Episode #618

- Matt dropped Tori off for Sarah’s wedding to Graham. He and Sarah shared a tender moment as he wished her well.
- Molly questioned Sarah about whether she still has feelings for Matt. Sarah was unable to deny it, but she insisted that marrying Graham was the right choice now.
- Diane told Matt that she thinks Sarah still wants to be with him. Matt left the site of the wedding but was unable to stop thinking about what Diane told him.


Downstairs, the lights have been dimmed, leaving the white Christmas lights to illuminate the house with their soft glow. Healthy green garland, poinsettias in red and white, and tall silver stands holding pillar candles create an elegant holiday scene. Family members circulate with their glasses of wine or water, waiting for the wedding to begin.

Upstairs, in the master bedroom, Sarah Fisher stands before a full-length mirror, examining herself in her silk, silver dress. Finally satisfied that she made the correct choice in bridal attire, she turns to the young woman sitting on the bed in a black dress, looking bored.

“Could you come clasp my necklace for me?”

Tori obliges, but not without a scowl. As she fixes the jewelry around her mother’s neck, Sarah says, “You would have made a perfect maid of honor.”

“I told you I didn’t want to,” the teenager says--almost snaps--and Sarah decides to drop it. Graham has Alex standing up for him, and Sarah thought it would be fitting to have Tori stand up for her, but she knows that Tori’s acceptance of the marriage is shaky at best.

“Are we all set?” Sarah asks brightly. Before Tori can respond, there is a knock at the door.

“Come in!” Sarah calls out.

The door opens a crack, and Diane pokes her head inside. “Just wanted to see if you needed any help.”

“I’m fine, but thanks. I sent Molly downstairs already.” Sarah can still feel the awkwardness between her and her friend, but it is certainly lessening. Still, she can tell that Diane is bothered that Sarah chose Molly as maid of honor instead of her.

“I think we’re ready to go, actually,” Sarah says. She sees Tori staring back at her from the mirror, her face pleading silently.

“What’s wrong?”

Suddenly Tori does that thing she does so well, where she switches in an instant from being a young woman full of attitude to a helpless child. And like every other time, it plucks at something deep inside Sarah.

“You’re really going to marry him?” Tori asks.

 “I am,” Sarah says softly. “I love you. Your dad loves you. And Graham loves you, too.”

“No, he doesn’t.”

“You guys are still getting used to one another, that’s all.” She feels so callous, as if she is simply dismissing her daughter’s worries without any regard at all. But it is her wedding day, and this is… “You know you’re the most important thing in the world to me, don’t you?”

Tori grumbles in the affirmative.

“Why don’t you two go downstairs and tell everyone I’m ready to begin?” Sarah says. “I’ll wait on the landing for the music.”

Diane ushers Tori from the room, and Sarah hangs back. She closes her eyes and draws a deep breath, relishing the moment of being totally and completely alone.

Meanwhile, Diane and Tori make their way down the winding staircase, taking careful steps in their high heels. Diane turns over her shoulder to whisper to the teenager: “Not too crazy about your mom marrying this guy, are you?”

Tori seems taken aback by the question and hesitates before she whispers in return, “Not really.”

“You want your mom and dad back together?”

Tori chances a nod. Down below, the Fishers, Alex, and Graham are all waiting for them.

“I have a feeling you might get a little surprise today,” Diane says quietly, and then she turns herself back to full volume, announcing that Sarah is almost ready to begin.

Lingering on the edge of the crowd, Tori’s heart races as she imagines what Diane might have meant.


Matt Gray tries to find a parking spot in the small lot behind 322 Bar & Grill, but the place is jam-packed with vehicles. He circles the block once and manages to locate a spot on the street, but between the pouring rain and other drivers’ inability to understand what a turn signal means, a solid minute passes before he is able to maneuver his truck into the spot.

Waiting for traffic to pass so that he can open his door, his gaze fixates on the rain, which has been coming down nonstop for hours now. He is still wet from rushing through it on his way out of Sarah and Graham’s house--where he ran into Diane…

“She’s Sarah. She always manages to convince herself that whatever she’s doing at the moment is the best decision she has ever made.”

Matt studies her. “What are you trying to say?”

“Nothing.” A sneer plays upon her lips. “Look, Sarah also asked Molly to be her maid of honor today. She’s clearly not in her right mind.”

