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- Devastated by the revelation that Claire and Tim are not his biological parents, Travis took off with his girlfriend, Elly.
- Claire arrived at Samantha’s dorm room in search of Travis and Elly. She decided to tell Samantha the shocking truth about her half-brother’s parentage before she found out some other way.
- On her first night back in the house she shared with her late husband, Graham, Sarah freaked out. Her daughter, Tori, called Sarah’s ex, Matt, to come help, but Sarah lashed out at Matt and kicked him out of the house.
- Still torn over what to do about her pregnancy, Diane went to see her OB/GYN. She returned home to find Tim waiting for her, and she broke down with him.


“There was no heartbeat. She couldn’t tell me how long it’s been that way,” Diane Bishop says, her eyes fixed upon a corner of the coffee table. Her mind is slowly emerging from its fog, but her voice and her body remain robotic, as if autopilot is all that they have the energy for.

Tim Fisher sits beside her on the sofa, his body turned and his shoulders leaned forward. There is something sympathetic about the posture--about his whole energy, really--that Diane wants to grab onto, that she wants to hold for as long as she possibly can. Until she told him about the pregnancy, she didn’t realize just how painful it was to be keeping it inside.

“I’m so sorry,” Tim says. “You could have told me earlier…”

Reflexively, her head shakes to shut down the possibility. No way. Not considering how she got pregnant.

“Like I said, I didn’t even know if I was going to keep it,” she says. “But not having the choice…” She doesn’t even know what her point is. This is what she wanted, isn’t it? “Let’s be honest. This was pretty much my last chance to be a mother again. And I don’t even know that I want to do it all over again, but…”

  Diane Bishop

“Having the choice taken away from you is difficult.”

“Yeah.” She lets out a loud, heavy sigh. “I told them I would call back to schedule the D&C if I decide to… if I even need to…” She doesn’t want to think about having the baby removed from her body, but she also doesn’t know that she can keep walking around like this until her body decides to take care of it for her.

“Give yourself a day to process,” Tim says. He places a hand on her shoulder; though Diane’s instinct is to flinch at the touch, she doesn’t.

“I know this is none of my business, so you can tell me to shut up,” he continues, “but have you told the father yet? About any of it?”

She looks to him, trying to stall as she sorts out her story.

“It just seems like you’ve been going through this all alone,” he says.

“I have.” She turns away from him. “It isn’t… Look, I got pregnant by accident. I’m not seeing anyone. And it isn’t even an issue now, right?”

Silence falls over them, save for the distant whirr of a leaf blower outside.

“For whatever it’s worth, you would have been a terrific mother this time around,” Tim says. “Look at how well Samantha turned out.”

“Sometimes I think that was in spite of me,” she says, her face sticky from the now-dried tears.

“It isn’t. I promise.”


“Are you sure it isn’t just a trick?” Samantha Fisher asks.

“I wish it were.” Claire Fisher is perched on the edge of the twin bed on Samantha’s side of the dorm room.

“But that lady--Spencer’s mom--she’s insane. She tried to kill you. Maybe…” Samantha’s mouth is moving faster than her brain can produce thoughts, though, and she trails off hopelessly.

“Believe me,” Claire says, “I considered that. I did a DNA test. I gave birth to Spencer.”

At the end of the bed, Samantha pulls her knees close to her chest. “Then where did Travis come from? Who are his parents?”

“I found his birth mother. She lives in Tacoma.” Claire’s head begins spinning off into a thousand different directions about Travis and Kathleen Bundy and what kind of relationship they could have and on and on. Both for Samantha’s benefit and her own, she states plainly: “Travis is still your brother. He’s still our son. Nothing has to change.”

“Yeah.” But the young woman doesn’t sound fully convinced. “What am I supposed to do with Spencer now? I don’t even really know him…” The but goes unspoken: But I’m not sure I want to.

“We’ll see. We’ll try and get to know him. Some of it’s up to him.”


