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Episode No. 24 - Choices

written by E.R. Holdridge (Shobi)

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About this story

Published: 31 Jul 1997 | Size: 94 KB (17226 words) | Language: english | Rating: PG-13
Average: 4.3/5   4.3/5 (46 votes)

based on stories and characters created by Winnie Holzman


Angela, Graham, and the man who has announced himself as Ethan Henshaw, are in the living room. Selected moments of last episode's Prologue are replayed.

GRAHAM: (smiling) Oh. Do you know Patty from Wood & Jones?

ETHAN: (laughs) Well, not really. We've never actually met.

GRAHAM: (trying not to be rude) I'm sorry, but who *are* you? Are you a friend of Patty's or something?

ETHAN: (smiling, looking a little embarrassed, but not much) I guess you could call me that. (laughs) Or a relative. I'm Patty's brother. (he turns back to the picture)

Graham and Angela look at one another with appropriately shocked expressions. Ethan looks back up from the picture and notices their shock.

ETHAN: (at a loss) Sorry. I just sort of blurted that out didn't I? I mean, I've had 26 years to get used to the idea. (pause) Maybe I should have called first, but your number is unlisted. I've never done this before. (as if kicking himself) *Obviously*. Patty's probably not even here, is she? I figured everybody would be at work or school. I just wanted to see the house, but then I saw the cars in the drive. It was like I couldn't resist. (to Angela) Why aren't you at school?

ANGELA: (still wide-eyed) Spring Break. Mom's here. She took the day off. We were going on our annual shopping spree with the Cherski's.

Graham sort of glares at Angela for volunteering so much information.

ETHAN: (excited, then disappointed) Oh. Well, I don't want to ruin your plans. Like I said, I wasn't even going to stop. I should have called, or introduced myself in a letter, or something, but that seemed so impersonal. And I had to see her face-to-face. I promised my Mother. (pause) *Our* Mother. (sighs) God, I'm doing this very badly aren't I?

GRAHAM: (deciding) Do you want something to drink? Coffee?

ETHAN: (smiles) That. . . that would be great. Thank you.

GRAHAM: Angela, can you get Mr. Henshaw some coffee?

ETHAN: Please, call me Ethan.

ANGELA: Sure. Come on, and sit down (gesturing to the dining room)

GRAHAM: I'll go get Patty. (he heads upstairs)

Ethan sits down at the table drumming his fingers on it repeatedly. Angela brings him some coffee.

ANGELA: Do you like it black? We have milk and sugar.

ETHAN: Black is great. (he takes the coffee and looks glad that his hands have something to do, as Angela sits across from him) (brightly) So, you're about fifteen, aren't you?

ANGELA: Yes. How did you know?

ETHAN: Oh. Well, birth records are public domain. Anyone can access them. After I found your mother's marriage certificate, I just searched for any files with both your parents' names. Your sister is eleven, right?

ANGELA: (not really warmly) Twelve. How old are you?

ETHAN: Twenty-Six. (smiles) I know. I'm a lot younger than your mother. My *sister*. (laughs) It feels really funny saying that. But good. Very good. (nervously) Will your Mom, I mean, do you think she'll see me? I have these nightmares. . .

ANGELA: I don't know. (pause) How did you, y'know, find us?

ETHAN: Finding out your Mom's adopted name was the hard part. After that, it was easy. I just searched for public records with her name. Marriage certificates, birth records, divorce records, professional licenses, and, of course, property records. That's how I found the house. And the printing office. And there's some activity in downtown Three Rivers under your father's name. Are you opening another business?

ANGELA: A restaurant. Are you a detective or something?

ETHAN: (laughs) No. Nothing like that. I'm a lawyer, or at least I will be. Next month I graduate from law school, and I'll have to take the bar exam, but then. . .

ANGELA: And that's how you got access to all those records?

ETHAN: Anyone can. If you're persistent and know where to look. But being in law school made it easier. I always had a good excuse for looking. So I didn't always have to explain. (pause) This is a little awkward, isn't it?

ANGELA: I wonder what's taking them so long . . .


Rayanne smooths her hair and rings the bell, fidgeting. Sharon answers the door.

RAYANNE: (relieved) I'm glad it's you. Are you okay? You never called me back yesterday after . . . well, you know. Did you go to the clinic?

SHARON: (looks upset, glances over her shoulder, and comes out, shutting the door) Shhh. Yes.


SHARON: They just confirmed what we already knew. The home test was correct. I'm pregnant.

RAYANNE: Oh. I was hoping it was just a mistake or something.

SHARON: Me too. (losing her composure) So now what? Huh? What am I going to do about this?

RAYANNE: I don't know. What do you want to do? Are you going to tell Kyle?

SHARON: (softly) No. I can't. He won't return my calls, and it's like I don't have the right to turn to him for help, not after what happened.

RAYANNE: I don't think you should then. Not if you're not comfortable with it. (shrugging) Besides, after the way he's been acting, I'm actually kind of afraid of what he'd do. (pause) He seems pretty eager to hurt you. This would just give him more ammunition against you.

SHARON: I can't talk about this right now. My Mother will be ready any minute.

RAYANNE: For what?

SHARON: (not enthused) Every spring, Mom and I get together with Angela and her Mom, and go on an all-day shopping trip into the city. It's like a tradition. (wistfully) It's great. Just the girls. My Mom and Mrs. Chase actually act more immature than me and Angela. I thought this year would be even more special, because of all Angela and I have been through. Last fall I thought we would never do this again. I should be so excited right now. . . but I'm just. . . numb.

RAYANNE: (skeptically) Well, I hate to point this out, but you have to make some sort of decision. I mean, you still have some time. A lot actually. But eventually, your choices get. . . limited.

SHARON: (looks down, trying to avoid the issue) I haven't decided anything yet.

RAYANNE: And I know you have to think this out, and that's good. That's what you *should* do. But you're going to have to tell your parents sometime. And if you're going to be with your Mom all day, maybe this would be a good time.

SHARON: (vehemently) No. I am *not* going to tell my parents. *Ever*.

RAYANNE: (raised eyebrow) I thought you hadn't decided anything yet? If you're going to have the baby, trust me, they are *going* to notice. With your figure, they're going to start noticing right away. (pause, swallows, delicately) And . . . If you're *not*. . . Going to have it, I mean. You still have to tell them. It's like the law.

SHARON: (shocked, surprised) It is?

RAYANNE: (nodding) I'm pretty sure. You have to have an interview first, and then they make you wait, and if you're under 18, they notify your parents.

SHARON: Do you. . . know some girls, who have, you know, done that?

RAYANNE: Not *personally*. But yeah.

SHARON: (surprised) At Liberty?

RAYANNE: (giving her a "duh" look) Yeah. Mostly seniors.

SHARON: And they had to tell, their parents, I mean?

Rayanne just nods.

SHARON: Couldn't they have lied about their ages or something?

RAYANNE: They check for I.D.'s.

SHARON: They *card*?

RAYANNE: I think they have to, because of the laws about minors. I don't really know that much about it. (prodding) That's another reason to talk to someone.

SHARON: (panicked, grasping) Couldn't I just do this in another state?

RAYANNE: How? And why? (eyes wide) Sharon, I mean, you're not, like, *afraid* of your parents or something? Of what they'll do to you?

SHARON: No. (adamantly) *No.* Nothing like that. They wouldn't, like, *hurt* me or anything. They love me. I . . . just don't want them to stop.

RAYANNE: (softly) Then you should talk to them. If they love you. They can help you. You know, decide what to do.

SHARON: (hopefully) What would *you* do?

RAYANNE: (sighs) I don't know for sure. How could I? But. . .I think, if I were in *your* situation. . .that I would get an abortion. I mean, I'm. . . I'm only sixteen.

CAMILLE: (OS) Sharon, are you ready?

SHARON: (wipes the corners of her eyes, yelling) Yes! I'm out here waiting!

RAYANNE: (getting up to leave) Talk to someone, okay? If you need anything, you know that I'm here for you, right?

SHARON: Right. Thanks.


There is a meeting breaking up, concerning Our Town. A largish number of kids are there, including Delia and, of course, Rickie. Katimski is presiding over the meeting. We can see Katimski's lover, Joseph, packing in the bedroom down the hall in the background.

KATIMSKI: (gesturing) All right. . . ah. . .people. That's all I have. Any questions?

The general consensus is "no". Kids begin getting up to leave.

KATIMSKI: Okay then, have a good rest of the break. And don't forget your lines. (he trails off, looking like he wants to say more, but the kids are leaving)

JOSEPH: (pops his head out of the bedroom, looks alarmed) Richard? Can I speak to you for a moment?

KATIMSKI: Oh? Of course. (the doorbell rings) Enrique? Can you get that?

RICKIE: (jumping up) Sure. (he moves to the door and opens it)

WOMAN: (obviously a parent) Hello. I don't want to interrupt, I was just seeing if the meeting was over yet.

RICKIE: It is. C'mon in. Are you Belinda's Mom?

WOMAN: Yes. Yes, I am. Thank you. And you are?

RICKIE: Rickie. Rickie Vasquez. (explaining) I'm not in the play. I'm just the stage manager. . .

DELIA: (bounding up) And the assistant director. He's a "hyphenate". Y'know, like writer-director?

WOMAN: Oh. You're the one who's living with Mr. Katimski, aren't you?

RICKIE: (cautiously) Yes.

WOMAN: Well, I just think that is so wonderful of him. . .

The shot backs away from where Delia and Rickie are talking to this woman, back into the bedroom, where Joseph is mildly freaking out.

JOSEPH: (loudly, gesticulating) And I am just not *ready* for this conference. And now I can't find my keynote address, or my lucky tie, and I just feel so guilty about leaving Rickie in a lurch like this.

KATIMSKI: (soothing) Settle down. I packed our ties along with our suits in the garment bag. And your keynote address is still on disk if you lost the hard copy, and don't worry about Enrique. He knows that this trip was planned before he came here, and he had his friends fighting over which one he was going to stay with. And it's spring break, it'll just be like a five day vacation for him too. (moving behind Joseph and hugging him) Now just calm down. You're just nervous about your speech. But after you give that tomorrow, we have the whole rest of the week just to have fun.

JOSEPH: You're right. As usual. (putting his hand on Katimski's) What would I do without you?

KATIMSKI: Probably go tie-less, and have *nothing* to talk about in your speech. But, you do have me, so there's nothing to worry about.

