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- Alex was shocked when he met with a potential screenwriter for the adaptation of his novel--and the writer was Liam, Trevor’s fiancé.
- Samantha told Diane that she wasn’t sure about going away to one of the prestigious colleges that admitted her because she knows Diane is having financial troubles.
- Sarah was forced to lie to Matt’s face that she believes his alleged drug usage was to blame for his kidnapping. In secret, she went through Graham’s phone in hopes of finding clues to incriminate him.


“To the left!” Travis Fisher gestures with his elbow, since his hands are occupied by a plastic crate.

Samantha realizes the box he is indicating and places the stack of books into it. She lets out a loud huff as she stands back to survey the status of the dorm room that Travis and Landon are in the process of vacating.

“How do you have so much junk?” Samantha asks.

“It isn’t junk,” Travis says, setting down the crate on top of another by the open door.

She picks up a stuffed aardvark toy with giant sunglasses propped up on its face. “Really?”

“That’s Helga, and Landon will kill you if you don’t pack her up safely,” Travis says. He turns his attention to a pile of button-down shirts on his bed, beside an open suitcase. “I wish these would stay pressed.”

“Let’s be honest,” Samantha says. “You’ll just fold them up and make Claire re-iron them for you.”

“Probably true.” He shrugs and starts folding. “Dad said you haven’t sent in your acceptance letter yet. Are you still not sure if you like Brown or Berkeley better?”

“Yeah. I guess. I don’t know.”

Samantha feels Travis eyeing her carefully as she turns toward the window. She stares out of it at the walkway, where the lush, green trees are throwing shade over the students moving in and out of the dormitory.

  Samantha Fisher

“Dad and Diane--they’re gonna find a way to pay for whatever school you want to go to,” Travis says.

“Is that what Dad told you?”

“Yeah. And it’s true. There are loans, and you can apply for more scholarships after freshman year, and--god, if anyone deserves to go to an awesome school, it’s you. You actually like school, for one thing.”

She cracks a tiny smirk but still doesn’t turn to face him. She knows that her parents will find a way to pay for whichever school she chooses, but she truly doesn’t know if she could handle the guilt of feeling that their stress for the next four years--or longer--might be because she chose a school that is a financial strain.

“I just know how stressed my mom is about being out of work,” she says weakly, not really sure how it serves as a counterargument to Travis’s point.

“Just don’t make your decision totally based on that. That’s all I’m saying,” he says as he resumes folding shirts. “Besides, you could always do what I’m doing.”

“Packing a million boxes of stuff when I have to move out of my dorm at the end of the year? No, because I’m going to keep my room nice and clean.”

“I mean, having a part-time job. Serving tea,” he says, pausing to move around the contents of the box, “and coffee, or whatever. You can contribute, too, if it’s really that important.”

“I know.”

“I just wanna make sure you do what’s gonna make you happy,” Travis says, and even though Samantha nods, she is still so torn over what that might be.


The dining room is empty, save for one employee laying out silverware on the pristine white tablecloths. Matt Gray makes his way directly to the kitchen, which is much more lively. He receives immediate attention from the cooks prepping for tonight’s dinner shift. He is sure that everyone knows about what happened to him, and they are all surprised to see him up and moving again--which is exactly why he is here. He returns several greetings with quick waves and smiles as he beelines for the head chef’s office.

“Chef,” he says when he arrives at the open door.

Chef Henry seems just as surprised by the sight of him as the rest of the kitchen staff. “Matt. Hello.”

“Hi,” Matt says. “I thought it would be good to drop by and check in.”

“It’s good to see that you’re doing all right.”

“Thanks. Yeah. I’m a lot better.” Matt sticks his hands into the back pockets of his jeans and decides to just come out with it. “I got the e-mail with this week’s schedule and didn’t see myself on it. I thought maybe you weren’t sure if I’d really be up to working, so I figured if I came by and showed you--”

“As I said, I really am glad to see that your recovery is coming along.”

Matt hears the unspoken but as loudly as if it were screamed in his face.

“My job is to keep this restaurant operating as efficiently as possible while maintaining the level of quality that our clientele expects,” Henry says, folding his hands atop the desk. “That means ensuring a minimum of distractions.”

“I was basically mugged,” Matt says. “I wouldn’t call that a distraction--”

“There have been some very serious accusations made against you.”

“Yeah. Accusations. Which are gonna be proven false.” Whatever timidity Matt felt coming in here has vanished now. This is beyond stupid. “You can’t fire me for what happened.”

“Did I say I was firing you?” Henry remains perfectly still, displaying a composure that Matt finds totally infuriating. “I chose not to put you on the schedule this week because I was unsure of your progress.”

Matt attempts to interrupt him, to no avail. Henry steamrolls on: “Furthermore, I have a record of you having been late for work--”

“What? When?”

“On February 19th of this year, you arrived fifteen minutes late for your shift--”

“That’s bull.”

