Salem Community Center -
“Hey, scoot over,” Chelsea said, nudging her mom’s shoulder.
“Chelsea, you came!” Billie said excitedly (and loudly). When people turned to look at her she said “sorry”.
She moved into the next chair so Chelsea could have a seat.
“So I showed up. What’s going on?” Chelsea asked.
“Just listen. That man up there is telling everyone how he became an alcoholic.”
“I found my wife in bed with my best friend. Apparently they had been sleeping together for 4 years and I never knew it. My wife and I had a big fight and she said she was leaving me. She took the kids and moved into my former best friend’s house. She even took the dog. Man, I really loved that dog …”
Chelsea giggled. Billie jabbed her in the stomach.
“Don’t laugh,” Billie said.
“Why? This guy is totally pathetic.”
“… He was brown and white with a little white on his chest. He was such a gorgeous dog …” The man went on.
Chelsea giggled again. Billie slapped her knee this time.
“Shut up and listen!” Billie snapped.
“Why? He is such a whiner.”
After ten minutes, the sponsor encouraged the man to sit down.
“Would anyone else like to say something?” the sponsor asked.
“I would,” Billie said.
“Oh god mom, you’re going to embarrass me, aren’t you?” Chelsea said, sliding down in her seat.
Billie pushed past Chelsea and walked to the front of the room. She stood at the podium. “Hello, my name is Billie and I’m an alcoholic.”
Max’s Autobody Shop -
“God, Chelsea is such a brat!” Abby said, stomping into the garage.
Max came out of the office. “What’s she done now?”
”She’s just being a little …”
“Whatever you’re about to say I agree with you whole-heartedly. I told her to leave you alone,” Max said.
“What - when?”
“Well that must be when she got the stupid idea that you and me are …”
“In love with each other,” Abby said, suddenly feeling embarrassed.
“What if she’s right about us?” Max asked.
Shocked, Abby about died right there on the garage floor.
Some Hotel –
“I’m going out,” Shawn said, taping on the closed bathroom door. He had just heard the squeaky water pipe turn off.
“Where are you going?” Belle called through the door.
“To look for a car,” Shawn replied.
Belle threw the door open. She was wrapped only in a short towel. Shawn smiled.
Belle blushed but then her face turned serious. “Where are you going to find us a car?”
“I’m going to look around,” he replied evasively.
“We can’t afford a car,” Belle said.
Shawn sighed. “I’ll find us one, don’t worry.”
“I am worried,” Belle said. “Are you going to steal one?”
“Yes, if you must know. It’s our only way to get out of here.”
“Shawn, do you know how dangerous this is?” Belle asked. “You could be caught.”
“Don’t worry; I’m not going to get caught. I’ll find a car in a deserted area and come back and get you and Claire. We’ll be out of the state before anyone notices that it’s gone.”
“Shawn, do you really have to do this? Isn’t there some other way?”
“No, I’ve thought of all the possibilities and realized that stealing a car is the only way to get out of here safely.”
“If you say so …”
“Just get dressed, change Claire’s diaper, get everything together, and be ready when I pull up.”
“Okay,” Belle said.
Shawn put on a baseball cap he had bought at the corner store. “See you soon.” He kissed Belle’s cheek. “Don’t worry.”
Belle watched him leave. She had a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach. She instinctively knew that Shawn was going to be caught.
Please God, she prayed. Let me be wrong about this.
Marlena’s Penthouse -
Carrie had moved the few things she had brought with her on the trip to Marlena’s pent house. There were three rooms and she had taken the one at the end of the hall. She opened her purse and took out a small picture. It was a shot of her and Lucas on their wedding day.
“I don’t know why I’m still carrying around this dumb thing,” she said to herself. She suddenly crumpled it and tossed it into the waste basket.
She picked up the phone to call him and then put it down. “This is something that needs to be told in person. I hope he doesn’t fly off the handle when he finds out,” Carrie said to the mirror. Then she turned and walked out.
“Hello. My name is Billie and I’m an alcoholic.”
“Hello, Billie,” they all responded.
“They must all be pod people,” Chelsea muttered to herself.
“My daughter didn’t want me to come up here because she thought I would embarrass her,” Billie said. Chelsea slunk even farther down in her chair. “But I knew I had to speak to you all. Day after day I listen to all of you pour out you hearts and I know I needed to share my story.
“My father began abusing me – sexually – when I was just a little girl. There was no one to look out for me although my brother tried. I grew up hating my father and what he had done to me. I started to get into drugs and alcohol. I was even a porn ‘star’ for awhile, if you can believe it.
