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Guiding Light Update Wednesday 4/26/06

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Written By Siri
Pictures by Boo

Gus and Harley – In the Light

Harley tells Gus goodbye at the Greentop Rehab Center. One of the workers instructs Gus that he needs to relinquish his belt, keys, watch and shoelaces; anything that he could use to harm himself or others. Gus is less than enthusiastic, but obliges. Gus reads the center rules that prohibit drugs, alcohol, visitors, loud music, TV, skipping group sessions and he sarcastically adds, no breathing then asks, “What do you do in this place”? The worker tells him, “Get you better”. The worker points out Gus’s symptoms of insomnia, fatigue, chills, tremors, difficulty in focusing. Gus tells him that he just needs to get the drug out of his system and then he will be fine. The worker explains that he will be there for as long as it takes. Gus asks if he can make a phone call and the worker tells him to refer to the rule list; making no phone calls. As the worker leaves Gus’s room, he locks the door. Gus tries the lock to no avail. He paces back and forth and keeps trying the door. The worker finally comes back into the room and announces that it is time for a compulsory exercise period. Gus unwillingly follows the worker out of the room. He sees another patient and asks him if he likes the place. The man tells him, “Just wait until you start climbing the walls” Gus is instructed to follow the worker and he makes an excuse to go back to his room.

Harley goes back to Company where she is playing with the boys, Zach and Jude. They are planning to do a science project making a volcano and she cannot figure out where to find potassium chloride. The boys both yell, “Ask Gus”. She explains that Gus is away and that in the meantime, she will help them. She tells them that Gus will be back to them soon. Suddenly Harley’s phone rings. It is the worker telling her that Gus was scheduled for exercise but instead, he slipped out of the facility. He tells Harley that he has no idea where he is. As Harley hangs up the phone she curses, “Damn you Gus. Where are you?” She walks outside and starts yelling, “Can anything ever just go right? You gave me your word”, when Gus suddenly appears. Harley slaps him in the face and kicks him then angrily tells him, “You promised”. Gus tells her that he will kick this thing but that he can’t do the rehab center. Gus tries to explain that he was locked in and he can’t feel like it did when he was in the cabin. Harley tells him that she doesn’t know what to do and wants to call Rick. Gus turns from her and very quietly utters, “I need to face my demon. And, I need to go back to the place where the demons first got hold of me”. Gus wants her to go with him. Harley cannot believe what she hears and she tells him that she loves him but she isn’t a doctor or a therapist. Gus, almost begging now, tells her that he can beat this thing with her with him. She fears that the pills are stronger than this ‘thing’ and it will be brutal. He tells her that life is brutal. “What if it doesn’t work”, she says pleadingly. Gus tells her that if it doesn’t work, he will go back to rehab.

Gus, very weak now, starts to stumble and fall as Harley tells him she cannot tell him no.

Gus and Harley arrive at the cabin. Once inside, Gus looks very frightened. Harley notices that he is shivering and Gus attempts to light a fire. He is very anxious and jittery and having difficulty with the simplest of tasks. Crying during the attempt to start a fire, Gus asks Harley for marshmallows. Panting and writhing he sobs, I’m sorry, I’m sorry”. Harley holds him very close to her. The clock showing the time 8:00 p.m., Gus is sweating, groaning and taking short breaths. He asks her repeatedly how long they have been there. She tells him only two hours. He says it is okay because the first 48 hours are the worse part. Harley continues to attempt to sooth him and Gus is pacing back and forth, shuddering, sweating profusely and gasping. Backed against a wall and sobbing, Gus tells her that when he was at the cabin before he often wondered if she hated him and if he would leave alive. Harley cries and tells him the problem is that they aren’t doing anything. She brings out a game called Contortion and says, “It will pass the time”. He pleads with her not to embarrass herself. She yells, “Do it!” Gus, gasping and pleading tells her he would rather eat broken glass or drink turpentine, but not play the game.

