The Test of Love (1999) - full transcript

Cassie's husband was just involved in a plane crash and is in a coma. The airline says his wife was killed in the accident. The two have a young daughter together. Cassie must decide if she can accept David's child by another woman.

(Multicom Jingle)

(light inspirational music)
(dog barking)

(Mark groaning)

- [Mark] Oh, that was great.

You know what that does to me, huh?

- How radical are you willing to go?

- I'm feeling brave Rudy, really brave.

I'm thinking major panache.

- Fabulous!

- [Radio Announcer] How
many years did Joe expect

to stay on--

- Good morning!
- Good morning!

- [Man] How you doing?

- Excellent!

A trim and a shave.

- You kidding?

You're gonna let me shave ya?

Be still my heart!

- So Maurice, how do I know
you haven't switched the stone?

- You don't.

You know, you could've
gotten a little bigger stone.

- No, this is just right.

It's what I couldn't afford 20 years ago.

Thank you sir!

- [Maurice] You're welcome.

(slow gentle music)

- You're beautiful.

- You like it?

You've never seen it short.

- I like you.

Happy anniversary.

(both chuckle)

- Oh Mark.

It's beautiful, thank you.

- Do you remember how I asked you?

- Mm-hm, you were very bossy.

You said I had to marry you--

- Because if you didn't,

life wouldn't be worth living.

I'd spend the rest of mine
sleeping under bridges,

and doorways, and park benches.

- You'd of been fine.

- Do you remember how you answered?

- Mm-mm, not really.

- So how'd it work out for you?

- With a few exceptions,

the best 20 years of my life.

- Me too.

- I have something for you too.

- Oh.

- [Cassie] Happy anniversary!

- That's fabulous!

Look at that.

I wouldn't have been fine Cassie.

I wouldn't have been fine at all.

(people chattering)

- [Crowd] Surprise!

(cameras shuttering)

- [Both] Happy anniversary!

- So much for a romantic dinner for two!

- You did this, didn't you?

- You better take some
of this blame Kevin!

- Happy anniversary Mom!

- Thank you honey.

- To my sister and her best bud,

happy anniversary!

- [Everyone] Happy anniversary!

(crowd applauding)

- Where did you find it?

- [Hope] Kevin found the figurines.

God knows you save everything.

(everyone laughing)

- Oh, speaking of antiques,

maybe it's time for your
old man to make a toast.

(crowd cheering)

Okay, you were way too young

and headstrong as hell.

You had lots of talent,
but too many college loans.

But God and everybody here knows

that I couldn't keep 'em apart.

But I'm a bright guy.

It just took me a few
years to come around.

(everyone laughing)

Well, I can admit it now Cassie.

He's a keeper.

- Yes he is.

Here's to my kids.

Still young, headstrong as hell,

still talented, but I
wish ya twice 20 more.

(everyone applauding)

- I have a speech.

- [Man] Uh-oh, this is gonna be good.

- First to Kevin, this is a great party

and I don't know too many
kids who could pull it off.

- Well, with a little help
from grandfathers credit card.

- Thanks Kevin.

- To Cassie, you have been my best friend

through thick and thin.

Hopefully mostly thin.

And I know you think I'm gonna cry,

but I'm not going to.

To Cassie and Mark,

you make marriage look good.

(everyone applauding)

- Hope had too much to drink.

- She'd of been more shamed if she hadn't.

(Mark chuckles)

- You know, Kevin amazes me.

Just when we think he's
never gonna get it.

- Just when you think
he's never gonna get it.

Oh, oh, oh, oh yeah, yeah.

Right there.

You know, I do remember.

- Hm, remember what?

- What I said 20 years ago.

- You do?

- I said I'll marry you

if you promise me it's forever.

(Mark chuckles)

- I knew that.

Then you know what we did?

- We did.

- Hey Dad!

- [Mark] Hey, good morning!

- Hey, you wanna come to the meet

with me today after school?

- Oh, I can't.

- [Kevin] Well relays and stuff
won't start til after five.

- I gotta make a trip to Seattle.

- You're staying overnight?

- Probably not, why?

- Nevermind, it's no big deal.

- There's french toast.

- No thanks.

- What was that all about?

- You're asking me?

Since when do I know what's going on?

(door slams)
- He didn't eat.

- Oh, he's a big boy Cassie.

- [Cassie] You want his french toast?

- Oh I can't, I gotta go.

- Safe flight.

- You bet.

- Oops!

Go Lisa!

(Cassie screams)
(girls giggle)

That's it guys, you're
getting too good for me.

- One more, please!

I only got to go twice.

- And I never even got
to hit it back once.

- That's it, end of story.

- Cassie, you have a phone call!

Kevin's school again.

- Hey, I'm home!
(classical music)

- [Cassie] Hi, how was the meet?

- It was fine.

- [Cassie] Kevin.

- [Kevin] What, I said it
was fine, we kicked butt.

- Your counselor called me.

- Freaking kindergarten--

- Graduation is coming up,

you have to show up every day.

- [Kevin] I did show up.

- Not for your first two classes.

You were ready, you left
here on time, where were you?

- I just said, I went for a ride!

- By yourself?

- What's the big deal?

- The big deal is, I know you don't want

to go to summer school.

You have to finish your senior year

and get a C in chemistry.

- What for?

- You know, I don't wanna have this

conversation right now.

- Why not?

- Because even State won't
take you unless you--

- Even State?

You don't hear me Mom, you don't listen!

You're living in some dream
world where I'm a genius!

Well I'm not!

- [Radio Announcer]
Westborne Airlines flight 418

from Salt Lake City to
Seattle Sea-Tac Airport,

carrying an estimated 130
passengers and seven crew

is reported to have
gone down about 30 miles

north of the airport shortly after takeoff

at 3:45 this afternoon.

Authorities have yet to issue
- I don't know your

- [Cassie] Father's flight number.

- [Newscaster] And preliminary
information is still sketchy.

What we do know is this--

- Emily, it's Cassie.

I can't get through to the airlines.

Do you have Mark's flight
number at the office?

I don't know, maybe on his desk.

Well could you look?

Emily, turn on the radio,
there's been a plane crash!

Please, go look!

She doesn't know!

- [Newscaster] 30 miles
north of the airport.

