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- The mystery of Sandy's brutal murder continued to hang over the residents of King's Bay. 
- Sarah and Matt planned to remarry in a small ceremony at Bill's restaurant but feared that any mishap could be an omen that this marriage would end as badly as their first.
- Tori brought Sarah into the walk-in freezer so that Matt wouldn't see her in her wedding dress. In the ensuing chaos, Molly closed the freezer door, locking Sarah and Tori inside!

Harbor Boulevard

A chill courses through Sarah Fisher's body, but she has no way of telling if it is due to the temperature of her current surroundings or the dire realization she has just made. 

"Mom, what's wrong?" Tori Gray asks.

"Oh my god. This can't be happening again," Sarah says to herself. She lifts a fist to the heavy door of the walk-in freezer. "Help! Let us out!"

She pounds for several seconds and then stops to listen. Tori joins her at the door. There is no sound of activity from out in the kitchen.

"They'll be back soon," Tori says. "They know we're in here."

Sarah's face cycles through a slew of emotions--from hope to cynicism to anger--until she says, "Just call your dad. Or your grandfather. They'll come let us out."

Tori instinctively reaches for her side but stops mid-movement.

"What?" Sarah asks.

"I left my clutch in the car. I was gonna go out and get it once we got you all set up in here."

Sarah looks down at herself, at the pristine white wedding dress now spilling over the floor of the freezer. She can't believe this is happening again. 

"I should've brought my phone," she says. "I figured I would be preoccupied and have nowhere to put it anyway--"

"They'll come let us out." Tori hugs herself and rubs her exposed arms. "It's freezing in here."

Sarah feels the icy air dancing over her bare shoulders, her neck, her arms. 

"Then we only have one choice," she says, gritting her teeth, and then she turns and begins hammering on the door with her fists again. 

* * * * *

The figure takes a tentative step into the kitchen. Everyone is gone, having rushed out to take care of some kind of wedding-related business or another. Now is the time to make a move… a long-awaited move. 

Then comes the sound, a burst of voices and pounding that attack like a battering ram to the senses. Someone is inside the freezer?

Recalibrating occurs on the spot. This is not the time. It will be, soon. But not now.

On the way out, the figure reaches up a hand and--the voices and banging still sounding from inside--slides the deadbolt on the freezer door open.

The figure hurries out the back door.

* * * * *

Minutes later, Bill Fisher and Matt Gray finish speaking with the head of the front-of-house employees, who is overseeing the waitstaff working the wedding today. Molly Taylor, who has been waiting patiently nearby, rejoins them.

"Everything resolved?" she asks.

"It just had to do with how they wanted us to handle the champagne glasses for the toast," Bill explains. "Thanks for coming to get us. I should get back to the kitchen."

"Are you sure you don't need a hand with the food?" Matt asks Bill.

A smile breaks over Bill's face. "It's your wedding day. Stay. Greet people. Travis went to get his suit from Tim's car, and then he'll be back to help me out."

  Molly Taylor

Matt furrows his brow. "You sure?"

"Positive. We have this under control, Matt."

"Thanks, Bill." Matt takes a look around the dining room, now filling with family members and friends who have come to celebrate his and Sarah's remarriage. "Guess I'll try to have a good time today."

"You should," Molly says, but she barely gets the thought out before she sees a blur of white barreling toward them from the back of the restaurant.

"I cannot believe you," Sarah says as she storms toward them, and Molly realizes that her sister is speaking squarely to her. Tori hurries after Sarah, a nervous look on her face. 

Molly looks at the others in confusion, hoping for some kind of context clue. Matt's jaw goes slack.

"I thought I'm not supposed to see you," he says.

Sarah's face hardens even more than it already had. "Well, I wasn't supposed to get locked in a freezer again, either."

"What happened? Did the door close?" Bill asks.

Molly feels the oxygen rushing from her body as she takes this in. "Oh, no."

"So it was you," Sarah says. 

"Why were you in there?" Molly says. "I just saw that it was open--"

Sarah's eyes burn with rage. "You just had to lock that door, huh?"

Molly feels the guests'  attention zeroing in on them.

Tori grabs Sarah's arm. "Mom, I don't think she meant to--"

"She always means to," Sarah says. "She can't just let me have one good wedding day."

Defiance flares within Molly. "Your last one was fine, as I recall."

Sarah takes that in silently, the same way she used to when they were teenagers fighting over who got to use the car, and then just lets it pass through her being in that same way, as if it were vapor and not an actual, rational fact that she simply doesn't like. 