“Isn’t that because you did something to make her not trust you?”

“Hey. We made up. The point is, she’s doing this because she can’t be with you.”

His heart rate quickens. “Did she tell you that?”

“Please. She doesn’t have to.”

He is sure that Diane was exaggerating, if not inventing something out of whole cloth. She’s Diane. Stirring up drama is what she does.

Seeing Sarah in her wedding dress almost killed him. Their marriage wasn’t perfect, far from it, but he truly thought it was going to be forever. Even when they both knew the marriage was falling apart, the actual divorce took an eternity, because they both kept hoping that it would all somehow work out. Divorce seemed like the absolute final option at the time.

Is it possible that Sarah said, or even just implied, that she is marrying Graham because she feels she can’t have Matt?

He doesn’t know if the rain has cast some sort of spell on him or what, but the next thing he knows, he takes his hand off the door handle and starts the engine back up.


“She was baiting me,” Jason Fisher says, gesturing with one hand while holding a glass of merlot in the other. “She wanted me to have another blow-up so she could claim I’m some sort of unfit parent.”

Alex Marshall holds his facial features tight, and when he responds, it is carefully, syllable by syllable. “Helen is worried about Sophie. She misses Courtney so badly. I don’t think she’s consciously being malicious.”

“I know.” Jason exhales and his whole body sags, like a balloon pricked with a pin. “I do get that. But it’s like she’s willing me to screw up so she can take my daughter away.”

“Yeah. I’m sorry. It’s… it’s a crappy situation. Maybe I can talk to her and Don.”

“Maybe. They might listen to you. If you do, just don’t make it seem like I put you up to anything.”

Alex nods. “I won’t. Don’t worry.” He levels a different kind of gaze upon Jason. “You really flushed the pills? How are you sleeping?”

He hesitates before answering. “I had to go get some over-the-counter stuff. I think it’s mostly mental--like, if I don’t take something to help me fall asleep, then I start worrying about being up all night thinking, and it spirals from there.”

Graham, clad in a very expensive black suit, crisp white shirt, and a black tie with the faintest silver stitching on it, comes up beside them.

“I’m sorry to interrupt,” he says, “but could I have a moment with Alex?”

Jason takes a step backward. “Of course.”

Graham continues to address him, however. “Thank you for being here today, Jason. I know this can’t possibly be easy for you, but it means a great deal to Sarah to have her entire family here on this special day. Are you doing all right?”

“I’m fine,” Jason says, and he is surprised by how true the words are. Originally, the thought of going to a wedding seemed outright traumatizing, but really, it is just a celebration of family and close friends. It’s okay. There are no maniacs on the loose. It certainly helps that this is a smaller affair than his and Courtney’s wedding, held in a home. “Thanks for asking. I’ll give you guys a minute.”

Jason retreats to join his parents and Tim in conversation, while Graham turns his focus to Alex.

“I want to tell you how much it means to me that you’re not only here today, but standing up as my best man,” Graham says. “I truly never thought I would see such a day.”

“Yeah, after you made it so many years as a bachelor,” Alex says with a laugh.

“Sarah’s a very special woman. She has a certain… spark that makes marriage seem less restrictive than I once considered it. But I’m talking about you--my son. I never expected that we would be in such a pleasant place.”

“Neither did I.”

“I’m just sorry we lost so many years together,” Graham says. “But when I think back to how many times I wanted to locate you and let my insecurities get the best of me… I’m ashamed.”

“You found me when the time was right. Maybe it would’ve turned out differently if you’d done it too soon.”

“Perhaps.” Graham goes silent as he contemplates that thought. “At any rate, I could not be prouder of you, Alex, and having you here makes this day even more special.”

Diane arrives at the bottom of the stairs and announces loudly, “The bride is ready to get this show on the road!”

Everyone murmurs amongst themselves, and they begin moving toward the living room. Alex hangs back a moment longer with Graham.

“I’m really glad to be here,” he says, and it strikes him how much he means that. They aren’t simply words or niceties; he feels very content having his father in his life, getting to know him after all these years. It’s as if a crater that he didn’t even know existed has been filled.


A surge of adrenaline carries Matt out of the downtown area and back toward the north side of town, where he dropped Tori off not long ago. However, the evening traffic, worsened by the downpour from the sky, puts a damper on his progress.