- 418?
(ominous music)

Oh my God.
(tense music)

Oh my God!

(Cassie crying)

(sirens wailing)

- [Man] Hurry up and get back!

(teapot hissing)

- Here's your tea.

Come on, I want you to drink it.

- [Cassie] Where's Kevin?

- He's upstairs.

(phone ringing)


Oh no, this is Hope.

Oh, hi Ron.

No, we haven't heard anything yet.

I will, I'll tell her that you called.

Thanks, okay.

That was Mark's partner.

- Could you see where Kevin is?

He hasn't had anything to eat.

- Okay.
(phone ringing)


Yes, this is the Whitman residence.

Hold on a moment please.

- Hello.

Thank God.


Where is he?

No, I know where that is.

Is he badly hurt?

I see.

I see.

I don't understand.

No, I'm Mrs. Whitman.

I wasn't traveling with my husband.

Oh, I see, I'm sorry.

Thank you.

Thank you so much.

They don't anything except that

he was alive when they pulled him out.

- Oh God.

- The woman in the seat
next to him is dead.

They thought that was me.

- [Kevin] What?

- He's alive honey.

Thank God.

- His spleen has been removed

and there's signs of
swelling on the brain.

There may be some spinal involvement.

He's in recovery now,

then we'll be moving him into the ICU.

- How much spinal involvement?

- The CAT scan showed some welling.

But until he wakes up,
it might be some time

before we know the extent
of all his injuries.

- Is he breathing on his own?

- No.

- But you're sure he's
gonna wake up, right?

- His vital signs are good,

and he made it through
the initial surgery.

I wish I had more to tell you.

I wish I could be more positive.

(solemn music)
(machines beeping)

- [Hope] Hey.

- Hope, it's after five,
you didn't have to stay.

- Well where would I go?

It's too early for the prayer breakfast

and you know how I hate
motivational speakers.

- I'm going to bed.

Wake me if you hear anything, you promise?

- I promise.

Goodnight Hope.

- Goodnight sweetheart.

How's Mark, any change in his condition?

- They've done everything they can.

Don't you have to work later?

- No, not if I don't want to.

One of the perks in real estate.

Oh, the airline delivered his bags.

I put them on the kitchen table.

- Bags?

This is not Mark's bag.

- Well, has his name on the tag.

(suspenseful music)

(tense music)

Oh, this is Mark's isn't it?

You gave it to him, right?

(doorbell rings)

I'll get it.

- No, I'm okay.

- Mrs. Whitman?

- [Cassie] Yes.

- Charles Tanaka, I'm from the airlines.

- Oh, hello, please come in.

- I'm sorry to bother you.

I tried to catch up with
you at the hospital.

- Come on in.

- Thank you.

- Oh, don't worry about
me, I was just leaving.

This is me leaving.

- Can I get you some coffee?

- No, thank you.

Mrs. Whitman, the reason I'm here is we're

trying to notify the next of kin

of the woman that was
traveling with your husband.

I was hoping maybe you could help me.

- Oh no, I'm sorry.

He wasn't traveling with anyone.

It was a spur of the moment business trip.

- The tickets were
purchased by your husband

in Salt Lake City more than two weeks ago,

and our records show that they were

issued in the names of a Mr. Mark Whitman

and a Mrs. C Whitman.

- Are you sure?
(slow paced music)

- Yes.

- I can't explain that.

I don't know what to say.

- We believe her name was Cheryl.

Did he have any sisters

or any relatives named Cheryl?

- No.

The only other Whitman was his mother.

Her name is Helen

and she's in a nursing home in Ohio.

- Well, I'd appreciate it
if you can give me the name

and address of your husbands workplace.

Maybe they can shed some
light on who she was.

- Yeah.

I'll get that.

- [Charles] Thank you.

(heavy breathing)

(birds chirping)
(dog barking)

- Well what was the trip for?

Well you're his partner,

didn't he tell you he was going?

- [Ron] Of course I knew he was going.

- He said that he was
working on something,

that he was submitting a design

and the client in Seattle
wanted to see him in person.

- Really?
- What did he tell you?

- [Ron] Well he said he had some

business with your Dad.

Did you talk to the travel agent?

- I called our travel agent
but they're not open yet.

Emily had the flight information

so maybe she made the
plans from the office.


he wasn't alone.

He was traveling with a woman.

- [Ron] What? What woman?

- I don't know.

I don't know what's happening.

This is a nightmare.

- [Ron] Look Cass, I want you to call me.

Call me as soon as you know anything.

- I will, I'll keep in touch.

But don't tell anybody anything.


- [Ron] Sure.

- Thank you.


- What's up?

Where's Hope?

- I sent her home.

What did you hear?

- Dad wasn't on the plane by himself.

- I'm sorry, I'm sure it
doesn't mean anything.

- What did he tell the office?

- Until we find out what happened--

- He was lying to somebody wasn't he?

- It's probably just a mix up honey.

- She's dead isn't she?

- Who?

- Cheryl.

- [Cassie] Who the hell is Cheryl?

You knew who she was?

- Just leave it alone Mom, okay?

- Leave it alone?

Leave it alone?

Who the hell was Cheryl?

Who the hell is Cheryl!

(slow paced music)

(tense music)

(slow gentle music)

(machines beeping)

- You son of a bitch.

- Hi.

- Hi sis.

- His spinal area is still swollen.

- I came to take you for some lunch.

- I can't Alec.

- Yes you can.

I talked to Kevin, he'll
be here right after school.

Come on.

Did you teach your tennis classes today?

- No, I called his office.

- Anybody there know about her?

- No.

- What about the airline?

- They don't know anything yet.

- So we have to wait for Mark?

- I don't wanna think about this Alec.

- Okay, I'm sorry.

I won't bring it up again.

So where you wanna eat?

- I'm really not hungry.

(horns honking)

I can take care of the
bookkeeping and the tax stuff.

Before you came, I did it all.

- The last thing you need
is all this office garbage.

Now the partnership's not in jeopardy,

not for a minute.

The important thing is that
Mark comes out of this.

That's all that really matters.

- You have a good heart Ronny,

but we don't know that he will.

Everything could change.

- Well, don't think about that.

All your expenses covered?

You need any cash?

- No.

- Look, I don't have to tell ya not to

discuss any kind of settlement
with the airlines lawyers.