"You went into labor during my last one to Matt, and at the first one, you were obsessed with the groom," Sarah rails on, "so that's, what, a 75% success rate? Not bad, Mol."

"Sarah," Matt says firmly, moving in front of her, but Sarah simply cranes her neck over his shoulder to stare Molly down.

"Then stop getting married so damn much!" Molly spits, unable to keep the thought inside even though she knows it is mean and inappropriate. She is nearly certain Sarah is about to push Matt out of the way and lunge at her, but Bill steps between them, too.

"Sarah, I'm sure it was an accident," he says, his gaze darting from one daughter to the other and back again. 

"It's never an accident with her!" Sarah says, but Matt and Tori each have a hold on one of her arms now.

"Let's go in the back and get ready for the ceremony," Matt says with a calm that Molly cannot even imagine right now.

"Good idea," Bill adds. He turns back to Molly as Matt and Tori lead Sarah away. "She's just emotional."

"She's always 'emotional.'" Molly folds her arms over the front of her navy dress. "I wasn't trying to ruin her day. I didn't even know she was in there!"

"I know." Bill rests a comforting hand on his daughter's arm. "She'll settle down. Let's just try and have a nice day, all right?"

"Fine," Molly says, moderating her tone as best she can as she watches Sarah's white dress disappear around the corner. Bill waits with her another moment before he follows the others back to the kitchen.

Embarrassed by all the attention she can feel burning into her, Molly rushes toward the door to get some air.

* * * * *

In the kitchen, Matt takes Sarah by the hand.

"Sure you're okay with the food?" he asks Bill, who has returned to his spot by the counter.

"I've got it," Bill says.

"We'll be right back," Matt says, leaving Tori with her grandfather as he leads Sarah into Bill's office. He closes the door behind them.

"I know you're stressed out," he says, "but--"

"I'm sorry. Okay? I didn't mean to make a scene. But it's her. Ugh. Of course she was the one who locked the damn door."

"She didn't mean to lock you in there. And that's not just me making excuses. You know she wouldn't do that."

Sarah clenches her teeth and appears poised to fire back. Instead she exhales, and her shoulders fall. "I guess. I'm sorry I made a scene. It's just--it's Molly."

  Matt Gray

Matt just nods.

"You still want to marry me, right?"

He laughs. "You think I got through all this crap to dump you because you got in a fight with your sister? No way. But maybe keep the brawls private for the rest of the night."

"I can do that." She leans in to kiss him but stops mere millimeters from his face. "Wait. I can't do that."

"Why not?"

"Because we aren't married yet. You weren't supposed to see me in my dress, either."

"Hey," Matt says abruptly. "Who did let you guys out?"

Sarah shrugs. "I'm not sure. Someone opened the deadbolt. I don't know if it was a maintenance person or what."

"Weird." He leans back to get a full-body view of her in the wedding dress. "You look amazing, by the way."

"Thanks. But this is bad luck--"

He takes hold of her hands. "I think we're past luck, you know? This is it. You and me. And in a couple minutes, we're gonna go out there in front of all those people and show 'em that."

Sarah swats him in the arm. "Get out of here before I kiss you and ruin this whole thing."

* * * * *

Molly moves away from the restaurant's front door so she can avoid the notice of anyone just now arriving for the wedding. With the springtime breeze nipping at her face and arms, she takes out her cell phone in order to have a distraction, but the e-mail she tries to read might as well be in a different language for how much she actually processes it. 

"Are you all right?" she hears from behind her, and she is about to be annoyed when she sees that it is her half-brother coming toward her.
"I'm fine," she tells Ryan Moriani.
“Are you sure?”
“Should I just leave? Obviously Sarah doesn’t want me here.”
“Yes, she does.”
Molly cocks an eyebrow skeptically.
"Sarah's really high-strung today,” Ryan says. “Mom said that she's worried about everything being a jinx on their marriage. I'm sure she doesn't really believe that you meant to lock her in there." 
"Oh, I think she'll always kind of believe that." Molly widens her eyes in exasperation. "I just hope no one else thinks it."
"No one else thinks that," Ryan says. "I promise."
"Now come on. Come back inside with me. Danielle is saving one of those bruschetta appetizers for you…"
"Those are really good… You're sure no one thinks I purposely locked my sister in a freezer on her wedding day?"
"If they do… then they probably aren't going to mess with you, are they?"
"I guess not," Molly says with a laugh as she follows him back inside.

