Melanie and her parents are on good terms. Daniel is living with Jennifer, and Carly has returned to work full time after her time in rehab. Her neighbor calls her one Wednesday afternoon to inform her that a pipe burst in the building and the apartments on her floor have been flooded. Melanie receives a call when walking into the hospital lobby area.
"Hello, this is Melanie," she responds.
"Hey this is Andrew from across the hall…" her neighbor tries to say but is cut off.
"Listen Andrew, I'm really busy, can this wait until later," Melanie deflects. In fact she was bored to death after she finished making rounds, she's just really uncomfortable talking to this neighbor in particular. She couldn't remember when she gave him her number, but she regrets it now.
"This is an emergency, there was a pip burst in the building, and our floor is flooded. They evacuated us. The landlord said that this may take a few weeks to fix," he rushes before she can hang up.
"WHAT!" Melanie yells and feels a headache coming on. "Okay I'll be right there, thank you.' She finishes while running her hand through her hair. Meanwhile Carly and Daniel walked into the lobby and saw their daughter in distress, immediately taking concern.
"Melanie what happened? Are you alright?" Carly and Daniel asked at the same time.
"No! My stupid apartment is flooded after a pipe burst, and it won't be fixed for weeks. I have to go clear some stuff out and find a place to crash. Dad, can I stay with you?" she asked with those puppy eyes.
"Sorry sweetie, but I live with Jennifer in the Horton Home," he said sympathetically.
"Oh right," Melanie replies deflated. "Mom, I know you're just getting back to work and everything, but would it be alright if I stayed with you?"
"I would love for you to stay with me, but I stay in a one bedroom apartment," Carly reasons.
"Oh that's fine, it can be like a sleepover, if you're okay with sleeping in the same bed with your 20 something old daughter, if you're in to that type of thing," Melanie rambled.
"Then it's settled, you're moving in with me for a few weeks," Carly said with glee in her voice.
"Yay I'm not homeless," Melanie cheered. "My shift ends around 6, but I'll be to the apartment around 10 if that's not too late".
"Come on Melanie, you're an adult, I'm not babysitting you. Here's a key," Carly chuckles with Daniel and hands over a key that's been long overdue. "That's for you to keep. I know your father gave you a key to his apartment, and you are welcome to mine anytime sweetie".
"Thanks mom," Melanie replies with a tears spilling from her eyelids.
11 pm at Carly's apartment
Carly is in bed reading Wuthering Heights for the fifth time and waiting for Melanie to come. At that thought, she heard a key enter the lock and she tried hard to contain her excitement.
"Hey mom, what are you doing up so late?" Melanie asked with a glow on her face.
"Waiting for my baby to get home, and re-reading my favorite book," Carly answers while putting the book in her nightstand.
"Sorry I took so long, I ran into someone at the pub and we talked longer than I thought," she explains
"No need to apologize for sweetheart, I'm just thinking of what it would've been like to know you as a teenager," Carly says while staring into space
"Trust me, you dodged a bullet. I was a party girl with a glamorous lifestyle who had no intentions of stopping," Melanie laughed while taking off her coat. "I'm going to go change in the bathroom, I'll be right out."
10 minutes later Melanie emerges in a black tank top and black shorts.
"So are you tired?" Carly asked.
"Not really, I don't fall asleep until late, I just wanted to be back early in case you were tired from surgeries today," Melanie replied.
"Hmm seems like you get something else from me, I'm a total nighthawk, I can't sleep until 1 or 2 am," Carly joked.
"That's definitely me! I have a surprise for you though," Melanie said as she stood from the bed and walked over to the bag she bough into the apartment. "I bought ice cream for us," Melanie smiled and bought them over with spoons.
"You know this is coming a pass time for us to talk over ice cream," Carly observed.
"Yes, just like with dad it's him stealing my dessert at the pub," Melanie.