- No you don't.

- I imagine there'll
be a class action suit.

- Please Will, not now.

- About that other matter.

I spoke to Emily and she
didn't make the reservations.

- Ron mentioned it to me Cass.

I am Mark's lawyer.

- [Ron] Do you know who she was?

- No.

She's dead.

Whatever the circumstances
were, it's not the issue.


The nurse said you were here.

- How is he?

- He's the same.

You wanna come and see him?

- No, no, I came to hang out with you.

- Okay.

You know, whatever it is
that you're not telling me,

it's okay if it's out of
loyalty to your father.

- No, no,

that's not it.

- Are you afraid of hurting me?

(solemn music)

- I think it was when
I was in eighth grade

I was coming out of a movie
and I saw them together

but I didn't find out who
she was until last summer.

- Oh my God.

- I should have told you,
you had a right to know.

I hate him.

I swear to God I hate him.

- Kevin, it wasn't up to you.

I'm so sorry.

I'm so sorry.

What an awful position you were in.

I'm so sorry.

(heavy breathing)

- Excuse me!

Cassie Whitman?

- [Cassie] Yes.

- Hi, I'm Ann Michaels.

I was a friend of Cheryl's.

I tried to call you but
you haven't been home.

- [Cassie] I've been at the
hospital a lot, my husband--

- I know.

I'm really sorry about Mark.

- Would you like to come in?

- Oh no, I can't.

I just wanted you to know that I

really did the best I could.

It's been the most horrendous few days,

but I just can't take care of her anymore.

- I'm sorry, I don't understand.

- Oh Erica, they left her with me.

It was just gonna be for the one day

and now it's been nearly a week.

And I don't wanna take her to the county

and I know Cheryl wasn't
close with her family,

so I decided to bring her here.

- I'm really not following you.

- Oh my God, you don't know.

- Know what?

- She's Mark and Cheryl's child.

She's been with me since Friday.

Look Mrs. Whitman, I really apologize.

I just don't know what else to do.

She does know about her mother.

(heavy breathing)

Cassie, this is Erica.

Erica, this is Cassie.

Listen, you can call me
every day if you want,

and I promise I'll visit.

Sweetheart, you know your mother loved you

more than anything in
this world, don't you?

I thought it would be better if you

went to pick up her things.

The address is there with my number.

You can call me anytime.

I really am sorry.

You're gonna be okay?

Bye sweetie.

(melancholy music)

(slow gentle music)

- [Cassie] I'm really
sorry about your mother.

- Could I go see my Dad?

- [Cassie] I don't know, he's very sick.

- I could still see him.

I could just look at him.

- Well he's in a part of the hospital

where children aren't allowed.

- Could you ask the doctors?

- I will.

I'll ask.

You know, I don't even
know how old you are.

- Almost eight.

- Ah, second grade I bet.

Do you know who I am?

- I saw your picture one time.

Kevin too.

My Daddy showed me.

Could you ask them today?

- What?

- The doctors.

- Oh.


I'll do my best.

Erica, I didn't know that your friend

was gonna bring you here.

I mean, it's all right.

It's just that I didn't know anything.

Do you have other family, hm?

Grandparents or aunts and uncles?

- They don't get along with us.

- [Cassie] Oh.

- I could stay home at my house.

- No, but I'll go over there

and you can tell me what to bring.

- My Mommy's clothes are there.

Don't throw them away, please?

- Oh Erica,

I wouldn't do that.

- Do you think you could look for

my old blanket when you go to my house?

- Sure.

- It's kind of small and torn up.

I don't use it anymore,
but I think I want it back.

- [Kevin] Mom!

- Down here, we're in the den!

- What's up?

- We have a guest.

Erica, this is Kevin.

Kevin this is Erica.

- [Kevin] Hey, you're
from my Moms tennis class?

- No.

- Why don't you and I
give Erica some privacy?

Will you be all right on
your own for a little while?

I think you might enjoy these books,

and you know where the bathroom is, right?

(light, gentle music)

- Who is she?

Who said?

- Cheryl's friend.

- She can't be his kid.

- She calls him Dad.

- That doesn't mean anything,

he could just be her mothers boyfriend.

- He told her about you.

- So what!

- I don't know, but what we have right now

is a little girl who just lost her mother.

I have their house keys,

I'm gonna go over there and
pick up some things for her.

See if you can get her to eat something.

- Her mother is dead,
what do I say to her?

- You're sensitive, you'll figure it out.

(Kevin sighs)

(slow paced music)

(slow tense music)

(sirens wailing)

(machines beeping)

Where are you Mark?

Can you hear me?

How dare you leave me here
to clean up your mess?

(solemn music)


I'm sorry I took so long.

The doctors say you might be
able to see your Dad tomorrow.

- Is he awake?

- No.

He's still not awake.

But guess what?

I found your blanket.

Your Mom had put it away for you.

- Thank you.

- Kevin had a blankie
when he was your age.

That's what he called it.

Does this one have a name?

- Cozy.

- Cozy.

I'm glad I found it.

I brought these.

I thought we could put
them up while you're here.

They look really nice.

- That's where they were going.

- What?

- They were flying to
visit a sleepover art camp

for me to go to.

They crashed because
they went to see my camp.

- No.

No, this didn't happen because of you.

It was an accident Erica.

- Do you think my Daddy's gonna die too?

- I wish I could make you a promise,

but I can't.

I thought you might like
to have this here too.

Would you like me to stay
with you for a little while,

until you fall asleep?

(solemn music)

- Yeah, I would've stayed with her,

but she didn't want me around.

- It's okay.

- You think she's his kid, don't ya?

- Other than a birth certificate,

this is the best I could do.

(Kevin sighs)

- This is like a bad joke.

- I've gotta find someone to take her.

I have her Moms phone book.

- I don't think we should send her away.

- Kevin.

- I mean it.

She already got dumped here,

we shouldn't do it to her again.

If Dad comes around, they'll
wanna see her, don't you think?

- I don't know what to think.

I'm numb to be honest.

- She's just a little
kid, it isn't her fault.

- I know that.

(phone ringing)


Thank you.

I'll be right there.

Yeah, thanks.

- What is it?

- He's awake.

He knows his name.

He told the nurse to call me.

You stay with Erica, okay?

