Now&Forever: Think Twice
The drive home for Vicki was a quiet, serene one, as warm sunshine streamed down on Victoria and a light spring breeze blew her hair behind her, carrying with it the sweet smell of spring flowers. “What’s going on with Dawson? What does he want from me? Why would he want a meeting, especially after what happened at the courthouse, and again at Marsion’s? This doesn’t make any sense!” Vicki exclaimed, frustrated, as she tried to make sense of the latest puzzle she had to piece together.
“I guess it’s a good thing I’m meeting with him. Forewarned is forearmed. I just hope I can get answers! My life, my family’s lives may depend on it! I need to figure this out, it’s the only way I can protect them!” She said to herself, trying to ignore the chills snaking down her spine.
Still undeterred, despite all the questions surrounding her daughter and her behaviour, Nikki pressed on, needing an explanation. Looking out the window at the bright, sunny day and seeing the light spring breeze that blew through the trees, Nikki said to herself, with a small smile, “Maybe some fresh air will do me some good.”
Once outside, she took a few moments to block out all the craziness that had gone on during the past several months.
Slowly rousing herself back to reality, Nikki continued her investigation into her daughter’s strange behaviour. “One day, she staggered in, hoping to get to her room without any trouble, I had no idea what was going on, that is, until I found out about the run-in with Gary Dawson. At first she wouldn’t tell me anything, all that she’d say was that she went for a ride, no more. Then, after she realized I wouldn’t let it drop, she told me she was at some club, but wouldn’t say which one.
She tried so hard to make me think she was fine, that I didn’t need to worry. How could she not understand why I was upset, considering the way she’s been acting, I’ve got every right to be more than a little upset!”
Her hands balled into fists, as she recalled her daughter’s blatant attempt to pacify her. “It was obvious she?d been crying, she even flinched when I touched her cheek. Why would she work so hard to hide that bruise, and her run-in with that creep? Surely she didn’t think I’d be mad at her. She couldn’t think that, could she?” As Nikki walked along on the green grass, the scent of flowers wafting through the air, she continued.
“Why would she try so hard to make me think she’s okay? And, why did she get so upset when I finally got the truth out of her? It doesn’t make any sense, especially considering her history with Dawson, and the fact that he hit her so hard, he left a bruise.”
“Why would she say her being here isn’t good, or healthy for any one, not for Victor, or Abby, or the baby? It doesn’t make any sense! She’d never hurt any of us! What is wrong with her, and why can’t I figure it out?” As her temper climbed, Nikki suddenly felt the baby kick, reminding her what was at stake.
As bitter, heartbroken tears started to fall, and the baby kicked once again, Nikki was swept back in time, back to a time when she was young and scared, pregnant with her first child and unsure what the future held. Stubbornly wiping away tears, Nikki reminded herself of her goals, “I can’t give up now, Victoria’s future is at stake!”
Walking blindly on the grounds, Nikki continued. “What does whatever Vicki’s going through have to do with this baby? One of the last times Victoria and I talked, she looked like she hadn’t slept at all, she was really pale. What could be so bad that she can’t sleep at night?!” Nikki shook her head and let out a small, sad sigh as she continued her quest.
“I thought things were going to get better, I couldn’t have been more wrong! All she’s been doing is giving me cryptic little hints! She won’t open up to me, no matter what I do, or how hard I try!
What scares me the most is she won’t let her father in either, or Nicholas. Not talking to me is one thing, that I can handle, but she’s shutting all of us out, and, as far as I can see there’s no reason for it! All she told her father was that she had a lot on her mind. What does that mean? Is it work, or is it problems with somebody she’s been seeing, or do the two bastards she’s been dealing with have something to do with this?”
“I tried to talk to her, but, as usual he didn’t get anywhere!” Letting out a frustrated sigh, she mumbled bitterly, “That’s par for the course, these days!”
“All she said was that if we really wanted to help, we’d focus on each other and our marriage! What does that mean, and how could it help her? She’d be left alone to deal with this! No way, that’s not gonna happen, not on my watch!” She vowed, fire blazing in her eyes.
“Something else doesn’t make sense, she said that at least then we’d have the support we need, especially me. What is she planning, how does she expect us to do that under the circumstances, and how can I stop her before it’s too late?” Nikki wondered aloud, her stomach tying itself in knots.
“Why would she make Victor promise to focus on me? It’s not as if he’s neglected me the past few months, he’s doted on me nonstop!”
Shrugging her shoulders, she settled on what was the only logical explanation, although, something deep inside told her logic was the last component to this puzzle! “Maybe she just wants to make sure things stay that way.”
Looking up at the sky, as she felt herself being rained on, Nikki muttered, “I’d better go in, before it really starts to pour.”
With that, she carefully dashed back inside.
