Beth showcases her paintings, Phillip publishes a memoir, and Peyton is deeply troubled.
"Guiding Light" may no longer be on the air, but Soaps.com has taken on the task of writing fictional stories about the characters in Springfield to pay homage to our beloved soap, and give the fans a chance to reunite with some of their favorites.
At her new studio, Beth thoughtfully unwraps each of her framed paintings shortly after they arrive, and begins placing them on easels. Her assistant walks in and hands her a stack of RSVPs, and reminds Beth that she has several interviews scheduled in the next couple of days. When Beth asks her assistant to cancel the appointments for the afternoon, she advises Beth that these appointments are with two of the biggest supporters of the Alan Spaulding Memorial Fund. Beth frets, "I don’t know what to do. I am supposed to meet with Peyton’s school adviser. I’ve already cancelled with her twice." Once Beth is alone in the studio, she begins to inspect the paintings that she has created since Alan’s passing. Each of the paintings sparks a memory of past and present Springfield residents and some of the most memorable moments. Unaware that Phillip has arrived, the portrait of Peyton causes Beth to dissolve into tears. Phillip comes up behind her, and wraps his arms around his wife’s waist and asks, "Please tell me these are tears of joy?" Beth quickly pulls away and retrieves a tissue from her purse. "I wish they were tears of joy," she says. "Honey, what could possibly make you sad about seeing how much you have created over the past few years? Besides, we are living our dreams. Your paintings are being presented in a highly acclaimed showing in a few days, my book tour promoting my memoir will start next week, and our children are healthy and happy," Phillip says.
Beth turns to Phillip. "I hate to admit it, but we may not be as happily ever after as we thought. I think Peyton may be in big trouble if we don’t get her some professional help soon," she says. "What are you talking about? What’s going on with Peyton?" Beth reaches into her purse, pulls out a letter, and hands it to her husband. "This is a letter from Peyton’s school. She has been disruptive in class, and her grades are slipping." Phillip scans over the letter. "Okay, so she has reached a rough patch. There’s no need for alarm. Why are you jumping to the conclusion that she needs counseling?" Beth returns to Peyton’s portrait. "There has been so much going on with us. You have been busy getting ready for your book tour, and helping me put this event together. I thought that I could handle everything with Peyton before I had to bother you with my suspicions." Phillip remains silent. "I think that Peyton may be suffering from depression and experimenting with drugs." Phillip gasps in shock. "Why do you think she is doing drugs?" Beth responds, "I don’t have anything concrete but she has all the symptoms. She is withdrawn, defensive and seems angry all the time. The least little thing causes her to blow up. Did you know that she quit cheerleading?" Phillip slumps to the floor. "She’s just a kid, Beth." She sits on the floor next to Phillip. "She’s a kid in trouble, and I don’t know how to help her." Phillip stands up, helps Beth to her feet, and kisses her. He tells her that after the art show, the three of them will have a long talk. They are unaware that Peyton has entered the studio. She quietly listens as they discuss how Peyton has become a troubled child. When they leave, Peyton enters with a butcher’s knife, and begins violently slashing Beth’s portraits.
- Ophelia Thomas