(Disclaimers: 'Degrassi:TNG and all its characters are copywrited and I am making zilch from this fanfic based on some events of this series)
"Screw up, eh! I'll show you who the screw-up is, punk!" the livid Dr. Albert Manning screamed to himself as he raced off in his car after that catastrophic restaurant scene with his son Craig.
Dr. Manning screeched his wheels as he rounded the corner.
"I'm the only one in this freakin' family who hasn't screwed up! Your slutty mother screwed with that toy boy used car saleman and whelped a bastard by him! But did I? No! I was smarter than that. I even got away with. .." Dr. Manning started to yell before he suddenly stopped himself.
"Careful. If Craig had been inside this car and heard you finish that sentence, you'd lose him- and your freedom forever!" a voice was heard to say.
Dr. Manning gasped and suddenly braked the car.
" You mustn't do that. You're on a thoroughfare! You might smash into another car before you come to halt," the voice teased.
"Who are you? Where are you? What are you? My conscience?"Dr. Manning gulped.
"There's no one in your world in this car but you- Albert. .and we both know that you've never had a conscience!" the voice dripped.
Dr. Manning stopped the car and hit himself in his head with his right hand.
"Get out!" Dr. Manning snarled- as he opened the passenger door while a tourist from Calgary walking by saw him and looked quite puzzled.
"You shouldn't be talking to yourself in public! Think of your spotless reputation, Dr. Manning!" the voice laughed- as Dr. Manning started his car again in shock.
"Whah? What are you talking about?" Dr. Manning gulped.
"Telling everyone you know what a wonderful father you aren't. The same way you used to tell them what a faithful, affectionate and considerate husband you were. Lucky for you, none of them want to believe otherwise- else they'd have to admit they'd misjudged you. And it's never fun to admit that, Albert!" the voice seethed.
"You. You can't be. . ""Dr. Manning sputtered.
" You were planning to destroy the three people I love more than anyone or anything else in your world- and I'm here to make sure you can do no more harm," the voice snarled.
"Julia?"Dr. Manning gulped.
Dr. Manning braked the car again.
"I must be friggin' crazy after that snotty ingrate mouthing off,"Dr. Manning sneered.
" You never could stand the idea of not being in control. Then the world would know that deep down inside, you're a weak and snivelling coward!"Julia's disembodied voice growled.
"Come on. The kid had it coming. He banged my back for the love of. .."Dr. Manning gulped.
"It wouldn't be such a good idea to take a certain name in vain- especially at a time like this," Julia purred.
"What are you going to do?"Dr. Manning asked- as he started speeding again.
"Nothing, but even though some may think you don't deserve it. I'm planning to give you a chance to come clean before. .. ." Julia enthused.
"But. .. I could lose everything! Think of all the patients who won't have me to operate, think of Cr. .."Dr. Manning sputtered.
"Don't try to hide behind them now! You never cared a whit about him beyond how you could make others think he was a credit to you. You never even told him you were sorry that he'd lost his mother!" Julia boiled.
"But. .but. ."Dr. Manning started to say.
"I know, Dear. Even you wouldn't have been that good an actor- especially since. .," Julia sighed.
"I did it for Craig! What kind of existance would he have had staying in Vancouver with you, your boy toy and your bas-"Dr. Manning started to say.
"Don't you EVER call my Angela that! Joey and I were already married when we conceived her and you know it!"Julia screamed.
"The ink was barely dry on our decree when you and he. Why else would he have married you?"Dr. Manning sneered.
"Joey loved me- extra years and all! He wanted a baby of our own just as much as I did! Odd that you never remarried or had more than a few dates with receptionists once it became known that the renowned, successful surgeon Dr. Manning was a free agent- and could give them an instant family with my Craig!" Julia groaned.
"I had no time for. ."Dr. Manning started to say.
"Or to know you is loathe you! You aren't as adept at concealing your shadow-side these days,"Julia insisted.
"If you could see what a mess Craig's in, you'd understand why I. …" Dr. Manning insisted as he turned another curve sharply.
" I have seen the life my growing boy and my baby girl have with Joey- and even his chaos is far better than your exacting cruelties! Of course, you and I know that things would be smoother for them if only. … " Julia sighed.
"Come on. No one can prove anything!" Dr. Manning insisted.
" There's no statute of limitations, Dear, but perhaps it's better that Craig remember you solely as a cowardly bully who beat his mother then him- instead of the full truth of the matter!" Julia seethed.
"But. .but," Dr. Manning sputtered.
"It's been tough enough having to have someone who claimed to love him beat him, but I daresay, that will pale compared to knowing that he carries the genes of someone who could cold-bloodily murder the mother of his child- and let everyone think her car had had an accident!" Julia seethed.
"Um. .um," Dr. Manning gulped.
"Like what you had in mind with Craig by luring him to France then locking him away in an insane asylum the minute his guard was down. You heard from your patient Mrs. Mason who heard from her son Gavin about Craig's stunning interpretation of YOU taming the 'shrew' that was ME! All those nights we thought Craig was sleeping through those terrible scenes when he was growing up. He heard and saw everything you did to me!" Julia boiled.
"I never knew he saw or heard that," Dr. Manning sniffed.
"Neither did I until I passed into the next world. Or else I would have fled with him the first time you ever raised a hand to me- and he'd have fewer psychological scars he'd be tending," Julia sighed.
"He really hates me!" Dr. Manning sniffed.
"He's stronger than both of us and taller,too- but not as forgiving as I was," Julia noted.
"What do you think would happen if. .?" Dr. Manning gulped.
"He'd probably tear you apart with his bare hands if he found out the truth- and Joey would help him! Yes, you have a great deal to answer for, Dear," Julia seethed.
"I'll make it up. ." Dr. Manning sweated.
" Murdering a beloved wife and mother can't be made right! Even my baby Angela has been scarred by you- and she's luckier than the others since she's never set eyes on you. Craig was right to tell her you were a dinosaur but it won't be a comet that will be your downfall," Julia beamed.
"Who? What?"Dr. Manning asked.
"The one foe who you sacrificed those us all to!" Julia insisted.
"You mean?"Dr. Manning gulped as he revved the car.
"Yes, but even now you have a last chance. Repent your lies, abuse, phony promises and evil! "Julia insisted.
"I've done what I had to do! Everything would have flown apart" Dr. Manning snarled as he banged the dashboard.
"Watch out for the construction barrier, Albert!"Julia insisted who could see that her ex-husband was facing the 'empty' passenger seat instead of the front window.
"What?! " Albert asked – a moment before he slammed his car into the concrete construction barrier and after a moment of unimaginable pain lapsed into unconsciousness before dying on his way to the hospital one last time.
Two days later in a bedroom near Degrassi Street. .
"Joey Jeremiah's going to be calling you when he thinks you've woken up and ask you to go with him to a funeral. He'll need you to help him be strong for Craig," Julia's voice was heard to speak to Caitlin in an appearent dream.
"What? Who are you?" Caitlin asked.
"Dr. Albert Manning died and this is going to be tough on everyone. The time has come for you to step up and join Joey to let him know you'll be there for him and his family," Julia insisted in a tender voice.
"But I never even met Dr. Manning. ."Caitlin sputtered.
"Were it not for Craig, I'd wish I could say the same. Anyway, there are three souls in your world who need you to love them and be strong for them," Julia pleaded.
" Are you. .?" Caitlin asked.
"Who I am is not important now. Just know that as long as you look out for Joey, Angela and Craig's best interests, you'll always have my blessing!" Julia beamed before she made her exit to Caitlin's stunned expression.