The Painful Truth


AUTHOR: Abigail
EMAIL: Daphne_2000_us@yahoo.com
CATEGORY: KW
RATING: PG
SPOILERS: None
ARCHIVE: None
DISCLAIMER: By no way what-so-ever is this fanfic, or any other work I produce, in any way associated with Warner Bros., NBC, Constant C Productions, or any other company dealing with the production of "ER". I own no rights to the show, characters, storylines, ect. This is a piece of work done by me and no one else.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is my first fanfic done approx. three months ago. I would love to hear your input on it.
SUMMARY: Dr. Weaver is in search of her past, the truth, and her life. Stumbling across a few unknowns, a few tears, and finding a new friends, Kerry uncovers the her startling past.



Kerry pushed the rewind button on her answering macine, then calmly pushed play, once more. The solumn voice came back on, Kerry listened intently. It was the voice of Private Investigator Brian Riely. "Dr. Weaver, I have uncovered some important information involving your case. If you could please stope by this afternoon around 4:00, I would deeply appreciate it. Good day." Kerry stood quietly in her kitchen, this was the day she had been waiting for. She would finally have the answers she so desparetly wanted and needed.

Kerry glanced up at the wall clock, it was only a little after 2:00 and she wasn't scheduled to be on until 7:00. She would have plenty of time to run over to Mr. Riely's office. Kerry took a deep breath inward and exhaled slowly. The time that she had spent wondering about her past would finally be over, she would know. A slight tinge of guilt and pain crept over her, did she really want to know the truth, though? Kerry quickly pushed those thoughts aside.

Making her way over to the cabinets, she reached for a glass. Holding the glass carefully in one hand, she shut the cabinet door and headed towards her refrigerator. Gently, she sat the glass down, opened the refrigerator door, and reached for the bottle of chilled Chardenay she kept resting in the side holder. Sitting the cold glass bottle onto the oblong shape table, she shut the refrigerator door with her brace and turned around. Carefully undoing the cork of the bottle, she poured a small amount of red wine into her glass. Kerry lifted the glass into the air slowly and smiled a deep broad smile, "A toast," she said aloud, "to the future and all the promising events that will and shall occur." The glass quickly slipped from her hand and hit the floor with a crash, glass flew across the tiles and red wine stained the walls and cabinets. Kerry pushed the table chair away from the table, slid her brace off, letting it hit the floor. She eased herself down onto the hard over-stylish chair and laid her head in her hands. What was the point, she pondered.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kerry looked both ways before heading out into the traffic, the noise of the people around her was deafening. Quickly checking road signs, she realized that Mr. Riely's office was near. Taking a deep breath, she crossed over onto the drab gray sidewalk and headed in the direction that she assumed was correct. Checking her watch, she found that she would make the appointment with several minutes to spare. Kerry checked address numbers and stumbled upon the tall bricked building, with the green trim door. Painted along the doors glass window in gold lettering was, Private Investigator Brian Riely. Kerry checked the address she had written down on a piece of scrap paper. After she was positive she was at the right location, Kerry folded the paper quickly and slid it into her coat pocket. Sighing, she ambled up the hard concrete steps and latched onto the heavy door handle, pulling with great force, she opened the door and stepped in. An aroma of mold and dirt fell over. The decor was that of dark early original American style furniture and harsh portraits of old men graced the walls. A small desk was set up in the center of the room, with a rather young women behind it.

Kerry headed towards the desk, pushing fears aside. The young women looked up from the files of yellow paper and smiled gently. She appeared to be in her early thirties, dark black hair, which was pulled back in a tight bun. Her eyes creased at the corners, showing stress and tiredness. Her voice was sweet and gentle, though.

"What can I do for you today, ma'am."

Kerry smiled, "I have an appointment to speak with Mr. Riely."

They young woman nodded her head and checked her appointment schedule, which was hidden under a pile of investigative reports. "And you name would be?"

"Dr. Kerry Weaver, " Kerry replied almost unsure of herself.

"Yes, here it is, four o'clock." The woman checked her watch. "A bit early but I am sure he won't mind. Go ahead and go on in, the last door on the left." She nudged her head in that direction. "Just knock before you enter and state who you are."

Kerry nodded and thanked her. Circling around the desk, Kerry headed towards the door. Her hands trembled so, she could hardly keep grasp of her brace. Facing the door, Kerry took a deep breath and knocked lightly, three times.

A deep voice came from behind the door, "Come in, it's open."

Kerry opened the door gently and stepped through. In an instant, she entered another world. Mr. Riely's office was decorated in light colors, with a soft colored desk centered in the center of the room. He looked up, smiling. "Dr. Weaver, how nice to see you. I am so glad that you were able to make the appointment." He eased himself from his overstuffed leather chair and came around his desk. Pulling a chair out, he offered it to Kerry. "Please sit down." Kerry nodded and took the seat, sitting her brace against the side of the desk. Mr. Riely leaned against the side of his desk and smiled down at Kerry. "So, you must be concerned as to why I called you in here, I assume."

Kerry nodded her head in assurance, "Yes, somewhat concerned. I figured it dealt with the case that I had you working on."

Mr. Riely nodded his head, "That is does. Before we get started, can I get you a cup of coffee or anything?"

Kerry shook her head, arguing against it, "No, I'm fine, thank-you."

Mr. Riely agreed and backed around his desk, sitting himself down into his chair once more. "Dr. Weaver...."

"You can call me 'Kerry'," she interrupted.

He smiled, "Kerry. Using the information that you have given me and the time that I have had to uncover certain details, I have been able to learn quite a lot about your early childhood. Mostly, the time included from your birth unto when you were adopted at three months of age." Kerry nodded, intently listening to what he was telling her. "From what you told me, you hired another private investigator early on, approximately a year ago, is that correct?"

"Yes, that's true. I hired him, oh, at least two years ago. He seemed to have a promising lead, however, it turned out inconclusive." Mr. Riely nodded, Kerry went on. "I have been looking for my biological mother for some time now, however, I did take a break after the last lead was a let down. I just felt as if I couldn't put myself through the torture any longer." Kerry sighed, "Something hit me though, and I realized that I had to know the truth, no matter what it was."

"That's what I remembered," Mr. Riely answered back. "Now, from what you have told me, I have been able to do some extensive research on the matter. First, let me go over the information that I recieved from you a couple of months back. I want to make sure that I copied it all down right the first time." Kerry nodded, somewhat annoyed by the fact that he was brining this matter up now. Shouldn't he have checked with her on this information prior to now, say, when he began his investigation? Mr. Riely continued on, "Now, first, the information on your adotptive father's background." He cleared his voice, "Name: Franklin Weaver; occupation: mechanic; died at age 73; leaving only you and his wife, your adoptive mother, at his time of death. He was born in Vermont, correct?" Kerry nodded. Mr. Riely went on, "That's what I have written down for him. Now, your adopted mother. Name: Christina Weaver; occupation: homemaker; died at age 67, leaving only you as the only survivor. She was, too, born in Vermont, correct?"

Kerry nodded, "Yes, all of that information is correct. However, how does it intertwing with my biological family?"

"We need to know all information about your adoptive parents, that will lead us to where you wer adopted and lead us to where your biological family is located to this day."

Kerry sighed, "All of this information you are telling me, I already know. Why exactly did you call me in today, Mr. Riely?"

He reached for a heavy manila file, set it upon his desk, and flipped it open. "This is why, Dr. Weaver." He laid before her a written document, with her adoptive parents signature written upon it. "I have unconvered this. This document is the official adoption papers that your parents signed off on when they adopted you." Kerry reached for it, looking over the tattered yellow paper.

She stuttered, "But my parents told me that they didn't know where this was at. They said that the county clerk had kept these records, and they were considered confidential."

Mr. Riely nodded, "They are, I latched onto them when I told them who I was and what I was doing. It's a matter of knowing the right people, Dr. Weaver." He went on, reaching for the adoption papers. Kerry gently handed them to him, treating them with the value of gold. "Now, this leads us to your mother and the reason for why your were given up for adoption. If you will look at the top here, in the corner, it is signed by your biological mother, along with one other witness. Mr. William Megeveres was the local church priest at the time, he was signed off as the witness. Now, as for your mother's signature, it is signed off on as, 'Allison Mathers'."

