GUIDING LIGHT SYNOPSIS 1/25/10 - 1/29/10
With Vanessa's support, Mindy finally confronted Billy about the lies he'd been telling about her mother.
"What? What could be so terrible?" Mindy demanded. "What did you do to my mama? Rob her? Rape her? Kill her?"
"Billy, for goodness' sake," Vanessa pleaded. "Look at your daughter. Tell us what's going on here. Tell her you didn't kill her mother."
"I can't," he confessed.
"Start at the beginning, Billy," Vanessa ordered.
"The beginning," Billy repeated. "In the beginning, there was a girl. I thought I loved her. I was a kid, what did I know? Her folks certainly didn't believe it. Or they believed and didn't care. She was 17. They got the law after me. First, they came to HB. I was way more scared of HB than any law. I thought my Daddy would stand up for me. Fix this, like he fixed my other scrapes. He wasn't having it. He thought jail would do me good. I got real mad. Stomping off, cursing, you ain't never going to see me again mad. Ducked the law, and stomped all the way to California."
"What happened to the girl? Is she my mother?" Mindy found her voice to ask.
"No. Truth just worked for my story, so I... No. Not her."
"I know it's not Dina."
"No, not Dina, "Billy agreed. "I used her name on the birth certificate because... Dina was there. Dina did know your mama. Knew you, too. Just doesn't realize it. The country club where we met, there was this waitress. Her name was Sue. Sue had a little girl. Blonde hair, blue eyes, maybe three years old? Always smiling, chatting up a storm. Her Mama called her Mindy. Sue knew she wasn't supposed to, but she brought her little girl to work with her. Didn't have a choice. She was all alone... It became a game for those of us who hung around the club, nothing better to do, hiding Mindy from the boss. We told her it was a game, too. She liked me. She said I was her favorite, because I played hide and seek with her. We'd see the boss coming, we'd hide... Sue liked me, too, I think. Maybe she was just grateful I kept Mindy busy while she worked. She kept the drinks coming. All I cared about."
"What happened to her, Daddy?"
"August 26," Billy said.
"Yeah. That's why I picked... Yes. Your birthday. Only 1969. That was... it was a hell of a year. All this anger exploding: anti-war protests, draft riots, occupying buildings. I'm not going to pretend I gave a rat's ass about any of it. When kids in the khaki jackets with fake blood on them turned up, screaming how blood money funds the club, I just ordered another drink... I barely paid attention when they showed up with real guns, announcing they were seizing the club property as reparation for war crimes... Till the one in charge announced that they'd wired the whole club with explosives, and no one was getting out till their demands were met.... Growing up, boy's got an image of himself. Figures, sure, I may be a screw-up now, but when the chips are down, I can be a hero. I believed that about myself. Even as I drank and screwed days, weeks, months, years of my life away, I still believed I wasn't a bad guy. I figured all I needed was a chance to prove myself, prove I could be like HB. Strong, decent, always doing the right thing. A real man. Turns out I was wrong. Turns out, I'm a yellow coward. Soon as the folks with guns said they'd be killing one hostage an hour, I panicked. All I could think about, all I cared about was getting out of there. I didn't care how, I didn't care who I'd need to push out of my way. They said they weren't animals. Not like the US in Southeast Asia. They said they had compassion. Said they'd let any women and children go. Sucked I wasn't either one of those. But I didn't let it stop me. I looked around and saw Mindy. All by herself. Don't know where Sue was. She didn't seem scared. I walked over, picked her up, told her we're going to play a new game. We're going to pretend she's my little girl...."
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