Chapter One

Chapter One « Beginning of the end »

 

She hated planes. She did not know the specific reasons why she hated them, but sitting in one while hundreds of thousand of miles in the air made her feel awkward.  She was not afraid of heights per say, but felt a lot better if her feet were on actual ground. She controlled her breathing, like she has showed her clients time and time again. Breathe in, hold it and breathe out. She looked at her watch, there was only about an hour left on her trip. She knew it was counterproductive to look at her watch every time she breathed but she could not help it. She shifted in her seat. She swore to herself that this would be the last time she ever took a plane to go somewhere. She had her headset on, only half listening to the movie presented. Not that she hated the movie; she saw it about 100 times with her friend Cooper back home. She had tried in the course of the last few days to not think of anyone that she left behind, especially Pete, but thinking of Cooper made her sad. She was startled by a little tap on her shoulder; she turned to her left to see a woman with a worried look on her face.

–          I am sorry, are you okay?, the women with blond hair asked.

Clearing her throat she nodded yes. 

–          It’s just because you have been tossing and breathing heavily for the last hour and just wanted to make sure you were OK, the women insisted.

She again nodded and went to put her headset back on when the women extended her hand.

–          My name is Brooke Logan. You really don’t like planes do you?, she asked with a smile.

Feeling a little ashamed, she extended her hand.

–          Violet Turner. It’s ironic about the plane thing. I am a psychiatrist and I cannot keep my cool in a plane!

If she was not trained in reading body language she would of missed the look on her face.

–          Oh… you hate shrinks? She asked, trying not to sound insulted.

It took Brooke a few seconds to answer.

–          I don’t hate shrinks. I hate a shrink, but I have nothing against anyone that practices it, she said trying to sound convincing.

Violet smiled. In the two minutes that passed, she had not thought of the fact that she was on a plane or looked at her watch. She wanted to probe and find out the real reason she dislikes shrinks, but it was not the place or time for that. She looked at the women and noticed that she was reading a magazine with her on the cover. Violet gently lifted the magazine to have full view of the cover.

–          Wow! I am travelling with celebrity, cover of Restless Style, she said sounding impressed.

Brooke laughed. It seemed to Violet that it must have been a long time since she had laughed. She then asked herself how she could know that. She did not seem depressed, depressed people kept to themselves.

–          Hardly a celebrity. I was CEO of Forrester Creations and now I am going to an interview in a field I know nothing about in Bay City.

–          Wow! I feel like asking how you feel about that, but then I would have to charge you, she said.

Again, Brooke laughed and again Violet detected a sadness in her laughter. 

–          Can I ask you something that might seem really personal?, she asked.

Brooke nodded and added.

–          I reserve the right to the same thing, she said smiling.

–          Okay. I might be way off, but you seem on one hand happy of getting away but you also seem very sad about it, she said.

–          I don’t hear a question in that, seems to me you already have an opinion about how I feel.

Violet detected a little bit of hostility and decided that maybe she should drop it. She has known quite a few people that had a hard time talking to psychiatrists and now was not the time to start this conversation.

–          I don’t but I won’t push the subject. Frankly I can’t really blame you. I dated a shrink and that gave me a headache. They always try to analyse you and it gets irritating, I totally get why you dislike us.

That closed the subject but an awkward silence now occupied their space. Violet started again to breathe in and out and watching the time on her wrist; only a few minutes before descent.

–          Look I am sorry if I made you uncomfortable, sometimes I analyse too much and put my foot in my mouth, Violet said breaking the silence.

Brooke looked at her for a moment.

–          You really mean that do you? She inquired.

Violet did not know how to respond.

–          Yes. I do.

Brooke looked at her for a moment. Has though she was not sure what she wanted to say or do. Brooke wiped a tear from her cheek.

–          Look, starting a new job is never easy, and moving for it is even harder. I should know because I am doing it too, Violet said.

Brooke turned around and faced her.

–          The reason I am so sad is that I never really had to work or earn what I had. When I was married to Ridge and I took over of Forrester Creations it felt natural, and I remained CEO for almost a full decade. I knew everything about fashion and I made that company a success…, she trailed off.