Kerry tensed up, Allison Mathers, her mother. She was at a loss for words. Mr. Riely laid the paper down and looked at Kerry with inquisitive eyes. "Dr. Weaver, I have pulled up all prior information dealing with Miss Mathers. If you wish to hear it, I will resume our conversation." Kerry nodded, that had been the whole reason for doing this. Mr. Riely took a deep breath and continued on, "Your mothers name is Allison Mathers, she was 17 at the time she gave birth to you. You were born in the small town of Center Creek, Vermont. Currently, Miss Mathers resides in Michigan, she is 57 years old, married to Mr. James Harver, a local teacher. Together, they have three children."

Kerry smiled to herself, her mother, Mrs. Allison Harver, a mother of three besides Kerry. She was astonished, yet upset at the same time. Why had Miss Mathers given her up for adoption? Kerry knew the true answer. It wasn't a hidden secret, her adoptive parents had revealed it to her sometime back, when they were both still living. Kerry knew all along why she had been given up by Allison Mathers. It was a simple, logical answer. Kerry looked up at Mr. Riely. "Does the papers conclude as to why Mrs. Harver gave me up for adoption at the time?" Kerry knew, he knew, they all knew why. She had to make sure though, she had to know the truth. Kerry had gone this far, why not a bit farther?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kerry struggled to open the large door that led outside of Mr. Riely's office. She was shaking so badly and her hands were cool and clamy. Glancing at the crumbled paper she was holding tightly in her hand, she whinced. The painful truth had came out and she was not ready for it, not ready for it at all. Kerry ambled off of the steps and headed down the sidewalk, wide-eyed and in wonder. None of the words that Mr. Riely had told her registered, none of it made any sense, any sense at all. Kerry struggled to stay calm, making her way towards a bench, she sat down, leaning her brace beside her. Gently, she placed the wadded up paper into her coat pocket, and laid her head in her hands. The pain was overwhelming and the tears were coming at a constant stream.

Kerry cautiously unlocked her front door, peeking around before stepping in. Kerry shut the door quietly behind her, and hung her coat on the small hook to the left of the door, not before removing the piece of paper that told all from her pocket. Walking through the hall, she turned on every light, even though the sunshine was pouring through. Glancing at the wall clock, she noted it was a quarter till seven. She was on in fifteen more mintues, she couldn't go in, though, not in this condition.

Kerry turned the shower on in her master bathroom, and headed towards her bed. Sitting on the edge, she unfolded the paper and glared at the information: Allison Mathers Harver, South City, Michigan. Kerry concentrated on that paper, her hands still shaking. The strong vapors and steam came through out of the bathroom, engolfing her room. She reached for the phone and quickly dialed County's number. A rushed Randi answered, "Hello, County General ER, how may I help you?" Kerry could hear her popping her gum in the receiver. "Helllooooo??," Ranid echoed. "Yes, Randi, this is Dr. Weaver. Please inform Mark that I will be unable to come in today due to family problems. Thank you." Kerry immediantly hung up the phone, not giving Randi a chance to push in.

Kerry stepped into the shower, allowing the scalding hot water to pour over her. With one hand bracing herself upon the wall hanger and another at her side, she wept. Kerry remained in the shower for an endless amount of time. When she stepped out, her entire bathroom was a fog. Reaching for the towel, she quickly wrapped it around her and took a hold of her brace. Stepping through her room, she reached her closet. Grabbing her gray slacks and her light blue sweater, Kerry got dressed in silence. After she pulled herself somewhat together, she brushed on light bits of makeup, ran a comb through her hair, and headed back through the hallway. Quickly, she turned off all of the lights and walked towards the door. Reaching for her coat, she balanced herself and slipped it on around her.

Kerry made her way off of the El train and down the steps that lead to the ambulance bay entrance of County. As she made the corner, the faint sound of sirens filled the air. It was going to be a busy night, she felt it, and she hadn't even came here to work. Stepping through the ER doors, her eyes caught the sight of an over-crowded waiting room and doctors frantically running about. Lydia stumbled over her.

"Dr. Weaver, I thought you called in today?"

Kerry gave a faint smile, "Yes, I did. I need to speak with Mark, have you seen him?"

Lydia tilted her head to the right direction and noted Mark was in Trauma Room 1. Kerry nodded and took off, eager to avoid any run-ins with fellow staff. As she headed down the hallway, Lizzy stopped her.

"Kerry, I thought you weren't coming in today. Mark said something about a family emergency or such."

Kerry nodded, "Yes, that's true." The painful expression told all.

"Kerry, what is it? You know you can talk to me, after all," Lizzy insisted.

The tears welled up in Kerry's eyes, the flooding of the truth overwhelmed her. "Yes, Lizzy, I need to talk to someone, please."

Elizabeth was awe stricken, but calmly led Kerry into the lounge, where Lizzy proceded to shut the blinds and lock the door. Kerry headed towards the couch and eased herself into it. Elizabeth opted for the table chair, moving it just across from where Kerry was positioned. A concerned look flashed across Elizabeth's face. "Kerry, tell me what's wrong."

Kerry protested, "It's really nothing at all. I'm being overdramatic."

Lizzy urged her not to resist, "Kerry, I'm here, just go on."

Kerry sighed, "Lizzy, I really shouldn't burden you with my problems, I just..."

Lizzy spoke, in an under-rated soft-tone. "Kerry, it may not seem like you can talk to anyone here, but I'm here now. Please, something is bothering you. Talk to me."

Kerry nodded, "Okay, it's a long story, though."

Lizzy sighed, "Keeerrrry!!!"

Kerry smiled, "Well, you know I was adopted at birth, right?" Lizzy nodded. "I wanted answers about my past, I needed to know who my biological mother was, where she was, what she was doing.......why I was put up for adoption at birth. I needed to know for me..." Kerry sighed, "I hired a private investigator approximately a year ago. The leads he had were bad, he set my hopes up, then let me down in the end. I was devastated. However, I still had this deep down thing, I still wanted to know. About a month ago, I hired Mr. Riely to overtake the case. He is a state-ranked investigator, I mean...he knows what he is talking about and what he is looking for."

Lizzy interrupted, "Kerry, why didn't you just ask your adoptive parents for the truth?"

"They didn't know, that's why. My mother set up the adoption several months before I was actually born, however, my adoptive parents never knew why she actually wanted to give me up. They assumed it was because she was only 17 and she was all alone. There was no way she could support a child." Lizzy nodded, urging her to continue. "I learned the truth, the real truth today of my adoptive mother. Mr. Riely informed me of it when I met him for an appointment this afternoon."

Lizzy took in a deep breath. "Kerry, will you tell me?"

Kerry nodded, "I might as well. I need to get it out into the open, I need someone else's input on the situation." Kerry sighed, "This is really hard to tell, Lizzy."

Lizzy scooted over, onto the couch and put an arm around Kerry. She felt a tinge of akwardness, she never really got to know Kerry at all, and now, here she was listening to her life story. Lizzy smiled, "Kerry, I think it would help if you talked to someone."

Kerry sighed, setting her head in her hands. She could feel the tears starting to come, why had this happened to her? Why had this life been given to her? What had she done to deserve all of this? She knew that the answers would never come, all of it was just an open-ended statement in her life. Kerry lifted her head and looked at Lizzy.

"My mother, my biological mother, was 17 when she met this man. He was twenty-nine at the time. My mother was a waitress in a small-town cafe in Vermont. She came from a well-known family, her father was the President of the local bank and her mother was a house-wife. My mother was the oldest of five children, her name was Allison Mathers. Anyway....I guess, as the story is told my the local newspapers, an older man, by the name of Ronald Garrison came into town on the story of being an independent businessman. He supposedly came into the cafe, one afternoon, and started a conversation with my mother. He offerred to drive her home after work, and she accepted the offer." Kerry felt the tears streaming down, coming in streams down her face. Lizzy continued with her arm around her, offerring hushes of comfort.

Kerry took in a deep breath and spit the words out, with pain and frustration behind them. "He raped her.....left her at the side of the road to fend for herself. This was in the 1950's, Lizzy. Things like that just didn't happen back then. A local farmer found her the next morning and rushed her to the nearest hospital. They never saw a sign of Mr. Garrison, is was as if he fell off the face of the earth. They all assumed he crossed the border into Canada. The case was never followed up on. My mother never returned to work again at the cafe, she was ashamed and her parents took the entire even out on her. About four months later, my mother turned up pregnant. It was really a sad event, in the long run. My mother never told her parents. She took the nearest Greyhound out of town and headed a few hundred miles away. She stayed at the local women's shelter and filed the papers to give me up for adoption, three months before I was due to be born. On June 24, 1958, I was born in Center Creek, Vermont. A day later, I was turned over to my adoptive parents, Christina and Franklin Weaver. They never were told the underlying truth of the reason for my mother to give me up for adoption. They never knew it was because I was the result of a rape.....I wonder...if they had known, if they would have even kept me?"

