A Tale of Two Fathers
Daytime TV Yearbook # 10, 1980
Article Provided By Wanda
Jill and Seneca walked, arms entwined, along the windswept shore. Seneca experienced a joy he thought he'd never feel again after the death of his beloved Nell. But in Jill's arms, sitting by the blazing fire at the beach cottage, he knew he'd found love again.
Jill cared for Seneca, but it was still Frank she loved. She was ready to become the next Mrs. Frank Ryan.
Seneca couldn't stand by and allow Jill to fall victim to the philandering Frank. And although Seneca is a doctor, he couldn't put the symptons together and was stunned when he was told Jill was pregnant. There was no doubt in his mind that Jill was carrying Frank's baby.
He was desolate, but a sudden thought came to him....if Frank and Jill weren't seeing each other during this time, My God, the child was his.
Jill was frightened and thought there was a strong possibility she would not carry the baby to term but she would not endanger the life she carried. That wasn't good enough for Seneca, he was going to personally see to it that the baby survived. Jill did not want anyone taking charge of her life and Seneca's domineering ways offended her.
But the baby was all Seneca could think of, he wanted this child desperately. He spent endless hours daydreaming about the future and in these flights of fancy, Jill and his child - a son - were always by his side.
For Jill, her dream of a life with Frank was shattered when she told him he wasn't the father of her child. In a rage, Frank told her they were through, demanded she return his engagement ring and walked out of her life.
But even with Frank out of her life, Jill steadfastly refused to marry Seneca. But Seneca did talk her into one last time at the beachhouse and he thought they could plan a future together.
Jill went into early labor, no time to get to a hospital and so Seneca delivered his son, Edmond Strong Coleridge, himself and he was even more determined to make Jill his wife.
But the blessed event soon turned into a curse as the weakened infant struggled to survive. He spent the first few months in and out of the hopsital and when he was about to undergo surgery to correct pressure on the brain, the surgeon discovered that Edmond had a rare blood type - he did not share with Jill or Seneca. Edmond was Frank's child afterall!
Seneca was loathe to tell Jill about the true parentage and he waited months until finally one night he convinced Jill to marry him.
She was furious and rushed back to Frank's arms and they announced their marriage.
But that long-awaited union was not yet to be. Frank was wrapped up in his #l love, his U.S. Senate campaign; he was also involved with another young lady, Rae.
When Edmond was better and out of the hospital, Jill left for Washington to be with Frank but found Frank and Rae together in the same hotel room. Heartbroken, she was now ready for life with Seneca. She agreed to marry him but Ryan spelled trouble and Seneca did not want the Ryan's to visit the child.
Jill avowed that for now, Seneca was his father; perhaps in time, Edmond would learn the truth. Seneca put his foot down, no visits from the Ryans. Jill refused to listen and went off to be alone at the beach house and Seneca stormed off to the hospital. Jill said he could come see her that night but for now she wanted to be alone.
Seneca was determined to make Jill see his side and nearing the beach house, he felt everything would be all right...he was wrong.
As the house came into sign, Seneca saw smoke and flames billowing. Amidst the rubble of the demolished house, he found Jill, half-dazed, calling out for Edmond.
Searching through the debris, Seneca discovered the tiny lifeless body and Jill called out his name and Seneca cradled him in his arms.
He was gone. Edmond. The child he loved so much. The child he had so many dreams for, his Edmond, his son, was gone.
Eventually Jill would recover from the shock of Edmond's death but something precious and irreplaceable had gone out of her life, and the lives of Frank and Seneca. The two men who had vied at being a father to that fragile little child would never be the same again.
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