SHOCK TREATMENT 2000

Chapter Five: 1987


    Janet didn't find it difficult to adjust to New York City and its madness.  Her mind was focused on finding her adopted son.  However, that effort kept leading to dead end roads.  The hospital where she delivered the child 11 years before reconnected her to the adoption agency that handled her child's adoption.  However, she had signed papers giving up all rights and such.  The agency informed her that they could not legally give out that information.  She argued with the agency to no avail.  Finally, she insisted on seeing the legal documents explaining her rights.
    Janet studied the legal documents carefully.  Minutes later, she smiled.  She had found a loophole.  According to the paperwork, the birthmother had the right to her child's whereables IF the child was still not adopted, even if the child was still being fostered.  Even better: the birthmother has the right to keep her child in particular situations.
    The agency agreed that Janet had that right, so they sent a secretary to the warehouse to retrieve her son's information.
    Minutes later, the secretary returned with a look of disappointment.  She informed Janet that a few weeks before, someone broke into the place, and took one single box of adoption papers, the same box that coincidentally contained Janet's file.
    Frustrated, but not wanting to give up, Janet leaves.  Later that night, as she sat in a chair in her New York apartment, she cried.  She worried that she could not handle this search on her own.  Her mind turned to Brad, the husband she had left a year before.
    As an impulse, she picked up the telephone and called Brad's phone number.  Nervously, she listened to it ring, and heard the sound of Brad answering the phone: "Hello?"
    Janet didn't say a word.  She wanted to, but she was nervous.  She only listened to his voice.
    "Hello?" he repeated, "Janet is that you?"
    God, I want to answer, Janet thought to herself, I want to say, 'yeah, it's me.  I miss you.  I wish you were here.'
    "Janet," he said somewhat nervously, "I got the divorce papers in the mail today.  You acted fast."
    Still no answer from Janet.  She swallowed hard, and felt the sting of tears in her eyes.
    "Janet," he continued, "We don't have to do it this way.  I'm sorry I didn't handle the situation well.  Just tell me where you are and I'll come there.  We can find our baby together."
    Click.
    Janet hung up the phone.  She spent the next few minutes staring at the phone, thinking of Brad.  She missed him.

    Betty Hapschatt walked down the busy sidewalk and studied the view of New York City.  My, how it was alive!  She had just arrived only a few hours before, and at this particular moment, she was in awe.
    A few months ago, she, in her search for Oliver Wright, was able to track down Brad Majors.  Visiting him, she heard the entire story about how Janet had went to New York to find her baby.  Betty was surprised that Janet had been pregnant at that time and Betty had no clue.  But she was even more surprised to find out that Brad and Janet had seperated.
    "Please," Brad begged her, "She'll talk to you.  Would you go to New York City and find her.  Tell her I love her and miss her.  I want to work things out."
    And that's exactly how Betty ended up in New York City on this particular day.  Her search for Oliver was temporarily halted by her need to find her best friend, Janet.
    Wanting a quick bite to eat, Betty entered a small cafe and sat down to order some food.  Suddenly, a woman approached her, and called her name:
    "Betty?!!" the woman said, sitting down in the chair next to her.  Betty recognized her at once.  It was Neely Pritt.
    "Betty, what are you doing here?" she asked.
    Betty forced a smile.  It was true: they were never exactly "friends" but nonetheless, Betty was always hospitable.
    Betty answered her, "Oh, I've been trying to find Janet Majors."
    Neely's eyes widened to match the grin on her face, and she said, "Oh my God!  That's exactly why I'm here!  I've been trying to track down Janet ever since she left town back in 1982!"
    Betty was quick to snap, "Why? You think there's a hot story there?"
    The comment went over Neely's head.  Neely said, "Wow, I can't believe all the Denton folks I've ran into here in New York!"
    This comment surprised Betty, who asked her to explain.
    "I haven't found Janet," Neely said, "But I did run into Oscar Drill and his sister, Brenda last month."
    "Really?" Betty smiled, "How are they?  Are they living here now?"
    "I don't know, Betty.  Something's wrong.  They just don't seem the same.  They're acting different.  It's almost like they're totally different people.  He's a bit more snappy...you know, angry, all the time.  And she -- well, she's spaced out all the time.  It's like she can't concentrate.  She'll start to listen to you when you talk, but then suddenly her mind is wandering elsewhere."
    "Maybe they have some problems in their life."
    "Well, here's the creepy thing," Neely added, moving in closer.  They've been seeing a shrink.  Someone hired by Oscar's work.  And guess what...  Had I not seen the shrink with my own two eyes a few days ago, I wouldn't have believed it.  The shrink and his secretary look exactly like Cosmo and Nation McKinley."
    "What are you saying?" Betty asked, very interested in the underlying truth.
    "I'm saying, something fishy is going on around here.  Oscar and Brenda are seeing head-doctors on a regular basis, and the more they do, the weirder they get.  It's like they're being brainwashed or something."
    Betty gave it some quick thought and then said, "Have you tried confronting the issue with Oscar?"
    "Yeah, but he says it's all legit.  He says that the doctor is NOT Cosmo, and that I have an active imagination."
    Betty agreed with Neely.  Something strange was going on, and she hoped to find Janet very soon.  Even if it took a long time to do it, she wouldn't give up.  Even if she had to settle down in New York City for a while, Betty would hopefully find her one day.

In the next chapter, we'll check up on Ansalong.  Also, Ralph continues his excessive cheating on the women of Denton.  And Janet comes a step closer to finding her son!

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