Kerry couldn't go on, she broke down into tears. It was all too painful. Lizzy sighed, gently patting Kerry's shoulder. "Were Mr. Riely's facts correct? Is there any possible way that he could have you mistaken for someone else?"

Kerry shook her head, "No, it's all true. He showed me the legal adoption papers, with my biological mother's signature on them, along with my adoptive parents signature. He also showed me a newspaper article on the rape, it is all true." Kerry burst into tears again, then turned to Lizzy. "Elizabeth, I am the product of a rape....of an illegal, abusive, ill-tolerant, crime. We see women in this position sweep through the ER all the time, and never think twice about it, we say how badly we fill for them. Deep down, though, we are thankful it's not us and we look upon them as trash. Lizzy, I.....I'm the child of one of those women."

Lizzy sighed, this entire image that Kerry had painted for her was painstaking. She never, never thought anything like this could occur, it was impossible. She imbraced Kerry in a hug, while Kerry cried on her shoulder. After several moments, Kerry released from the hug and sat back, against the couch. She rubber her hands and her eyes and sighed. "Lizzy, I have to find my biological mother, I have to talk to her. Prove to her how thankful I am that she went through with the birth, tell her how I understand....Lizzy, I have to do it." Lizzy nodded, "Kerry, I will not let you go alone, I'm going with you."

Kerry shook her head, "No, Lizzy. I can't pull you into this. You have a life here, you have Mark, your work."

Lizzy refused, "Kerry, I can't let you do this alone, I will not let you do it alone. Do you know where you mother is now?"

Kerry nodded, "Yes, she resides in Michigan. He name is Allison Harver. Lizzy, please, I will be okay."

Lizzy stood up, shaking her head, her light red curls flying out behind her, "No, Kerry, we will head up and talk to Romano now. We will tell him of some medical convention that is being held. He will believe it and be all for it. Now, come on." Lizzy smiled, and held a hand out for Kerry to take.

Kerry smiled and took a hold of Elizabeth's hand, easing herself off of the couch. Lizzy had a determined look on her face. "How will you explain all of this to Mark, Lizzy?"

Lizzy smiled, "Mark? He'll buy anything!" She laughed gently and headed towards the door, unlocking it. "Come on Kerry, we will go catch Robert and tell him what is up, sort of." Kerry nodded, she was so numb at this point, she wasn't aware of anything.

The two of them headed up to the sixth floor to Dr. Romano's office. Kerry stayed behind Lizzy, who valantly walked the halls. Lizzy stopped and glanced back, "Come on Kerry, you aren't afraid of Robert are you?" Lizzy smiled and waited for Kerry. Quickly, almost too quickly in Kerry's opinion, they came upon Robert's office door. Lizzy rapped on it three times and the sound of Robert's off voice came through. "Who is it?"

Lizzy opened the door and peeked through, "Hello, Robert. Dr. Weaver and I would like to speak with you." Lizzy grabbed a hold of Kerry and led her into the office, Robert had a smug look on his face.

"What can I do for you fine ladies today?" He smiled, a deep dark smile.

"Actually, Kerry and I would like to make you an offer, it will really be a benefit to County." Lizzy was doing all of the speaking and for this, Kerry was grateful.

"And what is you offer, Miss Corday?" Robert inquired.

Lizzy smiled and took a deep breath inward. "Kerry brought in an article today about a medical convention being held in Michigan. It deals with better ways to prepare and build staff efforts for both the ER and the Surgery Department. We were talking and we believe that it would be a wonderful opportunity for us to go."

Robert glared at Lizzy and Kerry. "What? I haven't heard a thing about a convention in Michigan. Besides that, why would I want to send two of my best doctors off, when I can send someone like Dr. Greene and Dr. Benton off up there, instead."

Lizzy knew he would be a tough one to handle. "It's a convention set up by the University of Michigan, their medical program sponsors it. I realize it would be difficult to fill our positions, but we will only be away for a few days, five at the most." Lizzy gave him a broad smile, hoping he would buy it all.

Robert sighed, "Yes, I believe I read something about that convention, a yearly event or such. If I let you two go, I want a detailed anaylsis report about it and I expect to see drastic changes in the way the ER and the surgery department are handled." He turned to Kerry, "Are you positive you want to leave your ER in the hands of Dr. Mark Greene?"

Kerry caught her breath, then smiled, "Oh, yes, I am sure that Mark could handle everything. Like Lizzy said, it will only be for a few days and it will better help to manage and improve County as a whole." Kerry prayed that Robert would buy this line, she was surprised when he said he had actually heard about the convention.

Robert sighed, "Sure, okay. Go, have fun, leave me here to manage this hospital on my own."

Lizzy and Kerry decided to push it no farther, they both quickly got up and headed towards the door. Robert stopped them, "Oh, ladies." They both turned around. Robert gave them a quick smile, "Before you two go off on this calavanting journey, I want a detailed report of all patients you have seen within the past week, in case we have a bounce back incident. Thank-you and have fun!" He put his feet upon his desk and his hands behind his head, showing how much power he thought he actually had.

Lizzy and Kerry returned to the hallway. Lizzy glanced at Kerry, "A detailed report of all the patients I have seen in the past week! That will be well over one hundred reports." Kerry nodded, "I know. Lizzy, if you don't want to go, you don't have to."

Lizzy smiled, "Oh, quite being silly Kerry, of course I want to go! After all, this is the chance of a lifetime for County, remember?" The two of them laughed and for once during the past few hours, Kerry was actually somewhat relaxed and calmer.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Kerry sat up in her bed and glanced out of the window. Dawn was rising and the sun would be peeking through her curtains soon. She peeked at her alarm clock, it was already 6:37. She was supposed to meet Lizzy at O'Hare at 9:00. Kerry was still in awe that Lizzy had been so inept to going, it shocked her to say the least.

Kerry grasped her brace, which was leaning upon her nightstand, and slipped it onto her arm. Easing herself out of bed, she headed towards the bathroom and quickly turned the shower on. Walking towards the kitchen, she made her way towards the coffee pot. Checking the machine, she realized that in her haste of the night before, she had forgotten to set it to make the coffee this morning. Sighing, she went to the sink and filled the pot with the water. Reaching into the cabinet, she located her special stash of Raspberry espresso Blend and sat it on the counter. Gently pouring the water into the machine, she placed the filter in the holder and dumped the grounds into it. She flipped the switch on and headed back towards her room.

Side-stepping her luggage in the middle of the floor, she made her way towards her closet and sifted through the clothes that she had decided against packing. Trying to stick with fashion and comfort, she opted for her dark kakis, off-white blouse, and she would layer her brown leather blazer over the top. Kerry headed for the shower, hoping the warm water would wash all remaining worries away.

After Kerry had dressed and felt adequate enough to go out in public, she headed back into the kitchen. The room was filled with the rich and sweet aroma of her coffe. Smiling, she headed towards her oak cabinets and latched onto her favorite coffee mug. Gengerly and carefully pouring the mug full of coffee, she glanced up at the wall clock. It was only 7:43. She still had plenty of time before she needed to call the cab to come and pick her up. Walking through the house, she ended up in her den. The floor was scattered with old medical books and unfinished charts. She sat down at her desk and eyed the photo of her and her adoptive mother, which was positioned in the silver frame. Gently picking it up, she gazed into her mother's eyes. That was the only mother she had ever known, the only mother she had every cared for. What was she doing, going off in search of this woman...this woman that probably never thought twice about Kerry, even though Kerry thought of her on a daily basis. Kerry smiled at the picture, "Mamma, I'm not doing this to hurt you, I just want to know the truth."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The drab yellow cab pulled up outside the airport, Kerry had her head layed against the glass of the door. She sighed as it came to a stop and quickly paid the driver. He thanked her and got outside, heading towards the trunk of the vehicle to retrieve her luggage from the back. She pulled the door handle and allowed the door to swing freely away from the car. Kerry stepped out onto the sidewalk and managed to pull herself the rest of the way out of the car. The driver came around, lugging her luggage beside him. He sat it down at her feet. "There you go ma'am. Can I help you into the airport?" Kerry shook her head, "No, that's okay. I can manage." The taxi driver nodded and went back around to the driver's side of the cab. Kerry grabbed a hold of her luggage and managed to make her way into the main lobby of O'Hare.

