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No Ordinary Love

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"In This Life"




JACK has come to visit STEVE'S grave. He stands in front of the headstone and notices a bouquet of yellow roses. The sight of them brings back all the awful memories of seeing his brother die ten years ago this month. He looks on the flowers somberly, sadly, then kneels down.

JACK: Hey Johnson... Bet you've been wondering what took me so long to come visit you here, huh?

He laughs, feeling strange talking to a headstone, but he knows he needs to do this. He needs his big brother right now, and he hopes that somehow STEVE can hear him.

JACK: It's been a while since I was here. I'm sorry for not having come here more often, but I've been out of the country--you understand. (laughs) You know me, always off trekking somewhere on some adventure or another... Of course more often than not, I needed you to save my hide, but I've had to learn to make due since... (quietly) since you... died...

He gets up, not sure if he can do this after all since he feels very silly. But he can not bring himself to leave.

JACK: (resorting to humor as always) This is a bit awkward, isn't it? Well, it's not like you were a great conversationalist when you were alive, either, so I suppose I shouldn't feel so odd monopolizing the conversation... (he sighs, then slips his hands inside the pockets of his trench coat) The thing is, Steve, I really could use your help right now. Because I've really made a mess of things again, and... and I really don't know what to do...

He is uncomfortable and begins to pace, then finally stops and sits down again in front of the headstone.

JACK: I've lost Jennifer, Steve. I... I really think I've lost her this time...

He suddenly realizes STEVE never had the chance to see so many milestones in his life, including his marriage to JENNIFER and ABBY'S birth.

JACK: I guess I should fill you in on a few things first, huh? (smiles as he thinks of JENNIFER and ABBY) Well Johnson, this is going to come as a shock to you, but Miss Horton and I finally did make it to the altar. Not without several hurdles along the way, of course--and rather large ones at that--but considering the bride and groom, I suppose you couldn't really expect anything less, can you? (to himself) And those weren't the last of our hurdles...

He begins to think back on the day he came back to Salem after having left JENNIFER and ABBY.



JACK has come back to Salem after hearing about TOM HORTON'S death. He has been deeply affected by TOM'S death, realizing that leaving JENNIFER and ABBY, however noble or honorable his intention, was a mistake and he wants to be back in their lives.

He attends the funeral to pay his respects to TOM. This is the first time he and JENNIFER have come face to face since he left a few months ago.

The funeral is over and JACK tries to talk to JENNIFER, but she runs away from him, and he chases after her.

JACK: Jennifer, please... I just need you to hear me out...

JENNIFER: (finally stops running, turns around to look at him) What are you doing here, Jack? How can you pick this day of all days to do this?

JACK: Dr. Horton treated me like a grandson, Jennifer. I wanted to pay my respects too.

JENNIFER softens when she hears this, but is still too angry and hurt to let him in, even though she really needs consolation right now.

JACK: I'm sorry, I... I know this day is hard enough for you and I never intended to upset you by being here-

JENNIFER: You never intend to hurt anyone, do you, Jack?

JACK is hurt by the comment, but he knows she has every right to be bitter towards him after what he did.

JACK: (quietly) How is Abigail?

JENNIFER doesn't answer right away, and JACK isn't sure if he has upset her again by mentioning their daughter.

JENNIFER: She's good...

JACK: (afraid to get his hopes up, but has to know for sure) So she's... are you saying...

JENNIFER: (nodding) The bone marrow transplant worked. She's completely free of the Aplastic Anemia...

JACK sighs in relief, feeling as if a heavy burden has finally been lifted off his shoulders.

JACK: (murmuring to himself) Thank God... She's going to be all right...

JENNIFER wants so badly to reach out to him at this moment. She has been so lonely in the last few months and even though she had been overjoyed at ABBY'S recovery, a part of her has been sad that she did not have JACK to share that happiness with. But she is too hurt over everything that has happened.

JACK: (seeing how much he's hurting her and wanting her to have this day to grieve): Thank you... for letting me know... I've thought about her everyday since I've been gone. (beat) Look, I don't want to make this day any harder for you than it already is, so-


JACK stops and looks at her. JENNIFER knows one moment won't undo everything that's happened, but she really needs for him to hold her right now. She walks up to him and gently lays her head on his chest. JACK is surprised, but doesn't say anything. Slowly he brings his arms up and he holds her as she cries.

JACK: It's going to be all right... You'll be all right... (whispers to himself, but he doesn't know that JENNIFER hears) I'm never leaving you again... Never...


JACK: (clearing his throat) But I guess I just don't do well with happy endings, do I? I've managed to make a mess out of this too... (beat) Jennifer's really angry at me right now, Steve. She's so angry with me, and I guess deep down, I don't really blame her. She's right, I was pushing her away again. I told her I'd never do that again, and yet I did it. And I suppose in the end, it doesn't really matter what my reasons were. The fact is, I hurt her again.

He feels guilty, knowing that he has hurt so many people in his life, even though he never intends to.

JACK: (quietly) I seem to have this bad habit of hurting the ones I love the most... (beat) And I do love her. I love her and Abigail more than anything in this world, and even though I hate hurting them, I always end up doing it somehow. Even when I don't even intend to. Even when it's all out of my hands... like it is... right now... I know what you'd say, Johnson, you'd say, 'Why the hell don't you just tell her everything? Tell her why you were pulling away from her, why you had to go away all those times?' But I... can't. Not yet. Not until I know for sure if...

