let you get away with it Wes! Do you hear me? I won’t let
you get away with it!” A woman screams at the top of her lungs.
As Justin and Vic Newman step out of the hospital elevator, they
hear the woman’s fit of rage. They turn the corner and are
shocked to find the commotion is coming from their stepmother, Betty.
“I can’t believe you did this! I won’t let you
get away with it, Wes! I won’t!” she screams again.
The thin woman’s hair is dyed black and she’s wearing
a fashionable black dress and heels. She beats her fists on the
plate glass window to her husband’s germ-free room, violently
shakes her finger at him and yells, “I won’t let you
get away with it!”
Wes Newman, 75 years old, lies in the hospital bed on the other
side of the glass window. Once a strong, tall, blonde rancher and
Deputy Sheriff, he is now weak, pale and gray. A week earlier Wes
learned he has acute leukemia and may not survive the trip from
Longview to M.D. Anderson in Houston. He’s embarrassed his
wife is making a fool of herself in public, and there’s nothing
he can do to stop her. As Betty yells, paces back and forth, and
beats on the glass window, he stares up at the ceiling, shakes his
head and tries to ignore her.
She spots Justin and Vic coming down the hallway, and runs to meet
them. They can see their stepmother is definitely upset about something
and is now headed in their direction. Shaking her finger at them,
she glares and yells, “I’m not going to let him get
away with it! Do you hear me? I can’t believe he did this!
He did it behind my back!” Gasping for breath, she continues
to unload on them. “He sent me into town to have tires put
on the car so I wouldn’t know he was making his Will! He thought
I wouldn’t find out about it, but I did! I came home and found
him there with attorneys and witnessing attorneys, and your Aunt
Sally was there too! Oh, I could just kill him! I’m not going
to let him get away with this! Do you hear me? I’m not!”
Justin and Vic glance at each other with raised eyebrows but don’t
speak. Their father warned his six children several times that Betty
would put them through hell and try to get everything he owns when
he dies. The two brothers know one thing for sure – whatever
their father put in his Will that caused her to throw this fit was
put in it to protect them from her. Without any warning, she lashes
out at them again. “And don’t you dare bring your mother
up here to see him! I won’t stand for it! Jean better not
come up here, do you hear me?”
“I’m going to call Mom,” Vic whispers to his brother.
He turns and heads back down the hallway to find a pay phone.
Justin is rendered speechless by Betty’s fury aimed at his
ailing father as his brother leaves him standing there alone. The
outrage toward his mother is boggling and makes his mind spin. Is
Betty jealous of Mom after all these years? Or did Dad leave Mom
something in his Will? Their divorce would never have occurred if
Mom hadn’t discovered Dad’s affair with Betty and divorced
him. Dad was happy the way things were.
Justin finds the glass window to Wes’ room and tries not to
cry when his father sees him. Wes quickly reaches for the phone
on a stand by his bed and motions frantically for Justin to pick
up the phone on the other side of the plate glass window. Justin
picks it up and speaks first.