She quickly caught sight of Lizzy and waved at her. Lizzy smiled brightly and headed towards Kerry. Kerry noticed that Lizzy only had one bag, a carry-on. Kerry smiled to Lizzy as she neared, "Hi, Elizabeth!"

Lizzy nodded in response, "I was beginning to think that you had backed out on our little journey, Kerry!"

Kerry shook her head, "No, the traffic was just backed up and the cab driver wanted to have a conversation more than he wanted to drive." Kerry laughed lightly. "Thanks, Lizzy, again for coming."

Lizzy smiled, "Oh, it's nothing! Don't worry about it. Come on, we had better head over and purchase out tickets." Kerry nodded and she bent down to grab a hold of her luggage. Lizzy stopped, "Can I give you a hand with those?"

Kerry looked up, "No, that's okay, I got it."

Lizzy crimaced and nodded, "Okay, if you are sure." Kerry smiled as she managed to pick the luggage up once more. "I'm fine," Kerry promised. The two of them headed towards the counter, to purchase their tickets. Kerry had already called the airport last night and confirmed that a flight would be able to get them close to where her mother lived. The closest in-route flight they could locate was one that stopped at Detroit, then they would have to fend for themselves and locate a taxi or Amtrack to take them the next fifty miles west to Garfield, Michigan, which is where Kerry's mother resides.

Kerry came around Lizzy and made sure she was the first one to the ticket counter. Kerry smiled at the older, balding man. "Hello." "Good day, Miss. What can I do for you?" Kerry glanced above him at the flight schedules. The Michigan flight was on time. "Yes, I need to round-trip flight tickets to Detroit, Michigan please." Lizzy tapped on Kerry's shoulder. "No, Kerry, I will pay for mine." Kerry brushed her hand away, "No, Lizzy, it's the least I can do." Kerry turned back around, facing the man, who's name tag read, 'Jason'. He was busy tapping on the keyboard, with a concentrated look on his face. "Okay, yes...there are several open seats for that flight. We have five seats left in Coach and ten seats left open in First Class." Kerry girmaced, "Two First Class Seats please." The man busily tapped upon the keyboard once more, "Together or separate?" Kerry thougth for a second, "Together please." He nodded and began entering codes into the computer. "That will be $2250.00 please. Cash or charge?" Kerry rumaged through her purse and mubled, 'charge'. He waited for her to hand him her credit card. She flipped through her wallet and pulled out her American Express charge card. Handing it to him, she turned back and glanced at Lizzy. Kerry smiled brightly at her, then turned back. He ran her card through the slots, then handed it back to her. Reaching under the desk, he pulled out two tickets. "There you go, two first class, round-trip tickets to Detroit, Michigan. Your seat numbers are located on the tickets. Enjoy your visit."

Kerry nodded and then turned back to Lizzy, who had a concerned look on her face. "Kerry, I could have paid for my own ticket!"

Kerry handed Lizzy her ticket and smiled, "I know you could have, but I wanted to. Please, just take it."

Lizzy took a hold of the ticket and smiled at Kerry, "Thank you."

Kerry shook her head, "No, thank you." Kerry checked the clock upon the wall. "We have about ten minutes before our flight takes off. We had better head towards the luggage drop-off and down towards the gate." Lizzy nodded, "After you!"

After they had went through security and checked their luggage in, they headed towards the gate. Kerry had to end up only being allowed to take on bag onto the plane, while Lizzy's carry-on bag was accepted. They headed towards Gate 10 in silence. Both of them had their minds on the trip. "Now boarding Flight 437 bound for Detroit, Michigan, Gate 10." Lizzy turned to Kerry, "That's us!"

Kerry smiled, glancing over at Lizzy, "Yeah, it is." Kerry looked ahead and spotted the Gate number. "There we are, right ahead." Lizzy looked up, "Well, at least we don't have to walk far!" They headed towards the Gate, tickets and luggage in hand. The attendant standing near the outside of the terminal was a short, brunette. She had a large smiled plastered across her face. Kerry went first, handing her her ticket, "Enjoy your flight, Ma'am." She handed Kerry the stub and Kerry crossed over, into the terminal. She turned and waited for Lizzy. Lizzy handed the attendant her ticket, and waited for the stub. The women smiled and returned the stub to Lizzy, "Enjoy your flight." Lizzy smiled, nodding gently and headed towards Kerry. They walked down the terminal smiling broadly, as two high school girls would after they had just snuck out of their parents house.

As they boarded the plane, Kerry searched for their seats. Heading into the First Class area, Kerry felt somewhat important. She turned to look for Lizzy, noting that she was following her. Kerry quickly located their seats and waited for Lizzy. "Would you like the window or aisle seat?" Lizzy appeared to think for a second. "The aisle seat, if I look out the window too much, you will have to take me off of this thing on a gurney!" They laughed at the joke and Kerry took her seat near the window. Sliding her brace off, she leaned it against the seat in front of her and watched as Lizzy set her carry-on bag up above them. Smiling, Lizzy took her seat and fastened her belt. Kerry thought this was rather amusing, realizing that they hadn't even called for everyone to place their seat belts on yet. Lizzy caught site of Kerry watching her and she smiled. "I hate these things! They scare me just a bit. When I was flying across the pond from London, I thought I would have an MI before I reached land!"

Kerry laughed at Lizzy when she said that. "Don't worry, this flight should only take a couple of hours, we will be there in no time." About the time that Kerry said that, the Flight Attendant came over the intercom announcing they would be taking off soon and everyone needed to fasten thier safety belts. Moments later, the plane was taxing down the run-way and they were in the air. Lizzy's grip upon her seat was painstakingly hard to watch. Kerry felt sorry for the hand rest. Once the plane had evened out and was on it's way, the flight attendants began wandering down the aisle, asking passengers for refreshments. A young women stopped at Kerry and Lizzy's seats, "Hello, ladies, is there anything I can get for you today? We have an extensive wine list, soda, water, and several snacks." Lizzy looked up at her, "I think I would like a glass of White Wine, please." "Anything else?," the women inquired. "No, that's all for me now." She turned to Kerry, "And what can I get for you today?" Kerry looked up, "Just a glass of spring water with a slice of lemon, please." The young woman nodded and went off to fill their orders. Lizzy turned to Kerry, "Usually, I don't drink, but it might relieve my nerves!" They both smiled and waited for their drinks to return.

Kerry woke up to Lizzy shaking her gently. "Kerry, wake up, we are about ready to land." Kerry brushed her hands over her eyes, trying to become awakened to what was going on. She was somewhat confused. Quickly, she rejogged her memory and remembered that they were on a flight to Michigan to meet her mother. Kerry fastened her seat belt and turned to Lizzy. "How long was I asleep?" Lizzy smiled, "Only a little over an hour." Kerry nodded and glanced out the window. Below her were lakes of water and hills of grass, tress and wide open space. She was shocked as to how beautiful it all appeared. Kerry glanced over at Lizzy, who once more had her hands wrapped around the arm rest. Smiling lightly, Kerry felt the place begin to lose alititude and hit the run-way. She closed her eyes and waited for the plane to come to a stop. As soon as she felt the plane come to a stop, she opened her eyes and found Lizzy staring at her. "Landing is the worst part," Kerry said with a laugh. They waited for the all-clear and unbuckled their belts. Lizzy stood up and reached for her bag, while Kerry eased herself out of the seat and grabbed a hold of her brace. Gently sliding it around her arm, she headed towards the aisle. Lizy had moved down a bit, leaving Kerry room to manuever. As they stepped off of the plane and on to the terminal, Lizzy looked at Kerry. "I can't believe we actually pulled it off!!" Kerry nodded, "I know, now, we just have to figure out how to get to Garfield!"

As they stepped out of the airport lobby and into the open air, Kerry took in a deep breath. The airport was rather small and out in the open country. It was nothing like O'Hare. Kerry glanced up at the sky, then back down. The sun was blinding and the sky was bright blue, not a cloud in site. Lizzy headed towards the edge of the sidewalk and flagged a cab down, one immediantly stopped and waited for the two of them to pile in. The driver, a young caucasion man, helped Lizzy and Kerry with their luggage and opened the back doors for them. Luckily, Kerry's luggage hadn't gotten lost in the travel, and they didn't have that to worry about. Once they were all settled and the driver was in the front, he turned around. "Where can I take you two ladies this fine afternoon?" Kerry gave him a polite smile, "Garfield, please. I think it is approx. fifty miles away." He nodded, "Yeah, I know where it's at. Not much there. Can't see why two city gals like you would want to go to Garfield." Lizzy smiled, "We are meeting someone there." He shrugged, "None of my business, I'm just the driver." He turned around and backed the cab out of the parking place.

