05/27/1999 Vanessa Tells Her Story

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"Before their scheduled meeting with family therapist, Dr. Samantha Erle, Mateo and Hayley briefly discussed the recent events leading to Max's meltdown. Hayley was certain that Dr. Erle could help them because she was the same doctor that had helped Bianca in her battle with anorexia. Mateo had a few minutes to slip away and phone Ryan at Sounds of Salsa. He asked Ryan if he could "do something for Hayley." Ryan nodded, but what it was that he was going to do was never revealed. In the therapy session, Mateo told the doctor of Max's reaction to the news that he and Raquel were getting a divorce. Dr. Erle said that it was natural for young children to have difficulty understand and coping with their parents separating. She became more concerned when Hayley told her that Max had run away and just recently trashed their condominium. The doctor thought that it would be best to meet with Max and Raquel. She asked that the pair drop by her office as soon as they could. Mateo explained that a back injury forced Raquel to remain in bed. So instead, Dr. Erle thought that it might be best to drop by Raquel's place for a visit.

Technology is not something that Edmund willingly embraces. He sat before a brand new computer and carefully typed his latest editorial column. Midway through, the computer crashed and he lost his work. Edmund puckered his lips and rose slowly from his chair. He hoisted his "old reliable" typewriter into the air and plunked it down on his desk. Trevor and Janet poked their heads into the office and asked Edmund if he had a few minutes. The coupled told Edmund that they needed to know everything they could about Donald Steele. Since Janet had only gotten the man's first name, Trevor phoned one of his old buddies who just happened to work on the security staff at Enchantment. The friend looked in the guest registry and found the man's full name. As Edmund was telling them that Mr. Steele is an author of trashy tell-all books, Brooke arrived in the office. She was surprised that Trevor and Janet were still in Pine Valley. This, after all, was their wedding anniversary. Janet explained that they didn't want to go anywhere until after Amanda was out of school for the summer. Brooke added her two cents, saying that she wouldn't even line a birdcage with the pages of Donald's books. Janet and Trevor headed on their way. Brooke, meanwhile, teased Edmund about his clunky old typewriter. The device did, though, lead to a wonderful segué to the purpose for Brooke's visit: "vertical integration." Brooke explained that Tempo needs to explore multimedia offerings so that it doesn't get left behind. Edmund smiled and warned Brooke that she's been working too hard. He told her that she should try to return to the dating pool and gently pried for information about her relationships with Jack and Dimitri. Brooke duly noted that Edmund was burning the midnight more often than not himself. The two decided that one of them has to try to get a date. But who? "I'll flip you for it," Brooke smirked. Edmund called the coin in the air. Both waited nervously for the coin to land. When it did, they looked at one another and laughed. It had gotten stuck and landed in its edge. Neither one of them had to go out on a date.

Janet and Trevor tracked Donald down to a room on the sixth floor at The Valley Inn. Janet wore a leopard-print blouse and a short, black wig so that Donald would not recognize her from their meeting at Enchantment. The get-up gave Trevor "the willies," because she looked reminiscent of "Mean Janet Green." They knocked on the door and were greeted later by Donald. Trevor claimed that he was a big wig in Pine Valley and that he wanted to hire Donald for a project. The writer explained that he was currently working on a project and could not take on any additional work for at least another few weeks. Hoping to get the man to admit that he was working with Vanessa, Trevor asked Donald why he was in Pine Valley. There are no celebrities in town unless, he said, you could "quasi-famous" Erica Kane. Donald's arrogance got the best of him. He smiled and confirmed that he was working on a tell-all book about Erica Kane. While the two men talked, Janet carefully looked over a stack of floppy disks. She was about to snitch one of them, but Donald caught her in the act. Janet quickly explained that she was hoping for a sneak peek at Donald's work. The write blushed slightly and said that no one---not even his publisher---gets to see anything other than the final product. Trevor once again mentioned that he had work for Donald, but Donald said that he needed twenty-four hours to determine if he could ice the Erica Kane project. Outside in the hallway, Janet and Trevor knew that the needed to find Erica and warn her about Vanessa.

