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- Trevor called off his wedding to Liam, largely because of his lingering feelings for Alex. Not knowing this, Liam turned to Alex, one of his only friends in King's Bay, for solace, and Alex felt incredibly guilty.
- Elly asked Travis to mail her study abroad application. Instead, in an impulsive moment, he threw it in the trash.
- Diane became aware of some muddy bookkeeping at the bookstore. She asked Jimmy and Keith, who made an excuse about real estate investments and warned her to stay out of it. 


This is not how it was supposed to be.

Trevor Brooks stands at the entrance to the Royal Ballroom, the space dwarfing him. It was supposed to be sectioned off for the ceremony, but the crew never got that far. He tries to picture how it was supposed to look today, based on the wedding planner's renderings, but all he can see is this big, empty space.

He steps aside as two workers move past him with a pallet of chairs. They were laid out early this morning, before word made it to all the vendors that the wedding was off. Seeing the whole thing being undone before it was even finished causes Trevor's stomach to swirl.

Maybe I should have gone through with it, he thinks, even as another voice inside him is already striking the first one down. No. You did the right thing.

Even if it causes all this embarrassment? Even if it hurts Liam so badly?

He is lost in thought, watching the workers transport the chairs out of here, when he becomes aware of a presence lingering beside him.

"Didn't think I would see you here," Alex Marshall says.

It takes Trevor a moment to process Alex's presence. How did Alex know he would be here? Did he come to find him?

"Liam asked me to drop this off with the planner," Alex says, holding up a folded check. "He couldn't bring himself to do it."

  Trevor Brooks

The explanation only makes Trevor's head spin faster. "Why would he ask you to do that?"

"Because he doesn't have a lot of friends here. Because his parents didn't rent a car and have never driven here." Alex falls quiet for a second. "Because he couldn't do it himself."

Trevor takes that in with a solemn nod.

"I'm sure you think I'm a total asshole," Trevor says, stuffing his hands into the pockets of his down vest.

"For calling off the wedding? No." Alex stares out at the large window against the opposite wall; it frames a beautiful, moody view of the hazy blue-gray bay. "For waiting until the night before? For coming to me the way you did? Maybe."

"I was confused. I am confused."

"I know." 

Trevor senses that Alex wants to add something--perhaps a "Me, too"--but it does not come.

"Did you know you were going to do it?" Alex asks. "Had you tried before?"

"I'm not sure. I mean, I knew I was… having doubts. But I wanted to make it work. I do love Liam."

"Just not enough," Alex says.

"No. Not…" Trevor pauses as a worker comes back into the room. He takes the moment to take in the sight of Alex. He has the faintest hint of blond stubble on his jaw and cheeks; he might look more handsome than the day Trevor met him over a decade ago.

"Not the way I feel about you," Trevor finishes.

Alex cringes, a reaction that Trevor can't read. Does he consider such comments unwelcome or just unfortunate?

"Liam is my friend," Alex says. "He's in pain."

"I know. And I'm so, so sorry for that. I should have put a stop to this whole thing a long time ago. But Alex, I have never stopped loving you. What we had--maybe we needed that time apart. Maybe we both needed to grow up. But it's the kind of thing--"



"Don't do this." Alex looks physically pained. "I can't listen to you say those words--especially not when we're standing here, and I have this check in my hand, and…"

Trevor is fishing for some kind of response, anything to make this better, when another voice cut into his thoughts.

"Now this is a surprise," Liam Cassel says in his lilting British accent. Trevor instinctively takes a step back from Alex.

"What in the world is going on here?" Liam asks, his gaze moving from Trevor to Alex and back again. 


Diane Bishop waits as patiently as she can behind the counter--clenching her fist with annoyance--until the customer exits the store. When the door finally closes, she quickly makes her way over and grabs the book from the seat and returns it to its rightful place on the shelves. 

As she makes her way back to the counter, she regards that worn leather armchair with disdain. When Jimmy and Keith were redoing the store, she convinced them that adding chairs like that would add an arm of warm coziness to the store--make it a place people could get lost and indulge their imaginations. And she has spent several quiet afternoons curled up in one of those chairs, enjoying old books she'd long forgotten about to pass the time. But when customers come in, use the chairs as places to kill time with books they have no intention of buying, and then waltz out 40 minutes later… well, the whole thing has caused her to start hating those chairs entirely.

