- Camille Lemieux was a casualty of the explosion at the Fisherman's Pier.
- As the result of an infection stemming from injuries suffered in the restaurant explosion, Brent had to have his lower leg amputated.
- Ryan pleaded with Jason to allow him to continue at the arena as business manager, in hopes that the professional relationship would help Jason forgive him on a personal level, but Jason lashed out and fired him.
- Alex helped Seth flee from his wedding to Miriam. After returning home, Alex kept his recent contact with Seth a secret from Trevor.
KING'S BAY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
As she steps off the elevator, Molly Taylor catches a glimpse of herself in a window. Her outfit, a black dress with a black shrug and black shoes, seems inappropriate for this visit, like it might be tempting fate. She wonders if she should have stopped by the house and changed before coming here. At the least, she needs to change her mindset before going into Brent's room. She can feel the lingering puffiness in her eyes and the tearstains on her cheeks, despite her best efforts to clean herself up, and she is sure that the others will notice.
She can hear the activity from within as she approaches the room. The door stands wide open, and she sees Brent's family--Danielle, Josh, and their father--gathered around the bed. Caleb and Christian sit on the floor with a mound of toys. The scene is a joyous one, or at least a grateful one, and Molly feels even more like her black outfit and black mood will throw the whole thing off-balance.
Nevertheless, she pulls herself together and joins them.
"Mol! Hey," Brent says, holding out a hand, which Molly takes as she comes to the bedside. "How was everything?"
"It was nice. Very tasteful and elegant, not a lot of histrionics, just the way Camille would have wanted it."
As she expected, her talk of the funeral casts a dark pall over the room.
Brent squeezes her hand. "I'm sorry I couldn't be there."
"I'm sure Camille would have understood," Molly says, and she tries to make a laugh come out. She is marginally successful. "How are you guys all doing? Are you feeling okay, honey?"
"I'm doing great." Brent nods vigorously, then looks to his siblings and father for corroboration. "I'm holding up pretty well, right?"
"Pretty hardcore, bro," Josh says. "I'm impressed."
Brent turns back to Molly. "The doctor was in before, and she said that, based on how I'm recovering so far, she thinks it would be all right to go ahead with the fitting for my prosthetic. The specialist is coming to meet me--us--tomorrow."
Molly wonders if all this bravado, or at least some of it, is a cover. Maybe Brent is more scared than he is letting on. From the looks of things, this has affected him about as much as needing a few stitches.
"That's terrific," she says.
Bob seems to notice Molly's concern, and he catches his son's eye.
"Just be sure you aren't rushing," the elder Mr. Taylor says. "You need to give your body and your mind time to adjust."
"Always a dad," Brent says with a laugh. "Don't worry about me. The technology is amazing. You see people running marathons on two prosthetics these days. In the grand scheme of things, this isn't that big a deal, right?"
Molly holds her lips tight and tries her best not to dissent. What Brent needs right now is support, and she is not going to be the one to deny him that, no matter what.
JASON FISHER & ALEX MARSHALL'S APARTMENT
Keys in hand, Trevor Brooks moves for the door. "Sure you don't wanna come?"
"It's not a matter of what I want to do," Alex Marshall says from the dining room table, where he sits with the marked-up manuscript that Diane Bishop recently sent back to him. "I have to get to work on these notes from the publisher."
"But getting my oil changed is so exciting! I don't see how you can miss out."
"I'll have to find a way to survive, somehow."
Trevor returns to the table to give Alex a kiss. "Good luck."
"Thanks," Alex says as he opens up his laptop. "You, too."
"I might need it. I never have any idea what these people are talking about," Trevor says, "so it always costs, like, two hundred dollars to get my oil changed."
"You could do it yourself."
"Yeah. Or not." With one last smile, Trevor leaves the apartment.
Alex boots up his laptop and shuffles through Diane's notes, looking for a point of attack. He has been over the manuscript pages several times now, soaking up the feedback and seeing how it fits into his view of the novel. He has to admit, he had hoped for a more favorable reaction from Diane but that is what this is all about, isn't it? He can incorporate her notes and turn this into something that is, as she put it, "at least a little bit commercial."