The shot pans back to near the front door, where Katimski and Joseph can be seen through the open bedroom door. The woman Rickie and Delia were talking to has collected her daughter and is letting herself out. As she ushers her daughter out the door, she looks back and sees Katimski and Joseph locked in embrace. Her eyes widen for a moment, but then her face goes stony, and cold.

RICKIE: (seeing they are leaving, breaks off from another group of students and comes to say good-bye) Thanks for coming, Belinda. See you after break. (he shuts the door after them, and does not notice the expression on the woman's face)


Patty and Graham are talking. Patty looks incredulous.

PATTY: What do you mean, he says he's my brother?

GRAHAM: I'm just repeating what he said, Patty. I didn't ask him a lot of questions, I thought that was sort of your call.

PATTY: And you just left Angela down there alone with him?

GRAHAM: Yes. Because I thought it would be rude to ask him to leave, and I just knew you would be like this, so I couldn't send *her* up here.

PATTY: Like what? What am I like?

GRAHAM: (smiles) I know. This is a big thing. You're a little upset. (covering) Understandably upset.

PATTY: What. . . what is he like?

GRAHAM: (thinking) Young. Excited.

PATTY: No, I mean, does he look like me? Is there a resemblance?

GRAHAM: Not really. I don't know. I wasn't looking closely, I was just surprised. Why don't you come down and see for yourself? You don't want to keep him waiting, do you?

PATTY: No. I don't know. What if I don't want to see him?

GRAHAM: What do you mean? You looked yourself. You looked for your biological parents. You spent hundreds of dollars and the better part of a year searching. (getting it) And then you stopped. (pause) Why *did* you stop?

PATTY: It's. . .It was just. . .a long way to go, to maybe get bad news.

GRAHAM: Well, the dining room isn't that far at all. And it doesn't look like bad news to me. I don't think he went to the trouble of finding you just to tell you that he doesn't want to know you. This is a *good* thing, Patty. Isn't it?

PATTY: (vacantly) I guess it is. (she doesn't move) But Camille and Sharon will be here any minute. I have plans. I can't break them.

GRAHAM: I think that Camille and Sharon would understand if you rescheduled.

PATTY: No. Maybe you better just get a name and a number from this man. . .

GRAHAM: Ethan.

PATTY: Yes. And I can contact him when I'm ready. That would be best.

GRAHAM: Patty, I really think you may regret this.

PATTY: (blankly) No. Just tell him. Please. *Please*, Graham.

GRAHAM: Okay. It's your decision.


Rickie is packing and Delia is perched nearby, "helping".

DELIA: I can't believe that the play is only a month away.

RICKIE: I know. And we lose a week of practice because of Spring Break.

DELIA: It just doesn't feel ready.

RICKIE: I don't think it is. But it will be. I'll make sure of it.

DELIA: Oh, I know. There's just so much to do. (pause, disgusted) I can't believe you're going to stay with Brian Krakow for a week. When *I* invited you.

RICKIE: And Angela invited me too. But Brian asked first. Besides, it was nice of you, and of the Chase's, but neither of you really has the extra room.

DELIA: I guess that's true. Sharing a room with my little brothers would be more like torture than a vacation anyway.

RICKIE: Besides, as much as Brian has been complaining about how annoyed he is with his Mom's hovering, I can tell he's a little nervous about being home alone while his parents go to New York.

DELIA: For that book thing?

RICKIE: Yeah. I got the impression from his Mom that the whole deal almost fell through after they blew off the first meeting in New York when Brian first got diagnosed. But Brian doesn't know that, so don't say anything about it. This way, I'll have somewhere to stay, with like, my own room. And Brian will have someone there, to look out for him, or what have you.

DELIA: (coming up next to him, bumping him with her hip) I think it's so nice how you always try to take care of people.

RICKIE: (possibly offended) What do you mean?

DELIA: That one time I saw you in the bathroom with Angela. And *all* the time with Rayanne. And now with Brian. (beams at him) You're a good person, Rickie.

RICKIE: Thanks. But I have to point out that Rayanne, no matter what I do, or how much I worry, is *still* Rayanne. And if you've noticed, as much as I want them to make up, Angela and Rayanne still aren't speaking.

DELIA: So. . . what you're saying is, that you will probably inadvertently *kill* Brian Krakow before the week is up, or something.

RICKIE: (laughs) Don't even joke about that.

The telephone rings.

KATIMSKI: (OS) Enrique! It's Rayanne Graf on the line!

RICKIE: (picking up phone) Hello?

RAYANNE: (screen splits to reveal Rayanne on a pay phone) Hey, Vasquez! What's up? Do you wanna do something tonight?

RICKIE: Well, actually, I can't. I'm staying at Brian Krakow's this week.

RAYANNE: (annoyed) You told me. So? Does Brian have you on a strict curfew?

RICKIE: No. It's just that he's going for maintenance treatment today, and I kind of told him that I'd stay there, at least for tonight, to make sure he's okay.

RAYANNE: (like the last straw) Okay. Fine. I'm sure I can find something better to do than baby-sit invalids during *my* spring break. Seeya. (she hangs up)

RICKIE: (looks at phone in disbelief) She hung up. I can't believe her. It's like she thinks Brian got sick purposefully to inconvenience her.

DELIA: Did you tell her we're all going out later in the week?

RICKIE: I didn't get the chance. I can just call her from Brian's. To invite her. Well, (surveying his bag) I'm all packed.

DELIA: So. You'll call me later?

RICKIE: (hugging her) I sure will.

--Late Morning

Ethan comes out the front door, looking a bit crushed. Angela rushes out after him.

ANGELA: Mr. Henshaw. . . Ethan! Wait!

ETHAN: (stops on the stairs) Yes, Angela?

ANGELA: I just didn't want you to be upset. My Mother and I had these plans. . .

ETHAN: (smiling sadly) I know. Your father explained everything. I guess I can understand it. I knew that I should have called first. Coming here made it harder for her to say no, I thought. (snorts) I guess not. It does, however, make her saying no much. . . (slowly) *harder* for me to take.

ANGELA: I'm sure she'll call you.

ETHAN: I hope so. I gave your Dad my address and number at school.

ANGELA: What about your home number? Your permanent address. For if. . .I don't know. For if it takes her awhile.

ETHAN: (swallows, looks down) I'm on my own now. That's my only address. I can write you if I move. I have your address now.

Angela nods, but her eyes follow something across the street. A shot of the Krakow's reveals a yellow cab pulling up, and Brian slowly getting out and paying the driver. He is wearing a cap. He moves sluggishly into the house via the side door, as if it requires great effort. He does not look over at the Chase's.

ETHAN: Are you okay? (turning around to see what she is looking at) Who's that?

ANGELA: That's my. . . Brian. A friend.

ETHAN: Oh. Well, Angela, it was nice to meet you. (sticks out hand)

ANGELA: (taking it warmly, smiling) Yeah, you too. You're like my uncle, or something. (frowning) That's sort of weird. (smiling again) But in nice way.

ETHAN: (shaking her hand vigorously) Yep. That's me to a "T". *Weird*, but in a nice way. (pause, lets go) So. If I don't see you again . . . have a nice life.

Camille Cherski pulls her car into the driveway, causing both Angela and Ethan to turn and move slowly in that direction. Camille, excited, bustles out of the car. Sharon, distracted, gets out as well. Both focus on the stranger.


ETHAN: Hello.

CAMILLE: (less-than-subtly) Angela, aren't you going to introduce us?

ANGELA: Sorry. Ethan, this is my Mom's friend Camille Cherski, and her daughter Sharon, who is my friend. Camille, Sharon, this is. . . (she trails off)

ETHAN: (to her rescue) Ethan Henshaw. I'm a law student. I was. . .sort of answering some questions the Chase's had about. . .incorporation.

CAMILLE: Oh? The print shop, or the restaurant?

ANGELA: (together) Wood & Jones.

ETHAN: (together) The restaurant.

Angela and Ethan look at each other.

ETHAN: Well about the idea of incorporating either one, and if there would be any tax advantage if they were incorporated together, with one as a subsidiary of the other. But this is just preliminary, of course. (head bob) I'm just a student.

Camille smiles in a vague way that indicates that she was only asking to be polite and that she just lost a minute of her life that she can never get back.

ANGELA: My Mom's inside.

CAMILLE: Thanks. (she heads in)

SHARON: (hanging back) So, you're going to be a lawyer?

ETHAN: Yep. Next month I graduate.

SHARON: Oh. So, if people ask you things, you have to, like, keep them confidential, right?

ETHAN: Yep. Students are subjected to the same privacy rules when giving advice.

Danielle comes around the house pushing her bike to the sidewalk.

ANGELA: (to Ethan) Don't go anywhere. I've got to catch Danielle.

SHARON: (when Angela is gone) So, do you think I could ask you a question?

ETHAN: Sure. Any friend of the Chase's. . .

SHARON: It's about an argument we were having at school. In social studies. About Roe vs. Wade. Do you know anything about that?

ETHAN: Sure. Abortion is always a big topic on campus. Besides, with the Casey decision coming right out of Pennsylvania, there's a lot of local interest too.

SHARON: What's that?

ETHAN: Casey was a case out of Pennsylvania that some people were worried would overturn Roe. But it didn't do that, exactly. It upheld Roe, but it also upheld some restrictions that affect the availability of abortions, like waiting periods and parental and spousal notice requirements.

SHARON: That's one thing we're talking about. So abortion laws are different from state to state?

ETHAN: (sensing where this is going) Yes. Here in Pennsylvania they've made it as difficult as possible. All women have to be given certain information by a doctor at least 24 hours prior to any procedure, and clinics must agree to notify the parents of any minors who come in.

SHARON: (softly) And there's no way around that?

ETHAN: (in a teaching mode) Well, most notification or consent laws have a judicial bypass option, where the woman can go before a judge and explain the good reasons why she should not have to notify her parents or her spouse. But that type of thing takes time, and can cost a lot of money, and isn't guaranteed to work, especially with certain pro-life judges.

SHARON: Oh. You know a lot about this. You learn this type of thing at school?