Max was dressed and ready for school, but a tummy ache prompted Raquel to keep him home for observation. The nurse tending to Raquel went off duty, but Raquel was sure that she would okay until the other nurse arrived. Raquel told Max to drink some of "the pink stuff" to aid his bellyache, but Max wasn't too thrilled about the taste of the medicine. Max saw a copy of the signed divorce papers and threw a fit. While he's still young, he managed to put the letters in "divorce" together in his mind. Max thought that the papers meant that his father hated him. Raquel explained that the divorce papers had nothing to do with Max, but it was difficult to explain to the youngster the meaning behind the papers. Max wandered behind Raquel's bed and rummaged around for something on a shelf. Raquel was unable to see what he was doing and became concerned. Her fear was well placed. Max returned to her line of sight toting a box of matches. He struck a match and set the divorce papers on fire. Raquel panicked and pleaded with Max to get away from the fire, but there was nothing she could do but sit helplessly in bed and watch the horror. Luckily, Ryan happened by the condo and came to Raquel's rescue. He used a pillow to snuff out the flame. "I wanted the divorce papers to go away," Max said softly. Rather than scream and scold Max, Ryan suggested that one day they might go to a fire station and talk to firefighters about the dangers of fire. Raquel smiled warmly and thanked Ryan for helping her. Mateo, Dr. Erle, and Hayley returned a little while later. Hayley asked Ryan why he was there, to which he replied, "putting out fires." Dr. Erle recalled seeing a chipmunk on her way in and asked Max if he'd like to try to help her find its hole. Max was reluctant to go, but Raquel and Mateo both nudged him along. Hayley noticed blisters on Ryan's hand and ordered him to seek immediately medical attention. Ryan left and Raquel filled Mateo and Hayley in on the reason behind the fire. Dr. Erle and Max returned a short time later. Max went into another room to draw a picture of the chipmunk. When the coast was clear, Dr. Erle had a not-so-surprising analysis of Max's condition. "I'm afraid that [Max] has a real problem," the doctor said.

Erica returned to the basement and reflected on what she'd done to David. The sound of footsteps approached and Erica ducked into a hiding place. Vanessa slowly walked down the steps. Erica popped out of hiding and demanded to know why Vanessa was spying on her. Vanessa tried to concoct a bogus tale about needing to check on something, but Erica demanded the truth. Finally, Vanessa confessed that she'd seen Erica tormenting David the day before. Erica was stunned that Vanessa had made no effort to save her son. Vanessa tried to make it look like she was on Erica's side. She said that Erica was justified in wanting to stick it to David. She turned her back momentarily to clear her throat. While he back was turned to Erica, Vanessa pressed the record button on a mini-tape recorder that she was carrying in her pocket. Vanessa carefully set out to get something she could use against Erica in the tell-all book. She posed concise and leading questions to Erica. Nothing was left to chance. Vanessa did her best to sound squeaky clean and at one point claimed that it broke her heart to see her son tied to a carpenter's vise. The thought of her son not being able to save any more lives kept Vanessa awake all night. At least that's what she alleged. Erica became angry and blasted Vanessa as a "vicious killer." She told Vanessa that David had told her everything about his father's death. Vanessa said that she was unable to discuss what happened on that, the "worst night of [her] life." Erica countered with, "or the luckiest." Vanessa's breathing became quick and her voice shaky as Erica recounted the story that she'd been told. Vanessa bowed her head and raced up the staircase. Erica remained behind for a little while, haunted by David's voice explaining how Vanessa had goaded her husband into shooting himself. Vanessa sat upstairs on the sofa, her head in her hands. Erica approached her and told her that it was time for the truth. Vanessa said that she preferred not to talk about that night, but Erica took her comments as a sign that David was telling the truth. Finally, Vanessa broke down and told her side of the story---although she vehemently claimed that it was "the truth" and not just her version. Vanessa claimed that she loathed the idea of having a gun in her home. While she and her late husband were fighting, David was said to have entered the room waving the loaded gun. David approached his father and somehow the gun went off. Vanessa feared that her son would go to jail for murder and concocted the tale that her husband had committed suicide. She said that she believed David hated her because she was there the night that he'd taken his own father's life. Erica was stunned, but she wasn't sure who was telling the truth and who was lying. Vanessa excused herself so that she could take one of her pills. While she was gone, Janet and Trevor appeared on Erica's doorstep. Janet blurted out that she was glad that Erica was alone because "big trouble" was brewing. As she uttered those words, Vanessa returned."

- Soap Central