(solemn music)

- He's weak, but he's fully awake

and as alert as could be expected.

His short-term memory is impaired

and there's still spinal involvement.

- Well can he walk?

- No.

I'm optimistic Mrs. Whitman.

I don't believe that
there's permanent damage.

Hopefully, time will prove me right.

I'll catch up with you later.

- Thank you.

(slow paced music)
(machine beeping)

(Mark clears throat)

- Hi.

- Hi.

- You okay?

You must've had quite a scare.

I'm sorry.

I'm a little fuzzy.

- You were on your way to Seattle.

The plane went down.

- Oh yeah, that's what the nurses said.

- A lot of people were killed.

Do you remember why you were going?

- Not really.

- [Cassie] Do you remember
who you were with?

- No.

- Cheryl was on the plane with you.

(ominous music)

- What?

- She's dead Mark.

- Oh God.


- Erica is with me.

(Mark sobbing)

(people chattering)

The doctors say he may
regain full use of his legs.

They're moving him to a neurological wing,

and then they wanna send him home.

- You're kidding?

- I told them no.

- [Hope] Oh, well he's probably gonna

need round the clock care.

- Probably.

- You know, when you think about it,

where else would he go?

- Well that's not my problem.

Let him go back to Ohio.

- His mother has Alzheimer's Cass.

And who could afford a hotel
with what, full-time nurses?

- [Cassie] Are you saying
I should take him back?

- Well at least til he gets through this.

And again, I don't see any options here.

- I've made my choice.

After graduation, I'm
gonna get a divorce lawyer.

- And that's what you want?

- You know, you kicked
Bobby out for a lot less.

- Wait a minute, first place,

I did not love Bobby.

Everybody's flawed Cass.

Shades of gray all around.

Mark, Kevin, all of us.

- Why didn't he tell me Hope?

- Because men are not like us Cass.

They don't share.

Believe me, I know how furious you are.

I'm furious and I'm not even his wife.

And I know how you're hurting.

I'm hurting for you Cass, honest.

But before you go and do anything
that you can't take back,

make sure it's what you want.

(kids laughing)

- Come here.

Why is that funny?

- He missed.

- Ah, and why is that funny?

Anybody else here ever
gonna miss sometime?

No one?


Okay guys, that's it for today.

Well done, clean up.

Good work.


You ever play tennis?

- I don't know how.

- No.

Maybe I could teach you.

- No thank you.

- Little afraid of the ball

coming right at you like that huh?

Come on.

Did you see Lisa?

When she first came here,

she flinched every time I served her.

Now she's working on her backhand.

A very good backhand I think.

- My Dad told me you were almost

in Wimbledon when you were young.

- Did he?

- Why didn't you make it?

- I guess I wasn't enough.

- You look good enough to me.

- Thank you.


Did your Dad tell you that
he was still married to me?

- That's why I couldn't
go see him so much.

Can we go to the hospital now?

- Not yet.

I want to tell him that
you're coming first, okay?

How are you doing?

- Okay.

My physical therapist says I'm

making some progress.

I was hoping you'd be here earlier.

- It's Wednesday.

I have class on Wednesday.

- How's Erica?

- Quiet.

Do you know any of her mother's family?

- No.

That subject was off limits.

You gonna sit down?

- No, I'm not staying.

- Does Kevin know?

- Oh yes.

He was way ahead of me.

- What?

- You heard me.

He knew and he carried your guilt for you

because he couldn't tell me.

He doesn't wanna see you.

- I want to explain.

- He's not ready!

- No, I want to explain to you.

- Don't, Mark, it's over.

No more reconciliations.

I feel like such a fool.

- Cassie--

- It was all my fault
eight years ago, remember?

I blamed you because I was so unhappy,

but tell me this.

When I said I was sorry,

when I begged for you to come home,

did you discuss it with Cheryl?

- No, of course--

- Did you tell her it was all because

I wanted to have another
baby and couldn't?

Did you have a good laugh about it

when you discovered she was pregnant?

- Cassie, stop!

- You're an arrogant son of a bitch,

you know that!
- Listen, listen!

- [Mark] Now when you
and I were separated,

Cheryl was a designer
on one of my buildings.

We went out for a while before
you and I got back together.

Then she says she's pregnant.

She wanted the baby, it
had nothing to do with me.

She wouldn't even discuss it with me!

It was a choice she made!

- [Cassie] Please, don't explain.

- I don't know how else to say I'm sorry.

- Apologies mean nothing.

You said that, remember?

Actions speak louder than words!

- If you don't wanna listen
then why did you come here?

- For the same reason that
Erica is staying at our house!

This has to be dealt with!

- Fine!

Then deal with this!

I never slept with her after
you and I got back together!

But that was my child,

and I wasn't gonna walk away.

- So you just lied to me, to everyone!

- Cheryl and I were friends,

we were parents together, that's it!

- Why are you insisting on
pushing this stupid story?

- Because it's the truth!

I just tried to make everything
all right for everybody!

I didn't want you to leave me!

I didn't think you'd understand!

- I don't!

- I didn't wanna lose you then

and I don't wanna lose you now.


Cassie, give me a chance.

- You give me too much credit.

I don't have that kind of generosity.

(solemn music)

As far as I'm concerned Mark,

this conversation is over

and I truthfully hope there
aren't anymore like it.


Erica would like to see you.

And I think that she should.

Because this is even more
her tragedy than it is ours.

(Mark sighs)

(birds chirping)

- Put that on there.
- I'm beating you!

- That's the way.
- I'm almost done.

- [Kevin] Right.

- Yeah.

- Ugh.

Oh, paper-mache.

She wanted to make something for Dad.

I remembered the
ingredients from cub scouts,

it's just the measurements I forgot.

(Erica giggling)

Oh, you think that's funny do ya?

Do ya, huh?

- Yeah!

- [Erica] We used up all your flour.

We had to mix it three times.

- Hey!

Who asked you, huh?

(both growling)

Well, I give up.

Hers looks better than mine anyway.

I'm going to wash up.

- And then you'll help
Erica with the mess, right?

- Duh.

- [Cassie] Kevin.

- Yeah.

- [Cassie] Thanks.

- Hey, no problem.

- I haven't forgotten about graduation.

We'll make it special
in spite of everything.

- You don't have to.

It doesn't matter to me.