–          Wow! Decades. I remember the first time I saw a Forrester gown. It way to pricey for me at the time, but I use to lay in bed, magazine in hand and imagine wearing one to a ball…, started Violet, But you have to tell yourself that if you were not meant to lead a company, you would of eventually been replaced or demoted. You changed Forrester when you held the position and look, she said pointing the magazine, you still appear on fashion magazines across the country.

Brooke looked at the title. “Ridge and Brooke reunite”. Violet felt again that sadness.

–          Are you questioning the job itself, or the reasons you are leaving Los Angeles? Asked Violet.

Brooke seemed to consider the question. She had been thinking about that ever since she informed her family of her intentions to leave L.A for good. Although everyone had mixed feelings, they all believed that considering the current state of her relationship with Ridge Forrester and her son, that was the only viable solution. She remembered the last conversation she had with Stephanie concerning her son Rick  …

Her mind flashed back to their engagement party a few months ago and her heart ached. When the door opened and she saw Ridge, pale and shaking. Barely able to speak he fell to his knees. At that moment she knew, being a parent she could feel and see in his face the pain of losing someone close. Her first thought was one of her own children. Rick, her eldest son, was no where to be found, Hope was at the party and so was R.J, her two youngest children. But a few moments afterwards he let out the following words. Words that still haunt her nightmares. Words that still hurt like a stab right into her heart. “Phoebe is dead”. She wiped a tear off her cheek. She has known Phoebe for her entire life. She raised her for years with Ridge when it was believed that Ridge’s previous wife, Taylor Hayes, had been shot and killed by a demented woman called Sheila Carter. She remembered her voice, she loved singing ever since she was a little girl. Brooke reached for her purse and pulled out a picture of her and Ridge surrounded with Ridge’s son Thomas, daughters Phoebe and Steffy, Hope and little baby R.J. It was often said that tragedy either got people close or got them further apart. In this case, her brain knew the moment she saw her bloody son walk in the door following Ridge that in this cases it would push them apart. That night, Ridge physically attacked a wounded Rick. He was driving the car that killed Ridge’s daughter. It was a reaction she believed to have been cause by the shock. It was only much later that she relunctantly had to admit that things between the Forresters and the Logans would be permanently broken. Brooke tried her best to keep her family together. Rick was carrying with him the real reason the accident happened and refused to let Taylor and Ridge know about it. It was honorable, but destructive in a sense that the truth might of helped Ridge and Taylor get over their anger towards him. Even Stephanie Forrester, wife of Eric Forrester who was the boys father often verbally attacked her son. Saying stuff like she wished he had perished instead of Phoebe. Her mothers instinct did not let that go and eventually a showdown between them occurred. Stephanie hated her with a passion ever since she married Eric decades ago, and then Ridge. She had called her horrible stuff and physically attacked her in many occasions. A frightening episode at the cabin came to mind and she brushed if off quickly not wanting to remember it. But thought the years, Stephanie had always acted kindly towards her children. Since both Bridget and Rick were Eric’s children, it was a given that she had to accept them. But the gloves came off when her grandchild Phoebe had died and the women had only cruel things to say about her son.

 

– How can you say that to him. How can you wish my son dead?, Brooke angrily asked Stephanie.

The older women grimaced at her.

– Who do you think deserves more to live? A sweet innocent child or the son of the town whore that broke that girl’s heart…, she began, barely holding off on her anger.

Brooke looked straight at her.

– After all you have done to me and my family, to wish my son dead for breaking Phoebe’s heart is vile and cold, even from an old bitch like you. You don’t think that part of that blame should go to Taylor, she snapped back.

Stephanie looked at her, hatred in her eyes.

– Leave Taylor out of this you bitch. She lost her daughter because of your irresponsible son…, she replied back.

Brooke paced the room. Partly to carefully choose her words and the other to resist the urge to punch that women in the face. That would be Stephanie’s solution, violence.

– I am not minimizing her pain, but don’t you think her being engaged to my son, who just recently broke things off with her daughter might have contributed to that heartbreak Stephanie, she asked. She noticed how calm she had been in asking this question.

Stephanie looked at her for a moment. She adjusted the purple blouse she had on.