An hour later, they drove past the city limit sign of Garfield, Michigan. The sign read, "City Limits of Garfield, POP. 753". Kerry smiled as they drove by, a small town, she was glad of that. She was afraid she couldn't have handled the hustle and bustle of the large town atmosphere.

The driver stopped at a stop sign and glanced in his rear-view mirror. "Were do you two want dropped off?" Kerry thought for a second, she was rather lost at the answer for that. Lizzy spoke up. "Could you recommend a nice hotel?" He laughed, "In Garfield? Well, I'll tell you this much, there aren't any plazas or hotel suites here. The nearest thing we have to that is a Bed & Breakfast over on 3rd Street." Lizzy smiled, "That will be fine, thank you." He nodded and made a sharp right hand turn.

Moments later, he stopped in front of a large Victorian style house. "Here ya go. Your total is $120.00." Kerry reached for her purse, but Lizzy stopped her. "I'm paying this time." She rumaged through her bag and came up with her wallet, pulling out $120.00 exactly, she handed it to him. Remembering a tip, she reached back in and pulled out a $10 bill. She handed him the money, then opened her door. Kerry latched onto her brace then opened the car door. The driver had already reached the trunk and had their luggage resting on the sidewalk waiting for them. Lizzy and Kerry made it up onto the sidewalk. "You ladies have a nice visit." They both nodded and watched as he crawled back in and pulled away, driving off down the road

Lizzy glanced at Kerry, "Well, here we are!" Kerry smiled, "Yeah, here we are. I still can't believe it, you know." Lizzy nodded, "Believe me, I know!" Kerry grasped her luggage and they headed up onto the sidewalk of the house. Lizzy glanced at the door. Written in large gold writing upon the window, it read, "The Seven Gables Bed & Breakfast". Lizzy glanced at Kerry, who shrugged her shoulders. Kerry reached for the door and opened it, upon doing so, a bell went off. The loud *ding* made her jump. Lizzy giggled. Kerry went ahead into the large open lobby. A scent of popouri and must overwhelmed her. She spotted the desk and checked back behind her to make sure Lizzy was following. Lizzy quickly shut the door behind herself and followed after Kerry.

Kerry headed towards the desk and sat her luggage upon the red-wood hard floors. Glancing around, she opted to ring the bell upon the desk top. Lizzy dropped her bags to the floor and whispered to Kerry, "Maybe they aren't open?" Just then, an older women appeared from around the corner. She smiled at the two of them and came up behind the desk. "Good afternoon ladies, I'm Allison Harver, what can I do for you?" Kerry lost sight of what was happening, she felt light and faint. The air turned cold and lights begin to blink *on* and *off*. Lizzy stepped around her, "Kerry are you okay?" Kerry nodded and whispered the words, "Yes, just a bit light-headed. I'm fine." Lizzy had a concerend look across her face. The woman behind the counter was equally disturbed. "Are you okay?" she questioned. Kerry looked into her deep blue eyes and smiled, "I'm fine, really."

Lizzy helped Kerry over to the over-stuffed dark leather lounge chair and eased down beside her. "Do you want to stay here, or should I take you to the hospital?" Kerry shook her head, "No, I think it's just he effects of the flight. Go ahead and check us in." Lizzy pursed her face up and nodded. She patted Kerry on the knee and got up from her crouched position, she then turned and headed back towards the counter. "Is your friend okay?" Mrs. Harver questioned. "Yes, she's just a bit whoozy after our flight. She will be fine." Mrs. Harver nodded, "Now, what can I do for you?" Lizzy smiled, "We would like a room please." Mrs. Haver checked the large book that lay open in front of her. "Two bedrooms?" Lizzy nodded, "Yes, please." Mrs. Harver reached for a key which was hanging on a hook behind her. "We have a two bedroom, one bath room available. Will that do?" Lizzy turned to Kerry, who glanced up and nodded her head. Lizzy turned back to the woman, "Yes, that will be fine." Mrs. Harver handed Lizzy the key. "You may pay when you leave. We serve breakfast at 8:00, lunch at 1:00, and supper at 7:30. You may either eat here or go out. However, the meals are already added in. How long will you be staying?" Lizzy took in the question, "Probably a few days, no later than four." Mrs. Harvers nodded, "Good, your room is Room #6. Take the stairs up and it's the last room on the right. The dining room is here on the first floor, through that hallway," Mrs. Harver turned, pointing to her left. "The backyard has a lovely garden and you are welcome to use the deb, which is through those French doors," she motioned to the back of her. Lizzy smiled, "Thank-you."

Lizzy turned from the counter and returned back to Kerry. She kneeled down and smiled. "Do you think you can make it up the stairs?" Kerry nodded, "I'm fine, Lizzy, I can manage." Lizzy pulled herself up off of the floor and watched as Kerry eased herself up. She was a bit wobbly, but none the worse for wear. Lizzy grabbed all of their luggage and followed Kerry up the stairs. Kerry was in a slight state of shock. When that woman had mentioned her name, it seemed as if the world fell upon her. That was her mother!! It was all so sudden to Kerry. She stepped upon the flat of the stairs and stopped at the top of them. Stepping aside, she waited for Lizzy to make it up. Lizzy stepped onto the second floor and glanced about. "She said it was the last room on the right." Kerry headed down the hallway, checking the doors. Stopping in front of the door marked #7, Kerry turned to Lizzy. "Room #7, right?" Lizzy nodded, she came upon the door, and dropped the bags to the floor. Reaching into her jacket pocket, she retrieved the key and unlocked the door. Opening it, Kerry heard her take a deep breath in. Kerry followed Lizzy through the door and found herself amist a room full of antique furniture and crystal. Kerry was over-taken by the sight. She headed farther into the room.Lizzy stood just inside the door, watching Kerry eye everything. She was also taken aback by the decor.

Kerry stood in the center of the room, gazing about. In the far left corner, there was a four post bed, it had a quilt over the top of it. One of the wedding ring design, if Kerry wasn't mistaken. Beside it was an oak stained night stand with stained glass panes put into the cabinets of it. Across from the bed was a beautiful oak vanity with a matching bench that was upholstered in deep navy velvet. The walls were decorated with original oil paintings depicting the Victorian Era. The carpet was that of a deep shag white and the walls were an off-blue. On the far right wall, a large picture window looked out onto the garden below, it was open and the curtains swayed in the breeze. Kerry gazed in wonder. To her left, their was a large door, leading into the bathroom. She glanced back at Lizzy who appeared to be in the same shape Kerry was in.

Kerry stepped forward, towards the bathroom. It was decorated in a light pale marble and a deep blue. It was extremely large with a garden bathtub and a separate shower. The counter was long with two adjoining sinks and two mirrors, set beside each other. The bathroom connected the two bedrooms together. Kerry ran her hand over the smooth marble, letting the coolness of it sooth her. She ambled into the other bedroom, expecting to be in awe once more. With little surprise, she was. It was decorated in the pale off-white color, with a four post bed resembling the one next door. It had the same furniture, only different pictures, carpet, and wall coloring. The window here was on the fall south wall facing the front yard. Kerry turned around, and came face-to-face with Lizzy.

"This is so spectacular," Lizzy cooed.

"Yes, it is really lovely," Kerry replied. Her mind went from the lovliness of the rooms to the woman downstairs. She headed towards the bed and eased herself upon it, letting her brace hang at the side. Lizzy came up beside her and sat down, eyeing her suspicously.

"Kerry, are you sure you are okay? I mean, you said you had flown several times before, so why would this flight have bothered you like that? I can take you to the nearest hospital and have you checked out, if you want." Lizzy still played on as being concerned, and she truely was.

Kerry shook her head, "No, Lizzy, it wasn't the flight. That's her....the woman downstairs...that's my mother."

None of it had registered with Lizzy when the woman mentioned her name earlier. It had merely went into one ear and out the next. Lizzy sat still, remembering what the woman had said. Allison Harver....Kerry's mother. "Kerry! This is so ironic, I mean, the name didn't even register with me! Well, this is wonderful, our search ended before it began, really. Kerry....Kerry....still there?"

