(This episode is written by Somerset head writer Steve Ungrey, who is pinch hitting while AlbieGray is headed to Florida. Enjoy!)
With Susannah Lucas headed to Harpers Falls to be with Anyssa for a few days and conduct business with the McKinley Group, Ellen was left behind because of her obligations to night school and the community center.
Originally Susannah thought she’d have Ellen stay with the Petterinos, but they decided Ellen was old enough to hold down the fort on her own with Giovanni and Rose looking in on her.
As she prepared for sleep, Ellen curled up on the bed and took out her cell phone. She had Dylan on speed dial and she toyed with whether to call him.
Luckily, Dylan answered the phone at his residence.
“Hey, sis,” Dylan said as he picked up the phone. Of course, Ellen and Dylan really weren’t brother and sister, but they were close like family. They were technically third cousins (her birth mother was Dylan's second cousin, Alicia Lambert), but they functioned like brother and sister.
She recalled the day of Anyssa and Bryan’s wedding, when she shared several dances with Dylan and Alex -- some slow, some fast -- and since then the three e-mailed each other back and forth. Ellen hoped to repeat what happened last year, when she and Susannah were in Boston on Christmas.
“Hi.” Ellen sat down with a bottle of soda and leaned her head against the propped-up pillow.
“Isn’t it late for you to be calling?” Dylan laughed.
“Naa,” Ellen smiled. “You forget two things. Isn’t it a girl’s prerogative to be on the phone when she’s 16? Besides, we’re an hour behind out here.”
“Sixteen. Ha,” Dylan said. “You’re more like my older sister, so wise beyond her years.”
“Are you okay?” Ellen said, a couple of tears rolling down her cheek. “I heard the horrible news and I wanted to whack the guy that did this to you over his head.”
“Thanks, doll, I really do appreciate that, more than you know,” Dylan said. “but, I think the Harpers Falls citizens police did the job. The entire family and everyone else were out for his blood.”
“I know you can’t talk about it," Ellen said, "but you are seeing a doctor?”
“I can talk about it, Ellen. It helps…” Dylan’s voice trailed away, "and yes, I am seeing a therapist about it. His name is Dr. Henderson. Dr. Mitchell Henderson, out of Mass General. Dr. Winchester recommended him."
The two spent the next 30 minutes discussing what took place. Ellen knew Dylan’s history and she couldn’t help but ache for him. At the end, she wiped away tears and she put forth a brave smile.
“I’m thinking of you,” Ellen said. “I hope you know that. And I hope to get out there again at Christmas.”
“Maybe we’ll all pack up and come out to Somerset,” Dylan said. “You know something?”
“You’re going to make some guy very happy eventually," Dylan smiled, "You’re a good listener.”
“Coming from you… it’s a compliment," Ellen laughed, "I’m not actively looking for a guy, but if you know the Jonas Brothers…”
That had to make Dylan laugh. He was in hysterics at that comment, a far cry from the cry he had earlier. Ellen knew how to make someone giggle.
(Mid-break announcement. Bill Wolff: "Stay tuned for the next part of Harpers Falls."
Bill Wolff: "And now...the next part of Harpers Falls. This portion is brought to you by mild Ivory Liquid. Ivory Liquid has more suds for dishes. It washes more dishes, penny for penny, than the average bargain brand."
In the Harper mansion, Anyssa stopped by with a giant mug of hot chocolate for Susannah, who had just come from a long day of meetings with the McKinley Group that included dinner downtown.
As Susannah was a frequent guest to the Harper Mansion, she had a room that was her own. Mitchell, the family's butler, considered Susannah as family (due to her ties with Anyssa), and he even went so far as to put a name on a metal plaque for her door. Her plaque read Susannah "Susie" Lucas.
“I see your room is ready,” Anyssa said. “Up for a chat?”
“You know I’m up for talking to you… always,” Susannah said. “Come, have a seat.”
Anyssa headed over to the table as Susannah brought her hot chocolate over. Slipping out of her shoes, she tucked her legs under her and gripped the mug like she’d been waiting for this a long time.
“Mmmm, I've been waiting for this,” Susannah said. “You’re going to tell me this is homemade, right?”
“Naaa. Store bought. We cheated, the compromise of being wealthy, you know,” Anyssa laughed. “You all right leaving Ellen alone for a few days?”
“She’s up to it,” Susannah said. “I think it makes her feel like a big girl. I have to let the adoption papers work their way through the system, but this makes her believe she has responsibility. Which she does. I gave her a list of stuff to do around the house.”
“It will do her good,” Anyssa said, drinking from her own beverage. “It’s doing Dylan a lot of good to see you here.”
“It's my pleasure, Nyssa. He and I really have clicked as friends. I would have brought Ellen, but after all the stuff I went through earlier this year I didn’t want to take her out of night school or away from the community center. She’s making some good money working there…”
“You do have a young version of yourself on your hands,” Anyssa said. “I just wish she’d been here for Dylan.”
“She texted me that she was going to call him tonight. I know it will be good to hear her voice.” Susannah thought for a second. “Do you think…”
“If he were straight, he’d be too old for her,” Anyssa said with a laugh. “Don’t give yourself more reason to worry. She‘s still not 17 yet. Give her time. Besides, Dylan is deeply in love with Alex.”
“Just to have her there as a friend. She’s like family to me, and so is Dylan.”
“To all of us,” Anyssa said, clinking Susannah’s cup. “Just like you are.”
No more words needed to be said. The friendship said it all.