"Ahh yes the dessert he says no to but takes about 90% of yours, he's the same as when I met him," Carly says
"What was dad like when you met him?" Melanie asks shyly
"Well he was kind and gentle, very down to earth. He was a brilliant doctor, still is, and he was so different from Lawrence which is why we slept together." Carly said remembering the first time she met Daniel
"How come you never talk about Lawrence?" Melanie wonders out loud.
"It's not much to talk about," Carly replies grimly.
"It has to be if you were married for 16 years, how did you guys meet?" Melanie questions.
"Well we met at boarding school, he was my boyfriend," Carly said as she went to throw out the ice cream carton. "That's also where I met Jennifer, she was my best friend, and I met Bo there as well."
"Continue!" Melanie said intrigued.
"Bo broke up a fight between Lawrence and I, big surprise there, but when I came to town, he didn't remember me."
"How did you get the idea to move to Salem?" Melanie inquired.
"I got the idea from Adrienne and Justin who I ran into while they were vacationing."
"So what happened once you got to town?" she asked.
"I ran into Bo and Jennifer. Bo and me didn't get along for a long time, but we started to have feelings for one another when I took care of his son Shawn Douglass. After a while in town, I discovered that my brother was kidnapped by my ex Lawrence." Melanie gasped.
"How could you marry him after be kidnapped your brother?" she asked disgustedly.
"I'm getting to that, and Lawrence wasn't all bad. I don't want you to think the worst of him. When we were together it was magical, like we were made for each other, but he could also be very cruel and manipulative," Carly reasoned.
"And abusive" Melanie added
"Yes and abusive, but he had his reasons," Carly said. "Anyways, Lawrence wanted the Von Leuschner fortune and for me to hand over Bo in exchange for my brother's freedom."
"Von what?" Melanie asked, last time she checked, her parents were just doctors.
"My birth name is Katerina Von Leuschner, a very powerful European family. I was on the run and changed my name to Carly Manning. Lawrence knew I was the heiress and would receive my inheritance soon, so he made a deal. I learned that Jennifer assumed my identity as Katerina and tried to marry Lawrence and he raped her once he found out the truth. I was so disgusted with his actions and couldn't stand the thought of him especially when he moved to Salem."
"Mom, he sounds horrible!" Melanie's voice rose.
"I know, I'm not making excuses for him. When he wanted something he would always get it no matter the costs. After a while when me and Bo were together, I began to have nightmares about the child I'd lost, your brother Nikki."
"How come you didn't get him until he was 12?"
"I found out I was pregnant with my boyfriend's baby, I thought his name was James, but it turned out to be Lawrence. I turned to Vivian for help, and after I gave birth, she and the doctor told me that the baby would die soon for having water on his brain. I could not bear to see my child in that state so I trusted Vivian to confirm his time of death. I'd confided in Bo and we flew to France where I gave birth, and the doctor admitted that my baby was sold on the black market. I told Vivian what happened and she seemed just as surprised as I was. Lawrence's girlfriend to him that Bo and I took trip to France and he went there to find answers for him. I told Lawrence that he wasn't the father of my child, but eventually relented. Once Lawrence found out that Nikki was our son, he went on a rampage and caused Vivian to have a heart attack. He let me know what was going and we decided that it was best if Lawrence broke the news to him that he was his father and would wait to tell him that I'm his mother. The more I talked to Nikki, the more we bonded and I loved him so much," Carly cried.
"What happened mom?" Melanie said with tears forming.
"I was about to wed Bo when Lawrence came bursting in with news that Vivian was trying to flee town with Nikki, but Bo caught them. Vivian was always jealous of our mother son bond and sought to destroy me. When she couldn't frame me for killing her, she tried to frame me for killing patients. She was on medication that made her the craziest woman in Salem. When she tried to kill Caroline Brady, I found her and ended up injecting myself with the cleaning fluid and went into a coma. She put more "herbs" into my IV, which made it appear as if I'd died. She locked me in a coffin and buried me. Once released from the hospital and with the drugs wearing off, she told Lawrence of what she'd done and he dug me up. When I woke up, I had no memories of the life I'd been living in Salem, and Lawrence was now James, my first love. Lawrence tried running away with me but when I saw Nikki at the airport, all my memories came flooding back. Vivian was sent to a mental hospital, and I realized why Lawrence was the way he was. My love for him only grew and we decided to leave town with Nikki as a family. I took back my old life and embraced my Von Leuschner family, and we lived happily ever after." Carly concluded.