“I’m sorry to spring this on you,” Claire says. “I just wanted you to hear it from family, rather than from someone on campus or--who knows.”


Claire slowly rises to her feet. “What do you say we go grab some coffee or breakfast?”

“That sounds good,” Samantha says, forcing a smile through the mask of gloom and uncertainty that this revelation has brought to her face.

“Great. I’m going to go use the restroom, and then we can go. Your choice.”

Claire exits the dorm room. Samantha sits there for a moment longer, attempting to process something so crazy and unbelievable that she can barely conceive of it being real life. Her brother isn’t really her brother. Another guy--someone none of them really like, who doesn’t really like any of them--is.

With her mind tangled in knots, Samantha picks up her cell phone to make a call.


Matt Gray manages to get the black t-shirt fully over his head as he moves through the living room. He pauses a moment to pull it down and then answers the door.

“Hey,” Sarah Fisher says.

“Hey. What’s up?” Matt regards her intently. After their encounter last night, when Tori called Matt in a panic because Sarah was acting strangely and then Sarah kicked him out of the house, he isn’t sure how to proceed.

“I just wanted to apologize for last night. I was out of line, the way I yelled at you.”

“It’s okay.”

“It isn’t okay.” She wears no makeup and has her hair pulled into a ponytail; her painting-day jeans and zip-up sweatshirt are one step up from pajamas. Matt gets the impression that she didn’t sleep so well on her first night back in the house she shared with Graham.

  Sarah Fisher

“I wanted to give you this,” she says, handing him a white envelope.

Matt takes it, unsure what to do.

Sarah prompts him: “Go on. Look inside.”

He opens the envelope and pulls out a single piece of paper. He realizes that he was expecting a letter of some sort, but instead it’s a… certificate? It bears a navy blue border and the rich, brown logo for something called the Orcas Bed & Breakfast.

“What is this?” he asks.

“It’s a gift certificate. This new B&B just opened on Orcas Island, and it’s getting great reviews. I thought you and Danielle might like a weekend away. It’s good for two nights.”


“Just accept it as my apology for blowing up at you last night,” she says. “Everything is going to be fine, okay? I can handle myself in that house. And if I can’t, that therapist I’m seeing is going to figure it out for me.”

He takes a beat before nodding. “Okay. Well, thanks. I bet Danielle’s gonna love this.”


Matt studies the gift certificate again. “How’d you get this so fast?”

“I went online and printed it out,” she says. “Just enjoy yourself when you guys decide to go, okay?”

“Okay. You didn’t have to do this. But thanks.”

“You’re welcome.”

Just like that, she heads back toward the parking lot. Matt watches her go. The Sarah he saw last night and the one who stopped by just now were like two different people. Maybe her nerves really did just get the better of her last night, and now she feels bad. He closes the apartment door, still not sure what to make of all this.


The coffee table is covered with photo albums--some open, some closed, all filled with pages and pages of family history. Paula Fisher sits on the couch with one particular album open in her lap.

“I still can’t make sense of this,” she says to her husband, who is seated in an armchair across from her, rifling through the plastic storage container that holds the rest of the albums.

“Neither can I,” Bill says. He flips through a stack of loose photos that have been waiting for their place in an album for years.

Paula flips back and forth between two pages in the album. “This baby here, in the hospital, that’s Spencer--and then this one is Travis. I keep trying to see the difference…”

“Babies change a lot in the first few months.”

“I know, but…” What she wants to say is, “I should have known.” But she knows that’s crazy. Why would anyone even begin to suspect something like this?

The ringing of the doorbell jolts them both from their intense focus on studying the past. Bill stands from his seat.

“I’ll get it,” he says as he moves toward the entryway.

Paula continues to flip through Travis’s baby pictures--but freezes when she hears Bill’s voice from the door.

“It’s so good to see you,” he says.

She rushes to join him. Standing there, at their front door, is their grandson, with Elly Vanderbilt lingering behind him.

“Oh my gosh!” Paula hurries to Travis and throws her arms around him. “We love you. You know that, right?”

