Episode #392

Previously ...
- In Seattle, Lauren made a suggestion during a meeting, and Julian promptly shot her down. Josh came to her defense, and her idea was well-received.
- The Fishers panicked when they could not find Sarah before the wedding. Little did they know that she was locked in the walk-in freezer!
- When Matt went up to the restaurant in search of Sarah, he was stunned to see Jennie's car pulling out of the parking lot.


Brent Taylor takes his seat in the second row of chairs, right behind the seats where Bill and Paula will sit with the grandkids once the ceremony begins. Travis and Samantha are already in their seats, being surprisingly quiet, though Brent suspects it has a lot to do with the pair of Gameboys accompanying them. He finds himself observing the kids with fascination, something that he has found himself doing more and more ever since Molly became pregnant.

He can feel the restlessness of the guests around him; he feels it himself. Back behind the seating area, the wedding party has scattered. Brent checks his watch and wonders where Matt, who not long ago was back there chatting with guests, has gone.

"Brent," a voice beside him says, snapping him from his thoughts. It takes him a moment to recognize the striking woman.

She extends her hand. "I'm not sure if you remember me. Andrea Yang."

"Of course I do," he says. "Have you seen Matt and Sarah yet? I'm sure they're thrilled you could make it."

"I bumped into Matt, very briefly. I'll catch up with them more at the reception." Her poise is as unwavering as Brent remembers. "I hear that you've returned to the police force."

He nods. "I wasn't cut out to be a private investigator. Sarah, on the other hand--it's right up her alley."

"I was glad to hear that things turned out so well for both of you," Andrea says.

"It took some time, but things really did work out for the best." His next sentence is pre-empted by the vibrating of his cell phone. "Sorry, let me take this real fast."

He doesn't recognize the number on the caller ID. "Hello? Brent Taylor here."

"Brent, it's Matt."

He tries his best not to sound caught off-guard, though he very much is. "Hey ... what can I do for you?"

"Don't say anything to anybody else," Matt says, "but we can't find Sarah."

"What do you--"

"That's not all. I just saw Jennie Burkle's car pulling out of the parking lot. I don't know if you could--I mean--make some calls or something?"

"Sure, yeah. I'll, uh ..." He glances at Andrea. "I'll take care of it." He ends the call and is surprised by Andrea's knowing expression.

"That didn't sound good," she says. Lowering her voice, she adds, "They still can't find her?"

Her knowledge of the situation surprises Brent, who simply shakes his head. "No, but I need to go make some calls before this gets a lot worse."


Inside the walk-in freezer, Sarah Fisher rubs her numb hands feverishly over her bare arms. Her extremities are stinging now; she is sure that she has been in here for a good half-hour, at the least.

She reaches up and touches her hair. It feels crusty to the touch--a combination of the hairspray and the freezing air. She can only imagine what it must look like.

"I've got to get out of here," she mutters, again eyeing the door. She would pound on it some more, if not for the stinging in her hands. She flexes them, trying to keep the blood circulating.

Then she hears it. The sound is faint at first, and she is sure that her mind is playing tricks on her. But she presses against the door. Her ears are not deceiving her: there are voices in the kitchen.

Out in the kitchen, Courtney Chase surveys the pile of pots and pans on the floor. "What happened here?"

"I don't know," Jason Fisher says, "but we've got to get out of here. I don't think Sarah left here on her own."

He leads the way toward the dining room, trying desperately to devise some sort of plan in his mind. He was sure that they would find Sarah somewhere that the others had forgotten to look--but all they found was the very unsettling suggestion that something much more nefarious has taken place.


The voice comes from some indeterminate place, sounding hollow and distant but also frantic. He looks to Courtney for confirmation that she, too, heard it.

"Sarah?" he calls out.

"Help me!" Loud banging draws his attention to the large, walk-in freezer. "Who is that?"

"It's Jason! Where are you?"

"The freezer!"

He considers asking for an explanation but thinks better of it. Instead he goes to the heavy door.

"Get me out of here!" Sarah yells.

With a little bit of work, Jason yanks open the door. Sarah looks washed out and pale, as if the life has been drained from her. She staggers out of the freezer and grabs onto her brother.

Suddenly Matt bursts into the room. "Jason, your mom said you were up here. We need to--" He stops short when he sees Jason standing with Sarah, his arm wrapped around her. "What happened to you?"

"I heard a commotion in here, so I came to investigate," she explains, her eyes glazed. "The freezer door was open, and there was a mess inside, and I guess the door must have closed behind me ..." She trails off, obviously taken aback by the expression on Matt's face, just as Jason is. "What is it?"

Matt is quiet for a moment, then shakes his head. "Nothing. I'm just glad you're okay. I was worried."

"Oh my God!" Sarah exclaims, her head snapping up.


"You're not supposed to see me!" she says. "Matt, go outside!"