Kerry glanced up, "Yes, I know, it is ironic actually. I didn't know what to do, she was so....so real. That's her Lizzy, my mother! What do I do? Go downstairs, wrap my arms around her and say, 'Hi Mom!'?"

Lizzy nodded, "It won't be easy but we can't back out. This is like the opportunity knocking on your door Kerry, it's fate. We were meant to show up here, The Seven Gables Bed & Breakfast, this is not irony, Kerry, it's the simple truth of a miracle."

Kerry stood up from the bed, readjusting her brace. She headed towards the window and glanced out at the street below. "I know, it is a miracle. I just don't know how to react. I can't be snoopy and act as if all of this has fallen under the pretense of a miracle, though. I have to assume that she doesn't know who I am at all, and the plain and simple truth that I know who she is." It was all to painful and confusing to Kerry. She turned around, facing Lizzy.

Lizzy could detect the struggle of the pain in Kerry's face. Trying to lighten the mood, she quickly smiled. She checked her watch, it was after 6:00. "Look, dinner will be served in a little over an hour. Why don't we freshen up a bit before we head down? Which room would you like and I can go ahead and settle in while you clean up."

Kerry though for a second, "The first one, if you don't mind. I love the garden view."

Lizzy smiled, "That's fine with me, I prefer the lighter colors anyway."

Kerry nodded, then crept away from the window. Putting on a smile, she bid Lizzy good-bye and went through the bathroom, shutting the door behind her. Elizabeth had placed her luggage upon the floor. Kerry ambled over, picking it up and took it over to the bed. She gently opened her suitcase and removed her clothing from it, laying it out so as it wouldn't appear too wrinkled. Kerry went over to the closet and opened the door. A strong smell of oldness and cedar shavings bounced back at her. She flipped the outer switch and an above light came on, illuminating the closet. She grabbed the metal hangers from the rod and went back to the bed. Cautiously and slowly, she hung her clothes upon the hangers and placed them back into the closet.

After this was done, she went over by the vanity. She could hear water running in the bathroom and assumed Lizzy was washing up a bit. Kerry glanced at herself in the long mirror. The dark tired circles under her eyes, along with the paleness of her cheeks made her appear much older than she was. She straightened her jacket and pants, approving the look somewhat more appropriate for dinner. Kerry grabbed her brush from her toiletries bag and ran it through her hair. After adjusting her glasses, she felt ready to go downstairs. Just then, Lizzy popped her head through the bathroom door. "Are you ready to head down Kerry? Dinner starts in about ten minutes."

Kerry hesitated, beginning to hate the idea, then nodded her head. "Why not?" The two of them exited their rooms and headed downstairs. The sweet aroma of fresh bread hit them the minute they hit the first floor. It was overwhelming. Kerry smiled to Lizzy, "Maybe this won't be so bad after all?" Lizzy nodded and went ahead of Kerry, heading towards the dining room area. They entered the room, finding it to be empty, with the exception of the large table adorned with food in the center. Mrs. Harver peeked through from the kitchen. "Ah, nice to see you two again. I'm afraid it will just be the two of us this evening. My husband had to stay at work late and you two are the only guests right now. Business is usually slower in the fall."

Lizzy stepped forward, "It all looks so delicious Mrs. Harver."

"Oh, please call me Allison."

Lizzy smiled, glancing back at Kerry who appeared to be ready to pass out once more. Lizzy turned back around, focusing on Allison. "I'm Dr. Elizabeth Corday and this is Dr. Kerry Weaver. We are from Chicago, visiting. You can call me Lizzy."

Kerry took this on as her cue and she stepped forward beside Lizzy, "And you can call me Kerry."

Mrs. Harver smiled. "Well, well, two big shot doctors from Chicago, how lucky am I? You two go ahead and grab a seat at the table, I'll join you in a second. Help youselves to the food, too." Mrs. Harver headed back into the kitchen. The sounds of rattling pots and pans echoed throughout the dining room. Lizzy took off towards the table, pulling a chair away from it and plopping down. She glanced back at Kerry. "Oh, come on and sit down." Kerry was hesitant but went forward. She picked the seat across from Lizzy, slid her brace off and leaned it against the wall. Kerry eased herself into the chair and stared Lizzy in the eye.

Kerry took a deep breath, "Lizzy, what do I do? Do I just say, 'Please pass the potatoes and by the way, I'm your daughter'? Maybe this was all a bad idea."

Lizzy shook her head, "Nonsense but don't draw it out, if you drop it on her the last day she might feel as if you were just being snoopy or something. I'm here to help you though."

Kerry nodded and began to speak, when Mrs. Harver came out of the kitchen, holding a basket full of rolls. She sat them upon the table and pulled the chair at the head of the table out. Sitting down, the eyed Lizzy and Kerry. She reached for the pot roast, placing two large pieces on her plate. She passed it on to Lizzy, smiling. "You city-folk are much on meat are you?" Lizzy laughed, "Oh, not me, I just adore a good pot roast." Lizzy threw a glance in Kerry's direction. Kerry smiled, "Me too." Lizzy placed a small portion of the meat on her plate than handed the rest to Kerry. Kerry stared at the meat, feeling so very strange. She was eating a home-cooked meal from her mother and her mother didn't even realize it.

Once they all had their plates filled with generous proportions of several types of food, Mrs. Harver striked up a conversation. "So, you two are doctors in Chicago?"

Lizzy nodded, "That's correct. I'm the Associate Head of Surgery and Kerry here is the Chief of Emergency Medicine."

Mrs. Harver seemed impressed. "What brings you gals to a small town like this?"

Kerry spoke up, "Oh, we just wanted to get away, that's all."

Mrs. Harver took the answer in strides and moved on. "Where are you originally from Lizzy? I love the accent."

Lizzy blushed, "England, I moved to the U.S. a few years ago when I was offerred a fellowship at County General in Chicago."

Mrs. Harver became lost in all of that and moved on to Kerry. "Where are you from Kerry?"

Kerry smiled, noting this would be a nice chance to jump in, "Originally I'm from Vermont."

Mrs. Harver's face became crinkled and jaded. "Vermont? How interesting. I used to live there."

Kerry hated to do this but she pursued the conversation as a complete dummy, knowing nothing. "Really? Where at in Vermont?"

"Oh, no where really. A small town, much like Garfield." Mrs. Harver smiled at Kerry.

Kerry wanted to keep going, "Mrs. Harver....Allison, do you have any children?"

"Why, yes I do, three actually. Two daughters and one son, all grown up and gone. I hear from them now and then."

Kerry wondered if she was included in with the two daughters, she felt so left out, alone.

Mrs. Harver spoke up again, "I miss them, very much."

Lizzy broke in, "I am sure that you do. Children are special, precious things. We should never forget them and always care about them."

Kerry shot a glance at Lizzy. What was she up to? Mrs. Harver appeared somewhat taken back.

"Yes, you are right, Lizzy. We should never forget them. Do you two have any children?" Mrs. Harver picked at her peas, smiling at the two of them.

"Me? Oh, no, no children yet. Although, I would love to have some." Lizzy's eyes sparkled at the mention of children in the future.

Mrs. Harver turned to Kerry, "What about you? Do you have any children Kerry?"

Kerry shook her head, "No, I don't. Which I am sorry for, too." All of a sudden, Kerry broke down. She couldn't handle this masquerade any longer. Weeping, she excused herself, latched onto her brace, and ambled up the stairs. Lizzy and Allison sat alone, confused by what had just occurred.

Mrs. Harver eyed Lizzy, "What was that all about? Are you sure she is okay?"

Lizzy shook her head, trembling. "No, I don't think she is okay. If you will excuse me, I think I'll go check on her." Mrs. Harver nodded her head, still appearing confused by the whole event. Lizzy gave a quick smile and left the dining room. She caught sight of Kerry as she made her way up the stairs. Lizzy followed at a quick pace, trying to catch her.

Kerry was crying uncontrollably, trying to climb the stairs, trying to get to her room...trying to make sense out of all of this. She was lost in a sea of confusion and her life-boat had already sailed away with any hope of an answer at all. Kerry could hear Lizzy coming up behind her, yet she made little effort to acknowledge her. By the time Kerry was at the bedroom door, Lizzy was only steps behind her. Kerry fumbled with the door knob, attempting to open it. Tears were streaming down her face. Lizzy came up behind her and grabbed a hold of the door knob, twisting it to the right, opening the door. Kerry headed straight for the bed, at a pace unrecognizable by her. She threw her brace to the floor and piled herself upon the bed, sobs pouring out. Lizzy headed towards her, with a concerned look upon her face, once more. She sat at the foot of the bed, eyeing Kerry.