“I ended up following my brother here, to Salem, where I tried to get clean. It was so unbelievably difficult. But one day a true prince came into my life. We fell in love and he promised to be with me forever. Unfortunately ‘forever’ didn’t last long. His former wife returned and soon enough they were back together. I tried scheme after scheme to get win him back. But my attempts to reconcile only ended in heartbreak. He decided to stay with her.
“The biggest devastation in my whole life was losing my daughter. I finally found her after 15 years of mourning and believing she was dead. But I did find her – thank god - and it took awhile for us to connect but I am happy to say that we are getting along much better now. She’s the gem of my life.
“You would think that would be enough for me but I had to go and mess it up by falling for a new man. He didn’t make any promises to me and I didn’t expect any but I still had a secret hope that we would last. But like the first time I fell in love, there was another woman in the picture. Another woman who he had loved forever and a day, it seemed. They were soulmates. So after all this I felt empty. Like my life had no meaning and there was no reason to get out of bed. The only comfort I could find was in a bottle.
Billie’s eyes were moist with tears. “I didn’t tell you all this to get you to pity me. I just felt that I needed to open up and exorcise the demons. I am thankful for this opportunity to speak to you all. AA has saved me many a time and I hope it will do the same for all of you.”
Billie stepped down from the podium. People embraced her and told her she was doing great. Her sponsor, David Harris, even gave her a high five.
The meeting broke up for the day. Billie went to get Chelsea. She found her daughter crying.
“What’s the matter?” Billie asked her, wrapping an arm around Chelsea’s slender shoulders.
“I just can’t believe it,” Chelsea answered, choking back a new wave of tears.
“That you went through all of that and are still standing. I know I wouldn’t be able to.”
“You’re stronger than me, Chelsea. You would survive,” Billie said. “As for me, I’m doing okay now. I am trying to move on and stay clean. That’s the best I can do – that’s the best anyone can do.”
“I’m proud of you, mom,” Chelsea said. “I never tell you that I love you, but I do,” Chelsea said, hugging Billie tightly.
“What if Chelsea’s right about what?” Abby asked. Her heart was hammering in her chest.
“You know, about us loving each other,” Max said. “I know I love you.”
“Are you serious?” Abby asked.
“Yes. You’re like family to me. You’re the sister I never had.”
Abby felt sick. “Would you stop calling me your sister?” she demanded. “I’m not your sister. I’m a woman.”
“And a feisty one, too,” Max said. He pulled her forward and began tickling her. She couldn’t help but laugh.
“Stop, Max, stop!” she begged. “You’re getting oil all over my dress.”
Max stopped tickling her. “Okay, okay. You’re no fun now that you’re a woman,” he said, laughing.
Abby became serious. “I am a woman, Max. I am 100% woman. I’m not your little sister so quit saying that.” She threw a dirty rag at him.
She started to walk away but Max pulled her back. “Okay, you’re a woman. I believe it.” He tipped her back and swirled her around until she laughed. She fell into his arms and he held her there for a moment.
Abby thought he might kiss her. Ohmigod, it’s going to happen, she thought.
“What is going on here?” a voice asked, effectively ending what had – or had not – been about to happen.
Lucas and Sami’s Apartment –
Carrie knocked on the door. She had a fleet of dancing butterflies in her stomach.
The door opened. “Lucas, hello,” Carrie said softly.
“What are you doing here?” Lucas asked, frowning.
“I need to talk to you. It’s important,” Carrie said. “Can I come in?”
“No. Sami will go ballistic if she sees you.”
“Then can we go somewhere else to talk?”
“I don’t think that’s such a great idea,” he said.
“Lucas, who’s at the door?” Sami asked. She walked over. “What the hell are you doing here, Carrie?”
A street downtown –
Shawn walked along the street, casually glancing at cars. They all seemed to be locked up tight as a drum.
He came to an alleyway and spotted a gray SUV. He walked casually down the alley to the car. It seemed to be too good to be true but he scanned the surrounding area and no one seemed to notice. He opened the door. There were keys in the ignition. Yes! He thought.
He jumped in the car and turned the key in the ignition. The car didn’t start. He tried again and it still didn’t work. He tried to open the car door but he heard the locks click in place.
“Oh [!@#$%^&*],” he said as two plain clothes cops held up their badges and raced towards the vehicle.
On the next episode of “Salem Fantasies”:
~ Belle worries that Shawn is not coming back
~ Sami demands to know why Carrie is back in town
~ Mimi walks in on a close moment between Max and Abby
~ Maggie thinks something is up with Mickey