She is just getting settled back behind the counter and thinking about the apple that she brought in her purse--meant for an afternoon snack, but she's already craving it--when the door chimes again.

"Good morning," she calls out to the man who walks in. He looks to be in his mid-forties and has a mostly gray beard that fades into sideburns, which in turn disappear under a newsboy cap.

"Jimmy or Keith around?" the man asks as he marches directly toward the counter.

"Not at the moment. Can I help you with something?"

The man doesn't answer until he is right in front of her, his round stomach pushing against the counter through his flannel shirt.

"I need to talk to one of them," he says. "Neither one's answering my calls."

"Can I ask what this is about?" She makes a point of using her Customer Service Voice, which she semi-privately refers to as her Bullshit Voice; it's a skill she has been honing since she started this job. 

The man doesn't appear to hold the proper appreciation for it, though. "Business," he says gruffly.

Diane manages to keep her sigh and eye roll on the inside. She reaches for her cell phone.

"Can I ask your name?" she says as she scrolls through her contacts list.


She waits out the ringing on the other end, glancing around the store so that she doesn't have to deal with Wade's intense stare.

"Jimmy," she says when the voicemail recording finishes with a beep, "it's Diane. There's a guy named Wade in the store looking for you. Give me a call back, or get in touch with him…" She gestures to the guy to provide a phone number or some context, but he's clearly distracted.

"You're Diane?" he says.

"Yeah." She ends the call. "Why?"

"Then I guess you can help me after all."


Wade slams his palms down on the countertop. "Tell me where my damn money is." 


On the top floor of the dormitory, Samantha Fisher balances atop a chair. Her hand reaches nobly for the shelf that runs along the top of the wall, desperate to shove the short stack of books onto it, but with every millimeter that she stretches, Samantha fears that she is about to topple off the chair and go crashing to the floor.

She almost has the books tipped onto the shelf when there is a knock at the door. It startles her, but she manages to maintain her balance.

"Come in!" she calls, struggling to make herself look less pathetic. She finally takes the books down and holds them at her waist.

Her brother enters the room and gives her a quizzical look. "This a new thing you're doing?" he asks with a grin. 

"You could not have come at a better time." Samantha lowers herself off the chair and hands him the books. "Can you get these onto that shelf? Please?"

"Yeah. No problem." 

As he hops onto the chair, Samantha tells him, "Elly hasn't been back from class yet."

Travis sets the books on the top shelf, barely straining as he does so. "Yeah, I think I'm a couple minutes ahead of her."

"Thank you," Samantha says. "Want to do these, too?" She points to a box of books on the floor.

"So that's all I am to you, huh? Free labor?" he says with a smile.

  Samantha Fisher

"Yes." She hands him another stack of books. As he is placing them on the shelf, the door opens again, and Elly Vanderbilt enters the room.

"Hey!" Elly and Travis say in near-synchronicity. 

"Hey," Samantha adds, not even sure why she feels the need to join in.

"How was class?" Travis asks as he continues loading Samantha's books.

"Fine. This professor is obsessed with updating the syllabus. We spend, like, ten minutes of every class going over these minute changes." Elly sets her bag down on her bed and then lets out a heavy sigh. "But these two girls who were sitting in front of me were talking about how they got their study-abroad acceptance letters for spring."

"That doesn't necessarily mean anything," Samantha offers.

"I know," Elly says, "but I just checked my mailbox, and there was nothing there, and if they all went out in campus mail…" 

"Sam's right," Travis says. "Be patient."

"I'm trying. It's just hard not to think that it might mean I didn't get in."

"You're a senior, you have great grades, and you wrote a really strong essay," Samantha says. "They'd be crazy not to accept you."

Elly forces a smile. "Thanks." She moves toward the bathroom. "Trav, I'll be ready to go in, like, five minutes."

"Cool," he says as he takes more books from Samantha.

Elly opens the bathroom door. "I cannot get over how nice it is having our own bathroom! I've waited three years for this."

"I've never been more grateful to have an upperclassman to live with," Samantha says.

Elly goes into the bathroom and closes the door. 

"I might be able to check on the status of her application," Samantha says. "Student Affairs is all on the same computer network…"

Travis freezes. "I don't think that's a good idea."

"Why not?"