Harley wins the argument and they play the game. Gus is having a very hard time concentrating and falls down. He is in agony and crying uncontrollably, asking her again and again, “What time is it?” Harley soothes him by talking about an old instructor of hers at the police academy. She constantly reminds Gus to focus. Harley makes Gus sing sappy songs out loud and the time on the clock ticks, passing time very very slowly. They play table games and Gus, in a fit of rage and sheer agony, scatters the game across the room. Gus again asks Harley what time it is and she tells him he needs to focus on something else. She tries other strategies to keep Gus focused. Gus erupts and tells Harley that he cannot do this anymore yelling, “I am leaving. I am leaving”. He smashes a magazine in Harley’s face and tells her that he is coming apart from inside. Harley sits silently and listens to Gus rant. He turns to walk out and Harley jumps on his back. They go round and round. He slams her up against a brick wall twice. Running away from her, she grabs the back of his head and pulls him to her. Gus turns and throws her on a desk as she rebounds. Up she comes and kicks him against a brick wall. They continue to wrestle throwing punches at the other and end up outside as Gus tries to bolt. She tackles him, out of breath, yelling, “You’re not quitting on me. You are NOT quitting on me. If you want to leave, you’re gonna have to fight through me”.

Meanwhile, Alan-Michael and Dinah are sitting in a car talking. “Substance abuse is such a tragedy because it doesn’t just affect the addict”, Alan-Michael tells Dinah. He tells Dinah that Gus was in pain, Allen-Michael winds up in the hospital and all because of the pills Gus took. Dinah listens very intently. He tells her that something good can come from all of it and Dinah questions how. He goes on to say that they both want Harley to step down as CEO of Spaulding. Dinah agrees that bad PR would be enough for Harley to resign her position. Alan-Michael adds that blowing the whistle on Gus would ensure that he would never hurt Allen-Michael or anyone else again. The wheels turning in her head now, she says, “Let’s go”. Alan-Michael points out a cabin on a hill and tells Dinah that it is the same cabin where Beth brought Gus and Alan to after the accident. He also tells her that Gus is there now with Harley. She surmises that Gus is detoxing. Alan-Michael says that is a bad idea and Dinah wants to find a camera. He tells her that the problem needs to be kept a problem. She doesn’t understand. Alan-Michael tells her that if Harley can help Gus get off the pills, that it will make her look like a stronger leader. He proposes a plan to keep Gus on the pills. As Dinah contemplates this proposal, Alan-Michael tells her that he has what it takes to make things happen in life. He opens the glove compartment and retrieves a gun telling her, “If you don’t give Harley an exit strategy from Spaulding right now, you might as well take this gun now and shoot her, for that’s where you’re headed”. Dinah asks softly, “What are you doing with that”? Alan-Michael, with an evil look in his eye, asks her if she remembers when she couldn’t have Hart that no one could and that Harley did sleep with Allen-Michael so maybe she could settle the score. Dinah smiles ever so slightly at him. She says, “No kidding”. He continues that maybe she needs to act now with him instead of letting resentment build up, halts and says, “Bang, bang”. Dinah looks away and says, “Let’s do this”, as Alan-Michael smiles.

Meanwhile, back at the cabin, Gus and Harley are both crying. He pushes her from him yelling, “Get off me”. Harley, slowly getting up and exhausted cries as Gus looks at her with hate-filled eyes. Gus, after he has composed himself, tells Harley that he want so grow old with her. Harley, crying, tries to compose herself and asks if he is hungry. Time passes on. The clock ticks even louder and Gus grabs the clock telling Harley the clock has stopped. Alan-Michael appears outside the cabin, snooping around. Harley wants to take him to rehab and he tells her he can do it because he quit smoking, too. “It’s like Mark Twain said”, Gus says with effort, “I’ve done it a hundred times”. This gives her an idea and she leaves the room. Allen-Michael lurks on the porch, snapping pictures of Gus through the window. Harley returns to read from Mark Twain. Gus keeps muttering to himself that he is pathetic.

Suddenly, Harley’s cell phone rings. It is Dinah pretending to have a bad connection, speaking in broken words. “Harley…Zach and Jude”, Dinah fakes. Harley tells her there is a bad connection. “Did you say something about the boys”, Harley pleads. “Emergency…Company”, continues Dinah. “Did you say emergency….Dinah, Dinah”, pleads Harley. The connection is broken and Harley calls her father and Frank, but no one answers the phone. She frantically tells Gus that there is something about the boys and an emergency at Company. He tells her to go. She kisses Gus goodbye and walks out of the cabin, Allen-Michael lurking nearby.