– No. I think your son has caused so much damage to this family. First seducing Phoebe, then going after Taylor for his sick revenge to get Ridge jealous and then kissing Steffy and the list goes on…. I don’t blame Taylor for any of this. I blame you. What do you expect from being raised by a whore?

 
Brooke came back to the present when she heard the flight attendant advise them to fasten their seat belt. She wiped a tear from her eyes, hoping that Violet did not see it.
 
– Where were you a second ago, she asked, seeing the gesture of wiping a tear. She thought to herself and she must of opened painful memories for her and felt bad.
 
Brooke looked at her and signaled with her hand that it was nothing. She rested her head and looked outside. She could not wait to get off this plane.
 
***
Rachel put down the   note book she had in her hand  angrily on her desk, letting out a frustrated sigh. She looked across the office to her husband, Carl, and noticed that the look on his face was not more encouraging. 
– Nothing. I can’t find a single penny to spare to avoid further layoffs. Carl, what are we going to do?
Carl rested his glasses on the desk and stood up and looked outside. He was pensive and lost in thought. Rachel knew that it was not a good sign and that he was preparing to tell her something she might not approve of.  
Rachel stood up and joined her husband. She stood behind him and wrapped her arms around his waist. She loved this man. She loved her family and she loved this company that her late husband left her. She was prepared to hear his comments.
– Go ahead, tell me what you are thinking, she said softly.
Carl turned to her, sadness in his eyes. She saw this sadness only once before, when he lost his son Ryan.
– Your not going to like my idea. In fact you might hate me for it?
Rachel let out a little laugh.
– After all we have been through, a business decision will not make me hate you, she said to reassure him.
Carl returned to his desk and retrieved a magazine from his stack. He also took out a folder and handed it to Rachel.
– Our problem is here…, he said, not looking at her.
Rachel looked and recognized the magazine. Her heart nearly stopped. Ever since her daughter was involved in the tragic car crash, she has been comatose for the last four years. Her daughter, Amanda, was the CEO of Brava Magazine. A fashion magazine that had enjoyed great success. However, a few months before the hurricane that destroyed more then half of Bay City about four years ago, the sales of the magazine had declined. Rachel never had the heart to mingle into her daughters business, even now, so she suspected the trend was going downwards. Rachel opened the document and saw a spreadsheet and a chart. The chart clearly showed a downward trend, even the new revitalized Christmas edition did not increase subscriptions or sales. She toyed with the idea for a few months now to replace Amanda and find a new vibrant CEO. Was it too late?
– OK. The sales figures are awful. Are you suggesting removing it from publication?, she asked trying the hide the sadness in her voice.
Carl looked at her and then looked at the folder she was holding.
– You are the CEO of Cory Publishing. What would you do if the CEO of Brava Magazine was anyone else?, he asked gently.
Rachel knew he was right, it was time that she stopped dealing with the personal effects of her daughters condition and started focusing on saving her legacy. Her daughter would not be pleased if she woke up and was informed that Cory Publishing was no more. She closed the folder and sat to her desk. She looked through a few papers and noticed how foolish it was to not remember who the interim CEO was. She found the name, Cindy Clark. She pulled out on her computer screen her resume and Amanda’s notes. Rachel made a few notes. Then she opened her top drawer and took out another magazine. She presented it to Carl who noticed that a few pages were tagged with notes.
– This is a new magazine published in Genoa City called Restless Style. It has an interesting article on a ex-CEO of Forrester Creations, one of the biggest if not world class design houses. Tell me what you think.
Carl was a little stunned. He did not expect her to have a plan B so quickly but then remembered that she was always a step ahead. He installed himself on the sofa that was in the room. A small coffee table was installed for clients and guest to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee while sitting comfortably. He opened and started reading the article. Carl really enjoyed the writing style the author used, but has the interview continued, he found the subject to be even more appealing.
– This Brooke Logan might be the answer, he said.
Rachel loved to surprise him. She was going to enjoy this part.
– She is coming in tomorrow morning for an interview. Let’s hope she is able to save this magazine in time.
Carl got up and hugged her.
– This must of been very difficult. Why did you not tell me?, he asked.
Rachel pondered the question.
– I did not want to generate false hopes at Cory. I wanted it kept low profile. I was going to tell you tonight, at home, but now seemed like has good time as any.
Carl smiled and continued to read the article.
– It was really foolish of Forrester of letting her go. I have a feeling that she is the miracle we were waiting for.
 