Matt doesn't move. Incredulity spreads over his face. "Sarah, you got locked in a freezer. I'm relieved that you're okay. I don't think we need to worry about--"

"This is a disaster!" Sarah looks to Jason and Courtney. "Is everyone still waiting? I know the minister has to leave--"

"He's still here," Matt interjects. "Everything is fine. Why don't you take some time to get yourself together?"

She shakes her head. "No. I don't want to risk anything else happening. Jason, can you ... get Matt out of here? Courtney, could you help me get myself together?"

"Of course," Courtney says, casting a confused glance at Jason.

"C'mon, Matt. Let's go tell everyone that everything is okay." Jason leads the groom out of the kitchen, but not before Matt pauses to consider Sarah again with grave concern. She shoos him along.

Once the men are gone, Sarah's expression changes--becomes darker, more frantic. Courtney sees the shift and says, "Let's just take a few minutes to get you warmed up and calmed down. That had to be pretty scary."

"I should've known something like this would happen," Sarah says, as if she hasn't even heard Courtney. "We have to get going."

"What? Sarah--"

"Courtney, I don't have time to mess around. If I don't marry Matt soon, it might never happen."


Josh Taylor pushes his way past a family of tourists, who have stopped in the middle of the walkway to consult their map, to catch up with Lauren Brooks.

"This place is a circus," he grumbles when he reaches her side.

"It's a major tourist attraction," Lauren says. "Comes with the territory."

Josh glances back at the tourist family, who have opened up a backpack and begun rifling through it, completely disrupting the flow of foot traffic. "The territory is working my last nerve."

"You can't say that you went to Seattle and didn't see the Space Needle," Lauren says.

"I saw it out the window of my hotel room."

Lauren leads the way out onto the observation deck, which is equally as packed as the interior. Josh follows robotically. A layer of spectators lines the edge of the deck as they peer out of the city.

Something akin to an explosion knocks Lauren off her feet and into Josh, as a large woman in a safari hat rockets past them. "I found it!" she shouts, clutching a map in her hand as she charges toward a group of women.

"Is that how you wanna be when you're middle-aged?" Josh says to Lauren. She brushes off the crack and moves toward the edge of the deck, which is protected by a screen. They find themselves waiting behind the dense thicket of visitors, unable to get a clear view of much except the sky.

Finally, the people in front of them start to move away--but as soon as they do, the woman in the safari hat barrels into the opening. "I've got a good angle over here!" she shouts as she lifts a pair of binoculars to her face.

Lauren sighs, clearly annoyed, but makes no move to say anything to the woman.

"You're just gonna let her cut you off like that?" Josh asks.

Lauren shrugs, then answers in a whisper. "What am I supposed to do? Pick a fight?"

"Could liven this place up a little," Josh says as he taps the woman on the shoulder. She sneaks a final look through her binoculars before turning to look at him.

"Excuse me," he says, flashing that sneaky smile that Lauren has come to recognize, "but this young lady was waiting here--"

"Oh, aren't you the cutest?" the woman exclaims. "Pam! Susan! Come on over here!" She grabs Josh's hand. "You've gotta take a picture with us!"

Josh attempts to protest: "I'm really not--"

Lauren watches as the woman drags him toward her friends, shouting, "I just met the most adorable young man, y'all!" The women huddle around him and fawn. One of them pulls out a camera, and the women take turns squeezing him close to them while the camera flashes away. Despite Josh's best efforts to extract himself, the women keep a tight grip on him at all times.

Their distraction, however, leaves an open spot at the edge of the observation deck. Lauren moves toward it but doubles back. She makes a beeline for the cluster of women.

"Ladies, you'll have to excuse me," she says, taking Josh's hand, "but you're going to have to let my husband go."

"Aww! You're taken? What a shame!" the women cry as Lauren drags him away.

Josh makes it about two feet before bursting out into laughter. "I owe you big time!"

"I didn't want to try and explain how I lost an entire coworker," Lauren says. She leads the way back to the edge of the deck, and they push their way into an open spot.

"Wow," Josh says, almost as soon as he looks out at the view. "Just ... wow."

"I told you!" Lauren breathes in the cool air as she gazes out at the city. "It's an amazing view, isn't it?"

Josh turns to look at her. "Yeah. It really is."


Brent puts away his cell phone and returns to the crowd of guests. Their tension is palpable now: heads turn frequently to look backward, in search of some clue to explain the delay. Brent hopes, even though the local police will be keeping an eye out for Jennie's car, that it will not come to that.

He finds Molly waiting with Claire and Ryan. His wife looks flushed in the heat.

"Are you feeling okay?" Brent asks, placing a hand gently on her lower back. "Maybe you should sit down."

Molly dismisses his concerns with a soft shake of the head. "I'm fine. We should be getting started any minute now, anyway."

Brent keeps his mouth shut and makes a comment to Claire about how well-behaved the kids are being. He tries his best to include Ryan in the conversation, to give him a fair shake, but he finds the process more than a little awkward; he cannot help thinking about how Tim got the raw end of the deal in that situation.

