(The screen turns white and the town of Somerset is slowly drawn on screen line-by-line as the music swells to its climax)
This… is Somerset.
The picture fades in on Susannah in the bathroom as she is half-dressed and preparing for her first day as a lawyer on the Martin Enterprises payroll. We see Susannah making up her face as a knock can be heard at the door.
SUSANNAH: What the… (leans out to yell) Come on in! The door’s open. (Turns back to mirror) Who’s here?
The voice gives away the fact it is Patrick.
PATRICK: A houseguest who wants to see you off on your first day of work.
SUSANNAH: (Nods her head) Very impressive, Patrick. I thought you were working today.
PATRICK: Alana and I took an overnight shift and traded with someone else. I figured I could use a little rest, but not before I came to see you off.
SUSANNAH: (Appears from bathroom) Oh, you are so sweet. (Holds up stockings) Black or brown?
PATRICK: I’m afraid I don’t have much experience there, Susannah…
SUSANNAH: Let me put it another way. (Holds up suit) Black or brown?
PATRICK: Don’t they say one color makes you look thinner?
SUSANNAH: (Playfully whacks him over head with suits) Are you saying I need to lose weight or something?
PATRICK: Not at all. Isn’t that what they say, anyway? One color gives you the illusion of being thinner?
SUSANNAH: Well, I’m not wearing all one color. I’ll have you know this (holds up blouse) has a flowery pattern to it.
PATRICK: Ahh, so you’ll look feminine after all. I brought a little breakfast, by the way.
SUSANNAH: I’ll be right with you. Now that I’ve gotten your opinion (laughter) I’m putting myself together.
PATRICK: Good to hear. (Sipping coffee, he sits down and playfully shakes his head back and forth, laughing)
The music plays and the scene changes over to the Petterino house.
Victoria, looking a bit bleary-eyed from the night before, is slowly coming downstairs. She goes into the kitchen but turns before she can see Annabella at the counter.
ANNABELLA: One lump or two with your coffee?
VICTORIA: Two, please. It was a long… (face brightens as she turns) Bella! (Running toward her sister for a tight hug) Welcome home, sis!
ANNABELLA: Good to be here. (Gets grin on her face) Where were you last night, anyway?
VICTORIA: Don’t read anything into it. A couple of student nurses and I went out drinking last night to blow off some steam. We went back to one of the nurses’ apartments and I stayed there until I felt well enough to drive on my own.
ANNABELLA: Smart girl. You always had the brains in the family.
VICTORIA: You had the looks.
ANNABELLA: Victoria Petterino, you look at yourself in the mirror and say that line once again. I had the looks? Look at yourself.
VICTORIA: (Looking at mirror) Right now, I look like someone who had one too many cosmopolitans last night.
Annabella chuckles as she finishes pot of coffee and gives cup to Victoria. The scene darkens to black and the Somerset logo reappears.
Somerset… is brought to you today by America’s favorite household cleanser, today’s Spic and Span… and by High Point coffee. The coffee lover’s decaffeinated.
At Somerset Hospital, Alana is walking the corridor and finishing up her shift. She looks in on Nick, who has been sleeping but is awake and struggling a bit to sit up.
ALANA: (Comes in) Hey, bud. Let the nurses take care of that.
NICK: I was fine, Alana. But it is good to see you, albeit under strange circumstances.
ALANA: You too, honey. (Leans down to kiss Nick) It’s good to see we can be on speaking terms again.
NICK: I never wanted to be getting the silent treatment. (Looks at Alana) I’m just happy you’re doing something you love.
ALANA: I’ve been meaning to call you and see if you wanted to grab a drink or something and talk as friends.
NICK: I may take you up on that. Won’t Mike get jealous?
ALANA: There’s nothing between Mike and myself.
NICK: (Grins) Yet, anyway.
ALANA: You just hush your mouth while I check your vitals. (Goes through the motions of checking Nick’s blood pressure and the whole nine yards)
NICK: Am I going to live?
ALANA: Let’s put it this way… I think neurology will spring you later this morning. Do you have a ride?
NICK: I was going to call Jack, but I forgot this morning.
ALANA: Ahh, don’t bug Jack. I’m getting off here in about 15 minutes, and I’ll see if your discharge papers will be ready. I’ll drop you off.
NICK: Is this part of your job?
ALANA: Nonsense. Consider it an old girlfriend paying back someone she cares about. (Leans down to kiss Nick again) I’ll be back.
As Nick lays there resting, the scene changes back to Susannah’s condo. Susannah emerges from the bedroom, fully dressed in the traditional “power suit” look.