“I know,” he says.

“Here, come in,” Bill tells the kids. He and Paula usher them into the living room.

“Where have you been?” Paula asks.

“We drove out to the coast last night,” Travis explains. “I just needed to clear my head. Get some space from everything.”

“That’s understandable.” She doesn’t know what to say to him, exactly; her eldest grandchild can be prickly even at the best of times. “You two must be starving.”

“We stopped for breakfast on the way back,” Elly says.

“We have some coffee,” Bill offers.

“That’d be good,” Travis says.

Elly nods. “I’ll take some, too.”

Bill heads off for the kitchen. Paula sees Travis’s eyes move over to the spread of photo albums. She feels like she has been caught red-handed at a crime scene.

“I was just… looking,” she says as she closes the albums and tries to shove them back into the plastic bin. She stuffs the lid on top of the mound of albums, even though the bin is packed too high to close.

“I just want you to know that nothing has to change,” Paula says to Travis. She goes to him and rests her hands on his arms. “Nothing. You are our grandson. You are a Fisher. I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with any of this.”

“Thanks,” he says, letting her embrace him again.

“Your dad had to go take care of something,” she says, “but he isn’t going in to work, obviously. He should be back in a little while.”

Travis gives Elly a sideways glance. “Then we won’t stay long.”

Paula stiffens with concern.

“I don’t want to see him right now,” Travis says. “Or my mom. Just… not now. What I really want to know is: did you guys know?”

“Your grandfather and I? No! This is the first we’ve heard of any of this. And your father didn’t, either.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m positive. Travis, he’s devastated. He had no idea.”

Travis drops down onto the couch. “Why would she keep this a secret? I had a right to know.”

“I know,” Paula says. “I know.”


“We can walk,” Samantha says as she pockets her keys. “It’s only three blocks.”

“Great,” Claire says. But before they can start on their way, there is a knock at the door. “I’ll get it.”

Claire opens the door--and the rest happens in a confusing flash.

“You bitch,” Diane says, and suddenly her hand is reaching back and then cracking across Claire’s cheek.

“Whoa! Whoa!” Tim says from behind Diane. He takes hold of her arms.

“What was that for?” Claire asks, her cheek stinging.

  Claire Fisher

Diane shoots her a dirty look and pushes past her to get to Samantha. “Are you okay?” Diane asks her daughter.

“She’s fine,” Claire says. She has no idea what is going on right now.

“Then why did I get a phone call asking me what was going on with her brother?” Diane fires back.

Samantha locks eyes with Claire. “I’m sorry--I just called them because I was confused. I didn’t say you did anything wrong--”

“I know, honey,” Claire says. She looks from Diane to Tim and then back again. “I thought she needed to know! I didn’t want her to hear it on campus. I came here looking for Travis and Elly--”

“That was not your place,” Tim says.

Claire’s stomach drops. “So I’m in the wrong when I don’t tell anyone, and I’m in the wrong when I do?”

Tim hesitates for a minute. “Just stop making decisions for me about my children. Okay?”

“They are my children, too,” Claire says. Her blood is boiling now.

“Samantha is not your child,” Diane says. There’s an intensity to her that frightens Claire--something beyond how Samantha heard the truth about Travis and Spencer.

“Stop fighting!” Samantha says. “Come on.” She takes Diane by the hand and drags her out of the room, but not before Diane has one last nasty look for Claire.

Claire waits until they are gone to address Tim again.

“That was ridiculous,” she says. “Slapping me? Samantha is not a child--”

“You did this,” Tim says, his voice as harsh as Diane’s palm. “Your father and Loretta might have taken Spencer from us, but you’re the one who made a mess of this. So from now on, just butt out, okay?”

He turns and leaves the room. He slams the door behind him, and the sound reverberates all around Claire in the empty room.


Will Claire be forgiven for having kept this secret?
Should Diane tell Ryan about the baby now that it’s gone?
What is going on with Sarah?
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Friday, June 07, 2013

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