"I couldn't do it Lizzy. I can't do it. I can't tell her she is my mother....I just can't."

Lizzy glanced around the room, searching for an answer. "Kerry, sometimes, you just have to face the truth and go forward. You have to do things that you never thought were possible, just to get on with your life. Kerry, this is one of those things. If you leave here now...in a day..in two...without telling Mrs. Harver the REAL truth, you will never be able to go on with you life in a complete manner. Something will always be missing and you will always know what it is." Lizzy reached back and pulled her curly red hair away from her face. Sighing, she turned back to Kerry. "You know what you have to do, but I can't make you walk down those stairs and confront the truth." Lizzy got up from the bed and headed towards the bedroom door. "I'm going back down to finsish my meal, either you can join or stay up here and I will attempt to explain it to Allison." Lizzy grimaced a smile and left Kerry's room.

Kerry laid back against the over-stuffed pillow and tried to contemplate her choices. Either she could walk down stairs and tell that woman what and why she had actually came to this whole-in-the-ground town, or she could stay in her room for the next two days and sleep. The latter seemed the wiser, although she knew what she had to do. Kerry shut her eyes, feeling herself fall into a deep sleep. The cool wind from her open window blew around her and they night bugs were out. Kerry headed into the dining room, with an eery feeling incircling her. She searched the small room for signs of life, finding no one. Hesisitantly, she headed towards the kitchen. A cool breeze blew by her and it sent chills down her spine. Gently, she pushed against the door, feeling it give way to her weight. Peering into the small, cramped kitchen, she found it empty. Gazing around, she noted the copper pots and pan hanging above the center island. Her gaze fell to the floor. Kerry's breath was taken away, there lay her mother...Allison...a cold gaze across her face. Kerry rushed over towards her, tripping over her brace which was annoyingly getting in the way. Falling to her knees, Kerry burst into tears. "Nooooo...." she wept. "I never told you the truth, I never told you who I am...Mother....."

Kerry awoke to a violent shaking. Mumbling to herself, she lifted her eyes. Lizzy was hovering over her. "Kerry....Kerry.....are you asleep?" Kerry sighed, "No, I just drifted off, I'm awake now." Lizzy sat once more at the edge of the bed. "I came into the room and you were moaning and twisting and turning. Did you have a bad dream?" Kerry sat up, "Yes...no...I'm fine. What time is it?" Lizzy stood up from the bed and went to flip on the bedroom light. Kerry shielded her eyes from the violent rays and focused her vision. Lizzy was checking her watch. "It's only fifteen after ten. Mrs. Harvers saved your plate, it's chilling in the refrigerator. I'm heading towards bed." Lizzy turned to go through the bathroom, but stopped at the door. "Kerry, possibly now would be a good time for you to talk to her." She waited not for Kerry to answer and hurried back through the doors, into her room.

Kerry sighed, bending over the edge of the bed, she reached for her brace. Easing herself up, she slid it over her wrist and on up her arm. Grimacing in the truth, she knew Lizzy was right. Why fight it, just go down and confront the woman. The worst thing she could do is deny it all and suggest that Kerry is lying. Kerry glanced in the mirror, but came to the conclusion it was a lost cause. Heading towards the door, she felt her hands began to tremble and the minor shakes moved throughout her body. Calm youself, Kerry, she told herself.

Somehow, she managed to make it down the stairs and to the bottom floor. All of the lights were out, except for the bright glow coming from the den. Kerry took a deep breath and headed towards the light. As she came nearer, the faintest sound of the TV came pouring over her. Peeking through the room, she smiled. Mrs. Harver....her mother...was sitting upon a large comfy couch, wrapped in a quilt, watching Saturday Night Live. Molly Ringwald was waltzing across the screen doing a rather insulting portrayal of a hooker. Kerry laughed quietly, making Mrs. Harver's turn.

Kerry flinched, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you."

Mrs. Harver shook her head, "Nonsense, I don't scare easily. Feeling better?

Kerry nodded, "Much, thank-you."

Mrs. Harver motioned for her to come on into the room, "Here, come sit down. I won't bite."

Kerry smiled, it had been a while since she had heard tha expression. Kerry walked towards the couch, trying to hide her limp the best way possible. She hated the thought of looking the way she did, she wanted so badly to impress her mother. Kerry fell into the couch, and slid her brace off of her arm, letting it fall to the floor. Mrs. Harver turned down the volume of the TV.

"That show, it's so stupid, it's almost funny!" Mrs. Harver shook her head.

Kerry nodded, feeling her responses had been limited to that motion alone. All of a sudden a compelling need to speak and tell the truth came out. Kerry turned to Mrs. Harver. "I was adopted at birth."

A stunned expression came across Mrs. Harver's face. "What, honey? What brought that on?"

Kerry shook her head, "I'm sorry...Allison...it just came out." Kerry hung her head in shame. "I'm here...because....my mother lives in Garfield.....my biological mother....I needed to find her and talk to her."

The look that fell upon Mrs. Harver's face was limitless. "I don't understand. What? Kerry.....did you find her?"

Kerry nodded, "Yes, I think I just did."

Mrs. Harver, shook her head. "Kerry...Dr. Weaver...you must be mistaken. I have no inclinition as to what you are talking about." A few moments passed, then a single tear rolled down her cheek. "I.....no.......you can't be.....that has been over forty years ago almost.....no.....no...The daughter....wait, no," Mrs. Harver turned to Kerry shaking her head. "How did you...why did you...you don't even know...."

Kerry stared at her, facing her fears. "You had a baby girl, didn't you Allison. You gave her up for adoption because she was the product of a rape. I know....I'm sorry to say it....I know."

Mrs. Harver stood up, throwing her quilt to the floor. "No.....you couldn't be her. Why?? She wasn't crippled...she was perfect...so delicate, tiny. You aren't her.....you don't even know for sure that I gave my baby up!!!"

Mrs. Harver was circling the room, her face bright red and creases forming on her forehead. Kerry was at a loss, why had she brought the subject up!! She had done it in such a poor way too, "I was adopted", hmmm....not the way to go obviously. Kerry was confused, she wanted to leave, go back to Chicago. She wanted to forget she had ever been here, go back to her regular life. Kerry stared at the floor, then back up at Mrs. Harver, who had tears streaming down her face. Kerry started to get up, but Mrs. Harver signaled for her to stay put. She then walked towards the couch and sat down beside Kerry.

"Look, I'm sorry I flew off. It's just....I don't know what to say. You waltz in here and then tell me you are my daughter, and you expect me to welcome you with open arms!" Mrs. Harver was shaking her head in a rather amusement of disgust.

Kerry glanced up at her, it was the first time she had actually studied Mrs. Harver. She was average height, probably not much over five and a half feet tall. She was small in stature, not weighing much more than Kerry. Her light strawberry blonde hair hung past her shoulders, in loose waves. Her eyes, once of deep blue, now were tired and faded. Kerry stared at her and saw herself, the resemblence was uncany.

"No, that's not what I except at all. I....." Kerry toned down, broke down, and lost it. Crying seemed to be a rather daily event on her part. What had she done? She had just walked in and destroyed this woman's life. All for what? The truth?

Mrs. Harver looked at Kerry. "How did you find me? Why did you even want to find me? If you knew everything about the past, why even bother?" She was ringing her hands, and shaking her head.

Kerry brushed to tears away from her eyes, "My adoptive parents didn't even tell me I had been adopted till I was twenty, since then, I have wanted nothing more but to locate you. They passed away over ten years ago, leaving me an only child and lost in a world of wonders and whys. I tried to move on, forget I had another life out there, but I couldn't. I hired a private investigator two years ago. He got my hopes up, then let me down, leaving me in a trail of disgust and hopelessness. Two months ago, an elderly woman came into the ER, she had sufferred a severe MI, heart attack. It had been brought on by years of congestive heart-failure. Her last words were, "I never told her I loved her", and when I asked who she was talking about, she said, "my daughter". Seconds later, she was gone. Those words awakened me to the reality that I had to find you."

Kerry watched Mrs. Harver, waiting for her expression to change. She turned to Kerry, "That still doesn't explain how you found me."

