Port Charles Update Friday 9/19/03
Pictures by Juanita
Complaining to himself about how hard Madea is working him, Jamal turns the Silverhill Cafe's sign to "CLOSED" and pulls the shade. He sits down for just a second, and Madea finds him and barks out more orders. She wants him to do the dishes, wipe down the tables, stack the chairs, sweep, and mop. Although Imani tells her to back off some, she refuses, and Jamal works diligently in a futile attempt to please the woman. His efforts amuse Imani, and he makes some cracks about her grandmother. This leads to a playful towel battle between them. As they run around the room, Jamal catches Imani and dips her. They're both caught up in the moment until Madea calls out to them from the kitchen. She wants them to get back to work and stop fooling around. Trying to get serious, they get back to work. Jamal keeps bumping into Imani, who doesn't mind at all. Jamal points out that a small restaurant has its advantages. "Not if you're looking for some privacy," Madea states, ordering him back to work. She takes Imani aside to talk. She still thinks it's a bad idea to have Jamal around, because Imani will let her guard down and forget all about having secrets. If she doesn't stay sharp, she'll get burned, and any distraction is bad for her. Imani tells her that this feels right; it's the real thing. Madea loves Imani and needs to know that she's safe. Imani assures her that she couldn't feel any safer, but Madea points out that she can't feel too safe until this nightmare is over. If Jamal really isn't one of "them," they could be after him now because of her. Madea wants Imani to think about that.
Rafe is going through the mail when Alison comes home. She tells him to get his coat now or else they'll be late. Rafe has no idea what she's talking about. Alison states that it has to do with the wedding, and she'll tell him when they get there.
Caleb points out that Olivia looks surprised to see him. It's nice to know that he can still surprise her after all this time. "Well, I tend to believe a man when I'm standing in his doorway half naked and he slams the door in my face. Hey, that's just me," she says, referring to his determination to get her out of his life for good. She tells him that she has a date tonight with Jack. Grabbing her wrist, Caleb says that she's not going anywhere. Olivia would like to know what he's thinking. Caleb claims to feel completely embarrassed for throwing her out when everything inside him was screaming for her to stay. He doesn't know how she manages to get to him this way, but he hasn't stopped thinking about her. Olivia tells him that it's mutual. Agreeing that being apart doesn't make any sense, they share a kiss.
Alison speaks to a minister about her relationship with Rafe. She can't wait for the minister, a woman, to meet with both of them together, because they're perfect for each other. That's why she is so afraid. She knows that she will hurt him or even lose him if he ever finds out what she's done. She feels incredibly unworthy of his love. Alison just wants to get some sort of answer. She doesn't understand why God would let his happen if they really are destined for each other. The minister tells her that life is about being tested and challenged. Instead of asking why God did these things, Alison should be asking how she meets this test and becomes stronger from it.
Rafe's counseling session with the minister has many parallels and similarities to Alison's. Rafe knows that they have some problems, but they're working on them. The problems are nothing compared to his love for Alison; nobody else in the world understands them the way they understand each other. Rafe can be quite passionate about his work, and he admits that he sometimes lets that come before his passion for her. He knows that he can't do that, because she has to come first. His love for her is everything; it's the reason he's here. He can't help but think that if he had seen it sooner, he may have been able to keep her from feeling so much pain. He has never felt worthy of Alison's love. He will work for the rest of his life to try to change that and believe in himself as much as he believes in her, but he's afraid that he'll never be able to do that.
After Madea walks away, Imani gets back to work, filling a salt shaker at a table near where Jamal is cleaning. Jamal can see that something is wrong, and he doesn't want her to listen to her grandmother. Taking a booth, they discuss Madea's tendency to be overprotective. Jamal knows the look in Imani's eyes right now, and it means that she's having second thoughts about letting him stick around. However, he's not going anywhere, and she'll just have to deal with it. He's with her now because he wants to be. "I love you for saying that," Imani says. Stunned, Jamal asks her to repeat that. She stands up and says that she appreciates everything he's done. Jamal doesn't intend to change anything. Imani tells him that she's been doing this for a long time, and she's used to it. Her instincts tell her when it's time to take off, and although everything is fine for her, she's afraid for Jamal. She's grateful that he's there, but it's not too late for him to get out. Jamal informs her that it's far too late. He knows how he feels, and there's nothing to worry about if they're together. No one in town even knows anything about him, and no one in Port Charles knows where he is.
Outside the Elixir, the sheriff who has been tracking Imani consults his notes before looking in through the window.
Now in the minister's office with Rafe, Alison thanks the woman for seeing them on such short notice. The minister says that it was clear from the moment they walked in together that their union is a rare, precious coming together of souls. In fact, she could see the hand of God playing a part in their meeting and their marriage. Alison and Rafe both believe that with all their hearts. The minister continues that the odds are against them if they don't trust in their love for each other more than they do now. People make mistakes, and they should learn from them and move on. She wants Alison and Rafe to learn to forgive themselves and each other, because nothing eats away at a relationship more than guilt. They have the will, the tools, and the desire, and there's a clear bond between them. Alison acknowledges that they have many blessings between them. The minister counsels them to trust in each other and in their God-given blessings, and to use all their talents to help each other and never take them for granted. Rafe and Alison both promise to try. Excusing herself to give them a few minutes alone, the minister wishes them luck and invites them to call her anytime. Now alone with Alison, Rafe tells her that this was the best idea possible. Alison agrees. Confident that everything will be all right, they return home. They fall to the bed, where Rafe showers Alison with kisses.
At the loft, Caleb allows Olivia to seduce him. Afterward, he lies awake, staring at his sleeping lover. He recalls her promise to haunt him wherever he goes and never leave him alone. Caleb quietly states that he's well on his way to doing what she is so sure that he would never do. She won't be the only one, since Alison and Rafe have also tried to deceive him. Best of all, no one knows what's coming next.
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