The drive home flew by, and, soon Victoria breezed in the door, feeling like, for once she had regained some control over her life.
“Victoria, I’m glad you’re home. We need to talk.” Nikki began a little sternly, hoping to get her daughter to talk to her, for once.
“Not now, Mom, okay? I’ve got to get changed and head out.” Victoria replied, trying to appease her mom.
“I’m meeting someone.”
“Where are you meeting this person? Who? Why? Is it business?”
“No, not exactly, and it doesn?t matter where.” Victoria remained cryptic, ‘I really don’t have any answers, at least none that she wants to hear. But, with a little luck, this will go exactly the way I plan and I’ll accomplish exactly what I set out to do here. I’ll take care of Dawson-solo!’ Vicki thought to herself, desperately hoping she was right.
“You’re not going anywhere until you tell me who you’re meeting… Wait a minute, Dawson! You’re going to meet Gary Dawson, aren’t you?!” Nikki asked shocked, unable to believe her daughter was willing to take such a foolish risk! “What? Why would I do that?”Vicki insisted on playing dumb.
“Victoria, you’re playing with fire! For God’s sake what are you thinking?!”
“I know what I’m doing, trust me. I know exactly what I’m doing!”
“Victoria! You have no clue what you’re getting yourself into; absolutely none!” Nikki exclaimed, just barely resisting the urge to shake some sense into her daughter.
“Mom, let me handle this!” Vicki demanded hotly, before turning on her heel and walking upstairs to change.
“Damn!” Nikki exclaimed, barely resisting the urge to throw something.
“Okay,” Nikki took a deep breath and tried her best to remain calm, although it wasn’t easy under the circumstances, “What else do I know?” “I know she came home early one day, and, when Victor and I asked her why she was home, she didn’t tell us too much, at first. As usual, she tried to pretend everything was fine.
But then, she said she can’t stop thinking about all the arguments we’ve had, so, why won’t she tell us what’s wrong? That would stop all this nonsense and arguing for good!” Nikki felt her self getting worked up again and chastise herself for it, before continuing.
“She said it’s like something’s haunting her, but what? What could it be? I know she’s not getting much sleep, so, whatever it is it’s got to be something big!”
“She asked if we like having our lives turned upside down. Things haven’t been that bad, so, why is she overreacting? Why is she being so hard on herself?
And, why would she say we’ve had no peace ever since the mess with Jeff and Satin Cosmetics started? It’s been pretty quiet since she saw him last time. Does she know something we don’t?” The only thing stopping Nikki from letting out a good, long scream was the fact that Victoria was there. ‘If I did that, she’d come running, and she’s got much bigger problems to worry about!’
“Just because Gary Dawson’s out, doesn’t necessarily mean things are going to get worse.” The minute those words were out of her mouth, Nikki heard a voice coming from behind her.
“You don?t know that for sure.” Victoria?s voice was calm, unusually calm. “Victoria, we don’t know anything for sure.”
“That’s exactly my point. I left my cell phone down here, have you seen it? Never mind, I found it,” Vicki said as she walked over to the end-table and picked it up before walking back upstairs.
Undeterred, Nikki went right back to her investigation.
“She told us Dawson’s just crazy enough to try and pull something. By the tone of her voice and the look in her eyes, she really thinks he could succeed. I got the same feeling just now.”
In the meantime, at Gary’s apartment, with a smug smile, he eyed himself in the mirror, as he got ready for his meeting with Vicki. Straightening his shirt collar, he thought to himself ‘Victoria has no clue what she’s getting into her. I have big, big plans for Ms. Victoria Newman!’ His smirk widened, clearly enjoying his sick, malicious game. ‘By the time she figures out what I’m up to, it’ll be too late!’ With a twisted smile and a malicious, sadistic gleam in his eyes, he vowed, “Vicki will pay for what she did to me! She won?t get away with it!”
At the ranch, Nikki sat on the couch, flipping through a magazine while she tried to solve the puzzle that had haunted her for months. ‘When we tried to tell her that Dawson wouldn’t do anything, she refused to listen! It was like talking to a brick wall!’ Nikki thought to herself bitterly.
Her heart breaking a little more with each moment she tried to figure things out, Nikki continued sombrely. The magazine article she’d been reading forgotten, Nikki thought to herself, ‘She was adamant she’d do whatever she had to to make sure Gary doesn’t get the chance to get near our family, that he doesn’t get the chance to hurt us. But, somehow I’m not sure he’s the only one we have to worry about…’
‘What really scares me is, she gave no thought to her own protection. All she seems to care about is vengeance, protecting this family. But, we aren’t the ones who need the protection, she is!’