***
 
 

He caught himself staring at the monitor in front of him. This has been the routine for last few years. Talk a little and then be hypnotized by the constant and regular beeping of the life support machine. The machines that was keeping his wife alive. He looked at the time, he already knew the time since he has been doing the same thing for the last six months. He got up to leave but turned to watch her. He wondered often enough if she was in any pain. The doctors were pretty vague about that, only repeating that the machines are keeping her alive until her brain can heal itself. There was of course, no guarantee that this would happen, but he was forced, like her to wait and see. A decision from the court allowed her mother, Rachel, to make decisions regarding her well being. Cameron wanted to turn off the monitors when it became clear to him that she would most probably never wake up. This decision did not sit well with his mother in law, she fought tooth and nail to have that decision reversed in the courts and she was granted soul custody of the well being of her daughter. He could not remember the exact moment or event that prompted him to request she be put off life support, but he recalled the reaction of the entire family. He had begun by telling his part of the family. Gary Sinclair, his older brother, was understanding, and so was his wife, Josie. He was barely able to say the words and he had weeped with them for what seemed to him now for hours. They understood the reason why and supported him in this. Confident he could convince the Cory’s of the same thing, he was received harshly.
– Are my ears deceiving me, had asked Matthew Cory, Amanda’s brother. You are suggesting that we kill my sister, he had continued, his tone got harsher with every word.
Cameron attempted to explain, his heart breaking at the same time, but none of them would hear what he was saying.
– You will do no such thing, had screamed Rachel.
In all the years he had known her, she had never risen her voice. Never yelled at anyone. But this time she did. It was his turn to be angry.
– I have decided. She has been in a coma for over a year Rachel. Don’t you think that if there was to be any improvement it would be done by now?, he had asked.
– You coward, she replied. Take the easy way out. Amanda is such an inconvenience to you now, so let’s pull the plug.
Cameron looked at her perplexed.
– What are you talking about. I have been there every day since the accident. I have been there after every unsuccessful surgery or new medication. Rachel you know this cause you were right there with me, he chocked, what if she is suffering Rachel. Can you live with that…, he began.
Rachel got up and came face to face with him.
– The doctors assure me that is not the case. How dare you imply that I would let her suffer.
Cameron knew she was purposely interpreting something he had not said.
– Listen. Let’s calm down, let’s meet with the doctors and get an accurate and up to date picture of her condition…, Paulina Cory had begun saying.
Cameron always knew she was the voice of reason.
– I won’t allow it Cameron. You will not take her off life support!
Cameron let down his arms. He was tired. He was tired of waiting for a miracle and tired of the pointless conversation he was having. He turned to Paulina.
– Thank you for your suggestion. However I already spoke with them and they told me what I needed to know. Tomorrow, I am pulling off the plug, and has he said the rest he glared at Matthew and Rachel, and don’t try to stop me.
He had stormed out but by the sound of things, Paulina prevented Matthew from physically attacking him.  He had believed the matter closed. He had explained to Molly, that was then two years old, that they were going to say goodbye to mommy. Somehow he knew when the door chime sounded that something was up. He answered the door and a tall man asked for his name. When Cameron had identified himself, he gave him papers from the court. It was a restraining order, preventing him from pulling the plug. Preventing him from helping his wife. He was furious. And he fought hard. He hired a lawyer and went to claim his right. The battle was ugly and lasted well over a year. Then it was all over, he had lost and now Rachel Cory had the authority to make life and death decision about Amanda.
 