After Harley runs to her boys, Allan-Michael knocks on the cabin door. Gus looks startled and answers the door. He asks Allen-Michael how he found him and Allen-Michael tells him he has a doctor-friend at the rehab center who told him about Gus checking in trying to kick pain-killers. Gus, with hate in his eyes, tells him to go tell their father that he (Gus) is a drug addict and having a hell of a time. Then, they can drink their brandy and smoke their cigars and go straight to hell. Alan-Michael tells Gus that he hates Alan, too, and that he is there as a brother only to help. Gus looks desperately at him but tells him he doesn’t need his help. Alan-Michael offers to take him to town as he slowly places a bottle of pills on the table in front of Gus. He tells Gus that Alan would have killed Harley himself as easily as he killed Phillip. Gus jumps up from the table gasping that he needs air and bolts for the door. Allen-Michael says, as he pockets the pill bottle, “Good idea, brother. I’ll help you”.

Harley arrives at Company in a panic asking Dinah if the boys are hurt. Feigning that she hasn’t a clue what Harley is talking about, Dinah tells her nothing is wrong with the boys and they are o.k. She tells Harley there was a bad connection and there was ‘no’ emergency. She apologizes to Harley that there was a misunderstanding. Harley tells Dinah she needs to get back as Dinah tries to get her to say where she’s going.

In Allan-Michael’s car, Gus asks him to go to a bar for a beer. Alan-Michael tells him that a beer wouldn’t do anything for him as he pulls the bottle of pills from is pocket. Gus says that those pills were the ones that got him messed up in the first place. He tells Gus it is the easy way. Gus, realizing he made a promise and that Harley will be back soon, tells Alan-Michael thanks for the help and gets out of the car. Dinah calls Alan-Michael and he tells her that Gus is horrible but not horrible enough. They will have to go with the pictures he took. She tells him she wants out for she is tired of doing his dirty work. He protests, “Whoa, whoa. You want Harley out of the picture as much as I do. So crank up that sultry little voice of yours and start whispering about Harley’s drug-addicted husband” and hangs up on Dinah.

Harley goes back to the cabin frantically searching for Gus. He comes back and tells Harley he took a walk. Gus starts asking about flying monkeys searching for him, falls to his knees, and pleads with Harley to lock him in ‘the room’. “Lock me in the room”, he screams in agony and fear. She does.

Gus starts screaming, “HELP ME! HELP ME”. Harley waits outside, listening as Gus continues to scream. Gus starts to hallucinate as he sees and hears Alan, Beth and Alexandra singing a silly song. “Come on son, it is your favorite song”, Alan tells Gus in a vision. He sees Allen-Michael as well. “It’s bad enough that I’m bleeding like a stuck pig but I have to listen to them”, vision-Allen-Michael taunts. Gus once again sees Alan, Beth and Alexandra loom towards him. “This is one party that I did not need to come to”, continues an irate Allen-Michael. Gus, gulping and sweating profusely, tells the vision-Allen-Michael that he is sorry he was shot. Gus keeps looking back and forth between Alan’s face and Allen-Michael. He explodes and tears up the room, screaming, bellowing, and crying. Harley covers her ears and sobs quietly. Finally Gus is quiet. Harley finally speaks, “You know what I wish? I wish that I could hold you in my arms and tell you that it will be okay”.

Harley reads to Gus a story that Zach wrote entitled: “My Very Own Policeman”. It is about Gus being Zach’s hero. Gus listens and says in a halting voice, “Zach thinks these things about me?” Harley tells him that she does, too. “Then I should start acting like one, huh”, says a very contrite Gus and he asks her to read it again, from the beginning. She starts all over…

At 8:00 a.m., Harley hears Gus knocking on the door asking her to let him out. Harley, startled, asks what time it is. Gus, very calm and collected-sounding, tells her that is his line. She opens the door and a very exhausted-looking Gus smiles at her. Harley tells him it’s been 48 hours. She asks if they could go home and a smiling Gus says it would be nice. She pets him as he lays his head in her lap.

They go to Company and find Zach and Jude. As the closing music plays, Gus reads a story to the boys from Mark Twain. Gus looks rested and healthier now, smiling and waving at Harley as she peeks through the window at her three guys. She turns away from Gus, a worried look on her face.

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