Or maybe I'm just telling myself that, Alex thinks, and this whole thing is a pile of crap.
He opens the document, all the while wondering if he would be better served by tossing out the whole thing and starting fresh. He recognizes the instinct, though, as a familiar part of the process--it always hits around this stage--and he does his best to brush it aside and get to work.
He is still attending to Diane's remarks on the very first page when there is a knock on the door.
Alex crosses the room to answer the door, doing mental guesswork with every step. It can't be Trevor, because he knew the door was left unlocked and Jason is at work, and he has a key, anyway ooh, maybe a package from FedEx
He gets his answer when he opens the door, and it is not something that he would have predicted--though, now that he thinks about it, he is really not so surprised.
"What are you doing here?" he asks Seth Ashby.
"I needed to see you." An awkward moment passes between them before Seth asks, "Is it cool if I come in?"
To be honest, Alex isn't sure that it is, but he politely steps out of the way to let Seth in. Still, he cannot conceal his annoyance at being surprised like this.
"Have you ever heard of calling first?" he asks.
"Would you have answered?"
Seth throws him a pointed look, and Alex thinks it better not to answer that question. He doesn't know what he would have done if he had seen Seth's number on his caller ID. After the way they left things in Portland, after Seth's aborted wedding, Alex has little idea where they stand or how Seth regards their relationship. Not that they even have one.
"What's going on?" he asks, hoping for some information that will quell his worries.
"What would you say if I told you I wasn't completely honest on my wedding day?"
Alex's nerves jump. "About what?"
"About calling off the wedding."
"There was no wedding. We took off from the church and holed up at that motel."
"Yeah, I'm aware of that," Seth says. "What I mean is I didn't exactly call it off."
The realization hits Alex hard, probably harder than it should. "You didn't tell Miriam you weren't going to marry her?"
Seth shakes his head. "I went in there meaning to, but I--I couldn't say it to her. So I just took off."
Alex suppresses a comment about how that seems to be par for the course where Seth and relationship problems are concerned.
"I take it she wasn't too thrilled about being stood up," he says instead.
"No. I mean, she was upset, obviously, but I think she understood that I freaked out. Her parents, on the other hand not so much."
"So what? They don't want her daughter getting back together with the guy who walked out on their wedding and couldn't even be bothered to tell her? Maybe I'm crazy, but that doesn't seem so unreasonable to me."
Alex hears his voice escalating. He hates that Seth gets him so furious, but it is as if every time they have a conversation, he discovers all this pent-up aggression that he has to make known.
"Her dad fired me," Seth says. "I have no job, no fiancée, nada."
"Yeah, and whose fault is that?"
Seth looks at him in disbelief, then turns back to the door. "You know what? I don't even know why I came here. All I wanted was someone to talk to, and--"
"No. Wait." Instinctively Alex reaches a hand to Seth's shoulder to stop him. The contact sends a jolt through Alex. He yanks his hand away and resolves to keep his temper in check.
"Here. Sit. Talk. Do you want something to drink?"
"No, I'm fine." Seth takes a seat and meets Alex's eyes. "Thanks, Alex."
"Yeah. No problem," Alex says with a glance at the abandoned manuscript and laptop.
KING'S BAY ICE ARENA
Jason Fisher sits at his desk and twirls a pen through his fingers like a miniature baton.
"It was the right thing to do right?" he asks, staring up at the ceiling.
"Definitely." Courtney Chase stands at the copy machine. "You can't work with Ryan now, even if he is your brother. Especially because he's your brother. There's no way he would leave it as a strictly professional thing."
"That's true," Jason says, though it hardly makes him feel any better about his current predicament. In the moment, standing up to Ryan and dismissing him from the business felt like the correct move--and, on a personal level, it felt awesome. However, he knows that no amount of lashing out at Ryan will make up for all the months that he trusted Ryan over Tim; as soon as Tim returns from his trip with the kids, Jason will have to face him, too.
