(The screen turns white as the town of Somerset is drawn line-by-line on the screen, and the music swells to its climax...)
This... is Somerset.
It is morning in Somerset, and the first scene of the day takes place at Grant's Preserve. Susannah is at the front door bidding goodbye to her parents.
LAHOMA: Call if you need an ear to bend, would you?
SAM: Or e-mail. Your mom forgets there are other ways to stay in touch.
LAHOMA: Sam Lucas, if I didn't know any better I'd swear you were trying to cut the cord.
SUSANNAH: Mom, Dad... I can take care of myself. And besides, Jack's pledged to keep an eye on me.
SAM: Speaking of which, have you decided on Jack's job offer?
SUSANNAH: I haven't decided completely, but I'm leaning toward saying yes. (Checks watch) You guys better get going if you want to get back to Oklahoma City. Your flight's in how many hours?
LAHOMA: Later this afternoon out of Philadelphia. Sam will be back in court tomorrow.
SAM: They can even start that case without me. I've got good associate help.
SUSANNAH: All right. (Gets a bit misty-eyed) You guys... I'm going to miss having you here.
LAHOMA: We're a phone call away.
SAM: Or an IM. (Winks)
LAHOMA: You and your technology.
The Lucases wave goodbye to their daughter, and she goes back inside to make a phone call to Jack. Before she can get to the phone, there is a knock at the door.
SUSANNAH: (Runs back to door and opens) Did you guys forget something?
PATRICK: (Peeks out from behind flowers) No, but it looks like my housewarming gift is only going to be seen by one person instead of three.
(Susannah smiles as she sees the flowers, and the picture fades to black before coming back with the Somerset logo)
Somerset. Brought to you today by the cosmetics of easy, breezy, beautiful Cover Girl.
At Somerset Hospital, Victoria is starting her nurse's shift and is at the front desk. She's speaking with another nurse, Taylor Kendrick, about her ice cream social with Alana the night before.
VICTORIA: It was the least I could do.
TAYLOR: Hey, you've got the right idea. If you can't get ahead in your job then (laughing) bribe the head nurse.
VICTORIA: It wasn't a bribe, honest! Alana's like family to the Petterinos and she's always said she's a bit lonely when she goes home at night.
TAYLOR: I know. We've taken turns inviting Alana places. Men have bought her drinks. She appreciates the attention but I don't know if she's ready to move on yet.
VICTORIA: I know one guy who would like to take her mind off of work. (Smiles) What's going on so far?
TAYLOR: That room over there... (Points toward the corner) The patient in there is being discharged today if everything works out. Might want to give him a once-over.
VICTORIA: On my way. (She walks toward the corner and we see that it is Zachary's room. Zachary is lightly asleep as Victoria comes in.)
ZACHARY: (Awakens) Thank God, does this mean I'm getting out of here?
VICTORIA: One second. (Hooks up blood pressure cuff)
ZACHARY: Why are you checking me out there? I feel fine.
VICTORIA: You may feel fine, but I'm the authority where that's concerned.
ZACHARY: Since when? (Catches what he said) Never mind. I trust you. Fire away.
VICTORIA: Now just be still. (Waits a bit) Any discomfort or pain since the accident last night? What happened anyway?
ZACHARY: Oh, it was nothing. I was riding my motorcycle into Somerset to meet some friends and I had to swerve because I was in the way of a car.
VICTORIA: I see. No pain in your extremities?
ZACHARY: Just a couple bumps and scrapes. Wanna check those out?
VICTORIA: I'll trust you. Let me hand off this chart to the attending and you'll probably get sprung here in the next hour.
ZACHARY: Good. No offense, but I'll take my home over Somerset Hospital any day now.
VICTORIA: I understand completely. Think of how I feel having to be here every day...
ZACHARY: Yes, but you're getting paid for it.
VICTORIA: So true. (Grabs chart and smiles when she leaves the room) So true.
Zachary is sitting up in bed and looking a little impatient about when he wants to leave as the scene changes.