- Did you see my Dad?

- I did.

He's moved into a room of his own

and I can take you over.

- Can Kevin come too!

- Another time.

Why don't you go get ready

and I'll clean up.

- Okay.

- Are you okay?

- Is he.

Does he have bandages on?

- No.

- Well, is all the blood off?

- He's a little black and blue,

and you'll see some scratches,

like when you skin your knee,

and he has a little tube in his
arm but it doesn't hurt him.

Do you want me to come in with you?

- No.

(slow paced music)

- [Mark] Hi buddy.

- Hi.

(Mark laughs)

- I'm okay, you can come closer.


(Erica crying)

(dog barking)

- What am I supposed to do?

I'm not a grief counselor, I
don't know how to handle this.

- If you say so.

- I do.

- Then case closed.

- Well he didn't give
me any choice, did he?

Erica's almost eight.

Remember those few months that
Mark and I were separated?

I figured that's when it happened.

- So he had his temporary dating license.

- He was still with her.

He was with her on the plane!

Don't you get it?

It means the last eight years
of my marriage had been a lie.

- He wanted another child Cass,

and when you couldn't have one--

- He wanted?

I wanted.

And blaming myself for
not being able to have one

was the main reason we
split up in the first place!

I can't believe you're taking his side.

- I'm not taking...

(dog barking)

- Cassie.

I think I remember my Moms sisters name.


I think it's Judy Evans.

I never even met her.

- Hello, this is Cassie
Whitman from Salt Lake City.

If this is still the right
number for Judith Evans,

will you please call 801-555-0199?

This is in regard to your sister Cheryl

and her daughter Erica.

Thank you.

- [Erica] Come on!

- Oh!

Ah ah!

- [Erica] Awe man!

- [Kevin] Oh, there's
two points right there!

Here we go!
- I'm gonna win!

- Oh!
- Have the ball?

- [Kevin] There ya go!

- [Erica] She shoots, she scores!


- [Kevin] All right, give me five.

Atta girl!

(school bell rings)

- You don't have to come in.

- I told your teacher I might.

I thought since you'd miss so many days--

- [Erica] I'm okay.

- Do you have your note?

- Right here.


(glass clanging)

- What are you doing here?

It's 10 o'clock!

- It's a dumb assembly second period

and then I gotta pick up my cap and gown.

- That's not the point.

- Don't you have enough to worry about?

- You're the only kid I have.

- Yeah, I know, lots of pressure.

- Kevin, how would you feel if I told you

your Dad might come home for a while?

Just til he gets better.

- Mom, tell me you're joking!

- He really has nowhere else to go

and he's gonna need a lot of help.

- Don't let him do it to ya Mom.

You always try and be so nice,

you can't make it nice this time.

- [Judith] This is
Judith Evans from Denver

returning your call.

I don't know who you are Mrs. Whitman,

but this is a big shock to me.

I hadn't spoken to my
sister in a long time.

I didn't even know that
Cheryl had a daughter.

I was devastated when
I heard what happened.

Look, look, I'll try to
reach you again later.

Thanks, bye.
(machine beeps)

- Hi.

I do appreciate everything
you've done Cassie.

For me, for Erica.

- I've moved in to the family room.

- You didn't have to do that.

- I didn't do it for you.

- How are we gonna get past this?

- We're not.
(solemn music)

(bells rings)

- I'm not gonna use a bell.

- Suit yourself.

Do you want me to help you get into bed?

- I can manage.


I was never going to leave you.

- Why would you?

As long as you could have it both ways.

- [Mark] Stop it!

- It must've been your finest hour.

Two women, both of them
desperate for your love.

- She didn't love me.

She was glad when you
and I got back together.

- Yeah, what did she want from you then?

- Nothing for herself, only for Erica.

- Ah, Cheryl must've been a saint.

- Let me know when you're
finished being sarcastic.

- That offends you Mark!

That offends you!

Oh, forgive me, forgive
me for reacting at all!

- Cassie please, I'm sorry!

I love you!

Trust that I love you.
(melancholy music)

- I was awfully naive Mark.

And I was happy.

Trust was part of my deal,
it's not there anymore.

You made a baby with her!

After we prayed so hard and
tried to have another child.

After all we went through trying!

How could you do that?

Didn't you know how much I loved you?

(kids shouting)

Put on your seatbelt.

How was it?

- When did you start doing fractions?

- I can't do them.

- Oh, didn't the teacher
explain them to ya?

- Yup, it didn't work.

Mommy said she learned with an apple pie.

We were gonna make one and she was gonna

cut it into fractions
before I could eat it.

- Sounds like a plan.

- I want her to come home.

I miss her too much.

- She would never go away on purpose,

you know that don't you?

- Then why did she go on that trip?

- Well, people go on trips sweetheart.

You're gonna go on trips,
I'm gonna go on trips again.

We can't be so afraid
we don't go anywhere.

The world's too big!

It's too interesting, hm.

We wanted to see the camp.

Your Mommy wanted it to be the best camp

for when you went away for the first time.

- I'm not going there.

- You don't have to.

- Maybe you could make a pie.

(Mark laughs)

- Well, maybe I can draw one.

- What kind?

- What kind would you like?

- Peanut butter with
marshmallows and raisins.

- Oh, that's disgusting!

- We're just drawing it,
we don't have to eat it.

(Mark laughing)

- The physical therapist just drove up.

- Oh, okay, I'm ready.

(doorbell rings)

- Mrs. Whitman?

- [Cassie] Yes.

Oh, come in.

- Oh, thank you.

- Cassie.

- Oh, hi.

I know I should've called
when I got into Salt Lake,

but I just thought I'd come on over.

I know it's a surprise,

I was just hoping you'd be home.

- I don't understand, aren't
you the physical therapist?

- No, I'm Judith Evans.

Cheryl's sister.

Look, maybe I was wrong to come over.

Is this a bad time?

- You're right, this is a surprise.

I expected you to call.

- Yeah.

I wanted to see the little girl.

- Erica.

Her name is Erica.

- Erica.

You haven't touched your french fries.

- I'm not very hungry.

You don't really look like my Mommy.

- Sometimes when I smile I do.

- Let's see it.

No, you don't.

She was really beautiful.

- I know she was.

- I didn't mean that you weren't pretty.

- I know.