"So what do I do now?" he wonders aloud. "We have no business manager, and I sure as hell don't understand this stuff."
"You'll find someone," Courtney says. "We'll find someone."
Sabrina Gage, sitting at her desk on the other side of the room-in-progress, bobs her head in agreement.
Jason continues to think out loud: "Yeah, but finding someone and finding someone who will actually be good for this project are two very different things."
Courtney presses the copier's start button and then raises her voice over the machine's hum. "There are plenty of qualified people out there, Jason."
"Maybe I can help," Sabrina offers. "I was a business major. Once we're done for the day, you and I can sit down together and figure out some places to put ads."
The whole thing seems too daunting without someone in place to guide him, someone he trusts--or thought he could trust--like Ryan. Ever since he dove into this venture, Jason has wondered if he was getting in over his head. Now it seems like a certainty.
"Maybe I can still get out of this," he says. "Sell my interest in the rink, invest my money, and live a comfortable life. No need to mess with stuff I don't understand."
Courtney frowns at him. Sabrina, however, has a much more adamant reaction.
"Jason, that's ridiculous," she says, rising from her chair. "Since the day I met you, I've been able to see how much skating means to you, and how much this rink means to you. You have the chance to do something really special with your life. If you throw it away over one bump in the road, you're going to regret it forever."
The force of Sabrina's argument surprises Jason. He looks to Courtney, who simply nods. Even the copy machine, as if deferring to the strength of what Sabrina had to say, finishes its job and, with a final whir, slips into silence.
"Okay, then," Jason says, a little stunned. "You win. Project Find A Business Manager is on."
Courtney straightens out her pile of copies. "Maybe we can have a reality show where people compete for the job."
"Oh yeah, great idea." Jason sits back and resumes twirling his pen. The casual mood of the office seems to have been restored, as has his confidence. They can find someone. They can do this.
KING'S BAY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
Having wanted to give Brent and Molly some time alone, Danielle, Josh, and Bob have moved to the cafeteria, where they sit around a small table with sandwiches and sodas.
"So not only did we not get busted, but we get to head up the whole damn account!" Josh proclaims as he finishes recounting the tale of his and Lauren's close call at work.
"If you get the account," Danielle says.
"We're getting it. Don't doubt that for a second." To add a note of finality to the statement, Josh takes a hearty chomp of his sandwich.
her younger brother the same way that she watched Brent earlier.
"There's a lot of confidence flying around this family these days. Think I could borrow some of it?"
Josh looks at her, confused.
"You're doing very well," Bob offers, patting his daughter on the shoulder. "Everyone has their ups and downs."
"Have you thought about, like, performing at all? At the coffee house or something?" Josh asks.
Danielle can see him searching her for some understanding of what is going on with her, and suddenly, an urge that has been brewing in her ever since she returned to King's Bay grows much more determined.
"Josh, there's something you should know." She glances over at their father, who seems to understand exactly what is going on and offers her an encouraging smile. "Before I came back here--I wasn't traveling. I was in rehab."
As if on cue, Josh laughs. "Okay, whatever, Lindsay Lohan."
"I'm being serious."
Josh's eyes narrow, and they move from Danielle to Bob and back again. "You? Rehab? Dad, you knew about this?"
Bob nods. Josh's shock manifests itself in a series of strange facial contortions and half-formed utterances. Finally he manages something complete, and for Josh, it is surprisingly sensitive:
"What happened? I mean, was it one thing, or--you could've come to me before, I hope you know that."
"Thanks. I guess I needed to be ready, on my own time." She falls quiet, not wanting to be drawn back into those dark times but unable to keep herself from reliving the worst of it in flashes. "And no, it wasn't any one incident. I kept getting more and more depressed, and after my label dropped me, it started to seem like drinking was the only dependable thing in my life."
"Wow." Josh seems to be recounting the past year, looking for retroactive evidence. "At first, when I noticed you weren't drinking, I thought it might be because you were pregnant, except, you know, you're not."