CUT TO: Grant's Preserve, where Susannah is setting the flowers Patrick brought on the dining room table.
SUSANNAH: I'll have to tell Mom and Dad you stopped by. You just missed them... or did you plan it that way?
PATRICK: Hey now. I intended to come over to bid your parents farewell and wish them a good trip back to Oklahoma, but I must have been a bit late.
SUSANNAH: No problem. (Goes toward the refrigerator) Want something to drink?
PATRICK: Got a cold pop?
SUSANNAH: I think so. I did some shopping for the basics. (Checks the fridge) And pop was one of them. Catch.
PATRICK: (Surprised as Susannah throws the can, and he drops it) Guess I'll have to wait until the fizz disappears inside. I didn't know you had a rocket arm like that.
SUSANNAH: I wasn't all books and nerdy-looking sunglasses in school. Which you wouldn't have known because you went to school in Arizona.
PATRICK: What's that have to do with your law career?
SUSANNAH: Ace pitcher, Bailey Grove High School Red Devils, Oklahoma City. Won the state title in my junior year.
PATRICK: Ah, a softball pitcher in our midst. Might have to recruit you for the hospital's ball team.
SUSANNAH: And what makes you think I'd play?
PATRICK: What's it called, networking?
SUSANNAH: You sound like Jack Martin. He uses that word a lot.
PATRICK: (Laughs) I see you met the great, the powerful, Wizard of Somerset.
SUSANNAH: Not only met him, he offered me a job at Martin Enterprises in legal. He knew my corporate law background.
PATRICK: Darn. The hospital could have used an attorney like you.
SUSANNAH: Well, we'll be traveling in the same circles now, won't we?
PATRICK: I guess. Wait until I tell Mom and Dad who returned to Somerset.
SUSANNAH: You might be too late. Stanley was going to get in touch with Sam on a personal call and I'm sure that will be the first words out of Sam's mouth.
PATRICK: Look out, Somerset. Susannah Lucas is here!
(Susannah laughs as she takes a drink of pop and the picture fades to black)
We'll return to Somerset in just a moment.
At Somerset Hospital, Mike has stopped by to check in on Zachary's condition for a small story in the paper.
MIKE: (Writing on notepad) No complications?
VICTORIA: I can't really say anything... privacy issues... but you didn't hear from me that he's doing okay. He'll be leaving later this morning.
MIKE: Good. Another crisis averted for the Cleybank Corporation.
VICTORIA: You'll have this in tomorrow?
MIKE: Yes. Obviously, if something changes, I'll check in with the hospital. (Digs in his pocket) While I'm at it, though, I might as well combine business with personal. (Produces note) Can you give this to a certain female?
VICTORIA: (Holds note to body) Ooooo, I feel like I'm back in junior high school passing notes around the class. I'll make sure she gets this in her cubicle.
MIKE: Thank you, my dear. I'll be at the office and I might check in later in the day.
VICTORIA: Okay, Mike. Have a good day.
MIKE: You too. (Hops on elevator as the doors close)
VICTORIA: (Looks at note) You don't know how lucky you are.
She puts the note in a cubicle. As she removes her hand, the camera catches the mailbox area and we see the note is meant for Alana.
CUT TO: Zachary's hospital room.
Zachary has gotten up and used the bathroom. We see him go back out toward the bed, but he bangs his ankle on the bedside. He grimaces in pain and stumbles, falling down by the bed.
ZACHARY: (Trying to get up, he feels like a hot poker is pressing against his right ankle) God... (Grimaces) Now you've done it, Zachary Cleypool.
It is obvious Zachary has broken something or at the very least suffered a bigger injury than he already had. As the picture fades to black, we see Zachary trying to stand.
Join us each weekday afternoon at this time for the continuing story of Somerset. And on most of these same computers, be sure to watch as a dramatic twist unfolds on Salem Lives. Weekdays on SONBC. This program was pre-recorded.