Julia Golde is sitting in her drawing room, surrounded by four of her children.
“I don’t think I can take much more of the chemotherapy, ” she says. “I feel so worn out after each course.”
“But, mom, the doctors are so hopeful about your progress,” says Marie, her second daughter.
“They’re only hopeful because I’m not dead yet, and they can still squeeze money out of us,” she replied.
“Let’s not talk about death right now. It makes me uncomfortable,” says Mark, her youngest son. “Besides, we have more than enough money to do everything we can for your recovery.”
“My dear Mark, your naivete can be so wonderfully refreshing at times, but right now, I wish to be realistic.”
“What do you mean?” asks David, the oldest son.
“I am thinking of stopping the chemotherapy and enrolling in the Hospice Program. I don’t want to keep going in and out of the hospital.”
“You’re giving up?” interrupts Marie.
“No, not giving up. Just acknowledging my fate. We all die sometime, you know. But I want to do it with dignity. I don’t want to go out fighting for every last breath. I want to be comfortable.”
“I think that is very admirable,” says Jason.
“What do you know about it?” asks David. “You’re just waiting for her to die so you can get your money and run out of here.”
Jason jumps up to attack David, but Julia calls out, “Stop! I know we have not been the most cohesive family over the years, but I will not have you fighting in front of me when I am dying.”
“Sorry,” says Jason to Julia. Julia looks at Jason with sympathy because she knows he is her most level-headed son.
“I want you all to be more practical. There will be no inheritance with my death. It comes with your father’s. All the money will go into a trust with your father as trustee and executor. I only hope he will not betray my trust.”
“Mother, give him some credit. You always accused him of cheating on you and we all knew that was never the case,” says David.
Julia is silent for a moment. “In any case, he will probably be very relieved when I am gone, making him ripe for any golddigger to snatch up.”
“Mom, how can you say that?” asks Marie. “You have been the anchor in this family. You ran the business. You ran society. He has always relied on you.”
“Very true. And I do not wish for this empire that I have built up to be suddenly taken away by some upstart who will catch your father’s eye when I am gone.”
“I promise you that I will do whatever it takes to keep that from happening,” says Jason.
“Yes,” agreed the others.
On the other side of town, Melanie Black is perusing the latest edition of Glitter magaine in her back room.
“Hello, gorgeous,” says Carl.
Melanie looks up. “How did you get in?”
“I still have a key, remember?”
“Well, maybe, I should have my locks changed.”
“C’mon, baby. Is that how to treat your long-lost and loving husband?”
“Why couldn’t you just stay long-lost? What do you want this time? I don’t have any money right now.”
“What do I want? I want to make you happy. I have a plan to make you rich beyond your wildest dreams. Aren’t you even interested?”
“Not really. Every time you come back here you always drag me into more trouble.”
“This time it’s a sure shot. Just listen.”
Later that day, David goes over to the Copperfield home.
“How are you feeling, Lisa?”
“I’m fine,” Lisa says stiffly. “Is this to be a social visit? Rick’s not home right now.”
“Good. I wanted to see you,” he says, putting his arms around her.
She tries to push him away. “This business has got to end now. I am not going to hurt Rick anymore.”
“Hurt him? Do you mean to tell me he knows of our affair?”
“No, and I do not intend for him to find out. So please leave.”
David laughs. “And what happens when our little bundle of joy arrives?” he says as he rubs her bulging abdomen.