Kerry nodded, "I know. Let me go on. A few days after I had that experience with the elderly woman, I contacted a local private investigator. He had state-ranked back-grounds, the whole nine-yards. He knew what he was doing and he did it well. I gave him minor tid-bits of information and within a few months, he had all of this information lined-up for me. I just found all of this out a little less than a week ago. I had all of this information in my lap and I had to jump at the chance to use it."

Mrs. Harver was still in a state of shock. "He told you why, then, didn't he. He told you about the rape...how I gave you up even before I had you....how my parents left me alone and let me make it on my own."

Kerry nodded, "He told me everything. At first, I was upset, downright disturb my the fact that I had been the product of such a terrible inccident. I was scared, frightened, never in my wildest dreams did I think that that was the reason I had been given up. I preteneded it was for a more glamourous reason. When I knew the truth, it was painful, but I accepted it."

Mrs. Harver smiled, lightly, "And you came anyway? You don't hate me?"

Kerry shook her head, tears began rolling again. "I couldn't hate you...you gave me the chance at a wonderful life.....you gave me life. I admire you, I don't hate you."

Mrs. Harver smiled, then leaned in to give Kerry a hug, she hung on tight, not wanting to let go. Kerry embraced her, feeling an ease of pain lift from her soul. Mrs. Harver leaned back, staring at Kerry. "You don't know how much I thought about you in the past years, how much I have missed you. I felt awful for giving you up but I just couldn't keep you. At first, it was because I just didn't want to. I was afraid that everytime I looked into your eyes, all I would remember was that awful night. Then, later on in the pregnancy, a part of me had joined with you and I thought about keeping you. When my parents turned on me and I left town, though, I knew I couldn't do that. I could never support an infant. I realized the only right and decent thing to do was put you up for adoption. It hurt me to do it, but I knew it was what was best for you. That day you were born, I'll never forget it. I wanted to hold you and never let go. They only allowed me to see you for a short time, then they took you away." She wiped a tear from the corner of her eye and took a deep breath in. "I tried to memorize every tiny detail of you. Your deep blue eyes, the whispy red hair, you small feet and hands. When they took you away, I kept telling myself that I had done the right thing, it was what was best for you. I tried to move on after that and eventually I did, never, though, did I forget you." Mrs. Harver stared deeply into Kerry, "You were taken good care of, weren't you?"

Kerry nodded her head deeply, "Oh, yes, definetly. I was adopted by Christina and Franklin Weaver. They were church misionaries, when we weren't overseas, my father was a mechanic for the local auto shop. My mother," Kerry stopped, it was hard calling someone else her mother, when her real mother sat right before her, "my mother was a stay-at-home wife. We stayed in Vermont. I was the only child they had. Between church, missionary work, and me, their time was pretty limited. They were loving, though, deeply caring. Both of them passed away over ten years ago, like I said."

Mrs. Harver smiled, "I'm glad you were taken care of, that makes me feel better. And look at you now, a prestigious doctor in Chicago!! Hearing all of this, really makes me proud, Kerry." She still seemed to have a distraught look on her face. She was staring at the floor, her eyes embedding Kerry's brace. Kerry was heartbroken, she wanted to know why I wore the thing. Kerry knew why.....she never wanted to tell anyone...though, did she owe it to tell her. Mrs. Harver looked up, she forced a light smile, "Kerry, what happened to your leg?"

Kerry's head fell face down, she sighed. Why couldn't people look past that? It was always the main focus point of her life, and for that, she was hurt. Kerry looked up into her mother's eyes, she could tell her. Kerry smiled, "You want to know why I wear the brace? Why I walk with a limp? Why I am considered handicapped, disabled, crippled, and physically challenged?"

Her mother took it in as a shock, "Kerry, I'm sorry. I just wanted to make sure...know...that you weren't born that way."

Kerry shook her head, "It's okay, I'm use to it, and no, I wasn't born this way." Kerry sighed, then forced a rather small smile. "When I was a little over three months old, my parents took me on a missionary with them to Africa. While we were there, I became ill, extremely ill. It was determined that I was sufferring from poliolyelitis, polio. See, I received the vaccine when I was two months old, but missed my second dose at four months, because I was in Africa. I surcumbed to extensive hospitalization and medical treatments. I pulled through, luckily, with the only long term effects of the paralization in my right leg." Kerry sighed, then stressed a smile, "It's not too bad. I do have limited use of it and I manage all right. Because of the incident, my parents began to limit their traveling to missionaries. They were concerned that I might be more susceptable to diseases. When I was thirteen, I convinced them that we should make another journey to Africa. It's really beautiful there. I enjoyed it so much, that during my internship, I went back there and did some medical studies and research."

Mrs. Harver smiled, "Well, I can see that this handicap certainly didn't stop you to fufilling your dreams. It's all really gratifiying Kerry, to know that you have turned you life into such a positive outlook on things."

Kerry sighed, "That's the only way to live life, to the fullest. You can't let minor things set you back, no matter what they are. A person can't give up, no matter what the circumstances are."

Mrs. Harver tilted her head a bit and stared at Kerry, "I'm glad you didn't give up."

Kerry sat there with her Allison....her mother...all night. They talked and talked. It was like a huge weight had been lifted off of Kerry. All of her questions now had answers. The unconditional feeling that Allison seemed to have towards Kerry was truely special. Kerry couldn't imagine what it would have been like if she wouldn't have came, if Lizzy hadn't urged her, and if Kerry would have just flat out gave up. Kerry felt complete now....an empty spot had been filled in her life.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Three days later, Lizzy and Kerry left Garfield. Kerry left behind a new life, one that she thought she would never locate, yet she did. As they pulled away from The Seven Gables, Kerry waved to Allison and James, her new found parents. The shock and realization had hit her, already. The fact that they had accepted her with open arms was all that mattered. The fact that Kerry accepted them.....that was a granted fact of life.

By the time that the cab had made it to the airport, Kerry felt exstatic. As her and Lizzy boarded their flight, Kerry was floating on a cloud. This was the best that she had felt in years......it was so wonderful. During the flight home, Lizzy and Kerry sat in silence. Lizzy could tell how much Kerry had changed, she just had this different air about her. She seemed complete. As the plane neared O'Hare, Kerry turned to Lizzy. "Elizabeth, thank you, thank you for being there for me, for being there for me. You gave me a shoulder to cry on, even though you didn't have to. When we were in the lounge, you could have just pushed my problems and me aside, forgot all about it, and left me to decide what to do. Instead, you stepped in and helped me take control of the situation. You were a real friend and I don't have too many of those at County. Thank-you, Elizabeth."

Kerry could tell by the solumn expression on Lizzy's face that she was deeply touched by those few words. Lizzy smiled, "Kerry, I know that you must think that you are all alone at County, that everyone despises you, and that you can never turn to anyone for help. The fact of the matter is, Kerry, you have friends at the ER. You've been there for almost six years and you have definetly made an impact. If you would have brought this to anyone, they would have offerred a hand. I'm glad that I was the one that you talked to. Thank-YOU, Kerry."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As Kerry rounded the ambulance bay of County General, she spotted Lizzy heading off of the steps leading from the EL. Lizzy caught her glance and smiled, waving lightly to her. She waited for Kerry to catch up. Kerry headed towards Lizzy, smiling. She had never felt so happy, not for a long time.

Kerry made it to Lizzy and they both paused before heading in. "Well, we're back. I wonder if anyone missed us?" Kerry questioned, smiling broadly.

Lizzy shook her head, "I dought they even knew we were gone!"

They both laughed at each other and headed towards the ER doors. As they pushed their way through, Kerry caught the familiar aroma of the ER. The hectic scene reminded her how much she had actually missed it. Kerry glanced over towards the chairs, only coming to the realization that they were full. Randi looked up from the admit desk, with the ability to chop on a piece of gum and smile at the same time, she gave a quick wave to Kerry and Lizzy. "Hi, Dr. Weaver, nice to see you back. Mark wanted to talk to you the minute you got back in, he's over in Curtain Area 2 with a patient." Randi turned to Lizzy, "Hi, Dr. Corday. Dr. Kovac needs a surgery consult in trauma room 1." The phone began to ring and Randi picked up, "Hello, County General ER, what can I do for you?"

Lizzy turned to Kerry and laughed, "Maybe we should head back out towards Garfield! It was so much quieter there!"

Kerry shook her head, "No, I think I'll be in Chicago for a while. It seems to suite me, better."

Lizzy nodded and the two of them headed towards the lounge, to get prepared for another day at County General.




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