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Episode 35


*Tom yelled at Melissa about her obsessing over Jarrod’s parentage.

*Derek agreed to let Tara and Nicole’s cousin Jasper stay, on the condition that he’d help out around the house.

*A shocked Jarrod demanded that Cassie leave the apartment after she showed him marks claiming Keith had abused her.

*Cynthia and Amy met and hit it off. Cynthia excited Amy when she told her that she could get a private plane to go on a huge shopping trip.



Melissa frantically throws over the mattress of her bed, then throws her hands up in pure defeat. Helplessness decorates her demeanor. "I lost it, Tom! I can’t find Shayla’s diary anywhere!"

Tom absorbs the scene of his wife–her disheveled hair, disappointed expression, and her eyes that wear remnants of fallen tears.

In a calm and caring voice he says: "Melissa, I think we need to talk about this newfound obsession of yours."

Melissa looks surprised. "Obsession? What are you talking about?" She feigns ignorance over what Tom is speaking of but can’t bring herself to look him in the eyes.

Tom walks over to his wife and motions she have a seat on the bed next to him. The bed, that is snug with a colorful flowered comforter, was a wedding gift from Eve and Carl.

He scoots closely to her and runs his hands slowly up and down the lengths of her back. He gets a whiff of her perfume, "I know you probably don’t want to hear this but I’m going to say it anyway. I think you are obsessing over Jarrod’s parentage and this diary as a way for you to cope with what’s happened."

Melissa takes a moment to absorb her husband’s claim. She then brings her eyes to meet his, "Oh really?"

"Yes, really. We haven’t had a good talk about the whole fiasco and how being kidnapped by Mason resurfaced all those feelings of fear when he...you know."

"Raped me?" Melissa says bluntly.

Tom slowly nods his head, letting out a deep sigh. "Yes...I didn’t want to actually say it." He looks down at his hands, "You need to resolve these feelings instead of channeling them into some obsession. This stops you from facing what’s really going. I love you so much and it’s hard to watch you do this."

Melissa quickly rises from the bed, "Tom, you sound like a psychiatrist."

"Well I’m just trying to be a good husband. I know you through and through Melissa and I’ve come to learn what your coping mechanisms are."

"Oh, now he’s using words like ‘coping mechanisms’! Instead of a degree in business, you should have pursued psychology." Melissa tries to sound sarcastic but her voice cracks with emotion.

Tom realizes he’s struck a nerve and he brings his hands within her own, "I just love my wife and I don’t want to see her bury something instead of confronting it head on. You need to let all the feelings of rage and pain out. You need to resolve this."

Melissa raises her hand in defiance, "Stop!" She then proceeds to wipe a new flow of tears. "What I need is to be alone."

She makes a beeline for the door, leaving Tom with his thoughts. He can’t help but feel a surge of regret.


The morning crowd is scattered evenly while people arrive for their early morning coffee and eggs. The breakfast special is magnetically attached at the front of the restaurant on a white erase board and reads: Cup of coffee, 2 eggs, and 2 pieces of sausage or bacon, only 1.99.

Near the middle of the restaurant Jarrod and Amy look over their breakfast menus intently.

Jarrod’s mind has become a VCR. A VCR that only has a rewind and play button. Without relief, his mind has been playing out Cassie’s chaotic visit with him in random order–Her being a wreck over his dad, her then making the shocking claim that Keith physically abused her, and providing alleged proof by presenting scratched and bruised arms.

"Ohhh Jarrrrood. You’re doing it again!" Amy states while waving her arms in front of the young man’s face.

Jarrod snaps out of his deep thoughts, "Sorry."

"Something seems to be really bugging you, what’s wrong?" questions a concerned Amy as she places her breakfast menu down in front of her.

"Oh, nothing. I’m just thinking about my plans for the day."

"Wow, those must be some really intense plans you’re coming up with." She says with a laugh.

Before Jarrod can respond, Cynthia approaches the table, a notepad in hand. She gives Amy a wide smile, "It’s so nice to see you again. I still owe you a ride on that personal plane."

Amy’s heart races, "I almost forgot about that!" She lies.

"Don’t worry. I’ll talk with my dad about it today. Actually, scratch that. My grandfather had a heart attack yesterday and my dad to seems to be taking it really hard."

"Oh my...I’m so sorry to hear that, Cynthia. I really hope your grandfather pulls through OK."

Cynthia smiles, "Thanks. I don’t really know my grandfather at all to tell the truth. That doesn’t mean I’m not worried about the whole thing. Anyway, Shirley is watching me like a hawk. That woman is psycho, I swear. I better get both of you guys’ orders."

Amy quickly picks up her menu, as does Jarrod. "Ummm, I’ll have...no...ohhh that looks yummy...nah too many calories."

Cynthia lets out a chuckle as Amy searches the menu for her desired meal,"I guess that means I’ll have to give you guys a few minutes. See, I think I’m already getting the hang of this waitress thing."

With that, she turns around and slams into an incoming Lacey, who is carrying a full tray of food. Dishes and food go flying every direction while Cynthia goes falling to the ground, scrambled eggs landing on her head.


The couch is pushed against the wall to make space for a large unattached door. After Tara bugged Derek about the flimsy bedroom door for weeks, Derek finally gave in and headed to Home Depot to find a new door to put in. Being that Jasper was now under the same roof, he realized that the installation of the new door could be a piece of cake.