“You sure this is the right thing to do?” he says aloud, testing the question in his mouth. It sounds so silly out loud--like he is accusing Sarah of being too dumb to make her own decisions.

Up ahead, a light turns green, and after a few seconds, he is able to roll forward several yards. But the light flashes yellow and then red, and he remains stuck at the same intersection.

“Is this what you really want?” he tries again. But there’s something cocky about it, like he already knows the answer and is forcing her to say it.

“What the hell am I doing?” he mutters. On the radio, sports commentators jabber some more about Cam Newton winning the Heisman. Matt is pretty sure that he has heard different broadcasters have the exact same conversation at least twice already. Annoyed by their voices, he turns off the radio with a jab of his finger.

The light turns green again, and this time he makes it through before it even turns yellow. Not much further ahead, though, a flurry of brake lights awaits him.

“What am I doing?” he asks himself, more clearly. He pictures himself striding into Graham’s house, telling Sarah not to marry the man, and looking like an absolute moron. It’s possible.

But then he envisions Sarah marrying the guy. What if she feels the same way Matt does? Somewhere in the back of his mind, he realizes now, he always sort of thought this would pass, that they would find their way back together when the time was right. That’s why he hasn’t even bothered to try dating anyone else.

“I want to be with you,” he says aloud, and instantly he knows that is exactly what he has to tell her. He honks his horn, desperate to plow through the traffic.


The guests stand in two clusters in the living room, forming a short aisle between them. As soft orchestral music plays on the stereo, Graham takes his place beside Alex and before the justice of the peace. The candles’ flames lap gently at the air, bathing the room in an intimate light.

The music soars, and Sarah’s heels can be heard clicking across the foyer. When she appears at the entry to the living room, warm smiles fill the room.

Sarah pauses at the entry and takes in the sight of her family and her closest friend, gathered here to see her get married one more time. The last time. Graham will offer her a stable life--a life free of upheaval. He is a good man. Now she makes her way to join him in front of the justice of the peace. As she walks, she looks to Tori and offers her daughter a sympathetic expression. She hopes that Tori will adjust to this new family unit in time.

Tori considers scowling back at her mother, but it is the wrong time. Besides, if Diane was saying what she seemed to be saying… Tori’s eyes flit to the foyer, but there are no sounds and certainly no sights to indicate that her father is here.

When she returns her attention to the bride and groom, now positioned together between Molly and Alex, Tori catches Diane looking toward the entrance, too.

“Family and friends,” the justice begins, “we have come together on this day to join Sarah and Graham in marriage.”

Outside, a truck lurches to a stop at the curb. This time there is no hesitation about getting out. The door flies open before the key is even out of the ignition.

Inside the house, Graham speaks his vows to Sarah: “In sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer…”

Matt runs through the rain, hard spikes of water pummeling him as he goes. The candlelight visible through the living room window catches his eye, and he stops short of the front door.

Through the window, he sees Sarah holding Graham’s hands, probably reciting her vows to him. He wants to bolt for the front door, burst into the house, and tell Sarah that he needs to talk to her now.

But something keeps him planted in that place outside the window, with the rain rushing down over him. Hidden in the shadows, he watches as Alex hands Graham the rings. Graham slides the ring onto Sarah’s finger; Matt recalls doing the very same thing all those years ago in the hospital chapel. He not only recalls it, but he feels it, feels what it was like to place that ring on her finger and be overcome by the realization that they would be together forever.

Only they weren’t.

And then he sees Sarah slide the ring onto Graham’s finger, and the man presiding over the wedding says something, and the two of them kiss, and everyone applauds. And Matt realizes that his opportunity passed--not just now, tonight, but months ago, two years ago, when their marriage crumbled and he thought there was nothing more he could do to rebuild it.

While everyone stands in the candlelit room, basking in the joy of a new marriage, Matt retreats from the window. He runs back to his truck even faster than he ran toward the house, and he starts the engine and drives away before anyone could have a clue he was there.

Only someone does.

Inside the house, surrounded by a family clapping and offering their congratulations, Tori stares out the window. She knows that she wasn’t seeing things. She knows that she saw her father out there, watching her mother marry the wrong man.


Did Matt make the right choice by leaving?
Will Tori reveal what she thinks she saw?
Can Sarah and Graham live happily ever after?
Discuss it all in the Footprints Forum!

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