“I would advise watching your temper, Matt.”

All the warning makes Matt want to do is punch the guy in the face, but he stops at balling his hands into fists at his sides.

“I also personally recall an incident in which you wasted an entire batch of carrots because you used salt instead of sugar for the glaze and had to start over,” Henry continues.

“That was a mistake,” Matt says. “It was nuts in here. I grabbed the wrong container.”

“I’d like to believe that, Matt. I really would. But you can understand how a few seemingly isolated incidents can begin to look like evidence of drug abuse, especially in the wake of accusations like the ones that have been leveled against you.”

All Matt can say is, “This is crazy.”

“I wish you all the best, and if and when the accusations against you are proven false, then I’d be glad to revisit this with you. In the meantime, though, I can’t take risks in my kitchen. I have too many people’s safety and well-being to take into consideration.”

Matt just stares at the man, half-hoping that he will bust out in laughter and reveal that this is all some stupid joke, but it never happens.

King's Bay Park

The squeals of overexcited children fill the park on this beautiful Northwest day. Jason Fisher sits on a bench with his best friend, never taking his eyes off Sophie despite maintaining a full conversation with Alex; after what happened to his daughter last year at this park, it is a necessity.

“The crappiest part about it,” Alex is saying, “is that Liam probably had the best take on the book of everyone we’ve met. The other writers keep trying to take it in these directions that don’t feel natural… but I feel like he really clicked into the characters.”

“Well, that’s a good thing,” Jason says in an attempt to be helpful.

“It’s good to know that there’s a screenwriter out there who shares my vision. It’s horrible for it to be the fiancé that my ex-boyfriend just cheated on with me.”

“Okay. Point taken.” Jason leans against the back of the bench and can feel the heat of the wood through his cotton t-shirt. He watches Sophie in the sandbox, scooping up one shovelful of sand after another and dumping it all into a bucket.

“So, question,” Alex goes on. “That idea you and Molly had--is it still on the table?”

“What idea?” It hits Jason before he even finishes asking, though. “You mean you and Cameron?”

“Yeah. I don’t know. It might be fun.”

“This is totally a reaction to the whole Trevor thing, isn’t it?” Jason lets his eyes flash over to his friend for just a split-second.

Alex hesitates for a brief moment. “I guess. Yeah. After this whole mess… I just think I should be open to new experiences. Expose myself to new people and new things. I need to start dating again.”

  Alex Marshall

“I’ll talk to Molly,” Jason says. Even though Alex is his close friend and he barely knows Cameron, he also knows that he can’t in good faith set Cameron up to be used as a rebound--but then again, that’s for Cameron to suss out. There isn’t any harm in setting them up for coffee or a dinner.

“Cool. Thanks.” Alex watches Sophie stand up and try to lift the bucket of sand by its handle. Clearly its weight is almost too much for her, and she struggles with two hands to lift it. A little boy sitting nearby helps her, but all they accomplish is for Sophie to wind up hugging a big bucket of sand and looking like she is about to topple over.

“What do you think she’s planning to do with all of that?” Alex asks with amusement.

Jason sighs. “I’m pretty sure she hasn’t thought that far ahead. Do you ever get kind of jealous of her? Like, that’s the big goal for the day. Put a bunch of sand in a bucket. And she’s totally having fun doing it.”

“All the time. I’m jealous of her all the time. Can you imagine if things could just be that simple?”

“No,” Jason admits. “Not really.”

“Yeah. Me, neither.”

They fall into an uneasy quiet for several seconds before Jason asks, “Do you think you could actually work with Liam? What does my brother say?”

“Tim loved him, but once I gave him the backstory--well, a cleaned-up version of it--he totally got why I’d be reluctant. He’s going to bring in a few more writers. Because, I mean, I cannot work on developing this script with Trevor’s fiancé. Especially not after what happened. That would be insane, right?”

“It would be insane. Yes.” But then it occurs to Jason that perhaps neither of them has any idea what ‘sane’ really is anymore.


“I just can’t believe she thinks living here is a good idea,” Diane Bishop says as she shakes her head in disbelief.

“She’s your sister,” Tim Fisher offers, but he knows it is a weak counterpoint and delivers it without much conviction.

“Exactly. Someone once said to me, ‘Diane, your sister keeps the juice flowing,’ which I guess was supposed to be a good thing. But what she really does is steal all the juice, poison it, and then cram it down your throat.”

Exasperated, she crosses to the kitchen. Tim watches from his seat on the living room sofa as Diane pulls out a bottle of chardonnay.

“Is it too early to open this?” she asks.

Tim checks the time on his phone. “Probably. Yes.”

“Well, I’m unemployed and have nowhere to be, so… who cares?” She takes out the corkscrew and begins opening the bottle.

“Try not to get too drunk before Samantha gets here,” Tim says.