ETHAN: Partly. There's a group of us, through the Women's Law Association, that sometimes drive the van for the clinic near campus, to pick up people who don't have a way to get there. And sometimes, when there are a lot of protesters outside the clinic, we help out by going there and wearing special shirts and being escorts for the people trying to get into the clinic. I mean, I don't know your views, but I totally understand why some people are against it. I just don't think people who make that choice deserve to be harassed. Especially since it *is* legal. I don't mean to offend you or anything. (pushes up his glasses)

SHARON: No. You didn't. I guess. . . I guess I haven't really thought about it enough to have an opinion. But thanks for answering my questions. (tries to smile) I'll have some good points to make . . . the next time it, you know, comes up.

ETHAN: No problem. Glad to help. (turns to go)


CAMILLE: (poking her head in the door) Patty? What's going on?

PATTY: (exiting bathroom, looks like she's been crying) What? Nothing.

CAMILLE: Liar. I just saw Graham, and he was acting strange. And Angela and that law student fellow, they were acting like fugitives. What's up?

PATTY: You met him? What did he say?

CAMILLE: Nothing. Just that he was giving you advice on incorporation. Now Patty, I now how . . . *economical* you are, but a law student? Promise me if you actually do any of this, you'll get an experienced lawyer.

PATTY: (snorts) We're not incorporating. They lied to you. That man was here to meet *me*. He says that he's my *brother*, if you can believe that?

CAMILLE: (shocked) Really? (looking back towards the stairs) Ethan? But he's so young. He can't be more than twenty-five. And you're. . .

PATTY: Don't say it.

CAMILLE: So why the big age difference?

PATTY: (softly) I don't know. I didn't talk to him.

CAMILLE: *What*? You didn't talk to him? Why on earth not?

PATTY: I don't feel ready.

CAMILLE: (coming to touch Patty on the shoulder) Patty. When you found out you were adopted, when your parents finally told you, that's all you could talk about for weeks, was at least finding out *something* about where you came from. And now you have the chance, and you're letting it slip away? Why?

PATTY: I'm scared about what I might find out.

CAMILLE: Patty. On some issues I might agree with you that ignorance is bliss. Like just how fattening that chocolate chip cheesecake we like really is, or what that noise my car is making really means, but not this. You said it yourself, when you went looking for information, that there was this (pause) *empty* part of you, that you didn't think would ever heal until you found something out.

PATTY: But. . . but what if I find out, and I still feel empty? What then?

CAMILLE: (she hadn't thought of that) I don't know. You call me, and I'll drive right over with some chocolate chip cheesecake? I don't know. (pause) But isn't knowing better? Even knowing something bad? Isn't it worse to know that you'll *never* know?

PATTY: (nodding very slowly) I guess. (pause) But what about our day?

CAMILLE: Oh, forget about it! I understand, and Sharon and Angela will understand too! We can go into the city any day. It's not every day that you meet your brother. (smiling) If you hurry I bet you can still catch him.


Angela is talking to Danielle on the sidewalk. We can see Sharon and Ethan in the driveway, talking.

ANGELA: Danielle, wait.

DANIELLE: (stopping) What?

ANGELA: Where are you going?

DANIELLE: Just for a bike ride. Who's that guy with Sharon?

ANGELA: (sighs) I'll tell you later. Didn't you say you were going to go over to Brian's today and play that game?

DANIELLE: Doom II? I was, but Mom said she didn't want me playing *violent* games. (pause) What kind does that even leave? I'm so sure.

ANGELA: Well, why don't you go over there anyway? It's okay, I'll tell Mom. I'll tell her you really went over to check on Brian, okay?


ANGELA: Because I just saw Brian come home, and Rickie isn't there yet. I would go, but Brian would know that I'm just coming over to check up on him, and besides, (looking back at the house) we may still be going shopping. But you could go over there and play that game, and cheer him up. I think he's been missing you.


ANGELA: Sure. You were spending a lot of time together, with those lessons.

DANIELLE: That's true. (embarrassed) It's just that he looks so different. All bald like that. And he gets sick. It's a little scary.

ANGELA: I know. But he's still, like, the same person, on the inside, right? So go ahead. And have fun. But if there's anything, like, wrong, even a little? Just call over here and get me or Dad to come over, okay?

DANIELLE: I will. (she scoots across the street on her bike)

Ethan comes up beside Angela.

ETHAN: So, that was Danielle, huh?

ANGELA: Yeah, that's Danielle.

ETHAN: She's cute. Anyway, I'd better go. It was. . . nice to meet you.

ANGELA: You too. I really hope that I'll get to see. . .

PATTY: (running out of the house, Graham and Camille wait inside the door) Wait! (Patty runs past Sharon on the stairs, into the lawn) Mr. Henshaw! Wait! (she runs up to Ethan and Angela)

ETHAN: (his face crinkles up and tears form, just seeing her) Please. Call me Ethan.

PATTY: (her expression gets misty also) Okay, Ethan. I'm Patty.

ETHAN: You sure are. It's a. . .a real *pleasure* to finally meet you. I've waited a long time for this moment.

PATTY: From the looks of you (sizing him up) not as long as *I've* waited.

ETHAN: (laughs happily) No, I guess that's true.

PATTY: Do you think we could go somewhere, and, I don't know, talk?

ETHAN: I'd like that. Very much.

PATTY: I'm sorry about before. Please, come back up to the house with me.

They walk back up to the porch, where Graham and Camille are, and Camille is whispering something to Sharon. Angela simply watches them go for a moment, smiling at their backs, and then follows them to the stairs.

ETHAN: (to Camille and Sharon) Sorry about lying. I didn't know if she wanted anybody to know about this.

CAMILLE: That's okay.

SHARON: C'mon Mom. We should go. We don't want to intrude.

Camille looks like she can't think of anything she would *rather* do than intrude, and gives Sharon a "where were you raised?" sort of look.

SHARON: Mom, I was kind of hoping to talk to you. It's important.

CAMILLE: Okay. Of course. It was nice to meet you, Ethan, and Patty, I'll call you later. . .to reschedule I mean.

Ethan and Patty sort of nod as the Cherski's take their leave.

PATTY: (to Ethan) So can we go somewhere? Do you know a place?

ETHAN: Sure. I know where this little bar and grill is. It's quiet there.

PATTY: Let me get my purse.

Patty goes inside and Graham follows her. Angela remains on the porch.

ANGELA: (to Ethan) It looks like it didn't take her that long after all.


Patty is grabbing her purse, and a sweater from the hall closet.

GRAHAM: Are you sure you want to go off somewhere?

PATTY: Yes. I don't want to do this here.

GRAHAM: Do you want me to come with you?

PATTY: Graham, I'm sorry. I'm just not ready to share this yet. Can you understand that?

GRAHAM: (thoughtfully) Yes. I guess so. Do you know when you'll be back?

PATTY: I have no idea. But, I'll take the cellular phone and call you if I'm going to late or something. All right?


PATTY: And you'll be okay here with the kids?

GRAHAM: Of course. Go on, get going.

PATTY: (kissing his cheek) Thank you. I love you so much.

GRAHAM: I know. And Patty?

PATTY: (turning back to him) Yes?

GRAHAM: I hope. . .I mean, I just hope you find some of what you were looking for.

PATTY: Me too.


Danielle is at Brian's computer and the lilting sounds of Doom II mayhem blare through the small speakers. Danielle looks gleeful every time she blasts someone with the shotgun. Brian is sitting up in bed, watching her. He is wearing his "sickness clothes", sweats and a T-shirt, and blue bandanna fastened Rickie-style on his head. It is clear that his hair is totally gone.

BRIAN: Okay, Danielle, there's the chain-gun. But when you pick it up, that door below you is going to open and more monsters are going to come out. So maybe you should save the game first.

DANIELLE: Okay. Thanks. (she fiddles with some keys) There. I won't need it though, I'm gonna kick butt!

Brian smiles at the incongruity of this skinny little girl taking on the demonic hordes. And winning. The doorbell rings.

BRIAN: Keep playing. I'll get it.


BRIAN: (slowly descends the stairs, and about halfway down he sees who it is and shouts) Come in!

RICKIE: (opens the door and enters, lugging his bag, with an overdone accent) Lucy! I'm home!

BRIAN: (leaning on the railing) I suppose I'm supposed to try and trick you into putting me in Our Town now or something, huh? Or whine "Oh, Rickie!"

RICKIE: (pleased) Brian? You actually *got* one of our pop culture references? I think I'm going into shock!

BRIAN: Hey. I watch TV sometimes. I saw that show when I was younger.

RICKIE: (doubtful) At Angela's right?

BRIAN: Well, it doesn't matter *where* I saw it. C'mon upstairs, I'll show you to the guest room. It used to be my sister's, but all her stuff is out of it now.

RICKIE: (coming halfway up the stairs to where Brian is standing) Cool. By the way, I really like that bandanna. That looks good. Is part of your treatment a fashion sense transplant, or do you just have some really stylin' friends?

BRIAN: (rolls eyes) Shut up. (starts to climb, but then stops and looks at Rickie) Rickie, it's. . .I wanted to. . . I'm just really glad you're here.

RICKIE: Me too. Thanks for having me.


Camille is driving, apparently aimlessly. Sharon is looking straight ahead and looks very nervous.

CAMILLE: Honey, I don't mean to push, but if you don't tell me what this is about, or pick a destination soon, we're going to run out of gas. And this isn't the best neighborhood.

SHARON: I know. Turn left at the next light.


SHARON: Mom, you know how you always say I can talk to you about anything, no matter how bad it is?

CAMILLE: Of course. It's the thing I'm proudest about in our relationship. That you tell me about things, even the bad things, like when you were fighting with Angela, or about the poll. Not every Mom has that, not even Patty. Why?

SHARON: Well, I have something that I have to talk to you about. And it's bad. Really bad. And I need your help.

CAMILLE: (beginning to look apprehensive) Okay. What is it?

SHARON: Pull in up here, would you?

CAMILLE: The "fake lake"? Sharon, it's April. It's closed.

SHARON: No it's not. You can't go swimming, but the paths are open. I know, I came here yesterday. To think.

CAMILLE: (pulling to a stop in the empty parking lot) How did you get all the way out here?

SHARON: I took the bus downtown, and then here.

CAMILLE: Sharon, you're scaring me now. Please tell me what this is about.

SHARON: (her face screws up in fear and shame) I'm pregnant.

Camille looks as if she was just punched. The devastation of that moment shows painfully on her face, for Sharon to see. Then she puts her hands up to her forehead and pushes back her hair. She just stares out the windshield of the sedan, a mixture of fear, sorrow, and guilt passing across her face. Sharon looks at her Mother, expecting some response, and the silence only upsets her more.