Did she ever tell you about me?

- Just that you didn't like her.

How come you didn't?

- Erica, it wasn't a matter of liking.

I loved your Mom.

When we were little we were best friends.

It's just, well as we got older,

she chose to live a different way

than the rest of her family.

- I'm her family.

- I know.

I'm sure your Mom loved
you more than anything.

You know, I have a little boy.

His name is Jason.

He's only five, but he's your family too.

I bet you'd like to meet him.

- No thank you.

Could we go back to my Dad's now?

- I'm gonna stay in Salt Lake tonight.

Maybe tomorrow after school
we could go to the park?

- I have a lot of homework on Thursdays.

Can we go back to my Dad's now?

- All right.

- Well hi.

- Thank you very much for dinner.

- Of course.

She didn't eat anything.

- I can get her something.

- She's very grown up.

I guess it comes with the
territory of single parenting.

You know, my sister was an unusual woman.

- So I've heard.

- Very talented artist, very smart,

she just always had to make a statement.

Always had to go against everything

the rest of us believed in.

- I didn't even know your sister.

- Yeah, well she really made
a mess of things didn't she?

I'm sorry.

- [Cassie] Erica really misses her.

- To be honest, I can't imagine

what kind of mother she was.

I'm sorry, I never had a
chance to see her with Erica.

- She's a really nice child.

- I appreciate what
you're doing Mrs. Whitman.

I would like to see Erica again.

My husband and I are in
town for a few more days.

- Well maybe you could call next time.

- That was just a spontaneous decision

just to show up here.

I'm not usually impulsive.

- Like Cheryl was?

- Yes.



- Please tell Mr. Romano thanks.


(door knocking)

Hi, come in.

- [Will] Hi, how are ya doing?

- Good, you know I'd actually forgotten

how good it feels to work like this.

- Well come on, I came
to take you to lunch.

- Oh, I can't.

I've too much here.

Kevin's graduation, I
have to get these invoices

in the mail while the nurse is with Mark.

Another time?

- Okay.


how's Erica?

- Excuse me?

- Mark had to confide in somebody.

- Since the beginning?

- Yeah.

He set up a trust when she was born

in case anything happened to him.

It wasn't a lot of money, but--

- Spare me the details, please.

You know, when I asked you before

you said you didn't even
know who Cheryl was.

- Cass please, it was a
lawyer client confidence.

I couldn't say anything.

But since then I've had
a good talk with Mark.

Are you gonna stay with him?

- That's none of your business.

- Look, if it means anything,

I told him he should've been

upfront with you eight years ago!

- He certainly didn't
take your advice, did he?

- No.

But don't be too hard on him.

In his mind he thought
he was protecting you.

He really believed that.

- I have a lot of work to do.

- Cass.

I hate to see ya like this.

It certainly doesn't suit you.

(slow solemn music)

- When are you gonna
start locking your door?

I swear, you'd think it's
still the 60s out there.

- I wouldn't know, I was
just a baby in the 60s.

(Hope chuckles)


- Picked up Kevin's cake.

Figured I'd save you at least one run.

- You didn't need to do that.

- I know, but I need to
work off some of this guilt.

I've been kind of hard on you lately.

You know, I don't know why I think I have

to be the devil's
advocate all of a sudden.

- It's all right, I love you Hope.

I appreciate your honesty.

- You sure?

Okay, then why don't you let
me sample some of that cake

and I can tell you what I really think.

- You're bad.

- Oh I know.

- Very bad.

- I know, but it looks good!

(dog barking)

- Hi, you better get a move on.

- Why are you making this a big deal?

- Oh I'm not, but your uncle Alec said

he might come down.
- Mom!

- [Cassie] It's not a big deal.

Dinner from Romano's, that's it.

- Hey, hello Kevin!

- This wasn't the plan.

Why is he dressed up?

- Well you knew Dad would
wanna see you graduate,

I just assumed--

- Well you're wrong!

- Come on Kevin, this isn't the time--

- Bull!

I'm sorry Erica.

You're back in your dream world.

- No I'm not, I thought it would be okay.

A truce for one night!

- It's not okay Mom!

You should've known it wouldn't be okay!

- Kevin, fine!

Stop it!
- Forget graduation,

- [Kevin] I'm out of here!

(door slams)
(solemn music)

(dog barking)

(bell ringing)

- Want me to go?

- No, no.

(ominous music)

(Mark grunts)

- My chest.

I can't breathe!

Help me Cassie.

(machine beeping)

- [Nurse] Here are the blood gas results.

- I wanna EKG, chest x-ray,

and a VQ scan stat.

And see if Dr. Rosen's in the hospital.

Can you understand me Mr. Whitman?

All right, we've increased the oxygen flow

and that should help the breathing.

Are you still experiencing pain?


- Yes.

- All right, well, we'll
get you comfortable

as soon as we can.

We've run his arterial blood gases,

I suspect a pulmonary embolism.

It's a blood clot in his lung.

- Oh my God.

- Now has he experienced any pain

in his calves in the last day or two?

- No, but this has been a
very stressful time for him.

- Oh, this has nothing to
do with stress Mrs. Whitman.

I'm afraid it's a result
of the spinal injury

and the fact that he's been immobilized.

- What do we do now?

- Well it's a setback.

Now how much of one?

I really can't be sure.

Now I've called a pulmonary specialist

and I'll know more later.

- Don't leave me Cassie.

- I'm here Mark, I'll
see you through this.

- No, I don't mean that.

- Please, don't talk about this now.

- No, please, I want you to understand.

The only other person
in my life was Erica.

(clock ticking)

- [Erica] Cassie.

- Huh?


You all right?

What time is it?

- I don't know.

- Can't sleep huh?

- What if my Daddy dies too?

- Do you keep your promises?

- Yes.

- Good, me too.

I'm gonna make you a really
important promise, okay?

- Okay.

- Whatever happens, I promise you will be

with someone who loves you,

who will take care of you,

and who will make you
part of their family.

And I promise, that I will absolutely,

always tell you the
truth about your Daddy.

Good or bad no matter what.

- Do you think he's going to die now?

- No.

The doctors don't think so either.

He has some lung problems

but they believe they can make him better.

- Do you think when you make us move away,

me and my Dad can go back to my house?

- I don't know.

- You promised you'd answer.