A hushed commotion makes its presence known, and all four of them turn to see Matt and Jason making their way back toward the wedding.

"Sarah is on her way down," Matt says to the group at large. "We'll get going in a couple minutes." As relief ripples through the wedding party and the guests who overheard, Brent manages to catch Matt's eye. Matt's expression conveys a clear message: Everything's under control. I'll explain later.

The reassurance sets Brent a bit more at ease, though he suspects that there is more to the story than what Matt just implied to the entire group. He has every intention of getting the full explanation later. For the moment, however, he gives Molly a kiss and excuses himself so that he can return to his seat.

Several minutes later, Sarah and Courtney have made their way back down to the beach. The guests have been corralled into their seats, the members of the wedding party have organized themselves into a line, and now the string quartet plays a lilting melody that rides along on the afternoon breeze. But, several yards away from the group, the bride is anything but peaceful.

"Honey, you could at least try to look happy about your own wedding," Paula advises her daughter as she smooths out Sarah's dress one last time.

"I tried that. It got me locked in a freezer." Sarah fiddles ever-so-slightly with the bouquet in her hands, flipping the petals this way and that. "This is all turning out wrong."

Paula shoots her a stern look. "Don't be melodramatic. One mishap will not ruin the entire day."

"And then Matt saw me in my dress, and--"

Bill, who has been standing nearby waiting for Sarah to be ready, steps forward. "Sarah, don't make yourself crazy. Not today." He levels a loving but firm stare on her. "Everything is fine now. You're okay, and in a minute, Matt will be standing up there, waiting to marry you. Do you really want to let superstition ruin the whole day for you?"

Grudgingly, Sarah shakes her head. "I guess not."

"Good." He steps forward and links arms with her, and Paula does the same on the other side.

"Now come on," Bill says, leading the way. "It's time to make your dream come true."


The crowd sits quietly, as if hypnotized by the soft melody, as Matt makes his way down the aisle. He waits with the minister as the wedding party processes.

Her arms locked with her parents', Sarah watches the procession from the back of the aisle. They walk in pairs, moving with just the grace she imagined: Diane and Jake; Molly and Jason; Mia and Tim; and Claire and Ryan. Even from her spot at the back, Sarah can see how stiffly Claire is moving, how she avoids eye contact with Tim the entire time.

Then comes Tori, spreading flowers as she walks down the aisle. It strikes Sarah how grown-up her daughter looks with her hair done and such an elegant dress. Tori makes her way to the front and receives a kiss from her father, after which she goes to sit with her grandparents and cousins.

The strings taper off and begin again with a confident surge. Shuffling sounds fill the air as the guests rise from their seats and turn to face her. She looks at her mother and then her father, whose smile momentarily calms her racing heartbeat, and they take their first step down the aisle.

Sarah takes in the music, the light ocean breeze, the faces staring back at her, with every step she takes. She remembers the thought that seized her at this same moment during her wedding to Brent: This is as good as it will get. The dream she had as a little girl had turned itself into some sort of terrifying mutant--all she could do was worry about losing him. She thought she would never experience the moment with the purity that she always envisioned. But now, as the same thought flashes through her mind, contentment washes over her. This is as good as it will get--as good as it could get.

Before she knows it, they have come to the head of the aisle. Matt catches her eye, and she cannot suppress the smile that plays across her face. Bill and Paula present her to the minister and to Matt, and they take their seats.

"We have come together today to celebrate the love shared by two wonderful people," the minister begins, his voice rich and proud.

From somewhere nearby, Sarah hears what sounds like a stifled grunt. She ignores it.

"I have had the opportunity to spend time with Sarah and Matt over the past few weeks," the minister says, "and I can say with confidence that these are two people deserving of the honor of matrimony."

Sarah hears another grunt--a little higher-pitched, almost like a suppressed squeal. She looks at Matt for some sign that he heard it, too, but he simply smiles at her.

"Love does not always take the most conventional path," the minister goes on, "nor does it present itself in the most obvious ways. This is something to which Sarah and Matt can certainly attest." Light laughter ripples through the guests.

As it fades, Sarah is sure that she hears yet another noise, the same kind of grunt. This time she turns to look at the bridal party. Molly flashes her an unreadable expression--apologetic, maybe, or simply pained.

Before Sarah has the chance to consider it any further, Molly's expression transforms completely.

"Oh my gosh!" Molly gasps. Her hand goes to her stomach.

Shock surges through the wedding party and the guests. Sarah remains focused on her sister, and right before Molly speaks, she realizes what has happened.

Through heavy breaths, Molly says, "My water just broke!"


Will Sarah ever be able to marry Matt?
Does Jennie still pose a threat to the couple?
What is going on between Lauren and Josh?
Come over to the Footprints Forum to discuss this episode!

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