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A S . T H E . W O R L D . T U R N S
Secrets and Lies Affect the Stewarts
by chrissy n 7.17.00

It was late at night, and David Stewart was a somber, lone figure sitting on the couch in his living room, which was dimly lit by a lamp on the end table. David's wife, Ellen entered the room.

She studied her husband of many years. Her piteous expression indicated that she hated seeing David so downcast, depleted of joy.

"David," she said, her voice barely exceeding a whisper.

He looked up.

She continued, "It's getting late. Why don't you lie down...Get some rest?"

He sighed. "Ellen, I couldn't sleep."

She sat next to him on the sofa. "I can't get that image out of my mind," he said. "The image of Annie dealing with the anguish of learning she had lost her baby. The tears. The screaming." He shook his head.

"It was painful for all of us," Ellen said. "But David, our daughter is a strong young woman. Annie will cope with this. She will rally from it."

David shook his head. "Ellen, she really wanted that baby. The doctor told her that the pregnancy would be difficult, and risky...that she could miscarry...So she reduced her workload. Made sure she ate right. She desperately wanted that child." He paused. "For so long, she tried to get pregnant, and she--we all--rejoiced when it finally happened...And now...She may not get pregnant again. This was her last chance." He sighed. "And it's all John's fault. John is to blame for Annie losing her baby...He didn't have to do what he did...

"Sitting in an open courtroom, telling all the spectators that Dee had been intimate with Brad Hollister...He blurted it out." David said incredulously. "He volunteered the information...When Tom cross-examined him, Tom didn't ask him about Dee and Brad. I'm not a lawyer, but even I know that Dee and Brad's involvement had no bearing on John's testimony. And when the judge tried to silence him, and threatened to hold him in contempt of court if he didn't be quiet, he still went on, like a madman."

Ellen sighed. "He hates Dee because she brought rape charges against him."

"And he wanted to get even with her. He wanted a pound of flesh. He knew because of Brad, there had been some discord between Annie and Dee. And they had patched things up."

"They were beginning to act like sisters again," Ellen said. "Going to lunch. And Dee bought some baby things for Annie."

"Yes. And she helped Annie turn the spare bedroom into a nursery...Our girls were growing closer, Ellen." David made a fist. "And John wanted to destroy it...dismantle the new foundation those girls had built...All to get at Dee. He wanted to humiliate her in front of everybody, and what better way to accomplish that then to say in an open court that she had slept with her brother-in-law...

"The man is malignant. Inhuman. How could anybody be so vicious?"

"David, the veins in your neck are throbbing. I've never seen you like this. It's making me uncomfortable," Ellen said.

"No human being has ever made me feel the rage...the antipathy I'm feeling for John Dixon... That bast--has done nothing, but brought heartache and anguish to our family...to many people in Oakdale."

David sighed. "Look, at how he constantly created conflict for Kim and Dan. How he tried to rip apart Kim's relationship with her sister...And then he became involved with Dee, making her believe he had changed...that he felt compunction for hurting so many people. And to prove his point, he went around apologizing for his misdeeds...Of course, it was nothing but a show to win Dee over...

"And she believed him...Bought every word of it. He forced his way into our family. And to keep from becoming estranged from my daughter, I was polite and friendly to a man I didn't trust. Or even like...He hurt us all...and wounded our pride...over and over again." Tears filled David's eyes.

"Oh, David," Ellen said.

"I detest that man, Ellen," David said, his voice guttural and cracking. He wiped the tears from his eyes. "God help me, but I hate that man. He's a monster...something sent here by the devil to torment decent people."

Ellen pressed her head against David's shoulder. She sighed. "David, I'm going to get you a glass of milk. It always relaxes you."

She rose from the sofa, and repaired to the kitchen. A short time later, she returned with a glass of milk, but David wasn't on the sofa.

She turned and glimpsed towards the carpeted stairs.

A breeze blew into the living room. Ellen noticed the door was half open. She looked reflective. And went to the threshold of the door.

"David's car is gone," she muttered.

   
     

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