PATRICK: (Eyes Susannah) Knock ‘em dead this morning, Susie. You look… lawyerly.
SUSANNAH: What, no admiration of how I wear it well?
PATRICK: Just kidding. You look great. Now sit and eat with me. You don’t have to be in until…
SUSANNAH: I told Jack I’d be in before 9:30, and it’s (checks watch) oh, 8:45. Not too bad.
PATRICK: Considering traffic in Somerset is always a killer. (Laughter) At least out on the interstate.
SUSANNAH: I’d like to make a good impression on Jack now that I know Dad didn’t put him up to this job.
PATRICK: And what if he had?
SUSANNAH: (Sips coffee) I wouldn’t have been surprised. But Jack told me I earned this chance fair and square, so I’m happy.
PATRICK: Hey, you’re not alone, you know. When I applied to work here, there was an old guard who knew the names Stanley and Teri Kurtz. I had to tell them I have an uncle in prison, just to sully the Kurtz name a bit.
SUSANNAH: So Leo’s still in jail, huh?
PATRICK: He’s content to live out his days because of what he did here in Somerset. I mean, some people hate Jack Martin for what he did with Delaney Brands…
SUSANNAH: (Grins) One in particular?
PATRICK: Yeah, right. Jack may have made a mistake or two, but Leo Kurtz running Delaney Brands was like putting Al Capone in charge of the US Treasury. (Sips coffee) So I wanted a fresh start. I told them to give me a job low down on the food chain.
SUSANNAH: And what happened?
PATRICK: I did so well at it, they damn ended up promoting me a couple years later. Now I’m just a couple steps away from chief of staff.
SUSANNAH: I know what you mean. I worked with Dad in Oklahoma City for several years until I decided I wanted to strike out on my own. So I hung out my own shingle in that city as a corporate attorney.
PATRICK: Did you get sick of it?
SUSANNAH: Well, I was in Kansas City for a while and then I left there. I got homesick. Wanted to go back and feel the wind come sweeping down the plain.
PATRICK: (Sips coffee and smiles) Is this where you break into oh, what a beautiful morning?
SUSANNAH: No, but if you want to join me…
PATRICK: I’ll pass. Still a little bleary-eyed. I’m going to go home and hit the sack, I think.
SUSANNAH: I don’t blame you there. Could use a little more sleep myself.
(Patrick nods as the music builds and the picture fades)
We’ll return to Somerset in just a moment.
Fade in on Nick’s apartment as he and Alana enter, Alana guiding Nick over to the couch so he can sit and relax.
ALANA: Sure you don’t want to lie down?
NICK: I probably will. I may not sleep in that bed for a while.
ALANA: So… who is this mystery woman?
NICK: Oh… it’s no one.
ALANA: Humor me, OK? (Kisses Nick on the cheek) We dated for nearly two years. Then we had a falling out over work…
NICK: Which I regret to this day. I treated you badly toward the end and I’m sorry for it.
ALANA: Hey… you’re entitled to have a little fun once in a while. You just weren’t having any when you devoted all your life to work.
NICK: Tell me about it. (Reclines on couch) She had the most beautiful red hair… that smile…
ALANA: One look and you were hooked, right?
NICK: Close. (Starting to feel woozy) I think my meds are kicking in.
ALANA: Tell ya what. I’ve worked overnight and I could crash, so let me stay here with you for a while.
NICK: You don’t have to do that…
ALANA: I’m just going to recline… mind if I use that bed?
NICK: You were familiar with it at one point. Be my guest. (Smiles)
ALANA: (Yawns) Thanks, old friend.
Nick goes to sleep as the music builds and Alana heads into the bedroom. We cut to: Susannah’s condo as Susannah is grabbing her briefcase and looking at her hair in the mirror.
PATRICK: You look fine, Susie.
SUSANNAH: You sure?
PATRICK: Go out there and knock them dead. (Leans in and gives her a kiss on the cheek)
The two exit and walk down the sidewalk, with Patrick getting in his car and Susannah in hers. Once the cars leave, we see a shadowy figure with The Kansas City Star in hand and gloves on to prevent any prints from being left.
The figure sticks the paper underneath the welcome mat with one corner sticking out, and he walks away as an eerie music theme plays. We cannot see who it is as the picture immediately cuts to black. After commercials, the Somerset theme plays.
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 the new serial The Market, detailing the lives and loves of people at the grocery store. New on SONBC.
The preceding program was pre-recorded.