"Because." He busies himself straightening out the books on the shelf--which is not a very Travis thing to do, Samantha notes. "I bet they don't love work-study students going through other departments' business in there. Don't get yourself in trouble."

"Yeah, maybe you're right," Samantha says.

"Just leave it alone," he says. "Whatever happens with Elly's application was meant to be. Right?"

It takes Samantha a moment to agree, and even then, she isn't sure if she really does. "Right." 


Trevor's entire body goes numb as he watches Liam eyeing him and Alex right there, in the place where they were supposed to be married today.

"I just came to drop this off," Alex says, holding up the check. "I saw Trevor in here."

Trevor swallows the lump in his throat. "I wanted to make sure everything was…" He waves a hand over the room to indicate the work being done.

"Same." Liam scans the barren scene. His eyes are bloodshot and unrested; his face is puffy. Trevor hates the thought that he did this to someone he cares about so much.

"Why don't I go find the coordinator and drop this off?" Alex says, already slipping out of the room.

The ballroom feels even more cavernous to Trevor, now that it's just him, Liam, and a few stray remnants of the wedding that will not be.

"I cannot believe you," Liam says.

Panic floods Trevor's system. "What?"

"Just everything. Waiting until the night before to call this off. Do you understand how humiliating it was to tell my parents that you were breaking it off?"

"Liam, I'm sorry--"

"Don't apologize to me. That isn't going to fix a damn thing. You couldn't have done this three months ago? You couldn't have done it before my parents flew across the ocean to see me played for a fool?"

Trevor has to elbow his way into the dialogue before Liam rolls on. "You aren't a fool. This is--this is something I had to do. I'm sorry I wasn't clearer with my feelings earlier. If I had known--"

"If you had known? What, did this just come to you in a vision?" Liam shakes his head forcefully. "I don't want to hear it."

Trevor's stomach drops. "Liam…"

"No." Liam avoids eye contact. "I want you to know that I'm leaving."


"King's Bay. America. For the time being. I'm going to fly home with my family. I'll have to return for work, of course, once Alex and I begin to take meetings on the screenplay--but a few weeks back at home will do me good."


"With any luck, I will not have to bump into you when I return," Liam says. "Good luck with your life, Trevor. You're going to need it."

"Liam. I'm sorry."

But Liam has already turned away. He doesn't even acknowledge the words as he exits the ballroom. Trevor remains there, watching as the workers load the final pallet of chairs. It's all over. It really is all over--and he has no idea what comes next.


"Excuse me?" Diane says as she stuffs her cell phone back into her purse.

Wade lets out a fake laugh, and a few particles of spit go flying from his mouth. Diane tries not to cringe as they land on the counter.

"Drop the act," he says. "I know who you are."

She furrows her brow. "Yeah? And who's that?"

"The one who does the bank deposits. So like I said, drop the act and tell me where my money is."

"I don't what you're talking about, buddy."

"Yeah, I'm sure. C'mon, lady. The drop was, like, 700 short. You don't know anything about that?"

"I know that our books work out just fine," she says, trying for the moment to suppress the memory of how Keith explained that he sometimes runs money from his house-flipping side business through the store. The whole thing seemed a little shady at the time, and the arrival of this guy doesn't help her perception any. Not that she wants to let that on.

Wade leans forward, his head crossing the counter and zeroing in far too close to Diane for her liking.

"You want me to believe you don't know a damn thing about what's in those  bank drops?" he says.

She feels her lips moving before her brain has come up with the proper words. The moment feels like it lasts forever. Luckily, the chime of the door sounds again--and when she looks over Wade's shoulder, she sees Sarah Fisher maneuvering a baby stroller into the store.

"Hey," Diane says, keeping her focus on Sarah, who grows more reserved when she spots Wade.

He takes a step back from the counter.

"I can let you know when we get another copy in," Diane says to Wade, flashing a fake smile.

He grunts, eyeballs her once more, and then shuffles out of the store. Sarah pushes the stroller, with a sleeping Billy inside, toward Diane.

"What was that all about?" Sarah asks when Wade is gone.

"I don't have a clue," Diane says, watching as the door slowly closes. "And maybe that's the problem here."


Should Diane do some investigating at the bookstore?
What should Alex do about Trevor and Liam?
Will Samantha find out what Travis did?
Talk about all this and more in the Footprints Forum!

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Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013

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