A shirtless Derek gives Jasper a serious expression, "Well we better get down to business."

Jasper rolls his eyes and crosses his arms. "Are you sure we have to do this whole door thing now? This girl named Tricia is awaiting my arrival."

"Hey, I’m not the one who needed a place to stay. I told you that if you were going to live under this roof that you’d have to help around the house. Besides, I’m sure if this Tricia girl needs you so bad that she’d be willing to wait."

Jasper lets out an annoyed sigh and then seems to have given in as he also rips off his shirt, revealing a slender and defined figure. "Well since it seems to be necessary to have a shirt off for the remove a door, add a door process, then I guess I’m game."

Derek lets out a laugh, "That’s the spirit! Ok, I’m gonna run downstairs for my tools and I’ll be right back."

"Ok." Jasper says as Derek walks toward the kitchen. He scratches his muscular stomach while his eyes scan the living room. A brown wallet on a neighboring stand catches his eyes. He quickly approaches the stand and grabs the wallet, snooping through its contents. Derek’s driver’s license, picture of Tara, Ohh and 20 bucks, I think I’ll keep that. He slips the bill into his pocket and quickly closes the wallet as he hears Derek approaching the living room. Placing the wallet back on the stand, he makes his way toward the door and appears as though he has been looking it over.

Derek enters the living room with a heavy metal box full of tools. "Ok, let’s head upstairs and get this sucker done. The sooner we finish this, the sooner you can get to that lady friend of yours."

"Yeah, sounds like a plan." Jasper states while quickly putting his hand in his pocket to push the twenty in deeper.

"Good." Derek says with a grin. He motions Jasper to the new door as the two of them each get a side to carry upstairs. Derek gives the young man a quick glance, Maybe this kid isn’t so bad after all.


"Hello? You guys here?" Tara yells as she makes her way into the large house. Her eyes dart toward the kitchen, where remnants of a breakfast of cereal are left.

Footsteps come from upstairs and she looks up to see Tom walking down by himself. He wears a very serious expression.

"What’s up? You look intense there, Tom." questions Tara as she studies his face.

"I don’t know if Melissa is going to be up to your shopping trip."

Tara looks confused, "Why is that?"

Tom scratches behind his ear, "Well, she’s a bit upset over something. Actually she’s locked herself in the bathroom to have a good cry."

"What?! What did you say to her, Tom?"

"Why are you jumping to the conclusion that she’s upset because of something I said?" Tom’s tone is defensive.

"Well then why is she upset?" counters Tara as she crosses her arms.

Tom lets out a long sigh before he quietly mumbles: "Because of something I said to her."

Tara leans in as though she didn’t catch what he said,"Wait, I can’t quite hear your whispered mumble, Tom. Did I hear that it’s because of something you said to her? My, why does that sound familiar?" Tara’s tone is of playful mocking and she cracks a slight grin, "I guess all guys really are alike."

"Hey hey hey, don’t say that. Look, I was trying to be a nice husband and bring up something I’ve noticed about her as a way to help her out. Let’s just say it struck a nerve and now she’s locked herself in the bathroom to cry. I feel awful about it."

Tara walks toward the staircase but stops before she walks up it, "Wait, maybe I should know what you said to make her cry before I go and counsel her."

Tom rolls his eyes, "You say that as though it was my intention to make her cry. If you really want to know the truth-- I mentioned how I thought her newfound obsession with Jarrod’s parentage is a means of her trying to bury the feelings about what happened to her when she was sixteen. When she was, well you know..."

Tara inhales deeply and approaches Tom. "Yeah, unfortunately I do. Look, I’m sure you were trying to comfort her. I know you wouldn’t intentionally make her cry."

Tom nods. "I just hope she’s OK. God, Tara. Mason is such a monster. He better hope that he stays in that damn coma. I could just smash his head in for the emotional burden that Melissa has to carry because of him. Everything rushed to the surface after she was kidnapped." Now Tom wears the appearance as though he is about to cry.

Tara walks next to him and extends her hand to touch his left arm. She looks up into his eyes, "You are such a caring man. Melissa is so lucky to have a guy like you to get her through everything."

Tom brings his right arm to touch hers and both of their eyes lock. "Thanks." His voice is faint.

Tara feels a surge of regret rush through her veins. She always finds herself doing this–locking glances with Tom Hetricke. No matter how much guilt she feels when these moments occur, they always end up happening. He can be so magnetic, thinks Tara as the eye contact continues.

In Tom's mind the image of him and Tara sharing the passionate kiss replays over and over. The very couch that it happened on lies a mere 4 feet away.

The sound of footsteps startles both of them from their warm exchange. Melissa’s voice then carries from atop the staircase: "I’m alright, you two. Don’t worry about me." She proceeds down the stairs, noticing how close Tara is standing by her husband.

Tara quickly moves away from Tom and focuses her attention on the newly arrived Melissa. Her heart is pounding at a speedy rate. The sense that she was doing something wrong lingers over her.

Melissa plays with the sparkling necklace that adorns her neck while giving both her husband and friend a serious gaze, "That’s if you two were worrying about me. If I didn’t know any better, you two looked like you were gonna start making out."




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