He was exhausted. He sometimes wondered why he continued to come and visit her, but knew that if she could hear him it would be maybe some comfort to her. He heard a few whispers in the corridor and almost slapped himself. That was Rachel, and he could not be in the same room as her. They were incapable of being civil with each other. He made it a practice to always leave a good 15 minutes before she arrived but he must of dozed up longer than expected. Cameron got up to leave and the door opened. A surprised Rachel glared at him.
– We haven’t seen you in months, we thought you finally gave up on my daughter, she said coldly, installing herself on the chair next to her daughter.
Cameron wanted to scream. But remained silent, just in case Amanda did hear everything.
– Well, what have you been doing with yourself, any chances of me seeing my grand-daughter or would I need to bring you to court for that too!
That was the one topic she did not want to start him on.
– You know why I don’t bring her over anymore. Your constant criticism about my life and my decisions are not acceptable.
– So your censoring her from the truth. How typical of you.
– That is enough, really. Do you think Amanda would appreciate you insulting me every time we meet here.
Rachel looked at him.
– Then stop coming. Anyone that wants to remove the life support becomes my problem, and quite frankly you don’ t even bring your own daughter to see her. So maybe you should stay away completely.
He was red in rage.
– Let me make myself clear to you, I will never abandon her. Your selfish needs are keeping her on life support and I hope to god she ain’t suffering because of it. Furthermore, what I do about my daughter is none of your business. Don’t you ever threaten to take her away from me again, or you won’t like what happens. He said, storming out of the room.
Rachel stared at the door for a few moments and remembered the night of the accident. It was a preventable accident, she blamed herself every day since then. The betrayal and hurt she saw in her daughters eyes will always haunt her memories. She took the brush that was on the table beside the bed and started to brush her daughters hair, crying quietly.
 
***
She hated hospitals. She hated them with a passion. It made her shiver waiting in the waiting room with all the people that was sick. She thought to herself that she was probably not the only one to have this reaction, but she could not wait to see her doctor, Julia Stevens. She has been seeing her for the last few years.  Today marked the 9th year since she first learned that she had cancer. After losing her daughter Vicky, she almost gave up her treatment, but her other daugther, Marly Love, gave her reasons to keep on going. She has since taken care of the twins. A few years later, they learned that Vicky’s husband, Jake, was shot and killed. That sent Marly into a nervous breakdown that prematurely ended her marriage to Tyrone. After the horrible tornado claimed his life, Marly left Bay City and she had never come back since. She heard her name being called and she went to the regular office. 

 

“I got your test results back. Your cancer has returned, I am so sorry.”.
Donna felt like she was punched in the gut.  When was she going to be free of all this. She was remembering the intense chemotherapy she went through and how sick she was and did not want to go through that alone. She did not want to be sick all over again. Not the cancer again.
“I see…”, was the only thing she was able to say. Julia got up and sat in front of Donna.
During the course of the check up she could only think about the worst case scenarios. The twins had lost enough people in their lives that she was not about to be one of them so soon after Tyrone’s death.
Donna had somehow left Julia’s office and could not remember how long she was standing in the hall. She could not shake the feeling that something was going to show up in these test and she did not want to face this alone. Trembling, she took out her cell phone. She searched in her contacts for Marly Love. She dialed and waited for her to pick up. She got the voicemail instead.
“Marly, it’s your mother. I need to see you… it’s…”, she tried to stop herself from crying. “Just come home… please… I need you”. She terminated the call.
She put the phone away and took a deep breath. She had things to do and she was not going to let this cancer stand in the way. Like last time, she will put her affairs in order. First stop would be Cass, he was her attorney and can make quick adjustments to her will. She wiped a tear from her face. She remembered how bravely she tried to keep her daugther Vicky out of the loop. She could sense something was wrong, and she managed to get her to admit it. She remembered that they had just returned from Oakdale to announce they were moving there.
She had entered the house and had found them, as they were always doing it seemed, kissing. Vicky was wearing a white summer dress and Jake was wearing black pants and shirt. It stroke her has fitting at the time.
– Hi, Donna had said to her, surprised that she was back so soon.
Victoria pulled away from Jake.
– Hi, she happily said.
– What are you doing here?, Donna asked.
– His boss gave him the day off, Vicky explained.
– Well that was nice of her, Donna replied.
After exchanging a few jokes about Jake’s new job, Vicky had announced that they had leased a house in Oakdale and they were there to pack. This was probably what gave her away, she had declined the invitation for her to come and live with them. After Vicky’s persistent questioning, she was forced to admit she had skin cancer and she was flying in New York to undergo therapy… A very long and painful therapy…
 