SHARON: (still fighting tears) Mom? Say something! Please.

Camille turns to her daughter and touches her face, causing the dam to break, and Sharon's face floods with tears. Camille pulls Sharon to her, holding her against her breast, soothing her, whispering and stroking her hair.

CAMILLE: Shhh. It's going to be all right, baby. Everything's going to be all right.


Rickie is now at the computer, Brian on the bed.

RICKIE: I can't believe how much better Danielle is than me at this game.

BRIAN: I know, she picks up things in, like, seconds.

RICKIE: (a demon squeals as it dies) Maybe I shouldn't be playing this game. It's blasphemous.

BRIAN: What?

RICKIE: With all these demons and the killing. Don't you ever worry about hell?

BRIAN: (almost amused, in a superior way) Not really. We're Jewish.

RICKIE: Really? How come you never wear that little beanie-thing?

BRIAN: A yarmulke? I don't know. We're really not practicing, or anything. I mean, I was never even bar mitzvahed.

RICKIE: (stops playing, turns around in seat) That's like confirmation, right?

BRIAN: I guess. I don't really think about it very much.

RICKIE: But, well, I mean, you *pray* or whatever, don't you?

BRIAN: (shaking his head in arrogant amusement) No.

RICKIE: (disbelieving) Not even to get well?

BRIAN: (shakes head again) No. Do you? Pray?

RICKIE: All the time. (turning away) Lately I've been praying a lot. Mostly for you and Rayanne.

BRIAN: (surprised) Because we've been voted most likely to go to hell, or something?

RICKIE: (frowning) No. I worry about you both. I pray that you both get well. That you both find the strength to beat your illnesses.

BRIAN: Oh. (pause) What illness does Rayanne have? Terminal rudeness?

RICKIE: No. (honestly) But I think her problem with alcohol is only getting worse.

BRIAN: Oh. (disconcerted pause) I didn't know. (uncomfortable with the topic) Listen, I'm feeling pretty grungy, so I think I'm going to take a shower and then maybe lie down awhile, okay?


RICKIE: Sure, do you want me to turn this off?

BRIAN: No. I can sleep if you'll just turn the sound off.


As Brian goes into the connected bathroom and shuts the door, Rickie begins to fool around with the controls, and eventually the sound cuts out. Rickie keeps playing over the sounds of the shower, which is rather short. The water cuts out, and soon Rickie hears a loud thump. He gets up and goes to the bathroom door.

RICKIE: (concerned) Brian? (he knocks) Are you all right?

BRIAN: (OS, muffled by the door) I slipped. Don't come in yet. (pause) Okay, you can come in.

Rickie opens the door and enters the bathroom, Brian is on the floor, leaning against the wall, with one foot still in the tub, and a towel tied loosely around his waist. His head is bare, but there is some "stubble" in spots.

RICKIE: Are you okay?

BRIAN: I'm fine. I just slipped.

RICKIE: Did you get cut? Angela said that it's dangerous if you get cut, that you might not stop bleeding.

BRIAN: I'm not cut. Just embarrassed. Just help me to the bed. I don't know if I slipped because I was dizzy, or I'm dizzy because I slipped, but I need to lie down.

RICKIE: Sure. (he looks reluctant to touch Brian at first)

Rickie gets Brian's arm around his shoulder and lifts him up and helps him to bed. Where Brian flops down in just the towel, with an arm crooked over his eyes. At first Rickie just goes back to the computer desk, not looking at Brian. Eventually, as though drawn by worry or curiosity, he turns and stares at Brian. A close up on Rickie reveals that he holds his breath while looking at Brian.

RICKIE: (tearing his eyes away, embarrassed) Brian, I'm going to go down and use the phone. Call me if you need something, okay?

BRIAN: (mumbling) Sure. Thanks. (Rickie exits)


Sharon and Camille walk slowly arm-in-arm along the beach. It is very windy and looks cold. The man-made lake ripples in the wind and laps upon the shore. The Cherski's come to a stop near the shore, staring straight ahead, out at the lake.

SHARON: What am I going to do?

CAMILLE: I don't know. I can't make this decision for you, Sharon. I can't decide something like this for you, that will effect you for the rest of your life. (pause) I think. . . the only thing I can say is that your father and I will support whatever decision you make. (pause) But *you* have to make it.

SHARON: What about keeping the baby?

CAMILLE: (nodding) You could do that. Your father and I could. . . *help* with that. But it would be your baby, not ours. Your responsibility. Are you ready for that? For everything you would have to give up?

SHARON: I . . . I think that . . . no. I had all these dreams. These plans. I mean, I was going to go to college. I've thought about being a teacher. . .

CAMILLE: (turns to smile a Sharon) You never told me that.

SHARON: It's just something I think about . . . sometimes.

CAMILLE: We always thought you would go to college. I mean, we've been saving.

SHARON: (sadly) I know. (stares out at the water)

CAMILLE: What about adoption?

SHARON: I don't know. Mrs. Chase was adopted by a great family, wasn't she?

CAMILLE: Yes. I guess so.

SHARON: And yet . . . today she seemed . . . I don't know, *broken* or something. Like she wasn't happy, and never could be.

CAMILLE: (nodding) Maybe . . . that's not always the best choice either. (thinking) But adoptions are more open these days. Maybe it doesn't have to be that way.

SHARON: (pause) I don't know. I don't know if I could even do that, after carrying the baby for nine months. I don't know if I could just . . . give it away.

CAMILLE: I know what you mean. That really only leaves one other choice.

Sharon looks over at her Mother, who begins to cry softly.

SHARON: Mom? Are you okay? (pause) You're not . . . I mean, are you *against* abortion, or something?

CAMILLE: (wiping away her tears) No honey, it's not that. You know that I'm pro-choice. Patty and I went to rallies, and everything. It's just that when I think of women doing that, and I think how hard your father and I tried to have more children, it just . . . it just makes me sad, I guess.

SHARON: If I did that, do you think . . . that you would be sad when you looked at me? (pause) I mean, would you look at me . . . differently?

CAMILLE: (turning to Sharon, reassuring) No, honey. Never. I love you. And I always will. No matter what you choose. (she hugs Sharon)

SHARON: (in the embrace) It's just . . . there don't seem to be any *good* choices. Just bad ones.

CAMILLE: (rocking her a bit) I know. Sometimes that's what being an adult boils down to. Picking between a lot of bad options, and trying to find the one that's the least worst. (pause) I hoped that it would be a few years before you had to face anything like that. (guilty) I hoped your father and I had protected you from this. From growing up too fast.

SHARON: (pulling away to face Camille) Mom, this isn't your fault. I mean, you can't protect someone who doesn't, like, *want* protecting.

CAMILLE: (sadly) No, I guess not.

INT.BAR & GRILL--Afternoon

Ethan and Patty enter the bar, which is well-lit, with a lot of wood surfaces.

PATTY: Let's get a booth. It will be more private.

Ethan nods and they move to sit down. He hangs his coat up on a peg, and then turns to take Patty's, but she has already shrugged out of it on her own. They sit. A waitress comes up to the booth.

WAITRESS: Can I get you something to drink?

PATTY: Just coffee. (to Ethan) Do you want something? A beer?

ETHAN: (shakes his head) No. I'm on the wagon. Just coffee for me too.

The waitress leaves. Patty and Ethan regard each other nervously.

ETHAN: You didn't say much in the car. My guess is that you have a lot of questions, though.

PATTY: I guess I do.

ETHAN: (prompting) Like?

PATTY: Tell me about our parents.

ETHAN: Okay. That's a good place to start. I guess I should have said this before, but it seemed like a lot to get into. I'm more like your half-brother. I never knew your father. Mom never talked about him much, I got the feeling that she didn't know him well either, considering what happened.

PATTY: (stunned) Oh. What about your father?

ETHAN: (smiles ruefully) Sort of the same story. Men never stayed with Mom for very long. My father was no different. I never really knew him. Just *of* him. He's dead now. (pause, seriously) Listen, I don't know what you want to hear exactly. I was just going to tell the whole truth, but (looks down) it's not exactly . . . well, we weren't exactly the Cleavers. Were you looking for a more edited version?

PATTY: (deciding) No. I want the truth. That's what I looked for, and that's what I want. Happy or not.

ETHAN: (surprised, pleased) You looked for us? I mean, for Mom? I didn't know that. (tears up, nodding) That . . . that would have made her very happy.

PATTY: (dreading what she suspects) It *would* have?

ETHAN: (nodding) Yes. Mom died two years ago. She always wanted to find you. The fact that she gave you up, sort of . . . *haunted* her all her life. Even at the end, (bitterly) *you* were all she would talk about. She made me promise that I wouldn't stop looking until I found you. So I did. And here we are.

PATTY: How did she die?

ETHAN: Lung cancer. But she hadn't been. . . *well* for years. I'm doing this backwards, I guess. I should have started from the beginning.

PATTY: Yes. Please. Tell me about my Mother.

ETHAN: Her name was Evelyn, Evelyn Henshaw. . .


Camille is slowing pulling out of the lake parking lot.

CAMILLE: Sharon, do you want to think about this some more? You still have time to think about this, you know.

SHARON: I know.

CAMILLE: Or, if you wanted, we could talk to your father.

SHARON: No! (less stridently) I mean, can't we just deal with this on our own?

CAMILLE: Sharon, I don't know . . .

SHARON: Is it the money? I have some money put away.

CAMILLE: It's *not* the money, Sharon. I *work*! It's just that I have a hard time lying to your father. He always knows when I'm hiding something.

SHARON: Okay. Can we just not tell him, until after?

CAMILLE: I suppose. Are you sure you want to go back to the clinic today?

SHARON: (single nod, firmly) Yes. It will be hard no matter when I go, it won't get any easier if I wait, and it may get harder. Besides, if I take care of it this week, then I won't miss any school, and then maybe no one will have to know.

CAMILLE: (nods grimly) That does make sense. Okay. We can go now, to make the appointment. (pause, she drives) Sharon, I know it seems that I'm upset, but I just wanted to make sure that you know that I'm very glad you came to me about this. You did the right thing, coming to me.

SHARON: (vacantly) Mom, that really doesn't make me feel any better right now.

CAMILLE: (sighs) I know.


Patty and Ethan in a booth, it's clear they have already been talking for some time.