Danielle nearly chokes on her soda. "No, I'm not. Definitely not."
They settle into a thoughtful silence, marked only by the sounds of eating and drinking. Then Josh looks up at her again.
"Hey, I'm sure they do all this crap--this stuff--in rehab, but I know whenever I was--" He glances over at Bob. "--whenever I was partying a ton, it was 'cause I was trying to avoid something else, or 'cause there was something in my life I couldn't deal with and I hated that."
"That's pretty much it," Danielle says.
"So whatever that thing is, or those things are, or whatever, deal with them once and for all. Do whatever it is that'll make you stop feeling so helpless. If you haven't already." He shakes his head. "They totally covered all this in rehab. I don't even know what I'm saying."
"No, it's good advice," she says as she takes another bite of her sandwich. She chews and thinks about it. When she was undergoing treatment, all she could focus on was her day-to-day recovery, in terms of staying clean and staying strong. Now she is strong; she can feel the ground beneath her feet, even if it gets a little bumpy sometimes. Maybe now is the time to revisit the past--this time, on her own terms.
KING'S BAY MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
Molly and Brent have a few minutes alone together, and then Bill and Paula arrive to see their son-in-law. After greetings and the expected conversation about how Brent is feeling, what the doctors are saying, and the like, Brent and Bill launch into an in-depth discussion of preseason Seahawks news.
Molly welcomes the relief from talking about Brent's condition. She drifts over to the corner of the room and begins idly organizing the various items that have been brought over from the house and as gifts for Brent. Soon she finds Paula standing quietly beside her; Molly gets the sense that she is being appraised.
"He looks much healthier than I expected," Paula says.
"He's doing well. Everyone is really optimistic."
"And how about you? How are you doing?"
Molly momentarily stops folding one of the twins' sweatshirts. "I'm thrilled Brent is in such good shape, obviously."
"That's not what I asked," Paula says with one of those smiles that Molly is sure can read her mind.
"It's strange. I won't deny that," Molly admits after a few seconds of uncertain quiet. "It'll take some adjusting, that's all."
"How about everything else? You said the funeral was nice, but "
"I don't even know what to think." Even the thought of Camille sends a searing pain through Molly's chest, one of those pains that only grows worse as she realizes that there is nothing that can be done to repair it. "I miss Camille so much already, and I feel like I haven't even had time to grieve appropriately because of all the other stuff going on."
"Camille would never expect you to neglect your family at a time like this. She knew how important family is to you, and she knew how much you cared about her. She knows all that now."
Sudden tears swell inside Molly's eyes, and she tries to blink them away as she straightens the piles of clothing, gifts, and other miscellaneous items.
"I need to remember to bring bags for all of this stuff," she says.
"Molly, please, give yourself time to grieve," Paula insists, "for Camille and for this loss Brent has suffered."
"Brent doesn't seem to need much grieving time."
"Maybe that's his way of coping. Our minds work in strange ways, ways that we aren't aware of some of the time."
Molly nods silently.
"I'll remember to bring a bag for all these things," Paula says, lighting up again. "Don't you worry about it."
The two women hug. The close contact is more comforting than Molly expected, and when Paula pulls away and returns to Bill and Brent, Molly feels a surprising sense of loss.
She closes her eyes, fighting back tears once again as she pictures Camille in her mind. The idea that she will never work with, vent to, or spend an afternoon with her mentor ever again does not seem possible; it is too large and too overwhelming for her to process. For now, the best she can do is to find some way of communicating.
Camille, if you're watching me now, please help Brent and I make it through this transition, she thinks. You always had a way of steering me along the right path.
Eyes closed tightly, Molly thinks of Camille and attempts to summon the strength that her friend no doubt would have roused in her. She can feel her resolve growing. They can do this, she and Brent, one day at a time.
END OF EPISODE #458
Brent concealing his true emotions?
Will Josh's words move Danielle to action? In what way?
What should Alex do about Seth?
Come over to the Footprints Forum to chat about this episode!