***

Genoa City, Now

 

His father would do this often. Stare silently at some unseen point in a room. He did that when someone would dare say something inappropriate, or to someone that will go against his expressed wishes. It has been well over a year since he has left the family company, but Nicholas Newman could see the hurt and betrayal in his fathers eyes as if he had done all this yesterday. There was numerous factors that lead him to choose to leave Newman Enterprises when he did. His mother, for one, never truly approved of his relation ship with his current wife, Phyllis. This was ironic, because she could not stand his ex-wife Sharon either.  He remembered the moment he fell in love with Phyllis and the subsequent effects of his affair with her. Although all was forgiven between him and his former wife, he still felt bad for hurting so many people.  The truth was that Phyllis took him out of  a black place. A place he buried himself into when his daughter, Cassie, died in an automobile accident.

His wife, Phyllis, squeezed his hand a little more when she met her mother-in-law’s chilly glance. They started a business together a few years back and all went to hell when she discovered she was having an affair with her son.Over the years they started to become civil but Phyllis had the feeling that this announcement would set them back a few years. Not being able to tolerate the silent treatment, Nicholas decided to sale his point of view to them, in hopes that maybe they would better understand why they made such a decision.

 

– Look, Bay City is only a few hours away from here. No plane. Opening a branch of Restless Style there makes perfect business sense. With the tragedy that town suffered a few years ago we are contributing in their economy and creating jobs, these are all excellent for a new venture like Restless Style.

 

Victor looked directly at his son and threw down the book he was reading.

 

– Son, all the reasons you have just explained does not explain why you should move there with your family. You can send Jack Abbott there. I think you are jumping into this without thinking about the consequences.

 

Jack Abbott and Victor Newman were bitter enemies for nearly two decades, if not more. In his quest to detach himself from all of his fathers influence, he, Jack, his ex-wife Sharon and current wife Phylis decided to create a fashion magazine. Restless Style was created. This angered Victor since he was associating himself with is enemy.

 

Phyllis cleared her throat.

 

– Victor, do you really think we just decided this overnight. Besides the very good reasons your son has told you, they are many other factors that we thought of. Your son learned business from you. He was right about Restless Style, he contributed in making it a success and now we want to take a new step ?, she said.

 

– What other step ? I thought you wanted to open a new branch in Bay City ?, Nikki Newman asked.

 

Nicholas and Phyllis could not retain their excitement.

 

– Mom, Dad. Phyllis and I are starting our own company. Newman Publishing.

 

– The best part is that we already have a magazine under our belt. In exchange for selling our shares of Restless Style, we obtain the exclusive rights to publish this magazine worldwide.

 

Victor and Nikki looked surprised.

 

– This is big. Wow, are you two sure you can handle this. Don’t get me wrong, you have done fabulous work with the magazine. Take it from me, managing a marriage and a new business venture is hard. Very hard, said Nikki.

 

– Not to mention extremely foolish. Think about what you are doing. Why can’t you open your damn business in Genoa City. Why can’t you just ask for my help.

 

Nicholas knew what his father was trying to say. So did Phyllis. Nikki wiped a tear from her cheek.

 

– I love you too dad, come on. We have phone, e-mail. You can come for a visit. We have a great house ready. Lots of room, you can come and pass a few days. It’s not goodbye.

 

Victor got up his chair and extended his hand to his son. Phyllis and Nikki hugged.

 

– When are you two leaving, are you bringing Daniel with you, Nikki asked.

 

– We are leaving in two days. No… Daniel is staying here. He has a great job and he loves working with Jack. I don’t know what his reaction to all this will be, said Phyllis.

 

– You haven’t told him yet ? Why ?

 

– Because we wanted you to know. I knew that if we had your blessing, then it was the right decision to go.

 

Victor hugged Phyllis and whispered.

 

– I will keep an eye on him. I certainly don’t trust Jack Abbott.

 

– Okay, so we are reserving the club for 8 PM. We need to go pack. See you tonight.

 

They got up and left the house. Victor looked at them go and somehow knew that his son would be fine.

 

 To be continued …
 
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