PATTY: (looks sad) She had me when she was seventeen? Just seventeen?

ETHAN: Yep. She was still living at home then, and it was the fifties, but I guess you knew that. She said that her father was furious, especially because she wouldn't tell him who the father was. So they sent her off to stay with "relatives", but they really sent her to a halfway house for unmarried pregnant girls.

Patty looks horrified.

ETHAN: She said that's just the way it was done then. She wanted to keep you, but that really wasn't possible. I'm sure your parents never knew that when they adopted you, though. Her father signed something saying that the baby would be given up. I can't believe that had any legal significance, but apparently everyone treated it like it did. She had a name picked out for you, and everything. But she said that after you were born they wouldn't let her see you, and they just took you away, against her wishes.

PATTY: They did that?

ETHAN: I don't know. That's what she said, but you have to understand that she had a lot of problems even before this happened. She just went downhill from that moment. (he sees Patty's questioning face) I'm not saying what she told me isn't true but her memory tended to get a little distorted, and her stories were sometimes that--just stories.

PATTY: What was she going to name me?

ETHAN: (concerned) Why? Are you sure you want to know that?

PATTY: (softly) I have to know.

ETHAN: She said that she was going to call you "Erica". She was kind of obsessed with the letter "E" or something. She called you that whenever she referred to you. Which was pretty often. (sadly, but with undercurrent of anger, looking away) Sometimes I think she only had me to try and get over the guilt of losing you. (pause) But that didn't work.

PATTY: (she looks upset, and looks at Ethan with empathy) You said that she had problems, and that she wasn't well, what did you mean by that?

ETHAN: She was unstable. (looks down) You want to hear all of this?


ETHAN: She had a hard life. She wasn't always tuned in to reality. I was eight the first time that she was taken away. Well, not the first time, but the first time since she had me.

PATTY: What happened to you?

ETHAN: I went to live in a foster home. By that time she had moved us as far away from her family as she possibly could. New Mexico. Also away from you, I guess. And her memories. Anyway, when I was ten or so, they let her out, I guess they thought she was better. And they let her come and get me back.

PATTY: Didn't you want to be with her?

ETHAN: I loved her. I still do. And she was sick. I know that now. But to a child, her moods, and rages and drinking were just scary. So, no. I didn't want her to come back. Not like that.

PATTY: What happened then?

ETHAN: I lived with her until I was sixteen. She managed to be functional, most of the time. By that time, I was getting very good at covering for her. With her bosses, or her doctor, or the child welfare people. Sometimes, I don't know why I did that.

PATTY: (shaking her head in disbelief, or pity) But something happened?

ETHAN: Yes. What happened isn't important. But it was definitely something I couldn't fix. And so she was committed again.

PATTY: And where did you go?

ETHAN: To an orphanage-type place. A halfway house. For kids that are too old or unruly for the foster system.

PATTY: Which were you? Too old, or too unruly?

ETHAN: (smiles sadly) Both, I guess. I never would have stayed at a foster home then. I was too angry at them for taking her away. It wasn't like when I was eight. Somewhere along the way I guess I stopped being afraid. It was like I had to protect *her*. Like I was the parent. Everything about our relationship was unhealthy, but it took me years to recognize that they took her away for her own good, and to protect me too. I was just angry then. For years.

PATTY: What happened to her then?

ETHAN: She was in and out of the sanitarium for the next eight years, I guess. Until she died when I was twenty-four. Just as I was starting law school. I went to see her when I heard there wasn't much time left. At that point I hadn't seen her for four years.

PATTY: (almost inaudibly) Why not?

ETHAN: (hesitating) I started college at age eighteen, you get to go for free if you've been officially declared an orphan in New Mexico. I flunked out the very first semester.

PATTY: But what about law school?

ETHAN: (smiles) I wasn't lying about that. I went back to undergrad eventually, in Pennsylvania.

PATTY: Why did you flunk out?

ETHAN: (looking down) Well, I'm not going to pretend that I don't have problems myself. I do. A lot of them. I was drinking and using. . . and trying pretty much anything that could make the pain go away. Nothing ever did. After I got booted from school, I was broke, with no where to go.

PATTY: You were homeless?

ETHAN: In a way. It never felt like that at the time. Finally I. . .ended up in the hospital. Luckily some people there wanted to help me. They got me clean and sober, and then they got me to talking. I'd never had much use for the social workers before, or their psychobabble, but there was this one guy, Dr. Stevens, who was so blunt and straightforward I couldn't help but like him.

PATTY: And they helped you?

ETHAN: They really did. I knew then that I couldn't live and die for *her* any more.

PATTY: You mean for your mother. . . *our* mother?

ETHAN: (nodding) Right. I had to choose whether or not I wanted to live. (looking up at her) And I found, to my surprise, that I did. I really did. So I left New Mexico and moved here. I got a job, and went back to school, and *five* years later I had finished school, aced the LSAT, and enrolled in Penn State's Law School.

PATTY: And that's when you got a call from New Mexico?

ETHAN: Yep. She was dying, and asking for me.

PATTY: After all you'd been through, after all you'd accomplished, why did you go back?

ETHAN: That one phone call took me back years. To where I was right before I landed in the hospital. Because I thought I had dealt with it, but I hadn't. Avoidance and denial are great, and believe me, I'm a master at both of them, and they allowed me to basically pretend to be someone else and handle working my way through school . . . but . . . I had never really made peace with Evelyn. And I knew that I needed to.

PATTY: Were you able to say what you needed to say?

ETHAN: Some. Enough, I guess. That's when she made me promise to find you.

PATTY: How did you find me? The records are all sealed.

ETHAN: That's true, but Evelyn--I mean Mom--knew more about where you were than she had ever told me. And (guilty smile) I cheated. Mom had a very lengthy mental health file, and after her death the confidentiality of that file no longer matters. So I had my therapist petition for the file, ostensibly to help her better understand my own problems, but instead I combed the file for information. The first time Evelyn was committed was shortly after giving you up. The reports and notes from way back then included brief interviews about the cause of her distress with her parents--our grandparents--and our grandfather knew quite a bit about where you went, including the last name of Wood. There was no first name mentioned, but that was enough to get me started. I've been looking for the last three years, off and on, when I had time.

PATTY: (searching) That's a long time to look. Why did you keep trying?

ETHAN: (surprised by the question) Well, I made her a promise. And I'm used to being alone--on my own--I have been since I was sixteen, but that doesn't mean that . . . . (pause) I *like* it. I guess I thought . . . (looks down) I don't know *what* I thought. (looks back up) What about you? Why did you look?

PATTY: (thinking) I guess I just wanted to know where I came from. My parents were very good to me, the Woods, but . . . it always felt like I was on probation there. Like if I wasn't good enough, or pretty enough, or smart enough that they would . . . I don't know, send me *back* or something. It wasn't until I left the house that I figured out that it wasn't because I was adopted. Their demands and expectations probably wouldn't have been any different if they could have had kids of their own. It was just the way they are. As parents. I've tried to accept that. But it's difficult.


PATTY: Because I hate them sometimes. They pull those same games on Angela and Danielle, and I can only *hope* that I'm not *exactly* like them. And the second I get angry with them, all I feel is guilt, because they took me in and gave me so much. My anger seems so . . . ungrateful. And then I feel like, maybe that's why I was given up. Maybe that's what was wrong with me, even as a baby. Why I ended up in the hands of . . . strangers.

ETHAN: Really?

PATTY: (nods slowly) When Graham first came up and told me about you today, I was right back in that place. Wondering why she kept you and *not* me. Why was I the unwanted one?

ETHAN: (swallowing, but with difficulty) That's so strange. (pause) All *my* life, I've sort of loved and hated you at the same time. I envied *you*. I imagined that you had two parents, and a dog, and they didn't leave you for days at a time, (tears escape) or hit, or yell, or drink. And I wished that I could somehow be *you*.

PATTY: (bittersweet smile) I always thought that *you* were the lucky ones. You and all these made-up sisters I had. Because you had somewhere where you *knew* that you . . . *belonged*. (lengthy pause) I never dreamed that you could be thinking the same thing about me.

Patty and Ethan just look at each other sadly across the table and their coffee cups.


Sharon is at the little window counter. Camille stands back, uncomfortable.

SHARON: So, I saw Dr. Alhaus yesterday. And, I sort of, wanted to make an appointment. (facing it squarely) For an abortion.

WORKER: (not unkindly) You know that we'll have to notify your parents?

SHARON: Actually, (a bit panicked) my Mother is here now.

Camille hears Sharon voice get tight, if not the actual words, and reacts like a tigress, approaching the counter with purpose.

CAMILLE: Now see here, my daughter is going through a. . .

SHARON: (interrupting) It's okay, Mom. She just wanted to know that you were here with me. It's the law, or something.

WORKER: (simply nodding) You need to see the doctor before you make an appointment, we usually do this over the phone, but since you're here it will be quicker if the doctor just sees you now.

Sharon merely nods.


The female doctor sits behind a desk in her office. She has obviously been talking for awhile already.

DOCTOR: That's all the information we're required to give you 24 hours in advance, Sharon. I will have them put down your appointment for 2:00 PM tomorrow. You should arrive here by 1:30 p.m., so that there won't be any delays. Your medical history information was taken yesterday, so we should be able to begin right away. You'll need to bring photo ID with you, several maxi-pads, and you should remember to wear loose, comfortable clothing. You may bring one guest with you.

CAMILLE: I'll be here. (she reaches over and squeezes Sharon's hand)

DOCTOR: Fine. I'll put your name down. You will also need to bring a photo ID.


DOCTOR: The guard only admits people on the list who can verify who they are. It's just a precaution. Against protesters.

SHARON: What about after? Will I feel all right?

DOCTOR: Most women have some bleeding, like their period afterwards. Some women feel tired, experience cramping, or feel dizzy. That is normal. If you experience any of those things, it is best to rest. And for two weeks afterwards you cannot have sex or do any heavy lifting or exercise.

SHARON: What about gym class?

DOCTOR: No. We'll write you a note to get out of it.

SHARON: Does the note mention. . .

DOCTOR: It doesn't say why. Only that it's from a gynecologist. It's very discreet.

SHARON: (slowly) Thank you doctor.

CAMILLE: Yes, thank you. (they get up to leave)

--Early Evening

Patty and Ethan look like are having a bit more fun talking about a different topic.