"So what changed?" Melanie asked.
"What do you mean?"
"Why did you cheat on him if you loved him?"
"We were going through a rough patch, always fighting and when I met Daniel, he was so different. He was everything that Lawrence was when I met him and I just wanted that one piece of him that I'd loved and that's how you were created."
"So how did Lawrence find out that you weren't carrying his child?"
"Lawrence found out when he discovered that he was sterile, and from that point it was just a living hell. He drank a lot, he hit me and called me every name in the book, he told me he wasn't going to raise another man's baby, and that I was his property, so I wouldn't carry one either. I reasoned with him to allow me to give birth because you were innocent and he relented. Every time he would beat me, he would aim for my stomach but I would cower in a corner and wrap my arms around you. When I gave birth to you, he wanted to kill you, I told him I'd do anything he asked, and he said to save your life, I had to give you away. It was a private adoption and only he knew the person who adopted you, I was forbidden to see any of that information."
"Why didn't you just tell Daniel?" Melanie asked.
"Because I was terrified. Lawrence was a drunk and a powerful one at that. When he would beat me, he would ask who the father was and the beating would get worse when I didn't answer. He would've sent people after Daniel if he found out that information. He was so possessive and he would rather die than to know his wife slept with someone else."
"Why did you kill him, why not leave?"
"Because he would've found me or taken Nikki away. He's a man of many resources and I was terrified of him. He wasn't the same after I'd cheated on him and after he recovered from his illness. He threatened to kill you because he was the only one with information about you, not even Vivian knew. I believed him when he said he would and I snapped. I grabbed the closest weapon to me." Carly said. "He kept my passport and documentation away from me, but I managed to find it and came home."
"Wow, I…I really don't know what to say. You're so strong," Melanie cried and Carly wrapped her in her arms. "Do you still love him?"
"Of course sweetie, he may have been terrible towards the end, but he was great before and I'll always love him. I really do wish we could've worked things out a different way, but this is my bed and I have to lie in it."
"I don't understand…" Melanie started.
"You're not suppose to understand, and I'm glad you don't. He was the love of my life. Yes I did love Bo, but he loves damsels in distress and the reason we tried is because he was separated and we never got to finish our love story. Daniel was a great man, but I introduced him to the love of his life, while I was on the outs with mine. Okay baby it's time to get some sleep."
"Okay, good night mommy," Melanie replied tiredly while Carly pulled the covers over them.
They slept peacefully for most of the night until Carly started tossing and turning and breaking into a sweat. Melanie being a light sleeper felt the bed moving and awoke groggily to her mother panting.
"Mom wake up," Melanie whispered but that did nothing for Carly. Melanie put her hand on Carly's arm to shake her but pulled it back as if her hand was on fire. Carly's skin felt as if it was on fire and her hair was wet from the sweat.
"Lawrence…stop...I'm" Carly said in her sleep.
"Mom wake up," Melanie said louder, but Carly wouldn't budge instead she seemed as if she were having a panic attack with shallow breaths making its way past his partially opened lips. Melanie started shaking Carly until she rose with a gasp of air that felt like heaven to her lungs. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah sweetie I'm fine, just go back to sleep," Carly said.
"No you're not okay," Melanie argued.
"It's 4:00 am, go back to sleep and we can talk in the morning," Carly reasoned and Melanie resumed her position. That seemed to do the trick and Carly tucked Melanie back into bed.
"Where are you going?" Melanie asks.
"Shh go to sleep baby," Carly said.