ones he collected to the stack. "If you keep even half of these customers coming back here on a regular basis, the place should be in good shape."

"Seems like it ." Kelsey is all out of small-talk, but the handsome customer is still there, waiting for her to either speak up or walk away. She's about to say something, anything, when she nearly drops the clothes again in her absent-minded state. "I can't believe this! I'd better get these on the shelf before I completely lose it!"

Diane rolls her eyes once Kelsey's gone. "What an airhead!"

"She was just busy. Probably overwhelmed by all this commotion. And my good looks ..."

"Ha!" Diane laughs at first, but recognizes just a hint of something in Brian's expression and calls him on it. "Don't tell me you're attracted to that clueless girl? Oh please, Brian! She's barely older than Samantha!"

"Hardly. She's a little young," Brian comments, grinning at Diane's annoyance. "But there's no harm in looking."

Diane shakes her head. "And here I was beginning to think you were an asexual being after all this time."

"Only when I'm with you." Brian winks at her, and she narrows her eyes.

"Let's go. I need to pick up my daughter--and save you from a statutory rape charge," Diane says, grabbing Brian's arm and dragging him out the door.


Molly is astonished to hear the words come out of Sarah's mouth. She had a feeling this was where Sarah's speech was going, but actually hearing it is something else entirely.

She nods graciously, while Brent says, "Thanks, Sarah."

"Why don't we all go outside for a minute?" Molly says quietly to both of them. Though they seem surprised, both nod.

"We're going to go talk privately, the three of us," she announces to the rest of the family. "We'll be back in a few minutes."

She, Brent, and Sarah head out the front door and onto the porch. Brent stands beside Molly, and the two of them face Sarah.

"I know you guys probably don't believe that I mean this," Sarah says immediately, "but I do."

"I don't think you're up to something, if that's what you mean," Brent says. He looks to Molly, waiting for her to offer the same type of reassurance.

Molly folds her arms in front of her chest; she doesn't intend it as a gesture of aggression, but a sort of self-defense. "Sarah, no, I don't think you have some devious plan up your sleeve. But I guess ... I want to make sure you really, truly mean what you're saying."

"I do." Before Molly has the chance to question her further, she adds, "I want to be able to move on with my life. I've had the chance with Matt, but it keeps getting screwed up because I've been hanging onto the past. I realize now that I can't do that if I want a real future of my own."

The level of self-awareness in her sister's voice surprises Molly. For the first time in a very long time--years, it must be, though their childhood sometimes seems like it was only days or weeks ago--she sees Sarah not as a romantic rival or someone she has to tiptoe delicately around, but as the sister with whom she grew up.

"Thanks," Molly says quietly. "This means a lot."

Sarah purses her lips and nods. "I have to do what I have to do."


The Pacific Northwest breeze is surprisingly powerful for a summer afternoon, and Alex Marshall takes silent note of it as he steps inside 322, runs a hand through his messed hair. His lips curl into an anxious smile as he stands in the entryway and scans the restaurant for Trevor Brooks. He finds his friend seated at a booth by the window and heads that way.

Trevor offers a grin but stays seated as the other young man slides into the booth across from him. He looks good, Alex notes. Sexy, even, in a way Alex hadn't noticed until seeing him the night of the fashion show.

"Hey," Alex says and is suddenly at a loss for words.

"Hey." Trevor gestures toward the bar. "I ordered you a beer."

"Thanks." Alex rests his hands on the table and clasps them together. He's not sure how to break this news to Trevor, not sure whether to thank him first for all of his help or launch right into the big announcement. He starts: "So, um ..."

"Uh-oh," Trevor cuts in and flashes a runway-quality smile, "something's up. I can see it written all over your face."

"Yeah. It's a pretty big deal."

"I have a feeling this is about to get good."

"Me, too." A pause, then: "My book's going to be published."

Trevor blinks at him, then breaks into another broad grin. "Get out!"

"I'm serious. It's kind of a long story, but Jason's sister saw it and showed it to a friend in publishing. She liked it and wants to publish it."

"Alex, this is great, man."

"I'm really excited, yeah," Alex concedes. The notion of being paid for his writing seems all of a sudden more real than it ever has. Things are starting to sink in, and it feels great--even better, for some reason, that he's sharing the news with Trevor.

"This is great news. I have an idea," Trevor says and waves over a young waitress Alex guesses is theirs. Alex listens as he cancels their drink order, waits for the server to leave before speaking again.

"What was that about?" he asks as Trevor slides out of the booth and stands.

"We're going someplace a little more exciting to celebrate. C'mon."

Perplexed, Alex rises and follows him out of the restaurant.


Back inside the house, the rest of the family waits for some sign of what is going on outside. Jason juggles the remote control from hand to hand, even though he resists the temptation to flip the TV back on; Claire and Ryan attempt to make conversation, despite their obvious distraction; and Bill and Paula have momentarily escaped to the kitchen.

"I hope this doesn't turn into another gigantic mess," Paula says as she hands one glass of iced tea to Bill and pours another for herself.

"It won't," Bill says with a confidence that rings false to his wife. They have no way of knowing that, especially after all the things that have happened between Sarah, Molly, and Brent.

They take their iced teas and return to the living room.

"They're still outside?" Paula asks, though she already knows the answer.

Jason responds with a murmur, and Claire and Ryan both nod.

"I just hope Sarah doesn't cause any more trouble," Paula says quietly, addressing Bill even though the others can hear her.

"She's not going to," Ryan interjects, his voice surprisingly firm. "She means it."

Jason sighs, as if he wants to believe it but isn't quite sure. "I really hope so, for her sake and for theirs."

Before anyone can respond, a shrill chirping noise slices through the air. Ryan scrambles to retrieve his phone from his pants pocket.

He glances briefly at the screen and, looking puzzled, answers. "Ryan Moriani."

His expression warps from interested to alarmed in a matter of seconds, and by the time he ends the call, the entire family is trying to figure out what could be going on.

"I've got to go," Ryan says, already on his feet.

Claire rises with him. "Why? Is something wrong?"

"That was the police," he says, his speech slowing as disbelief sinks in. "They need me to go to the morgue and identify a body."


What bad news is in store for Ryan ... or is it bad at all?
What did you think of Brian and Diane's shopping trip?
What could Trevor have in store for Alex?
And is Sarah genuinely ready to let bygones be bygones?
Join the discussion in the Footprints Forum!

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