PATTY: (in the middle of a story) And so my Mother got there first, before Graham, who was stuck picking up Angela from the Cherski's--who you met this morning. And my Mother had not been there for when Angela was born, and of course she had never had any children of her own. From the look on her face when I had contractions, it was clear that she thought I was *dying*! Literally.

ETHAN: (laughing) So did Graham get there on time?

PATTY: (smiling in remembrance) Yes. Graham always manages to come through in the clinch. Danielle started wailing the minute the doctor slapped her bottom. And actually, wailing is still pretty much her favorite form of communication.

ETHAN: Sounds like you got lucky. Your kids seem great. From what I could see of Danielle as she dashed across the street.

PATTY: (nodding) I know. Lack of energy has never been a problem for Danielle.

ETHAN: (watching Patty's face) You look like her, you know. Our Mom. Around the eyes, when you smile, or when you talk about your kids. She would have been so happy about how you turned out. Family, career, friends. You have a great life.

PATTY: Well, what about you? Budding attorney? That's pretty impressive too.

ETHAN: (nodding, persuaded) You're right. No matter what else, she would have a lot to be proud of in us. (pause) I should probably get you back home.


Angela and Jordan walk down the steps toward his car, parked on the street.

ANGELA: (making conversation) How was work?

JORDAN: (philosophically) Work. . . is work. (he shrugs)

A beater car pulls up behind Jordan's convertible.

JORDAN: Who's that?

ANGELA: I'm not sure. It could be my Mom.

Patty exits the passenger door, and Ethan gets out and stands on the driver's side.

ANGELA: Mom! (going up to her, Jordan in tow) Are you . . . Is everything okay?

PATTY: (smiles genuinely, but in a small way) Yes. I'm fine. Hello, Jordan.

JORDAN: Hey. (frowning) Old car.

ETHAN: (laughs) That it is. It's on it's last legs, that's for sure.

Jordan looks at the stranger as if his brain is hurting him.

PATTY: Ethan, this is Jordan, Angela's . . . (fumbling for the correct word)

ETHAN: (supplying it) Friend?

PATTY: Yes. Jordan, this is my brother, Ethan Henshaw.

JORDAN: Not Wood?

PATTY: (smiles) Actually he's my half-brother.

JORDAN: I didn't know you had a brother.

PATTY: I know. (smiling happily) Neither did I. Pretty cool, wouldn't you say?

JORDAN: Yeah. Cool.

ETHAN: Well, nice to meet you, Jordan, but I've to get going. I have an early class.

ANGELA: (moving close to Patty, urgent whisper) Mom? You're letting him go?

PATTY: (smiles) Ethan? It seems my family is intensely curious about you now. Do you think you could stand to be subjected to them at length?

ETHAN: Well, (smiling, as if sharing the secret) I suppose so. I mean, now that you and I are clear about what things we're keeping secret.

PATTY: Right. Like the royal lineage. . .

ETHAN: (playing along, loudly) Shh! No one must know!

Jordan watches these antics, amused by Patty's newfound playfulness. Angela smiles, grateful it has turned out well.

PATTY: So how about dinner tomorrow night? Here?

ETHAN: (stunned, happy) I'd . . . I'd really like that. I'll bring dessert.

PATTY: Be prepared to face a gauntlet of questions.

ETHAN: I'm ready. Our first class in law school was "Lying & Hedging 101".

PATTY: Okay. See you tomorrow. (to Angela) Have a nice time, you two.

ANGELA: (watching Patty's back as she walks to the house) We will.

JORDAN: (watches Ethan drive off, turns to Angela) That was . . . weird.

ANGELA: (nods) It was. (remembering) But in a nice way.


Brian trudges downstairs, fully dressed. Rickie is on the couch, eating popcorn and watching TV.

BRIAN: How long did I sleep?

RICKIE: Quite a while. You must have needed it.

BRIAN: I guess. You could have woke me. You must be bored.

RICKIE: Not really. I was watching MTV. Katimski doesn't have cable. I miss it. They're repeating this really cool show in the afternoons. It got canceled.

BRIAN: I probably never heard of it.

There is a frantic knocking at the door. The guys look at each other.

RICKIE: Are you expecting someone?

Brian just shakes his head and goes to open the door. Rayanne is standing there expectantly, and, the minute the door opens, she prances in. Brian opens his mouth as if to speak, but then just closes it and the door, with resignation.

RICKIE: Rayanne! What are *you* doing here?

RAYANNE: (sashaying about, but wobbling) I've come to break you out of (glancing mock-nervously at Brian, really loud whisper) Jail Krakow!

RICKIE: (shaking his head, sadly) You're drunk, Rayanne.

RAYANNE: I am *not*! (turning to Brian) Tell 'im, Bri! (really looking at Brian for the first time) That's a new look for you, Krakow (pointing to the bandanna) Are you and Rickie playing "dress up" or something?

Brian just glares at her, and sort of looks embarrassed for her, as if he has enough shame to share.

RAYANNE: Take that off! You look stupid. (she snatches the bandanna off his head, Brian reacts, but not quickly enough)

RICKIE: Rayanne!

RAYANNE: (eyeing Brian's patchy bald head) My God, Brian! You're Kojak!

RICKIE: Rayanne, stop it.

RAYANNE: What? No! I mean it, have you ever *seen* the two of them together?

RICKIE: I'm sorry about this, Brian.

BRIAN: It's not your fault. I'm going to go get a cap.

RAYANNE: (losing a plaything) Oh, don't go. (he does) C'mon Rickie, let's go out and find Tino, and you can *pretend* that you're still my friend.

RICKIE: Rayanne, I *am* your friend.

RAYANNE: Yeah, (bitter) but I'm no Delia Fisher am I? ("thinking" aloud) Of course, Delia's not here, is she? It's just you and Brian, trading clothes. (slaps forehead with hand) Ohmygosh! (eyebrow) I hope I didn't interrupt anything.

RICKIE: Of course not. (pause) Why are you doing this?

RAYANNE: Because you all hate me no matter what I do, right? I might as well have the fun of *being* all the things you think of me anyway. Right?

RICKIE: (deep sigh) I *don't* hate you, Rayanne, but you need help.

RAYANNE: Then *help* me! (looks around) Help me find something to drink in this house, before I slip into a Krakow-induced coma!

RICKIE: Rayanne. I have to ask you to leave.

RAYANNE: Why? So you can be *alone* with Brian? I don't think he's your type.

RICKIE: (softly, his eyes narrowing) Be quiet.

RAYANNE: I mean, I guess you'd know better than I would. You *do* have gym with him. Do you watch him in the showers? Just how little *is* "Little Brian"? (she cracks up)

RICKIE: (tears in his eyes) You're being hateful. I don't think I want to be around you right now.

Rickie reaches to the coat rack and grabs his coat, slipping into it. Brian appears at the top of the stairs in a cap.

RICKIE: (softly, not looking up at him) Brian, I'm really sorry about this, but I've got to go out for awhile. I need some air.

BRIAN: (concerned) Sure. I'll be fine.

Rickie closes the door softly. Brian comes down the stairs to confront Rayanne.

RAYANNE: Fine. We don't need him anyway, do we Krakow?

BRIAN: Is Rickie all right? It looked like he was crying. What did you say to him?

RAYANNE: (actually looks guilty and even sorry) Just . . . things. About you and him. And the relationship you have.

BRIAN: What about it? We're friends!

Rayanne snorts and shakes her head as if Brian just doesn't get it.

BRIAN: What? We *are* friends. He said so himself.

RAYANNE: I'm sure you are, Krakow. I just meant that maybe he wants to be more than friends. He's gay, you know?

Brian actually laughs at loud at this, in genuine amusement.

RAYANNE: What? He is!

BRIAN: I know. (shaking his head) But just because Rickie's gay, that doesn't mean that he doesn't have, like, *taste*.

RAYANNE: What do you mean?

BRIAN: I mean, do you see a huge number of women lined up to date me? (she doesn't answer) Do *you* find me attractive?

RAYANNE: (looks insulted) Not at all.

BRIAN: Well, I'm pretty sure that I'm just as unattractive to homosexuals.

RAYANNE: (seeing he has a point, but not wanting to be so wrong) But he's been spending all this time with you, and acting all *concerned* about you lately.

BRIAN: (rolls his eyes, curtly) Well, by *that* brilliant logic, then Angela Chase is secretly in love with me too, but since I saw her go off with Jordan Catalano hours ago and she hasn't come back yet, I think we can all agree that's simply not true. So . . .

RAYANNE: (disgusted) God! You like, totally spy on her!

BRIAN: I do not. Jordan's muffler is bad. His car is loud. (to hurt her) But I guess you wouldn't know that since it wasn't running when you were in the back seat.

RAYANNE: (taking the hit) God, Brian. Here I was looking down on you because you are such a loser, when I could have just been hating you for being a prick!

BRIAN: (angry, yelling) What do you expect, Rayanne? You should know losers like me only have a few friends, so when you betray one of them and drive the only other one from my house in tears, you should know I'm going to take sides. That's what *pricks* like me do!

RAYANNE: God, just shut up! (holds hand to head) I need a drink.

Rayanne brushes past him and enters the kitchen, Brian follows behind her, flabbergasted by her behavior. She opens the fridge and takes out a bottle of beer.

BRIAN: What do you think you're doing? I am *not* contributing to your binge!

Brian moves to grab the bottle, and Rayanne tries to evade him. He grabs her arm.

RAYANNE: Krakow. Let go of me. (pause) I'm warning you.

BRIAN: (white hot, angry) What? What are you going to do to me? *Kill* me? I'm sorry, maybe you haven't heard, someone's already beat you to that.

She struggles to get out of his grip. She looks very small next to Brian at that moment. He reaches out with his other hand and grabs the bottle of beer roughly out of her hand and lobs it into the sink, where we hear it break.

RAYANNE: Like I won't get another one somewhere else.

BRIAN: (enraged, grabbing her by the shoulders) No! You're not getting another one! (he slams her back against the fridge, which shakes)

RAYANNE: Oww! You're hurting me!

BRIAN: (a vein bulges on his neck, he is screaming) Good! At least you still feel *something*! Do you want to lose everything? Do you? I doubt Angela will *ever* talk to you again! And Rickie! Now you may have lost him too.

RAYANNE: Like Delia Fisher is *my* fault.