* * * * *

With her father by her side, Sarah waits behind the curtain that has been set up especially for this ceremony. She hears the guitarist playing the light instrumental of an Ingrid Michaelson song and pictures Matt shyly making his way in from the side to stand with the minister. Then comes Jake, probably maintaining eye contact with his brother the entire time. The brothers will share a sigh of relief once they are together at the front of the ceremony. As the guitar noodles on, Sarah takes a deep breath and can see the rest of it playing out in her mind's eye: Tori making her way down the aisle, looking more like a grown woman than the little girl Sarah knows so well; next comes Billy, with Alex holding his hand to lead him--and there are the oohs and aahs from the guests at the sight of the toddler in his suit. Sarah wonders if Billy decided to hold the small pouch with the rings in it or if Alex wound up carrying it in his free hand.

And then it is time. The guitar pauses, the last of the processional floating off into the air, and then returns with the decisive first sounds of the Bridal Chorus. Bill offers Sarah a reassuring smile, and they join arms before stepping through the curtain. 

She looks out at the small gathering. Everything is as she hoped it would be. The restaurant's tables and chairs have been shifted to create an aisle up the center, but everyone is already seated as they will be for the reception. Tori and Jake stand in their positions up front, and there he is: Matt, the man she has waited so long to come back to, and now there is only an aisle separating them from the rest of their lives together. 

Sarah and Bill make their way up the aisle. Her nerves tingle as she makes eye contact with various guests: Mia, who gives her an encouraging nod; Diane, who for once has not a glimmer of cynicism in her look; Molly, who offers a respectful smile that makes Sarah flush with embarrassment over the scene she caused earlier; Paula, who beams proudly. 

And then it is happening. They reach the front of the room, and with a kiss upon her cheek, Bill leaves Sarah and takes his seat. 

"Today we have come together to join Sarah Fisher and Matt Gray in marriage," the minister begins, and the rest of his remarks pass in a blur. Sarah remains focused on the strength of Matt's hands as they hold hers.

A microphone floats into view, and Sarah realizes that the minister is holding it out to Matt so he can say his vows.

  Sarah Fisher

"You know I'm not great with words," he begins, eliciting a chuckle from the crowd, "but writing these vows was one of the easiest things I've ever done. I don't know if I've ever done something as right as being with you."

Sarah's heart swells as she looks into Matt's face and listens to his touching vows. She keeps waiting for the other shoe to drop, for some kind of emergency to arise or a car to come crashing through the restaurant or something else insane, but it never happens. 

And then the microphone is being held in front of her. She has gone over her vows at least a hundred times, and random pieces of them are floating through her head now, but there is no shape, no structure. But words come to her out of nowhere, floating up to fill her mouth. 

"Matt, I thought I would never be happier than the first time I got to marry you," she says, "and yes, I know how silly that sounds… but as happy as I was that day, I look back now and realize that I--I couldn't even begin to appreciate the importance of what we had." 

She begins to relax as she realizes that what she is saying makes sense and, even better, is actually what she wants to say, even if it is much rawer than the vows she planned.

"Standing up here today with you--it means we've come full-circle," she continues. Tears push at her eyes. "There were so many times… I never thought we would find our way back together. But we did. And I promise you that, this time, I won't take our love for granted. I won't take you for granted. Everything that comes at us, we tackle together--you, me, Tori, and Billy, as a family. I wish it hadn't taken me so long to realize the true value of that, to get how rare and wonderful it is, but I know now, and I promise that I will never, ever lose sight of it."

A sigh rushes from her body as she finishes speaking, and with it come the tears that she has managed to hold back this long. Matt holds onto her hands, and she doesn't look anywhere but into his eyes as the minister asks if they take one another in marriage.

"I do," Matt says.

"I do," she says.

"And now," the minister declares, "you may kiss."

The small crowd erupts with cheers and joy that makes it sound five times larger. Sarah is so overcome with emotion--the crying, the urge to laugh, the glee that always comes with feeling Matt's lips on hers--that she feels as if she is going to burst.

As he pulls back from the kiss, Matt pauses just millimeters from her face.

"We did it," he whispers.

Sarah beams back at him. Her husband. Forever. "We did it."


Will Sarah and Matt truly make it work this time?
Does Sarah owe Molly an apology?
Who let Sarah and Tori out of the freezer?
Discuss all this and more in the Footprints Forum!

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Thursday, April 09, 2015

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