- Erica, there are some things

that I don't even know myself.

That your Dad doesn't even know.

There is no answer.

It's time we both went to sleep.

You wanna sleep in here with me?

It's a little small but
I think we both can fit.

- Yeah.

- Yeah.


- [Erica] Goodnight.

- [Judith] Cassie, hi.

- Oh, hello.

- Thanks for seeing me.

- You know, it probably
would be better for you

to wait and talk to Mark.

- I feel more comfortable talking to you.

Well can I get you some coffee?

- No, thank you.

I have a class in 15 minutes.

- Well then I'll get right to it.

I've spoken to a lawyer

and I'm arranging to get temporary custody

of Erica and take her home.

- To Denver?

- Yes.

I made some terrible
mistakes with my sister,

I'm gonna make it up to her

by giving Erica a home.

- I can't imagine Mark agreeing to that.

- He doesn't have a choice.

- He is her father.

- I have a copy of the birth certificate.

His name isn't on it.

So far there's no will

and I'm only Erica's living relative.

- Well that's not the case at all!

And why would you wanna
take her away from her Dad

when she just lost her mother?

- Because she doesn't belong here.

I have a little boy of my own,

I'm a good mother, my
husband is a wonderful man,

I didn't agree with my
sisters choices in life,

but I want Erica.

- I can't speak for Mark

but I know that he loves his daughter.

I have to go.

- She's probably asking
for temporary custody

until the guardianship
hearing can be held.

- Can she do that?

- I think so.

I mean, family law is not my field.

- Family law is not your field?

You don't do liability?

What good are you?

(Will chuckles)

- Okay, then you ask me some questions

about mergers and acquisitions.

Come on, I dare ya.

- What do I do now?

- Well, I'll find somebody
for you now, okay.

But first, tell me why
you're taking all this on.

- What do you mean?

- Well have you told Mark?

- No, I wanted to have
a few options first.

If nothing else, Judith Evans even turning

up in the first place is
my fault, I called her.

I was so worried about
trying to get rid of Erica

that I didn't even think of what

the consequences might be.

- Do you think Mark wants custody?

- [Cassie] Well I assume.

- How about you?

- [Cassie] It has nothing to do with me.

- [Will] It does if
you stay together Cass.

What about Kevin?

- Well, he's struggling with all of this.

He's staying at a friends.

I'm trying to get him
to just talk to his Dad.

- You're a good person Cass,

and I know Mark is gonna
appreciate everything

you've done once this is all over.

- Hey.

- Hi!

I missed you.

- [Kevin] Is Dad gonna be all right?

- Yes.

- Was it my fault?

- No.

- [Kevin] I didn't want
anything bad to happen to him.

- I know you don't.

- This whole thing he did,

it kind of pushed me
where I wanna be anyway.

I'm just staying tonight.

I just came to pick up my stuff.

- Well where are you going?


- Donny's brother and his friends,

they need another housemate
and it's really cheap.

And I'm pretty sure I got
the job at the video store.

I can handle it myself.

- Nobody's asking you
to handle it yourself.

- I know, but I want to.

Look, I only went through
graduation for you

and I don't wanna go back to school.

- Yeah, but you don't have
to make a decision right now.

You have a provisional acceptance--

- My head's not there Mom!

- You'll see, you'll be
motivated by other college kids.

It won't be like high school.

At least give it a chance.

- It'll be a waste of time and money.

Look, I've had it with school,
I wish you'd understand.

- It's not what I want for you.

- I know, I'm sorry,

but I can't do it for you.

(doorbell rings)

- [Man] Mrs. Cassie Whitman?

- Yes.

- I work for Judith Evans lawyer,

these are for you.

Mrs. Evans has asked
that you have the child

ready for pick up at four o'clock.

- You don't mean today?

- I'm afraid so.

- Couldn't she wait until Erica's father

comes back from the hospital?

- I guess you'd better call your lawyer.

(door slams)
(thunder rumbling)

- I don't wanna go.

- I know.

The judge says you have to.

I spoke with your Dads lawyer,

he said if I don't send you
I'd be breaking the law.

But that doesn't mean you have to stay.

It's only temporary.

Even the judge says that.

Your Dad won't let this happen Erica.

He loves you too much.

He'll get you back.

- You're making another promise?

- Yes, I promise.

(solemn music)

- Hi Erica.

- Hello.

- I'll call you tomorrow.

- Okay.

- Will you hold this a second honey?

- My guess is she didn't tell the courts

she knew who the father was.

Otherwise, she'd of
had to give him notice.

That's the smaller issue.

The real question here is,

did your husband legitimize his child

by holding her openly as his own.

And keeping her existence from you,

Mrs. Evans may be able
to argue that he didn't.

In any case, we'll need
to establish paternity.

Now if your husband
chooses to challenge her,

I think this will be a
protracted custody battle.

And the one that will be
hurt the most is Erica.

(phone ringing)

- Hello?

Oh no.

When did you last see her?


- [Kevin] Yeah?

- Kevin!

Erica left the hotel,

her aunt is frantic.

- When?

- She's not sure.

She put her to bed a few hours ago,

when she went to check she was gone.

- Did you call Dad at the hospital?

- I haven't yet.

I don't know whether to call or not.

- What are you gonna do?

- I'm gonna go look for her.

I think I know where she might be.

- I'll come with ya.

- No, you stay here, she might turn up.

- She could never find her
way here from downtown.

- Sure she could, she showed
me where her school was.

She even knows how to take
a bus in an emergency.

Her mother taught her how
to take care of herself.

I should never have let her go.

(slow paced music)
(door creaking)

(light gentle music)


- How did you know I was here?

- I know you love this
place, it's your home.

- I wanna stay here.

- The sun is just coming up,

you wanna take a walk?

- Okay.

- Okay.

(birds chirping)

You can't live alone Erica.

- You don't believe me.

I wanna stay at my house.

I can take care of myself.

- I do believe you,
it's just that ti's hard

enough to be a grown
up when you have to be.

And I hope you're not
finished being a child yet.

It's the most wonderful time of your life.

It's not supposed to be
just waiting to grow up.

It's very sad that your Mommy died.

Kids aren't supposed to have that happen.

But you know what I believe?

I believe that your Mommy
is watching you right now.

And that she really wants for you

to be loved and cared for.