BRIAN: (not softening) Don't play stupid! I know you're not! Rickie has fun with Delia! *Fun*! How much fun do you think it is for him to count how many drinks you've had, and watch you pass out, or lie awake sick with worry about you? None! But you won't be content until you lose it all, will you? You'll lose Rickie, because of what you said to him when you were *drunk*, after you lost Angela for something you did when you were *drunk*!

RAYANNE: I wasn't . . .

BRIAN: (slamming her against the fridge to emphasize each word) YES! YOU! WERE! I was *there*. I have the whole pathetic thing on tape! And after you lose them both, you'll get drunk again, and probably get caught and kicked out of the play! How many things that you care about do you have to lose? My god. . .you almost *died*! Don't you care about that?

RAYANNE: (crumbling) I don't. . .I'm not. . .You wouldn't understand.

BRIAN: I wouldn't *understand*! *I* wouldn't? I am probably the *only* person you know who understands. Or is *that* it? Do you *want* to die? *Do* you? (calmer but still yelling) Because I *don't*! (lets go, quieter) I'm fighting tooth and nail. And you (with disgust) . . . you rush headlong into Armageddon. (pause) And *I'm* the one who is going to die. Not you. (looks down) And . . . *that* . . . is so . . . unfair.

Brian's hands fall to his sides, he seems totally drained, physically and emotionally.

RAYANNE: (teary) Brian, you're not going to . . .

BRIAN: (expressionless) Don't patronize me. Please. No platitudes. Not from *you*.

Brian walks away.

RAYANNE: Where are you going?

BRIAN: To bed. I'm not feeling well.

RAYANNE: (needing something) What should I do?

BRIAN: Clean up the mess in my sink. I can't take the chance of getting cut by the glass. Then go out on the couch and sleep it off. (turns back to look at her) And when Rickie comes back, you should *beg* his forgiveness and tell him that you're going to do anything and everything you need to do to get help. And because he's such a great person, I bet he will. You know, forgive you.

RAYANNE: (wiping her cheek) Really?

BRIAN: Yes. But only if you *mean* it. I can tell you what to say, but I can't make you mean it. That part's up to you. So I guess you'd better make the choice. The choice to change, or quit, or whatever. Tonight. (shaking his head, sadly) Because you never know . . . when it may be too late. (he walks out)

Rayanne just leans against the fridge, with a thoughtful expression. Then, she takes a deep breath, steels herself and goes to the sink. Instead of cleaning immediately, she pulls her flask out of her vest, and with a frightened look, dumps it out.

--Late Evening/Early Morning

Rayanne is curled up on the couch. Rickie enters through the front door. Rickie sees Rayanne there, picks an afghan off the back of a chair, and goes to cover her with it. This wakes her up.

RAYANNE: Rickie!

RICKIE: Shhh! Brian's probably asleep.

RAYANNE: He is. You were gone for a long time.

RICKIE: I had a lot to think about.

RAYANNE: (sorrowful) Rickie, I'm so sorry. I don't even know what I was saying, but I'm sure it was mean and stupid and seven other types of bad.

RICKIE: You stayed here to tell me that?

RAYANNE: And I didn't think Brian should be alone. (looking down) And I passed out for awhile.

RICKIE: (smiles) I was afraid I would come back to find you fighting over the toilet.

RAYANNE: I didn't get sick. But I think he did. He's okay though. I went up and checked on him.

RICKIE: You did?

RAYANNE: Sure. I don't want him croaking on *my* watch. (looks down) I don't mean it like that.

RICKIE: I know.

RAYANNE: I have something to tell you. But first I have to ask you whether or not you can forgive me for the way I acted tonight.

RICKIE: I think so. You've done worse, and I think I overreacted a little. But, *just* a little, most of it is on *you*. (lets that sink in) What do you want to tell me?

RAYANNE: That I'm going to get help. For my problem. I know that I've said it before, but I mean it. I'm talking to Amber about it tomorrow. And when school starts again, I'm going to start seeing Crazy Krzyzanowski. And do whatever else I need to, so that I don't do these things anymore. So I don't . . . lose anything else, y'know, that's important to me. (pause) Like you.

Rickie sits on the couch with her, and hugs her. Tears escape her, but her smile reveals they are tears of relief, or even joy.

RICKIE: What brought this on?

RAYANNE: The thought of losing you. And the fact that Krakow staged a one-man intervention when you left. He was worried about you.

RICKIE: Really?

RAYANNE: Yeah. (nodding) He's a good friend. Like I intend to be. (she pulls out her flask, and presses it into his hand) Here. I want you to have this.


RAYANNE: Because. . . because I don't need it anymore.


Angela comes out in her bedclothes and socks and tiptoes to get the paper. She seems to be in a good mood. As she gets back on the porch, she hears a door across the street. She turns and sees Rayanne coming out of Brian's house. Her eyes harden, she frowns, and her mouth sets in a straight line.


Rayanne is watching Sesame Street. There is a knock on the door. Rayanne mutes the TV, and pops up to answer the door.

RAYANNE: (yanking the door open, singsong) "Who is it?"

Instead of hearing, "It's the plumber, I've come to fix your sink." --which is what she always hopes for, there is no answer, and the door swings open to reveal Angela standing there, looking angry.

RAYANNE: (surprised) Angelika! Hey!

ANGELA: I want to talk to you.

RAYANNE: Sure! Come in. (she ushers Angela in)

ANGELA: I saw you coming out of Brian Krakow's house today.

RAYANNE: True. So?

ANGELA: So what were you doing there?

RAYANNE: I went to visit Rickie.

ANGELA: (incredulous) At eight in the morning? In one of your clubbing outfits?

RAYANNE: (steely undertone, she is getting angry) I went last night. I stayed over.

ANGELA: Oh. So you're not just going through this list of guys in my life, throwing yourself at them one by one! That's good! I was beginning to wonder!

RAYANNE: I wouldn't throw myself at Brian Krakow if he *paid* me! And since when is Krakow a "guy in your life" anyway?

ANGELA: Well, if you were around, you would know that he and I are (pause) . . . really good friends again. And I don't want you . . . hurting him, or whatever.

RAYANNE: Well actually, (pulling her shirt over her shoulder to reveal bruises) He hurt me! And it was great fun, let me tell you. And I *would* have known about your on-again off-again friendship if *you* had let me. I didn't stop talking. *You* did. Now if that's all, you'd better go.

ANGELA: Wait. You're kicking me out?

RAYANNE: No. But, I just don't have the energy to keep throwing myself at your feet, hoping that you'll notice me there someday and find it in your massive heart to forgive me.

ANGELA: *My* heart? At least I *have* a heart!

RAYANNE: And you're ever so eager to point that out, aren't you? At least I get my kicks *doing* things! All you ever do is sit there on your high horse, judging people. And then deciding, somehow, just how long you're going to punish them. Just like your mother.

ANGELA: I'm *not* . . . I mean . . . I'm *nothing* like my mother.

RAYANNE: Yeah, just keep telling yourself that. Maybe it'll stop being true.

ANGELA: At least my Mother and I aren't drunks!

RAYANNE: (heading to the fridge, opening the freezer) Neither are we anymore, Whaddaya know? No frozen drinks! (goes to liquor cabinet) No bottles! (not angry anymore, just explaining) I told my Mom what happened last night. And we got rid of it. All of it. I'm quitting, and she's quitting with me.

ANGELA: (taken aback) Really? What *did* happen last night? (her angry facade begins to break) Are you okay?

RAYANNE: I'm fine. Last night I got wasted and yelled at Rickie and made him cry, and Krakow about put me through a wall as a result. He's stronger than he looks, y'know? (rubs her shoulder)

ANGELA: (looks appalled) Brian . . . he *hurt* you?

RAYANNE: (shaking her head) It wasn't like that, Angela. He just stopped me from taking another drink. He, like, shook some sense into me, or something. (laughs) And they said it couldn't be done. (pause) And I know my drinking has hurt you, and our relationship. I mean, I was drunk that night, with Jordan. We both were. (matter-of-fact) And that's not an excuse, just . . . an *explanation*. And if I could take it back, I would. And if I could do anything but go on, and get help so that it won't ever happen again, I would. But I can't. So all that's left is to apologize to you in a way I never have before, in the hopes that *that* will be the one that will make you forgive me and be my friend again. But I can't even do that, because I've tried apologizing every way I know how.

Angela just looks at Rayanne, with tears in her eyes.

RAYANNE: I guess there is *one* thing I haven't tried.

ANGELA: (choked up) What?

RAYANNE: The letter that Brian Krakow wrote for me. I've heard *that* works. (she looks around, mock-frantically) Now where did I put that?

Angela looks horrified.

RAYANNE: (seeing her expression) Angela. (beat) I'm kidding.

Angela lets out a breath neither of them knew that she was holding, and punches Rayanne on her bruised shoulder, hard. Rayanne lets out a yelp and tries to back away, but Angela closes her fist into a grip around Rayanne's blouse.

ANGELA: (choking it out) Rayanne, don't even joke about that.

Angela's face crumbles, just as Rayanne has observed that it does, and she begins to cry. She slowly pulls Rayanne toward her by her blouse and hugs her. Rayanne instantly hugs Angela back. Both of them are crying.

RAYANNE: (still sobbing, but she can't resist) Angela?

ANGELA: (blubbering) What?

RAYANNE: Does that mean you *don't* want the letter Brian wrote?

Angela begins to laugh through her tears, and shakes Rayanne a little.

ANGELA: Aaargh! I missed you so much. (they continue to hug and cry)


The family bustles around the kitchen and dining room. They are all dressed a little more nicely than usual. The doorbell rings.

DANIELLE: (predictably) I'll get it!

Danielle opens the door and Ethan is standing there, with a big box, in an overcoat, shirt and tie, but without the jacket this time.

ETHAN: Hi there. We weren't formally introduced, but . . .

DANIELLE: I *know* who you are. Mom, Ethan is here!

ETHAN: (quirky smile) I see my reputation proceeds me.

PATTY: (coming to the door) Ethan. It's good to see you. Come in.

DANIELLE: What's in the box?

ETHAN: Dessert, actually. But I never asked, are there any allergies or aversion to chocolate in the family?

PATTY: (smiling) No.

ETHAN: (nodding) Good. It's an ice cream cake. From Baskin-Robbins.

DANIELLE: What type of ice cream?

ETHAN: Mint Chocolate Chip. I hope that's all right.