“Another reason why I need this. She’s got me all nervous, summoning both of us like this.” She holds up a glass in Tim’s direction, but he shakes his head to decline. As Diane pours her own wine, she continues, “I feel horrible that she’s stressed about which college to pick because of me. That’s, like, the ultimate parental failure.”

“You shouldn’t feel horrible. You had no control of the situation, and you’re doing everything you can to handle it. We will make the money work.”

The door begins to open, and both Tim and Diane clam up. Samantha enters the living room and shifts her gaze from one parent to the other and back again.

“Hi,” she says.

“Hey, kiddo.” Tim stands and greets her with a hug. “How’s your brother’s room coming along?”

“Almost all packed up now. Finally. They have so much junk!”

“You’re a saint for helping them out,” Tim says. “So what’s up? Why did you want to talk to us?”

“I made my decision. About school.”

Diane sets down the wine glass and comes out from behind the kitchen counter. “What did you decide?”

Samantha nervously straightens some books on the nearby shelf. “I’m going to King’s Bay U.”

“We’ve told you not to worry about the money,” Diane says. “Your dad and I will make it work. You should go wherever you want to go.”

“That’s the thing,” Samantha says softly. “Being on campus with Travis… it made me realize how much I like being around everyone. You guys, Travis, Grandma and Grandpa.”

Tim and Diane exchange a look, each trying to parse what this really means.

Samantha beats them to the punch. “The whole idea of going away… it’s scary.”

“Sometimes the scariest things are the things most worth doing,” Diane says. “You have to take life by the--” She catches herself. “--horns and go for it.”

“I know.” Samantha bows her head, resigned and maybe a little disappointed. “But I feel like I’m not ready.”

“If that’s really why you’re choosing KBU, then I think that’s a very mature decision to make,” Tim says. “As long as this isn’t really about money.”

“It’s not,” she says quickly. “Don’t worry.”

Tim gives his daughter another hug, and as Diane awaits her turn to do the same, the parents share another look, one that wonders exactly how much they believe Samantha.


Driven by a need to get out of the house, Sarah Fisher Colville decides to take her very pregnant body on an errand-running mission downtown. None of the numbers that she found in Graham’s phone proved at all useless, which is no big surprise but still frustrating. She just had to get out of the house and away from him. But after only two stops, she realizes that she needs to take refuge someplace with air-conditioning.  She is passing Windmills when she finds none other than Matt standing outside the restaurant, leaning against the wall looking like he is about to fall apart.

“Matt,” she says tentatively, stepping out of the crowd on the sidewalk to approach him.

He simply shoots her a blank stare.

“What’s wrong?” she asks.

“What’s wrong? What’s wrong?” His eyes go wide with incredulity. “Are you freakin’ kidding me? I basically just lost my job because some psycho tricked me into going down to that pier so they could beat the shit out of me and leave me for dead and then plant drugs on me to cover their tracks. Oh, wait, that’s exactly what you believe happened, so nevermind.”

He turns away from her sharply. Sarah has rarely heard him be so adamant, so vocal, let alone this sarcastic and angry.

  Sarah Fisher Colville

“They fired you?”

“I’m not being put on the schedule until ‘this matter is resolved,’” he says, using air quotes to emphasize his disdain. “You know, because I’m a dangerous druggie and all.”

“I’m sorry,” she says. It’s all she has.

He doesn’t even make eye contact. “No, you’re not. But let me tell you something: he did this. He set me up. I don’t know why in the hell he thought that was something he had to do, but he did it. And if that’s the kind of person you wanna be married to--the kind of guy you wanna have a kid with--then knock yourself out. Just please, both of you, stay the hell out of my life before you do any more damage.”

It pains Sarah to hear his words and, even more, his tone. Of course she doesn’t think that he’s a drug addict who’s a danger to himself and to their daughter. But she also can’t let Graham have any clue that she suspects him.

But that doesn’t mean Matt can’t know.

“Listen,” she says. “There’s something I have to--” But an all-too-familiar feeling rocks her body: the baby kicking. She takes a sharp breath after the jarring and almost-painful movement.

But she cannot help thinking that it’s a sign of some sort. That she isn’t supposed to cave and tell Matt yet. That this could ruin everything. That it could put her, Matt, Tori, and this baby in even graver danger.

“I really hope everything works out for you,” she says. “For your sake and for Tori’s.” It is difficult, nearly impossible, to be so cold and dismissive, but she has to do it, at least for now.

“Sure,” he says, again not looking at her.

Sarah walks on, feeling tormented by the encounter. Matt’s life is falling apart because of Graham, and it feels like there is nothing she can do.

Maybe there is something, though. Once she rounds the corner, she pulls her cell phone from her purse and places a call.

“Hey,” she says into the phone. “I need to ask you a favor.”


Who is Sarah calling, and for what purpose?
Will Samantha be at peace with her decision?
Should Alex even consider working with Liam?
Talk about this episode in the Footprints Forum!

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

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