He absently reaches for a rose from the bouquet, and turns it over and over in his hands.

JACK: She won't come back to me now, and maybe that's for the best anyway. But Abigail... No matter what Jennifer may think, I love my daughter and I don't want to be apart from her. Not ever. And I know you'd tell me that it doesn't make sense for me to want to push Jennifer away right now and still want to hold on to Abigail at the same time, but it's because she's so little and she wouldn't understand any of this... Jennifer... Jennifer would understand. Once she knows everything, she'd understand... But Abigail...

He takes out a picture of ABBY from his pocket and lays it on top of the bouquet. He looks at the picture with extreme love and pride.

JACK: I wish you could have seen her, Steve. I really wish you could have been a part of her life. (smiles, imagining what it would have been like for STEVE to be around ABBY) She would have loved you, you know--and you would have loved her. She's the most perfect child in the world, after all--just like Stephanie, of course. But you understand, don't you? You understand why I had to do what I did, why I have to do what I have to do? God, I wish you could tell me what to do right now... I really wish you could tell me...



JACK comes up to the door after a few minutes of being unable to decide whether or not to knock, he finally does. BILL answers the door.

BILL: Jack, I didn't think you were going to come.

JACK: (laughing to cover up his nervousness) Well to tell you the truth, Dr. Horton, I--I wasn't going to...

BILL: I'm glad you changed your mind then. (gestures towards the chair) Why don't you have a seat?

JACK feels very trapped right now. He has been dreading this meeting for a while now, but after seeing ABBY, he knows he has to do it.

JACK: Uh, thank you...

BILL: (giving him a knowing smile) You're nervous.

JACK: Nervous? No, no, no, not nervous--not nervous at all... This is all old hat now, isn't it? It's like riding a bicycle--one never forgets-

BILL: Jack...

JACK: (clears throat) Yes, Dr. Horton?

BILL: Son, I know we've never really been particularly close, but we're family. And what's more, I'm your doctor. It may be a little awkward, but I want you to feel comfortable enough to talk to me. To tell me how you're feeling. I know... this can't be easy for you dealing with this.

JACK looks away, then notices his and JENNIFER'S wedding picture on BILL'S desk.

JACK: (quietly) I'm coping.

BILL sees that JACK is looking at his wedding picture and knows he's thinking of JENNIFER.

BILL: She should really know, Jack. (beat) I know this is none of my business and you have to do what you feel is best, but... don't you think she has a right to know? Jack, she's going to find out sooner or later...

JACK: I'd rather it be later.

BILL: And what about Abby?

JACK: (all of the sudden gets scared) Abigail mustn't know about this, Dr. Horton. That is one thing I won't budge on-

BILL: It's all right, Jack, you don't have to worry about me saying anything. As your doctor, I will respect your wishes completely. He set his pen down, then leaned forward, looking more serious. But as your father-in-law-

JACK: Well, technically-

BILL: As a friend, I hope you'll reconsider keeping this from them, Jack.

JACK: I do appreciate your advice, and I thank you, but I haven't changed my mind about this.

BILL: (doesn't want to force JACK into doing anything he's not comfortable with) All right. I won't push you on this. (beat) So... can I assume that you've come here today because you've made a decision?

JACK: Yes, yes, you assume correctly, Dr. Horton. I've uh... made my decision.

BILL: Good, I'm glad to hear that, Jack. And I hope it's what I think it is.

JACK: (laughs nervously) Column A or column B--it wasn't exactly a fun choice either way. But yes, I have made up my mind. I am... going to do it, Dr. Horton. (beat) I will go through the chemotherapy.




JACK walks in his room and throws the keys on the dresser. He sits down on the chair and fishes out his wallet and takes out a picture of him, JENNIFER, and ABBY when ABBY was still a baby.

When I cry, I close my eyes
And every tear falls down inside
And I pray with all my might
That I will find my heart in someone's arms
When I cry, cry

When I cry, when I am sad
I think of every awful thing I ever did
When I cry, there is no love
No there is nothing that can comfort me enough
When I cry, cry, cry


JENNIFER is tucking ABBY in. ABBY asks her to read her a story.


JACK sinks down onto a chair and looks at the picture of him, JENNIFER, and ABBY.

The salt inside my body ruins everyone I come close to
My hands are barely holding up my head
I am so tired of looking at my feet
And all the secrets that I keep
My heart is barely hangin' by a thread, hangin' by a thread


JENNIFER has finished reading the story, and watches as ABBY falls asleep.

Oh look at me, at all I've done
I've lost so many things that I so dearly love
I lost my soul, I lost my pride
Oh I lost any hope of having a sweet life
So I cry, cry, cry


JACK is still looking at the picture. Tears begin to form at the corners of his eyes.

Oh the salt inside my body ruins everyone I come close to
My hands are barely holding up my head
Oh I'm so tired of looking at my feet
And all the secrets that I keep
My heart is barely hangin' by a thread, hangin' by a thread

I miss you all
I wish I was
With you now
I wish I was

As the song plays, fade to black.


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