“No amount of discussion could get through to her. She’s determined to do this, she feels she needs to ensure Dawson doesn’t get the chance to hurt us. She won’t stand by while he tries to victimize her and the rest of us. And I understand that, I really do.
But, why does she need to do it on her own? She’s walking into a death trap! How do I get her to understand why we can’t just sit back and accept that?! How do I do that when she won’t listen to a word I have to say.
She wouldn’t listen when we told her she didn’t have to let him do that, that she needs to think things through!” Bending the magazine she’d been holding in half, she slammed it on the edge of the coffee table in front of the couch before throwing it down and continuing relentlessly. “She argued nonstop with Victor and I, she refused, and still refuses to listen to anything we have to say. She even ended up walking out on us without a word about where she was going, or when she?d be back!”
Nikki tried valiantly one last time to get answers out of her daughter before she left. “Mom, I’ve got everything under control, so you can relax.”
“Victoria! What makes you think you have anything under control? Have you completely lost your mind?!” Nikki screamed, trying to get through to her daughter, before it was too late.
“Mom, quit being so melodramatic.”
“Victoria, I want answers, who are you meeting? Where are you meeting this person, and, most importantly, why?” Nikki trudged on, unwilling to let the subject drop.
“Mom, I’m meeting someone at Gina’s. There’s really no reason for you to worry. I promise, everything will be okay.” Victoria tried her best to reassure her mom, while conveniently leaving out who her meeting was with.
Victoria didn’t even stop to turn around, before walking out the front door and closing it firmly behind her.
“Great, just great! My daughter’s bound and determined to go off and get herself killed! What the hell is she thinking?” Nikki asked frustrated, as fire blazed in her eyes.
“There’s got to be something I?m missing! When she came back after that argument, Victor and I asked her all kinds of questions, but we didn’t get anywhere. True to form, she wouldn’t tell us anything besides letting us know she supposedly ran errands. How stupid does she think we are?! We tried everything we could think of to find out where she was and what kind of errands she was running, but it didn’t do any good! She wouldn’t tell us where she went, the only thing we got out of her was that she was at some shop.”
Nikki stopped and thought to herself, “Maybe Paul would have an idea about what to do!” Shaking her head and chastising herself once again, Nikki reconsidered, “What am I saying, Victoria already thought I was having her spied on, if I call Paul Williams, it’ll just look like she was right, then things will be worse than they already are. Although, I can’t imagine how they could get much worse!”
She felt chills run down her spine, and did her best to ignore them. “When we kept asking her questions, kept the pressure on her, she finally admitted it was part of her plan for Gary Dawson. The question is, what does she have planned?
I’ve tried to reason with her, God knows I’ve tried! She’s intent on trying ensure he pays for what he did. I understand that, but, why is she so concerned for Victor and I? She categorically refused to let the police handle it, her way-solo!” Nikki tried her best to ignore the sick feeling she got in the pit of her stomach when she thought about what her daughter might be getting into.
“Regardless of how much we try to get through to her about Gary Dawson and what he may well be capable of doing to her if she’s not careful, and that we don’t need protection, she won’t listen!
She said she would never forgive herself if she doesn’t do everything she can to make sure he doesn’t get a chance to hurt this family. But, why would he? He has no motive for it.” Puzzled and completely confused, Nikki shook her head.
“I wish I could get her to let the police handle him, but she?s convinced the law won’t do anything, so it’s up to her to make sure the family stays safe!
But, who’s going to make sure she stays safe? She’s not thinking about that at all! She’s bound and determined to take care of Dawson on her own, she said as much, she’ll do whatever she needs to to make it happen, she’ll do whatever she has to do to make sure he doesn’t hurt us.
But, she should be worried about herself, not us! How do I make her see that?! She’s so wrapped up in her vengeance and making sure he won’t get the chance to try and destroy this family, or make her a victim again.
Victor tried to tell her she’s taking a big risk, one that’s not worth the potential gains, not to mention the danger involved, but did she listen? No! She’s so damn stubborn sometimes, I just want to shake her!”
“How many times have we begged her to listen? All she does is placate us and insist she knows what she’s doing!” There was more than a hint of regret and worry in Nikki’s voice as she contemplated her daughter’s situation.
“She said she won’t just sit around and wait for Dawson to make his move, by then it will be too late.
Has he threatened her? If he has, Victoria and going back to jail will be the least of his worries!” Nikki vowed with a murderous gleam in her eyes!
“She said she won’t let him tear the family apart, that it’s not an option. Why would she think that? Why would he do that?” Nikki asked herself, trying to see the situation through her daughter’s eyes.
Walking to her car, Vicki said to herself, as she looked back at the main house and thought of her mother and just how far Nikki may be willing to go to get to the bottom of things, “I need to be very, very careful with Mom. I can’t have her finding out about this meeting with Gary, it would be a disaster!”