Transcript of 51st Session between Charles Balis, M.D. and Ms. Sylvia Bows, Tuesday, September 2, 1997 at 4:00 pm.

Dr. Balis: Hello, Sylvia. It's nice to see you.
Ms. Bows: Hello, Doctor Balis. And yes, it's always a pleasure. How was your Labor Day?
Dr. Balis: Uneventful.
Ms. Bows: Too bad. Or rather...
Dr. Balis: How was yours?
Ms. Bows: I think I would rather describe it as uneventful, but...
Dr. Balis: What happened?
Ms. Bows: I did a lot of thinking since our last session, and I've decided that the best thing would be to discretely test the boys against Richard's DNA. If there's no match, then no harm's done. If it turns out that one or both were fathered by Richard, then I'll talk Tom into doing the DNA testing.
Dr. Balis: Already knowing the outcome?
Ms. Bows: Yes. But if Richard's not the father, why should I go through all this upset with Tom for nothing? Even though you urged me to keep everything on the up and up with Tom, I think my plan minimizes the downside.
Dr. Balis: But?
Ms. Bows: There isn't really a but yet.
Dr. Balis: Then what? Why are you so...
Ms. Bows: I'm just feeling the guilt, Doctor. We had a Labor Day picnic in Golden Gate Park with the whole family. Rene and her son Robert were there. And my parents came. Even my brother managed to show up. It was very nice.
Dr. Balis: Sounds nice.
Ms. Bows: Oh, and it was sunny and warm. The boys were sitting in the grass trying to catch butterflies fluttering around them. Idyllic. It was the Hollywood version of family togetherness.
Dr. Balis: But?
Ms. Bows: My mom baked a tort. And as I was getting ready to serve it, Tom pulled out a bottle of champagne: "We're celebrating today!"
Dr. Balis: Celebrating what?
Ms. Bows: Apparently he got the papers on Saturday that Richard dropped his paternity suit. He was so happy and thought that he would make a big deal out of it for me and my family--they were all so concerned. So there he was smiling and pouring champagne into crystal glasses he managed to sneak into the picnic basket. And my mom was crying--she was so glad that that whole thing was finally over. But I was dying inside. I knew that Richard was dropping the suit last Friday when we took the boys to get tested.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Bows: Richard and I managed to make arrangements to take the boys first thing Tuesday morning. And then I let Richard spend the next three hours playing with the boys and just enjoying being in their company. He was so worried about the needle pricks--I think it hurt him more to watch the doctor take a sample of the boys' blood then it did the boys.
Dr. Balis: Who? Richard?
Ms. Bows: Richard. And then he was worried that Tom would notice the marks on the boys' thighs--I had to reassure him that Tom is usually not around for bath time.
Dr. Balis: I see. So when will you know about the results of the test?
Ms. Bows: Not for some time--it usually takes several weeks to get the results.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Bows: But Richard told his lawyer to drop the suit as soon as we started the test. He was so happy to see the boys. He played with them and talked with them. And there was a sense of...
Dr. Balis: Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: I know. I know I shouldn't be thinking that way. But they responded to Richard, too. There was clearly something there. And even if there wasn't, I'm glad that I gave this opportunity to Richard. He's so sick now. He's thin as a rail and can't go through the day with out painkillers. I don't think he has much time left. That seemed like such a little thing, Doctor. Is it so bad to make a dying man happy?
Dr. Balis: But you felt guilty when Tom announced that Richard dropped the lawsuit. Doesn't that tell you something? It's clear than on some level you don't think that what you did was all right.
Ms. Bows: I know--it's guilt all around. Damned if I do and damned if I don't.
Dr. Balis: Not necessarily. If you told Tom about everything, he would have probably gone along with your decision to test the boys and there wouldn't have been any guilt. The guilt comes from your decision to keep things secret from Tom.
Ms. Bows: Yes. But Tom would never have agreed to let Richard spend any time with the boys.
Dr. Balis: And you did?
Ms. Bows: Well...
Dr. Balis: Why would you do that, Sylvia? Why do you need this extra complication in your life? Why risk your relationship with Tom over this?
Ms. Bows: It's Richard. It's just so hard to say no to him.
Dr. Balis: You could try.
Ms. Bows: Oh Doctor. You're making this very simplistic--just say no to Richard and say yes to happiness with Tom. Done deal.
Dr. Balis: Hmm.
Ms. Bows: But life is just not that black and white. Out of all the man I sought out to be the father for my child...children, Richard was truly the only one I really connected with on some deeper level. There was fire in that man. He was more than just a lover, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: But things have changed.
Ms. Bows: Yes, they have. I'm happily married to Tom again and Richard is near death.
Dr. Balis: But...
Ms. Bows: If Richard sees the boys a few more times and spends a few precious meager moments in their company, is that so wrong? He's dead, really. It couldn't possibly make that much difference to anyone but him. Those two or three afternoons...Tom wouldn't miss the boys. But for means so much to him. Especially if either Grant or Roald turns out to be his son, how can I deny him the opportunity to look into the eyes of his only child?
Dr. Balis: Sylvia, I understand your point of view. But you are playing a dangerous game. Today Richard only wants a few visit with the boys, and tomorrow...
Ms. Bows: Doctor...
Dr. Balis: And if you feel so strongly about this, Sylvia, why aren't you talking to Tom about it? If Tom finds out that you're making arrangements with Richard behind his back, he's not going to take it well. Instead of all this secret meetings and manipulations, try raising the issue with Tom. He might surprise you. He's surprised you before.
Ms. Bows: Look, we'll know for a fact if the boys are any relation to Richard in about two weeks. If it turns out that they are, I'll talk to Tom about all of this. But if the tests come up negative, then all this nerve-wracking would be for nothing. I can wait.
Dr. Balis: And Richard? Is he willing to wait and see the results of the blood test before he sees the boys again?
Ms. Bows: I guess I'll make him wait.
Dr. Balis: Do you think he would go for that?
Ms. Bows: He doesn't have much choice, does he?
Dr. Balis: I guess not. You have all the cards.
Ms. Bows: God, you're making me sound so cold and calculating. But this really is about compassion. All he wants is a couple of lousy visits with the boys. Richard is no threat to Tom.
Dr. Balis: Then there is no reason not to tell him, right?
Ms. Bows: Right. I'll tell him when I think the time is right.
Dr. Balis: When you know the results of the tests.
Ms. Bows: Right. I'm going to go now, Doctor. I'm too wound up to go straight home, and I need to be there for dinner--Richard's dad is in town.
Dr. Balis: Okay. I'll see you in two weeks.
Ms. Bows: Right. Thank you, Doctor.
Dr. Balis: Goodbye, Sylvia.
Ms. Bows: Good night.
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