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THERESA Chapter 47

| Feb 22, 2010
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Theresa graphicThe Story So Far (TGF subscribers can read earlier installments): As usual, the cast and crew of Romeo and Juliet gathered in the theatre lobby after their performance to chat with friends and fans. Terri soon found her former dramatics professor, Dr. Hauser, who congratulated her enthusiastically on her performance. The lift from that was quickly offset by the presence of Martin Kovak, his little notebook, and (no doubt) too many notes. Then Phil and Stan arrived, accompanied by Terri’s old friend Jeri Mason, now married to Phil and the mother of Stan’s baby sister.

Things were a little different after the next night’s Shrew performance. Terri drew little attention. Dr. Hauser didn’t seem to recognize her, and Phil and family weren’t there. Neither was Kovak. Back at her hotel, Terri had no sooner put Jessie to bed than Phil arrived, accompanied by a man with a court order giving the Norrises custody of Jessie. The Norrises were right behind the court officer, and they happily got Jessie dressed and ready to go. After the raiding party left with Jessie, Terri sent Phil away with a tongue-lashing and then cried herself to sleep.

The next morning, wondering why I felt so unrested, I forced myself to get up. Memories of last night raced through my mind. Had it been a dream or reality? Jessie’s bed was empty – it must have really happened.

I made myself wait until 9:15 to call Mr. Squires – he wasn’t very friendly until he’d had his nine o’clock coffee to bolster the cup and a half he’d had at home. I expected him to scold me for being stupid – I would have had to agree with him – but he was actually quite sympathetic as he questioned me on last night’s events.

“I’ll see if I can get the court order modified to require Mr. and Mrs. Norris to keep Jessie within the boundaries of the State of New York,” Mr. Squires said. “I’ll also try to arrange for you to have visiting rights. Are you coming back to the city soon?”

“In a few days,” I said. “I’ve been working quite intensively with my understudy, and I think she’s ready to take over my Juliet role. Rudy thinks he has a line on a new Petruchio, so I’m hoping to be back by Sunday or Monday.”

“Good – the quicker the better.” He told me to call him as soon as I returned.

***

The Players’ bus took us to Williamstown that afternoon. During the next few days, Rudy put my understudy through her paces and pronounced her ready to raise Romeo’s libido. He also reeled in the potential Petruchio he’d been recruiting and signed him to a contract.

“I’m sorry I let you down, Rudy,” I said as he drove me to the bus terminal.

“It’s all right,” he said. “If I’d been a little smarter, I’d have found people to fill in for you before we did the Syracuse gig. I knew you had to stay out of New York, but I thought we’d be able to come and go before your in-laws found out.”

“And we might have if it hadn’t been for our friend, Martin Kovak.”

“Yes. I should have known better about him, too. Things always seem to happen when he’s around. Not always good things, either. He’s not above manipulating people if that will get him a good story.” He swung the car up to the bus terminal entrance. “Good luck to you, Terri, and thanks for everything. The Players will always have a spot for you if you decide to choose the Great Green Boondocks over the Great White Way.”

“It’s been fun,” I said. “I’ll keep the beautiful Berkshires in mind.”

***

I returned home via Greyhound Bus Lines on Monday. My first order of business was to call Mr. Squires and make him aware of my second order of business, a visit to the Norris apartment. He urged me to think things over for a few days before dropping in on my in-laws.

“Did you get visiting rights for me?” I asked.

“Yes. The judge was quite reasonable about that, but there are various stipulations. For example, you have to give the Norrises three days notice of any proposed visit, and you’re limited to two visits per month.”

“That’s reasonable?”

“I think so. The Norrises didn’t want you to have any visiting rights at all, but the judge said that was unreasonable and ruled against them.”

“How do I arrange a visit?”

“You tell me when you want to see Jessie and I’ll call the Norrises’ lawyer and we’ll set things up.”

“I want to see her as soon as I can – in three days, sooner if possible,” I said.

“I’ll call their lawyer this afternoon,” he said. “There shouldn’t be any problems. Now, I’m going to be free for an hour at ten tomorrow morning. Why don’t you come and see me then, so we can strategize a little and I can explain your rights and their rights under the terms of the court order.”

“That’s a good idea.”

“And if you should happen to run into one of the Norrises between now and ten tomorrow morning, be pleasant. Don’t be argumentative or confrontational with them. That could cost you dearly.”

“If I should see them, I’ll be as sweet as the flowers that bloom in the spring,” I said.

***

I arrived at Mr. Squires’ office at 9:55 the next morning and was immediately taken in to see him. “You don’t look quite like the flowers that bloom in the spring,” he said.

“I’m not,” I fumed.

“Let me guess. You went to see the Norrises.”

“Yes and no. I had a feeling…so I decided to check things out…”

“And?”

“And their name was gone from their mailbox. There was no name on it at all, so I went to the apartment manager’s office. They moved out a few days ago, but that’s all she knows, she said. She either doesn’t know or won’t tell where they’ve gone.”

Mr. Squires looked angry and then incredulous. “They can’t do that!” he said. “I’m going to call their lawyer. I talked to him yesterday, and he didn’t say anything about them moving!”

“Don’t be confrontational,” I said.

“Nonsense!” he said. “I’m going to confront him from every direction I can think of.”

***

The Norrises’ lawyer was out of his office, his secretary claimed, and he wouldn’t be back until mid-afternoon. Mr. Squires and I went back to Plan A, strategizing and helping me understand my rights and the Norrises’ rights under the court order. They seemed to have lots of rights and I didn’t seem to have very many at all, despite being Jessie’s biological parent.

When the judge granted me visitation rights, he also ruled that the Norrises couldn’t take Jessie out of New York State without the court’s permission. “I could almost hope they’ve taken her somewhere,” Mr. Squires said. “That would make the custody suit easier for us. But if they have, it might be very difficult to find them, so I’ll withdraw that idea.”

We couldn’t really do much strategizing until we knew where the Norrises had taken Jessie, so I went back home to await the phone call Mr. Squires promised to make to me after he’d talked to their lawyer.

***

Mr. Squires called a few minutes after five o’clock. “Good news,” he said. “We know where they are. Apparently they argued with their lawyer all afternoon, but he finally convinced them to give us their address, just a few minutes ago.”

“Where are they?”

“On Long Island. Mr. Norris retired a few months ago and they bought a house on Amber Lane in Levittown. They’ve been redecorating and furnishing it, so they were all set to move in as soon as they located Jessie.”

“I’m going there.”

I waited for him to say, “No, you’re not,” but he surprised me. “Yes, you are,” he said, “but not tonight. You have a court-authorized visit scheduled for 11 o’clock Friday morning. The Norrises agreed to that after finally giving in on telling us their address.” He looked at me in a serious, lawyerly way. “Just be patient and we’ll win this battle in the end. But don’t go charging out there until Friday. That could be a major mistake, and it could hurt you later. Just keep cool and wait until Friday.”

To be continued


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Category: Fiction

Hebe

About the Author ()

One of TGF's longest running authors, Hebe has been writing for TGF since the 1990s. With a focus on TG fiction she also has covered mythic crossdressing and recently has reported on TG events.

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