And wherever you are, she's
gonna be watching over you.

- You really think that?

- My Mom died right after I had Kevin.

And I remember her every single day.

And I think she's been
keeping an eye on all of us.

- Even when you're so mad at my Dad

because of me?

- It's not because of you.

- Yes it is.

Is she keeping an eye on you then too?

- I hope so.

My brother is bringing
your Dad home today.

Why don't we go by there

before I take you back to Judith's?

Sound okay?

(slow paced music)

- [Erica] My Mom and Dad
never got mad at each other.

- [Cassie] That must've been nice.

- [Erica] My Mom said it was
because they were just friends.

You fight more when you're
in love with someone.

- [Cassie] I think your Mom was right.

- [Erica] That's sad too, isn't it?

- [Cassie] Yeah.

- It's too big.

- Maybe we could put it on a chain.

- And then when I'm bigger it'll fit me.

And my Mommy will know I have it, right?

- Right.

(slow paced music)

- Hi.

- Are you better?

- I'm getting there.

Can I get a hug?

- How come you didn't
tell anyone about me?

Cassie didn't know.

- Because I was selfish.

I thought I was protecting people

but I just wasn't being honest.

- [Erica] Even with my Mom?

- No, I was honest with your Mom.

- You hurt Cassie's feelings.

- I know.

- [Erica] Did you tell her you were sorry?

- Yes I did, but,

I told a very big lie Erica

and sometimes just
being sorry isn't enough

to make the hurt go away.

- I don't wanna go with Judith Daddy.

- I know, and I'm gonna get better

and I'm gonna make things right.

- Cassie says you'll
have to talk to a judge.

Maybe I will too.

- [Mark] That's right.

- [Erica] She promised you'd do it.

- I promise too.

Come here.

(Mark sighs)

I love you Erica.

- [Erica] I love you too.

- Erica.

You ready?

(door knocking)

- Hi.

Thank you.

- [Cassie] Are you staying a while?

- No, we're gonna go home

and wait until a hearing date is set.

- Erica.

Your aunt Judith doesn't
know you very well yet,

but she's going to love you so much

because you're very easy to love.

You remember who's watching out for you.



- Bye.

- You think this is a good idea,

out here alone on the cement?
(Mark chuckles)

- Probably not.

But then I'm famous for my bad ideas.

Look, I owe you an apology.

What I did was unconscionable.

Now I want you to come home.

- No Dad.

- I'll be out of here.

It won't be too long.

Your mother deserves to have you with her.

- Don't Dad!

It's just another kind of guilt trip.

I wanna be on my own.

I've told it to you guys
a million different ways

but nobody listens to me!

- [Mark] How the hell do you think

you're gonna support yourself?

- I've got a job.

- What?

$5 an hour and all the
videotapes you can eat?

Come on, the whole idea's ridiculous!

- Now that you've judged me
as usual, are you through?

- You're too smart for this Kevin!

It's a bonehead choice!

- But it's my choice!

You don't have to like it!

- You're 17-years-old!

You think you don't need us!

- I sure as hell don't need you!

- Stop it!

We have to let him go Mark.

- [Mark] We are supposed to protect him

from mistake likes this!

- Then how does he learn?

- It's way too soon!

- What do you wanna do?

Lock him in his room?

Take away his car keys?

This is what happened to me know you.

I went along with the routine,

I quit tennis when I was told

that college was more important.

I married you and quit
my job when I had Kevin.

- What are you saying?

You made a mistake or you
saying you shouldn't--

- No, I'm saying I did
it without thinking,

without weighing the possibilities!

But when Kevin went to school

and my life wasn't
working I blamed everyone,

especially you because I felt so empty.

Kevin is willing to take responsibility.

And I want him to have the chance

to make it or fail without
us getting in his way.

You're very clear about what
your options are aren't you?

- Yeah.

- And you're not closing the door

on going back to school later?

- [Kevin] No.

- Let him go Mark.

Have faith in him.

I do.

Hey Bird.

- Hi Cassie.

Anything they didn't prescribe?

- I'll be back for some
more refills next week.

- Hey, I almost forgot.

Mark never picked these up.

I'll put 'em on the account.

(slow paced music)

- [Cassie] Who were these people Mark?

Did we make them up?

(Mark chuckles)

- I don't think so.

- Why didn't you tell me?

I would've told you.

- No.

You may have told Hope,

I don't think you would've told me.

- This isn't all your fault.

- Sure it is.

- When you slept with
Cheryl we were separated.

And you love me.

- I did.

- I didn't love you then Mark.

I didn't' sleep with anyone else but,

which one of us was unfaithful?

- That's semantics Cassie.

- The sad thing is you
thought I would leave you

or ask you to give up that little girl.

What's even sadder is
you might've been right.

The lawyer said you don't have to

give up on Erica just yet.

- I don't wanna give up on us either.

I think it would be a big mistake

to think this thing to death Cassie.

(solemn music)

(Erica crying)
(sirens wailing)

(door creaking)

- Erica?

Oh honey.


What have you got there honey?

- My Mom gave it to me.

- [Judith] She did?

- Sort of.

- Your Mommy took good care of you,

didn't she Erica?

- We took care of each other,

but she still had to be the grown up.

Cassie said she's keeping an eye on me.

Do you think she is?

- I do.

Cassie's right about a lot of things.

She was right when she said
you were very easy to love.

I want you to be happy Erica.

- Then how come you won't
let me stay with my Dad?

- Oh.

(light upbeat music)

I brought her home.

- I'm so glad.

- [Erica] Can I go upstairs and see Daddy?

- Yes.

Yes, I'll get your things.

- Goodnight Erica.

- Would you like to come in?

- No.

I would like to see her once in a while.

- Of course.

- All right.

- Thank you.

(Erica laughing)

- I surprised him.

- You're not kidding.

- [Erica] You were right,

my Mommy made Judith bring me home.

- I know.

Erica, your Daddy and I
have decided to try again.

- I'm gonna stay here with Cassie.

- Because you're friends now?

- Because we love each other.

- Okay.

- We really wanna make it work.

- I do too.

- It's getting late.

You wanna sleep here tonight?

- Are you?

- Yes.

- I don't think so.


- Are you

going to sleep in here?

(slow gentle music)

(slow gentle music)