PATTY: (as Danielle's eyes widen, wryly) I think you just won Danielle over.

ETHAN: Great. As long as she'll share with the rest of us.

DANIELLE: (in an obvious imitation of Patty) If you clean your plate, we'll see.

ETHAN: (his raised eyebrows dance above his glasses) Jeez. Strict house.

GRAHAM: (coming out of the kitchen with hot food) All right, let's sit down, while it's hot!

ANGELA: (following her Dad, with basket of rolls, to Ethan) We don't stand on ceremony at our house.

Patty heads into the kitchen with the cake, as everyone takes their assigned seats. Ethan sits next to Patty, where we have seen Neil sit. They dig in.

DANIELLE: So what grade are you in at law school?

ANGELA: There aren't grades, stupid. (Danielle makes a face at Angela)

ETHAN: Actually there sort of are. I don't know how it started, but we're ranked by our year and the letter "L". Since it's my third year, I'm a "3-L". (takes a bite) What grade are you in, Danielle?

DANIELLE: Fifth. Next year I'll be in sixth, at the middle school.

ETHAN: That's like Junior High, right? (Angela nods and chews) Actually law school is a lot like Junior High. We're all in one building with our own library and cafeteria and everything, and we have lockers and little cubbyhole mailboxes. It's a little strange. It's like being a teenager all over again, which I never enjoyed the first time, to tell the truth.

ANGELA: Are there little cliques and everything, even at that level?

ETHAN: (pointing his fork) Oh, totally. Only they are much more stupid, because at least in High School you were actually around people who were radically different from you. You haven't seen idiocy until you see the future tax attorneys in an intellectual "rumble" with the future criminal defense attorneys. I sometimes think that no one in that building has progressed past High School at all. It's the lockers, I swear it is. Just the possibility that we might get *stuffed* in one probably brings all these memories flooding back. (patting his belly) Not that *I* have to worry about that, anymore, I would never fit . . .

Angela and Danielle smile and laugh, amused at Ethan's overblown delivery. Patty simply smiles to herself and reaches over to touch Graham's hand. Graham smiles back at her, and nods, as Ethan launches into another tirade of sorts, and the camera backs away, catching the group breaking into laughter, together.


Sharon sits ensconced amidst pink gauzy curtains on a padded dormer, looking out the bay window of her room, into the darkened sky. She has her feet up on the window seat, and her arms wrapped around her knees. She looks sad and alone. Camille pokes her head in the open bedroom door.

CAMILLE: Sharon? Are you okay? Do you need anything? Something to eat?

SHARON: (shakes her head slowly) (the phone rings) I'm still not here.

CAMILLE: (nods) Okay. Whatever you say.

Camille goes to answer the phone. Sharon just sits there, unmoving. Momentarily, Camille returns, with a scrap of paper in her hand.

SHARON: (not looking over) Was it Delia again?

CAMILLE: No. Someone named Rayanne. (Sharon looks over to her Mother at the mention of Rayanne's name) I'm pretty sure from her voice that she was the one who called earlier and didn't leave a name. She left a message. They're all going to the movies tonight. Her and Rickie and Delia and Angela.

SHARON: (surprised) Angela? *And* Rayanne?

CAMILLE: That's what she said. She gave me the theater and the time and I promised I'd tell you if you got home in time. Maybe you should go. Maybe being around your friends will . . . take your mind off this afternoon.

SHARON: (resigned) No. Just throw it away.

CAMILLE: (concerned) Do you feel all right? Physically?

SHARON: I'm fine. I just . . . need to be alone.

CAMILLE: Okay. Your Father and I will be right downstairs if you need us. Okay?

SHARON: Sure. (turning away again) Could you shut off the light, please?

Camille looks confused by the request, and opens her mouth to say something, but sees that Sharon has turned away. She turns off the light and leaves in silence. Sharon just sits there, in the same position, in the dark.


Graham, Patty and Ethan are standing in the foyer.

GRAHAM: Well, I'd better make sure Danielle is in bed. Ethan, it was nice to see you again. Thanks for the advice about the restaurant. I'll talk to Hallie tomorrow about what you said.

ETHAN: No problem. You have my number. If you have some more questions, I can always do a little research for you. Whatever you need.

GRAHAM: Thanks. I may take you up on that. (to Patty) Remember to leave the outside light on for Angela.

PATTY: I will. (as Graham goes upstairs) Well thanks for coming over.

ETHAN: Well thanks for having me. Dinner was *amazing*.

PATTY: (laughs) That's Graham's doing. He's really very good.

ETHAN: I noticed. Too bad you don't need any more investors. With food like that I have a feeling this restaurant is going to be a rousing success.

PATTY: Well, we all have our fingers crossed.

ETHAN: (wistfully) Your family . . . (at a loss) . . . they're just . . . great.

PATTY: (proud) Thanks. They really seem taken by you.

ETHAN: Really? (his chest swells up) I'm glad. Well, I'd better be going. (he reaches for his coat) (suddenly) Patty? Do you think it would be all right, if I called you . . . sometimes? Or maybe met you for lunch or something?

PATTY: (pleased) Of course. (pause) I think I'd like that. (Ethan shrugs into his overcoat, his collar is sticking up on one side, and Patty reaches out to smooth it) I think that I'd like that a *lot*.

ETHAN: (reaching into his coat pocket) I almost forgot. You asked about a picture. Of Evelyn. Mom. I had copies made this morning. I think it's the only time we had our picture taken professionally. I was about ten. (he hands her an envelope)

PATTY: (gripping it like a talisman) Thank you. Do you know what you're doing this weekend?

ETHAN: I don't think I have any plans. But I have to check my calendar. Saturday may be one of the days I promised I'd volunteer at the clinic.

PATTY: You check. I'll call you Friday, okay?

ETHAN: Sure, talk to you then. (he exits)

Patty goes around the downstairs, turning off lights and such. Then, once that is done, she returns to the envelope she left on the table behind the couch. She picks it up and moves toward the mantle with it.

PATTY: (VO) (runs over the ending montage) "Liberty finds no refuge in a jurisprudence of doubt. Yet nineteen years after our holding that the Constitution protects a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy in its early stages, that definition of liberty is still questioned."

(Visual--Ethan, in his car, opens his wallet and looks at a picture of a pretty twentysomething woman and a tow-headed young boy. His face is hard at first, as if remembering something painful, but then his face softens somewhat, although he does not smile)

PATTY: (VO) "Men and women of good conscience can disagree, and we suppose some always shall disagree, about the profound moral and spiritual implications of terminating a pregnancy, even in its earliest stage."

(Visual--Hallie Lowenthal, sitting in bed. She is surrounded by books about childbirth and child care. She seems engrossed in the one she is reading. The title is: "The Child and the Single Parent.")

PATTY: (VO) "Some of us as individuals find abortion offensive to our most basic principles of morality, but that cannot control our decision. Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code."

(Visual--Sharon Cherski, still sitting on the window seat in her bedroom's bay window. Her arms are now on top of her knees, and she weeps softly into them.)

PATTY: (VO) "[C]hoices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one's own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life."

(Visual--Patty, at the mantle, takes out the picture of Evelyn and young Ethan and looks at it. She shows no outward emotion upon viewing it. Then her eyes travel across the mantle to a picture of herself and Vivian and Chuck, her adoptive parents. She is wearing black robes, probably at her college graduation. They all seem very happy. She smiles to herself, tucks the picture of Evelyn back in the envelope, and straightens the picture of the Woods. She turns off the light.)

PATTY: (VO) (over the black screen) U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, announcing the judgment of the court in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey in 1992.



--The closing words by Justice O'Connor are selected portions taken from the opinion of the court in Casey, in which she was joined by Justices Kennedy and Souter. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, 112 S. Ct. 2791, 2791-2807 (1992).

--Thanks to Casey, parental notice requirements, waiting periods, and many other burdensome clinic regulations seem able to pass constitutional muster, despite the fact that they seem to disproportionately affect the poor, the young, and women of color. This is true despite the fact that teenagers are able to give informed consent to many other medical procedures, including childbirth itself, an act eight to ten times more dangerous for women than abortion--especially for teens. The Pennsylvania laws are no doubt close to what is written in this script, but I make no claim that I have captured the nuances of the procedural requirements exactly.

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Episode No. 25 - Myths & Heroes by E.R. Holdridge (Shobi)
Published: 31 Jul 1997 | Size: 107 KB (19748 words) | Language: english english | Rating: PG-13
Average: 4.4/5   4.4/5 (45 votes)

Read this story now: Episode No. 25 - Myths & Heroes

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Rating Distribution:
Average: 4.3/5   4.3/5 (46 votes)
  • Elizabeth Wrigley-Field commented on 13 Aug 2001:
    I really like all of Shobi's (ER Holdridge's) stories. One really little point: since when do the Chases have a cell phone? Remember how in "Self Esteem" Graham refers to Hallie having "one of those little flip phones"...Ahh, the differences between a script written in 1994 and a sequel written only a few years later!
  • anonymous author commented on 05 Jun 2002:
    I doubt that Jordan knows' Angela's mom's Maiden name, or if he does, cares enough to ask about it
    Yeah, no Chase cell phone
    and as we saw in "weekend" Camille knows who Rayanne is
  • slc commented on 12 Aug 2004:
    As these episode continuations progress, I notice the dialog of the teenage characters becoming less true to how they spoke in the original episodes, and I kind of find myself becoming separated from them because they don't use the same words they normally would, you know, with all the "likes" and pauses and "or whatevers/somethings". Very good story lines, seem very plausible and that the show could easily have taken that direction, would be perfect if the dialog was more true to the original show.
  • zach gave this story a 4.0/5 4.0/5 rating and commented on 20 Aug 2008:
    I figured the abortion issue was going to come up at some point during this series and you even did it with the character I pictured. I like the Hallie scenes in this one. Agreed about the cell phone issue - I think the advent of cell phones on a large scale is, in fact, what did away with a lot of the basic elements of drama and comedy on television (if Juliette had texted Romeo, there wouldn't be much of a story there).
  • Koala mama gave this story a 5.0/5 5.0/5 rating and commented on 06 Jul 2016:
    I just wanted to say I love reading your episodes. I think the voice you capture best is Rayanne. 20 years later and I still miss this show.

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“Do we have to keep talking about religion? It's Christmas.”

Danielle Chase, Episode 15: "So-Called Angels"